It’s 2017!

We hope your 2017 is a happy, safe, and healthy year!  And we hope you have time to do the things that bring you joy!

Take for instance, Bernie!  He joyfully receives a tummy rub!bernie

Cagney happily cat naps on one of my current projects!cagney

Lacy does the same!lacy

Please take a look at our newsletter.    We have lots of photos, (even some of people!) and our class schedule for this winter season.

There are specials on our sewing and quilting machines included.  We have something new,  “Fill My Machine Embroidery Bag,” that you might be interested in if you’re a “Happy Hooper.”  There’s also a new feature for hand embroiderers and wool lovers  called “Wooly Words,” from Cathy Mark.   And there’s lots more to look at.


On Thursday, January 12th, our Quilts of Valor sewing group is meeting, and I’ll be teaching a free class on the “hot dog” method of making a presentation case, which is used to present the Quilts to veterans.  The same method is used to make pillow cases for a Case for Smiles that we take to the children’s oncology wards at local hospitals.  I’ll have instruction sheets detailing sizes and all the steps.  We invite anyone to come join us, at around 10am.  Bring your own fabric or get some here.  Bring your sewing machine and sewing supplies, or just come and watch and find out about our Group.


But we’re in that “iffy” time of year now, where the weather could be a problem, so if there’s any question at all, call the store before you come to any of the classes you sign up for.   574-233-3112.


If you can’t come on January 12th and want to do the cases. join me for a regular class on January 24th, in the first of my “Just for Fun” sewing series classes.  Details are in our class schedule.

If you enjoy the cat pictures, as many sew-ers do, be sure to take a look at pages 15 and 16 of our newsletter, and send me your own Crafter Kitty photos.

Again, Happy New Year to all, and thanks for reading our blog.     Erica

We’re Back!

It’s been a long time since we’ve written here!  You know how you sometimes really have good intentions, but you just don’t make it happen?  I have the same situation with exercising.  I was never lucky enough to find any exercise I enjoyed.  Several years ago, I discovered I could watch Sue Hausmann in my netbook while I walked on the treadmill, and I even went longer than my target time, to see the end of her show,  America Sews!

Unfortunately, my best laid plans to continue with exercising went by the wayside.

As did posts on this blog!

So now I’m walking on the treadmill again, (still watching sewing and quilting shows on my iPad as I go,) and getting back to our blog posts!  I’ve been promised help, which is good anyway, because that way we have more of a variety of topics.  Look for us about every two weeks.

This one is a short one, brought about by forgetting my own tip!  I wanted to pre-wash something I was working on for Quilts of Valor.  (We have QoV Sew Days at the shop on second Thursdays of the month starting at 10am- everyone welcome!)  Anyway, I just threw the fabric in the washer and dryer, and this is what I got!20160725_134143

Please read my tip in a previous post on how to prevent this from happening!

Agadget-cushionnd for my fellow cat lovers, here’s a phone photo of my beautiful Cagney, sister to Lacy.  The phone’s propped up on my Gadget Cushion, 909270.  More about that next time I write.


(To find an item or event on our web page after clicking on the highlighted 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.)

Did you know that you can see what’s new at Erica’s almost every day??  Karen does a great job of updating that page every time she adds something.  Sometimes it’s brand new fabric, books, tools, accessories or yarn, and sometimes it’s what just went up on our Rummage Page or Bargain Ends of Bolts.  Sometimes it’s something that we expect in soon that you can pre-order.   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!  Many people have told us they bookmark that page, so they’re always up to date!

Reviving the Pillow Case

pillowcase 4At our last Creative Sewing Club meeting Mary Ann showed how to use border prints and directional fabric for the cuffs of pillow cases and how to use the “Hot Dog Pillow Case” method. Many of the ladies there hadn’t heard of it, so I thought I’d bring it back here on our Blog.

peekThey’re called “Hot Dog” because the hot dog is rolled up inside the bun. That hides the seam that connects it. The side seam can be finished with an  overcast seam, a French seam, or serged. They’re really very quick to make!

For several years our customers have been making pillow cases through ConKerr Cancer, now called Ryan’s Case for Smiles. We have taken pillow cases to local children’s oncology wards and hopefully brought smiles to the faces of children undergoing such difficult times in their lives.pillowcases ready to go

If you’d like to make pillow cases for us, or for your community, for your children or grandchildren, you can download our PDF.

And for our many cat lovers, this was the help I got as I wrote this. post


We Wish You a Happy New Year!

We hope you’ve had a wonderful holiday weekend!  We look forward to the next one, when we start a new year.

Things are winding up at the shop and we’re just starting our Year End Sale.  We’re making lots of changes here at the store, after 41 years.  One of them is our sale at the end of the year.

Until this year we’ve started our sale at the beginning of the new year, on New Year’s Day.  This year we’re all taking the day off, so we’ve started the sale early.  Right now is the best time to shop, because it just started yesterday and your selection is great!

Save up to 50% on fabric, yarn, books, patterns and lots more. Shop in our store during regular hours or any time online. The sale will run for a few weeks.

Below are some photos I took this morning before the doors opened:

20151227_111644      Lots of yarn and yarn books- I love that doggie with the neckpiece!

20151227_111751There are patterns for almost anything you’d like to make…

20151227_111543And fabric to make it with!

20151227_111832There are models available if you don’t have time to make something.. I have my eye on that beautiful chenille baby blanket.

Don’t take too long!  Come into the store or check things out online.

