Clear ruler feet for Domestic Sewing Machines!

Yay, they are finally ready and I ordered some and have them in stock, just a few so if you want one make sure to let me know soon.  If they go well I will order more.  What am I talking about?  Accents in Design had produced clear polycarbonate ruler feet for domestic sewing machines.  These are just like the round ruler feet on the long arm machines to use with ruler for free motion quilting, except these are clear so they increase your visibility greatly.  Here is a video on my unboxing.

Sorry for the quality of my videos, I will try to see what I can do about making them better. Or you may not actually have a problem with them, it may be just me and my ancient machine (I am so close to throwing this one out the window and getting a iPad pro that my husband says I can buy) that they don’t work so well on.

Here are some pictures of the feet and what is included to help you install them on your machine.


This is what you get with the Low, Medium and High shank Clarity foot.  Carol Olsen has done extensive research and has a list that lists a ton of machines and what foot they will take.  SO even if you don’t know if have a low, medium or high shank machine, Carol will undoubtably know and be able to help you.  I have the list so you can also contact me and I can tell you which foot you need.  Again if you are in the Long Beach, CA area I will let you bring your machine over and you can demo the foot and see if it fits and you do want it, a try before you buy sort of deal as I don’t know if any of the local stores are or will be carrying them.

Here is a video of using my ruler with my regular free motion foot on my Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0.  This is a medium shank foot and I had no problem with putting the foot on the machine and quilting with it.  It will definitely replace my regular (well my modified regular) quilting foot on this machine.  Now I just need to get it serviced to fix the annoying tension disk problem.  If anyone has a Quilt Expression 4.0 and has the problem of the disks not always engaging when you turn on the machine please let me know-I need to know I don’t have a lemon, but that it is a common problem with this machine.  Kind of validates it when you are not the only suffering with this problem.  I love the machine for piecing (since I now have my Tiara for quilting), but can use it for classes and demoing to students as it is definitely more portable than the Tiara II.

And here are some videos of me using it on my Necchi EX30, which is a low shank machine.  Clearance is a bit tight with my set screw, but I think I can get one with a smaller head which would help, especially if I were to use a higher loft batting.  But again, since I have my Tiara II for quilting, I may not use this one much, except for teaching and demoing.  This machine is lighter than my Pfaff Expression and has a smaller harp.

I was interrupted, so here is the continuation of that video.

I had a problem with my machine in the end with skipping stitches.  Here is what I think was the problem.

This is why you should always clean your machine after a session or project.  And change your needle often.  After cleaning and changing the needle it worked great, I just didn;t take a video.  Now your machine may or may not have a problem with going in all directions.  There is so much involved in free motion quilting that just putting the pedal to the metal.  Often it is your hands moving too fast or too slow for the speed of the machine or just that your machine does not like a certain direction.  I had this problem on my Pfaff until the dealer watched me and helped to see that it was the coordinating of my hands and feet.  We set my speed on medium and viola, hardly any more problems.

And my final video for this post is just me using my ruler foot and various Fine Line Rulers.

Again, I apologize for the wonky videos and the placement of the camera and my arms getting in the way.  I will get this figured out.  If you want to see the rulers in person and can come to the Long Beach, CA area (North Long Beach to be more exact), just contact me through leaving a comment on here or on my facebook page (Sandy Carreon Quilting) and we will arrange that.  I’d like to help you with your free motion journey.  If you have been free motion quilting for a while, maybe it is time to try ruler work.


Disclaimer: This is not a paid advertisement or endorsement, nor do I guarantee the foot will work with all machines or will not harm you machine.  If the the foot is not properly installed or the presser foot is not down the ruler may slip under and cause damage to the foot and/or machine.  Use at your own risk and follow all safety precautions.  If you have any questions please contact Accents in Design about their feet and rulers.  I have not used this product for a long period of time so do not know how it will perform in the long run, but I am optimistic and excited that there is another option for those who wish to do ruler work on their domestic machine and that this product provides more clarity (I only wish they were able to make it for the Babylock Tiara.)

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Vintage dresser scarf, Girl at the well, finished.

I bought this piece about a year ago at Piecemakers in Costa Mesa, CA.

