Category Archives: Events

Find out about our events and classes. Not in the area? Email us a photo of your quilt and we’ll show it off at our event and include some of the best in our next newsletter. Everyone is invited!

Our Surprise Revealed

Yesterday we had a huge celebration in the shop to announce our BIG SECRET! People were lined up in the freezing cold to be the first here for our party. Did you miss our big day? Can you guess what the big surprise is?

We won’t make you wait any longer! Our big news is….(drumroll, please!)….we were selected by Quilt Sampler magazine as one of the top ten shops in the United States! WOOO! We are incredibly excited and had so much fun celebrating with all our favorite people at the shop.

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The magazine will be released in May. If you pre-order the magazine from us, you will get entered to win a $100 gift certificate. We are making kits of the quilt being featured in the magazine. We are also taking pre-orders for the kit.

Here’s some photos from yesterday’s celebration.

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First in line!

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The parking lot was FULL!

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Cars lined up all the way to Fred Meyer!

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Making the big announcement.

Making the big announcement.

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The quilt that will be featured in the magazine.

The quilt that will be featured in the magazine.

What to Quilt on Your Quilt

March’s session of our popular free seminar covered what to quilt on your quilt. Karen has been a professional free-motion quilter for years and she covers a range of topics from specific quilting techniques to choosing a back and thread color.

Take a look at the seminar video for great tips and tricks on free-motion quilting.

What’s It Like at Market, Anyway?

We talk about it all the time – Quilt Market.  You might be wondering what is it and what all the buzz is about.  In the most basic of terms, Quilt Market is a retail trade show.  It’s where quilt shop owners go to find the latest products, trends and inspiration for quilting. We really get rejuvenated at market.  We find out what we have been doing right and what we can do better. In order to attend Quilt Market, you must have a retail business, or in my case, are affiliated with a shop. It happens twice a year; the fall show is always in Houston, TX, and the spring show locations change.  Karen and I just got back from fall market; take a look at what it was like this year.

Day One – Market always kicks off with an all-day event called School House.  School House is made up of mini classes that last about 30 minutes.  You hear about new books, patterns, techniques, and fabrics in a lecture setting lead by well-known designers, authors, and businesses. We learn from all of them.  Overall, School House is a bit like high school – Karen even got in trouble for talking, which I’m sure that happened a few times for her in her teens!

Day Two – The trade show opens and the fun begins!  We try to scope out the hundreds of vendors on the first day. If you’ve been to a quilt show with vendors, it looks very similar to that setup except on a huge scale.  This year I took notes on my new iPad about what vendors we wanted to revisit.  It’s kind of like buying a new pair of shoes – you don’t want to buy the first pair you like just in case you find something better at the next store you visit.  After the show closes at 6:00 p.m., the work begins. No, not at the bar! We headed back to our hotel and sorted through all our notes and photos and discussed what vendors we wanted to revisit and what to order.

Day Three – Mixed in with vendor revisits we had appointments with fabric reps.  The fabric we buy at market arrives anytime between one week and eight months later. Some of the fabric we picked out this time around is for Halloween and Christmas fabric for 2012. Wow!

Day Four – The last day of market usually closes early so the pressure is on to get our last few appointments wrapped up and do a final lap around to make sure we didn’t miss anything.  Usually we find things on the last day that we hadn’t noticed before and this year was no different.  We stopped to look at fabric from some new designers called “dear Stella.” Their booth was fresh and modern.  Check out the nautical prints in the top photo – it will be coming soon in our shop.

We also checked out Blend – a new collective of designers under Anna Griffin.  Babysaurus is a fun collection in both the pastel and primary colors that we ordered.

Since we got back to Boise, a lot of people have been asking me what the latest trends are that we found at market. I would say gray is still dominating the color field.  For little girls we saw lots of ruffles.  Dinosaurs and cars were also a popular favorite for boys.  Now that we’re home, the big question is where we going to put all that new fabric when it finally arrives! I know it’s only been a few days since we left Houston, but I’m already looking forward to next year’s market – I’m ready to go again.

— Posted by Della

Try New Things This Year

BQ Kits

The new year is about making goals and doing things in a new way. We like to reinvent ourselves, our homes and even our hobbies. In 2011, Quilt Expressions is leaping into new beginnings with our brand new, beautiful home. I am on this grand quilting adventure to see where sewing can take me. Della is emptying her sewing room to pare out the good from the ugly and just get organized.

What are you doing in this new year to improve yourselves? Maybe you joined us last Saturday for our free seminar on Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Organizing Your Sewing Room and got some good ideas on how to revamp your creative space. Or maybe you became a member of our StashBusters pattern club to try new and different patterns throughout the year.

Everything Series Group

We had over 120 people come to our two sessions of our "Everything Series"! That's our largest bunch yet.

Camping Out

We were so packed, some people were smart and brought their own chairs to camp out in. Who brought the smores?

Since we are all quilters here, our challenge should be to try new things and take our sewing to new levels. A great way to do this is to test out a sewing or fabric style that is totally unlike your own. At the end of it all, you may come to appreciate a traditional quilt pattern, or a modern fabric, that you weren’t expecting to enjoy. And if you still don’t like that style at the end of it all, the quilt will make a great gift and at least you can say you tried. Maybe you will have even learned a new technique.

