Sunday, July 21, 2013

TVQA Assembly Day

We’re just back from the annual Assembly Day with the Tennessee Valley Quilters!

Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts was the guest speaker, and she really touched me by her passion for her family and her craft.  She drew a record crowd too!  Nearly 500 quilters from northern Alabama, central and eastern Tennessee flocked to Winchester to hear her.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the frenzy around the vendors.  What fun!!


Friday, July 19, 2013

Christmas in July-Day 8-Time for me to stuff your stocking

It's been a fun week of Christmas in July!  I hope you have enjoyed our specials & inspiration!

Today's the day I Stuff Your Stocking!  Check out the details here:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Christmas in July-Day 7 Pattern Palooza

I’d say my pattern stash, in sheer number, would give my fabric stash a run for it’s money in a head to head battle. 

Today’s Stuff My Stocking special:

12 patterns

none over $4.00

several just $1!

Purses, bed quilts, wall hangings…pieced, appliqued…, it’s all there!


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Christmas in July-Day 6-Panels (and how to enjoy them)

Panels – some quilters love them, others are plain stymied!  Here are a few tips to inspire you to look at panels in a new way.

First, I guess we should define a panel.  A panel is a large scale design, or series of designs, that usually coordinates with a specific line of fabric.  For example, this panel measures 24” x width of fabric (selvage to selvage).

keep it sassy panel

It’s from the Keep It Sassy line of fabrics.  It coordinates with these prints.

Keep it Sassy grid

Tip #1-you don’t have to use every piece of the panel in 1 project. 

Here is a panel called Dear Santa.

Dear Santa panel

I thought the letters to Santa, the large center “Merry Christmas” block & the (bottom) reindeer would work well together for a wall hanging.  I used my word program to  design the fun lettering & appliqued it all with a blanket stitch.

dear santa

I still have all the other prim-style squares to use in another project or projects.  I am kinda leaning toward mug rugs at the moment.  This is a brushed cotton panel, so flannel is an obvious choice for pairing…which is also very absorbent, ala the mug rug idea.

Tip #2: Check the designer’s and manufacturer’s free pattern pages. 


The Bee Yourself panel has 4 free patterns to inspire you.  Lap Quilt, tote, table runner, and placemats.  When we find these patterns we will link them up for you in our product listings, like we have with Bee Yourself.

Tip#3: Sometimes you need a quick baby or other gift and a panel can be a real time saver.  You can do simple sashing & a border, or add a little interest by making your blocks in an attic window setting.  Give your design just a little extra effort by adding that 1/2 square triangle in the corner.  (This pic is from an old free pattern from moda, but the copy is no longer online Sad smile, so I found instructions from Quilter by Design, Debby Kratovil:

attic window

Tip #4:  Panels can make great accents for your pieced quilt backing!  A few off centered bits of fun or a nice center medallion.

Tip #5: Remember to keep the selvage on until you use it- you may need some coordinates & it always helps to have a starting point when you search!

Tip #6: Panels are quilting whimsy. Remember to have fun. They can be a test to your creativity; take it as a challenge to grow. If you like the design, colors, and how you feel when you look at the fabric, you will find a way to use it.   Look, here we used one on the flap of a messenger bag.

We’ve put select panels on sale for Stuff My Stocking today!  Save at least 30% on each one.  Hey, one even has stockings on it!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

Christmas in July-Day 4-Quiltsmart Kits 25% off

We love Quiltsmart!  It’s makes those hard projects easy and fun!  We’ve selected some of our favorite kits for today’s Stuff My Stocking special.  Pop over & check them out:

PLUS we’ve selected a new set of Christmas fabric for this week’s weekly special.  Some up to 35% off!

Ho Ho HO!!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Christmas in July–Day 3-scraps are flying everywhere

I think every quilter has watched Eleanor Burns on tv, dvd, youtube, or in person & always giggle at the over the shoulder toss of her trimmings.

