Shop Happenings & Fabric Photos

Comment

Shop Happenings & Fabric Photos

Check out our recently announced Classes and Special Events here

We have received some great new fabrics recently. More new products arrive weekly!


Comment

Instagram
Learn Something New

Comment

Learn Something New

Learn Something New Every Day. Wise words from our mothers. This is why we try hexagons, bargellos, hand quilting, invisible zippers, and so on. It is fun and rewarding to acquire a new skill. But it can sometimes be overwhelming, and that great new project can end up in your UFO pile (UnFinished Objects). The Quilter’s Trunk is here to help!

We will offer basic sewing and quilting classes and plenty of demonstrations to develop your skills and provide you with information on the best tools to get your projects finished. Our talented staff is always available to provide direction and assistance.

For example, the Tee Shirt Quilt. These are popular keepsakes. We whipped up the “all community” tee shirt quilt  shown below in a weekend. (Thanks to our friends who “donated” their children’s tee shirts to the project!) All it took was the ability to cut and sew in a straight line, and a decent iron. You can do this too, we promise! The Quilter’s Trunk will teach you how.

 

 

One of the reasons we chose to carry the Baby Lock brand of sewing machines is their commitment to educating their machine owners. Imagine taking a sewing class wearing your pjs with a cup of coffee in the morning, or at night after you have tucked your kids in bed. The Sew@Home program by Baby Lock is a library of on-demand sewing classes that is extensive and continually growing. These classes are designed by sewing experts to help you get the most out of your sewing machine.

sah-logo.jpg

Lastly, we would like to mention our Community Board. Maybe you enjoy making pieced tops and prefer to “quilt by wallet” (that is, pay someone to quilt your project).  Perhaps you have a business making custom apparel or home dec items. The Quilter’s Trunk will host a Community Board where sewing and quilting service providers can advertise their services to those looking. Contact the store owner or manager for more information.

Thanks to all the sewing and quilting enthusiasts who have signed up for our newsletters. We will be sending out a 15% discount certificate in conjunction with our grand opening later this summer. We are really disappointed that we could not be part of the fun of the Northern Illinois Quilt Shop Hop and Row by Row this year.  Rest assured, we will be in 100% next summer. We are planning several fun events for this fall, so come visit us and help celebrate that we finally opened. Thank you for your continued excitement and support.

Katie & Lisa

If you haven’t done so already, Like us on Facebook and/or Follow us on Instagram.
 
The best advertising we can hope for is word of mouth.  Please share our newsletters with other quilting, embroidery and sewing enthusiasts.

Subscribe to our newsletters by clicking this link: http://www.thequilterstrunk.com/learn-more/

 

 

 

 

 

Comment

Instagram
Let's Go on a Fabric Tour

Comment

Let's Go on a Fabric Tour

A BIG thank you to all the new sign-ups for The Quilter's Trunk newsletters. Being on our newsletter list is the only way you will be sure to receive your Northern Illinois Quilt Shop Hop 15% discount certificate when we open. Forward this email to everyone you know so they can get their certificate too. Subscribe to our mailing list by clicking here:

http://www.thequilterstrunk.com/learn-more/

For more information on the Northern Illinois Quilt Shop Hop click here:

http://www.thequilterstrunk.com/summer-2015/

****************
Now for your gratuitous fabric photos....

When people think of quilt shops, they think of beautiful cotton prints and solids. Quality cotton does make up the majority of fabric carried in local quilt shops. But there are a range of other fabrics that can be used in apparel, home dec and quilt projects. Let’s go on a tour of these wonderful fabric choices!
 
Denim is a sturdy textile that lends itself well to jackets, totes, and pillows, such as a tuffet or pouf. We have a wonderful collection of jewel-toned denims that are pliable and easy to work with.

Artists have used canvas since the 13th century. Use our lightweight printed canvas to create your own works of art. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a travel tote made from the playful camera print?

We can’t say enough about the rich texture of our tea toweling. Need a quick gift for a wedding? Whip up a set of monogrammed tea towels, and you are done! Or create a whimsical pillow using a couple of buttons and applique.

We had to splurge on these rayon batiks. They are so soft and have a luxurious drape. They are perfect for a quick infinity scarf or a flowing skirt. I’ll take one of each, please!

Double gauze is a relative newcomer in quilt shops. Think of your favorite lived-in flannel, but lighter and more airy. Double gauze is terrific for baby quilts, pajama pants, or even skirts or tops. We have shown these sweet elephants, but gauze is available in many trendy modern designs as well.

