Explore your Inner Child – Part Three

These newest additions to the Whole Circle Studio line are due to arrive this month – and are a more adult version of some all-time favorites.








Combine them with her earlier patterns to make a statement!









Whether you choose one or all – and decorate the entire room around them, they are sure to brighten your day….every day!

Paper-Piecing with a Little Bit of Whimsey

Super Cute Paper Piecing by Charise Randell is full of charming little projects that provide instant gratification. These little bits of paper-piecing are the perfect foundation for totes, bags, pouches, pillows, and even a small quilt.

In this case, the projects are so cute, you don’t need any commentary from me:


What a great way to add paper-piecing to your skill set! And, if you already paper-piece, this book is a no-brainer!

Paper-Piecing for Beginners









I have always loved Judy Niemeyer designs but didn’t have the time to make many of her larger projects.  That is why I am loving these smaller ones that showcase one technique and, in some cases, can be done in an afternoon.

My Two Baby Sisters showcases two six inch blocks and a twelve-inch block which use the exact same technique to create this eight pointed star.  What a great class!  Who doesn’t want to learn how to make these blocks without fussing with inset and Y-seams? Additional papers are available because you know these will become go-to gifts.

This Poinsettia design makes piecing circles simple – and at 30″, is the perfect centerpiece for a round table.  Once again, additional papers are available.









Fractured Star in an 80″ square.  In Judell’s words:  The Fractured Star was designed as a beginner pattern to introduce quilters paper piecing. The project is fast, uses only 1 foundation block, employs simple cutting techniques, and is an affordable and fun way to jump into your first paper piecing project. It is meant to make those new to the process find confidence, understanding, and success.

I can’t say it any better than that so why even try???









These patterns are due to arrive in August so consider them for your Fall series of classes!

Paper-Piecing is Hot

Paper-piecing has become main stream and it is due to designers like Cindi McCracken.  She has shown a new generation of quilters that accuracy and precision are easy to achieve.  Any of her new releases would be great classes to introduce your customers to this technique.

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All of the patterns include the paper-piecing foundations and since they are repetitive designs, your students can actually finish an entire block in class.  Each pattern also features an awe factor.

In the Echo table runner, the blocks can be placed horizontally or vertically to create totally different looks.  Have your students complete a block and run color copies of it so they can play with block placement.

Desert Wildflower is set on point – another opportunity for a teachable moment.  And look at the pieced border on Off Kilter – a two for one learning opportunity.  And look how modern Starlight Pathway looks because she created a secondary pattern with the background fabrics.  These patterns are all due in by the end of the month.

For the Book Nerd in Your Life

There are several pics of “book” quilts showing up on Facebook.  And when I say books – take that literally!  For that book lover in your life, why not make them a throw to cuddle under while they read?

apbn105 apbn105_1









This quilt is a simple paper-pieced pattern so everyone will be successful.  Make a nice sized throw or add “books” to create a bed-sized quilt.  Wouldn’t this be great in Tim Holtz fabric?  It is designed to be fat quarter friendly.

I love this quilt because it gives you the perfect opportunity to personalize it.  Write the titles of their favorite books on the binding. Or, write a favorite quote on the cover.  What a great gift for a favorite teacher.  Change up the fabrics to make a perfect masculine version!

Sassafras Lane – Their New STUNNING Diamond of the Month Program

Empire Place is designed to work as a nine month paper-pieced diamond of the month program – or complete it all at once!  After all, once you start working on a Sassafras Lane pattern, it is hard to stop!


Item #SASSLN0029  Retail $24.00

Whether you choose A white or a black background, it is stunning!  Suck your customers in – one diamond at a time!



No need to copy the foundations out of the book – they are available on foundation paper…(Item #SASSLN0030  Retail $12.00).

Modern Paper-Piecing at its Best

I LOVE this book!  This is a new, refreshing approach to paper-piecing.  Paper Pieced Modern has complete illustrated instructions for 13 paper-pieced quilts which will knock your socks off!


Item #11088  Retail $26.95

Sometimes I just need to keep my mouth shut and let the pictures speak for themselves – and this is one of those times….









Does this look like any paper-piecing you have ever seen???  And, look at this one – it would be a great quilt – and a spectacular surprise on the back!


This book is arriving this week so order it now.

Oh Christmas Tree

These paper-pieced Christmas tress are sure to be a hit – and there is plenty of time to finish them before Christmas.

