One Lovely Quilt Award

Last week while we were away on vacation, I received this lovely e-
mail Iris@crazydutchbirdquilts telling me that my blog is nominated for the One Lovely Quilt Award, along with nine other quilt bloggers. I am very honored and excited that Hudson Valley Quilts received this very unexpected award. I met Iris last year through the Plum and June’s Advice for New Blogger’s Blog HopThank you, Iris. And thank you Beth for hosting the blog hop where we met.

https://addictedtothesweetlife.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/one-lovely-blog-award-badge.png?w=676
Here are the rules/instructions for the “One Lovely Blog Award”
1. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you (mention your nominator in your own award post with a link back to their original award post, which for me would be this one).
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3.  Nominate 10 other blogs for the award. 
(Note this was how this information came to me but I have since found out that a year ago the 3rd agreement just said nominate other blogs for this award….so I say if 10 seems overwhelming just go with the number you are happy with).

Part of the award process is for me to share 7 things about me that you might not know. Then I will nominate 10 other blogs that are very lovely blogs too. 

1. I have two masters degrees: an MBA, (Masters in Business Administration), from Syracuse Universtiy and a MLIS (Masters of Information and Library Science, with a speciality in youth services), from Long Island University.

 2. My first career was as an in-house Recruiter and Human Resource Manager at two large law firms in Manhattan. 

 3. As you probably know, I love cats. Dogs are great too. I volunteer for the SPCA of Briarcliff, in Briarcliff, New York. My husband and I have raised over 40 when the shelter was at capacity. It is a no-kill shelter, and we are a foster home. This is why we support this local shelter so passionately.

There is one family, and one adult female cat I will never forget. The older female cat was abused, and the Vet did surgery to try and repair her broken leg. Sadly,  it was unsuccessful. She had to have it amputated. We were devastated for her. They shelter wanted us to create a physical therapy program for her while she was recuperating at our home. None of us knew what physical therapy for a cat was, but we did a little research and used some creativity. Mostly, she really needed to get her confidence back. 

We set up a mini obstacle course for her from one end of our living room into the second bedroom of our condo. Four times a day, I would have her do four heats of the obstacle course. After a few weeks, she was walking and running around confidently. She returned to the shelter for adoption. Six months later, she found her forever home. We cried many happy tears. 

We fostered a new mom and her five 3-day old kittens. Watching the kittens grow up until they were seven weeks old and could return to the shelter for their vaccines and adoption, was such a treat. Everyday they would surprise me. It is always hard to bring fosters back for adoption if you’ve bonded with any or all of them. 

One of the kittens in this litter was a little boy who looked just like Emma who is sitting on the masthead of this blog. 


                                                Emmett


                                                Biscuit and Emma

We adopted her when she was a year old from a rescue group. So we named the kitten Emmett, after Emma. The day came when we brought the family back to the SPCA, we cried, and really wanted to keep Emmett, and struggled with adopting a third cat. This little guy had us wrapped around his paw. 

We have two cats who are very close, Biscuit and Emma, and adding a new one into the mix probably would have caused issues. Hard decision – ultimately the best one for Biscuit and Emma, was not to adopt another. We decided by the end of the day to go back and adopt Emmett But he was already adopted by a lovely family with two children. So fate stepped in and made us stick to our original decision.

4. I am the author of five non-fiction children’s books, which are not all under my name. 

Crispus Attucks: Hero of The Boston Massacre

Nat Love; African American Cowboy

The Supreme Court and The Judaical Branch

The Importance of Being an Active Citizen

Booker T. Washington; Educator and Racial Spokesman

Three of them are biographies. Although none of the subjects are alive, I really enjoyed interviewing people and writing about other people’s lives.
I learned so much about how different and similar people are. Hearing what they had to say, and learning about what makes them alive was fascinating. This is why I enjoy interviewing people in our industry and featuring them on this blog.

5. My two amazing and cool, personal Rock ‘n Roll moments. (Growing up and even as an adult, I have been to many concerts, Rock, Jazz and Classical). 

I saw The Beatles filming the movie, “Help,” in Nassau, The Bahamas. I was with my family on vacation. 

And…while attending Ithaca College, I was at a Billy Joel concert. During one of his encores, the Piano Man asked for requests from the audience. He picked me.
I was so excited.

6. I love swimming. Going to a beach or lake is a haven for me. I also love swimming in the pool, especially an infinity pool!!

