|Dear Superlative Stitchers,
Lots of you brought in your scissors, knives, and tools to be sharpened! Pick up your sharpened items any time, no appointment needed. Curbside pick-up rules apply: call us when you are parked in front of the shop and give us your last name and tell us you are here to pick up your sharpened things. If you missed this go round, the next date for sharpening is October 13.
The initial mad rush to get a shopping appointment has ended. You can now get an appointment in a day or two (usually). We’d love to see you, and we are taking care to keep you protected. Some of you have asked when we are going to open again, as Joann’s and some other places have, but I feel that I can better protect you, your families, my staff, their families, and myself and my family by having just a few people in the store at a time. Remember that if anyone on my staff gets COVID-19 and exposes the rest of us, I would most likely have to shut the shop down entirely for 2 weeks while we quarantine. Fully reopening is just too scary, given what is happening in other parts of the country.
That said, if you need something desperately that requires coming into the shop, and the next available appointment is too far away, give us a call and we will find a way to help you.
To maximize your appointment time in the shop, if you know you need needles, elastic, thread, or other items that you can buy through the website, place the order a day or two before your appointment and specify curbside pick-up. You can pick those things up when you come for your appointment, and then you can spend all your appointment time enjoying the fabric instead of hunting down notions or other easy-to-buy-online items.
I got an interesting email from the Robert Kaufman fabric company this week, talking about how COVID has affected them. They initially expected a significant sales downturn. Then came the sewing and mask-making boom, and they sold out of their Kona solids inventory, which they normally maintain a $2 million inventory of, in 4 weeks. Because this was happening to all the fabric companies, there was a world-wide shortage of greige goods, the base fabrics that are printed to give us the gorgeous fabrics we all love. On top of that, because of the virus, the mills were undergoing a slowdown. Kaufman, during this time, worked to modify their practices to ensure the safety of their own workers. Now, they are expanding warehouse operations, hiring additional staff, extending work days, and ramping up inventory. It will take a while to get up to speed (I am hearing a month or more from some of my reps), but rest assured they will get there!
To those of you who are new to sewing or coming back after a long hiatus, please know that we are here to help you in any way we can. We love to answer questions, give tips and helpful hints, and smooth the way for you.
If you are thinking about purchasing a new Janome sewing machine, please let me know as soon as you can. I need to place the order so that we get in the queue. Lots of people all around the world have discovered or rediscovered the pleasures of sewing and are wanting new machines. The factories for all the brands are having trouble keeping up (see ‘sewing and mask-making boom’ above!). I’ve got some on order and will be getting more, but if you want a particular machine, do let me know!
We really and truly appreciate your patronage and your patience through this pandemic. Your support has been awesome. You are truly the best customers ever!
Go ‘n’ Piece,
IN-STORE SHOPPING AT CAPITAL QUILTS
We continue to offer shopping by appointment here in the shop, and remain closed to casual walk-in traffic. Please click here to make an appointment. Need more than 25 minutes? Book 2 consecutive time slots! Please be sure to carefully read all the rules we have around in-store shopping, and know that the staff is wiping down surfaces frequently with disinfectant.
Pro shopping tip: if you know you need needles, elastic, thread, or other items that do not require an in-person appointment, go ahead and order them online!. Specify curbside pickup, and you can pick those things up when you come for your appointment, and then you can spend all your time enjoying the fabric!
If you are unable to come to your appointment, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can fill that time slot.
CAPITAL QUILTS CARES
We are collecting scrub caps for nurses and respiratory therapists at a local hospital. Wearing PPE all day can be depressing, and medical workers love to perk up their day with happy or silly scrub caps. The requesting doctor received one from her mother that she loves! She made a few more for herself, and knowing what a lift it gives her, is hoping to share the love. There is no restriction on the pattern to use, but she likes Milly's Tie Scrub Hat Pattern from Brimming with Love. It's a woman's hat with enough room to tuck long hair up into. Twelve Bees has a great video and pattern for making a men's scrub hat. (Not necessarily men, but for people with short hair.) 2 hats from just a hair over a 1/3 of a yard. (12.5 inches)
We also 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 when the appropriate time comes.
Small Kennel Quilts are always accepted for donation. These small quilts are sent to shelters and rescues all over the country, and are a great beginner project, or a way to practice your free motion quilting skills.
NAVIGATING THE ONLINE STORE
For those of you who are computer-challenged, click here for a quick tutorial on getting to and through our online shop using a laptop or desktop computer. (Smart phones and tablet screens may vary.)
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. Don’t forget to click on “I am not a robot”, and select the method of delivery (shipping/curbside), too. If you continue to have a problem, please contact the shop at 301-527-0598.
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. Click here for all the details! (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.)
Bill Nye the Science Guy has posted a video in which he demonstrates how to test the efficacy of your mask. Put your mask on and light a candle. Try to blow the candle out. If the flame wavers or goes out, your mask is not working. Dispose of it or add a filter and test again.
We recently started listing all mask-making supplies in a single category to make them easier to find online. Click here to see all the currently available items. (Updated each and every time we get in a new product!)
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.
SEWING MACHINE MAINTENANCE
We are able to accept all brands of sewing machines for cleaning and tune-ups. To take advantage of this service, 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). We will let you know it is ready for pick-up and wipe it down again before we give it to you. Our technicians are working as quickly as they can, but both have essential day jobs. Machine servicing wait time is currently estimated at 2-3 weeks after drop-off.
If your machine is broken, be sure to write that in the notes section. We are not always able to get parts for machines other than Janome, but we will contact you before proceeding. If you want the technician to call you with an estimate before making the repair, please put that in the notes section as well.
NEW AND NOTEWORTHY
More holiday fabric has arrived!
Coastal Christmas from Northcott celebrates your love of the seashore all year round! Seashells and starfish accented by holly and other Christmas greenery are the focus of this pretty collection with soft colors in teals, greens, and beiges. $12.50 per yard.
Trick-or-treating ghosts, lit up jack-o-lanterns, black cats, and spiders in webs are the epitome of HalLoween! These five prints from 3 Wishes check all the boxes. $10.50 per yard.
As a reminder, we have several local quilters and crafters selling their masks through our website. Multiple styles and prints are available, including NEW communicator masks for those who need others to see their lips (or their smile). $7.00 to $12.00 each.
FLATTEN-THE-CURVE KITS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE
Through July 31, save $100 via mail-in rebate when you purchase either the GO! Big or the Ready. Set. GO! fabric cutters!
Tune in to the Handi Quilter Facebook page every Tuesday at 2pm EDT for their Shop@Home Event, which features tips, tricks, and tutorials on Handi Quilter products with limited-time special pricing and a give-away to a random live attendee. They announce a special on a different machine or accessory each week.
This week, the event is showcasing the HQ Capri with the Insight Table and the HQ Simply Sixteen on the Little Foot Frame. Through Sunday, August 2, get the Capri for $6,495, a $1,500 savings, and the Simply Sixteen for $5,995, a savings of $1,000.
Meet the Janome Skyline S5! TThe Skyline S5 includes the features to take your sewing to a new level. A spacious bed provides room for larger quilting and home dec projects while its easy convenience features like Automatic Thread Cutter and Memorized Needle Up/Down will save you time and make your sewing easier. This computerized machine has top of the line features at a mid-level price. Take your sewing to new heights with the Skyline S5.
If you would like to buy a different model that we do not have in stock, 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 depending on which model you select.