Wendy Mathews

I really miss a delightful quilting and sewing store in Vista, CA called “Sew Special”. It had cute fabrics, great patterns, a large offering of classes, and a very friendly staff. They were also famous for their heirloom sewing. It was owned by Wendy Mathews who decided to close the doors in 2007, and move on to a stage of life where she and her husband could enjoy retirement, and more time with their family.

While Wendy sold most of her store goods when she closed Sew Special, she does have some fabric, a few patterns, ribbons and misc items left (and all for sale at great prices). She also has several quilt for sale. She is preparing to move from California to Southern Carolina, this coming fall, to be near her children and grandbaby. As such, she is trying to sell the last of her fabric and some quilts.

The fabic is only $3/yard and in pre-cut package sizes. I found it to be such a deal that I couldn’t resist, and bought a few packages (also great for backings).

If you are interested in buying any of Wendy’ quilts or fabric she is selling, please feel free to contact her directly:

Wendy Mathews
email: wendyjmathews@yahoo.com
(760) 518-4068

While I am truly sorry that the Southern California quilting and sewing scene is going to loose Wendy Mathews, I am happy for her to be able to enjoy retirement with her husband, children and grandbaby. South Carolina is certainly going to gain a wonderful quilter and sewer!



The news is continually reporting about world economics. We hear about real estate prices dropping, people getting laid off and businesses shutting down. Borrowing has set the stage for our current economic problems, so I fully understand the need to not spend more than one has. And we all know that we need to save some money and spend some money. So, for those that can afford to spend money, this article is for you!

This may not be new news, but it takes a lot of money to start a business. And, it takes a lot of money to keep the doors of a business open. So, my pitch today is for us to support our favorite businesses that we rely on for sewing, quilting and our machine embroidery projects. Whether your favorites businesses are on-line or nearby stores, these are difficult times for these businesses. Many of our favorites have been struggling to keep the doors open. I’ve heard from some of these businesses that their sales are down 20-50%, but it could be even worse for some businesses.

If we see more of our favorite stores going out of business, these store owners may never re-open and we may not always see a replacement business opening their door. So, while money is tight for many of us I simply want to encourage you to think about your favorite businesses. Now is the time to spend money in these stores, if you can afford it.

If we all go out and buy something at our favorite sewing, quilting, or embroidery store(s) we’ll be stimulating our world of sew-economics. If you don’t have a project you need something for, consider buying something as a gift for your favorite sew-cial friend!

And, it is ok to spend generously with these businesses too! After all, we want them to be in business for the long run. So, go out and help the sew-conomics by shopping with your favorite sources for sewing, quilting and embroidery items.

Become a Bargain Hunter

If you have an open mind and like the hunt, there are many wonderful bargains to be found. You may want to think of yourself as one that likes to sew, quilt, and/or embroider, but someone that does it environmentally!

How can one stretch a budget in these economically challenged times and still enjoy sewing, quilting or doing embroidery? Besides winning contests, buying items on sale or through bonus buys, there are still several ways to continue to have fun with our talents, as well as helping the environment. How you ask? Well, that is what this article is about. I just ask you keep an open mind on the method of sourcing the supplies, and focus on how you can create something spectacular, with a minimal budget (or $0 cost), while helping to save the environment thru recycling. And, if you have more insights, I hope you’ll consider sending me an email or posting a comment, to share. After all, the more we can all benefit from the help of others to stimulate the economy with our limited resources.

Here are my insights:

Consider shopping yard sales, thrift shops & estate sales. You can make a beautiful quilt from wool shirts, cotton shirts, jeans, and even old ties. I’ve even seen situations where new, high quality sewing machine needles, were sold for $0.50 a package! And quilting rulers, bags of machine embroidery thread, or bags of zippers for $1. All great deals that help stetch our budgets! Remember clothes, or bags, from these sources can look fantastic after you’ve added some machine embroidery designs and or other bling.

Take advantage of free patterns, or machine embroidery designs. They make a great way to reduce the expense of making a lovely item.

Spend more time building on your skills and growing your talent! Take time to read a tutorial on the web. Look for a project that can be created from your sewing stash, yet push you to do something creative you don’t normally do.

Check out your local Adult Ed programs, as they frequently have free, or very inexpensive classes for quilting, sewing and embroidery enthusiasts.

Host a sew-cial with friends. Organize a swap (quilt blocks, embroidered projects, etc.). Essentially focus on using items in your stash, and if you don’t like what you have in your stash, consider trading with others. And, if you don’t have much in your stash, consider what else you have to trade with those that do have something you might like (e.g. bake cookies, trade for sewing time, etc.).

Remember, to challenge yourself to be creative and it doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money to pursue this challenge. Focus on being green and pursuing the hunt and creativity in an economical manner! Continue to remind yourself that the best things in life are free.

Why am I writing about chocolate?

