Why Women’s Clothing Sizes Do Not Make Sense

Ever feel like you can’t trust the size of a clothing pattern, or confidence of purchasing pre-made clothes based on a particular size?  Seems that what might be a size 10 by one company is a size 8, 12 or 14 as defined by another company.  All so  confusing.  Here is a video that provides some great background info on how this all happened.  I hope you find it as interesting as I did.

If you are having problems viewing this embedded video, here is a link to watch it directly in Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QwlT5f7H1c



RARE Science:The RARE Bear Project and a Charity Fundraiser

RARE Science is a non-profit research organization, that through a unique collaborative approach, works directly with patient families and foundations to find more immediate therapeutic solutions for children with rare disease.  Christina Waters is a medical geneticist who started this program which also provides handmade “RARE Bears” to children, around the world, with rare diseases.  There are approximately 200 million kids worldwide that have rare diseases – 35% of these kids do not live to see their 5th birthday. RARE Science is working to improve those statistics and change the lives of children with rare diseases.


Here is a video which shares insights about making these bears:

If you have problems viewing this embedded video, here is a link to watch it directly in Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axMXUuMLxEI


Volunteers are needed to join the RARE Bear Army and there are a variety of ways you can help.

RARE Science is teaming up with The QuiltShow.comSpoonflower, Simplicity Patterns, Fairfield World and an army of volunteers to bring to life these wonderful companions for kids with rare diseases.  Volunteers of all skill sets to enlist in the #RAREBearArmy. For more information on how to get involved or if you would like to donate a bear to a child in need – please visit us at our website: http://www.rarescience.org/rare-bear-program/


For those attending Quilt Festival/Houston there are a couple of opportunities where you can also help:

rare-bare-stuffing-partyConsider giving your feet a rest and helping to stuff a bear.  All supplies will be provided, but volunteers are needed to help stuff and finish bears.“Stuff – in”, called “A Beary RARE Affair” get together. On Friday, November 4th from 6 to 8pm, 200 participants will stuff a “bear skin,” mingle with celebrity bear makers and have a chance to win a BERNINA Simply Red sewing machine!  On display will also be our one of a kind collector Celebrity RARE Bears that will be part of a silent auction held during the Festival.  To RSVP for this event, sign up here: http://www.rarescience.org/beary-rare-affair-event/



The Quilt Show is hosting an Auction of Celebrity RARE Bears made by Becky Goldsmith, Jamie Fingal and Sue Bleiweiss during the RARE Bear Affair in Houston.  They’ll also be displayed in the RARE Science booth Nov 2nd – 6th.  Non-Attendees will be able to bid online at:  https://www.charityauctionstoday.com/auctions/rare-science-celebrity-bear-auction-944

Volunteers are always needed to make RARE Bears using the Simplicty Pattern #C5461.  You can make complete bears, or the bear casing that gets stuffed by others.  Of course you can do this by yourself, but you may want to host your own RARE Bear Party and invite your quilting and sewing friends.  This would also make for a great guild event!  rarebearpattern

You can also donate fabrics, stuff bears that have been premade, cut fabric, as well as help fund materials.  Simply contact Rare Science and let them know how you would like to help and find out what might already be in place in your area for this program.  You should be able to find this pattern in any store that sells Simplicity patterns, but you can also order it online from Simplicity

Downloadable flyer with more info about the RARE Bear Project: https://thequiltshow.com/images/pdf/1111.pdf

You can find Rare Science at:



Handi Quilter Webinar with Angela Walters – #QuiltBiz

I frequently get asked questions for “How to start a longarm business?”, as well as how to start a business, or  grow my business in general.  I’m also an avid researcher who is always looking for ways to help those in the business.  Needless to say, I was thrilled with a recent webinar, hosted by Handi Quilter, where Angela Walters shared her expertise and I wanted to use this post, to heighten awareness of this recorded webinar.  

I also want to share, that while the focus is on longarm business, I think there are many benefits of watching this video, if you are considering getting into the business, in just about any aspect of quilting or sewing.


If you have problems viewing this embedded video, here is  a link to watch it directly on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgYqqVANlaw

You can find Angela at:


You can find Handi Quilter at


Welcome Fall – Preparing For The Countdown, Calendars, and a Giveaway


Are you excited about the arrival of Fall?  I am.


I think of Fall as a window that quilters pull out quilts and quilted items to decorate their home, as well as to use to keep warm.  Many of us also kick into high gear to make quilts and quilted projects for winter, which might be used in their own home, for gifts, or for charity.

Fall also reminds me that the new year will be arriving soon.  At the time of preparing this post, there are 100 days left before 2017 arrives.



