quilting 3.21

Learning to Quilt

I’ll admit it. I was a little intimidated, thinking that I was probably going to be the youngest and only inexperienced member of the beginning quilting class. What would the other ladies think? Did I even have a chance at keeping up? And was the instructor going to be patient enough for a true beginner? Let’s just say I was nervous walking into Kaleidoscope Quilting and Home Decor for my first Learning to Quilt class.
As it turns out, I had no reason to worry. The experience was wonderful, and so were my classmates.
Our instructor was Shelly Corder, a very personable woman who obviously loves to quilt. Shelly began the five-session course by confronting our fears. She wanted to know what aspect of quilting worried us the most. Our class decided unanimously that it was the necessary precision. The evening class had been more concerned with how to choose complimentary fabrics for their projects. Armed with this information, Shelly gave us solid information on how to overcome both of these obstacles.
Other practical information offered in the course included using the rotary cutter and mat, measuring the fabric (measure twice, cut once) and even the best type of thread to use. As we occasionally botched a seam or (in my case) scorched our fabric, the class members became very supportive of one another. Often everyone would gather around to see a classmate’s newest block and to remark on the great color choices or the lovely, straight seams.
Another great aspect of the course was the venue. By attending class right in the store, we had access to any tools we might have overlooked needing, as well as staff members occasionally interjecting really useful bits of advice. I found it encouraging to have shop customers occasionally wander through the classroom to view quilts displayed on the walls. Something about all of those people enjoying the craft would renew my energy.
Aside from my personal distaste for being awake before 11 a.m., the only real complaint I had with the class was that I thought it probably should have been a week longer. Unfortunately, the final class was only an overview of finishing your quilt top, and I would like to have had a little more time with Shelly for those steps. So, since the only problem I found with the class is that it ended, I feel confident in urging others to consider signing up.
I really recommend this class for anyone who wants to learn to quilt but just hasn’t had the chance or has been scared to take the first step. The teacher is patient but knowledgeable, and the shop’s staff is cheerful and supportive. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I have already signed up for this month’s Triple Irish Chain class and have a couple of others in mind. Not bad for someone who was clueless about quilting a month ago, wouldn’t you say?
How to prepare your quilt top for quilting.
   The time spent preparing your quilt top is well worth it to achieve the best result.
   Wavy borders and uneven edges will not magically quilt out and I could be forced to pleat the edges+/- you may end up with puckers.
Prepare your Quilt Top
    • Press all of the seams well during the piecing process, ensuring that they lay flat to one side.
  • Trim all loose threads from the top as they can get caught in the machine foot and tear the quilt.
  • Clip all loose threads from the back, dark threads on light fabrics will be seen through the quilt.
  • Remove any added accessories, such as buttons or trinkets as these will catch in the machine foot
  • Ensure your borders lay flat. See my article on attaching borders. 
  • Fullness that is pieced into the quilt may not necessarily be quilted out.
  • Stay stitch 1/4 ” from the edge of the quilt if the outer edges are on the bias or have lots of seams in them Your Backing
  • Your choice of backing is very important to the finished look of the quilt and should not be an after thought.
  • Please use a weight similar to the top and 100% cotton where possible.
  • If you have washed the fabric for the top then also wash the backing to allow for equal shrinkage.
  • Size – The backing should be at least 6 inches wider and 6 inches longer than the quilt top. This is to allow for the backing to be               attached to the rollers, to allow for take up of the fabric and to give some space to support the fabric at the sides during quilting.
  • Colour – Keep in mind the thread colour for the top will be the same for the back.
  • Pattern – small busy prints will `hide’ the quilting on the back of the quilt. All over patterns can look great on a plainer fabric making a       reversible’ effect on the quilt.
  • Joins please remove selvedge from the seams and sew a seam at least 5/8” wide. If at all possible have the seam running across the     quilt as opposed to down the centre. Please note that pieced backs cannot be centred.
  • Square – the backing piece needs to be square or it will not attach correctly to the rollers and it will not run squarely during                         quilting. Please see article on how to square a quilt.
  • If you supply your own wadding/batting it should be a minimum of 6 inches wider and longer than your quilt top.
     Please do not attach the batting to the quilt.
Where to Sell Your Quilts
Once you have created a couple or 10 quilts you might want to consider selling them. You can give them away to friends and family members and you can even sell them for FUN AND PROFIT. After all, you will need to recoup all that money and time you spent creating your fabulous creations and what better way than to sell a few. Of course, the more inventory you can create before you decide to sell the better. And the more the make the faster you will get at making them. There are various avenues for selling your quilts and Spring and Fall are probably the better times to try and sell them. You can pay the fees for a booth at a local quilting show or even pay the smaller fees at your local Flea and Farmers Market. But if you don’t want to schlep all your inventory to any of these places you can create a website.

If you go the traditional route you will have to pay for a domain, pay for website hosting fees and setup a shopping cart. And absolutely set up a PAYPAL account. PAYPAL is a secure credit card/electronic check processing website that keeps yours and your customers information safe and secure. Check out the GODADDY website for an inexpensive website solution that will give you complete control of how you website looks like, feels like and interacts. If you are not internet or web savvy then you can even try two websites that we use in conjunction with our own Jolene’s Books and More by going to Yardsellr and or ETSY.

Yardsellr is a FREE Listing website that you can upload pictures of your items, write a description, and have all your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Pinrest to view your listings and share them with their friends and family. There are no fees to the sellers but a small fee is added to each buyer. It is highly recommended that you have your PAYPAL account already set up before joining so you can get PAID. They also require that you get a tracking number after shipping. They have a Help section for you to read through to find out all the rules and how to’s on setting up your account and other things that you need to know. You will have to relist each item every 30 days but they don’t charge for that either. ****Yardsellr Closed Down their Selling Site March 2013******

Now, ETSY is another seller/buyer website that gives you a little more leeway in your shop. They do charge $0.20 per item that you list and a small percentage of the amount you sell. They help you get the word out and offer videos and instructions on how to list, take pictures, involve your friends, even pay a small fee to have your items featured quickly. You have to renew your items every 4 months and pay the $0.20 per item fee again. The fees are due by the 15th of the following month. That gives you a little time to list your items and hopefully make a sale or two before they are due. Read through the help sections of any site or service you decide to use. So far we have been happy with all the services we are recommending.


Sashing and setting the blocks
Well congratulations!!! All 20 of your sampler blocks are made and ready to be set into a quilt top.
The next step is setting the blocks together. We will be putting sashing strips between the blocks as a frame to set each block off from the other. Blocks can also be set without the setting strips. This is often done when all the blocks in a quilt are the same and a secondary design is created where the blocks join.
Sashing strips are simply strips that are sewn between the blocks. We will be doing simple sashing of just one fabric. You can also put corner squares at the corners of each block to add another design element.
Traditionally sashing was made with short strips going in one direction between the blocks and long strips the other way, i.e. all the vertical strips short and the horizontal long. This leads to difficulty in keeping all the columns in a straight line since the long narrow strips stretch some.
Instead we will use short strips for both the horizontal and vertical strips. Two sides of most of the blocks will be sashed and then the blocks sewn together. This is where you will use the large segment cuts. Review this technique in the basic lessons.
1. The sashing strips will finish to 2″ and so will be cut 2 1/2″ wide. The strips will be cut as a large segment cut the length of the strip needed and then the 2 1/2″ strips will be cut from the large segment cut. These will be cut at 12 1/2″ large cuts and 14 1/2″ large cuts.
Cut 1 large cut 12 1/2″ wide and 2 large cuts 14 1/2″ wide. You should get 16 (or more) 12 1/2″ strips and 32 (or more) 14 1/2″ strips from these large segment cuts.
2. Now cut the strips into the 2 1/2″ wide sashing strips. You should get 16 strips from each large cut.
3. Cut from 4 of the 14 1/2″ strips 2″ so that they measure 12 1/2″. You will need 20 this 12 1/2″ X 2 1/2″ size.
4. Sew the 12 1/2″ sashing strip to the top edge of each of the sampler blocks. They don’t have a up or down so whichever side you choose is the top. Press toward the sashing strip. Lay them in a pile right side up with the sashing strip to the top.
5. Sew 14 1/2″ sashing strips to the right side of the blocks. Press to the sashing strip. All the blocks now have 2 sashing strips, 1 on the top and one on the right.
6. Now lay out your blocks on a table, floor or bed and arrange them in the way you like. I do it on the floor so I can stand back and look at them from a distance. Below is the arrangement that I did but don’t feel that this is the only or “right” way to arrange them.
Your blocks should be all laid out in the arrangement you want. It you need to put the blocks away before sewing them just start on the top left block, pick it up and set it on top of the block to the right. Pick both up and set them on the next block to the right. Pick them all up and set them on the last block. Pin them together with a piece of paper labeled “ROW 1″ onto the pile of blocks. Continue in the same manner with the remaining blocks labeling correctly until the rows all are pinned together. This will keep your arrangement in the proper order.
7. Onto the bottom of the bottom row sew 14 1/2″ sashing strips. Press to the strip. These 4 blocks now have 3 side sashing strips.
8. Onto the left edge of the left most column blocks 1, 2, 3, and 4 sew a 14 1/2″ sashing strip and press to the strip. These 4 blocks now have 3 side sashing strips.
9. The bottom left corner block now has 3 sides on it. It will need one more. Cut a 2 1/2″ strip of the sashing fabric. From this cut a 16 1/2” segment. Sew this to the remaining side of the block. Press to the sashing.
All the blocks now have the right number of sashing strips.
Sewing the blocks together
There are different ways of sewing blocks together to form the quilt top. I will explain 2 different ways, Rows & Columns and Square Sets. Choose one way on this quilt and then try the other way out on another quilt and see which way you like best.
Rows & Columns
1. As the name indicates the quilt is sewn together in rows and columns. Lay out the top in the arrangement you want. Check with the diagram to be sure your sashings on the blocks are on the proper sides of the block.

2. Starting at the top right (row 1), flip the block over onto the block to the left. Pin the blocks together. Now do the same with row 2, row 3, row 4, and row 5.
3. Sew the blocks together chain stitching them. (Don’t cut the blocks apart).
4. Press the seam of row 1 to the left, row 2 to the right, row 3 to the left, row 4 to the right, and row 5 to the left. This will make the block seams “marry” easier when you get to that point. Remember odd is left and even is right.
5. Now do the same with the next 2 columns of blocks. In this quilt this will get all the blocks combined. If in another quilt you have more blocks just continue in the same way. If you have an odd number of rows, after you sew the next to the last rows together pin and sew the last row blocks onto the left side of the previously sewn column.

6. Now sew the 2 sets of blocks together down the center. Again chain stitch and don’t cut the rows apart. Press as before, the odd rows left and the even rows to the right.
7. Sew the rows together marrying the seams that should all go in opposite directions since you pressed them so well. Press the seams down. The next lesson will put on the borders.


quiltung 3.20

(For every block you enter into the drawing, you get one chance in the drawing.)

General directions for quick half and quarter square triangle blocks.

To make quarter square triangles units: Place two squares right side together. On the back of the lighter of the fabrics, draw a line diagonally from corner to corner. Then another line diagonally from corner to corner making an X. These will be cutting lines. Then 1/4″ on either side of one of the lines, draw 2 stitching lines on either side of the diagonal line. With two squares, right sides together, sew on the two outside stitching lines. Then cut into 2 halves on the line between the two stitching lines. Then divide those two parts on the other line. Press out and you will have 4, 1/4 square triangles. (Diagram)

To make half square triangle blocks: On the back of the lighter of the fabrics, draw a line diagonally from corner to corner. Then 1/4″ on either side of one of the line, draw 2 stitching lines. (Diagram)

With two squares, right sides together, sew on the two outside stitching lines. Then cut into 2 halves on the line between the two stitching lines. Press out and you will have 2, half square triangle blocks.

Directions for September QAF BOM, Chained Star

Center square:

Fabric B: Cut 1 strip 2 1/2″ by 5″

Fabric C: Cut 1 strip 2 1/2″ by 5″

Sew strips together, matching long sides. Cut across in 2 1/2″ segments and sew together to make a 4 patch.

Corner Squares

Fabric B: Cut 1 strip 2 1/2″ by 10″

Fabric C: Cut 1 strip 2 1/2″ by 10″

Fabric D: Cut 2 strips 2 1/2″ by 10″

Sew a B strip to a D strip, long sides together. Sew a C strip to a D strip, long sides together. Cut both pairs across in 2 1/2″ segments. Sew segments together in 4 patches so you have 2 B/D 4 patches and 2 C/D 4 patches.

Side Squares:

Fabric A: Cut 2 Squares, 5 1/4″

Fabric D: Cut 2 Squares, 5 1/4″Layer each fabric A square right sides together with a fabric D square. Follow the included directions for quick quarter square triangle blocks. Sew together in squares, matching long sides of the triangles.

Square all sections up to 4 1/2″ and assemble as a 9-patch using color photo for placement of 4 patches.
Greens this month…. you will need 3 darks (Green), 3 lights (Beige on Beige) and a bright contrast (Yellow).

You will cut 2 logs from each dark and each light according to the following measurements.


