Closed Black Friday
Re-Open SATURDAY for
Small business day
Special ONE DAY sale only $8/yard solids
A new line from Free Spirit to coordinate with all the Kaffe Fassett and Tula Pink prints
68 square thread construction! Tired of that raveling from other solids?
You might want to try 68 square solids. If you use 20s/30s reproduction prints, you will find amazing greens to blend with that line.
Other items featured Saturday
Selected Quilts in many sizes 50% off
all Christmas finished Quilts and wall hangings 50% off
Finished advent calendars 50% off
sports fleece pillows 50% off, includes Gators and OSU Buckeyes
sports fleece teddy bears 50% off, NFL and NCAAF
Giving our wooden nickels Saturday. Wooden nickel Wednesdays begin again in December. Stay tuned for what the special will be. It is always posted on our Facebook. Search on Facebook bar at the top for “Alma Sues quilt shop”. There you will see current sewing projects, sales, and classes.
Quilters on retreat at the hotel next door - WATCH Facebook for special knock out of the park deals just for you while on retreat!
We extend shopping hours just for you while on retreat!
Orders for Christmas are CLOSED!
If you absolutely need to have something sewed or quilted we can refer you to another good source. This is the time when we make our rent for the summer - so if you are in the shop and we seem a bit frazzled please bear with us until after the Christmas deadlines are done. Our seasonal held arrived to bail us out! Welcome to Mary M and Mary R and Dena!
Did you know that our machine quilting price includes the cost of standard batting and thread? Premium battings silk or 100% wool are available for a modest up charge, our wholesale cost of the wool or silk piece. Select from hundreds of patterns, or choose simple lines, curves, or custom work. Our new frame accommodates very large king size Quilts measuring 120+ inches.
A week or two ago a German TV crew was in the shop filming in Pinecraft for a TV show similar to our Discovery channel. Then after that a reporter from the NY Times called to get information for a special report based on "Endangered Crafts in America." She suggested that quilting was an endangered craft. Because she gave us some advance notice I posed the question to our students and also to the staff. Is quilting an endangered craft (or art), I won't go into the discussion as to whether quilting today is a craft or an art.
So the students and staff said "no." We love to work with textiles and color and assembling pieces like a jigsaw puzzle. The creative process and sewing doesn’t seem to be endangered.
But what is almost gone is the ability to create something of beauty out of virtually nothing, at almost no cost. My mother and grandmother needed only a pencil, piece of paper, a wheaties or soda cracker box to make cardboard templates, scissors, needle and thread, to make any pattern published in the newspaper. Fabric was recycled from the cloth feed sacks delivered to the farm. Selecting and blending colors, scale, prints, etc to enhance the pattern required ingenuity and creativity. Many patterns were “personalized” by the quilter by changing it to her liking or bed size.
There were no quilt police to stifle creativity. The newspaper patterns all said, “stitch with a consistent seam allowance of your choice.” Wow! When did the quarter inch seam become law? I know of some instructors who measure a student's seams and make them rip out until the seam conforms to their mil spec. (Those of you who came from the healthcare or other highly regulated field know the restrictions of a mil spec, or military specification. Maybe we shouldn’t call these teachers “quilt police” but rather MPs). What a turn off - and how frustrating for a new student. Some just give up and decide quilting is not for them! Better to teach them about the straight of grain and how straight of grain is for making the seams match.
Back to today’s quilter. I often hear the comment, “I’m just not good with colors”. So a beginning quilter today is taught they need to buy a “collection” coordinated by a designer. Then throw out your scissors, you need a pizza cutter, and several hundred $$ worth of every sized ruler - rulers to make half square triangles, a ruler to make flying geese, etc. Few teach the simple way to make these quilt blocks using just a marking pencil and a straight edge. I have seen students struggle to cut out little pieces and cut around corners and curves with a big rotary cutter. Hey, just get a pencil, trace the template, and cut with a good sharp scissors. It is often faster! That’s the tactile pleasure I enjoy. And that’s the way I teach. And too often a student is using a 45 cutter when they should be using a 28 for almost all their cutting. A 28 is safer, cuts around curves better, easily cuts 2-3 layers which is most of your cutting. If you want to cut 4-5 layers, use a 45, cutting 6 or more layers as in One Block Wonder? Use a 60 mm. Unfortunately many of the shops teaching quilting are fabric stores who must pay the rent and encourage sales of items that really are not dispensable to making a quilt. Thanks to the big box fabric shops on the internet, driving many independent quilt shops into oblivion. Last week I got the email that Keepsake Quilting will close their brick and mortar store and exclusively sell online.
We just passed the anniversary of our opening in November 2002 - heading for our 18th year. Little did we plan to be around this long. Alma Sue's opened after my father died to give my mother (Sue) space for her avid quilting pleasure. Mom, my aunts, Dawn and I put together chairs, scrounged for notions and templates and quilts on consignment and opened our doors with less than 200 bolts of fabric - just what we needed to make custom quilts! Lots of people laughed at us, and quickly wrote us off the map, but we turned a deaf ear and kept on with the plan. Our business plan still says we are here to provide quilting services, never intended to be a fabric shop. It took some years for the "services" part to kick and during that time fabric paid the rent. Now the fabric portion is waning and services are increasing. So if you purchase a nice bundle online and want to find a blender, a background, a border, or a binding, it is not so easy to match colors online. So one must still walk into a brick and mortar shop with the fabric you are trying to match or blend. Let's hope the small shops hang around for some time yet.
Enjoy this special time of year when friends and family finally make a point to get together.