And about 90+ days till the arrival of Christmas.




For those that use Calendars, there is a high probability you are a planner and organize your time to pack in as much as you can in the limited time we have.  After all, quilters around the world know that 24 hour days just are not enough time.  But for Quilters,  Calendars are not only a way to help us organize, they are a way to help inspire.  There are also Calendars that come with patterns to create beautiful projects.  As 2017 will be arriving soon, I’m wanting to showcase some inspirational Calendars that can help inspire you, as well as help you be organized with your time.  Speaking of which, this is a great time to order a Calendar for 2017! 
Martingale has some wonderful calendars that I think would be great to use in 2017.  They are also available at a reasonable price and each packed with plenty of inspiration and more!

That Patchwork Place Quilt Calendar 2017 – Complete Instructions for each Project


Publisher’s Insights:

Celebrate the changing seasons with color-splashed quilts and more from That Patchwork Place®. Complete instructions and patterns for each design are included so you can sew along all through the year.

  • Be inspired by beautifully styled photography; tempting projects include quilts ranging from
    wall hangings to throws–plus pillows, embroidered coasters, and a table runner
  • Enclosed pull-out booklet features step-by-step illustrated instructions for every design
  • 12 specially selected projects by top designers


Stitches to Savor 2017 – Wall-Art Calendar of Designs by Sue Spargo

Publisher’s Insights:

Treat yourself to a year of beauty as only Sue Spargo can stitch it! Long admired by quilters, the work of folk artist Sue Spargo is an exploration of texture, fabrics, and embellishments. Now, for the first time, her captivating pieces are yours to enjoy every day for an entire year with Stitches to Savor: 2016 Wall-Art Calendar of Designs by Sue Spargo, available from Martingale. Her creativity–the distinctive way she blends simple shapes, exquisite stitches, and diverse thread and fabric choices–shines through with each passing month. You’ll want to slow the days to savor each amazing stitch!

  • Enjoy rich, full-color photography that comes in so close, you’ll find yourself running your hand across the pages–you can almost feel the texture of Sue’s handwork
  • Featuring at-a-glance dates, the 12″-square calendar unfolds to showcase stunning 12″ x 24″ detailed photographs
  • Discover breathtaking stitcheries rendered in remarkable combinations of wool, cotton, and assorted embellishments

The New Hexagon Perpetual Calendar – 365 Blocks  Katja Marek

Publisher’s Insights:

Wake up each morning to a bright new hexagon! Discover the possibilities of English paper piecing as you create dynamic shapes and unique designs year after year with this perpetual calendar.

  • Choose from 365 vibrant 6-inch hexagon blocks, plus an extra block for leap year
  • Each hexagon includes a block photo, a placement diagram for each assembly, and full-sized templates
  • Sturdy spiral binding will keep each easy-to-turn page of the calendar intact for years of enjoyment


Quilter’s Block-A-Day Calendar, by Debbi Kratovil


Publisher’s Insights:

With a block pattern for every day of the year, this clever calendar will keep you quilting for years to come! You’ll never run out of ideas for creating your next quilt–use the perpetual format year in and year out.

  • Blocks for every occasion include traditional, seasonal, and holiday designs
  • Each block pattern includes a full-color illustration and an easy-to-use rotary-cutting key
  • Sturdy spiral binding will keep this calendar in tip-top shape, even through years of turning pages


365 Knitting Stitches A Year,


Publisher’s Insights:

For the first time ever, you can access hundreds of knitting stitches in a perpetual-calendar format! With a unique knitting stitch for every day of the year, this clever calendar design makes a valuable addition to every knitter’s pattern collection.

  • Find complete instructions for 365 easy to advanced stitches
  • Each day spotlights a beautiful swatch in a full-color, close-up photograph
  • Stitches range from simple knit and purl to ribs, cables, laces, and dozens of textured patterns
  • Discover a different knitting stitch each day–together let them inspire you year after year!


One lucky winner will win a copy of:

The New Hexagon Perpetual Calendar – 365 Blocks  Katja Marek

To enter, blog followers can simply leave a comment, sharing anything you wish about Calendars.  Possibly you may want to say you have used in the past, or not used, which format you prefer, etc.  Next week I’ll randomly pick a winner.  This post will be updated accordingly and I’ll also email the lucky winner to let them know.  While I appreciate those who use my Affiliate links when they are purchasing items on Amazon or Craftsy, as I sometimes earn a small fee (you pay the same price) and those funds are used to help “supplement” my postage expense.  Unfortunately, my budget for postage is limited, combined with the fact for some silly reason the USPS doesn’t allow me to ship Calendars under their media rate, so I find them pretty expensive to ship, thus this prize will be limited to US only residents.

