Saturday, April 2, 2016

Meet Jolene, our Wholesale Representative

Hi, my name is Jolene Mesenbrink. I live in Nevada Iowa with my husband Ben. We have four children ages 20, 18, 13 &  8. Last July we were blessed with our first Granddaughter!

I have been a cosmetologist for the past 22 years and salon owner since 2000. In 2012 we completed building our house and moved in.  All settled in and our children growing and becoming more independent, I wanted to add something for me. I decided to answer an ad on Craigslist for Block Party.  VERY nervously I interviewed and....didn't get the job..... At first. Although I didn't get the position I applied for, Dan & Patti found the perfect position for me.

I am our Wholesale Representative, I call shop owners and purchasers and teach them about our products. I've gotten to know amazing people from all over the United States & several other countries. I share with them how every panel we print is made right here, from cutting, printing, heat setting, folding, all the way to me, wholesale distributing, is done right here in one building. Everyone thinks this would be hard, but not for me. I am VERY proud to work in the same town that my husband works, we live and our children go to school. We are  proof that our small towns don't need to dry up. Block Party Studios is proof that our locally owned businesses can thrive and even export as far away as Japan!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Introducing our New Graphic Designer

Vanessa is a long time resident of Ames, which is only 10 miles away from us here in Nevada, Iowa.  She is a mother of a 13 year old daughter and 18 year-old son, who is in the marines. 

She graduated from Iowa State University in graphic design and does freelance graphic design and photography.  We're excited to see the design work she does for our panels and updating our product photographs!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Pillowcase Party!

What do you have with the following:  
5 sewing machines, 8 yards of fabric, 
8 women with varying sewing skills, 
2 ironing boards and LOTS of laughs?  

You have 10 pillowcases! 

One night last month, 7 of my sorority sisters came to Block Party Studios to learn how to make pillowcases.  Only one other gal and I had ever made one, so it was just like a class!  Some of us haven’t sewn since our 4-H days, and others of us sew all the time.  When I told them we were going to use the sausage method, they were all a little concerned that maybe I had gone a little nuts!

After much pinning and re-pinning, we were ready to sew our “sausages”.  It was so fun to see how everyone tackled the machines.  Some sewed at full throttle and many crept down the seam very slowly.  Giggles could be heard, and one of us kept saying “I AM having fun” (She’s the one that had to tear out her first try at the cuff seam.)  We pulled out our sausages, ironed, trimmed, sewed some more, and at the end of the evening we had 10 beautiful pillowcases.  (Two of the gals made 2 pillow cases each!)  

As the picture shows, they are all beautiful.  It will be fun to see if anyone makes more! Now they want to know what we’re going to make next!  Any suggestions?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Road to California Quilt Show 2016 - Here We Come!

Remember the boxes we had ready to ship to California?

It's show time!! 

It's a wonderful break from the Iowa winter here in Ontario, CA for the 2016 Road to California Quilter's Conference & Showcase.

As you walk in, it is quite a sight to see many beautiful quilts hanging up in this grand hallway of the Ontario Convention Center.

Remember the boxes we packed from a few entries ago?  Well, here they are!  They made it safe and sound.  And now we're getting ready to set up our booth.

The backdrop is ready and there's quite a bit to do to get the rest of the booth set up.  We are able to bring quite a variety of fabrics, notions and kits to sell.  

 And.... here it is!  Our full booth set up.  We're ready to talk to shoppers and help you any way that we can.  It will be a fun 4 days in sunny California!  Hope to see you there!

To see a VIDEO of our booth, go to our facebook page.
And if you can't make it to California to the show, or if you don't live close to us in Iowa, you can shop for all of our hand-printed fabrics on our website at  Happy quilting!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

When the Fabric Comes In

We'll go into more detail about the printing of our Fabric Panels another time, but we wanted to show you what it looks like when we get out fabric in and some of the steps to make it ready for you to use.

First, we receive a shipment of 100% Kona Cotton from Robert Kaufman.  We primarily print on white and natural colored fabric.

Not very interesting yet, I know.  But this is the foundation for our original hand-printed panels.

Before they are printed, they are cut to size.  We print our panels on fat quarter size (18" x 22") pieces of fabric.  
The lovely Maddie is hand cutting each panel one-by-one on a long table.
 Next, the panels are printed.  Now, this is just the fabric side of the process.  We aren't even getting into the panel design on the computer, film printing and screen making process.  As you can probably tell, there's quite a few steps to making our hand-printed panels.

An old school photo of silk screening at our shop
Our Dear Daughter panel design.

  After the ink is applied by silk screening and has gone through a dryer, the fabric is ready to be folded and packaged.

Maddie folding fabric panels one-by-one

 And now they're ready for you to use!


Monday, January 11, 2016

On the "Road" Again...

What show are we going to next?

It's a place we SHIP our products to before we arrive...

It's sunny and warm.... and it's half way across the country from us.  

Not to be confused with Ontario, Canada...

It's the Road to California Show!  January 21st - 24th in Ontario, California!

It is quite the show to see...

This is the FUN and MADNESS we love at the Road to California Show!
One of our Block Party patrons wearing our AVALANCHE! Tee
We love seeing old friends and new!

"Therapy" is "In Session" with another one of our friends.
 So if you're planning on going, stop by and see us. 
Ask us any questions you have in the comments below!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Block of the Month 2016 - THANGLES

Once again we are doing a block-of-the-month program at Block Party Studios!  Let me introduce you to....

Fat Quarter Pot Pie!
Our monthly block program is using the THANGLES product again! We have chosen one of their project packs to use this year.  The pattern is called Fat Quarter Pot Pie. This is a quick and easy block that uses 3" THANGLES and 2 Fat Quarters - a light and a dark. Each set of Fat Quarters will make 2 -13" square finished blocks, one negative colorway and the other positive colorway.
We will be running our program from January through October with 2 options.
Option #1 - Large Lap Quilt size 52" x 65". (10 Light/10 dark)  Each month you will pick up 2 Fat Quarters - 1 light and  dark for $5.00
Option #2 - Twin Size Quilt size 65" x 91". (18 Light/18 Dark) January through September you will pick up 4 Fat Quarters - 2 light and 2 dark for $10.00.
Enrollment Fees:
January Enrollment Fee for Option #1 - $20.00
- includes the Fat Quarter Pot Pie Project Pack with 3” Thangles, Pattern and 2 Fat Quarters.
January Enrollment Fee for Option #2 - $25.00
- includes the Fat Quarter Pot Pie Project Pack with 3” Thangles, Pattern and 4 Fat Quarters.
*Remember, you are making 2 – 13” square finished blocks from each set of 2 Fat Quarters. 
And there is enough extra for you to use as the binding for your quilt.
*If you would like to make a larger quilt, the pattern has directions for a Queen size, and extra Fat Quarters will be available from our Fat Quarter bin, for the regular price of 2 for $5.98.
We are offering two color ways:  Blacks and Whites and Brights with Creams

For more details call us at 1-800-419-2812, email or stop in at the store.