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Thursday, September 29, 2005


New online community for Austin-area textile crafters

If you're within a stone's throw of Austin, TX, you might want to check out this new Livejournal community for those interested in textile crafting. Though it's just an online community for now, the founder has hopes that "eventually we will have occasional hands-on live meetings around town."


Quilting news roundup

Quilting news stories circulating on the Internet today:

(free registration required for some articles, or see

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


First-look review of Quilt-Pro 5 for the Mac

If you're a Mac user like Christina Holland, you'd probably like to use your Mac for everything you do – including the designing of quilts. Christina kicks the tires on the new program (the first quilt design program built for the new operating system, OS X) in a "first look" review on Planet Patchwork.

Check out the Quilt-Pro 5 for Mac review on Planet Patchwork!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Simple Fabric Folding for Halloween: 12 Fun Quilts and Projects

Simple Fabric Folding for Halloweenby Liz Aneloski
C&T Publishing, 2005. 64 pages, list price $19.95

When it comes to holiday quilting projects, there's no such thing as getting started too early, and with October just days away, it's time to pick up Liz Aneloski's Simple Fabric Folding for Halloween. Adopting the manner of her chosen holiday, Liz eschews cheery chatter and gets straight down to business. The opening pages introduce the reader to the folded-fabric building blocks and the remainder of the book is stuffed with projects that combine the folding techniques. Our favorite is the Haunted House which has doors that open to reveal the monsters who reside there, but the Spiders Countdown Calendar (an Advent calendar for the black-hearted) is a close second. It might have been nice to get even a little bit of conversational text from the author about her designs, but the large color photos of her work speak volumes. A nice extra: the last page contains specific part numbers and online sources for the spooky buttons and other hard-to-find ornaments shown in Aneloski's example projects.

Get it discounted at!

See other great books at the Planet Patchwork bookstore!

Monday, September 26, 2005


Online quilting group forms for Hurricane Katrina relief

katrina quiltsWhen Shanna Murray saw the pictures of people suffering in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, it wasn't enough to donate money or write about it in her blog.

"I felt helpless, like so many others, wanting to help in a bigger way than my small donation could have. I've been blessed to be part of a vast crafting community on the web . . . . I knew if we pooled our efforts we could do something on a grander scale than any of us could on our own."

Having had experience with crafting for charity by starting the Month of Softies Flickr group, which sent sock monkeys to Artists Helping Children, Murray returned to the Flickr community to start Quilters for Katrina, with admirable results. (Flickr is a web site designed for social networking around shared photographs.)

"I expected some of the wonderful women I've met would join in, but I never expected to get the response I've had...174 members from all over the world joined in just a couple days! So much loving kindness existis on this little Flickr group. It's been terribly humbling and heartwarming. Many of the women have expressed a sense of healing as well. Making the squares has been therapeutic for all of us. The sense of community living and growing in our little neck of the web is a beautiful thing," says Murray.

All of the squares created by the group and sent to Murray will be assembled into quilts, auctioned, and the proceeds donated to the American Red Cross. The squares contributed thus far by the Quilters for Katrina can be seen in this Flickr slide show.

Sunday, September 25, 2005


Stitching together a quilt museum

From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, a story about a Civil War-era farmstead in Wisconsin that is being reshaped into a quilt museum.

Slowly but surely, the Wisconsin Quilt History Project is gathering the pieces it needs to build a world-class museum in Cedarburg that will shine a spotlight on the fiber arts.

Read the full article at the Journal-Sentinel's web site.

Saturday, September 24, 2005


Coloring With Thread: A No-drawing Approach To Free-Motion Embroidery

coloring with threadby Ann Fahl
C&T Publishing, 2005. 96 pages, list price $24.95.

Quilters, crafters, garment makers, and needle workers of all types will find the "Coloring with Thread" packed with facts, tips, projects, and troubleshooting guide. Skip all of the factual information, and look at the luscious photographs of quilts and close-up photos of Ann's award winning free-motion embroidery. If you are having difficulties with thread breakage, shredding or looping, "Coloring with Thread" has the answer. Your days of being disgusted and fed-up with fancy thread problems have come to an end!

Practice exercises give beginners experience in free-motion embroidery along with six colorful projects ranging from easy to moderate difficulty. All you need is a sewing machine that has a zigzag stitch and the ability to lower the feed-dogs. The pages are bursting with photographs and illustrations to guide you step-by-step through the process.

