Another Winner!


Thanks to everyone who participated in the second way you could win a FREE wide quilt back – by purchasing a back during March either online or in the Studio. I drew a name out yesterday from all the entries, and the winner is……someone who purchased this lovely batik backing. Like how I keep you in suspense??? Those of you who bought this piece are wondering, is it me? IS IT ME?????? Well, to find out, just scroll down below the photo……


Kathy G. of SD! Kathy will be getting a check for the full purchase price of $56.70! Congratulations, Kathy! (And I only had one Kathy G. from SD participate, a local customer, so yes, it is YOU!)


We Have a Winner!


Thank you to everyone who entered my blog contest by answering the question “Why Do You Quilt?”. It was really fun hearing all the different answers. There were several recurring themes….being creative; giving gifts from the heart; challenging yourself yet having fun & relaxing; being therapeutic or relieving stress; nourishing the soul, an ego booster and the friends and community found within the quilting world. Wow – I wonder how many other hobbies can offer us all of those things?? Aren’t we lucky!

Speaking of lucky, I used a random number generator and came up with our winner………Julie Thomsen!! Julie gets her choice of any of my cotton wide backings (not flannel or batiks, sorry). I’ve sent you an email, Julie, please reply with your choice of fabric and your mailing address and I’ll get your prize out to you.

And don’t forget, if you didn’t win this time, there is a 2nd way you can win. (See rules here next to the #2 symbol.) Purchase any of my wide backs during March and you will be entered into the second drawing. At the end of the month I will choose one ticket and refund the amount of that backing to the customer. Click here to shop my wide selection of quilt backings.

If you are on Facebook and have not ‘Liked’ my AndiCrafts Quilting Studio page yet, be sure and do so. You don’t want to miss out on the quilt photos, funny links, and Facebook only specials.

Win a FREE Queen-Sized Wide Quilt Back!


Would you like to win a free quilt back? I now carry almost 40 different wide fabrics on my Website and in my Studio.


I’m so excited to have such an extensive selection, that I thought I needed to celebrate. And what better way to celebrate than to have a giveaway!

There are actually TWO ways you can win!


Leave a comment below, telling me WHY you quilt? Quilting began as a way to keep warm by making practical bed covers from scraps of leftover or previously used fabric. But most of us no longer NEED to keep warm in this way. It would be much faster, not to mention less expensive, to purchase a ready made blanket or comforter. So WHY do you participate in this ‘crazy’ hobby of taking perfectly good, brand new fabric, cutting it up into tiny pieces, and then sewing it back together again?? 😉 What is it about quilting that calls to you?

Leave your comment by Sat. March 16, and I’ll draw one name at random. That person will win 2-3/4 yards (99″ x 108″) of THEIR CHOICE of any of my COTTON quilt backs (sorry, Batiks and Flannels are excluded from the giveaway). While you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog on the left side of this page (or below if you’re reading on a mobile device). That way you won’t miss any of my upcoming posts on choosing quilting designs for your quilt tops (see the first article here).


Purchase a wide quilt back from my Online Store or in the Studio any time during March. Each time you purchase a 2 yard or larger cut of one fabric, your name and the value of that particular backing will go into a drawing. (If you buy 6 backs, you get 6 chances!) At the end of the month, I’ll draw out one name, and I will reimburse you for the price you paid for the back!! So if you bought a 3 yard piece at $16.99/yd., I’ll write you a check for $50.97 (plus sales tax and/or shipping if applicable)! How cool is that???

Be sure and visit the Website to see all of the wide backs I’ve recently added. And check out the Clearance section for some great buys on notions, patterns and Paintstiks and accessories!

And since it will be lots of fun to read why people quilt, please share this with your quilting friends, on your Facebook page, or Tweet about it, etc. Thanks, and Good luck!!

Working with X-Blocks Rulers

I admit it, I’m a ruler junkie. When I first started piecing quilts, I used nothing more than homemade cardboard templates, a pen or pencil to mark around them, and a pair of scissors to cut out the pieces. My have we come a long way! Rotary cutters, self-healing mats and acrylic rulers and templates have made the cutting process so much easier and more fun! While most shapes can be cut out using nothing more than a basic ruler, careful alignment and a little math, I’m happy to fork over some $$$ to the clever designers who do the math for me and create the wonderful rulers we have available today.

