favorite quilting tools

My Favorite Quilting Tools I Use Every Day

My Favorite Quilting Tools I Use Every Day 

My favorite quilting tools list is a list of two.  The first one I love to use all the time and the second one I have grown to love. 

Scissors

scissors in a person's handQuilters love a good pair of scissors.  If you are like most quilters, you will have many scissors that are your favorite quilting tool.  There are scissors that are long, skinny, pointing, rounded, serrated, pinking shears, just for cutting batting and many more options. When our Checker representative visits, he usually shows us the latest scissors that are selling.

Scissors are so crucial to quilters that we have a pair on each longarm rental in our store. 

My favorite tools, scissors

My favorite pair of scissors are these cuties.   While they are pleasing to my eye, they are also excellent in cutting thread on the quilts that I longarm, plus they help me with thread on the longarm rentals as well. I love the way they fit my fingers, are comfortable to hold, and fit perfectly into my back pocket.  I put them there so I won’t lose them when I walk around the store. Today I could not remember where I put them last night, so I spent half the day looking for them and just “putting” up with another pair of scissors until I found my favorite quilting tool.

My Seam Ripper

I was surprised this was one my list.  When I was thinking about this blog post, I thought long and hard about my favorite tool. Sometimes our ideal tool is not one I like to use every day, but sometimes we use it several times a day.  Or on terrible days, have it in my pocket too! 

There are all kinds of seam rippers.  Ones with big fat handles, skinny ones, ones with blades, and now we are getting a seam ripper this week that has a blade that can retract. Now that might be perfect for my back pocket.  

My favorite tools, seam rippers

The reason I have put the seam ripper on my favorite quilting tools list is straightforward.  It takes away my mistakes. It gives me a do-over or lets me start again. For this reason alone, I love this quilting tool. I must admit, though, that when I am using my seam ripper, I am usually not happy.  The sign that states, “If you see a seam ripper in my hand, now is not the time,” is perfect. Maybe I have a love-hate relationship with my seam ripper.

Last month, while I was teaching a free motion skills builder class, one of my students made a perfect joke, “Unsewing is a Skill.”  I have my seam ripper to thank for this skill.

 

 

Seam Rippers for sale.

We even have seam rippers for sale in the store. Who doesn't need another seam ripper? I am always looking for one.

 

What are your favorite quilting tools?  I would love to hear why you picked them.

 

Carpe Quiltem (Seize the Quilt)

Cathy


My Favorite Quilting Machine

My Favorite Quilting Machine. Meet Millie. 

Oh, how I love my favorite quilting machine.  She sings to me almost every day. Her name? Millie.  Yes, I have an APQS Millenium Longarm Quilting Machine. Now, she is not my first longarm. But she sure is my most favorite machine.  Molly was my first longarm. She was named that by her previous owner. Molly was a great machine to learn on, and she helped me establish my business.  Our relationship helped me fall in love with longarm quilting. I will say, though, we fought quite a bit. Mostly over tension. 

 

Millie has arrived

Then Millie came into my life.  When ordering her last December, I was like a little girl.  Giggling and smiling all day long. I couldn’t wait for her to arrive.  The day finally came, February 13, 2019! With her arrival, more giggles, squeals, and smiles came. The first few minutes after she was all set up, I just stood back and admired her. Then, I got right down to it and tatted her up! Yes, you heard me right. I put some great tattoos on her to make her mine. Now she had a bit of flair. My favorite machine was uniquely mine.

Tattooed Millie

 

 

 

Our relationship has grown over the past ten months.  We were on a learning curve. Once when I broke a couple of needles, she didn’t complain too much.  One of those needles breaks upset Millie, and her timing was off. With a call to the wonderful ladies at APQS Maintenace Department, we had her back to new in no time. I was sad about the needle breaks, but Millie moved on rather quickly and never said a bad word about me. As for tension arguments, there hasn’t been any. I love her for that!

