Sunday, December 16, 2012

Winner of giveaway

Hi everyone:

I was excited to see so many entries in my giveaway to celebrate the Quilting Gallery's fifth birthday. While I'd love to send fabric, appliqués and patterns to all of you, I had to pick only one winner. Thanks to the random number generator, the winner was #21. 
Congratulations to Peg who will now be receiving the lovely winter fabrics, die-cut snowflakes and two of Chatterbox Quilts' patterns
If you didn't win this time, don't worry - I'll be having more giveaways in 2013. 

You can always order these and other patterns through my store as PDF downloads and will receive them instantly - or close to it. 

Now it's time to get back to work on finishing up a few projects for Christmas gifts. 

I hope you've finished your shopping, making gifts and baking and are enjoying the holiday season.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Quilting Gallery Blog Hop Party with Giveaways

Hi everyone:

I'm glad you decided to check in with me today as I have exciting news (yes, more exciting news - it never seems to end!). Today I'm helping to celebrate the 5th birthday of the Quilting Gallery by participating in their Blog Hop Party with Giveaways. Yes, that's right, it's their birthday, but I'm hosting a giveaway, along with over a hundred other bloggers. 

If you don't know about the Quilting Gallery, you must check them out. Michele has a wealth of information on her site, including listings of bloggers all over the world, free tips and tutorials and block exchanges. She also has a weekly themed quilt contest which is always fun to enter - or vote on. I'm so pleased to wish the Quilting Gallery a happy birthday and excited to be a part of this blog party.

If you're new to my blog, let me tell you a bit about myself. I'm the owner and chief designer of Chatterbox Quilts. We publish quilting, hand embroidery and stuffie patterns, which you can find on our site. If I had to describe the style of our patterns, I'd probably say "whimsical and cute" and I'm addicted to fusible web appliqué. I hope you'll check out my website for free patterns and tutorials. If you'd like to see what I'm currently working on and to be advised of upcoming special events (such as this one), please subscribe to my blog. 
Detail from Hoot-mon! quilt
Pattern by Chatterbox Quilts
Now, let's get down to the important part - the giveaway. Since it's the holiday season, I've put together a package containing two of my seasonal patterns, Bundle Up and Snowflakes a' Fallin', but that's not all. I'm also including 4 die-cut snowflakes already backed by HeatnBond Lite - all ready for you to create a wintry project. You'll receive 2 large snowflakes and 2 small snowflakes. But I'm not done yet! I've also included 4 fat quarters of sparkly cool fabrics in blue and silver. 

Bundle Up, Snowflakes a' Fallin' patterns
with 4 die-cut snowflakes and 4 fat quarters
One lucky winner will receive all of these items. How do you enter to win? I'm glad you asked. 

To be eligible to win, please "like" Chatterbox Quilts on Facebook and advise me that you have done so in the comments below. If you've previously "liked" us, please just let me know in the comments. For an additional entry, please subscribe to my blog (see the button in the right sidebar). Again, just let me know in the comments below. If you are already a blog follower, just put this in your comment. 

So, you have two ways to enter the giveaway. Just be sure to indicate how you've entered in the comments below. Oh, and one more important thing - be sure you're not entering a comment as "anonymous". I won't be able to advise you if I don't have your email address.

This giveaway is open from December 10, 2012 until December 15, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. MST (10:00 p.m. EST). I'll be drawing a winner after this time and contacting them on December 16, 2012. This giveaway is open to Canadian and U.S. residents only.

Good luck to everyone and happy birthday to the Quilting Gallery!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Video Review - Inspired Modern Quilts on Craftsy

Hi everyone:

If you haven't heard about Craftsy, you'll be hearing about them from me now. Craftsy offers on-line classes in such areas as quilting, sewing, knitting, and crochet. They even have classes on cake decorating and food craft. The class instructors are chosen for their expertise in their particular craft and the classes are organized, informative and thorough. 

I've enrolled in many several of the quilting and crochet classes and although I haven't yet actually made all of the samples, I have made some and have really enjoyed the process - and learned a lot at the same time. In addition to learning by watching the videos, you can ask questions of the instructor as well as other students and receive quick responses. You can post photos of your project in the Projects area and get help with any problems you may be encountering. You can make notes anywhere in the video to remind you of pertinent information, and these, as well as the patterns and materials, are all available for download. The best part is that you can watch the classes over and over again as your access never expires. Am I enjoying my classes? You bet I am! If you have an iPhone or iPad, they have an app to allow you to watch the videos on them and it works really well (ask me how I know!).
Photo courtesy of
Craftsy recently allowed me to review one of their classes and I chose Inspired Modern Quilts by Elizabeth Hartman, as I thought that this would put me a bit out of my comfort zone and allow me to experiment with different patterns than I would normally choose. This class consists of 7 quilt projects; I have been working on one of them. 

