Thursday, December 19, 2013

January February Schedule of Classes


2014 will be here in less than 2 weeks and here is our new roster of classes.

We have new Blocks of the Months and fun new classes and all of us are really looking forward to starting off the year with energy and a sense of renewal.

Check 'em out and give us a call and remember the
 Our $60.00 coupon which entitles you to as many classes as you can take in a 6 month span. NO, there is NO CATCH. We only ask that you attend the one you sign up for or call us to let us know you must cancel in time for someone to take your place. Seats fill up quickly and it is only a kindness to allow someone on the waiting list get a chance.

Let's make 2014 the best and most creative year yet.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Kathy Brown and Strip-Smart II

We had tremendous fun last Saturday when Kathy Brown brought her trunk show for a show and tell. We never know what is in store so sitting back and watching it all unfold is a real hoot and roller coaster ride and Kathy never fails to impress us with her creativity and humor.

It started with a sneak preview of her up-coming Red Rooster children's line, A is for Animal,  (or Alphabet! Kathy's recurring self-deprecation is her ability to confuse names and nouns, but never faces)

While at Houston for Market, Kathy had samples of her newest patterns hanging up and they really attracted serious attention. Here are three of them.

Then we got busy seeing quilts from her new book, Strip-Smart II and the Double Strip Ruler, or the Dolly Parton ruler, as she calls it.

By now you are surely familiar with the ruler and how it helps you take 2.5" 'jelly roll' strips and quickly cuts them into half-square triangle blocks. Once you mix up the blocks, you can create a wide variety of quilts. 

What is different in this book, you ask? 

This time, Kathy explored using a 'background' strip for the other half-triangle and the results are very good! You end up with more negative space to play in with your quilting and the modern quilt look is very much evident.

Here are three quilts from her book to illustrate what I mean.

If you were unable to attend, here is a quick video of the highlights.

Ask us to show you her CHubbies patterns and the newest, Sleep Sack. They are super!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Quilted In Honor - Veteran's Day Observance

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day or Armistice Day and in observance of this day, I would like to take a moment and tell you about a program through Island Batiks called Quilted In Honor and Operation Homefront.

Quilted in Honor is a 2 year long fund-raising initiative by Island Batik and industry sponsors like pattern companies and quilt designers, big names you will recognize. The goal is raise awareness and money for our returning veterans and their families as they transition back to civilian life after service in the armed forces.

Now, this is NOT to be confused with Quilts of Valor, another fabulous program of donating quilts to wounded servicemen and women.

Through the purchase of patterns, fabrics and notions, a portion of all proceeds will be distributed to Operation Homefront to be used in their on-going assistance to their goal of assisting EVERY service member 

So, when you ask yourself, "What can I do?" the simple answer is, "Do what you love". If you love to sew, make a quilt to donate to Quilts of Valor and use one of the new batiks and you will be helping both organizations.

 If you want to make a quilt for someone you know, consider using Island Batiks new range of Quilted in Honor fabrics. A portion of what you purchase will be given directly to Operation Homefront. Or purchase one of the patterns and use your scraps and still a portion of your money will go to Operation Homefront.

If you come in to Bright Hopes Quilting and see the gorgeous line of batiks that were created for this program, you can flip through our catalogue of free patterns and get the yardage you will need and then download the pattern for free from the Island Batiks website at home. Go ahead, pop over now and check them out.

You will also find a number of them that are for purchase as well as 2 Blocks of the Month you can make at home. Even if you make one of these for yourself, you will be supporting the Operation Homefront organization and make a difference.

Okay, you ask, just how much is a "portion"?  Island Batik has pledged a minimum of $25,000. Now, that is a goal worth rallying around in my book!

But wait, there IS more!  If you go here, you can purchase a chance to win PJ Anderson's beautiful quilt, Stars of Glory, and every dollar goes directly to Operation Homefront AND you can enter a contest to bring Eleanor Burns to your favorite quilt shop for a workshop! Double-plus Good!

Each donation is $5.00 and there is a secure PayPal form after you fill out your drawing information.

