Monday, February 12, 2018

I'm a little heartbroken...

Have you seen this? Can you believe this? Found this here at the Craft Industry Alliance and I just cut and pasted it here for you to see.


Free Spirit Fabrics will be shut down by parent company Coats.

A letter sent to designers today Stephanie Leichtweis, who became president of North American Crafts at Coats in October, stated, “We have worked diligently for the past few years to make this a successful part of the Coats Craft business here in North America.  But I am sorry to say that, despite our best efforts, we have continued to struggle with an inherent weakness in the business model and have not been able to demonstrate a profit.”

The letter goes on to say, “We will not be producing new Westminster or FreeSpirit Fabrics from today onwards.”

Orders placed to date for delivery prior to May 31 will be fulfilled. It is unclear at this time what will happen to designers who are currently under contract with Free Spirit some of whom are among the biggest names in the quilting industry including Tula Pink, Kaffe Fasset, Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, and Denyse Schmidt, among many others. It’s also unclear at this time what will happen to the company employees.

The full text of the letter is below. We will publish more information as it becomes available.

+++++

I wanted to make you aware that we are going to exit our Lifestyle Fabrics business.  This will take effect from Tuesday 1 May and includes our Westminster Fabrics/ Fibers, FreeSpirit brand and designers.
We have worked diligently for the past few years to make this a successful part of the Coats Craft business here in North America.  But I am sorry to say that, despite our best efforts, we have continued to struggle with an inherent weakness in the business model and have not been able to demonstrate a profit.

It also means we will be moving invoicing and customer service functions supporting the thread and yarn businesses from Greer, South Carolina to our Albany and Charlotte offices in North Carolina.  You will be provided with new contact details for this shortly and in the meantime your contact details for this will remain the same. 

We will continue to fulfil orders placed to date for delivery prior to Thursday 31 May and new orders for existing collections on a first come first service basis. We will not be producing new Westminster or FreeSpirit Fabrics from today onwards.

Coats is particularly proud of its long association supporting our customers and North America based crafters and alternative options have been considered extremely carefully.  We believe that through making these difficult decisions we will create an improved customer focused business for the future, from which you will benefit, and I hope you will continue to work with us. 

It is our intent to support you, our talented and dedicated artist, during this transition. 

Yours sincerely,
Stephanie Leichtweis
President, North American Crafts
Cc: Keith Howard

I'm shocked at this news, to say the least. This company has some of the very best designers (imho) in the business and they weren't able to make a profit. I know I had plenty of problems with them when I had my shop, but this is just really unbelievable.

I feel badly for the designers and anyone working there who was given no notice of this. This is life changing for people. I know it happens every day, but it just breaks my heart. The world is constantly changing and sometimes I just don't feel like going along for the ride. :(

Take care,







Started 2018 with UFO projects: 22
New YTD: 4
Gave away YTD:0
Trashed/dismantled YTD:
Sold unfinished UFOs YTD:0
Finished YTD: -3
So far 2018: 23

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Raindrops...

I wish we were having raindrops. Our weather prediction is for a tiny bit of rain this next week, but we'll see how that goes.

Anyway, I purchased some new yarn... BMFA STR Lightweight, of course, although I do have some "new to me" yarn coming soon. Colorways are Aubergenius and Mustang Sally and are they gorgeous or what!! I've decided to make another shawl, this time the Raindrops on Roses pattern. I'll be using the Mustang Sally so it will look very similar to the shawl pictured on the pattern when I'm finished. I like that it uses only one skein of yarn because that's all I have in that colorway.



I'm also working on my Traverse Bag. I'm taking it slow since I haven't made a bag in quite some time and it's so easy to make a mistake that can't be fixed. Especially with limited fabric. :)

I love Sundays... I'll be casting on my shawl as soon as I finish with this post, we've already eaten the glorious Blueberry Dutchbaby I made, the house is clean and chores are done, and hubby just got back from the market with the fresh blueberries, Sure Jell, and lids I needed for the Blueberry Jam I'm planning on making this afternoon.

Take care,







Started 2018 with UFO projects: 22
New YTD: 4
Gave away YTD:0
Trashed/dismantled YTD:
Sold unfinished UFOs YTD:0
Finished YTD: -3
So far 2018: 23

Friday, February 02, 2018

I finished!

