What I’m working on…Shop Hop Edition!

It’s Shop Hop season! For those of you who don’t know what a Shop Hop is here’s a definition from the examiner.com

“A shop hop is kind of like a pub crawl only you’re shopping instead of drinking. Normally sponsored by a group of shops that are near each other geographically, shop hops give quilters an opportunity to take a road trip together and do what they love most – shopping for quilt stuff!

The shops usually offer prizes, giveaways and special sale prices for those on the hop. Each participant gets a passport that is stamped or punched at each store to prove they’ve been there. The shops often coordinate on creating a quilt and participants pick up one block pattern (or sometimes even a whole kit with pattern and fabric) at each shop so that by the end of the hop they have all they need to create the quilt.

For the shops, hops provide a whole new customer base. I know that on the shop hops I’ve been on, I’ve gone to quilt shops I had never heard of before. It’s a great marketing opportunity for them. They not only make sales on the day of the hop, but people often remember those shops and visit them again next time they are in the area.

For the hoppers, hops provide exposure to a wide range of different shops, classes, teachers, and products, and a chance to hang out with friends. They also get a chance to win prizes at each shop and sometimes there is a grand prize of a gift basket with contributions from all the shops, or a sewing machine or other big ticket item.”

Tomorrow (6/4) starts the Western New York Shop Hop. This Hop spans the Buffalo/Rochester area and includes 10 shops.

Shop Hop 14logo-01By stopping at each store you will be entered to win 2 $50 gift cards from each location or the grand prize of a BERNINA 215! Each shop will be giving away a 6″ strip of fabric and a free quilt pattern. The free quilt pattern part is where the “what I’m working on” part comes into play…

So as I mentioned each store on the hop has to give away a pattern. I never really looked into just finding a free pattern to give away off the internet someplace…although maybe that would have been smarter. I decided that it would be a good idea to design these quilts myself! (WHAT was I thinking?) After many MANY hours I came up with these two quilts;

Scrappy Chevron Quilt

Scrappy Chevron Quilt


Rainbow Cabin Quilt

Rainbow Cabin Quilt

These quilts were all designs, pieced and quilted by me…I think I might have a control issue. It was my 1st go round of designing and writing quilt patterns, so if you happen to get one of these patterns…please go easy on me! (but I always appreciate constructive criticism). The Scrappy Chevron quilt will be on display in our Williamsville Location and the Rainbow Cabin will be at the East Aurora Location. Free fabric, free pattern and the chance to win a BERNINA 215?? Why would you NOT want to attend this hop? Get your butts in here! Tomorrow the 4th – Saturday the 7th. Oh and P.S. there’s 20% off all bolted fabric at all of the shops in the hop! Awesome.

While I was making these quilts I was also working on our Rows for the New York State Row by Row shop hop. This Hop is a little different than others. Here’s what the Row by Row website has to say about the hop:

Row by Row is a shop hop type event with no fees, no passports and all summer to play? Simply visit any of the participating shops and receive a free pattern for a row in a quilt. Combine your rows in any way to create a unique quilt that represents the fun you had traveling throughout the summer. Travel with friends, discover new quilt shops and have fun collecting rows! Create a quilt using at least 8 different rows and be the first to bring it into a participating shop to win a stack of 25 fat quarters (6-1/4 yards of fabric!). Use that shop’s row in your quilt and win a bonus prize!”

This hop runs from July 1st-September 2nd and the shops are all over the state of New York. The theme for this years Row by Row is “Sew a Season”, and we wanted to incorporate birds into both of our rows. I started with these computer renderings as a proposal for the staff to see what people thought.

Row By Row 14 Summer Birdsv2-01

Row by Row Summer birds (Williamsville)

Row By Row 14 Winter Birdsv2-01

Row by Row Summer Birds (East Aurora)

The response was great, so I went ahead! Here are the fabric versions:

Row By Row Aurora Sewing Center WSC

Row By Row Aurora Sewing Center ASC

What do you think? These patterns will be a FREE give away at each of our stores! There will also be kits for purchase if you want to just grab and go. We think our birds are so darn cute and are so excited about them. They will be available starting July 1st.

