Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dancing Horses Fabric Collection

This beautiful fabric collection was designed by Laurel Burch for Clothworks. Although Laurel died in September of 2007, her artistry in fabric lives on as a testament to her talents as an artist.

Here's what Laurel had to say about her work: "Art is a universal language, and through imagery that is understood and recognized by all people everywhere, I believe that we can share the grace of birds in flight, feel the warmth of friendships, explore the exquisite beauty and mysteries of the earth and savor the preciousness of life. When I design and paint, I remember that it is you, my friends and kindred spirits all over the world, who have inspired me to speak in a common language. I wish to express my deepest gratitude for your appreciation of my art and for the opportunity this has provided me to live my life with courage, purpose, and joy. Thank you for all you are and for all we are to each other."

Our collection of Dancing Horses allows you to enter Laurel Burch’s wonderful world of whimsy with 15 prints featuring horses, bright colors, fun geometrics, and glamorous gold accents that are sure to stimulate your imagination. What will you dream up to create with them?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Frances E. Willard Fabric Sale

Every year, Grandma's Attic holds a Frances E. Willard Founder's Day fabric sale at or about the time of her birthday (September 28). This year is no exception. At the bottom of this post I've included the information regarding that sale and you'll definitely want to take advantage of it!

So who is Frances E. Willard and what does she have to do with our store? Well, Frances E. Willard was an American educator, temperance reformer, and women's suffragist. She was also President of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). She founded a magazine, wrote many books, and was the first woman represented with a statue in the Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol. In short, she dedicated her entire life to the empowerment of women.

When I first opened Grandma's Attic, way back in 1994, I went looking for a few period pieces I could use to decorate the shop. I felt we needed a photograph of a grandma type to hang on the wall behind the cutting counter. To my delight, I found the perfect grandmother in an old-fashioned oval frame at an antique shop in Albany, Oregon. At that time, I didn't know who she was. Her portrait, shown above, has been hanging in our shop ever since.

Approximately three weeks after Grandma's Attic opened for business, a lady came into the shop, saw this portrait, and asked, "Where did you get that fabulous portrait of Frances E. Willard?" "Ahh! That's who she is," I said to myself. Massive amounts of research later, I discovered that Frances was never married, certainly never had any children, and most definitely was NOT a grandmother. I decided she could be our "spiritual" grandma because of all the causes she believed in and the work she did for the empowerment of women and women's education. I also learned that while she herself was not a quilter, both her mother and her sister made quilts.

Each year, we honor Frances E. Willard by having a big sale to celebrate her birthday. That sale begins today and extends through Sunday, September 27th. You can take 25% off your fabric purchases by mentioning this blog in the store, or by writing FRANCES E. WILLARD SALE in the comments section of your webstore order. The discount will not appear on your invoice. We will take it off on our end. Please note that this offer does NOT extend to the Samara Fabric Collection used in Patchwork Party Fall Edition 2009.

This offer is filled with the potential for so much fun you'll want to share it with your friends. Feel free to let them know so they too can enjoy the savings!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Quilt Club Joke

Stephen has posted another youtube video to our blog. This one was done last Friday, September 4th during one of the Quilt club meetings. It's a silly joke that I told to warm up the crowd. I hope you'll think its as funny as the class did!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Stephen Posts a Shop Tour Video

Stephen bought himself a new video camera so that he could take videos around our quilt shop. He's been having a lot of fun with it. The first thing he did was take himself on a little tour of the shop. Then he uploaded it to youtube so he could share it with everyone. It's so fun I thought you'd like to see it. Some of the scenes are shaky but it's really cute. You gotta love Georgeann. She's the one giggling in the background--something she does quite a lot! She's been working for us for 15 years.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Wedding Anniversary

Stephen and I celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary on July 13 with a trip down the Oregon Coast to Eureka, California. The weather had been so hot here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. It was a welcomed relief to go over to Highway 101 and drive down the Coast in sea mist and cooler weather.

We made various stops along the way to view the sites. One was at the Cape Blanco Light Station, near Port Orford, Oregon. This light station, built around 1870, houses the oldest continuously operating light in Oregon. At 256 feet above sea level, it is also the most westerly lighthouse in all of Oregon. We learned that Oregon's first woman light keeper, Mabel E. Bretherton, signed on in March of 1903. While Stephen climbed the 63 steps up to the top of the lighthouse, I chose to stay on solid ground enjoying the stillness of the air that day and the spectacular view.

Cape Blanco Light Station near Port Orford, Oregon

We continued driving south and stopped at Crescent City, California. The Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park is near Crescent City and we decided we wanted to take a closer look at some of the world's largest trees. Believe me, I have been around trees all of my life. I thought I had seen tall trees before; however, redwood trees are so magnificent it just takes your breath away. These ancient trees, native to the northern California coast, are the tallest trees on earth and can grow up to 367 feet tall. They can live up to 2,200 years and are resistant to insects and fire.

