Something's Cooking in the Sewing Room!

October 31st, 2013
I’ve had a fun couple days in the sewing room.  Here’s a shot of the front of a knitting tote bag I’ve just started.  It uses the same pattern as the Tulip Tote (that uses wooden sewn-in handles) but I substituted the 11 1/2 inch wreath for the tulip quartet block in the center block:
The quilting on this is no big deal, but this was my first attempt to divide up a space into geometric subdivisions using a straight acrylic ruler on a HDSM.  I love how it has completely changed that center block!  Sometimes it is really hard to get a photo that shows the quilting and I took this in the dark with only a little light creeping in from the neighboring room.  You can see it a little better on the backside:
See what I mean?  It’s very simple yet interesting all because of those straight line divisions! I got mixed up as I was doing it and my lines aren’t even symmetric but I think it still looks ok!   On a completely separate note, I finished the stitch out of my new MEA border design and I love how it came out:
This flowing floral border makes me think of  a fairy tale kind of garden.  The problem with the flower has been resolved, as you can see below.  The photo below is from before the file was revised and you can see some magenta thread poking underneath the splayed petals:
And in the next photo, those errant stitches are gone!
 I LOVE this border!  It’s very versatile because it can be contracted for use on a shorter quilt or expanded to be used on a  really wide quilt!  I am psyched because this weekend, I get to start 4 of these border panels for a “real quilt!”
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New Acrylic Templates, Holiday Ideas and a Sale!!!

October 29th, 2013

We are having a SALE!!!  Beginning immediately and running until Friday, November 8 , 2013 at 9 AM (EST), all retail sales on ALL FABRICS, YLI Threads and Isacord Threads are on sale at an additional 10% off their already discounted price. This means that you can stock up on fabric and thread and with a discount of  30% off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price! Enter the discount code: Nov 2013 at checkout to get the discount!

Don’t you just love using acrylic templates?   One template carries unlimited possibilities for the creative quilter! Templates are also great for those of us who need to follow a pattern to create a quilt. We have a number of wonderful new acrylic templates as well as gorgeous patterns that go with them! Read on about all our new products below and at the end of this newsletter, you’ll find some great Holiday Quilt Projects

Angler 2

Make up to 7-3/4in squares. No more drawing or pressing diagonal lines. Make snowball/diagonal corners and ends, flying geese, triangle-squares, & mitered corners in half the time. Join bias strips easily. Accurate1/4in seam guide. 
MSRP $8.00… our everyday low price only $6.40

7 in Crazy Curves Acrylic Template

Easily cut out your fabric using a rotary cutter. Pieces are easily sewn together. Seams press flat in either direction. Make a traditional drunkards path block or turn your blocks to go wild. Sew strips together or use striped fabric to make your blocks say WOW! Many ideas are available in the Crazy Curves book. *see coordinating patterns below
MSRP $17.95… our everyday low price only $14.36

3 1/2in Small Paths Acrylic Template

Acrylic template makes a 3 1/2″ finished size Drunkards Path block. Easily cut your pieces using a small rotary cutter. Four of these blocks sewn together make a 7″ finished size block. A perfect addition to the 7″ template set. *see coordinating patterns below
MSRP $13.95… our everyday low price only $11.16

Crazy Curves Continues


Use the 7″ Crazy Curves template or the 3 1/2″ Small Paths template or both to create more than 20 different quilts. Step by step cutting and sewing directions are included. Bring on the curve! 

96 full color pages.

MSRP $24.95…  our everyday low price only $19.96

Turn Over A New Leaf Fleece Ruler


Use one tool to create this fun look for fleece. Rotary cut or mark outer edge of circle. Mark stitching lines using guide on ruler. Use fabric glue or your sewing machine to secure folded edges. 8in circle can aslo be used as a template for quilting and sewing.

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MSRP $14.39…  our everyday low price only $11.51

Sewing Machine Mat



Protect table surfaces from scratches, while helping machine stay in place. Will help absorb some of the machine vibration.

MSRP $15.99… our everyday low price only $12.79

Quilt Clamps for Basting



These clips help saves time a frustration when basting your quilt. 14 count, The table top should be 5/8″ to 3/4″ thick

1.  Clamp the backing to the table wrong side up.
2.  Smooth the batting over the backing.
3.  Smooth the quilt top over these layers to make the quilt sandwich.   The clamps are keeping the backing smooth and wrinkle free.
4.  Begin basting the quilt using quilter’s safety pins or needle and thread.

 MSRP $7.50… our everyday low price only $6.00

Thread Stem Stool


The Thread Stem Tool enables you to use large spools on your sewing machine. It is less expensive, takes less space & is more portable than thread stands. It is fast & simple to use, no assembly required. Works on virtually all sewing & embroidery machines.

MSRP $3.25… our everyday low price only $2.60

Hera Tool for Marking


The “Hera” is used for marking sharp lines directly onto the fabric. Easy to handle tracing spatula allows you to place pressure when marking on fabric. Perfect for quilting and sewing.

MSRP $5.85… our everyday low price only $4.68

Hera Marker


With it’s small tip,the “HERA” marker is easy to handle and best suited for marking and creasing on applique or reverse applique.

