Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Looking Forward, Looking Back

It's almost 2009. Remember all the fuss leading up to the "Millenium" and the Y2K bugs that were gonna wipe out electronic information? Remember hearing about stocking up on Gas, Food and Water because we didn't know what Jan 1, 2000 would do to our "way of life"?

That was 9 years ago.

Can it really be that long ago? Look how far we've come since then.

Bright Hopes is 5 years old! I can't believe it's been 5 years since Pearl opened the door for the first time. 5 years! My oldest was still in high school and now she's out of college for a whole year herself. My mother was still alive. I'd only been married 20 years, and I wasn't carting around an extra 20 pounds back then either! (that's on my list to tackle this year...)

5 Years. And now we're well into our 6th. It's going to be a great year! I so look forward to every day of it.

I can't close this one out without saying this: Thank you for all of your support: emotional, financial, physical, spiritual, you name it! CREATIVE! Ya'll are a powerful force in my life. I look forward to going to work. It isn't really work when you love love love what you do.

Pearl took me out of my "comfort zone" as she called it all those years ago and she does it even today and I thank you for it. Thanks for teaching me to be a better sewer (english is such a strange language) and encouraging me to machine quilt. and Blog. and taking me to Market. I am so out of my "Zone" thanks to you.

To the Gals I work and play with it: I love you all. It's so cool to have so many sisters! I thought I had only one. The hours seem so short at work & Sharp Needles and thank you for not going nuts over my endless whinging about being hungry before it's even 11:00 am. (or at the very least, if you ARE nuts, thanks for not showing it!)

To the Troops and Regulars: I can't tell you how much I look forward to the days y'all pop in. Your collective enthusiam and creative spirit make me want to either flee home and get behind the machine or slip into your cars and go home with you. I also can't tell you how mortified I feel when I can't remember names. It's NOT you, it's me. I look over the kitchen counter and ask my husband what his name is! "Who are you again?"

Which brings me to men. It's a heckuva quilt shop to be in when a guy doesn't bolt out in terror upon hearing a gleeful voice exclaim: "There's a MAN in here!" Bob, you're awesome! And John, (see I remembered!) thank you for fanning the flames.

And I have to mention this to the fine fine ladies who braved the freak snowstorm of Dec here in Southeast Louisiana. You know who you are! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These intrepid souls came through one heck of a blizzard (by OUR standards) to deliver Christmas Cookies. OK, ladies, now that you've set the precedence, I'll be anticipating bags of goodies again next year! They were delicious and so unexpected.

And that sums up my time here at Bright Hopes! Delicious and Unexpected. Who could ask for anything more?

Is it lunch yet?

Speaking of Classes......

Starting in February, we are going to offer classes for "Beginners" that are one-day classes that make simple quilts and projects.... Like Take 5. And placemats using Charm Packs.

The idea is to get those of you who are interested but, well shall we say, wary of this thing, this obsession we call "quilting" a chance to tip your toe in the cool exhilarating waters of our world.

So if you know someone who fits this description and think this might be of interest to them, pass it on. Or take it with them to encourage them as they go. Some of the best times I spend is what I call Tag-Team piecing. You know, when you and a friend (or four) take turns ironing and handing the pieces to the ones behind the sewing machines..... it's AMAZING how fast quilttops get done this way!

Calendar of Classes - January

By now, you should have received our latest email containing the calendar of events and a breakdown of classes for the next three months. I have been trying to figure out how to post this in a user-friendly manner on this blog but so far...... I'm coming up a little short on data.

So in the interest of, well, interest itself, here's a quick run-down:

Jan 5 If you are doing the Jamestown BOM, we will discuss the use of Marti Michell templates; these making cutting out the fabric a breeze.

Jan 9 My True Love Applique

Jan 10 Beginning Quilting Placemats

Jan 12 Wreath

Jan 15 Market Tote

Jan 16 Judy Neimeyer

Jan 17, 24, 30 Beginning Quilting

Jan 22 Jungle Animals

Jan 26 Free Motion Quilting

For more information and availability of class space, please give us a call
985 845-9554

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Second Blog

Well, I don't know about you, but we're seizing this new Year with both hands and hit the ground running with a New Blog!!!!! Quilts for Sale BHQ

As most of you regulars to the shop are aware, we go through an enormous number of shop samples, to show off new fabric lines and patterns or even old favorites, like Just Can't Cut It. But once the fabric is no longer available or we make a new sample, the older ones are rotated to the back room. And I can't tell you how often we are asked about finished quilts for sale.

