Monday, January 8, 2024

Mercantile Sampler Sew Along - BEE PREPARED!!


Welcome Quilty friends!!

Today is the day for the 
"Bee Prepared" 
post that I do in preparation for my
 new fabric collections!

This is the point to start gathering
your supplies and order
your quilt kits for the sew along.

This Bee Prepared post is for the 
and I'm so excited for it to start!

We will be making the 
Mercantile Sampler Quilt 
which finishes at
 88" x 88"
It consists of 25 pieced quilt blocks.
Some are traditional blocks and some 
are blocks that I have designed
 specifically for this quilt.

After we piece them we will then
 turn each block
 into a 12" circle and applique it 
onto a pieced 4-patch background.
Because the pieced blocks become circles
we are able to turn some of them
in different way than we normally
could when piecing traditionally
and it really adds interest to
the quilt and let's you see the
block in an entirely 
different perspective.
This was my goal for this quilt 
and I think its sew fun!!

Each block finishes at 14" x 14"
after the piecing and appliquéd circle.

The scrappy sashing and borders are a 
simple machine pieced setting 
to compliment the blocks!

The collection that we are using 
for the Mercantile Sampler is of course...
Inspired by my own dear memories
 of growing up in a small town
 where my grandma owned 
the only store there was.
It was right in the middle of 
Main Street and was called
The Herriman Mercantile
 and we all called it 
"The Merc"

Mercantile fabric was designed by me... 
and produced and distributed 
to quilt shops everywhere 
by the amazing 

If you would like to know everything about Mercantile 
to view the entire storyboard.

I am very proud of how the 
Mercantile fabrics turned out and 
I love how it stands on its own but also
 blends well with my other collections.

Here you can see how it looks with 
my previous collection HOME TOWN:)

While we are talking fabric...
a note about pre-washing.
This is a personal choice and up to you.

I do NOT prewash my fabrics.
I did used to years ago 
but now we have such nice 
quality fabric available to us
I do not find it necessary.

So let's chat about the

Several shops are stocking the kit...
both brick and mortar shops
 as well as online quilt shops.

The fabric and notions as well
 have already shipped
to quilt shops everywhere 
and will continue to ship as 
each new item arrives at the warehouse!

So of course if you have not 
already pre-ordered 
your fabric kit and need one...
it is not too late at all!

The sew along does not begin
 until January 29th...
and when I say "BEGIN"
that just means it's when I begin
to do the weekly tutorials.
As always...
everyone sews at their own speed,
at their own time and so it simply 
does not matter when you start.
Do what makes you happy 
and do what works for you...
because I always keep 
each and every tutorial right here
 on my blog and it never goes away.

The schedule is NOT to keep 
on a deadline or stress you out ...
it is simply the schedule for 
to do my tutorials.
If you will look at my sew alongs that way
hopefully that relieves any stress.
Sewing is FUN and should stay that way!

And if you are just deciding to join in 
Just do a quick google search of
to find one...
google is your best friend lol...
easy peasy!!

And speaking of sewing... 
like I always say...
you do not need a 
fancy shmancy sewing machine
 to make the applique circles 
or to piece the quilt blocks.

Just a good straight stitching 
machine is all you need...
at just a bit shorter than 
regular stitch length.
 It really is a matter of 
personal preference and what works 
best for you but I would suggest 
doing a smaller stitch
 rather than larger.

As usual...
I am using one of my vintage
 Singer Featherweight machines
 for making this quilt.

  With that being said...
now let's talk more about 
the quilt and the supplies!

The following are supplies I'll be using
and are needed to piece the blocks.

Very handy and helpful when cutting my
 pieced blocks especially are my
 Sew Handy Stickers
I will show you how I use them
when I make my pieced blocks
for this sew along.

Of course you will need good scissors
 and a good rotary cutter.
For pressing I use my 
Quick Press Seam Roller 
and a good iron.
I always use a vintage iron 
which I tell you all about on my
 YouTube channel
but of course you don't have to 
use a vintage iron but if you are
 interested you may find my video helpful.

