Saturday, October 8, 2011

Second Saturday Giveaway: Win Quilted Accessories from Friends for Quilting!

Posted by Crystal Pepperdine, Founder and Executive Director of Flint Handmade

For our October Second Saturday giveaway, we are featuring Rute Serrels, Michelle White and Sue Ebbs of Friends for Quilting!

This is Sue, Rute and Michelle (l-r) in Rute's quilting room on the second floor of her house.

You may recognize Rute and Michelle...they taught our Quilting & Sewing SkillShare!   

I asked Rute to tell me about her craftroom:

"It starts with a spare room...accessible only to an occasional visit from our children and/or hubbies.  :)

The space also serves as a showroom for displaying our work (completed or in progress), with a very adaptable sewing space, depending on the number of us in the room and of course, the size of the project(s) at hand.

One very important thing – the door is always open to someone offering a nice piece of cake or glass of wine to some very hard working quilters!"

The ladies have come up with an ingenious way for displaying their work...inexpensive vinyl tablecloths! 

When mounted with the vinyl side touching the wall, the felt-like back side acts a clingy material and small quilted pieces stick right to it!

Rute also uses a jewelry stand to display the Friends for Quilting fabric keychains and ornaments.

The jewelry stand lives on Rute's 3 x 3 many crafter have these wonderful cubbies!

I asked Rute, who is originally from Portugal, how she got into crafting:

"In part, it’s a tradition passed down from generation to generation. Curiosity is another big reason. It can also start with an old sewing machine that is only used on occasion for a hem or ripped stitch, and a young girl’s curiosity.

It is like leaving a stack of paper and some crayons at the reach of a child’s hands. Next thing you know, it’s all about color and smiles!"
Rute told me that she learned how to sew on an old treadle machine her family kept on a balcony in Portugal.  Her mom thought the machine was dangerous and forbid Rute to use Rute had to sneak outside to sew when her mother was sleeping!

Now, Rute has a nice, new modern sewing machine, which she considers one of her favorite craft tools.

The sewing machine lives on a fantastic modular sewing cabinet by Arrow Cabinets with several fold-out work surfaces that neatly tuck back in to save floor space.

Another of Rute's favorite craft tools is iron-on batting, which I had never heard of before. 

I learned that you can now purchase batting with adhesive on one side that can be ironed to the back side of a quilt top to make layering a building a quilt much easier. 

The Friends for Quilting ladies were full of great tips like this!

Another tip: When binding a quilt, sew the binding to the back side of the layered pieces and wrap it around to the front.  Use a decorative stitch on your machine to secure the binding to the front, which saves all of the time and labor or hand-finishing a quilt. 

If you look closely at the above photo of the quilted candy cane hot pad, you can see the decorative stitch on the inside edge of the binding.

As you may be able to tell, Rute was starting to prepare for her holiday sewing when I visited.  She had just made the above door hanger decoration. 

I suggested that she could put some dried herbs or essential oils in the hanger to make it scented...finally, I was offer to able a good idea to the brilliant Friends for Quilting!

I asked Rute how they came up with their company name:

"Once upon a time, there were three very nice girls with many things in common, two of them being the love for sewing and friendship = Friends for Quilting!"
Rute, Michelle and Sue used work together and became friends when they realized they all loved to quilt. 

They knew they had to be friends when it turned out that the sewing book that Rute had in Portuguese was the EXACT SAME book that Michelle had in English...just goes to show how sharing our creativity can bring us all together!

I asked the ladies what they like to listen to or think about or watch while they craft:

"We’ll answer with another question – what do you think 3 nice girls chat about when they get together?

Our children, our hubbies…life! And, there is usually music playing in the background."

Here are photos of each of these "three nice girls" in Rute's craftroom: 

Rute Serrels

Michelle White

Sue Ebbs

My final question for the ladies was about what projects they would like to work on in the future:

"We would like to elaborate on our machine quilting techniques. We need “fancier” equipment and more time.

We mostly want to continue having fun together and growing our friendship stronger!"

