Simplifying the Quilting Process

Diane McGregor is our guest today on the Blog

When you look at some of the award winning quilts, do you say wow I could never do that.  Me too.  Do you worry that perhaps your quilting is not dense enough?  Me too.  When I finish a quilt top, I feel like I am finished.  Of course, I am not. I still have the quilting to do.  Not my favorite part of the process.  I can’t afford to send my quilts to a long arm quilter.

So I don’t worry about how beautiful and dense the quilting is because that is not what I do best.  I am not entering my quilts in to contests.  I make them for myself, to test a pattern or to give away. The most important thing for me about the quilting is that it is evenly distributed across the quilt top. The quilting is dense enough for me if when I put my fist down it is touching some quilting lines. I look for ways to use my walking foot and do continuous straight lines.

Stripped Pieced Table Runner

In my latest project, the table runner was created using left over strips. I decided to quilt straight lines in the ditch across the table runner including across the border.  Oh, dear you think you can’t do that. That you are suppose to quilt the border separately. Well it is my project so I can do what ever I want. This meant that I didn’t have to quilt the borders later.

Some of the strips were wider than others.  I first stitch in the ditch between all the strips. I also don’t like marking.  Now I had a line on each side so that I could eye ball stitching in the center between the two lines.  Is the line exactly in the center? Probably not,  however visually it won’t matter.  I don’t see people getting out their ruler and measure this sort thing.

So lets summarize.  I don’t enjoy the quilting process. I spray baste since I don’t like pinning.  I don’t like marking so I look for ways I don’t have to mark.  I use my walking foot where ever possible and do mostly straight line quilting. Yes, sometimes I need to free motion quilt. I like to get my project finished so I can get on to the next project.

In my patterns, I include simple quilting instructions to give you some help.  So, enjoy what you do best and find ways to simplify your own quilting process if it is not your favorite part.


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New Patterns in the KwiltArt Collection

KwiltArt’s owner and designer, Kathleen Andrews, has been designing, writing patterns, teaching and lecturing  for many years, and is also a project designer for Anthology Fabrics.  She left the quilt world for a few years to become an award winning race car driver, but is now driving full force back into the quilt world and has introduced a new and dynamic line of patterns (currently 13 patterns).

One of KwiltArt’s newest patterns is “Spin Out” (luckily something she never did racing!).  It is a striking optical illusion made very simply with freezer paper templates and a bargello type stair stepping of colors.  You also create the illusion of circles without curved piecing.

Spin Out Quilt Pattern

Another new pattern is “Circular Glow”.  This pattern features a removable center using “sticky for fabric Velcro”.  The pattern shows a photo printed on fabric and mounted on fusible foam for the center, but you could use anything you like to showcase something special (photo, quilt block, embroidery, etc), and you can change it whenever you have something new to feature in the center.  This is also a simple pattern using strip piecing and freezer paper templates and also creates the illusion of circles without curved piecing.

Circular Glow Quilt Pattern

Be among the first to have the newest patterns in the KwiltArt collection!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Preview Nancy’s Spool Quilts Pattern

Today we welcome Nancy from Nancy Zieman Productions to the Blog

Nancy’s Spool quilt block first appeared when I was writing the No-Hassle Triangles book. The block really spoke to me. After receiving a gift certificate for a barn quilt, from my mother, a larger-than-life version of this block hangs on our fourth-generation family barn.  This design is the inspiration for the Nancy’s Spool Quilts pattern. It‘s a fun traditional quilt to sew in two different sizes. Learn how to create the Nancy’s Spool signature block using half-square triangles (HSTs) and quick-piecing methods.

Get your copy of the new pattern at

The quilt design features yardage from my debut fabric line, Garnet by Penny Rose Fabrics, a division of Riley Blake Designs. Make the quilt using Garnet or sew the design in your favorite light, medium, and dark fabric values.

Step 1. Mark

  • Set the gauge to the desired block size.
  • Place the No-Hassle Triangle Gauge on the cut squares.
  • Mark the diagonal line with a non-permanent marking pen.

Step 2. Stitch

  • Stitch 1/4″ from the diagonal line, along the left side.
  • Chain piece multiple pairs of blocks.
  • Clip threads between pieces.

