Category: Uncategorized

Heart Sisters: Be The Friend You Want To Have (and a giveaway)

Do you have a heart sister? As I was drawn into the title of a new book and publisher’s description, I eagerly signed up to review an e:copy of this book in exchange for sharing my honest opinion:



Heart Sisters is for women who want to both be and have better friends and want a helpful guide to take them through the process. Author Natalie Chambers Snapp uses her own and others’ stories of successes and failures to illustrate what she has learned about girlfriend relationships. Healthy boundaries, honesty, tact, sharing, and agape love all play a part in being and maintaining a circle of close confidants. She also deals with the inevitable challenges that face many relationships including how to handle conflict; life changes like a new baby, move or divorce; and when it is right to “break-up” with your friend.Discussion questions, space to journal, photos, and quick interviews of healthy female friendships are included within each chapter.




Natalie Chambers Snapp is first and foremost a follower of Jesus, then wife to Jason, and mom to one spunky daughter and two spirited sons with a crazy amount of energy. Choosing to follow Jesus at 27, Natalie is passionate about sharing the grace, mercy, and truth of God’s love. She lives in the Midwest with her crew and tries to keep it simple by writing about the faith found in the everyday mundane. The outpourings of her heart can be found at in the fleeting moments between being a wife and mother.


First, I would have liked the publisher to have provided a better description of the book.  The current description for this book is quite generic and lacks clarification that this book is a devotional book which emphasizes the author’s religious viewpoints and personal perspectives on friendships with girlfriends.  I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that approach, but some could easily pick up this book thinking the content will be completely different and not enjoying the read.    Maybe categorizing this book as a religious self help book for friendships, may have been more appropriate.

There are many quotes to the bible in this book, combined with the author’s perspective on these quotes, along with her insights on friendships.  At the end of each chapter she lists several questions that would be helpful to a book club to create a group discussion, but these questions are intended to help the reader delve deeper into the material that has been shared.

While I can’t recommend this book to all women, it could be a good read for any woman that is active in their church group, looking for religious devotionals and tips for creating friendships with other women in their group.  If you are interested in reading such devotional books, I hope you get a chance to check out this book.  You may also want to let your Church Librarian know about this book.

I’m sure I share this sentiment with this author…… I wish you many Heart Sisters, whom you may create with those in your church, quilt group, or any woman you want to form a great friendship with.  I feel a true Heart Sister is a wonderful friendship.



One grand prize winner will receive:

 This giveaway is hosted by Natalie Chambers and is on Facebook.  The Prize Bundle includes:

— A $100 Visa cash card to put toward a nice dinner or lodging
—A copy of Heart Sisters
—A manicure kit
—A summery polish
—A disposable camera (to document your fun)
—A clutch

Enter today by clicking here to enter this giveaway on Facebook. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 17th. Winner will be announced May 18th on Natalie’s blog

You can find Natalie at:


Spring Cleaning – What Old Items are Lurking In Your Sewing Room?

I’m welcoming the arrival of Spring with a thorough cleaning of my sewing room.  Ever wonder what the oldest item in your sewing room might be?

I came across a copy of Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine, Issue #183, from June 1986.  I know this isn’t the oldest thing I have in my sewing room, but I did have fun re-reading it and thinking about “what is the oldest item in my sewing room?”.  And I knew I wanted to share this magazine with you today.

2015-03-23 13.45.17


Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine started in 1969 by Bonnie and George Leman in Denver, Colorado.  Bonnie was listed in this issue as the Founder and Editor in Chief.  George was listed as the Publisher.

Try to vision a world without the internet, without email.  Quilter’s lived in a small world, but subscribers to Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine were truly given insights into the “world of quilting”, with every issue.  We could learn about award winning quilters, get inspired by beautiful quilts, receive new patterns that were free to subscribers, see a calendar of quilting events all over the world, swap with quilts from all over the world, and join forums (not online) with quilters from all over the world whom we could contact directly via snail mail!  And, much, much, much more!
2015-03-23 13.45.53

While there are always inspirational and educational articles in each issue of QNM, in this issue, Barbara Brackman shared excellent tips and techniques for quilting and finishing old tops. This article alone is worth the cost of this magazine!

There is also a heartwarming article about quilts given to every child arriving at the Georgia Home for Children. One child in particular had experienced more than a lifetime of hardships, knew that the quilt had been made by someone who cared enough to make such a beautiful handmade gift.  And that little girl found comfort through that quilt.  I don’t have permission to share the complete story published in this issue, but it is truly heartwarming.  And for those of us who enjoy making charity quilts, a type of story that drives us to continue to want to make more of such quilts.

