Did you get to attend the PIQF in Santa Clara, California? The show runs all weekend (October 16-19) and is a great show to visit.  It has wonderful quilts and many of our friends--Superior Threads (Bob & Heather Purcell), Cranberry Quiltworks (Gina Halladay-Quiltersbuzz.com), John Flynn &  Brooke (John is joining us in Season 4), Bernina, Gammill and many more. 

It's better to see the show in person but you will attend with TQS.  Join us as we show a sample of the quilts this year.  Embellishments and texture were everywhere.  Colors were outstanding and, of course, the wonderful Japanese quilts.  Over the next 5 days you will get a special view of a sample of the exciting quilts at the show. Come back often as the quilts will change every couple of hours.  Lots of quilts to see.



Once again, the quilters are going to descend on Alden Lane, in Livermore, CA. January 21,22 & 23, 2009. I will be teaching an extended workshop based on my book Simply Stars. The price is $250.00 and it includes lunch every day. To register you can email Cyndee at cyndeec@aldenlane.com or call at 925-447-0280. This class is my "signature" class and it is rare I have the delicious opportunity to teach it in a extended format - I look forward to this event and hope you can join us!



First Clue: This year once again, Ricky and I were unanimous with our vote - no discussion needed at all! We will let you know before the show airs, who this years pick was - but let the tease begin. This years person, is not only a quilter but a master gardener- His/Her pepper jam was to die for!





Ok, this time I'll give you the answers, but you have to figure out which block it applies to.

Broken Sugar Bowl/May Basket

Double hour Glass

6 pt Star

Cake Stand/Fruit Basket

Old Maid's Puzzle

Check my comments for the answer.  How did you do?



Photo by Gregory Case

Join us tonight at 4:00pm Pacific/7:00pm Eastern (02:00 GMT on October 16, 2008) as we unlock the mysteries hidden in a puzzle quilt with our Chat room "Featured Guest", Paula Nadelstern.  Pick up tips on fabric and block selection, as well as other tricks from the master of fabric manipulation.  It's sure to be an hour of fun, creativity, and learning.  Watch Episode 307 with Paula here. 



(Mary Balagna uses an AccuQuilt fabric cutter before annual Project Linus Expo)

Project Linus, an organization that makes quilts and handmade blankets for children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need throughout the nation, has more than 60,000 volunteers called "Blanketeers" in about 400 local US chapters.  Project Linus makes and collects more than 400,000 quilts and blankets each year.  WOW!  So can you guess how many quilt pieces Mary Balagna, the vice president of Project Linus, cuts each year for pre-cut kits for classes and expos? At least 20,000 pieces each year!!  "We just couldn't do it to her anymore," said Carol Babbitt, president of Project Linus. 

To see the solution they found that Babbitt of Project Linus says "if you are going to do anything on a large scale, there's just not going to be a better way to do it", click here and read their story in our TQS Articles section. 

Have you made a blanket for Project Linus?  Click on comments and let us know what you made.




Mary Balagna is vice president of Project Linus, an organization that makes quilts and handmade blankets for children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need throughout the nation. In her work from Bloomington, Illinois, along with president Carol Babbitt, she serves more than 60,000 volunteers called “blanketeers” in about 400 local U.S. chapters. They make and collect more than 400,000 quilts and blankets each year. In addition, Mary oversees the Central Illinois chapter as chapter coordinator.

One of Mary’s responsibilities over the past decade has been to prepare materials for classes and booths at the annual Project Linus Expo held in Bloomington for chapter coordinators and their personal guests. That amounts to between 600 and 800 kits, each with a number of pre-cut quilt pieces. Some class kits include enough pieces for an entire quilt top so class time can be spent on sewing rather than cutting. That means Mary cuts as many as 20,000 pieces each year! It was getting painful. “We just couldn’t do it to her anymore,” Carol says.

That’s why the organization decided to start die cutting. They purchased an AccuQuilt™ Studio™ Fabric Cutter. It works by placing a die (with steel rule blade embedded in it) into a tray with fabric on top in layers, then a mat the die cuts into. You roll everything through the machine, and perfectly-cut shapes come out the other side. The shapes are easily plucked from the machine and inserted into bags. “If you are going to do anything on a large scale, there’s just not going to be a better way to do it,” Carol explains.

One of the benefits of having a cutter in the office is that Carol and Mary have easy access for year round project preparation. Carol loves using it to make sure pieces are perfect. “When I cut, I drive myself crazy. I measure, measure, measure, measure then cut. I can’t be accurate enough. Die cutting gives me a lot of peace of mind.”

Find out more about Project Linus at www.projectlinus.org. To see the AccuQuilt cutter, visit www.accuquilt.com.



In the newsletter dated Tuesday, October 14, 2008 we incorrectly stated that if you purchased the book Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space we would give you the companion planner for free.  The correct Shoppe special is buy the book and receive the the companion planner at half price.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.



If you remember we used 30 blocks from the Antique Block exhibit of Susan Brooks at the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek, California. (Open through Nov 23, 2008).  There were more blocks that we didn't use so here are some for you to see.  I'll give the museums names for them in a comment in a few hours.



Click on "Challenges" and upload your latest project.  You can also check out what other people are working on.  Find out what MkNavy90 is doing this quilt for. 

Remember to scroll down the blog to October 5 and give us your comment on what kind of challenge you want TQS to do.  Today is the last day to enter your idea for a chance to win a free series subscription.

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