I finished two projects this last week! It always feels good to finish a project, but then I feel a little bit lost until I figure out what I'm going to do next.

I'm most excited about the Sunburst Christmas Tree Skirt. It was a blast to make and went together easily and quickly. I decided against heavy quilting since it really doesn't need it. Each "starburst" section was assembled QAYG so it's already quilted to some degree. I just stitched in the ditch between each "starburst" section and I'm happy. Besides, if all goes well, it will not be all that visible behind gifts, right? :)


I mentioned that I was working on the tree skirt as a part of the All People Quilt 2018 UFO Challenge and it did spur me on to get it completed in January. I finished it on the 29th... right under the wire.

I just checked and February's project is #9 on our lists. That's the Traverse Bag for me! I cut it out in October of last year when my friend Pat was here. We were going to work on them together and get them finished the week she was here visiting but that fell by the wayside quickly. We were too busy visiting quilt shops and just generally having fun doing other things. Anyway, I'm anxious to get started on it and get it completed! It's always fun to cross these UFO/WIP projects off the list!

In addition, I got the Go With the Flow socks finished too. I had to rip out at least half a sock two times while I was working on these, so I basically knit three socks! I don't ever mind ripping out and starting again since I love to knit and it's just more knitting! :)




I understand the pattern has been discontinued and that's a shame. I wonder why?

Take care,








Started 2018 with UFO projects: 22
New YTD: 3
Gave away YTD:0
Trashed/dismantled YTD:
Sold unfinished UFOs YTD:0
Finished YTD: -3
So far 2018: 22

Saturday, January 27, 2018

To quilt or not?

I'm working on my Starburst Christmas Tree Skirt today. I've got the skirt done, and the backing is pinned but now I'm trying to decide if I want it quilted or not. I like the look of it the way it is and could just quilt in the ditch for each "spike" of the skirt to secure it. It would also look good to quilt following the "chevron" of the fabric strips (if that makes any sense).


Got any suggestions?

Take care,







Started 2018 with UFO projects: 22
New YTD:2
Gave away YTD:0
Trashed/dismantled YTD:
Sold unfinished UFOs YTD:0
Finished YTD: -1
So far 2018: 23

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Socks... a new pattern for me.

I just realized that I never wrote a post about one of the last pairs of socks that I knit. I started and finished these in August and knit another pair of Tesserae's in November. This one was a new-to-me pattern and I found it interesting to knit. I will definitely make more of this pattern as it fits really well. Waffle Creams by Anne Hanson. Her patterns always make me happy!



I used BMFA STR Lightweight in Pond Scum colorway. To this date, still my very favorite yarn for socks. If you've tried it and like something better, I would love to hear from you.

Take care,







Started 2018 with UFO projects: 22
New YTD:2
Gave away YTD:0
Trashed/dismantled YTD:
Sold unfinished UFOs YTD:0
Finished YTD: -1
So far 2018: 23

Friday, January 19, 2018

Shawls, a finished hat, and the start of socks...

I've managed to block all the rest of the shawls that I made between October and December 2017. These are all made from the same pattern... the Forget Me Not Shawl pattern by Adrienne Ku. It's easy to knit and it's a pretty "fabric" when finished. I used sock yarn scraps for all three of these shawls and just combined as I went along.

Here's the first:


The darker shade is a dark purple, although it might almost look black in the photo. It looks purple IRL.

Here's the second:


... and here's the third one:

Forgive the photos on this one... irl the shawl is much brighter, more blue, more green, and more magenta... if that makes any sense. I'll take outdoor photos and I'm sure they will look more realistic when I take the "pretty" photos of all five so I can list them for sale in my etsy shop. My husband is going to take them into his workplace first so maybe I won't be listing all five. :)

The Liatris Hat is finished and I'm quite happy with it! It's a beret-style and looks cute when it's on. Too bad I don't have a model for the photos! :)




Last, but not least, I started a new pair of socks. The Go With The Flow sock pattern. I've made it before, it's easy to knit, and an interesting design. The yarn is BMFA STR Lightweight colorway Pop Rocks. They're going to be pretty!

Happy Weekend!

Take care,








Started 2018 with UFO projects: 22
New YTD: 2
Gave away YTD:0
Trashed/dismantled YTD:
Sold unfinished UFOs YTD:0
Finished YTD:1
So far 2018: 23

Monday, January 15, 2018

Another shawl...

