Quilt-a-Doodle? Do!!

imagesOne of my most favorite things is quilting on my Handi Quilter!   And one of the most talented quilters I’ve seen is an Australian art quilter.  Helen Godden works on the Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen Sit-Down machine, but what she does also applies to the other Handi Quilters, (and even quilting on home sewing machines,) and I love to watch her quilt.

She has a really fun, free video you can watch on Handi Quilter’s website HQ Live called Quilt-a-Doodle-Doo with Helen Godden .  She’s written a coloring book, but not your usual coloring book.  It’s for Quilters, and it’s all adorable animals!  On the video, she shows you all her samples and demonstrates how she fills in the areas of her drawings.  You can download a sample, her adorable rooster part of which is shown below.

picture0004

After seeing that, I got her DVD and learned 50 different stitches!  We carry the DVD, 50 Styles of Quilting, A32398, and if you’re a quilter-

picture0005whatever way you quilt – you’ll enjoy it too.              Erica

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And the rest of the story …

So now he’s finished! Actually, I was so excited when I got the face done, that I took it right to my Handi Quilter Fusion and set up the backing and batting I had cut last November. For some reason, they were quite a bit larger than the front. Oh, well, numbers have always been my downfall. I probably just figured wrong! I tore into this poor project that had waited so long in pieces, for my return.

Thread bridges on Bengal Tiger quilt

I do raw edge applique on my HQ – it’s so much easier than moving the fabric around under my regular machine. There was quite a bit of white, so I started with that. Instead of tying off at the end of each piece, I do tiny little stitches so the stitching won’t come out later, then move to the next piece and do tiny stitches to get it started. In the end, it’s faster just to cut the bridges all at one time.

Got it all done and hung it on the wall to admire before I cut the binding. That’s when it hit me! In all my excitement, I had forgotten to add the accent flange and the black border! Darn! What to do?! Too late now.  You know that great feeling when you think you’re on the last leg of the project? I went from there to it being too hot in the room, and the panic in the pit of my stomach! OK, calm down, and look at this reasonably. Ah ha! I’ll just put a wide binding on it!  That will frame it, like that forgotten border would have. So I went to my calculator. Let’s see, ½” for the seam allowance, some to frame the piece. That’s times two, and then it wraps around, and that’s times two. Got it! (Remember, I told you about me and numbers?)

I had help getting the binding on, as you can see.

Crafter Kitty helper

Got the first side sewn easily.  I got to the corner, and believe it or not, with all my brilliant figuring ahead, there wasn’t enough fabric to do the miter! So I invented these really cool corners! I won’t tell anyone it was either that, or take the binding off and go back to the calculator. So I decided these corners were really great. (Just don’t ask me how I did them!)

Corners of Bengal Tiger Quilt

So here’s my guy! Regal and impressive, with custom-made corners. And done!  (A13718)

Bengal Tiger

I did the Giant Panda earlier, which enticed me to do the Bengal Tiger.  (A13787)  The Panda pattern is down a little from the tiger on the same pattern page, and my blog post is here.  both are hanging in the back of the classroom now, and when you enter, you see them from a distance.  I just love them!  Since then, I’ve finished my first “modern quilt.”  I’ll tell you about that one in a few weeks.

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.)

She’s a Superstar!

Karen Lindley

Our very own Karen Lindley, avid Creative Sewing Club and Handi Quilter Club member, from South Bend, Indiana has been featured in an ad in Machine Quilting Unlimited (item A16227) this month! She won the My HQ Story Contest from HandiQuilter and got to spend some time with other winners at the company headquarters in Utah.  She had a fabulous time there!  Karen loves her Fusion and Pro-Stitcher!

Karen is using her HQ Fusion to quilt her ‘Some Day’ pile. Be sure to watch Karen’s video and leave her a comment so she knows you stopped by!

Congratulations Karen! We’re so proud of you and your story! Thanks so much for letting Erica’s help you in your quilting journey.

Utah: Spring Quilt Market & HQ Training

Having had an extraordinarily busy May already, I’m frantically trying to meet my newsletter deadlines as well as quilt some models for our upcoming quilt shows in Columbus, Ohio, and in Shipshewana, Indiana, and at the same time, complete plans on my next Handi Quilter Club meeting on Feathers.

We got home last week from Salt Lake City, Utah, where we had been for the Spring Quilt Market (my favorite buying trip) and the Handi Quilter Facility (home of my favorite quilting machine).

Spring Quilt Market is one of the two big vendor shows we attend to try to guess what new fabrics, patterns, and notions you’ll want us to carry in the upcoming months. Don’t worry, we’ve got plenty coming for you!

This is a photo taken through a window of not quite half of the show area. As much fun as it is, this is no easy trip!
Our two Cathys did a great job of buying and planning models and classes to showcase new things. Dick and I pretty much stand back and marvel at them. That’s not to say that I’m not out scouting special notions and longarm items! I spent my part of the budget with no problem!

On Friday night, I had a pass to see the whole new Handi Quilter Facility! I love the huge banner on the building.  “Quilting.  It’s not a hobby, it’s a lifestyle.”

Imagine Handi Quilter boxes piled way up to a high ceiling waiting to be sent to new owners! It’s exciting that our machines are made and thoroughly tested in the US.

Handi Quilter is a most wonderful host! After the factory tour, they had a huge party with lots of food and the quilter’s staple, chocolate.

My last two days in SLC went to Pro-Stitcher Advanced Training in the Training Studio.

I was in a group with two very sharp HQ reps, one from California and the other from Kentucky, and in our opinions we were the best team!! We made this sampler, using all the features of the Handi Quilter Pro-Stitcher, and had a great time learning.

I wish the photos were better, but I’ll have one in the store for local customers to see. Don’t you love the little elephants marching across the bottom of the sampler?

Imagine getting out of “work” at Handi Quilter and having this view! (That’s not to say that those people don’t work hard, by any means.  But HQ must be a wonderful place to work.) And the mountains are breath taking!

Our flight home was nicely uneventful, and I’ve been at work on the newsletters since I got home (after paying due attention to the felines, of course). Now back to work! Watch for the newsletter online by (hopefully) June 8th.
Be sure to become a Erica’s Facebook Fan! 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 “What’s New” in purple, and click to find out.

Welcome to Our Blog!

Hello there!!! We would like to welcome you to our blog!!! First, let’s tell you a little bit about ourselves. Erica is a real person, and she is involved in all aspects of the store. Erica’s Craft & Sewing Center is a family owned and operated small business located in South Bend, Indiana. We carry a wide variety of items including beautiful cotton quilting fabrics, luscious yarns, craft kits for children, gorgeous beads and findings, more patterns than anyone could ever dream of completing, and a multitude of self help crafting and sewing videos and tutuorials.

We have a website, which you can access to view and order anything we carry in the store. We can also try to special order items that you don’t see on our website. If it is available, we do our best to order it for you! We pride ourselves on doing our best to give everyone the best customer service around, and fair shipping rates, too. We don’t like to pay high shipping rates either, so we charge actual shipping costs plus a $1.00 handling fee, no matter what the size or destination of the order.

If you are a local customer, you can stop in to see our extensive selection of sewing and quilting machines. We carry sewing machines, embroidery machines, sergers and quilting frames and we’re authorized dealers/representatives for Husqvarna Viking, Bernina, and HandiQuilter and we’d love to show you the fantastic things these machines can do.