Stash building

Today's guest post is by Hayley from Pink Castle Fabrics. 

I don’t know about you but I am completely guilty of buying fabric purely with the intention of throwing it in my stash until the right project comes up. I’ve done this  with tons of basics and blenders— when you find a good dot or stripe or simple blender print in a color you love or haven’t seen before, you have to buy hoards of it *just in case*, right? Right.

Here at Pink Castle, we’ve adapted the title of “stash builder” to all of these prints. We see stash builders as anything that consists of primarily one color. They’re typically white plus one color or tone-on-tone prints. Basically, if you look at a print and squint and it reads as a solid color, it’s a stash builder. And it’s probably something you’ll want to buy extra of because what if you need it for a project down the road? One day, that may be the very perfect hue for a work in progress. Stash builders are versatile, usually pretty simple, and are easy to work into a variety of projects.

I love all the Cotton + Steel basics. They’re one of my favorite stash builders and I find myself using bits of them in almost every project I’ve worked on since they came out this past summer. The new collections will be in our store in January and I’m excited for some new stash builder prints from them. Dottie’s Cousin in Rashida Coleman-Hale’s collection Mochi is one of my favorites. The Ghost Saltines print in Kim Kight’s collection Cookie Book is super great and simple. Alexia Abegg designed this super small scale print, “Dining Car”, for her Mesa collection as well.

Kim Schaefer has a new collection from Andover called Moonshadow. I love this collection. All white, gray, and black tone-on-tone and really simple prints. My favorites are the honeycomb and one that looks quite a bit like an overlock stitch. The “Stitches” print and her “Jacks” remind me of Carolyn Friedlander-type hand drawn lines. I love those kind of simple prints. They’re great to mix with solids for a textured looking background.

We just got these new Pinhead Dots from Michael Miller fairly recently and they’re super cute. I love a good polka dot and the array of colors these come in is awesome. It’s such a cute rainbow. We even have bundles if you need a bit of them all!

And of course, if these aren’t enough, we have an awesome subscription service that brings you stash builders every month— the Stash Stack Club! Every month is a new color in a variety of tones (light to dark) and you get to choose if you want a full stack (12 prints) or half stack (6 prints) in your choice of fat quarter, half yard, or full yard cuts shipped to your doorstep. After a full year’s subscription, you end up with a whole rainbow of Stash Builders and a huge pool of prints to pull from for your projects. All of our monthly clubs are great ways to keep your supply of fabric flowing, but Stash Stack is the showcase for awesome blenders. Just for perspective, this is what a year’s subscription for a full stack looks like:

Have a particular color you’re looking for? Check out the “Stash Builders” section on the sidebar of our website! We have each stash builder in our inventory categorized and tagged to make your search easier. Happy sewing, Minneapolis friends!

For more from Pink Castle Fabrics, like us on Facebook and follow us on Pinterest and Instagram @pinkcastlefabrics.

