What's New At PSQ

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What's New At PSQ 4-21-11

Hi all! Happy Easter - FINALLY! Easter is one of my favorite holidays - so much chocolate AND jelly beans! But my personal favorite - Cadbury Creme Eggs! I LOVE those yummy treats with the hard, chocolate shell on the outside and the rich, thick creamy goo on the inside (there is no other word to describe the substance found inside these eggs - I don't know what it is but...it is sooooo good!). If you've never had one...I highly recommend it (not for your health, mind you, but just one for your personal happiness). I personally like mine frozen first but that's just me.

Also, I am happy to report that there have been sightings of the Easter Bunny around our house in the last few days. Apparently his recent "run-ins" with Mr. Peabody had no effect on his strange desire to visit our dog run on a daily basis and so I assume that he has suffered no post-traumatic stress and will be making his annual deliveries to your house this Sunday. Whew!

And speaking of Easter, please note that PSQ will be closed this Sunday, April 24 so that our staff can spend the day with friends and family (eating Cadbury eggs, no doubt!!!).

Now that I have you all "Jones-ing" for Cadbury Creme Eggs...here's what's new at PSQ this week!

Garden of Ideas Shop Hop Next Week!
This unique hop (formerly known as the Basketful of Ideas Hop) not only features prizes in hand-made woven baskets but we're also giving away a Bernina Activa 210 Sewing Machine valued at $999 as the Grand Prize. There are several shops on this hop you may never have visited so get hopping! Passports are available at the shop or you can pick them up at your first stop. We will be offering $2 pre-cut fat quarters all hop long!

Participating Shops include:
Basketcases Unlimited, Inc. - Clare; Judy's Quilt n' Sew - Hampshire; Pieceful Gathering Quilt Shop - Fox River Grove; Prairie Shop Quilts - Batavia; Prairie Stitches Quilt Shoppe - Oswego; Quilt in Joy - Huntley; Quilter's Heart - Sandwich; Sew Generously - St. Charles; Tammy Tadd Designs - Sycamore.

I've designed our free block and have nearly finished (just need to sew down the binding) a cute table runner which we will kit and sell throughout the hop (and after) so plan on hopping, have fun, get cheap fat quarters AND get free patterns at each shop. It's nearly Easter...doesn't that make you want to HOP?

Ask the Trainer at PSQ
So many of you have asked how I lost the weight and got into shape over the last year. Well, now you can hear it from an expert when my personal trainer, Jackie Kold, stops in to host an "Ask the Trainer" evening at PSQ. Jackie will be stopping by the shop on Friday, May 6 from 7 to 8 pm to judge our latest Mission: Seams Impossible entries and will stick around for an hour or so to answer your questions on how to lose weight safely and effectively AND how to get healthy! There is no charge, just bring your questions and get a jump start on getting healthy this summer. I am passionate about how working with Jackie has changed my life in simple AND significant ways. So stop by and see what it's all about!

Kits and Samples
Harvest Town Flannels - I just LOVE working with flannels so I jumped on the chance to make the shop sample from this gorgeous line. This fabric is SOOOO soft and yummy and the pattern is SOOOOO simple to assemble. We made a few modifications (took out the 16 Churn Dash blocks) to make it even faster and easier to make AND you CAN have it done in a weekend! I'll have a photo on our blog in the next day or so and kits are available. The design is whimsical with a folk art flair and while I know that summer is coming and you may not be thinking about flannel (though it IS freezing tonight!) winter will be here again in no time! Make it now and you'll be glad you did when the bitter cold of winter creeps back around!

The Quilt Life with Alex Anderson and Ricky Timms - The Quilt Life is a beautiful magazine with gorgeous photos and wonderful articles. If you love to snuggle up with a quilt on your lap (and with these crazy cold temps that sounds good to me!), a mug of tea and good quilt magazine, then you'll love The Quilt Life. This issue features water inspired quilts, a beautiful quilt studio and more. There are great patterns and Ricky and Alex always have some yummy recipes, too!

Quilts from Textured Solids by Kim Schaefer - Kim Schaefer is one of my favorite designers and I am so excited that she has come out with a book using Textured Solids since we have over 180 bolts of the best textured solids out there - The Michael Miller Krystal line. When you have that many bolts to use and mix and match, you'll want to make every one of the 20 new projects inside this book! Simple shapes help to show off the richness of the fabric and make the colors shine!


