SEW 4 HOME has a great free tutorial to make “Catnip Heart Mice“, which make perfect Valentine’s gifts for cats (and your cat loving friends). For those of you that like helping your local animal shelters, these would also make for great gifts for cats living in shelters. And, they could also make for a great fundraiser to benefit such shelters too!
Love Letters is a super fun machine embroidery design collection which you can use to make this romantic quilt, or make table runners, wallhangings, embellish on clothing, etc..
The Hearts & Stars machine embroidery design collection makes a delightful project that finishes at 28″ x 28″, making it a great size for a table topper or wallhanging.
Recipes for….is a fun design collection that is perfect to stitch out on dish towels, or to make into a wallhanging. These romantic designs will certainly make for great projects for your home, as well as for gifts. And, I’ll confess I’m currently stitching them out and they stitch out beautifully.
Marjorie has many machine embroidery designs that are perfect for Valentine’s theme projects (e.g. quilts, mug rugs, table runners, clothing, totes, etc). And, they all stitch out beautifully, come with easy to follow instructions and are fun and fast to create with. I can honestly say I’ve stitched these designs out, as well as many others by Marjorie, and have found them all to be high quality designs.
SARAH VEDELER DESIGNS
Sarah has a cute in the hoop heart coaster machine embroidery design, that is only $5. Definitely would make for great Valentine’s theme decorations for your home, as well as for gifts. I certainly want to make these “Feathered Heart” designs. She also has a free video tutorial, on her website, showing how to make these.
Sarah’s Peace, Love, and Joy collection is always fun to create with, but I certainly think the “Love” would be perfect on a pillow, wallhanging or lap quilt for Valentine’s Day. To clarify, there is a Fresh Idea Pattern that does not include machine embroidery designs, but does include templates for traditional raw edge machine applique. But for those that do enjoy machine embroidery, you can purchase her Peace, Love, and Joy collection to make a cute Love pillow, as well as endless other projects with this collection.
But Sarah’s Heart Design Collection is probably one that makes the biggest statement for Valentine’s Day. While you can use this machine embroidery design collection to make this stunning quilt, you could also use it to make table runners, wallhangings, embroidery on clothing, etc..
You can also use designs in this collection, to stitch on cardstock to give as a card, or frame as Sarah shows in this inspirational project:
Checkout Sarah on Pinterest for more project ideas for Valentine’s Day.
Craftsy has a sale with fabric up to 60% off. Great deal on kits, notions, and classes too!
The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims has a variety of free shows, available to anyone with a free TQS account. But for Star Members, who subscribe to TQS, they get 200+ Shows, Classrooms & Online DVDs with Star Membership, plus access to new shows as they are released during their membership. To my delight, a new show has been released showcasing Victoria Findlay Wolfe and I know a way everyone can watch this show for free, this week. This new show #2002 – Look Out! Double Rings and Curves Ahead modern and contemporary focuses on Victoria’s beautiful style of working with curves, as well as her signature Double Wedding Ring Quilts.
She also shares her improve way of cutting and sewing curves. Her quote “belly on the bottom, floppy toppy” is definitely going to stick with me, after watching this great episode of TQS.
Stitch n Paint, a downloadable machine embroidery design. And, I’m going to be stitching these out for gifts. Some I will paint and some I will give away for the recipient to paint, as desired. They are super fun and fast to create. Want to join me?
Heart and Feather Wholecloth Quilt Workshop is an amazing way to learn/improve your free-motion quilting skills, while making a beautiful wallhanging that is also perfect for Valentine’s Day. This workshop is also available at a very reasonable price. QuiltShopGal highly recommends it.
Craftsy also has a sale on all of their classes for only $14.99, or less. Simply use code “17JUST4U” at checkout. Skip the flowers and candy for Valentine’s Day and treat yourself to a fun class.
As an Affiliate for Craftsy and AccuQuilt, if you click thru to their sites and make a purchase, your price remains the same, but I “may” receive a small fee back. I use those funds to help “supplement” shipping costs for giveaways and prizes. Thus, I do appreciate those who kindly make such purchases and those that receive such prizes, which I ship (vs sponsors ship directly) they also benefit.