So, I hope you have a memorable Veteran's Day tomorrow. We are open for business and look forward to showing you the beautiful batiks.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Colorful Tropics Block of the Month 2014

These are the final hours of the Houston Quilt Market, wrapping up another exciting weekend for Pearl and the girls..... as we wait for the triumphant return and hear all about the new things to come in the future, I'd like to take a brief moment to tell you about one of our 2 up-coming Blocks of the Month programs for 2014.

The first one is Colorful Tropics
by Barbara Bieraugel.

There is a nice balance of piecing and paper-piecing (the mariner's compass center) with just a touch of applique' and the pattern has an optional block for people who just won't 'go there' and will avoid anything to do with appliqué! 

It's easy to see that living in Hawaii can inspire beautiful quilt patterns in sun-drenched colors! This is an 11 month BOM that will start in January and will cost $22.99 each month. 

So, Thursday and Friday our UPS dude, Jeff, dropped off 2 boxes of the gorgeous batiks that go into this quilt...... this is going to be a real stunner!

It measures 76" x 89" and will include all patterns and fabric including binding to complete the quilt top. Batting and backing are not included.

If you would like to sign up for this Block of the Month, please give us a call at 985-845-9554. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

November - December Calendar of Classes

Here is the new schedule of classes fro November and December at Bright Hopes Quilting.

We think we have pulled together a great roster to see you through the holiday season.

Give us a call at 985-845-9554 to reserve your spots and remember that Saturday, Nov. 16, Kathy Brown will be bringing her Trunk Show to Bright Hopes for a show n tell in the morning!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fun With Fusibles!

Mary Green has pulled together all the good information about the wonderful world of fusible webs and has made a display board here at the shop that you can see and feel for yourself how they differ from one another behind fabric.

This may help you decide which is most appropriate for any project you are working on.

Please stop by, see what Mary made and make a small 'sampler' to take home for future reference.

Thanks Mary!!!! Great information!

Fun with Fusibles!


Fusible web is an iron-on adhesive made from a mesh of fibers with adhesive properties.  The fibers melt when heated to join two layers of fabric together.  There are a number of fusible web products out there but this is the common element.


Paper-Backed Fusibles


There are many brands of paper-backed fusibles. Heat n Bond Lite, Heat n Bond Feather Lite, Shades SoftFuse, and Bosal fusible come with one side of paper.  Steam-a-Seam 2 and Lite Steam-a-Seam are both products that come with paper on both sides of the fusible web.


The procedure for using a paper-backed fusible is generally the same:


1.     Remember to reverse the design in order to avoid a mirror image.

2.     Trace the reversed design onto the paper backing of the fusible web.

3.     Roughly cut out the traced object leaving about ¼ around the design, leave the paper attached.

4.     Iron the cut out piece of paper-backed fusible web to the wrong side of your applique fabric and allow it to cool.

5.     Cut the design to size, using the outlines drawn on the paper.  When cutting “to size” remember to include under or overlaps, if using.

6.     Peel off the paper backing.

7.     Iron the fused fabric into position


When using Steam-a-Seam 2 and Lite Steam-a-Seam the directions are slightly different since they have paper on both sides of the fusible web.  The double paper backing is because the fusible web is pressure sensitive on both sides allowing for a temporary hold to both the applique material and the background.  Here are good directions for using Steam-a-Seam products:


1.     Remove one piece of the paper backing.  One side should be easier to remove than the other, so check for this before drawing your design.

2.     Draw your reversed design onto the remaining paper backing and roughly cut around it.

3.     You can iron or just finger press the Steam-a-Seam to the wrong side of your applique fabric

4.     Cut out the design on the drawn lines.

5.     Position the applique on the background.  It can be moved until it is ironed.

6.     Fuse the applique to the surface with the iron on cotton setting for 3-5 seconds.  (The directions says 10-15 seconds but I think this is too long.  I do not iron my fusibles more than 3 seconds each time I use them.  Too much heat can cause the fusible web to darken.  You can always go back and iron again but you can’t take it back).


Misty Fuse

Misty Fuse is a non paper-backed fusible.  It performs the same function as other fusible web products but is very sheer, light weight, and does not add stiffness or bulk to layers of fabric.  It can be used with very sheer fabrics and lower temperatures.