IMG_1302 (1)

And it has been hanging up with this inspiration picture until this week, when I decided to take the plunge and quilt it.  It had a couple of holes so I knew I wanted to do pebbles in those areas to hide the holes.



I backed it with white muslin and used 2 layers of 100% cotton batting.I spray basted these layers together. Then I stitched around the linen so I could start the design in the middle.I used Superior Threads Magnifico thread #2003 on my Tiara II.


I started with the center diamond, just using 5 dots as reference points to use my curved Fine Line rulers from Accents in Design.  I then used the ruler to create the frame and then the crosshatching.  Then I did free motion feathers on the outside.


Since I wanted to hide the holes with pebbles I moved to that area. Pebbles are not my favorite, but thought they would be best in these areas.


I wanted to do more feathers but wasn’t sure where so I started outlining the embroidery pictures.  Then I did clamshells under the grass.  Although I wanted to do feathers wind seemed like the stitch to add to the scene.  And of course a couple of clouds.  Then added the feathers around the blue embroidery.

For the outer edge I started with the diagonal cross hatching.



But since the center had such dense quilting, the outer edge was more ruffly so I did an orange peel to even it out and put more stitching in the outside.  I started out doing each side of the line, bump bumping my way then back down the other side.   So I was doing alot of starts and stops.  It got a little tiring on the long lines.  So I tried the serpentine way, weaving back and forth over the line and then going back doing it the opposite sides.  And it was so much easier and faster.


And here is is quilted, bound and blocked.


Not perfect, and not how I envisioned it turning out, but I love it and can’t wait to do my next one.



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Free-Motion Suspension System


I’m am enjoying being able to help others with their quilting.  Now that I am full-time working on my business I am planning on adding more posts and videos weekly to help you.  Today I was working on a special quilt that was put together for a friend who is ill and they wanted to cheer her up and give her some comfort during this tough time in her life.  I am really liking my Babylock Tiara 2 sit down long arm machine.  I know not everyone is able to have one and even though my video shows it with this machine, this system can by used with your domestic machine as well.  Leah Day has been an inspiration for me on my free-motion quilting journey, and I highly recommend her to help you also.  Her husband put hooks on her ceiling so that she can suspend her quilts while she quilts them.  Why do you want/need a suspension system.  Quilting a large (or even lap size) using a domestic or sit down long arm machine can be very strenuous as you shift and puddle the quilt as you quilt it.  That can make you tired and sore and not able to quilt as long as you would like to.  By suspending the quilt, you lift it off the table thereby floating it and reducing drag.  Take a look at my video to see how they work.  You may end up moving them quite a bit as you quilt, but it is much easier to clamp and unclamp the quilt than it is to shift and puddle it around the table in order to keep it from falling off the edge.

Again the suspension system I am using consists of 2 Dog Grooming arms, which can be purchased from Amazon or pet supply sites.  They come in all sorts of colors.  They have clamps that go onto your table (I used some furniture pads on mine so that it won’t damage my table.  I also needed to purchase some clamps as they did not come with the arms (dog groomers attach these to the dog collars or leashes so they do not use the clamps), but these are also readily found on Amazon or other sites.  Hope you enjoyed the video and found it useful.  If you have any questions about it or anything else please feel free to comment or contact me.


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Vacation and quilting inspiration.


Me and husband recently (June 18) got back from a dream vacation of a lifetime.  8 days in Bora Bora.  5 days in a bungalow right on the beach, 3 days in an over the water bungalow.  It was fabulous!  The colors of the water and the clarity of it was just mesmerizing.  I could sit all day just looking at it (which says a lot for me).  I loved to snorkel, but did get bored of it as it looked the same each time I went in, but I could sit there and look at the water all day.  Some times there were more fish, but they were the same fish all the time.  The coral wasn’t as bright and colorful like I imagined it would be.  The fish weren’t large and colorful, but still it was fabulous.  The temp was in the 80’s with a breeze to keep you from getting too warm. The water was in the 70’s and waist deep for a long distance.  Of course being a quilter I want to capture the colors and feelings into a quilt, and I even have ideas of how I want to do that.  I just uploaded pictures I took with my waterproof camera (804 of them) plus another 147 form my DSLR camera and I don’t know how many from my iPhone.  So I have over 1000 pictures and videos to help be design my new quilt.

