Anatomy Contest Winners

9 Sep

Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit entries to our Anatomy Contest this summer. It was so much fun to see all of the creative responses to our challenge. We can’t wait to see what else you’ve been working on so be sure to share your latest projects with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Please help us congratulate our winners! We’re sure you’ll agree that they paid proper tribute to human anatomy with these beautifully handcrafted organs.


Ann Therese Griffin’s Felted Lungs took 3rd Place.

We were smitten with the vintage fabric and lace bronchial tube detailing.


Our 2nd Place prize was awarded to Ann Therese Griffin.

Her Human Heart was beautifully needle felted with so many delicate details, you can almost hear it beating.


Kusi Merello’s Hand Knit Lungs are the grand prize winner!


We were blown over by the texture, detail and dimensionality she was able to achieve with her knitted piece.

Congratulations to All!

Quilting the cast off world

3 Mar


I just had a birthday so forgive me as I ponder…  As I turn another year older, I am finding that with all my experience in life (I am quite old, you know) I still question the basic things year to year…Why am I here on this earth?  What can I do to make the world a better place?  How can I use my gifts so that my soul is truly satisfied while at the same time contributing goodness and love to others?  Since I have turned 50, I am beginning the journey of letting go of things that I do that I really don’t like to do, relationships that I have that don’t feed me, objects and belongings that clutter my mind and don’t inspire me anymore.  I am letting go of plans that no longer excite me and projects that I have started that I don’t want to finish.

As I’m sure many of you know, being crafty can be a burden in some ways.  For me, I have a terrible time getting rid of supplies that someday could be of use in another project.  I have a huge bin of felt scraps, tons of paper wrapped wire, 6 jars and 2 cookie tins of buttons, fabric scraps that could fill 3 Ikea bags, the list goes on and on.  As I sit at my desk, I see vintage doll clothes that I have been saving thinking I could use them as Christmas ornaments somehow, my white gloves that I wore for social dancing class in 6th grade…the fabric is so soft, I thought it would make great paws on some creature (I remember the boys all had sweaty hands during that class – especially the one I liked, and I was so glad to have the gloves on), a ziplock bag full of beautiful sea shells and stones that I wanted to make a path with on my roof deck that didn’t get approved by the building department.  All of these things mean something to me but they need to be reincarnated into something else.  Like the quilts our mothers and grandmothers made out of our old clothes, I need to make a “quilt” out of these things that I love but that need to be cleared and molded in to something new.  These things will become the clay that I mold in to my creative vision.  I’d love to hear ideas of what you plan to do with your objects that have outlived their current use in your world but can not be thrown in the garbage.  As I create the “quilt” that will free me from my crafty clutter, I will also be renewing life for the objects and supplies that have been long neglected.

Please leave comments about how you plan to renew your crafty clutter.

And the winners are…

20 Jul

First place goes to Linda Baldor of Richardson, Texas for her beautifully crafted Grasshopper.


Linda Baldor’s Grasshopper

The details of this creature are stunning!


grasshopperdetail2 grasshopperdetail3

Second place goes to Amy Micallef of Brooklyn, NY for her Puss Moth Caterpillar (Megalopyge Opercularis).  Awesome choice of insect.  Disgusting and beautifully strange at the same time.  Thank you Amy for introducing us to this little guy.




Third place goes to Liz Chesebrough for her quilted Yellow Jacket/Fly.  Beautiful, intricate piecing on this lovely quilted cushion.

quiltedbug quiltedbugdetail quiltedbugdetail2

In the children’s contest, the winner is Ava Henschel!

Beautiful work Ava!


Runners up are Anne Therese Patrone-Griffin for her Butterfly and Dragonfly

dragonfly butterfly

and Sally Smith of Roswell, Georgia for her Rare Red-winged Proboscis Bug.


Thank you to all who submitted insects to us.  We loved meeting all of them!   We have 2 more insects that will be making their way to us a little late and I will post pictures of them on our facebook page.  If anyone started but couldn’t finish in time or  just wants to make an insect just for fun, we would be thrilled to have them join the gang.  All our best, The Brooklyn General Store Gang: Catherine, Heather, Pia and Kate.

Here is the whole gang minus two.


And the Winners Are…

21 Aug

We have a wonderful collection of Colorful, creative, comical and really cool chickens in our chicken coop.  Thank you to everyone who participated in our contest.  The task of picking the winners was grueling.  They are all extraordinary.  We had 18 adult entries and 8 kid entries.  The winners of the adult entries are…

First Place:  Elizabeth Kenney for her fabulous Chickster couple Lila and BrodyImage

Second Place is Kusi Merello for Mike the Headless Chicken.  Yes, it is true, he did live.  Check out his story here.  I do think Kusi’s Mike is much more attractive than the real guy.


Third Place is Liz Robison’s Liberty Chicken.


For the Child Entries we have three winners…

Alex Powell, age 7 for her chicken in a kayakImage

Nora Connolly, age 9Image

and Greta Donahue, age 8


We also have 4 runner ups for the adult entries.  I wish we could have given everyone gift certificates but for these entries, we will be sending a gift.

