Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanks and Big Sale at The Fabricologist

I hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving so far (Go Packers)! I'm taking a break from the stuffing and apple pie to gives thanks to you, my customers.  I truly appreciate your support so far.  To show my thanks, I am having my first big sale this weekend.

All day Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Sunday that has no fancy name, and Cyber Monday, you can get 25% off of your entire purchase at The Fabricologist!  The sale runs from midnight tonight until 11:59 pm on Cyber Monday. Enter Thanks11 to get your discount.

Thanks again for your support.  I look forward to serving you in the future!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Quilt Retreats

Right now, I’m at the biannual quilt retreat that I attend every fall and spring. It’s at a beautiful location in Door County, Wisconsin. I’m writing this from the great room with Lake Michigan lapping the shore just a few steps out of the huge windows. It truly is wonderful here.

But despite the beauty and the great surroundings, we come here to sew. It’s so nice to get away from the family, the TVs, the phones (I have no cell phone reception up here), and just sew to your heart’s content. There is a chef here who prepares all of our meals, and staff to clean up all of our dinner messes, so we just sew and sew and sew and eat and sew and sew and eat. We have 27 women here this time. The fall retreat is usually less attended than the spring retreat. In spring, we’ll be at capacity with 40 women.


The huge messy pile here is how I actually pack every time I go anywhere. It’s really not as bad as it looks. It’s organized chaos. I go around the house gathering things I need to take with me, and pile them all in the livingroom. I’m sure this bugs the heck out of my husband, which is an added bonus. Once I’m satisfied that I have everything I need, I start packing them into suitcases.


See? Everything you saw in those pics is in these suitcases. The only things you don’t see here is my big purple suitcase with clothes, toiletries, pillow, flannel sheets, and quilt. That suitcase was actually already packed in the above pics. My serger, serger thread, and rulers are in the brown case; my sewing machine, thread box, and iron are in the purple case; fabric, notions, and patterns for projects are in the red case; my sewing essentials are in the SnapWare containers, the clear tote box holds large things like batting, fusible stuff, interfacing, lamp, freezer paper, and large pieces of fabric that wouldn’t fit in the red case; my laptop (which I normally don’t bring) and a few books are in the tote bag. This is how the room looks before all the women get here to set up. It will look much different shortly after this picture.

If you’ve never been to a quilt retreat, you really should consider going to one. It’s several days filled with great company, uninterrupted creative time, lots of inspiration and ideas, laughing until you cry, and you get to go home with several completed projects.

I’ve been to several different types of retreats. At this one we have people who cook and clean up after us, and there are several bedrooms where we sleep 4 to a room, with a bathroom in each room. I’ve been to other retreats where there is just one big room with lots of bunk beds (like a summer camp with a boys room and a girls room) and camp-type food that is cooked for us; retreats at hotels where we sew in conference rooms, sleep either in your own hotel room or share hotel rooms, and eat in the hotel restaurant or go out to restaurants; and retreats at summer camps where we sleep 4-6 per room, share one big bathroom, and everyone brings a dish for potluck meals. There are many other types of quilting retreats out there, and costs vary greatly.

When looking for retreats, ask at your local quilt shops. They may run one, or know of someone who does. Your local quilt guild may also sponsor a retreat. Most quilt shops have an area near the door where people post flyers, etc. Check there to see if there are any flyers for upcoming retreats. Ask quilt guilds in neighboring cities about retreats. Some may allow non-members to attend their retreats. If you can’t find a retreat, but have a group of friends that would like to get together for a weekend, consider renting a space doing your own mini-retreat. There are several places in my area that rent a home that sleeps 8-10 people, with large open rooms for sewing. Many of these already have cutting mats and irons provided. Again, look at flyers in your local quilt shop or in the ad section of your guild’s newsletter.

Once you’ve found a retreat you want to attend, there are several questions you want to make sure you get the answers to before going, such as: Do you need to bring your own iron and ironing board? Cutting mat? Is food included in the cost of retreat? Are bed linens provided? Towels? Do you need to bring a table? Again, retreats come in a million different varieties with different levels of amenities provided. At this retreat, the facility lets us store ironing boards, irons, extension cords, large cutting mats, etc. in the storage room. So we have 5 ironing stations and 5 cutting stations throughout the room, and attendees don’t need to brings irons and cutting mats. But you may need to bring them at other retreats. Some retreats I’ve been to require that you bring your own 2x4 table. Make sure you know that ahead of time. This retreat does provide bed linens and towels, but I like to bring my own flannel sheets, pillow, and quilt anyway.