Yesterday I blocked a second Reyna Shawl. Still using BMFA STR (a Rare Gems colorway) but in a much darker color than I've used before. It's a gorgeous color, but I found it difficult to see my stitches while knitting with it. That said, I got it done (with a little ripping out here and there) and I think it's lovely.


I'm new to blocking so I'm not sure I'm doing it the "right" way, but the first one turned out nicely so I'm doing it the same way I did that one. If someone knows a better way, please let me know.

We were also out in the yard yesterday doing a bit of weeding. It was a bit breezy, but the temperature was just perfect. The ground was still a bit wet from the rains so the weeds came up easy. I love it when that happens, but since we got the two new Queen palms and the rest of the border planted, I've been making a special effort to get them pulled before they mature. I'm happy to say that the herbs I planted at the same time are doing well, as well as the two Bougainvillea we put in.


Oregano... Mmm, love it and use a lot of it in my cooking. It's great on roasted potato wedges with olive oil, salt & pepper.

Now it's Monday and the work week begins.

Take care,







Started 2018 with UFO projects: 22
New YTD: 1
Gave away YTD:0
Trashed/dismantled YTD:
Sold unfinished UFOs YTD:0
Finished YTD:
So far 2018: 23

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Blocking and knitting...

I finally received the lace blocking wires and blocking mats that I ordered and now have started to block the five shawls I completed last October through December. I'll post them for you to see when they are all finished and looking pretty! I started one while we were in Mammoth Lakes for a week and while setting it out to block it brought back good memories of a fun trip. I love when that happens.

This is actually the very last one I finished, but it's the easiest to block since there weren't many ends that needed to be woven in. It's the Reyna Shawl and I used BMFA STR Lightweight yarn to knit it. Can't remember the colorway, but it's pretty! It's an easy knit and looks very elegant.

It's what I call "neutral" in color, but it has the very lightest hint of pink in some areas. These photos are taken with a lens I forgot I had and so I'm playing around with it. The little sparkles are water droplets.

While I'm taking photos I thought you should see my Liatris Hat also. It's gonna be a pretty one! I used Ella Rae Lace Merino for this one... only because I had it and wanted to get it used up. I wouldn't have purposely picked this yarn for this hat, but I really like it now that I'm using it.



Ok... I like being a little flexible, but it does mean things change, doesn't it. That's the case with QuiltCon. One minute I'm going, the next I'm not. I'm disappointed I won't get to see my good friend, but other than that it's definitely ok with me.

Oh, a side note... I've been growing out my hair since October. I'm not quite sure how I feel about it, but I'm hanging in there. I haven't had hair this long (it's halfway between my chin and shoulders) since my late 30s and frankly, I haven't found a way to style it yet that I like. It's not long enough to pull into a "ponytail." Naturally curly hair has always been a challenge for me. I told my husband that I would have lived an entirely different life if I had born with straight hair! :)

Also, you probably shouldn't get used to me posting three times a week... I think it's just a fluke that it worked out that way this week. :) I'm also on Instagram as @quilternity if you're interested.

Take care,







Started 2018 with UFO projects: 22
New YTD: 1
Gave away YTD:0
Trashed/dismantled YTD:
Sold unfinished UFOs YTD:0
Finished YTD:
So far 2018: 23

Friday, January 12, 2018

Ventura Harbor

We drove up to Ventura Harbor for lunch  and to take a walk afterward. It's such a lovely and peaceful place. We eat at Andria's Seafood and always have their Halibut & Chips. They are so, so good and we think, much better than the cod.

The temperature was perfect and so was the late afternoon light. Unfortunately, I didn't have my good camera with me so I used my husband's iPhone. It takes pretty good pictures for a phone. I'm always surprised, but know I shouldn't be. Technology, right? :)


I loved the texture on these leaves and remembered that the last time we walked by this plant I wished I had taken a photo. Got it today. Next time I hope to have the good camera, although I do need to re-educate myself on the camera and photography. That's one of my 2018 goals.


It was a nice afternoon.

Take care,







Started 2018 with UFO projects: 22
New YTD: 1
Gave away YTD:0
Trashed/dismantled YTD:
Sold unfinished UFOs YTD:0
Finished YTD:
So far 2018: 23