Open Sesame…

The preparations took a village.  And many weeks – actually, the planning has been going on for many months.

There were Moda fabric designers to invite and vendors to be  contacted.  Meals had to be scheduled with caterers and somebody had to figure out how many people would be required to make everything run smoothly.  The warehouses were “spiffed” up and there was actual decorating – though it’s  called “visual merchandising”.  Whatever.  The place looked great.

The host was ready for company.


Just in case you’ve not met him, this is Mr. Dunn.

The event – it sounds a bit more  business-like than party – is the United Notions / Moda Fabrics Open House 2015.

(Try saying that three times fast.)

What is the Open House?  It’s an opportunity for shopowners to come to Dallas to attend presentations by designers, vendors and industry professionals. New products, merchandising tips, class ideas – that’s the kind of thing on the agenda for the two days.  There are speakers during the day.  Pat Sloan spoke about social media during lunch on Sunday and Julie Karasek of Patched Works in Wisconsin shared her secrets for running clubs successfully the following morning at breakfast.

I wish I could tell you that this event is open to the public but it’s for shopowners only – those with accounts with United Notions.

But not to worry, you’re going to get a tour of the place anyway.

There are a whole lot of pictures to share so let’s get started…


Upper left:  The Moda Minions – plus one “evil minion”.  The rebel.  Every group has to have one.

Upper right:  Janet and Susan at the Welcome-Registration table.

Lower left: Some of the early arrivals waiting in the Lobby.

Lower right:  Mr. Dunn and Mari VanderStelt.

Do you remember Mari?  She owns Yankee Dutch Quilts in Brownsville, Oregon and was “double-dared” by her friends and customers to write Mr. Dunn about how the Moda Bake Shop was causing problems with her diet.  She’s even funnier in person and we’re thrilled that she came to her first Open House.  By the way, she looks great!


Several people asked me if this was “heaven”.  For a quilter, I think the answer is “yes”.

Upper left: The center aisle of the Moda warehouse – no, the shelves are usually not decorated with quilts.  This was a special occasion.

Upper right: These are some of the vendor tables in the United Notions warehouse.

Lower left:  Shelves in the Moda warehouse.

Lower right:  Does this really need a description – other than “yummy?”


See?  It looks great, doesn’t it?

Upper Left:  Moda Toweling.  This is a display of projects made by folks here at Moda in a “toweling challenge”.

Upper Right:  Visual Merchandising in the warehouse!

Lower Left:  Pretty fabric garlands to decorate.

Lower Right:  Some of the Moda Home items available for purchase.


Can I just say that catching people while they weren’t busy with attendees was hard?  The only time they weren’t busy was when they were at lunch… which meant they weren’t at their tables.  I’m sorry about that.

Upper left: Paper Pieces.  Think hexies.  Think amazing English Paper Piecing.  (Tammy made the quilt hanging behind the table – it’s the Ellen’s Sewing Basket pattern by Laurie Simpson, made with Polka Dots & Paisleys fabric by Minick & Simpson.)

Upper right:  The ladies from Martingale – That Patchwork Place.  They had several gorgeous new books with them.  (“Had” being the operative word here.)

Lower left: It’s Sew Emma – Kimberly, Jocelyn and Sarah.

Lower right:  C&T Publishing.  Do you see those cards in the lower left corner on the brown background?  Those are made with Kraft-Tex, a really neat paper-fabric and scraps of fabric.  I’ll share more soon.



Upper left:  Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobson – Me & My Sister.  Mary had to handle the visitors by herself because Barb kept sneaking off to poke around my empty office.  (I’m kidding!)

Upper right: Spinning Star triangle paper.  (The quilts are Sparklers by Primitive Gatherings in the back and LeMoyne House Quilt by Red Crinoline Quilts draped over it.)

Lower left: Hiroshima – Tulip Needles.  (That’s Wilbur hanging behind the very nice smiling man.  Or the Purebred Kit… Wilbur.)

Lower right: Sewline Products.  (The quilt is Otis – For You fabric by Zen Chic and a Miss Rosie pattern.)


Upper left:  Phillips Fiber Arts.

Upper right:  Quick Points Ruler – without Janet Platt.

Lower left:  Aurifil.  The airport mess on Saturday prevented sweet Kim Niedzwiecki from attending.  (The quilt is Viola made with Farmhouse by Fig Tree & Co. and a Miss Rosie pattern.)

Lower right:  Jill Finley of Jillily Studio.  (Those are Jill’s beautiful quilts behind her.)


Upper left:  Pat Sloan.  Of course!  Pat has a terrific new book, Teach Me to Applique.

Upper right:  Betsy Chutchian – without Betsy, of course.  But that gorgeous fabric is Eliza’s Indigo.

Lower left:  Doug Leko of Antler Quilt Designs.  Those beautiful quilts behind him are all his.  (Over-achiever.)

Lower right:  One of the Sampler Shuffle quilt samples… coming soon.


Upper left: Fabric Fanatics.

Upper right:  Serendipity Studio – without Kay Whitt.

Lower left:  Pellon (Alice’s Scrapbag by Barbara Brackman and a Miss Rosie pattern – Full Circle.)

Lower right:  Mary Ellen Products.  Don’t we all love Best Press?  (The quilt is Happy Hour by Amy Ellis – using her Chic Neutrals  collection.)


Upper left:  ArtBin.

Upper right:  Schmetz Needles.  (The quilt under the signs is Geode by Kate Spain, made with her Canyon collection.)

Lower left:  Oliso.

Lower right:  Quiltmania in France.


Upper left:  That’s one of Jan Vaine’s gorgeous, elaborately embellished and embroidered quilts.  It’s from her book, Embroidery & Patchwork Revisited.

Upper right:  Graham Cracker.  That’s Jan’s company.

Lower left:  Clover – the wonderful notions people.  (If they ever stop making those white seam rippers, I’m “toast”.)  (The quilt is Desert Rose, made by Kate Spain using her Canyon collection.  And yes, she made Geode too.  Kate did.)

Lower right:  That’s Joseph McCraw, the creator of Screw-B-Do, a must-have miniature magnetic screwdriver that makes removing needles, needle plates and small screws on your sewing machine a breeze.

Whew.  Aren’t you exhausted from all that walking around?

Are you ready for dinner?  The meals were served in the Lobby of the United Notions building.  It’s a beautiful room.  (If you’re curious, the large doors on the right lead into the warehouse.  The two arched doors on the left are hallways leading to the offices of the folks that keep United Notions supplied with all the latest and coolest notions, gadgets and sewing-stuff.  The staircase?  That leads to the Lab Store and the Archives – pieces of every collection Moda Fabrics has ever produced.  (Yes, there is some Ruby up there.)


Because it’s Texas, dinner was barbecue – BBQ.

Before I head off for the weekend, we’ve been opening a few boxes here today.

The September 2015 catalog, aka the “pre-Market” catalog is finished.  It’ll mail to the sales reps and shops next week, and the online catalog will be published the first week of September.


This box has been open for a week or so but I kept forgetting to show it to you.  Silly me.


They’ve arrived.  They’ve shipped.  And if you ordered one, I’m hoping you’ve received it by now.  They’re even better, prettier and cooler than I could have imagined.

Happy Friday!

I hope you have a terrific weekend – and that you get to open some exciting boxes.