Thursday, February 27, 2020

March Spotlight: Art Gallery Fabrics

March is only a few days, and I have some serious spring fever right now! I changed out a bunch of the greenery in my house yesterday for blooms, am working on a spring table runner, and am eagerly looking forward to the day I can pack away all the Winter Gear for a few months.
At the shop there is a large amount of fresh new fabric that give off some springtime vibes!
 In our shop we love to work with full fabric collections, and this is also how our shop is setup, everything is displayed as a designer collection of fabric, even our blender fabrics our organized like this. We do this for a couple reasons. 
1. The designers go through a lot of work putting the collections together as well as marketing it on social media
2. It takes a lot of work out of the fabric pulling process, all the pieces in that collection were designed to work together and will look fantastic in a project

To get to know the various fabric companies and the designers better we will be doing a special focus on a few different fabric companies and their designers. For the month of March we will focus on Art Gallery Fabrics.

Art Gallery Fabrics is a company that started up in 2004 with a goal to bring a chic and modern perspective into the quilting world. The quality of these fabrics is consistently excellent making them beautiful to work with. Art Gallery has beautiful collections that range from quirky, bright and fun to soft and sweet, to earthy  natural prints and colors. Their collection of basics go from solids, to near solids to some with a large print, and they blend wonderfully with the collections. 

We have William, our fabric rep for Art Gallery, coming in to the shop on March 12 to do 2 presentations on the fabric. One presentation will be in the afternoon, the other in the evening, and both of them will be the same, so just attend whichever one works best for your schedule. At the presentations there will some giveaways and a door prize. Everyone that attends the presentation will be given 20% off their Art Gallery purchases on the day of the event.
You can sign up for the presentation here

There will be some more fun little flash events happening through out the month, so be sure to stop in the store to check those out, and feel the difference in the Art Gallery Cottons.

On the blog here, I hope to do a couple designer spotlights throughout the month of March to share with you a little history on some of the talented designers that work for Art Gallery as well as where they get their inspiration from.

Have you worked with Art Gallery Fabrics before?

Monday, February 24, 2020

Follow Your Heart: Santa Fe

Happy Monday, our family is safely home from a vacation in Florida. We had a jam packed 10 days spent with half of my family water skiing, checking out Legoland, going to Oilers/Lightning hockey game, attending church where my cousin is pastor, go karting, shopping, and spending all free time by the lake and pool. It was so refreshing to relax with my family and not worry about homework, schedules, bedtimes, or work. And now we all feel recharged and ready to get back to our normal routines.
Do you love the recharged feeling you get after spending time away on a vacation?
This week we are making the Santa Fe Block for our Follow Your Heart Quilt Along. Even though this block is meant to inspire the southwest, it totally gives off a Nordic vibe to me! In fact I may even make a mini for myself in cool blues and greens to display on my computer desk next winter. I love having a little seasonal block in our family's computer area to bring some color and joy.
Anyways this block is simple enough to construct and utilizes strip piecing to make the initial units, and than follows a log cabin type construction to complete each unit. When pressing those strip units be careful not to stretch or distort the units, and press in the direction indicated by the arrows on each photo. This block has no borders, so once it is all sewn together trim it to the correct size and set aside until we are ready to assemble the top. We only have 4 more blocks to make, so we are getting close to the final construction, yay!
Have a great week everyone!

Monday, February 10, 2020

Follow Your Heart: San Francisco

Happy Monday, anyone else ready to kick off a new week with some fresh goals?
This week we are working on the block: San Francisco for the quilt along. This block is a sweet little pixel heart block, and would be super cute as a mini for Valentine's Day, if you think so too, make two, one for your quilt and one for your home décor!
The block itself is very straightforward, and with strip piecing goes together nice and quick. I did not change a single thing in this block, just followed the instructions start to finish, which can be found on page 23.
You will want to be sure that you have an accurate 1/4 inch seam allowance on this block, to test yours again follow the tutorial on page 7.
 I also decided to take a photo of my blocks in the correct layout as shown on page 39 to get a feel for how it was going to look at the end, and if I need to use more of a certain color and less of another. So far I am quite pleased with how it is looking.
How are your blocks coming along?
Have a great week.
There will be no blog posts until February 24, which also happens to be the next Follow Your Heart Day.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

SABC Retreat

On Tuesday Carrie and I spent the afternoon packing up Esther's vehicle with totes full of Fat Quarter Bundles, Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls, Charm Packs, Kits, notions of all sorts, some GO Products and Creative Grids Rulers. That evening I spent some time putting together blocks in various stages of completion to show how certain rulers worked. All of this was to attend a retreat the next day to set up a little shop and do a demonstration on rulers. 
Wednesday morning we grabbed a couple last minute things, a latte from the Chrysalis Café and hit the road at about 9, shortly before 10 we arrived at our destination, the Southern Alberta Bible Camp. T
here we were warmly greeted by the group of ladies who had gathered to sew together for the week with no interruptions. 
Carrie and I unloaded the car and quickly set up all our goods on a few tables. This was when we noticed we were missing a very important tote... the one with all the rulers had been left at the shop, along with a special order from one of the ladies that was at the retreat!
I jumped into the demo anyways and told the ladies they would have to some visit me at the shop where we did in fact have some.

