Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pink Saturday: What a doll!

Happy Pink Saturday! Sorry our post is a day late. Veronica just got in today from teaching another fusible web class this weekend, and we are catching up on things and then we discovered Blogger (or maybe just some of them to include ours) is having issues. (Hopefully we can get to post!)

This week's Pink Saturday post is all about Veronica's doll club. The group, Material Girls Doll Club, is one of her many creative outlets and she had participated in numerous projects, exchanges and challenges. This week, our two pink dolls we made for Veronica by members of the Material Girls Doll Club. Aren't they adorable!?!

We hope everyone had a happy Pink Saturday and can't wait to see what everyone else's Pink Saturdays had to offer!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Freebie Fridays: Maple Leaf Love

This weeks Freebie Friday is a paper pieced Maple Leaf for you to try. Send us photos of your Fall blocks and you will get another entry for our give-away which is Sue Pritt's complete pattern set for Up North as well as a t-shirt donated from Lost Pines Quilt Shop, in Bastrop, Texas.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Maple Leaves Fall in Texas

Hi everybody, Jaggie here! Boy last month was very stressful for me. As you remember, I reported a couple of weeks ago that Veronica was trying to get some UFO's completed. She's been really busy chugging along to get some of them completed. Then last month she found 21 Maple Leaf blocks, I thought that sounded pretty tasty, but she informed be I was not to "taste" them. She did give me a real pretty blue one all for myself.
We both looked at them and studied them, she said they were from an exchange 20 years ago. That's a really long time, I wasn't around then. She said she never put them together because she wasn't sure what to do with them. I looked at the blocks she made and they were kinda' ugly. She agreed.
We took pictures of her 2 blocks and then some of the others. We pondered them and talked about what to do with them. She said she wished her freinds had stopped her and told her that her blocks were not the correct fabric, I think they were supposed to be leafy or with little flowers. She had some wild stuff she used. (See what I mean! Uh-Uh-Glee!! Even the camera didn't want to see them!)
Her blocks were wonky, that's the polite way of saying that they were not the correct size. After a while she started cutting strips of fabric and sewing around 2 sides. She had a great pattern from a magazine. She worked on 5 blocks a day and had the top done in 4 days. Some of the other blocks needed a little "tweaking" as well. She was sweating bullets over these blocks, that's why I was stressed. I kept thinking she was gonna grab my pretty blue block and put it in with the others, but I still have it. The top turned out really nice. Then on the next Monday we saw our friend Susan Cleveland. She has a great new tool, that Veronica wished she'd had when she made these blocks.

Veronica says that she wished that her friends had stopped her when she made the "wonky" blocks and explained to her the correct way to piece half square triangles, how to square them up instead of forcing them to fit, how she probaly should have pressed and measured them to make sure they were up to "snuff", then putting the individual squares together to make the blocks. She says she probably would have had this top together and we could be snuggling under it by now. So for all you seasoned quilters out there, take a few minutes to mentor beginners and get them off on the right foot. They'll thank you and you'll have a friend for life. And snuggly quilts instead of UFO's.

These are the other blocks she has ... a little more manageable! Stay tuned for a photo of the completed quilt.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Out & About: Fusible Class with Chicks!

Veronica taught a fusible web class Thursday of last week call “Pick a Chick” for members of the Dayton (Texas) Quilt Guild that turned into quite the project. The class was originally scheduled to be a one-day, but they had so much fun the quilters reconvened today to complete their Debbie Hubbs’ projects. I’d say there was a lot more joking and giggling going on then fusing … like an old fashioned quilting bee with all the gals gathering ‘round to chat!
Here are a few photos from the adventures that day, with more to come, including some photos of nearly ccompleted projects!

Two of the projects that they could choose from was Debbie Hubbs' The Picnic ...

And Debbie Hubbs' The Swing.

Other Debbie Hubbs' patterns to choose from included The Quilters and Romancing Red. We'll post those photos and comments from the participants later in October.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pink Saturday: Pink is for the Birds

Hello everyone! It's Pink Saturday again and that is a big deal around the office as Veronica and Michelle decide what "pink post" will illustrate their week! This week Veronica wins (but then Michelle has her own blog and Pink Saturday post)!
One of Veronica's quilting friends has an autistic son who creates these amazing bird feeders from tea cups and saucers. Veronica recently bought 3 for upconing birthday gifts and Michelle, the family tea cup collector fell in love and is looking forward to getting one herself.
What do you think?

Hope you have a lovely Pink Saturday!

Friday, September 21, 2012

View from our Valuable Vendor Vault: Fantastic Fabric Fanatics

Hello all! Jaggie here! It's that time again, time to introduce one of of Valuable Vendors! This month's choice is one of Michelle's favorite vendors and she has been waiting for this post!

Fabric Fanatics, is not your normal fabric shop! This Plano, Texas, shop has a Texas-sized selection of Batik fabrics. They are home to more than 3,500 bolts of the most color-rich, inspiring batiks by top designers, including Robert Kaufman, Hoffman, Island Batiks, Moda and Anthology. Take a moment to let that sink in!