Last big vacation (April 2014 Panama Canal Cruise) I came home and designed a king size bed quilt to help me remember that vacation.  Even though I have lived be beaches for a good part of my life (Fort Walton Beach in Florida and Los Angles in California), I have never really been that fond of the beach.  I did like the sand in Fort Walton Beach, it was white and very soft.  And come August the water was very warm-but at that time it was full of sea weed and disgusting to go into.  In both places and any other time I have been to different beaches I really have not enjoyed it much.

Part of it probably stems from not learning to swim until I was 16 and in High School.  I grew up in Pueblo, CO and growing up I remember going to the Mineral Palace park pool every summer with my brother and sister and our friends.  I didn’t know how to swim, so I played in the shallow end or clung to the side when I wanted to be close to my friends who did swim so I could watch them going off the diving boards. I can swim, although I really don’t like putting my face under water, but I suppose I could swim if I had to (just like I probably could still drive a stick shift car if I needed to).

When we were stationed in Australia (in Woomera which is a small town in the middle of the outback so nowhere near a beach, but we did have a pool and the most interesting thing I can say about that is we went swimming the day after Christmas because their seasons are reversed from ours (in North America).  Anyhow the year before we left Australia, me and my husband took a long awaited honeymoon trip to the Great Barrier reef.  I remember being so excited and so nervous about having the chance to go snorkeling there.  On the boat ride to the reef they gave us the equipment and showed us how to use it.  I was fine on board the boat with putting on my mask and breathing through the snorkel.  But the water was a bit choppy that day so not as clear as normal.  Anyhow when I got in the water and put my face in I started hyperventilating.  That was end of snorkeling for me.  I traded in my snorkel gear and joined the others exploring the tide pools (which was very interesting anyhow).

So now about 20 years after that we planned a Panama Canal cruise and I wanted to try snorkeling again.  This time I had the internet to do some research and found out that it is quite normal to start hyperventilating when you first snorkel.  Also found out that they have new snorkels that if you go under or a wave washes over the top it has a ball valve that will close and you won’t end up breathing in salt water ( a fear I had of course.) SO what did I do.  I went out and bought my own mask and snorkel (talking to a salesman at the sporting good store, he recommended I practice in a pool before going).  Since I didn’t have a pool and thought it would be really strange to practice at the pool at the gym, I filled the tub with water and tried to practice.  While I didn’t have enough water to see if it really would close and keep water out of it (the ball valve really does not work when it is sideways.) I was able to get to where I didn’t hyperventilate when I put my face in the water.  On our cruise we ended up at Grand Cayman Island and had some time there to do some snorkeling.  It simply was amazing.  The water was clear, but since the sun was reflecting off it as it moved you really could not see the fish clearly, until you put your face under water.  When I did, I was mesmerized.  To see the fish so clearly and so close was absolutely enthralling.  I had a great time.  And then we went to the Turtle farm and got to hold a baby (or a young) sea turtle, I fell in love.  And I loved the green color of the water.

I only had a disposable underwater camera at that time, so I do have some pictures of the fish under water, but they are real pictures not digital so I will see about adding them here.  They do have a place out there that they call sting ray city.  This is a shallow place around the islands where the sting rays are accustomed to being fed there so there were a lot in that one place (hence the name, the tour operator said that they here the boat motors and come.) They are docile and would come up to you and you could actually touch and feed them if you wanted to (I didn’t but my husband did-they eat by sucking the food out of your closed fist since they could suck your fingers into their mouth you needed to keep your fingers tucked in).  This is the quilt I came home and designed in EQ& and made to commemorate that vacation. I didn’t quilt this myself, but sent it to a long armer who put in all sorts of personal touches for me, fish and turtles, waves on the side and back of the boat. It has large blocks because I wanted it to go together fast. cruise quilt