Cutting mats, irons, ironing boards, tables, linens, towels, and chairs are all things that you may or may not need to bring with you. Things that you definitely want to bring with you to EVERY retreat include: power strip, extension cord, lamp (like a small ott table light or floor lamp), your own rulers, rotary cutters and scissors (it’s a good idea to put your name on them), and the power cord and foot pedal for your sewing machine (yes, I have been to retreats where people have forgotten them), your phone charger, and your own toiletries.

Bring several projects with you. Some small things you can get done in an hour or two, large quilts, some hand sewing, etc. Try to bring enough so that you don’t run out of things to do and you have lots of variety, but not too much so that your vehicle is jam packed with stuff you’re never going to get to. Some quilt retreats have themes where the whole group works on the same projects. Materials are usually provided to you and is included in the costs of retreat.  I personally don’t like these types of retreats. I like the ones where everyone just sews whatever the heck they feel like sewing, but it may be something you’re interested in.

Things you definitely need to bring with you include: freezer paper, fusible products, batting, and interfacing you may need for your project, as well as all of your sewing essentials. I keep all of my scissors, rotary cutters, bobbins, pens, seam rippers, machine parts & feet, pins & needles, etc. in SnapWare containers. I like them better than those plastic drawers that a lot of people use in their sewing rooms because I can stay better organized with smaller containers. And the added bonus is that I just put a lid on the top, and the whole thing comes with me to retreat.

This one runs from early Thursday afternoon until Sunday afternoon, so I’ll keep posting pictures of the retreat that over the next few days to show you how much fun we’re having. I hope you will consider looking for a retreat in your area. Don’t worry if you don’t know anyone else who’s going. Just go! I promise you’ll have a great time and you’ll come back with lots of new friends and maybe a finished project or two.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Quilt Market Giveaway #2

I’ve got some more prizes to give away from my recent trip to Quilt Market. I’ll split these up into five lots again, with five winners.

Rules are the same as before. The winners for this giveaway will be chosen by  In order to be entered, all you have to do is leave a comment below and tell me what you intend to do with your swag.

There are two ways that you can get additional entries.

1) First, like my facebook page at Second, I’ve posted a link on my facebook page to this blog giveaway post. Click "share" below that post so that it will be shared on your own facebook page.

2) If you have your own blog, write a post on your blog mentioning my giveaway. Then, leave another comment below with a link to your blog.

After you do one or both of those two things, post one or two more comments below so that you get additional entries.

And now to the prizes:

DSCF6452  DSCF6451 Moda fabrics will go to 2 winners: 2 packs of seven 10 inch squares of Quilt Blocks by Ellen Luckett Baker, and 3 packs of 2 1/2 inch squares of : A Walk in the Woods by Aneela Hooey, California Girl by Fig Tree & Co., Good Fortune by Kate Spain, or A Stitch in Color by Malka Dubrawsky.

I found a great new snap tool set & pearlized snaps. These snaps are much more beautiful than anything you can find in the big box craft store. They’re extremely easy to use, and very durable. I’ll be selling both the snap setting tools and size 18 pearlized snaps. Winner of this prize will get the snap setter tool, an adapter for for the larger size snaps that I’ll be stocking soon, and some practice snaps.

DSCF6438  DSCF6437
This next prize came from the Spring Quilt Market I attended, but I’m giving it away now. It’s an autographed copy of Kay Whitt’s great book, Sew Serendipity. There are tons of great tips, tricks, and instructions in this book, as well as some great patterns.
The winner will also receive an embroidery pattern from Cinderberry Stitches, whose first fabric line will be in the shop soon.

Finally, I’m reluctantly giving away an autographed copy of Kay Whitt’s newest book Sew Serendipity Bags. Man, oh man, I wish I would have bought two copies of this book. I’m really kicking myself. This great book is filled with projects and instructions for creating your own great bags and purses.

Get your entries in by commenting below! Winners will be picked next Monday.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Giveaway #1 Winners!

I know you’ve been sitting on pins and needles waiting to see who’s won the Quilt Market giveaways. So without further delay, the winners as picked by Ms. are:

Kaffe Fassett’s Quilts in Sweden goes to-


One copy of Quilt Fiesta goes to the following three people-




And finally, Kaffe Fassett’s Glorious Patchwork goes to-


Thanks everyone for entering and spreading the word. Winners, please contact me at amy with your names & mailing addresses.

I was supposed to get Giveaway #2 posted today, but it just did not happen. I won’t get into details or excuses, but I promise that it will go up first thing tomorrow morning. Please check back & enter again!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

First Quilt Market Giveaway

Today is the first giveaway for things I brought back from Quilt Market! I’ve decided to break up the items into two separate giveaways. I will post the second giveaway next week.

The winners for this first giveaway will be chosen by on Monday.  In order to be entered, all you have to do is leave a comment below and tell me what you intend to do with your swag.

There are two ways that you can get additional entries.

