Category Archives: Quilting

Odds and Ends


Getting caught up before Christmas was advantageous for me.  I came home from our holiday celebration with only one client quilt remaining!  I really dislike having a backlog and try to finish quilts as I receive them.  I finished the remaining quilt and also received a really cute table runner to quilt for a friend at church.  I only took a picture of a portion of it–don’t you just love her turkey?



Woooo Hoooo!!  Now I had a little time to work on my own quilts.  I pulled out a UFO.  I have started and stopped this one more times than I can remember.  The main blocks were a piece of cake.  The blocks on the sides and in the corners slowed me down–I didn’t feel like doing the math.  When I pulled it out this time all that was left were the borders.  Borders are not my favorite thing to do–which is why it was sitting.  After finishing the borders I loaded it on the longarm and started quilting.  I LOVE how it turned out!





This is an original design and after I make it one more time in a different colorway I will be writing a pattern for it.  (Stay tuned!)

[If you like this pattern and would like to test it for me, let me know]


By this time it was February and Valentine’s Day was on the horizon.  My mom’s birthday is also a few days after Valentine’s Day so I decided to quilt one of her quilts that was sitting on the shelf.  It is made with a line of Northcott’s Stonehenge.  Mom thinks that I designed this one but I honestly can’t remember and will have to wait until I’m at her house next time to look at my notes.  If it is my design, I’ll also write this pattern.  I quilted it with sweet little ribbon hearts.

[If you like this pattern and would like to test it for me, let me know]




And then my moment of insanity!  I decided to make a dress for my granddaughter’s American Girl Doll.  How hard could it be?  I’ve made plenty of garments–this would just be on a little smaller scale.  I clearly didn’t think this through completely!  Still, it turned out nicely and she couldn’t be more thrilled!


There’s more, but I’ll get a little further on in the process before I show my current project–it’s a doozie!



El’s Kitchen #2


This is El’s Kitchen #2 (Carol’s quilt)

The real challenge with this quilt was to be sure the quilting was different but with the same quality.  A couple of the blocks just couldn’t be changed much at all but most of them were open for alternate quilting designs.  Here are the blocks, see what you think.

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Here is a pic of the quilt itself–it is huge and we weren’t able to get the whole thing with the borders too, but I have some pics of the borders too.


The center basket block was challenging, so instead of straight lines in the background I used little wiggly lines.  I like how it turned out.


The outer corners of the setting for the basket were feathered like El’s Kitchen #1 (June’s quilt) but the spines are shaped differently.  I LOVE doing freehand feathers!

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Now for the borders!  I was thinking about how to do these long before I finished June’s quilt.  If you remember I did piano keys on it and loved how it looked, but didn’t want to do the same thing on Carol’s.  So here is the result!

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I LOVE the borders!  I think Carol does too.

A big thank you to both June and Carol for allowing me to work on their quilts.  The workmanship of both quilts made them easy to work with.

El’s Kitchen #1


It took almost two weeks but I finally finished this quilt for a customer!  I enjoyed the challenge and creativity.  The quilt is 94″ x 94″ so it was difficult to get a full picture of it.

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Isn’t it pretty?

So the background behind the basket is double cross hatching while the border and the basket were quilted with a continuous curve in the white triangles.

Cherry Basket

I quilted feathers around the outside of the basket border.


I used simple piano keys on the appliqued border


I’ll show you a few of the blocks

Turkey in the Straw Turkey in the Straw Close up

Sugar Cone My Mothers Apron

Pork and Beans Pork and Beans close up

Memory Fruit Memory Fruit Close up

Crab Apple Broken Dishes

Now to go load El’s Kitchen #2!

Achieving the 1/4″ seam.


Several years ago my sister, Trisch, and I attended the AQS show in Nashville, TN.  While there we had the opportunity to go to an event with Mary Ellen Hopkins as the main speaker.  I had heard of her but not much more than that.  I left that evening a fan.  She was hilarious and inspiring.  The one thing that has stuck with me all these years was her insistence at having your own PPM (Personal, Private Measurement).  Her point was that an exact 1/4″ isn’t necessary as long as whatever measurement you use for seam allowances are the same throughout the quilt.

I don’t disagree with the concept of a Private, Personal Measurement as long as it is in your Private, Personal Quilt.  However, when you make blocks for a Public quilt there needs to be a standard and the industry standard is 1/4″.  If we didn’t have a standard we would have blocks of all sizes.  A seam allowance that is a few threads off is multiplied exponentially with each seam that is sewn.  That being said, today’s post is about how to achieve that 1/4″ seam.

