Thursday, December 03, 2009

Still time to make great gifts!

December is well underway, but there is still time to make wonderful gifts for family and friends. All the ingredients for gift making are right in Mrs. Sew-n-Sew's Quilt Shop. Aprons are a perennial favorite, as are hand bags, you can also whip up a table runner in a couple hours, or hem some tea towels, maybe embellish them with some fat rick rack. Pillowcases are quick and easy gifts. If you are searching for the perfect gift for a quilter--well, we have a variety of pre-cuts, such as fat quarters, "homemade" rolls (jelly rolls) and charm packs. Kits also make great gifts as well as little scissors, rulers, sewing tins for storing notions, a selection of thread, bobbin holders and quilting books. Still looking for a unique Christmas present? We have a selection of dried flowers, grown and arranged by our neighbor, Elizabeth Taylor. These are reasonably priced and last forever.

Speaking of books, we have Alex Anderson's "Start Quilting." This is a wonderful book for any aspiring quilter or new quilter that wants to have success building quilts. What else do you need or eye popping quilts? Well, fabric, of course! And, boy oh boy, do we have some awesome new fabrics! Just in yesterday is the latest from Laurel Burch, Dancing Horses. I am attaching a photo, but believe me, it doesn't do justice to the richness of this collection. I had to unwrap this one quickly just after it came in, so I could cut it for a customer. I know this one won't be around long. If horses are your animal of choice, I also have another line called "Hey Cowboy" that has nice horse fabric. Jungle animals may be more to your liking, and "Safari So Good" is adorable. My other current favorite is "Housework Whenever" from In the Beginning Fabrics. This retro looking fabric has delightful phrases such as, "A clean house is the sign of a broken sewing machine" and "When I learned how to sew I forgot how to cook." Be sure to check this one out.

Saturday, December 5 is the annual Christmas Stroll in St. Maries. The Masons will be out in front of Mrs. Sew-n-Sew's selling elephant ears, corn dogs and other delicious smelling fare. Stop in and get a 50% discount on all Coats & Clark thread, Gutermann thread, and Mettler poly-sheen thread. Patterns will be 20% off. Gift certificates are available and if you are interested in learning quilting on the long arm machine, you can also purchase a gift certificate for that. Discounts also available on 20 hour rental cards for the long arm. See you Saturday!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Christmas is A-comin'!

I know, I know. It has been over 2 months since the last time I posted. Well, remember that APQS Millennium Long Arm Quilting machine I mentioned, hmm? That is one reason I haven't been on here. I am having a blast learning how to operate and perfect my long arm quilting. I have taught one class already for people that would like to rent the machine and quilt their own quilts. My next class to learn on the long arm is scheduled for December 12, starting at 9 AM. It is filling quickly, so call if you are interested. Of course I am already quilting for people. If you want something quilted before Christmas, now is the time to get in on my "50 for $50" special. I am quilting my first 50 customer quilts for $50 or less, depending on the size. Hurry, already 20+ quilts are spoken for.

Speaking of classes, we had a terrific time on November 1 in the French Braid tree skirt class. Good conversation, good food, wonderful massage by Lauren Manfull, and amazing projects. I know I am looking forward to putting my tree skirt around my Christmas tree. For those of you that couldn't make this class, I am scheduling one for January 2010. That is right, NEXT YEAR. We will have plenty of time to complete before next Christmas. I am adding a photo, so you can be inspired. Because of the busy season, I only have one other class scheduled for December. We will be making Christmas stockings on December 5. I have a couple of patchwork designs as well as a chenille sample. Stop in and see. Class is $15. Even if you have stockings, these are quick and easy for gift bags. Fill one for a favorite someone with fancy soap, hand lotion, small quilt kit or whatever you can imagine.

