New 2015 VAT Regulations

December 28th, 2014
On January 1, 2015, new regulations will take effect that change the way downloadable electronic files can be sold over the internet to all countries within the European Union.  These regulations are very cumbersome and the cost of implementing these regulations would be cost-prohibitive to a small business such as ours.  Some of the specific details of these regulations remain unclear and are open to various interpretations by all 28 countries within the European Union.  We are honest business people who will not knowingly break a law.  For now, based on the information that is available currently available, we will not be able to sell downloadable electronic products over the internet to anyone in any of the European Union countries effective 1/1/15.  If the regulations change (and they may; a large part of the small business world is perplexed about how to implement these regulations and is mounting formal protests), we will be able to sell across the world again.  If you live in an EU country and have been thinking about buying a downloadable design, please do it within the next few days.  We regret having to take this step but we have an obligation to respect laws that govern how we do business.  Customers in the following countries will be affected:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
Again, we apologize for the inconvenience, but this is out of our hands.

Happy Holidays!

December 23rd, 2014
Whatever holiday you celebrate, I hope you have a safe and restful time amongst family and friends!  We’ll be spending time with folks that we hold dear as well, so we won’t be shipping orders between 12/24 and 12/28/14.  All orders placed before 3 pm EST on 12/23/14 have been shipped and are on their way to you!  Enjoy the season!

Ruler Work Part 2: Filling in the Skeleton

December 23rd, 2014

In my last post, I showed you fun and fast ruler work can be to create a skeleton to frame an important quilted motif.  This was the final product once I’d filled in the entire skeleton:



So, in this post, I want to show you the steps of how I filled this in.  Remember, what I ended up doing was only one of many different ways one could fill this in, so I’m hoping this will just give you some basic guidelines about how to go about “filling in” in general.  Once the ruler work was completed, this is what the block looked like:




So, we have a circle of crescents surrounding a trapuntoed feathered wreath.  There are still markings that divide the block into 8 equal quadrants.  I divided the block further into 16 quadrants and marked lines with a sliver of soap.  (This was easy to do; I used the halfway mark on my Pro Echo ruler and then just ran a line from that mark through the center of the block.)  Once that was done, I marked a small triangular area that was centered on each of these new marks.  Here is what the block looked like at this point:




Why did I do this?  I wanted to be able to stitch a  small feathered “unit” that would be centered at the juncture of each pair of crescents.  By outlining these triangular zones with a soap line, I created boundaries for my feathered “unit.”  Remember, the greatest attribute of feathers is that any given plume may easily be stretched or contracted to fill a specific space, so by creating 8 triangular units, I now have a way to create 8 feathered units that will appear to be identical, as long as I strive to fill each triangle with my plumes.  Along those lines, here is what a single feathered unit looks like:




Can you see how I’ve tried to fill that triangle with the feather?  Notice also that I didn’t cross my lateral (side) soap lines either because this is where this feather unit will “kiss” the neighboring feather unit.  Here is what this looked like once all the triangles were filled and before I had hyperquilted the feathers:




I liked it at this point, but it seemed understated (by my tastes!), so of course, I went in and hyperquilted those feathers.  I also filled in that zone just outside the feathered wreath with a design I call “inchworms” and here’s what it looked like at this point:




…and here’s a side view of it at this point:




Don’t the insides of those crescents look like they’re begging for some action?  I quilted “capsules” inside them.  This is easy to do as a 2 step design.  You begin inside one crescent and stitch the inchworm design, then cross into the next crescent and do the same inside all crescents in the circle:





Once all those are filled, you stitch the inchworm design again, but in the opposite direction, and this converts inchworms into capsules:





 At this point, the only remaining “zone” to quilt was the outermost section.  Feathers always work well in a  situation like this.  I began by using a soap sliver to mark the curves of each feather, trying to make all my curves mirror images of one another.  Here is what my “soaped in framework” looked like before I began stitching the feathers:



As long as you stitch your feathers so that the spines  follow those same curves, you’ll come out with feathers that appear to be mirror images even though they are not.  Here’s the final wall hanging:


If you feel uncertain about how to do that last type of section, it is exactly what I teach in this free video tutorial below.  Remember, it doesn’t matter how long or short that feather border is; as long as you follow the steps in the video, it will work every time!  Here is that video again if you missed it last year:


Birthday Blow-Out Sale!

December 16th, 2014


My birthday is later this week, so I’m in a really nice mood.  To celebrate, all retail sales of my instructional DVDs, all PTD books, Appli-K-Kutz cutting dies and PTD embroidery CDs are 50% off from now until midnight on 1/2/15.  All you have to do to get the 50% off discount is write BDAY50 in the discount code box during checkout.

PS:  The BDAY50 is for the 50% off…it doesn’t mean I’m 50!

Come celebrate with me!


Ruler Work on Your Home Sewing Machine-A Video Tutorial

December 12th, 2014

I just can’t stop playing around with these rulers, and feathered wreaths are an easy “centerpiece” to frame with different designs that are based on framework that is easily created using rulers.  Here’s a photo of one I made earlier this week:





The feathered crescent frame that surrounds the wreath was created using The Pro-Echo Medium Ruler set by Stonehouse Quilting as well as the Handiquilter Arc C Ruler Template.  You can find both of them, as well as all of the rulers and templates we currently carry for ruler work, by clicking here.  Here’s a closer shot of the center section so you can see it better:




I’m going to do a blog post next week that shows a step-by-step process of how I created the quilting that came after the ruler work, but Ernie  and I finally shot a video tutorial that shows you just how easy it is to do ruler work if you are a sit-down quilter, and it’s the ruler work that was done on this small wall hanging that’s shown on this video.  If you thought only long arm quilters using a frame system could do this kind of ruler work, you are in for some exciting times!  You can do this on your home sewing machine as long as you have a ruler foot and use rulers/templates that are at least 1/4 inch thick.  The video is at the end of this blog post, but if you’re interested in ruler work, the very best source of info on it for the home quilter is Amy’s Free Motion Quilting Adventures blog which you can find right here.  If you don’t already follow her blog, now’s the time to start!  Now here’s the video; hope you enjoy it!