Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Still Shopping??

For round 2 of our gift ideas, we have a few more featured items:

Another excellent gift choice is something simple and basic--quality thread!  To the untrained eye, our little box of Aurifil thread might seem unimportant.  Not so!  This little assortment is like a treasure chest to many of us!  These colors shown were chosen to compliment the 2016 Quilt Minnesota fabrics, and we still have some of those pieces left.  Just imagine how impressive it would be to gift a bundle of those fat quarters along with the thread box!  The price on the thread and box is $30, and fat quarters can be added for $2.50 each.

Here's a treasure chest of a different sort - a collection of beautiful and useful scissors from       .  They are packaged in a special velvet lined wooden box.  Several of these scissors have distinct and unique uses, and probably not something everyone already owns.  $79.99 brings a lot of fine shine to the sewing room!

Have you seen the light?  The Slimline Light?
This is a fabulous new LED table light that I can truthfully say is now a necessity in my sewing room!  It illuminates either my sewing area or my cutting area, depending on which way I turn it.  It's clamped to the counter top, but an additional round weighted base could be purchased. 
 The light is $180 and the optional base is $43.
Aging eyes will say "thank you"!

We do love our tote bags and project bags in many shapes and sizes, why not tote in style with one of our Bear Patch bags!  Those pictured range in price from $17.50 to $25.00.  Better yet, give the gift of a bag filled with fabric!

A lot of times, we have customers who want to present a gift that looks and feels like a real live quilt!  Here's a very easy answer that doesn't involve a lot of time and effort for either the gifter or the giftee--  the Jelly Jive pattern ($3.50) plus a strip roll ($38-$44 each) plus fabric for binding and backing if you choose to include that.  We have made this pattern numerous times and it's a great couch quilt size (50" x 59 1/2").  We have a large assortment of strip rolls for you to choose from, this is one of the brighter choices, but there are many others.

Looking for a stocking stuffer?  These pretty little tins are both useful and decorative.  Even better when they are filled with needles, pins, clips, M&M's, etc!

Another good idea -- take advantage of some of the pre-cuts we have in stock packaged with a book of patterns to use those pre-cuts!  Pre-cuts come to us from the fabric companies cut in some standard sizes.  They are coordinated sets from a designer group of fabrics, and are die-cut and packaged for us.  That makes it so easy for you to use!

Of course, you can always play it safe and get the gift that pleases all!  Our gift cards can be written for any amount you choose, they never expire, and the balance can be carried forward until it is used up.  Load it up with a good chunk of change and see the smiles on Christmas day!

And finally, a frozen rainbow over White Bear Lake this morning--not for sale because it's priceless!

Don't wait too long for your shopping, we are closed on Christmas Eve Day so we don't want any disappointed husbands knocking on the door on the 24th!  We are open regular hours between now and then (Mon-Wed 9-9, Thur-Sat 9-5, Sunday 12-4).
Call us at 651-429-1039 if you have any questions.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

It's Time For Gift Giving!

Need some gift ideas?  We have some options for you to consider...

A Cozy Scarf pack for only $6 each, with free directions to make 3 variations.  This is soft and cuddly fabric with easy no-sew or low-sew possibilities!  And pulling the threads to make the fringe is really rather soothing if you get too much jingle in your jangle!  Tammy is a good sport for our photo session, maybe she will find one under the tree at her house?!

A handcrafted seam ripper with wooden handle--$17 and a choice of wood color.  These are going fast!  I can personally vouch for the quality of workmanship and sharpness.  If you have to rip, you might as well do it in style!

A great new iron also makes the world a happier place, at least in the sewing room!  This has the advantage of being a cordless model, so it can be utilized in some different ways.  Since I do longarm machine quilting, sometimes I encounter something that needs to be pressed while the quilt is on the frame.  With my Panasonic cordless iron, it's simple to do!  $129.95

And for the mobile quilter on-the-go, this travel sized Clover Wedge iron is just what's needed.  It costs $49.98 and is worth every penny!

Another uniquely handcrafted gift is the little Needle Nanny.   It has a magnetic attraction!   It can be placed on your lapel or on the project in the works.  While doing some handwork, when you need a break or just get interrupted, it holds onto your needle until you get back to the stitching!  We have a variety of designs and shapes to choose from for $11.99.

One of these key fobs with wrist bands is a perfect little stocking stuffer and costs just $9.  They work for keys, loyalty cards, flash drives, or anything you need to hook up!

From the same artisan who creates the wooden seam rippers, we have numerous wooden bowls, platters, vases, etc.  Each one is unique.  They really are something special, and we have a variety of sizes, shapes and colors.  Depending on size, they are priced between $10 and $20.  They are sanded so smoothly, it's a special sensation just to touch!