This time of year, we all have so many things to keep us busy. With Thanksgiving coming a bit late this year, you may be pressed for last minute gifts, or hostess gift ideas. Stop by and check out the vintage Christmas toweling from Moda. Think Christmas cards from the '40's with round cheeked snowmen (and women) and Santa Claus. These are wonderful for making tea towels, cloth napkins, a bag for wine, or for using on an apron. We will be making some of these projects to have on display the week after Thanksgiving. We also have more of the Maywood "Warm Woolies" flannels in, as well as woodsy looking flannel, if you are planning rag quilts or pajamas. I got in my re-order of Blank Textiles "Barnyard" fabrics, with the farm, the cows and the horses, along with chicken wire. Great pillowcases for country kids of any age. We also just got some Juvenile jungle fabrics from P & B in warm earthy colors.
Gary and I will be in Oregon for Thanksgiving, and will be closed part of the coming week. The store will be open on "black Friday" from 10 AM til 4 PM, closed on Saturday. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A is For Apron, B is for Bag

Have you felt the nip in the air once the sun goes down? And rain--it poured at our house Labor Day. The tops of the cottonwood trees are changing color and kids are back in school, all indications that sewing season is in full swing. Watching kids walk past the shop window with their new backpacks made me wonder if they were learning "A is for Apron, and B is for Bag." That is what I am thinking with all the lovely new fabrics and patterns. Aprons and bags have been especially popular this summer. The "retro" look is definately in fashion, both in fabrics and the design of aprons. Big and "funky" probably best describes some of the bag patterns. Whatever your personal style, we likely have a pattern to suit. For those of you looking ahead to Christmas, aprons and bags make much appreciated gifts.

I hope the majority of you made it to the Valley Piecemakers' Quilt show this past weekend. What a lot of magnificent projects! I wasn't on the Quilt Show committee this year, but I did see a lot of customers and field some phone calls. If you were able to make it to the quilt show, chances are you noticed Barb Mayfield demonstrating her APQS Millennium long arm machine. Want to know a secret? Gary and I are working on the logistics of purchasing one of those machines! It is our hope that within 4-6 weeks we will have one set up and a schedule of classes to teach people how to use it. Gary and I both plan on learning long arm quilting and eventually offering our services, as well as having the machine available to rent here in the shop. Details will be forthcoming, as soon as I know them! In the meantime, let me know if you would be interested in taking a class and learning how to quilt your own projects.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sizzlin Summer Sunday Sew-In Review

Boy, did we have fun on Sunday!

We had a terrific quilting class.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the food.

After a couple hours of cutting and sewing, we were all appreciative of the massage by Lauren Manfull.

We had both experienced and beginner quilters.

Lots of visiting and joking going on and the opportunity to see how different people view the same patterns.

Class participants were excited to find a "goodie bag" containing a book, a spool of Aurifil varigated thread and some wonderful hand cream. We are already talking about doing another class of this kind in late September or October.

Enjoy this glimpse of a very good quilting day!

In Stitches,
Mrs. Sew~n~Sew

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Eureka Quilt Show

This is the first chance I have had to post some photos of the Eureka Quilt Show ( .) Gary and I had a great time, visiting with the vendors, studying the quilts and enjoying the setting in the historical village of Eureka, Montana.

I can't remember when I last went to a quilt show to just look at quilts rather than be a vendor.

The things I appreciated the most about the show, (other than the quilts, of course):

  • There was a limited number of vendors. This is important, because a show should strive for variety, but attendees only have so many dollars to spend.
  • There was also a food vendor with scrumptious Mexican food.
  • Another big plus, in my book, especially for an outdoor show, were the "Quilt Cops." These volunteers watched over the quilts, in case the wind blew one down, or to keep anyone with greasy hands from touching them, or to answer any questions.

From the outside looking in, this appeared to be a well run quilt show.

The town of Eureka obviously was supportive of this visual feast. Quilts hung on both sides of the street in front of all the businesses. Quilt junkies were crowded into shops and eating establishments.

I was surprised that so many of the quilts were for sale.

All in all it was a wonderful day and a worthwhile get away. If you can, plan to attend next year!

In stitches,

Mrs. Sew~n~Sew

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Luscious Batiks & New Products

Are we in the "dog days"of summer yet? Feels like it here. Very hot days give us a good excuse to go sew. Put a couple lemon or lime wedges in a glass of ice water and head to the sewing room. Be sure to aim a fan straight at your chair. Crank up the tunes, or put a book on CD into the machine and you will while away the hot hours without breaking a sweat.

If you are in need of some inspiration, I just received some very luscious batiks from Princess Mirah Bali Batiks. Don't have a camera handy today, but stop by to see for yourself. We all know that buying fabric from the internet isn't nearly as satisfying as petting it in person first.

