Meet Angela!

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Scout Tee in Japanese Import Cotton- so cute!

Hi there!  We’re introducing another Finchie today.  Today let’s get to know Angela.  Ok, really, if you have ever been in the Finch, you already know Angela.  She’s the bubbly, energetic knitting guru around here. You may have taken your very first knitting class from her or maybe you have taken one of her popular block of the month knitting classes.  But let’s find out more!

Q. What is your craft obsession?

That’s a tough one. Like many of us at Finch, I love to knit and sew equally.  Knitting gives me lots of opportunity to be productive while I sit and relax in front of the tv, travel with the fam in the car, or attend one of my girls’ events. Every time we get new fabulous yarn in at Finch I just want to touch it and smell it (I know…it’s like when the character Doug, from the movie The Cutting Edge, loves the smell of the ice….it’s just part of it for me).  I just need my fingers to knit even faster!

 But when it comes to sewing, I get equally excited about all the new fabrics we get in- it’s so fun to plan what garments I’m going to make with them. Sewing is rewarding to me because I can usually get the project done pretty quickly and then show it off or gift it to a special person.  If you could see all the garments I have awaiting their turn at the sewing machine….

Q. What are you working on now?

Oh boy, I hate to admit all the projects I have going on right now so I’ll just mention a few.

Both of my girls each desperately awaiting their quilts, so the goal is to get those done this summer.

Last night, when I was at the shop I could not resist buying two skeins of Madelinetosh ASAP and getting started on the herringbone cowl It is insanely yummy and beautiful.  That will be a class this fall for sure!

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I also just started a project that I will literally need to lock up if I’m ever going to finish anything else. It’s the unicorn stripes cowl/scarf. You may have seen the finished version here, in a previous post. This is made using all colors of Madelinetosh Unicorn Tails. Stay tuned for a really exciting knit along announcement that I will start on July 20th (lots of unicorns, folks!). 

I am almost done with my Mara Shawl using a whole lot of Madelinetosh Dk in Mansfield Garden Party (click the link- we sell this online as well!).  I am not particularly looking forward to casting off the hundreds of stitches on the needles but I will wear it proudly once I do.  

 Q. What is your favorite tool?

I just love my interchangeable knitting needles!  My latest set (which I bought at Finch) are the metal ChiaoGoo Twist Red Lace set. They are great for knitting shawls (like the one I mentioned above).  I also know that a lot of our customers love their ChaiGoo bamboo interchangeables from Finch as well.  Having pretty much any size needle I need in my bag makes starting a new project (when I fall in love with that new skein of yarn) much easier.

Q. What is your favorite finished project?

When I first thought about this question I didn’t know how I was going to answer it. Then I remembered the Dale of Norway sweater (Hans og Grete) I knit for Megan (my oldest daughter) when I was pregnant. I was strongly advised against knitting this sweater because Dale of Norway patterns are known to be very hard, done on charts and are knit on tiny needles.  At the time I had only been knitting maybe 5 years, but once I saw the pattern in my local yarn shop how was I to resist?!  I didn’t yet have the yarn when we moved here to VA 7 months pregnant.  Luckily, my hubby and I found a yarn shop on a trip we took for our anniversary, which made it even more special.  I was all set! I had to knit this beautiful sweater (and adorable bonnet) for the sweet baby girl I was so anxiously awaiting.  I got it done… despite going into labor almost 3 weeks early…and both girls wore it beautifully and often. 

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The date on the pic gives away the fact that Megan didn’t wear the sweater until she was 6 months old…I intended for her to wear it home from the hospital… ha ha.  You really don’t know how small they come out. ;)

The bonnet, well that was another story.  It was too floppy to look good on their heads. Such a sad moment. But I realize now, knowing that I’m a loose knitter, that maybe I needed to use a smaller needle. :)

Q. What does your craft space look like?

My craft space is a generous space that I love to be in. I don’t get up there often, but when I do, it’s hard to leave.  Neighbors probably know the nights I’m up late sewing from the lights being on in the rooms above the garage.  I just recently painted it a purpleish grey and added this new collage of pretty things above my beloved Bernina 750 QE.  I had fabulous prints from my mama and friend Anna that just had to be properly displayed. I also finished my first wall hanging, which makes me feel like a “real” quilter, so I tackled my first hand binding and hung it up.  I have the same great Ikea light fixture as Finch,  and at night (or cloudy days like the day I took this pic), when it is quite hard to see in there (waiting for hubby to hang some string lights) the paper flowers display beautiful shadows on the walls.  I am happy to have my fabric stashed in the closet and have enough space to be creative!

