Monday, August 27, 2012

The Adventures of Me, Jaggie!!

Hello All! It's me, Jaggie, with one more post from the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival, in Loveland, Colorado, Aug. 17-19. I had to sneak in here to the computer to send you these photos!
Shh! Don't tell Veronica!
I had a lot of fun at the quilt festival. It was really busy, and between working 2 booths and teaching 2-3 classes, programs and lectures a day, Veronica, Michelle and Nancie were too busy to keep an eye on me, so I wandered off for a bit each day to see what adventures I could find.
There were times that I worked ... I help with demos of the Applique Pressing Sheet and other Bear Thread Designs products, and answered questions about patterns and such. But after a while, I got the urge to roam ...

After I figured out how to get around this huge complex, I snuck into a class or two to see what they were doing and got caught dancing on top of sewing machines in one class ...
And accessorized with thread and such in another. (Does this thread make my head look big!?!)
I wandered through the display area and found quite a few quilts that caught my eye ...
I tried to get upclose to some, but got caught when I tried to get a closer look at one and got tangled up. I was told that I couldn't snuggle with them.
I tried to sleep amongst the Hoffman Bali Batiks that looked so soft and inviting, but had my nap interrupted with so many people coming to buy some for projects!
The hotel bed was comfy, but I had so much to do and didn't want to waste time sleeping!!
I've heard that if you are in Colorado, you must go horseback riding ... so I tried it and loved it!
I also sat out and watched the sun come up before the day got started and things got hectic.
The trip home was uneventful, but Michelle and I had to fly back because there was no room for us in the van!!
I hope you enjoyed my adventures! If so, join us for the Sew Fun Cruise in February!! It is set to lift anchor in 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!
Just think of all the adventures you can have on a weeklong cruise!! Check back later to see what other things Bear Thread Designs has going on. We have some give-a-ways and raffles, upcoming trips and more!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

View from our Valuable Vendor Vault: Cedar Canyon Textiles

Editor's Note: Sorry we are a day late with our Vendor Profile. We are still trying to recover from the wild weekend at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival!!


This month's Valuable Vendor is Shelly Stokes at Cedar Canyon Textiles. This creative vendor takes fabric art to a whole new level.
Cedar Canyon Textiles is built up around Shiva Artist's Paintstiks. The Paintstiks are oil paints in a crayon form that happen to have a very fabric-friendly formula. Cedar Canyon Textiles distribute the paintstiks into the fabric markets. They have also publish a "how-to" books related to the paint and manufacture stencils and rubbing plates for use with the paints.
Shelly Stokes of Cedar Canyon
Textiles has a unique way of
"painting" the quilting industry
with beauty.
How did they discover that? Well, according to Shelly it was a fun journey.
"I left my corporate job in 1995 to spend time traveling with my (retired) husband," she said. "I needed ways to fill my time, so I took up quilting. Several years later, I started dying fabric, then selling it to quilters and teaching. In 2005, I published my Paintstiks on Fabric book and became the distributor for Shiva Artist's Paintstiks for the quilting and fabric art markets."
From there ... the possibilities are as endless as you're imagination because it doesn't require any special skills or knowledge!
"The only real skill you need to work with our Paintstiks, stencils and rubbing plates is a desire to try something new and a willingness to learn," Shelly said. "I like to call paintstiks one of the great "not rocket science" tools of surface design. Given the right tools and information – and a little bit of practice, I have yet to find anyone who can't product really nice images on fabric with our products."
The fun thing is that Paintstiks are not just for quilters! There is a project waiting for crafters of any age and craft preference.
Shiva Paintstiks arrived in the art world around 1960. They are used by fine artists – and were hugely popular in the craft world for stenciling images on walls (and lots of other surfaces) for several decades. Shelly said she has even heard from people who use the Paintstiks with their taxidermy work, for painting on unglazed ceramic and pottery objects, for adding images to mixed media projects and with encaustic painting progress.
"Our rubbing plates can be used for dozens of different applications. In fact, I chose 12 of my favorite ways to use these textured plastic plates and wrote a book about them, Shelly said. "Rubbing Plate Roundup gives instructions and inspiration for using rubbing plates as stamps, molds and (of course) rubbing plates with fabric, paper, clay, metal and paint. They're addictive!"
Shelly said that she was learned about Bear Thread Designs' Grip-n-Grip in 2005 and was hooked.
"I introduced my Paintstiks on Fabric book at the Minnesota Quilt Show in 2005. Veronica stopped over at my booth, watched my demonstration, and promptly pronounced that I needed a "grippy mat." She was right, of course, because these marvelous mats keep rubbing plates from slipping on the work table, and keep fabric from shifting when I'm stenciling," Shelly added.

