Time to Make Pet Postcards If You Haven’t Already!

The 2014 edition of Quilt Festival marks the final year of Festival’s Pet Project, and wouldn’t it be great if it went out with a bang?!  Friends For Life, Houston’s fastest growing no-kill animal adoption and rescue organization, will again be the beneficiary shelter.

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Frieds for Life LogoMy three little guys I adopted from Friends For Life.

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Nellie, Tyrion (a.k.a. “Tyrion the Terror”), and Clarence keeping me company in my home office.

 Over the past two years, Festival’s Pet Project has raised more than $60,000 for Friends For Life t

More than $60,000 total has been raised over the last two years at Quilt Festival for Friends For Life by selling thousands of donated fabric postcards for $20 each. We are inviting YOU to help by making postcards for the final edition.

The details and how you can help:

1. Make as many 4″ x 6″ fabric postcards (that are no more than 1/8″ in thickness) as you would like to be featured and sold at International Quilt Festival this upcoming fall.

2. Get pet-ty! Animal-themed fabric postcards are encouraged but other themes are appreciated as well, such as abstracts, landscapes, floral pieces, etc. The point is to raise as much funds as possible! On the back side of the fabric postcard, please sign your name and title your postcard. (Contact information is optional.)

3. Postcards will be sold for $20 each at Festival, and all of the proceeds will go to Friends For Life.

4. These postcards can be mailed to the Quilts, Inc. office no later than Friday, October 17, 2014. Please note: this is a receive-by date! Quilts Inc. will be accepting postcards during Quilt Festival but wants to have a large starting bank of postcards so please mail as many as  you can in advance.

5. You can mail as many fabric postcards as you would like, but please place them in a padded envelope. This way they will stay in pristine condition to be displayed at Festival.

Please mail them to:
Festival Pet Project
7660 Woodway
Suite 550
Houston, TX 77063

6. Please help spread the word, and share your petty creations on your blog, website, and in social media (using the hashtag #festivalpetproject).

7. Come to Quilt Festival and buy as many postcards as you are able!

If you would like to see some examples of fabric postcards received in years past, click here. If you would like some directions for making pet postcards, here is a tutorial.

Below is one of my pet postcards I made last week in honor of Robin Williams and his affection for a beloved gorilla named Koko.

DSC_0447

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I hope you will take the pet postcard pledge!

Breaking news! How much money did the 2nd edition of Festival’s Pet Postcard Project raise?

Clarence

My Friends For Life rescue pooch Clarence was just as nervous as I was to hit our goal of $40,000 in our second year of Festival’s Pet Project.

 

I admit…when I set a goal of $40,000 in our second year to raise funds for Festival’s Pet Project where 100% of the proceeds go to Friends For Life, Houston’s only no-kill animal shelter and rescue organization, I was rather anxious (and a little dubious) that we might hit this goal.

 

But thanks to the generosity of quilters from around the world who made more than 1400 fabric postcards, to those who purchased postcards at Quilt Festival, and to those who additionally donated money, in total we raised…

 

 

 

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Are you ready?

 

 

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Are you sitting down?

 

 

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I just want to make sure because…

 

 

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WE RAISED $40,666.18!!!

 

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR HELPING US GET TO THIS AMOUNT!

 

Thanks to your support, animals who wouldn’t have had a chance at life, will. They will be spayed/neutered, medically attended, cared for in foster situations, and find forever homes.

 

We will break down these numbers and give more information shortly of where exactly this money will go, but I just had to share this really fantastic news!

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you…

Clarence Nellie

Hold Your Horses! Look What the Cat Dragged In!

Quilters and crafters, the receive-by deadline for pet postcards is just two weeks away and you would make me happy as a clam if you would engage in some (quilting) monkey business, let your (crafty) cat out of the bag, and stitch up some postcards!  And if you tell me you don’t have time, you are barking up the wrong tree!  Frankly, that’s hog wash! So don’t be the black sheep, be the cat’s meow and make some!