7. I love outer space. When I heard that Scott Kelly, the astronaut was going to spend a year in space, and tweet about it, I had to follow along. The photos of earth from outer space, as well as the photos of space, that Captain Scott J. Kelly is posting are amazing and inspirational. If you want to follow along with me, his handle is  @StationCDRKelly

I am nominating the following blogs, in no particular order for the One Lovely Blog Award. A big thanks to them for supporting and inspiring me, and Iris@crazydutchbirdquilts, who nominated me.

Beth@cookingupquilts

Ashley@filminthefridge

Emily@thecaffeinatedquilter

Chelsea@patchthegiraffe

Molli@mollisparkles

Christa@christaquilts – Christa recently came out with a book; Machine Quilting with Style: From Walking-Foot Wonders to Free Motion Favorites.

Megan@sewstitchingcute

Shauna@shaunasworld

Amber@alittlebitbiased – Amber recently came out with a wonderful new book; Vintage Vibe; Traditional Quilts, Fresh Fabrics.

Beth@plumandjune – Beth just came out with a fabulous new book; The Modern Medallion Workbook. 

Faith@freshlemonquilts – Faith co-wrote with two other fantastic quilters and bloggers a book; Vintage Quilt Revival; 22 Modern Designs From Classic Blocks.

On another note, I am linking up today with WIP Freshly Modern Pieced, hosted by another favorite quilter and blogger, Lee Heinrich. I have been marking my king sized quilt for hand quilting, which is taking a very long time.


I am going to post a short tutorial on marking quilts for hand quilting. Once I start working on it, I will only show myprogress when I’m at the halfway mark, and then at the end. That will probably be in 2020!!  Hopefully a lot sooner. Everything else I’m working on is being quilted by my Bernina 750.
Happy Quilting!!


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And So It Is The Night Before QuiltCon 2015

We got up at 4:00 AM and made it to the airport in good time. Landed in Austin where it is a heavenly 65 F. No coats or sweaters. So we are very happy. When we left it was 7 F.



When we woke up, Biscuit was firmly planted on one of the suitcases and did not want us to go away. He is so sweet. And it was hard to say good-bye to Biscuit and Emma.

Between 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM, QuiltCon registrants could go to the Austin Conference Center and pic up their badges. I also looked to see where all my classes were located. Tomorrow I need to be at there at 8:30 AM, so I didn’t want to be trying to figure all that out.



This is my final class schedule. I was wait listed on Weeks Ringle’s Class; Eclectic Modern: Expanding Your Fabric Repertoire with Weeks Ringle, tomorrow from 9:00 AM to 5:00 AM. I am really looking forward to this class.

And I received this incredibly cool gift bag.



And this is only about half of what was inside. But there were two items in there that I loved.



I love having extra colored pencils at my disposal, and these are small enough to carry in a handbag. They came with a sketchbook too, courtesy of the Modern Quilt Guild. Thank you.

And this adorable watch from Bernina. How cute is that? The hands are made of little scissor, and the band is a hard, plastic measuring tape. How cool is that? I will be wearing that for sure.

My husband and I took a tour around downtown Austin and found these great guitars everywhere that is their public art program.



There are so colorful and fun to admire. I will be taking lots of photos of them when we come upon them.

On another note, I am responding to those who comment below, by e-mail. Many seem to prefer that, as opposed to responding in the comment box.

I am off to bed. It’s been a long day since we left New York at 4:00 AM. Can’t wait to share more. In the meantime, enjoy the week, and stay warm and safe for those of you who are in the snow, cold and ice.

Interview with Amanda Murphy

I am really excited to share this interview I had with Amanda Murphy. 

About six months ago I reviewed her book Color Essentials. Amanda is also the author of Modern Holiday: Deck the Halls with 18 Sewing Projects Quilts, Stockings, Decorations & More.


Thank you for taking the time to tell us about yourself and your sewing and quilting career.

1.    Tell us about your family, kiddos, husband, pets.
 
I live with my husband and two kids in North Carolina. 
 

2.    I read that you started quilting at an early age.
Well, I started sewing at an early age, but I didnt start quilting until    after my kids were born – about a dozen years ago.

3.   Tell us the story of how did you get started? Did someone influence you?  What was the tween Amanda like?
As a child my two favorite subjects were art and math, so I guess the fact that I like quilting and fabric design is no big surprise!  I also always loved history – decorative arts museum are my favorite.

4.   Where did you grow up? Where did you attend college, and did your major in fine arts help you with your quilting career ?
I grew up in Virginia and attended college at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, PA.  I was actually an industrial design major but ended up working in print multimedia.  That experience has definitely helped me in terms of being able to keep up a website, put design patterns, etc.

