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Happy Thanksgiving

I have been a bit lax in sending out blogs, but it has been an extremely busy time. We spent a lot of time getting ready for Quilters’ Quest, our annual shop hop. Over the summer and early fall, I designed, hand pieced and hand quilted our Third Rock quilt.

 

 

Next, I went to Quilt Market in Houston. It is always fun to see shop owners and old friends plus find new items to carry at the Studio.  Upon my return, I faced the 10 days of the shop hop. I love to be at the shop during Quest and am the “official greeter and passport stamper.” So I was there every day at least from 9 am to 7 pm and for the four days of our bus tour I was there from 7 am until 7 pm. While it was tiring it was even more exhilarating, meeting new people and seeing friends who have come in the past.

 

 

 

 

Our theme this year was “movies” and we chose “Around the World in 80 Days”. We had a popcorn machine (how can you see a movie without having popcorn?), hot air balloon lanterns, flags of the world and other products and decorations relating to the theme.

 

 

All in all it was a fun 10 days and we had a lot of participants from outside our local region. Why not think about participating in the Quest next year?

Many of you who have seen the Third Rock quilt have asked if there is a kit or pattern. Unfortunately, to make one just like my Quest quilt you have to have participated in the Quest since you needed to collect the swatches of 6” squares from each shop. However, I also designed the quilt in batik fabrics.

 

 

The kit comes in the two colorways shown here and has everything you need for the top and binding. While it looks very complex, it is actually quite easy to sew. The quilt is made with all straight line sewing, even though it has the illusion of curves. The kit also includes full size foundations printed on tissue paper.

Now that Quest is over, it is time for my favorite holiday of the year and I want to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

The shop will be closed on Thursday, November 23 but will reopen at 10:00 am on Friday, November 24. Hope to see you soon!

 

 

Jinny

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Join Us on the Quilters’ Quest Bus

Jinny has turned the blog over to me today so let me introduce myself. My name is Nancy Fallone and I’m half of the marketing team here at the Studio. That job keeps me behind the curtain at the Studio or at the keyboard at home working on newsletters, web specials, classes, Facebook and such but what I want to talk about today is the most fun part of my job. That would be organizing and riding on the Quilters’ Quest buses.

 

Ladies on Bus

 

Quilters’ Quest is our annual shop hop which encourages quilters to explore 10 area quilt shops this year running from November 9th through the 18th. For details on how the Quest works, visit http://www.quiltersquest.org/.

 

Quest Quilts

 

For many, driving to each of those shops can seem a bit daunting so we offer the option of riding one of our Quest buses.  As in the past, we have two buses, one on the weekend and one during the week each covering all 10 shops, each in two days. Jinny is there to greet you bright and early each morning with a continental breakfast and the chance to shop before the Studio officially opens. We then bid the Studio farewell and the true fun starts.

 

The Material Girls always have lots to tempt us.
The Material Girls always have lots to tempt us.

 

While traveling from shop to shop, the former park ranger in me just can’t resist passing along not only information on the next shop but a bit of area history and attractions. To ensure an attentive audience, prizes are given out in our famous trivia contests. We provide beverages and snacks along with an optional bag lunch.

 

What quilter wouldn’t smile with so much beautiful fabric and all those amazing quilts.
What quilter wouldn’t smile with so much beautiful fabric and all those amazing quilts.

 

Every shop on the Quest has a unique feel with new and different items.  There are demos and special projects many using fabric designed exclusively for that year’s Quest.

 

Dick and Wendy from Traditions at the White Swan
Dick and Wendy from Traditions at the White Swan

 

My favorite part of the Quest, though, is spending time with the wonderful quilters from across the country (and sometimes from around the world) who join us. I don’t know how we get so lucky to have such a great group each year.

 

It is always wonderful to see how well everyone gets along.
It is always wonderful to see how well everyone gets along.

 

I recently asked one of the quilters who has been with us each year about why she keeps coming back all the way from upstate New York. Linda had seen the Quest advertised in the newsletter but didn’t want to drive it.  When the bus trip started, she bribed her daughter, Belynda, who didn’t quilt or sew, into going with her by paying her way.  By the second shop, Belynda was buying fabric with ideas for what her mom could make.  But guess who sews now.

