Big Rig on the Road – Sew Inspired – Simsbury, CT

Last month I had the opportunity to escape New York City for an overnight trip. We headed up to Simsbury, CT.  While Ray was off teaching a day long harp seminar I was left to wander the quaint town of Simsbury, CT.  Well I didn’t wander very much because most of my time was spent in a wonderful quilt store – Sew Inspired.

The shop is tucked away in a group of shops in the Fiddler’s Green at the corner of Hopmeadow and Wilcox Streets.

You step down a few stairs from the entrance to be welcomed by this great display outside of the store.

This great store is run by Viv and Sandy and a great group of other employees. These two women have a great sense of color and style. Their fabric selection is wonderful. They have over 4,000 blots of fabric – a great selection of Batiks! (Just one of the great things they do is put a tag on each new bolt of fabric so you can easily find all the new additions to the store)

In addition to the fabric they have a great selection of notions, patterns, and books.

They started out in a small store in the lower level, grew, moved to a larger space, and then later took back their original space and turned that into their classroom. (sorry didn’t get a picture of this but it is really nice!) They offer some great classes! You can rent out the classroom space for your own use or even your quilt group. They also have the Studio AccuQuilt in the class room and after taking a training session you can rent time on the machine to slice and dice those pieces for your quilt in no time!

They are also a Handi Quilter  dealer and offer great classes in quilting with top-notch teachers. Debby Brown was just there the weekend before I visited (DANG I missed her – she is a great teacher – look for her on an episode of  Quilt It! The Longarm Quilting Show on QNN next season!)

So if you are passing through Conneticutt this is a place you must visit – Fall is coming – it would be a great trip to see the leaves and buy some fabric.

We stayed across the street at a wonderful inn The Simsbury 1820 House – it’s great because you can walk to the store from the Inn (it’s right across the street). But you will want to drive to the shop – you won’t want to lug all your fabric purchases back across the street and up the hill – drive your car and you can easily take your fabric out to the car, dump them in the car, and then recharge by eating at one of the wonderful restaurants in Fiddler’s Green!  (and then most likely heading back to the shop to buy that one piece of fabric you know you really need and should have bought in the first round of buying!)

Design/Technique Class

I will be teaching a combination design/curve piecing class at the City Quilter in New York City in September. I have taken the traditional Drunkard’s Path block – added a few half-square triangles and created a new block that I call Infinite Possibilities. The pattern looks great in all fabrics and would create a fun scrap quilt.

The Drunkard’s Path block provides endless possibilities for design and with the addition of these new elements it seems like the possibilities have increased.  Here are some samples that I made (they are hanging at the shop).

This sample uses Asian inspired fabrics

30s Repros add a fun note to this one – it sort of reminds me of those adaptors I had to use in those old 45 records

This design reminds me of Art Deco fans

I call this one Millstone – stepping up the color/value placement helps to create a secondary design.

Here is the same pattern as with the 30 Repros – creating an entirely different look. What would happen if you switched out the lights for darks, and darks for lights – come and find out!

I call this one Waves – someone called it Falling Leaves – what would you call it?

I hope you might consider taking the class (here is a LINK to the class schedule- the class is on page 3). The class meets for two sessions, September 15th and 29th from either 12-2 or 6-8.  We will be dealing with color/value placement and block arrangement as well as different techniques for curve piecing. I am using a commercially available template which makes cutting out the pieces a breeze.  Spread the word to others who you think might be interested.

Not in NYC – I would be happy to come to your store/guild and teach the class – the sessions could be combined into a class that runs an afternoon or an entire day.  Drop me a note at bigrigquilting@gmail.com for more details.

Thanks!

John

Design Wall Monday – Ascot – August 8, 2011

I’m back! Sorry to have disappeared but vacations crept in and …. well you know.

Here is some fun shirting fabric from Windham Fabrics. It is from their new line Ascot which is shipping to stores NOW.

I created a pattern for them featuring this fabric that you can download for FREE from their website!  Here is a shot of a sample that I made for them for spring market in Salt Lake City which shows a miniature version (it is hanging over the railing in the far right side of the picture)

The fabric is a lot of fun, there are images of chickens, cards, keys, horses and horseshoes, umbrellas, bees, and anchors – great graphics printed on dark blue, cream, black, and a wonderful rich rich red. (I have a weakness for Red – it’s my “neutral” and Windham has some of the best reds on the market – especially in these shirting fabrics- if you love red fabric – you need to add these to your stash. By the way the blues are pretty good too!)

Here is the front page of the pattern which is called Bet Your Lucky Stars.

The finished quilt measures 58″ x 71″. You can easily upsize/dowsize the quilt by changing the number of blocks you use (finished blocks measure 12″) 

I am working on more pattern designs and would love to know what kind of patterns you are looking for.

And here is a page showing the fabrics used in the quilt.

If your local quilt shop doesn’t carry the line – get them to get it in. If they aren’t going to carry it – head on over to The Patchwork Co. – they should have it in stock soon and you can order it from them online. If they don’t have it up on their site yet – just send an email or give them a call and ask if it is in stock. The staff there is very helpful and friendly.

Head over to the Windham Fabrics Website to see the fabric up-close and to download this FREE pattern, and browse a lot of other free patterns they have. Also, have a look at some of the other great fabrics – their well-know reproductions to their great contemporary fabrics – which will be hitting stores soon.

Head over to Judy’s blog to see what everyone else is doing.