Saturday, February 20, 2010

Civil War Tribute Month 2

This month you will be making FOUR 15" Finished Squares and it involves LOTS of half square triangles. To make it even more work you will be using two fabrics that are directional to make the half square triangles. The photo provided with your pattern shows the background fabric going in different directions and the brown stripe in different directions, but well that just doesn't work for me. My block is assembled like Diagram 1 on page 2 of your pattern.

The pattern calls for cutting squares 3 3/8" from Fabric 1, 2, & 3 and then cutting them in half on the diagonal...*I cut the SQUARES as indicated and then stopped cutting.
When everything was cut I went to Piecing the Block, Step 1.
In this step you will make half square triangles, use the instructions and pair up the appropriate fabrics right sides together. I made the half square triangles by drawing a line from corner to corner and then seam a scant 1/4" away from the line on each side and then you cut on the diagonal line. See picture below for the "pattern" and the direction that they are facing, pay close attention to the bottom brown fabric as well the stripe on the left brown unit is going left to right and the right brown unit the stripe top to bottom. The red units on top you will do that to make one block, the brown units below you will repeat the left diagram four times for each block, and the right diagram four times to make each block. The blue dashed lines indicate the fabric "pattern direction". The green line indicates the line drawn from corner to corner and the red is the scant 1/4" seam allowance. Once you have sewn and cut on the drawn line, press towards the dark and then trim to 3", if you used a scant 1/4" seam you will have a little wiggle room on trimming.
Step 2: Fabric 3, cut (4) of the squares in half on the diagonal to make (8) triangles, assemble as direction.
Step 3: Fabric 1, use the photo below and use the blue line as the cutting line. Notice that the squares have the "pattern direction" in different directions.

Now all of your units are made. Layout the whole block and then piece it together as directed in the pattern. Enjoy the process, you are on your way to making this huge quilt!
**Side note about Half Square triangles.
If you are designing a quilt or trying to figure out what size square to start
with when making Half Square triangles,
just remember this number 7/8".
Always add 7/8" to the finished size of the half square triangle that you want!
So in the case above, we want a finished size of 2 1/2" so we start with a square that is 3 3/8".

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentines Day!

Hello Friends,
Today marks our Eighth Anniversary....and of course Valentines Day! This is a small sampling of where we started at when we first opened on February 14, 2002. It was such a fun and amazing day, opening the doors for the first time and greeting a line of women! We are very excited about the store that we have become; adding an amazing staff, adding lots of fabric, moving into the "downtown",and joining the ranks of American Quilt Samplers Top Ten Quilts Shops.
Leslie and I are very blessed that all of you welcomed us and we are very grateful each and every day, to share the store with you. It has been an amazing 8 years and we are looking forward to many more. I know that all of the "girls" at the shop agree...we come to work each day loving what we do and we can't wait for our friends to walk through the door. Our slogan of "A Place Where Friendships Grow" has been proven time and time again. Just today we were talking with a customer at the shop and reminisced on when she was expecting her little one. We have watched many of your children and grandchildren grow into young people, your children graduate from high school and college. We have shared sorrows with you on the death of a family member, and joy on the announcement of a new child, new son in law or daughter in law.
Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your lives. Thank you for making our store your own! We look forward to many more years!

In Stitches,
Melissa and Leslie

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Abundance Month 2

Month 2 of Abundance has been shipped, here is what your blocks will look like when complete. This month you are doing the Acorns and Wishbone.Enjoy.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Our Customers are the Greatest!

We just want to THANK all of our great customers!
We have collected 142 pillowcases for
American Patchwork and Quilting
1 Million Pillowcase Challenge.
The first 100 will go the George Mark Children's House. We can't begin to tell you how thrilled we are with the huge and generous hearts of all of you! These pillowcases will make the day of the children who receive them. We can't wait to deliver them in the coming weeks. I have to share that we have been approached by a mom who has used the George Mark House and she was just thrilled that we were supporting this cause. She said that they have created an environment that is wonderful. Her family felt so supported and comfortable when they needed some respite and it is an amazing place. We are glad to be able to donate to such a wonderful place.