Center:: 1 square each of Bright & Dark 3, 4 7/8″


Dark 1 1 Strip 4 1/2″ x 1 7/8″ and 1 Strip 7 1/4″ x 1 7/8″

Dark 2 1 Strip 7 1/4″ x 1 7/8″ and 1 Strip 9 7/8″ x 1 7/8″

Dark 3 1 Strip 9 7/8″ x 1/7/8″ and 1 Strip 12 1/2″ x 1 7/8″


Light 1 1 Strip 4 1/2″ x 1 7/8″ and 1 Strip 7 1/4″ x 1 7/8″

Light 2 1 Strip 7 1/4″ x 1 7/8″ and 1 Strip 9 7/8″ x 1 7/8″

Light 3 “1 Strip 9 7/8″ x 1/7/8″ and 1 Strip 12 1/2″ x 1 7/8″


Layer the Bright & Dark squares right sides together and make half square triangle blocks.

To make half square triangle blocks: On the back of the lighter of the fabrics, draw a line diagonally from corner to corner. This will be your cutting line. Then 1/4″ on either side of this cutting line, draw 2 stitching lines.

With two squares, right sides together, sew on the two outside stitching lines. Then cut into 2 halves on the line between the two stitching lines. Press out and you will have 2 half square triangle blocks. You will use one for the center of the log cabin and have the other left over.

To add the logs:

Sew the 4 1/2″ Light 1 strip to the bottom of the center and the 4 1/2″ Dark 1 strip to the top of the center.

Sew the 7 1/4″ Light 1 strip to the right side of the center and the 7 1/4″ Dark 1 strip to the left side of the center. Square up to 7 1/4″.

Sew the 7 1/4″ Light 1 strip to the bottom of the center and the 7 1/4″ Dark 1 strip to the top of the center.

Sew the 9 7/8″ Light 1 strip to the right side of the center and the 9 7/8″ Dark 1 strip to the left side of the center. Square up to 9 7/8″.

Sew the 9 7/8″ Light 1 strip to the bottom of the center and the 9 7/8″ Dark 1 strip to the top of the center.

Sew the 12 1/2″ Light 1 strip to the right side of the center and the 12 1/2″ Dark 1 strip to the left side of the center. Square up to 12 1/2”.

Press seams outward after adding each pair of strips.
Quilting Is For My Generation And Your Generation
by: Mike Yeager

Many people think of quilting as something a group of older women do by sitting in a circle and sewing until their fingers bled. Surely this still happens today, yet there are new and improved methods of quilting. And, believe it or not, this hobby is coming back. It has become easy to find and purchase quilting supplies such as quilting fabrics, quilting patterns, and even quilting machines. And just about anyone with a small amount of talent can turn out a beautiful work of art.

Quilting is an art form to say the least. While it is possible to purchase patterns in department stores, fabric and craft stores, and even online, creating a new design is greatly satisfying. And, the market for handmade quilts is huge. Just take a look on ebay. They have many quilts available and the buyer can even have one made by a crafter in the colors and style they prefer. A great way to find a new pattern or design is to look for quilting groups. These people will design their own square or group of squares and swap them with someone else\’s. Say they choose a color pattern of red, white, and blue, with an obvious patriotic theme. Each person within the group designs their version and they then trade. Together the squares make a beautiful display of artwork.

How to begin. First, plan to spend some time, and finances, to learn the trade. It is not something to jump into with the ideas of having a finished quilt in no time. Techniques need to be learned. Venture into a craft or fabric store and look at what is available. Ensure that the cost of the equipment will fit the budget. There are many choices of quality whether it is in the quilting fabrics or the threads purchased. Taking a few quilting classes may be a great option. For these, look into community colleges or recreation centers. They often offer beginner classes for next to no investment. Another great tool for learning this trade is the Internet. It is easy to find scores of people willing to help teach a beginner. There are many websites and many forums with just about every question answered. To find one, just search for quilting in a major search engine.

Yet another option available today to quilters is quilting machines. Yes, the average person can purchase and use one to enhance and quicken the process of quilting. But, they are expensive and unless there is a serious quilter about, they are unnecessary. If need does seem big, quilting squares can be sent out to companies who will use the machines and huge frames to build the quilt for a fee. To find these companies, again, do a simple search on the Internet for quilting machines.

Whether a beginner or an advance quilter, quilting is a wonderful hobby to learn and love. It does take some talent and an immense amount of patience, but the satisfaction of a completed quilt will surely out weigh the cons. Begin slowly and learn slowly. Experience is the best teacher in this field.

Mike YeagerPublisherhttp://www.a1-fabric-4u.com/[email protected]

Preparing your Quilt Top

The Quilt Top: Please press your top carefully. Press all seams as flat as possible. Clip all loose threads from the back of the quilt top. These threads can show through the top in the lighter color areas and cause unsightly lines and will take away from the beauty of your finished quilt. Please identify the top of the quilt if you have a preference by placing a safety pin along the top edge.


– Your quilt top should be completely pressed with all excess threads and borders trimmed neatly.

– DO NOT baste or pin your quilt. If I hit a needle that is left in your quilt, my machine will be out for costly repairs for weeks.

– Please try to measure your borders when piecing your quilt. Excess fabric in the borders will make your quilt misshapen, and makes it more difficult to quilt without pleating. If you have questions on how to get your borders to come out squared up, I am more than happy to teach you.

Here is an example of a “flared” border, or a border with excess fabric.

Quilt Top

– Clip all threads on the top and back.

– Square the pieced top.

– Press the top, (pressing all seams flat), fold carefully, and place into a pillowcase or proper mailing container(be sure to adequately insure your top).

– Do not baste, pin, or tack the quilt together.

– Indicate the head of the quilt with a safety pin.

– Indicate the pattern direction – lengthwise or crosswise on the quilt. (Note this on the instruction sheet.)

Be aware that fullness and puckers, which have been pieced in, cannot be quilted out. (I will ease them in as well as I can.)

– Please take the time to snip loose threads from the back of your quilt top. These may show through the lighter colors of your quilt.

– Make sure quilt top has been ironed with all the seams pressed properly. Iron back as well. NOTE: On those tops with photo transfers DO NOT iron directly on the transfer as they will become shiny. Iron them with a pressing sheet or towel in between.

– If you have a pieced border, for best results, stay stitch 1/4″ around the edge of your quilt top. This helps keep the borders from stretching while being quilted.

Lesson on Borders

It is very important that you take care when applying borders to your quilt. If they are not applied properly, you can expect to end up with wavy border or wrinkles and pleats in the border fabric when it is quilted.

When I receive your quilt, I will measure it and analyze any problems I might have quilting it. If your quilt has flared borders, I will contact you. You may decide to have me correct the borders at my $10.00 per hour rate. I will give you an estimate of the charge before I begin.

Applying Borders

Many of our quilt customers have asked for information on borders. The following lesson should help you get your borders on and your quilt flat before quilting.

After the body of the quilt has been pieced, gently press before adding borders. The logical place to measure the finished top is along its outside edges, and this is a useful measurement. However, measurements should be taken across the center in two or three places for both the width and length. If these measurements are different from that of the outer edge, accidental stretching has occurred. To keep the finished quilt as straight and square as possible, you must measure the centers.

To make a border with straight-cut corners:

Determine the length of the quilt border by averaging the distance of two or three center measurements (see Fig. 1). Cut two borders that length and pin them to opposite sides of the quilt matching ends and centers and easing in the fullness. Sew and press.

Determine the width of the quilt border by averaging the distance of the two or three center measurements (see Fig. 2) Cut these borders that length and pin – easing in the fullness. Sew and Press.

To make a border with mitered corners:

To determine length of top and borders, measure across middle width of the center. To this, add width of border twice plus 1/2 inch (seam allowance). For side borders measure across middle length of center. To this, also add twice the width of border plus 1/2 inch (seam allowance).

Cut borders to length. Fold and press ends at 45 degree angle – this marks miter seam.Fold border in half lengthwise to find center. Find center of top and pin together. Pin each end of border through the mitered crease and center of top (last square etc.), then pin together remainder — distributing fullness throughout.

Sew with border on the bottom. Begin and end sewing at pin that is through center and miter crease. Now just align creases and pin and sew. Sew from outside toward the top. Clip and press
In October of 2002, I decided to make an art quilt. This was a new venture for me. Even though I have been quilting since the 70’s, I have never tried making an art quilt, but I wanted to stretch myself and try something outside of my comfort zone.

My inspiration was a photograph I had taken of my daughter who was 6 years old at the time.. Both of my children are adopted and are of Indian heritage being born in Calcutta. Among the mothers in my adoptive parent support group, we have observed that many of our children have similar large, sparkling brown eyes that we have coined “Calcutta Eyes”. In the photograph of my daughter, her “Calcutta Eyes” are the dominant feature. I have tried to capture her beautiful eyes in my quilt.

I ended up painting her face in the quilt since I couldn’t get the right look from fabric. The face, hair and shirt are all hand appliqued. The other appliques are applied with fusible web and machine stitched with a pin-stitch. I used some of my daughters favorite things in this quilt — flowers and butterflies. The peacocks were added as a symbol of India because the peacock is India’s national bird. I used a piece of clipart from my computer as the pattern for the peacocks. The butterflies and flowers are patterns from various quilt magazines and books that I own. The leaves are cut freehand.

The fabrics in the quilt are mainly Moda marbles and batiks with homespun used for the hair and the base of the peacocks as well as some of my own hand-dyed fabrics used for the leaves.

The thread used in the machine applique is rayon and the quilting is done with Signature 100% cotton solids and variegated threads as well as Gutermann metallic threads. I used a trapunto technique on the face and neck because I didn’t want to heavily quilt these areas. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the results I wanted and ended up quilting the face anyway.

To make a pattern from the photograph, I scanned the photo and printed it out in an 8 x 10″ size. I then taped the copy to my dinning room window and taped another sheet of paper over the print and traced the outline and the details of the face as well as the details of the shirt.

Next, I scanned the penciled drawing and exported it to my “Paint” program on my computer, enlarged it to the size I wanted, and printed it out. The picture printed out on 15 sheets of paper. I had to tape these sheets of paper together to make my master pattern. From this master, I made the pattern pieces by tracing the pieces onto freezer paper then ironing the freezer paper onto the fabric and cutting out the pieces.

I hand appliqued the face, hair, and shirt first. Then I painted the face with acrylic paints and a fabric medium. After the face had dried for 24 hours, I ironed the painted areas to make them permanent. I then applied the borders.

The stems are bias cut and machine appliqued. The flowers, peacocks, and butterflies are applied with a fusible web and machine appliqued. Once all the applique was completed, I loaded the quilt onto my Gammill Classic quilting machine. Using a batik fabric for the backing and Warm and Natural batting, I machine quilted the entire piece.

This project took 6 months from beginning to end to complete.

Click on the pictures of the quilt to see larger images.
By 1860 sewing machines appeared in many homes in the U.S. to assist women in the home production of clothing, bed clothes, etc. From the beginning some adventurous sewers used their human powered treadle machines to quilt their unfinished quilt tops. However, in general, hand quilting was the favored means of quilting the quilts to be especially valued. It took more than 150 years for machine quilting to be readily accepted by many quilters for their heirloom quilts.

When hand quilting, most of the quilting thread ends up in the batting between all three layers. With the continuous flat line created by the sewing machine’s locking stitch most of the thread remains on the surfaces. The graceful curves and feathers of hand quilting were hard to duplicate on the sewing machine. Until, that is, the later part of the 20th century when more elaborate sewing machines with more functions became available.

In 1989 Caryl Bryer Fallert won the Best of Show at the American Quilter’s Society quilt show in Paducah, Kentucky with her quilt, Corona II, the Solar Eclipse. This was the first major award for a machine quilted quilt!

Most quilters agree the it was Harriet Hargrave’s 1985 book Heirloom Machine Quilting (Burden Design Studios, 1987) that began the revolution. The Hargrave book was subtitled A Comprehensive Guide to Hand-Quilted Effects Using Your Sewing Machine. In recent years Diane Gaudinsky has won awards at both the Houston Festival and the AQS show for her exquisite machine quilting.

Gaudynski in her 2002 book, Guide to Machine Quilting, includes these words in the introduction, “The arrival of Harriet Hargrave’s machine quilting book sent me into a world of discovery, of joy, of completion. Finally, I could make quilts with the simplicity of my grandmother’s everyday one’s but with extensive machine quilting.”

As announced in the fall issue of American Quilter magazine, Harriet and Diane have joined together to organize a machine quilting celebration in Estes Park Colorado in June of 2004.

The two indicate that they plan to have “well known machine quilting teachers lined up, many classes, and, of course, special classes on stipling and design”. They conclude by saying, “Our hope is to encourage those just beginning this journey into this wonderful skill, and to inspire today’s machine quilters to expand their design ideas and to improve their skills, to keep the art of machine quilting growing and improving, but never forgetting its roots in tradition.”

Some of the tools helpful for doing quality machine quilting on your home sewing machine are included here. The walking foot, also called an even feed foot, will quilt straight lines and gentle curves. This is a good place for those new to machine quilting to start developing their skills. A basic, inexpensive book with a series of exercises designed to help you build your machine quilting skills is Maurine Noble’s book, Machine Quilting Made Easy (1994). Some home sewing machines have a built in walking foot or have one available as an optional attachment. To purchase a walking foot for your machine you need to know whether you have a low shank or a high shank or an exception (like a Bernina).

