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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

We are on Facebook!

Hey everyone,
We are moving up in the technology world!  We are now on facebook - search for Always In Stitches Ohio and become a fan!  We will try to keep you more updated on upcoming events, but don't forget to come in to the shop to register for classes, etc. Of course, we are just getting it started, so be patient with us.

One of the new books which just came in is Garden Song Art to Heart by Nancy Halvorsen.
Says Nancy, "The memory of my grandma's beautiful garden was the inspiration for these bright and wonderful projects. They include a quilt 59" x 80", aprons, tea towels, hot pad, pillows, table runner, mug cozies, panel quilt 39" x 58", garden stake banners."

What's New for Spring? How about small, easy projects? Like Patch Abilities "That's For the Birds!" wallhanging.

or how fun it would be to make an adorable Spring wall quilt (maybe April Showers? or May Flowers?) from Kim Schaefer's Calendar Quilts (see the picture at the bottom)

KyleAnn's first sock class finished up - and all five participants completed their first sock! Enthusiams was high and, believe me, everyone had a lot of fun. Here are some pictures of each knitter modeling her own sock: 
Deb is starting her Wool Crazy class on April 11th at 12:30. This is a monthly class that will continue to meet on the second Sunday of the month.
Stop in and say Hey!  Happy Spring... I think it is finally here!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Classes, Calendars and Other Cool Stuff

Wow, hasn't March flown by?? I am so ready for spring and warm weather. I would also love to get my sewing room cleaned and straightened out (Do you think it is going to happen?). 

We have some really cool new things in the shop this week. For those of you who, like KyleAnn, can't  function without a calendar, check out the new Threads of Time 2011 Engagement Calendar by Blackbird Designs.

Alma Allen of Blackbird Designs has put together this beautiful engagement calendar that features photographs that she took of everyday sewing items.

From Alma: "Some pleasures never fade with the passage of time. Small tarnished thimbles, old balls of thread, celluloid tape measures, needle cases and lace-making bobbins spangled with old trader beads are treasured finds. Collecting everyday items has been a real joy for me. As you record your days in this calendar I hope you find joy in these small things too. May your days be filled with bits of ribbon, jars of buttons and glorious silk threads."

Calendar features a different page spread for all 52 weeks of 2011, each paired with a beautiful photograph taken by Alma of her stunning collection.

And for those who want a darling wall calendar, check out She's Sew Silly! Mrs. bobbins' 2011 Calendar.

Aaah, Mrs. Bobbins. You’ve gotta love her. She’s quirky. She’s fun. And as much as you might not like to admit it, she kind of reminds you of, well, you!

Quilting is her passion. It’s often the first thing she thinks about when she goes to bed at night, and the first thing she thinks about when she wakes up in the morning. She literally eats (she makes quilt cookies!), breathes and lives quilting!

This calendar showcases 12 favorite Mrs. Bobbins cartoons from the past year. You’ll see how Mrs. Bobbins celebrates her holidays. You’ll also learn how Mr. Bobbins – her DH – can get himself into a bit of quilty trouble.

Whether she’s being chased by bees or bluffing at the quilt show, you’ll get to enjoy Mrs. Bobbins the whole year through!

Prefer a cushion when you sit to sew? Welllllll, check out The Gypsy Sit Upon. Sit comfortably for hours while quilting, sewing, reading, driving, and more.

Softly inflated flexible disc prevents fatigue and reduces pressure on the tailbone.
Helps relieve lower back pain, strengthens core muscles, and improves posture.
Nubby texture allows cooling air flow, and promotes improved blood circulation.
Durable purple rubberized material remains soft and pliable. One size fits all!
You'd think that after the retreat that the shop would be real quiet.  NOT!  We've been quite busy - thank you very much! And what with the upcoming Race for the Cure, area quilt shows, and shop hops - wow! We are getting new fabric in nearly every day and just can't keep it on the shelves! (Thank you,  thank you, thank you!)  So you really want to stop in often to see what's new before it disappears.  (see retreat pictures below)

Classes are going well. Patty's Complete Quilting class is nearly finished for this session and the follow-up class, Start Quilting Sampler, will begin soon. 
For those interested in hand-applique, THIS SATURDAY (at 1:00 pm) is a beginning applique class (2-part class) Call the shop now to register.  Be sure you leave your phone number and/or email address for the instructor to contact you before class.  Part 2 is April 10.  Supplies list: Background fabric: 16" x 14-1/2"; vinyl (approximately same size); fabrics  for leaves,  ghreads  to match; permanent marker and fabric markers, freezer paper, sandpaper board is a help, paper scissors, small sharp pointed scissors, small applique pins plus a few large ones, any  flexible needle (the thinner the better),  round toothpicks.
KyleAnn's sock class is nearly finished - it's so exciting to see those socks nearing completion and "modelling."  The next knitting class is a learn-how-to-knit class that will teach not only beginners how to get started but, for those ready for 'the next step' will showcase a different stitch motif each week.  Details are not yet worked out, but will be at least a 7-week session.
Applique Club and EQ6 Club are going strong, but there's always room for more.
We will  try to focus on a class at least once a month and hopefully more often.

