Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Choosing batting can be baffling
You get lots of choices when choosing peanut butter for sandwiches. Crunchy or creamy. Name brand or store brand. Natural or conventional.

You also get lots of choices for batting – the peanut butter in your quilt sandwich. Sometimes, selecting it can be more baffling than any other step in the quilt-making process, particularly for beginners.

Creamy or chunky? Consider your preferences
McCall’s Quick Quilts offers good advice, starting with asking yourself some questions: How do you want the quilt to look? How close together will rows of quilting be? Are you quilting by hand or machine? What is the end use of the quilt? The answers to all of these questions will affect which batting you choose for the project.

Small, regular or jumbo jar? Consider your quilt size
Most batting comes in standard, pre-cut sizes: Crib, 45-by-60-inches. Twin, 72-by-90-inches. Full, 81-by-96-inches. Queen, 90-by-100-inches. King, 120-by-120-inches. We also offer a craft size, 46-by-36-inches, and several battings by the yard.

Or maybe almond butter? Consider the fibers
Batting also comes in a number of different fibers, though not all come in all standard sizes. If you prefer an old fashioned-looking quilt that’s a little rumpled and well loved, consider using batting that is mostly cotton. Keep in mind that cotton batting requires more quilting than some other fibers. If you like “puffy” quilts, use a high loft polyester batting. If you don’t want to do a lot of quilting, use regular or low loft polyester. Batting also comes in wool and silk fibers but these are not as readily available as cotton and polyester batting. Always In Stitches routinely stock wool batting in pre-cut packages and on the bolt.

Carrie Nelson writes in The Cutting Table, Moda’s blog, “You should know that I will try just about any batting at least once because I’m curious.  And I might like it – and I won’t know if I do if I don’t try it.”

Remember that we’re here to help. If you aren’t sure which batting is right for your project, ask the capable and experienced quilters on our staff.

What characteristic about batting is most important to you?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Stitches weave meaning into quilt  

Madison, Ind., native Harriet Carpanini quilted her Fab Five Friendship Star quilt with hearts, wedding rings and other significant symbols. You’ll love hearing how she came up with the design in herYouTube video

Does this HQ national educator sound like someone you’d like to meet? You will at the Sept. 8-10 series of quilting classes we’re offering.  

Harriet will help participants expand their quilting skills and find inspiration for designs in six classes:
  • Stepping Stones to Quilting Your First Quilt, 10-1:00 Sept. 8
  • Free Motion Quilting Fun, 2-5:00 Sept. 8
  • Backgrounds, Borders and Blocks, 10-1:00 Sept. 9
  • Creative Textures and Fills, 2-5:00 Sept. 9
  • Ruler Mania, 10-1:00 Sept. 10
  • Intro to the HQ Pro-Stitcher, 2-5:00 Sept. 10

Each class is $30, or you can buy the six-class pack for $150, which gives you one free. Get details or register now

What do you enjoy most about quilting?

Monday, August 1, 2016

Sooo much to love about Let's Go Sew

The DIY website Sew4Home has won over people just like you: sewists and quilters with an eye for quality and an undeniable creative flair. We love the site's step-by-step tutorials for sassy, fashionable accessories and home decor. 

Need convincing? Look at those adorable Star Pillows that almost look like Christmas cookies, posted on July 25. 

We can’t wait to host some of the Sew4Home folks Sept. 30-Oct. 2 to lead Let’s Go Sew at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds. Have you registered for this weekend sewing retreat?

Liz Johnson, Sew4Home senior editor, says attendees at Let's Go Sew can expect “Soooooo much!” from the retreat. “They’ll spend three days with the expert guidance of professional instructors and educators, leaving with three finished projects: a patchwork pillow, a designer bag, and an embroidered pouch. They’ll learn the tools, tricks, and techniques to create beautifully finished results from putting in zippers to in-the-hoop quilting and monogramming to how to box the corners of a bag. All in the Sew4Home style of true step-by-step instruction. We want to give people the confidence to not only make things for themselves, but also to be self-assured enough to possibly start that DIY or Etsy business they’ve been dreaming about.”

Sewists of all skill levels will enjoy the getaway, where all you bring is you. Machines, fabric, notions, Saturday lunch and snacks throughout the weekend are provided. It should be especially attractive to new sewists, particularly “20-somethings who are excited to discover sewing and see how fun it can be to create something unique, Johnson adds. “We want them to be exposed to the fun in person, using great machines and tools and fabric and thread.”

Do you know someone to invite to attend with you? Maybe a daughter, daughter-in-law or granddaughter? Sign up at Sew4Home, and we;ll see you there! . 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Your pretty fabric doesn't have to sit in your stash

When the focus is on the fabric, a table runner is a quick project you'll see day after day.

Ruth used angles to go around the corner, but you can use an even simpler approach

Aly likes to use a seasonal fabric for her center along with coordinating prints as accents.

Kathy Zook teaches a beginning quilting class using table runners


Next time you run into the perfect fabric, think beyond adding it to your stash and make a table runner instead.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Rocks in my Yarn???

Mango Moon and other yarn companies make fun yarn with rocks, but what do you do with it? Use it straight. Knitting the little rocks, just pop them to the right side as you go.

Mix it Up

Combine Chakra with a skein of heathered wool for a soft, stripey effect.

If rocks and beads intrigue you, Tiara by HiKoo might be just the thing. Tiny sequins and beads shimmer in a lovely dinner shawl. 

Skipping Stones Shawl kits mix several yarns for a fun adventure with silk ribbon, Chakra and Huasco. 

Ready for a touch of elegance? Reach for a skein and try something new.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Top This

Just about the cutest project, only beat by someone you love wearing these silly pom poms.


This is a great project for a beginning knitter. 

Our store currently has all but the puppy, but they don't stick around for long.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Diving into Planned Pooling

A customer came in the other day asking about Planned Pooling. She had been watching  Knitting Daily. I had only heard of pooling as something bad

 and my limited imagination only let me extend to sock yarns and maybe how Noro behaves in entrelac.

  Let me tell you, Planned pooling can do so much more!

With the help of Google, I found a Pooling Planner. I am creating the link using the name of the web-site so as to keep the details clear. 
What opens up is simple (a blank slate until you enter your colors)

To get the best use of the planner, Use a yarn with distinct color changes like the Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn, and be aware that the design starts top to bottom.

Our shop is participating in an Indiana yarn crawl, Roving Indiana, and the feature yarn is a specially dyed lot of Lorna's Laces. I thought this would be the perfect time to experiment. 

My biggest help learning about pooling was from Dayana Knits and Twist Collective. They were enough to get me started.

Looks like I have quite bit more practice before a true argyle appears.

What have your heard about or experienced with Planned Pooling?