I have been busy sewing up a storm, and have at least three works in progress. But I am only going to share one of them today.

All of these little pieces of paper are now removed from the blocks and rows of my 1930’s reproduction quilt. I loved unpinning them, and finally seeing how this was coming together, row by row.



And finally….

It’s all together, except for the borders, which I will begin on Friday.

Stay tuned, because a lot of new fabric is coming my way and are going to specific projects I have mapped out. A lot of sewing is going to be going on during these next several months.

Happy Quilting!!

The Sewing Party – A New, One-of-Kind DIY Event

At this fall’s quilt market in Houston, I came across a one-of-a-kind product that caught my attention, and I am excited to share it with you. 

This is the first time in history that 30+ DIY classes will be offered in “real time,” virtually by The Sewing Party, on Saturday, November 8, 2014, beginning at 10:00 AM EST, through 7:30 PM EST. 

The beauty of this event, (see video) is the viewer will be able to take part in all of these classes, and interact, live with teachers/designers/educators and
classmates. For the next 90 days participants with have access to class recordings, handouts and project instructions. This a great deal for $40. 

This is a great opportunity to learn many new techniques, network, and build a bigger community of sewing friends. And of course a party wouldn’t be a party without surprises, right? I interviewed Ann Bragg from The Sewing Party at quilt market, and she had to keep that part a secret.

The class choices are broad, and include; sewing, quilting, crafting, fashion, crafting business and creativity. This is a great opportunity and deal!!

The teachers/educators/bloggers are well-known and respected through their web sites, Etsy and HGTV. If you can’t log on with computer your computer or electronic device, on November 8, or you can only participate for just part of the day, the participant will have access to all of the conversations, instruction sheets, tips, Q & A from the transcripts of all of the classes for 90 days. To register, click here.  

OR go to http://www.thesewingparty.com.
After the 90 days, there will be more “good stuff” to come, via their
newsletter. The incredible people I met at The Sewing Party are offering a very nice give-a-way. Three lucky winners will be chosen on Thursday, November 6th at 9:00 AM, EST, and announced on this blog. Please make sure to leave your e-mail address, and tell us;

1. What is your favorite class?
2. Who is your favorite teacher/educator/designer

The winners will receive a free ticket to The Sewing Party and a cool tee-shirt Good luck.

Think Spring Give-A-Way From Cuts of Cotton

As you know, many of us have been hit hard by snowstorms, severe cold, and ice this year. It’s been a long, hard winter. So it’s time to get positive and THINK SPRING with this months fabric give-a-way from Cuts of Cotton. 

This is such a happy bundle. In order to win, please subscribe to The Cuts of Cotton blog, http://www.cutsofcotton.com/blogs/blog, my blog and like Hudson Valley Quilts on facebook at, https://www.facebook.com/HudsonValleyQuiltsInc

Let me know that you did all three in the comments box below.  I will announce the winner on Friday.  This give-a-way ends on Friday, February 21, at 6:00 AM, EST.

On another note, this is National Library Week. I will be posting a short review of my favorite quilting book, which happens to be a children’s picture book I came across many years ago.  It’s very sweet and special, and I’m excited to share it with everyone.

Fabrics From A to Z The Essential Guide to Choosing and using Fabric for Sewing by Dana Willard

I came across this book a few months ago, and I really wanted to familiarize myself with it, before I wrote this review. I have to admit, I don’t  know a lot about different fabrics when it comes to sewing. Really just the basics, particularly when it comes to quilting. But now, I am no longer afraid to experiment with other fabrics and try sewing projects outside of quilting.

Dana Willard, author of Fabrics From A to Z; The Essential Guide to Choosing and Using Fabrics for Sewing,has written a sewist’s reference gem. And her encouraging and enthusiastic introduction, has made me want to try Minky, (and other fabrics), which I have always been afraid would wreck the timing on my machine because of it’s thickness. Several months ago someone gave me a large piece of it. 

Back then I had a older Bernina, and now have the 750, but I think I still would have shied away from it.  I donated the Minky to the local SPCA to keep the dogs, cats, puppies of kittens soft and warm while waiting to be adopted. I never regret helping animals in need. 

Now I think I’m going to buy some Minky and use it for the back side of a baby quilt I’m planning. My cousin and her husband are expecting their third; a new baby who’s arrival we are all excited about, due this Spring.

