Blog > Brenda

Janome NQM2016! Best travel sewing machine at a NEW discounted price!

February 6, 2017

I’ve been meaning to write a post and review of the Janome NQM2016 for months now.  And of course, now they just dropped the price so there’s a fire under my butt. Each year Janome puts out a limited edition sewing machine and donates part of the proceeds to a charity.  This is one of those machines.  It’s in the DC series (so it’s similar to the DC2015 and the DC2014) which is Janome’s yearly series.  The year corresponds to the model number.  This is one of my FAVORITE lines that Janome carries.  Okay let me break some of this down for you. The yearly DC series is my favorite for travel machines.  The machines typically come with a hard case and they are lightweight (13-18lbs).  The machines are still made in a Janome factory (as are all machines with the Janome name on them) and have a metal interior and quality parts.  So you are still getting a nice..

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Geogram by Samarra Khaja! Blog tour stop #1!

February 1, 2017

Hello!  I’m so excited to be the first person to introduce you to my friend Samarra Khaja‘s new collection Geogram with Lecien fabrics!  Starting off the blog hop is kind of a big deal… 🙂 First, here’s a photo of Samarra and the pretty rainbow of fabrics that she created! While this alone is most likely enough to get you to run out and BUY this fabric, I suppose I could show you a project made with it too.  You know, to really seal the deal.   When I was asked if I wanted to make something with a charm pack of Geogram, I immediately said, “yes!”  I had this idea that I was thinking about using machine applique and orange peels and this line would work perfectly!  I had originally thought about making this into a baby quilt, but I have no babies.  I do have this huge floor pillow that needs a cover.  My son has a new..

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My Favorite Fabric Finds! #1

January 18, 2017

Sometimes it’s hard to see all the cool fabrics that come into the shop.  And shopping online makes that even harder.  I am going to choose my favorite fabric finds from around Pink Castle each week and tell you more about them.  It’s what I would do if you were here in my shop walking around with me!  Hopefully, you get some fun inspiration and see something great you might have missed before! Cat’s Cradle in Metallic and Naturalby Erin Michael from Meow or Never Okay.  It’s geometric metallic cats.  So, I don’t think I need to do a hard sell on this one.  But let’s chat.  First of all, the metallic on this fabric isn’t too sparkly.  So it will add a little bit of interest without being to flashy.  Also the white background pushes this toward the Low Volume category (LOL cat-egory…).  This is something that I would sneak in a quilt with a lot of other prints.  You look at..

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Pat Sloan’s Book Tour! Teach Me to Machine Quilt!

November 30, 2016

See that smiling face on the cover?  That’s my friend Pat Sloan!  AND I’m really excited that she asked me to be a part of her book tour for her awesome new book Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Machine Quilt: Learn the Basics of Walking Foot and Free-Motion Quilting. This book is the third in a new “Teach Me” to quilt series that Pat is putting together.  The other two books in the series, Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Applique: Fusible Applique That’s Soft and Simple and Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Sew Triangles: 13 Easy Techniques Plus 12 Fun Quilts are still available so make sure you grab those too so you can have them all!  As a quilt shop owner, I think this is a great idea.  I have customers that will come into the shop and see a quilt and say, “Oh, I could never do that.  I don’t know how to _______.”  I can just hand..

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Listen to me on Crafty Planner’s Podcast!

November 17, 2016

Are you finishing up your stars and 4 patches for the Stargyle quilt?  I worked on mine last night.  Having Quilt Market and a Glamp Stitchalot a few weeks apart really kept me from my sewing room!  Don’t get me wrong, I love my job but I also love to sew and quilt.  And sometimes I just don’t get enough time in the sewing room. A few weeks ago I chatted with Sandi from the Crafty Planner about the industry and a little about Sew Pro.  I felt like I could have chatted with her for hours!  It was a lot of fun, Sandi is really easy to talk to.   Give a listen to my episode when you get the chance!  I will be on Pat Sloan’s radio show next Monday too (November 21, 2016!).  You can listen live!