5.   What inspired you to write Modern Holiday and Color Essentials? Are there any other books on the horizon?
Modern Holiday was inspired in part by all those gorgeous holiday fabrics that are now available!  I wanted to do a holiday book that was very graphic in nature – bold and fun.   
    Color Essentials is reflective of the work I did with color in college and also the incredible range of colors in the Kona cotton line. It walks the line between art and quilting for me. (And there are more projects on the horizon, but I cant talk about them yet.)

6.   Tell us about your relationship with Craftsy. How did it begin?
Craftsy originally recruited me at Market to teach classes in machine embroidery.  Now I also teach an appliqué class!

7.  Tell us about your classes with Craftsy, in particular your newest one.
I have two classes in the machine embroidery category – Elegant     Machine Embroidered Bags and Elegant Machine Embroidered Quilts.  It is so fun to pick threads to match quilting fabrics to make something really unique.
 
My 20 Fresh Appliqué Techniques is just that!  I teach your a variety of techniques that will really make your machine appliqué sing!  

 

Some are traditional and some are more unusual.  We make 4 small projects – all with a modern flair.  And we learn to embellish with thread and stitches beautifully!

  

8.   Are appliquéand embroidery your favorite sewing and surface techniques and what draws you to them?
They are some of my favorite techniques – yes.  I tend to love whatever I am working on at the moment!  Im fortunate to work in such a creative industry.

 9. Please show and tell us about your favorite project to date? 
My favorite project to date is my most recent quilt, Flower Power!  It uses a lot of the stitches and techniques I teach in my Craftsy class.  (A coordinating pillow is part of the class.)

10. How did you begin your business Amanda Murphy Design, and how did you grow it?

    I began by sending some design ideas to fabric companies and then started designing patterns. The books, the classes, and my relationship with BERNINA followed.
Modern Lace Fabric – Cool Tones Designed By Amanda Murphy                              
Modern Lace Fabric – Warm Tones Designed By Amanda Murphy

11.What do you see as emerging trends in fabric and quilting in the next 1-2 years?
I see a merging of the modern and traditional movements.  The modern aesthetic is definitely having an influence in the traditional quilting world and the techniques familiar to traditional quilters are seeping into the modern movement.  Also, the embracing of technology by the quilting community is bound to continue and it will be interesting to see where it leads.

Thank you so much for spending this time with us.

Thanks for having me.

Amanda has generously offered a give-a-way; a free link to her recent Craftsy class – 20 Fresh Applique Techniques.  In order to enter, please leave a comment in my comment box telling us what your favorite pattern line is

I will announce the winner on this blog on Friday, July 18 in the morning, EST. Please be sure to leave me your e-mail address so we can get in touch with the winner. Good luck!!
On Another note, Plum & June’s New Quilter’s Blog Hop is containing. I participated and posted on June 3rd. There are many more great quilt bloggers to meet, so please click on the Plum & June Button on my sidebar.

A give-a-way for National Visit Your Quilting Shop Day; A Visit to Sew Happins in Wilmington, North Carolina

I had the good fortune to meet Sarah and John Devens, owners of a wonderful quilt shop, Sew Happins in Wilminton, North Carolina. They carry a wide variety of fabrics, notions, offer many great classes,and are a Bernina dealer.
(413 S. College Rd., Wilmington, NC, 910-399-4935, http://www.SewHappins.com).


 

I’m always excited to share a great find,when I come across a quilt store, whether brick and mortar or online. And Saturday, January 25th, just happens to be National Visit Your Quilting Shop Day. So if you are in the area, I encourage you to visit, not just Saturday, anytime you happen to be in Wilmington, NC.

This store is full of positive and creative energy, and it has a lot to do with Sarah and John’s philosophy. Luckily, Sarah was able to sit down and talk with me about Sew Happins at 3:30 PM, because until then it was buzzing with customers and a class on a typical Thursday.

Sarah told me that when they came back from living in the Netherlands for a little over a decade, they really wanted to make time for each other, and their family. For example, they are closed on Black Friday, evenings and Sunday.

The second part of their philosophy, came as their story unfolded even more when I asked Sarah, “What is the most rewarding aspect of running Sew Happins.” She explained to me that she loves seeing what quilters create from the fabric they buy at their store, and the classes they take. The best part for her comes from their customer’s excitement with the experience they have. Sarah encourages everyone to post their progress and finished quilts on their facebook page,https://www.facebook.com/SewHappins.

