Monthly Archives: December 2011

12 Days of Christmas Wishing – December 12

“On the Twelfth Day of Wishing,

I’d like to reach for the stars.”

One of our most poplular classes this past year has been Rapid Fire Hunter’s Star.  As many quilters know, this star can be a challenge to make.  However, we have discovered a template/ruler that makes construction of this quilt easy – with no Y-seams or half-square triangles!

The Petite size of this template/ruler has four different block size options:  5”, 6”, 7”, and 8”.  You can do two-, three-, or four-colour options.  The template has excellent basic instructions on how to use it, for both left and right handed quilters. 

The Large size of this template/ruler has four different block size options:  7”, 8”, 9”, and 10”.  Again, you can do two-, three-, or four-colour options, and excellent instructions are included for left and right handed quilters. 

Our store sample was done with 16 different fabrics, using the 8” block of the Petite template/ruler.  We have kitted this up in the center size of 64” X 80” and colours of the sample.  There are sixteen .5 meter cuts of batik/bali fabrics.  Border and binding are not included, but if you would like us to select a matching dark navy/puple batik border for you, we would be happy to do so.  You will require 2.5 meters for this, and dependent on the width you make the border, you may be able to cut the binding from this as well.

The Petite template/ruler is $24.99 and is found on our webstore at:

The Large template/ruler is $29.99 and is found on our webstore at:

The kit for the Rapid Fire Hunter’s Star quilt is $127.99 (without a border/binding) and is found on our webstore at:

And if you would also like to take a class on making this quilt and live in the area, we have a new session scheduled for Mondays:   February 13, March 12, April 16 and 30.  Please feel free to call our store for more information.

I’d love a great marking pencil.”

A couple of years ago the market came out with new mechanical marking pencils.  There are many different brands of these pencils, and while some people get hung up on the “brand” name, they are all the same and each works just as well as the other – they just have a different name or colour stamped on the barrel.  So we bring in the one that is the best price and must useful.  That means at this time we are stocking the Dritz brand, as it comes with THREE colours of leads (instead of just white), which eliminates the need to buy other colours of leads separately.

  • Ceramic leads are a sturdy .9 mm, meaning they are stronger and less prone to breakage than .5mm or .7mm.
  • It is packaged with 9 extra leads:  3 each of white, pink, and green.
  • Leads are specially formulated for fabric and are made from water soluble dyes (however, I would always pretest a coloured lead for washout ability on the fabric being used).
  • It has a twist up-and-down eraser that really works – it doesn’t smudge across the fabric like a regular white eraser. 
  • Replacement leads and erasers are available.
  • My favorite marking tool – it makes a precise, fine line to follow.  If you live in the area, please feel free to try out the demo pencil.
  • Bonus feature:  You will be delighted as you watch family members writing the grocery list with the white lead.  After a few weeks they won’t be inclined to use it once they figure out groceries won’t enter the house until they try a different pencil.  (Or maybe you switch to only having these pencils available; you’ll get more sewing done.) 
  • $18.99.
  • Found on our webstore at:

I’d like to pick out my own gifts/fabric/kit for Christmas.”

The most flexible gift of all is the gift certificate. 

The purchaser knows you’ll be able to buy what you need or want, in the colour/style wanted, when you want it.  There are no concerns about buying something that is already owned or not wanted.

The receiver is given an opportunity to buy their choice of a special item representative of the gift.  Many have used them for fabric for a special quilt they would like to make.  Some people wait until they find the perfect kit.

Our gift certificates:

  • Have no expiry date.
  • Come with an envelope, but could be slipped in a card.
  • Can be purchased over the phone by credit card and mailed to the recipient.  Actual postage cost will be added on to the charge.
  • Are available in any amount desired. 
  • Are excellent for items such as books that are out of stock but can be ordered in.  The purchaser could enclose a picture of the item that the gift certificate is intended for.
  • Allow the receiver to make smaller purchases, and carry forward the balance for the future.  They need not worry about spending an allotted amount at one time.

Might this be the perfect answer to what you want for Christmas? 

Might this be the perfect answer to what to buy your quilting buddy?

This marks the end of our 12 Days of Christmas Wishing.  Once again, I would like to give you my holiday wish for the next 12 days:

Every stitch not be skipped,
Every needle stays straight,
That the time spent is pleasant,
And not staying up late.

