Friday, August 31, 2018

Aurifil Presentation

As all of you know by now I'm sure, we at Chicken Feed Quilts love our Aurifil Thread! The strength, consistency, and quality in each spool is unbeatable in our opinions, and with 5 different weights it works for each project that we are working on, from handwork to standard piecing to top stitching. 
In just over a month the President of Aurifil and their Director of Marketing are coming to our store to do a presentation on Aurifil Thread. The company is based in Italy, so this is no small trip for them, and we are thrilled that they have agreed to do two presentations in our Shop. The presentation is an hour and a half long and will be filled with information about Aurifil. There will also be goodies from the company handed out, and from previous experience I know that they give out pretty amazing gifts. For everyone that joined our Aurifil Thread Club at the beginning of the year there will be an extra gift.
Esther, Carrie and I will be attending a special presentation for quilt shop owners on October 1 and we are super excited to hear about whats new in their company and what their plans are for the future.  
As for the future of Aurifil at Chicken Feed Quilts, our third stand for thread is on order and should be in our store next week sometime. The plan is to fill this one with the small spools in a wide variety of color shades. These small spools are great for when you need the thread color to match your project. I mainly use it for top stitching bags and applique. 
We also hope to bring in more of the designer boxes. These boxes come in two sizes and contain either 10 small spools or 12 large ones in the main colors that the designer uses and coordinate with their fabric at a lower cost than it would be to buy all the spools individually. 
Seats for the presentation have been filling very quickly, and we can only fit so many so if you want to learn more about Aurifil call the store or come on in to reserve your seat. There is a $5 fee for each seat, this will be returned to you as Chicken Feed Cash when you show up for the event, if you have reserved a seat and do not come you will forfeit your $5. 
We will be closed on Monday, September 3rd for Labor Day. Our weekend plans are two family dinners, one with each side of the family which we do every weekend, a BBQ with friends, a trip to the Farmer's Market and an outing to the Corn Maze. On Tuesday I will be sending two of my boys off to school. Do you have any plans for the weekend?

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Staff Profile: Michelle

SSSSHi all, my name is Michelle Slomp. I am married to my sweetheart Gerald and together we have ten children. We are blessed. I grew up in Lethbridge, but now I call the Picture Butte area home. Gerald farms and there is always something going on at the farm.
As for myself, I have always had a love for all things crafty and artsy. I began quilting probably 20 or so years ago when my oldest son was just a baby. A friend of mine introduced me to this glorious hobby and I was hooked. I think my first quilt was a log cabin done in real “country colors” like the Kansas Trouble quilts. I enjoyed doing a lot of mini quilts in the beginning especially out of the book Little Quilts All Through the House, by Alice Berg, Mary Ellen Von Holt, and Sylvia Johnson. These are still some of my favourite quilts on my walls today.
Then four small boys come along and time for quilting had to be put on hold for some years. Hmmmm, I wonder why?? I would still go into quilt shops every once in a while to look and see what I was missing. Then, during these last couple years I started back up again. I pulled all my bins out and would make Christmas gifts for family or birthday presents for friends and I really missed it.
Quilting for me is so much more than sewing fabric together. It is therapy. It is relaxation. It is meditation. It is comfort. Quilting is my happy place. It is exactly where I want to be when I don't want to be anywhere else. Thankfully my family all fully support my love for quilting and they join me many times when I’m sewing. It is wonderful. I have recently purchased a long arm machine, so that is something else that is new and exciting to learn and play with. Oh the possibilities and projects ahead.
I feel blessed everyday to be able to have this creative outlet and a job that I can go to where we have a lot of fun together learning and helping others make beautiful projects. Quilting is life for so many people and we are all part of it together!
Blessing to you all.

