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Lessons from Stitching; Quilt Starter Bundles make great gifts; New linens of heavier weight

posted Nov 18, 2019, 4:40 PM by Lorna Shapiro

Hi everyone! Hope this finds you well. All is well in the Shapiro household... no news to report!

Serendipitous Stitchery with Uschi Greiner is underway...

We've now had two sessions with Uschi and are enjoying learning from her and sharing our ideas with each other. On the first night of stitching I learned two useful lessons: 

Thread is intended to be pulled through fabric in the same direction that it comes off the spool. This is due to the winding together of the multiple strands of thread (2-ply or 3-ply). If we thread a needle such that we are pulling the thread through in the opposite direction from which it came off the spool then the thread has a greater tendency to coil and get knotted.

Second, needle holes are punched and thread goes much more easily through the hole if it goes through in the same direction in which the hole was punched. Hence, if you are having trouble threading a needle, rotate the needle and try threading it from the opposite direction and you will find it thread easily. Going through opposite to the direction in which the hole was punched causes the thread to catch on the outer edges of the hole and not proceed through the hole. WHO KNEW????!!!!! Well, maybe you did, but I sure didn't and I can't tell you how many times since that first night I have turned a needle around and found the thread just passes through the hole no trouble at all. 

The women stitching are tackling a variety of projects, and are sharing what they know as they stitch... we are having fun. In December I'll find out who is continuing in the sessions and what spare spaces we will have for the January to June term. Stay posted. Here's a photo of what I've been doing...

Notice those cute little flowers and also the feather stitches in the red border!

Quilt Starter Bundles... Great Christmas/Chanukah gifts for your quilting buddies.

Shannon, Irene and I have been busily putting together some beautiful wee packages of 5 coordinating half-M cuts that make a great start on a quilt at a great price. I've priced these packages at $33 and they typically include a variety of textures so you have a beautiful palette and a range of textures both. Here are some photos to give you the idea...

New Gorgeous Linens have arrived...

I've just received 10 bolts of a beautiful linen that is heavier weight than blouse linen, and is good for jackets, pants, pillows, towels, and quilts of course... It's 54" wide and $31.95/M. Here are some photos to give you the idea.


Finally, remember to mark your calendars...

Saturday, December 28, 2019

10 AM to 5 PM



2726 W 38th Ave.
Vancouver, BC V6N 2W9

Phone Orders too... 604-250-8698
Email Orders too...

That's it for now... enjoy your quilting and stitching...


New shipment Japanese cotton/linens, apron pattern play, save the date!

posted Oct 22, 2019, 3:26 PM by Lorna Shapiro

Hi everyone!

It is SUNNY here today and that is a lovely change from the rain. Just came back from a walk through the fall leaves, which is enough to cheer up anybody. It is definitely the season during which I like to nestle in and play with fabric and I've been doing some of that... hope you have too.

But I wanted to let you know about some new arrivals from Japan; Kokka cotton linens, most of them. Here are some photos...



Cotton/Linen solids

Okay... I think you have the idea. These are fabulous in texture, style, colour... pretty much wonderful all over!

What else?

Susan helped me to size the criss-cross apron pattern to fit my grandkids. I had them select the fabrics they wanted and then proceeded to make an apron for each of them. While making the second and third aprons, Susan and I decided to mix the front and reverse side fabrics both in the pockets and in the strap. Here is my oldest granddaughter's stylishly reimagined apron. Forgive the lack of a smile... she's perfectly happy but smiling is not her long suit!

So... if you have purchased the pattern from me but not yet got around to making it, switching the front and reverse side fabrics as we did is something I'd recommend. Also, I learned it is important to pre-wash the fabrics because otherwise the front and the reverse side fabrics may shrink different amounts and you want the length of the front and reverse sides to be the same. Hope that makes sense!

Finally, save the date...

We have put our heads together and concluded that a Boxing Week one day sale is a good idea this year... and the sale will be a fabulous one. 

25% Off ALL regularly priced merchandise


Saturday December 28th, 10 AM to 5 PM.


2726 W 38th Ave., Vancouver, V6N 2W9.

We hope to see you here for a truly fabulous sale!

In the meantime, happy quilting... and remember we are here every Saturday 10 - 5 to help with your next project... it's what we love to do!


Packing for Edmonton, Time for a Second Curved Piecing Day

posted Aug 29, 2019, 12:57 PM by Lorna Shapiro

Hi to all of you... 

