Why am I writing about chocolate?

You may wonder why I’m writing about chocolate? Well, this is my week to write about ways to stretch our dollar during these economic times, along with how we can help stimulate the economy. So, from my perspective, I get very stimulated when I have chocolate. It is a special treat for me to have chocolate when I’m in a class or at a retreat. And it is even better to win free chocolate! If you feel the same, you may want to finish reading this article.

Mars Candy is handing out free candy bars. It’s part of a new promotion called the Mars Real Chocolate Relief Act, and it’s one you probably you won’t want to miss.

All you have to do is head over to RealChocolate.com on any (or every) Friday between now and September 25. Mars Candy will give coupons for free full-size candy bars. You’ll get to choose between: Snickers, Twix, Dove, 3 Musketeers, or M&Ms. The catch is that only the first 250,000 people who sign in every Friday will get a coupon for a free candy bar!

The weekly giveaway will open at 9 a.m. ET and close at 11:59 p.m. ET. {or until the 250,000 coupons have been given away}.

The initial sign in process will ask you for some basic information: Name, email, etc. But this will expedite the process for you to sign in each week. If you are one of the lucky 250,000 people to get a coupon for a free candybar, the coupon will be mailed to you within five weeks. You can only get one per e-mail address per Friday, and four per mailing address total over the entire five-month period.

Doesn’t this sound like a yummy way to help the economy and for you to get stimulated? Be sure to schedule this weekly activity starting this Friday!

https://aws.realchocolate.com/

http://www.SewCalGal.blogspot.com

Bonus Buys & Sales *updated*

An obvious way to stretch your spending dollar is through bonus buys and sales. But it is easy in our busy life to not find out about these opportunities, until it is too late. While I may not know about all the great opportunities for Bonus Buys and Sales, I wanted to let you know about those that I am aware of….in hopes that you can take advantage of these great opportunities. And, if you know of any that I’m not aware of I hope you’ll post a comment or send me an email with your insights.

Bunnycup.com
For Machine Embroidery enthusiasts, Bunnycup.com has many wonderful machine embroidery designs. And,to help you stretch your spending dollar, they have a bonus buy opportunity in the month of May, where you get a free design set with every set you buy. www.bunnycup.com

Cozy Quilt Shop
For the Machine Embroidery & Sewing enthusiasts, Cozy Quilt Shop has a fun Memorial Weekend sale. They have their traditional coupon Draw, where you could receive a coupon up to 40% off your purchases. And they have a bonus buy where every $30 you spend you receive a free Cozy Quilt pattern. Plus, on Monday, they have 30% off all machine embroidery designs (includes all design packs and embroidery take out).
Cozy Quilt Shop, 2940 Jamacha Road, El Cajon, CA 92019 http://www.cozyquilt.com/

EmbLibrary
For Machine Embroidery enthusiasts, EmbLibary has a great sale on many machine embroidery designs that are only $1 each, plus they have some fantastic designs for only $0.17 each with each purchase.
www.emblibrary.com

EmbroideryDesigns.com
For Machine Embroidery enthusiasts, Embroidery Designs.com has a fantastic sale thru May 31st. All Flags $2.50 Plus all Balboa & Starbird designs are also on sale.
www.embroiderydesigns.com

Ericas.com
For quilting and sewing enthusiasts, Ericas.com has an exceptional sale on fabrics 65% off. http://www.ericas.com/fabric/saleindex.htm

FabricShop.com
For quilting and sewing enthusiasts, the FabricShop.com has a nice sale. http://www.fabricshack.com/cgi-bin/Store/store.cgi

FatQuarterShop.com
For quilting and sewing enthusiasts, FatQuarterShop.com has a nice sale.
http://www.fatquartershop.com/onsale.asp?Store_id=499&Page_Id=15&T=1

GotFabric.Com
For quilting and sewing enthusiasts, GotFabric.com has a wonderful Memorial Day Sale thru May 25th.
www.GotFabric.com

Grand Slam Designs
For embroidery enthusiasts, Grand Slam Designs has a Grand re-Opening sale going on to celebrate their new website. Many new designs, and all of their wonderful machine embroidery designs are on sale for $5. http://www.grandslamdesigns.com/

Hancocks-Paducah.com
For quilting and sewing enthusiasts, Hancocks-Paducah.com has a nice sale. http://www.hancocks-paducah.com/SubCategory–WEB-SALE-FABRIC–m-62