Woven plaid is the epitome of peaceful contentment. They are not stuffy or formal. Try mixing these delicious plaids with fun florals and solids for an unexpected element in your next project.

Cotton jersey is a comfortable, easy fabric. Today, jersey comes in a rainbow of colors and a variety of delightful prints. Consider using it for your next throw blanket. You will love how it envelops you like your favorite t-shirt.

Imagine experimenting with denim, canvas, gauze, wovens, tea toweling, rayons and jersey…mixing and matching with different textures and patterns.  There are limitless possibilities to make wonderful items for ourselves and the ones we love. The Quilter’s Trunk promises these fabrics will recharge your artistic batteries.
 
****************
 
If you have had the chance to drive by our space, you will see that there is a flurry of activity. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But we realize that what you really want to know is…When are you going to open? We appreciate your support and patience as we prepare to bring you the best quilt store we can.  It is going to be great, and we can’t wait for you to enjoy it.

 Katie & Lisa 

If you haven’t done so already, Like us on Facebook and/or Follow us on Instagram.
 
The best advertising we can hope for is word of mouth.  Please share our newsletters with other quilting, embroidery and sewing enthusiasts.

Subscribe to our newsletters by clicking this link: http://www.thequilterstrunk.com/learn-more/

Comment

Instagram
What's on the Horizon?

Comment

What's on the Horizon?

What’s your sign? This is ours!
  
 “Are you EVER going to open?” This question has been asked a lot, by just about everyone, including ourselves. The short answer is yes. We are still deep in renovations that have taken a bit longer than expected. Let’s just say that at one point we had a sinking floor and an exposed broken sewer pipe.  Not the best conditions for fabric or our noses! But every day there is progress, and there is no going backwards.
 
 

5a88fb04-86ca-4187-b273-7e01879f764f.jpg

It’s almost June, and time for the Northern Illinois Quilt Shop Hop

June 1 is the official start of the Northern Illinois Quilt Shop Hop. This is a 3-month shop hop that gives participants the opportunity to visit 30+ terrific shops across northern Illinois. Participants receive a discount on purchases when they visit each shop, and can become eligible for great prizes for visiting all the shops in a single region or across all three regions. The Grand Prize is a quilting cruise for you and a friend, and First Prize is a Baby Lock Amelia, a wonderful travel size sewing machine provided by The Quilter’s Trunk. For more information on the hop, visit www.northernillinoisquiltfest.com.
 
The Quilter’s Trunk is honored to be included in this fun group of quilt shops. While we won’t be open at the start of the Northern Illinois Quilt Shop Hop, we do want participants to take advantage of the hop discount in our store. If you already receive our newsletters, you will automatically receive a certificate for the discount. To sign up for our newsletters, click here:  http://www.thequilterstrunk.com/learn-more/
 
In addition, the organizers of the hop have generously agreed to not require a stamp from The Quilter’s Trunk to be eligible for the regional or overall prizes (kind of like the free space on a bingo card). We will, of course, stamp your passport anyway!
 
In the next issue of our newsletter….we’ll talk about The Row by Row Experience. To whet your appetite, here is a teaser of our row.

Comment

Instagram
Thread Snobbery 101

Comment

Thread Snobbery 101

You walk into a sewing center and there are several beautiful displays of thread.  You see the one you want, but what are all these other ones? There are large cones, small cones, cotton, polyester, variegated, 40 weight, 50 weight, 60 weight. Much like the herbs and spices used in cooking, each thread type is suited for a different application. And, as with spices, not all brands deliver the same quality results. 

Exhibit A: The contents of Katie’s bobbin case before she became a Thread Snob.

Ordinary thread can leave a trail of lint in your machine in places you cannot get to.  This will lead to poor sewing machine performance. Higher quality threads are significantly less linty and break less often. They also come in several different weights for optimal results in your quilting, embroidery and sewing projects.

Aurifil is an outstanding piecing and quilting thread. You can literally see and feel how smooth the strands are. It disappears into the fabric when piecing, and shows beautifully when quilting.

King Tut is a spectacular variegated quilting thread. It is made with long staple Egyptian cotton. The colors are so vibrant, you will want to collect them all! Some of our favorites are Nefertiti, Mummy’s Dearest and De Nile.

The Bottom Line is this…sometimes you need a really fine bobbin thread to disappear completely. The Bottom Line thread is perfect for applique, quilting and binding.  Since it is a fine weight, more can fit on a bobbin, resulting in fewer bobbin changes.