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 Q. Where can we follow you?

Follow me at @sewmanysts on Instagram!

Be sure to watch the Finch Instagram this weekend for Angela’s takeover! Follow Finch on IG at @finchsewingstudio!

Happy Making!

xoxo, Angela (and the Finch family)

Sale Today

 Sale today! This rainy day is a perfect day to get started on a lovely project. Show this post to receive $20 off your $100 purchase. 
Offer valid on all BERNINA and BERNINA accessories, fabric, yarn, tools, and whatever else you can get your hands on in the store! 

Online shoppers: visit the online shop here and use code “20FinchBucks”. 

Coming Soon! – Yarn Edition

If you watched us on Instagram and Facebook about 2 weeks ago, you know we (Angela + I) went to TNNA (The National NeedleArts Association) in Columbus, Ohio.  This is a trade show that gathers together some of the most exciting vendors that the yarn world has to offer, and boy, did we find some pretty things! Don’t you want to know what we ordered?!  Get ready for an exciting few months…..

ASAP by Madelinetosh:

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This arrived yesterday!!  It’s a chunky weight done by Madelinetosh and is perfect for cowls and chunky mittens, etc.  Of course the colors are gorgeous (as we’ve come to expect from Madelinetosh). I found this sample on Ravelry… Isn’t it pretty?  Click the photo above for the deets.

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Unicorn Tails by Madelinetosh:

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This comes any day now! Unicorn Tails are not new to Finch, but we decided to order the entire line of Unicorn goodness so that we could do this really fun Chevron Scarf Knit Along. We also ordered the patterns, and those will be available for FREE with your yarn purchase.

You may have seen this on the interwebs…. We saw several folks wearing Unicorn Tail scarves (infinity and long styles) at TNNA, and I think there is general consensus that it’s a pretty magical project.  Stay tuned for an upcoming announcement on our magical knit along!

Blue Sky Alpaca:

Blue Sky Alpaca came out with a few new colors of Extra, one of our favorite alpaca yarns around here….  and they’re gorgeous (and currently in stock)! As usual, their blues come in a beautiful range, and there are a couple of new browns and greys that are just so delicious.

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The new patterns are really not over done and are very wearable (and knittable).  That poncho above is only 4 skeins of Extra!  Also, Blue Sky came out with a new set up for their always patterns- they are now booklet style and less cumbersome to unfold and read.  All Blue Sky patterns are FREE! with your purchase of yarn!

Spud & Chloe:

We just beefed up our stock of Spud & Chloe, and we have a lovely display of the yarn and new patterns they just released.  Brace yourself… it’s too cute to handle!

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How cute are these pieces??!  The Boo Boo Bottoms are knit with machine washable Fine yarn, a blend of 80% superwash wool and 20% silk (we have loads of colors to choose from). Also included in this one pattern booklet is the Tiny Topper Hat in Spud & Chloë Stripey Fine yarn.

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The Bundle Me Blankie is knit with machine washable Outer yarn, a blend of 65% Superwash Wool and 35% Organic Cotton. There are endless options for color play on this snuggly blanket, from soft neutrals to playful bright hues.  This yarn is so yummy to knit with, and with size 13 needles, you’ll be done in no time.  

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Ok, I’m sorry (no I’m not).  I had to do it.  These guys were too cute not to have.  I’m working on Hector the Hippo right now (bottom right)…..  These are small, so while there are a few parts to knit, none of them are very time consuming (I finished all the limbs while watching the telly last night).  Baby Finch will definitely have a couple to snuggle up with!  These are made with Blue Sky’s Royal Alpaca yarn (which is a rare and very luxe feeling yarn), have little plastic beads in their bums to help them sit, and are complete with screw in eye balls so they are baby safe.  Here’s a look inside the beautiful packaging… Even the box will be a great bed for the finished animal.

