Shows, Stable Piecing Miniatures & Batting Special

 

Spring blog picHey all, it looks like the snow is staring to melt, and spring is just around the corner!I With the spring season comes the excitement of our new show season, in fact our next show will be in Evansville, IN next weekend. After that is Queeny Park in Ballwin, MO the third weekend of March. April however will be our busiest month with shows in Decatur, IL and Paducah, KY. Check our show schedule to see when we will be coming your way!

quilt museum post

Interesting places: we have a quilt museum to tell you about in Lincoln, Nebraska! Called the International Quilt Study Center & Museum, it is located at the University of Nebraska on Lincoln campus. It was started in 1997 with a donation of 950 quilts from ONE couple. If you happen to be traveling through this area it might be something worth seeing and telling your fellow quilt enthusiasts about!

Stable Piecing: We have several new ideas for you using Stable Piecing. The miniatures are coming along nicely, and as always, the pattern is the most time consuming part of the design process. Our testing process takes a while, so as to ensure the very best of our efforts so you can have a beautiful piece to create at home at your leisure. We find that this process is well worth it in the end, as our goal is to give you the best possible product. Coming soon to you: Stable Piecing Miniatures!

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Batting SPECIAL: We will have a batting special available for pre-order through our website for deliver at Paducah, KY this year. That means you can order batting through our site to receive the special and it will be delivered to the show for you to pick up! (We will be in the Pavillion at the same booth we were at last year). Watch our website for this up and coming special: Just think of all the shipping savings that will be!

Thanks for coming by, and until next time keep up the good work!

Lora

Join our knit group: “Knitting with Ginny!”

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Hey all! Here to update you with some information this week, we wanted to let you know about our knitting group we have here at Farmland Quilting & Embroidery. We have a knitting circle that meets every Friday of the month from 1-3pm. No fees are required, however feel free to donate 50 cents per week to help pay rent for the room.

The name of the group is “Knitting With Ginny”, but knitting isn’t the only thing we do! This is a great place to come when you can’t find time anywhere else; you won’t have to answer the phone. We work, chat, and laugh a lot. Come prepared to play with yarn, string, fibers etc.

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Just bring your HANDWORK project such as:
    - Those UFO’s (UnFinished Objects) that are lurking in the closet;
    - Sweater parts that are still just parts and nothing wearable;
    - The Mile-A-Minute afghan strips that’s not yet an afghan;
    - The embroidered blocks that are gathering dust because the colors
      You chose don’t work with your “now” decor;

 

HANDWORK is stressed as there are no machines used in the process of making your wonderful creations. This is also a learning time, at every meeting there is a short demonstration of a technique, or information about a product or project.

 

ALSO: Did you know?
    - There are at least 6 different ways to cast-on for knitting?
    - There are only 3 stitches ever used in knitting?
    - There are at 7 basic stitches in crochet?
    - Tatting is nothing more than tying knots on a string?
    - Bobbin lace is a form of weaving?
    - Needle lace is made with a needle and thread: no loom required?

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Come on in and join us for a fun time! Check our web site’s  Show Calendar if you forget the date or time. Don’t think that you have to be skilled in order to be welcome. If you want to learn to knit, and don’t know a knitting needle from a crochet hook, come on in!  We will be more than glad to help you.

 

We also have a selection of yarn, thread (both embroidery and crochet), knitting needles, crochet hooks, etc.  More will be coming in the near future.

 

Keep that thread or yarn flowing through your fingers!
-Virginia

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The Forgotten Shop Hop is back again for its second year! Eight shops will be participating this year, but never fear: you will have nine blocks available, and we are making two blocks for you! All the blocks are baskets of some sort, each one has it’s own unique characteristics. You will be able to embellish them with your own style, therefore making your quilt a “one of a kind” treasure.

 

FQ&E's 2014 Shop Hop Quilt Entry

FQ&E’s 2014 Shop Hop Quilt

All the blocks finish at 12″ and they are all made to be set on point. Mom and I have had a blast designing the finishing kit we are going to use; the ideas are endless! The difficulty was choosing just one.

The hop has a scavenger hunt for you to participate in this year, and each shop is giving a $25 gift certificate of its own!  Prizes will be given for just visiting the shops, and a different prize for participating in the scavenger hunt. Have your passport stamped at each shop to make sure you get your name in the running for all the prizes. Passports can be purchased ahead of time or at the first shop you visit.

ShopHop banner

All the shops will be open at the same time to make your trip planning much easier. Pick up your flyer at any of the participating shops to get all the details. We are looking forward to seeing you all again this year!

-Lora

happy-thanksgiving

Home for the Holidays!

