Friday, May 11, 2018

Rain or Shine, It's Class Time!

We open at 8AM tomorrow with hot coffee and cinnamon rolls!  Please join us, these pictures aren't nearly as good as seeing the real thing!  If you want to register but can't make it to the store, please call 651-429-1039.  We can help you over the phone if you would like.  You can find more information about each class over on our website.  There is also a full page calendar of each month if you are looking for something on a specific date.

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Friday, March 16, 2018


 Are you in a playful mood?  
Do you have need of a cute kids' quilt?

Charming little kid-friendly motifs are scattered across the yardage.  Who wouldn't love a frog, 
or a herd of frogs, leaping around?!
The colors are good strong shades, and the artwork was inspired by the drawings of Heather's own kindergartner daughter.  
So this is "kid approved"!

This is the Rainbow quilt, a free download on Windham's website.

Here's something else the kids love--a drawstring backpack!  Pattern is free on the Windham website.  Personalize it if you wish, using the cut-out letters from the alphabet prints.
Easy raw edge applique can spell out the child's name, a favorite expression, or something funny.

Shop with us any day of the week!
We know that many of you have a lot of other things going on 
day-to-day.  That's why our business hours are perfect for you!  
In addition to daytime hours, we are open 3 nights a week 
(till 9 on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday) and even 
Sunday afternoon (12-4).  
There must be a chance for you to stop in the store sometime during the 64 hours each week that we are open!  
Looking forward to your visit!

Monday, March 12, 2018

A Quilt Minnesota Retrospective

Today I'm sharing our new window display at the store.
We'll call it the Quilt Minnesota Retrospective.
And it's all about me, Pam Hansen, your friendly blogger!

Way back in 2008, I began a little journey into the land of designing and writing patterns.  I have learned so many things along the way!  Even if everything is proofread 3 times there can still be typos!  And math is really important!  I've learned ways to improve the formatting, and learned to create diagrams.  I've also been using photos in some patterns, so I've worked on making those as clear as I can without being a pro!
I've gotten pretty good at shooting the pictures for the pattern covers, with tips and ideas picked up along the way.  My son, Dan, is responsible for the template on the front and back of the pattern.  I send him pictures and text and he makes it work!

Debbie (store owner and therefore the boss) encouraged me to try writing some quilt patterns specifically using the exclusive fabrics designed each year for the Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop.  I thought sure, I'll give it a whirl!  And so the story goes.....!

I searched high and low in my house to find each year's special quilt.  The first year I only made a tablerunner, I didn't have time for anything large.  But from then on, I designed something different each year, and sometimes more than one!  When I got all of these displayed, I had to step back and take a deep breath!  That's a lot of work!

Slug Bug, Wound Around and Pie In The Sky
 Each year there is usually some sort of panel or border print or decorative scenes.  So I usually incorporated that whenever I could to just give customers ideas of how they could turn those into something more than they started with.

16 In Between, Star Light and Wild Child up above.

Pie In The Sky and Explore More
 I've used the row quilt layout more than once.  There are 2 examples in the picture below, although the quilt on the upper left isn't very visible.  The quilt on the lower left was made with fabrics originally designed by James Meger, a noted nature/outdoor artist.

Ten and Sweet Treat on the left, MN Mixer on the right.

MN Mixer, Connections and Stix Mix pillow below.
 The quilt on the right above is called Connections, and it is one pattern that I have made in multiple sizes.  The baby quilt is cute and just the right size!

Below are 2 patterns that are small items that were part of the collection - a tablerunner and a pair of tablemats for centerpieces.  
I've used that round tablemat design for making some Christmas gifts, too.
Ring A Ding and Winner Spinner

So that's the saga of my Minnesota quilts!  It's been an interesting endeavor, and it's been fun to see many patterns come to life in fabric.  We always make up some kits for the quilts, and I've taught some as classes.  The 2018 fabrics can be viewed online but we haven't received any bolts yet.  I'm wondering what I will come up with this time?

Monday, January 8, 2018

So Many Things To Love

We are very excited to share lots of wonderfully inspiring ideas through our many new class offerings!  We have classes for all levels of experience with sewing and quilting and machine embroidery.  Visit our website for complete descriptions and information on any of our classes.  Or, you can give us a call (651-429-1039) and we'll do our best to answer your questions.  Or, best of all, come into the store!  Our slideshow covers many of the class samples, but there are more in addition to these.

We're going to do everything we can to keep you happy this winter!  Just think, by the time this "term" ends, it will be May and springtime!  There's light at the end of the tunnel!

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Friday, December 22, 2017

Merry Christmas To You!

It's almost Christmas and we hope you are going to enjoy family, friends and food!  

