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December 2, 2019

Things were really hectic after I announced at the end of October that the store would be closing.  I guess I stopped pasting the emails into here.


We closed at the end of February in 2018.  I have been retired, or as I like to think of it, on sabbatical since then.  Maybe I will do quilt related selling or teaching again someday.


I just pared down the website as well as I could (tough to remember after 19 months) because I want to sell about 70 of my samples quilts.  That means I am keeping about 40.  


THANKS for the memories and support if you were a customer.  It truly fulfilled my dream to have my own business.  In fact, it was better because of all the great people I met.  


If you see a quilt you like and want to offer a lower price, I am open to it.  Email the offer to me at


October 3, 2017

Hello Quilters!


About that yellow or purple Play Money that you got over the summer when you shopped with us....

A week from tonight, on Friday the 13th (often my lucky day) we are having an auction.  Doors open at 7:00.  You can only bid with the play money. If you think you shopped and didn't get your money, we can look it up in the computer, but do it BEFORE THAT NIGHT.  No last minute requests.  You can do it by phone and we can put your money in an envelope.  You probably only didn't get the play money if absent-minded-me checked you out at the register.  If Jeanne checked you out, 'forget about it" (with accent) :-)

We will have tables with items to write down your bids on - silent auction. These will include fabric scrap bags sorted by color (VERY popular last time), books, retired samples and more. 

After that closes at 8:00, and winners are announced (so you know how much money you have left), we will have a few (10?) items for live auction.  These will include some retired samples, long arming services, some fabric bundles, and some class admissions.

Disclaimer:  I cannot predict what you will be able to win with your money.  It depends on how many other people come and how much play money they have!  Remember, this is supposed to be fun. It is a way to thank you for shopping at  You are essentially getting something for nothing (i.e. play money).*


I expect to be finished about 8:30, 9:00 at the latest.

Beginners -

Here are two very easy kits.  You can dip your toe in fusible applique by doing the faces. Look how simply I quilted the pumpkin lines:


Loop d loop quilting is easy on this one, too.

Halloween and Fall fabric 25% off:

We have some really cute print large Halloween fabrics that I bought with the intention of putting on the backs of Halloween quilts (like Bobbie does). Halloween comes again next year if you aren't ready this year.

Last Call - only one left

1. Birds on a limb kit

2. The twin sized panel for that first big kid bed;

3. the Bittersweet jelly roll that made this quilt

4. Pretty machine embroidery runner:


Digitally printed world panel.


I love those little books that keep a baby quiet:

This is the best!  Sign language for babies before they can talk.  Wish it had been around for Trevor!!


Machines coming in for tuneups are low right now.  We don't know why.  You are going to want that machine humming as we go into crunch time.  Just sayin'  You'll only be without it for a week max with us/Jim.

Fabric that just went to the sale area yesterday:

William Morris went to Sale, too.


Bobbie's got a great applique class on Saturday with space open.  All Day Applique from start to finish. See the website.  You might have to click the drop down to get the Oct7 class. .

Two beginning ruler classes are coming up on Friday the 27th and Saturday the 21st   Pick one.  These are not on the website due to technical difficulties (or me forgetting how to do something.  I contacted tech support).   Call the store 630 321-9051 for those.




*I am a little sensitive about it because one "lady" was a hog the first time.  She had a lot of money from buying a sewing machine, which is why those purchases are no longer included.    (She will not be there). 

I visited a friend last weekend and read part of a book she was reading about how we treat old people in America.  I was struck by a paragraph that partially explains forgetfulness.  I had to take a picture of the page so I would remember it.  I always feel better if I know WHY something is happening.  Not that any of you are forgetful besides me, but you might enjoy this, too.  Particularly the second half of the paragraph.  I sent it to my daughter to help her understand why her mom (me) is not as smart as she used to be!!!



Hello Quilters!

Interested in working part time in a quilt store?  Contact Chris as 630 321-9051.

NEW FABRIC  Notice the dachshunds:


Reorder of best cat fabric ever!  That is gold metallic:


Medical themed fabric



The special on the 9400s with a table went well.  A new model (6700) is coming.  That will probably be the next special.  Watch for it the end of this month. 


It's time for me to put new classes on the calendar.  Please tell me if there is something in particular that you want to learn.

This is from a Beginner class.  She made it large!  Even mitered borders!



I am thinking about making this into a kit.  What do you think?

 This is not a new sample, this is the LAST kit we are ever going to make of the "watermelon" quilt.


This is so cute.  Sue has a real gift for combining fabric.  She also would get my prize for best hand applique stitches!!!  Julie and Cathy (you know who you are) have been outdone.  Sorry.



Music fabric for a music fan, quilted with treble clefs:


One of the most interesting 9 patch quilts I have ever seen:

And of course there were leftovers, so:

Yellow is my second favorite color after purple.  Isn't her little helper cute?


Our Connect the Cakes pattern scaled down for charm squares (5")

The charity group on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays just keep making lemonade out of lemons:



Hello Quilters!

I spent Monday and 4th of July, with my son, moving fabric and fabric racks around at  We are still not really speaking to each other, but if you like it, it will have been worth it.  He's very stubborn and opinionated.  I wonder where he gets that from?  Haha.

The batiks are in the back half again and have better visibility.  The Christmas, Fall, and Halloween fabric is all up near the door for you early birds (and a constant reminder for those of us who don't think about it early enough).  We replaced a lot of light bulbs, with the brighter, more like daylight ones. 

Overall, it is a new shopping experience, and who doesn't like that?  Plus we got 5 boxes of fabric (batiks and blenders) this week and are expecting a bunch more Christmas next week.  Come see the new look and give me feedback. 



 Fabulous special on the 9400 coming next time. 


 Bobbie's Free Motion Quilting and Applique classes keep filling, so we keep adding.  They are on the website calendar under classes.  Sorry, no links today.


Don't do this again.  It took 8 hours to cut the seams for ragging!

Fun from Thursday Pre-Cut club:


May 4, 2017

Hello Quilters!

We have several new, spring samples in the store.  Do you have project to work on?  ;-)

This is the ever popular, and very easy, Popsicle Sticks pattern made out of our blue and yellow floral jelly roll.  Even a total beginner could make this. In fact, I think this might be a class this summer.

We are making a few kits of the TeePee quilt as shown.  We could also make one using the orange instead of the blue.  See the fabric on the lower right in the next picture.  You'll have to call for the price as it was not figured out as of now.


The first three were all longarm quilted by  Did you know we offer that service? 

Cute baby forest animals for a baby quilt.



One of our Coffee jelly rolls made up in a Ridiculous.  She just made the pieces shorter before she started.

Simple, but very cute girly baby quilt


Great use of scraps for a charity quilt.


Pieced mostly by hand on car trips.

?And then there's this one.  Two friends shared making the HSTs.  Half Square Triangles.




Yesterday morning I opened a lovely looking email with a new Block of the Month that I had never seen.  Actually, I hadn't noticed who it was from, the picture got me.  So I scrolled to the bottom to see who it was from.  It was from McCalls and F + W.  F + W is a big company with 700 employees.  I guess I missed when they bought McCalls Quilting.  They also own Fons and Porter, Keepsake Quilting, Krause Publications, Interweave, and a slew of others in many, many hobbies (woodworking, etc).

As you must have noticed, Chicagoland has seen some of our biggest quilt stores close recently.  This will continue to happen as more consumers sign up for things like Block of the Month with corporations instead of their local quilt store.  I know it is somewhat a "chicken and the egg" thing as stores have already stopped offering some things because not enough people signed up. 

The darned landlords keep wanting the rent paid, so while we store owners may love our jobs, there are high fixed costs for a brick and mortar store, and most of us are not independently wealthy.

So, a big THANK YOU for continuing to make it possible for to thrive.  Did I mention 50 new Hoffman batiks came in this week?  Yum.

Also, if you see something cool online or out of town that you want, ask us about it.  Please.  Bobbie came back from Paducah with a new tool that she was all excited about, only to find that we have had it at for two years.  And, if we don't have it, we can get it for you in less than a week.  Special orders are no trouble; they help us see what quilters are excited about.

March 14, 2017

St. Patrick's day is Friday.  It comes again next year. 

  Do you have project to work on?  ;-)  I have about 87, but I am NOT counting.


New Jelly Roll  Looks like Easter eggs...this is just part of it.

Note : These cats are not brand new, but a customer came in to buy some and kindly pointed out that a quilt featuring this fabric was on the back of the Keepsake Quilting catalog for $150!!!  Considering it is a FREE pattern on the manufacturer's website, that is some huge markup.  She came her instead, and I thanked her.


This more traditional look has been very, very popular for at least the 15 years that I have had  I only remember having it on sale once, so if you are a fan, this is your chance.  We just have too much of it and need to thin the ranks, so to speak.  So, starting on Friday, it is all 30% off which makes it $7.70 a yard for "regular fabric" and $8.40 for flannel.  I made a beautiful quilt for my college age son last Christmas from the flannel.   Layer Cakes and Jelly Rolls of Kansas Troubles will also be 30% off.   If you were really crazy about it, you would call or email and tell us that you wanted a yard of each of 15 bolts, and we could have it waiting for you. (little devil emoji here, haha).


A miracle has occurred, and I have scheduled the quilts for the Pre-Cut clubs on the 4th Thursday and the 4th Saturday out through October.  This way if you have to do some scheduling in order to attend the club meetings you have more advanced notice for the quilts you really want to do.  As of this moment, the pictures are there for Thursdays, but not all the Saturdays.


Help make dresses from Men's (Mens'?) shirts.  It is so clever because the placket with buttons is already done!  These go to an organization in Africa, and not only clothes girls, but gives a layer of protection since it is obvious that they are being watched over.  Tomorrow afternoon.  Thursday.


BTW - These are the two ladies that run the Dress a Girl sewing



I was downtown on Sunday afternoon.  There is a public bar up on the top of what was once the private club Illinois Athletic Association.  I was probably 30 years older than anyone else there, but I didn't FEEL like it.  I was with my daughter, as you may have guessed.  As I drove her back to her apartment we drove over the very GREEN Chicago river.  I never get tired of seeing that.  It always give me a chuckle. 

March 15, 2017



July 15, 2016

Hello Quilters!

Today is all local, happy info -

One of the best things about owning a quilt store, is that it is a "happy place".  When the world is sinking to new lows, you can always come in, get immersed in the colors, and imaging new projects, and forget about everything else for a little while. 


Yesterday, I forgot to mention that we are repeating the Tuffet class on Sunday afternoons August 14 & 28th.  You can signup and find out more HERE.  Jane, the teacher, will be working today (Friday) if you have questions. (630) 321-9051

Look how happy this former class looks:


I am pretty sure that a new JANOME sewing machine would make you happy (it does for everyone I have ever seen get one).  July and August are slow months for sewing machine sales, so I am willing to play "Let's Make a Deal" if that's what it takes. 


There aren't any classes scheduled Saturday afternoon, so I thought we could just let you make some quick embroideries on the JANOME 500s in the classroom.  Maybe make yourself a nametag, or a coaster, zip bag, or favorite saying, or whatever.  Susan an/or I will be there to guide  you.


If you'd like to be at the "happy place" at least two weekdays each week, and at least three weekend days a month, in exchange for low pay but a good (potentially great) discount, speak up.  FYI, women who used to have full time jobs, but then have been home with their kids for years seem to work out the best.  The little munchkins will be going back to school in about 5 weeks (but who's counting?).  Now's your chance.

July 14, 2016
Hello Quilters!

Our Row by Row kit has been a huge hit.  I am very happy so many people like it.  I bring this up because eventually we are not going to be able to get any more of that cool sky fabric, so if you want the kit, don't wait until late summer to come in for it. We cannot send them to out-of-towners until November, but you can pre-order and we will hold one for you.  The kit is $28 and includes the "Chicago" letters reversed, and a sheet of fusible that you can print them onto.  Pre-order  it HERE.   In fact, you can see quite a few of our kits there.  I am working on getting the website completely current.   This is it:

I was up on a Chicago rooftop over the weekend.  What a great looking city we have.  I realized that I completely forgot about the Trump tower when I was making our sample.  I wonder how many years it will take for it to become part of my mental skyline?



Bored?  Need a destination?  Come see all the great quilts made from Judy Niemeyer patterns that we have hanging in our ridiculously large classroom.

Thank you to all the people who brought in Judy Niemeyer quilts they have made.  They are impressive.  Be sure to come look this month.  It is inspiring.  If you were away for the 4th and thought you missed your chance to bring one in (and get a $25 gift certificate), you still can.  We have room for a few more.


Very pretty new collection of blue and cream from Moda.  It is similar to one from three years ago.   It is by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts and there are also some batiks that match and layer cakes and charm packs.   I was pretty surprise to hear that she moved from Michigan to California. 

We also got about ten new widebacks (108").  The widebacks are in the classroom since we rearranged. We also received refills on basics like black and deep dark browns and blues that they just don't make enough of.


Gingerbread Village is 7 months @ $35 including all the fabric and patterns with a $25 sign up fee. The sample is at the store now.  Last call before we cut it off and start cutting the kits to start in September, or maybe sooner.  We will need a credit card on file that we can charge on the first of every month.  I'll bet some of you would like to make this but are a little intimidated.  If that is the case, please reply and say so, and we will schedule a kick off class.   You can register here It might look like it is going to charge you $35 but I tried it and it just does the signup fee of $25.



Got kids that are learning to count?  This cute book is all sewing accessories.  It starts from a panel and takes about an hour to make.  Of course now that I finally made the sample, I find out we only have 3 left!  I unearthed it in a temporary fit of cleaning my sewing room ;-)

NADELSTERN STARS   Do you like quilts that are stunning but not difficult?  This is one.   The "snowflakes" are already printed on fabric, just cut them out.  Same with the centers of the stars, and little accents in the border.  All you really have to do is make the star points out of some of the cool matching stripe fabric.  The colors are much more vibrant than they are showing up here.  There are actually four different colorways that this comes in.  (OK, I couldn't decide, so I bought them all.  You never do that, do you?)  We are planning to cut kits as you order them according to color.  Come in or check under kits on our website HERE

You might have to refer to the pictures below to get the color choice you want.  Sorry, new at "options" on a kit.


Color 99:


Color 84:

Color 55:

Color 10:



A.  Lunch 'n' Learns are every Thursday.  They are only an hour from noon to 1 pm.  For $10 you get a lecture/demo and lunch.  The topics vary and are posted on the Classes section of our website.  I am also open to suggestions for topics.

That said, there isn't one this week.  But next week, Thursday the 21st will be on Rulers, from things you never noticed on the ruler you already used, to specialty rulers.  Bring one of your favorites or one you don't remember what it is for (if you are brave enough to admit it).

The next week (28th) Jim, our sewing machine repair person is going to tell you things to do or not do to keep your machine working better, longer. 

B. Saturday Night Sew is this Saturday (3rd Saturday of the month).  This is just an excuse for me to have something to do on at least one Saturday night a month.  The start time has been moved back to 6 pm from 3:45 pm.  You can bring food, or pitch in for pizza.  Bring whatever you want to work on and meet some other quilters.  We will go to at least 10 pm and maybe until midnight.

C. Sea Urchins.  I have been meaning to teach this one, and then Becky made one in teals that I just love, so that sealed it.  This pattern is unusual in a couple ways.  For instance, you have to cut into a few blocks after you make them (yikes!)  but great results.  If you are interested, I would love to know if you would prefer weekday, or weekend.  Just reply about Sea Urchins.


Kate made this for a surprise for her daughter for Christmas, so shhhh.  It's flannel!

I made a Slide Show by Atkinson out of one of our bundles.  The last Slide Show that I made was for when Michaela when she went to college in 2009.  This one is completely different, but both look good.  It is one of those patterns that looks good in any fabric.  I wanted to see if it could be adapted to one of our bundles of 12 quarter yard cuts.  It can be, and it is surprisingly large. 



July 2, 2016

Hello Quilters!

Note:  Some of you are getting this email for the first time, even though you signed up for our newsletter on our website some time ago.  I am sorry for the delay.  There was a disconnect that I didn't know about. 

Some of you also live far away.  In the future, the emails will start to separate what is available online to everyone, from the things that are only local, like classes.  In the meantime, please enjoy the pretty picures.


We did some rearranging recently.   I think it lets more light into the batik area.  Please let us know what you think of it. 

Want to get out of the house in the lovely weather?  Come on over. 


There's the double gauze that the new mothers like, and our Row by Row sample:


We have lots of Halloween fabric in stock much earlier than usual.  Come and get it!


Ditto for the Christmas fabric:


Tomorow's Lunch N Learn is on how to put on borders so they will lay flat.  Not the most exciting topic in the world, but necessary if you are going to improve your skills.  It is also available on our YouTube channel.

This is the last one I have scheduled, so NOW would be a really good time to suggest other topics (hint, hint).  

Bring in Judy Niemeyer quilts. 

We are looking for people who have finished Judy Niemeyer/Quiltworx quilts to hang in our classroom for the month of July.  You get a $25 gift certificate for doing so.  It will be like our own little quilt show.  When we first moved, we had a lot of Glacier Stars hung, and it was great.  This should be even better!  You can bring them in starting Friday July 1st. They will hang until the end of July.

Details:  The quilts do not need to have a sleeve to hang.  We will be sticking them up on the carpet tack, like we do all our quilts, so you have to be OK with that, and I will be having you sign something so that you can't sue me for more than the fabric if the place burns down or is blown away in a tornado or floats away in a flood. 


I have another class scheduled for Friday afternoon for those of you who have 8200s or 8900s.  The few who came to the first class learned a lot!  I know because they told me.  Among other things, I showed them how to make a blind hem, rolled hem, and overedge a seam with it staying flat.  You might learn something new that you can use over the holiday weekend.


This is a paper pieced Little Bits sample. It is only about 14 by 20 inches:


Sometimes all you have to do with a panel is really simple.  He glows in the dark.




The people who took the Minkee class last Friday afternoon got finished (or almost finished).  Are you jealous?  We can fix that. Sign up next time.

Sometimes you don't know what to do with a fabric and it has to "ferment"in your stash.  I loved this alphabet fabric about five years but didn't buy it.  I should have. It took Phyllis a while to come up with this, but isn't it cute?!  The moral of the story is "Just buy it".  Says the store owner :-)




June 23, 2016

Hello Quilters!

Row by Row Nationwide Shop Hop

Here is our row:

​ It finishes at 9 inches tall and 36 inches wide.  If you now want to learn to applique, I will be teaching it today at noon at our Lunch N Learn. 

The nationwide Row by Row Experience started this week.  It is amazing how this event mushroomed in a few years. It's fun.

Participating stores each make up a pattern with this years theme of Home Sweet Home.  If you visit their brick and mortar store between June 21st and September 6th, you get the pattern for free.  Most stores also are selling kits to make their row.  You cannot buy the pattern or kit and have it sent to you with out going in the store in person until November. 

For you competitive types, if you are the first one to make a quilt with at least 8 of the rows and take it to a shop before anyone else does, you win 25 fat quarters from that shop.  You have to take it to one of the 8 shops whose row you included, and the label has to list them.



We have double gauze for baby blankets, etc. This is all the rage with the new moms.  I saw it in every baby stroller at Oak Brook Mall a few weeks ago.  You can make a swaddle blanket in nothing flat and be a big hit!

We also have a few wacky novelties, because I like them.  Recently, a woman called and asked if we had ears of corn.  Bingo.  Mailed it to her and we were both happy.



CLASS Reminders:

Here is the most recent Tuffet Class.  We scheduled another.  Call the store to register for this one  (630) 321 9051

There is a class on Janome 8200s and 8900s today.    Here is a teaser video.  If you can't make it we scheduled another class on July 1st

Video here


When I posted the Amy Bradley Robots, I somehow forgot these bunnies and campers. There is a kit for the campers, but not the bunnies.






, I think this is a single Amy Bradley cat:



, This is a much more creative use of a Monet Panel than the manufacturer showed me:

, If  you like the look of this T shirt quilt with no sashing, I know someone who will make one for you.  Not me, Karen O.  We have her card.

A little black hand quilting adds just the right accent.  Did you know there is a stitch on some machines that "fakes" hand stitching?  Ask me.

, I recently showed Sue how to do all of the binding by machine, and she then bound all three of these in one day. And was very happy about it!

A clever variation on the Ridiculous, aka Jelly Roll Race:

, We have a new staff person who does beautiful traditional work:

May 26 2016

Hello Quilters!

This weekend could rain, so more time to sew.  If it is sunny, there is fun, if it rains, there is fun.  Just one of the advantages of being a quilter.


This guy is new at the store.  I saw him in a Keepsake Quilting catalog this week.  I never know if that is good or bad.  It did remind me to tell you that we at appreciate you buying locally instead of from New Hampshire.  And Keepsake Quilting is no longer independently owned.  They are owned by a company that is owned by a big company that has been buying up lots of businesses in all kinds of hobbies from woodworking and fishing, to quilting. 

The kit to make him is $40.

NEW JANOME 9400 can be shown on Saturday.  

It is pretty cool (technical term).  If you have an old machine, this will show you what has happened to sewing in the last 30 years.  Seriously, I always enjoy showing new machines to people who haven't gotten a new one in a million years.  It is fun to watch their faces when they hit the "scissors button".  If it is a lousy weekend, come on over, and let me, and the 9400, entertain you for a little while.



​I forgot to take pictures, but more Halloween, Fall and Christmas has arrived.


Lunch 'n' Learns - today is what to do when the pattern just says Quilt As Desired

Learn what to do with Minkee either lecture at noon on June 2 or hands on with Jeanne on Friday June 24

Here is a link to see what classes are coming up in JUNE

Funnest Saturday morning of the month is this Saturday at 10 am - Pre Cut club.  This is this month's quilt, made from one of our bundles of 12 quarter yards.  10% fabric discount for class attendees that day.


​So Simple made from a bundle by Jane.  This is the time of year to make something patriotic that you can bring out each year.

Here's another patriotic one. 

Grab the jelly roll, my pattern, some background fabric, and that's it.


Here's another one made from a bundle.  It is nothing but half square triangles.  I would be HAPPY to show you how to make them if you haven't yet.  Any time.  I know about 10 ways but have a couple favorites.

A table runner doesn't have to be elaborate:

This sample has to go back to the company.  The first batch of people to order fabric prints of locations have gotten theirs already.  We have a catalog you can look through and pick the "stamps" that you want.  This quilt is one example of what you could do with them.  The pattern hanging off the side is $12 and includes a CD to print the cut do-dads like the ship, airplane, palm tree, etc.  It is very easy to print them on fabric by using Printed Treasures, which we always have in stock.

These samples are not brand new, but they may have been overlooked. 

This one is a free download just to show off the fabric:

This one is baby quilt size:

This counting baby quilt was a panel.


Bring your entries in this weekend.  Three people are going to win gift certificates of $100, $50 or $25.



One clever way to hang a small, light quilt:  Sleeve has lightweight foam core.

This quilt is huge, but it is a good use for a Comma Jelly Roll.  We have a few.

 May 11

Hello Quilters!

A funny thing happened last evening.  I came home from work and made a dress. 

I haven't made a dress since 1991, but we got this pattern last year, and I just loved it, and thought it would work in our cotton fabric. 

 It has no zipper, just pulls overhead which was a big selling point.  There is some elastic in a casing in the empire waist.  I have that in a beach coverup so I knew it would be comfy. I cut it out at a Saturday night sew in April but then it sat. BTW, cutting out a garment pattern using a rotary cutter is AWESOME.  I was finished in 15 minutes.

I started about 6:00 and was finished by the news, including watching NCIS.  Of course, I took a shortcut on hemming the sleeves and bottom, but that is to be expected ;-)

What was surprising to me was how much easier it was to sew a garment on a new fangled sewing machine than on whatever I used in 1991!  I used the JANOME 8200 that I had at home.  Let me count the ways:

  1. The knee lift to raise the presser foot to pivot, without having to remove my hands from their position as I went around curves
  2. The needle stopping in the down position without me having to turn the wheel
  3. Switching feet because they pop on and off, so it wasn't a big deal to change.  I switched between the 1/4 inch foot and the rolled hem foot a couple times
  4. The Accufeed foot for the long side seams so they came out even at the end (yipee!)
  5. The 1/4 inch foot with the guide was great for doing 3/8 around the neck, by moving the needle position.  The top stitching is so evenly distanced from the edge that it looks professional, not homemade 
  6. More room under the arm meant I didn't have to struggle with the neckline, or need a free arm

OK, so I am really proud of myself.  Sorry.  But it was almost fun, and I had gotten to dislike garment sewing in the past.  Perhaps a leopard can change it's spots. 


Beginner BOM Saturday.  You are welcome to drop in for $10 and learn a block which teaches a technique.  (If I could remember which one right this second I would tell you, but it will come back tome after I send this!)

Lunch 'N' Learn tomorrow is a hands on free motion quilting intro.  I will disspell some myths, and give some tips, and stand over you while you try it.  Beginners only please, no experts. 

Joyce's curve class is on Saturday afternoon.  Sign up here


For reasons I don't understand, most people didn't see the picture of Kate's Applique of Ice Cream Cone.  No it is not a kit because she used leftovers, but we have the pattern.

  Or Jeanne's new quilt made from one of our bundles (12 quarter yard cuts in that lattice structure).  Yes, we have the pattern and that bundle.

Fabrics for Charities - May 17th

If you have a tax number certificate for a charity where you use fabric to make items to be given away, I have some fabric for you.  On Tuesday May 17, send someone over with the proper letter documenting the tax id, and I will give you a few bolts (or more) of fabric.  It can always be used for backings.  To be clear, I will be picking the fabric, not you.  Sale half yards might be part of the mix too. 


Winter Flannel


The ROW BY ROW Shop Hop starts June XX until September 6th.  This year we got some of the fabric.  The license plates are very creative and funny.


Last Star Wars kit.  Those are light sabers, in case you don't see it at first.


Placemats from fabric that I had been eyeing for a year.  I just cut them apart and put on extra wide binding to make them the size I wanted:

McKenna Ryan Fabric:

I don't know if you recognize her name but she does the details outdoor animal applique block of the months.  There are fabrics that are often used as backgrounds.  They are unique and wonderful if you have some imagination.

They look different opened out.  Here's one of the purples.  Of course I would pick the purple.


Forest Animals:

This has been a really hot commodity and was out of stock at our distributor.  We have it again.  Would you like a class on it because we are thinking about it.

Retreat at the lake:

I love this little kit for $31.  It is the graduated fabric for the lake that makes it.  If I had a friend with a lake house, I would make this for them.  Then maybe I would be invited up to visit.  Just sayin'.


I had a mini reunion with 3 college friends this weekend.  Wonderful.  My daughter joined us for a couple hours at the Botanical Gardens up north.  No one ever adequately described that place to me and I had only ever been there in the winter for a quilt show.   It is fabulous and so many things were in bloom.  I had to take a picture of this.  It is what I call entering the Steven Spielberg section of the gardens!

And someone up there on staff must be a quilter because of this nine patch made of bushes.  They look kind of poorly, but the rest was great, and everything had little signs to tell you what the plant was which I loved.

Thanks for reading this and shopping at 


May 4, 2016

Hello Quilters!

Happy Cinco de Mayo.  I distinctly remember the first time I heard of this holiday.   I was on an out of town assignment with Andersen Consulting in San Jose, California.  Cinco de Mayo had been big out there for years, I imagine because California had many more people from Mexico than the western suburbs of Chicago. 

Assisted Sewing is going on today and we have a good bunch.  It will happen again two weeks from today on the 18th.  This is where you can come sew on any project and Wendy will help you.  We have one person cutting out a dress pattern, someone learned more about her serger, and a brand new sewer/quilter, just to name a few. 

Mother's Day we are usually open, but not this year.  We will be closed.  Enjoy the day everyone.  

Christmas Fabric

We are trying something different this year - I am allowing the Christmas fabric to arrive as the manufacturers have it ready.  Usually, I can't stand the thought of Christmas again so soon after the last one, but after being in a store in Dunedin, Florida that has Halloween and Christmas out all year round, I decided to try it.  Maybe, just maybe, this will inspire me to start my Christmas projects earlier.  Here is a recent arrival:



New Samples

Jeanne made a pattern that is perfect for one of our "bundles".  There are the rolls that have 12 quarter yard cuts of fabric.  I love it!


Kate has recently become addicted to applique.  She made this terrific ice cream cone wall hanging in 2.5 hours start to finish!  Makes me want to make one.


Minkee Capital of Chicago

A fabric rep was here last week and we went a little nuts with ordering "Minkee".  That is the really soft, kinda like velvet, stuff that is great on the back of quilts.  Well, it is also great for a quick baby quilt.  You just sew 6 inch strips onto a batting and backing in a quilt-as-you-go method and then bind it.  I even learned a good binding trick for using Minkee (and I thought I knew everything about binding).   We expect to get these 20+ bolts of new colors any day.


We are having a contest to see what can be created with some of our flowery panels such as this one.  You must bring it in by the end of May to hang in the classroom and be voted on during June.  First prize is a $100 gift certificate and your chances of winning are way better than the lottery!.

Fabrics for Charities

If you have a tax number certificate for a charity where you use fabric to make items to be given away, I have some fabric for you.  On XXXXX send someone over with the proper letter documenting the tax id, and I will give you a few bolts (or more) of fabric.  It can always be used for backings.  To be clear, I will be picking the fabric, not you.  Sale half yards might be part of the mix too.  I must have some kind of spring cleaning fever. 


April 29

Sale Tomorrow (4/30)

Tomorrow, Saturday, we are having our first ever End of Bolt Sale.  This means that if you buy all that is left on a bolt, you get 20% off.  On bolts that are already on sale, this will be an extra 20% off.  May I suggest that you take a look through your projects for ones that need borders or backings.  If you have a friend with similar taste, you might come shop together and finish off those fatter bolts together.

​Closed on Mother's Day this year (5/8)

Usually we are open on Mother's Day, but not this year.  No one wants to work, not even me, because I have a mini reunion with some college friends. 

Customer Judy Niemeyer/Quiltworx Quilt Show in July

We will have the panel challenge* contestants up in the classroom in June.  In July, I invite those of you who have finished a Judy Niemeyer quilt that you either took as a class from me, or bought the fabric for from, to let us hang them up for the month of July.  Each will be rewarded with a $25 gift certificate. 

Speaking of Judy Niemeyer, we had the new Clamshell quilt at the Rosemont show, but had to send it right back so it was never on display in the store.  I will do a free class for it if you buy/bought the pattern and fabric from us, if there is interest.  Just reply and say so. We do not have a kit but could easily help you pull fabric for it.  I was thinking August or later.

 * See our last email for the details on the panel challenge, but basically, pick from four of our panels, make something, enter, maybe win $100, $70, or $40 gift certificate.   I think the odds of winning this are really good since there will only be so many contestants.

Joyce even pulled some coordinating fabrics for you to choose from;




April 25
Hello Quilters!

Sometimes, many times, fabric company representatives show us fabric that we think, "that's nice, but what would you do with it?" or "would anyone buy it?".  This featherweight fabric is an example.  I did not purchase it, but I could if a bunch of people tell me that they want some.  Just a little experiment.

​New Fabric

One of the many good things about owning a fabric store, is that I can purchase fabrics just because I like them.  For example, I like peacocks, so we have peacock fabric.  I just realized that some of you may be thinking, "Why would anyone buy that?" about my peacocks!  To each his own, I guess.

I also like all things ocean, and we almost always have some in stock.  My father had a relative in Rhode Island, and we drove out there every summer.  Two days there.  Two days back.  That was a road trip.

 I love these dolphins in the panel.  No, the bottom ones are not upside down on the fabric, it is just the way I took the picture.


​Panel Challenge

Speaking of panels, and fabric reps, we got an idea from one of them to have a panel contest. 

So here are the rules:

Come in and buy one of these four panels and make the panel into something.  I am assuming a quilt, but you may have a better idea.  Bring your finished project back by the end of May.  We will start hanging them up Memorial Day weekend and voting will commence and continue through the month of June.  The voters will not know who made which entry.  Winner with the most votes gets a $100 gift certificate, second gets $70 gift certificate and third gets $40 gift certificate. 




Remember that Assisted sew is being offered again on the first and third Wednesdays in May.

Joyce is offering her Curve Appeal class again on Saturday May 14th


​Lunch 'n' Learns

I just added the topics through May to our website.

Tomorrow - Needles and Thread - there is more than you would think

5/5 Good Next quilts for beginners

5/12 Beginner Free Motion Quilting (not the same as my overview, and some hands on in our classroom).

5/19 How to make a T Shirt Quilt

5/26 Machine Quilting - Ideas for "quilt as desired"

Show and Tell

I didn't want to make anyone else compete with this show and tell.  Lyn took the Judy Niemeyer Technique of the Month class to make this Mariner's Compass.   She quilted it beautifully.  Each of the blue grey spikes has a twisty thing that looked like a unicorn horn to me.  (Do I sound crazy today?).


This is her Glacier Star - also a Technique of the Month from Judy Niemeyer/Quiltworx.  I must be a good teacher (wink wink).  Seriously, I think of paper piecing as "sew by number" so I think it is easy, but I am told that I should offer a simple Judy Niemeyer-ish project for the normal people to try.  Any feedback?



April 20, 2016

Did you enjoy the 3 days of summer, because I am not sure what season we are in for now. 


On the first and third Wednesday of the month, you can get help on whatever sewing project you want.  I think this would be great if you are "stuck" on a project.  It might be because you don't know what to do next, or have tried it and had difficulty, or just need some supervision and encouragement.  Basically you can come and sew, but there is a very experienced quilter/sewer there to help you if you need it.   This is not a private lesson, you have to share with whomever else is there. You use our JANOMEs in the classroom, so you do not need to schlep your machine.  Do bring thread and needles and pins, etc.   You do not need to sign up ahead of time, although we will start that if it gets too crowded.  Try it, you will like it.   Starts May 4th and 19th.

Teacher: Wendy Hainey.  Some of you will know that name from way back at Stitches 'N' Stuffing. 

Times: 10:30 - 2:30

Price: $15


Tomorrow, at noon,  will be Hexagons Are Easy which is the same thing we will be doing at the Pre-Cut Club on Saturday at 10 am.  Never done the same thing at Lunch N Learn and then Pre-Cut, but I think it is worth a try.  At the very least I will do a smoother job in my presentation on Saturday.  (Sorry, that is a little bit of an inside joke to some people from Strip Club who think I could be more prepared (!). )

But, seriously, there is a "trick" to making these shapes from a "jelly roll" which  makes it not super easy, but more manageable than you might think.  If you own some jelly rolls that you are not sure what to do with, this might be your answer.   So come with $10 in your hot little hand, and leave with ideas.  It includes lunch and is very informal.  No registration necessary.  I will put the topics for the next month or so on the website under Classes.


Apparently I didn't make it clear that I designed and made this quilt and that there is a kit for it that includes the pattern.  $150.  72 inches round.  At this point, it is best suited for people who have done Judy Niemeyer quilts already.  I need to put more detail in the pattern for people who have not.  If you would like to take it as a class, please let me know and I will schedule it.  Probably one in the summer, and one in the fall. 

And another new kit:  HopeSkip Jump.  $85.

PRE-CUT CLUB Saturday at 10 AM

This is the most fun Saturday morning because it involves lots of show and tell, ideas, and laughs (often at my expense).   We will be doing Hexagons are Easy and I have also committed to showing how to bind those zig zag edges. 

This class gets10% off on that day's fabric purchases. Those that bring in the previous month's top assembled (not necessarily quilted) get a free half yard of fabric.  Other Show and Tell, especially from pre-cuts (strips, or squares) is welcome.  No registration necessary to drop in.  Just $10 cash in your hot little hand, and a smile.  Each month I give out a different pattern for precuts.


If you missed our garage sale the first time around, mark your calendars. 

We are also, for the first time ever, going to offer 20% off if you finish a bolt.  I suggest that you start looking at which quilts you need to buy backings or borders for, and have your quantities ready.  I expect we will be too busy to be doing math for you on that day.


Our 4th session of making those cute dresses from men's shirts is this Thursday (tomorrow) right after Lunch N Learn (ie. at 1:00 ish).  These are so much fun and go to a fabulous organization.  I hear it is hard to make just one if you used to like playing with dolls!


Have I told you lately how much I enjoy seeing what you bring in?  Did you know that we reward you with a coupon for 1% off?  It has to be finished, as in bound. 

Show and Tell is one of the best parts of my job.  I don't get out much, so I live vicariously through you.  For example, Susan M. goes to lots of classes.  This is from a recent class:

The hair is all lines of stitching.  I think I could do it. 

Saturday Night Sew was fun.  A relative newbie, with her teacher, was making this:

A quick one from a charm pack:

Jan keeps on churning out charity quilts with embroidery blocks!  Bless her.


April 14, 2016
Hello Quilters!

I have a love/hate relationship with the Rosemont Show.  I love the excitement, seeing old friends, and making new ones, but I hate how much physical work it is.  I remember one year, soon after my heart attack, it took me almost two weeks to feel normal again.  This year, I just didn't get out of bed until 4:00 on Sunday except to visit the bathroom and have lunch!  That was a first.  I didn't do much on Monday either.  But I do feel pretty good today.  Maybe I am getting smarter in my old age.

The biggest excitement for me, was unveiling my "Obsession 24" pattern.  This was taken from above, complete with cat. That is something my dog would have done as well, and there would be a lot more hair shed on it.

I have been thinking about this quilt on and off for ten years, hence the name, Obsession.  It was nice of the people who have been listening to me talk about this on and off for ten years to congratulate me.  It meant a lot to me.

