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Quilt Shops

Where Quilters Create – Creations at Kerrville

I had visited Creations several years ago as part of a brief tour when I was teaching nearby.  With only a short while to visit the shop, I had little idea what I missed.  Now, however, I was right across the parking lot for 4 full days.  Four wonderful days in which to explore and create!  After all that’s what Creations, owned by Julie Milam and Kathy Thompson, is all about. They established the shop in 1978 and have specialized in fabric for quilters and sewing enthusiasts for the past 36 years!  And, what a job they do!  It must be Heaven in a Quilted World!

Creations at Kerrville

Creations at Kerrville

Kathy and Julie remodeled a Victorian House right on Main Street in Kerrville, TX, about 60 miles outside of San Antonio.  With 20,000 residents, one might wonder how they manage to make it.  Stay tuned and you will see!  It is wonderment from the very second one steps inside the doors and is immediately greeted by a smiling and helpful staff member.  Then, there is the FABRIC!  OH, so much FABRIC!

Kaffe Fasset Fabrics

Kaffe Fassett Fabrics

Each room in the Victorian House is filled with treasures, and each room has a style all its own.  This particular room held a selection of Kaffe Fassett fabrics, which are nice.  But what you should notice are the tiny little Fat Quarter shelves at each end row of bolts.  All throughout the store, each fabric section has its very own stack of Fat Quarters. And the Fat Quarters are of the same fabrics that are available on the bolts, not end cuts of fabrics no longer available.  What a huge difference that made!  My students and I could sample all the fabrics by pulling a selection of Fat Quarters!  Oh, my!  This was looking dangerous.

More Cottons and More Fat Quarters

More Cottons and More Fat Quarters

Everywhere there were bolts, there were Fat Quarters.  My students and I walked back and forth across that parking lot many times each day, each time finding more treasures. Sometimes most of my students were in the shop and not in the classroom!   I learned that every single time a new bolt of fabric arrives, the staff cuts Fat Quarters for the mini-shelves.  Thus, all the Fat Quarters have mates that are in full bolt mode.

More Cool Fat Quarter Arrangements

More Cool Fat Quarter Arrangements

And, the staff, many of whom have been there 20 years or more, were especially helpful!  While we were perusing the bolts, our sales assistant made this nice arrangement of Fat Quarters to match!  Definitely Dangerous Territory!

Student, Kate Premeaux buys Fat Quarters

Student, Kate Premeaux, buys Fat Quarters

Kate Premeaux found this terrific purple and lime green geometric print (in the background) and wanted fabrics to complement it.  Look what we found – a whole rainbow run in Fat Quarters.  By the way, in case you were wondering, Creations was packed with customers all day, every day.  The license plates of the cars in the parking lot read like a Who’s Who of different state, ranging from Florida to Oregon!  It is clear that Creations is a Destination Quilt Shop.

Rainbow Run on Counter

Rainbow Run on Counter

I got this great idea to make a Rainbow Run for myself, not to sew with, but to use in my Color and Contrast in Quilting class.  What fun I had pulling fat quarters! All of the cutting tables were full with crowds around each one, so there wasn’t anywhere to spread out and colorize my array of Fat Quarters, except for the counter in front of the cash registers!  I arrayed.

Making the Rainbow Run

Making the Rainbow Run

Because there is such a wide selection, I was able to have a lot of fun playing.  Gail Barnett, another student, wandered over to take a photo of the Rainbow Run.  And then .  . .

Mine All Mine

Mine All Mine

Susie Moore, another student, wandered through the door.  She said, “Oh, my!  Did you do that?  OHHHHHH!”  I asked if she’d like to have one of the Rainbow Runs and, of course, one went home with her.  If you are in my Color Class at Quilt Festival in Houston this year, we will practice working the Rainbow Run with the Fat Quarters I brought home.

And Creations?  Well, they are probably busy cutting more Fat Quarters because they were darned near out by the time we left!!!! If you are anywhere near this shop, be sure to stop by to play with their Fat Quarters .  .  . and more!

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Quilt Retreat at The Main House at Creations in Kerrville, TX

Tonight I find myself in a wondrous ~10,000 square foot, quilter’s dream palace.  It’s called The Main House at Creations, in Kerrville, TX.

The Main House in Kerrville

The Main House in Kerrville

Tomorrow morning, I get to sew in the most amazing classroom ever, stitching the binding on a queen-sized quilt in spacious splendor while I await the arrival of my students for the next 3.5 days.

Creations

Creations

Furthermore, The Main House is right across the parking lot from Creations, one of the best quilting shops ever!

The Main House Studio

The Main House Studio

Check out the classroom- studio! Each student has – not just 1/2 table shared with a tablemate, but three entire tables to themselves, and a fabulous comfy chair to boot!  I cannot wait to teach in this classroom.  But wait, there’s more wonderment.

Dining Room

Dining Room

A spacious dining room sits to one side of the main floor, and during organized retreats, all food is provided.  The coolest thing ever is that you and your friends can rent this spacious retreat house for your own retreat.  What could be better!

