feeling inspired

I've been sketching ideas for Make-a-long #2 and I've decided on a theme, farm. Not a hokey Old McDonalds farm but a cool simple farm… think Scandinavian, Shaker, Amish, that sort of vibe. Yesterday I headed over to my local quilt shop, The Quilt Merchant, for some supplies and inspiration. I love that this store is so close to me. It's a gorgeous shop. When I first moved here I was so excited to discover there was a quilt shop 5 minutes from my house! Then I was a little disappointed that it's not the hip and trendy sort of shop with all the latest designer prints but I soon realized why the The Quilt Merchant is such a treasure. It has a very specific focus that they do beautifully — reproduction prints, traditional quilts, wool, needlepoint kits that I'm determined to do one of these days (I think maybe this). The shop is styled so well, all decked out with antique desks stuffed with wool and finished quilts laying on beds. It's like being in a warm cozy home which is so funny because the shop is in the middle of the ugliest strip mall ever. (But it is a strip mall full of treasures, a great bike shop, delicious pizza, great greasy burger joint. I've learned to never dismiss a strip mall.)

I never walk out empty handed. I have a new stack of options for the toys' outfits I have sketched and a great orange wool for my duck's beak.

Also! I discovered the coolest thing. This quilt was hanging on the wall (and I'm kicking myself that I didn't catch the designer/pattern info. I'll get it next time — here it is! Crab-apple Hill's Over The River and Through the Woods) and I was so intrigued by the embroidery. It's so crisp and thin and I couldn't figure it out. The gal working said it was done in a backstitch or stemstitch with 12 wt. Sulky thread. That's why it's so thin, because it's not floss. I love this! And I love how the words look. I'm going to play around with it and maybe see if I can some up with something for the Make-a-long 2 story using Sulky. I'm not sure it'll jive with my style but I'm excited to give it a whirl.

And thanks Quilt Merchant gal for letting me take photos. Of course! she said when I asked. I was so glad I had my camera. I love it when places let you take photos. Makes up for all the cranky no-photo policies you run into everywhere.

23 thoughts on “feeling inspired

  1. jess says:

    Can I even express how excited I am about make-along #2? I don’t think there are words.
    And a farm? Whoa.
    Sorry to go all fan-girl, but I am quite excited.

  2. jenny says:

    I saw a version of that quilt while shopping with my mom, and I figured it had to be machine embroidered. but no, Mom was right to call embroidery – again it was just a thinner thread (an embroidery thread that came in a little ball-spool, don’t remember the name). a neat effect; it makes it feel hand-drawn.

  3. Leila says:

    Ack! I LOVE (L-O-V-E) Blackbird Designs! They are the NICEST ladies and make the best patterns. I hope you do decide to do that one and post it here. I’ve not really seen much of it DONE, just a lot of patterns to buy (and, of course, all of the ones I’ve done!) With all of the hand-dyed-ness they use, there’s a lot of room for variation!

  4. Jan says:

    I love the Quilt Merchant! Everyone there is so friendly and helpful. Did you know there’s a wonderful farmers’ market each week in that lot? I stumbled upon it when I was there Wednesday.

  5. Jennifer says:

    So that is the quilt shop you have been telling me about. Sounds like I place I would love. You are so right about a store having a different look from what you think you might want, but it fills its niche so beautifully that almost anyone could be swayed to consider new possibilities. The embroidery is fantastic. My mother loves redwork and blackwork quilts.

  6. Tiffany Harvey says:

    I don’t know, I can understand the no-photo policy at a lot of places. My mother in law worked at a little shop where they sold all kind of work from local artists. People would come in there and just walk around snapping photos of everything so they could try to make it themselves. And you know some of those people are doing it so they can try to copy & sell the items. People will do it at craft fairs too, showing up the next year with a booth of their copies. It’s so sad.

  7. Lisa says:

    I am so excited because I am due with a girl in 2 weeks and her room theme is exactly this – simple farm-ish but not the usual farm nursery at all. Thanks & can’t wait to see what you come up with!!

  8. annbates29@gmail.com says:

    Aurifil makes at 12wt thread too- their Lana Wool Thread will lend itself well to a more “modern primative look” let me know if you need some!

  9. Wendy Hainey says:

    I bought that quilt pattern hoping to make it up for my mother on her 70th birthday. That gives me about 5 years. What are the chances I’ll leave it til the last minute? Very good.

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