There was one hurdle after another, so it would be put on the back burner for months, or even years at a time.  I finally got the last one solved when I found a local printer that could still print on sheets of newsprint.  You'd be surprised how hard that was.  It is not completely quilted, and the pattern is what I would call "rough draft" state, but the people who bought it at the show were happy, and one is even taking it to Australia.  If you have done a Judy Niemeyer pattern, you will have no problem.  If you have never paper pieced, this probably shouldn't be your first paper piecing project! 


This coming Saturday night will be our second session.  This time we are taking sign ups (and $10) so we can keep track of how many are planning to attend.  This is very casual and loosely organized.  It is just meant as a fun something to do.  We start at 3:45 as the store is getting ready to close, and stay until 10:00 pm.  You can sign up online or through the store.  If you can't arrive until later, that is OK, but you will have to call me to let you in, as the door will be locked.


FOR $ 5.99 a yard.  Come and get it. For example:



How to do the difficult Y seams and diamonds.  I learned a great method from Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts back before she was a quilt rock star.  I still wouldn't call it easy, but easier.  I have always loved LeMoyne stars, and this is the only way I can do them well.  Just drop in with $10 cash and dessert is included.  I think this will be the last Wednesday at One.  The attendance is not as good as Lunch 'n' Learn was on Thursdays, so I am planning to go back to that.   Any feedback?

March 30, 2016

Hello Quilters!

You know, the problem with that "in like a lion, out like a lamb" saying has always been that I cannot remember back to the beginning of the month!

PreCut Club, formerly Strip Club, was fun as always on Saturday.  If you have never made any quilts from those pretty rolls, I highly encourage you to come to our Wednesday at One today as I will show you 3, count 'em 3, very fast quilts that look great from a Jelly Roll ( 40 - 2.5 inch strips). 

The topics for these Wednesday classes are on our website if you want to look ahead.  Today's treat is Pineapple Upsidedown cake.

These are some of the quilts made from Pre-Cut Club's February pattern.  In April (23rd) we are going to do one with hexagons if you want to mark your calendar.  You get a pattern, fun, and show and tell for $10.



 Some quilts made from strips are not fast.  But they are wonderful.  Love this one that Louise finished recently:


 Have you seen these things?  Arlene made this and told us it took about 6 hours.  Well, that is just not acceptable.  I figured out how to cut out a couple hours.  Ask me. Yes, we have the pattern.


If you see it, you will like it.  Two people who where at PreCut club got one:  Really sturdy and the leg collapses up underneath so it can fold down, but stay attached when you don't want it up.   Clear as mud?  $79


This is a towel that you attach to the stove handle as a present for newlyweds.  So cute.  No I don't have a pattern.





Yes, we have the pattern for this baby quilt:








I hope the following "plug" for a charity won't offend anyone, but I don't see how a charity that supports women can offend any quilters.....

My daughter, Michaela, is part of the junior board for Connections for Abused Women and their Children (CAWC), the oldest and largest domestic violence agency in Chicago. Each year, CAWC provides life-saving services including shelter, advocacy, counseling, and a 24-hour hotline to over 3,800 women and children who are victims of family violence.

The junior board is hosting their annual benefit brunch at Frontier Chicago on April 30th and if you are interested, Michaela and the CAWC would very much appreciate your support. Tickets include brunch, drinks, raffle prizes, and proceeds support for CAWC. Check out the flyer below for details, tickets can be purchased at   If you would like to donate, you can use the same link but enter a donation amount instead.  You can tell them you heard about it from in the comments if you want to.  Thanks for your support.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship, please call CAWC's 24-hour hotline at 773.278.4566.


Inline image 1




Having a cat is interesting.  Here is something the dog would not have done:


March 25, 2016

Hello Quilters!

I hope you are having a wonderful week.  I have been having a lot of technical difficulties.  So, briefly:

Pre-cut Club will be tomorrow and will be a cut table runner from charm packs.  It has the potential for several layouts, and could be made into quilts, too.  I don't think I made the best fabric choices for my sample - I would have liked more contrast, but I guess it is soft and spring-like.  If you would like to see some great show and tell, come join us at 10 am on any 4th Saturday for $10.


Last call for Joyce's Curve Appeal class on Sunday April 3rd. Sign up here

The Salt Creek Show is back at the Hinsdale Community Center on April 2 & 3. 

A few days later, on Thursday through Sunday 4/7 - 9th, is the big Rosemont show.   We have a quadruple booth this year.  Booth number 1519. 

We are planning the booth around "things you won't see anywhere else".  (Reminds me of the $10,000 Pyramid show).  We will have the Clamshell quilt coming from Judy Niemeyer/Quiltworx (this pattern was just released this week).  You will get the class free if you get the pattern and fabric from  Our jelly rolls and bundles (free pattern with purchase of a bundle again this year) will be there.  And, I have a new sample, that I think will stop you in your tracks.  Seriously.  Hint: it is every color in the rainbow, and black (my favorite color scheme).  BTW, paying by check or cash is at least as fast as credit card these days, because of the chip readers taking longer. If I recognize you, we don't need your license to accept your check.


Reminder - JANOME is represented at Rosemont by the dealer out in Morris.  That doesn't mean I wouldn't be happy to match whatever deals he is offering.  All you have to do is come by booth 1519 and give me a deposit.  If you live near Morris, by all means, get a wonderful Janome from him.  But if you aren't even sure where Morris is, you probably don't want to have to drive there for your lessons!  Just sayin'.


We have a new side table that attaches to your table, is very sturdy, and folds down when you don't need it.  Comes with an ironing surface, $79.  It is only available from for now.  We will have a few at the show.  Maybe some people who have driven in from out of state, will want to take one home in the car, but the rest of you will want to order and pick it up at the store.  It is sturdy, so not light.  I am loving being able to sew, cut, and iron without getting up!!!



We will be closed on Sunday for Easter.  I will enjoy the day with my two kids, but I miss the days of egg hunts in our back yard. 

March 20 2016
Hello Quilters!

You know, the problem with that "in like a lion, out like a lamb" saying has always been that I cannot remember back to the beginning of the month!

PreCut Club, formerly Strip Club, was fun as always on Saturday.  If you have never made any quilts from those pretty rolls, I highly encourage you to come to our Wednesday at One today as I will show you 3, count 'em 3, very fast quilts that look great from a Jelly Roll ( 40 - 2.5 inch strips). 

The topics for these Wednesday classes are on our website if you want to look ahead.  Today's treat is Pineapple Upsidedown cake.

These are some of the quilts made from Pre-Cut Club's February pattern.  In April (23rd) we are going to do one with hexagons if you want to mark your calendar.  You get a pattern, fun, and show and tell for $10.



 Some quilts made from strips are not fast.  But they are wonderful.  Love this one that Louise finished recently:


 Have you seen these things?  Arlene made this and told us it took about 6 hours.  Well, that is just not acceptable.  I figured out how to cut out a couple hours.  Ask me. Yes, we have the pattern.


If you see it, you will like it.  Two people who where at PreCut club got one:  Really sturdy and the leg collapses up underneath so it can fold down, but stay attached when you don't want it up.   Clear as mud?  $79


This is a towel that you attach to the stove handle as a present for newlyweds.  So cute.  No I don't have a pattern.





Yes, we have the pattern for this baby quilt:








I hope the following "plug" for a charity won't offend anyone, but I don't see how a charity that supports women can offend any quilters.....

My daughter, Michaela, is part of the junior board for Connections for Abused Women and their Children (CAWC), the oldest and largest domestic violence agency in Chicago. Each year, CAWC provides life-saving services including shelter, advocacy, counseling, and a 24-hour hotline to over 3,800 women and children who are victims of family violence.

The junior board is hosting their annual benefit brunch at Frontier Chicago on April 30th and if you are interested, Michaela and the CAWC would very much appreciate your support. Tickets include brunch, drinks, raffle prizes, and proceeds support for CAWC. Check out the flyer below for details, tickets can be purchased at   If you would like to donate, you can use the same link but enter a donation amount instead.  You can tell them you heard about it from in the comments if you want to.  Thanks for your support.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship, please call CAWC's 24-hour hotline at 773.278.4566.


Inline image 1



Having a cat is interesting.  Here is something the dog would not have done:



January 19, 2016

Hello Quilters!


1. "Garage Sale" Next Weekend

While taking inventory we came across items that we just shouldn't have at the store any more.  For example, Pfaff sewing machine feet, and old embroidery CDs, not to mention realizing that we have over 800 different patterns.  That is just ridiculous.  I am a pack rat by nature, but luckily my staff have no sentimental attachment to this stuff and are helping me to clear it out.  We will have it spread out on tables and priced to sell.  That's the 30th and 31st of January.

2. Short and Sweets -Just show up for a direct and to the point one hour class, with $10 cash, promptly at 1:00 on Wednesdays.  Includes Dessert by Kate

  • Today 1/20 is on Paper Piecing.  If you have a glue stick, it would be helpful if you brought it, as well as two contrasting pieces of fabric about 5 by 10 inches, about 10 paperclips and pins, and fabric scissors.  This is a change from previously asking you to bring small pieces, but I am going to start with the Judy Niemeyer way.
  • Next week 1/27 Is on Choosing Fabrics with Joyce the Color Queen.  For example if you have a quilt that you would like to put borders on, but can't decide, bring it early. 
  • The next week 2/3 Is going to be on cutting and sewing odd shaped peices like those needed for the Gravity quilt.  I realized by talking to Kate yesterday, that some of you are intimidated by it and have no idea where to start.  Well, that's what I am here for.  So, I am not going to offer it as a BOM anymore, but you would know if you wanted to buy the whole kit after this one hour.



This is certainly the time of year to have a flannel quilt handy on the couch.  Here is a cute pattern,


and look!  We have the flannel that they used in their cover sample. 



I made this one using my Whip It Up pattern and was never really happy with it.  Too busy or something.  

But, I think I have figured out what to do....


I am going to put large snowflakes over the parts that bother me the most!  I may, or may not, put on the snowman.  There is Minkee on the back and I can't wait to cuddle up under it.

This is one I made from flannel last year, again in my Whip It Up pattern.  


It is time to clear out the remaining kits, so they are 25% off. Were $98. 60 by 86 inches,



I made this (cut, sewn, quilted and bound) in a week.  I must have really liked it!  The colors are very pretty in person.  It is a very easy beginner pattern by Atkinson called Lucky Stars and can be made from one of our bundles of quarter yards, or fat quarters.


See, here is the bundle:


PRE-CUT CLUB (Formerly Strip Club) STARTS ON THIS SATURDAY at 10 am.

On, another front, this is made from a new Jelly Roll from Moda.  We might be doing this one in Pre-Cut Club this Saturday at 10 am.  This one is a good reason to teach you my super simple way to do "setting triangles".  It is a variation on my Diced Pinks pattern.


Or we might be doing this one, also from a new roll, but from Benartex,


 Or we might be doing this one which is going to end up "on point" in a square, not rectangle,


 Or we might be doing another one, if the patterns come in time.  Sorry, but I am still deciding what order to do them in.  But Linda, at least I have a few lined up! You can sign up for Pre-cut club by signing up for the year, or pay more by dropping in for $10.  It includes a pattern, demo instruction, a discount for that day, and Show and Tell.  BTW, please bring any previous Strip Club quilts that you want to show off for Show and Tell to this first meeting on Saturday at 10 am  1/23.




While taking inventory, we also found too many of this kit.   It is called Yummy, but we increased the size of the pieces, and thus the overall quilt in our kit to 71 by 96.  $109, now 25% off that.





This is my similar to our Manly pattern but made out of a jelly roll.  

Since it was made a different way, there where leftover triangles which she cleverly arranged on the back.  It's going to be a raffle quilt for her temple in Oak Park if you want to bid.

 The Charity Group that meets on the first and third Tuesdays in our classroom continues to amaze me.  I donate fabric that no one seems to want, and they make good looking quilts to give away!  This one is made from my Chris Cross pattern.  There is a link to a YouTube video on how to make it on the store's Facebook page.  It seems to come out well in any fabrics.

Check this one.  It's what's called a half log cabin block. 


Hello Quilters!


Winter is coming, winter is coming.  The BEST time of year to sew for most of us.  Please take a few minutes to read through this and see what you would like to learn.  You can sign up by clicking the links, coming in, or calling with a credit card number.  Or come in and see the samples and ask your questions.


1.  Spring Bouquet 


I think this one is so pretty and it is so easy because it comes with precut pieces that already have the sticky stuff (technical term) attached.  All you have to do is peel off the paper from the piece and stick it in the right place.  Then you iron it down. Kindergarten skills. 

Then I zig-zagged around each shape with "invisible" thread.  That's the clear stuff that looks like fine fishing line.  It took longer to do the zig zagging than it did to peel off all the pieces and iron them down.  The other option is to stitch around them as part of the quilting - that's how Bobbie does all her applique. 

Each block will take you less than two hours to assemble.  Promise.  Then a couple hours of zig zagging, or you can sew around them as part of your quilting as Bobbie has taught in classes recently.

This is a 13 month quilt - 9 inner blocks and the border 4 times.  You can either do it one month at a time for $15 registration plus $29 a month, or you can buy it all at once and save the $25 registration fee. 

It includes the 4+ yards of background fabric and binding (which you get in the first month) as well as all the pre-cut appliques.  If you would like to substitute a different background, you may. You must give us a credit card to keep on file. 

I will do a one time, optional class on how to make a block on XXXXX for those who sign up. 

2.   INTERMEDIATE - GRAVITY by  Jaybird Quilts

Hexagons are all the rage, and they are usually made up of equilateral triangles.  When was the last time you heard equilateral???  It means triangles that all three sides are the same and all the angles are 60 degrees.   Luckily it comes in layer cake packages from Robert Kaufman fabrics.  Otherwise it would be impossible to get all the different shades of colors.  It is large - 96" by 97".  You may buy the whole kit at once for $180, or $15 registration fee and $20 monthly for 10 months for the fabric and instructions.  

I will do a monthly demo on this one on the first Saturday of the month at 10 am until 11 am. 

You will need a special ruler for this one.  



3.  BEGINNER - House Warming

This is good for beginners, and I can prove it because it was only the second quilt that Chris M. ever made! 64" by 74"

Closeup of the blocks that might look a little scary but have a "trick"......

Behold - the trick!  It starts with some striped fabric and some of the pieces are "fussy" cut from the stripes.  Look again at the half square triangles above, and the long skinny strips with this in mind.  Clever, right?



  You can get some great results and build some confidence without too much technical difficulty. 

I will do demos for this one on the first Saturday of the month from January 2nd through June at 11:30 am.  $10 sign up. Six months, $25 each month.  You must give us a credit card to keep on file


4. The Complete Beginner-in-Training block of the month club

This one is for beginners who want to dive in and learn everything. I taught this for years and some of our best customers started in this class.  Each month I teach you something and show you how to make the block or blocks.  Then the next month we talk about any issues you had with that block.  It is so much fun to see all the same block made in everyone's different fabric choices! Then we go on to learn the new technique and how to make the block.  You learn half square triangles, applique, pressing tips, paper piecing, partial seams, and more.

Here's a picture from one of the past students:

Jean actually added a few clocks since I only teach 12.   My goal is to broaden your horizons so you won't be afraid to try anything in quilting. 

For this one, you pick your own fabrics.  You need one yard each of five fabrics and you must get them here.  We will give you tips when you come to pick them out. 

This one will meet on the second Saturday of the month at 10 am for an hour. Learn more details and sign up HERE




This is the winter to start quilting your own quilts.  I am going to teach monthly sessions from January through April. 

The goal is to sit you down and make you try some free motion quilting to gain some confidence.  There will also be several resources that I recommend, but are not required, for purchase.  Try it, you'll like it.

This is HANDS ON, on our classroom machines.  Rather than just practice on "sandwiches" that will become useless, I suggest that you use a layer cake to make my Simple Layer Cake pattern.  Then you can try the different patterns we will use in the different squares. Once it is washed and dried, no one will know that it is a practice piece unless they  look very closely.  The pictures below are not quilted that way, they are just to show you the Simple Layer Cake pattern.

This will meet on the 4th Saturday at 1 pm until 2 pm. $60.  Sign up Here



2. PRE CUT CLUB (formerly Strip Club)

I had a break, and now I am back with lots of ideas on what to do with

  • jelly rolls (forty 2.5 inch wide strips)
  • layer cakes (forty-two 10 inch squares),
  • charm packs (forty-two 5 inch squares), and our own
  • bundles (twelve 9 inch wide width of the fabric cuts of fabric.

Each month you get a free pattern and a demo on how to make it, and all kinds of speed tips from moi. Plus, there is show and tell from the last month (my favorite part).  Nothing better than seeing the same quilt made in different fabrics! 

Note: If you bring your finished top from the last time, you get a free half yard of fabric, and you always get 10% off on all fabric you purchase on class days.

This will meet on the 4th Saturday of the month at 10 am until 11 am.  You may sign up for the year for $60, or drop in and pay $10 each time. Sign up here if you want the deal



I love to find faster ways to piece and there are over 20 videos on YouTube to prove it.  Just search for once you get to YouTube. 

Chris Sass

October 16, 2015

Hello Quilters!


This is a "strip club" pattern from several years ago, made up in a Christmas jelly roll.  It could be much bigger from one roll, we just stopped at a wall hanging for this one, and I quilted it with "Home Sweet Home". We have the pattern and the rolls. The pattern has a neat trick for doing those pointy star triangles - no ruler or template required!



Brushed Flannel Fat quarters made into a Yellow Brick Road Quilt.  $54 for the 18 fat quarters.


This one looks so much better now that it is quilted.  It uses one layer cake (10" sqaures) and background.  You can't see it in the picture, but we used a metallic fabric as the background.





Circles and curves on Friday afternoons November 6 and 20 at 1:00.  I promise that you will be shocked at how easy I can make this, especially if you haven't sewn a curve since you set in a sleeve in junior high school. There is a book included in the fee. Sign up here.



What could be better than a few days of uninterrupted sewing off at some retreat center in the middle of nowhere?  The same thing, but inside a quilt store! 

Join us on November 20 - 22 at .  Read much more about it here.

We are going to need to know who wants to use one of our machine, and who plans to bring their own, so try to put it in the notes, please.


What to do with Layer Cakes - those tempting packs of 10 inch squares.  This will be value packed as I plan to review at least 6 patterns from past layer cake club meetings.  $10, just show up at 1:00 and have dessert while you listen. 



You may have seen pictures of an organization making pillowcase dresses for girls in Africa.  I never liked the looks of them.  These are much cuter and still easy to make. 

Believe it or not, they start with a man's shirt!  Straps are added and a ruffle, but the buttons down the from are already there from the shirt.  Isn't that brilliant?  They go to an organization called Dress a Girl Around the World.  We are having a sew in to make these next Thursday October 23rd from 1:00 - 4 pm.  Gina and Ruth have it all very organized, so you will be sewing right away.  Please join in by calling Ruth at 708 352 1520.  We are also accepting donations of men's shirts to be used for this purpose. 

Sorry for the technical glitch, please turn your head.


Christmas fabric yo yos from scraps with a button in between for spacers.


A Rag flannel quilt with some of the seams facing front, and some are facing the back.

From one of our few male quilters:

An embroidered quilt from AnitaGoodDesign.  If you love machine embroidery, consider joining our 3rd Saturday of the month group. 

Cute little purse (we have the hardware) made with vinyl fabric. 

Simple but effective

Ditto for a grandson:



Thanks to the people who donated used books for Mary Lyon Elementary in Chicago.

They were very grateful.  I had already emptied some before I thought to take this picture.

September 10, 2015

Hello Quilters!


Bobbie loves Halloween and came up with these three little cuties.  It may look like one long thing in the picture, but they are meant to be 3 separate ones.  It is Bobbie's design and the pattern makes any of the three.  We have it kitted with the little do-dad accessories like the bells on the broom, tassle on the hat and shoelace. Each is about 13 by 15 inches.



These are fat quarters of sueded flannel.  They come in this assortment of 18 which would make a lovely twin size Yellow Brick Road quilt.  If you are not familiar with Yellow Brick Road, it is the best selling pattern ever invented.  I hope to make one, but thought I should show you the fabric now, since I don't know when I will actually make it.  So many quilts, so little time!


Speaking of flannel, here is the "adult" flannel:


We also got 12 beautiful blue flannels.  Very suitable for a manly quilt.  I forgot to take a picture.

This is not new, but it is newly sent to the Sale Corner.  Make me sad to see such pretty fabric not sell.


SHORT AND SWEETs are a one hour class that includes desert by our very own Chef Kate.  No registration is required, just show up promptly by 1:00 pm in our classroom, with $10 cash in your hand.

SHORT AND SWEET on Wednesday September 23rd is Overview of Free Motion Machine Quilting.  This has always been the most popular one hour presentation that I do.  This is geared at people who have not tried it at all, or tried it and hated it.  There are several myths attached to machine quilting that I will debunk. I will show you the tools that I used to learn to free motion quilt.  This is NOT stitching in the ditch, because stitching in the ditch is not easy, and it is not fun, so I do not recommend it to anyone.   


I will have a few machines set up and let you sit down and try free motion quilting.  About one in four people discover that they love it immediately.  You could be one of them.

SHORT AND SWEET on Wednesday October 7th will be on Mass Produced Half Square Triangles.  I get very annoyed at some of the new quilt designers who don't know that there are faster ways to make half square triangles, so they have you making hundreds of them two at a time.  Come let this "old dog" teach you some new tricks to apply to modern patterns.


This is a GREAT class that we offer once every year or so.  If you have admired some of her samples that have lots of pieces, but thought you could not do it, this is your chance to learn with the master.  You can do the witch, the santa, or any other quilt by Joan Jones of Seams Like Home.  We have kits of the witch (she's my favorite).  The Santa and Witch include hand painted faces (so you don't have to do that part) !!!!!!. 





GIANT HEXAGONS with guest teacher Edrene Heiss


This class does have a supply list that you can get at the store, or on the website Sign up HERE


Someone was busy!  Doing her own quilting, too.  Yeah!  Look for another email, soon, with more on classes, including machine quilting.


Marilyn had her embroidery machine humming (Janome, of course).  We can get the CD for you for this if you like it. 



My favorite colors and block:

Cute quilt for a kid.  There was way too much fabric left over, so rather than keep it around, it became the back. 


Becky not only finished the Gypsy wife, but she quilted it:

I gotta say, I love it when Phyllis comes in with Show and Tell.  These two are out of a book we already sell, but her color choices are so much better than those in the book, that I didn't recognize it. Oh, heck, let's just do a class on a Friday afternoon.  Sign up HERE



Some people are just so creative:

 This is a pattern from a magazine called Venetian Dream.  The maker said she'd teach a class on this if you want her to......



I appreciate the sympathy, (or is it empathy?) from those of you who have also dropped your youngest kid at college and then been surprised by how hard it hit you.  

I have had more changes in one year, than is advisable.  In fact, I recently found myself getting really stressed out.  Soooooo (some of you know what's coming) don't ignore any signs your body gives you.  I had a heart attack when I was 45, but didn't ignore it, and called 911.  Obviously, it worked and I am still here.  You do the same, OK?   I have been taking it easy for a couple days to relax, and coincidentally, an old friend from college is here visiting.  It's been priceless.  

Now go sew something!  Thanks for shopping at  




August 26, 2015

Hello Quilters!


Today's Short and Sweet is on Applique. Come see how it is done.  It is all kindergarten skills - trace, cut, and glue, but since we are grown ups now, we get to use the iron instead of glue. 

Actually, I will cover several different ways to applique, including several ways to prepare the pieces and stitch (or fuse) them to the background.  If someone asks, I will show demonstrate hand applique as well (I don't do it, but I know how!).

 1 pm, no registration, just be prompt and have $10 cash.  This one is partial hands on so if you brought scissors (fabric and paper) and a glue stick of any kind, and a pad of paper, it would help a lot. 

 Dessert included, made by Kate!


We have rolls to make quilts for Iowa and Indiana, as well as IllinoisGo on, be the cool mom or grandma.


Cool digitally printed fabric:

Hoffman just showing off with a panel.  I think I will hang one in my sewing room:


This Confetti quilt has to be back to Judy Niemeyer after Labor Day, so if you want to see it, come soon.  If you want a class, tell me. 


This one by Edrene is coming up in October.  If you like Paula Nadelstern's work,  you will love the easier way Edrene came up with.  It involves fusible grid, but more next time.




  Congratulations to this lady (who didn't want to be in the picture) for bringing in a ten year old UFO to be quilted.  Moon Glow by Jinny Beyer.   Yes, we do long arm quilting. 

June 25, 2015

Hello Quilters!

Two shop hops are going on.  One is called Row by Row and is nationwide, if you can believe it.  At each participating store, you get a free pattern for a "row" that is 36" by 9"  Here's ours.   You can also get a kit with the fabric and pattern for $20.  It is paper pieced and I give you excellent directions on how to cut just the right fabric for the pieces.   We cannot mail these out during the summer.  You have to come to the store to get them.  Oh, darn, road trip.


Cute new fabric from Michael Miller:

 Look who's here!  We couldn't resist. 


I am a sucker for time pieces on fabric.  Plus, I think it is good for a manly quilt. 


We did do the "U of I" roll first, but we don't want to neglect other colors.  Someone requested this to make an Iowa quilt, but I know it would work for Hinsdale South, too.  This is a "jelly roll" of 40, 2.5 inch strips before it is rolled up and tied. 



Today's Lunch N Learn is on zippers in bags.  There is a MUCH easier way to do it than we were taught to do in our home ec classes many years ago.  Jacqueline will demo and spark your imagination.  Noon, $10 cash, lunch included.

Yesterday was one of the Beginner Applique classes with Jacqueline.   Look how far they were after only 1.5 hours!  Now don't you want to try it?  Your next chance is Sunday afternoon July 12.  Sign up HERE

I finished the bug quilt.  There are NOT multiple borders.  There is cute border fabric making it look like multiple borders.  We have kits.




Colleen's been busy finishing up some projects.  Can you guess what the college major was of this lucky quilt recipient?

Answer: Food Science.

Colleen didn't want to free motion quilt this, so she went around each I with a buttonhole/blanket stitch.  Makes the back look as distinctive as the front.

And this is a clever wedding quilt because the guest signed rectangles that are in the border.  I think that's clever because you can't have some drunk moron screw up the center of the quilt.  And the olor scheme makes it very Irish.



June 18, 2015

Hello Quilters!

Look what one of our customers made, and what you, too, could make, if you would just learn to applique.  Hey, Jacqueline has a beginner applique class coming up.  Choose either Wednesday June 24th at 11:00 or Sunday July 12th at 1:00 pm.  You can get more details and sign up Here


Just to be clear, I am not saying this Black Hawk was easy!  You can see a picture of the full quilt at the bottom under show and tell. 



I could tell you why I love this one (again) but this time I am going to quote Janome:


Mahwah, NJ - For a quilter, there's no such thing as too much bed space on a sewing machine. When you're stitching a full-size quilt, you appreciate every inch of room to the right of needle. On a standard machine it's about 7". On a mid-range model, supposedly designed for quilting, it might be up to 9". But if you want more room, you have to move up to one of the top-of-the line models, which can have up to 11" or more. But for this premium amount of room, you could expect to pay a premium price. Until now.

The Janome Sewing Machine Company has introduced a quilting machine with the space of a top-of-the-line model at a mid-range price. The Horizon Memory Craft 8200 QC (Quilter's Companion) not only has 11"+ of workspace to the right of the needle, it has a 9 mm stitch width, and it is compatible with Janome's patented AcuFeed Flex™ fabric feeding system.

The MC8200 is equipped with the same size quilting bed as the flagship Horizon Memory Craft 12000, as well as the MC8200's sister model, the newly released Horizon Memory Craft 8900 Quilter's Companion Professional – a quilting dream machine. Also, like these machines, the MC8200 has Janome's exclusive structural frame design, which enables the machines to deliver excellent stitch quality despite the the extra long bed length.
Big quilts have long seams, making a standard machine operating at around 600 stitches per minute feel very slow. The MC8200 can run at up to 850 stitches per minute on a straight stitch. And quilters can relax their pedal foot by using the Start/Stop button.

Another challenge for a quilter with a standard machine and standard feed dogs is stitching through multiple layers of various weights of fabric and batting. Even if the regular machine can send the needle through all that thickness, it will likely not be able to feed those layers without shifting. It's not unusual for the bottom layer to get slightly ahead, giving the finished quilt an unintended twist. To prevent this, Janome gave the MC8200 the option of using the AcuFeed Flex™ fabric feeding system. This quilting breakthrough was first introduced on the MC12000. Using a patented upper feed dog, AcuFeed Flex™ works in conjunction with Janome's exclusive 7-piece lower feed dog to ensure even the thickest, multi-layer quilt is moved under the needle with precision and ease. When it's not being used, the optional AcuFeed Flex™ unit is easily removed.

Another favorite feature the MC8200 has inherited from the MC12000 is a 9 mm stitch width. More than 25% larger than 7 mm stitching, 9 mm zigzag and appliqué stitches are wider and decorative stitches are bolder and much more dramatic. The 9 mm width also gives the AcuFeed Flex™ fabric feeding system a wider stance for better traction.
The Horizon Memory Craft 8200 QC comes with 120 built-in stitches, including many 9 mm wide decorative stitches. Plus there are 11 buttonholes and an improved alphabet. The quilter can quickly get to the most popular stitches via ten Direct Select keys.

One of the most important accessories for a quilter is the straight stitch needle plate. This plate has a smaller needle hole to better support the fine, cotton fabrics used in quilting as the needle goes through. With a smaller hole, the fabric moves less with each penetration and the stitch quality is better. On a regular machine, changing to the straight stitch needle plate usually involves a little screwdriver and a lot of patience. On the MC8200 the needle plate can be switched from Standard to Straight Stitch in seconds with just the press of a button to pop out the existing plate and snap in the new one.
With hundreds of pieces in a quilt top, tiny errors add up quickly. It's important to be able to place stitches exactly where they need to go. So quilters will also love the MC8200's patented needle placement accuracy. Special plate markings indicate needle drop position, provide angle marks, and act as front-of-the-foot guides.

For easier viewing of fine work under the needle, the machine has a five-point LED lighting system. The light is bright, even and easy on the eyes. For a really close look there's an optional magnifier that swings into place near the needle area.


It's back.  We just made another batch of kits for this classic summertime picnic quilt.  The kit is $68 and you can get it from our website here.



If you are a beginner, you might not realize that the Chicago area has at least ten quilt guilds.  They usually meet once a month and often have speakers.  FYI, You don't actually quilt at guild meetings. You can look on the guilds' websites and see who the speakers are going to be and go listen for a small fee.  The guilds fund these speakers by the wonderful quilt shows that they have every two years and by the raffle quilts that they make.  BTW, You can buy tickets for one of those raffle quilts at until the show in March next year.  $1 a ticket or 6 for $5:

Lynn Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles speaks at Pride of the Prairie.   I took her workshop and was surprised at how many in the class didn't know that I like Kansas Troubles and always have a good selection of them.  I don't just like batiks.  I like almost all fabric!  That's the problem.


Since a picture is worth 1,000 words - the best way to make sure that your quilt borders will lie flat is to lay the actual border (two of them) across the middle of the quilt and cut them off even with the edge.  In the picture, I am about to cut the right edge of the border, and then I will go back and cut the left.  Add the borders and then repeat for the other two.  Courtesy of Beth Ferrier, long, long ago, on a quilt show in the morning.


Here's the project for the applique class mentioned at the top of this email:

Here's the table runner for the beginner class on Wednesday July 8th.  Find out more, and sign up here




Saturday was the last official class for the Paradise in Bloom by Judy Niemeyer.  Here's one completely finished, and two more, in the queen size that are almost finished.  I am so proud of them!  Nancy, Donna, and Judy.  I asked Nancy if she would put me in her will for it (it is purple afterall) but she was very non-commital about it.  Oh, well, I tried. 

This was my favorite until Nancy put purple borders on hers!

Judy's is so not my colors, but it still leaves me speechless.  I am pretty sure our Joyce helped all these ladies pick fabric.  Joyce works on Wednesday and Thursday and if you want to pick fabrics for something like this she is happy to help.  It will go more smoothly if you call ahead, and have plenty of time.  


Sue with a quilt that was many years in the making, on and off. 

Cindy with the cutest  darn baby quilt.


June 10, 2015


Hello Quilters!

I was having technical difficulties last week and didn't get out a newsletter.  I hope this makes up for it.  It is a little long.  More about this picture in the show and tell.  I just wanted to start off with a pretty picture.  Look how big it is!



I showed you the new baby flannel recently.  More came in.

BUT, it is also going out very fast, as this one purchase shows, so get over here if you have some baby quilts in your future.  It is really soft.  Pick 6, ask for fat quarters to be cut, pick a border and binding, buy a Yellow Brick Road pattern, and be done in a few hours.  


  BTW.  It is myth that we don't cut fat quarters.  We do, but only if you ask because:

a) they are too small to do much with so I prefer to have half yards ready for you

b) most patterns do not in fact need a fat quarter, a regular quarter would work just fine.  Yellow Brick Road is a rare exception that does need fat quarters and we will be happy to cut them for you.  If any of my staff doesn't seem to know this, please insist and tell me about it so I can give them "the memo!"  Thanks.


This is a Chris Cross that I just arranged a little differently made from the Mixology layer cake.  See our YouTube video on this one, too.


What a strange year for weather.  At least this quilt is bright.  No pattern.  Well, there was a pattern but it was awful.  So, you just fussy cut some of the flowers, and then surround them with squares.  Improvisationally as the Modern Quilters might say. 


We did a little rearranging, and this is as neat and tidy as the Minkee has ever looked (thank you Kate and Chris M.).  For the uninitiated, this stuff is super soft on one side, and I highly recommend it for the backing of any kind of couch quilt, or baby quilt.  As an added bonus, the machine quilting design really shows up on the back.  Try it, you will like it.




I rarely bother to tell you about a book, but this one is excellent.  I have made a new email friend with the author.  In the old days it would be a penpal!  Anyway, this book is packed with info, and she does things the way I do them, so of course, I think it is great.  We have a few at the store. as well as the second volume which is all about settings and putting the top together.  I learned some things.  Seriously, if you read these cover to cover, you would know more than 98% of quiltmakers today.  Hmmm.... then what could I teach you?  Oh, well, not everyone reads :)





In case you forgot, you can always check our classes, or refer friends to our website for classes. 

We have a few new ones come up, and repeats of favorites:

New - Total Beginner Applique with Jacqueline.  You will make this summer decoration.  Price includes a kit with this fabric to make it easy for the beginners.Pick a Wednesday day or Sunday afternoon HERE


Beginner Table Runner Piecing with Jacqueline.  Make this cutie.  I can imagine it in many color schemes.  On Wednesday July 8th.  Sign up HERE



What we call the U of I quilt, but it could be Iowa, or Indiana with different colors.  Good beginner class.  GREAT gift. Sign up HERE for two Sunday afternoons.


 Lunch N Learn this week is on the Bundle Trip Around the World and Bargello.  This is what got me hooked on quilting.  A Trip Around the World was the third quilt I made after a Nine Patch and a Paper Pieced wall hanging.  This has one of the best tricks there is!  Come see!  Look at these pictures.  It is all done with strips, you never touch an individual square.





This is the wonderful program that many, many designers use to create their quilts.  I have used it since before I opened the store in 2001.  We sell it ($189) and sometime people ask me for classes on it.  The Electric Quilt people have started offering classes on it through their website.  If you have the program, I highly recommend you try that.  They can teach EQ much better job than I can.  Did I mention it is finally available for Mac?  I call Electric Quilt "more fun than you should be allowed to have with a computer."



So far I have made four videos on different ways to make HSTs.  I want everyone to have fun making quilts.  That means finding the easiest way to do things.  Many new patterns are using a nice way to make HSTs if you are only making a few, but then they tell you to make 160!  Life is too short for that!  I think it is because these patterns are by younger quilters (great! BTW) and they may not have a local quilt shop to educate them.  For example, the bias square method is fabulous, but it is from the early 1990s and I think it is being forgotten.  

I will try to link them here.  They are also on a tab called Videos (duh) on our website, and they are on YouTube.  If you search for you should find them.  The three products I use, are now available on our website, too, in the Shop Online under As Seen On Our Videos.   If you have any quilting buddies that live in other parts of the country, you might want to share this info with them.  Remember, too many quilts, too little time, to do it the slow way.

 Most recent here using Triangulations

 Using Bias Square (my rant)

If you are starting with Strips

If you are starting with 10"squares



The first started this week and is all over Northern Illinios.  Each year I say maybe I will go on the hop myself.  Maybe this will be the year.  There are 30+ stores, divided into 3 groups (called regions) so you don't have to go to 30+ to be entered for the prizes, just one group.  The prizes are good, but you may not win.  What you are guaranteed to win, is 15% off on your shopping, one time in each store.  Said another way, the day you get your passport stamped in that store, you get 15% off (Regular priced items only)  We have the passports at the store. 



My first applique in years.

I don't do much applique but I thought this was so stinking cute, I had to do it.  I procrastinate starting, and then once I get going, I enjoy sewing around the applique.  In this case I used a blanket (aka buttonhole) stitch.


Notice how parts are puckered and parts are fine?  That's the difference Stabilizer makes.  I did the body with stabilizer, then tried to skip it on the wings, then I went back to it on the last (toward top of picture)  patterned wing.  Big difference.  Guess where you can get Stitch N Tear stabilizer.  It's like interfacing but different.  Ask us.