They also stock fat quarters, fat quarter bundles, jelly rolls, kits and the newest "flavors" of the popular Bali Pops and Tonga Treats. They also have their own line of patterns! What more could a quilter ask for?

Michelle is always excited when we hare at the same show as Fabric Fanatics, which means that she must be monitored or she'll spend the diaper money! 


These photos are from their booth at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival in Loveland, Colorado, August 17-19. And that's just what they TRAVEL with! Imagine the shop ~ it must be heaven!
Go check out their website and tell them we sent you!
Happy stitching!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Pink Saturday: Quilt Pink!

So once again, let me apologize for the quietness of our blog. Our overworked Marketing Guru, Michelle, has not had Internet for a week. On top of balancing a full time job and managing fearless toddler, she squeezes in working on our marketing and social media as well as occasional shows, so it took a while to work on her internet issues. 
But her internet is back now, so we've got lots of catching up to do and what better way to kick off an active blog week than with Pink Saturday!
This week's theme is: Quilt Pink! We've been to many shows, lectures and demonstrations, leading us to see some great pieces of art. Here are just a few that we love!
These adorable little quilted treasures are travel jewelry holders.
Veronica and occasionally Michelle travel a lot and keeping
organized is important.

This is a miniature quilt that Veronica has been working on. It's on
her WIPs list, so come back for an update and photo of it completed.

Look at me! I took over demonstrations at the Rocky Mountain
Quit Festival!

One of Michelle's favorite quilts at the Rocky Mountain
Quilt Festival.

Another amazing quilt at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival.
So do you have any special quilts in your life? We hope so, but regardless, we hope you all have a great Pink Saturday!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Wanted: Cat with an Attitude

A few weeks ago, we recieved a call from a quilter with a story ... and what a story it was ...

She called us slightly worried. She had just recently purchased 25-yards of fabric for a project and she was unaware that her cat had chosen the bag as an impromptu litter box one day, peeing all over the fabric. She was wanting to know if Bear Thread Designs' Sew Clean could help remove both the stain and smell.

Veronica suggested she throw the fabric in the washing machine with 1/2 cup of Sew Clean and the least amount of water possible (each washing machine is different), then let it air dry. Repeat if necessary since the quilter was unsure of when the cat had pottied on the fabric. A week later the quilter called back excited! It had worked! Sew Clean saved her fabric (and probably one of the cat's 9 lives!)

So with a little Sew Clean and a little patience, her fabric was as good as new, though I'm sure that kitty cat was on Santa's naughty list for a while!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Out & About: The Round Bobbin Expo

Hello everyone! Sorry its been a little quiet around here. Michelle, our Marketing guru, lost internet this week and is now frantically catching up at the office (which was traded for babysitting by the grandparents, so I think she is doing it to get a little break from the toddler!)

Well, we have a busy couple of months between now and the holidays as we hope you'll join us for some of our adventures. Next week Veronica is heading off to the Round Bobbin Expo in St. Charles, MO. Though she is not teaching any classes this year, you can stop by the Bear Thread Designs booth and get some tips, hints and demos as well as have the chance to buy some $8 one-yard pieces of some of Veronica's favorite Hoffman Bali Batiks.

The Round Bobbin Expo is held at he St. Charles Convention Center. Tickets are $8 for adults, and youth under 16 are free. Parking is also free. The event is Sept. 14 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sept. 15 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Check outthe website for a list of classes and vendors.

There are also some pretty amazing door prizes to be won this year, including The Janome DC2012 and Accuquilt Go! Baby Fabric Cutter, as well as a Martha Pullen Co. prize pack and The Sulky Polylite Starter Assortment Thread Collection from Sulky of America.

We hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Artist Investigation: A Sweet Treat from Sweet Season Quilts

It's my favorite time of the month, Artist Investigation! This month we are featuring one of our favorite applique artists, Sue Pritt of Sweet Season Quilts
If you've been to a show and visited our booths or participated in a class our lecture you may recognize some of Sue's quilts, The Painted Ladies (a series of 4 pastel houses), the Shop Ladies (series of 10 shops) or Barnyard Ladies (series of 4 barns).
Sue's "Ladies" are popular, as well as other patterns such as the Over East and Up North, so I decided to sit down with her over a cup of tea and bowl of berries and talk about her work.
Jaggie: Tell us how you got started in quilting and fusible appliqué as a craft?   When did you transition it into the industry?
Sue: During the late 80’s, I found that I had time to use my sewing machine for something other than making clothing, curtains, etc.  I was going to make wall hangings! 

Magazines were my primary inspiration then, especially around the holidays, when they offered ideas galore! At that time, the appliqué process was still cutting out shapes from cardboard for templates, cutting fabrics from them and pinning in place, then stitching around the edges, – but just a few years into the 90’s the industry offered us quilters Fusible web! I enrolled in a one day class, and that’s all I needed to love the technique of raw edge fusible web!!

Jaggie: Tell us about Sweet Season Quilts Patterns . . .

