Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sharing your love of sewing

I'm off for a few days to go on a family whitewater raft trip in Westwater Canyon, Utah--my first and possibly last raft trip. I'm excited and a little nervous. The Colorado River is running high and two of the rapids are named "Sock it to me" and "Last Chance". Yikes! My biggest concern though, is what to do with my hair? I wash, blow dry and curl my hair everyday and I don't look good in hats. I guess it's a good thing that they don't recommend bringing cameras so there shouldn't be any evidence of my bad hair days.

Summer is such a good time to share your love of sewing and quilting with others. If you have the good fortune to teach a kid to sew, be sure to check out these two books that we have written. I am so proud of these books. They are filled with fun and games and a unique method for teaching beginners. The Best of Sewing Machine Fun for Kids is aimed at true beginning sewers and is filled with lots of projects. Click on the link below to see some of the projects. http://greatamericanquilt.com/store/bestofsewingmachinefun.html

Sewing Fun for Kids teaches patchwork and is filled with great gifts for kids to make. Kids learn to stitch an accurate 1/4" and make several patchwork projects. Click on the link to see what they can make. http://greatamericanquilt.com/store/sewingfunkidspatch.html

I hope you enjoy sharing your love of sewing as much as I do.

Whitewater Lynda

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's too hot for Christmas but the elves must work anyway

I have been one busy elf getting ready for Christmas in July. We have had several planning meetings and have come up with some great "inspiration" ideas to help you get ready early for the holidays.

Last weekend I spent Saturday and Sunday making a small quilt with one of our new Christmas panels. It was fun because I knew that I could make it in a couple of hours and then be done with it. I even learned to do a machine binding! I can't believe in all of these years of quilting I have never learned to do machine binding, but I have now and is it ever fun! I'm even trying to finish up a few more projects just so I can do some more machine binding.

In addition to the Christmas quilt, I also made two Christmas sassy aprons and four oven mitts that I think are so very cute. I got a little carried away and made an oven mitt for myself in Day of the Dead fabric with an apron to match. I LOVE it! It has been a long time since I have made something for me. Hmmm, now if I could just figure out when I have time to entertain...
At work we have all been working on Christmas samples. We have received so many new fabrics that have truly inspired me. All this hard work on Christmas/winter projects has made us feel a little cooler, in spite of the 90 degree plus weather.

Lynda and I, along with our husbands, leave for a wedding in Atlanta tomorrow. Judy who is our most faithful companion and right hand person in the store, her son is getting married. So we are off to CELEBRATE! We will have to see what quilt shops are in the Atlanta area. I am sure our husbands won't mind.

Have a great week!


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Consider the Possibilities

We regularly write a column, Consider the Possibilities, for McCall's Quilting and Quick Quilts magazines and we have done that now for several years. We have consolidated them on our website and they are a wealth of information. We have written articles on everything from marking your quilt, to finding missing fabric, to quilting software. In fact, we have 44 articles that you can access. Both of these magazines are terrific and filled with great information and inspiration. We try to write the column to answer questions that we get from our retail store customers as well as our web customers. So, if you have any suggestions for columns to write, please send us an email at info@greatamericanquilt.com
We would love to hear from you!
Lynda and Nancy

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

Snow Buddies

It is a very hot weekend here in Denver and I need to think cold. How about snow people? One of our most requested quilt books over the years has been Snow Buddies. Everytime we took the Snow Buddies quilt to a show, we would sell out of the book. Well, we finally had to retire the book a couple of years ago, but we now have the technology to bring it back as an e-book. Hallelujah! It is a charming quilt picturing snow people celebrating every month of the year. Below is the block for February. If you made two blocks a month starting now in June, you would have Snow Buddies ready to hang to celebrate the New Year.

It is such a great feeling to know that we can now bring back books and patterns that have been retired and to not have to say, "I'm sorry, that book is no longer in print". Yippee!! Let us know if you have a favorite Possibilities book or pattern that you would like to see again. Click on the link to order Snow Buddies or to see what else is ready to download. http://www.greatamericanquilt.com/store/electronicbooks.html

Keep cool,

Amy Butler Lotus Tunic pattern and Kim

This is the Amy Butler tunic that my daughter, Kim is going to make. The fabric is freshly washed and she is excited to begin. Her fabric choices are similar to those on the pattern. She also chose some cute fabric for the Birdie Sling bag shown below. I will keep you updated.

