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March 1, 2014
Greetings!,

My student, Lena (far left), at Independence Square, Kiev
You have probably heard in the news of the recent volcano eruption in Indonesia and the political unrest and violence in the Ukraine. I have visited both of these places in recent years, as my batik fabric is made in Solo and I've taught several times in Kiev. I am saddened by all they are going through and hope that their lives in these beautiful cities can return to normal very soon.

With all of the travel I've had lately, I'm looking forward to the month ahead and the opportunity to teach here at the Studio. The classes I taught in Ft. Lauderdale as a fundraiser for quilter Libby Lehman's medical expenses were very successful and filled with a wonderful group of quilters. The following week, I gave the keynote address at the American Quilter's Society show in Phoenix. If you've never been to a major quilt show, I highly recommend adding it to your quilter's "to-do" list. The quilts are always spectacular and inspiring.

Here in the Studio, the past month has been filled with cancellations and delays. We have had classes postponed due to inclement weather which had to be rescheduled, production of batiks stopped due to the volcano, and yet another delay in the shipping of my next collection, Milan, because it seems to be on the slowest boat to ever cross the Pacific. We expect all of that to right itself by the end of the month. On the bright side, our newsletter this month does have exciting projects, tips and tools to make your work easier, Quilter's Quest news, and the next installment of Starstruck, this year's Block of the Month.

If You Love Precuts, You'll Love Parquet
Those great little timesavers, precuts, are becoming more and more popular and so are patterns which use them. Using 2 inch wide Pixie Strips from my Ashford collection, I've designed a super-fast, super-easy quilt which is perfect as a graduation gift or to keep and snuggle under. Parquet comes in two colorways and simple strip-piecing techniques make the process speedy. The introduction of one thinner connecting strip and a narrower focus strip give the rectangular blocks a sense of unity and interest, taking away the predictability of having all of the strips the same width. The quilt has partial seams but never fear-you will find a step-by-step tutorial and video on my website which will have you mastering this technique in no time and with all straight seams!

Look for Parquet to make its debut this Wednesday as our Weekly Web Special. Not a subscriber? Click here to receive our weekly email with information on our specials and a bonus only to subscribers. In fact, we think this quilt is so fun that we are offering the web special pricing (available in subscriber email only) to subscribers today.


Just Right for Precuts or Any Project - Olfa Travel Ruler


When I asked my staff what supplies they would need in working with our Pixie Strips, the unanimous answer was the Olfa Travel Ruler. Yes, it was made for traveling to workshops, but it has fast become a favorite in the home studios of our veteran staffers and our classes of beginners alike. With its easy-to-read marking, angled lines and non-slip finish, it is a great ruler for so many projects.
 

Start Planning for Quilter's Quest 2014
One of the highlights of the year for us here at the Studio, is our shop hop, known as Quilters' Quest, every November. Even though it is many months away, the planning has already begun. Mark your calendars now for next year's Quest, November 7 - 16, 2014. Consider signing up for the Quest newsletter which includes free patterns for the Quest Block of the Month, information on all of our area shops plus special discounts and promotions. Visit the Quilters' Quest website to subscribe.  

fun-car-illustration.jpg The Studio will once again be hosting two buses for the Quest-one bus on the weekend (November 7 & 8) and one during the week (November 12 & 13). We are finalizing plans and expect to be accepting registrations by the end of the month.

Show Those Wayward Blocks Who's Boss
Shhhh.....don't tell anyone. Sometimes, after I piece my blocks, I discover they aren't exactly the correct size. By taking just a few extra minutes, you can make the assembly of your quilt much easier. Discover how in our new tip, "Encouraging" Your Blocks into Shape. With this technique, T-pins are important and you can find them here.


Starstruck - Star Block 1

The first block in Starstruck starts with a simple border print square followed by three basic shapes. You get your first taste of Y-seams (aka inset seams). Discover how easy they really are!

Remember the link for downloading the patterns is available only in the subscriber email.

[Download link available in subscriber email only] 

Would you like to see all six color versions? Starstruck Quilt Kits are now available.

 

We've also created beautiful fat quarter bundles of the fabric used in Starstruck. If you love the colors in this quilt and would like to use them in a different project, this is the choice for you.

 


Happy Quilting!

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