Gifts Galore!

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My day job involves spending time with about 600 K-6 elementary students. Every day is a new adventure, and there’s never a dull moment!  My other job, visiting Quilt Expressions and taking photos, creates the perfect balance to how I spend my work days.  Every time I walk in the store, there are so many new things to see…displays, collections, samples, gift ideas.  So much inspiration!

QE Reisenthel

Quilt Expressions has sold Reisenthel bags and baskets for several years, and they are very popular with our customers.  They are perfect for transporting projects, shopping and traveling.  We’ve purchased some fun new styles and prints and can’t wait for you to see them!

 

So many collections!  Do you have a young scientist?  A sports fan?  A kiddo who loves ocean life?  Visit our kids’ section to see all of our themed collections.

QE Fat Stacks

Imagine the possibilities with twelve coordinated fat quarters!  Our staff has put together countless Fat Stacks for you to choose from.  Look around the store for patterns and books that call for twelve fat quarters, choose your favorite Fat Stack and get ready to create!

Winter quilt coming soon

Shhh!  I may have snuck in the backroom to see what was on the design wall.  Keep an eye out for this gorgeous, cozy kit.

QE Gifts

Are you looking for a quick gift?  Quilt Expressions has quilting-themed grab-and-go gifts throughout the store, kits and fabric bundles, easy projects to craft yourself, and, of course, the best gift any quilter can receive…a Quilt Expressions’ gift card!  Visit the store starting the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve for our gift certificate special:  purchase a $50 gift certificate and receive a $10 savings coupon or purchase a $100 gift certificate and receive a $20 savings coupon.  Savings coupons must be used before June 30, 2018 and some exclusions and limitations apply.  Ask any staff member for details.

QE Bloomsbury

If asked, I’m sure that my husband would probably tell you that I have enough fabric in my stash (especially if he knew where I hide it!).  However, certain collections have a way of attracting my attention and then, somehow, falling into my cart.  This happened last weekend with Bloomsbury, a new collection for Moda by Franny & Jane.  Maybe it’s the fact that winter is just around the corner, but the gorgeous corals, blues and grays make me smile.

We’d like to invite everyone to stop in at the store or visit our on-line shop.  You’ll find a fabulous collection of fabric, patterns, kits, notions, and Janome sewing machines…all surrounded by gorgeous samples and helpful, friendly staff members.

{Happy Creating}

 

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Welcome to the Neighborhood, Modern Batiks!

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Neighborhood Association, a Quilt Expressions’ Original Pattern

What comes to mind when you hear the word “neighborhood?”  For some, it’s a friendly wave as you head to the mailbox.  For others, it’s late summer evening BBQ’s, families trick-or-treating together, teens shoveling snow for those who need a little extra help, and the sound of laughter traveling along with the gentle evening breezes through an open window.  Quilt Expressions’ “Neighborhood Association” pattern, made with rich Batiks, shows the depth and closeness that results from sharing a neighborhood.  Make your own and bring some of that neighborhood feeling inside your home.  (Click here to see our original version using bright colors and grays.)

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Quilt Top Left:  Twinkle   Quilt Top Right:  Staggered Geese

When I was a (much) younger girl, I remember going to quilt stores with my mom.  I loved to see all of the bright colors and feel the different textures of fabric.  But those Batiks…they always seemed so dark and uninteresting to my uneducated eye.  Then, as I started quilting, I was drawn to the patterns stamped on the fabric and wondered how Batiks were made.  If you’re curious, watch this video from Hoffman Fabrics, filmed in Bali.  We’re so lucky to have access to these handmade, gorgeous fabrics.  And, if you haven’t traveled to the Batik section at Quilt Expressions recently, the variety of colors and patterns is incredible!  There are still many prints available that are the traditional earth-tone colors, but there are so many more options available.

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This rainbow of gorgeous color with dots, hearts, and all kinds of geometric fun?  Yep, those are Batiks!  Just about any pattern can be made with Batiks, or combine your favorite Batiks with other collections to create your own, one-of-a-kind masterpiece!

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A few of my favorite Batiks on our online shop.

If you’d like to see all of the fabulous Batiks at Quilt Expressions, stop in or visit us online.  Click here for the Batik section.

Shhhh!!! Don’t tell Karen!

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Shhhh!  Don’t tell Karen, but I snuck onto her blog because I just had to share pictures from my visit yesterday to Quilt Expressions!  Up until I started my full time job this past August as a school secretary, I had the pleasure of working at Quilt Expressions.  Imagine spending your day working with fabulous customers and coworkers, beautiful samples, and, of course, the best fabric collection anywhere!  Needless to say, I miss that daily dose of creativity and inspiration.

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As a customer, there’s nothing better than stepping into a store and immediately stopping because, well, you just have to!  Fabric, notions, samples, and beautiful displays from floor to ceiling catch your eye.  You wonder where you should start…and then decide to just dive in!  Ever since my first visit about five years ago, it’s been my experience that I have to travel around the store at least three times in order to see everything.  And Quilt Expressions never disappoints!

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Every quilt sample in the store has been pieced by talented Quilt Expressions’ employees and quilted on the long arm.  There’s a pattern, and often a kit, available for every sample in the store.  Take a peek here to view the patterns that are available online.  Many of them are Quilt Expressions’ originals.  Click here for kits that are available for online purchase.

Looking for a great way to boost your stash while saving money?  Dig through the Sweet Rolls basket for end-of-the-bolt pieces; the price on the tag reflects the 20% discount from the original yardage price.

Modern…traditional…Batik…cuddle…Kaffe…baby…themed…I could go on and on.  I love knowing that, when I have a particular project in mind, I’m only going to have to make one stop.  Karen and Kat have done a fantastic job ensuring that all types of fabric are well represented in the store.

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 See that gorgeous swirl quilting pattern on the quilt in the left photo?  (Click on photo for a larger view.) When not helping customers, Rodi and Tracy spend their time in the store quilting customer quilts and store samples.  Are you interested in learning how to use the long arm machines?  Ask one of the employees, and they’ll be happy to give you the details.  It’s quite satisfying to complete a quilt from start to finish all on your own.

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My favorite quilts to make are baby quilts.  They are fast, easy and always loved by the recipient.  Luckily, my friends keep having babies, which gives me plenty of opportunity to buy baby fabric.  Quilt Expressions has a huge selection of nursery prints, flannel and cuddle.  Cuddle makes fabulous backing for baby quilts…it’s soft, 60″ wide (no piecing!) and the quilt patterns show up beautifully.  If you’ve never used it for a back, ask one of the employees to show you a quilt with cuddle backing…I guarantee you’ll love it!

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Thanks for joining me on this little tour of Quilt Expressions.  These photos represent only a portion of the store…stop in soon for a full tour (don’t forget….three times around the store!).  If you’re not in the area, visit the website.  Most of the fabric, patterns, kits, notions, precuts, quilts for sale and gift certificates are available online.

Let’s Take a Walk

You know how, sometimes when you enter a store, you have to walk through it three or four times to make sure you’ve seen everything?  No, not like at the grocery store when you’ve forgotten your list…or is that just me?  I haven’t been to Quilt Expressions for about a month. An extreme case of withdrawal was taking hold, so I knew it was time for a fabric fix.  When I walked in, I discovered that Karen had moved the store around!  And new products?  Everywhere!  I pulled out my camera and started snapping away.   Three trips around the store later, here are a few of my favorite new items and projects.

(Click on any photo to enlarge.)

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Quilt Expressions’ Row By Row: a celebration of our gorgeous Boise River.

If you’ve been spending time on social media, you’re aware of the Row By Row Experience 2015.  Imagine a nationwide shop hop that lasts several months.  Yeah, it’s kinda awesome.  Participating stores have each designed a 9-1/2″ by 36-1/2″ row using this year’s water theme.  Patterns are available for free at participating store for walk-in customers only until September 8, 2015.  Many shops are also offering kits for in-store purchase.  On November 1st, the stores have the option of selling the patterns and kits online.  Once you’ve collected eight patterns from eight different stores, you can make a quilt and possibly win a prize!  Click here for more information, rules and a list of all participating stores.

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Quilts, quilts everywhere!  The talented ladies at the store have been busy designing new patterns and making new quilt samples.  Every sample is quilted on our Statler long arm machine and bound by one of our experienced employees.

Each time I visit, I always spend some time admiring the wool display.  We have a large selection of patterns, along with everything needed to complete the projects.  I have yet to work with wool, which is probably why I admire the hand work so much.  Wool is on my someday “to-do” list, though.

New customers, and sometimes even returning customers, often take one step inside the door, stop and just look around.  The front display (which is changed often), new fabric collections, quilts hanging around the perimeter of the entire store and on many other surfaces, our original patterns and samples….it’s a feast for the eyes!

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If you’re a fan of Kaffe Fassett, Brandon Mably, and Phillip Jacobs, this part of the store is like a candy store for a three-year-old!  The gorgeous fabrics are enough to grab your attention, but add to that the beautiful samples and books available, and you’ll soon be saying, “Oh, I need that…and that…and that!”

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With the hot summer we’ve had here in Boise, it’s hard to start thinking about the holidays.   However, if you like to give handcrafted gifts, you know it’s best to start early!  Stop in or look online at our Halloween and winter holiday collections.

Did you know that Quilt Expressions’ creates and sells original patterns?  Click here for our online selection.  Stop by the store to see an even larger selection.

We’ve been carrying the Reisenthel Market Baskets for quite a while now.  They are the perfect carrier for all of your crafting needs.  We’ve tried to carry Doctor Bags (shown in photo above), but they sell out as soon as they go on display.  Karen placed a large order recently, and, if you hurry, you’ll find the Doctor Bags in stock and at great prices.  These bags aren’t available through our online store….just in-store.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this short photo tour through the store.  Stop in and see us soon!

License Plate Zipper Pouch

We (the royal “we”) made this zipper pouch using a Row by Row license plate from Quilt Expressions. If you’re collecting plates and wonder what to do with them, here’s an idea for you.

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Materials

(2) fat eighths (9″ x ~20″) or (1) fat quarter

(2) 6″ x 10″ pieces of fusible fleece

(1) 10″ or longer zipper

(1) Row by Row fabric license plate

Cutting

From one fat eighth (fabric “A”), cut (1) 10″ x 6″ rectangle, (2) 1 ½” x 7 ¾” strips and (2) 1 ½” x 6″ strips.

From one fat eighth (fabric “B”), cut (2) 10″ x 6″ rectangles and (1) 1 ½” x 5″ rectangle (this is the tab ends for the zipper – you can use scraps from either fabric)

Trim the license plate to 4″ x 7 ¾”. You should have about ¼” around the frame of the license plate on all sides (showing some white fabric).

Instructions:zp3

With right sides together, sew a
1 ½” x 7 ¾” fabric “A” strip to the top and bottom of the license plate. We used the line around the license plate as a guide. Press seams toward the strip.

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Sew a 1 ½” x 6″ fabric “A” strip to both sides of the license plate. Press seams toward the strip.

Fuse the fleece according to the manufacturer’s instructions to the wrong side of one fabric A-10″ x 6″ rectangle and one fabric B-10″ x 6″ rectangle. Lay one rectangle with the fleece side up, then place the license plate rectangle right side up on top of the fleece.

Pin through all layers and stitch in the ditch around the license plate. Trim any excess fleece/fabric to make edges flush. Stitch close to the edge around all four sides with a narrow zigzag or straight stitch. This is the front of your pouch.

Place the remaining 10″ x 6″ rectangle on top of the other fleece/fabric rectangle in the same manner. Pin through all layers. You may choose to do some quilting in this rectangle, but it is not necessary. Trim this piece so that it is the same size as the front pouch rectangle. Stitch close to the edge with a narrow zigzag or straight stitch. This is the back of your pouch.

Take a scrap of fabric of approximately 1 ½” x 5″ and fold in half along the long edges with wrong sides together. Press. Unfold and bring the outside long edges to the middle crease on both sides and press.

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zp31zp32zp33Fold in half again and press. This will be the fabric tabs at both ends of your zipper. With the zipper closed, cut through the zipper at the staple end (cutting off the staple).

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Place the zipper inside of the folded tab (towards one end) and top stitch.

zp38zp39zp41Make sure you stitch through all layers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trim the fabric tab even with the zipper tape on both sides. We’re only showing you one side trimmed here.

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Measure the long side of your pouch; you will trim the zipper 1″ shorter than this measurement.  (See the chalk marks below? That’s where we trimmed our zipper.) Unzip the zipper so the pull is near the middle of the zipper; trim your zipper. zp45

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place the cut ends inside the folded tab.

Top stitch and trim as you did on the other end.zp50

 

 

 

 

 

 

zp52Center the zipper on the top edge of front of your pouch with the pouch front right side up. The zipper pull should be facing down. It’s hard to see–but trust us on this!

 

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Pin through all layers and stitch along the zipper tape.

 

 

 

 

 

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Fold the zipper back and top stitch close to the fabric edge stitching through all layers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place the unsewn side of the zipper along the back piece of the zp59pouch and pin in place. Make sure the two pouch pieces line up along the sides. Stitch the zipper along the zipper tape. Fold the zipper back and topstitch close to the fabric edge through all layers.

 

Open up the zipper. Place the pouch pieces with right sides together, matching side and bottom edges and stitch. Turn the pouch through the zipper opening and push out the corners. Enjoy your new pouch!

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It’s Done! Must be time to move…

I’ll make this quick since it’s time to pack up the Michigan house and move back to Boise. It must be time…I’ve finished the wonky houses quilt top late last night. I know, I know, it’s not a quilt until it’s quilted, which is all the more reason to pack up and return to Boise! whole_quilt_largeI hope you like it and have had a little fun following along. Thanks for providing me an opportunity to put a little color into your day.

See you in Boise!

Karen

 

 

 

Let’s Make Some Rows!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve started sewing some blocks into rows. Not complete rows, because that would require that I had a plan and a size in mind! I thought that you might like a little explanation.

On another note, The Row by Row experience is coming to Boise–and to Quilt Expressions. (If you’d like to visit the Idaho Row by Row Facebook page, and see our “official” row, click here.) Free patterns for Quilt Expressions’ row will be available in the shop starting June 21.

So…in planning our row by row block, I couldn’t help but experiment a little, and of course add the trial “parts and pieces” to my wonky quilt.

rxrhousesThe units are simple little houses and trees, easily made with flying geese. The official Row by Row rules say that our row must be 9″ tall (finished) so that dictated the height of these units. By the way, in case you care, they are all 3″ wide. That 9″ height meant that some of my houses needed to have a little help. Remember, if it’s too short, sew some more on…

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Here’s where those little black and white checkerboard strips come in handy. I used them to make the house on the left a taller block.

Finally, I thought the row was starting to look a little washed out, so I added some columns of color squares.

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It perks up the row, don’t you think? I’m going to sew these blocks together and we’ll see what happens next!

PS–I’m counting down the days to be back in Idaho! Less than three weeks. Della can tell you in exact days, hours and minutes 😉

–Karen