Category Archives: Tools

The Free-Motion Quilting Idea Book Blog Tour

I’m so excited to tell you about a fabulous book, The Free-Motion Quilting Idea Book, written by my friend Amanda, an accomplished quilter and spokesperson for the Bernina longarm.

If you’ve ever finished a quilt top and wondered how to quilt it, this book gives you 155 Mix & Match Designs, broken down by allover designs, blocks, sashing, borders, and individual motifs, beautifully illustrated with step by step samples of how to quilt 30 traditional blocks.

The book is filled with quilting tips

plus a fun table runner with several quilting versions to get you started.FMQIdeaBook_08_compact

And to top it off, there’s an index of designs by block

and by design family, making it super easy to mix and match designs.FMQIdeaBook_07b_compactLove, love the spiral binding!

The free-motion ideas can be easily quilted on both a domestic machine or a longarm, and for great practice and inspiration, you can download the companion Free-Motion Quilting Idea Sampler epattern made with the blocks in the book.

I joined the The Free-Motion Quilting Idea Book, Sampler, and App Facebook group and have started making the sampler using my Soul Blossoms fabric.FMQ Cherry-Soul Blossoms

I am a bit behind, but have cut everything and sewn my first row blocks……so, so easy to make!

 And guess what, you can win a copy of Amanda’s great book! Leave a comment and tell me what inspires you to quilt. I’ll chose a winner at midnight this Monday, 11/16

For more inspiration, visit the other blogs in the tour…

a third hand…

I’m so glad I brought The Cutting Gizmo home with me!
It’s the perfect tool to separate chains…
…like having a third hand!
It has a nice weight
and a rubber bottom that keeps it in place
so it doesn’t fall over as you work.
This is definitely a “tool” and wish I’d given it a try sooner!
Now it sits next to my sewing machine
and makes my chain separating go soooo fast.
I love it!
Have you tried any new gadgets lately?

Me, me, me…

Today is all about Me
and these talented ladies…
for this fun, fun blog hop!
I’ve had such a great time everyday seeing all
of the humorous and very creative ladies!
A great big thanks to Amy Bradley for providing
the fantastic appliqué pattern for this hop…
Well, appliqué is my favorite technique,
but I do love my little markers and stamps,
and just had to pull out a few of these little tools
for my girl..
I drew the design! yeah, no appliqué, can you believe it?
as I was saying, I drew with pencil and added a little stamping 
with a gray ink,
then outlined everything with a Uni-Pen…
Next, I added color with my Fabrico Pens….
I just love these pens Ü
(… need a few more!)
 and quilting….
then embellished my crown with a few Swarovski Crystals,
added Magic Transparent Perfect Pearl Pen to the lips,
glasses, cupcake stand, and cherries… needed a little sparkle!
 and Maggie’s eye got a little shine too…
here she is as sweet as ever Ü
I had so much fun working on this little project;
the little quilt looked so bland when I first drew it…
hubby just looked at it… and wondered… he he! he loves it!
I have to confess, I had no idea how it would turn out
…it was the last thing I colored in!
all those little squares, so I had to cheat a little
with all the little dots and squares…
I really like how it looks Ü 
This is the back of…
yeah, I forgot to tell you…
it’s a composition book cover,
and “It’s all about “ME” …
…and some of my favorite things!
Oh my word, I had such an awesome time
working on it, I just had to make myself
stop! or it would have been a quilt… ha ha!
I’m so happy to have you over today
and hope I’ve inspired you to try something new!

