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Cozy Up to the New Year with Cozy Quilt Designs – Giveaway

I love the idea of cuddling up with a new quilt to start the New Year off.  And even better if it is made with a cute pattern from Cozy Quilt Designs.  While you may be lucky enough to have a new quilt to cuddle up in to welcome in 2011, I’m happy that Daniela from Cozy Quilts is sponsoring this giveaway, to help eleven (11) lucky winners create new quilts – all with new designs from Cozy Quilt Designs.  But before I share the details on this generous giveaway, I want to share a bit about Cozy Quilt Shop and Cozy Quilt Designs.

Cozy Quilt Shop is one of Southern California’s premier quilt shops, located in El Cajon, California.  It is definitely a quilt shop that I hope all quilters have a chance to visit some day (hopefully sooner than later). Their staff is one of the friendliest and knowledgeable that I’ve seen.  The shop is full of beautiful fabrics, with new fabrics coming in all the time.  They have an excellent source of books, patterns and notions.  And wonderful classes, as well as many other reasons to visit. 

The first Saturday of each month Cozy Quilt Shop hosts “Fat Quarters Anonymous” (FQA).  Tomorrow, January lst, after FQA Sharyn Craig will be revealing a new block of the month program, where kits will be available in four different color waves all at extremely reasonable prices. The 2nd Saturday of each month Cozy hosts “Strip Club”.  There is always sharing and great fun at FQA and Strip Club meetings.

Cozy Quilt Designs is the design house which creates beautiful quilt patterns and quilt books, all with great visuals and clearly written instructions.  I continually hear people amazed that their patterns typically include insights to make quilts in not just one or two sizes, but  a large variety of sizes (e.g. Baby/Crib,  table runner, throw, twin, queen, king), as appropropriate for the design.  Thus making their patterns offer more ways to use them and they are very reasonable priced too.  

Today is the last day of 2010, which means today is also the last day that you can order items from the Patchwork Party.  Cozy Quilt Shop will no longer be selling kits to the beautiful Waring Square.

patchwork party

They also have the Market Square finishing  kit currently available to make this spectacular quilt top with beautiful settings.

market square finishing kit

Cozy Quilt Designs has been busy in 2010, creating wonderful products for us quilters.  In 2010 they published two great new books (Fat Quarters Anonymous and Layer Em Up 3), Sharyn Craig’s terrific new ruler (Cutting Corners Ruler) and 25 new patterns!  Check out their Spring releases by clicking here and their Fall releases by clicking here

Ok.  Time to reveal the prizes for this amazing giveaway.  Eleven (11) lucky people will be randomly selected to win these prizes:

Prize #1 Lucky Charms Quilt Pattern, designed by Daniela Stout

Cozy Quilt Designs Lucky Charms quilt pattern

Prize #2 Spangled Quilt Pattern, designed by Georgette Dell’Orco

Prize #3 With a Twist Quilt Pattern, designed by Daniela Stout

Prize #4 Bab’s Quilt Pattern, designed by Daniela Stout

Prize #5, Harvest Quilt pattern, designed by Georgette Dell’Orco

Prize #6 Diamond Double quilt pattern, designed by Daniela Stout

Prize #7 Spin City quilt pattern, designed by Daniela Stout

Prize #8:  Radiant quilt pattern, designed by Daniela Stout

prize #9:  Fall, Leaves, Fall quilt pattern, designed by Daniela Stout

prize #10:  Cracker Jacks quilt pattern, designed by Daniela Stout

prize #11 – Grand Prize Bundle includes the following:

Cutting Corners Ruler, designed by Sharyn Craig.  This amazing ruler comes with a 16 page booklet with a bonus setting pattern, and will help you set blocks to create spectacular quilts.

This cool ruler has markings to cut 1/2″ to 5″ corner cuts, providing you many options for setting your blocks without having to worry about seam allowance.  It enables you to simplify complicated quilts for amazing results.
Market Square“, A cutting corners pattern by Sharyn Craig.  This is the first pattern in the “Joy of Sets” series. 

Anvil Magic“, a Cutting Corners Pattern, by Sharyn Craig.

Partial to Pinwheels“, a Cutting Corners Pattern, by Sharyn Craig.

How to enter this giveaway:
Simply leave a comment on this post to enter.  It only takes one entry to win.  And feel free to include in this comment if you have a prize # that you are more partial to.   But be sure you can be contacted if your name is drawn. If you are not certain if your settings are as a no reply blogger, please check.  Tips are also included on the page labeled “giveaways”.

