Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Follow Your Heart: London Roads

How was the long weekend for everyone? I was at the hockey rink for most of it, and yesterday I spent some time working on a new quilt.
This week we are working on the third block in our Follow Your Heart QAL. It is called London Roads and after the border is added will be 12.5" by 14" unfinished. The instructions are on pages 12 and 13 of your book.
Now for the cutting it says to use the Companion Angle Ruler and the Easy Angle ruler. If you don't have these there are a couple options.
I used the Non-Slip Multi Size 6" Flying Geese & 45/90 Degree Triangle Ruler, that is one ruler it just has a very long name, and is oddly shaped, but is cuts 45 degree triangles and 90 degree triangles which is what we need. I followed the cutting instructions as in the book, just used this ruler instead.

Carrie's way is probably the easiest.
From the dark and the bright prints she cut a 5.5" square and made Half Square Triangles. Than she cut a 5" square of her background print and layered it right sides together with the one of the previous HST and sewed another half square triangle set (make sure you sew across the previous stitch line). This leaves you with some extra half square triangle blocks but is probably the easiest method, and involves the fewest bias edges.

Whichever method you choose you will want to be sure to make sure the dark print is always on the same side or your arrows will not follow each other.
For the cutting and piecing of the rectangle strip I followed the books instructions.
Don't forget to add the border strip on the bottom, so that when we got to assemble it will all fit together properly.

I used the same dark background as the previous blocks, one coral print for the bright fabric, and 4 assorted greens for the darks.

Carrie used assorted blacks for her background, a white print for her bright fabric and 4 different taupes for the dark.
I can't wait to see all your blocks!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Sew Sweet Treat Nights

Hey everyone, this is Jenn and I’m taking over Chicken Feed Quilts blog tonight to share with you a new quilt a row-along. I’m SO excited about this, and I hope you are too! I’ve been wanting to make up one of Lori Holts quilts for awhile now, we’ve had some Lori Holt Fabrics in our fabric vault downstairs just waiting for me to get my hands on, so when I saw this pattern book I knew immediately it was the quilt I wanted to make! I asked Esther if this sew a row-along would be a good idea, and she decided to participate too! (or I volunteered her-I can’t remember HA!). I am sewing up this quilt in Lori Holt’s fabrics, and Esther is sewing up the same version in Kansas Trouble fabrics – I think both versions are going to turn out beautifully and we want you to join along! I am making up kits (in both fabric ways) – I’m doing all the quilty math for you in these kits, so you are getting the fabric requirements and aren’t stuck with a bunch of fabric at the end. To make it even better, I’ve decided that the kit for the month will be ready on the 3rd Thursday of each month-come in the evening (drop in between 7-8:30pm), take a look at the row, ask questions, or I might show you a product that will help you construct these rows with ease, pick up your row kit & have a dessert! That’s right, you get a yummy dessert as well! It will be such a fun evening out. We decided to call this sew along ‘Sew Sweet Treats Night’.

Now I’m guessing you’d like some details. You will need the ‘Sew By Row’ Lori Holt book. These are $25.00 and are available at the shop, and then EACH kit will cost $25.00 per month. We will be running this Sew Sweet Treats Night for 7 months starting in just a couple weeks on November 21st ,and then December 19th, January 16th, February 20th, March 19th, April 16th, May 21st. (The last months kit will include a finishing kit that will include all your sashing, borders & binding). 
You can sign up here or in store, sign up is free, and than there will be a monthly fee of $25 for the kits.

Who’s looking forward to this fun Sweet Treats Night? We can’t wait to see you all on November 21st!
 Here is a sneak peek at this months kit!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Follow Your Heart: Red Arrow Highway

Welcome to block 2 of our Quilt Along. This week we are making the block named Red Arrow Highway, it will end up being 9" finished. The instructions for this block are found on page 11 and 12 of your pattern book. I am loving the little anecdotes that are in the book with each block, it makes me want to go explore all these different places.
This block is not too difficult to make, and is fairly quick as well which is a great bonus. You can choose to do scrappy backgrounds as they did in the book, which Carrie decided to do, or go with one background color which I did. Than choose a print to go with and Voila ready to cut and sew. Carrie went with a red and white print for her block and I chose a yellow tone on tone print.
The instructions are great for this block and Terry has a great pressing tip on pg 12 for when working with those bias edges.
When trimming the block in Step C, I placed my 4.5" square ruler on the block, with the diagonal line right on top of the larger seam we just made, and trimmed it down that way.