Ok, ok, enough with the cliches, but sometimes I can’t help but…unleash my love for them.

For all of the details for how to submit pet postcards to raise $40,000 at Quilt Festival for Friends For Life, Houston’s only no-kill shelter, just click this link. And if you are coming to the show, you can bring your postcards with you and drop them off at the Pet Postcard Wall in the Special Exhibits area. We welcome as many postcards as we can get, but we also want to make sure we have enough for our starting bank, so we really appreciate them coming in advance to our offices.

Now it’s time for a little pet-ty eye candy:

Diane Herbort

Cat high on catnip by Diane Herbort

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Shannon Conley

Sweet set of postcards by Shannon Conley

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Kind Kitty

Hand-embroidered kitty with mesmerizing eyes (made by anonymous)

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Kathy York

Love how this pup is looking up (wistfully) at a home. Postcard by Kathy York

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Friends Kathy York

Kathy York also shares her machine satin-stitching talents with these kitties.

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Earlier this week I visited the Friends For Life shelter for an afternoon to stitch postcards with their volunteers. It was a fun few hours of convincing people who were nervous to stitch that they could stitch, and it was even more fun doing so in a rescue facility! I loved the sign they put out front:

FFL craft day sign

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I encouraged everyone to use the Friends For Life logo as a template for the postcards. (And you are of course welcome to use it too.)

FFL_PMS_Logo_2012

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And when all was said and done, we made about 15 postcards! 

Pokey Bolton Meredith Wierick Melissa Taylor

From left to right: Meredith Wierick (Communications Manager), Me, and Melissa Chan Taylor (with baby), resident trainer who trained my Clarence. I had to laugh at the juxtaposition of cat traps and machine threads in this shot.

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I also got to visit with Marie for a bit. She has had a very hard life, and has been in the Friends For Life program longer than any other animal. She is the sweetest dog, always so grateful for a little human touch; I hope she finds her forever family soon.

Marie

So on behalf of all of Houston’s animals in need, I hope you won’t let your (creative block) get your goat, and you’ll send some postcards in. :)

How to Make Pet Postcards

Take our Pet Postcard Pledge!

Fabric Postcard

Want to make a pet postcard for a worthy cause to save animals’ lives at the upcoming Quilt Festival to benefit Friends For Life? Pet postcards are a snap to make and as varied as art quilts in terms of styles, techniques, and materials;  the only guidelines are they are 4″ x 6″ in size, and  typically have a piece of card stock glued onto the back in case someone wants to send it through the mail (although you certainly don’t have to have card stock).

So flex some creative muscle, and create and donate your pet postcard to a worthy charity! I have shared directions for how I made mine, but other examples of other styles are featured below my instructions to give you a little more inspiration!

Materials:

• Picture of pooch or another beloved pet

• Image editing software or a smart phone app that is able to convert pictures to a black and white photocopy

• 4″ x 6″ piece of cardstock for the backing

• 4″ x 6″ piece of stiff interfacing such as Peltex or Timtex

• Fabric scraps for your postcard composition

• Fusible web

• Light box or a window with strong outdoor lighting

• Water-soluble transfer pen or pencil (or a black felt-tip marker if you want the traced lines of your pet to be visible)

• Iron and ironing pad

• Sewing machine with free-motion capabilities

Directions:

