Category: Uncategorized

Helping Small Businesses – New Ambassador Program & More with Beam N Read/ASF Lightware Solutions

Today, I want to share insights with you about an opportunity for creative bloggers in the US or Canada:

Beam n Read/ASF Lightware Solutions is a US based, small family business which provides products for creative people who need a hands-free light.  They are a small business and I think they could use help with increased awareness of their products, including the variety of ways that they can be used.

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As quilters, crafters, and more, we often find ourselves needing more light.  While there are a variety of great products that can help us get additional light, Beam n Read has a “personal” light which I’ve used for many years and can honestly say I use it often and have found it quite versatile, once you start thinking about ways you can use a personal light.  I’m so fond of this small family run business that I “volunteered” to help them kick off an Ambassador program.  

This new Ambassador program will be comprised of volunteer bloggers, based in the US/Canada, who want to participate in fun monthly blogging events, with sponsored giveaways.  This is a win-win-win situation as you’ll get more traffic to your blog, opportunities for your followers to win prizes, while retaining your own voice. There will even be opportunities for the Ambassador to win prizes.  If you are interested in applying, here is a link to the application:  http://tinyurl.com/ll4yacq

In addition to the Ambassador Program, there is a need to hire a part-time (< 10 hours/month) independent contractor for the role of Social Media Marketing Manager.  This person will also play a role as an Ambassador, but will be the lead of all the Ambassadors.  And, they will also manage the Facebook page for Beam n Read (short posts ~ 3 times a week, that are appropriate, engaging, and relevant).  If you are interesting in applying for this position, first complete the application for the Ambassador Program and then complete the short application for the Social Media Marketing Manager:   http://tinyurl.com/ko9gdrz

The goal is to get the program in place in June.   I do not anticipate the role of the Beam n Read Ambassadors, nor their Social Media Marketing Manager (aka Ambassador Lead) to demand much time, as we are looking at one fun event every month that would be supported by a simple blog post with a sponsored giveaway.  If you have any questions you can email me and I will try to answer your questions asap.  But I do encourage everyone that is interested apply ASAP.  There are limited number of spots which we anticipate to fill up quickly (hopefully we’ll be able to notify everyone late May).

You can find Beam n Read / ASF Lightware Solutions at:

http://www.readinglight.com/

https://www.facebook.com/BeamnRead/

https://twitter.com/Beam_n_Read

https://www.pinterest.com/beamnread/

2017 Quilt Alongs

Quilt Alongs can be great fun to make a quilt, sometimes you’ll learn a new technique, all while finding inspiration and encouragement by sewing with others. Here are a few QALs that have caught my attention for 2017:

ONE WORLD, hosted by Quilt Fusion and Chatterbox Quilts

This fun QAL began in late 2016, but there is still time to join the fun.  New block patterns are released on the 15th of each month.  Join now and you’ll receive copies of all of the blocks that have been released so far.
Some participants are using fabrics from their stash and some are using fabrics showcased in the pattern, from Hoffman Fabrics.

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There are also many ways to win prizes thru this QAL, even followers can win without sewing anything, just simply be a viewer!  But, I can honestly say these blocks are fun and fast to make so I hope you’ll consider joining the fun.  Participants can also share their progress thru a group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/oneworldquiltalong/

FAT QUARTER SHOP

The Patchwork Quilt Along starts January 15th on their Jolly Jabber blog, when the first block and fabric requirements will be revealed.  In partnership with Moda Fabrics, participants are encouraged to donate to the Make-A-Wish foundation! Fat Quarter Shop and Moda Fabrics will match up to $20,000 of the donations raised!

A new block will be released on the Jolly Jabber on the 15th of each month, with the 12th and final block, as well as the finishing and backing, released on December 15, 2017!

This is sure to be a fun quilt along and also such a great fundraiser for Make-A-Wish! We can’t wait to get started! Be sure to join their 2017 Patchwork Quilt Along Facebook group!

The Fat Quarter Shop is also hosting a Designer Mystery QAL which will kick off June ’17 and run through May ’18.  Click here for more info and to sign up.

LEAH DAY DESIGNS

Leah has kicked off a new Machine Quilting Block Party for 2017, where participants can learn to piece and quilt, one block at a time.  New block patterns and tutorials will be released monthly.  The January block pattern is also currently on sale, for a very reasonable price.

Participants can also share photos and network thru a Facebook group for this event:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/quiltingblockparty/

SEW FRESH QUILTS

Join the Have A Jolly Little Christmas, which kicks off January 14th.  Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts has plans for the release of 15 – 12″ blocks, possibly more.  You can make a quilt, table topper, wallhanging, pillow, etc..  And, come the 2017 holiday season you’ll have beautiful new handmade items to decorate your home, or for gifts.

Lorna plans to release new block patterns every two weeks, during this fun event.

SEAMS TO BE SEW

Marian will be kicking off another BOM program for 2017 with the theme of Twas The Night Before Christmas and kicks off January 15th.  Her beautiful applique’ blocks have her signature detail that will certainly help you create a stunning project, or projects, thru this fun event.

Marian has also compiled a list of other BOM events hosted by various blogs.

What are your quilting plans for 2017?  Will you be joining any quilt-alongs and/or taking any classes?  Who is interested in learning/improving their free-motion quilting skills, possibly learning ruler work?  Or do you have another skill that you are wanting to learn this year?

2017 Plans for QuiltShopGal

Some people associate the arrival of the New Year with absolute dread when it comes to the topic of making resolutions.  I prefer to think of this as a time to reflect on the prior year, dream about the coming year, and make goals and plans for how you want to make everything happen that you want to have happen.  As such, today  I want to share with you some highlights of goals for QuiltShopGal for 2017.  But first, I want to reflect on the past:

My blogging voice of QuiltShopGal (previously SewCalGal) has primarily been focused on the world of quilting, with some sewing, embroidery and general crafting.  Soon, I’ll reach a 10 year milestone of blogging with the goal of researching and sharing insights about new products, events, designers, authors,  and businesses.  It was my little way to say thank you to those “in the business”, for making our world of quilting so wonderful.

Over the years, I’ve met a lot of talented people, and enjoyed getting to learn from them, as well as getting to know many of them, of which many have become a good friend.  I’ve always tried to take time to encourage creative people to make money with their skills and I’ve been proud to see some become not only pattern designers, but authors, teachers and even fabric designers, as well as some become award winning quilters.

Originally thought I’d blog for only one year.  I just ended up having so much fun I kept doing it and time has flown by.  But I’m on the cusp of pursuing other adventures, just not quite ready to reveal all right now.

When I reflect back, I realize that I’ve dropped the ball all too many times.  I have research that I’ve yet to share insights on, primarily as a result of something else coming along that caught my attention.  Needless to say, I am a Quilt Squirrel.  I know I should stay focused on a particular task, but I all too easily get taken off target.

 

After reflecting, I’ve concluded that my goals for the new year will depend on my ability to focus in 2017.  Understandably, FOCUS is my word for 2017.

Here are my goals for QuiltShopGal in 2017:

  • Complete pending research projects and share, before proceeding with anything new.
  • Continue to encourage creative individuals to make money with their skills (e.g. write patterns, magazine articles and/or books, teach, make and sell things, etc.).
  • Continue to share insights about new products and newsworthy events.
  • Continue to periodically host sponsored giveaways.
  • Continue to promote awareness of creative blogs at My Creative Blog List.  While I follow many blogs, using a variety of tools, this site has become my absolute favorite way to follow blogs.
  • Continue to promote awareness of GREAT steals and deals (not just promote awareness of any sale) at Fingertip Shopping.
  • Encourage kindness, as well as a supportive and positive community.

If all goes to plan and I can remain focused, I should be able to reveal more about my plans for 2017 sometime this Spring.  But, I will share, it will take me down a different path.  In the meantime, if you are looking for inspiration, here are a few items that have caught my attention for #CreativeGoodness.

 

  • Everyone needs a beautiful handmade Travel Bag.  And the Ultimate Travel Bag class, by Annie Unrein, thru Craftsy, is on sale, as well as many other creative classes.

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Anchor Quilt by Lisa Bongean is a beautiful quilt, but as it also has a lovely story behind this quilt design and name, I encourage you to read about it on Lisa’s blog, if you are not yet familiar with it.

Stardust by Wendy Sheppard of Ivory Spring is a beautiful design, with a free downloadable pattern from Benartex.

Cindy Needham will soon be releasing updates to her wonderful e:books.  For those that may not be aware, once you purchase her e:book collections you will receive free updates annually.  These are not just simple updates, as she goes makes new samples to share in these books, as well as provides more tips, tutorials, and inspiration, increasing the value of these books every year.  And, I’ll confess I’ve seen a sneak peek into some of the changes and they are going to be great.  I can highly recommend these e:books, as well as her Ultimate Stencil Collections.


I’m also linking up today with the @2017PlanningParty, hosted by Quilting Jetgirl.

2017 Planning Party

Merry Christmas

I hope you are having a very Merry Christmas.  One of my favorite things about Christmas is enjoying the holiday music and spending time with family and friends. It is this gift of time spent together that is so special.  And when distance gets in the way, of course emails and phone calls are the next best.

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I hope you are finding time to enjoy the holiday music and spending time with family and friends.  While I enjoy a variety of music, Christmas in a Small Town, with Ricky Tims and Kat Bowser, is one of my must listen too every year.   

I also hope that we can all spread kindness and find ways to encourage it to grow within ourselves and others.

 

After Christmas, I’ll be doing more reflection on this year, while thinking about my goals and dreams for the coming year.  For me, it is a good exercise.  One of my goals will continue to strive to speak kind words, as well as encourage kindness in all.  My challenge will be to find ways to encourage it to grow within me, as well as others.  Thus, I hope it is a goal you will also consider for yourself in 2017.

