An Umbrella Making Adventure

Saturday, July 16th, 4 of us took a road trip from South Delta to the Needle & I Quilt Shop in Everett, Washington ( ). We were attending a workshop on making umbrellas. Since the workshop ran from 2-5 we decided to cross the border early, visit the quilt shops in Anacortes & have lunch before the class started. Anacortes was celebrating Shipwreck Days and had 6 city blocks of tents set up on the main street. It was amazing to see the assortment of items and antiques for sale, too much to see in a limited amount of time. The streets were crowded even though it was raining steadily. Before going into the quilt shops we found a vendor selling fabric for $2 yd and another selling off quilting books and magazines for .25 -$1. For me the books were the find of the day, all in excellent shape and full of ideas and colour. Shopping at the street vendors took time away from pre-class shopping as we arrived at 1:45pm.

The Pacific North West weather

Many Antique quilts for sale


Pattern designer, Joan Buse, was a hands on, excellent instructor. There were 9 of us in the class…they squeezed me in :o ! We were making a Classic 48″ Umbrella. We all chose regular 100% quilting cotton fabric but you could also use laminated cotton fabric as well. This class required the use of a serger and sewing machine. Unfortunately, my old serger wouldn’t give up it’s screw to change the plate over for rolled hemming. Fortunately, the shop had 2 sergers set up to be used for classes. Unfortunately, they were so wonderful it made Joan and I think we should buy a new one! You don’t have to change feet or plates on these new sergers, just turn some nobs to adjust the blade and tensions and you’re set to go. We did not buy a serger, but it is added to the wish list. We all managed to get our umbrellas to the point where there is only hand stitching to do. When these are finished we will spray them with a water repellent and then they are supposed to be good to go in the rain. Check out Joan Buse’s facebook page for some more fun umbrellas.

Joan, Raye, Liz & Jackie's Umbrellas

With our assorted umbrella's

When we went into the class it was drizzling rain. It was sunny and bright when we emerged at 6 pm and headed for an excellent dinner before driving home. We were entertained at the Peace Arch border for a 45 minute wait in a torrential down pour with thunder and lightning mixed in. It was another successful adventure with friends and family and inspiration from a variety of sources. Hopefully our umbrellas will soon be water proofed but here’s to hoping we won’t have to use them all summer long out here on the West Coast! Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye


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