SSQS Journal
Issue 56 April, 2022
April 2022
Hello Everyone and Welcome April, I hope you brought some Spring weather with you.

We will need to be patient and Spring will eventually get here. Patience is so hard to find sometimes for ourselves, for others and even with our Quilting. Quilting teaches us to be patient. You need to build your skills when you are learning to quilt and that takes patience, time, and effort to make that happen. Those that don't quilt often comment that they don't have the patience to do what we do and if you think about it, we seem a little crazy cutting up perfectly good fabric into tiny squares just to sew it back together again. We’re not crazy, I believe we are trying to find peace within the pieces and patience helps us get there. 

I tell my Beginning Quilting students that they need to work at their own pace in my class and when they are ready for the next step, we will take it. If I don't have patience in how I teach, they will not learn to have patience with themselves. It's important to learn to enjoy the whole process of making the quilt to become a quilter. My Beginning Free Motion Students are often hard on themselves too for not being perfect on their very first stitches. I tell them to pretend they are a third grader doing something hard for the first time. You would not criticize a child for trying and you should not criticize yourself for trying. The students begin to relax, laugh and have fun with it. They become more patient with themselves and in turn they try harder, and they improve.

Be patient with Spring. It will come. Be patient with your quilting. It will happen. Be patient with yourself. You are trying. Be patient and kind with others. It will make all the difference.

Have a great day everyone!

May all your stitches be sweet,

With Demo day falling on the First day of the month, your demo day
video is inserted below. No need to wait for a separate email this month.

Joan's theme for the APRIL First Friday Demonstration Day is "Double the Fun"

Joan is doubling up on patterns, notions and quilts this month. 
Don't forget to "Like" and Subscribe!
The April calendar is full to the brim with classes. We have our regular list such as Free Motion, Beginning Quilting and Better at Binding and we have added several additional dates for two recently popular classes with the Big Bag and the Boxy Tote.

Joan has created a few new classes including the Jubilee and Simply Swoon Quilts. Joan has completed both Quilt tops and will talk about these in her demo video. Be sure to stop in the shop to see them!

In addition to classes, you might be interested to participate in our Featherweight club or enjoy a day of sewing on Sweet Retreat Day.

If you are interested to explore our classes and schedule, click the link below that will take you to our calendar or you can find the calendar and a list of classes on our website by clicking 'Classes' in the top banner.

Hello Accuquilters!

Our AccuQuilt Project for the month of April will be Darla's super cute Tulip Placemats.

Our Monthly Accuquilt Project class is open to ANYONE, you need not own an AccuQuilt cutting system. During the class we will use our shop Cutting System and die. You bring your fabric and sewing machine that's it. Come see how fast and easy quilting with AccuQuilt can be. Bring your sewing machine, fabrics,threads and basic sewing notions to create this cute project to enjoy for Spring.

We will have a Morning and an Afternoon class where you can make a setting of four Tulip Placemats on April 14.

This Class is Open to everyone, you need not have an Accuquilt Cutting System - Click here to learn more! 


Accuquilt Go! Play Days!

This Month Go! Play Day! is on April 21

Our Go! Play Days! explore a new quilt border each month. Darla will present a new idea for a pieced border to add zip to your quilts. This is a great way to become more comfortable with using an AccuQuilt cutter, improving your piecing skills, and be more creative (or daring!) with color and fabric choices. With every class we will learn a new trick, tip, or way to fool the eye. At the end of the year, all 12 monthly borders can be combined to complete a twin size quilt top! 

An 8” Qube set is recommended for this series of classes, but any size Qube can perform with minor adjustments; Darla is here to help with that. No Qube? No problem! Many of the borders can be completed with basic shapes you may already have in your collection.

If you happen not to start with us in January, you may still join at any time during the year. Come to class expecting to try something new. Only $5 reserves your seat. Can't make every Go Play Day? Don't worry you can come into the shop and pick up a written pattern for the month you missed for $5.00. 

Go! Play Days! are for those that own an accuquilt cutting system. You will bring your cutter and dies to class and learn tips and tricks to get the most out of your system from Darla.

Google Street View - Sweet Stitches
As part of our ongoing marketing campaign, Sweet Stitches had a visit from Google Street View. You may know Street View associated with Google Earth and Maps allowing you to view images at street level. The service also allows a business to feature a street view walk through. 360 degree panoramic photos are collected at multiple locations to allow a virtual walkthrough of the business.

A Google representative arrived early one morning, fancy camera in hand, to document the shop. Thanks Nieca! We look forward to seeing the results and sharing them with all of our customers and the internet!
Lakeside Block of the Month

Our wait for the bulk fabrics for the Lakeside block of the month unfortunately continues. The good news is that we have completed our shop sample (at least the top is completed thanks to Darla!) We will let everyone know once we have the fabric in hand so we can prepare the monthly kits. As is the theme of Joan's letter - we have to be patient with this one - it will be worth it!
Sweet Stitches Road Trip

Sweet Stitches will journey out a few times in April. We look forward to our visit with our friends of the Heritage Quilt Guild of South Suburbia and The Heritage Guild of Crown Point.

Joan will make a presentation to each of the guilds with lots of samples, tips and tricks!

See you all Soon!
Machine Minute
General Maintenance and proper technique are critical for optimum performance of your sewing machine and project outcome.

Baby Steps...

Stitch Length and Lack of Machine Maintenance

Among sewists that perform very little machine maintenance on their own, one of the top 10 reasons the machine will make it to the shop is a complaint that, "the stitches are too short or the stitches are very tight".

Each time your needle lifts out of the fabric the feed dogs will move to a forward position, will rise above the needle plate pushing against the presser foot (with your fabric in-between) and then moves toward the back of the machine prior to the needle coming back down. The distance that the feed dogs move is set by the stitch length you have selected. The longer the stitch the longer the feed dog will move during each needle up cycle.

We all know that sewing creates dust. Especially true when you sew with a natural fiber like cotton. The dust and debris that results from the various actions involved in sewing fall on and in the machine. This is what you brush out when you clean your machine.

For those that fail to clean their machines, and for those that tend to ONLY clean the hook under the bobbin case, over time, this dust and debris will build up and eventually enough debris will sit between the feed dogs that it becomes pressed between the feed dogs and the bottom of the needle plate. Over time this pressed debris becomes so impacted, so hard that it keeps the feed dogs from moving during the upward stroke. Once this happens, the feed dog teeth are no longer pressing firmly against the presser foot and are no longer pressing sufficiently against your fabric. The net result is that the fabric is not moved efficiently and over time the symptom is shorter and shorter stitches.

It is important to clear our the debris from under your needle plate and when you do, be sure to brush the debris from the feed dogs as well. This will keep you in quality stitches between your full service cleanings.

Have a question about Machine Maintenance? Feel free to stop in and ask, we are happy to assist with helpful advice to keep you sewing.
Quilters of all skill levels can find encouragement, inspiration and creativity at Sweet Stitches Quilt Shop. Located in Chesterton, Indiana just a few miles from the natural beauty of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Sweet Stitches Quilt Shop is your destination for fabrics, notions and all things quilting. We carry a wide variety of brights and batik fabrics as well as notions, patterns, books and Elna/Janome sewing machines. Our large classroom offers students everything they need to learn and grow their quilting talents. From fabric selection to project advice to training on your new machine, our friendly, knowledgeable staff is ready to assist. Stop by the store or click the "Shop Online" link to view our wide variety of products ready to ship direct to your door.

Sweet Stitches Quilt Shop
1575 S Calumet Rd.
Chesterton, Indiana 46304