Also, my 16 year old granddaughter is visiting from Ohio and was telling me that she wishes she was a better sewer, so, I think I will see if she wants to try her hand at making Amy Butler's Barcelona skirt. I was telling her about it and she seemed interested. I think that Kim and Ellen would have fun working on their projects together, and, they also learn from each other. We have lots of Amy Butler patterns in stock and will have them on the website by next week.

If you can't wait to see them on our site, take a peek at Amy's www.amybutlerdesign.com, and then give us a call to place your order. Have a great weekend, and "happy stitching".


Sunday, June 8, 2008

New gadget for Lynda

To various friends and family, my husband is known as Captain Consumer. Now you may ask, "How did he come to have that title?" Well, he can talk himself (very easily I might add) into buying any electronic gadget that comes along. Right now, he has at least 3 computers, an iTouch, an iPod and a Nano, and is looking to get the iPhone as soon as he can have Verizon as a carrier. I do have to admit that his consumerism rubs off on the rest of us.

So, a few weeks ago I decided to get a Roomba--the little vacuum robot. I was a little hesitant--how well it would work, and more importantly, how Murphy, the Wheaten Terror, would take to it. For a dog, he is a big scaredy cat. Well, I LOVE IT! Rosie, the family named her after the Jetson's robot maid, is the best thing since sliced bread. I got the top of the line (Captain Consumer rubbing off). I can program her to come on anytime. She comes with two 'lighthouses' that tell her where to go and how to get back to the mother ship. She cleans the hardwood floors, as well as the carpeted areas, and goes between them beautifully. She cleans under chests and tables that have about 4" of clearance. In fact, we were watching her in the kitchen and she went under a bookcase. My husband said that she was stuck, and I said just watch. It took several turns and then she was free. Every time I empty her, I am amazed how much she has picked up. It is amazing how much dust and debris is on the floor, especially with Murphy going in and out all day. I was also surprised how Murphy took to her. He barked and jumped back a few times and then pretty much just tolerates her.

Tuesday evening I was watching TV and heard a little beep. Rosie separated herself from the mother ship and started cleaning. I had forgotten that I programed her and she brought a huge smile to my face. How fun! She is efficient and easy to maintain. I'm not giving up my good vacuum, but Rosie will help day to day. I think that any of you with a large sewing room or studio should try a Roomba. I would try Rosie in mine, but there just isn't enough unused floor space. Anyway, I think she is worth every penny I spent! Below is a picture of Murphy and Rosie.

Yeah for Roomba's and puppies,


Friday, June 6, 2008

Colorado Skies

Since I am a Colorado native, I have seen thousands of gorgeous Colorado skies in my lifetime. Usually I don't have my camera at hand, but the other night I did. Below are two photos of an absolutely beautiful cloud formation directly north of my house at about 8:00 in the evening. The whole family, even Murphy the Wheaten Terror, I'm sorry, Wheaten Terrier enjoyed it.


Amy Butler Midwest Modern

We are so excited!

At Spring Quilt Market, we made a decision to buy the entire Midwest Modern fabric collection by Amy Butler. The collection is quilting weight fabric, and was inspired by Amy's lifestyle book, Midwest Modern. It is an absolutely beautiful line with 3 luscious palettes--Ohio Sky, Pink Dahlia, and Orange Dahlia. We will also have some of her new solids to coordinate. These fabrics will be delivered to our back door in early August. In the meantime, you can see them for yourself.

Meanwhile, we just received several of Amy's patterns, including her two newest, the birdie sling and the laptop cover. These patterns will be posted to our website http://www.greatamericanquilt.com/ next week. Kim, my daughter, is making her first garment from Amy's pattern, lotus tunic and cami. She has chosen two gorgeous Kaffe Fassett fabrics and is prewashing the fabric as I write. It has been a long time since a garment has been made in this house.

Anyway, we can't wait to get the fabric in! We will be making lots of samples, and Amy is going to let us have a trunk show of her things in August. Nancy and I were lucky enough to spend 3 days with Amy at a creative workshop put on by American Patchwork and Quilting two years ago. What an inspiring lady! Let us know if you would like to be called when the fabric arrives. Have a great weekend and think of me trying to teach my daughter about 5/8" seams. : )