Archive for the ‘General Chit Chat’ Category

Excitement is Brewing

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

New employees at New Pieces are bringing in new energy, new ideas, and a fresh perspective.  Add to that a dash of the anticipation of summer (June is just around the corner folks), and it’s a heady atmosphere here in the shop.

Of note:

  • Christmas fabrics are starting to arrive.  (I know, I can’t believe it either)
  • Row by Row Experience starts June 21st, and New Pieces is pleased to be a participating shop.
  • The blog will be updated on a more regular basis.

Stay tuned.

November 12 x 12″ x 12″ Challenge – “Bounty”

Friday, December 21st, 2012

I thought we’d gone too far on this one. The theme was “Bounty”, perhaps in reference to Autumn or Thanksgiving, perhaps to the recent loss of the HMS Bounty amid Hurricane Sandy. The fabric was a tricky to use in such a small piece… or so I thought. We received 7 delightful interpretations — lo


“Bountiful Transition”, by Lizzie Leininger


“Mr. Bown T. Full”, by Fern Royce


“Dogs and Bounty Hunters”, by Heather Marshall Jacobsen


“No Bounty $”, by Kathy Ritter


“A Big Dipper Full-o-Wishes”, by Joyce Schon

And for the first time we ended up with a tie for “favorite”quiltlet among those voting. Jane Voytek and Lissa Miner share the limelight, with two very different interpretations of the theme. Jane handled the produce, and Lissa contributed a turkey:


Quilter’s Bounty”, by Jane Voytek


For the turkey this is the question: “To be or not to be, …whether ’tis nobler to be pardoned or to be Thanksgiving’s Bounty?”, by Lissa Miner

Thanks to all who played in November. We have one more challenge to come – December – the theme is “Star”.  Stay tuned for more amazing, bite-sized beauties from our quilt community! The deadline for entries is 6:00pm, January 2nd, 2013, (delayed by the holidays!).  Additional information is available on the 12 x 12″ x 12″ Challenge page on Facebook!

Important Rules from Singer – circa 1949

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

The following rules for sewing were recently found on the Internet, and posted in the New Pieces bathroom, by Sharona Fishrup:

I apologize for the poor quality of the photo,  taken with a “smart” phone. While it’s true that an organized workspace helps one be creative and work more efficiently — few of us could ever sew if all these requirement were prerequisite.  And no, New Pieces does not carry bags of French chalk for your fingertips.

Imagine how life has changed over the last 62 years — and what future quilters will say about us in another 62 years!

Have you Made a New (School) Year’s Resolution?

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

There’s a new school year right around the corner — Children are sharpening their pencils and laying out outfits and backpacks for return to the local grade schools. High school students are upgrading their high-techery and scuffing their shoes for an optimal first-day cool.  UC Berkeley is filling up, and classes start on Thursday; many of us have college students long gone for the Fall term. It was 78 degrees (F) in Berkeley today — a sure sign that the cool Summer weather is coming to an end, and a hot Bay Autumn is at hand. It’s time to get started, on something!

Becky Keck showing off a Freshly Quilted Work of Art (FQWA)

What’s your plan? Are you ready to do something new (or get back to doing something you used to love before life got so hectic?) Why not make your New Year’s Resolution NOW, at the beginning of the school year — instead of waiting until January when days are short, veggies are scarce and hibernation beckons?

Maybe this is the year you join a quilt guild; you can choose from the likes of  EBHQ , a venerable and powerful local group that meets in Kensington, the last Monday evening of the month (August 29th), or East Bay Modern Quilt Guild, a smaller newer group that meets at New Pieces on the last Tuesday (August 30). Here’s a list of other Quilt Guilds in the area, if you’re from farther out. You could finally take that class you’ve been meaning to at New Pieces. Maybe you can just make a promise to make yourself, and your sewing, a higher priority than it may have been lately.

Now is a perfect time to think about sharing a quilt or your skill with others:

You can make something for a loved one. You can teach a loved one, or an acquaintance, or a a classroom full of children to make something.

You can donate a quilt to either Quilts4Japan or Children’s Quilts/EBHQ . Q4J has collected hundreds of quilts to send to those in need; Children’s Quilts has packets of pre-selected, pre-cut fabrics available (free!) for you to assemble. You can pick one up at New Pieces Quilt Store; you can also drop off donations for either group at the Store, any time we are open.

EBHQ members can show off a quilt at the November meeting (“Show-and-Tell”) or start planning to display one in Voices in Cloth 2012 a sensational biennial quilt show to be held on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond.

There are so many other ways you can share your skills and knowledge. We just want to give you a little nudge, and encourage you to get started on what’s next. We’re living in challenging times. Sewing something is a calming, reassuring, affirming way to deal with uncertain times. Quilting is good for us and for everyone.

Happy New Year!

