Sunday, October 11, 2015

Home again, home again.

Well! The "Sizzix, Jenny Doan and Victoria F W" retreat was so much fun!!  We made so many new friends, stayed up nice and late, sewed to our heart delight, and may have been a little teary saying good bye to all. 

40 lovely ladies, (many of them drove from all parts of the country, (CA, Utah, Florida, Minnesota, Atlanta, Colorado, NY, Mo, etc) had there creative magic flowing for four days. 

They learned to piece the Double wedding ring, full melon version using Sizzix products, and watching all the varieties take shape inspired me, for sure! Ideas were flying, as well as fabric! 

We made fabrics 15 minute style, talked about color, and shopped of course! 

Those who do not know, Missouri Star Quilt Co, is a quilt shop that takes up many stores of main st of Hamilton, Missouri.  Each store front, has a different Style of fabric! The solid store, the seasonal store, the reproduction store etc. It sure is a lot of fun to walk around and admire all that beautiful fabric! (Admire = buy) right? 
Hard not too. 

Everyone jumped in and had fun trying new techniques and learning to sew their curves!

Besides double wedding rings, we made    
Stuffed pumpkins and stuffed toys from parts of the double wedding ring! 

The pumpkins are made from my Sizzix Fully Melon die! Adorable!

These were made using my TULIP die (for the front) and Full Melon for the back, from Sizzix! So much fun! Aren't they adorable??

And Linda from Sizzix was teaching the kidgiddy Sizzix die doll! 

So much creativity all in one place, made for delightful days at MSQC! 

We had lectures and perhaps a polyester fashion moment... 

Jenny Doan talking about her Sizzix dies & templates which fit charm packs and layer cakes.

I guess I talk a lot with my hands... :-) shot from the added public class on DWR's. 

So great to see friends, play in fabric and laugh... 
...and laugh, and laugh...

Linda from Sizzix, and I after taking a stroll to purchase hand pies from the Amish farmers market... Nice big smiles! Mmmm! Thanks retreaters!! We had so much fun playing with all of you!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Busy Season!

Fall is off with a BANG!

And I am behind on my posts!  Ready for the abbreviated versions?

Quilter's Take Manhattan, happened! WOOT! What fun was that!  
We Wrapped up QTM, with the After Dark Party here, (Nothing like having a 100 quitters in your home at once, let me tell you!) 

and then, I got up the next morning, early, to fly to Boston to catch a big CRUISE SHIP!

I taught on the Royal Caribbean, Road to California Cruise for world of travel quilts, up the eastern coast to Portland, Bar Harbor, St. John, and Halifax! I had never taught on a cruise before... I can tell you, that after QTM, I was glad to have three days to SLEEP, EAT, and SLEEP some more...before I actually taught.

Want to join us in JANUARY??
We had loads of fun, and next time it will be a WARM cruise!!

My best Bud, Shelly, also taught on the cruise, and Yes, I can tell you, we had a very, very fun time...

We hit rain in Halifax, but otherwise it was a lovely trip!
 Two massages, four ports and four classes later...
We wrapped up for a farewell party with some show and tell from the week...  

I taught a Double Wedding Ring Class and also my 15 Minutes of play class in 3 hour slots...
This was a very productive bunch!  Skills were mastered and fears were tossed out to sea! ;-)

One of the biggest highlights of the cruise was unexpected... being able to sit and watch the moon from our stateroom window for over and hour. Clear as a bell floating out her over the waters....

So, I came home Sunday to unpack, 
and repack, 
as I head to Missouri Star Quilt Co, tomorrow! 

Jenny and I, along with Sizzix are doing a retreat weekend, and also may open to the public events around town Thursday, Friday and Saturday!

If you are in the area, We are doing a 
open to the public, 

 I am also doing a Three hour Curved piecing class 
open to the public. 
(click links for the page to sign up) 

Along with other make and take it, book signings, and demo's all over town, free of charge...

Come say hi! We will be having all kinds of fun!


I have another thing I've been working on frantically over here the last 10 days...

I'll share about that when I get back... I gotta wash my clothes and repack!

See you in MO!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Back to School Blog Hop

Thanks to Sam Hunter for putting this great Blog hop together....
Having taught so many improv classes, one question always comes up...

When you improv piece, you don't have to worry about 1/4," right?

wrong. I always use a 1/4" seam.
Anytime I sew I sew a 1/4" seam...  (unless a pattern stated otherwise)

Just like in any piecing, a 1/4" is valuable and important...  Think about it like driving a car, Do you want be swerving in and out the yellow and white lines on the road?
(in sewing, driving  1/8" to 1/4" to 1/2"?)

