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

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

Bernie

First Sewing Lesson

Do you remember your first sewing lesson? I bet many of you do. Maybe hand stitching along while Mom, or Grandma used the sewing machine with you beside her.

The first thing I remember sewing is a pillow in Home Economics class in middle school. It was supposed to look like an ice cream sundae (I think?). And as I recall, the boys made skateboards.

This past weekend I sat down with my daughter, Sarah, and we finally had her first machine sewing lesson. She had been waiting FOR EVER! (According to her, of course.) She’s only five and a half. She can’t have been waiting that long. Sarah Learns to Sew

I’m pretty sure that ecstatic is not too strong a word to express how she felt about this experience. What we did was sew all of the machine’s stitches onto a single piece of fabric. It didn’t matter to her at all. She was in crafty heaven. Of course now I’m on the hook to find some projects for her to sew on her own (she thinks). I’m thinking a pillow case might be a good place to start.

Lace Up CardsIf you’re not sure where to start with your child, you could try an American Girl felt kit that comes with everything you need to complete the project. For even younger kids, Erica’s has Learn to Sew Lace Up Cards (43600). They have pre-punched holes and come with a needle and thread to learn hand sewing.

Maybe you’ve already been teaching your kids to craft and sew. Please share in the comments section, how you started, or maybe which projects you started with. We would also really love to hear about your early sewing experiences. Take a walk down memory lane with us, and share in the comments.

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.

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.)