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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

I want to thank all of my followers for helping make 2015 a wonderful year. I know that 2016 will be even better with my new book Kaleidostars coming out in February. I will be having some special drawings on my blog when it comes out so be sure to check it out in the coming months.

I have some new items on my website. Here is my 1/4" seam gauge. I have a hole at the 1/4" mark to put your machine needle in so you have "consistent" and "accurate" 1/4" seams on all of your projects. It includes instructions on how to set up your own sewing machine so you don't have to struggle with matching seams ever again.

1/4" seam gauge
 This beautiful quilt kit is available as are the fabrics to make your own project. It is called Rose Abundance and features Timeless Treasures Rose Garden collection. It is 57" square. The pattern is also available if you want to make it in your own fabrics.

Rose Abundance   

Here are some of the wonderful rich fabrics in it. Aren't they yummy!

Large roses

Border stripe
Small Roses

I also still have some nice fabrics for sale. If you like cats, this is a great one for a background. It is only $8.00 a yard.

Cat fabric
I also have some Paula Nadelstern fabrics on sale. This Palindromes fabric is great for fussy cutting!


I have plenty more SALE FABRICS, some as low as $4.00 a yard, but I don't want to make this post too long! Since it is the end of the year and today happens to be my anniversary (43 years) I will be having a give-away. Please leave a message at the end of this blog to be in a drawing for my new seam gauge and a fat quarter of your choice of any of the fabrics on my website. Tell me how you think that the seam gauge will help you in your sewing. DON'T FORGET to leave your EMAIL address or I won't know where to send your prize if you win it!

If you are interested in purchasing any of the items in this blog, just click on the links to take you there. And please feel free to share this blog with all of your quilting friends.

As always; Do what you love and love what you do. Thank you for reading. Toby

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Chanukah special. The winners are......!

This will be a short blog.

I have to first thank all of those people who took the time to read my blog an leave such wonderful comments. I have decided to pick 3 winners. Each winner will receive a pattern of their choice and my newest seam gauge template including instructions on how to use it for perfect and consistent 1/4" seams.

The winners are Allison CB, Lindsay, and Jagarland! Hopefully they will read today's blog. I will attempt to contact them if I have contact information. All they have to do is let me know by email at which pattern they want and their addresses.

This is my newest template. In all of my workshops I teach the importance of a consistent and accurate 1/4" seam allowance. I have used other company's templates, but not all of them are as accurate as one would think. I know that my template maker, Charles Brandy makes my templates extremely precise, so I have no questions as to whether the 1/4" hole is consistent from one template to the next. It is now listed on my website and is only $3.50. I include this template now in all of my workshop kits. (Click on the caption to take you there.)

1/4" seam gauge

I did say I would tell you how my Museum challenge quilt did once I heard. It won a 5th place ribbon. It will be included in the AQS book "New Quilts from Old Favorites" New York Beauty block. I will be sure to post when this book will be available for purchase on my website. I'm thrilled that it will be on display at the National Quilt Museum until July, 2016 and then on the road at the AQS quilt shows in 2016!

I received such wonderful comments on my Facebook page when I posted the announcement. 

In my next few blogs I will let you know more about how I got involved with the fabric companies and national magazines. 

I will be having a huge website clearance sale starting December 21 and ending the 31st.  I will be selling many of my fabrics for $8.00 a yard and less (some as low as $4.00 a yard). I want to bring in new inventory and my shop is very small so I need to make room. I hope you take a look and tell all of your quilting friends so I can have a successful year end sale. (Click on "clearance" to take you there.)


 As always; Do what you love and love what you do. Thank you for reading. Toby Lischko

Monday, December 14, 2015

Day 7 & 8 Chanukah special.

Sorry for missing yesterday (Day 7). I had a family emergency.  I will make up for it today. (This is a long one.)

I thought I would tell you how I got involved in quilting for a living. When I started quilting seriously (not just as a hobby) I made some goals for myself. This was after one of my quilts had been on the cover of the "Miniature Quilt Magazine". My goals included working with fabric companies, writing articles for magazines, having more quilts published, and having a quilt in the AQS show in Paducah.

Every year "Miniature Quilt Magazine" had a Miniatures of the Heart contest and in 1998 I entered one of my minis. It did not win a prize but did end up on the cover. (My quilt is the red, white, and blue quilt at the center bottom.) That was such a rush for me! I had designed a full size version of it for my son's band raffle and miniaturized it for a dinner auction. It was auctioned off for $50. After I found out it was going to be on the cover I tried to buy it back from her but she wouldn't sell it to me!

I then started entering the contest every year. This quilt won a creativity award for my quilting. I couched variegated metallic threads over a heavy black thread.

Pennsylvania Star Explosion

This quilt won a machine quilting award. It is hard to see the quilting but it was quilted very simply with a clear metallic thread. This is the quilt that inspired me to write my St. Louis Stars book.

Stars Over St. Louis

I had also started entering the Hoffman Challenge. My second entry won a second place ribbon. I'm not quite sure why it won, the fabric that year I thought was pretty ugly. (Can something be "pretty" ugly?) It was the orange floral print.

Anyway, I had been going to Paducah, KY for a few years, to the AQS show in April, admiring the quilts and thinking maybe one day I could have a quilt in the show. 

In 2005 I had entered a quilt in a contest that was sponsored by "Quilter's Newsletter". It did not win anything but I thought it was finally worthy of entering in the AQS show. That year they had a new category; First entry division. That is when I entered my "Celestial Crowns" quilt. I received a call from one of my friends on the day of the announcements and she told me that it had won a first prize ribbon! That was my crowning glory!

It was then I set some more goals: To write a book and get a quilt in the National Quilt Museum in Paducah. I wrote my Stars Over St. Louis in 2008. I stopped doing competition quilts at that time, thinking I would never make anything else like my Crowns quilt worthy of entering in the show and completely immersed myself in designing quilts for different fabric companies and many of the major quilt magazines.

Now in order to get a quilt in the museum your quilt had to be chosen as "Best of" in each category. Seeing how stiff the competition is, I was resigned to think that it would never happen.

However, every year the museum has a challenge called "New Quilts from Old Favorites". They pick one traditional block and you have to make a quilt using that block in some form. Well this year the block challenge is New York Beauty. If you know me, you know that this is one of my favorite blocks so.....I decided to enter a quilt.

With my passion for fussy-cutting and paper piecing I came up with a design and entered it. From the entries they pick 18 quilts to be in the exhibit. 

Guess what???? It was chosen as one of the entries!!!! I was elated. I finally got a quilt in the museum! Even if it was just for a short time. (The winning quilts from AQS become permanent property of the museum.) My husband named it "Ocean Deep".

I will find out on the 15th if it won any prize. I will certainly let you know if that happens.

So why did I tell you all of this? In honor of my winning quilts, today's special will be 20% off all of my symmetrical fabrics. That includes some of Paula Nadelstern's newer collections. (Click on the caption to go to my website.)


You will receive the 20% difference refunded to your account after you purchase it.

Okay, I rambled on long enough! Tomorrow I will tell you more of how I got into quilting. As always: Do what you love and love what you do. Please share with your quilting friends. Thank you for reading, Toby Lischko


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Day 6 Chanukah special: St. Louis Star book 40% OFF!

Well we are getting closer to the end of this special. Be sure to comment everyday to be eligible for the drawing on Tuesday (after day 8). On Monday, the 8th day I will announce what the prize is.

Today I want to give you a sneak peek at my new book Kaleidostars published by AQS coming out in February. Most of you who know me, know that I love fussy cutting fabric and this book is all about that and more. If you read my St. Louis Stars book you will know that I give step-by-step precise instructions that make piecing easy. This book included instructions about fussy cutting but all of the quilts in it did not use that technique. (Click on the captions under my images to go to my website.)

St. Louis Stars

In my new book, I show how to use symmetrical fabrics to create quilts that will amaze your friends. These quilts look hard but are actually not as hard as you think. The block is an 8-Point star (different than my St. Louis Star block) that has no "y" seams and is pieced in sections.

The cover quilt I called Mardi Gras. I used Paula Nadelstern's Palindromes collection to fussy-cut. Here is an image of the Kaleidostar block using a Timeless Treasures fabric. I selectively cut two sets of 4 exact repeats and alternated the cuts in the diamonds. This book shows you how to get perfectly exact repeats every time! I have been teaching this workshop for a little over a year now and everyone that has taken my workshop is amazed how great their blocks are. Some of them were beginning quilters! I will be teaching this workshop in Paducah, KY at the AQS show in April and will be doing book signings that week, so I hope some of you will sign up for one of my workshops and come to my book signings that week. I don't know the schedule yet, but will get it to you as soon as I find out.

The book will be out in February but can be pre-ordered on my website. Watch my blog for more sneak peeks of quilts in the book!

For today's special, you can purchase my St. Louis Star book for 40% off. That's only $14.97. This is for today only. This book will give you an idea of what to expect in my newest book, plus you will get a precursor to how to fussy-cut fabrics and will have you coming back in February to purchase my new book!

Be sure to leave a comment at the bottom so you can be in the drawing on Tuesday. If you have left a comment each day you will have 8 chances to win. I need your email address too or I won't be able to contact you if you win.

As always: Do what you love and love what you do. Thank you for reading. Toby Lischko

Friday, December 11, 2015

Day 5 Chanukah specials Kits 20% off

Boy, writing a blog a day is really not an easy thing! I don't know how some quilters do it. 

I was busy this morning trying to get a pattern done for Washington Street Studio fabric company. It will be a free pattern on their website and I will be sure to share it with you as soon as they post it. I don't think they will mind if I post an image of it here.

It features a beautiful fabric collection called Savannah Classics. These are just a couple samples. I'm not sure when the fabrics will be available but I will let you know that too. I don't know if I will be carrying them in my shop as my room is limited but if I find there is an interest, I will carry them. There are 10 fabrics in the quilt.

I do have a Block of the Month pattern using a Washington Street Studio fabric collection called Southern Vintage. It is a similar looking collection. If you live close to my studio I would love for you to participate. It will be held the second Tuesday of the month morning and afternoon sessions. It is a nine session pattern. The first eight have two blocks per week. The last one is putting the quilt together. If you want more information about the program just email me or leave a comment at the bottom. Here is what the pattern looks like. It is available for purchase also on my website if you just want to do a sampler quilt on your own. Click on the caption under the image to take you to the pattern.

Southern Vintage pattern  
Here are a couple pieces in the collection. I'm holding off purchasing the collection until I get enough people to participate because there are 16 different fabrics in the quilt! The fabric looks so much yummier in person!

For today's special I will be selling my kits at 20% off. That includes any sale kits that I have. So you would get 20% off the sale price if applicable. That would make some quilts at more than 50% off total! It will be refunded to your account after purchase. I have two beautiful quilt kits that make my Eden pattern. They both have beautiful Timeless Treasures fabrics designed by Chong A Whang. I just LOVE the fabrics she designs.

Eden blue kit

Eden Marigold kit

I hope you find something you like. Please feel free to forward this blog to any of your quilting friends. I would also like you to consider "liking" my Gateway Quilts & Stuff Facebook page. I'm trying to get to 2,000 likes by the end of the year. Gateway Quilts & Stuff Facebook page.

That's all for now. As always: Do what you love and love what you do. Thanks for reading. Toby Lischko DON'T FORGET TO LEAVE A COMMENT AND EMAIL ADDRESS TO BE IN A DRAWING FOR A PRIZE ON MONDAY.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Chanuka Special Day 4

I thought I'd get an early start this time to give people more time to shop! 

I consider myself a traditional quilter, but every once in a while I do try to step out of my comfort zone and do something different. I'm very critical of my quilting and when I finish piecing a quilt I worry that my quilting is going to ruin it. I watched a You tube video of Angela Walters and she said we need to stop being so critical of ourselves. That if someone gives you a compliment about your work, don't point out your mistakes! She lists two other things that quilters should never do. You can see her video here: Angela Walters

With that in mind, I decided to enter a miniature quilt in the QuiltCon show in California. QuiltCon is a show for modern quilters. I work better under pressure and the deadline was last Monday at midnight. I got my form filled out and images sent by 11:55 p.m. Talk about close call! Here is the quilt. Like I said this is way out of my comfort zone as I usually on do quilts that are symmetrical or very balanced. This is far from that. I called it Dots and Dashes. I had to use a Michael Miller fabric for the challenge which is the fabric with the dots. All it is, is a simple Rail Fence pattern. It is 21" square.

  Here are some close ups of the quilting. I did the straight line and circle quilting on my regular sewing machine and the fill in work on my longarm machine. I will find out at the end of December if it is chosen to be in the show.

For today's special I am putting my P&B Mykonos fabrics at 20% off. They are more of a modern type design, very linear. They were regularly $11.50 a yard and are on sale for $9.00. I will refund 20% of your purchase on these fabrics. These are some of them and you can find them here: P&B Mykonos.


Well, gotta go to bed. I will post this first thing in the morning. As always: Do what you love and love what you do. Thank you for reading, Toby (BE SURE TO LEAVE A COMMENT AND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO BE IN THE DRAWING ON MONDAY.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Chanukah Special Day 3

Sorry for the late post. I had to check out a quilt shop in St. Louis that just carries batiks. It is a huge warehouse with every piece of Hoffman batiks that they make!!! It was overwhelming. Luckily I had just gone to the bank and cashed in all my coins so I had money to spend! Of course I spent it (well not all of it, I had to save some for dinner that I picked up on the way home). I could have spent all day there but then I wouldn't have any money left at all.

So since I went to the shop I decided that today's special will be the Hoffman Challenge 2016 fabric (which just came in yesterday). It is made with a new digital process (that I don't understand). Your regular quilt shop fabrics can have up to 18 colors printed on them in the factory. With the digital process the number of colors is infinite!! The colors on these type of fabrics is unbelievably beautiful. The first two are the challenge fabrics. You can use one or both but they have to be used in the quilt. The other two fabrics are coordinating prints. They do not have to be used in the challenge quilt (but they certainly are pretty). Click on the caption under the fabric to find it on my website.

Challenge fabric dark

Challenge fabric light

Crystalia 4242 Rainbow
Crystalia 4242 Opal

I decided that just for today I would have this fabric on sale for $12.00. I know that sounds like a lot. Due to the new process of printing these fabrics they usually sell for $13.50. So if you would like to participate in the challenge or just purchase them because they are so pretty, in order to get this price you need to purchase it before midnight tonight. These fabrics are very soft to the touch.

If you want more information regarding the challenge you can find it here: Hoffman Challenge

Gotta always: Do what you love and love what you do.

Be sure to leave a comment (and include your email address) at the bottom of this blog so you can be eligible to win a prize on the last day of Chanukah. Thank you for reading. Toby

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Chanukah Special Day 2

I have a special friend who every year she mails me a package right before Chanukah. She is not Jewish but she always seems to know when it is (sometimes before me)! In it she puts 8 small gifts and labels them Day 1, Day 2, etc. and then some nice saying on the label. I'm just like a kid when I get to open a gift a night just like when I was young and when I did the same for my children! It might be a box of nuts, some lip balm, or even a pair of socks but she is so thoughtful to take the time to do it. I hope each of you have a special friend like I do.

Day 2's special is 20% off any of my templates. That includes my new Kaleidostar or Helix sets. If you purchase the templates it includes the pattern free. 

Take for example my Hourglass template set. (Click on the caption to take you to the webpage.) This easy pattern is made with 2-1/2" strips.


How about my Northstar template? This one template makes a fast easy placemat, table topper, or table runner.

North Star
 I hope you find something that you want to make.  If you leave a comment (and your email) I will put you in a drawing on the last day of Chanukah for a special prize.

I'm enjoying this unusually warm weather for December. It will be 60ยบ today! I hope you are enjoying your day too. Thanks for reading. As always: Do what you love and love what you do. Toby Lischko

Monday, December 7, 2015

Where did the time go?

Where do I begin? So much has happened since my last post.

First I want to get business out of the way. I will be having an "8 Days of Chanukah sale, starting today. Each day will be a different special. Today's (Monday) special is buy one pattern get one half off. That includes pdfs. After purchasing I will refund the half off to your account and any shipping charges if you purchase a pdf. This includes my newest patterns. (Click on the caption under the images to go to the webpage.)

Helix red

Helix Blue

Redwork meets Bluework
 The first two quilts use my 8" Helix templates which are similar to my 7" Geese on the Loose templates. The second one uses my New York Beauty templates, so if you already have them then you are set to go! You can make your own if you wish as the template images are included in the patterns.

Now to the news! I have a new book coming out in February. It is called Kaleidostars and will be published by AQS. If you liked my St. Louis Stars book you will definitely like this book! You can pre-order the book on my website. Stay tuned for special give-aways when the book comes out.

Kaleidostar cover

 I have lots more news, but I will fill you in in the next fews blogs.

Thank you for reading and as always; Do what you love and love what you do. Toby