Falling in Love…With Georgette!

April 26th, 2014
Today is my one week anniversary.  Last Friday, I took the plunge and purchased a used George sitdown quilting machine.   I’m calling her Georgette and she is one beautiful machine:
 
george-1
In a way, this was kind of an impulse buy.  I wasn’t even thinking of buying a long arm or mid arm sitdown quilting machine, but I read that one was for sale on one of my favorite blogs, Tamarack Shack.  I followed up on it and found the machine was living near Winston Salem, NC and was owned by Laura of the Tanderwen Quilts Blog.  Winston Salem is about 2 1/2 hours from Asheville, so I figured it was worth going for a test drive.  I knew I would like Laura when she wrote to tell me I’d know her house because she had a quilt block attached to her mailbox-how cool is that?! Anyway, I took 3 types of thread to test on it:
 
-invisible thread.  I use tons and tons of this stuff and I always hear long arm quilters complain about it, so if it couldn’t quilt with invisible thread, that was going to be a deal-breaker for me.
-rayon thread.  Rayon has great sheen but it is a weak thread so I thought it might be problematic on a  long arm.
-trilobal polyester thread.  I didn’t think this would be an issue at all, but I had to find out since I use it so much.
 
I didn’t take any cotton threads with me because I never quilt with cotton thread anymore.  Well, that machine sewed beautifully with all 3 thread types, so I was sold on the machine and she came home with me!  Laura kindly gave me some quick lessons on things like oiling/winding a bobbin, playing with tension, etc., and I was off to the races!  Because I only had 1 week from the time I found out about the machine and the day I test drove it, this really was an impulse buy for me.  (I’m normally someone who ruminates for ages about this kind of decision.)  I didn’t even think through where she’d go so I’ve got her set up in a guest bedroom (that I’m gradually taking over with quilting stuff) and I’ll have to figure out her “real home” later.  I’ve only made one addition to her and that was to add a Bendable Bright Light:
george-3
The machine actually has very good lighting but my aging eyes want all the light they can get!  The machine comes set into a table that is far sturdier than I thought it would be when I saw it in photos.  I’m currently working on a quilt that’s about 103 in x 103 in, so I need a larger table surface and have placed an ironing board next to the table and adjusted the ironing board higher than the table:
george-2
…and here’s what the view is from the “sewer’s side” of the system:
 
george-with-quilt-on-board
This machine has 20 inches of harp space.  I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to all of a sudden have all this luscious space in which to shove a quilt:
 
george-1.5
To put it into perspective, here’s a shot of that same portion of the quilt shoved into the harp space of my sewing machine where I HAD been quilting it before last Friday:
 
george-pfaff
Pfaff machines require the presser foot to be placed in this “halfway” position for free motion quilting, and you can see in this next photo that the presser foot effectively eliminates  about 3 inches of the 7 or so inches of throat space, so moving to Georgette is a big step up for me:
 
george-pfaff-2
 
I am so happy to have made this purchase and it is such a lesson of the power of connections we make on the internet!  If you aren’t already reading the Tanderwen Quilts and Tamarack Shack blogs, you should be!  These are 2 women who quilt professionally for others, so there’s lots of eye candy and inspiration!  Have a happy weekend, everyone!
george-final

New Notions, Handi Quilter DVDs and so much more!

April 25th, 2014

Hello Quilting Friends! 

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Spring Celebration Sale! Many of you have purchased the wonderful Handi Quilter Rulers. There are now videos available to show you some great tips and tricks. We have added many great products to our site, make sure and check them out below!

We have many other great new additions to our store and you can read all about them below! The products in this newsletter are all new, so for the first week in the store we will be offering them at a reduced introductory price. You will not need to enter a discount code to receive these introductory savings and the prices are valid until May 2, 2014 at 9 am, E.S.T.

Remember that each and every retail purchase that you make in our store is being tabulated to count toward a gift certificate you may use for a future purchase.  We also offer free shipping to US customers and a discount for our International Customers. This is our way of thanking you for being a loyal customer.  Please make sure you are logged into your account when making a purchase to properly track your points.