Happy Spring to You! Stop in and Say Hi!





Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The retreat was awesome!

We had approximately 36 quilters spend the weekend with us at the Drury Inn for our first overnight retreat.  I can safely say that "a good time was had by all." Several participated in the 911 Mystery by Debbie Caffrey and they are all strikingly beautiful. Participants arrived as early as 8:00 Friday morning and started sewing right away.  People brought their own projects to work on and/or made projects designed for the retreat. There was lots of fun, fellowship, and food. Pictures should be uploaded soon. We are already planning our next one, so be watching for details in a few months.

Some more new books just came in, too.

My Whimsical Quilt Garden

20 Bird & Flower Blocks to Appliqué from Piece O' Cake Designs
by Becky Goldsmith, Linda Jenkins

Brighten Your Day with Playful New Designs from Piece O' Cake

• Use just one block or all twenty to make pretty garden quilts
• Have fun with these light-hearted designs
• Includes ideas for using these blocks in other ways, such as a smaller twelve-block quilt, a purse, or a table topper
• Patterns are great for solids and small prints in any color way
• Blocks also look beautiful in bigger sizes and are easy to enlarge

Instruction booklet & full-size patterns. Bring cheery flowers and cute, chirping birds indoors with Piece O' Cake's newest appliqué blocks. Mix and match up to twenty blocks to create unlimited quilt variations.

Quilted Symphony—A Fusion of Fabric, Texture & Design

by Gloria Loughman

Liberate Your Creative Side With Abstract Art

• Construct quilts in segments that are easy to work with
• Embellish with appliqué, paint, beads, and more
• 4 projects with full-size pullout patterns
• Create your own designs from doodles, photographs, and shapes
• Learn how to use color effectively
• Perfect your satin stitch, free-motion stitch, and triple stitch

The bestselling author of Luminous Landscapes guides you through an amazing journey into the world of designing abstract art quilts. Take your imagination to new heights as you learn how to create an abstract design and then break it down into easy segments to sew and embellish.

One-Block Wonders Cubed!

Dramatic Designs, New Techniques, 10 Quilt Projects
by Maxine Rosenthal, Joy Pelzmann

Add New Dimension to Your Favorite Hexagon Quilts

• Your favorite One-Block Wonders authors are back with new graphic techniques using triangles, cubes, and appliqué
• Learn how to create optical illusions with your fabrics
• Bonus projects include totes, coasters and placemats for using up left-over hexagons
• Create interesting shadow effects with clever fabric placement
• Try new kinds of borders with uneven edges, creative shapes, and hexagon strips

From the best-selling authors of the One-Block Wonders books. New techniques and design strategies using simple geometric shapes give you dramatic quilt imagery that seems to defy logic! Take the ordinary and turn it into something extraordinary with this book.

 A Baker's Dozen
13 Quilts from Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, and More From the Staff at That Patchwork Place®
As the publisher of America’s Best-Loved Quilt Books®, we just had to get in on the fun of quilting with precut fabrics! For this book, the stitching experts on our own staff designed and made 13 fabulous quilts—plus a bonus project. Now you can indulge your craving for fat quarters, Jelly Rolls, 5" charm squares, and 10" Layer Cakes!
  • Find just what you’re looking for in our bakery case—from sweet and pink like frosting to savory like herb bread 
  • Create lap quilts, wall hangings, and bed quilts in a wide range of styles for all skill levels
  • Check out the color-splashed quilts—we’re eager to share our quilting enthusiasm with you

Geometric Gems
Quilts from Diamonds, Circles, and Squares by Cathy Wierzbicki

Rich with color and design, every quilt in this book is a treasure! By making clever use of angles, popular author Cathy Wierzbicki presents intriguing projects that look far more complex than they really are. Choose from seven dazzling designs using easy cutting and strip-piecing techniques. Some quilts--such as the beautiful "Pajama Prayer"--feature a free-motion embroidery technique for adding words and sayings.

Follow-the-Line Quilting Designs Volume Four
Full-Size Patterns for Blocks and Borders by Mary M. Covey

Mary M. Covey adds to her best-selling series with this collection of all-new continuous-line motifs! Twenty pattern sets include a coordinating border, block, and setting-triangle design in each grouping. Quilting options include long-arm machines, traditional sewing machines, and quilting by hand. An instruction booklet is included.

Quick Diamond Quilts & Beyond

12 Sparkling Projects • Beginner-Friendly Techniques
by Jan Krentz

Classroom-Tested Techniques Make Diamond Quilting Easy

• Twelve new diamond quilt patterns-without inset seams!
• Enhance your fabric selection with Jan's tips on color value, texture, and contrast
• Discover how to use geometric fabrics to make your quilt shimmer and shine
• A perfect companion to Diamond Quilts & Beyond
• More than 30 inspirational gallery quilts
• Add machine appliqué for whimsical wall quilts

Have you ever stared at a beautiful diamond quilt and thought, "I wish I could make that"? Well now you can! Thanks to Jan's clever techniques and new designs, you can create these gems with ease. Using the fast2cut® rulers makes it even easier!

