Friday, March 28, 2014

Book Review: Sew Fun 20 Projects For The Whole Family


                 I'm not sure what I love more, a new craft/sewing book or making the items that are in it.  I tend to hang on to a new book for days, carrying it around with me, flipping through the pages and creating the items in my head before deciding where I'm going to start.  When I was offered an opportunity to write a review of Deborah Fisher's new book, Sew Fun: 20 Projects For The Whole Family, I jumped at the chance.  


Sew Fun
By Deborah Fisher
Interweave/F+W Media; $26.99
http://bit.ly/17VG9JD


For one thing, I love to sew for my daughter and I love to sew with her even more. This book is a perfect mix of sewing with and for your child.  How could I resist?


Sew Fun has so many thoughtful project in it.  Twenty of them, to be exact!  Twenty projects that showcase your child and their creativity, whether it's taking their drawings and turning it into a pillow like the ones featured in the "There's No Place Like Home Pillows".  I love these!  These are what Roo and I are going to work on during spring break.






Then there's the Topsy Turvy Story Quilt, the ULTIMATE project for featuring your child's artwork and encouraging their creativity and imagination.  I can see how this quilt would be such a great source of pride for any little boy or girl!  And just imagine the hours and hours of quiet play that it encourages! 



Every project in Deborah's new book is so beautifully thought out and meaningful.  She has written a book full of tips for sewing with children and ideas for encouraging their creativity.  She has done a wonderful job of taking the scary out of that first initial step of confidently handing over the scissors and sewing machine and allowing your child to express themselves through an art form that children are naturally drawn to.


I decided to interview Deborah and find out a little bit more about what drives her to create, how she got started and those nonprofit organizations that she is so passionate about.  Enjoy!

*********************************

 1.   I love this book because the projects are so diverse and appealing, I especially love that they can be personalized with my child's art. What inspired you to write a book for children and their families?


Thank you so much! Many of the projects in Sew Fun were objects I was making for and with my kids anyway, or were ideas I had been wanting to try. The Community Quilt project idea began as a gift I made with my daughter’s kindergarten class for their teacher. I was already using my daughter’s drawings to make faces on the Fun Friends From Odds and Ends. A book seemed like a great way to compile all of my ideas and to share them. I am so happy that it all came together. It has been a wonderful experience!


2.   What is your favorite project in this book?

My favorite project is always the Hazel Doll. When I first started sewing I made dolls and I love revisiting the fun that I had with them. There is a special magic in sewing an object that will become someone’s friend. I feel there is a intimacy and sensitivity to sewing a doll that it not as present with other objects.


3.   Who taught you how to sew?

My mother taught me to sew! She always had her sewing machine out and ready for us to use. I was very fortunate to grow up in a house where the handmade was valued.


4. What kind of machine do you sew on every day?

I have a Bernina Aurora 430 that is wonderful. For the programs I do with the Bright Hopes Collaborative Quilt Project, we have basic Pfaffs that get tons of tough use and keep on going.


5.   What tools are in your sewing basket?

A few good basic tools! I still have the set of Fiskars my mother ordered for me from the back of the Cheerios box many, many years ago and I use them everyday, although I have acquired a few other pairs since then. A few good feet for my sewing machine, such as a 1/4” foot and an edge stitch foot. It was happy dance time when I discovered those! Rotary cutting equipment that I actually thought I could do without when I first started making quilts. Silly me.


6.   A lot of parents are afraid to let their child sew (pins, scissors, sharp rotary cutters, the possibility of a sewing machine needle through the tip of a tiny finger). What advice do you have for them on how to let go and let their child experience this world of creativity?


There are so many ways to get kids involved with sewing and reduce the danger level to your comfort zone. And there is a whole section in Sew Fun with tips! Start very young kids off by just stepping on the sewing machine pedal while you sew. Move them onto helping you sew with their hands on top of yours and then your hands on top of theirs. Even rotary cutting can be very safe for kids a bit older if you have them use a cut resistant glove and are standing near them. I think the most important thing is to know the kid and know yourself. Choose activities that will work well with your combined personalities. And remember, if you are nervous, they will be also. Make sure the fun outweighs the safety lessons!