"I've been recommending this fantastic tool to my customers ever since. The Grip-n-Grip mat allows me, my students and my customers to get great results with a lot less hassle – not to mention we save a ton of tape! These mats are one of my "secret weapons" for success – they simply make all my products easier to use."
Shelly is not limiting herself when it comes to art with Paintstiks. "Between sewing and quilting, I have been working with fabric for most of my life. I'm interested in branching out into encaustic and mixed-media art forms. Encaustic art is done with melted wax, and it holds a ton of possibilities for working with fabric, paper, found objects – and paintstiks!"
For more information on Cedar Canyon Textiles products and projects visit their website and tell them we sent you!

Out & About: Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival:
A Different Class of Flowers!

What a long week it has been for the team here at Bear Thread Designs following the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival! Veronica, Michelle, and Nancie had such a wonderful time meeting all the quilters and crafters who stopped by our two booths.
Amid all that, Veronica and Nancie also had time to teach a few classes and give lectures. Once of the classes Veronica taught was 5 Golden Sunflowers, where she taught fusible applique using the Applique Pressing Sheet to create a sunflower wall hanging. Did you take that class? If so, send us a photo of your sunflowers. We'd love to see it!
Here are some photos from when I visited the class:

On Sunday, Nancie taught hand applique and made this pretty purple wallhanging ... or in my case, a warm blankie! They all gather around the table and had a good ol' fashioned quilting bee ... but I couldn't stay long, I was off on more adventures. (Don't worry, there are photos of my many antics!)
If you took this class, we'd love to see (and post photos) of your finished project!

Did you attend the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival? What was your favorite parts? Did you take any classes? Was there a quilt on disply that stood out for you or one that inspired you? Tell us what adventures you had at the Rocky Mountain Quilt and come back to visit and see what trouble I may have gotten into along the way!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Farewell to Loveland, CO and
the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival!

Sadly, our time at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival in Loveland, CO, has come to an end. We had a great time, met so many new people and may have picked up a girlfriend or two for me! As soon as we get some sleep, unload and get organized, we'll post photos and stories from my many adventures!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Get Your Kicks on Route 66!

Hey, Ya'll! Look what I found - Texas in Colorado! While at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival, in Loveland, CO, this weekend, we walked around and looked at some of the displays before and after the show (its hard to get away while the festival is in full swing.) We found this huge quilt display depicting Route 66! It was amazing and HUGE!

Rockey Mountain Quilt Festival coordinators invited attendees to, "See the debut of this fun collection of quilts celebrating Route 66! A 60 foot long fabric map provides the foundation for these quilts from around the country that range from realistic to whimsical. This is a wonderful display and everyone will love the quilts and presentation!"

We started on one end and traveled all the way to the other end of this famous America roadway, also called Main Street of America or the Mother Road. The highway, which became one of the most famous roads in America, originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, before ending at Los Angeles, covering a total of 2,448 miles!
Here are some of the pictures from my Route 66 adventures today!

Visit us again to learn about our adventures at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival! While there was no table top dancing, I may have climbed on top of a sewing machine or two and "borrowed" a golf cart ... come back to find out more!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Come Visit Us at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival!

Hi, Everyone! It's me Jaggie! I just wanted to remind you that we will be at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival this weekend!  You read right, "we" means that I will be there too!

If you are planning on coming to the festival, stop in and take a picture with me. There will be two Bear Thread Designs booths, in two different buildings so you have more chances to meet me and the Bear Thread Designs team. One booth, the Quiltsmart/Bear Thread Designs booth, will also have Quiltsmart products, along with The Applique Pressing Sheet.

Both booths will also have a luscious selection of Hoffman Bali Batik fabrics ... at a great price!

We will also be giving away Bear Thread Designs books, a different one at each booth. Stop in for your autographed copy. Supplies are limited.

Can't wait to meet you!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Shop of the Month: Let's Get Lost ... In Lost Pines Quilt Shop!

Jaggie here! I know things have been a little quiet here and on Facebook, but Veronica and Michelle have been knee-deep in some projects that will leave you inspired in the upcoming months.

If you are a Facebook fan then you may remember when Veronica stumbled upon a quaint little quilt shop on the way to All Dolls Are Art Conference a few weeks ago. She has been as antsy as a toddle since we decided to make them the Shop of the Month for August!

The Lost Pines Quilt Shop is a friendly little shop located in Bastrop, Texas.  (Approximately 30 miles SE of Austin, Texas on Highway 71.)

