Are You Up For Hoffman Challenge In 2018?

Posted by Kelsey Sauer on November 10th, 2017

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Shine On! is a Hoffman Spectrum Digital Print collection of fabrics designed for the 2018 Hoffman Challenge contest for quilters and sewists. The Hoffman Challenge is the longest-running annual quilting contest offered by a textile manufacturer. We’re celebrating its 30th anniversary with diamonds and pearls. Let your talents Shine On!



The challenge fabrics are in stock now . Click Here To Purchase and Get Started On Your Project!

THE LOWDOWN:  The one fabric REQUIRED for your entry is Q4429. You can use either the 633-Prism or the 657-Spectrum color way – or both!

This is the Prism (Sku:202863): q4429-633-prism This is the Spectrum (Sku:202868): q4429-657-spectrum

The Challenge (above) fabric must be used in the body of the quilt top in a clearly recognizable amount. For appliqué quilts, the Challenge fabric must be used in more than one spot. At least 75% of the entry (quilt top or main body) needs to be made up of Hoffman fabrics, and they can be your choise – whether from the Shine On! collection or from your personal stash. We need you to complete your online registration and submit photos of your artwork (one overall and one close-up) by June 22, 2018. You can submit up to three different pieces of artwork with the $30 entry fee (paid online). If submitting more than one piece of artwork for consideration, you will need to complete the entry form for each.

Click Here For More Information on the challenge.

We hope to see you in store shopping for your Shine On Challenge Fabrics!


To give you an idea, here are last year’s focal fabrics and winning projects:

p4299-55-charcoal p4299-562-blooms

Winners: Microsoft Word - Accessories Awards.docx Microsoft Word - Aurifil AWARDS.docx Microsoft Word - Mixed Technique winners.docx Microsoft Word - Home Dec AWARDS.docx lloyd_american-royalty Microsoft Word - Pieced Quilts RECAP.docx


What Is A Shop Hop?

Posted by Kelsey Sauer on October 20th, 2017

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Every couple of months you may see an advertisement for a shop hop but you say to yourself, “What does that even mean?”

I am here to explain that to you today 🙂

A Shop Hop is exactly what it sounds like. A group of sewing stores in a general area get together and create a passport and choose dates that the hop will start and finish . You the customer purchase a ‘shop hop passport’ at the register of any of the participating stores prior to the start of the hop. (The passport is $5 before the hop and $6 during the hop.)  You have X amount of days to visit each of the shops and get your passport stamped at each stop. You are usually given a free fat quarter at each shop that you visit and there is usually a “mystery item” that is marked at a special price for your purchaseat each shop. This time around, each store is giving away a Quilting Treasure Colorblend Fat Quarter. (If you visit 2 stores, you have paid for your $5 investment).


Stores usually have a beautiful sample made using the fat quarters being given away at each location, so be sure to look for them at each of your stops. If you like the way a particular store finished there project, you can purchase a “finishing kit.”

Here is the best moment you have been waiting for. IF you visit all of the participating shops in the hop DURING the time frame given, you are entered into the GRAND PRIZE drawing! If you are the lucky winner, you get a $125 Shopping Spree at EACH STORE!!!!!! Do you know what that equates to? $1,000 of free fabric!!

The Second Grand Prize winner gets a $65 Shopping Spree at EACH STORE! That equates to $520 of free fabric!!

I have seen past winners come in to choose there fabric and it is like Christmas morning! Or winning the lottery! It’s wonderful!

So, what are you waiting for? Come and get your shop hop passport from us today!

Here are the specifications on the Fall Fat Quarter Hop Happening November 3-11:



Our sample : shop-hop

We used the Accuquilt spool die to assemble this mini quilt. Spool Die Sku: 55180

Watch the video for assembly ideas:


How to Make A Garden Flag By Kelsey Sauer

Posted by Kelsey Sauer on October 16th, 2017

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After presenting this project in Embroidery and Sewing Club on Saturday, October 14th , I promised I would create a blog post for your reference as you create your own garden flags. This is an easy, inexpensive and FUN project to create!

You will need:

2 – Burlap Fat Quarters or 1/2 yard

1 1/2 yards of ribbon or trim of your choice

a machine embroidery design. I used a 5″x7″ cross-stitch design from Sudberry House.

1 hooping of tearaway stabilizer

1 piece of no show mesh fusible for the back of your burlap

1 piece of water soluble topping for the top of your burlap

1 lawn flag (I purchased mine at Orchard)


After a quick internet search, I determined the standard size of a garden flag is 12″x18″ .  (reference:

Step 1 – I embroidered my design centered on one piece of 18″ x 25″ burlap and then trimmed down the burlap to 12″ wide by 22″ long. The additional 4″ on the length gets turned to the back side and sewn down to create a pocket for your lawn flag holder to go through in Step 4


Step 2: Once your embroidery is complete, tear your design out of the hoop and cut away the excess cutaway stabilizer. Tear away the water soluble topper and dab the rest away with a wet towel .


Step 3: Trim down the second piece of burlap to the same size as the first that you just embroidered. Sew the second piece to the first piece so that the wrong side of the embroidery is now covered. Sew up and down each side of the length once with all purpose sewing thread in a neutral color. Sew the bottom shut. Do not worry about fraying because that rustic look is in right now. (Thanks Chip and Joanna!)

Step 4: Turn the top 4″ to the wrong side to create a pocket for the flag holder. Sew the pocket.

Step 5: Place Your house number. I glued house numbers on with E-6000. I purchased these numbers from Orchard. An attendee of the club suggested leaving the design in the hoop and stitching out your numbers or using your Scan N Cut to cut numbers out of HTV, how you choose to apply your numbers is totally up to you.


I got the lawn flag holder and house numbers from Orchard. This is Desi, she is friendly and helpful! Also, you get a free apple when you make a purchase at Orchard.


Step 6: Play around with where you would like to place your ribbon/trim and other adornments. Once it is in the desired spot, topstitch down.


Tips to embroider on Burlap successfully were found here:



Whistler Suede and New Look Pattern 6524 By Kerrie Barber

Posted by Kelsey Sauer on October 9th, 2017

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Fluted sleeves are everywhere this fall, so I thought I might make up a sample using New Look pattern 6524 in the Whistler Suede, located in the suiting section of the Bridal department.


A Bemberg lining was also added, because the color was a perfect match and Bemberg feels so nice on the skin. It is not necessary to line the dress (the New Look pattern does not include instructions for it.)


The pattern features a shift dress with different styles of bell and fluted sleeves. For anyone who likes to sew for themselves, this is a great pattern in a classic style that can be saved and used again for every season in different fabrics.

Having never sewn suede before, it seemed a little research was in order, here are a few things I learned- some the hard way!

While cutting the pattern out, pattern weights were used since pins do not penetrate the suede well. It is a little tricky to line up the grainline but it still works. A nap layout is necessary to prevent shading.

For sewing the suede, Schmetz microtex needles work best in size 80/12. Basting suede is not suggested, as the needle marks will not steam out and pins don’t work well either, so using fabric clips is a great substitute for pins- thanks very much for the suggestion, JaneAnn! I did baste the back pleat according to the directions since the fold placement was critical, but since the basting ended up on the fold, it was not noticeable.

In general when trying a new fabric, I find either Claire Schaeffer’s Fabric Sewing guide, or Sandra Betzina’s Fabric Savvy, very helpful. I also like to take scraps after cutting the pattern out and test stitches, interfacing, and steam tolerance.

French fuse interfacing works well to stabilize the darts, as they can be somewhat droopy without it.  The suede itself was easy to sew, as long as I went slow and used a Teflon foot, as the fabric tends to back up behind the presser foot without it.

Overall now that the dress is finished, I think the suede was a wonderful choice, and the fluted sleeves add a perfect touch to a classic shift style dress.

If you try this pattern, or make anything out of the Whistler Suede, please post it to The Sewing Studio’s Facebook page, I would love to see it!


Shop Here for Whistler Suede


Sew A Child’s Vest & Tie With Carolyn

Posted by Kelsey Sauer on October 2nd, 2017

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Hi, I am Carolyn and I have been sewing since I was a little girl and I really enjoy making things- Clothes, Quilts- Whatever! I love working here at the store and have been here many,many years.


I made this cute little vest and necktie for our Christmas in July Celebration and I would glad to help you make one. It was easy as can be except for a bit of a tricky part with the lining. But I can help you through that. Don’t you know a little boy who would look darling wearing this? Check the schedule for the class and I look forward to seeing you.



Click Here To Sign Up For The Class



Make Your New “Go To” Kimono For Chilly Places

Posted by Kelsey Sauer on August 3rd, 2017

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Everyone needs a little wrap this time of year.  We dress for the heat of summer and then go into a restaurant or shopping center where we freeze and wish we had brought in a light wrap.  I am excited to show you my summer wrap.  This season fashion is referring to the wrap as a kimono. Wrap or kimono, either way you will want to make this one.  I selected this pattern because it was a boxy fit so it lends itself to draping softly on the body.  It will look great casual or dressy. I choose a beautiful 100% cotton fabric by Clothworks. The print reminded me of an English garden.  With the softness of the fabric and the print, I imagined myself sitting in that garden having afternoon tea.

The pattern we will use in class is Pattern: KwikSew K4208 available in our pattern section. This is a beginner to intermediate skill level project. I hope to see you in my class 🙂


Sign Up For JaneAnn’s Class Here

Purchase This Fabric Here


McCalls 7085 Made Out Of Our Beautiful Jana Knit

Posted by administrator on July 21st, 2017

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Hello there, it’s Kerrie-you may recognize me from the Bridal Department. For about ten years, I sewed as a hobby, but a few years ago, I learned to sew professionally after taking a sewing program at Orlando Tech.  I love making clothes and am obsessed with all the fabrics at the Sewing Studio!


There is nothing like hunting for a new fabric! It is always an exciting part of beginning any sewing project. One of the many reason I love the Sewing Studio is the thousands of fabric bolts available to choose from.  With fewer and fewer brick and mortar fabric stores around, I appreciate being able to handle a fabric in person before purchasing it. There is simply no substitute for feeling the fabric’s weight, and texture, not to mention seeing the color in person to make sure it is the right choice for your project, especially if you are trying to coordinate multiple fabrics!

I’ve had my eye on this selection of Jana knits for quite some time, and now they are on sale! They are available in four colors and have a weight and stretch similar to a Ponte knit. The fabric has a beautiful floral lattice design.  McCall’s 7085, a simple sheath dress pattern with neckline options and contour darts, was used to create a store sample. The dress was also lined with a white interlock, which is a perfect lining for double knits. To save time and give a nice look to the inside of the dress, seam allowances were serged and the hem was coverstitched using MaxiLock thread with Maxi Stretch thread in the upper looper.

Notions for this dress include: hook and eye, invisible zipper, Guterman polyester thread, Maxi lock serger thread, and knit stay tape at the shoulder seams and zipper.


Galaxy Shoes: A Fun and Easy Project

Posted by Kathryn Conte on June 10th, 2017

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Galaxy Shoes: A Fun and Easy Project

By Kathryn and Lena Conte

One of my good friends spent a lazy Sunday afternoon spending time with her Daughter making up awesome new shoes, and posted the cutest picture on Facebook.  I knew I had to do the same with Lena!  So we each created our shoes with different methods, while laughing and joking the whole time!

To make this project you will need:

Tulip Fabric Markers OR Sharpie Markers

DecoArt SoSoft Fabric paint in Ultra White and Glimmer Glitter

Rubbing Alcohol

Eye dropper

Fine tip paint brush

Cotton Swab size Paint Brush

White Canvas sneakers (Walmart or Target)

Painters  tape

  • Start by placing painters tape around the sole of your shoe. We did not have any on hand – and our ink bled onto our soles.

My Way:



I am no artist, but I wanted swirly Milky-Way looking galaxies, and swaths of cosmic dust clouds.  I wanted a bit of definition between my colors, so I used our TULIP Neon Fabric Markers.  I stared at the toes and worked my way around to the heels.  I did some circular clouds and some wavy lines.


Lenas’ Way:


Lena used Sharpie markers for her sneakers.  She colored quarter sized blots of colors, some oval shaped blots, and others like a rounded lower case n.  She was heavy handed and really let the Sharpie soak in.  Lena started at the sides, and worked her way all the way around.


Final Step For Both Methods: Once you have covered your sneakers in color, you fill a small cup with rubbing alcohol.  Use your eye dropper to fully soak your sneakers with the rubbing alcohol.  This will soften the edges for fabric maker shoes, and will bleed colors into one another with the Sharpie markers.  Let your shoes dry completely to the touch .  Put a pea size dollop of the white fabric paint in a small cup.  Take your fine tip paint brush and make star specks and a few asterisks.  Let your stars dry completely.  Put a grape size dollop of the Glimmer glitter fabric paint in a small cup.  Take the cotton swab sized paint brush and fully coat or glaze your entire shoe.  Wait for the shoes to dry, pull off the painters tape and you are done!




Wavy Kaffe Tiles Quilt

Posted by Mary Jeanine Ibarguen on May 26th, 2017

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Wavy Kaffe Tiles Quilt

Every time I make a quilt with Kaffe Fassett fabrics, I declare “OK, THIS is my favorite Kaffe quilt!”.  And then I make another one.




This colorful quilt is a great way to use your favorite Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  Of course, you can use another fabric collection or make it totally scrappy.  Read this tutorial, and learn about

  1. Machine applique – fusibles and stitching down the edges
  2. Mitered Borders
  3. Stitching in the Ditch (before FMQ)
  4. FMQ with rulers
  5. FMQ with Pounce and Stencils

Supplies you’ll need:

  1. Pattern: Moroccan Tiles by Gina Reddin (ask for it at the register)
  2. Ruler: Wavy Squares Quilt Template by Gina Reddin (ask for it at the register)


  1. 18mm Rotary cutter (or 28mm cutter if you already own one) OR (The Shark Applicutter)
  2. Heat-n-Bond Lite (be sure its “sewable”) – 1 yard
  3. Stitch-n-Tear stabilizer – 1 yard
  4. Fabric: ½ yard of 10 different fabrics (consider using a batik for the wavy tiles, as the edges of the fabric are less likely to get shreddy)

The pattern calls for 12” finished blocks, but I made them smaller (8 ¾” square).  I cut the wavy tiles using the 6” wavy template.  Having the smallest sized rotary blade really helps get around those waves.  I used what I had, the 28mm blade, but could tell that the smaller blade would have been better.

I tested using fusible web on the entire wavy tile, and then just on the edges.  I found that with the entire wavy tile backed with fusible web, the block was heavy and stiff.  So instead I cut a bunch of 1” wide strips of the Heat-n-Bond Lite and just fused the edges of the wavy tile.

I overcut the wavy squares at 6.5”, then applied the web to the perimeter, and THEN cut with the wavy ruler:


Audition the tiles on the 8 ¾” background squares.    Here I’m auditioning the wavy tiles and also possible borders:


Once I peeled off the Heat-n-Bond release paper, I took the big (8 ¾”) background square and folded it in half both ways, lightly pressing folds on the four sides at the halfway mark to help with centering the applique.  Now lay out the background square on your ironing board and carefully position the applique so it is centered, using the fold marks on all four sides.  (I figured this trick out about 10 blocks in, and some of those off-kilter blocks ended up on the back of the quilt. Off to the store for more fabric, lol)


Press those wavy tiles down onto the background squares.  Now to stitch all these wavy tiles down.  I wanted a little extra help stabilizing the back of the blocks while I stitched, so I cut strips of tear-away  stabilizer


And sewed a pretty buttonhole stitch down around the edges of wavy tile.


At this point, I cut away the excess background fabric in the center that wasn’t fused to the wavy tile.  This makes the final quilt that much lighter. I also tore off the stabilizer paper on the back.


I sorted the blocks by the color of the tiles, so I could keep the top thread the same thread color on the machine as long as possible (eg: sew all the pink ones with pink thread, then the blue ones with blue thread, etc)

Buttonhole stitch: Test out stitch width and length on scraps of fabric to find what looks good.  I narrowed my stitch width as I got to the points, then widened again after turning the corner points.

Its time to lay out your blocks.  I like to play with the layout, taking photos as I go.  I try to distribute colors and designs as much as possible.  Use your camera/phone to get a bird’s eye view; you don’t even need to snap the photo, just look.  If you can get the black-n-white filter on your camera to work, that helps you to distribute color values evenly.

Sew the blocks together.   Here’s a good tutorial on “Webbing the Quilt Top”, a technique I use all the time.

I used all the scraps leftover from making the blocks to create my “piano key” border.  The strips are cut all sorts of widths, and they all started at 6.5” long.

I’m including my handout for my “Easy Schmeasy Mitered Borders” in case you want to miter your borders instead of sewing them on left/right/top/bottom.

Easy Shmeasy Mitered Borders

By Mary-Jeanine Ibarguen


First, you must decide if a quilt actually needs mitered borders.  Not all quilts do. If a quilt has lots of 45º triangles, it’s a good bet the mitered corners will add to the quilt’s appeal.  


If a quilt has more than one border, I like to sew the long pieces together, and then do one miter in each corner, as opposed to mitering each border as you add it to the quilt top.  With my technique, it’s not difficult to do.


  • ¼” wide Steam-A-Seam on a roll (SaS)
  • Any ruler with a 45° line on it.
  • Iron
  • Border strips that measure the length of the quilt side plus 2x the border width
  • Pins


Sew the border set onto the quilt top, stopping ¼” before the end of the seam, on all 8 corners.  Use a pin to mark that place if you need to.


Press the seams as sewn, then hand press open, then iron/press open.  Allow to cool completely before lifting the fabric off the ironing board.


Work on one top-left corner at a time.  Lets call the left side ‘A’ and the top side ‘B’.  Straighten B out flat.  Tuck/fold the end of A into a 45º angle, using your ruler to check that the angle is good.  (a great second check is that your excess border fabric should match up perfectly in the back, A on top of B.)  Press the angle with the iron and let cool.


Pull back A a bit to see the underside of the angle.  Tear off a piece of SaS tape and finger press it (paper side up) to the underside of the angle, about 1/8” from the fold.  Press with the iron and let cool.  Peel off the paper.


Put A back where it belongs (check again with the 45° line on your ruler) and then press again with the iron and let cool.


Do this for all 4 corners.  Trim off the extra fabric.


Sew the miters for extra strength.  When you turn the quilt top over, you will see that pressed angle.  That is exactly where the stitching goes.


If you have several borders mitered at once, this is such a great way to see from the front that all the borders match up with each other perfectly.  Didn’t I tell you this would be easier?

“Quilt as Desired” what does THAT mean?

Yes, of course, do what makes you happy.

All over design? Check

Quilt by credit card? Check  (there’s a list of Longarmers on my website)

Hand quilt or tack the corners? Check or Check

But here’s what I did:

To get started, I stitched-in-the-ditch (SITD) around the inner border, then horizontal and vertical lines between all the blocks.  I’ve learned recently that SITD really helps with a neater overall look, plus it helps the spray basting hold on a little longer.  I use a walking foot and Wonderfil’s Invisifil thread.  This is a 100 weight, very thin poly that we carry in the store.  I’ve stocked up with lights, medium and dark “shadow” colors, and am so happy with how they just disappear in the ditch!

Now, I always quilt the borders of my quilts first.  Gasp!  The quilt police will be knocking on my door any moment now!  [insert sarcasm here].

Here’s why I do it and why it works:  if the quilt is well basted, you can start anywhere you want to start.  So why start on the edges?  Well, too many times I’ve had a corner of the excess backing fold back on me, getting caught in the stitches. What a pain.

So if I FMQ just the border first, I can really pay attention to that excess batting and backing, making sure its out where I can see it.  Plus it makes a good handle as I FMQ the borders.  I keep smoothing the top border with my gloved hand to smooth out any last minute wrinkles.

Once I’ve finished FMQing the borders, I take the whole quilt off my machine, rotary cut off all the excess backing and batting, and go back to finish the FMQ on the rest of the quilt.  There, now you know my secret.

For the borders, I did some “ruler work”, which means I used specialized FMQ rulers pushed up next to my ruler work machine FMQ foot.  (I quilt on a Juki sit-down longarm machine.)  I’m looking forward to many happy hours playing with my starter set of rulers:



Did you notice the little orange suction cup handle?  This really helps to hold the ruler down, and then move it to the next part of the quilt.  I stole it from my 8.5” Creative Grids ruler, where it usually lives.  I may have to get a few more (from The Sewing Studio, natch).


For the 1.5” inner border, I used a little 1” stencil I picked up to use with my Pounce chalk dispenser.  Fast and effective.


For the wavy tiles as well as the corners of the blocks, I used my “MJ Flower”, which consists of a doubled circle, and then 5 squiggly petals.  I went around the flower twice to give the petals some dimension.


Sleeve, binding and DONE!

I hope you picked up a few new ideas with this tutorial.


Sewing With Mom On Mother’s Day!

Posted by Kelsey Sauer on May 11th, 2017

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What better way to spend Mother’s Day than sewing with Mom?!  See how Pat and Kelsey will be spending Mother’s Day together this year in this short video they put together!  Make sure to spend some time with your Mom sewing, crafting and getting creative this Mother’s Day!!