Runners up are…

Elizabeth Chesebrough for her Quilted ChickenImage

Dana Lavelle for her Black Necked Stilt


Lisa Hodges for her felted chickenImage

And Nicola Gardiner for her hand painted chicken


To see all the entries, please check out our Pinterest or our Flickr pages in the coming days.  Thank you again everyone for your creativity and hard work.

All our best, the Brooklyn General Store Gang,

Catherine, Heather, Kate, Pia and Nina

Quilting Contest: Mystery Block 4

22 Apr

Here is the final block in our Mystery Block Quilting Contest. If you are just getting started, there are still a few weeks before the deadline so check out the last few posts and get started! We are super excited to see what all of you are making so don’t be shy about sharing on Facebook and Twitter.

mystery block 4

Improvisational Patchwork with Denyse Schmidt

15 Apr

We are looking forward to hosting Denyse Schmidt’s Improvisational Patchwork Workshop at Brooklyn General on May 5th.  Students be able to learn Denyse’s intuitive design techniques while building a foundation for bringing your own individual style to quilts or projects from her book, or your own creations.  You will create exciting, rut-breaking work that will change the way you think about color, patchwork, and your own creativity.  Here is a photo of one of her student’s work using the skills learned in her workshop.


You can read more about Denyse Schmidt here.  If you would like to attend the workshop, you can sign up here.

Join us!

Quilting Contest: Mystery Block 3

15 Apr

Welcome Back. We hope you are having fun with the mystery quilt project. We can’t wait to see what you are up to so please share photos and comments with us on Facebook and Twitter. If you are just joining us, there are still a few weeks left so check out our last few posts for all the details. Here is Mystery Block 3.

Mystery Block 3

Quilting Contest: Mystery Block 2

8 Apr

Spring Quilting Contest: Week Two.

For those of you that have already started, click on the image below to download the second block for our Spring Mystery Block Quilting Contest. If you are just joining us and want to get in on the fun, there is still plenty of time. Check out our last post for all the details and don’t forget to share your progress with us on Facebook or Twitter




Spring Quilting Contest

1 Apr

Spring is on it’s way! Celebrate the change of season with our Mystery Block Quilting Contest. Throughout the month of April,  Brooklyn General Store will post a new “Mystery” quilt block to the blog each week. Your challenge will be to incorporate all four blocks into a beautiful quilt that reflects the season. The quilter with the most fun and creative interpretation will win a Brooklyn General Store gift certificate that can be used to stock up on sewing supplies and the winning quilt will be displayed in the shop window for all to admire.

A note about patterns:

Patterns use are formatted to “paper piecing” assembly. This means that they do not include seam allowances. Contestants are not required to use paper piecing techniques but should be sure to add a consistent seam allowance to the pieces before cutting for accuracy in assembly.

Rules and Requirements for Consideration:

  1. Contestants must incorporate all four patterns posted into the final quilt design. In other words, each pattern square must be used at least once in your submitted designs.
  2. Quilts entered must have a finished measurement of at least 36” on any side. The smallest quilts considered for this contest is 36” x 36”.
  3. At least one fabric purchased at Brooklyn General Store between January 1- April 30, 2013 must be used in quilts to be considered in this competition.
  4. Submissions will be accepted by email only. Contestants should email submissions to info[at] All entries must be received no later than 11:59pm (est) on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 and must include 3-5 images of the final quilt submission. Please format images at 72 dpi and no more than 800×1000 pixels.
  5. Applications must be submitted by email and include contestant’s contact information in the body of the email: NAME, ADDRESS, PHONE and EMAIL address of contestant as well as a listing of attached photo images (e.g., 1. front view, 2. back view, 3. detail).
  6. The winner will be selected and announced on the Brooklyn General Store website May 6th, 2013. Good luck!
  7. Here is the first block: mystery1

Marcie’s Work

15 Sep


Whenever I teach a sewing class at Brooklyn General Store I always make my students take their measurements and the reaction is always a series of groans followed by the words, “I don’t have to say them out loud, right?”  But when I ask the same people why they want to learn how to sew the answer is almost always because they want to make clothes that fit them.

It’s a sad fact that we have such an aversion to our own shapes.   When I was a senior in high school I lost 30 pounds (almost exclusively from above my hips, darn it!)  About the same time I bought my first vintage dress – a purple cotton lawn with translucent purple buttons up the front.  It came in at the waist and had a full skirt.  It was my first glimpse of what having something the right fit and shape can do for a girl and I was hooked.  Today my closet is full of dresses that fit similarly – both vintage and handmade.

After I graduated from college I worked for the designer Mary Adams.  Here I saw women of all shapes and sizes come to the store and walk out with the most beautiful wedding dresses that fit them perfectly.  It was a lesson in taking the time to make something right that I will never forget.  Each dress began with a fitting and was followed by a series of muslins before the final dress was even cut.  Making something fit is not usually something you can do on your first try (in fact, the bicycle dress above  had to be taken apart at one point because I needed to take the waist in and up) but the first step is always to know your shape.

My measurements haven’t changed much in the years since high school.  Since I will probably always have an extra large backside I make things that highlight the things I like about myself like my waist and flatter things, like my bum and thighs that I’m not so crazy about.  I’ve even grown to accept (and, gasp, even like) my knobby knees.

I always use my measurements as the example in my classes, I consider it a sign of trust.

So here we go – 32-27-42.  A perfect pear.