Well, after chatting with them for a while, I can say that these ladies definitely know how to have fun and we are so excited to have some of their amazing quilted pieces for our giveaway!

Friends for Quilting donated a quilted bag, eyeglasses case and keychain in a white gift bag.

For YOUR chance to win these Quilted Accessories (valued at $50), just complete steps A and B:

A) Follow Flint Handmade via the blog, Twitter, Google Reader or whatever newfangled "following application" tickles your fancy. Or, if you don't do the whole following thing, email us at and we will add you to our email list.

B) Leave us a comment in response to this blog post by 5pm on Saturday, October 15, 2011 answering the following 2 questions:

1) How do you follow Flint Handmade?

2) What kind of quilt would YOU like to make?

Please be sure to answer BOTH questions to qualify for the drawing.

The winner will be selected at random and posted on the blog within one week after the deadline. The winner will have 30 days to claim the prize.
We hope to hear from YOU and we hope you enjoyed our October Second Saturday Giveaway!

SPECIAL NOTE: We are accepting submissions for our 2012 Flint Festival of Quilts Exhibition called "My Favorite Things."  We hope all of your new and experienced quilters out there will participate!


  1. What an amazing crafting space!! I love that you ladies craft together- it's always more fun and you seem to turn out some beautiful projects!


    *Next years "Favorite Things" theme really makes me want to buckle down and make my 'Harry Potter' themed quilt... With the time I actually have though, it might end up more of a mini-art quilt. :)

  2. 1) How do you follow Flint Handmade?

    Facebook, twitter, emails, my google rss feed...

    2) What kind of quilt would YOU like to make?

    I would like to start and finish my wedding quilt soon. I have had the fabric and everything for almost 2 years but have been to nervous to start it. Last weekends skill share with Rute and Michelle helped give me some confidence and I can't wait to start on it.

  3. Thank you for the interviews with these creative and inspirational ladies!

    I follow Flint Homemade through Google Reader.

    I was really disappointed there was only room for 10 ladies at your the quilt class :( (This leads to my next answer.) I'm pretty new to sewing/quilting and would love to have taken it! I would just like to be able to complete a quilt with some guidance. I've always just finished a quilt "my way", which I am positive is the wrong way :P

    Thanks for hosting an awesome giveaway! Keep up the good work Flint Handmade!

  4. Beautiful workspace ladies!
    I follow via email,FB,Google reader.
    I've collected a lot of 2nd hand men's dress shirts in any variation of blues,oranges and white to make my son a full-sized quilt.

  5. I am so jealous of this craft room!! :)

    I follow Flint Handmade by email, Facebook and Google Reader, and I have been lucky enough to attend two workshops with Crystal and friends.

    Since I am a rank amateur at quilting, I would like to start and finish ANY quilt. It would probably be an art quilt for display only, because I rarely need the extra warmth!! ;)

  6. Love this!! If more people only knew how FUN sewing/quilting can be! Last weekend I ran into an old man at an estate sale. He stopped me and picked up an old, old quilt and said "Missy, I think this is handmade. What do you think?" I told him that I thought he was very right - and hand-quilted at that. He proceeded to tell me that his mother and grandmother made many quilts and what a shame it was that no one makes them anymore. That's when I chuckled and flashed him my big 'ol smile and proudly told him that I do!! He loved it! Just when people think its a lost art, you run into a group like this!

    I follow via email.
    My next quilt will be used to raise money for a charity via raffle tickets, although I have no idea what pattern I'll use yet. I just finished a quilted Christmas Tree skirt!

  7. Hello Flint Handmade,

    I follow you guys on facebook and via email.

    I have never quilted anything, I actually just learn to use a sewing machine this summer. But I'm loving sewing so far & I would like to learn more about it. One day I'd like to make a t-shirt quilt with all the old t-shirts I can't part with from highschool that I can't part with but won't wear anymore.

    <3 Susanna Tippett

  8. Jenni@snyderworld.orgOctober 15, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    I follow Flint Handmade via facebook.
    I would like to make a quilt for my Mom because she has made my family many quilts over the years.