You may wonder why I’m writing about chocolate? Well, this is my week to write about ways to stretch our dollar during these economic times, along with how we can help stimulate the economy. So, from my perspective, I get very stimulated when I have chocolate. It is a special treat for me to have chocolate when I’m in a class or at a retreat. And it is even better to win free chocolate! If you feel the same, you may want to finish reading this article.

Mars Candy is handing out free candy bars. It’s part of a new promotion called the Mars Real Chocolate Relief Act, and it’s one you probably you won’t want to miss.

All you have to do is head over to RealChocolate.com on any (or every) Friday between now and September 25. Mars Candy will give coupons for free full-size candy bars. You’ll get to choose between: Snickers, Twix, Dove, 3 Musketeers, or M&Ms. The catch is that only the first 250,000 people who sign in every Friday will get a coupon for a free candy bar!

The weekly giveaway will open at 9 a.m. ET and close at 11:59 p.m. ET. {or until the 250,000 coupons have been given away}.

The initial sign in process will ask you for some basic information: Name, email, etc. But this will expedite the process for you to sign in each week. If you are one of the lucky 250,000 people to get a coupon for a free candybar, the coupon will be mailed to you within five weeks. You can only get one per e-mail address per Friday, and four per mailing address total over the entire five-month period.

Doesn’t this sound like a yummy way to help the economy and for you to get stimulated? Be sure to schedule this weekly activity starting this Friday!


Bonus Buys & Sales *updated*

An obvious way to stretch your spending dollar is through bonus buys and sales. But it is easy in our busy life to not find out about these opportunities, until it is too late. While I may not know about all the great opportunities for Bonus Buys and Sales, I wanted to let you know about those that I am aware of….in hopes that you can take advantage of these great opportunities. And, if you know of any that I’m not aware of I hope you’ll post a comment or send me an email with your insights.

For Machine Embroidery enthusiasts, Bunnycup.com has many wonderful machine embroidery designs. And,to help you stretch your spending dollar, they have a bonus buy opportunity in the month of May, where you get a free design set with every set you buy. www.bunnycup.com

Cozy Quilt Shop
For the Machine Embroidery & Sewing enthusiasts, Cozy Quilt Shop has a fun Memorial Weekend sale. They have their traditional coupon Draw, where you could receive a coupon up to 40% off your purchases. And they have a bonus buy where every $30 you spend you receive a free Cozy Quilt pattern. Plus, on Monday, they have 30% off all machine embroidery designs (includes all design packs and embroidery take out).
Cozy Quilt Shop, 2940 Jamacha Road, El Cajon, CA 92019 http://www.cozyquilt.com/

For Machine Embroidery enthusiasts, EmbLibary has a great sale on many machine embroidery designs that are only $1 each, plus they have some fantastic designs for only $0.17 each with each purchase.

For Machine Embroidery enthusiasts, Embroidery Designs.com has a fantastic sale thru May 31st. All Flags $2.50 Plus all Balboa & Starbird designs are also on sale.

For quilting and sewing enthusiasts, Ericas.com has an exceptional sale on fabrics 65% off. http://www.ericas.com/fabric/saleindex.htm

For quilting and sewing enthusiasts, the FabricShop.com has a nice sale. http://www.fabricshack.com/cgi-bin/Store/store.cgi

For quilting and sewing enthusiasts, FatQuarterShop.com has a nice sale.

For quilting and sewing enthusiasts, GotFabric.com has a wonderful Memorial Day Sale thru May 25th.

Grand Slam Designs
For embroidery enthusiasts, Grand Slam Designs has a Grand re-Opening sale going on to celebrate their new website. Many new designs, and all of their wonderful machine embroidery designs are on sale for $5. http://www.grandslamdesigns.com/

For quilting and sewing enthusiasts, Hancocks-Paducah.com has a nice sale. http://www.hancocks-paducah.com/SubCategory–WEB-SALE-FABRIC–m-62

For quilting and sewing enthusiasts, JoAnn.com (and their stores) has a wonderful sale going on, which includes an extra 10% off your order including sale items.
This extra 10% off your purchase is good over Memorial weekend.

For quilting enthusiasts, Paperpieces.com has a Great Blowout sale thru May 23. Amazing prices. www.paperpieces.com

Quilters Quarter
For quilting and sewing enthusiasts, Quilters Quarter has an amazing sale with 60% off of everything! http://www.quiltersquarter.com/

For embroidery enthusiasts, SecretsOf.com has a great sale on many beautiful machine embroidery designs.

Vermillion Stitchery
For machine embroidery enthusiasts, Vermillion Stitchery has a monthly special where each month they offer two cd’s of machine embroidery designs at 50% off. http://www.vsccs.com/

For quilting enthusiasts, Wish Upon A Quilt has a great blow out sale in May. Use coupon code: BLOWOUT for 10% off your entire order through May 22