No. You want to keep it straight... 1/4" all the way...

It's the same, sewing improv or regular piecing. 
If you want you fabrics to lay flat, learn to sew a 1/4" seam.

So, let's look at that Quarter inch seam...

I have found that many people are not aware of where to place their fabric under there presser foot for a 1/4" seam.  So let's find it, shall we?

I have this hand 1" acrylic ruler, 
I can place it up to my needle, and see where the 1/4" line appears... It is just shy of the #7 line on machine.
So if I sew with my raw edges just showing over the edge of my presser foot, I can sew it, and test it, by measuring it again with the acrylic ruler.

Every machine can be slightly different... So it is valuable to know this info. 

Regular piecing in quilting:
Patterns are most often drawn with a 1/4" seam allowance. (Unless otherwise stated)
If you are sewing at a 1/8" or 3/8", your blocks will not come out the right size... 
Your points won't match easily.

I hear this over and over, "how do you get your points to match?"
Sewing a quarter inch seam, will give you amazing results.

Another way to look at a 1/4" mark to make your 1/4" piecing correct...  When you are piecing, and  you have (in the situation above) a square and a diamond... Where do you line it up?
Do you lay the point raw edge to raw edge?

Nope.   ( underneath, you won't have any fabric when you start sewing because of the angle)
Let's look at this below...

When you have an angle, and a straight edge... your fabrics need to overlap by a small amount... Now.  Many times when I'm teaching people know the right words to say... they say, " it should stick out a 1/4"...

Well, not really.
What you are actually looking for, is where the TWO fabrics intersect when laying right sides together. Where they intersect, that point, should be a 1/4". That purple tiny triangle you see is not actually sticking out a 1/4", it's less then that, but where they "MEET"  ( which you can see with the ruler laying there, is exactly a 1/4". THAT is your sewing line... Your quarter inch seam allowance...
 So when you sew that now....

...and you open up your fabrics, they meet exactly...

Oh, one more thing I learned from teaching is many people don't know the term, "DOG EAR"...
That little triangle that sticks up over your sewn seam, is the dog ear... you can trim that off, so the seam stay flat, and that little extra bit of fabric, won't get curled up in your seams and make that bulky thingy in the back of your nicely pressed blocks....

And the same thing happens at the other end... 

OK, makes sense right?
Let's look at it again, so it's crystal clear...

Let's go to the extremes...

This image shows the fabrics intersecting at 1/2".. that is not the 1/4" seam allowance we want... This sort of seam will make you blocks smaller then the planned finished size..

This image shows the fabrics intersecting at 1/8" aprox...shy of a 1/4"... not the 1/4" seam allowance we want... Sewing this seam will make your blocks finish larger then the planned finish size...

A perfect 1/4"... This works for any block, that has two different angles meeting... it happens in HST's ( half square triangles ) Diamonds, triangles, curves etc...

So! Your best bet for great results in your quilt piecing, is to learn where your 1/4" is on your machine.  

Have a hard time keeping your fabric under you needle, in the right place? 
Find your 1/4"(as shown above, first image) , grab some painters tape, 
and run it all way across the throat of your machine... ( from the needle straight towards you...)
Then as you sew, you let the fabric ride the edge of the tape...

other possible issues could be:
 quality of your machine, 
Are you pulling you fabrics when you sew? (to the left or right)
Do you have a table that is flush to your sewing throat? Draping the fabric over the edge of the machine, can fight you as well, when sewing a 1/4" seam...

15 Minutes of Play, right?
15 Minutes to learn, practice and master your 1/4" inch seam.


Don't forget to trim your dog ears... woof!