Since I had chosen (with my husbands consent) the last 2 big vacation trips. in 2004 we did an Alaskan Cruise, and then the 2014 Panama Canal cruise, I let him choose and plan the next one.  Well he did the choosing, he wanted to go to Bora Bora, and did some of the research, it was going to be expensive, and then I ended up taking over (I am the planner in the family.)  He wanted this special trip to be for our 30th anniversary (which is in November), but that is their summer and the UV index was a bit scary for me (I am white and burn very easy).  So in my research it turned out that June or July would be better, but June would be a little less expensive and less crowded as they have a big festival and water events and competitions in July (we do not like crowds and big events.) So we decided on June.  This time we both had snorkel gear (he borrowed our son’s), I got an underwater digital camera.  You know you always see these great photos and think that it will not look like that when you are there, that they knew the ideal time to be there or that they used special filters or photoshopped the pictures after.  I am here to tell you that the water looks like that.  the pictures have not been photoshopped.  We were there and had some stormy weather, but the water still looked wonderful.  Here are some pictures.

And here are some fabrics and things I have already gathered for a quilt to commemorate this trip.


This will just be a wallhanging as I want to include special fabrics and objects.  I can’t wait to start planning and designing and sharing this process with all of you.  Stay tuned…



Posted in free-motion quilting, quilting, snorkeling, tropical water, Uncategorized, vacation | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Screen Beach Bag

I was able to get this sewn up for my massage therapist for her birthday that was this month.  It is a pattern that came with a kit I bought a few years ago.  I found out she loves flip flops (just like my oldest daughter) so I found this really cute fabric.  The screen material is a pliable fiber screen called “Pet Screen”.  You can purchase rolls of it at places like Home Depot, but they only have black or grey.  You can search and find it online in different colors.  We have a store out here called M& L Fabrics and they carry different colors.  I choose this tan for the sand color.  As I’ve made several bags before it was easy to do quickly.  But it has been a while since I made it so I did have to make some notes on the pattern for next time I make it.  I don’t think you can purchase this pattern anymore, but I will research and include a link if I find it.  She really loved it. Since there is no fabric at the bottom the sand will just fall out when she takes it to the beach.

Couldn’t find the this exact pattern (and it is copyrighted so I can’t just copy it here for you.)  But there are lots of other patterns out there that are similar (and some are even free).  Mine actually came as part of a kit for the bag.  I did make a few changes.  I used nylon webbing for the straps (easier than making my own straps out of fabric), and I added a loop with a clasp on it so she can attach her keys and they won’t end up in the bottom of the bag.

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Productive 1st day.

While it is not the 1st day of business, it is the 1st day of full time business.  Don’t have to worry about working for someone else, so now I can dedicate all my time (or at least all the time I want) to my business.  Yesterday, June 20, was my 1st day of working after I finished teaching (June 2nd) and came back from vacation (June 7-17).  And it was a pretty productive day.

Started bright and early (5am).  The reason for starting so early is my husband gets up that early (well he gets up around 3:30 or 4am), so I said now that I don’t have outside of the home commitments I want to try to see if I can work the same schedule as him.  SO I finally wrenched myself out of bed around 4:15 to  spend some time with him before he goes to work.  Figure this might work better for the summer anyhow as it is cooler in the morning so I won’t waste as much energy.  Did some ironing and then went outside to do some spray basting about 6.  Here are a few of the things I finally got basted.


This is 2 tablecloths that I purchased at a thrift store in Colorado while visiting my daughter and grandkids.  I really loved the print, thought it would be great for quilting around the motifs.  The pink one matched perfectly and while not the same size it will do.  Also had batting that fit just about perfectly.  I figure I will quilt this and then give it to my grand-daughter for a picnic quilt.


This is an embroidered dresser scarf I got at an antique shop.  Can’t wait to quilt it.


It is not perfect.  It has a few holes, so I backed it with a layer of muslin between it and the batting.  I’m thinking in those areas I will use pebbles and hopefully it will mask the holes.  If not, it is OK, I am just doing this for fun-my 1st vintage quilting.


I also basted a couple of muslin sandwiches to use for a ruler work demo I will be doing at our Modern Meetup at Sew & Vac on Saturday.  Didn’t take pictures as they were just a piece of muslin that I had marked a 9 block with a border on it.  And here is what I did with one of them.


