A Needle Pulling Thread – Review

I think one of the best words in the English language, or in any language for that matter, is the word FREE. In the past, I have shared freebies on Friday that I’ve run across on the internet. As Gomer Pyle would say, “What a dumb thang. What a dumb thang to do.” Here I am trying to sell patterns, you can’t believe how many are here until you actually see for yourself, and I turn around and give you information on freebies. Then I wonder why patterns aren’t selling all that well. Duh…

It seems to be a problem for shops who are trying to sell patterns by great designers while having to compete with all the freebies that are out there online. While I totally understand the giving personality of crafty/creative people, those who consistently give away freebies aren’t doing themselves or their fellow creative person any favors.

Several years ago, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion on a couple of occasions and all of her Quilt Academy events, of which I believe there were five. Loved those Quilt Academy events by the way. They were absolutely awesome!!! Talk about brain overload that very first event! The only person I knew about on the program was Nancy Zieman, and seeing her in person was the only reason I went. Had someone told me then that later on I would own a quilt shop and get to better know some of those big names in quilting that I met at the academies, I would have told them they needed to be committed because that was never going to happen. This is why I told my children when they were growing up to never say never. Yes, some things I have had to learn the hard way.

Anyhow, in one of Miss Martha’s talks on turning your hobby into a business she said something that has stuck with me. It went something like this, “If you don’t charge anything for what you’re giving folks, they won’t place any value on it. If it’s only $5, charge them so they will feel like they’ve gotten something worthwhile.” Over the years since I’ve had the shop I’ve determined that she was right. While we tend to like to get things for free, we don’t always value them as much as we do something that we’ve had to work for or save up in order to purchase. There’s a whole other sermon that could go along with this thought, but I won’t go there right now. That’s not the purpose of this writing.

Mag-Needle Plg Thread-Sprg 2016The purpose of this writing is to share with you something that was sent to me, quite unexpectedly, free of charge. Now, I give lots of “stuff” away at our camps, to guilds for their special events, and during special events that we hold throughout the year here in the shop. Although I greatly enjoy giving, I also like getting just as much as the next person, especially when what I’ve been given comes as a complete surprise. Such is the case with the most recent copy, Spring 2016, of A Needle Pulling Thread magazine. It came one day in a brown envelope with the word SAMPLE on the outside. Surprise!

I have bought this magazine a few times, mainly the holiday issues, at Books-a-Million. The thing I enjoy most about this Canadian publication is that it’s chocked full of all kinds of creativity. Instead of being a one-sided publication, as are the quilting magazines that I tend to peruse, this publication has a little bit of everything, because after all, aren’t most of us who are creative multi-faceted and creative in more than just one arena? I know I am. Of course, there comes a point when we have to choose which creative areas we desire to excel in because there’s just not enough lifetime to do them all, much less do them all well.

So, what’s in this issue I have you wondering? It might be easier to tell you what’s not in this issue. For example, there’s no woodworking or macramé. But I was delighted to see that there are six quilting projects including a table runner, lap quilt, placemats, chair back covers, a bed scarf (we tend to call them bed runners), and a quilt made using denim. Can you say “recycle!”?

One project that really caught my attention and made me giddy was the pattern for making a teapot cozy. Those who know me well know I enjoy having and collecting tea things. Trust me; I have enough tea in the house to float a battle ship! But after all these years of enjoying tea on pretty much a daily basis, I have yet to buy, let alone make, a tea cozy. I’ve bought the patterns for making one but just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll give the pattern in the magazine a whirl. If/when I do, you’ll be the first to know. The plus with the cozy pattern here is that the handle is not covered. I’ve learned that covering the handle of a good teapot is not a good idea. Not only does the tea stay hot when covered, but the handle gets hot as well. When I say hot, I mean really hot, as in too hot to handle. No pun intended. Since the pattern can be adjusted, I can make a cozy for my large teapot that holds several cups as well as my two-cup teapot that I won from teadog.com. I love that little teapot!

Ok…moving right along…Remember I mentioned how we creative types like to give to others? Well, there’s a pillowcase pattern in this issue that you could make and donate to Junior’s House. Just bring your finished pillowcase to the shop and I’ll pass it along to them. As always, if you have another charity in mind then go for it.

Not into quilting or sewing? How about knitting, cross-stitch, punchneedle, rug hooking, crochet, embroidery – either hand or machine, purse making, or beading? If you enjoy any of these needlearts then you need to give this magazine some serious consideration. Of course, there are more than just projects to do amidst the pages. There are book reviews for new books in each of these disciplines, an article on a great looking quilt shop in Oshawa, Ontario you can visit next time you’re in the area, and an informative article on the history of knitting tools in Canada.