Fresh Picked Posies by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins - Fun, flirty and full of floral fabulosity (yes, I'm sure that's a word!), this book has it all! Fresh floral applique designs from the ladies at Piece O' Cake Designs fill this book. Designs can be fused or hand appliqued and you can use just one design for a fantastic focal point OR make them all to create a fanciful floral sampler.

All Time Favorite Scrap Quilts form That Patchwork Place - yes, I have to admit I have never been able to make a true scrappy quilt but I know many of you out there LOVE scrappy quilts and so this book is for you! There are designs in this book from some of the best quilt makers out there including Kim Diehl, Mimi Dietrich and Sally Schneider. So grab all your scraps and get quilting!

Fast Fusible Flower Quilts by Nancy Mahoney - It must be spring because all the "flower" books are arriving! Featuring 11 different quilt projects, this book has gorgeous flower motifs including spring favorites: dogwoods, daisies and amaryllis. So now that the flowers are starting to pop through the ground and you're feeling inspired to make a fabric garden, get this book and start fusing!

Fat Quarter Winners by Monique Dillard - Monique is another one of my favorite quilt designers so I was thrilled to find that her latest book features one of my favorite fabric goodies - fat quarters. We ALL have a ton of fat quarters in our fabric stash and Monique has done a great job taking the lowly fat quarter to new quilting heights! There are 11 different patterns ranging from lap size to king size and all fat quarter friendly. FABULOUS!
The Big Book of Patchwork - 50 Fabulous Quilts from Judy Hopkins - Yep, that's right - 50 patternsin just one book. There are quilts of all sizes from crib to king and the designs are varied but emphasize classic patchwork designs with quick, easy and fast cutting and piecing techniques.
Ohio Star - Square in a Square
Friday, April 22 from 10 am to 1 pm
The size of quilt that is in the book makes a great baby quilt but you can make it larger by increasing the block size or making more blocks. You will be learning two Options from the Square in a Square technique. The quilt comes together very quickly and is a great way to feature a print that you just don't want to cut into small pieces.
Class Fee: $21
Instructor: Janet Blazekovich
Level: Confident Beginner

Binding 201
Sunday, May 1 from 12 pm to 3 pm
If you've mastered the basics of binding and are ready to conquer some more advanced techniques, this is the class for you! We will explore fusible binding, two fabric reversible binding, flanges and piping. We'll sew samples that include rick rack and lace, and also try a variety of prairie points. Learn some great new techniques for finishing our next quilt with style!
Class Fee: $24
Instructor: Connie Pomering
Level: Confident Beginner

4-Patch Posie
Thursdays, May 5 and 26 from 6 pm to 9 pm
Take just one fabric but create many different designs! Transform a focus or novelty fabric into a 4-Patch Kaleidoscope quilt that will delight and make you want to try different fabrics.
Class Fee: $42
Instructor: Barbara Rippel
Level: Confident Beginner

Sophisticated Hobo Bag
Saturday, May 14 from 12 pm to 4 pm
This smart bag has it all! Pockets and personality. Leave the strap wide for comfort or narrow it up for added style. Caron will also share a technique for making a quilted cosmetic (or glasses or sewing kit) bag for a nice finishing touch.
Class Fee: $25
Instructor: Caron Carlson
Level: Confident Beginner

Have a wonderful Easter! Try a Cadbury Creme Egg with a large glass of milk (they are really rich!) and say "Hi!" to the Easter Bunny from Mr. Peabody (he'll be locked safely away until Easter is over!) We'll see you Hopping next week! And, don't forget to check out photos of What's New At PSQ at our blog. Just go to http://prairieshopquilts.blogspot.com. Happy Quilting!



Friday, April 15, 2011

What's New At PSQ As of 4-14-11

Hi all! On my way to Elgin each day, I often pass a business along Kirk road that puts up funny sayings on their sign. Last week’s sign was too funny (and thought provoking) not to share. Here’s what it said:

Save the Earth…It’s the only planet with chocolate!

Now THAT is something to think about! And on that note, here’s what’s new at PSQ this week!

