talenti jar stops and startsThere are a myriad of ways to stop and start when quilting. My preferred method is burying the thread. What usually happens is the thread snips end up on the floor around my feet. No big deal there’s a mat for my office chair so I swoop them up and off to the bin they go. Yesterday a fascinating thing happened. I started counting the stops and starts in one block for Quantum Leap.
quantum leap back neon pink quiltingEach block is 7.5 inches square.
Each block has a kaleidoscope block with 8 wedges, so the original motif is repeated 8 times forming the kaleidoscope.
Each block is embroidered with a seed or bead stitch to give the kaleidoscope shapes presence. Jeanie carefully chose thread to highlight the block.

What that means for me as I quilt around each of the major shapes is that I can have as little as 1 stop/start (2 sets of thread buried) and as many as 8 (16 sets of thread buried). Depending on the block, shapes, colors etc well let’s just say that jar doesn’t quite tell yesterdays stop/start/bury the thread story. I’d tossed that much away when Debby’s blog post reminded me I have these jars.

quantum leap on machine

In the end all of the stop/starts will be worth it. In the meantime I’m reminded of how beautiful this quilt is.
I’m reminded why it’s important to have a sewing table at the appropriate height for my person. At 5′ tall the table the machine is sitting on is a wee bit high.

I’m off to do some blogging for the magazine and more quilting on this beauty.

If you’re going to be at Quilt Market stop by the Generation Q Magazine booth and say hello. I’ll be there most of the week.

Happy Quilting!



Today’s post is brought to you by questions from a couple of user groups that I participate (read usually) in. This falls into the Frequently Asked Question category: “How on earth do I use my BERNINA Stitch Regulator?”

A way back in 2009 when in the Green Room getting ready to shoot episode 503 of Quilting Arts TV (by the way congratulations to Susan Brubaker Knapp, the new host!) I learned how to use the BERNINA Stitch Regulator. This adventure was told in two blog posts here and here. While there Jeanne Delpit, Manager of National Events for BERNINA taught me in 5 minutes how to use the BSR so that I would be able to demo this feature on camera. It worked so well that I’m happy to have one with Janie!

There are two modes:
BSR 1 – the needle starts going as soon as the start/stop button is activated or the foot pedal is pressed and held down.
BSR 2 – the needle starts moving with your hands and either the start/stop button is activated or the foot pedal is pressed and held down.

BSR on machine for blogWith either mode we can use a straight stitch or a zig zag stitch. I’m going to talk about the straight stitch as it’s what I use. The default stitch length is 2.0. At the very beginning this preset felt jerky as I tried to stitch. I felt like someone put training wheels on my Trek 750T.
Aside, I am a pokey quilter. If you’ve ever watched me stitch the machine is at a medium speed, not full tilt. I have good control of the stitch length because my hands and the machine speed are coordinated.

Reducing the stitch length to somewhere between 1.5 and 1.9 (yes that .1 mm makes a huge difference in the responsiveness of the BSR) made the BSR much more responsive to my hand movement; meaning the training wheels were taken off and there was no jerky movement as I stitched. This is exciting stuff! I love this little bit of technology.

You may (or may not) have noticed there is a choice of the start/stop button or the foot pedal. Yes, either can be used to engage the BSR. When using the start/stop button simply remove the cord for the foot pedal and set it aside, not too far away so it can easily be plugged back in again. Press the button until it turns green, stitch to your hearts content. To disengage the BSR press the button again until it turns gray.

When using the foot pedal just press it (full tilt is easiest) and keep it pressed to stitch. When you’re finished stitching take your foot off the foot pedal, disengaging. The foot pedal must be pressed while you’re stitching – this tells the machine that the BSR is active.BSR Sensor

Essentially we have choices with the BSR that will help us use it in a way that is easiest for us: Mode 1 or Mode 2, using the start/stop button OR the foot pedal to engage the BSR.  It took 5 minutes and a few questions from Jeanne for me to love this gadget. So as you’re sitting at your machine with the BSR engaged try both Modes, reduce the stitch length and try it with the foot pedal (remember to keep it pressed while stitching) or the start stop button.
We will all have some variation that works well for us. My friend Jules loves Mode 1 – using the start/stop button, where I’m a fan of Mode 2 – using the foot pedal.

Happy Quilting!


Today I’m sharing the back of Quantum Leap. Here are 7 individual blocks from the back. The quilting really shows from the back right now with the high contrasting colors. I’ll be excited to get to the border soon. Enjoy!

Happy Quilting!


QL back 7

Echo Quilting Rules!

