at play greg caseI’m teaching “Let Your Foot Loose be fancy Free” at Hartsdale Fabrics today.

On their schedule it looks like advanced machine quilting :)

it’ll be a play day with these ladies and I’m looking forward to it.

The shop is having a sale – that includes BERNINA!! Squee.

If you’re in the area and want a last minute class – I have a bit of space available.

I’m gearing up for Road to California, talked to the BERNINA dealer yesterday and I’m really excited to work with them…Mel’s Sewing in Anaheim. I spoke with Carol yesterday to get the feet I need for class.

Happy Quilting!



Quilters always have questions and I’m always happy to answer! I put a call out on my facebook page asking for questions then mentioned here that I’d answer quilty questions.

Lucas Moon Over Manhattan 39 x 34First up from Betty Jo: “Since I know you are a Bernina girl also, how do you set your tension for using metallic threads when you are free motion quilting?”

First thing I do is use a polyester thread in the bobbin, generally Bottom Line or So Fine. I find that cotton tends to pull the metallic to the back of the quilt as it’s kind of grabby.
Next I use a 90/14 top stitch needle or metallic needle. The right needle makes a huge difference.
As for tension settings generally set the machine to somewhere between 0 and 1.5. Yes this is a range and not a specific setting. Ranges make things easier to tweak if the tension isn’t quite balanced.
One thing to note is that batting has an effect on tension – cotton batting like cotton thread is a bit grabby and will pull the metallic towards the back of the quilt. I am a big fan of wool and silk batting for competition quilts and a good polyester batting for non competition quilts.

zen tangleNext question from Susan: “How have you found doodling productive…I look at my doodles and wonder if they will amount to anything

Couple of things Doodling is always productive even if it doesn’t look like it, especially when it doesn’t look like it. I use doodling to try out new quilting motifs or design quilts. I doodle both with both my dominant and non-dominant hand. This helps with the machine quilting since we use both hands when we quilt. I don’t worry what my doodling looks like, I just do it. When I sit to quilt the quilting is so much easier. I get the stitching path.

Just keep up with the doodling and stitching!

And this weeks final question:

From Elizabeth: “How do I get over my terror of free motion quilting?

This is the best question ever. And deserves an in depth answer.

Just sit and stitch! Seriously this is the best way. Keep that Karen Carpenter tune in your head, “don’t worry if it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear, just sing”. Get some solid black or your favorite color, some very contrasty thread, a good batting sit at the machine and stitch.

Doodling helps a lot. Blank books and Sharpie pens are perfect for doodling. Scrap paper and a pen or pencil work just as well.


Happy Quilting!


barnummy-cats-a-poserI gotta tell ya. We loved these little dudes, Barnum and Bailey. I miss coming home from work, traveling and having Barnum chat me up or Bailey lay on his back waiting for his belly to be rubbed. Aww yes our little furry friends we love them and make little sacrifices for them. We chose for years, because these kittens loved to climb up trees,. It was really funny that first year remembering their hike up the tree with those shameful, elizabethan collars clearly indicating a change of their status.
This was the last year we had a tree. Oh yes, it had to go. Sigh. The thought of getting pine pitch out of cat fur, broken Christmas decorations out of the carpet and cats sucking on lights yeah, no. We loved putting up the tree, making our own memories with the Christmas music playing in the background, wassail in our mugs. Okay my mug, not his. But it makes the whole house smell great!

In a few weeks, we’ll put up a tree. I’m looking forward to it.I’m looking forward to wassail simmering on the stove, Christmas music and finding just the perfect tree.
I miss those furry faces though. Barnum and Bailey. The Circus.

We’ll have a Merry Christmas!


PS – I declared Sunday Ask Teri a Machine Quilting Question. I have 2 great ones. If you have any machine quilting questions please post them here and I’ll answer them in a blog post soon.

Tracy Mooney of 3littlebirds posted this blog way back in July on Sexism and Quilting. Tracy refers back to this post by Deanna McCool on men sewing and quilting. Sexism is sexism no matter which way it flows. There’s no getting around it, sexism is mean and a form of bullying, it’s a way of diminishing a person just because it’s currently acceptable to diminish a person. Diminishing quilters based on gender, sigh. This really ticks me off. To quote Deanna, “They’re men. They sew. Let’s get over ourselves.”

Men in quilting is not something new. A few years back my Sweetie and I visited the Illinois State Museum in Springfield, IL where we viewed an exhibit of quilts made by IL residents including Caryl Bryer Fallert and a man, whose name escapes me at the moment. He made 3 hexagon quilts with the hexagons getting smaller and smaller with each quilt. He made the quilts on a dare from his wife and sister (in-law?). They were stunning. Ab-so-lutely stunning.

Joe Cunningham at SomersSome of the quilters who have made deep impressions on me are men. Robert Callaham, Luke Haynes, Joe Cunningham, Randy Cook, Patrick Lose, Hollis Turnbow. These are a few of the “names” in the industry – the ones who’ve worked hard to make a name or that I know because I’ve met them. (On a recent plane ride I made a list of about 25 to 30 men I know in quilting – there was a reason for the list being made however these are the ones I know.) What about the men I don’t know? How many are they? Does it matter? They’re quilters, they make quilts, they buy fabric, they design fabric, dye fabric, & quilts and write patterns. They lecture and teach and make quilts. Did I mention that they MAKE QUILTS?

