Sunday, July 29, 2012

Want to Spend Time With Veronica?

So Friday we gave you two sizes of the pineapple block as our Friday Freebie and told you that if  you checked back, we'd tell you why we gave you the two sizes ... Well, we wanted to give you a peek into Veronica's teaching and lecture world which includes a program on miniature quilts.

Veronica, owner of Bear Thread Designs, Inc., has taught quilting classes and provided lectures for more than 12 years. She has traveled extensively, teaching a variety of classes and speaking to guilds and groups on miniatures and fusible applique using The Applique Pressing Sheet.

For the miniatures lectures, Veronica shows a variety of  quilts ranging in technique, size and difficulty. Her lectures includes up to 60 quilts which is only a tenth of what she has, allowing for a revolving variety for those who participate in the program.

Veronica also teaches a number of different classes and provides lectures on fusible applique, particularly fusing various fibers, threads, scraps, organza, and Angelina and Crystallina fibers to create Art Quilts.

Many of her miniature quilts also feature her applique technique. She has demonstrated the technique at quilt shows, quilt shops, cruises, quilt guild meetings, and on television. Veronica and The Applique Pressing Sheet has been featured on America Quilts Creatively in numerous series, and she has taped a segment with Quilter's News Network.

(Photos courtesy of Dayton Quilt Guild, Dayton, Texas 
from the lecture by Veronica May 2012).

Veronica's most popular lecture, Take a Walk on the Wild Side, uses The Applique Pressing Sheet and Batiks to create raw edge applique quilts. This lecture also includes about 60 quilts, featuring wild life, sea life and jungle animals as well as a variety of flower and whimsical quilt patterns. 

Veronica's favorite class is call Pick a Chick, where participants pick from a variety of Debbie Hubbs patterns to learn the raw edge applique technique.

Veronica is always looking for more groups and guilds interested in having her provide a class or lecture. You can get a complete list of classes by contacting her. If you are interested in scheduling Veronica for a lecture, trunk show or class, please send an email to or call (281) 462-0661.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Freebie Friday: Pineapple Party!

Here is this Friday's freebie for you ... the pineapple block in two sizes. Come back this weekend to see why we offered two and how Veronica can come visit you!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Proud Patriotic Projects

Some of Veronica's favorite projects, from large quilts to miniature wall hangings, have been patriotic projects. Her father served in the Navy, her step-father was a Marine and her son-in-law is currently an officer in the Army, so the military has always been in the background of daily life. Here are a few projects that she has, some which are used in her miniature quilt lectures, traveling trunk shows and classes.

We'd love to see your patriotic projects ... finished or working! Send us a photo of your patriotic project or post it to our Facebook page and you will be entered into our July drawing for our book, A Season to Applique. The drawing closes July 31, so hurry because time is running out!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

View From Our Valuable Vender Vault:
Quilt Smarter ... With Quiltsmart!

It's that time again ... View From Our Valuable Vender Vault! This month we are featuring Mattie at Quiltsmart. Mary Pat "Mattie" Rhoades was a quilt teacher who wanted a way to ease the frustration of harder, "fussy patterns" and tedious sewing methods. So with the belief that quilting should be enjoyable, Quiltsmart was born.

"One of the first patterns that was printed on interfacing was Quilt in a Day's Sunbonnet Sue.  We still print this for Quilt in a Day," says Mattie.

The Quiltsmart method is piecing by fusible interface, similar to paper piecing but easier.

Let's take the Lone Star Quilt and use as an example. Usually with the Lone Star pattern you would cut strips, staggering at a 45 degree angle and sew into a strata, the you'd cut diamonds from your stratas. (These diamonds are not always a girls best friend!) You'd make 6 different stratas, systematically moving your fabric colors down one row. Holy cow! Are you confused? I am, after all I'm just a simple bear!

After a you cut a mess of strips (technical term!), you pray and hope that when you offset your 1/4 inch seam allowance, and sew your seam, that your diamands line up and look correct. Let's hope that you didn't get a strip out of line and mess the coordination of the colors. Yikes!

The Quiltsmart method is much easier! You start with cut rectangles, placing the first one face up on the interfacing (where it says "Start"!). Next you place your Applique Pressing Sheet TM on top and press with with your iron for 5 seconds. Place fabric number 2 crosswise onto fabric number 1, with fabric right sides together. If you look for the dot on the left side, that tells you where your fabric goes, then run it along the arow on the right side. I stick a little pin in it, then flip it over to sew line 1. Flip fabic down, press it with iron, then add number 3 in the same manner. Continue until the section is complete! So easy!!