Additional ways you can enter.  Feel free to enter, by leaving an extra comment for any or all of these:
1) Visit Cozy Quilt.com online and check out all their products. Come back here and leave a comment as to your favorite.
2) Become a friend of “Daniela Stout at Cozy” on Facebook and leave her a comment to tell her your favorite Cozy Quilt Designs pattern.
3) Sign up for Cozy’s newsletter (upper right corner of their site).
4) Blog about this giveaway and come back here with a link to your post (not a link to your blog) to let me know.  PR help is always appreciated, but only blog articles are eligible for an extra entry under this rule.  All other PR help brings you good kharma!
5) Follow SewCalGal

Deadline:  Saturday, January 8th 2011 noon PST.  Winners will be announced on this blog that evening.

Daniela and her team also wish you a  happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

Cozy Quilt Designs
2940 Jamacha Road, Suite H
El Cajon, CA  92019
619-670-1516
http://www.cozyquilt.com/

note:  This giveaway is now closed.  I will be posting the winners, in a new post on January 8th.

Lighted Seam Ripper & Magnifier, by Mighty Bright

I had the opportunity to evaluate the new “Lighted Seam Ripper & Magnifier“, by Mighty Bright and wanted to share insights with you.

This seam ripper is very lightweight and has a comfortable ergometric design.  The 4x magnifier is a perfect size to help rip fine threads, and the Mighty Bright LED light really helps to highlight where you want to do some “reverse sewing”.  Overall, I found this product very easy to use and definitely easy on the eyes.  At a retail price of $9.99 one could also say that this product is easy on the pocket book too!

I believe this seam ripper is going to be very popular with quilting and sewing enthusiasts that have a difficult time seeing threads embedded in seams.  But, while this seam ripper does cut threads, the blade is a little too thick and not quite as sharp as other seam rippers, thus this wouldn’t be a seam ripper that I would recommend for machine embroidery enthusiasts.  I found the blade on this seam ripper doesn’t work well with dense stitches, as one finds with machine embroidery projects.

http://www.mightybright.com/

Update:
I am checking with the Manufacturer to be able to share a list of retailers where you can find this seam ripper in stock, and I will update this post as I know more.  But you can order it from Mighty Bright online.  And I’ve also heard that Cozy Quilt Shop online, will be shipping this product early January.

UFO Goals for 2011

I am coming forward and admitting  to the world that I have a large number of UFOs that are taking up an unacceptable amount of space in my itty bitty sewing room.  My sewing room is actually getting smaller as a result of a growing number of quilt tops and other UFO projects that take up space.

I need to focus on completing my UFOs so they can be banned from my sewing room, freeing up space to create a more organized sewing room and more exciting projects.     So, I’ve decided that 2011 will (continue to)  have quilty goals that include a significant reduction in my UFO list.  I will strive hard to focus on finishing UFOs, with minimal new projects (that can be done primarily from my stash) in 2011.

And, I’ve concluded I need to be held accountable for these goals so I’ve decided to sign up for Judy Laquidara’s (Patchwork Times) UFO Challenge.  Judy is encouraging quilters to work on their UFOs, with a plan to complete 12 in 2011. 

I was nervous as to which 12 I should pick.  But I pretty much decided any 12 would be good.  Thus,  I present my top twelve (12) UFO goals for 2011:

1. Christmas Quilt – wallhanging embellishment project

2. Bella Bella quilt.  I honestly can’t remember when I took this workshop, but I’m certain everyone that attended has completed their project.  I even hosted several sew-cials, after the workshop, for attendees to work on their Bella Bella quilt.  I’d love to finish this as I have dreams of making another one.

3. My lst Schnibbles Quilt has the top finished, backing ready to go.  Needs to be sandwiched and quilted. I’d love to finish it ASAP, as I’m biting at the bit to make more Schnibbles quilts.

4. Valentine’s Heart Wallhanging was a project that I started with a group of quilty friends.  I think everyone else has finished theirs, but mine has ended up with only the applique pieces cut.  Picture shown is a sample.

5. Scrappy snowball quilt top with kitties. I need to add a border to this scrap quilt that I made in a Snowball Quilt-Along in 2011.  This is to be a charity quilt that helped consume fabrics in my stash.

6.  I’ve had fun attending some of Monica’s Desert Quilt Retreats and finished all of the mystery quilts made at this retreat, except this one.  I mixed up the pieces and simply need to pull it out and fix this issue, add the borders, select a backing and quilt it. 