When Veronica stopped in at the "best lil quilt shop" and called us back at the office, she went on and on about it. "I want to move in here and never leave!" she said! "It is just so wonderful and the owners, Mary and Linda are so sweet!"

The Lost Pines Quilt Shop opened its doors January 22, 2009 and was determined to provide its visitors and customers with the best fabrics and notions for both quilters and seamstresses. They are also supports of the Quilts of Valor Foundation and are ready to help you chose fabrics, patterns and more if you are looking for a project with patriotic pride!

Their fabric selection is varied, from geckos that will make you smile to flowers and veggies that is sure to make you want to start a garden, you could easily spend a whole day in this little store trying to decide which fabrics and notions are your favorites.

In their most recent newsletter, Linda says, "We have had some fun and exciting bolts of fabric delivered over the last couple of weeks. Colorful Maraca’s, playful geckos and lizards, bright and cheerful floral, under the sea and parrots in the jungle. We received the Northcott “Stars and Stripes” and made kits using the eagle panel. In fact, Mary made a sample and it is on display. It is gorgeous! Northcott was kind enough to send brochures regarding Quilts of Valor. For those of you who are interested in helping with that project, be sure to pick up your brochure here in the shop."

Now that sounds like a project to kick your shoes off and get to work on!

 They also have quite the list of programs and classes. Some of them include:

  • Saturday, September 1, 2012  Sit-N-Sew
  • Tuesday, September 4, 2012  The Pine Needlers
  • Thursday, September 6, 2012   The Bow Tucks Bag
  • Tuesday, September 18, 2012  The Pine Needlers
  • Saturday, September 20, 2012 AND Saturday, October 18, 2012  Beginning Piecing
  • Saturday, September 22, 2012  The Bow Tucks Bag
  • Wednesday, September 26, 2012  Runner Mania
  • Saturday, September 29, 2012 and Saturday, October 27, 2012  Crazy Nine Patch
 But check out the upcoming events on the website to get full class list with descriptions!

 If you're in need of a "pick me up" they are having a 30% off sale August 17-18. (Shh! Don't tell Veronica!)
If you're in the area, stop in to this little shop of wonder located at 709 Chestnut St, Bastrop, Texas 78602. If you'd like to contact the Lost Pines Quilt Shop call them at (512) 321-9300 or email them at

If you get a chance to stop in, tell them we said "hello", of course you may run into us there - you never know!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sew Easy to Clean with Sew Clean

Life with toddlers is never as easy as it looks on T.V. and Veronica's daughter, Michelle, is learning that lesson the hard way as she battles with her head strong 2 year old. (He may or may not get that trait from his grandmother!)

The recent lesson has been learning to pick up himself, or clean up his messes, so when he decided to color the refridgerator a few weeks ago, Michelle gave him a rag, sprayed some Sew Clean on it and set him to work cleaning his mess. When he was done, she washed his hands and explained to him that coloring on some things are not allowed and moved on ...

Apparently, the lesson that stuck with him was not "don't color on the fridge" but rather, "if I color on the fridge I get to wipe it off", because a week later he colored on the refridgerator again then went to show mommy so she could give him the towel! That boy!!

If you have a Sew Clean story, please let us know so we can share it! Check back later this week to see how Sew Clean saved a kitty from losing one of his 9 lives!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Charity Spotlight: Raffle with a Purpose

Bear Thread Designs, Inc. is dedicated to giving back to the community and supporting others who do. Recently, we decided to offer quilt guilds who are raffling quilts for community programs or for charities they support to display their quilts here on the Bear Thread Designs blog.

Our first Quilt Guild Raffle is by Crosby Quilt Guild, in Crosby, Texas. This sunny double dreseden plate quilt top was made possible by Helen Moyer. It was quilted by Monta Horner. The winner will be drawn Oct., 2012.

The proceeds from the quilt will go to support the work Crosby Quilt Guild does with Crosby EMS, New Horizons Family Center and Breathern Church, among other projects.

If you would like to display your quilt guild's raffle quilt on the Bear Thread Designs blog, send us:
  •  photo of the quilt, both whole quilt and close up
  • name of person(s) who made the top
  • name of person who quilted the quilt
  • name of your organization
  • what charities or non-profit the proceeds will benefit.
  • name and contact information (email and phone number) for point of contact
If your guild makes quilt for donations to charities like children's hopsitals, veterans, etc. we'd love to feature those too. Please send the above information with no more than 5 photos of the quilts (only 5 photos will be used on the post).