 Here are my two blocks together, I can't wait to see yours.

 If you are just joining in you can find the information for the 1st block here
and the introduction here

Do you have any big plans for this week or is it just a normal week for you?
I will be "teaching" the Percival Laptop Bag in our Bag Club this week, and my oldest turns 8 on Friday, so we have a birthday dinner that evening and a party with a few friends on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Upcoming Events: November is looking busy!

It is time again to share the events that are coming up in our Shop in the next few weeks.

This Friday is already the last Friday of the month, which means it is also Fat Quarter Friday, we will have a basket of assorted fat quarters, and each one in the basket will be $2.50, or pick 12 from the basket for only $25! If you like to make little Christmas Gifts, there are a lot of patterns out there that use Fat Quarters and to get them for only $2.50 each is a great deal. Remember the deal only applies to the basket, and goes from 10am-5pm Friday, October 25.

Friday, October 25 is also the first session of PhD Club. This club is great in that you get to come to our classroom and work for a full day on whatever project you choose. At the end of the day you set a homework goal for the next month, and if you finish your homework you get $10 of your commitment fee back, if not you forfeit the cash. It is a great motivator to finish some projects and without the distractions of housework, laundry and cooking you can accomplish a lot. You can sign up for this fun relaxed club here.
Esther leaves soon for Florida and will be gone the full month of November. For the full month of November any purchases over $25 will receive a bonus gift of a mini charm pack, while supplies last.

Also in November we are going to be doing our Pillowcase Challenge again. We did this last year and it was a great success and we donated over 300 pillowcases the the Pediatrics Ward of the Chinook Regional Hospital. This year we would like your help to sew 500 pillowcases, which we will than donate to the Coaldale Food Bank for their Christmas Food Hampers and again to the Hospital.
So how does this Challenge work? We are busy cutting kits for the pillowcases and we ask that you sew them for us. Their is no charge to participate, we will just record your name, phone number and how many kits you have signed out. When you return the finished pillowcase(s) we will make note of that as well, any kits not returned by Saturday, November 30 will be getting a phone call on Monday December 2. There are a number of tutorials to sew the pillowcases, and we do not mind which method you use, as long as they are neatly finished. The kits all contain a Main Fabric, a cuff and a little zinger piece as we like to call it, that goes between the cuff and the main fabric. Some of the fabrics may need to be squared off before sewing. You can sign out as many as you like as long as you get them finished. We encourage you to challenge your friends and or guilds to join as well.
This Challenge will start on November 1 and we ask that all pillowcases be returned by November 30. We want this to remain a 1 month challenge so no kits will be handed out before November 1. Let's see if we can hit our goal of 500!

Just as Jelly Roll Day occurred in September, we will be doing a Charm Pack day in November. This will take place on Saturday, November 16. During the week leading up to it, I will post inspiration photos on Instagram and Facebook. On November 16, Moda Charm Packs will be 25% off for the day, we will have a couple different free patterns available in store, as well as purchase patterns.

On December 4 at 7pm we will be hosting a Christmas Party. There is a $5 registration fee to attend which will be donated to the Coaldale and District Emergency Services. We will have snacks and drinks, and we ask that everyone brings a $10 gift to exchange, it can be quilty themed or not. You can sign up for this party here. Please note there will be no shopping available that evening, it is just a party, and Carrie, Esther and I will be joining in as well. There is limited spots available so sign up soon.
Have a Great Week, next Tuesday the second block for the Follow Your Heart QAL will be posted.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Zipper Pouches

Zipper Pouches, I love them for so many reasons. They are quick and cheap to make and they are great for gifts especially at Christmas time. I love them to organize all my things everywhere.

I made a few NoodleHead pencil pouches the other night as Teacher Gifts for Christmas this year. I added the Teacher's initial to each one to make it a little more personal, and will get some chocolates to fill it, and Voila a super great, quick gift. You can find the tutorial here. 

