Punch with Judy - October Newsletter 2011
PUNCH WITH JUDY - OCTOBER 2011 NEWSLETTER
Ashamedly you haven't had a normal Newsletter since June, though I have sent two Quick News and numerous Blogs to keep everyone up to date. Recent Blogs showed happenings on the farm with the arrival of new little emu chicks and their new home - a fitted out 40 foot Container. This was quite a milestone which you may be interested in reading about. Also, numerous photos of winning entries at recent Shows I've attended, interesting product news and personal news. Don't forget to click on the Older Posts too. I now have my Blog read in 104 countries!
I've also been doing some Editorials for the new Into Craft e-Newsletter for Expertise Events, the organizers of the Shows we attend. I hope you enjoy reading those informative snippets. If you're not receiving this Show News and other interesting crafty items, then visit http://www.intocraft.com.au/
Did you know that the first week of October each year is officially "Customer Service Week"? I want you to know how much you are appreciated, afterall, you ARE our business. In today's society it is easy for you to find and purchase products and services anywhere in the world. We are not perfect and we do make "whoopses" and sometimes we get a little busier than normal and find it hard to keep up, but, if there is anything we can do to improve to keep you returning without going elsewhere, then please let us know. A big THANK YOU for your continued support. We do what we do because we love it and we care about YOU.
I know my Newsletter this time is extremely long, but that's what happens when I have so much to catch up on! Between the Shows, our Retreat, posting Blogs, Online Classes and Editorials, I just seem to be writing all the time. Sorry you've been neglected a little but I haven't been idle!
Grandchildren are all well and several won Grand Finals in their chosen winter sport and Jasmine continues to do well in State Soccer games. Nicholas returned today from a school excursion to Viet-Nam (didn't do such things in our day!), Reece is working but came here for a few days this week to help Grandpa do some things he couldn't manage alone. Girls down the South Coast are thriving with Kirsten sitting for the HSC this year and Courtney waiting to have her tonsils out! Ashleigh has emerged from a child to a delightful teenager. Hunter is here again with me this week as Rowan is on a School Excursion with 40 kids, visiting many topical places in Melbourne. He's no trouble at all, a happy little kid who just adores being here so waves goodbye to Dad quite happily.
John is on "the list" at Wagga Hospital to have his 2nd hip replaced so is not firing too well at present. Will be our luck that he gets called in for "his turn" during a show schedule! He has a new toy - every time we go to Henty Field Days it costs a packet. Not really a toy, he needed a new one but just got a beauty that will even cut his Lucerne. He does his mowing in a fraction of the time. Bright orange, though it looks reddish here.
We're off to Brisbane Show next weekend, so heaps to do, bye for now. Pop the kettle on, print this Newsletter and enjoy your update.
Brisbane hosts the next Craft & Quilt Fair at the Brisbane Exhibition Centre, South Bank, to be held from Wednesday 19th October until Sunday 23rd October, 9.00am to 5.00pm each day. The Craft & Quilt Fair has it all - free workshops, hands-on classes, shopping and quilt displays - all under one roof.
Please do come and visit Punch with Judy on Stand A09.
There is something for everyone at this year's Show and I must say that the Craft Fair Friend is extremely inspirational; packed full of exciting happenings at this year's Show. Sew much to see, sew much to do - c'mon, Learn It, Make it, Try It and join in the fun! Of course, you may buy everything too!
BUT ALSO - something new! Rather than participating in the usual daily seminar and hands-on classes, we are proud to announce a new initiative. Right at the front door, you'll find a demonstration booth, sponsored by Punch with Judy, in which I and my staff will be demonstrating many new products being released for the first time this year!
Make sure you stop by "NIFTY NOTIONS" and catch so many exciting new products being shown; in fact, we have MORE new products for this Show than any other during 2011. 100% demonstrations, no sales, an absolute showcase of NEW sewing, craft & quilting products plus a few introduced earlier this year. We are holding these demonstrations on the half hour every hour with a short break in the middle of the day. Refer to Page 26 of your Craft Fair Friend Magazine. If you don't have one of these mailed to you and would like one, please email me.