MSRP $6.00… our everyday low price only $4.80

Heirloom Embroidery Accessories 5pc Set With Box

Elegant keepsake box keeps your accessories organized and always at hand. Beautifully engraved with elegant designs. Includes 4in Embroidery scissors, 3/4in thimble, 2-3/4in bodkin, 3-1/2in needle case and 4-3/4in awl.

MSRP $84.99… our everyday low price only $67.99

22in Merry Christmas With Dowel Holder

Display your Holiday Wall hanings with this 22 in Merry Christmas Hanger with a Dowel Holder!

MSRP $24.85… our everyday low price only $19.88

Christmas Glimmer Wreath



Christmas Glimmer is a stunning new design by Jennifer Bosworth of Shabby Fabrics! The wreath is set off by a rich black background and is detailed with gorgeous poinsettias, a rich red ribbon and bow, and over 100 hot fix rhinestones for extra sparkle! This is a wall hanging you’ll want to pass down through the generations! Finished size is 45 1/2″ x 45 1/2″. This pattern includes all instructions. **Please note, this is a challenging but rewarding design and takes time and patience to successfully accomplish. 

MSRP $12.00… our everyday low price only $9.60

Hoping and Dreaming



40in x 30in. A fun Christmas applique quilt.

From Quilting Time

Designed by Vicki Stratton

MSRP $9.00… our everyday low price only $7.20

Step Into Christmas

A jelly roll and some yardage make up this beautiful Christmas quilt.  It is sure to be a classic with it’s trees and peppermint candies.  Check out the 3-D candy accents on the trees.
STEP INTO CHRISTMAS will start your holiday season right.
From Abbey Lane Quilts
Designed by Janice Liljenquist & Marcea Owen
MSRP $9.00… our everyday low price only $7.20

Afternoon Delight

Even more ideas for using curves. Four tea inspired quilts using 7″ Crazy Curves and 3.5″ Small Paths templates. Set aside an afternoon of delightful sewing and make one or all four of these quilts. It really is sew easy you can make a top in an afternoon. Use 16 fat quarters or less for each quilt. Two of the quilts use the 7″ template and two quilts use both sets of templates. Templates are required and sold separately.
Cover Quilt Earl Grey 64in x 64in, Sweet Tea 64in x 64in, Chamomile 42in x 42in, Chai spice Tea 56in x 56in
From Elisa’s Backporch Design
Designed by Elisa Wilson

MSRP $10.00… our everyday low price only $8.00

Adalynn’s Garden


Super simple curved cutting with the 7″ Crazy Curves template (sold separately) and quick curved sewing. It really is easy. Includes instructions to adjust this quilt to make it queen size. Additional optional border included using the 3 1/2″ Small Paths template (sold separately). 63″ x 77″.

From Elisa’s Backporch Design
Designed by Elisa Wilson

MSRP $9.00… our everyday low price only $7.20



Strips come alive with this simple yet striking design. Use batik, floral, or Asian prints for a wonderful quilt. You can even use pre-cut 2-1/2in strips for the back- ground. Wall Hanging 56in x 56in, Throw 76in x 76, Twin 76in x 96in, Queen 96in x 96in, King 112in x 112in.

From Cozy Quilt Designs

Designed by Georgette Dell’Orco

MSRP $9.00… our everyday low price only $7.20


While the name Harvest brings to mind rust and brown colors, this design looks good in any fabrics. Striking and bold. Wall Hanging 31in x 31in, Throw 53in x 53in, Twin 71in x 89in, Queen 89in x 89in, King 107in x 107in

From Cozy Quilt Designs

Designed by Georgette Dell’Orco

MSRP $9.00… our everyday low price only $7.20
Below are all sale categories where you can save an  additional 10% off our everyday low prices of 20% for a grand total of 30% off MSRP Savings!

All Fabrics

Help us make some room on our shelves while stocking up your with these wonderful savings!

Isacord Threads


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… on sale for ONLY $4.77*

YLI ~ Variations 1,000 yards


Mini King Spool. Trilobal Polyester. For Embroidery, Quilting, Embellishing, and Applique. 1in color breaks.

MSRP $9.95… on sale for ONLY $7.16*

YLI ~ Trip Around The World


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

MSRP $7.95… on sale for ONLY $6.36*

You MUST Enter the discount code: Nov 2013 at checkout to get the discount!

Preliminary Stitch out of a New Border Design and Heads Up on a Blog Hop With a Give-Away!

