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!

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.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Classes at The Pine Needle

Local customers know that we offer a variety of classes at The Pine Needle, right?

We love that we can connect talented teachers in the area with our customers and offer fantastic opportunities to learn and grow. We also enjoy the energy that a full classroom brings to the shop. The wide variety of creativity we see makes us proud to be a part of it.

Our foundation is the Sew With classes. These are once a month meetings where students can bring whatever they want to work on and Vicky, Nancy, Pam or Dawn lend their expert guidance. With students signing up session after session, these are also wonderful social gatherings and accountability partners for getting projects done!

We offer many project-based classes or various lengths as well. Recently the Turban Footstool and the Coloring Quilts classes have been super-popular. There's quilt classes too. Pam's Sequoia is gorgeous, and Vicky guides students through myriad variations of Farmer's Daughter quilts. It's always fun to peek into the classroom and see what's being created.

Our current class session is already underway, but there are still a few workshops with openings (call us if you are interested in any of the classes below).

Quick Curve Ruler Follow-Up Class... May 21, June 18, July 23, Aug 20 (10:00am - 1:00pm)
Seeing Stars Class... May 21, June 18, July 23, Aug 20 (1:30 - 4:30)
Sew With Dawn... May 22, June 19, July 17, Aug 21 (12:30 - 3:30pm)
From the Begining... May 23, June 6, June 13, June 20, June 27, July 11 (1:30 - 4:30pm)

Check our website here in a few months to see our new Fall offerings.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Westside Modern Quilt Club April 2016

April's meeting was again a full house. Thank you to all our members who consistently come out for community and inspiration!

Rachel Kerley filled in for Geri this month as our MC -- including a joke she learned from the inimitable Gwen Marsten at a recent workshop in Sisters.

Rachel reflected on last month's field trip to the Portland Art museum and what the Edward Curtis exhibit meant to her. We also discussed the parameters of this year's challenge which are as follows:
• The 2016 WestSide Modern Club Challenge is Modern Heritage and will debut at Northwest Quilting Expo in September 22-24 2016. 
• 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 32x44 or 48x66 and use a minimum of 1/4 yard of the Benartex fabric Sevilla in gold or gold and white (see the photo below).

• It must also have a 4 inch sleeve attached to the back of the quilt for hanging. 
• We also request you enroll with The Pine Needle to participate at the time you receive your fabric  
• The initial due date for the finished piece will be by August 31 at which time we will have the Big Reveal potluck party at Millennium Park in Lake Oswego at 6pm.
Several members also let us know that the Washington State History Museum and Mary Hill have applicable exhibits right now which are a super resource.

Molly O'Dea of the Mid Valley Quilt Guild in Salem is looking for volunteers to help out at the Quilt Walk at the State Fair August 26th through Sept 5th. There are three shifts per day and volunteers get parking. The quilt guild alone cannot fill the need for white glove and desk volunteers and so encourages anyone within a reasonable distance of Salem (or who plan on coming to the Fair anyway) to spend some time supporting our quilting community. Please contact Molly via the Guild's website, or call Kristin at The Pine Needle for Molly's contact info.

Rachel talked a little about social media and how she chooses to use (or not). She uses Pinterest to collect ideas and inspiration such as the board of triangle patchwork she recently created in preparation for her workshop with Gwen. Facebook and Instagram are great for connecting with people who have similar interests, but can also create dissatisfaction when we make too many comparisons of other people's work to our own. Right now Rachel is concentrating on making connections in real life -- through workshops and local groups. This segued well into my talk about my experience as a member of an online group of quilters that became a real life group of friends.

This month's guest speaker was me, Kristin La Flamme. I brought selected artwork from Twelve by Twelve: The International Art Quilt Challenge, and spoke about how our group formed, how we managed it, and what we accomplished. While we eventually exhibited our work internationally and wrote a book about our experience working together, our group had pretty humble beginnings with the only goal being to challenge ourselves artistically. The model of a small group of like minded people with an attainable goal is achievable both online and in real-life. Consider forming a group (perhaps here at The Pine Needle) to try some "No-Rules Patchwork," or slow (hand) stitching. Or maybe look online to form a geographically diverse group. What worked well for Twelve by Twelve was to have a public space (our blog) to share our work and a private space (Yahoo in our case, but a private Facebook page could also work) to negotiate the details and boring stuff. Think about a small group as a way to create community and make connections.

Show and Tell:

Karen Y shared an experimental little piece inspired by Rachel's talk in February!

Elisa shared two older quilts which she had recently finished. The first was her own, started by hand in 1995 and the second was an estate sale find which she brought back to life.

Deslee W told us about her first quilt -- a log cabin made with 1" strips which she hated. Then she shared her most recent finish, a log cabin made with only one block and much wider strips, which she loves! (BTW, it's our Tahoe pattern).

Carol showed off her Fancy Foxes made with Kaffe Fasset fabrics --wow!

Susan B's quilt started as free cut ovoids and soon developed a personality of it's own Even it's back decided to become a front and now she's got two stunning quilts.

Deb S shared a graphic quilt of her own design inspired by photos of bridges in Jefferson.

Sharon shared two quilts made for her neices in their favorite colors.

Janet M shared her 30s fabric quilt which had been languishing. Yay for finishes!

And Carol brought her One Block Wonder quilt which she repurposed and used to test her longarm quilting.

Thank you to everyone who brought your quilts to share -- it is always inspiring.

See you next month.