They are very customer service oriented, and do an incredible job in remembering customer’s names. I love that every Friday from 12-4, and once a month on Saturdays, they have an open sew which is free. There is a made to create class, which is designed for participants to finish a project in three hours. There is even a Bernina software club and hands on sewing classes, from beginners to machine embroidery. The objective is to have fun, and not always follow the rules!! The January calendar of classes is fabulous http://sewhappins.com/classes/ 

They have a very large classroom.

Let me tell you, when I say they carry a lot and a wide variety of fabrics, I am not kidding. I was a bit spellbound as I walked around the store twice, which took me a a good hour. And the bolts of fabric are in perfect color order. Of course I could not leave without a purchase of three fabrics, which I fell in love with; (and those who know and sew with me, know it is almost impossible for me to resist fabric with little flowers, especially tulips. And I received 15% off for finishing a bolt, so I did not wreck my February budget.) See four part series, http://www.hudsonvalleyquilts.com/2013/11/building-stash-without-breaking-your.html

Perfect Color order – I’m in heaven!
 

And more….

Of course an incredible section of batiks….

Keep going….

And we can’t forget their long arm service….

I bought some orange, which I do not have a large stash of, but this one had one of my favorite designs on it, the swirl. I received 15% off for finishing the tulip bolts, and already have in mind where they will be used in some quilts I am planning for this year.

When they first returned to the U.S. their plan was to open a upscale dog kennel in Raleigh, but zoning and red tape whatnot prevented that from happening. Through the entire process, Sarah, just kept quilting. 

Then another quilt store in Wilmington that was a Bernina dealer was moving out of the area. So they applied, and Sew Happins opened it’s doors in May, 2011. Sarah and John took baby steps and grew this brick and mortar store into quite a bustling shop. And I could really feel their pride in how it’s evolved.

Sarah began quilting about ten years ago, and the story she told me about how it happened, really touched my heart. Her mom crocheted, knitted, and did other sewing crafts, but not quilting. She gave Sarah a quilting kit for Christmas, because she wanted her daughter to find a hobby she might love.
And indeed, Sarah fell in love with it.


Sarah’s describes her style as a little bit traditional, and a little bit modern. She loves to make quilts for those in her life who really appreciate them.

I am always interested in quilting and fabric trends, and I asked Sarah about her thoughts on what’s ahead. She feels a big part of it has to do with where quilters live geographically, and what they want. Quilters love to see patterns and fabrics that are new and different.  Sarah often makes things that have been out there, but she likes to put a new twist on it, and give it a new life.
She suggests; “Keep your open and create.”

Her husband John, is a jack of all trades. He takes care of the business end of Sew Happins, technology, and has an incredible eye for art and color. Customers often come to him for his suggestions about their fabric combinations and questions about color.  This husband and wife team collaborated on a quilt that Sarah is most proud of; they designed an owl quilt which won Judge’s Choice for a local quilt show, Quilter’s by The Sea Annual Quilt Show.It now belongs to their grandchildren.


I cannot end this post without mentioning Bailey and Kayla, their office pups. They are the official authors of their newletter, and have the special privilege of deciding what will go on sale in the shop. 

Sarah (left), Donna (right), and Bailey and Kayla (front and center)!!

Sarah has put together this amazing give-a-way to celebrate, National Visit Your Quilting Shop Day.










In order to win this give-a-way, all you need to do is follow both of us on facebook; Sew Happins, https://www.facebook.com/SewHappins and Hudson Valley Quilts, https://www.facebook.com/HudsonValleyQuiltsInc. And sign up for the Sew Happins newsletter, http://sewhappins.com/about-us/get-our-happenins-newsletter/, and the Hudson Valley Quilts blog, by Wednesday, January, 29, at 12:01 AM. Leave a comment in my comment box below that you did, and leave your e-mail address. The lucky winner will be announced on this blog on Wednesday morning.

Happy quilting, and visit your local quilt store on Saturday to celebrate with the owners.

Happy and Healthy New Year!!

Welcome back!! I am glad I took a little break to be with family, friends, enjoy the holidays, and re-charge my batteries. During the downtime, I had some time to think about my personal and professional goals, especially those related to quilting and my blog.

When I started my blog this summer, I didn’t know any other quilt bloggers, or any bloggers for that matter. I read over 200 blogs before I officially launched Hudson Valley Quilts in late August, with the masthead and background you see now. I set up almost everything, technology-wise, except for those elements. I needed someone who really knew code. Thank you, Courtney. I am very grateful and happy because you made my vision a reality. You did such a beautiful job. 