Another great pouch pattern is this one by Minki Kim. It too goes together really quick and with the boxed bottom you get a great sized pouch the stands up nicely. It is great for wrangling all those little items in your purse that you always need handy but seem to get lost, like Kleenex, Lipstick, and hand lotion. This pouch filled with some of these items would be a great gift for a friend, and the handmade pouch adds a little love to the gift in my opinion.

I have four little boys and they always seem to be dragging something around with them to Grandma's, school, the quilt shop, or all those dentist and doctor appointments. Zipper pouches are a great way to keep all those little cars, crayons, legos, gameboys, and animals organized and easy to carry. They love getting a new pouch filled with goodies!
There are so many tutorials and purchase patterns available for zipper pouches, and they come in all shapes and sizes. The pouches generally take a fat quarter or less for the outside and one for the inside so they are quite cheap to make as well. Do you like to make zipper pouches? Whats your favorite pattern to use?
Due to the craziness in my house with kids in school, homework, hockey season starting up again and general life, I have decided to go down to one blog post a week. So from now on I will just post on Tuesday evenings.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Follow Your Heart: Crosstown

Today is the first day of our Follow Your Heart Quilt Along! I am so excited to get started on this with all of you. If you have not yet bought the book and picked out your fabrics it is definitely not too late to do so. We have several books in stock and we always have fabric available to purchase in our shop. Click on the "follow your heart: tag at the bottom of the post and the fabric requirements post should pop up for you with all that information. 
Just a couple little notes before I get into this weeks block. Test your seam allowance before starting, as per instructions on page 3. If you do need to make any changes in your needle placement I suggest you make note of it in your book, or on a slip of paper that you can keep in your book. Also when I am doing quilts that will not be finished for quite some time, like Block of the Months or Quilt Alongs, I tend to shorten my stitch length while sewing to prevent any unravelling of stitches in the blocks. I usually shorten to about a 2.0 length on my Bernina. 

The first block we are making is called Crosstown and is on page 10 in your book. The block is simple to piece and the instructions are well written and easy to follow.  To construct the block you will need a dark print, a light print and some background fabric. You will want a good contrast between the light and dark prints so that the pattern doesn't blend together. 

To trim the block I used a square ruler and put the diagonal line down the center of the dark strip, trimmed, rotated the block and did it again. 

For my block I used a light and a dark purple.

Carrie is also quilting along and she is using the new Sweetwater Collecton Printshop, and is pulling out the black prints to use as her assorted backgrounds, For this block she decided to use two different colors instead of a dark and light and I think it looks really good. 
Have fun making your blocks and remember to post a picture to our Facebook Group so we can all see your blocks.  Kayla

Friday, October 11, 2019

Sew Hometown: October

This month we are making 5 Finch Blocks for our Sew Hometown Quilt. These blocks finish at 6 inches and are quite fun to construct. The tutorial from the gals at Inspiring Stitches has not been posted yet, but if you check their website over the next few days, they should post their little video soon. 
They tried to fit a lot of instructions for this little bird on one page so some of it may be a little confusing but it all comes together in the end. 
As usual we start with choosing fabrics and cutting them out according to the list. I went opposite the pattern and did dark for the body and light for the wing and beak portions of the bird. (Even though I switched the dark and lights I will still write this post as if I did not, so that it is the same as the pattern.) 
I cut all 5 of my Finches at one time to make it quicker. 
Making the beak unit is up first. I used a piece of chalk to mark the two positioning points on the background fabric than placed my beak fabric on top of that, sewed 1/4" from the edge and trimmed accordingly. After pressing it, I trimmed it to the size mentioned in step 1 of the pattern.

Step 2 in the pattern is for assembling the body. The pattern doesn't tell you which pieces to use, just tells you to look at the picture. We are going to use our largest background rectangle, the 6.5" light pink rectangle, the 6.5" dark pink rectangle and the 5.5" rectangle. Sew these all together, press the seams and trim into the rectangle. I had a 3.5" ruler handy so I used that to trim, with the 4.5" marking as the left corner. 
Step 3 has a typo in my pattern, there is no 3.5" light pink rectangle, so use your 4.5" one here instead. 
Finally we need to assemble the block, the picture in my pattern seems to have a couple extra pieces in it, so here are photos of my block in the various stages. 