 

Mom, Linda, and daughter, Belynda, never miss a Quest bus trip.
Mom, Linda, and daughter, Belynda, never miss a Quest bus trip.

 

Linda writes “Last year when Belynda was expecting our wonderful gift of a granddaughter, we bought lots of fabric to make things for the baby. I said to her that I supposed that that would be our last Quest bus trip.  Her comment was ‘What are you talking about? My husband is perfectly capable of babysitting for 2 days!’”

Our weekend Quest bus is Friday and Saturday, November 10th & 11th (with just a few seats left) and our weekday bus is Wednesday and Thursday, November 15th & 16th.  Details can be found on our website. We would love to have you join us!

 

At the end of two days of serious shop hopping, everyone is still full of smiles.
At the end of two days of serious shop hopping, everyone is still full of smiles.

 

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A Story from the Staff: Our Mysterious Adventure

Some might say that just working for Jinny Beyer is an adventure in itself.  Yes, we love being a part of this behind-the-scenes glimpse of the quilting business watching fabrics and designs from conception to the finished product. We get to meet and speak with people from around the world every day. Jinny herself, though, makes it fun and brings her spirit of adventure not just in her quilts and fabrics but even into things like surprises for the staff.

 

adv1
Making Temari balls was so much fun!

 

 

Mystery Adventure One
Glass blowing was challenging but a great learning experience.

 

In the past, we’ve been surprised with glass blowing lessons, beat-the-clock shopping, Japanese temari and mystery dinners. This year, she did it again. The date was set for this past weekend.  It started as a Christmas gift idea but the weather probably wouldn’t cooperate in winter for an outside event so it came as a huge surprise outing in May. We were told to not wear loose clothing and what we did wear should be cotton.  Tie back long hair and bring fireplace tongs. We figured it would involve fire but other than that we were stumped.

 

Pig Pen Sign

 

Laura's work at Pig Pen Pottery.
Laura’s work at Pig Pen Pottery.

 

We met with fireplace tongs in hand and headed off just down the road a bit from the Studio to our secret destination…Pig Pen Pottery.  Jinny thought that since color is so important to us in all our work, it would be fun to experiment with color in other fields of art.

 

Laura at Wheel
Laura at the wheel…she made it look so easy!

 

Finding out what we were about to do!
Finding out what we were about to do!

 

Jinny has known Laura Nichols, our potter, for years. She is a founding member of Great Falls Studios, an organization of more than 100 artists in the Great Falls area, and is well known in the community. She lives in a wonderful historic home, the same house that she grew up in and her studio is just steps away in a small house her father built for his parents.  Laura is also talented, patient and lots of fun.

 

The unglazed pots that Laura so kindly made and we got to choose from.
The unglazed pots that Laura so kindly made and we got to choose from.

 

 

Sharon and Diane were certainly having a great time!
Sharon and Diane were certainly having a great time!

 

 

Painting the glaze

 

Since time was limited and there were 10 of us, Laura had a selection of unglazed pots waiting for us.  Our job was to choose two pots and decided which glaze or combination of glazes we wanted and how to apply them.  We could dip, pour or paint them on. Once that was done, into the kiln they went.

 

Jinny and Carole at the wheel.
Jinny and Carole at the wheel.

 

 

Marion and Elizabeth having a go at the wheel.
Marion and Elizabeth having a go at the wheel.

 

Since only about six or seven could be fired at a time, we got to try our hands at throwing a pot on the wheel. Only one of us had any experience (or talent) but it was fun just the same.

 

Farm Sign

 

 

Out on the Farm One

 

It was such a beautiful day on the farm.
It was such a beautiful day on the farm.

 

 

Chicken House

 

Guinea Hens
Guinea Hens

 

We also had the opportunity to take a walk around Laura’s beautiful property with her dogs and two goats in tow!

 

Out of the Kiln

 

And Into the Fire
When the pots were finally ready, we removed them from the kiln, rolled them on a bed of wood shavings on top of sand and then put a galvanized bucket on top and let them slowly cool.  We were surprised to discover that what they looked like when we last saw them was not what they looked like when the bucket was removed.  It was for each of us a wonderful surprise to see the finished pot in the end.

