Featured Shop: The Cotton Patch Quilt Shop

“Bright and beachy” is how Laura Flynn describes The Cotton Patch, the University Park, Florida, shop she co-owns with with husband Tim. And it’s true that the shop reflects its coastal location, enticing both locals and visitors to the area with a selection of colorful, cheerful fabrics. But that description omits another important “B” word: bassets.img_1688 Continue reading

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More Great (and Free) Ideas and Inspiration from Moda Designers

Last week I perused the blogs of some of Moda’s designers and found great information, patterns, and inspiration. (And if you’re following along on the All in a Row blog hop you’ve probably encountered more.) This week I checked out a few of the designers’ websites and the goodies available there.

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Taking Embroidery on the Road

I’m old enough to remember the last time that embroidery was “a thing,” and I’ve still got the overalls and chambray shirts covered with chain-stitched butterflies and French knot flowers to prove it. So it’s been a real pleasure for me to see the revival of interest in embroidery, along with all the lovely new threads, needles, and other tools that go with it. While embroidery’s great any time of the year, it’s especially perfect for travel. With summer vacation in full swing, several of Moda’s designers have offered to share tips and tricks for taking embroidery on the road.

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Streams…

I’m thinking “stream of consciousness” but in this case, Airstream might fit too.

Do you ever have times when you’re working on several different things that you can’t possibly image would overlap?  Then you realize that they’re overlapping so much, they’ve managed to get tied into a neat little bow.

Bandana-precuts

Not these bows exactly but they’ll do.

I’ve been writing about adjusting to new living quarters, chatting with Moda fabric designers, new fabric and some terrific notions and tools. When I saw their just-shipped collection Bandana in the warehouse and pieces of their debuting-soon collection starting to arrive in the sample room, I took it as a sign that I really needed to chat with Me and My Sister – Barb and Mary – as Barb is also adjusting to new living quarters right now.

One of the things I have most looked forward to here is getting to know the ladies – they’re almost all female – who are the “Moda Designers”.  I know some of them pretty well and I know a few just a little bit… we’ve met and maybe spoken a few times.  As a group, they’re smart, funny, talented and their personalities are as varied as their fabric collections.  That makes perfect sense, right?  They’re also “real people” and sometimes life gets a little crazy.

I sometimes think it’s always crazy for Barb… but it’s especially true right now.  As she says “she’s up to her eyeballs in ‘real life’ right now”.

Barb-Storage

This is what you call a temporary office and sewing supply solution.

If you don’t know the history, here’s a quick recap. There was a sewer back-up at Barb’s house last July that caused lots of water damage, ruining the wood floors. In mid-November, just as repairs were really getting underway, they smelled smoke.  A fire was discovered in the attic and the fire department was called. The fire was extinguished and despite a “new” hole in the ceiling, everything looked good. Except the fire hadn’t been completely extinguished, so a couple of hours later, they had to go through the entire process again, only this time there was significantly more damage to the house.  (And for the whole story...)

After more than two months, everything is finally ready and the work to clear out the damage and begin getting the house livable again has commenced. Rather than move to a hotel, Barb and her husband, Michael, decided to live on the property in an RV. It was easier to supervise the construction, and easier for Bella and Frasier.

It’s not really an Airstream. Or an RV… Barb says she likes calling it that even though Michael keeps telling her that it’s a “travel trailer”.

Barb-Outdoor-Sewing

Yes, Barb is very happy to be living in Tempe and not New England.  This is her outdoor-sewing area.  And that’s Frasier in front, Bella right behind.

So this is what I asked Barb…

What’s going on with the house? The demolition has finally begun and the walls and ceilings are being stripped to the bare bones. That will be next as most of the wood and almost all of the electrical wires will need to be replaced.

Barb-Demolition

New fabric is coming and that means Spring Market, and you’re working on some “special projects”… where are you sewing? Are you sewing? I have a makeshift sewing area outside on the patio for cutting and pressing, but I’m sewing inside the RV. Travel trailer.

Barb-Command-Central

As much as we sew for work, we probably spend as much time on the computer… how are you adjusting there?  This is my new office!  It’s tucked under a bunk bed and while it’s a little cramped, everything fits because I created an ingenious system of sliding “drawers”.  I just slide them over, get what I need and then slide them back.

Hey Barb!  I spy a bin full of Bandana pre-cuts! 

Barb-Bandana-Bins

There’s more in the garage.  I’m pretty well-organized, this is what I’m cutting this afternoon.

Other than your trusty Sidewinder and sewing machine – I know you’re a die-hard Pfaff-girl – what tools do you have with you? I have all of my basic sewing tools – rotary cutter, blades, rulers, etc. – in plastic bins.  I also have my favorite bag with my binding supplies.

Barb has had this beautiful embroidered zippered bag for years.  Clover Needle Threader?  Check.  Lovely sharp scissors.  Check.  Thread Heaven?  Check.  Barb doesn’t stitch without it.

Barb-Indoor-Sewing

The best thing about being one of these sisters is having some Me & My Sister fabric in the house.  It’s colorful and happy… Barb describes the RV as being “so very BROWN”.

So there you go… life, designer, new fabric, notions.

Next time I’ll pester Mary.

Yes, an office picture tomorrow.

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