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!


What makes Neva smile? Bright & cheery florals.
We are in the fifth year of Hopes & Dreams, and, once again, we have been made aware that quilters are the most thoughtful, generous, and loving people around.  As Jennifer opens each box, it is a new surprise of colors and wonder.  Even though these quilts will not end up on our own beds, we rejoice in the unpacking, admiring, and coveting of these beautiful quilts that have been lovingly made for ALS patients and ALS research.  Although all the quilts are appreciated, each of us in the office is drawn toward a different style.   Kathy’s favorites are always the batiks and the hand-stitched lovelies.  Gina, our beachcomber, enjoys the peaches and teals of sea-themed quilts.  The pastels are Pat’s favorites, who feels the soft feminine teals, pinks, and blues are warm and calming.  Neva, an avid gardener, is immediately drawn to the bright and cheery florals.  Personally, I like the funky modern piecing designs and unique machine quilted patterns that accent them. 
 Jennifer, our photographer, is fortunate to be able to see each and every quilt unfolded, and enjoys posting the pictures on Facebook for an admiring audience of over 5,000 fans!
Look at all these jewels we get to open!!!!
Every day is Christmas at Quilters Dream because every day we are reminded of how blessed we are to be a part of the caring, generous community of quilters who have made Hopes & Dreams a success.
For more information about the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS, click the link below.

Happy Quilting!

 ~The Dream Team



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.

 In early 2007, Kathy’s 32-year old son Josh was diagnosed with ALS.  The disease has taken Josh from a strong, happy, athletic young husband and new father to being completely paralyzed – unable to eat, speak, or move.  He is on life support.

 “To say his diagnosis and this experience have been devastating is a true understatement,” Kathy says.  “It was shocking to learn that a disease that was discovered well over 100 years ago has absolutely no treatment or help available.”

 So Thompson and the staff at Quilter’s Dream BattingÒ created a unique way to raise awareness about ALS and raise much needed funds to support research.  The HOPES & DREAMSÔ Quilt Challenge for ALS was born.  The challenge encourages quilters to design, sew and donate lap or bed quilts that are given to individuals with ALS.  In addition, select quilts are sold to raise funds for ALS Research.  Each individual donating a quilt is eligible to win great prizes.

 “Each day is a mixed blessing of joy and sadness,” Thompson says. “I watch this most horrific disease take over my son Josh’s life, an then meet people like Pat, Diane and Debbie who drive here from Pennsylvania to hand-deliver over a hundred quilts.  It’s their willingness to serve others in this way that truly makes hopes and dreams come to life.”

For 46 years Pat Matthews has been quilting with the last six years focused on using her sewing machine as a way to help others.  Pat and her quilting buddies, Diane Wilson and Debbie Weaver, made the 314 mile journey from Dover, Pennsylvania to Virginia Beach just to deliver 108 quilts.

 “We just can’t stop quilting,” laughs Matthews.  “All of our children, families and friends have plenty of our quilts, so we now focus on sharing our passion with others who can use these quilts. Individuals with ALS often find their bodies get cold as they fight this disease and these quilts warm them and let them know they are loved.”

 Pat, Diane and Debbie are part of a quilting group called the “Sew Happy Together Quilters.”  The 13 women who make up this quilting group meet the second and fourth Wednesday of each month and sew together.  They meet at the “barn” and many in the Dover area know this is the place unused fabric turns into creations of love.
“This barn is fabulous,” cheers Debbie Weaver.  “Pat and her husband renovated an old barn into a two story place of beauty.  The bottom floor is fitted with 10 sewing machines and all the comforts of home.  Because we sew lots of quilts and walker bags for veterans and nursing homes, people in the community stop by the barn and drop off yard and yard of fabric knowing we will turn it into something good for someone else.”

 “This is a magic barn,” says Matthews. “Our friends and other quilters drop off their pieced quilt tops and they suddenly become quilts,” she adds through laughter.

It’s this laughter and the genuine love of quilting that contributed to these ladies winning first place in the “Sew Generous Guild” category of the 2011 HOPES & DREAMSÔ Quilt Challenge for ALS that and her team at Quilter’s Dream BattingÒ coordinate annually.

“The staff here is incredible,” says Thompson.  “They, along with each individual that makes and submits a quilt, embrace this challenge and the vision of supporting ALS research as if my son Josh were their own son, grandson or brother.  It makes the heartache of this excruciating disease a little less painful.”

The 2012 HOPES & DREAMSÔ Quilt Challenge accepts quilts through July 30. Quilts received after this date will be accepted for the 2013 challenge year.  All quilts are eligible for prizes with additional winners selected for the quilt best selecting the HOPES & DREAMSÔ theme, the quilt voted the “people chose,” and the individual, teacher and quilt group donating the most quilts.  To see the entry form and learn how to participate visit the Quilter’s Dream BattingÒ website at You can also view photos of the quilts submitted for the challenge on the “Quilter’s DreamÒ Batting sponsoring Hopes & DreamsÔ Quilt Challenge for ALS” page on Facebook.

The HOPES & DREAMSÔ Quilt Challenge for ALS has received more than 2,000 quilts and raised more than $50,000 for ALS research from the ongoing sale of these quilts.  If you are interested in purchasing a quilt for a family member, friend or even as a corporate gift, contact Kathy Thompson, Jane Kinzie or Jennifer Griffin at (757)-463-3264 or

Happy Quilting!
 ~The Dream Team

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.!

Did you know:

·       Colonists wore “homespun cotton” as a symbol of American independence.

·       George Washington indicated that homespun cotton was the only clothing “fashionable for a gentleman to appear in.”

·       In the late 1700’s, British law prohibited emigration of persons familiar with textile machinery into the United States.

·       Cotton helped speed communications by providing insulation for the telegraph invented by Samuel Morse.

·       Thomas Edison used charred cotton for the filament in the first electric light.

·       The Wright Brothers used cotton muslin to cover the wings on their first plane.

·       In WWI, cotton linter (cottonseed residue) was used to make smokeless gun powder.

·       Cotton provided biological isolation suits for astronauts on their return from the moon.

·       Today, more than 300,000 Americans are employed in the cotton industry.

Dream Cotton is light-weight, wonderful for hand and machine quilting, drapes beautifully, and is very consistent.  We use the highest grade fibers in the industry, which means only the longest fibers are used.  This is important because longer fibers mean less shrinkage, less bearding, and virtually no lint on the machine.  The longer the fibers are, the more places the fibers will intersect, making the batting so strong that you can stitch up to 8 inches apart. 

So support our farmers, support our environment, support your local quilt shop, and let Dream Cotton support your quilt!

Happy Quilting!
 ~The Dream Team

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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. 

We have found that many high quality fabric manufacturers use a sulfur-based chemical in their dyeing process (especially when dying dark and vivid colors like reds and dark blues).  The sulfur is very good for fabrics because the sulfur molecule is five-sided, which causes a strong bond and makes the colors very color-fast.  The disadvantage to the “attraction” created by having 5 sides is that more surfaces promote static electricity.  When you wear dark colors or a very vivid print, have you noticed that pet hairs and fuzz balls seem to stick to you?  It isn’t your imagination – the sulfur has caused a static charge making everything stick.  In quilting, the combination of motion (sewing), handling, and atmospheric conditions, especially dry climates or the dry winter heating, will cause the fibers of batting to ‘stand up’ like the hair on our arms and be drawn to the fabric.

The solution is to break the static charge.  You can use an anti-static spray, such as Static Guard both on finished and unfinished quilts.  If you don’t have an anti-static spray, put a few anti-static dryer sheets in a spray bottle with water and sprits both the fabric and the batting (or the finished quilt).

When you wash your quilt, use fabric softeners in the washer and anti-static sheets in the dryer.  It is also helpful to remove the quilt from the dryer before it is totally dry and hang it.  Do not store the finished quilt or your quilts-in-progress in regular plastic bags as this really promotes static electricity. Using a humidifier in the workplace not only cuts down on static, but is great for your skin! 


You know what the pokies are – when the batting fibers pull through the fabric with your thread.  I don’t know what the technical term is, but everyone seems to know about pokies.  This is a different problem from bearding, but has the same result – seeing batting where you shouldn’t be seeing batting, on the outside of the quilt.

The first thing to try when you have the pokies is to change the needle.  It could be that your needle isn’t sharp enough or that there are barbs on your needle (even if you can’t feel them).  A customer gave me a good suggestion, which is to take the needle and jab it through the layered quilt a few times before putting it in the machine, just to make sure it glides through and there are no barbs.  She discovered that a couple of her needles had barbs that she could not even feel that were causing pokies on the back of her quilt.

If you are using cotton thread, cotton fibers are curly and will grab the batting fibers if given the chance, so use a mercerized or coated thread.  If you are using dark thread or fabric, give your thread a shot of anti-static spray as well as your fabric and batting.  I will leave the benefits of using a high quality thread to the thread manufacturers’ sales teams, but you have been advised:  use a quality thread and avoid a lot of headaches.

If you have never had these problems, I pray that you never will!  For the rest of you, I feel your pain and can sympathize.  I hope this blog has helped!

Happy Quilting!
 ~The Dream Team

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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)