  1. Find or take a digital image of your pet(s) that will make a good composition for your fabric postcard. I chose this picture I took on my iPhone of Clarence and Nellie, my two adopted dogs I got from Friends For Life, and thought it would make a good vertical composition (without the muddy paw prints). Photo of Clarence and Nellie
  2. Convert your photo to a black and white photocopy using image editing software such as Photoshop® or one of the many apps available on smart phones.
  3. Apply fusible webbing to the backs of the fabric scraps that you would like to use for your postcard.
  4. Print the photocopy of your picture and tape it to a light box or window.
  5. Tape your fabric with the fusible webbing on top of the photocopy and trace your pet image onto your fabric. Be sure to include all of the defining body parts, and not just the animal’s silhouette.
  6. Cut out your pet image. Cut out 
  7.   Decide if you want to do anything to the background fabric before you fuse your pet image on top, and fuse the background fabric to the interfacing. Note: I chose to mimic the wooden slats on my porch by simply thread sketching lines, then added a polka-dot doormat in the back.
  8. Place the cut-out pet images on top and fuse.
  9. Free-motion stitch over the traced lines of the pet.
  10.  Place the card stock on the back of the postcard composition and satin-stitch along all four sides.
  11.  On the back, sign your name and title your postcard.

Here are some other examples of pet postcards I have received recently:

Lisa Chin

Guide dog cutie by Lisa Chin

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Jamie Fingal

Coffee-loving pooch by Jamie Fingal

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Marsha Leith

“Marti Says Hello” by Marsha Leith

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Jen Eskridge

” Buddies” by Mod Quilter, Jen Eskridge

For our upcoming Festival Pet Project event, here’s how you can help:

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1. Make as many 4″ x 6″ fabric postcards (that are no more than 1/8″ in thickness) as you would like to be featured and sold at International Quilt Festival this upcoming fall.

2. We want you to get pet-ty! We encourage animal-themed fabric postcards but we certainly welcome and would appreciate other themes as well, such as abstracts, landscapes, floral pieces, etc. The point is to raise as much funds as we can! On the back side of the fabric postcard, please sign your name and title your postcard. (Contact information is optional.)

3. We will sell the postcards for $20 each at Festival, and all of the proceeds will go to Friends For Life.

4. These postcards can be mailed to the Quilts, Inc. office no later than Tuesday, October 22, 2013. Please note: this is a receive-by date! We will of course accept postcards during Quilt Festival but want to have a large starting bank of postcards so would love it if you mailed them in advance!

5. You can mail as many fabric postcards as you would like, but please place them in a padded envelope. This way they will stay in pristine condition to be displayed at Festival.

Please mail them to:
Pet Postcards
Attn: Pokey Bolton
7660 Woodway
Suite 550
Houston, TX 77063

6. Come to Quilt Festival and buy as many postcards as you are able!

Bethanny, a shelter doggie I met this weekend at Friends For Life will be very grateful for your quilted donation and help!

Bethanny

Show & Tell: Pet Postcards Are Arriving!

I’m having a ball opening my mail at Quilts lately as the postcards for our second year of our Festival’s Pet Project to benefit Friends For Life, Houston’s premier no-kill animal shelter are starting to arrive. Last year we raised more than $20,000 to save animals’ lives, but I am aiming to double that amount at this fall’s show!

Some of the cards we’ve received in the last week:

Jeanne  Palmer Moore cat

Cat with pearly eyes by Jeanne Palmer Moore.

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Jeanne Palmer Moore dog

A dog who likes fonts as much as I do: Happy button-eyed dog munching on a bone by Jeanne Palmer Moore.

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Juanita Olson

A very obedient, ball-loving, retrieving, smiling, needle-felted pooch by Juanita Olson.

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Sue Bleiweiss

A free-motioned Scottie (although some may question to be a miniature schnauzer) about to chomp on a tasty bone by Sue Bleiweiss.

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Casanova and Romeo

Yesterday I went to Friends For Life to drop off some posters and postcards on my lunch hour and visited with some of the animals. Above are Casanova and Romeo, two older cats who were surrendered by their owner. These sweet, docile siblings have been there for way too long, and if I didn’t have a household of critters already, I’d take them. I hope they get to enjoy their golden years in a loving home!

Crazy kitty

As I was leaving the shelter, this one kitty tried very hard to get my attention.

Almost got you!

Almost got me.

Get you!