I again put all my blocks on to the design wall to see how its looking, and I am loving how the colors just seem to pop off the chocolate background fabric. 
There is only two months left in this Block of the Month, and a total of 9 blocks yet to make, than we get to actually assemble the whole quilt top. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Accuquilt GO October Dies

With October here we have a new set of Accuquilt dies and promotions to share with you.
Accuquilt has released 3 new fun dies this month. The first is a new Alphabet Die. These letters are 2" tall but are a lot narrower font than the previous die and all the letters fit on one board. Personally, I love using the letters to cut out my boys names and than appliqueing them onto projects I have made for them. A great Christmas Gift idea is to buy a bath towel in your child's favorite color and put their name on it. Or use it in conjunction with the second new die which is a Stocking.
I love this Stocking, and Esther is thinking on making Stockings for my boys, if she doesn't, I am definitely going to have to do this, and maybe even put their names on top. The stockings finish at 10.5" wide and just over 18" tall. There is also some free patterns here for different piecing options of the stocking if you are interested.
The Final new release is a Gingerbread Man. This little guy is charm pack friendly and it would be so cute to cut several of them and make a table runner or wall hanging. Or use felt and do a fun kid friendly craft with buttons, ric rac and googly eyes, you could even use a glue gun, you don't have to sew them.  There is a free pattern for this one as well at the same link as above.
As for promotions there is a mail in rebate available for both the GO and GO Big, the GO has a $75 rebate until October 16 and the GO Big a $100 rebate until the end of the month. There is also 15% off mats, accessories and select Dies, the new Dies are excluded from this Promotion.

My boys have no school for the remainder of the week due to a Teacher's Convention, so I plan to hang out with them for the rest of the week, they also play really well while I quilt, so hopefully I can get a little extra sewing in as well.

Friday, October 4, 2019

One Block Wonder Class

Happy Friday everyone, it has been a busy couple days at the shop with our Sale running this weekend but it has also been a lot of fun. We have one day left in our sale, it runs tomorrow yet from 10am-4pm, all yardage and precuts in the classroom are 50% off and there is scrap bags to stuff for $5. We have been adding new stuff whenever there is room for yet, so the tables are just as full now as they were Thursday when the sale began. Come on out and see it for yourself.
The business continues with a couple classes next week.
Esther is teaching a One Block Wonder quilt class and there is a full day option as well as an evening option. We have had quite a few questions as to what this quilt is so I thought I would share some information on it.

The One block Wonder quilt is made using panels or large prints, and the way you lay out your blocks can make a huge difference on the end result. There are no Y seams involved it is all simple piecing with 60 degree triangles. 
 Esther made her first quilt using a Hoffman Panel called Wanderlust-Italy. It turned out so neat, and is made with 7 repeats of the same panel. That may sound like a lot, but most panels are about 24" so less than a meter.
After some browsing she found several more quilts made with panels that we have in our shop that I thought I would share with you.

I absolutely love this Giraffe one and I may just have to make it for myself, if the panels are not sold out in the next few days. 

This one was done with the Dream Big panel from Hoffman, and we have quite a wide variety of different colors of these flowers in stock and all of them would look amazing done up.

Another one that totally surprised me with how neat it looks is this one done with a Call of The Wild Print. I think any of the panels from this collection would turn out absolutely amazing. 

If you would like to learn how to do this and make your own super unique quilt come join the class. I might join so I can make one and get it finished.
The evening class starts on Wednesday at 7pm. The class is about two hours long. You will than meet again the next two Wednesdays again from 7-9pm. The dates are October 9, 16, and 23.
The full day class is on Wednesday, October 16 from 10am till about 4pm.
 You can click here to sign up for the class, just scroll down and select the full day or evening option.
If you buy the supplies at our shop there is no class fee, if you use fabrics from your own stash you will need to pay $25. For the class you will need 6 or 7 repeats of your chosen panel, a 60 degree ruler and clips or pins. We have three cutting stations with rotary cutters, mats and 6x24 rulers and 3 pressing stations with wool mats and oliso irons, but you are welcome to bring your own if you.
We have fallen in love with the Acorn Precision Pressing System and it would be extremely helpful for this quilt, as it gives you incredibly flat seams!