So there you go, 4 original designs in 2 or so weeks- I hope you’ll give me a pass for being behind on my Quilt of the Month project, I am in the process of quilting the May quilt- I think you are really going to like it…here’s a sneak peek of  what’s to come;

Kite Runner

Kite Runner


I look forward to hearing what you think of this work!



Looking for Some Inspiration? Check out these great classes starting soon…

Happy Summer! I hope you all had a great Memorial Day Weekend. I spent all of Saturday working on a whole handful of sewing for the store. I’m designing two quilts, one for each location for the WNY shop hop that’s coming up starting on the 4th of June, as well as two rows for the Row by Row shop hop which is starting July 1st. My Quilt of the month is on the Tiara…so don’t think i’ve dropped the ball on that one, it’s just pushed back a little. (I’m thinking that the 2 quilts for WNY Shop Hop will count for June’s quilt maybe?)

Things are really busy here at the shop, you’ve probably heard that the Sewing Times is back from the printer finally, and classes are filling up. I wanted to let you know of some great classes starting in the next few weeks. Don’t miss out- call to sign up right away if something looks interesting to you! Also, don’t forget about the Summer School Class Pass (Learn More HERE).

I can’t count how many times someone says to me “I wish I knew how to sew…” or, “I’m afraid of putting in a zipper” or, “It’s been so long since I’ve sewn…I feel so rusty”. If this is you- or someone you know- Diane is offering How to Sew in East Aurora on Thursday, May 29th, June 5th, 12th, and 19th from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon.

How to Sew

You’ll make a great tote bag and learn to read a pattern and discover the fundamentals of beginner applique and cutting. Learn topstitching, edge finishes, and zipper insertion. This class is great for beginners and experienced sewers who just need some polish on basic skills.

Always wanted to make a Double Wedding Ring Quilt? Well take a look at this stunner from Sew Kind of Wonderful.

Metro Rings

Metro Rings is a traditional quilt with a contemporary flare. Join Arlene in making this simple quilt using the latest quick curve ruler. Easy and fun! If you saw Jenny and Helen from Sew Kind of Wonderful present at club a few months ago you know how easy it is to make this traditionally fussy quilt. This class will be held on Thursday, May 29th, June 5th, and 12th from 6:00 – 9:00 pm.

Some of the most popular classes we offer are basics, and Cutting Workshop is always a huge success.

Cutting Workshop


Do you know the most efficient way to cut your fabric? Are you afraid of your rotary cutter?Do your strips have a bend in them? Are your pieces accurate? Does cutting out new shapes confuse you? Or maybe you are just beginning your quilting journey and want to get started the right way. In any of these cases, this class is for you! Learn how to accurately cut strips and squares, triangles and diamonds, and a whole variety of other shapes to make your piecing easier, more accurate, and more fun. Join Diane in East Aurora for Cutting Workshop on Fri, May 30, 2014 at 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

   Looking to do more embroidery on garments? Diane will be teaching Let’s Embroider on T-Shirts in East Aurora on Sat, May 31, 2014 at 9:00 am to Noon.

Let’s Embroider on T-Shirts

Explore how fast and easy it is to add monogramming to all your t-shirts and sweatshirts. Learn how to properly stabilize, hoop, and place your design to achieve the best results. Kit is available for this class. Note: Please bring a template of your design for placement.  **This Class is Summer School Class Pass Eligible** 


Looking for a new tote to carry your class supplies in? Diane is teaching Quilters Tote in East Aurora on Fri, Jun 6, 2014 at 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.


Quilters Tote

Here is a tote bag large enough for an 18” x 24” cutting mat, plus all your quilting supplies. There are two large pockets on both sides of the lining, where you can store your quilting squares and rulers. This tote bag has small handles as well as a long, over the shoulder strap to keep your hands free. Finished size is 27” x 19” x 3.5” using 40 (2.5”) strips. Easy! **This class is Summer Class Pass Eligible**

Ina is Teaching a beautiful class called Placid Curves in East Aurora on Sat, Jun 7, 2014 at 9:00 am to Noon and Sat, Jun 14, 2014 at 9:00 am to Noon. Create a unique looking quilt with the illusion of curves using a selection of light and medium colored neutral fabrics.

