Tuesday, June 30, 2015

When Art and Emotion Connect and Collide


Often times I am asked, “How did you ever think of this?” For me it’s a matter of did this artistic impression speak to me did it reach and evoke a response from me.

When I first saw this quilt… “Potpourri” designed and conceived by Vanessa Fromm of Fabric Confetti, I was stunned into a silence and a reflection of sort. First she started with fabric I adore, Kaffe Fassett but more than that I felt a connection to this quilt. The best... way to describe it is when you hear a song that transports you to an emotion or a feeling or a moment in your past. It brings joy and that’s what looking at Vanessa’s quilt did for me. I was lucky enough to spend a few days with her quilt looking at it and feeling what this quilt was expressing to me. I know this may sound slightly crazy or odd to you but it’s my process and when I feel this way that is when I know I have to take those feelings and translate it to a piece of furniture. I have to help create a piece of “eye candy”.
As luck would have it I had the perfect chair frame so from emotion to vision to the result was not a tremendous undertaking. Often times I will find a frame and it will sit and wait for the perfect covering to take it from …I could be lovely to I am lovely. “Potpourri” did just that for this chair.

When I met Vanessa Fromm, I thought wow she is a bundle of energy. Her creative mind is on “go”. I can embrace this. Vanessa quickly agreed to collaborate on a project and to translate her design onto a supple gray heathered upholstery fabric. While not her normal medium of cottons or linens the fabric responded well to her embroidery.

Sources: Potpourri designed by Vanessa Fromm of Fabric Confetti www.fabricconfetti.com
Patricia Benner of www.fiberandfire.com Follow us on Instagram and Facebook
That being said we present to you the "Vanessa" chair






 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

New York City Cottons and Knitting



We love Cotton Fabrics and of course while we were in New York, specifically Manhattan we wanted to go see the local quilt stores. As most of you know in Arizona we have some very large quilt stores, some are so large the square footage they occupy is huge. Most of our shops are relatively good size accommodating classrooms and lots of bolts of fabric.

As you can imagine square footage in Manhattan is at a premium price. The quilt stores were smaller than what I was used to but the fact is they are loved by their local quilters and were friendly and for the most part packed with fabric.

Our first stop was City Quilter


When we arrived you have to be buzzed in. The neighborhood is not necessarily a bad one but I can see why they would want to buss you in. Anyway they had some super cute New York only fabric, I managed to buy a few yards of it. They had quite a few quilters in purchasing fabric and taking a class in their classroom. The staff was friendly. When I inquired about other quilt stores the clerk was quick to express that their store was "the" quilt store. Nevertheless not to be deterred we moved on to the next shop that we knew of.

On to Soho Purl which showed to be a knitting shop and a quilt shop.


As a quilter I would have to say ummm not so much for quilting but some very luscious yarns and knitting/crochet kits. There was some bolts towards the back of the store but not enough in my opinion to be a quilt shop. If you are a knitter this is a wonderful place to visit and the staff was incredibly helpful.

Next we moved onto Pins and Needles.  This is a shop that is on the second floor of a quaint building and they too buzz you up. The steps are steep but worth the climb.



What struck me about this shop was it's size and what they are doing here..It's a little shop, long and a little narrow but it is packed full of enthusiasm and a love of sewing. More important than anything this shop serves a huge purpose. They are teaching children how to sew and not just sew but to create.
The vibe here is "you can do it" and you can enjoy it. The music was playing and the young ladies were working on making leggings. The young ladies filed in the room with their school uniforms on, hair pulled back and were excited to start sewing. It was a creative atmosphere and I would encourage you to visit this shop and purchase something if for no other reason than to make sure they can continue teaching and sharing their craft.

When we left this shop I felt good about taking a taxi here and being able to see what they were doing. Curiously across the street is a nice yoga studio for kids as well. Strings which is a yarn shop is very  near Pins and Needles as well. Lots of quaint shops in this area.


Strings Yarn shop, we did not stop in but it looked wonderful. They have a real nice website and gallery page.

New York Fabric Findings


I have never been to New York, I have been through New York en route to another city. This time however I stayed in New York. Andrea and I departed from separate cities and ended up meeting in New York. Luckily enough for me my daughter had been to New York a few months before hand and knew where we were going so basically she was my tour guide.

In this posting I want to talk to you about the various fabric related shops we visited.

If you have ever thought about going to New York and heading to the fabric district/garment district I can tell you that it is worth the trip, especially if you work with apparel or Home Décor fabric.

Of course there are the big name stores that we have seen on TV, like Mood Fabrics and then there are those that we probably have not seen on TV.

So let's start off with....


Mood has two locations side by side. The Home Décor for the most part is in one building and right next door is the apparel fabric and trims.

Home Décor is a smaller building and is two levels high. The fabric is packed in which for me is fine, the more the merrier! They do have a warehouse so if the yardage is limited on the roll it is possible they have it in the warehouse.











My Next stop was right next door one floor up Mood Fabrics. This is where the apparel fabric, trim, utility fabrics and of course the sewing classroom.







I love the Do Not Self Swatch.

Mood was worth the time and effort. They are friendly here and the prices are not as bad as you might imagine all things considered.

Next we went to M & J Trimmings..Now this is where you can find just about any trim or supply you are looking for.














They had lots and lots of buttons, studs, supplies etc.. I would highly recommend a visit here. Everyone inside was very friendly.

Stay tuned for the next blog post..let's talk cotton fabric and knitting.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Fabric Confetti Potpourri Pattern

Today I went to the studio of Vanessa Fromm, of Fabric confetti. Vanessa is one busy lady. She is getting ready for market which in itself is a huge undertaking. I went there to learn how to cut some shapes for her pattern that we will be teaching at our studio. Vanessa's father, Frank helped me learn a thing or two.

The pattern is called Potpourri and can be made with lots of small scraps from your stash.

 
This is the same quilt with a slightly different background


 There is some beautiful quilting in this quilt


Soon we will have information on our website about the class.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Featherweight Fun


During our annual quilt show we always have guest speakers and usually some classes. At our last show we asked David Werther to come all the way from Dallas, Texas to Mesa, Arizona to teach us a thing or two about our Singer Featherweights. David was also one of our guest speakers and a vendor at our show. It takes a lot of faith for a vendor to travel a long distance to a show that they have never been to.  We had a great time with David and his wife. If you are ever in Dallas go to their shop Quilters Connection.

My little featherweight is quite old born in 1941. She purrs right along but I still wanted to take the class and make sure I could do her maintenance if I needed to.




Here we are looking super confident. Like we can do it. Uh Huh...As you can see several of the parts have been removed. David gave us a great handout to keep and learn from! We were told to wear an old shirt and put our machines on a towel because we were going to get greasy and somewhat dirty. I was so tired. This class was the day after a week long trek at putting together the quilt show.




Here is my featherweight disassembled the rest of the way. It was empowering to know that I can take this baby apart..three different sized screwdrivers and I can turn this machine into a pile of parts.


So here is a picture of my machine put back together. Just Kidding. I have two yorkies but neither of my boys sew or wear lace!


I have decided that:

And so is fixing my little featherweight!