Bring the Art Off the Walls and Onto Your Bed!

 Welcome to the world of “component sewing”!  Debbie Maddy has combined different shapes – squares, rectangles, and half-square triangles into components that can then be sewn together to make a pillow, a wall hanging, or a quilt.  She has answered the call for all of you who want to make a quilt or wall hanging for your “non-quilting” friends! 

Modern Art with Fabric
Item #CCQD128
Retail $20.00

And, since the segments are so large, you don’t have to cut up all of that beautiful fabric into tiny pieces and lose the whole design.

Jenny, our National Sales Manager, said that she would love to frame her favorite fabrics and hang them in her office.  After all, beautiful textiles are truly works of art!  The quilts in this book are perfect for her needs!  Any combination of components (which we used to call blocks) can be framed and combined to make an impact on any wall.  Look at these samples – different fabrics, different components – totally different looks!

b_modernart_5fatqtr_alt14_th.jpg     b_modernart_8fatqtr_alt2_th.jpg

I wanted to frame my favorite quotations.  These components would be wonderful!  I could print off the quotations on fabric and incorporate them into the pieces. 

There are so advantages to this technique – but first and foremost – you can actually finish a top in no time at all!  In fact, I can envision spending more time choosing my fabrics than sitting at the sewing machine.  Even a queen or king sized quilt can be pieced in a day.

And, since the pieces are larger, there aren’t as many seams so there is less waste.  You actually USE all of the fabric!  So when you’re shopping, take the time to pull the bolts off of the shelves and really LOOK at the print – not just the color – you’ll be glad you did!

Debbie chose beautiful fabric for her samples – all in color, by the way – and I know “Modern” is part of the title.  But, for those of you who are more conventional, I can see a baby quilt using these techniques in different textures.  Shoot, why save it for a baby?  I would LOVE a throw made with chenille, Minkee, jacquards, etc. – a perfect quilt for “Cottage Chic”.

But, I can also see these quilts done in flannels for that special man in your life.  Large wildlife themes would be masculine – and the opportunities to fussy cut would make it personal.  The possibilities are endless!

And, these quilts are a machine quilter’s dream.  The large spaces make it possible to show off their workmanship – huge flowers, feathers, and plumes could be showcased on each component to add a whole other dimension to the piece!

In short, Debbie has taken the “square” out of quilting – and you’ll love the results! Take a little time to enjoy the view…..  

The Quilter’s Horoscope by Pauline Rogers

A humorous compilation of character traits of quilters according to their zodiac signs. Compiled by a quilting tutor with over twenty years experience teaching patchwork and quilting and zero years writing horoscopes.

Aries – March 21 to April 20 Aries are adventurous and energetic quilters. They are forever looking for new ideas. The whole world to them is a palette of endless possibilities. Always confident, they use colour schemes that others wouldn’t dare consider. Their enthusiasm can cause them to lose track of time when working on a project and they have been known to go days without sleep. Being impulsive by nature, they generally don’t bother reading the instructions for designs. Of course, as far as they are concerned the patterns are just to give them more ideas. Aries have a talent for the arts and make excellent designers. They don’t follow techniques; they invent them. Their quilt designs are the envy of many.

Taurus – April 21 to May 20 Taurus is the quilter who always finishes a project, as they are persistent and determined. When attending workshops or using a pattern they will follow every instruction to the letter. They can be greedy when it comes to their stash, as they know the value of material. They save every bit of scrap. However, they are warmhearted and loving to such a degree that they have given away nearly every quilt they have ever made. They are gifted artists, excelling at sewing, patchwork and quilting. The stitching in their quilts is of such high quality that their quilts will endure for eons.