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I plan to firm up my goals for 2017 and  share more on this very soon, I hope you are also thinking about your goals for the coming year.  .  In the meantime, as I can say learning and creating will definitely be part of my plans for 2017,  I’m honestly happy with Craftsy and want to share that they are having a Holiday Class Sale, where all classes are under $20

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CreativeBug is also giving away a $15 Amazon Gift Card when you purchase a 12 month subscription, which gives you access to ALL previously released classes, plus all new classes released during your subscription, for viewing anytime during your subscription.  Plus, you can select 12 classes where you can watch anytime after your subscription expires.

I’m off to check out all the classes to see which ones I want to incorporate into my 2017 Goals.  I can share that learning/improving my free-motion quilting skills is still a priority for me, but I’m also interested in improving my precision piecing skills, making more bags, as well as simply making quilts that catch my attention.  The more I think about it, setting goals for the New Year, is simply fun to think about.  

Don’t forget to enjoy some holiday music, as well as time with family and friends, even reach out to those miles away by calling them or sending them an email of good cheer. 

Happy Thanksgiving

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I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving filled with love and happiness.

 

While I’m thankful for many things, including your friendship, I’m very thankful that we have such a wonderful world of quilting.  My heart aches after reading Bonnie Hunter’s posts, over the past few days @ Quiltville’s Quips & Snips.  She wanted to encourage love and kindness, but some quickly went into attack mode.  Not just for today, but every day, we need to commit to speaking kind words to all.

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Here is a song from the Black Eyed Peas, which I feel encourages to spread love and kindness.


 

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I also want to mention that I have shared my  annual research  for #BlackFriday steals and deals and amazed there are so many great deals this year.   You can find this info at:   http://fingertipshopping.blogspot.com/2016/11/black-friday-cyber-monday-steals-and.html

Three Blogs

Besides blogging here at QuiltShopGal, I host two other blogs:

My Creative Blog List is primarily a tool to follow blogs.  While I use a variety of tools to follow blogs, this site has become my favorite:   http://mycreativebloglist.blogspot.com/

Fingertip Shopping is a site where I share insights about steals and deals, not just any old sale.  For many years, I’ve researched and shared insights the Wednesday before Black Friday/Cyber Monday.  I’m currently compiling such a list and seeing plenty of great deals for quilting, sewing and embroidery enthusiasts.  I just can’t share them till next week, when you’ll find them at:  http://fingertipshopping.blogspot.com/

 

But, I can share that today is the last day of a 48 hour sale at Craftsy, where plenty of fabrics, notions, and classes are on sale, where you can get shipping for all physical items, for just $1.  With high costs of shipping, this $1 deal should not be overlooked.  Just be sure to use code “SHIPFOR1” at checkout.

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Great time to buy stocking stuffers and other gifts, as well as supplies to make gifts.  I’m placing an order today to take advantage of their sale and shipping deal.  

UPDATE:  I placed my order with Craftsy (e.g. Aurifil, zippers, Dunroven towels, etc) late afternoon and by early evening had a confirmation and tracking number, showing it had already shipped.  Yeah.  In contrast, I placed an order in October with JoAnns that took ten days before it shipped and another 12 before it arrived.

Call For Kids To Create – An IKEA Drawing Competition

Kids 12 and under are invited to enter a Drawing Competition hosted by IKEA, where they draw their own soft toy!

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Artwork of 20 lucky winners will be selected by voting, of which 10 will be turned into soft stuffed toys, to be sold at IKEA. There will also be three age group winners who will receive $25 IKEA gift certificates.  Drawings can be submitted online or in store, but need to be submitted by October 30th.

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For more info on this challenge: https://info.ikea-usa.com/softtoy/

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

 

 

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).

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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You can find the San Diego Quilt Show at:

http://www.sandiegoquiltshow.com/

Movie Alert – The Dressmaker

Needless to say, I’m absolutely thrilled about a soon to be released movie called “The Dressmaker”, with Kate Winslet, which is scheduled for release in the US September 23rd (released in Australia in 2015).

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Here is a movie trailer:

 

Description:

Based on the best-selling novel by Rosalie Ham, THE DRESSMAKER is a bittersweet, comedy-drama set in early 1950s Australia. Tilly Dunnage (KATE WINSLET), a beautiful and talented misfit, after many years working as a dressmaker in exclusive Parisian fashion houses, returns home to the tiny middle-of-nowhere town of Dungatar to right the wrongs of the past. Not only does she reconcile with her ailing, eccentric mother Molly (JUDY DAVIS) and unexpectedly falls in love with the pure-hearted Teddy (LIAM HEMSWORTH), but armed with her sewing machine and incredible sense of style, she transforms the women of the town and in doing so gets sweet revenge on those who did her wrong

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If you’ve already read this book and/or seen this movie, I hope you’ll share your perspective.  Just looks like a fun movie that many sewing and quilting enthusiasts would enjoy.

  Full Disclosure - Affiliates with QuiltShopGal