OK, I am very proud of this one (even though I didn't make it) .  A woman came to us, from Missouri, last May to have Joyce help her pick fabrics for a Judy Niemeyer Mariners Compass.  We are a Judy Niemeyer Certified Shop, you know, and we have Joyce.  She came back yesterday to show it to us, and get fabrics to make a Glacier Star.  She had the Mariner's Compass appraised and it is a very high number.  I don't feel at liberty to say the amount, but it was 5 times what I would have guessed!  Quilt on, ladies!



This was made by a beginner!  Just a million flying geese with good color sense.  I quilted it.


 Some people say they find inspiration for quilts everywhere.   Yeah, right, if you are lucky enough to be walking around churches in Europe, I thought.  But look what was at the Post Office!


Now if I could just figure out how to piece this one.....



You made it.  If you appreciate the educational info in here, I would appreciate it if you would forward it to out of town friends.  Perhaps they would shop with us online.  I am assuming that you have already told your local friends about!  I hope, I hope.


Hello Quilters!

Prepare to chuckle:

New Fabric


This is very soft flannel.  Baby quilt anyone?  



Bobbie recently quilted my Spring Bouquet quilt.  Why don't you take her class on quilting this Sunday the 31st?  If it is full, we will put you on a waiting list and schedule another very soon. Sign up HERE


Lunch L Learn

Thursday noon this week is on the Judy Niemeyer method of paper piecing.  As you may know, we are certified to teach her quilts.  I spent a week at her place in 2010 to become certified, and I am going back for a week again this summer.  She came up with some brilliant innovations. 1. A method for always having the right size piece of fabric to cover the area and 2. An organizational method that makes chain piecing possible.  And I learned a way to rip if you make a mistake, that is worth the price of admission right there.  Her patterns are fabulous but can look intimidating.  If you spend an hour with me, you will see that they are achievable and your friends and family (and you) will be impressed after you make one.  I could never have made this if it wasn't so methodical. BTW, Paper Piecing should be called Sew By Number.

Next week is Hand Piecing.  Just because I say that "hand" is a four letter word, doesn't mean I don't know how.  I do understand that it is nice to have something that can go with you.

The week after that is Trip Around the World.  This is the quilt that got me hooked. This may look like I sewed 441 little square together, but no!  It is all sewed with strips.  I never touched a single square.  My first one looked like it had 900 pieces.  Tee Hee.




TIP - YouTube binding trick video. 

A customer showed me this years ago.  I wish I could remember who it was to thank her again.  You know that odious task of folding your binding in half lengthwise and ironing it?  Take 32 seconds to watch this and save hours of your life.  HERE


Elaine made very clever use of a panel and a little bit of each of 4 coordinating fabrics.  The caterpillars on the right were fussy cut and in some cases cut in half.  Aren't they cute?


May 20, 2015

Hello Quilters!

Today's theme seems to be "old".

As in, what's old is new again.  Hexagons are so popular with the younger quilters but look at this antique I am quilting for someone.  Hexagon blocks.



Feedback for having a monthly Machine Quilting class/club was very positive, so that's a go.  More details coming soon.

Sewing for the home, not so much, but I think we are still going to try it. 

OUR MOST POPULAR CLASS is being offered Sunday May 31st:

Free Motion Quilting with Bobbie


This is hands on by the master who does all that beautiful quilting on our applique samples.  Don't miss it, this only is offered a couple times each summer.  $30  1:00 pm - 4:00.  Sign up HERE


Just like you, sometimes I like something so much I buy it twice.  This might be because I ordered it at Quilt Market and forgot we already had it in the store, or the fabric rep didn't tell me that I already ordered it, but the first shipment hadn't arrived yet, or I could have just made a mistake.  Anyway, I am tired of looking at some of them in the back room.  So, I thought we would put those nice fat, full bolts out for a limited time, and give you a chance to get 9+ yards if you need it.  I should explain that the bolts usually come with about 15 yards on them, but we cut off two for half yards right away so that only leaves 11 and if you are doing a really big quilt, well, you get the picture.  70% are batiks, 30% regular fabric. 25% off.  Starts Friday through Tuesday.


Turns out this camper was a hint.  Kay is going to retire.  Come say goodby soon.


Beginners - this is on Quilt As You Go.  To me that is another something old is new again, but you might as well see an efficient way to do it.  Drives me crazy when someone is taught to make one small block at a time ,instead of a big area and then cutting it up.  Of course, if you are using scraps, it might not work.

 Check it out on YouTube HERE   We more than 20 videos on YouTube now, and I am open to suggestions on subject matter.






May 13, 2015

Hello Quilters!

Today's appropriate song is "I'm so excited" by the Pointer Sisters because the book from Judy Niemeyer with my quilt in it just arrived!  This is not your ordinary book.  It has patterns for 29 quilts.  The photography is gorgeous.  The papers (they are all paper pieced) are sold separately.  I suggest that you get a book, look it over, and tell us which patterns to order for you.  We have the patterns for my quilt in stock, but not all of them.


Look, Ma!  That's my quilt!



Oops, I forgot to take pictures, but guess what?  It has purple and green and is from Moda.  It is the bolts that go with the layer cake I showed a few weeks ago.  It is called Lady Slipper.


CLASSES ADDED for those graduates

Two T shirt classes this summer, (register here) and a U of I quilt class (register here).  Yes, you could do it on your own, but will you? 


Never get your sewing machine tuned up for 25 years.  This is what was in the bottom of a sewing machine, under the bobbin case.  Those are needles (I count 7) that fell down in it, probably as the person was trying to change the needle. 


Now that I have your attention, come to the Lunch N Learn on Thursday and learn more that you ever imagined about needles and thread. Next week, Joyce is going to talk about picking fabric.  If you have a top that needs borders, she would love to have  you drop it off ahead of time to use as an example.

TIP:  Did you know if your thread keeps breaking it is probably NOT the tension?











I am seriously thinking about doing a monthly class/club focused on machine quilting and would welcome any ideas or feedback - just reply to this email.

Jacqueline and I are seriously thinking about a monthly class/club focused on sewing for the home and would welcome feedback on that too.  We'd especially like to attract young mothers and I wonder what time of the week would be best. During school hours?  Evenings? Sundays?



Challenging Club is this Saturday at 10:30 and you are welcome to join us.








May 6, 2015

Hello Quilters!



Thinking about a wonderful new sewing machine....?  Then


Join us for our first annual Mother's Day brunch.  

May 10th 12:00 noon

Bring at least one of your children (optional)

Enjoy brunch by our own Chef Kate*

Play on a JANOME 8200** for an hour or more

Bring home a mug rug that you make

Play some games.  Win some prizes.

Special pricing will be available on the JANOME 8200.

Reservations required.  $20 which will be credited toward purchases that day.

Sign up here




  If you are interested in the 8200, but can't come Sunday, we have options for you.  Just ask.


Sometime I give into my impulses and buy fabric just because it has my favorite color in it (purple).  There's nothing wrong with that, is there?  You do it, too, don't you?  I think some people are surprised when they find out that I like the traditional fabric, not just batiks.  I like most fabric!




This is for those of you who are not quilting your own quilts...yet*.  Or for those of you who are just stitching in the ditch.  Ouch.  I detest stitching in the ditch - it is not fun, and it is not easy, so why do it?  Probably because you don't know about all the gadgets and gizmos and books and markers that make free motion easier than you might think.

I learned to quilt about 20 years ago (ouch again) and even back then, there was the spray baste, and the paper with lines to follow as you quilt, but if no one shows you, you don't know they exist.  I will be happy to show them to you tomorrow at noon for $10 cash. 

I am fine with having you pay me to long arm for you, but you can cost justify a very nice machine if you do your own quilting for 10 - 20 quilts. 

* I suppose that if you are free motion quilting already but want to know about gadgets, you could attend.  I just don't want to mislead you, this is for beginners.


This is a UFO that I finally finished quilting and bound.  It is at least 8 years old, maybe more.  

1. You can change the color value of an area with thread.   See the little circles quilted in light purple?  That was done because the fabric I used was too close in value to the solid purple and it didn't show the pattern.  No point in doing all that piecing if it is not going to show. So that was a mistake that I was able to fix.

2.  But then I didn't know how to finish it, and it was put away for years.   I just wanted it finished, so I did an all over pattern in dark purple, very fine thread.  It doesn't show where I quilted right through what was quilted already.    The problem that remains is that the borders ripple because there is more dense quilting in some areas (the quilted circles) than others.   I do not know how to fix this, so just learn that you need to do the same general density of quilting all over your quilt or it will "take up" in some areas and have too much fabric in others.




The ever popular, especially at this time of year, T Shirt class starts tomorrow night from 6 - 9 pm with Jacqueline.  If you know someone thinking about making a T shirt quilt for a graduate, please encourage them to take the class instead of muddling through on their own.   Jacqueline can help a lot.   Sign up HERE





Kay's addiction to paper piecing seems to have been replaced by an addiction to the laser cut kits.  This is literally like sliced bread to applique.  The pieces of fabric come already cut out with the fusible stuff on them.   Assembling each one of these takes about an hour.  It will take longer than that to sew around each piece, but the painful tracing and cutting has been eliminated.  When I first say this in a booth at Quilt Market, I had to sit down because it was so revolutionary and such a shock.   If you haven't tried one yet you should and they are priced well to be a gift.

This one was not a laser cut kit.  She had to pick the fabric, trace, cut and stick.  We have the pattern.



This is getting a little ridiculous - Linda has so much Show and Tell lately.  I know it is because she loves her new JANOME so much.  It makes a big difference when you are no longer fighting with an old machine. 

That's a pillow sham on the floor.


 This was a panel we had that was not very attractive.  By cutting off the pale green border that it came with, and putting on the red check, it is cute.   It is going to Charity.   Reminds me, there is a Charity group that sews at our store twice a month and they are always glad to have more people.  See the calendar on our website, but I think it is the first and third Tuesday.

 In case you don't know the trick for making a pillow cover that is easy to change, or wash, a picture is worth a thousand words:



April 22, 2015

Hello Quilters!

Technical difficulty note - Something funny happened with the photos and they are taking a long time to load.  I am tired of trying to figure it out.  Sorry.

On a much happier note:

Thinking about a wonderful new sewing machine....?  Then


Join us for our first annual Mother's Day brunch.  

May 10th 12:00 noon

Bring at least one of your children (optional)

Enjoy brunch by our own Chef Kate*

Play on a JANOME 8200** for an hour or more

Bring home a mug rug that you make

Play some games.  Win some prizes.

Special pricing will be available on the JANOME 8200.

Reservations required.  $20 which will be credited toward purchases that day.




I might have mentioned this book last time, but now I have taken the time to look through it.  Wow.  This may be the first true "coffee table" book of quilts I have ever scene.  I got lost in it for about 15 minutes before I realized I was at work again.  $24.95



This promises to be another beautiful book (the first from Quiltworx).   I quilt I designed and made (because Certified shops as of mid 2013 were invited to do so) will be in it.  Taking pre-orders now.  It is $34.95.  We will finally be able to sell kits for this.  Those are the same fabrics in the flying geese, over and over, but the changing color of the blue makes them seem to change color.  

LUNCH N LEARN today 4/23 

Is on sewing circles and curves.  I know I say everything is easy, but if you ever sewed clothes, but haven't tried curves in quilting,you will not believe how much easier this is.  Plus, there is a great gadget for it if the free hand way I do it is not for you.  I will show both with and without the gadget.



'Tis the season for graduations which means T shirt quilts to many people.  Jacqueline has a class starting May 7th.  Sign up HERE


Did you know that we (I) do long arm quilting?  We have a book with a couple hundred designs for you to choose from and about 130 colors of thread.  Allow a month for it to be finished.   While my goal is still to teach people to do their own quilting, if you don't like it, or the quilt is too big for you to handle, I am happy to help you "quilt by check, cash or credit card" as a good friend says.



The Paradise in Blooms group is coming along extremely well:




 Someone was very busy, very quickly, as we just got this fabric recently!



* Kate, the newest member of our team, loves to cook, bake, and run marathons.  She even had her own bakery for years.  Kate and Jacqueline have planned the menu for this and Kate will cater it.  Am I lucky, or what?

** JANOMEs are such a good value.  You already get the same features of those European brands for about 75% of their prices.  With a special deal, this will be a really good value.  The 8200 is my new favorite model since it came out.  It is what I sew on at home. 

April 8th, 2015

Hello Quilters!

Is this weather depressing or what?  I remember some springs when it was so nice, I thought the garden centers should be open by now.  Not this year.  Oh well, more time to quilt. 

That said, tomorrow is one of my most valuable Lunch N Learns.  (IMHO of course).  Triangles are so basic to quilting, yet beginners are afraid of them, and many of the "new" patterns tell you a VERY inefficient way to make them. I hate inefficient. There are too many quilts and too little time to do anything that way. A few weeks ago,  I showed Kate and Chris M. some other ways to make triangles and they were amazed. And happy.  Come see.  Combined with our new video on speed cutting, you might find yourself attempting some pretty, traditional quilt that you were steering away from.


Purple is my favorite color, and I really love it paired with green.  Here's a layer cake that just came in from Moda called Lady Slipper.  The bolts will arrive in about a month. In other words, we only have the layer cakes now.  You could make something and pick the borders later.



So many of you do not like the cutting part of making a quilt.  I don't mind it.  Perhaps I know something you don't know yet.  HERE is how to cut a couple hundred squares in a couple minutes. 

I also just uploaded a video of how to make my  (picture below) Jacob's Ladder cake quilt right here.




If it ever gets here, this is our newest sample for Spring.  Make by Bobbie Butler, of course.  We have the kits made.  It is about 18 inches by 24 inches. They are $35.


Joyce made this version of Judy Niemeyer's Barbed Rail Fence:  While we have not kitted it, we can get you started with a bundle of 12 fabrics that she used.

This is the picture of the original quilt on the cover of the pattern.  Amazing difference.



Remember the quilts I wasn't allowed to take pictures of?  That was because Quilts Inc. put them in a book:  We have a few copies of the book.  The quilts were picked by the woman who started Quilt Market and Quilt Festival, etc. about 35 years ago.  She does know her stuff!

Upcoming CLASSES

One Block Wonder on Sunday April 19th.  People have been pestering us for this one.  It is pretty fascinating, and efficient use of one single fabric (which I love).  You don't have to like the print, just the colors of the fabric.  I remember a beautiful one that a guy made out of some our sale fabric.  I actually didn't believe him until he showed me the fabric he had used.  To be effective, the fabric needs to be a medium to large print without much plain background spaces.  Here's ours from sunflower fabric:  Sign up here

Strip Club is taking a hiatus.  I am recharging my batteries and trying to get caught up on writing the past pattern instructions.  And making videos.  And getting Trevor to pick a college. etc. etc.

Challenging Group (formerlyAdvanced Block of the Month) meets on the 3rd Saturday of the month at 10:30 and is going to do Gypsy Wife:  We'd be happy to have you join us on the 18th. You can sign up and see even more versions of the quilt here







1. Spring into the Anitagoodesign Embroidery Workshop
The second quarter’s embroidery workshop features great products based on the Anita’s Playhouse collection.  Your workshop kit includes 14 different projects with multiple designs for each, plus an 85+ page full-color tutorial book with step-by-step instructions for each project.  You’ll learn how to make stuffed animals, soft books, zippered bags, masks and other great freestanding embroidery projects with your embroidery machine. 
Dates:  April 18, May 16 and June20
Time:  9:00 a.m.

Cost:  $45 for all three sessions  SIGN UP HERE



Machine embroidery mini-class: Greeting Cards
Learn how to make greeting cards by embroidering on cardstock.  You’ll leave this one-hour class with two completed cards.
We’re trying a new concept with machine embroidery classes.  Most people don’t enjoy bringing their machines to a class … BUT they love learning new techniques.  So, we’re hosting a mini-class of five people who will be using our five embroidery machines to learn new techniques!  Sign up quickly!
Date:                   Saturday, April 25
Time:                  9:00 a.m.
Kit cost:             $3.00 (includes card stock and envelopes for 2 cards, fabric or felt for appliques)
Class cost:         Free if you buy the Anitagoodesign “Embroidered Cards” designs from
                            $20 if you bought it elsewhere    
Supplies:            USB stick
At least five spools of embroidery thread (red, yellow, blue, green, purple, orange)

Small applique scissors



Sign up here. Limit 5


Jacqueline found that one jelly roll will make two baby quilts:  Of course, she quilted it with little baby feet and hands:


 This lady came and bought the fabric on Friday, I think, and was back with the finished quilt on Tuesday.  It was for a shower on Friday (deadlines are good).  I can't help think that part of her success is her JANOME 8200 that she recently got from us.   "It makes such a difference!"


Last week Jacqueline showed a few of us how to make a circle skirt.  I learned several cool things.  One of which was that the overlock foot with the little wires, makes the seam selvages still lay flat (as opposed to the old days when they would kinda curl up).  I might have sewn more clothes if I had known!   If you would like to know more about garment sewing, you need to voice that to Jacqueline and/or me, and she will schedule classes.



 This was made at a class up at Rosemont.  I thought the texture of the tree trunk was very realistic.

There are some missing March emails in here.  Sorry.  If you don't want to miss anything, sign up for our emails on our website.  Please.

February 18, 2015

Hello Quilters!

Schools may or may not be closed tomorrow (Thursday 2/ 19) but we are going to be open.  Kay and Chris M. have been getting ready for the Lunch 'n' Learn on how to do applique' with Laser Cut pieces, so we can't be closed! That's at noon.  Just show up with $10 cash in your cold hands.  


I have noticed that I tend to sew a lot in February.  I tend to sew in spurts anyway, but I noticed several years ago that I made three quilts in a row in February.  This year is no exception.  This is what I did today:  It is a Whip It Up (by me) pattern.  I couldn't quite get the whole thing in the picture.  I have not made one of these myself in years.  To my surprise, it is a really good pattern ;)  I shouldn't be that surprised since we have sold literally hundreds of it over the years, but it has held up.  You just need 12 half yards, and I am pretty sure you have those at home or know where you can get them.   This is new fabric from Michael Miller.  We don't usually buy much Michael Miller, but this last time, I just really liked some of what they had.

And Sunday and Monday:

This is baby size Yellow Brick Road pattern.   Can you see the llamas in the border, and the flamingos in the middle?  This is also mostly Michael Miller fabric.


 Yes, the one that was Sunday and Monday is smaller than the one from today.  BUT. I was not at all happy with the way the first border I put on (the dots) and I ripped it off, rearranged the blocks so that no llamas touched the border, and put it back together with a llama border.  I am still not completely happy with it, but I can't put my finger on it, and hey, it's only a baby quilt, right?    The dots were disorienting in person.


This is from some new fabric that we got and it was a project from the manufacturer, but once it was made, it just didn't look quite right.  Joyce to the rescue.  We all agreed that it was something about the innermost border, which was a light green, but Joyce is the one who figured out that if it was replaced with the blue, it would look much better.  And it does.  Sorry, I didn't take a "before" picture.  This quilt has many, many half square triangles, and I am planning to do a multi week class on it to have you try some of the ten different ways to make said triangles.



If you have to piece two things together that are not quite the same length (that never happens) remember Tight Top, Baggy Bottom, which means to put the longer of the two on the bottom, toward the feed dogs, and it will ease in by itself.


A short video on how to make sure you are getting an accurate 1/4 inch seam from our YouTube channel here



I walked into the health club on Sunday and the woman checking cards was wearing this cute jacket out of Minkee.  I was so fascinated by it.  She  must have thought I was nuts.  I tried to explain that I sell Minkee at my store, and she very nicely let me take a picture of it.  She bought it at a store in Tennessee.  I was looking at the facings and lining and everything.  I have become a sewing nerd I guess.  Thanks, Jacqueline. 



The class doing the new Paradise in Bloom by Judy Niemeyer continues to "rock".  Here's what they had done by Saturday:  Doesn't it make you want to make one, too? 





When Trevor came home from school a little while ago, and told me school might be closed tomorrow because of cold, I told him about the winter of '80-81 (or was it '81-82?) that was really cold, like real temps of minus 26. I told him about the night the transformer blew up in the alley behind the apartment I lived in, and the power went out,  and my roommate and I then had to sleep in the same bed with everything made of down that we owned on top of us so we wouldn't freeze to death.  It did get so cold that the plants in the apartment died, but anyway, I realized I was doing my generation's version of my parent's generation's walking-to-school-uphill-both-ways!  Yikes.

February 11, 2015

Hello Quilters!

Kay and Chris M. have discovered laser-cut applique.  Kay actually stopped paper piecing long enough to do the sea horse and the snowmen and Chris M. did the bunny (excuse my finger, please).   I hope you can see the stitching on the sea horse.  I think it is particularly excellent.  To my surprise, Kay does not do it free motion, but the regular ol' way going around the pieces with the feed dogs up.  She says she goes slowly, but it comes out great.  And it is less scary than free motion for most of us. 

This is only about 10 inches square

This one is much bigger as you can see by the inch markings on the mat:

These are also only about ten inches and put on stretcher frames.  I left the rest of the things in to give it some scale (that and the fact that I didn't want to haul out the ladder totake a picture).


Tomorrow I am going to show you how to do make half square triangles several different ways.

NEXT week 2/19, Kay and Chris M. are going to show you how to do the laser cut appliques.  They have a week to psych up for it since I am springing this on them.


And you know we have a few of you!  I completely missed St Patrick's Day last year, but this year, I want you to know that we have some fabric:


 I cute kit with very few pieces:  (It's about 12 by 14 inches).  After you get the leprechan made, he goes to

 visit his friends at the local pub (laser cut) where he runs into


 His friend the green bunny:



It's 20% off.  You save $300.  In other words it's MSRP is $1499 but it is $1199 now.  It is lighter than it looks and has a ton of features.  See Jacqueline.




If you like to feel soft things, (and who doesn't?) you really need to feel this.  You could think of it as double sided Minkee, but it is thicker than that.  We got two baby colors and an "adult color" for a throw on the couch.  All you'd have to do is buy two yards and figure out a way to bind it. 

We had something called Flurr about 6 years ago that was similar, but this is more plush and even softer.



Jacqueline's Texture class is coming up (but she called it Mini Curves).  It is Thursday night 2/12 and you can sign up here

Serger 101 (or pre school) and Serger Technique class.  I KNOW that there are a lot of you with sergers who don't know much about them.  THIS IS YOUR CHANCE.  Jacqueline is very patient (unlike some of us) and she wants to show you all the cool things it can do.  Don't be embarrassed.  The whole class will be in the same boat.  This is a rare Sunday class and an even more rare Monday class.   You must go to the Sunday class to learn the basics before the Monday class to make a nice drape-y top.  Sign up for Sunday here and Monday here.

Beginner T Shirt Class  This is the first quilt many people make.  Tell a friend.  If you or they, start now it will be ready for graduation, or at least when they go off to college in the fall.  Sign up here

TOTAL Beginner Easy Breezy Class is offered again on two evenings in early March - 5th & 12th and again April on the 16 & 23rd and then again in June on the 4th & 11.  Choose one of those if you have never made a quilt before and want to get started.  We have made it really easy.  You have two evenings with Jacqueline, and then take a Finishing School class. Sign up here at the bottom of the page.


Finishing School - This is a ton of information on how to take that top and layer it, quilt it, and bind it.  Get rid of the guilt and on to your next quilt idea.  Seriously, I know that many quilt shops teach beginners how to make a top, but now how to actually make it into a finished quilt.  Let me show you in a few hours.  Remember, if this was difficult, I wouldn't be doing it.  Sign up right here 

Idea - For those of you who took the Leaf bowls class, how about using that Inn Spire product on large flower fabric?  It might be hard to see here, but Jacq made 3 D bowls from some very large floral fabric.  In a nutshell, the Inn Spire is stiff, but will is moldable when it gets hot.  So you put it in between two layers of fabric, put it on top of something like a mason jar, and take a hair dryer to it, and voila'.  If you are like me, and need a deadline to do something,  Jacqueline is holding the class again on Sunday March 1st .  You will leave with a finished bowl.  Sign up here.


Challenging (or advanced - however you want to think of it) group returns.  Third Saturday of the month at 10:30.  This group has been on a sabatical but it returns and is looking for more quilters who are well beyond beginner and would like to meet with some similarly skilled quilters on a regular basis.  That sounded serious.  We are not that serious.  Part of the challenge is that I have nothing left to teach these guys so it is self guided.  That being said, I have found a block of the month that I think would be worth doing and give us something to compare every month and see how it looks in different colors (my favorite part).  It is called Women of Courage and includes a little bit of history.  For example, I now know who Bessie Coleman, of Bessie Coleman Drive up near O'Hare was.*



If you are interested in the group, but don't like the quilt above (be sure to picture it in your own color choices since we don't even have those fabrics), here is another option:

 Or, you can do your own thing, but just come every month for some ideas and encouragement.  Sign up here and we will have our first meeting on February 21st at 10:30 am.  Looking forward to getting a gang together.




February 4, 2015

Hello Quilters!


Quilts of Valor for Saturday 2/7 is postponed until further notice.

Finishing School for 2/5 evening is moved to Saturday Feb 21st in the afternoon.

LUNCH N LEARN tomorrow 2/5 will be on creating the illusion of Transparency.  It is something I learned many years ago from Karen Combs.  A very cool trick for any level of quilter.  It means where you make it look like one piece of fabric is on top of another and you are seeing through the top piece to the bottom piece.  An example from the Modern Quilt Studio:


Picking fabric is a tough job.  You can't imagine how many different collections of fabric there are for Christmas.  The fabric reps start showing us next year's as soon as Christmas is over, and sometimes even before Christmas is over!

It is impossible to remember from one rep to the next.  This year I decided not to order  until I had seen them all, and I took pictures. In some cases, I took pictures of who liked which group.  Exhibit A:


But, I have an idea.  How about if I figure out a way to post the pictures and YOU vote?  I am a novice at this, but I hear it can be done on Facebook, or something.  Anybody want to explain it to me?  Thanks. 



The bobbin case was always jam proof, but they brought back a feature that customers demanded for cutting the thread when you load the bobbin:

Large room under the arm, scissor button, speed control, knee lift, zillions of stitches, and MRSP $1499 - what's not to like?  

$300 off makes it even more better!  That's $1199 for a limited time.  Starts Friday until Valentine's Day.  See Jacqueline.


Psssst - secret -  I will usually match another dealer's prices, especially from a show.  And if you ask nicely, sometimes I even include a gift certificate for fabric, just for coming to us instead.   Afterall, lessons are included, and you don't want to have to drive to Timbuktu for your lessons, do you?  Buying a sewing machine is a big deal and I don't think you should have to get it from a dealer you might not ever see again just because they were at a show.   Thanks.  This even goes for out of town.  I have had women call me from Paducah to inquire about a deal!  It doesn't hurt to ask.


Have you noticed the latice square in the store full of "bundles"?  They are twelve 1/4 yard cuts.  Here is an example of what you can make from one. Yes, I will write up the pattern.




We always have plenty of Children's fabric at because I know that making a quilt for a baby is the way many of us got started.  Robert Kaufman has some cute animals that we keep carry and we just got some coordinates for them.


Speaking of fabric, the Michael Miller fabric rep was here and I bought a lot.  He and I were both shocked.  I can't figure out if they have gotten less wild, or if I have gotten used to their "look".  In any case, I am psyched for some of it to arrive.  I hope to have some new samples whipped up in it for the show in Rosemont in late March.  The people that run the Rosemont show called and asked if we wanted to sell advanced tickets.  I said, "No, thanks, but I just emailed a couple thousand of my closest friends and told them to save the dates".  March 26 - 28th.


This is a visual reminder that we have YouTube videos on a channel.  This one isn't uploaded as of this minute, but it shows you how to insert something cute as you make a Jelly Roll race, or Ridiculous, as I call them.



And another thing, if you, or especially out of town friends, are liking our videos, PLEASE tell them that we still have a few How To Make Your First Quilt DVDs for sale.  $19.99.  It is like getting 2 hours of You Tube videos of me showing everything from cutting to piecing to pressing to layering tofree motion quilting to binding.  From the old days.  Pre YouTube.  Way back in about 2008.  Order it here.  


Serger project for Monday February 16th.  I am telling you, stick with Jacqueline and you will learn all kinds of things.  The sign up for this class is here.


 To me the best part of a class that meets more than once, is seeing how the same quilt looks in different colors.  This is from the second meeting of the Paradise In Bloom Judy Niemeyer Class.  Are these cool fabric selections, or what?   BTW, we will have a Paradise in Bloom at our booth at Rosemont and will be giving away the next class series at deep discount if you buy the pattern there.




Susan says she thinks of this one as Ode to Pieceful Heart because she is using up the Kaffe Fassett fabric she got there:




No, didn't join it again, but if you come in with your passport, we'll give you a choice of several free patterns.  I think it is around Valentine's Day.  


I do not remember ever seeing snow that got WIDER as it piled up.  This was when we were only about halfway through the storm.  I was pretty surprised when I plunged in my ruler the next day and we had a half yard of snow!



January 28, 2015

Hello Quilters!

Long time no talk.  Thank you very much to those of you who noticed that I was not sending emails.  I am fine.  No worries.


will be Intro to Paper Piecing.   This is aimed at beginners who either know nothing about it, or tried and failed.  It is difficult unless someone shows you. Paper piecing is a technique where the block is printed on paper and you sew the fabric to one side of it.  Your actually sew through two layers of fabric and the paper.  The paper is ripped off before it is quilted.  It's not new, they used to use newspaper as foundations, and before that, muslin.  When you see very sharp skinny points, it was probably paper pieced.

This is one of the few that I do hands on.  It would help if you brought some little pieces of fabric about 3 inches by 4 inches, pins, fabric scissors, a glue stick, a small rotary cutter if you have one, and an add-a-quarter ruler if you have one.  We will actually do part of a New York Beauty block so you get the hang of it and have something to take home to refer to.



So here we are in late January 2015.  I am learning that I have some kind of phobia when it comes to committing to dates, as I never seem to want to nail down class dates.  Still working on some of that. 

Here is a date that is definite - the giant quilt show in Rosemont IL will be March 26 - 28th.  We got our booth assignment and it is 930.  It is in the second aisle of vendors.  If you have never been to this one, it is put on by Quilts, Inc. (that gives you a clue as to how dedicated to quilts they are) and it is very professional.  You will see fabulous, award winning quilts.  Do not let them discourage you.  Be inspired - they had to start somewhere, and not everyone can spend 8+ hours a day on their quilting.  

Oh, and some people just go to shop at the vendors.



We got more, slightly different yellow and blue fabric along with layer cakes and charm packs of it (10 inch and 5 inch squares).



We also got more yellow and grey that is very similar to the fabrics in this Yummy sample. It also has layer cakes and charm packs. 


We have two of these world map kits left:




SERGER classes.  Come on, we know you have one and you don't know what to do with it.  Fess up.  Jacqueline is going to show you.  It's a whole new world of possibilities.   If you don't have one, but would like to, I am sure Jacqueline would be happy to show you the JANOME sergers.  Anyway, she has two classes planned over the Presidents weekend in February.  One on Sunday for the BASICS in Serger 101 and then a fun project for Monday (yes, while the store is closed).   You must take the 101 Basics class (or test out of it) before you can take the project class because it is no fun for everyone else to wait while you fumble with threading.   (I am not sure what I mean by "test out" but it could get awkward, and/or involve a bribe of chocolate, so, please, just take the BASICS class unless you are Nancy from Sewing with Nancy!)  The dates are February 15th for Serger 101 and then the 16th for the techniques class.  Jacq needs to update the description of the technique class on our website.

BEGINNER'S FINISHING SCHOOL - on a rare evening class for me, I am going to teach how to do borders, layering/sandwiching, machine quilting and binding.  Who else do you know that can teach all that in two hours?  But seriously, this is for the beginners doing their first quilt, and anyone else who has a top and doesn't quite know how to turn it into a quilt.  February 5th 6 - 8 pm

TEXTURES with Jacqueline.  If you spend any time in a home dec department of a store, you will see that there is a big emphasis on texture and even decorative stitches.  We can do this people.  I took a bunch of pictures in a Marshall Field's last fall (that I forgot to show you) and I took these at Kohl's the other day.   The last picture is Jacqueline's sample for the class.  I think the point is to get creative with what you can do with your sewing machine, and then go nuts!







This is a tip, too, if you need to quilt a quilt with embroidery or applique, use "invisible" thread, and it won't detract from the objects.


The next three were all from Strip Club at various times.  It feels good to finish!  And we love to see them, and you get a coupon for bringing in Show and Tell.



You gotta love an airport that has quilt designs in the carpet:




I once had a "dear reader" be annoyed that I showed a vacation picture once, so I hesitate to mention vacations anymore.  But wait, I should be able to go away occasionally, shouldn't I?  Especially if I use free airline miles?  See if you can tell where I was by these two pics.  Look at what is hanging from the guy's belt in the second one.  They had been spear fishing!  I like to see what the locals are doing, not just be a tourist.

Lastly, way too rough to go snorkeling at that beach!  Sometimes it is very calm and a great place to snorkel.

November 19, 2014

Hello Quilters!


Skyline.  OMG.  This seems to have everything that the extremely popular 6600 had/has but it is less expensive.  MSRP $1499.  OK, it has a few less stitches, but it has the pop on/pop off throat plate (no screws) and comes with a single needle throat plate.   Just took it out of the box yesterday afternoon.   As per usual, Janomes are a really good value.  Financing would be less than $50 a month.  Layaway is available, too.   It does not have as much room under the arm as the 8200 or 8900.  Why not come over when you have an hour to kill and try them out?  What's the worst that could happen...?  ;)




I know this is a strange time of year to get such bright springy fabric, but I couldn't resist.  There are several coordinates, too.



What if you could use up some of your stash AND wrap your holiday gifts?  We have at least 5 ways to do that.  You ought to like at least one.  Plus, as a hand out, we have the fastest possible way to make a pillowcase that has no raw edge seams.  It is called the "hot dog" method by some.




This is what we are going to make.  Kay did our sample in Christmas Strips.  

Last time we did Bargello, so would will be able to see the who and tells from that.  Eileen kindly brought an example in to show last time:

The time before was an Atkinson pattern called Popsicle Sticks

The way Strip Club works -  Some people signed up for the year, but you can also drop in for $10 at 10 am Saturday the 22nd.  It is the 4th Saturday of the "odd" months.  You get a pattern, I explain/demo how to make it, and we do show and tell from the previous meeting and whatever other show and tell someone brings.  It is fun for beginners and it is fun for more experienced people who enjoy seeing how the same quilt looks in different colors and values.   It is my favorite morning of the month.


I thought this was clever.  Bobbie is going to make two shams to go with a quilt that I did on the long arm.  I also quilted the shams as one big piece that she will cut apart and make into the shams.  So it all matches, even the quilting.

Check out the banner and closeup of the cupcake quilting, done all by herself.  This customer has taken a lot of classes at  Just sayin'.

Another successful Chris Cross from our first video on our YouTube channel:

 Now some gratuitous pics from the Madison show back in September:

This is what stippling looks like when done by HAND!


September 24, 2014

Hello Quilters!

Two exciting new arrivals yesterday

1. The Chicago subway fabric reorder

2. Steam a Seam 2 came back!!!  We have a bolt of Lite and a bolt of Regular.  Limit 2 yards per customer for now.  We ordered 3 bolts of each but only got one!  If you don't have any idea what Steam a Seam 2 is, you need to try it for fusible applique.  It is the stuff that makes all the great applique projects possible for anyone who enjoyed kindergarten (trace, cut, paste).  Fabulous stuff but the company quit making it for a while.  The roar of consumers has brought it back. 

SCHEDULE CHANGES - The return of Thursday Lunch N Learn and the demise of Saturday Lunch N Learns. 

According to the poll results, Saturdays are just too darn busy for you to fit in a Lunch N Learn, and I needed a break from Thursdays, but break is over now.  I have fresh ideas for topics. 

As a new enhancement (does "enhancement" sound like my software selling days?), Jacqueline is moving Assisted Sewing to Thursday afternoons.  This way you can come to Lunch N Learn and stay to sew.  You might want to try the technique or project just taught, or you might want help with something else.  Or you might just want some time to be with other quilters.  We are excited about the concept and hope you will be too. 

I will be assigning topics to dates and updating the website with the schedule asap.  Many topics are short project suitable for gift giving.  I might actually be prepared for the holidays this year*. 

Lunch N Learn Definition - I started these so that you could find out if you were interested in something without having to commit so many hours to a class.  So, for example, in the Overview of Applique, you each get little pieces of freezer paper, Steam a Seam, and fabric squares, and we go through the steps of fusible applique, machine applique with edges turned under, and hand applique.  At the end of an hour, you will know enough to try some applique in the future, (or perhaps have learned that applique is not for you), and it only cost you an hour of your life and $10, not three evenings.  There are so many cool things to try in quilting, and I just want to expose you to all of them so you can have fun in whatever parts of it appeal to you.   Which reminds me...


If you come in with a finished quilt to show us, we give you a coupon for a small discount.  We love to see what you make.  It brightens our day.


