Website Homepage‎ > ‎

Lorna's Blog

I have no idea what the icon below actually does, but I think you can subscribe to my posts by entering your email address above. Once you have entered your email you will receive an email from Feedburner requesting that you click back to confirm your subscription. If you don't see this email within a day, check your junk folder. The icon below sends you to an indecipherable page... so ignore it!

Sending warm thoughts your way...

posted Apr 5, 2020, 4:23 PM by Lorna Shapiro

It really has taken me this long to get to where I could write to you again. My first week of shutdown felt like I was in shock... nothing was as I had expected it to be only a week before and I couldn't quite get my head around what  was the new state of the world. Fortunately I've since spoken with enough of you to know that I was not alone in that reaction and, like you, I'm beginning to come out of that state and into a place of gratitude for all that is still OK in my world. Keeping in touch with our friends and family is so critical at this time and we are inordinately fortunate that we have the technology that allows us to do that.

So in part this blog post is just a reaching out to say that I sincerely hope that all is well with you and your dear ones and that I appreciate your friendship and the rich creative spirit you contribute to my life. We are blessed.

A number of you have been in touch looking for assistance with some small needed item for a project so I also want to explain what I'm doing. With Covid-19 I am no longer open for individuals to come into my studio. I sympathize with the frustration of having our stores closed. I am most willing to try to help you get needed quilting and sewing supplies by working through email, phone, text or curb-side help. Call, text or email me about what you need and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. 

I can help with...

Masterpiece and King Tut piecing and quilting threads
505 spray
Silk batting
Wool batting
45 mm rotary blades (the Japanese steel ones are back in stock and $32 for 10 blades)
28 mm rotary blades
thread snips
sewing machine needles (domestic and long-arm)
Perle cottons - Presencia sz 8 in lots of colours, every colour of Stef Francis sz 8, 5 and 3
Needle threaders
Free motion quilting gloves
Extra-wide backing
Linen for clothing - light and mid-weight
Essex linens by Robert Kaufman 
Shot cottons by Pepper Cory
Japanese contemporary cottons
Japanese woven cottons
Japanese cotton/linens and rayon/linens

I'm sending you a few photos to brighten your day...

Japanese cottons...

Northcott cotton (middle), Japanese cotton satin (bottom), Japanese cotton (top)

Essex linen and Japanese cotton/linen... and lots of other linen combos for aprons.

Some of the Stef Frances perle cottons being unpacked...

New shipment of blades finally available and arrived! Still a great deal even though the cost 

is up $4.

Finally... I'm passing along a couple of images that have been sent to me during this time of isolation...


Be well... stay safe... create joy for yourself and those dear to you.


There's still one Saturday left in February!

posted Feb 27, 2020, 1:12 PM by Lorna Shapiro

Hello to you all...

My "Happy 70th birthday to Me... 15% off sale for the month" lasts until this coming Saturday so you still have a chance to participate! Maria and Susan will be here working with me and we'd be happy to help you with your next project.

I have a new quilt to show you... and I've done some handstitching after I quilted it... I'm having so much fun with that. This time I used Presencia Perle cotton size 8. Irene says it's very SUB-tle!


I mentioned I had received some wonderful new linens... heavier weight... that are great for clothing and for towels... Here are some photos...

           Woven daisies                                                                   Black linen


              Dark Aqua                                                         Dark Green


               Taupe                                                                     Periwinkle


And here are some towels made by Beckie, who also fringed them rather than hemming them...


New Moda Wovens also have arrived...


And finally I wanted to pass on this great little video about cutting long borders or strips of fabric... I thought it was very clear and helpful.

That's it... except for this one last lovely photo of some of the Stef Francis perle cottons that I have here for your stitching pleasure...

Kind of makes you melt, doesn't it?

Take care, all... and do enjoy this wonderful time when spring starts to arrive.


It's spring! Happy Birthday to Me... 70 Years Old next week!

posted Jan 30, 2020, 4:28 PM by Lorna Shapiro

Hi there everyone...