We think that ever quilter should have a bit of that whimsy, so we’ve put select Quilt in a Day books on sale at over 25% off in todays Stuff My Stocking sale!

Quantities are limited, so be sure to pop over & see which will be your present to yourself!

Sale ends at midnight, central time.

Victory Quilts 1078QD

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Winging It - Not just a commentary on life, but actually a fabric collection


The Buggy Barn’s new collection mixes great fall red, gold & pumpkin with sparks of aqua and gray.  And it’s awesome!


There is also a really pretty free pattern available from the designers!  Just click into any one of the fabric listings for the link!

Christmas in July- Day 2-Save 25%- Moda Honeycombs

Die cut hexagons in your favorite moda solids, I am not sure there is anything better.  Oh wait, yeah, it’s that plastic template that comes in each pack that already has the 1/4” seam point holes for marking! 

and OH WAIT some more- they are 25% off today, so get over & Stuff Your Stocking!  This is our 2nd day of our Christmas in July festivities!  Be sure to check back every day thru the 19th!

Here is a free download from Moda on sewing your hexis & even a blank design wall for coloring!

Granted, these make big hexies, but check out this tute from Riley Blake : Hexagami

I think this is a perfect way to use these solid hexis for the centers of flowers or embellishments.  This technique is a folding technique, just like origami with paper.  It’s on my “LIST”

So, click over to the Deal of the Day on and save over 25% until midnight!  As with all our specials, there is never a quantity limit, other than our inventory on hand, so stock up!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Stuff My Stocking-day 1 special

Us crafty folks need time to get those wonderful hand work infused projects done.  We need a sale NOW!

Check out the Deal of the Day each day through next Friday for extra specials that will change daily and end at midnight (mountain time).

In addition to this week’s sale fabric collection, Snowdays, today’s Christmas in July special are

Yo-Yo makers!

I am a bit of an addict to yo-yos.  Check out all my yo-yo blog posts here.

I finished up this cutie elf this week.  All of our yo-yo patterns are here  I named him Eddie.  Eddie Elf.  (He’s kinda pale from working indoors all year).

Eddie Elf

and I am just 8 strips of hand applique away from finishing that step of my queen yo-yo quilt! 

yoyo hanging

There will be a total of 30 strips & about 1000 XL yo-yo’s in this baby when it’s done.  I think this will qualify as a heavy quilt!  The pattern I am using is from the June 2011 American Patchwork & Quilting magazine.  Here’s my (laundry) basket of yo-yo’s before the applique began.

yo-yo quilt in progress

They will go together something like this (Lord willing)

yoyo with backing

Yo-yo’s also make great appliques and embellishments for your little girl (or to hide that stain, tear, hole, etc.).

So, pop over to the Deal of the Day section of & stuff your stocking with these great carry-anywhere gadgets!

But HURRY!  This special will be replaced with a new deal at midnight!!

Monday, July 8, 2013

It’s Time for Stuff My Stocking-Christmas in July

Knowing how much time, effort & planning goes in to each project you make for your holiday gifts, we want to help make the planning part a little more fun.


For the rest of July, each week online we will offer a collection of Holiday fabric at at least 25% off our already great price.

This week, it’s Snowday.  Fun & blustery prints perfect for your holiday projects.  You can always find our current special by clicking the link at the top of the blog, but here it is too:


In addition to our weekly fabric specials, we will help stuff your stocking with

special deals each day

Friday, July 12- Friday July 19th. 

We hope to also have some great projects to show you that coincide with those specials.  I little inspiration, if you will

These items may have very low quantities available, so be sure to remember to check the blog &/or Facebook each day that week!


And for our local customers, the week-long stocking stuffer party will be a blast, though I don’t think I can get my hands on any eggog *wink*.  Come in any (or every *wink wink*) day that week!FNQ Stuff My Stocking.bmp

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Little Blue Bird-my new adventure in applique

Last in my blog posts about last weekend’s classes at the TVQA Spring Seminar.  (Are you glad or sad?)

