Thursday, September 10, 2015

Me and You Batik giveaway.

Hoffman of California Fabrics has just released their new division of fabrics,
Me and You.
They are contemporary batiks with the initial release of 24 prints as shown below. 
And they are all in stock at Calico House.
They also have solids.

How cute are these adorable jars that have a 2" swatch of each print and solid.
 (Print swatches are shown in the center of the circle above).

And you can win 1 jar and the pattern Turning Points which
 features these Me and You Batiks
A limited number of jars are also available for purchase. 

 The entire collection of prints is incorporated in the pillow on the cover.
We are so excited to share these and this new direction for Hoffman and the look of batiks.

So to enter you must leave a comment about why you love batiks here (1 per person) and a 2nd entry can be made on our facebook page by sharing the post with friends. Maximum entry 2 per person, one on this blog and one on our facebook post. We will close the entries on Sunday the 13th, 2015 at midnight. WInner will be randomly chosen Monday 9/14/2015. Winner must be in the contiguous
USA or Canada. link for facebook:

Monday, September 7, 2015

Truck full of Joy

I had a lot of time on my hands recovering from surgery lately. So I lined up some projects to work
on that involved hand work. I actually love to hand embroider, I find it relaxing, especially when my husband is watching something on tv that is not my cup of tea.  
I thought I would share some of my methods for making this pattern by Buttermilk Basin.
You may have another method , but I hope this will help you. 

Some of the tools that I used are Freezer paper found in the grocery store isle with the wax papers and Sarans. I use it to trace both the large and small parts of this design.  Once you have all your pieces cut out of freezer paper , they will iron easily on to your wool or felt . 
Now cut them out and the freezer paper just peels off. 
I pin the pieces onto the background and some times I glue them. 

From my tailoring days I have a handy curve ruler .
I used this when I was trying to trace the perfect large oval
onto my freezer paper. 

The most challenging part for me was cutting out the large black oval. 

The pattern provided the outer black oval in a quarter section to trace. 
I suggest you fold your freezer paper into fourths and then clamp it together. It makes cutting out the oval a lot easier. 
(Trace the inner arcs on all four layers before you cut the outer oval. )

I cut the freezer paper just a tiny bit outside the actual cutting line. After I ironed it onto the wool , I then cut on the black line. 

Now ironed onto the wool and ready to cut.

It was also hard to place the black oval on the back ground after it was cut out.  I wish I had marked the center top and bottom in some way to help transfer into on to the background.

 Use the freezer paper oval to check that the back ground piece is large enough.

I did not cut the background tan felt until I had stitched down the entire oval on the inside and outer edge.
Good sharp scissors are a must.

Let me know if you have any questions. We have the pattern in stock . Truck full of Joy.
Thanks for stopping by. Janeese

Monday, July 27, 2015

Part 2 of my Maxwell Bag assembly.

Once I finished making the front and back of my Maxwell bag it was time to make the sides.
There are pockets on the sides and you can use the tall side pieces to mark the pieced pockets for trimming.
I love the big dots and hated to cover them up with the pocket.

 Now I am ready to trim the pocket  to match the taller side piece.

As you can see you only are trimming a sliver of a piece.

 The bottom of your bag is a piece of timtex centered over a piece of soft and stable . You baste those two together and then place the fabric right side face down under the soft and stable.
Then you sew all those layers together.  I did some really simple straight lines to join them together.

You sew the sides with the pockets on to both ends of your bottom piece and these now look like a U.

The U is now sewn to the front and back. 
My advice is to pin a lot, especially in the curve. 
I also marked my 1/2 inch sewing line and sewed slowly thru the curve. 

Ta Dah My outside bag is now assembled. 

 This bag has feet and I had never added those before. I made a little paper template so I would get the same placement for all four feet. The little red pin is where the hole needed to be made.

There where three layers to go through on the bottom . I recommend using an awl, it worked perfectly
and made just the right size hole. 

 The company that made the feet recommended that you use cardboard or plastic to reinforce the prong on the inside of your bag. I chose template plastic because I thought I want this to be washable.
I cut a one inch square , found the center and made a hole with my awl.

 This shows the plastic inside the bag before and after I spread the prongs that keep your feet in position. I took a screw driver and ran it down the prong all the way to the bottom , to make sure they where open as far as they could be.

 Now on to the inside. Same as the outside . two layers. one of fabric and one of soft and stable.
They are also quilted. Tough to see here.  I just sewed with regular thread here. I chose a Cotton and Steel print for the lining. Love it.

Just like the outside of the bag, you sew the sides on to the bottom piece and make a U.

This is the outside of the bag place inside the lining. So right side to right side, 
You are going to sew all along the top with a 1/2 inch seam. 
There is a opening left in the lining bottom for turning. 
This is very thick, pin well and go slowly. Match up those side seams.

The handles are made by covering cording with the soft and stable. You will need a zipper foot here.  You trim the soft and stable to an 1/8 of an inch. I like to use a little ruler , it made life a lot easier . I was able to cut it with the rotary cutter, carefully.

The handles are covered with a tube of fabric and you hand sew the cording together as shown in this picture.

I have tried to show and share with you some of the  interesting parts of this pattern.
At times I was very frustrated and twice I had to check the web page for corrections or additions. My advice is when you can't make sense of the directions , check out their web pages.
Both times I was really struggling there was information that cleared up the problems . (It' s not you, check the web page.)

Here is my finished bag . This takes a fair amount of time , but I still think it was one of the best new bag ideas at quilt market.

Thanks for stopping by. Janeese

Thursday, July 23, 2015

My favorite new purse pattern.