Trying again!

friends

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Clarence

When I was leaving, I met a dog getting some 1:1 training whose name had me laughing because I thought I was the only person on the planet who had named my dog after an E Street member. Meet Clarence.

Clarence at backdoor

Then I went home for a quick bite for lunch and met my own Clarence (formerly Toby) that I got from Friends For Life, who was a little mad I wanted to eat my lunch in peace.

All the details for our 2013 Festival Pet Project can be found here!

Quilters, It’s Time To Get Busy…Quilt Festival’s Pet Postcard Project Is Back!

Fabric Postcard

My fabric postcard of Nellie and Clarence, my two adopted pooches from Friends For Life

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We are thrilled to announce the second annual edition of Quilt Festival’s Pet Postcard Project!  Friends for Life, Houston’s fastest growing No-Kill animal adoption and rescue organization, will again be the beneficiary shelter!

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Frieds for Life LogoSeveral of us at Quilts have adopted animals from Friends For Life, an organization I admire very much for the work, education, and outreach they do for Houston’s most vulnerable animals who would very likely be euthanized if they weren’t in their program.

Pokey Bolton Salise Shuttlesworth

Salise Shuttlesworth, Founder and Director of Friends For Life and I are each holding up a fabric postcard from last year’s benefit.

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Some may remember that we raised more than $20,000 total last year at Quilt Festival for Friends For Life by selling hundreds of donated fabric postcards for $20 each, and this year I am hoping to far surpass that amount! We are inviting YOU for this fall’s show to make fabric postcards to help us achieve this goal.

Here’s how you can help:

1. Make as many 4″ x 6″ fabric postcards (that are no more than 1/8″ in thickness) as you would like to be featured and sold at International Quilt Festival this upcoming fall.

2. We want you to get pet-ty! We encourage animal-themed fabric postcards but we certainly welcome and would appreciate other themes as well, such as abstracts, landscapes, floral pieces, etc. The point is to raise as much funds as we can! On the back side of the fabric postcard, please sign your name and title your postcard. (Contact information is optional.)

3. We will sell the postcards for $20 each at Festival, and all of the proceeds will go to Houston-based animal shelters.

4. These postcards can be mailed to the Quilts, Inc. office no later than Tuesday, October 22, 2013. Please note: this is a receive-by date! We will of course accept postcards during Quilt Festival but want to have a large starting bank of postcards so would love it if you mailed them in advance!

5. You can mail as many fabric postcards as you would like, but please place them in a padded envelope. This way they will stay in pristine condition to be displayed at Festival.

Please mail them to:
Pet Postcards
Attn: Pokey Bolton
7660 Woodway
Suite 550
Houston, TX 77063

6. Come to Quilt Festival and buy as many postcards as you are able!

If you would like to see some examples of fabric postcards (of the feline variety) we received last year, click here.

The good news is the postcards are starting to come in, and we would love to sell hundreds (thousands?) of them to raise a record-breaking amount to save animals’ lives.

Postcard wall

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I’ll be making lots of postcards over the summer months as I quilt poolside (while taking breaks with my little swimming buddie)!

Nellie swimmingWill you be taking the postcard pledge? I hope so!

Paying Homage & Saying Goodbye to Two Beloved Quilting Arts Mascots

I know I have been off the radar this past week, and well…I have been, simply put, a bit heartbroken. Louie, my Min Pin, and my pal in All Things Mischievous, who graced many pages in Quilting Arts Magazine with ads and articles, appeared in online videos, Quilting Arts TV, e-newsletters, and countless pix posted on Facebook, passed away this past week. And two days later, our cat Dickens, the most amazing creature, who my friend and former colleague Larissa Davis lovingly adopted this past year so Dickens could be spared the Houston humidity, passed as well.

Louie model

Dickens and PokeyLouie and Dickens used to be best buds, and Dickens, who was three times the size of Louie, used to spoon Louie at night, cradling him protectively. I like to think that Dickens sensed Louie had passed, and Dickens, ever the gentle guardian, thought maybe it was time for him, too, to cross the rainbow bridge, and take care of Louie once again.

Dickens Larissa

Dickens with Larissa.

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Louie Houston.

They inspired me to make a lot of artwork over the years. A small sampling…

pet portraitsDickensLouie Dog Jacket


lou postcards

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It’s been hard for me to put this blog post together. I admit I can’t quite find the words, but I think a fitting thing to do is write a brief letter to them, letting them know–not just on behalf of me–but for John, the extended Quilting Arts family, Larissa and her family, and all the friends and fans these two had…how grateful we all were to them.

So here goes…

Dear my beloved Dickens and Louie,

I want to thank you for all of the love, compassion, joy, humor, and affection you gave to so many people, and also:

For being my little editing buddy…

Editing Lou

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And being the Task Master during “National Take-Your-Dog-To-Work Day!”

Louie John.

For reminding me not so subtly to maintain my workout regimen…

Dickens Exercise

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For supervising all photo shoots…

Louie photo shoot quilt scene

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For forgiving me after I accidentally ran you over in the driveway. (That was the most harrowing day, but you forgave me right away!)

Dickens run over

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For attempting to keep the chipmunk population under control…

Louie squirrels

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For letting me know how much you will miss me.

Dickens says dont go again

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For guarding art in progress…

Dickens watching fabrics dry

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And for guarding art nearly finished.

Louie supervising

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For showing me how yawning is done!

Dickens yawn

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For being my copilot on long trips…

Louie copilot

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And my pilot on the shorter ones.

Biker Lou

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For gazing at me like I was the most special person ever.

Louie head tilt

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For showing affection to those who just entered our world…

Louie Keller

And for showing affection to those who had been in your world a long time.

Animal love

For all of these reasons, you will be dearly missed.

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About three years ago I was painting fabrics outside with the animals nearby. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon with a little Dave Matthews on the iPod docking station, and I grabbed my flip video to capture the moment. Nothing really happens here; it was just an inconsequential but exquisite moment on a happy day.

Love to you guys…Louie helping

Breaking News! The Grand Total for our Quilt Festival Pet Project Fundraiser for Friends For Life is…

I want to thank everyone so much who stitched and/or purchased fabric postcards for our Quilt Festival Pet Project to benefit Friends For Life, Houston’s premier no-kill animal rescue and shelter program! Our initial hope was to reach $10,000 with the sale of these fabric postcards, and before the show, I was a little worried that this amount was a lofty and unrealistic goal. Well, guess what: my worrying was a waste of energy.

The postcard wall was dog-gone busy the entire show!

 Amanda Schlatre and I even fetched some fabric postcards for ourselves.

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And by Sunday morning, the guesstimate of nearly 900 fabric postcards  had dwindled to just 20…

…until all were adopted.

And my concern of not reaching $10,000 was for naught. When I discovered the final amount raised between the sale of the postcards and monetary donations, I wanted to leap like Lassie, bound about like Benji, and gambol like Garfield. Are you ready?

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We raised $20,251.62!

To break this amount down, the money will:

• Vaccinate 4,000 cats

• Vaccinate 5263 dogs

• Neuter 363 tomcats

• Provide heartworm treatment for 49 dogs

• Provide 1000 Project WARM feral cat shelters for distribution to colonies all over Houston.

Above with Salise Shuttlesworth, Founder and Director of Friends For Life. I  admire her very much for her tenacity, passion, and advocacy for all animals.

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I want to thank everyone so, so much for helping us raise this money–for making postcards, for buying them, for blogging about the project, for telling your guild members and friends, for helping in the booth, the list goes on.

Great news for future years at International Quilt Festival/Houston!

For those who did not have a chance to make fabric postcards or attend the show to purchase any, we will be doing this fabric postcard benefit again in Houston for the next two years! So go ahead and start making fabric postcards because we want to raise twice as much next year as we did this year!

