Friday, September 23, 2011

Quilting Season!

Has it hit you yet? The crisp snap in the morning air, the gentle rain of yellow leaves, the longing for a snuggly quilt, a crackling fire, a good book and a bowl of apple crisp. Don't you love fall? I am trying to find time to relish all of the best of it. Summer is always busy with gardens, family, camping, traveling and just life. With shorter days, less daylight it is easier to settle back into a sewing. With that in mind, I have a few classes scheduled. First up is an evening class September 28, to build a couple stuffed pumpkins from Nancy Halvorsen's new book Bittersweet. So easy, cute and perfect for autumnal decor. Of course this is the time of year we start making our Christmas lists. I know I plan on making some of the baskets and bowls featured in Sewing Pottery by Barbara Warholic. I can think of so many applications for this creative idea. Class is 9 AM on October 1. Most of you know I am enamored with my Accuquilt die cutter. I recently bought a Drunkard's Path die. I am planning on demonstating how easy it can be to piece curves on October 8, when I teach a "Holiday Spirits" table runner class, with die cut fabrics. Kits will be available.
The beginning of October means WSQ show at the Spokane fairgrounds can't be far off. Plan to visit at least one day either October 14, 15 or 16. When you do, stop by our booth and say "Hi."
With all the hard work you do, and all the running around for everyone else, you might think you deserve to be pampered--and you would be right! October 22 I am hosting a "Princess Mystery." This includes an all day class with the world debut of a new mystery pattern. If you choose your fabric prior to the class I can have it pre-cut, so you can get here and just start to sew. All pressing and "unsewing" will be done by yours truly. A delectable homemade meal including a mouthwatering dessert is included, not to mention neck and back massage by Lauren Manfull, a certified massage therapist. Class size is limited. Please contact me if you are interested in taking the class.
As the Holiday season approaches, my quilting schedule gets tight. I have room to book about 10 more slots for large projects before Christmas. The sooner you contact me, the more likely I can fit it into my schedule.
That about wraps it up for me for today. Be sure to check out my website at next week. New changes should be in effect by then.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Is it Spring yet?

Did you feel how warm it was outside yesterday? It made me imagine leaves on the trees, sunshine, daffodils--oh, never mind. We still have a couple months of rain, snow and winter. Well, at least we can still sew. And that is what I have been doing. I have a head full of new pattern ideas and lots of luscious new fabrics that I "see" in this pattern or that, or as a bag, or a jacket, or... Trouble is finding the time to make all the fun projects I can imagine. I have been spending quality time at the long arm machine quilting on client quilts and practicing on my new Valentine "Love You" wall hanging. Talk about quick and easy and gets right to the point. Make for the upcoming February holiday, or to hang in a child's room or over the bed of your own true love. Pattern will be available next week.

I have been working hard getting ready for the "SUPER BOLT" sale coming up on Super Bowl Sunday, February 6. Look for a bunch of new fat quarters, half yard pieces and precuts, such as 2 1/2" strips and 6 1/2" squares. Plan on buying a few grab bags or stuff some scrappy sacks to spice up your stash. The challenge for me is simple being willing to part with all the fabric I would like to keep for "some day."

If you are thinking about doing the "Pie in the Sky" class on February 5, let me know. So far I have a lot of "I'd like to" and "maybe" but no definate sign ups. Just finished unpacking more of the Kim Diehl Simple Graces book if you would like to stop in and look at the proposed pattern.

New fabrics have been arriving the past couple of weeks. I have a few that make you think of easter eggs and baby chicks, just the right spring colors. And we are still adding to our batik collection.

Stop in soon and reacquaint yourself with all the reasons you are a quilter. Don't forget to plan on stopping in on Super Bowl Sunday. I will have surprise specials that day only. See you then!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Talk about a Quilting Revelation!

Last week was a Quilting Revelation for me. Gary and I traveled to southern Oregon so that I could take two classes from Karen McTavish. Friday, I excitedly joined 5 other women in a lovely quilting studio and learned the secrets of making Victorian Feathers (tall and skinny, tall and skinny!) After an evening strolling through a chilly Ashland to view the "First Friday" art exhibits (including aerial silk dancers at the Black Sheep Pub!) I arose on Saturday morning eager to join in the McTavishing class. It was eye opening for me to get to talk with women who approach "quilting" from the long arm artists point of view, rather from a quilt shop owner/piecing teacher point of view. The short cut lessons and "hands on" instruction are immeasurably better than reading about how to do a technique. Being certified to teach these techniques is an added bonus. Of course, I am practicing up a bit before I offer any classes.

Don't forget that Tuesday, January 18 I will make Step 2 of the mystery quilt available. Just stop by to pick up your copy. The first Valley Piecemaker's Quilt Show planning meeting will be 2 PM on January 20, here at Mrs. Sew-n-Sew's Quilt Shop. All club members are welcome to take part in the meeting. We encourage everyone to volunteer for some aspect of the quilt show and make it the best one ever--and that would be an accomplishment, since they have been great shows. Theresa Plank and I are the co-chairs this year, and since we both have businesses to run, we need all the help we can get!

