Books for Quilters!
More than 200 Titles, Most at a Discount, in the
Planet Patchwork Quilters' Bookstore!

Number Thirty-Nine * April 1, 2000

Classifieds | Table of Contents

Please allow entire page to load before clicking links.


By Carol Miller

Show time! The end of February rolls around and it must be time for the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Williamsburg, VA. This commercial show is run by David and Peter Mancuso, who also sponsor the World Quilt and Textile Show in North Carolina, Pacific International on the West Coast and the Fort Washington, PA show.

Mid-Atlantic is always a highlight of my year but this year it was particularly welcome after a brutal winter featuring record snowfalls and killer ice storms. As a special reward, Mother Nature arranged for spring weather - even long sleeves were too warm!

My local guild is having our quilt show October 13-15 and for the first time we are having a judged section. To help us understand the process, I volunteered to be a scribe for the judges. I thought you might like to know about my day behind the scenes.

We began at 7:30 (in the morning!) with a brief meeting over breakfast. We were given our forms and a list of all the quilts in each category. For those of you who wonder why certain shows have more traditional quilts or more contemporary quilts, it depends completely on what is sent in. Even on a show like this one where the staff looks at the slides and sends acceptance letters, the actual proportion of quilts is determined by the quilters who choose to participate.

The amazing truth, here in the land of conservatism, is that there are many more contemporary quilts being sent for judging than traditional quilts. In the Traditional Wall category, there were only 5 entries!

Another problem is that the entrant must decide for herself whether her work is traditional or innovative. That word "innovative" seems to cause all kinds of confusion. The rules clearly state that this does NOT refer to methods used, such as fusing, beading or raw edges, yet it is the method of working which seems to be what people think about when choosing their category.

Innovative work should show a new and creative idea. It does not mean a traditional pattern done with modern fabrics. Sadly, there were at least half a dozen quilts in the innovative category which were clearly traditional. The judges are NOT allowed to move the quilts between categories. If they were to move a quilt and it did not win, the entrant could claim it would have done better in its original category.

Another background note: quilts should be shipped in regular cardboard boxes, NOT tubes. Tubes are being touted on some lists I belong to as better protecting the quilts. The truth is that tubes are awkward for the show sponsors to handle, cost double or triple the postage and are difficult to store for return. They are also hard to open and to reseal since the ends are often contrived by the entrant and are not part of the original package. The Mancusos pay the return postage and they find this new trend very expensive. If it gets too expensive, I suspect they will stop paying return postage and everyone will lose.

For those who DO send their quilts in boxes, you should leave your piece unfolded until shipping and try to use some material in the folds to minimize crease lines. The show organizers cannot steam your quilts. They are hung the day before the show and do not have much time for the folds to hang out. If they have spent a month or more folded up, especially if they are under other quilts, the creases become very noticeable. The judges did their best to determine if the quilts were actually hanging straight or if it was just the fold causing the distortion, but it is hard to do. Look carefully the next time you are at a show and see for yourself how distracting the wrinkles are.

Back to the show. We are all pleasantly stuffed with breakfast and holding our box of sharpened pencils and a stack of clean, blank forms. Off we go to the Traditional Bed Quilts. The three judges (Charlotte Warr Andersen, Alice Kolb and Barbara Barber) stood in front of the first quilt and discussed it. The scribes stand back, not allowed to talk, and wait until the judges say, "Okay, write this down." They are supposed to make a minimum of 3 comments on each quilt. The idea is that their comments will help the quilter to understand and improve on any defects.

In fact, the judges are very aware that the quilter will get that piece of paper and read it over and over. She will take each criticism to heart. If it is harsh, it will be like a stab wound. They don't want to hurt anyone or to discourage people from entering competitions. The result is that all criticism is watered down and covered in cotton wool to cause the least amount of hurt and, inevitably, the least amount of good. On those quilts which were in the middle range of skill, the judges attempted to say helpful things like "Machine quilting skills could be improved, quilting patterns should be varied more, quilting should be more evenly distributed over the face of the quilt." They might comment that the composition was not satisfactory, needing more balance in the upper quadrant. What they did not say was "Why did you use this appalling color combination?"

Some quilts left everyone speechless - perhaps the idea was flawed or the execution was not done well - maybe the quilter's reach exceeded her skills. But in these cases where the only solution would have been to throw it out and start over, they were painstakingly kind. I couldn't fault them for that - I pictured myself reading "your quilt left us gaping. We couldn't imagine what you were thinking" and knew no one would ever want to read such a comment.

