Fabric and More: Holiday Shopping at Rachel’s Quilt Patch!!!

Those of us who sew and quilt have a real gem in downtown Staunton- Rachel’s Quilt Patch. The shop, located at Staunton Station  is owned and managed by Rachel Brown, with her daughter, Kay Shirey, and pint-size assistant, grandaughter, Emma.

There is never a time when I stop by to visit that I do not find some item  from the latest Moda or Riley Blake fabric line, a much needed notion or a unique brand of quality thread. Not only will you find many bolts of  hand selected fabrics at Rachel’s, but you will love browsing through all of the patterns, books and hand embroidery and quilting supplies, too!

 

Quilts galore, and fabric!

Quilts galore, and fabric!

Rachel Brown, owner

Rachel Brown, owner and quilter.

 

Kay Shirey, perfection quilter!

Kay Shirey, perfection quilter!

 

 

Kay's quilt in progress, Hunter Star

Kay’s quilt in progress, Hunter Star

Make a star quilt yourself!

Make a star quilt yourself!

 

Presencia Perle Cotton Thread served up in glasses!

Presencia Perle Cotton Thread served up in glasses!

Rachel's wool crazy quilt in progress. You must see those beautiful embroidery stitches up close!

Rachel’s wool crazy quilt in progress. You must see those beautiful embroidery stitches up close!

Mini-manager, Emma, 5 years old with her newly minted Holiday ornament!

Mini-manager, Emma, 5 years old with her newly minted Holiday ornament!

Diana, shop helper, AND an extraordinary quilter!!

Diana, shop helper, AND an extraordinary quilter!!

Both Rachel and Kay offer a wide range of individual and small group  quilting and hand embroidery classes. You would be learning from the best for a very small price! You will also receive bonus points and a gift card for when you make a purchase, which is another great incentive for shopping locally when you can.

However, we all have our favorite online shops, too! Do you love Jenny Doan and the Missouri Star Quilt Company as much as I do? Well, you are in for a big dose of Jenny with Rachel and Kay! They have all of Jenny’s BLOCK Books, and templates for several of the patterns in her books. Naturally, I had to buy the late Summer edition since I wanted to make the Happy Chick Pincushion once I saw the sample Kay made for the shop.  The Wacky Web template for another pattern in the book I purchased was an added surprise find!

You will always find a warm welcome and lively conversation mixed in with a great deal of knowledge when you stop by Rachel’s Quilt Patch. Treat yourself to  the wonder of the holiday season early by visiting with Rachel, Kay, and Emma on your next trip in town!

All the best,

Mary

 

The Saturday Zen Review: Building a Creative Business

I am sure many of you as sewers, quilters, and crafters dream of the day when you could spend your time making, creating or teaching what you love while being able to pay the bills and care for family and friends, too. We all read each other’s blogs and cheer one another on when we see a particular blogger’s work sky rocket off the web pages into our own homes through their patterns, fabrics, Etsy shops, studios, workshops and books.

Often, we don’t necessarily see ourselves as being “one of the lucky few.”

The mere thought of actually starting a business, especially for creative people, can be quite overwhelming. Even if we have some business background or supportive business folks in our orbit, creative brains don’t always match up with traditional business models of working. FEAR, FAILURE, STRESS, NO TIME seem to be the key words that keep us from moving forward with our dreams.

If you have ever thought of doing something different in your life, changing what is not working for you and starting a business you can call your own, it is not as difficult as you may think. I would encourage you to explore some new and simple business tools to help you focus your vision and create your dream.

The Right Brain Business Plan 

Jennifer Lee is the author of The Right Brain Business Plan  and Building Your Business the Right Brain Way, available through her site by clicking the header above, and also through AMAZON. She has created an entire program with tools, free and low cost, through her website www.rightbrainbusinessplan.com

Jennifer often offers free video trainings and she is an absolutely delightful mentor and coach. Her next free training (75 minutes, folks!!!) is Tuesday, October 28th at 3 pm Eastern Standard Time (12 Noon, Pacific ST and 8 pm London).

