Latest Event Updates

The end of road construction, beginning of quilt construction

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Well, the road was officially finished last week! Lines were painted, people joyously walked in cross walks, and cars parked in newly-paved parking spaces. Ahh, what a happy occasion!

We know many of you were waiting for the construction to end to make a trip out to our store, and we completely understand! We certainly appreciate those who braved the madness and made their way throughout the whole ordeal, but we’re very excited to meet new friends as well!

That being said, our classes are underway, so now that the road construction is finished, it’s time to get going on the quilt construction! The cool evenings and nights are upon us; do you have enough quilts to stay warm and cozy this winter? Of course you don’t! Nobody does! 🙂

We thought we might include a few photos of the completed road and some of our classes. We think it’s always fun to see what others are working on, so we thought you might, too! Enjoy!

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Here’s what you’ve missed…

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If you haven’t been in to Quilter’s Compass lately, you’ve been missing out on a lot! We’ve got many more bolts of fabric (over 110 in the last week, alone!), had our Grand Opening Celebration, gave away over $750 worth of goodies during our Grand Opening, enjoyed homemade cookies and bread, had a bus visit from Iowa, and rearranged (almost) our entire store! Whew! It’s been a busy start to the Fall Season! To include some of you whom weren’t able to make it to our grand opening, or to the store in general, we’re including a few photos in this blog post. Hopefully these photos will help portray all the fun we’re having with our clients! Come visit us so you can join in, too!

Want to avoid construction?

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For all of our friends out there who have been wanting to come visit the shop, but been apprehensive about braving the construction on Main Street, we have put together a map with directions explaining how to get here without having to endure the hassles of construction and sand, dirt, and gravel in your shoes from walking down the street.

We have a lovely side entrance on North Avenue. Simply look at the attached map and follow the directions to make your way to our side door and enter into quilting heaven. We hope to see you soon!

Directions to avoid construction on Main Street

Choosing Colors

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A frequently asked question in our store is “How do I choose colors for my quilt?”. Well, there are several ways to decide and we’ll share those with you now.

One way is to try to coordinate colors with whatever other colors are in the room in which you plan to use the piece. If you have your heart set on keeping one color theme going in the room, this would be the way to go about choosing your colors. Bring in a paint chip or a fabric swatch for your curtains and choose fabrics that coordinate. Also be advised that you can always “build” the room around the quilt or project you’re working on, so if you find a piece of fabric that you just HAVE to have, get it and find coordinates for the rest of your room!

Another way is to find a piece of fabric that you just LOVE and finding other fabrics to coordinate with it. This is one of those times where you just browse and if something catches your eye, grab it!

Many people are afraid of mixing and matching fabrics and colors. Some people really enjoy sticking within one line of fabric because it helps assure them that their colors and patterns will mesh. That’s another way to choose colors. I, personally, prefer to take risks and mix colors and patterns. It is very possible, and I think fun, to mix lines together that normally wouldn’t “go” – contemporary and traditional are not exclusively contemporary or traditional. They can be mixed together and be friends!

Some people just like to use colors they find appealing and that’s fine, too! Perhaps green is your favorite color. Go with it!

Remember your color theory from grade school? Primary, secondary, complementary? Using what you learned when you were a kid can also help you find colors that work well together. For example: orange complements blue and can add a nice “pop” to your project!

So there you have it. There are many, MANY ways to choose colors for your projects. Find that you always seem to use the same method for every project? Maybe you typically coordinate your colors to match the room. Perhaps for your next project, you should try choosing a primary color then adding its complement to the mix, and if you ever need advice or assistance in choosing your colors, we are more than happy to help! Just stop into the store and let’s have some fun picking fabrics!

Why I quilt — a post from Barb

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Why Do I Quilt?

Frequently I have been asked “Why do you like to quilt?”  That seems like a very simple question that should have a simple answer.  While it would be easiest to just give a simple answer, for me, the answer has to be pieced together – there is no one single reason why I quilt, there are many.

I quilt because, as a child, I loved quilts that my parents had stored that their grandmothers had made for them when they were children.  By the time I was 10 I had gotten those gorgeous quilts out of the linen cabinet and put them on my bed.  There was a double wedding ring quilt made with feed sacks, a lone star created using only solids, a hand embroidered and quilted yellow and white butterfly quilt just to name a few.  Each made an appearance on my bed at one point or another.  Those beautiful quilts didn’t belong shut up in a cabinet; they needed to be out and loved.  A purist may believe I “loved” them a bit too much. But today, even worn and retired from everyday use, they remain my first connection to important women from my past, women that I never had the opportunity to meet.  They are my first connection to a craft that has significantly influenced the course of my life.

I quilt because I love to sew.  For many years I was a garment seamstress.  I sewed many of my own clothes throughout high school and college, I sewed clothing for my children, I sewed custom wedding gowns and special occasion dresses.  As I got older and my skills continued to improve I came to the conclusion that sewing for myself was unsatisfying – I simply could not achieve the type of fit for myself that I could by altering clothing for someone else.  Being a selective perfectionist has its drawbacks (just ask my daughter about clothes shopping trips).  Being dissatisfied with the product you produce is a major disincentive to continuing the activity.   As my children got older, there were a limited number of things that they wanted me to make for them.  Working with brides was wonderful, working with the bride’s mother – well, not so much.  In each of these cases the primary reason for sewing the garments was to get exactly what you wanted, not to save money.  The reality was that you probably weren’t going to save money by doing it yourself.  Not to mention the philosophical internal debate I kept having with myself concerning the best use of time and money when it came to creating an expensive dress to be worn once for a few hours.  I am not saying that quilting is inexpensive, but when you compare the investment in both time and money versus the amount of use that a good quilt can be put to at least the cost per use is considerably more reasonable.

