Show and Tell

As a child, visits to Grandma Brown’s house and Aunt Alta’s and Aunt Ada’s houses always included “show and tell.” All three women were prolific needle artists so there were always new things to see. And I still love going places and seeing what new and fun projects my friends and family have going on.

This weekend, on the way to Mom’s house, we stopped at Platte Valley Sew and Vac in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, to drop off one of my machines for repair. It’s the shop where my Mom does most of her shopping for fabric and sewing related things. I met Lori, the owner, a number of years ago at a Pfaff convention. I’d already heard wonderful things about her from Mom and, sure enough, she is a gem. Her sewing machine tech, Morgan, is wonderful. He makes my machines so happy. They just purr!

Lori and I have similar tastes and we both love to experiment with new ideas so a trip to her store is great fun. A few weeks ago, I blogged about a serger quilt. My quilt was a simple quilt; I serged squares together in rows and then serged the rows, batting and backing together. I blogged about it again when I finished it. Lori commented at the time that she was working on a serger quilt and this weekend I got to see her quilt top. It’s much fancier than mine. Isn’t it pretty?

front Show and Tell

Lori and Her Serger Quilt

She also pieced the back. She said she had lots of large pieces of fabric left and she thought since I make pieced backs all the time, she’d try it. It’s a keeper.

back Show and Tell

Lori”s Pieced Back

Lori had lots of pretty samples on the walls. Here are two of my favorites. These quilts both have a fair amount of machine embroidery.

Love Show and Tell

Embroidered Applique

Nebraska quilt Show and Tell

The Nebraska Quilt

After a lovely but short visit, we went on to Mom’s. Mom is working on an awesome quilt with dozens and dozens of leaves. She’s working from a pattern called Third Weekend in October© by Innovations.

Mom and the leaf quilt Show and Tell

Mom and the Leaf Quilt

Mom is nearly done with the piecing. I can’t wait to see it finished.

I’m working on something new, too. It’s going along quite nicely.

Mary Kate and I are going to Quilting LIVE  in Atlanta in September. Check it out, we’d love to have you join us.

One of our stage presentations at Quilting LIVE will be Pieced Quilt Backs. I did a segment on QN TV a while back on pieced backs but I’ve since finished the quilt I was talking about. The video is available for purchase here.

In order to need a pieced back, you have to have a completed quilt top so I’m working on a new one using a pattern in our Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 special issue which will be on sale October 28th. It has lots of super quilts. That’s a long time to wait, I know, but it will be worth remembering to watch for it. The quilt I chose is by Bev Getshel.

Here are all the patches cut and some of the sewing done.

pieces and parts Show and Tell

Some Assembly Required

I changed this quilt from the pattern just a bit. I wanted to use scraps from my stash so I didn’t use fat quarters and I wanted it larger than Bev’s. There are two easy ways to make a quilt larger or smaller: change the number of blocks or change the size of the blocks. I changed the size of the blocks. Here is a sneak peek as I started putting the patches in rows on my design wall.

design wall Show and Tell

It’s a Start

Although my bin of blue fabric is still overflowing, it used lots of my blue scraps and is going to be a really cool quilt. I’ll show it to you again I’m sure.

And now I’m off to the sewing studio to work on a project for the December/January 2015 issue. We work quite a ways ahead and it makes me laugh to be thinking about the warm and cozy quilts we want in January when the temperature is hovering around zero when the actual temperature here today is up near the 100-degree mark.

Until next week, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and our website. Happy quilting!

Posted in Inspiration, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Decisions, Decisions

At a local thrift store over the weekend, where I often go to look for odd lengths of fabric, I came across something else, besides fabric, that I found really interesting. But then I also found some fabric I liked and that’s where the difficult decisions came into play. With a set spending limit and so many choices, what is a quilter to do?

thrift1 Decisions, Decisions

Unique cut-outs of traditional quilt blocks

What I found was this really interesting little framed piece. On the back it says it was manufactured by Designs with Scissors in Atlanta, Georgia, and it has a 1986 copyright. A thin piece of paper had been cut (by hand? X-acto knife? Die-cut? Did they do laser cutting in 1986?) to resemble different traditional quilt blocks. They were asking $8 for it, which is kind of a lot (I think so, anyway) for a thrift store, but it is a pretty special piece.  The frame is very nondescript, so that didn’t thrill me, and the paper inside was a bit discolored here and there, but it is so delicate and detailed that I carried it over with me to look at the fabric.

thrift2 Decisions, Decisions

In case you want to see it up close, slight staining and all.

