Saturday, December 15, 2012

Santa's Bag: Holiday Freebie!

Hey all! Jaggie here. Are you enjoying your second to last weekend before Santa's arrival? Well, if you decided to stay in and skip all the last minute shoppers vying for the gifts on their wishlist, we can help!

To end our week of "A Look Into Santa's Bag" and lots of the wonderful quilt projects we have on thought we send you off with a holiday project you can start right away!

Our (postponed) Friday Freebie is ... two freebies!

We hope you enjoy our tree and star and that your holidays are the brightest one ever!

Friday, December 14, 2012

In Light of the Loss ...

Today was a sad day. Today someone whought thier problem could be solved by attacking innocent children. Today's previously planned freebie Friday will be posted tomorrow as we all take time to hold our loved ones a little closer. Today has reminded us not to think about what we want, but rather cherrish what we have. God bless those whose future was stolen and for the families who will face tomorrow with only the echo of their presence.


God Bless Newtown, CT 12/14/12


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sants's Bag: Toys, Toys, Toys!!

Today's surprise from Bear Thread Designs' friends, Pat Sloan. Santa says Pat Sloan's pattern, Santa's Toy Box is a top requested item this year. I spent some time with Pat at the International Quilt Market in October and had a lot of fun. She even shared her M&Ms with me!
Lots of people asked us about her quilt, which was hanging in the Bigfork Bay Cotton Company booth. You may remember we help staff the booth after some last minute changes.
The pattern contains easy to follow instructions, full size layout guide and pattern pieces that are already reversed for applique. It is regularly $14, but through Dece. 20 at midnight is on sale for 20% off! To order the pattern, send an email to ...

Happy stitching!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Santa's Bag: Bigfork Bay Cotton Co. Has Holiday Cheer

Holly Moose
Hello! How are you enjoying the cold weather? For those of us here in South Texas, it is a slight change from our flip-flop winters. Though we see cool temps, they usually come and go, but our friends in the north are snow bunnies! The perfect time of the year to do some quilting and snuggle under some fabrics.

Santa's bag has a bunche of woodland creatures in it today! Check out these critters!

Starry Moose
Santa's bag has 3 woodland creatures joining us today! These Bigfork Bay Cotton Company patterns are regularly $14 but through midnight Dec. 19 you can get them for $11.20 doesn't that sound like a great deal. If you purchase the fabric kits for Holly Moose and Peace, you also get a free fusible applique book! We don't have fabric kits for Starry Moose at this time, sorry.

Join us tomorrow for another peek into Santa's bag!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Santa's Bag: Chilly Artic Fun!

Hello Christmas Carolers (and all your others filled with holiday cheer!) It's time for me to open up Santa's big bag of presents and show you another of his top choices for this gift-giving season!

This one is a favorite of ours! Pine Needles's Once Upon a Star is a quilt that can make even this Texas family, dream of a White Christmas!

This $100 pattern set, block-of-the-month style, is on sale for $80 through Bear Thread Designs, until Dec. 18 at midnight! It comes with patterns for all 8 blocks and instructions for the border. Hurry and get this cute winter wonderland quilt and you can watch Santa and the penquins year-round!

Don't forget to check back tomorrow and see what surprise we have fro Santa's bag. Also, we'd love to see photos of your competed projects on your Facebook page!

As today's public service announcement is: "If you don't have fur (like this ol' bear!) stay indoors and quilt!"

Have a greadt day ...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Santa's Bag: The Blessed Babe

Hello! Sorry, I am posting this so late. I don't know if you guys know this, but it is very hard for me to type with these paws, so Michelle does most of it for me. I had to wait for her to finish running Christmas errands ... and let me tell you, that girl can shop!

Today's top present from Sant's bag is one of Michelle's favorites. Oh Holy Night is an impressionist stained glass fusible web pattern by Brenda Henning of Bear Paw Productions.

O Holy Night
According to Bear Paw Productions, Impressionist Stained Glass is a simplified technique that creates the impression of stained glass without the formal lines of bias tape. O Holy Night pattern includes detailed step-by-step instructions that use Impressionist Stained Glass techniques and full-size pattern on pullout pages.

The pattern is regularly $25, but is on sale for $20 through Bear Thread Design until Dec. 17 at midnight. To order the pattern, send an email to Veronica at

I hope you enjoy this one as much as we do ...

Sunday, December 9, 2012

From Santa's Bag: Get Wild with Toni Whitney!


Psst! Hey, it's me, Jaggie! I've got a secret, do you want me to tell you?

