Also in American Patchwork & Quilting….

I love it! AP&Q featured our Quilter’s Applique Caddy on their favorite finds page! I always love seeing what cool things their ‘finders’ have found…


As before, this photo is used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2014 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

We’re in American Patchwork & Quilting!

You are going to find a very cute Piece O’ Cake project in the June 2014 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting magazine! The June issue goes on sale April 1st, so you’ll be seeing it soon. This is the cover to look for:


Please note that these images are used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2014 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

I drew the pattern; Linda chose the fabrics and made it so you have her to thank for the perky colors!


This quilt makes me think of colorful little beach houses. It is happy and sunny! And AP&Q took amazing photos, as always :-).

American Patchwork and Quilting always makes up the projects in the magazine in more than one colorway. The alternate versions of this quilt are made from Benartex and Shannon fabrics. You’ll need to look at the magazine to see them… I haven’t even seen them yet!


Don’t be tense…

I’ve been meaning to post this diagram for a very, very long time. This chart came from the fine folks at Superior Threads. Back in the day, they gave me permission to post it on my blog.

Thread_Tension_DiagramClick the link below and the pdf will open. You can print it from there! Click here to see it on Superior’s site.


This diagram helped to make thread tension less of a mystery to me. I can visualize the little guys pulling the thread either too much, or too little. When I look at my machine stitching, if there’s a problem, I know better where the problem is coming from. Before this , I would twist and turn the top tension knob and hope for the best.

Bob and Heather Purcell at Superior Threads are very good about educating us all about thread. Go to their education page and click around—you are sure to find something interesting!


I am not a crazy person…

And do you know how I know that I am not a crazy person? It’s because I would never, ever, in a million years (except maybe if I was on The Amazing Race!), do this:

The actual jump starts at around 2:40 and that part goes by surprisingly quickly. I was impressed that no one got hung up on a street light.

One of the jumpers is a ‘legendary’ iron worker (who worked on 1 World Trade) and you can read more about him here. I am remaining neutral on whether these guys deserve to be punished or not. I can only hold strong opinions about so many things at a time and this isn’t one of them.

I can say that way back in the day MDH, Steve, was an iron worker. The buildings were shorter but a fall could still have killed him. I am much happier with his current profession :-).


Thankfully, he is not crazy either.

Clouds, as seen from above…

When I flew back from California, I was lucky enough to have a row of seats to myself so I moved from the aisle to the window. We approached Dallas as the sun was setting. There was dust and smoke in the air, mixed with the clouds…


I’ve looked at a lot of clouds over Dallas and these were unusual. The wind was blowing and the formation changed as I snapped pictures. If I didn’t know that those were clouds, I would image that I was looking at an expanse of sand, with clouds and sky in the distance!


Cropped, it’s even better…

DustySkyOverDallas-2 copy

Wouldn’t these be great colors to use together in a quilt!


Showing and telling…

Ruta Hardenbrooke sent me a photo of this cute quilt she made using English paper pieces and my Spinning Wheels pattern. Such happy polka dots!


I am almost caught up from being gone to California. The pile on my desk is less deep; the pile on Lorna’s desk is more deep! I sent a newsletter earlier today that you may have seen. I now have some bolts of solid linen/cotton blend fabric that is fantastic. Lorna is going to be cutting, folding, and shipping for the next several days. It’s good to be busy, right?!

I spent a little time this afternoon helping Christopher lay 18″ floor tile in their master bath. He did the hard parts on his knees on the floor. I handed him tiles and slapped scoops of mastic on the floor. We had mother/son bonding time which is fun no matter how old you are!

A class full of independent quilters…

I am home from my session at Empty Spools where I had 18 women, each doing her own thing for 5 days. Everyone, including me, had a wonderful time! As is typically the case, I did not have time to blog during this time, but I did take some pictures during the walk-around time. That happens after class on the 4th day, when students can walk around and see what’s going on in other classes.