 

contents royal petite

Lastly from Blue Sky…  They are kings of packaging (as you can see), and knocked it out of the park with these gorgeous new rosewood DPNS in beautiful tin cases… I’m using them to knit Hector right now.  What a great gift these would be for your favorite knitter.

DPNS

Soak Baby kits (can you tell someone is having a baby):

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These kits from Soak include one small bottle of Soak and a matching set of two wee balls of machine washable 100% British Bluefaced Leicester.  This wool is perfect for babies and anything you want to wear next to your skin. The Bluefaced Leicester sheep breed is known for long fibers that spin into a soft, woolly wool. Included in the box is a pattern and enough yarn for your choice of either baby leg warmers or a baby hat.

Knit Collage:

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Be still my gypsy heart!  I love Knit Collage.  Above is Angela and Amy (Amy is the original gypsy of Knit Collage). The first time I saw this yarn, I knew it had to come home with me.  Spun very carefully (it won’t fall apart), many of their yarns include bits of found things such as lace, ribbon, braids, flowers, etc.  We are stocking most of their yarns, so you’ll see there are options for adults and kids alike.  We also have a selection of free one-skein patterns with purchase of yarn.IMG_5640

Loopy Mango!!

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You may recall that Angela and I went to New York last year. One of the highlights of that trip was going to the Loopy Mango store in Soho.  It has since closed, but don’t worry, they are happily spinning their exaggeratedly large scale yarns in Key Largo.  And even more happily, they are wholesaling said fat yarn to us!

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I knitted this the other night… that’s right, it’s a quick one.  We are carrying large skeins (enough to make a throw or a shawl), shawl pins (imagine oversized, silver diaper pins), the small balls (large enough for a cowl), and the size 50 circular needles (not the straights pictured above).  If you want to forgo buying the needles, just borrow ours.  We think you might not need them often.  :)

Madelinetosh Silk + Merino plus New Colors:

Have you heard?! Tosh is now doing a silk + merino blend…  It’s so pretty!!
IMG_5622We ordered the new base and all the new colors from Madelinetosh, and we expect them to arrive in about 12 weeks (just in time for fall knitting).  We also have an order coming in July….  You’ll notice that I’m building our stock of Tosh over here, so we’ll be the LYS to go to for all your Tosh needs.  (Really, for all your knitting needs, amiright?!)IMG_5625

Classic Elite:

You may have noticed the sweet little beanie on a shelf in our shop that has a gradiant striping effect…. it was done in this yarn years ago (by me, for my second baby).
libertyI have always wanted to stock this yarn because I think the colors are really fun, and it’s fun to see how the yarn pools and knits up as the color changes.  Also, it’s super wash….  SO that’s a plus.  We also will be stocking some of Classic Elite’s other bases such as Chalet and Tiverton among others. This will be here in the fall.

Freia:

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Freia is a really fun (and super hard to get) yarn that we are really excited we’ll be stocking starting in August! The yarn comes in balls as you see pictured, and grades continuously (never repeating colors).  We ordered this in all their bases, so there will be lots of options for a wide variety of projects.  Socks anybody?! Shawls, sweaters and scarves would be fun too!

Wool and the Gang:

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Wool and the Gang puts the cool in knitting, that is for sure.  They are a UK based company that makes great yarn (we’re getting some really awesome bulky weight yarn and worsted alpaca yarn) and amazing kits.  Their kits are sold in a bag like the one you see above, and they include the pattern, the needles (really nice, rosewood needles), and the yarn… but not to worry- you pick your colors and fill your bag all by yourself.  This will be a fall release for us.

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Isn’t this bag cute?  It’s a kit!

