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Monthly Archives: December 2015

  • Kay says, “Just STITCH!”

    Kay Hickman-02

    As a BERNINA Educator, Kay Hickman is an expert in Machine Embroidery and Embroidery Software. An excellent teacher, she especially likes to work with beginners and novice stitchers. Kay recently taught classes at Meissner’s Sewing and while she was there we asked her a few questions about starting to stitch. Her answers offer some great tips for beginning embroiderers.

    Meissner Sewing: What is a good type of beginning project for someone new to machine embroidery?

    Kay: Just STITCH! Get out your kitchen towels (old is GOOD!) and stitch a design. Today’s machines come with many built-in designs - find one you like and start stitching. Stitch on your old towels, washcloths, t-shirts, anything that you really don’t care if you “mess up”. If you are anxious about what stabilizer to use, download the eBook, All About Stabilizers. If you just want the practice, use cotton fabric cut large enough for your hoop with OESD Ultra Clean & Tear stabilizer cut the same size. Hoop these together and practice away!

    Meissner Sewing: List three things that every beginner needs to know before starting to embroider.

    Kay: 1) Not every project will be perfect. 2) Stitch a test sample using the fabric and stabilizer that you will use for your project (if it is a garment, go to your local thrift store and find something similar). 3) Buy at least one cut-away stabilizer, one tear-away stabilizer and one water soluble stabilizer before you leave the store.  (My pick: Medium Weight CutAway, Ultra Clean & Tear, and AquaMesh – all from OESD).

    Meissner Sewing: What are common mistakes made by a beginning stitcher?

    Kay: 1) Thinking that your first project will be perfect. Cut yourself some slack here - there are a lot of things to learn! 2) Not loosening the screw in the outer ring enough. This makes it really hard to get the fabric in the hoop. 3) Not tightening the screw enough after hooping. This is SO important! The compression between the inner and outer rings of the hoop has to be tight enough that the fabric cannot move during the embroidery process.

    Meissner Sewing: What type of embroidery projects are your favorite?

    Kay: 1) Quick. 2) Easy. 3) Quick and Easy

    Look for more Meissner classes from Kay in January 2016. She will be teaching classes on BERNINA Embroidery Software 7 and DesignWorks - sign up now!




  • Tools & Templates from Patricia Simons

    QPatricia Simonsuilting tools (of which there are many) often make techniques go faster with better results. Patricia Simon of Quilter’s Rule definitely knows this. As part of the family-owned business, Quilter’s Rule, she develops quilting tools and templates and demonstrates and teaches at shows and guilds all over the country. Her techniques are applicable to all quilters (hand, home machine, short-arm, mid-arm, or long-arm machine) and the results she gets are amazing! Patricia has been a guest teacher at Meissner Sewing where she shared her creative design techniques.

    Chain Create and Interlocking Chain design using the Pointed Leaf/Oval Tool.

    If you have a chance to attend her signature class, “Unlock Your Creativity (The Key is Templates)”, don’t pass it up. She loves helping quilters develop their own styles and has opened a whole new world of creativity to many people who are not naturally artists.

    Simple Block Design using the Heart Template Simple Block Design using the Heart Template

    Use the Quilter's Rule templates to mark your quilting designs onto the fabric or if you would prefer to quilt directly on the quilt without marking, use the 1/4” Machine Quilting Tools as stitching guides. When using the Machine Quilting Tools allow a 1/4” of space to accommodate the hopping foot.

    The Quilter’s Rule website is full of ideas and instructions for using the MANY templates and tools Pat has developed. Download written instructions with photo tutorials or visit YouTube to watch instructional videos. Just seeing what can be done with simple templates is inspiring and will get your creative juices flowing!

  • Jenny K. Lyon, Fearless and Fun Quilter!

    Jenny LyonThe teachers at Meissner Sewing Centers are well-known for their sewing wisdom, their knowledge of a wide variety of stitching topics, and their willingness to share all of this information. A resident of Granite Bay, Jenny Lyon is one of the teachers here at Meissner’s and we know she is fearless because it says so, right in her class titles – Intro to Fearless Free-Motion Quilting, Fearless Fills & Frills, and Fearless Curves & Feathers. We also know she’s fun because she’s called the Quilt Skipper as quilting makes her skip for joy – and what could be more fun than that?

    JoyOne look at Jenny’s work and you can tell why she is an award-winning art quilt and garment maker. Her precise, intricate stitching and beautiful workmanship show her fearlessness when quilting pieced or whole cloth quilts. She shares her skills at many quilt and art conferences around the country and her first one in 2016 will be at Craft Napa in January.

    Close-up of Jenny's beautiful free-motion stitching. Close-up of Jenny's beautiful free-motion stitching.

    Even though she teaches all over the country but you don’t have to go far to learn from Jenny, she has classes right here at Meissner’s and her blog and website offer FREE tutorials to some of her most popular techniques. Jenny’s classes inspire even the most timid free-motion stitcher – or those who haven’t tried it at all. So be fearless, take one of her classes, and you’re sure to have fun! The 2016 class dates for Jenny's classes will be posted soon on the Meissner website.