Well, dang. Now there’s some fabric I want to get. I have $20 to spend. I don’t know if all thrift stores are like this, but I think many of the items they sell are a little over-priced, for a thrift store anyway, and $20 doesn’t go as far as one would hope. There were lots of fabric cuts to choose from, all kinds, including some quilting cottons.

thrift3 Decisions, Decisions

But fabric!

I narrowed it down to a cute floral printed stripe, about 2 1/2 yards for $6, and a kind-of-weird stripe, about 3 1/2 yards (60″ wide though!) for $8. I think the latter must have been produced as a home decor fabric since it’s so wide, but it has the weight and hand of a nice quality quilting cotton. The print stripe is quite dated, and I bet it doesn’t appeal to a lot of people. I don’t have a problem with ‘ugly’ fabric, in fact I like it and think it’s a fun challenge to make it look cool in a quilt.

I can’t afford all of it. After some hemming and hawing, I chose to get both lengths of fabric and leave the little frame behind. I hope I made the right decision! While I could admire the little image at home, I can actually use the fabric to make something. That’s what quilters do, right? But they also love and appreciate quilt history and items that embody it, so I don’t know.

If only I had unlimited funds, I’d have a lot more of everything except for dilemmas like this one. Did I make the right choice? What would you have done? Should I go back this weekend to see if the frame is still there? Until then, I’ll be checking out what’s going down on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube and our website. Have a happy weekend!

Posted in Gigi, Inspiration, Staff Quilts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Forever by the Seaside Giveaway


I opened an email a couple of days ago which told me exactly how many days until Halloween, US Thanksgiving and Christmas (92, 120 and 147 respectively from today’s date, Wednesday July 30th). The email was a sales ad about being prepared for the upcoming holiday season, and the first thing I thought about that was that I’m not ready for the holiday season yet because I’m still enjoying summer. Never mind how many days of summer are or are not left, how quickly Autumn is approaching and the fact that it has been pouring rain around here since some uncertain time yesterday (and intermittently throughout the last week). I just want to enjoy summer a little while longer! Which is why the current giveaway item perfectly describes how I’m feeling.

FbtSG 550 Forever by the Seaside Giveaway This is a bundle of 12 fat quarters from the Forever by the Seaside collection by Linda Coleman for Red Rooster Fabrics which is very summery and sure to give your next quilting project that vacation feeling no matter the time of year.

We’re trying something a little different with our giveaway entries this time, which means that we would like you to CLICK HERE and write your comment about what project(s) you hope to finish before summer is over (or winter, for those of you in the southern hemisphere) on the entry form on that page. Entries must be received by 11:59 pm Mountain Time Sunday August 4, 2014. Contest is open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 day. If you’re randomly selected as the winner, the email will come from with the subject line “Quilters Newsletter blog giveaway.”

To view the projects other people commented they were hoping to finish by the end of summer, CLICK HERE. Some of you have quite large to-finish lists!

Posted in Contests | Tagged , , | 29 Comments

Big stitch hand quilting: troubleshooting the tools

While it’s great to start a quilt knowing exactly what tools you’ll be using, sometimes you just have to figure things out as you go.

big stitch duck 1024x767 Big stitch hand quilting: troubleshooting the tools

Duck motif done with big stitch hand quilting in Sweet Water perle cotton thread #8 from Cottage Garden Threads

I recently made a flannel baby quilt and decided to add some big stitch hand quilting to some areas. I’ve done this before — quilted most of a quilt by machine and then added big stitch quilting for impact in certain areas — but I’d never hand quilted flannel before. So when it came time to start, I assembled what I thought would be the right tools for the job because they’ve worked for me before: perle cotton thread #8 in a few different colors and from different manufacturers, big stitch needles and my open-backed Roxette thimble. And then I sat down to hand quilt for the first time in a few months.

At first I thought I was having difficulty perhaps because my skills were a little rusty, or perhaps because it was warm and the thimble felt like it was sliding off my finger. Then I thought maybe it was because of the late hour, so I put my hoop down and decided to try again in the morning. But when I struggled again the next day, I knew it was time to do some troubleshooting. I didn’t think the problem was with my thread choices, so I started with going back to using my old ridge-top metal thimble, thinking that perhaps I would get more power if I directed the stitch from the tip of my finger rather than from the pad.

