Friday, July 29, 2016

Do You Know What These Are?

Both Elizabeth and Sue have a collection of these - do you know what they are?
In fact, Elizabeth started her collection first, and then got Sue started on collecting them as well.  For years we've been seeking them out in antique shops and at quilt shows.  They are getting a little more scarce, but are still out there waiting to be discovered.  They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, are made from different materials, and decorated in a variety of ways.
They can be ornate, with silver handles, or painted cheerful colors.
Some are blown glass, still others are molded plastic.
They can be decorated in a folk art style with flowers as above, or faces as below.
Have you figured it out?  Here's a big hint.
If you can read the advertising on the mushroom shaped one above, they are sock darners!  A relic of the past to be sure (we don't know many, or any, who darn socks any more), but its fascinating to see all the various shapes and designs for such an ordinary household object.

As we asked in the last post, what do you collect?  Tell us in the comments, or send us a picture if you'd like to share.  We look forward to seeing your collections!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What Do You Collect?

Most of us who are sewers/crafters/makers, are collectors - collectors of fabric, notions, tools, books, you name it.  There are a multitude of items related to our hobbies that we collect because we might need it "someday".  Just take a look at any of our studios and the evidence is overwhelming.  But are there other things you collect that are not part of the creative process?  Things you collect because you like them or enjoy them or find them interesting?  Sue and Elizabeth both have collections related to sewing, and would not be surprised if many of you do as well.

Back in the 1970's, when Sue was collecting antiques and canvassing flea markets,  she started collecting toy sewing machines.  Back then, the prices were reasonable.  These days, the few that still turn up at quilt shows and antique dealers are much higher, so that collection has probably reached its limit.
Some are manufactured in Germany by Casige pre-World War II; some are post WWII made in the British zone.
Above are some Singer models.  Interesting that these don't say where they're manufactured.
This group includes more by Casige as well as 2 made by F. W. Muller in Germany, pre-WWII.  The red one in the photo above is Sue's favorite.
The pink and blue machines above are by KAYanEE and made post WWII in the US zone of Berlin.  The red one is by Gateway of  Chicago, Illinois, post WWII.

More on our other collections in the next post.  What do YOU collect?  We'd love to see your collections!  If you'd like to email a picture and a brief description, we'd be happy to share it here on the blog.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Quilting Corner in Tilton, New Hampshire

Two years ago, Sue, Elizabeth and Barbara went to this shop on one of their Row By Row road trips. We blogged about it here
This year, after picking up her sister Becky at the airport in Manchester, Elizabeth convinced her to delay getting to the lake a few more minutes to make a stop in Tilton, New Hampshire at The Quilting Corner.  This shop is in a renovated textile mill of which there are so many sprinkled along the rivers in New England. 

At one time they certainly fueled the economy of these states and led to the acceptance of women working outside the home.  This particular mill made the first continuous woven drive belt and employed many women workers.
This shop has many samples and is clear and uncluttered with plenty of fabric and notion choices for any quilter.  She also offers classes in June and August but not in July.  Perhaps one year, we can take a class?
Their row includes three little turtles crawling through the grass taking their “home sweet home” along with them.  The kit comes with the turtle and grass shapes die cut and the fusible web already attached.  This row should go together quickly.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Bald Eagles

For many summers Elizabeth and Sue have held our own creative quilt camp in New Hampshire on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee.  This year we are not able to get together for our creative endeavors but thought we would still bring you a little taste of New Hampshire as we know many of you who follow us enjoy our quilt camp virtually.  

Nothing is quite as spectacular as seeing an endangered species return to the wild in large enough numbers to actually get to see them in person.  Bald Eagles have been making a comeback in the USA since they went under federal protection in 1940. 
New Hampshire has approximately 90 bald eagles as of a bird count in January of 2015. As Elizabeth and her neighbors were standing out in the lake cooling off on the 4th of July, two eagles landed on the shoreline.  One was a juvenile - identified by the mottled coloring of the feathers and the not yet white head and tail.  The other was a mature bird with all the plumage that makes us know with certainty that we are looking at the national symbol, the bald eagle.  We hope you enjoy these photos below which were taken by our neighbors, Joan and Neil Funcke.  (Photos above, PGFiber2Art)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Screens @ Early Times Workshop

Our friend, Marty Moon of Culpeper VA, is proprietor of Early Times Workshop, a quilting supply vendor who vends and teaches at several Original Sewing and Quilt Expos and other shows along the East coast. We first became acquainted with Marty through the Virginia Consortium of Quilters.  If you are making the summer quilt show circuit, you will find her this month at Quilt Odyssey at the Hershey PA Lodge & Convention Center from July 21-24.

Marty will be carrying a selected group of our Thermofax screens, including circles, squares, tree bark, ginkgo leaves, butterfly and sunflower to name just a few.
Some of the designs she selected are not available in our Etsy shop, so here's an opportunity to purchase some you may not have seen before.  Of course, you can always contact us at pgfiber2art at gmail dot com if you would like a copy of our complete catalog.
She will also have this sample "book" so customers can see what the images look like when printed on fabric.