 

A Happy Adventure

Yes, Jinny pulled off another big surprise and once again treated us to a fabulous adventure.

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Studio Staff Projects, Part II

As we left you last week, we still had projects from about half the staff to share with you. One of our favorite things in the Studio is when customers stop in to share their work with us or send us photos through email and Facebook. Here then, with Jinny just back from Spain and probably still jetlagged, we are turning the tables and sharing our projects with you.

Linda quilted up a storm and now has lots of binding to do with more handwork involved on this lovely soft-edge piecing. (Jinny has a great video tutorial on this technique on our website.) But her more important job these days is completing an Elizabeth Hartman pattern called “Fancy Forest” for a special request “Boho” baby quilt for her new granddaughter who is due next month.

 

Linda Soft Edge Piecing

 

Just need to add the binding and then all done!
Just need to add the binding and then all done!

 

 

Linda's Forest Friends

You may not be surprised to learn this but, yes, even our accountant is a quilter. Julia is piecing blocks for an on-line mystery quilt. The name of the mystery is Meadow Mystery by Cheryl Brickey. She chose fabrics from her stash and the completed quilt will go to a military patient at Fort Belvoir Hospital.

 

Julia

 

Dana sent her photos and her story. We decided to let her tell it: “When I married Alen, I knew in my mind that for our 10-year anniversary I wanted to make him a double wedding ring quilt in our wedding colors- red and purple. I have had the Judy Neimeyer pattern for ages along with the fabrics, many of which are Jinny’s. So, we celebrated our 10-year anniversary last October and do you know what he got…a picture of the pattern and an IOU. I felt guilty and decided I better start working on it. I was a bit intimidated as I had never paper pieced before and it just didn’t sink in with me but I decided to give it a try. This pattern is written so well, I am now hooked and am quite enjoying the process. Now every time Alen comes into my work room and sees me working on something that is not red or purple, he’s like “hey what about my quilt?” I told him let’s shoot for 20 years!!!”

 

Dana Project One

 

In addition to the quilt, Dana saw a high-end designer jacket with cats that was well out of her price range. She purchased upholstery material, broke out an embroidery machine that she’s had forever and added her own personal touch to the back to make this chic jacket.

 

Dana Project Two

 

Rebecca proudly boasts of making progress on her UFO pile. She says she “finally” quilted this one and is sewing the binding on. It is pieced with batiks using a pattern by Carrie Nelson, from the Another Bite of Schnibbles book.

 

Rebecca

 

Judy is trying to finish the quilt from a Kaffe Fassett workshop back in October. She had all the squares up on the design board and kept rearranging them, finally deciding how to put it together. The border also changed three times until she decided the big flowers worked best. She’s also working on a BOM from an online blog using Kaffe stash fabrics.

 

Judy Project One

 

Judy's BOM using Kaffe Fasset fabrics.
Judy’s BOM using Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

 

And, finally, Cathy recently finished this top framing it perfectly with a Milan border print. Along with that, she put the finishing touches on this Midi Bag which was a Weekly Web Special last fall.

 

Cathy Milan Border

 

Cathy's Midi bag will surely come in handy!
Cathy’s Midi Bag will surely come in handy!

 

Thanks for letting us share our projects with you and don’t forget that we always love to see yours.

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Studio Staff Projects, Part I

While Jinny catches up after teaching in Spain, we, the staff, are taking over her blog. This past weekend, we celebrated National Quilting Day, a day to “appreciate and to recognize quilt makers, along with all of their long labor, love and skill that goes into the making of each quilt.”

We also hope that you take the time to celebrate the camaraderie of quilters. For generations, quilters have come together to share more than stitching…but, oh, how we love our stitching. Here at the Studio, we share our projects, give praise, offer advice and learn from each other. Here, then, is a look at what we have under our needles.