We now have a good stock of polyester fiberfill. This past Saturday we had our "Hope You Can Make It For Christmas" class. What fun! This class was on constructing pillows or pillow covers (for sofa or floor pillows you already have.) In honor of "Christmas in July" we made winter pillows with a cheery "Ho, ho, ho" on them. Some of us are making wall hangings with the same motif. Naturally, we also thought of other people that would like our pillows and needed more fiberfill, so, I ordered it, and it is now here.

Seems that no matter what time of year it is, we have to do laundry!

I have recently stocked a couple of items to make that chore easier. In stock is Retayne that stops dye from bleeding, Magic Wand and Grandma's Secret Spot Remover for stubborn spots and Dye Grabber Cloths, which grabs & absorbs loose dye in your wash.

Speaking of laundry--which is only fun if you are washing new fabric--have you tried the Mary Ellen's Best Press spray starch? I have to say I am sold on this product. I only had to try it a few times to see how it smooths fabric, doesn't leave flakes, and makes cutting and piecing on the bias so much easier. I now have smaller bottles of this product, the price is easier on the pocketbook.

Gary and I are heading to Eureka, Montana tomorrow. The quilt show is on Saturday, and I plan on wandering through all the quilts, stopping when I want, and reading all the papers on each one. I don't get to do that when we are vendors at shows. Usually, I only see the quilts on the way to the restroom! We will take photos and I will write my impressions next week.

In Stitches,


Mrs. Sew~n~Sew

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sizzlin' Summer Sunday Sew-In

I just opened an order I received from one of my distributors. It is like Christmas each day when I get those kinds of deliveries. This particular box contained the "goodies" for the bags for each of the participants in the Sizzlin' Summer Sunday Sew-In.
In case you haven't been keeping up with the blog--I am doing a class on August 9 from 1 PM until 9 PM. You choose one of four different projects from my book, Top This! and come prepared to be pampered.
Not only will we have a blast sewing & chatting, we'll also have a fancy catered dinner and a 10 minute neck massage by Lauren Manfull of Bodyworks Therapeutic.
Each person receives a "goodie bag" worth more than the cost of the class! To help you decide I am including a few snapshots of the possible projects.
Remember, feel free to change the suggested colors in your project. You don't have to make it look like mine! For example, I am planning on making another version of the "August Sunshine," only this time, I am making the flower into a daisy, with a yellow center & maybe a light batik or white on cream for the petals. I have a cute fabric with small daisies I could use for the background. Or, how about a purple coneflower, or any color you choose for the flower. You can forget about the checkerboard borders if you want, and use a border stripe. The possibilities are endless.

I have also thought about making "Jack the Runner" without Jack's face. Maybe you could applique a pumpkin vine & a couple leaves, and have a perfect table runner for the whole fall.

Don't forget the Christmas in July fabric sale this Saturday, July 25.
Come on in & see what is happening at Mrs. Sew-n-Sew's!
In Stitches!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Christmas in July

Boy, it is hot out there!

I hate to be the one to remind you, but exactly 5 months from this Saturday is Christmas Day! Yes! Can you believe it?

To celebrate that we still have a bit of lazy summer ahead, but to acknowledge the inevitable, we will be having a bit of Christmas this Saturday.

I will open all the new Christmas fabric and put it out for sale. You can enjoy 20% off previous Christmas collections & Christmas themed books.

This sale is for 1 day only, so mark it--like Christmas--on your calendar.

This Saturday is also another of our "Hope You Can Make it For Christmas" classes. We have had a wonderful time meeting each month and getting through our Christmas lists by making creative, unique gifts for our loved ones. The best part is when December blows in, we will be ready and can enjoy the holiday. No more late night sewing!

Today, Gary and I have been working on making a few videos to post on our updated website.

Honestly, there is absolutely NO chance whatsoever in me getting my own TV program. I crack up with nervousness just trying to introduce myself in front of a camera.

If that isn't enough, I am also preparing for my "Sizzling Summer Sunday Sew-In" on August 9.

I have lined up a:
  • massage therapist
  • prepared a display of the featured quilts that we will be working on
  • and I have made up some kits

Without much advertising at all, I already have half the class full. If you are vacillating about whether or not to sign up, now is decision time!

Flip through your copy of "Top This!" You choose one of the four following patterns:

  1. "Star Crystals"
  2. "Bears in These Woods"
  3. "August Sunshine"
  4. "Jack the Runner"

Kits will be available, but you are welcome to bring your own fabric. There will be goodie bags with a total value of more than you pay for the class. Not to mention the catered dinner and the massage.