1) First, like my facebook page at Second, I’ve posted a link on my facebook page to this blog giveaway post. Click "share" below that post so that it will be shared on your own facebook page. Then third, post a second comment on the blog saying that you shared the facebook post.

2) If you have your own blog, write a post on your blog mentioning my giveaway. Then, leave another comment below with a link to your blog.

All of that will give you THREE chances to win the fabulous prizes below.

Quilts in Sweden by Kaffe Fassett



The first prize is a gorgeous autographed copy of Kaffe Fassett’s new book, Quilts in Sweden. I think this may be my favorite Kaffe book yet.

It’s filled with his customary vibrant quilts. Each quilt is accompanied by detailed instructions, templates, full color diagrams, and tips and tricks.






Quilt Fiesta by Cheryl Lynch



I have THREE copies of a new book of quilt designs inspired by Mexican tiles and Mexican pottery.

Reflecting the beauty of the Talavera ceramic tiles of Puebla, Mexico, these stunning quilts invite you to a celebration of color and design! Each eye-catching fusible-applique quilt includes a photo of the original tile that inspired it. You'll learn to "translate" a tile's solid colors into today's print fabrics.





Glorious Patchwork by Kaffe Fassett



So this one isn’t exactly a Quilt Market prize, but it seems appropriate to include it here. For some reason, I have two personal copies of this book. So, I’m throwing one your way, lucky you.

This classic book includes 25 quilt designs in Kaffe’s vibrant fabrics.





There will be FIVE winners chosen at random from all of the comments below. Good luck!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Quilt Market Swag Giveaways

I brought lots fo great stuff back from Quilt Market that I'll be giving away to some lucky readers. I have 7 books, some small fabric samples, snap notions, and patterns.

The first giveaway will start tomorrow morning! Keep an eye on the blog for more info!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fall 2011 Quilt Market Recap in Pictures

I'm back from a whirlwind few days at Quilt Market in Houston. It took a whole day just to decompress. There were so many great things to see. It seems to go by way too fast every time. Since words can't possibly do it justice, instead I'll share 642 pictures (or close to it) with you.

There were so many beautiful and innovative booths:

Some great new patterns and books, including a few new pattern companies that I've never seen before:

There were tons of great home dec and clothing items made from quilting fabrics:

Of course, lots of beautiful quilts:

And celebrity sightings:

                           Lotta Jansdotter                                    Mary Fons shooting a spot for                                   Valori Wells

                              David Butler                                                      David & Amy Butler                                                   Anna Maria Horner

     Laura Gunn & her mom Elinor Peace Bailey                           Weeks Ringle & Bill Kerr                                               Marcia Derse

            Gina Pantastico of Cloud 9 Fabrics                         Natalie Lyman of Cinderberry Stitches                                          Pokey Bolton

                          Kaffe Fassett                                                               Cat in the Hat                                     The Ghastlies in Alexander Henry's Booth!

I bought some new fabrics, new patterns, and a few notions that will be arriving in the next couple of months (some not until May!!). Some of the things I'm most excited about include:

A great new line from Lecien designed by Natalie Lyman of Cinderberry Stitches. Her Woodland Utopia is just adorable!

A line called Curious Nature from a brand new designer, Parson Gray aka David Butler aka Mr. Amy Butler. It's very masculine and sophisticated without being about tools and beer. Lots of greys, taupes, greens, and blues.

Weeks Ringle & Bill Kerr of Fun Quilts, soon to be Modern Quilt Studio, not only have a new book (Transparency Quilts) coming out soon, but a new magazine! Called Modern Quilts Illustrated, it will be published three times per year. Each issue will feature three quilt projects and will have tons of full color instructions. It's unlike any magazine you've seen before & I can't wait for it to come out.

Ty Pennington from Extreme Makeover Home Edition, and formerly Trading Spaces, has a great looking line coming out. I didn't order his fabric last year, but wish I had. So I made sure to get some this year. I like this year's line better than last year's.

I also got some great notions. I ordered beautiful glazed buttons in four colorways from Basic Grey, and some great pearlized snaps. The pearlized snaps are perfect for bags, purses, and small wallets. I really really wish I could have found some of these when I was making the Valori Wells Little Wallets.


And finally, The Ghastlies are appearing in their THIRD line for Alexander Henry Fabrics called A Ghastlie Family Reunion. They have been such a huge hit, that Alexander Henry has decided to release a new Ghastlies pattern every year. I'm so excited about this. I always get a little sad when I sell some Ghastlies because I love them so much and want to keep them all for myself. Look for the new Ghastlies in April or May.

I have lots of things to give away as prizes. But I'm not exactly sure how to do it. Even though this was my fourth time attending Market, it's only my first time blogging about it & collecting prizes to give away to readers. I'll try to figure that out soon & share some goodies with you. Any ideas? I'd greatly appreciate it.