Sunday, February 26, 2023


 Recently I was asked to make two videos for Quilters Select rulers: the 3n1 Half Square Combo Ruler and the 60 Degree Triangle ruler. They sent me the rulers and I got to work.

Let's look at the 3n1 Half-Square Combo Ruler. I nicknamed this "the Big Ruler that Does Everything":

The QR code on the package makes it easy to find the instructions and projects on the Quilters Select website. Using a fun knob handle on these rulers helps preserve the original non-slip coating. Our hands naturally have oils, maybe hand cream, maybe sanitizer. It really helps to preserve the coating by using a handle: 

I often use this Swamp Angel block for beginners because it uses squares, half square triangles and quarter square triangles--the 3 shapes this ruler is used for:

Let's cut a square for the center:  Add 1/2" to the finished size of the square for the size strip to cut. This is 3 1/2".You can cut squares up to 6 1/2". The fish are already cut, let's make a different center with this blue print:

Now let's cut half square triangles. Again, add 1/2" to the finished size of the unit, a 3 1/2" strip:

The clipped off point makes it easy to chain piece the triangles and not have a point eaten by the machine:

I press to the darker fabric for this block, use the square part of the ruler to be sure it's 3 1/2:"

Now let's make the quarter square units. The math is easy. The finished size of the unit is 3", meaning when it is sewn into the block. Divide that in half: 1 1/2" add 1/2" = cut 2" strips. Here four strips are lined up in pairs, white/green--right sides together and yellow/green--right sides together. Once cut, they are ready to be chain pieced: 

Like any tool, it might take a few times using it to become fully comfortable with it. But this is a keeper in my studio. I am soon going on retreat, followed by the cruise and it's great to know I can take this one ruler in place of 3 small rulers.

Find more information here: Quilters Select Tools

Watch the videos HERE, they start at about 9 minutes in.

Next week I will show the 60 Degree Triangle Ruler.

The Quilt Show Store has a special deal: buy both rulers and get a free Quilters Select Self-Erase Pen, another great tool. Watch for it here: The Quilt Show Store

Let's quilt.


Sunday, February 19, 2023


 Recently I taught a great class locally: DISAPPEARING PATCHWORK at Patches & Stitches:

I made it to challenge myself to make a neutral quilt, well outside my usual comfort zone of brights or deeply saturated colors. 

Class went very well and it is an excellent 6 hour class I am pleased to offer to guilds and shops.

Take a look at the students progress. I was very pleased to see a few students chose to not use neutrals. I was sure this was a good design for any kind of fabric choices; it does help to see it in other fabrics.

Evelyn got away before the group photo but I caught her before she left. She says this was a great "stash buster" as she needs to make a quilt for a tall man and it has to be done soon: 

Melody chose a darker neutral palette and her blocks are coming along. She has a charm pack that was a great addition to the yardage she had: 

Anna a used Tim Holtz map and text fabrics for a very LOW VOLUME quilt. She wants to find a few more of his fabrics to round out her blocks. I love how soft and soothing this is:

These blocks were made by Joan and Evelyn, strangers when class began but kindred spirits. They used several of the same fabrics and their blocks are perfect together:

Playing around I put Anna's lovely soft blocks in the middle and surrounded them with Melody and Patricia's blocks:

Glinda is making a Mardi Gras quilt with several fabrics given to her by a Louisiana friend. Nothing neutral or low volume about this, it's beautiful:

Fortunately, I got a group shot minus Evelyn. Joan on the left had a wonderful day--this was her first class ever, though not her first quilt:

I do love to teach. And it was good to know this makes a fun and educational 6 hour class. Several of the students even learned they put their rotary cutters back incorrectly, which explained why they found accurate cutting a challenge. In almost every class, I reassemble a cutter or two.

Let's quilt.


Sunday, February 12, 2023


 In December 2016, a couple of fairly new students asked me if I thought they were "capable" of making the 2017 Block of the Month quilt for The Quilt Show, Halo Star Medallion, designed by Sue Garman:

I told them they were capable, BUT it would not be a fast, throw-together quilt, and they would learn a lot from it. I had no plans to make it but would answer any questions they had.

After thinking about it, I decided I would enjoy putting a small group together to work on this quilt. I reached out to my quilt guild Facebook group and had to stop taking names when I reached 15 people! As I was busy teaching a lot, the only two hours a month I had were on Sunday afternoon--so we became the Sunday Sew and Sews. 

Most of them are still members and while not everyone works on the current Block of the Month quilt with The Quilt Show, they all learn from what it can teach us. And most importantly, they have become close friends, with me and each other.

