Paper Piecing Two Ways, a Tutorial
Have you tried paper piecing? Better yet, have you tried freezer paper piecing? Both are a great way to get precise results for projects that are: super detailed have wonky shapes and angles lots of little bits all of the above Paper piecing is when a pattern is printed onto a paper foundation. The foundations have numbered sections […]
Thread Dread: Removing Trapped Thread From Your Quilt Top
I am participating in the Back to School Blog Hop hosted by Sam Hunter of Hunter’s Design Studio. The lineup of quilters (32 of them!) is really fantastic, and the topics cover a huge range of material. Enjoy! We’ve all had this happen. The top is prepped, it’s sandwiched, the quilting has been started… and […]
Trimming Your Quilt with Tools from the Hardware Store
This post does not contain affiliate links. Despite our best efforts–or perhaps because of them if we’re improv piecing!–our quilts are not always square. This happened to me recently as I was working on a quilt from scratch. I was not paying attention and miscalculated a few blocks, so there were some dangling bits and […]
New Pattern in the Shop! And a Sneaky Marking Technique
I am delighted to present Midwinter Mandala available as a PDF download in my shop.I have had this idea for a snowflake design running around in my head for a while now, so when Betz White asked me to participate in “A Banner Year”, a seasonal sew-along project for our School of Wool Facebook group, […]
Quilting with Aurifil Lana Wool Thread, a Tutorial
When Bari J. sent me this quilt top to do up for Fall Market, she said I could do whatever I wanted, and since it was so simple, maybe do something fun. “OK, but, can I use wool thread,” I asked? “Whatever you want,” she replied. Delightful words! As I was looking at the top, It […]
Sewing Clutch Tutorial for Clutch Sewing
If you’re like me, you may be one of those people that wind up having a couple of last minute gifts you’re trying to finish (or find!): a gift for someone on a quilt Guild committee, a bridesmaid shower gift, birthdays… I think we’ve all found ourselves in that boat. This project, though, is one that I […]
A tip on keeping bobbins tidy
I have a post over on the BERNINA blog, We All Sew where I talk about how I keep my bobbins neat and the thread from unwinding all over the place! Head on over and check it out, and while you’re there, be sure to check on the posts for their Countdown to Christmas. While I […]
A story about quilting wobbles, or, why I learned to pay attention to piecing rules
One of my favorite things about quilting for others, and that I’m most proud of, is helping people finish their quilts in the way they want, so that they look their best. My goal with my quilting is to take the top my customer has worked so hard on and add my quilting as […]
Back to School: Guaranteed accurate 1/4″ seams between machines!
I’ve had quite a few opportunities to sew on a variety of machines this summer, whether teaching or traveling, and I got to thinking about quilting accuracy. The usual rule of thumb* is that once you start sewing a project on one machine–especially a project you really *really* care about–then you need to stick with that […]
Yay for School Days, and Not just for the Kids!
I am going to own the fact that I go shopping for school supplies early and often: early, because who wants to be hustling the night before the first day, scrambling for presharpened #2 pencils and boxes of crayons that don’t smell funny or have glitter sparkles in them? (yeah yeah, my little girl would […]
How to quilt a Hunter Star quilt, tutorial
This is a quilt I finished almost two months ago! it was pretty big, and she hoped for a custom look without paying full custom prices, as well as one large feather over the borders. Once I found a path for a single start and stop, I was able to work back and forth, making […]
Wool Applique: Freezer Paper Templates
This free wool applique project, a monogram for a small monogram for a pillow or wall hanging, teaches you some basic techniques that I like to use for wool applique. In it, I will share how I make and use basic freezer paper patterns and some of the little details that help make your project […]
Quilting Technique of the Week: When fabric bleeds
As my mom would say: “Oh honey, it was so sad.” I was on my way to teach a quilting class at my LQS last week, and had a big plastic bin of things to share with me. It’s been a long, gross winter, and that day it was raining and foggy. All the parking […]
Sewing tips and tricks the hard way
Here are a few amazing sewing tips and tricks I’ve learned over the last few years, followed by a scream then a good laugh: Glue basting is AMAZING, as long as you sew the edge you basted (did this today). Don’t put your spray starch and spray glue side by side. Never square up your […]
Great video on how to spin seams with Cristy Fincher
Technique and knowing how to do things properly when piecing is important to me. I’m always reading and practicing new techniques to see which ones work for me, and which make the best finished quilt. I know it sometimes seems like a Catch 22, that I’m a modern quilter who loves improv but also loves […]
Crayola Washable Markers and Quilt Marking, Technique of the Week
It’s been a hot topic on the professional longarm forums lately: what do we use to mark quilts? Blue pens that are water soluble? Purple pens that disappear in air? Washable pencils? On a whim, I decided to try the new “ultra clean” Crayola Washable markers, and to run a little experiment. My hypothesis: Crayola […]
Awesome video tutorial for tying off
Sue Heinz of Kismet Quilting has an awesome tutorial on knotting and burying threads, which I dread doing but which she makes look *so* easy. Enjoy!
“Creative Longarm Quilting” review over at The Girl Who Quilts
HI everyone, just wanted to point you in the direction of a review by Nikki over at The Girl Who Quilts for my class over at Craftsy, Creative Longarm Quilting. I’m really glad she wrote it up, because Nikki is one of those rare birds who quilts on domestic *and* longarm, and is truly proficient in […]
This technique has to do with frogging quilting. Just sayin’.
