Thursday, November 5, 2015

Featured #battgirls (November 2015) Marybeth O'Halloran // White Lotus Quilting

Hi, I'm Marybeth O'Halloran of White Lotus Quilting, on Bainbridge Island, Washington.  I'm a professional longarmer who works on an A-1.  I've finished almost 700 hundred quilts for clients.

This is my tenth year in business and I mostly focus on custom work now.  I've had clients win Grand Champion at our state fair with quilts I've done for them and have had quilts featured on pattern covers for Beach Garden Quilts.  Also I quilted several of the sample quilts in Jane Hardy Miller's fourth French Braid book.

Wish they'd sidelighted those quilts in the pics so you can see the quilting better!

 I also design pantographs for UrbanElementz. .Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville used one of my pantographs, Celtic Curls, for her Celtic Solstice mystery quilt.  This quilt pattern is no longer on her site as it is about to be released in a new book.  But you can see how other quilters interpreted her pattern if you like -- Definitely check it out!

This is a recent custom quilt I finished for a client, with my favorite cotton batting, Dream Cotton Select. This quilt is a lap-sized broken star in soft teals and burgundies, made by Margaret Mathisson of Poulsbo, Washington.  And quilted by me of course!

The feathers are custom designed for the quilt -- usually on a broken star I do feather wreaths in the surrounding diamonds, but the size of these was just short of my 6" minimum for wreaths, so I came up with a different radial feather for the diamonds.  I thought they would go nicely with the cascading feathers on the borders.  Everything is hand drawn as I don't own a computerized system. 

 On this quilt I love how the Dream Cotton Select (midloft) gives just enough to show the detail of quilting but is still supple enough for good drape, even with lots of quilting!

On most quilts I use just a single layer of batting but for applique I love to use two layers: a thin cotton for structure and a Wool or Silk top layer to lift the appliques.  If you quilt densely next to the appliques they fill with the loft of the airy batting and look a bit like they've been trapunto-ed.

Here's a few pics of a recent applique quilt done for a client in Arizona, Linda Nelson:

I am inspired by the crazy mad skills of the quiltmakers I get to meet through their piecework, including those long forgotten patchworkers who made vintage quilts.  I love finishing vintage tops into quilts with modern backs -- they're like little time travelers! 

Like this recent vintage quilt I finished for a client, Sally Kuhn of Bainbridge Island, who owns Sash Mercantile.  I put the soft paisley on the back.  The pattern is Joseph's Coat, it was hand-pieced, and I believe some of the fabrics can date to the late 1800's or early 1900's (the indigos and mourning-style prints).   I quilted stylized curved cross-hatches on this one.

Quilters are the most amazing people, always there to lend a hand, to comfort, to reassure, to encourage and inspire.  They perform the most profoundly and deeply touching acts -- to help others, often strangers, feel less alone in an increasingly impersonal world.

Like most quilters I donate time and energy (and fabric) to several charities, including two quilt guilds, our local Rotary chapter (who has a 6-acre rummage sale in the summer), and the American Heroes quilt organization.  Our small sewing group donates about 1 quilt a month to American Heroes.  My cousin John Priestner died in Iraq several years ago and it's something I participate in to honor his memory.  Every year during our island's outdoor quilt festival hosted by the Bainbridge Island Modern Quilt Guild, I host a community sew-in to benefit American Heroes.  We recycle old dress shirts and telephone book paper and use improvisational methods that just about everyone can try, on my collection of three-quarters sized vintage sewing machines.

 Instead of ending with a selfie, I'm going to include a pic of a commission quilt that took me four years to finish and won best machine quilting and viewer's choice at our last guild show.  The small spiked lone stars are from Karen Stone's book and the lonestar is by Quiltsmart, and it is an original layout.  The fabrics are vintage ties -- some 80-100 years old -- and the background is Italian pinstripe shirting.  I designed the quilting and hand-drew it all with my machine.  Somewhere I have a pic of this with me in front of it and if I find it I'll send it along!


Marybeth O'Halloran of White Lotus Quilting, Bainbridge Island, Washington

Keep up with Marybeth!
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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

In need of quilts for ALS patients!

We are excited from the success of our 7th annual Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS, which began on August 1st 2015. We would love for you to be a part of this wonderful Challenge too!

