Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Gypsy Wife Is Back!

These are the blocks that I assigned myself for May, following the schedule I started in February.  I also fixed up a few problems I had with the colors and blocks for April.  Pretty soon I will be able to get to the June blocks, hopefully before the calendar flips to July!  We have copies of the Gypsy Wife Quilt book at the store, so give us a call (651-429-1039) if you want to sew-a-long!  You can start anytime it fits into your schedule.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Temptations

It's time to start tempting you with our Quilt MN projects!  We have numerous samples in the works that highlight the possibilities with this group of fabric.  Here are a couple for starters:

Mary of MH Designs has 2 embroidery designs that are pure Minnesota (even though she lives across the river in Wisconsin!).  The Lady's Slipper is a makeover of a previous design, now using the fabric that is printed all over with the flowers.  A perfect combo!  

And since there are loons on some of the prints, she went to the drawing board and created a picture for embroidery for the loon lovers!  This one even has the little baby loon on the back of the adult, and this is exactly how they take care of their little ones.  I've been reading up on the loons, and found out that the baby loons have poor body temp control, and because the northern lakes tend to stay quite cold, they get heat from the mother or father by riding on their back in between swims.  Other loon trivia:  they don't necessarily mate for life, but they do usually migrate back to the same lake; they have only 1 or 2 eggs each year; survival rate of the chicks is 0.7 chicks per adult pair per year.  Anyone who has heard the wail of the loon echoing across a still lake knows that it is a special experience.  There are some recordings of their various calls on the wikipedia site in the link above.

I have succeeded in getting all of the blocks for my new quilt design sewn together and borders attached!  Yeah!  Now to get that quilting and binding done, write the directions and get some patterns printed!  This is a pretty simple block, very achievable for anyone who wants to give it a try.  I will include a class for it on the fall schedule.  The borders are mitered to get the best effect from the printed fabric, and the technique really isn't intimidating.  But for anyone who doesn't feel up to the challenge, I will include tips on making the border without miters.  I have several different size quilts that can be made like this, so it can go anywhere from a tablerunner to a queen size bed.

Some of the Quilt MN Shop Hop "swag" this year--

shopping bag, t-shirt and pins are all available.

More projects will be shared with you as I collect pictures from our sample makers.  Many of them will be available in kits, so you can pre-order (call 651-429-1039) the kits or yardage or pre-cut packs (5" squares, 10" squares, 2 1/2" strips) anytime you want, and they will be ready for pickup when the Hop starts July 31.  It will be a fun time at the Patch!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Row by Row Shop Hop Exclusive Keepsakes!

 The Row By Row Shop Hop starts across the nation in just a few days.  The official start date is Sunday, 6/21, but since that is Father's Day we will not be open.  We will kick off on Monday AM at 9:00.  Our pattern, designed by Laurel, is called Walleye Chop.  It fits in well with the "Water" theme.  The pattern is our gift to you, but you must be physically present in the store to claim it.  That is part of the Row by Row Book of Law for all shops.  Kits are available for purchase if you want the same fabrics that were used in our sample.  They are packaged in this nice little zipper bag.

And in case you aren't familiar with what Walleye Chop means, I have to tell you that it's not some kind of chopped fish meal!  It's a reference to the somewhat choppy waters on a lake that are favorable for catching walleyes, quite possibly the best fish to come out of a Minnesota lake!
If you are traveling to Minnesota from another state, try to find a place that serves some good walleye.  I had a great walleye meal at Gluek's Brewery in downtown Minneapolis before a Twins' game, it's real close to the stadium, so you could have walleye and a Twins game all at once!  Anyway, back to the Shop Hop!

We have some Row By Row souvenir pins, and a special acrylic ruler that is a very handy size (you might want more than 1, so get yours soon!).  And tshirts and caps will be on hand very soon, so you can be fully outfitted in proper Row by Row attire!

Of course, we have the official Row by Row fabric on hand--

I have to say that for me, personally, these prints are so much more appealing than last year's.  They would go so well with the fabrics in our row!

And finally, our license plate!  Our order for these plates is still being printed, and we will need to take orders for them so they can be mailed out once the shipment arrives.  I think the slogan says it all!  Happy stitchin' to all of you, and enjoy the Row by Row Shop Hop!

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Row by Row Experience

Do you know about the nationwide quilt shop hop?  It's called the Row By Row Experience and runs from June 21 to September 8.  It is an organization of shops from all 50 states and Canada, too, that have signed up to participate.  As a participating shop, we have created our unique row design, only available when you come to Bear Patch.  The pattern is free, one per customer.  We will also have kits available to purchase for our row.  The goal is to collect the patterns and create your own quilt of at least 8 different rows.  There are prizes for winners who bring their completed quilt to a participating shop.  All of those details are explained on the Row By Row website, as well as a directory of shops.

