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April 5, 2014

Except for a quick trip out west to visit my grandchildren, this past month has found me home in Virginia with the opportunity to meet many of you. Between quilters arriving on buses and those who have traveled from near and far to take classes, the Studio has been bustling.  In our last newsletter, we showed you a picture of empty shelves. Just a couple of weeks later, we celebrated the arrival (finally!) of our much delayed shipment of Milan fabrics and are making Florentine kits as fast as we can.
While I'm enjoying being home, I am also looking forward to two trips I have ahead of me. In the fall, I am going back to India, this time with Jim West of Sew Many Places. In February of 2015, Jim has planned an African tour - elephants, giraffes, beads, weaving and even a hot air balloon ride! It is one of my favorite areas of the world and this promises to be quite a trip. There are still a few places left on each of the trips. Won't you join me for the trip of a lifetime?

This newsletter is packed with information. Take a peek at four new versions of a favorite quilt using time-saving pre-cuts. Quilters Quest is sooner than you think so we have information to help you start planning. We have suggestions for quick quilts for grads, tips to make your quilting life a little easier, a link to our new blog and the all-important pattern for the next installment of our Block of the Month.

Discover the New Look and Techniques for Crayon Box
I designed Crayon Box for our 2012 Quilters' Quest.  This tumbling blocks variation was so popular that I am bringing it back to introduce my new palette products. With four different colorways, the Crayon Box quilts debut sets of 2 inch Pixie Strips using selected fabrics from my palette. Each of the four sets contains 40 carefully shaded fabrics. Collect all four and you will have one strip of all 150 palette fabrics, plus 10 extra. Quilters are discovering the efficiency of pre-cuts and these pixie strips make good use of your precious quilting time. Whether by hand or machine, we guarantee you'll enjoy making this quilt.
Crayon Box comes in 4 colorways: Grassland, Galaxy, Sunset & Tropics

The staff and I have been trying to figure out which colorway of Crayon Box we like best but can't decide. I suppose it's like trying to choose your favorite child-impossible! Please help us out by taking this ONE question survey and tell us which is your favorite.

Tell Us Which Colorway You Like Best

Introducing Our Blog
I will admit that I am not the most tech-savvy person around. Facebook, Pinterest, blogs...it's all a little confusing to me. Thankfully, I have a staff that keeps me current on such things. In educating me about blogs, I've come to realize what a wonderful resource blogs can be as a teaching tool.   In it you will find tips, happenings and a behind-the-curtain look at the operation of the Studio such as the process of creating our current Block of the Month, Starstruck. You will be able to leave comments allowing us to answer questions and better build relationships with our customers. Learn about our blog.


Fast, Fun & Fabulous Quilts for Last Minute Gifts
Yes, it is once again that time of year when we suddenly realize that there is a graduation quilt needed in the near future...very near future. Let us come to your rescue with several quilts which are fast and easy yet still have great style.

*    Ambrosia - Bright and cheery, the bold colors of the quilt featuring large, vibrant rectangles, pack quite a punch.

*    Kinetic Energy - Create the sense of movement and dimension in this graphic quilt. Using strips to create a strata followed by simple rotary cutting, makes this quilt surprisingly fast to assemble.

*    Parquet - Super-easy strip construction will have this quilt ready to put on your finished list in no time.

*    Warp and Weft and Pick Up Sticks - Let the fabrics do the work for you!  Jinny's ombre fabrics create a wonderfully woven 3-dimensional effect with just one block and two fabrics.

Quilters' Quest 2014
As I mentioned in the last newsletter, Quilters' Quest, our annual shop hop, is scheduled for November 7 - 16.  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 now accepting reservations. For more information and to reserve your seat, visit our Quilters' Quest Bus page. Don't forget to sign 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.

Quilt tip - Keep Those Templates From Slipping!
This month's tip proves the old adage, "Necessity is the mother of invention." Recently, I was using a rotary cutter with my new diamond templates while experimenting with a quilt design. Every now and then, the template would slip ever so slightly. You know how frustrating that can be! Nearby, were my two packages of Needle Grip-Its. These are wonderful dots, worn on the finger, which help me pull the needle through when hand quilting or piecing. I grabbed the larger ones, the Grip-Its 2, put a couple of the dots on the underside of my template and, "Viola." No more slipping! Now I use the Grip-Its 2 not only for my templates but on any rotary ruler and the regular Grip-Its for their intended use.

Starstruck- Star Block 2

Month 3, star block 2-Your second star block again incorporates fussy cutting the border print fabric, adding impact and a touch of elegance to this month's block.  After last month, you now have experience with inset or Y-seams.  Help is always available for cutting, piecing, blocking and printing the templates on our website.

Make sure you read about how this quilt was created by reading my blog on the design process behind Starstruck.

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

[Download link available in subscriber e-mail 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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