Wanda finshed piecing my "Critters in the Corner" quilt while I was gone last week. It is pretty cute! Don't have time to quilt it just yet, but hope to get it done before the January 22 class. Let me know if you want to take the class. It is a quick, easy, beginner level quilt.

The "Pie in the Sky" class from Kim Diehl's latest book is scheduled for February 5. Lunch is going to be soup and pie, so plan on a full day. I need to know soon so that I can order books, if you are planning to attend. Remember, you can use fabric from your stash to create this scrappy quilt. February 6, Super BOLT Sunday, we open at 10 AM for our big sale. Mark your calendars.

Stay warm and dry, set aside time to quilt!

In Stitches,


Monday, January 03, 2011

Happy New Year!

I hope you are recovered from the overload of Christmas cookies, fudge, company, last minute shopping and late night sewing. As much fun as preparing for Christmas is, January and February are favorite months of mine precisely because Christmas is one again far, far off and I am free to sew projects I want to make for myself. Maybe I will make a bag or even a jacket with some of the rich new batik fabrics, or possibly I will design something using florals and pastels in anticipation of spring. There are still plenty of the Timeless Treasures batik "Stripteeze" sets of (40) 2 1/2" strips and a plethora of new children novelty fabrics, not to mention fishing and hunting fabrics. (BTW, if no one happened to "gift" you with one of the beautiful rayon batik scarves that arrived just before Christmas, we still have a few left. An inexpensive way to add spirit lifting color!) Wherever your sewing imagination is yearning to go, now is the time to explore!

I am beginning to feel like I know my way around on the long arm quilting machine. That is fortunate, because I am headed to Central Point, Oregon to take two classes from long arm quilting "rock star," Karen McTavish I cannot even begin to explain how excited I am. Not only will I get to take the classes, (Victorian Feathers and McTavishing), I will also get to visit with our daughter, Eva and her fiance, Dustin. Gary and I leave January 5 and will be back to open on January 11.The shop will be in Wanda's capable hands, and will be open during regular hours. Stop in while I am gone and pick up Step 1 of my new Mystery Quilt pattern. This is a quilt I have designed, so no use trying to find it on line. There are nine steps and I will release them every other week, starting January 4. There will be a small design wall in the front of the shop that will display each step as the instructions are released. The quilt is called, "Indian Summer," and the directions are for two different sizes.

If you just want to get out of the house and make a fast and fun quilt, maybe for a grandchild birthday or new baby, come take my "Critters in the Corner" class on January 22 (9AM, $15.00 class fee, $5.00 to cut fabrics with die cutter) Store sample will be on display soon, but here is a sneak peak at four of the blocks together, featuring the hilarious jungle animals from Blank Textiles. All the block components can be cut on the shop die cutter, to minimize cutting time and maximize accuracy. Of course, this pattern works just as well for any other style of fabric, including batiks for a classy, modern look, or florals for something feminine and pretty.(Pattern will be available for purchase by January 22)

Each year, along with vowing to lose weight, exercise more and be nice to people that try our patience, most of us resolve to make quilts using only our stash. Well, if you mean it, gather your fat quarters and join me in a class for "Pie in the Sky." This pattern is on the cover of Kim Diehl's latest book, Simple Graces. It is the ultimate in scrappy quilts. Class meets February 5, starting at 9AM. Lunch (with pie, naturally) will be served. Purchase of this wonderful book is required for the class, so let me know ASAP if you want to attend. I only have a couple books in stock. Class fee is $25, book and materials 15% off if paid when you sign up.

Don't forget to circle February 6, Super BOLT Sunday, on your calendar. This is our 10th annual biggest sale of the year. I promise deep discounts on selected books and thread. Be on the look out for great buys on fabric for stash or backings. I am in the mood to clean out, so there will be over stuffed grab bags filled with fabric and other surprises. Mark downs will be store wide and include kits and pre-cuts. We will even have prices on some store samples, too. Plan on being here! (10 AM til 4 PM)

Maybe on of your resolutions is to learn Needle Turn Applique--well, you are in luck! Star Brown, recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq, has agreed to teach a beginner class of needle turn applique on February 12. Just show up 10 AM and prepare to learn from a truly accomplished applique artist. Star will spend time enlightening you on needles, thread, thimbles and technique. Class is $20. Star will provide materials for small practice project.

It is time for another Beginner Quilt Class. The beginner class runs from 6-8 PM every Thursday eveing for 6 weeks. The first class will be February 24. Cost is $50 with a 10% discount on any supplies for the class.

Stay warm and dry, enjoy the season of "nesting." drive safely and stop by the quilt shop to see what is in STORE!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I LOVE Big Butt-ons!