Koigu:

Koigu is another one of those yarns that I’ve always wanted to stock.  Their color range is, bar none, the widest range I’ve seen of hand dyed yarns.  It’s nuts.  Hundreds. Of. Colors. Imagine picking out a small fraction of those colors!  Not to worry- we have plenty coming, but there’s no way we’ll ever be able to stock their entire line.  It’s colossal, vast….  ok, you get it (you really can’t get it until you see it, but anyway).  We ordered their worsted weight yarn in merino.  It’s incredibly soft and plush.  But the colors… well, they’re stunning.  This will be a fall arrival at Finch as well.

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Manos Del Uruguay

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Manos del Uruguay released a new yarn called Clara… here are the stats:
100% Merino Superwash
approx: 385 yards / 350 meters
per 100 grs skein
Machine washable (whaaa??!!! I can hardly believe it- it sure doesn’t look washable, but it is… which is awesome!)

We will be getting this amazing yarn in most of their bright colors any day now.  We also ordered some of their sock yarn (high time, I know) which does include nylon for a better wearing, longer lasting sock.

New Books:

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Some of these aren’t actually new to the market, but they are new to the shop… From top left, going clockwise:

Vintage Baby Knits– a classic collection of beautiful baby things.

Knits Men Want– I’m so thankful someone has demystified this for us!

Last Minute Knitted Gifts– one of my all time faves- so many great (and quick) gifts in this little book.

More Last Minute Knitted Gifts– the elf hat on the front sealed the deal for me when I bought this book a million years ago.  Again, so many great gifts here.

Sequence Knitting– this book is really interesting…  you’ll have to come and sit and look at it sometime.  The author shows how to change patterns with ease and knit more improvisationally.

The Pom Pom book– this is my all-time favorite Japanese pattern book.  It shows you how to do all manner of amazingly intricate pom poms, elevating the already appealing pom pom to a really exciting level.  This is fun for all ages (and would make an awesome gift)!

Buttons and Shawl Pins:

We met an absolutely delightful woman from Vermont who hand crafts all of her gorgeous wooden and antler buttons and shawl pins.

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They come in many different shapes, shades, and sizes, and would look amazing on so many of our hand dyed yarns.  Try them out on your next handmade creation.

A Sneak Peak of Something Great!

Quince & Co. is coming out with a line of product called Twig & Horn.  I can’t tell you more than that, but I can tell you that we ordered all of it, and it will be here when the line releases.  Also, I’ll tell you that it’s goooooood, real good!

twig and horn

Lastly, when you come in to scoop up some kind of loveliness in the next couple of days, be sure to check out the side of the building.  I am lucky to have romantically old fashioned plantings that I like to think were lovingly planted a century or so ago.  This plant below is one of two enormous holly hocks we have growing.  Aren’t they pretty?!

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We’ll see you all very soon!

xoxo,

the Finch

Coming Soon-Fabric Editon

Hi all, Lisa here. Can I just tell you all how excited I am about the all the new fabric lines we have coming in? Here are a few of the new lines we having coming plus a few restocked favorites!

As you know, it’s no secret that we love us some Cotton + Steel here at Finch, so I’m very excited to tell you that we have re-stocked on the entire line of Black and White! We have Half yard and fat quarter bundles as well as yardage available online and in the store .

black and white

I don’t know about the rest of you I can’t help it… I love Christmas! We’re thrilled to say that we just received some of our Favorite Cotton and Steel prints from the new Holiday line called Tinsel! From washi tape, snow globes and letters to Santa, this year’s Christmas quilt is going to be bright and cheery! Don’t worry we have some great brushed cottons that just arrived too. Perfect for Christmas Day jammies!

Tinsel

You.Guys. Words can not express how excited I am about April Rhodes new line, Bound shipping in July. It is perfect in every way. Her use of tangerine, blues and greens mixed with ocher make my heart so happy! We have yardage up for pre-sale in our Etsy shop as well as fat quarter bundles and half yard bundles. Don’t forget to check out the knit and voile prints while you’re there!

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The ladies of Cotton + Steel have done it again with their 3rd line for RJR! I can hardly wait to see these in person! In Sarah Watts new line Honeymoon she shares sketches from her honeymoon trip to Costa Rica in 2011. These fabric showcases all that Costa Rica has to offer hummingbirds, horse rides and jungle animals.