To create stippling curves and feathers you need a foot that has various names: free motion foot, darning foot, open-toed embroidery foot. This foot allows you to move not just forward and backward, but in all directions which is the point of free motion quilting. Selecting a foot that allows you maximum visibility in all directions is important.

Another must for creating well done machine quilting is a smooth, flat surface surrounding the needle. Your goal is to create a flat surface so that the weight of the quilt does not pull on the needle in any direction.

Some people find quilting gloves with many small grips useful in moving all three layers under the needle. Using quality needles and thread of appropriate weight for your project is vitally important.
QAF Presents


2004 Mystery Quilt

concept by Kathy Altman

Part 3 – Taffy

It is time to get out your Nougat (Cream) fabric, and your lighter pink fabric. You will need (1) 4″ strip of each fabric. Crosscut each of these strips into (15) 4″ squares of Nougat and (15) 4″ squares of pink. Cut each square diagonally, corner to corner, on a small cutting mat. Do not pick up the pieces, but carefully turn your cutting mat and cut the squares diagonally in the other direction. You will have 4 triangles from each square; the long edges will be on the straight of grain.

Make one stack of (60) pink triangles and another stack of (60) cream triangles with all right sides of the fabric facing UP; arrange them so that the straight grain (long edge)is to the outside, with the pink triangles on the right and the cream triangles on the left, so that together the stacks make an upside down pyramid. (That is, the straight edge of the pyramid is at the top and the point is at the bottom.)

When sewing these triangles together, you will be sewing on the bias, so handle them carefully, don’t stretch, etc. Pick up one pink triangle and place it on top of a cream triangle, RST (just pick it up and turn it upside down on the cream one) and stitch from the 90 degree angle down to the point. Sew all the sets at once, chain feeding them through your machine. Scant 1/4″ seam is important on these. Press them all to the pink fabric. To press, lay all sets with the pink on the top and the seam away from you. ‘Set’ the seam, then pick up the edge of the pink fabric and open the set up to press the seam line from the right. Do not stretch or move the iron around. You simply want to press the triangle unit open so that it is flat at the seamline. You will have 60 triangle units.

Sew one triangle unit to either end of your candy bar from last week. Match the seam of the triangle unit to the center seam of the candy bar (on the 4 1/4″ ends). If you made your 4-patches with the lighter fabric at the top right of each little 4 patch unit, then match the pink end of the triangle to the light at each end of your candy bar. That way, the pink triangles are on opposite sides of the candy bar at each end. Place a pin to keep it the way you intended until it is sewn. Your triangles will have little bunny ears sticking out on either side. Sew with the triangles on the bottom because this seam edge is on the bias. Press the seam toward the candy bar. Do not trim anything yet. Repeat for all blocks.

You now have candy bars with triangle units at each end. Handle carefully, don’t want to stretch them while they wait for the next step.

It is definitely time for a ‘real’ candy break!

back to QAF 2004 Mystery Quilt

© 2004 Mary Evans
9’s Alive Swap

January-December 2006


The quilts you will make from the blocks you send and receive in this swap are meant to be VERY SCRAPPY! Each month you will use different fabric combos and you will NEVER use the same fabric in any other set! You MIGHT receive a block from another quilter who by chance used the same fabrics you did in one of your sets, & that is OK! But do not duplicate any fabrics in the blocks that you make!

Small prints work best, although some medium prints will work. Remember these are teeny tiny cute little blocks!

We will be using a wide variety of the following types of fabrics:

Traditional prints such as calicos, repros of all kinds, checks, stripes, plaids and Contemporary prints such as bright & fun, dots, geometrics, and checks, stripes, plaids, etc.

NO SOLIDS, NO WOW’s & NO COC’s for the LIGHT fabrics! AND NO 30’s! Prints should have only a MINIMAL amount of white or cream in them. Please access the links given on the previous page to see what the blocks look like in the quilts done by other quilters who’ve done this kind of swap. Notice that usually the LIGHTER of the 2 fabrics in each block can be a TOT or a PRINT and does NOT have to be a pastel…it just has to be LIGHTER than the DARKER of the 2 fabrics.

And VERY IMPORTANT: Use ONLY 100% quilters quality cotton fabrics, prewashed and pressed before you cut!

In the 9-patch formation there are 5 darker patches and 4 lighter patches. The DARKER of your 2 fabrics ALWAYS goes in the 5 position. The LIGHTER of your 2 fabrics ALWAYS goes in the 4 position.


Now that we’ve discussed FABRICS, here are the instructions for making your blocks.

For one set of blocks:

Sew one of the dark strips to one of the light strips. Watch your 1/4″ seams, sew nice straight seams. Press to the dark. Then sew a dark strip to the other side of the light strip and press again to the dark. Repeat this two times. You now have 3 strip sets with dark on the outside and light in the middle.

Repeat this procedure, using two light strips on either side of a dark strip. Make two of this set.

At this point you should have 5 strip sets, three that are D,L,D and two that are L,D,L and each of them should measure 3 1/2″ wide.

A note on pressing:

When you are pressing these strips, it is good to ‘set’ your seam first, that is, lay the strip down with the side you are going to press TO up, lay your iron down on the seam you have sewn, and lift and press all along the seam – lift, press, lift, press, etc. Then pick up the raw edge of the dark (top) fabric and fold it back to reveal the right side of the fabrics and the seamline and press carefully so that the strip lays down with the fold right at the seamline. (You are pressing on the right side of the fabrics at this point). This should give you nice crisp seams and your strip set at the first pressing should measure 2 1/2″ wide. After the final strip is attached and pressed they will measure 3 1/2″ wide.

Now to the actual blockmaking. First you will crosscut each of your strip sets by cutting them up into 1 1/2″ pieces. These will measure 1 1/2″ by 3 1/2″. You should be able to cut about 13 or 14 of them from each strip set if all your fabrics were 21″ or more to start with. You will need (2) of the D,L,D and (1) of the L,D,L cuts for each block you are making.

First, trim off the first end, taking off just enough to get rid of the selvages there, lining up marks on your ruler with one or both of the seamlines so you get a nice clean cut on that first end. Turn your strip around and start lining up your ruler at the 1 1/2″ mark, and at the same time, line up the marks on the ruler with your seamlines. This will ensure all your pieces are cut nice and straight and your blocks will go together and measure up to be 3 1/2″ square when you are finished. As you go along you may have to stop and re-trim your leading end to ensure you continue with those nice 90 degree cuts.

Once you have all your crosscutting done, line up your little strips in stacks, so they look like the blocks above. I usually sew vertical seams on these, goes really fast. Sew the first two stacks together, then take to the ironing board and press all to the strip with the dark at top and bottom. Then sew the remaining strips to these sets. If you have pressed as suggested throughout, you are still nestling those seams and you will notice instantly if you are starting to sew to the wrong side. As shown above, the darker squares are to be in the ‘X’ position in your blocks.

Press these last seams and you are DONE!!! Wasn’t that fun?! Now get out your square up ruler, measure your blocks and they are ready to mail! Best of all you will soon be receiving some from your friends that are swapping with you in this 9’s Alive swap!

The Secret’s Out !!!!!!!!

Prairie Queen Quilting & Antiques has expanded! As of May 1st,we can now offer you yardage off-the bolt along with our usual assortment of fat quarters and one-yard cuts that you have found in our booth before. The decision to move from a single antique mall booth space into a full service quilt shop was not an easy one! We pondered & discussed & measured & tossed around many ideas until finally all heads were nodding in the same direction. Thank you Gary & Doris, owners of The St Joe Antiques Mall, for being so open minded! This is a leap of faith for all involved! After all, a quilt shop in an antique mall is not your routine business venture! But the combination of reproduction fabrics, antique furniture, & assorted vintage or antique “stuff” is very fitting. It produces a very comfortable mix that we hope everyone will enjoy. So, much moving & shuffeling was done & we were all glad we were only moving into the next room & not clear across town! We are still in Booth #30, but now you will find us in the big side room just down from our old spot.

Our main objective continues to be to bring you quality reproduction fabrics. Our fabrics have expanded now to 10 of the major producers of reproduction fabrics. That is very exciting to us to be able to offer that variety to you!

We will also offer you other quilt-related items to help you reproduce a favorite piece or preserve a family heirloom. We’ll offer Hobb’s Heirloom Cotton Batting to give your quilt that feel “just like Grandma’s”. Products to help you care for your vintage textiles such as Treasure Wash & Vintage Textile Soak. And books that deal with antique textiles & patterns such as:
*** Antique Quilt Designs by Roberta Benvin
*** Lewis & Clark Volumes 1 & 2 by Terry Clothier Thompson
*** Pennsylvania Plain & Fancy by Anita Shackelford
*** America”s Printed Fabric 1770 – 1890
by Barbara Brackman *** the leading authority on fabric history & dating and everyone’s favorite resource person!
Her Latest lesson on fabric education includes:
** 8 repoduction quilt projects
** historic notes & photos
** dating your quilts
And as always, we’ll carry a full line of stencils from the 1800’s & Kansas City Star.

We’ve expanded our “guy stuff” section with newly reconditioned bamboo fly rods for summer fishing season. There are camping antiques, miscellaneous sports paraphenilia & as always,plaids & flannels for the man of the house.

For the month of June, to celebrate our new expansion, we’ll offer 10% off all in-store fabric sales or free postage on all internet fabric orders over $50.00.

Come visit us — on the web or in person — to see what’s new in our world! You’re sure to find something good to treat yourself or a perfect gift for someone else!

Gift Ideas for Quilters on Your List

If you have a quilter on your holiday gift giving list this year, consider yourself lucky. Christmas gifts for quilters are abundant and fit in any budget.

Give a gift card or certificate to the quilter’s favorite craft, hobby, or fabric store. The gift recipeitn can use the gift for whatever quilting supplies he or she needs.

For those who believe giving a gift card is taking the easy way out, there are plenty of other Christmas gifts for quilters.

How about a nice pair of scissors? Good scissors are a tool that every quilter needs. When you shop for scissors as your Christmas gift for the quilter on your list, you will see just how many kinds of scissors there are on the market. Take time to read the packaging carefully. You wouldn’t want to give your quilter a pair of embroidery thread snips instead of a sturdy pair of fabric cutting scissors!

Books and magazines about quilting styles and techniques make great Christmas gifts for quilters. It does not matter how many your quilting friend already has, books and magazines that show new techniques or trends are always a welcomed gift. Quilters often find inspiration for new color choices, quilting patterns and project ideas in books and magazines.

Give the gift of an Internet quilting club membership. Many online quilting clubs give their subscribers great quilting tips and offer one-on-one assistance for members who email them questions. Some websites even feature regular interviews with quilting pros or offer video streams which show demonstrations of various quilting techniques!

Make a quilt yourself. Even if you’re not a quilter, making a quilt (or quilted wall hanging, throw, or even a potholder) will show your quilting friend that you recognize his or her love for quilting. Use your imagination and see what you can quilt. If you’re not a quilter, give yourself plenty of time for your first quilting project.

Give the gift of a quilted look in accessories for the home or office. Even if you yourself are not a quilter, there are plenty of uniqe Christmas gifts for quilters you can create yourself. Decoupage a picture frame to look like a quilt. Or, cover a frame, desk calendar and inexpensive business card holder in coordinating fabrics. A fabric printed or woven with a quilt pattern would be an extra nice touch!

Give a quilter’s gift basket. Search for a nice basket that will match your friend’s d?r. Include several quilting products in it. Good choices are various strengths of quilting thread, a rotary cutter and cutting surface, scissors, scraps or fabric remnants, and quilting needles (if your friend quilts by hand; machine needles if your friend quilts by machine). Don’t forget to add a copy of your favorite quilt pattern or a book full of patterns! If you’re giving the gift of a quilting web club membership, it would be nice to “wrap” your gift in a small gift basket.

If your quilting friend likes to craft with vintage fabrics, take a trip to your area thrift store to pick up a few samples. Keep an open mind. When shopping in thrift stores, you’ll rarely run across a bolt of fabric. Your vintage fabrics may be recycled old ties, old blouses, old socks or old t-shirts!

Any of these gifts would be appreciated and enjoyed by the quilter on your holiday gift giving list. Wrap them in fabric or tie a nice fabric bow on top of whichever gift you decide to give for a great finishing touch!

Penny Halgren http://www.TheQuiltingCoach.com Penny has been a quilter for more than 26 years. She enjoys exploring all aspects of quilting sharing her knowledge with all quilters. If you are looking for an Internet quilting club with a wide variety of resources for all level quilters, check out http://www.TheQuiltingCoach.com .

Article from articlesbase.com

Share and Enjoy:

Handmade Patchwork Quilt
What Is A Handmade Patchwork Quilt?
A handmade patchwork quiltis commonly a bed covering made up of three layers: a quilt top, a layer of batting, along with a layer of fabric designed for backing. The layers are usually combined using the procedure of quilting. Quilting is the practice of using a needle and thread to join two or more layers of fabric. This step may be merely practical, or else more elaborate, for decoration and design.