  • Rotate each block and sew again, 1/4″ from the marked diagonal line, along the left side.
  • Chain piece.

Step 3. Cut and Press

  • Using rotary cutting tools, cut each square along the marked diagonal line.
  • Press seam allowances towards the darker fabric.

Assemble the Quilt

  • Sew pairs of blocks together to form rows.
  • Sew rows together to create the Nancy’s Spool Quilt block.

Sashing and Cornerstones

The Nancy’s Spool Quilt pattern gives detailed instructions for cutting and assembling the sashing and cornerstone pieces for the quilt. These units are used to frame the 20 quilt blocks to create the design.

If you don’t already have your copy of the Nancy’s Spool Quilts pattern, get it today at

To see a more detailed demonstration of the No-Hassle Triangle Gauge, watch the following episodes:

Watch No-Hassle Triangles (Part One and Part Two) on Sewing With Nancy online.

Bye for now

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Joyous Applique Designs

Joining us today on the Blog is Joy Duke of Joyous Applique Designs.

Hi, I’m Joy Duke with Joyous Appliqué Designs.  I have enjoyed working with fabric since the 70’s when I sat with my mother during her sewing lessons and received my first sewing basket with a bright yellow top and green pompom handle.  Those were the first days of getting to play with fabric, needle, and thread that got me started with my fabric love affair.  Then the Bicentennial came along and my school class was fortunate to have mothers who came in and taught us how to cross-stitch on fabric in shapes to represent the bicentennial.  Later, during junior high school we were asked to create a project to represent work that was done by early settlers in Virginia and I created my first small quilt which was a crazy quilt made of cotton fabrics that my mother helped me complete.

As an adult I have enjoyed crewel embroidery, counted cross-stitch, and then my real love of quilting began after I married my junior high school sweetheart and became a member of the Peninsula Piecemakers Quilt Guild with my mother.  My first true quilt (that was quilted) was a log cabin quilt made for my husband that was a true learning process.  At that point in my hobby I said I would never do appliqué.  Now that is almost all I do with the help of fusibles and the beautiful threads available for hand stitching as well as machine appliqué that have made it easy to enjoy this artform.  It’s no longer the “A” word as it was referred to in my early days in our quilt guild!

Following an 11-year career as an Editorial Assistant for scientific journals, I decided it was time to make my hobby into a new career.  After enjoying over 20 years of quilting, I began to design my own quilt patterns that may be made by hand or machine using a fusible technique.  Fusibles and hand stitching have been my method of choice for quite a few years now as they make for easy projects to take along during my sons’ soccer, piano, and swimming lessons, and competitions.  Each of my designs depict happy thoughts and topics as I love to put a smile on people’s faces.  That seems only fitting for a person named “Joy” – don’t you think?  I hope you will enjoy my patterns during stitching and use, and I look forward to hearing from you and seeing pictures of your finished projects.

Join me in enjoying applique the fun way with Joyous Applique Designs, it’s your place for fun applique patterns and if you would like to have me come teach or lecture for your Guild, please let me know.

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Show Off Your Family Blog is happy to welcome Claudia Lash of Presto Avenue Designs as our guest blogger today.  Enjoy!

My name is Claudia Lash and I love to design quilts.  My business is named Presto Avenue Designs, and I have over 50 patterns available. I have patterns for pieced quilts, appliqué quilts, kids quilts, and wall quilts.  My best selling patterns at quilt shows are almost always the quilts from ‘The Family Series’.  The Family quilts are all wall quilts, but they are very personal because they hold pictures of my favorite people.

Several years ago I became a grandmother.  It was one of the best things in my life.  A year after the first granddaughter was born, other grand babies came along quickly.  Papaw and I were in heaven.  Soon our children began bringing us pictures of their little ones for our mantel, and in no time the mantel was covered.  We needed more picture space, but I wanted something easy on the wall.  I designed the Family Quilt PAD 119 as a wall quilt which holds photographs. Because the pictures are in fabric frames and not covered by plastic, they are very clear from across the room.  They are actual photographs and are not printed on fabric.  The pictures are easy to change.  You can reach under the photo and pull it out and then easily place a new photo inside the frame.  The quilt will hold twelve 5” x 7” photographs.  There is a top panel and 5 hanging panels which are attached with beads.

