Thursday, July 7, 2016

Westside Modern Quilt Club June 2016

Our June meeting was filled with inspiration and food for thought. 

First off, Geri caught us up on details for the Tribal Winds challenge. Hopefully everyone wishing to participate is already well on their way creating their quilts! 
• The 2016 Challenge will debut at Northwest Quilting Expo in September 22-24, 2016. Please print out the entry form from the NQE website (the link is on this page) and bring it, filled out, with your quilt to our reveal party. Write in Westside Modern Quilt Club in the Special Exhibits box. The $20 entry fee is waived for our Challenge quilts. 
• Our reveal party pot luck will be at 6:00 on August 31st at Millennium Park in Lake Oswego. If your last name starts with A-L, please bring a main dish; if your name starts with M-S, please bring a salad of some sort; and if your last name starts with T-Z you may bring dessert.
• The challenge is open to anyone wishing to honor the heritage of the Northwest Native Americans in a Modern Quilt format (please avoid decidedly pictorial solutions). 
• Your piece must measure either 32"x 44" or 48"x 66" and use some amount of the Benartex fabric Sevilla in gold or gold and white. 
• It must also have a 4 inch sleeve attached to the back of the quilt for hanging, and must be bound or otherwise finished (facing, satin stitch, etc.).

As always, Show and Tell was fun!

Cathy brought her Floribunda fabric quilt. She created a design which used fat quarters as efficiently as possible. She still had a few leftover bits, so she incorporated them into a simpler, graphic, back, which she's decided she likes better, so it is now the front!

Kathy E brought a vintage hexagon quilt she recently purchased. She's thinking it's great inspiration for a more Modern version. The crafts(wo)manship was gorgeous.

Pat's been using up her stash fabrics. She brought a striking wall hanging made of neutral colored triangles, and a contemporary interpretation of a log cabin in a very Modern green, orange and grey scheme.

Deslie showed off her Fish Fish Fish quilt which features a lively, you guessed it, fish print batik.

Grace brought her shashiko placemats and gorgeously stitched "hexie" quilt, plus a fun bright quilt with a relatively simple design but great impact.

Jane showed two very different quilts, one with batiks and one a nearly whole cloth quilt made from a vintage tablecloth and osnaburg fabric. She did gorgeous long-arm quilting on both.

Susan brought her little sketch quilt from a Jean Wells Intuitive Piecing class, plus two more even tinier ones made from the leftovers. These little compositional studies are like potato chips -- you can't make just one!

Linda D brought the big color wheel quilt she made with a Tula Pink pattern, and her newest Billie Bag adorned with graphic crows.

Robin brought flower quilts! One was a brightly colored quilt from a Weeks Ringle pattern, which Robin quilted as if she were a bee flitting from flower to flower. It's full of charming loops and meanderings. The next is a big sunflower which she created using a Pine Needle kit purchased when she was just learning to quilt. The last was a lovely blue, white, and yellow quilt featuring flower baskets which Robin embroidered masterfully.

Geri showed off some of the new fabrics in the shop -- like a Marcia Derse alphabet panel, House of Hoppington by Portland's own Violet Craft, and especially our new batch of Australian fabrics which we've paired with the Me+You modern batiks to great effect. 

Our guest speaker was Judy Livingston, a pattern designer and former buyer with Maywood Studio and EE Schenk distributors. She gave us an insider's look at what a fabric company looks for when designing fabric lines, and what a buyer keeps in mind when purchasing for a distributor (plus Geri got to chime in from a quilt store's point of view). She talked about new colors for old designs, creating designs from artwork, the batik process, and the difference between batik, silkscreen, and digital prints. I don't think many of us realized how long the process can be, and how many choices have to be made along the way. By the time the fabric reaches your local shop, it has been carefully tailored to that shop's needs. One of Judy's favorite projects was working with Maywood's Japanese-inspired line of taupe fabrics. To celebrate the 10th year of the line, she designed a beautiful quilt using all the fabrics produced for the collection over the ten year period. 