JoAnn.com
For quilting and sewing enthusiasts, JoAnn.com (and their stores) has a wonderful sale going on, which includes an extra 10% off your order including sale items.
This extra 10% off your purchase is good over Memorial weekend.
http://www.joann.com/

Paperpieces.com
For quilting enthusiasts, Paperpieces.com has a Great Blowout sale thru May 23. Amazing prices. www.paperpieces.com

Quilters Quarter
For quilting and sewing enthusiasts, Quilters Quarter has an amazing sale with 60% off of everything! http://www.quiltersquarter.com/

Secretsof.com
For embroidery enthusiasts, SecretsOf.com has a great sale on many beautiful machine embroidery designs.
http://www.secretsof.com/content/2785?PHPSESSID=18abe99a84aa94149d91bdf1206767ab

Vermillion Stitchery
For machine embroidery enthusiasts, Vermillion Stitchery has a monthly special where each month they offer two cd’s of machine embroidery designs at 50% off. http://www.vsccs.com/

WishUponAQuilt.com
For quilting enthusiasts, Wish Upon A Quilt has a great blow out sale in May. Use coupon code: BLOWOUT for 10% off your entire order through May 22
http://www.wishuponaquilt.com/cgi-bin/Store/store.cgi

http://www.SewCalGal.blogspot.com

Insights on Fun Contests *updated*

Entering a contest can be fun, especially if you enjoy the dream of winning. While I don’t consider myself a lucky person, I do enjoy the dream of being a winner.

Here are some insights on current contests that you may want to enter. Good Luck!

Creative Machine Embroidery Magazine
How do you sew for LE$$?
Send photos of your economical projects to info@cmemag.com. Let us know how much the project materials cost, and be sure to include your full name and mailing address with each entry. We’ll post your project photos at cmemag.com, and one winner (from a random drawing) will receive a grab bag full of machine embroidery products valued at over $50. Click here for more info on this delightful contest.
http://www.cmemag.com/index.html

Dryer Ice Cream Neighborhood Solute
Do you have great neighbors? Maybe your are lucky to have neighbors you can have a sew-cial with. For whatever reason, if you feel you have great neighbors and want to win a free ice cream social for your neighbors you may want to enter this contest with Dryer Ice Cream. You could invite 100 of your neighbors and friends! But you need to enter by May 29th.http://dreyers.neighborhoodsalute.com/

Fabric.Com
Win a Trip to Italy
Fabric.com is giving away a trip to Italy designed just for people who love to sew in their Sew Much Fun Sweepstakes.

The grand-prize winner will receive a trip for one to Italy to go on a Tactile Travel Tour. The Textile Trek Tour brings you to Como, Italy, where you’ll stay in the region once famed for its gorgeous silk. You’ll travel into town by ferry, go to local markets, and dine at outdoor cafes. Then you’ll travel to other regions of Italy to see how they produce fabrics like wool and cashmere. The entire prize package is worth an estimated $3,850.

One first-prize winner will also receive a Dell Inspiron 15-inch laptop computer, while a second-prize winner will receive a $500 Fabric.com Gift Certificate. Entry is open to US residents aged 18 and above. Enter daily through May 31, 2009.
www.Fabric.com

Fons & Porter
Fons & Porter is holding a contest where they are also searching for the youngest quilter. And the winner will receive a $250 gift certificate to www.ShopFonsandPorter.com!

To win, you can fill out an entry form online at http://www.fonsandporter.com/aspx/fonsandporter/clientpage.aspx?pageid=185
Or you can mail your entry on a post card to:

Kids Quilts Summer 2009 Contest
PO Box 71
Winterset, IA 50273

Entries are free, but need to be received before July 21st, 2009. All you need to do is share insight about the youngest quilter you know!

FreshProduce
Win 25 pieces of clothing from Fresh Produce. Simply enter by May 25th to win. Click here to enter online. Fresh Produce has wonderful clothes, including plus sizes 1X to 3X. Very comfortable and durable, with great colors and creative prints. Absolutely perfect for the quilter, machine embroidery or sewing enthusiasts.

Grandma’s Attic
http://www.grandmasatticquilting.com/win.htm

WIN FREE FABRIC!

Thank you for visiting our Grandma’s Attic website. Every month we will hold a drawing for a free bundle of quilt fabric. To enter our month drawing for free fabric, please fill in the form below.