You will LOVE learning this business model and connecting with other creative folks just like you!

The Micro Business Course

Courtney Carver is a writer and the creator of the blog Be More with LessThrough her message of simple solutions for creating the life you want, Courtney has authored several books and developed a great course called The Micro-Business Course, for the grand sum of US$19.99!! To see the outline of the course, please click on the header link above.

If you want to start slow and simple, then this is the model for you! Her strategies  will help you with doable solutions  to jump start your creative focus, develop a concrete plan and connect with a creative community.

These creative thinkers are generous with their time, encouragement and resources. The lack of money should not be a barrier to benefiting from what Jennifer Lee and Courtney Carver offer through their sites and blogs. Any one of us can create the life we dream, whether big or small!

Please share this information with others. If you know someone who may have voiced their dream to you and who may not have access to the internet right now, please suggest they use the public library for the internet. Invite a few friends over and explore the blogosphere together, and share your books!

Let’s help support and make each other’s dreams come true!

All the best,

Mary

A Sew Zen Do and Review!

 

Simplicity Pattern 2372

Simplicity Pattern 2372

Recently, I made a blouse for my daughter-in-law with a cotton fabric that she chose when we went shopping during a visit together. This is not the pattern I intended to use but the fabric and this pattern were just meant to be!

After making a muslin with an indie designer pattern, I decided that I did not like the finishing on any of those blouse features. As a self taught, but older, sewer I do appreciate that many of the young independent designers around today are also self-taught. However, a couple of issues I have noticed with some of the more popular indie patterns is that not all patterns are drafted or drawn equally well, even within a particular line, and not all patterns use sewing terms consistently. I have found terms used like “tuck” when really the pattern should have read more specifically the type of tuck, dart or pleat needed for shaping in that area.

As a retiree who has downsized and gone digital, I really appreciate how many independent designers are using e-patterns for immediate use. However, I have found through trial and error that there is a lot of paper and ink waste, and it is very time consuming to put such a pattern together when making clothing.

All this to say I was deliriously happy to find the Simplicity 2372 pattern in my stash because it is well written with clear language and pattern layout. I cut out a size 12 for View C and made no alterations whatsoever. All of the pieces lined up perfectly and where there are tucks and darts, they were easy to match and mark on the fabric.

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The sleeve has dart details and the front neckline area tucks. I think the details of this pattern would show up very nicely in a solid or less busy print, and even in a stable knit fabric. This is a pull over shirt. It fit smoothly over Kaytee’s head when she put it on and the fit was great all over.

Because there are Center Front and Center Back seams, you can do a lot of redesign with this pattern such as adding a button down front or putting in a zipper or button back opening. I love patterns that do not take much effort in making them versatile after the work we put into getting a balanced proportion and fit. I plan on making all of the items for myself in this pattern since they come together so quickly and the style is simple but versatile. Good job, Simplicity!

I used Pellon 100% Cotton Fusible Interfacing for the neckline facing. It is my new favorite! Love that cotton! With CF and CB seams on a shirt, it is better to press open and flat finish reducing any bulk. With side seams, I press to the back and then top stitch down if I am not using a French seam.

I have returned to the “old style” of finishing lately using mostly cotton and silk threads since serged seams have too much polyester/nylon thread build up irritating my skin. OMG, it’s not just me but apparently skin issues are another new Baby Boomer problem!

BTW, to preserve and reuse my tissue paper pattern, I fuse the entire pattern to Pellon’s Craft Fuse, then trace off the size I need for the project onto medical exam paper. If it is a pattern specifically for me, I cut my size out of the tissue paper pattern , make any alterations with additional  paper, then fuse my altered pattern to the Craft Fuse.

Simplicity and Pellon have come a long way since I began using these products quite a few years ago and they will now become staple products in my sewing supplies. What do you like to use in your sewing?

 

All the best,

Mary