Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Zentangle Quilting

In our trunk show this month, Island Batik, the central quilt of their Fresh Catch collection incorporates the Zentangle style of quilting. (That may be a surprise to them!)
Zentangle started as a drawing fad, followed by adult coloring books. Now, with the advent of home quilting machines, Zentangle is showing up on modern quilt tops, as well as some more traditional styles.
In Zentangle art, the artist fills the paper (or fabric, or walls) with ink, moving from shape to shape, adding in whimsical motifs in an advanced form of doodling. For Zentangle quilting, we substitute thread for ink, and fill the white background with shapes flowing into each other. It makes a great way to practice stitches, and when on a quilt top, the effects are stunning.

Check out our Pinterest page for examples of Zentangle drawing and quilting.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Fringed Scarf by Janet Vawter

Fringed Scarf

Chunky yarn (2 skeins) Sample made from Plymouth Homestead
Gauge 3.5 stitches to 4 inches
Needles: size 9 or needle to obtain gauge

Cast on 34 stitches
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Knit
Row 3: Knit 3, pm, knit 3, cable 4 stitches, knit 3, cable 8 stitches, knit 3, cable 4, knit 3, pm
             knit 3 (on all subsequent rows, slip markers)
Row 4: Knit 3, purl 28, knit 3
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: Knit 3, purl 28, Knit 3
Row 7: Knit
Row 8: Knit 3, purl 28, Knit 3
Row 9: Knit
Row 10: Knit 3, purl 28, Knit 3
Repeat rows 3 through 10 for desired length (the sample is 57 inches)
Take one end of scarf over the second end and sew, making a "V" add buttons for decoration.
Place fringe over the outside edge of scarf to the length of your choice. Sample is 6 inches.

K Knit
P purl
Cable 4   Place 2 stitches on cable needle, hold in back of work,
                       knit next 2 stitches from needle, knit 2 stitches from cable needle.
Cable 8   Place 4 stitches on cable needle and hold in back of work, knit next 4 stitches from needle, 
                        knit 4 stitches from cable needle.
pm   place stitch marker

Friday, January 20, 2017

Case Assembly

Case for Carrying cords on trips

By Annie patterns include a page of tags to organize your pieces (very handy!)

My pieces laid out and ready to sew, after having quilted them.

Along the way, I learned some construction tips. Note how the case on the right lifts up a little on the right, but the case on the left sits nice and flat. It's an easy trick.
Sew one side to the zipper strap according to directions, then after clipping side two in place, pinch each corner, and also pinch two corners at a time to make sure they line up. If they do not, adjust side two. One the brown case, I talked myself into thinking it would be fine. It twists enough for me to notice, even though it is only a centimeter off.

Binding going on. My teenage daughter (the hard to please one) asked if I bought the case, and I had the binding like this. Guess it looks good!

Hopefully the tips I've included give you the courage to try these patterns. Watch for the trunk show coming up, where we will have the cases our staff have made, plus samples from Annie herself.


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.

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.

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?