Winner of Quiltmakers Announced + What’s Cookin’ at the Works

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Thank you all who commented on our blog post yesterday as it was Clothworks sponsor day for the Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Blog Tour kick-off this week!  We received lots of comments from our faithful followers as well as comments from some newcomers to our blog, The Works.  Hats off to you all for participating, and a great big welcome to our new friends!  Speaking of hats….I’ve drawn a name out of the proverbial hat for the winner of the contest that we ran on yesterday’s blog post.

And the winner is…..

Congratulations,  boilermom27!

Please check your email as I’ve contacted you for your shipping address.  Once I hear back from you, I’ll notify our friends at Quiltmaker’s who will mail you a copy of your prize, an issue of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks.  Be sure to check your junk email box, just in case.

Enjoy the rest of the Quiltmaker’s Blog Tour as it continues its run through the rest of this week.  Each day will be brimming with inspiration and more opportunities to win great prizes!

And now on to another thing we all love….food!

Today we switched things up a bit from our usual Soup of the Week selection.  As we slowly transition from spring to summer, those chilly days calling for a bowl of hearty soup to nourish the body & soul will no longer be here.  Angela had the bright idea of setting up a baked potato bar for this week’s ‘Monday Lunch Club’ selection.  It still wasn’t time to hang up the crock pot, though.  It came in handy to warm up the pre-baked potatoes and sweet potatoes thrown in for good measure.  Along with the baked potatoes, there was a self serve station of tasty fixings to help crank up the flavors on these lil’ spuds:   shredded cheese, green onions, red salsa, salsa verde, bacon crumbles, sour cream, butter and more!  Just feast your eyes below!

potato bar

Check back next week as we tempt your taste buds with another yummy recipe from the Monday Lunch Club.

Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Vol. 9 Blog Tour- Starts Today!

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Spring break may be over for most of you, but the fun is just beginning here on the web!!  Are you ready for a week of fun, games, and Quilty Pleasures?!  Today kicks off the Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Blog Tour!  Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 9 is due for release next Tuesday- May 6, 2014.

In preparation for the release of Volume 9, Quiltmaker is hosting a blog tour which begins today, Monday April 28 and lasts until Friday May 2nd.  Check in daily on the Quiltmaker blog, Quilty Pleasures, as there will be plenty of new posts about the following:

-12 New Designers listed daily with links to their blogs

-Links to Sponsors’ websites

-Oodles of chances to win prizes from the Designers’ blogs & Sponsors’ sites

-Blog Tour finale on Friday with a chance to win Two Giant Prize Package Giveaways (contributions courtesy of the Designers & Sponsors!)

Oh, and if you’ve been paying attention here at The Works, you may have read a while back that Clothworks is a contributing sponsor to Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Blog Tour!!! YAY!!!

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Today is the selected Sponsor Day for Clothworks on the Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Blog tour.  And that means we’re hosting a contest in conjunction with the blog tour.  See, I told you this was going to be fun!

For today only, to enter into our contest, please leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win a copy of a Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks  Issue!!  Deadline to post a comment is tonight at 11:59 p.m. PDT.  We’ll select one entry at random, email the winner for their shipping address, and Quiltmaker will send you your prize.  Good luck to all that enter!

Happy trails as they say while & enjoy the ‘quilt-spirational roadtrip‘ on the Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Blog Tour this week.  I dunno about you, but I couldn’t think of a better thing to do from the comfort of my couch!

Don’t forget to check your favorite stockist on Tuesday May 6th when Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 9 hits the news stands, too.

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Fun Friday Show And Tell

trip around the world 1

One of the perks of working here at Clothworks is becoming connected to a community of truly talented & creative quilters and crafters.  As Clothworks has a warehouse open to wholesale accounts, we often have a lot of local customers that walk through our door to shop it during business hours.  These folks stop by repeatedly to pick up their fabric orders and peruse the racks to see what’s new.  With time, we develop a relationship with these folks– local quilters, owners of mom & pop shops, and small manufacturers of crafty goods.  We hear about what’s trending with their businesses,  gather feedback about our fabric,  and what they do when they purchase a bolt of Clothworks fabric.  Sometimes we’re treated with pictures of the end results of their creativity, and other times we’re quite lucky to see the actual creation brought in for show & tell!!

Recently, one of our locally based customers who runs a long-arm quilting business, brought in some beautiful quilts she pieced and quilted using Clothworks fabric.  Janine, owner of Finishing Touches Quilting,  made the quilts pictured above and below using some of our Kinkame European Taupe fabrics.  You can tell Janine has a really exquisite sense of color– the neutral European Taupes look quite stunning pieced in these Trip Around the World Quilting patterns.  Upon further inspection, it’s Janine’s quilting technique that gives these quilts a dazzling look with a distinctive texture!  Would you believe that Janine free-hand quilts these intricate designs?!!  When she visited us to show off these beauties, she told me she keeps a sketch book with quilting designs for inspiration.  I don’t know about you, but I could sit for hours just taking in the beautiful movement of her quilting…it’s simply amazing!!

trip around the world 2

Here’s a great close-up picture of these quilts with the natural daylight playing up the shadows created by the quilting.

up close view of trip around the world

How’s that for some Fun Friday Show and Tell!!??

