What to do with Texture Magic

I told you about Texture Magic by Superior Threads a couple of weeks ago – but the designers were just getting to play with it too so there weren’t any patterns out to support the product.  Now, we ARE quilters, and creativity is what makes us different – but sometimes it is nice to have a starting point!

Texture Magic
Item #TM18
Retail $11.99

Annie Unrein has designed some tote bags that are adorable and showcase this technique beautifully.  Why not do up a sample to get your creative juices flowing?  Once you see how easy it is to work with, you’ll be adding it to all of your projects.

Item #PBA101
Texture Totes & Accessories

If you incorporate a layer of batting into the product, it makes a great eyeglass holder.  The additional cushion protects your glasses and adds some style!

Item #PBA100  Retail $8.95

This tote pattern includes two sizes – choose your favorite and go for it.  The small one – done in white or cream silk – would be a great purse for a bridal dance.  Texture Magic would add a ruched effect that would be elegant and understated.

And, guess what, these purses will be at our Open House on August 24th, 2009.  Sometimes you just have to see it in person, so shop owners – join us for this wholesale event.  Your customers will be glad you did.  With over 20 demonstrators willing to educate you on new techniques and products and over a dozen trunk shows, you will truly be inspired!

Support Your Favorite Designers in their Fight for the Cure

Meg Hawkey is one of those rare people who infuses love and joy into everything she touches.  At Quilt Market last year, she had an idea for a raffle quilt made up of blocks designed by many of the top women in our industry.  This quilt would be donated to the Susan G. Komen Quilt for the Cure.  Visit their website to view pictures of all of the blocks.


The Story – as told on their website

What started as a great idea in the Spring of 2008, took on a life of its own over the course of the next year.  Meg Hawkey from Crabapple Hill Studio wanted to make a quilt that would be donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The intent was the quilt would be raffled in order to raise funds to help find a cure for breast cancer.  While at Spring Quilt Market in Portland, Oregon last year she mentioned the idea to a couple of fabric vendors. Their eager outpouring of kindness and willingness to contribute was overwhelming.  Crabapple Hill started receiving boxes of pink fabrics from many leading fabric manufacturers as well as batting and pink pens for the signature blocks.  The ball was rolling!

Meg’s Block

This outpouring of support, in turn, led to the idea of getting other leading designers involved.  Meg and her team started asking designers to get involved, and they were astounded with the resounding show of support.  Not only did they agree to make a block, but they volunteered to lend their names and reputations for this very worth cause.  Each designer was asked to use the donated fabrics, but to make their blocks in a way that reflected that designers own personal style.  The quilt took on an international flair when designers from Australia expressed an interest to participate. They titled the quilt “Forget-Me-Not” in rememberance of those whom we’ve lost to breast cancer and who are struggling now. 

Nancy Halvorsen’s Block

All the women who donated gave from their hearts.  Not only is the front of the quilt beautiful, but the back of the quilt features signature blocks from each designer placed to coincide with their block on the front of the quilt.  Debbie Trevino of Village Quiltworks generously donated her maching quilting ability.  And finally, to finish off the quilt, the team at Crababpple Hill added a feminine pleated border/binding combination.  It is a breath-taking, one-of-a-kind quilt!  Don’t miss out on your chance of taking it home!

Barri Sue Gaudet’s Block

A special THANK YOU to Meg Hawkey and Cyndy Petterson from Crabapple Hill Studio for their amazing dedication to this project and to the fight against breast cancer!!!

Becky Goldsmith’s Block

Where the Quilt is Traveling:
Pittsburg (May 15-17)
Long Beach (July 24-26)
Houston (October 10-12, 15-18)

Me again!  Visit the website and buy a raffle ticket!  This quilt should b a VISA commercial because it truly is priceless!  You can view all of the blocks on their website including ones by Alex Anderson, Alma Allen, Annie Downs, Eleanor Burns, Amy Butler, Teri Christopherson, Virginia Cole, Kim Diehl, Joanna Figueroa, Barbara Graves, Bronwyn Hayes, Robin Kingsley, Verna Mosquera, Brenda Riddle, Brenda Ryan, Denise Sheehan, Anne Sutton, Mary Jacobson, Linda Jenkins, and Marie Osmond.  Autograph blocks are incorporated on the back so it truly is an heirloom!