November 2014 Meeting Minutes

November 2014 Meeting Minutes, Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild
The meeting was held on Thursday, November 20, 2014 at the Textile Center at 7 PM. Below is a summary of the meeting.
  1. Next Meeting-- Thursday, December 18, 7 PM Textile Center. This meeting is the annual holiday social and pot luck. There is a sign up sheet for food and drinks to make sure we have a balance of items. If you didn't get a chance to sign up and will be there, send an email to the board (minneapolismqg [at] gmail [dot] com). We will also be having a "secret santa" fabric swap. Sign ups for the secret santa were sent out after the meeting with instructions. If you signed up for the secret santa and cannot attend in December, please make arrangements to get your fabric gift to the meeting.
  2. Show and Tell Sign Up Sheet-- We're asking everyone to sign up for show and tell at the meeting to make sure that we can keep track of it all for the photos on Flickr and in the minutes. It also gives you the chance to note if the quilt/item is from a specific pattern or tutorial that others might be interested in. 
  3. Blog Posts – We're always looking for members willing to help keep our blog fresh. This quarter's Saturday Series is Holiday Gifts. Please sign up if you have ideas for holiday gifts or favorite tutorials to share. 
  4. 2015 Board Nominations – The board begins a new term starting in March of 2015. Nominations will be at the January meeting with elections for all board positions in February. The Vice President position will be vacant in 2015 since Vanessa's term is expired. If anyone is interested in serving on the board, please contact an existing board member. The board is happy to answer any questions you may have about time commitment, duties, etc. The guild by-laws can be found here
  5. 2015 Spring In-Town Retreat-- will be held on April 11-12, 2015 at Millie P's in downtown Anoka. Hours of the retreat are Saturday, 9 AM to Midnight and Sunday 9 AM to 7 PM. Additional details will be available on the blog after the New Year.
  6. January 2015 Meeting -- Main agenda items include the 2014 Mystery Quilt reveal and Board nominations. 
  7. Lee Heinrich Trunk Show and Workshop-- The Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild received a grant from MQ to help offset the cost of bringing in a guest speaker and instructor for an event. Lee Heinrich, co-author of Vintage Quilt Revival and blogger at Freshly Pieced, will be here as a result of the grant. There will be two opportunities to meet Lee: 
    • Friday, January 30, 7-9 PM, Textile Center-- Trunk show and reception. Free for Mpls. MQG members, $5 for non-members. 
    • Saturday, January 31, 10 AM-4 PM, Textile Center-- Advanced Piecing workshop/class. Details on cost and materials are forthcoming. A copy of Vintage Quilt Revival is a class requirement, so you may want to put that on your holiday wish- list if you don't own it already (several libraries in the area also have this). 
  8. 2015 Bees – If you are interested in joining a Guild Bee Hive/Group, please sign up or contact the board via email. We will have two categories – beginner and advanced. Each hive can set up their own agreed upon guidelines (i.e. frequency of exchange, number of blocks).
  9. Get Inspired Challenge-- The spring challenge is "Get Inspired". Simply make something and share with us your source of inspiration. The reveal will be at the April meeting and participants should bring in their finished project with the original source of inspiration (or photo of). No other rules or restrictions. 
  10. Quilt Mentors Needed for Medical Students-- A group of U of M medical students have been given a grant to start a quilting group that will work together on a creative endeavor to learn quilting and ultimately make quilts to give to patients. The group is seeking knowledgeable quilters to help get them started. Please see Carrie F. if you are interested.
Guest Speaker/Demonstration:  
Sue Heinz of Kismet Quilting gave an excellent demonstration titled “You’ve got a friend in Elmer”. Sue showed us the many ways that we can use Elmer's white school glue in our quilting to get accurate seams, professional looking binding, and more.

Show and Tell:

Carrie-- Marketplace India Charity Quilt

Carrie -- place mat pattern from

Colby-- Modern Stripes MQG website (going to QuiltCon!)

Colby-- wonky triangles (going to QuiltCon!)

Colby- whole cloth quilt

Kristin L.-- A Little Crispy
Kristin L. --A Little Crispy
Kristin L.-- A Little Crispy

Chris C.-- Marketplace India Charity Quilt

Chris C.

Chris C.

Chris C.
Carol C.
Karen C. -- Glad Creations Row Quilt, Gracies Favorite

Rozina D. --cockatoo pattern by Quiet Play

Kellye-- Lantern Strings

Kellye--quilt back

Erin--St. Louis 16-patch in catnap fabric

Erin--quilt back

Andrea--quilt back


Jill-- Swoon

Tiki-- Disappearing 9-patch



Maria--quilt back

Amanda Jean--You Can't Rush Art, Crazy Mom Quilts

Sharon--Owl Quilt
Sharon--quilt back

Saturday Series: Holiday Gifts

One of my favorite things that I have made for the holidays is Stocking. I know what you are thinking. You give stockings as gifts? I have made little ones to hold gift cards out of felt. Sorry, no picture. I also have made multiple stockings to give gifts in. They are easy to sew together and reusable for the receiver.