A handmade patchwork quilt or even a quilt wall hanging might sell for hundreds of dollars along with hang up on museum walls, not only bed frames. Amish quilts from Pennsylvania as well as Ohio are in particular sought after, to the same extent are vintage and antique quilts. At present designing quilts has turned into an art form. Talented quilters are often called fabric designers instead of the out-of-date seamstress or quilter. Not just are bed quilts all the rage, but quilted outfits in addition to wall hangings are as well. Once upon a time a handmade patchwork quilt was made for basic needs.

If you are lucky enough to have inherited or bought such an heirloom, taking proper care of it will uphold and possibly add to its worth. A handmade patchwork quilt must never be stored inside plastic bags, cardboard boxes or wooden trunks. A handmade patchwork quilt ought to be aired at least twice a year, however not in direct sunlight. Extremely old quilts should be aired level to avert stressing the stitches. There is always a risk in washing old fabric. Spot test it firstly. If you are using a machine, wash in cold water using a mild detergent along with a gentle cycle. Dry the quilt lying on a flat surface. Using a fan and rotating it will speed up the drying process.

Quilts all the way through times past tell the stories of their period and makers. This is especially true during the depression as fabric was not easily available. A few historians even think secret messages and codes had been concealed in handmade quilts at different times right through times gone by. One such story relates to the Underground Railroad. A specific quilt pattern would suggest it was safe for escaping slaves to continue on their journey. Not all historians support this notion, in spite of this it is correct that signature quilts ended up being a popular method of raising funds both prior to and after the Civil War. Signatures ended up being added once a donation was made. These quilts are also known as friendship quilts.

While not all historians be of the same mind on this practice in the past, it is becoming increasingly general these days. To date a handmade patchwork quilt can still be used to raise funds at raffles along with charity events. Quilt guilds are being created and are developing at a rapid rate, preserving and passing on cherished designs and systems. Know-how has even made it possible to add photos to material. Memory quilts plus t-shirt quilts are widespread as well as being precious presents.

If you are a beginner, you can learn to quilt by means of simple quilt patterns that can easily be found to assist you in creating your own treasured heirloom to be. Quilts make great presents for the person who has the lot, they show how much you sincerely care not simply by what you’ve put on your handmade patchwork quilt but the time and effort you’ve taken to create it.
Share and Enjoy:

Handmade Patchwork Quilt – Great Gift Idea

A handmade patchwork quiltmakes an awesome gift for someone you love. It is the kind of gift that can be given to someone who has pretty well everything. In times gone by, quilts have been made of scraps of material left over from clothing, linen and basically anything that can be cut up and applied to other pieces of material to form a pattern.

These days with digital photography being prominent and technology improving on a daily basis you can actually use photographs on your quilt. Hence you are then able to create a handmade patchwork quiltout of something other than scraps of material. This will alter the look of your quilt and it will appear to be a little more thought out than perhaps in previous times when scraps of material were the only things that could be used.

A handmade patchwork quiltmade from photographs can be made as personal or as artistic as you like. It may well be that you are going to use a compilation of family photographs when you make your quilt. This is a great idea for someone who is hard to buy for especially at Christmas time and around birthdays.

Another option when making a handmade patchwork quilt and using photographs is that you use photographs based on a theme. The photo’s do not have to involve people. The person you are making the quilt for could have at one stage loved a special location like a town, or a beach or even a country and the quilt can be created with that special location in mind. Colors of the quilt can be taken into consideration for this choice of design as well.

Think of a hobby that is of a main interest to the person you are creating your handmade patchwork quilt for. Do they like gardening, if they do, plants can be used as a design together with appropriate colourings. It may well be that they like cooking and you could include several recipes or pictures of their favorite meals they have created in the past.

Handmade Patchwork Quilt – If You Are Not A Quilter
If you want a handmade patchwork quilt and you are not the type of person to actually make one, you can find someone to craft it for you. There are a lot of people out there who love these beautiful crafted quilts but do not have the ability to design and create one themselves. If you “Google” “Handmade Patchwork Quilt – Forums” you should find many forums out there you can become a part of to find the right person to make a quilt specific to your needs.

If you are wanting to learn the art of quilting, a handmade patchwork quilt makes the perfect gift for your loved one as it is made out of love with love. And that does really mean a lot to the person you are giving your quilt to. A handmade patchwork quilt can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.

Share and Enjoy:

Learn To Quilt – Handmade Patchwork Quilt

If you are preparing to learn to quilt, or an advanced practitioner of quilting you are able to discover a lot of publications that will be able to assist improve your knowledge. Quilting books fall generally into several categories, and numerous titles proliferate within each. The different types of books are how-to, pattern encyclopedias, historical, books about the joy of quilting, as well as art books.

Each quilter needs at least one of these publications in their library, and more often than not will manage to collect a number of them. You’ll find it amazing how many times you want a ready reference when you are in the focal point of a quilting task. How-to books are possibly the most well-liked, and the initial stop for the individual who wants to learn to quilt. They extend from books which discuss the whole craft of quilting and offer step-by-step advice, to publications that will capture one feature of quilting then describe how to do it. The instructional publications start with such pre-requisites as cloth choice as well as which accessories you’ll require and proceed through instructions for assembling the blocks of the quilt top and the quilt itself, down to explanations of quilting, both hand and machine.

You must learn to quilt and have on hand an encyclopedia of patterns which include simple quilt patterns – great for the beginner. Every quilter will more than likely end up with one of these in their library as well. These publications collect numerous different quilt block patterns as well as explain the principles of their assemblies. Because their goal is to cover a lot of ground, these publications are beneficial beginning points but will not go into intimate detail. For that you have to turn to books which feature training on a particular pattern. With the wide category of quilting block patterns and techniques, you are able to picture that this category of quilting books is reasonably extensive and stocked with titles.

Since quilting has its roots in American times passed, quilts and the craft of quilting have been studied in detail, and a lot of historical quilting publications exist. Looking at these textbooks as well as seeing what our ancestors accomplished having a small percentage of the equipment and supplies existing nowadays can be a great source of inspiration to modern quilters. Along the similar lines are books that talk about the enjoyment to be derived from quilting, both in its community form (such as quilting bees) or as a private pursuit. Lastly, there is a full segment of quilters who have advanced the craft into art. These quilters often show their handiwork in galleries in addition to museums, for instance the quilt wall hanging. They print publications not only about their quilts, but the thoughts and techniques that went into making them. Sometimes collectors of quilts will bring out books, too. These art quilt books are as inspiring in their way as the historical quilting books.

Irrespective of whether you are choosing to produce a handmade patchwork quilt or a quilt wall hanging, even quilted outfits for that matter, you should make certain you have a book or 2 easy to hand to help you along the way. Part of the thrill of quilting is finding books on the subject, and fortunately for modern quilters, there is a mammoth array of titles to pick from. Learn to quilt is made quite simple with the right books!
Share and Enjoy:

Looking For Simple Quilt Patterns for Projects?

Quilting is a skill that anyone can learn. It is smart to start with simple quilt patterns that are easy to understand and doesn’t take too much time to complete a project. These little quilting projects can be used as gifts for most all occasions because they are so beautiful.

if you are looking for some free patterns that are easy to make, you can do a straightforward search on google or any other search engine. Just type into the search bar something like’free quilt patterns’ and you’ll probably find something you can use. There are dozens of places to get free or cheap patterns that will be easy to start with.

Here are one or two ideas that little projects can be turned into something beautiful as well as helpful. Always use your imagination and you can come up with ideas of your own that you’ll be pleased with.

1. A Potholder is a helpful present

A potholder is a great gift when selecting a block from simple quilt patterns to use as the top. I love to use a 6 and a half in. to 7 and a half inch block for this project. You would just duvet and bind the potholder like a regular cover with one or two exceptions. Make efforts to use 100% cotton for your covering thread. If you use invisible thread, it’ll melt when handling hot pans. You may also want to use insulated batting.

two. Give a set of Place mats

I made a set of four place mats and 4 coasters for my parents last year and they loved them! You can use the easiest of simple quilt patterns for this one – a checkerboard. What is great about this idea is that you will get plenty of practice binding quilts.

3. Youngsters love Tote Bags

Make it a market tote and give it to folks who need to break themselves of using plastic bags at the corner store. A quilt block can be employed as decoration. If you make the bag out of novelty fabric such as Sponge Bob or Barbie, you can give it to your favourite pre-teen as a library bag.

once you start putting these ideas into projects using simple quilt patterns you will become a quilting pro in a brief short time with much pleasure and enjoyment.

four. A Cover for Recliner Headrests

I found out about this idea by mistake. I made my mom a mini duvet version of the larger quilt I had given her as a gift. She used it as a cover for her recliner’s headrest. It looks great. So much so that my dad wanted one for the next year. You will need to make a quilt approximately sixteen by nineteen inches. If the planned recipient has two recliners, be certain to make two.

five. A lovely table topper

Does anyone you know have those accent tables? Make them a table topper. Fab present. Just ensure that it matches the dcor of the room. You could also make a table runner with little cover blocks. Anyone would be proud to display such a nice table runner!

rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’]);” href=”http://easyquiltpattern.org”>Compare Information on Simple Quilt Patterns Here

now you have 5 great homemade present concepts where you can use your simple quilt patterns, why not start on your quilting project today?

For detailed information on simple quilt patterns and pre cut quilt kits visit our blog at: http://www.EasyQuiltPattern.org

Article from articlesbase.com

Related Simple Quilt Patterns Articles


Learn to Quilt: Discover Top Tools of the Quilter’s Trade

When I first started quilting I was just learning how to sew as well. It took a while to figure out which were the tools, also called notions, that I used the most. To help you on your journey to becoming a quilter I have created a list of the tools you will use the most:

1. Rotary Cutting Supplies. This includes a rotary cutter, acrylic rulers, and a cutting mat. These tools are made for precise cutting. Quilter’s worldwide wouldn’t think of starting a quilting project without them. You’ll find that the more accurately you cut your quilt pieces, the more accurately your quilt top is sewn together. Olfa is an excellent brand, and is the leader in the quilting community.

2. A Decent Steam Iron. You can’t start a quilting project without one. Now, you can buy the really expensive Rowenta professional iron, or, you can go to Walmart or Target and buy their steam iron. Both will get the job done. I’ve learned from experience that they both last about the same amount of time, will both do a decent job, but one is a lot less expensive to replace. I highly recommend using spring water in your irons—tap water can lead to hard water stains on your quilt top, and most manufactures say that you shouldn’t use distilled water.

3. A Good Seam Ripper. Most quilters have two or three of them on hand at any given time. Dritz makes a variety of excellent seam rippers. You’ll find they have everything from seam rippers with magnifying glasses to ergonomic seam rippers for those of us quilters who rip out stitches on a regular basis.

4. Spring Loaded Scissors and Shears. These scissors and shears are spring loaded to prevent hand fatigue while cutting repetitively. Quilting, and sewing for that matter, involves a lot of cutting. I have a pair of blunt tipped, which work really well for cutting threads, and a pair of sharp tip, which I like to use for cutting appliqué pieces. I don’t know many quilters who don’t own a pair of these. Fiskers, in this instance, is my brand of choice.

5. ¼ Inch Foot. A quarter inch foot for your sewing machine will get you going toward an accurate ¼ inch seam allowance. Almost all quilt patterns instruct you to use an accurate quarter inch. Many sewing machines come with these feet. However, if you bought a simple hobby machine, you’ll most likely need to purchase one. I would like to recommend a brand, but in this case, there are so many brands for different types of machines that you’ll want to check with your local machine dealership to buy the right one. Don’t worry, they aren’t expensive, but they’re definitely necessary. You may even find them at your local quilt shop.

You’ll discover quilting can be an adventure. Anyone with the proper directions can create an heirloom quilt that will stand the test of time.

Fortunately, with proper instruction, quilting is as simple as following a proven set of steps. Take the first step and learn how fun and easy creating heirloom keepsakes can really be. Go now to http://www.DiscoverHowToQuilt.com.

Erin is a nationally known quilt pattern designer and instructor. For more information, go to www.discoverhowtoquilt.com

Article from articlesbase.com


Machine Quilting Patterns- Tips about Quilting Themes and Shopping

The term machine quilting refers to the art of creating a quilt using a sewing machine. A sewer can either do the machine guided sewing or free motion sewing. The former technique results to straight or curvy stitches. The later makes beautiful quilting designs. If you love pattern quilting, you should buy one of the best free motion sewing machines. Using machine quilting patterns makes your task quick and accurate. It acts as a template for a quilt design you plan to make and it can be cut out, joined to a piece of fabric and used as a sewing guide. The quilting patterns are very important. They are sold in a range of designs, each featuring a unique theme. You can get a pattern that complements your sewing tastes and preferences. The various examples of quilting patterns include:

Holiday themes- if you want to buy patterns inspired by a certain season, you can easily find different ones. For example, you can buy Christmas, Easter, or any other famous holiday patterns.
School themes- you are likely to find many patterns featuring college themes
Animal/cartoon themes- when you are making children quilts; animal and cartoon patterns are the most preferable.
Sporty/classic patterns- you can find any sport or traditional theme you are interested in.
Gardening and landscaping patterns- you may want to make a quilt inspired by beautiful landscapes, countryside, or backyards.
Environmental themes- these include floral patterns.
Baby patterns- you have many baby themes to make an interesting quilt for your baby.