Class cost is $40.

Call now to reserve your spot.

In Stitches,

Mrs. Sew~n~Sew

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Quilt Show in Troy, Montana

Happy Fourth of July! As has been the custom for me and Gary this past 7 years or so, we have spent 4th of July on Troy, MT. Every year the people of Troy put on what they call "An Old Fashion 4th of July" celebration. The Tender Loving Quilters' show is the 3rd and the 4th of July each year. Gary and I attend as vendors. What a great time catching up with the warm and friendly people here. As you can imagine, quilting is a popular hobby in this part of the country. The winters are long and cold here! Gary got some shots of the parade this morning, while I was busy straightening our booth and, in the bit of quiet time I had, sewing. It is always fun to see what quilters are doing in different regions. This show had several "French Braid" quilts, and typical for this area, a number of quilts with a northwoods theme.The quilt show is over for this year, and as always, we had a great time. We are packed and loaded up, ready to pull out for St. Maries in the wee hours of the morning. After unloading fabric and goods at the shop tomorrow, we get ready to leave on Monday morning for a trip to southern Oregon & the Bay area of California to visit kids/grandkids and other relatives. Of course, I hope to stretch my legs in a quilt shop or two. I will be sure to let you know.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Quilt Conversation & Casserole Carrier

Had a terrific class today. Continuing with the "Hope You Can Make it for Christmas" classes that I have created as a monthly "Christmas Club." The idea is to work on making Christmas gifts a little each month, and by December, you just have to wrap and relax! To date we have done a table runner, a purse, pocketed wall hanging, Chef's apron & hat for the guys and today, a casserole carrier and pot holders. I am writing each of the patterns, and having a class helps to test the directions--providing that people actually READ the directions. We laughed about that, too. We all conceded that most of us take a pattern and look at the diagrams and pictures and get started, without reading all the way through, as we know we should.

I'll post more next week. Have a great weekend, everyone!

In stitches,

Mrs. Sew~n~Sew

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Trunk Show is Going Back Next Week

Quick update, dear friends--If you haven't gotten a chance to come see the Debi Hubbs Trunk Show from Bigfork Bay Cotton Company, you better get in this weekend. I am packing them up and shipping them off on Monday. We have the original samples of Romancing Red, Sunday Stroll, The Picnic and Apple A Day, as well as the new holiday one called Christmas Tree. Patterns and kits are available. These have been popular nationwide, and I am proud to have exhibited them here. I am well stocked on a number of the Bigfork Bay Cotton Company patterns, including the realistic wildlife patterns by Toni Whitney. I will be packing up and taking those to Troy, Montana for their quilt show, so stop in this weekend if you have been thinking about getting one.

New books: Big box in from my supplier yesterday contained Kim Diehl's new book as well as a marvelous book of what to do with 2 1/2" wide strips. If you are a Nancy Halvorsen fan, (and who isn't??) I just received her latest Christmas pattern book called "I Believe." Some folks have been asking about the "Around the Block" books by Judy Hopkins that came out several years ago. They have been out of print for some time, however, Judy has just released a reissue called "501 Rotary Cut Blocks," which combines most of what was in her other three books. This is a reference book and is priced as such, but it is invaluable when planning and designing your own quilts or if you are in charge of coming up with blocks of the month for a quilt guild!

In stitches,

Mrs. Sew~n~Sew's

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cutting Kits & Stacking Fabric

Happy mid-week, fellow quilters!

In spite of the weather predictions of a hot & sunny day, I am starting out by cutting kits for rag time flannel quilts. Many of you have made these warm, cuddly, kid friendly quilts. Most of us have complained over the endless clip, clip, clipping to get the curled flannel edges. Well, let me tell you--I have a die for my AccuQuilt Cutter that cuts the blocks with the edges already clipped. This is not cheating, by the way, it is simply smart quiltmaking. These kits are quick to make up. Kits for quick quilts are a natural for summer, when our sewing time has to be taken in fits and spirts.