Some weeks you’re sewing like a rockstar goddess and everything is perfect, and true and right with the world. You are the mistress of all that you see! And then, the sewing gods step in and show you that, dude, you need a reality check. We al know frogging (extensive ripping out of seams or […]
Quilting Tutorial, Variations
I had meant to put this up around Valentine’s Day, because one of these looks an awful lot like hearts, and it’s probably as close to hearts as I get. In any case, these three variations are based off the earlier tutorial, with the first line being some form of swirl. The simplest variation is […]
Practice sheet for background fill
Look at me, learning how to use the arc tool in Illustrator! Ahem. Celebrate the little things. Anyway, here is a PDF version of the swoopy grid I used in the tutorial below. Print out as many as you’d like. The first one has dark black lines: OnionBackgroundFill And this one has lighter grey lines: OnionBackgroundFillGrey
Background fill tutorial, for longarm or domestic quilting
I recently was working on a super secret project, and found I needed a pretty background fill that enhanced the overall design. I wanted something that looked like a budding flower, or opening petals, something organic, easy and consistent since the other details were more like thread painting and I wanted a nice contrast. Based […]
Staple a backing to your longarm leaders, now on youtube!
When I was filming for Craftsy in October, we also made some shorter videos about different tips and techniques. One of them was how to staple a quilt backing to the leaders. I think it came out great! And I have a youtube channel! Craaaazy. Let me know what you think!
Quick tip for giant freezer paper templates
I seem to be making these giant templates with freezer paper at least twice a week lately, and while I had been using double stick tape to keep the long edges together, I have gone through a roll of that and a roll or two of freezer paper. I need to get the current project […]
Some thoughts on prewashing
I usually prewash all my fabrics, for various reasons mostly related to assuring they don’t bleed and are preshrunk. Lately, though, I have had so many projects with tight due dates that I haven’t had a chance to follow my usual routine, and I noticed two things that convinced me even more that prewashing is […]
Fill a bowl with the hottest water you can stand, and add a few drops of detergent. Squish around. Let sit, and watch the water turn colors. Rinse. Squeeze. Repeat until water turns clear. Dry on hot. No surprises on your quilt top this way!
“Binding”, the Greatest Hits!
I’ve been working like crazy to get some customer stuff done so that I can get a piece of my own finished for the Modern challenges at MQX (Have something to enter? You can see all the rules and deadlines here for the display section and here is a link to the catalog where you […]
Technique of the week: How much quilting should I do?
This post is in response to The Finer Nation’s “Ugh–Crappy Modern Quilting” because, really, she makes a good point about the role of quilting and what it does. I know by now you’ve seen all sorts of modern quilts and the quilting on them. From dense to sparse, quilting itself covers a wide range of […]
Nose to the grind stone
I’ve been working to finish up some designs and things, and the kids are out for the summer, so… Yeah. But, I do have a mighty useful tool to share with you, and one that I think every quilter would appreciate. It’s this graph paper by Edward Tufte (it’s there, but you have to scroll to […]
Prepping Batiks–technique of the week
I have been pulling together some really lovely batiks in autumn colors for a friend who has commissioned a queen-sized tree of life quilt. This is going to be a bed quilt, and the background is going to be Kona snow or eggshell. Because it will see real use, it will also be seeing the […]
Sometimes a girl just likes things super tidy–technique of the week
I’ve been doing a great deal of reading on exact and precise piecing over the last year, and just came across this post over at Ivory Spring about piecing a 4×4 block with 1″ squares. Yeah, that’s a 16-square 4″ block. I’ve always set my seams before I iron them open, but reading about her […]
Fun with a new-to-me technique of the week
This one is a simple one, but it was one that got me thinking of a all the different ways it can be applied. I had originally drawn a sketch of the tree of life quilt that I wanted to do so that it would be 80″ x 80″, but after talking with my client, […]
Technique of the week 4/26/13–fast-piece applique
I have a commission for a queen-size raw-edge applique quilt featuring a tree of life. It’s to be organic-feeling (you know, since it’s a tree), and I want it to have some texture to it as well. I also have a big quilt planned with some very large gradual curves, and am looking at different […]
I’m counting this as a technique
I’d planned to work on a technique were I made nice long curves in fabric, but I think it will have to wait until next week, since my little girl has a high fever. Next week, I hope, I iwll have it ready to go. While she’s listless and watching TV next to me, though, […]
my grumblegrumble#&%$ technique of the week
For those times when you leave blood on something, whether from stabbing yourself with a pin or slicing into your finger on accident with a seam ripper, the best way to get the blood out is to spit on it. Yeah, it’s been one of *those* days, complete with cursing and pouting and no sleep […]
Technique of the week–the simple things
Like ironing. I’ve been reading alot about precision piecing over the last few years (the Harriet Hargrave series is good for beginners, although my favorite at the moment is Sally Collins’ The Art of Machine Piecing), and it seems most people who are known for their excellent piecing skills don’t use steam. I’ve found that, […]
Technique of the week — the possibly annoying “scant” 1/4″
Any machine that says it is at a perfect quarter inch from the get-go may not actually be, and it’s a good idea to check when you’re using one that’s not your own, anyway. Or, if you switch from your home machine to your travel machine, the settings will likely be slightly different. The idea […]
Technique of the Week–What do I add next on my Log Cabin?
I’ve been doing lots of Log Cabins recently, and haven’t seen this tip yet so thought I’d throw it out there. It works for many different Log Cabin variations. As you can see in this photo, there are two seams. When you’re looking to see what edge you will sew to next, you will always […]
Technique of the Week, March 4th: Fusible Thread
So I’ve been thinking a great deal about how I want to grow–as a quilter, as a sewer, as a professional. One of the things that I want to do is try new things, and maybe find something new that will work for me for other projects. Right now, I am working on a commission […]