Cindy Edgerton has created these trees in several sizes.  The original “Tall Tree” is a little over 6 foot tall…


Item #VSC306  Retail $8.00

This pattern includes the foundations for two trees.  Adorn the tree with a button pack so you can add ornaments each day – instant Advent tree!


Item #BV306AVSC  Retail $6.16

The Little Bit Shorter Tree also includes foundations to make two trees that measure 17″ x 41″.  This is the perfect size to hang on a door.  Why not make one for each grandchild so they can decorate their room?


Item #VSC307  Retail $6.00

Need a Tree Skirt?  This one is 48″ and is sure to become a family heirloom!


Item #VSC280  Retail $8.00

Or, make an even smaller version of the original in three sizes (two foundations of each):


Item #VSC270  Retail $6.00

Why not start a new tradition and give Christmas decorations for wedding gifts?  Who wouldn’t love this tree skirt or a wall hanging to commemorate their first Christmas together???

Judy Niemeyer’s Star Shines Bright

Judy Niemeyer is a legend in our industry – and more importantly – one of the nicest and most down to earth people I have ever met.  Simply put, she is a class act.  We love it when good things happen to good people – especially when they have the talent to back it up!

Judy Niemeyer will be showcasing her new fabric line – The Reclaimed West.  Cotton has never looked so good!

These fabrics are gorgeous on the bolt – but add texture and depth when pieced into her stunning designs.  The entire collection can be pre-ordered on our website, but here are just a few sku’s to show how beautiful they truly are…


Item #C2901-Red


Item #C2907-YLW



Item #C2908-GREY


Item #C2899-FOG

But the fabric collection is only part of Judy’s vision.  She is releasing 18 new and restyled patterns demonstrating the collection’s diversity.


Item #JNQ167P  Retail $66.00


Item #JNQ103P  Retail $37.00


Item #JNQ143P  Retail $13.00


Item #JNQ166P  Retail $22.00


Item #JNQ169P  Retail $28.00


Item #JNQ165P  Retail $65.00


Item #JNQ168P  Retail $39.00

Special Edition


Item #JNQ163P  Retail $39.00

Limited Edition


Item #JNQ164P  Retail $72.00

If you are counting, this is just the tip of the iceberg!  I will share the rest when information becomes available…The patterns and fabric are supposed to arrive in November.  What great kits – Christmas shopping has never been easier!

Slow Sew includes Hand Quilting

There is a resurgence in what my generation called handwork.  Embroidery, working in wool, English paper-piecing, and now hand quilting are gaining in popularity.

At a recent show, many of the new generation of quilters wanted to know how to get started.  In the “old” days, I was considered an expert hand quilter because I could quilt 12 to 15 stitches per inch.  These are my favorite tools and hints….

If you want to achieve tiny stitches, use a light weight polyester batting.  Cotton batting is thicker and is harder to quilt.

I never learned how to use a traditional metal thimble.  I prefer leather thimbles because they mold to my finger.  Goat skin thimbles are virtually indestructible.  The finger tip version comes in several sizes.









Item #FTMD  Retail $17.40 (Medium)

If thimbles tend to slip off of your finger, try this version….


Item #KT-1SZ  Retail $19.00

Start with a 17″ Q-Snap frame.  An entire 12″ block can be quilted without moving the frame – and can be quilted in an evening.  It is easy to manipulate and turn as needed.  Most people can only quilt in one direction so floor frames are limiting.


Item #SF17QS  Retail $18.75

There is an old adage – The smaller the needle, the shorter the stitch.  I have found that I can get perfectly small stitches with a size 9 Colonial Between needle.  This needle has a larger eye so it is easy to thread and is strong enough so that it doesn’t break when quilting.


Item #CB120-09     Retail $2.03

Quilting thread is a cotton thread that is coated to give it strength and make it easier to glide through the fabric without fraying.  It is only used for hand quilting – not piecing.  It comes in a variety of colors.






Item #201M-0928  Retail $4.19

My suggestions?

Consistency is more important than the number of stitches per inch.  In the beginning, use a water soluble marker to mark dots every eighth inch.  This will give you a “target” for your needle.

Use a print for the backing.  A print hides any uneven stitches while you are learning.

Choose a quilting thread that matches the fabric.  Wait until you have perfected the stitch before moving on to an accent thread.

Rock the needle until you have three stitches on the needle.  More than that makes it difficult to pull the needle through the fabric.  After you are more experienced, you can increase the stitches.

Avoid seams when possible – and when you can’t, stab stitch through the bulk.  This is when you will LOVE a thimble!

Start now!  Many of us can no longer hand quilt because of carpal tunnel, arthritis, and eye sight issues.