Also...for trimming segments during
 the piecing process I use my 
 SMALL Cute Cuts Cutting Mat

These are the sizes of the 
Cute Cuts Trim-It Rulers 
needed to make blocks in this quilt.
5 1/2" 4 1/2"  4"  3 1/2"  2 1/2"  2 1/4"
Some are used more than others
 but ALL are used.
The 2 1/4" and 4" size are new
but the other 4 sizes have been 
available for years and I use my
 Cute Cuts Trim-It Rulers 
EVERY time I piece quilt blocks... 

As well as for laying out applique blocks.
We will use the 14 1/2" Trim-It to trim our blocks and also for laying out the circles.

Besides my Trim-It Rulers 
for laying out and trimming blocks...
You will need cutting rulers and 
of course a cutting mat
 to cut out your fabric pieces for each block.
I have a variety of Cute Cuts Rulers 
in 3 different colors and shapes and sizes
and the same goes for my cutting mats.
I have a big variety for cutting and of 
course to make your sewing room look cute!

These rulers are the ones that I use
 to cut all of my fabrics for everything...
including all of my pieced quilt blocks.

I have designed several sets of Washi tape
 to use and so I have several to choose from.
Here you can see my Mercantile set:)

 I use my washi tape to temporarily tape my 
Seams Sew Easy Guide 
onto my sewing machine.

for piecing all of my blocks.
It is an accurate 1/4" seam allowance 
essential for me and also 
essential for me when sewing
 Easy Corner triangles,
 Half square triangles,
 Quarter Square triangles
 and Flying Geese
all of which we are doing for this quilt.

Also on another note...
for those of you who may not know
 what washi tape is...
it was developed for paper crafting 
and packaging but I also use it 
for sewing and quilting!

Just think of it as cute 
miniature painters tape.
It has a low adhesive so that it 
can hold temporarily and can be 
easily peeled off without leaving 
a residue on fabric or your sewing machine.

To make the pieced blocks into circles
we will be using the new
14" x 14" Sew-In Interfacing Squares
along with...

 Bee in my Bonnet 12" Circle Ruler
Clover Point to Point Turner
Busy Bee Mechanical Pencils
for tracing the circle onto the 
sew in interfacing and for marking
some of the pieced block segments
using the new
 Cute Cuts Marking Rulers

For piecing the blocks and appliquéing
 the circles you will need
 Bee in my Bonnet Design Boards.
These are the new Mercantile ones!

In addition to the Circle Ruler and the
 Design Boards when laying out and basting
 the circles onto the background 
I will be using:

 Sue Daley Glue

Bee in my Bonnet Pretty Pins
(applique set)

Bee in my Bonnet 
Flower Power Pin Holder

Bee Vintage Measuring Tape

Now let's talk thread for applique!

This is my brand NEW collection
 of thread for Aurifil called

It has 32 - 50 wt and 13 - 80 wt
 100% quality cotton spools...
both of which I use for 
either machine or hand applique.
Either method will work 
for the circles in this quilt.
to watch my video on BOTH methods.
I also use 50 wt. when piecing blocks.

Because I always match my thread colors
 with my applique pieces...
and we are only appliquéing 
circles for this quilt... 
in these four backgrounds...
you will only need one color 
to applique and you could choose either
 color 2000 or 2311

If you are going to hand applique
there is sure to be a needle 
that you will love in my needle card.

Here is a photo of my NIFTY NEEDLES...
they come in a card with several
 of each different kind...
and also come in 
individual needle tubes as well.

There are 6 different kinds 
for all stitching tasks...
shown in the tubes are 
Embroidery...hand sewing...
applique and binding.

You can also use the sewing needles
 in one of the smaller sizes 
if the applique needles are 
too small for you.

It's really a personal preference...
they all work just as well and 
there are several sizes 
to choose from within each tube.

I will also definitely be using my
I use several strengths of magnification
depending on the task.

Each color is a different magnification:)
I could not do what I do without them!

Okay...for right now just a 
few words about the sew along guide.
There is no pattern to purchase...
because basically the
 Mercantile Sampler
Sew Along Guide
My weekly tutorials
 are the cutting and then the 
on how to piece each block  
are shown weekly here 
on my blog or YouTube channel
for week one 
during the sew along.

My new fabric collection Sew Alongs
 always take place here on my blog.
 For this sew along each tutorial 
will be on Monday's and Friday's!
and I will do a video on my 
YouTube Channel 
for week one.

The Mercantile Sampler Sew Along starts 
January 29th and you are invited!
My wish is that you will join us
in making the quilt!
I have learned at a very young age
 that sewing along with others who have
the same interest as we do 
is so much fun...
it makes our sewing time even
that much more special!!

How do you join the sew along?

1.You simply grab yourself a
 Mercantile Sampler Quilt Fabric Kit

2. You will need the
 12" Circle Ruler and Trim -It Rulers
in sizes I just told you about
and of course
 the Sew Along Guide

3. Gather up supplies needed 
to make the quilt

4. Come HERE to my BLOG every 
Monday and Friday 
during the sew along 
(starting January 29th)
where I will give you the 
free step by step tutorial for one of
 the blocks on each of those days.
*remember for week one block 
I'll be doing a
 video tutorial on my YouTube channel
 and I will also be doing a 
week one blog post here as well.

Please read ALL of the information 
within this post telling you all that 
you need to know about this sew along.

Once the sew along has begun...
each of my blog posts here will be 
tutorials about actually 
making the blocks and so I am
 telling you here all about the supplies
 and other things necessary to get started
gathering what you will need.

After purchasing the fabric kit and 
the rulers you will 
need to download the handy dandy 
Mercantile Sampler  
Sew Along Guide
for the free download.

Because there are 25 different pieced blocks
I have also provided for you a 
separate and detailed cutting guide 
for each individual block

For your convenience you may also
 download and/or view a 
larger photo of the quilt.

I will be keeping my sew along guide in the
to keep everything organized
and handy all in one place...
all of the info needed at my fingertips:)

I use sheet protectors to
 hold each page of the guide
for easy peasy reference!

Once again...  
The Mercantile  
Sew Along Guide
 is not a pattern!! is very handy and very full
of information but to find out 
make the blocks during the sew along
is when you come here on my blog. 
and my YouTube channel
on the first week. 
So to re-cap... 
the tutorials are the instructions
 and the guide is simply a guide.
Why do I create a guide?
It has all kinds of info such as:

In the guide you will have
the schedule of what blocks
 we will be doing each week 
during the sew along.

Also in the guide you will find
 fabric requirements for the quilt...

and notion requirements for the quilt
 as well as suggested notions 
that I use when making mine.

You will also find several pages of 
instructions for cutting each and every 
piece of fabric in your kit!

All of this is very helpful information.

This way you can cut ahead of time
if you would like to
 and make individual block kits for
 your quilt and have them all 
ready to go for each tutorial!

As with any sew along...
organization is really the key.

I like to have this information 
ready for you 3-4 weeks ahead of time 
so that you can have each block cut 
and ready to go...
So that each week you can 
simply make the block or blocks!!

You will also find a diagram of the 
 pieced blocks in rows, sashing,  
and instructions for the quilt borders
 for when it is
 time for you to finish your quilt 
and sew it all together!

And as always there is a page
 for "Mercantile Notes" 
so that you can 
jot anything down from my blog posts
or video tutorials 
 during the sew along.
I recommend using these pages to 
write down the tips 
that I will be giving you during
 the tutorials for each block:) 

You can print as many
note pages as you would like 
to take as many notes as you want
so you could print a page for 
each block if you wanted to!

If you would like to watch my 
Virtual Spring Market Video
from 2023 
where I show you these 3 storyboards
including ALL about Mercantile 
and this sew along...


So here is a sneak peek
of what is to come January 29th!

during the first week I always 
do a video tutorial.
The first block is the 
and I'll be doing that tutorial on my 
YouTube Channel

I'll of course also be posting 
all about week one here on my blog 
and will have a link to my 
YouTube video here for you 
on my week one blog post.

while ago blogger changed their format
and since then I have not been able
to put a button on my blog
for you to get email notifications
or to follow me here.
But remember that google is your 
best friend and all you have to do
 is type in the name of my blog 
or the name of my sew along
 and it will bring you right here!

I have been using my blog exclusively
for my sew alongs for several years now
except for the week one video.
I like to be able to write everything 
down here for you such as the pieced 
block measurements and applique info needed
but I also like the visual of 
actually showing you how I do my methods.
That's why I do the first week
 on my YouTube Channel.
Using both my blog and my channel
for these sew alongs is a perfect pair!

I do many other tutorials 
on my channel as well.
So...If you would like to know
 what I am up to on a regular basis...
check out my videos on my
 YouTube channel.
There I talk about what I've been doing
and new things happening:)

If you are new to my Sew Alongs...
I suggest that you watch a few 
of my previous week one video tutorials
  because I know that 
they will help a you a lot!!

to watch week one tutorial for
Chicken Salad Sew Along
to watch my week one tutorial for 
My Happy Place Sew Along
to watch my week one tutorial for my
 PRIM Sew Along and 
to watch week one tutorial for my 
Flea Market Flowers Sew Along
to watch my week one tutorial for my
Prairie Meadow Sew Along
to watch my week one tutorial for my
Calico Garden Sew Along
to watch my week one tutorial for my
Bee Vintage Sew Along
to watch my week one tutorial for my
Home Town Sew Along

and finally...

to visit my channel and to 
watch all of my tutorials:)

OH!! My Goodness!!
That is a lot of information 
but it's all very important and meant 
to be informative and answer all questions
so that you can Bee Prepared
as much as possible.
As for me...
I will be doing what I always do 
while preparing for a 
sew along which is...
Cut my fabric and make kits for each block 
so that every week I am ready to go!
I cut each block kit and label each piece
 using my Sew Handy Stickers 
with the co-ordinating letter 
in the cutting guide.

I then place each cut block on a 
separate 10" Design Board 
and then stack them up neatly 
where they stay nice and safe...
waiting patiently until it's their turn 
to be made into a Mercantile Block!

I am SEW excited to make my 

I will meet you right back here 
on Monday January 29th for the
Week One kick off!!1

Sew with you soon...


Cheryl said...

I am super excited about this SAL. When I first saw the Mercantile line & this quilt I immediately began to plan for it. The kit is wonderful & as with past SALs, I appreciate how much work you put into making the guides detailed and organized. I enjoy watching your videos, even if you think you're repeating yourself, I always learn something. Plus, if my day has been chaos or not so great, your videos provide a way for me to unwind and slow down. Quilting is my get-a-way, my sewing room is where I block out the world and relax doing something I love. Just me, the radio and my cat Bella. Got off topic there, but all my notions are gathered, notes written, and all set to get started. Thank you Lori for everything you do for the quilting community. You make our lives easier and your products make our creations (and sewing rooms) bright and happy.

Anonymous said...

Soooo exciting!

Mena said...

I love the mercantile collection and the quilt. I will follow along and build my skills. I am making my first quilt now and I hope by next year to participate in your quilt along. For now, I will admire everyone elses work.

Anonymous said...

Very excited to make this quilt. I am looking forward to the challenge. What a jewel you are Lori for the quilting world!

Anonymous said...

Very excited to begin this quilt. I look forward to the challenge. You are such a gem for the quilting world Lori!

Anonymous said...

Very excited to begin this quilt, looking forward to the challenge. You Lori are such a treasured gem for the quilting world!

Connie B said...

Very excited to begin this quilt, looking forward to the challenge. You, Lori, are truly a treasured gem for the quilting world!

Diane Comeau said...

I’m so excited for this Sew Along! What an amazing set of instructions you made! Love the block guide!!! Thank you for another awesome project!

Christiane Souter said...

So excited to do the sewalong prepping now

Lori said...

Thank you so much. This is a beautiful quilt. You are such an amazing designer! Chock full of ideas!

Linda Mahoney said...

Lori, You are amazing. I don't know how you do everything you do. I am in awe and so grateful to you for your beautiful patterns and fabrics. They remind me of days gone by and bring to mind memories of time spent with my grandmother. Thank you so much.

Linda M

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