Millie's brain, Quilt Path

Millie’s brain, we call it Quilt Path, is brilliant! Every day I am amazed at what Millie’s mind can do. It can guide Millie on an edge to edge journey perfectly, walk around a block or border, stitch part way, plot out a whole pattern, or trace it. I can even make my designs for Millie to drive. 

 

 

 

I am learning to listen to my favorite machine more.   Millie likes to take a few things slower than I do, and that is good.  In life, I tend to move rather fast and she helps me to slow down to watch the stitching happen. There is something so soothing in my soul when she is humming away. It is always a great day when Millie and I are together, working side by side.  I can’t imagine my life without her. 

 

Happy Stitching,

Cathy


My Sewing Space

My Sewing Space

My sewing space has dramatically increased over the past year.  I used to work from home. I had a longarm in the basement. My family and I would laugh and make fun of my work area because it was under the stairs.  So, I guess I can say I was like “Harry Potter.” 

My sewing space at home.

In January of 2019, we purchased a quilting store.  Instantly my sewing space grew! Now I had 3,000 square feet filled with Janome machines, 5 APQS machines, and FABRIC! Pinch me.  There was still plenty of work to be done.  

 

Jacob, my business partner, and I immediately began thinking about remodeling the store.  We closed for one week at the end of March to remodel. It was so much work, but worth it. Now the store was ours.  Our vision had come true. 

The Remodel

Soon after the remodel, we realized we could add more fabric. My husband got to work and build another shelving unit to add over 500 bolts of fabric.  Did we stop there? Of course, not, extra fabric baskets on top of the shelf looked fabulous.

My latest sewing space

 

I love my sewing space. It has an open feeling surrounded by fabric, wood, and metal.  I grew up in Colorado, and my taste in decor is that of a lodge in the woods engulfed in pine trees. That is what I am trying to make my new sewing space emulate.  If only we had a mountain outside my window.

 

There is one thing I have learned over the last year changing my sewing space; there is always room for improvement.  Don’t be afraid to change your sewing space. We had to move five longarms around and find space for them. Many hours were spent talking and debating on how the new space would look. If we didn’t like the way it looked, we moved it around till we did. Even after the remodeling was complete, we had to use the sewing space to make sure it was feasible. Some minor shuffling was needed after we settle into the remodel.  

Now we are dreaming of a bigger and improved sewing space.  It will be a long time till then, but it never hurts to dream!


Blog Challenge

When you need to blog more and struggle, join a 31-Day Blog Challenge 2019!

As a new business owner, I genuinely struggle with writing my blog.  I lack consistency, spelling, and grammar. I would rather longarm quilt, piece my quilt tops, or work in the store. So, to challenge myself, I signed up for a 31 Day Blog Challenge 2019 that starts today. My goal is to blog every day to establish a habit. Some people believe that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit, while others, like James Clear, disagree with this theory. His research shows it takes longer.  I think I might be on the latter end of the habit-building skill. 

Word game puzzle
Word game App

I signed up for this blog challenge over a week ago.  To prepare myself before that, I downloaded a word game for my phone. I try to do the daily puzzle and maybe one other one.  The key operative word is “try.” Word puzzles have never, ever been my thing, but to help me with the blog challenge, I thought this would help with vocabulary.  The daily puzzle has been fun, and I have been keeping up. So far, so good on this challenge. 

 

 

 

Now on to my blog challenge, my introduction.

 

As many of you know, we are a new quilting store called Fabric Bash in the Omaha area.  We are a family run business with a very rare twist, and I am an owner with my Son-In-Law. Our store is about 3,000 square feet.  The starting inventory of fabric was 250 bolts of fabric and added over 1,000 bolts in the past seven months. We are adding more every week. We sell AccuQuilt cutters and dies, Janome sewing machines, and APQS longarms.  One very unique service we offer is longarm rentals. There are four APQS longarm machines dedicated to quilters to rent. I also have an APQS longarm dedicated to quilters who do not want to quilt their quilt, or rather known as quilt by check. Our store is certified with Janome and APQS for machine repair but will work on other machines. 