7.   In the back of the book, your Nonprofit Organizations, Bright Hopes Collaborate Quilt Project and Bo Twal, are mentioned. Do you have any advice for a fellow sewist who would like to get involved in either organization?

Thank you for asking!

We are SO excited about Bo Twal! Bo Twal means cloth kiss in Haitian Creole. You can purchase our first sewing pattern, the Sewing Smiles Doll, on our Etsy site, www.etsy.com/shop/botwal. For every pattern purchased, a similar doll is constructed in Haiti and donated to a child there. A new pattern for you, income for a sewist in Haiti, a doll for a child in need. Smiles all around! You can find out more about Bo Twal from our website, www.botwal.org. Updates about new patterns and other news are posted on our Facebook page, botwaldolls, so be sure to like us there.

The Bright Hopes Collaborative Quilt Project is a very local organization. Anyone living on Long Island, especially Western Suffolk, is welcome to join us! Otherwise, we accept monetary donations through our website, www.brighthopes.org, or new modern quilting fabric.




8.   What is your most favorite thing you've ever made?


My 2 girls! But besides them, the answer to this is always changing. I need distance from what I make to really see the objects for what they are. Sometimes my favorite is a collection, like the projects in Sew Fun. Sometimes it is a doll I made when I was 12, or a sculpture I did in graduate school. Right this very minute my favorite is the Bo Twal Sewing Smiles Doll pattern because it is making other people happy-from the women in Haiti who are sewing the dolls to give to children there, to those who are buying patterns here, to those who received dolls as a perk for being part of our Indiegogo campaign. We are hearing wonderful stories and that is always my favorite part of making.


9.   And last, the question I ask everyone-including Keith Urban a few years ago-if you were a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which part of the sandwich would you be and why?

The bread, of course. I’m all about the carbs!

 To purchase this book, click here.

Thank you, Deborah, for the fun little interview and for designing such a beautiful, encouraging book!  I am looking forward to creating and sewing with my daughter even more this year!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sewing Trends

I've noticed a few things about the sewing and crafting world recently.  A few new trends are starting to take place.  This happens every year and a half or so.  For awhile there, chevron was The Thing.  Fabric, quilts, shower curtains...you name it, there was a chevron pattern on it!  Rainbow schematic was, and still is, pretty popular-especially when combined with the still-going-strong low-value fabric combination.  The thing I've been watching unfold is a tonal color story.  What do I mean by that?  Well, here are a few examples:

by Amanda of A Crafty Fox

by Wombat Quilts

by One Shabby Chick




These are all made with low-value backgrounds and one main color attraction. In the case of the second and third blocks, they are variations of Pantone's color of the year "orchid".  Lovely, aren't they?  I received a mini quilt made with varying shades of pink (my favorite color) and a low-value heart with the word "happy" paper-pieced in the center.  It was almost like a search-and-find quilt, with every square being fussy-cut.  The quilt is absolutely fabulous, one of my favorite things that I have been given.  Would you like to see?
by Catherine Demack of Hello From Cat & Vee

 Happy, indeed!  Do you see what I mean, though?  Tone-on-tone quilting is becoming a fast trend, sewists are seeing the different shades in one color, and using them for definition in their projects.  The results are elegant, simple, stunning. 

Another trend I am seeing pop up everywhere is: feathers!  Maybe it's because spring is right around the corner, maybe it's because everyone would like to take flight on vacation, I don't know.  But, I do love it:

Feathers on Silver Peony Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric by Girl Charlee Fabrics


by 100 Layer Cake

how-to by Simply Allis

And finally, the high-low hem.  Last Spring and Summer we saw it in the department stores, mostly on sundresses and skirts.  This year, the boutique designers and DIY crowd have given us some really great choices in patterns and tutorials:

The Summer Concert Tee by Dixie DIY
photo by la inglesita  




The Hi-Low Dress Tutorial by Merricks Art:

by Girl Charlee Fabrics
The High-Low Skirt DIY by Sew Caroline:
photo by Sew Caroline
I am ready to ditch the snow trend and finally step out in a sundress, that's for sure.  What trends have you noticed recently?

