What's New At PSQ

Thursday, March 31, 2011

What's New at PSQ As of 3-31-11

Hoffman Batiks – As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we have over 200 batiks scheduled to come in over the next few months and today, they started trickling in.  We received 19 bolts of Hoffman’s beautiful essentials in several gorgeous colors!  Check them out because this is only the beginning! 

Four Seasons at Minglewood by Debbie Roberts – “Four Seasons at Minglewood” showcases the talents of Nebraska quilter Debbie Roberts and her quilting community.  You’ll find a stunning block-of-the-month quilt with 15 blocks to cover even the largest bed.  Several variations of this sampler quilt are included.”  Okay so now you have the facts, let me tell you what I think…the blocks are fantastic and varied.  No two are even close to being alike and you can either make the sampler or pick a block you love and make a quilt of all one block.  There is also a beautiful appliqué that is perfect to set in the center of your sampler OR stands alone as a wall hanging or table topper.  Lots of options make this book the perfect addition to your quilting library.
Table Talk: Runners, Toppers and Family Treats by Gudrun Erla – “For Gudrun Erla, gathering at the dinner table brings back special memories of friends and family in her native Iceland.  These memories are the inspiration for her first Kansas City Star quilt book.  Included are 16 projects designed to grace your table and Gudrun’s family recipes to share with yours.  Six pieced projects can be done with simple sewing room staples.  There are four quilt-as-you-go projects – excellent “quickies” to whip up for friends and family.  There’s also a collection of holiday projects like the festive “Wrap It Up” runner, and three projects made from fabric leftovers, along with creative recipes for those dinner leftovers.  It’s all there to enjoy..at the table.”  I LOVE this book.  The number of projects inside will blow you away and most are quick and easy to make in an afternoon or over a weekend.  I love projects with instant gratification and these designs fit that bill perfectly.  Oh, and did I mention there are yummy recipes, too!  Yep.  Make a table runner then make the yummy chocolate cookies as well!

Home on the Plains:  Quilts and the Sod House Experience by Kathleen Moore and Stephanie Whitson –  “Inspired by sod house homemakers’ words and quilts, Kathy Moore and Stephanie Whitson tell about those hard working women striving to create a home on the plains..in houses made of dirt.  While struggling to survive, they still found time for beauty, cutting scalloped edges on shelf paper, growing geraniums on their windowsills and planting roses in the yard.  And they made quilts – lovely, intricate quilts to brighten their homes.  Peek into the homes and lives of these Nebraska women.  You’ll want to use one of the eight timeless patterns or one of the variations included to make a quilt in remembrance of their courageous spirit.”  Well, I think that just about says it all.  A great history book with quilting patterns, too! 

One More Thing
Here's a photo of the 108" fabric we got in a few weeks ago.  They are perfect for backings.  Check them out!

Friday, March 25, 2011

What's New At PSQ As of 3-24-11

Here’s what’s new at PSQ this week!  Enjoy!

Batavia Quilt and Textile Show – July 15 - 17
Yeah, I know it’s a few months off but…but it’s never too early to mark your calendar and plan to attend AND submit your quilts to be a part of this great show!  Celebrating its fifth year, the Batavia Threads from Past to Present Quilt Show is always a terrific opportunity to view beautiful quilts both old and new from quilters all over the Fox Valley, and yours can be among them.  This is our chance as quilters to show off the talent of the quilters of the Fox Valley.  Any and all quilts and textiles (including embroidery, cross-stitch, crochet and knitting pieces) are welcome!

We NEED your quilts.  Prairie Shop Quilts is the sponsor of the show so we want our customers to be well represented!  Forms are available for downloading at the Batavia Quilt Show website at www.bataviaquiltshow.com. The deadline to submit your form is a ways off but you can submit the form whenever you like – the earlier the better.  To submit your quilts, just visit the website at www.bataviaquiltshow.com and click on the link to “exhibitor application” to print out your form. 

Check out the photos on the website of quilts from past shows.  Vintage quilts are welcome too!  And, this year there is a special exhibit of “Patriotic” quilts – including a special exhibit of Naval Air quilts.  And on Saturday, July 16 you should stop by and see participants in our Mission: Seams Impossible Quick Fire Challenge.  Contestants will have five hours to create, from start to finish, a quilt project based on the theme “Threads from Past to Present.”  It’s going to be VERY exciting!  Friday night plan to attend a presentation by guest speaker Chris Moline whose topic is “A Collector’s Diary”.  She will discuss how to collect quilts, care for them and where to purchase them.  She will also bring a collection of her beautiful antique quilts.

