Monday, March 30, 2020

COVID-19

Is anyone else getting tired of hearing those words? I have heard them way too often in the past month, but it seems like it could be around for awhile yet, and I need to do one more post here with the latest that it means for our shop, and what we are doing in spite of it all. It sure has led to a lot of disturbances in our house, my boys are doing school from home, my husband it still able to go to work, but has everything set up to work at home just in case. On the plus side having to stay home all the time means I get a lot of quilting done!
As of Friday afternoon we are unable to allow customers into the shop. However we are allowed to keep our online shop open, and we can ship items as well as do curbside pickup.
For curbside pickup you just shop online as normal and choose curbside pickup at checkout. When your order is packaged you the status on our order will change to "ready for pickup" which means you can drive out to our shop to get it. The hours you can come pick up your package are 1pm-4pm Monday-Friday. Call the shop when you arrive and we will place it outside for you to grab once we are behind closed doors again.
Today we ran a sale on Fat Quarter Bundles and Layer Cakes through Facebook and it was a huge success. Nearly all the items were sold within half an hour. Since the first post about the sale said it was a two day event, we have decided to add more items tomorrow morning.
For those of you not on Facebook we will be doing some specials through the online store at some point too.
Because we were told to close the doors to customers, this also means we have to cancel our classes for now.
We are going to try do some virtual classes and will start filming videos for those later this week.
We had posted that we would do them over Facebook Live, but instead we will be doing it on a more private platform. You will have to join the class on our website and than you will be emailed a link that you can click on to view the video. 
We will still do some ruler demos and fabric reveals through Facebook live so follow our page to see those.
I will also continue to post here twice a week.
I hope all of you are staying healthy and not going totally crazy with all the changes happening right now. Have a good week!
Kayla

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Designer Spotlight: Mister Domestic and Katarina Rocella

Happy Thursday! Our family is settling into a new routine, that involves a lot less driving and a lot more time at home. As a family we are finding new things to be thankful for each day in spite of what is happening with Covid-19.
Some of our top ones are:
 a really large yard with a paved area for hockey and biking and warmer weather
technology that allows for easy student, teacher communication as well as the ability to work from home
smart kids that need little assistance in their schoolwork
Cincinatti Home Safari you tube videos
our reno we did over Christmas that involved making a designated computer area in the dining room
and I am especially thankful for how quilting provides me a quiet escape from the noise of 4 boys at home
Are you finding ways to stay positive in this weird time?
We are nearing the end of our Art Gallery Month, and I have had so much fun sharing a new collection on Social Media each day, who knew we had so many different ones in the shop?!?! To Be honest I knew we had a lot, but I didn't realize we had over 25 different collections on display, nevermind a couple that are in the vault because they are out of season.

I have a couple more designers to share with you today.
Matthew Bordeaux better known as Mister Domestic, he started out in Houston, Texas, and has since lived in various places across the USA and currently resides in the state of Washington. Mister Domestic got into sewing and quilting when he had his daughter and wanted to make her fun clothing. Aside from quilting he also features a lot of crochet fun on his blog which you can find here.  He is also very active on Social Media so be sure to follow him on Facebook and Instagram for some added humor and inspiration to your day.
He is not afraid to try out new things in the way he puts colors and patterns in his collections, and so far they always turn out great. Each one also has a special meaning it behind it, Aura was inspired by a vacation he took with his daughter, Catch and Release by the place he goes with his family to relax and enjoy nature, and Playroom started out in his daughter's playroom.
Playroom is the latest collection and you can check out the Lookbook here. It was designed specifically with children in mind and the prints and colors definitely portray that.




I also want to share with you Katarina Rocella. We carry a number of her collections too. Katarina grew up in Serbia and currently lives there with her husband and three kids. She grew up in a very artistic family, her father is a painter and her mother a ceramic pottery artist, so following in the artistic field came naturally.
She has a Masters degree from the Faculty of Applied Arts and is working on her PhD in applied arts and design. Katarina has explored many different creative outlets including graphic design, calligraphy, painting and sewing.
Her inspirations come from everything, but she loves taking photos from things that move her, whether in shape, texture and color and working from there. Earthen and Floralish are her latest collections. Earthen feels a lot more wintery with the cool colors and textures, while Floralish is inspired by a bright summer day. Check out the lookbooks below.
Earthen Lookbook
Floralish Lookbook 


I hope you have enjoyed meeting some of the different Fabric Designers that Art Gallery has working for them.
Kayla