**Please note that when purchasing any item in this newsletter , your order will not ship until Tuesday April 28, 2014, as these are new items in our store**

 

Strip Tube Junior Ruler

 Junior is perfect for making blocks 6-1/2in or smaller. Junior is also wonderful for squaring up any blocks that have a diagonal seam with just one cut. See corresponding patterns at the end of newsletter!
MSRP $13.95… reduced introductory price $12.42
 

Creative Notions Flexible Seam Guide

  

Creative Notions Flexible Seam Guide with a 1/4in Foot is a quilter’s dream tool. Achieve perfect 1/4in seams with ease. The Flexible Seam Guide is great for sewing other items and works with an array of feet, too. Simply move the guide to whatever seam width you need and you can easily achieve precise stitches. Place the guide on the bed of the machine for accurate 1/4in seams. Special adhesive holds in place. 1/4in thick, 2in wide x 8in long

MSRP $25.78… reduced introductory price $22.94

Get a Grip Foot Pedal Pad



Tired of chasing your machine’s foot control all over? Then, Get- A-Grip! Our double-sided nonslip surfaces grips and holds your machine’s foot control in place. Works great on any flooring surface—carpet, tile or wood. Keep your machine from vibrating or moving with our Get-A-Grip machine pad. Both pieces are also available as a set. 9in x 9in

MSRP $25.00… reduced introductory price $22.25 

Fabric Marker Fine Point Primary Set 6 pcs



Marvy’s fine point Fabric Markers are great for kids and adults who create fabric art. Easy to use with no mess to clean up.

- Water resistant when dry

- Pigmented ink

- Odorless

- Dries instantly

- Acid free and non toxic

- No steaming or ironing needed

- Easy to use, no mess, no clean ups

- Writes on most fabric surfaces, especially cotton.

Colors Included: 1 each of black, red, green, blue, yellow, and brown. 

 MSRP $13.84… reduced introductory price $12.32

Fabric Marker Fine Point Fluorescent Set 6 pcs



Marvy’s fine point Fabric Markers are great for kids and adults who create fabric art. Easy to use with no mess to clean up.

- Water resistant when dry

- Pigmented ink

- Odorless

- Dries instantly

- Acid free and non toxic

- No steaming or ironing needed

- Easy to use, no mess, no clean ups

- Writes on most fabric surfaces, especially cotton.

Colors Included: 1 each of yellow, orange, pink, Lt. blue, violet, and green.

 MSRP $13.84… reduced introductory price $12.32

Sew Cute Sew Maid

Includes Seam Ripper Thimble & Needle Threader 
MSRP $6.49… reduced introductory price $5.78

Sew Cute 6 in Decorative Retractable Tape Measure




60in tape measure with lock button.


MSRP $4.99… reduced introductory price $4.44

Schmetz Gold Titanium Embroidery Machine Needle Size 14/90 

Slightly rounded point for embroidery on most fabrics. Enlarged eye accommodates special application threads. Titanium Nitride ceramic improves needle wear resistance in high stitch count applications and penetration of coarse or densely woven materials. 
MSRP $5.50… reduced introductory price $4.90

Quilters Academy Using Arcs & Ovals



Handi Quilter educators Vicki Hoth and Marie Eldredge demonstrate some of the many uses of the Handi Gadget arc and oval templates. Learn how to use arcs and ovals to incorporate both gradual arcs and deep curves for innovative border and corner designs. Combine diff-erent arc shapes for a custom-quilted look that includes feathered wreaths and curved cross-hatching. On top of that, this DVD has some great ideas for enhancing quilted arcs and ovals with micro quilting


MSRP $19.95… reduced introductory price $17.76

Quilters Academy DVD Featuring Debby Brown 3

Using Rulers & Templates


Whether you quilt on a sit-down longarm machine or a domestic sewing machine, this video presents the simple techniques you need to know to get started with machine quilting.

