Saturday, July 31, 2010

Time is up! & Open House Announcement

Thank you to all who entered the giveaway by leaving a comment on the last post. It is so flattering to know we are being read from so many places! I hope we continue to be worth following as a blog and I hope you can all make it in to the store to check us out in person!
Forgive me! I know there is a super cool random number generator thingy on the internet you can use to do these things but I haven't quite mastered all of this yet so I did the drawing the old fashioned way with numbers on pieces of paper and had Deb pick one. Our BIG WINNER is Kathi comment number 7! Congrats to you, I hope you enjoy it and send us a picture of your own little polka dotted pachyderm. Kathi, please contact me privately (at )to send me your mailing address so I can send this off to you.
News Flash!
This coming Saturday, August 7th, from 9:30 a.m. until noon we are having our very first open house. You can come and meet the teachers, see the finished projects, pick up a supply list for our first classes at the shop! AND if you buy your supplies at the store they are 15% off!
We are offering some beginner quilting classes, intermediate level quilting and some fabric embellishment classes that are not to be missed. Spaces are limited but if there is a demand we may be able to sweet talk our teachers into offering additional sessions. We have tried to make classes available at a variety of times to accommodate the wide variety of schedules of our customers. Some are one time classes and some are in a series depending on the projects or techniques being taught.
There will be some refreshments and beverages for attendees.
We hope you can make it BUT if you can't you'll be able to sign up for classes at the shop anytime after that too!
If you are on the fence about whether or not you want to sign up come on down and see the finished quilts, talk with our teachers and see if we are offering something that suits your needs.
Many many thanks to ALL our readers and customers.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Polka-Dot Pachyderm Giveaway!

We did it! We have over 1,000 hits on the blog so we are having our first giveaway to thank our readers.
To be entered in the giveaway drawing all you have to do is leave a comment on this blog entry and watch for the drawing to see who wins. You must leave your comment by Saturday, July 31st at 9pm Central Standard time to be entered. We will have one winner this time around. The prize is pictured above and includes: Heather Bailey's "Effie and Ollie pattern", fabric to make the pattern, felt to embellish it, and pins to use in the completed pin cushion. The prize has a value of over $20. One entry per person please!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Learn something new: How to comment on Blogs

Greetings everyone! It has come to my attention that many of our blog readers are new to blogging and/or blog reading and didn't know they could comment on a blog entry.

We really want your feedback so I thought I would explain how to comment.

After reading a blog entry you'll note at the bottom of each entry on the right side "0 comments" or "2 comments" etc...
If you click on this, a page will open containing: this blog entry, all the comments anyone has posted about this entry and, lastly a text box will appear and you can type your comments in the window.
You'll have to choose and option for "Comment as:" . You can choose Name/URL and just type your name and leave URL blank if you like OR if you have a google account or any of the others listed then choose one of them.
It allows you to preview your entry and to publish it. When you publish it it is viewable by anyone who clicks on the comments for that entry.

I don't want to give anything away but....there might be a drawing coming up that you might only be able to enter by leaving a comment on the blog. Just saying!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

New Stuff at the Shop!

Owls! Cute fabric line for a little lady...
Velvet rick-rack in cherry,chocolate, pink, white, teddy bear brown, cream and turquoise.
We had a great day today at the shop! We met lots of new people, matched fabrics, talked to potential new quilters, and started planning the open house to meet our teachers! Thanks to everyone for coming out today! Stay tuned for a couple of big announcements....we are almost up to 1,000 hits on our blog which means we must celebrate!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Visitor at the shop

So, I am cutting fat quarters from our newly arrived 30's reproduction fabrics and who should come in the shop to do a little early Christmas shopping?

He really seemed to love the new line of Jane Spolar fabrics called Bliss. It has a panel with two pictures and several coordinates. This fabric has a really nice hand, it feels almost like rayon but it is 100% cotton for quilting. We didn't have it on the shelf for even 10 minutes before someone bought some ( thanks Diana!). Here are some pictures so you can see for yourself!