This is just one of those feel good stories that makes you proud to be a quilter – so take the time to honor their efforts by supporting them now!!!!!  Whether your name is drawn or not – you will already be a winner!

Crabapple Hill always adds the ahhhhh factor

Meg Hawkey has done it again!  I love her embroidery designs – and the way she incorporates them into the most amazing quilted projects.  Her snowmen and Halloween designs are my absolute favorites and her newest additions to her holiday lines will make your finished projects instant heirlooms.  Embroidery is the perfect portable summer project.  All you have to do is go to your favorite quilt shop and get started…….

Item #CAH317 Retail $25.00

Rickrack and ball fringe give this throw a whimsical feel and adds a three dimensional effect that is delightful!  Checker has them both – you just have to decide what color and size!

Item #CAH318  Retail $8.00

In “Midnight Crows”, Meg adds a touch of wool along with vintage buttons from her collection to create a timeless treasure.  The ribbons attach the completed wall hanging to a branch to give it a folk art look.  Sorry – you have to find a branch – in this case, Checker doesn’t stock EVERYTHING!!!

Item #ATH418  Retail $25.00Snowmen A to Zzzz is a beautiful piece.  Many of you have made her other snowmen patterns so you are familiar with the way Meg draws facial expressions to bring them to life.  Unfortunately, photographing this quilt is a challenge so you can’t see all of the detail in this quilt.  Trust me, it is worth every penny and deserves a place of honor in your home this winter!

Better yet, Nancy Weber, the pattern buyer, arranged to have a trunk show of Meg’s newest pieces at the Checker 61st Anniversary Open House August 24, 2009.  This is a wholesale show so ask your local shop owner to be your eyes and ears – and check it out for you.  I’ll do my part and take boatloads of pictures to share after the event.  I’ll get up close and personal on this one so you can see the embroidery AND how it was quilted.  Can’t wait…..

Lazy Girl Introduces the Claire Handbag Pattern

Lazy Girl Designs debuted their newest pattern the Claire Handbag at Spring Market in Pittsburgh recently. Joan Hawley, of Lazy Girl, tells us more about her new Girl.

Claire Handbag pattern #LGD125
Retail $9

Here’s Joan:

Purse, Basket, Project Tote
Claire offers an interesting mix of uses. As she is, I think of her not only as ideal for a purse, but perfect for a project tote. Especially knitting or other handwork with the way she sits open and at attention. And I can’t shake the feeling that she is a spring basket, too, ready to accompany me on a walk through the park.

The angled inset at the center of the bag is just cool, cool, cool. And easy, too. It offers the opportunity for an extra deep outside pocket, perfect for keys, phone or other small items. And goodness, there’s a pocket on the other side, too!

Front and back views of the same bag.

Claire is a fat quarter project, perfect for bundles and medleys. Claire is ideal for strong prints and different scale designs.

The fabrics shown on the cover for Claire are ‘Belle Fleur’ by Karen Combs for Avlyn.

Three fabrics make up the outside of Claire. In the first picture above, we have white for the main fabric, green for the center panel and black for the center pocket. In the second photo above, the white and green are reversed and the pocket stays the same. Same three fabrics, different placement for front and back.

Stack, Chop and Swap
The Lazy secret to this design couldn’t be easier: stack, chop and swap! I have to tell you how much fun it is to make Claire. I adore the process as much as her design and function.

Stack, chop and swap is immediate gratification. I can say from the experience of making two dozen Claires that seeing those fabrics switch places and become the cover is addictive. Consider yourself notified.

Here we go..

Stack: One fabric on top of the other – easy peasy.

Chop: Rotary cut a big fabulous center piece. Oh baby, nothin’ like choppin’ fabrics.

Swap: Then simply swap the center panels.
Cool, simple, Lazy! And better yet – nothing is wasted.

