Our Spring 2013 Issue features a lovely St. Patrick’s Day Table Set, including a Table Runner, Placemats and matching napkins by Karen Bialik of The Fabric Addict in Lethbridge, AB.
Karen also included photographic instructions on how to fold the napkins to make your table on St. Patrick’s Day extra special!
STEP 1: Fold Napkin in half diagonally, with the points facing you.
STEP 2: Fold the napkin points up, and slightly over the folded edge of the napkin.
STEP 3: Turn the napkin so the points are on your right. Fold the napkin, accordion style, from top to bottom with 1″ folds.
STEP 4: Place napkin in glass, points facing up. Pull the two ‘wings’ on the left and right out and over the rim of the glass.
There you have it! A beautifully decorated table.
Are you a seasoned quilter, looking for a new machine? Read this before you go shopping!
A friend of mine has recently begun quilting. She has sewn for years, and has an old sewing machine that has been perfect to learn to quilt on. But she is ready to move on, and asked me for some tips on purchasing a new sewing machine. There are so many options available in all price ranges, and it can be so difficult to choose! Especially for a new quilter. But what about those of us who have been quilting for years, and are ready to upgrade to something fancy? We already know what to look for in a new machine… or do we?? I spoke with my good friend (and great designer) Susan Jensen of Quilted Escapes, who just so happens to sell sewing machines at A Great Notion in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Susan and I came up with the following questions to ask yourself before maxing out your credit card on a sewing machine you end up not being happy with.
What features do you REALLY need vs. what features WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE?
Make a list of everything you want in a machine, and any extra features you would like to have but are not absolutely necessary. You will have a budget set, and any extra features that are included and still allow you to stay within your budget are an added bonus!
Are ALL those extra features really all that great?
When I purchased my latest sewing machine, I was so impressed by the demonstration of all the stitches – I think there are close to 300 – that I became so awestruck and totally missed that the presser feet are a real pain to change. I’ve come to hate changing the presser feet on my machine because it’s such an awkward job. So make sure you play with all the attachments in the store to understand not just how they work, whether they ‘work for you’.
Have you TESTED, TESTED, and TESTED some more?
Of course you’re going to test out the machine before you take it home. But are you testing it on your fabric, and with your batting? Bring scraps of batting and fabric from home – don’t rely on what the shop is providing. You may be using different fabrics – like velvet and silk for your crazy quilts and t-shirt fabric for your son’s sport t-shirt quilt – and you won’t know how the machine likes that unless you try.
Is STITCH QUALITY important to you?
Believe it or not not all machines, and not all straight stitches, are created equal. If your straight stitch is is very important to you, make sure to check out the quality of the stitch on the machine. Some really are better than others…
Do you need a PHD to use this thing? (and no, that does not mean Project Half Done)
Is the sewing machine easy to use? Can you sit down at it and sew right away, or is there going to be a steep learning curve? There may be lots of buttons and widgets that make it look pretty, but do you know what do they do without looking at the manual? It really is important that you are able to sew with ease, and not have to have your instructional DVD playing while you quilt.
Is it really a QUILTING MACHINE, or are they just trying to upsell you?
Sometimes they call it a quilting machine, but really it’s just a sewing machine with a pretty name and you have to buy extra attachments just to get what you want – the 1/4″ foot, the extension table, a walking foot… Make sure the machine comes with everything you need.
Do you want Mr. RIGHT, or Mr. RIGHT NOW?
Don’t buy a machine that’s right for ‘right now’, buy a machine that you can grow into. It may come with features you think you may never use, but if you buy a sewing machine that is perfect for your ‘right now’ needs, you’ll quickly get bored with it, and then you’ll be at the store in a year buying the machine you really should have purchased in the first place.
Ready to go back to SCHOOL?
Today’s sewing machines are really sewing computers. And stores are catering to the need to learn these fancy new computers, so make sure to take the offered training sessions, and take as many as possible. Do they bring someone in to teach the classes, or does someone from the store itself teach? Can you go back any time and get more instruction? It’s always nice to know you can pop into the store and get them to help you with one of the features you want to learn to use, because they know the machine too.
There you have it, some advice beyond asking for the length of warranty and, “Does it come with an automatic thread cutter?” Now you’re armed and ready to buy the best machine for you!
The Winter issue of Quilter’s Connection Magazine has arrived from the printer and will be on it’s way to subscribers, booksellers and your local quilt shop very soon.
We’re so excited to share this issue with you – it’s packed full of great projects and articles by Canadian quilters. Visit our website for a sneak peak inside!
It bugs me when another blogger provides a multitude of excuses for not writing regularly on their blog, so I’m not going to do that. I do have numerous excuses (laziness being one of them), but I won’t go into the details. I’m just going to pick up where I left off and pretend like I haven’t been absent.
Here is a shout out to a Canadian Quilter who’s made it to an International level – congratulations Iris!