Judy also spoke about inspiration and creativity. She gave us tips for cultivating creativity by simply finding ways to relax and percolate. Learning whether you find thinking about a creative project relaxing and can drift off to sleep letting your subconscious work at it, or find it invigorating and can use the quiet time before getting up perfect for planning an approach to a project, can help us better tap into our creative selves. As a pattern designer, Judy finds inspiration in many things. She likes to look outside of the quilt world, and often looks to nature for interesting color palettes. She showed a "dresser scarf" she made with repurposed pieces of an appliqu├ęd vest -- which was a pretty creative use of fabrics she liked...

but that project then went on to inspire a new pattern design based on colors and Broderie perse flowers.

As always, the meeting was informative and inspirational. We look forward to next month's meeting the last Wednesday in July.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Row by Row 2016

The Row by Row experience has started and shop hoppers are already stopping in to add our row to their adventure. This year's theme is Home Sweet Home, so we created a charming neighborhood of colorful homes on a lake -- our lake. Welcome to Lake Oswego!

Come on in and see our latest fabrics, Pick up your Row by Row pattern, and purchase our kit to get started right away. Post your Row by Row experience on Facebook and be sure to give #the_pine_needle a big shout out!

Monday, June 13, 2016

What We're Doing for Summer Vacation

What are you doing for your summer vacation (or stay-cation)? If your plans include a shop hop or two, we hope you add us to your must-see list. This year we are participating in two events.

The first is the Sunshine and Stitches Shop Hop. This Pacific Northwest Shop Hop begins June 18th and goes through July 2nd. Pick up your free passport at any participating shop now and plan your route! When the Hop starts, passport holders will receive a free pattern and fabric to complete a 6" quilt block. Check out the Sunshine and Stitches website for prize information and all the Shop Hop details. 

In addition to our free Friendship Star block kit, we've designed a fun patriotic pillow pattern and kit, which features our block, for purchase. It's perfect for your summer decor!

Congratulations to our in-store drawing winner Christine Arredondo!

The second event we're participating in is the Row by Row Experience. This international shop hop that's not a shop hop begins June 21st and goes through September 6th (you have until October 31st to bring your completed quilt to a participating shop for potential prizes). Simply visit any of the participating shops and receive a free pattern for a row in a quilt. Combine your rows in any way to create a unique quilt that represents the fun you had traveling throughout the summer. Meet up with friends, discover new quilt shops, and have fun collecting rows! Check out the Row by Row website for prize information and all the pertinent  details. We've got a charming pieced row planned which we'll debut closer to the kick-off date. In the mean time, check out our Row by Row license plate and our free Market Bag tote with qualifying fabric purchase (it's a great way to show off the exclusive Row by Row fabrics).

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Westside Modern Quilt Club May 2016

May's Westside Modern Quilt Club meeting kicked off with a full house and a funny palindrome joke from Geri, and continued in good spirits from there. 
• The Sunshine and Stitches Shop Hop starts on June 18th. The Pine Needle is participating this year with a simple Friendship Star as our free block, and a patriotic, summery, Stars and Stripes pillow as our project in which to use your stars. Come in and get your Hop passport any time.
• The Row by Row experience will start June 21st and we have a charming row designed for participants. Geri will show it off at our next meeting.
• The State Fair still needs volunteers for the Quilt Walk. Your 4 hour volunteer shift gets you free entrance to the fair and free parking -- a perfect way to enjoy the fair, help the community, and save a little money (so you can spend it on funnel cakes!). Call us for contact information.
• The Pine Needle is also working on a special event with a Quiltlebrity in September -- stay tuned for more details.