Happy reading!
-Kristi-


Thursday, March 06, 2014

Tutorial: Seven Pocket Project Tote

designed for "Grace" by Anna Griffin



Something really, really, REALLY cool has happened.  My friend Kerry (aka KidGiddy) sent a round of introductions between me and Anna Griffin, thinking that we would be a good match for projects.  Anna designs some of the most gorgeous textiles, paper etc this crafty fabric world has to offer, her fabric is so soft and lovely.  I am honored and excited to say that I have been asked to be a part of her sewing team.  Here's the cool part (aside from the whole darn thing, I mean) every month I'll receive a shipment of not only Anna Griffin, but also Blend fabric to play with.  I get to create something inspiring and write a tutorial for all of you!  Isn't that fabulous?



I received my first box, "Grace" and couldn't wait to get started.  I knew immediately that the black floral was perfect for the project tote I had planned in my head.  The hard part was choosing the accent pieces to go with it.  I mean, just look at all this gorgeousness!


Somehow I managed to narrow it down, and now I am ready to show you how to make your own Seven Pocket Project Tote.


Supplies:
1/2 yard Canvas
1/2 yard Exterior Pocket
1/2 yard Lining
1/4 yard Interior Pocket
1/3 yard Straps
(or 1/2 yard of the same fabric for Straps/Interior Pocket-shown)
thread
 **and the usual rotatry cutter, mat and ruler, sewing machine, scissors etc**



Cut the following:
Canvas 13"x16", cut two
Exterior Pocket 19"x16", cut two
Lining 16"x16", cut two
Interior Pocket 8"x8", cut two
Straps 5"xWOF (width of fold), cut two

**Seam allowances are 1/4" unless otherwise noted**

To prepare the Exterior Pocket:

1. With wrong sides together, fold exterior pocket in half to measure 9 1/2"x16" and press; topstitch 1/4" from fold; set aside.


To prepare the Straps:

2. With wrong sides together, fold the length of the strap in half and press:
Unfold the strap and refold along the center seam (the fold):
Repeat for the other side:
Fold along center seam again, and press:
Edgestitch the strap, beginning on the side with the double-fold to prevent the strap from bunching and twisting, then edgestitch the single-fold side; repeat for the second strap.  Trim selvages from straps; set straps aside.

3. With right sides together, pin interior pocket pieces together, leaving a 3"-4" opening at the bottom for turning and stitch, be sure to backstitch at each end of the opening.  (Backstitching will prevent tearing and/or widening the opening while turning.) Clip corners close to the seam, turn the pocket right side out and press; topstitch 1/4" from folded edge.  Make sure the opening is at the bottom of the Pocket!

4. Find the center of the pocket by folding in half and making a mark.  Do the same to find the center of one of the lining pieces.  Measure 3" down from top of lining, lay the wrong side of the pocket to the right side of the lining, having center marks matched.


Edgestitch sides and bottom of pocket:


To assemble the bag:

5. With right sides together, pin top of Lining to top of canvas; stitch. 
Press seam towards lining, then with wrong sides together, match bottom edge of Lining to canvas and press.  Open the Lining out and away from the canvas then topstitch the lining side of the seam.



6. Leaving the lining open as you did during topstitching, pin Exterior Pocket to bottom of canvas, having edges matched on bottom and sides; baste 1/8" from edges.


For the Handles:
7. Find the center of the bottom of the bag, make a mark. Measure and mark 2" out on either side of the center. 
Match the double folded edge side of the strap to the marks, the ends should have 4" of space between them.  Lay a ruler against the strap to make sure you are pinning it straight; sew along the stitching lines along the length of the strap.  Go about 1/4" past the finished edge of the pocket, then stitch across the strap (parallel to the pocket) and back down to the bottom of the bag; repeat for the other half of the bag.