The bird panel:
The rose panel:
The coordinates:
See you soon!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pillow Case tutorial

This pillowcase is easy to whip up in an afternoon and makes a great gift!
It is for a standard sized pillow.
We have kits available in the shop to make these with a variety of fabrics.
All seams are 1/4" unless otherwise noted.
Here is what you'll need:
3/4 yd. fabric for pillowcase body (here the black and white print)
1/4 yd. fabric for the cuff ( here the black in the picture)
3.5" x 42" for prairie points( here the green)
matching thread
Optional: Best Press Spray starch or similar product

Making a prairie point: Cut 12 squares 3.5" x 3.5" Cut carefully, you'll use every bit!
Take your first square lay it down wrong side up on your pressing surface.
Fold along the diagonal and press with a hot iron.
Fold and press again bringing all the raw edges together.
If your fabric won't stay folded give the squares a spritz of Best Press and then hit them with the iron again. That really helps keep the prairie points neat. Repeat this for all 12 prairie points. Set them aside.
Trim your 3/4 yd. pillow body fabric to measure 26.5" x 41". Along one of the 41" edges evenly distribute the 12 prairie points, keeping all raw edges even. Begin 1/2" in and end with a 1/2"of space left. Pin these well, so they don't shift while you baste them on the machine. Lengthen your machine's stitch and baste these on with a 1/8- 1/4 inch seam making sure to catch all the layers.
Fold the fabric in half, right sides together, creating a rectangle 26.5 x 20.5. Pin along the long edge (opposite the folded edge) and continue pinning up the short side. Note the pins in the picture along two sides, the fold is at the top of the picture the prairie points are on the right. Make sure you shorten your stitch length and sew along these two sides.
Trim your corners and turn right side out.
Here is what you'll have so far:
Next trim your cuff fabric to 9"x 41". Pin the two 9" edges right sides together. Pin and sew this edge. Press seam open. Now you have a circle. Now bring the two long raw edges of your circle together to make it 4.5" wide. Press.
Pin all the raw edges of the cuff to the raw edges of the pillow case body ( right sides together) as shown. The Prairie points will be covered and sandwiched in between. Sew with a healthy 1/4" seam making sure you sew in deeper than your basting stitches so they will not show on the outside. To keep this seam from fraying when you wash the pillowcase, serge this seam OR do a wide zig zag over the edge.
Flip the cuff away from the pillow case body and press the prairie points toward the cuff. Topstitch around pillow body 1/8 from where the body meets the cuff making sure the points are pointing towards the cuff.
You are done and hopefully.... whoever it is for, will love it! Kits available or customize your own with this pattern at the Quilters' Crossing, now open 7 days a week!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

For the kids

I have shown you fabrics we are carrying geared more toward adults so I thought I would give you a peek at some of the cuter than cute kids fabrics we got in last week.

We found this cute fabric line called Breeze. I like this line because it is well balanced light/medium/dark and it has a variety of sizes in the prints. This is the type of line that lends itself well to many patterns. It is soft and girly with dragonflies and begs to be made up as a quilt (with rick-rack maybe??)

And this one called EEK Monsters. It has a 23 inch panel of a green monster and smaller squares of several smaller colorful monsters, perfect for your little monsters (or your next Halloween quilt)! The border print is super cute- it is at the bottom of the pile in the picture. The colors in this line are really popping and very fun. I am thinking I may need to draft up a little pattern for Halloween treat bags?? I had a request for something else first. Stay tuned our next tutorial is coming up.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

We are open!!

Friday at 9:30am we are officially open! We have the full line of Bella Solids, Ginny Beyer's complete color palette and much much more!
See you at the Quilters' Crossing!!!
108 Commerce Street Tomball TX

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

2 more days!

We open Friday morning at 9:30 am!!
Look at this--Customers are peaking in the windows, waiting to get in!
Sorry Kitty, 2 legged customers only!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Scissor Guy and other updates

Tuesday July the 20th the "Scissor Guy" will be at the shop in the afternoon, ready to sharpen all your - you guessed it-- scissors! He will also sharpen knives for your kitchen if you bring them. His prices are quite reasonable and he was a very busy and popular vendor at the Tri-County Quilt Show. So, if your tools are dull come on in and he'll take care of that for you and while he is busy sharpening you can shop in the store!
Here are some more pictures to persuade you.....
This is our color wall, we are a little shy of fat quarters but we'd be happy to cut them for you! Those middle shelves will be a burstin' with them soon enough!
Michael Miller Fabrics are in (and calling my name). They are another company you can mix and match fabrics with from one line to another.