Yesterday I received a big box of new fabric. I am so excited about the "Ethnic Echoes" by Blank Textiles in indigo. My secret is, I am planning on putting several projects on hold so I can make myself a summer dress and maybe a camp shirt or two out of these fabrics. The indigo blues are so cool and crisp looking for summer. Of course, my mind is playing with quilt patterns for this line as well. Check these out, because they will probably sell out as quickly as the "Pixie Patch" sunflower fabric. Another popular fabric, also by Blank, has been the "Barnyard" line, with goofy round eyed cows, chickens & pigs. Well, they added more to that line, and I just receive grinning horses, nervous looking sheep and a fresh bolt of the barnyard print. If you forgot to pick up a gift for a baby shower, come get a pre-cut kit out of "Barnyard" for my "2 Hour (More or Less)" baby quilt. We also have the kits pre-cut in the lap quilt size.

Gary & I will be leaving July 2 to go to Troy, Montana to be vendors at their quilt show, held July 3 & 4. We get home July 5 long enough to unload, then we will be gone for the entire following week, visiting our kids in Oregon & California. I plan on posting at least once or twice during our trip, so watch for something unexpected!

When we return I will be in full planning mode for my upcoming "Sizzling Summer Sunday Sew-In" class. I am holding a class on August 9 from 1 PM in the afternoon until 9 PM that evening. I will be teaching four different projects from my book, "Top This!" I tentatively plan on teaching: "Star Crystals" --a beginner level paper piecing class, "Bears in These Woods,""August Sunshine," and "Jack the Runner." The day will feature a catered supper, goodie bags with a gift certificate, door prizes & other special treats. The cost is $40.00 and I am limiting the class to ten people, so sign up SOON!
In stitches,

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Easy Quilts and Quilt Kit ideas

A couple of years ago a sales rep showed me "Jelly Rolls"--40 precut 2 1/2" strips neatly rolled up. My initial (and incorrect reaction) was, "Who needs this??!" Being a REAL quilter, I would cut my own 2 1/2" strips when I needed them, thank you very much. Now, however, I am older and I hope, wiser, and my eyes have been opened to the myriad possibilities of the
2 1/2" strip. Books, patterns and magazines have all featured quick patterns highlighting these strips. These are fun! It is like wanting a quick dessert and using a cake mix instead of building everything from scratch--it is still yours, it is still "handmade" but quicker and, dare I say it, smarter. I now make my own 2 1/2" strips, using my AccuQuilt die cutter, bundle them in groups of 40 strips, and roll them up. I call mine "Nona's Homemade Rolls." What I like best about these my homemade rolls is that I can select from a number of different fabric lines, giving my finished product the look that says, "I collected these fabrics for a long time." The current trend toward scrappy quilts meshes perfectly with Homemade Rolls. I am now writing my second quilt pattern for using the 2 1/2" strip rolls. My first design is called, "Fixin' Fence" and features a delightful cowboy kid print and coordinates as well as random very bright fabrics. I love the graphic design that is created by the black print. The best part is this is a easy quilt, pieced in just a few hours. Don't be fooled into thinking this design can only be made with juvenile prints. This would look terrific in florals, replacing the black print with a bright yellow or peachy pink. How about in red, white & blues, with a solid navy where the pattern shows the black print. Be sure to look a little closer at the "homemade rolls" next time you stop by. It is just the thing to life your spirits on gloomy days.
In stitches,

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wildlife Pillow Kits

The summer season has definately started. Already we are seeing tourists in the shop. June is usually when folks return to St. Maries for class reunions or weddings or graduations or even camping "up the Joe." This time of year there is always a lot of interest in Gary's outdoor patterns. Fortunately, we now have the large floor pillow patterns printed and kitted up. The pillows are made with Nu-Suede, a polyester microfiber fabric. Very comfortable. These are an easy fusible web project with a little sewing. Perfect project for the occasional stormy afternoon.
In stitches,

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Quilt Shop update

NEW! IMPROVED! 75% MORE AT THE SAME PRICE! We have all seen those claims on everything from laundry detergent to breakfast cereal. Very often they are unsubstantiated. Starting today, however, we are aiming to make those claims a reality at Mrs. Sew-n-Sew's Quilt Shop and on the website as well. More fabric, more kits, more user friendly access. With a fine tutor, I am hoping to find my way around the World Wide Web of Quilting.

If you haven't been in for awhile, you need to come by and see the new layout and the newly painted walls. The bright yellow just makes the quilts "pop." I have also been cleaning out 9 years accumulation of scraps, unfinished projects and the like. I am striving for a less cluttered environment--not an easy thing for a quilter. We are using our AccuQuilt cutting system to make kits and I am designing new ones that will feature the precut pieces. Keep checking back to find out what is going on!

In Stitches,