Featured Shop: Must Love Fabric

 

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Shop owners Phyllis and Gary Lively stand in the back left, along with staff members Barbara, Betty, Dede, Cyria, Randalyn, and Lisa.

Talking with Phyllis Lively is fun. For one thing, Must Love Fabric, the Grapevine, Texas, shop she co-owns with her husband Gary has a sense of humor—just check the sign over the door to the restroom.

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Christmas in July ~ Red & White

It’s a classic color combination – one of the most collectible for antique quilts – and it’s perfect for holiday decorating.

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Thinking…

Think Pink!  Think Market!

Think Something – Anything – But Market!

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This is an antique Drunkard’s Path quilt I found on Pinterest.  It’s pink.  It’s pretty.  It’s in!

I think you can guess that given a choice of subjects for today, I’ll go with the first one.  It’s October and since 1985, it’s been celebrated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  But did you know that the pink ribbon symbol didn’t come until several years later?

In the fall of 1991, The Susan G. Komen Foundation had given out pink ribbons to participants in it’s New York City Race for the Cure.  Two years later, Evelyn Lauder of Estee Lauder Companies founded The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and established the pink ribbon as it’s symbol.  If you watched any National Football Games over the weekend, you probably saw lots and lots of pink.

We were laughing about that this morning and that led us to asking how much “pink” we had in the office – meaning in the sample room and notions building.  There is some pink fabric – but pictures of pink Bella Solids didn’t seem as interesting as notions.

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Sewline.  They’re easy – everything they do comes in pink packaging.  Thank you, Sewline!

That’s the Sewline Gift Set, it comes in a pretty pink case.  Do you use marking pencils?  Someone asked me recently if I did and I have to confess that I don’t.  I use the Micron fine markers for drawing lines and unfortunately, they don’t come in pink.  Red, but not pink.  (Who do I see about correcting that?)

I do like glue pens and Sewline’s is my favorite.  I’ve been using them to hold zippers in place while making zippered-bags, and for turning under edges for machine-applique.  (I’ll show you the circle quilt I just finished this weekend when it’s back from the quilter.)

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There were a lot – more than I would have thought.

In no particular order:

Just so you know, the Peels, Tulips and Bobbinis only come in packages with blue, green, orange and pink.  I just pulled out the pink ones.

Do you know what this is?

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I know.  It says it’s a Simple Seam Wheel.  They used to be pretty common in quilt shops… back in the day when templates were used for piecing a lot.  They’re not so easily found now but Jen Kingwell uses them all the time so she found a source and now sells them.  They’re very nice – heavy, thick and with a big enough hole for most pencils to fit into easily.

What’s it for?  It’s used to mark a 1/4″ seam allowance with templates – the sort used to make quilts like these…

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These are from Millefiori Quilts  by Willyne Hammerstein.  The quilt in the upper left corner is the La Passacaglia quilt – fussy cutting required, templates required.  There’s also a gorgeous Millefiori Quilts 2 book… that Willyne is a busy girl.

That’s enough fun for me… I’ve got a binding to finish for Karen and some log cabin strips to cut.  And a backing to piece.

Pink is good but I need to think about that middle thing now.

Which reminds me… in addition to pictures of new things from Market, is there anything I should put on my list as a “look for”, “must see”, “get a picture of”?  (I need lists these days of I forget things.)

Happy Tuesday!

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Favorite Finds ~ Sewing & Quilting

You know we all like to sew, right?  And if we’re quilters, then it probably follows that we all have plenty of stuff.

Let’s start with the big stuff… amazing quilter and all-around really neat lady Natalia Bonner of Piece ‘n Quilt listed her sewing machine and long-arm quilting machines in her “favorite finds”- a Bernina Aurora 450, Anniversary Edition and a Gammill Premier with a 10′ table.  The extended base for her long-arm machine was also listed.  You have to love a girl who loves her machines.

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Celine Perkins of Perkins Dry Goods – the creator of gorgeous quilt patterns the the best seam-measuring-tool ever – also loves her sewing machines – a Janome 6600 and a 1600P.

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Side note – Do you have more than one sewing machine?  Are they back-ups?  Or are they machines you don’t really use much but are too good – or too sentimental – to part with?  (I have “multiple” and both.  They’re back-up and they also have sentimental value.  If you doubt the value of back-ups, I have two in the shop right now… one is in for regular service and then one suddenly developed a “tension issue”.)

Related to sewing machines, our buddy Thelma Childers of Cupcakes ‘n Daisies has the sewing machine table of my our dreams…

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The Horn of America Multi-lift Table.  I love the size of the work-space.

After that, it was all about the tools.  Rulers.  Cutting implements.  Thread.  Rulers.  And various other notion-y sorts of things.

Let’s start with scissors… Amy Friend cited her prized Gingher Buttonhole Scissors.

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Do you know what distinguishes these from “regular” scissors?  That little knob-thing.  It can be adjusted to limit the size of the cut to a precise length… like the length of a single button-hole.  Pretty cool, don’t you think?  (FYI – I had to look that up because I didn’t have a clue.)

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Sherri K. Falls of This & That mentioned her 5″ Gingher scissors.  These are the “regular” knife-edge scissors.  I forgot to ask Sherri if she preferred these or what Gingher calls their “craft scissors”.

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These have slightly shorter, nubbier blades for cutting.  My favorite by-the-machine scissors are more like these craft scissors.

Roseanne Kermes also cited a pair of scissors – the Olfa Precision Applique Scissors.  A picture of those… next!