30% OFF

The holiday season is coming, as well as our November sale on our in-stock garments such as:  coats, polos, hoodies, sweatshirts, T-shirts, etc. – at 30% off while supplies last! (This does not include letter coats or hats). As always we will be open during normal hours the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving.

thanksgiving turkey

We have just completed our show circuit for this year, the last one we attended was in Bloomington, Indiana. We had a great time! However the weather was brisk, making it just chilly enough to make you appreciate the hot chocolate. Since our last show, we now get to stay home and plan for Thanksgiving. I am still blessed to be able to have all my kids home at the same time and point during the long Thanksgiving weekend.

snowflakes

As we begin to welcome the holiday seasons, I find it is mid-November and I have icicles hanging from my truck. There is a nice blanket of snow covering the grass, a dusting on the roads, and icy spots on the sidewalks. The leaves have all blown away and my last rose bush has succumbed to the freezing weather. I still have a few mums in protected areas around my house that have blooms that don’t look frost bitten yet, that won’t last much longer though.

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Mom is still coming up with more Stable Piecing designs!  She is developing the foundations and writing the first draft of the pattern, while I am working on testing these new designs. The first release of the new year will be a collection of miniatures. My daughter is piecing these and writing the first draft of the pattern, the initial release will be 2″ & 3″ blocks. I have seen a couple of the blocks and they are going to be awesome!

May I ask for your help?  Feel free to give feed back and let me know how you would use these miniatures – Christmas ornaments, cornerstones, borders, garment embellishments, etc.?

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Hope to see you soon,

Lora

Christmas is A-Comin’!

Much as I dislike talking about Christmas before Thanksgiving, I know that I, and probably you, also, need to think about what we are going to give. If you are like me, you like making presents yourself…..there’s just something special about a gift that comes from your heart and hands. With that in mind, may I suggest a couple of quick–and I do mean QUICK– gifts to make.


Fleece Pillows

One is pillows made of polar fleece–you know, the kind we make blankets from. All you need is 2 pieces of fleece that measure 2″ to 4″ larger than your desired pillow size. This 2″ to 4″ is arbitrary depending how long you want fringe to be, so plan accordingly. You will need a pillow form or you could substitute poly fill stuffing or scraps of quilt batting in place of the pillow form.

Pin the pieces of fleece together. Decide how long you want the fringe to be–say 1″–and stitch around 3 sides this distance from the cut edges. Use a longer stitch length than for quilt block piecing. Insert the pillow form or stuff and close the remaining side.

Make fringe by cutting from the outer edges of the fleece up to —but not through— the stitching.


10 Minute Table Runner

For another quick gift think about making a 10-minute table runner. You can insert Insul-Batt when finishing it to make a long pot holder! We have several kits available in the store and fabric if you don’t find what you like in our kit choices. The batting is not included.


 1 Hour Blanket

There’s also the 1-Hour baby blanket. These are kits with fabric and directions included. You can make a beautiful blanket for that little one in your life and still have time to finish that other quilt you’ve been working on!

Until next time, keep those needles humming.

Virginia

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Running In Place and How to Fix It!

How’s this for a familiar scenario? You are busily piecing on a quilt and there’s a deadline (either self imposed or otherwise) and every time you come to a seam, the machine can’t quite climb over the several layers of fabric confronting it. It begins to do what I call Sewing-In-Place, which translates to the fabric not moving under the foot as it should, and the machine is packing in stitches one on top of the other instead of spaced out like they should be. The needle has probably jammed a couple of those layers of fabric down into the throat plate of the machine.

Now, what do you do? Well, one choice would be to take the piece out from under the machine foot and start over. The same thing will probably happen again.

The second choice would be to set the needle into the fabric in what we call the needle-down position. Then lift the presser foot and gently lift the fabric so it moves up the needle. Take a long needle—a darning needle or a doll needle works well—and pierce the fabric just behind the machine needle. Put the foot down and start to sew slowly while gently applying a little pressure to the darning or doll needle to coax the fabric to feed as it should.

place doll needle behind machine needle

Place darning or doll needle behind machine needle.

Put Presser Foot Down and Push Fabric Through

Put the presser foot down and use the needle to gently push the fabric as you begin sewing.

This problem most often occurs when the needle hole on the machine’s throat plate is a wide one. That’s the one used for fancy stitches. You can also change the throat plate to one with a single hole as another option.

If this still doesn’t work, please feel free to bring in your machine and project and we will do our best to help you solve the problem. We hope to see you soon!

Virginia

You Can’t Learn Any Younger

One of the comments I hear most often is “I can’t learn that. It is to complicated.” When I was a kid I can remember saying that to my Dad. His response was always, “You can’t learn any younger.” So, in other words, get busy and learn it if you want to.

The things that I have learned and can teach someone else in the quilting realm I had to take the time to learn first. I suffer from a syndrome that plagues most people. I just want to know something, I don’t want to take the time to learn. Well, that just doesn’t happen. You have to want to learn something, then take the time to learn it. That means taking a class, reading, practicing and having the tenacity to stay with it long enough to learn it. Finding someone who can help you when you get stuck is another powerful way to acquire a new skill. Pretty soon it is easy.

Just think of all the things you have learned in your life: cooking, cleaning, gardening, canning, baking, driving, raising kids, etc. How many of these things did you just know how to do? None. You learned them by doing, failing, watching someone else, usually a parent, and continuing to try until you succeeded. You may not remember the learning process, but if you reflect on your life I think you will find that you had to take the time to learn all of the skills you now possess.