Before you can fix something you have to know where the problem lies.  That starts with your machine and a ruler.  Use a ruler with clear markings and your 1/4″ foot.  Lower your needle into the down position and measure the distance between the edge of your 1/4″ foot and the needle.  It should be exactly 1/4″.  My machine is not.  When I turn on my machine the needle position is in the center at 3.5.

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The distance on my machine is more than 1/4″.  My 1/4″ foot allows me to reposition my needle somewhat.  I found that moving my needle position to 4.5 will give me a 1/4″ seam.

But that isn’t enough.  Now it is time to check the measurement in practice.

Start with three 2 1/2″ squares.


Sew them together using your newly found (or confirmed) 1/4″ seam.  After pressing well you should have an exact measurement of 6 1/2″.


As I said, it only takes being off by a couple of threads to make a huge difference.  Below is a picture of the squares sewn together before making the needle position adjustment.  See the difference?  That is about 1/8″!  Two more seams and it would be off an entire 1/4″.


Not all machines or 1/4″ feet allow you to move your needle to make the adjustment.  If that is the case, there is always the old standby of placing a piece of painters’ tape on the bed of your machine.  But most importantly, however you make the adjustment double check it with the 3 square method.

On another note…..I’ve seen some blocks end up too small because of a sad pressing job.  If your seam isn’t fully extended when it is pressed that will also make a difference.  You can see in the photos below that this seam has a small fold over the seam.  Not only does that affect the size of your blocks it also creates extra bulk, which can lead to problems when you do your quilting.

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I’d like to challenge you to check your seam allowance using the 3 square method–you might be surprised!


American Quilter – sneak peek


So my sister wrote a book.  It was released a couple of weeks ago.  (If you’ve been under a rock and didn’t know this, see the previous post).  Her publisher, The Kansas City Star, sent a copy of her book to AQS.  AQS then asked Trisch to write an article for their magazine, American Quilter.  Trisch asked if I would like to quilt one of the quilts for the magazine.  Of course I said “yes!”

After finding out that our FedEx delivery person needs some glasses I received the quilt top and back a few weeks ago.  (The package was delivered to a neighbor whose house number doesn’t look anything like mine.  Last week he tried to deliver someone else’s package to me but I saw the addressee on the package before signing for it.  But I digress.)

Now that I’ve taken you around the block with my story I’ll tell you that I completely enjoyed working on this quilt!  I had a couple of frustrating moments but I learned from them.  I cannot show you the whole quilt yet, but it is beautiful!  I love the colors she used too!

As promised, here are a couple of pictures of the quilt.

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This will be in the Winter 2014 issue of American Quilter.

Accentuate the Negative


Accentuate the Negative by Trisch Price


As many of you know Trisch is my sister.  She just received several copies of her book a couple of days ago.

In her book she explains how to use negative space to enhance quilt design.  I haven’t actually read the book yet but I’ve seen all of the quilts and they are fabulous!

I was up close and personal with one of the quilts for about a week.  Trisch asked me to quilt one of them.  I had a choice of 3-4 quilts and when I saw this one I knew exactly how I would quilt it.  It is called Hopscotch.


Here are a couple of close-ups.


As you can see the top section of the quilt is very light and almost blends in with the background.  I used several different fillers for each of the sections.



The background of the quilt is completely filled with spirals.

Here are some in-progress pictures

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You can learn more about the book and see more of the quilts at

PI Quilt


A few weeks ago my friend Ana brought a very special quilt to me for quilting.  I loved this quilt because of all the thought — not just numerical — that she put into it.  It was for a friend who is very special to her.  She related to me that her friend had won a PI contest at IU.  She was able to recite PI out to several decimals.  Ana went to great pains on this quilt to be sure her numbers were accurate.  I enjoyed working on this quilt because she told me the story behind it–and the purple didn’t hurt either!


I knew exactly how I was going to quilt this when I saw it but since Ana gave me complete artistic freedom I decided to surprise her.  I meandered with small loops and strategically placed PI symbols throughout the quilt.


I love it when I can do something unique that finishes the quilt with a little pizazz.  I’m told Ana’s friend loved it and spotted the symbols right away.

Also something to note:  even with all of those pieced numbers, Ana’s quilt top laid perfectly flat!  She does such good work.  Thank you, Ana!