In-Law Business Partners

We have been open since January 29, 2019.  Every day is a great day! There has not been one day that I did not want to go to the store.  I was more sad about the couple of days that I missed because I was sick. Owning a store is a ton of work in more ways than I can count.  It has been mentally and physically challenging, but I love every minute of it. Every minute!

I am looking forward to you joining me on the blog challenge.  I need to develop the habit of blogging and enjoying it. It might take more than 21 days, I am guessing. One promise to you all, I am going to try my best.  I might not make every day at first, life seems to have a great way of getting in the way at times, but I will try my best. 

 

Thank you for following our blog, and I hope you enjoy my blog challenge. 

 

Cathy


Sewing Machine Repair

Sewing Machine Repair

One of our most common questions asked: Do you have sewing machine repair?  Our answer is yes, we do. We have taken every avenue to get the most out of all the training available.

Small Sewing Machine Repair in Omaha.

Jacob is a Certified for Janome Sewing Machine Repair

 

 

Jacob has attended both the beginning and advance Janome Repair classes back in Mahwah, NJ.  Each course was an intense training over several machines — this time for him to network with others in the industry.  One night, Jacob stayed late and chatted with Mario and Gaz, THE mechanics at Janome.  Their relationship grew.  I can always tell when Jacob is talking with one of these great guys on the phone. Their knowledge is amazing.

 

 

 

Longarm Quilting Machine Repair

 

Jacob, a Certified APQS Longarm Machine Repair Technician

After the first training class for Janome, Jacob attended a week-long training class in Des Moines at APQS.  The training for the longarm machine was very detailed. After the lessons and lectures on repair, Jacob received a longarm machine that was utterly broken down.  He had several days to fix it.  When Jacob thought the repair was complete, the longarm passed inspection by the department head at APQS.   He did a great job and got the machine running and stitching! Now it was time for a take-home test.  Jacob and I talked about the questions on the test.  Since I could not attend the training myself, Jacob spoke about all that he learned by going over the problems with me.  It took Jacob over a week to complete the take-home test.  He did fantastic on it.  When Dawn told me his score, I was so darn proud of that young man.  He is a natural at this machine repair. With this knowledge, Jacob has been able to work on other brands of longarms.

One other avenue Jacob has sought out is finding a mentor.  He met and talked to the top machine repair guys on the east coast.  This man teaches at many sewing machine conventions and is published as well.  His knowledge of other machines beside Janome has been outstanding.  Jacob enjoys talking with him and will be setting up some time to go and visit him to learn even more.

Sewing machine repair is vital to us.  We continue to learn to serve our sewing machine repair community the best that we can.  Every machine is essential to us. Let us help you get your sewing machine in good working order to finish that project!

Are you interested in scheduling a repair on your machine? If so, click here: Schedule Sewing Machine Repair

 

 


Do You Have Quilting Fabric?

Do You Have Quilting Fabric?

Our number one question is “Do you have quilting fabric?’ Yes, we do!  And we are adding more quilting fabric!  Fabric is way too fun.

When we started Fabric Bash we only had 250 bolts of fabric, mostly wide backing.  Before we closed for our remodeling in March, we discussed several options of where and how to add quilting fabric. My husband built our shelves for our wide fabric and we purchased shelves for our 42 wide quilting fabric. Our store was coming together.  At our grand reopening, it was fun to show everyone our new fabric.

Omaha's Go-To Resource for Quilting Fabric

It was not long after the reopening that we saw another opportunity to add another shelf unit for more than 500 bolts of fabric.  Again, my husband got busy and made another shelf.  The quilting fabric fits perfectly.  It was super fun to watch our customer’s reactions to the addition. What could be more fun than more fabric?

We are just back from our first Quilt Market in Houston.  As a matter of fact, the whole staff went.  The decision to take everyone on staff was not taken lightly.  We needed to learn as much as we could in the short few days of the market.  Four different personalities and ways of learning helped us to learn the most that we could. Also, with four people, we could divide and conquer the classes offered.  The long drive home was a long staff meeting.  Everyone talked about what they learned and how we could apply that to our store.