Upstairs Lounge

Upstairs Lounge

Upstairs, there’s a nifty little lounge, where I sit now, typing this post!

Wall decorations

Owners, Julie Milam and Kathy Thompson, have gathered some classic pieces to add to the decor, and created a comfortable and colorful feel to each room.

Poppy Room

Poppy Room

The Main House sleeps 24 people in 6 guest rooms and 9 bathrooms!  Each room is decorated with a different theme, and all rooms are named after Texas cities.

Cowgirl

Cowgirl

Julie told me that she and Kathy fell in love with this painting, and it became the centerpiece of one of the bedrooms.

Cowboy Boots

Cowboy Boots

Bench and quilt

Bench and quilt

One of the rooms is decorated in Tres Chic in pastel colors.

Pastel Room

Pastel Room

Although tonight I am the only guest, I can imagine the fun that will begin tomorrow!  Next time you and your friends are looking for a retreat facility, be sure to put The Main House on the top of your list!  One group travels all the way from Alaska to spend a winter week here, stitching away in the Texas sunshine.

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A Visit to eQuilter

How time flies when you are having fun!  Just last month, I enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of Maine Quilters, while August was much about family and friends in Colorado, our neighbor to the north.  My sis, Ann Rhodes, has lived in Boulder for many years.

The Flatirons west of Boulder, CO

The Flatirons west of Boulder, CO

Typical of other visits to Boulder, our days began with hikes in the open space west of the city, marveling at the majesty of the jagged peaks.  One morning, I set off alone, aiming to climb to the top of the NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) hill.  Huffing and puffing, I made it to the top only to find a lone

Deer

Deer

deer.  Since no hunting is allowed in the city of Boulder, open space included, the deer are remarkably unconcerned about the presence of people, so this one just gave me a quick look and resumed nibbling on the tender shoots.  There is much to do in Boulder besides hiking!  It also is home to eQuilter founded and owned by Luana and Paul Rubin.

Luana Rubin at her desk

Luana Rubin at her desk

Luana’s background was in fashion design with a specialty in imports, working in New York City and traveling the world.  She loved New York and the fashion industry.  After she met and married Paul, they moved to Colorado to he make their home.  Luana signed up for a Log Cabin quilting class and fell in love!  From then on, there was no looking back and she took as many classes as possible with just one problem — she couldn’t find all of the fabrics she wanted for her quilts.

So, Luana and Paul started eQuilter in the basement of their home in March of 1999, 15 years ago.  Paul was a web designer, who had the expertise to create their website.  Initially, they specialized in Asian fabrics and a three year business plan.  They exceeded that plan in only 60 days!

eQuilter Warehouse

eQuilter Warehouse

Today, their expansive warehouse holds 18,000 – 20,000 items at any given time with over 1,000 new products every month.

Designed by Stephanie Brandenburg for Frond Fabrics

Designed by Stephanie Brandenburg for Fernhill Fabrics

This includes an amazing array of fabrics, including this new line  by Stephanie Brandenburg,

Every solid color in the world

Every solid color in the world

and just about every imaginable solid color in the world.

Orange Fat Quarter Packs

Orange Fat Quarter Packs

Lime Fat Quarter Packs

Lime Fat Quarter Packs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I loved all the bright fat quarter packs in lime, orange, yellows and more!

Luana and Yours Truly with a terrific bolt of fabric!

Luana and Yours Truly with a terrific bolt of fabric!

After our tour, Luana and I had fun at the cutting counters, before we headed off to lunch and I learned more about this remarkable woman and the charity work of eQuilter.  Stay tuned . . .

 

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Sensational Stars in Kingston, Ontario

Yours Truly with Cartwheel Constellation, Image by Bethany Garner

Yours Truly with Cartwheel Constellation, Image by Bethany Garner

After leaving Perth, I moved south to Kingston where I gave a lecture and taught the two-day workshop, Sensational Stars and Circular Borders.  Like the Flying Colors class, each student designs their own project, and we begin by working through a series of exercises that build confidence.   What surprises the Limestone Quilters Guild had in store for me!

Sylvie Poulin, Val-D'or, Quebec

Sylvie Poulin, Val-D’or, Quebec

First among them was the arrival of Sylvie Poulin, who had taken my workshop at Quilting in the Desert in Phoenix, back in January 2014.  Sylvie hails from Val-D”or, Quebec, an 8 hour drive from Kingston, which is on the north shore of Lake Ontario. (watch for another post about her work soon to come).

Stitch by Stitch, owned by Margaret Millar

Stitch by Stitch, owned by Margaret Millar

The second surprise was the beautiful new shop, Stitch by Stitch, owned by Margaret Millar.  She has moved to this new, sunny location and re-opened just one month earlier!  Wowsers!  It was gorgeous and bright with natural light from above, a.k.a that big orb in the sky.

Coffee Stand

Coffee Stand

Tucked away at one end of the shop, perched atop an old treadle sewing machine, was the Keurig coffee maker, complete with real milk and cream! Now that is one sure way to warm my heart!