Fall Events

For the past few weeks Esther and I have been finalizing the details on the fall events, clubs and classes that will be taking place in our shop this fall. We will send out a couple emails with them all listed for you later today, if you have signed up for emails but haven't been getting them check your spam, as we have heard from some people that this is where they found theirs.
 The first class on the calendar is the Mini Pineapple make and take on August 30, there is still a few spots left in this class. We have kits available for the class, and it finishes up at 22" square.
The next class is a Laura Heine Collage Class on September 8. I have taught this class several times in the past year, and it is always fun and productive. You can do any of the Laura Heine patterns and learn a few tips and tricks along the way. There is seats open, and we need to have at least one more person register by August 31, or we will have to re-schedule this. Some prep work required, so if you are interested sign up soon. Class fee is $40 and supplies are an additional cost.
Esther's Violet Craft Paper Piecing Class is a four week session that begins on Wednesday, September 12 and takes place in the evenings. In this class you are free to do any of the Violet Craft Paper Pieced patterns, and Esther will share with you some tips and tricks to help you create your own masterpiece! Cost is $80 plus supplies.
We have three different clubs taking place this year.
GO Club which has been an ongoing club in the shop for several years will once again take place the second Tuesday of every month. The fee for this one is $80 and it runs from September through May. In this club you can share tips with each other and use a variety of GO dies over the season.
The PhD Club is a new club that has been designed to motivate you to finish off some of those projects that are half done. There is a weekday and a Saturday session available to join. Each sew day you will bring a project of yours that is incomplete, work on it for the day and set a goal for yourself to have done by the next months sew day, whether it a a few more blocks, the whole top, or binding it that is up you. I will record your goal, if your homework is not done you will pay a penalty of $10, if you are done you will get an entry into the bucket for the jackpot at the end of the year. There is no class fee, and you are able to join just one session or both of them. The more people that join the more fun it will be! This club runs September-May, but we will skip December.
The third club is also a new one, it is the Bag of the Month Club, which I have mentioned several times over the summer. We still have some spots available in both the Tuesday and Saturday sessions and would love to have more people join us to make this club even more fun. Esther finished up one of the September projects this week, an ID lanyard, which turned out really cute and is already being put to good use by Carrie. Each month we will share tips and tricks on various parts of bag making, interfacing, different fabric choices, hardware, and accenting. This club is great for beginner bag sewists and will be fun for experienced bagineers!
If you have checked out our events page recently, you will have seen that there is several different ones happening this fall.
First up is National Sew a Jelly Roll Day, on Saturday, September 15.  The purpose of this day is for you to sew a jelly roll, it doesn't matter what you make, just that you pull out a jelly roll and sew with it. We will be having a Jelly Roll Race in store that day, and stitch off is at 10:30am. We will also have jelly roll patterns, and jelly rolls on sale that day. There will also be giveaways, draws and freebies so come in store for this fun event, and be sure to register yourself for the race! Watch our Instagram page next week for some Jelly Roll Inspiration. Also start going through your Moda Jelly Roll stash and pull out the oldest one you own. We will be having a fun little contest with this as well.
Our Accuquilt Travelling Trunk show arrives on Monday September, 24. There will be projects made with the Accuquilt Dies and we will be doing demos all week on this amazing cutting system!
Later that week is the Annual Harvest Hop, pre-registration has already started for this, and ends on September 15. Our prizes from our distributors have started trickling in, and we have our gifts for getting your passport stamped all ready to go. The Hop runs September 27-29. 
Tuesday, October 2 we will be having an Aurifil Information Session in our store. The President of Aurifil as well as the Director of Marketing will be coming to our store to do a presentation on all things Aurifil, as well as hand out some swag! There are two time slots available, one at 3pm and the second at 7pm. There is a $5 fee to hold your place for this presentation, which will be given back to you after the event as Chicken Feed Cash to spend that day.
I have frequently mentioned the Bag Workshop and Trunk show which is taking place October 18-20. We would love to have a few more people join us for this. The workshop is beginner friendly, so don't be intimidated if you have never made a bag before. We will help you through the process! The workshop and the trunk show are two separate events and you may attend both or either if them. Even if you don't sew bag the Trunk show would still be a fun evening out with friends!
 For our final event of the year we will be hosting a Zen Chic travelling Trunk show in partnership with Trend Tex fabrics. This will take place December 3-8. We will have a games evening on December 4, focusing on  Zen Chic. There will also be a contest to enter your projects made with Zen Chic fabrics. The projects must be brought in store by November 30, contain at least 75% Zen Chic fabric, and can be a quilt, wall hanging, topper or bag. We have had some representatives from Trend Tex offer to judge the entries, but don't be intimated as they are not quilters and are not critical at all! 
If you need some days set aside to make your Zen Chic project feel free to join the PhD club to finish one off, or join the Go or Bag Club to make a new project using Zen Chic!
These classes, clubs and events all have limited spaces available (aside from Shop Hop) and you need to be registered ahead of time to attend. To sign up, call the store, send us an email, or better yet come in store and see all the new fabric that arrives every week!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Be My Neighbor: Block 12

This weeks featured block is number 12. It is a narrow block that is quick and easy to sew up, and a great way to finish off the third row. That's right it is the last block in our third row, which means we only have one row left, just four houses!
I know that some of you are falling behind but hopefully with cooler temperatures around the corner you can set aside some time to work on houses and get caught up. Or sign up to join the PhD club which still has some spots available both during the week or on Saturdays, you can get an awful lot of sewing done in 6 uninterrupted hours ;)
I chose to do my Art Gallery Block using 4 different fabrics plus a background. For my Sherri and Chelsi block I decided to make the 9 patches scrappy and chose 9 different fabrics for that section of the house as well as a main house fabric, a roof and background. I must say that I love the look of this! If you are trying to use up scraps this is a great block for it, as the majority of the squares are cut 2".
At the end of the last row I had said that I would maybe lay my blocks out to see if I need to focus on adding less of one color and more of another, I never did do that, as half my blocks are hanging in the store and the other half are at my house. I guess I will hope for the best, and keep making my blocks week by week, and choosing fabrics based on what I like that day.
When I started this project back in March, I would rarely press seams open, for no reason other than I didn't really like to. Now I press seams open often, especially in smaller blocks that have a lot of seams in a small space, and my pressing stick is a great tool which makes it easier and helps to prevent flipping of other previous seams while I press. That combined with some flatter, and my wool pressing mat has resulted in blocks that lay really nice and flat with very little bulk.

