Fabric-Etc's Blog


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Location: 1633 Birchwood Ave., Bellingham, WA, United States
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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Quilts and More......

Prepare to be awed.....yesterday, we got the newest *Quilts and More* magazine.  Today, thanks to the amazing Jan, we have a sample of a pattern in that very same magazine!  Alicia and I were thumbing through the magazine when we spotted this fun bag.  And guess what, we even had the fabric in the shop!  I think it's *Mind Your Mummy* from Maywood Studio.  We kicked around some ideas about fabric choices (the pockets are made from *patches* on the fabric.)  Then, this morning, while the Applique Society was meeting in the back, Jan and I settled on this for the first bag.  After we straightened up she set to work and voila.....a really cute bag from the magazine!  We picked another combo that she'll probably put together on Tuesday.  The directions are great, and as you can see, it's quick to make!  Do you have a kiddo that might like this?  Actually, the magazine also shows a grocery tote made with the same pattern.

It's been a fun week here at Fab-Etc.  Things got a wee bit quieter today, so I was able to catch up on some *fun* filing and paperwork.  There's another project or two on my *I'd really like to try this* list, so I've been playing a bit with those.  I've been doing some redwork Christmas stitchery from a pattern I got at Quilt Market a couple of years ago that's also nearing completion.....good things take time ~ right?!?

Have weekend plans?  Think it's gonna be kind of a quiet one here.....catching up on laundry, etc.  Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Stitches To Savor......

Where has the time gone?  Sorry it's been over a week since I touched base with all of you!  And speaking of time......this is a picture of the 2016 Sue Spargo calendar called *Stitches To Savor*.....we have a limited number of them at the store right now.  If I am not mistaken, she has a book due out in the fall with the same name.  Several of our customers have been working on some of her fabulous stitches in wool...gorgeous, fun stuff!

Things have been busy at the shop!  Last Friday, Harriet and I moved all of the batiks to where the Kaffe fabrics were and the Kaffe fabrics over to where the batiks were.  I put over 20,000 steps on my Fitbit that day!!  It partially solved the batik explosion problem, but more work is still needed!  We kicked off our new Block of the Month *Garden Tea Party* last Saturday.  In fact between that and the Whatnots, I cut 60 kits last week ~ yikes!  And we've had loads of Row By Row participants....fun to meet them.

Sharon T has put set me out on the slippery Instagram slope!  I'm not really too sure what I'm doing, but it's been quick and fun......if you're on there, you can find us at #fabricetc

The retired guy and I got an overnight in our little camping trailer at Birch Bay State Park last Sunday...it was fun and didn't even rain on our heads....just rained overnight!  Okay, got to run.  Have a lovely weekend.....and remember, we are air conditioned, so if it gets too hot, feel free to come and *hang* with us for a while.  No need to buy anything, just come and feel the *cool* fabric  =)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


Okay, I am not really much of a drinker, but I do know that 7/7 can be a mixed drink with Segram's 7 and 7-up ~ right?  

Well....this post has absolutely nothing to do with that!  See that number 18 over there on the right?  Eighteen years ago on 7/7/97 Fabric Expressions opened in Barkley Village.  I always called it a spaghetti ranch location ~ long and narrow where you could grow or store spaghetti!?!  In July of 2000 the store moved to its current location and then in 2006 it became Fabric Expressions LLC dba Fabric-Etc.  I have to say it's been sew much fun for the last 18 years!!

We have been really busy at the store!  We made it through Shop Hop and we've enjoyed seeing folks from all over who are participating in Row By Row.  The trunk show a week ago today with Kathy Doughty was absolutely FABULOUS!  And now that I'm beginning to catch my breath for a minute or two, I am excited to start *playing* again with some fabric.  There are just a few more HAVE TO DO things to get checked off and then let's have some fun!  We've gotten some more batiks in the batik explosion area and a few more Kaffe fabrics to fill in some blanks.  Linda and I discussed a possible move to accommodate both fabrics better, so watch for that coming soon.  I am also sending out the July e-mail update so watch your inboxes for that in the next few days.

Speaking of which, I need to sign off and go send the next 1,000 of those e-mails.....have a super evening! 

Monday, July 6, 2015

We have our winner......