I’m excited to be able to share insights with you today about a new books with #CreativeGoodness from Martingale.
The New Year is always fun, but even more exciting when you are looking forward to the arrival of a new baby. On the other hand, it is even fun when one has already arrived. Babies just make life so much fun. Of course, it is also fun to make things for babies too!
I’m excited to be able to share insights with you today about a fun new book from Martingale, which has some wonderful projects you can make for babies.
“9 Months to Crochet – Count Down to the Big Day with Crochet! – 25 Projects to Make While You Wait”, by Maaike Van Koert, is definitely a book filled with #CreativeGoodness and fun projects for babies, as well as the excitement about the arrival of a new baby.
Is there a baby on the way? Spend nine months crocheting a darling collection of infant outfits and nursery gear for boys or girls, including toys, blankets, and pillows–plus stylish accessories and clever organizing options for the new mom. Cute and classic with a modern twist, these eye-catching designs are perfect for welcoming a little one!
Available to customers in the U.S. and Canada only.
About the Author:
Maaike von Koert is a talented crochet designer and author who runs creJJtion.com, a popular website for crochet enthusiasts. Maaike grew up in the Netherlands, lived for a while in Canada, and then returned to the Netherlands where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Floyd the chocolate Labrador.
This book is packed with absolutely adorable items to crochet for a new baby to wear, cuddle with, as well as to decorate their room. All of the patterns come with easy to follow instructions and great visuals, making this book perfect for a beginner, as well as those with expertise with crochet work. I hope you can see with I feel this book is such an exceptional value with 25 wonderful projects. I do hope you get a chance to check it out at your local quilt or sewing center, but don’t forget if you don’t see it, to let them know you’d like them to carry it. It is such a new book they might not be aware of it. Of course you can also check it out online at Martingale, as well as Amazon.
For those that may not have a baby on the way, or a recent arrival, don’t overlook the fun you can have with this book to make handmade gifts for some future baby. There are so many babies born every year, whose families would love such a handmade gift. They also make great items to go into baby themed gift baskets for silent auction fundraisers. But one of my most favorite and common reasons to make baby gifts is for Operation Homefront.
Operation Homefront is a non-profit program that focuses on helping Military families and Wounded Warriors with financial assistance, food assistance, repairs and so much more. And, they also host several group baby showers for soon to be mothers, often living away from family and friends, while their husband is deployed and they are having a baby. If you are not familiar with this program, click thru to find out more info. I also hope you’ll contact your nearest office and let them know you are interested in making handmade baby items for them to give to these soon to be mothers, or find out other ways you can help these families.
As there are also many ways to help others, I’m also hoping that if you have a favorite way where someone can make a cute baby item and donate to a good cause, that you’ll share by way of leaving a comment below. Of course, if you have a baby on the way, or a recent arrival, I’d love to hear about that too!
Are you wanting to learn/improve your free-motion quilting skills this year? Interested in Ruler Work?
Last year, I began a series of articles on Ruler Work to encourage everyone to explore free-motion quilting with rulers on domestic machines, as well as mid-arm and longarm machines. This series is also intended to heighten awareness of teachers, tools, classes and essentially opportunities for you to learn free-motion quilting with rulers.
Today, I want to showcase Lisa Calle, an expert free-motion quilter, teacher, author, and a Bernina Ambassador. As a teacher, she is willing to travel to teach at quilt shows, guilds and quilt shops. She also teaches online at iQuilt.
Lisa H.Calle is also a 1991 graduate of Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science with a BS in Textile Management and Marketing.
When it comes to Ruler Work, Lisa’s favorite rulers are the Quilter’s Groove Rulers which can be used on a longarm, mid arm or domestic machine that have a high shank. While I’ve not yet had an opportunity to use any of these rulers, I’ve certainly been inspired with what Lisa has created using FMQ Ruler Work.
Check out her blog posts, as well as watch her video tutorials to learn more.
