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,