Last Friday was the Quilting Gallery’s 3rd anniversary and to celebrate we’re having a party!! Grab your dancing shoes and party hats and let’s go. There will be prizes, lots of prizes, and some virtual chocolate cake too!
Some days, it is hard to believe that this site is only 3 years old and, up to now, has been totally managed and developed by just one person. I can’t remember what time was like before this site as it has become a big part of my every day life. And not just from the technical/management side of running the site, but from the wonderful friendships and every-day inspiration that it has given to me.
Some reflections on the past year:
One of my most favourite parts of this year has been the Weekly Themed Quilt Contests. It has been fantastic to see all of the wonderful quilts. It was always one of my goals with this site that it be a Quilt Gallery (hence the name of the site), with a strong focus on showcasing quilts that others have made. I’m very pleased that the weekly contests have allowed me to accomplish that goal.
We’ve done four swaps this year and they’ve all been great fun: Winter time mini quilt swap, embroidery mini quilt swap – designed by Lenna Green, applique posy needle case swap – designed by Erin Russek, and the candle mat swap – designed by Sandi Andersen.
In March, I attended the Lancaster AQS quilt show where I got to meet so many wonderful quilters. I also took a workshop by Linda M. Poole that has changed my quilting life forever. Who knew I’d actually LOVE hand applique? Certainly not me, but I wanted to learn from a great teacher, and that’s what I did. Here’s the Floral Delights I made in Linda’s class:
Earlier this year, Lenna Green taught us how to embroider with great tips and videos on various embroidery stitches.
In May, I introduced the Quilter’s Market section of the web site. It’s an inexpensive advertising opportunity for designers, authors, publishers or distributors to show case their fabulous quilting products. Several new products have been added lately, please do check it out. It’s a virtual quilt show for you to explore from your own home.
Also in May, my girlfriend Sandi and I attended Spring Quilt Market in Minneapolis, MN with a side trip on the way home to the Shipshewana, Indiana area. It was a fabulous trip, and so wonderful to meet new quilting friends and connect with old friends too.
The Quilting Bloggers directory continues to grow at a steady pace with 4,675 blogs listed from 73 countries. I also added the ability to see the titles of the last three blog posts and integrated the directory with Facebook.
As an aside, I get asked this on a regular basis: Why don’t I show the actual blog posts from other sites, not just the titles? Other sites do it, why don’t you? Here’s my reason: Technically, I could do that too, but I never will. The main reason is that I sell advertising on my site in various forms, and I feel very strongly that it would be wrong for me to put my ads on YOUR content. I could go into this in greater detail, as it is something I feel very strongly about, but this is a party!!
In the summer, I reworked the payment options for the Quilt Shop Locator. It’s now even more affordable for quilt shops, online retailers and other quilting professionals to get listed. Two advertising options are now available: a Basic Listing for $2/month and a Premium Listing for $8/month (less than the cost of a yard of fabric). Premium listings contain more information about your shop, including unlimited photos, and get priority exposure throughout the Quilting Gallery site.
In September I started working on the latest section of the web site: the Quilt Guilds Directory. Currently, guilds are entering their information. Early next year you’ll be able to search for guilds world-wide. Glancing at the list of submissions so far, there are 6 countries represented. More will come!! (Please tell your guild to enter their info!)
Lastly, earlier this week, the second edition of the Quilter’s Cookbook was published. It brings me so much joy to put together these cookbooks. I love reading the stories, seeing the quilts, and trying new recipes from quilting friends. You just know these are the best recipes out there!
Wow, what a busy year, no wonder I’m ready for a Holiday!
I’ve been working with a great graphics designer, and he’s come up with a new design for the site. I had hoped to have it done for the anniversary party, but it obviously hasn’t happened. I hope you’ll love it as much as I do!
You’ll be able to search using the Quilt Guilds Directory very soon.
At least two swaps will be done next year. Winter and spring swaps are currently being worked on. I’m sure you’ll love what we’ll be making. No, I’m not going to tell you yet!! :)
For me, the biggest personal challenge this year has been trying to manage this site and my day job. To that end, one of my main goals for next year is opening this site up to YOU, the readers and visitors. I loved Lenna Green’s expert columns from last year and want to expand on this.
Are you interested in writing a featured column? I’m open to suggestions, but here’s some ideas that I’ve had:
- a weekly feature on free quilting tutorials and projects (there are so many wonderful projects to share, if only I had more time!)
