Category Archives: Quilt Shops

Fabric Postcard

Fabric postcard

Fabric postcard – Size is 5 x 8 inches.

Nicole at the Finch Sewing Studio is celebrating the 1 year anniversary of her shop being housed in an old building in the historic business district of Leesburg, VA. I met Nicole through the DC Modern Quilt Guild and I have been an avid supporter of her business.

Photo from July 2014.

Photo from July 2014.

It hasn’t been hard to support her. I have had so much fun taking classes with my sister, my daughter, and my friend Anne at her shop. She always has an interesting and varied selection of modern fabric. She has inspired me to try my hand at sewing clothing that actually fits me.

Last night, knowing that I would see her today (to shop her Anniversary sale!), I made a little fabric card to give her.


How did I do?

I didn’t take any “progress” photos. Basically, I new that I wanted to replicate the front and side of her building. I wanted the front of the building, but also the Finch sign and pretty bay window on the side. I searched on the Finch Facebook page, Instagram, and Google Maps for photos of the shop.

I wanted the card to fit in an envelope that is 5-1/2″ by 8-1/2″ which is a regular sized piece of paper folded in half. I sketched out the design in pencil.

Pencil sketch

Pencil sketch

I realized at this point that the overall design had to be a little smaller than this to fit in the card and for me to do a satin stitch around the edges. I simply reduced this drawing to 85% on my copier and cut out the pieces for the front of house, side of house and roof to use as templates.

Everything sort of fell in place after that. A piece of Pellon Peltex (really stiff interfacing) forms the core of the card. I used Wonder Under to fuse the pieces to the card. I also had to interface the white building pieces to avoid having the blue of the sky or the red of the brick walk show through. Sewing themed fabric was incorporated just for fun. I debated about free motion stitching the “Happy Anniversary” at the top. I knew it would look messy. In the end, though, I decided to go ahead and do it. It is a hand-made card after all!

Happy Anniversary Finch Sewing Studio!



Filed under DC Modern Quilt Guild, Quilt Shops

Felted Wool Pincushion

Wool pincushion

Wool pincushion

Last week I had the opportunity to take a “Beginning Wool” class at the Serendipity Quilt Shop in Dagsboro, Delaware.

Serendipity Quilt Shop

Serendipity Quilt Shop (Photo from their website)

This shop was a real treat to visit and taking a class was just an added bonus. The teacher, Lenny Truitt was so knowledgeable and covered a broad range of topics about using felted wool including dying and embroidery techniques.


Class example (bottom left) and three pincushions made during class.

The best part of the trip was that my friends Anne and Donna also took the class and we got to spend the evening before at Donna’s condo on the beach.

The pattern is called Winter Blossom by American Homestead.

Winter Blossom by American Homestead

Winter Blossom by American Homestead

We have asked Lenny to come and teach a workshop this summer for the NeedleChasers of Chevy Chase quilt guild. We won’t have as much time to sew a pincushion, and so we are considering this smaller project:

Needle holder - Outside

Needle holder – Outside



I can’t wait to do another project using felted wool!




Filed under Quilt Shops, Uncategorized

Maxi Skirt Class at the Finch Sewing Studio

The Finch Sewing Studio is Leesburg, VA

The Finch Sewing Studio in Leesburg, VA

I took the Maxi Skirt Class  with my friend, Anne, and daughter, Megan, at the Finch Sewing Studio a few weeks ago. It was so much fun (as is any class offered there!) Nicole showed us how to draft a custom pattern for our skirts after taking our measurements.

In our new skirts after the class

In our new skirts after the class

We chose cotton knit fabrics from the beautiful selection she carries and got to work. I learned so much about sewing with knits. We used special needles and special pins and a walking foot. Being a quilter, I have not sewn with knits very much at all so it was well worth taking a class to learn all about this and to come away with a fun skirt.


Maxi skirt and my Passport Jacket

I’m going to be able to wear it into fall with my Passport Jacket. The fabric I chose is organic cotton and bamboo and has such a nice feel to it. Megan and Anne picked a lighter cotton fabric and Nicole showed them how to add a lining to theirs. We all learned a lot and had a fun morning together.

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Filed under Garment sewing, Quilt Shops, Uncategorized

Mary’s Quilt Shop and Victoria Findlay Wolfe

Mary's Quilt Shop in Bedford, PA

Mary’s Quilt Shop in Bedford, PA

Last weekend I had the pleasure of traveling from DC to Bedford, PA with 4 other members of the DC Modern Quilt Guild to spend 2 nights in the retreat center of Mary Koval’s Quilt Shop. Mary is an expert on antique quilts and fabrics.

Mary's Quilt Shop

Mary’s Quilt Shop – Photo by Anjeanette Klinder

She works with Windham fabrics to reproduce 18th and 19th century fabrics and that is primarily what she sells in her shop. She is a gracious hostess and made us feel right at home in her fabulous retreat space. We had a room on the ground floor to do our sewing.

Sewing space

Sewing space

A living room and kitchen on the first floor.