OK, OK we get the hint! Our latest goal is to make available for purchase our quilts and in this effort we will be writing more information on individual postings at the new blog, Quilts for Sale BHQ.

As the months progress, we will quilt more of our top-quilts and making them available as well so this is going to be a WIP itself.

In addition to the finished quilts, we will also post about past BOMs that we have kitted and bundled into one purchase for the full year. These are few and once they have sold, will not be repeated.

Please wander over and take a look. If you happen to see to quilt DESIGN you like and can't place the name, we can hook you with that as well. There really is nothing like a beautiful use of fabric on a great pattern.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Placemat Product

Are you a placemat user? Do you love place mats but hate how much room they take up in storage?

Would you believe what you are looking at is a placemat that has four sides?

Well it is!

And we can show you the way. Just in.... a pattern to make this and a class being offered in March by Celeste.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Those Quilts For Sale

Just thought I might post a few photos of some of the quilts we are letting go.
It's so much more fun to shop in pajamas with a cup of coffee...... browsing as it were. I'll update this shortly to add the size and price of each of these but without further ado:

Here is Sawtooth Stars. It made with Kaffe Fassett fabrics and is a lap size quilt.

Medallion. 64" x 64" This is a very elegant gold/green/red quilt

Crayon. This is a sweet little lap quilt that would make a terrific take-to-daycare blanket for nap-time for a child.

Bento Box. Dramatic Black and Red with an Asian feel.

A Christmas quilt with bright green and red. Cheerful small lap.

Snowball & 9-patch. The fabrics used in this one don't read well in the photo. Must be seen to be truly appreciated.

So there you have it for now. I'll post new For Sale quilts as we complete them. Thanks for looking.

Quilts For Sale

Here's a project that has been on the back-burner but always in the front of our minds for a long while.

Pearl has set up two displays for our quilt samples. We have quite a few for sale now and more on the way. Some are totally complete: down to the binding and others are topquilt only, ready for you to quilt and bind to your own needs.
There are many sizes, from baby to queen and as you can see in the photos, lots of fabric styles. Asians, juvenile, Christmas, brights, Nancy Halverson, Blue-Gold and Kaffe Fassett.

If you are looking to give a quilt for Christmas and have run out of time to make one, there's still time to snap a couple up before the holidays.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Schlepping Bag

We had a request to give some information about this new pattern, the Schlepping Bag, a tote large enough to carry an 18 x 24" cutting mat and 24" ruler. As you can see, it's an attractive and sturdy carry-all and the instructions include a zippered pouch for additional tools, like a rotary cutter. Very handy.

Now, full disclosure, the pattern does call for 54" fabric which is harder to come by in a quilt shop but also mentions on the back of the pattern that this can be pieced. As a quilt shop, we of course suggest that you piece it!!!! or make a quilt block for the center or you can always use backing or upholstery fabric.
Keep your tools safe from damage while schlepping them to classes in this neat bag with a great name.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Very Happy Site

If you've ever been at the Shop when the UPS guy drops in, you know how we react. If there's but one measly package in his hands, we order him back out to the truck to find the missing boxes. Surely there MUST be more he overlooked.

Now that it's a few months past Market, we always expect big shipments to arrive and on this day we got TWO UPSmen, and several boxes between the two. They like getting a good response from us as well.

Ruler Rack

We saw these terrific racks at Market and they finally arrived last week. As you can see, here you have a place to stow all your rulers neatly and in one spot. There's even room in the middle section (you can't really see this in the photo) to slide really wide rulers. Up and out of the way of your cutting and ready at hand.

$34.99 and makes a nice gift. (Not exactly a stocking stuffer......alittle too big for that!)

(after further reflection.....) Hey! Let's make bigger STOCKINGS!!!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

New Fabric Lines Just In

Oooohhhh when we saw these two lines at Market, we knew where they'd end up!

Here we have McKenna Ryan and Jane Sassaman.

The very first entry on this blog showed a wallhanging by Jane Sassaman that was at the show itself and here now is the fabric line, Prairie Gothic.

McKenna Ryan adds to her collection (as do we) with beautiful purples and deep greens. If you already have been eyeing this lovely fabric, come see the actual bolts. There is no way to do justice by showing small squares, you really don't get the full grasp of either. They are full WOF prints with large repeats.

Yes, we are working on ideas for samples.

UPDATE Pearl is hard at work on the sample for the Jane Sassaman line and is using Kaffe Fassett fabrics as a companion to this. We really like the way it's shaping up. Check back in a few days to see the final results in a new post.

Market Tote

If you look to the left at the top of the Blog page, you will see a new feature: Up-Coming Classes and there you will discover that Linda Kay is going to teach this tote in mid January.

Those of you who have taken classes with Linda Kay know how fun this is and the satisfaction of walking out the door with a finished or VERY near finished project. What gets better than that?

This roomy Market Tote is the latest in a large selection of totes that Linda Kay has sampled for the shop and is made up of Charm Pack squares (though you can always cut up your own 5" squares)

Warning! Linda Kay's classes fill up fast.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Two Hour Tulip Purse

Alright you crafty things out there;
if you're looking for a gift to make, particularly for a young relative..... here's a new purse pattern we just got in and Jayne knocked out a sample in no time flat.

We have so many great fabric lines in stock to make this purse out off as well, Think Amy Butler. Or Kaffe Fassett!

It's young and fresh and trendy. Perfect for teenagers. Or if I think about it...... why not in Asians for a more elegant night bag?

We're hoping Jayne will schedule a class in it for the next newletter. That's another WIP. (work in progress)

This is the newest sample of a BOM we will be starting at Bright Hopes Quilting. It measures 65 x 65" and is made up entirely of batiks (I guess you can guess who made the sample!) with one small area in Winter that has Handspray.

It isn't difficult and can be either machine appliqued as I have done or turned under in any convention applique technique. There's a lot of Q's in quilting, huh?

If you are interested in joining this Block of the Month, please give us a call or stop to get the final info regarding price and pickup dates..... I think it will begin in January.

I'll be taking it down off display sometime in Feb to quilt it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hot Ribbon

Hot Ribbon . This gorgeous flower has been created by Mary Green and is the basis of a class she is offering.
Sadly both scheduled classes are booked up but I wanted y'all to see this as it's so beautiful. And a really neat technique.

We met the lady , Lennie Honcoop, who created the patterns and samples for this techinique at Market and she was as lovely as her flowers.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Upcoming paper piecing class

Leslie is working on a class for a Judy Neimeyer pattern coming up in January. The class will be 4 different sessions, because we will work from start to finish. The first class will be cutting out the templates and the foundation patterns. The second class will be cutting your fabrics out. The third class will be sewing on the foundation patterns, and then the fourth will be putting the quilt together. There are three different patterns to choose from, including Hawaiian Star, Thistle Pods, and Starburst. We should have the patterns in soon, and you can check out the Hawaiian Star sample at the shop after Thanksgiving. Please look at the Quiltworx website to see other patterns by Judy Neimeyer, and be inspired! Class schedule will be out around the middle of December, but sign up soon, because this one will fill quickly!

What to do the Charm Packs

Well there are so many quilts out there and we have lots of patterns and books available.
Here's an idea: This quilt was made by M'liss using only 5" squares and light cream sashing and isn't it neat! The fabric line is called "Wild Bunch" by RJR and I think this result is fabulous!
* It looks like is retreating into space because that is how it is hung in the shop, on a folding screen. In reality, the quilt is very geometric and squared. (cool effect though, huh?)

"Rays of Light" Cross

This wallhanging is one four in a pattern called "Rays of Light". The other three panels show the stained glass pattern in the words: Faith, Hope and Love.

It's a fusible applique and a small amount of straight-seams sewing. These would make great Chrismas presents, fast, easy and dramatic. The Cross is on display at the shop.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Baby Genius Grows Up

Remember a few years ago when the "Baby Genius" fabric came out and we saw so many great baby quilts pass thru the shop using the line? Well, "Baby Genius" is growing up and on the way Benartex brings us even more eye-catching and "busy" motifs, just what a growing child needs to stimulate the "little grey cells" as they too are growing.

Here we used the entire line in stock with "Tutti Frutti" as the quilt design and bring it all together in a large fast-to-make quilt, great for a birthday present for toddlers, pre-schoolers and kindergarteners. Some of those fabrics are even terrific for young budding scientists. Click on the photo and see the atoms and double helixes up-close!
And yes! the sign does indeed say "Kits Available".

What's Leslie Up To?

We get that question, ALOT!

Answer: Plenty! Here ya go:

If you look back a few posts to Nov 3., you'll see the fabric line she used to make this stunning quilt. It's using the "Stack n Whack" technique and makes a beautiful, mosaic-inspired design.

Halos Aren't Just for Angels

What is this??!!!!

It's a quilting halo and is invaluable when machine quilting on your sewing machine. Instead of gripping the fabric with your hands and moving the layers, this halo lays on top and with it's added weight and slightly roughen surface, it does the gripping work for you!

No more tired thumb muscles. Now you can concentrate on making beautiful designs on your quilttops

Friday, November 21, 2008

Jamestown BOM Up-Date

I told you "good things come those who wait"!!!

Here are the two color ranges we have chosen for
"Jamestown", one of our 2009 BOMs. The red/green is printed cotton the Morningstar line from P & B textiles and the green/purple are batiks.

This is just to give you an idea of what the final quilts will be made up of so you can decide if you'd like to sign up for either (or both) Blocks of the Month. The finished size is Queen and you will actually make enough blocks that by changing the layout and adding a different border you would end up with a King-size quilt. The choice is up to you (and your budget).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Classes are Fun!

Linda Kay has two classes back-to-back this weeknd and if you have never taken a class in quilting, you need to pop in during classtime and see what fun they can be:

This is the class yesterday making the Jelly Bags bag, a jellyroll friendly fast handbag that is a kick to make and more fun to use. People will stop you and ask where you got it!

Why the Format?

Welcome to the new readers........ in case you are wondering why the blog looks the way it does, I have a few explanations to relate.

The pictures we add are small so that it doesn't take up time and space on everyone's computers to download. If you want to see a larger image of any picture, simply click on it and it will open in a new window and in a larger format so you can see details of fabrics or quilts.

The columns can look strange on individual browsers. Some may appear normal, some rather narrow. Two reasons I can come up with: 1. The browser I use to create the posts may be different from the one you use to cruise the "innertubes". What I see may not be what you see. and 2. I'm new to this and have been learning quickly to get just this far. Bear with me as I fine-tune the product.
Don't be surprised if the "look" of our blog changes over the course of time. Hopefully it will get only better.

Do notice, if you are new to blogging, that you may comment on what you read and see here at BHQblog. Below each post is a Comment button so feel free to write your observations. We are a polite group of stitchers and want our blog to reflect this.

Most anything you may see on the postings will be available in the store but if you can't get to us physically, please call and place mail orders. Obviously, once a fabric line is sold out, we may not be able to reorder. The same is true books that go out of print. But we do our best to chase down special requests.

Happy blogging!

Laurel Burch

has just arrived:

(to see a close-up of any fabric, please click on the photo)

You can see we have lots of "friends" of the panel fabric on the shelf. Laurel Burch continues to be one of our most popular fabric lines.

This series is called "Secret Jungle" and has an ambition collection of wild animals, not the usual dogs and cats. My personal favorites in the complementary fabrics has to be the giraffe tiles. Great for so many blocks. Check it out:

Friday, November 7, 2008

Blocks of the Month 2009

Oh, it's so TEMPTING to show you the patterns we have in mind for our up-coming BOMs but you wouldn't see them in the colors WE are using.... so while this post might be annoying, keep in mind:
Good Things Come to Those Who Wait and oh, yeah..... are they ever good!

Jamestown: by Marti Michell, 12 unique blocks and 23 Log Cabins make up the elements for this queen size BOM and we will have two fabric lines to choose from, batiks and Morningstar by P & B Textiles We will focus in on the red, green and yellow fabrics..... not all in this swatch will be used. We are working on the sample and will post all as soon as they are complete.

If applique is your thing, we have a lovely Quilts in Bloom 12 month BOM. This is one where you choose your background to suit your own sensiblities and we do the rest (except the piecing, of course! That's your job) we bundle all the additional fabrics each month for the baskets and flowers.

Don't think a 12 month commitment is in the cards this year but nevertheless don't want to be left out of the fun? We have that covered too:
a seasonal 6 month BOM that can be made into a large wall hanging or sofa throw quilt. This quilt is made with both pieced blocks and fusible machine applique or can be done with turned applique if you prefer. Our BOM will be done in batiks...... Come back to see our version soon!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Very Hungry Caterpillar

Remember the Eric Carle story we read to our kids? Well Andover Fabrics has printed a fabric line based on the tale and we've got the bolts

Pearl has completed the sample and it's on display at the shop. You can download a copy of the pattern from It's called Kids' Strippy Quilt.

Monday, November 3, 2008

New Fabric Arriving!

Like I said, we're already (!) getting in new fabric from Market. Take a look at these beauties from Robert Kaufman:

Not exactly asian, very rich in color and design. Imagine using the focal fabrics as a kaleidescope or in a "Stack n Whack".

Let's not forget Mardi Gras (as if.....) it's just around the holiday corner and we have three elegant & sparkling bolts to get you in the mood.

Something simple, perhaps a table-runner. (psst. It doesn't always have to be a big project, like a quilt.)

Just a few new things here at Bright Hopes Quilting.