Monday, September 19, 2016

Sew Popular 2015-2016 TIME TO VOTE!


The "Sew Popular" category is one of the most exciting parts of our Challenge!  Out of all the beautiful quilts we received, twelve quilts were chosen to be entered in the Sew Popular category.  Pictures of the quilts have been posted on the Hopes & Dreams website, so it is time for you to cast your vote!  

Just follow this link, and vote on your favorite quilt by Friday, September 30, and our talented winners will be announced on October 3.

Congratulations to the finalists in the 2015-2016 Sew Popular category:

Pat McDonald of Pittsburgh, PA "Crossroads Quilt"

Gloria Guyer of Tillamook, OR "French Ribbon Embroidery"

Carolyn Richter & Kay Iverson of Greely, CO "Celtic Maze"

Dianne Gilbert of Ft. Collins, CO "Celtic Maze"

Mary Ellen Zeitz of South Windsor, CT "Akllietare"

Jackie O'Brien of Whitesboro, NY "One Block Wonder"

Terry Albers or Green Bay, WI

Janice Lonsinger of Altoona, PA "Gumballs with Stack & Whack"

Johanna Moore of Westminster, CO "Scrappy Circles"

Karen Williamson of Pensacola, FL "Oasis in the Desert"

Diane Severence of Windsor, CO "Floating Stars for Christmas"

Barbara Hutton of Carolina Shores, NC "Feathered Star Sampler"

Because of the generosity of the many wonderful sponsors of the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge, we are able to award three winners this year!  First place will receive $1250 in awesome prizes, second place will receive $750  in prizes, and third place will win prizes valued at $500!

Good luck to all our finalists!  
Check our Hopes & Dreams Facebook page on October 3 to find out who won!

Monday, September 12, 2016

2015-2016 Challenge Wrap Up

We would like to thank everyone who participated in the 2015-2016 Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge.Through continuous support and spontaneous giving, this program has been an incredible success thanks to generous quilters & sponsors like you.   

In our seven years, Hopes & Dreams Inc. has been fortunate to receive over 9,000 quilts. Most have been distributed to patients with ALS. Not only are they filled with gratitude from the letters you send with the quilts but more importantly these patients are left with a glimmer of hope that action is being taken towards finding a cure for this awful disease.

 The Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge donates 100% of all proceeds from quilts being auctioned, sold or generous gifts towards ALS research! In our seven years, more than $141,000 has been raised for research towards finding a cure!

We have received many thank you notes already from patients and their families who truly appreciate the generosity of the quilting community. 

Thank you for the lovely quilt that you donated to my husband. That was truly a wonderful surprise!! My husband is only 45 years old and was diagnosed with ALS in 2014. It has been a very rough road for our family of four. Our boys are 10 & 14 years old. It has been difficult for all of us to accept how this devastating disease is impacting our lives. Your kindness & thoughtful gesture really brightened our day. Thank you for all that you do!! You are making a positive difference in the world of ALS.


Hi, I am an ALS patient and I recently received a beautiful quilt made by Lucille Holsey as part of the Hopes and Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS. The quilt is so beautiful and I am just so touched that Ms. Hosely would go to the time and trouble to make it for someone that she's never even met...The quilt warms my heart and my body! Thank you so much for your incredible kindness!!


I want to THANK you for the quilt.  I went to the doctors at Baylor ALS Clinic and they gave me one of your quilts.  I am so happy to receive it and it is so warm. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate it.  God Bless ALL of you.


I was quite surprised to find this gift of a lap quilt at the support group meeting here in Wichita, KS. In April of 2015, I was diagnosed with ALS. My particular version is Bulbar ALS which primaraly affects my speech and swallowing at this time. We are trying not to let this impact our life, but we don't know what the future holds.  Thanks for creating the organization to raise funds for ALS research.


We would like to congratulate each category winner. We received some awesome prizes from our sponsors this year and we were able to stuff boxes with tons of goodies for these winners. 







Please be sure to check out the Hopes and Dreams website and vote for your favorite quilt in the Sew Popular category!

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

Kathy Thompson & the team at Quilters Dream Batting


To see how you can get involved, please visit :

and don't forget to like our Facebook page! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Only 11 days left to mail your quilts!

That's right. Only 11 more days to get your donated quilts sent in! 

Remember, quilts MUST be POSTMARKED no later than  JULY 31st, 2016 in order to be eligible for the 2015-2016 challenge. 

Though it's still early and we have more boxes to open, we can tell you that we have beat last year in quilts received! That's an excellent accomplishment from you and for us. We have been able to ship so many quilts to PALS (patients with ALS) and the feedback we get from them is amazing. Not to mention the success we've had from the sale of quilts which 100% of proceeds goes directly towards ALS research.  

We have some great prizes too. Click HERE to see what our generous sponsors have donated. 

Visit our website for more info and download your entry form. 

Keep up the good work and thank you for being a part of something so special to us and those living with ALS!

Happy Quilting.

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....

Thursday, March 10, 2016

My Cozy Village Pattern Pack Giveaway + Batting Giveaway!

We are excited to be a part of book author Felicia Brenoe's success in releasing her new pattern pack, My Cozy Village
In the two different versions of the quilt below, Felicia used Quilters Dream Batting.

Today we are hosting her blog tour and in addition for a chance to win a copy of Felicia's new pattern pack, YOU will also be entered to WIN some Quilters Dream Batting! 

How to enter:

Congratulations BEC on winning the drawing!!
Now that Spring has sprung, in the comment section below.......
Describe your dreamiest, coziest quilting spot.
One lucky winner will receive a My Cozy Village pattern pack, a Dream Green Twin, Dream Pink King and a Dream Orient Double. Entries must be made by March 15th, 2016 (12am EST). Winner will be announced March 16th 2016.
***Please make sure if you are posting your comment anonymously, that you provide a valid email address to be contacted if you win! 
Have fun visiting all the great blogs and websites of the My Cozy Village blog tour this week. Make sure to stick around until the final stop of the tour on March 15 th at for the final giveaway of the My Cozy Village pattern pack.
3/10 Quilter's Dream Batting (additional giveaway of batting at this stop!)
Happy Quilting,
The #Battgirls