AND, plan to join us to see an exhibit on “Quilting for a Cause” and explore the various charitable opportunities available in the tri-city area.  Each year the show gets bigger and better.  This is the show to put your quilt in.  We need to show the people of the Fox Valley just how many of us love to quilt!  Your quilts can and SHOULD be a part of this great show that will also feature local vendors.  So check out the website and get the scoop!  It’s a great show and if you’ve  never been, this is the year to start!

Extra Wides – We just got in more colors of 108” wide cotton backings.  These backings are perfect for quilts more than 42” wide – No Piecing!  In addition to white on whites we also have brown, beige, cream and green.  Check them out.  They are great neutrals that would go with just about any quilt AND they are quick and easy.  Perfect!

Times Flies by Quilting Treasures – We just got in a re-shipment of the fabulous Time Flies fabric by Quilting Treasures.  This fabric features different styles of clocks, there are bolts with words about time, tone on tone cogs, roman numerals and more!  We’ve also made up kits of the Time Flies quilt that we had previously and that sold out in days.  The quilt goes together in hours and is so easy but so stylin’.  The colors are dark and rich in black, brown, reds, greens and more. 

Beautiful Botanicals – 45 Applique Flowers and 14 Quilt Projects by Deborah Kemball – I have seen a lot of books on floral appliqué but the photos of the designs in this book trump them all!  These flowers, leaves and more are not difficult to do (there are detailed instructions on how to hand appliqué each one).  The designs are fantastic and interchangeable and the finished quilts in the back are stunning.  Even if you just want a little flower or leaf, maybe add a berry to a pieced quilt, this book is the perfect guide.  The embroidery technique she uses to create an embellished stem is worth the price of the book alone.  Check it out and be inspired.  I know I was! 

Organizing Solutions for Every Quilter – An Illustrated Guide to the Space of Your Dreams by Carolyn Woods – When I saw the title of this book I thought, I have to have this!  While my sewing room is not out of control (the folks from “Hoarding: Buried Alive” won’t be calling me anytime soon) it is not organized.  I spend hours when I could be sewing looking for scissors, seam rippers, thread, etc.  But no more!  This book promises to make my sewing space a “calm and happy place”.  I say, “Bring it on!”  The ideas inside are specific and applicable to just about any sewing space and includes tips on how to pack and prepare for “Quilting on the go!”  My sewing room is already looking better for having read this book and it is a happy place!  Now if someone could write a book on how to organize my life so I could actually spend time in the room sewing!

Patterns & Samples
Tortilla Bags – Boy, my staff is quick!  The pattern for the Tortilla bag (for heating up tortilla’s) came in one day and the very next day the sample was sitting on our shelves.  Impressive and timely since I made tacos the other night and needed just one of these bags.  I’ll admit at first I was skeptical – did I (or anyone else for that matter) really need a special bag for cooking potatoes or heating up tortillas?  Yes!  After burning two potatoes (and let me tell you, that is NOT a good smell in your microwave) and enduring chewy or crunchy tortillas, I now swear by these bags.  They are so simple to make and what great gifts!  They are adorable, too!  We have potato AND tortilla chip fabric AND we have the specialty batting that is microwave safe.  Check out our samples and then consider making one for yourself and a few for friends!. 

Rapid Fire Hunter’s Star                                                                                  
Saturday, April 9 from 1 pm to 5 pm
Learn a new technique designed to streamline construction of the traditional Hunter’s Star block.
Class Fee:  $28                                    
Instructor: Edith Hubbard                                
Level: Confident Beginner

The Basics                                                
Sundays, April 10, May 22, June 5, 12, 19, and 26 from 12 pm to 4 pm
Learn the basic techniques of quilting that will give each student a solid foundation to use as a spring board to more complicated projects.  Students will make a sampler quilt of 16 different blocks while learning numerous techniques and building a wealth of quilting knowledge.  Students who take this class will have learned the skills to tackle just about any quilting technique.  The Basics is an excellent opportunity to start at the beginning no matter how long you’ve been quilting.
Class Fee: $135                                               
Instructor:  Barbara Rippel                              
Level: Beginner

Machine Embroidery Club                   
Mondays, April 11, May 9, AND/OR June 13 from 10 am to 12 pm
Come every month or pick and chose to make a new project learning new machine embroidery techniques.  A great way to learn
all the functions of your embroidery machine.  In April, we’ll cover “Creative Cutwork Napkins”.  In May we’ll learn how to embellish jeans and in June learn a Chenille technique (thread velvet).
Class Fee:  $18 each                            
Instructor:  Becky Robinson                            
Level: Beginner & up