Put a tie around your finger and don’t forget– the Quiltmakers 100 Blocks Vol 9 Blog Tour starts next week, Monday April 28th, 2014.  Check back here at the Works on Monday to see what fun will be in store, as Clothworks is a sponsor in the blog tour this year!!

 

What’s Cookin’ At the Works- Soup’s On! Chicken Posole

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It’s been a while since we last posted a recipe, but today’s Soup Club selection is hopefully a harbinger of things to come- warmer weather & festive celebrations!  Lisa in Design brought in Chicken Posole, and although the calendar might not say 05/05, or Cinco de Mayo to all you party-peeps, it sure tasted like it!  A fiesta of flavor was brimming in a bowl– accented by all the accoutrements- salsas, hot peppers, radish slices, herbs, cheese, and tortilla chips, too!

Here’s Lisa’s chicken posole recipe:

1 whole chicken, giblets removed (except neck)

2 carrots, peeled  & roughly chopped

3 ribs celery, each cut into several pieces

6 cloves garlic, halved

1 onion, peeled & halved

1 Tbsp. peppercorns

Salt to taste – about 2 tsp. to start

¼ c. nutritional yeast (optional; find in health food section)

Place chicken and veggies in a large stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer about 2 hours covered. Remove chicken and set aside. Continue to simmer broth uncovered for another hour or so until slightly reduced. Add yeast and taste for salt. Cool and strain broth. Skim fat. Wipe out stock pot and put finished broth back in.

Shred chicken, discarding skin, fat & bones. Add to broth along with:

1 large can posole (hominy), drained, and

1 onion, peeled, halved and sliced very thin

Heat soup to serving temperature. Serve with assorted toppings: Mexican cheese, salsa, cilantro, green onion, roasted pepper strips, etc.

For a little added spicy flair- add the following:

Michelle’s salsa (as adapted by Lisa)

1 head garlic, roasted until softened but not totally mush (I do this in the microwave, about 3 minutes on medium power)

5 tomatillos

2 tomatoes

Large handful dried chile de arbol (anywhere from 8 to 20)

Heat a dry skillet and toast the chilis until fragrant. Break the garlic head into cloves. In the same skillet, toast the cloves until dark spots appear, shaking so they don’t burn. Put some olive oil in the pan and turn the heat down a little. Add the whole (husked) tomatillos and tomatoes. Watch out; they spatter! Cook until dark spots appear.

Put the tomatoes/tomatillos/oil into a blender jar. Peel and add the garlic. Blend a little. Cut off the tops of the chilis and if desired shake out seeds. Add to the blender. Blend until smooth. Salt to taste, around 1 tsp. If too briny from the tomatillos, add a pinch of sugar.

And let’s not forget dessert….  Chocolate Brownie Torte!

chocolate torte

Lisa tells me that she used brownie mix, with the addition of:  1/3 cup cocoa powder, teeny sprinkle of cinnamon, and a cup of chocolate chips.   The challenge here was using a round pan and parchment paper to make this decadent sweet look aesthetically pleasing.  But who’s really judging the proverbial book by its cover when it comes to chocolate?!

Bon Appetit!

 

Good Friday Show and Tell

TGIF and Happy Good Friday to you!  On this Fun-Friday, here’s a little Show & Tell for you!  Our friend Scott at Blue Nickel Studios was lucky to test and review the new Hamilton Beach Durathon Iron.  In testing out the … Continue reading

Designer Leslie Mark: In Her Own Words

Unity Quilt on Maine beach

You may remember a few weeks ago we held a giveaway for some Unity fat quarter bundles.  Congratulations to the two winners  of this contest– they are quite lucky to receive such beautiful fabrics!  Judging from all of the lovely comments left by folks about this fabric, this debut collection by one of Clothworks‘ newest designers, Leslie Mark, has certainly made waves.  It’s no wonder– as Leslie comes from a town in coastal Maine.  Situated near the sea, perched on a rocky beach, perhaps it’s just ingrained in her to make something splashy!

We do all that we can to promote our beautiful fabric collections here at Clothworks.  Cross-promo patterns, social media, and giveaways are just a few of the things that help connect the product to our wonderful customers.  Today I’d like to share the fabric designer’s perspective and bring you an inspirational story that through her art, connects her back to her hometown.  All in the name of Unity, too!

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Clothworks designer, Leslie Mark.  Here she tells her creative journey in her own words:

One of the first nuggets of wisdom I took to heart as I began my journey in art licensing was to find my authentic, artistic voice. I heard that without a clear vision, I would never connect with an audience in this very competitive industry.  I scribbled on my white board, “Create designs which inspire creativity in others”. This guiding goal is always right in front of me and it has rewarded me in ways I never imagined.