JoAnn Fabric & Craft Stores
Sew Jo-Ann Prom Contest 2009: lst place prize: $1,000 + Singer 8763 Curvy Electronics Sewing Machine + Dritz “My Double” Deluxe Dressform, 2nd Place Prize: $500 + Singer Serger, 3rd Place Prize: $250 + Drize “My Double” dressforjum. Winning entries chosen for: workmanship, originality, level of detail. Entrant criteria is that they make the garment with little or no assistance from others. Entries forms can be picked up at JoAnns, but need to be mailed by June 30th 2009. Open to students 14 to 19.

Lands End
Enter Before May 31st Win a trip to Barbados
http://aka.landsend.com/lp/swimwear-getaway/#/island/sweepstakes/

Quilter’s Choice
Stimulus Sale
http://www.quilterschoice.com/newsletter.htm

SewForLess.com
Enter Before May 20th to win copy OESD’s Fantastic Flora Embroidery Design CD-ROM. Just enter a comment
http://sewforless.com/embroideryblog/index.php/2009/05/15/teapots-embroidery-designs-by-annie-lang-a-new-style-for-your-tea-towels/

SewForLess also has an opportunity to win $100 when you buy a product and write a review about it on their site.

Spoonflower.com
Fabric of the week contest. Create your own fabric design and submit your entry to Spoonflower.com. Each week entries are voted upon and the winning entry receives five yards of fabric with their fabric design.
www.Spoonflower.com

If you know of other fun contests, please send me an email and I’ll include them in this posting.

Contest & Bargain Week

I’m postponing some articles I had planned for this week, as I’ve decided to spend this coming week focusing on ways to have fun in these economic times. There are some great contests and super duper bargains out there. I’ve been researching how to make the dollar go further, for those that love to machine embroider, sew and/or quilt. While I’m not an expert at this, I’m planning on sharing my findings this week.

Ultimately, I’m thinking it would be great if there was an economic stimulus package that focused on those that were interested in machine embroidering, sewing and/or quilting? I, for one, certainly think we could get the economy stimulated quickly. Yes, we need more economic stimulus as we don’t want to find out that any more businesess that support our addiction close their doors. And we need to spend more money in these businesses,to ensure they remain in business, but we also need to find creative ways to stretch our budgets to do so. So, check back for more info on this topic.

If you have any suggestions, feel free to email me.

Entry Deadline Approaching – San Diego Quilt Show

The deadline is fast approaching to enter your items into the San Dieqo Quilt Show. And, if you are not from this area, this is also a great time to make plans to come to San Diego and see this wonderful show.

The 28th annual San Diego Quilt Show will be held at the San Diego Convention Center, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, September 17th – 19th, 2009.

Guest Artist: Shirley Greenhoe, Missoula, MT

Location: San Diego Convention Center
111 West Harbor Drive, Hall A

Show Also Includes: Hundreds of quilts on display, charity raffle, quilt sales booth, special exhibits, vendors, cloth doll display, quilting bee, wearable art, and the 2009 fashion challenge.

To enter your items in this show, you can click here for the form.
Page One
Page Two

While your entry need not be completed to submit your entry form, your entry form needs to be submitted by June 6th. Completed forms need to be mailed to:

Registrar of Quilts
P.O. Box 420148
San Diego, CA 92142-0148

For more info email: sdsqs2002@hotmail.com

San Diego Quilt Show – www.sandiegoquiltshow.com

For those coming from out of town, here are some recommendations for places to stay:

* San Diego Mariott Hotel & Marina{next to the Convention Center & on San Diego Bay}

* Catamaran Resort Hotel {in Pacific Beach, close to Sea World}

* Hilton Hotel {on Mission Bay, near Sea World}

Paradise Point Resort & Spa {on Mission Bay, near Sea World}

I hope you will come to this great show and take some time to enjoy beautiful San Diego.

http://www.SewCalGal.blogspot.com

Quilt Puppy (By Kay Mackenzie)

Doesn’t the name “Quilt Puppy” just warm your heart, like a cuddly quilt. Well, it is my pleasure to my insights with you about Quilt Puppy Publications and Designs, which is owned by Kay Mackenzie, a quilter and designer from Santa Cruz, California.

