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November 22, 2013

Hi all!

Randy & I have just returned from Randy's "dream trip". 

We went to China!  Honestly, I'd never wanted to go, but having run out of valid excuses, he convinced me that this was a "window of opportunity" not to be missed (i.e., everyone is healthy, including us, knock wood, and we have capable people to take care of our businesses).

The tour organizers (Kansans who once lived in China and have led 23 other trips back) sent us a reading list in preparation, and I was hooked!  I absolutely loved every moment of our trip!  Even the bus trip in the fog up the mountain with 396 hair-pin turns! (I am not exaggerating!)

 We landed in Beijing, sort of equivalent to NYC, with the population nearly 4 x more dense!  

Our first full day of touring included climbing a section of the Great Wall.  What a blast!  Had my picture taken with our excellent local guide, Jason.  Notice I'm wearing my Charlotte's Sew Natural shop shirt! :)

China is just about the size of the continental US, and we got as far west as Yunnan province (like getting to Utah?), near the Himalayan Mountains, then made many other stops including a cruise on the Yangtze River, and flew home from Shanghai in the south-east of China.  

Since our flight out of Chicago headed east and north, flying over Greenland and Russia en-route, and our flight out of Shanghai flew west to San Francisco, we actually flew around the world!  How cool was that?!

I literally took thousands of pictures, and so have come up with a few which may be worthy of sharing!  LOL 

I did not see any evidence of "patchwork sewing" while I was in China.  (The quilts in my picture are all printed.)  If anyone knows of a movement towards recreational "patchwork & quilting" in China, I'd love to hear about it.  


 One Sunday, in a park, I saw women knitting together in a group, and I saw a couple of women who appeared to be doing embroidery "just for fun". 

We visited a silk embroidery "school & factory", but the beautiful pictures were being produced as a commodity, not a leisure-time craft.  The teacher & I had a great visit.  Her English was very good, and we both talk with our hands!  LOL

Our group visited a "silk factory", where we learned how they get the silk from the cocoons, and I had the opportunity to  "pull" a stack of 64 cocoons to add to a silk duvet in progress.  It was very DIFFICULT!  The white sleeved arm is reaching in to try to salvage the tourists' attempt!  LOL

This reminds me, as I said, many capable hands kept the stores & web site running smoothly.  Thank you to my staff!

Thanks to all of you for your continued support and for all the sewing and shopping that continued while I was gone.  And especially for welcoming me back so warmly this week!

I'm working out some "kinks" in the process, but hopefully, by later today, I'll have more pictures and stories posted.  If you'd like to see more on my trip, please keep an eye on my blog:

I'm happy to be back and am working, full-speed-ahead, on our next fun event!

At HOMEMADE HOSPITALITY, Saturday Nov. 30th, everyone will receive a FREE, ready-to-fuse appliqué and FREE pattern at each store.  We'll have unique projects using these appliqués!

Here at Charlotte's Sew Natural, downtown, we'll be showing some easy, NO-SEW techniques for decorating the table, so bring your crafty, non-quilty family members & girl friends too!  Plus, we promise we'll include some other great tips to make it worth the most experienced quilter's time.

On SATURDAY, following Thanksgiving, plan to join us, and 3 Wichita shops, for a fun day in the stores.  Designed for you to spend some quality time with visiting friends & family, or come on your own for some "me-time".  What better way to celebrate "Small Business Saturday" in your community.  

We look forward to seeing you!  :)

 While I was gone, the talented staff here at Charlotte's got a lot of NEW PROJECTS "whipped up" and on display in the store.

I LOVE this newest BATIK quilt.  Sort of a fabric sampler, with excellent choice of fabric for the season & the pattern!  Unfortunately, I didn't have very good light for photographing it, so you'll have to take my word for it, or come see it in person!

Check out PATCHWORK FOREST quilt kit here:

One of my favorite new design groups is GRAPHIC 45 from Wilmington Fabrics.  