And here are the rulers I used.


These are Fine Line long arm rulers by Accents in Design.  These are my all time favorite rulers.  I will be looking at teaching this sampler in the future.  These rulers can be used on domestic machines as well as long arms.  If you want more information or would like to learn just leave me a comment.


Here is a picture of another quilt I basted yesterday and actually got the ditching done (stitching in the seams or ditches).  This is also to show how I suspend the quilt in order to take some of the drag off so it kind of floats on the table and I don’t have to exert so much energy pushing and pulling it.  I bought 2 dog grooming arms and 2 lightweight plastic clamps.  It is very easy to change the position of the quilt.  Here are a few pictures of the bows I am adding to the baskets.


While yesterday was a very productive day.  Today was a little different.  Did not get up with my husband today, and did not do any quilting today.  I ended up at the endodontist getting a root canal.  That is OK, since I knew I needed the root canal, but thought I was just going to a consultation and they would schedule the procedure for later in the week.  Everything went well.  This was on the tooth that I broke a cusp off of on Mother’s Day in Colorado.  May was a month of going to the dentist about every week.  The tooth broke off low so they had to do crown lengthening surgery (which they didn’t ell me was surgery until the day before the procedure-which freaked me out a little.) Then of course I needed to go back the next week to take out the stitches.  The tooth was sensitive but not in pain, it was close to the nerve so they wanted to do a root canal now rather than after the crown was on (because then they would have to drill into the new crown possible breaking it).  My dentist thought it would be better to have the root canal done before going on vacation, but the endodontist was only in the office the day we were leaving (Bora Bora for 10 days.) After I did some research I was a little nervous about having this done right before leaving as I did not want to be in pain on vacation.  So I kept my appointment and talked to the Dr about my nervousness.  He said that he was hesitant to do it also as there are risks, the file could break off in the root, the tooth could break apart, etc.  Since I had no pain he felt I should not have any pain, so we decided to wait.  I was prepared with emergency dental cement (in case the temporary came off), emergency dental pain meds, loads of Advil and Tylenol.  Great news is that I went on vacation and had no pain.  But since the endodontist would not be in the office until the end of July (which I might be on another trip at that time) I decided to get a referral and get it done at another endodontist.  So far so good, numbness is gone now and it is a little sore but they said it is to be expected.  And even though I did not have any pain he said I did have some infection so am on antibiotics again (that is another story-the weekend before we left i ended up in the ER with a UTI-I have never had a UTI and hope to never have one again, it was awful).

Posted in Basting, free-motion quilting, quilting, Ruler work, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Troubles, troubles, troubles

OK, I think I am done with sewing (at least on this project) for the day.  Here is what is on the machine today.


Paper piecing a modern wedding ring quilt (or at least getting a bit more done with it).  This is a foundation pieced block in EQ 7 (Electric Quilt 7- a computer program to help draft quilts).  This is for a group I am part of, Modern Meet-up.  I will also finish it to enter into a guild quilt show later this year.  The theme of the show is “Everything old is new again”.  So I decided while I was at it I might as well do some videos on paper piecing (finding it easier to explain what I am doing rather than trying to explain it with pictures. But since I also have the pictures I will start with them and then add the videos after.


So here is what I am starting with today.  I have already sewn and pressed the 1st seam.  But with paper piecing, the fabric for each piece is not cut precisely.  so it needs to be trimmed before the next piece is sewn on.IMG_0904

So I place it with the fabric down and place my guide along the next line to be sewn on.


Fold over the paper and make a crease.IMG_0906

Using my add a quarter ruler I butt it right upto the folder paper.  This ruler has a lip that will make it stop at that edge.  IMG_0907

Then I use my rotary cutter to trim the excess fabric.IMG_0908

Unfold the paper and it is ready to sew on the next piece.  So here is the videos of those steps (and more).

Here are a couple of videos of the machine stitching those blocks.

