Tuesday, December 21, 2010

last minute ideas

Since we are getting down to the wire, if you are still looking for quilterly gifts you might want to abandon the thought of making a queen size quilt and go with something like Gloves In A Bottle instead! We have a travel size and a regular 8 oz. size for the perfect stocking stuffer. We have sample bottles of this in a couple places around the store, and they get plenty of use by both staff and customers. It is a good non-greasy lotion without a lot of perfume. Highly recommended! Don't wait too long, though, because we are closed December 24-25-26. That only leaves 3 days to get your Bear Patch shopping done, so get a move on!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sneak Peek!

Wondering what to do next August? We have a good suggestion! Mark "Pick up Quilt MN 2011 fabric at Bear Patch" on your calendar! The sample above is one piece of the group special fabric group designed for the occasion, and yesterday Debbie ordered a truckload of bolts to try to satisfy the fabric fever that strikes that month! Visit the official website for a view of the full range of fabric coming your way. I am tossing around ideas in my head for a new quilt designed with these fabrics, can't wait to see what develops!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ideas Keep Coming

A couple more tested projects that we can easily recommend for Christmas gift-giving
(or maybe a treat for yourself!).

Pot Pinchers from Vanilla House Designs (pattern $8)

I had seen this pattern in the store, but until I saw a sample of the finished Pot Pincher I wasn't sure what the advantage was. But what I didn't realize is that they are made with a firm Timtex piece in the top part that covers the back of your fingers, and makes them really appealing! They seem kind of like little puppets. You really need to have a pair of these and use them on both hands when lifting a hot casserole or cake pan to get the best effect. They are perfect in some of those kitchen/food prints that we have.

Composition Covers by Indygo Junction (pattern $8)

This pattern includes 3 variations of fabric covers to cover a standard composition book (those notebooks with black and white covers and lined pages). It was pretty easy to make and turned out great, would be perfect paired up with a pretty messenger bag like this:

Manhattan Messenger Bag by Purse Strings (pattern $10)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Back to Some More Bright Ideas

Who doesn't love a great new bag?! These are 2 choices that you can still have time to complete and put under the tree in time for Christmas:
The Two Hour Tulip tote is a sweet little pattern, and really comes close to the 2 hour time limit! I made the small size, but there are actually 3 sizes included in this $12 pattern with pocket variations. I put an extra long strap on this one because I foresee wearing it across my body when I am on a trip or outing and just need a little bit of stuff with me instead of a big ol' bag.

The Snap Happy II is part of the ongoing series of clever patterns from Stitchin' Sisters. This variation has a nice squared off bottom. The top snaps shut with the use of that ultra high tech gadget, a metal carpenter's tape measure! I made this one using some heavier weight fabrics with a very nice firm result, but I have also used regular quilting cottons with equally good results. One tip I like to share with people learning how to construct bags is to use some interfacing on the wrong side of the fabrics to give a crisper finish. Mid or heavy weight can both be used, depending on the results you like. We carry many interfacing products that are useful in so many of the things we like to craft, use the link above to see the choices and applications available from Pellon.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Pressing Idea

Who would know how important a good iron is other than your fellow quilters? These 2 products have risen to the top of the heap, in our opinion. The Rowenta Travel Iron ($50.00) is easy to use, comfortable to grip and a good size to transport. When you are sewing with a group, it is always nice to have your own little ironing spot but you don't want to jeopardize the power source with using a full size iron. This is the perfect solution!

