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!

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!
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. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Book Review: Sewing Tales to Stitch and Love by Kerry Goulder

*photo from*

About a month ago I got an email from a friend of mine.  It went a little something like this:
"Hey, I have a book coming out and I think your blog is awesome would you consider doing a book review?"

To which I totally replied:
"Dude.  Who me?  YOU think MY blog is awesome?  WHAAAAAT?"

Oh no, wait...that was how I responded in my head.  What I really said was:
"Heck yeah!  Can I make the lobster?"
To which she replied:
*evil cackles of glee in the background*
(also purely imagined, by the way)
"You're brave!  That lobster made me sweat!"

*photo by Kid Giddy*
Well, I happen to LOVE a challenge so this was, of course, music to my ears.
One week later my world slid sideways and I found myself packing up my horde stash of fabric and putting it into storage on the VERY. SAME. DAY. that this super-fabulous box of goodies arrived with HOLY COW ALL SORTS OF AWESOME STUFF!  I couldn't believe it!  Still, I told myself that there was plenty of time, that cleaning out, organizing and packing 12+ years of stuff to move across the country in a three week time span was "NBD" (as the yunguns say).  Well, the days went by, more and more stuff disappeared into boxes, rooms began to empty out, my sewing tables were taken away, my sewing room became a hold-all for everything else and then...then the worst thing happened.  My sewing machine got unplugged and shoved into a corner.  I got a little panicky, I immediately sent out an SOS to my friend who very kindly granted me permission to do a two part review for her lovely little blog hop. 
So, this first part is all about the book.  The second part will be all about Louisa the Lobstah.  She's from Boston and she's pretty dang excited that her Red Sox won the world series.  Louisa decided to celebrate the big win by taking a vacation to Bermuda and visit her cousin Jorge, doesn't that sound like fun?  Anyway, more about Louisa's adventures later.  I hear she's quite the catch (HA!) so I'm sure she'll have lots of wild tales (HA AGAIN!) to tell. So, without further delay, allow me to introduce you to the one and only Kid Giddy, aka Kerry Goulder!

Sewing Tales to Stitch and Love is a book full of cute little softies, each with their own little story.  I love that Kerry has brought these characters to life in a story for us.  It sorta makes you feel like your project will be a continuation of hers, like you're creating a little family to go along with each toy.  This book is warm, inviting and delightful.  I loved reading through it and I am eager to get started on my project.

One of the things I really appreciated about the book was the credits on the photo.  I love having the fabric/notion information listed where I can easily see it.  Often times, I find myself admiring the fabric or wondering about a tool in a pictured project but there is no info for it anywhere.  Or, sometimes it's listed in the back of the book but that's just too much work for me.  I want the information to be easily accessible.  In this book it is.

*photo from*

There are eighteen patterns in this book and they suit a wide range of sewing abilities.  Eighteen might not seem like a lot, but there is quite the variety of projects in the book.  Eighteen is just right.  Eighteen is doable, it's a "Hey!  I can make one of everything in here!" and actually do it kinda number.

The photographs are beautifully done and the instructions are easy to follow.  I like that the patterns are all shrunk to fit in the pages of the book.  There's no annoying pull-out patterns that never fold up right after you use them, causing the cover to stick up and not lay flat anymore.  (Grrr how I hate that.)  Plus, I always make a copy of my book patterns anyway because I don't want to cut up the original.  I also LOVE the fact that she opted for the shrink-to-fit-book size patterns instead of overlapping full size patterns on the pages.  That makes my brain hurt.  I feel like this was a well-thought out part of the book.

I am eager to get to the other side of this move because that means I get to start sewing again.  Miss Louisa is the very first thing that I'm going to make.   You will get a full report on the pattern and how it goes together.  I have lots of lovely new sewing tools to use and demonstrate, thanks to Dritz.
Check out Kerry's book on Amazon and follow along on her blog hop.  There's lots more to see along the way!  There are twenty of us participating in the tour.

Thank you to Heather Bailey, Dritz, F&W Media/KP Craft, and especially Kerry for the fantastic goody box full of absolutely everything a sewist would need to put together one of the delightful toys in the book.  I am especially grateful for it because I had to put all of my stuff in storage, and now I will have new, lovely sewing accoutrements to play with.  Yay!

Kerry Goulder & Heather Bailey

Happy Reading!

Monday, November 04, 2013

Love Triangle

I was lucky enough to do a guest post over on our first prize giver's blog.  Head on over and check out my little tutorial on triangles.  Then make something totally fabulous with your newly acquired triangle skill!  Don't forget to post it on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #octoberquiltybox

Happy Quilting!