Update:  As this was selected as the UFO to work on in January, I was able to track down this UFO that had been well hidden in my sewing room for ages.  I spent time reverse sewing to straighten out the setting blocks vs corner blocks and added the borders.  Started off trying to do a fancier border but soon learned that I didn’t have enough fabric.  While this could have taken me down the road of keeping this project in the UFO state, I stayed true to my goal and finished this top.  While I had lofty dreams of quilting it myself, I concluded I don’t have the FMQ talents to quilt the open space to the quality that I’d like.  Thus, I was able to drop this quilt off at a longarmer mid-January, but I do not yet have it back. Binding is ready and waiting for this quilt to return. In the meantime, the 2nd half of January I spent working on other UFOs.

7.  Charity quilt.  I’ve made many quilts like this one, as I decided to use up my pastel stash.  All were charity quilts. Some have been finished and a few are still in my UFO stash, taking up space.  I decided to include one of these in my 2011 UFO goals, but hopefully will finish all of them in 2011. 

8.  Purse made with an interesting threadplay technique.  I had a lot of fun getting it to this stage and dreamed of making many of these quilts for gifts, but have yet to finish this one.  Seems like it would be wonderful if I could finish it by Valentines Day, but as I’ve said that a few times, I’ll be happy if I finish it in 2011.

9. Berries Jubilee Table Topper/Walllhanging.  I’ve always wanted to make a Cathedral Windows quilt.  In Fall ’09, I took a workshop with Shelly Swanland and started this project.  I now have the table topper finished, but need to sandwich and do the machine quilting.  Note:  Picture shown is a sample, not my project.  I’ll update this post as soon as I can photograph mine.  It basically has three of these blocks.

10.  Santa Wallhanging.  I have the quilt top pretty much complete, with the exception of a shiny belt buckle. I’ll update this post with a picture soon.

update:  I am excited to see that this will be our February UFO project.  The hunt has started to find where in my sewing room I have this project stored. I’ll try to post a photo as soon as I can find it.  LOL!

11.  Floral applique quilt from a workshop with Melinda Bula.  I have some of the fabric pieces cut for this wallhanging.  I will update this post as soon as I have enough to photograph.  But in theory, this is what my UFO is supposed to look like:

12.  Little Garden theme wallhanging.  I loved this machine embroidery design, but was probably never very happy with the fabric I picked from my stash for the border.  And then I couldn’t decide what color to use for the binding, so never finished this UFO.  Yet, is another one that I had had lofty goals of making others similar.  The Machine Embroidery design set comes with many beautiful ME designs.  I’d be happy to finish this one in 2011.

I am also excited that Pat Sloan is hosting a New Year’s Eve Weekend UFO Busting Party with a Luau theme this coming weekend.  I’m going to join in the fun and start working on my UFOs. 

I hope you will consider joining me in Judy’s 2011 UFO Challenge and/or Pat’s New Year’s Eve Weekend UFO Busting Party.  These are both good ways to have fun while finishing your UFOs.

This post will be updated over time, as part of Judy’s 2011 UFO Challenge. As I understand it, Judy will pick a number each month and that will determine which UFO the participants will work on.  And, hopefully you’ll see that I finish all 12 of these UFOs (and more) in 2011.  I also think finishes need to be celebrated, so my giveaways in 2011 may take on timing to celebrate my finishes.  So, please do hold me accountable to finishing these UFOs in 2011.

free-motion Machine Quilting, by Don Linn

A new quilting book published by CT Publishing, “free-motion Machine Quilting“, written by Don Linn, will begin shipping in February 2011.  I’ve had the opportunity to review an early copy of this book and am excited to share insights with you.

From cover to cover this is an excellent book for quilters that want to improve their free-motion quilting (FMQ) skills, or learn the art of FMQ.  The introduction was inspirational. I loved the reference to “Machine quilting has gone from a dirty word to an accepted art form”.

Lin has been teaching FMQ for 10+ years. This book captures his insights on how he has been able to teach and inspire the basics and art of FMQ to quilters of all levels.  

Basics are provided on selecting necessary tools vs optional tools and project supplies.  And good insights on the all too overlooked need of having good seating posture while doing FMQ.  Don also shares insights on proper batting and backing selection, preparation of your quilt for FMQ, machine tension, starting and finishing a quilting design, hand placement, practice exercises, potential problems and solutions, as well as bad habits to avoid. 

Excellent insights are shared on “Learning to Draw and Stitch Designs” with practice exercises that help you learn a create beautiful ropes, feathers, grids and more.

The section on how to select designs appropriate for your quilts is very helpful.  It also includes insights on how to transfer and mark your quilt, echo quilting, as well as making designs fit your border.