The internet has changed our world of quilting, but I still find inspiration, tips, free patterns and more in current issues of QNM.  It was just fun to walk thru memory lane, when I came across this old issue in my sewing room.

If you like old magazines, live in the US, and want this old issue of Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine, leave a comment letting me know you’d like to read this issue.  I’d prefer to share this issue with anyone who wants to read it vs toss it in a trashcan. And, as I need to go to the post office this week, to mail some giveaway prizes (and surprise prizes for participants in the #CreativeGoodness Weekly Linky Parties) I will gladly mail this issue to someone that is interested.  But as this isn’t a giveaway, the first person to leave a comment and let me know they’d like to receive this magazine will be the one that I will send it to.

If you have old items in your sewing room, maybe you’ll want to share such insights.  Would be fun to see what old items are lurking in our sewing rooms.

You can find Quilter’s Newsletter at:

Je suis Charlie

“Darlene”, CEO of QuiltShopGal is proud to share “Je suis Charlie“.

I will confess, I thought about creating Quilty clipart that showed the upcoming magazine cover modified to show a number of pins and needles in the backside of a certain character.  But I couldn’t find the artwork for this pending issue.  darn, thought we could share to show support by WW Quilters for Je suis Charlie.

This is what I came up with and if you wish to use it, you have my permission.  Although I know I need to figure out my settings, to allow you to easily take a copy.  In the meantime, email me and I’ll gladly share a copy.

Je suis Charliewrite injuries in sand, kindess in marble prejudices are what fools use for reason.





Happy Thanksgiving – What Creativity are you Thankful For ?

In the US, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 27th.  It is a time where we enjoy time with family and friends and recognize all we are thankful for.  Today, SewCalGal wants to share a few insights with you on #ThankfulGoodness and Thanksgiving Inspiration.
Craftaholics Anonymous has a free printable for a utensil holder.
My favorite quote is by an unknown author about happiness.

 I was inspired by the Video by Ann Boland on YouTube who shared what she is grateful for.

Clipart that you have my permission to copy and use, as appropriate.

For those of you who are celebrating Thanksgiving, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. And for everyone, I hope you find time to for #ThankfulCreativity and joy!

~ Create ~ Share ~ Inspire ~ #CreativeGoodness ~

I also want to invite you to enjoy insights shared by a variety of talented people who are participating in my weekly #CreativeGoodness linky party this week, which has a theme of #FallGoodness.  Of course, you are invited to join this linky party and share any Fall theme creativity you wish to share.  This coming Friday I’ll be hosting another #CreativeGoodness linky party with the theme of #ThankfulCreativity.  Consider taking a picture of your Thanksgiving dinner table, decorations around your home, sharing a favorite recipe, or sharing anything you are Thankful for in the linky party that starts this Friday.

Lastly, I  want to share that on Fingertip Shopping, this weekend I’ll be sharing insights on #Black Friday and #CyberMonday steals and deals for quilting, sewing and embroidery enthusiasts.  Some insights I can share until  early Friday, so keep checking back at:

I’m truly thankful for you!  I hope you find time to enjoy and create!

Print Friendly and PDF

Remembrance – May We Never Forget – And Other Insights on #CraftyGoodness, Fun and Giveaways

As SewCalGal, I try to focus on blogging about products, events, teachers, designers – essentially what I view as related to “those in the business”.  But today is a day of remembrance and respecting honor, as we wouldn’t have the freedoms we have today without those that have served to defend those freedoms.  And we don’t want to forget their service, nor forget those that gave their life to protect others and fight for freedom for others.  

While there are a lot of fun quilty insights that I want to share, today my heart is very focused on Remembrance.

Many countries fought for freedom in the First World War. Some remember with a celebration known as Armistice Day, others call it Remembrance Day, or Poppy Day, or ANZAC Day or Veterans Day.  Typically these celebrations happen in early November, most on the 11th of November.

During the First World War, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare.  In many parts of the world, people still observe a two-minute silence at 11am on the 11th of November.

Many have had the opportunity to participate in the Poppy exhibit at the Tower of London, where there are  hundred of thousands of handmade ceramic poppies, one for every British Commonwealth soldier who died in the First World War, on exhibit.

Earlier this year, there was a call out to crafty volunteers to help make ceramic poppies which are now on display.  These beautiful handmade poppies will  eventually sold to raise funds for charitable organizations related to the armed forces.  SewCalGal is researching to find out how one might be able to donate and acquire such a poppie and help with such fundraising.  I will update this post, once I know how. 

