Books on Monday – Machine Quilting

Today we are looking at an oldie but a goodie: Machine Quilting: A Primer of Techniques by Sue Nickels. Amazon Associate link follows.

Yep, this one has been in my collection for awhile now. I just haven’t used it. I pulled it out to look at it again because I am taking a quickie (half day) class on this subject from Sue Nickels Saturday at the AQS Quilt Week in Grand Rapids. I am planning to start doing some free motion quilting. Really. (Yeah, don’t ask about the appliqué. It’s coming soon. Honest. I just need to finish a bit more stuff first.)

First, this was published in 2003. Now, that doesn’t seem to matter to the techniques, but maybe a little of the written information sounds a bit dated. Or maybe not and it is just me knowing how old the book is.

Book Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Machine Quilting History
  3. Long-Arm Machine Quilting (by Helen Smith Stone)
  4. Section One: Supplies (includes a very helpful description of the different types of machine needles)
  5. Section Two: Techniques (includes many designs to trace and practice, all of which I plan to do)
  6. Section Three: The Actual Quilt (how to choose quilt designs for a quilt, etc.)
  7. Section Four: Projects (four of them – accent on the quilting)
  8. Bibliography
  9. Products
  10. About the Author

Despite the publication date, this book is going to be very helpful to me. And, yes, I plan to use it. And, yes, I recommend it highly.

Quilt on!


Something on Sunday Update

I got the permission from Amazing Amy to show you how she looked for her son’s wedding so here she is!


Yes, there is less embroidery on Amy’s version of the hat and sweater than the original pattern. Amy felt that for the person she is, that much embroidery was too much. (It’s a good thing because I would not have gotten it done in time if she had wanted the embroidery down the front of the sweater and on the brim of the hat too.)

Quilt on!

Something on Sunday

Just a little update on what has been going on around here this past week. I told you what I accomplished last Monday in Tuesday’s blog post.After that, what went on here until late Thursday night (or more accurately, early Friday morning) was a lot of embroidering on Amazing Amy’s sweater. During this time, I remembered why I didn’t like crewel embroidery (embroidering with yarn is a pain!). Here are a couple of shots of the sweater in progress. (I hope to be able to share a picture of Amy in her entire wedding regalia, but I’m waiting for permission from her before I go ahead.)



Once Amazing Amy picked up her sweater on Friday morning (and we went out for a bite and coffee at one of the local cafés), I got back to the paper piecing and finished these pieces of my daughter’s Christmas tree skirt (8 of each). I really want to keep going on this, but preparing for the quilt show calls to me today.


What’s calling your name?

Quilt on!

Quilting Fun

I have been getting  in some sewing while the getting is good. Carolyn was planning to finish and block the sweater today, so sometime in the next couple of days I will get the sweater and start embroidering the sleeves. Amy tried it on and definitely only wants the sleeves embroidered, which means I may actually be able to get it done in time for her to wear it to the wedding on Saturday.

This means that I spent yesterday evening cutting and putting together Block 2 of this year’s Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery BOM. This one was designed by the ladies from Sweetwater:


Today I decided that some paper piecing was in order since I couldn’t vacuum the sewing area while my husband napped. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.) I started working on the Celebration Christmas Tree Skirt that I’m making for my oldest daughter. This is about where these units were when I started.


Here is how they (there are actually eight of them) look all completed:


My Block 3 (designed by Bonnie & Camille) arrived today, so if I don’t get the call from Carolyn early in the day tomorrow, I may try to get it put together and be ahead for the first time ever in a BOM!

What have you been up to?

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – Row Quilts

This week we are looking at the book Row Quilts, Longitudes & Latitudes by Annie’s (which is also the publisher). Amazon Associate link is below:

Make sure you look at the inside of this book so that you see some of the quilts. This is a book of quilt patterns. It contains an Introduction, the 10 quilt patterns, a section on Finishing Your Quilt, Special Thanks, and Supplies. If you need basic quilting information, use a different book to start out.

Many of the patterns in this book appear to be assembled in vertical, instead of horizontal rows. There are a couple of patterns that would be great for large scale prints. I’m a big fan of the cover quilt, but my favorite is the quilt called Stardom. (Predictably, there are stars in this quilt & if you’ve been reading this blog for very long, you know how much I love stars.)

One of the quilts is called Thomas Goes Fishing and features many fish. I’m not a big fan of fish quilts, but this pattern gives an option for paper pieced flowers that really caught my eye. I appreciated the option. It may actually be one of the first quilts I make from this book!

Quilt on!

The Past Week’s Progress

Not much quilting has happened here. Why? Well, there has been a bit of embroidery work on a hat from The Unofficial Downton Abbey Knits magazine. It is the hat from this combo:

Amazing Amy’s son is getting married on Saturday the 16th. Several months ago when we saw this, she had expressed an interest in the combo to go with her Mother of the Groom desk and protect her from outdoor wedding sun. Careful Carolyn said she’d knit it if someone else would embroider it. For some reason, I opened my mouth and offered.

Amy had already said she wasn’t sure that she wanted the flowers on the brim, so I embroidered the flowers on the crown and sent her pictures. After seeing them, she said she was sure of it, so I turned it over to her today. I don’t really have any good pictures to show you, but here are a couple. (Please note, I am awful at satin stitch.) And the pictures are pretty dark. IMG_1961 IMG_1962


Once Carolyn finishes the actual sweater, I will hope to get it embroidered in time for the wedding. So far, Amy says she only wants the embroidery around the sleeves. We will see how that goes.