There are two other classes happening next week as well that I will mention quickly, the Jelly Roll Rug is an evening class starting on Tuesday October 8 at 7pm, with the second session on October 15, you will need to come to both and there will be a little homework. Again the class is free if the supplies are bought at our shop.

We also have the Adventure Time Backpack class. You need Bag Making Experience to sew this bag. It is a two day class on October 10 and 11 from 10am-4pm both days and all the prep work needs to be done ahead of time. The cost to attend this one is $40 plus supplies.
Have a great weekend, I will be hanging out in the shop tomorrow for the sale,

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Follow Your Heart: Fabric Requirements

Well September is now behind us, and in its wake left mountains of snow across Southern Alberta. My husband and I were at a retreat just outside of Pincher Creek over the weekend, my In-laws were there as well and my mother in law was quite worried about being snowed in, turns out she had just cause, we woke up Saturday morning to a couple feet of snow on top and all around our vehicles, thankfully we were all able to make it home safely before the snow started up here, and I was happy to be snowed in at home on Monday with my family rather than away from them.
Today I am sharing the materials list for the Follow Your Heart Quilt Along that will be starting in two weeks. There are a total of 15 blocks in this sampler quilt and it will finish at about 62" x 73"
For this quilt you will need the book Follow Your Heart by Terry Atkinson, we have copies available in our shop if you still need one.
For fabric you will need at least 14 fat quarters, if you wish to go scrappier than that you can also use 28 fat eighths, or even use scraps from your stash at home. You will want to have a variety of colors and values in your selection. In the instructions for each block it will tell you to cut this from your darks, this from your brights and that from your lights, so if you wish you could definitely sort your fabric into these three categories.
The backgrounds in the pattern are scrappy and call for 10 half meter cuts or 20 fat quarters. If you have never done a scrappy background on a quilt I encourage you to give it a try, the first couple blocks can be difficult but after that it gets to be really fun. If you wish to do it in one color you will need 4.5 meters of fabric, which is equal to 5 yards. If you have never gone outside the typical white for your background I encourage you to switch it up, try a dark grey, or even a color like light blue or pink if it works with your fabrics.
You will also need some fusible web. I suggest either trans web or steam a seam lite. Trans web you will 0.75meter. It does not stick in place until heat is applied. Steam a seam lite you will need 0.3meter as it is wider. It does have some tackiness to it that will allow you to stick it in place and re position it until heat is applied. I have used both and like using both of them. You will also want thread to match your fabrics. I use Aurifil thread for all my projects and absolutely love it!
For rulers you will need your basic sizes. I like my 8.5"x12.5" for the bigger cutting and my 4.5"x8.5" for smaller trimming. Many of these blocks some out as rectangles not squares but I do suggest a larger ruler to square these up, as it is more accurate than using the lines on your cutting mat.
We will also be using a 60 degree ruler for a few of the blocks. There is one block that calls for the Easy Angle Ruler and Easy Angle Companion Ruler so if you have them great, if not I will give instructions on how to do the block without. I also highly suggest the 4 in 1 half square triangle ruler from Creative Grids as well as the Folded Corner Clipper also from Creative Grids.
I am planning to use a collection by Lella Boutique called Lollipop Garden for my quilt, and will be using just one fabric for my background, a dark not quite black melange, (melange is the name of one of the blender collections in our shop and is by Stof, if you haven't checked them out you totally should)

Esther is using a variety of Color Master boxes from Art Gallery, which are fat quarters bundle the company has made in various color ways from all the fabrics they have produced. She is using Raise The Volume for her background which is a collection of 10 background fabrics by Art Gallery. Using a collection like this is a great way to go scrappy without having to choose the fabrics yourself, they are already chosen for and are meant to coordinate but give the scrappy vibes.
Another great collection of Background fabrics if you want to go scrappy but are not sure how to start is the Modern Backgrounds by Zen Chic.
 This quilt along will run the same as the previous QALs I have done on this blog.
I will post a new block every two weeks with some tips or suggestions. There will be a Facebook group that you can join to share your progress with others that are quilting along.
I am excited to get started on this quilt and em eager to see all your fabric selections.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

General Updates and Kids Club

This past Saturday was National Sew A Jelly Roll Day. This was a great success at our shop, many of you came in and picked out a new roll for yourself and we had 5 ladies come in and use our classroom for the day to work on their jelly roll projects, they put our design walls to good use laying out their quilts.