- quilters in the news – links to stories about quilters doing great things in their community
- weekly favourite quilting blog – feature one of the quilters from the Quilting Bloggers directory (this could be an interview or in your own words)
- product reviews (not endorsements, there’s a difference)
- the traveling quilter – reporting from a quilt show or event
- quilting tutorials and/or lessons
Lots of ideas, drop me an email if you’re interested.
Before I move on to the prizes, I wanted to thank you. Each and everyone of you that has visited this site, participated in the contests, voted for favourite quilts, completed one of my swaps, listed your quilt shop in the Locator, added your products to the Quilter’s Market and just became a part of my life.
This site is for you, and I’m looking forward to us spending many more wonderful years together. Thanks for sharing my journey with me!
Prizes, Prizes, Prizes!!
If I can wake up my trusty assistant Daniel, he’ll be handing out the chocolate cake. Sorry for the kitty hairs.
I want to thank all the wonderful sponsors. I really only started planning this party earlier this week, and they’ve responded in a big way. Please show your appreciation by visiting their web sites, and checking out what they have to offer. Lots of last-minute Christmas gift-giving ideas, or treat yourself to a gift just for you!
Sympoz – Interactive Video Tutorials
Have you heard about Sympoz or seen their video tutorials? They take online learning to the next level. Their videos are professionally produced by a film crew, using multiple cameras and professional editors. With their technology, you can directly interact with instructors and your fellow classmates. The course is truly interactive, as opposed to the passive nature of all YouTube videos.
You’ll hear more about Sympoz when I do a review for them early next year. I’m really excited to see how it all works. Interactive learning is and will be huge in the future.
Sympoz has donated four free courses: two for their Quilting series featured Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Company and two for their Cooking class with chef Shellie Kark, Co-founder of KitchenCUE.
Additionally, all Quilting Gallery readers can take advantage of special savings now. (Great idea for a last-minute gift). Discounts are available by clicking these links Quilting Tutorial – 40% off and Cooking Tutorial – 25% off. (You must click the appropriate link to get the discount.)
My dear friend Alex has donated a 12-pack kit of Aurifil’s 12wt wool thread. It’s perfect for hand appliqué and blanket stitched appliqué on wool fabrics, using a single or double strand. It creates a wonderful primitive look.
Did you know I use Aurifil’s 50wt thread for all of my piecing. It’s so thin and makes a big difference to my patchwork pieces actually fitting together.
Dianne Springer Designs
Dianne has the CUTEST quilting kits and patterns around. Her ideas are so unique! She ships every day, so you just might be able to get some last-minute gifts delivered in time for Christmas.
Terri has donated a set of all three books for one lucky winner. I warn you, once you start reading one of her books, you won’t be able to put it down. Curl up under your favourite quilt and enjoy! Oh, and Terri doesn’t just write about quilters, if you’re into stamping, check out her Stamping Sisters Mysteries too.
Jojo’s Quilt Shoppe
I have had great pleasure this past year working with and getting to know Joelle from Jojo’s Quilt Shoppe. She’s been a great supporter of our weekly quilt contests, donating fabulous prizes every month.
She is offering FREE domestic shipping from Friday the 17th through December 25th or just $5 per envelope for international shipments. All orders must be completed by the 17th to ensure delivery by Christmas, but the free shipping offer will continue through the 25th. Go on, click the link to her store, I just know you’ll find something for YOU that you deserve.
Joelle has donated a fat eighth bundle of Central Park by Kate Spain:
I Have A Notion
Of course if would not be a party, without the wonderful Kelly from I Have A Notion. I had the pleasure of meeting Kelly at Spring Market, and let me say, I’ve never met anyone so infectiously exuberant as her.
Now, I had a phone call from Santa earlier, and he told me that for all the quilting notions he needs for the wonderful quilters on his list, he shops at I Have A Notion for the best selection and prices around. I think that’s good advice.
Kelly has donated a Star Flake Snap Sack – it’s a mini quilt that includes the fabric and pattern. Great idea!
When I eventually make it to Texas, this is one quilt shop I will definitely not want to miss: Stitchin Heaven. I had the pleasure of meeting owner, Debby Luttrell last year. She’s been a great supporter of my Quilt Shop Locator for which I’m forever grateful.
You’ll want to spend some time browsing around the Stitchin Heaven web site as they have a lot to offer. I’m sure you can convince your secret Santa that you need to Travel and Cruise with other quilters next year.
They’ve donated a goodie bag of gifts including two mystery books (not shown), tote bag, sticky note book, wrist pin cushion, hand sanitizer and a White Chocolate pattern.