I don't usually do this, but since it is my last few months in operation here... and since I just received a bunch of wonderful new cotton-linens and 100 % linens and variegated yarns for hand stitching... I'm offering 15% off in the month of February to anyone who wishes me happy 70th birthday! This offer is good for one visit (or email) per person, and applies to ALL regularly priced products.

Here's some of the new stuff...

Heavy-weight linens for towels or clothing... 240 g/sm...

I've become a convert to the benefits of linen for bath towels. And my daughter Kate who is back at university and trying to get some exercise swimming during a break in classes has also become a convert... read this description of the benefits of linen towels and you will start to see why we are so keen on linen...

Here's a couple of photos of my recent towel creations!

Yarn-Dyed and gorgeous...

Dyed... in Aqua and Optic White... also 240 g/sm...

Susan helped me to make these. We used the Clover hot hemmer for a fast measurement tool when ironing the hems around the border of these lovely towels... these linens are 58" wide so they make a perfect bath towel with the length being the WOF. I have aqua and optic white in plain weave linens for $32/M. The top one is a yarn-dye and it is $50/M... but it's gorgeous! All three of these linens are 240 grams/square meter... heavy weight an wonderful.

Here's the Clover hot hemmer tool if you haven't seen it...

The fabric sticks to the ruler while you are ironing up the hem, and the ruler doesn't get hot because it is some sort of fibre.

Pack of 10 rotary blades, 45mm, for only $28.

I've restocked these, and although the sale was over when I made this purchase, they are still only $28 for 10... good quality Japanese steel and the blades work well on Olfa and Clover rotary cutters. Compare this with $45 for 5 Clover blades... it's an economical way to get reasonable quality blades.

And Some New Stef Francis Yarns

I have restocked my No 5 and No 8 Perle Cotton variegated yarns from Stef Francis... I have all their colours now and the price-point is excellent... $4/skein. Here's some pretty pictures...





And there's even more... so just come and enjoy having a great selection of gorgeous cottons for your hand stitching play!

Upcoming Shows...

I will be at four shows before I close the business... and as we are starting to cut fabric to take to shows, we are getting excited about coming out to meet you and share what we've been learning about quilting, stitching and garment sewing. Here are the shows where you'll find me...

Abbotsford Creative Festival March 27/28..

Victoria Quilters' Guild June 5/6/7...

and the last hurrah...

This is all going to be bitter/sweet for me, being my last year of shows. But I hope to share good visits and lots of laughter with you and to see lots more beautiful quilts to inspire us as we visit these shows. I have a few new ones to share with you!


Finish your planning quickly -- it's here! Sale Day tomorrow.

posted Dec 27, 2019, 10:10 AM by Lorna Shapiro

Hi to you all.

I'm busy today setting up for my Boxing Week Sale which is tomorrow, Saturday December 28th. This is the sale you don't want to miss... even if it's just for the exercise of climbing those stairs after all that holiday turkey!

First I want to thank the lovely women who took time out of their holiday preparations to give me the scoop on "the News from Old Crow." I grew up in Edmonton and my fellow Albertans of that era were better than I at remembering the source of that saying... here's an exceprt of what I received...

Gwich'in elder Edith Josie, the voice of Old Crow, died Sunday of natural causes at the age of 88. The Whitehorse Star journalist was known around the world for the colourful reports she gave from her isolated, fly-in community.

She had her own unique style of telling stories to people and it really carried through to others,” said her son, William Josie.

Josie wrote exactly the way that she spoke – in broken English with Gwich’in syntax – flavouring her columns with local expressions and a quirky sense of humour.

In one of her first articles she describes the unsuccessful “ratting” (muskrat trapping) in Old Crow Flats that year.

“John Joe Kay and his family and Dick Nukon and family came into town from their ratting camp,” she wrote in the spring of 1963.

