Wednesday, November 28, 2012

First Saturday

First Saturday 2013 80" by 101"

Saturday, Feb. 2, March 2, April 6, etc. 8:30-11am
A new series starts February 2013

We will be making 12” blocks in two different colorways: Burgundy and Cream or Blue and Cream. The quilts measure 80" by 106", a large full size, or you can make a wider border to get queen size.

FOR 2013: You will register for the First Saturday Club ahead of time by paying the $12.00 (+ tax) pattern fee. You have to register and pay the fee ahead of time to participate. We need to know how many patterns we need! You can start the Club any time after it begins, because we can get more patterns as needed.

Here's how it works:

* You will sign up by paying the pattern fee of $12.00, hopefully before Jan. 22.
* We will open the doors at 8:30 on the First Saturday, starting February 2, 2013. You will pay $7 the first month you come, then it’s free if you bring the completed block back, or just $7.00.
* When you come in from 8:30-11 on the First Saturday, you’ll show your completed block at the door to get the free ticket (starting in March). Then you can go to the demo area, where there will be a display of new items, a small ongoing demonstration, and a staff member highlighting that month's block.

There are a few conditions:

* If you want to make a block in more than one colorway, that‘s great. But, you only get 1 free kit a month. You must pay for the others. You will only need to pay one pattern fee.
* To get your free kit, you have to come yourself on the First Saturday between 8:30 and 11 am. No exceptions. Don't be late! Don’t send someone else to get your block!
* If you can't come one Saturday, you can buy that month's kit for $7.00 while supplies last. You can call us and we'll be happy to save a kit for you. Bring it to the next month's class and that month's kit is free.
* The fabrics should be available through the end of 2013, so you should be able to purchase extra fabrics as needed this year, unlike in other years where the entire quilt is very scrappy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Buck a Block 2013

Here is the information for our Thangles’ 2013 Buck a Block program:
We are continuing our popular Buck A Block program on January 2, 2013. This is in addition to the Saturday Sampler program. You can belong to one or the other, or to both.

You will purchase one block kit each month for $1.00 when you visit our shop (on any day during regular business hours). You’ll sign up ahead, and we’ll check your name off when you receive the block. If you can’t come in during the month, you must purchase the block kit for each of the month(s) you missed for $3.00 in order to be eligible for the $1.00 block kits. You can’t send someone else in to get your block for $1.00—they can pick your block up, but it will cost $3.00. We will be happy to send blocks to you as well. The price to send the blocks is $3.00 each, plus $1.50 postage. If you wish to purchase additional blocks, you can do so for $3.00 each. One package of 2” Thangles is enough to do all 12 blocks (Thangles package is $5.00).

The 8” block each month will feature two fabrics, our signature Moda burgundy print and cream. You will have a little left over each month so if you make a mistake one month, you can use leftovers from other months. You can finish your quilt however you want, but early in 2013 we will have finishing kits available to finish your quilt 53” by 67” as shown above at an additional charge. Later in the year, the same finishing fabrics might not be available, but we will have something else wonderful for you to use!

Can I make a different size quilt?
*  You can make additional blocks with coordinated fabrics to make a larger quilt, or purchase more of the same fabrics. You can finish the quilt any size you want, from a throw to king!.

Do I have to bring the finished block in to get the next block for $1.00?
*  Unlike our First Saturday Sampler, you don’t have to bring the blocks in to get the next one for $1.00. You just have to come in at least once each month to get the next block for $1.00. However, you are welcome to bring the blocks in, especially if you have any questions. We’re here to help you!

What if I want different colors?
*  You can purchase the kits and change the colors if you want (the patterns aren’t available separately). For the 12 block size, you would need one yard of each color you want to change.

I haven’t used Thangles before—is that a problem?
*  Each package of Thangles comes with complete instructions, and we also have a storyboard available so we can show you how to use the Thangles, step by step. And each month, the pattern will feature tips for using Thangles. By the end of the quilt, you’ll be as hooked as we are!

How do I get started?
*  Sign up starting Dec. 1! You can come in to the shop, or call, or e-mail. Come in once a month starting January 2, 2013 to get your block. You can pick it up during First Saturday, or any time that’s convenient for you.
This is the fabric used in the blocks. 
We also used it in our border.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas Candle Mats

Have you thought about trying a simple English Paper Piecing (EPP) project, but didn't know where to start?  Marty is making these wonderful Candle Mats using cute Christmas fabrics and 1-1/4" hexagon papers.  She has used the acrylic templates from Paper pieces to cut out the fabrics, so she can see exactly how the fabrics will look in the mats,

Marty stitched the hexagons together, then used WoolFelt on the back to make the finishing simple, and to double as a table protector.  Here's how she did it:

After stitching all the hexagons together, she pressed the mat carefully and removed the papers.  She then traced the mat on a fusible like Steam a Seam II, used a ruler and rotary cutter to cut the fusible 1/8" smaller than the mat all the away around, and fused the fusible to a piece of coordinating WoolFelt.  Peel the paper off--Save It!  You can use it for a pattern for future mats!--and fuse the WoolFelt to the back of the mat.

