|Dear Super Sewists,
Boy, do we miss you all here in the shop! The days can be very monotonous, cutting fabric and elastic, answering phone calls, filling and logging the progress of online orders, wiping down surfaces. Getting a delivery from a manufacturer is like Christmas, and taking orders out to cars for curbside pickup and perhaps chatting a little is as nice as a warm chocolate chip cookie.
I wonder what it will be like when we can welcome you back into the building again. Will we all wear masks all the time, shopping and at classes and other events? Will we take your temperature before you come in? Will we sanitize a million times a day? (Which reminds me, we have discovered the hard way that some disinfecting wipes can cause a discoloration on hands that is transferable to fabric. Be careful what and where you wipe!) Will shopping be by appointment only?
To be honest, I am leery of opening up the shop in the near future. I don’t want my staff to get sick, or me, or any of our friends and family. I don’t want you to catch COVID-19, either, shopping for fabric in person. It is, in my mind, just not worth it. I know it is really hard to pick out fabric online, but we are willing to help you and show you choices through the window (“window shopping”) if need be. Don’t forget that Kat is willing to FaceTime/FB Messenger Chat/Zoom with you, too.
I’d be interested to know how many of you think you will continue to shop through our online store, even when you can come here. Would you continue to use curbside pickup?
Holy Cross Hospital says the peak of infections in this area is still approaching. Stay home and stay safe!
Go ‘n’ Piece,
NAVIGATING THE ONLINE STORE
For those of you who are computer-challenged, here is a quick tutorial on getting to and through our online shop using a laptop or desktop computer. (Smart phones and tablet screens may vary.):
1. Go to www.capitalquilts.com.
2. Put your pointer on “Shop Online” and click it. You will see some ‘Featured Products’ listed. Scroll down until you see “Products”.
3. On the left is a “Search” window and a list of “Product Categories”. To the right are boxes with pictures with words beneath them. The boxes are the same as the product categories. You can click on either the list or the picture with the same result.
4. We will use the category “Fabric” for our example. Click on either the word or the box. ‘Fabric’ is the same as ‘material’ and 'cloth', by the way.
5. Now you have more lists on the left and more boxes on the right; again, they are the same. Click on the type of fabric you are looking for. Note that you can also search by brand name and price. If you are trying to match a fabric and you know the name or SKU of it, you can type that in the “Search” window at the top of the lists. Let’s click on “Solids”.
6. If a product is sold out, you will see the red sign ”sold out” in the box. If you are looking for a product that we no longer have, it may not appear at all; we try to remove these items regularly.
7. Click on ‘MM-Cotton Couture Clover’. The page now displays the price, quantity, ‘Notes’, offers you a choice of what to do if we don’t have as much fabric as you want, the manufacturer’s item number, the SKU, and ‘Add to Cart’ button.
8. Quantity: the box with a “1” in it is the yardage. Click on it. A list of numbers is displayed; the largest number at the bottom is the total amount of yards we have on hand. The box with a “0” in it is the partial yardage; you can ask for ¼ yard, ½ yard, or ¾ yard. Click on the yardage and partial yardage amounts that you want; for example, you might click on a 1 in the yardage box and the ½ in the partial box.
9. Notes: this is your chance to talk to us about your order and give any special instructions.
10. Click on the little down arrow next to “Send what you have”. You will see 3 choices that tells Capital Quilts what to do if we don’t have enough of the fabric you require.
11. Click on the green “Add to Cart” button.
12. If you want to continue shopping, click on the back arrow in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
13. If you are ready to check out, you can click on the “Proceed to Checkout” in the black box in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.
14. The checkout screen shows you what you are buying and gives you the opportunity to enter a Capital Quilts Gift Card number. Click on “Secure Checkout” to pay with a credit card or “PayPal” to pay with PayPal.
15. Enter all the information required by the screen. It is important to include your email and phone number in case we need to get in touch with you (we send you an email when your order is ready for pickup, if you ask for curbside pickup). We do not share this information with any 3rd party.
16. Click the box to the left of “I’m not a robot” at the bottom of the screen.
17. Click “Continue”. If the computer needs more information from you, it will highlight the boxes you need to fill out. Click “Continue” again.
18. The next screen gives you the opportunity to change your contact information and shipping/curbside pickup information. Enter your credit card number, expiration month and year, and the 3-digit security number (CVV). (Please do not use American Express if you have a VISA, MasterCard, or Discover card; the fees Capital Quilts pays for AmEx are significantly higher and every penny counts these days.)
We have had a few people call to say that they are having trouble getting PayPal to work or to make a selection or are having other issues when they use the Capital Quilts online store. If this happens to you, try refreshing your browser. That often solves the problem. If you continue to have a problem, please contact the shop at 301-527-0598.
