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4th Annual S.p.R.u.N.g Wool Workshop Saturday, April 21! 4 Seats Left!

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One of the things we love to host around here, is a quality workshop event. These workshops build community and teach new skills while introducing you to your favorite designers! Coming up on Saturday, April 21 is our 4th annual spring workshop, S.p.R.u.N.g!

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Kathy Cardiff, one of our favorite designers, is returning to the Shoppe on Saturday, April 21 for this springtime event. Kathy designs patterns for her company, A Cottage at Cardiff Farms and has spent the last half of the year promoting her new book, "A Cottage Garden."

Since you do not bring your sewing machines to this workshop, you've got to sew your backgrounds at home. The workshop fee includes a complete wool kit, specialty instruction from Kathy and a gourmet, catered luncheon! Here's a little reminder:

If you are in the local area, you can still swing by and get your prep work on the days we are open.

BTW...this is where I let you all know that we are now open every Sunday! In case you missed my flashy notice...here it is again! New-Day-To-Create

If you're out of town, haven't registered and now want to attend...oh boy...we've got some challenges. You might be spending the night with your sewing machine! Better give us a call! 

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In this workshop you will be learning Kathy's layering techniques and her favorite stitches. If you attended our Homespun & Holly Christmas Workshop this past December, the project for S.p.R.u.N.g is the same scale as her "First Day of Christmas...." project she did for Homespun & Holly which is pictured here below....

Homespun-Holly-Dec-2017

I haven't shown this before because it was only available to people who attended last year's Christmas workshop here at the Shoppe. I'm thinking, we might continue this theme for the 2018 Homespun & Holly.

We love Kathy's nature inspired designs and we love how she incorporates these fabulous textured backgrounds found in our Shoppe, with her wool projects. It gives everything she does a touch of class and sophistication.

Neutral-Texture-Bundle


We've been making some exclusive new Fat Quarter Bundles of these fabrics, but you can also order 1/2yd bundles! Just click here.
Pictured here are the Neutral Bundle and Rustic Bundle. Both bundles are perfect for backgrounds and I know that around here we can always use more background fabrics for our projects! There's never enough.

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If there is a time of year where we love to work with wool, it's definitely in the fall seeew we thought we'd add a Vintage Halloween Bundle to our mix as well. These bundles are made-to-order and are seasonal offerings. This means that I will change them often as we are preparing for different seasons. Seeew...there's no telling how long they will last! As I always say, get it when I'm showing it to ya!

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That's all I have for you today! Well...that's not really ALL..as that, well that just never happens. There is ALWAYS something new at our Shoppe seeew my job is never really done.

But for today...I'm done.

Thanks for joining us today and stay seeew-cial! ~ Brian


My New Favorite Book!

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I was beginning to think I wouldn't have time to sit down and jot down a little note to ya'll this week but I've managed to squeeze a hot minute or two to share with you one of our favorite new books. In fact, Moda's Carrie Nelson mentioned the other day that proceeds from all of the  Moda All-Star books go to a charity. Proceeds from Moda All-Stars Mini-Charm Quilts go to the Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dog program which is "a national human-care mission embracing the unique, calming nature and skills of purebred Golden Retrievers."Awwww...I love dogs!

Mini-Charm-Quilts-Moda-All-Stars

Do you have this book yet?

If you have a collection of those Mini Charm packs sittin' around your creative space, what are you waiting for? You need to have this book and it's available to order here on our website. We ship with USPS using the Flat Rate Priority Envelope and charge the same rate as USPS.

We have a goal of making every project in the book as Mini's never go out of style and they are far easier to splash around the Shoppe than a big ole' quilt.

Mini-Charm-Creekside
This first one was made with Creekside by Sherri & Chelsi. It's called Tulip Time and was designed by Pat Sloan! Since April is the month for Tulip festivals...well, it's just perfect. And speaking of Sherri & Chelsi, we love these two gems. Very sweet people. They have proven that their collections can work with a variety of seasons. Sherri will be teaching two new projects here at the Shoppe in September centered around their new Clover Hollow collection!