Ah, embroidery thread. We could just stand in front of a display of embroidery thread and dream all day. So many beautiful colors. Isacord comes in 432 luscious colors, some of which are not even in the rainbow they are so spectacular.

Sergers sew very fast, so a flexible, yet strong, thread is a must. Seracor is the perfect serger thread for even, clean seams.

So, come on and be a Thread Snob. It is when you realize the advantages of using high quality thread. You will spend less time with nests, fuzz and lint, rethreading and winding bobbins and have more time creating and enjoying your projects.

*******************

We’re Hiring!

We are getting closer to opening and we cannot do this alone.  If you or someone you know is interested in a sales associate position in an exciting and creative environment please send inquiries to info@thequilterstrunk.com

 

 

Comment

Instagram
Cotton...It's Not Just For Quilting (And Neither is The Quilter's Trunk)

Comment

Cotton...It's Not Just For Quilting (And Neither is The Quilter's Trunk)

Raise your hand if your mother or grandmother had a red tomato pincushion. Both of our hands are up.  We all have fond memories of wearing clothes lovingly made by our mothers and grandmothers. This art form took a backseat as apparel became mass-produced. Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in home sewing which is evident on websites like Etsy and Pinterest.

We’ve been inspired by the plethora of independent pattern designers we have met.  These designers are creating exciting patterns for dresses, tops, aprons, children’s clothing and bags of all varieties, mostly using supplies you can find at a well stocked quilt shop. And who doesn’t love wearing something unique that they have made themselves?

Here are some ideas for apparel and accessories that we are working on.

The beautiful floral dress is made with shirting weight cotton that has a soft drape. It would work equally as well with quilting cotton. This designer has included several ways to customize the pattern.

The variety of kids patterns is endless. There are as many great patterns for boy’s clothes as for girls. And, the fabric choices available are terrific. The girl’s dress is so sweet and fun, while the boy’s skater shirt is the essence of cool.

Embroidery has come a long way. Any home sewist can achieve professional looking results. Our models, Jack, Fiona and the baby Declan, are ready for St. Patrick’s Day in their Irish tees.

Who doesn’t need a good bag, or 2 or 3 or…? Bags are super projects that can be whipped up in a weekend and run the gamut from totes to diaper bags to travel bags.  They can freshen up a wardrobe, and are treasured gifts.  Next to the bags, our model is wearing an infinity scarf made from delicious animal print minky. 

Our heirloom quality cottons can be used in a variety of ways. In addition, The Quilter’s Trunk will carry other types of fabric for creating apparel and accessories. Imagine a vest made out of denim embroidered with a custom design. Or a robe made from indulgent two-sided minky fabric. We also have a collection of soft rayon batik prints that are fabulous for tops, skirts or scarves.

Of course, the real star player in apparel and accessory making is a good sewing machine.  Baby Lock has a range of machines that make sewing and embroidery a snap. Many models feature one-step buttonhole stitches. Most come with multiple decorative stitches to easily embellish any project. Machine embroidery is available on several different models and the technology is mind-boggling, yet intuitive to learn. And, let’s not forget about Baby Lock’s world famous sergers, with Jet-Air Threading. You really have to see it to believe it. Sergers can be intimidating, but with the simplified threading available in Baby Locks, you will see that they are actually really fun. A serger is a great addition to a sewing studio. 

We're Hiring

We are getting closer to opening our doors and we cannot do this alone. If you or someone you know is interested in a sales associate position in an exciting and creative environment, please send inquiries to info@thequilterstrunk.com.

Katie & Lisa

 

If you haven’t done so already, Like us on Facebook and/or Follow us on Instagram.

The Quilter's Trunk Facebook page

The best advertising we can hope for is word of mouth.  Please invite other quilting, embroidery and sewing enthusiasts to sign up for our newsletters and to follow us on our social media pages.

Comment

Instagram
Celebrating Black History Month & We’re Hiring

Comment

Celebrating Black History Month & We’re Hiring

February is Black History Month. Quilting has a rich history in the African-American community. From the improvisational beauty of the Gee’s Bend quilts to the lore surrounding quilts and the Underground Railroad to the thriving quilt guilds around the Chicago area, this time honored craft helps bridge the past to the present.