CORONA CHALLENGE DEADLINE EXTENDED
Quilting will get us past this Coronavirus Crisis! Sign up for our Corona Challenge! You get a yard of fabric, free shipping, and the chance to express in fabric how you are feeling about this virus. We’ll hang the quilts in the Gallery and/or post them online, depending on how long this crisis lasts. Make them at least 20” x 20” but not larger than 60” x 60”. Use the fabric we send you along with fabric in your stash or that you buy (hopefully from Capital Quilts!). Return them to us by JUNE 30, 2020. Go online or call the shop 301-527-0598 to take on the Challenge!
We have all made a mask or two (or 50, or 200, or…), and would like to share our favorite patterns, and some tips and tricks we’ve discovered along the way. (By the way, some of our customers are now offering completed masks for sale on our website, if you aren't interested in sewing one yourself.)
Fabric discussion: We all know that quilting cottons are the way to go! This has been reinforced by a recent study, specifying “high quality quilting cotton”. We love batik for masks, because it is thin, has a dense weave, and holds a crease beautifully (so important if you’re making pleated masks!). However, nearly any of the fabrics we have in the shop are suitable for making masks. If you have any questions as to whether or not a particular fabric we carry is appropriate, just ask! We are more than happy to help you with your needs. Please note: we (and the distributors) are sold out of non-woven interfacing. If you'd like an additional layer of fabric in your mask, consider our fine white batiste.
Ties or elastic: Masks with elastic are easier and faster to sew, but if the wearer must have one on all day, can cause irritation and pain behind the ears. If you really want to use elastic and cannot find any, try long hair elastics or hairbands. Ties, however, allow for a better fitting mask. You can make ties from a WOF (width of fabric – selvedge to selvedge) strip, and either run it through a bias tape maker, or fold and press the old fashioned way. Hate all that folding and pressing, and don’t have a bias tape maker? Try jerry-rigging one on your ironing board with a long straight pin, or use the index card trick posted on our FaceBook page! If making ties isn’t your thing (it isn’t ours), here are some alternatives you can use: twill tape (we have some in stock!), shoelaces (they are available super long, too!), grosgrain ribbon, or 1” strips of knit cotton jersey, gently pulled until they roll (nice because they're both stretchy and latex-free!). One of our recommended patterns calls for soft, thin, clothesline. Be creative! Just ensure that what you do is both comfortable and durable.
Nose wires: We all love a nose wire in the top of our mask! It allows you to form the mask around your nose, so that there is no gap between the mask and your cheeks. Many patterns call for a nose wire and have instructions on making them. Our favorite nose wire is the lowly twist tie! Other options: coffee bag ties (the king with 2 wires),floral wire, pipe cleaners, paper clips, and cut up soda cans (file the edges thoroughly to avoid injury to the wearer.) Gaffer’s tape or duck tape can be used to cover the wire or metal to increase both durability and safety. For personal use, rather than sewing a channel or pocket for the wire, you can – very carefully – zigzag/couch it into your seam allowance.
Tips and tricks:
Use your walking foot! It will really help feed multiple layers under your needle more smoothly. Also, sewing more slowly can help ease multiple layers under the needle.
Marianne made a jig to hold her pleats down while sewing, following instructions in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA9vYsUHtHw
If you’re having trouble stitching through multiple layers, change your needle and lengthen your stitch! We recommend denim needles or topstitch needles for this, and a larger size than you might normally use.
Be sure to brush lint from the bobbincase and feed dogs often. Your machine will thank you later.
Our favorite patterns: There are a TON of patterns out there! These are just a few of what we have found, and like. Some of us are combining elements we like best from different patterns.
Johns Hopkins designed, pleated, ties, pocket for nose wire
Thangles designed (but no triangles, we promise), pleated, one tie, optional nose wire
Craft Passion fitted mask, nose wire, elastic or ties, optional filter pocket, Cricut and Silhouette cut files available
Nurse-designed, no pleats, one tie, nose wire, pocket for removable filter
AccuQuilt has several dies (3 different styles!) available, and patterns to go with them. Unfortunately, due to overwhelming demand, they are not making these dies available to retailers. If you are interested, order directly from AccuQuilt.
Of course, if you are masking masks to donate, please follow the pattern and instructions that they specify. It is also recommended that if you are making masks to donate to a medical facility that you NOT use solid blue or solid white fabrics. This makes it easy to distinguish the fabric masks from the manufactured masks at a glance. You should also use a different fabric for the lining than you do for the outside, so that it is easy to remember which side faces out.
Where do donate:
In addition to healthcare facilities and elder care, think about employees of other essential businesses, too: veterinary offices, grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, animal shelters, etc.
Check out the (inter)national database by Deaconess by clicking here.
We recently donated fabric to the Million Mask Challenge (VA/MD/DC). This wonderful group collects fabric and other materials donations, sorts and washes them, then distributes to their "craftivists", who then sew them into masks, and return to the organization for final quality control before sending on to facilities in need.