Do you love it. 
By far one of the cutest patterns released at Quilt Market this Spring. 

It involves a lot of thought for choosing fabrics 
that play well together, which can be challenging.

The pattern calls for Soft and Stable by annies as the stabilizer . It is available in white or black and is an awesome product for purses. It adds no weight and really makes the sides of your purses maintain there shape . I will be using the white for this project and ironed it with a medium heat to remove the wrinkles after taking it out of the packaging.

You start by sewing all the pieces together for the front and back. I chose a lot of linen and linen and cotton blend fabrics. Then you lay those on top of the soft and stable. I pinned those together
on all 4 sides.

You then have to chose how your are going to quilt the front and back.
I wanted to share a big problem I had so you won't make the same 
mistake. I first marked all my lines and then sewed some of the lines with regular black thread. 
 It looked awful. I spent a lot of time ripping that out. So not fun. 
I then tried a 12 weight thread and lengthened my stitch and was much happier.  
If I had more time I would love to have hand quilted it all. 
I am sorry I thought to take a picture after I had the first stitching all ripped out. 

Next you lay your pattern on top of your quilted fabric and cut out the front and back.

This is as far as I was able to sew today, but I will post more as I have more done.
Give Soft and Stable a try, your gonna like it. We have the pattern and the soft and stable in stock
in white. Black can be special ordered.

Thanks for stopping by. Janeese

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Fish, lobsters, sorry no Sushi.

One of the joys of the quilt market is finding new talent. Some times it can be a new fabric designer or pattern company. And this year a new company represented a lot of different Australian artists.  My favorite was Claire Turpin and her Fishy Business pattern caught my attention.

Her patterns just make you smile. 

I was so  excited to come home and make this pattern up
with the Beach House collection from Moda

It just screams Summer. 

It is actually a cushion and is about 26" X 26".

The Beach House charm pack was perfect for the sides. 

It took awhile to find the perfect filler, and I was so happy 
to find a  Nu foam available in a 27" width.
It took several layers, but it filled the cushion perfectly. 

Some day it will be put to great use by our cat Mr Boots.
He is a big boy, but a lot of fun. 

All the rain here has made it easy to stay inside and sew. 
I hope you are having fun and enjoying Summer.

We have Fishy Business patterns and the Beach House fabrics in stock.
Thanks for stopping by. Janeese

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Quilting that makes you say Wow.

When I first started to quilt, hand quilting was definitely the norm for joining your 
3 layers together. Gradually I started to see more and more machine quilting , but I am not sure it was
enjoyed by all. 
This year at Quilt Market I was especially noting all the outstanding machine quilting. I am sure it was because of the recent acquisition of a Qnique 14 long arm for the store. 
That said it seems to me that we have come a long way in the sophistication of 
machine quilting. 
WIth that in mind I wanted to share a quilt that caught my attention in the Bloc loc booth.
I apologize for not recording the name of the quilter. 

We do not have the time to look as long as we would like, so I will share the  closeups I took the time to snap. 

If any one knows more about this quilt, please let me know the maker and quilter. I am so in awe of the
lovely quilting. I hope it will inspire you too.

Keep quilting and thanks for stopping by.

Monday, May 11, 2015

New BOM by Nebraska artist starting in June

We are so excited to share this wonderful new Block of the Month quilt
with you called 16 and Baltimore
Anneliese, the designer lives right here in Nebraska and for those that sign up for the BOM
she will be demonstrating her applique techniques at the Calico House, Sunday, June 7th.

You can sign up for the entire set of  the block patterns for $85.00, plus shipping costs and tax. If you need it shipped to you that will be additional.
Patterns will also be available individually for  $6.50 each. There are 16 blocks , plus a border pattern. 
We will  have both background fabrics from Moda available. 
Background fabrics are the Mochi linen/cotton blends . 
Quantities limited. First come first served.


We will not be kitting the applique fabrics for the flowers, but we carry a lot of Batiks and would be happy to help you select fabrics. The finished Quilt will also be on display at the Calico House , June 1st through the 6th.  It is 92"s x 92".
 I will post a picture of the finished quilt shortly. The quilting is truly spectacular.
Call and sign up asap. Bankcard number on file required. All charges will be made on the first of the month if you are buying the patterns individually.
It was love at first sight and I know it will be for you too.

Our phone number is 402 489 1067 and we are open 7 days a week.
my email is

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Auditioning a quilting design.

For my self I know I spend a lot of time selecting and or auditioning quilt designs . I find it stressful ,but I also realize you can make or break a quilt with what you select. It is time to select a design for my Cart Wheel quilt below, so I thought I would share some of my steps.

click on the face book link below. WHere it says posted by Calico House

Baby steps to auditioning a quilt design.Next I will be loading the quilt in my Qnique 14 long arm. Calico House is one of only 12 dealers in the USA for the Grace Co.
Posted by Calico House on Saturday, April 11, 2015

I love this set of circles I have for my long arm machine and yes we do cary them at the Calico House.
Oh and those are the paws of my Cat, Mr boots who always likes to be in the middle of the action at  our house. 
(Tools for long arm quilting are thicker than your quilting rulers. )

I mentioned the product below in my video . 
You can mark on it with a sharpie marker and erase your marks with rubbing alcohol. 
(Yes we carry it at the store)
You could also use sheets of plexi glass and I know several quilters who do use it for auditioning  quilt designs.  

Stay tuned to see how this all turns out. I will post some pictures of my progress and quilting on the Qnique 14 mid arm machine at the shop. I will be practicing on some fabric before I load the quilt.

Thanks for stopping by. Janeese