FREE Project – Festive Holiday Coasters

Hello again, everyone!

As some of you know, I went through a cancer scare this fall, and had my hands more than full with doctor visits and subsequent surgery a couple of weeks ago. But I am thrilled to report that my final biopsies came back negative & I’m getting my groove back!

I have a quick and fun project for you all that also makes a great gift – coasters! I’ve made mine in Christmas colors from the December Java Batiks box from Cotton Cuts, but you can choose any fabrics and colors you like – although I prefer quilting-weight cottons.

Project video by Beth Ann Williams

A few additional tips:

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Machine Quilting with a Serpentine Stitch

This is a slightly expanded version of a post previously published on the Cotton Cuts blog in September 2021.

I’ll say one thing about the global pandemic: I think I’ve done more sewing and quilting in the past year and a half than in the previous 10 years! Seriously, my sewing machine has been a lifeline, and the connections I’ve made through sharing my work – and enjoying everyone else’s work – on Instagram has made this time of isolation also one of creative joy and inspiration.

But one of the things I’m finding is that finishing all these quilt tops I’m making is easier said than done! I love to free-motion quilt, but I find it very taxing on my body (I have a domestic sewing machine – not a mid-arm or long-arm quilting machine); so I like to switch it up with walking foot quilting – which for me, is usually faster, too.

I’ve spent some serious time experimenting with different ways to go beyond “stitch-in-the ditch” and simple straight-line grids and jazz up my machine quilting. (Not that they aren’t perfectly great ways to quilt – I was just ready to play with some new-to-me techniques.)

The serpentine stitch (one of the built-in decorative stitches in my sewing machine) has become one of my very favorite ways to quilt with a walking foot – simple, fast, and lots of lovely texture.

Close-up of samples of machine quilting with a serpentine stitch by Beth Ann Williams

This is what the serpentine stitch setting looks like on my machine:

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Finishing Spree & My Top 4 Favorite Patterns of Summer 2021

Since I like to work on multiple projects at a time, I occasionally experience a bottleneck of quilts that are all at the same stage. Such has been the case this month, when I ended up sewing bindings on 8 different quilts in a little over a week. Wow! My arms are ready for a break, but it’s so much fun to see each quilt finally completed. And it has given me chance to reflect on my favorite patterns of the summer.

But before I go any further, I’d like to elaborate on what I look for when I buy a commercial pattern rather than designing a quilt myself (which I also like to do).

What I Look for When I Buy a Pattern:

(listed in no particular order, recognizing that no pattern ticks ALL of the boxes – which is just fine!)

–A design that I haven’t seen before, or an clever twist on an old favorite

–A technique I haven’t tried before or don’t use very often

–Multiple size options (this isn’t a deal breaker if it’s only one size – as long as I feel confident that I can change the size if I wish to do so)

–Well-written (and tested) instructions with clear diagrams, cutting charts, and (bonus points) coloring sheets

–An opportunity to use a favorite fabric or collection of fabrics I’ve been saving for “just the right project”

And the most important factor:

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New Classes for Fall 2021

Registration is now open for my new fall classes!

Stop in or call the Wyoming, Michigan Lakeshore Sewing location at 616-531-5561 to register for these ZOOM classes. Note: Lakeshore Sewing will be closed Saturday – Monday of Labor Day weekend.

And don’t forget – locals can save 10% on class supplies at Lakeshore Sewing!

It’s all About the ThreadZOOM – Tues., 9/21; 6:00 – 8:00 PM EST Update 9/17 – this class has been postponed due to an unforeseen schedule conflict.

Sneak peek at some of the swatches from the upcoming zoom class Creative Machine Quilting with a Walking Foot with Beth Ann Williams

Easy & Effective Machine Quilting with a Walking FootZOOM – Sat., 9/25 & 10/2; 10 AM – 1:00 PM

Original Confetti quilt from pattern jacket (from Tied with a Ribbon – pattern purchase required) and ombre baby quilt layout by Beth Ann Williams

Confetti Quilt or Table RunnerZOOM – Thurs., 10/7, 14, & 21; 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Sneak peek at a few of the swatches from the upcoming zoom class Free Motion Quick Start 1 with Beth Ann Williams

Free-Motion Quickstart 1 Sat., 10/23; 10 AM – 2 PM

Sneak peek at a one of the samples for the upcoming zoom class Free Motion Quick Start 2 with Beth Ann Williams

Free-Motion Quickstart 2: Crescents, Swirls, Flowers & Leaves ZOOM – Sat., 11/6; 10 AM – 2 PM

Hope to see you soon!

The New Zoom Class Schedule is Up!

The new January and February Zoom class schedule has finally been published!
I’m excited about the mix of classes I have coming up – some brand-new offerings you’ve asked for, plus a few repeats of popular classes.

You can see the full list (and download supply lists) on the Upcoming Zoom Classes page on my website, or at www.lakeshoresewing.com.

All my classes are being offered through Lakeshore Sewing in Wyoming, Michigan, so you’ll need to call the store at 616-531-5561 to register. 

Please note that the usual store hours are Monday-Friday, 9 AM – 5:30 PM and Saturday, 9 AM – 4 pm; but with the holidays, there are some changes. 
The store will be closed from Dec. 31, 2020 – Jan. 3, 2021; normal hours will resume on Monday, Jan. 4, 2020.

Meanwhile, here is a quick overview:

All Sew Together – Convertible Fleece Blanket/Pillow
Trellis Quilt (Pattern by Cluck, Cluck, Sew)
Dual Compartment Padded Laptop or Tablet Pouch
Sneak peak at some of the swatches from the upcoming zoom class Easy and Effective Machine Quilting with a Walking Foot with Beth Ann Williams
Divided Basket (pattern by Noodlehead)
Flanged Bindings by Machine (quilt pattern by Lo & Behold Stitchery)
It’s All About the Thread – a NEW lecture/trunk show

See my Upcoming Zoom Classes page for full descriptions, dates, and supply lists.

Hope to see you soon!
Beth Ann

www.bethannwilliams.com