Big mistake. First of all, my hypothesis was all wrong — I actually felt as if I had less force and control when I went back to pushing the needle using my finger tip. I didn’t realize how accustomed I’ve already gotten to quilting with the Roxette just this past year (I blogged about trying it for the first time in January). But I kept at it with my old thimble until I realized I was getting a blister above my knuckle from the uneven pressure of the thimble on my finger. So back to the Roxette I went and I felt better immediately.

OK, if the trouble wasn’t with the thimble, it was time to look at the needle I was using. I had started with one I thought would be better for going through flannel, but I think it was too thick and offered too much resistance to the thicker fabric. I ended up going back to my trusty chenille size 24 needles, which continue to be the right choice for me. Because I usually only load two stitches at a time with big stitch quilting I like a slightly shorter needle than some other quilters do.

As for my threads, they worked just fine once I figured out I was using the wrong needle, even though they all came from different manufacturers, including Cottage Garden Threads perle cotton #8, Finca perle cotton #8 from Presencia, 3-strand cotton floss from Weeks Dye Works and even Lizbeth #20 cotton thread from Handy Hands.

08B002 Big stitch hand quilting: troubleshooting the toolsI got the duck motif from The Quiltmaker Collection: Quilting Motifs Vol. 2, which is a fantastic resource (and I’m not just saying that because it came from our sister publication).

If you’re new to big stitch hand quilting, I recommend doing your own exploration of tools and threads to find out what works best for you. The needles aren’t that expensive and it’s worth it to spend a few dollars if only to figure out what doesn’t work. I had already tried out a variety of needles and thimbles and I know what works for me, but for some reason I thought I needed to use different tools just because I was working with flannel. The lesson I learned was not to overthink things before beginning; better to start with what experience tells me works best and then troubleshoot from there if necessary.

Be sure to check out our website,  FacebookTwitterGoogle+, PinterestInstagram and YouTube for the latest updates from QN!

Posted in Mary Kate Karr-Petras, Tools | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Sunbonnet Sue

Last week, some of us at the office were talking about the advantages of storing quilts flat. They don’t get wrinkled; they don’t get permanent fold marks. The best place to store quilts flat is on a bed.

We moved out of our house and packed all the excess into storage in January. I brought some of my quilts to the apartment and they’ve been hiding in boxes since then. Partly as a result of that conversation and partly because the quilts on the bed don’t take up storage space in the closet, I put them on the bed in the sewing room this weekend.

The bed is noticeably higher. It makes me think of the fairy tale of the Princess and the Pea. I “only” have 15-20 quilts on the bed. There are quite a few more in boxes in the storage unit.

But while I was unpacking I came across a couple of quilts I really like. I have 3 Sunbonnet Sue quilts. The first is one my Grandma Brown made for me as a baby. I don’t have a photo of it. I’ll try to remember to share a photo with you when I have all my quilts with me again. It’s a wonderful quilt. It’s pretty thread bare, obviously well-loved and extra special to me now because it is one of only two quilts I have left that my grandmother made.

Sunbonnet Sue Onies Sunbonnet Sue

Onie’s Sunbonnet Sue

This second one is a mystery. It is something I found in my mother-in-law’s things. There is no label. There are no family stories – nothing to identify this quilt. The sashing and borders are peach-colored cotton. The skirts, bodices and bonnets are 30s prints but the fabric appears to be more tightly woven than flour sacks.

Sunbonnet Sue Onies Deta Sunbonnet Sue

Look at the pretty embroidery.

This quilt is hand appliqued, hand embroidered and hand quilted. It has been well cared for. It’s one of my treasures.

Sunbonnet Sue Mine Sunbonnet Sue

My Sunbonnet Sue – the Cracker Quilt

My quilt guild and family made blocks for a signature quilt for me. It is 5 blocks wide and 6 blocks long.

I stipple quilted it and, in fact, it is seriously over quilted.

One of my sons spent the night with us shortly after I’d finished the quilt. It was on the bed in the guest room. He came out the following morning, more than a little grumpy and said the quilt was like sleeping under a soda cracker so we call it the Cracker Quilt. Note to self: don’t stipple quilt late at night when you are feeling stressed.

I think part of what makes quilts special is their stories. I always tell people that this is the Cracker Quilt and I explain why. It’s part of the fun of this particular quilt.

sunbonnet Sue Detail 2 Sunbonnet Sue

Hand embroidery

Some of the blocks are more decorated than others. My friend Mary made this one with hand embroidery. The patches are appliqued with a simple zigzag stitch.