You may be familiar with a Youtube video with Terry Kelly, singing “A Pittance of 
 Time” in a market. I found it inspirational and wanted to share:

UPDATE:  In many areas there are fundraisers for various Veteran programs, where you can purchase a poppy by way of making a donation.  Growing up in the US, I always made such donations and enjoyed the lovely poppies.  It might be more of a matter of where I live, but I haven’t seen such fundraisers in years.  Although, I would think any person or group could make poppies and sale to raise much needed funds for Veteran programs.  Or you could make poppies with your kids to teach them about Remembrance and what the poppy symbolizes.   As such, here are some links to tutorials and inspirational projects for making poppies.  Still, if you see a fundraiser for Veterans by way of selling poppies, I hope you will make a donation and treasure your poppy in the spirit of Remembrance.  Of course, if you can, please leave a comment sharing where you found such a fundraiser for Veterans.

How to make a paper poppy tutorial by Pumpkin Patch Kids Blog:

anzac day poppy craft for kids

Poppy Wreath Remembrance Crafts for Kids from the Nuture Store:

Beautiful poppy wreath remembrance day crafts for children

On another note, I do want to let you know about a couple of fun blog hops going on this week where you’ll also find some giveaways:

I Have A Notion is hosting a fun blog hop for machine embroidery enthusiasts which showcases designs digitized by Patsy Thompson. And, every stop in this blog hop will not only share inspirational projects, but also host a giveaway where you could win a design set of your choice from Patsy Thompson Designs.  The first stop in this hop is at IHAN where you’ll also find the schedule and links to other participating blogs.

Sew Wrong Sew Right is also hosting a blog hop this week celebrate the release of a new book “Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners: And those who think they can’t”.

Print Friendly and PDF

Welcome Autumn. Welcome Fall. A Perfect Season for Quilting. And, Fall Clipart for Quilters

Autumn brings cooler weather, a change of color, and a perfect time of year for quilting.  Yes, Fall is for quilting.  There are new Fall fabrics in the quilt shops, as well as patterns to make perfect quilts, table runners and/or wallhangings for your home, as well as for gifts.

And, I thought you might want some Fall Clipart.  While SewCalGal is copyright protected, if you would like any of these images for your own use, you have my permission (personal use only).  Simply right click to download.

SewCalGal hopes you enjoy Fall.  After all, Fall was created for Quilting!  And, if you are out shopping and see any fun patterns perfect for Fall, or beautiful fabric for Fall projects, drop me a line to let me know what you’ve found.  I’m in the mood for some Quilt Store shopping – must be Fall!

Also, here is a link to some previously released Fall clipart for Quilters:

Happy Quilting!

Print Friendly and PDF

GIVEAWAY and SALE Alerts for Quilters and Crafters

SewCalGal learned about some amazing sales that are going on and wanted to share insights with you today.

CT Publishing has a Virtual Warehouse Sale this weekend  (9/19 – 9/22).  They are also hosting a “win your wish list” giveaway too!  Click here for more info:

Craftsy has a Fall sale this weekend where many classes are on sale, up to 50% off. I’m excited about a new class with Paula Reid for machine quilting, Patsy Thompson’s new class on free-motion quilting, machine embroidery classes, yummy cooking classes, photography classes and more.  This is definitely a great weekend to sign up for a class at Craftsy, which you can take anytime, at your leisure and repeat as often as you like.


Martingale has some cute books, in ebook format, 40% off this week.

COZY QUILT SHOP has an amazing sale going on this weekend.  Online you can find some super deals on some amazing rulers and templates, as well as fabrics.  And for those that live in Sew-thern California, this is a great weekend to visit Cozy as they are have a sale on many items in their store, as they prepare to move to a larger store location.  Either way – you live far away or locally, this is a great weekend to check out their sales.

SewCalGal has also updated the page on this blog where insights are shared on Giveaways and Contests.   You may want to check it out to learn about more Giveaways and Contests.  Just click the tab labeled “Giveaways and Contests“. Stay tuned, as I’ll also be announcing a giveaway sponsored by The Quilt Show shortly.

If you enjoy learning about steals and deals for quilters, you may want to follow me Fingertip Shopping.  It is not my goal to blog about sales daily, but as I do come across various steals and deals and don’t always have time to share them on SewCalGal, I try to increase awareness of them at Fingertip Shopping:

Print Friendly and PDF

HALLOWED HALLS, by Hannah Alexander

SewCalGal enjoys a good read, especially one that has a good plot and an inspirational theme.  As such, I was delighted when given the opportunity to review Hallowed Halls, by Hannah Alexander.

Hannah Alexander is actually a pen name for a husband and wife team Dr. Mel and Cheryl Hodde. On their first date, which was a blind date arranged by their pastor, is when their collaboration efforts in writing began.  Cheryl asked Mel, “Can you help me paralyze someone without killing him?”.


