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.

january-newsletter

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.

snowman

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

Coming Attractions…

Not much time this week, but I want to give you a taste of a few things I’m working on that you’ll see here in the future.

My biggest concentration these days has been our newsletter, with classes and special things here at Erica’s. You can see the help I’m getting with this.DSC00291 Since, for cat and dog lovers, these companions are a big part of our lives, I wrote instructions several years ago for Pet Stockings that I’d like to share..pet stocking bothI’m also working on a project for Creative Sewing Club. These Cell Phone Bags and printed interfacing have so many possibilities! (39055, 909842)2014-09-21 08.59.45Until next time, as Sue Hausmann says, “Happy Sewing!

Erica

(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 “What’s New” in purple, and click to find out.

Trees for Sale!

The pattern of the day around here today is Trees for Sale (43242) by Pieces from My Heart. It’s a freezer paper piecing pattern that is so simple to use with a pre-cut layer cake fabric set. If you’re really adventurous you could use scraps, just making sure that your pieces are at least 10″ x 10″ each.

It’s difficult to show you exactly how easy this pattern is without giving away all of it’s secrets, but, here’s just a little hint.

pieces

The pattern really simplifies the cutting and piecing process, making the whole project quick and relatively simple. And since all of the seams within the block are floating, there’s no matching seams! Each block is pieced and then cut to size. Easy peasy!

We have three projects in the store right now. One still being pieced, made with Nature’s Christmas Fabric Pack  (A23215):

version 1

One finished quilt top, made with Christmas Countdown Fabrics:

version 2 quilt top

And one completed quilt, made using the Holiday in the Pines Fabric Pack (A21176).

version 3 quilted

I also love the backing on that last one

backing

We have so many layer cakes to choose from, you can easily make your quilt reflect your own or a loved one’s tastes.

I hope you’ll try it and send us a picture when you’ve finished! If you’d like to work with a group and you’re local you can join our class at the store starting December 3rd, running for two weeks, 6:30-9pm. Maybe I’ll see you there!

Jennifer

(To find an item 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.)

Remember, 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.

One Mystery Solved, on to the Next!

We have photos of our finished Quilters’ Celebration quilts for you to see!  Most of Mystery lady1inchthem are finished anyway; mine’s below.  There are many more people making the quilt, and we hope to add their photos as they send them to me.  You can see how wonderful they are, and we’re all so proud.  Several people added their own touches on on them, as you can see from the photos by clicking here.My quilt

How about joining us for this year’s mystery?QD name fontYou don’t have to live near us.  Many of our Internet friends are made them last year and are making this one, too.  We send the packet each month.  There are 3 sizes to choose from: 100” x 100” queen size, a 56” x 98” bed runner, or a 68” x 68” lap or wall quilt.  We start November 16th.  All the details are on our Mystery Club page.

You can see Lacy just loves my color choices!DSC01360You can probably see them better this way.my colorsThere are four other color selections, or you can choose your own.  You can sign up to join us at the bottom of our Mystery Quilt page.  I hope to see your finished quilt next year!


(To find an item 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.)

Remember, 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.

Log Cabin Conundrum

I’m taking the Easy Log Cabin Class with Nancy this month. If you’re local, I highly recommend this class. Again I’ll say, Nancy is a great teacher and the method she’s teaching really is easy. The next quarterly newsletter will be out in April, watch it for dates and times.  If you can’t come to class, you can stil use the terrific tool we’re using.  It’s the Log Cabin Trim Tool.  There are two sizes.  One makes 8″ blocks (A16764) and the other makes 6″ or 12″ blocks (A19020). 

I’ve finished my blocks, so now I’m ready to decide how to arrange them. This is where the conundrum comes in. There are literally hundreds of different ways to arrange log cabin blocks to make different designs.

Log Cabin Block

The block doesn’t look scary, does it? But the sheer number of choices has me a little stumped. I’m going to share the start of some designs with you and see what you think. In the interests of time, I’ve not set up the entire quilt, but just a few rows on a table in the office.

First, we have the traditional Barn Raising set.

Barn Raising

Second is one I really like, Streak of Lightning. Of course, if I use this pattern I’ll have to decide which direction my lightening is striking, since we’ve made enough blocks for a rectangle quilt and not a square. I guess I could make more …

Streak of Lightning And, as you can see, I’ve got one of my blocks turned the wrong way at the bottom of that picture. I highly recommend taking photos of your quilts after arranging your blocks. It is quite often so much easier to see the design that emerges. It also is essential in a situation like this when you have several choices as to block arrangement.

Third, we have Sunshine and Shadows.

Sunshine and Shadows

I’m liking that one, too. If I use that one I’m thinking I would like for red to end up all around the outside edge of the quilt. Or maybe let the lighter color end up around the edge and bind it in red?