But when it comes to a full size iron, this Velocity iron from Reliable is the cat's meow! It is actually on my own wish list this year! And if it's good enough for me, it's good enough for Oprah's list, too! This V50 model is $115, get 'em while they're hot!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Half Idea

This little Half & Half Apron makes the PERFECT hostess gift for anywhere you go! It is a pattern by The Quilt Company and is only $2.50. It takes only 2 half yard cuts, and if you can't make up your mind we have fixed that problem with kits of coordinates. Choose a holiday theme, kitchen prints, favorite colors, or something that reflects the personality of the wearer.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ornament Idea

Isn't this precious?! Sharon stitched up this darling little ornament from Chickadee Hollow Designs. This is one of a series of Vintage Ornaments, each packaged with the design printed on fabric, ready to stitch. Simple hand embroidery stitches are all you need to complete this project, along with any of the other designs (star, candy cane, heart, etc.). The printed fabric not only indicates the stitching lines, but is lightly shaded in the background which gives a unique appearance to the finished design. The patterns are $7 each and are selling like hotcakes! Also check out the seasonal samplers from Chickadee, printed on fabric with stitching lines and shading. We have everything you need for hand embroidery--little hoops, needles and thread. Get your ornaments now and hang them on the tree next week!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Another Bright Idea

This gift is perfect for any quilter and perfect to personalize. The insulated mug comes with a lid and drinking straw, along with directions for constructing the fabric cover. We used some of the blue and white snowflake prints, but the choice is entirely up to you! This would even be a great canvas for applique or embroidery, either by hand or machine. The fabric is sealed inside the hard outer clear plastic, so stays clean and dry no matter what goes inside the cup! Maybe a morning smoothie, or a refreshing soft drink, or a delicious margarita. No one will know what's inside your cup! The price is $24.00 (fabric and beverage not included).

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bright Book Ideas

A very fine gift is a beautiful new book, filled with inspiration and education. The joy of sitting down to crack open a new book, smell the ink on the pages, and dream of things to come is unmatched. We have many quality publications, these are 3 ideas to choose from by the Better Homes and Gardens publishers:
Cherished Quilts ($24.99)

Complete Guide to Quilting ($19.95)

Easy Quilt Projects ($22.99)

These are only the tip of the iceberg, we have well-stocked book shelf with many choices. And if we don't have a title you are looking for, there is still time for us to order it for you before Christmas Eve! Just make sure you are prepared and make you request early!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

More Bright Ideas

Today might be the perfect day to work on a holiday wall-hanging, and still have time to get it done and impress your family and guests in the next few weeks. They will marvel at how wondrously you prepare for their visit and how amazingly talented you are! This is the Holiday Wreath from the Wintergraphix Holiday Projects Book 2 by Jason Yenter. It measures 41" square, and we have a couple of the kits and booklets on hand for your sewing pleasure. The books are $14 and the kits are $59.95 (does not include backing).

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bright Ideas

We have put our heads together to come up with ideas that we would recommend to be made and/or purchased for someone who loves to quilt. Many are on display right now in our front window area and can be looked over in detail if you are in the shop. Over the next few weeks I will be bringing them to you here so if you are at a distance, you might want to give us a call and we can arrange for purchase and shipping for you. Don't dilly dally on these, the days are flying by!
This is the Little Wallet by Valori Wells. The pattern is only $3 and the fabric requirement is minimal.
It is just the right size for keeping business cards, gift cards, punch cards, credit cards, ID cards, etc., organized and safe in a pocket or bag. Three little pockets are inside and it fastens shut with a snap or velcro. Mix and match fabrics to suit the person receiving it, add a button or trim, and you have created a personalized gift in a very short time. Tuck in a gift card and hang it on the tree for a sweet surprise!
Check back often for more bright ideas!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Mugs

What a great idea for Christmas (or anytime) gifts! These little quilty mugs really hit the spot for me, I do love my coffee and collection of mugs! The little message says "quilt happy". We just received an order of these so right now we have all 4 colors. They are priced at $10.95 and would work great paired up with some hot chocolate or cider mix and a fat quarter to match for the quilter friends in your life. Get them while they last!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Good News for Bag Ladies!

If you are looking for a new bag, pocketbook, tote or purse to stitch up, we have just the thing for you! Right now we are displaying many great examples straight from the designers. Big bags, little bags, travel bags, gift bags--they are all here! We have numerous samples from these wonderful people: Maple Island, Scrap-Bags, Kwik Sew, Anka's Treasures, and A Quilter's Dream. It is so nice to be able to see and examine the actual sample of the pattern before you sit down to create your own, sothis is the perfect opportunity! There is sure to be an idea here for you to make for yourself or a friend--remember, Christmas is coming! On display through mid-November, don't delay! And how about those rick-rack punkins!

