Thursday, November 26, 2009

Kaye England Visits Bear Patch

What a wonderful time we had with Kaye. She made us laugh, she showed her beautiful quilts, and she helped us learn smart piecing techniques. I love that a portion of the sales of her rulers goes to Susan G. Komen research. Thanks Kaye!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

More Retreat Photos

I just had to publish a few more photos!

Retreat Fun

We had such a great time at our fall retreat! How could the time go by so quickly? There was lots of laughter- it's a wonder how all those many projects were completed! I tried out a few new recipes for breakfast and dessert and made some old favorites for dinner. Nancy and Leisl's soups were yummy. Sandy and Deb made the oh-so-good cucumber sandwiches in the afternoon to keep our energy levels up. Lots of mini lessons on things we forgot (or never knew) and some fun projects to make for gifts or to keep for ourselves. I even made 2 table toppers for our Christmas window display at the store and a fantastic bag from Kwik Sew using Free Spirit's laminated fabric. Before we knew it, it was time to pack it all back up. Can't wait until we all get together again in March. I better start trying out new recipes on Bob....

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hard to resist!

Have you heard about the wonderful Kinkame fabrics coming from Japan?
The Clothworks Fabric company has been working with designer Reiko Kato to bring these to us, now available here! These are not your typical geisha girl designs, but the very soft and subtle hues that have been a signature of fine Japanese fabrics. Shades of taupe, grey, rose, green and brown all combine to give a very sophisticated look. The prints feature tiny flowers and geometric designs. The textured yarn-dyed wovens are exceptional. We have the European Taupe II collection on hand and have ordered the European Taupe III group.
Debbie just finished making a great small quilt from this fabric, this pattern is Appomattox by Blue Underground. Well, the binding isn't done yet, but "finished" is a relative term open to interpretation! It will be on display very soon! If you visit the Clothworks website, you can view the fabrics and even download some free patterns. I quilted this project for Debbie and it is an example of a good use of a simple all-over design that I like to use instead of the usual meandering design. Actually, this quilting design is kind of ingrained in my brain now because it is what I used on the miles of tablerunners that I made for my daughter's wedding earlier this month!
And here's a little teaser for you--if we can make it work, we hope to have Reiko Kato here in our store in the spring! No confirmed details yet, but this would be a very special event not to be missed!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Minnesota State Fair Ribbons

We are so very proud of 15 year old Mikayla and 11 year old Elise! Mikayla came to the shop with her grandmother Marion ( a great customer!) and picked out these great fabrics for her quilt. She sewed it up, entered it in the fair and won a ribbon! 11 year old Elise sewed her capris while taking our Kids Sew Camp this summer with Jeanne. Elise and mom came back to the shop to pick out fabric for a matching top. She entered her top and capris along with a quilt and afghan and won ribbons on all. Congratulations you two!

Friday Craft Crawl

We had a great time sewing quick and easy aprons from tea towels. The project took all of ten minutes. The hardest part was choosing your towel! Join us every 3rd Friday of the month for other fun and easy projects. These make great gifts!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Very Important News!

We have prepared a bounty of beautiful handcrafted items for our silent auction now on display in the store and on the web--just click here to go to the website and then click on the banner about the Susan G. Komen fundraiser. You will find a picture of each of the 17 items, allowing you to participate in the auction even if you can't visit the store! Just call or email us and we will update you on what the current bid is and add your own bid to the list. Couldn't be easier! All the money collected goes directly to the foundation to help research and prevention of breast cancer. Don't hesitate! We need your help!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sale Fabrics- also known as Bob's Bargains

The Sale Wall is full! Lots of new fabric and nowhere to put it so we got our red pens out and marked down lots of fabric. These are great bolts for adding to your stash or for quilt backs. Come check it out!

Amy Butler Love

Making room for new fabrics is an endless challenge around here! Just when I think everything has a place of its own, our Man in Brown delivers more boxes, and we are like kids in a candy store opening up the flaps to peak at what's inside. This time it is 26 bolts of new Amy Butlers new line named Love. Lime, tangerine, periwinkle and turquoise are a few of the featured colors, very bright and cheery. It could probably help you make it through the winter to just have a bundle of these lovely fabrics to fondle when the going gets tough around mid-February!
Also just received a good assortment of vinyl fabrics from Moda and some Kaffe Fassett prints. These are soft and supple, good for bags, bibs, book covers, tablecloths, or whatever your imagination can come up with! These are in addition to our ~20 designs of oilcloth in great prints with a retro/vintage style. Plenty of design possibilities!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Beautiful fall Skies

Just wanted to share photos of the sky during a sewing break. I was working on my quilt for the Silent Auction Breast Cancer window when I decided it was time for a pontoon ride. I would love to capture these colors in a quilt!

Lots of Wool!

I love hand dyed wool and we just got in lots of it from our dyer- Paulette. Look at all the yummy colors. Can't wait to start a new project!

Scrap Therapy

Scrap Therapy

Laurel started a new class today- Scrap Therapy. Everyone received a "scrap" bin and got busy organizing their scrap stash. Scraps were cut into strips and squares with ideas given for projects. I love the idea of labeling a baggie with the following: Expires on (the date 1 year from now)! We have several more "cutting" classes schduled- come join the fun!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Back Home Again

One of the fun things we do at Bear Patch is our monthly groups, clubs, classes, support groups or whatever you want to call them! These groups offer us a chance to come together repeatedly and come to know each other much better. As we work on a common theme, we also learn a lot from each other. Our block of the month group for 2009 has concluded, and last week we saw the work of several go-getters who had managed to put all the pieces together. Group members had the option to use the pattern and fabric collection by designer Kaye England. Each month 2 versions of the same block were constructed, one 12" and one 6". But as you can see, there was room for individuality:
This quilter followed the pattern as written.

This quilter used the same red/pink fabric around each block, on each side of the floral strips, and in the narrow border.
This quilter used an entirely different set of fabrics, chosen to coordinate with her home. Instead of the floral strips she used a strip of the border fabric with inset squares. This helped her tie all the colors together.
This quilter used the featured fabrics but a setting of her own design, changing the size and overall look even though the blocks are all the same.
There were several more variations, but I included these to bring home the point that even though we all started out in sync, we all chose our own path to the end, and that is the joy of life! Our group is taking a hiatus until the new year and I'm working out a plan for something new for 2010. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fresh Fabric

We are loving these bright and colorful fabrics from Westminster/Rowan. I have to admit that when I started quilting (back in the dark ages) I completely bypassed anything looking like this. But times have changes and so have I! The fabrics have improved immensely, both in quality and style, with wonderful designers bringing art to my work. Sometimes I sense that customers are unsure of how they would incorporate the color and scale of some of these fabrics into a traditional quilt design. Let me tell you that it is, indeed, possible to cut them up into small pieces or just use them in big chunks. Both looks can turn into an amazing design when it is all put together. Just give it a try! We will be happy to help you select the best pattern and fabrics for your next work of art! We have recently received a large shipment of Kaffe and friends, so don't miss out while the shelves are full!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Looking for a good home...

We are surrounded by Christmas! Plenty of traditional:
and not so traditional:
Do stop in, I think I hear some fabric calling your name! Plenty of time to work on projects for yourself and others--look for our newsletter soon with some classes aimed at gifts to make without a huge time investment.