So, get out there and try a new quilting style. Need a jump start? Try a kit – they make shopping easy and can help you pick out a quilting style you aren’t normally attracted to. Are you a bright colors, modern quilter? Well, try out Aster Manor Baby Quilt as a 360 degree change from your usual. It’s easy to make, great as a gift, and I’m sure you’ll learn to love the Aster Manor line by the end of it all. Or maybe traditional quilts with “dark and dreary” fabrics (as Karen likes to call Civil War reproduction) is what gets you excited. Try out BQ Amy Butler. This aqua quilt has huge blocks to show off the large floral prints Amy is so famous for. Wow, what a change. Let some light in! The good news is we just put a ton of kits on sale, so snatch ‘em up while they last and have a happy new-you year.

— Posted by Stacy

Fat Quarter Baby

Try Aster Manor Baby Quilt out!

Who You Gonna Call?

Stashbusters! Stash…what? BUSTERS. You’re not a quilter until you have a box, closet, or storage shed full of fabric that you have no immediate use for. Maybe we all have a bit of a hoarding problem. Let’s face it, you don’t need that yard of novelty fabric you’ve been “saving” for a special project for the past twenty years. It’s time to let go and make room for all the new pretty fabric that’s out there.

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And that’s where Stashbusters comes in. We’ve created a simple 12-step program that will help you use up that coveted stash in just one year. Don’t worry though, you’re not alone! We have mobs of women joining us every month.

Here’s how it works:

  • Every month we give you a great new pattern. The idea — make a quilt using what you’ve got already.
  • We meet the fourth Wednesday of the month, as well as the following Saturday. Pick your day and sign up.
  • Show up at the shop with your Stashbusters binder. Eat some cookies. We hand out the latest pattern, give away door prizes, and do show-and-tell of quilts from last month’s pattern.
  • Stand-up comedy. Wellll, not quite. Karen and Della are a punchy duo and always manage to get a few laughs out of the group. Girls just wanna have fun!
  • Coupons? Will there be coupons?! Yes! Show your quilt to the group and get a 15% off coupon to use on regular priced merchandise.
  • 12 months is only $45 — a lot cheaper than therapy.

Yes! Yes! I want in….but….I live in Kansas…London….Mongolia…..now what? Good news, ladies. You don’t have to actually be in Boise to be a part of Stashbusters. We’ll email or snail-mail you the pattern every month. Send us a photo of your quilt to show-and-tell (we’ll share with our local group and on the blog) and you’ll get your 15% off coupon for the online store. Prizes? You betcha. We’ll send out prizes for our global participants every month as well. The bad news? Sorry, we can’t send ya cookies. You just gotta be here for the sugar. Email us to get started (quiltexp@cableone.net)

Here’s a look at last week’s Stashbusters event.

Stashbusters Group

The group waits in anticipation for a door prize.

 

September Quilt

Our first show-and-tell. Bright color choices for our September pattern

Creative

Not enough fabric? No problem! A table runner from three blocks of the September pattern. We love when our group gets creative

October's Pattern

Here's October's pattern, called "Play Date." Can you guess who picked the colors? I'll give you a clue -- Karen says lime green is one of her neutrals. Can't wait to see what the group comes up for this one.

— Posted by Stacy

Moving Day

So, here we are. We’ve landed. The girls at Quilt Expressions have gone digital and there’s no turning back now.

Our fun little group of bloggers are ready to jump into action and will be bringing you new entries every week covering all-things quilting. Look forward to the best sewing secrets, giveaways for our dedicated followers, the latest projects from our fabulous team and an insiders’ peak to our latest fabric collections. You can also spy on what’s going on in the shop, including ideas from our “cookie cocktail” events and the brilliant quilts our friends and customers are working on.

Have you heard the news? Quilt Expressions has MOVED its location! After a few years in “cozy” quarters, we’ve reached our quilt shop heaven in a spacious 6,600 foot building with mile-high ceilings and skylights that makes the whole shop glow. We’ve barely missed a step in the transition and have all the long-arm machines buzzing along, customers scooping up armloads of newly discovered bolts while we’ve even managed to get several brand-new collections on the floor. Check out our online store to see the latest.

FabricMountain

Wonder what it looks like to move 5,000+ bolts of fabric? We took lots of photos of our able-bodied moving crew as they carried piles upon piles of bolts back and forth between the shop and our 26-foot truck.  Finishing the move in just under six hours, it was almost as easy as a wiggle of the nose a la Bewitched (although unpacking was another story…)

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Laying sheets and quilts on the floor, we started unloading our mountain of fabric in good spirits.

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And the pile got bigger...

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... and BIGGER ...

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Karen lays more quilts down to make room on the floor as the moving nears an end.

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The winner! JF carries the most bolts from the truck.

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Annnd we’re finished. Can you believe this is only HALF of the new store?

And now, for the fun part! What’s better than shop talk and witty online banter? Free stuff! Make a comment to this blog entry with your first name and email address and you will be entered to win six fat quarters from the new collection everyone is talking about — Miniatures by Windham Fabrics! Our winner will be chosen on November 1st, so don’t delay. Invite your friends to check us out and maybe they’ll share the winnings if our random number generator favors them over you.

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The complete Miniatures line.

— Posted by Stacy