Country Quilts and Bears

May 14, 2015
Scheduled Classes and Updates
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~Country Quilts and Bears~
Christmas in May?

Shop Announcements
 A Message from Marilyn
My heavens, it's hot out there!
 Thank goodness for quilting because this is shaping up to be a long, hot summer.  We can escape the early summer heat by quilting in the comfort of our air-conditioned homes. 
Now, to add to your quilting pleasure, we've decided to have a sale! A sale on everyone's favorite...
Every batik is 25% off the original price.  Christmas in May?
The day is Saturday, May 16th
10:00 - 4:00
And yes, we will have our air-conditioners on high!
We have some wonderful quilt related products in the shop.  The adjustable table top Portable LED Lamp is the perfect answer for those dark chairs or sofa areas. 

We are also excited because we got another shipment of the Steamfast Irons - the world's smallest steam iron!  These sell so quickly, if you want to get one, you should hurry into the shop because they don't last long!
Have you seen our newest shipment of Rowan Fabrics?  We are loving the Kaffe Fassett fabric here at County Quilts but my favorite is Shoal in Tomato by Brandon Mably!  Amazing color and design.

You wool lovers will be glad to hear that we now have Sue Spargo's wool thread, which is dyed to match her wool, that we also have in stock.

See below to learn about her Intermediate Free Motion Quilting Class.   
~Kim Diehl Simple Whatnots Club~
The Whatnots are on hiatus May through September and will resume in October.  Enjoy your summer, everyone, and we will see you in the fall!  
~Wooly Wonderfulness~
Susan's Wooly Wonderfulness classes are gaining in popularity right along with the wool applique movement.  This month's class is Wednesday, May 20th and the Wooly Ladies are going to continue to work on their wool patches.  They are sure to have a Wooly Good Time as they do their Flowerpot Big Reveal and see it the April showers really did bring May flowers.   They are also going to be showing off their Blue Bird of Happiness patches from last month.   If you haven't had an opportunity to join the ranks of Susan's Wooly Ladies, this would be a great month to do so!   See below for more details...
Country Quilts and Bears 
Shop Challenge 2015
As promised.....

This year's challenge is different than ALL previous challenges.   Change can be good!  Instead of a fabric challenge, this year the challenge is using the new Hickory Nut Templates.  We have three sizes to choose from.  Use your creativity to design an item of your choice.  
If you do not know what Hickory Nuts are, come into the store to find out.  They are displayed on the front counter with samples showing how to use them.  If you smile nicely, we may even do a demo for you...!
We look forward to displaying all of the creative pieces in the shop during the month of September.  In order to have time to get them hung by September 1st, please bring them to the shop, completed, by August 25th, 2015.  
Entries will be on display from September 1, 2015 - September 30, 2015.  
With the new challenge, comes new rules.  Here they are:
1.  Your projects may be sewn by hand or machine or a combination of both. 
2.  You may use quilters cotton, wool, denim, corduroy, silk or any other fabric you choose.  There are no fabric restrictions.  
3.   Your project can be anything quilt related.
4.  Embellishments are allowed and encouraged.
5.  Projects must be made using at least one of the three sizes of Hickory Nut Templates.

The public votes based on eye appeal.  
One vote per person.  
Winner will be announced and prizes awarded October 1, 2015. 

1st Place:  $75 Gift Certificate
2nd Place:  $50 Gift Certificate
3rd Place:  $25 Gift Certificate


"Like" us on facebook!  
We have entered the world of social media.  Come on by and like our facebook page!  We will be posting class photos, shop events, and new stock items on our wall as these things occur.  Can't wait to see you there!  Click the link below to go to our wall:
Country Quilts and Bears Facebook Page
Intermediate Free Motion Quilting with Elizabeth Dackson

In this class, we'll be working on several different free-motion quilting designs, practicing to master each. Free motion quilting is not only something you can do beautifully on your home sewing machine, but it can be a lot of fun too! We'll be working through six different free motioned designs, all without templates. We'll also discuss any troubles or roadblocks you've experienced in practicing your free motioning at home.


RECOMMENDED: It is not required that you take my Free Motion Quilting 101 class prior to this class, but it is important that you have some free motion quilting practice under your belt, that you understand the basics and are ready to learn some new stitches.