Another change here is that I’m not doing a paper newsletter in 2016. Doing just one is allowing me to be a little more creative with the one you’ll read online. I’ve made some changes to the format. Our newsletter won’t include “New & Noteworthy” any more. Since I only wrote one 4 times a year, much of what I put in the newsletter wasn’t really new anymore. So my daughter(s) Cathy & (her assistant,) Cathy Mark, decided to let you know each week about what came in during the week, or special things we want to highlight. I think they’ve done a great job with it. My “other daughter” Cathy has taken charge and I eagerly anticipate her email every week, around mid-week. You can sign up for them here.

My same “other daughter” Cathy has kept you more up to date on our Facebook page, too. Her creativity is showing, and it’s fun to see each day. Be sure to “like” us there, and comment regularly. We appreciate our “regulars” and hope you’ll join them.

The newsletter I’m working on now will be ready in just a few weeks and you’ll get notice of it if you’re signed up to receive our weekly emails.

Meanwhile, come on into the store, or check out our sale online.  Get 50% off our newest sale fabrics and choose from even more 50% off fabrics here, plus get 50% off sale items from nearly every department.

And, a little early, “Happy New Year.”

Cagney and Lacy will undoubtedly sleep right through it!

And The Winner Is…

In our last post we asked a few questions of our fellow cat lovers.  comboIf you’re ready to start cutting your fabric,  what do you do?

 If you need to scan something on the printer and the cat’s asleep on top of the protective box, what do you do?

Then finally, how have you changed something to make your cat’s life easier, even though it might make yours a little less easy?

We had such wonderful comments and stories.  These cats have trained their owners in so many ways!  If you haven’t read the comments, please go back to read them!  Of those who commented, we did a random drawing, and the winner is… Pam from Maine.  She selected  the first pair shown as her Purrfect Pair of Socks!  The cats who trained Pam are Peanut-Buttercup (aka PB or Buttercup) and Tokei-mi.  Cute names for lucky cats!

all socksThanks to all who participated! 

A Purrfect Pair! Of Cat Socks, That Is!

This post is especially for our cat lovers, those of us who serve as full-time domestic helpers to our felines.  (We’ll try to think up something for the rest of our animal lovers in a future post.)

For you, I have two quick questions:

1.)  If you’re ready to start cutting your fabric and you run into this, 2015-01-18 19.03.49what do you do?

A.   Move the cat.

B.   Find something else to do.

2.)  If you need to scan something on the printer 20150208_083139(which you’ve covered with a box to protect it from the cat,) and the cat’s asleep on top of that box, what do you do?

A.  Wake up the cat and move her off the box.

B.  Work on something else.

If you answered “B” to both questions, you’re a true ailurophile, like me, whether you know it or not.

Webster’s Dictionary defines it as a “cat fancier, a lover of cats.” Some of us “fancy” a little more than others. (See a few photos of our house.)

So we’re going to have a contest! Actually it’ll be a random drawing, but only for people who share their homes with these furry creatures, and you need to comment below.  (US readers, only, sorry.)

How have you changed your house or behavior to accommodate your cat?

Tell us below about how you’ve changed something to make your cat’s life easier, even though it might make yours a little less easy.  Even upload a photo if you like!

To be eligible, your response must be posted below, not in a return email please.

Two lucky people who respond will receive cat socks!  Well not really socks for your cat’s little paws, but socks for you!

You’ll get to choose from among these three styles by Laurel Burch:81978b 15784b 23099bYou have until October 22nd to comment. (Erica’s staff people are not eligible to win.  It isn’t a requirement to work at Erica’s, but a large number live with cats!  We’d love to have you comment, you just can’t win.  Sorry.)

I’ll announce the winners in this space, in two weeks, in my October 25th post,

OK.  May the best cat servant win!

And if you live in the Michiana area, please adopt a cat (or another cat) from our Humane Society.  No adoption fee, and you can take one (or more) home the same day.  They’re spayed or neutered and have their shots!  Saturday October 17th from 12:00 noon to 5:30pm.  If you can find space in your heart, be there.  They have over 300 cats needing furever homes!

Post by Erica…

Oh, and I forgot to tell you.  Our latest newsletter is availableClick here.

Pet Stockings and Cat-astrophic Cat Event

If you live in the St Joe County Indiana area, please come to our second annual Cat-astrophic Cat Event at the St Joe County Humane Society, 2506 Grape Road, in Mishawaka.  I’m just sure someone special is waiting there for you!2014-06-19 17.50.55On October 4, 12-5:30 pm, cat adoption fees will be waived to help find furever homes for sweethearts like our beautiful Cagney above.

All of the 500+ cats are spayed or neutered, tested for feline leukemia,  current on vaccinations, and microchipped.  Dick and I have adopted cats and kittens from the Humane Society several times over the years, and we know that they give us so much more than we can give them.  This is a great opportunity!  (You’ll need to bring (or purchase a cat carrier to take your new cat home in.  There is a County or City license fee, $5 or $10.)

While you’re in the cattery, you can look out the window and see the bench presented to us at our 40th Anniversary celebration.  We don’t feel we deserve this any more than anyone else, but are extremely honored to have it in the beautiful garden outside.a bench at our Humane SocietyBack to those Pet Stockings I mentioned last week.  I adapted and wrote instructions for these from a gift our daughter, Sarah, gave us many years ago.  Since our furry companions are such a big part of our lives, this is a way to include them in the holiday coming up. They would also be popular at bazaars.  If the cuff is left blank, a name can be added with a marker.   Just click on the photo below to print them out for yourself.  I hope you enjoy making and having them.

photo of patternPlease comment below to share with us the joy your pets bring you.   Erica