However, the absence of a paper backing means that you can not draw your design onto Misty Fuse and you must use a non-stick pressing sheet or parchment paper in order to prevent the fusible from sticking to your iron or ironing board.

Directions for using Misty Fuse:

1.     Draw your design or applique onto freezer paper, Do not reverse.

2.     Fuse Misty Fuse to the wrong side of your applique fabric.

·        Use parchment paper or an applique pressing sheet to cover your ironing surface

·        Place Misty Fuse on the non-stick sheet

·        Place the applique fabric right side up (wrong side against the fusible) to cover the Misty Fuse completely

·        Press briefly using a medium heat setting

·        Fuse a larger piece of fabric than your planned applique piece.  Often people who like using Misty Fuse will pre-fused pieces of fabric so they are ready to cut out for future projects

3.     Press the freezer paper template to the right side of the pre-fused fabric and cut it out.  Keep the non-stick sheet under the fusible side of the Misty Fuse.

4.     Position the applique and press with medium-high heat to permanently fuse.

Things to remember with Misty Fuse:

·        You must use an applique pressing sheet or parchment paper

·        It can be used with sheer fabrics – like organza

·        You do not need to reverse the design when you draw it since it will be attached to the right side of the fabric and not flipped.

·        It is solvent-free with no added adhesives so it does not gum up needles

Everybody has their favorite when it comes to fusible web products.  I prefer Bosal for my everyday fusible projects because it comes on a bolt and is 15” wide so I can use it for large appliques.  Heat n Bond Lite and Heat n Bond Feather Lite also come on a bolt and are both 17” wide so they are good options for large projects too, or just for everyday.  Steam-a-Seam 2 and Lite Steam-a-Seam at Bright Hopes come on a roll 12” wide and are considered by many to be the standard in fusible webs.  Shades SoftFuse comes in 8x9 inch sheets (10 to a pack) and is great for smaller projects and projects where layering of appliques is done since the fusible web is so soft.  Misty Fuse may deceive you, because it is so sheer, that small package carries a piece of fusible that is 20” x 90” or 20” by 2.5 yards.  Misty Fuse can be a little persnickety to work with, but it is worth it for the lightness of this fusible.

One tip to remember:  Fusible lasts better when fused to fabric.  So if you have scraps laying around and like to do fusible applique then just put some fusible web on them, take off the paper backing (this is very important) and store them in a large plastic storage bag to maintain the moisture in the fusible.  Then the fabric will be ready to go whenever you are!  Fusibles can dry out over time so if you have some you have not used it in a while and it is not working properly – it just may be dried out.

Good things to have when working with fusible web products are an applique pressing sheet and an iron-cleaning product, because accidents do happen and it is best to be prepared.  I always like to clean my iron after I use fusible webs.  Since I often do large appliques I have two sizes of applique pressing sheets.  I also keep a Teflon sheet, parchment paper, and freezer paper handy.

I hope you have fun with fusibles !




Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Anniversary Wrap-Up

We want to thank all our fabulous customers & friends who came by during our 10th Anniversary celebrations. We had a terrific time seeing everyone and swapping pincushions. 

They were all just wonderful and everyone seemed pleased with the ones they received. Check out these smiling faces!

We had a blast watching quilters open the bags and pull out these pincushions. Thank you to all the participants for making this a successful swap.

Now, I have a quick tip to share when you find yourself in an unhappy situation in the middle of a free-forming project. 

We were demonstrating several rulers including the Double-Strip ruler by CreativeGrids. I had a jellyroll from a few years back but no yardage from the line. I also used the pattern, Penny Candy,&  from Kathy Brown's Strip-Smart Quilts book and after sewing all the strips and sewing the pieces back together, I found I was one block short of making a 4 x 5 setting!

Booo!!!!  Well, I could have just made a square format quilt but then I decided instead to insert a blank panel in the center. When I finally finish this baby quilt, I will applique' the recipient's name in that blank space!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Quilting Is Good For Your Health

Those of us who cheerfully call ourselves quilters already know this fact but now we have research to back it up!

It doesn't hurt that the mind behind the study in Glasgow is a quilter for the past 40+ or so years.....