  • Craft Napa in January 2016

    Craft Napa Logo2Classes, retreats, seminars and workshops are great ways to learn new sewing and art skills while making new friends and reconnecting with ones you’ve known for years. Sewing and creating art are often thought of as solitary endeavors but in truth, the times that we interact with others that share the same passions are the times that spark our creativity the most and push our skills to the greatest heights.

    Early in 2016, a brand new retreat is happening in the wine country of northern California. The creative inspiration behind this exciting new learning adventure is Pokey Bolton, founder of Crafting a Life, LLC, an events and media business that focuses on high-end art retreats in various venues in and around Napa Valley, CA. Retreats concentrating on quilting, sewing, fiber art, surface design, art journaling, and mixed media will be paired with wine tastings at top wineries, savory cuisine from world-renowned chefs, gallery visits, and scenic walks for picture-taking and sketching. These retreats will offer memorable times with other artists to explore our creativity in a profound way, master skills from the experts, and together enjoy all that Napa Valley has to offer.

    The first of these retreats is Craft Napa, 3+ days of fun for sewists, painters, quilters, papercrafters and anyone looking for an artistic creative outlet. As a sponsor, Meissner Sewing is providing sewing machines for student use, and also generously donating a brand new BERNINA sewing machine as a gift for one student participating in the premiere wine blending event: Blend Your Own Vintage Night! An impressive roster of teachers will be teaching a wide variety of techniques including watercolor and acrylic painting, free-motion quilting, journaling, improvisational piecing, fabric and paper collage, and so much more it will make your head spin.


    Craft Napa is happening in just a few short weeks on January 7-9, 2016. Registration is closed but it’s going to be such a fun event, there’s sure to be repeat retreats. So, click here to read about it and start looking forward to a future retreat in beautiful Napa Valley!


  • Meet Longarm Artist, Gina Perkes

    Gina2-smallGet ready to be INSPIRED! The week-long Longarm Open House is coming up next week at the Sacramento location of Meissner’s Sewing Center and one of the special guests that you don’t want to miss is Gina Perkes from Payson, Arizona.

    A long-time longarm quilter, Gina is an amazing artist with any kind of free-motion quilting. Earlier this year, she took the APQS prize for the Best Longarm Workmanship award at the AQS Paducah Quilt Show. Take one look at her quilt, Nostalgia, and you can immediately see it was a prize well-deserved. This beautiful quilt now resides in The National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY.

    Nostalgia, winner of 2015 Best Longarm Workmanship award at AQS Paducah Quilt Show Nostalgia, winner of 2015 Best Longarm Workmanship award at AQS Paducah Quilt Show

    Gina will be at Meissner’s on Thursday December 17th and Friday, December 18th. She’s bringing a “ton” of quilts and wearable art pieces to inspire and educate you on longarm and free-motion quilting. Along with sharing her Trunk Show, Gina will lecture and demo a variety of quilting techniques including how to prepare quilts for stitching and planning quilting designs to give life to your quilt top. Bring your questions, your creative curiosity, and your thirst for knowledge so you can expand your skills and aspire to move up to Gina’s level of quilting expertise. She’ll be signing her book, Mastering the Art of Longarm Quilting and showing her tools that help make it all possible.

    Join us for this FREE event that goes on all week, December 14-18 at the Sacramento store. Sign up now!

    Closeup of Nostalgia
    Closeup of Nostalgia


    mastering-the-art-of-longarm-quilting Mastering the Art of Longarm Quilting by Gina Perkes


  • Long-Arm Open House in Sacramento

    Longarm-Open-HouseMonday, December 14th through Friday, December 8th

    Sherri the Elf is very excited to help host our Long-Arm Open House! You are welcome in anytime during the designated date and times and enjoy holiday refreshments, try your hand at long-arm quilting, win prizes, and be amazed as you watch our computerized long-arm easily finish quilts. The best part, all the events throughout the week are FREE!

    To start of our event, on Monday, December 14th, we have “Doodle Quilting”- a lecture with demonstration taught by Angelina, a well-known instructor here at Meissner. Watch in amazement as doodling on paper transforms into “doodle quilting” on your quilts. Please see schedule for specific times, as there are only a few spots left.

    On Tuesday, December 15th and Wednesday December 16th, we have Patricia from “Quilter’s Rule” coming to discuss and demonstrate rulers and templates that make quilting easier and more professional looking. Patricia is dynamic and knowledgeable about this product, and her presentation is FREE to all.

    On Thursday December 17th and Friday, December 18th we are pleased to announce national quilt award winner Gina Perkes will be at our store. Gina is known for her beautiful free motion work on quilts and is fun and vibrant. We will host her trunk show, and she will discuss her creative techniques for crafting award winning quilts. This is an ideal lecture demo for all quilters, and those interested in starting a quilting journey. Again, this presentation is FREE to all, so please register online as spots are limited.



    Sherri the Elf wants to Share some Holiday Good Will!

    We love doing something for Charity!
    Do you have a quilt top that you would like to donate to a charity?

    We have a special opportunity - bring in your quilt top, and we will finish it for you!
    We provide the backing and batting, attach the binding, and deliver to local charities in our area.

    We hope to see you next week!

    Register Today for the LONG-ARM OPEN HOUSE!

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