Stitch by Stitch Classroom

Stitch by Stitch Classroom

The classroom was brightly lit too, courtesy of a floor to ceiling window on one side.  Each of the sewing tables was lovingly hand built by Margaret’s father, designed with the quilter in mind.  There were little cubbies below the table top to stash your tools, extra fabric, lunch, etc.  And, the big, comfy rolling chairs made for an exceptionally pleasant sewing experience.  It wasn’t long before stars began to appear.

Class Star - maker unknown

Class Star – maker unknown

Not yet stitched together, this was the first star to appear.  Sadly, I did not get the name of the designer.  I am hopeful that someone will send me that information so I can update this.

Sylvie Poulin's Star

Sylvie Poulin’s Star

Sylvie was the second designer to complete all of her sections.  At the end of the day, everyone seemed happy and a bunch of students took their projects to work on at home.

The next time you find yourself in southern Ontario, be sure to check out Stitch by Stitch!

Stay tuned for day 2 of this class . . .

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Welcome to Donna’s Quilt Studio

Donna's Quilt Studio

Donna’s Quilt Studio

Back in Hamilton, Marion and I made a quick stop at Donna’s Quilt Studio!   This is where we will be taking a 1/2 day class during my upcoming Quilting and Textile Tour of New Zealand.

Donna and Ashley

Donna and Ashleigh

Owned by award winning quiltmaker, Donna Ward and her daughter Ashleigh, a visit to these old friends was a treat in so many ways.  Above, Donna and Ashleigh show off the quilt they are raffling. The proceeds will go to help offset the costs of long-term rehabilitation for Libby Lehman, who suffered a stroke in April 2013.

Kiwiana Fabric

Kiwiana Fabric

I asked Donna to show off some of the Kiwiana fabric that she sells.  This fabric line features all the wonders of New Zealand in fiber, so that you can extend your memories of this great island nation.

Learn to Count

Learn to Count

There is even a panel that can be made into a Learn To Count soft book for young children.

Fantails - A New Zealand endemic

Fantails – A New Zealand endemic

The Kiwiana line of fabrics includes a wide array of designs from traditional Maori symbols to native birds.

Ashleigh, Donna, Yours truly and Merle

Ashleigh, Donna, Yours truly and Merle

Donna’s Quilt Studio is a family affair with Donna at the lead, daughter Ashleigh, and Merle, her mom!  I cannot wait to visit again in April 2014 with some of you and I can’t wait to see what Donna has in mind for our class!

Classic Car Museum

Classic Car Museum

And, for the men who will be on our tour and possibly not interested in a quilting class, the Classic Car Museum is right next door!

Car Art

Car Art

The vehicles range from this artistic alteration of a classic to the dream cars that are indoors!  It’s the perfect way for a gent to spend the morning.  I hope many of you will join me on this tour!

 

 

 

 

 

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Adventures in Northland

Diane Anderson, Gail, Melissa Gelder

Diane Anderson, Gail, Melissa Gelder

On my first full day in Auckland, Diane and Melissa took me on a tour to Northland, checking out quilt shops, cafes, and magnificent scenery.  It wasn’t long before we stopped for morning tea, replete with sweets to provide energy for our outing.

Morning Tea

Morning Tea

It was here that I was able to enjoy my most favorite ever coffee, a flat white.  It seems to be a New Zealand/Australia espresso drink that is not available here in the U.S.  Note that each of our sweets is divided into thirds.  We shared!

Pukeko Patch

Pukeko Patch

Along the way we stopped at the Pukeko Patch outside of Warkworth which was closed.  Actually, the shop was open, but we had driven instead to the owner’s home in the countryside!  Duh!  So we never did get to visit that shop.  I am sure it is wonderful. And, FYI, the shop is located in the community of Warkworth – right near where we had coffee.

The Apple Basket

The Apple Basket

Our next stop was the Apple Basket Patchwork Shop, in Kaiwaka, where we were warmly welcomed.  They publish a series of New Zealand style patterns for birds and flowers and the shop carries both the patterns and  kits that include the fabrics.  Be sure to check them out.

Kerry Glen and Quilt

Kerry Glen and Quilt

Our final destination was the home of Kerry Glen, owner of Tulis Textiles. “Tulis” is an Indonesian word that means to write.  Although Tulis Textiles is located in Kerry’s home in Marsden Point, right on the water, she is open for business by appointment.  Most of her business is conducted online and she has a substantial website.

Melissa shops

Melissa shops

Kerry travels regularly to Bali where her collection of batik fabrics are dyed with her stamps and to her specifications, so she can maintain the quality, versatility and vibrancy of her fabrics. She stocks over 500 batik fabrics in a wide range of colors.

Ikat Fabrics from Indonesia

Ikat Fabrics from Indonesia

Kerry also stocks a unique selection of hand-selected Ikats!  It was so very hard to decide.  We also enjoyed a lovely lunch with views over the sea, but all too soon is was time to pack up our parcels and head back to Auckland.  My April 2014 Quilting and Textile Tour of New Zealand will include tea and shopping at Kerry’s Home!  I think you will love her fabrics.

 

 

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