Since the timetable for our Nifty Notions demonstrations is not listed elsewhere, though lengthy, I thought I'd give you the confirmed times so as you may better plan your day.
Here's a great BONUS: The first FOUR subscribers who place an order online, by phone or by email, AFTER NOON Tuesday 11th October (to be fair to everyone as many receive Newsletters to their work address), will receive a FREE ENTRY TICKET to the Show. Order is to be pre-paid and to be collected at the Show. Ticket will be mailed to you.
Sandra Chandler from Just Curves USA is our International Guest once again demonstrating her revolutionary invention of the Curve Master Presser Foot for all curved seams. Hope you will find time to attend some or all of the following which we are proud to present for you.
At 12 noon, I will be a Guest Presenter on a new venture run by the organizers to encourage dressmaking and sewing in general. Sewing Studio is encouraging people to sew for themselves again giving demonstrations of "how to do it" plus some quick tips for more professional results. I have chosen to demonstrate the following:
"Why a Fusible Thread? Once in a while, a new idea or technique or product comes along that revolutionizes the way we do something. Such is the case with Charlotte's Fusible Web, a new fusible thread. Ideas, techniques and results are amazing - hems, facings, putting in zippers, applique, binding etc."
SEE YOU ALL AT THE SHOW and remember,
i f you
would like any order brought to the show, please let me know before Friday 14th
October, earlier if possible. Saves you postage on mail orders and saves
you time at the Show. All orders must be pre-paid. They will
be packaged, ready for you to collect.
f you would like any order brought to the show, please let me know before Friday 14th October, earlier if possible. Saves you postage on mail orders and saves you time at the Show. All orders must be pre-paid. They will be packaged, ready for you to collect.
Don't forget your Show Coupons too. Print them and collect your discounted products or receive your FREEBIES. No coupon, No Offer.
ANNOUNCEMENT: The CraftExpo Shows have a NEW name and new logo.
From now on they will be called Craft and Sewing Shows. Next one will be at Melbourne in October (now at Caulfield Racecourse) from 27th - 30th October.
Are you in to art? There's a new show this month in Sydney for you to visit.
We won't be there, but I'm sure many would be interested in attending. The Sydney Art Show is "art, for art's sake" is a new event for Sydney bringing all aspects of visual arts together for art lovers and artists alike. It will be held at the Sydney Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour, from 14th - 16th October, 2011 and is organized by the same company as the Craft & Quilt Fairs, so you know it will be worth a visit.
Following Brisbane Show for us, we travel to Melbourne for the Craft and Sewing Show, then on to Adelaide for the Craft & Quilt Fair held in the Royal Showgrounds. I have also listed the shows for 2012 on my website for you to begin planning your travel for next year. Because I won't get a chance for another Newsletter in between, please give adequate time before Melbourne or Adelaide Shows for anything you want as a pre-paid show order brought to the Show. Also, I will have 4 FREE Entry Tickets for Adelaide's Craft & Quilt Fair for the first four pre-paid show orders. Full particulars on my website.
A Machine Embroidery Retreat was held in September and students had a marvellous time both learning and meeting new friends with similar interests. Our social evenings were thoroughly enjoyed by all, students, hubbies and us. Weather was superb, tuition tops, food excellent, plenty of laughter - so all the Retreatees tell me. We have set a date for our next one in 2012 which will take place over the long weekend for NSW and some other States. Saturday 29th September to Monday 1st October, 2012. View full particulars on our Retreats section.
Some emails I've had since students have returned home follow. Skim past these if you wish, they are mainly for people who have been thinking about attending but not quite sure whether to or not or what they should expect.
Kay said: "I would like to just say that I had a wonderful time. Being able to learn, in a practical, hands-on program was most beneficial for me and I'm sure for everyone who attended. It was also great to share the sewing passion (or is that addiction) with such a great group. I congratulate both you and Robyn for the vast range of projects, hints, skills and techniques offered over the three days."