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Merry-Go-Round was designed by Karla Eisenach of Sweetwater. For this sweet little quilt the mini-charms are pieced into scrappy hexagons before being appliqued in place. This one is made with a mix of Fig Tree fabrics. We can never have enough Fig Tree for sure.

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I made a few Fig Tree Spring Bundles in an attempt to get the temperatures a tad bit warmer.

Seeew far it's not working. I mean...hi...we're in April, let's start seeing some rays!

Mini-Sweetwater

Bayside was designed by Betsy Chutchian and features scrappy triangles crisscrossing throughout. Of course...the fabrics are Sweetwater. I love Sweetwater. Their collections are almost always different and this year they have four releases, Project Red, Harmony, Overnight Delivery and then one other one (I forgot the name). Everyone must love redwork because the Project Red Bundle is very popular!

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Mini-Quilt-Book

Hey, I know this fabric! I've been working with Hi-De-Ho in my very first quilt. It only made sense to use it for Sandy Klop's cute little Rickrack Posies project.

I love how cheerful this collection is but it also has a retro 40's vibe. Bright...happy and cheerful.

I don't know what it is, but the two of us just can't get into dark fabrics anymore. Maybe because we did it for seeew many years in the larger store?? Over Easter we were watching many of the "Behind-the-Scenes" extras for The Greatest Showman and the costume designer mentioned how they avoided brown fabrics when creating the costumes. I was like, "See Mom, we know what we're doing afterall! It's all about color!

Hi-De-Ho-Bundle

Last but not least, we have this very unique color combination for Spring called Greenery. I really love these fabrics with this table runner called Hopscotch by Sandy Gervais. It's fresh, crisp...traditional but yet feels contemporary. Prepare yourself for plenty of compliments with this one!

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Greenery-Maywood-Studios

That's it for today. I've got to prepare the Shoppe for Moda's new Nest collection due to arrive either this afternoon or tomorrow! We are switching up some of the designers we carry to try something different. The "Mothership" is always keeping it fresh! Seeew we appreciate your patience and of course....thanks for checking us out today!

Stay Seeew...cial! ~ Brian


The Importance of Your Brick & Mortar Quilt Shops

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I'm devoting quite a few posts a year about the importance of brick-and-mortar quilt shops like ours. At times I feel like people just are not listening. The biggest concern I hear from people whenever I post on this issue is that fabric is too expensive. As I've said over and over again, fabric has only increased $2-$3 since we opened in 2005 when it was $8.99/$9.99 - this is based on manufacturer and of course cotton vs. flannel/batik.  That equates to about .23 cents a year. That's hardly outrageous. I even asked this question: "So how much do you want to pay for fabric?" to which no one responded. Completely fascinating.
 
BTW...I bought a gallon of milk for $3.39 yesterday!
 
Anyway, I recently stumbled upon this article below and I loved its honesty.
 
 Brian

United We Stand
Weeks Ringle, Modern Quilt Studio
 
The past few years have brought tremendous changes to the world of quilting. Shops have closed by scores. Magazines and book publishers have shuttered or merged with other publishers. American Quilter Society has ceased publishing books all together. City Quilter in New York is closing. Tension has arisen at times between genres of quilters who perceive one genre being intolerant to another.
 
We began teaching modern quilting in 2001. The ages of our students ranged from twenty-somethings to retirees. Even as early as 2001 we noticed that spending patterns were clearly divided by age. Retirees had large stashes and both the time and money to make lots of quilts. Younger quilters had student debt, insecure jobs and looming college and retirement costs that prevented them from spending as much time or money on quilting. If we had a studio sale with fabric deeply discounted, the 50+ crowd would spend hundreds of dollars and the 30-somethings would buy 4 fat quarters. It was a pattern we saw repeatedly. So we never drank the Kool-Aid about modern quilters or young quilters saving our shrinking industry. They can’t afford to.
 
