Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fabric Quiz...Just for Fun

One of my online groups posted this fabric quiz...

I got 13/15 ... I don't want to give away what I didn't know ... but now do because it would spoil it for you!

Let me know your results in the comments sections please!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Flannels are Arriving and an Ode to Miss Kitty Cucumber

Flannel season is coming upon us and we are starting to get our new flannels in the store. Today we put up Doodle Bugs which comes to us from my way of thinking Northcott makes absolutely the finest quality flannel on the market. This grouping is in terrific bright pastels and are suitable for girls of all ages ... tonnes of co-ordinates and they are only $9.99/metre (8.99 per yard).

Oh how I love Miss Kitty Cucumber. As far as I know, the first run of Kitty Cucumber fabric came out about 10 years ago and I was immediately smitten by her charm. In the Beginning fabrics has brought her back along with a whole host of charming co-ordinates! We have a large selection of them in stock now and the best part they are only $9.99/metre ($8.99/yd).

According to the Smithsonian:
Kitty Cucumber (a cat character) first appeared in 1985, in a die-cut booklet produced by B. Shackman & Company, Inc. This firm has sold toys and printed materials since 1898. The Victorian-style Kitty's name was invented by the daughter of the president of the company for a favorite doll. Her mother designed the Kitty Cucumber now used on a variety of products, such as books, paper dolls, and art work.

This lovely pattern is available to download free of charge from In The Beginning!

If kiddie fabric isn't your thing ... we also have some new blenders and tone on tones as well as a few metallic prints that are absolutely killer! We hope you will check them out!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Leading the Charge...It's Time for a Tying Resurgance

We have prepareing some wonderful stitchery projects in the shop (I'll write more about those at a later date). This week we received all these exquisite skeins of floss and perle cotton from Week's Dye Works. They are scrumptious overdyed fibres that are very tempting to all the senses. Playing with all the floss and perle cotton got me to thinking about tying quilts. Many people have quilt tops that need to be finished into quilts but they either don't have the skill, time, or inclination to quilt them so they sit around as UFOs. If the budget permits it is wonderful to have a long arm quilter do the job for you but that isn't always the right solution. I really advocate tying quilts!

Tying is and age old method of finishing a quilt that is quick, economical, simple and effective. Unfortunately it has been out of favour for quite awhile...but I think that is poppycock! If you have a top that has been sitting around gathering dust why not take an afternoon and convert it into a finished quilt by tying it! Finally, if you do decide you want to quilt the quilt after you have tied it you can. Just treat the ties as your basting stitches as quilt as you normally would -- but I'll bet you won't -- the charm of the tied quilt will grow on you as it has on me. Here's a little video showing how to tie the knots!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Taupes from Japan and The Work of Yoko Saito

Right now I am very interested in Japanese quilting. While there are several trends in Japan the most dominant is working in a limited palette...usually indigo or taupe. The new Quilt Mania magazine features several articles on Japanese exhibits and quilting.

My favourite quilter at the moment is Yoko Saito. Saito is a Japanese quilter who works almost exclusively in taupes...her attention to minutae is astonishing! When you drop by the store be sure to browse through one of her books...we always have some in stock! Pictured are the cover of one of Saito's books: Scandinavian Quilts as well as one of the quilts featured within it. The larger quilt is from "Small Quilts" and close examination reveals the exquisite detail and layers of handwork that went into its execution.

Our front section is stocked full of new Taupes from Japan. These prints are both subtle and ethereal. We will be exploring their use both in classes and samples in the coming months. We have a wide range available online both by the metre and by the Fat Quarter: Taupes.

Here are a few of the lovely prints:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How To Tie A Quilter's Knot!

A lot of people struggle with knotting their thread. Have you seen someone do that most amazing miracle...the Quilter's Knot (that's the one where you wrap the thread around the needle) and wondered how they do it? Here's a great video I found on youtube that shows you how!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekly Order Brings Buckets of New Goodies!