Ok, now here is the trouble I ran into.  I thought I had cut enough for this 3rd piece I was putting on, but I ran 1 short.  That is OK, I do have enough fabric, so cut 1 strip for 1 piece. Then when I was ironing, guess what? I found my missing piece.  I had sewn 2 on instead of one because they stuck together.  Now I know I am the only one who has ever done that.  But just in case it ever happens to you and you have enough fabric to cut another piece. Here is what you do so that you don’t have to do any unstitching (which is really hard when you have reduced the stitch length and the paper tends to tear as well since it has already been stitched.  



So here is a picture of my 2 dark blue pieces sewn together.


So carefully cut the top fabric as close to the stitches as you can (I have to grab my reading glasses and go slow so that I don’t catch the stitches or the fabric beneath it.IMG_0915

I have these cute little stork scissors that are perfect for this job.IMG_0916

And here it is after I have carefully pulled both sides away from the stitches.  I’ve learned this little trick from when I’ve caught the excess backing fabric under the quilt when I am doing my machine quilting.

Not the end of my troubles though.  These triangle blocks are put together in pairs to form squares. 2 of them will have yellow triangles in the corner and 2 will have blue.  I have 1 set of triangles done and am working on the other 3.  Guess what I discovered?  Yup, I sewed the yellow triangle to the block that should have the blue triangle.  Do I want to have to take off triangles from 32 block? No, I definitely do not.  So I go back to EQ 7, so I can recolor the block and see what to do.  But guess what?  I can’t find the file.  Then I remember, I had to recover my computer from my backup (which was about 40 days old).  And I must have made this file after I had done that last back-up.  Well, since it was a block that was already in EQ7 it was pretty easy to redo it and then redo the colors to see which blue to use in the corner.  Was going to use the dark blue, but now the fabric it would next to is that dark blue.  So I did 2 versions; 1 with a medium blue and 1 with the light blue.  Decided to go with the light blue.  All my problems are solved (for the time being), good thing I am making 16 blocks in addition to the practice block I made.  Going to call it quits for the day (and go have dinner with my daughter and her boyfriend’s family-yay, I don’t have to cook!).  Have a good day and I hope I have taught you something you didn’t know that will help you on your quilting journey.

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Spray Basting

Sorry for not blogging for such a long time. 2 more weeks of teaching, then all my time can go into my business so I should be blogging and putting up tutorials on a much more consistent basis.

Had some customer quilts to baste so I thought I’d take some pictures of how I do it and put together a tutorial.  I’ve done spray basting for a few years now and absolutely love it.  I have quilts that I basted months ago and they have not lost their holding power.  I use June Taylor Basting spray (I purchase it at JoAnn’s with a coupon or when it is on sale).  I can usually get about 6-7 lap size quilts out of 1 can.  And I usually baste 5-10 quilts at a time.  I started out basting on the floor (either in our enclosed patio room or the garage). But that was hard on my knees (one time I ended up with large fluid filled knots on my knees-turned out to be swollen bursa), so now I have construction knee pads. Now I have a couple of tables and prefer to do it that way.  So this is what I will do my tutorial on.

I have folding tables from Walmart (I prefer these to the folding tables from Costco or Sam’s Club because they are thinner and work with the clamps I got from Home Depot). They are about 30″ by 72″ so when I put them together I have a 60″ by 72″ to work with.

Please excuse my junky backyard-I will have time to get it in shape this summer.  I have a patio that I will be able to set my tables up there instead of in the dirt also, but need to clean and organize it as well. If I have a large quilt I use some tablecloths on the ground to keep the fabric and batting off the ground.


So for this quilt I wanted the seam to be near the middle of the quilt so I centered it on the tables and used my clamps (got these at Home Depot for $.99 each).


Then I use tape on the opposite side (I like to use regular masking tape rather than the blue tape-it seems to hold better).  I’m lucky with the climate we have here as it isn’t really humid.  I did spray baste one day early in the morning when it was a bit more humid and the tape didn’t stick after a while as everything became a bit damp.


With the way this backing was I was able to use the clamps on 3 sides. Most of the time I can only use them on 2 sides. You want to pull the fabric tight enough so there are no wrinkles, but make sure you don’t stretch the fabric.


Then I lay the backing out on the backing fabric. I like to use cotton fabric over polyester as it see,s to stick to the fabric better and I don’t need to use very much spray.  If you didn’t know there is a right side and a wrong side to batting.


