Monday, December 13, 2010

Gnome for the Holidays

Yep... quiet here huh?

Sorry about that, going at full tilt for the holidays and trying to get some family stuff in order. Still stitching, and thinking lots of quilty thoughts.
Want to find me quick and see what is going on.. check out the Longarm Virgin FB page

Love the gnome?..   check out the rest of this artist's work!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ha!.. Fooled You! ( and a Quilty-Sin confession )

I bet you had given up on me ever quilting again!.. and for a while it was getting a wee bit dicey I will have to say.. life just keeps getting more and more busy.. then you throw in a major holiday and then sick kids... well you get the picture!   But LOOK.. I am sewing.. I am sewing  wonky Ferris Wheels for a  stash-busting quilt to put on my new sofa in a vain hope to make it better match the room.  ( Some people also call this pattern spider web.. I don't like spiders... well i really don't like Ferris wheels either but I like them a WHOLE lot more than spiders... which in the end is a real kick in the the pants since on of my sons want to be an arachnatologist eeeeeewwwwww  isn't that interesting! )

Ok..confession time
( it's good for the soul right?)

I need to come clean about something that might mean I get my tail kicked out of the ~real quilters~ club..and if it comes to that I will just have to here it is

I don't always match my bobbin thread to my top thread when piecing!.. there I said it! In fact I often use up odd colored partially filled bobbins when I am piecing.. just feeding them into the machine one after another as each runs out until I am rewarded with a whole slew of empty bobbins that are ready and waiting for fresh thread for my next project!

Ok  your turn,
Confess your quilting sins!
Best Quilty-Sin gets a Charm Pack of Fabric from my stash!

Friday, November 19, 2010

UnCharted Waters...

Here I am back rowing the same boat... what I would not do for a local store that sold good threads for longarm quilting!!!...   While having my wonderful time in Utah I got to play with some of the So Fine! thread by John Flynn for Superior.   It is no secret I have it hard for ST King Tut, but had not had much experience with So Fine!.. but wow.. I really loved how it ran in my machine in the Handi Quilter education room so look forward to running her on my home machine.  For stitches that become the fabric.. leaving just the impression of stitching not just the thread this is one to choose... but now how to choose which colors!    Oh so difficult!
I might just have to buy them all!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Good Grief!

Well I have to admit that I never dreamed of being gone so long.. and now here we are gearing up for the holidays so things are not looking good!.. and yet I wanted to pop in to say how much I adore each of you who writes and stops by each day to see if I have gotten off my arse and written a new post!

Oh Joy!.. today is the day for that new post!
and it's the day I have been cleaning up my crafty bookcases.

You see I love books... I love all books but sew/quilting/craft books hold the highest place in my heart. My sagging bookcases are tribute to that fact as well as my close relationship with all the sales staff at my local Barnes and Nobel!

Alas I have hit peak book over-load and it's time to find some of these books a brand new home! Starting today you can find my ~Book-Shelf~  page at the top of the blog and it will list the books that I have up for sale. Each will be priced at 1/2 of cover price or below and that will also cover media-mail postage to your home (USA only please)

With a little luck I will add a bit of a review with each book. These are ALL great books and I am not putting them up for sale because I think they are a "dog".. these are just books that I have fully taken in and experienced and I am happy to now share with you!

Each will be linked  in my storefront. Sorry... change of plans.. the books are listed in the bookshelf but just drop me a note if there is one you want and I will use a PayPal invoice to make things easier on both of us. In most cases there is only 1 of each book so if you want it.. do it now before someone else does!

My bookcases thank you!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Learning curves

It is not perfect by a long shot.. but I did really enjoy my first go at shadowed trapunto work.  The HQ educators showed off two beautiful quilts that where done in this technique. Both were done with classic scroll work that was beautiful and masterfully done but not my style so as usual I had to put my own twist on things and that is how I ended up here.

I can't wait to try again!

I have a hair-brained idea to do a 12 days of Christmas theme!

