Thursday, May 23, 2019

Newsletter, May 23, 2019


Hello Everyone!
Hope you are doing well! Here’s what I’ve been up to!

ULTIMATE TRAVEL BAG

I spent last week hunkered down sewing a ByAnnie Ultimate Travel Bag (while the weeds all around me grew like crazy!!).  Oh.my.word, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed making it!  A big thanks to student Deb Kanagie for inspiring me to make one – she brought hers to class recently, and I couldn’t get it off my mind as a result. I know it sounds hard to believe, but it truly was not that difficult to make, just LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of steps and time.  In fact, I found it easier than working with smaller pieces on projects such as the Stash and Dash Pouch (anyone remember struggling through that project?  :)  Deb recommended the Bluprint video tutorial which was super helpful.  I’ll be leading a workshop on the Ultimate Travel Bag in the near future.  I’m also planning on offering a class or two on some simple ByAnnie pouches; they will be a good intro for any of you who haven’t yet used one of her patterns or worked with Soft and Stable (her foam interfacing which gives her bags that perfect structure).  Her patterns are outstanding – well written and easy to follow.  I’ll keep you posted on dates!  I was motivated to get my bag finished in time for my upcoming trip to Sisters, Oregon in July.  I can’t wait to take pictures of it in front of the Sisters mountains!!


SO FINE THREAD

I just recently started using Superior’s So Fine thread for bags and I LOVE it!  It’s nice and fine like Aurifil, but much stronger since it’s 100% polyester, so it’s perfect for bag making.  I knew I wanted something stronger than Aurifil for my Ultimate Travel Bag, and this was the perfect solution.  My Bernina loved it too.  :)  The Old Country Store will now be carrying spools of it, so be sure to pick up some for your next project.  More and more quilters are piecing with it too.  They like it  because, again, it’s fine like Aurifil, but it doesn’t generate any lint since it’s a polyester.  Just make sure to iron at a lower temperature, according to Superior Threads' recommendations.


FLATTENING AN OLFA MAT

Did you get a chance to attend the Mancuso show in Lancaster this month?  I thought it was a great show, despite the fact that the venue still looked like a war zone – ha ha!  I always learn a few tips and tricks from Charlie at the Olfa booth.  I was able to ask him the best way to flatten a warped OLFA mat (question inspired by a student who had inquired!), and he directed me to their website where it tells you exactly how to go about doing it.  Here's the link:  

https://olfacutterstore.com/mat-maintenance-tips.htm 


GINGHAM QUILTS

I can’t stop making Gingham quilts!!  I have 2 more baby size quilts ready for machine quilting, and 2 larger ones cut out and ready to go.  They are embarrassingly simple to make, but the possibilities are endless....

I finally took my pink lap size out for a photo shoot.  Next class will be Wednesday, June 26.  It’s a great class if you want a simple project, and perfect for beginners if you have a friend who has been wanting to learn to quilt.


MINI BARN QUILT









I thought you might enjoy seeing photos from our last Mini Barn Quilt class.  Marjorie joined us from the UK, three students traveled from New York, and we had some locals too!  I still think we need to get more men involved….  :)
Next class will be Thursday, August 12!


STARS AND STRIPES

 I love this picture of Lisa and Rita with their flag blocks from the recent Stars & Stripes class!


ADDITIONAL CLASSES NOW OPEN FOR REGISTRATION


Intro To English Paper Piecing: Wednesday, July 24 


Modern Hexies: Wednesday, July 31


A LITTLE GARDENING

Not a fan of radishes? Well, Martha Stewart’s Radish Butter may change your mind! I just harvested my first radishes and promptly ate them, Martha Stewart style!


PAST NEWSLETTERS
Past newsletters will now be accessible on my blog.  So, if you are a new student and this is the first newsletter you have received, you can read previous newsletters here.


I think that's it for this newsletter!  As always, I love staying in touch with you!  You can also follow me on Facebook (Andrea Hoke) or on Instagram (@missandreaquilts).
 
