Machine Quilting

  • Endings and Beginnings – A Personal Note

    “New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” This quote, usually attributed to Lao Tzu, but perhaps written by someone else entirely, nonetheless speaks to me – especially given what is happening in my life right now. Journal Quilt – Tree of Life. Journal Quilting is one of the ways I process my life experiences […]


  • 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 […]


  • Finishing Spree – Take Wing, Foundation Piecing, & Mixing Quilting Methods

    A quick note: my fall online teaching schedule is up! In addition to repeating a couple of my most-requested classes, I’ve got some brand-new classes to share with you all. 🙂 And now to the topic at hand – foundation piecing (also called foundation paper piecing) is a great technique for achieving precise piecing and […]


  • Finishing Spree! Fireworks, Curvy Quilting & “Disappearing” Binding

    A quick note: my new fall online teaching schedule is up! In addition to repeating a couple of my most-requested classes, I’ve got some brand-new classes to share with you all. I haven’t been posting much this summer, but I’ve certainly been sewing up a storm! I’m finding it good therapy. 🙂 Due to the […]


  • Finishing Spree – Quilting with Decorative Stitches

    Now that I’m participating in at least four new sew-alongs over the next few months, my finishing-spree is more important that ever! This time, I’d like to share yet another machine quilting option – quilting with the decorative stitches that are built into your sewing machine. My observations & recommendations:


  • Finishing Spree – Hoops vs. Gloves for Free-Motion Quilting

    I hope all of my US friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving! My husband and son couldn’t get away, but my daughter Connor and I had a fabulous road trip together to visit my family in Pennsylvania and New York. We had a wonderful time staying with my parents and then with my sister – including […]


  • Finishing Spree – Quilt-As-You-Go

    Sometimes projects take a turn or two (or more!) along the way and don’t turn out as originally envisioned. I like to reframe these as opportunities for new “design decisions”.   😉 Earlier this fall, I signed up to participate in the Modern Patchwork Quilt Along – Talk of the Town Quilt with Amy Ellis. Little […]


  • Finishing Spree – Matchstick Quilting

    Do you know what Matchstitck Quilting is? I didn’t until a few months ago when my friends Ruth and Michele told me about it. Yes, apparently I’ve been hiding under a rock… LOL I had difficulty wrapping my brain around it at first; quilting lines only the width of a matchstick apart? Why on earth […]


  • Shimmer Quilt – Part 3

    My clamshell “Shimmer” quilt has been a labor of love and persistence – for such a relatively small piece, it sure has been labor intensive! But I’ve enjoyed each step of the process as it stretched my creative muscles to experiment with new-to-me products, techniques and approaches. Below is my completed quilt top. It’s a […]


  • Straight Line Machine Quilting with the Jazz

    I was perplexed when I realized that the Baby Lock Jazz, which is marketed as a quilting and sewing machine, doesn’t come with a walking foot among the 9 included presser feet. It seems like a counter-intuitive omission. Not that big a deal for me, since I already have a deluxe Baby Lock low-shank walking […]


  • Colorwash Bargello – Free-Motion Quilting!

    This is the eleventh in a series of sew/quilt-along posts about making a bargello quilt. I am following the pattern for Cascade, the most beginner-friendly pattern from Colorwash Bargello Quilts. I’ve layered my quilt top, Hobb’s Heirloom Fusible Batting, and backing fabric, and fused the layers together.  It’s a little unusual, but when I use fusible batting, I […]


  • Colorwash Bargello – Choosing Thread for Free-Motion Quilting

    This is the tenth in a series of sew/quilt-along posts about making a bargello quilt. I am following the pattern for Cascade, the most beginner-friendly pattern from Colorwash Bargello Quilts. The quilt top is complete, and as I discussed in my previous post, I’ve decided to free-motion quilt this project.  I’m raring to get started!  I’m leaning […]


  • Colorwash Bargello – Machine Quilting Options

    This is the ninth in a series of sew/quilt-along posts about making a bargello quilt. I am following the pattern for Cascade, the most beginner-friendly pattern from Colorwash Bargello Quilts. The quilt top is complete, and I’m considering my options for machine quilting the quilt top, batting, and backing together. There are no rules about how best […]


  • Making a Celtic Quilt – Adding Additional Texture with Machine Quilting

    This is the tenth in a series of posts that will take you step-by-step through the process of creating a Celtic Quilt. The lines that form my Celtic and Celtic-style knotwork designs are formed by cutting bias strips of fabric and sewing them into tubes, which are then fused onto background fabric. For this project, I added […]


  • Book Review – Quilts As You Go Made Modern

    Quilt As-You-Go Made Modern: Fresh Techniques for Busy Quilters by Jera Brandvig From C&T Publishing: Fun and done! Quilting is easier than ever with this popular method • A modern approach to quilting that’s fresh, fun, and simpler than it sounds; it will change the way you quilt (for the better) • Great for moms […]


  • Free-Motion Quilting – the fun stuff!

    Free-motion quilting sample

    Free-Motion quilting is one of my favorite – and occasionally dreaded – parts of quiltmaking. Favorite, because it allows me to play with color, line and texture; occasionally dreaded, because I sometimes (fortunately not nearly as often I used to) start to over-think everything and become stressed out. But one of the good things about […]


  • So You Want to Buy a New Sewing Machine…

    One of the questions I am asked most frequently is “What sewing machine (or brand of sewing machine) do you recommend?” I always feel a little awkward about answering this; while my current Baby Lock machine is my favorite machine I’ve ever owned, I’ve also happily sewn or quilted on just about every other major […]


  • 8 Tips for a Creative Life

    This is a reprint of an article that originally appeared in the magazine CraftSanity, Issue 2, published by Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood. © Beth Ann Williams, 2011. I also had the pleasure of being interviewed by Jennifer on CraftSanity Episode 116. CraftSanity. Making stuff. Crafting Sanity. Sometimes it’s about having something do to with my hands while my […]


  • Finished Is More Important Than Perfect

    2013 Zen-Tangle

    Finished is more important than perfect. Anyone who has participated in one of my classes or Demo Days at Lakeshore Sewing has probably heard me say this – it’s one of my favorite mantras when teaching. The second part goes like this: The more you finish, the closer to perfect you’ll get. It’s generally true, […]


  • Machine Quilting FAQ & Top Tips

    Here’s another post dealing with FAQ – this time specifically related to using a sewing machine for quilting. For the time being, I’m avoiding the topic of which threads I recommend; we’ll save that for another day! Do you work by hand or by machine? The short answer is both. I almost always use a […]


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