You can find Martingale at:

martingale logo


Don’t forget to get your Calendars for 2017!

The Ultimate Quilting Challenge – Wrap Up

ultimate quilt challenge badge


The Ultimate Quilt Challenge was created to encourage quilters to learn/improve their free-motion quilting skills.  While any free-motion quilting style or motif could be used, the core focus of this challenge was to incorporate any of the versatile Ultimate Quilting Stencils, which have been designed by Cindy Needham, a Master Free-Motion Quilting Expert.  Participants in this challenge could share a project previously completed that incorporated any of these stencils, quilters could use the downloadable  Master Templates to sketch out and share ideas they’ve created on paper or electronically, or the final option to enter, was to stitch out any project, any size, any style, any design, using any of the Ultimate Stencils, but do so during the summer of 2016.  

Today I’m thrilled to share photos from some of the participants. I strongly believe all of the entries were absolutely beautiful and I hope that they inspire you to learn/improve your free-motion quilting skills, as well as see the versatility of using the Ultimate Quilting Stencils.  I also want to encourage you to click thru to visit these blogs, as the participants shared more photos and insights and many have more posts for inspirational FMQ, as well as working with the Ultimate Stencil Collections.

Karen of the Quilt Yarn shared an amazing whole cloth quilt which she had previously created, using some of the stencils from various Ultimate Stencil Collections.   Her project measures 35″x35″ and incorporates the original Ultimate Stencil Collection, as well as some hyperquilting techniques from Patsy Thompson.


Anna of Anna’s Quilting Studio shared her doodle/sketch ideas for designs using some of the Ultimate Stencils.


Karen of the Quilt Yarn shared a variety of doodle/sketch ideas using various Ultimate Stencils.  Karen has also shared a number of blog posts showing more stunning design ideas that she has sketched on paper, but recently she has also been sharing tips for using software for creating electronic sketches for various FMQ motifs appropriate for blocks, or wholecloth quilts.

Patty D of A Stitch N Time also shared inspirational doodle/sketch design ideas.


Kearstie of KB’s Quilting  shared her sketch designs, which incorporated some of the Ultimate Quilting Stencils.  And she shared a lovely project she stitched out with this design this summer.


Laura of Laura Luvs Loons shared sketches with us, for her design idea that incorporated some  of the Ultimate Quilting Stencils. She applied FMQ  ideas to a Vintage Linen to create a stunning table runner which she stitched out this summer.

Vicki of Fabric Under Foot shared her sketches with us, which incorporated some of the Ultimate Background Stencils.  And while Vicki is still stitching out this lovely project, she shared with us a photo show how much she has progressed this summer.

Thank you to our wonderful Sponsors:




Inspired LED

Robert Kaufman Fabrics



While I think anyone that uses any of the Ultimate Stencil Collections is a winner, as they truly are so versatile and help you create stunning free-motion quilting, the Ultimate Quilting Challenge has announced winners.  Congratulations to:  Karen of the Quilt YarnAnna of Anna’s Quilting Studio, Patty D of A Stitch N Time,  Kearstie of KB’s QuiltingLaura of Laura Luvs Loons and Vicki of Fabric Under Foot.  While we didn’t have that many participants in this Challenge,  those that did participate certainly shared inspirational ideas and projects.  Thank you.
You can find Cindy Needham at:

Here is a list of previous posts #UltimateQuiltingChallenge:

#EQ25 Celebration – Tutorials, Inspiration, and Prizes – September

The Electric Quilt Companyis celebrating their 25th Anniversary with monthly giveaways.  This month you can win a copy of EQ7 software or a fabric bundle from Andover Fabrics.   QuiltShopGal is also helping to celebrate by way of sharing monthly EQ theme posts. I’m also thrilled that several blogging friends are also helping in the celebration, many of us sharing EQ theme tips, tutorials, as well as inspirational projects along the way.



Note:  This tutorial will be updated to provide a video tutorial, as well as the step bys tep tutorail shared in this post.  This really is an easy process in EQ7, but I also realize it may be confusing for some.  Thus, I’m committed to update this step-by-step tutorial, based on feedback, as well as provide a video tutorial.  

Ok, on to the tutorial today….which will be updated shortly, to include a video tutorial.

There are a variety ways to do almost anything in EQ7.  Today, I’m sharing how to use the Brush Tool to create a tree.  This tool is also a handy way to create flower stems, vines, and much more.


The Brush Stroke tool creates a design segment around a spine that you draw.  You can set the stroke styles for width and point, before you “convert” to patch drawings.



Before you attempt to  use this tool, click on the Applique tab.




If you do not see the Brush Tool brush-stroke-tool click on the Customize Toolbar


And be sure that the Brush Tool is selected.


You can use the Stroke Precision Bar to adjust the settings.  For my tree, I varied the width and boldness settings and want to encourage you to play with these settings.  Keep in mind, you can also change the shape of your tree and branches, once you’ve clicked the convert option for the Brush Stroke tool


I also want to encourage you to play with the Contour and End Cap options.


Click on the Brush Stroke tool and draw the spine of your tree. Click off, to any blank space on your Applique’ table.


Click, hold your mouse down, draw a branch.


Use the Zoom tools to zoom in (or out) as you create your tree.  You’ll notice that the branch and the tree trunk need editing for better alignment.




Use the Zoom in tool to draw a box around the area of the tree trunk and the branch (click, hold drag, the box.









Click on the Pick Tool, click on the tree trunk to select.




Click on the Convert tool to convert your shape to a Bezier collection.



Click on the Shape Tool as we need to edit the part of the branch that connects to the tree..




We can now use the handles and nodes to reshape the tree limb to better align to the trunk.  Use the handles to drag and re-shape to better align with the shape of the trunk.


Grab the nodes with your mouse, click, hold, drag to align to the tree trunk.



You can repeat the above steps to create a variety of tree branches, as you desire.

Click on the COLOR tab.




Click on the Color Brush  and then click on your desired fabrics or color swatches.  When you use your mouse to click on the branches, or tree trunks, you can paint the shape with your desired fabrics or colors.










Click the ADD TO SKETCHBOOK, to save a copy to your sketchbook.

save to sketchbook

click the save icon to SAVE THE FILE.

save tool


This tree is now an applique’ shape that you can use in the future.

Let’s add some Fall Leaves.  Again, while there are many ways to add leaves, we are going to take advantage of some leaves that come with EQ7 and you can find in the library.

On the main menu bar, click LIBRARIES >> EQ7 Libraries >> 06 Motifs > Leaves >> White Oak >> Add to Sketchbook


On the Main Menu click Work On Quilt icon.  We wiill now create a quilt design with our tree applique block and add leaf motifs (applique) to our wallhanging design.




Click QUILT > NEW QUILT > Horizontal.

Click on the Layout tab



Change the settings for number of blocks to be 1 horizontal and 1 vertical, with the width of 24 and height of 30.


On the borders tab, set the borders to 0.  To clarify, for purposes of this exercise, we will not be using borders, but you can certainly add them on your own, as you desire.

Click on layer 2



Click on the Set Blocks Tab.



Your Sketchbook appears for block. Click on the block for your tree and drag it to you Layer 2.









Click on Sketchbook Blocks Motif and the Oak Leaf Motif.




EQ and Andover Fabrics have great prizes you could win this month, as part of the EQ 25th Anniversary Celebration: Wouldn’t it be fun to win a bundle of fabric from Andover Fabrics or a copy of EQ7 this month?

For a complete schedule of events, as well as information on the amazing prizes and generous sponsors:  http://electricquilt.com/eq25/contest-schedule/
Use the hashtag #EQ25 on social media throughout the 2016 as much as possible! Pair the hashtag with something related to EQ and you may be chosen to win a prize!


I’m also thrilled to have several blogging friends joining me today, to help celebrate.  As you may already be aware, many of us, will be sharing a EQ themed blog post on the 10th of every month this year, where you’ll find tips, tutorials, inspirational projects, as well as hopefully some fun quilty insights, as well as learn about how to win amazing prizes.

Yes, each month several blogging friends are releasing a post on the 10th of each month to help celebrate the EQ 25th Anniversary.  Along the way, you’ll find tips, tutorials, inspirational project and various EQ themed insights.  Here are some bloggers that I hope you’ll click thru to visit today:

Carol of Fun Threads Designs

Marian of Seams to be Sew 

Pamela of Pamela Quilts

Mary of Quiltin Grandma

 You can find the Electric Quilt Company at:

Here are links to my prior posts for these monthly  #EQ25 celebrations, many include tutorials. And all include links to posts by blogging friends who are also sharing EQ tips, tutorials and inspirational projects on the 10th of each month, to help with the EQ 25th Anniversary Celebration:

The Cost of A Quilt

When you attend a quilt show, take time to read the Artist Statement. While attending QuiltCon, this past February, I found this Artist Statement interesting:

I specifically made this this scrappy Trip Around The World quilt to track the entire cost of making a quilt in Australia.  When I published my findings at MolliSparkles.com  suggesting $2,252.40 AUD, it set the blogosphere on fire.  The corresponding posts have generated nearly 50,000 page views, and are often widely linked when discussing the cost of quilting. The quilt has become one of my favorites because of how it has changed my blog readership.  has made me think about the intellectual responsibility of quilting, and has given others a foundation find and value their own self-worth.”

cost of


I frequently here from people in the business looking for help to price what they make for sale.  I always try to encourage people to not sell themselves short, which I often see happen.  It is easy to forget about the time spent, as well as all the costs associated with making a project.  Thus, I want to encourage people to be fair to themselves.  It is ok to make money with your skills.  And, you are not “in the business” when you sell something that doesn’t cover the costs of labor and supplies!


As this topic does interest me, I recently took time to search and read the posts by Molli Sparkles.  I found them very helpful and wanted to heighten awareness with others.  But do keep in mind that the actual numbers presented in his posts are from costs are not current as the posts were written a few years back.  Still, the concepts and methodology are spot on for today.

Molli has written several blog articles about the cost of a quilt.  Here are a few that caught my attention, but if you click thru to his blog, you’ll find many more interesting articles on this subject.


The Quilting Assistant also has a free online tool to help estimate the cost of a quilt.

And Katie’s Quilting Corner has a great article on estimating such costs of making a quilt.

You can find Molli at:


San Diego Quilt Show – 2016 – Inspirational Free-Motion Quilting

san diego quilt show

Today I want to share some photos of quilts exhibited at the San Diego Quilt Show, which I found inspirational free-motion quilting:



For those interested in learning/improving your free-motion quilting skills, don’t forget that you have thru September 15th to enter one, or all 3 of the Linky Parties, to be entered to win prizes.  You can even download a free Ultimate Stencil master template, doodle/sketch out a FMQ design idea and share to be entered in Linky Party #2, or use the actual stencil on a practice sandwich to enter Linky Party #3, or, for those that have already completed projects with any of the Ultimate Stencils, share in Linky Party #1.  For more info:  http://quiltshopgal.com/the-ultimate-quilting-challenge-2016/

Of course, I also recommend online free-motion quilting classes on Craftsy, as they are a great way to learn/improve your free-motion quilting skills and they have a large selection of classes, from a variety of FMQ Experts.  Of course, I do appreciate those that use my Affiliate link when making such a purchase as while you pay the same price anyplace, I “may” receive a small percentage back and I use those funds to supplement postage expenses for shipping prizes for various events and giveaways which I host.

You can find the San Diego Quilt Show at:


San Diego Quilt Show – Weekend Quilt Fun

san diego quilt showThe San Diego Quilt Show is going on this weekend and I want to share a sneak peek, with more to come soon.  If you have the opportunity to go, definitely go, this year, or in the future.  It is a small, but growing show, which continues to improve.  And this years a fantastic show, with something for everyone:  traditional quilts, art quilts, great classes, wonderful vendors and more.

Edyta Sitar, designer for Moda Fabrics, and founder/owner of Laundry Basket Quilts is the Guest Artist.   She is an amazing woman, very talented and very approachable, and she shared  an amazing display of her spectacular quilts (and fabrics).

san diego quilt show photos by quiltshopgal 1

There are many fun themed quilts, including  pet/animal themes.  This beautiful quilt made by Wanda Pasek caught my attention.  The adorable fox quilt design is Jenni Baker’s design and published in the book “Fun-Size Quilts“, compiled by Karen Burns, published by Martingale.

san diego quilt show photos by quiltshopgal 2

There are many quilts with inspirational free-motion quilting.  I also enjoyed watching people take time to admire the stitching on these quilts.  While many caught my attention, I wanted to share a sneak peek on a close up of a quilt made by Katie Greene.

san diego quilt show photos by quiltshopgal 3


There is a great  Vendor Mall.  And   Pacific Rim Quilt Company even introduced a new pattern at the show (not yet available via their website, or any store, but will be soon).  Here is a sneak peek:

san diego quilt show photos by quiltshopgal 4


I do hope you have a chance to visit the San Diego Quilt Show this year, or in the future. If you live far away, San Diego can be a great vacation place.  I met attendees of this event that had come from England, as well as Australia and they loved it!  But as I realize we can’t travel and visit every quilt show, I will be sharing more insights about this show in the very near future.

Lastly, I want to share that Craftsy has ALL of their classes on sale for $19.99, or less, including their new classes.  Treat yourself to a class this Fall, as your own personal back to school personal development plan.



You can find the San Diego Quilt Show at:


  Full Disclosure - Affiliates with QuiltShopGal