Elaine purchased an incomplete quilt top on eBay a few years ago. She calls it “Scrapple” because so many of the pieces are SO tiny! Fabrics range from the 1890s to the 1930s. She completed the top using antique fabric from her stash. She didn’t like her first attempt at machine quilting so she removed all of it. It took her several hours! It was then re-basted and quilted using a home-made spiral stencil. Now, she says, “I love it!” That’s quite a lesson of sticking with something until you think it’s right.

 

Elaine scrapple

 

Close-up of Elaine's Scrapple
Close-up of Elaine’s Scrapple

 

Diane has been furiously stitching away on her La Passacaglia from Willyne Hammerstein’s Millefiori Quilts book. This amazing quilt contains only Jinny’s fabric. Diane and her quilt will appear on The Quilt Show later this year.

 

Diane Millefiore

 

Our newest staff member, Elizabeth, is almost all done with this one. The pattern is called Rock Candy by Jaybird Quilts. The fabric was from a scrap bag of Jinny’s batiks. It is hand pieced and quilted.

 

Elizabeth

 

Some of us like to have both machine and hand work projects going at the same time. Nancy made this this cute little table topper as a carry-around project. Does it look familiar? Check out Elizabeth’s project above. It’s hand pieced and made with Jinny’s Malam batiks and 60° diamond template. She’s about to machine quilt it while hand stitching the binding on a baby quilt.

 

Nancy Rock Candy

 

Nancy2

Many of you saw the staff tuffet class on our Facebook page. Lura just finished hers. Nice! She’s hand piecing these rose star blocks for a wall hanging for her sister using vintage Jinny borders. She also continues to make pie trivets/potholders which are great gifts. She’s discovered the perfect “crust” fabric is Jinny’s Palette #112.

 

Lura Tuffet

 

Lura-trivet_ph

We are sad to say that Marion will be leaving us this summer to return to the Netherlands. Before she goes she’d like to finish her toothbrush rug started in a Studio class last fall.

 

Marion, TBrug

 

Marion's Toothbrush Rug
Marion’s Toothbrush Rug

 

Kelley has three projects going. As a member of a pincushion club with a group of quilting friends from Virginia, Arizona, Texas, and California, she learns new skills on one small project each month. She is also taking part in the “Primitive Triangles Sew Along” with Lisa Bongean using Jinny’s Casablanca collection. The blocks finish at 4”. And then, of course, there’s her Farm Girl Vintage from Lori Holt which just needs the binding completed. Her quilt has 56 blocks that finish at 6”. She asks, “Can you tell I like small pieces?”

 

Kelley's Pincushion

 

Kelley Triangle Sew Along

 

Kelley's Farm Girl Vintage
Kelley’s Farm Girl Vintage

 

Well, when we started this it seemed like a nice little blog post but we soon became aware that we, as a group, have a lot of unfinished projects that we are currently trying to finish up. Can any of you identify with that? Check back next week for Studio Staff Projects, Part 2.

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Staff Profile – Elaine Kelly

It is once again time to focus on one of the amazing staff members who helps me in so many ways behind the scenes here at the Studio. Today, I’d like you to meet Elaine Kelly.

 

EK-TelAviv
Elaine in Tel Aviv earlier this year at the start of her family’s visit with her daughter Allison.

 

I first met Elaine when she came to my Hilton Head Seminar back in 2005. She made quite an impression on me and after Seminar ended that year, I asked her if she would like to be on the staff the following year. Elaine’s insight was invaluable in many ways and when I called a halt to those yearly events and focused on the Studio itself, she was right there helping me totally change the way we do our marketing. Now, Elaine has moved on to being the writer of my many patterns, taking the designs and presenting them to you with easy-to-follow directions.

 

IMG_0079.Elaine
This is a quilt that Elaine did for Jinny’s last seminar. She says about this quilt, “I tried to incorporate a large number of Jinny’s techniques (shading, fracturing) and raided my stash of Japanese taupe fabrics.”

 

Elaine was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and began sewing, as many of you did, in home ec class in seventh grade. In one of her first sewing projects, a blue corduroy jumper with ruffles on the straps, the teacher told her she put enough pins in that if they were melted down they would provide enough metal for all the ammunition needed in World War II. Elaine is still a confirmed pinner to this day.