Secrets of Digital Quilting—From Camera to Quilt
• 8 Projects • 25 Techniques • Embellish with Paints, Inks & More
by Lura Schwarz Smith, Kerby C. Smith

Create Quilts Using Your Own, One-of-a-Kind Printed Fabric

• Expand the creative possibilities of your quilting with richly colored fabric made from your own photos-it's easy!
• Learn the secrets of getting the best results from your digital camera, inkjet printer, scanner, photo editing software, and printable fabric sheets
• Use a simple organizing system to make your images easy to work with
• Enhance your printed fabrics with paints, inks, dye sticks, and crayons (specific product recommendations included)
• Create riveting quilts by using positive and negative space, balance, line, focal points, and other design principles
• Inexpensive Photoshop Elements is the only computer program you need
• Try out all 25 techniques with 8 artistic projects, then use the techniques in your own quilts

Kim Schaefer's Calendar Quilts

12 Months of Fun, Fusible Projects
by Kim Schaefer

Charming Wall Quilts All Year 'Round!

• 12 seasonal wall quilt projects
• Quick and easy-make one for yourself and more for gifts
• Transferring appliqué designs is a snap with this handy package of full-size patterns
• Signature colors and motifs from best-selling author, Kim Schaefer
• Darling images combine piecing and fusible appliqué

Start a family tradition that you'll enjoy all year 'round by making these adorable wall quilts. Hang a new one in your home each month! Smile with your cheery snowman in the winter, laugh at the mischievous ants crawling through your summer picnic, and get your apple ready for the teacher in the fall.

Have a great sunny week and weekend!


Friday, March 5, 2010

So did March come in like a lion or a lamb?

Enough of this lion/lamb stuff - we SO can't wait till the retreat!  It's going to be so much fun (and warm!) Lots of quilting opportunities (or bring your own projects), lots of fun door prizes, a Secret Sis swap, great fellowship, and hours and hours of dedicated sewing time. Not only will we have our monthly Mystery quilt, but we will do a Two-Hour Tulip Bag, the new Twister Table Runner or quilt, and adorable "Pot Pinchers." There will be a masseuse available for chair massages and a 20% off sale, including kits and patterns for all of the projects that will be previewed during the retreat, plus a scavenger hunt back at AIS.  When's the last time you saw quality fat quarters for $1.50? Be sure and check out these while you are there, too. Is it too late to join us? Good question!  Be sure to call the shop for the answer.

What do you bring to a quilt retreat? Besides your fabric for your project, of course. One of our customers, Karen Lane, wrote up a list of items, most of which she transports in a 5-gallon bucket - hence, Karen Lane's Bucket List.  (Don't forget to label all items!!!!!)

Sewing machine, cord, pedal, attachments, and bed extension
Extension cord/surge protector
Light (Ott Light)
Everything needed for project (fabric, thread, [do you have all the right colors?] etc.)
Extra bobbins
Seam Ripper
Scissors (1 for fabric only, 1 for paper, etc)
Straight pins/Safety pins
Machine needles
Hand sewing needles
Name tag
Snippers for cutting thread at machine
Mini-iron, mat, and cord
Lip Balm
Hand lotion
Bit of scrap paper
Small stickers for labeling
Lint brush, machine oil, small screwdriver
Trash bags (like a couple grocery bags)
Ziplock bags to hold your various size squares, strips
Diet Coke
Water Bottle
Thermos cup for coffee
Not everyone needs to bring - iron, water, and ironing board, rotary cutting board, rotary cutter, rotary ruler (small and long)

TIP:  Use same color ribbon to label your stuff and keep a list of what's IN your bucket so if you take stuff out, you can replenish before your next retreat.

Newest Books . . . . .

from Mary Janes Farm website - 

MaryJanesFarm magazine

Ever since I moved to my Idaho farm 20 years ago, I’ve played around with recipes for organic fast food. While feeding my family and farm crew and perfecting a solution for the dilemma of what-to-cook, I dreamed up my MaryJanesFarm magazine. I wanted a women’s magazine where we can share solutions and show off our talents and really just a place where we can talk.

Here’s what Deborah Needleman, former Editor of House & Garden magazine and current Editor-in-Chief of Domino magazine, had to say:

“MaryJanesFarm is charming and well done—hugely appealing. It is homey, and smart and interesting ... part Martha Stewart Living, part Oprah magazine, part Organic Style, part Nation, part Ladies Home Journal ... full of tips, ideas, and information.”

So, come with me to a place where the food is wholesome, delicious and organic… where the crafts rekindle the joy of handwork… where simple pleasures enrich families and embrace friends.

Come to a place you’ll call home…
MaryJane Butters
Farmgirl is a condition of the heart.

Thimbleberries Books Easy Living Quilts Book- Easy to make quilts for your busy lifestyle. Basic block patterns, with many options, and lush fabrics create quilts that can be made quickly. Change your bed's decor with the changing seasons or whenever the mood strikes you. 8 projects that include quilts, shams, and even a table runner. One of the projects is for a tone-on-tone "all occasion" quilt that can be dressed up with the other colorful projects. General quilting instructions included. 48 pages in a soft cover.

Have a great weekend! Mary