The one thing I can tell you is that the judges never counted stitches. They did feel some of the bindings to see if they were "full." That means your batting should completely come out to the edge of the binding. Using a smaller binding (2" instead of 3") assures this, you know. You should have to tug your binding around and pin it in place.

The three judges come from totally different quilt preferences so there were no strong biases toward traditional, innovative, pieced or applique. They tried to dismiss their own prejudices, but they are human like the rest of us and it's really hard to pretend you love purple when you hate it and to get past that to fairly judge a piece that is totally purple.

I use that as an example because one of the winners, "A Tumble of Roses," was done totally in shades of purple. The stencil like rose design crossed over from the light to dark backgrounds and the roses changed color so they would continue to stand out. The effect, for me, was as if the background had a nap (velvet, terrycloth) and the rose shapes were shaved into the surface! It was a spectacular quilt and won a ribbon. But one of the judges thought it would look good in a funeral parlor. She voted for it anyway because she recognized the design skill and the excellent applique.

Another totally unavoidable problem is that many of these quilts have already hung in other shows. I recognized several myself. Then there are the pieces made by artists whose work is distinctive. All of us instantly recognized the work of Caryl Bryer Fallert. They are not supposed to know and they are not supposed to let it influence their decision - but put yourself in their place. Can you totally divorce yourself from all knowledge of the quilter when you look at her work? When you see a quilt made by a woman who has just lost a child, don't you take into account her emotional state? How about the quilt made by the woman who works full time and has 4 kids - you look at it and think "Wow. Where did she find the time!"

Looking at the quilts one at a time, marking favorites and then deciding took hours. We realized that we would never be finished by 6:30. (The show opens for a preview at 7:30 and the winners are usually moved into a special area, plus all the ribbons have to be pinned on.) So the method was changed slightly. The judges walked around, looking at each quilt, but saving all commentary. They marked those pieces which were contenders for the ribbons. Then they narrowed the list until the winners were selected. After this, we walked around and they dictated the remarks on the critique sheets. I don't know why this works better but it does.

The system is flawed and I certainly don't have any answers. The problem is that there are a handful of truly outstanding quilters whose work always deserves a ribbon. Their quilts are head and shoulders above the pack - every time. People like Michael James, Caryl Bryer Fallert, Hollis Chatelaine, Libby Lehman, Elly Sienkiewicz and Jinny Beyer blow everyone else out of the water. Their work is distinctive and perfectly executed. They sell their work for thousands of dollars (and more power to them!). It just seems unfair that they are judged as professionals alongside people who have taught two classes in their local shop.

I learned a couple things from helping. I would never want to be the one doing the judging. It is a tough job. Being a scribe and not talking was excruciating. I don't think I would want to be judged. My own work is done with a passion for design and color and only the necessary amount of attention to detail. I'm not willing to spend the extra time it would take to perfect the mechanics of my art to please the judges.

What about the rest of the show? Well, we finished after 7 p.m. - the crowds were pushing against the doors, anxious to get in and see the quilts and the vendors. I just wanted to go back to my room and soak my feet.

I had plans for dinner with some online friends. We ate in the hotel dining room so they could attend the preview. I fail to understand why it took 45 minutes to get food in a dining room that was nearly deserted. The service was uniformly slow at every place I ate all weekend. Don't they know we are coming? Can't they hire extra help? What do they do during the tourist season when it is busy all the time? Wouldn't they make more money if they could turn over the tables faster? Why am I not in charge of the world? I know I could run it better!

The other problem was the temperature in the main ballroom. It was stiflingly hot - as it is every year. This is a convention center - isn't it supposed to be filled with people? Doesn't the air conditioning work? Houston manages to keep their quilt show cool. Why is it impossible in Williamsburg?

Thursday, I did the quilt show and merchants mall at the Marriott. I made a beeline for my favorite vendor - My Hands to Thee - on the far left corner of the room, abandoning my previous practice of working my way through the room until I get to them. It occurred to me that this is not dinner and I don't have to eat my beets first. I filled my rolling tote with fabric. Then I began the search for inexpensive door prizes for our guild's National Quilting Day celebration. That kept me busy for the rest of the day - with frequent breaks outside to cool off and lots of chatting with friends.

Friday, I took a class with Charlotte Warr Andersen on how to put buildings in quilts. We also had lunch together (as if we hadn't seen enough of each other on Wednesday). She is a delightful lady and I really enjoyed our time together. I only wish I could do work that looked like hers. Sigh.