8. With right sides together, pin bag and lining together, leaving a 4"-6" opening on the lining for turning; stitch.

To make the boxed corners:

9. Starting the measurements at the seam line, draw a 1 1/2" square on all four corners.
Unless you are really confident with your rotary cutter skills, use scissors to cut the squares out:

10. Match the seams, pinning them open, and stitch.
Repeat for remaining three corners; press all seams open as best as you can.

11. Carefully turn the bag right side out, poking out the corners with a chopstick or unsharpened pencil.  Pin the opening of the lining closed; edgestitch. 

12. Push the lining to the inside of the bag and press.  Pin the handle to the top of the bag, then topstitch all the way around.
(I stitched an "X" on my handles, which you may want to do.  It is not necessary, but it does give it a more professional finish.)    
Give your bag a final press and you are finished!

 Six exterior pockets to stuff with all of your sewing and crafting supplies!  One inside pocket to hide your notebook, gum, wallet etc on the inside.  Moms with babies might even like to use this bag as a  quick trip diaper bag!  I would love to see what you make with this tutorial.  Please head on over to my Flickr group for inspiration and to share your creations.

Happy Sewing!
-Kristi-

PS To make a Beach Tote, follow the same instructions, but cut your pieces to the following:
Exterior 16"x22" cut two
 Medium-Weight Fusible Interfacing 16"x22"
(iron the interfacing to the exterior pieces)
Lining 18"x22"
Straps 5"x63" cut two
(or cut 6 at 5"x21", sew three pieces together for each strap)
Interior Pocket 10 3/4"x8"





Friday, February 14, 2014

Fennel and Flannel Save the Day

Meet Flannel Polkadot and her sister Fennel Patchwork! Fennel and Flannel work for the Snail Mail Delivery Service. They love their job. Delivering happy mail makes them smile, especially on Valentine's Day. (Perhaps the only thing better than being a Snail Mail carrier is being a florist. But since Fennel is allergic to pollen and Flannel isn't very  good at flower arranging, Snail Mail Carriers is what they are.)




Fennel and Flannel have seen many wonderful things on their Snail Mail route. Birds chirping, flowers blooming, small children learning to ride their tricycles...They've watched as their beloved customers brought home new babies and new cars, had tea parties in the warm summer sun and play with their dogs on the front lawn. There was a reason to smile every day. Their customers loved them, so bright and cheerful were their shells, they could be seen crawling through the neighborhood, a pile of envelopes balanced carefully on their backs. "Hello, Fennel! Hello, Flannel!", the neighborhood called. The sisters would smile, nod their heads and continue their work.



One day, the neighborhood was empty. Everyone had returned back to work and school after a snowstorm that left everyone stranded in their houses until it was safe to venture out once more. It was time to restock the pantry, return library books, check in with friends and visit the doctor. Fennel and Flannel rounded the corner of the last street on their route and heard a sound they had never heard before. It was a clicking-tapping-scratching sound, immediately followed by the sound of what they thought was someone crying. The sisters were alarmed. So happy was this neighborhood that they were quite distressed to hear those sounds. What could it be? As fast as they could, which isn't very fast at all because-as you know-they are turtles, they climbed the sidewalk until they came to a pink lobster. The lobster was the source of the scrabbling noises and the sobbing.





"What's happened? What's wrong?" asked Fennel.
"Are you ok, my dear?" said Flannel

The lobster wiped her eyes and squeaked, "It's my hot air ballon! Its been caught in a tree and I don't know how to get it down, I can't climb trees!" With that, she began to sob harder, throwing her claws up in despair at her beautiful balloon stuck on a branch.

The sisters had never seen such a thing before. The balloon was like a rainbow, one color for every section. It's band was in black and white, with the most beautiful pink basket and shimmering golden ropes. It was obvious to the sisters why the lobster was in such a sad state.

Fennel looked at Flannel. Flannel looked at the lobster and said softly "I think we can help you, what is your name?" The lobster uncovered her face and said in a watery voice, "Louisa. My name is Louisa and I am traveling from Maine to Mexico in my hot air balloon. I am on my way to visit my cousin Jorge in Mexico," she sniffed and clicked her claws together nervously, glancing up at the balloon.