Think about your quilting project very seriously before you can spend any money. Once you draft the ideas you have in mind, the next shopping step is easy:

Go shopping for your quilting patterns

It is possible to find a range of machine quilting patterns in a variety of sewing and fabric stores near your home. However, in this day and age, many people prefer shopping online. You do not have to step outside your house if you have a home computer connected to the Internet. Some online sites are available that provide free patterns.

Most of the sites sell different types of quilting patterns though. This explains why you must know exactly what you are searching for. Some web stores only specialize in a given category of patterns. It is much wiser to save up money to buy an Ebook with many patterns. You can use it in the future, without doing any further research online, unless you want to find updated patterns.

Amazon is a major shopping store where you mainly find the Amish and patchwork quilting patterns. Perform a window-shopping exercise first if you plan to purchase the patterns offline. This will make your budgeting efforts much easier. Offline shopping does not compare to online shopping in terms of the ranges of patterns and suitable price deals you can get. All you have to do is to investigate every website you are keen on using. Legitimate online stores exist and you should take your time to find them. Buy from a vendor who gives you a range of machine quilting patterns at the most affordable rates.

G. Smitty is a writer who loves to discuss many topics ranging from sewing machines for quilting to professional basketball. Thanks for reading!

Article from articlesbase.com

Find More Quilting For Beginners Articles


quilting content 1.10

Quilting Supplies – What you need to keep on hand
Here are some basic quilting supplies that you will need to keep in stock.

Quilting Fabric

Yep. That’s obvious.

Quilters refer to the quilting fabric they have on hand as their “stash.” Sometimes stashes can get quite high. There’s even a stashbusters online yahoo group to help fabicholics.

The good thing is that you will probably gravitate toward a certain style. I mean, I was surprised when “magically” I had enough fabric for a stash, scrap quilt and everything matched.

Like there are clothing lines, there are a ton of different quilt fabric lines. You can count on most to stay near their niche. Amy Butler is modern. Moda? You will probably get a traditional type of quilt. Michael Miller features more novelty fabric.

It’s good to be aware of the different types of fabric lines so that you can know where to go when you’re looking to make a specific kind of quilt. When it comes to quilting supplies, fabric is on the top of the list.


If you have a basic sewing machine, you can use good old Dual Duty. It’s what is in my machine. If you can, however, get your hands on some Gutermann thread. If you have a high end machine, it is a necessity.

As for colors, buy neutral thread for piecing. For my bright quilts, I use white thread. For my darker quilts, I like beige. Keeping your piecing thread neutral means that you can really take advantage of the big box fabric store sales on thread.

Quilt Batting

Ah, batting can be the most confusing choice when it comes to quilting supplies. There are a couple of questions that you need to ask yourself before you choose the right batting for a project.

What will this quilt be used for? You can get away with a different batting for a wall hanging than one that you are hoping will become a little one’s favorite blanket. Baby quilts will probably be washed and dried a lot. You will need a batting that will hold up to all of that abuse, uh, I mean loving.

Is warmth important? Would the recipient of the quilt be happier with a quilt that is backed with fleece because it would be warmer? In that case, you may be able to forgo batting all together.

And this is may seem shallow but notice how far apart the batting needs to be quilted. Do you really want to quilt every four inches? I don’t. I know this would drive me crazy and I’d only use batting like this for a small wall hanging.

Then again, the quilts I make are for every day use and probably wouldn’t make it past a cursory glance of a quilt judge. If you aspire to hand quilt a masterpiece or to use a long arm machine, then quilting every four inches could be the perfect batting for you.

It’s all about intended use. Once you know what kind of quilt you want to produce, choosing the batting becomes easy.

Tip – Buy the largest piece of bagged batting you can when it is on sale. You can always cut it up for smaller projects.

Quilt Labels

You can make your own quilt label with a piece of muslin and a permanent fabric pen. Write your name, the date, the intended recipient and the name of the quilt on the scrap of fabric. Then, stitch this to the back of the quilt.

There are also some quilt labels that are produced by fabric companies. The first quilt label I used was from a Christmas fabric line. I used some Wonder Under to apply it to the back of the quilt so that it stuck. Although Wonder Under is supposed to be permanent, I really should have stitched it down.

Another alternative is to sign the back of the quilt, directly mark on the quilt with again, a permanent, fabric pen.

So, there you have it – fabric, thread batting and labels. You can never go wrong stocking up on these basic quilting supplies.

Return from Quilting Supplies to Easy Quilting Central
Nine Patch Quilt Block – How to Make and How to Use

A nine patch quilt block is just about the easiest block you can make. It also has the benefit of being one of the most versatile. So, what is it and how can you use it to turn your scraps into someting beautiful? Let’s find out.

What Is It?
It’s really very simple. A nine patch quilt block is made up of nine parts. These can be the same size or not. What makes the block is the contrast in values between the sections.

There will usually have light and dark value. Now, these nine sections can have all the same color like when you’re quilting a basic Irish Chain or They can have a variety of colors like the Puss in Boots block.

How to Make It
Strip Piecing is your best bet. For a standard 9 patch if you want a 6 inch block, you’ll need to cut out 3 – 2.5 inch strips of your dark or bright fabrics and 3 – 2.5 strips of your light fabric. Create 2 strip sets:



Cut the strip sets 2.5 inches times the width of the fabric Sew them the in sets following ways to create your block:



Dark-Light -Dark

How to Use it
Alternate with plain blocks

As mentioned above, you can create a basic Irish chain quilt. That is you alternate it with a block of the background fabric. The main color pop and it looks like there’s a chain. Another option is just to alternate the block with a plain block of the same size

Alternate with Half-Square Triangles This is something really simple that can pack a punch. First, look in your stash to see what you have a lot of. should be a dark color and a light color. Make half-square triangles blocks. Then make 9 patch quilt blocks that coordinate with these colors.

It works best if they fall between the color ranges and are in the same color family. By the same family I mean brights, country colors, civil war reproductions, that kind of thing.

You do not need the same fabric line, but you do need the same color family. As I’ve mentined before on my scrap quilting page after you have created a few projects you will notice that you gravitate toward a certain type of fabric and this will not be a problem.


Sashing is also an option. Don’t have a lot of time and need a quick charity quilt? It doesn’t get much easier than this. Instead of cutting 2.5 inch strips for your 9 patches, cut your strips 4.5 inches. That will finish as a 12 inch block. Set 3 blocks x 4 blocks with sashing and you’ve got yourself a quilt top.

Setting on Point

You can also set this on point using setting triangles.

Tools in Your Toolbox
A nine patch quilt blockis a good quilt block to have in your quilting toolbox. It’s easy, lends itself to strip-piecing and versatile.

If you are a by-the-book quilter you can use this block and if you are a scrap/stash quilting who likes to quilt you can use it too. Simple doesn’t mean boring. The only limit really is your imagination.

Return from Nine Patch Quilt Block to Easy Quilting Central
Quilting Tools for Easy Quilting
What quilting tools do you absolutely need to start quilting? Honestly, you really only need a good pair of scissors. You could make a totally hand-stitched and hand-quilted masterpiece.

And you could also get frustrated in the process.

With the addition of a few tools, you can make your quilting life many times easier. You’ll be able to piece faster and with more accuracy. Which will lead to more finished projects.

Best of all, you really do not need to buy the whole quilt shop, though you may be tempted. Hmmm… Or is that just me? Uh, sorry. Ready?

Let’s start off with a sewing machine . You just need a basic machine that sews straight. I piece and quilt on a 3/4 size machine I nicknamed Big Blue.

Big Blue works great. It has a straight stitch, a zigzag stitch and can sew through denim. It’s small enough to be portable. It does everything I need it to do.

That point is that you can start with any basic machine. Ask around. You will probably find someone who is not using their sewing machine. Ask if you can borrow it.

Don’t worry about getting a top of the line model now. You can always buy an expensive machine if you fall in love with quilting.

Are you looking for more information on how to choose first machine? Here are my top five tips.

The only attachment that I consider a must have is a walking foot. It is an attachment to your machine that makes it easier to machine quilt.

I did not last long without this attachment. It may have cost a third of what my parents paid for my sewing machine, but it was worth it.

If you don’t get a walking foot, you can still finish your quilt by tying or hand-quilting. Tying is quick and works well with some quilt patterns. You could try to machine quilt without a special foot, but it could be frustrating.

To cut your fabric, you will need a rotary cutter, self-healing mat and quilting ruler. These quilting tools work together to accurately cut strips of fabric. You may be thinking “what’s the big deal?”

These cut strips are then pieced together and sub-cut in blocks to make patterns without templates. They are definitely needed if want to finish projects quick and in a hurry .

There are, of course, more quilting tools out there. These are just the ones that I use on a regular basis with all my quilts.

Return from Quilting Tools to Easy Quilting Central
Fast and Easy Quilting Techniques
Today’s quilting techniques allow easier piecing and completing of quilts. The main ones are below:

Strip Quilting – Strip quilting is a quilting technique that is essential to creating quilts quickly. Strip piecing is what it sounds like – cutting strips and then piecing or sewing them together with a quarter inch seam.

Once these strip sets are created, they are then sub-cut. Sometimes they are sub-cut into squares. Sometimes they are sub-cut using specialty rulers or other quilting tools such as a triangle tool. Using this technique is a great way for beginner quilters.

Scrap Quilting – Ah, scrap quilting is making a comeback. It is pretty simple – using up every scrap you have. Sometimes you’ll have fabric left over after a project or, um, like me you just fall in love with fabric. By making scrap quilts, you can use up fabric to the last inch.

Rag Quilting – Have you ever seem those warm and fuzzy quilts with the edges that look so cuddly? That’s rag quilting and it is pretty easy to do. The edges of the seems that you see are actually the exposed frayed seams, that are cut and then washed and dried.

Machine Quilting – To finish your quilt top, you can use machine quilting. The quilting tools needed for this are minimal – a quilting foot and invisible thread would work well.

Mock Binding – Binding is a technique that can stop folks in their tracks. If you view a quilt as a picture, the quilt top is the picture. Borders are the mats and the binding is the frame. Mock binding is when you use your backing as the binding.

You just need to make sure your binding is a reaches about an inch from the edge of your quilt and batting. Then you fold the edge of the backing so that its edge is to the edge of the quilt. Fold over again. Pin. Sew down.

Try all of these techniques. Depending on the need and intent for the quilt is what will decide which one you’ll choose.

One thing that I can say is that these quilting techniques have opened up the art to lots of new people who have never tried it before. Hey, maybe even you.

Return from Quilting Techniques to Easy Quilting Central
Scrap Quilting Tips
If you have ever wanted to try scrap quilting, but was concerned about the finished product, this is the place for you. Here are some tips to get you through your first a hundredth scrap quilt.

1. Mindset – It’s an ExperimentThis is not a gift for your mother-in-law or the first grandchild in the family. Decide from the start that whatever the outcome, this quilt will hold a place of honor in your linen closet for cold winter nights.

Just knowing that this quilt is for you, will take the pressure off. You can experiment and play with fabric. There is no deadline. No pressure. No worrying about what people will think or if they will be sufficiently appreciative of your work of art.

Nope. This baby is all yours.

2. Choose your color palette – rustic or bright or pastel

Chances are that you gravitate towards the same types of fabric. There are people who love bright colors. Then there are folks who have more of a country palette. When you start looking at your fabric stash for your project, you are going to find out something about your tendencies.

Stick to one overall color palette. As a quilter, you know that there are a million and one colors that can be green. A hunter green is different from a true green and that’s different from an apple green. If you’re going country, then make sure all the colors are all of that dark hue. Brights go all together.

If something doesn’t quite fit in your scrap quilt, you will know it, too.

3. Use the camera’s black and white feature for values.

If you can’t tell if the fabric value is dark or a medium or a light, Set your camera on black and white and snap a picture. You will be able to tell the different values better when you look at them compared to each other.

4. Wait Overnight

Sometimes we look at our creations and just shake our heads. Most of the time when that happens it is because we are too close to it. Let it sit overnight. Better yet, take a picture of it. Sometimes we can see something different in the picture than what we see on our design wall.

5. The Goal is to Learn something

Nothing is ever wasted as long as you can learn something from the experience. Take what you have learn about color and fabric selection for your next quilt. Stretch yourself.

See. There is nothing to be afraid of scrap quilting.

One of my favorite sayings is that when life gives you scraps, make a quilt. So, get going and try going scrappy!

Return from Scrap Quilting Tips to Quilting Techniques

Return to Easy Quilting Central

footer for scrap quilting page


Frequently Asked Questions
What is this service?

We use the AccuCut Die Cutting system and dies to cut your fabric (or you can select from ours) for you. This die cutting service will provide you with an accurate cut every time! Unlike when you cut fabric using scissors or a rotary cutter, sometimes, there’s the Oops! factor. With die cut fabric, every cut is exactly the same every time!

How does it work?