You all have blown us away with your generosity and support! Janet R. rocks, with her 36 pillowcase donation. She said that she pulled from her stash and is now 36 yards down, she said it felt so good using up that fabric! Now she has room for more fabric in her stash. She had a ball seeing how many cases she could make and when she made 31 she decided she could make a few more. Whether you donate 1 pillowcase or 36 like Janet, just know that you are going to put a smile on the face of a child.

Now that we have reached our first goal in just about one months time it is time to announce the next organization we will support....This organization is near and dear to our hearts, they were the visionaries for Camp Arroyo where we host our Retreat Between Friends and the organization that hosts children's camps for special needs children each summer at Camp Arroyo. The Taylor Family Foundation, has been around for 20 years and this year will celebrate its 10th year of offering camps. From their website, "To put it simply, Camp Arroyo is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, where kids with special needs are free to just be kids. No conforming, no hiding, no being singled out as “different.” Camp Arroyo provides a safe, nurturing environment, filled with positive energy and support. It’s a place where kids are surrounded by children with similar conditions, and where individuality is not taboo, but celebrated." This organization offers campers the ability to come enjoy camp, free of charge. They have many fundraising programs including Coins for Campers which all of customers supported while the coin jar was in the shop. They also have an annual fundraiser "Day in the Park" which will occur on August 29,2010.

We have chosen to support this organization by donating 144 pillowcases to them. These cases will be given out during one of the camps that will occur during the summer. Each summer they host 2700 children with a wide range of special needs; children suffering from life threatening to chronic illnesses, developmental disabilities, and at risk children. We hope you will help us reach our goal, they need the cases by the end of April...which we are certain our great customers will meet the need.

Thanks again to all of you! We are very fortunate to have you and your caring hearts speak volumes!

In Stitches,
Leslie, Melissa, and the In Between Stitches Girls

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pony Express

The beginning of the month has arrived which means that it is time to mail out a few block of the month programs! We have a new system in place which makes this task easier...but we still have to get the packages to the post office. Our mailman has a walking route, which means that we have to "schedule" a pick-up. However we aren't that far from the post office, so taking mail to the post office isn't a bad chore. This month proved a little tricky because boxes were involved and all the mail didn't fit into bags.

So I decided to put our wagon to use, who knows what the neighbors thought....

For those in our BOM programs that mail on the 5th...your packages are on their way. Have a great day...the sun is shining. Maybe it can keep it up for the rest of the week.

In Stitches,


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Abundance Block of the Month

We have mailed out our first packets for the Abundance Block of the Month.

This great quilt was designed by Verna Mosquera of The Vintage Spool. The pattern is available in the shop and we still have spaces left in the Block of the Month. It is sure to become a Fall favorite in your home. For our Block of the Month we decided to do a twist and make ours in traditional fall colors of green, brown, gold, orange, and of course reds. Here are the first two blocks that you will make in Month 1. Enjoy...

Monday, January 18, 2010


Congrats to Jim K. for solving the puzzle,

In Between Stitches has been chosen to be in
American Patchwork and Quilting Spring Quilt Sampler Issue.

Quilt Sampler will hit newsstands on May 11, 2010! Last September American Patchwork and Quilting sent a photographer and a designer out to take photos of the store. The plan was they would photograph the store and we would be open for business. Oh did I mention we couldn't share with anyone about the magazine. It was such a difficult secret to keep, especially from those of you who were in the shop during photographing. Andy and Jan made the day very fun and they took pictures of almost every nook and cranny in the shop. To begin their Livermore experience we took them to Casa Orozco, a visit to Livermore wouldn't be complete otherwise. The next day the photography began, even our shop dog Harley was in on the action. He was brought to the store by special request of the editor of American Patchwork and Quilting. We can't wait to see what the article looks like and says.

This great honor of being one of the Top Ten Quilt Stores in the country, would not be possible without our great staff. Each of them have made the store what it is today. We are grateful to all of you, our customers, for allowing us the opportunity to do what we do each day! It is very exciting to be able to share your quilt store with the country. Not only are they showcasing the store, they are also showcasing Livermore. They planned to drive around and take some photos of attractions in town...that may have been clever photographer talk for going wine tasting but we won't know. All in all we are very excited and hope that this brings a whole new group of quilters to our area. We have been getting lots of emails from our friends across the country, they want to see what Leslie has done in the front they are.