Hiring designers based on the number of Instagram followers instead of talent will not save our industry. Deciding which books to publish based on the age of the author will not save our industry. Belittling other genres of quilting will definitely not save our industry. If you REALLY want to save our industry, here are a few things you can do:
 
1.) Buy fabric and supplies from an owner whose name you know. Buying quilting fabric from Massdrop or Fabric.com might not seem like a big deal but for a mom-and-pop retailer every dollar truly matters. If you buy from Massdrop, the designer makes 15-20 cents per yard at best. If you buy directly from the designer, they make $4-6 per yard. Insert Note from Brian: Why are we promoting buying from a designer over a store??? That's not helping your brick and mortar bring in new fabrics! Girl...don't even get me started. If you buy from a shop even better!
 
2.) Buy books from authors directly or through local quilt shops. If you buy a book from Amazon to save $4, the author makes $1. If you buy it from the author, the author makes typically half of the cost of the book, usually $10-15. If you buy it from a local quilt shop, the shop owner makes the profit but at least it stays in the industry and they stay in business and buy more books. It’s an enormous difference. Insert Note from Brian: The books have the MSRP directly listed on the book.
 
3.) Support ALL types of quilting. If you’re a modern quilter, go to an exhibit of applique quilts at a local guild. Do a shop hop of shops you haven’t been to. Take classes that are outside of your comfort zone. All of this money filters down to support guilds, teachers, shops and designers.  Insert note from Brian: Exactly! If a quilt shop that is local to you doesn't carry all of the fabrics you want, surely they have patterns, notions and classes! There is more than one way to support your local quilt shop.
 
4.) Teach someone to sew or quilt. Help a teenager make a quilt for college or for graduation. Show a boy how to make a messenger bag or a pillow for his room. Insert note from Brian: Or take a class at your local quilt shop, step out of your comfort zone and learn something new!
 
5.) Understand the laws of supply and demand. With fewer shops in business and fewer quilters, the cost of fabric has and will increase. Insert Note from Brian: Revisit what I said at the top of this blog. In 13 years fabric has increased .23 cents a year. Not outrageous. No one is taking advantage of you or ripping you off. AMEN TO THAT!  It’s just the economics of each yard costing more because fewer yards are being produced. Ditto for the cost of magazines, especially with magazines like ours that has no ads.
 
6.) Don’t expect everything for free. Unless you want quilting to go the way of tatting, with very few people able to make a living teaching or designing, don’t photocopy patterns for your friends and don’t limit what you can learn to YouTube. I understand that each of us only has so much money and it’s tempting to want to give away your favorite patterns with your guild friends, but if you don’t support shops, publishers, designers and the like, those people will have to find other ways to make a living. The closed shops, the shuttered publishers and those who have left the industry for greener pastures or as a result of closures are proof that it has become harder than it was 20 years ago to make a living in the quilting industry. Insert Note from Brian: "Can I just share the pattern with my friend?" Um...no.
 
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Most importantly, can we just band together to support all quilters? And when I say support, I mean financially as well as sharing with others the work you find inspiring be it at a guild meeting or through social media. Can we decide that each quilt is made by someone who loves quilting as much as you do? If you don’t like the way quilt competitions are structured, suggest a new category. If you want more books on a certain topic, email the publisher. If you want more magazine coverage of a certain trend, let the editors know. If you want a certain fabric your local shop doesn’t carry, ask if they would be willing to order it. We are fortunate right now to have more work than we can manage. However, watching businesses related to quilting close affects all of us.
 
Please share in the comments section anything you can think of to support the quilting world.
 
****************************************************************************
I thought that was an interesting read and it's much appreciated. I REALLY like that they ended it with "please share in the comments anything you can think of to support the quilting world." Support...being the key word.
 