I am so grateful to whoever it was that so kindly sent me this copy of A Needle Pulling Thread. It’s a great publication and one that I hope will continue enticing us with multiple needlearts to enjoy in each issue for many years to come.  Be sure to visit their website where they have photos of all the projects contained in this issue. You can also enjoy looking through a free issue there as well.  While I do not have copies of the magazine for sell at the shop, you can order online if you’re unable to visit or find a copy at your local Books-a-Million store.

Enjoy!

Freebie Friday

It’s been quite a while since I sat down and shared some of the freebies with you that have come across my desk. I figured since it’s slow in the shop, today would be just as good a day as any. Some of these sites you might have already visited, but I hope at least one or two are new for you so that you can expand your horizons quilting wise.

Of course, Christmas in July has been a big theme, especially with crafty folks. We know that if we don’t get started on our handmade gifts now we won’t get them finished in time without pulling an all-nighter or two the week before Christmas. If you’ve ever done that you know that it makes for a tired wife/mom/aunt/sister/daughter, etc. on the actual day of Christmas. Getting done early isn’t always easy, but if you haven’t already started, or if you don’t at least start now, chances are you’ll be giving store bought gifts or IOU’s to some of those on your list. So, here we go!

Landauer Publishing is as good a place to start as any. They have a free e-book for you on binding. It came to me in an e-mail, but I think you have to go to their site and sign up for e-mails to get the free 12 page e-book on Quilt Binding Basics. After you’ve downloaded and saved the e-book, go to Quilt Books & Beyond and click on the “Browse Categories” tab at the top of the page. There you’ll find lots of free patterns, wallpaper for your computer, tips, and just tons of information that you’ll find useful. Be sure to allow yourself enough time, like a leisurely afternoon, to look through their site. Otherwise, you might miss the free pattern for that cute snowman wallhanging (under the “Free Projects” section) or the information about the Astronomical Quilts! Block Challenge under the “Quilting Inspiration” section. Yes, I do believe if you’ve never visited this site before you’re going to need a few hours and a pot of tea to get through all they have to offer.

Another free e-book that I ran across is The Beginner’s Quilting Guide which includes four quilt patterns. If you’re new to quilting you’ll definitely want to give this a look-see. If you’re a seasoned quilter, you might find the projects simple enough to use as relatively quick gifts. The projects are varied and touch on several different aspects of quilting.

Then there’s Jenny of Elefantz. I’ve sent you to her before. I love this lady’s work! This week she shared her seventh block in her The Lord’s Prayer stitch-a-long. If you’re new to this project, she has bundled the first five sections into one so you can download those and then the sixth and seventh sections are separate. She also shared a free stitchery about love that can be framed to make a sweet gift for your favorite someone(s). These freebies and others can be downloaded from her Craftsy shop. While you’re there, you might want to check out her newest quilt pattern, Under the Apple Tree. From now until August 1 you can purchase the pattern for $8.95 as opposed to $10.95 afterwards. I love the design, if for no other reason than those cute little birds!

If you’ve not already signed up for Jacquelynne Steves free e-magazine, The Art of Home, you need to go do that immediately if not sooner. I love these e-magazines, and they’re always packed with great ideas, not to mention yummy recipes. You can even look over back issues by going here! You’re going to be sooooo glad I gave you this information. Be sure to sign up for her blog too. She has been remodeling her new beach house that used to belong to her parents. Given that I love the beach as much as the mountains I could very easily give all this up for a little cottage on the beach…very easily. Her re-do has really made me do some thinking of late. Wonder if there’s a little beach town that would like a quilt shop? Like, say, maybe in North Carolina where my favorite beach just happens to be located…

Then there’s the Sew in Love blog by Benartex where they’ve been sharing tutorials all week for things to make and give this Christmas, or anytime really with a bit of altering. The tutorial for today was a large pillow using letters to spell out Christmas as well as small pillows with a single letter. I have some ideas for this neat project myself.

