Sunday, December 26, 2010

Annual Inventory Reduction 30% Off Sale

Our sale starts tomorrow at 10 am and runs until closing on Friday December 31.
If you want to come today we are here.
If you want to come about 9 am tomorrow we will be ready early.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays

The last idea for a present for your favourite quilter is always a gift certificate, especially since our Annual 30% Off Inventory Reduction Sale starts on Monday.

Wishing you a wonderful time with family and friends! Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Newest Arrivals

Just yesterday a couple of brand new items arrived!
'The Cutting Corners Ruler' is so new I haven't tried it yet but it looks very very interesting. Here is what the promotion info says:
How does it work? It’s simple! The Cutting Corners Ruler™ gives you the simple and accurate measurements to eliminate a corner from a block, a square, a rectangle or triangle, while leaving the seam allowance on the remaining piece. Just add another fabric (pieced or not) and turn plain blocks into complex beauties.
Now doesn't that sound like a way to spice up a quilt!

The GO Baby arrived yesterday. Now we have 3 so if you want one, let us know so we can put your name on it until you can get here.
If someone still needs something for your stocking, we have charm packs of 5" squares that would fil very nicely....

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pillowcases for Everyone

Pillowcases are great for using up your stash and wrapping all kinds of presents. Anne has been having a great time choosing fabrics for kits so there are plenty of choices. I can email the pattern to you as a PDF file, if you send a request to
I made 3 on Sunday to use for wrapping toys. You can see my 'Spot' case, filled for Christmas Day, in the background.
One magazine is running a campaign to encourage making and donating one million pillowcases. For ideas and free patterns, try googling 'hotdog', 'roll up', 'sausage' or 'burrito' pillowcase pattern and learn to make them even faster than my way. It's not too late!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Quilters Pocket Map: Ontario

This Ontario map shows where the sponsoring quilt shops are within the province. The map includes a free pattern from Eleanor Burns. Also included are the address and phone numbers for the shops so you can contact them. The suggested price is $10 but we are selling them for $5.

On these wintry days when you need a break from stitching, why not plan a family road trip or a shop hop for friends. That should provide sweet dreams during nap time.

Monday, December 20, 2010

deColourant for the Fibre Artist

Something new for those who want to remove colour, as in play with fabric. I found this explanation and couldn't say it better.
This citrus paste/creme is available in an 8 oz. jar to stamp, stencil or print with. There is a 4 oz. spray bottle available too. deColourant is safe to work with and does not damage your fabrics. It requires heat to work , either ironing, a heat gun, or even the sun! This product is a pretty safe chemical, but as always you are encouraged practise proper use and safe working conditions. They tested this product on hand-dyed cotton, silk and wool yardage and found it to discharge well, in addition to showing no damage to the fabric.

As always, you should play with it first to get to understand the qualities, quirks and possible uses in your work.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Quilters Are Special

About this time when working on the blog I seem to get a little philosophical. So here is what I am thinking.
After attending a quilting conference far away alone I came to realize that whenever you meet a quilter you have found a friend. Carry a bag you have made or wear a quilted item and someone will ask, "Did you make that?" Most of the time she will be a quilter and you have found someone to share with.
Quilters are unique. The reports say quilting is a billion dollar industry. Quilters purchase fabric with the main intent of giving it away. We plan a quilt thinking about someone else. We spend hours of our time sewing and stitching thinking about the receipient. We support other families by investing in the time of a machine quilter. Sure, many quilters have a stash but it is there in case we need a quick shower gift, baby quilt, hostess gift or quilt for someone in an emergency loss. We make and give, hoping the receipient will feel the warmth and love stitched into the quilt. So out of that billion dollars, what percentage do we save for ourselves? 10 percent? How impressive are quilters? Obviously more than anyone realizes....except, perhaps, a knitter.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

'Making Waves' by Among Brenda's Quilts

Have leftover 2 1/2" strips from jelly rolls? Need a fast hostess gift? Then, 'Making Waves' is for you. Easy to piece, quick to quilt and machine sewn binding make this pattern just what you need.
I timed myself making 4 placemats and a runner. It took:
8 minutes to die cut 36 strips
50 minutes to chain piece all pieces
15 mintes to quilt and bind 1 placemat
I'll let you know how long the rest take....

