Thursday, April 24, 2014

Schedule of Classes for May and June 2014

Alright Alright Alright!!!!

We have the new roster of classes for you to look over. We think you will find some fun new patterns and if you one of the ones wanting to learn hand quilting, here is the one you've been patiently waiting for.

The beautiful "When Bali Met Sochi" quilt is now on display and Mary G did a fabulous job. She will offering a 2-part class in piecing it in May and a Little Something jacket class in June.

Check it out and give us a call to reserved YOUR place! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

4th Saturday Whoo-HOO!

For some time now, Bright Hopes Quilting has been closed on the 4th Saturday of each month (and the odd 5th Saturday) but starting in the month of April, we have added the 4th Saturday of each month as OPEN FOR BUSINESS!!!!

As on the other Saturdays, our hours are 9:30 am  to 2:00 pm.

To really KICK THINGS OFF, the 4th Saturday this month we are hosting a day of Quilting for the Brave: a new drive to make 168 quilts by September (ish) and donate them to returning soldiers right here in Louisiana. Anyone reading this post is invited to participate in any manner they possibly can.

Our First Stay and Quilt day is Saturday, April 26. We will be working in two shifts (morning and afternoon) to accommodate people who cannot take all 5 hours to sew. You may bring your fabrics and sewing machine and do the piecing; you can bring a friend and share the fun of running to the ironing board; you can bring with you Red, White and Blue 'strings' and foundation and make a bunch of 12.5" string blocks..... however you would like to participate. You know, you can even donate 100% cotton fabric for guilds to make up the quilts.

So, what is this all about?...... members of the Louisiana National Guard are deployed in Afghanistan and will be returning this fall and our goal is to wrap every one of them in a quilt as they step back onto Louisiana soil. The 'rules' for the quilts are few.

1. The colors used should be Red White and Blue and Yellow if you wish as it signifies  Welcome Home and the fabric must be 100% cotton.
2. Each finished quilt should measure at least 60" x 72" inches. or larger.
3. If the fabrics you choose have a floral theme, please keep it subtle.
4. Please attach a label identifying who pieced and quilted it.
5. If possible, include a pillowcase to keep the quilt protected until it is given.

You can make any quilt design you would like. There are plenty of free patterns online and we have ideas at the shop and bundles of fabric and easy patterns if you would like to buy some. Nothing needs to be elaborate or difficult. These are 'labors' of love and should reflect a giving back to those who have given to our country.

If you have any questions, you can leave a comment of give us a call. Drop in and see how the stack begins to grow in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Free-Motion Quilting

From the title of this post, you probably gather that this is focusing on something lots of us already do and many want to learn.

With the advent and availability of the modified "long-arms", we are able to move from machine quilting on our standard machine over to the rails and tables more easily. Having a brand-name high-end machine is terrific if 1. you can afford it and 2. have the space required to set one up and 3. the time to actually use it.

The Handi-Quilters, Tin Lizzies and others have solved this dilemma for many and every month we hear more people getting them and this can be an exciting time in quilting.

However, one thing that never seems to change is that of tension control and how to achieve it. I have been using my machine now for 7 years and occasionally get it bang on and other times just struggle so in an attempt last week to verify what I thought I knew, I came across this video about tension in both the bobbin and the top-thread.

I don't know where Jamie Wallen has been these past 7 years but they say, "When you are ready, the teacher will appear." This certainly came true for me over the weekend. While buzzing around YouTube learning about my machine, I saw this video on the sidebar and thought, "What does he have to say about the topic?"

Now, while I do dust out the bobbin area on my machine between every new bobbin and brush out the bobbin case as well with each new bobbin, it never occurred to me that lint might catch under the tension arm on the case! And when you watch how he tests the tension by hanging the bobbin case from the thread? This part was what I had learned last week (after 7 years, mind you). How gratifying it is to know that despite what the manual said, the tension I achieved (finally) resembled what this man says more than the manufacturer.

If you have a long-arm, modified or one of the really big guys, and have struggled with tension issues, I urge you watch this video (twice). I learned a few more things about tension and control and where to locate the 'hook' in the batting. VERY GOOD INFORMATION!!!!

Now, those who do like to play with the free-motion quilting and are willing but intimidated by feathering or curls would learn a lot from his other videos as well. Here he explains how he sets up and stitches feathers.

Karen Hansen has another splendid video explaining What To Quilt On Your Quilt that is worth the hour invested in the watching. I really like that she says, "DO what you CAN". I think those are words to live by.....

With all of this good information comes the added obvious final word: Practice.

Practice should be fun not stressful, and with more practice it becomes more fun. Before you know it, you will be doodling feathers and curls on scraps of paper, the backs of envelopes and the shower door.

Our own Mary Green teaches basic Machine Quilting on Saturdays every other month or so and is teeming with experience, ideas and lessons to get you started on the road to machine quilting. If you would like to learn more and when her next class will be offered, drop us a line or give us a call.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Operation: Quilts for the Brave

Our Armed Forces have given so much and over the  past decade we have seen sacrifices from all branches. Here locally in St. Tammany Parish, our National Guard unit has recently been deployed in Afghanistan and is scheduled to return this fall.

Carol Miller and quilters from across the border in Mississippi surprised the 131 members of Bravo 155th in Poplarville a few years ago and we are going to do it again with the Covington, LA National Guard.

As they step back onto Louisiana soil, our goal is to wrap every one of the 168 soldiers with full-sized quilts of Red, White and Blue.

We are already underway and ask anyone reading this blog post to donate either a block (or more) or an entire quilt. The restrictions for this project are relatively few.

1. Every finished quilt must measure at least 60" x 72" and larger is fine.
2. You may use any pattern you like and the colors, RED, WHITE and BLUE. Yellow may be used as it is the color of Welcome and if you use florals at all, please keep it at a minimum.
3. Please use low-loft batting.
4. Include a label listing the piecer and quilter so the recipient knows who made their quilt.
5. LAST but NOT LEAST, please try to keep it a surprise...

As time goes by, we will post the progress both here and in our newsletter.

Drop by the shop to see examples of quilts and get ideas for making one (or more).  "Many hands make light work" and we have great ideas for making these men and women feel welcomed back home.

 Here are two!!!!