QL back 4

I used Angela Huffman’s Ruler to get these straight lines

QL back 6

I like the effect of the echo quilting and the monofilament thread in the center

QL back 5

Echo quilting is highly effective…from the front it’s not nearly as noticeable as the background of the block is lime green

QL back 3

center of the block, will fill in the rest later

QL back 2

Echo Quilting and swirls

QL back 1

Using Angela’s Ruler started the triangle shapes in the corner of the block.

the back of the quilt Quantum Leapbut the quilting doesn’t matter

mmm well that’s not quite true: that the quilting is there is important for the overall look of the quilt
it’s important to quilt evenly across the surface for balance, design aesthetic
this block is heavily quilted – clearly but because I’ve used MonoPoly the quilting will not be prominent on the front of the quilt.

why? because what’s on the front of the quilt is something like this:my view in the morning

and the design here is the more important component than the quilting

Prolly before I go to Quilt Market I’ll have an exciting announcement.

Irritating isn’t it. That kind of teaser.

Yes, yes, I know. But it’ll be worth the wait!


Happy Quilting!


I’m on a mad dash to get 2 quilts done before Quilt Market – and that’s in between blogging for Gen Q, blogging for me, and working four days each week. Whew!!! It’s all good.
1 point 2 billion bubbles and countinghere’s what 1.2 billion bubbles looks like from the back of the quilt.

yes, dear friends, this is a wee bit of hyperbole but it’s the fun kind. And I like it

my view in the morningAs I stitch on Quantum Leap I get really excited. It doesn’t matter if I’m stitching with MonoPoly or Magnifico…it’s pretty. The beauty of this quilt is how much there is to see. Color and texture. I’m excited to get this one complete.

The other quilt will be 36 x 36. It’s from Paula Nadelstern’s new line that will be revealed at Quilt Market! Oh so fun. This is a great line.

I’m off to quilt and blog and meet with my Gen Q peeps and hold my sweeties hand!!!

Happy Quilting!



I got an email that made me Happy Dance in the car during my dinner break. And yes, I danced in my car, big grin on my face.  I’ll share the contents of the aforementioned email as soon as I have details.

Jackie kunkle and me

Got to visit with Jackie Kunkel of Canton Village Quilt Works at the New England Air Museum Flights and Fantasies Quilt Show yesterday. I went to see the show and get a signed copy of Michele Muska’s new book Quilting the new classics. This is a lovely book with a great variety of quilts and options and the quilting is great, just great.
Michelle Muskas book

Marie Bostwick signed a copy of her book ties that bind. Part of the Cobbled Court Quilt series. Love this series, it’s different and refreshing.

The best part seeing friends both long and new.  Leaving energized.
Then driving home in good time only to get slowed down in a couple of places that just made me nuts. But I quilted last night finishing the 1.2 million bubbles on Quantum Leap. Moving on to the final push on this quilt to get it done in time for Market.

And today quilting while listening to Jeter’s last professional baseball game. Such a great guy.

Quilting quilting quilting on to more quilting.

Happy Quilting!


Maria O City Quilter ClassJust 11 days ago I taught Let Your Foot Loose, be Fancy & Free at the City Quilter. It was a good day. The bonus was having Maria O. as a student. Maria is a fab quilter and teacher in her own right (she teaches at the City Quilter).  Maria posted this photo on fb of her finished, binding and all, sample from class. Oh my goodness!!!!  Swoon!
Maria certainly let her foot loose, changing thread weight and color on a whim! Letting the thread do the work for her to create an interesting piece. At the beginning of class she showed a quilt (she was delivering to someone) – the quilting is outstanding, tone on tone blending into the background.
This piece of hers oh yes, makes this teacher all kinds of giddy!

variegated silk so pretty

Susan asked, “Did you over stitch or did you add a line to make it look like the fabric turns?”

Great question Susan!

To answer completely I’ll show a photo of the whole piece first.

Well the answer is actually both. The first part of the answer is in how I drew the original lines of the whole cloth. I took the lid from my button tin and drew the original circle then added swooping lines  under it to create a “mountain” with the moon hanging low. I then drew in the lines for the star points, making them intentionally wonky. Why you might ask? Because every star has her own shape. CAM01738 (2)
Part of the visual has to do with the high contrast of the color: a bright cream to orange variegated 50 weight (Tiara Silk) silk thread next to a solid deep purple. By following the line of the original swoop and stitching densely that helps.
Since I outline stitched the area with the lighter thread and very close to the darker thread it looks like I stitched over in that area.

One thing you can see here that won’t be visible once the quilt is finished is the drawn line and how I almost got there. I was done stitching with that thread and wanted to move on somewhere else. Drawn lines are guidelines, not rules.


And a Whole Cloth Challenge Update. Lisa Calle and I had a bit of a chat the other day and I’d hoped to draft a quickie post over the weekend. We’re extending the challenge to the first week in December. We both have had a few things in our lives that have prevented us from having the time to finish our quilts. If you’ve finished your quilt both of us would love to post photos on our blogs so please send us photos. (note Lisa posted photos on this blog post.) If you’ve been thinking you’d like to make a whole cloth quilt there’s time!
it’s fat quarter size
design is your choice
fabric and thread and batting are your choice

Lisa and I are using Robert Kaufman Radiance.

Happy Quilting!


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