  1. The T shirt class filled, so Jacqueline just added another for the Saturday afternoons of November 8 and 22.  Makes a fabulous present for your favorite high school or college student.  NOTE: (self serving note) Quilt stores stay in business by developing new quilters.  If you have a friend or neighbor who is ripe for making a T shirt quilt, please tell them about this class, or the following class -
  2. Total Beginner, Easy Breezy Class - Two options - Saturday afternoons September 27th and October 18th  Click here, or Thursday evenings October 2nd and 9th Click here .  This class assumes absolutely no previous experience and can be made in anything from baby to masculine fabrics.  And unlike classes elsewhere, we don't leave the student with just a top, but will teach you hope to quilt it and bind it, in the Finishing class the next week.  Click here 
  3. Free Motion Quilting Hands On with Bobbie on Sunday October 5th click here.   I don't want to hear any whining that you can't free motion quilt if you don't at least try this class.  It gets rave reviews and will not be offered again until the spring!
  4.  Mystery class on a Friday night.  Click here  I seriously don't understand why there is any room in this class.  I might sign up myself.  You have two gourmet cooks make dinner for you, and you get to sit and sew and talk to other fun loving quilters, locked in a quilt store after closing, but you can still shop.  What's not to like?  Perhaps showing you some of the past mystery quilts will help.... Keep in mind that you get to pick your fabrics if these are not your taste.




I recently uploaded at least 100 pictures of quilts that I took at the show in Madison.  If you like my pictures, you might want to "like" on Facebook and you'll see more of them. 





OK, so we are not doing the the quilt above on Saturday, but you will lean HOW to do it. 

We will be doing this one:



* I may have said that last year, but every year I get closer to it!  It's good to have goals and dreams :)


September 19, 2014


Hello Quilters!

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, and I have some ideas for where you could go today or this weekend -, of course.  Let me see if I can entice you with some new fabric and things.

We just cut more fall "jelly rolls".  I love it when Joyce make a combination that seems to glow.



We also made more Pink and Purple after the great show and tell from last week.




BTW, this is an example of what you can make from the Purple roll:


In case you need something to sew on:

Christmas is coming, and so is our big order of these great machines.  Jacqueline is having a "test drive" a week from Sunday on the 28th.  You can try the machine and make a little project at the same time.   Try it, you will definitely like it.  Please sign up by calling her (not on the website).

Janome (Ja KNOW me) is a 150+ year old Japanese company.  Great engineering.  Extremely well run company.  And more for your money than the European brands. I could go on and on, but I won't (now).  




This is Chicago's actual subway map, although not correctly colored (some copyright issue or something).  Already on our second bolt....



Navy and a peachy-red fabric:

New patterns (here's just one):


 STRIP CLUB is a week from tomorrow on the 27th at 10 am.  I promised to teach how to do a bargello quilt with strips.  Here's a small example that Jacqueline whipped up from the new fabric:

We make quilts from 2 1/2 inch strips (no clothes come off except coats in the winter).   $10 drop in.  Bring show and tell of something you make from strips.


Leaves from the beginning of the Fire Island Hosta class:


I made some progress on a UFO from last year.  Or was it the year before?  Soon to be a kit with the borders:



This is from the bar on the top of the Lincoln hotel downtown.  I'm not sure I even knew that little pond was there by the farm at the zoo.  Or I forgot.  Went to see Michaela last Sunday and we had a drink there. She called it "day drinking".  That stuck me funny.  And also reminded me that the Super Bowl was way more fun back when it was in the afternoon.  Shows how old I am, as I guess that was a long time ago.  I lost interest in it sometime soon after the '85 Bears.

 September 12, 2014

Hello Quilters!

I apologize for saying that the first two weeks of September are usually beautful, summer like weather.  Apparently I forgot that there is an exception to every rule.  But, is that really 52 degrees on the thermometer on my deck??? 

Lot of things to read and pictures to see, so I better get started.  Actually, I think I will send another one on classes and events as it is already noon on Friday.  Enjoy the pictures and please answer the survey if it applies to you.


Pat D. brought this quilt in to be quilted.  I thought it looked so handsome, and familiar....  Then I realized it is made from one of our bundles and one of the patterns for bundles.  Duh. 

We started making these bundles of quarter yard cuts again last spring.  I say again, since we had them in the early days.  We have at least 5 patterns that are written specifically for them.  Many fat quarter patterns would work with them.  Joyce picks the colors.  What's not to like?  Grab a bundle and a pattern, and maybe some background if needed.  





mystery, beginner, tshirt





How's this for simple, impressive, and personalized?!


Mary S. was the first to complete a Row by Row quilt and bring it in to us.  See more info on our facebook page.  She won 25 fat quarters, but I let her pick her own yardage instead.  Don't tell. 


I call it Ridiculous, but you may call it 1600, o Jelly Roll Race.   What if you used it for a background for some friends that like music, and added some simple applique?


Did you know that if you bring in a finished quilt for Show and Tell, we give you a reward coupon/  These quilters know it.  I loved this stripe fabric and I love what she did with it.  So much so that it is hanging in our classroom for a while.   Thank you.  There is no pattern for this.  She started with a quilt in a math quilt book (which I know I have but can't find now) and when on from there.  Great border, right?   Much as I like to sell patterns, I like to see your own creativity and problem solving even more!


This Ridiculous is from our Pink and Purple roll.  Joyce made more yesterday after we say this.  She did not make all her "joins" go the same way.  Love the difference it made. 


This started with fabric from the Sale corner.  

Trust me, the color is off in this picture, but look at all those pieces!


Then sometimes you need to use bigger pieces.  Up close this has a strange assortment of fabrics from her stash, some with history to them (like a dress as a child) but they all work with the black background.  



SURVEY SAYS!  (To my horror/amusement, Trevor loves to watch Family Feud)

We are working on the fall schedule and we need some opinions please. Just reply, please.

A. WHY are you not attending Saturday Lunch N Learns?  Many asked, few attend.

  1. bad time, would prefer_______
  2. what are you talking about?
  3. not interested because ________  (I really want to know so just blurt it out)

B.  WHEN would be most convenient for those of you with our JANOMEs to have machine lessons with Jacqueline?

  1. 8:30 am Weekday
  2. 8:30 am Saturday
  3. 1:30 pm Thursday
  4. 6:30 pm Thursday
  5. Other ____________
  6. Never because ___________ (just tell us)


Not a thing to report except if yesterday was 9/11 it is almost the store's anniversary.  13 wonderful years, thanks to you!  That reminds me, I saw Gina of Pieceful Heart last week.  She says to tell you that she misses you all even more than she thought she would.

September 3, 2014

 Hello Quilters!

Hi kids.  Happy fall, although as someone pointed out to me back in the 1980s, the first two weeks in September are often gorgeous summer weather.  This person took their vacation at this time of year and I met him on a golf course.   But I digress, before I even start.


We have a new video.  Go watch it here.   It is about how to take a fabric square (like a ten inch layer cake square) and make it tilt a little to the left or the right.  Great for T shirt quilts.  It turns out that the math to make the right size and shape of wedge shapes to surround the square doesn't have to involve math at all!   I know that is music to most ears, except math geeks like me.  All you have to do it fold to find the middle.  It will work for any size larger than ten inches. 

Soooo......why would I care, you wonder.  Because the best looking T shirt quilt I ever saw, tilted every other square the opposite way, and unified the whole thing by making the right leaning blocks in red and the left leaning blocks in blue (no political statement intended).  It was a Cubs quilts and I would love to give credit to the lady who brought it in to be quilted, so please reply if it was you.

Anyway, this would be a great Christmas present for the kid who has gone off to college and you didn't quite get that quilt made.  Take a bunch of their T shirts, find a uniform size square that you can cut out of all of them and get the message (maybe it's 11.5 inches, maybe it's 13), and you will be off and running.  Be sure to use iron on woven stabilizer on the inside of the T shirt before you start cutting (we carry it).  T shirt quilts are often the first quilt that a new quilter makes, so if you have any friends whose child has gone off to college and they are feeling a little lost, this is a great project for them. 

If you or your friend would rather do it as a CLASS, Jacqueline has one scheduled on Sat, Sept. 20, 2014 at 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm and Sat, Oct 11, 2014 at 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm.  Sign up for the T shirt class


Some years the fabric manufacturers don't make much flannel, and some years they do.  This year is a good year for flannel IMHO.  Here are two that I made within a week from my Whip It Up pattern. 

The colors in this photo are not very true.  The yellow is more gold and not so bright, and the gold is more rust.  Very manly.  Kit is $91 for the top and pattern.  Remember to buy binding and backing.

The closeup shows the plaids but the colors still are not very good. 

 This one is truer to the colors.  We debated appliquing a big snowman and snowflakes, or trees on it, but in the end, decided you could always do that if you wanted to.  This flannel is very soft.  It is yarn dyed, as opposed to printed.  Kit is $91 for the top and pattern.  Remember to buy binding and backing.





This is from the Jacob's Ladder Layer Cake club pattern from a few months ago - you think you are the only one with UFOs?   It's big - 84 inches square and starts with a layer cake and 4 yards of a "background" fabric.  I used one of the Kansas Troubles layer cakes.  Pretty proud of myself with the secondary design it creates.  That's another one off my bucket list. 

Hey, I just had a scary thought - if you do all the things on your bucket list, does something bad happen....?



 The ever busy Bobbie Butler made another Halloween quilt using a "charm pack (5 inch squares).  We are cutting kits for it today, as I type. Kit is $65.


Bobbie and Charlotte will be doing a Mystery Class on Friday night October 17th from 6 - 10 pm and on Sunday October 19th from 2 - 6 pm.  Choose one, not both.  If you haven't done a Mystery quilt class, but you like to sew without too much thinking, oh, and you like to eat and talk, this might be for you.  $ 65 includes, the fabric, food, and fun at class.   Sign up for the Mystery Class


I do an Overview of Machine Quilting, but Bobbie is the one to teach it hands on.  The next class is Sunday afternoon October 5th.  Sign up for Free Motion Quilting class



We don't get many guys in here for show and tell, so this was exciting.   Look at all those wonderfully matched half square triangles!


Linda took my Dorm Quilt pattern and used a different layout.  I think I like hers better.  Stars with a "layer cake".


Jan Krentz came and taught at the old store.  It was the only time we used the empty bank next door as a classroom so it was memorable for me.  This is a big one, and the value placement makes it very interesting to look at. 


Joyce's only daughter is getting married this month.  She's been working on this Chuppah for the ceremony.  The couple live in Colorado, so it is meant to seem as though they are looking up at aspen trees.  So talented.


In between layer cakes and strip club quilts, Linda apparently had time to do this One Block Wonder.   It's from a series of books by that name that we carry. 




I uploaded pictures I took form the 2006 Rosemont show to our Facebook page, and am going to be uploading some other batches of pictures from shows, so you might want to look at's Facebook page.

August 22, 2014
Hello Quilters! 

Happy Friday afternoon.

 Could someone please stop time from flying?

Tomorrow will be a busy day packed with info if you want to take advantage of it.  That's Saturday the 23rd.

 LAYER CAKE CLUB at 10 a.m. for $10. 

This one will be especially good for BEGINNERS.  Afraid of triangles?  You won't be by 11 am!  You are welcome to just show up as long as you are here promptly by 10 am and have $10 cash in your hot little hand.

This class/club, is where you get a new pattern every time that uses those pretty 10 inch square packs (Layer Cakes).  Here are the ones we have done in the past to give you an idea:




 I think this is what we are going to tomorrow, although .....


 I just promised to show beginners how to do half square triangles so we will also do this:


Every Saturday at noon.  Same concept as above in that you can drop in for $10 cash.  There is no theme.  Each week its a different technique.  Tomorrow is:

 How to make two runners from one piece of striped fabric that finish with octagonal ends. 



 And next week on the 30th is the ever popular Overview of Machine Quilting.




Warning!  Don't be fooled by $120 classes that make you commit to many sessions - you won't even learn to quilt or bind, just the top. IMHO, you'd be better off to come to one of our beginner classes like Easy Breezy or Whip It Up and then Finishing School. Or to Layer Cake or Strip Club on the fourth Saturday of the month for $10.


This is actually doing double duty as show and tell, and last time's strip club:

Melanie, a new quilter, finished her Vintage Compass already!  She has a bright future in quilting.  This was her 2nd quilt.  See, I CAN teach you to do a Judy Niemeyer quilt if you have to desire to do it.  Amazon Star next weekend (hint, hint)



August 14, 2014

Hello Quilters!

It's nice to finally have summer isn't it?  I hate that some of the new things to show you are definitely fall or beyond....

Kay made some placemats with reversible napkins.  They are dark green, sorry they don't who well against the background.

 If you are familiar with Elf on the Shelf, you might want to get this panel and make it into a book.   If you are not familiar with him, apparently it is a new thing, where he is a spy for Santa, and he moves to different places in a house during the night, so the kids get totry to find him every morning.  That's all I know, except it's all the rage, and we have matching fabric.


We have a lot of fall fabric because all the staff like fall.  This would make a great table runner......In fact, next Saturday, the 23rd, the Lunch N Learn will show you how to make 2 runners from one length of fabric, and do it in very little time.  You may have seen the very popular version that uses a 60 degree ruler, but the end is pointed (which I didn't like) so I came up with a variation which make the ends octagonal.  Come see.  That includes lunch, and bring $10 cash (exact change appreciated), promptly at noon in the classroom.


The arrows are trying to show how the stripes are placed differently in the pair of runners.


We were running low on Minkee.  The reorders came in.  The green in the back row, second from the left goes really well with some flannel that I will have samples of by next week.  We have some "manly" flannels this year.  Halleluiah.  Sorry to tease. 






Usually you have to re-register, but this time we have some extra spots for drop ins...

Check out the projects for the Anita Goodesign Embroidery workshop -- Saturday, August 16 at 10:30 a.m.  Cost:  $15
Block Into Bag
This workshop exclusive features Anita's wonderful doodles!  Many customers have requested similar designs to the doodles drawn on the workshop packets, so here they are!  This zippered bag project showcases the fun doodle block, but you can use any quilt block from Anita's Mix & Match Quilting collections.  This bag is lined and made entirely in the hoop, making it a fast and easy project.   
doodle bag.jpg
Sewing Caddy - This in-the-hoop project is practical and exclusive to the workshop!  Featuring Anita's beautiful hand-stitch design.  The extra thick top stitches create a striking result made easy by your embroidery machine.  Use fabric scraps to create this handy sewing accessory.  After you create the folded fabric block, a few extra steps will sew this caddy together in the hoop.  This unique and practical project will be the envy of all your sewing friends. 
doodles caddy.jpg
Checkbook Cover - Create a fun and stylish checkbook cover in the hoop!  This exclusive project features a peek-a-boo cutwork technique which allows you to use fun pops of fabric.  The pockets and backing fabric are added in the hoop, making this a fast and easy project.  These designs even match Anita's Blossom Bag collection, so you can make a matching set for any occasion. 
Doodles checkbook.jpg
Stay for Lunch & Learn at 12:00 p.m. -- Learn All About Stabilizers.  Machine Embroiderers use dozens of types of stabilizers to make their projects successful.  Come and learn about which types of stabilizers work best for various types of projects.   Cost: $10, and it includes lunch.  

Try out our "Assisted Machine Embroidery" session at 1:00 p.m.  Bring your embroidery machine and a project to the shop, and have three uninterrupted hours to work on it.  Or use one of our embroidery machines ... if you're one of the first to call in and sign up.  There will be an experienced machine embroiderer to help you over the rough spots.  Cost $15

 August 7, 2014

Hello Quilters!

You know for our bricks and mortar store in Westmont, but did you know that we do a little internet business?  I thought I'd show you some detail pictures of our most popular kit online.  You may not have ever noticed it hanging in the store.

I'd like to make that little online business into a bigger business (because I am never moving the physical store to a bigger space!). 

So feel free to forward to an out of town friend, and/or encourage them to sign up for our newsletter online.  Yes, soon the whole country could be getting pretty pictures from me in their emails. ;)  Seriously, though, we have had orders for our How to Make Your First Quilt DVD from as far away as the Philippines and Australia, and all over the USA.   Tell them to look at the kits and rolls, not the fabric (not up to date).



Jacqueline and I went to a JANOME meeting yesterday and saw a wonderful new machine that is coming out with a ton of features for under $2000 AND we will be able to have a great deal on the wonderful 8900 including the very stable table that has been unavailable for some time.  Christmas is coming.  Never too early to tell Santa, or be your own Santa. 


Jacqueline is going to do the Lunch N Learn since I will be away.  She can do anything with a sewing machine, not just quilt.  She's going to demo a ruffler that works for any brand, anda circular attachment, and maybe whatever else you ask her nicely about.  Bring questions.  Maybe threade painting.....  $10 cash, just show up in the classroom.  Starts promptly at noon. 


Did you know we have a pattern to make this?  No we do not, and will not have a kit for this one.



 Next time I tell you that Jacqueline is doing a landscape and thread painting class, jump on it.  Here's what she shipped up for the current class.  Maybe you'd like to call and ask to be put onthe waiting list for next time.

 The jelly rolls that we make ourselves were are a big hit at Rosemont show.  A lady who bought 3 of the rainbow ones called the other day and asked us to send her two more.

 A favorite for the last few years - only a few kits available.

I finally wrote up the pattern for how to take a striped fabric and make two table runners the same length.  You can either make the 60 degree ends, or octagonal ends as shown in the pictures.  The arrows show how the two runners will have the fabric placed differently.





Anyone experience that micro hail storm last week?  I wish I had been here at the time.  We live in Woodridge.  Trevor called me from home, at the store about 4 pm, and asked if we were getting the hail because it was coming down like crazy and it kept going and going.   These pictures were taken when I got home an hour and a half later!  The first pic shows the hail, about the size of frozen peas, the second how they came down the drainpipe and piled up at the bottom, about 8 inches deep, and the last, our deck.  I watched the weather and Brant Miller pointed out how Naperville had a temperature of 62 while everywhere around had cooled off to 72 from the 80s.  He didn't seem to realize that it was because of all the ice on the ground.  If you look carefully just above the railing in the last picture, you can see the fog as the hail started to melt and evaporate.   Got to be one of the strangest weather things I have ever seen, and if I hadn't seen the aftermath, I don't think I would have believed it.   Beat the heck out of all the annual flowers.  Literally beat all the flowers off them. 


On a completely different note, I appreciate those of you who alert me to a problem so I can fix it.  Thank you. 


This little Facebook icon looks like it has stitching around it.  Click it to go to our Facebook page, and "like"  Please and thank you. 

July 30, 2014


Hello Quilters!

I hate the whole concept of Christmas in July.  BUT the fabric manufacturers love it, so even though we are not doing a big event, the fabric has been arriving and we are putting it out today. 

Fall and Halloween have already been out for a week.  Most of us at the store LOVE fall and we don't understand why we always seem to have too much left over.  I mean, obviously I am buying too much, but do you not love it?  Thoughts?  Feedback?

That reminds me.  Thank you to the people who told me what that red flower was. The concensus seems to be crocosmia.

The 3rd and 4th fabrics from the left are little pilgrims and turkeys!  Poor thanksgiving gets skipped over.  Also note the stripes for the easy table runners.









Landscape & Threadplay August 3rd from 1 - 3 and 10th from 10 - 4.  You can see more and sign up here.

There will be no assisted sew next Wednesday Aug 6th.

Vintage Rose starts Saturday August 2nd.  This is an easy Judy Niemeyer to start with. 

Beginner classes are scheduled if you check the website.








Chris Sass

July 23, 2014


Hello Quilters!

First, I must apologize.  My web hosting company has lost the ability to use recently.  If you have asked to be removed, or replied about anything in the last month, I have not gotten it.  I am so sorry.  Please try again directly to me at until  I tell you it is fixed.  

Next, ss it a sewer, or a sew-er?



Strip Club is Saturday morning at 10 am.  My favorite morning of the month.  Drop in for $10.  Free pattern on a quilt made from a "jelly roll, instruction, and show and tell is welcome. This is the pattern for this week.  Popsicle Sticks by Atkinson Designs.


Saturday's Lunch and Learn is showing all the different things that you could make out of ONE jelly roll.  Christmas will be here again in 5 months. 

Sunday afternoon Jacqueline is doing a "test drive" of the 8200 that she and I keep raving about. Come check it out and make a small bag to keep your extra feet in for free.


Last week during the Lunch and Learn, I found myself admitting that I had never made a log cabin block, much less a quilt.  Can't say that anymore.  Look.  It's about 52" by 60".  We have a kit and it is $54.





 Someone know how to start with a panel in the center and go from there!


 Pat can't seem to stop using our jelly rolls in braids.  This is from our purple jelly roll (duh)

This is from the jelly roll called Chain Link:




I took a week off and went to a house near the beach in Indiana.  It was very, very quiet during the week and I sewed, listened to books, walked and slept.  Nice.  In the top center pic, the Chicago skyline is on the right end of the horizon, and if anyone knows what those red flowers are, I'd like to know.  I had never seen them before. 


Chris Sass

July 10, 2014


Hello Quilters!

Hope you had a happy Fourth of July.  I went to fireworks two nights in a row which always makes me happy.  Years ago we found a great spot to watch the Lisle Eyes to the Skies fireworks up close. We're so close, that one year the wind was blowing the wrong way and we had to back up.



Note - if you are new to emails, you can catch up with past pictures and events, but looking at our website under NEWS


It's been a couple weeks, so I have a lot to show you.  Here goes.


Jacqueline and I made two new videos and I posted them on YouTube yesterday.  The first one is a quilt you can make with a Layer Cake.  Jacqueline thought it was pretty clever and went home and made one the weekend after we did the video taping.  This is mine before it was quite finished.

The second one is a short one showing how Jacqueline uses the "surgical" seam ripper to speed up "un-sewing". 

Here are links to them:


NEW CLASSES ADDED Learn a new skill in the coming dog days of summer

Landscape and Threadplay

That Jacqueline.  She's always creating something.  Today she came in with a new landscape/threadplay wall hanging.



The threadplay on the wall hanging is fantastic.  We agreed that the JANOME 8200 is just unbelievably smooth at this.  I had to admit that when I sewed something quickly on a 6600 the other day I noticed the difference from the 8200 that I have been using at home.  Wow.  But I digress.  Again.   Here's the landscape, and a closeup, and you can sign up for the landscape/threadplay class HERE


Back by popular demand.  Spend tow different Sunday afternoons playing with Joyce in her world.   Sign up here


There's a great gadget that I showed in a lunch n learn, but this is going to be hands on.  I know you can set in a circle in less time than it would take you to applique it.  Try it.  sign up here.


We've also added some classes in the fall for Total Beginners and people who want to make T shirt quilts. 

If you have a friend who wants to start quilting, or maybe has a kid to send off to college with a quilt, maybe you could refer them to these. Or maybe you should sign up.  The total Beginners is called Easy Breezy and it's made using one of our "bundles" of 12 quarter yard cuts.  Here is a sample of it made with kids fabric (monsters) also some of the quilts in progress from the last time we offered it.  BTW at least one of the students was a self taught quilter, and just wanted to get some tips on cutting and sewing.  T shirt class here.

You can sign up for Beginners class here.



When you see very sharp points on a quilt, they were probably made with a technique called Paper Piecing.  The pattern has paper with the design on it, and you literally sew on the line through the paper and the fabric and then later tear the paper away.  It should really be called "Sew by Number".  It's methodical and it is foolproof if you can sew on a line.  One of the masters of creating these patterns is Judy Niemeyer and we are one of her certified stores.  We had two of her quilts on loan for the Rosemont show, and I am teaching classes on each on of them.  If you are new to this technique, the Vintage Compass would be a good place to start.  The Hosta is more challenging.

 Vintage Compass Class sign up

 Fire Island Hosta Class


Since there are always new beginners coming in the shop, I want to highlight these two. 

Sometimes looks can fool you.  This first one, Flying Colors, is actually extremely easy.  The kits have the 2 1/2 inch strips already cut. The hardest part is picking the nicely gradated colors, and we've already done that for you.

I spent more time playing wth how I wanted to arrange the blocks than I did making the blocks. $99.  It's a pattern by Cozy Quilts that includes an addendum from me that tells you a much faster way to make it.  Later, I showed the original designer the shortcut, and their pattern Sassy Squares is named after me :)

 Cotton Rainbow one is easy.  We had to wait to make kits again until we got the ombre fabric for the inner border.  $75.  You add the white.

STRIP CLUB will be coming up on the Fourth Saturday at 10 am.  I already made the sample.  What's up with that?   I used a roll from Robert Kaufman called Spring Mod that I wanted to open up (it's so hard to tell with the shinkwrap on them).   Just for comparison, the original sample is on the right.  It's simple but fun and great for a beginner, or a beginner with "jelly rolls".   It's a lively group and we love show and tell.  Just be there in the classroom on time and with $10 cash.


Remember the Made in America solids?  I got an email that they have shipped from Seattle, so they should be here next week, if not tomorrow.



I'm going to have to send this information out separately (I'm getting tired of typing and you might be getting tired of reading), but here's a tease:

Garden Quilt

Started but there are a few left.  $20 for 10 months.


Symphony at Sea $35 for 7 months.

 About to start:





It never ceases to amaze me how different a quilt can look in different fabrics.  I was not a huge fan of our Hexagons Are Easy pattern until just recently when someone brought this one in for me to quilt on the long arm.  It's from one of our jelly rolls. 



Chris Sass
818 Ogden Ave.
Westmont, IL 60559
(630) 321-9051


June 27, 2014
I'll go to the quilt shop if it rains.  Or maybe even if it is sunny.

Hello Quilters!

New batiks with a lot of "depth" from Island Batiks:


Chemistry fabric to go with the "nerd" fabric:

I forgot to mention tomorrow's Lunch N Learn which is a great one, if I do say so myself.  If you have looked at the Jelly Rolls*, or even bought them, but not known what to do with them, this is for you. Strip piecing is one of the main things that got me hooked on quilting 20 years ago.  I made a Trip Around the World that looks like it has over 900 squares in it, but I never touched a one.  It's all strips sew together, cut, and sewn back together another way.  

Tomorrow I will show you three of my favorite strip quilts.  There are three strip quilts that I consider "cousins" because they are all related to each other.  I have included a lot of pictures at the bottom to get your imaginations going.  There is a trick or two that makes them fast.  But they don't look as easy as they were.

So Layer Cake club is at 10 am, then you'd have less than an hour to kill, and then you could find out what to do with strips at noon.  Lunch N Learn is $10 drop in with cash, but be prompt.  Same with Layer Cake at 10 am.

It's coming together:


Last night I went to meet Sue Nichols and hear her speak at the Plainfield guild.  Fantastic show and tell.  She' be here Sunday at 1 pm.  $15 if you register.  $25 at the door. 



 Here's a Layer Cake Show and Tell from last time:



3 fastest strip quilts:


DIced Pink:






 Lover's Knot:






Diced Chocolate:






*Jelly Rolls are the 2 1/2 inch strips wrapped together in packs of 40. 

Chris Sass
818 Ogden Ave.
Westmont, IL 60559
(630) 321-9051


Hello Quilters!

 Layer Cake Club is Saturday morning. Come find out what you can do with those tempting layer cakes (stacks of 42 ten inch squares, usually all different from a collection of fabric).  10 am.  $10 just show up.  There is sure to be a lot of show and tell from last time. 

This is one block of the quilt.  As per usual, I have made it so you do not sew any of those little pieces separately.  It is made as fast as possible.  You'll see when I have it finished between now and Saturday morning.  



I know it's hard to compete with good summer weather, but Sue Nickels is a real pro at quilting on a home sewing machine.  So many of you wish you were better at it.  Why not spend an hour or two and $15 to come listen to a professional lecture on:


Machine Quilting for Today's Quilts

Sue will share through slides her progression from hand quilter to the machine quilter she is today. This personal journey includes slides of Sue’s quilts and her sister, Pat Holly’s quilts as well quilts from machine quilters who have influenced the current machine quilting trends. Sue will bring a selection of her quilts to share and provide time for discussion at the end, so bring your questions about machine quilting.



Diane was rolling bundles like crazy the week before.


We liked the way Joyce displayed them so well, it's a new fixture in the shop.  We have at least 5 patterns that are written to use these bundles of 12 quarter yard cuts, but almost any pattern that uses fat quarters can be adapted to use them.




Ladies Album quilt by Barbara Brackman, made in her fabrics.  Even I, the batik freak, could not resist these fabrics in this project.  We are cutting the kits today.  Speak up for one.FYI, it's a little puffier because I used wool batting in it.


And we go from traditional to this:   It's the ombre (or gradiant) fabrics that make the difference.  This was very popular at Rosemont.  We have a few left.


Also making its debut at Rosemont was STACKS:  It's much prettier in person and we made kits for it.


Then there's the Fire Island Hosta from Judy Niemeyer.  This is actually a pretty vibrant lime green.  I told several people at Rosemont that we didn't have the exact fabric, but I was wrong!  We do have it so we will be making a few kits with it.  I scheduled a class for it and you can sign up here for Hosta  A few Saturdays in September starting on the 6th (Labor Day is really early on the 1st).  $80 but if you get your fabric from us, $30.



Vintage Compass class is three Saturdays in August and quite easy by Judy Niemeyer standards.  You can sign up for it  here for Vintage Compass  This ones $60 but also goes down to $30 if you get the fabric from us.

Neither one of these quilts will be here past the 4th of July because we have to send them back to their home in Montana.


I left the feet in the picture above so you could tell the size of it.  And because they had pretty sandals on.

I am repeating the next two because I finished writing the pattern up and they were very popular at the show.  Herringbone:


And for lack of a better name, the Dorm quilt because it is good for an extra long twin bed. It's made from a layer cake and we have a kit.



Chris Sass
818 Ogden Ave.
Westmont, IL 60559
(630) 321-9051


May 29, 2014

Hello Quilters!

I have to tell you that the regulars who are taking advantage of Open Sew Tuesdays and Assisted Sew Wednesdays are loving it.   Too bad I already forgot the great quotes they gave me yesterday!  See the calendar online.




Stop by any time this Saturday (May 31) to see our Anita Goodesign Trunk Show with samples from some of the company's best-selling embroidery designs.  This is a prelude to our becoming a full-fledged Anita Goodesign dealer in June!  All day, no cost (unless you see a design you just HAVE to have). 
If you have an embroidery machine and love the look of applique, come and learn two (and a half) methods for making your applique designs look neat and professional.  One of the techniques is bound to work for you and become your favorite.  Saturday, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m..  $10, includes lunch.
Our Anita Goodesign Workshop (usually the third Saturday) was switched to Saturday, May 31 this month.   Come and learn how to make beautifully coordinated placemats, napkins, utensil holders and candle wraps.  See a video on how to complete the projects and get the designs and complete written instructions.  Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., $15.


This is a big quilt show coming to Rosemont June 19, 20 & 21. 

We have a big booth this year, and thanks to Joyce and Jacq we are getting prepared ahead of time (a whole new concept for me). We are going to be at the end of the first aisle (800) you come to after the quilt exhibit.  Please tell your friends who are coming in from out of town.  FYI, the hours have changed dramatically - All day Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  No Sunday.  No preview evening.  Plan accordingly.  Also, the new Balmoral exit that is now open will be a short cut from the south.

Among other things we will have two original Judy Niemeyer quilts in on loan from Quiltworx.  The first is the relatively new Fire Island Hosta (74 by 74 inches).

The second is the Vintage Compass which has never before been to a show!  Also 74 inches square, and relatively easy.  OK, OK, I'll teach a class if you buy the pattern. 


I saw this on Facebook - I think someone is making the Fire Island Hosta in rainbow colors - my favorite color scheme.  Joyce, get on this would you, please?



The calendar says the end of May but my mind is a few months behind, so it seems really crazy to be getting Fall fabric, but here it is.  This one comes with a charm pack.


Someone called on the phone the other day and wanted to know it we had "princess" fabric.  I wasn't sure, so I went to look, and to my surprise we had at least 3 and other coordinates:

The "geek" fabric sold out, but we just got more:




Luckily, the Show and Tell never stops.  Did you know that if you bring in finished show and tell, you get a coupon good for 1% off?  You can save them up for a big purchase.


Strip Club had a lot of great show and tell.  What a nice bunch of ladies.

These are all from my Diced Chocolate pattern, just different colors and different placement of the values.  If this fascinates you, mark  your calendar for the 4th Saturday of July, September, and November.  On the 4th Saturday of the other months we do the same thing with "layer cakes" (those ten inch squares).   BUT, just for you who have never tried using a jelly roll, or strip club, I am teaching the quilt that you are about to see many quilts of at the Lunch N Learn on Saturday June 28th.  Other lunch n learns are also under classes on our website.

 This is mine that started it.  Finally finished, using 2 rolls, and big borders, came out to 80 by 100 inches:  The roll I used is called Tiramisu even though it looks nothing like Tiramisu.  Hoffman Fabrics named it, not me.

One jelly roll is smaller:

Then there's Deb, who says she finally made a quilt for her own bed and used about 3 1/2 rolls.  I think she used the roll called Tidepool.  Nice border with the leftovers.



This one is the same pattern but using just light and dark, not light medium dark.  


 These were in the last email (I think) but it is so interesting to see the same thing in different colors, that I am repeating (hope you don't mind)






 I told Louise I'd like to see what she has been making, and she obliged me with three quilts:


 If you look closely, I hope you can see th quilting which was done with an embroidery machine.


This is called Friendship Chain and it is one of the very first Strip Club patterns.  Our model is blue and yellow on a white background.  See how different it looks in Kansas Troubles fabric?  



Lyn brought in her top from the Judy Niemeyer's Mariner's Compass class last year.  I love the way it came out.  Her advice for picking fabrics is to start with the middle and then repeat them out from there.  In case you don't know, is a Certified Shop for Judy Niemeyer patterns which means there are a few, like this Mariner's Compass, that you can only get from us in the metropolitan area (the store down in Washington, IL is one too, but that's all in Illinois).



Earlier today I posted Lyn's Mariner's Compass quilt to Facebook. has almost 1000 likes.  Thank you.

JUne 16, 2014

Hello Quilters!


We just started this sunny Block of the Month quilt.  It's an Amy Bradley pattern (remember when she was here?) that we divided up into sections so you can do it over the course of a year.  Wouldn't it be nice to have something cheery like this to work on next winter?

It's $25 to save your kit and then $20 a month for 10 months.  The first block is already available.  For the beginners, a Block of the Month (BOM) means that each month you come to the store to pick up the pattern and fabrics for that block.  When you initially sign up you give us your credit card number to charge each month for the kit for that month.   Sing up in the store, or online here




If you still have not tried paper piecing, Jacqueline is teaching a class on Saturday morning at 9 am that makes placemats with just a little bit of it. Sign up here.



Are you uncomfortable picking fabrics?  In this Lunch N Learn, I will share what I have learned from Joyce and from a week long class I took with Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr of the Modern Quilt Studio.  It will be hands on with boxes full of scrap fabric for you to play with.  Actually doing it will give you more confidence. No registration necessary, just show up with $10 cash in the classroom.  It stars promptly at noon and goes for an hour.


A month from now, the weekend after the 4th of July we are having an "escape".  It's also known as a Retreat.  For three days we take over the classroom and just eat and sew.  I was "forced" to put this on the schedule by some past participants.  They are right to do so because it has been a long time since the last one. 

One price includes the use of our classroom, machines, irons, cutting mats, etc. and meals from Friday night through Sunday noon.  The best part is having room to spread out and not have to clean it up for three days.  Oh, and being with other people who also think it's fun to just sew for hours and hours.  You can sign up and read more here.



This is the cover photo of the newest publication of a Judy Niemeyer quilt.  I expect it to arrive tomorrow or Tuesday for our booth in Rosemont next week. This is a great one for a beginner to start with.  I scheduled a class for the fall.


A Fire Island Hosta in progress that is definitely not the original green color scheme. It's making me think about what color scheme I might use.   I have scheduled a class for it in the fall, too.

The first Judy Niemeyer Technique of the month was the Glacier Star, then two years later, the Mariners Compass, and here is he beginning of making 2015's Technique of the month quilt, Paradise in Bloom.


 This is what the whole thing looked like after the computer drawing.  The pattern will be available in January, and we will have a class then.




Chris Sass

June 7, 2014

Hello Quilters!

Finally, a perfect June day.   Michaela was born on such a day 23 years ago.  And my parents got married on such a day 71 years ago (judging from the pictures).  Yikes, that means my oldest brother is about to turn 70 !  How is that possible??

Since I'm in a summery mood, here's some season appropriate fabric for you:



I mentioned the show at Rosemont is coming.  Well, I'm one of those people who needs a deadline to finish things (sounds better than procrastinates, doesn't it?) and so here is Diced Chocolate in a new color scheme.  That's the problem with naming a pattern after the fabric  you originally used.  Diced chocolate was all browns and beiges.  This is made from the Tiramisu Bali Pop, two of them actually to make it bigger.  Ended up 80 by 100.  Super simple.  Seriously, there's a trick. 

 Perfect for an extra long twin in a dorm room, and started from the Brown Sugar layer cake.  I'm calling it the Dorm quilt unless someone comes up with something better.  It was the "blue and brown" quilt.  I put Minkee on the back and thought I'd give it to Trevor, but he doesn't like it very much.  Kids.

Finally got the borders on my Herringbone in a scrappy Kansas Troubles look.  This was originally made in light and dark rainbow colors.  Now I just have to quilt and bind it. 


God Bless Kay for all the proof reading she has been doing on the patterns.  BTW, she's back from her long trip to New Zealand and Australia.  Retirees. 



Saturday I am going to show anyone who's interested how to paper piece the way that Judy Niemeyer does it.  She has a few brilliant innovations that make the complicated, possible.  If you tried paper piecing and had difficulty, you should come to this, and you might be willing to give it another chance.  If I try to papaer piece someone else's pattern now, I use her techniques.  $10 cash, promptly at noon.  No registration, just come to the classroom with exact change in your hand by noon tomorrow 6/7/14.