I did the image above in free-hand and was thinking with just a bit of tweaking it could easily be a Partridge in a Pear Tree!...

Handi Quilter Batting Scissors... who knew????

I knew I did not need them until I had them..
 now you will have to pry them out of my cold dead hands.

enough said??

get them here!

and even better.. the swell folks at Handi Quilter are going to let you get them with free shipping!


(Now for the legal bits, the code is good only for items bought through the online store, good until 10/31/2010)

( hope I got that right Luke!)

Circle rulers RULE!

As promised I am back to talk about the new Handi Quilter Circle shaped quilting rulers.  Getting these was an AWESOME surprise since they are just now coming to market.. perhaps in Houston?

Like many I have the Handi-sized half circles and find tons of uses for them, but these new full circles.. these are really sweet!
In even numbers sizes from 2-12 inches these circles will make quick work of many of those projects that just beg for circles to set the quilt in motion! I had a wonderful time using them today on this funky windmill table runner that was still languishing in my un-quilted pile!

Of course the first step was to figure out which size circle to use and this chore was make easier by using a preview method that I will talk about in the coming days. Four inch circles  were a bit too small, leading to the quilting being too busy, but the six inch size was just right.

The best hint I can ever give you when doing ruler work is to find a preferred method of giving your rulers a bit of traction. Some people like little sticky dots and some like those little sandpaper discs. I like a quick shot of 505 sprayto the back of the ruler. With one quick spray I was able to do this whole table runner. Some people worry about residue with this method but I have never had a problem and will stick by that until I do. ( Honestly I would think the only time it might be a problem is with a very light or white quilt but even then I would be tempted to give it a try ~ but I am daring that way!)

As for working with the rulers like anything else it takes time to get a feel for what is right and what is wrong when you first give them a spin. For myself I continue to refine the way I work with rulers and have found that when working with interlocking circles I have to do a bit of over stitching so that using a thin thread is of great help.  In this sample I am using a 50 weight thread.  I have highlighted the thread path with red stitch marks and am showing you that I use my water soluble pen to mark the area where I need to backtrack to so that I will get an accurate circle intersection.

Holding tight to the ruler can be difficult at times and there is more than one bobble in this table runner. I can personally deal with that so will not go back and rip out those stitches but do find that if I talk myself around the circle I tend to be more accurate in holding tight and smooth to the curves of the shape.

I personally "address" my circles going in a counterclockwise fashion.. I have NO idea why.. it's just works for me. As I am going around I think of myself pushing or pulling towards the circle.  ..

If you saw inside my widdle brain as I did each circle.. you  would see... push push push... pull pull pull.... .. around and around, but then I am easily distrac... is that a puppy???

Ok.. back with you..

And here we go... not perfect by a long shot but I have full confidence that after washing none of the slight bobbles will show.  I selected a photo that showed the worst section of the runner and soon as I get it bound and washed I will post another photo so you can see how it compares.

All in all I am enjoying the Handi Gadget Circles more than I would have dreamed and would not hesitate to recommend them to any longarmer out there!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Quilters Preview Paper - love this stuff!

Yet a bit more of the swag that came home with me from my HQ trip!
  This is Quilter's Preview Paper

This is a wonderful product developed by Suzanne Hyland of Quilter Touch  that enables you to ~solve your quilting problems visually~ by seeing what your quilting will look like before you even put a stitch to that work of art!

This product has it all over using plastic wrap or floral cellophane for doing perview work.
  1.   It is reuable
  2.  It is  a perfect weight for saying where you want it.
  3. It is  printed with guide borders so you don't mark off onto your quilt top by accident!

HQ was so gracious as to send us each home with a generous supply of this product but I am going to place another order very soon since I think it will make a wonderful Christmas gift for many of my quilting peeps!

Want  some for yourself???
Even better, want it with free shipping????

