Friday, December 28, 2012

Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS


Every day is Christmas here at Quilters Dream Batting because every day Fed Ex, UPS and our postal carriers bring in packages that pile up in the office, blocking doors, and creating a wonderful labyrinth of gifts!  It is so exciting – just imagine, Christmas every day, with gifts of quilts arriving from all over for ALS patients through Quilters Dream’s Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS.

We love Mark! He brings the best goodies!


Friday, November 30, 2012

How do you enjoy your quilt?

I looked into the living room yesterday to see my two boys curled up together in a quilt on the couch watching a movie and eating pizza… how could it not make me smile.  The oldest, 4 year old Caleb, will often share the quilt with his brother, 2 year old Lucas, and together they watch movies or pull the quilt over their heads giggling underneath, or catch the dog in a quilt “net.”  This quilt, which spends most of its days on the back of the couch, is well loved, often washed, and, to be honest, it is very much abused.  As I looked over the beautiful fabrics offered at Quilt Market in Houston, I thought about what old and new fabrics I wanted to use in my next quilt, which I will be making for my niece’s new baby.  I am happily planning this quilt with the intention of it receiving the same kinds of loving abuse as the one my boys have.  Some quilts aren’t meant to be hung on a wall for a long time – they are meant to be very well loved just for a short while.
This got me thinking about a poem my co-worker, Neva, shared with me, written by Nancy Riddel. I am happy to share that poem with you, and hope more than a few of you recognize this quilt in your own family.  Happy Quilting!   ~Jane~


It’s Your Quilt

By Nancy Riddel

 It’s OK if you sit on your quilt.

It’s OK if your bottle gets spilt

If you swallow some air

And you burp, don’t despair,

It’s OK if you spit on your quilt.


There are scraps old and new

in your quilt

Put together for you on your quilt.

If your gums feel numb

‘Cause your teeth haven’t come,

It’s OK if you chew on your quilt.


We expect you to lie on your quilt.

If you hurt, you may cry

on your quilt.

On a cold rainy night,

Don’t you fret, you’re all right,

You’ll be snug, warm and dry

On your quilt

Happy Quilting!

 ~The Dream Team


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

You can count on us...

Scrap batting made into a flower.
We hope everyone had a fabulous relaxing summer and stayed cool! Now that the kiddies are back in school and the holidays are just around the corner ( Uggg so soon right?) we are certain you are going to be busy bees quilting and crafting away. Keep in mind we are always here to help you with your batting questions and needs. Please call us for samples of our batting to try! We will be more than happy to send you some and a user’s guide to go along with it. We will also be glad to help you with goodies (mini samples) to put in gift bags for grand openings, guild meetings or shop hops! Give us a shout and we’ll help ya out!

Mini Samples

Thank you for your support.We truly appreciate it!

Quilters Dream Batting

Happy Quilting!
 ~The Dream Team

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Living in Virginia Beach, there are a number of church festivals and markets running almost every weekend where booths or tents are set up offering handmade wares.  My favorites, of course, are those offering quilts!  Most times, these would not be considered show quilts – instead they are quilts made for snuggling, swaddling, and cuddling. 

 With permission, I can’t help but reach out to touch the corners as I scan the piecing styles and beautiful fabrics.  At these events, I get a bit of fun out of guessing what type of batting is in each quilt, and I am always thrilled to find that one of our battings has been used.  “Oh, how drapey – did you use Quilters Dream Cotton?” I ask, or “This must be Quilters Dream Wool.”  The smiling sweet ladies sitting behind the tables confirm my guesses and always tell the quilts’ stories.

Each quilt, of course, has its own unique story of how it was made and what events happened during its creation.  After sharing that I work for Quilters Dream Batting, I have heard numerous stories about battings of the past.  There are those whose mothers made them separate the fresh picked cotton from the seeds and those who used whatever was on hand from old scratchy military blankets to pieces of flannel nightgowns or even older ragged quilts. 

                Battings have come a long way.  We are certainly living in an extraordinary time when the unique talents and gifts of traditional (and modern) quilting come together with the very latest in fine batting fibers and the best processing to make even the humblest quilt a real treasure that will last a lifetime.

Happy Quilting!
 ~The Dream Team


Monday, July 2, 2012

Floating the Top

I do not have a long arm machine, so floating a quilt top does not pertain to me, but some information is just too good not to share.  Briefly, to “float the top” means to not pin it to the leaders.  To float a top, attach the backing as usual, then lay the batting on the backing and baste it to the backing to give a straight line.  Pin the top to the batting, smooth out the top, and allow the bottom to float (hang) free.  You can now lift it to smooth out the batting.  Quilt as usual, smoothing it as you go and making sure the edges stay parallel and at the same width as you started.  

Here is some advice from Kris Bizzarri:

           “I pin the backing onto the take-up roller and the canvas for the backing under the frame table.  I roll it up evenly.
            I lay the batting on top of the backing, right along the top edge – I don’t see any reason to start down 2-3”.  I place a pin about every 9” or so along the top, perpendicular to the canvas, making sure it is smoothed out.
            I baste the batting to the backing – I start on the left side, about 2” down from the batting edge.  I turn on the channel lock, turn up my speed to 30, and run a stitch along the backing/batting.  I push the machine with my left hand, rather quickly so the stitches are very large.  With my right hand, I’m pressing down on the batting just ahead of the machine so no pleats occur.  This basting line gives me a straight line to now pin my top on.
            I also figured out what to do with the canvas leader underneath that I used to pin the top to – I tied the end up to the under part of the frame, so I have a “cradle” for me to put the batting and top into as I’m working, and they’re not just laying on the floor.
            I first tried floating about 8 months ago, and haven’t done it the “old” way since.  I love it – It’s so easy to lift the top when necessary, and much easier for me to keep the top straight.”

If you have any pictures of your personal experience with “Floating the top” please share them with us.  

Happy Quilting!
 ~The Dream Team

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Pennsylvania Quilting Friends Travel 300+ Miles

Pennsylvania Quilting Friends Travel 300+ Miles

Delivering 108 Quilts for ALS

When Virginia Beach resident Kathy Thompson decided to raise awareness and research funds to help find a cure for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, she knew quilters would embrace the challenge.  As the co-founder and owner of Quilter’s Dream BattingÒ, a Virginia Beach based business that manufactures high quality quilt batting; Kathy knows how generous and caring the quilt community is.  What she didn’t know was how much they would touch her life and the lives of thousands of individuals living with ALS, including her own son.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Quilting in High Cotton

I will never understand why people keep looking for alternative natural fibers for quilting - you can’t get much more environmentally friendly than cotton.  Cotton is a renewable resource that has stood the test of time – cotton fabrics have been found in ancient tombs that are thousands of years old.  Not only is cotton an eco-friendly fiber, but the cotton used in Dream Cotton is grown and processed in the U.S.A.!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Bearding and Pokies, the Bane of Quilting


 If you have ever had a quilt beard, you know how frustrating and heart-wrenching it can be.  Once that soft, wonderful batting is in the quilt, the last thing you want is to see little bits of it appear on the top.  Bearding gets its name because back when poly fiber was stiff and horrible (think leisure suit) the fibers would poke through the fabric and then grow like an old man’s scruffy beard.  Today’s Quilters Dream Batting fibers, even the poly fibers, are fine, thin, long, and soft, and naturally resist bearding.  However, on the rare occasion given the wrong conditions, even the highest quality batting can sometimes beard. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ode To a Quilter's Husband

The husband of this quilter is a very special, patient guy—
Who doesn’t complain about how much fabric his wife may buy.

Through the years he’s picked up a lot of quilting lore—
Because on this subject his wife can get to be quite a bore.

He’s learned better than to throw away any old odd shaped scrap—
Because it’s likely that’s the one she’ll need to fill her design gap.

He know if he enters the quilting room his feet will get pins in—
And he’s learned there’s not just red, but brick, rust, scarlet and crimson.

He knows how she snorts when she sees an ordinary bedspread—
Cuz in HER house there’s only personally designed quilts instead.

He knows when she meets another quilter there’ll be fast and furious talkin’—
And at a quilt show there’ll be lots of scribbling and gawkin’.

He thinks of quilt-mania as a kind of creative affliction—
That can only be controlled by regular doses of stitchin’.

He knows she quilts for enjoyment, not for money,
Cuz she does quilts that are traditional, modern and some just plain funny!

And though all my cutting, designing, sewing and quilting through the years—
He’s always been interested, supportive, patient, and very, very dear.

Happy Quilting!

 ~The Dream Team

Thursday, March 15, 2012

~Things I learned from my first quilt~

·    Save time and energy by just going to the quilt shop to get the quality fabric and supplies you want.  They are far more knowledgeable, helpful, and friendlier than discount stores, with better quality supplies, to boot (including Quilters Dream Batting, which is not sold in discount stores). They even gave me snacks while we visited- thank you Sarah’s Thimble!

·     If you have young children, you may need a locked safe to keep all your fabric pieces out of their hands.

·    Don’t even bother putting away the ironing board.

·    Buy three times as many pins as you think you will need, and there is a slight possibility that you will have enough.

·    Don’t leave the half pinned quilt on the dining room table with a cat in the house or it stands a good chance of getting a furball left on it.

·    If you tell a three year old to keep his snacks away from the half finished quilt, it will end up with a piece of American cheese stuck to it.

·    When free motion quilting words (thank you La Pierre Studio and their Free Motion Slider), write dark enough to be able to easily follow or the word “Faith” may end up saying “Faih.” 

·    Buy twice as much thread as you think you will need, and you may have enough

·    Don’t leave the binding to finish the day before it needs to be done, or you may just have to bind while suffering from strep throat.

·    The big hug and sincere “Thank you – I will keep it forever” you get when giving the quilt to a college bound graduate is well worth the effort!

      ~Quilted & written by Jane~

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I love when the mailman comes!

The mailman has come today and brought yet another box that I just know is for the 3rd annual “Hopes & Dreams” Quilt Challenge for ALS. Those packages, all small, medium and large are very exciting to receive! It’s like a birthday every day here at Quilters Dream!!

You should see us when the box is about to be opened. We all stand around it huddled anxiously waiting for the tape to be removed. You would think there was an unheard of species or a magical treasure inside!

Sometimes the quilts are inside a plastic bag or pillow case to ensure they are protected inside the box and when removed all you hear is………….

“I love the colors on this one.”
“Feel how soft this quilt is.”
“That is all hand stitched? WOW!! What amazing talent.”

Every quilt we have received has its own personality and uniqueness to it. Not to mention how touching some of the stories that have been attached to these quilts are. That is just as much a treat as it is to see the quilt.

Some stories are about a connection that someone had with ALS patient and how happy they were to make a quilt to be donated. Sometimes they are personal reasons why they chose a specific pattern, color scheme or technique to be associated with the quilt. And sometimes it’s just a simple “I hope you enjoy this quilt as much as I did making it!”

I am personally touched that quilters have come together and worked so hard on their quilts to be donated. It feels good to know that people do care and don’t expect anything back and are willing to share out of the goodness of their hearts!!

So thanks to all that have already sent in their quilts to the “Hopes and Dreams” challenge. Speaking for all of us here….we are certainly looking forward to when the mailman comes tomorrow !

Happy Quilting!
 ~The Dream Team

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year! Wishing that all of your hopes & dreams come true and that your new year will be filled with love, peace, happiness, friendship and the best of health.
This holiday, We went to see the movie 'New Years Eve' and the actress from Glee sang Auld Lang Syne beautifully and reverently. This year, the song has felt particularly poignant for me and it dawned on me.. That after more New Years eves than I care to count... I don't know what it means! In asking everyone I know "what does Auld Lang Syne mean" one else knew either!! So I googled it and it really is a beautiful and meaningful song that we all sing - but don't know why:)! Auld Lang Syne translates to 'old times past' or 'times gone by'. So the song asks "should old acquaintances and old times past be forgotten? Then answers: no...old times past should not be forgotten as we will take a drink of kindness (in remembering) for old times gone by. This song is a part of many cultures and is sung all over the world in many languages and versions. According to my 'detective googling' more people don't know what the lyrics mean .. Than do know! So now you are part of a rare group that know the meaning of 'Auld Lang Syne'. Robert Burns version of this 1700's Scottish song goes as follows:

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ? (old times gone by)
For auld lang syne, my dear, (for old times gone by
, my dear)
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !
and surely I’ll buy mine !
And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine ;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.
We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine† ; (dinner)
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand my trusty friend !
And give us a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll take a right good-will draught (toast)
for auld lang syne. (old times gone by)