Friday, September 24, 2010

We are Groovy Girls!!

Groovy Girls Shannon, Gloria and Diane

Samples of the club's project

Today is the kick-off for our Groovy Girls Club--and these ladies are definitely in the groove with their special edition Cash & Carry bags! These are just some of the grooviest gals at Bear Patch today! They had a lot of fun in our morning class, learning how to neatly and easily insert a zipper into these tidy little totes. I use one for my camera and its download cord, it is just the right size.

Groovy Girl Suzanne

Groovy Girl Sherry

Don't worry, you, too, can be a Groovy Girl! We have Friday evening and Sunday afternoon openings in this once-a-month club. The first 6 months is covered in the $36 registration fee, and there are treats involved! The projects are all designed by Terry Atkinson, so you know they will be good! Call 651-429-1039 to reserve your spot!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Website facelift

Every now and then we all need to do something to spiff up our image, and that holds true for our website, too. Working with Like Sew Websites over the past few weeks, we have made some big changes in the look and feel of our entire website. We went "live" this week, timed to publish our list of classes for fall. This is going to be a move away from the traditional newsletter that Debbie has published 3 times a year for 13 years, and with that change comes a few growing pains. But it's all worth it if we can meet the needs of our customers and continue to expand our horizons. There are some great features that we have learned to use already, and more to explore. Please hop over and check it out--the address is one thing that has not changed: bearpatchquilting.com
If you haven't already done so, you might want to put your name on our email list.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Further Education

Bernina Barb and Laurel just returned from Chicago where we spent 2-1/2 days of Bernina V6 Embroidery Software advanced training. We were among about 65 shop owners and teachers learning more about the fabulous things this software can do. We also got to talk to Bernina people from all over the U.S. and learn some of the fun things they're doing with the V6 software. We learned so much and can't wait to share it with all of you! The hard part will be deciding where to start! That's Barb in the picture during one of our afternoon breaks.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Got Rick Rack?

Yes, we have rick rack! From jumbo to tiny in assorted colors, even this great button trim in 2 colors.

Rick rack (or ricrac) has made a comeback, and can be found in many patterns for aprons, accesories, quilts, etc. Stop in and see if we have the color you are looking for!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

We Have Lots of PUL

Have you heard about this new product? Nothing fancy to look at, but a special fabric. PUL stands for Polyurethane Laminate. It is a waterproof fabric but not a glossy nor stiff texture like some laminates. It is backed with a soft knit fabric and is about 58" wide and $10.50/yd. Very effective for lining beach bags, lunch bags, baby bibs, etc. We have several patterns that call for PUL or could be converted to use it. This one is Lunch Bunch by Possibilities and includes little snack bags and a napkin along with the standard lunch sack.
Many more possibilities--stop in and check it out!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Quilts For Kids workday

We are setting up for a fun day of working on new little quilts for donation to local hospitals for the children that need a quiltie hug. Here is one of many that were brought today from the Northern Material Girls quilt guild from North St. Paul, MN. I love this one, made from a cut panel and stitched between the blocks with a feather stitch. I want this panel!!
More to come....

Friday, July 30, 2010

Quilt Minnesota 2010

Let the fun begin!
Today marks the start of the annual statewide quilt shop hop, running through August 15. We have several new quilts on display, including 2 designs available exclusively at Bear Patch. Above is Star Light by Emmaline Design. It is 72" square and kits are going fast. The pattern is available, and would also be great for charm packs that you might have collected. Our second exclusive design was created by Mary Herrschleb (MH Designs) and features hand embroidered blocks in a wallhanging quilt made of these great blue and white fabrics. It is also available as a kit. We do have yardage of the special edition prints by Holly Taylor for Moda, but supply is limited so don't delay! We have a special gift for each person bringing in a passport to be stamped and there are great prizes in store for visiting stores all over the state. Visit the main website for details. We also have special trunk shows on display, so don't miss out! Our hours: Monday-Thursday 9-9, Friday and Saturday 9-5, Sunday 12-5.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Kids for Quilts For Kids

Today we had some special customers in the store, 2 young ladies who helped their scout troop use their talents to make a donation quilt for Quilts For Kids. They are members of Girl Scout Troop 51213 from White Bear Lake, MN. There are 15 members of the troop, and they did a good job putting this together.