Monday, March 23, 2020

Follow Your Heart: Snowbirds

Welcome to another week of Follow Your Heart. This week we are making the Snowbirds block which we can find on page 31 of your pattern book.
This block again uses the 45 and 90 degree ruler to cut triangles. If you do not have on of these I will give you some measurements to cut them from squares.
From your brights cut the strip and the first square as suggested. Than cut 2 -- 3 1/2 inch squares and cut diagonally once to get 2 triangles from each square for a total of 4. Cut one more square this time 3 3/4 inches and cut it diagonally twice to get 4 quarter squares triangles (2 from each square will be extra) If you have the 45 and 90 degree rulers you can cut the brights as instructed in the pattern. The whites and darks can be cut as instructed in the pattern.
I suggest making one block first and than making the remaining blocks.
Follow the instructions for the piecing. While I was putting my block together I totally missed step C and made all 8 of mine the same. I didn't realize until I was finished the block and at that point decided I liked my block just fine the way it was and didn't bother changing it. To trim each block to the correct size, trim down the top edge first to make sure you have a nice 1/4" seam allowance than trim the bottom and side edges. Add your borders and this Snowbird Block is complete.
After this we only have two blocks left to make, I know I am getting super excited to assemble this quilt, how about you?
Have a great week!
Kayla

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Designer Spotlight: Pat Bravo and Bonnie Christine

Happy Thursday! My boys and I have spent the week hanging out at home. We cleaned and organized all the toy bins, brought the current ones to the basement play room and put other ones in storage so we can do a toy rotation later on. Hopefully this will keep down some of the clutter in the next few weeks here. The basement is also where my sewing area is, so while they play, I can get some sewing in, and I must say I have gotten a lot accomplished this week, a couple tops pieced, another couple quilted, and the binding on one is nearly finished. Are you staying in and doing any extra sewing?
Today I want to share with you a little more about two more Art Gallery Designers, Pat Bravo and Bonnie Christine.
Pat Bravo and her husband Walter are the founders of Art Gallery which was started back in 2004.
Pat grew up in Argentina and started sewing at the age of 9, went to sewing school at the age of 13 in Buenos Aries. When the time for college came upon her she attended law school for a short while, but after learning that was not for her she switched to painting classes. It was around then that she met Walter. In 1989 she moved to the USA, where the change in culture was quite a shock for her and very draining. Walter bought her a sewing machine, and in her words she "came back to life" she fell in love with quilting, and soon began to paint fabrics to create the designs and colors she was wanting. Other quilters loved her designs, and not too long after that Art Gallery Fabrics was founded. Her and Walter have such a passion for fabrics and their company, and it definitely shows in the colors, designs and quality of the fabrics they produce.
Quilt by Esther using Indie Folk


Pat Bravo has developed several collections and we have some of her most recent lines in the shop. The latest one is Nuncia which is named after mother. Click here to see the Nuncia Lookbook. 

Legendary
We also have some of Indie Boheme, Indie Folk and Legendary in stock as well. All of her collections are full of vibrant colors and I feel they have a very bold and dramatic feel to them, as well as a South American flair.

Indie Boheme


Bonnie Christine is another popular designer in our shop and we have her two latest collections in the shop. Her fabrics are quite a bit different than Pat Bravo's. They are soft and delicate, inspired mostly by her nature walks, tall trees, tiny leaves, botanical gardens, and days of sunshine. Her typical color palette includes leafy greens, soft peaches and warm yellow. She grew up in North Carolina hanging out in her moms quilt shop which inspired her to design her own fabrics. She and her husband spent a few years in California but have again returned to North Carolina.
5 things that are essential when Bonnie goes on the road are: her camera, a sketchbook. a vase for flowers, a inspiring book and her family.

Open Road
Bonnie's blog found here, is full of inspiration as well as courses on surface pattern design to create your own art work.

Open Road is the latest collection and was inspired by a long road trip in a vintage camper, and finding joy in whatever may be around the next bend. You can check the lookbook out here, which also contains an interview that will give you more information on Bonnie and her Open Road collection.
Gathered
Gathered is a collection inspired by finding joy in the simple things.



 That is it for this week, have a great weekend.
Kayla

Monday, March 16, 2020

Shop Updates

Wow what a crazy weekend, with a 3 day winter storm warning and COVID-19 being declared as a pandemic its definitely been a little more newsworthy than previous weeks.
My sons school (and the rest of the ones in the province) have been closed indefinitely. What that means for the remainder of this school term has yet to be completely determined, and we should know more from our school board tomorrow, but as of right now it looks like my boys will be advancing to the next grade in the fall, and we will be doing some work packages at home with some online instruction from their teachers. All we know for now is it looks like we are heading towards every kids dream, a 5.5 month break from summer!
As for the shop we will keep the doors open until Health Authorities advise us otherwise.
Classes, clubs and events for this week are cancelled and the future classes we will evaluate week to week. Our online shop is also still open and we will continue to ship packages as long as Canada Post is in operation.