We also had our kickoff for our Bag of the Month Club. It went really smoothly with everyone that attended finishing both of the projects and each one of them also won a prize. Some of the prizes were donated to us by Emmaline and Trendtex and the othres were gifts from our shop. All in all it was a great couple of days and I am really excited for the next club sessions!

Harvest Hop is this weekend and Carrie and I spent some time today changing up some displays at the store. Whcih bascially means we came up with a plan, and moved a lot of fabric to new homes in the shop, with some of it being moved 6 times before we are happy with its location and some of it being a simple 1 time move. In the end it now looks fresh and invting again.

Fat Quarter Friday is taking place this week as well and Taylor and Shay have been hard at work cutting Fat Quarters so that there will be a wide variety to choose from. In case you missed it previously, select fat quarters (we will have a basket of selected ones) will be $2.50 each of 12 for $25.00.

On October 7 the Gypsy Wife Ladies will be getting together to show off their progress on their Quilts. So if you were sewing along mark this date on your calendar and check out my Facebook Post for details.

Thursday, October 17 is our next Chicken Feed Evening so mark that on yuor calendars, we will be doing a little presentation on Patterns, copywrite, and free vs paid for. There will also be several Christmas Gift ideas both handmade and Quilty themed on display to get your creative juices flowing.

Now for the details of the Kids Club. Last year Tammy and Carrie ran a Kids Sewing Club. It took place once a month on a Friday afternoon and kids aged 10-14 were welcome to come and learn the basics of sewing. They made a tote bag, a pillow case, and a quilt. Each of them got to choose their own fabrics, and learned about the importance of seam allowances, sewing straight, cutting, safety with the tools and machines and more. We are running it again this year, but will be doing it on Saturdays instead.
This year the club will run the second Saturday of every month starting October 12 and running through May with the exception of January. Sessions will run from 9am-noon.
For the classes you will need to bring
-a sewing machine in good working order (we do have some available for use at the shop but you would need to let us know ahead of time if you would like to use one)
-fabric scissors
-4 bobbins
-a seam ripper
-some months may need additional supplies but this will be brought to your attention beforehand.
We do have basic notion kits available for purchase for this class as well.
The cost for the club is $40 per session and the fabrics are included in this price. Spots are limited for this class so you need to sign up quickly.
 There will be no blog this week Friday.
Have a great week,

Friday, September 20, 2019

Harvest Hop and Jelly Roll Day Details

Harvest Hop 2019 is next weekend, so tonight I just have a little bit of a schedule of what will be happening in our shop for that, as well as a reminder of some of the rules.
Thursday, September 26: First day of the Harvest Hop. We will open at 10am. We will have 3 information sessions in our classroom on Thursday, each about 10-15 minutes long.
At 11am the information session will be on Rulers and their importance.
At 2pm there will be one on the guts of your project
At 4 pm we will repeat the Ruler talk.
We will be open until 7pm Thursday Evening.
Friday, September 27 we will open at 10am and close at 5pm. This is also the last Friday of the month and so it is also Fat Quarter Friday. Select Fat Quarters will be $2.50 each or buy 12 for $25.00.
Saturday, September 28 is the last day of Shop Hop and we will be open from 10am-4pm.
Names for the sewing machine, gift baskets and door prize winners will be drawn on the weekend. We will begin calling all those who won prizes from our shop on Monday, September 30.

Before you begin your shopping trip check that you have filled out your name and phone number on your passport, if there is no phone number we cannot call you to tell you about your prize winnings.
Also the hours that each shop is open varies, so make sure you check with each store before shopping. Our hours for the event are:
Thursday, 10am-7pm
Friday, 10am-5pm
Saturday, 10am-4pm
Don't forget to bring your Passport with you when you shop.
Be sure to visit each of the 6 shops participating and spend a minimum of $5 at each shop, and present your passport to get stamped.
The last store you visit will keep your Passport for the draws on the weekend.

Don't rush yourself, make it a fun day out either by yourself or with friends. It is supposed to be a fun weekend full of fun and inspiration! And we have lots of new fabrics, samples and kits in our shop for you to check out!
We have a cafe in our building that serves coffee, tea, and specialty drinks. They have smoothies, sandwiches, salads and a soup of the day, and if you come on Friday there is pie as well. So be sure to check them out as well.