Three posts in a week... I think it's a record for me! But there are a couple of time-sensitive announcements I wanted to get out to you.

I'll be at the Edmonton CreativFestival September 6 & 7

So for all of you in the Edmonton area, I'm looking forward to seeing you again. I'm bringing some new quilts, tools, patterns and, of course, F A B R I C !!!!!

However, what I can't fit in this time is silk batting. So, if you are especially wanting some silk batting at 20% off, please let me know this week and I'll bring it for you. I won't have it generally for sale unfortunately because it is just too much to fit in the van.

I'm also giving a couple of interesting talks... Shape as a Design Element  and Getting the most from your quilting tools. I hope one or both of these is of interest to you too.

Here are some of the new Grunge's that will be 25% off at the show...

Curved Piecing Practice Day -- Running this for a second time -- with modifications!

Practice makes perfect... for curved piecing and for designing a curved piecing workshop!

The eight wonderful women who were willing to let me practice on them with my first in-house curved piecing workshop were enthusiastic, happy with what they learned, but also too exhausted at the end of the day. I tried to fit too much into one day with the result that people didn't have time to happily play with the techniques they were learning.

So this time I'm going to do two techniques, and allow time for playing with each of them. And we will end at 2:30 so that you can beat the traffic going home.

Here's the scoop:

Date: Wednesday October 9, 2019

When: 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM

Cost: $30

Where: 2726 W 38th Ave., Vancouver

Workshop Description:

Free-form curves can provide an organic background for a substantial quilt, a quirky accent in an otherwise geometric quilt, or a beautiful focal point in a larger design. In this workshop participants will first learn methods for achieving technically successful free-form curved piecing and inset circles, and then move on to design considerations for adding interest and creating a personalized aesthetic in their work.

The workshop is organized in order to allow participants time for both formal instruction and the unstructured play which is necessary to learn about our personal preferences in design and technique. We will learn from our own work, and from the work of other participants.

Workshop Objectives:

In this workshop, participants will:

·        become comfortable with the technique of free-form curved piecing, both small and large scale

·       become comfortable with the technique of insetting circles, quarter and half-circles

·        learn fabric selection techniques that increase the interest and appeal of the finished element

·        learn how variations in scale and line can add further interest to the free-form piece

·        create a variety of small pieces in order to explore their personal aesthetic preferences with curved piecing.

What to Bring:

Sewing machine set up for piecing, cord, peddle, needles, thread

Fabric to play with

Pins, snips, scissors, marker (like a Chac-o-liner)

Nametag if you have one


To Register: Email me at and then either etransfer the $30 or call with your credit card number.

OK... that's it! I promise you won't hear from me for a few weeks. Enjoy the busy September season of getting back to all those activities that were "on vacation" during the summer. I'll enjoy my drive to Edmonton and back!


Serendipitous Stitching - Thursday day class now full

posted Aug 28, 2019, 10:02 AM by Lorna Shapiro

Hi everyone....

To avoid disappointment, I am sending out this brief note to say that the Thursday day sessions of stitching with Uschi is now fully registered. I am taking names for a waitlist, and if there are sufficient names we'll see about getting Uschi to do two day sessions instead of just one. 

There is still room in the Wednesday evening session so all is not lost!

To register, email me at

A pile of new Grunge fabrics are arriving today, along with some new batiks. I love what I get to do!


Where did the month go? Uschi Greiner sew days, Playing with new palettes, Some new thimble-like tools.

posted Aug 24, 2019, 4:33 PM by Lorna Shapiro

Hello to all of you and I hope your summer is continuing to be a joyful one. 

I'm just back from a family reunion held on Salt Spring. We are just three generations since mom died two years ago, and we decided reunions were necessary to keep in touch. It was so much fun to see our kids sharing their lives with cousins they rarely see, and our grandkids playing with my siblings' grandkids... amazed at how much family they actually have. Here are a couple of photos I'd like to share... they say more than I can with words.


I know that many of you are enjoying similar get-togethers, in different settings, over the summer months. We are so fortunate to have these experiences to add to our memory banks!

But... to quilting... the purpose of this blog!

You've perhaps heard that I have a new found passion for using hand stitching to add yet another type of texture to my quilts. This is one of those situations in which my enthusiasm far outstrips my abilities! So, as is my way, I've decided to do something to correct that. I got in touch with Uschi Greiner who has been holding hand-stitching days at various quilt shops in the lower mainland. She's offered to hold monthly classes at my studio and I'm VERY excited about it. Here's the link to the write-up about the sessions.  

