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.

Friday, September 6, 2019

New Samples

How has your week been? Mine was really good, my two oldest are back at school and we are figuring out our new routines and schedules nicely. My 4 year old is a little lost without his older brothers so I spent some time hanging out with him having scooter races, nerf gun wars, and working with him in an activity book and on his Little Passports Subscription box that I got for him. I also have been getting a lot of quilting done these past few weeks, as have Carrie and Esther. 
As some of you may know I have promised to have a Christmas Bed Quilt done for each of my 4 boys by November. I finished up this one last weekend for Tucker, and he agreed that it could hang in the store until Marshall's Birthday which is November 1. I will be making kits for it on Tuesday. It is a fabric line called Snowy Wishes, and I based the pattern on a free download from Benartex but made some changes to make it work for this fabric. 
Marshall's quilt is halfway done, and the ones for Chandler and Easton are still just a thought in my mind, but I still have almost 2 months to get them done. 
I made this quilt using Grid from Art Gallery this past spring but finally got it bound this week. The pattern is called Turning Twenty and goes together really quickly. 

I absolutely love this baby quilt using a collection called Rocky Raccoon by Stof and it two was a really quick sew, just two evenings for me. I made kits for it today, and there are 3 border options all three are the same print just different color, blue (like mine), grey or green.
I also got the top finished for this camping quilt, but I am waiting for some red 90" cuddle to arrive before quilting it. I showed it to my husband when it was done, and he said that is really cool but aren't you a couple weeks late? I told him I was just early for next year, and now I wouldn't have to rush to get it done for our next trip in July ;).  Kits are available with either a blue or a grey border. 

Esther and Carrie have both made a number of quilts using the digital panels by Hoffman. The detail and color on these panels is incredible and we have so many to choose from in our shop. We have nearly all of the Call of The  Wild panels, and a wide variety of the other ones that they have printed as well. 
Esther get her Cougar quilt bound, and it is stunning, this is a Call of The Wild print. We did have kits but they are sold out, however we are looking into kitting it again. 
Her One Block Wonder quilt using a digital panel called Wanderlust is all finished up as well. There is a class on this in October, with options to attend for a full day or two evenings. This quilt is made with 7 repeats of the same panel and I love how intricate it looks, even though is it not difficult to make. 
She also made this fall themed quilt (not a digital panel) but still very pretty, and kits are available so you can make it as well. 
I have one more of Esther's quilts to share, this one uses the fabric line Catch and Release from Art Gallery and the pattern is called Making Waves. With some simple strip piecing this quilt goes together quickly, and is a lot easier then it looks. Kits are available for this one as well. I love the photo she took of it, it makes me want to pick up the quilt, snuggle up in that red chair with a cup of hot coffee and watch the sunrise. And it would be easy for me to do as this is right in her backyard. 

Carrie made a quilt using the Globe Hopper panel and some ombre batiks. The pattern is called Reflections, and I think that it came together beautifully, it is currently hanging in a spot that you see it when you walk in the front door and it has definitely been an eye catcher. 
She also made a quilt using the collection Grid, she made it for a friend so it isn't hanging in the store, but it is too pretty not too share. She is planning on making kits, but she got her wisdom teeth pulled yesterday so she is out of the shop for a few days.
 One last quilt to share, this one is by Tammy, it is called Rock Candy and is made with a wide color range of Batiks. Isn't it fantastic?

There are even more quilts in store and loads of new fabrics as well.
Shop Hop is just a few weeks ago, and there is one week left to sign up so be sure to do so. If you can't make it in just give the shop a call during business hours, and we can set aside a passport with your name on it, than just make us your first stop so you can get your passport and continue on to the rest of the shops.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

October Classes

Happy September! I sent two of my boys off to school today, 1 headed off to the first grade and the other is in Grade 3. While I do like getting back to a more structured routine, I sure will miss hearing their laughter and chatter all day long, and miss their help as well, they do so much around the house and are great at occupying the two younger boys. With them back at school I am hoping to carve out a little more time for quilting as well, as I didn't accomplish nearly as much as I wanted to this summer. A great way to get back into the quilting groove is to take a couple classes and we have some fun ones taking place in October. We have some classes running during the day and others that we are offering as evening classes.
We have introduced a new way of pricing classes for this season. Unless otherwise posted our classes are free to attend if you buy the supplies from our shop, if you choose to use your own fabrics there will be a charge. In most cases this will be $25. We hope that this makes taking a class a little more appealing.

The Jelly Roll Rug is still super popular and we have a class for you to learn how to make your own. There are several shapes and sizes of rug as well as a wide variety of Jelly Rolls to choose from. The class is two sessions, Tuesday, October 8 and Tuesday, October 15 from 7pm-9pm. This class generally fills up quite quickly so if you are interested register soon.
A popular quilt of late has been the One Block Wonder Quilt. Made from one print of several of the same panels this is a fun to make quilt that looks different each time. This class is available as a full day class or as two evening classes. The full day class is on Wednesday, October 16 and runs from 10am-4pm. The evening class takes place on Wednesday's, October 9, and 16 from 7-9pm.

Finally we have a class that is a more of a get to know your ruler better than a look at what I made class. I will be doing a session on The Creative Grids Stripology Ruler that will show you how to get more from your ruler. You probably know it is wonderful for cutting strips and squares, but it can do so much more for you.
 The supply lists for each class will be listed on the website under the specific classes, if not yet than they will be up in the next few days.
The majority of the bags we are making in Bag Club will also be available for anyone to attend, although there will be a $25 fee for any of the single day classes and a $40 fee for any of the two day classes, if you wish to attend any please let us know. The first open classes fer these are the Adventure Time Backpack by Andrie Designs, this Backpack does require previous bag making experience. it is a two day class taking place on October 10 and 11 from 10am-4pm both days. 
The second open bag class is the Hippo Hobo Bag by Emkie Designs, this class will take place on Saturday, October 19 from 10am-4pm.
 Supply lists for the bags will be sent out via email a week or two prior to the class date, but are generally whatever the patterns call for.

We have a few different classes taking place in November yet which I will post at a later date, but are there any other classes you wish to see?