When Dr. Joy Gilbert is fired from a lucrative position she hates in the city, she returns to her small hometown to find her former  fiancé  single, her once vivacious mother struggling financially and physically, and Tressa, the 15-year-old daughter of the boss who just fired her, popping out of the back door of her car.  Tressa refuses to return to the city, where her divorced parents struggle emotionally over the death of their son.

When Dr. Zack Tyler sees Joy walk into the ER with the daughter of the man who lured Joy away from him, he is hesitant, though he’s overjoyed to see her again.  Out of compassion, he hires her in the ER so she can support herself and her mother, and their relationship blooms.

Meanwhile, Tressa has blackouts that grow increasingly bad.  Joy and Zack rediscover their love for one another as they discover what caused the break-up. Together they work to save Tressa and uncover a rare genetic defect, a mystery that has ravaged decades of Tressa’s family line.


Hallowed Halls was a thrilling, yet thoughtfully romantic read with characters that were easy to get to know all in an inviting setting.  Of course, I became attached to Molly and all of her adopted animals.  But it is Joy Gilbert, Molly’s daughter, who is the main character of the story.  Joy has a strong backbone, yet has compassion for others and the talent of excellent communication skills.  She is a person whom inspires the good in all of us.  Yet the story unfolds with many twists, while new and friendships grow and old romances re-kindle.  This was a wonderful read which I recommend with five stars of absolute enjoyment.  As this was my first time reading a book by Hannah Alexander, I can honestly say I’m eager to read more books by this author!  Excellent!

SewCalGal hopes you’ll have a chance to check out this book at your local book store, or online at Amazon..

Disclosure: SewCalGal was given a copy of this book to review in exchange of sharing my honest perspective.

Print Friendly and PDF

Quilted Postcard Challenge

SewCalGal first learned of quilted postcards years back, when a friend was making them to send out for Christmas Cards.  Needless to say, I was absolutely delighted when she began sending me such a card every Christmas. Truly a treasure to receive a handmade quilted card at the holidays, or anytime throughout the year.

During the 2012 Free-Motion Quilting Challenge, Janet McElroy began hosting monthly FMQ postcard challenges.  These challenges are now supported through a group on Facebook, where participants, from all over the world, sign up for a monthly challenge that may have a particular theme or not (The May 2014 Challenge does not have a theme). 

Janet did an excellent job inspiring quilters to try creating FMQ postcards, as well as exchange them with quilters all over the world.  This group continues, now under the leadership of Tina Gilley.  And, today, SewCalGal hopes to inspire you to make FMQ postcards, as well as participate in the monthly challenges which Tina now hosts.  There are great fun to give, as well as receive.  And there are a small project that can help you learn/improve your free-motion quilting skills and other skills (e.g. mixed media, threadplay, pieced, applique’, etc).

Here are some free-motion quilted postcards that have been created during one of the monthly challenges:

(above) Tina to Dorothy Matheson

(above) Brigette Rossetti to Liz Gates

(above) Susan Pierce to Mary Railsback Dicke

(above) from barbara Compton to Dorothy Matheson

(above) from Christina Wilson to Alice Ridge

(above) from Cate Barry to Carolyn Trezona

Here are a few quilted postcards made by Jan McElroy (Jansmusingagain), which are absolutely lovely:

Jan also created an excellent tutorial for making quilted postcards.  Here are the links:

part one
part two

Don’t forget participants in the Quilted Postcard Challenge come from all over the world, so this is also a great opportunity to make new quilting friends around the world…..or even in your neighborhood!

Of course, SewCalGal is hoping to see some quilted post cards entered in the Make It A Handmade Christmas Challenge as well as the Year of Red and White Quilt Challenges.  But even if you don’t want to enter these challenges, I hope you’ll consider making quilted postcards to share with your family and friends.  And, of course, I hope you’ll consider joining the Quilted Postcard Challenge group on Facebook and participate in the monthly challenges now hosted by Tina Gilly, where you could exchange spectacular quilted postcards with quilters from around the world. And, at the same time, you could make many new friends!

SewCalGal also wants to encourage everyone to join the FMQ Postcard Fun and Challenges Group on Facebook.  You can have fun being a member of this group and not participate in any of the monthly challenges, although it certainly is more fun for those that do.  Click here to join this group on Facebook.

Martha (Quilting to the Edge) has an inspirational post on making free-motion quilted post cards and bookmarks:

For more info on the FMQ Postcard Fun and Challenges:

For more info on Tina Gilley

For more info on Janet McElroy

  Print Friendly and PDF

  Full Disclosure - Affiliates with QuiltShopGal