“They reported no rats around there but they say too many mosquito. Too bad no prize on mosquito.”

Storytelling was in her blood, but it wasn’t her ability to spin a good yarn that landed Josie a job with the paper. That fell on her by accident.

If you'd like to read the whole story of this remarkable woman who's humour and warmth touched the lives of many she never met, here's the link to that story...  In my home the expression "That's the news from Old Crow" was used after we had delivered a piece of somewhat mundane, but personal piece of news... and now I can understand why!

NOW... back to the sale...

All Regularly Priced Product is 25% Off

Phone and email orders are just fine...

Silk Batting, Wool Batting

Grunge, Shot Cottons, Cotton/Linens, Dupioni Silks

Vintage Kimono Silks, Japanese Wovens

Contemporary Japanese Prints

Dressmaking Linens

Embroidery Perle Cottons #3, #5, #8

Lots of Great Notions...

as is usual at our sales...

Laughter, Advice and Companionship are all free!

Where am I?

2726 W 38th Ave
Vancouver V6N 2W9

10 AM to 5 PM

Hope to see you tomorrow...



In between your holiday events... start planning... 8 sleeps to go.

posted Dec 20, 2019, 12:08 PM by Lorna Shapiro

Hi to you all... Our daughter Kate, when 6 years old, was already the extroverted, warm and engaging person she is today. When we travelled to Guadeloupe as a family over the Christmas vacation that year, she took to greeting people she did not know with the question "Are you Christmas or Chanukah?". And surprising to us, she located a few Chanukahs! So whether you are Christmas, Chanukah or neither one... my hope for us all is some relaxed time with those we love over the holidays, and that we all enjoy a sense of gratitude for all those who are dear to us in our lives.

And... while you are enjoying some quiet moments in between the holiday festivities, you can start planning your next projects, pulling what you have from your stashes, and sorting out what shopping you want to do to take advantage of my December 28th Boxing Week Sale!

But before I show you some photos of some of the new fabrics that have arrived, I'd like to announce that as we head into 2020 we are heading into the last 6 months of my business. I turn 70 in February and have decided that I'm starting to get the hang of retirement and it is time to give it a try. My business has been a blessing for me as I transitioned from full time, intense professional work into retirement. You've all taught me so much... about colour, about design, about sharing our knowledge with open hearts, and about supporting each other through the challenges that come as we age. From the bottom of my heart... thank-you! I don't plan to have a big clearance close-out, because I love my fabric and want to have it around to support my creative spirit. I will have this sale and another in the spring... and then will close with the CQA show in Edmonton. I've been speaking of these plans with those I've seen in person over the past couple of months, and wanted now to let those of you whom I haven't seen understand what is happening with my business. To look at my studio, you would not think I'm retiring... so I will likely find myself making some kits to sell on Etsy once I retire in order to burn through some of what I don't "need" over time!

So, as my mom used to say, that's the news from Old Crow. I have no idea where that expression comes from and if you do I'd love to hear from you.

Here's the scoop on the Boxing Week Sale... 

Saturday December 28th

10 AM to 5 PM

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

or by phone or email (prior to the 28th)

Lots of gorgeous new fabrics...

Kokka Nani Iro line -- some sheeting weight and some lawn cottons


Sevenberry through Robert Kaufman...



          One House, Two House


           Sedona Sunset

          Heading Home

Other good stuff................

10 Pack 45 MM blades $25

Regularly priced fabric and kits all 25% off

Batting -- Silk or Wool -- 25% off

Amazing variegated embroidery Perle Cottons -- Sizes 3, 5, and 8 -- $4 ea, 25% off

Presencia 10 gm balls of Size 8 Perle Cotton -- $5 ea, 25% off

Patterns -- 25% off

Notions -- 25% off (rulers, 505, needles)

Thread -- 25% off

And that is worth planning for! Susan, Maria, Irene, Shannon and I are hoping to see you on the 28th. Come and bring a friend... it will be fun!



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!


1-10 of 91