Bonita Plays Dress Up

Hi all!  Last weekend my husband and I went to a black tie fundraiser for our daughter’s school.  Since we made the decision to attend the event a few months ago and since deciding to try to fit into a gown I have had for over a dozen years (which I loved the first and only time I wore it!), I have been working to drop just a few more pounds so the dress would fit perfectly.  Last week when I tried on the dress, the zipper made it all the way to the top and I found that breathing, while not fun, was achievable.  Success!  And so I thought my troubles were over.  Not quite!

That’s when I discovered that I had no shoes that would work (thanks to my pregnancy 11 years ago, my feet had flattened and gone up ½ a size!), no matching purse and no wrap to keep my bare arms warm in the chilly March air (the last time I wore the dress it was August!).  Yikes!  So out I went shopping for dressy shoes – something I haven’t done in a long time – and was mortified to find that there was not a single dress pump that was less than 3” high!  Seriously!  I spend my days in tennis shoes and even they hurt sometime!  I didn’t think I could make the arch of my foot bend to accommodate 3” heels.  But, I bought them (on clearance no less – Yahoo!) and hoped for the best.

Purse – We tried several stores and the purses were either really big (can you really carry a tote bag with an evening gown?  Apparently, some people do!) or way too small!  One bag I found wouldn’t even hold my phone (which is tiny) and I doubt I could have even stuffed a tissue inside!  So I went to the internet and found a purse that not only matched the shoes but would allow me to carry my phone, a credit card and, if folded into a tiny origami like design, a tissue.  Excellent!

Wrap – I thought this would be the easiest accessory to find but…NOPE!  By the time I was ready to leave the house on Saturday night I had four different wraps and or jackets and wasn’t really thrilled with any of them.  One was too dark, another too flimsy, a third two tight and the one I settled on was pretty but the little gold details on the wrap kept getting tangled amongst themselves and the wrap stopped wrapping and instead twisted into gnarled up mess but… it was going to have to do.

Okay, I’m done now, right?  Guess again.  At UFO last Friday we began to discuss pantyhose vs. bare legs and it would seem this is a HUGE controversy.  I wasn’t planning on wearing hose but was informed that for formal occasions, pantyhose are expected.  Well, that’s what half the group said, the others were with me – go naked – well, naked legs, that is (although there was a strange few who thought going commando (sans undies) would help prevent those nasty panty lines!)  Uh…no!  I had horrid visions of my tripping on those 3” heels and having to move to another state to escape my overwhelming embarrassment.  When I got home that evening, I informed my husband of the controversy and he immediately jumped on the internet to discover that it is in fact about 50 – 50 – hose vs. no hose. 

Who knew!  Well, I decided I was better off with the pantyhose in the hopes they would help keep my shoes on (they didn’t) and because my husband was appalled that I would wear a formal gown without them (a child of the 70’s, he still fondly remembers the little plastic eggs from the pantyhose packaging that his mom used to let him play with).  Even once that decision was made I spent hours trying on different pairs (yes, I had to buy them all – they don’t let you return those babies) to find a pair that didn’t have a huge seam running down the front and making me (once in the dress) look like I had a 7 inch scar running down my belly (okay, I told you the dress was form fitting!).  It was ridiculous but I finally found a pair that had a minor seam and if I took shallow breaths while standing, the front looked flat and smooth.  FINALLY!

So…did I trip and fall over those 3” heels, did the dress split when I bent down to pick up a dropped napkin, did my be-speckled wrap snag on another attendee’s dress and leave a nasty pucker?  Nope!  While I struggled to remain upright in those heels, I kinda liked being that much taller.  My dress remained in one piece though it felt like it got even snugger when I finished off the yummy tiramisu they served for dessert (I LOVE tiramisu) and my wrap did get a little tangled up but only on me.  We had a fun evening (I always did love playing dress up) and it was all for a good cause, though next year I’m buying a dress that fits even when I take a deep breath!  What a concept!

Have a wonderful week!  See what happens – I say in last week’s email, “Enjoy the spring-like weather!” and then last night…it snows!  Sorry.  I’m not saying anything more!  Except – “Wouldn’t it be great if John Cusack were to walk through my front door?”  We’ll see if the power of my words has any effect on him!  Well, stay warm, the calendar says it’s Spring anyway and…Happy Quilting!