As this video shows this Quilter’s Groove ProEcho Ruler being used on a longarm, I asked Lisa if she thought it would work on a domestic machine. She shared “You can use these rulers on a domestic machine that has a high shank. The smaller ones (ProEcho 3-7) are good for domestic machines but if you have your machine in a cabinet then really all of them will work. I would suggest putting some Handi Grip on the bottom of the rulers and using Machingers. I’ll be posting some videos of using them on a domestic machine soon. Stay tuned”.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
While I rarely share personal info, I can honestly say I love all the holidays. Yes, I love Hanukkah, the Ramadan celebration, and many more holidays, but I don’t ever want to lose sight of celebrating Christmas, as well as wishing those that celebrate this holiday a Merry Christmas. What ever holiday you celebrate, I hope it is a happy one for you and your family. I also wish for you a very happy and healthy New Year, with time to enjoy and create.
I want to thank and recognize all of the sponsors for our recent “12 Days of Christmas Giveaways”. All of the winners have been announced, notified and their special Christmas gifts are in the process of being shipped. While I had hoped that this would have been done so that these gifts would arrive in time to open on Christmas, the “Grinch” hijacked my website and the downtime created a delay. But the lucky winners will receive their prize very soon.
This Holiday season, let’s spread happiness and good cheer.
Lastly, I’d like to ask a special favor of you. Diane Gaudynski is an amazing award winning quilter, Master free-motion quilter, teacher and author. She retired a few years back from teaching and rarely updates her blog. She just released another blog post and I believe she’d love to hear from you. Thus, I hope you can take a few moments to pop over to her blog and leave some kind words to share good Holiday cheer with her. You can find her blog at: http://dianegaudynski.blogspot.com/
Welcome to day 12 of our 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways, with this being the last day of our sponsored Christmas Giveaways. The goal was “each day” QuiltShopGal will showcase a different sponsor and unwrap (reveal) their gift to one lucky winner. To clarify, there are plenty of open giveaways that you can enter (links to enter to win, you need to claim at least one option in the Rafflecopter form, but for those that like to increase their odds, there are a variety of options and you can claim as many as you wish. Due to a recent hijacking of QuiltShopGal, this event was delayed, but fortunately not cancelled. Thus, there are many pending giveaways that have extended deadlines to enter by the 19th of December. Be sure to check the links at the bottom of this post to enter other giveaways.
I’m truly delighted to have Martingale as our sponsor today. And while I want to share insights about some of their new books, fun patterns, freebies, as well as a sponsored giveaway, I want to start by recognizing Martingale for 40 years of making our world of quilting so wonderful.
When it came to celebrating their 40th Anniversary this year, Martingale has been pretty quiet about it. To me, it is an amazing milestone for any company and one that needs to be recognized by quilters around the world. Thus, I want to take a little walk down memory lane, to heighten awareness of how much Martingale has become a key contributor to helping creative people learn, improve their skills, as well as help talented designers become authors that have enabled us consistently easy to follow instructions with great visuals, all at a very reasonable price!
To begin our walk down Memory Lane, while I remembered when Martingale was launched in 1976 by Nancy J. Martin,founder of That Patchwork Place, now known as Martingale. Click herefor more historical info as well as a free downloadable pattern from Nancy’s book “Patchwork Picnic”.
Over they years they’ve published more than 3,000 books and products which have sold more than 24.1 million copies.
In 2007, company founders Nancy and Dan Martin retired from Martingale and did something not many founders do. They sold their company to their employees. A tight-knit group of 26 now operates Martingale, and 80% of the team sew, knit, crochet, or craft in their spare time.
Martingale has a simple Mission – it’s all about you! In their words “We empower makers who use fabric and yarn to make life more enjoyable”.
I informally interviewed Jenny Wilding Cardon, earlier this year. She has been with Martingale since 1997 and currently has the role of Content Editor, but has held down a variety of jobs at Martingale, including copywriter and web assistant. Jenny is very talented and like the majority of the team members at Martingale, she enjoys being creative. Click here for more info on Jenny.
While I personally have been quilting longer than Martingale has been publishing, my memory is not all that good, so I appreciate Jenny helping to share insights that I’m sharing with you today. I also hope others will share comments on their memories of Martingale Publishing, over the years, as well as their favorite books, especially any “must have”.