Order it at a discount from

See more great quilting books at the Planet Patchwork bookstore!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Quilt provides a link to an uncomfortable history

As part of a 2003 quilt show, the Yamka Valley Museum (Washington state) displayed a pretty blue-and-white vintage quilt. The pattern was one used to raise funds for the Women's Christian Temperance Union, which crusaded against alcohol and for women's rights. The quilt came with a secret, however: the white fabric used in the quilt was originally used for masks worn by Ku Klux Klan members. Historians and fiber arts experts present differing theories on why that choice of fabric was made.

Click here to read the story from Seattle NPR station KUOW's "Gone But Not Forgotten" series, or to listen to the audio.

Monday, September 19, 2005


AnglePlay Blocks

AnglePlay coverby Margaret J. Miller
C&T Publishing, 2005. 64 pages, list price $19.95.

Get "show-stopping results" when you follow Miller's instructions on using the half-rectangle triangle! The book includes 84 exciting blocks with careful instructions, spectacular photos, and terrific triangle-piecing tips. Your quilts can't help but become more inventive when Miller twists your brain into all kinds of new angles, and her "no-math" blocks and easy-to-follow charts make implementing those twists a snap.

Order this book discounted at Amazon.

See more great quilting books at the Planet Patchwork bookstore!

Friday, September 16, 2005


Museum of Quilts & Textiles finds permanent home

We've long been fans of the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles (see our review of the museum in one of its old locations), so we're happy to see it find a permanent home at 520 South First Street in San Jose, CA.

Read the entire San Jose Mercury News article here.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Alliance for American Quilts launches auction series

On September 18, The Alliance for American Quilts will launch a series of ongoing weekly auctions on eBay. 100% of the final sale price benefits The Alliance for American Quilts, an organization dedicated to the recognition and preservation of American quilting. The inaugural auction begins at 10:00 pm PDT on Sunday September 18 and ends on Sunday September 25 at 10:00 pm PDT. This auction will include quilts, vintage fabric from the 1880's, and out-of-print books that document America's love affair with quilts.

Some highlights from the opening auction:

- "Jackie O Auction" by RIVA, a quilt by former quilt artist Ruth Reynolds. Ruth is well known in the quilt world for her hilarious cartoon character RIVA from the RIVA Series.

- An exceptional early American (1835-40) Tumbling Stars quilt with floral border and tape binding.

- "Quilts: A Living Tradition" by Robert Shaw in its original shrink wrap. This out-of-print book, published in 1995, has a 5-star rating on

For more information, visit the web site of The Alliance for American Quilts.


Quilting news roundup

Quilting news stories circulating on the Internet today:

(free registration required for some articles, or see

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


All-In-One Quilter's Reference Tool: Easy to Follow Charts, Tables & Illustrations

by Harriet Hargrave
C&T Publishing, 2004. List price: $16.95

A must-have handy reference for every quilter, this book includes everything a quilter needs to know - from yardage requirements, cutting instructions, and setting secrets to tips on choosing supplies, piecing techniques, and number conversions. All-in-One Quilter's Reference Tool provides answers to a quilter's most-frequently asked questions, covering such topics as how much fabric to use, how many and what size blocks are needed to make a quilt a particular size, how to figure the percentage to enlarge or reduce when photocopying and how to cut bias binding.

Order it at a discount from

See more great quilting books at the Planet Patchwork bookstore!


Quilt artist Faith Ringgold stays true to her vision

TONIGHT, Moore College of Art will present its Visionary Woman Award to artist and children's book author Faith Ringgold and to Wilhemina Cole Holladay, founder of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. The festivities will kick off an exhibition of Ringgold's work at the Galleries at Moore from Friday to Oct. 30.

Read the full Philadelphia Daily News story here.


Have you seen this quilt?

A quilt celebrating the Islamic faith that was to have been part of an exhibit commemorating the fourth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks was accidentally thrown out. Cambridge [MA] resident Afshan Bokhari is hoping a $500 reward will help to find it.

"Of course, there is no monetary value for something that precious," said Mary Downes, the executive director of the Faith Quilts Project. "But there are lots of stories out there about people finding treasures in the trash."

The Faith Quilts Project, which creates faith-themed blankets to celebrate the worlds' religions, was formed the winter after Sept. 11, 2001. Twenty people helped sew the missing quilt, which was designed to promote tolerance and understanding of the Muslim faith.

Read the entire article and see the quilt at the Cambridge Chronicle web site.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


SF Bay Area quilters respond to Quilters Comfort America call

Margaret Knight, 75, of San Pablo is a world away from the death and devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Yet in a small storefront on Berkeley's Solano Avenue, she is doing her part to send comfort to survivors.