Garden of Ideas
Shop Hop April 28—May 1

This unique hop (formerly known as the Basketful of Ideas Hop) not only features prizes in hand-made woven baskets but we’re also giving away a Bernina Activa 210 Sewing Machine valued at $999 as the Grand Prize. There are several shops on this hop you may never have visited so get hopping. Passports are available at the shop or you can pick them up at your first stop. We will be offering $2 pre-cut fat quarters all hop long!

Participating Shops include:
Basketcases Unlimited, Inc.—Clare; Judy’s Quilt ‘n’ Sew—Hampshire; Pieceful Gathering Quilt Shop—Fox River Grove; Prairie Shop Quilts—Batavia; Prairie Stitches Quilt Shoppe—Oswego; Quilt in Joy—Huntley; Quilters Heart—Sandwich; Sew Generously—St. Charles; Tammy Tadd Designs—Sycamore

I’ve designed our free block and am working on a cute table runner which we will kit and sell throughout the hop (and after) so plan on hopping, have fun, get cheap fat quarters AND get free patterns at each shop. 

Best Selling Author Sandra Dallas is coming to Batavia in May
We are thrilled to partner with the Batavia Public Library to welcome best selling author Sandra Dallas to Batavia. On May 21, Sandra Dallas will give a presentation on her latest book, The Bride’s House, with a book signing to follow. The event will take place at 3 pm at the Batavia Public Library. Tickets are available now at both the Batavia Public Library and PSQ at no cost. Tickets for the book talk are free, but if you would like to meet the author and have a book signed, you must purchase a copy of The Bride's House from us. With each purchase of the new book, you will be entitled to bring up to two additional books to get signed as well. Please note, The Bride's House will not be published until April 28th - but order early! Numbers will be given out with each purchase which will reserve your place in the signing line, so the earlier you buy your book, the shorter your wait for getting it signed will be. The books must be paid for in advance in order to secure a signing number, and we can either bring the book to the event or you can pick it up at the shop after 4/28. If you're not sure about whether you can make it, no need to fear. Books will be available for purchase at the library on the day of the event as well.
After the book talk and beginning at 6 pm, Prairie Shop Quilts will host an Author’s Meet and Greet Reception at the shop. Tickets for the reception are available for $10 each and can be purchased at PSQ. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet Sandra Dallas and have their books signed in a small, intimate environment. The reception will also feature another one of the fabulous cakes from Good Gracious Cakes and beverages as well.
Oh, and everyone who purchases a copy of the book thru PSQ, will receive a coupon for the shop, too!

Quilts and More Summer 2011 – This always fabulous magazine never fails to provide a TON of great patterns and project ideas. In fact, according to the cover, there are 26 Quick Projects for just $6.99! There is an adorable (and roomy) purse, a fun watermelon table runner and a yummy and useful ice cream cone pin cushion. There is a super easy quilt called “Soft and Simple” that would be perfect to use the new and colorful Kaffe fabric. And another quilt called “Baby Steps” that would be so cute in whites and 30’s fabrics. OR check out the so fun coaster set with matching basket. That would be a great and much appreciated hostess gift I’m sure. My copy of Quilts and More is already dog eared and I have lots of plans (if only I could find the time). Yahoo!

Calendar Quilts – Mr. Pumpkin – I LOVE these adorable wall hangings that celebrate each of the twelve months of the year. Mr. Pumpkin marks the halfway point – we’ve made up and kitted six out of the 12 projects in the fun and easy to follow Calendar Quilt book by Kim Diehl. Just think of it, you could have your Halloween wall hanging done EARLY! Start now and finish fast! I’ll have a photo of the sample up on the blog soon!

Batik Essentials – Feast your eyes on 38 bolts of the most beautiful batik prints in all kinds of colors and patterns that just arrived at PSQ. As so it begins…yesterday we got our first of four shipments of the Island Batik Essentials which includes 38 gorgeous fabrics (with nearly 100 more on the way). These bolts weren’t even out of the box before customers who were lucky enough to be at the shop when Frank the Fabric Fairy brought this lovely gift. The colors include bright oranges, pinks and golds, luscious and deep blues and greens. There is a fantastic black with hints of orange, gold, red and more. Unfortunately my camera was at home when they arrived but I’ll get some pictures of them up on the blog asap or just stop in and enjoy them in person. And remember…there is more on the way!!!

