Issue 37 September 2020
September has always marked the beginning of back to school. I think in my mind that is still how I still see September- a time to get back to learning but these days the three R's are a bit different as a quilter. Reading is practiced through paging through quilting magazines, books, and patterns. The writing skills are reserved for my list of quilts that need to be finished, the list of items needed from the quilt shop, and labels for the quilts I have finished. The arithmetic, never my favorite subject, is now figuring out how many strips I will get out of a yard of fabric and estimating how much backing fabric I will need for that king-sized quilt with a little geometry added for good measure. September is the perfect time to take a quilting class, learn new patterns, find new tools, and cozy into the winter months ahead with projects to keep your mind and hands busy as well as keep your creative soul fulfilled. I have been a quilter for almost 30 years now and there is still so much to learn about this wonderful art form, that not only involves creativity but also skillfulness, precision, and a need to always do better. Once more, the result of all this skill and creativity - a gift of warmth, beauty, and love that we can provide to those we love and those we have never met. This gift of a quilt is really a gift to ourselves first because we used our minds and hands to create something that brought peace and beauty to our lives.
If you want to start your September off learning or trying something new, take a class with us. We have a full September calendar with new classes as well as those classes that will help to improve your quilting skills. The class sizes are smaller now to allow for distancing so don't wait too long to sign up.
Keep learning, Keep loving, Keep living your best Quilt Life!
May All Your Stitches Be Sweet,
Are you part of the Sweet Stitches Accuquilt Owners Group? Our owner's group Go! Play Days! will begin again, this time in Video format. On September 17 Darla will present the Juniper Table Runner. We will provide a video link on the 17th for this month's Owners Group Go! Play Day.
For exciting Accuquilt news, tips, and tricks, you can keep up to date and stay in touch on all things through our newsletter and our Accuquilt Facebook page
Sweet Stitches is again offering classroom instruction. As with all aspects of our business, Covid rules will apply. We have reduced the maximum number of people in our classes to Four and masks will be required for class participants and instructors.
Based on strong interest, we will continue to offer beginning quilting, free motion quilting, and sewing machine operation each month for the foreseeable future.
Additional classes have been added to the September calendar as well. You can link to the September Calendar to see all of the classes by Clicking Here.
We look forward to seeing you at the shop and in the classroom!
Curbside Service is Available!
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 notification when your order is ready. For machine repair, simply call the shop, we will create a work order for your machine. 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!
With folks spending more time at home, interest in Sewing, Embroidery, and Fabric Arts has increased. It is nice to see so many new folks taking up sewing and quilting! For those of you new to the craft, you may consider joining a local Quilt Guild. Guilds are a great way to connect with quilters, make friends, and be part of a supportive and encouraging environment.
Even though in-person meetings have been suspended for the time being, most guilds are using social media, video, and live stream events to stay in touch with members.
Near to our shop is the String-A-Long Quilt Guild. This Guild would normally meet at Hawthorn Park in Porter but currently, they are using Facebook and Youtube to deliver content to members at least monthly. If you are interested, you can connect with the String-A-Long Guild by:
There are several guilds in the surrounding counties of Northwest Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan that have great members and programs. If you need any assistance to identify a Guild local to you, please let us know, we would be happy to point you in the right direction.
Speaking of Programs - Are you a member of a guild in need of programming for your members? Please send us a note to email@example.com. Sweet Stitches may be able to assist you with content or project ideas delivered to your members as video and information through custom webpages. Pre-Covid, Sweet Stitches was often on the road to visiting guilds. Today, we can help you stay in touch and keep your members active using video in place of a live talk as one possible outreach method.
A Machine Minute
General Maintenance and proper technique are critical for optimum performance of your sewing machine and project outcome.
Gotta be Sharp!
Of all the many parts that make up a sewing machine, very few parts actually contact your project and fabric. These contact points are critical for a successful outcome and none more so than your needle. While any guideline provided must come with multiple caveats, a good rule of thumb is to change your needle at least every 12 hours of sewing time. (i.e. 12 hours of machine running time). Consider the math, if you are sewing at an average stitch per minute (spm) of 400, your needle will impact your fabric, batting, interfacing, stabilizers over 280,000 times during that 12 hours of operation. That is a lot of impact and use! For the best outcomes, it is necessary to change your needles.
One more needle tip - if you are using an adhesive such as Steam a Seam or other adhesive products, it is likely that your needle will develop a film and become tacky. To minimize the problem, allow the adhesive to fully cure. Sewing soon after application is a sure way to end up with a sticky needle and skipped stitches!
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