The sisters smiled kindly and introduced themselves. "Here is what we are going to do," said Fennel looking at Louisa. "I will stand here, at the base of this tree and Flannel will climb up my back, across that big limb  and unhook your balloon from the branches. You stand below to make sure the balloon doesn't get caught on anything else." Louisa nodded and clambered over to a position just below the basket of the balloon. Fennel and Flannel laid their last two letters on the ground and walked toward the tree.





Fennel reached up and leaned her front legs against the tree trunk. Carefully, Flannel climbed her sisters back and up the tree. Very slowly she made her way out along the branch until she could reach the golden rope that was caught. After a few failed attempts, she managed to unhook the rope and release the balloon. It floated gently toward the ground where Louisa waited. Louisa cried tears of joy and hugged the sisters tight. "Thank you, thank you! You have saved my balloon! I must pay you!" But the sisters only smiled and shook their heads. "We are happy to help. We wish you safe travels and hope that you enjoy your time with your cousin. There is no need to pay us."

Gratefully, Louisa climbed into the pink basket of her balloon. She looked down at the sisters and smiled. "You have been so kind, I will never forget you." She blew kisses and waved her claws as she began her ascent to the sky. "Goodbye, Louisa! Be careful! Goodbye!"




Fennel and Flannel waved until they could no longer see Louisa. They turned back to their letters, lying on the ground and waiting to be delivered. They scooped them up and headed towards the last mailbox of the day. They were happy to be Snail Mail Carriers, delivering Valentines and helping new friends.


Happy Reading!
-Kristi-

Monday, December 09, 2013

Update and an Interview

Hey QoA's!
Oh my goodness, let me first apologize that you haven't heard about the prizes yet.  The Big Move has killed my schedule and routine, not to mention my access to the internet (as you know.)  I have to head out to one of the local restaurants to use the WI-FI which isn't always convenient.  So, with that information in mind, and the fact that Christmas is upon us and the move blah, blah, blah...I'm a great big jackass and I feel terrible that you're all still in limbo.  I will be trying my very best to get the info out there in the next few days!  THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE!!  Y'all are Quilter's of Awesome for so many reasons, huh?  

And now on to the interview!  This time it's my friend Kerry, of Kid Giddy.  This is one heck of a fabulously funny, gorgeous lady with a heart of gold.  She has offered up a copy of her book:
 Sewing Tales To Stitch and Love: 18 toy patterns for the storytelling sewist.  I LOVE THIS BOOK.  (check out my book review here)  You may have seen my lobster, Louisa?  If not, you will.  She's due on the blog the next time I'm here.  (Along with my post about my own Mini Quilt from the extremely talented Cat of Hello From Cat, aka the Australian Quilt Goddess, and a few other things that I've been waiting to post.)

Are you ready to meet our final prize giver?  Of course you are!  I think you're going to adore her as much as I do.  Be sure to stop by on Instagram and give her a friendly follow: @kidgiddy.  (Just giving a huge shout out to you all - Kristi is so trusting that she gave me her password so I had to post a big "I love Kristi" in here! I think there should be an ilovekristi club! PS:whoever wins the book will win a few Dritz and Fairfield goodies too) ;) 

**************



1a- when you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
Ever since my twin sister and I were little, we always wanted to be a "Mommy". The one book i remember most as a child was The Little Mommy (Golden Book). The little girl with her big blue eyes and blonde hair, looked just like my sister, but I knew I could be a mommy too.

1b- What do you do now that you're grown up?
Now that I am grown up, I am a mommy first. I also design sewing patterns and started doing that when my 2nd daughter was just born. The ideas started flowing and I started making what I could when I wasn't being a mommy, or sleeping. I wasn't very productive, but that came with time as the girls got older. 

2-someone gave you a $10,000 gift card, what store is it for and what do you buy?
I don't know, because I would give it to a family member, friend, or someone else that could benefit from it more than me. I have sufficient for my needs right now, and am always finding ways to give back.