Since we have that Jimmy's restaurant in our parking lot, and they have a liquor license, and I don't I think it would be fun to have a Lunch N Learn type thing at Happy Hour on a Friday once a month.  What do you think?  Anyone work nearby who would come.  Or not work, and just think it would be fun.  Instead of lunch, you'd get a cocktail. 





Pat used up some leftovers making braids.  See the difference between this and the herringbone above?


 Sue Nickels is Coming on Sunday June 29th.  Google her.  Awesome quilter.  Sign up now.

That's it this time since it's already Friday afternoon.  Hope to see you soon.  If you are really busy with graduations, weddings, etc, and can't sew, it's a good time to drop off  your sewing machine for a service.  Have I mentioned lately that you are supposed to do that once a year, or more often if you sew every day.  It's like an oil change for your car.   One of my customers remembers to do it by bringing her machine in the same month she gets her mammogram!


Random thought, my quilts that I have used wool batting in, are much softer than my quilts with cotton in them.  Try it sometime.  We always carry wool batting in Twin and King and we can order other sizes.   it only costs a little more, does not weigh more (surprisingly), you can wash it, and it's cool in summer and warm in winter.

Chris Sass
818 Ogden Ave.
Westmont, IL 60559
(630) 321-9051


May 23, 2014

Hello Quilters!

Judy Martin was awesome last Friday night.  She came into the store to shop in the afternoon and we got in an animated conversation about how to resize certain blocks.  We were being total geeks including the words "square root of one" but it was a blast for me.  Ranks right up there with one of the best days ever, along with the day I went to Caryl Bryer Fallert's studio in Oswego and bought the quilt that hangs behind the register.

This is a season-appropriate quilt in one of her many books that we have:

And here's a bundle that might get you started:

SPRING QUILT MARKET (the convention for quilt shop owners)

That was Friday night, and then Saturday morning at 8:00 am Jacqueline and I were on a flight to Pittburgh for two full days walking the aisles at Quilt Market.  It's a tough job, but someone has to do it.  

We decided that we didn't notice any huge trends, and that a lot of the new fabric seemed to have a lot of grey in it (not my favorite), but we got zillions of quilt ideas. 

We are excited about a few fabric things.  Here's one of them.  I like to buy

when I can, but  99% of the quilt fabric is printed in Korea, Japan, or Bali?   There's also Pakistan and India, but I don't tend to buy those.  Anyway, a few years ago, I asked all the fabric vendors if they printed any in America, and I could only find the Ramblings line by P & B.

However, the man who bought Clothworks a few years ago was also wanting to have fabric made in America, made from OUR cotton.  I should have said that a lot of the fabric from overseas may be made with American cotton, but it is not printed here.  I also should have said that there is fabric printed in the USA that is in Walmart, but it is not quilt shop quality.  It's amazing to me that it can be economical to ship the cotton overseas to be made into fabric, dyed, and shipped back, but I don't want to digress into the EPA and labor costs, sooooo.... 

This man set out on a mission to make this American made fabric, and he did.  For now it is the colors pictured. 

One of his competitors told us to be concerned about color fastness.  Ha!  Jacqueline took a little pack home and put it through the wringer.  Literally.  OK, the hot washer and squeezing and wringing and a hot dryer.   It is color fast.  It has a good hand, and we put it on the counter right next to a competitor's fabric and we could not tell the difference.  So much as I like my sales rep for Kaufman Kona solids, I ordered about half of this new product.  Please tell any friends you know that also like Made in America.

Color chart:



After Jacqueline abused it (she did press it afterward):







Electric Quilt is now available for Macintosh!  Yeah.  I got it, I installed it, it works.  Couldn't color something the way I was used to, read the help, and found the answer.  Yeah again.  We have at least one copy at the store and can get more.  I call it "more fun than you should be allowed to have with a computer". 

Chris M. is making the model for a block of the month that is strangely versatile.  Is it Christmas, or is it not?



 Lunch N Learns


I'm going to show you how to make a Lone Star from a Jelly Roll.  I chose the option with the blue in the red toward the outside.   I know some will balk at it, so I am going to be a nice guy and also have a really easy pattern for you. 






One of the best things about classes is seeing the same pattern made up in different fabrics.  Here are some pictures of the previous strip club pattern (January) that were show and tell in March:



If you come to strip club, you get 10% off on fabric that day, and if you bring your finished top from the previous session, you get a free half yard!  Try it, you'll like it.  Just drop in with $10 cash and be ready to have some laughs and learn something.  



This Saturday is a holiday weekend and for some lucky people that means time to sew.  If you come to the Lunch n Learn on Machine quilting, and you go home and take a deep breath and try it, you just might turn a top into a finished quilt!  This is meant for people who have NOT machine quilted free motion.  I hate stitch in the ditch.  It's not easy and it's not fun.  So come learn all the tools out there that make free motion achievable.  I learned 20 years ago with the paper that has lines to follow.  Did you even know that exists?   Remember, if this was difficult, I wouldn't be doing it.

Lunch n Learns are at promptly at noon in the classroom.  $10 cash appreciated.  This is THE most popular Lunch n Learn. 


I just finished putting Lunch  Learns on our website for the whole summer.  


Scuba Sue was inspired by a quilt she saw in Wisconsin, to make something original.  She hasn't been quilting for more than year or two but she has really blossomed as a quilter.  She takes advantage of our Open Sew on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays and sometimes Assisted Sewing on the "odd" Wednesdays (hint hint).



I had never seen a quilt with such skinny pieces in with the rest of them.  Don't they make it interesting?


Please take a minute to remember why we have Memorial Day and have a safe and happy weekend.  Thank you. 


May 15, 2014

Hello Quilters!

Thank you to all who brought in their quilts from mothers and grandmothers to the store on Mother's Day.  There was an incredible variety.  Pictures at the end under Show and Tell. 

NEW SIT-DOWN AT A DESK,  LONG ARM QUILT MACHINE just arrived yesterday.  I can't wait to try it and show you.  Joyce beat me to it and she likes it.


Judy Martin this Friday night is full (as in we have no more chairs).   You are welcome to just show up Friday night BUT it's going to be $25 instead of $15, and BYOC (bring your own chair). I am not kidding about the chairs, no standing. 

Sue Nickels is coming Sunday afternoon June 29th.  You might want to sign up for that now.  Here.

Did you know that the American Sewing Guild has a chapter that meets on the 3rd Friday of the month at 10 am in our classroom?  This is for all you wonderful people who sew more than quilts.  Free.  Drop In.

LUNCH N LEARNS  The bad news is that there is none this Saturday because Jacqueline and I are both going to Quilt Market in Pittsburgh. The good news is that I am going to load the calendar up for the next six months including some on Thursdays due to popular demand.  Give me a few days to get them all in.

Mystery and a Meal on Friday night May 23rd has several openings.  It's a great way to kick off a holiday weekend IMHO.  Great food, new quilter friends, and fabric.  You can go home and have the rest of your weekend to finish the quilt.  Sunday has a couple spots. 

STRIP CLUB ON SATURDAY MAY 24th at 10 am. Lone Star Roll

I have been on a Lone Star kick due to reading one of Judy Martin's early books.  I should have read the details before I started piecing, but at least I can share the tips with you.  We have a roll that we cut out of the Moda Grant Park collection.  I thought it might be good for a Lone Star.  I started by mocking it up on my dining room table**.   Once I got the 8 big diamonds pieced, I still have to decide which corner to put in toward the middle.  I'll have to decide that by the 24th because I have to finish it to show you how to do it.  This is going to be a Lunch N Learn and strip club rolled into one!  $10 and you are welcome to drop in.  You get the pattern, and comraderie.  Show and tell is encouraged. 

I think some of you will be groaning about something this "difficult", so I will probably have an easy one, too.  But it wasn't that hard, just had to be careful, and of course, I have some key tips.  Yeah!, this will be one to check off my bucket list of quilts.






Phillippa Naylor recommended the Microtex needles for quilting, even with 40 weight thread (must not be King Tut).  I knew there was a reason we carry those.

The Rosemont show is coming June 19 - 21. will have a large booth at the end of the first aisle you come to, Aisle 800.   I am considering chartering a bus for this and some other occasions but the last time I tried, it was a pain in the neck.  Does anyone have a contact at a local charter bus company?  That reminds me of a story*


Sample makers needed - Are you one of those rare people who run out of projects to sew?  Would you be willing to sew some of mine?  The deal is that I give you the fabric for the top and binding.  You piece it within 3 weeks and bring it back.  If you don't I get to charge you for the fabric.  If you do, I quilt it and hang it, and you get to keep it in the end.  You pay for batting and backing.  If you have not use for another quilt, but still want to sew, we can make another arrangement.  If that sounds good to you, please come for a little meeting on Saturday May 31st at 9:30 am. 



May Embroidery Club Date Change!
The third Saturday of every month is USUALLLY "Embroidery Day" at  But this month we needed to reschedule it to the FIFTH Saturday, so please join us on May 31 at 10:30 a.m. for some machine embroidery fun!  
Call, come in, or signup online, by Thursday, May 22.  (We have to provide a head count on May 23, so we'll have enough packages for all attendees.) Cost:  $15.  (See below for this month's projects.)
FOUR New Projects and a Workshop-Exclusive Design 
Our next embroidery workshop is on Saturday, May 31 at 10:30 a.m.  You'll see a video of how to make theprojects listed below, and you'll receive the designs and step-by-step instructions on how to make the projects yourself. 
Placemat - This beautiful placemat is sure to add a touch of elegance to your dining table.  The design is exclusive to this workshop and cannot be bought anywhere else. (Susan made the shop sample in yellow and blue, and it really pops!)
Utensil Holder - This elegant utensil holder is a fast and easy in-the-hoop project!  Each piece is made in a separate hooping and the final step sews everything together.  The design included in the workshop is from the "Utensil Holders" collection.
Napkin Corner - All you need to complete this project is a piece of tear-away stabilizer, tape and a napkin.  You can create this beautiful napkin using a store bought napkin, or you can create your own napkin from a piece of cotton or linen.  The design included is from the "Napkin Corners" collection.
Candle Wrap - This tutorial will show you how to make a candle wrap that adds a beautiful heirloom style to your candle.  We also added a twist to the design my adding a grosgrain ribbon to it.  The ribbon allows you a attach the warp to the candle while adding a beautiful design element to the project.  The included design is from the  "Candle Wraps" Collection.
Also on May 31:
Embroidery Lunch & Learns: Lunch & Learn is a weekly class devoted to various quilting, serging and sewing topics.  Once a month, the focus is on embroidery topics. The May 31 topic is still yet to be determined ... any suggetions?  L&L starts at noon and lasts about an hour.  Cost: $10, and it includes lunch. 
Assisted Embroidery: Bring your machine and work on any project (including the Anita Goodesign workshop projects) with Susan and Jacquelyn there to help you along.  We'll start at 1:00 p.m. and go until the store closes at 4:00 p.m.  Stay as long as you'd like.  Cost:  $15.




Jacqueline is teaching our first total beginner class using the Easy Breezy pattern.  Three of the students chose our new batik bundles.  Aren't they looking good? 















 May 8, 2014

Hello Quilters!

Phillippa Naylor was a joy on Sunday.  What a bundle of English energy.  She's little bitty thing, too.  She did an interesting lecture that gave a lot about her background and funny stories.  I kept wondering when she was going to get to the quilts since most quilt lectures show all their early works.   Turns out her first three original quilts won prizes in Paducah and/or Houston!  OMG.  But take heart, she went to the equivalent of a fashion institute, worked as a head designer of lingerie for a major department store in England, and spent a lot of time in Saudia Arabia in a compound where you have to make your own amusement.  She's also VERY persistent according to her husband.  She's got everything going for her and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Bringing in the speakers I want to meet may be my favorite perk of owning a quilt shop.


And one of the reasons she wins is the itty bitty detail.  My finger is just in there to give you a sense of scale. 


 JUDY MARTIN NEXT FRIDAY NIGHT the 16th. $15 sign up online, or $20 at the door.  6 - 9 pm  Lecture and trunk show.

This is another great one.  I'd be surprised if you don't have at least one of these books on your shelf, and there are more.  So try not to miss this opportunity.  She doesn't teach anymore, just lectures. 






The Quilt Branch has a clever way of framing everything from potholders to table clothes:




We keep making "bundles" of 12 fabrics that go together.

This is Kay's purchases of bundles one day.  If she is buying this many, that says something.  Either she really likes them, or she's selling them on Ebay.




LUNCH N LEARN on SATURDAY at noon $10 - All things HEXAGONS. 

These six sided things are very hot right now and I know at least 4 ways to make them.  One way is probably going to be your favorite.  Come see.



Bring in a quilt to show us that your mother or grandmother made and we'll give you a sale half yard of fabric.  Purchase something and you can have a regular half yard.  It just think it will be heaven to see all the quilts we have inherited.  If you can't make it Sunday, we's still enjoy seeing it some other time.  This is not at a certain time on Sunday, just whenever you come in.





I'm on a Lone Star kick because I have been reading one of Judy Martin's early books, so it was great timing that Debbie brought this in on Wednesday.  BTW, if you have old quilt books that you don't know what to do with, I LOVE them.  I especially like the ones from the 1990s.  You are welcome to drop them off to me anytime.


Ever wonder what Karen has been up too since she left  Two things.  Making T shirt quilts for pay and twin grand children.  This latest creation combines both since it is for her granddaughter.  Made of clothes from just the first year of life.  yes, she made on for the grandson, but I didn't get my camera out.  I toldher this is going to be a very hard act to follow as they grow...



 I just love seeing our Whip It Up pattern made in different fabric.  This one's all traditional fabrics except for one or two batiks, and suitable for a mad.  BTW, this pattern fits an extra long twin for those kids going off to college.


 Cute and simple baby quilt:


May 1, 2014

Hello Quilters!

Happy May Day.  This was going to be short, but I found a lot to tell you about, and many pictures to share.  Thanks and enjoy.


Last call for Phillippa Naylor on Sunday afternoon May 4th at 1:00.  Google her. Then registerhere.

Almost last call for Judy Martin. Friday night May 16.

Hey look, Jacqueline snuck in a beginner T Shirt class on Wednesdays May 14th & 28th. Register here

Lunch N Learn on Saturday at noon is Everything Curves - it will repeat the sewn in Circles from last week AND show Strips N Curves, and some other brand new things I just learned about sewing curves.  They may be scary, but they shouldn't be.  Let me show you how and why. 

Lunch N Learn on the 10th will be Hexagons are Hot with Jacqueline.  There's a cool ruler from Jaybird that makes some fun modern looks.


This is Rainbow roll. One of my favorites. Now available. $39.



In the hopes that we will eventually have spring, we have a new Block of the Month called Garden quilt by Amy Bradley.  Duh.   The pattern is not a BOM. We have divided it into 10 months so it will be manageable, and Bobbie Butler made our fabulous model. It's $25 commitment fee and then $20 a month for ten months.  I'm hoping I did this right and you can sign up here!


Close up of bottom block.  Note the quilting. Bobbie can teach you how to quilt like does if you sign up for her free motion class on May 17th.  You will have to practice, though. Register here.



Total beginners can get started by taking Easy Breezy with Jacqueline two Saturday mornings May 3rd and 10th from 9:00 to 11:30.  All thebeginning quilter needs to pick out is one of our "bundles" and we have recently made so many pretty ones.   Sign up in the store, by phone, or online.  If you know someone who wants to get started quilting, please bring this class to their attention!  Register here.


The Easy Breezy quilt in kids fabrics as opposed to the sophisticated batiks pictured above:




This morning I had a thought for something that would be fun on Mother's Day.  We are not all mothers, but we all had a mother and grandmothers.  So what if you come in on Mother's Day, you bring a quilt that your mother or grandmother made?  It should make for great show and tell all afternoon long.  I have one from my mother's side of the family and one from my in-laws. No one in your family will ooo and aaah over them like we will.  We will reward  you with a free sale half yard of fabric, or a free non-sale half yard with a purchase. 



 Speaking of rainbows, Northcott makes some beautiful fabric called Artisan Spirit that we have had for a while, but there wasn't any purple in their rainbow.  Can you imagine?  They have remedied the situation, and of course, I bought the purple.  Look at the detail in the closeup.  What to make, that is the question.



 Sometime when I do not go to Quilt Market, I trust my Hoffman Fabrics rep to pick for me.  He picked some batik border fabrics and Jacqueline whipped up this skirt to go with the eyelet (very big this year) blouse she made.  If you are interested in classes to sew clothes, please tell Jacqueline or you can reply to this and I will forward to her.


Specialty fabric that we couldn't resist because we have never seen anything like it.  Usually the "sports" fabric involves a ball of some type. 



 OK, not a sport, but a lot of us do yoga:




Open Sewing and Assisted Sewing in our ridiculously spacious classroom is catching on, not to mention the best deal in town.  You can use our machines, bring anything you want to work on and do your own thing on Open Sewing Tuesdays (free) or get help from Jacqueline on Assisted Sewing Wednesdays $15.

Wool batting is great stuff. A little more loft and warm in winter, cool in summer.

If you like even loftier batting, we have some Thinsulate batting but you have to ask for it (it's in the warehouse area).



Believe it or not, this is my diced chocolate pattern, in different colors, with the blocks twisted differently.  Love it!




I made this quilt a few months ago and called it Quadriculous because it is done like the Ridiculous quilt except in sets of four.  You may know it as a Jelly roll race or 1600.  Anyway, a few weeks ago I wanted to make it again using the "brown sugar" bali pop from Hoffman.   The first quilt was at the store, I was at home.   The first came out with vertical strips, and the second came out with horizontal strips.  Yikes.  I am losing it.  

I am writing it up for either way, and two different methods.  One is easier but wastes some fabric.  One is more difficult to match but doesn't waste a bit. 


Brown Sugar - 



I made a quick trip to the Paducah show last week and on the way back I decided to get off the highway and go see the Amish community of Arthur.  I have never been to an Amish community before, and was anxious to see the horse drawn buggies.  I saw some. Did you ever think about how they manage in the winter?  They were like wood boxes on wheels!


Then as I was driving along, looking for the quilt store, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but this sign:


Thank you, God.  The quilts were not like those I had just seen in Paducah, but some were still amazing.  Turns out they don't have an auction at Rockhome Gardens anymore, and this has replaced it.  The auction was going to be Saturday at noon.  I am thinking bus trip for next year.  Look at these: Each quilt to be auctioned had a tag with a picture of the whole quilt. Hand quilted, mind you.  There were also others in a local show that were not for auction.












More on getting older and forgetful - One of the great things about emailing all you wonderful people is that I can get the answer to just about anything.  One year I was wondering about why May Day was a distress call, and one of you explained it to me.  That must have been before Google because I easily just found this, since I couldn't remember the answer!  It derives from the French venez m'aider, meaning 'come help me'. 



April 17, 2014

Hello Quilters!

The bunny wishes to remind you that will be closed this Sunday the 20th.  



Joyce has been going nuts grouping batiks together.  It has created some chaos, but also some beautiful results.  We have gone back to making "bundles" like we did in the very beginning.  They are 12 quarter yard cuts.  That's a dozen 9 inch wide fabrics rolled together.  It is 3 yards of fabric which is about the same as in a jelly roll or a layer cake.  We already have a few patterns written for them, or you can use them in fat quarter patterns*.  For those of you who do not enjoy picking colors, we think you are going to love this.  Lots of choices and some are even already available  on our website.  If you need more than quarter yards, the bolts are there and so are our usual pre-cut half yards.




New traditional fabric by Barbara Brackamn from Moda:





Last week I showed a beautiful Storm at see that Debbie made.  We DO have the tool that makes it easier to make this.  At least one customer, was incorrectly told that we didn't have it.  Sorry. 



Saturday is Embroidery Day and the Lunch N Learn will be on lining up multiple hoopings.

Layer Cake Club is a week from Saturday on April 26th.  I have a feeling the sample will be in the colors below.  More next week.  Hey, I still have 8 days.



I feel the need to say a few word about these speakers that are coming.  I feel kinda bad that these three all happen to be coming in a 6 week period. That's just the way it happens sometimes.   Each is fantastic and I am very excited about each one for different reasons. 

 We now have Phillippa Naylor's book.  She's coming Sunday Afternoon May 4th.  It's going to be Awesome (only if you like bright colors and unbelievable quilting).  I once sat in the museum in Paducah and just stared at her work.

Judy Martin, one of the most influential quilt teachers of all time is coming Friday night May 16th.  I have read almost all of her books, One got soaked at a swim meet I was watching Michaela swim in.  Gee - the deck was dry when I left it there. She has designed so many original blocks it boggles the mind.  She must be very mathematical and she's funny, too.

Sue Nickels, another award-winning, awesome quilter.  I have stood and stared at her quilts in Paducah.  I will never be as precise as she is, but I can admire it. Sunday afternoon, June 29th.

BEGINNERS CLASS IN MAY - Check our website or ask us

2 MYSTERY CLASSES MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND - Pick Friday Night or Sunday afternoon. 

A mystery class is one where you do not know what the quilt is going to look like.  You pick one of the following colorings, and trust that the leaders, Bobbi and Charlotte, won't let you down.  They know what the finished product will be.  I think mostly it is a chance to get out, have a great meal that someone else cooked, and sew without thinking too much.  The two of them have been doing this for about eight years now, and they keep filling up.  This is the first of the year, and it is your chance to jump in.  More info is on our website.  It's fun, food, and sewing.  What else do you need?  $65.



FYI, as usual we will be

CLOSED for EASTER (Get your kit for the table runner below so you will be ready next year).

OPEN for MOTHERS' DAY (or is that MOTHER'S DAY?)

CLOSED for FATHERS DAY (same question)



We have a policy that "if it makes you laugh, you should buy it".  That goes for me as a store owner and you as a shopper.  So I had to buy this little group that reminded us of The Big Bang Theory:





These gals were so excited about the Chris Cross video that they had to make one.  


 Becky was in a very peachy, or salmony mood:


Also by Becky,  a multi year masterpiece from Sylvia's Sampler (Elm Creek books, I think) :


 Maggie used the Minick and Simpson Grant Park fabric:


Not everyone in the 50 Shades of Grey class used Grey:



After a class with Jacqui Gehring (the Modern Quilt speaker we had last January):


I made this, and it's going to be in a book by Quiltworx later this year;




* I have never liked fat quarters.  Mary Ellen Hopkins, who claims to have invented them, told us when she was here, that she later decided against them, but they had already taken on a life of their own. does not stock fat quarters.  All those folded pieces on the shelves are half yards.  I think they are twice as good as a fat quarter.  We can always cut you a quarter yard if that is what you need.  Very few patterns actually need a fat quarter vs. a quarter yard.  In fact, the only one I have ever found is Yellow Brick Road.  All the others can use quarter yard cuts.   That being said, if you really want a fat quarter, just ask, and we will cut them for you.  Whatever makes you happy!



Chris Sass
April 9, 2014

Hello Quilters!

I know it is spring, not by the robin trying to build a nest on our old outdoor speaker, 


but by the load of Hoffman batiks we got from the UPS guy this week.  I order these in late October and they don't come until April.



But wait, there's more:




Mark your calendars for Friday night May 16th from 6 - 9 pm if you haven't already.  I consider he one of the pioneers of modern quilting.  Quilters who started quilting in the 90s own at least one of her books. $15 register online or in the store.

Joyce just made this sample from her latest book, Extraordinary Log Cabin Quilts:


2 - PHILLIPPA NAYLOR coming Sunday afternoon May 4th

When it rains it pours.  I can't help it when the famous people are in town.  Phillippa Naylor is doing a trunk show for us immediately preceeding her flight back to the UK.  Don't miss this "eye candy".  Here's an example of her work:

3 - SUE NICKELS is coming on Sunday June 29th.  More details next time.


This is an updated sample from one of the first patterns that I wrote.  Jacqueline used some cute monster fabric.  It just needs one of our "bundles"of 12 quarter yard cuts.  We decided this is even better for a "total beginner" class than Whip It Up because the cutting is easier.   So we've added it to the schedule and if you know a beginner, have them sign up here.




These banners are very popular.  The letters come on a panel and all you have to do is fuse them to something stable and cut them apart. 


EMBROIDERY CLUB NEWS:  Sign-up for April 19 session

The third Saturday of every month is "Embroidery Day" at  We need to order our packets for the April 19 Embroidery Club (see details below), so please sign up by Friday, April 11.   Please call, come in, or signup online here
Each Embroidery Day will include three activities:       
Embroidery Club will be an Anita Goodesign Workshop (   We'll watch a video detailing three projects.  You'll get a 20-page newsletter with step-by-step instructions, so you can follow along in class and on your own.  And you'll get a CD with the designs.  Club meetings begin at 10:30 a.m. and last about an hour. Cost:  $15.  (See below for this month's projects.)
Embroidery Lunch & Learns: Lunch & Learn is a weekly class devoted to various quilting, serging and sewing topics.  Now, once a month, the focus will be on embroidery topics. The April 19 topic is:  Placing your embroidery where you want it.  You'll learn the basics of lining up multi-hoop designs.   L&L starts at noon and lasts about an hour.  Cost: $10, and it includes lunch. 
Assisted Embroidery: Bring your machine and work on any project (including the Anita Goodesign workshop projects) with Susan and Jacquelyn there to help you along.  We'll start at 1:00 p.m. and go until the store closes at 4:00 p.m.  Stay as long as you'd like.  Cost:  $15.
Dates for all this delectable embroidery fun are:  Feb. 15, March 15, April 19, May 31*, June 21, July 19, August 16, Sept. 20, Oct. 18, Nov. 15, Dec. 20.
Come to any or all.  Morning, lunch, or afternoon. 

Our next embroidery workshop is on Saturday, April 19 at 10:30 a.m.  You'll see a video of how to make the projects listed below, and you'll receive the designs and step-by-step instructions on how to make the projects yourself. 

Pot holder - This pot holder project is created by embroidering 2 different designs.  The first is the front of the pot holder and the second is the back.  It's fast and easy to stitch together and add binding.  These fun pot holders will add a pop of embroidery to your kitchen!  This design was taken from the "Seasonal Pot Holders" projects collection.
Quillow - This tutorial will show you how to make a chic quillow that is stylish and functional!  Use nine t blocks to make a patchwork pillow, then attach the pillow to a  blanket or quilt.  This unique project makes a pillow and quilt into one ... a quillow.  The designs allow you to create your own plaid fabric with bold fabrics and colors!  The project was taken from the "Mad About Plaid: projects collection.
Seed Pack - This project turns the seed pack design into free-standing embroidery.  The design resembles an actual seed pack and can be placed on a stick to decorate plants or flowers.  Adding the design to a flower or plant would make the perfect gift.  Of course yhou could always embroider it on clothing, bags, placemats or other items.  (Think about gifts you might give a gardener ... work apron, bucket caddy, denim cover-up shirt.) 




There is a right way and many wrong ways to put on borders.  If no one tells you the right way, you are likely getting wavy, "lettuce leaf" borders and don't know why.  Jacqueline and I made a video of how to do it right and you can see it on YouTube here. You may have to turn your sound up to hear me.  I did try to speak louder than last time.




Jennifer brought this in on Saturday to show us and to pick binding.  I'm sorry I forgot the name of the person who quilted it for her. 






Chris Sass
818 Ogden Ave.
Westmont, IL 60559
(630) 321-9051
open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 - 5,
Friday & Saturday from 10 - 4
Sunday from 12:30 - 4
Closed on Mondays
(630) 321-9051

April 4, 2014

Hello Quilters!

I happened to be at the chiropractor next to the old store when a truck pulled up to take down the sign.  When I went in, it was still there, when I came out an hour later it was down.  I salvaged the "q" for my office. 



Chris M made this cute runner from a charm pack we have.  It is being made into kits as we speak.  Limited quantity as they say.



Sometimes customers from the needlepoint store next store come in to get fabrics to finish their projects.  Aren't these cute?  i used to do a lot of needlepoint including all the different stitches like she used in the dog.  And I did cross stitch for a while.  Another customer called that being a "serial hobbyist".  Yes, but I've stayed with quilting for 20 years now.

I think the reason I have stayed with quilting (besides being pretty locked in with a store now) is that there are so many different aspects of quilting to explore.  I think of the two big divisions of quilting as piecing and applique.  That leads me to......


When you see shapes on a quilt that are curvy, not straight lines, they were appliqued.  This opens up another world of things you can make.  If you do fusible applique (which I am going to show you tomorrow) it draws on all the fun stuff we did in kindergarten - trace, cut and paste (put we can be trusted with hot things now, so we iron).  Come see.  This one is more hands on than most so if you could bring scissors (fabric), a pen or pencil, and 6 little pieces of fabric 2 - 4 inches square that contrast with each other, that would be great. The fabrics could be 3 of one and 3 of another, we're using 3 pairs.  $10 cash, promptly at noon.


Got grandchildren, or children?  Tired of the same old ABCs?  Here's a panel that makes into a book for that precocious child in your life:




We are trying something new with the batiks.  We did a LOT of rearranging of them in the last few days.  Here are some sample pictures.  Please give us some feedback if you notice the difference when you come in.  Or ask, if you can't tell what we did !!!





Layer Cakes -

Sometimes you can't tell much about what they are going to look like.  Feel free to pull up the corners and look.  Here's an example of one that didn't look so great from just the fabric that happened to be the top layer.



This is the color scheme that I am currently obsessed with.  Turns out I have been unconsciously collecting fabrics in these colors for a year.  There are almost 40 altogether.  Still trying to decide what I am going to do with them, but in the meantime, I enjoy looking at them.  Someone told me early on not to feel guilty about fabric that you have, but haven't cut up yet because "afterall, stamp collectors never lick their stamps"  I love that saying. 





Speaking of guilt, do not feel bad if you have a quilt that you don't finish for a while.  Debbie took the two classes with Debbie Caffrey about 6 years ago, and got the tops done but couldn't decide how she wanted to quilt them for a long time.  Now look!  The Storm at Sea is from a class in our "annex" classroom about 2010. 








March 28, 2014

Hello Quilters!

Joyce picked a new jelly roll that we are calling farmers market;




Got tops?  Want to have quilts instead?  Tomorrow (Saturday 3/29) at 9 am is our first Finishing class.  This will be hands on, not just lecture.  I'll start with putting borders on, then go through layering, quilting, and binding. It's a lot, but if anyone can simplify the process, it's yours truly.  No, you are not going to get all this done in class, but I will provide some things for you to practice on.  If you have something that just needs binding, bring it, and you might get that finished.  No need to schlep your machine, we'll use ours in the classroom.

It's from 9 - 11:30.  $15  If you haven't registered because this is last minute, just show up between 8:45 and 9:00.  There's room because I forgot to mention this earlier.


$15 cash, no reservation required.  Just be here by noon in the classroom.  If you have never had much exposure to Jacqueline, let me tell you that she a gem.  She knows everything about sewing and sewing machines.  She has sewn it all, not just quilting.  For the first time, she is going to present her tips and tricks to keep your sewing going smoothly.  I can't even imagine the little nuggets we are going to learn.  I'm hoping to attend, too! 


Due to the number of phone calls about this, I've decided that we better take reservations after all.  Sooooo, it will be $15 and you can start signing up now.  From 6 to 9 pm.  My apologies to anyone who already called and please call again or sign up online.



I have some friends from the Pride of the Prairie guild that turn out some amazing traditional quilts.  Here are some that were on display at the recent show.  Sandy is the Sandy who helped me open the store and worked for the first year.  Cathy Lucas worked at the first store for a while, too, and now is at the store in Oswego (I think).  Sharon Nichols loaned me quilts to hang when the first store opened and the walls were bare. 

Their accuracy is amazing, not to mention fabric choices and tenacity.  












 This next one was the viewer's choice:  365 little houses!!!






Chris Sass
818 Ogden Ave.
Westmont, IL 60559
(630) 321-9051
open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 - 5,
Friday & Saturday from 10 - 4
Sunday from 12:30 - 4
Closed on Mondays
(630) 321-9051

March 19, 2014

Hello Quilters!

Did you miss me?  Just kidding.  I never got an email out last week. 

JANOME has some great deals and free financing going on right now.  March is the end of their fiscal year, so let's make a deal if you are in the market for a great sewing machine. 

So, let's get right to the pretty pictures:

 STRIP CLUB this SATURDAY at 10 am $10 cash.  It's fun.  You get a pattern that uses a jelly roll, see some great show and tell, and usually laugh.   Here's a preview of this meeting's quilt: 


 I'm either going to call it Herringbone (for obvious reasons) or 209 after the livingroom floor, in the house I grew up in in La Grange.*    This might look like some other quilts to you at first, but look again, because the others all have straight lines on the edges of the columns - not a true herringbone.  I'm working on another sample out of very traditional Kansas Troubles fabric (mostly because I made this one 2 years ago, and never wrote it up, and of course, I can't remember how I did some of it).


Easter fabric.  Get it now because we don't have it every year, but Easter does come every year.


Jo Morton fabric


This is by Yason Yenter of In the Beginning.  A little different look for him.




This is actually two new lines of fabric from Moda that play well together.  


Summer.  I remember summer.  Vaguely.


 Some interesting neutral color fabrics;


 I made a new quilt top out of a Brown Sugar Bali Pop over the weekend.  Then got back to the store on Tuesday and realized I was supposed to make something out of the new Brown Sugar Layer cakes we got in.  No, I'm not losing my mind.  Oh well, I'll think of something by next month's Layer Cake club on the 4th Saturday.



 When so much new fabric comes in, something has to go on sale.  This is the leftover Mama Said Sew by Moda which we just marked down:


And this fabric, mostly florals, has been with us way to long, so for the first time, we have a table of $4.99 fabric:






OPEN sewing and ASSISTED sewing are beautiful things.  Now that the weather is improving, we'd love to see more people come over and take advantage of our sewing machines, and classroom.  


Hello Quilters!


In case you missed us at the quilt show,  I told Trevor I'd give him $1 for every person that he could get to sit down and try free motion quilting on a JANOME 8200.  At first he was reluctant to "play that card" but he soon realized that most of us are mothers, and that was the surefire way to get agreement instead of polite refusal.  He earned $85! The picture show our youngest participant.  I think she was 12.

Trevor got 85 people to try free motion quilting on a JANOME 8200, and not one of them said, "Yuck".  Even the people who really didn't want to try it, were pleasantly surprised.


We have a class this Saturday the 8th and Saturday the 22nd that is perfect for beginners.  You make a quilt called Whip It Up that is very easy and forgiving.  It meets two times with Jacqueline, and then the next week I am doing a Finishing Class.  No reason to wait any longer.  Jump in.   Learn more about it and sign up here


It just keeps coming.  In a wide range.  I wonder what that says about me.  Don't answer that.

Look carefully.  I coudn't resist.

More pigs

There isn't much fabric for little boys, so when I see it, I usually buy it.  Oops, that was sexist, and I loved Sandra Bullock in Gravity.  Anyway, here are two different groups of outer space fabric.  If you put on 3D glasses, some of them really pop! 


This is really top quality from Hoffman and you may see bath accessories made out of it in stores.   You have to see it in person.

Isn't this the cutest panel?  Put on a few borders like Sue did, and voila:

Speaking of panels, this is a new pattern that turns them into a nice size, decent looking quilt.  Jacq made this one with some yardage of peacocks:

But we have some really nice panels

Just because -

Banners seem to be big with the young mothers, and these are just cut apart and put on something stiff.  No applique required:  Jacq, again, with "twister" placemats and runner:

Last, but not least, Frog and Toad!  I loved reading those books to my kids.  I love the picture of him putting the cookies up high on the shelf, like that's going to matter.  There are a few coordinates to go with this, too.




This Saturday (3/8) I am going to be showing you at least 8 ways to make HSTs - Half Square Triangles.  Face it, triangles are what make a quilt sparkle, and beginners need to just try them.  With 8 different methods, you are bound to like one of them!  Remember, if this was difficult, I wouldn't be doing it. 

Next Saturday, (3/15) Jacqueline is going to show how she uses some feet to do embellishments on her quilts and garments.  I was fascinated the last time she did this one.  Who knew what all those little feet that come with your machine (and some that don't) can do if you have a little imagination?!

Lunch and Learns require no advanced registration.  Just show up with $10 cash in your hand before noon when we start.  

Tragically, Moon Dance diner has closed, but we will still find food for you.



Embroidery Club will be an Anita Goodesign Workshop ( ; The people behind all those great designs are producing monthly workshops with three projects and designs.  We'll watch a video detailing the projects.  You'll get a 20-page newsletter with step-by-step instructions, so you can follow along in class and on your own.  And you'll get a CD with the designs.  Club meetings begin at 10:30 a.m. and last about an hour. Cost:  $15. 
Embroidery Lunch & Learns:  Lunch & Learn is a weekly class devoted to various quilting, serging and sewing topics.  Now, once a month, the focus will be on embroidery topics.  L&L starts at noon and lasts about an hour.  Cost: $10, and it includes lunch. 
Assisted Embroidery:  Bring your machine and work on any project (including the Anita Goodesign workshop projects) with Susan and Jacquelyn there to help you along.  We'll start at 1:00 p.m. and go until the store closes at 4:00 p.m.  Stay as long as you'd like.  Cost:  $15.
Come to any or all.  Morning, lunch, or afternoon.
You must register for the workshop by this Friday the 7th so we can get the right number of packets from Anita Goodesign.  $15

 Here's a flyer showing the projects:




Here's some Embroidery show and tell:

She changed the border.  Do you know how hard it must have been to get this border to come out to the right size?