Fourth is Straight Furrows. Again, a simple pattern, and honestly it took the least amount of time for me to arrange. Some of these patterns can get really confusing.

Straight Furrows

Fifth and finally, we have an unnamed pattern.

UnnamedIt’s very similar to the Barn Raising but starts off just a little differently in the center.

If you’ve made a log cabin quilt before, which block setting did you use? I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to make more log cabin quilts so I can use different settings. We have some great books with log cabin instruction and design ideas, such as Judy Martin’s Log Cabin Quilt Book (30692), Log Cabin Quilts (A19751), and one with a little more contemporary feel, Log Cabins Today (A14585).

I’m really hoping you’ll let me know which setting you like the best out of the five above. If you prefer another I’ve not mentioned, by all means, let me know, too.

Until next time (hopefully with a finished quilt top),

Jennifer

(To find an item 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.)

Remember, 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.

Working on my Bargello Tablerunner..with Help

I’m going to teach a bargello class in our next session, so I need to work on my sample at the same time I’m doing the newsletter. The newsletter should be up online by the beginning of July if all goes well. I find it hard to stop working on my class, but that newsletter just doesn’t write itself, darn it! This is the finished tablerunner or wallhanging, called Dec la Table. (A16392)

Dec La Table Bargello

Any way, it starts with 2 ½” strips, so I thought I’d show you how I sew them together. I do my cutting with two (or three) rulers, and I showed that in a post two years ago.

Then I laid out my strips in order according to the instructions. Lacy helped hold them in place…

If I’m sewing together lots of strips of the same width, I like to “cheat.” I use my quarter inch foot with a guide and my extra bobbin cover with the Cutting Edge Strips (85083) lined up with the foot, then use painter’s tape to make a “strip channel” with two of “my favorite rulers.” 45153

It makes it so easy to get straight, accurate seams, that you can almost sleep on the job!!

To celebrate these little rulers, we’re offering the same blog special we had two years ago!  Through July 16th, 2012, you can get 25% off 2 of these little rulers, if you place your order and note “I read the Blog” in the comment section of the order. They’re normally $6.95 and you’ll get two for $10.43. Item # 45153  You’ll find they’re the handiest little rulers you’ve ever had.

By the way, if you happen to sew the wrong strips together, you’ll really appreciate the tool I’ve been telling people is “My New Best Friend.” This Quick Ripper (16868) almost has me elated when I find a mistake!  Almost.

Quick Ripper

I’ve been sewing strips together just so I can demonstrate this tool! You can  see why, if you check our website under Product Videos. It’s bound to become your best friend, too!

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.

(To find an item or event on our web site 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.)


How to Make a Quilt From Start to Finish – Final Class

Just in case you missed it, be sure to check out updates from class oneclass two, and class three.

You’ll find the entire current class listing in our quarterly newsletter.

You may recall that I boasted about having plenty of time for finishing homework since we had a week off between classes this time.

Half Finished Homework

Yeah. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. So here’s my half quilted project. I just have to get those lines quilted the other direction and I’ll be ready for squaring up and binding.

The good news is that I had a small item to use for the binding lesson, so I’m not an entirely delinquent student. Nancy loves me anyway, I think!

Practice Piece - FrontPractice Piece - Back

I’m ridiculously happy with my practice piece. The picture on the right was supposed to be the back of it, but I think I almost like it better than the front. We’ll just have to wait and see how it gets used.

At the risk of repeating myself, there are several benefits to taking a quilt class (or any class) at Erica’s.

  • You have time set aside to work on your projects.
  • You have access to a teacher with YEARS of experience.
  • There are other people learning along with you.
  •  You learn tips and tricks you will NEVER learn from any book or on your own.
I am so glad that I took this class. My confidence is through the roof now. I just really can’t wait to get to work on finishing all those quilt tops I have at home. They’ve been waiting an awfully long time to be finished into quilts.And as for my little “Minnie” sewing machine? Remember her from week 1? I really wasn’t sure I would be able to do my quilting with her but it did work. She was working really, really hard when I was sewing over a spot where several seams came together.Also, it looks like this crib size quilt is pretty much the limit as to the size quilt I’ll be able to fit through her when I’m doing the quilting. Basically, I think she’s great for piecing but if I want to do any more serious quilting or bigger projects then it’s going to be time for an upgrade. Break my heart, right?So if you need me, I’ll be up in the Sewing Department trying out the different models to see which one’s right for me. Do you have any comments? Do you remember your first sewing machine and when you realized it was time to upgrade?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this short series of articles about classes at Erica’s. If you’re local, I really hope that you’ll join us for a class soon. I’m already signed up for three more! See you there!

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!
Now you can also follow us on Pinterest. (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.)

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.