We had a great time at the WSQ Quilt show in Spokane. It is a lot of work, though, and am still recuperating. When we got back, I decided that it was as good of a time as any to rearrange the entire store. As a result the "sale" shelf is newly restocked and overflowing with lots more fabric marked down to $3.99 per yard. Stop by and see what you can't live without!

Skies are low and grey, the wind is blowing golden cottonwood & aspen leaves across the wet roads, Hallowe'en is a few short days away and the full on onslaught of holiday commercials will begin as soon as the last election results are final. For sewing crafters and quilters it is time to gather or favorite tools, a couple of books loaded on our IPods or CD players and head to our sewing machines. Yes! This is my favorite time of year. I love the autumnal colors, the holiday preparations, "whose coming to your house?" discussions , and the inevitable "what are you making for Christmas?" questions. This year, (don't tell) I think I am making handbags. I love the new patterns with the big grommets, I love the handles, and I love Big Buttons! In fact, I like the buttons so much I just stocked some JHB buttons. Most of them are big--suitable for bags or jackets, but I do have a funky few that are smaller, including some tiny black ones that make wonderful "eyes" for snowmen or other critters.

New fabrics are in, too, along with apron patterns. Bags and aprons are two standby gift ideas, but don't forget about table runners, placemats, pillows and lap quilts. With the pre-cut "homemade rolls" or kits that have the strips/squares already cut for you, gift making takes less time than before. You can open the kit and get right to the fun part!

Remember, Saturday, November 13, we will have a free Demonstration Day on Christmas Stocking kits. I have the Accuquilt dies to cut out the stockings (and batting) as well as dies for the shapes to applique onto the stockings--or other holiday decorations such as wall hanging/banners and table toppers or placemats. Precut kits will be available and 10% off on Nov. 13 only! One fun Christmas idea is to use the stockings as your gift bag!

Until next time, enjoy the harvest season!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ready, set, SEW!

For all practical purposes, summer is over in northern Idaho. Don't spend time lamenting, however, start planning your fall and winter sewing projects! Every year once school is back in session, I start thinking about classes--taking them and giving them. I have some good ones planned.

Start off quick and easy and make Karen Montgomery's Easy Stripe Table Runner. This is a 5 seam table runner made with a border print. You will be amazed at how classy this looks. You will need a copy of the pattern, and a border print fabric. A 60 degree triangle is optional. I'll show you how to make it with or without. Class is Saturday September 18--door is open at 8:30--start sewing by 9 and be out of the door by noon with at least one runner top done! I'll have coffee and muffins.We continue with fast and fun projects on Oct 2 with my latest pattern, Company at the Cabin. You can do either the table runner or the placemats. The kit is 15% off if you take the class--all your strips are pre-cut in the kit. Same time line as on Sept. 18. Start early, end by noon or so. Classes are $15.00 each OR sign up for both for $25.00. Take both classes and have at least two Christmas gifts ready to wrap.

Take a break from classes the weekend of October 15, 16, & 17 and plan on visiting the WSQ show at the Spokane Fairgrounds. I am amazed every year at the quality of quilts displayed. Lots of demos and vendors. We will be there!

If you are wanting to learn to use the Millennium Long arm machine, I have a class scheduled for October 29 at 1 PM. From now until Christmas I have a special on purchasing time on the machine. Buy a 20 hour card for $200. Minimum rental time is 2 hours. Class required to be able to rent the machine. Give me a call or email (245-6656 or if you want details!

For those of you ready to take on a more challenging quilt, there is the Broken Star quilt class starting October 5. We will meet every other Tuesday evening for three classes. The book, More Favorite Traditional Quilts Made Easy by Jo Parrott is required for the class. I made this quilt ten years ago from a pattern in Quiltmaker magazine. I feel a bit more prepared to make it now, and many of you have requested a class, so let's do it!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Greetings Quilters!

Summer time is racing by. A couple weeks ago I had a fun loving quilt group from California join us at Mrs. Sew-n-Sew's for an all day workshop. While the heat was burning up the outside, we were in the shop laughing and cutting, sewing and learning new techniques. The "Twisted Threads" gals had requested a class making my Christmas Gingerbread Houses. Of course, I had to make a new sample, and add more stuff to it. The result was better than the first and we had a wonderful day stitching and talking, and eating.

Gary & I just returned from a beautiful weekend in Eureka, Montana. It was our first time being vendors at the Eureka Outdoor Quilt Show. What an awe inspiring setting! We were impressed by the beauty AND the incredible organization AND of course, the quilts. We met a bunch of new quilting friends. We found out that among quilters there is a universal love of batik fabrics and the convience of quilt kits. Our "Company at the Cabin" table runner and placemat kits were going like hotcakes! Fortunately, I had Wanda cutting more while we were gone, so we have kits aplenty.

We still have a few weeks before beginning to think of frosty mornings and dreary weather. Enjoy the outdoors and plan what you want to make this fall. Stop by for inspiration. We have lots of new fabric.