Make 8 sections and you're a star creator! Watch Mattie show you how on this Lone Star Tutorial!

Above: This Lone Star quilt was made by Mattie Rhoades using a Quiltsmart technique.

Below: Quiltsmart takes the stress out difficult quilt patterns ... And a star is born!

Veronica and Mattie are working on a joint super secret project, that will debut in November at the Houston International Quilt Festival!! Are you excited yet?

Veronica was lucky enough to test Mattie's new pattern, which will debut this fall as well. Stay tuned as later we unveil some of Mattie's borders that Veronica used in a quilt project.

Please take some time to visit the Quiltsmart website, you'll be glad you did! Quiltsmart can also be found on Facebook and  check out Mattie's blog, it's definitely one of our favorites!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Freebie Friday: Let's visit the cabin!

Hi everyone! So it's Friday and we'd been planning all week to post this freebie since its a UFO project Veronica's been working on, then Friday shows up and I get totally distracted ... any way here it is!

Log Cabin Block (a.k.a. Pioneer Block) by SEW Precise!

Veronica was working on an unfinished UFO project last week, the log cabin. She got a little ahead of herself and made the first 27 last weekend, however, when she started on the second set, a group of 29 blocks to complete the second half of the quilt, she ended up completing the blocks ... backwards. {sigh} So she started over remaking ANOTHER 29 blocks - correctly. The 29 blocks that she made backwards are now ANOTHER UFO! Marked one off, added one - I don't think that is how the UFO list works.

If Veronica had used this paper piecing pattern, it might've worked out better ... but then we wouldn't have this really funny story, huh!?!

Hope you enjoy building your log cabin ...

Monday, July 16, 2012

UFO Completion Inspiration

You might remember a post two weeks ago when I told you about our 4th of July "organization party" in the Creative Room at the office. Veronica's daughter, an organizer-extraordinaire, helped her refocus her creative energy on efficiency and categorizing her projects, fabrics and notions. (No, she is not for sale, but we may rent her out in the slow season!) With Michelle's help, Veronica also tackled her personal craft room at home and sorted through a variety of UFOs dating back as far as when she first started quilting in February 1990!

We spent a few hours sorting, separating and shuffling several half finished projects and created a list more than 4 pages long for Veronica so that she could focus on finishing them. Her goal is to finish at least a page from the list before she starts anything new.

This past weekend, Veronica chose a project and got to work on it. Her choice ...

In honor of this patriotic month, she chose a red, white and blue log cabin (or wed and boo as her grandson has named it.)

When she found it, most of the strips had been cut and the red centers were sewn to one white strip on 27 of the 56 blocks. Now those 27 blocks are done ... only 29 more blocks to go!!

Are you  working on any UFOs? Have you done any patriotic projects this month? We'd love to hear (and see) what you are working on. Drop us a note on our Facebook page or send us an email at

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Oh, Mama! A Give-a-way!!

Did you read our July Shop of the Month post from yesterday? Mama's Quilt Shop has donated a beautiful floral fabric pack for a drawing through the end of the month. All you have to do is "like" our Facebook page or "follow" our blog to be entered! If you do both, you get two entries! If someone leaves a comment on either the Facebook page or blog after "linking" or "following" and says you sent them, then another entry!

The drawing will close at midnight, July 31 and our winner will be announced both here and on our Facebook page August 1. Let the linking and liking begin!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Shop of the Month: Mama's Quilt Shop

Oh, Mama!! It's that time again, Shop of the Month! This is always a fun one for me and Veronica because we get to tell you about some of our favorite quilt shops. This month's shop is Mama's Quilt Shop, located in Independence, LA. This little shop is as inviting as its name ... really who wouldn't want their mama to make them a quilt!?!

Shop owner, Brenda Wages, opened the shop in August 2001. What was so unique was that she not only had her husband's support, but he was the one who suggested, "You ought to open a quilt shop!" Really, what quilter hasn't wanted a little bit of support from the hubby?

"He remodeled an existing building on the property and we began selling fabric," she said. "Before our first anniversary, he had to double the size of the building to hold all the fabric, notions, books and make room for a larger class room."

They presented themselves as "the little quilt shop in the country" and if you've been to Independence, LA, you'll understand just how true this is! While they do have more than one stop light, they've managed to maintain their small country charm, "a bit of a Mayberry feel" according to Veronica's daughter, Michelle who spent much of her childhood there with her father's family.