The first ruler I showed was the Strippy Star, this ruler makes amazing floating star blocks quickly and easily. The quilt shown here is one I made using the ruler, and it shows off the various sizes of stars the rulers can make, it is also one of my all time favourite quilts.

I also showed the Log Cabin Rulers, these are trim tools, and so only the first squ
are has to be exact after that you trim each round to get nice equal "logs" all the way through the block without being overly fussy. I made this mini heart quilt by using the 4" ruler and making 4 blocks, laying out my pinks to get the heart shape in the center. There are rulers in the 4", 6", 8" and 12" finished sizes to choose from as well as the 4", 6", and 8" in Curvy Log cabin as well. 

I also did a little demonstration on the Cats Cradle Ruler, which makes the block shown here, quick and easy, 3 rectangles, 2 squares and a few seams gets you two quick blocks in a variety of sizes.

Carrie and I also did a quick show and tell of our latest quilts, which we had kits available for. 

Than the ladies were free to shop, which they did enthusiastically! When everyone was shopped out we packed up our things (a significant amount less than we started with).
We stayed for lunch with the retreat gals, and than headed home. 
Thank you again to the gals for inviting us out, we are excited for next years event already. We absolutely love coming our to retreats, guild meetings and shows to share about rulers, new products, or teach a new technique. 
I hope you have a wonderful weekend, here we will be celebrating my sons 5th Birthday. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

20 Years of KT

Lynne Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles has been with Moda for 20 years. In that time she has designed over 60 collections of fabric and countless patterns to accompany those fabrics. Lynne also has a special technique she uses when making quilts called layering, she shared this technique with us when she came to our shop a couple years ago for some workshops and a trunkshow.
To celebrate her 20 years, Lynne has designed a new block of the month that contains 20 blocks, one for each of her years with Moda. The pattern is called 20 Years of KT. We are offering this pattern and all the needed fabrics as a block of the month program.
For the past week all the staff at Chicken Feed Quilts has been busy putting these kits together.
-Tammy spent an afternoon cutting strips of fabric, which Taylor than cut into 10" layer cake squares (504 of them to be exact) on our Accuquilt Go Machine.
 -The next day Jenn started cutting Fat Quarters, we needed a total of 480 to make the 12 kits. She finished that up on Thursday.
-Carrie's job was to choose fabrics for the backgrounds and borders, and cut them accordingly.
-Carrie, Shay and Taylor have all been working on folding and sorting the fabrics into what is required for each month and packing them up accordingly.
-I had the easy job, I went to Lethbridge to pick up some clear totes to store each kit.
If you haven't been in the shop over the past week, I will tell you that there was a mountain of Kansas Troubles Fabric on the main cutting table as well as the secondary table. I did not get a picture but I really should have, though I don't think anyone would appreciate it if I asked them to recreate the image for me.
Sometimes kits come together quickly and easily, other times there is a lot of effort from multiple people involved to get the fabrics all cut, folded, packaged and priced.

Now for the information that you need to know for this Block of the Month Program.
It is a 12 month program and starts this month, though you could sign up later if the kit is still available.
The kit for each month will be ready to pick up on the first Friday of every month.
There will be an option to buy the full kit all at once, though this option will not be available until March.
The program is free to sign up for, and will be $45 per month. When you sign up we will ask for a credit card number, and your card will be charged automatically on the first of each month. There are some months when you will receive well over $45 worth of fabric, and others where it will be less, but an equal sum for each of the 12 months is the easiest for everyone.
I believe there are also a couple of bonus patterns included throughout the year as well.
The finished quilt finishes at 118" square. If you are thinking that is just way to big for you, you could always make it without the borders, and use that fabric for a different project or for the backing of your quilt.
Lynne also has a blog, and she has posted some more information on this project, a little comment about why she has included a specific block in the pattern as well as any pattern corrections that she has made. For example she has posted a blurb about block 2 which is made with nine patches, she talks about her love for that block, posted a picture of her block and a little tutorial on how to make it. You can check it out here.
There are limited kits available and once they are gone they are gone, so if you are interested sign up soon.
Have a great week. In our house we seem to slowly be getting over the assorted flus, colds, viruses and what nots. And when I say slowly I mean slowly, I think the school secretary and I should have each other on speed dial for the amount of times we have called each other either about a child staying home or needing to be picked up from classes.
Have you been suffering from the winter bugs this year or have they left your family alone?