I just realized that this next one is the alphabet!  I was too close to it.


SAVE THE DATE - JUDY MARTIN Friday night May 16th   5 - 9 pm ish

I am super excited about this one.  Judy Martin in almost up there with my "goddesses of quilting" (Caryl Bryer Fallert for everything, Diane Gaudynski for machine quilting, Joen Wolfrom for color)  If the name Judy Martin doesn't ring any bells, you are either very new to quilting, or not fully awake.  Joyce says Judy Martin books taught her to quilt. 

Judy was an editor of one of the major quilt magazines and then became a self published author of at least 20 books.  You probably own one.  She doesn't teach anymore, but she will be in the Chicago area for a  quild and has agreed to stay and do a lecture and trunk show for



Pride of the Prairie quilt show is this weekend at Richland Grade School, 1919 Caton Farm Road, Crest Hill.  Just 1/4 mile west of Caton Farm & Weber Road.  This is the only guild I currently belong to.  There will be some gorgeous quilts there and you should not miss it if you live anywhere near it.  These shows only happen every two years and I think they are great for beginners to see what local people are doing, as opposed to the over-the-top professionals in magazines.  Just IMHO.  I won't be vending but I will be sitting at the admission desk Sunday afternoon.



Our really soft corduroy:







Nice use of borders, and they are mitered by Marci:




Reversible, non boring, placemats


Susan made this in a Pam Holland workshop.  I love the house giving the thumbs up sign



Hello Quilters!

Sorry, wishful thinking, but it was such a pretty picture, and gave me hope, so I cut and pasted it.


We had a little miscommunication problem at the store and this class was never put "in the computer".  I understand people called and asked about it, but your name wasn't captured.  So, PLEASE call again if you are interested, or register online here.  And yes, I fixed it so the price ($30) shows up and you can add it to your "cart".  I guess maybe I have too many things going on.  Sorry.

  Sat, Mar 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Sat, Mar 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm with Roz, the soon-to-be-famous quilter.







Thank you very much for all the feedback on the "layer cake" video from last newsletter.  That was very exciting.  We will try to increase the sound next time.  If any of you are video experts, and want to give me some tips, I'd love to have them.  If you missed it last time, here's the link again.


 Chris Cross Layer Cake quilt.


Thanks to everyone who came to learn how to free motion quilt last Saturday.  We had a lot of aha's and laughs, so what else could I ask for? 

BTW, there will not be one this Saturday so we can concentrate on people coming over from the Salt Creek Quilt show.  Next Saturday 3/8 I will take the fear out of triangles for you.  Noon $10 cash.


We have some gorgeous new fabric with butterflies and some great outerspace fabric.  I forgot to take pictures.


And I thought Bobbi did a good job quilting her sample for our layer cake class a few months ago.  Look at this:

(full disclosure: it was on a computerized long arm).

A Ridiculous, aka Jelly Roll Race, aka 1600 from Rocky Candy Bali pop:


Pat's Glacier Star:


 If you see panels of words, this is what you do with them:

 I think this is the most nicely done memory quilt I have seen.  Carol retired, and people at her company wrote on the squares and actually stayed in the lines.  Maybe they were afraid of Carol...?


If you arrange the blocks in this a different way, 


 You get this:


 Thanks for reading this.  If you go to the Salt Creek show, look for me or Trevor (he's thrilled) in our booth.   If you haven't seen him in a few years, you will be shocked at how tall he is now.


Hello Quilters!

I took my car to a car wash yesterday for the first time in ages.  Turns out it's a pretty, dark blue, metallic color, not medium grey!


This Saturday's Lunch N Learn is on Free Motion Machine Quilting.  This is how you make all the swirly designs on your quilt instead of straight line "stitch in the ditch".  Stitch in the ditch is not easy and not fun, so why do it?  This is intended for those of you who have never worked up the nerve to try it, or tried it and were not at all happy with the results.  There are lots of gadgets and tools that make it doable, and that is what I will be showing you.  Then when Bobbie gets back from the south, you can take one of her hands on classes.

Tomorrow, Friday is the monthly meeting of the American Sewing Guild chapter at our store.  I'll show you a picture of the ballet costumes from last month.  I'm watching the Olympic skating and appreciating all the work that goes into creating those outfits.  This group is ideal for people who enjoy all types of sewing.  10 am.  Every third Friday of the month.



Any sailing fans?


 Isn't this perfect for your favorite Chicago Irish?  Chris M made this in an afternoon - her first applique and her first machine quilting.  She says not to look too closely.  We are making kits for it tomorrow. Should be about $20.


 Here's another St. Patty's day decoration with some of my early machine quilting.  Have I told you that some of us do much better with a quilting design that has points?  It gives you a place to stop and think where you are going next, as opposed to the curvy stippling that has no place to stop.


 How about these little Easter decorations?  Easter is really late this year.  You have time.  One is about 12 inches square and the other is 7 inches by about 16 inches.  Again cutting kits tomorrow.   The kit makes both. Probably about $30.



 And then there is this little cutie which is a laser cut kit.  That means the shapes are already cut out and have the fusible on them.  You just have to place them and iron them.  Doesn't get much easier than that.  I think it is $23.



 Spring has to come sometime, so here's a little paper piecing kit.  The border fabric in the kit is more pastel though.


I can't show a preview because I am still frantically working on it, but it is very traditional and reseblems a Jacob's ladder.  You could always make it more modern.

This is fun and for anyone, even rank beginners.  To prove it, here are some photos of how to make one of the quilts.  Jacqueline and I also made a video of this last week that you should be able to find on's YouTube channel.  It's quiltfabric1 if you have trouble.  Somebody already had plain quiltfabric.  This link should work if the pictures below are not enough for you  You Tube video    Yes, I know the sound is not loud enough, it's the first one.  We can't start off perfect :)

It stared with a layer cake of this camping theme fabric:


Match two squares that have good contrast.  Lay them on top of each other and put the points  of the square on your mat.  Use some lines that you probably never noticed in the center of your mat that look like a periscope sighting:


Cut one inch on either side of the vertical line and then switch the center piece from the two squares:



Sew together:


 Trim off the extra with any square ruler:


Arrange them however you like.  This is what I did for the Layer Cake Club one month:






Another Layer Cake quilt:


This is the same layer cake quilt in process.  I have to tell you that Jan made this and the accuracy was frankly greatly improved over her previous work (but I wasn't going to bring it up).  Jan herself said she finally started using that Angler that I keep recommending, and she couldn't believe what a difference it made.  I did not even say, "I told you so".   The Angler is one of the 3 things that I think every quilter should have.  The other two are covered in the Machine Quilting Overview Lunch N Learn.  How's that for a tease?


We have the pattern for this but it was the first time I saw it made up.  It's a little bigger than I thought.  So cute.



Hello Quilters!

Happy Valentine's Day.  I forgot to Wear Red for the American Heart Association's heart day last Friday, so I've got it on today.  Hope you are taking care of your hearts.  Did younotice the commercial that says Heart Disease kills more women than all cancers combined?

Tomorrow, Saturday the 15th is EMBROIDERY DAY.  In the morning is the Anita Goodesign workshop that you have to have signed up for, at noon the Lunch N Learn is on embroidery machines, so if you have been curious, this is it, and in the afternoon it is Assisted Sewing for Embroidery. 

Next Saturday is Layer Cake at 10:00 am $10 drop in. 

At noon the Lunch N Learn is an Overview of Machine Quilting (ie. Free Motion).  Not to brag, but I have made free motion quilting fun for a lot of people.  Is it your turn?  Come on, let me show you some gadgets and tools that make it much less scary.  If you have never tried it, I will have a machine set up for you to try it on.  Warning, about one in five quilters who sit down to try it, love it.  $10 cash, drop in.


One of the next holidays is St. Patrick's Day, and although I don't have pictures yet, we do have a couple cute wall hangings, and a bolt of shamrock fabric.

This is a very easy quilt to make from a "layer cake" and 3 yards of background fabric.  Layer Cakes are those packages of 10 inch squares.  The layer cakes of this fabric sold out very quickly, but we were just able to get more, so here it is again:



Is this the cutest thing?  The bunny is made out of Minkee, so it is really soft.  Jacqueline's 3 year old granddaughter loves to pet it. We are making kits of it. It's about  14 by 24.



This is about 50 inches square


Speaking of which, there is still at least half the sale batik fabric left.



Roslyn De Boer made a fabulous quilt with more textures than I have ever seen in a quilt in my life.  She showed it to me in 2012.  That quilt is now traveling the word in an exhibit, but Ros has pared it down into a teachable class and we are the first to have it.  Two Saturday afternoons in March.  By later today or tomorrow I should have the details on our website, or call. 630 321 9051.

 "Texture Landscapes explores new techniques using basic quilting skills.   The measuring, cutting, and sewing skills that every quilter uses will be applied in different ways to get the textures in these small landscapes.   No artistic degrees or drawing skills needed!  We will use fabric manipulation techniques like gathering, pleating, weaving and tucks as well as explore the variety of textures that can be achieved with "Texture Magic".   You will be guided through the steps needed to make these textures and in assemble them into this lovely landscape. "



Arlene spent most of our retreat weekend last fall paper piecing all those letters for the player's names.  Isn't it awesome?


Do not bring your backing to a long arm quilter in trapezoid shape.  Rectangular, please ;)  BTW, this lady's quilt was perfectly square and flat, she just never thought about the wide backing she bought.



It is quilt show season again.  Two of my favorite shows are always two weeks in a row in March in the "even" years.  Please mark you calendars for The first weekend in March for the Salt Creek show that is in a new location this year.  It's at the Clarendon Hills Middle School which is about a mile from as the crow flies.  Wasn't that nice of them to move it so close to a quilt store?  We will have a booth at that show. We are planning a special exhibit at the store for that weekend so you will have two shows to see.  Hopefully that will entice those of  you who live farther away to make the trip.  More info on the show at this link  Notice I said as the crow flies.  As the car drives, it's more like two miles because of one way streets and a golf course in the way.  If you want to know the details follow the *

The second weekend in March is the Pride of the Prairie Quilt show in Crest Hill, also at a Middle School.  We do not have a booth at that show, but one of my quilts will be in it and I plan to check it out myself on Sunday.  More info on that show at this link


*  It's not my job to get the directions right, but since I grew up in this area, I feel bound to help.  Note that there is NO intersection at Route 83 and Chicago Avenue anymore. Since Route 83 was made more express, it goes under Chicago Ave and there are no ramps.   The street to the west of the golf course, Oxford, that goes up to Ogden is one way south for part of it, but the street to the west of it, Woodstock is two way.   Also, you cannot drive from Middaugh straight across Ogden into Pasquinelli and our store, or vice versa.  Middaugh & Ogden has one of those concrete curved dohickies that prevents it.  I already tried Google Maps and Mapquest and they do not get it correct.  So tell you what, come see us at first, and we'll tell you how to get there ;)

Chris Sass
818 Ogden Ave.
Westmont, IL 60559
(630) 321-9051
open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 - 5,
Friday & Saturday from 10 - 4
Sunday from 12:30 - 4
Closed on Mondays
(630) 321-9051


Hello Quilters!


 Twice a year we get a huge shipment of Hoffman batiks.  It's that time.  In order to make room, we weeded out the oldest batiks and they are now $8 while they last.  Last night Joyce, Jacqueline and I were exclaiming over them "I can't believe that one is still here" "Oh I love that one" "i used that one in a couple quilts!"  We get emotionally attached.  Hence the numbering system so we know which ones have been here the longest.




 I got a new iPhone last month which is supposed to have a better camera, but apparently I haven't figured out the settings on it yet.  So turst me, this new Northcott fabric is really saturated colors with gold.  It's gorgeous!



These perfect little log cabins were paper pieced:


 This gigantic TShirt quilt is for a charity auction March 1st at what used to be Oak Brook Hills.  They are all rock concert T Shirts and she did an excellent job quilting around them.  There's Minkee on the back, and you should see Elvis' head in the quilting.


 The bus trip was a blast.  I good time was had by all.  I have even gotten two thank you notes, it was that much fun.  I'd definitely do it again.



 When you start watching the Olympics tomorrow night, watch for the posters and banners that look like quilts.  They ARE quilts!  Or rather pictures of quilts.  Someone forwarded me a link, and I thought they really looked like Jan Krentz's diamond quilts.  Remember when she came to teach in March of 2011?  Turns out, she sent out an email, and they are based on her Diamonds book that was translated into Russian a few years ago.  Whoda thought?  Will miracles never cease?  Maybe you can hook a few of your friends into your hobby when they see it at the Olympics.  wink wink.

Thanks for reading this, and shopping at!

Chris Sass
818 Ogden Ave.
Westmont, IL 60559
(630) 321-9051



Hello Quilters!


Last call for the bus trip on Saturday.  After being cooped up with those cold days, I decided I'd be the "bus mom".  I want to get out and see some other quilt stores.  I haven't been to the one in Rockford in about 12 years and I have never been to the one in Crystal Lake.  I'm leaving Kay back at the store to entertain our visitors.   If you don't know what I am talking about, we are going on a NICE bus Saturday at 8 am to visit 3 other stores.  This bus has WiFi and outlets for chargers.  How do they even do that?

There will be no Janome Club or Lunch N Learn this Saturday Feb 1st because we will be a little busy with the bus visitors first thing in the morning and at lunch time.


If you have a long arm, we stock these great little oilers with a long, pull out spout:


Judy Niemeyer now makes templates to help with trimming down to the solid lines after you have sewn the pieces.  These are well worth the money.  I did some damage to my elbow two years ago when I was trimming all my pieces at a retreat, before these were available.  BTW, I am getting these little heat flashes in my elbow.  What the heck is that?




We had some great show and tell today.  This young woman, Rebecca, came to a Lunch N Learn on Paper Piecing a few months ago because her kids encouraged her to take a class.  She was very nervous, but she liked it and she came to a couple more on Machine Quilting and Fusible Applique.  Today she came in with 2 finished quilts and while we gushed over them, she gushed over how I had made it so easy (no, I didn't pay her).  Take a look:

This is her first!  Paper piecing with all wild prints, mostly from


Her husband wanted a desert scene so she drew this up and used freezer paper for the templates.  We asked if she had a fine arts degree, but she said no!


This is a pattern I made for strip club several years ago.  Mine was black and white with lime green geckos quilted on it.  Look how different.  It's much prettier in person - my flash didn't work or something.


Sometimes those jelly rolls are so pretty, you don't have to do much with them to have it be beautiful.  I think this is the Hoffman bali pop called Brown Sugar:


I can always could on Beverly for some show and tell in the more traditional fabrics:


This is so clever and Melanie made it up (sorry Melanie your eyes were closed, so I cropped you out).  The Tree trunk is a corner design that she flipped.



This lady bought the embroidered squares on eBay.


Here's my favorite.  I don't know how many times I watched this with Michaela.



I don't know how long it has been since I mentioned that I had a heart attack at 45, but if you are new and haven't heard that before, heads up.  It can happen to anyone, especially stressed out women.  A wonderful thing happened today.  A woman in the store told me that when she went through a very stressful period recently because of a death in the family and subsequent infighting, that she remembered my warnings, and just let some things go, rather than get too stressed about them.  Nothing bad happens if you let some things slide for a little while.  I'm talking house cleaning chores here.   Her husband and sons lived through it, and more importantly, so did she.  

Now go sew something.  Thanks for reading this, and for shopping at


Chris Sass


Hello Quilters!

Someone tell me again, why do we live here? 

It's -2 out there now, but tomorrow ( Saturday 1/25) is going to be a heat wave of 26 degrees and we have a busy day planned at  Monday and Tuesday might not ever get above 0 degrees, so come out while you can!

1. CABIN FEVER SALE  We're are bringing out the sewing machines that have been traded in, and all the things that we found too many of during inventory counting, and putting them on sale. 


No, we don't take our clothes off.  It's just an attention grabbing name for making a quilt with those wonderful 2 1/2 inch strips that come in rolls.   We first started Strip Club in 2006, and there are still a hundred patterns we could do. 

The way this works is that I demo a new quilt design and give you the directions.   Strip Club attendees also get 10% off on fabric the day of Strip Club.  If you bring in your top to the next meeting for show and tell (see below), you get a free half yard of fabric.  It is so much fun to see the same quilt done in different fabrics.  It's my favorite Saturday morning of the month.  It's the 4th Saturday on "odd" months, and Layer Cake Club is on the 4th Saturday of the "even" months.

You can sign up for the six sessions for $50, or pay $10 cash (exact change appreciated as the flight attendants used to say) whenever you drop in.  I try to keep these patterns very easy, so anyone can do them.  I always have tricks to make it easier than you might think.  The gang wanted me to start giving a sneak peek, so here it is:



 3. LUNCH N LEARN ON PAPER PIECING THE JUDY NIEMEYER WAY.   We're not a Certified Shop for nothing.  I spent a solid week out at her headquarters in July 2010 learning to teach her techniques.  Whether or not you have ever paper pieced, Judy has figured out a few major improvements to the process.  Great results are guaranteed*.  

No preregistration necessary, just show up with $10 cash in your hot little hand, and learn about a whole new part of the quilting world.  Lunch included.  Lasts about an hour.  Look at these happy faces at a previous session.  BTW, Lunch N Learn is every Saturday now, and the topics are on our website under Classes.



If you were in a previous session and didn't finish (I know life gets in the way sometimes) you are welcome to jump back in.  If you want to make one, but didn't start with us two weeks ago, you can still join in our next meeting on February 15th - see me about it.  This can only be taught at a Judy Niemeyer Certified Shop.




The BUS TRIP is next Saturday already!  FEB 1st,  let a luxury bus drive you and your friends around to 4 quilt stores. 

When: Saturday February 1st  8:00 am to 5:15 pm

Where:  Bus leaves from 818 East Ogden Ave, Westmont, IL 60559  We go to Material Girl in Crystal Lake, Quilter's General Store in Rockford, Prairie Quilt Shop in Batavia and back to

Why:  Why not?  It will be fun.  Kay will be the "bus mom" and you know how much fun she is!  Lunch and snacks are included at each store so you will have energy to shop.  You will also have plenty of time to shop - an hour and a half at each store to eat and shop.

How much: Cost $49.  Number limited by the size of the bus.  Sign up online (under classes), or at the store or by calling 630 321-9051 with your credit card.

You can check out the other shops here:   Crystal Lake   Rockford   Batavia


We have this crazy huge classroom, and we want you to use it.  Use our JANOME sewing machines, too, so you don't have to schlep your own.  The first and third and fifth Wednesdays are "Assisted Sewing" and for $15 you can come and sew for the whole day and have Jacqueline there to help you if you need it.  How great is that?  A semi-private tutor.   The second and fourth Tuesday of every month you can come sew all day for free, but you are on your own, no teacher in the classroom.  Maybe you could meet your friends here and sew.


Now that you have learned about paper piecing at the Lunch N Learn, the next Judy Niemeyer class I am teaching is February 12, 13 and 14th and you can make either the Amazon Star or the Prairie Star.  The Amazon is big, but one of the easiest:

And here's Karen'sPrairie Star that she won a ribbon for in the Faithful Circle Show:

 Sign up for the Amazon or Prairie Star class Here


This was the Strip Club pattern in December.  Linda's just ahead of schedule.  So if you come to strip club tomorrow, you will see this same quilt made up in lots of different color schemes.




 Why didn't I think of using a purple background?!






 I just finished quilting this one for her.  As usual, they are even prettier in person.  I love this one. 


One of the students from Joyce's Coloring Curves class brought in her finished quilt yesterday:


 *Fabulous results are guaranteed if you get your fabric at and let Joyce help you pick the fabrics  :-)


Hello Quilters!


2014:  THE YEAR OF EMBROIDERY EXCITEMENT!  Did you get an embroidery machine recently?  Have you had one for years that's never been out of the box?  THIS is the year to start getting all the fun and satisfaction of creating beautiful and useful projects designed especially for embroidery machines! 
This year, starting in February, the third Saturday of every month will be an embroidery extravaganza at
Here's what we have planned to get things started:
Embroidery Club will be an Anita Goodesign Workshop ( ; The people behind all those great designs are producing monthly workshops with three projects and designs.  We'll watch a video detailing the projects.  You'll get a 20-page newsletter with step-by-step instructions, so you can follow along in class and on your own.  And you'll get a CD with the designs.  Club meetings begin at 10:30 a.m. and last about an hour. Cost:  $15. 
Embroidery Lunch & Learns:  Lunch & Learn is a weekly class devoted to various quilting, serging and sewing topics.  Now, once a month, the focus will be on embroidery topics.  L&L starts at noon and lasts about an hour.  Cost: $10, and it includes lunch. 
Assisted Embroidery:  Bring your machine and work on any project (including the Anita Goodesign workshop projects) with Susan and Jacquelyn there to help you along.  We'll start at 1:00 p.m. and go until the store closes at 4:00 p.m.  Stay as long as you'd like.  Cost:  $15.
Come to any or all.  Morning, lunch, or afternoon.


As described above, we'll be kicking off our first embroidery workshop on February 15 at 10:30 a.m.  It will include three projects:

1. Blackboard Bag - The bag, including the zipper and ribbon loop handle are embroidered right in your hoop; that means no additional sewing!

2. Towel Topper - Great way to dress up your own towels, or make as a gift for a friend.

3. Reverse Applique' - Add beautiful lightweight designs to your knit T shirts and sweatshirts using this innovative technique.  Reverse appliques are made by placing your decorative fabric behind your knit shirt and then trimming away the shirt to reveal the fabric underneath.  The designs are decorated with think multi-ply stitches to really make the designs pop.

You'll get to see a video of how to make the projects.  And you'll receive the easy-to-follow instructions and designs to keep.   We need order the project materials from Anita Goodesign workshop, so that you need to sign up for by February 7th.    Please call, come in, or signup online hereThanks.

Dates for all this delectable embroidery fun are:  Feb. 15, March 15, April 19, May 17, June 21, July 19, August 16, Sept. 20, Oct. 18, Nov. 15, and Dec. 20.

We're also planning embroidery classes:  an Embroidery 101 lecture/demo; Dots & Daisies, an easy embroidery applique class; and an intermediate class that will teach you advanced embroidery placement skills.  Stay tuned for dates and times.



Hello Quilters!

Happy 2014.  Amazing.  I thought 2000 was the future.  Now it's 14 years later. is going to be closed tomorrow.  That's Tuesday 1/7/14.  The schools are closed, and as a general rule, if the schools are closed, our store is closed.

Friday night we have a special event.  Sandi Irish of Irish Chain pattern company is coming to do a trunk show with her quilts.  Those of you who have admired her original design of the tall skinny pine tree won't want to miss this.  She has several other designs that she used that diamond ruler to make.  6 pm until 8 at the latest.   It will be about 40 degrees warmer than today.  Won't that be great?  Think of one day as 40 degrees and the next day as 80 degrees.


It's free, and we will have some great sale items.  It's after inventory, and one of the interesting things about taking inventory is that you find out exactly how much (too much) you have of some things.


Commitment fee it $25 then $32 a month for 7 months.  We are cutting the kits this week, so last call.  Sign up online by clicking here or come to the store, or call 630 321-9051



Check out more on the classes by clicking here






I had planned to write more, but my fingers are freezing.  The computer at home is too close to the windows!!!

 Maybe tomorrow.


 Do you remember when it was soooo cold in about 1982?   The transformer blew in the alley behind the apartment building I was living in in Chicago.  It was night, and my roommate and I decided we better sleep together, so we got in bed with everything "down" we could find.  "down" was new then.  The power came back on about 5 am, but it got so cold in some of the rooms that our house plants died.  Does that mean it got down to freezing?



Hello Quilters!

Thank you to all the generous people who brought in quilts, hats and fleece blankets for Washington, IL.  What a great reaction to need. 


The weather on Thursday may be snow, but it may just be rain, so Jacqueline would like you to call and let her know if you are planning to come tomorrow night.  No point in having her wait around, if no one is coming.  630 321-9051 or email with assisted sewing in the subject, please.   Last week there was a good bunch and they made a lot of progress.  She's just concerned about the weather.


This wonderful, light machine is on special for $700 vs its MSRP of $999.  It comes with an extension table, and is has a SCISSORS BUTTON!!!  I compare that to when you first heard about microwave ovens and didn't think you needed one.  (I can wait for my Stouffers to heat up).  But, once you got one, you would never live without it.  A Scissors button is just like that.  You push the button and it cuts both top and bottom threads!




Christmas Eve is on a Tuesday and we will be open for a while, but probably close about 2 pm.  Be sure to tell your local procrastinators not to leave for last.  Closed on Monday the 23rd as always.

Not many people have been taking us up on the wish list thing.  You come in, find something(s) that you want, bring them to the register, and we scan them.  Presto, exactly what you want, not "she said something about a ruler". 


The Zoo Block of the Month is finally ready to go.  My fault, no one else's. 

There are 7 months.  It costs $25 to commit and then $32 each of the 7 months.  That includes the pattern and the exact fabric you see here.  You trace on fusible web, cut, and iron.  Just like kindergarten except for the iron instead of Elmer's.  The class that did it in October was downright giddy, they were so proud of themselves!  That was an introductory class on one block that Bobbie did.  We (Jacq or I) will do a Lunch N Learn on how to do this on Saturday January 11th - noon $10 so you can see what is involved if you have never appliqued.



 Sign up for it here: Block of Month link



The Double Wedding Ring quilt is synonymous with giving a quilt for an important wedding.  I'll bet there will be a bunch of you who have children getting married this summer.   Well, I know I always make things sound easy, but I have a Wedding quilt "retreat" class planned for three days in January.  Wednesday through Friday, January 15 - 17.  All day for three days, using whatever Judy Niemeyer wedding ring pattern you want.   You will want to come get your pattern and fabric before class.  Joyce works on Wednesday and Thursday and many Saturdays.

 Sign up for Wedding Ring Class

I recommend the Flowers for My Wedding Ring:


because it doesn't have the extra work of the stars, and, get this, the appliques around the edge will soon be available as pre-cut fusible pieces!!!!  That is what allowed me to make this last year:


All you do is:

Open the bags of pieces

 Take the piece of paper off the back of the pieces


 Get out the layout and a light box


Put the pieces where they belong (the photo doesn't show that the layout is underneath, and visible)



Iron them down, and the zig zag around them with "invisible thread". 


OK, so now someone is going to want to know what that was.  That was one block of Spring Bouquet.  I put the nine center blocks together over 4th of July 2012 and it hung in the store, but I don't think I ever put it in an email, because I can't find a picture of my finished sample. Yikes, what an oversight!  I checked and it is still available, so you can sign up to do this one as a Block of the Month, or the whole kit at once.  I did not say that it was cheap.  Just easy.   Block of the Month link

I still have not quilted mine, and OMG, that bottom border looks wavy!


The 2013 Beginner Block of the month finished up.  Or almost finished since life gets in the way sometimes:









Hello Quilters!

Most of our Christmas fabric is on sale as of now - 30% off.  There are still two weeks to make something for this year, or be ready for next year.


Joyce is teaching here Coloring Curves Class on Sunday December 15 from 12 - 3:30pm. There is room for a couple more. This class has gotten very good reviews from people wanting to explore combining color in fabric. $35. Click here to sign up for the class


Lunch N Learn on Thursdays is taking a break.  Actually, they are moving to Saturdays and Jacqueline and I are going to alternate teaching them starting in January. 

I took about 30 quilts, plus hats, mittens, and pillowcases that were donated for Washington, IL down there this past Monday to the quilt store in town.  The quilts are going to their quilting customers who lost their houses and to the churches that are distributing donations.  One of our fabric reps, Sarah Maylath from Quilting Treasures, is going down there this next Monday and will take anything else we have collected by Saturday afternoon at 2:00 pm.

After I visited with the quilt store owners, I drove by some of the damage.  Words cannot capture the power of wind.  Feeling very glad to be in a warm house.



Hello Quilters

Once upon a time there was a nice woman who did countless things for her family but very little for herself.  There never seemed to be enough time left after dishes, laundry, cooking, vacuuming, carpooling, dog walking,  litter box cleaning, dusting, window washing, working, grocery shopping, shopping, bill paying, volunteering, showering, shaving, haircutting, picking up clothes, bed making, baking, toilet cleaning, floor mopping, counter cleaning, lightbulb changing, stair climbing, away putting, phone answering, doctor visiting, caretaking, supervising, disciplining, tucking in, waking up, pushing out the dooring, homework doing, permission slip signing, meeting attending, email reading, paycheck earning, yardworking, coffee drinking and eating.  Her husband/significant other/children/siblings/parents had urgent demands on her time and she loved them, and valued acts of service as a way of showing her love, so she did what they wanted, and hardly ever even thought about what she wanted.

Could you just stop for a few minutes?  Please?  The people who love you would probably like to get you Christmas (sorry, I already missed Hannakuh) presents that you'd really like but they might be clueless.  I have been thinking about it, and I have some ideas.

1. A new JANOME (Ja KNOW me) sewing machine.  With the 48 month free financing it would only be $80 a month for a really good machine like the 8200 that Jacqueline is highlighting tomorrow, all day.  There are specials on several models.  If you miss it, call me to see what we have left.  If you have a sugar daddy, or are your own sugar mommy, or want to trade up from a 10000, 10001, or 11000, you can get a new top of the line, 15000 with a free iPad, you could do it starting about  $150 a month, depending on your trade in machine.   Wait, what?  If that's true, why isn't every embroiderer trading up?  Sorry, distracted by the shiny object, back to the list.....

The new 8200 and 8900 are smooth as silk for free motion quiltling.  you might actually enjoy it.  Watch Joyce:

        Joyce tries quilting on the new JANOME last year

2. How about a Block of the Month program?  This year we have several that we will be doing.  They all add up to  $300+ and the best part is that it's like getting a present every month.  You will think of them fondly 12 times a year.  (This worked really well for my brother on my mother one time.)  We'll have a gift certificate that they can buy that lets you pick which BOM later.





3. A class(es) - if you know what you want (and I have them on the website when you look) you could pick them out, or they could be named later.  If you are a beginner, many people start with a T shirt quilt

4. A kit - You could pick which one off our website or in person (we sell out kits on the internet to people all over the world) so it's pretty up to date

 Link to our kit page

5. Rainbow of fabric - how about 9 inches of 96 different fabrics, in bundles of 8 for use in Rainbow Stars by Jacqueline De Jonge, or whatever you want, including just to look at:


6. Fabulous nonslip ruler that we use everyday - it slips until you press down and then grippers come out  $49 Limited quantity.



If none of those sound appealing, and if you can make a little time for yourself, come in and browse and we will put what you select on your wishlist and there will be no doubt.  If you do know what you want, reply to this email, with WISHLIST in the subject and your name in the email with a description of the item(s).  

Then the most important part is to spell out for them that it will be a very, painless shopping experience** to pick up what you already selected at:  818 E. Ogden in Westmont 60559*

in St. James Crossing (Moondance Diner mall)

for my wish list

*tell them that we moved a year and a half ago, so as not to cause pain and suffering when they show up at an empty store on 75th street.  

* I tried to figure out how to make this a coupon, but I couldn't.  You might want to print and put somewhere conspicuous.  Taping to my husband's spot at the bathroom mirror has worked well for me. 

**  If they ask nicely, we'll even gift wrap it for them!

TOMORROW  SAT 12/7   JANOME DEAL and more.

Tomorrow we kick off some great deals.  For instance, the JANOME 8200 which has an MSRP of $3999 will be $2499 with a trade in. That's a savings of $1500. Jacqueline will have various machines set up in the classroom, and walk you through making an eyeglass case with a Minkee lining (no scratch) so that you can really get a feel for different models.  No set time, she's very able to handle students at various stages of a project.  Allow an hour.  Bring your trade in if you are serious.


Put your borders on so they will be flat.  Do not, under any circumstances, just sew the border on until you get to the end and then cut off the extra.  If you have ever taken a class from me, you know I have very few black and white rules for quilting but this is one of them, so listen up.  Please.  I thought I made a video of this, but maybe not.  

Change the darn needle.  You should not be hearing every stitch - thunk, thunk, thunk.  It's like a new blade in the rotary cutter. Wonderful. 

Bias Binding is only necessary if you are going around curves.  A rectangular quilt doesn't need them.

Binding does not have to include hours of hand sewing.  I sew mine to the back, bring it around to the front, and top stitch it down.  If you enjoy hand sewing, great, if not, try this.









Hello Quilters!

I've been thinking about the tornado victims, and I feel like I should have figured this out earlier, but the reason that Washington IL sounded familiar to me when the tornadoes struck is that, that is where the other Judy Niemeyer Certified Shop in Illinois is.  Just talked to Lynda, one of the owners, and they are accepting quilts, pillowcases, and knit things like mittens and scarves for the displaced people who are just moving into apartments and asking for things. Soooo......bring them on over here, and I'll make sure they get down to the store in Washington. It's about a two and a half hour drive, and if anybody wants to volunteer a truck and/or to drive down, that would be great.

My proudest moment was when you all filled a semi-truck full of supplies for Katrina victims in a 24 hour period. This will be harder because it's quilts, but let's see what we can do through Sunday 12/9 and then we'll decide if we should do it another week. I am sure time is of the essence.

The quilts must be finished - no tops, and none without binding. Please safety pin a note with the size of the quilt on the outside of it, so the people distributing don't have to keep opening them up and re-folding. I think "twin, king" would be more useful than actual measurements.

I just looked through our old samples to see what we could donate and I found some great (horrible) examples of my early machine quilting.  They are so out of here and on their way to do some good! 



 Now back to small things, like what's new at the store:

 Remember the cool show and tell quilts that use the symmetrical designs?  We got more:




I have a lot more to say about our sale on Saturday and our wishlist, and some tips, but I want to get this out so you can look for quilt you can spare to donate to Washington, so I'll send another email very soon.

Lunch N Learn this Thursday at noon is Jacqueline showing you many gifts that you can make out of a jelly roll of 2 1/2 inch strips. 


 This is what I did Monday on my "day off".  Ah, the life of a small business owner:

 But seriously, I upgraded our software and added a second checkout register to cut down on waiting.  Speaking of waiting in line, the congestion from construction on Ogden is pretty much gone, so come on over.  When they open the right turn lane, it's going to be a breeze!

 Pat, one of our most prolific quilters, made this "ridiculous".  They can be so pretty.

 And she made a Whip It Up in very traditional fabrics.  I don't think I have ever seen that before.  I love it.

 Here's a very effective baby quilt, with very little effort (no offense intended!).  Anybody can make a nine patch - that was the first quilt I ever  made.


Anybody a big Shark Tank fan?  Someone came in with the eyeglass holder that attaches to your shirt with strong magnets.  Remember that guy? I do. 


Click here to "like" on Facebook.... 


Yesterday was 13 years since my heart attack.  Yahoo!  Glad to be here.  Thanks for your business.


Hello Quilters!


Lunch L Learn tomorrow is the ever popular Overview of Machine Quilting.  It's for people who have NOT done Free Motion Quiltling.  "Stitch in the ditch" quilting is not fun, and it is not easy, so why do it?  I don't even mention that it exists to my beginners.  Come see how the other half lives.  If you still don't want to do it, you will only have spent one hour and $10. No reservations, just show up.  Thursday 11/21 AT A SPECIAL TIME - 11:30 because I have a can't miss appointment at 1:00*

The week after Thanksgiving, Jacqueline will do the Lunch and Learn showing 5 gifts she made from ONE jelly roll.  This could be one of the best uses of one hour and $10. 


First, at 10 am is the last STRIP CLUB of 2013.  You have seen the happy faces in the show and tell pictures, why not join in this month?  Every meeting I give you a pattern for a quilt that uses a "jelly roll" of strips.  Those are the rolls of forty 2 1/2 inch strips.  I demo how to make it.  Then we have a lot of show and tell.  If you bring your finished top from the last meeting, you get a free half yard of fabric, and class participants get 10% off on fabric on the day of the club.  We will continue in 2014 because it's too much fun for me to stop.

  Second, this is the day to make one of those cool Diva Wallets with the profession hardware:

Call the store with a credit card, or click here. 


THANKGIVING is next week

It's not too late to make some of those cute leaf or pumpkin bowls.  I can no longer say they are stupid because they are fun to make, come out great, and are very useful.    I'm making one for my sister in law who is cooking for us this year.   We just got in a new shipment of the heat-moldable stuff you need to make them.



We know that it is getting too close to the holidays for most classes, but Jacqueline has graciously added some Thursday evenings where you can come and sew and she will be available to help you.  It is also away from prying eyes if you are trying to make a surprise.   Tomorrow (11/21)  12/12 and 12/19 from 6 9 pm $15.  You can spread out, and have everything you need handy.  You can use our machines.



All of us came in the store on Monday and sewed and laughed for half the day.  Here's a few highlights:

Kay's daughter in law has an unusually shaped table that she can't find table cloths for, so Kay copied one she already had, and then hemmed it.  Turns out if you know how to adjust the stitch length (Jacqueline does) it made a beautiful satin stitch over the edge.  Note the finished edge on the left, and about to serge on the right.


 She also used the serger to join the pieces before she did the hem.


Now on Kay's wish list:


Diane made this up herself:


Chris M. made this and yes, we will be getting the pattern. 




Here's a challenge for you.  I got this a year ago, and we haven't offered it as a class because Susan says the amount of detail in the video would be frightening to a beginner.  This is, afterall, by Sharon Schamber, the perennial prize winner.  I saw the original and it is gorgeous.  So, if you have the patience and the drive, to be a master embroiderer, this is for you. 





