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.


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
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.


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!


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

Email info: youngpiecemakers@yahoo.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/


Happy Birthday Sam – One of the youngest Southern California Quilters

I love birthdays and am a big believer that quilters need to celebrate birthdays with quilting friends, old and new. After all, we are stitched together in a family that keeps us warm with a special bonding where ever we go. And a birthday lunch, trip or sew-cial, with quilting friends always makes for a wonderful birthday for me!

As such, I want to wish a Happy Birthday to Sam Marion who will be celebrating her 9th birthday on May 16th. Sam comes from a long line of sewing enthusiasts. Jan Harmon, Sam’s grandmother is a quilter and long-arm quilter. Sam’s great grandmother was a pattern designer and dress maker.

I think Sam may be the only 9 year old that may actually enjoy receiving birthday gifts of fabric, quilt patterns, and various related quilting items. You see, Sam has been raised in a quilting environment and I believe she’ll soon be teaching quilting & long arm quilting classes. She has such a wonderful smile, cheerful attitude, loves new experiences, and the ability to chat with people of all ages. While she has life ahead of her to make choices of what she’ll want to become, I believe she’ll be a delightful as a quilt teacher, but I also believe she’ll be great at whatever she wants to do in life.

Sam may be one of our youngest quilters and I believe she is the most talented quilter for her age (and for those much older). Samantha has been quilting since she was 6 years old. She also learned to do long arm quilting, on an HQ 16 long arm quilting machine, almost two years ago.

As a baby, Sam began attending a quilting group called “Hens & Chickens Quilt Fellowship” , which meets in Huntington Beach, CA, when she was 11 months old. At the meetings when she was a toddler and would get tired, she would lay down on a pile of fabric or a freshly finished quilt top and take her nap. Members fell in love with Sam and enjoyed showing her various types of needlework and embellishment techniques.

Sam officially started her quilting career in earnest when she was 6 years old by designing her own small quilts, cutting the fabric shapes and Jan would sew them on the machine. Sam quickly started sewing herself, focusing on what many would consider “art quilts” — cutting shapes and fusing them to background fabric and then stitching over the shapes. More recently, Sam is reading quilt magazines for ideas and continuing to design her own quilts.

The first two quilts she finished on the long arm were entered in the 2008 Glendale Quilt show in the youth category. Now those two quilts proudly wear a big red ribbon. On one of these two quilts, My Colorful Collage, she used a groovy board and the machine’s stylus to quilt a large spiral in the middle of the quilt. Then she added fabric pieces and quilted freehand over them to hold them down. For the other of the two quilts, Clarisse the Reindeer used fusible appliqué and quilted freehand over the whole quilt. To finish it off, she added Swarovski crystals for sparkle. She heat sets the crystals herself.

Last summer, Sam collaborated with Jan, on a quilt for Sam’s babysitter who was going away to college. Sam decided on what should be on the quilt and she cut the shapes for the fish, the jellyfish, the seaweed, the submarine and the other features on the quilt. Jan printed the photos of the babysitter and her friends and did the hand appliqué. Sam and Jan took turns quilting it on the longarm, using the very expensive thread that Sam picked at one of the quilt shows. Sam copied the yellow submarine from the design on logo of her summer camp shirt. The quilt was a very special gift for a special person.

Sam has a wonderful eye for color and design. She shows talent in making creative and artistic quilts, as well as having a unique long arm quilting style. Sam is definitely a delightful young quilter to watch, as I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of Sam at future quilting events.

Happy Birthday Sam. I hope you have a wonderful birthday!


English Paper Piecing

I love all forms of quilting, and definitely enjoy handwork. I realize handwork isn’t something that everyone enjoys doing, but I want to heighten awareness of a wonderful way to create a quilt while traveling, during lunch breaks, while riding on a bus (train, boat, car), or while you are simply watching tv.

English Paper Piecing is a very easy way to quilt. It is also a perfect technique for a beginner quilter, and even fun for the advanced quilter. Plus, it gets easier when you use pre-cut paper templates by Paper Pieces (http://www.paperpieces.com./). It is amazing how easy and fast a project can come together using PaperPiecing.com templates and/or designs. And, after all, you can’t always have your sewing machine with you all the time!

While it has been years since I’ve done any quilting using the English Paper Piecing technique, I found the instructions provided by Paper Pieces.com were very easy to follow and very thorough.

I had fun piecing their tumbling block pattern while traveling. I still need to add borders, but I wanted to show you how this wallhanging is coming together.

To start with, I quickly pulled together some red/white/blue fabrics from my stash. I want this wallhanging to be donated for a fundraiser to benefit a Veterans project, when I finish. As I was in a hurry, busy packing for my trip, I didn’t have much time to prepare a “project kit” to take with me. Fortunately the instructions were well written and I was able to quickly cut fabrics to match up to the paper templates provided in the pattern. I used a few small ziplocks to “kit” a 3 piece tumbling block with templates and fabrics in each small ziplock, while placing all the remaining fabrics, templates and pattern instructions in a large ziplock.

On my trip, I’ve been able to keep the small ziplock kits in my purse, where I also had a small pair of scissors, thread and needle. That way I was always ready to sew a tumbling block together, at any time (e.g. while in a car, at the beach, having coffee, etc.). As I completed each tumbling block I simply re-filled my small ziplocks from my kit stored in the large ziplock. Pretty soon I had all my tumbling blocks completed and began working on building rows, which soon became a quilt. I’m now ready to add a border, with fabric from my stash, when I return home.