"I was here yesterday, I'm here today, and I'll be here next week," said Knight, ironing a strip of cotton fabric destined to become one of thousands of quilts being sent from all over the Bay Area, and across the country, to hurricane victims on the Gulf Coast.

Read the entire San Francisco Chronicle article here.

Monday, September 12, 2005


Pat McAllister, the "quilt and bear lady"

From The Tidings Online:

Pat McAllister and her loyal team of retired Immaculate Heart of Mary community members and volunteers turn out 60 colorful 36"-by-45" quilts for foster care and needy kids every two months like, well, clockwork. In only five years, they've made 1,540 quilts – counting the blue-and-white, pensive-looking penguin one that's laid across the sewing table now.

Read the full article here.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Simply Sensational 9-patch Stars

by Carol Doak
C&T Publishing, 2005. List price $27.95.

Quilters will have stars in their eyes when they see this sparkling book, packed with a galaxy of twelve projects featuring nine-patch stars. Author Carol Doak shows how to make forty different mix and match four-inch star units, then piece perfect twelve-inch star blocks every time. A bonus CD-ROM lets users print the book's patterns in different sizes, making it even easier to create timeless star blocks and more than 250 nine-patch star possibilities.

Pre-order this book discounted at Amazon.

See more great quilting books at the Planet Patchwork bookstore!

Friday, September 09, 2005


Postmaster creates quilt to honor mid-Michigan zip codes

The quilt uses snippets of materials to piece together the histories of 80 towns with ZIP codes where the first three digits are 488. A new book also is planned to document each square and some of the towns' claims to fame.

Read the full article on the Detroit Free Press web site.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


International Quilt Market & Festival: The shows will go on!

The use of Houston's George Brown Convention Center as a shelter for Hurricane Katrina refugees has prompted much discussion in the quilting community as to whether the facility would be available for the International Quilt Market & Festival shows at the end of October and beginning of November. The official word from organizers Quilts, Inc. is a resounding yes.

City officials expect to have hurricane victims placed in longer term (and presumably more comfortable) living arrangements in coming days. Convention center staff members have promised that the building will be ready for the quilt shows on time.

Quilts, Inc. also started the Quilters Comfort America project in response to Hurricane Katrina.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Quilters rally with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts

There's lots of news filtering in about quilters who have decided to help with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. The creation of quilts for donation is a popular idea, as is the creation of quilts for raffle to raise money for relief funds.

Flickr contains several instances of posted blocks from Katrina quilts in progress.

The Belleville News-Democrat (Illinois) describes quilters hard at work on quilts for direct donation, as does Idaho Falls' News Channel 6. is currently sponsoring the Quilters Comfort America Project, which seeks to provide both money and quilts for relief purposes. Art Doing Good is a project sponsored jointly by Quilts Inc., Quilting Arts Magazine, and QuiltArt.

The American Red Cross is a great organization to which one may donate for any sort of natural disaster relief, although their donation page warns against the direct donation of items for use by hurricane victims.

The cost to sort, package and distribute these types of donations to a disaster victims is almost always greater than the cost of purchasing the items locally, and it is logistically impossible to distribute a wide variety of individual items in a meaningful way. Because of these cost and logistical concerns, we recommend that you support your community by donating these items to an organization that is equipped to put them to the best possible local use.

Quilt Channel will continue to spotlight hurricane relief efforts by quilters. If you'd like us to spotlight the relief efforts of your guild or local quilting organization, please e-mail planetpatchwork at gmail dot com.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Free EQ Stash Spring 2005 with purchase of Electric Quilt

The Planet Patchwork store is currently offering the Electric Quilt 5 design software for $88 with free shipping in the U.S. and Canada, and for a limited time you also get the add-on disc Stash Spring 2005 (a $24.95 value) for free.

STASH Spring 2005
is the twelfth edition in the STASH CD series. STASH Spring 2005 gives you an all new collection of over 6200 new fabrics from 35 different fabric manufacturers -- the best fabric in the quilting industry.

This easy-to-use program lets you view the fabric swatches on your computer screen and create "shopping bags" for collecting and saving your favorites. It also allows you to search fabrics by color and category, as well as a host of other features. Use it in stand-alone mode or as a powerful complement to EQ.

Read a review of the EQ5 design program here.


Quilting news roundup

Quilting news stories circulating on the Internet today:

(free registration required for some articles, or see

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