Archive for the ‘Earlier Posts’ Category

You Are Not Alone

February 6, 2015

It happened again today. I have been sewing for over fifty years and yet every once in while I still sew two pieces of fabric together with a right side facing a wrong side. How does that happen? Even though I know better, a couple of weeks ago, I failed to check the location of the seam of a quilt binding before sewing it to a quilt to make sure that seam didn’t become perfectly placed at the mitered corner of the quilt. The result; not only one seam at a corner, but a seam at two corners!

I experience similar adventures with other needle art stitching. I have been knitting for nearly as long as I have been sewing and yet, when knitting a sweater, somehow missed a very important sentence which instructed me to work a special stitch along the front edge of a sweater. The entire front was completed before this sentence “suddenly appeared” in the instructions! Sometimes an embroidery stitch seams to go astray, your thread knots or you sew thru your thread. All techniques that would be quite impossible if they were supposed to part of your design.

As the saying goes; we learn by our mistakes. I have learned a lot! Admittedly, that is not to say that I still don’t repeat some of those same mistakes over and over. However, I am becoming very good at correcting them. I think being proficient in what we do is not necessarily doing it perfectly the first time, but rather how to correct the mistakes when we make them. And, we will make mistakes.

The next question becomes how many mistakes do we correct and how perfect do we try to make our project. We all have different visions of perfection. There will always be someone who tries to make you conform to their ideas of perfection. Correct what you can’t live with, accept the imperfections that are minor to you, move on, and most importantly have fun.

I can help you with trying to avoid the most common mistakes. I can definitely help you with how to correct your mistakes. Don’t be discouraged by your errors. You are in very good company! Seam rippers are one of our top selling notions and I never knit without my tool for picking up dropped stitches close at hand. As for embroidery thread tangles, I have learned how to undo most of them. If that fails, I can show you how to cut the thread and secure even the shortest end!

Don’t let the fear of making mistakes hold you back. Look at them as a challenge; conquering a mistake is quite rewarding. Keep on stitching, learning and having fun!

Nearly Finished Projects

December 9, 2014

I have been intending to write a new blog entry since September. How did we get to December already? I’ve had several thoughts; but nothing seemed to materialize. I just wasn’t able to create something worthy to share.

Unfinished projects saved me! I have recently decided that having unfinished projects are a good thing. I had several small projects that were set aside when other things had to be moved to the top of the list. These became “the someday when I have time” projects. As the restrictions of time diminished, there was time to return to these things I had been wanting to do. But then I didn’t know where to start! It seems so easy when we are busy to say “I can’t wait until I have time to do this”. Why is it so hard to pick something and get started?

I’ve experience this dilemma before. I’ve learned not to waste time fretting over what to do first. I usually have a knitting project that is close at hand and easy to pick up. Quite often it is a pair of socks or two. It is a good place to start; I can practically knit socks in my sleep. Knitting gives my mind a chance to calm down and sort things out while I am completing one of those “someday” projects.

Usually one small project is all it takes. This time it took several; I had really lost my way! Which I guess explains why you haven’t heard from me before now.

After completing two socks, two scarves, (each only needing a few rows), adding the finishing touches to the pattern for the scarves and knitting a new pair of mittens, my mind is now ready to make decisions. OK, now I am motivated and ready to go! My unfinished projects were a real blessing, not a burden!

Don’t look at your unfinished projects as a burden or let them drag you down. Call them nearly finished and don’t feel guilty about having them. Remember, you are saving them for a reason. They have a purpose and will serve you well. You are saving them for the day when you need the psychological boost of tying up loose ends and starting over. Completing a small project or two will bring you back on track and enable you to focus. It is a matter of perspective and the power of positive thinking. Having nearly finished projects on hand is a good thing!

Life seems to be full of busy times and events that throw us off track. Thank goodness we have these nearly finished projects of something we love to do to rely on in such emergencies.

Now you know where I’ve been, what I’ve been up to, how I got back and hopefully I’ll be in touch more frequently. But if the need arises, I do have more nearly finished projects ready to rescue me just in case!

The holidays are a busy time; sometimes it is hard to refocus when they are over. Start or save a nearly finished project for January!