Since then, Mama's Quilt Shop has continued to grow, and today has more than 3,000 bolts of fabric and carries a variety of products by popular brands in the quilting industry such as RJR, Moda, Benartex, Blank, P&B, Willmington, Clothworks, Kaufman, Maywood, Spring, Roclan, Marcus Brothers, and more.

Veronica loves the variety of red & whites and black & white
fabrics that the shop has.

Mama's Quilt Shop has more than 3,000 bolts of fabric -
you're sure to find something special. 

Mama's Quilt Shop has a variety of clubs, block of the months, quilt of the month, Mystery quilts, and Second Saturday Sensational Scrappy Quilts for quilters of all levels and interests. There's the Tangi Cut Ups, Second Saturday Sampler and Thimbleberries Club just to name a few!

There is a club for every quilter at Mama's Quilt Shop!
The shop's calendar of events is enough to make any quilter squeal with delight like the days in the school yard. Two upcoiming events are the Great Rocky Mountain Get A Way and the Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler Shop Hop  (that's let the good times roll, for those who don't speak Cajun French!)
Mama's Quilt Shop owner, Brenda Wages, cuts fabric for a customer.
There is a wide variety of fabrics at this little country shop.

For those who have a hard time making decisions when it comes to beautiful fabrics and just want a little piece of everything, on the Thursday and Friday before and the first Saturday of each month, single fat quarters are two for the price of one. No minimum, no maximum. These are just a sampling of fat quarters, but you have to visit the store!

We encourage you to visit their website, or peruse back issues of their newsletter and sign up for new ones. You never know what news friends you'll make at this little shop, what treats you'll find or what inspiration you'll get from stopping! You might just run into Veronica!  

Check back tomorrow for information about a fabric give-a-way sponsored by Mama's Quilt Shop!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sew Much Fun on the Sew Fun Cruise!!

Hello Bear Thread Designs friends! You may remember when I sat down with Pat Sloan in our July Artist Investigation, she mentioned how much she enjoys traveling and relaxing on cruises. Well, it took a little bit of begging, but I am happy to say that I will be going on my frirst cruise when I join Veronica on the Round Bobbin's 2013 Sew Fun Cruise through the Western Caribbean!!

I am so excited! I'm hoping you'll be able to join me on my adventure. The Sew Fun Cruise, is set to lift anchor from New Orleans, LA, on February 16 for a week long adventure through the Caribbean stopping in ports such as Falmouth, Jamaica Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico on Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas!

I can't wait! I wonder if the captain will let me have a hand, er ..."paw" at the wheel for a bit?

Veronica has been teaching on Round Bobbin cruises since they first started and have participated in all with the exception of the Panama Canal cruise. "Its really been an amazing experience for me to teach and meet with all these quilters," says Veronica. "Every year there is something new for us to enjoy."

This year Veronica will teaching 6 hands-on classes and giving 3 lectures on the cruise ... and if I am not swimming or eating at the buffet, I'll be with her.
  • Sunday, February 17: Totes on the Go!
    8 am – Noon, Room A, Kit Fee $25
    We'll make this great tote bag to tote all of our goodies back home in. Kit is pre-cut.
  • Sunday February 17: Grandmother's Flower Garden
    12:30 pm – 2 pm, Room D, Kit fee $20
    Learn English Paper Piecing while making a Grandmother's Flower Garden. Once you learn the technique, you'll be hooked. Kit fee $20.00. Pay to instructor at class time.
  • Sunday, February 17: Poppy Magic
    2:30 pm – 4:30 pm, Room D, Kit fee $20
    Learn how to hand applique the easy way. We'll use interfacing to make this a very easy class. If you want to needle turn and join us, that's ok too. Kits are pre-cut. $20.00
  • Sunday, February 17: Mystery Night Sewing – Red Hot Mama
    8 pm – 10 pm, Room A, Kit Fee $20
    Instructor: Veronica Cox
    Join Veronica for a special mystery class. You will be sewing something special that you can use during the cruise and beyond.
  • Monday, February 18: Miniature Quilts (Lecture)
    8:30 am – 9:30 am, Room C
    Learn all the tricks to make perfect miniatures. Come and see the newest way with printed interfacing and how is it used in some timeless patterns.
  • Monday, February 18: One Hour Shirt
    12:30 pm – 2 pm, Room D, Kit Fee $20
    Using one piece of fabric, we will sew, cut and sew some more. You will walk away with a cute shirt made from black rayon. Cost of fabic kit is $20.00.
  • Monday, February 18: Go! Mystery Baby
    2:30 pm – 4:30 pm, Room D, Kit Fee $20
    Join Veronica in a mystery cutting class using the Go! Baby that you will be receiving as a bonus on this cruise. We'll make something you can use and if you have any questions or problems, we'll be right there to help. $20 kit fee
  • Friday, February 22: Walk on the Wild Side (Lecture)
    11 am – Noon, Room C
    This lecture demonstrates how to use The Applique Pressing Sheet and fusible web to create amazing raw eges applique quilts. Quilts included in this lecture are a Wildlife Series, African Series and Wildflowers. Learn all the tricks and tips in this lecture that includes a demo and question and answer session. Also learn how to make 3-D pieces for your quilts.
  • Friday, February 22: The Goose is Loose (lecture)
    1 pm – 2 pm, Room C
    Come and learn all of the different ways to make flying geese. There are a ton of different rulers and methods out there. We'll explore different ways to make the traditional geese as well as the new ways that have you making geese in the round and of varying widths and lengths.