Professor Jacqueline Atkinson, co-author of the study and a quilter herself for five decades, said: ‘Doing something that engages you and that you enjoy is key. As adults, we don’t often do enough that includes fun and play.

‘We put a lot into studying the use of green spaces and that’s useful to individuals and communities.

'But maybe we need to say there are other things too.’
So the next time you waver or hesitate over starting yet another project, just remember that this passion, this creative outlet is more than a hobby. It exercises your muscles, it sharpens your mind with math, it stimulates your pleasure-zones with color and reduces stress levels, except possibly when your quarter-inch seams are slightly too big.

But we can help with that!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Moda Blog Hop

Okay, so you've had a few weeks to recover from our SELA Shop Hop and you are no doubt aware that our 10th (count 'em, TEN) Anniversary is in less than two weeks away. 

So, with a little 'down time' on your hands, allow me to point you in the direction of  Laundry Basket Quilts and the estimable Edyta Sitar. WHY?  I'm so glad you asked!

That is a starting point for a super-cool multiple stop "blog hop" sponsored by MODA Fabrics (which we all LOVE) and at each stop along your way, you can download a specific pattern for a block and read each entry about the block that was chosen for them and how they chose to use it. 

The theme of this is "Size Matters" and you have no idea which direction each designer will take. The first one is 9 Patch and oh, I can hear say, "yeah, yeah". but really, go hit the link and you will see that the PDF has cutting instructions for itty bitty teenitsy 3" size all the way up to 24".

If for no other reason, like you don't have time to make another quilt! you might just want to make your own binder of common blocks to future reference. Or if you are really a techie at heart, you can save all the PDFs in a folder on your computer or tablet and save a tree.

 This is a fantastic and generous thing Moda and the designers are giving us and if that's not enough, well, you can also possibly win a gift by leaving a comment at each post.

At that first page you will find a roster of all the bloggers and which day they are posting their block so don't forget to book mark that page for easy recall.

Birgitte Heitland from Zen Chic has a fabulous block! 

I hope you enjoy the "hop" and remember, Bright Hopes Quilting is sponsoring a pincushion swap during the 3 day Sale-abration, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 19-21. Bring in a handmade pincushion in a Brown Paper Bag (no peeking) and swap it for another one made by quite possibly a friend! Put some effort into it and make sure your name is in their so if you do recognize each other, you can let them know......

We have crushed walnut shells for sale which we recommend for filling the pincushions and patterns for sale if you need a little help there. You can find patterns online if you google the words.

We'll have demonstrations of various rulers and notions as well as door prizes and fantastic new patterns and bundles all working off the 10 theme. You don't want to miss it!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Anniversary Pincushion Swap-ola!

Well, would you believe it? 

 Bright Hopes Quilting is turning 10 this month!

Ten years ago, Pearl opened the door to Mandeville's first complete quilt shop and now, we are gearing up to celebrate like it's 2013! Oh yeah....... it IS!

Man alive, I can't grasp that so many years have gone and so many quilts have passed through the doors but it's true. 

We are going to celebrate the occasion over the three days, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 19-21 and along with the sales and specials, we are hosting a Pincushion Swap.

Who can have too many pincushions, I ask you!? I have one specifically for the long-arm, one at the sewing machine, two on the cutting table that also act as weights for rolled up patterns and Heat n Bond type papers, and a few more just hanging around. 

Make a fun and unique pincushion, place it in a Brown Paper Bag and staple it (or we'll do that here) so no one can peek inside. Then, bring it in prior to the Anniversary or during the Sales Days and swap it for someone else's.

 Now, these should be not be purchased but rather, handmade and new. We carry patterns here at the shop and walnut shells for filling or you can find lots of free patterns on the internet by googling the words. 

As 10 is the Big Number, all of our specials are revolving around this number: 10 fat quarter bundles, patterns that feature ten fabrics, you get the drift.

So, stop by during the 3-day Celebrations and join us as we party down! 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sept. & Oct. Class Schedule

Okay, we're off and running with our new list of classes for September and October!

Once again, I think you will find a splendid selection to choose from, old favorites and new products, from beginners to veterans.
 The class coupon is the best buy in town so if you haven't taken advantage of this yet, come in and get yours. 6 months of classes for the unbeatable price of $60.00. As many as you can take.

