Monday, May 26, 2008

Laurel Fat Quarter Challenge

The Q&N is sponsoring a new challenge - each participant will start with the same five fat quarters (FQ's). Participants may make whatever they wish from this FQ pack - a wall hanging, a purse or tote bag, a king size quilt, whatever your imagination creates!! You may add additional fabric to the FQ pack, but your design MUST include all five FQ's. The entries will be judged on the most creative use of this collection. The winner will receive a FQ surprise from The Q&N store. Sign-ups will be accepted until June 30, 2008 and final project photographs are due by July 31, 2008. Click here to purchase your FQ pack from The Q&N store.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Quilt and Needle Exclusive – The Q&N Instant Messenger

Our new Chat Room software includes an Instant Messenger program. If you like AOL, Yahoo or MSN Instant Messenger, you will love our new Q&N Instant Messenger!! The Q&N Instant Messenger will be used exclusively for our quilting patrons. When you register to use the Chat Room at , you will also be registering for the Instant Messenger. Once you are logged into the Chat Room area, click on Instant Messenger to get started. Encourage your fellow quilters and forum members to ‘get connected’ in this new and exciting way!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Q&N Benni Harper Book Club

The Quilt and Needle is proud to introduce its very own Benni Harper Book Club. Earlene Fowler's "Benni Harper" Mystery series is gripping, funny, and fresh. Fowler is an award winning, best-selling author who incorporates quilts into her mysteries and has a deep appreciation of quilting as an art form. "Although quilts are definitely a part of my series and of Benni's life, they had always been meant to serve as a metaphor for the stories, sometimes even as a way for the stories to be told, just like real quilts do in people's lives."

Participants will read the novels and pick one of several projects to complete with each book. We will spend 2 months on each book. Projects vary in size and difficulty, but there will be more than one to choose from for every book. The Quilt and Needle store will have a broad range of fabric kits available for each project, often available at discounted prices! You need not participate every month to be a part of the book club, though it will be more enjoyable for you if you participate on the same timeline as everyone else.

We have three sources of projects to accompany the books – you can choose one or more of the following:

Benni Harper’s Quilt Album: A Scrapbook of Quilt Projects, Photos & Never-Before-Told Stories
I highly recommend this companion book to everyone in the club, as it has 12 exciting traditional-style quilt projects inspired by the books. It includes never-before published Benni Harper stories that fill in the gaps from the novels as well as photos of the real-life places that inspired the fictional locales in the series. The projects were designed by Margrit Hall with the help of the author, Earlene Fowler, specifically to correspond with the first 6 books. The projects range from very simple to quite challenging and incorporate many quilting techniques - piecing, appliqué, paper piecing, etc.

Twelve Blocks of Mystery – A Benni Harper Commemorative Quilt
The finished size of this sampler quilt is 59” x 73 ½”. This pattern was designed by Margrit Hall, who co-wrote the Benni Harper Quilt Album with Earlene Fowler. It has one 12” block per book, for each of the 12 books. Like the Quilt Album, this pattern uses several different quilting techniques.

Benni Harper Mystery Lessons on Electric Quilt (EQ) - Inspired by Earlene Fowler Mystery Books
EQ joined with Earlene Fowler to present a series of EQ quilt design lessons based on the Benni Harper Mysteries. There are 12 quilt patterns provided free of charge on the EQ website. You will need EQ software to make these patterns. Read an interview with Earlene Fowler, where she mentions EQ and Tina Davis, designer of the Benni Harper mystery quilts for EQ.

To help prevent spoilers (a post that divulges information intended to be a surprise, such as a plot twist later in the book) we will post one thread on The Quilt and Needle Forum for every 5 chapters in each book. We ask that you post your comments about the book’s chapters in the coordinating threads, and only read the threads you are ready to read. Be careful and don’t spoil the end for yourself or others! These are mysteries, after all, and the ending is the clincher. We will also have a project discussion thread for each book as well as an album of ongoing projects.

The reading schedule will be as follows:
Fool's Puzzle (Jul – Aug, 2008)
Irish Chain (Sept – Oct, 2008)
Kansas Troubles (Nov – Dec, 2008)
Goose in the Pond (Jan – Feb, 2009)
Dove in the Window (Mar – Apr, 2009)
Mariner's Compass (May – Jun, 2009)
Seven Sisters (Jul – Aug, 2009)
Arkansas Traveler (Sept – Oct, 2009)
Steps to the Altar (Nov – Dec, 2009)
Sunshine and Shadow (Jan – Feb, 2010)
Broken Dishes (Mar – Apr, 2010)
Delectable Mountains (May – Jun, 2010)
Tumbling Blocks (Jul – Aug, 2010)

Want to learn more about the books or the author? Visit Earlene Fowler’s website at

You will find everything you need for the projects – patterns, pattern books, and fabric kits – in The Quilt and Needle store. The novels can be found at most book stores, ebay, amazon, and Half Price books. As with all The Quilt and Needle projects, you are not required to buy your materials from us - please feel free to grab from your stash or find another source of supplies. Don’t forget though, that our stunning kits are designed with these specific projects in mind and are available at discount prices.

We all love to quilt, and many of us love to read almost as much. What better way to get connected that to join a book club… Are you up for it?