I asked which current employee has been their the longest? Jenny shared that she believes it is their amazing photographer, Brent Kane, who celebrated his 24th year with the company in 2016. Personally, I think Brent is an amazing photographer and helps provide a special signature stamp on all of Martingale’s books, with absolutely inspirational photos of the beautiful projects that are published in their books. Thank you Brent!
I asked Jenny about best sellers from their early publications? She called my attention to Happy Endings, by Mimi Dietrict. It was first published in 1988. When the print run ended, quilters objected, so we brought the book back into print. Then another print run ended. Quilters objected. The published it again. And again. And in 2013, we did it again! Another print run for the book just ended, and they will be making Happy Endings available as an eBook. That way it can live on forever!
I asked Jenny about some of their early authors? She shared that their early authors included: Early authors include Nancy J. Martin, Judy Hopkins, Donna Lynn Thomas, Marsha McCloskey, Mimi Dietrich, Carol Doak, Sally Schneider, Margaret Rolfe, and Country Threads… to name a few.
This led me to ask “What author comes to mind that has been with you currently the longest?”. Jenny shared “That would definitely be Nancy J. Martin – who founded Martingale! She wrote the very first “That Patchwork Place” book, and has written more than 40 books over the years. She and her husband, Dan, are retired from the business now.
When I asked which author has been the most prolific?, she shared: “Again, Nancy J. Martin is a contender here! But we have many authors that have been immensely prolific, such as Kim Diehl, Amy Ellis, Country Threads, Nancy Mahoney, Kim Brackett, and Kathy Brown… again, to name a few”.
Over the years, Martingale publishes wonderful quilting, sewing, knitting, crochet and craft books. And who doesn’t love their Calendars. They even have a fun new adult coloring book “The New Hexagon Coloring Book – 60 Hexagon Designs to Color!”, by Katja Marek
Martingale also sales Patterns which are downloadable e:patterns for quilting and sewing. Here area few which caught my attention:
Personally, I enjoy encouraging people to make money with their creative skills. And, I also like to encourage creative people to publish their designs in patterns and books. Of course, I also recommend Martingale as a publisher. I consistently hear good feedback from authors who work with Martingale, as well as consistently find their books have easy to follow instructions with great visuals. I truly don’t feel Martingale is just about publishing, as much as helping creative people publish a collection of their designs and techniques in books, to help people learn, improve and create beautiful projects. If you have an idea for a new book, be sure to check out info on how to submit a book proposal to Martingale.
DID I MENTION A GIVEAWAY?
There are actually a couple of giveaways where you could win a giveaways sponsored by Martingale:
Stitch This, the Martingale blog has a giveaway where you could win an copy of “Small & Scrappy: Pint-size Patchwork Quilts Using Reproduction Fabrics”. Click hereto learn more about this book and enter to win an e:book. Deadline to enter: December 20th.
As a sponsor for our 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways, Martingale is giving one lucky follower an amazing gift.
Time to reveal what this gift is.
One lucky winner, will receive a bundle of books from Martingale.
Perfect book for quilters of all levels: Stunning quilts range in size from 25 1/2″ x 29 3/4″ to 78 1/2″ x 90 1/2″, with the majority of the designs being pieced, yet one incorporates beautiful applique’.
“Must have” book for quilters that enjoy working with pre-cuts, but it could also make for a great resource to help with stash busting. 12 patterns thatt range in size from 39 1/2″ x 41 1/2″ to 64 1/2″ x 80 1/2″
This coffee table book is filled with excellent photos of Gwen’s quilts representing more than 40 years of quilting, with 80+ quilts representing and a variety of styles, from an award winning quilt artist.
To enter, simply claim one or more of the options in the Rafflecopter form below. These books will be shipped to one lucky winner by QuiltShopGal. Due to postal expenses I will ship for free to a US resident, but those with an international address will need to pay for postage.
Here is a list of all of the posts for our 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways. There are quite a few giveaways that are still open, so click thru and enter, those you are interested in winning, if you have not yet done so.