Good through 10/31/2010 and ONLY at the on-line HQ  shop
 ( yes, that means it is NOT good at any of the quilt shows)


and use the code
for free shipping of your Quilter's Preview Paper!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pactise makes perfect

Or at least it makes you a lot better. 
I spent today working totally in manual mode since while I started in manual mode when I got my machine I was lured to  dark-side  regulated mode quickly but still believe that most really good longarm divas have deep mastery of manual so I wanted to get back into that groove.

Here I was just goofing around with some pebbles but the  stitches are choppy at 35% in manual.. the next sample I did was much smoother at 47% ( but of course I am a goober and did not shoot a photo of that!).  I really should have put in an object reference.. the square of fabric was 4x4 inches so each of those circles is about 1/2 a dime size give or take a bit. The large circles were me doing the tension test for with my circle rulers which I will be posting about in the next days soon as I get one little matter worked out in my little surprise for you :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

HQ Rules!

Over the next couple of days I am going to be showing off some of the most wonderful HQ longarm rulers that were gifted to us while working with the educators in the HQ studio.  For those who don't know, Longarm rulers are very different from rotary cutting rulers in that they are much thicker so that they don't ride up under the hopping foot and get caught under the needle in normal circumstances.  Please note that if you are a big mouthed blabber fest   distractable it is possible to break a needle while in class and take a small chip out of your ruler, so eyes on the prize folks.. not time to get chatty when  you are doing ruler work!

Featured above are the some of the newest and coolest of the Handi Quilter rulers that I am going to be playing with tomorrow. I feel so special being one of the first to play with these, my whole group was gob-struck when they gave them to us to try out. Like a said.. what a generous company. 

Tomorrow... CIRCLES!

Home again, home again...

jiggity jog!

I am home from my days with the wonderful folks at Handi Quilter. The trip was a dream come true and I don't think there could have been one thing that those marvelous people could have done to make it any better!

I am struggling to download photos from my iphone but in the mean time I will share some other parts of my adventure with you!

We were greeted at HQ with a wonderful Silly-String snowfall and getting to see all the faces of the people who make Handi Quilter the great company it is. During the greeting we were given a bag with some goodies and best of all a sew-out done with our names.  Did you know that each machine is run for 20 solid minutes of real person quilting before it ever gets to your home?  Each machine is put through it's paces so they are confident the it will work for you!   We got to see the folks in the assembly plant doing this as the machines came out of the inline testing.. it was very interesting!

The facility is bright, open and very inviting with quilts on many surfaces all displayed in an attractive fashion showing off the work of the employees and others who's work is featured in the halls and classrooms.  One piece that was exciting to see was a nice piece by Karen McTavish as well as many other quilting stars who's names you would recognize! I fully expect that someday quilts of our 2010 group will be hanging  in these same places as the company grows through the years! I was seriously blown away by the people I shared time with... you all were wonderful!

At every turn we were gifted and educated to the point that I thought than many of us would fall over dead from excitement or brain overload.. I am not sure which would have come first!

and did I mention the gifts?  Oh baby! 

This is only part of the wonderful stuff I brought home.  In this photo you can see just a peek of some of the fabric.. videos made by the HQ educators ( did I mention how great they were?) thread, snips, rules..lions and tigers and bears..oh my!

I will share more in the coming days along with tips and tricks that I learned ...but I will have to say that the best thing I learned is that Handi Quilter  stands behind it's products and they are there for me and anyone who buys one of their machines. This sort of personal caring is what makes me oh so glad that I picked my HQ Avante18 over all the other machines on the market, and did I mention that they bought us fabric??


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Easy Does it...

The countdown is on for my trip to Utah to the Handi-Quilter HQ... hahahah the HQ, HQ~... ok.. sorry, I really cannot be blamed.  Honestly it's true, I have come down with a doozy of a cold and am up to my nose getting ready to go out of town so I know you will understand if things around here are quite for a bit.  I hope to do at least a bit of remote blogging but if you don't hear from me for the next 10 days do not despair.. it just means I am super busy!