Check out the other back to school sewing tips:

Sept 1: Peta Minerof-Bartos of PetaQuilts – So, Does that Diagonal Method for a Pieced Backing Really Work
Sept 2: Cheryl Sleboda of – The Quilter’s Knot
Sept 3: Teresa Coates of Crinkle Dreams – The Importance of Pressing
Sept 4: Cath Hall of Wombat Quilts – Color Coding for Paper-piecing
Sept 5: Sam Hunter of Hunter’s Design Studio – How to Calculate and Cut Bias Binding
Sept 6: Melanie McNeil of Catbird Quilt Studio – Credit where Credit is Due
Sept 7: Mandy Leins of Mandalei Quilts – How to Keep a Perfect 1/4” Seam Between Different Machines
Sept 8: Rose Hughes of Rose Hughes – Fast Pieced Applique
Sept 9: Megan Dougherty of The Bitchy Stitcher – The Care and Feeding of the Domestic Sewing Machine
Sept 10: Lynn Krawczyk of Smudged Design Studio – Make a Mobile Art Kit
Sept 11: Susan Beal of West Coast Crafty – Log Cabin 101
Sept 12: Sarah Lawson of Sew Sweetness – Zipper Tips
Sept 13: Jane Victoria of Jolly and Delilah – Matching Seams
Sept 14: Jemelia Hilfiger of JemJam – Garment Making Tips and Tricks
Sept 15: Ebony Love of LoveBug Studios – Curved Piecing Without Pins
Sept 16: Misty Cole of Daily Design Wall – Types of Basting
Sept 17: Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams – Setting your Seams
Sept 18: Christina Cameli of A Few Scraps – Joining Quilted Pieces by Machine
Sept 19: Bill Volckening of WonkyWorld – The Importance of Labels
Sept 20: Jessica Darling of Jessica Darling – How to Make a Quilt Back
Sept 21: Debbie Kleve Birkebile of Mountain Trail Quilt Treasures – Perfectly Sized No-Wave Quilt Borders
Sept 22: Heather Kinion of Heather K is a Quilter – Baby Quilts for Baby Steps
Sept 23: Michelle Freedman of Design Camp PDX – TNT: Thread, Needle, Tension
Sept 24: Kathy Mathews of Chicago Now Quilting Sewing Creation – Button Holes
Sept 25: Jane Shallala Davidson of Quilt Jane – Corner Triangle Methods
Sept 27: Cristy Fincher of Purple Daisies Quilting – The Power of Glue Basting
Sept 28: Catherine Redford of Catherine Redford – Change the Needle!
Sept 29: Amalia Teresa Parra Morusiewicz of Fun From A to Z – French Knots, – ooh la la!
Sept 30: Victoria Findlay Wolfe of Victoria Findlay Wolfe Quilts – How to Align Your Fabrics for Dog Ears
October 1: Tracy Mooney of 3LittleBrds – Teaching Kiddos to Sew on a Sewing Machine
October 2: Trish Frankland, guest posting on Persimon Dreams – The Straight Stitch Throat Plate
October 3: Flaun Cline of I Plead Quilty – Lining Strips Up

Monday, September 28, 2015

Splash of Color Blog Hop

My dear friend Jackie Kunkel of Canton Village Quiltworks has released her book 
SPLASH OF COLOR!  I've been anxiously awaiting seeing this, having been fond of her for many years. One of the nicest gals I know!
We live only three hours from each other, yet, we never get to spend anytime together anymore, and often it's only in Houston Quilt Market, that we catch up!  

Jackie is a very busy gal with her online quilt business, being a certified instructor for Judy Niemeyer, and teaching, traveling with her own work.

Splash of color is a vibrant burst of color and pattern!

Jackie and I had some catching up to do, so we shared our conversation about her book.

I have several favorite quilts in the book, (why choose just one?)

Star Bright well, I just love stars! AND they are not Y seamed!)  
(And I still like them!)  
You know I love my Y seams...

Lava Lamps is a great mixture of DOTS!! I love dots...

and Jumping Jax!



Visit the rest of the blog hop too!

Wednesday, September 23,

Jackie Kunkel - Canton Village Quilt Works -
Kate Colleran - Seams Like a Dream  -
Pat Sloan -  Pat Sloan Blog -

Thursday, September 24

Sherri McConnell - A Quilting Life -

FridaySeptember 25

Faith Jones - Fresh Lemons Quilts -
Jenny Wilding Cardon - Martingale -

Saturday, September 26

Vicki Welsh - Field Trips In Fiber -
Pam Viera- McGinnis - Pam Kitty Morning -

Sunday, September 27

Pat Wys - Silver Thimble Quilt Co.  -
Sharon McConnell - Color Girl Quilts -

Monday, September 28

Julie Sefton - Me and My Quilts - Exploring the Possibilities -
Victoria Findlay Wolfe - Bumblebeans/Victoria Findlay Wolfe Quilts -

Tuesday, September 29

Caroline Critchfield - Sew Can She -
Amy Ellis - Amy’s Creative Side -

Giveaway is now CLOSED: