Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Block of the Month- The Seasoned Quilter

Some of you stitchers out there may well recognize this lady, The Seasoned Quilter, by Amy Bradley. She's a HOOT!

Pearl offered her as a BOM back in, (are you sitting down?) 2006! Wow, has it been that long?

She is holding in her 3-dimensional "hands" a complete quilt! Each month will be a kit to make another quilt based on a holiday or seasonal theme.
Here is "Easter"

and this is a year-round "welcome" sign.

This makes a fun fusible applique project using your blanket stitch on the sewing machine but just as easily done is needle-turning. Then, let the embellishing begin!

Well, there are new quilters who are just meeting her for the first time, and others who missed out altogether back then, who are signing up for our new 10- month BOM. We will be starting the BOM shortly and I'll give all the good information in this week's newsletter but if you want to get a jump on the BOM, give Pearl a call at 985-845-9554.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Valentine's Day Challenge- Up-dated!

If you received our newsletter last week and read to the bottom, you will have learned of our new "challenge".

This year, to give a kick to Valentine's Day, we are hosting a "Red and White" challenge open to everyone, even those of you at a long distance! To shake it up a bit, we are including two sizes.

Bring or mail in any one 12.5" unfinished or two 6.5" unfinished blocks using only
Red and White fabric

and be entered to win them all. The blocks can be of any design; 8 pt star, churn dash, square in a square, curved seams, schoolhouse, anything you can think of.

Now you might ask yourself, "Why two 6.5" blocks?" We think knowing that all the block designs will be different, mixing them up along with the 12.5" can make for an exciting sampler for some lucky winner.

If you are stumped for a pattern, Pearl is handing out instructions for a unique "danish heart" design in either size to anyone who comes by.* How unique is it? I can't find a single photo of it thru Google (Found them! not many......) but it is based on this:

I'll make a sample and post a photo on this message shortly. Up date! Here it is in both sizes:

a scrappy heart and a more unified heart

Pearl has a complete quilt on display where she repeatedly used the block.

We will draw the winner on Lagniappe (Leap) Day, February 29 and announce the winner who hopefully leap for joy!

Here is a video taken from a show last year of Infinite Variety, RED AND WHITE quilts at the American Folk Art Museum from a collection of 650 quilts owned by Joanne S Ross. I love how the quilts were displayed, floating en masse from the high ceiling in darkness, with stars shining above. Such an amazing collection.

Danish Heart Block

* If you read this far, you know I have added the instructions for the Danish Hearts right here:

For 12.5":

Cut :
1 - 4.25" White Square
4- 2.5" White Squares
2- 4.25" x 8.75" rectangles in two complementary red fabrics
5- 3.25" squares 'from one of the red'
4- 3.25" squares 'from the other red'

Make a 9-Patch with the 9 - 3.25" squares and set aside

Draw a diagonal line across the back of the 4 2.5" white squares. Place one of the squares on the upper right corner of one of the 4.25" x 8.75" rectangles and sew on the drawn line. Trim the seam to .25" and press away from the rectangle. Repeat on opposite (left) upper corner. Now repeat these steps on the other red rectangle.

You should now have :
1 - 4.25 white square, 1 rectangle unit
1 - rectangle unit, one 9-patch.

Sew this "four Patch" into the heart!

For 6.5":

Cut :
1 - 2.5" White Square
4 - 1.5" White Squares
2- 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles in two complementary red fabrics
5- 1 7/8" squares 'from one of the red'
4- 1 7/8" squares 'from the other red'

When you have made the 9-Patch, trim it to an accurate 4.5" square!
Repeat the other steps from the 12.5" heart.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Kathy Brown Fat Quarter Cutter

We had a terrific turn-out for the Demo Day last Saturday and I was only able to snap a few photos of Celeste and the embellished Patternista balls and 4 videos of Kathy Brown telling us about her recent activities.

Here is a quick snippet of Kathy:

I love that smart=phone app linker on her rulers. The scan takes you straight to a video where she shows you everything about the rulers. For those of you who haven't had the chance to look at one up-close, check it out:

As you can see all the unnecessary lines are eliminated and only the most-used widths are clearly lined down the length and then across the widths you see the outline to square up any charms, 2.5" and 1.5" measurements. In addition, she specified where the grippers should be on the back for the best use...... not only are they behind every number, the grippers are completely around the outer edge of the ruler. All grip, no slip!

Kathy designed this ruler to be most friendly with the popular fat quarters. The wrapper has all the dimensions you can expect to cut with this ruler from any FQ.

Here is Celeste and a couple of the Patternista balls. She used Paula Nadelstern's new fabric and beads to embellish the ornament.

If you didn't get a chance to make it, we will be repeating the Demo next Friday, January 27 between 10 am and Noon. Sadly Kathy won't be with us but you can see how smart and useful her Fat Quarter Cutter is for yourself and all the other neat notions and projects.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Newsletter Correction

Hi there,
A mistake was made in the body of the newsletter that went out two weeks ago.

For the class, Strip Six: The actual date of class is February 28.

In the description, it reads February 14. That should be Feb. 28. Sorry for any confusion.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Duffle Bags with Linda Kay

Her 2-day class ended yesterday afternoon and I wanted to post the photos of the finished products.

The stitchers look very pleased with the results and I think they made wonderful duffles!

Linda Kay is taking new sign-ups for the next class in March.

When I popped in the shop this morning to buy binding fabric, I saw a new shipment of Michael Miller material being dropped off. And the sale fabric in the back really took a hit over the weekend and Monday!

We have our first Demo Day on Saturday, Jan. 14 with Kathy Brown and her Fat Quarter Cutter at 10:00 am followed by the staff showing new patterns and notions. I am very excited about the LED Mag-Ripper, (These eyes ain't getting any better on their own!) and we have another one that Georgia is keen on; a surgical-styled ripper.

I am just putting the final quilting on a top out of the Strip Smart Quilts book by Kathy B. and hope to have it at the Shop by Saturday. See you there!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

ARRRGGGHHHH!!! (or Tenacious Me)

I have just spent the (much) better part of three (count 'em, 3) hours trying to solve a sewing machine problem and if you read this to the end, it might just save you from the same.

I have a Viking Lily and I love the machine almost entirely. It would be beyond awesome if the dern feet didn't cost and arm and a leg. Love the drop-in bobbin and that I don't have to unwind the thread in order to wind a bobbin. I just pull the thread under the raised foot and loop it up by the tension coil and over to the bobbin winder and whizz it off the spool. Terrific feature, that.

It is a quiet machine, as well, especially when I compare it to the Singer student model I had been using for many years.

So, today I was sewing along and minding my own business, when I noticed the machine sounded noisier than usual. A clicking sound. Hmmmm. So I took the bobbin case out and cleaned the obvious lint away. That usually does the trick, and it did. Temporarily.

Then some time later, I got that weird looping/sticking that happens when the thread pops out of the arm that lifts up and down along with the needle. I recognize very quickly when that occurs because the needle jams. So quick as a bug, I pulled the thread up and back over the raised arm. All was well in with my world..... except the bobbin sounded loudish again. Like a click, click. Not with every stroke and not rhythmically.

Weird. So, I popped the bobbin mechanism open again and did more thorough cleaning. Ever notice how much lint can get caught in the feed dogs? It's amazing! Linda Kay gave me some pipe cleaner gizmos her husband made and I use them regularly to keep the area clean. Now, I put them to very good use. Put everything back together and went along my merry way. Or so I thought.

There was that click again! What the heck? But I don't give up or give in. Now I decide I really must figure out how to take the back of the machine off far enough to get under the feed dogs and bobbin case. That took 20+minutes alone and I tip my hat off to those Swedes. Once you know how, it makes perfect sense. Right up til then, I was thinking evil thoughts. In Swedish.

So, with everything clean again, I screw the back into place, reinsert the bobbin case and feed dog cover and drop in the bobbin and cover the case and....... Click. And I am reminded of this

That's me!!!!! Except it's a sewing machine instead of computer and no Frank and no birthday cake! "there's something wrong......."

When the needle goes down, all is good. When the needle comes back up again, it makes the bobbin "lift" in it's case. Not every time... just enough to allow me to stitch and lose my mind!

I kept at it, until I figured it and here is where you come in. Ever heard the phrase

"Be a wonderful example or a terrible warning to others"?

Well, you decide what I am. The solution to the problem was so simple, I blush to disclose.

I sat there fuming and staring at the bobbin for a few minutes, racking my brain for an answer when I my eyes drifted upward..... right above the needle, just past the tension coil to the arm. Remember the arm? The one that occasionally allows the thread to pop off and jam the needle?

Like it did a couple of hours ago? When I pulled the thread up and over the arm, I had accidentally twisted it, causing an additional tension against the bobbin thread. Duh!

So there you go...... always, ALWAYS RETHREAD the machine when you jam! Don't take the short-cut.

That is right up there with "It's usually the simplest solution to most problems. We just make them more complicated!"

On the up-side, I know how to open the back of the Lily! And the machine is so clean it squeaks! (no, it doesn't. It purrs)

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Oh I hope you all had a very Happy and Safe New Years Eve. Can you believe it's 2012!

A LEAP year and an election year...... and a year of quilting up a storm. I know I am hitting it hard, fast and early this morning.

I have one of two Barbara Brackman Civil War quilts on the design board (which incidentally isn't large enough to accommodate all the blocks......) (I'm just saying...) and have it almost all together. I'll post a shot of it soon.

Up-date: here it is!

I started this project in January last as an attempt to rein in all my stash. Both of the tops are a "controlled" scrappy quilt and put a serious dent in my fabric collections but I still have a ways to go before I can call my pile "manageable". I'm working on it!

HOWEVER, Pearl has made it that much more difficult for me because she put 3 rows of fabulous bolts on the sale table as we closed out the year and you can see below how much is going to be available at $5.99 a yard when the doors open Tuesday morning.

Now if you look over to the far left side of the first photo, you'll see 3 large bins of fabrics. Stuff as much as you can up to the handle of our provided plastic bag and it's all yours for $7.99. We have batiks, Kaffe Fassett, Jinny Beyer, blenders, prints you name it. This is a great way to get small pieces for applique projects.

So, I guess you know where I'll be Tuesday morning!

In the meantime, I wonder if you know that the Dr. Seuss book, "the Lorax" is about to be released as an animated film? We have just received our long-anticipated shipment of the fabrics and you will not believe how soft the 'hand' is on them. The colors are brilliant and the selection is terrific. All of the bolts are made with organic cotton.

This quilt pattern, Speak for the Trees, is free from Robert Kaufman Fabrics

We have also finally received the focus fabric Peacock Panel from the Timeless Treasures collection, Plume. It is really really gorgeous.

Timeless Treasures is holding a "challenge" for this line and you can pick up the informational brochure at the shop.

Block of the Month!

Dancing with the Stars
Amish with the Twist

Blocks of the Month Sign Up is underway so if you are interested in joining in, drop by or give us a call and we'll be kitting up, ready to distribute Dancing with the Stars first month on February 1. Amish with a Twist will begin in March. As always, we do not charge a registration fee for joining.

I'd like to do something fun this year to showcase the quilts YOU make with fabrics you bought in Bright Hopes...... if you would like to add yours to the queue, please send a clear photo of the quilt, and yourself in the shot if you'd like!, and I'll add it the slideshow.

Let's make a bright and colorful 2012. Happy stitching...