In preparation for a possible quarantine, we at the shop have been busy putting together a variety of kits and precuts which makes shopping for a new project for you quick and easy. Carrie, Esther and I have all been bit by a serious bug and have each picked out at least 3 new samples for ourselves to make in the last two weeks, as well as a couple personal ones. And I know each of us have finished a couple of them already. Which means that there is going to be a good selection of new samples hanging in the shop in the next couple weeks.

We have Maara available in a lap size quilt.


This table runner using Summer Sweet is a nice one day project that will definitely bring some fresh colors into your dining room.

If you want something a little more time consuming this Sail Boat quilt using Enchanted Voyage is available as a kit as well.


Maybe you want to get together with a couple of friends and do a little quarantine quilt along each from your home. We have several great patterns that would be fun to make with friends, and see how different each one turns out, and having someone else keep you accountable will encourage everyone to finish.

We are looking at doing something like this through the shop as well, either a technique sampler or a fun block of the day. We would do this through either the blog or our social media pages so watch for some more information on that in the days to come.
Have a great week, and stay safe and well. My boys and I will be organizing our play room and getting a new routine established.
Kayla

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Designer Spotlight: Maureen Cracknell and Alexandra Bordallo

Wow, I woke up this morning and was welcomed right back to winter when I opened my bedroom curtains, and looking at the weather forecast it looks like we will be here for a couple of days. The snow makes me want to hang out in my sewing room, but the laundry that 4 boys can accumulate in just a couple days needs to be tackled first. 
Today I want to share with you the story of a couple more Art Gallery Fabric Designers. 
First up is Maureen Cracknell. 
Maureen lives in Pennsylvania. She is a stay at home mom to 3 children, a blogger, a quilter and a lover of all things handmade. She began her blog about 10 years ago, here she shares her love of fabric, her projects and her fabric stashes. Maureen also shares several tutorials and quilt alongs on her blog as well as occassional giveaways. You can find her blog here.
Maureen as developed several fabric collections for Art Gallery. Enchanted Voyage is her most recent collection. You can see the look book here which will give you inspiration on what to make with these fun fabrics.  We have many of her earlier Fabric Collections in the shop as well, including Love Story which Carrie used to make this fun quilt












I also want to share about Alexandra Bordallo today. She is a new designer for Art Gallery and has developed two lines for the company, both of which we have in our shop.
She was born and raised in a town near Barcelona Spain, and currently lives there with her husband and little boy.
Alexandra started sewing at the age of 15 on her Grandmother's sewing machine. Her grandmother also taught her to crochewt and knit.
Alexandra has a passion for sewing and textile art, and started learning how to design and draw repeating patterns in 2014. Her designs all start in a sketchbook, which she than scans into Adobe Reader and starts the coloring process.
To learn more about Alexandra and where she gets her inspiration read this interview she did with Art Gallery last year. (interview link)
Dew and Moss is her first collection and Maara is the second.
You can find the Dew and Moss Look Book here


and the Maara Look Book here 



Monday, March 9, 2020

Follow Your Heart: I Heart New York

How was everyone's weekend? We kept ours pretty quiet and just stayed home all day Saturday, attended worship services yesterday, and than had a family movie night on the couch. It was nice to spend some much needed time at home as a family, especially with our next 3 weekends looking pretty busy with 2 hockey tournaments, our school bazaar, and me working at the shop on Worldwide Quilting Day.
Today is another Follow Your Heart Block day and we are making the I Heart New York block this time. I did find it a little more time consuming than some of the previous blocks but not difficult. I also used more colors than they suggested which did not make things any easier.

The block instructions for this one are found starting on pg 29 of your pattern. Follow the cutting instructions as listed. When piecing the blocks I highly suggest labeling the components with the Step Letter to keep things straight. For example in  Step B it has you make a large number of various units. Keep these in neat stacks and label them B. Than carefully following the next steps, relabel the units once they are sewn into C-H this will hep a lot when assembling the block.

Be sure to follow the pictures in C-H so that you get the correct placement of background and print.
Add the borders on page 31, and ta da a very large block finished and ready to assemble into the final quilt!

We are getting pretty close to the end of this QAL, we only have 3 more blocks left to make, I can't wait to see everyone's blocks all assembled.

On page 41 of your pattern book there is instructions to make this block into a baby quilt. Esther made this one and it turned out super cute!

Have a great week. Thursday is the Art Gallery: Feel The Difference Presentation in the shop, and on the blog I hope to do a Designer Spotlight featuring another one of Art Gallery's talented designers.

Kayla