Two of the ten people who started, have already finished even thought the class is not over until December.  They must have a really good teacher :)  (me)





Edrene was back with two new quilts.  The first is great use of gradated, or ombre fabric.  The second contains a Jinny Beyer border turned into a circle!



How about a Judy Niemeyer tree skirt in purple?!






Hello Quilters!

 Look up on the roof in the center of the picture.  That's a goose.  Honking very loudly but you can't hear her in the picture ;)  This was the bright spot of my week.  I thought that geese nested on the ground, but the Office Max manager told me that they nest up there every year.  When I expressed concern about the little ones learning to fly, he said that they do indeed swoop down and fall on the concrete, but it doesn't kill them, and they get up and try again.    It's the Office Max by the Home Depot on Woodward in Woodridge, if anyone else wants to see.  On to business.....


Hello Quilters!

 Who is this nice lady, and why is she coming to on Palm Sunday?

Well, we didn't realize it was Palm Sunday when we planned it, and she is coming to do some workshops with the Prairie Star guild.  She is Amy Bradley and I met her at the first Rosemont Show.  It was her first show, too.  All the things she makes are funny and we carry a lot of them.  She's going to do a trunk show just for us on Sunday at 12:30 (free) and then teach a class.  We have openings in the class.  Basically she will teach you how to make any of her designs.  You will need the pattern and fabric.  We have kits for quite a few of them.  Come see, and if you want to stay for the class, you probably can.   She has never taught in this area before to my knowledge.




HAPPY SPRING.  So what if it was 14 degrees this morning, and it was 80 degrees last year?  It's Chicago.  Easter is sneaking up on me.  We have some very cute Easter egg fabric. (I forgot to take a picture of it).







STRIP CLUB IS SATURDAY AT 10 AM.  $10 if you want to drop in.  Here's our latest "jelly roll".   MMmmmmm.



JACQUELINE IS TEACHING LANDSCAPE QUILTS THURSDAY NIGHT 3/21.  Where are all the people who kept saying they wanted evening classes? We have openings.





Some people.  This is called the Common Bride by Laundry Basket Quilts.  I think it is misnamed.  That's Deb.


 Cheri with Arizona Cactus by Judy Niemeyer.  She added the border from another JM quilt design.




 Frieda Anderson taught a workshop at Salt Creek Guild and here's what Lolly did:


 The Saturday "challenging group" made a tricky block with multiple partial seams.





There's one in every crowd who gets finished way ahead.  This is Patricia's:





This lady, in from California for a family event is making dresses for her twin nieces from her sisters wedding gown. 



 SAVE THE DATE Thursday Evening April 4th for our Spring Fling Open House.  7 - 9 pm Door Buster deals, refreshments, new samples, demonstrations, and a bunch of nice people.



Hello Quilters!

There's a CD of funny designs to embroider and hang in your Laundry Room.  Here's an example:






The first session of this year's Embroidery Club sort of went by unnoticed, so we thought we'd repeat last month's session on Saturday, March 23 at 9:00 a.m. and do a better job of promoting it.
In addition to the usual discussions, demonstrations and show-and-tell, we've added something new this year! You'll receive instructions for a project and one or more free designs that are appropriate for the project. (Bring your USB memory sticks, so we can download the designs.)
This month's project is a quick baby shower gift for the often-forgotten new dad-to-be. Makes an apron with pockets to hold important things at the ready.
So join us March 23 at 9:00 a.m., and bring show-and-tell. We LOVE show-and-tell.
Price: $10.00

 NEW SAMPLE from SAKURA fabric:

It's not quilte finished.  It's made with a Layer Cake with a really great short cut.  Layer Cake Club is the fourth Saturday of the month on the Even Months.  So next month, they'll be getting this pattern for free.  Want to join?  If not, we'll let you buy it as soon as I get it written up.  That could be a while, since my deadline isn't until the fourth Saturday of April :).  Yes, this looks like a Churn Dash, and you could certainly make it, but not anywhere near as easily as with the trick.



Some are a reprinting of Caryl Bryer Fallert's fabrics for Benartex.  We also have a grey one from Moda.  Somebody asked me for that and I forgot who you are!  I saw a cool modern quilt made out of it, but I don't know where.  Does that sound familiar?


 We also have some interesting Paula Nadelstern fabric.   A lunch an learn later this month is going to be about what to do with gradations, and/or symmetrical fabric.


 Tomorrow's Lunch n Learn is going to be about the newer, much simpler way to put in a zipper.  It's how all those cute little bags are possible.  I should be able to make a little back to show you in ten minutes.   And we have a great variety of zippers for $1 each:

I have put many weeks of Lunch N Learn topics on the Class Calendar on our website so you can plan ahead.  It is a work in progress, so check it occasionally.  I plan to add some Saturday Lunch N Learns.  Any requests?  I mean topics?


I really loved a line from Moda called Comma that I saw at Market.  It's here and we have jelly rolls, charms, and layer cakes, and patterns to go with them.









This Saturday is National Quilting Day.  What does one do for that?  Drag unsuspecting shoppers in as the are trying to go to the Oreck store?  I always assumed it was to expose new people to our beloved craft.  

The organization for quilt shop owners is promoting something they are calling the Seven Summits and shops are supposed to get people to make Ridiculous, or 1600 quilts that add up to the number of feet in Mt. Everest.  One of my best friends from college has actually climbed 6 of the 7 real mountains (never made it to Antartica, but she was the third American woman to make it to the top of Mt. Everest back in 1990), so making any analogy between easy peasy quilts and that feat seems silly to me.  BTW, I have xeroxed letters she wrote backto her mother, and believe me it was a 6 week ordeal.  So, anyway, if you have a friend you'd like to introduce to quilting, our classroom/gallery is covered with quilts, and we would love to meet them, and hopefully get them started (we won't say hooked, or addicted).   Thanks so much for making my quilting dream a reality.

Chris Sass


Hello Quilters!


OK, I am bragging about this again, but these two quilts surprised me.  This first one is a T-shirt quilt, which is thick already, and she wanted Flurr on the back.  Flurr is like two sided Minkee but thicker, and thicker than fleece.  No problem.  Came out great.


This lady's daughter REALLY wanted blue satin on the back.  It looks great.  In fact, I kinda want one.   But I am still wondering if it will slip off the bed.



Last week a customer who came in to buy a Janome had an interesting tidbit to share.  She lives in Chicago in a high rise so she found a repairman that makes house calls to service her last machine occasionally.  The last time he was there, she thought she'd ask him about what brand he'd recommend.  His quick reply was, "Oh, Janomes.  I never have to service them".


Tomorrow 3/7/13 New thingamajigs and dohickeys that I have found lately, and some old favorite gadgets and what to do with them.




This is not here yet, but can you believe that we have to buy Christmas fabric, when Christmas is barely over?   I know, my job is so awful ;)





I hope none of these are repeats, but I think some are ones that I skipped a few months ago.

Awesome, prize winning Amazon star (we have the pattern)

















This was made by Karen Kay Buckley and Renae Haddadin, both pros.  I really liked the vivid colors.  Karen makes the top, Renae quilts it on an Innova.  I am glad some people want to spend their lives making things like this so I can look at them.












 I rearranged most of the quilts on the walls the other day.  I hope you'll stop by and take a look.  Thanks for shopping at


Hello Quilters!

Almost March. Wow.  I wonder if I start thinking about summer now, if I will feel caught up to the calendar instead of always behind...?   First, some general info, then a recap of classes, then another diatribe (?) about heart attacks.

Tomorrow starts the more advanced long arm classes with Julie Karlak.  That's exciting. If they fill, we'll add more for March.

We are planning for summer kids classes.  If you have requests, speak up now, please.

We had our first Cake Club on Saturday morning.  I loved the look on some faces when I showed the trick. It's not too late to join in.  $50 for the rest of the year.  Meets on the 4th Saturday on even months.  Every month you get a new pattern that uses Layer Cakes (the packs of 10 inch squares) and instruction from me on how to make them.  If you want to stay and sew, you can.


The two new models (8200 and 8900) that have all the bells and whistles but not embroidery are wonderful.  They both do Awesome free motion quilting.  We made a video of it to try to show you but of course it's not as good as trying it yourself.  Hint.  Hint.  Let's see if I can remember how to put a link to a video in:   click here to watch Jacqueline and Joyce (their hands anyway)

On a related subject, I have been using a 12000 (top of the line with embroidery at home) but I am not embroidering.  Now that the other models are out, it seems stupid for me to be hogging a 12000.  Anybody want a good deal on it?

LONG ARM LUNCH N LEARN Saturday March 2nd at noon. 

If you are thinking about getting a long arm quilting machine, this is a great opportunity to talk to Jeff Benedict of Accomplish Quilting, and me.  Jeff and his parents have been a long arm dealers for over ten years, previously with Gammill and now with Innova.  Get your questions answered without having to wait for a quilt show.  Lunch N Learns are $10 cash in the classroom.  You do not need to register, just come.  We'll start at noon. 



Long Arm Quilting 102 Filling your Quilt - Feb 28, 2013

Filling your quilt with Fun Motifs, Meanders, Textures and Treasures...oh my! Tired of the same old meandering? Learn some fun and creative backgrounds. Perfect for all-over quilting, block fillers, appliqué backgrounds and more.  Taught by Julie Karlak.  Hands On.

Cost: $ 75.00
Lunch 'n' Learn Rope baskets from strips - Feb 28, 2013

Making bags, baskets, trivets, etc. out of leftover strips and some clothesline rope is more fun than I thought it would be. It's a little like sitting at a potter's wheel. Of course, I read the directions, and then found a faster, better way to do it.  So come see my "rope tricks".
  Long Arm Quilting 106 Feather Happy for Beginners - Feb 28, 2013

Learn the feathers basics, how to turn corners and create fun and fancy feathers! Hands on.  Taught by Julie Karlak.

Cost: $ 75.00
Stitchers Garden/ class is full we are taking a wait list to add another class - Feb 28, 2013

In this class you will use your decorative stitches and different feet. It will meet the 4th Thursday night of the month from 6 - 8:30 pm Starting January 31st for 6 months. class fee includes kit, you supply stitch and tear and steam a seam 2 lite. Both are available at the shop. Please check the class supply list to see which feet you will need, some are optional feet you will need to purchase. This class will meet the last Thursday of the month. There will be a kit available. Click to see close up pictures of the blocks....

Cost: $ 25.00
INNOVA Owners club - Mar 02, 2013

It's always fun/interesting/educational to get together with other people who have the same interests as you do.  This month, Jeff Benedict of Accomplish Quilting in Stevensville, MI, is joining us.  He'll know about all the newest developments.

Cost: $ 10.00
  Charity Sewing - join in - Mar 05, 2013

We have a regular place and time to gather and work on projects for others. This is organized by several women who started out in a class together. Perhaps you helped them at our old store, or at the Burr Ridge Park District building. Anyone is welcome to help, even if you can't sew because they still need people to iron.
  Assisted Sewing (laugh, it's supposed to be funny) - Mar 06, 2013

Do you have some UFOs that you need a little help getting going again? The first and third Wednesday of the month are now dedicated to open sewing, but with a twist - a teacher is available. Jacqueline will be in the classroom to help you with whatever you need. She can do anything.

Cost: $ 15.00
Ridiculous - ly Easy Class - Mar 07, 2013

This is as easy as it gets because all the fabric is already cut. It is made using a "jelly roll" of fabric. This is a 2 part class it meets on 2 Thurs. evenings.

Cost: $ 30.00
Fear No Color - Mar 10, 2013

You will learn to Fear No Color as Joyce guides you in choosing the right tones for this Pineapple quilt. So much fun! You will need to purchase the Pineapple ruler and the book both available at our shop. You will need to meet with Joyce a few days before the class to choose your colors. A list of what needs to be prepared before class will be available at the shop. Sunday afternoon March 10th $40

Cost: $ 45.00
  Open Sewing - Mar 12, 2013

Want to have room to spread out and be with other quilters? We have this huge room, it's yours to use on The 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month. For free.

Cost: $ FREE
Graduation T-shirt quilt - Mar 14, 2013

Using your T-shirts make a memory quilt for your self or as a gift. The ideas are endless.

Cost: $ 35.00
  National Quilting Day! - Mar 16, 2013

Event details to follow.  I am looking for ideas on how to celebrate this.  We never have, but it seems like a good thing that we could get in local papers.  Any ideas?????
  Landscape quilting - Mar 21, 2013

You will learn color, texture and different piecing methods to make the back ground of your landscape piece. Bring a picture or make one up. This is a relaxing method to build your background. I will also show you some methods to add trees, rocks, etc.  Jacqueline.

Cost: $ 35.00
  Strip Club - Mar 23, 2013

This class meets every other month on the 4th Saturday of "odd" months for an hour.  Every month you get a new pattern that uses Strips (those 2 1/2 inch strips in jelly rolls) and instruction on how to make it from Chris.  Usually there is some great tip on how to make it faster and/or better.  Most people who have done it in the past are doing it again, so it must be Fun Fun Fun.  It's not too late to join in....$50 for the rest of the year.  If you want to stay and sew, you can.

Cost: $ 60.00
Amy Bradley Comes to Visit - Mar 24, 2013

Visit and if they make you chuckle you should sign up for this class. You can make any of her applique patterns in this class. You jut have to have your pattern and fabric ahead of time. We will have kits available for some of them. She is a wonderful individual that I met at the first Rosemont Show.  She was brand new then, too.

Cost: $ 40.00



More on the Heart subject.  A funny thing happened last Saturday.  I was in the classroom with a few people after a class and in came a woman that was new to the store.  Somehow, the new woman launched into a story about how she had had a heart attack.  Well, you know I wanted to hear all about it.  While we were discussing it, one of the women who'd been sitting there chimed in with how she'd had problems, too, and had had quadruple bypass surgery. We probably went on about hearts for a half hour, but it seemed like no time to me.  To sum it up, the new woman ignored signs of her heart attack as severe indigestion and by the time she had one of her children take her to the hospital two days later, the tests showed she'd already had a heart attack.  I also know a man who did that while on vacation.  They actually started driving to the hospital and turned around and went back to there condo because there was a huge traffic jam.  By the time he went again, the heart attack was over.  Hello?  This is what ambulance with flashing lights are for.  Do I have to tell the ambulance stories again?  (some other time), but an ambulance ride is between $500 and $1000.  A deal compared to the rest of hospital costs.  The worst case is that you have to pay for that, the best case is that you are still alive to pay for that!  I have permanent heart damage because I didn't call 911 right away, but I did take two aspirin and eventually call.  The nurses seemed to think the aspirin saved me.  You are all carrying aspirin in your purse, right?  81mg non coated is best for an emergency, I think, but ask a doctor, as I am not giving medical advice, blah, blah, blah.

The second lady had just had all her family in visiting and staying at her house.  After they left she was exhausted.  She thought it was just from all the exertion.  But no.  After a couple days, she also had someone take her to the hospital, and she got an immediate in with the surgeon the next morning.

 TIP:  Feeling nauseous is a very bad sign.  The first woman, whose incident is much more recent than mine, says that nausea is a pretty universal indicator for women, even though the other signs vary for women.  Both of us who actually had a heart attack, had felt a flush and then felt like we might vomit.  In my case, after that, I just wanted to lie on the floor and we called 911.   That's the only thing we had in common.  She's the one who thought it was indigestion.

I know I run on about this sometimes, but I feel like it is my purpose to share what I learn about heart problems in women, to somehow prevent the worst from happening to one of you or your friends. 

Chris Sass



Hello Quilters!

LONG ARM QUILTING MACHINES is my main topic today


Saturday, March 2nd at noon.  Jeff Benedict of Accomplish Quilting in Stevensville, Michigan will be a guest speaker for a Lunch N Learn.   Jeff has been in the long arm business for at least ten years, first with Gammill, and now with Innova.  He will speak for a little while and then take your questions.   This is a unique opportunity to learn about these two brands without having to wait for a quilt show.  Yes, we'll have a deal if you later decide you want one.  $10 cash, includes lunch.  No registration necessary.  Just be on time and have exact change.

2) I quilted this Yummy (that's the pattern name) sample last week.  Do you see any of the yellow thread from the bobbin coming up on the top?


 Do you see any of the grey thread coming through on the bottom?


 If your long arm quilter tells you that they have to use the same color thread on the top and bottom or it will show, they can't get their tension right.  Find another quilter.  Like ; )   Our rate is 2 cents a square inch.  So multiply the length times the width times .02.  ( 72 by 85 = 6120 x .02 = $122.40 plus a fee for thread and set up.

3) We had our first Long Arm Basic Training class yesterday.  Yeah!  It's a new thing and we have to be able to adjust as we go.  Julie and I decided, that 1) it would be a better use of talents if I teach the Basic Training, and she teaches the more advanced subjects and 2) quilters who already own a long arm, do not need to take Basic Training to take Julie's courses.  I have already fixed that on our website.  We will make changes on a case by case basis if you have already signed up.  If not,  there is a feather class next week that you might want to jump on.

4) INNOVA owners have our next meeting on Saturday March 2nd at 10 am.  Jeff Benedict from Accomplish Quilting, mentioned above, is coming in to meet you and share what's new and take questions. 

5) We will still be renting the long arms in the future, but have had a few bumps in the road.  Sorry. 


When I ordered a selection of the 100 top selling Kona colors from Kaufman, I didn't realize there would be some so close in color to each other.  Do we really need 6 Oranges?   So, Joyce and I went through them yesterday and where we had two colors that are almost identical, one went on sale.   While the greys sell like crazy, and of course black and white, the colors, not so much.  If anyone can tell me why, I'd like to know.   I thought they were in hot demand.




Want a deal, but on the model YOU choose?  Try this floor model sale.  A few will be deeply discounted because they have been discontinued.  With the rest, we like to keep them fresh.   Have I ever told you that I once got the best washer and dryer ever, from Sears at a floor model sale?  The dryer lasted 26 years and had way more features than I could have afforded any other way.   Starts tomorrow 2/15 and goes through next Saturday the 23rd but NOT this Sunday (sorry but no one will be available that day, and you won't get all your questions answered if you come on that day).


Learn a fast fun way to add circles and curves to your quilting. Please bring freezer paper, pencil and marker. You will also need fabric (at least 2) that contrast and your basic sewing notions. EVENING CLASS February 21st from 6 - 9 am. Includes pizza.  Taught by Jacqueline. Register first.




Today is mitered cornered napkins, receiving blanket and quilts

2/21 will be Diamonds, Darn It.  Imagine my surprise when this quilt, with no credit given to the designer, showed up in Hargrave's Vol. 4 Senior Year book!  That means they think it is really difficult.  Ha!  They didn't figure out the short cuts.  But I did.  Time to get rid of the fear of diamonds.

2/28 will be what to do with this:

and/or this (leftover strips).  You may think you know, but again, I find the short cuts that save hours.



Last call for Mariner's Compass which starts Sunday. Do not do anything ahead besides get your fabric, and take a deep breath and relax. 


 CAKE CLUB STARTS Saturday 2/23d at 10 am.  It's not too late to jump in.  Sometimes the pattern will be a surprise, but I think the first month we will start with this:  It looks like a Strip quilt, but it is not!  A very cool trick with a 10 inch square.  $60 for 6 months of fun and 6 patterns and lessons.   You will be amazed at the great things you can make with those Layer Cakes ( 42 ten inch squares) and a little yardage for a border.



Thanks for shopping at  Please remember to tell you friends if you like it, and tell me if there is something that you think is wrong, or could be better, so I can fix it!

Chris Sass


Hello Quilters!

I hope this gets a chuckle from you:

LUNCH N LEARN tomorrow (2/7) is Joyce showing you how she goes about picking out a border for a quilt.  She has a few samples ready and I think you are welcome to bring something that you are stuck on.  She'll get to as many as time permits.  $10 cash, noon, lunch included.


101 BASIC TRAINING  Julie Karlak is teaching a series of classes at our shop.  If you don't know Julie, she's a fabulous long arm quilter and a very good teacher.   I take her my quilts that need custom work.  The first class, offered twice this month, is Basic Training.  It is suitable for anyone who is just starting out with a long arm quilting machine.  We will cover how to load a quilt top correctly.  You will learn how to set up a pantograph pattern, quilt a few rows, and then how to advance the quilt to continue on with the pantograph.  Other topics include what you need to know about backings, and battings, thread choices, and finding the correct tension.  This is a demo-lecture class so bring a notebook.  There will be some hands-on with several people to a machine.  $50. Wednesday Feb 13th 12:30 - 2:30 or Friday Feb 22nd  10:20 - 12:30.  We are looking for feedback on dates and times if you cannot make these.


Learn some fun and creative backgrounds.  Perfect for all-over quilting, block fillers, appliqué backgrounds and more.  Here are some examples.  This will be hands on with far fewer people than 101 Basic Training.  Thursday Feb 28th at 10:30 am for 2 hours OR Friday the 22nd at 1:00. $75.  You need to take Basic Training before this class (you could do them both on Feb22 or do them on separate days).

Learn to make those beautiful feathers that you lust after.  Hands On. $75. Wednesday Feb 13th 3 - 5 pm OR Thursday Feb 28th 1 - 3 pm.  You need to take 101 Basic Training first.

Improv Quilt meeting this Sunday (aka Modern Quilt) at 12:30 pm (or was it 1:00?). Bring something to sew. Open to anyone interested in"modern quilting" call Joyce at the shop for more information. 


This one starts Saturday, and we may or may not ever do it again.  We have a kit and you WILL get the same results - it's the same fabric.



QUILTS OF VALOR CHARITY SEW IN on Tuesday 2/12 at 10:30
Remember Abraham Lincoln?  Remember when we celebrated his birthday on his actual birthday?  This year let's celebrate it by doing something for returning soldiers.  Quilts of Valor is a great organization.  You can find out more at  

Last time we even had some participants come down from the Naval Air Station.  Considering what our military does for us, it seems like the least we can do is spend some time sewing.  I have donated lots of fabric for the tops and some great wide backing, but they need help piecing, and long arm quilters to work on them. 

Here's a little inspirational story for you from an email (so it must be true):
"Last week I was in Atlanta , Georgia attending a conference. While I was in the airport, returning home, I heard several people behind me beginning to clap and cheer. I immediately turned around and witnessed One of the greatest acts of patriotism I have ever seen. 

Moving thru the terminal was a group of soldiers in their camos. As they began heading to their gate, everyone (well almost everyone) was abruptly to their feet with their hands waving and cheering. 

When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and Cheered for, it hit me. I'm not alone. I'm not the only red-blooded American who still loves this country and supports our troops and their families. 

Of course I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so we can go to school, work and home without fear of reprisal. 

Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of our Service men and women, a young girl, not more than 6 or 7 years old ran up to one of the male soldiers. He kneeled down and said 'hi...' 

The little girl then asked him if he would give something to her daddy for her... 

The young soldier, who didn't look any older than maybe 22 himself, said he would try and what did she want to give to her daddy. Then suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave him the biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek. 

The mother of the little girl, who said her daughter's name was Courtney, told the young soldier that her husband was a Marine and had been in Iraqfor 11 months now. As the mom was explaining how much her daughter Courtney missed her father, the young soldier began to tear up. 

When this temporarily single mom was done explaining her situation, all of the soldiers huddled together for a brief second... Then one of the other servicemen pulled out a military-looking walkie-talkie. They started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it..

After about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to Courtney, bent down and said this to her, 'I spoke to your daddy and he told me to give this to you.' He then hugged this little girl that he had just met and gave her a kiss on the cheek. He finished by saying 'your daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and he is coming home very soon.' 
The mom at this point was crying almost uncontrollably and as the young soldier stood 
to his feet, he saluted Courtney and her mom. 
I was standing no more than 6 feet away from this entire event. 

As the soldiers began to leave, heading towards their gate, people resumed their applause. As I stood there applauding and looked around, there were very few dry eyes, including my own. That young soldier in one last act of selflessness turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney with a tear rolling down his cheek. "

OK, now wipe your cheek, and mark your calendar to come sew for a while on 2/12!


Pineapple from Beth Hoffman after Fear No Color Class and the fabric that started it:  BTW, this class is offered again in March with Joyce.


 From our Hugs and Kisses Class:



Chris Sass


Hello Quilters!

I would like to remind you to occasionally look on our website for Classes, including what the Lunch N Learn is about.


I was going to do my normal presentation on making half square triangles tomorrow, but then a couple things happened.  Two customers came in with quilt tops that they were working on that were full of half square triangles and were fairly traditional looking.  This was strange because these two quilters lean toward art quilts usually.  The quilts were beautiful.  Neither one of them are beginners.  I started thinking that maybe I should show some methods of mass producing triangles.  At first glance, it may not look like it, but the first quilt has 384 two inch finished triangles.  I could not possibly have made them one by one as some patterns tell you to do.  If you are ready for a little challenge, but a little afraid, let me take the mystery out of it.  $10 noon to 1 pm tomorrow (2/1) , includes lunch, no pre-registration necessary.  Just drop in.   You might even make some new friends.  We always have at least 10 women, and sometimes 40.  I hope the weather won't be too bad tomorrow, but by late morning, the traffic should clear up.


 I hadn't taken these partial Ocean Waves blocks out of the box in at least a year, and of course now I don't even like some of them.  Sound familiar?  But I can just quickly make some more with better combinations.

 Next week (2/7) Joyce is going to do the lunch on Thursday about how she picks the fabrics to be a border.


Speaking of traditional, how about this pretty blue and white and cream?  It's not very big (9 inch blocks) but you could always make more blocks.  We have a pattern and very convenient bundle for you to grab to make it. Notice that the points "float"?  That means they don't have to meet up with the edge of the block so it is more forgiving if you are a little off.  It uses "connector corners".  They are the shape of LeMoyne stars without the hassle!!!  I love it when it looks more difficult than it was.



 On the brighter side, there's this small one (40 inches square).  The pattern has a large version, as well, which would work very well with one of our rainbow colored jelly rolls.




CALENDAR continues.  These are pretty tall and suitable for a door or tall skinny wall in your house.  I think they are about 5 feet tall.



 Super Sew SALE on BATIKS  SATURDAY AND SUNDAY ONLY Did you know we cannot call it a  Super Bowl Sale?  Companies have been sued for that.

This is highly unusual.  I can only remember one other time when we had a big sale on the batiks.  Here's the thing.  I have learned over the years, that January is when we have the most batiks.  Well, it's the start of February, and there are still way too many batik bolts to fit in the shelves and I can't stand them being on the floor, so we are going to let you thin them out for us.  $10 a yard, half yard minimum cut.  Since many of ours are $12 now, and some stores mark them at $12.95, this is a good sale.

If you are going to do a big Judy Niemeyer quilt, this would be a great time to get the fabric.****



****You cannot reasonably expect our ( Joyce's ) usual personal attention picking fabrics for a project during this sale on Saturday and Sunday.   So, please either 1) come in and do your picking before the weekend and we'll hold it for you, or 2) come in during the weekend and buy X number of yards of batik fabric to be selected in the next month for your Niemeyer project.   How's that for creative retailing?  (I love being able to make the rules!)



Suitable for a north woods cabin:


 Vonnie finished her Jacobean Garden and got it quilted





Remember heart disease is the number one killer of women.  (Breast Cancer gets more attention but is farther down the list).  Lately, three people I know have had to go see a cardiologist because of a racing heart or a stabbing pain between their shoulders, or dizzy and weak and mild pain in the chest.  But they went.  Do not wait.  You may not get another chance.  End of public service announcement.   Now go sew something.

 Thank you for shopping at

Chris Sass


Hello Quilters!


Thursday's LUNCH N LEARN is on Bargello and Trip Around the world.  These are two of my favorite quilts.  They look like you sewed a million pieces together, but you only sewed strips.  Easy peasy.  A Trip Around the World was my third quilt.  If I can find it, I'll bring it tomorrow.

Jelly Barjelly is an example of Bargello.

I found this one on the internet and I think it is much prettier than the one I made.  It's from a quilt store in Arkansas called Thus and Sew:


 This is a drawing from Electric Quilt of a Trip Around the World:



JANOME SALE on 6600 on Friday and Saturday

This has been our most popular machine since we have had Janomes.  It has everything a quilter wants at a pretty reasonable price.  The price of it has been going up (the MSRP is $2499 now) but it is still well worth it.  six years ago when this was $1999, the comparable Pfaff was $2999.  So, if you have gotten the quilting bug, come try this one and save over $700. 

You'll love the large space to quilt, scissors button, extension table included, spool holder for large spools, separate motor for bobbin winding, speed control slider, and the start/stop button which keeps a steady speed while you learn to free motion quilt.





Our first informational meeting of Feathered Star is Saturday at 1:00.  This is SO exciting - Susan figured out a way to make it NOT be bulky in the seams!  AND she's testing a way to eliminate the stiffness. 

If you have done a Hoopsisters in the past and wished it hadn't been so stiff, or if you have not been interested because it felt so much different than a "normal" quilt,  you might change  your mind when you see this.  Come find out, and if you don't like it, you don't have to do it.   Not necessary to drag your machines in this time.

The detail on this just amazes me.   I hope to see you Saturday at 1:00.


Strip Club starts again.  Each time we meet there is a new quilt for you to make using those wonderful jelly rolls, bali pops, etc, of 2 1/2 inch strips.   Sometimes it just uses the strips and sometimes you add some background.  The quilt is a surprise and you get the pattern as part of the club fee.  If you get your top made by the net meeting which is two months later, you get a free 1/2 yard of fabric.  Plus, on club meeting days, you get 10% off of any fabric you buy.  Now that we have more room, maybe we should also designate some time to stay and sew.  Anyway, the patterns are usually pretty easy and fast, although some are more work than others.  Some are ones I make up like the Manly quilt was,  and some are purchased patterns.   If you want to use the same fabrics I did, you can, but it is more fun when everyone uses different jelly rolls, because then at the next meeting, we get to see lots of different possibilities.

Come on, try it, you'll like it.  4th Saturday of the month on odd months.  $60 for the year.

 The blue barjelly above could have been a strip club quilt, as could this one from the Salt Creek Quilt show (sorry I forgot who made it) that looks like my Diced Pink pattern:

 Or this one from Phil:




OUR FIRST SPEAKER was a success

A fun time was had by all on Sunday when Jacquie Gehring shared her Modern Quilts with us.  Here are a few pics for those of you who missed it.  We have less than 5 of her books left if you would like one.


 Jacquie is a big fan of straight line quilting: (this one's in the book)



 THis on's in the book, too, and my favorite.  Look closely at the bottom half and you'll see the shapes reflected in the quilting.





Can you believe there is a Visit Your LQS (Local Quilt Shop) Day?  I feel strange even mentioning it, but I know that other shops are.  It seems so Hallmark, or self serving.  It's tomorrow, too.  Thursday 1/24. We'd love to see you




Thanks for all the opinions about emails vs. Facebook.  The answers were overwhelmingly in favor of emails.  It was not even close.  So I will keep these up. 

I have to share a quote I read, and if I was doing a lot of Facebook, I would probably put it up there:  "WEIRD is just a side effect of being Awesome".   Which reminds me that we ordered fabric from Dr. Suess's "Oh The Places You'll Go".   I love that book. A good friedn gave it to me when Michaela was little.  She went back to school at about age 35 to become a doctor.  Now she is a doctor in Louisville specializing in geriatrics.  She goes through a great process with families to determine what they all want as the patient ages.  It sounded very comforting.  I wish we'd had something like that for my mother in law.


Chris Sass


Hello Quilters!

Here I am at the last minute as per usual.  But at least last week I lined up quite a few of the Lunch N Learns.  Today is on Disappearing Nine Patch at least two ways, and I think there may be a few more.  You start by sewing quares into a nine patch, make a couple cuts, and voila, you have completely different blocks ready to be sewn in rows in a quilt, rather than making them block by block with little pieces.   The first time I did it was in the old store with some pretty yellow, blue and white.  Today, I have Christmas on the brain.



It's been very nice to see all the people coming in to get gift certificates for you and/or buying things that were on your wish list.  Thank you very much for sending them in.

This part of December can be quite slow in the shop except for sewing machine sales, so we have time to plan for next year.  2013. Yikes.  On second thought, 13 is often a lucky number for me, as in found out new location on a Friday the 13th.  I wonder if the whole year will be lucky?  How's that for a positive attitude?

Back to plans....

The Saturdays will work like this -

  1. First Saturday INNOVA long arm group on odd months 10 am
  2. Second Saturday 10 am Beginner Block of the Month (see pictures at the end of this to entice you).
  3. Third Saturday 10 am Way Beyond Beginner Group
  4. Fourth Saturday 10 am Strip Club on odd months, Cake Walk on even months, Afternoons, Something Embroidery every month

Saturday afternoons will have various classes taught by me or sometimes, Jacqueline.  Having Jacqueline available to show sewing machines, leaves me free to teach all day Saturdays if I want to, and I want to.  There's nothing more fun to me than passing on the techniques/tips/tricks I have learned and see the lights come on for you.  Remember, if this was difficult, I wouldn't be doing it.

Evenings - we are going to try doing some Thursday evening classes.  The first ones lined up are

  • Whip It Up (could be your first quilt) on Jan 10th and 24th from 6 - 9 pm. Jacqueline
  • Log Cabin (classic and beginner) January 17th 6 - 9 pm. Jacqueline
  • Modern Confetti (improvisational) January 17 & 24th 6 - 9 pm. Karrie
  • Yes, there will be two classes going on at the same time on the 17th & 24th.  Wow.

Sundays -

Modern Group is still deciding on a regular date, but the first few of the new year are Jan 20th, Feb 10th and March 10th. 

Special Events -

JACQUIE GERING, author and Modern Quilt Guild pioneer will be doing a lecture and trunk show on Sunday January 20th.  $10.  Sign up please so we can plan for chairs.  I will admit that I was not familiar with her until I read her book, XXXXXXXX.  Now I am a big fan.


No, you can't look inside, I took the picture from another website.

 Here's one of her quilts I saw in Houston:

 AMY BRADLEY, pattern designer and comedianne will be here on March 24th doing a workshop from 1 - 4.  You can do any of her patterns in the workshop.  We may also arrange a trunk show of sorts.

 You've seen her patterns that Bobbi has made up.  Here's a panel from her new fabric line, and our most recent model.  You can see her other things at



This is a Five part Block of the month.  The fabric for it just got here so we can start kitting it.  Who's in?  If you don't want to do it on your own, class is scheduled for Saturday afternoons Feb 9 &16, March 9th,  April 13 & 20th.  No, I don't have all the dollar amounts yet.  Calls for about 15 yards of fabric, and the pattern and the class.  That would make a very good Christmas present, wouldn't it? The actual quilt is in our store until Jan 6th when I must return it.   Paper pieced.  You WILL get the same results, even the exact colors.




Saturday was the last meeting of the Beginner Block of the Month.  If you have made a quilt or five and want to advance your skills, this is the class for you.  We'll start again January 12th at 10 am.  $60, a steal compared to what other shops charge, and they don't usually get to teaching you how to actually quilt it, you just do the top. Only two of these are quilted now, but they all know how.  If you get your top done, there is a drawing to have it quilted for free by  Keep in mind these all have the same blocks, just different fabric choices.


Winner of free quilting:


 This is her first quilt!  Love the log cabin corners!


Even recent surgery can't keep some women down:


 Can you say Large?  Check the creative use of fabric for the border.

 Blodie with excellent use of skills learned from Stitcher's Garden in 2010.


 Most creative use of alternate squares to increase the size:

 Masterful additions of sashings and it still lays flat!



 In other news, at the advanced group, Becky is making progress on her bride quilt.


Who says you can't teach your son to quilt?  I helped a tiny bit with picking the purples


 Lois finished her intermediate quilt from a couple years ago.  She divided the twelve blocks into 2 quilts.  Makes me want to finish mine.



Chris Sass


Hello Quilters!

Pictures are at the end, but while you wait for them to load........


How many ways can we say, "send your friends and family to for gifts for you"?  Some of you have your husband trained, but not all.  Especially for something in the stocking, which often goes forgotten at my house.   When my wonderful staff was getting ready for the Open House, they made up some great gifts.   We have at least a couple of each left: 

I doubt you can see them in the picture, so there are calendars (engagement and regular), Christmas cards, wrapped mugs, a sewing kit, sewing shaped cookie cutters,  gift pack (nailfile, tweezers, and scissors), memo cubes, puzzles, Electric Quilt,  and little 6 Best Press "flavors".   We can also make a Wish List just for you in the computer, and of course, there are gift certificates.  BTW, since Christmas is on a Tuesday, and we are closed on Mondays, your gift givers have until Sunday the 23rd, at the latest, to get something from


JANOME SALE  The best gift IMHO

 Janome (rhymes with "ta KNOW me") has introduces a few new models lately, that are based on the new top of the line 12000 but without all the bells and whistles (read as still great, but more affordable if you don't embroider). They are on sale through Christmas.  Wouldn't that make a great present to yourself?  Jacqueline would love to show them to you.


If you are following groups online, you know that this brand (our brand) is getting rave reviews.  We will have at least one to rent out starting sometime in January.  We also will be accepting quilts to be quilted, and holding classes on long arm quilting taught by experienced long arm quilters (not me although I did read three books on the subject while on vacation).

If you are interested in buying a long arm, I am very interested in showing it to you, just please call ahead so I can be there and have a machine available for you to play on.  There is a sale on through the end of the year.



The holidays are a great time to get your sewing machine lubed up and tuned up.  If you usually have to put the machine away, why not bring it to visit  That way it is out of your way, and can receive some tender loving care, and be ready to start the new year off right. Jim, Our service technician does the work right in the store on Thursdays.  It's $85 if you didn't get your machine from us, $75 if you did.  Jim can do any brand.  He's been working on sewing machines for at least 25 years.