Trees in Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park

There is no way to adequately show you what the Redwood Forests look like because the camera simply does not catch their enormity or the feeling that you get when you walk among them. If you are anywhere near these trees, you owe it to yourself to see for yourself.

After spending a few days in California, we drove back up the Oregon Coast to Newport where we spent another day or two relaxing and enjoying the beauty of the Pacific Ocean environment. Then it was back to work for both of us. The vacation was the perfect respite from the hurry of every day life and we both enjoyed it very much.

Highway 101 Bridge at Newport, Oregon

Now that we are back home, I am busy working on this next year's Grandma's Quilt Club and the Fall 2009 Patchwork Party and Stephen is working on a new sun deck for the chickens. We saw a giant coyote lounging in the lower field by our house so Stephen wants to make sure that the deck keeps his "girls" safe from predators.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Rainbow Batiks

Your fabric creations will be incredibly beautiful when you use batik fabrics. This month, Grandma's Scrapbasket Newsletter features batiks in a rainbow of colors by Hoffman and Princess Mirah.

Originating in Java, the ancient craft of printing on fabric with hot wax is extremely popular today. There are over 3,000 different patterns on record, mostly composed of flower motifs, twining plants, leaves, buds, birds, butterflies, fish, geometric forms, small animals and insects.

Our blended bundle of feature fabrics ranges across the color wheel in a variety of prints and styles that allow you to create a rainbow of fabulous quilting and sewing projects. What will you dream up?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Update on Virginia Tech Memorial Project

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech. We thought you would like to have an update on the Virginia Tech Quilt Block Project that we began immediately after this tragedy in 2007.

We received a tremendous response to our Virginia Tech Memorial Block Project--with nearly 600 quilt blocks donated to this project from quilters all around the world. We put many of these blocks on display in the classroom area of Grandma's Attic last year. These individual blocks are a living testament to the power of quilts and the fiber arts to help people heal after a national tragedy.

The second stage of the project began shortly after the display. We documented and photographed every block received. We believe it is appropriate to honor and acknowledge each block submission by preserving the names of the block creators and the images of the blocks created. We compiled a large database containing the name of the block and the person who created it. Each block was assigned a number so that it can be easily referenced in the database when necessary. In addition to this compilation of information, we collected a large binder filled with the completed block submission forms and any other accompanying correspondence. We then took the intensive step of photographing the individual blocks. We are now in the process of reviewing these digital images, ensuring that they are in good condition, and preparing them for display. All photography work on this stage of the project was done by Kyle Baker.

The third phase of the project is now in full swing. Noted Quilt Historian and Pattern Designer Roxy Burgard spent hours (days) sorting through these quilt blocks. She developed and organized a method for turning blocks into quilt tops. The organization and creative eye she brought to this project has been nothing short of awe-inspiring and stands as a testament to her considerable quilt making skills. Working with 160 blocks, she selected 20 blocks per quilt based on pre-determined themes. She even created names for each quilt based on block content. Once that herculean task was accomplished, Roxy and I selected appropriate sashings for these eight quilts. They are now ready to be sewn into quilt tops. With the help of volunteers, we now hope to get these quilt tops made and sent to machine quilters for completion.

Believe me, while it is easy to write about the work that has been done to date, it is more difficult to explain how many volunteer hours have been involved in the work, let alone try to explain the emotional toll it takes when viewing and working with these blocks. The whole process has been very moving for everyone involved. Every volunteer has been committed to giving proper and appropriate respect to each block on its way to final inclusion in quilts to be presented to Virginia Tech.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Clothesline Club - 1930s Era

If you love 1930s style fabrics, you’re going to love the Clothesline Club. Created by Darlene Zimmerman, and published by the Robert Kaufman fabric company, this club features 1930s-Era patterns and fabric. As an official shop participant, Grandma's Attic will carry all of the fabric lines, patterns, and notions showcased throughout the year.

Four different fabric collections, all designed by Darlene Zimmerman, are used during the 12 month Club, with each of the fabric lines featured for three months. The first fabric line is Home Sweet Home. There are 20 pieces of fabric in this line plus five bonus fabrics. Included in the collection are a variety of prints with motifs such as clothespins, irons, kitchen utensils, daisies and checks in cheery 1930s-era colors.

