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Location: 1633 Birchwood Ave., Bellingham, WA, United States
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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wordless Wednesday.....

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Save the Selvages......

No.....it's not an endangered species thing like *save the whales*....but.....if you DO save your selvages, look what you could make!  Tracey has been saving selvages for a while and when we saw this new book at Quilt Market a month or two ago, she thought this would be a good one to use some of her *collection* on.  The book has an interesting premise ~ you make *foundations* of selvages on muslin squares (around 8"-9" I think).  Then, all of the projects in the book are made using those foundations.  Sew....that means you don't need to have great big long selvages to make some very fun projects!  We still have a few books, with a few more coming, so you might want to take a look.

Things have been good at the shop.  I took a couple of days off ~ thanks, Harriet, Diane and Jan!  The retired guy and I sat on the beach at Bay View State Park and did some bike riding and some *just doin' nothin'* time.  It was nice!

Jan's been working on a Fab-Etc version of a pattern we have using some Christmas fabric....she and Harriet collaborated on what we think is a pretty darn cute little hanging.  Pictures coming!  Diane has finished the top of Paradise Island....it is gorgeous!   I'll try and get a picture of that tomorrow for you.  A few fabrics have arrived....a fun ice cream group....perfect for this weather!  The newest Primitive Quilts magazine is here with some wonderful projects.  Okay....got to run.....more fabric fun soon!

Friday, July 19, 2013

 It's not just your Mom's burlap potato sack anymore =)  Yes....I am talking about printed burlap!  I can remember back in the dark ages, using a burlap bag to *create* a Halloween costume at one point.  Nope, we're not creating Halloween costumes, but I guess you could.  Sew far, we have 3 printed burlaps in stock.  They started to arrive at the end of Shop Hop, so we didn't have much time to think about them.  We've left them close to the cutting counter to look at and get some ideas flowing.  One customer bought some for a bag.  Jan, Harriet and I collaborated on this very quick and easy placemat idea.  We cut a rectangle of burlap (14" x 18"), a slightly smaller rectangle of black broadcloth (13 1/2" x 17 1/2").  We turned the ends under on the black and used it as a backing, centered it on the backside of the burlap wrong sides together, and double stitched next to the pressed under edges.  All you have to do now is *fringe* the burlap back to the stitched line and voila ~ darling placemat!  You could easily do the same thing with a long piece to create a runner for the center of a table.  The other picture here shows the 2 other prints we have in stock....with 1 more coming!

We've been keeping pretty busy this week.  I just put the last two borders on my *Sweet Thing* quilt yesterday afternoon.  Today, Tracey and I will find a back, cut some batting and then it will go to Tracey's studio so she can work her magic with her longarm!  Diane is putting the finishing touches on a project I found at Quilt Market that we got the fabric for a few weeks ago.  I have a few other things *in progress* as well.  What are you playing with these days?

Happy Friday to all of you....hope you get a chance this weekend to enjoy the glorious weather we've been experiencing here in the Pacific Northwest....sorry to those of you sweltering in the East coast heat wave.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Just a quick reminder.....

All right.....just got back from spending the night in the little camping trailer, and the day spent at the beach!  It was a super sunset, a wonderful campfire and lots of fun and sun with the retired guy.  I have laundry going and the *stuff* brought back in the house.  From the looks of the weather forecast for tomorrow, it's gonna be a scorcher.  Sew....I just wanted to remind you that Jan and I would be happy to have you come and sit in the back class area tomorrow in our cool air conditioned store.  You can bring a machine, a project, a book or just yourself if your place is too warm for you.  

Okay...back to those dirty clothes!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Let's Play Dolls.....

Did you play with dolls much as a kid?  I really didn't a whole lot.  I just remember two of my dolls ~ I had a *Saucy Walker* and a *Betsy Wetsy* (she *piddled* if you gave her a bottle of water!)  I had a toy Singer sewing machine that I made some doll clothes with, but I remember playing with paper dolls and creating clothes for them, more than my other dolls.  Anyway, I digress.  The 18" doll is VERY popular with youngsters today ~ that's the American Girl Doll size.  Andover fabrics is releasing several doll clothes panels over the next year.  This picture is just one of the two we have currently that Harriet made up this week for our doll.  (Her name was Abbey on the box, but I'm not too sure she looks like an Abbey ~ what do you think?)  We have a couple of patterns for clothes that will fit young girls in the same style as the doll panels too, as well as the matching purses....plus, as you can see, we have the matching fabrics!  Cool, huh?  They've been pretty popular already this week.  We'll try and make the other outfit to show you as well....it's a dress, jacket and purse.

Well, today was busier than I thought it would be!  (These gorgeous summer Saturdays usually call our customers to be outside, rather than thinking about sewing....who can blame them?!?)  But I was working by myself and managed to bury myself in fabric behind the counter more than once today.  And part of the Raffle Quilt Committee from Moonlight Quilt Guild was using the back class area to finish up their raffle quilt today ~ you are definitely going to want to see this.....and buy tickets!  I guess its next stop is with Tracey to do the quilting.  We'll keep you informed about ticket sales.  I still have one and a half borders to do on my Sweet Thing quilt, but I'll get those on next week!

Well, it promises to be another spectacular summer week...hope you get a chance to enjoy it!  More sewing fun from us soon.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Prime number day.....