Blessings to you!

Andrea :)

Monday, May 6, 2019

Newsletter, May 6, 2019

Hi Everyone!
I couldn’t resist sending you a few pictures from recent classes!
 MINI BARN QUILT CLASS

First of all, how amazing is this Barn Quilt that Marti Clugston finished over the weekend?!!!!  She came to class on Thursday, but took the simple technique we covered in class to a whole new level!  And, her socks even match too!!  :)


 
I’ve been playing around with a few more designs also, but on a much, much simpler scale!!   We still have some openings for Wednesday’s class, and will be adding more dates to the schedule.  I’ve been wanting to get some of the husbands/men out there involved – would anyone be interested in a “couples-friendly” class??  I think we could convince some men to join us if they knew they won’t be the only male present – ha ha!


JELLY-ROLL RUG CLASS

Saturday’s Jelly-Roll Rug class included students from all over – two ladies plus another gal from England, two sisters from Boston and Virginia, and one woman from New York!!  I am so grateful I get to teach at a quilt shop that attracts students from near and far!


GINGHAM QUILT CLASS

I’m planning to schedule another Gingham Quilt class shortly.  These quilts can be made in any size from Mini up through King size, and are oh.so.fun!! I stitched a little Mini top last night - I can’t stop making them! The Old Country Store (including online) has Kona solids on sale May 6-11, so this is the perfect time to stock up on solids.  Here’s the link for the free pattern we will be using in class in case you want to purchase yardage for that project:
http://emptybobbinsewing.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/BuffaloCheckQuiltPattern_EmptyBobbinSewingStudio.pdf


ZIP CLASS 101

The Zip Pouch 101 class is now open for registration and has two date options.  Use the link below to register:
https://theoldcountrystore.com/events/class/zip-pouch-101


FARM GIRL VINTAGE RETREAT

I’ve been pouring over Lori Holt’s patterns and Sew Alongs in preparation for our upcoming Farm Girl Vintage retreat October 18-20 (retreat will be open for registration on June 3 @ 4:30 pm).  Oh my, the possibilities are endless – I’m thinking a week-long (or month-long!)  retreat would be in order....  If only that were an option!  Lori's Farm Girl Vintage 2 book will be available in September, just in time for the retreat!
 


MY MOTHER....

My Mother’s 90thbirthday would have been today!  My sister and I are planning to celebrate her birthday this evening by going out for dessert.  Even though she was a Home Economics Education major, she never really enjoyed cooking.... It was more of a necessity versus an enjoyable venture for her, but she did love to eat if someone else did the cooking, especially dessert!!  I credit her for introducing me to all things domestic at a very young age, including teaching me to embroider by the time I was in kindergarten, and how to sew my own clothing by fourth grade.  I still have that cross stitch sampler.  :)
 


Keep sending me pictures of your completed projects – I love seeing them, and I love adding them to the Class Gallery for other potential students to see!  And, thanks so much for your kind feedback re: my initial newsletter!

Blessings on your week!
Andrea :)

 

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Zipper Tab Tutorial




This is my technique for neatly covering zipper ends with zipper tabs for zip pouches!  


I use this same technique for pillows too, especially if the pillow doesn't have binding or has more of a modern esthetic to it.  There are tons of tutorials already out there, but everyone's measurements and techniques are slightly different, so I decided it was time to document my own method, both for you and for me!



First of all, I always start with a zipper long enough that both metal stops extend beyond the body of the pouch.  It's so much easier!  This way you don't have to worry about accidentally hitting one of the metal stops with your machine needle, potentially breaking the needle or messing up the timing on your machine.  In fact, I keep a supply of 14" zippers on hand from an Etsy shop called Zipit (one in every color they carry!) so that I always have a zipper to choose from.  Occasionally I need a longer zipper, especially for pillows, but 14" is almost always long enough when it comes to zip pouches. Then, from time to time I simply order replacement zippers for the zippers I used up from my supply.