Then off I went to the Williamsburg Lodge for the Wearable Arts Show. This venue is smaller and always less crowded. The vendors are slightly different, including a number who specialize in beads, trims, clothing patterns, jewelry and needlework. Sew What from Wytheville, VA, is another of my favorite booths and I damaged my credit card again. I also treated myself to two Plexiglas stamps from Primrose Gradations (aren't Joan and Charlie the nicest people?) and will try some design work on my hand-dyed fabrics and some discharge adventures. I've got a couple old shirts I can't wait to experiment on. And if I like the results, I can buy more stamps when I see them in Lancaster.

There were some wonderful garments in the show - things I could actually envision wearing in public. I know its called Wearable ART but really, what's the point of making some elaborate costume you can only display at this show? I took lots of pictures and those are the ones I am sharing with this article. I captured one vest as the lady walked by me and it turned out to be Meryl Ann Butler, a wonderful quilt designer. Another lady was carrying the funkiest bag - with a lady's head at each end and feet stuck out the bottom - I couldn't resist a photo.

My spare time was filled with friends- people I have met online and formed really close relationships with. Who says the Internet is impersonal? Saturday, I was supposed to go to lunch with a large group but I found myself feeling walked out, talked out and spent out. I got up, shoved my suitcase in the car and headed home - after all, I hadn't seen my cats or my husband in three days!

Now, I can start counting the days until Lancaster.

Quilts shown above in order:

Double Wedding Ring with Four Hearts by Kendall Martin

Dawn of Time by Linda S. Schmidt

Princess Katherine and the Pea by Barbara Dove.

Carol Miller is the Dean of Quilt University. You can reach her at



Poppies Fabric, located on Orcas Island in Washington, carries fabric, patterns and books, as well as some locally spun yarns. Browse our internet site,, where you can find some of the widest selections of Moda Marbles, Benartex Fossil Ferns, Hoffman Batiks, and great deals on fat quarter packages of coordinating fabrics, kits and notions. Our Photo board displays quilts made by some of the finest quilters in the Pacific Northwest, some of which are for sale. Come get ideas at our site, and while you're there, visit our free pattern section!



Quilt patterns include many lighthouses (North Carolina, Montauk, Barnegat, Buffalo, West Quoddy, 30 Mile Point and miniature) nurse, teacher, musical instrument, Christmas paper pieced blocks, holly wreath, starry snowman, paper-pieced borders, miniature star and pinwheel. See web page for pictures. Patterns $6.75 ppd.

THE SEAGULL QUILTS TRADING NEWS (FOR QUILT BLOCK & CHARM EXCHANGE) Quarterly newsletter for quilters who wish to exchange quality, 100% cotton fabric and finished blocks with other quilters. Send LSASE for sample issue.


Heartland Quiltworks asks:

Are you tired of basting your quilts?

Would you like a space friendly quilting frame?
Would you like to quilt and still be in the same room with your family?

Does quilting aggravate your neck and shoulders or bother your carpal tunnel syndrome?

Would your like to be able to put a quilt in the frame by yourself?

If your answer was yes to any of these questions--

The Heartland Quilting Frame Is the only frame you will ever need!

Call or write for more information Heartland Quiltworks 100 Cherry St. Cherokee, OK 73728 1-800-441-8112<<


Quick, easy, machine embroidered quilt blocks to embellish vests and jackets, towels, pillows, wallhangings or create a quilt. Come and visit Mother Hen's Quilt Embroideries and view the goodies!



Home of the wide width fabrics. Specializing in one piece quilt backings. All fabrics are 90" to 120" wide, 100% cotton.

Imagine no more seams on the back of your quilt! End the frustration of piecing your quilt back. Make that large tablecloth you need for Holiday dinners.

We are now the Distributor in US for "Aurifil" mako cotton thread. Made in Italy with the best Egpytian cotton. Three different weights. Made for machine embroidery, quilting, and all of your sewing needs. 154 colors (9 are variegated), high sheen and reliable strength, and colorfast. The 50 wt is the most common for quilting and most sewing needs. 50 wt has 1422 yards on it's spool for $6.25! See website for colors available and more information on other new products.

Come and visit our website.

Secure online ordering. Samples available



Cathedral Windows Quick Method Quilt

This book will instruct even the novice sewer how to create an heirloom quality quilt, entirely by sewing machine, in a fraction of the time it would take to sew by hand. Full color cover, clear concise illustrations, yardage charts and many tips.

The possibilities are endless!

$8.95 per book plus $1.95 s&h
Please make check payable to 'Kimberly Nappier' and mail to: Kimberly Nappier
6827 Sparkman St. Dept. tvq
Tampa, FL 33616
E-mail inquiries to:

Greenhaven Enterprises

Greenhaven, a bed and breakfast retreat especially for Quilters, on the Olympic Peninsula.

Visit Washington State and stay with a quilter, and her cat Oliver.