Our imported woven baskets from Ghana are also one-of-a-kind gifts.  No two are exactly alike!  Depending on size, they range in price from $40 to $50.  From bright colors to subtle shading, they are works of art and utilitarian on top of that!  They are quite durable and strong.

I'll be back in a day or 2 with more ideas for you!  Quantities can be limited, but we always try to get more in stock.  Even if Santa's elves can't get it here before Christmas, we would be happy to write up a gift card to cover the cost of the item to be picked up later.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Coupon Pack 2017

People have loved our Coupon Pack!  It's a great way to get a little gift each month of 2017!  Buy for yourself, or drop a big hint to someone who loves you, or give it to friends!

Twelve monthly coupons PLUS 4 bonus coupons are packaged in a clear vinyl zipper pouch for you.  Great for your next little project!  Or, it can hold candy or snacks! Or bobbins and feet!  Or needles and thread!  Or anything you can fit in there!

The packs cost only $10 and are available now through 1/15/17.  The cost of the pack is easily recovered with using just 1 or 2 of the coupons, so even if they don't all appeal to you, don't worry about any upfront cost.  Most could even be used via phone or email, so don't let a little distance stop the fun!  We are always happy to work out an arrangement with you!

And just so you know what you are paying for, here are the details in a slideshow---

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During these dark days of winter, find a little bright spot in our coupon pack!  Call (651-429-1039) or email ( or visit the store to put a little joy in your life!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Carmen's Mosaic

there has been a very popular quilt in our class lineup during the fall.  It is Carmen's Mosaic, from this book---

Laurel made our store sample, and you can see part of it in the background of the first picture below--

These 15 people participated in the classes, and have really enjoyed the process.  First, cut lots of little squares.  Keep them organized!  Next, place all the squares on the printed fusible interfacing grid available from Ten Sisters.  There are color layouts for quite a few different quilts.  Use a hot iron to press and fuse all the squares into place.  Sew all the seams!  

The grid is available for 3 different sizes of squares.  Most of these people used the medium size, which yields 1 1/2" squares when finished.  There is a smaller size (1" finished) and a larger size (2" finished).  

Laurel started out the class groups with lots of helpful ideas and tips.  Then she tried to do gymnastics on her stairs, and ended up in a world of hurt!  She's on the road to recovery, but unable to work, sew, knit, teach and do most everything else fun!  Anyway, I'm the lucky on who got to finish out the class sessions, and worked on a sample panel for myself so I would know a little bit more about what I was to teach.  Always a good idea to know what you're talking about!
Well, making up those mosaic panels is fun!  And could easily become an obsession!  Now I understand why I have seen a lot of squares being laid out on the grids on our tables during Open Sewing!  It does take some patience to put all the squares in place, but I found it very enjoyable.  I think it's something like the adult coloring book fad and the relaxation and zen that go with that.  Just laying out little squares in a design that is carried throughout several panels to make the whole quilt.  You might want to try it to help you calm down from all the holiday happenings!

If you want some zen for yourself, just call us and we can package it up for you!


Sunday, November 20, 2016

I'm back!

Wow!  I've been away from the blog much longer than I had thought!  A lot has been happening so I guess I need to catch you up--

We just finished our annual Customer Appreciation Sale and very successful food and toy drive, thanks to our generous and loyal customers!  It was a fun 2-day sale with lots of happy shoppers!  Would you be surprised to know that many quilters came on both days?  Doing the preliminary shopping and reconnaisance on Day 1, then going home to make a list of what they really need to finish a project in progress and/or kick off something new!  Day 2 finds them back at the store with a grip on their lists!  We all had a good time, and it was a new and unusual experience for us in other ways-- both Debbie and Laurel could not be present due to some health problems, so the minions dug in and went to work!  We pretty much pulled it off without a hitch, except for the power outage just a few minutes before closing on Friday.  That really stops everything, including the few customers remaining in the store!  Very hard to match fabrics by the light of your phone!  The whole downtown area went black because of the wintry storm we were having at the time.  When the power came back on later, attention was needed to make sure all the computers (which are our cash registers) were back up and running normally.  And the Friday totals and daily deposit could be accounted for before we were back at it on Saturday morning.  All in a day's work!

Flipping back through the calendar and my pictures, one big thing that happened since I last posted was a trip to Houston for International Quilt Market.  If you watch our Facebook page, we did post some albums of pictures there at the end of October.  So pop over there for all that good stuff!

