BATIKS Etcetera & Sew What Fabrics

Quilt with beautiful Batik.

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Minnesota Road Show in Virginia

We just finish 3 days of the Minnesota Roadshow in Virginia. It is a teaching trunk show event where Batiks Etcetera & Sew What Fabrics teachers present the techniques, patterns, and books from four well known Minnesota Quilt designers.

Check out the Minnesota Roadshow Goodies on our website.

This our third year to offer this event. Each year there are new products, quilts, patterns, and books. And lots of new ideas to make quilting more enjoyable and fun.

Each half of our classroom was set up with two designers' products and the tote bags for each participant.

Products we showcased are on our website so you can see all of the goodies.

Anna Jones presented the quilts and techniques from Debbie Bowles of Maple Island Quilts. Debbie's patterns, Celebrate and Frenzy were highlighted using interesting stripes. We all had fun picking stripe combinations.

Maple Island Quilts from Debbie Bowles are shown online here:  Maple Island Quilts.

Robin Ayers showed the great ideas from Ankas's Treasures Heather Mulder Pederson's Shams with Style book. Each participant received a pillowcase kit in their tote bag and Robin showed how to make matching pillowcases for the our designer quilt/pillow/sham ensembles.

See Anka’s Treasures offerings here:  Anka’s Treasures.

Our group of participants were divided between the two presentations and later switched rooms to hear the other presentation. Then we had a scrumptious lunch and shopping break.

Patsy Goodin showed the fantastic bags Terry Atkinson has designed by Atkinson Designs. The Cash and Carry and Zippy Strippy were a hit! Patsy showed step by step ways of setting a zipper easily - We now have 54 people more friendly with zippers! Patsy told us about Groovy Girls Sewing Club and how much fun they are having. Stand and Stow bags were explained. This pattern is only available from Groovy Girl Shops.

Terry Atkinson’s Designs are here:  Atkinson Designs.

Find out more about Groovy Girls here:  Groovy Girls.

Laura Post highlighted Brandywine Designs by Linda Hohag. She showcased the Rainbow Garden and Lollipops Tablerunner patterns. Linda has a fool proof way of achieving perfect curves with a machine applique approach. Laura did her sample with blue batiks. Yummy!

Brandywine Designs are shown here:  Brandywine Designs.

See what else we have planned online:  Classes.



Stand ‘n Stow Bag

This is a fantastic bag pattern by Terry Atkinson of Atkinson Designs.  Only Groovy Girl shops can offer this pattern at this time.  It is called Stand ‘N Stow.

There are three sizes.  We love them all.  The small one is made with Mardi Gras beads for handles.  Memory handles!  The bags are also lined.  Terry has tricks for that!

Our Groovy Girl Sally has made them all and loves it.  After the last Groovy Girls Club, Marty (DH) asked where the largest bag came from.  He liked the size, shape, and fabric that Groovy Sally used.  Endorsed by DH Marty!

Sally used a batik poplin by Benartex.  It is a “bottom” weight – a little heavier than broadcloth weight quilting cottons.  It is also 60″ wide.  Check out the colors!  This batik is great for home dec, bags, totes, vests, pants, jumpers, tablecloths, etc.

For the middle size Stand ‘N Stow, Sally used Sherrill Kahn’s printed cotton line by Kaufman called Chasing the Rainbow II.  Sherrill’s fabrics look like they have been hand stamped, inked, and dye painted.  I love them.  Lots of excitement and color.

What makes these bags stand up?  Pel Tex stabilizer is the key.  It is a very stiff one sided fusible stabilizer.  Terry developed a unique way of inserting the stabilizer so the bags still fold up for storage.  Mighty clever that Terry!

Try this great pattern and send us pictures at  The highlighted words link directly to our web store with secure online ordering.


Fall Colors

This is prime leaf peeping time here in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Marty and I took our favorite leaf drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Doughton Park.  It is in North Carolina not far from here and has stunning overlooks.  Hawk migrations go over head and the hawk counters are just finishing their count.  So much to see!  I would love to make a quilt from these views.  Marty took these pictures with a long lens so the far away ridges showed up also.

We were driving along and saw this road sign.  We couldn’t tell what it meant.  The scary thing is if there is a warning sign, someone has done something stupid or unfortunate.  This road cut is quite steep and the drop off is severe.  I hope no one really went over the edge on purpose or by accident.  The sign cracked us up, though.

This last picture is the drop off from the other direction.  The shade is so intense, it is hard to get a good picture.  It really is straight down with lots of rock drop offs.  Scary.

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Hoffman Geometric Batik

Hoffman of California Batiks for fall have arrived.  There are some standout geometric designs.  I’ve never seen anything like several of these.

The honey comb batik has great visual interest with the varying amounts of secondary color showing.  The lines and partial circles suggest energy and action.  The curlicues and waves offer a swirly design.

The circles/clamshells around a dot make me want to practice my machine quilting.  And those stripes – never seen the like!  The boxes just are so happy.

The purple square thumbprint is a repeat design from last season in a fantastic new color.  There just are not enough purple batik to make everyone happy.  Seaside dots bring a new color to a traditional design.  And royal blue – just shouldn’t be hard to find but it is.

The purple tossed seeds are intense in the red violet color.  Teal shows off in a pick up sticks design.  And we end this post with a tile design of dots forming diamond shapes.  This makes a tumbling blocks design.

Lots more to see:  check out the website at


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Small Town Fun

Saturday was a beautiful crystal clear day in Wytheville, VA.  I had a wonderful day working on a new quilt in the classroom and visiting with customers.  Our 28th Birthday Sale started and lots of people came to see us.

This is Fire Prevention Week and our small town has a parade!  It was the 25th annual parade and 400 units were expected.  We didn’t count.  It starts at 7:15 pm so it is dusk.

A parade of fire trucks, hook and ladders, emergency vehicles, rescue squad vehicles, and a few vintage trucks turn on their alarms, honk their horns, put on all their lights and parade down Main Street.  It sounds like Armageddon.

Our rescue and fire departments are volunteer with a few paid staff members so it is really a family affair.  People throw candy to the kids and wave.  I love seeing how much the kids get into it.  People sit in the back of their pickups and bring lawn chairs.  It continues for about a half an hour.

The different departments have sayings on their vehicles – their words to live and work by.  I never realized that.  “Everyone comes home.”  “First In – Last Out.”  I wish I had written down a few but I was too busy looking.  Everybody waved and cheered.

Several years ago we were in the Log House Restaurant which is two doors from our shop and were having a romantic dinner.  Then all hell broke loose.  We forgot it was Fire Prevention Week.

The restaurant was filled with tourists with worried expressions wondering if they should hit the floor.  We explained what was going on.  It was a very noisy dinner!  I can only imagine what all our town visitors thought.

Marty and I got KFC positioned our van for good pictures and waited for the fun.  I rolled up the windows so I could tolerate the noise.

It was the most fun date!  Home by 8pm.  We love our small town.


Batik Garden Color

Batiks Etc Back DoorJust outside of our back door at the shop is a special garden that Marty and I have been developing.

We are aiming for 3 – 4 seasons of flower and color.

Right now some of our most unusual colors are showing off.

Beauty Berry Bush

Beautyberry BushThe Beautyberry bush (Callicarpa) is in its glory with the most unbelievable colored berries.

More people ask about this bush!  The bush is supposed to repel mosquitoes which is another reason to grow it.

The berries are very heavy this year and will last into the winter.  They are red-purple with a metallic luster.

They can be used to make a jelly or wine.  I haven’t had either.  We leave them for the birds.

The leaves drop after turning yellow.

Seven Sons tree blossom

Seven Sons BerryA new favorite is showing off for the first time.  It is the Seven Sons tree (Heptacodium miconioides).

I saw this tree blooming in September and October on my way to work.  I had the windows open and the fragrance was lovely.  I tried to figure out what it was and with my sister’s help we located it online.

Marty stopped and talked with the owners and they offered us as many small trees as we wanted.  You can trim them to a single stem and then have drooping leaves with intense shade underneath.  Let a few sons grow up and you have a little shady, fragrant spot for a bench.

It turns out that the tree is slightly invasive.  It has berries that turn into trees but it also sends out runners that pop up under the mother tree.  I assume this is how it gets its name.

Marty has been digging up the “sons” and potting them up for anyone who wants one.  You will often find pass along plants at our back door.  Just ask to see if they are spoken for if you are interested.