I’m sure you have many more skills to learn in the rest of your life. Maybe one of them will be dealing with textiles of some sort. If there is any way we can help just let us know. We always learn something from those we teach as well. We are all students and teachers at the same time, we just have to slow down enough to recognize just what we are and what we have.

Lora

My batting isn’t big enough!!

Have your ever figured and then cut your batting to what you thought was the right size only to be surprised at the last roll of the quilt that the batting is a couple of inches too short?  It happens more often than you think.  The only way to fix this is to add a piece of batting.  There are a few things that you need to watch when adding this new piece so that the join isn’t visible.

Image curtesy of CowTown Quilts.

First, cut a piece the size you need, giving yourself a little wiggle room.  That means you need it a couple of inches bigger all the way around.  Now the next thing to consider is how to incorporate it in the quilt top.  Ask yourself a series of questions.

1.  How close is the join to the edge of the quilt?

Answer:  If your joining point is very close to the edge, you will need to cut the quilted batting back away from the edge so the join is several inches from the edge.  You will want to look at your border quilting design to decide where the best place for a join is.

2.  Will the joined edges of the two pieces of batting have quilting crossing this join the entire length?

Answer:  If the quilting design will criss cross the join, like a feather or stipple, you will just need to butt the edges of the two pieces of batting together.  Use quilt basting spray to assure the edges stay where you want them.  Make very sure that they do not overlap or have gaps between the edges.  The overlapped places will have bumps because the batting in those places will be twice as thick as the rest of the quilt.  The places where the batting doesn’t meet will have thin places because there isn’t any batting there.  You will be able to see these places quite easily.

3.  How do I get the batting edges to stay where I want them until they can be quilted?

Answer:  Use quilt basting spray if the design is dense enough to hold the batting in place.  If the quilting design just won’t accomplish this task, then you will have to whip the edges together.  Do not pull this seam tight as this will create bumps in the batting.  If the seam is too loose there will be gaps in the batting.

4.  What thread do I use for this seam?

Answer:  Use your regular piecing thread to match the batting.  It doesn’t have to be a perfect match, just don’t use a thread color that will show through your top or backing fabric.  I usually use white, off white or black, depending on the color of the batting.

Hope this will get you back on tract again to finish those UFO’s that find themselves plagued with this problem.  Please feel free to bring your quilt in if you need some help with this.

Lora

Embroidery Problems: My Fabric’s Too Small!

One of my friends dropped by the shop a couple of days ago with an embroidery problem.

She had a design that was to go in a specified area and the fabric had already been cut to the size needed–which was smaller than the hoop.

One solution to this would be to mount sticky-back stabilizer in the hoop and stick the piece of fabric to it. That’s fine if it is only one piece of fabric. However, if it is a fabric/batting/fabric sandwich, the bottom piece of fabric will stick to the sticky-back but the batting and top fabric will shift.

Solution two follows: Take a piece of lightweight cut-away stabilizer that is large enough to hoop and machine baste the piece you wish to embroider to this stabilizer. Then hoop the stabilizer. The fabric–or fabric sandwich–you basted to it will not shift. For extra support for the stitches, float a layer of medium weight tear-away under the hoop.

Since some lightweight cut-aways are pretty thin, you may have trouble getting the stabilizer taut enough in the hoop. Try this: Get a roll of that white or skin-toned sports wrap at the drug store and wrap the inner hoop of your hoop set. It sticks to itself when stretched slightly and wrapped. This should fix the problem.

Got a problem with sewing, embroidery, knitting, or crochet? Contact me through the web site. If I know the answer I’ll tell you. If not, I’ll look for an answer. Let me hear from you. Virginia

Summer At The Shop

Lunchtime finds me eating leftovers and checking emails and writing a quick note just to keep in touch.  Our summer is on track to be a busy one.  I have a show in Edmond, Oklahoma on the last weekend in July.  The rest of the summer is earmarked for cleaning, reorganizing, taking stock of UFO’s (Un-Finished Objects) and finishing as many as possible.  (Maybe I can squeeze a short vacation in there somewhere.)  I have always said that having lots of projects in process allows me to have a working demonstration of anything, ready at a moments notice.  Well, even that thought has to have boundaries.  My girls don’t want to inherit that many UFO’s.

We have already done quite a bit of reorganizing in the front hallway of the shop. Extra seating, an antique machine and quilt, and old-fashioned rug looms inspire your creativity as soon as you walk in the door! We have also pulled out some oldie-but-goodie samples and have hung them from the tall ceiling in the show room. Check out the pictures below or come on in to see for yourself!

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I also have my first grandbaby coming in September! I am having fun pulling remnants from my stash to make things.  I need to quit pulling things and start making or all I will have accomplished is moving my stuff from one place to another, just sorted differently.

September is going to see an MQX quilt show in Springfield, IL.  This show was held there quite a number of years ago.  Now it’s back.  It will start on Sept 24 with classes.  The vendor mall opens on the 25th and goes through the 27th.  I will be there with Stable Piecing and Legacy batting, and I am helping in the Nolting booth.  If you are looking for a longarm quilting machine this is THE place to see it all.  Nolting is the easiest machine to use and lets your creativity emerge and bloom.

Until next time,

Lora