Applique: I want to love it, really I do. Applique can make a boring quilt come alive. It adds personality and pizzazz.

image via

But in my fast paced world, it just takes too much time.  I only have a few hours a day where I can squeeze in hand work.  Try as I might, I just got more frustrated with turned-edge applique with every stitch.  I knew I would never be a hand applique master with the first project.  So machine applique is where I focused my learning.  But still, the love was just not there.  It always felt like something that had to be done.  With all the ideas in my head, quilting-wise, why would I spend my time on something that felt like a chore?!


For a couple years, Pat Sloan & I have bantered back & forth on Facebook on the joy of applique.  Like I said, I want to love it.

When I saw Pat was teaching her applique just 2 short hours away, well that was it.   I was going to give this one last chance at .

Now, I’m not going to say angels were singing, but I will say that in the past week I have actually dreamed of applique (and not in the old fire & brimstone kind of way).

Pat is a great teacher and really takes time with each person in the class. 

She was able to help folks perfect their blanket stitch, regardless of machine.  This is harder than you’d think….all machines work differently-from brand to brand & model to model.  If you’re not a Pfaff stitcher and you try to figure one out, you’ll know what I mean. 

And my last flag-waving on Pat’s behalf (for now) is that she isn’t just about the technique.  She shares her knowledge of notions & the WHY behind her choices.  For me, without the why, it’s hard to make the leap to try something different. 

For example: fusible webbing:

These 3 classes last week were the first EVER I had taken in my nearly 10 years quilting.  As a self-taught quilter, I am accustomed to figuring things out by trial and error.  I am still figuring things out. 


I have always thought of fusible webbing like premium fabric.  You know RJR fabric & Moda fabric are of like quality & don’t really feel or “act” that different.  How different could fusible webbing really be?  (Ok, the angels did sing a bit here)…OMG!  I recommend that each of you who have only ever used Wonder Under go buy a yard of Heat N Bond Lite (you can click here, no need to search the net).  Tip #1: that 3 second pressing time is for REAL.  Tip #2: Getting the paper off the back is not a chore, and you can easily SEE the fusible (no more gummy iron).


So, if you are involved in the decision making at your guild or show regarding teachers, go here:  If you have never been to her site, GO!  She does more online quilting goodness than you can imagine.

My Class was “The Magic of EASY Machine Appliqué”  We worked Pat’s pattern, Little Blue Bird, available in Pat’s web store.  (you know I really like her if I am sending you her way to shop!)

Here’s my rendition, fused in place


Here are my thread choices (I think) for the blanket stitching  (that red spool on the right should be on the berries)

blue bird

When I get it stitched down, I will be back with an update.  The vine is not fused in place, but I’ve used Roxanne’s Glue Baste It, at Pat’s recommendation.  Yes, I am a little scared.  But in quilting, as in life, you have to push through the scary stuff to find the really cool stuff that you never knew was out there.

So, my love of applique journey continues.  Don’t forget that Pat’s new collection for Moda will be here mid-September.  Go ahead & check it out here & learn how you can save 5% off these yummy designs.

What teachers have pushed you to new quilting heights?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

3rd Annual Scrap Quilt Challenge

It’s that time of year again…time to dive into your scrap bin, put on your creativity cape & make something fabulous!
scrap challenge.bmp
I have been trying to finish off UFO’s this year, while still creating new & exciting things from the great new fabrics we stock at  So, in my UFO busting, I have neglected to make some scrappy projects.  
My scraps have been long-neglected.  Well neglected in the USING sense, not the GROWING sense.   (Yes, there is definite hanky-panky afoot in the baskets when no one is looking).  I bet you would like to thin yours out too. 
Here is last year’s winner:  Margie G’s Teresa
On to this year…
{In my most dramatic Mission Impossible voice}
Your challenge, if you choose to accept it:

Fabrics N Quilts  Scrap Challenge Quilt Contest 2013
For those of you that joined in the fun the last 2 years, the challenge is very similar!
  • 45” x 60” minimum size
  • Entries must be completed quilts (patchwork, applique, rag quilt are all fine.  It just must be a completed project)
  • Entries should have been completed in the last year (since last year’s challenge)
Scrap, Strip or String quilts are historically a way to use up the smallest scraps & strips of fabrics from other projects. Quilters would put every string of fabric to use, in those times when there was no room for waste.
Even in our times, we all have a scrap bin that overflows or a collection of fat quarters stashed away longing for a project. There are no design limitations on your challenge piece, other than overall size and that the quilt should utilize scraps of fabric in an obvious way/be the focus of your quilt, and the quilt must be finished (quilted).
So gather up your scraps & start designing your masterpiece!
Quilt pictures must be uploaded to our Flickr group by October 15, 2013.
We will be awarding multiple prizes this year. Winners will be by random drawing
  • Grand Prize Winner will receive a $25.00 gift certificate  PLUS a prize pack of goodies shipped with their order to
  • 2  Winners will receive a $15.00 gift certificate
  • 2 Winners will receive a $10.00 gift certificate
  • Every qualified entrant will receive a discount coupon to use at or in the shop
Be sure to grab our button & place it on your blog, or add an html button to your sidebar using this code: <a href= ><img src="" height="142" width="144" /></a>
Join our Facebook group to share ideas & pictures along your scrappy journey!

Let’s get scrappy!

Bargello in the round-Quilts without Corners

The second of my class show & tells! 

{But first a little shout out to you Tennessee Valley quilters.  If your guild is not a member of TVQA, join as an at large member like me.  Most events are in the middle TN area, but every event I’ve ever attended is well worth the drive. }  Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

When I say the picture for this quilt, it was love.  having done a bargello before with teeny tiny pieces, this looked very do-able.  And I love my big wedge ruler!

I took this class, like the class I blogged yesterday, with Peggy Barkle.  Visit her website & invite her to your guild.  She’s a hoot & a great teacher!  Above is Peggy’s quilt & now you know why I fell in love.

The book is full of very cool projects for the wedge ruler.  You can get it in the shop or online here

This was the first class of the weekend, and being a little naive, I decided to drive the 2 hours that morning instead of the day before.  SOooo, by the time I got to the wedge cutting part, my brain was not firing on all synapses.  I realized I brought a mat shorter than my wedge ruler.  Cutting was just going to be too challenging on all fronts, so I came home with a BIG UFO.

Thankful for the holiday, I had a little sew-a-thon & got my large circle together.

Bargello circle

I still have to applique the center and work out my plan for the “corners”.  I already know I am going to tweak that into something different.

This may stay a UFO for a while; the important part is now done…the rest can come later.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Blendable Curves-giving your blocks motion

This weekend I’ll be blogging about the 3 classes I took last weekend.  The last thing I needed was more UFO’s, so I have tried to hunker down & finish my projects this week.  The holiday was a blessing in that regard!

First up is Blended Nines.  I took this class from the author, Peggy J. Barkle.  The book is Blendable Curves & is available in the web store here.blendable curves

The process of mixing contrasting blocks was a fun one…especially in that points become an unimportant part of the process.  It’s nice when your points don’t meet & that’s the way it’s SUPPOSED to be!

Peggy felt I didn’t have enough contrast in my fabrics, but I'm ok with it.  I can still see the form of the design (but also see how it could pop more).  She also said that every quilt has a story & she was not a proponent of ripping out.  Whatever happens is just part of that quilt’s story.  And so it is with my color choices…

blended nines

This quilt is made from 48 nine patch blocks.  It’s not a big quilt, but hey, babies need warmth too. 

I really wanted to make my curves more dramatic, though Peggy kept reminding me that would make my process harder. 

blended nines-001

So I think I will have to put a bucket list project out there to make bigger blocks & try deeper curves (like an apple core).  I think it would really give it movement.  Perhaps if I don’t use a nine patch, but a wide strip in the center of the block it would be easier to manipulate.   So here I am, already planning my next UFO…