Tri-County Quilt Guild had a bee meet at the shop on Sunday. We had snacks and coffee and we even did some sewing!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Samples for the shop

Here is a completed quilt, as promised. It is a crib/throw size and made using
Riley Blake Fabrics from their line called "Wheels". They are a smaller fabric company that honestly, I had never heard of before Deb and Patricia started the shop. They were a good find though. We are carrying 2 of their lines: Wheels and Colorful Christmas. We also have some of their fun notions- velvet rick-rack in several colors! (I am such a sucker for rick-rack, I will definitely be adding that to some projects soon) They are one of those companies that use the same colors and designs for multiple lines so it is easy to mix and match a project using their fabrics.

The pattern I used is from "Quilter's World" magazine April 2010 issue, designed by Sue Harvey and Sandy Boobar. I changed it a bit outside the lattice work to suit my taste and the fabrics I had chosen but, it looks pretty close to their original design. I think this pattern would work well for a lot of kid fabric lines if they are traditionally designed (one large scale print, one strip/plaid, dots, a tone-on-tone and smaller scale colorful coordinates). With this recipe you can kind of plug the fabrics into quilts like this to make quick cute quilts.
Here is a close up of the details.

I quilted it on my domestic machine with pretty good results though don't look too close! The polka dots with the brown background are prairie points. They added a cute touch on this especially since it is a kid's quilt.
Patricia is busy with other shop samples as well as customer quilts on the longarm. It is so neat to watch the quilts transformed by the quilting! I will post some pictures of other samples as they are completed.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Shadow Star Pattern Review

I know people are reading the blog- I check the ticker at the bottom (*blush*) alot. Thank you! Our readers are a little shy in the comment department though. Don't be shy guys- we want to know who's out there!

As promised here is our first pattern review.
I made the Shadow Star pattern put out by the Karen Combs Studio. The package states it is appropriate for a confident beginner and I agree, although I think even a beginner could make this with a little help from a more experienced friend.

What I really loved about the pattern was that it gave the cutting directions in a neat little box. They have you cut strips first and then subcut the strips into the required sizes. Clear and easy to follow.
Next were the Sewing directions in text form with plenty of illustrations. The illustrations were actually what I kept referring to, though the text was well written and concise enough.

Half the quilt is comprised of half square triangles. What I didn't like was that in the cutting directions, they have you cut squares into triangles to piece these. This creates a lot of bias stretching possibilities especially for beginner quilters. Later in the text directions they tell you you have the option of doing the "quickie" method of making half square triangles without cutting the diagonals until after you have sewn the two seams ( see the picture of chain pieced "quickie" half square triangles below).
You would next cut them on the diagonal between the lines of stitches making two half square triangles from each set of squares and have many like this. See the little dog ears?

So, if you haven't read through the directions entirely before you start cutting you have most likely already cut your squares on the diagonal and have to be extra careful not to stretch them! To their credit, they do instruct you to read through the directions in their entirety first! But who does that? ( Me from now on!) I think they should have left that cutting step out of the little box to avoid the confusion.

The fabric requirements were accurate on the package and are not huge for this quilt. They are all quarter yard cuts (excepting the white, black and brown sashes) but you have a lot of the colored fabrics left over. The quarter yard cut does make the cutting layout easier with a rotary but you could make the quilt with less than a quarter yard of each color if you were willing to do a bit more cutting.

The only other negative I found was an incorrect measurement in direction #6. The text tells you to sew 2.5" x 10.5" black sashing pieces to each block but it should actually read 2.5" x 12.5".

I would also add that once you have made your half square triangles I strongly recommend removing the dog ears and trimming them to the correct size ( 2.5").

No matter how careful I was while making them they were always a titch too big. I just loved once I trimmed them how they could be all nice and perfect not so much bulk and - it was easier to not cut off points! Very satisfying! Worth the trouble! Once they were trimmed the pieces went together really nicely and I was very pleased with the result.

The coolest thing about this pattern I discovered by accident when I put the completed blocks on my design wall and had some of them turned wrong. I noticed that since it has a strong light/dark contrast on the diagonal you can arrange the blocks in any of the traditional log cabin variations before adding the sashing. I took some pictures so you could see what I mean. Pretty neat!

Four Diamonds....
Lightning Bolts ( Zig Zags)
Big Diamond
Straight set or Windows

This sample was made with Moda Fabrics, Bella Solids line. Rich saturated tones in over 100 colors. Here is the completed top with sashing and borders. Cool 3-D effect.

