Sit & Sew Radio podcast

Sit & Sew Radio

Quilt Addicts Anonymous

Welcome to Sit & Sew Radio, a Quilt Addicts Anonymous podcast with Stephanie Soebbing. Hear interviews with influential and interesting people in the quilting world, learn about new quilting books and notions and hear some fun quilting stories. Listen to each new episode while you are sewing. Produced by Quilt Addicts Anonymous blogger, teacher and pattern designer Stephanie Soebbing.

20 Episoden

  • Sit & Sew Radio podcast

    Episode 48 - Jessica VanDenburgh

    34:41

    Welcome to Episode 48 of Sit & Sew Radio, a Quilt Addicts Anonymous podcast. This week our guest is pattern and fabric designer Jessica VanDenburgh of Sew Many Creations. I've known Jessica for a few years from meeting her at various quilting industry events, and I spoke with her at Quilt Market in Portland about her brand-new fabric line, Gypsy, for Windham Fabrics, which is due out in shops in October, including ours at shop.quiltaddictsanonymous.com. Before we get to the interview, I wanted to let you all know what's been going on at Quilt Addicts Anonymous. We've been pumping out tons of great content in 2018, and the latest is our Hillside and Jelly Roll Rug video tutorials which have been big hits with the quilting community so far on YouTube. And if you missed it, be sure to check out my Free Online Beginner Quilting course which is great for first-timers as well as quilting veterans looking for a refresher course. We've also been added a fun new Crafting With Kids video series in which myself and my cute little Future Quilter have fun with crafts in hopes of inspiring you and your little ones to get crafty! Check out all of our content at quiltaddictsanonymous.com and click on the tutorials tab. Also, be sure to subscribe to us on YouTube by clicking here. Now on to the interview ... Jessica VanDenburgh, pattern and fabric designer I just love Jessica's work and have been wanting her as a guest on the podcast for awhile now, so I am super excited to get to share a bit of her story and passion with all of you. Jessica has created many wonderful patterns through her Sew Many Creations brand, for quilts and bags. The idea of her own fabric line was always in the back of her mind, "but I didn’t think that it would ever actually happen because I don’t consider myself super artistic. I don’t think that I draw that well and I don’t have those computer skills either." Nonetheless, she spoke with Windham about doing her own line and started sketching and coming up with concepts. “It was an exciting process," Jessica said. "I got to pick all of the colors and make it what I wanted but they polished it up and made it even better than I could have imagined.” A lot of fabric designers are not sewers, and they don't always understand how their art translates into cutting it up and using it in projects. That's what I love about Jessica's line. As a sewer and pattern designer, she really thought about her her line would be used when creating it and the end product is just beautiful. I just loved how her booth looked at quilt market, and her fabric looked great on large and small-scale projects. In addition to her new fabric line, Jessica discusses her obsession with Cork fabric and more in our interview. Check out Jessica's website at sewmanycreationsny.com.
  • Sit & Sew Radio podcast

    Episode 47 - Frank Bennett, CEO of National Quilt Museum

    28:11

    Welcome to Episode 47 of Sit & Sew Radio, a Quilt Addicts Anonymous podcast! We're so excited to be back with another episode after a break. We're back with an interview with Frank Bennett, the CEO of the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky. We spoke with Frank while we were in Paducah for AQS QuiltWeek in April, and things have been a bit crazy over here at Quilt Addicts Anonymous ever since. As soon as I returned I had to hustle to finish multiple projects for Quilt Market in Portland. Check out my vlog that I did by clicking here to see all that went into getting ready for quilt market and the different projects I created. Also during that time we were working on shooting photos for my first book, Simple Quilts for the Modern Home, which is available for preorder. After that, we zeroed in on the launch of our FREE Beginner Quilting series sponsored by QT Fabrics. The series consists of 12 videos and teaches you everything you need to know about quilting from beginning to end. It has been great to see some of the responses to the videos and how it has been helpful for beginner and veteran quilters alike. Check out the videos at quiltaddictsanonymous.com/learntoquilt and download the FREE pattern to get a 20% off coupon for the supplies you'll need to get started! Listen to the episode to hear more about what we've been up to and what's coming next at Quilt Addicts Anonymous. Frank Bennett, CEO of the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Ky. It was great to chat with Frank Bennett, CEO of the National Quilt Museum, who took some time out of his very busy schedule to meet with me during the week of the big quilt show. It was my first visit to Paducah, and it is clear this is a huge week for the town and the museum. Frank and I chat about some of the exciting things going on in Paducah during show week as well as some of the exhibits at the museum. One of the big topics is the museum's Free Block of the Month Club which launched a few months ago. I am super excited to be one of the designers who will be doing a block for the club due out in April. Listen to the episode to hear what my block is and what I have planned. Learn more about the museum's free Block of the Month Club and sign up at the Facebook page by clicking here. Thanks again for checking out Episode 47 of Sit & Sew Radio. Here's a link to the National Quilt Museum website if you want to learn more about what it has to offer.
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    Episode 46 - Bari J.

