2199 4th St., White Bear Lake, MN 55110

Monday, September 18, 2017

September 20!

It's a challenge to pick what's the next fun anniversary treat each month!  So many good things to choose from - we want something fun, unique, handy to have.
When we saw these little cork coasters, it seemed like a natural choice.  Because it's a natural product!
It fits in the bottom of the cup holders in your cars, trucks, boats, strollers, RV, and probably even in your private plane!  We'll have to try that in our corporate jet.

It catches any drips from your cups and bottles.  It keeps the cup holder clean, and can be removed easily with a little notched edge.

And here's an action shot of my corkie coaster in my cup holder, ready to welcome the bottom of my cup or water bottle on the way to work!  
(And my quarter for an Aldi cart and a charger cord, also essentials!)

We will be handing our a Bear Patch cork coaster to anyone who comes in the store on Wednesday, September 20.  One per person, while supply lasts.

But wait!  That's not all!
(I feel like I'm selling Ginsu knives at the State Fair!)

We have a plethora of pretty pre-cut prints for Christmas!
Now you can benefit from our enthusiasm for ordering beyond our usual supply!
We will give you 20% off any of the Halloween or Christmas pre-cut packages -- this includes packs of  2.5" squares, 5" squares, 10" squares, 2.5" strip rolls, and bundles of fat eigths and fat quarters packaged by the manufacturer.
Plus, any of the panel prints from 2017 Christmas fabrics!

You probably know a little about pre-cut fabrics, but if you are wondering what all the fuss is about, here's the info:  these are die-cut fabric pieces of a line of fabric by a specific designer.  They are cut at the factory, wrapped and labeled and shipped.  So you get a range of coordinated fabrics to work with in a pack.  

This is some of our stock, we have more squirreled away in the storeroom.
Please note, this is not a sale on fabric yardage.
We do have an assortment of books and patterns that are written for these pre-cut sizes, so we can help you find a reason why you must take advantage of this sale!
Those little 2.5" squares are like candy to me!  Very hard to resist and just as fun.  
Unless we're talking about M&M's!  

If you are possibly looking for more inspiration for quilt patterns specific to pre-cuts, then you should hop on over to the website for the Moda Bake Shop.  You can even search their files according to the size of the pre-cut pack.

So mark your calendars for next Wednesday, September 20, from 9am - 9pm.
See you then!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Back To Quilt School!

It's back to school time!  And we have some Grade A classes for you!  We are always looking for new ideas, techniques, rulers, tools, etc., to add to the curriculum and give you chances to become a better educated quilter!  Plus, there are some classes that are all about the fun and social experience of sitting down with friends and soon-to-be-friends!  We have watched many people form friendships with the other people they meet through Bear Patch, which makes it much more fun!

I have prepared a new slideshow with pictures of some of the class offerings.  Please watch it for inspiration and ideas!  Then, go to bearpatchquilting.com and read the details for each class under the "Classes" tab.  Click on anything that catches your eye to read the full details.  Another good way to look for classes is via the "Calendar" tab, which is great if you are looking for something during a particular period of time.

Sign-up day is next Saturday, 9/9, which is always like a party at the store!  We also have provisions for you to register separately from that day, and it's all explained on the website.

Enjoy this tail end of the summer, and join us for a great class (or classes) this fall!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
This free digital slideshow made with Smilebox

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Fab Floor Cloth

One of the most frequent questions we get is about our floor cloths.  We think they are a unique and fun way to display and use special fabrics.  Debbie makes a new one every year for the MN Shop Hop.  We keep it on the floor right in front of our cash register counter, a place that gets lots of traffic.  It gets walked on all the time, and lasts through wet shoes, sandy shoes, slushy shoes and salty shoes.

We've shared the instructions on this blog before so I will reprint them here.  We also hand out those instructions to anyone in the store who is interested.  You can make your own floor cloth to the size that you want, from big all the way down to coaster size!  The multi-purpose cloth (by Roclon) that is the foundation for our floor cloths is 54" wide. That would be the max width of a floor cloth but the length could be longer than that because we buy it on a roll and sell it by the yard.
If you are planning to make your own floor cloth, the usual size container of Mod Podge is not enough.  You are better off to watch for it on sale at a craft store and buy the big container.