OK, here's how to go about it!
Slice off the metal bottom stop with a rotary cutter.  (I have a rotary cutter designated for paper and zipper cutting.)



Now trim down the other end of the zipper so that the length of the zipper tape is 3/4" shorter than the length of the unfinished pouch piece.



But, be sure to slide the zipper tab in before slicing so that it doesn't get cut off!



This is what your trimmed down zipper should look like.



To make the fabric-covered zipper tabs, cut a strip of fabric 1-1/2" x 4".
Press in half lengthwise.



Open fabric strip up, fold lengthwise edges into the center, and press again.



Fold and press one more time.



Cut pressed strip in half, yielding two tabs.



Slip zipper into the tab, making sure the end of the zipper is the whole way in and butted up against the folded edge.  Pin.


Repeat on other end of zipper.



Carefully topstitch through all layers.  Don't stitch too close to the edge of the fabric fold, or you will run the risk of not catching the under layers of the tab.



The extra length of the fabric makes it easier to stitch a tidy seam, especially those first few stitches.



Trim off excess fabric even with the edges of the zipper tape.



If you were careful about slipping your zipper the whole way into the tab, your covered zipper should still be 1/4 - 3/8" shorter than your unfinished pouch piece on both ends.



Now you can insert your zipper!  




You will need to use a zipper foot to install the zipper into the pouch.
If you are using a Bernina zipper foot, simply move your needle the whole way over and line the edge of the foot up against the edge of the zipper tape and stitch.
You can hand baste your zipper if you like, but careful pinning is usually sufficient.


Then, I overcast the raw edge, along with the zipper, with a zig zag stitch.  It makes for a nice finish when you peek into the pouch.



And last, 
 topstitch along the zipper from the outside.



To finish the pouch, open up the zipper (important - or you won't be able to turn your pouch right side out!), pin right sides together, stitch sides and bottom with a 1/4" seam, and overcast the edges with a zig zag stitch.  Then, turn pouch right side out and you're finished!



And that's it!
Don't forget to add a tag, of course!
:)

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Welcome to my Newsletter!

Hi Everyone!

I'm finally getting around to writing a newsletter for my students who have taken classes with me at The Old Country Store!   I've been wanting to do this for the longest time, but just wasn't sure how to go about it. :)  Some of you are on Facebook and/or Instagram and keep up with me there, but many of you are not!  So, this will be a way for me to keep in touch will all of you!  I plan to keep you posted on what I've been up to quilting-wise, as well as let you know when new classes are posted.


VILLAGE QUILT CLASS

OK, now for some news!  I thought you might enjoy seeing a few pictures from Saturday's Village class:



























We had so much fun!  The houses with fussy-cut doors are quite addicting!  I'm looking forward to scheduling another class soon.  Let me know if you are interested in signing up for the next class, and I'll be sure to let you know when the class is posted and registration is open.


EASTER BAKING FUN



I enjoy cooking and baking (and eating too!) with my nephew when we can find the time to get together.  For our family Easter dinner this year, he wanted to try making these "Chick Crinkle Cookies" from Rosanna Pansino's Baking All Year Round cookbook.  Aren't they adorable?!

LIBERTY VICTORY GARDEN QUILT


My friend's brother commissioned me to make a quilt for her out of Liberty Lawn fabric several years ago.  Since he lives in London and she has visited him there, we thought this Victory Garden quilt was the perfect pattern for her!  We ended up with a lot of leftover fabric, so we decided to make one for him as well.  I just delivered the second quilt to him last week, so it's now safe to post pictures here!  I'll be teaching this class again on Saturday, June 15.  Click here to register!



COMING SOON - ZIP POUCH 101



I am looking forward to teaching this basic Zip Pouch class - I just need to do a little more prep work, and then we can post the class!

Thanks for taking the time to read this and for staying in touch with me!  
Blessings on your week!

Andrea  :)