Last Sunday we met and Show and Tell is always a highlight. Enjoy:

Donna D has two adorable grandchildren. Auston gets this Alphabet/I Spy quilt:

And Miss E gets this Numbers quilt--both totally appropriate gifts from their retired schoolteacher grandma!

Donna also showed us this wedding gift she made, pattern and colors selected by the couple:

Then we got to see this amazing Western Sun made by Jodie L. She started it in a local class I taught and it is the same size as mine, 110" x 110", why you can't see the entire quilt here. She used a wide variety of 1800's reproduction fabrics, as did I, so I LOVE this quilt! And her accent squares are red, while mine were cheddar: 

Pam R showed off this wonderful Kim Diehl pattern, another great quilt with lots of fabrics:

And Pam went in a completely different direction with this. The center is a Robin Ruth's designs Mariner's Compass. I don't recall the story of the corner blocks--I believe they are from Kaffe Fassett prints:

Judi H has been enjoying bluework--hand embroidery with blue thread: 

And Judi had a new baby to welcome into the world. Brenda M, one of the original instigators of the Sunday Sew and Sews, quilted this for Judi, and the top was made from another Sunday Sew and Sews pattern. The late Janet Noever designed this as her go-to donation quilt pattern for many quilts she made and gave to local hospitals. After she passed the Sunday Sew and Sews helped complete about 50 of them:

Life is just one big circle, good and bad, happy and sad. We share all the "stuff of life" with each other.

This week we lost one of our beloved members, Nancy Hill Watts:

Many years ago Nancy had breast cancer. About two years ago, it returned and she underwent lots of treatments again and felt she was back in good health. In November she found out the cancer had spread to her lungs and her time with us was limited. Sadly, she passed away February 6, 2023.

Nancy loved all forms of needlework and will be greatly missed by many friends who shared that love with her. And her family. And her former work colleagues. And all who knew her. Her obituary taught me things I didn't know about her life before I came into it, as a quilter. Nancy Hill Watts
I have written about Sunday Sew and Sews many times--you can tell they are important  to me. Check out a few special posts here:

Halo Star Medallion quilts-- check out THS POST to see the amazing Halo Star Medallion tops that came out of that first year 

The best thing a quilter can do is to surround her/him self with a special group of like-minded friends. All it takes is someone to say "Would you be interested in getting together?" 

We are all better as people and quilters because of the bonds of love and friendship we have built over these years. And it goes on.

Let's quilt.


Sunday, February 5, 2023


 Quilters have a love/hate relationship with irons. We use one every day we sew, for some of us, that's all day, every day. 

It needs to be hot. It needs to work. It needs to not stick. I need it to shut off automatically so I don't burn my house down.

Until recently, this was my every day iron, Black & Decker Classic. It's heavy, I liked that. It got hot and stayed hot while I was using it and it shut off automatically in case I forgot to turn off the switch to the power cord:

This iron died. Well, actually, it became hellacious. It was working all morning, just fine. I went to use it, a few minutes after the last time I used it, and it was so  HOT it scorched the fabric and melted the thread. The smell of those two things was bad. I immediately unplugged it. It was HOT. 

My husband said the thermostat must have quit. How long had I  had it? I dug out the instruction booklet on which I wrote the date purchased: February 10, 2020, and the price $29.99.  I also bought extra coverage for up to 4 years from the Amazon "protection" company--that cost $3.99. 

I NEVER get 4 years from an iron so it seemed a safe bet the "protection" would be needed. 

It was a simple process to file a claim online. Within less than a minute I received a text saying the $29.99 was being refunded and a return address label was attached. I printed the label, boxed it up, and shipped the dead iron back. They just got it and I'm now waiting for the $29.99. 

In the meantime, I got out my "backup" iron, a Rowenta I never loved but it still works so it gets put to use when an iron dies and I haven't replaced it yet:

My other "go-to" iron I use a lot is this cute little Steamfast. I use it when making circles or bias stems with starch or sizing as it is a breeze to clean the soleplate with a warm washcloth. I have been making lots of circles and stems so I keep it handy:

Time to replace the iron that just died. I figured I liked the Black & Decker Classic, so I would simply "Order it Again". The price now, 3 years later? $43.50. The cost of the "protection"? $8.99. So, no, time for a different iron.

Here is what should be coming in a few days. It's lighter than the Classic and is 1200 watts vs. 1100 watts. It's so cheap, they don't offer "protection", $16.99. 

As long as I get two years from it and it doesn't get super HOT unexpectedly, I'll be happy.

One thing to NOTE: I NEVER put water in an iron. That's the fastest way to kill it. I keep a squirt bottle of water beside the iron when needed for "steam". And Magic Sizing is a favorite. Also Best Press because it smells good. But never water in the iron, no, I just don't do that.

What is your current favorite iron?

Let's quilt.