Friday, December 17, 2010

Die Cutting Service

We have an Accuquilt Studio die cutter and will cut for you. It is based on $25 per hour. If you come and prepare your fabric for the die you can downsize your stash for under $10. For example:
over 400 charm squares- 8 of each fabric
over 400 strips at 1 1/2"- 8 of each fabric
over 220 strips at 2 1/2"- 5 of each
over 200 pyramids for a Thousand Pyramid quilt
lots of side triangles for the pyramids

If you check out the AccuQuilt website, we have the Studio dies to do the 12" finished squares and more. If you are into penny rugs, we can cut pennies from felt for you. Let us cut for you!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Triangle Paper

Now you should be ready for going on a retreat, assuming your loved ones are reading the block, signed you up and have your personal station equipped. Let's talk about ways to speed up piecing so you can maximize your sewing time.
'Triangle Paper' by Quiltime is newsprint ready to sew into bias squares. For $5.39 you can make 700 squares to finish 1" ( different to the photo) or for $6.69 you can make 720 squares to finish 1 1/2". There is a variety pack with 3 sheets to make 10 different sizes from 1" to 5". After sewing on dotted lines and cutting on solid lines, the newsprint tears away easily so all you have to do is press open. Check out Quiltime website for more information and free patterns, .

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mini Iron by Clover

Now all you need for your retreat workstation is a mini-iron. Yes, you will need to get up and go to the communal cutting and ironing areas for a stretch and visit now and again but with the FoldAway and Mini-Iron you can work right by your machine. Imagine how much you can accomplish!
Clover makes 2 versions of the mini-iron. The first version is for small pressing jobs and is loved by appliquers. The Mini-Iron II has an adapter so you can change the tips for a multiple of fibre art uses.
We are getting some other versions of small irons suitable for retreats or classes. Seems everyone is thinking about our ironing needs as we travel to sew with friends. Yeah!

Omnigrid FoldAway Cutting and Pressing Station

This is at the top of my Christmas list. It comes in three sizes and is perfect for taking to class or a retreat as it makes any area your workstation. The FoldAway is a portable cutting and pressing station since it has a cutting mat on one side and a non-stick ironing surface on the other. The largest has an 12" by 18" mat and ironing surface ($47.99) while mini-makers would love the 7" by 7". It folds for travel and storage. Use both sides or fold one under.

Material Girls Retreat

Friday March 25 to Sunday March 27
Festival Inn
Stratford Ontario

Imagine the chance to sew for 3 days, meals made, friends and laughter. Work on projects of your choosing, knowing that if you need help someone is right there.
I've been trying to think of how to describe what you get from a retreat. It is too much to list in this short blog so I will save everything and do it in January. It makes me excited just thinking about the next retreat.... Sewing goes so much faster with friends.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Block of the Month: Patriots in Petticoats

Jacob and Louisa Marsh were Quakers who built the store in 1869. One of their daughters married a doctor from Pennsylvania and moved there. The fabric for the Block of the Month program from Windham Fabrics, called 'Patriots In Petticoats', is from the Hanna Wallis collection. Hanna Wallis was a Pennsylvania Quaker who married a doctor so it seemed appropriate for us to take part in this program. The fabrics are late 1700 reproductions.

I am working on the store sample to make sure the patterns and fabric requirements work. As soon as the first shipment arrives (any day now) we will be able to establish the price which should be in the $30-35 for the patterns, top fabric and binding.

The quilt is 98" by 98". The first 8 months you make two 10" blocks. Next month is the centre medallion, then the log cabins followed by the ribbon border and, finally, the outside border. There are monthly meetings to discuss that month's blocks, useful techniques and questions. Time for sewing with some directions can be booked.