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We will also have news on our accompanying Pet Project juried animal quilt exhibit to debut next year, so if you want to make a quilted animal portrait, we invite you to start stitching.

Cheers!

Update on Events & Opportunities for the Upcoming Quilt Festival in Houston!

All of us at Quilts are getting so excited about the upcoming show in just two short weeks! We are busy packing more than 1000 quilts, countless signs, show programs, totes, badges, ATCs, fabric postcards, t-shirts, books (you name it, we are packing it) to get ready to move into the George R. Brown Convention Center next week.

In getting ready for Festival, I have decided I am going to pack up my sewing machine and studio supplies to schlep to my hotel room so at night I can make more fabric postcards for our Festival Pet Project Fundraiser as well as ATCs for our Trading Post!

Pet Postcard Update

Speaking of our Pet Postcard fundraiser (and if you don’t know what I am talking about, all of  the information is here), we are still accepting fabric postcards in our offices through Tuesday, October 23, and if you are coming to Festival we will accept them at the show through Saturday, November 3. Simply bring them to Room 213. Please note: the Pet Postcards will be on sale at Quilt Festival, not Quilt Market.
I thought I would share a few of my own fabric postcards that I have made thus far. (I still plan to make 50 total!)

My little Min Pin, Louie, has a big ego…

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I mean, for real…he has a big ego. Did you ever see the movie “Goodfellas?” Remember Tommy DeVito, the character played by Joe Pesci? If Louie was a human, he would be him.

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My kitty Khaleesi, who has been exploring her playful side and stretching her physical boundaries lately, inspired this yoga postcard.

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ATC & Mug Rug Trade

Don’t forget! Make and bring ATCs and mug rugs to trade at Festival! Bring as many as you want to trade, and tell all of your friends who are coming to the show!

Newly Expanded Open Studios Brought to You by Craftsy!

We are so excited to have a much larger and expanded version of Open Studios this year, and in the food court area where people can relax and spend time with the artists. During Festival, there will be approximately 60 sessions with more than 40 artists who will be demonstrating their craft and sharing their expertise with attendees. This event, brought to you by Craftsy.com,  will have a variety of artists on hand demonstrating everything from free-motion embroidery and piecing to monoprinting and embellishment. I will post the full artist schedule in the next couple of days, so you can print it out and plan your visit to this area.

New: Mix and Mingle Reception!

We hope you’ll join us on Saturday (November 3) for an evening of fun! We’re hosting a new event, MIX ‘N MINGLE from 5:30-7:00 p.m. in the pre-function area, outside of the ballrooms on the third floor. No pre-enrollment is required, all show attendees are invited. What better way to wrap up your day than spending time with old friends (and making new ones!), talking about your day, unwinding, and enjoying refreshments from the nearby cash bar. And best of all…we’ll be giving away hundreds of dollars in door prizes!
More information to come shortly, but I have a date in my studio tonight to make more fabric postcards!

It’s a CAT-astrophe at International Quilt Festival Headquarters!

Things have gotten down right cat-ty here at Quilts Inc. headquarters as we have received more than 170 fabric postcards so far for our Festival Pet Project Fundraiser, some of which feature the feline variety!

 

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The above three funny feline fabric postcards were humorously painted and stitched by Sandra Gray.

Norma Schlager stitched this cute kitty!

Another fabric postcard by Sarah Anne Smith (who will be teaching in Open Studios…more on that soon)!

 

And Jeannie Palmer Moore painted and quilted this charming tabby.

We are aiming to at least receive and sell 500 fabric postcards, so we hope that many of you are planning to act as cat-alysts to our cause, and help us help these animals from suffering cat-aclysmic fates by stitching up some postcards this weekend. Am I putting you in a fit of cat-aplexy with my play on words?! Stop your cat-erwauling. ;-)

And have a fun, and stitch-filled weekend!

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