The walls in our classroom were all glass; the light was good. There was a rock fireplace (which we could have used, but didn’t) and wood on one wall and the floor. A rustic setting, in a nice way.

Barb’s was the first design wall you would see as you walked in the door. She spent the her time sewing together the wheels (from Spring Wheels) that she had sewn at home. As she will tell you, this is not a hard quilt to make, but it is slow. She email me that she sewed the two halves of the quilt together soon after she got home.


April worked on a variation of Flowering Vines, from our book Flowering Favorites. She is using the vine patterns from The Best-Ever Applique Sampler for the flower panels.


V’Lou, April’s sister, is working on Tree O’ Life. She got the background just right and then worked on the applique toward the end of class. It’s very cheerful!


Next up is Peggie who designed and did most of the applique on this cute quilt from our book, Applique With Attitude. She stayed at it and happily stitched the days away.


Peggie didn’t use it much, but she did pull out the cutest sewing machine ever…Image

Tami was one of three brand new quilters in the room. She came with a pattern and the urge to learn how to piece better. She left class knowing how to read a pattern, cut and sew more accurately, how to sew triangles, and more!


There were a few work areas in the room that I missed taking pictures of and I could kick myself. I was focusing on the design walls, and visiting with the folks from other classes who were walking through.

  • Kim pieced a lone star in solids that is going to be amazing. She also set together a bunch of little shapes for a table runner that is going to be great anywhere she puts it.
  • Glenda made her first quilt! The top is from the cover of Skip The Borders by Julie Herman, Jaybird Quilts. Glenda made the top, basted it, machine quilted it with her walking foot, and made and sewed on the binding. The rest of us were impressed!
  • Sue quietly worked on a large cross stitch piece in the mornings and then on a pieced quilt in the afternoon. She was enjoying the peace/piece and quiet.

Sandy brought several projects to work on. One was a bunch of two-sided quilted squares that she was setting together with sashing strips for a bed quilt. She also had some applique blocks that she was hand quilting that she will set together the same way. Sandy also worked on a tessellating block of her own design that I failed to take a picture of. Sigh.


  • Diana worked on a huge number of half square triangles for a project that will come together at home. I’m not sure that I could have stuck with it as well as she did :-).
  • Janet #1 spent time working on a very cute sock monkey for a grandchild. Again, where was my camera when I needed it!

Karynn made a very nice quilt top from a pattern from a magazine featuring Kaffe Fassett fabrics…

ImageSharon was also working on a pieced quilt made with Kaffe fabrics. The two design walls were next to each other and the two quilts were really good together! I’m pretty sure we all wanted to go home and make something with these yummy fabrics!


  • Janet #2, another beginner, worked on a pieced pattern with a seasonal theme. She even tackled curved seams and they worked like a charm! I really wish I had taken a photo before the blocks came off the wall because she did a great job on them.

Polly brought UFOs from long ago. The first is a medallion block that features her very own house! I suggested the 1/2″ checkerboard inner border and she gamely went along with idea. It took time but everyone who saw it agreed that it was worth the effort. I can truthfully say that the scariest part of the whole class for me was when we trimmed her applique block to size… and the borders did fit!


Polly also pulled out a UFO with teacup blocks. It took a while to decide how to perk it up and she got a good start on it before the class was over.


  • Carolyn worked on an Alex Anderson pieced Christmas Tree pattern and it was looking really good. Each tree was cut from an interesting fabric. Lots to look at and I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture!

Kathy had a never-ending box of things to work on. She got the border and the wiggly bias strip on a UFO from the Whirlygig class I’d taught before…


She also worked on borders for these wonky stars from a Gwen Marston class. Kathy had more projects that came and went throughout the class. She stayed busy.


Jan made tops for quilts for grandchildren. She stayed at it and got a lot done!




The beauty of this class is that you really can work on anything you like. It is lovely for me as a teacher to be able to be helpful to quilters who are doing so many different things!