In order to identify my other HQ peeps I have created  an image that can be printed and then glued up to make a tag to hook onto our bags and luggage  so we can spot each other at baggage claim!

Just download the page HERE  it's PDF- so you will need Acrobat to open it..   use your best printer setting and  then glue it up back to back or  laminate it if you want it a bit more sturdy. Punch a hole, string it up and tie it to your bag... see you in Utah!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Following the Rules

My precious gift stash of Katie Jumprope from the darling Robyn at  Coffee and Cotton has been transformed into this darling runner for my kitchen Island.  I used quilting it as a time to learn more about Ruler work on my Handi Quilter. 

At first I was frustrated beyond belief.. how did anyone ever do this???  But them I remembered the hint from one of the Internet longarm shows.. it talked about making the back of the ruler sticky.. so I used some 505 embroidery adhesive and a whole new world was opened  up to me!  While by no means am I great at ruler work given that I have only done it one time so far ( example above).. but i can see how as a long arm skill it will be one that I will want to develop for certain situations! 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cut ups

Lots of blocks, lots of color.  This piece is actually already together and ready to go on the frame..I am still unsure how to quilt it but I am thinking pebblework since that stone color of the gray fabric really makes me think of rocks!

I am thinking of using something  bit heavy on it for the pebble work.. maybe a KingTut ???  Hmm but what color?...decisions decisions!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fitting it all in. Finding room for your Studio cutter.

Anyone with a sewing obsession knows that  finding room for all stuff that goes with it can be a real challenge. I am blessed to have  very large room all to myself.. in fact my studio takes up 1/4 of the ground floor of our house, and yet I still am searching for more space with the addition of Sir Lancelot which takes up a BUNCH of room!

So when thinking about getting a fabric cutter I dithered back and forth if I should get the portable cutter which is the GO! or the Studio.  While the cost difference in the two units is substantial it was not the cost that kept me dithering it was the size.  Like a lot of people I worried that I did not have the space for the bigger  machine and maybe it was " too-much" machine for what I wanted to do.

I can say now that I do not regret getting the larger Studio version. It fits in a 2x4 foot area and  this gives plenty of room underneath for storing my dies.  To show how I have done this I made a small video

Friday, September 17, 2010

Another week draws to a close...

When  a new quilting idea grips me it's like an all-out assault on my brain that I need to get down on paper.. this one is inspired by a slide  of an exploding ball of  heavenly gas that was part of a talk a I went to this week.  I am adding more to it as I am going along and of course I HAD to check out what sorts of fabric might be available to work with!

Well 22 fat-quarters and a  couple yard later I made it home with some of the MOST delicious fabrics! Most of them are batiks and hand-dyes so they are just right for the feeling I am going for.

But in a promise to myself I needed to get the  Blackbird finished up and  and I did {happy dance}.. so all it needs is it's binding!   With a little luck I will have photos of it very soon!

So with a quick cleaning of my studio I will be ready to start on the
Mother Star

In the mean time I am looking at threads for this project... I suspect it's going to be really thread intensive so I want wonderful threads that just about glow.. to my first stop is going to be checking out the new line of silk threads from Superior. I have not gotten to try them yet.. but I have high hopes they are going to be just right!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Having fun...

It can't all be about quilting, sometimes it needs to be all about the party!
These pennants were cut on my Accuquilt Studio with the Pennant Die, the dots are from the Penny Rug die. It could have not been more fun or quick!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A little something extra!

 I love it when I can do something one time and it serves me for two of more times.  Like chopping up stuff for lunch and getting to use part of it for dinner?.. love that!  Saves me time and makes life so much easier.  The same goes for sewing and quilting. When I can do something that yields the preparation for two projects.. well that is just wonderful. In my case it helps to have two projects that are complimentary, in this case making wrapped baskets/hot pads and quilting.  These two projects dovetail into one action when using my Accuquilt Studio cutter.