There are a variety of classes and programs for you to participate in, so hurry and sign up now before they fill. Other instructors include, Kaye Woods, Pam Damour, Nancy Fiedler and Mary Korpal.

There is no need to pack your sewing machine because Janome will be providing machine for the cruise. Just throw your bathing suit and bermuda shorts in a bag and meet us in New Orleans!

So here's some other details that you may find helpful:
  • Prices start at $937 for inside cabins, but there are also rooms with ocean view, balcony view, and atrium view. Prices are based on availability and are per person, based on double occupancy (which means bring a friend!) The price does include taxes and fees.
  • Included in the price is class fees, shipboard accommodations, ocean transportation, most meals, some beverages and most onboard entertainment.
  • Prices do NOT include kit fees for classes which are paid to the instructor at class time,  
  • Cabins and classes fill fast so Round Bobbin suggests you book by Septemeber 30, 2012.
Round Bobbin would like us to add that:

We are going to have a Wackiest Cruise Outfit contest for the cruise.Wear your wackiest cruise outfit and you could win $250. Wacky Cruise Clothes Day will be held during the cruise only for our group. One person from our group will win $250 for the wackiest cruise clothes. Second place will win $100, third place will win $75. Get ready, register today for the cruise and start working on your wacky cruise outfit.

If you have questions please call (800) 473-9464. To sign-up for this cruise contact Bonnie Greenberg at CruiseOne at (800) 784-4480.

** Royal Caribbean reserves the right to impose a fuel supplement on all guests if the price of West Texas Intermediate fuels exceeds $65 per barrel.

I really hope you'll join us!  If I'm not out wandering the ship looking for some ladies to sunbathe with, I'll be joining Veronica at her classes and lectures, so stop in and take a picture with me!

Pat's Pattern Purchasable

Last week we profiled quilt artist Pat Sloan in our Artist Investigation and told you that when we got an update on where you could get the pattern we'd let you know.

We have just learned Pat's latest block of the month applique pattern, Red Apple Lane, is now available at Bigfork Bay Cotton Co.'s Website. The individual patterns, Batik fabric kits and Moda fabric kits can be purchased seperately or as a set.

Photo Courtsey of Pat Sloan & Co.

We hope you'll share a picture of your project with us when you finish it!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Freebie Friday: Pat's Patriotic Present

Hello Bear Thread Designs friends, it's Friday and that means its time for "Freebie Friday"!! What a wonderful treat we have for you this week.
On July 1, we introduced out first Artist Investigation featuring Pat Sloan! On top of taking time to sit down with me, she also offered to share her Quilt of Valor, which she made using her line of fabrics, named Tribute from P&B Textiles. The quilt title is "Valor". It's finished size is: 54" x 66". (You can visit here to see Pat's post about the quilt.)
Not only is it an amazing quilt, but the Quilts of Valor Foundation, is an organization dedicated to helping wounded Soldiers feel more comfortable during their recovery period by giving them quilt as a sign of gratitude and greatfulness for the sacrifices they and their families have made to protect America.
If you would like to make a quilt for Quilts of Valor, some suggestions they have are:

  • The most popular colors are Red, White and Blue. Patriotic themes are loved and most often requested.
  • Although 10% of our military are women, when given a choice, most of them choose patriotic colors or designs as well. advised that not all recipients want Red, White, Blue, patriotic.
  • What NONE of the recipients want are fabrics which are inappropriate...such as juvenile fabrics intended for children. What will happen if you choose to go this way is that your quilt may sit on a shelf gathering dust.
You can learn more about QOVF by visiting their website.

