Thursday, December 29, 2011

Notion of the week

Have a quilt that you'd like to display on your wall? We have a variety of quilt hangers for that special heirloom.

Why not grab one to display that special quilt you're doing this winter?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tip of the Week

 Sewing machines, even the beginner models, come with a lot of different stitches these days. Depending on your model, you may have stitches that can make a variety of projects different, more interesting, or just plain, easier and professional.

I had a quick project for Christmas that involved using a couple of reasonably priced fleece remnants that I cut into squares, added a little embroidery, and with a couple of those decorative and utility stitches I had a simple Christmas gift that cost pennies and was a cute mini quilt.

I used a stretch utility stitch to join my squares and finished the edges with a cute decorative stitch that really looked cute and added a special touch.
So next time you have a project you're working on try one of those other stitches besides the straight stitch or that zigzag. And take a look at your book and find all the uses for your utility stitches. You'll be surprised how much of a difference it makes in your project when you use one of those stitches that came free with your machine---whether when your sewing knits or just want to add a special something to your next project.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Notion of the week

5D Professional Software can bring your projects to a higher, personal creativity level. Creating, organizing, and manipulating your designs has never been easier.

With this software package you can create a design, view it in 3D on your project and adjust colors and stitches right on the screen.

You get complimentary fonts, clipart, and frames to include on your projects or to embellish and create your own.

The software works with a variety of hoops and machines and for multi-hooped designs you're able to stitch helper stitches onto your project to insure your design is lined up each and every time.

This package contains:

  • 5D Family Tree
  • 5D Express Monogram Wizard
  • 5D PortraitStitch
  • 5D Design Creator
For a complete list of features, benefits, and system requirements click here to review the brochure.

And, just in time for Christmas, for one day only, on December 23rd, there is a special deal on this valuable software as part of our 12 Days of Christmas Gift to Customers.

Make 2012 a 5D Creative New Year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tip of the Week

Planning to complete that first quilt? Wondering about thread?

Depending on your particular project you'll want to take the following items under consideration as you select your thread for your heirloom quilt.

  • What Color is usually a question asked by quilters and the answer is ---it depends. For the piecing a color matching the darker blocks maybe what you need. For quilting, if the quilting is the part of the project that you want to pop then use a contrasting thread. For beginning quilters a matching thread that blends stitches into the background may be called for. Whatever color you select do a sample before you apply to your entire quilt to make sure you are getting the affect that you want to achieve.
  • Quilting and Piecing Thread or is All Purpose all right to use? Quilting and Piecing Thread is specifically designed to be used in quilting. Using a fine piecing thread can help keep your piecing seam accurate---the finer the thread the easier you'll find it to keep accurate. A cotton thread of size 50 is recommended by expert Debra Wagner in her book Teach Yourself Machine Piecing & Quilting.    
Be sure to make a sample run of your project. Adjust tension, if necessary.And make sure your creation is exactly you. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Notion of the week

There are times when even the most experienced sewers need help. And since today's 12th day of Christmas gift is buy two get one free on sewing machine feet, I thought it would be timely to give you the scoop on a sewing machine foot that can help you out.

This is the walking foot. This foot will keep those quarter inch seams straight and well fed through your machine for perfect stitching all the time. It can also help with quilting, feeding those difficult, slippery fabrics that need some extra help, or when you have thicker items that could use an extra boot through the machine.

The other day during quilting classes at our Highland store, store manager and quilting guru, Joan, noted that one of the students was having difficulties with those seams going through on the straight and narrow. Joan recommended the walking foot for the student's machine.

Sure enough, the seams were PERFECT and trouble free too. So hurry in and get your walking foot today and take advantage of the buy two get one free deal on all feet!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tip of the Week

The gifts keep on coming at the Northwest Indiana Sewing Center's 12 days of Christmas. So our tip of the week is to hurry over to the website and take advantage of the special deals by unwrapping a present each day from now until Christmas Eve. Today is Day 10. Open the package by clicking on that pretty heart shaped package on our tree. 

Our special gifts to you make it easy to fill those stockings and under that tree with joy and happiness. And so you don't miss out on any special deals or class information in the new year don't forget to sign up for our newsletters.

Merry Christmas!

images of packages credit:Image: Idea go / Image: digitalart / Image: Master isolated mages / Image: digitalart / Image: scottchan / Image: digitalart /

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tip of the Week

Only 18 more sewing days to go! Need some inspiration for decorations and last minute gifts?

Point your browser over to these sites for patterns and designs.

And for your sewing supplies come see us with that Friends and Family coupon today for some real savings.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Come See Us Tomorrow for our Friends & Family Extravaganza!

You are cordially invited to attend Friends and Family Extravaganza on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 We're going to have fun kicking off the holiday season and hope you can come and enjoy some time browsing through our store, looking at sewing machines, and grabbing some bargains.

And to help you with your holiday stocking Stuffers, here is a coupon for you to bring for a savings on all regularly priced notions (restrictions apply):


Your Friends at Northwest Indiana Sewing Centers.

Notion of the week

Have you heard that we now carry a complete line of Floriani Threads! Hundreds of new colors to choose from---can you imagine what you can add to your projects? Is there a specific color that you've been unable to locate in other lines? The perfect color just might be in the Floriani line.

Floriani has very high quality standards throughout the factory. They control and track lot numbers back to traced right back to the manufacturing process.

The thread has been proven color-fast with a high tensile strength by an independent international lab.

Not only that, the Floriani company has a real dedication to the environment; making sure that the dyeing and manufacturing process has as little environmental impact as possible. The company has been known to change the use of certain dyes to become more environmental friendly.

Add some sheen and luster to your projects today with some Floriani Thread!     

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tip of the Week

One of the challenges that beginning quilters face are those 1/4 inch seams---there isn't a whole lot of room for error.  And if the seams aren't straight and exact it can throw off the whole quilt making it difficult or nearly impossible to piece; with crooked results.

Never fear though---help is available no matter what machine you own. For those who have Husqvarna/ Viking machines---Designer Diamond, Rubys, Sapphires, and the Emerald 203 simply be sure to choose the 1/4 inch stitch and use your A or B foot.

If you have a machine that doesn't have the special 1/4 inch stitch, pay the Sewing Center a visit and pick up a 1/4 inch or Quilting foot accessory for your particular machine. They come in metal or see through plastic and will help keep those stitches at a quarter of an inch and your quilt even and accurate for a more professional result.            

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Notion of the week

Our notion of the week is the Dakota Collectables Holiday Ornament Design CD. This CD makes a 20 Lace Applique Ornaments all in the hoop.

These ornaments will delight young and old alike. The possiblities are endless:
  • Add a set or two to your tree.

  •  Add one to a package for a decorative and elegant wrap.

  • Great Christmas gift as a set or individually for those hard to buy for office gifts.

  • Make one for the postman

  • Elegant for teachers.

  • Beautiful hanging in a window.

  • And they're so fun to make! Contact the Sewing Center now. They're going fast!   

      Friday, November 25, 2011

      Sewing Helpers

      Just Arrived Floriani Thread, Stabilizer, and designs
      We just received a shipment from Floriani containing 100's of new colors of thread for you to choose from. We also have a new line of stabilizers for all uses and projects and some really great designs to add pizazz to your projects. Stop in and browse through all the new potential we just added to your holiday projects! 
      Get small business Saturday Cash $25 from American Express
      small business saturdaySpend $25.00 at a small business like Northwest Indiana Sewing Centers get $25.00 back on your American Express Account from American Express. 
      But you must register 
      Click here to register with American Express.  

      Diamond of a Deal!

      Take 4 years no interest financing on Husqvarna Designer Diamond

      Pay a minimal amount  per month or  Husqvarna/Viking Designer Diamond! And don't forget the $500  rebate and the free luggage set!

       Through December 2, 2011 you can get 48 month interest free financing
      on a Designer Diamond. And there is 24 and 36 month financing on other Husqvarna/Viking models too.

      Your Friends at Northwest Indiana Sewing Centers.

      Wednesday, November 23, 2011

      Happy Thanksgiving

      Our stores will be closing at 1:00 P.M. on November 23 and will be closed all day November 24 and November 25th to allow our staff to spend time with family, friends and community for the Thanksgiving Holiday.

      We look forward to serving you during your visit on Small Business Saturday, November 26th--- during our regular Saturday business hours.  Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving Holiday.

      Your Friends at Northwest Indiana Sewing Centers.

      Tuesday, November 22, 2011

      Tip of the Week

      Has your machine been speaking a little louder than normal? Often a sewing machine tries to warn you of potential problems by becoming noisy or clunking.

      If this happens, look for lint or threads that can become stuck in the bobbin area or on the hook or needle bar. You can also try a new needle.

      And always use a good sewing machine oil to keep your machine oiled (if appropriate for your machine) according to your instruction booklet. 

      Monday, November 21, 2011

      Your Invitation to Small Business Saturday, November 26th, 2011

      You are cordially invited to attend Small Business Saturday on November 26, 2011. We're going to have fun kicking off the holiday season and hope you can come and enjoy some time browsing through our store, looking at sewing machines, and grabbing some bargains.

      And to help you with your holiday notions here is a coupon for you to bring for a savings on all regularly priced notions (restrictions apply):  

      Click for printable version

      Your Friends at Northwest Indiana Sewing Centers.

      Thursday, November 17, 2011

      Countdown to Small Business Saturday

      Shop Northwest Indiana Sewing Centers 25-75% off Small Business Saturday

      We promised to give you an update regarding Small Business Satuday on November 26th, 2011 and the Santas at Northwest Indiana Sewing Centers have been busy at work finding deals to pass on to you.

      We have a coupon for 25% off all notions good only on Small business Saturday. (There are some exclusions: designs and sewing machines are not included--so see the store for complete details)

      Then, Alan has been getting with the Viking/Husqvarna folks so he could offer you a really great deal on selected embroidery designs; up to 75% off---Small Business Saturday only. These are very limited and will go fast---so be sure to get here early so you don't miss out. This deal is only available while supplies last!

      So mark your calendars for Saturday, November 26, 2011. Shop Small Business Saturday. Keep jobs local. Help keep local businesses healthy. And don't miss out on the special deals.

        Your Friends at Northwest Indiana Sewing Centers.

      Visit us at  &  

      We've used Christmas Baubles Graphic by Simon Howden.

      Wednesday, November 16, 2011

      Tip of the Week

      Is your sewing machine covered under your homeowner's policy? What if something happens when you are transporting it to and from class? Check with your insurance agent. Some companies require a separate rider in order to cover certain machines.  

      Tuesday, November 15, 2011

      Notion of the week

      This week's notion is a real time saver. The Frixion Pen is an erasable pen. It goes on smoothly and accurately and the ink stays where you want it, doesn't smear, or disappear before you need it to.

      When you're done and want the ink to disappear just touch with a hot iron and voila--it disappears!

      This pen is highly recommended for applique.    

      Thursday, November 10, 2011

      Christmas Red Quilt Class 2 was Informative and Fun

      Last Friday, red fabric in hand, students attended the second class in Joan's Christmas Red Quilt series. The array of wonderful Christmas fabrics was astounding. Students had searched a three state area, left no store unvisited, and raided stashes to bring such a variety of fabrics to cut, sew, and share.

      The first order of business was to learn how to use the new Accuquilt. It was so easy! And it made short and accurate work out of cutting the squares for the quilt.  

      More time consuming and brain taxing was the cutting of the white background squares that the students had embroidered over the last 2 weeks since the last class. Together we learned how and trimmed each square to the final dimensions.

      Then the cutting of the decorative strips was done. Working together, we were all soon done with our cutting and ready for the fun part----sewing.

      Jan, at the head of the class, demonstrated just how easy it is to sew the quilt together with her new Husqvarna/Viking Serger. She was soon whipping her quilt pieces together, accurately and easily with her new machine. And we were all adding a new serger to our Christmas lists.


      How pretty it will look when it is all done! Don't you think?

      Wednesday, November 9, 2011

      Notion of the week

      It sure is getting dark earlier and even if your sewing room has a lot of nice windows, you're likely to find yourself working with artificial lighting this time of year.

      It's always nice to have a little extra light to work with and this week's notion of the week is a tiny light that clamps onto your machine and provides more light whereever and whenever you need it.

      We've got a limited supply of these handy lights in stock---they'd actually be handy outside of your sewing room too.

      And as we head towards the darkest days of the year, we all could use a little extra light.

      Makes a great stocking stuffer too!     

      Tuesday, November 8, 2011

      Tip of the Week

      Today there are needles for all different sewing projects. Using the right needle for the job will make sewing easier and you'll get much better results.

      For general all purpose sewing, the first thing you need to look at is the type of fabric you are going to sew. What weight is the fabric?

      Needles have numbers and there are two types of numbering systems; American and European. The higher the number the heavier the fabric. A great chart comparing the two variations of  numbers can be found here.

      What type of project are you working on? Use embroidery needles, stretch needles for stretchy fabrics, needles for leathers, microtex or sharp needles for synthetic leathers, denim needles, topstitching needles, and self threading/handicapped needles. There are quilting needles, and needles for heirloom sewing, and free motion sewing. And finally, there are twin needles and even triple needles for decorative and precise rows of topstitching. 

      All these needles have special features that perform the job professionally with ease.

      Using the incorrect needle can cause problems such as skipped stitches, breaking or bending of the needle, or snagging and creating large holes in your fabric.

      A more detailed online article regarding needles and needle usage can be found here.

      And we're always here to help at the Indiana Sewing Centers. If you need assistance or advice, pack up your thread and fabric and come see us in Merrillville or Highland. We'll find the needle that you need for your project.      

      Monday, November 7, 2011

      First Make and Take Class in Highland, Indiana Store

      Tomorrow, November 8, 2011 is the first Make and Take class at the Highland Sewing Center. This class begins at 8:00. During the class Joan will be teaching everyone how to make these adorable Christmas Tree Napkins. Each napkin is made from 2-22" pieces of fabric.

      The napkin is a very generous size and would make a wonderful addition to your holiday table---or what a wonderful hostess gift! 

      Skills learned in the making of the napkin will include sewing with a double needle. For more information call Joan at 219-838-5433.

      Thursday, November 3, 2011

      Small Business Saturday---mark your calendars November 26, 2011

      This November 26 is a big day for everyone at Northwest Indiana Sewing Centers. It’s the second annual Small Business Saturday®, when people across the country come out and shop to support their favorite local businesses. We're planning special demonstrations, events, door prizes, and deals. We'll be telling you more in the next weeks. Mark your calendar to visit us early on the 26th.

      And, as an added incentive for all of you who have an American Express Card,  American Express is offering to credit the first $25.00 in purchases made in participating small businesses like Northwest Indiana Sewing Centers. Visit the American Express Facebook Small Business Saturday Page for details on how you can participate in this discount.

      Don't forget to like us and recommend us on Facebook   so you can stay in touch and not miss any of the exciting things we're planning to help you have fun and create at Northwest Indiana Sewing Centers!
      Shop Small Business Saturday November 26, 2011
      Your Friends at Northwest Indiana Sewing Centers.

      Wednesday, November 2, 2011

      Notion of the week

      Joan, in the Highland Sewing Center, is always looking for new tools to make sewing more fun and easy. And we're really excited to announce that we're getting in machines to help with cutting quilt fabric this week.

      The new tools are called Accuquilts and we'll have Accuquilt Go and Accuquilt Go Baby's in stock. These machines cut fabric and with the great assortment of dies the opportunities are endless.

      Just check out these cute quilts. And can you believe some of these patterns are available for free:

      I can't wait to try these machine out; can you? The ladies who are taking the Christmas Red class get a sneak preview on Friday.

      Joan will be planning events soon regarding this creative tool; so watch our website, blog, or sign up for our newsletter so you won't miss out.

      P.S. I hear we may have a special promotional price too. Stay tuned....     



      Tuesday, November 1, 2011

      Tip of the Week

      So many sewing snafu's, from missed stitches to puckered seams, can be traced to an incorrect needle or a needle that should be replaced.

      Today there are needles for a variety of uses. We carry needles for different fabric weights. There are also specialty needles for embroidery, sergers and other special uses.

      Most importantly, keeping a sharp needle in your machine will help your machine do its best work.

      Stop by the sewing center in Merrillville or Highland and we'll be happy to help you find the right needle for your project.     

      Monday, October 31, 2011

      Dreaming of a Diamond Christmas?

      Last week Indiana Sews newsletter subscribers got advanced notice on the Viking/Husqvarna Diamond promotion that goes through December 15th, 2011. The manufacturer is offering a rebate of $500.00 and a classy 2 piece set of luggage bonus with all Diamonds purchased from now until December 15th, 2011.

      Our stores in Highland and Merrillville just received a new shipment of these sewing machines in anticipation of this event.

      Diamonds are the top of the line Viking/Husqvarna Sewing Machines. The machines do flawless embroidery in areas up to 14 1/4" x 13 3/4" without rehooping the work. It comes with the 5D software, 3 hoops, an array of helpful feet, and much more.

      And, if you buy from the Northwest Indiana Sewing Centers you get our expert support and free classes with your purchase.

      Hurry in to reserve your Diamond today; with this special promotion the Diamonds won't last long.

      Friday, October 28, 2011

      Highland Sewing Center Inspirational Stars

       Just a couple of months after purchasing Husqvarna Viking Designer Sewing Machines and software, these Highland, Indiana sewing center stars really rock!

      Jan has digitized, embroidered, stitched and quilted not one, but two fantastic quilts and is on her way to making a third.

      Then there's Rosalinda with her gorgeous quilt full of messages of hope and love and fun words to live by.

      Thank you so much, ladies, for sharing these great works of the heart.  You inspire all of us. Lovely quilting!


      Thursday, October 27, 2011

      Back by Popular Demand---Machine Embroidered Advent Calendar Classes

      Jan's annual Advent calendar class is always a popular and anticipated event. This is an easy holiday project and can be made on sewing/embroidery machines.

      The class is scheduled for 8 AM on November 6th and is filling up quickly so if you're interested, please contact the Merrillville Sewing Center to sign up.

      We also carry that cute quilt hanger shown in the picture so that you can take your finished calendar and hang it right up on your wall.

      Sew sweet! Call Jan today at 219-736-7397.  

      Wednesday, October 26, 2011

      Notion of the week

      One of the chores of machine embroidery is snipping all those threads.

      Snip-a-Stitch squeeze type scissors make the job easier. You simply squeeze the handles and the thread is cut.  This lessons hand fatigue more than conventional scissors.

      These snips come in a couple of different varieties; one has a notched end for grabbing and removing stitches and there is a no-notched version for just clipping embroidery threads. They were hot items at our recent class events and students loved that this notion made the job so much easier.

      Come by and see us at the Highland or Merrillville Sewing Centers and pick up your own set of snips.      

      Tuesday, October 25, 2011

      Tip of the Week

      Did you know that thread spooled on a cone should always be taken from a cone standing up and down? If your machine's spool pin is horizontal, you can stand the cone spool on the table rather than your horizontal pin.

      As a general rule it is better to place your thread at a distance from the machine rather than on the machine pins to give the thread more distance to work out the twists. Running the thread through a loop can also often knock out the twists; this is why using a thread stand can reduce thread breaks

      For added control we have a large variety of spool holders that hold from one to multiple spools of thread for those big projects. Come in and see Joan in Highland or Jan in Merrillville and they'll set you up with the solution for those pesky thread breaks.

      This tip was brought to you complements of Managers Jan and Joan. Happy Sewing!

      Monday, October 24, 2011

      What Wonderful Fun We're Having Sewing Together!

      The Highland Indiana Sewing Center's first class was held last Friday and was a smashing success. Sewing Center Manager Joan had everything all ready for students who started arriving at 8 AM to begin work on the Christmas Red Quilt. Students had cut the white background fabric at home and had applied a stabilizer backing to the fabric.

      During class Joan first demonstrated how to hoop the fabric. Then everyone wound bobbins, threaded machines, and navigated through design folders and the quilts were begun. The first embroidered square was Santa.

      Machines hummed with embroidery and there were oohs and ahs as each design was made. Soon it was time to clip the threads front and back and hoop another square for another design. Some students grabbed a hold of their creativity and changed the colors on some of the blocks---so beautiful!

      Then there were was Jan, at the head of the class, who came to class with all her squares embroidered and spent class time cutting her squares down to the finished sizes.

      Thank you so much, Joan, for the great, informative class and the fat free breakfast delicacies---so delicious!

      And for those of you out there who wish you could have been there----well that's what we wish too! Contact the sewing center; we're getting together more classes.