    28:46

    Welcome to Episode 46 of Sit & Sew Radio, a Quilt Addicts Anonymous podcast. I am very excited because today’s guest is Bari J. Ackerman, a painter, textile designer and home décor designer. I’ve admired Bari J.’s work for a long time. Her Instagram feed brings me joy every time she shares an image. I just love her curated maximalist style where more is more. Someday when I have time and budget, I would love to get just an ounce of her style into my home. Before we get to the interview I would love to tell you a little bit about what is going on behind the scenes over at Quilt Addicts Anonymous. I am recording this in the one day I have off between vending at the International Quilt Expo Chicago and AQS QuiltWeek Paducah. It has been a crazy week and it is about to get crazier. Make sure you come visit us at Booth #2106 and mention you heard this podcast to get a FREE pattern with any $10 purchase. We also have buy three, get the fourth free on all Quilt Addicts Anonymous patterns. And we are bringing yardage from the new Kaffe Spring 2018 fabric lines and Tula Pink All Stars. We also have some new goodies at the shop including Alison Glass Mariner’s Cloth knit fabrics and Tango from QT Fabrics and Ink & Arrow.   Bari J. Ackerman, painter, textile designer and home décor designer And now onto the interview. Bari J. got the design bug when her children were small and she wanted to decorate her home in something other than items from the Pottery Barn that would also be in everyone else’s home. Before long her creative endeavors led to designing her own handbags, which led to a business and before long designing her own fabric for the bags and then her first fabric line. Now she has created 16 collections of fabric, art for wall paper, home décor and wall art. Check out Bari J.'s art and collections at her website barijdesigns.com.
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    Episode 45 - Malka Dubrawsky

    44:21

    Welcome to Episode 45 of Sit & Sew Radio, a Quilt Addicts Anonymous podcast. This week we are bringing back Malka Dubraswky to talk about her new fabric collection, Mark to Make, for Robert Kaufman Fabrics. You may remember Malka from her appearance on Episode 7 of Sit & Sew Radio, which you can listen to by clicking here. Before we get to the interview, we want to tell you a little bit about what is going on behind the scenes at Quilt Addicts Anonymous. The past week or so has been all about getting ready for our first trips to Chicago and Paducah! We are vending at Quilt Festival Chicago April 12-14 and then we’re going right to Kentucky for AQS QuiltWeek Spring Paducah 2018 April 18-21. If you are going to make it to one of the shows, we’d love for you to come say hi! We’ll be at Booth #2007 in Chicago and Booth #2106 in Paducah. Mention Sit & Sew Radio at our booth and get one of our $12 patterns for FREE with a $10 purchase at either show. We’ve also been spending a lot of time and effort on content generation for all of the Quilt Addicts Anonymous fans. In addition to the Sit & Sew Radio podcast, we’re pumping out new video tutorials all the time. All of our videos for the Dimensions Block of the Month are now available on YouTube, and we also have an exciting 12-part video tutorial series in the works. Check us out on YouTube here and subscribe. My first book is also in production and photography should be happening soon, which is super exciting. The book is scheduled for release this fall. There’s also new patterns on the way and some magazine patterns later this summer. We are really excited for what 2018 will bring here at Quilt Addicts Anonymous. Malka Dubrawky, fabric designer, dyer, author and blogger Malka went to school to study studio art and turned to art quilting when she was at home raising kids. She received lots of recognition, and was featured in several publications, but eventually moved over to the modern quilting world when her desire shifted to creating more functional textiles that would inspire other quilters. Today we’re talking about her latest fabric collection, Mark to Make. This is Malka’s first true batik fabric collection that is produced by a major fabric manufacturer. We also discuss her increased productivity since moving her studio to her home, sewing garments and what inspires her outside of the sewing and quilting world. Learn more about Malka and her work at her website stitchindye.com.
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    Episode 44 - Steph Skardal

