NEWSLETTER 03042016 Posted on 4 Mar 12:11 , 1 comment

... TODAY ONLY ...
It's a deal you can't pass up ... a must-have FAN FAVORITE (no pun intended LOL)
 1312 FAN E2E for your quilting library.
I had totally forgotten about scheduling this goodie in the DAILY DEALS for you.
You'll want to get right over to the store before midnight tonight.
Grab this pattern at an incredibly low price while you can! 

Lots of new patterns have gone into the store this year ... over 4 pages (nearly 80 in all) of new designs.
But this one 1741 HUGS TRIANGLE has to be a favorite for me.
Isn't that just the prettiest border!
I can't quite figure how you could possible get more value for your dollar spent with this design. It's like the energizer bunny ... it just keeps going and going and going. The design possibilities are endless but here's a few to get you started. 

February was a busy month all the way around  ... lots of fun playing with the design possibilities with quilt tops piecing using a log cabin block style. I put together a little slideshow highlighting patterns that work with these blocks, ran lots of "featured of the week" sales with heart designs, and helped out with some custom work/design consulting on the side with a Mountaintop customer.
Pat did a great job with her Chevron Log Cabin quilt.
It was a good month and win-win for everyone. 
We started here:

And ... ended up here:

... all point-to-point - even the border 1274 POPSICLE STICK P2P E2E
... and that's a wrap-up for the last few weeks ...
Feel free to share with a friend - tell them to subscribe.

QUILT TOP PLAY TIME: LOG CABIN BLOCKS Posted on 16 Feb 09:49 , 0 comments

Design time fun playing with blocks as they come ... or tweaking, mix-and-match, or use them in a different way than intended ... the idea: have fun while creating and learning. 

What's my favorite ... playing with the triangles and mixing and matching to create a whole new look ... because ... what a great way to get double-duty or more value from the quilting designs in the pattern library. That's the best! 


DESIGN CHALLENGE: LYRA Posted on 28 Apr 02:00 , 0 comments

Lyra is a piecing pattern designed by Debby Maddy. I was contacted by Kaye who has this quilt coming up quite quickly in her quilting que. She is quilting it for the shop who has plans for putting together several kits. Needless to say, we always want to do our best when quilting shop samples and, for Kaye, even more so with the potential for kit customers wanting not only the kit fabrics but also the same quilting as well. Which brings up a great marketing idea for all of you readers out there who are professional longarm quilters.

Consider this when presented with an opportunity similar to which Kaye has been  blessed. Ask the shop owner to to include a postcard with the following information and images: 

          •  on the one side of the card print a photo of the shop sample that really shows off your quilting
          •  on the other side include your contact information AND a coupon with a "discounted kit quilting price."

You can decided how much to include (like batting at a discounted price, no charge for thread, etc) in your kit discount beyond the discounted cost of quilting their quilt exactly the same way as you quilted the shop sample. Your project is already all set up, all of the design decisions, all the collecting of project patterns and re-sizing is already done, all of your quilt groups are in order after completing the shop sample so why not make the most of it


And so, back to the original question. Kaye sent me an email asking for design suggestions. The pattern is very similar to the ONE BIG STAR piecing pattern that has been so popular over the last few years. I'm sure you've seen more than one of those come under the needle in your studio. I went straight to the catalog and started collecting images from 1167 ONE BIG STAR COLLECTION. Before you know it the quilting mock-up was complete with the design audition ready for customer approval.Wishing Kaye the best of luck with her latest quilting project and I'm hoping she is able to offer a "discounted kit quilting price" to several of her customers. It looks like a win-win situation all the way around for everyone involved ... shop owner, longarm quilter, and quilt piecer.

... know your craft ... practice your craft ...

... and ... be innovative with your craft ...


DESIGN QUESTION: FEATHER SURPRISE BORDER Posted on 27 Apr 16:33 , 1 comment

Recently Cindy sent me some beautiful photos of a quilt she completed using the 1472 FEATHER SURPISE COLLECTION. She had some questions about using the border blocks. So I took some time today for design play using the blocks in question working up options for filling large triangle spaces and playing with borders.

One of the first questions that comes up is regarding 1470 and 1474. The only difference between these two patterns is that one is designed for p2p pattern work and the other it set as a block might be set without the connecting curves. A p2p pattern will have the start on the left and the stop or end point on the right. A block pattern usually has the start/end point located in the middle of the pattern where it might be least visible. If you're searching for 1474 Feather Surprise Brd 2 Blk you won't find it in the catalog as it was included as a bonus pattern in the collection package.

The next block I would like you take a look at and have fun with some 1460 mirror and 1474design play is 1460 FEATHER SURPRISE BRD 1. This is included as a part of the collection or can be purchased separately. By simply using the mirror or flip tool you can create two additional blocks ... one that looks like 1474 and one that looks like the row blocks of 1471 FEATHER SURPRISE BORDER CORNER.     I describe these two blocks as "teeth in" (1474) and "teeth out" (1471). You may want to check the sewing order after you've done all the manipulating you want with the patterns before you export to a CSQ. And, if you're a PVM user be sure to keep your pattern name the same with a version indication added.                                                                                           Something like 1460A or 1460.1 usually works for me. Then when I'm doing a search these patterns will come up together.  