I quilt because it offers me a significant creative outlet.  I don’t draw or paint, but I do see how bits and pieces of shapes and colors can come together to be something so much more than the sum of its parts.  I enjoy the challenge of balancing warm and cool colors, of creating a piece of art that invites you to continue to look at it without growing tired or complacent.  I enjoy the puzzle of figuring out the most efficient way to put all of the pieces together.  I can put a little piece of myself into each of my quilts through the choices I make when creating it, through the colors, the fabrics, the pattern, and the quilting itself.

I quilt because it’s therapy.  When life gets too real and I want to shut out the world, forget my troubles, take a break from the challenges of the day, I can lose myself in the rhythm of the feed dogs pulling the layers through the sewing machine.  I must be in the here and now, I must pay attention to what I am doing or the sewing gods will not be happy.  We all know what the sewing gods say when you do not focus on the task at hand – “Rip it!”  But if you stay focused you are rewarded not only with functional artwork, but with relief from your troubles, even if only temporary.

Ultimately, there is one more reason that trumps all of the others.  I quilt because I love my family and I can always be there to give them a hug when they need it.  I quilt because, like my grandmothers before me, I can give them a piece of myself disguised as a blanket that they can wrap up tight in and stay warm and know I love them.  I quilt because I want to be able to give them a hug even when I can’t be there.  They will always be able to wrap up in their quilts and know that they are getting a hug from mom.

That’s why I quilt.

Who we are and what we do

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So who are the people behind Quilter’s Compass? What qualifications do they have? What are their ideals?

We’re hoping to answer some of these questions in our first ever joint blog post between Barb, the owner of Quilter’s Compass, and her daughter, Hilary, the Public Relations & Marketing Coordinator for Quilter’s Compass. We’re hoping that doing this combined post will allow our clients and blog readers to get the answers to the questions posted above.

Barb: I’ve wanted to do this forever. I started planning my first quilt shop in college, and I decline to comment as to how long ago that was. I’ve always loved quilts. My parents had baby quilts and quilts that they’d used as kids and they kept them in the closet and I thought they were beautiful and shouldn’t be in a closet, they should be on a bed.  I wanted to be able to create something that was beautiful and functional too. So, as a teenager I started to tie comforters using printed sheets.  It was a start.

Hilary: Mom taught me how to sew when I was young – maybe 7 or 8 years of age. I made a few throw pillows and a lap quilt for my dad for a gift. Mom also helped my Girl Scout troop make a quilt so we could earn our sewing badges. I just wasn’t as in to sewing and quilting as I think she had hoped I would be, but she never pressured me or pushed me to stick with it. If it wasn’t what I wanted to do, that was fine with her, but she did try! I think I was a like my mom in some ways as a teenager. I did (and still do) love the quilts she made. I was so happy and proud to display them on my bed and “love” them (we don’t say they look “used” or “worn”… they look “loved”!), but I didn’t want to make my own… I just wanted her to make more for me!

Barb: While planning Quilter’s Compass, I was lying awake one morning and thinking “Gee, I’m not sure I want to get up today.” and  just thinking about stuff. Thinking about my parents’ quilts, it occurred to me that women I’d never met, my great-grandmothers, had a huge influence on me and my life. Thinking about my great-grandmothers that way also reinforced the notion that the quilts I’m creating today may have that same kind of impact on my great-grandchildren and I wanted to be able to share the joy of creating that connection with other people.

Hilary: While my great-great-grandmothers didn’t have the same impact on my life as they did on my mothers’,I definitely enjoy looking at the works of art they made so many years ago! I hold my grandfather’s baby quilt and just think to myself, this is what Grandpa curled up with every night starting in 1918, and it amazes me. His quilt is almost 100 years old! We have others from my grandmother that are anywhere from 60 to 80 years old. I just think it’s so cool.

Barb: If you look at statistics and demographics, the largest or most common profile of a quilter today is a woman who is probably in her early- to mid-fifties or older. As someone who nearly became a home economics teacher, I realize that the place that a lot of kids learn to sew is just not available any more (sewing programs in home economics courses in school). As the current primary base of quilters continues to age, if we don’t find a way to help young people discover this traditional art form, we run the risk of losing out. In an effort to making quilting relevant to younger generations, I try to fuse the traditional with contemporary to acknowledge the past and look to the future. I do this by mixing – traditional techniques with more modern fabric colors and prints, contemporary quilt designs done up in more traditional fabrics. I also love helping quilters see that you don’t need to stay within one fabric line. I love showing people how to, and that you can, mix lines. I like to get people to think outside the box. After all, there are no quilt police! If you like something, go for it and have fun!

Hilary: Since opening the shop, my mom has tricked me into quilting a few things. I’ll see fabric or a pattern I like and ask her to make it for me and she has the nerve to tell me to make it myself! She always says something about being busy or something… like she has things to do these days! 😉 Anyway, so I decided to make myself my very first quilt. It’s a more contemporary design, but the fabrics I used are all over the place! I have Civil War Reproductions, fabric from a children’s collection, batiks, basics, as well as other contemporary and traditional lines of fabric. I’m really starting to see just how harmonious contemporary and traditional can be when put together in one quilt. It’s a beautiful thing!

Just for fun…

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We’ve been dealing with many different types of construction lately, so we thought we’d ask you which one you thought sounded like the most fun!