Kay designs quilts using various quilting techniques, but her personal favorites are Appliqué. She uses three forms: freezer paper templates, back-basting, and raw-edge machine appliqué. All of her appliqué designs are absolutely beautiful. I’m currently planning on making a charity quilt, for an annual fundraising event, which is held at an afternoon tea, using her “Teapots to Appliqué’ Pattern Pack”.

Kay has also published many wonderful books and I want to buy them all! Her book “A Merry Little Christmas To Applique” is definitely a book that would help make some delightful Christmas gifts this year.

One of Kay’s new books, “Easy Applique Blocks: 50 Designs in 5 sizes” also looks like a book quilters’ can’t live without. A nice feature is that you can look through and when you want to make a block, you can stick the companion CD in your PC and print out your block selection in any one of the five sizes.

Kay is going to be at the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach, this coming July 24-26. Be sure to pop by her booth, if you make it to this great quilt show! But she is currently running a special through her website, where you can get a free copy of her book “In a Twinkle: Youthful Quilt Designs” with any purchase.

I’m a big supporter of charity projects, especially when they go to helping children or efforts to fight cancer. As such, I was delighted to see that Kay has a really generous limited time offer to groups that make quilts for kids in need. Kay will send you 6 copies of her book ”In a Twinkle: Youthful Quilt Designs” for free. {but payment back for postage is appreciated and the honorable thing to do}.

It would be difficult for any quilter to not fall in love with Quilt Puppy Publications and Designs. I know I have. For more information, check out their website: http://www.quiltpuppy.com/index.html

I’ll keep you posted as I complete upcoming quilt projects using Quilt Puppy Designs.

http://www.SewCalGal.blogspot.com

Quilt Designer Lily Juarez

During my on-going guest to find the youngest and oldest quilters, machine embroidery and sewing enthusiasts, I’ve continued to meet learn about some delightful people. And I’ve enjoyed hearing their stories, and sharing some of them with you.

One of the youngest quilters, who I also consider a quilt designer, is Lily Juarez who learned to quilt at the age of six. She has been quilting about three months and has completed her first quilt. Lily is in the first grade and recently turned seven. Her Grandmother, Karen Stenback, has helped Lily quilt. Lily’s mother actually quilted when she was Lily’s age, so it is clear that this family has the “love of quilting” in their blood.

Lily’s first quilt was made for a Quilter’s Challenge, for her quilt guild. The challenge was “My fantasy, the secret me, or what I have always wanted to be.” This quilt was displayed at the guild’s show this past spring. While Lily did not win a prize at this quilting challenge, Lily decided that she really enjoys quilting and participating in quilting exhibits.

The design idea for Lily’s second quilt came to her shortly after she completed her first quilt. Following the design of this quilt, Lily named it ‘Hearts and Stars’. Lily has this beautiful quilt on display, as well as another lovely quilt she calls “My Heart”, at the Antelope Valley Quilt Association Quilt Show in Lancaster. This show is this coming weekend (May 16th and 17th) at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds.


Lily gets here ideas, to design her quilts, by pictures in quilt magazines. Her favorite colors are jewel tones – she likes red, black, purple, etc. Lily is anxious to begin her next quilt, and is planning on selecting fabric this weekend, at the quilt show, but has not yet decided on the design. Everyone suspects Lily’s next quilt will probably have hearts.

Personally, I have a feeling that we’ll be hearing more about young Lily’s quilting and designing in the future. I wouldn’t be surprised if she becomes one of the youngest quilting teachers.

I hope you are able to go see Lily’s quilts at the Antelope Valley Quilt Association Show this weekend. There are also many other beautiful quilts on display, vendors and prizes!

Antelope Valley Quilt Association
http://www.avqa.org/Photo_Gallery.html
Antelope Valley Fairgrounds
J.P. Eliopulos Pavilion
2551 W. Avenue H (at Hwy 14) Lancaster, CA. 93536
Admission: $7:00 (two days)
Husbands, Children under 12: Free
For more info contact Jamie Harrington jharrington66@earthlink.net
661-947-7604 or 661-917-8746

Quit Auction, Saturday 1. p.m.
Fashion Show, Sunday, 1 p.m.
Opportunity Quilt Drawing, Sunday 3:30 p.m.
Vendors ~ Door Prizes ~ Children’s Color-a-Block Workshop
Drawing for Bernina Sewing Machine – donated by Bolts in the Bathtub of Lancaster, CA.

http://www.SewCalGal.blogspot.com

Young Quilters Contest

During my search for the youngest quilter, I learned that Fons & Porter is holding a contest where they are also searching for the youngest quilter. And the winner will receive a $250 gift certificate to www.ShopFonsandPorter.com!

