MAY 2018 Newsletter

Posted by Donette Backlund on

Hey everyone ! We are up and running. Our new website is now functional and beautiful. (if I do say so myself - LOL) It's been a ton of work and a long road filled with lots of pot holes and bumps. (not to mention tears and sleepless nights) But we made it and we are very proud of our creation :) We are starting out with about 400 fabrics, 45" wide prints & solids and 108" wide backings, with more fabrics being added every day. We also are offering FREE shipping on all orders over $50.
Be sure to check it out !
Happy May. I think we are all ready for spring and some great weather. It's been an unusually crazy winter, everywhere, not just here in the Hill Country. We have our fingers crossed for wonderful weather this spring and summer. And rain, please more rain.
And Happy Mother's Day to all women !
Here at the Cottage we have been running crazy busy with getting the new website up and running, & attending to all you wonderful folks that come into the shop and share your projects with us. We have seen some amazing projects and have been privileged to quilt many of them for y'all. Brenda has had her long arm machine running almost non-stop. Lots of happy quilters seeing their works of art completed. It's so much fun to see everyone's beautiful quilt tops and clever ideas. We've even adopted a few ;). Here is a stunning Pineapple quilt done by one of our customers using Creative Grids Pineapple ruler. She used Batiks and said it was the easiest quilt tops she has made. And she is right !! It's easy and used up all your scraps ! That is always a good thing. Thank you Ann for sharing :)
I have to brag a little bit here. Remember my daughters who never wanted to learn to sew until they were adults? Well, my youngest daughter has taken to it like a duck to water. Once she set her mind in that direction, she is soaring! She just finished her first quilt, all on her own, for a dear friends first baby. She did a fantastic job!!! Needless to say, we are very proud of her accomplishment. (It's her own design and those borders are all pieced.)
To be perfectly fair to my oldest daughter, she is totally immersed in her school work at the UTSA Nursing program. We are equally proud of her and her decision to change careers in her 40's. She will get to sewing when she is finished with school. (I'm hoping - fingers crossed anyway)
We are very excited about Row by Row this year. They have made a big change & are offering shape & size choices for the Row By Row blocks this year. It's going to make for some interesting quilts I'm sure. We chose the "Foxy Boxy" 18" square for our block. The Row by Row fabric is here and ready for you. Our license plates are also here and out for sale. (including the new "mini" plates and the BIG display plates) I can't wait to get my block sample done so I can share it with you. Picture will be revealed in the next newsletter!
Remember Row by Row starts June 21st thru Sept 4th 2018. Hope you have your trip and route planned.
We've heard about some awesome plans for vacations and travel this summer. Travels all over the country and abroad. (Some already have their route for Row by Row planned.) I'm jealous! Sounds like sew much fun. Maybe someday we can get away too. In the mean time..........because summers are so busy and there are so many activities with family and travel plans, we have decided not to schedule any classes over the summer. If, however, you want to book a private or group class, on something you would like to learn, we will be happy to accommodate that for you. All classes must be booked and paid for at least 2 weeks in advance.
Our extremely successful Barn B.O.M. quilt is now completed. It was such a fun and darling quilt. We still have one full set of 12 blocks left if you missed it and wanted to make this one.
Our next B.O.M. is this darling wall hanging for your sewing room or any room, measuring 55" x 60".
It will be a 6 month B.O.M. with 2 blocks per kit each month, 1 pieced and 1 appliqued. We have a limited number of patterns available so be sure you sign up soon.
Don't miss out on this one.
Sign up deadline is August 1, 2018
Sign up cost is $72.99. This includes your complete pattern & template set, all the background fabric and all the fusible web for the entire project, plus the first 2 blocks.
Each month after that is $10.99 for 2 blocks.
We are offering a 20% discount on your backing & binding fabrics & batting when you pick up the initial first set & start up kit.
Kits will be available the first of each month starting
September 1, 2018.

Grab Bag

May's grab bag goes right along with a summer travel theme. It's this fun throw with an international flair. "Postcards from Abroad" can be made in 2 different configurations. Same fabric, same pattern, but totally different looks. Check out the Eiffel tower in the quilting, can you see it?

May 2018 Calendar

Wed MAY 2- 1 pm Open sewing workshop NO FEE

Wed May 9 - 1 pm Open sewing workshop NO FEE

Fri May 119 am Coffee at the Cottage (2nd Friday each month) NO FEE

Fri May 11 – 10 am “Creative Stitchers” (2nd Friday each month) NO FEE

Part 3- learning/reviewing new embroidery & embellishment stitches for making a small sampler or embellishing items, viewing brief YouTube tutorials on the ones not covered last month. You will need these supplies:

Your muslin sampler, embroidery hoop, needles in varying eye sizes, floss, Perle cotton, silk ribbon, scissors, small pincushion, pencil or Pigma marking pen, thimble, needle threader.

(all of these items available at the Cottage).

This month get 20% off all beads purchased at the meeting only.