Rather than jumping ahead and tackling one of the projects that appears later in the video, I (for once) decided to start at the beginning and make the first project, Scattered Squares Quilt. This is not to mean that I haven't already watched the entire class and am itching to make some of the other projects :)
Materials printed out, fabrics cut, now what?
Scattered Squares is a simple 24" x 30" quilt (instructions are also provided for a lap size quilt) using 3 1/2" squares, where you're encouraged to "embrace randomness". After cutting your fabric squares, you mix them up and randomly choose each piece and start composing your quilt on a design wall. 

Fabric squares being mixed up before being randomly selected
 Okay, randomness really isn't my thing and I would usually spend hours rearranging all the fabric squares until the quilt was perfect -at least in my mind - but I complied and randomly selected squares and built my design. You can rearrange the pieces if there are too many of the same kind in one area, but I found that I didn't have to do much of that. The idea is to have an asymmetrical design, which is one of the characteristics of a modern quilt.
Squares "randomly" arranged on the design wall
Surprisingly enough I found this exercise very freeing and less stressful as I didn't have to ponder and analyze over the design. Being a simple pattern, if didn't take me long to stitch my squares into rows and my rows into a small quilt. I was even able to use fabric that I have in my stash, which made me feel even better about the quilt. 
Rows stacked up and labelled before construction
This part is not random
One row stitched together
Having completed this project (almost - still deciding if I want to add some borders), I'm excited to try some of the other ones, especially the Improv Pods pattern. 

The patterns in the class are definitely modern and are simple enough for beginners to make. In addition to the 7 patterns, Elizabeth discusses fabric choices and has included directions for making a simple design wall and a pressing board, again helpful for beginner quilters. Her instructions are clear and thorough and the pacing is such that you have no problem working along with her. 
Squares stitched into rows and ready for row construction
This would be a helpful class for new quilters and a wonderful introduction to modern quilts for those more traditional quilters. Projects are easy, effective and quick to construct. Elizabeth explains all the steps as she constructs the quilts and gives helpful tips along the way. 

I know that you'll love this class and you'll be pleased to know that you can currently sign up for it at a discount.

As a special treat for Chatterbox Chitchat readers, Craftsy is offering a special 50% discount on Inspired Modern Quilts. What a great early Christmas present! 

I'm sure that you'll want to check out the Craftsy website to see what other courses they offer (lots of quilting classes - yum!). Sign up on Craftsy to receive emails about special offers on other classes, as well as to be informed when new classes are offered. You'll want to visit the Craftsy blog and sign up to receive future posts. 

They also offer great pricing on fabric packages, such as fat quarters and jelly rolls, as well as yarn specials, and are currently shipping to the U.S. and Canada. The best part: they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

I hope you'll sign up for Inspired Modern Quilts at 50% off and let me know which project you're working on. I'd love to see your creation in the Projects area.

Now back to deciding about those borders...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Stitcheries, stuffies and sales!

Hi everyone:

Welcome to Monday and time to let you know about my exciting news.

I've been hard at work on some seasonal patterns and am pleased to release two new stitchery sets just in time for Christmas gifts.

Christmas Stitchery Set includes 3 patterns related to the season, including:
Holly Jolly from Christmas Stitchery Set

Lotsa Presents from Christmas Stitchery Set

Christmas Tree from Christmas Stitchery Set

All 3 patterns included in Christmas Stitchery Set
The Winter Stitchery Set includes 3 designs inspired by our Canadian winters, including: 

Wintery House included in Winter Stitchery Set

Starlit Snowman included in Winter Stitchery Set

Ribbon Snowflake included in Winter Stitchery Set

The 3 patterns included in Winter Stitchery Set

Each set contains full-size templates to create 3 hand embroidery projects. Regular and reversed designs are included in both patterns, as well as a heart template should you wish to create ornaments or pincushions with these patterns. They also make adorable shelf sitters for the mantle or nestled together in a wicker basket. Add some potpourri and you have seasonal sachets!

But that's not all! I also have just uploaded 4 embroidered stuffie patterns to my website. I really love these little guys and they're perfect gifts for little ones with no loose bits to catch on their fingers and toes. (Almost completely out of the bag). Let me introduce Hoot, Screech and Whoobie.
Hoot embroidered stuffie - the daddy of the family

Screech, the momma of the family

Whoobie, the baby of the family
These patterns are for hand embroidery and work up very quickly. While I prefer to cuddle them, you might want to use them as pincushions and they also look adorable all together on a shelf. Each stuffie is available as a separate pattern or you may prefer to purchase the entire family together. The patterns all include full-size regular and reversed format templates as well as coloured diagrams and stitch suggestions. 
The Hoot family
Now, that's a lot of excitement for a Monday morning, but I'm not done yet. 

As my Christmas gift to my readers, all my patterns, including my new ones, will be on sale this week (December 3 to December 9) at a 20% discount. 

As these are PDF downloads, you'll have them instantaneously (okay, maybe not that fast, but fast!) and will be able to start working on them right away. Or you could get a headstart on next year's presents :)

I hope you'll browse through my shop and take advantage of the Christmas sale this week.  

As for me, I'm currently working on another project, which you'll hear about later this week - yup, more surprises coming.

Now that was a busy week!