Sunbonnet Sue detail 1 Sunbonnet Sue

Machine Embellishment

My mom made this block. The patches are blanket stitched down. She added ribbon and lace. She signed her name by embroidering MOM with her machine.

Moms Sunbonnet Sue Sunbonnet Sue

Mom’s Sunbonnet Sue

Mom also has a Sunbonnet Sue quilt. It’s also a signature quilt with blocks given to her by her quilting friends. I smiled when I saw it. It is very similar to mine. Her quilt has half Sunbonnet Sue blocks and half Overall Sam blocks.

She stitched in the ditch to quilt it. It’s nice and soft – no cracker quilt here.

I’ve got several things I need to tend to so until next week, happy quilting. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and our website.

Posted in Inspiration, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Cutting Edge Technology, continued.

Have you picked up your copy of the August/September 2014 Quilters Newsletter? It’s our 45th anniversary issue! You can find it at the Quilt & Sew Shop if you’ve not yet seen it. It’s full of all kinds of cool stuff – stories, products and beautiful quilt patterns like the one for our cover quilt, Bonnie’s Rocky Mountain Star, designed by QN founder Bonnie Leman’s daughter, Mary Leman Austin. There’s also the conclusion to our quilting technology series, in which ZJ Humbach writes about the die cutting and digital cutting technology available today.

Well, there’s another product that we weren’t able to squeeze in before the issue went to press, so I’ll tell you about it now. Silhouette has 2 models of electronic digital cutters, the Portrait and the Cameo. Click on the links for the specific information about each model, but they can both plug directly into your PC, like a printer, but instead of printing they cut out whatever shape you desire. They also sell cut-out motifs through their online store.

silhouette portrait 01 xl Cutting Edge Technology, continued.

The Silhouette Portrait digital cutting machine

silhouette cameo 3t 01 xl Cutting Edge Technology, continued.

The Silhouette Cameo digital cutting machine

These machines seem to be somewhat similar to the Brother ScanNCut. I have tried the CM550DX model and am very impressed by it. It’s very exciting to be able to scan any shape into the machine and have it cut out perfectly. This machine is discussed in the magazine article, and the main difference from the Silhouette models seems to be that you do not plug it into your PC, but you can scan designs into the machine as well as upload designs from a USB drive. The Brother and Silhouette machines have other similarities and differences in how they function, however, so do your research to figure out which machine might work best for your needs.

scan n cut 430x430 Cutting Edge Technology, continued.

The Brother ScanNCut CM550DX digital cutting machine

Another interesting feature that both the Brother and Silhouette companies were demonstrating at Spring Quilt Market was the ability to sync your embroidery machine’s designs with the cut-out design shapes. This makes it easy to cut out a desired shape from the electronic cutting machine, applique it to a background, then embroider all around the shape with a satin stitch for a secure, stylish and stitched applique motif. It was very cool to see in action.

I have not been able to test this feature for myself, but the manufacturers should be able to provide more information about it. There are also third party companies, like Fabric Confetti, that offer .svg files for sale to enter into your digital cutting machine to use with their embroidery patterns. But this is only one of the many things that these machines are capable of.

All the electronic cutting machines are available online from the manufacturers’ websites, and I saw the Silhouette machines featured prominently at my local fabric/craft store when I was there last weekend. I don’t know everything there is to know about them, by any means, but if you like fusible applique (or scrapbooking, or making cards, or almost any craft activity that involves cut-out shapes), you should definitely check out this exciting technology.

We did get a Brother ScanNCut to try out at the office. It’s pretty incredible! Among other cool features, you can scan just about any shape into the machine, manipulate it on the screen as you like, and cut the shape out of paper, vinyl, fabric, and more.

Just to make sure that it works well for fabric, I set it up to cut out a motif that had several tricky characteristics – small sections, complex curves, straight lines and narrow areas – to ensure it was capable of cutting out intricate motifs that would be extremely difficult to cut by hand. So I uploaded the Quilters Newsletter logo into the machine, and it was cut out accurately and quickly. Since you attach the fusible to the fabric before it’s cut out, it makes everything very easy. I was able to use the left-over fabric with the cut-out spaces to make sure my applique spacing was correct. Take a look!

QNlogo Cutting Edge Technology, continued.

Quilters Newsletter logo cut out with the Brother ScanNCut and appliqued.

Have you experimented with any of these new machines? The creative possibilities are virtually endless. We like to discuss these things, and so much more, on our spaces at Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ and our website. Have an inspiring weekend!

