Sunday, August 3, 2008

Fabric "Notions"

Welcome to our blog!

I began quilting long before I opened my own shop. A friend taught me to quilt and then she disappeared from my life..but left me with love for fabric and quilting.

As a young quilter I read all the quilting magazines and all the varying opinions on what constituted "art" in a quilt. There was the "only hand quilting counts" camp, the "only abstract quilts are art" camp, the "only hand dyes are art" camp, and on and on it went (and still goes!).

As I contemplated the many beautiful fabric projects I had enjoyed the pleasure of viewing in my life, it occurred to me that those opinions were above all else-arrogant and small minded. "Art" and "beauty" in quilting or anything cannot be defined by one group or affiliation. When we look beyond the narrow confines of our "world" we can find beauty in places we never dreamt of..

Each quilter, and for that matter, each seamstress (male or female) takes a piece of cloth and weaves into it a bit of themselves..that alone creates beauty. As we work with cotton fabrics or synthetic fabrics and turn them into things others find beautiful, we have created "art" by any definition. The fabrics available today, not just for quilting, but for sewing and crafting, offer opportunities for each artist to express him/herself with color and patterns that speak without words.

My shop began as a very traditional online quilt shop. I carried a very narrow spectrum of prints and colors. However, as I have begun to explore beyond the narrow confines of "my world" in many areas of my life, my shop too has expanded in its spectrum of ideas and fabrics. We now carry mostly cottons, but in many patterns and colors. We love to coordinate fabrics for our quilting patrons, for whom, choosing the fabrics is the hard part-the art for them is in the physical building of the quilt. We also love to compose entire quilt kits for people based on a color idea or a theme. Some of us are "scale challenged" or "tone" challenged and for those of us who have been gifted with a color eye, it is our joy to share that with others.

A friend and I are testing the waters to see if we are able to work together without jeopardizing a treasured friendship of many years. She, too will be posting here. I will sign my posts as Seaside1 and she will sign as Seaside2. While just a tender young quilter, she has a wonderful eye for color and scale that has been a gift to me.

We don't do just quilt kits though! We have patterns for totes, and throws, and wall hangings! And we have many great retro fabrics in stock and more coming for those stunning diaper bags, totes, quilted purses and beach bags that are so popular now.

Before I go for today I must make a confession- I was once a "cotton only" elitist. I am no longer. I believe you can incorporate into your quilt whatever fabrics are speaking to you. I do believe that there is some truth in the assertion that synthetic fabrics will degrade cottons more quickly than if you use only cottons; but if your project is loved and brings joy to others for the time it is here, then it has served its purpose.

With warm beachy thoughts for today,


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