T-Shirt Quilt – There’s still room left! Learn to make a memory quilt – GREAT GRADUATION GIFT!
Saturdays, April 16 from 2—4 pm and May 7 from 1 pm to 4 pm

T-shirt quilts are so fun to make and a wonderful way to chronicle someone’s life in a quilt. This two-part class will teach students how to stabilize the t-shirts and prepare them for piecing. In the second session students will learn options for layout and how to piece it all together.
Class Fee: $35
Instructor: Elvira Illig
Level: Beginner

Binding 101 – There’s still room left in this GREAT and MUST HAVE class
Sunday, April 17 from 12 pm to 3 pm
Your top is pieced, the borders added, the quilt is quilted… now what? We will cover the basics of binding in this three hour class. We will cover how to trim a quilt for binding, how to make straight grain and bias binding and how to attach the binding to the quilt with perfect mitered corners. Extras include that wonderful flange of fabric under the binding that adds so much punch. We are hoping that after this class, binding may be your favorite part of the quilt making process!
Class Fee: $24
Instructor: Connie Pomering
Level: Beginner

This weekend is supposed to be cold and rainy so why not take a class! The T-shirt class is so much fun and EVERYBODY has a ton of t-shirts. Make a memory! How about learning how to bind to make sure that your gorgeous quilt has a Happy Ending! Or just stop in and say hi! You can check out our awesome array of batiks, see the Kaffe Fassett fabric in all its beautiful glory or see all that’s new at PSQ this week! See you soon!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mr. Peabody versus the Easter Bunny

This is a re-creation of the crime scene with a considerably
smaller bunny standing in for the Real Easter Bunny!
Hi all!  I’m sorry to report that while Easter may be late this year, I think the Easter Bunny might be a little later!  Ever since we got our schnauzer seven years ago, I have feared for the safety of all our favorite holiday friends.  Year one, Santa came down the chimney to discover Mr. Peabody poised on the hearth barking and growling at the Jolly Old Elf.  God Bless Santa, he tossed the gifts from inside the fireplace and had his finger at the side of his nose in two seconds flat before the Peas could grab hold of his furry lined legs!  Yikes!  From that point on, every Christmas our gifts could be found INSIDE the fireplace with a note “Sorry but your dog is obnoxious and Mrs. Claus is tired of mending my pant legs.  Oh, and keep the cookies!”

As our daughter started losing her baby teeth, my concern switched to the safety of the Tooth Fairy.  Now granted, she had wings so…in theory she could rise above the maylay but…do we really want to be the family responsible for the Tooth Fairy turning in her notice!  Once again, there was barking, leaping and one ticked off fairy who nose dived my daughter’s pillow to retrieve the tooth and then launched the cash at Mr. Peabody’s head.  Tooth after tooth, my daughter’s sleeping head was buzzed by the livid fairy and Peabody was pelted by loose change.  Luckily, Amelia’s last baby tooth came out this year and the Tooth Fairy is sure to celebrate the fact that Amelia is an only child!

But…the worst problem of all…the Easter Bunny.  Most dogs love to chase rabbits and Mr. Peabody is no exception.  We’ve tried to help the little furry friends of our yard by putting a fence around Peabody’s “outside” bathroom to prevent his getting out or little bunnies getting in.  Alas, over the years, the ground has settled and resulted in an opening under the fence large enough for bunnies to enter and schnauzers to exit.  As an animal lover, I used paving stones leftover from another project to form a barrier to the outside world.  That should do it, right?  Uh no…two days after my fortress of stone was erected I found one of the stones knocked over! (insert scary music here!).

Okay that’s a little freaky.  The next day one more stone was tipped over!  Did I point out that the only way these stones could be tipped over was from the outside!  Did I also mention that these stones weigh 5 pounds each and it would take one BIG bunny to knock it over!  What kind of animal could do this?  And then I saw it!  The biggest rabbit I have seen outside a mall photo stand at Easter!  It was huge and it was inside the fence!  Was it the actual Easter Bunny?  Hard to say but it was carrying a basket full of eggs and had on a stylish bow tie!  Well, at least I thought he did. I didn’t get much of a look before Mr. Peabody took off after him.  Oh, this is not good!  This was one big bunny and the space between the grass and the fence wasn’t that big!  He had gotten in but could he get back out when being chased!  I HOPE so because if my dog takes out the Easter Bunny, we’re going to have to move to the moon!

