This is it, our anniversary month. Hard to believe, but as of the 19th, we'll have been sharing our quilty pleasures with you for 10 years!

So of course we must celebrate: We have the internationally-acclaimed Gudrun Erla joining us for two days of not-to-be-missed classes and a fabulous trunk show detailing her quilting journey from Iceland to Minnesota. Home-grown quilting celebrity Kathy Wylie is visiting with a special Peek-A-Boo Appliqué class (a new session has been added -- check the Classes page!).

Since it looks like April might be too short to accommodate all of the fun, we'll spill over into May and June with some more surprise visitors. Stay tuned for details!

Hope to see you soon, 

Leslie, Val and all the staff at Quilty Pleasures

PS As our anniversary present to YOU, we are giving away a brand new
Pfaff smarter 140s sewing machine!

With each registration for a Gudrun Erla event (that includes the trunk show and both classes), your name will be entered into a draw to win this fun, new machine worth $349. There are still spots left, so get yourself registered and get your name in the draw!

smarter 140s
blue line 910
Gudrun Erla 200x250
Anyone who knows us knows that we are huge fans of Minnesota's Gudrun Erla. So we are hugely excited to tell you that she, too, will be joining us for our anniversary party! Save the days of April 24, 25, and 26 -- this is going to be a fun-filled week!

Gudrun is the designer and owner of GE Designs, one of our favourite book and pattern suppliers.  Born and raised in Iceland, she started quilting at the age of 23. After moving to the US in 2003, she has devoted herself full-time to pattern and fabric design and, lucky for us, teaching.

She loves quick and easy techniques that give interesting results, and, while her projects may look complicated, her methods are innovative and her instructions are crystal-clear. Gearing her designs toward today's quilt makers, Gudrun's projects are invariably fun, fast, and with a modern touch that appeals to everyone.

On Thursday, we'll take a journey with Gudrun through her quilting life. Her trunk show and presentation will be held at Quilty Pleasures, and will give a fascinating glimpse into her life as the  creative force of GE Designs.

On Friday, the party moves to Camelot Golf and Country Club for an all-day class featuring two of Gudrun's patterns: Strip to Shore and her newest, Arctic Blast. You will choose which pattern to make during class, but you will learn both, each of which uses a 60-degree ruler.

Camelot provides a beautiful facility with gorgeous views of the Ottawa River and Gatineau Hills, plenty of space and light, and, of course, a gourmet lunch! It's the perfect venue for our celebration.
Strip to Shore 1Strip to Shore Strip to Shore 2Strip to Shore (another variation) Arctic BlastArctic Blast
On Saturday, Gudrun will hold a full-day class on Mastering Quilt-As-You-Go, also at Camelot. The morning will be spent on a variety of techniques, then in the afternoon you will choose one of two patterns to make. Again, you'll learn both designs while working on one during the class -- talk about bang for your buck! -- and a fabulous lunch will be provided.
Mastering QOG 1 Mastering QOG 2
  Quilt-As-You-Go Sunburst Table Topper Quilt-As-You-Go Rolling Barrels
Please do not wait to let us know if you are interested in any of these classes. They're just about full!

If you sign up for both classes, we are happy to give you a discount. Party on!
blueline910 (GIF)

It's always exciting when Pfaff launches some new machines, but it's particularly exciting that they've brought out four models just for our anniversary! They haven't finished the commemorative labels yet, but we're sure they'll be arriving any day now. In the meantime, just take a look at these:

smarter140s-182X138 (GIF) smarter160s-182X138 (GIF) quilt ambition2 (GIF) creative 4 (GIF)
smarter by pfaff 140s 
  • 21 stitches
  • built-in needle threader
  • manual buttonhole
smarter by pfaff 160s 
  • 23 stitches
  • built-in needle threader
  • automatic buttonhole
quilt ambition 2.0 
  • 201 stitches, 7 mm width
  • high-resolution touch-screen display with easy navigation
  • bobbin sensor
  • adjustable presser foot pressure
  • alphabets and sequencing
creative 4.5 embroidery machine 
  • 480 stitches, 9 mm width
  • large, full-colour, wide-angle screen
  • large embroidery hoop
  • precise positioning
  • increased embroidery speed
  • ribbon stitches, stacking stitches, unique Stitch Creator for extra fun!

The smarter by pfaff machines are young and fun, perfect for beginners and sewers on the go. How could you not get excited about sewing when your machine is hot pink?

The quilt ambition 2.0 is specifically designed for quilters, and includes all the features and feet you need to tackle all of your  projects. With a larger-than-normal throat area and a less-than-expected price, this machine will help you tackle your projects with ease!

The creative 4.5 sets a new standard for those interested in high-end sewing and embroidery without any interest in breaking the bank. This machine comes mighty close to the top-of-the-line creative sensation pro in terms of features, so you can get the full experience!

All of these machines are set up and ready to demo. No matter what your sewing needs or budget, we have the perfect machine for you! Just come in and we'll make the introductions.

blueline910 (GIF)
Voyager Bag

We are delighted to announce that Brenda Miller, of Among Brenda's Quilts and Bags fame, will be making a return visit on Thursday, June 12 to teach her latest design, the Voyager Bag! Trust Brenda to come up with the perfect travel bag! It's not only beautiful and stylish, it has inner and outer pockets, an adjustable (and removable) strap, comfortable padded handles, and a secure zipper closure. Plus it meets carry-on standards! Those of you who attended Brenda's trunk show and class in January know what a talented designer and teacher she is. Her instructions are impeccable, and her techniques produce truly professional-looking projects. Take this class, then take the Voyager bag with you on your next adventure! If you want to know how much fun we had last time Brenda was in town, take a look at the pictures on our facebook page!

NOTE: Response to this class has been overwhelming, so we've added a second one on Friday, June 13. This will make it a good-luck day!

blueline910 (GIF)
Sheila O'Hagan

A little bit confused about the Modern Movement and how it fits into your traditional quilting style? Sheila O'Hagan can answer your questions and show you how much fun it is to blend the old with the new, especially with all the mod cons (pre-cuts, specialty rulers, great fabrics) we have at our disposal. 

Sheila has a unique perspective as a result of her long career in the quilting and sewing industry. She has been a quilt store owner, a Pfaff dealer and educator, and, most recently, a fabric representative for JN Harper, a family-owned business celebrating 90 years of bringing quality goods to Canadian sewists. She's also lots of fun, and her presentation will be both entertaining and inspirational. 

Join Sheila on Thursday, June 19 for either the afternoon (3:00) or evening (6:00) session. Cost to attend is only $15! 

blueline910 (GIF)
dealerofyear2013 (GIF)
We received our first 10th Anniversary present from PFAFF! We were very pleased, honoured and surprised to be named Ontario's number one dealer for 2013. Here we are joined by Mark Kerr, Vice-President, PFAFF Canada and Brenda Sutherland, our regional sales manager.
blueline910 (GIF)
EZ Steam II There has been some confusion with the switch over to Pellon EZ-Steam II in lieu of Steam-A-Seam – sadly, we have not been able to get Steam-A-Seam for over a year – so I thought I would post the instructions. 

The key is that when you apply the web to your fabric the first time, DO NOT IRON IT! If you iron, the web will fuse to the paper that you have not yet removed. Instead, simply place the web on the wrong side of your fabric and press with your hands. There is enough stickiness to the web that it will stay put while you cut out your shape. Once you have cut out your shape and are happy with the placement, then you iron it. Hope this is clear to everyone! 

Here's a PDF of the instructions!
blueline910 (GIF)
needle little help Needles can be confusing. What are the different types of needles? Which ones should be used on which projects? Does size really matter? 
Schmetz has developed a useful little booklet that explains the anatomy of a needle and indicates the fabrics and purposes for which each type of needle is designed. We have them here at Quilty Pleasures, and they're free – just ask us for one. 
But other factors contribute to the success of your stitching, too, and Schmetz has offered a troubleshooting chart to help you out. Print it out and keep it by your sewing machine for a quick reference.

Needle App

There's an app for that! 

Now, thanks to Schmetz, you can carry needle advice with you wherever you need it – in your studio, at the store, in a class. All you have to remember is your phone!  

If you have iTunes, this link will take you to the preview page, and subsequently open iTunes, where you can download the app. (If you don't have iTunes, you will be able to download it first.)


Quilting Calculator

There's an app for that, too!

Robert Kaufman has come up with this little number (no pun intended) that does the math for you!

If you have iTunes, this link will take you to the preview page, and subsequently open iTunes, where you can download the app. (If you don't have iTunes, you will be able to download it first.) 

flying grad Many students pass through the hallowed halls of the Quilty Pleasures Institute in search of higher education, but not all complete their projects.  If you would like to come back for some grad work, you can tackle your PhD – Projects Half Done – with the help of Leslie, Val, Sherrill and Marie-Claire. The summer school classes were very well attended, so we have decided to continue them on a regular basis. Check the class schedule for dates and times, and please note that the projects you bring should be from Quilty Pleasures classes so that we'll be able to help you! 
blue line 910
Often*, when you attend a class at Quilty Pleasures, you have the option of borrowing a classroom machine instead of bringing your own. This not only makes travelling to class easier for you, it also allows you to see what's new in the world of machines. 
We are pleased to announce that the official classroom machine is now the Pfaff Performance 5.0. It's the top-of-the-line, with all the features you'll learn to love, yet it's user-friendly and amazingly easy to operate.  
Just advise us at the time you register for a class, and we'll make sure to have a machine ready for you. 
*Because of the amount of homework involved, we don't recommend using a classroom machine for Quilting I. For that class, it's better to have your own machine in class. That way, the teacher can help you with any issues that arise. If you'd like to buy a Performance 5.0, that's still an option!   
performance 5.0
We continue to collect cuddle quilts for the Montfort. If you've never made one before, a word of explanation: These are small baby quilts that are placed in the neonatal incubators and bassinets, so the size is restricted to between 22" x 22" and 24" x 24". Their small size also makes them perfect for testing block patterns, busting your stash, and practicing free-motion quilting. Keeping in mind the intended recipients are newborns, please aim for cute and cheerful, using only 100% cotton or flannel in the top and backing, and 100% cotton thread for the construction and quilting.  
Cuddle quilts are typically sent home with the babies who use them, so there is a constant demand for them. Your donations will be gratefully appreciated!
We can special-order products for you!

It happens all the time: You're reading someone's blog and they recommend a pattern, book, notion, or other item that you'd really like to have. Only trouble is, either they don't sell it or you don't want to order it from them because of the exchange rate, shipping costs, Customs issues, whatever.

Let us deal with it! We can usually order these products from our suppliers, and all of the hassles are taken care of. No fuss, no muss, and your order comes right to the store and into your hands.

CREATIVE GRID LOGO When it comes to hydro, we'd all like to be off the grid, but when it comes to rulers, leave us on the Creative Grid! The markings are clear and easy to read, their exclusive turn-around feature eliminates confusion with full- and half-inch measurements, and the imbedded grippers are tremendous at preventing slippage.  
Click on the fox logo to open their website in a new window, and see the huge variety of rulers, both basic and specialty, that are available for all of your projects.  
Not sure which to choose or how to use? Check out the informative how-to videos for everything you need to know!

Have you tried our Wonder-Fil threads yet? Konfetti (50-wt solids) and Tutti (50-wt variegateds) are fantastic for both piecing and quilting – made of high quality long-staple cottons in a yummy range of colours, they're smooth, strong, and practically lint-free. Spagetti, their 12-wt cotton quilting thread, comes in the yummiest solids imaginable and is perfect for dramatic quilting and thread painting. You'll love them all, guaranteed. 

And be sure to try Invisifil, too, for proof that it's time to rethink the old rules about polyester and quilts. Available in amazing colours, this 100-wt thread carries more than its weight: used in the bobbin, it lasts almost forever; used for quilting and appliqué, it just melts into your fabric for texture without threadiness. Try it and become a convert.

You are most welcome to visit our Facebook page. Amy makes sure you're up-to-date on all the QP news! So take a look and be one of our Quilty Pleasures friends! Quilty Pleasures on Facebook! (A new window will open.)
If you love Mary Ellen's Best Press starch but hate the idea of buying a new plastic bottle each time you run out, we have great news:  for $8.99, we'll refill your old bottle, right up to the top. That's a saving of $3.00 and lots of plastic.