Placid Curves

This quilt is so pretty- up close you can’t see why it’s called Placid Curves, but when you step back the curves pop out at you! It’s so striking..it’s a must see!

I haven’t forgotten about Williamsville, Diane will be teaching Sliced on Tue, May 27, 2014 at 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Tue, Jun 3, 2014 at 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and Tue, Jun 10, 2014 at 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.


 “Sliced” is a fun quilt to make. The blocks are cut and sewn back together to make unique mirrored blocks. Setting the blocks on point brings the diagonal cuts back to the vertical, making the quilt quite intriguing.

Cathy N. will be teaching Flouncy Serger Scarf in Williamsville on Wed, May 28, 2014 at 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Flouncy Serger Scarf

If you are looking to learn more about your serger- this easy breezy scarf will fit the bill! Make this lightweight, flouncy scarf, perfect for summer! You’ll get lots of practice doing rolled hems on curves.

Kathy J. will be teaching Flying Geese Table Runner in Williamsville on Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Flying Geese Table Runner

It’s a great table runner that looks difficult but it isn’t. Give this project a simple, modern, or elegant look – your fabric will do the talking. Very easy, great in any fabric!

If you are looking to hone your applique skills Arlene will be teaching Paradise Island in Williamsville Fri, May 30, 2014 at 9:00 am to Noon, Fri, Jun 6, 2014 at 9:00 am to Noon and Tue, Jun 10, 2014 at 9:00 am to Noon.

Paradise Island

This quilt uses two panels, one that’s the background and one that gets cut apart and appliqued to create some amazing dimension! I love this quilt…it’s so summery.

Last but not least Arlene will be teaching Tea Leaf Table Topper in Williamsville on Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Tea Leaf Table Topper

Add texture to your table with these placemats and table toppers. “Tea leaves” mimic the look of cathedral window blocks in these projects. **This class is Summer School Class Pass Eligible**

So what classes are you going to take??



30 Classes for one LOW price…

First things first….the BRAND NEW issue of the Sewing Times is here! I stopped at the printer this morning (in Black Rock) then knowing how important it is to get the books to you all ASAP I drove from the city to Williamsville, dropped off half of the cartons then hit the road to East Aurora just so they would be at both locations when we opened for business today! (If that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is!)

   Now that the books are i hand I wanted to remind you all about the wildly successful “Summer School Class Pass” that we have offered for a few years. Well it’s back!  This year there are over 30 classes that you can take for just one low price. Pay once, come to as many classes as you want! (Think of it as summer camp for sewers!)

sun shades

Here is how it works…when you are viewing the Sewing Times which you can do on-line by clicking HERE, or by picking one up in the shop, you are going to look for the smiling sun logo (isn’t he cute?).  The classes marked with the sun are part of this great deal. So you pay $125 for the pass, and then take as many of the marked classes as you want with no additional enrollment fees! I did the math, if you paid for every one of the Summer School Class Pass classes the grand total would be over $1000. (don’t tell the accountant that total…she might kill us!)

So even if there was this crazy deal and the classes stunk it wouldn’t matter too much what the price was right? Well don’t worry- these classes ROCK. Here’a an example of some of the classes included in the Summer School Class Pass.

court jester

Court Jester

Court Jester with the fabulous Diane. This stunning, easy to create quilt is easy enough for the beginner quilter, yet an intriguing way for a more advanced quilter to play with color and patterns. It will be held in Williamsville  on Tuesday, July 22nd and 29th from 12:30 – 4:30 pm and would normally cost $48…but it would be FREE with the Class Pass! (p.s. These classes are still open for anyone to take at the regular per class price.)

Stash Stars

Remember this Quilt from March’s Quilt of the Month? You can read about it HERE, well Arlene will be teaching this class as part of the Summer School Class Pass! Learn the secret of perfect stars… Choose small prints, tone on-tone, or solids to show off these simple stars. The class will be in East Aurora on Wednesday, August 13th, 20th, and 27th from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon and in Williamsville on Wednesday, June 18th, 25th, and July 2nd from 6:00 – 9:00 pm, and would normally cost $54 but it would be FREE with the Class Pass! (Do you get it yet?)


