Showing posts with label fabric. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fabric. Show all posts

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Bri's Depression Era Fabric Quilt and Longarm Quilter Profile (Raija)

Like many quilters out there, I'm sure you can understand how it feels to finish a bazillion quilt tops, yet you never seem to find the time (or the desire) to finish those quilts.  Over a decade ago, I made a beautiful quilt top for my daughter, Brianna, out of the depression era replica fabrics.  Somehow, time got away from me...and all of these years later, the quilt top was still being lovingly stored for "when" I had enough time to complete it.

Brianna and her Christmas gift (2015) - her quilt which took over a decade in the making.

Well, the time finally came around at Christmas time.  I decided that by hook or by crook, my daughter was going to get her quilt.  But, of course, I didn't have time to complete it by Christmas.  I searched online for longarm quilting services in my area, and came across Raija of Quilters Treasure Chest.  And, boy, was I glad I did.

Raija was wonderful in every sense of the word.  She is not only friendly and helpful, but she catered to my request to have a rush placed on the completion of my item in order to have it completed in time for Christmas.  When I had my appointment with her, she was very thorough in explaining her process in addition to ensuring I was happy with the quilting pattern I had selected for my quilt. 

Raija - who hails from Finland -- provides longarm quilting from her home studio in Rogers, Arkansas.  (Her services extend beyond our lovely state - so don't let distance prevent you from seeking her services if you need them. She has customers all over the world!)    Many of her own beautiful quilts utilize fabrics from well-known companies such as Timeless Treasures and Robert Kaufman; these companies use her quilts to promote their fabric lines.  Her quilts have been seen in Keepsake Quilting and Hancock's of Paducah catalogs, as well as in quilting magazines as part of advertisements for the fabric companies.

Last, but certainly not least. Raija has recently started renting her longarm quilting machine to quilters who want to try their hand at performing longarm quilting themselves, or for those who want to see if longarm quilting is for them.

I don't often write promotional blog stories about other products and people, but there are exceptions to every rule.  Raija is one of those exceptions.  I hope you will give her a try when you need longarm quilting services.  She is a consummate professional who excels at what she does.  I don't think you will regret it. :)  Raija can be contacted through her website, Quilter's Treasure Chest; email; and telephone number (479) 310-6295.

The quilt top (prior to completion.)

The quilt top (prior to completion.)

The completed, quilted quilt - in Raija's studio.

The completed, quilted quilt - in Raija's studio.

Detail of quilting - isn't it beautiful?

More detail of the quilting.

Brianna loves her handmade quilt!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Shopping for Jewelry Supplies & Embellishments in NYC's Garment District

Even though I love all things creative, when I shop for supplies, the things I buy most often are intended for my mixed media jewelry design creations.   Now don't get me wrong, if I notice a sale on beautiful fabric or trim, I don't hesitate to purchase it for my quilting stash; more often than not, though, my focus is geared towards jewelry supplies and beads.

Last month, I spent several days in New York City.  And lucky me - my hotel was located within walking distance of the Garment District.  Prior to my trip, I researched the internet and various blogs to find shops that carry jewelry supplies.  I visited a few of those, in addition to other places I discovered just by wandering around the area.  I want to share my findings with my readers and others who are interested in finding jewelry supplies in the Garment District.

Hai's Trim
242 West 38th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues)
(212) 764-2166
Hours: Monday - Friday from 10:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m.; Saturday from 10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m.

Although I visited several shops, my absolute favorite was Hai's Trim.  Although Hai's Trim touts itself as a carnival supplier and fashion design shop on its Facebook page, they have much, much more by way of embellishments and jewelry design.  You name it, they have it here.  There is an entire wall of metal chain by the yard, in a vast array of designs, shapes, sizes, weights and colors - many of which I have not seen in my local craft stores or on the internet.  And best of all, it is priced reasonably compared to other shops that carry chain in the area.  Another thing I love about this shop is the fact that they carry large sizes (for example, 10-11 mm sizes) of AB rhinestone chain in various colors and metal choices, including bronze, black, gun-metal, copper and rose-gold, which is generally hard to find.   I purchased several yards of chain here, in addition to metal stampings and crystals that will be perfect for my future creations.  A lovely girl by the name of Cynthia patiently assisted me during my visit.  She was quite helpful, informing me that the shop gives a 10% discount on purchases that total over $100.00.  In addition, they sell to both retail and wholesale customers.  Be sure to bring your resale certificate when you shop here.

Storefront view of Hai's Trim.