 I cannot remember where I got the pattern for the stocking from but it would be just as easy to draw it.

I hope that this inspires you to make a stocking for a gift or to give a gift in.

Saturday Series: Holiday Gifts

Hi everyone, Tracy here to share one of my holiday gift ideas -- quilted pillows.  I've been making and giving quilted pillows as gifts for the past few years.  They're pretty quick and I find them very satisfying to complete.  I don't really use patterns; I just start sewing stuff together and then trim the block down to fit my pillow form.  There's a boatload of free tutorials on the Internet which I frequently reference when making pillows.  Amanda Jean has a great one on how to make an envelope back closure, which is the only way I've made mine so far (no zippers for me).

I've made easy patchwork pillows using up scraps:

I made this one using scraps from my Big Poppy quilt.  I didn't have a full poppy, so I just cut what I had into strips and called it "Deconstructed Poppy":

I also like to do raw edge applique -- cutting out specific fabrics, ironing them on linen using heat and bond and then sewing around the edges three times (once around is not enough, two times around looks like you're trying to hard and three times around looks just right).  I use scraps to piece the border and then only quilt the scrappy part:

I made these pillows using the book "Quilting Modern: Techniques and Projects for Improvisational Quilts.  Again, I fussy cut some fancy fabric, filled in with scraps and then quilted everything loosely following the pattern in the book:

This pillow was made from the mini charm pack that we received for our "Take It With You Challenge" from last summer (I didn't take it with me):

This is probably my favorite pillow ever.  It was made from an old tee-shirt that my husband threw in the rag bag (seriously!?!).  I dug it out, fussy cut it up and framed it with some scraps.  This would make an awesome gift for someone in my family, but it's mine:

I buy my pillow forms from just about anywhere I see them.  Usually on sale at JoAnn's, but I'll picked up some from IKEA too.  I'm a bit picky about IKEA because some of their pillows are very under stuffed; they do, however, have some fun and different shapes and sizes.  I've also had good luck at Tuesday Morning.  They have reasonable prices on pillow forms, when they have them in stock.

Consider sewing up some pillows as holiday gifts this year.  You can use up your scraps and make somebody very happy at the same time.

New business member spotlight: Pink Castle Fabrics

Today's post is by Renee at Pink Castle Fabrics, our newest business member. Please click over to Pink Castle Fabrics and check out their fabulous selection! 

Pink Castle Fabrics resides in beautiful Ann Arbor, Michigan, where we fulfill the modern fabric needs of quilters all over the world. Our diverse inventory is our pride and joy; yes, we have the modern staples you expect - like Windham, Art Gallery, and Cotton+Steel - but also one of the best selections of Japanese imports anywhere in North America, classic favorites like Liberty Tana Lawn, and a huge assortment of solids from a variety of manufacturers.

Brenda is our owner and inspiration! She first came to quilting while expecting her son, but quickly realized there wasn't anywhere in Ann Arbor to cater to her fabric tastes. Having always wanted to own a business, she decided to be her own supplier, buying fabric by the bolt and selling what she didn't need to friends and on her Etsy shop. As sales bloomed, Pink Castle moved beyond Etsy to became its own web-store, and then a year-and-a-half-ago we left behind the basement of Brenda's house and moved into our very own brick and mortar shop! We just moved into a new, even more spacious location and are loving it...we now have more room for fabric, for classes, and for pretty much everything! 

Today, Pink Castle has a staff of nine people – Brenda, Jason, Whitney, Me (Renee), Kristen, Hayley and Hayley, Josh, and Cale. And we continue to look for new ways to serve our customers, from an ever-expanding range of monthly clubs to in-store events like classes and book signings to our bi-annual Camp and Glamp Stitchalot events. The vast majority of our business remains online, where our customers can always shop for exactly what they want 24/7, but we love our role as Ann Arbor's premiere modern fabric store and look forward to many more years of continued success!
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