909 Prairie Street, Adel, IA
515-993-1170 0r
Open Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm (Note: December Hours are 10 am to 4 pm)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Beginner's Quilting Class

Every now and then, we get a request for a Beginner's Quilting Class. This is one we love to teach, incorporating all of our favorite tried but true techniques for CPS (Cutting, Pressing, Stitching). Class also includes straight line machine quilting and binding.

It's a challenge finding a day of the week and/or time of the day for this class that fits every one's busy life.

Give us your feedback. If you are interested in a Beginner's Quilting Class, please contact us by phone or email.  515-993-1170 or

Let us know what day and time works best for you and we will schedule a class.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Saturday, April 25, 2015

It's here!

The new Block magazine from Missouri Star Quilts came in today. We have a dozen copies but they will not last long.

See the round mat under our candy dish? That was made by Joyce S. for our June 20 library fund raiser. Members of Quilt Circle are making things to sale by re-purposing quilt parts and pieces.

This was a round vintage round that Joyce added binding to. Didn't she give it a great new life?

Watch for more fun items and plan to come shop on June 20 during our Little Sister's Outdoor Quilt Show.

Happy Rainy Saturday!

Does soup sound good? Come to Adel today for a bowl of home made soup and sandwich at Brick Street Books and Cafe. 

Al Dente Toffee has also added lunch to their menu of toffee and gelato. 

Stop by the shop for dessert (fabric, dessert, that is).

We are taking orders for the 2015 All Iowa Shop Hop Fabric. Delivery is expected any day now.

Be sure to "like" the AISH Facebook page for all the news and updates of this June event.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Say it with me - - - - HOLY SCRAP!

This is Sue H's Holy Scrap quilt (see more on our Scrappy New Year page) hanging from a clothesline.  Sue made her quilt twice as long by doubling the number of rows in each unit. Then she added some sashing strips (the long grey strips) and added another 2-patch unit to each side.

Can you see how you could start your year by sewing together leftover 2 1/2" squares, a few at a time, and just adding to it as the year evolves?

Sue worked out of past scraps but, we could go forward with this as we start new quilts.

Depending on what you dabble in most, maybe have one started in just batiks and another in just brights.

I think it would be refreshing to have no real agenda, just a place to let scraps gradually gather and become a butterfly!

When a baby, anniversary or graduation pops up, you can grab some of the scrappy units and make a very nice quilt on short notice.

Thank you for sharing Sue. My Holy Scrap is still in parts and pieces on the sewing room floor but it is slowly growing.

Send me pictures of your progress. No time frames and no pressure.

Maybe we should re-name this quilt the Crock Pot quilt. It can be in the cooker for a looooong time and then turn out fabulous.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Diana's Golden Needle

Last evening at Quilt Circle of Friends, Jackie O. shared this project from Facebook. The sponsoring FB site is Diana's Golden Needle.

Diana is a teenager with a goal of making 16 quilts to represent the 16 years she has lived in America after being adopted from a Russian Orphanage.

The quilts are all being made using Bonnie Hunter's pattern (and with her permission) called Scrappy Trips. 

The quilts will be donated to children who age out of foster care and is a Girl Scout Gold Award Project for Diana.

The request is for blocks, or piecing blocks together or machine quilting tops. Jackie is sending 7 of these blocks so they can be mixed with blocks by others (thus the Scrappy Trip Around the World pattern title). By sending 7 blocks, there can be one placed in each row. At the FB page, you will see a quilt sample using this block in a variety of fabrics.

Jackie sent these pictures to show her blocks and the steps to make them with tube piecing. 
For this project, you can use any fabrics of your choosing. Jackie decided to use this selection of bright prints. Start with 6 strips, each 2 1/2" x 15"

Stitch them together. Be sure to match ends evenly. Press rows 1, 3, and 5 down.  Press rows 2, 4 and 6 up.

Now stitch the two end pieces together to make a tube.

From that tube, cut 6 units, each 2 1/2" wide.

Next, un-sew between two squares on each tube unit. Stagger where you un-sew so that you end up with 6 pieced strips like this.
Did I just say sew so?

Stitch the pieced strips together to make this 12 1/2" block.

Note: You can make 6 blocks using 1/4 yard by width of fabric each of the 6 colors.  Using fat quarters (one of each color) you can make 8 blocks. This is a quilt where fat quarters are more efficient than width of fabric yardage.

Another tip, cut strips 16" long to give yourself a little wiggle room for straightening.

Jackie, Thanks so much for sharing! Skip on over to this Facebook page to see more.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Get out your calendar!

Here are some dates to mark and remember:
  • Monday, April 20 - Quilt Circle meets in the shop - 6 pm
  • Saturday, May 2 - Adel Chocolate Walk - 10 am to 3 pm
  • Also on Saturday, May 2 - Iowa Comfort Quilts Community Sew Day at the Adel Library - 10 am for as long as you can help  - no sewing required - see more on their blog. Scroll down to the April 7 post.
  • Thursday/Friday May 7 & 8 - Open Sew at Adel Library

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Bus by Bus

This has been the weekend of buses. Yesterday, I joined a group for a bus ride tour of the Kalona Amish country. 

I did not take my camera so I could just enjoy the day as one of the gals and that I did!

Mike Zahs, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable and so interesting to listen to. He took us across the countryside, pointing out places of interest and  sharing tidbits of history. Ever heard of a One Needle quilt? That's when the complete quilt is made by one person - piecing, quilting, etc.

We also visited several Amish businesses. At the Amish bakery, I had probably the best cinnamon roll I have ever eaten (sorry mom). One million calories and worth every one.

A couple other stops that specifically impressed me were the greenhouse in Kalona (They have a huge selection of plants and not a dead leaf in site) and a Kalona quilt/gift shop, Willow Creek Quilting. If you are ever in the area, it's worth the stop.

We ended the day with a wonderful Amish meal in the home of Warren and Ila Fern-Miller. They have 8 children so, cooking for a large crew is a lot of work but no challenge. The ample meal was home-grown and home-baked, including noodles, bread and pie. A definite hit.

After our meal, Ila entertained our questions about life in an Amish home. Then she and three of her daughters serenaded us with a favorite hymn. What a lovely family.

Today, we were honored to have a quilt group from Minnesota stop by the shop. They left home Saturday morning and shopped their way south to Cameron, MO. Today, they are headed back north, stopping at quilt shops along the way.

With 40 quilters on the bus, we decided to free up space in the shop by moving our demo table to the front porch. They caught us between down pours so the cool front porch was a pleasant place to hang out.

Taking advantage of our fat quarter special, guests perused and planned projects.

We also had our guests sign up for door prizes. After they were back on the bus, we drew names for one of 9 cute pin cushions.

Thank you to our rain angels. After shopping, the gals enjoyed  a little fresh air before getting back on the bus.

Special thank you to my helpers that gave up a bit of their Sunday morning. Frank and Lonnie wrote receipts and did not look up for an hour.  Julia was also helping. One of her duties was photographer so, no pictures of her. Should have had her take a selfie!

Here are pictures Julia took in our "Photo Booth".


Here's a bus load of happy shoppers, on their way to the next shop!

Thank you to the Cedar Valley Quilt Guild for making us a stop on your round trip.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

New Stuff!

Hoffman Batiks - These are part of their Row x Row Experience line.

And more batiks from Moda.

Layer cakes (10" squares) from French General

Variety of colors in quatrefoil print layer cakes - my personal favorite!

More layer cakes from Kansas Troubles

 You know it's Spring when the Fall prints arrive - -- from Hoffman.
Also from Hoffman - this little bird print is just bright and pretty.

Friday, April 17, 2015


So excited to take this trip tomorrow with 30 of my best friends, a few I will meet for the first time! Below are the deets. Call today if you would like to join us.  515-993-1170
We are ready to roll! Here are some notes about our bus trip to Kalona and back this Saturday, April 18!
We will gather and load the bus at the Adel Library, 1/2 block south of our shop.
Park in the city parking lot, just behind our shop, where parking is free. You can enter the parking lot from either 9th Street or 10th Street. Best to park on the west end of the parking lot. From there, walk 1/2 block south, over the bike trail, to the Adel Public Library.
I will have the Adel Library lobby open by 6:30 am. We can gather there and use the facilities as necessary.
Bus loading will begin at 6:45 and pull out at 7:00 am sharp.
It’s about a 2 hr and 15 minute trip. We will stop midway to pick up our tour guide, Michael Zahs.
Mike ask that I remind you that some of the Amish businesses do not take credit or debit cards. Cash or checks only.
For meals, we will have late morning donuts and a late afternoon large sit-down meal in an Amish home so, you may want to bring a snack for in between. We will also be shopping around places that have food and snacks as well so, no fear of going hungry!
Questions? Just let me know. The weather is supposed to be glorious so should be a fabulous trip. See you all Saturday morning at the library!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Show and Share!

We love it when you bring in your Show and Share.  Darlene T brought in this quilt. She used our idea but bumped it up to a bigger size and just used her scraps.  Love it! She has it basted to hand quilt next.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Scrappy New Year - April 15

Holy Scrap!

This is our inspiration quilt. If you are making one just like this, you should already have the center three sections made. Today we will talk about trimming the side pieces and setting this quilt top together.

Sue H. from Missouri sent me this picture of her growing units. She plans to make a larger quilt. I am pretty sure that background with the big yellow dots is her carpet. Notice she used white squares for her end pieces where I used red. I love this quilt already.

This technique for setting rows together is called Seminole Piecing.

I have not finished setting all my rows together as I also have plans to make a larger quilt. - - - I seem to have plenty of scraps on hand for a much larger quilt, if you know what I mean!

Before we go an farther - - - If you are making a larger quilt, do not trim these Seminole pieced sections yet. If you are making the quilt shown at top, - - - read on.

On to trimming the two Seminole pieced sections. When you trim the points off, you will create a bias edge. Bias edges are the most stretchy of raw edges.  If you pull the fabric as you stitch, bias edges will stretch and be ill-fitting.  However, bias edges can also be your making-things-fit-together-friend.  Treat bias edges gently and with respect and you will have no problems.

One trick for working with bias edges is to spray starch before cutting. This is when pressing vs ironing is important. Use an up and down motion with the iron rather than a back and forth motion.

After starching and pressing, leave the unit lay on the ironing board until it has completely dried and cooled.

Now lay a ruler near the edge and trim off the points. Be sure to move the ruler over enough to allow for the quarter inch seam allowance that will be coming down the road. Notice in the close-up below, the 1/4" line of the ruler is aligned with the points of the block.

Lay the three center sections, right sides together and pin well (refer to photo above) and stitch.  Pinning will help keep the bias edges in place and prevent stretching.

You are almost through with the original quilt. All you have left is to add a section to the left side and right side of center. 

These sections are made from 20 rows, each using 2 - 2 1/2" squares. I had some leftover 4-block rows so just un-stitched a couple of those to use in this section.

I also had some short strips leftover from piecing the center sections. I cut those up in 2 1/2" squares and used those as well.

If you have block parts and pieces that are 2 1/2"  or can be trimmed down to that size, use some of those as well. You will notice they have done that in the original quilt. The outside sections are mostly 2 1/2" squares but there are several 2 1/2" half square triangles mixed in as well.

Next month, we will talk about other options to make this quilt larger.  In the meanwhile, look around your sewing room for miscellaneous block parts and pieces then say it with me, "Holy Scrap!"  Don't despair. We will work these into the next step.

Several years ago, Quilt Circle did a monthly exchange of 5" squares. I still have a whole container of these. 

Then our Quilt Circle did an exchange of 9-patch blocks a couple years ago and I have not yet used mine - - - until now.

Even more recently, Quilt Circle did an exchange of half square triangle units that I have yet to use so - - - come back next month and see what's next!

Be sure to send me pictures of your progress to post here. Happy Scrappy Piecing!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Looking for a Featherweight?

Sarah Downing has a Featherweight Sewing Machine with case for sale. It's in good running condition and has recently been cleaned.

For more information, call Sarah at 515-262-7744.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sue's Mystery Quilt

Sue Hook sent me this picture of her completed Mystery Quilt. Aren't these pinks and browns pretty together?

On June 20, during our outdoor quilt show, we will have a special exhibit of the quilts made in this same mystery quilt bom. Hope we can hang this quilt in the exhibit,Sue!

March Quilt Circle of Friends

I just realized I have not yet post the pictures from our March Quilt Circle of Friends meeting!!! Here they are
This was a block exchange month so, we laid out our snowball blocks, cookie exchange style. Colors for each were determined by drawing from a box of crayolas.
Now for the Show and Share - - - 
Sue R took home blocks we collected at retreat last fall and put together 2 comfort quilts. How nice!

We presented Nancy H. with a stack of heart blocks made for her from group members. Made in her favorite Kansas Troubles fabrics, these blocks were offered to Nancy in comfort after the recent death of her father.

Diane W. shared this quilt of zombies made for a granddaughter. Really cute.

Diane also shared this beautiful applique quilt that has been several years in the making but is done now!

close up - - 

With Easter just around the corner, Nancy J shared this cute holiday banner.

Jackie O has already finished her Archive Get Er Done quilt! This was a kit purchased several years ago. A closer look you will see Jackie has layered and cut the blocks diagonally for the look and feel of chenille.
And this is a comfort quilt Jackie put together for Iowa Comfort Quilts
Joyce S. shared this series of table runners she has made for a wedding gift. They are reversible to make them even more seasonally diverse.

Nancy H. showed us this quilt she made using our half square exchange blocks. 

Flip over to the back corner to see the label she made, using even more of the half square units from our exchange.
This adorable little quilt is an original creation by Nancy H, featuring a vintage block in the center.

Deb S. is showing us a stack of pillowcases she has collected for the Domestic Violence shelter. She had a goal of 250 pillowcases which she has now blown past. Thank you to all who so generously donated their time and stash for this project.

Trish showed us this small quilt she recently completed from civil war reproduction fabrics. With a closer look, you will see the round pieces are yo-yos and the background is actually "convenience cloth". Very cute. 

This fun quilt was made by Trish based on her grandsons request for a Pokemon character quilt. After a local search failed to turn up any Pokemon fabric, Trish finally located this fabric from an Etsy vendor in Japan.

Here's the close up. He is going to love this!

Lonnie K. has been sorting through her mother's estate and had these darling pin cushions to share with us.

Abbie A. showed us this block of the month machine embroidered quilt. These are not pieced blocks, they are all machine embroidery. Truly amazing piece of art. See close ups below.

We are just beginning to collect items for our June 20 quilt sale. Jan boosted this project by cleaning out her quilt closet. She donated several quilted items, some finished and some very nice quilt kits. Watch for more on this!

Barb G. shared this quilt with us. She conquered this pattern, she found a little challenging. She embellished it with machine embroidery.

Bonnie N. is known for her perfect hand applique and hand quilting and her use of color. This is the pillow sham. Below is the matching quilt.

While I prepared the refreshments, Celia showed the group how she conquers machine stitching on binding. She stitches the binding to the back of the quilt and then uses glue to help stabilize before stitching it to the quilt front.

Thank you to Jackie O. as always, for taking our group pictures. No easy task!

Our next Quilt Circle of Friends meeting is April 20 in the shop at 6 pm. Join us!