Large rhinestone chain sold by the yard.

An entire wall of chain - a jewelry creator's delight.

More chain.

And still more chain...

Just a small sampling of embellishments available for sale.

A view of just some of the decorative trim.

A view of some of the rhinestone chain I purchased here.

M&J Trimming
1008 Sixth Avenue (between 37th and 38th Streets)
Hours: Mon - Fri : 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday : 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday : 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tel: 212-391-6200


I have been on M&J Trimming's email list for several years.  It all started with an online purchase I made from them.  However, until last month, I did not have the opportunity to visit their physical location.  Let me just say that this store is chock-full of floor to ceiling ribbons, trim, buttons and other items.  The store's website offers several items for sale, however, it does not (cannot) represent anywhere near the volume of items available for purchase in the retail location.

Included in the vast inventory of this store is a decent variety of metal chain sold by the piece, foot or yard, depending on the item.  In addition, Swarovski crystal buttons, trim and flat-backs are sold here.  The service is good, too.  I was assisted by an adorable octogenarian who told me she has worked for the shop for over 40 years - and loves it.  I can't remember her name, but she was super sweet and very helpful.  Even though the main part of my purchase here was chain, I couldn't resist purchasing some of the decorative trim for my other projects.

Outside of M&J Trimming.

Storefront view of M&J Trimming.

One of the floor to ceiling ribbon displays. I couldn't fit it all into the picture.

A close-up view of ribbon/trim available for sale.

Gorgeous rhinestone trim.

A good selection of chain is available for purchase.

My sales lady - who is an octogenarian - has worked here for over 40 years.

One view of the store.

Tons of Swarovski crystals are for sale.

A sampling of Swarovski buttons available for purchase.

Buttons galore - more than meets the eye - are for sale here.

CJS Sales
16 W. 36th Street, 2nd floor (Between 5th and 6th Avenues)
(212) 244-1400
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
NOTE:  Wholesale customers only; they do not sell to retail customers. Bring your resale certificate.

I recall reading about CJS Sales on the internet long before I ever had a chance to visit here.  This shop is iconic and there is nothing quite like it.  This is a wholesale warehouse that is jam-packed with boxes of vintage beads of all kinds including crystals (Swarovksi and cheaper versions), glass, Cloisonne, plastic, metal, pearls, etc.  CJS also sells metal stampings, cabochons, chain, bezel settings, filigree, components and so much more.

Upon entering the warehouse, I was given a tour of the warehouse by one of the owners, Carl Schimel.  Carl explained that he gives first-timers a tour in order to help them discern where everything is; people tend to get overwhelmed at the vast amount of "stuff" available for sale. This is great if you are searching for something in particular.   I ended up purchasing 14 pounds of goodies here; I was one happy camper.  Thankfully, CJS  provided me with a large sturdy bag to carry all of my items.  (I walked over to the nearest post office and shipped it all home so I wouldn't have to carry it around all day.)  If you plan to shop here, I would suggest wearing comfortable shoes and clothing that you don't mind getting dirty.  I'd also bring a water bottle and hand-wipes.  You will have to dig through thousands of items, and you will get dirty, but that is half of the fun.  You can easily spend an entire day here sorting through the vast inventory of items. 

Boxes of metal components and stampings are in these boxes; many are vintage.

Metal findings and components.

Tons of jewelry parts available for sale.

Chain, beads and components by the boxful.

Stone International
64B West 37th Street (Between 5th and 6th Avenues)
(212) 273-1126
To be honest, I don't purchase a lot of gemstones, simply because I don't normally utilize them in my designs.  While this shop is small, it appeared to have a good variety of strung gemstones on both walls of the shop.  One thing that caught my attention here was the variety of mini beaded rosary chains available for sale here.  This is unique because the bead size of the chain was approximately 3-4 mm in size as opposed to the 6-8 mm sized chain that is readily available for sale in craft stores.  I did find the cost of the chain to be quite steep at $12.00 and up per foot. (They didn't appear to be made with gemstones, just glass beads.)  I found a seller on Etsy that sells something similar for $1.25 per foot and up for what appears to be the same thing.  On another note, there were several items marked down on clearance in the front of the store.  I purchased a few strands of amazonite beads and freshwater pearl cross beads from the clearance area that I couldn't live without.

Storefront view.

Strands of gemstones dangle from both walls of the shop.

Rosary bead chain made with 3-4 mm beads are available for sale by the foot.