Block of the Month programs are a great way to have fun making a quilt.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

True Grips

Tim and I saw this at Quilt Market last May. The package contains 15 grips and retails at $5.99. They are made by 'The Grace Company'.
These non-slip adhesive rings cling to the back of rulers to help you cut more accurately. We tried 3 rings on the back of a 3 1/2" by 24" ruler. It did help reduce slipping on the fabric but really helped with the ruler on the cutting mat. The more I used the ruler the more I noticed the difference. Being frugal, 3 were enough but I could have used more and noticed a bigger difference. The rings are pressure sensitive and can be removed. The ruler and rings may need cleaning if the rings are changes around frequently.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

EQ Printables

Why would you include Printables in your Christmas list? They will involve your family in your quilt making and make quilt historians happy.
Use the fabric sheets in the computer printer. Ask a computer savvy family member to type or use a publishing program to create quilt labels. Then all you have to do is print them on the fabric, sew on a 1/2" fabric frame and stitch it to the back of your quilt. As a special treat to the family computer expert, have a photo added to the label.
'EQ Foundations' are newsprint foundation paper that you can use to make multiple copies for paper piecing. How easy is that? Or, another opportunity to involve the family computer expert and show all that you are ready to embrace technology!

Quilters Love Books

Books inspire us, teach us and entertain us when we relax with one at break time. As an elementary teacher-librarian for many years, I love children's books too. Now you may understand why our children's fabric selection focuses on kid's books: Spot, Maisie, Eric Carle characters, Dr Seuss and more to come.

Off to read......

Wool Batting by Legacy

It has been snowing for days and I can hardly see off the balcony while quilting in my chair. The wind blows through the cracks of this old building so the perfect time to plan a warm throw with Legacy wool batting.
It is so soft and a pleasure to hand quilt. Legacy says 'super washed wool blended with binder fibers to thermal bond'. The binder fibers makes it shrink less, 0-2%. Quilt stitch spacing is 4" or less. At $20/m it is the priciest batting but worth every bit.
Come and try a few hand stitches on our sample.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Triangle Square Up Ruler

I am including this useful ruler again this year. It is by 'Quilt In a Day', Eleanor Burns. After many years of piecing, I know I do much better by sewing bias squares too large and trimming them to size. Cutting the triangles and sewing accurately seldom works for me. This ruler saves so much time because you trim the square to size after sewing and before pressing it open. You cut all four sides by trimming two. It is especially helpful when sewing small squares, like the 1" finished ones I've been doing.

'Wrap-ability' by Brenda

Just in time for major snow and party season! Brenda of 'Among Brenda's Quilts' has thought about our wardrobe and how to highlight it with a little sewing...maybe even from our stash.

Make the short version in black with gold for festive wear. As I watch the snow fall I am more and more anxious to get a hood made for walking with Nellie. Hmmm, off to sew.....

Imperial Fusions: Kyoto

This is what they say on the Robert Kaufman website:

This best-selling collection series returns in an all new offering of Asian-inspired floral blenders with a Far East twist. Expert coloring includes rich crimsons, brilliant purples, and dynamic blues. Luminous metallic gold accents add an extra layer of sophistication and dimension.

Because they are part of the Fusions line these fabrics co-ordinate with other RK prints and make stunning quilts or quilted pieces. Need a special bag for holiday parties? They have the sparkle to match your most festive outfits.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Favourite Seam Ripper

Not that I need one...too often... but my favourite seam ripper is the Fons & Porter Ergonomic Seam Ripper. The large handle makes it comfortable to hold with even the tightest stitches. The rounded bottom works like a pencil eraser to pull out the thread bits left behind. It's the sharpest ripper I've had the pleasure of using.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Baby GO!

Have you been dreaming of the possibilities using a die cutting machine? AccuQuilt has been thinking about you. The newest addition is arriving soon! We have ordered several so if you want one under your Christmas tree call or email and reserve yours as soon as possible.

The GO Baby takes 6" wide dies so many of the applique and shapes dies already fit it. AccuQuilt is resizing strip cutters too. Check out the Accuquilt website for tons of ideas and more information.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Binding Tool

Once in a long time we come across a tool that is worth the money. Yesterday I tried the Fons & Porter binding tool. I absolutely love it! No math, no resewing, no extra bulk to fit in and not too short.

I followed the instructions and photos. I was done in half the time and needed only tea (not something stronger) afterwards. I found the instructions on their website but you could call to arrange a demo sometime.