Mask Kits for personal use:
Kits are currently available! They contain all the materials (pre-cut fabric, twist ties for nose wires, cotton twill tape for fabric ties, and pattern with tips and tricks) required to make either 5 or 10 at a time. These kits are not intended to be used to make masks for donating to medical facilities, but are perfect for the “shoppers’ masks” now required to be worn in public in our area. Click here to order.
NEW AND NOTEWORTHY
More bolts from the Points of Hue collection have arrived! $11.99 per yard.
We've restocked our white-on white prints with bolts of Ramblings from P&B Textiles. Please note that some of these online pictures appear to be black & white. The fabric themselves are indeed white-on-white. Black is used just so you can see the design, since it's hard to get a picture of a white-on-white print. $9.99 per yard.
1/8" elastic is now in stock, choose from black or light grey. $.59 per yard.
Do you need a variety of prints to make masks with? We have bundles of 10 half yard cuts for only $65.00 (regular price: $7.50 per half yard). You will get a usable mix of novelty, blenders, batiks, and current lines. For the first 40 bundles sold, we're throwing in twenty 3 1/4" long aluminum nose pieces thoughtfully provided by the SMART, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, while supplies last. (These nose pieces will need to be sanded or taped to blunt sharp corners for safety and comfort.)
Capital Quilts now sells masks on consignment! We currently have four makers selling masks through Capital Quilts. Styles, fabrics, and prices vary. Click here to shop the current assortment.
FLATTEN-THE-CURVE KITS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE
May 1-9 Save $100 on the Ready.Set.GO! cutting machines. Get a rebate form from us to send in to AccuQuilt.
May 4-13 Get $20 off for every $100 spent on GO! dies. Please contact the shop to make this purchase (you won’t be able to take the discount through our online shop).
Face Mask dies are available on the AccuQuilt website. Retailers are not being given any supply to sell in shops.
Handi Quilter ProStitcher owners: Handi Quilter is replacing the Art & Stitch software with their own Pro-Stitcher Designer software. If you are already a Pro-Stitcher owner, you can take advantage of a limited-time offer and save almost $400. Until June 30, 2020, purchase your digital copy of Pro-Stitcher Designer for just $199.95. Visit the new www.ProStitcher.com to learn more. While Art & Stitch is still in existence, Handi Quilter will no longer support it.
Welcome Spring! Janome is offering a free Home Depot Gift Card with the purchase of selected models. Click here to see the flyer.
We are able to accept your sewing machines for cleaning and tune-ups. Go to our website and sign up for machine repair. Bring your machine to the shop. We will take it in and wipe it down with a disinfectant (safe for sewing machines). Our tech will pick it up here and take it home to work on it, then bring it back to the shop. We will let you know it is ready for pick-up and wipe it down again before we give it to you.
If you would like to buy a new Janome sewing machine, Janome will ship the new machine directly to your home so you don’t have to come out to pick it up. The shipping fee varies according to which machine you buy.
Highlighting the Janome Sewist 780DC This is a computerized free arm machine with direct pattern selection. It has a Superior Plus Feed system, a unique needle plate with degree markings, built in needle threader, needle up/down, lock stitch, start/stop button, and an automatic thread cutter. Wide angle LED lighting and a large extension table are included. Regularly $1099, get it at Capital Quilts for just $699 through May 31, 2020. We have 1 in stock.
Computerized free arm with 80 stitches, including 3 buttonholes. Speed control slider, memorized needle up/down, one-hand needle threader, locking stitch button. Backlit LCD screen ,drop feed dog, convenient needle plate markings, Instruction Book in English. Wide-angle LED lighting. Large extension table included.
CAPITAL QUILTS CARES
All Capital Quilts Cares events in the shop are cancelled until further notice.
That said, we have free pillowcase kits available that you can sew at home. They are a wonderful beginner project to do with children. The kiddos will learn some sewing skills and stay busy, too! We can mail them to you or you can pick them up curbside. Return the finished pillowcases to the shop (when you can; there is no rush), and we will donate them to Ryan’s Case for Smiles.
TQPM Small Kennel Quilts is having a Kennel Quilt-a-thon on May 15-17, 2020. If you have not joined yet, visit Pattern Pastiche and click the Join Us link in the Kennel Quilt-a-thon! box. It is in left column. On the next page, click the gray button, +Join TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team to join the group. It is near the top right. Small Kennel Quilts are also still being shipped out, most recently to southern states affected by tornadoes. If you're making them, we are happy to accept them here at the shop to send to shelters and rescues in need.
All classes, clubs, and events are cancelled until further notice.
When we begin to reschedule classes, those of you who had registered before will be given the first opportunity to sign up for the new class.
BLUE BAG BONANZA
The Blue Bag Bonanza program is suspended until further notice.
SAVE THE DATE: To the best of our knowledge, these events have not been cancelled.
October 2-3: NeedleChasers of Chevy Chase Quilt Show, “2020 Vision”, at Kensington Town Hall/Armory www.needlechasers.org
October 8 - 12: Quilter's Quest