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

Monday, April 24, 2017

It's Magic!

If you have worked with textiles of any kind, you know all about that necessary but evil job of ironing.  It isn't a fun job, but somebody has to do it!
We have tested and approved a product that takes your everyday ironing up to the next level!
It's the Magic Pressing Mat by Pam Damour.

The mat is a compressed felted wool product, about 1/2" thick and 12" x 18".

 Just place it on top of your ironing board and proceed to iron.   In the picture below, I have it on my little travel ironing board.  It sits right next to my machine in the sewing room for any small iroining jobs and for keeping some necessities handy.  In most cases, I use steam with this but it can work with a dry iron, too.  The wool fibers trap and hold onto the heat and steam, multiplying the effect on the item being ironed.  I can really tell the difference when I tested it by putting my hand beneath the block right after ironing.  It's HOT!

Here's a little before and after of some curvey quilt blocks--

These arcs of the Mini Rings by Sew Kind of Wonderful don't always look so wonderful!
Even after pressing with my regular ironing method,
 they left me wondering if those ripples would "quilt out" and look better when finished.

Then I repressed them with the Magic Pressing Mat and there is a visible difference in the look.
Much closer to the flat blocks that I want to see.
I'm getting this small quilt ready to teach for a summer class!

 And the benefits are just for quilting, either!  The concept of pressing on wool isn't new, it's been a useful tool of garment and tailoring skills for a long time.  Remember the pressing ham?  It's a sort of football shaped form, one side covered in wool, to put beneath curves that need to be shaped to fit a person.  I have a simple denim shirt that I love to wear because it's stretchy and comfortable.  But I was alway bothered by the fact that the back hem edge always rolled up on itself.  I could ignore it pretty well because I didn't have to look at the back while I was wearing it, but I always knew it was there.  It never stayed down after ironing it flat.  Until the Magic Pressing Mat happened!  I steam pressed the heck out of it on the Magic Mat, and voila, it stays flat now after multiple wearings!

One thing that almost everyone comments on after using the mat is the fact that there is a bit of a smell.  That's the hot wool smell!  Not unpleasant at all, so much nicer than the actual sheep barn!

Call us at the store (651-429-1039) to purchase your own Magic Pressing Mat for $55!  We have been selling a bunch of them, but we keep re-ordering so we can have them in stock for you!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Our Quilted Inspirations!

 We recently enjoyed the pleasure of hosting Nina McVeigh, a Bernina Educator, for 2 classes in the store.  We were so please and gratified to have a full house for her presentations!  We all enjoyed and learned from her topic, "Quilted Inspiration".

Nina travels the country for Bernina as an sewing expert and teacher.  She shared her own experience of a trip to the Bernina headquarters in Switzerland, and the inspired quilts that came to be.  It was eye-opening to see the pictures of places and things on that trip which she turned into quilt designs.

Along the journey, she highlighted many special features and functions of the Bernina machines that helped make those quilts a reality.  She demonstrated several products that helped create the quilts and projects she displayed.  A very talented woman!

What a great group of customers!  All enjoying Nina's story!

And, of course, there were refreshments and treats for everyone!
The event wouldn't be complete without that!

Thank you, Nina, and we hope to see you again in the shop!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Celebrating 20 Years!

We are ready for another 20th Anniversary gift to you!
Seems like we just finished the last one, time really does fly when you're having fun!

We have a fun notepad for you, not just plain old paper.  This one is graphed and ready for your next creative masterpiece design!  Last week we enjoyed a fun seminar by Nina, a Bernina educator.  She showed examples of quilt designs she has made derived from photos.  This little notepad would be so helpful with that!  Sketch out a block, or a whole quilt!

Often, we work with customers to change the size of a quilt to something larger or smaller than the original pattern.  I've wished I had some graph paper to help them visualize what it will be like, and now I have it!  Keep your pad handy when shopping or dreaming!

We have plenty of these to help you on the way to creative success!  So come to the store this Thursday, April 20, to celebrate our 20 years of business, and receive your design pad.  No purchase necessary!  We are open from 9-5!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Lunch Box Quilts Trunk Show

If you are familiar with Lunch Box Quilts, you might already have used one of their designs for machine embroidery and applique.  If not, we have a special treat for you!

Lunch Box Quilts has loaned us large collection of their samples, and we have them on display during April.  We have already been re-ordering some of the design CD's, they are just that popular!  Some of our talented Bernina employees have already used these designs for samples displayed in the Sew Center.  But this trunk show is wonderful because there are a lot of designs that we just don't have time to complete.  And seeing these stitched out and sewn into quilts and wallhangings gives such a better idea of the quality of the design composition.

Many of the pictures in our slide show are small sections of a much larger quilt, illustrating how you can pick and choose which portions of a design you want to use and tailor it to the size you need.  We hope you enjoy this little glimpse of the Lunch Box Quilts.  If you want to see more complete pictures of the designs, plus many more that we don't have in this slide show, please visit Lunch Box Quilts website.  We can order any of the designs that you might want to request.  These embroidery design files are in all of the usual formats for many brands of machines.  Don't have an embroidery machine?  We can help you with that!  We are ready to demonstrate the functions of the Bernina embroidery machines whenever you visit the store.  Plus we have quite a few classes and the supplies that will help you on the way to success with machine embroidery.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Slideshow design customized with Smilebox

Thursday, March 16, 2017

It's Almost the 20th of March!

