Show and tell…

Lindsay Fulmer emailed with photos and a story of her Spring Wheels quilt. She wrote:

I came across the Spring Wheels pattern from the Once Upon a Season book many years ago when I was a beginner quilter. A few years ago when I felt as though I could take on the quilt, I decided to just pull up my big girl pants and do it. I used a white on white Lakehouse dot for the background and each wheel has a unique Kaffe Fassett fabric. I have been collecting his fabrics for years.

FG Kaffe Wheels Show

The quilt won first place for Large Contemporary and Viewers Choice at the Flying Geese Quilt Guild show called “Harvest of Quilts”. It’s also been shown at Road 2 California. I had Judi Madsen of Green Fairy Quilts do the machine quilting – all done on a long arm however not computerized. The only requirement I had of her was to not quilt on the Kaffe fabric, just on the white. Otherwise, she had full reign over the quilt. Click here to see Judi’s blog post.


Recently my husband found my quilt on Facebook….he had seen a post from his childhood art teacher. It’s amazing the power of social media! There are over 26k likes at this point. Click here to see that post.

Lindsay, let me add that I think you made a fantastic quilt! Congratulations on the acclaim you are getting for it. For those of you who haven’t made Spring Wheels, I think we would both say that it is too much fun to miss out on.

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!


Sweet Sixteen and those handy clamps…

In August of 2010 I shared with you the system I learned from Caryl Bryer Fallert that takes the weight of the quilt off of you and the table as you machine quilt. I would not willingly machine quilt without my clamps!

I get requests for a link back to that post often enough that I've finally added a section on the right with the header 'Pages Often Asked For'. You can see my first post showing the system with my Bernina. Read that post first for more details.

I'm pretty sure I showed the same system set up for my Sweet Sixteen but darned if I can find that post! (If any of you find, please let me know. Better yet, send me the URL.) So I am reposting the photos today.


Because the Sweet Sixteen is oriented front to back (rather than side to side like a home machine) you need a clamp on each side, 8"-12" back from the needle. 

This is what it looks like from the front:

SweetSixteen-02 copy

When I am not quilting anything big enough to require use of the clamps I pull the cord so that the clamps are near the ceiling. I coil the cord and clamp it in place.


When I want the clamps I release the clamp mechanism, drop the cord, pinch the toggle, and move the clamp down to a useful level.

PS – I must start using tags to make finding things easier. Today. I'll start today.