Spring has been incredibly busy here at Quilty Pleasures, so it's nice to welcome summer for a little change of pace. We can take a bit of a breather, relax, and enjoy this all-too-short season.

But we are not grinding to a halt, no sir! We are, of course, tending to our perennial garden -- our Summer Garden of Values -- where each week is featured (at 25% off!) a different colour to add to your fabric stash.  The garden calendar is posted below.

And we're participating in the Row By Row Experience, an amazing international sort-of-shop-hop. If you're planning summer travels, or even if you aren't, you'll want to check below for the details. There are prizes to be won!

Amongst these on-going events, we'll be holding summer classes, PhD seminars, and the ever-popular More. So let us help you enjoy this summer in the best way possible -- by sewing!

Hope to see you soon,

Leslie, Val and all the staff at Quilty Pleasures

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Each week during the summer, we'll be featuring a different colour in our "garden" of fabrics. Buy any fabric containing that colour, and get 25% off the regular price.
This summer's bloom schedule is:
Week of Colour
June 30
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////  Red (for Canada Day, of course!)
July 7 ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////  Blue
July 14 ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////  Yellow
July 21 ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////  Green
July 28 ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////  Purple
August 4 ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////  Orange
August 11 ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////  Brown
August 18 ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////  Pink
August 25 ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////  Black
This is a great opportunity to fill in the holes in your stash – just come in every week and grow a garden of your own!
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janomevideosapp (GIF) Janome has a cool web app for your mobile device, whether it runs Apple iOS or Android! The Janome Videos app gives you access to over 100 machine accessory videos. Each video details the proper use and application of sewing machine feet and accessories. Even if you don't have a smartphone, you can still watch the videos using your computer.

In either case, this link will take you to the videos. Your phone, of course, will have a facility of one kind or another to add an icon on its desktop so you can instantly connect to the video library.
Android phones differ, but if your operating system is Chrome, you're probably familiar with the three vertical dots circled here which you click to add the icon. Chrome Icon 210x75
If you have an Apple phone, you'll recognize the square and arrow icon shown here, which appears at the bottom of the screen and allows you to add the icon. Apple Icon 210x75
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We are thrilled to announce that we are participating in this year's Row by Row Experience. This is a shop hop, of sorts, that is being offered in almost all 50 US states and Ontario. So if you're planning on traveling this summer, you'll want to join in!

The concept is pretty simple, but very appealing: You visit any of the participating quilt shops between now and September 1, and you get a free pattern for the row of a quilt. Collect a minimum of 8 patterns, make a quilt with them, and you'll be eligible to win a prize. Click here for full details.

This year's theme is Sew a Season, so we've made "Springtime in Orleans" to show off our jaunty tulips. Our final sample will be in more spring-like colours.  We hope you enjoy it, and we hope you enjoy the Row by Row Experience!
row by row tulips
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Sewing Machine 101!
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Note: Every sewing machine comes with a manual that explains the parts of the machine, threading instructions, how to choose and adjust stitches, proper foot selection, etc. Many also contain sewing techniques. Make sure you read your manual thoroughly and keep it handy for reference. If something doesn’t make sense, ask your dealer for clarification – it will save you a lot of frustration later!

Meanwhile, we bring you the Quilty Pleasures helpful guide to a few things every sewist should know. Follow this link to QP's Sewing Machine 101!

(It'll open in a new window. We'll wait here!)

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Brigitte, Val and Leslie Purely by great good fortune, Brigitte Heitland, the designing force of Zen Chic fabrics and patterns, was able to join us for an almost-impromptu trunk show after Quilt Market. We have long been fans of her designs, which are fresh, clean, and modern, so we jumped on the opportunity to have her visit.

Despite the short notice, it was a wonderful event, and we're happy to share the fun with you. Click here to see Brigitte's Trunk Show! 

Rest assured, since Brigitte has promised to come back to teach a class for us, we'll hold her to it. We can't wait to introduce her to a wider audience!
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Gudrun Erla When Minnesota pattern designer and author, Gudrun Erla helped us celebrate our tenth anniversary weekend, we took loads of pictures so you can see what you missed (if you weren't there) or what you did (if you were there).

Here are the pix, including those of Gudrun doing the "Quilt-Makers Shuffle", from the Camelot workshops, Strip Club and Quilt As You Go!

Here are the ones from her fabulousTrunk Show at the store.
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This absolutely blew us away!

Amy managed to make a spectacular memory quilt of our first ten years, right under our noses, and kept it a total secret (Val lives with her, and still didn't know that anything was going on!). Then Valerie tackled the quilting, doing a beautiful job, and we still didn't twig. Take a look at the big reveal, then come in to take a look at the quilt (it's hanging in the classroom). It is amazing, and a wonderful trip down memory lane.

Thank you, Amy and Valerie -- we will treasure this quilt forever. And we'll have to stay in business forever, too, because otherwise we'll be fighting over who gets to keep the quilt!

Anniversary Quilt 1   Anniversary Quilt 2
Anniversary Quilt 3   Anniversary Quilt 4
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Anniversary Quilt 7   Anniversary Quilt 8
Anniversary Quilt 9
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Kathy Wylie, Val and Leslie We were so very happy that Kathy Wylie, our home-grown award-winning quilter and C&T author, could join us for our anniversary month! She taught her Peek-A-Boo Appliqué class to a very enthusiastic audience -- watch for this technique to pop up on many of our customers' quilts in the very near future!
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The 2014 version of our In-Town Retreat was a resounding success, with the "QP League of Power Quilters" showing off their super skills! Take a look at our souvenir photos!

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:

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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.

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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.
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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!
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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! 
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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!
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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.