The best part of Quilt Market was being around all the great new products and new fabric.  We are looking forward to having some of these new products in our store.

Yes, we have quilting fabric.  We have over 250 bolts of wide backing and over 1,000 bolts of 44” wide fabric. Stop in and check out our selection. You just never know when we will add more!


sewing machine sitting on table

Janome Sewing Machines

We Love Janome Sewing Machines! 

A common question we get is if we sell sewing machines.  Yes, we do love Janome!

sewing machine sitting on tableOne of the most outstanding features of all Janome sewing and embroidery machines is their warranty on their machines.  Twenty-five years on parts, five years on electrical and one year on labor. The warranty is an industry-leading warranty for sewing machines.

Janome has machines for quilters, for garment sewers and embroiderers. There is a machine for the beginner and the very avid and advanced sewer.  We love Janome for this reason. 

Our quilter sewing machines are rock solid.  We even have the perfect portable sewing machine for the quilter who wants to take their machine to their quilt guild or to hand out with their quilting friends. Our latest machine is the Janome M-7.  This machine has the largest throat space in the industry and can stitch 1,200 stitches per minute. We love Janome! An industry leader in new machines. 

Our Skyline line is excellent for the garment sewer, along with our HD-9.  The HD-9 can sew through 16 layers of denim! Have I told you how much we love Janome sewing machines?

Janome 550E is our latest embroidery machine.  This beauty has the largest hoop in the industry with new hoop clamps that are a dream.  

The one machine we sell the most of is the Skyline S-9.  This one can be for the garment sewer, the quilter, and the embroiderer.  We love Janome and their simplicity, but durability with this machine. 

When we sell our sewing machines, it is helpful for the customer to know that we are here to help them when they do have a problem. Our staff has been sent to advance maintenance training.  We can fix them all, plus offer classes.

If you are in the market for a new machine, stop by and see why we love Janome sewing machines.  We love talking about them and want to share our excitement with you. 


Longarm Quilting Services

Longarm Quilting Services

Here at Fabric Bash, we offer longarm quilting services to those who do not want to longarm their quilts. We have a dedicated APQS Millie just for our longarm service.  Not everyone wants to longarm quilt their quilt on our rentals.  We love offering this service to our quilters. 

Quilt completed longarm quilting service

Intake Form

When you bring your quilt to us for our longarm quilting service, we will complete intake form. The main questions asked are:

  • What thread color would you like?  If you do not know, we can make suggestions and actually lay the thread on your quilt so you can make your best choice.
  • What type of quilting design would you like?  We have a big book of designs to pick from. If you struggling with the design choice, we will help by asking some questions to help you decide on a design.
  • Is your backing at least 6 inches wider and longer than your quilt top? This is a must for the quilt to be loaded onto the longarm.
  • Do you have any directional requirements?  Sometimes you might want the quilt top, backing of quilting design to be directional.
  • Do you need batting or have you supplied your own batting?
  • Do you want edge to edge, semi-custom or custom quilting?
  • We will also talk about our time table for our longarm quilting services.  We work hard to stay current and complete your quilt in a timely manner.  

longarm quilting machine

Waiting for Quilting

Once the intake form is completed,  your quilt is put on a hanger with all the batting, backing and the quilt top.  Extra care is taken to make sure your quilt is treated with respectfully.

Ready for Quilting

Before each quilt is quilted, we have cleaned the longarm, put a new needle in the machine and threaded it with your choice of thread color.  This is very important to our longarm quilting service. The quilt will then be loaded onto the longarm.  The Quilt Path program will be uploaded with the design that you picked.

Once the quilt is completed, we will call you to let you know your quilt is ready.   

Custom Longarm Quilting Service

I love every quilt that comes in our store.  If you have any questions about our longarm quilting service, please give us a call at 402-884-2096.