Arlene is also teaching Leftovers in East Aurora on Tuesday, July 1st, 8th, and 15th from 6:00 – 9:00 pm and in Williamsville on Friday, August 1st, 8th, and 15th from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon. Use those enticing fat quarter bundles to create a modern take on plaid mixed with a contrasting solid. (Regularly $54)

How about some embroidery classes?

Lets Embroider on T-Shirts

Lets Embroider on T-Shirts

You can take “Let’s Embroider on T-Shirts from Diane in East Aurora on Saturday, May 31s from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon or in Williamsville on Saturday, June 14th from 1:30 – 4:30 pm. You’ll explore how fast and easy it is to add monogramming to all your t-shirts and sweatshirts. Learn how to properly stabilize, hoop, and place your design to achieve the best results. This class would regularly cost $18….but you guessed it, FREE with the Summer School Class Pass!

Applique in the hoop

Applique in the hoop

Maybe you’ve always wondered about Applique in the Hoop? Join Diane on Friday, June 27th from 6:00 – 9:00 pm in East Aurora on in Williamsville on Thursday, May 22nd from 1:00 – 4:00 pm.

I can’t possibly list all of the Summer School Class Pass classes without creating the worlds longest blog post but I think you get the idea…I can’t think of a better way to spend the summer. Sewing with friends in the nice cool shop. We’d love to have you join us!

What are your favorite classes in the Sewing Times? Tell me- I’d love to hear!



P.S. Don’t forget  you can click the “Follow” button in the lower right corner of your screen to be notified when I post here!

P.P.S. Did you enter the Quilt Market Swag giveaway yet? Click HERE to enter now! Giveaway has ended.

Quilt Market Swag…a Giveaway!

Part of the fun at quilt market is collecting freebies from all the vendors. I collected a sweet pile of goodies just for you guys!

quilt market swag


I decided to do a giveaway just for my blog readers- did you know you can “follow” this blog and you’ll get an email when I post? That way you wont miss any exciting updates from Aurora Sewing Center! There should be a grey “Follow” butting on the bottom right of your screen, you can enter your email there and you’ll be a follower!

So anyhow- back to the important stuff, the swag! The prize contains:

  • An autographed copy of the new book “Hexagons, Diamonds, Triangles and More”
  • A sample pack of all of the thread weights of Aurifil thread (yummy)
  • A charm pack of  Ruthann and Susan’s new fabric line “Breezy Blooms” PLUS their 2 brand new patterns, Dream Weaver and Garden Patch.
  • A Fat Quarter from Free Spirit’s new line “Lace Mountain”
  • A key fob from the Creative Thimble
  • A Swatch Buddies starter kit
  • A Laser cut hexagon stack from Timeless Treasures
  • A Top 50 Stonehenge colors charm pack
  • A Lavender Scented Walnut  mini pack from Plum Easy

How fun is that?? To enter this giveaway just click on the Rafflecopter link below, (It might take a moment to load) p.s. the winner must be able to pick up the prize at either one of our locations. The contest ends on Monday at 6:00pm.

CLICK HERE—> Rafflecopter giveaway




Quilt Market Pittsburgh day 5…it’s a wrap!

Sitting here in the hotel room (at 11:30pm) after having a “wrap up meeting” with the girls, I’m feeling lots of things. TIRED, energized, inspired, overwhelmed and a little sad. Today was the last day of Quilt Market and we will be headed home in the morning. If you missed the post about day one you can see it HERE, day 2 HERE, day 3 HERE and day 4 HERE.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis post is less picture heavy for sure since we made it through the whole show yesterday- there was a lot of running around today- heading back to booths that we needed to buy from- picking up things we needed to pick up and generally tying up loose ends. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe stopped to see Confetti Embroidery’s booth, aren’t these spring bulbs darling?


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the happiest things we did today was to get to buy Ruthann Stilwell and Susan Rooney’s debut line of fabric from Benartex. I know I’ve mentioned before how proud we are of them, but getting to buy this line was just great. We got every piece in the line- isn’t it so happy??