Sun May 13- Happy Mother’s Day to all women

Wed May 16 - 1 pm Open sewing workshop NO FEE

Wed May 23- 1 pm Open sewing workshop NO FEE

Tues May 29 - We will be closed for Memorial Day


Valuable Info

Stabilizers and Fusibles & Their Uses

Everybody seems to be a bit confused about stabilizers & fusibles. It's a jungle out there! There are as many different stabilizers & fusibles as there are uses for them. Everything from clothing construction to machine embroidery and anything in between. It can be a confusing maze to try to sort out. I'm sure there is enough information to write an entire book about it. Since I don't really want to write a whole book, and you probably don't have time to read one, I'll try to address some basics that are used the most and a few you might not of heard of or thought about.

No matter what you use them for, stabilizers and fusibles are the difference between a professional looking & functioning end product or a more amateur looking one. Here are a few basics about stabilizers and fusibles.

As the name implies, stabilizers are for "stabilizing" fabric for a specific task. Applique' is a common use for a stabilizer.

A fusible acts like a "glue" holding one piece in place to another. It will also make the fabric remain in place and be more rigid as it is sewn. It will "glue" the interfacing or batting or stabilizer to the project so it doesn't shift after completion either. In clothing construction, stabilizers and fusibles work to help the garment hold it's shape while being worn, as well as supporting button holes, pocket attachment points, etc. If you are making a bag, a stabilizer makes all the difference in the outcome of the finished product. They also help to slow down the wear and tear of use in bags and clothing.

Let's examine different types and their uses, but before I start that, I want to clarify that there are many different manufactures of these products and they all have their own name for basically the same thing. People have their favorites. I am in no way promoting or discouraging the use of any one brand.

Paper back fusible web - is a film of heat activated glue that fuses two pieces of material together as one. This is used quite a bit in applique' and in making bags and craft projects. It's a great product and a fabulous time saving tool. It does require some stitching to remain permanent. A paper back fusible will loose it's glue after a couple of washings.

Tee shirt quilt stabilizer - although I have to admit that these are my least favorite quilts to make, I have made many. I have learned along the way what works best for this kind of project. Making a tee shirt quilt is a whole other article, so I will just address the stabilizer for the tee shirts. Tee shirts are a knit, they stretch, I don't have to tell you what a problem that is in piecing together pieces of them. You need to take the "stretch" out of the knit with a stabilizer. I have found that a "woven cloth" fusible interfacing is the very best for this application. I have heard and read many things about using a knit fusible interfacing, but I have found that it does nothing to solve the "stretch" problem.

Fusible knit interfacing - while this is not recommended for tee shirt quilts, it is a great interfacing in other applications. It works wonderfully on very soft or stretchy fabrics for clothing construction, ie: knits, sheers, batiste, or many fancy dress fabrics. It also works fantastically fused onto the back side of either hand or machine embroidery. It will seal the ends of the threads to prevent unraveling as well as providing a soft smooth surface against the skin if the embroidery is done on a garment.

Fusible fleece - is basically batting with a fusible film on one side. It is great for many applications. It comes in single and double sided fusible. Use it in bag construction, place mats, busy books, pillow shams, etc. Anything that you want to have some substance to and hold it's shape.

Fusible foam - like the fusible fleece, it's a thin foam with 1 or 2 sides coated with a fusible film. It has many of the same applications as the fusible fleece, except it is firmer and holds it's shape much better than the fleece. Like in the sides of a bag, the bag will hold it's shape and stand up on it's own. It is very flexible and quilts up very nicely.

Tear away stabilizer - as the name implies, "tears away" after use. This is a temporary stabilizer when you need some stiffing in your project. Like making a buttonhole, machine embroidery, a lot of stitching required in a repair job (that 4 letter word - mend), etc.. When you are finished with your stitching, carefully separate the stabilizer from the stitches.

Wash away stabilizer - is the same as the tear away, only it washes out. It's much thinner and delicate for those projects that require a lighter touch. It's used in many of the same ways as the tear away. It is a thin see thru layer that allows for more visibility when you need to support the front side of a project as well as the back side. Some of the suggested used of wash away stabilizer are: embroidery, monogramming, thread sketching delicate applique', lace work, buttons holes, cut work and heirloom sewing.

Very stiff fusibles - these are used mostly in craft projects like boxes, bags, and home decor. It is very stiff and has a fusible side. Many patterns call for this type of interfacing.

Interfacing for clothing - Besides the ones already mentioned, most interfacing for clothing is a non woven material. They are both fusible and non-fusible as serve to strengthen and shape different parts of the garment. Collars, cuffs, button plackets, patch style pockets and lapels to name a few. It is very useful in stabilizing a zipper into soft flexible fabric such as rayon or knits. It can reinforce pocket attachment points where there will be a lot of stress. It comes in a variety of weights. It can also used in embroidery, depending on the weight of the interfacing.

Buckram - a very stiff cloth type, non fusible stabilizer that is heavily sized to maintain it's stiffness. It can be used in many areas, anything that. It is used for hat making, baseball caps, needle point, drapery headers, garment stiffening (like corsets, costumes, etc.), hand bags and some home decor projects.

There is also a whole other world of stabilizers and fusibles for machine embroidery that I am not addressing in this article. I have mentioned it a bit here, but, it truly is a complete book of information for another day. :)

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