The Family Quilt Pattern


A year or so later we had a need for another Family quilt which would hold a larger picture.   Our entire family of 30 or more had a family photograph taken, and this required a larger picture frame, so I designed a new quilt, The Family Too PAD127.  This wall quilt is very much like The Family Quilt but it will accommodate 8” x 10” photos as well as 5” x 7” photos.

The Family Too Quilt Pattern


As these quilts became popular I was asked by some customers for a smaller size family quilt for those people who only wanted to show off a few photos.  The Mini Family Quilt  PAD140 was born.  It will hold up to six 5” x 7” photos.

The Mini Family Quilt Pattern

Any of the Family quilts are a great way to show off your favorite people or pets.  They make a great gift for special occasions such as a wedding or a graduation. Because of the difference in panel sizes and the dimensions of picture frames, each pattern is different.  Yet all three quilts are made in much the same way,  They all have a top panel and hanging panels attached with beads.  They can be made by any advanced beginner quilter.  There is also a tutorial on my website,, with more help if necessary.  All Presto Avenue Designs patterns can be purchased on my website or at

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1840’s Inspiration!

Today we are pleased to welcome Barbara Burnham to the blog. 

Edge-Ruched Flower

Ruching [roo-shing] means “ruffling,” “gathering,” or “pleating.” Ruching techniques have been used on quilts and clothing for centuries. In the early 1800’s, ruching was done for trimming men and women’s clothing, such as on collars and sleeves, and on appliqué quilts to form dimensional flowers. Ruching can be done in various patterns to form appliqué elements, usually by stitching with 90 degree peaks and valleys on fabric strips, circles, or scraps to form various effects.

Taking inspiration from an antique 1840 quilt with unique “edge ruched” flowers, I invite you to follow the instructions in my pattern to make an edge-ruched flower that you can wear as a brooch, or add to a bag, hat, wall hanging or quilt.


Choose a matching or contrast fabric; any pattern, stripe, even polka dots. Cut and sew a folded strip of fabric into this easy edge-ruched flower. Simply add a button and pin to make a brooch and fancy up your favorite outfit. (I’ve made several to choose from!)

The pattern includes instructions to finish this small wall quilt with a fancy edge-ruched flower and a bud bursting from its calyx.


Pattern is available from

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What’s New with Debbie’s Creative Moments

Debbie’s Creative Moments

Debbie Caffrey is a self-published author of fourteen books and dozens of patterns. In addition, she has designed and published over 250 patterns in an ever-changing line of mystery quilts.

Debbie has taught many energy-filled workshops nationwide for guilds and shops, and some international venues. These include International Quilt Festival (Houston, Rosemont, and Long Beach), Minnesota Quilters Conference, Festival of Classes in Bend, Oregon, The Road to California and many, many more. Debbie has contributed many articles to Traditional Quiltworks magazine and has made two guest appearance on HGTV’s television program, Simply Quilts, and two episodes of’s Quilter’s Coffee .

Debbie and her husband Dan lived in Anchorage, Alaska from 1979 to August 2000. They raised three children, Monica, Erin, and Mark.

After living in Anchorage, Alaska from 1979 to 2000, Debbie returned to New Mexico and lives there now. Outside of quilting, Debbie enjoys her family (Grandkids are the greatest!), cooking, her herb garden, and going on long walks and drives, experiencing new places.

New Patterns!

Here are two of Debbie’s new patterns that can be found on the website.  Click Here to take a look at all of our available Debbie Caffrey patterns.

Mountain Reflection

September Sunrise

New Mysteries for Classes and Shops!

Debbie has designed and published mystery patterns since 1994. They have appeared in many forms such as magazine series, patterns for use by teachers, groups, and guilds for classes and retreats.

All patterns require basic rotary cutting and machine piecing skills. Techniques are diverse, interesting, simple, and precise. While some techniques are more advanced than others, no pattern contains curved seams, Y-seams, appliqué, or similar challenges.

