Monday, November 14, 2016

Let's Get Organized by Annie


Share in the excitement with us.

Stash and Dash by Annie's
All the staff are making samples for this super cute line by Annie's.


When we are all chipping in and sewing the samples, you know it is something special.
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The patterns in Let's Get Organized teach new techniques and are designed to build skills. 

The beginning bags are more simple, building in complexity.
Let's Get Organized runs like a Block of the Month. You sign up for the program and pick up a new pattern each month.


In April we will feature a trunk show by Annie in the store. We'll have patterns available then, but you may prefer to be part of the monthly club. It's fun to be working on a project with friends in the shop.


I'm working on Power Trip. Having all our cords in one place on trips makes so much sense. Gone are the days of hearing,"Oh, no! I left my charger." when we are twenty miles down the road.



The early timing next year would also make these great gifts. You can be working on them all year long, if you can bare to part with them.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Why bother with a square ruler?




In our shop, we are often given "opportunities", which best translates as the big boss asking you to make a sample. I found this cute place mat in the book Log Cabin Quilts
When I started gathering supplies, I felt guilty opening the package for the ruler. It is honestly a little pricey for making one place mat. Once I opened it, though, and started following the directions in the book, & felt the grippy spots on the back, I ended up buying the ruler myself.



Each of the darker squares sits on the center square, and you trim the excess off leaving even edges for each row of the Log Cabin. The grips on the back keep the ruler exactly where you set it. There is very little measuring once you cut the center square.

The ruler has a QR Code printed directly on the ruler, linking you to a video tutorial which you can consult time and again.

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.


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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

http://www.alwaysinstitches1.com/shop/product/beginning-quilt-project/

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

~Sarah


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.
~Sarah