Obviously the world will not collapse if there are no quilt shops, but I would imagine to many of you it would certainly feel like it. There is a love/hate relationship with the internet. We love the convenience, but we hate that it ends up ruining jobs and the things we love to do in our leisure time.  We want our country and quilting community to be productive and prosperous for future generations but if we keep letting big on-line only corporations take over literally everything....just remember we've done it to ourselves. 
  
Stay Seeew-cial... ~ Brian

Happy St. Patick's Day!

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Happy Worldwide Quilting Day and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Green-Cupcakes-3 (1)

As I always do, I stopped in at our neighbor...Lux Sucre Desserts to frost my lucky charms! Lo and behold I happened upon some green cupcakes and cookies shaped like clovers! P.S. I'm fine with being pinched, but hands-off of the mid-section!

Green-Cookies

This morning we hosted our monthly "What's For Breakfast?" Club. In my last post I wrote at great length about supporting brick-and-mortar quilt shops. This monthly event is a great way to create community by getting out of the house, interact with eachother while supporting our brick-and-mortar location! If you like quality projects and a good time...come to our What's For Breakfast? Club!

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Someone was feeling festive today! Carol and Cheryl are newbies to our What's For Breakfast? Club but I've been noticing these lovely gals more and more at our events which is always a good thing! Thanks for coming ladies!

Spring-Is-Here-Bundle-1

Every month the "Mothership" features a new project. Everyone who attends receives a complete kit to make whatever it is she's introducing. I wish I had taken video because when she revealed this month's there was a collective "Awwww...." from within.

This month she was inspired by the fabrics (pictured above) and surprised everyone with not just one project...but two projects from Bunny Hill Designs....perfect for springtime!

March-Breakfast-Club-1
Super cute! If you weren't able to attend, no worries!

Jan did make a handful of kits for purchase here on our website of the Bunny towel.

I receive a lot of requests every month from those of you who live outside of Oregon asking to purchase some of these projects. I am pleased to tell you that I have created a new category for these items on our website here. Keep in mind that our "What's For Breakfast?" Club was created to interact with us and others in-person seeew not every project will be listed.

Nest-Moda-1

I had been wanting to share with you some of the new fabrics due to arrive this Spring! March and April are loaded for arrivals but I only have room to show you two today! I have a feeling there are those who can't wait to get their hands on some of these! Both of these collections have a vintage touch of traditional. Are these not perfect for our Shoppe?

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By the way...do you know whose book would be perfect for some patterns using those two collections? Moda Lissa's! If you haven't heard the news, Lissa Alexander has a new book out and it is fantastic! You can read all about it right here!

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I cannot wait until I get my first quilt completed seeew then I can move onto something a little more "intermediate." LOL. Clearly I'm not afraid!

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Last but not least for today is our upcoming 4th annual S.p.R.u.N.g Workshop with Kathy Cardiff. We love Kathy! Her nature inspired wool designs are awesome! Since she is our only featured designer for this year's event, the project will be bigger than if we have several designers. Seeew...not only do you get a catered, gourmet luncheon and specialty instruction from Kathy, but you also get a complete kit included with your fee!

There is some pre-work to do before the workshop on April 21, seeew we do have a "drop dead" registration deadline of March 31. If you are not local, that is ok as we will mail out the pre-work portion of the kit before the workshop. This is why I say over and over again....to get signed up EARLY. The sooner you register, you're going to love your life! If you can't register until after March 31, send us an email to hollyhillorders@comcast.net but don't wait too long as we do have limited seating.

That's all I have time for today! My other duties call (which are kind of important) seeew thank you for reading! ~ Brian

 


Some Straight Talk Regarding The Importance of Supporting Quilt Shops

 
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In honor of Worldwide Quilting Day, I came across a lot of articles regarding the importance of quilt shops in our communities.