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The yellow scissors – those are Roseanne’s favorite.  I like them too – those are mine in the picture.  The Elan 5″ embroidery scissors were mentioned by several people – lightweight and very sharp.  One thing is clear – 5″ scissors can be found on a lot of sewing tables.

The polka dot scissor case!  Emma Creations has done a small version for embroidery scissors for several years and they finally – finally! – came out with a slightly bigger version for larger scissors.

Barbara Groves of Me & My Sister mentioned the Clover Wonder Clips.  I don’t know what color Barb prefers but I love the multi-color box/package.  The red, neon green and pink are very nice but really… I want all the colors.  (On a side note, the really funny part of this is that Wonder Clips had been around for years but Barb only discovered them recently.  But when she did find them, she was all-in!  I was a bit late to the party too.  I’m glad she mentioned them because they’re one of my most favorite “finds” too.)

Seam Fix!  Kate Spain mentioned this seam ripper as one of her favorite tools… even though it’s gathering dust because she never ever uses it.

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That Clover white seam ripper is the favorite of yours truly – and several others.  I buy them by the box.  Yes, I use them frequently… I have quilts that I know I’ve made twice because I’ve sewn – un-sewn – re-sewn so many times.

Thread Heaven and Thread Magic.  Barb – of Me & My Sister – mentioned the Thread Heaven as being crucial, necessary, required.  A couple of the ladies in the office mentioned the Thread Magic as their preferred “thread conditioner” because they like the slots in the case.

Pat Sloan listed the Sewline Cuticle Oil Pen… I thought Sewline only did glue pens!  When did they start this?

The Fun Tape Measure?  I think it’s the colors.  None of the ladies who mentioned these do much garment sewing so… I’m thinking it’s about the colors and the “fun tape” part.

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Brenda Riddle mentioned the Thimble Pads.  They’re my favorite too!  (I could never get used to a thimble so these had to do.)  Do you suppose these pads are the secret to doing gorgeous applique and embroidery like Brenda does?

Peels!  I need a couple packages of these peel-things from Smartneedle.  I was skeptical, I wasn’t sure they were going to work but the peel stays nicely snug around the spool, even larger spools and cones.  As someone who always has a couple of spools unraveling in a drawer despite being certain they’re secured… I think I’m going to need a package or four of these Peels.  The cool two-sided – two-ended? – seam ripper is also from Smartneedle.  Given that Tammy recommended both of these… we’ll have to start calling her SmartTammy.

Speaking of thread…

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Celine, Thelma, and Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life all mentioned Aurifil – the 50 wt. Mako cotton thread.  Sherri also mentioned Aurifloss, as did Brenda – she has a gorgeous new Aurifloss assortment color-matched to her coming-soon Windermere collection.

Of course, they’re all winding their bobbins on the Side Winder by Me & My Sister.

Corey Yoder of Coriander Quilts loves using Size 8 Perle Cotton for hand-quilting.

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Doug Leko of Antler Quilt Designs cited his two new 60 wt. thread collections for Presencia and Janice Vaine – embroiderer and hand-stitcher extraordinaire – loves Superior Silk Applique thread – and thimbles by T.J. Laine.  She also loves porcupine quills for a stiletto or laying tool – if you haven’t tried them, they’re very nice because they’re long, thin and surprisingly lightweight.

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Thelma mentioned the Folded Corner Clipper by Prairie Sky – given how perfect her piecing is, I think I’m going to need to try this.  Several people – but not Celine! – mentioned Celine’s Perfect Piecing Seam Guide as helping them achieve and maintain a perfect scant 1/4″ seam allowance.  Pat Sloan loves the narrow Omnigrid ruler – it comes in a set of 3 rulers called a Marking Trio.  They’re a 1/2″ width and either 4 1/2″, 6″ or 12″ long.  For marking and quick measuring, this little ruler is terrific.

The Olfa Frosted ruler says right there on the ruler that it’s 1″ x 12″.  But look closely.  1 1/4″ x 12 1/2″.  Whatever – Betsy Chutchian loves this ruler and so do I – it’s a new favorite – found because of Betsy.  I’m a little surprised I didn’t have it as the Olfa Frosted rulers are my favorites.  (Thank you, Betsy.)

Sherri mentioned the Itty Bitty rulers by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings.  (I agree – they’re awesome.)

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The Ruler Pal by Jodi Nelson of Pleasant Home is another one of Sherri’s favorite finds – as is Jodi’s legendary Polka Dot Magnetic Pinbowl.

Pins!  Celine loves the Glass Head pins by Collins.

The Little House pins from Japan were listed by Thelma and I don’t remember who else as a favorite. (I had a list… but I’ve misplaced it right now.)  They’re super-fine, very strong and very, very sharp.

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While the pins come in a lovely little tin, I prefer substituting something a little more… fun.

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Candy tins.  I don’t care about the candy, I just want the little tin.  World Market always has something entertaining, as does the aisle by the checkout at that big-box sewing store we don’t like to mention… the one with the coupons.  These tins are very secure, making them a nice addition to a little sewing bag or pouch.

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The Beatle Bag by Abbey Lane Quilts.

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The Abbey Bag by Abbey Lane Quilts.  Do you see a theme here?  Abbey Lane does really awesome bags!  Janice and Marcea of Abbey Lane created these and while they both mentioned them as being favorites, so did several others.  Janice loves the Abbey Bag and the Beatle Bag is Marcea’s favorite.  The Beatle Bag came up a couple of times as being an awesome traveling bag for sewing and other stuff – especially since you can get refills for the clear plastic inserts.

So what did we forget?  What favorite sewing tool or find do you have that we should know about?

After all… if you think it’s cool, we probably would too.

We might even need it.

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