For those of you who want the executive summary, here it is....

Starts October 2019

Evening session - 1st Wednesday of the month 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm


Day session - 1st Thursday of the month 10:00 AM to 3:00 pm

The purpose of these monthly drop-in sessions will be to allow participants to find their own voice in hand-stitched enhancement of fabric and to develop techniques to express that voice. The resulting fabric may go into a quilt, a decorative item, or a piece of clothing, it could even be a finished quilt you choose to work on… but it will carry your aesthetic and your voice. Uschi will provide:

·       Inspiration regarding possible projects

·       Instruction regarding threads, tools, and techniques

·       Guidance and support for your individual projects.

If you want to join us, please register by emailing me at The sessions will be a maximum of 12, and there are now 10 spots left in the day session and 11 spots left in the evening session.

So how exciting is that???!!!!! I'm so keen to get started.

Playing with a new palette...

My go-to palettes are all cool, calm colours rather than warm, vibrant colours. Not that I don't like the latter. It's just that somehow when I'm starting a quilt, my hands just head for the cool rather than the warm. Looking at my booth at a show last season, I decided that I really had to step out of my comfort zone. A n d   I  d i d!

Here's what I just finished...

I call it Sedona Sunset and I've just finished quilting it (after this photo was taken) and am now working on some simple hand work to finish it up. It's an easy peasy split nine-patch, but I was quite pleased with it.

Thimble stuff...

The main distributor that I work with is a company called Checker in the US. They have a fabulous level of service and they carry an amazing selection of quality fabrics and tools. Recently I discovered that they also have a series of educational videos, short videos with information about the correct use of tools and about new tools available. One of the problems I've encountered with my hand stitching is that it is sometimes hard to pull the needle through the layers of fabric when I'm taking several stitches at once. So this video introduced me to some grips for my pulling fingers that I ordered immediately and that I am now able to personally recommend.

Here's the video about thimble tools of all sorts, and for what they are best suited. Enjoy it.

New fabric...

Of course I have new fabric... but I haven't taken lots of photos yet. Here are a couple...

Nani Iro Kokka linen (right) with some essex cotton/linens...

Moda wovens... who knew????

That's it for now... I look forward to our next visit. Thanks for being part of my quilting community!


We're down to 3 more sleeps. Too early to start sleeping in your car!

posted Jul 24, 2019, 11:00 AM by Lorna Shapiro

Hi everyone...

Today is a good day to sort out your next project, gather the fabric or pattern that you want to use, and sort out what you might need to make it extra special... and hopefully at my sale we will be able to help with ideas! There are some lovely new materials that have arrived lately that I wanted you to know about.

I just finished making my first fully batik quilt in a while and was reminded just how great batik fabric is to work with, and how well we can blend colours and values with batiks. I've filled in a few missing areas in my batiks, adding a bunch of blues and a number of lights. Here's one photo of the lights that came here yesterday.

I've also filled in the missing sets of Presencia perle cottons because I'm starting to want to add a bit of handwork to my quilts. It adds just a bit more interest and I also find that the handwork is very calming, and gives me something to do while watching TV at night (besides eating nuts!). Here's what I did on Salt Spring Island... it's just a beginning of learning what I might do to add some handwork, but that seems to be where I have to start!

And here are the different sets of Presencia that I now have in stock... sets are $25 regular and individual balls are $5. And at the sale they are 20% off.

Tomorrow I have 8 women coming to get comfortable with curved piecing, so that will be a good day for all of us.

Friday we set up for the sale... Saturday we party! Hope you can join us. 



Six More Sleeps to a fabulous sale!

posted Jul 21, 2019, 2:34 PM by Lorna Shapiro

Hi to you all...

Yesterday Susan and I unpacked 3 large boxes of new fabrics... Essex linens and contemporary Japanese fabrics in linen, cotton-linen, and cottons of various weaves. We are starting to get ready for the big day!!!! 

Saturday July 27... 10 - 5.

2726 W 38th Ave., Vancouver V6N 2W9

Here's the story... 

Everything in the studio is 20% off

New Presencia Perle Cotton colours are here

King Tut and Masterpiece threads are stocked up

Hobbs Tuscany Wool and Tuscany Silk Batting are stocked up

Patterns are stocked up... including the great apron pattern (I'm making them for my kids for gifts)

And just the normal, wonderful fabrics are here waiting for you

Here are some photos of some of the new fabrics...



