Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Things are Happening!

Yup, it going to be a big deal! Amy and I came back from Quilt Market with a new and better vision for Yellow Bird Art! So, we're going to say "goodbye" to loads of selected fabrics, books, patterns, trims, kits, threads...... You're going to love this sale! We are making room for marvelous new lines of fabrics, notions, books and patterns. We can't reveal all the details now because we want it to be a fantastic surprise for our customers.

And to clarify, we are not going out of business, and we are not moving! So mark your calendars, and gather the girlfriends, and get ready to fly on in to Yellow Bird Art on June 6!

Birdy Hearts to you all!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

And the Winners are: !

Contratulations to the winners of our drawing!
Pam, Quilt Mom, e4e Sarah & Clare all won the combination of two patterns and the two fabric cuts.
Cottage Quilter won the collection of batik charms and the pre-fused appliques.
Kami won the four Kona Bay fat quarters.
Kathie won the four Prints Charming fat quarters.
Quilt Smiles won the lovely hand crafted soap.
Tracy won the kit for my "to Market to Market" tote bag.
Maria won my newest pattern, "Gotta Fly Bag", and a few goodies to go along with it.

I sent e-mails to everyone who had an e-mail addy last night, but if you didn't hear from me, please e-mail me your mailing addy at either: or

I'm very sincerely thanking each one of you for your thoughtful answers to our question!
Birdy Hearts to you all,

Monday, May 25, 2009

Still time to leave a comment!

You ladies are all making me a bit misty eyed. The suggestions for a great quilt shop are awesome! Amy and I were inspired when we got home from Quilt Market, but you're all helping shape what our shop is going to be like in the future! Really. We have been planning a big re-do of the shop to make it even better for our customers, and your thoughts have given us a wealth of ideas. Thank you all so much - truly and deeply! I thought I'd put up a photo of Amy that won't make her want to choke me. I think it was from around Christmas.
I'll list the winners of the drawing tomorrow morning!
Birdy Hearts to you all!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Winners! & New Stuff to Give Away

These photos are just random shots of Quilt Market on Sunday. Sunday is relatively quiet, and if we had know this, we would have waited to do most of our ordering on Sunday. Friday and Saturday are a crushing madhouse, but then I'm not too keen on crowds. Friday we walk the show with our show catalog in hand, checking the booths we want to come back to on Saturday or Sunday. It did seem to me that there were more exhibitors last fall in Houston. All I know for sure is that by the time you've walked through all the exhibits on Friday you think your legs and feet are going to fall off. Or swell up and become giant watermelons. We were dreaming and wishing for a massage person to show up!

It was obvious that buyers had a million different ways to shop market. We just had a general list of things we needed or wanted, and then a list of things we hoped we'd find at Market, and then we ended up ordering fabrics that just knocked us out. More on this in another post.

Coming home from Quilt Market is quite the experience. First you attempt to sleep straight through for about 24 hours, or as long as your household will let you. Then you try to remember all the things you did order, then you fall to your knees and thank God that you did not order all the things you saw that you loved and really, really wanted. Wanted in a bad way! Then you slap yourself around a bit and get real about just how much money you do have in your budget for new purchases. Where is the trust fund when you need it? Is this too much to ask?

Moda and Indygo Junction had the most amazing booths - those folks have the display thing worked out! The imagination and creativity that went into the display of most vendors' booths was WOW! We took notes and photos, but you know how that goes. You look through everything later when you're home and you'd think you'd been on a bender while you were taking the notes and photos because that's about how much sense it makes!

  • Now for the FREE STUFF! Here are two new patterns, and two precut quilt blocks that will be given to four lucky quilters!

Next we have a set of 40 charm blocks of batiks with six pre-fused appliques. We bought an Accucut Studio and a mess of dies - what a difference accurate cutting makes in assembling a quilt. And I have to tell you, our customers LOVE the pre-fused appliques.

The next gift is this 4 pack of Kona Bay oriental fat quarters. This collection just came in, and we are all weak knees over it. Wonderful details, and the metallic gold! Gotta love it. We should have the fabric posted on our web site in the next couple of weeks. We have a fabulous high school gal, Christina, who scans all our fabrics. Normally we only get her three or four hours a week, so sometimes there's a bit of delay before fabrics get posted to the web, but hooray, school is almost out and she'll be able to work more often!