I recently got to visit with Santa over a holiday salad of nuts and berries (with the recipe from Live Better America) and we talked about all of our favorite Christmas memories. He told me about some of the gifts in his bag of presents this year and said that I could share it with you!

So many fun things. Each day for the next week, I'll tell you about one of them so you can be sure to put them on your Christmas wish list!

The first gift to put on your wishlist is: Patterns by Toni Whitney ...

Toni Whitney's entrance into the world of Fine Art came on suddenly and unexpectedly, when she was chosen to design a Christmas Star of the most beautiful sparkling glitter for her very first Christmas play. Watching the colors dance and shine on that star, she knew she was destined to create.

Bear Thread Designs wants to help you fill your stocking, so Toni Whitney Designs patterns, on the Bear Thread Designs website, will be 20% off through Dec. 16, ending at midnight! If you purchase a fabric kit by Dec. 16, then you will get a free fusible applique book! That will look great under any Christmas tree! Just imagine Amur the tiger or Spirit the eagle waiting for you Christmas morning!

Check back tomorrow, for our next look into Santa's bag!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy December 1! Let the Christmas Madness Begin!

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer. Each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December. Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring. Therefore, according to EVERY historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, EVERY single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen, had to be a girl. We should've known... ONLY women would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Jaggie's Adventure of a Lifetime!!

I am so excited that Michelle found the camera and I can tell you about some of my fun adventures at the International Quilt Market in Houston last month! OMG! I had such a blast!

First of all, this was to be the first year that we we not going to have a Bear Thread Deisgns booth because Veronica was really excited to walk the event and meet new people, and hopefully find some new artists. But our friends at Bigfork Bay Cotton Company had a last minute issue and couldn't make it to Market and asked if we could step in. So Veronica called Michelle (whom I live with most of the time because her little boy plays with me.) She asked if Michelle and I could sit in the booth while she walked around as planned. Of course we were excited to help!

We met a lot of new and returning friends that weekend, and I'll tell you more about that in a later post, but my adventures those two days were amazing! You would not believe all of the fun things there were and new friends. Here are some of the things I did ...

I made a new friend, named Popcorn at the Quilting Treasures booth. We hung out in their fabrics, just enjoying all the wonderful colors and talking about all the quits we'd make if we were going to hibernate for the winter, but we have too many projects to do, so sleep will have to wait! Michelle's favorite fabric was one with sock monkeys on it, but I prefer bears myself ... and yummy berries!

Moda Fabrics had a huge booth with lots of fun things. I got to explore this fun trailer, it really made me want to go on a camping trip. I even spent a little time at the campfire roasting marshmellows and tried to nap in one of the pretty chairs but Veronica said it was time to work.


Does this Art Kloth make my tie look pink? Just joking! We really love Jennifer Lokey and her Art Kloth. I raided her booth while she was out and about and had lots of fun, then stopped by later for a few hugs from Jenn. Just can't get enough!

Me and My Sisters Designs has a really fun booth, but their jar of sweets is what I kept going for. Those sisters sure know how to capture a bear's heart!

The whoe weekend, I saw people walking around with this fun pink shirts and kept thinking I wanted to find out where they were from. I fianlly ventured over to the Kangaroo Kabinets booth and though they were out of shirts, I met a few of their staff members. These friendly kangroos and I chatted about their cabinets and all which ones we have in our personal craft rooms. Which would you choose?

While I was wandering about, I discovered this amazing well at the Gutermann Threads booth.  After a little investigating discovered there were no fish, but I did make a wish! Let's see if my maple leaf quilt gets finished now!

The girls at the Paper Pieces booth were A LOT of fun! I was at their booth for a while. They gave me a bit of a make over and there was lots of laughter. These girls were hilarious!


We really had a lot of fun at Quilt Market this year and I'm so excited Veronica let me tag along. I invite you to visit some of friends and tell them I sent you!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

May We Never Forget the Price of Freedom

While only one day of the year is dedicated solely to honoring our veterans, Americans must never forget the sacrifices that many of our fellow countrymen have made to defend our country and protect our freedoms.

                                                           ~ Randy Neugebauer

On the 11th Hour, of the 11th Day, of the 11th Month, in towns and cities all across the world; men and women from all walks of life will take a moment out of their lives, to stop, reflect on, and remember all those that fought and died in the name of our freedom…


Happy Veteran's Day and Thank You

to Servicemembers Past and Present

Shop of the Month: Jaggies Gambles On New Friendships

This is our inaugural post about the 2012 International Quilt Market and Festival! I was so happy Veronica let me tag along. This bear has such a good time!

