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Monthly Archives: September 2017

  • Stitching for a Good Cause

    Creativity is good for the soul, but nothing is better than the gift of your time, talent and creativity to someone in need. Meissner Sewing and Vacuum Centers would like to invite all of our Makers to share your passion, talent and generosity in support of some wonderful community service programs that are currently running.

    Baby Lock Behind the Seams Event

    While attending the Baby Lock Behind the Seams event on September 30th in our Sacramento and Santa Rosa locations, you will have the opportunity to contribute to Baby Lock’s goal of making 1,000 dresses for the Little Dresses for Africa.

    Little Dresses for Africa collects handmade dresses from around the world and donates them to girls in Africa. As part of the Behind the Seams event on September 30th, you’ll sew a dress for you to donate.

    Founded in 2008, by Rachel O’Neill, Little Dresses for Africa provides relief to vulnerable children throughout the continent of Africa and beyond by providing dresses as well as teaching simple lessons about clean water, sanitation and promoting good health and family skills.

    Registration for the Behind the Seams event is free and open through September 28th. Machines and supplies for the dresses will be provided.

    Click Here for more details, or to register for the Behind the Seams event.

    Quilt Guild of Greater Houston’s Neighbor to Neighbor Quilts program:

    Hurricane Harvey devastated the Houston, Texas community earlier this month. In response to the many inquiries from quilters across the country, the Quilt Guild of Greater Houston is organizing the Neighbor to Neighbor Quilts program.

    Elaine White, President of the Quilt Guild of Greater Houston says, “We have area quilt shops who will receive your quilts and our guild will assist in the distribution of these to victims who have been displaced from their homes or are in need of a “little” extra comfort only a handmade quilt can provide. It is our intent to also distribute these special quilts to those in smaller area towns which may have not received the vast publicity that Houston has. If you have time please add a label to your quilt so that the recipient will know that a near Neighbor made this for them.”

    Click Here to see the Houston Area quilt shops that are accepting donation quilts.

    Stay Pawsitive! Fundraiser for Friends for Life:

    Craft Napa Founder and Organzier, Pokey Bolton, is seeking artists, art-lovers and animal enthusiasts to join Craft Napa in helping to raise funds and support for Friends for Life, one of the nation’s leading no-kill shelters based in Houston, Texas.

    Click Here for Pokey’s Blog Post announcing the Stay Pawsitive! Animal Rescue Fundraiser

    Before Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit, Friends for Life was the leading disaster-trained shelter that local city shelters relied upon to aid in the rescue displaced families with pets from the rising waters of Hurricane Harvey. Coordinating pet triage in the George R. Brown convention center, Friends for Life provided vet care, and services, accounting for about 3,000 animals saved (and that number is still rising).

    Click Here to learn more about Friends for Life Animal Rescue

    When Hurricane Irma hit, Friends for Life reached out to rescue organizations in Florida to best help and give advice to coordinate their massive state-wide rescue effort. But with such impressive rescue comes a price: Hurricane Harvey has significantly depleted funds and Friends for Life needs monetary help.

    Enter to Stay Pawsitive! Fundraiser. From now until Friday, January 5, 2018, make 1, 2, 3 or more 6” x 6” pieces of artwork to be offered for sale this fall and at Craft Napa 2018, where all proceeds will go to Friends for Life Animal Rescue. These pieces of art can be quilted, made of fabric or paper, watercolor, acrylic, mixed media, quilts and stitch, metal, recycled bits, or even a combination of all the above.

    Click Here for More Information about the Stay Pawsitive! Fundraiser

    RARE Bears Workshops

    Meissner Sewing is joining forces with RARE Science, Inc., a non-profit organization whose mission is to help find cures for children with rare diseases. The RARE Bear Project is a community-driven initiative and is supported by the ever-growing RARE Bear Army of volunteers who help make one-of-a-kind bears for one-of-a-kind kids. RARE Bears are stuffed bears made using leftover, high quality quilting fabric, and they are intended to be made with several different fabrics so that each bear is as unique as the recipient. Each RARE Bears is assigned a serial number, which is attached to the bear at the time it is created. So that the bear’s maker can receive a photo of the child with his or her bear.

    Click Here to learn more about RARE Science, Inc.

    Meissner Sewing will be sponsoring workshops once a month in Sacramento and Santa Rosa, where participants can make RARE Bears for donation to the RARE Bear Project. Meissner Sewing will provide the RARE Bear pattern and have some fabrics available. The focus of the workshop is to make the “bear skin.” The RARE Bear Project has volunteers who will stuff the bears and embroider the faces. The completed bear skins will be sent to the RARE Bears Project and the children. Workshops are free, but please register in advance as workshop size is limited.