Sarah Watts Honeymoon

Melody Miller new line ‘Picnic‘ is inspired by picnics in the park. Imagine a summer day with flowers, apples and picnic and cute little ants! We have a great mid weight cottons coming along with the perfect cotton canvas! Perfect for your summer picnics! Picnic

Kim Kight, brings back memories of women’s bowling leagues in the 70’s with her latest line ‘Lucky Strike‘. Her new line features bowling pins, good luck charms and score cards. Kim is so sweet, she even incorporated the each of the C+S designers’ grandmothers names- you can see them here and here! We have fat quarter bundles as well as half yard bundles listed!

lucky strike collage

Rashida Coleman-Hale’s latest line ‘Zephyr‘ is inspired by the air and wind. Her bold graphic designs, paired with simple and quirky prints makes this line so perfect! We have rayon, canvas, fat quarter bundles and half yard bundles. You better snatch this one up, because this line is sure to go quick!

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Alexia drew inspiration from kirigami or Japanese paper cutting for her new line ‘Paper Bandana’. Her new line focuses on geometric designs like vintage indigo bandana’s, mason jars and the cutest pandas all printed on unbleached cotton. I’m excited to say that we have canvas, rayonhalf yard bundles and fat quarter bundles available for pre-sale.

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Have you all seen the new Handcrafted 2 line by Alison Glass? Well, if you haven’t scroll down a bit and check it out…I’ll wait right here for you. Back? Yeah it’s pretty awesome right? The whole line is up for pre-sale now on our Etsy site (yardage is here, half yard bundles here). I wouldn’t wait long to get this line, it’s going to go fast we’ll start shipping in July.

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We’ll also be getting the new Heather Ross line called Tiger Lily.  This line conjures up memories (some recent, and some distant) of picking wildflowers and playing in the trees.  We love the little ballerinas and have quilting cotton as well as voile substrates of this line coming as well.  This line is expected to arrive sometime this month…. We can’t wait!

photo credit to Heather Ross

photo credit to Heather Ross

All of these fabrics are listed for sale and pre-sale on Etsy, go check it out! Live locally? Don’t forget the discount code for local pick-up at the shop. SHOPLOCAL1

You can also find our solids and pre-cut bundles right here.  Browse the other sections for some lovely yarn, Japanese, French, and Italian imports, patterns and notions, and don’t forget the $7 SALE BIN!!

See you soon,

Lisa

The Megan Nielsen Culottes plus an Online Sale!

Hi there!  Holly here!  I am one of the Finch girl, and you may have met me in one of my sewing classes or on the weekend when I’m working in the shop.  I’m so excited to tell y’all about the new pattern I just tried out. I LOVE wearing skirts in the summer, but I spend a lot of time chasing my 2 busy kiddos around, so a skirt isn’t always the best choice, if you catch my drift :)   I discovered this great Megan Nielsen Tania Culotte pattern.  The pattern allows for a short, midi, or full length pant.  I made up the midi length.  It has the look of a skirt, but is actually culottes.  Ok, I am cringing as I type the word culotte.  It brings back memories of the unflattering  80’s polyester version of culottes.  This pattern is anything but unflattering.  It looks like a cute little flirty skirt, but its not a skirt!  So I refer to it as the “not a skirt” skirt.

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I picked a nice, light weight, flowy Leah Duncan voile by Art Gallery.  It’s the perfect weight and has a great drape.

This was my first time sewing a Megan Nielson pattern and I thought it was really well written and easy to follow.  This “not a skirt” is constructed with a pleat in the front and back, and a side zipper.  It was pretty true to size, but maybe a little tight.  I sewed it together with the suggested seam allowance of 5/8″, but when I sew my next one (yes, there will be another one), I will probably just take a smaller seam.  Also, I think the way the culottes are constructed with a 4-5 inch pleat in the front and back, lends itself to being let out easily if you need a little more wiggle room.

crotch shot tania

There are no buttons to deal with, which I love, and the invisible zipper and waist band was super easy to put in.

So bring it on kiddos!  I can chase them anywhere they want to go, look cute and keep things covered.  A total win/win!

