Monday, June 30, 2014

Meet Todd and Liesl Gibson of Straight Stitch Society

Meet Todd and Liesl Gibson.

Todd and Liesl Gibson 

The Gibson's own Straight Stitch Society patterns.

As you can read in the photo above, Straight Stitch Society brings the "fun back to sewing with supercute projects that feature a little attitude and a lot of flair."

The Gibson's also have 'a lot of flair' themselves in supporting worthy causes and they believe the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS is one of them.  Todd and Liesl have been Grand Sponsors of the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS from the beginning.  When we talked to Todd and asked him why they chose to be Grand Sponsors of the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS, and why they continue to be Grand Sponsors, Todd's replied, "Because you asked nicely."  

That nonchalant, happy attitude is also present in the companies Manifesto.

If you have a moment, click here and tell Todd and Liesl "Thank You" for supporting Hopes & Dreams.  

To Todd and Liesl - Quilters Dream Batting and the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS send a big 

for matching the kindness of our ask with the kindness of your support!

Your grateful Hopes & Dreams Coordinator

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Canadian Quilt Shop Joins Hopes & Dreams as a Sponsor

Meet Kelsey and Joanie.

Kelsey Morrow (right) and Joanie Morrow (left) owners of The Stitchery Quilt Shop
in Alberta, Canada as well as owners of Patternworkz Design Studio.

We had the good fortune of meeting these two fabulous ladies at Spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh, PA in May. This mother and daughter team stopped by the Quilters Dream Batting booth to feel all the different types of batting Quilters Dream offers.  Before we knew it, we were in awe of their work!

"Double Vision" fabric line designed by Joanie and Kelsey Morrow for Andover Fabrics.
They were sharing with us a fabric bundle of their batiks (which many of you know I love!) and before we knew it - Joanie and Kelsey were off to see if Andover Fabrics would become a Grand Sponsor of the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS.  Well, a little bit later, Joanie and Kelsey returned and decided THEY were going to be a Grand Sponsor themselves!  

Joanie sent an email this morning that in part reads:

"Finally...your package of goodies is on it's way!!! Our hats off to you and Hopes & Dreams.  Extraordinary volunteers and organization that exemplify the spirit of helping others.  We get the easy part of making a donation."

They are sending 2 yards each of every fabric you see in the above photo of their Double Vision line - 22 batiks and 18 prints - PLUS patterns!

Joanie and Kelsey share your passion for helping others and have also given of their time, talents and treasures to support Hopes & Dreams.  If you have a moment, send a note of "THANKS" to Joanie and Kelsey by clicking here and check out their design company - Patternworkz - by clicking here.

Andover Fabrics shared a copy of Joanie's pattern "Between the Lines Quilt" in promoting the fabric line which you can access through the Double Vision Fabrics link below the picture of the quilt.

If you are in or near Alberta stop by The Stitchery - RR#2 Site 1 Box 6 Olds, Alberta.  If you here in the U.S. and like their fabric and patterns, ask your local quilt shop to place an order through their Andover Fabrics rep.

Joanie and Kelsey - you truly are giving Hope to our Dreams of a Cure for ALS!

Your grateful Hopes & Dreams coordinator

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Guest Blogger: Nan Baker from Purrfect Spots is Wild about Bunnies!

Wild about bunnies!

Do you like bunnies? Well who doesn't like bunnies? They are so cute and soft and snuggly plus they make you think of Spring and Easter. And because I love bunnies, I designed a bunny quilt. But these are no ordinary bunnies. These adorable bunnies are the creation of the internationally famous watercolorist, Will Bullas. He has long been known in the art world for his fabulous paintings and many of them are of animals. However, Will has a wonderful sense of humor and that gives his art work a very different twist. He has received numerous awards and you can read all about him and see more of his artwork at by visiting his website.

I have known Will for almost 20 years.  I first used his designs in my needlework patterns featuring cross stitch.  Here are two of them shown in cross stitch.  "Dust Bunnies" is a favorite.
"Dust Bunnies"
Dust Bunnies was featured as a quilted wall hanging in The Quilt Pattern Magazine (March 2014).  Quilters Dream Wool was used in that quilt as well. 