Here is what YOU do:

Go through your stash. Decide how you want your stash cut using the Cutting Chart at the end of this document.
Pre-wash your fabric (if applicable) and press the fabric to remove excess wrinkles. If necessary, trim the loose threads and knots caused by pre-washing.
Fill out the Order Forms and pin a completed Order Form to each piece of fabric.
Neatly fold the fabric, box it up and send it to us.Sorry – we do not accept COD packages.
Here is what WE do:

Upon receipt of your package, we review the Order Form to make sure we understand your request. If there are questions, we call you. We prefer to call rather than email – since that seems to save the valuable time we would rather be using quilting rather than sitting in front of email!
If you request it on the Order Form, we apply a light mist of Best Press Starch and lightly press the fabric so the fabric lies flat on the die. If you prefer that we not use Best Press, just don’t check the box on the Order Form and we won’t use it. Best Press Starch will NOT give a stiff feel to your fabric. It just adds a little bit of body to the fabric.
We cut the fabric to fit the appropriate cutting die. Our Cutting Chart calculations include extra fabric that is required to cover the die cutting blades.
We die cut the fabric and stack it neatly by size and fabric design.
We call you or email you to let you know the cutting is complete & to let you know what the cutting charge plus shipping is. We will not bill or ship until we hear from you.
We bill using PayPal via an email request. Just follow the prompts in the email & you will be on your way. You DO NOT have to have a PayPal account to pay via PayPal. You can still pay via credit card through PayPal and we will never see your credit card information and there are no additional fees for using the PayPal service.
When PayPal gives us the OK status indicating the payment process is complete (usually by the time we get your fabric boxed up and labeled) we ship the package. We find that Priority Mail is the usually the best shipping method although we do price alternate methods and will use the least expensive method if there is a big cost difference.

What does it cost and how long does it take?

We charge $20/hr – billed in 15-minute increments plus actual shipping charges. The minimum we charge is $20 plus return shipping – and we expect most orders to fall within the $20-$40 price range. This service includes:

Pre-pressing the fabric to make sure no layers get a crease while cutting.
A light mist of Best Press starch before cutting – an option you can select (or not) on the Order Form.
It will take you longer to go through your stash and decide how you want it cut than it will for us to cut it! Turn around time will typically be 2 days plus shipping time to and from your address.

We can usually cut 8 to 10 layers at once – which saves you time, money, and ensures accuracy! For example, we can easily cut approximately 200 perfect charm squares in less than an hour!)

How do I prepare my fabric before sending it to you?

Make sure the fabric is clean, has no odor (pets, cigarettes, mold, etc), pet hair, heavy lint, etc. (We reserve the right to refuse to work on such fabrics.) Your cut fabric will be returned the same – no odor, pet hair, lint, etc.
If you usually pre-wash your fabric, this should be done BEFORE sending it to us. We prefer not pre-wash or pre-shrink the fabric for you (having us do it will incur additional charges.)
If necessary, press your fabric. If we need to do extensive pressing to the fabric to get it to lie flat for cutting, there is an extra charge. (This usually refers to pre-washed/dried fabric that has not been pressed – not fabric that has been folded on the shelf.)
Why do you give me the option of using a mist of Best Press starch on my fabric?

We use Best Press because we feel it gives the fabric just a little bit more body for the cutting process. However, we are aware that many people have various allergies so we give you the option to ‘Opt In’ to getting this mist. If you forget to check the box on the Order Form, we do not apply the starch.

On the Order Form, if I have to attach one Order Form to each piece of fabric, why do you also ask for a description of the fabric?

That is just a precaution for the person cutting your fabric. The Order Form will be separated from the fabric during the cutting process and we want to eliminate any possible mix up before it happens!

How many cuts can you get from a piece of fabric?

At the end of this document is a Cutting Chart to show approximately how many cuts you can expect from a piece of fabric. We have based our estimates on 40″ wide fabric. We also have to take into account if the fabric is not straight on grain, you may lose a few cuts.

We make every effort to get as many cuts out of a piece of fabric as we possibly can. Keep in mind that we do have to have a little extra to cover the cutting blades – so there is always a little bit of waste. We believe in being frugal – so we keep waste to a minimum.

You can also indicate on the Order Form ‘to get as many cuts out of my fabric as possible’. When you tell us this – we will cut pieces until we cannot get any more cuts out of the fabric. We have been generous with our calculations – so you may wind up with a few extra cuts!

All cuts are done on the straight grain unless you indicate otherwise.

Can you take a combination of the die cuts and actually have enough cuts for a complete block?

Absolutely! Check out our examples of blocks you can create using the dies we have in stock. As time permits, we will even be adding block assembly instructions. However, if you have been quilting for a while, you can probably figure out how to assemble the blocks with no problem! Our block samples will include 6″, 8″, 10″ and 12″ blocks.

I have a stripe fabric – can you cut the fabric into strips or shapes so that they all have the same stripe color combination?

We provide you with the option of telling us which direction you want the stripes to run (where applicable); however, if we take the time to ensure that every cut piece has the same coloration of stripes, be aware that the cost will go up and there is always the possibility of wasted fabric.

Can you cut shapes for a Drunkard’s Path or Double Wedding Ring?

We certainly plan to add this set of dies to our collection. If we get enough requests beforehand, we will certainly expedite getting these dies in-house. When the dies are available, they will have a notch on all curved pieces to make it easier to piece!

I have some fabric I would like you to cut. What is the best way for me to explain to you which fabric I want cut into which shape?

We have tried to make this as simple as possible for all of us. When filling out the Order Form, we ask that you pin (tape leaves a residue) a completed Order Form to each piece of fabric. That way, we are not trying to figure out which piece of fabric you call teal – when we seen it as green! You can always pin (or tape) a little swatch to the Order Form instead.

If I send you too much fabric, will you return the extra?

Absolutely! It is your fabric – we just provide the service! We will cut the number of pieces specified on your order and will return anything larger than a sliver (unless you want those, too). Of course, we always recommend you get a few extra cuts – just in case!

Can you cut fabrics other than cotton?

Yes – w can cut wool, flannel, batting, silk, cotton, linen, etc.

Do the cut pieces include seam allowances?

Yes – the Cutting Chart contains two columns – one for actual cut dimensions and the other for finished sewn dimensions (assuming you are using a perfect ¼” seam allowance). If the chart indicates 5″ x 5″ in the Cut Dimensions column, then the cut you receive is 5″ x 5″. The finished sewn piece would be 4 ½” x 4 ½”.

I am not sure about some of the cut sizes (like the triangles and parallelogram). Can I get a sample of the exact size so I have a better understanding of what I will be ordering?

Absolutely! Just call (404-444-6470) or email us ([email protected]) to request an entire set of actual die cut paper pattern pieces – free of charge! We will provide enough pieces to create your own block! Keep in mind that these pieces will include seam allowances and will be marked indicating the corresponding die # in our inventory. Therefore, your actual paper block will be larger than the sewn block.
What if I have a piece of fabric that I have already cut some pieces out of – in other words – it does not a have straight edge – can I still send it to you for custom cutting?

Absolutely! We will work with any shape of fabric to get the best results we possibly can. It is probably best that you do not try to straighten the edges because we may be able to squeeze one more cut out of it.

I like my fabric to be cut on the straight grain. Do you do this?

Absolutely! We are firm believers that the grain of fabric is extremely important. We make every attempt to keep our cuts on the straight grain. If we find we are having difficulty cutting a piece of fabric & you give us permission to cut if off grain, then we will. Otherwise, consider it always cut on the straight of grain!

What is a Parallelogram?

Well, the Internet says this “…the opposite or facing sides of a parallelogram are of equal length and the opposite angles of a parallelogram are of equal measure.” We say, check out the diagram below the Cutting Chart – and you’ll say ‘Oh yeh, that’s what you call it!’
Quilting is addictive – welcome to the club. You will need:

1. Rotary cutter – I recommend a 45mm blade. It’s small enough to handle some curves, but large enough to go through a lot of fabric. Once you’re sure you want to continue quilting, get some spare blades and change them as soon as you notice that it isn’t cutting through fabric effectively. Be very careful when using a rotary cutter – it’s essentially a round razor blade. If you lightly bump the blade, you will draw blood. Get a cutter that has a built in safety feature, and get in the habit of using it. I like Olfa’s curved one because you squeeze the grip to expose the blade, and when you let go, the blade is covered. You can also lock the cover into place.

2. Self healing mat – Buy the biggest one you can afford and have space for. I like by 24″ x 36″ mat, and I also use an 18″ x 24″ when I’m taking classes. Be sure to get the thin green, blue, pink or purple one (depending on brand) NOT the thick white plastic ones. They bog down your fabric and cutter. I prefer to use the back of the mat – the measuring lines just get in my way. I use the ruler for measuring and squaring the fabric.

3. Acrylic ruler – You need at least two – a short one that is easy to maneuver and a long one that you can cut strips from the width of fabric. I prefer a 6″ x 12″ and a 3″ x 18″, but most people like a 6″ x 24″ for the long one. Make sure you can see the markings on both light and dark fabrics. At least one of them should have diagonals marked – at least a 45 degree and a 30 degree, and preferably a 60 degree as well. You may not use these now, but you won’t have to buy another ruler later. They must have at the very least a clear 1/4″ marking and a 1/8″ “dot.” I prefer a ruler that has a 1/8″ grid in one corner (or all over if I can find it). When you measure, always measure to the outside of the marking line, not the inside or center. Some rulers come with a non-slip surface (Omnigrip) or you can buy a roll of clear plastic (Invisigrip) that you can cut and apply to the back of your existing rulers. You can also use little sandpaper discs with adhesive on the back.

4. Fabric – Start with 100% cotton, and buy the best quality you can afford. If you have a local quilt shop, see if they have a clearance section. Not only can you get first quality fabrics for nearly half price, the limited selection forces you to try colors that you might not otherwise have chosen. It’s good to stay out of ruts. If you like scrappy quilts, fat quarters are a good way to get a lot of different fabrics. If you like more planned color schemes, buy yardage. Watch for sales to acquire backing fabric. Value (light and dark) is more important than color. We gravitate toward the pretty fabrics in the middle values, but for a quilt to really sparkle, you need to include light and dark fabrics as well.

5. Thread – again, use 100% cotton for the piecing. Cotton (thread) against cotton (fabric) wears better. If you use a synthetic thread and make an heirloom quilt, the thread could damage the fabric and destroy the quilt. Use the thinnest thread you can find for piecing (I like 50/2). This helps keep your seams accurate. Every hair counts. If your seams are off just 1/8″ and you have eight squares in a row, the row will be off 1″. You don’t need to match your thread to the fabric color, just the fabric value. If you have white, black, cream, and gray you can handle just about any fabric. “Match” your thread to the lighter fabric. When you quilt the top, batting and backing together, you’ll probably want a slightly thicker thread (40/3 works great, and can also be used for piecing if you like). This doesn’t HAVE to be cotton, but many quilters still prefer it.

6. Scissors – you need both a larger pair to cut fabric, although you won’t use it very much unless you get into paper piecing or hand work, and a smaller pair for cutting thread. I love my spring handled large scissors. They’re comfortable for lefties and they open by themselves, which reduces a lot of strain on the hand. My small scissors have very large finger openings and are comfortable to hold. Both of mine are by Fiskars. You can also try thread nippers for the smaller scissors.

7. Pins – get the longest, finest pins you can find. A glass head is nice if you plan to iron with the pins in (plastic will melt). A large flat flower head pin is nice to avoid distortion when sewing, plus they’re easier to find on the floor.

8. Hand sewing needles – you’ll need this for the binding. I prefer a long fine “straw” needle, but most people use sharps for piecing. Betweens are for quilting.

9. Seam ripper – this will be your best friend. Rather than “ripping” the seam, cut every third or fourth stitch and pull it all apart. It’s faster and less messy, especially if you use a piece of tape to remove the cut threads from the fabric.

10. Blue painters tape – yes, I consider this an essential. When you sew your scant 1/4″ seam, you should not be watching the needle – by the time the fabric is at the needle, it’s too late to correct anything. Instead, you should watch about an inch or two before the needle. You can measure your seam by using an index card with a 1/4″ line. Put the needle down through the line and make sure it’s straight. Draw a pencil line on your machine bed along the edge of the card. This is your 1/4″. Use the painters tape to make a fabric guide. Cut through several layers of tape on the roll, peel it back and cut off a section that is at least 1″ long. Place this on the bed of your machine along the 1/4″ mark you just made. Now just butt your fabric up against this guide when you sew your seams. With this guide it doesn’t even matter if you have a 1/4″ foot on your machine (although they are handy).

11. Instruction books – I really consider a couple of good instruction books to be essential. You can find a lot of information online, but it’s worth the extra to get a couple of really good books. I recommend Start Quilting with Alex Anderson for your beginner book. It’s only about on Amazon and it’s a skinny little book that teaches you six basic blocks. I also recommend a reference book called The Quilter’s Ultimate Visual Guide. It doesn’t have patterns but it does answer nearly every question you’ll ever have. Spend a little extra (just a couple of dollars) and take your books to a copy center (Kinkos, Staples, Office Max, etc.) and have them cut off the binding and put on a spiral binding. This way you can fold your book back to the page you want, or open it flat.

12. Courage – Don’t let anyone say you can’t make a quilt the way you want to make it. It’s great to learn the traditional methods, but some of the most incredible quilts have come from people saying, “What if I did it this way instead?”

13. Inspiration – Use the internet to find photos of quilts that inspire you. It can be about the color choices, the patterns, the style – whatever you like. Use magazine ads to help you with color choices. Keep a file of interesting ads – you’d be surprised at what the professionals put together. I have a fantastic quilt in dark purple and lime green that I never would have chosen on my own. Check out internet sites that have quilting videos, like QNNTV and HGTV’s Simply Quilts Videos. Join one or more Yahoo Groups that are about quilting. Try Quilter’s Cache for free, amazing block patterns. (You’re going to love this site.) Also check out their tutorials.