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Also, you may have already seen, we are running our Annual Spring Sale online right now through this Thursday (May 25-28th).  Everything in the online shop is 20% off when you use the code SpringSale15.  Locals are welcome to use the code as well- this is a great opportunity to get some of the new goodies we have up for presale.  :)

finch Sale

Meet Lisa!

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Hello Dear Finch Fans!

We thought it would be fun for you to get to know each of the girls who work and teach at Finch, so we’ll be introducing each of them in a series of interviews over the next few months.  Following each of their posts, the girls will take over the Finch Instagram feed with a couple days of inspirational photos, projects, and ideas for you to see.

First up is Lisa. If you’ve spent any time around Finch in person, you probably know Lisa pretty well.  She is our full time gal, and she also takes care of all you who order fabric and yarn from our online store.   She is one of our very passionate and experienced quilting teachers.  If you have taken one of her classes, you know how cheerful and excited she is as a teacher! I found this photo of her (insert: when I was trolling) in her Instagram feed, and I love it because it was taken after she squeezed herself and several magnum balloons into her car for our 1st anniversary sale almost a year ago (yup, that’s coming up again in July!).  Without further ado….  Here’s Lisa!

Q. What is your craft obsession?
My craft obsession is definitely quilting. I love every step of the process from picking fabrics to stitching the binding.
You'll see this lovely sample both on our class list and hanging on the wall in our Knit Lounge.

You’ll see this lovely sample both on our class list and hanging on the wall in our Knit Lounge.

Q. What are you working on now?
Right now I have quite a few (insert large number here) projects in the works. Right now I am working on the Tangelo quilt, a foundation pieced quilt by Carolyn Friedlander. I’m also working on a Glam Clam quilt by Latifah Saafir.
(PS- Don’t worry, she’s gonna tell us all about those projects when she finishes!)
I’m also slowly knitting my way through Angela’s color work class and can’t wait to see this blanket come together!
Q.  What is your favorite tool?
I really love my Clover seam ripper. Other than the obvious seam ripping abilities, I flip it over and use the rounded handle while paper piecing to press the seam rather than using an iron.
 Q.  What is your favorite project?
This is such a tough one! I have too many, but I think it is my Swoon quilt. I used my my favorite Amy Butler Alchemy fabric and finished it with hand quilting.
lisa favorite quilt
Q. What does your craft space look like?
My sewing space is shared with the dining room… and no, it isn’t always this clean! This room truly makes me happy, it is decorated with some of my most favorite gifts. A print from the wonderful Anna and mini-quilts from some great Instagram friends. It is a really fun place to create.  (see that pretty Bernina in the background?!  :))
lisa sewing space
 Q. Where can we follow you?
Follow me at @lisa_makes on Instagram!
Be sure to watch the Finch Instagram this weekend for Lisa’s takeover! Follow Finch on IG at @finchsewingstudio!
Happy Making!
xoxo, Lisa (and the Finch)

Give Mom a Memorable Gift from Finch

unnamed Whether it’s a new Sewing Machine, a new tool, or a fresh project, we will help you find the perfect gift for Mom this year!

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We have some beautiful new fabrics and custom bundles.  We’ll help you find the perfect fabric to inspire your mom’s creative spirit.

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Books and patterns make great gifts…  Get mom started on a new project this summer.

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You know mom is protective of her scissors!  Get her a new, shiny pair…. she’ll love how lightweight and sharp our Kai scissors are!

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With so many beautiful yarns, we’ll help you find the perfect color yarn for mom.

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This set will come as a very welcome surprise to Mom this year.  It comes with a tool kit of it’s own, and is our favorite interchangeable set of knitting needles here at Finch.

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One of the very best gifts you can give Mom is a little time for herself. Give Mom a Finch Class this mother’s day.  Not sure which one to pick?   A gift certificate will let her pick!

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Starting today thru Monday (the 11th), Bernina’s can be financed at 0% Interest for 48 Months*.  This offer is valid on machine purchases of $3,000 or more!

We Finchies are quite good at knowing what to pick for your very own mama, so don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!  We’ll help you make mom’s day one that she’ll remember!