    29:27

    Welcome to Episode 44 of Sit & Sew Radio, a Quilt Addicts Anonymous podcast. This week we have two Stephanies on the show! Joining me is Steph Skardal, whose quilt "Going Up" won Best In Show at Quiltcon 2018 in Pasadena, Calif. Before we learn more about Stephanie Skardal, we have some awesome news to report. Sit & Sew Radio was recently named a top five sewing podcast by the Art Gallery Fabrics creative blog. We are thrilled to get this sort of recognition for the podcast and want to thank all of our past guests and listeners for helping to make it possible. Click here to check out the top five list so you can add some other great sewing podcasts to your favorites. Also, we have lots of great new stuff for you to check out at shop.quiltaddictsanonymous.com. We've recently added Cotton+Steel basics, pre-cuts and canvas to our fabric lineup, in addition to Alison Glass Sun Print 2018 pre-cuts. Just go to our See What's New section to check out all of our newest arrivals. Steph Skardal, award-winning quilter and designer Steph Skardal likes to enter her quilts into shows simply just to share her work. Little did the mother of three young daughters know that she'd reel in Best In Show honors at QuiltCon 2018 for her original quilt "Going Up". Skardal works part-time as an ecommerce software engineer and finds time to quilt an hour or two each day while the kids are at daycare. She has only been quilting seriously for about 2 1/2 years. She joined a local open sew group through her local quilt shop which helped her perfect her technique and get to where she is today. In the interview Steph and I discuss her award-winning quilt and the process that went into creating it and much more. Learn more about Steph and see more of her work at her website stephskardalquilts.com.
  • Sit & Sew Radio podcast

    Episode 43 - A chat with new FreeSpirit owner, Scott Fortunoff

    21:09

    Welcome to Episode 43 of Sit & Sew Radio, a Quilt Addicts Anonymous podcast. If you have been anywhere near your phone or a computer and you follow the who’s who of quilting celebrities on social media, chances are you heard the news that FreeSpirit has gotten a new lease on life. The brand that is home to some of the most well-known fabric designers in the industry was purchased by Jaftex, a family-owned company that also owns Henry Glass, Studioe, Blank Quilting and many more popular sewing industry brands. Scott Fortunoff, one of the fourth-generation owners of Jaftex came on the show to talk about the acquisition, how they plan to make FreeSpirit profitable and how this was the deal of a lifetime. The Kaffe Fassett Collective, Tula Pink, Anna Maria Horner and many other big designers are staying on with FreeSpirit under the new owners, and much of the support staff will remain in place as well. Scott Fortunoff, fourth generation owner Jaftex Scott and I also talk about the history of Jaftex, how it has evolved over its 88-year-history from Scott’s grandfather selling imperfect goods and leftover fabric lots to creating women’s sleepwear to acquiring fabric manufacturers that sell to retail chains and quilt shops. And with the acquisition of FreeSpirit, Scott is hopeful this means Jaftex will be around for his sons and nephews to be the fifth generations of Fortunoffs to run the company. You can learn more about Scott on his blog, Tales of a Fourth Generation Textile Executive. Click here to check out his latest entries. If you would like to shop FreeSpirit fabric, we have lots to choose from over at shop.quiltaddictsanonymous.com. We are expecting to the complete line of Tula Pink All Stars to ship any day now. Plus, we have fabric from Amy Butler, Kaffe Fassett, Anna Maria Horner and FreeSpirit Essential Solids. <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536870145 1107305727 0 0 415 0;} @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536870145 1073786111 1 0 415 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} span.s1 {mso-style-name:s1; mso-style-unhide:no;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} @page WordSection1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;} -->
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    Episode 42 - The end of Free Spirit and what it means for the quilting industry