Since I have an avid interest in longarm quilting, one thing that I look for at events like Quilt Market are examples of interesting quilting that I can take home in pictures.  Here are some selections:

Here's the overall picture of a wallhanging of circling dragonflies.  Look below for a closeup of the quilting.  The straight line quilting in the widening hexagon shape makes a great backdrop for those dragonflies, and would be very do-able on a domestic machine.

The wings in this dragonfly show very close quilting in matching thread colors.  A pretty effect, and, again, very doable on most any machine.

Another great example of creative and basic straight-line quilting:

The lines don't even have to be consistently spaced for this to work.  Just attach/engage that walking foot, and you can try this out for yourself.

Here's a picture of Brigitte Heitland, the designer of Zen Chic for Moda.  
The arrows look like the route that Debbie and I walked all around that convention center!

 Below is another Zen Chic pattern, and very interesting quilting to fill in all that blank space surrounding the colored triangles.  I liked that there were variations in the quilting design in that background, making me re-think my approach to the same sort of situation on my own quilts.

And just for some variety, here's a cute little baby romper that just was irresistable to me.  I'm a sucker for these!  And, with my #3 grandson arriving in March, this is a must-do!

We are still receiving new items almost daily that were ordered during our days at Quilt Market, so there are a lot of great ideas popping up!  Time for new samples!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Changin' and Rearrangin'

A few more store improvements have appeared within our walls.  In some previous posts, I shared pictures of work-in-progress.  See, it's not just our quilts that are a work in progress!

The large old box shelves that housed our batting supply have been removed.  Carpenter Bob built some much improved cubby box shelves for our batting in another spot.

In place of the old batting storage, we have a nice new clean wall and all our our thread has been moved across the store to that spot.  
This is just a few feet away from all of the hand embroidery threads, so it can now be called the "Thread Department".  
Some of these stackable thread shelving units will still undergo some changes, as we get new units and get our selection more organized.  We love the Mettler and Aurifil brands!

Over where the thread racks used to be, Bob has built and installed some more shelving for fabrics.  The picture below was taken before even more units were added to that wall.  Our dream is to have the right balance of shelving and bolts so none of the bolts have to be on the floor!  Never gonna' happen!  And we would be so sad if it did!

We have some new space created for our extra-wide Cuddle fabric bolts--  it's 88-90" wide, so makes a fabulous back for many quilts and doesn't need a seam!

And on the flip side of that shelf unit we have--

All of our wonderful cozy Cuddle bolts (58-60")!
Most of the Cuddle that we sell is destined to be quilt backs, but there are lots of other things that you can make with this soft plush fabric.  Click on this link to the numerous free patterns on the website that use Cuddle fabric.

Here's something else fun for you--
A group of new Moda Grunge fabrics on our shelves!

Come in to see the wonderful shades and tones at your fingertips!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

It's Already Time To Vote!

Are you ready to vote?!
No more freaky debates, no more Twitter anything, no more lies and innuendos?!

Just a throwback to the time when you simply get to vote on what you like, and you can even have a do-over every time you visit Bear Patch from now through November 1.  How great is that?

First, let me explain the beginning.  Our Bear Patch Circle of Quilters meets every other month on a Saturday morning.  (Next meeting is December 3.)  Attendees get a chance to sit back, learn about what's happening and what's new at the store.  There is talk about rulers, notions, patterns and books, including some demonstrations and tutorials.  And there's always a sweet treat to share, plus the coffee pot is close at hand!

The group was offered a chance to participate in a challenge.  They were given a piece of fabric from fabric "headers" donated by our Moda representative, Julie.  These are large swatches of fabrics shown to shop owners to make buying decisions.  Each participant received a different fabric.  The challenge then was to make something from that fabric and bring it back to display.  The possibility of winning super duper prizes was an added incentive!  Three Viewer's Choice prizes will be awarded, plus one more favorite picked by employees.

We received 15 projects from the group, and I have to say, they have really hit the mark with variety and creativity!  Now, any of our customers can view the projects and cast a ballot for their favorite.  And you can vote again every day you visit!

I had intended to compile a nice little slide show here for you.  But there seems to be a little war going on between Smilebox, Adobe Flash Player and my MacBook!  So we can skip the slide show and just enjoy the pictures below!  I have added pattern information as far as I am able to determine, and I will add more as it becomes known.  Some of these are originals, others are adaptations of existing patterns.  They are presented in random order numerically.  A swatch of the original challenge fabric is attached to each, so you know what the starting point is.  
So get ready for a load of pictures--

Our autumnal view on the hub of White Bear Lake.
Collage pup designed by Laura Heine

Bowtucks Tote

The little pyramid opens into a sweet sewing box!

Mini Pop Up