Book Review: Marcia Decoster Presents

Marcia DeCoster Presents Beaded Jewelry by 30 International ArtistsMarcia DeCoster Presents Beaded Jewelry by 30 International Artists by Marcia DeCoster

The table of contents of this book includes an introduction and then the names of bead artists. It is amazing. “The interviews…, along with brief biographies and photos that showcase each artist’s work, are the results of this effort.” The book includes a wide variety of beading styles “from Nancy Dale’s elaborate fringe to Heather Collin’s cubic right angle weave creations and Susan Blessinger’s multimedia masterpieces. The author states that this book was, in part, made possible by the wonder of the Internet, which gave her the means to admire beadwork from around the world.

The shapes and colors are enough to inspire ideas for quilts and other crafts for a few years. The artists are from many different countries and backgrounds. Miriam Shimon shows a piece that would make a fantastic applique’, Aurora (pg.11). The necklace has some curves that look like mustaches in beautiful greens and reds tempered by burgundy and gold. Miriams designs are elegant and large.

Beki Haley includes natural elements such as a dragonfly (pg.30 on Enchanted) and a shell that looks like an ammonite (pg.31, Ancient Seas) as well as charms and beads that further the nature idea. The work is calming and has interesting textures.

I liked Sian Nolan’s rich, vibrant colors and thought her piece, Siany Bird (pg.43) was really innovative. It is a flamingo beaded scarf-like piece with feathers. I would look fabulous with a black dress that had a mock turtle collar. Her work includes a needlework case, which is different.

Each section includes photos of the artists’ work, also some biographical information and answers to a series of questions. Many of the artists make jewelry, but also beaded bags, the “scarf” mentioned above and cuffs.

This book is about texture and shape as well as lushness. If you need some inspiration along those lines, this book is one to look at.

Take a look!

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North Coast Quilt Shops pt.2

A few days ago I wrote about the Ocean Waves quilt shop, which was actually the second shop I visited on our trip to the North Coast last weekend. The first shop, which I really like was Scottie Dog Quilts. For the first time since I have been going there, one of the owners was there and we chatted for awhile while she cut my fabric. I heard her answer the phone “Redwood Sewing Center” and thought “huh?”, so I asked. She said they have a different, affiliated business called Scottie Dog Quilts, but officially the shop was called Redwood Sewing Center. Hhmm. Who knew?

Cafe Apron Sample
Cafe Apron Sample

One thing I bought was a kit with a pattern for a ‘cafe’ apron. It was one of those postcard patterns. They only had them in kit form (no patterns alone) and the kits were more my colors (pink, yellow, etc). I have plenty of fabric to make a few of these cafe aprons, but had to buy the kit in order to get the pattern. Frankly, what appealed to me was the Eiffel Tower fabric, but they were out and they didn’t have dark kits. I bought some yardage of the neutrals/blacks from the Little Black Dress collection to make one as a gift. I may have some Eiffel Tower fabric leftover from my sister’s quilt, but I don’t think so. I think I used the leftovers for the back. Now I have the fabric for two and hope to make them soon, so the fabric doesn’t get lost or used for something else. I have another short apron I wear in my workroom (it was a gift), so I don’t need one, but, depending on how difficult they are, I think these would make nice gifts and, perhaps, a giveaway or officer gift at BAMQG. We’ll see.

Little Black Dress & Lozenge Quilt
Little Black Dress & Lozenge Quilt

It is a small shop, but they have a lot of fabric. I didn’t think I was in the mood to buy fabric, but I did buy a few pieces. They have a small batik wall and I picked out a few pieces just to freshen up my batik options.

I always like the quilt samples they have in this shop as well. I have been, for a long time, toying with the idea of lozenge quilt and the one in the photo is an interesting variation. It is not actually made from a lozenge shaped patch, but from squares, HSTs and rectangles. I am not that fond of the colors of the sample, but that is no problem.

The fabrics I discussed for the apron are shown above the quilt.

Fabric at Scottie Dog
Fabric at Scottie Dog

they had a small, segregated selection of modern fabrics, one Heather Bailey I saw this time was also there last year (used it for the Petrillo Bag). It made me wonder if Free Spirit is reprinting that particular print of if the shop does not sell many modern fabrics?

They also had Mary Ellen’s Best Press in the regular size and a lot of different fragrances as well as a lot of charm packs.

You can also see more of their samples. I don’t remember if those were just decorations or if they were class samples. There was actually a class gong on when I was there. I went into the classroom to look at the quilts hanging there. I listened to the discussion and could only get that I think that was some kind of finishing class – bring your half finished project and someone would help you finish it. There were a couple of ladies doing applique’ so it could have been an applique’ class as well.

Notions Wall - Scottie Dog
Notions Wall – Scottie Dog

There was a nice selection of notions. I bought another pack of True Grips. A few of my rulers still need them, especially the specialty templates.

I definitely think that the notions wall is a telling sign of the type of shop. Some shops just seem to have a bunch fo Dritz notions and that is it. Other shops seem to have a varied selection of useful notions. Scottie Dog/Redwood Sewing Center is a shop that has a variety. It was a small-medium selection, but I think they picked what they thought would be useful rather than ordering a ‘notions kit’, if such a thing exists.

I think I have mentioned before that they sell machines – Pfaffs (perhaps that is why they are officially called Redwood Sewing Center??). I looked at the Pfaffs they had available – about 6 machines – just out of curiosity. I couldn’t tell anything from what I saw and I didn’t ask for a demo.

Towards 30s and Dots Wall
Towards 30s and Dots Wall

Straight ahead and to the left as you walk in is the 1930s fabrics and dots wall. If you turn left from the notions wall, you will also see it. I didn’t see anything that jumped out at me for TFQ, but there were a few dots that tempted me.

The cabinets on the left of the picture are covered with Bali Pops, Tonga Treats, etc. I rummaged through them and was very tempted, but I have a few slated for projects that I have not used yet, so I restrained myself.

Right to the right of the dots and 1930s fabrics was a large display of Bonnie & Camille fabrics. They had charm packs of Scrumptious, but yardage from a variety of their different lines, even Ruby.

You can really see how this shop is just crammed with fabric and everything. I found that to be the case with Ocean Waves, too. I didn’t really get a sense of the vibrancy of the quilting community, but it must be strong to support two quilt shops which are almost within walking distance of each other in the same town.

More notions, patterns & batiks
More notions, patterns & batiks

Taking this picture, the Little Black Dress and lozenge quilt display were on my left.

I liked the Bonnie & Camille quilt and was very tempted by that ruffled bag hanging above the notions. I have a number of bag patterns yet to make, so I refrained from buying that one.

The photo to the right gives more examples of the sample quilts and there is a wide variety.

Scottie Dog Fabrics/ Redwood Sewing Center

Scottie Dog Quilts
301 W. Harris St.
Eureka, CA 95503
(707) 444-9662