This must-have guide/reference book is sooo well organized. The first section is about “Selecting Fabrics,” and that is divided into five parts; Woven Fabrics, Knit Fabrics, Speciality Fabrics, Blended Fabrics and Patterned Fabrics. Within those categories over 100 fabrics are covered.

Section Two covers “Notions and Tools.” That is divided into four sections; Reading Sewing Patterns, Glossary, Index and acknowledgements.

Each half page spread covers a fabric.  For example, see Lawn below. (Never knew there was even a fabric with that name, just thought it was something green outside our home. covered for the last few months with snow and ice. lol).

At the top left, check out the handy key with the icons. The dress means it’s a good fabric for fashion. The curtains indicate that the fabric means it’s good for home furnishing, and the hexagon shape tells the reader the fabric is good for crafts and miscellaneous projects.

At the bottom of each half page spread, is a very clear photo of the fabric, better than shown above. I can actually see the nubs and weaves in these photos, that’s how sharp they are.

There is a description of the fabric and a recommendation of what it is best used for in detail. For example, lawn is “…,plain-weave cotton….,” that is best used in “….blouses, dresses, shirts, curtain, nightgowns, baby clothing and quilting.”

Next the authors writes a bulleted list of the fabrics characteristics. The following paragraph is list that describes how to best work with the fabric. Lastly, comes a list of how to care for the fabric. Some pages include, “Handy Hint,” “Tip,” or “Did You Know.”  

Part Two covers Notions and Tools. This is fabulous, because each category within those topics are plentiful, with short, precise descriptions, and have simple line art drawings, that provide a novice sewer with a guide that makes identification easy, peasy.

Notions covers everything from all different kinds of threads, which is something I always need to question ,or have something to refer to, and wonderfully helpful. Pages depict different types of buckles, appliques, fastners, trims, zippers and more.

Tools is equally as excellent and complete. It covers tools for measuring, cutting, pressing, machine presser feet and more. I love the machine presser feet section.

I’m grateful to have found this comprehensive and well-written reference book, which is so perfectly executed. Spot on for all interested in sewing.

Back cover….The end.

If you haven’t read Monday’s post of an interview with Amy Gibson from Stitchery Dickory Dock, please check it out.  It includes a fabulous give-a-way, which ends on Saturday, February, 16 at 12:01 PM.

Happy reading and sewing.  And stay safe and warm, especially if you too being effected by this  huge Nor’ easter.

Work in Progress – A Thities Scrap Quilt

I have four WIP’s,including this one. I have been planning this quilt for about six months, and I am really excited about it. I decided it was time to get going and sewing.

Lots of jelly rolls above, bought at Calico Annie’s, a brick & mortar store in Nebraska, that are very “thirties.” Some solids are below.

This past summer, one of the members of a quilt group I’m in, called the Serendipity Quilters, showed us some real vintage fabric she found, which  inspired me to make a quilt using thirties fabric. 

I found a pattern in Jelly Roll Inspirations, by Pam and Nicky Lintott, called Pick and Mix. Normally, when I use a pattern, I use different fabrics, or make a twist on it to give it my own spin. But not today, and in another quilt I have planned, but I did completely change the background. 

These are my first two squares, only 88 more to go for a very large quilt, but it goes fast and it makes me think that spring is around the cornor. lol.

I will show more WIP’s in the next several posts.

A Visit to Colonial Needle in White Plains, New York, Give-a-Way, Part 2

The rest of the Colonial Needle story…. 

Two to three years ago, Colonial Needle acquired the North American Distributor of Presencia America, an outstanding thread manufacturer to their company. Presencia, located in Valencia, Spain is the maker of a wide variety of high quality threads. Below are photos of the threads and a thread color chart. This is what a quilter would use for piecing in their sewing machine. 

They also make this thread in cones for those who prefer that, or are longarm quilters.

I have tried this 100 % Egyptian, cotton thread and do not get lint, or what I call quilt dust bunnies, above the needle shaft or in the bobbin case, which is such a pleasure.

A lot of color choices.  Who doesn’t love that?

Both the embroidery thread and the Perle thread, is also 100% staple cotton. This means it’s not fused, extremely strong, colorfast and shrinkfast. And wait until you see proof below of that later in this post. I was wowed.

The embroidery thread has the same special aspects as the thread described above. It is really bleachfast. 

In fact, Jim and Tom showed me a minor’s jacket that had been through about 50 washings and quite a few bleachings. The ball of thread is three-ply Perle thread. Note the Ralph Lauren Polo Logo is as bright as the day it was new.. 