Kitchen and dining area

Kitchen and dining area – Photo from Mary’s website

And bedrooms complete with antique quilts on the beds on the second floor.

Bedroom in the retreat space.

Bedroom in the retreat space. Photo by Anjeanette Klinder.

We spent two days working on our own projects. For dinner on both nights we went to a restaurant down the street called the Birds Nest. I’m sure there are other nice restaurants in Bedford, but we were so impressed with the dinner the first night, we decided to go back instead of trying another place.

DCMQG members at the Bird's Nest

DCMQG members at the Bird’s Nest

Sunday afternoon, Mary hosted a lecture and trunk show by Victoria Findlay Wolfe. Victoria is the author of the book 15 Minutes of Play and one of her quilts won the best in show at the Modern Quilt Guild’s first show – Quilt Con.

She did not have that quilt with her for the trunk show as it is currently hanging in Houston, but she did show us some process pictures of making it and this youtube video shows her telling about it.

She did have many, many beautiful quilts to show us. It was a pleasure to see them and to get to know her a little bit.







Mary Koval, Victoria Findlay Wolfe and DCMQG members

Mary Koval, Victoria Findlay Wolfe and DCMQG members

Bedford, Pennsylvania is a quaint little town and Mary’s Quilt Shop and Retreat is a wonderful place for a nice little get away. I highly recommend it if you live in the area or near the area. It was about a two and a half hour drive from where I live in Washington, DC.


Filed under DC Modern Quilt Guild, Quilt Shops

Happy Fourth of July!

Flag quilt top

My flag quilt top

The Fourth of July is a fun holiday for me. I spend it in NH on Lake Winnisquam with my brother and sister and as many of our kids as can come. My brother has 3 grandsons that live nearby and they definitely add to the fun and excitement. This year about 2 weeks prior to traveling I was on a road trip (by bus) with the Needlechasers of Chevy Chase to a quilt shop called Patches in Mt. Airy, MD.

Patches - quilt shop in Mt. Airy, MD

Patches – quilt shop in Mt. Airy, MD (Picture from their website)

There was a quilt laying near the cutting table that was essentially a flag. I really loved how it was pieced together in different shades of red and white and had a star fabric for the blue canton. I immediately wanted to make one and figured, as I often do, how easy it would be to make up fast! So despite the fact that the store staff was busy cutting fabric for our 40 or so members on the trip, I was able to ask if they had the star fabric, and luckily they did.

Needlechasers shopping at Patches

Needlechasers shopping at Patches

Patches flag quilt.

Patches flag quilt.

I took this picture of their quilt because I liked the easy wavy quilting that was done on it. (Are you catching on to what was important to me?) I chose fat quarters and took them home, washed them and cut them into 3″ squares.

On the following weekend, the DC Modern Quilt Guild had a sewing retreat for 3 days. I had a serger there for a different project and decided it might be quicker to use that to sew all these squares together. Since completing it, I’m really not sure that it made ANY difference at all in the time it took, but I did love how tidy the back was when I was done.

Serged back to the quilt

Serged back to the quilt

I got the quilt top done at the retreat but didn’t have any backing fabric so the final backing, quilting and binding was done at home.


Working on the wavy quilting.

Quilting this way with a walking foot was very easy. I used matching thread and did a wavy line on each of the red and white stripes. I did a diagonal straight line through the star fabric.

Diagonal quilting

Diagonal quilting

Finished quilt is 60 x 32.5"

Finished quilt is 60 x 32.5″

I originally thought that this quilt would be a table topper but the size may be a little awkward for that. I think that we will display it off the deck as though it were a flag. Surely no one will get close enough to count the stars. Although the size of the stars look about right for the size of the flag, there are actually 70 stars!

Added later:

I gave the flag quilt to my brother and sister-in-law while cruising Lake Winnisquam in a pontoon (party!) boat from Winnisquam Marine which my brother owns and operates.  It turns out that it’s actually a pretty good quilt for keeping warm.

Sunset on Lake Winnisquam

Sunset on Lake Winnisquam


Filed under DC Modern Quilt Guild, Family, Gifts, NeedleChasers of Chevy Chase, Quilt Shops

Christmas Tree Wall Hanging

I am doing a bunch of Christmas sewing but can’t blog about any of it until I give the gifts! So today I’m showing a wall hanging that I made my sister for Christmas a couple years ago.

Tree Wall Hanging

Tree Wall Hanging

The trees are paper pieced and I made up my own simple pattern. I had fun picking out the green fabrics from the quilt store that is within walking distance of my sister’s house – Sew Inspired in Simsbury CT. This is a wonderful shop about 45 mins away from Hartford.

Free motion quilting

Free motion quilting

My daughter has been asking me to make her a wall hanging with only 3 trees done vertically.  Maybe this Christmas I’ll get that done for her. Maybe!

Here is this one hanging at my sister’s last Christmas.


Addendum – I did make a smaller version for my daughter for Christmas 2012.

Smaller vertical version for my daughter.

Smaller vertical version for my daughter.

Quilting detail and wooden star bead embellishment.

Quilting detail and wooden star bead embellishment.