May your presents be sewn,
With a pattern that’s right,
For all those you love,
To keep warm ‘n cozy at night.

Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas and Holiday Season,
Linda Goh and All the Staff


12 Days of Christmas Wishing – December 11

“On the Eleventh Day of Wishing,

I’d like a new table runner.”

How about one that as you sew it together, you are also quilting it?  Yes, in about 6 hours, you can be at the point of binding.  We just finished a 6-hour class on this and all the students are now binding.  And one of them was back in the store for fabric to make a couple more.  It is one of our most popular table runner kits, as it works up quickly and is very impressive. 

We also have these kitted in Christmas fabrics. 

I am busy making stuffies and dolls and I need help with turning them inside out.”

I used to make little fabric newts (lizards).  These started out as toys for my kids and quickly morphed into a home craft business where I was selling them as fast as I could make them.  They were about 9” long, with the body only about 5”, and had 4 little fingers per hand.  I became a master of turning little things inside out.  And there was only one way I could manage to put these out in the hundreds.  It was a tool called the Turn-it-All.  It is also known as a Bow Whip.

This tool is also used for turning purse handles and spaghetti straps inside out.

(Who hasn’t made a newt now for at least 13 years, but my kids still have theirs and all the fond memories of learning Marketing 101 first-hand while just in grades 1 & 2.)

12 Days of Christmas Wishing – December 10

“On the Tenth Day of Wishing,

I’d like to be able to mark my blocks.”

How rare is it that once you’ve laid your blocks out on the design wall or the bed or the table, you get to sew them all together right away?  Not often, right?  So then you either use tape or pieces of paper with a numbering system to keep track of the placement of the block within the quilt design, so you can store them away.

First of all, don’t use masking tape.  You would be shocked at how fast the glue can permanently adhere, mark, and ruin your block.  Don’t go thinking it won’t happen to you, because I’ve seen it occur.

If you use a green painter’s tape, I suggest the brand Painter’s Mate sold at Home Depot.  I’ve had another green painter’s tape take the finish right off of my laminate desk when used for moving.  It hadn’t been on for more than a day.

So now that you are good and leery about using tape for this purpose, you might be eyeing the post-it notes or scrap paper.  Now while paper notes are wonderful, you have to pin them on.  So I’ve eliminated the paper part of the equation, and just use marked pins.

I took a box of Clover Flower Head pins, and with an Ultra Fine Point permanent Sharpie (available at stationery stores), I consecutively numbered as many as I had blocks in my quilt. 

Then when I laid out my blocks on the design wall, I used the appropriate numbered pin for the placement of the block. 

I always put my pin in the upper left-hand area of the block, but well away from the seam allowances.  I want to keep the pins in the block as I sew, and by being consistent with their placement, it helps me not get the blocks turned around between the design wall and the sewing machine.  I don’t want to sew the wrong edges together.  By having a consistent plan with the layout of your pins, and double checking them when going to sew the blocks together, you won’t have to rip out seams.

When your quilt top is sewn together, remove the pins, and put them in a separate pincushion all numberically lined up like soldiers waiting for duty.  The next time you need to arrange your blocks, they will be ready for use.  No fumbling in a box, trying to find them in the right order.

We sell the Clover brand of Flower Head pins.  After trying out many brands here at the shop, these were the ones we found to be the sharpest and strongest.  You don’t want a pin that is dull and creates a hole in your fabric.  We affectionately call pins like that “nails”.

I’d like a bag to carry my rulers and mat.”

Three years ago we featured this product, and it was a hit with our customers.  So I was very disppointed when the company discontinued selling it.  But lo and behold, one of our distributors must have bought up the last of the stock, because I was able to order them! 

  • The bag measures 20” X 25”.
  • It has an adjustable, removable strap so you can put it over your shoulder, as well as handles.
  • The inside zippered compartment holds a mat up to 18” X 24”.  You can also put your project or fabric in it.
  • The front of the bag has 2 small pockets for cutters, scissors, pens, pencils and the like.  It also has a 12” X 12” zippered pocket for holding wider supplies or blocks.  At the bottom of the front is a pouch for a 6” X 24” ruler closed with a hook and loop fastener.
  • The back of the bag has 2 separate pouches which will hold a 15.5” square and a 12.5” square. 
  • The pouches have depth to them, so you can get more than one ruler or item in them.
  • $52.99.
  • When they are gone, they are gone.  I can’t reorder them.
  • Found on our webstore at:

Have super Saturday,

12 Days of Christmas Wishing – December 9

On the Ninth Day of Wishing,

I feel I’ve lost control; I need to get a grip!”