I met lots of new friends and had many adventures. One of my favorites was hanging out and playing dice with the ladies of Stitchin' Tree Quilts, located in Harlan, Iowa.
Stitchin' Tree Quilts is home of Trader's Dice, a game that has much more laughter than any Vegas game!

Owner, Teresa Coenen explains the game. "Trader's Dice is a game that you can play with three or more people -- the more the merrier. Roll the dice, trade to the left, trade to the right, trade across the table, or steal from the kitty. You can trade anything: fat quarters, charm squares, jelly roll strips, patterns, thread, you name it. And you don't have to be a quilter to play. This game can be played with scrapbookers, knitters, playing card collectors -- any collector can play."

"I created the the game as a way for everyone to win. My experience had been that several of our ladies refused to play winner takes all games," she explains. "I'm a retired educator, so I used to buy blank dice at a teacher supply store and made my own dice. Typically groups would want me to leave the dice with them. Eventually, I had the dice made. It's been fun!"

It sure was fun! There were visitors waiting in line for their turn to play, so as you can see it was quite the hit!
As you can see I was quite a pro when it came to rolling the dice. Though I didn't win, the ladies did share their winnings with me! Ah, the ladies love me!
Dice aren't the only fun things you'll find at Stitchin' Tree. The shop, which opened in 2006, even have their own quilt line which includes quilt patterns, blocks of the month and kits! They also have PinPals. "A PinPal is a magnetized pin catcher that you wear on your shirt/lapel, collar or sleeve. Made of sturdy plastic, this pin catcher will hold pins, needles and small scissors. It's perfect for when you are doing lap work, and will save you from losing your scissors down the crack of the chair or sticking pins in your collar or sofa arm."
It's safe to say Stitchin' Tree has some really great treats!  
Stitchin' Tree also provides some great services like, quilting services, T-shirt quilts, and has a few quilts for sale as well! They also have free tips and patterns on their website as well as a list of classes and workshops, so check it out! (If they had a nuts and berry buffet, I would be moving in!)
Stop by and check out the Stitchin' Tree Quilts' website, or if you are in the area stop by for a visit and tell them "Jaggie sent you!". They are located at 616 Market Street, Harlan, Iowa 51537. 
We'll have more of my adventures from Quilt Market and photos of our booth at Quilt Festival soon, so come back and visit!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It's Done and Over With! Now We Can Move Forward!

{sigh} A very tired Jaggie here ... It's finally over! All the hard work, the preparation, the meeting and greeting - the decision-making done. It's been a long hard road, but it's our favorite time of year. Now we look forward to what lays ahead ... Yep, Quilt Festival is over and we can now start working towards next year's adventure.
Oh, did you think I was talking about the election? Well, while we are glad that is over too, all I'm going to say is I voted for more naps and berries, but the results aren't in yet. Mmm ... berries ...
Well, the months leading up to Quilt Market and Festival are very busy, and then we go right into the holidays from there, so the whole last quarter of the year is prestty chaotic for us. But now that things are settling down, we hare hoping to be more regular with our blog and Facebook. A big "thank you" to all of our readers and friends for your patience and understanding. You can look forward to some posts about my adventures at Market and Festival coming soon. For now, I'm going to nap in the fabric room and hope Veronica doesn't find me!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pink Saturday: Falling for Fall!

Hello Bear Thread Designs friends and Pink Saturday guests! So glad you could join us! Things here are moving right along as we move closer and closer to the International Quilt Market and Festival in Houston. With Fall comes cooler weather, and nothing compliments cooler weather like quilts. Snuggling on the porch, curled up on the sofa or cuddling in bed, quilts make life better!

For our regualar visitors, you many remember a few weeks ago when I was telling you about  Veronica's Maple Leaf quilt adventures. Well, recently we were visiting her mother-in-law, who had finished her quilts, so we asked if we could post it today. What do you think?

It's looks amazing don't you think? Quilting is definitely a family affair! Veronica has finished her top and we'll post photos of that soon too, but did you get the free Maple Leaf pattern we posted as a freebie Friday? We are also still taking entries for the Sue Pritt's complete pattern set for Up North, which a wonderful front porch applique pattern. All you have to do is Like the Bear Thread Designs Facebook page.

If you read the story about Veronica's quilt adventures you also saw a photo of me and my pretty Maple Leaf quilt block Veronica gave me. I can't wait until she makes a quilt for me with it! I just love fall!

We hope everyone has a wonderful Pink Saturday! Thank you Beverly @ How Sweet the Sound for hosting this fun weekly adventure where we meet new friends!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pink Saturday: Quilting Pretty ... Quilting Scary!