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIna got to spend some time playing with the new couching foot for the Tiara 2. It was SO fun to free motion and have the machine stitch over yarn. There are so many possibilities with this foot…We were dreaming of Santa’s beard, fuzzy green grass, and so many other textural additions to our quilted work…I think we could have played there all day!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThose of you who are familiar with Leah Day and the Free Motion Quilting Project will recognize Leah above…her booth was full of examples of her prolific free motion quilting fillers.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALeah’s quilt showing off her 365 quilting designs was amazing!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA totally new thing coming to Aurora Sewing Center is this great ruffled fabric. You have to see it in person to really appreciate how cool it is, but there is a wide variety of ruffles, stretch lace and overlays..trust me, you are going to love this stuff- both for children’s clothing as well as things you will want to wear yourself!Photo May 18, 4 01 25 PMThe funniest thing about the last day of market, is that the MINUTE the announcer comes over the PA system to say that the event is closed, those booths are being dismantled. We were lucky enough to score ALL of Disa designs samples as she is from Iceland and didn’t want to bring them home with her. She even sold us her booth props and rug!Photo May 18, 4 09 27 PM (1)It was quite the scene trying to figure out how to get a whole booths contents back to the hotel room (which by the way was down a hall, up an escalator, down another hall, up an elevator, across a walkway and up ANOTHER elevator).Photo May 18, 4 10 28 PM (1)I got to carry the rug. On our way out we ran into a pretty exciting quilty celebrity…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s Mary Fons! I think we might be sisters from another Mother. What do you think? If you don’t know Mary she kicks some serious butt…check out her great magazine Quilty as well as her blog Paper Girl, and if you are on Craftsy check out her lecture from Quilt Con “Lessons from a Quilt Mafia Daughter”. You’ll fall in love with her like I did.

We all had an amazing time in Pittsburgh…it’s time to come home to you all- we’ve missed you! Thanks for sticking with me through my ramblings. I hope you enjoyed tagging along. See you back in Buffalo!





Quilt Market Pittsburgh, Day 4!

Well, day 4 is over which means we are closer to leaving Pittsburgh than we are to just having gotten here. I’m trying to to be too sad about that and instead focusing on the fact that we’ve got another … Continue reading

Quilt Market Pittsburgh, day 2!

Phew! I am sitting here in bed typing this blog at midnight because I made a resolution to myself that I would blog everyday! ( man.. I love you guys). So today was “Schoolhouse”, which like I mentioned yesterday is a whole day ( from 10am-6pm) of 15-30 minute classes from fabric designers, notion producers and sewing industry professionals. It’s a way for them to get you to come to their booths once the exhibit floor opens (tomorrow at 10am).

The day started out with Carol going to get the school house brochure- which is 20 pages of classes to choose from.


The six of us say around and decided who would go to which class as to try to get to as many classes as possible. Since I don’t have photographs of anyone else’s day,  you guys are stuck with what I was up to.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy 1st class was with Judi Madsen from Green Fairy Quilts. Judi wrote a book called “Quilting Wide Open Spaces” which we have in the store.

Her quilting is FANTASTIC.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHer book is all about quilting in the negative…stinking amazing.




P.s. this is the BACK of one of Judi’s quilts. O.M.G.

My next class was all about shot cottons.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe have had a pretty diverse line of shot cotton in the store for a while. If you haven’t seen them they are a distinctive line of fabric with a different color in the warp and weft of the weave.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHow pretty is this shot cotton chevron quilt??

Next, Barb and I took a class from Alex Veronelli from Aurfil.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlex talked about new Aurifil displays, not so interesting to you- but i’ll tell you, listening you Alex’s thick italian accent for 30 minutes was not too shabby!

The last class of the day was Mary Fons, Marianne Fons’ of Fons and Porters daughter.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMary is the editor of Quilty Magazine, and the author of a new book “Make & Love Quilts” , a fabulous book about modern scrappy quilts.

The end of the night was spent at the Omni William Penn. We were lucky enough to attend the Bernina reception.




It was a delicious evening with great company.


Barb and Paul Ashworth the President of Bernina!

I hope you’ll forgive the wacky-ness of this post (now it’s 12:33am)…but I hoe you liked today’s update! See you tomorrow for the 1st day from the exhibition hall of Quilt Market!