The race was on!  The egg filled basket was firmly in the bunny’s mouth but I could tell it was slowing him down!  Mr. Peabody was fast and focused.  The bunny approached the fence and I saw it suck in its gut and dive for that little space of sunlight.  Then he struggled a little, the bow tie had caught up under the fence.  I gasped and…then Mr. Peabody slowed up just a scooch which gave our Easter pal that extra second to squirm his way out, under and off it went.   Mr. Peabody swerved to the left and went on trotting as if nothing had happened.  Hmmm, it almost looked like he LET the bunny get away.  Could it be that my little pooch had a heart after all? 

Truth be told, Mr. Peabody is actually very sweet but he does have an aversion to large men, dressed in red with beards who is technically breaking into our house.  Oh, and he’s not too fond of small flying objects (tooth fairies or quarters and dimes).  And he does love to chase rabbits (but he’s a dog – it’s what they do!).  So I’m very hopeful that the Easter Bunny will consider the fact that Mr. P showed a little compassion and still come back this April 24 to bring Amelia her Easter basket.  And this time…we’ll lock Mr. Peabody up at least until we’re sure the bunny has cleared the fence and is headed safely to your house!

Mr. Peabody

What's New At PSQ 4-7-11

Pat Campbell Thread Caddy – If you are a hand appliquer, hand quilter or a sewer with a lot of stuff (that covers just about all of us, right?), then you will love the Pat Campbell thread caddy.  Hand Appliquers love it for the multiple, see thru zipper pockets.  This caddy holds a ton of thread  AND you can color coordinate it for ease and convenience.  Some appliquérs also use a strong needle and poke through the pocket to leave a thread tail.  Then just pull out what you need snip it and off you go!  Even if you’re not a hand appliquer, we all have thread and other stuff so the pockets are perfect for holding needles, scissors, tape measures, thimbles and more.  It folds up nice and neat AND it’s cute, too.  We have several different fabrics to chose from AND they make great gifts, too! 

Hoffman Batiks – Batiks - they just keep coming!  Also, Island Batiks called today to say our first shipment of Batik Essentials (these bolts are GORGEOUS) will ship today and arrive early next week.  Let the Batik Revolution begin!  Check out our selection of Blue Underground patterns that work so beautifully with batiks and make something fabulous this weekend!

Kaffe Fasset and Martha Negley – Again, photos are available on the blog and at Facebook of our latest shipment of Kaffe Fassett fabrics AND I’m thrilled to announce we also have bolts from Martha Negley’s newest line “Flower Garden”.  We didn’t even have the bolts out on the floor before customers were trying to buy this line!  Gorgeous, bold flowers in bright shades of pink, yellow, red, greens and more!  They work perfectly with the Kaffe Fasset fabrics.  Don't you agree?

All Aboard by Exclusively Quilters – This line of fabric features realistic trains in bright, bold primary colors.  Then we have two bolts of train/travel stamps and with a black or blue background and two tone on tones with line drawings of trains.  There also a beautiful sky fabric, too.  These fabrics would make fantastic pillow cases for the train lovers in your life!

My Universe by Exclusively Quilters – This fabric reminds me of my 3rd grade science project with the painted Styrofoam balls hanging from dental floss and a coat hanger!  And it really reminds me of that solar system because it still includes Pluto as a planet!  Oops, someone hasn’t been watching the news lately, hmmm!  Well, forget the technicalities.  It’s still a cute line of fabrics.  The planets are in bright colors on a black background with each of the planets labeled in a child-like hand writing.  There is a coordinating tossed planets (more tightly packed) and a beautiful orange and yellow swirl.  Again, these fabrics would make a fantastic and educational pillowcase!

Harvest Town Flannels by Red Rooster – I know, the weather is finally getting a little warmer and we get in flannels BUT flannels are so fabulous to work with AND I guarantee you it will be cold again.  Harvest Town is done in a folk-art style in muted autumnal shades of brown, rust, gold, orange, cream and green.  The panel features four different folksy farm scenes and fabrics include pumpkins, crows, leaves and apples as well as beautiful tone on tones in shades of brown, rust, green, cream and brown.  There’s a free pattern and if I get a few free moments, I’ll get together a sample and maybe even some kits.