I’ll post more info when I finish this wall hanging. In the meantime, I hope consideer making an English Paper Pieced project this summer, using templates & patterns from PaperPieces.com. PaperPieces.com. You can find some of their products in most quilting stores, but they definitely have more to offer via their website. And if you are looking for a gift, I also think their patterns make a wonderful gift for a quilting friend, or someone you want to introduce to the fun of quilting!



There are many websites designed specifically for those that are interested in quilting, but for many there are so many sites that the internet can be overwhelming. Thus, I want to share my insight with you on a particular site that can serve as a very useful tool. Useful for many of us interested in quilting: general quilter, quilt blogger, quilt shop owner, and those dependant on web sales for their quilt business.

The Quilterblogs is a wonderful website that helps us get connected to bloggers who like to quilt, as well as where quilters may want to shop. And, it is free. Yes, free to use and free to promote your business! Owners of quilt related websites simply need to submit a request to be linked to this site. Quiltersblogs.com has search functionality that searches over 400+ blogs daily to create a summary of several blogs, with an easy to use link to get to these blogs for more insights. Likewise, it has a easy to use index of over 250 quilt stores that you can search to see if they have a specific item, or you can search for a particular quilt store in a specific location.

I highly recommend that you check this site out. I have been having fun reading Quilterblogs on a daily basis. And it is now the first place I check to find a quilt store in a particular area.

I’ve also had fun learning so many wonderful things out about Quilterblogs that I’m planning on writing more about them in the near future. I hope you’ll check back to learn more about why I think they are so wonderful.



Snapware Products, Craft Storage

I am absolutely convinced that Snapware products are one of the best products on the market, at a reasonable price. I also believe Snapware products are not only a great buy and that Snapware products can help everyone become better organized. I know they have helped me become better organized.

Snapware has a variety of wonderful products that will help you be better organized in the kitchen, bathroom, garage,craft room ….well, better organized everywhere. But where I’m so excited is how they help the quilter, embroiderer, and sewing enthusiasts. I have truly fallen in love with how these products can help us organize around the home, our sewing rooms, plus how easy they make it when we participate in a retreat, workshop, or sew-cial.

As there are actually so many variations of how you can use these products daily, I’ve decided to provide a broad overview with you today. I promise to provide more insights on how you can use these products for quilting, embroidery or sewing in the near future.

The Snapware Company designed these wonderful Craft Products with adjustable divider systems for such activities as scrapbooking, papercrafts, beading, jewelry making, sewing, needlecrafts, painting, drawing and general arts & crafts. But remember I also recommend these containers for the quilter, embroiderer and for the sewing enthusiast too.

The “snap” design, with adjustable diver systems, really help you layer your carrier for what you need. To clarify, while a particular Snapware carrier may be a 2,3,or 4 container design, you can buy more of the same design and snap together to meet your need for storing at home or carrying your items to an event outside of the home. What is so cool, is that you don’t need to spend so much time packing & unpacking when you do take your project & supplies with you. I also love that you can snap more, or less containers, of the same style, together, to create a stackable carrier to meet your specific needs. For example, I’ve frequently found that a 4, 5, or 6 module container works well when I’m taking a large project to a retreat or workshop.

I hope you’ll check back for more of my insights on how these products can make a difference in how you organizing your sewing room at home, as well as how you might carry your projects and supplies to retreats, workshops and sew-cials. But even more so, I hope you rush out to the store this week to buy some Snapware products. I’m sure you’ll fall in love with them, as I have.

You can see all the Snapware products at their website: www.snapware.com
Many of the craft products that I like are also available at Target, WalMart, and JoAnns.


Hawaiian Quilting

Hawaii holds a special place for me. It is where my husband proposed to me, and a year later where we married. While I had quilted for years, before we married, I had never made a Hawaiian quilt. I decided to tackle a “king size” Hawaiian Quilt for our bedroom. With my work schedule, it took me two years to finish this quilt! But I’ve made many Hawaiian Quilts since. A variety of styles and sizes (more king, queen, twin, lap and wallhanging sizes of various colors and designs). I still love Hawaiian Quilts and plan to make more.

In keeping with Hawaiian tradition, my first Hawaiian quilt was a breadfruit design. The thought is that if you start with the breadfruit quilt for your home, you will have a fruitful life, never hungering for wisdom or knowledge. They also say that this tradition is a spiritual journey, where by starting with the breadfruit quilt Hawaiian quilting will become part of your life. I must confess it did become part of my life.

As I’m currently in Hawaii, I thought I’d post a photo of one of my Hawaiian Quilts. Unfortunately I do not remember the name of this design, but believe it is one of the historical quilt designs that is part of the collection of quilt patterns available for free tracing in the public libraries.

Here are some wonderful companies that design and sell beautiful Hawiian quilt designs that you can buy in pattern, book, or kit form.

Hawaiian Quilting http://hawaiianquilting.net/

Pacific Rim Quilt Company http://www.prqc.com/

Poakalani Hawiian Quilt Designs http://shoppoakalani.com/

Quilt Hawaiian http://www.quilthawaiian.com/

Also, while this is late notice, Nalani Goard is teaching an Hawaiian Quilting class at the Mission Houses Museum in Honolulu, starting this coming Saturday. This class is only $6 with a purchase of a starter kit (what a deal to learn Hawaiian Quilting from a professional). I’m sure every that is able to attend this class will have a wonderful time!


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