The next two goodies are a four pack of Prints Charming's amazing poplin fat quarters with that incredible citron color. Which, by the way is one of the colors, along with grey, for the year - learned that in a class at Market! Next is a lovely handcrafted bar of the most wonderful soap you'll ever use. A friend of the Bird makes these hand moulded bars of soap that have just the loveliest scents and they lather up so beautifully. Your skin feels so smooth after using these soaps.

The last two gifts are my designs. The first is a "To Market, to Market" tote bag kit. The kit includes my pattern, the fabric and webbing to make the tote. I really try to design bags that are really functional. This tote can take a lot of use and you can machine launder it.

The last freebie is a copy of my newest pattern, the "Gotta Fly" handbag. I designed this bag for a bus shop hop we participated in a month ago. So far, the reports back have been good. The bag has a great exterior pocket, two generous interior pockets, and my favorite, a strap with a slider so you can use the bag as a handbag, or let the strap out to wear the bag.

  • So if I counted correctly, there are 10, yes 10! give aways! Here's how to get in on the fun. Send us a comment telling us what a great quilt shop should be like. Then since there are 10 prizes, I'd like to ask you to send a link for the blog to 10 of your quilting/sewing friends. We're working on building the traffic to our blog and website, and you are the key to this!
    Since this is a holiday weekend, I won't draw the 10 winners until Monday, May 25 at 7pm, central time.
  • Congratulations to Jeanne for winning the drawing for the Lecien fabrics! We were in the mood for a bit more fun, so we also drew Carmi's name for a pack of the Lecien fabrics as well. We're girls who know what good clean fabric fun is all about!

Winners should e-mail me your mailing addys at

Have a great weekend!


Friday, May 22, 2009

Be Sure to Check us out Tomorrow!

Just a reminder - check tomorrow's post. I've been working from home this week and am going in tomorrow to work with our Stash Master's group (if you have a stash, come on over!). Amy has all the goodies at work, so I'll take photos of tomorrow's give aways then and post tomorrow afternoon. Also for those of you wanting the Lecien fabrics, you'll find them on our website in a couple of weeks (we have a secure shopping cart)


More Spring Quilt Market News

Quilt Market can be an overwhelming experience. Booth numbers ran from 103 to 2653. That's a huge amount of product to look at, even when large merchandisers have more than one booth. For example Moda had 24 booth spaces, and even though the products were from one company, the amount of new fabrics was mind boggling. The photo below is a display of the new Indygo Junction clothing patterns. The samples were smashing, but we also loved the way they put the displays together! Garments were featured in many of the booths, and it could be that garment construction is making a comeback.

Another trend we noticed was fabric designed for home decor. Amy and I were spending a gloriously inspiring moment resting on the setee in the Vicki Payne booth. Vicki designs for Free Spirit Fabrics, and we'd love to carry some of her fabrics. This last sumptious display is by Serendipity Studio. The pattern covers from this pattern maker don't begin to illustrate how beautiful this clothing and the bags really are. We noticed over and over again that many of the clothes, bags and quilts we saw were far more interesting and lovely than the photos of the items on the pattern covers. Just goes to show 'ya - you really can't always judge the book by it's cover!

If you didn't get to comment on yesterday's post for a chance to win that fabulous fat quarter of fabric, you can make a comment today to win this cute little packet of 4 fat quarters of Lecien fabrics from Japan. Now we know this isn't our usual bright, wild and crazy fabric, but we love the silky hand and detailed attention to the smallest prints that make Lecien fabrics so incredible.
So, make a comment - send the link to your sewing friends and get them in on this great chance to win some truly fabulous fabric!

posted by Angela

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Home from Spring Quilt Market

