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Thursday, July 20, 2017

C&T Publishing Supports the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge

We are off to a great start for our 9th annual 
2017-2018 Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS.   
We are grateful to all of our sponsors who provide wonderful prizes each year, 
including our returning sponsor, C & T Publishing!

C&T Publishing 

Supports the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge

Hello Quilters Dream Batting Readers! We are the staff of C&T Publishing, a small quilting, sewing, and needle craft publisher based in Concord, California.

It all started with an impulsive promise back in 1983. When quilting teacher Roberta Horton told quilt-shop owner Carolie Hensley that she wanted to write a book on Amish quilts, but hadn't found a publisher yet, Carolie quickly said that she and her husband Tom would publish Roberta's book. The Hensleys launched C&T Publishing from their garage, with a catalog of exactly one book: Roberta Horton's An Amish Adventure

Jump ahead to today and Carolie and Tom Hensley have turned the business over to their sons Todd and Tony, who are assisted by a staff of more than 50 employees. We also have three imprints, Stash Books, FunStitch Studio, and Kansas City Star Quilts.

Now, in 2017, C&T Publishing has been in business for 35 years, and we continue to grow and evolve every day. One of our big projects this year is revamping our YouTube channel, adding more demos and tutorials from our best-selling and debut authors, constantly improving our video quality, creating eye-catching covers for the videos, and even filming a new video to introduce ourselves! If you’re curious, you can watch that video below.

We’re so pleased to be able to support the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS. As a small company mostly made up of quilters, sewists, and other crafters, we feel deeply connected to the quilting community, so when Quilter’s Dream Batting approached us with a request to sponsor the challenge, we never hesitated. In our opinion, one of the most beautiful aspects of the quilting community is how we can come together to support not only our own community but the community at large, whether we are auctioning off charity quilts, making quilts for people in need, donating our time and sewing skills, or coming up with other creative ways to help others. We look forward to supporting the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for many years to come!

Visit us on the web! http://www.ctpub.com/

YouTube: CandTPublishing

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

"Come Together" Quilt Winner!

Congratulations Susan!

Congratulations are also in order for our runner-up prize basket winners Michele and Julia!

Thank you to all who participated and supported this effort spearheaded by Victoria Finley Wolfe and Marcus Fabrics to raise funds for ALS research.

This quilt was created with the help and love of many quilters who attended QuiltCon 2016 at the booth of Marcus Fabrics.  It was a truly inspirational event where quilters came together to raise money for ALS patient services and research.  We are truly thankful for everyone who participated!

 Come Together quilt raffle on Raffle River

We surpassed our goal of $5000!

Many thanks to all the sponsors:

Monday, February 27, 2017

Shannon Fabrics Supports the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS

Greetings from Shannon Fabrics! Can we just say how much we love Quilters Dream® Batting?  In fact, almost all of the quilts that are made by our Cuddle® Specialists are made with Quilters Dream Batting. It’s easy to work with, soft, fluffy, warm, and it makes our applique quilts especially fluffy! We made this cute elephant quilt with Dream Puff. Shannon Fabrics is also so proud to be a sponsor of the Quilters Dream Hopes and Dreams Quilt Challenge forALS which raises awareness of ALS-Lou Gehrig’s Disease, provides quilts to ALS patients and raises funds for the cause. 

Quilters Dream® Batting is amazing. We especially love the Dream Puff for Cuddle®. It is light and lofty. It doesn’t add weight. And it is 1.5 times warmer than down. We used Quilters Dream Puff for our Elephant Quilt and it turned out great.

Since the majority of our quilts use a “quilt as you go” method, using batting like Quilters Dream Puff makes our quilts look extra fluffy and plush, and here at Shannon Fabrics, we are all about the extra softness and yummy goodness! Here is an example of one of our applique quilts…pattern will be available from the Shannon Fabrics website soon!

You can find Shannon Fabrics at many local quilt shops and fabric stores, and online at fabric.comtheminkyboutique.com, and fabricdepot.com. You can also view our Store Locator to find online shops and shops near you.

Stay up-to-date on what’s happening! Join our mailing list. Subscribe to our blog, Sewciety. Connect with us on social media too on the following: FacebookPinterestTwitterYouTubeInstagram, Google +, and Flickr.

Thanks for letting us visit with you today. If you’d like to find out more about the Hopes and Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS, click here.

