Category Archives: Stores

Visit to Shipwreck Beads

Well. I paid my first visit to Shipwreck Beads in Lacey, WA. A long road trip with friends but sooooooo worth it. Since I moved to the Portland area I’ve been dying to go to the fabled store.

Having been to the Bead & Button annual show several times I knew wandering around the store aimlessly wouldn’t work. So I put together a list of delicas, findings, and certain beads which would work with various projects laid in heaps on my worktable.

And, of course, this meant leaving plenty of space in my budget for ‘things I did not know I needed’…… of which there were a few!

Somehow 3 hours went by and I swear it was only a couple of minutes. Well, my bag of goodies looked small, but oh so powerful. And expensive….

But lovely, and I can get going on a couple of ideas immediately.

Needless to say, though I will, it is so worth visiting bead stores just to get an idea of what’s out there. And to bring home some exciting products which get your juices flowing and back to the drawing board.

My first gemstone tree

Gemstone tree by Rose Rushbrooke

Gemstone tree by Rose Rushbrooke

When I lived in Florida I was part of a beading group which met every Thursday. It was my first experience working with beads – and being with others who beaded and shared their talent.

Jerri Heer, along with all the other amazing work she produces, teaches how to make gemstone trees. I bought one of her smaller kits to try my hand.

I chose gold wire and amethyst gemstones. The package was a brilliant surprise – it contained just about everything I needed to make the gemstone tree, including a twisting tool, toothpicks, wire, gemstones and a lovely stone base. The only thing I had to supply was patience, and glue!

Gemstone tree by Rose Rushbrooke

Gemstone tree by Rose Rushbrooke

This encourages me to continue on and make a larger gemstone tree for a complicated piece I am working on…….

If you would like to make your own tree, Jerri Heer not only has the kit but she has an excellent tutorial video available for free on her Etsy site Nature’s Arts.

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E E Schenck

E E Schenck Trends Diamond Jubilee

E E Schenck Trends Diamond Jubilee

This weekend we went to Trends at E E Schenk. It’s their Diamond Jubilee – the wholesalers have been around for 60 years.

We had no idea they were here in Portland. Shows how good my research is. I should have found this out BEFORE we got here 2 years ago. Fortunately I happened to be checking out wholesale suppliers and bingo, there they were. And the staff are lovely and the store is filled with heady things. Even David enjoys wandering around looking at the shelves of fabric and notions. We buy our thread from them on a regular basis.

They always put on a good lunch – why would we miss it? And so far we have won a door prize each time.

And they have great speakers – this time it was Mary Fons of Fons and Porter. Pretty special.

Very glad they are there.

Souleiado fabrics for quilting

Souleiado Museum, Tarascon, France

Souleiado Museum, Tarascon, France

Recently a friend and her husband made a trip to the South of France. Other than the trip itself which was memorable, a surprise discovery added to the fun. They found the Souleiado museum tucked away in Tarascon. And of course, she brought back some sample fabric pieces.

Filled with shelves of fabric samples spanning years of manufacturing, the Museum is a quilter’s dream.

The original designs were inspired by the gorgeously coloured light weight printed cotton fabrics imported to Marseilles from India. The French adapted these patterns to hand cut wooden printing blocks and created fashion lengths of fabric. Amazing to think Picasso wore Souleiado shirts. Of course, by the time he was sporting these high end outfits the company had switched over to copper plate printing. So the hundreds of years of “indienne” designs are preserved.

Soulieado charm pack

Soulieado charm pack

Yardage is not easy to find. Souleiado fabric is used for made up items such as clothes, accessories and scarves. However, if you search around you can find charm packs and vintage yardage. French Connections has a good selection.

Souleiado St Paul de Vence Raspberry 93-inch wide fabric

Souleiado St Paul de Vence Raspberry 93-inch wide fabric

Wouldn’t this make the most fantastic quilt back? Look at those colours!

Liberty of London

Liberty of London

For those of us who suffer from a fabric fascination, Liberty of London is probably a very bad place to visit when in the UK!

It’s an amazing store to walk around as it is a mock Tudor-style building constructed in 1924 from the timbers of two ships. Inside there are what seem to be hundreds of little rooms around 3 wells. It’s difficult not to get completely lost in wonder at each area. I nearly always have to buy something when I visit. Usually a small collection of their beautiful Tana Lawn cotton which is very fine. Of course, I still have each piece, in its bag, never opened. This is a problem quilters have……

The original Liberty was founded in 1875 in Regent Street. The iconic property on Great Marlborough Street was built to enable trading to continue while renovations were in progress at the Regent Street store.

When you go, make sure you use their loos. Quite an experience!