On the left is Hannah Muntifering and on the right is Sophia Forliti. Sophia's mom, Stephanie (in the black shirt) is the troop leader. Darlene Nelson (in the white shirt) is a local longarm quilter who was key to making this happen.

Darlene made up the blocks and then taught the girls how to put them all together. She quilted it for them on her longarm machine. Beautiful! It's a perfect project for helping these girls learn about fabric and creativity and community service. Here's the badge they were each awarded:
We thank all of you, your quilt will make some other child a little happier on a tough day. FYI, Darlene can be reached by email at izzy7777@comcast.net in case you want to know more about this project and her quilting.

Monday, June 21, 2010

In the past we've shown off pictures of both Debbie and Pam with their fishing experiences. This picture is from Laurel's vacation a couple of weeks ago. You'll probably notice that it's not me in the picture. That's my husband George, showing off his bass. I'm just positive that the hat is what attracted this bass to bite in the first place! He discovered that humming birds like Bernina red, too! I have to confess that I wasn't even in the boat that morning. Although I do love to fish (And yes, I bait my own hook, even with leeches, and take all but northerns off the hook), I'm kind of a fair weather fisherperson. It was windy so I was back at the cabin sewing on my Bernina! I really did catch quite a few fish, just none this big--and I got quite a bit of sewing done!

Monday, June 14, 2010

MQ Show Prices on Bernina at the Sewing Center

Just wanted to let you know we have fabulous prices all week on all Bernina machines through Monday, June 21. Want a 440QE classroom machine from the show? Special prices on them also. Isacord thread, stabilzers, and Bernina accessories are also on sale. We have blow-out pricing on the activa 230 Patchwork Edition- 1 left and on the activa 240- 5 left. Hurry in so you can get sewing on that new project! Special financing available too! Stop in and see Laurel, Anne, or Barb. 651-429-6500.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Bear Patch Sewing Center Anniversary Sale!

I want to let you know about the fantastic Bernina Sale we are having this Friday and Saturday- June 11 & 12. We have HUGE sale prices on the activa 230 and 240 as well as discounts on all machines and sergers. We also have Isacord thread and stabilizers at 25% off, plus discounted Bernina accessories. We will be open 10 am - 5 pm on Friday and 10 am - 4 pm on Saturday. Oh, almost forgot to tell you- we have special pricing on the 440 Quilter's Edition that will be used in the classes at the MQ Show in St. Cloud next week. Besides all the great prices, we can also offer you extended financing. Don't miss out on this great opportunity! Call for prices but please stop in. 651-429-6500

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Barri Sue from Bareroots at Bear Patch

Barri Sue and Deb with the brand new Bareroot's Stitcherie book

Sharon and Barri just stitching away!

Barri and our new friends from New Zealand. They came on the bus tour Wednesday and then came back Monday on a very expensive taxi ride to see us again!

Sharon, Barri, Gigi, and Sharon posing for a picture

We had lots of mini cupcakes and pink lemonade!

Final Day of Quilt Market 2010

This is Jerry- one of our fabric reps hurrying down the aisle.

Our final day of Quilt Market! How many miles will we walk today to make sure we see everything there is to see and to order all the fun new things! Don't you just love BQ3 from Maple Island?

Pam and Laurel watch a demo of a new ruler. I am sure Laurel will teach it on one of the next schedules.

We ordered this new stitcherie from Connie of Crow River- the vases are appliqued and the flowers are stitched. I think she may teach it for us!

Marilyn from Quilt Moments and Pam. How does she keep coming up with new ideas?