Classes and Specials

Added Double Wedding Ring Session

To accommodate the waiting list we added another DWR session.  Three Mondays from 1-3 pm.
March 13, 20, 27
Call 941-330-0993 for a space.

Star Spin Class is filled.  

Mondo Bag Class (1 space open)
Two Mondays, March 22 and 29
1-4 pm
$85 fee includes pattern, interfacing, fleece, and fabric to make the Midi size bag.  Transfer your skills to make either the large Mondo bag or the Itty Bitty one.  This bag is completely finished on the machine, there are no zippers or hardware!  The perfect bag to tote stuff to class, use as a grocery bag, tote yoga mat and towel to class, to granddaughter's ballet or gymnastics class, airline carry-on bag, so many uses!  And you can't stop with one - make one for all your family for birthdays or holiday gift giving!

St. Patrick's Day Special
Wear GREEN on Friday, March 17 and get 20% off everything in the store!  Includes fabric, notions, irons, quilts, batting, kits, patterns, even the $5 fabric SALE rack and the $10 wideback rack!  (Makes them $4 and $8 a yard)  Had your eye on those numbered pins, wedge irons or a Kaffe Fassett book?  March 17 is the day to get it!

The Fine Print:  No rainchecks!  Discount DOES NOT apply to quilting services (repairs, LA, or hand quilting or finished items on the pickup shelf!

We hear a lot of talk about the "Modern" quilt movement.  There is even a separate "Modern Quilt Guild" which just had their annual show or "convention" last weekend in Savannah.  To learn more about the MQG, simply go to their website "www.themodernquiltguildcom."  While there, you can even join the national guild which gives you access to their webinars and entrance to the annual conventions.  The mission of the national MQG is "to support and encourage the growth and development of modern quilting through art, education, and community."   
The guild was founded in 2009 by a group of quilters who interacted online.  They wanted to meet and work together in person.  If you do not have a local guild in your area, or if the local guild is "closed" to new members, then simply join the national guild, or start your own local guild.  Instructions in how to do this are on the national guild website.  That's what we did!  Joined the national guild. 
So what distinguishes a "modern" quilt from an "art" quilt or a "traditional" quilt.  Join the controversy.  On the national guild website you will see conversations ongoing about what defines each category.  The general consensus is that "art" quilts are never intended to be used - just to hang on walls, hopefully on the walls of a museum!  A "modern" quilt is defined by the national MQG as one intended for use.  Hallmarks are bold color, lots of negative space, little use of rulers, and use of solid fabric.  "Negative" space is a fancy way to say the quilt has more background space than space occupied by pieced areas.  Sometimes the quilter redefines a classic pattern, such as fracturing a dresden plate of star, assembling bits of the pattern throughout the quilt.  Other times it is simply a creative expression of the maker, no rules, no rulers, no pattern.  The MQG compares the modern maker to the feminists of bygone eras - not constrained by rules or quilting authorities, branching out to make an individual statement. 

A parallel can be seen in the art world, moving from realism, to expressionism, pointillism, cubism, abstract and then to anything goes.  One can follow Picasso for example and trace his painting style.  In his youth he did more realistic paintings, went through a pink then a blue period, then followed others into the cubism movement and toward the end of his career became a minimalist, depicting figures with several simple lines.  The important thing is to do what you like, try new things, and you will find your own style.  In all cases your style should be build on a foundation of good technique.  And the controversy will continue as with each convention there are complaints that "art" quilts were permitted in the show and there is no doubt those quilts were never intended to be used so don't belong in "modern" show.
So you think the Amish quilters are not modern quilters?  Just look at the quilts of their own design from the 1800's and early 1900's up to about the 1950's or 60's.  Lots of negative space, bold color choices, intricate stitching, and constructed of solid colors!  They were way ahead of Mondrian and color blocking.  The quilts they make today are for the "English" market.  Their entrepreneurship recognized that the latest colors and prints would sell a quilt for today's decorating needs.  On another subject, did you know that many Amish are completely off the grid?  Windmill power has been used for centuries.  Many communities have harnessed solar for lights and recharging batteries.  Compressed air is used to run machinery in wood shops and elsewhere.  No they are not old fashioned, they are way ahead of most of us.  

I recall 15 years ago when starting the quilt shop many folks laughed at our collection of solid fabrics.  "No one uses solids" we were told.  We started the connection with math artist John Sims because he was looking for solid colors to construct his projects and no one in the area carried solids in their shop.  His one pi quilt turned into a body of 13 quilts all constructed on math theorems.  The quilts have been shown at various museums and venues throughout the world, including The Hermitage in Russia, New York, here in Sarasota, and in Atlantic City.  Each quilt is 8x8 feet, framed in black which looks dramatic when hung on start white gallery walls.  The only quilt not constructed entirely of solids is the one called "My African Roots" which is pieced of simple squares from batiks John brought back from Ghana.  The classic photo of John Sims around a frame stitching on his quilt with the group of Amish ladies is traveling around Pinterest.  Whoever put the photo on Pinterest neglected to give credit to the image or get permission from John to use the image.  The stark image shows six+ foot tall John in his dreadlocks dressed in his "art" uniform of denim overalls sitting around a colorful quilt stitching with petite Amish ladies in their conservative dress and head covering!  
Anyway didn't mean to ramble on about the solids.  So amazing to find several patterns in my shop from several years ago sewed up and displayed at the Savannah modern show.  Yes we have lots of "modern" patterns.  Lots of "modern" fabric, lots of Northcott solids, even "modern" prints.  But before filling the shop with a majority of product for the "modern" quilter, we are aware that only about 10% of quilters fall into this genre.  Many are still beginners learning techniques, learning how to sew, starting on classic patterns and who may or may not eventually get to the free form modern style.  Many new sewists are making memory quilts, which becomes a free form, individual style.  We do not use patterns for our memory quilts.  Just teach basic sewing/quilting techniques and let the article of clothing or t shirt lead the way.  Doesn't get more modern than that!

At any rate, do stop in on FRIDAY, March 17 for St. Patrick's Day and WEAR GREEN for your 20% discount!