    Upcoming workshop dates:

    October 13th, November 10th or December 8th (10am – 3pm)

    Santa Rosa:
    October 7th, November 7th, or December 2nd ( 10:30am – 2:30pm)

    Click Here for more information about the RARE Bear Workshop.

    Sutter Breast Cancer Quilt Auction

    The Sutter Breast Cancer Quilt Auction is a community service event to raise funds for Sutter Cancer Center’s breast cancer programs, services and equipment. In total, more than 3,000 quilts and quilted art pieces were donated to the five prior auctions providing over $650,000 for the Cancer Center programs.

    While the period for quilt donations has passes, we encourage all of our makers to attend the next auction on Saturday, November 4, 2017 at the Buhler Specialty Pavilion, located at 2800 L Street in Sacramento. A Silent Auction will also run from October 2 through November 4, 2017.

    Here is an excerpt about the auction from Jeanne Powell, Meissner Instructor, is a two-time breast cancer survivor and the Auction Committee Chair from our “Calling All Quilter’s” blog post on February 13, 2017:

    The quilts, spread among floors 2-7 of the Pavilion, will be hung for viewing on Oct. 1, 2017, Powell said, and they will remain on display and open to bids until the Live Auction in November.

    A minimum bid, which is determined by quilt size, will be set for each submission, Powell said.

    The Sutter Breast Cancer Quilt Auction is held every three years and has raised more than $650,000 in support of the Sutter Medical Foundation’s breast cancer treatment programs, including breast cancer navigator, patient and caregiver support, pre-treatment conferences, counseling services and various therapy programs, according to the Quilt Auction.

    “It’s not only what it does for the patients,” Powell said. “But…when they see those quilts go up, what it does for the nurses and the doctors (too). It just brightens up the whole place.”

    Click Here for More Information about the Sutter Breast Cancer Quilt Auction

  • What you need to know about the Pacific International Quilt Festival

    The start of the twenty-sixth annual Pacific International Quilt Festival is less than one month away. Held at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California, this four-day festival is a must-see for anyone interested in quilt, fiber, wearable and the textile arts.  In addition to workshops, lectures, special exhibits and competitions, there is a fashion show and quilt appraisals (by appointment only). Read on about all the can’t-miss events, we can’t wait to see you there!

    Merchant’s Mall:

    PIQF features a Merchants Mall of approximately 160 vendors offering machines, quilts, textiles, quilting supplies, books, sewing related craft items, kits, clothing and much more. The merchant mall opens at 10am Thursday through Sunday.

    Meissner Sewing & Vacuum Centers will be in the Merchant’s Mall featuring Baby Lock and Brother sewing, quilting and embroidery machines as well as Westelee Rulers and sewing lamps by the Daylight Company. Our Meissner Long-Arm Center will have long-arm quilting machines by Gammill, Baby Lock and Janome available for in-booth demonstrations and test drives. All machine models in the booth and classrooms are available at special PIQF show pricing.

    Workshops & Lectures:

    Opportunities to learn abound at PIQF. Some of the world’s most well-known instructors have gathered to share their experience through hands-on classes and lecture events starting Thursday, October 12-Saturday, October 14.  Workshops are filling fast, registration closes for all workshops and lectures on September 25, 2017. Click here for Workshops and Lectures by Day.

    Baby Lock Coronet long-arm quilting machine opens up worlds of possibilities for first-time long-arm quilters.

    Meissner Sewing is proud to supply Baby Lock Coronet long-arm quilting machines and accessories for half-day workshops led by Baby Lock educators Debbie Martinez and Aaron Hoskins. This marks the first time ever in a national event workshop, explore the new and innovative Baby Lock Coronet. A unique 16” hybrid quilting machine with built-in stitch regulation, you have the choice of quilting from a seated or standing position. The standard compact five-foot frame is perfect for small quilting spaces. Or upgrade to a 10’ frame. You’ll have the opportunity to explore a variety of free-motion quilting techniques while gather hints, tips and tricks from quilting experts. Your new skills can be translated to domestic home machine quilting or long-arm machine quilting.

    Call for more information about our never-before seen pricing on PIQF Classroom Model Coronets!

    Debbie Martinez will take you on a journey of exploring different techniques that can be done on a Coronet long-arm in her half-day class, “Let’s Get Started!” Taught on Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning, quilters of all experience levels will create a table runner or wall hanging and learn techniques including free motion, regulated stitching, art quilting, quilt as you go on a long-arm, applying appliqués and couching with yarn.

