February 20, 2021
* A lot of snow came to Northern Virginia these last two weeks! Beautiful to look at, but also very disruptive. Deliveries, pickups, roads all messed up. Kerry couldn't reach work for two days. On a positive note, I was so fortunate to have my daughter, her husband and grandchild Nora home twice! Eline has to work and her dialysis patients need the care, also during snow. Where to bring Nora when daycare is closed because of all the snow? My husband and I volunteered! So we had them twice over during the last 14 days. They came just before the winter storms arrived and left when it was over. Wish you could see Eline talking to patients in between the fabrics, some even asking her about her background. My son in law was giving a class to medical students in a bedroom upstairs. Husband was working from his home office and I was playing with Nora! I was the only one not using the internet: we had blocks, books, animals and spools of thread. Since Nora is only 16 months old, she still sleeps a lot. I could work on orders during her naps and in the evenings. Not a single order got delayed!
* We received three great collections these last two weeks. First came Alessia by P&B Textiles. Alessia is a 108" wide fabric, perfect for backings and long borders. There are 14 colors in Alessia and that is quite a selection for extra wides. The design has elegant swirly leaves and vines, not traditional, not modern. I think it will be a very useful backing for a lot of quilts and with that range of colors there is always a winner.
* Hoffman shipped their two new blender collections for this winter. Marbled is a group of 18 fabrics with a marbled design. The marbling is quite intense and clouded looking. It really has the effect of stones, rocks. Nice! The other collection has the name Waves, and the waving stands for the ombre effect that this time is being created by different designs. An ombre always goes from dark to light. In Waves, the "going from dark to light" effect is created not by one design, but by many. It's almost as if Hoffman has sewn uneven strips of fabric together and turned it into one new fabric. It's fascinating and it will create quite an illusion in quilts. The blue fabric already looks like waves in the water. The yellow is already a sunset. And how about making a binding with this fabric? It's a really neat concept, made possible by the digital printing techniques.
* Customers who ordered the Hoffman fabrics from our Coming Soon page, will see their orders in their mailboxes this week. One would think that is a given, but earlier this week I had a very unpleasant situation with Tilda fabrics, where they didn't ship the promised fabrics to us. We got just part of the order. Some customers got their pre-ordered fabrics. However, most didn't, simply because the company didn't have enough fabric to ship to all shops. I'm not sure if this is Covid related or not. It is hard for fabric companies to deal with all the issues they have on the production and distribution side of the fabric business. Delays are to be expected, and we have seen every company dealing with it. But all other companies also showed care for their customers and that care was lacking this time. Not a single word. So, all I could tell my customers was that their orders won't get shipped, because there is no fabric. Such a disappointment! It will not happen again, because I will not order any more Tilda and all future orders have been canceled.
To show you how companies can care: Moda, located in Dallas TX, has been hit hard by the weather and energy crisis in Texas. The temperature in their warehouse was at one point 2F, keeping the fabrics very crisp, but just dangerous for employees. Within a few days, Moda sent out a care email to all shops, explaining the delays in shipping, the absence of answers on the phone. Although it is quite unbelievable to see this situation happening in the US, I know every shop and customer will happily wait a little bit longer. Wishing everyone in TX all the best!
On the other hand, Hoffman was finally able to ship 1895 Iceberg to us! Yes, we have been waiting for this color for five months, definitely a Covid-case. Iceberg was introduced as a new 1895 color in October of 2020 and the fabric sold out within a few hours. It's one of the lightest colors in a range of 300+ colors, so it is an amazing background. The fabric is coming from Indonesia, went through many slow downs, but is now here! Grateful.
* We have more planning to talk about in this newsletter. The Alchemy book is on its way again and arriving in the middle of the coming week. In the last newsletter I talked about this fabulous book and the Fugue quilt I was making. Well, so many people ordered the kit, that I had to take it off. I'm still making kits as I speak and my hand started to feel it. It's a tremendous work as each quilt requires 150 different fabrics, all cut and ready to sew. You can order the book!
* On Facebook I showed the progress I am making in the Vermont Summer Medallion Quilt by Judy Newman. This beautiful quilt is currently only offered as a block of the month in Australia and Europe, but once that is over (Month 6 out of 8 is coming out soon), the pattern will come to the US as well. Probably August/September of this year. Webfabrics will get it, because I think that this quilt is outstanding. A great mix of piecing, applique, English Paper piecing. I started making it with my youngest daughter Laura in mind, who lived in London for a while and loves Liberty fabrics, gardening and especially birds. So my quilt will have Art Gallery's Chatter fabric as the background and all light colors of an English Garden. Lots of flowers, a bunny, a snail in that soft English range of colors, which is certainly not only pastels. The fabrics themselves are a true mix of Liberty, reproduction, modern, anything goes as long as it has some nature elements and light colors. Hundreds of different pieces.More info about this quilt can be found under "Coming Soon". I'm mentioning it here because there will be only a limited time that you can sign up for the pattern/template and kit in these fabrics. I have plenty of light nature fabrics, but the background requires 5 yards of the Chatter fabric, so I need to know how many bolts to order for future kits. If I would wait trying to get this fabric in September, it will probably be sold out. The pattern and templates also need to be ordered from Australia, so this is a quilt where we need to put in a little bit more effort and planning.
As always, it's fun to work with fabrics and "fabric" people!