Making The World a Softer Place™
Hugs from your friends at Shannon Fabrics

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Featured #battgirl Toby Thompson

Toby Thompson

 Toby Thompson

     I began quilting after graduating from college in 1976 inspired by my grandmother's hand quilting. After my first-hand stitched quilt,  (completed with her help), I pivoted to machine quilting.

     In those days, my favorite was making log cabin quilts.  Just a few years after that however, my career path & children took all my time and sewing went on hold.  30+ years passed.  I retired from teaching in 2015 & had inherited my mother's Bernina machine in 2013.  

     The machine intimidated me until this past fall when I desired to make each of my 3 grandchildren (ages 1, 3 & 5) a cozy, flannel quilt for Christmas to wrap them in my love despite our being 525 miles apart.  Yes, 3 quilts to make simultaneously after 30+ nonsewing years!  Because I was so "rusty,” every step in the process required a lot of thought, research, and input  from more experienced folks - selecting patterns, fabrics, batting, techniques, & even basics of how to use my mother's machine, starting with how to load the bobbin!     

 I chose two baby quilt patterns that I found online (Fluffy Pinwheels and Lazy Logs) and enlarged them both.  I selected flannel fabrics online and from an incredible Amish fabric store, Miller's Dry Goods, about 50 miles from me in Charm, OH.  Acquiring all the fabric, cutting, piecing & sewing 3 quilt tops took time!  As much of an accomplishment as it was to finish three quilt tops, I knew I was a long way from being finished and Christmas was quickly approaching.  I wanted to finish each quilt with a warm, lofty batting & either hand-tie or stitch-in-the-ditch to a minky/cuddle fabric backing to keep the quilts flexible and cozy for the children to wrap up with and read their beloved books.

     The batting choices in today's marketplace are overwhelming!  I was leaning toward another well-known brand's cotton batting until I read on the internet about Dream Puff batting by Quilter's Dream. I even called them to discuss the appealing description of Dream Puff for my project. I received super-helpful, personal advice & was even provided a list of stores in my area code that carry Quilter's Dream Puff, which included the Amish fabric store where I had bought some of the fabrics. Whew!  

     The quilts exceeded my hopes of being soft, lofty, warm, & cozy. My grandchildren love them, and I've made my presence in their daily lives much more frequent than the miles allow.  I'm getting ready to make another quilt, but only ONE quilt at a time. lol 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Quilters Dream 80/20 Batting


Quilters Dream 80/20 is our newest Dream Batting, which debuted at Spring Quilt Market 2016.  It is made with 80% high grade long staple USA cotton fiber blended with 20% fine denier poly microfiber for a soft, silky batting that drapes beautifully and breathes well.  The long staple cotton fiber reduces shrinkage and adds stability so that the stitches can be up to 8” apart.  The poly microfibers add a loft and resistance to creases/wrinkles.  

There are no scrims, glues, or other binders to resist the needle, so this fine batting can be hand or machine quilted with ease.  It is available in natural, white, and our exclusive “Dream Pink!”

Dream Pink is an 80/20 Dream Batting made with pink poly microfibers to support breast cancer.  Quilters Dream Batting donates 10% of the wholesale sale of Dream Pink to late stage metastatic breast cancer research.  Our pink poly microfibers are extruded pink so the color will not run or bleed, and the pink fibers lends a fabulous blush pink coloring to batting.

  • Minimal shrinkage (1-3%) for the slightly puckered look
  • Available in white, natural, and “Dream Pink” to support late stage breast cancer research
  • Can be stitched up to 8" apart! 
  • Soft and silky, with an excellent drape that hugs and flows
  • Excellent for both hand and machine quilting. (Not recommended for tied quilts)
  • Wicks moisture away from the body to keep you cool in the summer
  • Breathable – there are no scims or other barriers that would inhibit airflow
  • Fine denier poly fibers bend when in contact with fabric, so they resist bearding

All of our battings are proudly made in the USA. 
Each batting is hand cut and hand inspected to insure superb quality is consistency.  Quilters Dream is not sold in big box discount stores and always encourage our customers to support their locally owned quilt shop or quilting business!  There are a lot of advantages to using Quilters Dream Batting and with the wide variety of lofts, fibers, colors& sizes available, we hope that you find the choices to be to your advantage when choosing the perfect type of batting for your quilted treasure!

