Windham Fabrics announces Natalie Barnes as a part of the Fabric Design Family!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

This, That.....and the other Thing.

This.That....and the other Thing.

#marketprep.   it's that time of year again.

it's "new quilt season".
International Quilt Market

and all I can see in my minds eye
are hundreds of designers
across the nation

stitching binding

(because the international designers are done, and ready to board a plane!)
 it happens two times a year

these shows are "industry only" events
and very big events, at that

every single person in that convention center
is there to show goods to shop owners and buyers
asking them to take their brochure
and hope upon hope
that the owners and buyers will order their goods

 Twilight by Whistler Studios for Windham Fabrics
Lilla by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics
pattern:  48 peaks
Grunge by Moda Fabrics 
Black and White by Jennifer Sampou for Robert Kaufman Fabrics
pattern:  morning star + evening star

 designers sketch and draw and stitch and sew and quilt

and then the time comes when we lay in bed, and just before falling asleep
we play in our minds, over and over again
how we'll lay out the booth, and what we'll say every single day

and suddenly it hits us.
we forgot to order.....

...the other Thing.

so we ask friends to pitch in
while we check, double check and confirm
and finally arrange for
...the other Thing.

all the while, with hope upon hope
that you'll stop by
Booth 525
and chat for a while





Saturday, July 30, 2016

Some things are not like fish.....

(forgive me the ramblings of this post)

Some things are not like fish.....

many of you know I have a vacation rental
it's a small place usually rented by corporate travelers, nurses and military
usually for months at a time
one day, I found that the bamboo blind was no longer "working"
so I took it apart, grabbed some waxed twine 
and restrung the roman shade
attaching the rings to the bamboo where they had broken free

one of my friends sat with me on the deck while I rebuilt the blind
"I just can't believe you're actually rebuilding this blind"
and the conversation wound around the fact that
anyone else would have just pitched the bamboo window covering in the trash
and purchased a brand new one
as I took apart the box fan this week
to completely clean the front back and blades of the fan
for the cottage guests arriving this week
I was reminded of the bamboo blind conversation
why didn't I just go out and buy new box fans
and toss my rusty one downstairs and the dirty one upstairs?
(well, for one, because of the heat along the coast, there is not a fan to be had)

as quilters, we are all about
s c r a p s
but in reality the
make do or do without
is all but gone for most
we purchase "perfectly good yardage"
cut it up
and sew it back together again
most of the "granny square quilts"
have a well designed color placement for that scrappy quilt look

be honest
when was the last time you pieced together
two small pieces of your very last piece of a fabric
just to make a 2" block

we rotary cut, depend on our computerized sewing machine
to produce our accurate 1/4 inch seam
and send our top out to be quilted

when do we connect with our projects?
where do we stitch in the love?
did that quilt project last it's 15 minutes of fame?
it's Mark Lipinski's lecture to give about
"Slow Quilting"
I won't give it here

but all of this leads me to one last thought for the week
s t i t c h
he is a loving, willing, soulful dog
that never really had much training for the first year or so of his life
when I met him, he was in a house, playing with kids and other dogs
running amuck until he
came over to sit in front of me, and looked deep into my eyes,
then plopped down in my lap as I sat on the floor to meet him

once I adopted him
I found he barked at other dogs, went berserk when he saw cats,
had never been more than 15 minutes in a car
and didn't really know how to walk on a leash
let alone "go for a walk"
he pee'd and poo'd whenever he wanted 
(at least he knew enough to do those two things out of doors)

I needed better tools
I called for some help

these days
s t i t c h

heel sit down off wait shake quiet roll over come leave it and kennel up

he has his own dog friends that he can walk with now
and no longer barks at other dogs that he sees when walking
he whines at the sight of a cat or possum
but we are now actually able to "walk on"

and when the day is done
he leans on my side, drapes a paw over my legs, 
and puts his head in my lap
as pooh said,
"to be sure of me"

in the last two months, I have asked s t i t c h to learn a whole new language
some of the vocabulary
he does not remember
other times he 
"does not hear"

but other moments
he rises to the occasion and becomes the very best dog

I have had more than one neighbor or friend
give me "that talk"
they inform me that I have to know when enough is too much
telling me that he may just not the right dog for me
or suggesting that I'm not the right owner for him

but I won't keep him chained up outside and let other dogs hassle him
and he won't let me work 16 hour days
I will keep him safe and healthy and buy sardines for him
and he will make me laugh so hard my sides hurt
just like we do with our friends and family
we adjust
we accept
we love unconditionally

my quilting projects and deadlines
take a little longer these days
their 15 minutes of fame will have to wait
s t i t c h
will be with me longer than 15 minutes
and just like cleaning a fan or making repairs around the house

some things are not like fish
you don't just throw them back
(and stitch)