Learn how to:

*Safely use rulers and templates
*Add grip to back of rulers and templates
*Choose the best ruler for the quilting task


MSRP $24.95... reduced introductory price $21.95

Totes and Bags – Softcover

 

With lots of great pockets and styles that are easy to customize, the 11 fun designs in Totes and Bags are perfect for all your needs. You’ll love the many looks you can create using fat quarters and other pre-cuts or fabric scraps. Designs by Sue Marsh for Whistlepig Creek Productions include The Big Easy expanding tote, 3 Charming Totes (Pinwheel Tote, Pocket Tote, and Charms-on-Point Tote); The Big Shopper (3 versions, each in 2 sizes); B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Bag); Messenger Bag (2 versions); and Steps (2 versions).

From Leisure Arts
By Marsh, Sue

MSRP $17.99... reduced introductory price $16.01

Best of Fons & Porter Easy Collection – Softcover

For terrific quilts that are simple and quick, check out Easy Collection from the editors of Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine. Each can be made in a weekend or less. Simplified patchwork, larger blocks, strip sets, and other shortcuts make it all possible without sacrificing beauty. 28 Projects: Jake’s Escalator, Mod Garden, Aromatherapy, Snapshot, Purple Haze, Squares and Stripes, Urban Spaces, Empire World, Gatsby, French Farmhouse, Star-Spangled Beauty, Venetian Dream, Watermelon and Shoofly, Patriotic Patchwork, Jazzy Cats, Happy Howling, Lightning Strikes, Victoria Star, Rainbow Hippie, Sunflowers, Split Pea Soup, Spin City, Phoebe, Color Wave, Sunset Runner, Shooting Stars table runner, Sunny Trio, and Stars of the Past.

MSRP $26.99… reduced introductory price $24.02

Chevron Garden

 

60in x 80in. Uses Creative Grids 8in 45 Degree Diamond Dimenions Ruler

From Erin Underwood Quilts
By Underwood, Erin

MSRP $9.00... reduced introductory price $8.01

Diamond Collage


  

77in x 79in. Uses Creative Grids 8in 45 Degree Diamond Dimenions Ruler

From Erin Underwood Quilts
By Underwood, Erin


MSRP $9.00... reduced introductory price $8.01

Oh Sew Mod Totes

  

Purse 12in x 12in x 3in, Tote 15in x 12-1/2in x 5-1/2in. Uses the Strip Junior Ruler

From Whistlepig Creek
By Marsh, Sue 

MSRP $9.00… reduced introductory price $8.01

Fat Quarter – Star Power

 

  

Turn your fat quarters into Star Power with this wonderfully intricate pattern that is actually easy to make. With two interlocking 10in blocks, the patterns comes to life quickly quickly by using the tube technique. Sizes Baby, Throw, Twin, Queen, and King. Uses the Strip Tube Junior Ruler

From Cozy Quilt Designs
By Stout, Daniela

MSRP $9.00… reduced introductory price $8.01

A Tale of 2 Sides of a Tote Bag…and a Quilted Border Design

April 19th, 2014

twreath1

This is one side of a quick tote bag that I’m making as a sample.  I’m finding that people just don’t realize how easy it is to add a trapunto layer to either quilting or applique projects, so I’m developing a quick class (i.e. 3-4 hrs) to walk them through the steps and this sample is an example of something you could whip up pretty quickly with a design like this one.  Here are a couple shots of this side of the tote before I’d done anything other than outline zones of the wreath with invisible thread.  Remember, this wreath had an extra layer of batting behind it before it was placed into that final quilt sandwich:
 
twreath3
twreath2
I echo-outlined the wreath a few times with a dark blue polyester thread to give it more definition and also to add a halo of color surrounding it, then started my background quilting:
twreath4
(That is a green polyester thread I’m using.  Again, my personal preference is to use threads that have a bit of  a sheen.  This helps make your quilting “pop” a bit and is an easy way to add just a bit of flare to your quilted works.)  Once done, I did my S-I-D quilting along seam lines with invisible thread and then went to create my border design.  This is a really simple border and it adds a nice elegance to your quilt, so I’m going to outline how I do this:
1.  Using a temporary marker (i.e. soap sliver for me), mark a line at the center of each border and also a miter line at each corner.
2.  Beginning at the center of one side, stitch a heart or a teardrop shape.  the goal here is to create some type of symmetric shape that curves out toward its middle and then tapers at the base, as you need a shape like that to “play off” as you begin adding plumes on either side of it.  In the photo below, you can see that I did a “loopy heart” or one where there’s a loop where the 2 heart “humps” join.  Know that a plain heart will work just as well, I was just in a  “loopy mood:”
 