Tribal Winds is the final name for our annual challenge. • The 2016 Challenge will debut at Northwest Quilting Expo in September 22-24, 2016. Our reveal party pot luck will be at 6:00 on August 31st at Millennium Park in Lake Oswego.• The challenge is open to anyone wishing to honor the heritage of the Northwest Native Americans in a Modern Quilt format (please avoid decidedly pictorial solutions). • Your piece must measure either 32"x 44" or 48"x 66" and use some amount of the Benartex fabric Sevilla in gold or gold and white. Hopefully everyone wishing to participate is already well on their way creating their quilts!• It must also have a 4 inch sleeve attached to the back of the quilt for hanging. 

Focus on Native American culture seems to be heightened right now, as the Portland Art Museum just had their Edward Curtis exhibit, and are now preparing an exhibit of fashions by Native American designers (more textiles -- yay!). The Lake Oswego Library's summer read is also about Edward Curtis and his work with Native tribes. We are lucky enough that Carol Langer, a quilter and friend of The Pine Needle brought several items from her family's collection. Apparently her husband's cousin was a rural mail carrier who's route included the Rosebud Indian Reservation, where he was friendly with the inhabitants and collected many beautiful pieces. Carol brought us a buckskin dress from the Winnebago Tribe, a child's vest decorated with porcupine quills, several decorative pairs of shoes, a small Lone Star quilt, and a beaded and fringed purse. Most items were from the 20s or 30s, with the purse dating to 1870. Thank you Carol for sharing these beautiful items!

Show and Tell:

Robin shared Paris themed placemats (sorry, the photo was horrible, but the placemats were lovely!).

Kathy W shared a quilt she started in Pam's Studio 429 class. The idea was to choose a shape and then play with changing it's size, proportions, etc. Kathy chose a hexagon and made this striking quilt:

Carol W Shared this graphic and bold graduation gift she made for a niece who loves lime green.

Sue B brought the wedding quilt she's working on for her son. He requested something simple with blue and yellow. We think her solution is gorgeous.

Jan brought her twilight colored Sequoia quilt which she made as Pam was developing the pattern. It was quilted by Nancy Stoval and is a real stunner.

Deslee shared a quilt she made from a poppy fabric that she loved. She used up every last bit of the fabric in this quilt and a matching bag.

Virginia Hammond was our presenter for the evening. She is writing a book about the US money system and has chosen to illustrate it with quilts! She focused on one of those quilts for her presentation. It will be titled "Wheels of Commerce" and is based on the La Passacaglia quilt from the book Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein.

Virginia talked about her techniques and favorite resources for making this labor-intensive, hand pieced, quilt. She basically blew all our minds with her fussy cutting and fabulous (and often humorous) fabric choices. Below, she is showing how choosing just the right bits for the fussy cutting makes swiss cheese out of her yardage.

Here's a close-up of one of the wheels, highlighting the carefully chosen motifs in each shape that makes up the larger "block."

Hopefully Virginia's entire collection of money quilts will be able to travel to various venues and be seen as a show as well as illustrations for her book. Good luck Virginia! We look forward to seeing this completed quilt and to seeing what will undoubtedly be a spectacular show.

Thank you to everyone who joined us in May. We look forward to seeing you all in June.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Did You Know?

We keep ordering these Australian fabrics from M&S textiles and they keep flying out the door, so we know they are hitting a chord with our customers. They definitely have rich colors and appeal to a wide audience, but did you know that they are not just pretty pictures? Each fabric is based on designs from Australian Aboriginal artists and each one has it's own story.

Come in to the shop and read about the meaning of each design. Some include native plants or animals, some have spiritual meaning, and some represent such geographic locales as sand dunes or salt plains. Each story is intriguing and unique and provides an extra layer of interest to your quilts and other projects.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

We're Inspired by: Black and White

It's bold. It's graphic, it goes with everything!

Like the little black dress that's a must in so many women's wardrobes, black and white fabric is a classic mixer for anyone's fabric stash.

Whether it's playful typography, low volume shirting prints, or simple scattered designs on black, there's a black and white fabric you'll fall for.

This digital print of a stunning cityscape sold out within a few weeks. We can't wait to see the projects our customers start making with it.