Checker Distributors
The Claire Handbag pattern is in stock at Checker here.

Other Recommenced Supplies
Batting: Pellon #987FP Fusible Fleece or Bosal #325B-WHT Fusible Batting.
Interfacing: Pellon #809SRPWHT Decor Bond or Bosal #334B-WHT Fusible All Purpose Non-Woven.

Claire Details
Size: 10 1/4? wide at the bottom and 9 1/4? tall by 4? deep.
She uses our Bag-E-Bottom size F, item #LGD505.
Fabric: 7 fat quarters, 3 for the outside 4 for the inside.
Loaded with inside pockets.
Two outside pockets, one on each side.
Handles in two lengths: short and medium.

For more info and to see more samples of Claire, visit Lazy Girl’s blog here.

Images courtesy of Lazy Girl Designs

Triple EspressO – Quilter’s Coffee

Last week I told you about the Batting Buddy and the quilt as you go patterns designed by Susan Nelson of Prairie Sky Quilting.  Well, I have good news!  Susan is coming to the Checker Open House in August (this is an educational wholesale show for shop owners).  She will also be showcasing her Triple Expresso patterns.

Item #PSQ204  Retail $8.00

This is a series of patterns that are NOT quilt as you go.  This is a totally different concept.  Susan designed blocks that use the same design elements – squares; half-square triangles; and four-patches for instance – and you choose how to set them in the finished block.  Choose your favorite setting – or the one that looks best with your chosen fabric.

Item #PSQ201  Retail $8.00

What a fun class or retreat project!  Even if they use the same pattern – and fabrics – they could look completely different.  What a great show and tell!

Item #PSQ203  Retail $8.00

These patterns are well written and include yardage and cutting instructions in five sizes – a shop owner’s dream!  Simply make the small size and one of each alternate block for a great display.

Item #PSQ202  Retail $8.00

Each pattern only takes three fabrics so kitting is a breeze!  And buying the fabrics to kit them is even easier – just choose your favorite print fom any given line and two companion prints.  You might already have the companions on your shelf!  Susan knows how to make your life easier!

Item #PSQ205  Retail $8.00

Enjoy BOTH of her pattern series!  Don’t you love a woman who thinks outside of the box????

A Sneak Peak at a Great Designer

Kim Diehl is one of my favorite designers and I am crazy about her new book!  I got a sneak peak – it isn’t available to ship yet – but order it now so you will be one of the first to see this newest addition to her “Simple” series.

Item #B923T  Retail $28.99

This book has 12 lap quilts – each one more spectacular than the next.  In fact, I liked so many of them, I couldn’t choose – so I decided to have a contest and ask my students to vote!  We could make a different quilt each quarter.  There is such a great mix of piecing and applique in all of her books.  They become instant classics!

I love the simple pieced background in this quilt that showcases the applique designs beautifully!

In some cases, the applique stands alone – and is enhanced by pieced settings and borders that add interest to the quilt without over-powering it!  Wouldn’t you love to have this quilt on your table at Thanksgiving???

Sometimes, combining two favorite designs creates a spectacular statement!  Why didn’t we think of this before????

And, don’t forget to check out the other books in this series.  They are must haves for every quilter!

Item #B636T  Retail $27.95

Item #B742T  Retail $27.95

Item #B832T  Retail $28.99

Kim also designs fabrics for Henry Glass that showcase her color sense and her unique sense of style.  Check them out on the website – they are the perfect addition to your fabric collection!

Just Another Button Company comes to Checker

I am so excited to announce that Checker is now carrying the button packs from Just Another Button Company.  Jayme has picked up the most current assortments which are used in Nancy Halvorsen’s current Christmas book. Who doesn’t love one stop shopping???

Item #ATH538B  Retail $18.00

Item #ATH8852  Retail $68.00
All of the Buttons used in the Book

The button packs are also available for the individual projects in the book.  Make a sample of your favorite project – and you won’t be able to keep these buttons in stock!

