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Monthly Archives: June 2017

  • A Letter from Embroidery Garden

    Reen Wilcoxson is the founder of Embroidery Garden and an in-the-hoop embroidery expert. Reen is a contributing writer to the Meissner Sewing Blog, and, for the second year, she will be hosting an Embroidery Garden event at Meissner Sewing in Sacramento. 

    Click here to register and join Reen in Sacramento this July >

    I began my journey in machine embroidery in 1988, with the purchase of my first embroidery machine. I was in love and knew immediately I wanted to create my own designs. I started out with appliqué, then discovered in-the-hoop designs. My first was a sucker holder favor for Valentine’s Day. Over the years, I developed techniques to create fully lined purses, wallets, and more, completely in the hoop of an embroidery machine.

    My website, Embroidery Garden, went live in 2000.

    Photo courtesy of Reen Wilcoxson.

    I’ve created a lot of fun, unique designs over the years, but recently I started incorporating machine embroidery with a cutting machine.  I’ve taken my popular Zippered Bags set to a new level.  I designed a front panel that I cut from one of the hottest new trends, natural cork fabric. The cut out pattern allows a piece of fabric placed behind it to show through.  The look is incredible and the possibilities are endless. My customers love this new exclusive technique.

    I’m very excited to have been asked to return to Meissner Sewing & Vacuum Centers to teach classes this summer. This year, we’re stitching a few brand new, not-yet-released designs while getting to use that big 9.50” x 14” hoop we all love.  We will complete six projects in the two-day sessions. You will stitch on top-of-the line machines and marvel at their features and capabilities.

    Photo courtesy of Reen Wilcoxson.

    The Sewing Tool Case we’re making is great to fill with basic sewing supplies to take to class or use while traveling, etc.

    My Sewing Caddy with Pincushion has become a favorite with class attendees this year. It’s a useful item that holds notions and has a pincushion with a cute flower on top to hold small Wonder Clips.

    Photo courtesy of Reen Wilcoxson.

    It hangs off the table next to your sewing or embroidery machine. Everyone will learn a new technique as we cut through our stabilizer and manipulate fabric through the hoop when we stitch this project. The classes will be fun and informative. I will have lots of my sample designs with me so you can get a close up look at them. You will leave inspired and ready to start your next project.

    I have a full schedule the second half of this year with a lot of traveling and teaching. I will be writing a few magazine articles scheduled to be published late summer and late fall. One of these projects uses Mylar, something that I may incorporate into some new designs. I’m always thinking about creating new products and new methods for machine embroidery. With all the wonderful machines and products on the market today the sky is the limit.

    - Reen


  • Getting to Know Meissner Sewing: Tanna Schreiner

    Tanna Schreiner is one of the newest member of the Meisssner Sewing instructor team. Schreiner is offering classes this summer and fall in the Roseville store.

    The newest addition to the Meissner Maker instructor team ensures that everything she creates, from her finished quilts to her classes, carries joy, passion and personality for both herself and her students.

    Born in rural Ohio, Schreiner relocated to California about a year ago.

    Her great grandmother was a sewist, and Schreiner began sewing in her middle school 4H class. After a long break, she picked up quilting. That was around 2011, when her daughter requested a quilt for her bed, Schreiner said.

    She had previously received a BERNINA machine as a Mother’s Day gift from her husband, and she had been doing some sewing. So her daughter drew out the design, they visited the local quilt shop, and Schreiner constructed her first quilt, she said.

    Tanna Schreiner, the newest addition the Meissner Sewing instructor team, created her first quilt for her daughter in 2011.

    Now, she’s hooked on quilting and the creativity, personality and memories that come along with the process.

    “I like taking things from people, t-shirts or clothes that people had, and turning them into something,” Schreiner said. “It’s more of a memory that people had that you turn into something tangible that you can keep forever.”

    Schreiner’s personal creative process begins with her inspiration, which she finds browsing social media, traveling and observing nature, she said. After that, the process goes with “whatever moves (her).”

    Each of her finished projects holds a piece of her personality, including many bright colors, and are all intended to be both decorative and a memory.

    “You can sew a quilt or you can sew a pillow, and it’s something that can add beauty to a room,” she said. “It can be something that is a memento, something that’s very personal.”

    Since completing her first quilt in 2011, Schreiner has finished about 28 quilts, many of which have been gifts, she said, and have each been tracked, numbered and stored in her phone with who and when she gifted it.

    “I try to make everything very personal, and I think that just comes from the closeness that I have with my family and people,” Schreiner said. “So when I make something I want it to be something that they can look at and treasure forever.”

    Schreiner looks to share this message in the Meissner Sewing & Vacuum Centers classroom, where she will be teaching T-Shirt Quilt How To, a two-part class that will take place at the Meissner Roseville store in September. Over the course of the class, Schreiner will guide students through the process of creating a unique t-shirt quilt in order to preserve memories in a tangible project.

    Register for T-Shirt Quilt How To >

    In each of her classes, which vary in project and topic, Schreiner’s students will leave with a finished project that is useful, practical and enjoyable to make, she said.

    Of each of Tanna Schriener's quilts, her Science Fair quilt, which will be the project in her August class, is her all-time favorite, she said.