The Herbolds live just outside of Sunny Sequim. Their home, set in the tall trees, is warm, pleasant, and affordable.

Norma can direct you to quilt shops in the area, plus the natural wonders located on the Olympic Peninsula. For those in the Northwest, Norma can also plan a personal retreat for you and your quilting friends.

You are invited to visit the website for Greenhaven, where you can check out Norma's quilts, learn more about Sequim, and of course, see Oliver. The address is:

You may email Norma at or call 360-681-0364 for more information.


Don't put it off any longer! Make your quilting much easier with My Favorite Thimble. Our famous rubber coating grips the needle for the best stitch control you have ever experienced.

I know all of you are email users (or else you probably wouldn't be reading The Virtual Quilt). However, there are still occasions when only a handwritten card will do. Special Thank You or Sympathy cards come to mind, and for those times, I would love for you to consider using My Favorite Fabric Note Cards. These handmade cards feature swatches of beautiful fabrics, and I have just put together a Cat Lovers pack. Just $8.00 for a package of 6 cards including matching envelopes.

Visit our web site at and receive a FREE FABRIC gift with your order. I still have some of the wonderful Swedish fabrics that have been so popular. This offer is being made only to TVQ subscribers, so be sure to mention TVQ in the Special Instructions box on our Order Form.

Chris Hanner & Company 3687 Coldwater Lane Snellville, GA 30039



The Craft Connection ( ) is the most exciting place on the Internet if you want to make or sell handcrafts. We sell quality cotton fabric, Mettler and Sulky thread, and quilting notions, all at a discount. Fabrics are linked to coordinating fabrics, so you know your choices will look great together. We try to find fabrics you won't see anywhere else. And we'll package them into packets of fat eighths, fat quarters, or 5" squares, so you can get a good variety without a big cash outlay. Among our fabric categories are florals, pictorials, and guy stuff, and you should see the new Lost Fabrics of Atlantis collection.

Every month some items are for sale at 20 percent off our already discounted prices. You can use your credit card online on our secure server to safely purchase our fabrics and also our crafters' products. If you're a crafter, you can sell here and take credit cards without having your own credit card vendor account.

Check out our Free Stuff. Each month we offer a new pattern and a new lesson. We also have a Calendar of upcoming Quilt Shows. Come by our website at


We are a cottage industry located just outside of Yosemite National Park. We specialize in clothing and patterns for quilters and for people who love quilts.

We offer t-shirts and sweatshirts in sizes from medium to xxx-large. All of our quilts are machine pieced. Most of our patterns are easy enough for beginning quilters. Come see what we have to offer at our website. We have a great sale page, and we now offer secure online shopping!

Or e-mail for more information to

The Quilt Block
P.O. Box 127
Midpines, CA 95345

(209) 742-5418
Fax: (209) 742-7662


What is small, soft, and furry and kind to your sewing machine and serger?

The MINI DUST-IT! Genuine sheepskin duster on a 6" stick that is perfect for picking up dust and lint from your sewing machine and serger. Soft, beautiful sheepskin won't scratch polished surfaces. Picks up the lint and tiny threads; doesn't spread them around. Prevents lint build-up. Fun and handy to use. Also works great on the computer.

ANNOUNCING: New colors -- white, black, navy, gold, cocoa, taupe,teal blue, gray, charcoal.
Price: $3.50 each INCLUDING mailing.

To order send check to:

Silver Dollar Sheep Station 5020 Winding Way Sacramento, CA 95841. Or call 800-887-8742. Or E-mail:

SECONDS: Because we manufacture the Mini Dust-it to a very high standard, we currently have a good supply of imperfects. They may be thinner and not as pretty or have some other defect, but they still work great!

And best of all we offer these to you for just $1, INCLUDING postage. HOWEVER, minimum order is three (no maximum). You can order them at the address above and enjoy this wonderful product at a bargain price! These will make wonderful stocking stuffers and you can request red and green labels for the season.


PineTree Quiltworks is settling comfortably into its new site and now frequently updates the "What's New" link (so you can check on *new stuff* there. The menu in the fabrics department also lists update dates for your convenience!. Shopping Cart enables you to add items to your basket with a click!

Recent, exciting arrivals include Shalimar II from Northcott, Victoria Falls from RJR, *more* Fossil Fern colors, *more* prints and batiks from Hoffman, new lines from Moda, and more, more, more! Coming soon ... Kaffe Fassett's yarn-dyed fabrics! Fassett's new book, Patchwork and Quilting, Book #1, is now in stock! Please stop by PineTree's new store at , and don't forget to make a bookmark!


Amazing but true!