Also try:
Dream Cotton, 100% cotton batting with no scrim glues or binders
Dream Poly, 100% poly microfibers that mimic cotton in feel and breathability
Dream Angel, made 100% from flame retardant fibers
Dream Blend, 70% cotton and 30% poly with a light scrim stabilizer
Dream Green, made 100% from recycled bottles
Dream Orient, a luxurious blend of cotton, bamboo, botanic Tencel, and silk
Dream Puff, a warm and cozy polyester with 1/3-1/2” of loft
Dream Wool, a thermally bonded cuddly wool batting with 1/3-1/2” of loft
Dream Fusion, a one sided fusible batting excellent for small quilts and crafts

Friday, May 13, 2016

Featured #battmen: Steve Albright/ A Relaxed Quilter

Hello Quilters!

Unlike many of you ladies who learned sewing skills while growing up, I was raised as a typical healthy boy.  l played all sports, had a happy and normal childhood, went away to college, procured a good job, married my wife (Karen) of 42 years whom I had known since 4th grade, and moved across the country several times for professional advancement.  I retired from a successful career in a very high-profile, stressful position in 2011.  How did I get away from the office and relax?  I taught myself to quilt!

As with many other families, we possessed a couple of old family quilts.  In the early 1980’s, my employment required more and more travel.  When you travel for business, there is often a lot of “down” time.  I started visiting local antique shops with no real collection in mind.  At the same time, Karen took her first of many quilting classes, and the children and I would drive her to a weekend class and spend the day doing other “kid” things.  On one of my trips to Washington D.C., I spotted an unfinished (unbound) antique quilt hanging on a wall at a shop in Georgetown.  I called and she explained that binding the quilt would be simple.  I bought it (an 1870’s 8-pointed star), and 35 years later we have over 400 antique quilts and tops, around 1,500 old blocks, a collection of vintage fabric that is used for restoration, over 350 quilt books, and a home designed around the collection.  Most were purchased at antiques shops and estate auctions but, sadly, we do not have the provenance on very many of them.  Is it now a hobby or an obsession????  Who knows!

My favorite thing to do is to complete one of the old tops (I prefer the 1860-1880 era) by doing historically-accurate hand quilting.  I appreciate the artwork, skill, and time needed to do machine-quilting, but I cringe when I see a truly vintage quilt with machine quilting.  To me, that is like restoring a log cabin with aluminum siding!  We have visited literally hundreds of quilt shops around the United States, and I am always searching for reproduction fabrics appropriate to the era as backs for our antique quilt tops.

To finish the quilt “sandwich,” I now ALWAYS use Quilter’s Dream Batting, Request Loft.  I have hand-quilted over 125 quilts, most of which are vintage tops.  In my earlier quilting years, I tried different batting materials (never polyester with vintage tops), and I have settled on this one as the easiest to needle and the most authentic for completing the vintage tops.  In my retirement, I now complete 6-8 quilts per year, so our inventory of vintage tops is slowly dwindling!

Lone Star Medallion

Though I have sold a few quilts, taught hand quilting, and have attended the American Quilters’ Society classes in Paducah, KY, to become a certified appraiser, I have never wanted to turn my hobby into a business.  I have been asked to hand-quilt for others, restore a damaged old quilt, sell vintage quilts or fabrics, design quilts, and other requests, but my hobby is selfishly for my enjoyment!  But I do enjoy sharing our quilts and have done so many times by giving trunk shows, offering them to be displayed in local quilt shows, lending quilts in museums, allowing shops and individuals to copy or reproduce quilts, tops, or blocks.  I would like to document the extensive collection through a book, but I’m too busy quilting!

We have enjoyed making many friends through our quilting hobby and have had lots of people visit us in our home, which doubles as a quilt museum!  Hearing that someone has a lot of quilts is one thing, but seeing this many in one place is a real treat for another quilter!  There are always projects underway, but I limit myself to working on three quilts at a time.  Since it takes 75-150 hours to complete the hand-quilting for a vintage top (depending on the complexity of the quilting pattern selected), I work on three at a time so that I don’t get “bored” with just one.  Hand quilting is a repetitive process, and that can happen!  I quilt in a 16” hoop so that the hobby is a portable one.  I have quilted mostly at home, but my quilting locations have included shows and demonstrations, airplanes and airports, hotels and b&b’s, beach and mountain houses, friends’ houses, quilt shops, and even the occasional outside location.

Carpenters Wheel

Quilters Dream Request Loft batting makes it easier for me to quilt the way that I want to quilt.  I also have my favorite thimble, quilting thread, needles, and hoop, but that’s another story for another time.

Pieceful thoughts,
Steve Albright

Friday, April 8, 2016

Featured #battgirl / Janet McWorkman

Janet McWorkman at 
Austin QuiltCon 2013 (Quilters Dream Request) 

What inspired you to start quilting and what inspires you now?

I started quilting in 1971, the year I graduated from Coquille High School in Oregon. I wanted to take a quilt to college with me. It was made of corduroy and my sewing machine had serious tension issues causing the entire, sad quilt top to end up a gigantic “C”. After trimming it to something akin to a rectangle it was a nice couch throw, and I loved it. I used all polyester batting at the time as it was all that was available in my small town. I love the huge variety of battings available now, especially the Quilters Dream selections.

Your favorite thing about quilting and/or being part of the quilting industry?

 I love the incredible variety of colors and textures I get to work (play?) with. I live in Anchorage, Alaska and the winters can be very long and dark. Having gorgeous fabrics to look at inspires me to make something wonderful. I like to donate quilts to local charities – my church, a youth symphony, Friends of Pets and Quilter’s Dream batting makes these bed or couch quilts warm and cozy. The quilts I donate are also completely 100% cotton which makes me feel good about the donation.

The quilting industry is amazingly supportive of my endeavors. The talent, creativity and generosity that comes my way is a daily reminder of what can be accomplished with help and opportunity. Just this week a member of the Kaffe Fassett Collective Facebook website sent out-of-production fabric to me to finish a project. Isn’t that marvelous?!

 Any special connections and friendships you have gained through quilting?

I have met some of my very best friends through quilting. I travel with a group of fabulous women who all quilt beautifully, but all have very different tastes in quiltmaking. We compliment each other and love traveling to retreats together. Our motto is “no bitch in the bunch quilters.” A few of us are planning a trip to Sweden and will definitely check out the textile industry there.

This log cabin was a result from a block swap on Facebook
 & donated to Anchorage's Amazing Grace Lutheran Church.
(Quilters Dream Request)  

Any upcoming events, classes, guild meetings, etc you’d like to share or spread the word about? If so, please include links, address & contact info.

I have a book being released in October this year (yeah!) by C & T Publishing. It is titled The ABC’s of Quiltmaking. It is primarily an  alphabet quilt that teaches a quilting skill with each letter of the alphabet. There are also several smaller projects such as table runners, placemats, crib and couch quilts taught in the book. The batting I chose for the primary quilt and all the projects in the book was Quilter’s Dream Request batting. I love how it feels, how easy it is to work with and how beautifully it washes when the project is completed.

Which Quilters Dream Batting product is yours, and/or your customers' favorites and why?

I always choose Quilter’s Dream Request or Select batting. Both have excellent needling properties, are 100% cotton, are competively priced and are readily available in all sizes. Since I’ve been using Quilter’s Dream batting most of my quilting friends have had an opportunity to work with it also, and have all made the switch to QD battings. They are the absolute best.

Please share your special or helpful quilting techniques and tips.

I machine quilt my own work whenever possible. If the quilt is a twin size or smaller I can handle it on my home machine. My best tip is a design wall....the bigger the better. I sandwich my quilts right on the wall! It works like a charm. The design wall is permanently covered with a queen size Quilter’s Dream batt. I drew a 6” grid on it to assist with block and quilt placement. When I want to sandwich a quilt top and back I put the batting on the design wall first, lightly spray with 505 fabric adhesive and position the backing. It is an easy job to eliminate any puckers when standing instead of trying to do it on a table or floor. Then, turn the batting/backing unit as one, spray the batting again with 505 and smooth the top on last, again being certain there are no pleats or puckers.

This Lemoyne Star with appliqued border was quilted by Marit Anderson and
hangs in the Providence Alaska Medical Center.
(Quilters Dream Request)

 Are you active in Social media? If so, please include your links. We will share the blog post on our Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter etc.

Sorry – too busy quilting! But, I do belong to a few Facebook groups: The Modern Quilt Guild, The Kaffe Fasset Collective and participate in few fabric and block swaps on Facebook. It’s fun, and the variety of fabrics is amazing.