The Longaberger Company
I had never heard of Longaberger before until Maria DiCaprio White contacted me earlier this year. Based in Newark, Ohio, The Longaberger Company is America’s premier maker of handcrafted baskets and offers other home and lifestyle products. Their baskets are made from hardwood Maple, signed and dated by the weaver. Their pottery is vitrified and is freezer, microwave and oven safe.
You simply must check out their beautiful products. There’s even a half-price shipping offer today and tomorrow. I love their baskets; they would be great in my sewing room!
Maria has donated a travel mug in a colour of your choice. (Sorry shipping of this prize is only available to US residents.)
Kelly Kreft – Pay it Forward
My dear Facebook friend Kelly Kreft is Paying it Forward and donating two sets of two of her hand-made crocheted dish cloths. I love these dish cloths and am always buying them at various craft shows. Once you’ve used them, you’ll never want another.
Linda M. Poole – Floral Delights
Earlier in this post, I showed you my Floral Delights that I made while taking Linda M. Poole’s class in Lancaster. Imagine my surprise when Linda’s email arrived telling me that she’d be thrilled to donate a copy of her pattern to help us celebrate. I know from personal experience that Linda’s patterns are fantastic. If you ever get the chance, take one of her classes.
P.S. I have her Bended Bias Appliqué book, and just love it.
Learn2QuiltOnline is a new website dedicated to teaching quilting to beginners. You will find loads of free lessons, tips, videos, resource links, patterns and plenty of helpful articles all dedicated to teaching you how to quilt; right from the comfort of your own home.
They’ve donated a free pattern, which can be chosen from the following patterns:
- Woven Color
- Spring Garden (Applique)
- In the Neighborhood (Paper Piecing)
- 3-D Wall Art (Trapunto & Couching techniques)
- Coloring on Fabric (aka The Turkey Quilt)
In addition to the quilt pattern, the winner will also receive three quilt block patterns (Log Cabin, Shoo Fly and Friendship Star). Each of these patterns includes multiple layouts and color options to help you see how to use them in your own quilts.
Santa Alert: I see big savings for December on the Learn2QuiltOnline web site. Check them out for yourself.
Quilt Cetera – Bradie Sparrow
What do I say about Bradie? She’s a mother of 9 (yes, nine, that’s not a typo) wonderful children, a fantastic quilt teacher (remember her Summer Star Sampler – purchase the blocks at her Etsy store), wife to the equally wonderful Man Quilter, aka Matt, and someone I’m pleased to call a friend.
She’s donated two copies of her newest pattern: Windowpanes.
Isn’t it adorable? It’s a good thing these patterns come as PDF files, cos at just $4, I’m ordering one for me, and I’d hate for you or Santa to miss out on getting one too.
The Quilt Life
Read my article: No more sticky notes! How Evernote organized my quilting life. [PDF file]
I’ll also be donating 5 sets of the two Quilter’s Cookbooks.
Santa alert: Filled with fabulous recipes, heart-warming stories and gorgeous quilts, they’d make a great gift for you and your quilting friends. Purchase them here!
P.S. If you have a blog and want to help me spread the word (please!) about the Cookbooks, I’d be happy to donate a set or two for you to give-away on your blog too. Blog post must go up this weekend, and winner chosen randomly by Tuesday evening next week. I’ll send you content and images by Friday.
Fat Quarter Shop
Updated: December 18th
The wonderful gang at the Fat Quarter Shop have generously donated three $50 gift certificates to help celebrate the Quilting Gallery’s third birthday.
Be sure to check out their Countdown to Christmas Daily Deals for some awesome savings this holiday season.
Accents In Design
Updated: December 21st
How to Enter, How to Win!
Have you read this far? – Congrats!! I hope you checked out all of the wonderful sponsors.
Here are the rules:
Leave a comment below. One entry per person. Duplicate entries will be deleted. Winners will be chosen randomly next Tuesday.
Answer the following:
- which prizes – please pick two – from above would you like to win (I’ll try to accommodate everyone’s wishes, but it may not be possible)
- what is your favourite part of the Quilting Gallery site OR what would you like to see more of OR what do you think can be improved? Don’t worry, I’m asking for your honest opinion, if I didn’t want to know, or didn’t care, I wouldn’t ask. (If you prefer to send your ideas/suggestions privately, just indicate that in your comment.)
- In keeping with the spirit of the Holiday Season, share a short story of something special that you’ve recently done for someone else, or that was done to you. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, just something nice. For example, yesterday, I helped one of the older ladies in the building get her shopping cart up the stairs (the ramp was closed).
P.S. Facebook friends: Please go to the blog post and leave your comment there. Don’t leave it on Facebook or you won’t be entered to win.
Comments are now closed. Winners will be announced soon!