Monday, July 18, 2016

Let's Get Quilting 2016 - Quilt Camp from Barbara Jones of QuiltSoup

Kids still at camp? Then it is the perfect time for you to indulge in a little something just for you...QUILT CAMP! Enter below for your chance to win this bundle. Or step on over to the website for some Quilt Camp projects ideas and a glance at the lovely fabrics. Shipping into quilt shops in August.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Designer Spotlight - Meet Debi Hron

Meet Debi Hron, a fabric designer for Henry Glass and a commercial artist extraordinaire. 

There is a quote I was reminded of when I interviewed Debi Hron for this month’s Designer Spotlight. It’s from a book by Erwin McManus called “The Artisan Soul”, and the premise of the book is that we humans are called to be creative and the general theme is to “craft your life into a work of art.”

Debi Hron has done just that. In spades. (Which to a much younger audience or someone who doesn’t play cards means… ‘in abundance’). Yes, Debi Hron is an artist. And she has crafted a life that is truly a work of art in itself. She chose her current life from a Floridian upbringing, where the sun always shines and it’s at least 75 degrees, to living in Burlington, Vermont on the shores of Lake Champlain. Yes, it snows there. Also, in spades. 

And this is a glimpse into the life she has crafted: yoga, hiking, biking, Aikido, gardening, bees, llamas and other animals cross her path, and also she works as a successful full time artist. And did I mention she has also taken a turn at being a chicken farmer? Look here at their beautiful coop!

Debi is known in her town for her brightly painted house. It is eye-catching, beautiful and definitely signals that an artist lives here.

Right down to the back door...

And if the house wasn't enough that a creative spirit is behind the doors, then the gardens certainly do. Debi has all manner of love for the outdoors, and it shows in the garden. 

Debi gathers inspiration for some of her artwork here, and everywhere she goes. There is no end to creative images along the shores of Lake Champlain...considered by many to be one of the more beautiful parts of the country. 

And now about Debi, the artist. She has a picture of her drawing with a clipboard and pencil when she was just two years old, following closely in her father's footsteps who was also a commercial artist. She really got serious about being an artist as a career when her son was four years old, and she wanted to illustrate a children's book. At that time Debi was inspired by the work of Michael Hague, an accomplished illustrator of many children's books. 

Debi's first big break was when her high school art teacher, who was working in a gallery part-time, said the gallery needed Florida paintings. She happened to have some paintings in her truck, and got her first professional break into the business. 

She did art shows, made prints, and did the artist circuit. One day she was approached by a licensing agent, and did a few years under the agent getting work and building her portfolio. After those years, and with a large body of work, she sent designs to Lang, Renaissance and Hallmark. She amazingly got offers of work from all three. 

In 1990, she did her first calendar for Lang, and has been doing a Lang calendar every year since then. She counts the calendars as the basis of her work each year, finding trends, icons and colors that fill in a whole year. 

She knew she had to learn Photoshop, but did resist it at first. It was her dad's prompting that finally made her turn the corner and get on board. Again, following in his footsteps, she learned to love Photoshop and the control of colors and layers that she now has using the program. 

Debi began designing fabric with Henry Glass in 2010. Her current Henry Glass collection is Coffee House which ships in October.  Please be sure to check it out at your local quilt shop. 

Debi Hron is truly one of the designers of Henry Glass that has crafted her life into a work of art. You can follow Debi and her life and works on her blog at:

Monday, July 11, 2016

Let's Get Quilting 2016 - 6 pc Bundle of Holiday Frost Flannel by Jan Shade Beach

In the middle of July, and the hottest days of the year...keep cool, and dream of the winter holiday season! Sign in for your chance to win this 6 pc bundle of Holiday Frost - a collection by Jan Shade Beach.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Desire to Inspire July Challenge - Meet Joanne Hubbard

We have selected the Challenger for the July Desire to Inspire Challenge. Meet Joanne Hubbard from Milan, Ohio. She has been sent her fabric, and we get to see what she does with Holiday Traditions by Jan Shade Beach at the end of July. Wish her luck!

Thank you EVERYONE who signed up to be in the challenge. Please check back at the end of July to see what we come up with next. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Leanne Anderson and daughter Kaytlyn Anderson teamed up to create this adorable collection "I Love You This Much" which is filled with a sweet little bunch of dinosaurs who love everybody! It is shipping into quilt shops in August.  
You can win a sneak peek bundle this week on the blog! 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Desire to Inspire - July Challenge - Holiday Traditions by Jan Shade Beach

July is the perfect time to start thinking of the holidays! Remember our interview with Jan Shade Beach? She loves Christmas all year long! This month's Challenge will get you in the Christmas spirit too! 
So here is what we are hoping to find: a challenger who is ready to dive into the holiday spirit and create some Christmas wonder for the July challenge. Please enter by the end of the day on July 4, and we will send the fabrics right out to you.  You will need to have your project(s) completed by July 28. 

The Rules are simple: 

1. YOU sign up below with your email or blog name to this post.

2. WE pick a random winner. 

3. YOU send us your address.

4. WE send you 6 yards of the "Holiday Traditions" fabrics.

5. YOU make something AWESOME within 3 weeks, with pictures and your story.

6. WE post it. 

7. YOU keep it. 

* We would like to have challengers who can show us they can do it. So while you don't need a blog, a profile with some quilt pictures helps. Enter by showing us something you have done before. We will not post your emails, or links or anything on the site, it will remain private.  

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Meet June's Desire to Inspire Challenger - Sandra Walker with Better at the Lake projects

We got really excited about choosing Sandra Walker because she was so excited about being chosen! She lives on Lake Erie, which she told us in CAPITAL letters when she entered the challenge. We could practically see her jumping up and down. The other really cute thing about Sandra that made us laugh was her blog name: which is  - simple enough, right? But the name in the heading is Musings of a Menopausal Melon! So her effervescent personality showed through.

