I was recently asked to post this information about a great source of backing fabric.  If I can’t get what I need locally (always try your local quilt stores first!) then I check out a favorite quilt backing fabric site “Backside Fabrics” – www.backsidefabrics.com.  They have backing fabric available in lots of different price points and colors.  Locate the fabric you want by price, or by color!  Even by style.  If you’re not sure of the brand or actual color you can get a small sample piece of the fabric too.  I’ve been very happy with all of the backing fabric that I’ve purchased from Backside Fabrics.  And shipping prices are very reasonable.

Also – I have a link to the “Fat Quarter Shop” at the right side of this page.  When I need to go hunting for errant fabric pieces, or even whole collections, this is where I hit first.  This online company carries a lot of everything!  Shop by color, design, or designer!  And, they too, have great shipping rates.

My “Go To” shopping list then is:  Connecting Threads, local quilt shops, then Fat Quarter Shop!

BackSide Fabrics

While out in Cascade, Michigan last week at a doctor’s visit I came across a new cute quilt store!  It is called “Stitched Studio”!  They are located at 1144 East Paris Ave, Grand Rapids.  Their fabric is bright and fun – lots of Moda designers.  I fell in love with the basic solids collection they carry called “Bella Solids”.  What a scrumptious line of colors!

They are having a Grand Opening this coming Saturday.  Sounds like fun!  Check out their website for more information and to sign up for a newsletter.  www.stitched-studio.com.  We need to support a new quilt store, and help them to continue to grow and succeed!

Tonga

I’m sorry I haven’t posted recently but I’ve not felt well.  Finally feeling better today!

Whenever I go into local quilt shops to look around I always see the beautiful Tonga Treat strip packages designed by Timeless Treasures.  I never know quite what to make with them.  Then I found this great quilt book also put out by Timeless Treasures called “Pick Up A 6-Pack”!  All of the patterns are designed for the 6″ Tonga Treat strips.  There are 24 pages, full Color, and using Harvest, Boysenberry, Reef, Punch, & Cabana packs.  The Tonga Treat bundle shown below is called “Boysenberry”.

   

My Room

Hmmm, you’d think I’ve been sewing these past two days!  What a mess!  I can’t believe I actually know where things are.  Move something and I’m done for.

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And while I’m trying to get a bunch of projects done – I go and purchase these three EQ7 Quilt Designing Lesson Books!  I’ll work with these on my downtime.  Ha!   I like using my EQ7 program to design my quilt patterns, but there is still a lot within the program that I don’t know.

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Hello everyone! I’m excited to be able to share this news with you!  One of my favorite quilts artists, Jacquelynne Steves of The Art of Home,  is holding a Block of the Month Blog Hop starting October 27, 2014.  She has designed a beautiful quilt with six blocks that she has named “Sew Sweet Simplicity”.  I love it!  My exciting new is that Jacquelynne Steves has asked me to participate in her Blog Hop!

For more information and to sign up for this Block of the Month Blog Hop – click on the button at the right of this page.  “Sew Sweet Simplicity”.  Fun prizes and giveaways too!

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Jacquelynne Steves Free Block of the Month

Sewing Basket

Here is my latest project – a Sewing Basket.  The pattern is from Art-To-Heart’s “Sew Necessary” book.  The book has lots of cute scissor holders, thread catchers, and notions bags.  Unfortunately, the basket is just too large for me.  It’s not quite what I’m after to hold all of my sewing supplies that are scattered on the table next to me.  It’s SEW darling that I hope I can figure out how to make it smaller.  What do you use to hold all of your notions that are close at hand at your sewing machine?  I need suggestions!

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I was so happy to find “The Whole Country Caboodle” at this year’s AQS show in Grand Rapids!  When I had my quilt store I used to carry a lot of her products.  The designer and owner is Leanne Anderson, .  I’ve always loved Leanne’s cute sewing and quilting characters, and like the projects that she comes up with to use them on.   The packaging for her kits are adorable!