Friday, July 1, 2016

The People of Spring Market

it's all about the people

Spring Market is so much more than fabric and notions

in our last post about Spring Market
we talked about the details
the care in which people take with their presentations

and then it hit me
it's the people

every booth has someone standing in the middle of the booth
and that someone
designed something
that is in that booth

their "thing" might be in someone else's booth

or they might have something in their booth
that they designed with someone else's "something"

or they might be visiting someone to see about that person's
and cheer them on

they might have even travelled from far and away
(hint:  Australia - garments...think garments)
to pick up something
to use in their booth in their country's upcoming show

or they just might be a friend
coming to see what someone did with their very first "something"

there are even people there just for support

and then there are friends that are
always there

it's a lot.
a lot of energy and a lot of support.

but to each and every one of you
(and to the others that I did not have a chance to photograph)
I offer up a sincere thank you
for helping to show our community
what can be achieved with
Hand Maker
(eeeep - I designed a line of fabrics!!!!)

while the fabrics don't arrive in shops until November 2016
I just have to keep saying say thank you
for the work of many hands that went into the showing of the fabrics
at Spring Market 2016

can you name all of the folks in the post?
please leave a comment with all of the names of the people in the pics
to win a


leave posts until July 15
top three comments will receive their very own

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Details of Spring Market

the details of Spring Market

Salt Lake City, Utah


I can only imagine
what it must be like to see all of the posts from
Spring Market

what IS this thing?

this month, look for a series of photos from Spring Market

let's start with the details

because in this room, it's really all about the details
every item, every branch, every cord, every label, every blossom
thought over and over again and then once more...again

because you have only a moment to catch someone's eye
in a very big room full of really great talent

so here are just a few of the details

(booth unknown)

Amy Butler for Westminster Fibers

(one of the very big booths - eeeep, I can't recall!!)

(a whole wall of wool....)

Latifah Saafir for Hoffman California Fabrics 

Natalie Barnes for Windham Fabrics

International Quilt Market is the quilting industry wholesale show
for all things quilting
all things

Spring and Fall
just like clockwork

and just like clockwork
all of the secret sewing that has been going on around town
floods social media

what do you think?
are you happy to finally see new projects?
new fabrics?
do you look for the posts
just like clockwork?


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day

(and a little extra)

we're still in the swing of things for

it happens twice a year
but the good news is that all of that posting hoopla
means new fabrics and new quilt pattern designs
yesterday, I had the chance to "take over" the Windham Fabrics
instagram account
(go take a look and hit that little heart on the left of the posts!)

and for some of our existing patterns
we print with a new quilt cover shot updates
(thank you @iheartdl!!)
this beautiful version of the pattern Hang Ten
was made by Leslie and just turned out to be a sparkling quilt!
she made it for QuiltCon2016 in Pasadena
thank you thank you thank you
(and she's a mom!)

but back to Mothers Day

(ykw - and my mother)

(and her mother)

mothers come in all forms
but they have that one thing
that tenaciousness that love that softness that not so softness
that makes them worthy of the title

and I for one, thank you for that commitment

so, when you wake tomorrow at the crack of dawn
and to celebrate

are having a storewide sale on all of the things
on sale or regular price
at the new ETSY shop

just add the code

at the end of your shopping for your discount
(and of course, free first class shipping within the US)



Monday, May 2, 2016

How long does it take to make a quilt?

"how long does it take to make a quilt?"

is my most often asked question

I used to answer this question
with a question

" big is your quilt?"

but I have learned my lesson
the next time I am asked that question

my answer will be
" many friends do you have?"

to the people that have come to sit and sew around the dining table
that have given their time
and their expertise
to help with samples
Hand Maker
Windham Fabrics

I offer my most humble thanks.

the list is long, and at the risk of omitting a name at this juncture
in #marketprep
may I just say, "you all know who you are"
until I can with a clear head compose the list of all of the names of all of the people
that have helped along the way

(it's very first fabric line)


(or shop with us in our new shop)
(between now and Mother's Day, use the code LOVEMOM for a 20% discount!)

Sunday, March 27, 2016



Spring.  Passover.  a Promise.

it's one of those things
I've done since I was a kid

my mother and I stood side by side in the church choir
Halleluja Chorus
from sunrise service to pancake breakfast

one year I rode my horse to the top of the mountain
for the community service

these days, I walk to the bay alone and watch for the sun to rise
today, the neighbors joined me
and we sat in silence
there was a heavy overcast
and sunrise never came
we just sat in

but as I was walking home
I realized something

regardless of whether we could see it
the sun actually did rise
there was indeed a sunrise

the promise remains

as quilters, we know this better than anyone else
we look at a stack of fabrics
or a basket full of scraps
and we see the finished quilt

so this year, I am reminded that whether or not you can see it
or believe it
each new day brings a bright and shining promise of a life well lived

Passover stories will continue to be told
Easter will be celebrated
the garden will bloom and the shrubs and trees will produce each and every year
fabric will indeed turn in to quilts.


ps - we have our shop site link on the website
and we now have an etsy shop

please come visit and purchase a pattern or a bundle
...something new for Spring!