Posted in Gigi, Inspiration, Tools, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mineral Forest Giveaway!

AS14Cover 200 Mineral Forest Giveaway!


Quilters Newsletter August/September 2014 officially went on sale yesterday, and we’re very excited about this issue, as it happens to be our 45th anniversary issue. The cover quilt was designed by Mary Leman Austin, the daughter of Quilters Newsletter founder Bonnie Leman, and not only is this a very special quilt, the full pattern is also available for it in the issue!

There are so many other wonderful inspirations and patterns in this issue as well, I could go on for a long time about them, but one of the other really special anniversary celebration points in Quilters Newsletter  August/September 2014 is that each of the blocks made for the Staff Picks section was made with the pattern from the cover of the very first issue of Quilters Newsletter back in 1969, a pattern called Moon Flowers which we’ve posted on our website as a free web extra if you’d like to make a block yourself.

Here’s Moon Flowers made from the collection we’re giving away currently, Mineral Forest by Andover FabricsMoon Forest Block Mineral Forest Giveaway!

And here’s a picture of the bundle of Mineral Forest by Andover Fabrics that we’re giving away (18 fat quarters in all): AS14a 002 550 Mineral Forest Giveaway!

To enter to win this bundle of fat quarters from the Mineral Forest collection by Andover Fabricsleave a comment on this post below telling us about a special quilting project you’ve made (or plan to make) to celebrate an anniversary. Comments must be entered by 11:59 PM Mountain Time, Sunday July 27, 2014. Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days. If you are randomly selected as a winner, the email will come from with “Quilters Newsletter blog giveaway” in the subject line.

Once you’ve added that new variation of our editorial questions email to your “safe senders” list, be sure to visit us all over the web on: FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestInstagramYouTube and our website for all the latest quilting inspiration and news from the quilting world.

Posted in Contests | Tagged , , , , | 383 Comments

A Finished Quilt – Just for Me

I finished a quilt last week and the more I looked at it, the more I wanted it for me.

Frequently, my quilts these days begin with a pattern Quilters Newsletter published or a pattern we are going to publish. That was the case with this quilt. Here is the original. Along the Way was designed and made by Melanie Greseth and Joanie Holton of Tailormade by Design and featured as a pattern in Quilters Newsletter’s February/March 2014 edition.

AlongtheWay 580 A Finished Quilt   Just for Me

Along the Way

The original was 64½” x 73”. I wanted my quilt to be a large queen-size quilt so I added two rows to the width, two rows to the length and I made the outer border a little wider. My quilt is 92” x 97½”.

Along the Way My Way 005 A Finished Quilt   Just for Me

Along the Way – My Way

I started my quilt to prepare for a video  for Quilters Newsletter TV: the Quilters’ Community explaining how I sew curves when I’m making a quilt with curved seams. That video aired last Friday. You can check it out here.

As you can see in the video, it wasn’t finished. I had the top all together and I had it pin basted but the quilting was not done.

I had a hard time deciding on the quilting for this quilt. I absolutely love the fabric. The prints are from the Monaco collection by Red Rooster Fabrics and the teal solid is Kona cotton by Robert Kaufman Fabrics. I didn’t want the quilting to detract from the pretty, pretty fabric.

So here is what I decided to do. I stitched in the ditch around the half circles to stabilize everything and then echo quilted in the dark teal print. In the light print, I did a decorative stitch – I lengthened it to 33 mm so if I made any wobbles it wouldn’t be as noticeable and I used a width of 6.5 mm. The border is just straight line quilted. The batting is Warm & Natural by The Warm Company.

Along the Way My Way 003 A Finished Quilt   Just for Me

Detail of Quilting

Often, when I finish a quilt, it goes in the closet to be a gift. Actually, much of the time, it is a gift and the occasion is nearly here and I need to hurry up and finish the quilt so I can deliver it on time. That wasn’t the case with Along the Way – My Way. I didn’t have a plan for it. And since I like it so much, I put it on my bed. I am going to keep it. I may have to make all new quilts for the walls in our bedroom because they don’t seem to go together very well. But that’s a great excuse for the next couple of quilts – as if I need an excuse.

Now, until next week, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and our website for the latest news and quilty ideas.