    38:31

    Welcome to Episode 42 of Sit & Sew Radio, a Quilt Addicts Anonymous podcast. This week we are taking a look at the closing of Free Spirit. On Monday the quilt industry was rocked by news that North American Crafts has decided to close its Lifestyle Fabrics business, which includes fabrics produced by Free Spirit and Westminister Fabrics/Fibers. The news was made public when the Craft Industry Alliance shared a copy of the email sent to fabric designers informing them of the imminent closure. The reasoning given was that, “Despite our best efforts, we have continued to struggle with an inherent weakness in the business model and have not be able to demonstrate a profit.” There was no warning that this was coming. Designers were actively working on new collections and promoting ones to be released in June and later after the company will cease its operations. My fabric rep was hundreds of miles from home, meeting with shops and taking orders. The Free Spirit Marketing team sent an email to shop owners promoting a social media marketing webinar scheduled for later in the week. The internet quilting community came out in force to speculate why and how such a prominent name in the quilting industry and home to some of the top designers in the world could close. There also was an outpouring of support for the employees who will be losing their jobs and designers such as Tula Pink, Kaffe Fassett, Amy Butler and more encouraging them to keep creating. Then on Tuesday more information started to come out. A similar email was sent to shop owners, using the same inherent weakness line to explain the reasons for closing up. I was on this list and have shared the content of the email I received below. Free Spirit is not sharing much information. Even designers I have spoke to off the record were still waiting as late as yesterday for phone calls from Westminister and Free Spirit before deciding what to do next. Many have taken to social media to thank their fans for supporting them, assuring them that they will keep designing, just with a new company and expressing a positive attitude that this change will ultimately be a good thing for them creatively. I have learned from my Free Spirit fabric rep that collections slated to be shipped through May 2018 will come out. That includes Tula Pink All Stars, which is already in the Westminister’s US-based warehouse and is being prepped for shipment. However, decisions are still being made to determine whether the much promoted Kaffe Mystery Block of the Month will be fulfilled or if Tula Pink’s De La Luna fabric line, originally slated for June, will be printed. But as a business woman in the quilting industry, what had me most concerned was the line North American Crafts kept using in its carefully crafted communications, that there was an inherent weakness in the business model. So I invited two presidents of fabric companies to come on this week and talk about the closing of Free Spirit and what it means for the industry. In our conversations we talk about: • The state of the quilting industry • What is necessary for a fabric company to run well and profitably • How the size of fabric lines and release frequency can impact cash flow - the life line of a business • How new technology is changing the industry • The inherent differences of running an independently owned fabric company, verses being a division of a larger corporation as Westminister Fibers and Free Spirit was • What business expenses are covered when you buy a yard of fabric • And how disruption is everywhere in every industry, so challenges like internet fabric sales just means there needs to be some creative problem solving and innovation to meet the needs of today’s consumer Ken Gamache, President of QT Fabrics First up we have the president of QT Fabrics Ken Gamache. Ken started at QT Fabrics in 1978 as a print machine set up man. It was his job to clean the ink from the copper rollers and he worked the midnight shift. Throughout his 40 year career with the company, he has worked his way up from production, to supply chain management, distribution, sales, general manager and now president. Since he has worked in just about every aspect of the business, he has first-hand knowledge of what it takes to keep the company running efficiently and profitably. We talk about the state of the quilting industry, how the size of a fabric line can impact profitability and inventory management, how digital printing can lead to future profitability and the four areas of a company that need to run smoothly, in Ken’s opinion, for a fabric manufacturer to succeed. Ted Hoffman, President of Clothworks Next up with have the President of Clothworks, Ted Hoffman. Ted and his wife Candice purchased Clothworks when Ted wanted to go in a different direction after working in corporate high tech life in Seattle. After about a year and a half of searching for the right company, Clothworks came up which held interests for Ted, the business guy and Candice, the company’s Creative Director. The numbers looked good and they bought the company, saw it through the Great Recession and the many challenges that came with it. We also talk about the state of the quilting industry, the cyclical nature of business, Clothworks’ model of selecting designers based on their distinct artistic styles as a way to diversify the business, what is covered (and it is a lot) when a consumer purchases one yard of fabric, and how disruption is everywhere, in every industry and it just provides a creative challenge for businesses to meet the needs of today’s consumer. A big thank you to Ken Gamache from QT Fabrics and Ted Hoffman from Clothworks for taking some time out of their busy schedules to talk with me and react to the big news of Free Spirit closing its doors. Click here to read the Craft Industry Alliance article that broke the news of the closing to the quilting industry and scroll down to see the full text of the email I received as a shop owner explaining the closing. You can also click here to read a blog I wrote that details what lines Quilt Addicts Anonymous will be receiving before Free Spirit closes. We have already had a few customers who have started buying up our current Free Spirit lines, knowing that they may not be reprinted when the designers find a new home. We have fabrics from Tula Pink, Kaffe Fassett, Amy Butler, Shell Rummel, Anna Maria Horner and Free Spirit Solids at shop.quiltaddictsanonymous.com. Here is the full text of the email sent to quilt shop owners: Dear Retailer, As you may have heard, we will be exiting our fabrics business, which includes our Westminster Fabrics/ Fibers, FreeSpirit brand, and designers. We have worked diligently for the past few years to make this a successful part of the Coats and Clark, Inc. craft business here in North America. I am sorry to say that, despite our best efforts, we have continued to struggle with an inherent weakness in the business model. We will work with you and have ongoing communication regarding availability of fabric selection and current programs within the next several weeks. It also means, at a future date, we will be moving invoicing and customer service functions supporting the fabric, thread, and yarn businesses from Greer, South Carolina to our Albany, Georgia, and Charlotte, North Carolina offices. For now, your current contacts will remain the same. It is our intent to support you and our talented and dedicated artists during this transition. These decisions have been difficult and we thank our employees, our designers, and you for your enthusiasm for FreeSpirit and your continued support. Yours sincerely, Stephanie Leichtweis
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    Episode 41 - Natalia Bonner