Quilt Market...... What an amazing experience. You see more fabric, more patterns, more notions, trims and other quilt related goodies than your poor little brain can comprehend. We think that's why its 3 days long! And tired..., we can tell you about tired. You'll notice in most of the pictures of us that our eyes look puffy and squinty. That's surely from not enough sleep. Not nearly enough sleep.
This is a picture of Amy on the first day of market. We were all just tuckered out from the drive, and 6am came a bit earlier than what we were emotionally prepared for. She'll probably want to kill me for showing you this photo, but what good is a mother if she can't make you want to pull your hair out from time to time.We decided this time to have our pictures taken with the "famous" quilt designers we met at Market. We think the quilt patterns from "Lizzie B Cre8ive" are marvelous. The designers are sister's in law - both named Elizabeth, with the nickname of Lizzie. The quilts they design are bright, happy and whimsical. We'll be adding more of their quilt patterns at the shop, so be looking out for them. In case you don't recognize her, our newest employee, Deb Blackburn, is on the far right. I'm sure you'll immediately recognize these two famous Amys. The tall really thin Amy is, of course, Amy Butler. She had lots of new patterns, loads of new fabrics. We felt a little bit like throwing ourselves prostrate at her feet and begging for the creative thinking blessing. If such a blessing doesn't exist, we're all in favor of creating it! By the way, we have no idea how the vendors all managed to look so fabulous all the time. Mostly we felt exhilerated while incredibly tired, schulmpy, hot and messy. We don't know what happened to all the make-up we put on every morning - it managed to vanish by about 2pm each day.Here we are at Sue Spargo's booth. She's designed a fantastic collection of new pillows. We'll be adding these patterns to our existing group of Sue Spargo patterns. Sue was her usual kind and sweet self. She just returned home from a 4 week visit teaching in quilt shops in New Zealand and Australia. That's Kathy, Sue's helper, on the right. Amy and Deb decided to remove themselves from photos for a bit. Something to do with squinty, puffy eyes, I think.
I'll be posting more photos from market for the next several days, so keep checking out our blog. And, to encourage comments, please comment on this post - we'll have a drawing for a little fabric goody we picked up at market from those of you who comment on this post! And be nice and share this post with your friends. (psst.... it's a fat quarter from a glorious collection!) Oh, I should let you know that on Saturday I'm going to be posting a bunch of quilt market goodies that we're going to give away to those who comment on the Saturday post!!
posted by Angela

Monday, May 11, 2009

Stenciling your way to Happiness!

We've got such exciting news at Yellow Bird Art! We're now carrying a huge selection of stencils from Diane Ericson as well as her instructional DVD of fabric stenciling techniques. Last Sunday, Deb Blackburn - a NEW EMPLOYEE! at Yellow Bird was visiting and we spent delightful hours in my studio learning how to stencil fabrics. We've known Deb since just about when we opened Yellow Bird Art. She's one of those multi-talented women - worked helping build houses for a contractor, repaired bicycles, worked in retail mall shops, managed another quilt shop for almost two years. She gardens, flies a hot air balloon with her husband Sam, felts, knits, quilts, beads, has a degree in psychology - often helpful in stressful retail situations - and in general has a positive upbeat outlook on life. We're so lucky to have her join the staff!

Stenciling is such an elegant way to embellish fabrics that are already wonderful as you see in this small Kona Bay sample. Deb thought it would be nice to add just a small metallic accent, and it did make the fabric even more lucious.

This is another sample using the Architectural Elements stencil, which has 7 different stencil designs that can be combined in so many different ways. Again, another Kona Bay fabric with just a little new zip of metallic gold!

The fabric on the top was stenciled with the Calla Lily stencil and the fabric on the bottom with the Bugs stencil. We used Jacquard Luminere fabric paints. You end up using the smallest amount of paints and the hand of the fabric remains soft and pliable.
Now, this would be a photo of Amy and me on our way to the Rochester, MN quilt guild to provide the afternoon and evening programs. I think Amy was ignoring me. Amy gave a great lecture on using large scale prints in quilts, and my evening lecture and demonstration was on using stencils and fabric paint to embellish fabric.
We'll all be back in the car and on our way to Pittsburgh for the Spring Quilt Market tomorrow. Deb is coming along with us - she has great ideas and has been to market before, so we know that her new ideas will help us bring back the best of market for you! Be on the lookout for a postcard announcing our post-market party so you can see all the new goodies we round up.
posted by Angela