Goodbye to another Longtime Feline Friend

I never dreamed we’d have to say goodbye to yet another of our beloved companions a month after losing our 20 year old Beethoven! Tchaikovsky was 17 ½ when he stopped eating and drinking. There was nothing we could find to tempt him with, and all the tests and x-rays showed he should have responded to the medications and infusions he got. The vet said it could be cancer and if diagnosed, he could receive chemo, but that might not help either. Within a week, we knew it was time.

We moved into our current building 17 years ago, and the day we opened, a customer brought in a litter of kittens. We knew one had to be ours for two reasons. First, they were born on our youngest son’s birthday.  Second, they all had extra toes, just like our beloved first kitty Farquar, that we lost to feline leukemia in just three months.  Farquar paved the way for those who followed. Although we hadn’t thought we’d get a longhair cat, Tchai was so beautiful and lay in our arms like a baby and we couldn’t resist him.
For a long time Tchai rode to work with us and came back each day. He stayed in my office with me. One day he decided he wanted to stay home, and he screamed all the way to the store and the way back. So he stayed home from then on, the better to harass his sister!
Tchai loved the sun, and he knew how to completely relax.
He also loved fabric baskets, even if they were a little small for his 16 pounds.

He loved the cat walks, ramp, and stairs and other amenities of the kitty house we all live in.

But most of all, Tchai loved quilts! He was the inspiration for the quilt block I use on our masthead.
And we loved to see him watching over us for all the years he blessed us with his presence, and both our boys’ spirits remain with us, along with others we lost before..
With our hearts breaking, we have said goodbye to two wonderful companions in way too short a time. I want to thank all of you who emailed me after my post about our beloved Beethoven. We’ve never gotten such a huge response to anything we’ve ever done in our newsletter or blog. There were so many beautiful, heartwarming notes, and we know we have fellow animal lovers all over the world. So many agreed with us that our hearts can always make room for more animals who need good loving homes. This house feels so empty now, and our little girl (shown with Tchai in one of the photos) seems lonely, too, though she seems consciously trying to fill the void for us.. We hope to be able to visit the Humane Society again soon, after we get back from Quilt Market next month.
Until next time…
Be sure to “like” us on Facebook! You’ll see great projects from customers and Erica’s employees, new items just into the store and be eligible for great giveaways!You can see What’s New at Erica’s almost every day! Any page of our website has a column on the left that tells you where to find things, and all you have to do is look for “New Items” in purple, and click to find out.

If You Knew Suzi…


like I knew Suzi.. well, you know the rest!
And this one is quite a gal, too.
Actually, this story started with Candice, the newborn Lazy Girl!  I love my Margo Bag (59135), as you can seehere and here.  However, I’m used to a larger bag, and even with an organizer, itwas just a bit small for me.  
When Lazy Girl started teasing us with Candice, 50524, I could hardly wait!  I pickedout my fabrics as soon as I got the requirements, and I was really ready!   Since she wasn’t back from the printer yet at that time, Idecided she needed her own organizer. So I made SuziA11131  You can see her on the same web page.
As I started cutting out the pocket pieces for Suzi, Idecided I’d like to share a few things with you.

Here you see my 15”squareOmnigrid Ruler.  84409 

(I’m a non-denominational ruler lover!  I joke that I have every ruler known toman.  I try lots of the new ones, and chosethe ones I want by whoever has the size I need.)  Anyway, you can see here how I added extra blacklines that I found helpful.  I drew indiagonals and half-way lines in both directions with my Identi Pen (11867) on the frontof the ruler.  I also filled in thecorner ¼” where the 1” marks come together.  That way it’s easy to find my startingspot.  (I do this with all my rulers.)  Here I was cutting a 13” x 8”piece, so I put the black mark in the upper right hand corner, having the part covered with the ruler a little larger than 13” x 8”.  Then I trimmed the right sideand across the top.  (You lefties areused to turning things around, so you can probably see how to reverse this.  My left handed husband has been known to say, “The right half of the brain controls the left half of the body. This means that only left handed people are in their right mind.”) 

I put the marked ¼” inthe opposite corner, and lined up the two edges with the exact size I need.  Here the 13” line is along the top of the fabric and the8” line is along the right side.  Then I turnedmy mat around (I have a smaller mat on top of my cuttingtable mat, so it’s easy to turn it,) and I trimmed the last two sides.