Item #ATH8853 Retail $36.00
All of the Buttons for the Quilt

Jayme also picked up a line of “stick pins”!  I just love these!  You can add them to any project to give it that ahhh appeal – and simply pull them out when it is time to wash it!  As an added bonus – there are no holes!  These adorable buttons are individual works of art and are a great addition to any project!

Item #JP101PIN  Retail $14.50

But don’t think you have to wait until Christmas!  There are sets that are just perfect for summer too!  They are great little gifts for friends – whether they quilt or scrapbook!  These would be great as embellishments to name tags, favors, or invitations – break up a set and share the whimsy!   Or, use them to embellish your favorite lapel!  Sit them by your register and let your customers be creative!

Item #JP104PIN  Retail $14.50

Item #JP105PIN  Retail $14.50

Item #JP103PIN  Retail $14.50

Item #JP102PIN  Retail $14.50

An Old Friend returns just in time for Christmas in July

The Christmas lines are arriving every day, it;s 80 degrees, and quilters are busy planning their Fourth of July celebrations.  What is a shop owner to do?  Remind your customers that Christmas is only 175 days away – and it is time to get busy!

But first, you have to do your homework and set up an appealing display that will nostalgically remind them of those cold winter nights, snuggled under a quilt, sitting in front of a fire – with handwork in their laps!!!  And, Country Appliques is back just in time with a series of Santas – some old and some new – that are the perfect gifts for everyone on your list!

This actually is a picture of my dining room at Christmas!  I have made 11 of these Santas which hang in my house year round.  At Christmas time, I add greenery and bows to the corners for a really festive look.  At an Open House one year, everyone fell in love with them and a “Santa of the Month Club” was born!

I am thrilled that Country Appliques came out of retirement to inspire a whole new generation of quilters!  The Olde Santa Series showcases some of our favorites while they continue to add new designs to the line.  These appliques give you a perfect opportunity to teach some simple embellishing techniques and embroidery stitches.  Consider using wool to add texture and dimension to the piece.

If you are a fan like me, enjoy the pictures and see which ones you are missing!

For you shop owners,   will be at our August Open House.  I can’t wait to meet the lady behind these classic designs!

Item #CA152  Retail $8.00
Santa with White Owl

Item #CA138  Retail $8.00
Santa With Feather Tree

Item #CA99  Retail $8.00
Candlelight Santa

Item #CA48  Retail $8.00
Victorian Santa

Item #CA69  Retail $8.00
Filling the Stocking

Item #CA111  Retail $8.00
Santa’s Woodland Visit

Item #CA81  Retail $8.00
Santa with Birdhouse

Item #CA86  Retail $8.00
Bell Ringer Santa

Item #CA147  Retail $8.00
Santa’s Journey

Item #CA151  Retail $8.00
Santa’s Best Friend

Item #CA132  Retail $8.00
Turn of the Century Santa

Item #CA117  Retail $8.00
Toy Bringer Santa

Quilt as you Go comes of Age

Susan Nelson of Prairie Sky Quilting has created the entire package.  The patterns include instructions in several different sizes and with so much style, no one would guess that these patterns were created by the “quilt as you go” method!

Item #PSQ105  Retail $8.00      

A set of templates that are used to cut the backing fabric and the batting make the process easier than ever!

Item #PSQ501  Retail $18.00

In my example, I used one of the simplest patterns that still has a lot of punch – and design elements that guarantees success even for beginners.  In this quilt, for example, the four-patches “float” in the block so it is impossible to cut off the points of the four-patch – even if you don’t use a perfect 1/4″ seam!

Item #PSQ

First cut the backing fabric squares the size of the larger template.  Then cut the batting squares the size of the smaller template.  Place the backing fabric wrong side up.

Center and place the larger template on this square.  Simply place the batting square in the opening in this template and it will automatically be centered so you will be ready to begin machine quilting!  All of the guesswork is gone!

Then, place the first two units – right sides together on the batting square and sew through the batting and backing fabric at the same time with a 1/4″ seam.

Press open.  The four-patch will be centered on the batting and backing fabric.

Add the four corner units to this four-patch to complete the quilting – and the quilt block at the same time.  Fold the backing fabric away from the batting so that the block fabric can be trimmed even with the batting.  Make sure you do not cut the backing fabric – that would be a big oops!!!