I found myself sticking up for the guys in quilting a few weeks ago when it was suggested that the nearest men’s room be opened to women only for the duration of the event. Holy bladders, Cat Woman! A quick look around at the nearest 6 booths saw at least that many guys there working in the industry in some capacity. Should they have to walk that much further simply because of their gender? Uh No. I get that at some shows and events it’s a good idea, even necessary. But this particular event, no I daresay the ratio of men to women was about even. I’ve been known to duck into the gents (when no one else was in there) just because I needed to. In my defense 1) there was a small family using the ladies room and 2) I’d been driving for several hours. (Let the dancing begin) While the guy behind me was ticked off I waited for 10 minutes before, ya know.

Funny thing too, these guys do have feelings. They are just as passionate about quilting as any woman I know.They all work hard to develop their skill and remain relevant to the quilting world.  There is a sense that they are a novelty in quilting. They want to be recognized for their quilting, just like any woman. For their quilting, not their gender. And in writing this I realize my bigger “issue” isn’t with them. Shocking I know, right?! Betcha can’t guess what my “issue” is, can you?

To all the guys in quilting – thanks dudes! You rock.

Happy Quilting!



Dad Would be Honored

About 8 years ago I made this quilt for my dad from his ties and some random dupioni silk I had hanging around. This is one of the first feathered stars I ever pieced, thanks to Marsha McCloskey’s book I did fairly well. I need to make one more of these quilts – I just like making them. Kinda fun, labor intensive but fun. And I want to do that circle bit again. perhaps with cotton and starch those circles will be circles rather than almost circles.

Today, we’ve been celebrating Veterans Day, honoring those men and women in uniform who have sacrificed their lives in some way to allow us to experience the freedoms we currently enjoy. My dad served in the military for about 7 or 8 years. myself being born on a military base (now closed). Both dads sister and brother served in the military, as well as Dad’s uncle. Oh there’s probably more!dad and Jayne Mansfield
Dad was a photographer, this particular love lasted his whole life. Here and there are photos of celebrities that he took in the military and in Las Vegas. This particular passion suited him – he remained a rather astute observer, in the background looking for much of what was going on. Sometimes his observations were rather direct and somewhat painful (in that peroxide in a knee scrape kind of way). I knew though that there lived an honest answer.

dad inside joke with friendHe had a great and hearty laugh accompanied by a sense of humor that made each one of his children groan, eyes rolling in our heads. You get the picture. When dad traced our family tree the military ran though generations at least as far back as the Civil War here in the states. I know he went back as far as Scotland on the Harris side of the family and how this line of the family ended up here in the states.

buddy hackettI recently learned something really beautiful the other day. Two of my uncles spent part of their time talking to schools about their experience in the 60/70′s one as a guy who went into the military and one as a conscientious objector. Their dad (my moms dad) fought in WWII.
Dad would be honored.
I’m grateful

Onto some quilting!


Friday afternoon I ended up in Bath and surprised Amanda at Mariners Compass. It was lovely and I got a copy of her mom’s new book, My Twelve Maine Christmas Days. It’s a delightful book and very Maine. (Clicking on the book will take you to Wendy’s website) Wendy not only writes children’s books. She designs quilt patterns.
Mariners Compass was part of a shop hop over the weekend so Amanda and crew were working on setting up the shop for a demonstration. I didn’t stay long enough. Sigh! I will be back as soon as I can though.
wine and quiltingSaturday afternoon my sister, her husband, our brother and I went to lunch at one of their favorite places. I don’t remember the name but oh was the food good. I had gumbo that had a lovely bit of heat to it. As I’m walking around the place I’m noticing the artwork on the wine bottles. wine and quitling 2
Big! Surprise!
It’s quilterly in so many ways. from the flowy curves on the left to the “quilt blocks” on the right. I frequently leave wine shops of many kinds inspired by the art work to create some kind of quilt. The wine bottle on the left has a nautilus feel to it. I like how it’s different from what I normally stitch out.
The bottle on the right has some serious potential as a “real” quilt.

I loved spending the time with my family over the weekend. And I’m happy to be home with my sweetie. There is much to be done over the next few weeks! Oh my…!!!

How are your whole cloth quilts coming? Mine will be finished soon.

Have a great quilterly day.


weeks dye works

As you saw the other day Lisa Calle and I had a great visit to Olde City Quilts earlier this week. While we were there we took a few minutes to work out a few more details for the Whole Cloth Challenge!  (Note as you’ll see below I am heading out for a trip this morning and  have not been able to get back into my sewing room to shoot this quilt)

I’m about 75% finished with the quilt – I’m excited about that and will have it finished by the end of the first week in December. Check in on Lisa’s Blog for her progress.

Please check Lisa’s Gallery if a photo of your quilt is not on there please email it to Lisa.

We will have a date with a Random Number Generator as soon as I return from a trip at the end of the first week of December to give:
Olde City Quilts – Twin Size cotton wool blend batting
Lisa – Pro Max and Pro Mini Rulers
Teri – two 1/2 yard cuts of Robert Kaufman Radiance (I’ll choose color)

We’re really enjoying seeing what’s coming in!


This weekend I’m going to be a bit quiet. There will be very little quilting related stuff going on. I have a blog to write for Generation Q Magazine (big surprise!) since I am the “blogger in chief”.

I’m headed to Maine for the weekend. This is a Total Family Weekejacqui-showing-alines-quiltnd. I haven’t visited with the family in a little over a year. It’s been very difficult not seeing them.

Just because I won’t be Quilting doesn’t mean that I won’t be thinking about quilting.

And thinking about you my favorite quilters.

Have a fab weekend.



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