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Sweet Stitches Quilt Shop June 2020 Newsletter


SSQS Journal

Issue 34 June 2020 

June 2020

Hello Everyone,

We hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy as we roll into the month of June. In last month's newsletter, I talked about "Adapting". It seemed fitting because April was the month we started to plan our reopening of the shop, how we were going to make it work and thinking about the safest way to navigate our new normal. If April was about “Adapting” then "Making It" in May seems to be the theme as I'm writing this newsletter - just happy to be making it through the month, heck making it through the day sometimes is all you can do! Making time, making changes, making choices, making masks, making those machines work, making projects, making it fun, making a video - that one had me making for the door, as nerves always get the best me, just make it work Joan!

Making is what Quilter's do best. We make quilts, we make with our hands and our hearts, we make memories and we make life softer and brighter for those dear to us and for those we have never met. It is in our creative need to make, that we find peace, a sense of purpose and pride. The world needs more Makers and I’d like to think that through this challenge that faces us now, those who have brought out the old sewing machines to make masks are finding the joy in making and doing for others and I hope they continue making things when life starts rolling again if only to bring a little creative joy to their lives. Quilters know the joy that making and creating can bring to our lives. The colors, the feel of fabrics, patterns and design fill us with possibility. The calming effect of stitching is such a gift to the soul and we need that peacefulness to get us through now more than ever before. I hope you all make time for whatever brings a little joy and happiness to your life this month.

May All Your Stitches Be Sweet,


Quilters Select
On-Line LIVE
Advanced Learning Seminar

Friday June 5  11:00am Central

Sweet Stitches is pleased to present an online event featuring National Educators from Quilters Select and RNK.  In our effort to continue our popular 1st Friday Demo day, we have partnered with RNK to present a LIVE educational series. Before the event, we will provide you with a link and a password to enter the site. No Registration and no Special Software is needed. We will provide the login information by email and Facebook. You can join using your computer, your phone, your iPad, or other electronic device from the comfort and safety of your home. During the event, you will have the ability to interact with the speaker through a chatbox.

We are offering special Online Seminar Only Pricing. Products will be available on the site during the event and will be shipped directly to your door. This is a great opportunity for you to learn more about the Quilters Select product line and, through this partnership with Quilters Select, Sweet Stitches can offer event pricing because inventory and shipping are handled by the Quilters Select warehouse rather than Sweet Stitches purchasing additional stock for the store. We appreciate the thoughtfulness that Quilters Select has brought forward with the event and their effort to assist small brick and mortar quilt shops.

Not available at 11:00am?
Not to worry! The event will be recorded and the products available for 48 hours after the live presentation.

Do you own an Embroidery Machine?
Save the Date of June 12, 2020
Sweet Stitches will host a second RNK Advanced Learning Event
featuring the Embellish line of products

      Curbside Service Available!

Although our store was opened to customers May 5th, Sweet Stitches continues to offer curbside service for product and machine service purchases. All On-line or phone orders requesting curbside will be fulfilled no later than the next business day. Our on-line system will send a notice when your order is ready. For machine repair, simply call the shop, we will create a work order for your machine. Simply stop by during business hours and we will be glad to carry your machine in. No need to schedule ahead to drop off your machine!

While we would love to see you in the shop, we understand that it is not possible or advisable for everyone. We are happy to support curbside services.

For those a long distance away, you can shop online and select our shipping option!

Row by Row is Now QUILTERS TREK

Each summer, Sweet Stitches has participated in Row by Row. This year, the organizers have made significant updates to the program created a new name, Quilters Trek, new requirements for the quilt blocks and in recognition of the current state of travel restrictions, will allow kits to be shipped throughout the program which begins June 21.

Founded in 2011 by a New York State quilt shop owner, Janet Lutz, Row by Row was created as a summertime shop hop that all brick-and-mortar quilt shops are invited to participate in. Each summer, a theme is selected and shops design an original “row” pattern. This years theme for the first Quilters Trek is True Blue. Customers visiting the shop may request a free pattern. Sweet Stitches has created a kit to accompany the pattern. 

For this years Quilters Trek, Joan has created a cute piece called True Blue Friends.

The Trek Starts June 21, 2020 !

Only a few left in Stock
Accuquilt has announced a rebranding of the Go! Me Product. The cutter itself will remain unchanged but the packaging and coloration will be more in line with the forward plans for their branding. While the update will not be available until mid to late summer, Sweet Stitches plans to sell its current stock at the reduced price of $69.99. 