Gemini – May 21 to June 21 If Gemini has been fortunate enough to discover a tutor that has guided their enthusiasm, their quilts will be imaginative and versatile. If they are self-taught quilters they will have a treasure trove of books, magazines, quilting supplies and every innovation related to quilting but they probably do not have a single finished quilt. This won’t bother them though as they will convince everyone, including themselves, that this was always their plan. Being youthful they love funky projects that use bright fabrics and dazzling threads; being romantic they love traditional quilts made with soft pastels and florals; being whimsical they love the country theme and flannels; being Gemini they love it all! Being very good with words, they will likely go on to author books as experts on patchwork and quilting – having never finished a single project.

Cancer – June 22 to July 22 Cancer makes quilts to please themselves not to showcase. They do appreciate compliments on their work but being timid they aren’t likely to enter a quilt in a competition. They want their quilts to be practical and comfortable and aren’t likely to hang one on the wall, but actually use them on beds. Being cautious they are most likely to stick to the traditional designs. They are not likely to add decorative touches, such as trims or whatnots. They believe that quilts are naturally beautiful and do not need embellishments. They love to use dark rich colours in their quilts considering these as more practical. When they discover a quilt shop they like, they become lifetime, loyal customers.

Leo – July 23 to August 23 Being one of the most creative signs Leo quilters make wonderful masterpieces. As they are generous and warmhearted their friends and family are usually lucky recipients of their beautiful creations. They love to read all the patchwork and quilting magazines looking for ideas that they can use. They are always up-to-date on the latest crazes. Although they know quite a bit about their chosen craft and can usually discover straight away where a quilter has run into problems in their projects, they tend to be too bossy when attempting to help fellow quilters. They are great as companions to go fabric shopping with, as they know where the best deals are to be found. They are also great help in selecting coordinating material but be prepared to go along with their decisions or suffer the wrath. They don’t like to waste their precious time providing opinions that get ignored.

Virgo – August 24 to September 22 Virgo is meticulous and fussy when it comes to patchwork and quilting. They never rush any project but pay scrupulous attention to every detail from cutting, to piecing, to quilting. The downside to their fastidiousness is that they always notice mistakes in other quilter’s creations no matter how minor. If you want to know the exact amount of fabric required for any size quilt, ask a Virgo. They have an uncanny knack for making such calculations. Virgos tend to take up quilting at a younger age then other women. They don’t have a problem balancing their lives and making time for career, partner, children and quilting.

Libra – September 23 to October 23 Easygoing and sociable Libra’s are great fun to have in patchwork and quilting classes and workshops. They enjoy helping others and never turn down a request to lend a hand to pin a quilt top. Friends are very important to Libra, and they don’t mind sharing their stash or tools. Unfortunately helpful Libra rarely will ask for help. They think that if they wait long enough for a problem to go away it will. Thus they end up with unfinished quilts when they do run into difficulty. Instead of finding a solution for the glitch they put it aside and move on to another project. They believe that they will be able to return to the project later and the predicament will have fixed itself. Funnily this sometimes works. You will find that a quilt designed by a Libra is always perfectly balanced.

Scorpio – October 24 to November 22 Being passionate Scorpios can be excellent quilters. When they rely on their natural intuition, they excel at choosing colour and pattern combinations. Sometimes their compulsive nature can cause problems, as they leave projects unfinished in their quest to have the latest and greatest. When they stick with a project they produce supreme work. They always must have the most up-to-minute supplies or tools and tend to be jealous of others who may possess anything more recent. They have been known to sulk if they get frustrated in their aim to be unsurpassed. Nevertheless, their desire to have the best is what drives them to produce exceptional quality work. As they possess abundant energy they can do a large amount of quilting without even needing a break for a cuppa.

Sagittarius – November 23 to December 21 Sagittarius love challenges of all kinds and will pick the most difficult quilt design to pursue. Ever optimistic they will not be deterred by complex patterns even as beginners. Their ability to tackle complicated projects with ease sometimes leads them to be tactless when faced with what they view as a simple project. However, people tend to admire Sagittarius and thus forgive their indiscretions. As it is extremely important to a Sagittarius to complete everything they start, the only unfinished project they will have is the one they are currently working on. They prefer to quilt with friends and family as a shared activity rather then as a solitary pastime.