Narelle said: "I just want you to know that the retreat was invaluable to me as I came home with so much more knowledge and confidence with using my Pfaff Creative 4. I had very little experience with machine embroidery before I attended. The wealth of knowledge that you Judy and Robyn have between you, not only with products but Robyn's knowledge of any brand of sewing machine just made the experience so worthwhile. I would like to return again and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in this field. As you know I came along by myself and everyone was so friendly. So if you are out there and not sure about doing this by yourself don't let that stop you " JUST DO IT ". I would like to say thank you to John and Judy for their Hospitality during the Retreat."
Pam said: "Many thanks for a wonderful three days, it might not have looked it but I did learn a lot and my sewing machine has hardly stopped since I arrived home and I'm looking forward to the next embroidery machine work shop."
Barb said: "I was so much more confident at this year's retreat it was relaxing and friendly and very enjoyable. Where we could help each other we did. I am so glad I made the effort to attend. ( last year I felt like an idiot I was so slow and reluctant to ask for help) At my sewing class on Tuesday the girls noted that I was somewhat elated and told them," that is what a 3 day retreat on machine embroidery does for you".
Lyn said: "Thanks for a wonderful weekend. Gee girls you really need to go to the Machine Embroidery Retreat - lots of fun and learning. Everyone helps each other and we are all well fed and watered. Scenery is wonderful and company great."
Sue said: "Let me say a big thank you to you, John & Robyn. As with last year, we had a really great time and I learnt heaps. I feel that I achieved lots more this time around. Den had a wonderful time too."
Wanda said: "Thank you again for the great retreat - enjoyed it immensely - met some great ladies who were happy to help each other and me - and learned/improved on my knowledge from Robyn our Tutor again. Thank you for your hospitality."
Isn't that GREAT everyone? Why not consider attending next year?
Have a peep at my Blog to see what the girls made! http://punchwithjudy.blogspot.com/
May I repeat what I said in my last Newsletter? "The two Online Classes being held presently are really flying high. The girls are really "into it" and we're all learning so much between the actual Lessons and the discussions on the Yahoo Groups. I couldn't be happier with their progression and the friendliness of all concerned." The Westalee Mystery Sampler Quilt and the Curve Master Course are to be repeated next year and I am already taking expressions of interest.
If you have hesitated about Online Classes or e-Classes, remember that you have unlimited access to the lessons which you may view as many times as you like at a time that suits you to fit in with your own schedule (save them to your own computer or print them), work at your own pace, take part in online discussions, get free patterns and so much more.
Some present Students of our Curve Master Online Class have emailed the following, but I'm sure it applies to all of our Online Classes:
Maia said: "OK, you want to learn how to use your curve master foot but you do not believe it can be done on-line. Take it from me that you can! I had my doubts about e-learning as I had not tried it before but when we started I found the notes we were sent were very clear-and if we had trouble interpreting Judy was always ready to translate. The on-line video was in many ways better than watching a person demonstrate as we could ALL see close up. It is very detailed and you can watch it as many times as you need. Your fellow curvers are an invaluable resource. When we started the screams of frustration were travelling at the speed of light over the cyber waves. But these were humourous frustrations which gave us all a chance to laugh, relax and then get back into learning a new skill. Because you have plenty of time every one can comment on each person's progress via our chat group photos -and again- if you have trouble up-loading help is at hand. Better than a day class where you reach a point, go home, work unfinished and with no support group you take forever to finish or your started with enthusiasm project becomes a UFO (or a permanent WIP).
I could find lots more positive things to say but this , I hope, gives you a general idea that Yes on-line classes do work and are fun at the same time. You are not isolated as someone is always at the other end of a computer. Go for it."
Kim from USA says: "I think I talk for all of my class mates, when I say I have learned so much more then I could have ever thought. My goal when I signed up for the class was to become comfortable using curves in my quilts. But I want you to know that I'm learning sooooo much more. So many of us have a small group of quilt friends that we can get in a rut, the colours, tools, patterns, etc. seem to be the same. But here we see things in different ways and not just because we live in different countries. Thank You for giving us that opportunity."