 Your sewing machine, in good working condition - Please be sure to bring the machine you want to free-motion quilt on, not a travel machine, if possible, as each machine will behave differently during free-motion quilting!

 Several practice sandwiches already basted together. Fat Quarter size is pretty good to start with. I recommend bringing at least four to class to practice on.

 Sewing machine in good, working condition

 Schmetz 90/14 Topstitch or similar

 FMQ foot for your sewing machine - a darning foot, an open toe foot, or similar

 100% cotton thread, like Aurifil 50 wt or Mettler threads

 Quilting gloves (recommended, but not required - I prefer Machingers)

 Sharpie (or similar) for drawing quilting designs

 Notebook to practice drawing quilting designs

 Thread nippers/scissors

 Water soluble marking pen (for marking fabrics as needed)


Optional - Extension Table for your sewing machine, if you have one.


Elizabeth Dackson is a fabric addict and quilter. Her first quilting book, Becoming a Confident Quilter, was released in the fall of 2013 by Martingale & Co, chock full of tips, exercises, and skill-building quilt patterns. She designs quilt patterns found on her blog, Don't Call Me Betsy (, as well as in various quilting publications. Elizabeth also enjoys teaching regularly and released her first class with Craftsy, Start Free Motion Quilting, in the spring of 2014. Her second Craftsy class will be released in November of 2014, and she's hard at work on her second book. She is the founder of the Tampa Modern Quilt Guild. Elizabeth also works as the Events Manager for the Modern Quilt Guild, after years planning medical education conferences prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom. She lives in Florida with her patient husband, inquisitive six year old son, and two dogs.


Saturday, May 30th

10:00 - 1:00

$40 per class




Beginning Applique with Becky Madasz

Learn from one of the best! Becky will teach you her method of hand applique and it will begin with selecting the right fabrics and designs, as well as marking the pieces for cutting, the proper needles and threads to use, as well as first hand needle turn instructions...    This class will meet the second Wednesday of each month and will go from 10:00 to 2:00.  It's an ongoing class and you can hop in at any time.  







Wednesday, June 10th

$20 per class

 Wooly Wonderfulness with Susan Freebery 
  On the third Wednesday of every month, Susan will be teaching a wool applique and stitching class.  This class is geared to all skill levels and styles, ranging from the beginning wool appliquer to the advanced, and the very primitive to the modern style.  We will begin with tracing and appliqueing methods for getting the wool onto wool, wool onto cotton, etc., and in each session there will be at least one new stitch being taught.  Some of the wonderful stitches on the calendar are bouillon stitches, double cast on stitches, and the ever popular drizzle stitch.

You choose your own project or we can help you find one that suits you!



This will be an ongoing class and we will be focusing each month on different stitches and techniques, as well as focusing on the wool applique style ala` Sue Spargo.  Students are encouraged to make any "big" project they wish, and again, it can be primitive to contemporary, embellished or simply blanket stitched down.  Whatever style suits you!   The class, as a whole, is now working on a Wool Patch Project where we all make a wool patch each month, learning specific stitches.  These patches can be combined to make pillows, table runners, tote bags, wall hangings... that will be your choice.  The sheep that is pictured above is our first patch.  We titled her "The Original Wooly Woman".         


This is an ongoing class and you can join us at any time.  
Call the shop for the supply list or stop in to get it. 


We will meet the third Wednesday of each month



Book required


Wednesday, May 20th

10:00 to 2:00


Hand Quilting with Diane Hosman
Hand Quilting D Hosman


The domestic art of hand quilting is back in vogue and in full swing. More and more people are expressing a desire to finish off their pieced and appliqued quilt tops with beautiful hand stitches. Join us in small classes where you learn the values of fabric, needles, thread, hoops, and thimbles.

You'll also learn how to avoid carpel tunnel syndrome while quilting.

One of the many pleasures of hand quilting is the peacefulness that takes over when the fingers begin to move in a quiet rhythm. Come join us in the resurrection of this gentle art. If you have had any doubts about this hand-craft, please remember we all started with big, uneven stitches, but we had to start somewhere!  


Saturday, May 16th

  10:00-2:00     $30.00

Supply list available at the shop.  


Country Quilts and Bears is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 to 4:00, Wednesdays 10:00 to 6:00.  
Marilyn Humphries
Country Quilts and Bears
1983 Drew Street
Clearwater, FL 33765