Wednesday, December 5, 2012

HMQS Federal Feathers Pattern

Federal Feathers finally came to the top of my priority list since we showed and discussed it on QNNTV. I started this quilt months ago and made it for HMQS to display in the teacher section (see previous blogs). The pattern is designed with large areas for feather motifs or other quilting designs.  Easy and fast piecing leaving lots of time for free motion quilting!  Federal Feathers makes a great gift, table cloth, or center medallion for a larger quilt. It is now available on our website as a download pattern, paper pattern, or packaged with my QCI stencils. The border design is not a stencil but will be downloadable on the website.
Federal Feathers Pattern
Federal Feathers Package
With stencils, feather designs can be easily transferred onto the quilt. I used the blue marker on the cream and white chalk or Stabilo pencil on the black and red. 

QNNTV and One Yard Tall Tote

Quilt It! The Longarm Quilting ShowLast summer Jodie Davis, QNNTV Quilt It! The Longarm Quilting Show host, invited me to be one of the guests for the new series.  We taped the show in September and my three segments will be shown in December. The taping was completed in two days at Handi Quilter headquarters in North Salt Lake, just 50 miles
south of where I live.  It was a little intimidating because the show was not scripted but Jodie is
 a wonderful host and made conversation easy. It was fun to meet some of the other guests
and visit with Vickie Hoth and the Handi Quilter educators. I'm not sure exactly what will be on
 my segments because we taped much longer than the time segment. The recording was
handed off to the editors but Jodie assured me that the editors are good to us, which was
One advantage of QNNTV is that all the shows, past and present, are available for members 
to be viewed at any time day or night. The shows cover a wide variety of topics so there is 
something for everyone. Becoming a member is easy just by going to and signing up. Quilt It! is just on of the shows on QNNTV but it has great information for both long arm and domestic machine quilters.

People ask what you can do with a quilted Skillbuilder panel. On Quilt It! we showed the
One Yard Tall Tote for a Skillbuilder project. Choose a busy back for Skillbuilder and thread
to match, quilt the lines on Skillbuilders 1 or 2 and make it into a tote. This is a perfect tote
for the 24" ruler that falls out of every other bag and chips the corner when it hits the concrete
(voice of experience). It is also great for carrying around bolts of fabric, although I might be
the only person who does that.

Skillbuilder 2 is on the "back" on the inside
The top of the bag can be folded down in and the horizontal webbing is the handle for a 
smaller bag.

This is a great travel or shopping bag because it grows or shrinks. A bonus is that 
the horizontal webbing fits over a suitcase handle.
Skillbuilder 1 is the "back" on the inside
I found the nylon webbing at our local Smith and Edwards hardware in the "rope room". 
Their motto is "We have everything if we can find it." The written pattern is in my blog 
Free Patterns and Projects tab and is also available on our website.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Patriot Dream for Josh and Quilts of Valor

Here is Josh with his new Patriot Dream throw. His deployment to Iraq was tough but the future is bright for his family. He and his wife, Kristy (my niece), are anxiously waiting the arrival of their baby boy in the next few weeks! It was fun for me to give Josh one of the quilts made from the fabric I designed with Quilts of Valor in mind.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Strips for Stripes Bag

I designed this Strips for Stripes bag as an exclusive for Bernina.  It is made with the quick "quilt as you go" or "stitch and flip" technique.  You can sew it scrappy with all different prints from your stash, coordinate and repeat fabrics, or use jelly roll strips. The handles on both bags are purchased but they could easily be stitched out of fabric.  The instructions are free and posted on the We All Sew blog.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Marilyn from UK asks: I have just found you on Internet and wow I'm so happy. You can't believe how I have been looking for someone who does DVDs on machine quilting. I live in UK, have just started quilting and am self taught. Could you please tell me which product you would recommend for a beginner in top quilting? I am so excited about what I have read and seen.

Good question Marilyn! My recommendation is Skillbuilder 1 fabric practice panel and Skillbuilder Companion book to start. Skillbuilder Studio Volume 1 - Introduction to Machine Quilting DVD are very helpful for visual learning. Skillbuilder 2 panel and Feather Fundamentals DVD are a good next step if you want to learn to quilt feathers.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Kathy from Wisconsin asked:  "Do you have a pattern for the pretty creche wall hanging in the background of your You Tube 10 Minute Table Runner tutorial?  The nativity is a pattern my sister, Janet Selck, designed.  It was originally in her book Pot of Stew but that is out of print so it is available on her website as a pattern.  Go to and you will find it in the pattern section. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Selecting Fabrics Part 2

This second group of fabrics met my "elegant" expectation but presented some problems. I could not transfer the quilting design onto the black or red fabrics with a light table like the blue quilt. I solved the problem by having Quilting Creations International make me custom stencils for the blocks. These designs will be added to the QCI line this spring and we will have them on our website as soon as they are available.