Friday, August 10, 2018

National Sew A Jelly Roll Day

Just a quick post tonight as we have been hanging out at Esther’s lake all day trying to beat the heat, and tonight we are having a BBQ with our relatives before they head back to Florida tomorrow. 
National Sew A Jelly Roll Day is just over one month away. It takes place this year on Saturday, September 15. We are a registered shop this time around and are so excited for this years event. Sew A Jelly Roll Day is such a great kick off to the fall sewing season and a great way to use up one of the rolls in your stash or pick up that one you have been eyeing for awhile and make something new! 
On Saturday, September 15, will have jelly rolls and patterns that feature jelly rolls on sale, as well as some freebies to give out to those to who come visit us in store that day. 
We will also be doing a contest or class that day focusing on a Jelly Roll Quilt. 
We are hoping to get some new quilts in store and maybe even a bag that use a Jelly Roll to give you all some further inspiration. 
Esther has also hinted that there might be some draws and other prizes so make sure you watch for more details about this. 
there will be no blog post next week Tuesday or Friday as I will be going camping again. Have a great weekend, 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Be My Neighbor: Block 11

We have come to Block 11 of our Quilt Along. This is the biggest block in the quilt, 21x18" finished. Block 11, is made up of 6 tiny houses which together make an adorable village. However it doesn't take very long to construct. Because all 6 houses are the same you can chain piece this block, yay! Besides for the chain piecing I switched up how I made my roof in this block.
Rather than doing each roof separate, I did them using the four flying geese from two squares method. I ended up with 2 extra flying geese, but I was ok with it. To do it from squares, I cut 2 squares 7.5" from my roof material and 2 squares 9" from my background fabric. Next step was to draw a line on the diagonal of the smaller square and than center it on top of the larger square right sides together, sew a 1/4" on each side of the line, trim on the drawn line and press it open. Afterwards I layered the two odd looking half square triangles right sides together with the seams running parallel but not touching, marked the diagonal across the seams, again sew a 1/4", trim and press open. I used my Ultimate Flying Geese Ruler from Creative Grids to Trim them to the perfect size.
I have heard many times in the past few months that fabric choosing seems to take the longest. I have to agree, and I tend to make several different color option piles before actually making the final decision. I also tend to use quite a bit of space to do so. 
This time around I did my Sherri and Chelsi block with 6 different colors of houses and stuck with the same roof and window on each, and I am thrilled with the outcome. For my Art Gallery Block I am thinking of doing 6 houses in the same color group each a different pattern, and doing the roofs and windows the same again to tie them all together.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Christmas Fabric 2018

It’s only the first weekend in August and yet we have Christmas fabric in the store already. 
We have several new lines from various companies this year to suit your style. 
If you like the metallics there is 2 neutral lines, a red and black collection, and a blue and purple set that could be used together or on their own. 
White Christmas is by Zen Chic, we have a couple kits in store for this and Esther is working on another one. 
Amazing stars and Starlight are both from Stof. 
Winters Grandeur is by Robert Kaufman. Winters Grandeur has a gorgeous Tree Panel that would make a quick and easy yet beautiful wall hanging, I'm sure we will have one made up like this and hanging in the store in the next few months.
For the rest it seams that the traditional colors of Green , Red, Black and Cream are again taking center stage. 
From Riley Blake we have a collection called Christmas Delivery, I love the little trucks and may have to make a sample out of this one, maybe something with trees, I will have to do some pattern searching at the store when I am working next. 
We also have a great collection from Makower, Silent Night. This line comes with an Advent Calendar as well as a free pattern for a runner and some place mats, perfect to adorn your table this Christmas Holiday Season. We will be making up some kits for this in the coming weeks.  
Also in the store we have Basic Greys new Christmas line called Winter Village and Tim Holtz new Christmas line as well. 
I encourage you to come check these collections out in person as it seems that pictures never do them justice, especially the metallics. Also in order to get all this Christmas Fabric out on display, Carrie and Taylor had to do a lot of rearranging, so the store has several new displays to check out as well. 
What kind of sewing do you like to do with winter and Christmas fabrics, do you do quilts, wall hangings, stockings or maybe just some runners for the tables in your home, and do you start early to get it done, or leave it until there is snow on the ground and sew like mad?
I made a queen size Christmas quilt last year for our bed, but our Christmas tree is still without a tree skirt, so I will be focusing on that this year and maybe a lap quilt for the couch to match, I will probably end up waiting until some cold weather is upon us for my own projects, but I will need to make up the store samples soon to inspire all of you.
Back to August now :) we will be open on Saturday from 10am-4pm and Closed on Monday, August 6. Our family will be celebrating the 5th birthday of one of my boys that day and he is super excited that it falls on the holiday and no one has to work on his birthday!
Have a safe and pleasant long weekend,