Hi! I hope everyone is having a great October weekend, and a wonderful Pink Saturday! Things here are pretty crazy as we prepare for the International Quilt Festival in Houston and a few projects and programs between now and then!
While we were going through the Creative Room last week, Veronica found this adorable mini quilt!

Isn't it adorable!?! Veronica has been giving lectures on miniature quilts for years, and sometimes when we are going through them, we find something that we either have seen in a while, or are seeing with "new eyes". It's really a fun surprise!
Another "find" was when Michelle was going through some of our freebie patterns looking for a Maple Leaf pattern for a series we were working on and found this cute little jack-o-lantern.

O.k., so maybe "cute" isn't the description most p[eople would chose, but could you just imagine a quilt of oranges and blacks? It would be perfect for covering up and cuddling while watching scary Halloween movies!
Well, we hope everyone enjoys our little "treat"! We are excited to go blog-hopping and see what tricks and treats you may have!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Shop of the Month: Quilting Ponies!!

Jaggie here! Not everyone in Texas rides horses and if that what you’re looking for when you visit our October Shop of the Month, you may find horses, but not the ones you think!
This month, we profile a long-standing friend of Veronica and Michelle, the Painted Pony n’ Quilts in LaPorte, Texas. Veronica has been visiting Painted Pony n’ Quilts, fore more than 20 years, and Michelle has tagged along on many of those trips. In fact, it’s where she got fabric for her first quilt!
The 8500+ square feet shop houses a quilter's paradise of books, notions, patterns, quilt samples, gifts, and classroom, as well as Janome sewing machines and sergers, and selected quality sewing furniture and lighting.
There are more 10,000 bolts of fabric, and they can be found in every nook and cranny in the Happy Room, Rainbow Room, Plaid Room, and Sale Room. (I don't know about you, but I want to spend the night in the Rainbow Room!) There are a variety of programs and classes to choose from at Painted Pony n’ Quilts.
Painted Pony n’ Quilts supports a number of quilt-related groups  such as the "Charlie's Angels" quilting bee, a Baltimore Album bee, the Buck-A-Block program, 30's Circle of Friends, and Jo Morton's "Little Women" Club.
Although the Painted Pony n’ Quilts will not have a booth at this year’s International Quilt Festical, in Houston, you may run into staff and quilters who call the shop home!
Painted Pony n’ Quilts shop hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and closed Sunday.

Painted Pony 'n Quilts
1015 S. Broadway St., La Porte, Texas  77571
Telephone: 281-471-5735
Take some time to visit our friends at Painted Pony n' Quilts, and tell them we sent you!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pink Saturday: A Blog Take Over

Hello Everyone! It's Jaggie here! Veronica is out of town again and Michelle is taking over the blog decisions todayand through November really  ... which will be evident once you realize its all about her projects today on Pink Saturday.
Michelle is a "jack-of-all trades" when it comes to crafts, though quilting is one of her interests, its one that she has only been doing in recent years. Just like Veronica learned to sew at age 5, Michelle learned to cross stitch at age 5 and this is her first love ... well crafting-wise. As a military spouse who moved often, she found one way to keep the feel of "home" in each new house was to keep some simple touches the same. In the kitchen that meant a variety of stitched towels.
Now Michelle lives by the  philosophy that making something is only part of its journey. Each time she uses one of her stitch towels (or other craft items), she has the opportunity to create new memories while holding on to old ones. Some of those towels have quite a story to tell ... like the baby's first bites of solid food or the first dinner she hosted for her husband's commander and his wife!
These towels pictured were all made at various points at thier last duty station, mostly while her husband was deployed or "otherwise engaged" by the Army.

(Can you see why she needs more drawers in her kitchen!?! This is just the summer ones made in the last 2 years!) Stitching towels started with the first yearlong deployment, and has evolved to be a sort of tradition where she choses a theme and stitches various things with that theme during the deployment. This year is cupcakes ...