October 29th, 2013

So much of the joy and/or frustration of creating new things happens when we are alone in our sewing room and there is no one to share the experience with or bounce ideas off of.  (I know, never use a preposition to end a sentence with!)  I don’t usually do any blog posts when I’m stitching out a new block or border design, just because I think it would probably bore anyone reading that kind of a post!  But, I’m finding that I’m spending a lot of time doing this stuff and since I pretty much only blog about what’s going on in my sewing room, I figured I would share this most recent border design I’m working on.  This border design has 9 hoopings and creates a border that’s roughly 48 inches long.  Here’s a shot of hooping 1:


This is the very center of the border.  Don’t you love how the grapevine curley-cues that kind of morph into ribbons came out?  This is a very long border, so you have to start by sewing 2 pieces of fabric from selvedge to selvedge together (that’s the seam in the middle.)  This border is stitched by first stitching all the upright flowers on both sides, and then going back in and stitching the flowers that face upside-down on each side.  (I’m telling you that so you’ll understand why there are “blank spaces” as the hoopings continue.  The next section for hooping #2 is the first section to the left of center:


The reason to do these preliminary stitch outs is to find the little errors that have found their ways through to the end file!  Can you see the problem here?  Look closely at the base of the flower and you’ll see that some of the stem stitching (green thread)  is showing at the base of the splayed outer petals…drat!  But, in reality, by the time I got to this point, I was feeling very excited because the delicacy of the vine was becoming apparent.  Being able to see a design come to life like this is very gratifying and it makes me want to keep going to see more of it develop.  These are the kinds of moments when I’m alone in my sewing room that I wish I could share.   The next section up for the 3rd hooping is just left of this section:


I really like how the border comes to an end with the 3 leaves.  By the end of hooping #3, the “uppercase flowers” on the left side of the border are done, and the “lowercase flowers” still need to be added.  Here is a shot of what the border looks like at this point:


Can you see how something looks funny and also kind of “empty” at the 2 “hills” in the stemline?  That’s where 2 more flowers will be added later.  Their bases will just barely cover the places where the stem pieces have joined together.  But, they don’t get stitched just yet.  It’s time to move along to hooping #4, which is just right of the center section:


Can you see what happened here?  I was not paying very close attention and forgot to fuse my applique leaf shape inside the placement outline.  I didn’t realize it until I was partway through 2 later stitching sequences and realized that I had an empty leaf!  This is one of the things I really like about MEA.  You can just back up your stitching and fix the error.  You would never know I had forgotten that leaf when you look  at the border after hooping #5:


I have 4 more hoopings left and those will go quickly as each hooping will insert 1 upside-down flower into each of the “hills” of the vine.  In the meantime, I’ve found another embroidery issue that I missed earlier on that will need to be fixed before I can proceed.  If you look very closely, you can see some of the edge stitching from the flower tops just below the edge stitching on the outer splayed flowers.  Here’s a closeup that will make it clear:


(It’s the tiny magenta thread that’s poking out below the lavender thread on the splayed petals.)  You may be wondering why I do my preliminary stitch outs on nice fabric instead of muslin.  I used to do them all on muslin but most of the time, there are no problems and then I feel like I wasted my time on something I have no real use for because it’s on muslin.  The other reason is because almost all the block/border designs I do are pretty complicated and take a ton of time to stitch out.  This one, as an example, is a 1 1/2-2 day stitch out.  Do I really want to spend 2 full days on a project that won’t have a use?  Not me!  So, even with imperfections, I will find a use for this border. 

Fall ME Blog Hop

Before I go, I want to invite you to a great blog hop next week!  If you’re interested in learning about machine embroidery or machine embroidery applique, this is one hop you don’t want to miss!  Each day will feature different embroidery designs from a new designer (who will be revealed next week) and you’ll pick up all kinds of tips and tricks to make your own embroidery life go more smoothly.  You’ll also be eligible to win a design for yourself!  Here’s the line up of all the participants:

Monday, November 4th

Tuesday, November 5th:


Wednesday, November 6th:

Thursday, November 7th:

Friday, November 8th:

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Not Quilt Realted, but Funny!

October 20th, 2013

You’ve got to see this short coffee shop scene from when they were making the re-make of the movie “Carrie.” Pay attention to all the “behind-the-scenes” action before the fun begins and then watch as real customers are caught off guard!

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What's on the Machine Bed

October 17th, 2013



This is the green version of the Floral Serenade Quilt.    You may remember it from when I made a dark blue version:
This green version was embroidered by Linda Hill, embroiderer extraordinaire, who is helping me make extra quilt samples for quilt shops.  I love how this one came out.  The background fabric “reads” as a solid, but it has some “painterly” qualities that make it more interesting.  I am just finishing up outlining all the applique shapes with invisible thread (I use Monopoly by Superior Threads-I love this stuff!):
The center section, where all 4 of the large blocks meet, is the largest “blank spot” on the quilt so this area needs something special:
I didn’t want to quilt another feathered wreath in the center of this one, so I auditioned some stencils and found the Feather Adante block was a great fit:
I traced the stencil using a soap sliver and then stitched out the design using a lavender rayon thread.  Even though it’s stitched in a contrasting color, the design seemed kind of understated:
I wanted to add some hyperquilting but didn’t want to overwhelm the quilt.  Normally, I use gold rayon thread for a high contrast effect, but because the green background is close to a gold color, I figured that it would be an understated effect.  Here’s what 1 quadrant of hyperquilting looked like:
…and here’s what the whole design looks like once the hyperquilting has been added:
I think it makes the design look more complex, but doesn’t look overly showy or celebratory.  Here’s a little wider shot:
I love how it came out!  Can’t wait to quilt some more of this one!
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