Elaine says: "I have shown people my work and folders and have praised the on-line courses that you run. I know that several people have been impressed and have made the comment about having one of "those" gadgets in the cupboard but could not remember how to use them once they got home from the "shows". Also some have said that they just would not sew circles or curves but after seeing how easy the curvemaster created the circles they also made positive comments. As the course runs over several months, I have found by doing the on-line courses that I am not committed to time and also paying for multiple lessons that I may not be able to attend due to family or other commitments that definitely do arise. I also appreciate all the encouragement given by yourself and others in the on-line classes and have learnt far more than just one quilting technique, including computer skills as well as facts about both new and old products and tools available. Thanks again for everything and your prompt responses to any queries."
Pat said: "I enjoy online classes because they're great fun and I can do them at my own pace on whatever day and whatever time I feel like it. I enjoy seeing what other people have done or tried to do and I enjoy reading what people are saying about their efforts. Some people are quite hilarious with their descriptions and it's just great to get that from others. Chatting to others via email is great too as I have found out new ideas and concepts from others and have been able to help others in return."
Sue said: "I love doing the online courses like Pat says, we can do them at our own pace and time whether in the middle of the night or the day. There is always someone around to answer our questions. Doesn't matter if we have read the directions upside down, or back to front, or just can't manage a section. There is always the photo sections that we can drool over and hope and know that maybe we will be just half as food as the photos. We are like a big family sitting around the kitchen table with all the help and advice. Best of all, we don't have to get dressed to go to the class room, can sit around in our nightwear with our hair all standing on end and nobody cares, hehehe. We can all work at our own level and pace."
Helen said: " I enjoy the online classes for all the reasons previously mentioned, beginning to get the hang of the "chatter" now, I love to look at the photos &" wow, that's a great idea" I say ! Can go back as many times as you like or need to, if you think you have forgotten something. Judy & Sandy your work is very much appreciated. Haven't we come a long way fast in the last decade or so with our patchwork & quilting!"
Does this give you more of an idea of what to expect in our Online Classes? I hope so. There will be many to choose from in 2012. Maybe this will encourage you to try them?
4. WHAT'S NEW
Where do I start here? I keep saying that you need to check this section on my website a few times a month because I'm always adding new products but don't always get the chance to email you about such.
They have also introduced a DeLuxe Rotary Cutter and Embossing Machine which will be on my website in the next day or so. Imagine, cutting strips of fabric in a fraction of the time; plus, so many options for fancy cuts. This will be available later this month but orders are being taken now since supplies may be short at first. We will be demonstrating at Brisbane's Show next week but stock won't be available until the end of the month. Keep check on the What's New? section. View a Tutorial here shortly.
What is the worst thing about Rotary Cutters? They get blunt! One company has come up with a unique idea. Sharpen your blades as you cut! Yes! As your rotary cutter skims alongside the edge of any Cutting Edge Ruler, the diamond carbon edge keeps your blade fine-tuned and lasting longer without thinning the blade. View their Tutorial to see the range of rulers and how they work.
Do you ever have "repeat" leaf shapes, petals or ribbons to appliqué or curves to make? There's a new range of rulers for these techniques called the Leaves Galore Rulers. Three sizes plus patterns to give you a head start for ideas how to use them. Here's an example of what you could do. Patterns are here. View the Tutorial.
Now these may look crazy but they are so practical and, apparently, very comfortable to work with. They should arrive later this week. Batt Scooters! These wonderful little shapes are excellent aids for free-motion work on the sewing machine. View the Tutorial to see how they are used. Seeing is believing!
Quiltsmart have come up with two more good ideas. I thought that their Tumbling Blocks was the ultimate easy method, but have a peep at their new Fusible Interfacing to make Hunter's Star an absolute cinch! They have a Hunter's Star Snuggler Kit too.
I will be demonstrating both of these at the shows.
Plus they have a cute variation of Drunkard's Path in their Turtle Dance.