We only ask that if you sign up, you make it and if you have to cancel, please tell us in advance in order to allow someone on stand-by to take your place.

Print the last page with the calendar for easy reference and give us a call at 985-845-9554.


Monday, August 26, 2013

The Learning Never Ends

With Shop Hop behind us and our 10th Anniversary looming, Bright Hopes Quilting staff took a Saturday day off to make a mini retreat!

As you who receive our weekly newsletter know by now, we have been stocking this interesting ruler, the Quick Curve Ruler for about 6 months now

and Celeste has offered a number of classes that use the ruler to make very cool quilts, such as the Urban Abacus.

Well, some of us have been casting a wistful eye on the ruler ourselves and decided to get in on the action together on Saturday and make Metro Rings.

Metro Rings is a pattern that totally takes the stress out of creating the traditional Double Wedding Rings quilt design and makes it a manageable and, dare I say enjoyable, experience. It's true!!!

We got our cutting instructions ahead of the class from Celeste and met at 9 am. After a quick overview, we started whacking away at our pre-sewn strip sets and moved on to the background pieces. By 10:00, sewing machines were humming up a storm.

You can see in the photos that we all use a wide selection of machines, from Featherweights to full Berninas and our fabric selections could not have been more varied if we had auditioned them prior to coming to class......

It isn't often that we get a chance for a play-day and everyone showed up for this one.....

Here, Mary is bringing together the concave and convex shapes of Japanese indigoes in a smooth sewing line.

Mona uses her stiletto to control the curve with Aunt Grace fabrics.

After a quick break for pizza (gotta keep the energy up!) we began putting the blocks together and look who is very pleased with the results!

Here you see 6 of the 8... from top left to lower right, 

Mona, Linda Kay
Jayne, Mary Green
Georgia, Mary Gerardi

So, now when you come into the shop with questions about the Quick Curved Ruler, we can all with great confidence explain how easy this ruler is to make fabulous blocks in a wide variety of patterns. 

We really love it when one tool creates many choices. It is especially gratifying to know that curved piecing is NOT difficult, when you know how to do it!

Next month is our 10th Anniversary and the start of another two month schedule of great classes. I'll be posting the new class calendar shortly. Stay tuned for more information on both of these......

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler! Shop Hop 2013

This is the first weekend of the 2013 South Louisiana Shop Hop and the fun begins in less than 24 hours.

We have 10 participating shop this year and we are happy, happy, happy to welcome Angie and The Quilted Owl into the group!

We have all been working hard to bring the 'Hoppers' the best and newest out there in the Quilting Universe and hope that everyone who is taking part in the festivities has a good time. After all, that is our theme every year!

 As we do each year, we design quilts in each shop and sell 'kits' to make the block that is specific to each store.  Each shop will have a different kit for sale for $5.00. The kit includes the fabric and instruction for that particular block. If you make it to each shop, in addition to getting your passport stamped, you will have a chance to buy your kit and see how each shop put them all together in their unique design. Finishing kits will be available for purchase at each shop as well so you can choose the one like and have everything you need to make a quilt top by the time you hit the last shop.

Only participating shops in the area will have these kits available.
Here again are the participating shops taking part in the Shop Hop for 2013.

Bright Hopes Quilting in Mandeville, LA
Sew This! in Abita Springs, LA
Mama's Quilt Shop in Independence, LA
Mes Amis in New Orleans, LA
The Quilted Owl in Jefferson, LA (on Jefferson Hwy near the Huey P. Long Bridge)
Cottage Creations in St. Gabriel, LA
Fabric Krazy in Baton Rouge, LA
The Quilt Niche in Houma, LA
The Quilt Cupboard in Morgan City, LA
The Borne Quilter, Lafayette, LA

Needless to say, dropping your name in the box for a chance to win any one of our fantastic baskets and getting your passport stamped at each shop is of high priority so make sure you come to our cutting table as you enter the store. If you bring those preprinted return address labels with you, you will save a little time there for looking around.

Remember that each passport includes $5.00 off coupons for regularly priced items totaling $25.00 and you will have a coupon for this at every store in the Shop Hop.