Here we are, creepin' up on the 20th again!  
Remember, the 20th of each month is a special day at Bear Patch.  
Because we are turning 20 this year!  

Were you around the store 20 years ago?!  There's a few folks who have been true blue fabric friends since Day 1, back in 1997, and still love to pop back in to Bear Patch for a good fabric and friend fix. 

I, personally, shopped at Bear Patch when it was still very new.  I had occasionally been to Reed's Drug Store in White Bear Lake, where the basement was a fabric shop, and I even remember taking a class to make a doll of some kind.  That was a pretty popular idea back then, and it carried over to the new Bear Patch Quilting Co.  Some of the people working at Reed's when it closed decided to join forces for a new quilt shop.

Yes, we had dolls and "Folke Painting" in 1997!
I apologize for the quality of the snapshots from 1997, but we have to work with what we have!  The oh-so-popular glossy prints make it hard to get a digital picture without glare!  But the impression is still the same--starting from ground zero!  Lots of open space, working on card tables and folding chairs to order the first bolts of fabric!  The faces are tiny, but you might recognize some of them--
from the left:  Laurel, JoAnne, Jerry (standing), Debbie and Terry
Gradually, the space started filling up--

You might remember when it looked like this.  

That was then, this is now, a few thousand bolts later--

But back to the ongoing anniversary party!  
If you can make it to the store on Monday, March 20, you will be rewarded with a "gem" of a gift!  Sorry, not handing out precious jewels!  But we are handing out one of our favorite things--
Best Press Gems-- a 2 oz. sample size.

If you aren't familiar with Best Press, here's what the good people over at Mary Ellen's Products have to say about it:

Best Press Spray Starch and Sizing Alternative --There hadn’t been a new product for ironing in years - and I got sick and tired of using that spray starch in an aerosol can! So now I bring to you Best Press, a clear, crisp spray starch with a lovely scent that makes ironing more enjoyable. It’s in a non-aerosol bottle, so it’s environmentally friendly and you can see how much is left, too.
With Best Press, there’s no flaking, clogging, or white residue on dark fabrics! And more! A special stain shield protects fabrics, and the product helps resist wrinkles. Best of all, it’s more effective than any starch you’ve ever used. Try Best Press today - you will never go back to ironing with ordinary spray starch!
Try all of my wonderful scents! Lavender Fields •Citrus Grove •Linen Fresh Caribbean Beach •Cherry Blossom •Tea Rose Garden •Peaches & Cream •Mint Splash and, for those who prefer no scent, try my •Scent Free!  

Mary Ellen's is a local company, and we like to shop local!  There's a story behind the company about the woman who started on a shoestring and built a successful business.  
Click on this link to learn more about it!

We love our Best Press, and we keep it handy to use at the store for our classes and projects.  It has become a staple in our inventory, and we are happy to be sharing a little bit of that love with you!

So don't be late, come to Bear Patch on Monday from 9am - 9pm.
No purchase necessary, just show up for the gift!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Quilting Inspiration Is All Around You!

We have a special event planned for you!  We know how enjoyable it can be to sit down with others who like learning about the same things that you like, too.  We have invited a special guest to join us for a chance to explore inspirational ideas that transform our quilting lives.  Where do you get your quilting inspiration?

Nina McVeigh, Bernina Educator, Quilting and Longarm Specialist, is spending time with us on Tuesday, April 11.  You can choose to attend either the 1PM - 4PM session OR the 6PM - 9PM session at Bear Patch.  

Nina turned Swiss inspiration into quilted art.  Let her guide you through the techniques for creating six inspired quilt projects.  Celebrate the best in quilting technology and Bernina accessories.  Discover how easily you can execute your own ideas.  Every quilt tells a story, and you will be inspired to tell yours!  Topics covered will include:  Bernina cutwork techniques, machine applique, double needle stitching techniques, Bernina stitch regulator, binding techniques, simple piecing with Bernina dual feed, and the Q20 sit down longarm machine.

We will have prizes and goodie bags ready for you, as well as refreshments.  There is a class fee of just $25, payable with registration.  This is not exclusively for Bernina owners -- inspiration can strike anyone, no matter your machine of choice!  
Our class size is limited, so make sure you sign up as soon as you know you want to attend!  We hope that you can join us! 
  • call: 651-429-1039 OR 651-429-6500
  • email: bearpqc@aol.com
  • register in-person at the store during regular business hours

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday and Celebration!

Please make a note that we will be 
closed on Sunday, February 19.  
We are using that time for our employees to work together 
and boost our creativity and have some fun!

On Monday, February 20, we will again be celebrating 20 years of Bear Patch fun!
All year, the 20th of the month means Party Time at the store! 

Back in grade school, we always looked forward to bringing cupcakes to school for our birthday.
So Bear Patch will have cupcakes for you on Monday (while they last)!
In addition, we will have another treat for you!  
This is for anyone who visits the store on Monday, no purchase required.

We will be handing out a cute little "KeeZee" for everyone!  This is a great little gadget that will help anytime you are sliding keys on or off your split-ring keyring!  
No longer a struggle with pinches and broken nails to change those keys!

And since Monday is an official holiday for so many of you, we hope to see many familiar faces!  We want to celebrate the holiday with you and pass along some rewards, too.  President Debbie has added a chance for you to get some reduced prices!  You can draw for a discount of 15% up to 40% off your purchase of fabric, patterns and books!  

Are you feeling lucky?!

We're open all day Monday, 2/20, from 9 AM to 9 PM!
Call us at 651-429-1039 if you have any questions!