Not sure if you can see it, but the right side of the batting will have what look like little holes going down through the batting (top photo), and you want these to be going down (kind of like the holes your needle will make as you quilt the quilt).IMGP6749

This is the bottom side of the batting folded onto the right side.iAnd you can’t see the little holes on the backside, so you want this side facing the backing.  Another thing to look for with cotton batting is if it has a side that is nubbier (has little bumps) than the other.  This nubby side should be facing up right under the quilt top.

Then I fold it halfway over.


And this is the basting spray I use.  I have not had any problem with it gumming up my needle or machine, even when I start quilting right away.  I spray this half and then smooth the batting back down.  When I bring the batting back over the [art that has been sprayed I first smooth it down the center and then work on each side.  If you get a fold or wrinkle you can pull the batting up and reposition it.  Then I do the same with the other half.


Then I lay the quilt top on the batting (making sure it is even and going the right direction if it is direction (either the top or the backing).


Then I do the same thing with the top.  I fold over half, spray and then smooth it down. Then I do the other half.

Ok, I was able to get a few quilts tops together to do some more spray basting videos, this time with instructions.  Hope they help you.

Here is a video of a larger quilt that fits the tables and I am able to use clamps on all sides.

Here is a video of basting a quilt that is larger that my tables.  Not my largest, but to one larger on all sides you simply need to shift it more times.  It helps so much to have someone helping you.


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New line on my resume: Pattern Tester

I was given the opportunity to test a pattern for a designer in February.  It was a paper-pieced snowflake pattern called “Hoarfrost”, now available at Canuck Quilter.

I had been part of her facebook page “Snowflake Sew-along” last year where she shared her snowflake patterns on Craftsy for a few months before for free before charging for them.  2 things I loved about that was the snowflakes and they were free. Unfortunately I never did anything with them.  I grew up in Colorado and have lived more than 22 years now away from my beloved snow. I  love snowflakes and seem to collect quilt patterns that have snowflakes, but have not finished any of them. This is the second one I have started and it is basted and ready to be quilted (when the inspiration on how to quilt it comes). I have about 4 or 5 more patterns-that I can think of right now-but haven’t done much except for gather some of the fabric.  It has to be the right fabric, these are special quilts-all for me.

Anyhow Joanne (the designer) posted a picture of the quilt and asked for pattern testers.  I jumped up and committed to doing it because it seemed very doable. It is a lap size quilt (48″ X 60″) and it only has 3 snowflakes randomly put on a field of various blue squares.  The pattern call for about 13 fat quarters for the blue fabric.  I just used my stash to make it scrappy.

Here is my completed quilt top.IMGP6538

I really love how it turned out and can’t wait to see it when I quilt it.

The pattern was very easy to follow.Joanne has done all the hard work of figuring out exactly how big to cut the pieces for the snowflakes. Each snowflake takes 64 pieces of fabric.  But it is really not that daunting.  As this is a PDF pattern that you print at home the biggest tip that I can share is to print just 1 page (make sure to check the actual size box in the printer window) and then check to make sure the 1 inch square is indeed 1 inch, if not you may have to adjust your printer up or down to get it the right size.  I used regular copy paper, but a foundation paper like Carol Doak’s would have been better. When I cut out the pieces I used sticky notes to label each stack shown in the picture below. I really like that she gave the sizes to cut for the paper piecing.  There is some waste, but not a whole lot.  It does take a little bit to figure out how to put each rectangle, but once you have it then the rest goes smoothly as you are sewing about 36 of the same piece (just with different designation (A, B, C, or D).  And since the paper is kept on and labeled it is easy to reorganize if they get mixed up. IMG_0432

So below is a picture of the B and D parts trimmed and the C parts yet to be trimmed.  I started with the D blocks as they were the smallest sections and ended up doing the A sections last.


If you have never paper pieced before you sew the fabric on the wrong side of the printed paper, fold the paper on the next sewing line and cut off the ends 1/4″ away from that fold.

Once al the A, B, C and D parts are made and trimmed you match them up with A sections to sew together.  What I really liked about this patten is she had even marked to trim off the dog ears.  So if you had trimmed them on the cutting lines it was very easy to line up.  I did pin the first one to make sure the points would match.  After that I just lined up the edges and used the clover clips.