The staff here at Quilters Dream hope that you, your guild or quilt shop will consider donating finished quilts to the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS for the 2015-2016 year. 

Each year, the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS collects hundreds of quilts to be given to patients living with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), to raise awareness about ALS, and to raise money with 100% of the proceeds being used to fund research toward a cure for this terrible disease.  As special thanks to the wonderful quilters who donate quilts to the Hopes & Dreams Challenge, generous companiesdonate tax deductible prizes and awards to help bring fun, excitement, and success to the Challenge.

Our staff works with the ALS Association chapters all over the country who have joined us in our efforts to help distribute quilts to ALS patients.  

We were recently contacted by a chapter who currently has 700 patients and unfortunately receives 7 more each month! They received quilts from us earlier this year and were hoping to deliver more to their patients for the holidays. 

With your support we can provide quilts for ALS patients while raising awareness and much-needed funds for ALS research. We thank you for being a part of the generous quilting community and for considering to give back with us this holiday season! 

For more info on how you can help, please contact us! 


 Toll Free 888.268.8664


Mailing address:
 Hopes & Dreams 
C/O Quilters Dream Batting
589 Central Dr.
Virginia Beach, VA 23454

***Hopes & Dreams, Inc. is a registered 501 (C)(3) organization.
Contributions are tax deductible in accordance with IRS rules and regulations.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Shop for a cure this holiday season!

The holidays are right around the corner and that means we will be attending some craft shows! If you are in the Virginia Beach/Hampton Roads area or willing to take a road trip to our hometown, please make sure to visit us at one of these shows! 

100% of the proceeds from sales go directly towards ALS research in hopes to find a CURE! 

You can shop for fun festive items such as fabric postcards, wearables, wall hangings, table runners, tons of quilts in all sizes and so much more! All created and donated by generous quilters/crafters who have joined us in our annual Hopes and Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS. 

Fabric Postcards
Your family and friends will love getting these unique
postcards in the mail! 

Shop for handmade shawls & other quilted wearables.

Wall hangings make the perfect
 decorations for all the seasons
Need something for a holiday gift exchange?
Look no further!

We have made $5 grab bags of upholstery fabric that was donated by one of our sponsors. 

 Hopes & Dreams Craft Show Schedule

Date: October 17, 2015 (Saturday)
Where: Military Aviation Museum 
1341 Princess Anne Rd 
Virginia Beach, VA 23457
Time: 11am - 4pm

For more info on this event, click HERE.

Date: November 7 & 8, 2015 (Saturday & Sunday)
Where: Princess Anne Recreation Center
1400 Nimmo Parkway 
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Time: Sat. 9am- 5pm/ Sun. 10am- 4pm

For more info on this event, click HERE.

Date: February 25-28, 2016 (Thursday- Sunday)
Where: Hampton Roads Convention Center
1610 Coliseum Dr.
Hampton, VA 23666
Time: Thurs.-Sat 10am- 6pm/ Sun. 10am- 4pm

For more info on this event, click HERE.

We hope to see you at any of these shows. If you have any questions or you are interested in purchasing items, please give us a call! 888.268.8664

Friday, September 11, 2015

Bo-Nash: H&D Sponsor

                              Bo-Nash (North America) Inc   

We are Beryl & Stephanie (Mother & Daughter).

We were so happy to donate to this great cause, Hopes and dreams Quilt Challenge for raising money and awareness for ALS. 

At the moment we are just getting ready for all of the fall sewing and quilt shows.

We have found a new use for the Fuse It Powder!  You can make your own fusible batting for your quilts!!!!!  Just sprinkle & Iron!  Easy Easy!!!!

We hope everyone has a great time with this great cause!!!  Hope to see you all at a nearby event! 

Sincerely the cartoon people, 
Beryl & Stephanie of Bo-Nash (North America) Inc

Thursday, September 3, 2015

VOTE for your 2015 "Sew Popular" quilt!

It's that time again! This year we have 12 finalists in our Sew Popular Category. Three winners will be awarded for most votes for their quilts!

1st Place Prize: Baby Lock Tempo

2nd Place: Prizes valued at $800

3rd Place: Prizes valued at $500


Check out more detailed photos on our FLICKR PAGE.

Voting ends Thursday, September 17th 11:59pm EST.  Winners will be announced Friday, September 18th 10:00am EST on the Hopes & Dreams Facebook page. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Bragging rights for the 2014-2015 Challenge Year!


We would like to thank everyone for their participation in the 2014-2015 Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge. Through continuous support and spontaneous giving, this program has been an incredible success thanks to all of our generous sponsors &  quilters!

We'll just cut to the chase with a breakdown and acknowledge the winners for the challenge categories!

We have collected 913 quilts this year and that's not including all the other  creative items that we can sell with 100% of the  funds going towards ALS research!

We have given the ALS chapters over 600 quilts to be distributed to PALS (patients with ALS).

Your quilts have given these patients hope and have definitely warmed their laps and hearts! 

Thanks Pat for donating 75 quilts AND delivering them to us in Virginia Beach!

We had 13 quilt guilds participate in this year’s challenge for a total of 168 quilts and well over 100 various quilted items!

 The Virginia Beach Modern Quilt Guild generously donated 51 quilts. 

Three shops participated in this year’s challenge but it was Around the Block Quilt Shop that took home the trophy donating over 40 quilts.

Our professional quilters always are so generous with their donations. Joe & Bunny Filer won this category! 


In our Sew Creative Category, Hill 'N Hollow Quilt Guild of Mountain Lake,  Arkansas donated many items: runners, wall hangings, bags. These items will be great sold at local craft shows and festivals will all proceeds going towards ALS research! 


Did you know that donating just one quilt/creative item gets you a chance to win some awesome prizes?? That's right! Everyone is entered into a general drawing and 3 winners are picked at random. These lucky ladies scored some great gifts for participating! 

Also, as part of Quilter's World Magazine's sponsorship, 10 random winners will be chosen to receive a free one year subscription!

Last but not least we have the Sew Popular Category. This one is fun and we would LOVE for you to join! This year 12 quilts have been chosen. Each quilt is photographed at various angles and posted on the Hopes & Dreams website to be voted on for the duration of a week. 

The quilt with the most votes will receive a Baby Lock: Tempo sewing machine! Second place winner will receive prizes valued at $800 and third place a prize box valued at $500. 

Pretty awesome right? The new challenge year (2015-2016) has begun. We've already received lots of boxes filled with quilts. And our sponsors are amazing! Check out the PICS of what we have so far. We are constantly adding photos so be sure to keep checking in to see what YOU could possibly win. 

Once again, thank you! Your support of Hopes & Dreams is truly immeasurable in providing Hope to our Dream of a Cure for ALS!

Vote for your favorite quilt on Sept 3rd at 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Marcus Fabrics: H&D Grand Sponsor charity quilt!

Marcus Fabrics is thrilled to be a part of the 2016 Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge to support the fight against ALS.  Having quilters take part by creating individual blocks for our own Lucy Boston block challenge at our Road to CA booth in January proved to be the perfect tie-in.

We provided a variety of stripes from our current collections, mostly from our best-selling designers like Paula Barnes of Red Crinoline Quilts, Judie Rothermel, Faye Burgos and others.  Show attendees took the fabrics and supplies from Paper Pieces,returning to our booth with their finished Lucy Boston blocks, which became their official entry giveaways. 

Vicki Bellino, owner of Bloom Creek and a long-time Marcus design partner, took on the task of creating a quilt that would unify the blocks beautifully, and we know you’ll agree that she has succeeded!

Marcus’ Director of Marketing Pati Violick looks on as our retail division President, Stephanie Dell ‘Olio chooses among all of the Lucy Boston block entries for our TEN lucky gift basket winners.

    Now, look at what they won!

Thank You again to all of our participating quilting friends, to Paper Pieces for donating their paper piecing supplies, to Vicky for donating her quilting artistry, and to Quilters Dream Batting for bringing this important cause to everyone’s attention.

To learn more and to see the quilt in progress, catch up on the related blog posts at  While you’re there, subscribe to our blog posts, and join the conversations for a chance to win other great giveaways!

75 Blocks and Counting! 

Blocks Coming in at Road to CA

Choosing the Marcus Giveaway Winners

Vicki’s Quilt in Progress I

Vicki’s Quilt in Progress II

The Completed Quilt

You can also follow us on Facebook (Marcus Fabrics) , Twitter and Instagram (@MarcusFabrics)

Lisa Shepard Stewart
Marketing Manager