The sizes of quilts and number of fabrics used in the quilts are just as diverse as the techniques. For obvious reasons there is no picture brochure for mysteries. Because new ones are always being designed there is an ever-changing number of mystery patterns available.

The Class Mysteries and Shop Mysteries are great for use by teachers, groups, and guilds.  For information on hosting a mystery, please see How to Host a Mystery with Debbie Caffrey by clicking Here.

To view the mysteries please register online Here, make sure to include your guild or company name where it asks for company name.  We will then set up a wholesale account and email you with login information.

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Quilting Discoveries

We welcome designer Susan Mayer of Quilting Discoveries to the blog today.


My name is Susan Mayer designing under the name Quilting Discoveries. One of my most popular “discoveries” was how to put your quilt on point without cutting any side setting triangles.I now have 30 patterns published with the technique called “Straight to the Point” series. Engagement and Dance Partners are two of the most popular ones.


Dance Partners










I have 44 traditional patterns as well. The newest traditional patterns are Moving Blocks and Moving Blocks Again.

Moving Blocks

Moving Blocks Again

They are “design your own patterns” in which you learn several blocks that are sized to all fit together. You pick the fabrics and have fun making the blocks and arranging them as you wish!

Happy Quilting!

Susan Mayer




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Ornament of the Month Club

Today on the blog we welcome Carol L. Steffensen of Chickadee Hollow Designs. 

Winter has settled in and this is the perfect time to start working on things for Christmas next year.  At Chickadee Hollow Designs we are introducing a new line of ornaments called Christmas Keepsake Ornaments. This collection of Christmas Keepsake Ornaments will be available in the familiar Tea dye, in Blue Work, and also Red Work.  If you remember our first ornament line called Vintage Christmas Ornaments, then you will enjoy these as well.


The cost is $7.00 each, however you can save a $1.00 each if you join our Ornament of the Month Club (just give us a call). We started it on January 15th, however you can sign up whenever you want. We plan to send out two each month, as there is 20 in the whole line. That way you should be finished by the end of October and you will have them ready for your tree by next year Christmas! The Club cost will be $12.00 a month plus postage, but remember you will get two ornaments a month. Check them out on our website, on the Seasonal Ornaments page at For the retail stores this is a perfect BOM club for all of your stitchers. Call us with for details! 320-354-2456


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Today on the Blog we welcome our guest blogger Mary Lajoie of Country Angel Designs.  Mary is one of our fabulous designers here at and we are happy to have her share a little about one of her new patterns with us. 


It is a New Year and we are all hoping that 2017 will be a good one.  I am so excited to have my patterns featured at

My first featured pattern is: Bootyful

In this pattern, you will find instructions on how to make two different boots – The Big Boot and The Little Boot.

When I first started making the boots, I gave them as gifts to friends and family. I would buy a small Christmas Cactus plant, or a can of peanuts or candy and insert them into the boots. They were a real hit.  Now I have made it into a pattern so that others can make them as well.

Many local quilt shops have purchased this pattern and have made a variety of samples. It has proven to be very popular.

While Christmas is an ideal time to make the boot as a gift, it can be used on many other occasions throughout the year.

   Valentine’s Day: Make it red and white and fill it with candy.

   Baby Shower: Use pink or blue fabric and fil it with baby supplies.

   Desk Gift: Fill it with pencils and other desk supplies and match the décor.

   Easter Gift: Use Easter fabric and fill it with little Easter eggs.

   Halloween: Use Halloween fabric and fill it with Halloween candy.

   Quilter’s gift: Fill it with quilting supplies such as marking pens, snips, scissors, glue sticks, etc.

There are so many possibilities for this Bootyful Pattern.

Often Quilt shop owners place two co-ordinated fat quarters inside the pattern sleeve and sell it as a kit as the Little Boot requires only two fat quarters.

You need to be an advanced beginner to make this pattern. Once you make just one – you won’t want to stop. I hope you will try my pattern and have fun making gifts for your friends and family.

Wishing you all the best in 2017.

Mary Lajoie


CHECK OUT MY NEWEST PATTERN:                                                                                             OH BABY! –AVAILABLE AT QUILTWOMAN.COM



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