Wrapped baskets and trivets use lots of fabric strips  and cutting them can be a pain.  That pain can be made much easier with the Accuquilt Studio 1.5 inch strip die. But with a bit of  planning you can have strips from all of your fabrics that you cut with your machine ( Studio or Go!)

By just buffering a bit of fabric past the edge of any strip die you are using you can end up with loads of strips that are perfectly acceptable for using with the wrapped basket technique!

To make it a little more clear I have made a small video !  Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Birds on a line

Ever had a project that your liked so much that you are scared to see it done?.. Scared that the next step will mess everything up?
This is that one for me.  I am so happy with how the quilt is coming out that each step seems to be way too close to the end of the process and yet also churns up all sorts of fear that I  will mess it up and not like it after that!  Yes, ~quilter's angst!~

The photo is not the best but my design wall is over a large glass door that was getting lots of light at the time.

Birds on a Wire is a totally original piece directly from the depths of my mind. It's been so much fun to do and now its time for the quilting!

For the back I have chosen to step out of the norm and go with some black ultra suede for it's yummy soft brushed hand and deep color play. To quilt it I am going with some variegated Rainbow Thread from Superior.  The color play in the thread is delicious transition of oranges and blacks that I think is going to look wonderful on the quilt  ( cross your fingers for me ok??)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

So Handi I could just faint!

They called, I squeeled, they talked, I just about fainted!

I am one of the winners of the Handi Quilter story contest!

On October 10-11-12  you will find me is beautiful Boutiful UT at the HQ, hq!  ( hahahahha) doing an inense 2 day workshop and other such business having to do with being a story contest winner.

I am still in shock!!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I know.. I know...

ACK!.. life is moving so fast that I have had very little time for quilting for just little old me, but that has not stopped me from thinking and doodling  free motion quilting ideas or for that matter obsessing about tracking down Katie Jumprope fabric.

Mind you this quilt did not help.. this one was spotted at the Sisters Quilt Show  which I am Oh so hoping to go to next year!

But tonight I quilt... its just me and the Bunny Bum Quilt( thank you Erin, it now has a slightly more refined name!)  I am thinking of doing a rather new stitch.. so watch for photos tomorrow!

Friday, August 27, 2010

BFF - 2.5 inch Strip die and Ruffler = love forever!

It's easy... take the Accuquilt strip die, 2.5 inches.. and cut a nice long strip of wonderful straight fabric then add this

A ruffler for your sewing machine

and what you get is this!

Oodles of wonderful ruffles!

The special trick is that the widest a ruffler can deal with is the center of 2.5... so the AQ die is perfect for churning them out by the yard!  Love that!

I see some seriously ruffled quilts in my future!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Videocast #1

Here we go!!... make sure to make it to the 7 minute mark when my cat really gets in on the act!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's all about the Fabric

New fabrics totally drive my inspiration when it comes to quilting and right now I don't think we  have ever lived in a time with more fabric or choices. < insert giddy sigh>

Anybody who knows me knows that I am  HUGE supporter  of local shopping but sometimes you just can't get what you need locally so you turn the the wonders of the World Wide Web to find what you need.

Online I am looking for the same satisfaction that I get in my local store and have found it at Hawthorne Threads.   I could not be happier since  I just found a great deal on the colorway of Meadowsweet 2 that I was looking for  ~happy dance~

I am going to quilt myself a chair... stay tuned!

Also... I am looking for a full fatquarter collection of Katie Jumprope.. anybody  have a lead on that?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Playing Dress up with my Accuquilt Studio

I have been saving this fabric forever.. and no, I did not mug Marsha Brady to get it.  It is a cheery little island of color in my white walled studio.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

All Bunny Butts, All the Time!

With a bit of time between charity quilts I wanted to do something fun and fast. A snowball quilt fit the bill!  Using a layer cake and 1 yard of solid fabric I was able to quickly put together a "charming" little quilt.  Charming = a quilt with whimsical bunny arses all over it!