Fabrics from Darlene's Home Sweet Home Collection, the first fabric line used in the 2009 Clothesline Club

Each month for the next 12 months, Grandma's Attic will put together a special packet utilizing Clothesline Club products. You choose only the packets you want to purchase. We’ll add a new one to our website each month. The first, Packet #1, is currently available. It contains a full-color pattern for Darlene’s Sunday Best Apron, a second full-color Bonus pattern called Washday Sweeties, plus a special newsletter from Darlene Zimmerman herself with information on the history of aprons and an apple pie recipe. The packet also contains twenty 5”x5” squares of fabric from Darlene’s Home Sweet Home collection so that you can see and feel the fabric used. Added bonuses include a full-color newsletter about the year 1930 written by Grandma Rachel of Grandma’s Attic, a full-color cover sheet to use as a cover for your own notebook that you'll fill with project pages, and a Grandma pin from Grandma’s Attic. We've made every effort to make this club affordable and fun. Price for the packet includes all shipping and handling.

Next month, Packet #2, will contain even more fabric squares and patterns from Darlene Zimmerman, plus additional bonus materials from Grandma's Attic. Believe me, if you like 1930s-era quilts and patterns, you won't want to miss a single packet!
Sunday Best Apron--the first project in the 2009 Clothesline Club. The pattern comes with Packet #1. Fabric in both colorways is also available.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Patchwork Party 2009 Spring Edition

You're going to love this Patchwork Party. For our sixth party, the fabrics are absolutely gorgeous! This season's quilt blocks were created by Marti Michell using her Perfect Patchwork Templates, Set B and Set D. The fabric was designed by Faye Burgos for Marcus Brothers. It is called Sachet Potpourri. It features beautiful roses, paisleys and romantic designs in muted shades of rich brown, pink and blue.

If you been to our previous patchwork parties, you may already know how this fun program works, but if you're a newcomer, you might need a party introduction! The way it operates is simple: you collect all 12 of these beautiful blocks by visiting the 12 online stores participating in the program. Each store hosts one of the particular blocks necessary for the beautiful quilt you'll be making. This season, our exclusive block is called Ta-Dah. Like a beautiful diamond ring, this block adds sparkle to any setting.

In addition to our exclusive block kit, we've created a way for you to turn your blocks into a stunning quilt titled Down the Garden Path. Our finishing kit includes the pattern and all of the fabric you need to create a lovely queen-sized quilt using the blocks you collected during the party and 13 additional ones that are super easy to make. We also put together a matching pillowcase kit to go with our quilt.

You can see all our Patchwork Party products at our website. To view all of the blocks and finishing kits, you'll want to visit www.patchworkparty2009.com.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Hoffman Challenge

The Hoffman Challenge fabric has arrived and it is totally gorgeous! The main piece is a beautiful paisley print in green, gold and brown, with pearlized edges that makes it sparkle. The largest paisley is approximately 1-1/2" wide.

Every year, a team from Hoffman fabrics chooses a fabric design and then issues a challenge to quilt, clothing, doll and accessory makers to create an original item using that fabric. Upon completion, the items travel around the country to different shows, galleries, museums, Guilds, and shops. Cash prizes are awarded. It is very fun and inspirational. To participate, you must use a recognizable amount of the challenge fabric as an integral part of your project or body of work.

You can purchase this beautiful Hoffman Challenge fabric at Grandma's Attic. Click here for more information on rules and prizes for the Hoffman Challenge contest.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Just before Christmas, we received 20 inches of snow and then an ice storm came through. It coated the trees with thick ice causing many of our oak tree branches to snap completely off. The Douglas Fir trees seemed to fare pretty well, but the sound of trees cracking and breaking apart at night is heart wrenching, to say the least. Fortunately, nothing landed on the house or outbuildings. As a result of all the trees falling, our road was closed for several days. We also lost electricity.

On Christmas Eve, the hard working crews of the power company managed to turn our electricity back on and we had power again. What a wonderful Christmas gift that was! Believe me, there is something totally eerie about being without electricity living on a road that is closed and nearly impassable.

I had planned to work on Block of the Month and other quilt projects at my sewing machine. Instead, I alternated between doing hand embroidery work and trying to keep myself and the dachsunds warm. We huddled together in the recliner under warm quilts. And believe me, you know it's cold when the cat climbed under a quilt to join us.

Now that the ice has melted, the electricity has come back on, and the roads are passable again, I've been busy working on those same quilt projects I intended to get to earlier. There's a Block of the Month quilt, a shop hop quilt, and several other smaller samples in various stages of development in the sewing room at home, plus calendars and other end of the year items to attend to at work.

On New Year's Eve, my husband and I were so tired from all of the outside clean-up projects that needed to be done, we decided against staying up late. Instead, we turned on the television, and watched Anderson Cooper usher in 2009 with the crystal ball drop in New York City. When it's midnight in the Big Apple, it's 9:00 pm in Oregon. We called it a night and decided the New Year could get here without us. I spent New Year's Day filling mail orders at the shop; then retreated to the sewing room again. Sewing is a great way to begin the New Year, don't you think?

I'm looking forward to 2009 as a year filled with beautiful quilts and fun projects. How has your New Year begun?