    39:58

    Welcome to Episode 41 of Sit & Sew Radio, a Quilt Addicts Anonymous podcast. This week we have Natalia Bonner back on the show talking about her latest book, "Visual Guide to Free-Motion Quilting Feathers." Natalia was one of the first guests on this podcast and since that first appearance I have sent her several of my tops to be quilted. She is very talented and almost always includes fabulous feathers on everything I send her. Real quick before we get into the meat of the interview, we've got some new goodies over at shop.quiltaddictsanonymous.com. We have a boatload of new pre-cuts from Anna Maria Horner, Carolyn Friedlander, Amy Butler and Maywood Studio. Plus, Dimensions Block of the Month books are now available for purchase and we've got a bunch of new patterns to inspire you including the super popular Lisa the Unicorn by Elizabeth Hartman, the creator of Fancy Forest. So click here to check out all the new goodies and get inspired for your next project. Natalia Bonner, Professional Quilter, Author It is no secret that I am a big fan of Natalia Bonner. Whenever I have a quilt that I don't feel I can do justice on the longarm, I send it to her, including the quilt I hope will be on the cover of my first book. Her 4-in-1 ruler is my most used template when I am doing ruler work on the longarm. Natalia's talents have been recognized by others as well. She won Best Machine Quilting at QuiltCon in 2017, and she has written five books including, "Visual Guide to Free-Motion Quilting Feathers" that we are talking about in today's episode. As you will hear in the interview, feathers are the quilting design I have yet to master. I have attempted them, but the results were pretty disastrous ... the quilt is still in time out. But I think I am ready to try again with Natalia's Book. She includes 68 modern feather designs in it, each with step-by-step instructions, with easy to understand photos, on how to recreate the feathers on your own quilt. It is a must have for anyone who wants to tackle this classic quilting stitch. You can listen to Natalia's previous appearances on the podcast in Episode 28, the QuiltCon 2017 edition, and Episode 4. You can learn more about her and purchase her book on her website piecenquilt.com.
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    Episode 40 - Shell Rummel

