Cuttin’ It Up – Local Services

Local Quilt Stores and Longarm Arm Services add great value to a small community.  A few years ago our quilting community experienced a loss, to some a great loss.  Quilts and Beyond in Prairie City closed their doors in December 2018 as the owners chose to retire, this not only left this community with one less business but the wisdom and helpful experience these talented ladies provided to us. A lot of quilters go to Bend, Pendleton, Baker City and Portland to shop or they shop on line. But these locations add to the cost because of travel and the on line shopping leaves little to actual color choices that you can see, touch and compare to your pattern and/or other pieces of cloth you already have due to the colors not being completely true in pictures. So where does that leave us – the quilters in Eastern Oregon’s Grant County?

Experience shows us that whenever there is a void something will fill it. There are several established and a couple new places for quilters and sewers, that as a community I urge you to support and help grow these local business. We have The Shiny Thimble in Mount Vernon and now Chester’s is carrying fabrics and starting to focus a little more on supplying quilters, both have some knowledgeable staff. BellyAcres Twisted Stitchery in Mount Vernon, Oregon opened our doors in 2018 with years of knowledge and experience with a wide variety of fabrics, tools and accessories.  The longarm service in the John Day Valley is also growing to support the need for quality longarm service, each longarm business can provide you with their own unique talent to turn something you created into something stunning. Here at the Twisted Stitchery we offer show quality Longarming along with our friendly knowledgeable staff to help you turn your beautiful quilt into a stunning quilt. Those of us who provide quilters with classes and longarm service want to see the quilters in the John Day Valley grow and flourish, to bring the recognition long overdue to the talented folks who are quilters and artists – and to create a warm and experienced environment for new quilters.

At the Twisted Stitchery we also added a Homeschool program in 2020 that teaches sewing, quilting and life skills.  Math and Geometry is taught since it is an integral part of sewing and quilting.  Our youngest student (7 YOA) just took grand campion, youth division, in the local county fair for her applique pillow and we are so proud of her!


Cuttin’ it Up – Scisssor’s

One can never have enough tools – good tools, just ask any man about his shop, his man cave, his reloading room, his…well you get it; men and tools can be never ending nor will they ever have enough.  I happen to agree with men on this one.  Having good tools on hand to do your work can be critical to the outcome of your project.

Take something as minor as scissors – no really.  Scissors have a rich and long history in the world starting out as spring scissors during the Middle Ages, in Mesopotamia 3,000 – 4,000 years ago. These were larger, ‘spring scissor’ shear type and hard on your hands. In 1761 pivoted scissors were manufactured in large numbers being the first modern-day scissors and they have become even more specialized.

My daughter and family visited us a while back.  Aubri was working on her quilt in my studio while Rob corralled the little ones. Rob sat for a bit and looked, really looked at my tools (oh yeah – I have tools) and made some smart mouthed comment about all my scissors – why so many scissors? And they are all organized! I had to explain what I do with all these ‘tools’,  I use shears, snips, clippers, paper, leather, silk and cotton scissors for various projects – and now we quilters use an amazing tool – the rotary cutter and we have never looked back. The first rotary cutter was introduced by the Olfa Company in 1979 for garment making and quilters quickly adapted to it. It’s a time saver and allows us to cut fast and accurate.

After I explained all this to my son-in-law, Rob, he just sat there, quiet… and shook his head slowly.  I really thought I lost him until a few weeks later Aubri sent a picture of Rob buying several pairs of scissors to begin his collection.

I love my family…..