There you are at the table, excited about your new quilting project.  You’re pressing down on your ruler, holding it the way you’ve been taught, and for the first part of the cut everything is going well.  But just as you approach the last third of the cut, the ruler moves and your cut is off.  The air turns blue, and your moment with your project just isn’t as fun anymore. 

Unless your ruler has a non-slip surface built in, most rulers and templates slide around on top of the fabric.  After 16 years of quilting, I still cannot make a straight cut with a ruler that doesn’t have a non-slip surface, so don’t beat yourself up on this being a user error.

In order to remedy this problem on rulers and templates, I have used Invisigrip, which is a clear plastic film you apply to the ruler, and sandpaper dots.  With the former product I find the plastic obsures visibility somewhat, and with the latter, I’ll just tell you:  oak table + sandpaper dots = ruined table top.

There is a new product out on the market now, that our customers and staff have been loving and is our “Hot Dang” product of 2011 and of the 12 Days of Wishing.  While we still carry Invisigrip, we find most customers prefer this and will choose it instead:  TrueGrips – helps you Get a Grip!!


The quilt just isn’t moving easily – I need to it slide.”

Aren’t we quilters a fickle lot!  But when we are free-motion machine quilting, we want the quilt to easily glide across the surface of the machine. 

There is a product on the market that many quilters love called the Supreme Slider.  It is made of teflon, and has a self-sticking bottom that attaches to your machine bed.  The slick surface allows the quilt sandwich to move easily. 

Slipping and gripping on a Friday,

12 Days of Christmas Wishing – December 8

On the Eighth Day of Wishing,

I’d like a mat to put under my sewing machine.”

The Sew Happy sewing machine mat kit not only protects your table, but has pockets so your tools will be easily accessible. 

(And now for a change of tune …)

A day or two ago,
I thought I’d take a ride,
And soon my quilt buddies,
Were seated by my side.
The car took us to guild,
Then drove over to the store
My arms were quickly filled,
But I’ll soon be back for more.

 To ACQ, To ACQ,
To ACQ today.
Oh what fun it is to go,
I’ll soon be on my way.
Oh, In ACQ, In ACQ,
There are car decals in today.
I’ll buy one to put on my car;
It shows “I love to Quilt!” Oh Yeah!!

“I Heart Sewing” decal measures approximately 6” X 3.5”.

“I Heart 2 Quilt” decal measures approximately 6” X 4.5”. 

Have a great Thursday,

12 Days of Christmas Wishing – December 7

On the Seventh Day of Wishing,

I’d like a piece of the great outdoors.”

Really?  At this time of the year?  How about the summer, as it is likely to go to -14°C tomorrow.  As quilters we can recreate the outdoors without pulling on the Sorels.  And you know what else?  Men love the wildlife.  Take this design for example:

Then there is this brute, which I’d rather have visit my wall than my back door (call me chicken):

It’s a Wildlife Wednesday,

12 Days of Christmas Wishing – December 6

On the Sixth Day of Wishing,

I’d have a solution for storing my embroidery threads.”

Do you have your mini-king embroidery spools all loose in a box?  Are you fed up with knots and digging through the spools trying to find the right colour?  After years of requests for a storage solution for the Robison-Anton Rayon mini-king 1100 yard spools, we think we’ve found a winner!  And if you don’t use Robison-Anton, they also work for Isacord embroidery mini-king spools.

Well, now that I’ve got some trays, what will I store them in?”

You could use these thread storage trays in dresser drawers or other storage cabinets.  But, like many people, you might fall in love with the Art Bin Super Satchels.  They are portable, and customers also love them for storing their projects, blocks, notions, etc.  They are stackable, come with a handle, and are acid free.  There are 3 sizes we currently have in stock.

Use the Super Semi-Satchel open core, or with the 3 dividers it comes with.

Use the Super Satchel 1-Compartment for your projects.  It will hold 12.5” squares/blocks.

Use the Super Satchel Double Deep for larger project storage.  It can be used open core or customize up to eight compartments for multiple storage options.  It will hold 12.5” squares/blocks.

Wishing you a Tangle-Free Tueday,