Luckily now that they are back home for a while, she has turned her crafting to other areas. (Really, she was running out of room in the kitchen!) This is one of the fall projects she did for their home (now that she can decorate without worrying about losing stuff in a move.)
What projects are you working on? Anything seasonally inspired? We'd love to hear what you've got on your craft table! Happy Pink Staurday!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Artist Investigation: A Flurry of Floral Fantasy

Jaggie here! It's time for our Artist Investigation and I had so much fun playing in the flowers with this month's artist. Carol Morrissey, of O'Carol Designs,  is crazy about quilts and crazy about designing quilt patterns! (Her words! We're not calling her crazy!)
Carol's quilt designs brings the beauty of nature inside so you can enjoy it year-round. Her floral designs are a collage of bright colors! Earlier this week, I got to sit down with Carol and talk about her art and inspirations.
Jaggie: Tell us, how you got started in quilting?
Carol: I started quilting out of necessity. In 1985 or so, my close friend was expecting her first grandchild and I needed a special gift but couldn't really afford anything fancy so I thought, "I'll make a baby quilt." After all, I'd been sewing clothes since I was eleven, so I thought I could surely make a quilt. Looking back, it was pretty dreadful--big rectangles of pastel pinks and blues with an eyelet ruffle around the edge! But my friend loved it and so did the baby. After that first one, I made two more baby quilts, each with over 700 half-square triangles, so I guess I was officially hooked on quilting.
Jaggie: How did you transition into the applique and fusible applique arts?
Carol: When I began designing patterns, I saw a need for some large scale, dramatic flower designs, and since I didn't have the time or the inclination to do handwork, fusible applique was the answer.
Jaggie: Who influenced you artistically from the start and is there anyone you learned about later who has impacted your creativity?
Carol: My mother, who is 84, has always been artistic and she still oil paints. I remember her drawing with inks, pastels, charcoal, and pencils, so there were lots of supplies around when I was growing up. My mother and my grandmothers made quilts and sewed clothes, too, so I was always exposed to lots of creative expression in various media. I've always painted and drawn and studied art. There are so many people who have impacted my creativity, both in the quilting world and not, that it would be impossible for me to list them all. I'd have to say that my husband, Mike, has been the biggest influence because he has always encouraged me and appreciated my efforts.
Jaggie: I see that you like to do florals, when did you start creating patterns and what inspires you? Have you always gravitated towards nature, or did you try other themes first? Have you tried others since or are you comfortable with where the nature takes you?
Carol: I started my pattern company in 2004, although I had been creating original quilt designs for a number of years before that. Nature is a big part of my life and always has been. As a child, I loved to go exploring in the woods, gathering feathers, flowers, nests, bugs, butterflies--well, just about anything that wouldn't bite me. While I appreciate and enjoy traditional patchwork, I always seem to return to nature themes.

Wildflower Bouquet
Jaggie: What do you do to relax?
Carol: I'm a gardener and if it's not too hot, as it often is in Texas, I enjoy working in the yard. I'm also a photographer, and I often go outside in the mornings to photograph whatever is blooming in the yard. Naturally, I enjoy sewing and also quilting on my longarm.
Jaggie: If you could sit down and teach one celebrity or historical figure to quilt, who would it be?
Carol: Now that's a question that really made me think! I could name a dozen, but I'll go with Andy Warhol just because I'd like to see what he'd do. Yeah, definitely Andy Warhol ... or Mick Jagger ... or Benjamin Franklin.
Jaggie: What is your favorite color(s) to quilt with?
Carol: I am drawn to warm colors ~ yellow, orange and red ~ but I am trying to embrace blues and greens, especially since blue is the complement of orange, and green is the complement of red. I am still trying to give purple a chance, but it's hard.

Georgetown Poppies
Jaggie: What is one project you've maybe wanted to try but haven't?
Carol: An elaborately longarm quilted, hand-dyed, whole cloth quilt.
Jaggie: How has the Appliqué Pressing Sheet influenced your quilting/designing? How have you seen the Appliqué Pressing Sheet impact the quilting industry?
Carol: When I teach fusible applique workshops, there are usually a couple of people who admit that they have never used their Applique Pressing Sheet. Well, that's kind of what happened to me when I got mine. 

I saw it being demonstrated somewhere so I had to have it, but then I didn't really "get it" for a while. When I started designing fusible applique patterns, and I started using it, I realized how it simplified the assembly, particularly if there were a lot of little pieces in the pattern. People get excited when see how much easier it is to assemble multiple layers of fusible applique. 

When I write my pattern directions, I am thinking about the layering sequence and assembling the design in groups of pieces, and the process is so easy if the quilter uses the Applique Pressing Sheet rather than trying to fuse directly to the background fabric. I also use it to protect surfaces from fabric inks and paints.

Prickly Pear in Bloom

 It was so fun to sit down with this artist and learn more about her process and inspirations. And really, who doesn't love these flowers!?! You can learn more about Carol at her website. And remember, if you are working on, or have completed an O'Carol Designs project, post pictures on our Facebook page. We'd love to see them!

(Editor's Note: Blogger is still acting sluggish and wouldn't allow this to be posted yesterday, on schedule. Please be patient as we wait for Blogger to fix these issues.)