We also have a memory pin available for purchase if you have a passport, available only at participating stores and it is really pretty! $5.50

So, that brings us to the Prize Baskets!! Each store has a Big Prize Basket that will go to a lucky winner and all the passports that have been stamped by every shop will go into the box for the Super Big Prizes including the Grand Prize Tower.

(Notions & fabrics shown not included; For display purposes only)

The fun begins Friday, August 9 and we have extended
our hours to 9:00am to 6:00pm on Friday and Saturday and then again next Thursday- Saturday.
Come pass a good time with the participating shops in the
2013 South Louisiana Shop Hop!
We'll see you here!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Hoffman Challenge 2013 Results

I am so excited to announce that the Hoffman Challenge has posted the results and 5 quilts from Bright Hopes Quilting have been accepted into the traveling trunk shows.

At this writing, all the 'travelers' are being assembled at Loveland, Co at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Show and this is the only time all the quilts will be shown together.

After that, they are separated into trunks and sent off in various directions. You should know that Mary Gerardi's quilt will be at the Houston International Quilt Show in Oct-Nov. so look for it when you get to the George Brown Convention Center.

If any of the other quilts find their way to shows in the immediate area (East Texas - Pensacola, FL) I will let you know. I will also be on the road to go see them!

We are so excited and what a fantastic way to end our 10th year in business and spring-board into our 11th!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Shop Hop 2013 is NEXT MONTH!!!

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler, Y'all! 

We are now selling Shop Hop Passports!
Passports are $5.00 and include a $5.00 coupon for each participating Shop Hop store.
2013 Poster
The coupon can be used for regularly-priced merchandise with a $25.00 purchase. Customers purchasing a passport are eligible to buy a 2013 Shop Hop Pin, (which are beautiful!), for $5.50.
   Les 2013 Pin

Each participating shop will be selling their "quilt block" kit for $5.00. In addition, each shop will sell finishing kits for their individual quilt setting. As you hop, don't forget to look at each quilt. This year, all the block fabrics are identical and each setting is unique to each store.
 Here is the Bright Hopes Quilting Quilt for 2013
2013 Poster   
Every shop has their own prize basket as well; this is ours!! 
You won't believe the goodies we packed inside, valued at $250.00!
Shop Hop 2013 Basket
And when you drop your name in the tray, you will be in the running to win it. If you get your passport stamped in every shop, you are entered to win the Grand Prize,  a rotating Tower to hold books, fabrics, notions, rulers, threads and has a dry-erase board and bulletin board. It's really cool!!

Here is a run-down of all the participating shops:

Bright Hopes Quilting in Mandeville, LA
Sew This! in Abita Springs, LA
Mama's Quilt Shop in Independence, LA
Mes Amis in New Orleans, LA
The Quilted Owl in Jefferson, LA (under the Huey P. Long Bridge)
Cottage Creations in St. Gabriel, LA
Fabric Krazy in Baton Rouge, LA
The Quilt Niche in Houma, LA
The Quilt Cupboard in Morgan City, LA
The Borne Quilter, Lafayette, LA

10 SHOPS, YA'LL!!!!

Shop Hop 2013 takes place over 2 weekends this year for the first time,

 Friday and Saturday, August 9-10 and again, 

Thursday, Friday and Saturday, August 15, 16 and 17.
So, if you have never done a SHOP HOP, here are a few tips!

1. Bring a Friend. It's always more fun in pairs. Or teams!

2. Pace yourself. You have 5 days to hit every store so don't even THINK about getting to each one in a single day.

3. Have a plan. You can break down the distance by grouping the shops by location. 

4. Stop for lunch somewhere fun and make it memorable.

5. Bring those adhesive return address labels you have thousands of and save time filling out the drawing cards. You get a chance to win the basket at every shop!! But only if your name is IN THE HAT!

6. Chocolate. Bring chocolate. If you don't eat them, you can always feed the shop staff!

7. Bring a camera...... you never know. 

8. If you have a project that has hit a hard wall, this is the time to look for inspiration so bring swatches and a photo of it with you because you just might see something that will kick-start it again.

There's probably many many more hints and tips our there that I don't recall just now so if you have any, please leave us a comment!