Through the Eyes of a Child

April 11, 2014

Adults can learn so much from watching children grow and explore the world. It is a mutually rewarding relationship. Adults teach children the skills they need to thrive in the world. Children remind us of the simplest joys of life when we take the time to notice and appreciate what we see.

I love watching the sheer delight of a child discovering raindrops, chasing a butterfly, watching birds fly, following a bug, seeing their first rainbow. The list can go on and on. It is the heart of the meaning of seeing the world though a child’s eye that keeps us young at heart.

Learning is vital to our being. Whatever your age, there is always something to be explored and knowledge to gain. Somewhere too many of us have lost that hunger for discovery. Life experiences can do that to us as we grow older and get busier in doing adult things.

Nature combines all colors, hues and shades beautifully. Take the time to really look at what you are seeing. Look at a brilliant sunrise or sunset created by the combination of pinks, oranges and purples. How many times have you rejected that very same color combination as “not going together” while at the same time you are in awe of such a view.

Spring is just around the corner, notice how many different colors of greens you see as the new leaves burst forth from the trees. A flower isn’t just red, purple or yellow; it is a beautiful combination of colors. We describe objects in single colors as if limiting ourselves to the eight colors in the smallest box of Crayola crayons. Crayola now offers boxes of crayons containing 152 different colors, thread and floss colors are now available in over 400 colors. Fabric and yarn colors are limitless.

Use the colors of nature as inspiration for color combinations in your needle art creations. Look at everything thru the eyes of a child without the preconceived restrictions of adulthood. It takes time to retrain yourself to stop and really look at what you are seeing. Rediscover your inner child; it keeps you young at heart and you will find joy in each and every day! It is all free for those who take the time to see and enjoy it!

Olympic Skills in the Needle Arts

March 11, 2014

Did you watch the 2014 Winter Olympics?  The skaters seem to glide over the ice so effortlessly, the skiers weave their way through the downhill course like ribbons cascading in the wind, and we watch the snowboarders sail up and down the icy walls of their event in amazement. They make it look so easy that we forget all the hours, weeks and years of preparation to qualify for the Winter Olympics. Only when we  see them gasping for breath at the end of their events, do we then realize how much effort they are putting into their performances.

These professionals obviously love what they have practiced for years. We admire their performances; they make it look like so much fun that we want to try it for ourselves. We can enjoy the sports even though we know that we will never achieve their same level of skill. We are encouraged by their skills rather than being discouraged by them. We need to remind ourselves that they are the best of the best.

The same can be said of quilting, knitting, crocheting, embroidery or whatever you enjoy or are dreaming of trying. Challenging ourselves is what keeps us interested in what we are doing. Did you notice how the Olympians continue to try to better their personal times? Once something is no longer challenging, we abandon it, or give up too easily saying we can’t accomplish perfection.  The needle arts are no different than any other activity. We can’t expect to try it once with perfect results any more than we would put on a pair of skis and zoom down the course at 60-70 miles per hour on the first try. Instead we start on the smallest hill and work our way up.

To enjoy and perfect your needle art skills, take classes, practice and give yourself a chance to grow and nurture your skills. You don’t have to become a professional to enjoy what you do and take pride in your accomplishments. We tend to be too critical of ourselves and it gets in the way of the enjoyment. Learning something new is so invigorating and encourages us to move forward.

Learn, practice, enjoy and take pride. It is so worth the effort!  Village Fabrics and Crafts offers classes, seminars, and techniques to advance your skills on a monthly basis.  Check our class schedule regularly  and join others in advancing your skills while enhancing your enjoyment of needle arts.

End of Bolt Sale

March 21, 2013

We were strolling down the fabric shelves the past few days and discovered there are lots of bolts with 5 or less yards remaining. The cardboard takes up more space than the fabrics! Lots of new fabrics will start arriving soon; we need to make room! It is time for an end of bolt sale!

This sale will start Saturday, March 23 at 10am and continue thru Saturday March 30! To make your shopping quick, convenient and easy, we have taken these fabrics off the boards, measured and discounted them by at least 40%!

