Strawberry Basket Quilt Block

As you know, we here at do like getting back to the basics of quilting every once in a while. Whether you’re a beginner – or would just like a quick refresher course – it’s always nice to start from scratch.

This week’s newsletter includes written and video instructions on cutting fabric, whether with a rotary cutter or scissors, as well as:

  • Register for the newest Webinar: Secrets of 3D Illusions in Quilts – This Saturday, September 24th
  • Update on the Blazing Star Diamond Quilt – Found the quilting patterns and will be machine quilting this week
  • October Quilt Show in Gilbertsville, NY
  • Make Scented Tea Pot Stands – from our friend, Rose Smith
  • Turn your Quilting Passion into a Quilting Business!
  • The Weekly Crossword Puzzle – come back every day for a new puzzle
  • Halloween Roundup for Postcard Quilts for the Troops – Deadline is September 23rd, which is THIS Friday
  • September’s Free Quilt Block Patterns

Happy Quilting!


When we go about the business of marking our quilt tops for quilting, the last thing we want to see when we’re done is any of the ever-so-lightly-drawn pencil or marking pen lines.

In today’s article, you’ll learn about several different methods for safely removing these marks while keeping your quilt in perfect condition:

Happy Quilting!


Many quilters who prefer piecing to quilting, erroneously think they will simply tie off their quilt for a fast, easy, perfect finish.

While quilt tying may be faster than the traditional quilting methods, it is not necessarily easy nor is it always perfect.

You’ll learn some tips and techniques for making your quilt tying go smoothly when you visit:

Happy Quilting!


Pencils may be less than fascinating and taken for granted in our daily lives. But for at least one day a year – March 30th, also known as Pencil Day – we can find a way to give these handy tools a little well-deserved respect.

There are many ways to incorporate pencils into our quilting – both as a useful tool and a fun design element. You’ll find tips and ideas for both when you visit:

Happy Quilting!


Housewife's Dream Quilt Block

It just shouldn’t happen – water that should stay outside ends up inside the house. But, this was a little pre-Christmas gift – about 10 gallons of rainwater found its way into my usually cozy quilting corner.

Well, the water is gone, the carpet is finally dry, and the kids are back home after spending Christmas with me here in soggy San Diego.

I’m back to the business of quilting and putting the final touches on the Quilting Design Webinar coming up this Wednesday.

You’ll find all the webinar details in this week’s newsletter, as well as:

  • Continuous Line Quilting Designs from Coloring Books
  • A Bit of History on the Toddy & My Dad’s Toddy Recipe
  • Postcard Quilts for the Troops – the January 5th deadline is fast approaching!
  • December Free Quilt Block Patterns

Happy Quilting!


Meteor Quilt Block Pattern

We all know painter’s use tape to make clean lines around trim and corners. But, have you ever thought about using painter’s tape in your quilting?

Painter’s tape is a simple tool that you probably already have around the house and it can be a big help in sewing straight lines and other shapes. I’ll explain all that in this week’s newsletter.

Also included:

  • My Christmas Star Wall Hanging
  • The Photo Fabric Memories DVD Mentor Quilting Resource
  • Valentine’s Day Fabric Postcard Roundup for the Troops – Deadline January 5th
  • December Free Quilt Block Patterns

You’ll find it all when you visit:

Happy Quilting!


When it came time to quilt my recently completed jelly roll quilt, there were quite a few things I needed to take into consideration, such as whether I wanted to hand or machine quilt it, and what quilting design I wanted to use.

You’ll see what I did – and why – when you visit:

Happy Quilting!


“Stitching in the ditch” or, in layman’s terms, placing your quilting stitches in the seams of your pieced top, is a quilt method most quilters have heard of and perhaps used.

What could be simpler, right?

Well, it’s not as easy as it sounds and, if not done correctly, this technique can really diminish the beauty of your quilt.

You’ll learn about when to use (or avoid) this technique, which direction to press your seams, “invisible thread” and much more when you visit:

Happy Quilting!


Oh, I know – today is also the 4th of July in the US and here’s wishing you a Happy 4th.

The thing is our quilters are all around the world, and many don’t celebrate the day of independence that we celebrate here in the US. But, as quilters, we can all celebrate Freedom from Machine Quilting Frustration Day.

So, last year, I declared the 4th of July every year would be just that day.

Over the past few months, you’ve received tips for making your machine quilting easier and more beautiful. These tips have covered topics like:

  • how to mark your quilt with a quilting design
  • using basting spray to hold your quilt layers together
  • how to set the tension on your machine so you get beautiful stitches and your thread doesn’t break
  • how to stitch pucker-free quilting stitches

Today I thought we’d talk about machine quilting stitches and thread.

To help control your stitches:

  • Put your hands down on the area you are quilting, like a frame, with your thumbs touching. The area between your hands is the only area to pay attention to as you work.
  • Have in your mind where you will be stitching, and what kind of shape you will be making. Then watch the fabric where you want to stitch - not the needle as it is stitching.
  • Practice stitching on a fabric sandwich (2 layers of fabric with a piece of batting between) about 24 inches square. Practice stitching various shapes, and pay attention to the sound of your needle. The goal is to move your fabric about 1/8 of an inch as your needle goes up and down.

And what about thread…

  • As a beginner, it is better to use light thread on light fabric. As cool as it sounds to use dark thread on a light fabric, every stitch will be magnified – and every mistake will look worse. If you want your stitches to show, you could use light thread on a dark fabric. For some reason, that combination does not show the mistakes.
  • A lot of thread for machine quilting comes on a cone. That saves money and time (having to re-thread your machine). If your sewing machine does not have a built in thread stand, you could put the cone in a glass measuring cup, and let it bounce around in there.
  • Be sure that the thread is coming off of the cone from the top, not un-rolling from the side. (I use this method, and have found that I need to place the measuring cup on the side of my machine, instead of behind it. For some reason the angle that it feeds into the machine makes a difference.)

You’ll find more information about these tips and techniques, as well as a wonderful quilting resource for machine quilters, when you visit:

Happy Freedom from Machine Quilting Frustration Day and Happy Quilting!


Whew! It was a somewhat hectic week around the house.

m. mouse went into surgery bright and early Tuesday morning – with a growling tummy. Just like humans, he wasn’t allowed to have food after midnight or water after 6am.

In the end, the vet dentist decided it was best to remove all of his teeth. Those teeth that weren’t already a problem would become problems soon, and rather than have our little m. mouse suffer any more in the future, out they came.

He had a couple of uncomfortable days and nights, but seems to be on the mend.

We appreciate the caring thoughts of quilters around the world and those who were taking care of him in the hospital, and we look forward to many more happy days with our now-toothless official diabetic Siamese cat.

We considered dentures, but – – – well, we do have our limits!

Nitril Touch Quilting Gloves

In the meantime, many of you have questions about how to make your machine quilting easier on your home sewing machine. And in this week’s news you’ll read about a variety of things you can use on your fingers to help guide your quilt under your needle.

My favorite still is the special gloves we learned about a couple of years ago. Those Nitril gloves have a special rubber coating on the fingers that maintains contact with the quilt while you move the quilt and sew.

But there are other options that might be better for you, and you’ll find information about them when you visit:

Our Postcard Posse delivered more than 1900 fabric postcards to troops in the Middle East! Thanks to all who mailed cards to Diane.

Our next Posse is Roundin’ them up for Halloween. I have received several requests for a video showing how to make fabric postcards, and I promise I will do one within the next week or two.

I’m getting ready to machine quilt the Jelly Roll quilt, and you’ll see a picture of the design I have chosen:

Happy Quilting!



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