Friday, February 26, 2010

Quilt Retreat At Zion National Park

I belong to my local quilt guild- The Dixie Quilt Guild and every year we hold a quilt retreat at Zion National Park. Actually at a hotel just outside the park.

Zion is only 40 miles from our home, and yet it seems I don't get here nearly as often as I would like. This was an overcast day but still the colors are pretty.

The rock formations hold beauty year round and when the sun hits these rocks, it is amazing how red they become.

Even in the winter, when the skies are gray, the view is spectacular. This was our view outside the window.

I am trying to sew but I want to chat with everybody and see what they are doing. Also the "treat" table is just outside and beckons me.

OK. Back to work! Only this is fun work!

I, of course, use MasterPiece when piecing the top together.

The guild brings in Darbe, a trained Massage Therapist, to help loosen up stiff muscles after a day of sewing. I wish she lived next door but lucky for her she doesn't.

Ahhh... Yes, right there.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Texture Magic Tuesday/ Tickled Pink

With Easter around the corner, it's time to start thinking about making dresses for the special little girls in our lives.

Tickled Pink by designer Annie Unrein combines Texture Magic with this wonderful ensemble.

For the outfit pictured, the fabric was stitched to the Texture Magic using a serpentine stitch in an irregular grid pattern. That gives a wonderful effect when texturized!

The pattern includes complete, step-by-step instructions for texturizing the fabric and assembling the outfit. Full-size patterns are included for dress with lined bodice, sunhat, and purse. Sized to fit toddlers, ages one to two years.

Tickled Pink and all other Texture Magic friendly patterns can be ordered on our web site.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Threading Your Needle with PreWound Bobbins

Question: Does thread have a direction? For example, if I wind a bobbin and then decide to use that bobbin on top, technically, the thread has been rewound. Does that matter? I have been told that thread has a direction, and we must always begin with the the thread coming off the spool.
Answer: When using a top quality thread such as MasterPiece, Bottom Line, or other Superior thread, you can thread your needle from either end. A loosely or poorly twisted thread may not work well if rewound, but a top quality thread with a smooth, tight twist will work well in either direction.

Our suggestions when selecting a thread for hand applique:

Frosted Donuts: 36 colors of MasterPiece/ 50 wt.
100% extra long staple Egyptian-grown cotton.

Frostings: assortments of 12 colors in MasterPiece
35 colors of BottomLine 60 wt. polyester

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bob's Valentine Surprise

Bob surprised me early this year for Valentine's Day. He was teaching seminars in Phoenix and I was missing him on Thursday and Friday.
Then the doorbell rang and this beautiful floral arrangement arrived.
Later in the day, I received a box via FedEx. Inside were the most lovely chocolate covered strawberries I have ever seen. They were the best I've ever tasted. Each was decorated differently and abundantly dipped in chocolate. Thank you Bob.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Texture Magic Tuesday/Brushed Muslin Pillow

Quilt Store owners have been great supporters in using Texture Magic. Many sew samples and offer Texture Magic classes.
Pillows make an easy project to showcase one of the many uses of TM.
Our thanks today to Sue Kassler of Quilters Stash, North Attleboro, MA.

Sue made this decorative pillow, with just a 1 inch channel using a brushed muslin that looks like suede.
Projects made with solids are becoming quite popular this year.
Because of her love of Texture Magic, Sue has also been speaking at local guilds and is demoing TM there as well.

Thanks for sharing your ideas with us Sue!
If you have made a Texture Magic project, we would love to see pictures. Please send pictures, with a brief description to

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Revised Inventory List

To help you keep track of your thread inventory, we have recently revised our Inventory List on our web site. This list is 24 pages long and lists each thread line and each color. It offers a great way to check what you have and also makes a great shopping list.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Close-Out on Schmetz Needles

We are closing out on Schmetz needles.

Pack of 5 needles is only $3.50 (reg. $5.99).
Includes Schmetz Topstitch :
  • #90/14

  • #100/16

  • Metallic #90/14

No limit, but quantities are limited. Items on the Specials page are listed alphabetically so scroll down to S for Schmetz or click here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bob's Birthday Special

Shipping costs are always a concern for us. It is expensive and we subsidize shipping costs on many orders. But it’s my birthday and we’re going to offer something very different.
During February, ONLY $3.95 SHIPPING ON ALL RETAIL ORDERS within the U.S. 50 states.
You choose the products, we’ll choose the shipping method and we’ll celebrate together. (Wholesale and business account orders do not qualify.)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Texture Magic Tuesday/ Bungalow Bag

Amy Eileen Koester belongs to a Bag of The Month club at her local quilt store. Recently she adapted Bungalow Bag by Abby Lanes to use Texture Magic.

"The pattern suggested piecing 12" strips to make the upper band for the bag. Using the Texture Magic™ Conversion chart I cut a piece of fabric and TM each 11" by 44"." Amy said.

The handles on the bag looked almost like they have been textured, but that is just fabric slipped over the handles constructed for the bag.
"The fabric is gathered because it was cut twice as long as the handles. The handles are made of copper wire and plastic tubing from Home Depot, I cut the plastic tubing to handle length and ran the copper wire through the tubing. The wire allows the tubing to hold it's shape and also creates a loop to attach the handle to the bag. The handles cost under $1.00 to make, and I love the look of copper." Amy continued.
Amy used Rainbows #805 to texturize the top of the bag because she felt the colors matched well with the flowers on the main section of the bag.
Amy is a Texture Magic Rep working in the Florida area.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Clam Session

Our congratulations to Karen Stone of Beaumont, Texas for winning The Maywood Studio Master Award for Innovative Artistry, Houston IQF 2009

"Clam Session" was designed while Karen was doodling in church. Her criteria for selecting the fabric was that each print needed to have at least 2-3 colors, and could not be monochromatic.

Karen began quiltmaking in 1986, teaching in 1990 and publishing her designs in 1993. She holds degrees in piano from Baylor and Indiana Universities.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Bobbin Thread Breaking?

I love sewing with your MasterPiece prewound bobbins but once in a while, the bobbin thread breaks. Any suggestions?
This is usually an easy fix. If the bobbin thread is breaking, here is what to do:
1. With a permanent marker, mark a dot on the bobbin case where the
bobbin screw is currently pointing to. This is to remind you where you
2. Loosen the bobbin tension by turning the bobbin tension screw by 1/4
turn. Turn to the left (counter clockwise).
That should take care of it. Many machines are set to have a very strong
polyester thread in the bobbin and therefore need to be adjusted for a
fine cotton thread.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Texture Magic Tuesday/ Serenity Shoulder Bag

Serenity Shoulder Bag by Annie Unrein is perfect for showcasing a unique fabric that has been combined with Texture Magic.

We fell in love with the stylish asymmetrical flap closure.
A layer of wool batting placed between the fabric and the Texture Magic before stitching adds even more dimension to the texturized flap.
Wooden rings accent the comfortable padded strap.
Serenity has large inside and outside slip pockets and a roomy interior.
The bag finishes at about 12"w X 1-1/2" h X 4"d
Serenity Shoulder Bag and other Texture Magic friendly patterns by Annie can be ordered on our web site.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Tribute To Tolkien

Tribute To Tolkien by Sue McCarty of Roy, Utah won two prestigious awards at Houston IQF 2009:
  • The Pfaff Master Award for Machine Artistry $5,000
  • Viewers Choice Award

Congratulations Sue!

Tribute To Tolkien depicts scenes from the Lord of the Rings, and is an original whole cloth quilt using metallics, crystals and paint.

Sue McCarty has won numerous National Shows. She began hand quilting in 1990 and moved to longarm quilting in 2004.