Sue: I have been told that my patterns “tell a story”, and that’s true, but mainly for me, they represent places to visit!  Like strolling along the Painted Lady street, or visiting all the animals in the Barnyard Ladies. And then there are other places to visit; like Over East and Up North, and I can go to all of these places each time I look at my quilts.
Jaggie: Who influenced you artistically from the start and is there anyone you learned about later who has impacted your creativity?
Sue: I grew up “knowing” how to draw and design. It’s one of those things that can’t be explained other than I was “created” with this gift! Of course, whenever I received praise from parents and family on my beautiful (to me) works of art, it only encouraged me to continue to draw and design with every free moment. That encouragement continues today, from quilting friends and associates who love what I’m doing!   

Jaggie: Many people have been reminded of places they’ve been by your quilts.  For instance, Rainbow Row in S.C. is often brought up when some see the Painted Ladies.  Where do you draw you inspiration from?
Sue: I have a fascination with buildings.  I was going to be an architect when I “grew up”, which I did not become, but that didn’t stop me from designing my own buildings.  I especially love Victorian homes and barns, and once the quilting/designing “bug” bit me, I realized that I could be an architect through my art quilts. You’ll see buildings or parts of them in many of my quilts. I will say that none of my designs represent any one place; they are part imagination and part of a collection of all the sights that I’ve seen over the years. Oh, and I’ve never seen Rainbow Row in S.C. Maybe in my past life I lived there?

Jaggie: If you could sit down and teach one celebrity or historical figure a fabric craft, who would it be and what project?

Sue: Beatrix Potter!  I would have loved to have met her and would have introduced her to my world of art quilts with fusible web appliqué! I bet she would have loved making Peter Rabbit into a colorful art quilt!
Jaggie: When did you first discover the Bear Thread Design and the Appliqué Pressing Sheet?
Sue: At that very first class that I mentioned earlier.  I took a one-day class on raw edge fusible web appliqué, and the instructor demonstrated placement guides and she used the Bear Thread Design Appliqué Pressing Sheet!

Jaggie: What was your impression on how the Appliqué Pressing Sheet impacts the appliqué community?  Do you think it offers people who would otherwise be intimidated a new view on appliqué?
Sue: I personally cannot create my art quilts without the Appliqué Pressing Sheet, I love it!

I have one for home and one that I take when teaching classes.  When I show quilters how to use the “APS”, they either say “wow” or “it’s magic”!  Quilters are really excited about this technique for making appliqué.  They can’t believe how fast and simple the process is.     
And I must mention the best part ... it’s when I show quilters how to peel the fused appliqué pieces off the sheet, and place the fused unit directly onto their quilt top!  I love seeing their expressions once they do this for the first time; it’s so much fun! 
Jaggie: Is there a pattern or theme that you have on your “bucket list” to create but haven’t done it yet?
Sue: Someday, I’d like to take the time to re-create my Grandma and Grandpa Detwiler’s farmhouse and barn into an art quilt.  They and the buildings are long gone, but vivid images remain, just waiting for me to bring them back to life.
Quilt Artist, Sue Pritt, has a variety of fusible applique patterns
that will transport you to a variety of places, from a quaint farm
to a front porch resort.
Talking with Sue Pritt was a delightful experience, and learning about her creative process. If you'd like to learn more about Sue or her patterns, visit her website, Sweet Season Quilts. We hope you take time to visit out Artist of the Month and don't forget to stop by our booth at our upcoming events and see Sue's wonderful work!

Pink Saturday: Inaugural Post!

Hello Jaggie fans and Bear Thread Designs friends! We are doing something new, which was introduced to us by Veronica's daughter, Michelle. (She really has this computer blog thing going!)
When Michelle's husband first deployed, in 2006, she stumbled across the blog, called How Sweet the Sound,  and a weekly project called Pink Saturday. The idea is that bloggers, crafters, gardeners and whomever else wants to be a part of it, post something pink on their blog them all link back to How Sweet the Sound, and visits each other's page on Saturday (or throughout the week, depending on your time.)
They also have a weekly challenge for those who participate and want to meet new bloggers. Visit the blog of at least one participant that you've never visited before and then in the following Saturday's post, include that blog with a link in your post! What a great way to make new friends!! 
So this week we are participating in our very first Pink Saturday! Yeah! And to honor that, we are posting a photo collage of Michelle's roses, planted by her husband's grandmother many years ago. Now Michelle and her family live in that home and she is very excited to raise her little boy in the home where her husband grew up as well as nurture the rose bush that is a part of it. 
They are really pink, aren't they!?!
For those of us who are new to our blog, let me introduce myself and tell you a little bit about Bear Thread Designs.
My name is Jaggie and I am the adventuresome mascot of Bear Thread Designs, Inc. We are a family owned and operated business, that manuafactures the Applique Pressing Sheet and other products used in the quilting and craft industries.
As a family, we have decided not to use these weekly posts to sell, promote or otherwise diminish the artistic beauty behind Pink Saturday, so if you'd like to know more, please feel free to scroll through our blog. If you'd prefer only to "peruse the pinkness", we hope you enjoyed our pink flowers and hope to see you again next week!
Well, I'm off to make new friends and look at some pretty pink photos ...