14. Patience – You aren’t going to make a perfect quilt the first time. Enjoy the process, learn from your mistakes, and keep moving forward.
Sewing Accessories

Sure you can, sewing is not just for girls! Quilting is an art form, and guys do art. And guys quilt.

There are several, as you pointed out, kinds of quilts, patchwork might be good to start with. It has to do with some math, a ruler, some precise cutting and sewing, perfect for a guy’s brain.

There is also applique, where designs are cut out, and top stitched onto a quilt. I have a handmade applique quilt the design is dogwood. This might be great for someone who loves color and design, but can’t draw or paint very well.

and there is embroidered, where a quilt block is obtained, it may have a embroidery design printed on it, or this can be done from scratch. You embroider the quilt top, an then choose a backing and filling just like the other quilts. My Grandma did this kind, I have several.

The internet is loaded with how to instructions, mostly free, and patterns and ideas. About.com, e-how, and this place: www.quilting101.com/styles/patchwork- quilts.html -all three have some nice help, the browser, when you type in how to make a patchwork quilt has pages of ideas.
In my area, we have several quilting stores, they sell the fabrics and supplies, and patterns, one even has quilt blocks and other household goods with blank patterns. They also sell antique and newly made quilts. Go find a store, or look online, and see what the quilts sell for. You will definitely be considering starting quilting. It can be profitable. And quilt making is definitely back in style. and I found the employees at all the places to be very knowledgeable and helpful.

There are also sewing classes in my area, my friend teaches some for someone. She teaches quilts, and just taught a class about aprons, they are back in style too.

You could find joy in creating an heirloom, for your own heirs, or for someone else. And they make marvelous gifts, an heirloom baby quilt for new parents, a wedding quilt. Patchwork purses, tote bags, Xmas decor, lap warmers, the list goes on and on.

Find a simple design, where you do not have to match a design, in other words avoid stripes for you first project. Find a pattern you like, and follow it. It should tell you how many yards of how many fabrics to purchase. And give you templates, or instructions of how to cut the pieces, and how to lay them out and sew them.

there are competitions, and showings out there for quilts, there is one in this area every year. Oh, my goodness, so ornate and beautiful.

things you should know? Buy the best dacron quilt batting you can, so it will not bunch up and ruin your work. Be precise with your work, one little error can snowball, since each pattern on the quilt depends on the precision of the one before it. You could have a really ugly mess very quickly. Learn to bind the quilt, put it together yourself. My grandma belonged to a church group who did this for people, to make money for the church. They were good. You can also hand quilt, this can be very beautiful It involves buying quilt frames, my Aunt inherited my Grandma’s frames.
Check out tying a quilt instead of quilting it. That could be cute for a casual quilt, I have one of those, too. I made that one.

I hate to ask, but is your Mom still available for lessons, or does her work still exist? It might honor her, if you wish or want to do so, to utilize some of her work, finish something she never got done, recondition something, remake, or re-purpose things. I have an old patchwork quilt I am going to repair and use, it is just waiting for Rivers to have the time. Don’t know who made it, probably Grandma.


No buyer’s remorse with my HQ Sweet 16
I purchased a Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen mid-arm quilting machine at the AQS Show in Des Moines in October. Several have asked for my opinion of it.

The features that convinced me to buy it:
1 — The table it sits in is compact, 30″ x 36″ — (I don’t have room for a long-arm machine.)
2– This is a sit-down machine, and the table height is adjustable for my comfort. I do not want to stand and quilt, .
3–The machine stitches from 10 to 1500 stitches per minute, easily adjusted on a touch screen.
4–The generous space between the needle and motor, (16″) plus the roomy flat surface, gives me plenty of room for quilting even large quilts.
5–A heavy duty bobbin winder for the M class bobbins is included.
5–The machine is less expensive than long arm machines.
6–It’s manufactured and assembled in the USA, and each machine undergoes thorough testing before it’s shipped.
7–A local HQ rep came to my house to train me with my machine. She was patient, thorough, and a great teacher. The company knows that a well-trained owner of the machine will be happier with the product.
8–This machine can be upgraded in the future with handles, framework and a computer package to become a long arm, if I’m interested. I can also add a stitch regulator, if I decide to go that direction. (currently about $1000 to add)

I like to be prepared, trying to anticipate the future. At the AQS show, I purchased extra bobbins, an open-toe hopping foot, a horizontal spool pin, mass quantities of size 16 and 18 sewing machine needles, and two 18″ extensions to add to the sides of the table.
That last purchase was not necessary. I quilted my first large project before I had an extension attached. I set up our standard card table on the left side. It was the same height as the HQ table and worked great! DH has since added the hardware so I have an extension added to the right side of the table. It can be extended to support the quilt, or it can hang down, out of the way.

[UPDATE: My extra, unused extension has since been sold to a lady in MN to use with her HQ Sweet 16.]

My impressions after using the Sweet 16 to machine quilt–

The visibility is wonderful! When quilting with my Brother 1500, an extended arm machine, I’m always dipping my head, craning my neck, peeking around the machine, looking to see what I’ve done, where I’ve been, where I’m going. With the Sweet 16, I just shift my eyes and I can immediately see my progress. A light ring with 28 LEDs aids visibility while stitching.

The bobbins hold a lot of thread, more than the standard bobbins I’m used to. On my first large quilt, I barely started a third bobbin. (I usually don’t add a lot of tight quilting, so that statement is relative.) Regardless of how densely anybody quilts, large bobbins save time.

The biggest difference, which I’m not used to — there is NO presser foot. I still reach around behind the needle now and then to raise the presser foot lever, and there is none. Oops!

Love the color touch screen. It’s a multi-purpose tool. I can change my speed easily, save 3 favorite speeds, needle up or down, change light brightness or volume of the beeps, troubleshoot with diagnostics that check quality of performance, and my personal favorite — keeping track of # of stitches. It’s like the odometer on a car. I reset the stitches each time I start a project, but the total stitches in the lifetime of the machine continue to add up. In a couple weeks, my total is over 300,000 stitches.

Maintenance is basic. One drop of oil in the bobbin case area after 2 bobbins’ worth of sewing. Gently brush lint away. Replace needles regularly. If there are problems, the diagnostics on the touch screen can help. The HQ rep is available to give advice, and there’s tech support available online or by phone.

Easy set up and take down. If I wanted to move it, I could do it myself, or DH would help. (So far, it hasn’t moved since being set up.) Machine is 53 pounds, and the table may be a similar weight. It’s a strong, solid table and does not shudder and shake when I’m quilting at a high speed.

This machine is not a magic tool for perfect quilting. I have to move the quilt under the needle– just as I did with my domestic machine. The Sweet 16 does not move above the quilt, as with a longarm.
I did not purchase a stitch regulator (though that can be added for an additional price). There are no plug-in pantographs. I’m responsible for the quality of my stitches. I’m responsible for the length and evenness and direction of the stitches. While quilting in the middle of a large quilt, I still have a lot of quilt to settle on my shoulder and/or chest and/or legs until I’ve quilted away from the middle. I’m in charge of manipulating the quilt, balancing its weight, and controlling those stitches. HOWEVER — that 16″ space and the flat surface make it so much easier than quilting with my domestic machine, as I previously did on our dining room table.

If interested, you can read more about the HQ Sweet Sixteen machine on the HandiQuilter website here. There are a couple introductory videos, Getting Started #1 and Getting Started #2. You can find the location of dealers (including Australia) and there’s a map of where machines have been shipped. (updated periodically) Plus quilters who have bought Handi Quilter products have sent their stories to the website.

BTW–I’m just sharing my comments and observations here. I have no connection with the HandiQuilter company, other than I bought one of their machines, and I’m very glad I did.

UPDATE: December 2013. Since this post was published 2 years ago, I’ve received many e-mails from interested ladies who had questions. I reply to comments, if your comment is connected to an e-mail.
If you’re a “no reply blogger,” then I have no way to answer your question(s). If you received no reply from me, it’s because I didn’t know how to contact you. Sorry. If you had included your e-mail address with the question, I could have answered.
Latest no-reply blogger: LHump

UPDATE: October 2014 — If you’re curious how much I use my HQ Sweet Sixteen, quilt #87 was finished last week. A few of those were crib-sized, many were lap size, and the rest were twin size, full size, and queen size. The lifetime stitch count on my “Nellie” is currently 4,857,371. (yes–it’s approaching 5 million)

Quilts and a Mug: Another guy who quilts
Thursday night the guest speaker at our guild meeting was Aaron, the son of guild member Chris. He’s a science teacher, husband, father, and has been quilting for just over two years. He presented a trunk show, along with his perspective on how he’s grown as a quilter.

Aaron had always admired quilts and had a general idea of what was involved, and thanks to his mother, he started with a borrowed sewing machine, basic tools, and access to her stash. Chris taught him the basics, and away he went.

This “Exploding Star” was one of his early quilts, made entirely from HST, approximately 780 by my count. The finished HST size was 1-1/2 or 1-3/4″, I believe.
UPDATE: In response to several questions, the pattern for this star quilt is in The Best of Scrap Quilting Made Easy, an older book by House of White Birches. I bought a copy via Amazon or E-bay. A close-up of the Exploding Star is on the cover.

Log cabin blocks are some of his favorites, not so much the making of the block but the variety of ways they can be used.
If you enlarge the Christmas tree photo, you’ll see that the entire quilt is made from log cabin blocks. I believe those were 1/2″ finished width strips.

The spinning log cabin blocks with turquoise border below was an early paper piecing project, and it was also an early project that he machine quilted.

The wallhanging with the wonky little houses and trees was a crowd favorite. The finished project is no more than 18-20″ square, if I remember correctly. Click on the photo to enlarge it to enjoy the fabric details he included.

This bold quilt (left) was his venture into foundation piecing, with the strips sewn onto muslin. He enjoyed the fact that the lines didn’t have to match exactly when he sewed these blocks together.

His machine quilting is impressive on the large bright quilt with black background and candy-striped border. (right)

(left) He found he did NOT enjoy making this bargello quilt. It may be his last.

On the right, one more log cabin quilt, held by Aaron and his mom.

This was an unbelievably impressive quilt, made totally from 1″ squares. He named it “Around the World in 5293 Squares.” This quilt was NOT made block by block. It was not made with strip sets. It was made row by row, sewing one square to the next square.

He planned out the entire quilt on an Excel spreadsheet and organized the pieces on paper plates (a trick from his mother, and one I use a lot too). It’s a gorgeous quilt!
By the time he made this one, he was comfortable with his machine quilting, but this is quilted with straight stitching or cross hatching through the rows . The quilting is perfect for this quilt.

His new challenge with this quilt — Y-seams. It’s made from Civil War repro fabrics, and note all the little log cabins around the 8-pointed stars. The quilting is outstanding. He loves quilting feathers. He quilts on his sewing machine, not a long arm or a mid arm. He uses his Janome. This is his masterpiece, so far. We know he’ll keep making outstanding quilts as he hones all his quilting skills.
Great trunk show. Great program.


I had my very first Singer for 10 years – bought it myself when I was still in High School. That’s when I started sewing “for real”. What I mean by that is – that’s when I started making ALL my own garments and doing all of Mom’s mending. Back then, it was mandatory to take Home Ec in school. I had already been sewing “a little” from what Grandmother taught me but my love of sewing blossomed after taking Sewing in Home Ec.

After my Singer, I bought my first true love that was my main machine for 25+ years – a Pfaff 1371. (and a used Pfaff 1471 came along later). I made all our girls clothes on that 1371 – EVERYTHING. It still runs like a gem and sits in my sewing room. It was “stationed” at my daughter’s home but she just brought it back here since we live so close. She says she’d rather sew here when “the urge” hits her since she can leave everything set out here in my sewing room. She doesn’t have that kind of space available in her house with the grandkids.

After sewing our grandson’s baby ensemble when our daughter was pregnant – everything from crib sheets to crib skirt to bumper pads to quilted wallhanging to door knob hangers to window treatments , I told hubby that I was “SEW” ready to look at other machines to take my sewing to the “next” level.

Want to know something? He never even blinked. All he did was to tell me to start researching on the computer. Oh my word, that’s when I discovered the “rest” of the sewing world. Honestly – I had NEVER done any research on sewing machines before because I was so happy with the wonderful machine I had.

That was in 2002. In March of 2003, I bought my Bernina 200 (which is now upgraded to a full 730). Believe it or not, I had intended to buy another Pfaff – why not – mine had NEVER given me one lick of trouble. But I found, at that time, Bernina had the better website. After googling Bernina, Scott went with me and we went to different Bernina shops. Had never even been to a sewing machine shop since that Pfaff 1371 so many years prior.

We walked into the first Bernina shop, which happened to be a bit farther away – and NOT ONE PERSON waited on us. And, here we were ready to buy a machine. NO kidding, not one single solitary person approached us. So while we were there, we looked around, looked at price tags, looked at how the employees were talking to other employees……we walked out. And, I thought to myself – okay – this is another reason why I want a Pfaff. BUT – hubby convinced me to go to that other Bernina shop that I had googled. Well, it’s history from that point on……………..

