A day in the life of Mary Engelbreit

With a range of licensed products that stretches from cards and calendars to dinnerware and fabric, a successful retail store in her hometown, an award-winning magazine, more than 150 book titles published and hundreds of millions of greeting cards sold, the most apt description of artist Mary Engelbreit may be a line pulled from one of her well-known greeting card designs – she truly is “The Queen of Everything.” Mary’s...

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Life On The Farm

Garner, Iowa, is home to one of North Central Iowa’s premier shopping destinations for those who love to sew and quilt. The favorite stop is a “farm” located 17 miles west of Clear Lake; a farm that is home to Susannah, a pygmy goat; Carly, a black lab mix; Maggie, a golden retriever; Lucy, a yellow lab; cats Aggie, Emmet, Pearl, Maxine, Joyce; and most importantly, Connie Tesene and Mary Etherington — two dynamic entrepreneurs who have built their business around friendship, quilts, animals and their love of rural...

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Prayer quilts provide comfort & hope

They call it “playing material” and often find themselves laughing as they try to figure out ways to use all types of donated material and turn it into attractive quilts, but the fruit of their labor is on a far more serious note.

For 10 years Viola Pfannkuch and Phyllis Opperman of Manning, IA, have been making quilts which bring hope and comfort to recipients. The quilts are given to people who are very ill or facing serious problems on...

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What makes quality Rayon Thread?

Many people don’t know that Rayon, sometimes referred to as Viscose, originates from nature! The raw material needed for the production of viscose is cellulose pulp, and the original material for the pulp production is wood.

Cellulose is the natural building material needed by plants for forming their cellular walls. There are only a few wood types where the cellulose develops the properties required for the production of viscose. In most cases, pine or spruce wood, or even well selected deciduous tree types, are used.

One of the special features of cellulose is that the molecules are connected with each other in...

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Two quilters are better than one

There is something very special about a two-person quilt — a quilt where two people have partnered on the process of completing the quilt. For more than 13 years I have been a longarm quilter and have personally completed more than 3,000 custom quilts for “quilt toppers” — quilters who love making the quilt tops but are not as interested in the final quilting process because they have already started their next quilt top.

These “quilt toppers” have become some of my very best friends. During the process of working on the quilt you lend each other emotional support. You learn and grow together as quilters which...

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Inspiring the younger generation

I stood in line to pay for my purchase. The teenage cashier politely asked if I found everything I was looking for, and totaled the purchases. I handed her my credit card which displays the name of our business, Fabric Café. She took one look, asked what kind of business I was in and broke out in a big grin when I explained we were in the sewing industry.

“Oh, my gosh, she said,” animatedly, “I just finished my first quilt! And I did it all on a sewing machine. My grandmother makes the most wonderful quilts by hand, but I made one On A MACHINE!” Her bright face and total pride in her accomplishment was a joy to...

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The other half of your quilting system

One major part of any quilting system that is often overlooked is the table or frame. This is half of your system. If the frame is not working properly, then your machine cannot possibly work correctly. A frame that is in bad condition or improperly assembled can make quilting very frustrating.

Some frames are set up for you when the system is delivered. Be sure to watch this process and take notes and pictures. Don’t be shy about asking questions and getting involved. This is important in case you ever want to move your quilting system. Most of the people installing and delivering these systems are very experienced and...

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How a Sewing Machine Works

When you’re planning on getting a sewing machine, you must take some time to understand how it works. This can help you get the most of the device. As we’ll see, there are a few mechanisms that you should be aware of. Often, the key to learning how to sew is purchasing an excellent machine. There are many great devices to choose from. To help you narrow down your search, you might want to use this excellent Hemming machine for amateurs guide. Let’s take a closer look at how these devices...

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