Another fun feature of this experience is the chance to collect fabric vanity license plates from each of the stores.  Can't wait to see what all of the fun quips on the plates will be!  

Our regular summer store hours will apply:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 9am-9pm
Thursday*, Friday, Saturday  9am-5pm
Sunday 12 noon-4pm

*After July 30 we will return to our usual 9-9 Thursday hours.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Show and Tell by Alice

Last Tuesday, we had a special treat in the store.  One of our fave ladies brought something unique for "show and tell"!  This work of art was made by Alice from 1/2" hexagons with the English Paper Piecing method.  That's a lot of little pieces!  I didn't measure it, but I think it was about 4 feet tall.  It was framed under glass, so that's why you see some reflections in it.  The frame itself was another part of the art, since it was made from floor board planks from her grandma's 125 year old farmhouse.  Thank you so much for sharing, Alice!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Here We Go Again!

It's time for preparations for Quilt MN and I've been back at the drawing board. It's always fun to be given the chance to put together the specially designed fabrics with a picture in my head. I've been busy at the keyboard and EQ6 to put the images together on a screen. Today I actually got to the point of cutting and sewing the real stuff!
The quilt pattern will be easy, I promise, and make the most of the designated fabrics.  I am making the sample in a size that is nice for a couch or recliner during an afternoon siesta, or anytime you might want to get snuggled up!  Usually, as I have made these Quilt MN quilts, I have written the directions for only one size of quilt, then later, as time permits, I have added on some additional sizes.  This time, I might just be ahead of the game!  I have calculated yardage and some of the cutting for larger and smaller sizes, too.  I'm checking and re-checking my numbers, since I'm not going to make the quilt in every size, even though that would be the best way to verify that all my numbers are correct.  So stay tuned for a bigger bed quilt and maybe even a little MN baby quilt!  We will be busy making up kits for the quilts soon, so look for that information, too!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Whatever Happened to Gypsy Wife?

Did you notice that May flew by and no new Gypsy blocks?  Well, the pieces for May blocks are cut and set aside, but in a spot that I can't put my fingers on at the moment!  If you read the previous post, you saw my DIY flooring project.  And the Gypsy Wife supplies are somewhere beneath a desk, shelf unit, boxes of books and papers!  So she will be back out again and we will have some catch up to do when the floor gets done!

I do really love this quilt so I will not be abandoning her!  Promise!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Paper Pizzazz

Next Tuesday, June 9, our Paper Pizzazz class will be meeting again.  Our shape of the month is called the Chrysanthemum, similar to the dresden fan.  I have made these samples, and directions for the little spring top purse will be available to those in the class.

This variation uses the chrysanthemum plus those skinny points in between--

The Paper Pizzazz class is great for anyone who wants to learn about English Paper Piecing.  We start you out on an easy hexagon block to learn the basics, and then you can go on from there!

And here's a peak at the unfinished blocks for the July shape---

The honeycomb shape is used in the Lucy Boston quilt, also known as the Patchwork of the Crosses.

My blocks are somewhat more contemporary instead of using the traditional Civil War reproduction prints.  I like to stray from the path on some of these things to get people to look at the original with a different perspective!

Anyone is welcome to come to Paper Pizzazz, just call us at 651-429-1039 to reserve your seat!  We meet from 1-3:30 on the second Tuesday of the month.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

New fabric selections!

More Christmas fabric on the shelf!  And the vintage ice skates seem to be a common thread with 2 other fabric groups we already have---

I never did very well on those ice skates as a kid, it was much more challenging to stay upright than what it looked like on the Olympics!  Maybe the fact that the pond was in the cow pasture didn't really help!

And, our much awaited first shipment of Quilt MN 2015 fabric is in the store!  We can take pre-orders for any of the yardage, plus 5" squares, 10" squares and 2 1/2" strip packs.  We just have a couple bolts of each right now, enough to put some out on the shelf and cut more for our store samples in the works.

I have been working on another exclusive pattern for these fabrics, which will be available for purchase soon!  Along with a kit, of course, if you choose!  It's only on paper and scrap fabric so far, but I will be ready to cut and sew the real stuff before long.  That's if I get more progress made on our little home improvement project with my husband!  We are replacing carpet with laminate wood flooring in a loft area of our home, and my evenings and some weekend time has been focused on moving this along!  This is in part due to the fact that everything that had been on the loft (desks, computers, storage, shelves, etc.) is now crammed into my sewing space!  Makes it look like an episode of the Hoarders in there!  So I am motivated to get this done and get my space back!

New wood flooring!  Yay!
Nowhere near done!  Ugh!

Call us (651-429-1039) to order your Minnesota fabric!