Tomorrow is National Sew a Jelly Roll Day. Because it is about actually sewing a jelly roll and not just buying new ones to store on your shelf we have decided to do a different kind of sale this year.
We have a good number of Jelly Rolls for sale and you can buy them at a 25% discount tomorrow, but there is a catch. You have to show us the pattern you are planning on using to get the discount on the jelly roll. It can be one of the 5 free patterns we will have available in the shop tomorrow, it can be a pattern off the pattern wall or it can be one you bring from home, we just want to see what you have planned. It can be a quilt, a rug, a bag we don't mind, it just has to be a sewing project involving a Jelly Roll. As an added incentive we will add another bonus on to this. Keep the receipt as proof of purchase and if you bring in your finished Jelly Roll Project before October 31 with the receipt as proof of that jelly roll being purchased on September 21 at our shop we will give 25% off your purchase of a Layer Cake, Jelly Roll or Charm Pack that day.
I am hoping to work on a jelly roll quilt for a friend tomorrow evening, hopefully the rest of the day goes according to plan and that works out.
Have a great weekend,

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Tool Replacement: Sad But Necessary

Happy Tuesday, can you believe we are halfway through September already? Me neither, and my next two weeks are crazy busy, both in the shop and in my personal life. At the shop we have our Kickoff for Bag Club this week, Saturday is National Sew A Jelly Roll Day, next week is Shop Hop which always seems to be a big start to everyone's sewing season.
At my house we had a dentist appointment for one of my boys yesterday, thankfully he got the all clear and doesn't need to go back for a good 6 months, although to be honest I don't think he has any teeth left to get a cavity in we got so many fixed last year. This morning was vaccination day for my youngest, but aside from a few tears and an angry glare given to the nurse he was totally fine. My husband happened to book the their company retreat for the same weekend as Shop Hop and I am supposed to go with him so I will be missing out on most of Shop Hop.
I am sure that some of you go through and make lists of things you need to look for while visiting all the shops next week and although these are not always the most fun items to buy I am going to suggest a few things.
Rulers, although we often think we buy one and we are set this is unfortunately untrue, rulers wear out and if they are not replaced they can make your blades wear out, as well as give you uneven cuts. If you run your finger up the sides of your ruler and feel any sort of bumps or nicks it is time to replace your ruler. Now this may surprise you but I do not recommend and never even use a 24" long ruler in my own quilting. I like a 12" or 18" much better and just fold my fabric in half, I can get a smoother cut this way, as long as the fold matches up with the selvage I know I will not get any waves in my cut strips. I also highly recommend a smaller ruler that fits nicely in your hand for any trimming, it will be a lot easier to maneuver. One other ruler I suggest is a square up ruler, in the size of block you make the most, be it 6", 9", 12" or even 18", these square rulers are excellent to ensure you are getting a nice square block with the center of the block actually in the center. I am sure you can guess this but my favorite ruler brand is Creative Grids, they have a non-slip grip on the back that allows you to slide the ruler over fabric, but as soon as pressure is applied will stay in place. The markings are very clear and easy to see, and the ruler itself is a great clear plastic.
Wool Mats, if you do not own a wool mat I suggest you put it on your list of items to look into. The mats hold heat, so when you go to press that seam, you are essentially pressing it from both sides, the result, a nice crisp seam every time! I will not press without one anymore. They come in a variety of sizes from smaller squares to large enough to cover your entire ironing board!
 Cutting Mats, we don't usually think about getting a new mat, after all they are self healing. However a cutting mat can only last so long. An old mat can damage your cutting blades and wear them out all too soon. At Chicken Feed we love our cutting mats from the Accuquilt company, these mats have proven to be great quality, are nice and thick and are double sided so you can use them twice as long, and they are a great price. We have them in the 18x24 and 24x36 sizes.
Rotary Blades and needles are the obvious tools needed to replace, both are supposed to be switched out each time you start a new project, but I know we all push it longer than that. I replace my needle every time I change my bobbin. I generally change my blade every week or two.
One last item is thread, good quality thread is essential, it is what holds your entire project together. A good quality thread will result in fewer thread breaks and less lint build up.
When is the last time you got yourself a brand new ruler or cutting mat? Or a new rotary cutter in a fun color with a brand spankin' new blade in it/

