Hi! Sorry about not posting during the past few days.  Life has been getting in the way!  I’m moving through it though.

This class sounds so interesting!  Machine hand applique?  This is how teacher Beth Ferrier explains the class: “Applique is all about the prep work, and I’ll show you how to make the best templates in the least amount of time.  My ‘addressing system’ will keep all of our tiny bits of applique organized, which is especially helpful when making large quilts with many design repeats.

Next, I’ll help you choose fabric that makes your heart happy with fabulous tips for understanding the value – of value!  We’ll trim the pieces using a helpful trick for achieving clean, scant quarter inch seams, and learn the secret to making tiny bias stems.

With a humble glue stick, you’ll baste beautifully turned edges, while learning the strategies of ‘overs and unders’.  Then, we’ll be ‘docking’ – bringing all of our lovely little applique parts together to create marvelous motifs.  We’ll also go over the process of machine stitching the motifs in a way that makes our applique appear truly hand sewn.”

You’ll receive Beth Ferrier’s e-book “More! Hand Applique by Machine” for free when you sign up.  Right now the class is $19.99.  It’s regularly $39.99.

Machine-Finished Hand Applique

Kim Diehl Fabric

This is a new fat quarter bundle that is due out in December.  December sounds so far away (and hopefully it is). But that’s how fabric ordering rolls!  It’s all about pre-orders.

This bundle is called “Heritage Hollow”, designed by Kim Diehl for Henry Glass, and has 28 pieces.  The cost is $90 plus shipping.   I love the soft, subtle prints of this collection.   And the colors are just beautiful!  Check out the teal, pumpkin, and mustard colors.  I’ll have to find that perfect design to use this bundle on!  Pre-order by August 15.


July 14, 2014



I picked up this beautiful sewing machine a week ago at a huge flea market.  It’s always fun to wander through this flea market keeping an eye out for that special item that makes you go “ah-ha!”.  I ran across this “Bel Air 600″ in a space that was full of electronics and such.  The machine drew me in because it was in such perfect condition – shiny, bright, and sparkling in the sun!  The case it came in was destroyed and, yet, the machine called to me.  I picked the machine up for $30.  Once home I found that the seller was right when he said that the machine still ran.  Like a purring kitten!

Only one zipper foot came with the machine.  I now want to find the sewing machine’s book, and see if there are any other feet available.  I don’t think I’ll be using it for sewing.  It’s more of a shelf piece since it weighs as much as a small car!  This model was quite common and built in 1952.

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World of Susybee

WORLD OF SUSYBEE!  I think we all have a little bit of the child inside of us - no matter how old we are.  I want to share with you a favorite fabric and quilt pattern artist of mine.  I only know the Toronto artist as “Susybee” from her website and pattern designs.  She creates the most delightful line of animal characters for her fabric and her quilt patterns.  The first design I fell in love with was “Paul & Sheldon ‘Gone Fishing’ ” (see below)!  I saw it in a quilt magazine last year but was unable to get the fabric at the time.  Now I’m trying to hunt down the fabric on the internet as I post this!  I NEED to make this darling quilt!  Then there’s Lew, the Ewe!  Isn’t he sweet?

You’ll just have to check out her website to see the rest of her adorable fabric line, and the coordinating quilt patterns.  You’ll want to make one of each!  www.worldofsusybee.com.  Also – www.susybee.com for access to her blog and lots of wonderful art work.


Do you EQ?  Electric Quilt?  A while back I splurged and purchased myself the Electric Quilt 7 book and disc computer program.  It is a super investment if you plan on designing your own quilts.  The program allows you to lay out, design, and color in your own quilt pattern.  There are also tons of quilt blocks pre-loaded into the disc for you to use.  It is a must for you to start out taking the online classes provided by EQ7, then move on to the printable classes before you attempt to design your first quilt.  With all that I’m still working on learning all the tips and tricks.  There’s a lot to still uncover!  It may be a lot of work to begin using this program, but it’s worth it if your goal is to produce quality quilt patterns.

If you do have an Electric Quilt program then check out the link posted here for a fun contest starting this month!  Create a block using Tonga Treats “Cabana” fabric.  http://doyoueq.com/blog/2014/07/eq-block-challenge-featuring-tonga-cabana/   Also – there’s a link to Electric Quilt’s website and blog at the right of the page!

You all probably know this information.  I’m admitting here today that I never knew this easy way to identify a stray sewing machine needle!  Color coding!  My mom did a lot of sewing on different types of materials.  Cotton, jersey, fur, and tapestry.  She made up her own system of keeping track of usable needles by dividing a large tomato pin cushion into sewing machine needle number sizes.  She’d then stick a usable needle into the correct numbered wedge on the pin cushion to be able to use later.

Schmetz Universal sewing machine needles are the type I use in all of my sewing machines.  They have a nice color code that they use on their needles.  You can go to their website to see the entire color coding list, but since this is a quilt blog I’m just going to tell you about quilting needles.  The upper band on a sewing machine needle that has been “made especially for piecing and machine quilting” (Schmetz) will have an upper band on the neck of the shaft that is Green.  The Green band sits on the what is called the shoulder of the needle where it become wide (hence the word neck).  Below the shoulder will be a second band of color that tells you what size the needle is:  Blue is for size 11, Orange is for size 12, and Red is for size 14.  Those are the three sizes that Schmetz considers “Quilting Needles”.   Singer and Kenmore also have similar color coding on their needles.  What took me so long to find this out?!

Wallet Pattern

I had often received great comments in the past about the wallet I carried.  It’s a design I created myself to do the job I wanted.  I didn’t want a thick wallet.  Since I didn’t carry a checkbook anymore, I needed something a little slimmer and user friendly.  I’ve made several of them to match the purses I make.

Here’s my newest pattern!  Skinny Wallet.  The flap is closed by a magnet, there are two nice pockets for your gift cards, punch cards, and credit cards, and a long pocket for dollar bills.  The top zipper pocket is great for change, receipts, or even coupons.  The Skinny Wallet pattern will be available on Etsy and Craftsy by tomorrow!  Yay!



Making Flat Intersections in a Block

I was making my daughter’s quilt recently that had loads of pinwheels incorporated in the pattern.  I was pressing the pinwheel blocks a couple weeks ago while at our quilting day and was asked by a couple of gals what I was doing on the back of the blocks.

If you haven’t been shown how to do this technique, here is what you do.  This technique is used to make the back of pinwheel blocks, star blocks, and even four-patch blocks to make the centers nice and flat.  Your long-arm quilter will love you!  Generally, quilt patterns will tell you to simply press the seams to one side.  That’s fine – it really is, but since I do long-arm quilting I know for a fact that it can be a booger to quilt over the center points of blocks with several seams in the center.

Here are two photos that show me quilting over, or having to quilt around, a pinwheel block depending on how bulky the center is.


Find the center of your seams on the back of the block.  You will see a few threads holding the center seams together.  Snip those threads!  Now divide the seams to show a tiny, little four-patch by pressing the seams in opposite directions!





The same technique goes for pinwheel blocks.  Except you get a cute little, itsy-bitsy pinwheel at the center back of your block!


This  projects in this book are from a renowned quilter – Yoko Saito.  I’ve discovered that I love her eye for color, and her precision quilt work.  The book is titled “Yoko Saito’s Bags for Everyday Use” – $34.95.


Her upcoming book is called “New Classic Patch Work” – $27.99.