If you or someone you know is interested in becoming one of our Featured #battgirl/#battman, then click HERE for more details!! 

Happy Quilting,

Friday, March 18, 2016

Featured #battgirls // Maika Christensen

Hi. My name is Maika Christensen of A Quilted Marvel. I live in Durango, Colorado. My quilting story began about 18 years ago. I was in college. My extended family began to get together annually for a Family Quilt Retreat. For the first couple years I refused to go because “quilting is for old ladies”.  My mom finally convinced me to give it a try. So I attended quilt retreat one year and loved it! At that point, I probably just loved the people, but the love of quilting took hold soon afterward and has not let go.

 I pieced quilts for about 5 years before I decided I wanted to try my hand at machine quilting them myself.  I was pretty awful, but really enjoyed doing it. So I kept practicing. After a few years of destroying my own quilts, I started in on family members (bless them!). Over time I got better and better until I was ready to do quilts for others.  I absolutely love machine quilting. It is so creative. I am always online looking at what other artists have done, looking for something new to add to my repertoire.

 The best part of the small quilting business I have built is that I do it from my home. I am a stay-at-home mom with two little girls. It is wonderful to be able to do what I love, while not missing out on my children. 

I use my regular Bernina sewing machine to do all my quilts. That’s what I learned on, and that’s what I know. So I have decided not to make the move to a long-arm. The money aspect also help with that decision.

 My family continues to get together each year. This is my absolute favorite “holiday”.  I look forward to it like kids look forward to Christmas!  We meet for four days, completely sequestered from any men or children (unless you have an infant under one year- they are always welcome).  We quilt and quilt and laugh and eat chocolate and quilt…and sometimes cry (darn you directional fabric!). We do not, however, schedule much time for sleeping. But I guess that’s optional. 
The quilting talent is strong in my family *Star Wars reference*. One of my aunts is a machine quilter like me. Another very talented aunt, Jill Finley, owner of Jillily Studios, designs quilt patterns and notions. She lets me quilt a lot of her projects, letting me feel a little bit famous when my name briefly appears in a magazine. My mother excels at all varieties of sewing; she made my wedding dress!

If you are thinking of trying a little machine quilting yourself, or have already started but are struggling, a huge amount of trial and error have lead me to a few quilting tips that I can share:

1. Use a “Sew Slip” or similar product to help your quilt move under your machine.

2. Drop your feed dogs and set your stitch length to 0.

3. Use something to help you grip your quilt. Many people wear quilting gloves or wraps; I personally find these very annoying and not real efficient. I’m embarrassed to admit what I do, but I spray my hands with basting spray! Makes a world of difference when your quilt moves easily. Choose your method, its personal preference.

4. If you are going to put in a lot of hours into a quilt, do yourself a favor and double batt your quilt. It doesn’t add much to the total cost, but it makes the quilting absolutely pop. It shows all your hard work that much better.  I like to either double up on Quilter’s Dream Deluxe loft cotton batting or layer cotton batting with Quilter’s Dream Wool. These are my favorite battings and I stock both in my home.

5. Start in the middle of your quilt and work out. You are less likely to get bunching on the back.

6. My current machine has a larger-than-normal throat space, allowing me to quilt any size quilt without issue. But I started on a basic machine and had to learn to “quilt in thirds” to finish queen and king size quilts. This means cutting your batting into three pieces. Then you only baste the middle section of the quilt.  You quilt that section first (this means that you only have to squish fabric in the throat space; not a ton of batting.) When the middle section is done, you fold back the quilt top and backing fabrics and zigzag-stitch together a length of batting to the middle batting piece (don’t quilt all the way to the edge of the batting so you have room to stitch the next section to it) and baste that section.  Then you machine quilt that end of the quilt. Then you repeat the process on the other end of the quilt. This process allows you to never have to stuff a bunch of batting in the throat space of your machine. I’ve quilted king size quilts this way.

This quilt I designed based on a famous Japanese painting. It was sewn using Quilter’s Dream Deluxe Cotton, layered with Quilter’s Dream Wool. It was juried into the International Quilt Show in Houston this year, which I was quite proud of, even if it didn‘t win anything.

Above is a round robin that I did with my mother and sisters. I also double batted it using Quilter’s Dream Deluxe Cotton  and Dream Wool. 

Keep up with Maika's work....