It’s cherry blossom time in Vancouver, and the city celebrates each year with a festival. Every year the Japanese Cherry trees bloom, lining our streets with beautifully delicate pink clouds that turn into a delightful blanket of snow as the blossoms fall to the ground. This year the Silk Purse Gallery in West Vancouver is hosting a textiles art collective featuring works by numerous local artists to celebrate the festival. The show is on until Sunday, April 29th so if you happen to be in Vancouver I recommend you check it out!
In the early 1930′s Japan presented Vancouver with 500 Japanese cherry trees to honour the Japanese Canadians who served in World War I. The people of Vancouver were taken by their beauty, and our love affair with the cherry blossom began. Today, over 130,000 cherry trees show their splendor each spring, as they delight Vancouverites and visitors alike with their magnificent and breathtaking display of colour.
I joined my good friend Tricia Sherman, of Great Canadian Shop Hop, for a delightful afternoon exploring the gallery and the art, and afterwards a lovely walk along the cherry tree lined streets. The art, created by members of the Vancouver Guild of Fibre Arts, is as varied and individual as each petal of a cherry blossom. Created using a variety of media including quilting, beading and weaving, the artists have marked the coming of spring on the West Coast, each in their own unique way. Well worth the visit!
Silk Purse Gallery – www.silkpurse.ca
Vancouver Guild of Fibre Arts – www.vgfa.org
Ahh, Spring. Time to refresh, to air out, to… Spring clean your quilt room! Here are some ideas for making your quilting space fresh and new and inspiring again.
anything old that you don’t think you’ll use or finish or like:
- Pass on old fabric to friends or donate to a guild that makes quilts for charities
- Same goes for any UFO’s that you know you won’t ever finish
- Go through your threads and discard anything that is too old to use for sewing (test thread by holding a long piece in your hands, pull taught – if it snaps, toss it
- dust shelves and wipe your sewing table
- vacuum or sweep the floor
- wash your cutting mat with soap and water
- clean your iron and ironing board cover
The Two R’s (Repair and Replace)…
- have a professional do the annual maintenance on your sewing machine
- put a new blade in your rotary cutter
- put a new needle in your sewing machine
- get your scissors sharpened
Get It Organized…
- purchase baskets, pretty boxes or a drawer unit to store all your supplies and works in progress
- arrange fabrics and threads by colour
- file patterns and ideas in a three-ring binder
- display your quilting books on a shelf in a specific order – by category, author, subject
You’ve done such a great job at Spring cleaning, it’s time to go out and buy some new fabric or book. Go ahead, you deserve it!
The Spring 2012 issue of Quilter’s Connection Magazine A Shop Near You featured not one, but two quilt shops located in British Columbia. Tom Sketchley owns Countryfolk Fabrics in Chilliwack and Tom’s Sewing Machine in Surrey. The interview with Tom was quite entertaining, and the shops are delightful to visit – more like a social experience than a shopping trip. If you’ve ever watched the show, Cheers, where “Everyone knows your name”, you’ll understand what I mean!
On February 2nd, 2012 Tom and his Surrey store staff were hit by devastating news. The building right next to Tom’s Sewing had burned to the ground, and their shop suffered irreparable damage. But Tom and his staff took all this in stride, and quickly found a temporary location to re-open the Surrey store.
I visited with Tom and his staff at their new location. They were busy arranging fabric on shelves and setting up display racks for other products. Never one to stay down for long, Tom has kept a positive outlook on the entire situation. “When I saw the photos of our Surrey store in your magazine, I decided I didn’t really like the location…” he joked. If you read the article in the magazine, you would know that he’s just kidding around. After numerous moves to find just the right location for the store, staff threatened Tom that if he moved the shop again, he would be locked in the vault they had in the back of the shop (the shop was formerly a bank).
The new location, which I had the opportunity to check out, is much larger, and Tom and Kerri are excited that they can design the layout just the way they want it. Tom is hoping the new store will be open in late spring. In the meantime, the temporary location is already open for business, and Tom and his staff haven’t even had to cancel any of the classes they had planned, although the classroom is smaller than in the former location, and will be quite ‘cozy’ for students. They also have a small area for machine repairs, which is a major part of their business, as well as an area for sewing machine sales.
Kerri Sketchley has been overwhelmed by the support of the quilting community. “We have had hundreds of emails from customers willing to help us get the store back. We’ve had crews of customers in, counting fabric and cleaning shelves. Some who couldn’t come in and help would bring us lunch. We are so very grateful for all the help and support they’ve given us. We would not be nearly as far without all the help.”
We at Quilter’s Connection Magazine wish Tom and the rest of the staff at the Surrey store all the best!
Tom’s Sewing Machine’s temporary store is located at #100 – 8338 120th Street in Surrey. BC
The new store, which should be open in a couple of months (we’ll keep you posted), is located at #150 – 8338 120th Street.Tom has decided to re-name the store and it will re-open as Tom’s Sewing Centre.
Their telephone will remain the same at 604-507-2841
Click on a photo for larger image