New Stuff!

My 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Hardy, would have my hide if she heard me using the word “stuff” to describe something. It was her pet peeve I guess and she used to jump all over us when we said it. You never realize how often you use some words until someone points it out to you. But, since she’s not here to fuss at me I’m going to use it to let you know that we have received more new stuff in the shop.

We have eight new bolts of ’30s prints from RJR’s Everything but the Kitchen Sink group. There are both conversational prints, i.e. Sunbonnet Sue, lions, bunnies, as well as leaves, vines, and flowers. These bolts added to the six we recieved a couple of weeks ago make for a nice new grouping. Saying no to a new 6″ block quilt just got harder when I opened that box.

We have six new Australian magazines as well. Most of these have been added to the Magazine page so you’ll want to take a look there for a brief description and photo of the cover. Choosing which one issue I like best would be a very difficult task, but if I had to do it for money I’d probalby pick the Homespun issue because it has so many great Christmas projects inside. If I could get all my other projects done and out of the way I might just begin on a couple. Knowing me though I doubt they will be ready for hanging this Christmas season. Even if they aren’t, I’ll still have a great time choosing fabrics and creating my own version of what the designer had in mind.

We also received some new Sulky stabilizers should you need them. Since the Homespun issue I just mentioned has redwork and stitchery in some of the projects I will probably be using the Fabri-Solvy stabilizer to run through the printer so I don’t have to draw off the designs. The drawing off part of an embroidery design is what tends to take the longest amount of time and quite frankly is the least fun part of the whole project. Fabri-Solvy takes care of that problem quite nicely.

Then again, I might use the Transfer-Eze since I already have a pack of it sitting beside the printer. It is a similar product and Miss Janice says it is wonderful to work with. After printing the design on either the Fabri-Solvy or Transfer-Eze you just peel off the backing and smooth the design onto your background with your hands, no iron needed. I love it when companies come up with products to make my life easier.

We have several new patterns including two new X-Block patterns that look like they’ll be lots of fun, and easy, to make. There’s a new flag pattern that has instructions for a table runner, placemats, and a wallhanging. These projects would make nice companions to the original flag pattern that we have as well.

The other new X-Block pattern is for a Santa tree skirt or table topper and stocking. This Santa is so cute! I would have never thought of using the X-Block tool to make a Santa. I guess that’s why Patricia is the designer and not me. She does such a great job!

While we’re in the Christmas mode I’ll tell you about a new-for-us book entitled Fa La La La Felt by Amanda Carestio. This book contains 45 holiday decorations from several different designers that can be made by hand, no machine needed. Many are easy enough that children can make them, with or without help depending on age and skill level. My favorite out of the whole book would have to be the pincushion that can be turned into ornaments. Then again, the little Matryoshka dolls call my name because of my Russian daughter. I’m so glad we have a nice selection of wool felt. It looks like I’m just going to have to go shopping in my own store.

Speaking of projects for children, the Doodle Stitching book by Aimee Ray is a perfect place to start a child, or even adult, in the art of embroidery. This edition contains over 400 easy designs as well as a CD with 17 projects. There are diagrams of stitches used, information on getting started, and lots of pictures for those who are visual learners. We have floss and we have hoops if you need them. A BIG thanks to Suzanne for bringing this book to our attention. If you go to and put “doodle” in the search box you will find a great little free project that will give you an idea of how doable these designs are.

Brooklyn’s Dress by Maw-Bell Designs is another new-for-us pattern that is just so sweet. It comes in sizes 1-3 and gives you three for the price of one. You can have a little puffy sleeved dress, a sleeveless jumper, or put the jumper over the dress and it becomes a pinafore. Too cute!

Another cute pattern for those little ones in your life is [The Little Flower] Pocket Top by Jackie Clark Designs. It fits newborn to 4T and includes a pattern for a cute little purse. Children love hiding things in pockets and dropping things into holes. (I know this because there’s still a drum stick in the base of the Little Tykes basketball goal that Nathanael couldn’t help but drop in there to see where it would go.) This little top uses wide ric-rac, which we have in various colors, for the flower stem but a chenille stem would be cute too. Always dare to make a change or two to any pattern so you can call it your own.

For the older child on your sewing list we have Kyoko by Patty Young for MODKID. With this size 2T-7 pattern you can make a shirt or dress with two sleeve lengths. There are no buttons or zippers to fool with as the obi-style sash holds the top in place. Creating unique designs from this pattern looks like an unending endeavour. I wish there was a pattern for my size. I also wish my size wasn’t so big but that discussion is best left for another day.

The last pattern I’ll tell you about (yes, there are more) is Gabby’s Sleepover Jammies by Izzy & Ivy. These don’t look like any jammies I ever slept in as a child. In fact, this little outfit could be worn any time, day or night. The designer says you could pair leggings with the top and have a perfectly fine outfit for cooler months. Sizes for this pattern are 2-10 so you will get a lot of mileage out of this one.

How’s that for something to keep you busy?! Even though I no longer have a little one to sew for I would love to make some of these cute little outfits. Some ladies have grandmother’s hope chests so if you too would like to make something different for a change why not start a hope chest and fill it with quilts, booties, and little outfits for the children to come. Actually, nothing says you have to know or be related to the person for whom you sew. You can sew just because you enjoy it and then find someone who could benefit from what gives you pleasure. Sharing that pleasure will make the project all the more special.