I immediately sat down at a “sewing only” machine, NEVER dreaming that I’d like embroidery. Heck, I didn’t even know embroidery was possible for the little seamstresses of the world like myself. Sheesh – another world opened to me. Never realised how many fancy stitches you could have built in ONE machine. Oh yeah, I did research – but seeing these machines in person – WOW! Well, then, hubby asked the saleswoman and salesman (the couple who owned the shop happened to be both there) what else they had in machines. YIKES – wrong question Scott…LOL They lead us over to their newest TOL machine at the time – the 200. I immediately said there was no way I could learn a machine like that. It was actually Scott that said I could. Everyone who knew me knew I was a seamstress-holic. I sewed EVERYTHING, yes, I mean EVERYTHING.

Scott said it was high time I got the machine of a lifetime. He was, and is, truly my top advocate. I walked out with the TOL 200, the luggage set, embroidery moldule, threads, software, a couple extra feet and the biggest smile that you ever saw in your life – AND – the biggest fear that maybe I just bought something that I’d never use – the embroidery.

Nope, I use that embroidery – and now I have TWO embroidery modules that run side by side at many times. Besides my 200/730 I have the 630E and the 430 and the Bernina serger 1300. AND – a sewing room that I had never had before in my life. I always found a “corner” to sew or on the kitchen table and never complained. As long as I was sewing, I was happy – and the kids always had new outfits to wear – no, they weren’t store bought – but they were probably better than store bought. I knew they lasted longer…LOL

UPDATE per Yvette: I also have the HQ16.
I dragged on …so sorry.

But, that’s my sewing machine story and I’m sticking to it.
“Quick” Curve Ruler — Product Review

I do love curves and I’m not a novice at doing them even if I don’t do them often. The first actual quilt I ever made was a Grandmother’s Fan. The most ambitious quilt I ever made was a paper pieced NY Beauty — 120 blocks of curved piecing. And I have taken a Double Wedding Ring class and made a small wall hanging.

It’s rare I buy a pattern or a tool. However, I’ve been loving these Metro Rings. Because Connecting Threads was having a 40% off tool sale I caved and bought the Quick Curve Ruler Ruler and the pattern. The pattern calls for strip sets so I decided to use coordinating dots, of course. I write on patterns and make notes to myself. The pattern calls for 2 1/2″ strips x width of fabric or a jelly roll. Then you cut the strips into 20″ – 22″ pieces. My strips were no less than 20 1/2″. Width of useable fabric depends on the size of selvedge as well as the manufacturer and if you pre-wash and allow for shrinkage. When I write patterns I allow for 40″ of useable fabric as it’s rare there is more than that. This pattern states the yardage is based on 44/45″ fabric.

You are to get 7 curve pieces from the strip set. I got 6. That means perhaps the yardage requirements might be off. I haven’t made an entire quilt using the pattern yardage so I don’t know this for sure.

The strip sets sewn together measure 10 1/2″ wide. However, before cutting the curves with the ruler you are to trim the strip sets to 10″ wide, so that’s 1/4″ off of each long side. I found out this has to do with the placement of the ruler on the strip set before cutting the curves. I found it a wee bit of an annoying step. This also means each outer strip is narrower than the rest of the pieces in the strip set.

The cutting directions for the pieces all make sense. That went pretty smoothly. Curves = bias. The pattern specifically says “you do not need to pin.” Well I found at least an initial pin very necessary to keep the two pieces from shifting before I got it to the sewing machine. Does this look like these two pieces will sew easily together?

Well you have to sew slow, needle down, and this ruffling does happen as you try not to sew accidental pleats. It actually did sew together fairly well.

This is the back before pressing. The pressing directions are good.

I did not end up with perfect curves but acceptable for a first block. I’m happy I used a darker, patterned background as imperfections would be glaringly obvious if I used a white or light solid.

This is the most confusing part of the pattern — there are diagrams but they sure didn’t make sense for this part. You are to square the blocks to 9 1/2″. Now a square is 4 equal sides. The width of the block measures about 10″. No worries as you’ll be trimming.

The height of the block is 8 1/2″. How do you “square” it?

Just to show you the ruler edge and the fabric to be trimmed. The notebook paper is so the fabric didn’t blend into my cutting mat.

You are supposed to trim 1/8″ above the curve but when you lay the ruler on the block there is a reference mark going the correct direction on one end of the ruler but no 1/8″ reference mark on the other end. It could be my fault but I’m following the diagram here! There is fudging, eyeballing, or use of another ruler. With this entire step of the process I crossed my fingers, grabbed the rotary cutter and hoped for the best.

By now Abby is covering her ears. Now that you have two of these sections you sew them together. As you can see the edges don’t match evenly. You don’t know this until later but it’s ok. There is more squaring up later. The pattern just tells you to pair them up and sew right sides together with a 1/4″ seam. It needs to tell you to match at the seams, pin, then sew

or this can happen. Oh and even if you pin like I did, this can still happen. I think it all goes back to that weird 1/8″ thingy. There are a few more confusing parts to the pattern and things I could figure on my own — like you should at least pinch pleat the corner triangle to center properly before sewing. I think the pattern was written with the “assumptions” that people know these things.

And this is one section of the Metro Rings. I made a football. I considered adding laces and stopping at just one but now I’ve made two. Two more to go to get a complete “ring” section. I do love the look. I’m in awe of those who have the math minds to figure these things out.

There is waste but perhaps no more than other rulers or templates or even in applique. So the waste isn’t an issue for me.

Final thoughts: This ruler is not for the faint of heart nor is it for the beginner. A class with a knowledgeable instructor would be very helpful. It’s probably also helpful if you’ve done curves before. Online tutorials are provided which I did not watch, yet. If I buy a pattern and ruler it should be fairly easy to follow with diagrams and written instructions. Now I will watch the tutorials to see if there is more I should know. I would love to make the entire quilt but I’m still sitting the fence…There are lots of possibilities with this ruler and there are many patterns available for it’s use. So it’s a multidimensional ruler and I feel it’s worth the full price, but best at 40% off price.

As with any product I choose to review, I do it of my own free will. I was not asked to do this review. I did read a review prior to starting this project and it seems I’m not the only person who has had some issues. I think honest reviews are beneficial and not those with sugar coating. I’d love to know if you’ve given the “Quick” Curve Ruler a try.

~Piecefully, Stephanie
packing sewing machines








































If you have nay question please call or email me!


Secrets Of Sewing Machine Repair
Discover the secrets of sewing machine repair as a hobby or as a business.

Complete repair course plus loads of support materials to

build a profitable business or enjoy a super hobby.

How To Quilt.
Learn How To Make A Beautiful Family Heirloom In 9 Easy Steps.

How to Start Your Own Machine Quilting Business
Helpful Guide Shows You How To Start A Machine Quilting Business From Start-up To Running And Marketing Your New Business.

Blackwork for Beginners
Learn the techniques of blackwork embroidery and stitch the eight exclusive projects as you learn step by step.

Quilting For Cash
Comprehensive, easy-to-follow guide shows you how to make money with your quilting.

Quilter Behind The Barn Door: The Ultimate Scrap Quilt
I got Rosie’s Scraps basted today. She is destined for the bed in the motorhome. I first saw this design when I visited
Rosie’s Calico Cupboardin Southern California.
Libbytook me there when we got together awhile back. It’s a fabulous store with all sorts of fabrics at great prices. They have notions and books and patterns and… and…well it’s a really super store. Anywho…this quilt was a class sample and since I was visiting from several hundred miles away and couldn’t take the class, they graciously let me take a photo so I could make one when I got home.

I started cutting scraps back in January and got quite a few blocks made before the weather got so bad we high tailed it out of here. I hauled the top out last week to see how much more was needed to make it fit the motorhome bed. It needed quite a lot as it turned out. But today I sewed the last row on, got a back pieced and got it basted. I’ll be machine quilting all day tomorrow using Wanda’s Loop De Loop to get it done pronto. We are leaving next weekend for The Big Trip and I need that baby done so we can ditch the ugly bedspread that came with the motorhome.

This block is a scrap gobbler. I originally intended to make a few blocks at a time, using up scraps from other projects. But the blocks are addictive and I already had a gazzillion little triangles in a plastic lettuce container and a bunch of 2.5″ bonus HST left from making a snowball Christmas Quilt. If you would like to use your scraps to make a quilt like this one here’s what you need:

First, you need several thousand 2.5″ HST like these. Well, maybe not several thousand but a lot.

Then you need a billion little 2.5″ right triangles like these.

It may not actually be a billion but it sure seems like it. You need 2 of those to add to the HST like this.

I chain stitch a whole bunch of these little guys so I get them all going the correct way. First I do one side like this

and then I press them all. Then I line up the other side and chain stitch a whole bucket load like this.

Press those so you have a nice triangle that measures 4.5″ on the two straight edges. Now cut several thousand 4.5″ right triangles like these.

You will sew these onto the triangle thing you just completed.
Be careful…you will be sewing biased edges. Don’t let them stretch. I use my walking foot.

Whaa laa. The completed block is 4.5″ unfinished. Alas, you are only 1/4 of the way done. You need 4 of these to make an actual block. I made about a hundred and then sewed them into pairs like this.

Then sew two pairs together so that the big triangle makes a pinwheel. Now you have a 8.5″ unfinished block. My top is 10 of those blocks across and 10 down finishing at 80″x80”.
Can you see the actual pinwheel block? Each one takes…let’s see…3 times 4…carry the 2…….multiply by 100……
For a quilt that measures 80×80 (100 blocks) you will need:
400 Medium to Dark 2.5″ triangle-
400 Medium to Dark 4.5″ triangles
1200 Light 2.5″ triangles

See why I say it is the ultimate scrap quilt? And for pete’s sake. If you are one of those people who try to keep the same fabric from touching when you make scrap quilts, don’t attempt this one. You will go berserk. Just slap those squares together any old way. And don’t worry about an occasional point getting cut off in the seams. Believe me when I say No one will ever notice.

I loved all the responses to my query about batting. Thanks so much for the input. I’m going to try my old favorite Quilt Light on my next hand quilting project. I haven’t replied to some commenters because they are “no-reply.” That means I can’t send you an e-mail because you don’t allow anyone to see your e-mail address. Mary (Just Ducky) and Kelly, thanks for stopping by and commenting. You should check your settings on blogger so people can reply when you comment.

I also want to give credit for the design of Garbage Can II ( yes, Annie. I need to find a nicer name. How about La Poubelle Deux?) I first saw the Churn Dash with a 9 patch center here. I made a note in my idea folder since I was accumulating lots of little random colored 9 patches. I’m constantly collecting ideas for scrappy quilts. I will have to live until 136 at least to make all the quilts I have in my idea folder. I have managed to combine 2 ideas in this one top by using all those 1.5″ 4 patches as sashing instead of the postage stamp quilt I’ve been stockpiling them to make. Postage Stamp is no longer on my bucket list.

If you don’t hear from me for awhile, look for the motorhome with Julie the Quilter in the Barn in 3 foot letters on the side. I plan to release my movie soon. Or maybe I’ll run for president. Or maybe not. I think maybe that fire in my belly was just indigestion from that mooseburger I ate yesterday.
Quilter Behind The Barn Door: Checking The List
Goals are good. We all need goals. The start of a new year is as good a time as any to set goals. It’s a good idea to check the list from last year to see if we deserve a pat on the back. I didn’t do too badly. I see that of the 10 UFOs I finished 8. Only 2 remain untouched. Of course those 2 are the biggest and hardest to do. That is why they remain undone.

I did make 2 quilts from my bucket list. I can’t remember which two and I have no idea if I actually finished them or just added them to my pile of UFOs. I think I need to reassess my Bucket List as well. Some of these just aren’t going to ever get to the top of my priority list.

#3 on my list was actually very easy. Ms. Quittypants was usurped in the media by the self proclaimed voice of God Ms. Bachmann and the other members of the SuperPac funded book selling tour masquerading as the Republican primary.

Knitting 2 pairs of socks was a lesson learned. I am not that crazy about homemade socks. And they cost too much.

I really could cross off the rag rug as done except I keep thinking I want to make it a little bigger. So it sits in a heap by the couch where every now & then I add a few more rows. It is by far the best way I have found to use up massive amounts of unloved fabric.

Keeping the strings & crumbs under control is an act of futility. I traded one problem for another. My solution was to stop saving the tiny bits (just toss them) and sew all the larger crumbs together right away instead of letting them accumulate. Now, instead of a basket full of crumbs, I have a stack of unused “made” fabric. The strings are a whole ‘nother story called The Spiderweb Quilt From Hell.

It deserves a blog of it’s own.

The orphan block goal has been my biggest success. All orphans now become hot pads, pot holders, fodder for crumb fabric, or parts of quilt backs. Problem solved.

So now it’s time to set new goals. Or maybe not. I’ve been wondering if a list is all that helpful. During the last year, whenever I started a new project that darn list sat there staring me in the face making me feel guilty. Sure, it’s a nice feeling to cross something off the list but that feeling only lasts for a minute or two. I don’t need a list to remind me of all the UFOs that I should be finishing. But I need to be in the right mood, you know what I mean? Right now I’m in the mood to start several new quilt projects.

May the New Year bring all my blog friends health, happiness, and may all your goals be met.