Marty's pretty fast, and can make a mat in an evening.  You have lots of time to make these as fun Christmas presents!

You can order the 1-1/4" papers and the acrylic template at

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Just What Are Thangles?

Thangles are papers for making perfect half-square triangles in every size from 1/2" up to 6".  MB and Patrick, the owners of Thangles, support Quilts of Valor and Project Linus by providing free patterns on their web site that you can use for quick, but attractive quilts

Thangles is also the home of Buck a Block, a fun program that we run every year from Jan-Dec.  The next Thangles program starts January 2, 2013.  You will receive strips and patterns every month to make 8" blocks that can be finished as shown in a 53" by 67" throw quilt, or make extra blocks and make yours bigger.  We'll have instructions for an 89" by 116" quilt available by January 2.

Small Business Saturday

 Welcome to Small Business Saturday!  Come join us from 9:30-5 and pick up project sheets for making the projects shown here, among others.  At the top, make a Ten Minute Table Runner from just 1/3 and 1/2 yards of fabric.  We have beautiful Christmas metallics that would make any table proud! 

It only takes a small amount of fabric to make the scrap catcher that doubles as a napkin holder or handy basket to collect your small sewing pieces.

The Reversible Tote is the perfect gift for teachers, but it also is a wonderful gift bag for anyone.
 Pick up a charm pack or two and make this cute quilt as big or as small as you want.  We have directions, and we can show you a story board for this clever quilt.

We also have patterns for quick baby quilts and a larger flannel or cotton cuddler.  There's still time!
This Hopscotch quilt was formerly available only in a kit, but for this weekend, you can get the pattern when you come in.  Bear not included! 

We'll also have demos on English Paper Piecing and making Fabric Bowls from leftover yarn or fabric strips (or both).  Come be inspired!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thangles Block Contest

We have a club called Groovy Girls which meets once a month, on the third Wednesday at 6:30 pm, then the next morning, Thursday, at 10 am.  Earlier this year, most of the members took the challenge to get two Thangles blocks a month for 6 months, then turn them into a quilt.  One name was drawn from the completed quilt tops at each meething, then the winner from each meeting gets their quilt quilted after the first of the year.

The results were stunning!  Some of our creative members made huge quilts, and some half sized the blocks for tiny quilts.  One even mixed the sizes.

We didn't get pictures of all the quilts that were shown, but here are a few of the completed tops.  Jeanette Harmel put multiple rolling borders around her blocks to make a really large quilt--purple is a favorite color of hers!

Kathy Eaton also likes purple, and mixed flashy prints with bright solids, then set her quilt on black for a dramatic look.

Linda Whittaker's quilt takes on a definite oriental look with gold trimmed butterflies and an elegant palette.

Mary Settles started this patriotic quilt as a lap quilt, then it grew and grew!  She improvised as she added sashings, borders, stars, and more borders--it's just huge!

Sharon Bruce has another patriotic quilt, which is elegant in its simplicity.

Liz Timmons made this quilt in tans and greens for a special boy who will enjoy using it on cold winter days.

More about Thangles tomorrow!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

EPP addiction part 2

Here we are again!  The girls really brought some wonderful projects to our English Paper Piecing (EPP for short) Addiction club.  Sue Daley has a slick method for making Apple Cores that is half EPP and half applique.  Marilyn Cullin is using leftover fabrics to make her 2" Apple Cores.

Donna Spain has just started sewing her quilt with 1" hexies, but she has lots and lots glued!  Remember, you can fit a 1" hexie on a 2-1/2" square, so you can use the new Moda Candy square packs (2-1/2"), or you can cut charm packs in four.  Of course, you can always use your scraps, or (!) get new fabric!
It's hard to believe that the fabric at the top was used for most of the pieces in Neppie's Lucy Boston block shown here.  Every set is cut from a different part of the fabric, except for the gold.  Beautiful!

Here's another gorgeous block, glued and ready to be sewn in front of the TV, or on a car trip of in the doctor's office.
Barb Scheib loves making quilts from her scraps, and she's going to make minis from the Christmas fabric shown, then mount them on black.  She's also working on a Dresden with Christmas fabrics in her stash.