A detail pic of the rosary bead chain.
Mood Fabrics
225 W 37th Street, 3rd floor
(212) 730-5003
Hours:  Mon-Fri: 9am - 7pm, Sat: 10am - 5pm

Mood Fabrics is well known because it is the place where the up and coming fashion designers from the television show Project Runway purchase their fabrics.  The main reason I visited the shop was because I was on the hunt for zippers and quilting fabric for my daughter-in-law.  I found the zippers my daughter-in-law wanted and bought several of them.  While there is a huge selection of fabrics perfect for making clothing, Mood doesn't carry any type of cotton fabric that is good for making quilts, handbags and other projects.  I was, however, pleased to find that Mood carries a small selection of rhinestone chain and colored metal chain that can be utilized in jewelry making.  I also found some gorgeous trim that consists of small roses fashioned from organza, chiffon and other fabrics.  I ended up purchasing a few yards of this, as well.  I think they will make beautiful additions to cuff-style bracelets and bib necklaces.

Mood Fabrics

Rhinestone chain sold by the yard.

A view of some of the beautiful trim available for sale.

More trim for sale - and LOTS of it.

Metal chain is various colors is sold by the yard.

A vast assortment of buttons on display in the store.

More trim...

And more trim...
Bolts of fashion fabric are available for purchase.
B&Q Trimming
102 W. 38th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues)
Hours - Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

B&Q Trimmings is not exactly touted as a bead or jewelry store, however, towards the back of the store, there is a small selection of rhinestone chain (the least expensive of all of the stores I visited in the area), crystals and other trims and such that can be fashioned into jewelry items.  I was helped by a woman who gave me several yards of trim marked at $1.95 per yard for $1.00 per yard.  When she saw me looking at particular trims, she made me the offer, and I couldn't refuse.  The trims will look cute on some of my jewelry pieces; the rest I will use for my sewing/quilting projects.

The Storefront.
Inside B&Q Trimming.
 All in all, I was really pleased with the purchases I made during my visit to the Garment District. If I had to offer one last piece of advice, I would suggest bringing copies of your resale tax certificate with you when shopping in the area (if you have one.)  Many of the shops are willing to accept these and you can save a lot of money on supplies you can utilize in your jewelry or craft business.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Crafter's Paradise - SAS Fabrics Store

I realize it has been 3 months (!!!) since my last post.  I honestly had not planned to stay away that long, but - as usual - life got in the way.  In the last 3 months, I have spent time visiting my old stomping grounds (the Phoenix area); I lost my poor dog that I have had for many years due to complications from cancer; my father had a couple of strokes for which he was hospitalized; I've had tons of homework for school and lots of jewelry orders.  It's been crazy, but I am still kicking and living life to the fullest!  I have lots of catching up to do here, so let's get started!

One of my favorite things to do when I visit the Phoenix area is to shop at all of those crafty supply stores I used to frequent when I lived there.  One of those places - SAS Fabrics - really is a crafter's paradise.  I started shopping there many years ago when SAS sold fabrics and trims by the pound.  Over the years, they have changed their pricing on fabrics based on yardage, but in any case, you can still get some great deals shopping there.  SAS used to sell a variety of buttons that you could sort through for 10 cents (then 25 cents) per Dixie Cup; unfortunately, they don't offer this any longer.  The good news is they have great prices on fabric trims, beads, ribbon, lace and all sorts of goodies. They sell thread for 15-25 cents per spool, and lace for as low as 10 cents per yard.  If you cut the lace yourself, you get a free yard for every 4 yards purchased!

Since I am an avid jewelry maker that likes to add bling to my creations, I have been purchasing rhinestone crystal chain by the roll.  SAS recently started carrying rhinestone chain in many colors, including the very-hard-to-find chain with the rose-gold finish.  They charge between $6.99-$8.99 per yard for the chain, but given the fact that the some of the variations are difficult to find, this is a steal of a deal.  Needless to say, I stocked up on all sorts of rhinestone chain while I was there (among other things). ;)

Rhinestone chain for sale by the yard.

Rhinestone chain in many variations - even rose-gold!

If you are in the area and want to visit SAS, be prepared to stay awhile.  You have to dig a bit - especially where the fabric is concerned - but it is well worth the time and the savings are phenomenal when compared to regular craft stores. Also, SAS now takes plastic.  (They used just accept cash and checks) and they have established a website and Facebook fan page.

Tons of fabric for sale!

Flowers, ribbons and trims!



Lace for sale by the yard!

More lace!

SAS Fabrics

SAS Fabrics

 SAS Fabrics - 9840 N 19th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85021, telephone 602-943-7777

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