I met some other quilt bloggers from all over the U.S. and Canada. Everyone was kind, helpful, and most of all friendly. Thank you for your help and suggestions. I hope to get to a few quilts shows this year, (hoping to meet some of you in person). I am especially excited to attend Fall Market in Houston this year, which I had to cancel out of a few days before, due to a fractured sacrum.

Although I’ve been quilting for 20 years, I participated in my first QAL this past fall with Fresh Lemons Quilts, and blogger/instructor Faith Jones. My quilt top is almost finished. I can wait to show it, because I added a few little surprises to make it my own, with the thought that it will go to my cousin’s newborn, due in March.

In 2014, I will be doing lots of interviews, including; fabric designers, authors of quilt books, and other bloggers. There will be quilt book reviews, similar to the one I did about Color Essentials, and some tours of manufacturers in our industry. 

Early this month, look for a post which includes an interview of Tom Collingham, who gave me a tour of the Colonial Needle headquarters in White Plains, New York. It was really fascinating and fun. A member of his staff also gave me an incredible basket of sewing threads, needles, and other notions for a give-a-way.

Other projects that I’ve been planning and prepping for are 2 kings sized quilts, using very cute and fun 1930’s fabrics. Also a very scrappy quilt using charm packs and some of my favorite scraps. 

We still have a little more work to finish the sewing room, but I am in there sewing and finally out of the dining room area. And I promised myself the fabric that isn’t put away will be, by the end of January.

My other immediate goal, besides finishing the quilt room, is to understand the amazing amount of new options and technology in my new Bernina 750. Be prepared for lots of show and tell!!

I think 2014 will be the year of new discoveries, and I can’t wait to share them with you!! Wishing everyone a healthy, and Happy New Year.

12 Days of Christmas OR A Quilter’s List for Santa

On The first day of Christmas 
My true love sent to me: 
A Bernina 750 

On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 
2 Machingers 
and a Bernina 750 

On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 
3 thimbles 
2 Machingers 
and a Bernina 750 

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 
4 skeins of floss
3 thimbles 
2 Machingers 
and a Bernina 750 

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:
5 seam rippers
4 skeins of floss
3 thimbles
2 Machingers
and a Bernina 750

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:
6 Jelly rolls
5 seam rippers
4 skeins of floss
3 thimbles
2 Machingers
and a Bernina 750

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me:
7 different rulers
6 jelly rolls
5 seam rippers
4 skeins of floss
3 thimbles
2 Machingers
and a Bernina 750

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:
8 rolls of wonder under
7 different rulers
6 jelly rolls
5 seam rippers
4 skeins of floss
3 thimbles
2 Machingers
and a Bernina 750

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:
9 sets of needles
8 rolls of wonder under
7 different rulers
6 jelly rolls
5 seam rippers
4 skeins of floss
3 thimbles
2 machingers
and a Bernina 750

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:
10 packs of pins
9 sets of needles
8 rolls of wonder under
7 different rulers
6 jelly rolls
5 seam rippers
4 skeins of floss
3 thimbles
2 Machingers
and a Bernina 750

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me:
11 new bobbins
10 pack of pins
9 sets of needles
8 rolls of wonder under
7 different rulers
6 jelly rolls
5 seam rippers
4 skeins of floss
3 thimbles
2 Machingers
and a Bernina 750

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:
12 spools of thread
11 new bobbins
10 packs of pins
9 sets of needles
8 rolls of wonder under
7 different rulers
6 jelly rolls
5 seam rippers
4 skeins of floss
3 thimbles
2 Machingers
and a Bernina 750

Happy Holidays!!  Happy Quilting!!

Bernina B 750 Quilters Edition

I received my holiday present early this year – Thank you!! I am really excited, and have wanted to upgrade from my trusty Bernina 130 for a long time. I couldn’t wait to share.
















In this picture it looks like a little halo under the presser foot, which makes me laugh.  Does that mean wonderful, beautiful quilts and other projects will happen here?

The feature that I love with this machine is that it’s big enough to machine quilt large and king sized quilts, which I could actually do with my 130 but 
I would have to wrap it in such a tight roll. With this new Bernina, I won’t have to.













It has quite a menu to offer of stitches.  It’s going to take me a while to learn it all. We quilters seem to love challenges. 

Below is the Bernina web site.

http://www.bernina.com/en-US/Meta/Search-for?searchtext=B+750+quilter%27s+edition 

Thank you so much for this wonderful gift!!

 Happy Quilting!!