Fabric-Etc has their winner for Row By Row Experience 2015!  This afternoon, Judy Taylor came in with her completed 8 row quilt.  We were happy to present her with a stack of 25 batik fat quarters and a gift certificate for $50 at the shop since the Fabric-Etc row was included in her quilt!  Congratulations, Judy!  There's only one winner per shop, but I haven't heard of any other winners in the county yet, so keep stitching and you too could win!

I'll catch you all up tomorrow on some of the other happenings around the shop.....

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Shop Hop Day 4 and a visitor.....

Okay....Shop Hop Day 4 is in the books!  It's been tons o' fun having tons o' folks through the shop the last four days.  Everyone is having a good time visiting the wonderful shops we have in Western Washington this week.  It's always so enjoyable to see families and friends traveling and enjoying the love of fabric and quilting together.  And this year, with the addition of Row By Row to the mix, it's been double the fun! 

Then, in the late afternoon, we had a visit from Kathy Doughty and her two lovely companions, Carolyn and Liesel, from Material Obsessions in Australia (that's Karen, president of the guild on the left, Carolyn, Kathy, Liesel, me, and Sharon, Programs Chairman for the guild, on the right).  Kathy's currently in the area doing a couple of workshops for one of the local guilds and also some classes in Mt. Vernon later next week.  BUT....the exciting thing for us, is that she's doing a trunk show/lecture for little ol' Fabric-Etc on Tuesday, June 30th!  It will be at 12:30 @ Northwood Hall just across the street from the shop (near Albertsons @ 3240 Northwest Ave ~ behind the Northside Restaurant).  The cost is $5.00 and the doors will open at 12:00 with the trunk show starting at 12:30.  We'll also be giving you a coupon good at the store that day where we'll have an *afterglow* of lemonade and cookies!  To use our Jan's phrase, she's a very *delightful* lady who will inspire you with her love of patchwork, fabric, texture and color.  If you get a chance to come, I know you won't be disappointed! 

Okay.....I have another day of Shop Hop and then I need to get the store looking halfway decent for a bunch of folks on Tuesday....so I think I need to make friends with my pillow pretty soon.  Hope you are having a perfectly lovely, and not too hot, weekend!  Hope to see lots of you on Tuesday for the trunk show.  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What a doll......

This is a picture of Harriet's granddaughter, Alanna.  She was spending a day or two with Harriet (Memaw to her) this week.  Sew....guess what they were doing?  Harriet had brought home the new doll panels from Andover and she let Alanna sew them.. She did an absolutely FABULOUS job on them with the help of her excellent instructor!  Can you tell how happy she was from the look on that darling face?  We were all so very proud of her!  (She used to come to our Tea Party when she was just a little kiddo and we have always affectionately thought of her as our littlest Fabette!)  Not only did she do some sewing, but she came on Shop Hop Eve and helped us set things up for today.  What a doll!

Okay, as I write this, I am not ashamed to say I am pretty doggone pooped!  Day One of Shop Hop is a pleasant memory.  We had lots of happy Hoppers and fun showing off our block and Row By Row project.  (It's made things a bit interesting with the two events starting the same week!)  We have kits for our Row and needed to put a few more together today to be sure we would make it through the weekend!  As you may suspect, I didn't sleep very well last night with tons of *still need to do's* racing through my mind.  But I worked some last night and got over to the shop early this morning and things are sort of on track now  =)  Tomorrow should be another fun-filled day!  Okay.....I need to go visit my pillow now.....night all.....

Saturday, June 13, 2015

You've got mail.....I hope.....

It's come to our attention that some of you didn't get the June e-mail update we sent out this week....hmmmm.....I was having a few *issues* with Comcast when I was sending it out and it seems to have affected delivery to some.  Sorry.....in case you didn't get this, here it is in all of it's glory!

For June’s Nifty Notion we’re featuring Sullivan’s Cord Minder.  The Cord Minder takes your iron’s power cord and keeps it out of the way.  It attaches to the end of the ironing board and there’s a swivel that the cord feeds through to keep it out of reach of the iron.  We've been trying it for a few weeks and like it, so take a look at it in action back in our work area Regular price $15.00 ~ Nifty Notion price just $10.50 for the entire month of June!

