Welcome!

We’re happy you’ve arrived at the blog of In The Beginning Fabrics! Here’s where we introduce new collections, chat with designers, and give you a peek at what goes on behind the scenes at In The Beginning. On a slow day, we might post a picture of our cats if we think we can get away with it. We, your bloggers, are Leah and Wendy. If there’s anything in particular you’d like to hear about, leave us a comment.

Please check out In The Beginning Fabrics website to see the wonderful fabric collections that we are all so proud of!

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Filed under Greetings

Last Minute Sewing Idea – Tree Skirts!

For years I’ve wanted a tree skirt for our Christmas tree. I guess I believed Santa would send one along, because the closest thing to a tree skirt is fabric wrapped around the base of the tree.  Sounds familiar doesn’t it?  Well this year I fell in love with this fun stripe from In The Beginning’s Jolly Holiday fabric collection (by Jennifer Heynan). I’ve had the fabric since June, but of course needed the urgency of having a tree in my house to get the rotary cutter & sewing machine humming!

5JHD2sm30

Well, the biggest surprise ended up being that tree skirts are a cinch to make.  The pattern I used was from Jason Yenter’s Wintergraphix Holiday Project book. Much to my surprise it didn’t call for any batting… so there was no quilting. Wooohooo! Can you tell I’m one of those quilter’s who considers it done when the top is finished and the backing is chosen?  I simply had to cut, piece the borders on, whip up a backing and bind it. In about 5 hours (spread over 3 days) I was done.

Leah's new tree skirt

Leah’s new tree skirt

After my tree skirt was done, it was on to the fireplace mantel.  Using another Jolly Holiday fabric I simply folded a co-ordinating print and placed it under all the greenery.  Not only did it protect the finished from scrapes, it added a brightness to the mantel, and a tie-in with my tree.

Mantel - using 4JHD-2 fabric

A dear friend of mine saw my tree skirt and hinted to me that she always wanted a tree skirt also.  So, I’m on to the next one using a combination of older Jason Yenter designs (tonal green is from Camelot – 8LCA-3 & the border stripe from Winter Solstice – 1JYA-1M) which are more in tune with her holiday decor.

20121210_074802

I hope this finds your holiday season bright and full of ideas….and with a little time to do them.

~Leah

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Filed under Fabric, Good Idea

Calling all Jason Yenter fans

Jason's batik shipment

Jason is checking out his newest creation – Batiks!

By now most of you are familiar with Jason Yenter. Not only is he the president of In The Beginning, he is also a fantastic fabric designer.  The photo above is his first glimpse of his latest textile creation – 53 fabulous batik designs. These wonderful fabrics are due to arrive at a quilt shop near you in March of 2013.  But Jason doesn’t just love to design fabric, he also loves to design some awesome quilt designs to encourage your own creativity with using his fabric designs.

Some smart folks have caught on to Jason’s quilt ideas and are having a great time sharing their love of all things “Jason” on their newly formed Facebook page titled “Jason Yenter Fan Club”.  If you are on Facebook here is a link to add yourself to their group. http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/WeHeartJasonYenter/?fref=ts .

And if creating a new collection of 53 batiks isn’t enough for you…have a look at his other new idea, Modern Solids.

Modern Solids

Modern Solids pages

Modern Solids are more than a solid colored fabric. Each color of fabric – 40 new colors in the collection – is created by using 2 different colors of thread; one in the warp, and another in the weft. That means the solids are created by threads that are yarn dyed (rather than simply dying a piece of fabric).  The result is a very subtle coloration which gives a glow not found in cloth-dyed solids. Below is a closer look of one of our favorite colors of the season.

Modern solid pumpkin

Orange

This and all the other 40 Modern Solids will also make their debut showing in March of 2013.  We hope you will check them out at your local quilt shop.

~Leah

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Filed under Fabric

Lida Enche in Quilt Trends Magazine

Quilt Trends Magazine - Fall 2012

Quilt Trends Magazine – Fall 2012

We’re so happy to see one of our designers, Lida Enche, profiled in the Fall 2012 issue of Quilt Trends magazine. Dawn Goldsmith’s article gives a window into Lida’s creative process, as well as some details of her painting technique. Photographs show Lida’s studio, her garden, and sample yardage of her Painted Summer fabric collection draped in a tree in her yard. My favorite photo is of Lida in her studio with her very cute dog watching alertly from a basket. Everyone needs a supervisor.

This issue also includes a project, Summer Highlights, using Painted Summer:

Summer Highlights

Summer Highlights

This gorgeous quilt was designed by Jackie Erickson, and machine quilted by Laura Simmons.

I might have a bias towards Jackie’s quilt, but there are also 20 other projects in this magazine, making it an incredible value. Please give it a look!

~Wendy

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Filed under Fabric, Quilt Trends magazine, Quilts

Shadowland

Shadowland Collection Quilts

As some of you may know, Jason has designed a great jewel-tone collection, Shadowland, with Kona Bay Fabrics. On October 26-27, PM Quilting is having a Full House, featuring the whole group. Check it out!

~Wendy

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All About Margy!

About 20 years ago Sharon had the insight and wisdom to hire Margy Duncan to be a sales associate at our retail store. She was hired about the time I went on maternity leave with my son and in fact, Sharon had me come back in to train her for the job at hand.  I must have done a really good job because until next week she has been here through rain or shine, helping customers from near and far with fabrics from In The Beginning. Margy is the cheerful voice at the other end of the phone line when customers call with any question and has been doing this for the past 10 years.

Margy

Always Cheerful Margy Duncan

Before that she was helping retail customers at our old retail store.  If you visited In The Beginning’s shop in Seattle (now closed) in the last 15 years of its existence, no doubt you have met Margy.  Perhaps you even took one of her fun classes on the Garden Twist or Gingersnap 9-Patch.  Margy has seen many changes here at In The Beginning in the past 20 years and today we are gearing up for another one. Yes, Margy is retiring and everyone except Margy is a little sad.

Although Margy is originally from Washington her life adventures have taken her many places.  She enlisted in the Navy before it was popular for women to do so, met her husband there and after only 2 weeks of dating him they were married.  That was almost 47 years ago.  While raising 3 kids, Margy learned to quilt while her husband was at sea.  Her favorite station….Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Imagine having your guild meetings on the beach where you can stitch a little, swim a little!!!  Margy has become one of the most prolific quilters I have ever known. Somehow her quilts have her signature look and whether I am searching my own stash or shopping at a quilt shop, I can’t help but find fabrics I know she would use or enjoy having in her stash.  Margy is an expert at piecing and appliqué and doesn’t think twice about hand-quilting a queen-sized quilt. Lately, her new passion is the old needle art of tatting.  She uses her tatting creations  to enhance her quilts as in the photo below.

quilt with tatting

Margy’s new passion…quilts with tatting

In today’s blog Margy is letting me share of few of her works in progress and finished quilts. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.  Feel free to post a comment to Margy below.

At least we know what Margy will be doing in all her new spare time.  All those unfinished projects? I have no doubt she will finish them all with the same perfect piecing, grace, and finesse in each of them.  Happy quilting Margy!

~Leah

Delectible Mountains

Delectable Troubles – not quite finished

Gingersnap 9 Patch

Margy’s husband, Ed, with her latest Gingersnap 9-Patch

Hunky-Dory Quilt

Hunky-Dory Quilt

Kitties in My Garden

Kitties in My Garden Quilt – by Margy Duncan

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Just Around the Corner

Getting ready for the annual quilt retreat I go to every year I found myself short of a variety of orange fabrics.  As with most of us, I collect fabrics in my favorite colors and growing up in the 70’s has left me with a bit of distaste for orange.  So, of course, it is my son’s absolute FAVORITE color.  Heading into my local quilt shop the night before I leave, what I found was more than I expected.  Lots of orange fabrics (without flowers – since it is for my son), a shop full of inspiring new patterns, the perfect color of variegated thread, and a nice chat with the owner of my local quilt shop.  One quick stop reminded me of all the things I love about quilting.

Starting tomorrow and running through the upcoming weekend (June 20-24, 2012) is a perfect opportunity for you and some friends to remind yourselves what you love about quilting.  It is the 15th year for this event where quilters and fabric-o-holics can take the time to visit 54 quilt shops in Western Washington.  This years fabric and blocks were especially creative.  Once again, Wendy had the fun of putting them all together in a quilt, and I’m sure you will agree it is very lovely.

Shop Hop 2012 Quilts

Shop Hop 2012 Quilt

At each shop you will receive a free kit to make a block, your passport stamped, and a chance to visit with other quilters and hear about all the participating quilt shops. What fun this would be to do with a quilting friend. The inspiration is free.  There is more complete information on their web site - www.washingtonquiltshophop.com

If you are unable to participate this year, make plans to visit quilt shops on your vacation.  Next week I’m heading to Kentucky for a family reunion.  Not only is Paducah on my must-do places, but every quilt shop I drive by. Are you planning on a “stay-cation” this year?  You know, the type of vacation you just stay home and do the things you never get around to? Don’t forget to visit a quilt shop.  Maybe one you haven’t been to before.  You just never know what wonderful inspiration awaits.

~Leah

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Filed under Fabric, Shop Hop

Introducing Deco

In the 1920’s a new style of art emerged from a group of Parisian artists who were part of a “society of decorator artists”.  Their influence created what we have come to know as “Art Deco”.  Although Art Deco is not necessarily symmetrical its designs are based on geometric and mathematical shapes.  As all good art styles do, Art Deco has enjoyed it ebbs and flows of popularity over the past century.  Jason Yenter’s newest collection is giving the quilting community the opportunity to have some fun with it on fabric. So here is a sneak peek at some of his wonderful new designs and colorations for anyone’s palette.

Pattern 1, color 2

This is the main print in this collection. These flowers get their design elements from combinations of many simple shapes. Doesn’t this coloration just glow on the black background? It comes in 3 others as well.

Pattern 2

This print reminds me of the Chrysler Building in New York City…but smaller, of course.

pattern 5

Even though this collection won’t be showing up in quilt shops until later this year, the purple tulips are ready to make this print shine NOW!

Take a look at our Deco collection on our web site.  We would love to hear which print or color is your favorite and what you would make with it.

Enjoy!

~Leah

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Filed under Fabric