Cotton/Linen by Kokka                                                     Cotton sheeting prints by Kokka


Cotton/Linen by Kokka                                                    Cotton pintucks


Lawn cottons and double gauze                                       New Nani Iro prints


and of course, much more... 

We look forward to seeing some of you here on Saturday. 

Mid July update -- Curves Workshop, Quilt Design 101 with VQG, 12 More Sleeps to My Summer Sale!

posted Jul 15, 2019, 4:10 PM by Lorna Shapiro

Hi everyone... We are on Saltspring for our now annual week's getaway with daughter, son-in-law and three  grandchildren aged 10-8-6. Each year gets a lot easier, I must say. Before we know it, they won't want to vacation with us... but it is lovely while it lasts. I took this photo as we walked our first night down to see the neighbour's new sheep. I hope all of you are getting in your summer outings with family and friends. We are so lucky to live in this amazing country.

Join my quilt design class with the Vancouver Quilters' Guild in October

When: October 5 and 19th, 2019

Where: Kerrisdale somewhere

Cost: $110

Contact: Meredith Kimball,

What do we do?

This workshop is for quilters who have created quilts from patterns and are moving on to designing their own quilts. Theory and technique are integrated throughout the workshop, allowing participants to:

·        gain a theoretical framework from which to evaluate and improve upon their quilt designs

·        experience a design process that supports the evolution and refining of a quilt design, and

·        learn new sewing techniques that allow a broader range of elements to be incorporated in their quilt designs.

Participants come to the workshop with some fabric they love (that’s important!) and have been wanting to incorporate into a quilt. They may also have a design concept in mind, however this is not at all necessary as a starting point. Ideas will quickly be generated!

On day one participants will develop a strong design concept incorporating their chosen fabric selection. 

Between days one and two of the workshop, participants will refine their design, assemble the complete set of fabric that may be used in the quilt, and possibly start creating some elements of the final design.

On day two of the workshop participants will progress from refined design on paper to the final design cut and positioned on their design wall, with some portion of the quilt actually assembled.

The class currently has 9 people enrolled and is definitely running. However there is room to add 3 more to the class so if anyone is interested in joining a group of women who will be exploring design ideas together, please contact Meredith.

1 Day Curved Piecing Class -- still 1 more space left

Several of you have asked when I would be teaching these various curved piecing techniques and now that it is summer I've decided it is time. 

Thursday July 25, 10:00 to 4:00 -- We'll cover 
  • inset circles, quarter and half-circles, 
  • free-form curved piecing, 
  • inset orange peels
  • Quick Curve Ruler curved piecing.

Where -- 2726 W 38th Ave., Vancouver, V6N 2W9 -- my studio 

How to register -- Email me -- and then either etransfer the $30 fee or call me with your credit card number

Class size is limited to 8 people

What to bring --

Come with your sewing machines (or use one of mine), 

bring the scrap fabric you want to work with, and 

also any rulers you have that you might be wondering how to use. 

Also bring your lunch. 

I'm excited and I hope some of you are too! A summer school opportunity:-)

12 More Sleeps to my Summer Sale

A hockey-sock full of new bolts of Kokka fabrics from Japan and new Essex linens are arriving this week while I'm away. They will be just in time to get on the shelves, ready for my summer sale. Start thinking about your projects and how I can help! Summer Sale -- everything in the store is 20% off -- e v e r y t h i n g !!!

Saturday July 27

10 AM to 5 PM

2726 W 38th Ave., Vancouver

           Presencia Perle Cotton
                                                                                   Superior King Tut & Masterpiece Threads

Pepper Cory Shot Cottons, Contemporary Japanese Prints

Essex Linens (55% linen, 45% cotton)

Bring a buddy and come join the fun... advice, community, and laughter are all free! My grandson, on the left, with his best buddy at soccer practice!

Best wishes to you all... and I hope to see some of you on July 27.


July 2019 Check-in - Inspiration & Ideas, A clever tool, Working with curves, New stuff

posted Jul 3, 2019, 4:57 PM by Lorna Shapiro

Hi to all of you. Summer has arrived, and with it comes quieter days with opportunities for creative expression. During show season my mind is so business focussed that my creativity seems to go dormant. Sometimes I fear it might not return! But, just as soon as the dust settles after my last show of the season, sure enough... my creativity comes hopping and skipping out to play. It's such a relief to welcome her back. Do you also have times when you feel that you've lost touch with your creative spirit? 