Her interest in quilting started when she attended Waterloo College in Ontario where she found nearby a large Mennonite community and their beautiful quilts. Determined to give quilting a try herself, she bought a book and, with no rulers or rotary cutters, she machine pieced and hand quilted her very first quilt.

 

Hillside
Hillside is an original design based on an unattributed photograph from Pinterest.

 

Elaine is particularly drawn to antique quilts. She loves to figure out how they are made, what values to use and the best way to simply “make it work.” As another confirmed baseball fan, each year she starts a baseball quilt to work on by hand during the season while she watches our beloved Washington Nationals.

 

Baseball quilt-w
Baseball Quilt was Elaine’s hand-sewing project from last year. The center motif is from Ann Orr’s 1930’s Autumn Leaves design; the rest is original. She used vintage leaves, yo-yos and 9 patches from the 1930’s and 40’s, purchased on eBay.

 

This year, she has also been trying her hand at natural dyeing with products such as avocado skins, Queen Anne’s lace and goldenrod (which, unfortunately, turned her hands yellow this morning). She hopes to soon have enough hand-dyed fabrics to start a quilt.

Besides all of her work for the Studio and her time set aside for quilting, Elaine has a wonderful husband and two busy children both in college, plus, they are building a vacation home in rural Pennsylvania.

 

Buttons Valentine
Buttons’ Valentine is only about 6″ x 8″. It’s a thread painting of one of Elaine’s son’s stuffed “friends” from childhood, sent to him when he was away one Valentine’s Day.

 

Elaine is an amazingly talented woman and her expertise has been invaluable to me in so many ways. Most importantly, I am happy to have her as a friend………AND she is always willing to come pick excess veggies when my garden is overflowing. An excellent cook, she finds ways to use zucchini and cucumbers that you would never imagine.

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What are You Working on?

Every now and then, I like to share with you projects that members of my staff are working on. It’s a treat for me to see them too, so here goes.Millenium StarStaffer Dana made Millennium Star, based on an old pattern of mine, using fabrics from my Delhi collection.  She will have a tough time finishing it if her kitty, Turbo, won’t give it up.

Cathy1

Cathy's Civil War Quilt Cathy has one quilt recently finished and one in process. She used one of the new monument fabrics, as we call it, from the “Celebrating Our Region” collection to make this quick and easy quilt using the “Times Three” pattern. It’s perfect for showcasing a favorite fabric.  She is currently working on this Civil War era quilt for her son-in-law.

Julia2

Julia1Finishing up UFO’s has been Julia’s mission lately. This is a Karen Sievert design, “Color, Color All Around,” which Julia started in a class with Karen in 2012. The top is now finished and she’s beginning the quilting.

IMG_2674Nancy is finishing, in the nick of time, a quilt for a challenge called “Architectural Quilts.” The design for this is based on a floor found in Venice, Italy.Linda 2 ProjectsGrandchildren often influence our projects. Linda, in addition to making placemats from border print fabric, made this precious dress for her granddaughter’s doll using fabric from the Palette, #149. It is a free pattern by Susan Kramer which she found on Pinterest.

Lura1

Lura setAnother granddaughter, this one Lura’s, was the pretty little recipient of a new dress.  Lura also is quilting a Serengeti quilt and making hot pads for her quilt guild’s upcoming boutique.

Rebecca quilt

Rebecca2Looking at these two projects from Rebecca, I can’t help but notice the diversity in her interests. The first is her “whacky family portrait” quilt made in a Lisa Ellis workshop. She is also finishing up this snowman red work quilt, a Gail Pan design.  It is hand quilted with perle cotton.  She just finished the binding and all it needs is a label, before it is ready for the snow!Kelly Bag

Kelly 1st set

Kelley 2nd setKelley is our newest staff member and it appears she is very busy at home.  She is working on a number of projects including this “Diva Frame Wallet” by Sew Many Creations and Lucy Boston.   She just finished sewing together a tuffet cover using Erin Underwood’s “Quick and Cute Tuffets” pattern and the Creative Grids 15 Degree Triangle Ruler. The next step is upholstery. Finally, she is moderating a small online sew along of Lori Holt’s “Farm Girl Vintage” with six quilters from Virginia, Arizona and Texas. Here are her month #5 blocks plus an alternate block, “corn and tomatoes”. The corn kernels are 1/2″ finished squares. Phew!