 If you have not had a chance to see the Gee’s Bend quilts in a show, below is a link to a catalog of some of their spectacular pieces of art. The composition of these works is simple, yet speaks volumes.

 http://www.auburn.edu/academic/other/geesbend/explore/catalog/slideshow/

 Recently, we were invited to a meeting of the Needles and Threads Quilt Guild. This strong Guild of more than 100 members impressed us with the breadth and depth of their artistry and programs. We can’t wait to see what this incredibly talented group does next!

 One of the goals of The Quilter’s Trunk is to curate a selection of world fabrics to intrigue and inspire all kinds of quilters and sewing enthusiasts. We have discovered a treasure trove of traditional African fabrics. These prints are colorful, full of movement, and joyful.

******************* 

We’re Hiring!

We are getting closer to opening our doors and we cannot do this alone.  If you or someone you know is interested in a sales associate position in an exciting and creative environment, please send inquiries to info@thequilterstrunk.com

Katie & Lisa 

If you haven’t done so already, Like us on Facebook and/or Follow us on Instagram.

The best advertising we can hope for is word of mouth.  Please invite other quilting, embroidery and sewing enthusiasts to sign up for our newsletters and to follow us on our social media pages.

Comment

Instagram
Taking the Mystery out of Hand Quilting

Comment

Taking the Mystery out of Hand Quilting

I have always been intimidated by hand quilting.  I had pictured very talented women sitting in a circle in an official  "quilting bee" and that somehow I could never be a member of that club.  I certainly never felt talented enough.  On a whim I signed up for a hand quilting class with nationally renowned quilt expert Pepper Cory.  I took a deep breath and entered the class, ready to learn "the rules". But my experience in that class and meeting Pepper completely upended how I thought about hand work.  Now I say, "Bring it on!!"

I can't wait to share my epiphany on hand work with you. It is easy, relaxing, and a great option to have in your quilting and sewing arsenal. I have designed a wonderfully fun technique class to introduce you to the basics of hand quilting. No experience is required.  This is not a stuffy quilting bee but a way to connect with past generations of women who have hand sewn and taught these skills to their daughters and granddaughters before us.

Please join us on Thursday, January 15th at 7:30pm at Kunsthaüs.  The cost is $35 and all supplies are included. Space is limited and if you sing up by Sunday evening, Kunsthaüs is offering a ten dollar discount.  We look forward to seeing you there!  

Register for the class using the Kunsthaüs website link below:

http://www.kunsthauschicago.com/events-1.html

Lisa
***********************

In other news, The Quilter's Trunk now has an Instagram account!  We will be posting photos of the exciting fabrics that are arriving as well as projects and other goodies as we prepare to open the store. Follow us today by clicking the Instagram icon below!

Comment

Instagram
When Will You Be Open?

Comment

When Will You Be Open?

That is the 64 million dollar question.
 
It is the question that both Katie and I get asked nearly every single day.  This was a question I used to feel a little anxious answering because I did not know the answer... not entirely.  And for a while it seemed like the answer was, “In a few months”, which we said for about seven or eight months.  
 
Let me back up.  Katie and I started this journey in early 2013.  Naively, we thought, we would just find a space, order supplies and open our doors.  However, the deeper we got into this the more we realized we needed to do it right.  Not quick. But Right. 
 
Which meant that Katie and I needed to learn. We spoke with other store owners, not just in Illinois but all around the US and abroad. We spoke with sewers, quilters, and embroiderers, sewing machine manufacturers and fabric companies, pattern designers and notions companies. And, naturally, the more we talked the more we listened. 
 
We researched many different brands of sewing machines, sergers, and embroidery machines to determine which brand would offer the most to our customers.
 
And thread. Boy, is there a lot to know about thread. We learned about which kinds of cotton and manufacturing processes produce high quality thread with less lint. And we learned about the difference between polyester and rayon embroidery thread. It is all about choosing the right thread for the job. We are officially thread snobs, in a good way!
 
Let’s not forget about fabric and patterns! We met dozens of pattern, ruler and fabric designers. We have hand-picked the ones that inspired us the most.
 
As we gathered information we refined the vision of what we want The Quilter’s Trunk to be. We discovered that what we needed to do is not just support our customers but fuel their imagination!
 
So, when will we be open? When we are ready… and you will find it has been worth the wait.
 
Be sure to Like our Facebook page, where we have been posting pictures of store samples as well as teasers of fabric we are purchasing during buying binges.

Happy New Year, and we will see you in the store in the Spring!
 
Lisa

******************
 
The best advertising we can hope for is word of mouth.  Please share our website with other quilting, embroidery and sewing enthusiasts.