Years ago I had trouble finding “The Whole Country Caboodle” merchandise from my distributors.  I just assumed that she had gone out of business.  What a nice surprise to find out that she hasn’t!  She has a website www.thewholecountrycaboodle.com that has all of her patterns, books, kits, and fabrics on it.  Also – lots of free downloadable patterns!  She also has a blog that you can reach from her website, and she offers two giveaways each month on her blog!

Now for the best part!  Leanne from “The Whole Country Caboodle” and Mary Jane from “Holly Hill Quilt Designs” have combined talent for a year of fun projects and recipes – A Year of Love…A Year of Fun Club X2.  Each month you will receive a pattern and a recipe for only the one time fee of $25.  You will receive 13 patterns (I per month via email, except December when you will receive 2) and 13 delicious recipes.  All projects will be designed using fabrics from Leanne and Mary Jane’s collection for Henry Glass Fabrics.  The club begins September 2014!!  (You can sign up any time during September.)  Email: twcc@butler-bremer.com, or call 641-435-2559 to sign up!

Here are a few of the designs you’ll find on the website:  “Winter Coasters”, “Parallel Posies”,

Winter Parallel Posies  Faith Sees The Flower

Batting

How did you choose the batting you usually go to for your quilts?  Trial and error?  A friend’s suggestion?  A quilt store owner or a quilt teacher?

What do you like best about the batting you use?  There are so many choices now when it comes to batting.  Loft, texture, what it’s made of, and how loose or tight the batting is.  You can buy polyester batting, cotton batting, wool, bamboo, and even soy-blend.  How do you know which batting to use?  There is no “good” or “bad” batting.  It all comes down to preference.

Yes, some batting might not have the preferable outcome that you want on a personal level.  You may like low loft, but your friend doesn’t.  You may like cotton batting, but she doesn’t.  Who’s right?  Neither of you!  My firm suggestion to all of my customers and students is use what you are comfortable to work with, BUT don’t go cheap!  I went cheap on one of my first hand-quilted projects and have regretted it ever since.  It pilled, or bearded.  “Pilling” is when the batting fibers come through the fabric of the quilt and look like little white fuzzies.  I had used a low-loft polyester batting.

After that I began using cotton batting.  I have used Warm and Natural batting for over fifteen years now.  It’s just my preference.

Loft is basically what the word means – thickness.  The higher the loft, the thicker your quilt will be.  You’ll most likely find high loft in manufactured comforters since it is very difficult to machine quilt through high loft batting.  It’s easier to tie a high loft quilt.  You do not need a high loft batting for warmth!  Wool and cotton tightly woven batting serves the same purpose.

Polyester batting – is not suggested for long-arm quilting.  This type of batting often shifts, pulls, tears, and is very loosely woven.  It can easily warp and become misshapen.  But it works great for baby quilts since you can buy polyester batting in different lofts.  Do not use in trivets, placemats, or potholders as polyester batting can melt.  There are many different brands of polyester batting available.  Again – don’t go cheap!

Cotton batting – is suggested for long-arm quilting.  Cotton batting is tightly woven and stays in place when quilting.  This type of batting doesn’t come in real high lofts as polyester does, but you can get different lofts from certain brands.

There’s organic batting, and some considered all-natural.  Just remember – there’s no one “right” batting!

       

“AQS” – here we come tomorrow!  A bunch of us are heading into Grand Rapids to spend the whole day at the AQS show.  We’re talking feet hurting, shoulders hurting from holding all those bags of purchases, and coming home exhausted.  But it’s going to be fun!

Well – it’s finished!  My latest pattern that will be sold through Cut Loose Press which is Checker Distributor’s pattern division.  This quilt is called “Autograph Quilt”.  It uses the Creative Grids “Hatchet Template” for charm fabric.  It’s so easy to make!

How fun to make this up for a family reunion, a baby shower, a graduation party, or any gathering where you’d love to have memories to keep and share?  I made my sample here in Kona’s Dots fabric line.  This is a photo that I took of my lap quilt because I can’t put the actual pattern picture on my blog per Cut Loose Press rules.  The patterns will be available any day now.

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