Inspiration and Ideas

One of the things that helps me is that my wonderful customer friends will often pull out their phones and show me photos of some of their latest projects. These photos give my inspiration a kick-start. Today I want to show you a few of the photos I've collected over the past few months...

Leslie Jo's silk purses... made for a group of women friends... Leslie Jo's own design... I believe she mixed woven cottons with Dupioni silks... This idea could be incorporated into quilt blocks... or placemat designs... or pockets on a garment... so many opportunities.

Gladys's placemats... these were created to feature some Guatemalan fabric and she integrated a combination of shot cottons and batiks ... I love what happens when we mix a variety of types of fabric... and Gladys's focus on line makes such interesting results.

Tiina's vintage silk wall hanging... this very simple project resulted in such an elegant and interesting wall covering over the head of this bed. Tiina simply chose a couple of silks that coordinated nicely with each other and with her room, assembled them so that they could be hung, and there she was... This could also be done with textured fabric to which you've added your own stitching

So as not to overload you, I'll leave it at that for now. But I'll send some more photos in the coming months. If you have any photo's you'd like to share, please send them to me. 

A Clever Tool

I was speaking to a group of women in Victoria at the Creative Stitches show this past spring. We were discussing tools that we found most useful. One of the women in our group passed on this great idea for threading heavier threads through needles. Here's what she uses... This package of floss threaders can be found in your local drugstore in the tooth care section. Using one of them to guide your thread through the eye of the needle works very well for all kinds of thread. I am using these now for my embroidery thread because it is too thick to work well with my Clover needle-threader. I keep a package in my sewing bag and am so grateful that we share ideas!

Curved Piecing practice day...

Probably most of you know that I love curved piecing. I love inset circles, free-form curved piecing, inset orange peels, and now also the Quick Curve Ruler curve! Here are some examples... 



It's Curved Piecing Workshop time... Several of you have asked when I would be teaching these various curved piecing techniques and now that it is summer I've decided it is time. Thursday July 25, 10:00 to 4:00 -- 

Where -- 2726 W 38th Ave., Vancouver, V6N 2W9 -- my studio 

How to register -- Email me -- and then either etransfer the $30 fee or call me with your credit card number

Class size is limited to 8 people

What to bring --

Come with your sewing machines (or use one of mine), 

bring the scrap fabric you want to work with, and 

also any rulers you have that you might be wondering how to use. 

Also bring your lunch. 

I'm excited and I hope some of you are too! A summer school opportunity:-)

Finally, photos of some of the new fabric that's been arriving... 

                           Essex Linens                                                              New wovens



New embossed cottons...

So how cool are those???!!! 

Start planning what you might do with some of them because I've saved important news till the end...

Summer Sale Day here will be Saturday July 27, 10 - 5

As usual, everything in the studio will be on sale at least 20% off. More to come later...

That's it for now... enjoy the summer weather... 

Thanks for being part of my quilting community.


Ladies, get out your maps and head to Langley!!!!

posted May 16, 2019, 4:56 PM by Lorna Shapiro

I've just come home from the George Preston Recreation Centre in Langley, where my very own guild's show is being hung as we speak... the Fraser Valley Quilt Guild show is on this weekend and it is NOT TO BE MISSED!!!! I'm so pleased with what all the members of the guild have created, and don't want you to miss seeing the wide range of styles and all the inspiring quilts that the guild has produced... Here's the information... the show runs 10 - 5 both Friday and Saturday.

My buddy and travelling companion, Irene Harvalias, is one of two featured artists and she has many beautiful quilts for you to see. Beside her is the other featured artist, Lynne Fanthorpe... also with amazing quilts.

I'll be in the vendor mall, along with a nice selection of vendors from near and farther away, so you'll have a good opportunity to find what you are looking for. Here's what I'm featuring...

End of bolt cuts -- batiks and printed cottons -- $6/M

Apliquick tools are actually on sale -- 10% off

Other notions are 20% off -- rulers, needles, misty fuse, and more

20% off on lots of new 3M cuts for clothing or quilt backs

Great clothing patterns 

Sale prices on a great selection of cotton/linens, shot cottons and contemporary Japanese prints

A great selection of Presencia thread for handwork on your quilts

Probably more... but I can't remember it all

Hope to see you there! You'll be glad you came. Have a great long weekend and enjoy the spring that has finally arrived!


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