Hot Dog Pillowcases

We’re excited about sharing our versions of the Hot Dog Pillowcase today! It has been such a fun method of making pillowcases.

I recently revised the instructions, and Cheryl, our “Web Gal,” offered to test them. I was delighted when she emailed me the photos of her helpers, Ben and Caleb. First they read the instructions!

Here they are watching Grandma sew the first seam. There are only three seams!

Ben pulled the Hot Dog out of the bun first (he found the tongue technique helpful), then Caleb.

They were so proud of their new pillowcases!!

I helped Dominga, a dear friend who is not a sew-er, make one and she was delighted with hers, too!

We’re using this pattern and working with the ConKerr Cancer project for kids with cancer in our area. If you’re in our area, and would like to help, please bring in pillowcases made from bright, cheery fabrics (in individual zip-loc bags). These will be for toddlers through teens.

If you’d like to try out a new sewing machine and make a pillowcase for our project, contact Lori in the Sewing Department. 574-233-3112 They’ll be happy to help you!

These are the instructions I wrote, in both an adult version and a version we’re using with kids‘ classes. It is such a fun, easy way to make pillowcases, that everyone loves making them. (Click on the version you want, and you can download the instructions in a pdf.)

Please feel free to use our patterns for pillowcases for charities or for your personal use. By all means, if you have youngsters you can interest in sewing this way, let’s help spread the joy of sewing. I hope you have as much fun with these as we’re having! We’d love to see your photos. (Please do not post the instructions on other websites. Thanks.)

Quilting Tips

As I started piecing one of my last projects, I happened to think that some of my newer students haven’t heard of using an “anchor cloth” for chain piecing. So I thought I’d share it here in case it’s new to others. In fact, one of my students (Carol, you know who you are…) told me later “I’d heard about it before but thought I didn’t really need to do that. You emphasized it in class, so I tried it, and now I can’t imagine piecing without using the anchor cloth!”

You need four little scraps of fabric around 1” x 1” . They are used double, so you put two of them under your presser foot to start. Since I do a lot of piecing, I always have an anchor cloth under my presser foot, even when I’m not using my machine. Then it’s ready for me to start again.
You stitch first on the anchor cloth and then move on to your first pieces of the quilt. Continue feeding in your pieces, and when you get to the end, put your second pair of scraps under your presser foot and stitch onto them. You clip off the chain behind your anchor cloth, and remove the first one from the beginning, and it’s ready to be used the next time you end a chain. This keeps you from getting little birds’ nests at the beginning of your work, and saves thread between chains. Try it, if you haven’t.

Another tool I like is the “Purple Thang” but not just because it’s purple! You know how sometimes the end of your piece tries to move out to the left? The Purple Thang can fit where your finger doesn’t, and hold it in place. Happy Quilting!

We have our winners!

Thank you to everybody that played along with us on the blog contest. The contest has ended, and we have our two winners.
The first winner is Kim who likes item 42884, and the second winner is Ilene Pedlar who likes item 37973. Congrats ladies!!! Please send us an email with your contact information so we can get your $15.00 giftcards out to you.

Thanks for playing, everybody! As an added thank you to all of you that took the time to post and participate, we would like to offer you 10% off one regularly priced item. Participants, please put the code BLGPTY10 in the special instructions area when you check out online, or mention it when you check out in the store. This offer is good until midnight (EDT) August 1, 2009. If you need assistance, please feel free to contact us.

Keep reading the blog, we will do another contest some time again in the future!

Don’t forget that the Sidewalk Sale started today! If you are in South Bend, stop in and see us. If you are ordering online, don’t forget to check out the sale fabric, sale items, rummage page items, and more. Don’t forget, when the Sidewalk Sale and Rummage Page items sell out, they are gone for good! You can check for sales here . Just scroll down the webpage for various sales and specials.

Two new ways to communicate or keep up with what is happening here at Erica’s Craft & Sewing Center – if you’re on Facebook, please search for Erica’s Craft & Sewing Center and become a Fan! Since we started our blog in April, we are now have a Facebook page too. Hope to see you there!

Fat Quarter Fonts

Have you seen this new book?

It is super fun and a nifty new way to applique! Much easier than the traditional applique methods too! We recently had a trunk show in the store with projects created for the book. They were absolutely darling! Here’s a picture of a few items – We have decided to share the love for this book with a special. If you would like to place an online order, please write BLGPST20 in the special instructions box when you check out (the discount will not show up on your order total, please do not worry, we will manually adjust it when we ship your order). If you come into the store, please make sure you mention this code when you are checking out. It will save you 20% off the cost of the book! Fun and easy to follow directions are included in the book on how to create your own banners, alphabet quilts, zippered monogram bags, birthday quilts and more. The regular price of the book is only $23.00, and it includes a CD with the letter and number templates included. Once you read this book your creativity will be raring to go!
Remember, to take advantage of the special pricing, you must mention the discount code in the special instructions area of your online order when you check out (the special instruction area is on the webpage where you list your billing and shipping information, please don’t try to enter the code anywhere else), or mention the code when you check out in our brick and mortar store. We will honor this discount for orders placed between July 13 through midnight EDT July 23. Here is a link to where you can order Fat Quarter Fonts on our website. For anyone that doesn’t know, if you are in South Bend, we are a “must see”. If you are planning a trip to our area, schedule some time to stop in and see us. Make sure you allow plenty of time to look at all the lovelies we have!

In other news, we are now on Facebook! Stop by and see us, we are at Erica’s Craft & Sewing Center.

Don’t forget about the contest we have going on the blog now (Titled Ready For A Contest? dated June 12)!!! Only two days left!

Here are Some Quilting Techniques I Use

I’m finishing up our store model, Nature’s Palette Quilt by Michele Scott. I’d like to share some of the techniques I used in doing this quilt.

It has two dozen appliqué leaves! I love appliqué, but I don’t like all the tracing and cutting! I can’t give you a trick for eliminating the cutting, but if you have a printer and scanner or copier, you can eliminate the tracing by using Quilter’s Freezer Paper 36079. I wrote up the steps in this free Technique Sheet.

I used a straight stitch to free-motion appliqué most of the leaves. My two favorite tools for this are Machingers Gloves (half way down)and the Quilt Halo (part way down). (I did satin stitch a few scattered around, but realized time was too short and I have too many more projects I want to do!)

For a quilting pattern I used the same one as for the appliqué. If you have a long arm, you can use your laser to trace the leaf where you want it. If you don’t, you can use another method. Fold Quilting Paper (12″ or Quilt and Tear on a roll, about 3/4 down the page) to make many layers. Trace the leaf on the top sheet. Put in a size 100 needle, leave it unthreaded, and trace the outline of the leaf, perforating all the layers at once. Trim around the pile so you won’t be quilting through much excess paper. Peel off one at a time as you need it.

Pin or tape the paper in place and free-motion the design. Pull away the paper.

I hope you find these hints helpful in a future project!

There’s still time to enter our contest! The deadline is July 15th. See details in a previous post.