Choose from flannels, cottons and batiks in a very wide range of colors and prints perfect for any sewing or quilting project. Many pieces are large enough for backings, borders, bindings and even main colors for piecing. Have you seen pieced backs? They are great, too! Check your gift list for upcoming holidays and celebrations. With this wide selection, you are sure to find just what you need!

This is a once a year sale – don’t miss out! See you soon!

Not Your Ordinary Jelly Roll Quilt

March 8, 2013

Worldwide Quilting Day is coming soon, March 16 in fact.  We are going to see how many inches we can sew in a day and the easiest way to do this is by making Jelly Roll strip quilts sometimes also referred to as the 1600 inch Jelly Roll Race.  Since I will be busy with lunch and things on the 16th I decided to put my quilt together early.  Once I got the strips pieced and put together I thought it needed a little something.  Something to make it more unique, more me!  I have added a border and big appliquéd flowers that will have jumbo yellow yo yo’s for centers.  Think of the possibilities!  The strip pieced top only takes about 2 hours and then you can embellish at home as you see fit.  If you would like more details or to join us for our event call (906)492-3803.  Details can also be found on our web site at  Please register by 5pm on March 9.Image

Worldwide Quilting Day is coming!

February 25, 2013


Village Fabrics & Crafts in Paradise invites you to join other quilters around the world in the 7 Summit Strip Quilt Challenge on Saturday, March 16. It is Worldwide Quilting Day and the goal for quilters around the world is to see how many inches of fabric we can sew into quilt tops to reach one or more of the 7 Summits. For example it will take 152 quilt tops to reach the top of Mt. McKinley and 218 quilt tops to reach the top of Mt. Everest.

Here are the details for the Challenge:

This is a very beginner friendly event!

On Saturday March 16, we will meet at the Community Center in Paradise (located about two miles from the shop.) The doors will open at the Paradise Community Center at 8:30 am for setup. The Challenge will start at 9:00 am and continue until 5:00 pm. With the panoramic view of Lake Superior’s Whitefish Bay through an entire wall of windows, lots of space, plenty of tables and lunch on site, it is the perfect facility to provide you with optimum surroundings for a very successful day of marathon quilting.

Lisa will be in charge of food and refreshments. With her degree in culinary arts, she will make sure you keep your energy levels high and feeling great to face the challenge and reach the Summit in record time.

To make measuring easy, we will be stitching sets of forty 2 1/2” x 44” strips of fabrics into quilt tops. We have spectacular colors of Bali Pops, Tonga Treats and Jelly Rolls all cut and ready for purchase, or you can bring your own Jelly Rolls or precut 2 1/2” x 44” strips from your stash. A top can be sewn in less than 2 hours, so come prepared to make several! You can keep the tops (great gifts!) or donate them as you wish.

Bring your friends!  The Community Center has lots of room, share the joy of quilting, introduce a friend to quilting; the more the merrier and the higher Summit we will reach! The pattern is very beginner friendly and Village Fabrics & Crafts will be sharing exclusive special options for the more advanced as well as finishing suggestions and techniques.  Note: You are welcome to join us even if you can’t be here for the whole day AND Village Fabrics & Crafts will be open on Saturday, March 16 also.

PRIZES! (Sponsored by The Fabric Shop Network, fabric and thread manufacturers, designers and more.)  “Like” Worldwide Quilting Day on facebook and be sure to enter each day or visit and comment on the daily blog post to register for the daily give aways.  Prizes will be given away everyday through March 16th and a Grand Prize Winner of the Quilter’s Mystery Box, filled with fabric, notions, patterns, books, and accessories (estimated retail value $300) will be announced on March 18!

We will also have special prizes to give away during the day of the event.

This is a FREE EVENT! Lunch, snacks and refreshments are optional and the charge is $15.00 per person due at the time of registration. The deadline to register for this event, whether you are purchasing a food ticket or not, is by 5:00 pm on Saturday, March 9th.

To register call us at 906-492-3803 and please feel free to call, email (  or post on facebook  if you have any questions.  We look forward to seeing you.

February 2013 Special

February 2, 2013

It’s blueberry season in Paradise! Bring in your exclusive Village Fabrics & Crafts blueberry tote bag and reap a harvest of savings in February! (These tote bags were given out for FREE with minimum $100.00 one-time purchase during special promotions during the last several months.)