The only really quilty thing I did this week was complete the first of the 2014 Designer Mystery BOM from the Fat Quarter Shop. I hope to finish the second block today before block number three arrives tomorrow or Tuesday. Actually, as soon as I complete this post I’m heading downstairs to do it.

IMG_1957How about you?

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – Vintage Quilt Revival

This week we are looking at a book that I have been avoiding for quite some time. When Vintage Quilt Revival: 22 Modern Designs from Classic Blocks by Katie Clark Blakesley, Lee Heinrich, and Faith Jones first came out, I honestly didn’t see any reason to own it. Don’t get me wrong, I love classic blocks. I love the idea of making them in fresh new fabrics. I didn’t think I needed a book for inspiration. (A bit full of myself maybe?) Then, last week during my weekly Barnes & Noble visit with Careful Carolyn (who, by the way, doesn’t agree with my nickname for her) and Amazing Amy, I picked up a copy to browse while we talked and drank coffee (or Shaken Iced Tea Lemonade). Yeah, I now own this book. (Below is the Amazon Associate link that provides me with a tiny bit of money to pay for hostage and domain registration fees.)

This book is beautiful! The quilts in it are beautiful. The writing is beautiful. I don’t think the choice of the sampler quilt for the cover really conveys what the book is about. The sampler quilt looks like any traditional sampler quilt, just made in modern colors and solids. That is not what this book is about. If you go to Amazon and look at the additional pictures, you will get a better idea. (After all, it was not until I actually looked at the book that I realized I had to have it.)

After the Introduction and Tools and Techniques sections, the book is divided into four main sections dealing with different ways to use classic blocks: New Settings, New Color Approaches, Re-Imagined Blocks, and Sampler Quilts. The final sections of the book are Template Pattern List, Bibliography, About the Authors and Index. There is also a CD in the back of the book with printable template patterns.

Not all of the projects are quilts, but the majority of them are. My favorite (I think) is the Sugar Snow Quilt. Maybe if my hands get a lot better or I get to be an expert machine quilter I will actually make this quilt. It has a lot of open space to quilt in though so one of those two things would have to happen.

Can you tell how much I like this book? I’m a big fan. (I am apparently becoming a bigger and bigger fan of modern quilts also. Who’d have thought it? Or as we used to say in my family growing up “Who’d a thunk it?”)

Quilt on!

Falling Off the Wagon & a Finish

It’s been a kind of busy week around here, but I do have few things to share.

First, after a couple of months of successfully avoiding falling victim to the Daily Deal emails from the Missouri Star Quilt Company, I caved a couple of times recently and ordered a few things. This was the first one:

IMG_1951This is Aqua Ink Blossoms. As soon as it arrived, it answered one of my most pressing questions: “Which jelly roll was I using in my Kimberly Einmo class at the AQS Show in Grand Rapids?” Yep, it will be this one. I purchased some Kona white to go with it and now I can’t wait!

We won’t discuss any of the other purchases. It just doesn’t seem to be necessary – they were mostly basics. Maybe I’ll post some pictures later.

I also had a finish this week. I completed the binding on Falling Charms, with some help from Amazing Amy. Here’s the front:

IMG_1955We all know I don’t usually piece my backs, but I wanted to use up the rest of the Cold Spring Dreams layer cake that I had and some of the extra pieces from the front side so…

IMG_1954Another part of the busyness this week was driving with my husband various places. While he was rehearsing with some of his singers for this Sunday’s service, I completed block 4 of the 2012 Designer Mystery BOM.


On Friday, I enjoyed the decor at his dentist’s office while he had a fun (NOT) procedure done:

IMG_1952Here’s a closer look:


Quilt on!

Books on Monday: Fat Quarter Style

As I drove home from a weekend in Chicago with my sister and eldest daughter (with a brief visit to my youngest daughter and son-in-law in their new home on my way home), I wondered which of my old books I should pull out and review this week. When I arrived home there were some packages awaiting me, including one with the Fat Quarter Shop‘s It’s Sew Emma Patterns newest self-published book, Fat Quarter Style: 12 Quilts That Never Go Out of Style. (There are currently no Amazon links, because it is not yet available on Currently, it can be ordered from the Fat Quarter Shop, though.)

I don’t have any pictures, but if you go here there are a few available. And if you head over there, you are already in the right place to order the book. (I don’t have to do a disclaimer here because I get no monetary remuneration from the Fat Quarter Shop.)

The book starts with the educational content covering:

  • What Is a Fat Quarter?
  • Supplies
  • Techniques Used in Fat Quarter Style
  • How to Prepare Your Backing
  • How to Bind Your Quilt
  • How to Label Your Quilt

The twelve projects follow. One of the things I like best about this book (in addition to the 10 quilts I marked as possible future quilts to make), is the fact that information is given to make each quilt in four different sizes: crib, lap, twin and queen. I always like multiple size options.

And these quilts are gorgeous. If I were a guessing woman, I’d guess I’m going to make Raindrops first. Or Flutter. Or Emblem. Yeah, I have a lot of fat quarters and it looks like I’m going to use them. After I finish a few other things.

Quilt on!