We sent Sandra some fabric from the Better at the Lake collection by Janet Rae Nesbitt of One Sister Designs at the first of June. She has had a very prolific month of sewing!
Here is a shot of all the work Sandra has done this month on the shores of Lake Erie. 

Here are a few photos that she has let trickle in via email this month:

The day her fabric arrived! 

Quilt in the works...Her own design, called Blue Skies and Sunny Days, now for sale! 

Playing with design

A little landscape pillow in the works

Meet our June Challenger: Sandra Walker.

I live in Kingsville Ontario; sitting way down on the 42nd parallel, we are Canada’s southernmost town.  The town is right on the north shore of Lake Erie, about a half hour south of Windsor, Canada’s southernmost city.  Windsor is the only city where you have to go north to get to the US!  It is on the south side of the Detroit River, with our big sister, Detroit, on the north side.  Living on a Great Lake means we have a fairly temperate climate; as a result, Essex county is home to 18 wineries, a lavender farm, orchards, multiple greenhouses as well as produce farms, and the best (IMHO) tomatoes and corn in North America.  I am fortunate enough to be able see Lake Erie, between some trees and other houses, from my patio.
Picture perfect day on Lake Erie, with the Better at the Lake quilt in view
Close-up of quilting...back and forth to represent the lake motion
The entire quilt - Sandra will be donating this to the Windsor Sexual Assault Centre 
I was born in Alberta, and spent the majority of my life there.  My husband is from Essex County, and we spent five years in the 80's living here and both our daughters were born here.  We moved back to Alberta to be by family, but a few years ago made a huge life-changing decision to quit our jobs pre-retirement age and move back here and slow our lives down.  Our youngest daughter, Dayna, moved here a couple of years before we did, to go back to school.  She now works and lives in Michigan.  Our eldest daughter, Brianne, and  her son, Brady, our almost-8-year-old grandson, live in Alberta.  He is the light of our lives, an amazing child.  September has become the traditional trip for the two of them to come visit us, and my husband and I take turns going back west to visit them and the rest of our friends and family.  I now teach yoga part time, quilt as much as I can, read and walk my beloved ‘pibble’ Rocco.

Sandra's own paper pieced block design for the lighthouse pillow.  A nod to a few of the different lighthouses in the Lake Erie area. Her own little corner is represented just to the right of the lighthouse.

Better at the Lake, on the back side of the pillow too!

  Lake Coasters: Front and Back

Mariner's Compass and Migrating Geese Table Centerpiece
 Although my nana, my mum’s mum, was a talented seamstress and knitter, she didn’t quilt, and so I don’t have a history of quilters in my family.  My grandma, my dad’s mum, was a talented crocheter, and she did make a heavy black and red squares wool quilt I remember, that sat on the couch, used for afternoon naps during long harvest or calving time days.  I made my first quilt around age 10, for my Barbies. I hand sewed scraps from my mum’s scrap bag (she sewed clothes for us kids) into small squares, stuffed them, and stitched all the little pillows together to make a quilt.  It was in 1995, when I went into the local quilt/sewing shop, Lori’s Country Cottage, to buy some fancy lace for dresses I was making for my girls, that Brianne spied a quilt BOM for $1, and made me buy it, “You bring your block back here, and you could win all the blocks, Mum!”  Well, wouldn’t you know it, I did.  So I had to learn how to put them together, and from there make the quilt, which went to Brianne of course… I, uh, didn’t do much dressmaking after that! 

Lake Rules Sign
(which is also the backside of the Mariner's Compass piece shown above)

I like all quilts, all sizes, from mini-minis to bed size, both traditional as well as modern design.  As for techniques, I enjoy pretty much everything but if I had to pick one for a quilt top, it would be piecing.  I LOVE playing with colors and shapes.  I’m happiest when I’m rummaging through my stash, which is pretty plentiful I’ll admit, after 20 years of quilting(!), pulling multiple fabrics to work into a quilt design.  I mainly have sewed from patterns, at times altering them to suit my needs, at times combining a couple of designs.  Occasionally I have made my own designs, which I’ve been doing a lot more of over the past year, which is very exciting for me!  I also just love the quilting part of making a quilt.  Seeing Kathy Sandbach on “Simply Quilts” was a huge game-changer for me, showing me I could ‘draw’ with my sewing machine!  I saved for a few years prior to leaving teaching, and purchased a barely-used Avanté in 2013.  It is so much better than wrestling a bed-size quilt through my Bernina!  However, I do still love to quilt from time to time on my Bernina; the projects I’ve made for this challenge show both methods of quilting a quilt.

Cute Better at the Lake drawstring backpack with Panel Block as the pocket.
Free Craftsy pattern by Caroline of 

I started my blog in the Fall of 2013.  I must say the online community of quilters, something Helen of Midget Gem Quilts and I dubbed QBL, 'Quilting BlogLand', has enriched my life more than I ever could have foreseen.  I have friends around the planet, something that binds us (pun intended) together and gives me a sense of global community like nothing else ever has.  As well as doing yoga, I think politicians should learn to quilt; we’d have a much more peaceful planet!

The final project that is using all the last little bits...

Finally, about the perfect guy in my life... I’ve been happily married to my husband for 36 years this August.  He goes by MacGyver on my blog because he can make anything, from metal to meals, and fix pretty much everything broken, from cars to hearts.
Pieced Coffee Cozies

Thank you SO MUCH to Henry Glass Fabrics for the gorgeous fabrics and for trusting me with the challenge of creating something inspiring for other quilters.  It has been a truly amazing experience; creating a variety of items within the 3-week time limit has made me grow as a quilter/designer!