January 6, 2018

I know for many there is a bit of a letdown when the holiday season ends but for quilters there is the joy of finally having the time to sew. I'm looking forward to sitting by the fire with needle in hand either piecing or quilting. What do you have planned for the months ahead? We may be able to give you some ideas.

In this month's newsletter, we have two new projects for you along with preliminary information on the upcoming mystery quilt. And, for all you garden lovers, my gardens will be open as part of a special tour this spring. Details on all of this and more are below.
Visit My Home and Gardens 
Back in 1984, my husband John and I moved into our home. The main part of the structure is an eighteenth-century farmhouse which has been added onto through the years plus we have an original log cabin in the backyard. We spent many years taming the surrounding grounds, creating fruit and vegetable gardens plus, my favorite, the quilt garden.
 Each spring, the Garden Club of Virginia celebrates Historic Garden Week and I am excited to announce that my home and gardens will be on the tour.  
The date is Tuesday, April 24th.  In the upcoming months, we will have more information on this event and special events here at the Studio which is less than a mile from my home.  
You can read more about Virginia Garden Week here
During Quilters' Quest, we first carried Lydia Nelson's charming Balloons quilt pattern in the Studio, creating the sample in our Quest fabric colors. It is such a fun project that we decided to make it available to all of you as this week's web special.
The quilt finishes at 51 ½" x 49 ¾" and gives you four different balloon designs. 
Learn more about the Balloons quilt here
You can sign up to receive our Weekly Web Special emails (and a bonus just for subscribers) on our homepage.
Small Business Spotlight - Pink Sand Beach Designs
Michelle & Nancy with the Paris Purse
Nancy Green was an executive vice president for IBM with a degree in engineering and lots of airline miles when she decided to start a second career. She began teaching bag making classes at a local quilt shop, creating her own patterns and making samples. She wanted purses which were easy for people to sew and to customize. From there, she went on to create Pink Sand Beach Designs selling her patterns to shops across the country.

Today, the business is a family affair. In addition to her eldest daughter as a full-time employee and her younger two helping out part-time, many local women and students create samples, cut fabrics and package.

For next week's web special (which goes out every Wednesday morning), we will be featuring one of Nancy's designs, the Paris Purse. We saw the bag at Fall Quilt Market and loved all the pockets and cross-body strap.
Last Chance for Moroccan Mystery Downloads
Time is running out so don't wait to download your Moroccan Mystery clues and videos.  Just saving the newsletters is not enough. You must click on the clue link below and download each clue.   
Free downloads will only be available until January 31.
After the end of January, patterns and a DVD with the video lessons will be available for purchase, so be sure download all you need this month for free!
[Download link available in subscriber e-mail only]  

Upcoming Mystery Quilt

As I mentioned in a recent blog, I have been busy preparing for our 2018 Mystery Quilt. As with last year's mystery, the quilt is designed to take you step-by-step through each process of the quilt with both written and video clues.

The quilt will be available in four colorways but directions will be given for choosing your own fabrics as well. This year's quilt will be a little larger, rectangular in shape and will be suitable for a throw, lap quilt or wall hanging. Information for all the colorways will be in the February newsletter and you will be able to begin ordering kits in the March newsletter. The first clue will appear in the April newsletter.  The monthly newsletter goes out after 5 pm EST the first Saturday of each month.

These lessons are only available through the newsletter so encourage your friends to sign up and work along with you. 
Tip - Easy Template Pickup
Whether you are using an acrylic template or one you've made yourself from template material, it is sometimes difficult to pick the templates up and reposition them on your fabric. Here's what I do to make the task easier. I make a handle using adhesive tape.

Cut off a piece about three inches long. Adhere the first half inch of the tape to the template. Butt the first half inch from the other end right next to where you left off with the first with a loop of tape extending above. Squeeze that loop together to create the handle.