3-what was your first sewing project?
I don't remember the exact first project, but I do remember loving the pre-printed panels of Care Bear and Strawberry shortcake doll pillows. I also still have a little doll outfit that I attempted to make - but couldn't say when it was from. 

4-who taught you how to sew?
My mom taught me to sew, who was taught by her mother. 
5-besides sewing, what are your favorite hobbies?
I am enjoying running again. I love karate and am working on my 2nd Degree Black belt (August '14). I read when I can focus long enough on it to finish it, and would love to pull out my guitar and keep learning how to play it enough to write more songs.
6-sweet or savory?
Both. I'm a sugarholic, but can pass it up if it's savory enough to fill me to the brim.
7-what is in your sewing basket?
I don't have a basket. I have a whole studio full of stuff.
8-how many ufo's are in your closet?
Too many that I have lost track.
9-what's on your sewing bucket list?
2 more book ideas (yes I am that crazy). A certain quilt for a certain mini quilt swap. Lots of thumbcovers for my long awaiting etsy customers, and before all that - my daughters long overdue Gnome doll for her bday almost 1 year ago. (I was out of the best skin colored fabric). 

10-what is your least favorite sewing-related tool and why?
Anything that is new and complicated. I don't like change. At all! So having something that worked really well, and that I knew like the back of my hand is great, until it needs replacing. I don't like having to figure it all out all over again. I like my new sewing machine - but it's frustrating to get to know its little quirks and special features.
11-what do you pack in your travel sewing bag?
My clear mary kay bag is filled with my dritz notions, scraps, threads, beads, buttons and who knows what else. Oh, I also have some scissors, business cards and labels too.
12-do you have any advice for our beginners and/or future sewists?
Start small and work your way up. I started what was supposed to be a "Quilt in a Day" - queen size and it took me 2 years. Then I made a houses and tree block quilt (also queen size) and that took 2 years too. Technically, that means I'm getting quicker when you think about it, but I should've started with a much smaller size. Now I make stuffies that can be done in a day, but not all of them. Work your way up to prevent frustration and procrastination…otherwise, your WIP or UFO's buckets will only get bigger.


-don't forget to introduce yourself/your company too! 



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Interview: Vickey Hughes of Gingersnap Quilts

Hello, hello!  Here I am at my sister-in-laws house borrowing her WI-FI to bring you, my lovely readers and fellow Quilter's of Awesome, a brand new interview with one of my favorite quilty people, Vickey Hughes.  Vickey is one of those kind souls who have offered up a prize for our Mini Quilt Swap.  ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR VICKEY!  YAAAAAAAY!



Know what's even better?  She has personally selected a Bonnie & Camille"Metro" layer cake to give away to the "BEST NOVICE", how cool is that?  Especially since 85% of you mentioned that Bonnie & Camille were amongst your favorite fabric designers.  Let's discover a little more about this generous soul and fellow QoA, shall we?

************
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? What do you do now that you're grown up? I wanted to be a nurse when I grew up... And I am! I am a (very art time) Registered Nurse in a busy ICU.

Someone gave you a $10,000 gift card, what store is it for and what do you buy?
To the Gammill Company! I would love to get a long arm some day soon!!
                 
What was your first sewing project? I first made a quilt in high school for my newborn niece.... BUT... It fell apart in the wash. I then put my sewing machine away for several years lol

Who taught you how to sew?
When I started sewing again a few years ago I taught myself with the help of some great teaching blogs.

Besides sewing, what are your favorite hobbies?
I love to go trail riding with our horses.

Sweet or savory? Sweet!! I LOVE chocolate!

What is your favorite tool in your sewing basket?
My rotary cutter is my favorite item ... I don't know how I could sew without it!

How many ufo's are in your closet?
Ummm..... I hate to admit it but seven.

What's on your sewing bucket list?
I would really like to make a kaleidoscope quilt for my king size bed but I don't think I'm not ready for that kind of commitment.

What do you pack in your travel sewing bag? Believe it or not I don't have one!
When we go on trips its family time... no time for sewing.