There is a lovely quilting gallery included in this book, with many inspirational quilts made and quilted by Don.

Lastly, Don also included an excellent section packed full of beautiful quilting designs that you can use on your projects.  There are actually 50+ quilting designs that are included in this book.

Overall, excellent blend of insights and visuals in this book.  I also found that Don’s words of encouragement were as if I was seated in a class with him standing next to me and giving me the confidence that I could do this.   This book radiates a “you can do” approach to FMQ.

You can pre-order copies of this book directly from CT Publishing, or check it out at your local quilt store in February 2011. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to improve their free-motion quilting skills, and an absolute must for anyone interested in learning FMQ.  I’ll even go further, by sharing, if you are to purchase just one book on free-motion quilting, this is the book you will want to buy. 

Two Wacky Women

As this is the time of the year that I start thinking about my goals for the coming year, it makes me think about my goals to make beautiful quilts, have fun, enjoy friends and make new friends too.  One of my favorite ways to do this is by going on quilt retreats.  Thus, this just seemed to be the perfect time to share insights about Two Wacky Women.

You may know Marilyn Pond or Robin Gallagher from their blogs or seeing Two Wacky Women vending at a quilt show.  They are two delightful quilters who run super fun and very popular quilt retreats in Southern California.  In fact, their retreats are so popular they sell out quickly and have many quilters coming back year after year.  What I like about their retreats is that they are held in a variety of places in Southern California, and many have a featured instructor.

Here are some insights about their 2011 schedule:

Frances Moore, Machine Quilting Retreat, facilitated by Two Wacky Women
March 4-6, 2011.

Spring Quilt Retreat
April 1-3, 2011 in Laguna Woods ***sold out***

Summer Quilt Retreat
June 10-12, 2011 in Laguna Woods

Fall Quilt Retreat #1
September 30-October 2nd in Laguna Woods  ***sold out***

Fall Quilt Retreat #2
October 14th – 16th in Laguna woods. 
This retreat features Lynn Brown.

I hope you’ll include participation at a quilt retreat to your 2011 quilting goals and that you’ll check out Two Wacky Women for their fun quilt retreats too.  And remember that you can sign up for their waiting list for any retreat that is sold out.  

As my quilting goals for 2011 include improving my free-motion quilting skills, I’m signing up for the Two Wacky Women quilt retreat  in March with Frances Moore.  I’d love to have you come join me at this retreat and I know Marilyn and Robin would love to have you come to any (all) of their fun quilt retreats too!

http://www.twowackywomen.com/

Merry Christmas – One Day Giveaway (updated with winners)

Merry Christmas.  This will be short and simple.  I was having so much fun using the AccuQuilt GO! to cut charm squares for a recent giveaway that I ended up cutting more than I needed.  I asked others for recommendations, and Cindy (SewCindy) suggested I try a “one day”.  Cindy  is famous for her one day giveaways, which are always fun.  So, I felt it was appropropriate to hold this one day giveaway on Christmas day.

If you would like to one one of four packs of charm squares, leave a comment below.  Simple rules:  I must be able to contact you (e.g. no reply bloggers are not eligible to win) and this is giveaway is limited to followers only.  If you are not sure if you are a no reply blogger, please check the page on my blog labeled “giveaways” and mid-way down you’ll see steps to check your blogger/google settings, otherwise leave your email address if in doubt.

Sometime after dinner tonight I will randomly draw the names of four winners.  I will update this post with the names of the winners and send them an email.  {update will most likely be ~9 pm PST}.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

8:30pm PST update:    I used a random number generator to select the winners to select winners that had their settings to allow bloggers to reply to (e.g. they are not a no reply blogger/commentor).    As an FYI, I’ve tried to reply to everyone that left a comment.  If you haven’t heard back from me, I recommend you check your settings as it is very likely your settings are “no reply” and you didn’t leave a way for me to contact you. I also have tips to help on this on the page labeled “giveaways” midway down in a section for tips on winning giveaways.  There are many giveaways that you’ll have a better chance of winning if you have these settings to allow bloggers to reply to you (or you leave your email embedded in your entry).  And I’ll be announcing a very cool sponsored giveaway shortly.

Thank you to everyone that popped by to enter this one day giveaway.  I wish I had more charm packs to give to everyone, but unfortunately  I haven’t cut that many charm packs.  The winners of this one day giveaway are:

Judy Chain Sew Fun Quilts

Sandy Zacks quilting Mom 

Ebony Love Bug Studios

MJ Baker

I will email all the winners tonight, to get their snail mail address, and hopefully post their charm packs in Monday’s post.  Congratulations.