The next problem was thread. I originally planned to use a taupe for all the colors. Bad choice. It was too obvious on the cream and did nothing for the red or black. Cream on cream was nice but what about the red and the black? I made some samples and determined red on black and red on red was the best. I then tried several red threads. My husband, Andy, voted for metallic and I agreed. Problem solved.

Red metallic thread for the black and red, cream on cream.
Final problem - What to quilt in the outside border? I eventually quilted 1/2" parallel lines. Stitching the close lines with the walking foot slightly stretched and distorted the border. Luckily, the wool batting blocked nicely so the borders lie flat.

Triangle parallel lines repeat in the border.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Selecting Fabric Part I

This fabric is traditional and in my comfort zone. I love blue! However, when I got the fabric home and laid it out, I wasn't sure it was the look I wanted. How often does that happen? I went ahead and made the quilt testing my pattern and quilting design because I like the fabric so much. Here it is before the final blocking.
 I was able to transfer the printed design to the cream and tan fabrics using a light table.
Chalk and Stabilo pencil worked great for the blue triangles and border.
I quilted with thread that blended but still showed the quilting design.  
 Navy thread, busy print, and dark value makes the design hard to see in the outside border.
Although I am pleased with my quilt and will use it on my table,
I still want a more elegant look for HMQS. . . . next blog.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Quilting Design for HMQS Display

I designed three different feather blocks and a feather border. The white block feather is also in the center square. The little black square motif is in the border corners and is also repeated in the four corners of the center square. These are formal feathers so I have to backtrack. The extra work is worth it because they are such pretty feathers. For the triangles I will do parallel lines and maybe in the outside border as well.

Fabric comes next. Like I said earlier, I'm doing this project backwards.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Designing a Quilt for HMQS

I have been working on a new quilt for the teacher display at HMQS in May. Usually quilters select the pattern and fabric, piece the quilt, and then figure out the quilting design. Since my focus is on machine quilting I'm doing it backwards. I want feathers and lots of them so I need the piecing to be simple with large open areas.

Although I like these blocks and they look great with borders, the feather designs I have in mind are not triangles and the pieces are still relatively small.

The block on the left is a little too plain but the Federal Square block on the right works. One decision made - check back to see the feather quilting design!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Introduction to Machine Quilting Class

Village Dry Goods and I teamed to do a local workshop prior to HMQS.  Our Introduction to Machine Quilting class was too big for the shop so we met in the fire station kitchen (the large meeting room was scheduled with important political meetings.)

It was a little crazy with 15 quilters learning the basics but I love to see the excitement as students figure out that they can free motion quilt.

When quilters get together we make connections.  During introductions I discovered the mother of my son-in-law's business partner was in the class!

We often have a machine or two which do not want to cooperate but we can usually coax them into working with a few adjustments. In this class we had Singer, Bernina, Phaff, Viking, Brother, and Janome machines. One students decided it was time to replace an ancient Singer and another said the $100 box store machine had to go. Did you notice the wood extension table a nice husband made?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

HMQS 2012

HMQS (Home Machine Quilting Show) always offers a wide variety of classes with outstanding instructors. I'm excited to be teaching two machine quilting classes on the domestic machine this year. Both classes are hands on and built around a fun and useful project. The Patriot Dream Tote is particularly appropriate for the  Star Spangled Quilting Event theme!
Feather FUNdamentals Table Runner Traditional, Formal, and Freeform Feathers
Patriot Dream ToteA Variety of Blocks and Designs on a Printed Panel

Class registration on line at and easy to do. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Give-a-way Winner

After a trip to Indiana to see my new grand daughter, Joy . . .

. . . . it is time to draw for the winner of the prize. Thanks to all who visited and posted a comment. The comments were informative and fun, although not quite as funny as the puns on Applique Addict. Check back because I plan to blog about fixes and help for some of the challenges posted.