We hope you are enjoying your summer and finding it filled with creative opportunities!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Perfect 10

A few weeks ago, Sue posted about the postcard swap she participates in, and the current swap that was going on.  At that point, 4 cards had been received.  Sue was still in the process of creating her cards.  The first idea that popped into her head on the "Perfect 10" theme was incorporating ten toes - toes in the sand, to be exact - so she decided to go with that.  The sand part was simple - selecting fabrics and free-form cutting to layer on the foundation of the card. 
Above are the fabric choices, card background below.
Each one was layered a little bit differently.  The foundation Sue uses is Peltex that is fusible on both sides, so these were first fused in place and then machine stitched along the raw edges.  The next part was creating and adding the toes.
She took a picture of her feet and after removing the background in Photoshop, applied a film grain filter to get the "sand" effect.  Then the image was printed on photo transfer fabric sheets.
After applying Mistyfuse to the back, they were individually cut out to apply to each card.
After the toes were fused on, Sue free-motion stitched around the edges.  Here's a finished card...
And the group of six that were mailed.
This was a fun, and fairly quick, card to create!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

UFO Busting for June

June has been another slow month for studio time.  At the beginning of the month, Sue took a class with Susan Carlson in which she started a fabric collage spiral that she blogged about here. There has been a bit of progress adding the turquoise, this is where it stands now.  So it is an addition to the "projects started" but not finished.
The other project (a start and finish) was Sue's postcard for the swap that was shared here.  The theme was "Perfect 10", since we've been swapping cards for 10 years!  Sue's take on the theme was 10 toes in the sand - a perfect way to spend a summer day.  This was a fun card to make.
So the stats for June are:
Starting UFO count: 11
New projects started this month: 2
Projects finished this month: 1
UFO count at end of month:12

The UFO count seems to be steadily creeping up.  It's supposed to got the other direction!  Oh well - here's to a more productive July!  Go to Vicki Welsh's blog - Colorways by Vicki Welsh (note new website/blog address) - to see what other participants have reported for the month of June.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Rowing in New Hampshire

On the opposite side of Lake Winnipesaukee from where Sue and Elizabeth hold their annual quilt camp is The Weirs, a popular resort town, where you can find The Quilted Frog. 
This is the third year Elizabeth has been able to visit The Quilted Frog for their row.  A very patriotic row this year, it includes two pieced blocks on the end of the row with an applique and embroidered firework/Lady Liberty theme in the center.
This shop is small, neat and clean with a nice selection of patterns and fabric. 
Don’t miss a trip to the bathroom which is all decked out for the Irish and the lucky, complete with a 3-D leprechaun.

Closer to the lake house is Keepsake Quilting in Center Harbor, famous for their on-line catalog and a large selection at their store. 
The row there features birdhouses, one even in the shape of New Hampshire with Lake Winnipesaukee as the entrance hole.  Very clever!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

New England Fabrics

Leaving Shelburne Falls there was enough time for one more stop after traveling into Vermont for a short distance before turning east to cross the Connecticut River and enter New Hampshire.  Elizabeth picked New England Fabrics in Keene for the last stop of the day before heading to the lake house.
New England Fabrics and Decorating Center is truly an all-inclusive fabric store,  much like many of the independent fabric stores that used to exist in the USA.
This store carries all types of fabrics including a quilting fabric department but also yarn, upholstery fabric, garment fabrics, fleece, velvets, and bridal.  They also have lovely bridal laces and plenty of notions.  It is nirvana for the fabric aficionado.
Their row features
 the iconic New England Moose. Click on the photo below to enlarge it so you can better see the moose in the dark night sky.
After this stop, it was on to Lake Winnipesaukee.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Bridge of Flowers

After visiting A Notion to Quilt, Elizabeth decided she had time to go to Shelburne Falls to see The Bridge of Flowers, which had been the focus of rows from 2014 and 2015 by A Notion to Quilt.   Hearing and reading about it made it sound intriguing and she did not want to pass on the chance to see it herself. 
After a short drive from the shop, she was in the town of Shelburne Falls, MA, a typical small New England riverside town with many shops and cafes and little tucked in places of interest. 
Unfortunately, she was there on a Tuesday, which was a day that many of the art oriented stores were closed.  Maybe it was a good thing as she may not have been able to leave early enough to arrive at Lake Winnipesaukee before dark if she had so many great stores to visit.
On-street parking was available along the main street and the bridge was a short walk.  Crossing over the truss bridge you have a good view of the older trolley bridge, built in 1908 and abandoned in 1928 when the trolley stopped running.
In 1929 planting the bridge with flowers became a project of the Shelburne Falls Woman’s Club and has continued ever since.  You see lots of greenery from the truss bridge and have to actually get on the Bridge of Flowers to see that the well-loved and tended spot has plenty of color. 
A head gardener and assistants keep it in continuous bloom throughout the seasons.

Also of interest in Shelburne Falls are some glacial pot holes which are easily viewed where the falls have been rerouted and are a short 2 block walk from the bridge.

Also of interest is this notice of a Native American Fishing Treaty that preserves peaceful hunting and fishing within one days journey of the site.