twreath5-border
The needle will be at the top, or point of the heart, and this is where you’ll begin to add the rest of the border design.  I use that “bump-back” method of feathers when I stitch this and I begin on one side and sequentially add plume after plume until I reach the corner.  Here’s a shot of one side once it’s done:
 
twreath6
(BTW, I forgot to mention that I also marked a temporary line 1/4 inch from the edge of the fabric.  That is to keep me out of the area that will ultimately become binding.)  Next, you do the exact same thing on the opposite side of the heart:
twreath7
You are going to do this on all 4 sides.  When you get to the corners, use that miter line as the “kissing line,” or place where the plumes from 2 sides will come close to joining but won’t quite join.  Here’s a closeup of a corner:
 
twreath8
…and here’s a better shot of the center block background quilting/border union:
 
twreath9
The wreath for the opposite side of the tote is a little more complex; this one is one of my favorite wreath designs:
 
wreath2a
wreath2b
wreath2c
It’s very hard to capture the 3-D texture of these trapuntoed wreaths in still photos, so I’m not sure the whole point of this process is made clear here.  I think it’s one of those things you have to see in person.  I think what I’m going to do for the class is hand everyone a block with the wreath already stitched on it, so all he/she will have to do is define the zones with invisible thread.  I think this could be a fun class…any thoughts?
 
 
 

Final Spring Celebration Sale Days!

April 16th, 2014

Hello Quilting Friends!

The final days of our spring celebration sale is an additional 17% off all thread! Don’t forget that we also have free shipping to US customers and additional discounts for our international customers, so we are talking about some huge savings! Just enter the discount code: Thread 17% at checkout!

Remember that each and every retail purchase that you make in our store is being tabulated to count toward a gift certificate you may use for a future purchase. This is our way of thanking you for being a loyal customer. Please make sure you are logged into your account when making a purchase to properly track your points.

Let’s take a look at just some of our thread lines, if you don’t see a thread you’re looking for in this newsletter, you cansee if we carry it by follwoing this link: THREADS

 

Superior Magnifico

 

 


Magnifico consists of four main strands of thread. Each of these four main strands consist of 48 high strength micro-strands. Two 48 micro-strands are twisted together into Set A. Another two sets of 48 micro-strands are twisted together into Set B. Then Set A (total 96 micro-strands) and Set B (total 96 micro-strands) are twisted together to make the final product. Magnifico is a thread made of 192 high-sheen, high strength micro-strands. The result is a strong, bright, beautiful 40 wt. thread ideal for quilting and embroidery.
  • Ideal for embroidery and quilting.
  • High-sheen allows the thread to reflect color vividly and clearly.
  • Unlike many other high-tenacity trilobal polyesters, Magnifico is ‘heat set’ in processing which eliminates shrinkage.
  • Magnifico consists of 48 micro filaments x 4 ply (2 ply x 2 ply), for a total of 192 micro filaments resulting in spectacular sheen and strength.

 

MSRP $6.00… price after sale discount $4.83

 

Superior Bottom Line

 

Designed by Libby Lehman 60 wt. lint free polyester quilting, embroidery, bobbin, binding, and applique thread.

MSRP $7.99… price after sale discount $6.43

 

Isacord


Isacord is the thread of choice for maximum productivity and the highest quality embroidery among the largest embroidery houses. At nearly twice the strength of rayon thread, Isacord is the smoothest running and most reliable polyester thread produced. It has been engineered from the finest raw materials to provide just the right amount of elasticity to allow for high speed running without looping or puckering while virtually eliminating thread breaks.

Isacord is available in 1,000 meter (1,093 yards)  mini-kingspools featuring a unique snap down base for clean and easy storage. Isacord is 40wt./2 ply. 