Capricorn – December 22 and January 20 When shopping for fabric it is always wise to take a Capricorn, as they are very good at calculating the required amount needed for patterns. Being prudent and practical they will not over estimate the quantity needed and therefore are cost effective to have along, especially if you are on a budget. They are also extremely organized and disciplined. They take as much care in the storage of their stash as they do in the quality of their work. They see themselves as sensible and perform a regular clear out of supplies and materials. They are not the type to horde anything and do not own more than one type of any tool. Of course their restraint is what causes them to take an inordinate amount of time in the planning stage of a project, which they feel is of vital importance to the outcome of the finished product.

Aquarius – January 21 to February 18 Aquarius is very gifted and produce exceptionally original quilts. They are known to invent new techniques that enhance the art form. They are friendly but their independent nature leads them to prefer to spend time quilting by themselves. Although you can find them in a quilting class, they are the most likely of all signs to choose to learn from books or a video. However if you ever have a patchwork or quilting dilemma they are the kind of person that you can turn to for help and advice. They are nice and will be thoughtful when making a quilt for friends or family. They will create the quilt with careful consideration of what the individual would like.

Pisces – February 19 and March 20 Pisces are dreamers. When they quilt they usually are creating poetry. Although they are kind and make projects to bestow on friends and family they are most likely envisioning themselves snuggled beneath the very quilt they are working on. Although they can lack self-confidence their imagination and intuition makes them artistic quilters. There sensitivity can lead them to shy away from displaying their creations. Generally you will find that a Pisces has more then one project on the go and can easily manage both. Whatever they choose to work on they need a project that requires plenty of variety. Patchwork that includes embroidery or other needlework is well liked by them.
About the Author

Pauline Rogers is a highly sought after tutor whose quilting expertise covers the full range of techniques from appliqué to machine piecing and quilting. She was the driving force behind Margie’s Quilts of Hope, an Australian quilting challenge which raises funds to support research into the prevention and cure of breast cancer. She operates an award winning shop in Toowoomba,Queensland. Visit .

Think Outside the Block Quilt Quest 2008

Robert Kauffman is again sponsoring Quilt Quest – a contest that, over the years, has produced some absolutely amazing quilts!  This cat quilt captured the top prize last year – it is so real, you want to pet it – absolutely amazing! quilts_1.jpg


But, this honorable mention spoke to me – and every quilter I know.  We are all filling at LEAST four roles – juggling children, parents, spouses, friends, careers – and we still manage to find time for our passion.  But to manage all of that, we are just a little bit “off-kilter” – and that is why you just have to love quilters!  We see the world just a little differently!

This contest is one of my favorites because it doesn’t have a lot of rules and allows you to enter in three different catagories – quilts, miniatures, and handbags.  The feature fabric collection this year – Color Theory by Sandra Banava – is unusual enough to get anyone’s creative juices flowing! Click here to view the fabric line.

Visit for entry forms and details.  Try it – you just might like the challenge.  It doesn’t have to be done until this summer so there is still plenty of time to participate.  Your entry may be the one to inspire us all! 

Skinny Quilts & Table Runners from today’s top designers

The title says it all! That Patchwork Place contacted fifteen of your favorite designers and asked them to submit a pattern that best expressed their own personal style – and, they did! In fact, half of the fun is matching the designer to the project – without looking at the name!

book cover
skinny quilts & table runners
Item #B828T
Retail $24.95

And since it is a compilation of artists, the combination of patterns will meet all of your needs – from country to contemporary! They all take just a few hours to complete so they are great gifts. This is one time when you won’t mind giving someone the book – and letting them choose their gift!

That may force you to work outside of your comfort zone for a few hours, but the results can be spectacular! These “skinny quilts” give you an opportunity to try new techniques and color ways that you would not have previously considered.