Are you ready for something peppy today?  I want you to meet a young woman who clearly loves what she's doing with sewing and machine embroidery!  I met Sue (of Sue O'Very Designs) at Quilt Market in Houston last fall.  She has an outgoing and captivating personality that just pulls you right in to a discussion about her products and brand.  Our Sewing Center now carries some of her designs for In The Hoop embroidery.  (I also learned from her website that ITH stands for In The Hoop!).  Our experts in the Sewing Center have trialed several with great success.  She does make use of some specialty fabrics, including cork. So if that's something you have been tempted by, her use of machine embroidery on cork might be the little nudge that you need to get started.  And, by the way, we have a good supply of beautiful colored and patterned cork.  In addition to larger pieces and cork by the yard, we have small pieces (18" x 28" for $26) from Fabric Funhouse.

Many more colors and designs in the basket!

Sue O'Very has been making and sharing sewing related YouTube videos on the Sue O'Very Youtube channel.  She has quite a list of videos covering a variety of topics, but what I especially wanted to bring to your attention is her list "Does This Notion Really Work?".  If you use the link above, you will find Sue's YouTube homepage.  Scroll down just a bit to find her group of videos (playlist) of her review of notions.  I think there are 21 different videos right now, each featuring a different notion or tool.  There's bound to be one in there that interests you!  Just last week, at my Ham Lake Piecemaker's guild Christmas party, there was a discussion about what that Purple Thang is really all about.  Well, Sue has a video about the Purple Thang!

I've included a little introductory video about Sue O'Very here.  If you like her videos, now you have something else to watch besides football over the next week or so!

Merry Christmas from your friends at Bear Patch!
Holiday hours:
Closed December 24-25-26
Sale December 27-28-29-30
Closed for Inventory Dec. 31-Jan.1-2
Open again at 9am January 3 with new samples and displays!

Monday, December 18, 2017

2 of our Favorite Things

It's time for another anniversary moment, and it's a two-fer!

It's not too hard to guess what I'm talking about when you see this picture! 

Honestly, I'm pretty sure that if Bear Patch had lived in a previous life, it would have been a ribbon store.  That's the kind of prettiness that is just under the surface when Debbie is choosing goods for the store!  She could easily slip over the edge and buy racks and racks of ribbons and trims!  I've been there.  I've seen the lust in her eyes when she is surrounded by beautiful ribbons, and I've had to pull her back to reality!  It's a tough job, but someone has to do it!

And what about those rainbows of zippers!?  We love our 14" zippers from Atkinson Designs!  We use them in so many ways, it's hard to imagine what life was like before our rack of zippers moved into Bear Patch!  These are the best zippers for many of our bag patterns because they can be easily sized down for any length 14" or less.  There's no fear of zippers around here, and we'll help you master any zipper anxiety you might have!

So, it's December 20th just around the corner.  Our final chance to pass out a little present to celebrate our 20 years of doing business right here on the corner of 4th and Banning!  
It will be a zipper and ribbon combo, because we want to share 
2 of our favorite things with you!

Come to the store from 9AM to 9PM to receive your little present! 
 No purchase necessary, one per customer, please.  
We would love to see many happy faces on Wednesday!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Our 11th Celebration of our 20th Anniversary!

We just love to celebrate!  We find many occasions to celebrate our customers, our store, our employees, the fact that the sun was shining all day yesterday, etc.!
You know we have been celebrating our anniversary all year long, right?  So, November 20 is upon us!  And what better thing to share with you than one of our favorite pattern designers!  

Pat, of Villa Rosa Designs, is always producing plenty of inspiration!  I can't even tell you how many times we have used her patterns, sometimes repeatedly!  Her patterns are printed on heavy cardstock in glossy color.  One side of the card is a full picture of the quilt, with the very succinct directions on the reverse side.  This is the "no-frills" set of directions, very easy to understand.  Many of these patterns are good for a favorite print or panel that you don't want to cut up into little bits.  Others are just right for a pack of 5" charm squares or a 2 1/2" roll.  There's great diversity!  

Maybe a Prince tribute??

We call them Rosecards, from Villa Rosa.  The price ($2.25) makes them perfect to collect for yourself or a friend. 

And notice that one on top of the stack?  It was custom printed for Bear Patch and features the Quilt MN fabric from a couple years back.  It was used as an incentive prize for shop hoppers!

A few years ago, Pat visited Bear Patch and did a "bed turning" show of some of her quilts.  We really need to have her back!  Comparing the picture on the card to a sample made of different fabrics and colors can really bring on that "aha" moment.  We are displaying 2 or 3 hot-off-the-sewing-machine samples right now for our Christmas display, and that's a perfect example of how different the resulting quilt can appear from the picture.

So, Monday, November 20, from 9am-9pm, we will be handing out 1 Rosecard per customer!  No purchase required.  Just pick a card and get happy!  We have a lot of the newest designs to share, carried home from Quilt Market just for you.  And, of course, we have many on hand for purchase, if you want to expand your collection.