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

What a Weekend that Was!

It’s hard to believe we opened the store 40 years ago.  I was but a child 1st flyerback then!  I wrote a short recap about our 40 years in business in my Ericatorial in our latest newsletter.  It’s on pages 2 and 3, but feel free to read the whole newsletter if you have time!cake

April rolled around and it was Party Time!  Here Dick and I, along with two of our kids, Bill and Cathy, (referred to in my Ericatorial) showed off the cake with our logo.  These two who hated working for the shop years ago are now proud owners with us.

Five years ago we had our 35th store anniversary.  So this year, I figured, would be about the same, just 5 years later! How wrong I was!  So much happened!  In fact there was so much, that you’re going to have to wait for the next installment to see more!!

Let’s start with the excitement for out guests.  Our gift for them was 20% off (almost) all regularly priced merchandise.  We also had a drawing for a $40 Gift Card each day. Friday’s winner was Joan Gallivan, from right here in South Bend.  Saturday’s winner was also from South Bend, Sharon Boyd. That’s amazing, considering the hundreds of entries there were with people coming from miles around!

We weren’t the only one giving out gifts. A generous fabric company sent us wonderful gifts to give away during our celebration.  We had drawings every few hours, and if people didn’t win the big prize, they got a coupon for their next visit, so there were no losers! And strangely winner 1enough, none of the big winners were from South Bend this time.


First winner, on Friday, was Samia Schrom from Plymouth, IN.  Just look at all the fabric in that box!  Lucky lady!



winner 2


Cathy and I were happy to present the next winner her prize.  Kate Alexander from Goshen, IN, was very happy, too!

winner 3




Another winner was Loretta Gill from Michigan City, IN. I told her I’d considered taking everything out of that beautiful cat bag before I brought it out for her.  She never would have known!  But I restrained myself and I was glad I had, because we could hardly get her to stand still for the photo, she was so excited about it.



Do you think Lori winner 4Stoneburner from Warsaw, IN was happy about winning this generous basket of fabric?  Just look at that beautiful smile!





The first recipient of a big gift on Saturday was Lavera Ames, from Plymouth, IN.  She’d been shopping in the Yarn Department when we had her pick a slip to see if she got a coupon or a special prize, and guess what she won!




Next was Tracy Wiltfong, Michigan City.  She was thrilled with her bundle, too.  There was a lot of fabric in that bag! But do you think Tracy had enough fabric?




Not five minutes later, I caught her getting more fabric!  (One can never have too much fabric!)




Here’s Sue Desmet, from Stevensville, MI.  She was really excited when she saw this treasure chest full of goodies!  And who wouldn’t have been!



Now lucky ladies, what we may have forgotten to tell you, is that you have two weeks to come back and show us what you made from these!

It was so much fun surprising people with wonderful gifts, and we really appreciate the generous donor who made it possible!Sparky

Stay tuned for more excitement in our second installment!  Hint: Cathy sent in the clown!  (and lots more surprises!)

Until next time,

signature purple


                                 Happy Easter!

All work and no play …

Until I get past the panic stage with the newsletters, I work on them day and night except for classes, ordering, and trying to keep up with emails. And this time, for a number of reasons, I didn’t get past the panic stage, and I have over 150 emails to respond to after deleting spam and things I’m not interested in. So if yours is one that’s waiting, I apologize.

“Take time to smell the roses” translates for me to “take time to appreciate the kitties!”

And fortunately that pretty much gets imposed on me if I’m not doing it voluntarily. Puccini insists on sitting on my lap in the morning as I read and respond to some of my daily emails. Bernstein drops in front of me as I walk, for a quick back rub. Other times he brings his ball to my desk over and over ,and over, and over… (Bernie’s our fetcher!) Lacy, on the other hand, reminds me with a gentle paw to say “I’m here!”  Sometimes she’s lying on the ironing board, or the little mat I put on my sewing machine cabinet for her, looking longingly at me, hoping I’ll join her. Bernie sometimes sits behind the silent sewing machine and gives me the same look..

Well, the newsletters are done, and we’re back to the “normal busy” in this house the cats allow us to occupy with them.


Mama’s back at the sewing machine, and all’s right with the world!

Remember to “smell the roses,” however that translates to you. It’ll make life better for you, and for everyone around you.

So tell us, how do you take time to smell the roses?

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.

Textured Applique

I’ve enjoyed using larger pieces of fabric that I’ve textured in purses and accessories, and decided that the leaves on my new quilt could benefit from this treatment. I was right!!
Here’s my Carolina Lily 4 Block Quilt 48130.
(It uses the Wing Clipper Tool 48109 to simplify the flying geese units.)

(Tip: to find the item on our web page after clicking on the link, hold down the “Ctrl” key and touch F. Enter the 5 digit number in the box, and you’ll be taken to that item!)

I made a leaf pattern to use with the Texture Magic. If you buy the Carolina Lily pattern, be sure to put a note in the special instructions that you’d like me to email it to you, so you don’t have to do it yourself. I have the stitching lines on it, too. You can trace it on your Texture Magic. By the way, we had requests for bigger pieces than the half yard, so we have that available now!

If you’d like to see more detailed information, you can download the a sheet I wrote for my Creative Sewing Club here.

This is my constant helper. Every step of the way: over, under, around, between! If you have a Crafter Kitty, we’d like to feature your kitty in our newsletter. Take a look at the kitties we have this issue.