The photographs showcase display options that I had never considered for traditional table runners. And, a touch of color, texture, and warmth – in all the right places – is always a good thing!

The Perfect Spring Break Project by Ta Dah Designs

If you haven’t heard of Debbie Hobbs of Ta Dah Designs, you soon will! She has a background in machine quilting and is always thinking outside of the box. She loves to use different fabrics and textures on the back of her quilts. Her pattern – Beach Buddies – is a perfect example of this!

Beach Buddies
Item #TADAH06
Retail $10.00

She pieced a simple quilt and used a large towel as the backing fabric! The terrycloth is so soft and cuddly – everyone will want one. In fact, as soon as I saw the pattern, I ran out and got large 30″ x 50″ bath towels for everyone in the family – don’t you love a white sale? The Easter Bunny is bringing FANCY beach towels this year!

This particular pattern only requires 2 yards of fabric – one light fabric and 8 fat eighths in an assortment of brights. Debbie used a light fabric for the center squares so they could be “autographed”. If you have a child on swim team, these would be the perfect team gift! And, don’t forget the scout troops! This project is small enough that the girls could actually finish it – and have fun playing in all of the bright fabrics.

Shop owners:  She even gave us instructions for the cutest kitting ideas!  We liked them so much that Jenny took pictures at Fall Market!  If you would like these instructions, click here, tada_beach_buddy_kit.pdf.

And, since there is no batting, the entire project is reasonable and would be the perfect choice for a beginner! Mother/daughter classes would be fun too. If you can’t get to a beach over spring break, you can always dream…..

Consider teaching it in two sessions. In the first session you could complete the top. In the second, you could teach the basics of machine quilting. Quilting directly to a towel would be a nice transition project before throwing in a layer of batting!

As a new grandma, Wonder Links is another favorite of mine! Since babies are placed on their backs to sleep, they need encouragement to crawl. So it is recommended that they have “tummy time” – at least 15 minutes a day on their tummies! Haven’t times changed!

Wonder Links
Item #TADAH08
Retail $10.00

Debbie has attached “Baby Links” to this quilt so the babies have something to play with – and reach for. They’ll be crawling in no time!

Debbie LOVES bright fabrics! All of her patterns make you smile – not a somber color in the bunch! And, I’m not the only one that became enamored with her booth at Market! Henry Glass asked her to design a line of fabric that will be shown at Spring Market. She took her machine quilting patterns and colored them in – feathers, flowers, and scrolls abound! We got to see it on paper today – and you will love it!

The Ta Dah booth at Quilt Market in Houston

And, rumor has it that she may be signing a book contract soon! Her eye for detail is evident in everything she does so I’m sure the book will be no exception! Explore her current pattern line which is so indicative of her style – bright and happy with a touch of whimsy! I can’t wait to see where her journey takes her…but, wherever it is, I’m sure she’ll make us smile!

Imagine 2,300 Quilts in One Place

The dream of Ardis and Robert James will soon be a reality.  This couple collected almost 1,000 quilts and dedicated them to the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.  They have been instrumental in building the International Quilt Study Center & Museum which will celebrate it’s grand opening on March 30th, 2008.


This center is every quilter’s dream!  The collection now includes over 2,300 quilts, and if you visit the website, you can view them all on-line!  Visit and enter a whole new world, but prepare to stay awhile – it is like being handed the world’s biggest box of chocolates – and every new treat is just a click away…..

The facility is first and foremost an educational center.  You can actually take classes in quilting – for college credit!  They also sponsor grants for those of us who want to study other aspects of quilting.  And, they sponsor nationally acclaimed teachers – Nancy Crow will lecture at the grand opening, and is staying to teach a week long seminar. 

There are constantly changing exhibits on display and they loan them out to other museums.  And then there is the quilting library – can you imagine – a library full of all of our favorite books and magazines – all in one place?  What an amazing experience!   