A new Handi-Iron would be the perfect accompaniment for this fusible method and is also ideal for taking to the classroom. Not only is it lightweight and compact, it doubles as a hot-plate for other arts and crafts. It is dual voltage and comes with its own adaptor.
I showed John my new "toy" and he said "that's not new! I used one of those in my "other life". Did you know he was a qualified Cabinetmaker? True, this is the same, just revamped for us quilters! Look at the newest "must tool" for every quilter, so they claim - Quilter's Chalk Line. Mark straight lines with chalk, ready for quilting, appliqué placement and squaring up quilt edges. View the Tutorial.
There's some great new "curvy" quilt patterns I added for the students of the Curve Master Online Class, but you may like to make them too. I love curves in quilts and this one is my favourite.
Quilter's Fan by Come Quilt With Me.
Do you make things to sell, for craft stalls or gifts? A new book from Cindy Taylor-Oates may help you with some ideas.
What a fantastic idea? Wash Away Appliqué Sheets! You can even use them in your Inkjet Printer.
Transferring embroidery designs onto dark fabric? Yes, that's always been an issue, hasn't it? Maybe you should try the new Transfer-Eze! It is a water-soluble, pliable film backed onto freezer paper that will zoom through your printer or photo copier. Peel off the backing, then place the printed Transfer-Eze onto your fabric ready to embroider through it. When finished, simply wash it away in cold water. Sounds too easy hey? Try it.
HEAT Press Batting Together has been an absolute hit because it enables you to use up all your offcuts of batting and make whatever size batting you desire simply by butting them together and ironing the tape over the joins. Easy. The same company has now released another tape half the width, designed for Quilt As You Go methods. View their Tutorial.
Plenty to think about!
Suzanne Gray is one well-known Australian, not only for teaching sewing but for her company "Hooley Dooley Artworks". We have long admired her beautiful appliqué patterns and books. I'm proud to say that I have added more of her famous Cushion Patterns and Suzanne has kindly given me some of her own models to display on our show circuit. Here is an example: "Home is Where the Heart Is Cushion Pattern".
Jenny Haskins keeps coming up with exciting new ideas to allow machine embroiderers to become quilters too. Her latest range of Machine Embroidery CD's are very well priced and should excite everyone with the ease of combining these two wonderful crafts. Jenny shares 6 new releases with us including Perfect Bliss shown here (remember there are more)!
Wonderful new Aussie Designer, Kay Hanley from 1-2-3 Embroidery has released a great new game for the kids. Tic Tac Toe Traveller is a little tactile travel game bag all made in the hoop. It is so versatile with so many options it will be hard to make just one! Kay kindly gave our Retreat Students some designs to play with and they were impressed.
There is also Animal Alphabet Appliqué from Kay. Sure to be a favourite with all your "littlies" as you may personalize all there items. Plus, there are 26 individual animal faces too approx. 2" in size - think how versatile these could be on lots of small projects!
Another for the kids - Kyle the Crocodile is a new pattern from By Annie. Liz made this sample and my staff here have all fallen in love with it!
I offered a special for my Online Students last month which they loved, but I still have a few left. So, if you purchase an Olfa Calantha Purple 45mm Rotary Cutter, you will receive FREE one matching Purple 30cm x 45cm Rotary Cutting Mat. BOTH for $30.00 plus p/h. WOW! Simply order the Cutter ONLY and type in the additional comments section that you are a Newsletter Subscriber requesting the October Duo Special.
Also, just because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we have a limited number of Olfa PINK 45mm Rotary Cutters available. Don't forget we still have PINK Rotary Cutting Mats from Olfa too. You could match the two of these.
I had an incorrect delivery recently so wish to clear my stock rather than return it overseas. Plastic Mesh Purse Frame which actually make an excellent body for a clutch purse. Use the frame as a pattern to then make a fabric cover using whatever embellishment you wish; be it patchwork, appliqué, embroidery or whatever. Ideal special Christmas pressie for someone maybe? A bargain at $6.00.
