Sunday, September 4, 2011


Hi!  This is Eula and though I am at the shop on Wednesdays I spend most of my work time at home quilting for many of you on my Gammill Longarm machine.  I thought I would talk a little today about batting.  Quilting Bits & Pieces carries mainly Quilters Dream products, we have been happy with the selection, quality and service this "Made in the USA" company provides.  They have a wide variety of batting options, let me tell you about a few of my personal favorites.

Dream Orient--This is a blend of cotton, bamboo and silk and has become one of my very favorite battings.  It has a wonderful soft hand and good drape.  But my favorite feature of Dream Orient is the appearance it gives to a machine quilted quilt.  Your quilt remains soft, flat and drapes nicely but the quilting really shows up with this batting, if you plan on fancy quilting this is my choice as the best batt to show it off.  It is a bit more expensive than cotton but for a special prized quilt this is worth considering!

Dream Angel--This a a fire retardant fiber, not a fire retardant coating that can wash away like many sleepwear fabrics have.  When this batt came out several years ago I was excited about the possibility of using it, especially for crib quilts and for those who are wheelchair bound.  I took a piece of it out to the alley behind the store and proceeded to try to set it on fire.  When I held the flame directly to it, it charrred just a bit and EXTINGUISHED the flame.  I was impressed! (and I don't impress easily!)

Dream Blend--70% cotton and 30% polyester.  Now I must tell you I am really a natural fiber fan so in most cases I prefer 100% cotton but I have found that the addition of the poly in this batt makes it very stable.  The good part of that you ask?  If your quilt is going to be hanging or is all on the bias and really needs to be stabilized, this batt is a great choice.

Dream Wool--Soft, strong, gives more of a "puffy" look to your quilt while still using a natural fiber, this batt makes a very warm quilt.  My favorite part of this batt is that though I am allergic to wool (it makes me itch and sneeze)  this is the one brand of wool batting that doesn't require me to take allergy pills followed by a shower when quilting with it!

Dream Cotton--we stock two weights--request and select--heavier weights are available by special order.  These batts have been my standard for years.  The Request weight is thinnest and my recommendation for hand quilting or for a very lightweight quilt.  Select is a bit heavier and I prefer it for machine quilting.  Both weights come in both white and natural.  I recommend using white for white or very light pastel quilts or bright colors, it keeps your colors their sharpest.

I hope these thoughts help you out as you select batting for future quilts.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Quilt Camp!

On April 29 & 30 we held Quilt Camp at QB&P.  Approximately thirty-five ladies  came with machines in tow to sew for two days!  We just can't resist sharing photos of this great event.  We had so much fun and made lots of progress on our various projects, that we plan to do it again. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Crusin’ Kansas Bus Trip

On Sat April 16th QB&P participated in a 5 shop bus trip. Bright and early a group of 29 customers joined bus hostesses Kaye and Barb at the Eudora store where they had a chance to shop at their “home” store before our departure. As the ladies boarded the bus their wallets were already a bit lighter and their shopping bags a bit heavier. Spirits were lively as our passengers looked forward to day of quilt shops, spending time with a special friend or family member and crusin’ across Kansas. So, let’s go!

First stop, a half hour or so away, was Overbrook Quilt Connection in Overbrook, KS. Shop owner, Roxane met us at the bus to welcome us to her shop. Snacks, drinks and demos were provided as well as lots of inspiration and shopping enjoyment! Efficient check out by Roxane and her staff had us loaded and ready for an on-time departure – destination: Severy, KS.

A Saturday drive through the Kansas countryside in early spring is not complete without an estate sale or two. Hostess intervention was required to keep the bus from stopping – after all, it was not on our agenda and we had a schedule to keep! As we drove past the farm we overheard someone say, “Surely we have room on this bus for that kitchen table!”

Quilters are in the know when it comes to the whereabouts of quilt shops so it was no surprise when we heard someone wonder out loud why we weren’t stopping at such and such shop. It is true that we drove right by with a great view out the big bus windows of a shop just longing for us to stop. Ev

en the hostesses wondered for a moment what might be inside …. But a deal is a deal so we stayed on task and saved that shop for another day.

Two hours of crossing gorgeous Kansas spring prairie finally brought us to Severy, KS home of Needle in the Haystack Quilt Shop. Shop owner Cynthia met the bus and let us know lunch would be served soon (deli sandwiches, giant chocolate chip cookies, fruit and chips). We unloaded to find much more than a quilt shop. Inside was a mini antique shop, (the shop owner’s husband is allowed one wall to display his antiques), crafts, baskets, completed quilts for sale plus the usual array of fabrics, patterns and inspiration. Porch benches provided comfy seating for the quick shopper to wait – the sun had broken out, the wind had died down and the day was turning out to be mighty fine in more ways than one.

By the time we departed Needle in the Haystack overhead bins on the bus were beginning to bulge as the serious shoppers settled in to business at hand – Note: this writer is not about to name names!