A facility like this has been long overdue and we, as quilters, should visit it, treasure it and support it in any way we can.  I feel a road trip coming on! 

I Never Felt(ed) This Way Before

While at the TNNA (The National Needleart Association) trade show a few weeks ago in Long Beach, I got to see the new felting molds demonstrated at the Clover booth. I can hardly wait to get my hands on them to play. I won’t have to worry if my petals are shaped right, the mold does it for me.

Felted flower made using new Clover felting mold.

New Felting Tools
Clover has come out with several new tools to use with the molds. First you use a “Felting Pen”. The Pen Style Needle Felting Tool allows application of small or delicate materials using one, two, or three needles. The tool can be adjusted to two length of needle sizes that can be used with the Needle Felting Molds (sold separately) for creating 3-dimensional design and applique.

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Felting Pen, 8901CV Retail $14.50.

The handle offers ease of use because of the “Pen Style” grip action. Easy replacement of thick and thin needles. It also has a guard which stops you at the depth of the mold and a cover to prevent you from poking yourself when not in use.

8921CV $6.50 Rose mold.

Getting Started
To start, if making a 3 dimensional flower you need to place a sheet of plain white paper between the felting brush and the mold. This prevents the fibers from going into the brush. If you are placing the design directly on fabric, any fabric will work, no need to use the paper.

Roving Good Fun
Next tear off a small amount of roving, about 1 1/2″ to 2″. If you want to blend colors use the rake end of the Needle Felting claw and mat cleaner. This new tool provides protection from injury by securing the materials as the felting process takes place. The Claw helps keep small pieces in place while felting and it also acts as a blending tool for mixing wool roving colors. The Mat Cleaner works as a brush to remove wool from the Felting Needle Mat.

newblending1.jpg claw_cleaner_bulk.jpg
8919CV Retail $9.25

Step By Stepqm-houston-07-10-29-055.jpg

Each mold comes with a stuffing tool. Use this to stuff the roving into every nook and cranny. Don’t pack it too tight.

Once you have spread it out evenly, use the felting pen and punch around the outer edge of the inside of the mold.

Slowly working your way into the center. If not placing on a fabric, you need to trim the fibers which have come through the paper.

Next remove the shape from the paper, place it back in the mold. Do this 3 to 4 times, all the while holding the mold firmly to prevent it from sliding.


The directions with each mold will tell you how many of each shape you need to complete the 3 dimensional shape.

Now using claw end, hold down 2 pieces and join together.

Make sure you have the items centered. You don’t want an uneven flower do you?

Continue to layer your shapes, making sure to felt the layers together


Now all that needs to be done is the excess fibers trimmed from the back.

Glue a pin back on and decorate your purse, or jacket.

Can you believe all the possibilities?

Pins, decorate sweaters, jackets, felted purses and anything else your imagination can dream up.


How To Order
Clover offers lots of fun shapes as shown below. Order now, these goods are due in sometime in February. You can click here, Needle Felting Order Form, to get an order sheet. Retailers, use this sheet to either fax in your order, or use the numbers when ordering on line. Consumers, print it out and take it to your Local Independent Quilt Shop to order for you.

Mold shapes available.

Happy Stitching! Or is that Felting?

Until next time,

Sewing with Silk

I have been a fan of Mary Jo Hiney’s since the first time I saw her line called “Silk Adaptations”. These assortments of pre-packaged silks in coordinating colors are so soft, luscious and beautiful that I wanted one of each! At the time, she had several patterns to go with them. Now she has created even more inspiration with the release of her new book, “Simply Silk!”

z0974.jpg Z0974 Retail $24.99

The idea of actually SEWING with it seemed beyond my capabilities. But in the very first chapter, she recommends ironing Easy-Knit ( EK130PWHT or EK130PBLK) to the wrong side of the silk. It is an incredibly lightweight woven interfacing that adds no weight to the fabric but stabilizes it completely! Once you iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric, it is as easy to sew silk as it is to sew cotton.