This week's order was huge and filled with lots of new goodies to tempt you!

Skillbuilder Mastery - For Quilting by Machine
The newest in the skillbuilder series is in the store. It adds to the machine quilting the learning process by helping the novice select, transfer and create designs. Along with tips and suggestions, it contains templates and continuous line designs for square triangle, star and octagon shapes. Three colorful quilt samplers illustrate quilted designs.

The essential planner for keeping quilt lovers on track! Never miss an appointment or quilt event when you record your schedule in the Quilt Art 2009 Engagement Calendar. Fifty-four beautiful quilts grace the pages of this desk calendar to keep you inspired all through the year. Buy it now and get the early bird price of only $12.99!

Next up is Six Halves Make a Whole Christmas. It features 6 Christmas projects (including stockings and a tree skirt) each made with 6 half yard pieces.

If you want to try a quick and easy project that starts with 10" squares how about Big Blocks, Big Quilt.
I love the The X Bag...big enough to use as a tote with great style too!

For all the knitters we have a Swift Wood Umbrella and Yarn Ball Winder in the shop for you to use when you buy a skein ... or you can purchase them to bring home...hubbies take note these make terrific Christmas and Birthday gifts for the knitter who has everything!

Stay tuned...tomorrow we'll show you the new fabric...about 50 bolts in total!

Friday, July 18, 2008

True Confession Time

I can't seem to help myself..I am obsessed with knitting socks. Yesterday, I was standing in the kitchen knitting while I was waiting for the water to boil...I had 4 spare minutes so I figured...what the heck I can do a couple of rows...that's when I realized I'm a sockaholic! Doesn't matter where I am, who I'm with or what I'm doing if I have free time you can bet I'm knitting socks. This leads me to my second confession...or I suppose that I am confessing on behalf of my son.

Yesterday somebody pointed out that I kept making things for my son David and not for my son Daniel. Alas and alak ...that's not true! I made David a Personalized Towel because he lost his Incredible hulk towel the first day of camp...the next day I made another towel for Daniel. Unfortuantely, Daniel lost his personalized towel the first day he brought it to camp! The irony is staggering isn't it?

Next I made Daniel a pair of "lovey dovey" socks out of Cotton Joy. I finished up the toe at the park (I told you I would knit anywhere) and he immediately changed into them. Within 5 minutes he was down in the ravine digging clay out of the creek bed and the socks were caked with muck! They still haven't been washed and blocked so again no picture! As you can see there is no need to worry Daniel is getting his share of the crafts!
Meanwhile, Monika finished making up the Favortie Things Lunch Bag using the lollipop frog fabric and some funky dots! It was a quick afternoon project and the the little lunch bags make great gifts. We used some thermal batting inside the bag to be sure that our lunch would stay cold!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Knitter's Club and Lots of New Yarn

On Tuesdays during the summer please join us in the afternoon from 1 - 3 for knitting and chatting. We have informally dubbed ourselves the "sock club" because Hilma is showing us how to make socks. If you have never knitted before we will get you up and running with a project ... if you are an expert join us for the company! There is no charge so just feel free to drop by and join us... don't be shy! 10% off all knitting supplies and yarn for those who join us!

This week we received three beautiful yarn collections. The first one is aptly called "Yummy" and it is a sock yarn in absoultely delicious pot dyed colors. There are 10 to choose from and each skein is 16.99 --- you can knit an average sized pair of socks from one skein.

The second collection is Wisdom - Marathon Sock Yarn. These are self-patterning yarn named after all the great running marathon cities: New York, Boston, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Lots of great colors and styles to choose from and they are well priced at per 12.99 ball (and you can knit an average sized pair of socks from one ball).

I've decided to leave the third one to tell you about there is a whole bunch of related information to pass onto you!

Hope to see you Tuesday!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Buy A Ball..Give A Ball

We have a great new program in the store: the Buy a Ball – Give a Ball Program. Diamond Yarns, a local distributor, has offered us some beautiful Chunky Snowflake yarn at a very low price. For every ball that you purchase Sew-Sisters will give one ball to Project Linus. Enjoy a tremendous value for yourself and donate to a worthy cause at the same time!

The SRP of this yarn is $9.79/ball. For only $3.49 you get one ball for yourself and one ball to give away!

If you can't use the yarn yourself we encourage you to add a ball to your order anyhow and we will give both balls to Project Linus!

Project Linus is a not for profit organization that supplies children in need with gifts of homemade blankets and quilts. You can drop off your homemade blanket or quilt at the shop anytime and the Project Linus Blanketeer will ensure that it gets to a child in need.

Project Linus also provides a rewarding and fun service opportunity for interested individuals and groups in local communities, for the benefit of children. There are many willing volunteers to knit blankets who cannot afford the cost of the materials. You can help get yarn to needy women in our community through our buy a ball – give a ball program.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mark Lipinski's In the House!

We have been waiting and waiting and waiting but Mark Lipinski's new Line Califon is finally here. We love both colorways equally. The patterns and designs are bead and embellishment "friendly" so they are just waiting for your finishing touches.

We are trying to decide what to make with them and my mind is spinning with ideas - a bag? a quilt? something flashy for the are some links to what other people are up to with it...
Jean Boyd has been making her trademark picture frames using the black and white run.

Mark's got a great bag made with the yellow and blue line coming up in his magazine and there is a sneak preview on his blog!

Pati Carey of Northcott made a show stopping quilt in the blue and yellow.

Now let's see what we can come up with!

For those of you who aren't familiar with Mark Lipinski. Mark is the “the bad boy of quilting” and is a media phenom! Mark conceived and developed an innovative magazine for quilters named Mark Lipinski's Quilter's Home, which is published byCKMedia and is available on newsstands and by subscription. He is also a designer, teacher, quiltmaker and much talked about public speaker!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

7 in 7 ... Final Tally!

Last week I challenged myself to complete 7 projects in 7 days... actually I promised to finish one project a day for 7 days ... but I am attempting to revise history since I didn't quite make my goal!

Here is the tally:

Project 1 ... Gnome Pillowcases -- completed

Project 2 ...Baseball Pillowcases -- completed

Project 3 ... Yo Yo Pillow -- completed

Project 4 ...Personalized Towel -- (David) completed

Project 5 ...Personalized Towel (Daniel) completed *

* Would you believe that my kid has already lost this towel? I'm hoping it will reappear tomorrow but as of today it is missing. So far this summer we have lost: 1 Hulk towel, 1 bottle of sunscreen, 2 baseball caps and today the whole swimming bag including the brand new personalized towel and swimsuit! ARRRRGGGGGHHH.

Project 6...Cotton Striped Socks for Daniel...getting closer to completion ... I have finished the heel of the second sock and am well down the home strectch towards the toe...might finish tonight (which would be 3 days late).

Project 7...Binding My Hunter's Star ... started this in a class with Irene Dewar back in February. Cheryl of Magpie Artworks did the gorgeous machine quilting. Sandy and Hilma even made the binding for me and I still haven't sewn it on ... even with 3 helpers I haven't given it to my parents yet! I will definately do this next!

So all in all I did 5 in 7 days but I did get number 6 much closer to completion than it had been earlier in the week. I am going to do a UFO list and see if I can work my way through it. But for tonight I will be back to finishing the socks!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

New This Week II

It's back in stock! The Gypsy Gripper is one of the most popular gizmos on the market. It looks like an old-time telephone receiver but it is really a tool to help you with your rotary cutting!

The Gypsy Gripper has a comfortable grip handle, and two large roundsuction cups with handy lock & release levers. Just press the suctioncups to any plastic ruler with a smooth solid surface, and then flip thelevers to lock The Gypsy Gripper in place. Now you can move the ruler quickly, and easily hold it on the exact position with gentle downwardpressure. Your ruler hand will be up and away from the fabric, and outof harm's way if you slip with the cutter. When you need to switch to another ruler, just flip the locking levers to release The Gypsy Gripper.

