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Hello! From here you can access your My Star Collection subscription (button on the left) and visit our bookstore (button on the left or top menu). Also, enjoy your favorite cartoon Mrs. Bobbins, read some fun blog posts, and get to know our authors. Enjoy!

July 31, 2014

Bobbins’ Bargains flies the flag

This week, Mrs. Bobbins is saluting symbols of freedom.

bobbins bargains logo - 200 wideShe is always one to find a good deal out there in the quilt world. Now she brings her amazing talents to you … with her weekly Bobbins’ Bargains!

Every Thursday, Mrs. Bobbins will select one of our books and offer it to you at a very special price … 75% off the current listed price!

Better yet, your shipping is FREE in the continental U.S.

Better, better yet, “Five Gets You a Freebie!” If you order a Bobbins’ Bargain just five times (from five different sales), you get a free copy of any of our books! Take your pick. We’ll contact you by email once you’ve qualified for a free book and take your order.  Plus your shipping on that one is free as well. Easy as pie!

This week’s Bobbins’ Bargain is Flags of the American Revolution, by Jan Patek.flags cover

Long before Betsy Ross took a stitch in the first official flag of the United States of America, flags and banners were waving in the breeze atop flagstaffs. Sometimes it was the commander’s wife stitching a banner by candlelight. Sometimes it was the commander himself sewing a flag around which his troops could rally.

Unsung and unknown men and women stitched stripes and stars and patches together to create symbols of freedom. Like knights of old, patriots carried their banners into battle, willing to give all to live in a country free of oppression.

Jan and her husband both had fathers who made a career in the military.  Jan has translated her love and pride of country into this marvelous quilt, Flags of the American Revolution. Stitch this piece of Americana for your own home or choose from one of the many projects offered, such as the wool Flag Table Rug, Jake’s Eagles or the Stars and Stripes wall hanging.

Softcover, 96 pages, full-color.

Click here to see a YouTube video of the book.

The book is on sale for $22.95. Your price using our Bobbins’ Bargains promotion code is just $5.74, plus your shipping on this book is free in the continental U.S.!

(SHIPPING NOTE! Please allow 14 business days for delivery after Wednesday, Aug. 6, the last day of this week’s sale.)

Be sure to use this promotion code before checkout:

BOBBINS75

Please make sure to click the “Apply Promotion Code Now” button after entering the code. The discount won’t apply unless you do so. Please verify that you’ve received the discount before checking out.

Click here to order.  And remember  …  your shipping of this book is free in the continental U.S.!

July 30, 2014

It’s a Retro Sort of Thing

By Donna di Natale

Donna di Natale

Donna di Natale

A gentleman quilter friend told me that he was going to start collecting polyester quilts because they’ll never fade, the binding will never wear off, and when he finds them, they are cheap because no one else wants them.

I hope he was serious, because this quilt is going in the mail addressed to him.

I found this quilt at an estate sale in St. Louis. It was the only quilt for sale, so I don’t know the background. The person wasn’t a quilter, but she was a costumer.

Perhaps the quilt was a gift back in the 1970s, when polyester knits were all the rage. I should know. I had to wear white uniforms for my job at that time, and I actually loved polyester knit uniforms. You just threw them in the washer and dryer, and they were ready to put on. No ironing! Of course, there were problems, such as odors that never went away and whites that turned gray before long. But I bet those uniforms would still be wearable today.

poly quilt
Polyester quilts are not that difficult to find, but they are usually just squares sewn together. The fact that this was a bow tie quilt is what made me want to purchase it. That and the fact that it was marked $7. The quilt is also a good example of all the different weaves and patterns you could get in polyester knit, ranging from smooth solids to something resembling smocking or ruching.

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Some fabrics resembled knitted sweaters, but didn’t fool anyone.

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Plaids, houndstooth, checks, dots and stripes. Florals and novelty prints.

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Polyester knits were available in many different textures, too. I recall my dad having several pairs of pants made of textured polyester knits. The crease down the leg was pressed at the factory when the pants were made and was there forever. I’m sure my mother appreciated that they could be tossed in the washing machine and she didn’t have to press them.

section 1
And the colors! Everything from pastels to neon brights.

The quilt is boxed up ready to ship, but its companion piece is staying here with me. Just looking at this forever rug makes me smile.

rug
Donna di Natale is an author and editor for Kansas City Star Quilts. She writes every Wednesday.

July 29, 2014

The Top 10 Reasons to Buy Bobbins’ Bargains

bobbins bargains logo - 200 wide10. Our books are beautiful.  Every single one of them.  A bonus: Most of our books tell a story.

9. Free shipping. You can’t beat that.

8. 75 PERCENT OFF.  Usually that’s on the sale price, so you’re really saving much more.

7. You get a cool title: Bobbins’ Bargaineer.

6. Speaking of which, we sometimes have special secret sales by email for Bobbins’ Bargaineers. Shh, it’s a secret.

5. Five gets you a freebie. Buy five Bobbins Bargains, get any book on our store site free, including new releases.

4. There’s free shipping on that book, too. Such a deal.

3. It’s a quick, inexpensive way to build your quilting library.

2. At these prices, you can spread the love around. Gifts for quilting friends, door prizes at your guild, inspiration for a new quilter.

And the No. 1 reason to buy Bobbins’ Bargains: All the cool quilters are doing it!

***

Help us celebrate!

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been six months since we’ve launched our successful Bobbins’ Bargains program. To mark the occasion, we’re offering a 20 percent discount on any of the books in our online store, now through Sunday, Aug. 3.  This discount applies to all of our beautiful books, including recent releases and best-sellers.