Bust Yo Scraps – Stargyle Quilt Along – Step 4: Creating Your Sawtooth Stars

October 18, 2016

Making Stars!  I love quilts with stars in them.  Especially Sawtooth Stars like we have in this quilt!  These are stars are so easy to make. And instead of a plain square in the middle (which you could do if you wanted) we are going to use some of the four patches that we already have completed.   The finished Star Block size for this quilt is 8″. Queen Size = 41 Stars Lap Size = 25 Stars The Sawtooth Star is a 9 patch block created with four flying geese and some squares.  Easy right?  There are a lot of tutorials online on how to create a flying geese block.  If you have a favorite tutorial that you want to use note that you will need  2″ x 4″ finished flying geese.  My friend over at SuzyQuilts has a great tutorial on how to make a sawtooth star without a ruler: http://suzyquilts.com/reverse-sawtooth-star-quilt-pattern/ For each 8″ Sawtooth Star you will..

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Bust Yo Scraps – Stargyle Quilt Along – Step 3: Creating Your 4 Patches

October 10, 2016

Finally!  Let’s get to the sewing!  This weekend I started to cut up my scraps and get started creating some 4 patch blocks.  A four patch block is an easy and quick block to create.  There are SO many tutorials online on how to create them.  So, I will skip the tutorial but I will talk about some of my favorite ways to create them easily and quickly.  In choosing the fabrics that you will create your four patches remember to look for some contrast between the colors.  This will help the pattern to stand out.  You can create 4 patches that look like a checkerboard (with just two fabrics) OR you can go super scrappy and choose four different fabrics for each block. The finished 4 patch size for this quilt is 4″ Queen Size = 81 four patches Lap Size = 49 four patches The most traditional method of creating a 4 patch block is just sewing four..

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Bust Yo Scraps – Stargyle Quilt Along – Step 2: Sorting Your Scraps and Choosing Colors

October 7, 2016

Sorting Your Scraps My scrap basket runneth over.  I can’t say I mind TOO much when I have a lot of scraps.  But seeing them all does give me the itch to make a scrap quilt.  Let’s first talk about how I store my scraps (you might have a different way and that’s okay too) and why it works for me.  Then we can talk about colors and how to choose for our Stargyle quilt! We all have a different amount of scraps.  When I started quilting, I didn’t have much at all.  I started out with just one small plastic bin and I threw everything in there.  Once my bin started getting full, I put them in three bins: warms, cools, and neutrals.  Eventually, years go by and I have a bin for every color (and multiples of some!). I consider any oddly shaped fabric (that won’t fold up nicely on my fat quarter/fat eighth shelves) or fabric less..

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Bust Yo Scraps – Stargyle Quilt Along – Step 1: Gathering Your Scraps

October 5, 2016

It’s time!  It’s time to tackle my scrap box again.  I know some of you out there are like me.  You have boxes of odd sized fabric pieces just waiting for them to be created into a beautiful and fun scrap quilt.  But they sit there waiting.  New and shiny fabrics come in and get used… MORE SCRAPS! I love scrap quilts.  Some of my favorite quits are made of things from my scrap bins.  But it’s not often that I set out to create something thinking that I’m going to specifically use scraps and a lot of patterns call for bigger pieces of fabrics. So, I have created a pattern to quickly (very quickly with the help of a few short cut rulers) create a quilt that can use different sizes of fabric scraps.    It’s time to BUST YO SCRAPS!  I’m going to show you how I organize my stash and scraps, how to choose scraps for your..

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Sew Home – Book Review! aka I Made a Tablecloth and I Liked It

September 22, 2016

My friend Erin asked me a few months ago if I wanted to be a part of her book tour.  I knew that she was writing a book but I didn’t really know much more than that.  She sent me some photos of the projects for me to look over before I agreed.  WOW!  So many projects!  As I was looking through the photos I kept thinking, “I need to make this, and this, and this, and this….” Of course I said that I would make something from her book! Choosing what to make for this post was really hard.  Needless to say, you will most likely see more posts from me with projects from Sew Home.  Before I show off the cute tablecloth I made, let me tell you why I love this book.  First of all, Erin took a lot of time to explain different home decor fabrics and what to look for when choosing fabrics for your..

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