Remember we are having our Monster of a Pillowcase Challenge....bring in a standard size pillowcase made from novelty fabrics. We are donating the first batch to the George Mark Children's House in San Leandro.

In Stitches,
Leslie and Melissa

Friday, January 15, 2010

Saturday Marks One Year

Dear Friends,
It is amazing how one year goes by so quickly! Saturday, January 16 marks one year since Leslie and I first walked into 2190 First Street and covered the windows, to begin the remodel!
It was finally time to make Mel's Furniture the new quilt store and our crew of workers had a large task in front of them. We wanted to be able to reopen in the new location by our Seventh Anniversary on February 14th, 2009. The anticipation of our new store was mounting and we even had ladies who decided to get in line early...
It was a long haul, with long days and nights...but with lots of hard work, LOTS of sandpaper for the hardwood floors and over 50 gallons of paint it was finally time for moving day.We filled every truck and SUV we had with all of the store inventory and made the trek across the parking lot. Then began setting the store up! Visit our February 2009 blog post to see the process.

Here we are one year later, the response from all of you about our new home has been amazing! Everyone agrees In Between Stitches has found the perfect spot. It has been truely amazing being a part of Livermore Downtown and we have met so many new friends.

Now we have GREAT....BIG NEWS to share with you...

and so we decided to play a game....

The first person to post a comment with the correct answer will receive a
$25.00 Gift Certificate to the store and a gift...

Also to Celebrate the Big News and the significance of January 16th we are having a sale....

20% Off any 1/2 yard or more of fabric

**Cannot be combined with any other offer or discount,
purchase not applied to frequent buyer points, cannot be used for s
pecial order fabrics or precut goods**

So now time for the game....

It is a tile scramble...put the tiles in the correct order to guess the news.

Remember to post the answer in the comment section...

the first person to guess will win the prize. We will have some runner up prizes as be sure to post your comments.

In Stitches,

Leslie and Melissa

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Retreat Between Friends

This May we will be holding our Seventh Annual "Retreat Between Friends".

The retreat is held at Camp Arroyo, located in the outskirts of Livermore. Once you arrive on the property you feel like you are a world away.
The fun begins on Friday May 14 at 4 p.m. and we depart on Sunday May 16 at 2 p.m., during the weekend stay all meals are prepared for you, allowing you to sew, sew, sew.
There are always people sewing in the dining hall, from early in the morning until well the next morning! The coffee pot is always on, along with sodas, juice, and tea, if you need some chocolate well we have that as well. A snack table is usually brimming with chocolate, peppermints, pretzels, and much more! The naturalists at Camp Arroyo always enjoy the snack table as they pass through to check out what we are doing.
When you get tired, the cabins are just a short walk away. Each cabin accommodates 4 people, with its own bathroom. The weekend involves lots of sharing, quilting, and of course friendship and fun! Why don't you grab and friend or two, or join us and meet some new friends. It is always a fun weekend and you won't want to miss out.
Call or email the shop for more details....
In Stitches,
Leslie and Melissa
P.S. Stay tuned for the big reveal.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Monster of a Challenge

Happy New Year! We thought we would start the year off just right with a Monster of a Challenge. American Patchwork and Quilting is sponsoring the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge and we are participating. To inspire you, Leslie has created some FUN front window displays! These monsters are having a great time, pillowsack races, jumping on the bed, and even a pillow fight..

Will you join us in the cause? We have made up lots of pillowcase kits or you can use your own fabrics. The first organization that we have chosen to support is The George Mark Children's House in San Leandro, CA. They will accept the first one hundred pillowcases that we collect. To find out more information about their organization, please visit their website.

We will begin collecting standard size pillowcase immediately and then will deliver them once we have received 100 cases. Your fabrics should be pre-washed and good quilt store quality fabric. Remember that these cases will be loved and washed quite a bit. The pillowcases should appeal to little kids through early adult (20's). We have pillowcase patterns available at the store.

In Stitches,

Leslie and Melissa