Video Newsletter, April 28th 2022

Janome is unveiling new machines and we’ve got them….almost!

We’re still waiting on the amazing Janome top of the line combination machine, the Continental M17, but it’s supposed to arrive soon. In the meantime the red hot Travel Mate 30 has been a very popular machine. Weighing in at 10 pounds and having the super convenient features like needle up/down, an included 1/4 inch foot and multiple blanket stitches, it’s a sure win for a travel or class machine as well as for the newer sewist with a great price of $449.

Janome TM30

Looking for a simpler sewing and embroidery combo machine at an affordable price? You’ll want to check out the Janome 9850. Get into embroidery with the dealer support and Janome quality you want for just $1999.

Come check these machines out.

Take a look at the 9850 in our video newsletter:


It’s a Mystery!

Once again it’s time for our participation in the Brown Bag Mystery.

We have participated in the Brown Bag Mystery for 4 years, curating beautiful fabrics to go with each design created by Karen Montgomery and having a lot of fun along the way. Each year the clues keep participants guessing right to the very end.

This is a program full of value!

It’s a mystery, actually a double mystery as you don’t know what fabrics you are getting other than a fabric ‘clue” tied to your bag. Like the clue? You’ll love the quilt.

It’s also a carefully selected kit, a virtual class (via videos on Facebook), and a sew along (in the private Facebook group), plus bonus projects along the way. Participants who purchase AmyQuilts bags will also be invited to a private Quilt Along group.

Each bag contains 6 cuts, totaling 7-3/4 yards of premium fabric.
Inside the bag you will find initial cutting instructions, and information on how to join the exclusive, private Facebook group. In the group, you will have a chance to virtually mingle with quilters across the US and Canada who have purchased mystery bags from 50+ shops.

The mystery quilt is easy enough for confident beginners. You’ll need your rotary cutting skills and the ability to sew a decent 1/4 inch seam. You’ll learn more along the way. Have more experience? You won’t be bored!

To learn more about this event, see our Brown Bag 2022 Mystery page at our online shop,

You can order your kit online for USPS delivery, curbside pick up, or pick it up at Sew Simple. If you’re coming into the shop, you may find some bags that we’ve saved just for our shoppers.

Thanksgiving Activities at Sew Simple; a Video Newsletter

Thanksgiving Edition

We’re making the switch from Festive Fall to Merry and Bright Christmas this week. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, you know.

Holiday Hours

Remember we are closed on Wednesdays, and we will be closed for Thanksgiving day. We are open Friday and Saturday for a huge clearance sale blast!
Friday 10-5 and Saturday 10-3

All Clearance fabric is $6 per yard.

Choose from over 160 bolts

In store only, Half yard minimum cut.

Check out the video for a fast, fun peek of our preparations.
Shop Friday or Saturday for a special coupon for December.
Thanks once again for continuing to shop at Sew Simple!

Feeling grateful and blessed,




Video Newsletter and Applique Demo

Special Anniversary Happenings for Saturday, October 16th!

Need captions? Just tap the gear icon in the video player and turn them on.

Row by Row

Taste the Experience! That’s the theme for this year’s summer road-trip inspired event travelling across the nation and into Canada.

Travel to participating shops (map here) and pick up your free pattern or purchase a kit. Participate in the contest to win a prize bundle or just collect rows and use them as desired. I think ours makes a great wall hanging for a kitchen or dining room, with its reminder that “Life is Sweet.”

Our kits have been flying out the door this year with quilters from near and far. We’ve had 2 different quilters from California already. We hope to see you this summer too!

When Row by Row ends in the fall, we will be offering the pattern and kits (while they last) over at

No more Wonky HSTs

Pressing matters….

Getting a nice square half-square triangle unit can be frustrating. Many folks will make them over-sized and trim off the wonky edges.

But we didn’t cut them wonky, so why end up with not-square units?

It’s all about that bias edge. Depending on how you make your units, there’s always a bias edge. Bias refers to the direction that runs diagonal to the straight of grain, also known as the lengthwise and crosswise grain.

Bias edges stretch. Handle that bias cut edge or edges carefully to avoid stretching it. Pressing with Best Press or similar product before cutting can help.

How the diagonal seam is pressed makes a big difference too. See the diagram below.

Instead of running the iron along the seam, press in a two-part motion first across the block with the grain running crosswise, then up with the lengthwise grain. This is still pressing, not ironing! I guarantee this will keep your HSTs squarer. 

Pins Matter!

Pins matter. We use pins to get things to line up better as we sew. But some pins work better than others.

When most non sewers think of pins, they think of a pointy pin with a round ball on top. Those are pretty common and a fairly standard item, but did you know they aren’t the best pins for precision projects?

My favorite pins are flat head pins. Flat head pins allow the fabric to lay nice and flat on the sewing machine bed, whereas round head pins lay at an angle and can interfere with how the fabric feeds as it gets to the feed dogs. If one side of the feed dogs catches the pin, the fabric will shift to one side.

Did you know pins come in different sizes too? Not just length, but also fineness. Stouter pins are good for tougher projects like denim and canvas. But fine pins go into quilting cotton and fine fabrics much easier. Longer pins also give a bigger “bite” on your project for more secure pinning. If you do fine needlework or applique, we even have teeny tiny “Perfect Pins”.

Above are some of our pins. Going clockwise from the top right are fancy decorative pins. These are adorable in a pincushion, but don’t plan on using them on a sewing project; they are quite thick. Next are standard Flower headed flat head pins. These are great pins for heavy projects. Next come my favorite pins. They are much like the previous pins, but they are finer and slip easily into my piecing projects. I like that their blue color tells me at a glance that they are fine and so I can easily grab which pin I need. I hate to bend these when it’s time to work on a denim tote bag. (That was our Simple Sewing Series project this month!) Above them, you can see your standard round headed pins. I had to search hard for these as I don’t use or sell them in the shop. Finally, we come to the Magic Pins. These are absolutely fabulous if you have trouble grasping flat or fine headed pins. They lay flatter on the bed of the machine than the average round headed pin and are made of a soft, easy to grip, heat resistant silicone material. There are two versions of these pins and we only carry one version: the fine ones. I tested the original version and found them to be too thick.

I hope you found this tip useful. Pass it along if you like, sharing is caring.

Heading into the Holidays

It’s always exciting as we get closer to the holiday season. This typically starts before Halloween as machines are dusted off and fired up to make a costume for a child. Sometimes this results in a trip to Sew Simple for machine service as some machines aren’t quite up to the creative vision of the costume designer, who sometimes isn’t the person doing the sewing. I always get tickled when Eric comes out of his workroom and he sparkles! Odds are the machine he was working on had been used with sequins or glittered material.

New sewists contact us, eager to learn to sew or replace their starter machine. More experienced sewists and quilters decide that it might be time to upgrade as they learn new techniques, and sometimes (and always a particular favorite of mine) someone comes in to get a machine that is easier to operate with electronic functions that help those who are having trouble seeing or manipulating their hands or feet. Whatever the reason, matching up the right machine to the right user makes me happy!

Of course this is the time of year that Janome rolls out new models and we typically have great deals on floor models as they are replaced with newer models. Things get a little crowded until those models go home with a happy owner. We currently have three floor models available at great prices. Come and see!

We now offer financing to approved applicants to help spread out the cost of a new machine too!

Come visit us on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday (Nov. 23-24th) for extra special deals that won’t last long!

Unlike online sites, all our machines come with great dealer support including one on one new owner’s lessons.