The winner is . . . . (drum roll) . . . . Nancy Sue. Congratulations! She will be receiving both Skillbuilder Studio videos.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Quilt for a Friend

Jamie is 33 years old and undergoing breast cancer treatment. My friend, Ann (Victoria Rose Quilts) and I were talking and she said she would like to make a quilt for Jamie. I told Ann that if she pieced it, I would quilt it and then it could be from both of us. She pieced it and gave it to me. I looked at the quilt for a few days and then jumped in, still uncertain how I would quilt all the elements. I knew that an edge to edge design would not do it justice, especially with the needle turned applique center. I quilted it on the long arm since my sewing machine was in for service.

I began by stitching in the ditch and then I quilted the parallel lines in the large triangles in the broken pinwheel blocks. Next I decided to freehand leaves and flowers in the flower print triangles and squares. I wanted something different in the adjoining triangles so I free handed a leafy feather.
I stitched a meandering leaf fill in the large corner triangle realizing that it wouldn't show with the busy print.  However, it does show on the plainer back.
That left me with the white small triangles and the applique middle square. Generally we try to quilt the same density on the whole quilt but I decided to do a smaller fill pattern and I like how it looks, especially how it pops the applique.

Finally, I quilted an alternating leaf around the border. Quilting really does make the quilt! I will now return the quilt to Ann for binding and then we will deliver it to Jamie to show our love and support.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Giveaway with Applique Addict

January is a great time for a give-a-way contest! I am teaming with my friend, Margie "Applique Addict", who is having a terrible pun contest on her blog. If you post a pun on you are eligible for a prize and if you answer the question on my blog, you are eligible for an additional prize. The prize from my blog is Skillbuilder Studio Vol. I Introduction to Machine Quilting and Skillbuilder Studio Vol. II Feather FUNdamentals, a $38.00 value!

All you have to do to enter is post your answer to one of the following questions: What is your worst free motion quilting (FMQ) disaster? . . .  or . . . . What is your greatest FMQ challenge?

BONUS-If you sign up as a follower you get two chances to win! We will announce the winners on January 25th.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Instant Light Table

Today when I was trying to transfer a design to a quilt top I came up with a new way to use what I already own.  I tipped four bread pans upside down, placed a large piece of glass on top and then slid two "under the cabinet" lights between the glass and the counter. I instantly had a nice, large light table!

Several years ago I purchased the glass to use as a light table by removing the leaf from a table and putting a lamp underneath. My local glass guy cut a thick, used piece of glass the size I needed and beveled the edges so they were not sharp. It was only $15.00. I was excited until I discovered the lamp underneath concentrated light in only one area and the table extenders blocked the light. I rarely used it but I'm glad I safely stored it underneath the sofa.

I taped the pattern to the glass.
The lights are 18" flourescent "Lights of America" brand
and are available at Walmart for about $7.00. 
The design is clearly visible!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Quilting in my "Workshop" with Helpers

Another holiday activity was in my "workshop" making Jared's quilt. He decided he wanted an Angry Bird quilt so I took him to the quilt store to show him there isn't Angry Bird fabric. I thought we were safe but then he saw some candy cane fabric and wanted a quilt made out of that. We suggested a pillow case or a project apron but he wanted a candy cane quilt and said "nothing will change my mind." We walked over to the boy fabric and when he saw trains he said, "Okay, trains will change my mind."  I let Jared and Nicole "help" quilt when I was almost finished with the border.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Taking Apart the Computer

When we get together it is always a challenge to find something interesting and fun for our grandsons to do. I knew the perfect activity when I replaced our dying computer a few weeks ago. The boys started taking it apart and then their dads (my sons) joined in and explained what everything is, what it does, and how it works. Dan is a physicist and Russell works for Intel where the CPU is made so they actually know what they are talking about. My daughter and another grandson took apart the monitor and Dan explained how it worked as well. The boys, girls, and their grandma were fascinated. When the four year old suggested that we take apart my new computer we moved on to another activity!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Matching Aprons

This picture is my grand daughter, Natalie, her doll, and her mother, Andrea, wearing the aprons I made them for Christmas. My friend, Shar Bruns, from Kwik Sew gave me this darling pattern last summer at Bernina University. Natalie received her look alike doll for her birthday in September so I couldn't resist sewing the aprons for Christmas.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Peggie from Pennsylvania asked: What size do you cut for the table runner?  

Go to the Free Patterns and click on the caption under the table runner picture.  The pattern and directions will pop up in a printable PDF format.  The following yardage is listed on the pattern:

10 - 12 inches of  theme print, width of fabric
18 inches of a coordinating print, width of fabric
12 inches theme print, width of fabric
24 inches coordinating print, width of fabric
12 inches theme print 57 inches wide
24 inches coordinating print 57 inches wide