To win, you can fill out an entry form online at http://www.fonsandporter.com/aspx/fonsandporter/clientpage.aspx?pageid=185
Or you can mail your entry on a post card to:

Kids Quilts Summer 2009 Contest
PO Box 71
Winterset, IA 50273

Entries are free, but need to be received before July 21st, 2009. All you need to do is share insight about the youngest quilter you know!

Sounds like fun to me!

http://www.SewCalGal.blogspot.com

Young Piecemakers Quilt Guild

I’ve been researching to identify the youngest and oldest quilters. My research has been quite fun, as I’m getting to meet so many wonderful people, hear some delightful stories, and learn more about our extended family of quilters. For example, I was unaware that there is a quilt guild specifically for young quiltmakers! This quilt guild focuses on teaching children not just how to quilt, but the art of quilting, as well as the art of giving!

This past March they held a quilt show, art festival and silent auction to benefit St. Jude Hospital for Children. At this quilt show they had many beautiful quilts on display, a drawing for a sewing machine give-away, and a scavenger hunt. While I was unaware of this show, I’m definitely looking forward to attending it in the future. This show sounds like great fun and for a great cause!

There were many prizes awarded to young quilters at this show. In their Youth Division, a young lady (5 year old) Nautiqua took lst place, with her quilt “I Dream of Monkeys”. Nautiqua also won $300 for her beautiful quilt.

From my perspective, Young Piecemakers Quilt Guild certainly has the youngest quilters that I know of in Southern California!

Young Piecemakers Quilt Guild is making a difference in the lives of many. Their young members benefit by learning to quilt and they learn the importance of helping other children. The chosen charity for this guild is UCLA Medical Center. The Young members of YPQG create quilts and donate them to children exposed to HIV/AIDS.

Young Piecemakers Quilt Guild comprises of members that age from 5 to 18 years old (males and females). They meet the last Saturday of each month, from 10am to 1pm at The Storage Center @ Weirick, 21702 Temescal Canyon Road South, Corona, CA 92883. Cost: Free. All fabric, sewing machines and learning materials are provided by the guild. This Guild is operated by the generosity of others who donate to this non-profit guild.

Young Piecemakers Quilt Guild is definitely a program that would work well in other cities, and YPQG is interested in developing National Chapters. If you are interested in starting a chapter of YPQG in your area, or making a donation to this non-profit Corporation, you can contact them at:

Young Piecemakers Quilt Guild
P.O. Box 77113
Corona, CA 92877
(951) 277-4577
www.ypqg.org

Email info: youngpiecemakers@yahoo.com

http://www.SewCalGal.blogspot.com

Blocks For The Brave

In July of 2008, “Blocks For The Brave” was started for the purpose of giving a hand-made quilt to every US Armed Forces service member returning from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan that has sustained either physical or emotional injuries while serving.

Volunteers proudly make patriotic quilts, using only red, white and blue fabrics. To date, they have given almost 200 quilts of which ~85% have been delivered to the VA. The VA adds these quilts to care packages that are given to the Vets as they come back from the war and are checked into the VA hospital. The remaining ~15% of the quilts are given to Vets personally, by the volunteers helping with Blocks For The Brave.

Quilters can create blocks, quilt tops, or quilts on their own or come to one of the monthly sew-cials held by this group at the American Legion Hall. Future sew-cials are planned for Sunday, June 14th, July 19th, August 16th, September 20th, October 18th, November 15th and December 20th. These sew-cials are held at:

American Legion Hall
10 AM – 5 PM
11986 Front Street
Norwalk, CA 90650

While donations of fabric and batting are always appreciated, at this time what this group needs most are volunteer longarm quilters. They currently have 58 quilt tops that are ready for quilting!

Contacts; If you would like to help make quilts, contribute monies or fabric please contact Blocks For The Brave via email at blocksforthebrave@yahoo.com. If you know an injured Service member that has not received a quilt from Blocks For The Brave, or another quilting organization please contact Blocks For The Brave at the email listed above. Dyna Hall at (805)-712-1323 or Cathy Dolan 562-421-3258

Additional photos are available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/blocksforthebrave/

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