One ruler set I keep going back to is the X-Blocks Tools (tools, rulers, templates??? I’m not sure what to call them….) designed by Patricia Pepe of Quilt Queen Designs. I’ve previously shown one project I did with them here. I’ve also done the Triple Play pattern and Lone Pine, although I don’t have photos of my quilts at the moment.

I’ve been asked to explain how they work. Basically you sew simple units, such as a strip-set (Triple Play & Lone Pine) or a Nine Patch (Venetian Tiles pattern, the quilt I called Sapphires & Emeralds). Cutting with the X-Blocks rulers creates the magic and makes it look as though you are a much more accomplished quilter than you actually are!

So let’s start with a nine-patch block:

Cut around the X-blocks ruler:

And you have a finished block!

(Obviously, each of the nine-patches I show here had the same fabrics but in a different location within the block. Your block would not have the fabrics changing places with one another once they were cut – the rulers are magical, but they not THAT magical!!! 😉 )

That’s about all there is to it! Make a bunch more blocks and you have a quilt. Sometimes you make mirror image blocks by flipping the ruler over. And those wedge-shaped pieces that you’re cutting off……they don’t get wasted! Depending on the pattern, they’re used in the borders, or sometimes to make another project like a table runner. Fun, fun, FUN!!

Have you done an X-Blocks project? If so, which one? If you haven’t tried one, are you now tempted? Leave me a comment below, and I’ll choose one comment at random to win a pattern and a Mini X-Blocks ruler! I’ll leave the contest open until 11:59pm CST Friday, May 25.

And if you would like to try an X-Blocks project, I have all of the X-Blocks patterns, books and rulers in one place on my website. Be sure and look at all the other fun things I have available while you’re there.

Want to be sure you don’t miss any of my posts? Subscribe to my blog on the top left of this page. And you can “Like” me on Facebook over there on the left as well.

And the Winner Is…..

Cindy!! She wins the Nature’s Gift panel from last week’s blog giveaway.

Cindy, since you’re a local reader, you can pick this up at the Studio. Thanks to everyone who shared their favorite bird stories with me!

A Backyard Visitor

Some of you may know that in a past life I studied wildlife biology. (What??? You mean you didn’t realize that was a required course of study for a longarm quilter/quilt shop owner/pattern designer?? But what else could I have studied…….gee, maybe home ec or textiles would have proven more useful in my current line of work <wink> – ya think??!!)

Although I no longer work in that field, I still enjoy spending time in nature, and I especially love bird watching. We have a variety of feeders and birdbaths on our property, and the change of seasons always brings new species to appreciate. The other day I spotted a bird, while not uncommon, I had never before seen in my yard in the eight years I’ve lived here – a male Northern cardinal.


A male Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinali...

Image via Wikipedia


Where I grew up (on Long Island, NY), cardinals were frequent visitors to my neighborhood, and we even had them nesting in our yard. But since living in S. Dakota, I rarely see them. They’re such beautiful birds, especially against the whiteness of a snowy winter. I hope my new friend sticks around to strut his stuff if we get any snow this winter. (*If* we get snow??? Who am I kidding…..there is no IF about it…..this is S. Dakota…..there WILL be snow this winter, and usually there’s plenty of it! The good news is that it’s a perfect reason to stay indoors and quilt!)

Fabric designer Deb Strain must love cardinals too, as she featured them along with chickadees in her “Nature’s Gift” panel. I have these available as kits as you see pictured here, or separately as panels and yardage.

Do you have cardinals where you live? Which birds are your favorites? Post a comment by Weds. Oct. 26 and I’ll choose one person at random to win a Nature’s Gift panel!

And the winner is……

Sorry I’m so late announcing the winner of my contest, but I’ve barely had time to come up for air lately. The rules were the winner would be the one to guess closest without going over. The closest guess was actually only off by $4, but it was OVER by that amount. So Alycia is the winner, as the total I spent for everything you saw was only $121!!!!

I haven’t uncovered any wonderful treasures in the mess of stuff that has to be moved, but I’m going to the Indian Summer Quilt Show & Conference in Fargo, ND, this weekend, so I will find something fun there for the prize.

Thanks to all that participated – Kay, you would have won but you missed the deadline!

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