• 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 […]

  • Wicked Weaver & My New Favorite Product

    The October Java Batiks box from Cotton Cuts and the Midnight Bite Sew Along (#MidnightBiteSAL) from Lillyella Stitchery offered me a fun opportunity to go outside my comfort zone this month. The Midnight Bite pattern bundle has 3 sizes of each of two different patterns – a bat and a spider. I opted to make […]

  • 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 […]

  • Cotton Cuts and the Value of Value

    “Color gets all the credit, but value does all the work.” I don’t know who first came up with that quote; but I’ve seen many, many versions of it – because it’s so true! Most quilt books have a section on how to choose colors for a quilt. Color theory can be very helpful, but […]

  • 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 […]

  • Link Love – FREE Patterns for the Tiki Tote & the Persimmon Dumpling Pouch

    Update on 4/24/22 – the Tiki Tote pattern can now be found here on Craftsy. I’ve gotten some requests for more information about two projects I posted on Instagram recently – the Tiki Tote pattern from Bluprint (featured on the Midnight Quilt Show with Angela Walters) and the Persimmon Dumpling Pouch from Sara Lawson of […]

  • What I Did This Summer… Fun with Sew Alongs on Instagram

    First, for those who enjoy a little backstory: (if you don’t care about backstory, skip on down to the Sew Alongs – I won’t be offended!) One of the challenges of pursuing your passion (or something related to your passion) as your vocation is the risk of adding so many financial and/or performance related pressures […]

  • Link Love – Cork and the Clydebank Tote

    Have you ever heard of cork fabric? I was dimly aware of it, but it hadn’t really registered for me as something I’d like to try until I came across this post on the Sew Sweetness blog by Sara Lawson. In conjunction with an online book club she is hosting, Sara is posting a free […]

  • Checking Out Lightweight Cotton Twill

    So I’m in love with the Kona Cotton Ultra from – it’s my go-to fabric choice when ordering, but when the site ran a promotion on Lightweight Cotton Twill, I took a chance and ordered some. I’m so glad I did! I find the lightweight cotton twill launders well, is super easy to work […]

  • Adding Structure with Soft and Stable – Review & Tips

    One of the really great things about sewing is that you aren’t dependent on what you can find (or afford) in the store – you can create or customize all kinds of things to your specific tastes and needs. Lately, I’ve been on a streak of making totes, bags and purses. Since my work (both […]

  • The 241 Tote from Noodlehead – Review, Part 2

    As anyone who sews or quilts can tell you, individual patterns have gotten more and more expensive over the years, especially if you like to seek out and support independent designers. Being able to download patterns and save them as pdfs can help (as opposed to buying printed patterns, with or without paying additional for […]

  • The 241 Tote from Noodlehead – Review, Part I

    Did you ever experience a breathless moment in time when you looked up and knew in that brief instant that THIS was THE ONE?  Ok, let’s get our minds back on track here… I don’t know what you are thinking about, but I’m talking about tote bags. 😉 I love totebags. Cute little purses just […]

  • December Wrap-Up & Link Love

    What a month! Not only is late November through December extra-busy with the holidays AND one of the most demanding times of the year for my day job as Creative Director for Lakeshore Sewing, but our plumbing saga continued with more water in the basement, where my studio is located. Needless to say, my creative […]

  • My Adventures with Spoonflower

    Sadly, the repairs, unpacking, and setting up again of my basement studio has yet to be finished, which has really been cramping my creative style… However, Spoonflower is having a fantastic half price sale on fat quarters (all fat quarters – not just mine!) now through midnight on Nov. 8, 2018 – which also reminded me […]

  • Handy Tools for Invisible Machine Appliqué

    So this post will be a little unusual – it’s a few links specifically requested by the lovely gals in my Invisible Machine Appliqué class who wanted to know where I found a few of the items I used in class today. Upon discussion, it was agreed that the easiest thing for everyone would be […]

  • 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 […]

  • Piecing on the Jazz

    Continuing my evaluation of the Baby Lock Jazz – It’s time to piece a quilt!  One of the first things I looked for is a straight stitch throat plate, as I have found that very helpful for sewing perfectly accurate, consistently straight seams on other machines, especially when strip piecing. I was initially disappointed to […]

  • How Does the Jazz Do with Invisible Machine Appliqué?

    So far the Jazz is performing superbly. 🙂  But an important test for me is how well it will do with invisible machine appliqué, as that is one of my specialties. Of course, my other machines are just great for this, but I’m excited about having much more workspace on the Jazz.   Here is how […]

  • A New Machine!

    I love my Baby Lock Symphony, and plan to keep it; but I’ve had my eye on the Baby Lock Jazz for a while. This month, Brian from Lakeshore Sewing offered a deal too good to pass up and I finally took the plunge. I’m excited about using this machine for home dec (particularly large […]

  • Sewing with Seat Belts

    No reviews today – just one more day of seat belt fun before moving on to our next topic. 🙂 This time, I’m showing the Market Tote and Pouches from Cozy Nest Design in different colors. I’m using indigo, royal blue, and lavender blue.

  • Pattern Reviews

    My last post included my review, some helpful tips, and photos of the Market Tote Pattern from Cozy Nest Design. Today I’d like to share 2 additional related patterns: the Pouch Trio and the Cosmetic Bag Duo. Note: All pattern information is from Cozy Nest Design. Seat Belt Series: Pouch Trio Sewing Pattern $5.99 (PDF download) […]

  • Pattern Review

    Sewing with Seat Belts – Market Tote from Cozy Nest Design Notes: All pattern information is from Cozy Nest Design. Seat Belt Series: Market Tote Sewing Pattern $6.99 (PDF download) The Market Tote sewing pattern will take you step-by-step to creating a customized bag made of seat belt webbing!  Seat belt webbing is shimmery and luxurious, yet extremely durable  and easy […]

  • Sewing with Seat Belts – one of my new favorite things!

    It has been observed that I’ll try to sew almost anything if it sits still long enough… I get a kick out of trying new things, whether it’s new-to-me fabrics, or more unusual materials such Tyvek, used dryer sheets, specialty papers, or even very thin sheets of metal. One of my most recent discoveries is […]

  • Fun with Fabric Paints

    Getting started: It’s important to think about how you expect to use your fabric.  If you intend to create “art cloth” to mat and frame like a painting, or to serve as the main focal point of a quilt or wall hanging, your needs may be quite different than they would be if you intend […]

  • 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 […]

  • Fun with Cloth Dolls & Figurative Art

    Although I make my living primarily by designing, teaching, and writing about contemporary quiltmaking, I’ve become a most enthusiastic dollmaker and mixed-media and surface design enthusiast, as well. I find working with the figure (human or non-human) to be very therapeutic, as well as lots of fun. Although my quilts are all original designs, at […]

  • Book Review – Bags: The Modern Classics

    Bags – The Modern Classics: Clutches, Hobos, Satchels & More by Sue Kim From C&T Publishing: The bag makes the outfit! • Make your own fashion statement with these sophisticated, runway-worthy bag designs • Each of the 19 projects has multiple variations for more than 75 different stylish ways to carry it all • Create perfectly polished […]

  • 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 […]

  • Snowing… and Sewing!

    What a crazy winter! Since I was in Africa in 1978-1979 and missed the record-breaking snow and cold of that winter, I have never experienced anything like this before. Wow! We are grateful that we haven’t had to deal with the power outages other areas have been affected by, and that the water main break […]

  • 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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