Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fundamentals Sew Along - Week 17

 Hi Everyone:

I promised no flying geese this week and I am keeping my promise.  There is so much going on in the store right now, with expanding the store and moving the warehouse down the hall.  I wasn't sure where I was going to sew today.  As it turns out, the old classroom is still there but the design wall is gone.  The computer has moved to the new warehouse.  So there is a lot of running up and down the hall this week.  It's all very exciting!

This weeks block is called Farmer's Daughter.  This is a great block to chain piece.  To start off I chain piece all of the triangle segments, pressing them and clipping the corners.  Then I lay them out according to the diagram that you received in your pattern.  Be careful when you place your half square triangle blocks as it is really easy to flip them in the wrong direction  (see photo below).

Mistake in the Layout

Once you have the block laid out, remove the 4 rectangles and the square that resembles a cross in the block.  What I do now is chain piece these four units.  You will now have a string of 8 pieces.  Instead of clipping every one apart, you clip every other one.   You should have the 2 that are to be joined.  Just press and then join them together.  It is much faster than clipping every one and getting them all mixed up.

Two Segments Chain Pieced Ready to be Assembled
Clip Every Other Block

Farmer's Daughter Block

Once you have the 4 corner units assembled you can re-insert the square and rectangles and piece the rest of the block.

Another pretty block done. I look forward to seeing you next week and I will be working in the new classroom woo hoo!See you next week.

Monday, April 23, 2012

More Space = More Fabric

Yes! We are expanding the store! This will mean more space for fabric, more space for classes, and more quilting fun! 

We're going to be blogging about the expansion so make sure you follow the blog to see how things are coming along!
We must say a big Thank You to all our wonderful customers who've helped make this happen. We truly appreciate your support over the years and look forward to entering the next phase of our journey with you.
The store will be up and running through the expansion process and we apologize in advance for any inconvenience the renovation may bring. Rest assured we'll do everything possible to keep things running smoothly and efficiently.

Day 1: 

This is what the store looked like this morning. The Baldwin family worked hard all weekend to get the store ready for the guys who were going to blow a hole in the wall Monday morning. 
Karen (the other Sew Sister) is down for the week! :) Come by and say hello or see her at the Creativ Festival this weekend. 
So all the fabric was covered up and the men got to work!

Save that fabric!
At about 11:00 am they were all done and we went over to inspect the opening to the new space. 

The sisters checking out the opening. 
Judy and Karen peer into the screen. 
 And this is what they see!

This is what the room likes from the other side. 

That's our new space! Imagine it all cleaned up and the walls covered with shelves of fabric!

This will be our new class room space. 

We'll bring you more images and moments from our expansion. Stay tuned!

Monday Giveaway on Facebook!

Go our Facebook  Page for the Monday Giveaway!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fundamentals Sew Along - Week 16

Hi Everyone

    By now all of you  must have quite an assortment of pretty blocks. The project is slowly taking shape, but we still have a way to go on this journey together.  Looking ahead, there are still a few more fabrics to add to the palette.  I hope you are all enjoying getting your fabric packs in the mail.

     This weeks block is called Dutchman's Puzzle.  All the practice you have had doing flying geese blocks is going to pay off.  There are many flying geese rulers on the market.  If you have one and want to use it feel free.  You will need to make a 1  7/8" X 3  3/4" finished size flying geese segments for this block.  I am going to do mine according to the directions on the pattern. One important  tip is to clip the excess fabric triangles off (see diagram below).  Not only does it make it look neater, if you have a quarter inch foot on your sewing machine, you can sew your next triangle on much easier.

Clip Your Corners
Once you have finished all of your segments, trim them to clean up the edges.  It makes it easier to piece them together if all of your edges are even.

Square Up your Blocks

Audition your Flying Geese Blocks

      I must admit, this is the part I like the best!  I know the directions tell you how to assemble the blocks a certain way, but it is always fun to experiment and try out different colour ways.  In the Stonehenge the pattern has you use the grey flying geese blocks to make the pinwheel.  I couldn't resist seeing what the block would look like with the brown as the pinwheel.  With the thirties block, the pattern has the purple as the pinwheel.  I  liked the green better.  So I decided to reverse things.  The blocks below are the finished product.  I would love to hear which way you have decided to do yours. 

Dutchman's Puzzle Block

       Happy Stitching everyone!  Spoiler Alert!  There will be no flying geese next week.  See you then.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fundamentals Sew Along - Week 15

Hi Everyone:

     I hope your week was a good one. Easter is just a memory, and I have had my fill of Easter eggs.   Even though my kids are too old to hunt for eggs that didn't stop me from buying some to stash away for myself.