MSRP $5.89… price after sale discount $4.74

Robison-Anton

 


 

 

2  ply, 40wt., 120d, 1,100 yards of beautiful, strong, and colorful polyester thread. Mini-King Spools are ideal for any type of machine. This thread is bleach resistant with a Super Bright Shine!

MSRP $4.99… price after sale discount $4.02

Signature Pixelles 

Pixelles is a 30 wt Decorative Trilobal Polyester Thread. 500 yards

MSRP $6.95… price after sale discount $5.59

Sulky Blendables

 

Blendables® These exciting new multicolor threads are a masterful blend of different colors within the same range of tone and intensity, with random, subtle color changes every 2-1/2 to 5 inches! No thread has ever done that before. They will add excitement to your quilting and everything else you do. They’re made of the highest quality, long-staple, 100% Egyptian Cotton and come in 84 colors in both 12 wt. and 30 wt. snap-end King Spools. They’re so ideal for quilting, thread lace, bobbin work, thread painting, red work and decorative embroidery; you’ll wonder how you ever got along without them. Fortunately, you don’t have to get along without them anymore.

MSRP $6.49… price after sale discount $5.23

Wonderfil Invisifil

  

 

100wt Cottonized Soft Polyester Tone on tone InvisaFil virtually disappears. InvisaFil is perfect for stitch in the ditch, Top & bottom thread, bobbin thread for delicate machine embroidery, use as top and bottom thread for couching, lace designs, hand & machine appliqué, quilting, longarming, and excellent for fine fabrics.

 

2500m = 2,734 Yard Spool

 


MSRP $12.00… price after sale discount $9.66


YLI Variations




3-ply  40wt T-40 100% Extra Long Staple Mercerized Egyptian Cotton. 

MSRP $7.95… price after sale discount $6.40 

Spring Celebration Part 2

April 14th, 2014

Hello Quilting Friends! 


The second “celebrate spring” sale is 17% off all fabric! Also don’t forget that we have free shipping to US customers and additional discounts for our international customers, so we are talking about some huge savings! Just enter the discount code: Fabric 17% at checkout! This sale begins immediately and will run until Wednesday April 16, 2014  at 9:00 am EDST. The next sale will begin when this one end,s so stay tuned!

Remember that each and every retail purchase that you make in our store is being tabulated to count toward a gift certificate you may use for a future purchase.  This is our way of thanking you for being a loyal customer.  Please make sure you are logged into your account when making a purchase to properly track your points.

We have a very large selection of gorgeous fabrics, so remember that this is only a 2 day sale and start making your selections now! We have many different ways to browse through fabrics, such as by vendor, color, designer and much more.  You can check out our selection here: FABRIC

Check out some of our beautiful batiks below…



Stars Kiwi Batik by Avlyn Fabrics

MSRP $9.50… price after sale discount $7.65

LN-2-7002 Sangria by Bali Fabrics

  


MSRP $9.30… price after sale discount $7.49

Blue/Green Pine Sprig Mix Batik
by Batavian Batiks

             

 

MSRP $11.50… price after sale discount $9.26

Foliage Navy by Benartex

 

MSRP $9.20... price after sale discount $7.40

6668 Orange by Blank Quilting

 

MSRP $11.60… price after sale discount $9.34

Splattered Fuchsia Batik
by Fabrics That Care!

 

 

MSRP $10.00… price after sale discount $8.05

Purple Texture 0105 by Galaxy Fabrics

 

MSRP $9.50... price after sale discount $7.65

 

Hoffman 839-73 Ocean



MSRP $10.00price after sale discount $8.05
 

Batik Essentials BE16-5B by Island Batiks

 
MSRP $11.50 price after sale discount $9.26

Cream Sponged Batik by Print Concepts, Inc.



MSRP $8.78… price after sale discount $7.07

Teal Stylized Mums Batik by Robert Kaufman




MSRP $13.20… price after sale discount $10.62

Lime Green Texture Batik by Timeless Treasures





MSRP $10.80… price after sale discount $8.70

Blue Splash by Wyndham Fabrics





MSRP $10.00… price after sale discount $8.05