Comment

Instagram
What’s in a Name…Or, Giving Birth to an Elephant

1 Comment

What’s in a Name…Or, Giving Birth to an Elephant

When starting a business, you have approximately 300 gazillion decisions to make. We had our concept, now the decision was what name, in 2 or 3 words, would capture the heart and soul of our business. We mulled this over for a long time.

Should it be folksy as in “Ye Old Quilt Shoppe”?...No.

Artsy as in “The Chartreuse Pig”?... No.

Use a sewing pun as in “Sew Sew Sew Your Bolt?”… Definitely Not.  

What about…

The Quilter’s Trunk.

What does that name evoke? Elephant Trunks… Steamer Trunks…Trunk Shows…All of the Above.

Why an Elephant?  Elephants are majestic symbols in many cultures, representing strength, wisdom, patience, loyalty and a cooperative spirit.  They are removers of obstacles and are good listeners. They bring good luck.

The symbolism of the elephant inspired Katie to design and create an applique wall hanging. It has two batik elephants wearing tapestries bordered by a three dimensional celtic knot.  The wall hanging is known as the Irish/Indian Elephants and reflects the cultural heritage of her daughters.

Lisa was enchanted by the elephants. The characteristics embodied by them are central to our business philosophy. And, the double meaning of the word “trunk” lends itself beautifully to our vision of a welcoming sewing boutique. She knew that the elephant from the wall hanging was our elephant.

Now, imagine a vintage Steamer Trunk. Travelers would pack them up with their necessities and embark on journeys to distant lands. The trunks themselves were not only functional, but beautiful and durable.  Upon their return, their trunks would be filled with exotic finds of unimaginable beauty – sumptuous clothes and elegant fabrics, perhaps works of art or home décor items. These treasures would be shared with family and friends.

We will bring to our quilting and sewing community a thoughtful collection of fabric and ideas to treasure. Picture dazzling aboriginal prints from Australia, the exotic colors of African fabrics, the mysterious Japanese lines and floral English gardens. Trunk shows from fabric and pattern designers will delight and inspire you to create beautiful things.

The Quilter’s Trunk is gestating nicely, waiting to be born in just a few months. Now that our store has a name, our elephant needs one. We’d love to hear your suggestions in the Comments section.

Katie & Lisa

 

1 Comment

Instagram
The Seeds of The Quilter's Trunk

Comment

The Seeds of The Quilter's Trunk

I have always loved fabric and sewing. My mother taught my sister and me how to sew when we were in junior high and I continued to delight in the art of sewing through my teens and early adulthood. My first big purchase when I got that first paycheck after graduate school was a sewing machine. 

But, life happened, as it so often does, and that sewing machine got a little dusty. 

When we bought our home, the windows were in desperate need of updated curtains. I pulled out the machine and made fresh window treatments throughout.  It reminded me how much I enjoyed creating with fabric and how gratifying it was to see a project like my curtains hanging for the world to see.  In the midst of this creative burst, I invested in a computerized sewing machine that could embroider.  This opened a world of terrific new projects.  All of my friends and their kids started receiving embroidered beach and bath towels as gifts.

But I still wanted to sew.  I enrolled in a quilting class, which is where I met the talented Lisa Wilberding.  She quickly showed me that quilting is more than grandma’s floral bedspread (which, by the way, I do have and I treasure it like no other keepsake).  Quilting really is art with fabric instead of paint or clay.  No two quilts and no two quilters are the same. Quilting is a pursuit where you can let your creativity run – whether it is in combining fabrics in unexpected ways, incorporating embroidery and quilting together, or designing your own appliqué pattern.  I was completely hooked.

My first project in Lisa’s class was a Bargello quilt, and the second involved appliqué.  Each week during class, as we were strip piecing and ironing, the participants would fantasize, “Wouldn’t it be great if there was a quilt fabric shop nearby?”

The wheels started turning. “I have a business degree, I love fabric and sewing machines, I have a supportive spouse, and I have a creative partner in Lisa. Just maybe I could pull this off?”

And The Quilter’s Trunk was born, or rather the seeds of an idea were planted. We have been tending to the seed over the last year or so and it has been an amazing experience. Over the coming months, as our store nears its opening date, Lisa and I will share our stories, and hopefully plant some seeds of inspiration for you. Thank you for being part of our journey, and we look forward to seeing you in the store!

Katie

 

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER!

Comment

Instagram