Machine Binding Tutorial

I LOVE just about every aspect of quilting,
but binding…
well, I have other things I enjoy more,
so over time, I had to figure out a way
to make it quick and less painful, lol!
So this is what I’ve been doing for last few years…
And to do this, I use Roxanne’s Glue Baste-It
…my favorite water based glue
and ideal for this process!
I also like this little measuring guide.
To get started, measure all four sides of your quilt and add 24″
For straight binding, divide that number by the width of your fabric
and you’ll have the number of strips you’ll need to cut.
I like the finished width of my binding to be around 1/4″
so I cut my strips 2 1/4″ by WOF
Next, lay your strips right sides together,
draw a diagonal line from corner to corner
 pin and sew on that line;
trim excess leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance
and press open
Now fold the wrong sides together and press
Lay the binding on the quilt’s edge, aligning the raw edges.
Leave a tail about 7″ long and sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance
a distance of about 2″
Remove from the machine,
fold the binding to the back of the quilt
and check to see how far it overlaps the seam you just stitched.
You want this to be no more than 1/8″ which
in this case it’s larger, so…
 I will move my needle position over to the left
giving me a slightly larger seam allowance,
but not quite 3/8″
Now it’s time to test again,
and now it looks just right.
Continue sewing until you are about 3″ from a corner
 Using the Measuring Guide or a ruler,
find the 1/4″ from the end of the corner,
lay the binding over it,
pin at the 1/4″ mark,
continue sewing and stop at that point,
and back-stitch to secure your stitching.
Remove the quilt from the machine,
fold the binding back forming a 45°
and align the cut edge of the binding with
the cut edge of the quilt.
Now, fold the binding back down and
match the top fold to the top edge of the quilt
and the raw edges to the side of the quilt.
Continue sewing and repeat this at every corner…
 Stop sewing about 10″ from the starting point
and mark the center between the tails with a pin.
Next, lay a little ruler next to the left tail
 and overlap the other tail over the first one.
Because my binding strips were cut at 2 1/4″
mark a 2 1/8″ over from the edge of the little ruler
 …I used a black pen so you can see it, but a pencil works best…
now cut on that line
 ah… so many uses for the little glue stick!
Open the left side binding and finger press a corner down…
apply a little glue and..
bring the other binding tail and line up the edges,
fold the rest down
 now grab the little point in the center…
open it and you’ll find the crease you finger pressed earlier
pin it and sew on that crease,
trim the excess leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance
and finger press open
It should fit perfectly!
Now sew the rest down and
turn the quilt over and press the binding flat at the seam
 now let’s go to the back and using a small amount
 of Roxanne’s Glue Baste-It,
glue the binding down
use an iron to speed up the drying time…
 …almost there!!!
 Now back to the front of the quilt…
Stitch in the ditch using a thread that matches the top for the top
and a bobbin thread that matches the binding
and you’re all done!
The results are close to perfect!
I hope you’ll give machine binding it a try!

Table Topper Blog Hop!

It’s my day in the Table Topper Blog Hop
and I’m so happy to be
sharing some of my little quilts.
I’ll start with It’s a Hoot! I designed him back in January and
I finally got him quilted and ready to shine in this beautiful field of wild flowers…
 I have to admit, he is my favorite….
…just don’t tell my other little guys!!!
And here’s George
 Well, I decided to invite him to the party,
so I quickly quilted him so he could join in the fun 🙂
Playing in the Rain was the first thing I thought about making
when I started deciding what to Show-n-Tell for this Hop
  I just know my sweet little ducky is sooooo happy to be here today!
Last night we had the great reveal in our Make Me a Mini Challenge
with my ModGal Guild,
and this is what I came home with!!!
I absolutely love everything about it.
My partner did a fantastic job 🙂
So… do you remember Amore from back in February?
About making your own fabric…
Now this little one was bought at Quilt Festival in Houston a couple years back
and was made by the East Mountain Quilters of Costa Rica
I just love all the detail! (on a 6″ stand)
And now for the last one, 
and I hope you’ll like my little Spring Fling because…
…well, first let me tell you about him. I teach a turned-edge applique class
and I wanted a design that would be pretty, yet cover points, curves,
bias strips, etc., so my students would learn to turn-edge just about anything;
and this little guy definitely covers it all, so…
If you like him…. would you like to enter to win my little Spring Fling quilt?
All you have to do is leave a comment about which
of my table toppers is your favorite,
and if you’re not yet a follower, join my blog and/or subscribe and let me know so you can get a another chance at wining him 🙂
You have until Monday, April 30th to enter.
Winner will be announced Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Thanks for visiting.
I hope you enjoyed my Show-n-Tell!
And don’t forget to visit these galls in the Hop today…