--Oh and did I mention this pattern and these fabrics will be available at the Quilters' Crossing on July 16th at 9:30 am?
Yes! We are opening to customers because we just can't wait any longer!! We are still receiving inventory so this isn't our GRAND OPENING, which we are planning for August, but we hope you'll come in. We'll be open for shoppers!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Featured Artist

We have been tossing around lots of ideas for the shop. One idea, was to have a featured artist every month. We would like this to be a local quilt/fiber artist. We will have a spot in the shop to display some of their work and, hopefully we'll be able to have them visit the shop during their "reign" as featured artist. We'll also link to their website or blog ( if they have one) and we will post an interview with them.
This is where you come in! Now there is no shortage of talent in our area. Who would you like to see featured? Who inspires you? Challenges you? Makes you laugh? What would you like to ask them? If you have read any old issues of Quilter's Home,( from when Mark Lipinski was in charge) the last page of the magazine was always an interview with some colorful and atypical interview questions. "What color is your toe nail polish?", "Who is the most famous person you have ever met?", " What do you always have to have in your purse?" Any zany, creative questions you can think of please post in a comment and we'll try to incorporate them in our interviews with the artist.

Other news: samples are in the works! I will be posting a pattern review later this week with pictures of a quilt top. Yes a quilt!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Gift Tag Tutorial

So you spend days, weeks, months (or even years) making that special gift for someone you love and then you BUY a card to put with it? Why not make a cute gift tag that coordinates with the gift or the wrapping? It is easy and has lots of creative options.

So here is our first free tutorial! (We’ll be giving one of these gift tags out to each of our first 50 customers when the shop opens. But, if that isn’t soon enough for you...) You can make your own after reading this tutorial.

Here is what you're going to need to make one gift tag:

Scrap of fabric about the size of your hand

Colored card stock that compliments your fabric choice

White card stock

10 inches of Ribbon (quarter inch wide) or yarn that matches and/or compliments the card stock and fabric

Machine sewing thread that matches or compliments your card stock and fabric

Rotary cutter or scissors for paper

Rotary cutter for fabric ( pinking blade optional)

Sewing machine

Glue stick

Hole punch

1.) Select the fabric or card stock you’d like to use for your tag. Personally, I have way more colors of fabric than I do of card stock so, I picked my card stock first and took that to my fabric stash where I was quickly able to find fabric that suited my paper color! You can coordinate with the gift, or the wrapping paper, or bag you’ve selected.

2.)You’ll need to cut the fabric piece to 2.5” x 4”.

I like to cut mine with a pinking blade on my rotary cutter because it gives it a little something extra (and I bought the darn blade and have only used it once so why not?) Save your straight blades for your next sewing project!

3.) Cut your piece of solid colored card stock *with your paper rotary blade or scissors* to 3” x 5” .

4. Cut 2 pieces of plain white card stock. Piece one should measure 1.25” x 3” ( mine has our logo on it yours can have whatever message you’d like on it ). Piece two should measure 2.5” x 4” (use your paper rotary or scissors!)

5. Use a swipe of the glue stick on the wrong side of the fabric piece just a slight swipe will do (it is just to hold it in place as you sew it down). Place this wrong side down on your colored card stock, leaving a 1/4 frame of card stock around it on 3 sides, as shown--leave room on one short end for the hole and ribbon to lace through.

6. Now again use just a swipe of glue stick on the smaller piece of white card stock.
Mine have our shop logo on them, as you can see. Center this piece on the fabric- glue side down.
7.Sew around the small rectangle on top using a zig zag or a straight stitch.

8. Flip your project over and you'll see your stitches are visible on the back.
9. Glue your last piece of card stock down with a healthy amount of glue stick. This piece should neatly cover up all the stitches from the other side.
10. Take the exposed short end ( the one without the fabric) and punch a hole in the center.
11.Fold your ribbon in half. Insert the loop in the hole.

and then pull the tails through the loop, as shown. Tighten the tails gently.

You did it! Here is what each side will sort of look like.
But wait! Here are some other options you might add to yours to personalize it for your purpose. Cheyenne added a Zentangle picture she doodled in place of the shop logo.
Or you can just write a message like I did on this one
If you make a gift tag, please share in the comments to this post how you chose to personalize it. Your creativity might just inspire a fellow crafter!