I know it isn’t inexpensive to buy quality fabrics to work with, and I had a lady tell me once that she wasn’t about to spend money making things for others that weren’t related to her. Personally, I feel that if you enjoy doing something, and have made more items than you’ll ever be able to use or display, why quit making things just because you’ve run out of room at your house. The joy is in the making for sure, but it could also be in the giving. Not everyone can create what you can create, either because they don’t know how or they don’t have the means. Sharing a part of yourself with someone else, regardless of the cost, is one way of leaving a legacy behind…leaving a part of you to continue on long after you are gone. What’s wrong with that?

Happy 4th!

What a beautiful day to be celebrating! The sun is shining, there’s a slight breeze to help keep you cool in the shady spots, and you have the whole day to pretty much do as you please. I always plan way more projects for a day off than is actually possible to get done. There are the things for the shop that need doing and then there are the things that I want to do just because I want to do them. There are also a couple of things that I need to do for others for which time has to be calculated in the mix. Before I know it, the day if over, it’s time for bed, and I’ve not gotten anywhere near enough done. Does that ever happen to you, or am I the only one who bites off more than can realistically be chewed?

Speaking of biting off more than one can chew…Miss Martha has a new kit to offer you for a project that turned out to be much bigger than expected. The America the Beautiful banner is from the book Seasons & Reasons to Celebrate by Leisure Arts. It didn’t look all that big in the book, but the measurements are approximately 24-1/2″x50″. Of course, we had to do our own thing and didn’t follow the directions completely. For instance, the top section with the sun is paper-pieced in the book. We changed it into applique so Miss Martha didn’t have to fool with the machine. The verse on the flag says, “This land shall be a land of liberty…from sea to shining sea!” While our sample was stitched you could always use a Pigma Pen to write the words and skip the stitching. We’ve not yet added the gold star buttons to the blue field on the flag but hope to do that soon. While it’s easier to do before quilting, you have to pay attention when quilting to keep from running over them. This hanging could be left out year-round or put out for special holidays like Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Flag Day, and Veteran’s Day. Cost of kit: $49.95

Get Hive FREE!

In addition to the fabrics needed to make this banner, the kit also includes fabrics for three squares in a second project called bee industrious. The second project is one that covers all twelve months of the year. The three blocks you will be doing first are for June, July, and August. Soon, we will have a second big project from the same book ready for you. Along with the fabrics to do the second project you will get fabric for three more small blocks. There are a total of four large projects from this book that we will be doing. Along with each project you will get three small blocks for the year-long quilt which measures 44″x44″. If you purchase the book and all four kits you will get the center of the year-long quilt at no extra charge.

Call or e-mail us if you want to participate so we will reserve a kit and book for you. The price of the kits will vary depending on the size of the project. No, you don’t have to do all the projects if you don’t want to, but I think you will want to because they’re all cute and would look great hanging in your home or in the home of someone special. Plus, each project is small enough that it would make a great gift item when the need arises…and you know it will.

Quilting has become more than a necessity to keep your family warm. It has become an art form in its own right. That’s not to say that the quilts you make won’t be used for keeping your loved ones warm, but they are often times made just for the sheer joy of being able to do so. Sharing that joy with others is something that we do instinctively.

I love it when someone brings in a young person who wants to learn to quilt or stitch. As with any discipline, if we do not reproduce ourselves our art will eventually die down and even possibly die away. “It’ll never happen!” I hear you say. Well, don’t count on it. Stranger things have happened, and with the cost of fabric going up along with those necessary items like food and electricity it could happen if we aren’t careful. Independent quilt shops are closing right and left. Yes, a new one might pop up from time to time but how long they are able to survive will depend on not only their hard work and creativity but also on their community. It is not uncommon for folks who visit this shop to have driven an hour or two in order to do so. How much longer will they be willing to make that long drive if gas goes up (fortunately, it’s coming down at present) in addition to food, etc.? I wonder.

In case you haven’t looked at the “About” page lately, I have added a new way to save a little extra on your next purchase. Cutting overhead is one thing a business can do to keep the doors open. Since our shop is in the first floor of our home our overhead, as far as rent is concerned, is lower than that of most quilt shops. Still, we are always looking for ways of shaving off just a little more on the expenses when possible. To that end, we are going to try something for the month of July. If you pay by cash or check rather than a credit card we will take 2% off of your total, after any other discounts have been applied and before tax. If you are a guild member this means that when you show us your valid guild card so you can save 10% you will save another 2% after that discount has been applied. If you are not a guild member you too can save the 2% if you pay with cash or check. While I know debit cards are considered the same as cash these days we will not give the 2% discount if a debit card is used. So be sure to bring your checkbook or go by the bank before heading to the shop if you want to save just a little bit more on your shopping spree.

You’ll also want to check out our Coupon Corner as there is a new coupon there for you to take advantage of. It goes back the what I was saying earlier about bringing in new blood. When you share your love of quilting with someone and they express a sincere desire to learn how to quilt just bring them and the coupon when you visit next. This will earn you and your pupil-to-be free fabric. We hope it will encourage the new person to follow through on their desire. We also hope it will encourage you to share your wealth of knowledge with someone else and add to our ranks. As they say, the more the merrier!

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