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?

Busy Hands are Happy Hands

Where has the time gone!? I started this missive last week but didn’t get it finished. Here it is a week later and I am just now getting around to trying again to let you know of some of the new things that have come into the shop. Of course, since I told you about getting a few new patterns several other things have arrived that I thought you might like to know about. It’s never ending…

18 Stitch Sampler

So many of our ladies like redwork. It’s easy, it keeps their hands busy while they watch TV, it’s portable, etc., etc. One of the two new ones I’ll tell you about (the second one has already come and gone so I’ll have to order more) is A Redwork Stitch Sampler by Bird Brain Designs. Once you stitch this sampler you will have a handy reference of 18 of the most popular stitches used in embroidery work. The finished wall hanging measures 13″x20″, that includes the borders. There’s also a pattern for a 7″ square pincushion included.

Beautiful Baskets

Then there’s Picnic Baskets by Jan Patek and Jenny Doan. This 80″x80″ quilt uses a Turnover pack from the Lilac Hill fabrics but would also make a good scrap quilt. The design includes both piecing and applique work. The blocks are big, almost 30″ square, and the half-square triangles are about 4″ square. If you wanted to use up some of those half-square triangles that you have been so frugally making this would be a good time to do so (Pam), provided you have any that large. I would classify this at an intermediate level because the instructions are pretty short and sweet.

While I hate rain, I know I’ve told you that before, I love umbrellas for some reason and just fell in love with this pattern from Joined at the Hip. Rainy Day Welcome measures 18″x38″ and will brighten any day, especially the rainy ones. Whether you pull bright scraps from your stash or purchase new fabrics you will have fun making this project. Looking for a great gift for a new couple? This banner would be a most welcomed gift.

Gear up for Christmas!

Now for the new book by Art to Heart, Jingle all the Way. This is the latest in a host of wonderful books by Nancy Halvorsen. Projects include a “candy” garland for your mantel, a fireplace screen, several pillows, gift bags, a stitched banner, and more. It uses her new line of fabric from Benartex. I’ve not seen it up close and in person yet but will try to do so soon.

We received three new magazines this week. First, there was Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 3 from today’s top designers. In addition to 100 great blocks, there’s a contest for you to enter. You could be one of 25 to win four of the blocks shown in the magazine. There is a good mix of block styles from which to choose. If you prefer traditional blocks, they’re in there. If you like applique, they’re in there too. If you like easy blocks or if you’re ready for more challenging ones you’ll find something that’s just right for your next project.

Our second new magazine was McCall’s America Quilts for the Home. This magazine contains 23 quilts which includes a sampler quilt that would be great for a guild project or sewing circle. Along with patterns there are several decorating ideas for living with quilts. So far, the favorite quilt has been the one with appliqued chickens, three of them, and one rooster.

Lastly, we received Quilts for Kids by Fon’s & Porter. There are 19 quilts that should fit any need you might have for a special child’s quilt. Not only are there options for young children, but there are quilts that would work for the older child on your quilt making list.

Last fall I bought a pattern by Bloomin’ Minds. Then I got a new fabric catalog from Moda with their Trick or Treat fabric. Once I saw the fabric I knew I had to buy it to make that pattern for my sister. Now all I have to do is decide if I want to use the black background or the green background. Which one do you think I should use?

I’ll leave it at that for the time being. If I don’t it might be another week before I get this posted for you. What will next week bring? Wait and see…

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