So here’s my Suzi, waiting for Candice!  She was so easy to make!!  As for Candice, I got my instructions and nowhave all my pieces cut and interfaced where needed, but still have to finish quiltingmy Christmas Ribbons to display at the quilt show first.  Try to be patient now, sweet Candice, I’ll be withyou as soon as I can!

Until next time, may all your stitches be happy ones.
Be sure to”like” us on Facebook!You’ll see great projects from customers and Erica’s employees, new items justinto the store and be eligible for great giveaways!

(To find an item or event on our 
web page afterclicking on the underlined words, hold down the “Ctrl” key and touch F.Enter the item number in the box, press enter, and you’ll be taken to thatitem.)

You can see What’sNew at Erica’s almost everyday! Any page of our website has a column on the left that tells you where tofind things, and all you have to do is look for “NewItems” in purple, and clickto find out.

Building an Applique

I told you some time ago I was going to make the Christmas Ribbons Quilt (A11221) for the store. I’ve had to set it aside several times for more pressing deadlines, but it has now become the pressing deadline. (If you’re going to the Indiana Quilt Guild Quilt Show in Indianapolis, you’ll see it finished.)

I cut all the appliqués with the Leaves Galore Template (59786), which made it really easy!


Then I put the green petals on.
The Quilter’s Chalk Line (59384) made that part easy, too.

I used my Applique Pressing Sheet to build the Poinsettias. You can see below how easy that was.  (30351 and 25088)

Fortunately my daughter, Cathy, did the buttonhole stitch around all the appliqués for me (again making it a breeze – for me, anyway!)
So this is how to build the poinsettias from the diagram that comes with the pattern.
Start with the drawing or diagram of the applique.

Lay the Applique Pressing Sheet over it.

Lay the shapes on, building from what would be farthest back toward the top.

When you like the way it looks, press it with an iron, and you have just one piece you can easily place on your fabric.

We’re going to look around the shop when the quilt is finished, to find something to put in the centers.

Until next time, may all your stitches be happy ones!

Be sure to “like” us on Facebook! You’ll see great projects from customers and Erica’s employees, new items just into the store and be eligible for great giveaways!


(To find an item or event on our web page after clicking on the underlined words, hold down the “Ctrl” key and touch F. Enter the item number in the box, press enter, and you’ll be taken to that item.)


You can see What’s New at Erica’s almost every day! Any page of our website has a column on the left that tells you where to find things, and all you have to do is look for “New Items” in purple, and click to find out.

Ruffles Everywhere!

The latest trend in yarn is what I call “ruffling” yarn. These yarns look like a ribbon, but can be unfolded to a wider strip of “fabric”. You simply knit along one edge, and the yarn ruffles as you go! There are several varieties of these yarns available, and I’ll show you how magical they can be.

Last year we had Solo,which was the first yarn like this that we’d seen.  This year it seems every yarn company has its own version, (telling us that this really IS a trend).
Moda is an open mesh design that turns into a lacy ruffle.
Flounce is also a mesh type, not as open as Moda, though it does knit into deep ruffles. To knit this type yarn, you cast on by simply poking into one edge of the yarn, then poke (relatively evenly) into the “fabric” and make your stitch like normal. 
Pirouette, another mesh type, features a soft chenille edge that gives a pretty, soft finish to the ruffle. Think “pretty cobweb” for the soft way it feels. 
Then we have Tinseltown for those of you who like a little bling. The resulting piece knitted easily because of the open spaces along the top edge of the strand. The scarf is lush and dense – I used a size 10 needle, but if you used a smaller needle, the result would be a lovely mass of glittery ruffles. 
Moda, Pirouette, and Tinseltown are all made with an open ladder edge. I began by using every hole to knit, but then I looked at the instructions on the back of the labels (please note – I should have done this first!). The manufacturers suggest knitting into every other hole, rather than every one. This makes the knitting so much easier, and you don’t have to worry about the spacing of your stitches – it’s all done for you!
You can whip up any number of these trendy scarves in no time (one per evening) so you can have a closet full of fun accessories for yourself or gifts for everyone on your list.
By guest blogger, Cathy Mark

Be sure to “like” us on Facebook! You’ll see great projects from customers and Erica’s employees, new items just into the store and be eligible for great giveaways!


(To find an item or event on our web page after clicking on the underlined words, hold down the “Ctrl” key and touch F. Enter the item number in the box, press enter, and you’ll be taken to that item.)


You can see What’s New at Erica’s almost every day! Any page of our website has a column on the left that tells you where to find things, and all you have to do is look for “New Items” in purple, and click to find out.