Blogging with Friends…

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

A few days ago Sharona received a very nice note from her friend Jaye, with a link to Jaye’s blog, Artquiltmaker Blog. We were pleased to be mentioned in Jaye’s blog, more pleased that she enjoyed her visit, and especially pleased that she let us know about it.

If you are a friend of New Pieces and have a blog, let us know and we’ll get a list going so more folks know about the work you are putting into it. Blogs are just one more way for quilters to learn from one another. As always, I’m reminded of how generous quilters are with their time and expertise.

You can leave your URL in the comment section here, or email it to me at

Thanks, as usual. Heather


Saturday, June 18th, 2011

There is an old joke about a software engineer who took two weeks off — and then had to retire because he (or she) could never catch up. I know how she (or he) felt!

Earlier this month I had the honor of attending my daughter’s college graduation (in Iowa) and spending a few days on either side visiting with family. I returned to Berkeley (with husband, the aforementioned daughter and her 9 year-old brother) via AMTRAK. Wonderful! Worthwhile! But also a little disorienting.

I had planned for the blog to be updated in my absence, but had no idea how confusing it would be to return to an environment as dynamic as New Pieces is. Please accept my apologies for the missing blog entries while I try to find my feet again.

It occurred to me that a general update might be the best way back in, and helpful to those of you who also get overwhelmed coming into the Store.

At first glance everything’s like it always was, but there are dozens of new bolts of fabric, already comfortable throughout the Store. Palettes of quilts have been shipped by “Quilts4Japan” (quilts are still being accepted). There were kits for “Operation Kid Comfort” earlier this week (thanks Lauren!) but they have all been adopted. If anyone else is interested in sewing one, we can ask for more.

The class sample quilts have been swapped out for the Summer classes, and there are several I’ve never seen before. There are new classes on the schedule for Summer. Perfect!

One thing I didn’t miss out on was the June Mystery Quilter Talk — Tuesday June 21, at 12:30pm. If you haven’t been to a Mystery Quilter talk yet, maybe this is the month. The Mystery Quilter is always a friend of New Pieces and/or a local quilter — and he or she always has an interesting story to share with whoever is there for the free, lunch-time talk. I can’t tell you who the June Mystery Quilter is, because I don’t know.

Thanks for your patience, and I do hope to see you at New Pieces, soon. It’s great to be back!



Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

On Tuesday, May 17th (10:30-11:30am) New Pieces welcomes our third MYSTERY QUILTER to share her amazing (and we believe unique) quilter’s quest with all comers. This month’s guest is well known to the Staff at New Pieces, but will be coming from a great distance to the Bay Area. We have had to move the time for this talk to 10:30AM, as Her Royal Mysteriousness will be attending a graduation at a nearby University, in the afternoon.

As always, the Mystery Quilter talk is free, and starts promptly on the half-hour. There’s plenty of room, but seating is first-come, first-served. You may want to bring your mid-morning coffee with you, or plan to meet a friend for lunch after the talk.

Join us, please, for a talk that may inspire you to think about  your own quilting in a different way, and will certainly leave you feeling warm and fuzzy like a quilter should.

“Infinite Variety”

Friday, April 1st, 2011

A dear New Pieces friend just forwarded us an article about the American Folk Art Museum’s recent presentation of “Infinite Variety:  Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts.”  “Infinite Variety” is a stunning display of 651 red and white quilts, from the collection of  Joanna Rose. The exhibit took place at the Park Avenue Armory. The display of red and white quilts was breathtaking.

Please scroll through the pictures on Martha’s blog. There is also a slide show which takes a closer look at 8 quilts at  “The Daily Beast”.


Nifty Notions – Little House Pins

Sunday, March 20th, 2011


I opened a new box of Little House Pins this morning and was reminded what a wonderful, small luxury they really are.  Little House Pins are very thin, utterly smooth and really, really sharp.  They are handmade, with tiny glass pinheads that hold up to ironing without melting or scratching. They come from Tokyo, painstakingly sorted and counted into teeny-tiny boxes. Working with these beautiful little pins reminds me that there is true pride in doing a small thing very, very well. In a hectic world, it’s a thought I love to have as I sit down to my day’s projects.

– Heather


Worth A Thousand Words….and more!

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

This is the top of Kari’s Wedding Quilt as seen at a recent Tuesday drop-in (Tea with Carol Lee – February 1).  We met Kari while she was planning this quilt on paper, a couple of months before her wedding.  She will probably have it finished well before her first wedding anniversary.

Every inch of Kari’s quilt has been carefully planned and considered — it really teems with intention. She did a lovely job on this, her very first quilt. The circle with the fletched arrow feathers is the family crest for her husband’s family — which is now her family too!

Just another wonderful quilt tale.

We wish Kari and her Groom the very best — and many more, happy, quilts to come!