The one problem with any pre-cut is that in a larger print it can be catch-as-catch-can when it comes to what you see in your 10x10 piece of fabric.  I happen to have been ~blessed~ to get a layer cake pack chock full of the tail end of  many silly rabbits...  not a full rabbit in the bunch and as it would happen my quilt will feature not just 1 but 3 rabbit butts!!!!

  1. I know you are jealous, please try to contain yourself!

Fast cutting of the corner pieces courtesy  of " The Mother Ship". 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Number 2 is done and out the door!

Guess I am quilting faster than I am living these days since this quilt is already done and out the door. It was the number two quilt sent in by the wonderful Ms. Ebony Love.  It was the first time I had worked with quilting batiks.. they respond differently than other fabrics.... where other fabric heal ( close in?) around the needle hole the batik had a little tin punch look to it due to the stiffer nature.. I suspect that will change when she washes it so I am anxious to see how it behaves for her. 

I also had my first brush with the dreaded eyelashing when making curves on the batik but not on the yellow sashing... anybody want to explain that to me???

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Quilt is DONE!

I racked it up this evening, then rocked out to some great music while I added my own touch to Erin's most wonderful quilt!

A playful ~snail-trail~ freehand design makes it's way across this darling eye-spy style quilt....LOVE the fabric with the glasses and the colors are so happy.. and the bestest part?  the back is a road and hill theme play mat! cool is Erin?

As an extra surprise for Erin, I have quilted  3 random hearts into the quilt.. 1 to represent each one of her darling toddlers.. yes.. three toddlers.. she is a super-mama!  So while her little sweethearts look at all there is to see.. mama can search out those hearts :)

Erin, your quilt will be back on it's way home Monday morning!

Next quilt... Ebony Love's

I can't tell you how nervous flattered I am to be able to do one of her quilts
She is one rock'n quilter that is for sure!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Singing the Praise of a Good Needle.

I will admit that I never gave much thought to needles.. I either had one, was looking for one.. or had to go buy some. When I had to buy I just grabbed a pack at my local sewing mecca store, as to size I guessed, getting it right more often than not, but with no real rhyme or reason.

But after being introduced to really really good needles all of that has fallen to the way-side. I am a firm convert to the good hand ( and machine) needle in the way I am a convert to good fabric. Once you have had it good.. it's hard, if not impossible to go back.

My new love is the Straw Needle, long, thin and perfect for sewing binding onto my quilts. I was turned onto these Straw needles by a quilt pusher woman at my favorite quilting store.  They GLIDE through he fabric making binding a dream.

The John James needles can be hard to find but the ladies at my quilt store would be happy to send you some.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Here we go...... Quilting for the Cure

The first quilt is in the door... and ready to go on the longarm. Sorry for the rather crap-tastic photo.. I pulled it from my Facebook so not sure what's up with it.   It's an adorable quilt and I can't wait to get it on the machine!  More BETTER photos tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

To keep you distracted....

To distract you from the fact that I am going to spend the day playing with my new STUDIO fabric cutter I give you an awesome site for inspiration with your quilting.  This gal does not do longarming that I know of but her free motion work is the stuff of inspiration.  As I watch the videos I use my Freestyle doodle sheets to take note of techniques I want to replicate using Sir Lancelot.

Have fun!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Mother-Ship has Landed!

My Accuquilt Studio Arrived this evening so not much else was done but open all the boxes and put it together ( easy) and take her for a spin!..

My first offical cuts on my own Studio were made using the Rose of Sharon die and some Kaffe Fassett fabric. I can totally see these being the fodder to the back of the jean jacket I am working on for the Fall... so keep an eye out for that!

I got a BUNCH of dies but can already see that i am going to want more.. they are so wonderful and so well made.. I was really blown away by the heft of these dies and of the machine.. it's a monster.. but in a good way!

Everything was packed just right and Beth my customer service rep gave me good advice and made sure that my dies and my plastics mached up just perfectly!  I made some video while I was opening the boxes and hope to get that into edit sometime the mean time.... I think I am going to go cut some fabric!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Quilting for the Cure!