     Today's block is called Sawtooth Star.  The block for week 6 (Dandy Star) is similar, but the star is floating on the background so you are sure to have all of your points on your star.  This week the points go out to the edge of the block so accuracy is especially important.  If you look at the block closely, it is made up of 4 flying geese surrounding the centre square.  The last two weeks we have been working with flying geese so you must be getting good at them by now. One customer told me she was struggling with them so I thought I would walk you through what I do.

     Triangles can be tricky.  One thing I have been doing is spraying my fabric (before I cut it) with Best Press starch alternative (regular spray starch also works).  I like Best Press because there aren't any food products in it. It helps keep the bias sides from stretching, and makes the pieces easier to piece.

Best Press - Caribbean Beach - 16 oz

 Even if you use starch, be careful when you are pressing.  The next picture shows today's boo boo.

I just wasn't paying attention to what I was doing.  I had two triangles on the ironing board.  I pressed one and accidentally dragged the iron over the other one.  Look what happened!  It shows you how easily things can get distorted.  There is an easy solution to this.  I lined it up next to a matching triangle.  Positioned it so that it matched the other, which means the bias edge looked wavy and it didn't lie flat.  Then I gently put the iron on it and forced it back to it's original shape.

     The other question I had about Flying Geese was " How do I line up different size triangles"?

Placement for Triangles
    First you lay your large triangle right side up (see diagram above)  Place the small triangle on top with the wrong side up ( right sides facing each other).  The second triangle will overlap the first triangle at the top.  The bottom points will line up together.  Then you will sew along the long edge of the top triangle. Then press (see diagram below) and clip the tiny little triangles off the side and top.  Repeat the process for the left side of the large triangle and you now have one of your flying geese.

Assembly Directions for Flying Geese

Sawtooth Star Block

 These are the finished blocks. That distorted triangle is in the star block on the right.  Can you tell which triangle it is?  I can't.  I hope these tips help.   Happy stitching everyone!  See you next week.                         

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

If your mother loves to sew she'd love these gifts.

If you'd like them for yourself email the post to your husband... or children... or just shop for yourself! :)

Candle Mat Kits

These beautiful Candle Mat Kits are a perfect gift if your mother   
likes handwork. The kit includes the pattern and all the wool felt and embroidery floss she will need to make these darling 9" X 9" candle mats. Pick from six different themes. 
Click here to purchase: Candle Mat Kits by Bareroots 

Fat Quarter Bundles

 Come into the store and pick up these lovely fat quarter bundles or shop for the ones we've got online. A quilter can never have enough fat quarters! 
Click here to purchase: Fat Quarter Bundles

A Subscription to The Bargain Lover's Club

Your mother will receive 10 fat quarters of high quality quilting cotton handpicked by us for only $18.99 each month!

$100 Gift Certificate

 Sew Sisters Gift Card 

Give your mother a gift card from our store and let her choose the fabric she likes. Drive her to the store and make it a day out! We're sure she'd love it.
Click here to purchase: Sew Sisters Gift Card

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Learn to Paper Piece in 2 hours!

We've got a really cool class coming up!

Introduction to Paper Piecing
Paper piecing is a technique of sewing oversize fabric pieces to a paper foundation. This allows you to make accurate patchwork blocks easily and quickly without making any templates! 

The class will be held on Tuesday, May 8th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

That's right! It's only a two hour class! 
You will be given simple patterns to work on during the class and you'll go home with completed blocks! 
You will need to bring in your sewing machine. 
Fee: $20

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fundamentals Sew Along - Week 14

Hi Everyone:

    I can't believe we are at block 14 already!  Before you know it we will be half way there. Before we get started I wanted to give a shout out to our  long distance sew along members.  Linda from Richmond B. C. was in town and dropped by.  It is always nice to put a face to the names of our customers.

    The block that we will be working on is called See Saw.  This week I thought I would talk about half square triangles and quarter square triangles.  I know some of you might be thinking a triangle is is triangle! But really the difference between the two is where the bias seam falls.  If you cut your squares in half the bias will run along the base of your triangle.  If you cut your squares into quarters the bias will be on the sides.  Because there is more stretch on the bias you need to be careful where it is on the block.  Preferably not on the exterior seam as this can cause distortion.

Quarter Square Triangles and Half Square Triangles

In the example below I think I cut some quarter square triangles and some half square triangles of the background color, don't ask me why?  The half square triangles were very difficult to piece.   I had to do a lot of pinning  to control the stretch of the bias in the fabric when piecing the rows together.  That was a lesson learned.

See Saw Block
This is the finished block. Well Magnolia, this is your lucky week. You are the winner of the fat quarter draw. Email us to claim your prize. Happy stitching everyone, see you next week. Jeannie


Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Giveaway on our Facebook Page

Did you know we have a giveaway on our Facebook Page every Monday??? Like our Facebook Page and leave a comment to win! It's that simple. :)

We're giving away this cute pattern - Hot Fingers. Make's taking out little hot dishes from your microwave so much easier! So hop on over and leave a comment. Winners are announced Tuesday.