You can see our view our price list and gallery on our web page for more inspirations.

 

Cathy

 


quilting fabric on a shelf

Do You Have Quilting Fabric?

Do you have quilting fabric?

Our number one question is “Do you have quilting fabric?’ Yes, we do!  And we are adding more fabric often!  Fabric is way too fun.

Fabric Added for our Grand Reopening

Grand Reopening

When we started Fabric Bash we only had 250 bolts of fabric, mostly wide backing.  Before we closed for our remodeling in March, we discussed several options of where and how to add quilting fabric. My husband built our shelves for our wide fabric and we purchased shelves for our 42 wide quilting fabric. Our store was coming together.  At our grand reopening, it was fun to show everyone our new fabric.

Needing More  Quilting Fabric Shelves

It was not long after the reopening that we saw another opportunity to add another shelf unit for more than 500 bolts of fabric.  Again, my husband got busy and made another shelf.  The quilting fabric fits perfectly.  It was super fun to watch our customer’s reactions to the added shelf of fabric. What could be more fun than more fabric?

 

 

Our newest fabric shelf with over 500 bolts of fabric

We just back from our first Quilt Market in Houston.  As a matter of fact, the whole staff went.  The decision to take everyone on staff was not taken lightly.  We needed to learn as much as we could in the short few days of market.  Four different personalities and ways of learning helped us to learn the most that we can. Also, with four people, we could divide and conquer the classes offered.  The long drive home was a long staff meeting.  Everyone talked about what they learned and how we could apply that to our store.

 

The best part of Quilt Market was being around all the great products and fabric.  Because fabric is fun!

 

 

 

Our latest line of fabric added

Yes, we have quilting fabric.  We have over 250 bolts of wide backing and over 1,000 bolts of 44” wide fabric. Stop in and check out our selection. You just never know when we will add more! I love fabric!


Bearded Embroidery logo

Bearded Embrodiery

Bearded Embroidery

Bearded Embroidery is coming to Fabric Bash! What is that, you ask.  First, let me give you the back story.

The Back Story

bearded embroidery logoWhen we first opened our store, Jacob fell in love with the embroidery part of our business.  He even did some embroidery jobs for Patriotic Productions.  His goal is to get our store a multi-needle embroidery machine.

Then, one day, Dennis, his wife, and granddaughter come into our store.  He purchased a Janome 500E Embroidery machine. Jacob started a conversation about embroidery with Dennis, and an instant connection and friendship began.

The Bearded Embroiders - Dennis and Jacob

Dennis has been doing embroidery since he was 7.  His Grandmother showed him how to do hand embroidery, and he loved it.  He purchased his first machine over 13 years ago.  Dennis now has three embroidery machines and enjoys all the aspects of embroidery, from digitizing to making the design.  He will admit, though, that watching the machine stitch out is his favorite.

A New Friendship - Bearded Embroidery

Jacob and Dennis talked about working together.  Both agreed that working together would be a ton of fun.  We had to come up with a name for this great adventure.  Bearded Embroidery was the perfect name.

What will Bearded Embroidery cover? Everything embroidery.  There will be informational videos for you to learn more about embroidery, from stabilizers, thread, the making of a design, to stitching out a design.  We will have in-store classes, kits to purchase, and online video classes as well. If you want something specific, please let us know.  Bearded Embroidery is here to serve our community.

We have recently become a dealer for Hoop Sisters, an exciting venture for us.  The Bearded Embroidery will be teaching the Embroidablock of the Month, Moroccan Sunset, details are still being stitched out.  We will post the information on our web site and Facebook page as soon as we have them.

We were so fortunate to stop by Hoop Sisters at the International Quilt Market in Houston.  The picture does not do this beautiful quilt justice. I am looking forward to seeing this quilt made!

Cathy and Jacob in from of the Moroccan Sunset Quilt

Keep a lookout too for the Bearded Embroidery Logo.  This journey is going to be a fun one! Hoop on in to join the adventure!