"The Recruit",  in cross stitch is one of the blocks featured in the bunny quilt. No matter whether you are doing cross stitch or quilting, the bunnies are great designs.
"The Recruit"
After working with Will's images in needlework, I was delighted to be able to do a quilt adaptation. The result is my latest quilt called "Bullas Bunnies"!
"Bullas Bunnies"
Not only are the bunnies adorable with lots of personality, but the names that Will has given them are priceless. He has a wonderful sense of humor.

Starting at the top left and going across are:
 Hare Style with a bowtie. Hareball with a baseball – think Spring training. Easter Fashion  - the baby duck and chick have bunny ears. Cottontails and Cute Buns(no comment needed here). The Recruit (shown earlier in cross stitch) shows a baby duck with his bunny ears. Bunnet all decked out in her Easter Bonnet. Honeybun has a bee on his nose. Baby Talk shows cute baby chicks and a baby bunny.

The fabrics used in this quilt are by Hoffman using mostly their 1895 Watercolor Collection. Because of the painted look of the fabrics, it is just "purrfect" to use for the bunnies as it gives them a natural shading. You can add more shading if you want, but many times it is not necessary. The speciality threads that make all the cute expressions on the bunnies' faces are by Kreinik Threads. Working with the threads, you can make the long whiskers on the bunnies plus give them eyelashes and ear fuzz! I even used their iron-on ribbon to make the bee in Honeybun. 

But one question you might ask is how did these bunnies get so fluffy? Well thanks to Quilters Dream Batting, their Dream Wool did the trick. I had never quilted with wool or a "puffy" loft, so I was a little apprehensive. I checked with the staff at Quilters Dream, told them about the quilt and what I was trying to accomplish. Their suggestion was Dream Wool. The quilt measures 46" x 63" just a little larger than a throw. I don't have a long arm machine, just a regular sewing machine so it looked like a monumental task. And with the extra "fluff" I wondered how it was going to work. (Picture 6) 

Well my worries were unfounded. Dream Wool was very easy to work with and not real bulky like I had feared. I must tell you it quilted like a dream (Oh I think that is their saying.) But it is true and if you haven't tried it, I urge you to do so. And if you have any questions their great staff will be more than happy to help you. 

I hope you like the Bullas Bunnies pattern and when you do start making those bunnies, I hope you will share pictures of your bunnies and your quilt. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to let me know. I also would like to thank Quilters Dream Batting for allowing me to share my story about the bunnies on their blog.

~Nan Baker

Friday, June 13, 2014

Good Things Do Happen on Friday the 13th!

Hello friends.  It's been too long since we last spoke through the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS blog and today is a fabulous day to get back to you.

Yes, I know. It's...

And on top of that, there's also a...

But, all the negatives are cancelled out, because today is also...

That's right!  Happy Sewing Machine Day.  I didn't know until today that the first sewing machines were made in France in the 1830's and were made to help with clothing production.  It wasn't until 1846, that the sewing machine was were patented in the U.S.  Prior to it's creation, clothes items were sewn together by hand...stitch by stitch.

Much like quilting, it all started out by hand.  Today, quilters are not just using sewing machines, but they are using specially built longarm machines to make amazing quilts, like this one sent to Hopes & Dreams by Barbara Hutton of Carolina Shor, North Carolina.

Quilt made and donated to Hopes & Dreams by Barbara Hutton of Carolina Shor, NC
using the Eureka Pattern by Jackie Robinson.

This Friday the 13th has also brought many good conversations.  From Grand Sponsors like Dragon Threads calling to say they want to keep supporting the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS by continuing to give $1,000 in prizes for the challenge, to a call from Nancy Rosenberger in New York.  You don't necessarily see Nancy, but you know her work.  Nancy in the purchasing agent for Missouri Star Quilt Company.  Yep - the one where you see Jenny Doan "workin' it" in hundreds of videos teaching you step by step how to make quilt blocks - like this Update on Easy Pinwheels.

Well, Nancy heard about Hopes & Dreams and wants to be a part of the great work you are doing.  For Nancy, ALS has hit home too many times.  Her husbands mother, a dear friends in the textile industry - Doug Jenkins - and one of her neighbors have all passed from ALS.  This weekend, she's helping with the Westchester Walk to Defeat ALS.

If you live in the White Plains, Valhalla, Milwood, Chappaque and Westchester areas, consider taking a Walk to Defeat ALS - click here to learn more.  

And if a walk is not possible - rev up the sewing machine and enjoy some creative bliss!

Your grateful Hopes & Dreams Coordinator

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Aviatrix Medallion QAL: Border three . . . sorta.

This week kicked my butt.

The hardest part of this border was the half snowball block.  There are 80 of them!

Snowball blocks and I have a long, unsuccessful history together.  It took me three days to complete all the blocks for this border and I don't have it all sewn together yet.

I went slow;  Slid the speed control on my machine all the way down and settled in for a long night of sewing.
It. Took. Forever!
Thank goodness for Netflix. I watched the entire first season of Vampire Diaries while making these.

Once the half snowballs were completed the rest of the block components came together fairly quickly.  Sewing all the components together was a breeze.

Didn't even try to get all the points to match up.  Most did on their own; some were a little bit stubborn.

I think the effect is super cool.  Plus signs inside X-marks! Awesome.

I'm going to sew the whole shebang together tonight.  Just in time for next weeks border :)

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Monday, June 2, 2014

Featured #battgirls- (June 2014) 
Flourishing Palms/ Linda Hungerford

In 1976, the year of the bicentennial that’s often credited for re-popularizing quilting, Linda became a mom and started making her first quilt. She used fabrics leftover from her daughter’s homemade clothes and baby room curtains, to hand-piece and hand-quilt her first quilt which still isn’t finished. Which we can all relate! 

Fast forward to today and you’ll find that Linda has covered a lot of ground and had a lot of quilting experiences since 1976.
If you've read this magazine, most likely you've
read some of Linda's work!
From attending dozens of quilt classes, retreats, and being a successful magazine editor, the list goes on with Linda's inspiring accomplishments!  Not only has she written a beginner quilt-making book (First Time Quiltmaking, 2006 ), she is currently a freelance writer for American Quilter magazine. As the co-founder of the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild chapter and founder of the Central Florida Modern Quilt Guild, Linda keeps busy teaching classes, giving programs about modern quilting, blogging and of course, quilting!

You can visit her blog for tutorials on quilting techniques, binding methods, etc.

Linda's experience with free motion quilting:
She first began free motion quilting in 1998 and was very disappointed with her results. However, after hiring a long arm quilter one time and realizing she’d break the household budget having all her quilts quilted for her, Linda tells us why she decided she had to quilt her own quilts.

“At the time, I was quilting on a mechanical Bernina 830. That’s the one in the red case. It’s a beautiful machine, but from constant running it would overheat and then completely stop working! So it could cool down, I’d have to walk away from it for at least 20 minutes before I could quilt again.” 

To solve her problem, in 2001 she bought an electronic Bernina QE153. She justified the expense by promising herself that she would never use the services of a longarm quilter to complete her quilts.

“That promise made me the quilter I am today,” says Linda. “I haven’t yet achieved perfection, but I continue to learn and improve. As I’ve begun to enter my quilts into competitive shows,  I’m finding that the batting I choose to use makes a big difference in a quilt’s final appearance.

So what advice can an advocate of free motion quilting on a home sewing machine give to others?

“It’s a skill that anyone can learn, but it takes a lot of dedication and perseverance to do it well. I’ve seen too many quilters give up before they’ve really practiced. Those who make a commitment to it, and continue to try will get better,” says Linda, who is a testament to that determination.

Linda's Quilters Dream Batting go to:
This lovely scrappy quilt, Love Links, was gifted to Linda's nephew and his bride on their wedding day! Love Links contains more than 100 prints from her fabric stash in a  limited color palette of yellow and  green with hints of blue and orange. Linda choose Quilters Dream Poly in the thinnest (Request) loft for this refreshing quilt.

Using the Dream Poly is also ideal for show quilts! As many times as they may be folded, shipped and juggled around, this batting hardly holds creases and wrinkles. And with little to no shrinkage, you can wash and dry with no worries.

Backing is Ikea's "Britten Nummer"
Using variegated thread, Linda quilted the
bride and groom's names.

Even using our thinnest loft, you can still
achieve slight definition to your quilts.

Keep up with Linda/ Flourishing Palms

Looking forward to your submissions. :)
~The original

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