Mod Podge Floor Cloth
 Mod Podge   
Fine grit sandpaper or steel wool    
Multi Purpose Cloth    
Fabric for the front and back
   Foam Brush   
Plastic Drop Cloth to protect work surface

1.  Cut the main fabric and the backing one inch larger than the desired finished size of the floor cloth.
2.  Cut the Multi Purpose Cloth to the desired finished size.
3.  Apply Mod Podge to one side of the Multi Purpose Cloth. 
Immediately attach backing fabric to the Mod Podged surface, smoothing out wrinkles and bubbles.
4.  Apply Mod Podge to the backing fabric.  Let dry 1-2 hours.
5.  Trim backing fabric even with the Multi Purpose Cloth. Use your rotary cutter for an even trim.
6.  Turn the floor cloth over and apply Mod Podge to the other side of the floor cloth.  Center the main fabric on the floor cloth so that you will have fabric to wrap to the wrong side of the cloth.  Smooth out wrinkles and bubbles. Let dry.
7.  Sand lightly with steel wool or fine grit sand paper, if desired.
8.  Repeat so that you have 4-5 layers of Mod Podge on the front and 3-4 layers on the back, sanding between coats.
9.  Wrap excess front fabric to the back side and apply Mod Podge under the fabric to hold it to the floor cloth and over the fabric so that it will also be finished.  If desired, Mod Podge one inch strips of fabric  to cover the raw edges of the wrap around fabric for a more finished look.
10.  Apply Mod Podge to the back side one more time.

You can get as creative as you want with fabrics in assorted colors, shapes and sizes.  You can make it look like quilt blocks, or a collage, or a Van Gogh!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Favorite Thing for You

If you have been inside our doors very often, you might have noticed that we like to eat!  And how convenient that we have a deli just down the street named Eat!
When we have classes or events over lunchtime, you will find us fetching box lunches from Eat! for everyone.  They do a great job, and they are good people. It's a family business that the people of White Bear Lake love to support.

So it's only fitting that one of the favorite things that we want to share with you on our anniversary date is food from Eat!

Visit Bear Patch on Sunday, August 20, from 12 noon - 4PM.
Say "hi" and get your yummy cookie coupon, while supply lasts!
One per person, no purchase required.
Then stop at Eat! during their regular business hours (noted above) and redeem your coupon for a delicious cookie treat!
See you on Sunday!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Thursday Is The Day!

First big reason to shop at Bear Patch on Thursday, July 20:
This is a day that requires you to play hooky from whatever else you are supposed to be doing!  Your presence is requested at Bear Patch!  20 is that magic number signaling another anniversary gift from us to you!  This month, we have called on the resources of a very talented local designer--Gudrun Erla!  You might already know Gudrun and her company, GE Designs.  She designs quilt patterns and fabric, too.  And lately, she has been busy designing rulers through Creative Grids Rulers.  Her Stripology and Stripology Squared Rulers have been big hits with many quilters, and she has a full range of books and patterns to support those rulers.  In addition to that support, she has another product - GEasy Ruler Stickers - which come in oh-so-handy on my cutting table!  I did write a product review on this blog last May, which you can refer to if you would like to see how I make use of the Ruler Stickers.  But better yet, watch this video to help you understand why you really need these stickers!

For our anniversary celebration, Gudrun has packaged single sheets of stickers for us to give away!  You will receive 64 colored arrow stickers just for being our very best customers!  They will be 1 of the 3 colors in her usual package, and if you want the full assortment they will be available to purchase.  No purchase necessary, available 1 per customer while supply lasts.
2nd big reason to shop at Bear Patch on Thursday, July 20:
Our summer sale starts!  25% off in-stock fabric, books and patterns!  Many kits will be included for past projects, too.  And here's something we have never done before-- all fat quarters are $1!  And our little Bear Cubs (12" x 10") are 3-for-a-dollar!  We have been very busy reducing our stock, marking reductions, and preparing for our 5 day super sale!  Here are the dates:
Thursday, July 20, 9-5
Friday, July 21, 9-5
Saturday, July 22, 9-5
Sunday, July 23, 12-4
Monday, July 24, 9-9
I promise it will be worth the drive, unless you're coming from Alaska!  Or depending on your thinking, it might even be worth that drive just for the fun of it!  I think if I look real hard at the horizon, I can just barely see a convoy of quilters speeding southeast to Bear Patch!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

A Sneak Peek At My New Quilt MN Pattern

I've been spending lots of hours designing and making a new quilt for the fabric from the 2017 Quilt MN group.  Here's a little look at some of the quilting that I'm putting on it--

It's a medallion style quilt, and incorporates the Bear Paw block that is part of our store logo.  Medallion quilts are based on some type of center square, then bordered on all 4 sides.  I know that a lot of quilters would much prefer to make a rectangular quilt than a square one, so I have added some inches on the top and bottom sides to make it "un-square", yet keeping the look of the medallion.