Sometimes one of the most difficult design challenges we have to work with is what to do with the large corner triangles when the piecing layout happens to be a center medallion or set of blocks set on point. I will usually try to break the large triangle area into smaller triangles. This allows me to keep the quilting more in balance. Unless I have a large triangle design made specifically for the large piecing size meaning the scale of the quilting will be the same as what is found in individual blocks I run a good chance of having my quilting scale out of balance. If you think of fabric design scale and how we will use that to our advantage to create contrast when we're piecing, you'll have a better of idea of what I'm talking about. We want that contrast when we're piecing to help create visual interest across the top of the quilt. But when we have that kind of contrast with the quilting design we end up with puffy or saggy unquilted areas that look like we forgot to finish the quilting in that spot. This mockup shows the placement of1464 FEATHER SURPRISE TRIANGLE dropped in the two side triangle areas and then rubber stamped and mirrored or flipped to create a block that rests snuggly in between the two triangles.  


I love the way the blocks came together for Cindy in the center part of the quilt. I had never rotated 1466 FEATHER SURPRISE BLOCK 3 and seen the circles or rings pop like that. What a wonderful suprise. It almost gives the effect of a double wedding ring design.

Here's another mockup I put together while I was playing today. It is very similar to what Cindy did with her quilt, but what I want you to notice is an alternate way of looking at the border treatment. Don't you just love it when the design possibilities are limitless! Thank you to Cindy for sharing your quilt project with us.

... know your craft ... practice your craft ...
... and ... be innovative with your craft ...






BABY SHOWER QUILT Posted on 6 Apr 16:02 , 0 comments

sindy quilt frontSindy and her friends wanted to make a quilt - a grandma quilt - for a new baby due to arrive in May. They gathered their scraps and yardage and set to work. I think the outcome is just perfect fr comfy cozy grandma snuggle times. Sindy chose to use a very thin batting for the quilt of which I'm not normally a fan but it is a perfect choice in this case. The batting is soft and light-weight. It will wash up beautifully giving the quilt a wonderful antique puckery look and will be just right for the warmer summer days. The fabric selection is also perfect for picnics and a baby play mat on the grass. Well done girls.

We kept the quilting very simple and traditional. This isn't a quilt that is stiff with quilting nor would you want it to be. This quilt is to be used rather than hung in the baby's nursery room or packed away in the baby treasures box. Grandma is all set to start making memories with this new littlebaby as soon as it arrives on the scene.

The patterns used on the quilt are:

  1. A very traditional 4 Corner Heart block -1481 BABY HEARTS; I love the way the connections in the center frame the block center 4-patch.
  2. Another traditional antique daisy block for the floral setting plain blocks 1482 ANTIQUE DAISY (some of the research I did indicated this motif has been found on quilts dating as early as 1850)
  3. A single simple 1/4" echoing in the setting triangles helps to frame the quilt body; some might argue that additional quilting should be in the triangles. I think when the quilt it washed the antique soft puckering feel will look good as they are. This is where personal preferences come into play. What does your eye like determines whether more quilting would be added to these triangles. I used the P2P Line to keep the quilting at a perfect fit inside the pieced triangles.

 The border pattern is 1113 VF HEART BORDER. I wanted to carry to "love" all the way out to the edges by continuing with the heart theme. I also wanted a pattern that would create a finite edge along the inside framing border. That gives the appearance of stitching in the ditch without having to add that additional time consuming step and keeping the cost of the quilting more affordable.

sindy opening photo

The patterns can be found here:


RIBBONS AND STARS Posted on 31 Jan 09:14 , 0 comments

Don't you just love it when faced with a quilt top that stops you in your tracks when trying to develop a quilting design plan? Any number of things can cause you to scratch your head in bewilderment. One of the most common roadblocks is an odd-shaped space. Strong lines on the diagonal also can cause a quilter to shiver in her boots.

Cyndi posed a design dilemma to our Stater group recently. She had pieced a quilt top using a pattern called RIBBONS AND STARS from her good friend with the Noble Patchwork Company and was looking for suggestions for custom quilting. I was very intrigued by the twisting lines created from the piecing and the odd shaped background areas.

First impression ... twisting feather lines and background fill but those designs are quite predictable. Is there something else that would cause the viewers at a quilt show to stop and take a second look as they walk the aisles?

I used Electric Quilt 6 to develop a mock-up of the quilt. The paper piecing lines are quite strong and can be used as a design element to keep the ribbons flowing across the quilt top. Using stitch-in-the-ditch in the paper piecing lines will also help to eliminate the odd shape background areas by allowing the setting triangles to stand alone.

In my art classes we always talked about balance and unity pulling all of the elements together in a visual piece. When you can use quilting designs that are from the same collection in a variety of sizes and shapes the quilt top will pull together as one cohesive visual unit. Using the block pattern from the Willow Collection in the outer border and the small tilted center squares of the pieced blocks is a start in the right direction. Use the triangle from the same collection and it all starts to come together.

All that is left is the four LeMoyne star blocks. Keep things simple. Avoid adding another design element by choosing a block design introducing a whole new concept or idea. Something curvy to help smooth out the linear angular aspect of the stars ... use continuous curve quilting to accent the piecing of the block.

And last but not least, especially for a show quilt, define the framing border with more stitch-in-the ditch.

You can see a larger picture with detailed quilting notes by clicking HERE.