BIRDSONG, with their signature vintage look, is very CHINESE.


We have a new QUILT KIT using these fabrics.  Come check out our model or see it here:




And we've got a new version of an old favorite table runner, done in BATIKS again.  

Eleanor Burns' AUTUMN LEAVES, can also be made up as a TURKEY!  The pattern comes with her special 4-1/2" ruler, making the leaves extra easy.


 Even more owls! :)

If you're looking for some quick, easy small blankets for babies or children of any age, you're going to love these new CRITTER CORNER HAPPY SCRAPPY WHOOO Cuddle Blankets.  Soooo soft!

We've cut kits in 2 colors, but you can just buy the pattern and choose your own fabrics too!

 Does your family like playing games?

Welcome MR. MONOPOLY!  

This really brings back memories.  We played so much Monopoly as kids and my family still loves to play it today.  

There will probably be a game or two played over Thanksgiving weekend!

Can you believe they retired the IRON?!  You know I love a CAT, but really, no iron?

We've got a great kit for a 75-inch square game-board-like quilt.  Fun on a bed, on the floor, anywhere!

Click here for details:






 We still have a great selection of CHRISTMAS FABRICS & KITS, many featuring PANELS, like WINTER STILLNESS.


Check out our latest version of the TRIFECTA quilt pattern, with three great places to feature big prints, panels or just your favorite fabrics.  

 Great, sort of modern, WHALE prints featured in the center and side windows of this quilt make me think of a trip to the aquarium!  

Wouldn't someone in your family love this interesting quilt?!



We're all "growing", the question is more like in which direction?  LOL

This new quilt includes a "growth chart" going up the tree, which could be fun for a toddler growing UP! :)

Our growth chart kit, OWL WONDERFUL, uses another all time favorite quilt pattern, SIDELIGHTS.


Got some favorite scraps?  Check out all the fun small critters, including owls, from BUNNY HILL DESIGNS, which use an easy FREEZER PAPER technique for sewing perfect shapes.


Thinking of other people you'd like to share with this Holiday season?  

Why not a fun, easy to make, TIDY TRAVEL PILLOW CASE?!

Lots of styles to choose from!


 Make a couple of kitchen tea towels with less than a yard of fabric!  7/8 yard makes two.  1-3/4 makes four.  3-1/2 makes eight!  :)

Check out our unique & trendy KANSAS fabric.  

  • Great for gifts for those who live elsewhere, you miss, and you wish would come "home"!  
  • Makes great house warming gifts for new arrivals, long time residents and natives alike!
  • Perfect for gifts to send home to families of exchange students.

Click here to order:

Don't forget to stop at Charlotte's Bargain Fabrics & Stitchery in The Chisholm Trail Mall, on the southern edge of Newton, just off I-135

A mere 20 minutes north of Wichita and just  4-1/2  miles south of downtown Newton.

We have many specials at Charlotte's Bargain Fabric & Stitchery at the Chisholm Trail Mall.

Many SALE ITEMS listed in the web store on-line too:

On SALE up to 25% Off

On SALE 26% to 50% Off

On SALE 50% Off and more!


As always, you can quickly check out all the NEWEST ADDITIONS on line, and if you plan on being in the store soon, or live locally,  place an order and tell us you'll PICK IT UP in the store to SAVE on shipping!  We'll try to have it ready and waiting.  Just depends on how quickly you get here after you push the button!  LOL


Happy to be home!  Have a great weekend.

Hope to see or hear from you soon!


Charlotte Wolfe

Charlotte's Sew Natural
710 N. Main St.
Newton, KS  67114

Mon. - Fri. 9:30 - 5:30, Thurs. 'til 8, Sat. 9:30 - 5


Charlotte's Bargain Fabric & Stitchery
601 SE 36th St (Chisholm Trail Mall, #103)
Newton, KS  67114
Mon. - Fri. 10 - 5:30, Thurs. 'til 6, Sat. 10 - 5:30
Mon. - Sun. 12 - 12   

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