Filed under Family, Gifts, Quilt Shops

Fabric shopping in Hawaii

I recently had a chance to travel to Hawaii with my husband. While he attended some meetings in Honolulu, I located some quilting stores and went in search of fabric.  The first store I went to was Kaimuki Dry Goods.

Kaimuki Dry Goods
1144 10th Ave.

This store has a HUGE selection of fabrics – many cottons great for quilting, including batiks. The prices were fairly high.

3 or 4 blocks away was another store that I liked a lot:  The Calico Cat.

The Calico Cat
1223 Koko Head Ave.

I wish I had gone here first because they had some of the same Japanese fabrics for a lot less money. This was a smaller store and the woman who runs it was delightful.

A few days later some friends at home recommended a store closer to my hotel which I had to check out called The Fabric Mart.

Fabric Mart
1631 Kalakaua Ave.

It has a HUGE selection of Hawaiian prints and really good prices. They had rolls and rolls of fabric.

Many Hawaiian fabrics

It was kind of overwhelming to me.  They also had Hawaiian quilts for sale.

Hawaiian Quilts hanging at Fabric Mart

After spending some time in Honolulu, we traveled to Maui. I was able to go to the Maui Quilt Shop there.

Maui Quilt Shop
1180 St. Kihei Rd.
Kihei, Maui

This was another shop that was on the small side but full of fun fabrics and 2 delightful sales women. They offer 2 hour classes on Hawaiian quilting (needle turn appliqué).  They have precut kits for this and also sashiko supplies. I bought this fun pincushion there.

Pineapple pincushion from The Maui Quilt Shop

Here are some pix of the fabric I bought at these stores. I cannot wait to start sewing with them. Maybe some bags for Christmas? Or framed coin purses?  Or pillows?

Variety of fabrics


Echino – border print on both edges.

Variety of blue and white/cream fat quarters


“Cheater” fabric

This Japanese fabric (and some of the others that I bought) have all these different prints incorporated in them which would look like intricate patchwork if you stitched around them. That is why I call it “cheater” fabric.

I had a wonderful trip to Hawaii but it is a LONG, LONG way from Washington DC.  It will be a pleasure to sew with these fabrics and remember my trip there.


Filed under Quilt Shops, Uncategorized

Fun in the Wild West!

I traveled to Ennis, MT last week with my husband and daughter.  My husband’s brother and his family were already there and we spent a few days with them . We did a lot of fly fishing.

Max and Maya


Linda and Jim

We fished during the day and we fished at dusk.

Fishing at sunset

It is so beautiful there.

Montana is called “Big Sky” country.  See why?

What did we do when we weren’t hassling the fish?  Fabric and yarn shopping!

Stitches That Bind
Quilt Store in Ennis, MT

You cannot believe all of the fabric and quilting supplies owner, Julie, fits into this shop!  It is well worth a trip to shop here.  Of course she has western themed fabrics, but also a great supply of batiks, modern and traditional fabrics and many, many interesting patterns.

Yarn store in Ennis, MT

The “CR” in CR.eations stands for Christine Rodgers who is the owner.  This is another small shop that has so much goodness packed inside.  Absolutely gorgeous yarns! Lindsey and I bought fabric and spent a day cutting it into pieces for a quilt for her and her new husband.

Ready to start sewing.

Here are the first two blocks of her maple leaf design quilt. All those beautiful batiks!  How do you choose which to put together in each block? It just makes you want to keep on making them. That is a good thing!

I left Montana a few days ago and traveled through Idaho to Wyoming. Please come back in a few days to see those pictures!

I’m not in Kansas the city anymore!


Filed under Family, Quilt Shops

Quilted Threads in Henniker New Hampshire

Quilted Threads – 116 Main St., Henniker NH

I live in Washington DC but my favorite quilt shop is Quilted Threads in Henniker NH.  Whenever I visit family in the area, I shop here.  It is about a 20 minute drive from Interstate 93. Henniker, NH has to be the quaintest New England town ever.  I could have taken pictures of a hundred old farm houses/barns close to this shop. (Maybe next time I will!)

Who would guess that you would find such amazing fabric in this little town?  When you enter the store you are immediately greeted with a whole room of Japanese fabrics.  I was told yesterday that they believe they have the largest selection in the US.  It was hard not to drool, but I have to admit that the prices keep me from stashing too much of this beautiful fabric.  The store was featured in this Spring/Summer 2011 Quilt Sampler magazine.

They pretty much have it all: batiks (although somewhat limited), novelty/kids prints, civil war prints, silks and linens, modern, Australian, Japanese, felted woolens, etc..

Here is a sampling of what I did buy:

Australian fabric and a little Kaufman I thought would go with it.

Echino Train and others

Crabtastic by by Maude Asbury

Zipper fobs and variegated pearl cotton

Zipper fobs and variegated pearl cotton

You can never have too many books!

They do have an online store. I was also told that they are about to become a Bernina dealership.  If you are ever in the area (or within 100 miles), you do NOT want to miss this store!



Filed under Quilt Shops