    Click here to learn more about Debbie Martinez and for full details about this workshop

    Aaron Hoskins will be teaching Free-Motion Quilting with the Baby Lock Coronet, a hands-on workshop for all skill levels where you will be led through the process of when to quilt, where to quilt, why to quilt, and how to quilt. With the Coronet expert level results will be achieved by those with all levels of quilting experience. Taught on Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoon, this workshop will teach you free-motion quilting basics and all the spectacular features of the Baby Lock Coronet. Click here to learn more about Aaron Hoskins and for full details about this workshop

    Limited seats remain for Gyleen X Fitzgerald's Trash to Treasure Pineapple Quilt Workshop on Thursday, October 12th.

    Meissner Sewing is also supplying new Brother Innov-is 3600D sewing & quilting machines for three full-day quilting workshops with Gyleen X. Fitzgerald. Two of Gyleen’s workshops are sold out, but limited space is still available for her Thursday workshop titled, Trash to Treasure Pineapple Quilt. Gyleen will show you how to take those random scraps to create an old fashion favorite pineapple quilt with a new and contemporary twist; sewn with perfection and totally random; and without paper piecing! This workshop turns trash to a treasured one of a kind pineapple quilt. Click here for full details about this workshop

    Meissner Makers may recognize a few faces listed on the PIQF instructor page. Award-winning, long-arm quilter Gina Perkes, is teaching four 4-hour hands-on quilting classes. Alex Anderson has a trunk show event on Wednesday evening and a Secrets for Successful Fabric Selection lecture on Saturday.

    Friday, October 13: For the Love of Color Fashion Show 2017:

    Save space on your calendar for an evening of fabulous fashion. This year’s fashion show features a challenge issued by Rachel Clark and Karen Boutte. Wearable artists from around the globe have created garments based on a color they selected from the box of 64 Crayola® crayons.  In addition there will be a few surprise garments for your viewing pleasure. Join us for an evening of color, chichi and class. Tickets are required for this event.
    Click here for ticket information.

  • This Week at Meissner Sewing: Long-arm Quilter Natalia Bonner

    Tomorrow begins five-days of events featuring long-arm quilting at our Sacramento Super Store.  Tuesday through Thursday, Long-arm Center manager, Tonja McCarthy will be leading a Try Before You Buy Event, where attendees can get hands-on experience with long-arm machines by Gammill, Baby Lock and Janome.  On Friday, Gammill Quilt Artist, Natalia Bonner will be here for a series of events that will surely inspire your free-motion and machine quilting. Continue reading to learn more about Natalia's journey becoming a long-arm quilter, Craftsy Instructor, and author.

    Natalia Whiting Bonner has enjoyed piecing quilt tops for more than twenty years. She learned how to quilt on her conventional home machine. She felt good about it, but decided that if she really wanted to take her quilting to the next level, she needed to invest in a long-arm machine.
    In 2007, when she was pregnant with her daughter, she got the crazy idea to quit her job as a dental assistant and become a long-arm quilter. Without really knowing what a long-arm machine was, she spent a day at a long-arm dealer’s shop and walked out after purchasing a Gammill machine. Natalia’s passion for quilting and being creative has grown each day since.

    "I actually originally designed it a while back, it's the same quilt that's on the cover of my book; Visual Guide to Free-Motion Quilting Feathers. I loved it so much that I've been dying to create the pattern," says Natalia of the Farmer Stars Quilt, a pattern she designed with Kathleen Whiting.

    Whether it’s working on an intense show quilt or a simple baby quilt, Natalia has become a real quilting addict. She teaches at quilt guilds and shows, including Road to California and QuiltCon East, and has filmed TV shows with Nancy Zieman and Jodie Davis. She has won numerous awards for her work and has been featured on Moda Bake Shop, in Quiltmaker Magazine and American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine, and in books such as Fresh Fabric Treats, Modern Blocks and Sweet Celebrations with the Moda Bake Shop Chefs, Modern Quilts From the Blogging Universe.

    Bonner is an accomplished author of several quilting books available at your local Meisser Sewing location.

    Natalia is the author of Beginner’s Guide to Free-Motion Quilting, Next Steps in Machine Quilting and Visual Guide to Free-Motion Quilting Feathers. Natalia is also co-author of Modern One-Block Quilts and Cabin Fever: 20 Modern Log Cabin Quilts.
    Natalia will be bringing her knowledge, creativity and passion for all things quilting to our Sacramento Long-arm Center Friday, September 15th and Saturday, September 16th for a series on hands-on, half-day events. Each hands-on workshop has limited spaces available, so register today to reserve your seat. Plus, receive Free entry to Natalia’s Trunk Show on September 15th from 10am - 11am when you register for any of Natalia’s hands-on workshops! Register at for more information.

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