Now I’ll show you why I was wowed. When I came home, I compared it to other thread I’ve used for machine applique and hand quilting,that has been washed many times. Mine was faded in comparison to the Presencia. Check out the color of the perle thread ball that is the same color used to make that logo.

The interesting thing about the hand quilting thread is that it is thinner, but still 3 ply. Thinner individual threads, are used but into a three ply finished product. It comes in 40 wt., 50 wt. and 60 wt.

The photo above shows the crochet thread above, and the Perle thread I have been referring to. The Perle thread that is 3 is very thick, and best used for using for hand stitching in crazy quilts, or as an alternative to embroidery thread. The 5,7, and 8 is good to use in the top thread in your sewing machine, but too thick for the bobbin.  The 8 is mostly recommended for Sashico.

The 40 wt. is perfect for hand quilting. The 50 wt. is used for machine piecing and machine applique. The 60 wt., is finer, although 3 ply as well the others, and is used for hand applique.

Colonial Needle http://www.colonialneedle.com/offers a wide variety of notions, and other sewing products,including thimbles, felting, cross stitch kits, hoops, pins, measurers and knitting and crocheting supplies. They sell to independent shop owners. 

In Part 1, I promised I would re-post the very help Colonial English Needles chart, and here it is. I also posted it on my pinterest page, http://www.pinterest.com/annieb1971/quilting-tips-and-tutorials/



The team at Colonial Needle put together in incredible gift basket. I took a few photos so you could really see the variety of products and how much is in this very large and cool basket.

Our cat Biscuit isn’t sure he wants to give it up.  But I know he is convincible. He is a true quilting cat and you will see more of him in posts. His little sister Emma is pictured on the masthead sitting on my quilting basket.  

All you have to do to enter, is subscribe to my blog and like Hudson Valley Quilts and Colonial Needle on facebook, and let me know in my comment box.  

Since we’ve been discussing this unusual cold weather, and this is optional, tell me what city you live in, and how cold it’s been where you live. We are in Ossining, New York and it reached -16 F with the wind chill factor.

I will announce the winner of this gift basket on Sunday, January 12 at 12:01 AM. It will be posted on the blog. But please leave your e-mail address, so I know where to send it.

Stay warm. Happy quilting. Have a great weekend!!

Fabric Give-A-Way And An Anniversary

Twenty Years ago I started quilting. I knew nothing more than how to sew a button onto a piece of clothing. I bought a great beginners book called Quilts, Quilts, Quilts!!!: The Complete Guide to Quiltmaking by Diana McClun and Laura Knowles. 

I took the book to The Country Quilter in Somers, New York on October 8, 1993. I poured over the many bolts of beautiful fabrics, observed a class that was going on, and I was hooked. 

So I signed up for beginner lessons, bought some fabric, a cutting board, thread and other beginners tools, and began my journey. And a great journey it has been. Later that day I met the man I would eventually marry. He also did a monumental thing that day before he met me, and shaved off a mustache he had for many years. 

So to celebrate, my new sponsor, Cuts of Cotton is offering a great bundle of fall fabric as a give-a-way. 

In order to enter in the give-a-way, please leave me a comment below, and include  what your favorite fabric to work with is, and your favorite color. I will put all names in a hat, and my husband will randomly pick one on Wednesday, October 16. I will post the winner on my blog on Thursday,October 17, by noon, EST. Please include a way I can reach you, in the comments box. 

Good luck!!!!

Our Short Vacation, and Progess

We just returned from a great trip to the Boston area to visit family, and the Berkshires to visit a dear friend. I love finding the unexpected on a trip, such as this little post office near Ipswich, MA, and Crane Beach.

After we returned, I made some good progress on my Bear Quilt for a client.   I am so glad to re-discover machine applique, and happy that this skill came back to me so easily.  I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve done it on  my machine.

Only 22 more to go!! But I have to say that I’m finding this process to be challenging and Zen at the same time.  Very relaxing, but a challenge to get into all the little crevices around the bear and have the stitches come out looking pretty – like the satin stitch should look.  

Especially when I am on vacation, I take my journal, because ideas come     to me.  Often I see patterns or am inspired to sketch in my journal.  I came across an image that I altered, and will use as either a block design for a modern quilt, or for a fabric design.  Not ready to share that yet.

In the meantime, have a wonderful July 4th.  Have fun and stay safe.  I am also taking time to think and remember those who have fought so hard for our freedom and safety.