Place two of these quilted squares on top of each other – backing fabric to backing fabric.  Join the sets of squares by sewing along the edge of the batting.  Then fold the two “flaps” to the seam and press.  The batting is enclosed in the backing fabric.

Now comes the fun part.  You can either sew these folded edges down with a straight stitch or use all of those decorative stitches on your machine!  When the rows are completed, they are sewn together in the same way.

When the entire quilt is sewn together, the outside raw edge is turned in the same way so there is no need to attach a traditional binding!

So, choose your favorite pattern – there are over a dozen at this point – and start cutting!  What a great way to use up scraps!  The backing can even be cut from your stash – and there is finally a way to use up those scraps of batting!

And, when you are done – you are done!  You don’t have the expense of having the quilt machine quilted; you don’t have the expense of a wide backing; or need to buy batting by the yard!  How often do you have a chance to use up threads and play with all of those decorative stitches on your machine???  You can go to your sewing room and whip up one of these puppies in a matter of hours!  And who would have ever guessed that this was a “Quilt as you Go” quilt???

Item #PSQ107  Retail $8.00

What a great project to make with kids this summer – if you are hosting a quilting day camp, this should definitely be on the schedule!

Creating your own Texture – the Easy Way

The folks at Superior Threads have come out with a new product that I guess would fit into the stabilizer category.  After all – its white and you stitch it to the wrong side of the fabric – but after that, it is a whole different ball game!

Item #TM18  Retail $11.99

The texture magic comes in an 18″ x 47″ sheet.  Don’t worry about the wrinkles when you open the package – and don’t try to press them out!  It isn’t meant to be ironed – only steamed AFTER it is sewn to the back of your fabric.

The instructions say to draw a grid on the sheet approximately 1″ apart – the closer the stitching, the more the fabric will pucker.  I chose a fabric for this demonstration that was a 3/4″ printed diagonal design so I could just follow the lines on the fabric.  It worked fine!

I stitched from the fabric side and pinned the sheet underneath.  I didn’t have any problems with it slipping at all.  It was a piece of cake.

The stitched foundation…

Then you simply take it to your ironing board and place a hot steam iron above the surface.  The directions say not to touch the Texture Magic so I tried steaming from the fabric side so I didn’t have to worry about it curling during the shrinking process and touching the iron.  It worked just fine.  Once the process was almost done and the piece was laying flat, I did turn it over and steam it from the other side just to make sure that it shrunk all the way – it did!

The Textured piece….

The directions say (yes I actually READ the directions) that it may shrink up to 30%.  I trimmed my stitched square to nine inches before I started the shrinking process to test it – and the finished square measured just over 7″.  And, I was really impressed that it shrank evenly – I started with a square and ended with a square!

The wrong side of the “textured” piece placed on the
original so you can compare how much it shrank…

Once it is shrunk, it is totally stable and does not stretch in either direction!  The puckers created with this process were even.  I even placed a layer of batting between the Texture Magic and the fabric on one sample.  It shrank the same – but just added some body to the puckers in the completed piece.  I would add the batting if I was going to use this technique and incorporate it into a  tote bag.  If I was using it on a child’s bodice, I’d leave it out.

If you are doing a demo day, this should be on your list.  When you place the steam iron above the Texture Magic, it draws a crowd!  Just make sure you have more than one sample ready!

Pat Berry, the showroom manager, said that it works great on Minkee and silks too.  What a great way to add texture to a baby quilt or stuffed animal!  I can’t wait to try that next – but I have to wait for more to arrive! I talked to Jayme – the buyer – this week.  She is expecting another shipment any day so get your order in!   It is one of those items that is hard to keep in stock because the production isn’t keeping up with the demand at the moment.  That’s when you KNOW you should give it a try!

Why not kill two birds with one stone and incorporate this product in with a sample of the new Lazy Girl Bag – Claire – that is coming out this month.  Can’t you just see it sewn into the center side panel???

Claire by Lazy Girl Designs Item #lgd125
Retail $9.00