Do you have an advice for our beginners and/or future sewists?
Dive in! Don't be afraid to try new things. There are so many great blogs out there with great instruction!

I had planned on expanding my online shop this summer but instead we moved to two different states in less than five months!! I still plan on expanding but it may have to wait a bit so please be patient and check back often! In the meantime, I would like to offer a coupon code to be used at checkout. Please use code MiniQuilt for 15 percent off your next order. Thanks! I have loved watching the progress of everyone's mini's!!
 Thank you again, Vickey! 

Happy Swapping!
-Kristi-



Monday, November 18, 2013

Interview: Lisa Nelson of Rubenstein & Ziff

Hey, do you guys remember my call of distress back when I was assigning swap partners?  There was a lady who had signed up but her email didn't work and I couldn't find her anywhere so I posted a Tweegram asking if anyone knew her.  Unfortunately, no one recognized her but there were a few helpful suggestions (which didn't pan out, sadly.)  I couldn't stop thinking about her and I was feeling pretty bad about not being able to locate her to assign her a partner.  Well, very shortly after all the partners went out, she sent me a very sweet email inquiry about whether or not she made the cut.  I WAS SO RELIEVED!  We worked out the email, her partner info went out and the world kept turning.  In fact, she was so grateful for my hard work that she offered up a prize for one of our QoA's.  Isn't that a happy ending?  I certainly think so.  

Let's find out a little more about our new friend, shall we?

Hello Everyone, my name is Lisa Nelson. I am currently living in Richfield, Minnesota (right by the Mall of America, y'all!) with my husband of 12 years, our daughter and our two silly dogs. I started quilting in my 30's! My Mother-in-law taught me to sew. (Trust me, I needed the guidance and her patience!)

I work for Rubenstein & Ziff in Customer Service and Sales. We got our start wholesaling fabric in the upper Midwest to tailors and furriers in the late 1920’s. As fabric stores and cottage industry manufacturers entered the marketplace, Rubenstein & Ziff began to serve them as well.
With the advent of the hobby and craft industry, and the increase worldwide of quilting retailers, Rubenstein & Ziff sought to expand business opportunities and market position. In December 1995, Rubenstein & Ziff, Inc. merged with The Quiltworks to form Rubenstein & Ziff, Inc./The Quiltworks. Our goal: to become a major player within the quilting and sewing trades.
Today, we have expanded our product base to include larger fabric offerings, wider selection of notions and quilting supplies along with a complete line of the latest books, patterns and gift items. We are proud to serve national and international customers, and offer safe, secure shopping 24 hours a day through our Online Wholesale Fabric & Supply Store.
My favorite sewing tool has to be my machine. I have a Baby Lock Melody. She just hums along... love her!
My favorite thing I've made has to be the string quilt I made for ME! It's so colorful and has all of my favorite fabrics. I call it "Lisa's Happy Quilt"! I wish I was more confident in my abilities and had more TIME to play/sew. I also adore making wall-hangings and buntings for family members and my daughter's teachers for the holidays
I have two techniques I'd love to learn. One - foundation paper piecing. (Not to be confused with English Paper Piecing, which I will NOT do... not a hand-sewer!) Two - Free Motion Quilting. (Yes, I have Angela Walters' books... just need time to try the projects in the books.)
**And now for my favorite question to ask ever...**
"If you were a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, what part of the sandwich would you be and why?"
Hmmm, if I were a peanut butter and jelly sandwich... gosh, I'd be the whole thing! I'm soft and sweet on the inside and kinda crusty on the outside! *tee hee*
Lisa has kindly offered up a copy of the book Making Quilts with Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession
 Thank you so much, Lisa!  

Happy Reading!
-Kristi-
PS I would just like to mention that I am currently sitting in a restaurant eating nachos and using the restaurant's WI-FI on my husband's Mac.  You can see how this would be disastrous for blogging, right?  Needless to say, I cannot figure out how to save an image of the book for you to look at, so please click on the link.  It is a gorgeous book and that link will give you all sorts of information and lovely pictures to ogle.