During February, come into the shop, fill your exclusive tote bag and take 10% off everything that will fit inside!

If you don’t have an exclusive Village Fabrics & Crafts tote bag and want to join in on the savings, simply come in and make a minimum $100.00 one time purchase and we will give you your very own tote bag for FREE! Bring your tote bag back during your next visit in February, fill it up and you too can take 10% off everything that will fit inside!

This offer is valid February 2-28, 2013 for in-store purchases only. Limited to regular priced and in-stock items. Excludes sewing machines, Bernina sewing machine accessories, service on sewing machines, scissor sharpening, Creative Grids rulers, Addi knitting needles and Addi crochet hooks. Cannot be combined with any other offers.

It is our way of saying “Thank You!” to all of you who received your FREE tote bag during the last several months!


Love Your Local Quilt Shop

January 12, 2013

Love Your Local Quilt Shop

“Visit Your Local Independent Quilt Shop Day” is Thursday, January 24, 2013. Village Fabrics & Crafts is starting the celebration on Saturday, January 19. We know many of you will be visiting Paradise during the extended holiday weekend so we are starting the celebration early to give you the opportunity to join the festivities.

Be sure to bring your camera or phone and take a picture inside the shop to post on facebook, twitter or instagram. You could win a Shopping Spree valued at $500.00 and a new Brother sewing machine! Ten other winners will receive a tote bag full of $200.00 worth of quilting goodies. With such terrific prizes, you definitely want to be sure to enter this contest! Just think a $500.00 shopping spree at Village Fabrics & Crafts in Paradise! A dream come true; you will know you are in Paradise!

Yarn lovers be sure to come, take a picture inside the shop and submit your entry, too! The prize is a $500.00 Shopping Spree; spend it on yarns, needles, etc. You’ve had your eye on an Addi Click set and luxury yarns! We love and appreciate all of our customers and want everyone to have a chance to win these great prizes! Camera shy? Don’t worry, we have special photo props that you can hide behind if you prefer!

We are able to offer you a chance to win this wonderful contest because we are members of The Fabric Shop Network. The Fabric Shop Network is the professional trade organization for independent quilt and fabric shop owners and design studios. There are only 10 shops in Michigan that are official participants of the Local Quilt Shop Day events and we are 1 of only 2 in the Upper Peninsula!

See what Village Fabrics & Crafts, your local independent quilt shop can do for you! Each day from Saturday, January 19 thru Thursday, January 24 we will be giving free demonstrations that will answer your most common questions and frustrations to make your stitching experiences much more fun and successful! There are so many new ideas and you can trust us to stay on top of it all and give you the best guidance in your selections.

Love Your Local Quilt Shop!

December 28, 2012

Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day Coming Soon!

This is such a grand celebration that Village Fabrics & Crafts is kicking it off early on Saturday, January 19 and continuing each day thru Thursday, January 24th, the official Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day! We know many of you will be visiting during the holiday weekend and wanted to be sure to include you in the festivities!

On Saturday, January 19 thru Thursday, January 24th, Village Fabrics & Crafts in Paradise will be doing FREE demonstrations with FREE patterns, special discounts of demo items, special coupons for future purchases and other fun surprises! Brand new sewing themed quilt fabrics and kit with FREE instructions!

Thursday, January 24th is the last day to enter the big contest where you could win a $500.00 shopping spree to your favorite local, independent quilt or fabric shop(Village Fabrics & Crafts in Paradise), a Brother sewing machine and other great prizes.

  1. All you need to do to enter is to visit Village Fabrics & Crafts in Paradise, take a photo inside the shop and upload the photo to the contest page at with a caption saying why YOU love your local, independent quilt or fabric shop. Be sure to bring your camera or phone with you to take pictures!

  2. OR, upload your photo to Twitter or Instagram with hashtag: #IloveMyLQS in the caption or tweet.

  3. Deadline for entries is January 24, 2013 and 11:59 pm PST. Fans will vote for their favorite January 25, 2013 through January 31, 2013.

  4. Have fun! Share you Local Quilt Shop Love with the World and win valuable prizes, too!