    “I really want people to feel the energy and the passion for sewing that I have,” she said. “It’s just something that can bring people together, and I want everybody else to find that joy.”

    There are several upcoming opportunities to find the joy of sewing with Schreiner, including her Beyond the Block classes in Roseville, where students will take a traditional quilt block and transform it into other things, including a zipper bag and potholder.

    Schreiner's classes are intended be a collaborative experience, where students participate by sharing their own tips and tricks, she said.

    As for Schriener’s personal creativity, she aspires to design her own unique quilt patterns and learn new techniques, all while keeping it personal.

    “And I would love to personally grow by learning new techniques and taking those techniques and making it my own,” she said. “I really like keeping things very personal.”

    Click here to see all of Tanna Schreiner's upcoming classes >


  • Sew this Summer

    So, what’s coming this month? With Father’s Day, the first official day of Summer and so many Meissner Sewing events, June is a busy month.

    Check out what’s happening this week and during the remainder of the month!

    In addition to the Roseville Store Open House, The Ultimate Long-arm Try Before You Buy and the quilting workshops with Jodi Robinson, June also marks the beginning of the 2017 Row by Row Experience, which officially kicks off on June 21st.

    All four Meissner Sewing stores are participating in the Row by Row Experience, and each location will have a unique quilt row pattern available, allowing you to combine all four rows.

    Learn more about the Row by Row Experience and preview the rows for each Meissner Sewing store > 

    Our Kid's Summer Sewing Camps are also beginning this week with sessions in Roseville and will continue with additional sessions in Sacramento and Folsom.

    Later in the month, we will welcome Kathi Quinn, Floriani educator, back to our Sacramento store for the sold out Floriani Embroidery Extravaganza.

    Make sure to check our Facebook page for more and to visit for the most updated class schedule!


  • Q & A with Alex Anderson

    Alex Anderson, celebrity quilter, designer and author, is a featured guest at the Be Inspired: Quilter''s Retreat at at Meissner Sewing, Sacramento in June. (Photo courtesy of

    Alex Anderson is a familiar name to many quilters and crafters, but she is especially well known among Northern California natives.

    Anderson grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, graduating from San Francisco State University with an art degree. She began sewing when she was in middle school and received her first sewing machine for her eighth-grade graduation, Anderson said.

    It wasn’t until college, during what she refers to as the explosion and “renaissance of quilting” that Anderson began to discover a passion for quilting, she said.

    “When I discovered quilting, I knew that was the art form for me,” Anderson said. “Whenever I could go to cloth, it felt exactly right.”

    She marks her breakthrough moment as her television show “Simply Quilts,” which aired on HGTV for 10 years. While the show was running, aspiring quilters would ask her where to begin, launching her career as an author and publishing her second book, “Start Quilting,” she said.

    “(The show) gave me a voice and a platform that was bigger than I could have even imagined,” Anderson said.

    Today, Anderson is a well-known author, designer, celebrity quilter, and co-founder of the Quilters Select line of products by R&K. Meissner Sewing will welcome Alex in the Sacramento store this June, during the Inspired By: Quilter’s Retreat.

    In preparation for the two-day workshop, Alex talks about her creative process and love for quilting, while sharing a preview of the upcoming Quilter’s Retreat:

    Q: How would you describe your personal creative process?
    Alex Anderson: I don’t start with a master plan. I will look at some fabric, or I’ll think of a specific pattern or a general idea, and then I will just start creating and use my design wall as a guide. And I know that quilts, as an art, they have a mind of their own, and you have to be willing to let them grow as they want to grow. So it’s very organic, my creative process, and I don’t feel that there’s any sort of box a person can put me in, especially lately. I’ve been taking a lot of classes and growing a lot as a quilt maker.

    Q: Do you identify yourself as a particular category of quilter (modern, traditional, or other...)?
    Alex: I would say until about the last 10 years, I would call myself contemporary -traditional, meaning you take traditional patterns and then make them look like they were made in the year they were made. But recently, I have been exploring many, many different venues because, living in the United States, especially in California, we have access to so many wonderful teachers and experiences.

    Alex Anderson, celebrity quilter, designer and author, is a featured guest at the Be Inspired: Quilter''s Retreat at at Meissner Sewing, Sacramento in June. Participants of the workshop will experience a full day of stitching with Anderson, creating an 18" wall hanging and/or pillow.

    Q: What can participants of the Quilter’s Retreat expect to experience?
    Alex: I’ve recently been taken with straight-line quilting. We’re going to go through the basics of straight-line quilting and then how to do a beautiful blanket stitch with raw-edge appliqué. And it’s going to be an 18-inch wall hanging and/or pillow, whatever the participants wants to do with it. In the end, it’s their choice.

    Q: Do you have a favorite technique or style? 
    Alex: Not really. I love it all. I love to try different things.

    Q: What draws you to quilting? 
    Alex: I was going to be a weaver for life, and I found that the loom took control of the situation. And I couldn’t get everything the way I wanted it. The thing about quilting is that, as the maker, you are completely in control of it, and you can make changes; you can make a mistake. Most things are fixable, unlike when I did wood working. When you cut it wrong, you can’t just stretch and pull it a little bit. Quilt making is very forgiving. And the fabric, and the colors and the textures and the patterns are just glorious to play with.

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