Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sew Expo

February 27-March 1, 2009
The Sewing & Stitchery Expo ( located at the Fair Grounds in Puyallup Washington is the largest, consumer event for the sewing industry in the United States. More than 32,000 people from as far away as Spain and Australia put the Sewing & Stitchery Expo on their calendar.

QuiltWorks Northwest -

Over 100 Seminars are offered. Subjects include teaching kids to sew, launching a home-based business, or embellishing with beads then get tips on using the new embroidery machines or identifying fine Asian silks.

The over 200 exhibitors provide the very latest in fabrics, notions, machines, and resources to make your sewing a pleasure. The selection includes traditional needlework, media, and specialty suppliers with traditional favorites and new vendors every year.

Lorraine Torrence Designs

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bernina Retreat

I just got home from a reunion weekend with the Bernina National Artisans! It was mind boggling, fun, and exciting.

We spent three days working with and talking about the 830, Bernina's newest machine. My favorite features are:
12 inches underarm span, and more height too!
Jumbo bobbin with 40% more thread capacity, the whole bobbin area is easier to see and access.
The BERNINA Stitch Regulator, which makes free-motion sewing easy and fun.
Total Stitch Control it sews at 1100 stitches per minute!
PLUS Dual Feed, Automatic Threading and more!

Everything we every asked for is here! Check it out!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things

1. The Bottom Line by Superior Threads; quilting, embroidery, bobbin, binding, and appliqué. Comes in 55 colors and is 60 wt. lint-free polyester.
Its smooth surface allows it to work well with metallic threads. The smoothness of the filament poly thread does not snag or grab the top thread. If you've had trouble using metallics, give it a try.

2. Shiva brand oil paint sticks
Make elegant fabric with the look of airbrushing! Paint sticks applied to silk or cotton are simple, fun and permanent.

3. Cotton and cotton blend battings
Sticks to other cotton; thin; can be machine quilted & shrunk to produce antique looking quilts or to hide quilting stitches; comfortable to sleep under; it breathes. Cotton endures and will not beard like polyester. A good choice if “shadow through” from the quilt back is a problem. Cotton, bonded or glazed batting won't pull apart and needs to 'relax' after removal from the packaging.

4. Golden Threads quilting paper
For use with the No-Marking Method to create tear away stencils. The paper tears away cleanly and easily without pulling out your stitches.

5. Thread
Lightweight threads are great for “fancy” stitching. They are thin so a lot of thread won’t make your project seem stiff. The easiest to use are medium weight threads, which are great for anyone learning a new technique. Heavy threads are bold and can make a project stiff and very “thready”.

Cotton is probably the easiest of all threads to work with. Polyester looks like cotton and it’s easy to sew.

Monofilament (clear or smoke-colored) thread must come off of the top of the spool. To wind it onto a bobbin, wind slowly to avoid stretching and be sure to wind the bobbin no more than about half full.

Metallic threads need the upper tension loosened one or more numbers, a polyester or nylon bobbin thread and a vertical spool pin.

Flat film polyester demands a vertical spool pin with a felt pad underneath so the spool can rotate easily.

Bobbin Thread - Match it and top thread colors so it won’t matter if your bobbin thread peeks through.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Two museum exhibits

I recently visited two great museum exhibits in the Seattle region that are not to be missed.

The Bellevue Art Museum is presenting until May 31, 2009:

American Quilt Classics, 1800-1980 The Bresler Collection
This eclectic group was collected by Fleur Brestler 30 years ago and has become an impressive and historically important collection of quilts. The 36 piece collection ranges from late 18th century and early 19th century whole cloth and block printed chintz quilts to mid 19th century appliqué and album quilts. It also includes wonderful examples of a handful of unique pieces from the 20th century.

The Seattle Asian Art Museum is presenting thru April 26,2009:

Garden & Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur

The exhibit includes paintings in a rich palette of colors by the court artists depicting the 16th and 17th century Maharaja’s with their harems in fantastic gardens and images of royal luxury with heavenly landscapes populated by Hindu deities. Most of the fifty-five paintings in Garden and Cosmos have only been seen by the Maharaja’s and scholars!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Library Additions

Treat yourself to a new book, I recommend these:

Quilting in the Limelight by Philippa Naylor;

Phillipa’s book covers everything you ever wanted to know about her extraordinary career, her fabulous quilts, and her life from Saudi Arabia to the United Kingdom. A great read!

To purchase a copy contact

You can visit Philappa at her web site

Strip Therapy: Bali Pop ~ Dynamic Duos by Brenda Henning

If you need a sewing fix, something to make quickly, check out the designs in Strip Therapy. This fun collection of 12 quilt designs is based upon Hoffman Fabrics 2 ½” Bali Pop strip sets. Each strip set will yield one larger quilt, plus a smaller quilt using the leftover tidbits from the construction process.

Contact Brenda at
Or visit her web site