This cutter is an inexpensive entry into the accuquilt line of products and the six-inch cutter is capable of utilizing nearly 70% of all accuquilt dies. Once we are able, Sweet Stitches will renew our accuquilt Go! Play Days, a free interactive class designed to provide you the instruction you need to get the most out of your accuquilt cutting system! This Free class is only available to Sweet Stitches Accuquilt cutter customers.

This price reduction will only apply to our current inventory. You can link to the Accuquilt Go! Me page by clicking here. 


We are working on a new BOM. Unfortunately, our planned project fell victim to our shop closing in March and at this time we are unable to receive the associated fabrics and patterns. We have several ideas for our next block and look forward to announcing them soon. 

CLASS Calendar

One of the most often asked questions in the shop is "When are you going to have classes again?" We appreciate the interest and are happy that so many of you are asking. As you can imagine, we are taking a conservative approach to this decision. Although classes have been a large portion of our business model, we recognize that any classroom function would require several precautions to be conducted safely. While we have begun to offer one on one machine training and tutoring, we plan to wait for at least several more weeks prior to beginning any group classes.

We have considered providing some on-line training classes using Facebook or even Zoom, so far we have not found the time to develop online classes. 

Please stick with us, we will get there when we feel that it is safe and we can supply an excellent experience for all participants. 

 Sweet Stitches On the Road

Upcoming Events

We are not going anyplace - they are all canceled for now!

A Machine Minute

General Maintenance and proper technique are critical for optimum performance of your sewing machine and project outcome.

Pay Attention to Tension

The repair shop has been busy! A lot of machines have been pulled from closets, basements, garages and have been enlisted to make masks. While most certainly not exclusive to these newly found machines, the most common issues associated with machines making their way to our shop are; "It's nesting underneath", and "it has tension issues".

Upon evaluation to address the issue, the majority of these machines simply need proper threading, and only a very few required actual adjustments or a replacement part to correct the issue.

Nesting on the bottom side - If you see large loops of thread on the bottom of your fabric, this will be an excess of UPPER thread that has not been pulled back up. Almost always this is caused by a lack of upper tension or missing the uptake lever when threading the machine. In the case of no tension, this can be caused by attempting to thread the machine when the presser foot is down not allowing the thread to fall in between the tension discs. Alternatively, a similar outcome can arise if you miss the uptake lever when threading. Without the uptake lever, the thread will not be pulled back thus leaving a large loop on the underside. 

If you experience nesting on the underside of your fabric we recommend that you stop sewing, remove both the upper and bobbin thread completely from the machine. Start over and rethread. For those that have been sewing for a few years, we thread our machines with muscle memory. It may be the case we simply need to slow down, being sure the presser foot is up, that you floss your thread to be certain it falls between the discs and that you catch the uptake lever. Most often this will solve your issue.

What happens if its knot you?

If you have rethreaded completely and you still have nesting below, it is possible something is the matter with your tension discs. In this case, the most common cause is a thread or other impediment wedged between the discs. 

Recently, we had a machine in the shop with this story; "While sewing, I ran my spool empty. I threaded a new spool and no matter what I do I now have looping on the bottom." We tested the machine by placing thread through the tension discs, lowing the presser foot and pulling on the thread. If the tension discs are working you will feel the thread pull tight as you tug on it. In this case, nothing, no tension and the thread was completely loose as we pulled on it. As it turns out when the last bit of thread was pulled off of her spool and through the machine it had a small knot in it. This knot became wedged between the discs and they could not close. We were able to solve the issue by flossing the discs and the random thread with the knot was pulled out. This one worked out well, sometimes, in this situation when the discs are not closing, you must open the machine and the discs to remove the obstruction. This is when you will call Sweet Stitches for repair service!

Quilters of all skill levels can find encouragement, inspiration and creativity at Sweet Stitches Quilt Shop. Located in Chesterton, Indiana just a few miles from the natural beauty of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Sweet Stitches Quilt Shop is your destination for fabrics, notions and all things quilting. We carry a wide variety of brights, batiks and reproduction fabrics as well as notions, patterns, books and Elna/Janome sewing machines. Our large classroom offers students everything they need to learn and grow their quilting talents. From fabric selection to project advice to training on your new machine, our friendly, knowledgeable staff is ready to assist. Stop by the store or click the "Shop Online" link to view our wide variety of products ready to ship direct to your door.

1585 South Calumet Road  Chesterton, IN 46304

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