Our next meeting will be Monday, December 10 from 10-12.  If you would like to join us at that meeting, feel free, then you can sign up for next year's EPP Addiction Club.

EPP addiction part 1

We had our English Paper Piecing (EPP for short) Addiction this week, and you can tell these girls are really addicted!  Peggy Peason brought in the bigger blocks in a lot of bright colors, and wanted suggestions for the setting.  She decided on black, then she's going to add a smaller hexie to the intersections where she sewed the blocks together.

 Gladys Allen has been busy fussy cutting and making beautiful Lucy Boston blocks. I love the way all the blocks look different!

 Our Neppie Martin is also doing a fantastic job with her fussy cut blocks. Don't you love the center? Hard to tell where the seams are!

Our Mary Moutschka likes to play with her block pieces.  She places the pieces together one way, then takes a picture and rearranges them.  After getting pictures of her favorite layouts, she deletes the others, and has a handy record of how to sew them together.

 Marlene Sowatzke has the Lucy Boston bug.  Notice how she carried the stripe from center of the top right picture out through two blocks--amazing!

Becky Lomasney bought charm packs and cut them in four for the perfect 1" hexie size.  She experimenting with ways to join the rows together.  After putting several shorter rows together (bottom), she decided to join long rows, and likes that a little better.

Join us tomorrow for more pictures!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Playing with Hexie Fabric

We were playing around with fabric and thought we might try adding hexies around this lovely Moda fabric that's already printed in hexies.  We could cut the blocks apart and add hexies, then make another row of hexies in between.  What do you think?  Show we go for it, or just use the fabric as is?

Check out our new EPP page

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Judy Niemeyer quilts

We love show and tells!  This weekend, two of the students from Fran Sargent's class in the spring brought their quilts in for us to see.  The Prairie Star quilts above was made by Tricia Deal, and the Flowers for my Wedding Quilt was made by Sharon Sanville.  Both quilts were started in March, and the girls have them completely done!  That's amazing!

We plan to have Fran Sargent back next March to teach--we'll let you know when we get the dates and project set up.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Edyta Trunk Show Part 2

 Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts is quite an innovative quilter.  First, she created her Applique Silhouettes that can be used for lots of different applique projects.  Many of the applique shapes that she loves are found on these stencil sheets, and you can easily reverse the designs just by turning the stencil over.

She has also designed other stencil shapes, such as the umbrella in Dancing Umbrellas.  Whether you like to applique by hand or with fusibles, her stencils take a lot of time and effort out of the process of tracing the shapes to be appliqued.

Edyta has a fairly new product called Silhouettes, which are precut and prefused shapes that can be mixed and matched for her Spring Bouquet Block of the Month, or for any other applique project.

Her quilt from Rainy Day Trio called Rainy Day Umbrella features maple leaf Silhouettes combined with a larger umbrella shape for a fairly quick and altogether charming quilt.

One of her patterns that is new for this Market is Flower Box, which combines traditional piecing and Silhouettes for a striking quilt that can be completed in a fraction of the time of traditionally hand appliqued quilts.  The pattern, however, includes applique patterns that can be used if you prefer not to fuse your applique.

Edyta's latest innovation is Laseys, which are laser cut "fabric lace", making the applique process even easier.  The blocks are all cut in one piece, and the border pieces are like fine lace, that can be overlapped for whatever length you need.  The Lasey quilt shown here is called Family Tree.

Both Flower Box and Family Tree feature her new fabric line, Paint Box, which should arrive at our shop, along with the Laseys, in April 2013.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Right Tools for Even the Smallest Hexies!

5 year old Joshua holds a flower made from 1/4" hexies

Even the smallest hexagons are easy to stitch with the right tools.  We like the Superior Bottom Line thread.  It's 60 weight, 2 ply polyester, and is extremely strong.  That's important when you're rubbing the thread across the papers as you sew the,  We also like size 11 milliner's needles.  The Sue Daley brand are strong and easy to thread.  They have an extra coating that make them glide through the fabric.

Sue Daley also has a handy turntable that makes the rotary cutting easy. 
The Sewline glue pen holds the basting in place, yet removes easily when you're ready to pop the papers out
and reuse them.  The pen comes with a refill, and you can purchase more as needed.

One of our customers suggested that we use Wonder Clips for holding our pieces, and we love it!  You can just clip two pieces as you whipstitch them together, and it really saves your hands as you sew!

Check out our new EPP page