Win a FREE Queen-Sized Wide Quilt Back!

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Would you like to win a free quilt back? I now carry almost 40 different wide fabrics on my Website and in my Studio.

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I’m so excited to have such an extensive selection, that I thought I needed to celebrate. And what better way to celebrate than to have a giveaway!

There are actually TWO ways you can win!

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Leave a comment below, telling me WHY you quilt? Quilting began as a way to keep warm by making practical bed covers from scraps of leftover or previously used fabric. But most of us no longer NEED to keep warm in this way. It would be much faster, not to mention less expensive, to purchase a ready made blanket or comforter. So WHY do you participate in this ‘crazy’ hobby of taking perfectly good, brand new fabric, cutting it up into tiny pieces, and then sewing it back together again?? 😉 What is it about quilting that calls to you?

Leave your comment by Sat. March 16, and I’ll draw one name at random. That person will win 2-3/4 yards (99″ x 108″) of THEIR CHOICE of any of my COTTON quilt backs (sorry, Batiks and Flannels are excluded from the giveaway). While you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog on the left side of this page (or below if you’re reading on a mobile device). That way you won’t miss any of my upcoming posts on choosing quilting designs for your quilt tops (see the first article here).

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Purchase a wide quilt back from my Online Store or in the Studio any time during March. Each time you purchase a 2 yard or larger cut of one fabric, your name and the value of that particular backing will go into a drawing. (If you buy 6 backs, you get 6 chances!) At the end of the month, I’ll draw out one name, and I will reimburse you for the price you paid for the back!! So if you bought a 3 yard piece at $16.99/yd., I’ll write you a check for $50.97 (plus sales tax and/or shipping if applicable)! How cool is that???

Be sure and visit the Website to see all of the wide backs I’ve recently added. And check out the Clearance section for some great buys on notions, patterns and Paintstiks and accessories!

And since it will be lots of fun to read why people quilt, please share this with your quilting friends, on your Facebook page, or Tweet about it, etc. Thanks, and Good luck!!

Quilting Fabrics Now $6.99/yd or Less!

Clearance Sale continues Online and in the Studio

All Fabrics (except wide backs) are now $6.99/yard or less.

Everything else has been marked down 30%.

Things are selling fast so shop early for the best selection!

Read my previous post here to learn why I’m reducing my inventory.

What Does Steak Have to do with Quilting????

Have you ever been to a restaurant that served many, many, MANY types of food – Italian…. Steak…. Mexican…. Chicken…. Chinese…. American…. etc? Usually when trying to prepare many diverse things, none of them are done particularly well. Then you visit the restaurant that serves ONE thing – let’s say steak. Big steak …… or little steak ……. is the only choice. You KNOW you are going to get a great steak at that place.

I’ve been feeling like that first restaurant lately. Longarm quilter……pattern designer…..quilting teacher……retail store owner…..website manager…..bookkeeper…..blogger…..retreat organizer…… I don’t feel like I’ve been doing any of those as well as I could if I weren’t spread so thin.

So I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about which parts of the business I’m best at,  which ones I enjoy the most, and which parts fit in best with my personality quirks  (I’m not good at long term planning, and I have the attention span of a gnat – both things that are not conducive to running a fabric store!). I find that I need to create – not plan things out six months in advance…….not haggle with vendors over mistakes on orders…….not guess which fabrics to order that people will want to buy, only to find out my crystal ball was broken that day…..not spend a lot of time on marketing and merchandising and trying to convince people to buy things they probably don’t really need anyway. (I mean……really……how many of us are actually in danger of running out of fabric?!?!?!?!? LOL)

After much consideration, I have decided to narrow the focus of my business. I’m going to concentrate primarily on the longarm quilting, and possibly some time spent designing patterns. I really love the creativity of these parts of my business. I’ve had pattern ideas in my head for a long time, but just not enough uninterrupted time to get them worked out (there’s a lot of math involved in writing patterns!). I’ve also toyed with the idea of designing digitized quilting patterns for the computerized longarm systems. And I’ve still kept in the back of my mind the requests to teach longarm quilting classes. (Gee, that doesn’t seem like I’m really letting some things go, does it???)

Anyway, in order to free me up for these pursuits,

I’M HAVING A CLEARANCE SALE!!

New Sale Prices in Effect beginning Aug. 11, 2012 – all regular width fabrics $6.99/yd or less! Everything else has been reduced by 30% (sale prices not valid on batting or wide backs)

(CLICK HERE TO SHOP NOW)

I’m going to clearance out all of the retail quilting supplies, other than batting and wide quilt backs, which I will continue to carry. So all of my 44″ wide fabrics, pre-cut fabrics, notions, books, kits, etc. will be first come-first served, while supplies last.

I also need to take some time off this summer to recharge my batteries. I will be open Tues, Weds. and Thurs. from 10 am to 5 pm for July & August, other days will be by chance or appointment. The best thing to do if you are coming from out of town is to email or call to see if I will be open. And if you are not already on my mailing list, sign up here and/or Like Me on Facebook to be kept up-to-date on my hours. (I’ll probably be taking a full week off late Aug. or early Sept.)