As I was adding totals today to Frequent Buyer Cards, all of a sudden it dawned on me ~ this was a *prime* date!  7.....11.....13.....they are all prime numbers (you remember ~ those guys that cannot be divided by any number other than themselves and the number 1).  Anyway, it just made me think that it was a *prime fabric day* here at Fab-Etc!  And in keeping with the number theme, Harriet was working today on this new advent calendar we just got.  The colors are very contemporary, as is the layout.  And...the numbers are all in order (some folks don't like the ones that have the numbers all jumbled up!)  She just got started, sew hopefully, sometime next week we'll get it all done.

Other *prime* examples of fabric fun?  Well....some fabulous poppies came in yesterday and some flags and red hat fabric, as well as few new batiks.  I'm down to the last two sets of borders on a quilt called *Snow White* made from the Lakehouse Sweet Treats line ~ we all keep wondering why it's called Snow White.  At any rate, it's pretty doggone sweet!  Pictures after borders are on!   And, I am sewing binding on that little flag quilt I showed you last week.

Tomorrow, Alicia and I will be making room for some of the new fabrics and she's going to be in charge of fixing our new doll's hair, so I can take her picture in her first outfit Harriet made for her using the Let's Play Dolls panel.  Will blog that next.  Hope you are having a *prime* day!!

Sunday, July 7, 2013



Fabric Expressions (later to be Fabric-Etc) opened its doors in Barkley Village! 
16 years ago today ~ WOW!!
Special thanks to all of our dear, wonderful customers who make this such a fun, creative adventure!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Lil' Twister......

This month we are featuring the Lil' Twister Ruler as our Nifty Notion.  As I said in the newsletter, it's not anything *new* but it is a lot of *fun* to play with!  These are a couple of examples of before and after that we've got at the shop.  The way it works is you sew 5" squares together in a pattern ~ can be random as in the first example with the Kansas Troubles fabric ~ or it can be *planned* out ~ as in the second example of the wreath.  After you have your base sewn together, you take the ruler and cut, using the markings on the ruler.  Then, you sew those squares back together again to create a whole new look, something akin to *wonky* pinwheels.  It's really a lot of fun to play with!  I'd like to try a baby quilt using some of the sweet prints we have in right now.....maybe next week?

We've been keeping pretty busy around here with new fabrics and projects.  I should have something to show you soon!  I don't know about you, but there never seems to be enough time for all of the ideas I have!  Pretty quiet at the shop right now.  A couple of gals are renting the Accuquilt to cut scads of wool circles.  I'm trying to tidy up a bit and sending an e-mail update.

Hope you all enjoyed the holidays we celebrated this past week ~ Canada Day on Monday and Independence Day on Thursday.  We took it pretty easy around our house.  I had Thursday off, of course.  The retired guy and I went bike riding and had a wonderful day lazing about!  Have a lovely weekend, no matter what you are doing! 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day.....

Happy Independence Day to those of you in the United States!  Hope your day has been a good one.  I had been wanting to make this little project from the book *101 Fabulous Small Quilts* for a while now.  In the book it's called Feedsack Flags and they are all made with red/white 30's prints.  I love 30's prints, but I just didn't seem to have the right ones to make this, so it kept simmering on the back burner.  One day when I was tidying the patriotic prints, I saw this blue/white star print and thought that might work.  Sew, I looked through the red/white section and grabbed these last night before I closed the shop.  I fiddled around with them last night and then again this morning.  The quilt is to have sashing and a border, but I guess Harriet and I will have to work on that part tomorrow  =)

While I was sewing, it got me to thinking about Independence Day and the USA.  Independence Day is so named because on July 2nd, 1776 the Second Continental Congress drafted the Declaration of Independence that was later signed, at least in part, on July 4th.  The colonies wished to declare their independence from Great Britain and wished to democratically rule themselves.  It took many years and many lives to win that independence.  As I looked at the different reds and whites to use in this little project, I wasn't so sure they would all be okay....some seemed pretty diverse.  But as I got it up on the design wall, it all seemed to somehow work out okay, I think mostly because of those white stars on the blue background that were the same in each little flag block.  It made me think of our diverse nation.....we embrace democracy and the rights of our many diverse citizens to live here freely.  And those who have served and sacrificed to allow us to enjoy our diversity and our freedom, they are like the white stars on the blue background that *make it all work*.  My gratitude to each and every one of you today as we celebrate Independence Day. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

All I Want.....

These are pictures of the pattern that Tonya *launched* at the reception/signing party we had for her last month.  She calls her tree skirt pattern *All I Want For Christmas*....isn't it wonderful?  The tree skirt in the pattern is the one that Tracey did as The Official Pattern Tester  =)  It's made from a very fun line that Maywood Studio has out this year called All Wrapped Up....how apropos!  One of the very cool features of this pattern is that it is a *quilt as you go* project.  As you can see in the first picture, you make the wedges; quilt them; and then Tonya has an ingenious method of sewing them together so that the front and back are finished at the same time....what a clever girl she is!  We still have the patterns and fabrics if you're interested.

Things are busy around here!  Lots of fun visitors and *regular* customers popping in to buy fabrics for new projects.  I've been playing with a few sample ideas that I will share with you in the next day or two.  Right now, there are folks in the shop getting ready to have fabric cut, so I am going to run.....have a terrific Tuesday!