Recently, Jacqueline and Joyce sat me down, and basically wouldn't let me get up until I had planned out months of classes.  I seem to have some kind of commitment phobia with picking dates. They are on the website and I will be explaining them in future emails, but I want to get this out in time for tomorrow's Lunch n Learn. 

LUNCH N LEARN ON "MY CHRISTMAS TREE" (12/13/12)  Noon $10. Just show up.

This is a pattern I made up one year when I was frustrated that all the quilt patterns for Christmas trees didn't look enough like trees to suit me.  We even had a contest to see who could decorate the best.  I think that Susan, who is in the store every Saturday withy the embroidery machines won that one.   Anyway, it is extremely simple (you know me, there's a trick) and I will give out the pattern.  I have sewed a million little button holes in it so that I can stick a strink of lights through from the back and hang it on the wall in the dining room. The lights are not in it in this picture.

 Next week will be Disappearing Nine Patch Expanded.  This is such a great trick and yesterday a couple of alternatives just hit me when I was looking at a picture of a quilt that I had saved for 6 years and not gotten around to yet.  Now I will, and it will be done for Christmas.  Fast.

Christmas week (12/27) will be on Color My Way (I took a three day class from Joen Wolfrom once) and it is very logical and involves a color wheel.

The first week in January will be Color Joyce's Way  (I don't want to say that her was is ILlogical, but it is certainly not straight line thinking). She's better at it than I am, though.



The Intermediate Block of the Month wrapped up on Saturday.  Anyone who had their top finished was entered in a drawing to have it quilted for free.  Here they are.  I never know if I should give names or not but

This woman won the free quilting:

 This woman had time to have a baby this year, and brought him to class a few times;


 This woman drives all the way down from Gurnee for our classes


 This woman used my favorite floral as the inspiration:

 This woman made this for me (it's purple) just kidding:


 This woman is our local contact for Project Linus:


 This woman has never taken off her glasses before:


 This woman used the most traditional colors:


 This woman is making a king size so she did doubles of all the blocks:


If you think you'd like to do something like this, we are calling the group Way Beyond Beginner for next year. It will meet on the third Saturday of the month at 10 am.  $60 for the year.  A steal.

NOVEMBER 15th 2012

Hello Quilters!

Happy Thanksgiving!   It's too late to have these two cuties in your house for this year's Thanksgiving, but it comes again next year.


 In the photo above, from top left to lower right - pretty floral group with purple,  new group by Malka Dawbrosky, A collection that raises money for autism, new girlie girl group ( notice the dots and solids fade from dark to light), just interesting, really handsome traditional group of brown and red, safari group for boys, purple Christmas fabric that was gone in September but we got more, and boxes and boxes of Hoffman batiks.

EMBROIDERY REMINDER - KENNY KREATIONS from AUSTRALIA will be showing off their quilts tomorrow (11/23).  Won't they look nice in our "gallery"?  10 am. Free.  Oh, and if you feel you need to buy something, their CDs will be buy 2, get one free.


Starting on Small Business Saturday (11/24) through the next Saturday (12/1) ALL our Janomes will be on sale for at least 20% off.  Some will be more.  Did you know they start at about $200?  Friends don't let friends get their first sewing machine at a "big box" store because they won't get Jacqueline for lessons.  If you would like to "move up" in your sewing machine from the 25 year old Singer that you have, JANOMEs are great values (about 70% of what a European brand costs) and very, very reliable.  There are lightweight travel machines, workhorse quilting machines, fabulous embroidery machines, and some with all the bells and whistle you can think of, plus some you didn't think of!  Come see, and bring Santa if you are not Santa. 


Speaking of Santa...

FIRST EVER EVENING OPEN HOUSE  Next Thursday night, the 29th of November 7 - 9 pm.

I have a really good staff, but you probably knew that.  They came up with this idea to have an Holiday Open House that sounds really fun and entertaining for you, the person who usually does all the work to make Christmas (or Hannukah) happen.

We'll have

  • little thank you gifts for you,
  • Gifts that are already wrapped.  (We won't tell if you put them under the tree for yourself).
  • Refreshments
  • Selected merchandise on sale
  • Stocking Stuffersfor you or a friend
  • Class Samples up for 2013 so you can look ahead to after the Holidays
  • Demos for quick gifts to make, with gift packs ready to grab and go.

And here's what I thought was the most brilliant idea: 

  • Create your own wish list.  Pretend you are a kid again, making a list for Santa.  Jacqueline figured out how to keep a wist list for you in the computer and then print it out so you can either give the list to your family (put it up on the Fridge) or send gift givers into our store where we will print it and help them fill it.  Kinda like a gift registry at Crate & Barrel or Marshall Field's.  That probably shows my age, but it made me smile to think of it.  Any Open House Sale prices will be honored on the Wish List.

 We appreciate you, and hope you will find time to spend next Thursday evening (29th) with us!



The classroom sewing is starting to catch on. We are offering it for you to sew on Saturday December 8th and 15th.   We have 4 sewing machines available to use so you don't need to drag yours, but you better call and reserve one.  All the time we are open, from 10 - 4.  It will be like a little elves workshop.










 FIRST IN STORE RETREAT SHOW AND TELL:  There will be another in January (hint hint)









 Mary's top from the Beginner Block of the MOnth (BOM). Starts again in January (hint hint):







 Another Beginner BOM finishing up:






Seriously, thank you for reading my emails and for shopping at  I had lots to be thankful for this year, especially when quilt stores around the country continue to go out of business.

Nov 12th ish

Hello Quilters!

Again, I am wondering, where does the time go?  How can Thanksgiving be next week?


Last time I said that Kenny Kreations was coming the day after Christmas.  Eeeek.  I should have said: The day after Thanksgiving, aka Black Friday.  They are lovely people from Australia that do fabulous embroidery, and they have a gift for everyone who attends the TRUNK SHOW.  It's a CD with designs on it.  If you want to browse, their website is Lyn sent me a lovely picture of some of the designs but I can't seem to get it in here.  I may have to do an attachment (gasp! something else to learn).  This is the first Kenny Kreations quilt I ever saw:  I thought it was the best combination of quilting and embroidery.  Both those vines with animals, birds, and flowers, are embroidered!  If you own an embroidery machine, you owe it to yourself to come see the quality of their digitizing. 

10 am on Friday November 23rd, and yes, it is free.  How rare is that?  No, I don't know how long it will last.  Doors will open a little early.



LUNCH N LEARN Thursday 11/15

Will focus on gifts.  Yes, I have found the pattern for the casserole cover and I have other ideas, too. All I need is time!  There's always this one if you can;t think of anything else:

Chris Sass

NOVEMBER 5, 2012

Hello Quilters!

Would you like something to distract you on election day?  I know I would.  How about coming to and doing some charity sewing/pressing/quilting?  Our charity sew group is now planning to meet on the first and third Tuesday in our classroom.  They got together last month and organized many, many kits.  I've showed you pictures of their work before.  They take donated fabric and make surprisingly good looking quilts.  Currently their focus is on lap quilts for a couple of suburban nursing homes that were very happy to get some in the past.

All volunteers can select a lap quilt kit, which includes all the fabric cut to size for the lap quilt top and the fabric for the lap quilt back.  Each volunteer will be responsible for bringing or purchasing the crib sized batting (42 x 42 inches).

 The volunteers are asked to arrive at at 12:30 p.m. equipped with sewing machine and quarter inch foot, thread, pins, scissors and other sewing supplies. Each sewing session will end at around 3:30 pm. Join the fun and enjoy the camaraderie while helping keep nursing home patients warm in the upcoming winter season. 

RETREAT Repeat Announcement since there is still room

"We are going to have our first retreat in our own store.  How fun will that be?  Run out of something, or decide you want a different fabric, and it will be right there.  If you have never been on a retreat, you might wonder what it is a bunch of women who love to quilt and socialize sitting around a room, each with a large table to themselves and plenty of places to cut and press.  Why would I want to schlep all my stuff to sew when I can do that at home?  I thought that too, when I first heard of them.  Several reasons.  It's very comforting and soothing to be taken care of for 60 hours.  Someone else has done all the meal planning and will do the dishes.  No one will interrupt you constantly.  It's interesting to take a break from your own project and walk around and look at what other people are doing.  It's fun to help someone else who asks for assistance choosing between different border options.  You might spend some needed quality time with a sister or friend, or you might make some new friends.  It's great to be helped by other people who all have opinions, and expertise if you just ask for it.  Last put not least, is a big block of time to engage in your hobby and actually make some progress.

It's the same time of year as the last couple of retreats, ie; right before Thanksgiving so you can get some serious sewing done before the crunch.  That's the weekend of November 16th to 18th.   You can come as early as 10 am when we open on Friday, and it will end when we close on Sunday at 4 pm.   The price including meals, snacks and some unspecified fun stuff is $120. 

We have some very good options for catered food with Moon Dance diner and Maggianos and Yu's Chinese all very nearby.  You can either get a room at the GuestHouse or Best Western within 100 yards of us, or you can go home and sleep in your own bed.  Your choice. "

We have a few more spots. It's fun and gratifying.  Weekend of November 16 - 18."


Kenny Kreations of Australia will be at the store the day after Christmas. It's a free trunk show.  This is kind of a big deal.  This is one of only two stops in the country.  Fans of theirs are coming in from Iowa to see this.  Their embroidery designs are beautiful and you will get to see the original quilts.  Take a look at their website here


This week's Lunch N Learn is Overview of Long Arm Quilting.   This is for those of you who know nothing or very little about what they are and how you load quilts on them.  Everyone who wants to will get a chance to try it.  Be prepared to stand.

BTW, I want to hire a person to run the Autopilot and supervise the long arm rentals.  If you are somewhat experienced with a long arm, and interested in a steady income, let me know by emailing me at with the subject Long Arm. 


This is a little outside my "box" but I loved these Barbara Brackman reproductions from Moda


And this is all purple.  Who would have ordered that?  Oh, me.


Phil was in with his take on my pattern Diced Chocolate.  I like it better.


Cheri Stapleton has been using up some stash fabric.  Aren't these two quilts a great use of a beautiful large print?


AND she finished her quilt from when Debbie Caffrey was here several years ago.  Mine is still in pieces in a box.  Becky H has made several.  Maybe I will bring that to work on during the retreat...



Cutting Garden By Dawn Hayes:


 In my opinion, the best quilts are by the Japanese artists.  I read an article once about how they take a year long intensive course (or was it two years) and they have to prove themselves at the end.  You should see the workmanship on them and many are all by hand.

 Departure by Kiyomi Takayanagi:

 Ocean Blue by Noriko Sato:





Chris Sass

NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Hello Quilters!

If you have some free time this weekend, may I suggest the following:

1, Today (you'd have to be reading this before 10 am) Starts at 10:30 to noon and has a second meeting in December.   Bobbi is doing the Santa applique class, but you could also do the reindeer:



Santa pattern comes with the hand painted face:

2. On Sunday afternoon she is doing free motion quilting (hands on).  This class always fills, so I must not have told you about it.  Starts at 1 pm.  Pre-register if at all possible.


3. We will be getting a ton of new batiks soon, so I went through some of the racks and marked down over 40 to $8 a yard yesterday.  Need a backing?



Yellow, black, white and grey seem to be popular.  We have a collection now, and here is more that I ordered:



One of my heroes, Joen Wolfrom, the goddess of color, has a recent book that I missed.  I took it home recently and so did Joyce.  We agree it is fantastic!


This lady must be a fan of Caryl Bryer Fallert:



This one is nuts when  you look at the detail of how she got the shading.  They are all individual dots appliqued!





 This one has lots of circles, too, but they are from the quilting:




 There seemed to be more art quilts this year, than traditional.

Chris Sass

Halloween 2012

Hello Quilters!

It hardly seems like Halloween.  This neighborhood was once teeming with children, but 20 years later, the doorbell has rung less than 10 times. 

I had a really good time at Quilt Market this past weekend.  I took literally hundreds of pictures to share with you.  I know, it's a tough job but somebody has to do it.  Tomorrow's Lunch N Learn will be me sharing what was new at Market. Be Colourful loaned me a quilt.  It's gorgeous, paper pieced, has all the colors of the rainbow and black (my favorite color scheme) and it is going to be a block of the month class.  I had to take it on the plane with me because I was afraid to check it in my luggage.

The Innovas arrived and two are set up, so next week's Lunch N Learn will be the Overview of Long Arms that had to be postponed. 


We had a lovely British lady in visiting her daughter who asked if she could come spend the day sewing.  Of course, we said yes, and look what she got finished:


One of the first things I saw at Houston was an exhibit by the Modern Quilt guild.  There was a very nice young woman at the table who was very helpful in helping me understand the movement, and how it started.  After talking to her, and wandering the show floor for three days, I feel like I understand it much better.  One of the quilts I really liked is by the woman that started the Chicago group.   I hope she's not one of the ones who was upset about my public transportation remarks!  Did I mention that our group had their first get together and have two more scheduled for November and December?  They will not conflict with the Chicago group's meetings in case you want to do both.













We had a disappointing turnout (were you all home watching the Sandy pictures on TV?) but we had a lot of fun. About 7 people came from Great Lakes Naval Air Station Reserve Management, and yours truly taught them how to quilt.  Turns out they are very good at ironing because they are taught to iron their uniforms.   They all took a try at piecing, too, and Rita was happy with my faster method to make the same blocks she was doing with many pieces.  It will save a lot of time in the future.






I love it when I come around a corner, and there's a quilt I remember seeing in a magazine.  They are always better in person.

Here's Kitty Corner by Janet Fogg, in increasing detail:





 Al is Flowing by Anita Welty:

 Wrath by Dianne Firth



Someone sent me a link to a new form of CPR that is more likely to save a life if someone collapses with an apparent heart attack.  It seems very doable.  I want you all to know what to do if I, or anyone else, needs it! 

And since I am sending links, here's the best video I found last night of the devastation of the Jersey shore.  It reminds me of a video taken of the Japanese shore after the tsunami from a helicopter.  That video disappeared about a week later.  It seemed as if they didn't want people to see how bad it really was.  It was bad.  Had to say which is powerful....

Chris Sass

OCTOBER 25, 2012

Hello Quilters!

Why is there never enough time?  Pictures at the end....

FEAR NO COLOR CLASS - Make a Pineapple Quilt with Joyce

Joyce asked me to remind you that there are a couple spots left.  This is your chance to spend quality time with our color queen. 
Class will discuss color principles in a simple practical way.
Learn how to use the pineapple tool and build confidence in making color choices,
A follow up class will discuss block placement. Date and time to be determined at time of first class. 
Date: Sunday, October 28 TH  12:30 - 4 PM.
Fee $40
Contact Joyce at the shop prior to class


Join our machine embroidery club members for a demonstration of how to embroider on mylar to make your projects shimmer and shine.  Share your completed embroidery projects and see what others are doing with their embroidery machines.  Cost:  $10, or free with purchase of an embroidery design pack.   (All Dakota Collectible design packs are 25% off!)



This example of a mylar design is from Kenny Kreations.  The owners of Kenny Kreations will be at for a Trunk Show on Friday, November 23 (more details to come, but save the date)!  They also designed the Jacobean Garden and Midnight Roses quilts that so many of you have admired and made. That's the day after Thanksgiving. 

The new machines suddenly showed up last Saturday and the Autopilot is set up and the rental will be finished today.  Yipee!  I can now catch up on the dozen quilts for customers that have been waiting patiently.
Remember to come help us sew on Tuesday Oct 30th.  Some actual Navy personnel will be stopping by.  I think that's exciting.  Rita Pennington is the local contact.
A place of your own to sew all weekend.  No cooking, no cleaning, no phone calls (unless you choose to answer).  Sound fun?  Join us Nov 16th to 18th.  Details in previous email, which you can find on under News, or call the store (630) 321-9051. $120.
It's a tough job but somebody has to do it.  Tomorrow am I leave for Houston for my first Market in 18 months.  I'm very excited after such a long break.  What does this mean for you?  Besides new stuff in the store?  It means lots and lots of pictures of fantastic quilts in my emails in the coming months!  Very few shop owners bother to look at the quilt show.  I, on the other hand, can hardly tear myself away.  I may do some Facebook uploads, so you may want to go "like" the page.  I uploaded a new album this morning of the pictures I took at the Prairie Star guild show at the DuPage county fairgrounds last Friday.  Was that only a week ago?
They are fantastic, and from Australia.  They are going to have an American Thanksgiving at my house (I figure they won't know if I am not very good at it) and then do a trunk show at the store the day after at 10 am.  If you like EMBOIRDERY at all, be there or you will be sorry later.  Literally a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Last Friday I spent a very enjoyable few hours at their show.  I hit the jackpot in the used books.  They thought I was crazy (although happy to take my money) for 34 books.  I've read a couple, and already learned some new tricks which I will add into today's Tricks and Tips Lunch N Learn at noon.  Yikes, I gotta go!
Please dont get mad at me for not having the names of who made them.  I had them all named, but it got lost in translation,  They are on the Facebook album....I think.
 Elizabth Taylor:
Chris Berry:

Chris Sass

OCTOBER 10, 2012

Hello Quilters!

 Isn't he cute?  If I had taken the picture better, you'd see his boots, and see that he is coming down the chimney.  It's another one of those cute patterns that has the "accessory kit" with the glasses, eyes, and beard.


 LUNCH N LEARN tomorrow at noon is on my three favorite, fastest quilts from strips.  I have even been making pieces ahead of time to make one right before your very eyes.  Wow, there might not be so much pretending necessary.   In case you have not tried a Lunch N Learn yet, it's an inexpensive way to take a class and only use an hour of your life.  It's $10 and we include lunch with that.  Just bring the money, cash, in your hot little hand, and I do appreciate exact change, just like the flight attendants used to. 

Seriously, this is a great way to learn something without much commitment of time or money.  It's only an hour, starting and noon.  This one in particular covers three of my patterns, and what another lady took a whole book to cover.  If anyone can find an easy way to make a quilt, it's me.  Come see.



What happens if you choose one of the following bundles of fabric, and spend four hours with Bobbi & Charlotte?



You get something like this:  These are four of the many, many mystery quilts that have been made over the years.  The mysteries were full before they began many times but finally some people have moved away, etc, and there is room for you in a Sunday afternoon session.  This is a great time.  For $65, you get the fabric for the center of the quilt, the class, and a great meal.  For a long time I couldn't figure out why these were SO popular with repeat participants.  Then I stuck around for one.  The food!  I should have known since both Bobbi and Charlotte are great cooks.


In case you are not familiar with a Mystery Quilt......You pick your fabrics from the selections that B & C have made.  Then you come pick up your packet of fabrics and you may have a little cutting to do ahead of time.  When you come to class, they give you a "clue" like sew a 2 inch strip of fabric A to a 3 inch strip of fabric B.  You get the step by step (clue by clue) of what to do, but you do not know what it is going to look like.  It's a mystery, get it?  Toward the end of the class, they will reveal the finished sample.   They have borders picked out that you can buy for a finishing kit, and they have the fabrics picked for the next class for you to choose from.

Usually the big disadvantage of doing a mystery is that you pick fabrics with no idea which one will go where, so you often end up with an ugly quilt.  Because B & C are also both very good with color choices, and because they know what the finished product will look like, you don't end up with an ugly quilt.  And you have fun with other quilters.  And you eat.  What's not to like?  So if you are interested, get in on this one.   Who knows when there will be openings again.  FYI we do these mysteries about every 6 weeks on a Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

November 11th from 2 - 6 pm. $65.










 REALLY YUMMY FLANNEL.  This is yarn dyed, not printed, so it would work great in chenille, or "rag" quilts.  Many of them look like fine wool.   They feel great.  And at $10 a yard, are a relative bargain.  We all want pajama pants out of them, or to make a man's quilt.



NEW JUDY NIEMEYER TABLE RUNNER called Cactus Flower.  We all loved the colors that Deb had picked.  We had enough for 6 kits.  Don't wait.




He and his mother own In the Beginning Fabric and before that, a store near Seattle.  He's done several Christmas lines, but this is a return to bright.  The picture does not do it justice.  There are two kits in different color ways plus fabric in another colorway.   It's a little like Paula Nadelstern fabric, if you know what I mean.


 This fabric was late arriving, and I was tempted to refuse it, but I really like it.  So did Jacqueline.


 Why I ordered this hot pink, and green, I do not know.  Maybe it was a rainy day in March when I ordered it.  It certainly is bright and cheerful, but it reminds me of my friend Dierdre's childhood bedroom.



I hope this doesn't just look like a mess, but we now have a lot of layer cakes.  The one in the lower left is all food, and Jacqueline whipped up a table runner out of it.   We are going to be starting a club that uses layer cakes, soon.  And yes, I plan to start Strip club up again.


 This is just one of seven cute wall hangings that Bobbi made by cutting apart a single panel and then framing them with other fabrics.  Some of them glow with her fabric choices.  We packaged the panel up with strips of all the fabrics she used and priced it so it comes out to $25, tax included, for the shop hop*.  We still have some left.   I am doing the same thing to a different panel, and will show how to do it as a small part of my Lunch N Learn tomorrow.   I do it "quilt as you go", Bobbi did it the "hard" way because she is a better machine quilter.



PRETTY FABRIC  by French something (I forgot)



NEW TRADTIONAL  Again, the picture doesn't do it justice.




 * The shop hop had the lowest attendance since we started in about 2002.  If any one cares to tell me why you do or do not, do shop hops, please tell one of the shop owners.

I'm sure there's more, but I think this is long enough for now.   Briefly,

  • Joyce is doing her color class again on October 28th,
  • Bobbi is doing the Santa face on Nov3rd.
  • and a hands on Machine quilting class on Nov 4th. 
  • Remember to try the Open sewing or Assisted Sewing,
  • Volunteer to make quilts of Valor on the 30th of October
  • Embroidery club is on the 27th of October at 9 am
  • Our Modern Quilt group is going to have its first meeting on Sunday the 21st of October at 1 pm.  Come to sew and plan and meet and greet.
  • Retreat is Nov. 16th to 18th and I am arranging food with Moon Dance diner - yum!

I attended a webinar today on how to put classes on my website and found out why you couldn't actually purchase the classes online, so I will be fixing that.  You might want to take a look tomorrow, or call the store if you want to sign up.  Thank you!

Chris Sass

OCTOBER 3, 2012

Hello Quilters!


Tomorrow (Thursday 10/4) the Lunch N Learn is Overview of Machine Quilting.  This is the most popular one, but now we have room!  I will explain all the tools, gadgets, needles, and threads that make machine quilting possible on a regular home sewing machine.  This is for someone who has never tried free motion quilting, or tried it and was annoyed/disappointed/frustrated, etc.  This is not hands on.  I promise you will be able to sit down and try free motion quilting with reasonably good results after this.  It's not too late to make some gifts or finish UFOs.   $10 cash, no registration necessary, includes lunch.

We had our first big class in the new room.  18 people sewing.  They decided we could use more places to iron, but other than that, it was fine.  They were making the Gacier Star quilts like you see on the walls.



We have designated some times to for you to just come in and use our giant classroom.  Like a quilting clubhouse. 

I hope I can make this clear.

On the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, there is Open Sewing.

On the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays there is Assisted Sewing. 

The difference is that Assisted Sewing means that Jacqueline will be in the classroom to help you if you need it and so it costs $15.  

All the days are meant to be fun and give you room to spread out. We hope it will also be a way for friends to gather when none of your homes are easy to gather in (and lets face it, no matter what some people claim, none of your homes have as much fabric to choose from if you run out of something).

It will be no reservations required, until we start getting to capacity, and then we will just add more days.  They are on our website calendar under classes.


Sorry I don't have a picture of our finished model.  These are pictures of what it looks like as it is going together.

It is a ten month program.  $15 to sign up and then $25 a month for ten months.  The first six months you make the same block that is in the border 4 times for a total of 24 around the border.  BTW it's a large, 98 by 98 inch quilt.

Then you make the very center block, then the rest of the center medallion, then the checker board, then the borders that are made from stripe fabric.  You get to learn my oh so simple way to miter striped fabric.









 This is the full quilt:



We already have the fabric, we just need to cut as many kits as we need, so don't delay letting us know that you want to be in on it.




 Jolyn finished her Glacier Star just at the end of the weekend.  Truth be told, she had done a lot of the paper piecing ahead of time.  This is in the fabrics of Judy Niemeyer's original quilt because Jolyn bought a kit when they first came out.

 Brooke strikes again:  I say that because she has had a quilt hang in Houston.

 Close up:




Not a darn thing.  I am just smiling most of the time.  People keep asking me how I like the new store?  What's not to like?  I'm very happy and we just celebrated 11 years!  Thank you.

Chris Sass

SEPTEMBER 26, 2012

Hello Quilters!

What's the fun of owning a quilt store, if I don't occasionally buy something just for fun?


 Jane Sassaman, a local Chicago famous quilter, has new fabric, and a new book that shows you what to do with it:


 This is a reminder that we always have lots of fabrics for baby and children's quilts:


 The second batch of solids arrived: 


A couple new music fabrics:




Do NOT be fooled by other presentations on quasi-long arms.  If you could get the real thing, and the BEST of the real thing, for as low as $7995, why would you spend that much on something that is obviously inferior? I am speaking of machines doctored up by some of the sewing machine companies.

Check out the INNOVAS by ABM international before you buy anything else.   As I mentioned last week, the five biggest Gammill dealers left Gammill and came to ABM International/INNOVAs.  There must be something to it.




This is a Judy Niemeyer pattern done by Karen.  She was in my beginner class just last year.  Go Karen!


 LUNCH N LEARN tomorrow is on the Lil Twister ruler and the fun things you can make with it.

SEPTEMBER 19, 2012

Hello Quilters! 


 I hope that made you laugh.  I love Maxine, and we got some new fabric with her on it.

 There are a lot of things to show and tell, so you might want to sit down.


We are going to have our first retreat in our own store.  How fun will that be?  Run out of something, or decide you want a different fabric, and it will be right there.  If you have never been on a retreat, you might wonder what it is a bunch of women who love to quilt and socialize sitting around a room, each with a large table to themselves and plenty of places to cut and press.  Why would I want to schlep all my stuff to sew when I can do that at home?  I thought that too, when I first heard of them.  Several reasons.  It's very comforting and soothing to be taken care of for 60 hours.  Someone else has done all the meal planning and will do the dishes.  No one will interrupt you constantly.  It's interesting to take a break from your own project and walk around and look at what other people are doing.  It's fun to help someone else who asks for assistance choosing between different border options.  You might spend some needed quality time with a sister or friend, or you might make some new friends.  It's great to be helped by other people who all have opinions, and expertise if you just ask for it.  Last put not least, is a big block of time to engage in your hobby and actually make some progress.

It's the same time of year as the last couple of retreats, ie; right before Thanksgiving so you can get some serious sewing done before the crunch.  That's the weekend of November 16th to 18th.   You can come as early as 10 am when we open on Friday, and it will end when we close on Sunday at 4 pm.   The price including meals, snacks and some unspecified fun stuff is $150. 

We have some very good options for catered food with Moon Dance diner and Maggianos and Yu's Chinese all very nearby.  You can either get a room at the GuestHouse or Best Western within 100 yards of us, or you can go home and sleep in your own bed.  Your choice.  Price for the weekend including food is $120



This is really exciting news. 

 Are you ready? 

The five largest Gammill dealers in the whole country, all quit Gammill on the same day, and came over to ABM International and the INNOVA long arm machines!  Happy dance.  I think this is proof of what I have been saying for years about how good the INNOVA is.  These dealers kept seeing the INNOVAs at shows, and talking, and thinking, and decided that they were tired of all the repair work they have to do on Gammills and that the would be left in the dust some day, so basically - "If you can't beat them, join them".  I am thrilled.   The Gammill dealer in Stevensville Michigan, Accomplish Quilting, is one of the ones who switched.  I will be getting my machines from there and we are working together on setting up my training center.   The current plan is to have four  22 inch machines for rent when we are not having classes.  And we will have a new machine with Autopilot to quilt customer quilts. 

They are on sale this month.  Here are the specials:



 Last week I made a mistake on the lunch schedules but no one pointed it out to me until yesterday.  I scheduled two things for 9/13 which was last week.   So, the second thing, paper piecing is getting eliminated, and we'll do it another time.

These are Drop in sessions on different topics on Thursdays at noon (and yes there will be some on Saturdays soon).  All will be lecture demo so don't bring a sewing machine.  Almost all will have a handout.  A few will have hands on with materials supplied by us.  All you need to bring is $10 cash in your hand, thus no bottleneck to sign up, just show up. 

9/20  WEDGIES, What to do with a wedge ruler.  They make fun, fast table runners and tree skirts.  AND show and tell other fall favorites (bring some of yours if you want to)

9/27  LIL TWISTER,  this cute little ruler/gadget that swept the country last year has been taken to new heights to make actual pictures, like reindeer and pumpkins.  Fun.

10/4  OVERVIEW OF MACHINE QUILTING, for those of you who have never tried it, I will show you a bunch of things to make it less scary, and even let you try it on our machines.

10/11  FAVORITE FAST QUILTS FROM STRIPS, this is three in one of my originals - Diced Pinks, Diced Chocolate, and Lover's Knot.  Think gifts for those that you must do but don't want to put a ton of effort into.  They won't know it was easy.

10/18  OVERVIEW OF LONG ARM QUILTING MACHINES, by this time we will have the long arm training center set up, and I'll show you some of what they can do.

10/25 PIECING TRICKS AND TIPS I'll make a list of my favorite, big payoff tips

11/1 WHAT WAS NEW AT QUILT MARKET  I haven't gone to one in a year and a half, so I am sure to be fired up after this one

11/8 CASSEROLE CARRIER, Be ready for going over the river to grandmothers house for Thanksgiving in style.  Easy, makes a great gift, too.

11/15 HOLIDAY PROJECT To Be Determined

 Remember how cramped these were in the "old" store?:

 They are not anymore, because we have so much room.



The Northern Illinois Shop Hop is over.  It was the first time we did it and we liked it.  Very nice people came through our store.  I hope we can do it again next year.  The winner of our gift basket is Debbie Connolly of Chicago!


Northern Illinois
Quilt Shop Hop
The Winners are listed below.Congratulations to the winners.

The winners of the individual shop's baskets are:


Acorn Debbie Martin
Basketcases Heidi Claeyssen 
Fabrics Etc Cathy Crutchfield
Gentler Times Stitching Cassie Thorsen 
It's for Quilting Beth Robertson
Judy's Fran Saplis 
Leaf River Diane Luther
Lucky2B Diana Bravi
Material Girl Jane Grable
Phat 1/4's Janice L. Kuhn
Pieceful Gathering Chris Whitsell
Pieceful Heart Marsha Trosper
Prairie Shop Quilts Chris Deering 
Prairie Stitches Mary Grant
Quilt Basket Lisa Yarost
Quilt in Joy Rachel Hunley 
Quilt Merchant Rosemary Casey
Quilters Destination Daniela Herman
Quilters General Pat Boyd
Quilter's Haven Ann Scott 
Quilter's Heaven Mindy Bourne Debbie Connolly 
Roberts Sewing Center Chris Schwarz
Royal Patchwork Marie Urban 
Sew Generously Sue Ferrill
Sewing Concepts Allison Anthony 
Sewing Source Linda Sugg
Thimbles Alice Krzak
Uniquely Yours Quilt Shop Mary T Olson
Woodstock Quilts Susan Osborn 
Yellow Creek Quilt Designs Kim Starr 
A Touch of Amish Meriam Schnabl


The Regional Winners are:

Region 1           
Kugelman, Karen  

Region 2           
Gier, Vickie  

Region 3           
Biedowicz, Annegret          


The Sewing Machine Winner is:        

Devaney, Susan   


Our local shop hop is in only two weeks.  This would be a good excuse to come see out new store if you live a little farther away and only come here once in a while.  It's Thursday October 4th through Sunday the 7th.  That's a week earlier than usual.  If you wear festive fall clothes, you can get a coupon from each store worth a discount.  As usual there are 14 gift certificates, 7 gift baskets, and a grand prize of 200 fat quarters of fabric from Quilting Treasures (a fabric manufacturer).  Shop hops are really fun, especially if you set some mission for yourself, like gathering red and green Christmas fabric, or figuring out what each store has that is unique and making a note of it. We are getting ready with a lot of quick, inexpensive fall and Christmas kits for you.



October 4– 7, 2012

The Harvest Hop


2nd PRIZES: 14 total - $25 GIFT CERTIFICATES
Collect them all!

SHOP  HOP  HOURS Thursday:    10  am—8  pm    Fri  &  Sat:      10  am—5  pm      Sunday:      Noon—4  pm



QUILTS OF VALOR charity sew in

Rita Pennington is the local coordinator.  You saw her holding bolts of red, white and blue wide backing that I donated.  Now that we have some serious space to sew in, we are hosting a sewing day with them on Tuesday, October 30 for a Quilt of Valor sew-in.  We will have kits available and if you are not able to stay, pick up a kit and return it to the shop.  Chris has agreed to accept tops for Quilts of Valor.   You may also want to donate fabric (oh, do our troops LOVE Red/white and blue quilts!), again, drop off good quality fabric and we will make up more kits.  Your help is needed.  Let's show the Illinois patriotism!!  Rita has tops that need quilting.  Will you help us get these finished and to our troops.  These quilts ARE making a difference.  It's a quilter's way of Service to our country by giving a small thank you for what they sacrifice for us.

Put these dates on your calendar and let's see how we can make a difference!!

Tuesday, October 30, 10 AM - ? (shop is open until 5 PM),, Rt 83 and Ogden in St. James Crossing (818 Ogden, Westmont).  They have moved to a much bigger store.

Saturday, November 10, 9 AM - 5 PM
, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, OS233 Church St., Winfield.

To find out more, check Rita's blog,,  or email her:

OPEN SEW in our new classroom

Now that we have a huge classroom to sew in, (65 by 20 feet),we want it to be used.  We'll start slow, and add more days if needed.  There will be Tuesdays (the 2nd and 4th of the month) and Wednesdays (the 1st and 3rd of the month), so essentially, every week there is a day when you could come and sew.   The difference is that on Tuesdays you are on your own.  On Wednesdays, Jacqueline will be there with you to help, encourage, teach, or whatever you want to call it.   Wednesdays are the day to bring something to work on that you could use some assistance with.   Or not.  if Wednesday is just a better day for you, come on over, but Wednesday is $15, while Tuesdays are free.   I wanted to call Wednesdays with Jacqueline "Assisted Sewing" but not everyone finds that as funny as I do.


QUILT SHOWS - public service announcement

T'is the fall season for local quilt shows.  I am delighted that the no two are on the same weekend!  This is huge.   You could go to a quilt show every week for the next four weeks if you wanted to.  I think it is very important to support the guilds by attending their shows.  This is how they raise money to pay for their speakers and other programs for the two years in between shows.  Plus the quilts are more "achievable" than the professional quilts.  I think all beginners should go.  You will get tons of ideas!  So many quilts so little time. 

Here's a picture from Millie Sorrell's presentation at the Pride of the Prairie guild in Plainfield a few months ago:


All of the local Chicago area guild meetings are open to visitors.  You just pay a guest fee of about $5 - 8 dollars.  They all have websites now with their schedules.   

Here are the upcoming shows:
1) Heritage Quilters Guild
Saturday September 22, 2012 10am-5pm
Sunday September 23, 2012 10am - 4pm
Liberty Jr. High School (it's near the last exit on 355 before 80)
151 Lenox St
New Lenox, IL  60451

2) Quiltmakers of Kankakee (not quite local, but I was a vendor there last time and they are very nice)
Saturday and Sunday September 29 & 30, 2012
Kankakee Co. Fairgrounds
Expo Center

3) Heritage Quilters Guild of South Suburbia
Saturday October 5th, 2012 12pm-9pm
Sunday October 6th , 2012 9:30am-3pm
Crete Reformed Church
Crete, Illinois

4) Prairie star Quilters Guild
Friday October 12th 9am - 6pm
Saturday October 13th 9am - 6pm
Dupage County Fair Grounds
Entrance at West door only
2015 West Manchester Road
Wheaton, IL 60187

 I forgot I had these pictures from Paduca - it's their raffle quilt at Prairie Star:





 Becky H's Sincerely Yours

 Beverly's Lori Smith quilt.  Excellent job.


Beverly also made two of the same Stripped in Bali that I made.  The second one doesn't try to use a jelly roll, it's just 4 fabrics:




Kari is the one who always makes things smaller.  These look normal right...?


Look again, that's a quarter sitting in the center!


 I think this was Sally's from the Jan Krentz class.


 I never did finish my zig zag quilt (Gooseberry Falls), but Margo and Ruth did:




I do my quilt binding entirely by machine.  I sew it to the BACK side, and putll it around to the front, and "top stitch" close to the edge to sew it down.  Here's a minute video on how to do it including turning the corner.  

Click here to see the video

Or, if that doesn't work, cut and past this link:



Going through one of those rare phases when everything is good so I am just trying to enjoy it.  Michaela has a job for after college, Tim started a new job that is close to home, and I have a new store.  OK, Trevor needs to do better in school, but he's not getting kicked out of school for drugs or anything!   Thanks for shopping at 


Chris Sass
818 Ogden Ave
Westmont. IL 60559
open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 - 5,
Friday & Saturday from 10 - 4
Sunday from 12:30 - 4
Closed on Mondays
(630) 321-9051

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