I’m sorry for the inconvenience this may cause, but hopefully the great buys on sale items will make it up to you a little bit. And keep in mind, while in the future the Studio may no longer have the most extensive ‘menu’ around, you’ll know that what we do offer will be the tenderest, juiciest, most flavorful ‘steak’ ever!

(CLICK HERE TO SHOP NOW)

More About the X-Blocks Rulers

After my last post about X-Blocks rulers, (while you’re there, leave a comment to enter my giveaway!) I’ve had some questions about the different sizes and types which I’ll try to answer  here.

The Large X-Blocks ruler comes in two sizes: 6-1/2″ and 7-1/2″. The only difference is you will start with different size strips or squares, and the finished projects come out different sizes. For instance, if you were to make the Triple Play quilt using the 6-1/2″ ruler, the quilt would finish at 40″ x 40″. Using the 7-1/2″ ruler it would be 45″ x 45″. You would only need one of these rulers to make any of the quilts in the first book, as well as most of the individual patterns.

The Mini X-Blocks rulers can be used on their own to make smaller versions of most of the projects – the Triple Play quilt would end up about 24″ x 24″. The blocks they make finish at one-fourth the size of the large ruler, so you could combine Mini 6-1/2″ blocks with Large 6-1/2″ blocks in the same project (or Mini 7-1/2″ with Large 7-1/2″).

The BellyButton rulers are sized to fit the center of the nine-patch made for the Large X-Blocks ruler. Let’s see if this photo helps:

ImageObviously I’m using blocks from two different projects here – normally they would match and make a pretty design. 😉

There are just a few patterns that require the use of the BellyButton (like the Thornton pattern to the left, click here to see my kit), but it gives a whole different look to the quilt. The BellyButtons can also be used on their own, just like the Minis, to create smaller versions of the projects.

So the bottom line is: you only need one ruler, plus the book or a pattern, to get started using the X-Blocks technique. The size depends on whether you like to make small or mini projects – then choose one of the Mini’s or BellyButtons. If you prefer lap or bed-sized quilts, start with one of the Large X-Blocks rulers.

If you like working with jelly rolls or  2-1/2″ strips, choose the 7-1/2″ size. There are a few patterns (Blueprints & Patch-ouli) that can ONLY be made using the 7-1/2″ large ruler (if using 2-1/2″ strips) or 7-1/2″ Mini ruler (if using honey buns or 1-1/2″ strips.)

Most of the patterns (individual or in the books) give cutting charts and instructions for making any of the projects using any size of the ruler. Don’t forget, you can find all of the X-Blocks rulers, books and patterns that I carry in one place right here.

Want to be sure you don’t miss any of my posts? Subscribe to my blog on the top left of this page. And you can “Like” me on Facebook over there on the left as well.

The Party’s Over……

Another successful quilting retreat is history. Once again we had a wonderful time. I’ll try to post some photos here soon, but for now you can view them here.

Does Size Matter???

…..when it comes to a quilt you’re going to make? I’m working on a new pattern………well, to be honest, although the instructions are new, the quilt is not. I actually sewed the sample over a year ago…..started writing the instructions……and then along came some OTHER bright and shiny new project I just had to work on. And then another one, and well, here it is a year and a half later. You’ve never done that, have you?? I didn’t think so…….

Anyway, I’m wondering what size quilt people like to make. Do you prefer smaller projects such as lap throws, or do you want a bed-sized quilt such as a queen? Would you avoid purchasing a pattern because it was not the size you wanted, or would you figure out how to adapt it to your preferred size? And if you were purchasing a kit, which size would you rather have? Please leave me a comment so I can offer the size that you want.

Would you like a sneak peek of the quilt? I think I showed part of it once before, but I HAVE made progress as it is now quilted.

Of course I still haven’t done the binding…….sigh. But, the instructions are mostly written – I’m just trying to finalize the diagrams and layout. The size I have now is a large lap/small twin – about 63″ x 81″. I also thought of adding a larger size – would you prefer 81″ x 99″ or 99″ x 117″? Please share this post with your quilty friends and ask them to comment on as well.

I’m hoping to have the pattern ready for sale by the end of the month! If you’d like to be notified when it is, you can subscribe to my blog on the top left of this page, or sign up for my newsletter by clicking here and filling in the blanks on the lower left. Better yet, why not sign up for both!!

Quilter’s Heaven!

Last weekend 16 of us found quilter’s heaven on earth in Gary, SD – the Buffalo Ridge Resort Quilting Retreat!

We all had a WONDERFUL time! Buffalo Ridge was the South Dakota School for the Blind in the first half of the 1900s. After it was closed in the 1960s it fell into disrepair. A few years ago a business man bought and restored it, and turned it into a resort and convention center. The grounds and buildings are beautiful. Below is Woodbury Hall, which was the girl’s dormitory, gymnasium and music rooms.

The ground floor is now the Sundance Ballroom, which was where we sewed.

Roger took us on a very informative tour of the grounds:

We had a nametag decorating contest, winners were: 1st – Elisa, 2nd – Betsy, and 3rd – Sandy

And Chef Steve fed us EXTREMELY well:

Thanks to all the staff at Buffalo Ridge Resort for making our stay so wonderful. And thanks to the participants who took a chance and signed up for this first retreat. I think it turned out great, and hope you feel the same way!

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