Once again I am partnering with my husband as he runs the Susan Komen Race to help fund finding a cure for Breast Cancer. To help him meet this goal this year I am offering to longarm quilt up to 10 quilts for a minimum pledge for $20, but more will gladly be accepted!

Please read the details carefully and feel free to contact me if you have any questions. This opportunity is only open for 10 quilts and I will be assigning numbers as the pledges come in and posting updates on my blog as I near the total.

I will accept quilts no bigger than 60x42 and you must include the backing fabric and the batting with your quilt top. The quilt top and back must be pressed and ready and the batting must be either cotton,wool or thin poly ( no puffy stuff!) I will select thread for the project from my selection of King Tut or other Superior threads including monofilament. The backing thread will be a solid color offered in the SuperBob collection. I will edge to edge quilt in a freehand all-over stipple, floral stipple, or twirly swirl depending on the style of the quilt top. I WILL NOT put on biding (I am crazy, not insane)

If you are shipping the top/batting/backing to me please enclose a check for equal postage so I can send the quilted piece back to you! My goal is to have each quilt in and out the door in less than a week, but depending on how many quilts I get in it could be 2 weeks so please be patient and I do promise to keep you updated as to the status of your quilt.

To register your quilt in the que contact me at and I will assign you a number, you will then log on to my husband's race page to fund your donation ( remember $20 or more) to my husband’s run at which time I will send you your confirmation and form to fill out and send/deliver with your quilt.

Questions? Feel free to call me at my studio 423-364-2971 or email me at

Don’t have a top to quilt but have an embroidery machine? Check out for my other fundraising efforts this year!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Stick it to me - Longarm Pinchushion Tutorial

Wow... so many different ideas to explore!  I am loving all the intense learning I am doing with my new HQ18, it's been such an exciting adventure so far.  I will have to say that the machine has behaved like a champ and anything that has gone wrong ( very little) has been totally operator error.. I have my 7th quilt done and will soon be taking a the leap into a bit of art-quilting!

Like most new longarmers I am feeling my way through  different techniques for racking my quilts, and while am am dabbling with alternative methods, pins will most always be around in one form or another so keeping track of them is important!   I have one of those handy wrist pincushions but that was not feeling quite right so I had been messing around with other ideas, when like all really great ideas this one came to be when I least expected it!

I had just finished making cushions for the long benches that go with our harvest table.. due to their odd size I ended up with some extra cuts of the Nufoam that were laying around my studio. One ended up sitting on the rails on Sir Lancelot and was so well placed that the idea seemed totally obvious that is would make a wonderful Longarm pincushion.  With it's dense makeup but light over all weight .. it's ability to hold it's shape but flexible nature it has proved to be perfect. 

If you would like to make one just follow along with this quick and painless tutorial.

Nu-Foam comes by the yard at most fabric stores ( find it back with the foam and the batting).. but you only need about 6 inches.. so you only need to buy 1/4 of a yard ( this is smallest size they sell the foam in a my shop).. and this will make you 2-3 of the pin cushions due to the width ( yeh.. it's ok.. make one for your longarm guild and give it so someone you like there!), you will need some tight weave fabric, thread and a needle.

 Cut your foam to a size that you feel comfortable, mine was already this size since it was as you will remember a scrap from making the bench cushions. For reference mine is 3.5 x 14 inches. Lay out a piece of really cool fabric and cut it in a way that is generous enough to wrap the foam ( if you can wrap a gift you can do this!)

Wrap it up just like a gift.. but instead of tape use a couple of pins to hold the fabric in place until you whip stitch it closed.

Treat the ends in the same way.. fold under the excess and whip stitch it closed.. easy peasy!

When in use it sets right on the rails pretty as you please.

When not being pressed in to action it sits on top of my machine with the help of two small velcro dots - simple and effective.

Now go make one! Then send me a photo and I will post it up!

Happy stitching.