When ordering, be sure to use this promotion code before checkout:

BB6MO

Please make sure to click the “Apply Promotion Code Now” button after entering the code. The discount won’t apply unless you do so. Please verify that you’ve received the discount before checking out.

Note: These purchases do NOT count toward the “Five Gets You a Freebie” deal.

Hurry! This offer ends Sunday, Aug. 3! To order, click here.

July 29, 2014

Stronger Seams: Quilting and Friendship

By Tricia Lynn Maloney

Quilting has been bringing people together for a very long time. Consider the popularity of friendship quilts through the years. And quilting bees? A lot more went on than just quilting the layers of a quilt together.

Today, we quilters have a lot more options for the social side of quilting than our grandmothers did. Books, magazines, radio and television gave quilters access to information and inspiration, but the Internet has made sharing ideas and reaching out to other quilters so easy. The Internet has influenced an entire new generation of quilters who are involved in blogging, challenges and guilds online.

As fun and exciting as the Internet is, though, there is something to say for a good old-fashioned friendship formed face-to-face.

Cathey  Laird (left), Leslie Lattner and Tricia Lynn Maloney took a workshop in 2010 with Mark Lipinski, host of the "Creative Mojo" radio show.

Cathey Laird (left), Leslie Lattner and Tricia Lynn Maloney took a workshop in 2010 with Mark Lipinski, host of the “Creative Mojo” Internet radio show.

After admiring quilts and textiles for many years and even collecting a few along the way, I decided to finally teach myself to quilt in 1996, after graduating from college.  My first quilt, although not the loveliest piece – I fondly call it “Big Ugly” – was finally completed and I found myself eager to begin another project, and another, until I was well and truly hooked on quilting.

In my early quilting days, I quilted in isolation. I read a lot of books. I tried a lot of different techniques. I made a lot of mistakes. Then I began visiting a few local quilt shops, and I began talking to people about quilting. Before long, I had worked up enough courage to inquire about working at one of the local shops, and I was hired. There was a different person for each day of the week, and I became the “Saturday Girl.”

When I worked at the quilt shop, I learned so much about quilting. I happily immersed myself in “quilt culture” by taking a few quilt classes, going to local quilt shows and teaching myself new skills, such as free-motion quilting. It wasn’t very long before I found myself learning to use Electric Quilt computer software, and I began designing quilts.

Then I finally went on my very first shop hop. On that bus trip to many area shops, some of which I had never been to, I met two other quilters, Cathey Laird and Leslie Lattner, who were new to quilting and also on their first shop hop. We hit it off.

Cathey and Tricia in what Tricia calls "our first (and last) modeling experience" in 2010 at Quilting Around Chautauqua at the Chautauqua Institution in New York.

Cathey and Tricia in what Tricia calls “our first (and last) modeling experience” in 2010 at Quilting Around Chautauqua at the Chautauqua Institution in New York.

A few months later, we found ourselves on another bus trip, to Quilting Around Chautauqua at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. After this trip, we began calling each other and making plans to go to quilt shows, visit quilt shops and take many other fun excursions. We became the Three Musketeers.

It’s amazing how having a couple of close quilting friends made my quilting experience richer and even more rewarding because I now had someone – make that two someones — to share it with. Sure, before Cathey and Leslie, I talked about quilting to my family and other friends, but they just didn’t get it like my quilting friends did.

A photo with the bus driver is a memento of a 2008 trip to  Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The  friends, (from left) Cathey Laird, Tricia Lynn Maloney, Leslie Lattner and and Mary Lee Minnis,

A photo with the bus driver is a memento of a trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Cathey (left), Tricia, Leslie and and Mary Lee Minnis took in 2008.

But our friendship wasn’t just about quilting. We supported and helped each other, too.  Quilting was at the heart of our friendship, though, and made everything else more meaningful. Cathey ended up getting a job at the children’s center where I worked.  Leslie’s daughter visited my classroom when she was crowned Harvest Queen. We went on a quilting bus trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and even began renting a cottage at Quilting Around Chautauqua. We added a fourth friend to the group, Mary Lee Minnis, who was my teaching partner at a monthly quilt class. Mary Lee became D’Artagnan to our Three Musketeers.russian_cover_LR

When I wrote my first quilt book, Orphan Block Quilts: Making a Home for Antique, Vintage, Collectible, and Leftover Quilt Blocks, Cathey, Leslie and Mary Lee were there every step of the way. They helped with projects, read instructions and provided a lot of moral support. They did the same thing when I wrote my second book, A Russian Journey in Quilts: The Story of Nicholas and Nina Filatoff. I like to tell people when I lecture that it takes many friends to write a quilt book, not just the person whose name is on the  cover.

As I began to get more involved in professional quilting opportunities, so did my friends. I still find it really fascinating how we all found our own niches in the quilt world. Leslie eventually began helping out at one the local quilt shops, started teaching classes and did a little quilt designing. Cathey began working at another local shop, taught classes, and began designing and marketing her line of patterns. Cathey then encouraged Leslie and me to teach more quilt classes at the shop she was working at. Mary Lee and I still teach our monthly class, and Mary Lee has added a few other classes to her repertoire. As for me, I teach, lecture, write, design for magazines and continue to work on new ideas for quilting books.

Sadly, I’ve noticed that life has been getting in the way of our friendship lately, and we’ve begun to drift apart a bit because of jobs, family and everyday stresses. But underneath it all, I know it’s quilting that still holds us together. The seams of our friendship might strain a bit at times, but quilting is a strong thread.

July 28, 2014

Mrs. Bobbins

 

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For more quilty laughter from Mrs. Bobbins, get The Big Book of Bobbins by clicking here! Just $16.95!