Last summer, I got a call from Ruth Davis, the owner of Quilt n Fabric in Southwest Harbor Maine, the tiny coastal town where I grew up and moved away from over 30 years ago. She had been chatting with my Dad at Brandon & Laura’s Café next door and heard about my first fabric collection, Unity. She was delighted to learn that she could order the fabric through Clothworks, one of her favorite vendors.  She invited me to come to her shop for a ‘meet and greet” when the fabrics arrived.  I was beyond thrilled that the very first response to this collection came from my home town where so much of my love of art and enduring inspiration originated.

Unity Collection Fat Quarters

After months of not so patiently waiting, Ruth called to tell me the fabric was in and I should come for a visit.  With a winter snow storm predicted, I banked on inaccurate forecasting and made the 4 hour journey “home”.  Although I had never met Ruth, I was greeted by the warmth that only comes from a home town welcome.  And then there was Connie, my mom’s dear friend who hadn’t seen me in 40 years, but it seemed like just yesterday.   As I went through my presentation about the process of creating a design collection, the ladies were so curious and engaged, I could feel that they were proud of their home town girl. As I concluded and my heart was bursting with pride for being part of such a loving, close knit community, Ruth brought me to tears.  She presented me with a beautiful quilt made from my fabrics by her, Connie, Deb, and Lily, The Batty Quilter.

Leslie Mark with Unity Quilt and Shop Owners

The surprise continued with a beautiful cake made by Laura from the café next door.  I later learned that the frosting, which so cleverly matched one of my fabric patterns, was completed in the dark during the early morning power outage.

Cake for Leslie- Unity colors

Since then, I’ve met the wonderful women from my local stores in the York, Maine area including Knight’s Quilt Shop and the Seacoast Sewing and Quilting.  I’ve started following quilting blogs, Facebook pages, shop hops and trade shows. I’ve come to appreciate the tradition and craftsmanship of quilting all over again. This is an amazing community and I am left to wonder, “Who is inspiring whom?

Leslie Mark- Unity Quilt- Cat

Save the Date- Quiltmaker’s Blog Tour!

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Mark your calendars, set your alarms!  Two weeks from today, starting Monday April 28, 2014, Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Blog Tour will commence!  In honor of the release of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 9 edition, this blog tour will be highlighting some very talented designers from the quilting community with links to their crafty blogs.  There will also be many chances to win prizes- including fat quarter bundles, issues of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, and much more!!  Definitely head over to Quiltmakers blog to check out the fun and if you’re lucky, win some loot!

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Clothworks is excited to participate as a sponsor in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Blog Tour.  On Monday April 28th, we’ll be a featured sponsor for that day & will be hosting a fun give-a-way for that day only!!  Don’t miss out on the fun & prizes– be sure to circle the date on your calendar, tie a string around your finger, send a voice mail to yourself, or whatever it takes to remember!

 

Winners Announced! Unity Fat Quarter Bundle Give-a-Way

Unity Fat Quarter Bundle Giveaway

Happy Monday!

Thanks to all who participated in the Unity Fat Quarter Bundle Give-a-way here on The Works.  We received a lot of wonderful feedback on this fabric collection.  From reading all of the comments, Spring is definitely on the brain for everyone!  Kudos to all of you who left comments– there were a ton of fantastic ideas of what you’d create with the Unity fat quarters.  It even gave me a bit of sewing inspiration!

Ok, now for the moment you all have been waiting for…the winners!

Selected at random, are the two winners of this give-a-way:

Kathy Davis

and

Joan H.

Congratulations, ladies!!  I will be contacting you two by email to get your shipping address to send your Unity fat quarter bundle prizes!  And remember to check your junk mail folder, just in case.

 

Thanks again to everyone who left comments.  There are more give-a-ways planned for future posts, so please check back here on The Works!

 

Unity Fat Quarter Bundle Give-a-Way!

Unity Fat Quarter Bundle Giveaway

It may be April 1st, but no foolin’, we’re running another fat quarter bundle give-a-way!  We have some gorgeous fat quarters to win from the Clothworks collection, Unity by designer Leslie Mark, available now in stores!  The  vibrant colors in this collection paired with Hawaiian floral prints, smart tonal houndstooths, monochromatic chevrons, and multicolor florals are sure to sweep away the winter dullness and make way for happy Spring vibes!  What’s that old saying again– April showers bring pretty fat quarters??!  🙂

Contest begins today and will end on Sunday April 6th, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.  Please leave a comment on this blog post during this time as to what these beautiful fabrics would inspire you to do.  Remember, limit yourself to one comment only.  Qualified contestants must have a shipping address within the U.S., as well.  Two contestants will be drawn at random on Monday April 7th when the lucky winners will be announced here on The Works!  We’ll contact the 2 winners by email for their shipping addresses and each winner will win a fat quarter bundle consisting of 6 fat quarters each.

Best Wishes!