Mary Jo covers which needles and threads to use – but frankly it’s not all that complicated! She doesn’t recommend anything that isn’t already in my sewing room. Why did I wait so long to play???

In this day of “Cottage Chic”, these silks are the perfect addition to any project – the texture and feel are irresistible. Her book includes 12 different projects. My favorite is a journal covered in gorgeous shades from one of her packages of Silk Adaptations. What a classy Valentine keepsake for a friend……or what a thoughtful shower gift for the future bride – in shades of cream…

At Spring Market, there were touches of silk in the most amazing places! Shiva paintstiks were used in rubbings to embellish silk purses – absolutely beautiful. Clover smocked a wedding purse using Dupioni silk. The free pattern is available on the Clover website. Mary Jo offers 1 yard cuts in white or ivory that are just perfect for this project. And a ring bearer’s pillow would be beautiful too – and give you the opportunity to embellish to your hearts content!

Using just a touch of silk can leave a lasting impression. Consider embellishing a jacket or pillow with yo-yos made from scraps. Indygo Junction’s new book “Yo-Yo Fashions” is full of silk projects. Silk is an embellisher’s dream! It is the perfect foundation for embellishments – just add your favorite beads and ribbons. A scrap booking friend loves to incorporate it into her greeting cards – let your imagination soar! What’s not to love???

Gloom, But Not Doom, According to Consumers

Gloom, But Not Doom, According to Consumers
Posted by Beth

In the recent BIGresearch economic news briefing of Consumer Insights, the company says the mood compares to that of post-Katrina confidence.

Consumers are curing what the report calls the “Holiday Hangover” by halting unnecessary spending. Major retailers are seeing the halo effect of gift card redemption. I hope some of that gift card money is being spent on scrapbooking supplies- anybody out there seeing a significant increase in gift card sales?

Here are the behaviors we can expect from at least a third of our customers and some ideas on how to respond.

Shopping closer to home– If your business is dependent on customers who make trips from long distances, think about how you can keep serving them.
Is mail order an option? Can you send them emails about what’s new? Plan shopping events that include education to maximize the trip? Promote car pools to your clubs and classes?

Looking for sales– Careful here, scrapbookers are a discerning lot so a fake sale (marking up a product 5 x more than you should) then saying it is on sale is never a good practice.

Doing more in one shopping trip– many of our customers will have children with them. Do you have a spot to put a small table and chairs with some books, (washable) crayons and coloring book pages? Stockpile old stickers and let kids play with those while mom shops. She’ll love you for this.

I believe the scrapbook industry has a unique opportunity to respond to economic conditions with a positive story.

More ideas on that in the future in terms of how to do classes and events that get people out and using the supplies and photos they have…. Folks who are cutting back on food and entertainment still want activities. Let’s make a proactive effort to reach these folks to ensure the new hobby is scrapbook!

Have a great weekend–Beth

Reprinted with permission from Beth Mauro, B.Line Beth Mauro’s blog at  She may have written it for the Scrapbook retailers, but the ideas hold try for Quilt retailers as well. 


April 14, 2008 

Mettler has announced a price increase to take effect 5-30-2008 on all their cabinets and open stock. So make sure you mark it on your calendar and stock up on your best selling colors before then.

All customers wanting new price stickers for their cabinets, will be able to get them from Checker Distributors or Chrystal Osborne, at American & Efird in Mid -April.
Crystal’s contact information :
Chrystal Osborne
Fax 1-800-847-3236

Maywood Studios have announced that all of their fabrics will be going up 30 cents to 60 cents retail starting Monday April 14th, 2008.

Clover has discontinued the walnut desk top needle threader cl4055.jpg 4055Cv and have replaced it with


th_cl4071.jpgth_cl4072.jpgth_cl4073.jpg Continue reading