The fabric samples are here, and we’ve been taking your pre-orders!  The price is $9.99/yd. this year and quantities will be limited, so don’t wait too long!  You can see a picture of our block on our blog and Facebook pages (links at end of this email) Newspapers are available and passports ready to be downloaded.  Hours for this *adventure* are the same again this year ~ Wednesday-Saturday 9:00-8:00 and Sunday 10:00-5:00.  Hope to see lots of you!

For the first time, we're participating in the Row By Row Experience.  Let me try and explain it.  There are shops in all 50 states and the provinces in Canada participating.  Each shop designs a *row* that is 36½” long and up to 9½” wide fitting this year’s theme *water*.  At each shop you’ll get a free pattern for their row (no mail order). There are prizes and other fun *stuff* available at shops too.  See the blog and Facebook for pictures of our row.  More info at http://www.rowbyrowexperience.com/


We are absolutely thrilled to be hosting a trunk show from Kathy Doughty of Australia and Material Obsession fame!  She was going to be in the area doing some teaching for one of the local guilds and also in Mt. Vernon at the end of June and has very graciously agreed to come and *show us her stuff* in between teaching sessions.  At first we thought we'd just do a *meet and greet/book signing* at the shop, but as we just casually mentioned the possibility to a few folks, we very quickly became aware that the shop would be too small to contain the interest.  Sew.....we've arranged to rent Northwood Hall for the afternoon.  Northwood Hall (3240 Northwest Ave.) is just a parking lot or so away from the shop around the corner from Albertsons and behind the Northside Restaurant.  Kathy will be bringing quilts and will also be sharing some of the history of Material Obsessions.  Several of our customers and our own Jan have taken classes from Kathy and give her rave reviews.  She's an extremely inspirational and fun speaker, so we know you won't leave disappointed!  After the show, you're invited to an *afterglow* with lemonade and cookies at the shop.  To cover the costs of Kathy's time and the rental of the facility, there will be a $5 entrance fee, but you'll also receive a coupon good at the shop that day as well.  We plan to have a limited number of books available at the show at a slightly reduced price in case you'd like to purchase one and have it signed.  Mark your calendars and don't miss this one!  See more about Kathy at her blog  http://www.materialobsession.typepad.com/


What’s new around here?  Well, we have a few new fabrics to tell you about. From Moda is *Reel Time* and if you’re like me, when I saw that on the bill I was thinking fishing.  (Many times fabric we order is months *out* for delivery.)  Imagine my surprise when I opened the box and it was a movie theme….it’s very fun and we have some charm squares too!  There are always some fun new batiks each month.  A few weeks ago, Diane went through our *batik drawers* where we keep the ends of the bolts for projects.  We chopped everything that was *width of fabric* into 2½” strips on our Accuquilt die cut machine and made some mini jelly rolls.  Diane took some and made a great project called *Blueberry Hill* that’s a scrappy lap-sized quilt.  There are also some new cat and dog prints in the dog/cat section.  A few more wide backs have arrived with quite a few more on order.  There are new magazines, including Quiltmania and American Patchwork and Quilting, plus the new Quilt Art Engagement Calendar for 2016 And we just got more copies of the last American Patchwork and Quilting with Sharon's stunning black and white quilt in it.  There are some new doll clothes panels, but we haven't had a chance to do much with them yet.  And nothing says June like Christmas fabric ~ yup, it's starting to arrive.  And wait until you see Diane's interpretation of Amy Bradley's newest pattern *Campers*.  Jan and I have been working like crazy on a new Block of the Month program we’re going to debut in time for Shop Hop. Considering that we have a Tea Party every month, *Garden Tea Party* is right up our alley….think you’re going to like this!  Stay tuned for some more info on the blog and Facebook.

The weather feels like summer as I write this, even though it’s still only spring. My flowers are in full bloom and so are my deadlines!! We have our Row By Row patterns to get ready, plus kits for sale. And then there’s the matter of 1200+ Shop Hop kits to have ready three days later. And I may need to have my head examined for attempting the Kathy Doughty trunk show less than 48 hours after Shop Hop!  Add in the usual newsletter, calendar, bills, payroll, schedules, ordering, new samples to make and yikes! But, I have been doing it long enough and knowing I have the best staff in the world makes me have to stop, breathe deeply and know that somehow, it will all get done.  And for that, I am, as always....
Sew thankful ~
1633 Birchwood Ave.
Bellingham, WA 98225