And now, for the pattern for Valor, by Pat Sloan:

I hope you have a great time stitching this amazing quilt by Pat Sloan, and don't forget to check out her website to find out what other fun projects she has!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

You did WHAT with the Applique Pressing Sheet!?!: BBQ in Style!

Jaggie here! I hope everyone had a great 4th of July! I am so stuffed from all the food I ate yesterday! We spent the morning at Veronica and Kevin's ranch with their daughter and grandson, then went to the grandparent's ranch and celebrated in true Texas form with fajitas! We ate until we all felt like an old lazy ranch dog lounging in the shade of the porch on a hot Texas day ... oh, wait! That's exactly what we did!

Well, before we all reached that point, Veronica and Michelle spent the morning organizing the "Creative Room" at the office and then Veronica's personal sewing room. Going through and organizing fabrics and notions is always motivating for them to get projects and samples finished and of course inspires new things for us to share with our Bear Thread Designs friends!

Michelle is a master organizer, but I think she learned at an early age that if she volunteers to help her mom organize the "craft chaos", then she gets to raid the stash! That's exactly what she did yesterday, working on three different projects, two of which she completed. So as part of our "You did WHAT with the Applique Pressing Sheet!?! series, here is my favorite ...

She made the lil guy an apron so he could help with the 4th of July BBQ. He was more interested putting rocks into the empty planters, but maybe next time!

The pattern is from one of the Bear Thread Designs, Inc. applique books called, "A Season to Applique", and it features quick and easy patterns for a variety of holiday and sasonal projects!

Did you do any projects over the holiday? What did you do? We'd love to hear about them!

If you "like" our Facebook page and post a photo of your 4th of July project, you'll be entered into a drawing for this book. If someone comes to our page and posts that you sent them, you will get a second shot at the drawing! (They must link to your name so we can contact you if you win.) You The contest will end July 31, 2012 so hurry and visit our page today! The winner will get it in time to start on some fun fall projects!

Well, I'll be exploring all the newly discovered fabrics and notions in our Creative Room, and will have more patriotic and other projects for you in the coming days! Come back and visit for a free pattern or two!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July


"It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you."

~Author unknown

Let us remember today as we celebrate America's Freedom, the price past and present Americans paid to maintain it for us.

Happy 4th of July from the Bear Thread Designs family!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Charity Spotlight: Quilts of Valor Foundation
Patriotism Year-Round

Today as we prepare to celebrate the 4th of July, Veronica asked if I could share a post with you written by her daughter, Michelle, an Army wife. Michelle and her family have faced the many challenges associated with being one of today's military families and writes her own blog about their adventures. Michelle was more than happy to share her post with us, so I hope you enjoy!


Quilts to Honor and Comfort

Today was my first day off after completing my first week at my new job, but mom called last night and said she needed help at the Bear Thread Designs Booth booth at the Woodlands Area Quilt Quild's Quilt Show, in Woodlands, Texas, so off I went. Boy, was I glad I did when I get there.

This year's theme was "Celebrate America!" and more than half the quilts on display were red, white and blue. Here are just a few!!

Amazing, right!?! It was so beautiful, and I kept leaving our booth to go look at them. So much attention to detail went into them!

Also, featured was the Quilts of Valor Foundation. QOVF is a non-profit organization that makes, collects and distributes quilts to America's servicemembers touched by war.

Did you know, 390 quilts are needed each month to meet the requests of their standing destinations in Afghanistan, Germany and the United States? That's  4,680 quilts a year!

A Quilt of Valor is a generous lap-sized quilt (minimum of 55 X 65) made by a quilt-topper (the piecer) of quality fabrics and beautifully quilted by a longarmer.   After it has been bound, washed, labeled and wrapped in a presentation case, it is ready to be awarded. 

Quilts are awarded at many different levels: they may go to military hospitals where Chaplains award them to service members; there may be presentations of QOV’s to entire service units returning from combat  deployments; they may be awarded at VA’s or presented individually. But no matter how a Quilt of Valor is given, the impact it delivers is unequivocal.

This organization depends on donations and volunteers to reach its goal of saying "thank you" to these heroes.

Isn't that booth amazing. From what I understand, these quilts will eventually go to injured service members on their way back to the United States.

More information? Here is the brochure they hand out to explain their mission:

Are you wondering how you can participate? Every little bit helps ...


The Bear Thread Designs Family would like to say thanks so much to all of our service members and their families for all their sacrifices.