Gridded Geese(c) is a unique paper foundation method for mass-producing Flying Geese units up to 24 at once (no kidding!). Schoolhouse Enterprises, inventors and manufacturers of this revolutionary product, offers both a printed version of their catalog, and an on-line ( ) shopping cart service in conjunction with Planet Patchwork. You can safely order online through Planet Patchwork's secure server with your credit card!

The folks at Schoolhouse Enterprises and Planet Patchwork search for items for quilters (and friends of quilters) which are unique and often overlooked by other catalogs you might connect with. Check out their on-line catalog, which offers such interesting items as Photos-to-Fabric(tm) photo transfer paper, Ott Lights, beautiful embossed note cards, kaleidoscope pendants, and much more! And while you're visiting, be sure to check out the current Monthly $pecial!!

Schoolhouse carries the complete line of Electric Quilt products, including EQ4 design software, and Sew Precise! and Sew Precise with Shirley Liby. We also carry the popular Quilt-Pro program. We offer some of the best prices on quilt design software you'll find anywhere. EQ4 is only $86.88 and Quilt-Pro is an unbelievable $76.88 We also offer some great package deals for even bigger savings.

If you're having trouble deciding which program is best for you, call our toll-free Quilt Software Hotline at 877-558-3660.

We also offer a large selection of Merry Mayhem's Mystery Quilts. If you missed any of the Cases which were previously online, you'll find them here!

If you're not able to access the web page, just e-mail Schoolhouse Enterprises ( ) with your "snail mail" (post office) address for your FREE CATALOG and Sample of Gridded Geese(c)! (Sorry, but Samples are only available in the printed catalogs.)


PERFECT SQUARE and PERFECT TRIANGLE are tools that help quilters make quiltpieces more easily and accurately. Patterns have been written especially for PERFECT SQUARE and the necessary sheets to make the quilt are included in the pattern.

The PERFECT SQUARE website has been updated to include information on all products and patterns complete with pictures. Credit cards are accepted.

Also included are pictures of Monica's art quilts and links to really cool quilt sites.

PCQuilt for Windows

PCQuilt for Windows is easy to learn and easy to use quilting software. The block and the quilt are on the same screen so you can see your quilt emerge as you design and color your blocks. Combine blocks in a variety of ways to see endless new designs. The program includes all the features that have always made PCQuilt easy and fun to use. Now with the new Windows version, PCQuilt will help you estimate your yardage, print templates, quilts and blocks, and has a friendly Windows interface with easy to use toolbars. PCQuilt comes with a extensive library of blocks, border, quilts, palettes and fabric patterns. PCQuilt is also available for the Macintosh. Look for PCQuilt at your local Husqvarna VIKING Dealer or visit our website at .

Nina Antze
7061 Lynch Road
Sebastopol, CA 95472
707- 823-8494


18" pillows for sale: free-form patchwork bordered by canvas duck on front and backed with burlap ($50), or patches of traditional knit or crochet patterns in off-white cotton yarn bordered and backed with upholstery fabric in natural shades ($75). All covers removable and should be drycleaned. Include $7 for shipping and handling. for questions. (530) 675-2899. Linda Gyulassy at P.O. Box 42, Brownsville, CA 95919.


Our advertisers, both here in the newsletter and at the Planet Patchwork website, have found TVQ to be an effective and economical way to reach thousands of online quilters. Ads in the newsletter are only $5 each (up to 100 words, inquire about longer ads) or 3 for $10, and there are also attractive packages available which combine newsletter and website ads. For more information e-mail or visit We specialize in helping small quilting-related businesses gain exposure on the internet.

And here's what's inside!

Lynn Holland reviews the charming quilt stores in coastal South Carolina. Charleston, Summerville, and Myrtle Beach share their quilting riches.

Co-Founder with her husband of The Kirk Collection, lover of crazy quilts, and all old quilty things, Nancy Kirk provides her unique perspective on the venerable craft. Find out about her new fabric line!


Like any news publication, TVQ is always hungry for information about new developments in the area we are trying to cover. If you have an idea for a story, or want to tell the world about something you are doing which relates to computers and quilting, we'd like to hear about it.

We'd like news of new classes starting up to teach quilt design on computers, or new approaches to that teaching. New products, maillists, World Wide Web pages, etc., are all fair game, and we'd appreciate any tips you can provide. Send your tips by e-mail to

If you have a comment about an article, a complaint or a correction, we're glad to hear that, too, and may publish some comments as letters to the editor. Again, these may be sent to

Editor and Publisher: Robert Holland, Decatur, GA

1999 by Robert Holland. All rights reserved. This file may not be reproduced in any form except to be printed out for the personal use of its owner without the expressed, written consent of the copyright holder.