    53:50

    Welcome to Episode 40 of Sit & Sew Radio, a Quilt Addicts Anonymous podcast. This week we have Shell Rummel on, and I couldn’t be more excited to introduce her to you all. Shell is a fine artist whose watercolor designs are licensed by the Free Spirit/Coats team to bring fabulous modern coastal quilting fabric to all of us. But Shell is far more than just a fabric designer. Her designs are also available as bedding and bath sets, rugs, silk pillows, wall paper and even house paint. And between now and February 9, 2018 you can save 25 percent on all Shell Rummel fabric we have in stock over at shop.quiltaddictsanonymous.com using the coupon code SEWSHELL. Real quick before we get to the episode, make sure you head over to shop.quiltaddictsanonymous.com to sign up for the Dimensions Block of the Month by January 31, 2018 when sign ups close! I just love this Block of the Month design because each month we are just using two fabrics, one solid and one Kinkame Shades ombre fabric available through Clothworks. I have always wanted to design a quilt with ombre fabrics that really shows off the color changes that happen across the width of fabric, and Dimensions is that quilt. Check out the video we made above to get a preview of this quilt and click here to sign up. Shell Rummel, Fine Artist & Designer I fell in love with Shell Rummel’s fabric long before I met Shell. I am normally all for the bright and vibrant fabrics, but I just can’t get enough of Shell’s fabric. The soft color palette is just gorgeous and it challenges me in my fabric placement to create drama with the ranges of color, rather than relying on a bright focus print to do the work for me. The results are fabulous. I used two of her fabric lines in quilts for my book, “Simple Quilts for the Modern Home” that is due out later this year, and tagged her on Instagram with a few sneak peaks. I had no expectations and just wanted to show other Shell Rummel fans what I was up to. But Shell replied and before I knew it we were talking on the phone discussing future collaborations. None of those projects are out in the world yet, but stay tuned, they are coming later this summer. I just love everything about Shell and I hope you do to. You can see more of her home décor creations at www.shellrummel.com.
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    Episode 39 - Darlene & Andy Girton, the Featherweight Doctors

    48:41

    Welcome to Episode 39 of Sit & Sew Radio, a Quilt Addicts Anonymous podcast. This week we are excited to have Darlene and Andy Girton of Featherweightdoctor.com. This husband and wife turned their passion for Singer Featherweights into a business in which they buy and restore the fabled workhorse sewing machines. They restore the machines to their original beauty or if you want something a little funkier, can create some pretty crazy finishes as well. We also give you a behind-the-scenes look into what Stephanie Soebbing is up to this week. Which basically is lots and lots of filming video tutorials for Dimensions - the 2018 Quilt Addicts Anonymous Block of the Month. Click here to read more about Dimensions and to sign up. Sign-ups are are open through the end of January and the first of 11 blocks, along with the pattern book, will be shipped in February. Also over at Quilt Addicts Anonymous, the Semi Annual Clearance Sale is going on. There are nearly 100 fabrics, patterns and books marked down 40% to 60% OFF. This is beautiful, high quality fabric from all the names you love, we've just had it for a while and it is time to make room for our new 2018 arrivals. There are lots of bolts that still have nine or more yards of fabric, making them great for quilt backs, so check out the sale, stock up and get some fabulous fabric for your stash! Click here to check it out. Darlene & Andy Girton, the Featherweight Doctors Darlene's love affair with the Featherweight 221 began about 15 years ago with Esther. Darlene was a self-taught quilter who was lugging around a "big, boat anchor sewing machine" to local classes in Washington state. One day the handle snapped off, and she decided she needed a change. Darlene, who eventually would become a professional long-arm quilter and machine quilt educator, needed something lighter. Something portable. She was starting to teach her own classes, and her old "boat anchor" wasn't cutting it any longer. Her husband, Andy found her a classic 1953 black Featherweight that weighed about 8 pounds. She called her Esther, the name of the original owner that was engraved all over the machine. "And that is where the love affair started," Darlene said. Esther became Darlene's traveling companion on retreats and classes. Soon Andy and Darlene began collecting the machines, picking them up at garage sales, antique shops, wherever they could find them. A few years ago the couple moved to the Phoenix area and things really took off. Andy would clean the old machines up, and Darlene would take them to classes and sell them. That's when they decided to make a family business out of the venture with featherweightdoctor.com. Andy does a lot of the restoration, with the help of their 18-year-old son as well as Andy's dad. Darlene finds the machines and tests them to make sure they are working as they should. Their daughter pitches in as well, with the official title of design assistant and queen of fun. In the podcast interview Darlene and Andy tell more about their story and the restoration process. Darlene says that while many prefer to restore the machines to their original glory, there is an up-and-coming group of ladies from the younger generation of sewers who prefer a fresh and fun look for their antique machines. Visit Featherweightdoctor.com to learn more about Andy and Darlene and to see their work.

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