Friday, September 13, 2019

Fat Quarter Friday

We are starting up Fat Quarter Fridays again. We did this a couple years ago in the shop as a summer event and it was a big hit.
The last Friday of each month we will have a large basket of individual fat quarters for you to peruse. Each one in the basket will be $2.50, or you can buy 12 for $25.00. Fat quarters regular price are between $4 and $5 so this is a good bargain. We normally will cut fat quarters from yardage for you, but on Fat Quarter Fridays the sale will only apply to those fat quarters that are in the basket. 
For those of you who are unsure, a fat quarter is a piece of fabric that measures 20" x 20" (sometimes it might be more like 21" or 22" but width of fabric varies so I always just count on 20") It is a half meter of yardage that is cut in half in the middle parallel to the selvage. It is equal to a 1/4 of a meter of fabric but because you have a 20" square to work with rather than a long strip 10" wide it is sometimes more useful.
There are many, many patterns for quilting that call for fat quarters, actually as I think through the pattern designers that we carry in our shop, the majority of them have at least one pattern that is fat quarter friendly if not more. The patterns range from easy, beginner friendly to difficult and advanced. Some are big easy blocks and others are full of tiny intricate pieces. For patterns that have little waste 6-8 fat quarters generally gets you a big baby quilt while around 12 makes a nice throw size, for a queen figure on about 30-40.  Of course the more you cut the fabric up the more is going to be lost in seam allowances, so if a quilt has a lot of little pieces you will need more than a fabric that is all big blocks.
Fat quarters are also good for making small pouches, zip bags, baskets, stuffed toys and more.
And if all else fails, you can cut your fat quarters into other common precut sizes. I have a few bundles that I have cut into 10" squares, 5" squares and 2.5" strips.
Our next Fat Quarter Friday will be Friday, September 27. We will have some patterns out for inspiration as well on this date as well.
I recently made a queen size quilt for my bed using 36 fat quarters, the pattern is called Turning Twenty Again and the fabric I used is Pollinator. What is your favorite use for fat quarters?

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Sew Hometown: September + A New Quilt Along + Reveal Date for Gypsy Wife

This month for the Sew Hometown Quilt we are making Starburst Blocks. These blocks finish at 9" and we need to make 4 of them.
They go together quite quickly, I made all 4 of mine in under an hour, from choosing fabrics, to cutting, sewing, pressing and trimming.
I chose to do a lighter color for the contrast part of the block, because I find my quilt is needing a little lights mixed in, otherwise when I put it together I fear it will be really busy. I also did my centers a printed dark fabric, and my outer corners are the same as the background in my other blocks. I used the printed dark in one other set of blocks, and needed to add it in again so those blocks don't stick out, now that I used it in a total of 9 blocks they should blend throughout the whole quilt nicely.

I used my Creative Grids 4-in-1 Half Square Triangle Ruler to trim all the Half Square Triangles to the correct size. I seriously love this ruler, it has 4 different ways to make and trim HST units, and you can do multiple sizes easily with the one tool.
Can you believe we only have three more months of block left? I counted the total number left and we are down to 14 blocks, so close to the finish line.

Which brings me to the next quilt along. Terry Atkinson of Atkinson Designs has released a new book called Follow Your Heart. In the book is all the instructions needed to make a really fun Road Trip inspired Sampler quilt as well as the patterns for 9 bonus projects using the blocks which include quilts, runners, bags and more.
I would like to do the Sampler Quilt as the Quilt Along here on the blog. It will run the same as the last two QALs I have done, a new block every other week and a Facebook Group to share our progress.
I will post the Fabric Requirements and the link to the Group on October 1, and we will begin sewing blocks on October 15.

For those of you that joined in on the Gypsy Wife Quilt Along, I am hosting the reveal party at the shop on Monday, October 7 at 7pm. Bring your finished or unfinished quilt to share with the group.
 PS if you take a closer look at the picture of my blocks so far, you will see my little helper in the corner of the picture, he loves to shake my design wall so that all those blocks rain down on top of him. I must say I have a lot of quilt layout pictures on my phone, because I now take a photo every time I put blocks up just in case he comes walking by.