They came out perfect.


Here are the snowflakes before the corners are added (and my snuggly bear slippers doing a photobomb-and I’m too lazy to go back and edit the picture because they are so cute).


Oops, forgot about this.  Another great little tool to save time (and the chance of getting burned) is half of a clothespin.  Take the spring out of the clothespin and you have 2 tools (cause you always misplace 1 right). Then use the sloped end to press the fabric once the seam has been sewn.

And after, beautiful.  Again I was a bit lazy and since Joanne did such a good job of having the pieces cut without a lot of excess I didn’t trim each and every little seam to the 1/4″.  Because of that you may see a little bit of a shadow on some of the pieces when the dark fabric was just a little longer than the white.  But it doesn’t bother me, I was anxious to get this done.


Here is what happens after you have them all squared up, you take out all the paper. Botton right-back before taking out paper. Bottom left-back after paper has been taken out. and top left- right side of block. And of course top right- the tub of paper pieces.


After piecing and putting together the middle section it was time to work on the border.  At first I thought I could do the easy Delectable mountain block using the HST method to make it easier.  I even asked Joanne if she knew about that method.  She did, but these were shorter than that block so it would work. Rats.  Had to cut out and sew all 384 squares and rectangles for the border.  I cut the strips first and then used the shape-cut ruler to cut the squares and triangles.  Then came the chain piecing.  Again I like to do assembly line piecing and I have a tool that I love to use when sewing a diagonal line without having to make the marks on each and every piece. It is called the Sew Easy Guide 2 ( not affiliated, but love the product), it attaches to your presser foot and goes over your fabric so you can line it up as you sew.

Now for each size you are sewing 32 with the diagonal going one way and 32 with it going the other way.  I thought I had it figured out right.


Then I went to turn them around to trim off the triangle ends.  Look what I saw.


So out came the seam ripper and I had to undo all 32.  But after a few blocks I realized the part of what I had sewn wrong was going to get cut off anyway so I only had to undo half of the seam (which was good in a way because it kept the blocks in together and in place.


Another handy tool to have is this Cutting Gizmo.  It has a razor blade at the top, so when you need to cut apart your chain piecing you just hold one block on each side and bring the threads down onto the razor to clip them instead of using your scissors or snips.

The longer rectangles were a bit more challenging.  But I used my Frixion pen (boy look at me with all these product placements-I should go to the company and see if they will pay me for my adveritsing).


So I made just a small mark on either the beginning or end of the block that I was able to see through the Sew Easy Guide 2.

I would say to put together 1 of these border blocks, press and check your measurement.  I didn’t because I was using my quarter inch foot (even though the guild had popped off).  I guess I was being a little careful without it and my seams were a tad too shy of 1/4″.  Not a problem though I just had to sew some of the seams a few threads over and it turned out perfect (but would have been better if I had taken the time to test 1 block first). IMG_0474

And here again is the completed top.  You can buy the pattern directly from the designer, Canuck Quilter,  here.  And check out all of her other patterns.


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What’s on the Machine today?

This is a customer quilt that I started yesterday.

It is a customer quilt using kind of a free-motion graffiti quilting, consisting of feathers, flowers, swirls and hearts and some echoing around the motifs. I posted it on a Facebook group and someone asked about the gloves I use.  I use Fons and Porter quilting gloves that I have modified.  IMG_0484


And since I have just got a new camera to try out for videos (my old one had a hard time staying focused when I did a video the other day) to show you how I modified them and how they work when I quilt.  It wasn’t quite as easy as downloading my photos here has been,but on the plus side I now have a youtube channel for my business and have added my first video which I will also share with you here.

I hope you like it and if you are tired of taking your gloves off and putting them on again all the time or your hands just get to hot and sweaty, give this a try.  There are also other things you can use to grip the quilt like sponges or shelf liner if you don’t like wearing gloves at all.  Let me know if a comment if you liked my video or if you want to see videos of the other things to use to grip you quilt.  Have a great day!

Posted in free-motion quilting, quilting, Tutorial, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments