Category Archives: Fabric

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!


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.


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



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.!/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


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.



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!


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Filed under Fabric, Quilt Trends magazine, Quilts

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 -

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.



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.




Filed under Fabric

My Better Gnomes & Gardens….Twist

Being the employee at In The Beginning who has worked here the longest, it is really quite amazing to me that here, in my 21st year, I have finally tackled making a Garden Twist quilt.  I remember when Jackie Quinn made the first one. She made it using the beautiful decorator fabrics we carried in our retail store. I also remember when we introduced the beautiful Garden Twist collection of fabric, which Sharon Yenter designed for the purpose of making this quilt pattern…and others.

But until these little Gnomes arrived, I have never been inspired to make one.

Garden Twist Block

Garden Twist block

Perhaps it is the artistic sunflowers in the fabric or my northern European roots calling to me, but as soon as I received this fabric, I knew I had to make one.

Like most things I put off, I now wish I had make one years ago. It is a quilt that not only sews together very easily, it only took about 5 hours to make. I would have finished sooner if I didn’t have a directional fabric to be concerned about. And as you can see from the photo, I’m not quite finished.

Gnome Garden Twist

Gnome Garden far

I read that the first clay German Garden Gnome (“der Gartenzwerg”) was made in Graeferoda, Thuringia, Germany in the 1800’s. Since then they have been popping up in gardens everywhere. Gnomes are considered to be more then decorations. It is good luck to place a Gnome in the home and garden. And now I have them in my quilt.  Or at least I will….with just 4 more seams to go!

Heather Dupont’s Better Gnomes and Gardens collection will soon be blooming at a quilt shop near you.  Just think of all the good luck you will receive when you bring it to your home!



Filed under Fabric, Gardening, Uncategorized

Sneak Peek: Splendor II

Jason’s new Splendor II collection is all about timeless beauty:

Splendor II: 1SPB1

Splendor II: 1SPB1

That’s the main print above. Below is a gorgeous border stripe. Imagine this — with mitered borders — framing a quilt:

Splendor II: 2SPB1

Splendor II: 2SPB1

And…the bird toiles are back! These have long been a favorite, and they blend perfectly (and splendidly!) with this collection.

Bird Toile: 5FB202

Bird Toile: 5FB202

There are some wonderful, smaller prints:

Splendor II: 4SPB1

Splendor II: 4SPB1

And, of course, an extremely useful tone-on-tone print:

Splendor II: 8SPB1

Splendor II: 8SPB1

Put it all together, and you’ve got a quilt! (This is just a fraction of the collection. You can see the whole group here.)

Spendor II will be shipping in August, which suddenly seems just around the corner. Yay!



Filed under Fabric