 
If you've noted anything I have said in the past...we cannot have our cake and eat it too. I am passionate about the brick-and-mortar experience and will continue to be, seeew nothing I say should surprise you.  If you're going to get offended at me suggesting the importance of supporting brick-and-mortars (oh yes, there are those that do), then feel free to not follow this blog. If you want to see your favorite quilt shop thrive, if you want to see more fabric arrive, more classes offered, more hours.....then continue. If when following your favorite store on Social Media you ask, "Can I order that from you?" instead of "What's the name of that fabric?" or "Who is the designer of that pattern?"...then welcome aboard!
 
Let's first take a look at some of the benefits of supporting your brick-and-mortar quilt shops....
 
Shop-Local-Image
 
I have always said that if one must shop from an on-line source, make sure that website has a brick and mortar to visit. Your local quilt shops bring much to any community. If you're lucky to get a good one in your area, get behind it! Especially those that like to create experiences!  I'm not saying don't shop from websites (as they do serve a purpose), but supporting a website with a storefront that can be visited, says the owner is willing to invest back into the community. There are many reasons most "on-line only" operations go into business:
 
They don't want the interruptions that come with a brick-and-mortar space.
They don't have to decorate an entire store space with samples.
They don't have to tirelessly clean up messes of fabric thrown around.
They don't have a line in front of them during sales.
They don't have quilters coming in with purchases they made on-line or elsewhere, and expecting help.
 
The list goes on.
 
Every quilter that I have a conversation with says, "I have to see and touch the fabric." That opportunity will continue to dwindle if people do not get behind their shops! Fewer options are never a good thing. "Fabric is so expensive" is another comment I read on blogs and social media in the industry. Actually since we opened in 2005, fabric has only gone up $2-$3 (depending on manufacturer and cotton vs. flannel/batik). That equates to about .23 cents a year. Over 13 years. That's hardly outrageous. Keep in mind that when fabric was $8.99yd people said it was too expensive...and that was back in 2005!
 
So the question is: What price do you want to pay for fabric?
 
Is there ever a price that will make the masses happy?
 
Yes you can get fabric on the internet cheaper. This is not news and I've covered this topic before. Every quilt shop has a sale section in their store and some of us even have sale sections on our websites. In fact....if you receive our daily email here's our current special in the pretty aqua box below! Since we are celebrating our first year in our new location of Charbonneau, all you have to do is enter the code CELEBRATE in the coupon box at check-out. It's valid on regular priced fabric yardage, pre-cuts- and kits of $50 or more until March 29, 2018.
 
 
Here at the Shoppe we offer every day savings with our shopping bag! We have made it so easy that all you have to do is bring your bag with you! I mean??? How much easier can it get?
 
Hollyhill-Shopping-Bag

 
But back to my discussion....
 
The MSRP on fabric is set in place to ensure a healthy profit margin for any shop.
 
Profit is not an evil word but unfortunately the culture in this country today seems to think it is. The under-cutters are doing a disservice to the entire industry which will ultimately devalue the craft. Over time, this will affect you because eventually brick and mortars will say, "enough!"  We've already witnessed this year the announcement that Free Spirit/ Westminster will be ceasing fabric production. Designers, warehouse workers, sales reps, will be out of a job. Hopefully only temporary. The money from fabric sales in your local quilt stores pays for the space for you to walk into, it goes to paying an employee or two (and heaven forbid the owner should get to take home pay after working 80 hours a week), it goes to hosting a website, to paying the credit card fees, payroll taxes, making samples, and bringing in new fabrics seeew that people don't start gossiping, "They don't have as much as they used to." Oh yes, we've heard it all in 13 years. Are you aware a full collection of fabric (42 skus) can cost a couple grand? That's just to bring it in. Stores don't get discounts on the product we bring in, we don't get discounts on shipping, and we don't get discounts on paying employee wages. Could you imagine? "Hey could I discount your paycheck this week?" I don't think that's going to work. LOL.
 
Something to think about as you read this next article referred to as "United We Stand" in the next post.... ~ B
 
World-Wide-Quilting-Day