Bellies were full, new project ideas were swimming in heads and shopping check lists were updated as we pulled out and headed for Newton, KS. The bus was unusually quiet for the first time of the day. Hostesses Kaye and Barb wondered if the fun was running out but then it occurred to us that maybe the gals
were just doing math in their heads to see if they had enough money remaining or if an ATM stop was needed.

Was it a coincidence that the bus seemed to slow a little as we passed another farm sale or were our passengers chatting with the bus driver on the side? Laughter abound as bus driver, Dennis, receives hostess instructions to drive on. There is an agenda, ladies and sorry but this estate sale is not on it!

Curiosity as to how our home shop was fairing prompted text messages and brief phone calls home. Through the quick replies back we learned that the other shop’s buses were arriving, shopping and departing in the same timely fashion we were experiencing. The classroom was converted to a cafeteria where visiting buses were served either lunch or dinner of Cutter’s BBQ on a bun, potato salad, and baked beans with homemade pie for dessert. “Pie? Really? Oh, bye, we’ve gotta go, we are in Newton!”

Charlotte’s Sew Natural in Newton, KS compiled of several interconnected rooms and filled to the brim with goodies presents an environment that might cause us to lose passengers. Owner, Charlotte, and her staff help us with fabric, patterns, kits and a bottle of cold water. The ladies had plenty of time to shop and relax which made for another great stop. As we boarded the bus and asked if everyone had their bus buddy we noticed two empty seats. Darn. Oh wait, there they are! Giggling like school girls, they board last and we head off once again with another on-time departure!

Late in the day the bus cruised through the historic downtown district in Emporia. Quaint shops and restaurants line the street but are meaningless to this crowd! They have eyes for only one store in downtown Emporia! Prairie Pieces Quilt Shop! Owner, Sue, greets the bus and welcomes us with the wonderful news that supper is served. Fried chicken, ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans and chocolate or peanut butter cake with ice cream! Sue’s friendly helpers and delicious meal just seems to sum up the day perfectly for most. We do note that a few shoppers are showing sign of separation anxiety as realization sinks in that this is the final stop and it is nearly over. As we prepare to board the bus the hostesses make one last round through the store – oh dear, there are three ladies just beginning to eat! We are about to instruct them to ask for a to-go box when we realize it is the staff! Opps! They certainly earned their meal so we leave them to their supper! We corral our last few reluctant passengers aboard and have our first delayed departure of the day.

The sun sets behind us as our adventure wanes and we begin our trek home. The bus chatter softens to a low hum, a passenger here or there dozes off. As we near Eudora suddenly the chatter brightens as the passengers realize there IS one more chance to shop – after all their cars are parked at Quilting Bit’s & Pieces, right?

Kaye and Barb would like to thank all of the delightful ladies who joined us for our Cruisin’ Kansas Bus Trip. We had a great day and hope you did too!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Retreats and Lots of Show 'n Tell

We’ve been busy!  First we had a great mini-retreat at Quilting Bits & Pieces. Danetta came bringing two of her quilts that she has finished.  She took the pineapple Littlefoot class some time ago and this is her finished quilt top!  She also brought her finished Sashing Stars top that she started in a class using the Marti Michelle templates.  Way to Go Danetta!

That same week, Ellen stopped in to show us her completed North Country quilt.  Her husband spied this little quilt while we were still assembling it and it went home with them that day.  I think he was pretty happy with Ellen’s quick quilting!  (we still have kits - $35.00)

Last Thursday 16 of us traveled to Cedar Crest Lodge in Pleasanton, Ks for a retreat.  With Laura’s great cooking and Evelyn, Shannon & Karla taking care of all of our needs, we interrupted our sewing only for snacks and meals!
Laura Cunningham of Cedar Crest B&B

Evelyn getting ready to serve lunch
 We experienced many “Ta-Da’s” throughout the weekend.  Here are a few :
Myrna, from Colorado Springs finished all three of these quilt tops – she had the prettiest scraps!  
Breezy shows off her quilt top, but guess what, it wasn't in the final state – she finished it up after retreat using the Lil' Twister template and the look at the final result!
Step 1

Step 2 Ta-Da!

Jennifer came all the way from Georgia to sew and she finished two quilt tops!

Jennifer's version of Fire Escape

Jean spent many hours on this little miniature.

Christina shows off her Happy Daze quilt top.

 Kaye finally got the borders on her Over the River quilt

Jeni worked on several Christmas projects

 Daunita’s Park Lane quilt using the Lilly & Will fabric and she machine quilted a train quilt too

Barb probably finished more projects than anyone else.  Here is a mystery quilt she finished putting together. She also learned how to knit so made a bag to hold her knitting projects

Kirsten also came from Colorado Springs for the retreat. This is her finished Colorado Quilt. 

JoAnn made some progress her paper piecing  -- Looks like  she is auditioning for Lion King!

These soft pastel Bali Pops are just Deanna’s preference!

We hardly had any laughter at all with these two sitting together! 

Hear no evil

Speak no evil

SMELL no evil???