Voices in Cloth - Northern California's Premier Quilt Show

Extraordinary Quilts by the Bay
Over 200 Exciting EBHQ Quilts and Garments
Special Exhibit by the Mendocino Quilt Artists

Craneway Pavilion
1414 Harbour Way South
at Richmond Waterfont

March 22 - 23, 2014
Sat - 10 -5
Sun 10 - 4

Get your advance tickets $10 at Stonemountain 
Tickets available at the front counter.
Save and bypass the lines at the door! ($12 at the door)

A New Way to Visualize Your Garment Sewing Projects!

Dear Stonemountain & Daughter Community,
I'm working with a game developer, Playlife Media, that has created a fun, online tool for sewing. We're starting small, with 35 McCall's patterns, and about 100 real fabrics — many available here at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics. You mix-and-match fabrics on a fit model to see your garment in 3D before you sew it in real life. It's useful ... but it's also really fun! You can browse though looks that others have made, and even share your looks to Facebook!

The concept is being tested and we would love your input! You can get started here (you will need to download the free application Unity to view the game):

Login, play around, and let us know what you think by filling out the user survey at the top. If the test goes well, more patterns and fabrics will be added, along with male and toddler fit models. There is so much potential, we can't wait to hear your feedback!

Germaine Gioia


Sew You

Sew You is a new way to visualize your garment sewing projects! Playlife Media, a game developer, is partnering with Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics to bring you an online game designed to help you try out different garment patterns and fabrics BEFORE you lift a needle! Playlife is looking for volunteer testers from the Stonemountain & Daughter sewing community.

Curious to know more? Want to try out the game for free?


Click here to read a letter from Playlife Media’s President, Germaine Gioia and try the game!

See Quilts on View at Stonemountain in October 2013

Stop by during October and view the beautiful quilts
from the J-Sei sewing community.

J-Sei is a community care and cultural organization that brings families together to nurture and pass on Nikkei values and traditions.  The J-Sei Senior Center offers a wide range of activities and classes and has become an important social gathering spot for older adults.  The quilting class is composed of 20 seniors ranging in age from 61 to 91 with a varying range of quilting experience.  Some of the quilts on display are beginner made quilts.

New Classes at Stonemountain and Daughter

Curious about what class to take? Come into the store to see our class projects trunk show to get some ideas! 

New to sewing? Consider taking 101 Beginning Sewing and Beyond
Here is great bathrobe by Kwik Sew - Pattern 3177

Or here is a great PJ Pant pattern - Kwik Sew 3074

Want to make a skirt?
102 - Hip to Sew - Skirt - is a great place to start. See the skirt with orange and pink flowers below!
For those a bit more advanced or for those who want to learn to sew knit fabric,
move on to 290 - Sewing on Knit Fabric. See the black argyle skirt below!

Once you have the basics down - 607 -The Adored Wrap Dress is a very popular class.

Want to complete your look with a bag? Take 80 -Tote Bag!
You can buy extra fabric when you make your skirt or dress in the above classes and take the tote bag class and make a whole ensemble!
Now you've got your new most favorite skirt and a bag to match!


Mochi Mochi Quilts Trunk Show

Now up though July 2011!
Come by and see the beautiful Mochi Mochi quilts. We have the patterns in the store and on the website, so you can make your own!

Oliver and S Trunk Show

 Oliver and S Trunk Show at Stonemountain and Daughter - May 8 - May 15, 2011!
It is such a wonderful pattern line, and for many of us at the store -  it is our favorite kids line!  


So what is a trunk show?

It is simply a show of garment samples created by a pattern line.   Pattern companies construct sample garments to give us an idea of how the pattern makes up. How fun!  


We are the only store on the west coast hosting this show - so make sure not to miss it!   

Here we are with the other venues across the country!    

  • April 22-May 1: Sewn Studio Cincinnati, OH
  • May 7-May 15: Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics, Berkeley, CA
  • May 20-May 29: Mama Said Sew, Fort Collins, CO
  • June 8-June 19: Gather Here, Cambridge, MA
  • June 24-July 4: The French Seam, Indianapolis, IN
  • July 8-July 17: Textile Fabric Store, Nashville, TN
  • July 22-July 31: Fiddlehead Artisan Supply, Belfast, ME
  • August 5-14: Drawstring Studio, Milwaukee, WI
  • August 21-22: Checker -open house, Maumee, OH (open to the trade only)

This dress pattern by Oliver and S is called the Music Box Jumper. It has an empire waist. It can be made pleated or A-line with a single inverted box pleat in the back. And best of all - it is designed for beginning sewers.. .
Back shown here with pleats. I love that design detail of the pleats on side back and not through out the back panel...
Back shown here with A line and inverted box pleat.

Want to take a sewing class? - Visit our website for the current class schedule and be on the look out for our new Class Brochure -  scheduled to come out at the beginning of June!  


Visit our classes on the web 

or pick up a brochure in the store!   


Here are pictures of the Oliver and S Trunk show...  

We have the music class blouse and shorts, the hopscotch skirt and knit top, the seashore sundress, and so many more... So Cute!   


Here is their fun Seashore Sundress...

and the cute Ice Cream Dress 

The Family Reunion Dress... 

And here is their School Days Jacket and Coat - It is made here as super cute raincoat! Adorable. 

And how about making a sundress for yourself as well? 


This adorable dress was made by Geri Ivory who works at Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics. This dress uses two patterns - The top is Vintage Vogue V2961 and the skirt is from New Look 6723. As well, Geri added a bit more flair to the skirt!   


Celebrate Spring with a new flirty spring sundress! 



Sewing picks up with 'Project Runway,' economy

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, more sewing machines were imported to the United States in the first five months of this year than the same period last year.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, more s...An antique sewing machine is seen at The Sewing Workshop ...Karine Langan owns the Sewing Workshop in San Francisco a... 

In these DIY times, sewing classes are bursting at the seams. Jo-Ann's, the national fabric and craft chain, opened 30 new stores this year and will open 40 more in 2011. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, $581 million worth of sewing machines were imported to the United States in the first five months of this year, up from $453 million in the same period of 2009, an increase of 28 percent in the seasonally adjusted numbers.

What's behind the boom? Is this another recession-driven effort to save money? A desire for self-expression? A response to "Project R? Or a rebellion against disposable clothes and outsourcing?

It's all that, and more. "The recession is part of it, but it is also an attitude," says Judi Ketteler, author of "Sew Retro: 25 Vintage-Inspired Projects for the Modern Girl & A Stylish History of the Sewing Revolution."

It is an attitude lined with a can-do spirit and stitched together by how-to home-sewing videos on YouTube.  Born of the desire to be more self-sufficient, the result is a creative all-gender antidote to a workaday world, a truly individualized look and, for some, a possible career move.

"In a survey, we found that the No. 1 reason for our members to sew is to have a creative outlet," says Nora Abousteit, co-founder of Burdastyle.com, which has more than 400,000 members and gets 6.5 million page views per month. The site offers copyright-free sewing patterns, step-by-step sewing tutorials and lively discussion groups.

While interest has grown out of the craft and DIY movements, "Project Runway" provided the rocket fuel for liftoff. By watching the show, "people understand that designing clothes actually means sewing as well, and, at the same time, they see sewing is cool, and not dusty and boring," Abousteit says.

"It's quite expensive to buy material and notions and much cheaper to go to H&M. At the same time, people are interested in something unique, something they made with their own hands. The reason for sewing completely changed from the postwar period with limited budgets or lack of access to fashionable clothing."

'Lost art'

Today, sewing is "the latest lost art, or grandmother's art, that's being revived," says "Sew Retro" author Ketteler.

Karine Langan, who owns the Sewing Workshop in San Francisco says about 40 percent of her students had mothers who sewed, but "every grandmother did."

She's seeing an uptick in registration for classes from " 'Project Runway' and the economic fallout, two different types of students: people who want to cut costs and do things for themselves, and people who want to make something fabulous."

Lynne Gallagher, who owns Wee Scotty, a San Francisco enterprise that offers sewing classes for adults and children, believes the demand for instruction has been steady since she started teaching in 1995. If there is any increase, Gallagher says it is from adults who want to learn to sew so they can make and alter garments.

A sewer since she was 7, Gallagher cautions that it is a long process to become truly proficient and that the savings don't appear quickly. "It's costly to start. You have to get a good machine, because 50 percent of the frustration in learning how to sew is not having a good machine. But over time, as your skills get better, you will save money in so many ways ... making curtains, chair covers" as well as clothes.

Most of the sewing instructors have adult students who want to upgrade their skills, some of which they may not have used for many years. Susan Marchionna of Berkeley started sewing when she was 12 and tutors rusty home sewers one on one so "they can learn exactly what they want to learn."

Need to know

That need-to-know aspect is what drove Keith Sanna to classes at the Sewing Workshop in 2008. After being laid off from a tech-marketing job, he wanted to launch a line of luxury items for pets but realized he needed to understand sewing in order to communicate with samplemakers and patternmakers.

Now he makes the samples for LuxuryPets.com. He has started sewing clothes for himself and friends as well. In the past, he glue-gunned Halloween costumes.

Brian T. Nguyen is a manufacturing engineer with an artistic bent who works at a semiconductor startup in San Jose. His sister Angella Nguyen works as a stylist in New York. They want to launch a fashion business in which he'll oversee manufacturing.

He's thinking underwear; "she wants to do women's shirts," he says.

He enrolled in classes taught by Kelly Williams at the Craft Haven Collective in San Francisco "to learn the vocabulary and the techniques." He's learned to work with different kinds of seams, zippers and buttons. He's deconstructed and re-created garments as well.

Carla Fracchia, a native San Franciscan now living in Mill Valley, is more typical of the new home sewers. She's one who has become "re-involved. I went to Roosevelt Junior High, and I started going to Satin Moon Fabric (on Clement Street) when I was in seventh grade."

She's taken classes and recently spent six days making a little black dress from silk faille that cost $150 a yard at Britex, the San Francisco fabric emporium.

Time factor

"If you factor in the time, it's not saving money, but it engages your creativity, and it's so satisfying to have something homemade." Then again, she believes that her current project, a silk camisole to wear under a jacket, will cost less than a store-bought item of the same quality.

"You do save money if you make your own garment," says Shamen Spector, the owner of Britex, which was started by her father in 1952.

Spector senses a resurgence in home sewing, although she, like others in the field, can't quantify it. A Girl Scout troop came into the store, all of them working on a sewing badge. Adults come in looking for trims or buttons to embellish garments they've purchased.  "Clothing is part of how you present yourself," she says. "Sewing your own helps your unique style come across."

Sewing in American history

-- In 1863, Ebeneezer Butterick, a tailor, created the first graded sewing pattern. At the time, there were patterns, but they came in one size and the sewer had to enlarge or reduce, or grade, the pattern to fit, according to the Butterick website. His wife, Ellen, suggested selling patterns by size, so he figured out how to make them in tissue paper. They started selling menswear patterns from their Massachusetts home. A year later, they and the business moved to New York, and, in 1866, they started selling a women's line that included dresses, jackets and capes in 13 sizes, and skirts in five sizes.

-- In 1851, Isaac Merritt Singer patented the first lockstitch sewing machine and formed I.M. Singer & Co. in New York. The first machines were made in New York City and sold for $100 each. Within four years, the company expanded to Scotland and became the first American international company.

-- The Wright brothers used a Singer sewing machine to sew on the fabric wings of the world's first airplane.

-- The American Sewing Guild ( www.asg.org) formed in 1978 as more women entered the workforce and fewer schools taught sewing. There were two chapters in Denver and Indianapolis. By 2003, the guild had 129 chapters in 39 states, all adhering to the mission "Advancing Sewing as an Art and Life Skill."

-- BurdaStyle.com, which is linked with "Project Runway," has more than 417,000 members, whose average age is 33. It offers copyright-free patterns, educational videos and lively discussions. - Beth Hughes

Sewing resources

Here are some places and to learn how to sew or to brush up your skills, and books for further reference. For more options, inquire at your local fabric stores and check community education programs.

Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics: 2518 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 845-6106.


Sew Retro: 25 Vintage-Inspired Projects for the Modern Girl & A Stylish History of the Sewing Revolution: By Judi Ketteler ($24.99, Voyageur, 2010)

The Reader's Digest New Complete Guide to Sewing: Step-by-Step Techniques for Making Clothes and Home Accessories: By the Editors of Reader's Digest ($35, Reader's Digest, 2010)

Built by Wendy Dresses: The Sew U Guide to Making a Girl's Best Frock: By Wendy Mullin with Eviana Hartman ($27.50, Potter Craft, 2010)

The Illustrated Hassle-Free Make Your Own Clothes Book: By Joan Wiener Bordow and Sharon Rosenberg ($14.95, Skyhorse Publishing 2008)

E-mail comments to style@sfchronicle.com.

This article appeared on page N - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Stonemountain Events

Much Gratitude to all who volunteer for our Brightest Little Star program to help the babies in the N.I.C.U and families of Alta Bates/Summit! We had a wonderful community sewing night on Saturday May 22nd. There are now kits to check out if you want to help us make a blanket for each family!  For your kit, come by the store or call 866-4SEW-FUN for more information.
Thanks to all our Jacket Challenge Participants!
Congratulations to the Winners!
Our contestants all had fun making a jacket... and we had so much fun seeing the results! 16 talented entrants showed off their creativity and skill with jackets of nearly every fiber and shape. Three Entrants won our 1st, 2nd and 3rd places and we had 4 outstanding runners up! What an exciting challenge!  Big Thanks go out to Bernina Sewing Machines and Brewer Notions for sponsoring our prizes for this challenge!
(left to right) Mitten, Suzan and Victoria model our Winning Jackets! Mitten is wearing Entry #2, Suzan is wearing Entry #8, and Victoria is wearing Entry #12. (above) Our first prize winner is Entry #8, a gorgeous silk and rayon multi-layered jacket featuring lots of color blocking, applique, and french knot embroridery. Special fold-down collar has a pull-through scarf closure. This entrant will receive our first prize of a Bernina Sewing Machine!
(above) Our second prize winner is Entry #2, a smart cropped jacket made of Japanese dobby cotton and lined with silk. It features beaded and painted embellishments, hand embroidred motifs on the collar, and hand-applied bias trim on the sleeves. This Entrant will receive our second prize of an Oliso Iron! (above) Our third prize winner is Entry #12, a creative and fashion forward jacket entirely hand-sewn in wool jersey, silk chiffon, and cotton. Features silk ribbon detail, hand-bound buttonholes, silk covered buttons, and lots of decorative / functional hand stitching! This Entrant will receive our third prize of a pair of Gingher Scissors!
Our outstanding Runner Up Winners are shown above and below in numerical order: Entry #1, Entry #3, Entry #5, and Entry #9. All runners up will receive a Stonemountain & Daughter Gift Certificate!
It was very difficult to judge with so many good entries! Below are photos, in numerical order, of our other great jacket entries, with thanks and appreciation for all the talent and effort that went into making them happen!
Our contest was part of the larger National Jacket Challenge, organized by FineFabricStores.com!