In this section we have wonderful FREE Projects for you. My apologies for not adding 3-D Flowers using Texture Magic or Krinkle Magic as promised last Newsletter. Time just gets away. Shall do asap. Here's a teaser of what is to come! Flowers and leaves using Texture Magic with some lightweight wadding, then cut out with a Stencil Burner. Finally, apply heat/steam to shrink and a beautiful 3-D flower emerges.
8. JUDY'S BLOG
Although I haven't sent you a full length Newsletter for a while, I have done numerous Blogs which I hope you've been keeping up to date with because there has been lots of information in them, including many about our products, shows, retreat, new emu chicks, personal outings, family and farm news.
You must see the projects Students did at our Machine Embroidery Retreat! Plus, there's plenty of farm news reported there too.
While visiting my blog, why not subscribe to it so as you may be informed when there's a new blog posted?
9. DAMAGED & DISCONTINUED
Simply visit Damaged & Discontinued, order whichever you please, then type in the Additional Comments section of your order that you wish to purchase the one from the D&D for such and such a price as the normal retail price will be showing on your order. Don't worry about that, we'll adjust manually. This month there are two rulers from Westalee, a Fabulous Fabric Glide, Audrey's Teflon Iron Shield, EZ Easy Hexagon, Machine Needle Pack, Flying Geese & More Book. None should last very long, so be quick.
Not posted onto the Damaged & Discontinued, but available for subscribers only: Yazzii Double Petite Craft Organizers that we needed to take out of their damaged cellophane packaging and re-pack in plastic bags. These are normally $31.95, yours for $20.00 plus $5.00 p/h. Available in Fuchsia, Purple or Black. Plus, I have a few that have the fabric rubbed on one corner which you may have for $10.00 plus $5.00 p/h.
10. TIPS & TUTORIALS
I've recently added several new tutorials here. Many to do with products mentioned in the What's New? column. This is a great way for you to learn more about products. Some from Simplicity, Curve Master, Jenny Haskins, Quilter's Chalk Line, The Cutting Edge, Batt Scooters and Leaves Galore Ruler - browse through them all though.
Haven't added anything here for a little while but it's always worth viewing what others have done and certainly to view Students Class projects. It may encourage you to join one in the future.
Did you know that Jeanne Coverdale, founder of Block Party Studios, lost her fight against Breast Cancer on 14th September? Jeanne was very special person and I enjoyed visiting her booth when I attended Houston Quilt Festival. Her products are amazing, such an incredible person. Her husband, Mike, has vowed to carry on Jeanne's legacy of producing original fabric and patterns for quilters. You may like to view her range here, here and here. Her Man Cave items show her humour that we all loved. Memories or many during October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Did you know that Expertise Events have a new e-Newsletter called "Into Craft" which is available to all who have attended any of their shows in the last few years and are on their mailing list? I have commenced a column called Nifty Notions in same which have raised some interaction in the comments section. One of those was a complete explanation of "Which Needle To Use When" for hand-sewing? I've added it to my website as well in the Pins, Needles & Felting Section but you should read the column in their Newsletter as it also gives a lot more information. Next one is for machine needles since some asked for this.
Did you know that Colour does 10% of the work in a quilt and gets 90% of the credit, whereas value does 90% of the work and gets 10% of the credit? According Marci Baker of Alicia's Attic, who says she has seen this reinforced so many times, so when she is working on a quilt, the first thing she does is determine what are the required values of the design. This may include making some changes to allow a certain part of the design to be emphasized. Once she knows the values needed, she starts collecting the fabrics and always with the Rainbow Colour Selector, though she prefers to call it a Value Selector.
13. GOLDEN OLDIES
I find the Rainbow Colour Selector invaluable too, particularly the Pocket Size one as you can carry it with you in your bag for the moment you need it. Simply place the "hole" over your main selected colour and then you'll find all the options of the so-called "safe" colours to team with it either as tone on tone or more dramatic results. The booklet explains it all. Use it for what colour scarf to offset an outfit, what colour blouse to go under a jacket/suit, what colour cushion for your couch, what colour paint under the eaves, what accessories to give an outfit zing and so on. Of course, you may use it for quilting, appliqué or embroidery - says she with a smile!