Janet There’s more hand piecing going on. Janet is hand piecing flowering snowball blocks this summer.  Eventually it will be a queen sized quilt.  She says it is the perfect project for sitting on the porch on a sunny day. Hopefully, all the rain we’ve had will go away and give her the opportunity to to just that.

EuniceHere is a top just completed by Eunice. When a staff member leaves, we make blocks from our Quilter’s Design Board as a farewell gift. Eunice just moved to Florida last month but has already managed to assemble the blocks we gave her. It’s beautiful, Eunice!Calliope quilting JuneAnd finally, as for me, I am enjoying spending most evenings watching my beloved Washington Nationals while hand quilting Calliope.  It’s a wonderful way to end each day.

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Our Favorite Fabrics

Fabric1Often my blogs come about by a customer who asks an interesting question. Sometimes the ideas come from my staff as this one does today.

The bonus for this week’s “Weekly Web Special,” (available only to subscribers*) mentions how difficult it might be to pick your favorite fabric from fat quarter bundles we are offering. From this, one simple question captured our attention and had us all wondering.  What is your favorite Jinny Beyer fabric?

Now, you would think think this would be easy to answer but many found it quite difficult. Here’s what several of them had to say.

Betty, who posed the question, fondly remembered many past collections but stated Outback, several years old, was her favorite. She decided her single favorite, though, was a border print in teal and purple from the original Border Basics collection.Betty's 1Betty2My son, Sean, who manages our fabric inventory (which makes him well acquainted with each and every fabric) was in agreement with Outback being a favorite collection and this fabric, with its aboriginal designs, as his favorite.

0279-04 -- and it's on sale!
0279-04 — and it’s on sale!

Diane immediately popped up with an answer—Palette #119, chocolate leaf. It is a wonderful, rich brown and makes a great alternative to black as a background fabric as you can see in her Solstice quilt. Diane then tried to add another dozen favorites and wasn’t happy that we tried to limit her to just one.

Diane's SolsticePalette fabrics are pretty popular with the staff. Rebecca also chose a Palette fabric–#126—not only for the beautiful teal color but also for the design. She’s also fond of the 10 other colorways floral outline comes in.126 FloralThat design seems to be a favorite. Lura said, “I keep going back to this beautiful red, Palette #30. It is so vibrant!”P30

Another fan of the floral outline is Nancy, choosing #58. “Solid white is just too boring for me. This fabric has much more depth and is my current favorite background fabric.”Nancy1Linda wanted in on the fun even though she was in California at the time. Although she has a stockpile of older fabrics she loves, she says, “Black eyelash (#48) is probably my all-time favorite because it just works with everything!”Linda's projectsThe blue/green/purple of Bedfordshire received votes from both Judy and Julia. Neither could imagine I was asking them to pick just one or two. Judy loves the “elegant feel” of these fabrics.

Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire

For Julia, “the Bedfordshire collection really spoke to me when I was challenged in my guild to create a chevron quilt.  I used all the fabrics, with the light blue being the predominant fabric.  The border prints were fussy cut.  I guess you could call the light blue my favorite.”Julia's quiltDana is a quilter with a degree in fashion design so she often uses quilting fabric for clothing. While she loves Rajasthan Spray— “the colors are spectacular and each of these works well as a backing, a middle border or as a blender with a novelty fabric”—she has always loved the floral print from Rajasthan. “It works great for garments. I have used the yellow in a dress and the blue in a skirt.”

Dana's FavoritesSharon is a big fan of black and white quilts. She made this signature quilt for her son’s wedding and added the Monochrome border print. She loves this fabric because it always gives her quilts a nice finishing touch.Sharon2I am often asked what my favorites are and my usual response is my latest collection.  That would be Safari with my favorite from there being the teal elephants. They make me smile. If I had to pick an old favorite or two, I’d probably have to say cream thunder and black eyelash because they are so useful. Cream thunder is long gone but, now that I think about it, I might just have to bring that back again.