I am such a fan of the designers at Brandwine. The Critter Caboodle book has so many adorable animal patterns in it will have trouble deciding where to start! To flip through this book is to fall in love with all the critters Linda has created!

Next up is Time for a Chain II from Lynda Milligan and Nancy Smith. These girls can always be counted on to write creative and useful patterns! Time for A Chain Includes 2 Block sizes for single, double, and triple Irish Chain. 6 charts with 3-4 quilt sizes each. 3 gallery quilts for inspiration. 9 color combos. Easy-to-follow cutting and stitching diagrams plus border and binding instructions. What more could you ask?

What could be more Canadian than a Hockey Themed pattern for your favourite kid's room We think this one is adorable!

Finally the new book from Atkinson Designs has arrived : Time Out Quilts. It has 7 quilts in multiple sizes.

This book promises to show you how to make traditional quilts in less time. If you can take the calories out of cheesecake by using low fat ingredients, why not take some of the time out of traditional quilts with a few shortcuts?

Phew ... that's quite a collection...see you in the shop or online this week!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

New This Week...

Lots of new goodies in store this week!

The much awaited new 12 Days of Christmas from Nancy Halvosen is in stock!

For people looking for some great bags...why not try one of these two by Fig Tree Quilts:

We also have Amy Bradley's newest ... Pattern - Barnyard Skyscraper ... we will make this one up into a kit for you. I think it is absolutely adorable!
Under the heading of something really cool and new ... check out Strata Various Quilts!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Personalized Towel ... Another Project Done!

Well my littlest son David lost his "Incredible Hulk" towel on the first day of his swimming lessons. Today's project was a towel that would be much more difficult for another kid to pick up by mistake! I bought an (inexpensive!!) towel at the Supercenter then appliqued on Davey's name. He can't possibly lose this one!

I'm absolutely smitten with his toothless grin...
but I'm his mother so I can't help myself!

Personalized Towel Instructions

  1. Using your favourite word processing software, type in the child's name. Change the font to a bold and simple typeface (I used IMPACT) then increase the font size to 400. Print out the child's name. The letters will be about 3.5 - 4.5" high. If they aren't fiddle around with the font until you get something you like!

  2. Trace the letters onto the paper backing of steam-a-seam from the reverse side - if you don't the fabric letters will be in mirror image. Use a ruler to help you get nice straight lines.

  3. Iron the letters onto the reverse side of the fabric ... for a livelier towel you can use several co-ordinates!

  4. Remove the paper backing from the letters and carefull arrange them on the towel being mindful of spacing and keeping them in a straight line. I used my 6 x 24" ruler as a guide. Iron in place.

  5. Using thread that co-ordinates with the towel zig zag around all the raw edges of the letters.

  6. Voila - you are done - have fun at the beach!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Catching Up...My Yo Yo Pillow is Done

In the fall I had a little case of Yo Yo mania and made a whole bunch of teensy yo yos in 1930s reproduction fabric and there they sat. Today I finally worked them into this little pillow (it is 12 inches). I used the clover yo yo maker which made the project really easy!

Now I am only one day behind in my resolution but as Scarlett O'Hara would say...tomorrow is another day.

A Resolution ... Broken Down Already

Well on Sunday I promised to finish a project everyday this didn't last at all!
I Have just finished Monday's project which is the baseball pillowcases.
Lest you think I have been totally shirking ... I have advanced several things closer to completion so I believe I will still do seven things this week...if not one everyday!

Meanwhile we have some gorgeous Lantern Moon Needles...the Sock Stix on sale for 15.60 -- these luxury needles retail for 26.00 per set!

They are 5" double points made specifically for socks. They come in a bright plaid organza bag! They are a luxurious gift and they knit like a dream!
Now, I'm off to finish yesterday's project!