We will be selling the pattern and kits at Bear Patch starting July 28, and requests for orders can be placed prior to that.  I haven't settled on a name yet, and the directions aren't finished.  They will need to be proofread more than once before any printing is done.  I can show you a diagram of what the quilt looks like but not the real thing yet:

It measures 54" x 64".
If you really want to make it square, it would be easy to modify, and I will probably include something about that in the directions.

Some info about my machine:
I quilt on an A-1 Elite machine purchased 10 years ago.  It is all hand-guided, no computer attached, just me!  It does have a stitch regulator, which I always use.  I have a 14' table, so can do up to about 150" wide quilt.  Probably more like 140" to allow for enough room to have the backing and batting extend a bit beyond the quilt top edges.  I like to have 5" all around for better freedom of movement.  I use an extended base on my machine whenever I need to use rulers, and if I don't have that 5" cushion, the base bumps into the clamps for the sides.  That makes a nasty little bobble in the stitching.  I also do free-hand without that base, as well as some pantograms.  I haven't been using my longarm much during the past 2 years, before that I did quilt for customers, but I found that I was taking on way too much.  Having too much on my plate does not make me a happy quilter!
The thread I use is a real hodge-podge of what color and weight works best.  The blue thread in the video is actually Isacord (by OESD) and is normally used for machine embroidery.  It's lightweight, yet sturdy enough to run on this type of machine.  I used another thread, usually cotton, on the bobbin.  For most of the rest of this quilt, I used King Tut, Sew Fine and Omni (Superior Threads).
I never really keep track of the time I put into quilting something like this.  I never can work for long periods, needing to stop for a break often and then spending time thinking over what design I'm going to do next!  And my neck and shoulders ache when I overdo it, so that doesn't help.  It's just not something that I can dedicate more than about 2 hours at a time to.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Our Multi-Talented Employees

Full disclosure:  I love the people I work with, so my opinions might be a little bit biased about the things they make!
I asked my co-workers to bring me something to display at the store for our own little gallery.  It took a bit of wheedling, but I got some great results!  It took even more wheedling (and some threats!) to get them to write a little something about the stories "behind scenes".
But they have some humorous, moving and compelling stories to share.  I'm not going to put them all here, but if you are stepping into the store, just take a minute to admire and appreciate and read what compelled them to make what they did.

Kristina made this cross quilt with some improvisational piecing from scraps.  She even worked a few inspirational words into the blocks, and she dedicates the quilt to the nurses she knows.  The nurse of my previous life appreciates that!

Diane made something wonderful out of the Deco State Flowers fabric by In The Beginning Fabrics, using the Night Light pattern by Villa Rosa.  Honestly, when I saw this fabric I wasn't sure what I would ever do with it.  It didn't grab my attention.  But now that I've seen Diane's quilt, I am re-thinking that!

Tammy's quilt (below) is a memento of a European trip with her daughters.  What a wonderful opportunity!  She worked a lot of little quilted designs into the blocks and it's like a scrapbook from that trip.  
Do you see Mona Lisa?

And arched windows, maybe Notre Dame?

"Alternative Tweets" is the name for Diane's whimsical quilt made from her collection of bird fabrics.  No tweets of questionable thoughts in this store!  The only tweets we have are the ones in this quilt!

She used the Creative Grids Wonky Trim Square to make her blocks.

Sharon is our hand embroidery master, and here's a close-up of the detail that goes into her stitching-- beautiful and what an heirloom for generations to come!

Debbie is in love with Art Gallery Fabrics (sorry, Bob!), and she makes sure our shelves are stacked high with their gorgeous prints and solids.  The quilt she made is from their large assortment of free online patterns.  It's called Falling and the fabric is from the Sketchbook collection.  This fabric has to be touched to fully appreciate it.  They have some of the best designers in the field working for the company, creating new temptations constantly.

Linda put together this little sewing apron, and even gave us a checklist for our To Do list!  I hope that she has completed the first task, so now she can make the KnitWit Clutch.  That will be a great home for her fancy pants knitting needles!

 The apron pattern and much more are from this Make It, Take It book:

There are several more items on display that aren't included here, so you will have to make a trip to White Bear Lake to view the full gallery!
It's great to be surrounded by such talent.  Did you know that we regularly meet after work for our own little Employee Sew Night?  And there's a lot more than sewing that's going on there!
Our Employee Gallery will be on display until July 27, so don't miss out!