Jinny's favorites

If you would like to subscribe to our Weekly Web Special emails and be eligible for the Subscriber Bonus, please go to www.jinnybeyer.com and follow the instructions under “Newsletter Signup.”

Do you have an old favorite that you would like Jinny to bring back?  Send your comments to studio@jinnybeyer.com.

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Holiday Party Surprise Adventure

Holiday Party1 Every year, Jinny gathers the entire staff together for a holiday party early in January.  Sometimes we know what is going to happen and sometimes it is a big surprise.  A surprise is what we had this year.

In December, Jinny was invited to a holiday show by her friend, and potter, Laura Nichols. Laura invited various artists to set up a booth in her old house. It was there that Jinny met Foster Holcombe who had several pieces of his glass displayed. He was telling someone about the workshops he does and was explaining how he gets the different colors of glass, etc. It was then that Jinny started hatching her plan.

Holiday Party2Jinny told us a date, that we were going to brunch which would include our traditional white elephant swap, followed by an activity which required us to plan our wardrobe around only natural fiber clothing. I will admit that this caution immediately clued in one staffer but the rest were truly puzzled not just by what our activity would be but what to wear.  There are a lot of manmade fibers in women’s clothing.

Meeting at the Studio, we divided ourselves up into cars with only directions to our first stop which turned out to be the Old Angler’s Inn.

Holiday Party3The restaurant dates back to the 1860’s and is just across the street from the scenic C&O Canal. We all enjoyed our brunch and the white elephant swap was filled with some truly bizarre gifts.

Holiday Party4-1Holiday Party5-1After brunch, we were once again given directions with just the address of our destination.  We took back roads to our final stop, the Art of Fire studio in Laytonsville, Maryland.

Holiday Party19Foster and his wife Theda welcomed us into their barn and told us we would be taking a glassblowing workshop.

Holiday Party6

Holiday Party7-1

Holiday Party8We selected the color and style of ornament we wanted to make and went right to work either with Foster or Josh.  We were all fascinated.

Holiday Party9

Holiday Party11

Holiday Party20-1

Holiday Party10First, our instructor would reach into the furnace with a four-foot long hollow tube called a blowing iron.  It is 2400° in the “glory hole” and when the blowing iron is removed there is glowing molten glass on the end.

Holiday Party21

Holiday Party12The glass makes several trips in and out of the furnace and in between color is added, it is placed in molds, blown and shaped.

Holiday Party13

Holiday Party14

Holiday Party15Finally, the piece is cut from the iron and a hook made of molten glass is formed.

Holiday Party22It is immediately placed into the annealer which is a mere 1000° and where it will slowly cool overnight.

Holiday Party17We all had a fabulous time spending the day together and getting to experience the workings of a different kind of studio.   Thanks Jinny!

 

***As this blog was being published, our finished pieces arrived at the shop – aren’t they all so different?

Holiday Party18

 

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Gearing Up For Quest

???????????????????????????????To say things around here are a bit busy would be quite an understatement. At home, I have been busy working on my next line of batiks, adjusting the colors and patterns to try to get everything just right. Meanwhile in the Studio, we have the annual mad rush to get ready for the thousand quilters who will be visiting us during Quilters’ Quest which starts tomorrow.

Every “Quester” who comes into our shop and all of the participating shops receives a free pattern for that shop’s quilt and they have the opportunity to collect 10 inch squares used in each of the quilts. You have probably seen pictures of our design, Calliope. Not only have we been busy working on kits for Calliope but also making other quilt kits which fit this year’s theme, “Sunrise on the Potomac.”

???????????????????????????????We have several staffers who have been spending the past week doing nothing but making beautifully shaded fabric bundles. We also have some great new products that we picked up at Market. We can’t wait for you to see them.

Look at that beautiful border print skirt that Carole is wearing!
Look at that beautiful border print skirt that Carole is wearing!

Jinny making bundlesWe hope you’ll visit us during the Quest. We still have room on each of our buses if you’d like to join us as we visit all 10 shops. The Quest starts tomorrow and runs through Sunday, November 15. For more information visit www.quilters quest.org.

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The shop is ready and stocked for you to come and enjoy this year’s Quest! We hope to see you there!