Like taking quilt classes but can’t seem to find ones that fits your schedule, or your taste? Well, here ya go. Creative Bug is offering you two weeks of classes FREE of charge. That’s right! They have no less than 300 classes on various crafty endeavours that you can try absolutely gratis. If you discover that the technique you’d wanted to try really isn’t your cup of tea, then you’re not out anything but a bit of time. If you like what you get for free, then you can subscribe for $9.95 per month and take every class they offer. There aren’t too many shops these days where you can take one class for less than ten dollars, much less 30, assuming you did a different class each day of the month. All you have to do, after you go to their homepage, is click on subscribe and type in your credit card number. Once you put in the promo code, QUILT, the cost on the receipt will change from $9.95 to zero. You will have 2 full weeks to take free classes. Go on, give it a whirl!

Think that will hold you for a while? I hope that by sharing these freebies you’ll not only find something that you can’t wait to make, but learn new skills as well. There are a lot of great quilters out there, but I think I can safely say that none of them, no matter how many ribbons and awards they’ve won, know it all to the point where there’s not even one little thing left for them to learn. If the saying, “Knowledge is power” is true, then you’re going to want as much quilting knowledge as you can gain in order to be a powerful quilter. Plus, I’m hoping that by finding new projects to do you’ll feel the need to come visit the shop. Did I mention that it’s been way too quiet around here this summer. Waaaaaaaay too quiet! In fact, it’s been so quiet that I think I hear the seagulls calling…

Freebie Friday!

It’s been a while since I put together a list of freebies that I find as I cruise around the internet. I’m usually not looking for freebies; they just seem to pop up somehow. I’m not complaining mind you. It’s always nice to find free surprises. Even though we all have more on our to-do lists than we can possibly ever get done it never hurts to have options. The more the merrier I always think. Just click on the underlined words and you should be transported like magic on a wonderful adventure.

Be sure to check out Peck’s Pieces to get the last blocks of the Snowmen in the Pines wallhanging along with Miss Marjory’s newest offering, Chain of Love. If you get crackin’, I bet you can get that one finished for Valentine’s Day.

Do you like mysteries? I do if we’re talking in novel form. I’m not quite so keen on quilt mysteries but couldn’t resist following along with the New Year’s Day 2013 Mystery offered by Sheryl of Quilting Tizzy. All the clues are still there but she won’t leave them up forever. Just click on the link at the top of the page and you’ll find everything you need to get you going.

I’ve been following the Sentiments Sampler by Dawn Heese for Henry Glass Fabrics since October. It is a lovely 12 block sampler set on-point. I wish I could tell you that I have all the fabrics that were used to make that quilt, but I do not. There’s just so much room in the shop and so much room in our budget (yes, we kinda sorta do have one…such as it is). Be sure to save or print all the patterns for the blocks because there’s no guarantee how long they’ll be available.

Bunny Hill Designs is one of my favorites so I was thrilled when Anne posted a pattern for a heart to make on her blog January 5. She didn’t just make one heart she made a bunch of them! Go over and look at the different styles she made and the different ways she displayed them. I’ve got my pattern printed out and have been looking over my fabric options. Decisions, decisions…

January tends to be the month when we make resolutions to do many things. One such thing is oftentimes getting organized. I ran across these free storage labels when looking for something else…imagine that! There are round labels, square labels, and rectangular labels. Laminate them and they’ll last for a very long time. BHG has made the patterns in multiple colors so you could even color-code some things around the house. How clever is that! Thankfully, they give you the correct size of label that you’ll need to purchase if you don’t have them on hand already. So, if you want to organize your pantry, laundry room, sewing room, wherever, you now have the perfect labels for the task.

Speaking of labels, I think I may have shared this link before but couldn’t find it quickly when I went back through older posts so I’ll include it here for your convenience. I’ve had so much fun changing up the clip art on these labels. I made some for Victoria to put on gifts this past Christmas. I used the regular mailing label size template but deleted whatever the little picture was on the left hand side. I then put a harp clip art in that space making unique labels that left no doubt in anyone’s mind who was giving them a gift. I used them for the generic “From: The Andersons” as well as for our local guild since I’m now the secretary and have to mail out the newsletter to some of our members. I have a little mouse sitting on a pink spool of thread on those labels. Too cute! Give these a try. If you prefer unique address labels this is the way to go.

In looking to see whether or not I had given you the last label information or not, I discovered that there were ads at the bottom of my blog pages. Since I rarely read my own blog I didn’t realize these were there. I apologize for them being there and will look into how to get rid of them. I think I probably have to pay WordPress some amount in order to have them removed. Rest assured that I’m not making any money off the ads, but I do believe that they are in an effort to cover the cost of the FREE blog site they offer. Maybe it’s only in our beloved Quiltland that things offered for free really are.

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