Posted in Inspiration, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Off the Wall Basting

The thing about ideas that are just crazy enough to work is that a person must be crazy enough to try out the idea, to see if it will in fact work. As we’ve been settling into our home and filling it up with more furniture, the nice big floor spaces on which I used to spread out and baste my quilts are no longer very big. It’s really no fun crawling around on the floor to baste a big quilt, but basted they must be and it’s a tried and true method that works.

While I’m running out of floor space, there’s still plenty of wall space. Maybe I could use that instead?! If it worked, I’d be able to stand up straight and pin everything together without discomfort. While I’m sure my co-workers would help me baste a quilt that needed to be finished for work, I had a quilt top and back that I made just for fun, for me, and I wanted to get it out of my unfinished pile. I don’t remember the exact size off the top of my head, but it’s about 70″ square. You may remember it, I blogged about making the top. I decided to give my wall-basting idea a shot.

I started by pressing my quilt back so it’s nice and wrinkle-free, then I put two long strips of regular masking tape along the top, on the wrong side of the fabric. I used the 2″-wide kind of tape so there would be plenty of adhesive on both the fabric and the wall.

wallbasting1 Off the Wall Basting

Two long strips of masking tape at the top will hold the quilt back in place, so I can tape the perimeter of the quilt back to the wall.

I did need my husband’s help just to get the quilt back initially stuck onto the wall so it hung straight. We each held one of the strips and stuck them to the wall, then his job was over and I was able to tape all around the perimeter by myself. It worked out well because I could pull the fabric taut since it was stuck to the wall on top, and tape the edges down. It was obvious if there was any distortion and the tape was easily readjusted as necessary.

wallbasting2 Off the Wall Basting

The quilt back is nice and smooth, taped all around the edges. It’s a little hard to see since the wall is almost the same color as the masking tape!

Next comes the batting, of course. I had the idea that cotton batting would stick pretty well to the back and stay put without any tape, but I did have to tape the upper two corners in place while I smoothed it over the quilt backing. I cut off the excess batting, which was adding unnecessary weight, and then with a bit of manipulation and patting out folds I got it nice and smooth against the quilt back. So far, so good.

wallbasting3 Off the Wall Basting

The batting, trimmed to size, stuck pretty well to the backing. It was a little tricky in the bunchy areas where the batting had been folded, but patient manipulation worked that out.

The quilt top, being smaller and lighter than both the quilt back and batting, should adhere nicely to the batting, I thought. It did. Once one corner was anchored and smooth, it was really easy to smooth out the rest of the quilt top and it stayed put without any tape or anything. It was actually much simpler that crawling around on the floor to get wrinkles out, since on the floor you usually have to put your weight on the quilt and that distorts the smoothing out you just did. I was able to get the backing, batting and quilt top on the wall in about half an hour.

wallbasting4 Off the Wall Basting

Layer the backing, batting and quilt top. On the wall. Done!

Then it was time to pin it! I was nervous that the safety pins might add more and more weight and eventually pull the tape off the wall, but I figured that by then I’d have a good amount of basting already done and then I could just move to a table or something. So I just started pinning at the top and before I knew it, I was done! It worked really, really well. I did have to squat and then sit on the floor to pin the very bottom, but it wasn’t for long and still preferable to crawling on hands and knees.

wallbasting5 Off the Wall Basting

It’s not too apparent, but there are safety pins all over the quilt. No knees were harmed in the basting of this quilt.

So, wall basting. Have people been doing this all along, but I just never heard about it? It’s pretty great. I guess it helps to be tall if your quilt is pretty big, and I had made my quilt back about 6″ larger than the front so even with the slight distortion that happened when I removed the masking tape from the fabric, it didn’t affect the working area. My husband was a little concerned that the masking tape might damage the paint on the wall, but it came off with no trouble at all and the wall looks just fine.

My quilt front and back are perfectly smooth, basted, and ready to quilt. I think this will be a good project to practice some more free-motion quilting.

wallbasting6 Off the Wall Basting

Close up of the front, basted.

wallbasting7 Off the Wall Basting

The back, basted. No wrinkles!

Please tell us all about your quilting adventures and ideas, innovations and dreams! We’re always on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and our website. Have a stitcherrific weekend!

Posted in Gigi, Inspiration, Staff Quilts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Golden Age Fabric Giveaway!

CoverJJ14 200b Golden Age Fabric Giveaway!


It’s almost time for our August/September 2014 issue to hit newsstands (next Tuesday the 22nd if you’re counting down), so we’d like to give one last hurrah to our fabulous June/July 2014 issue with another Staff Picks fabric collection fat quarter bundle giveaway. (Don’t forget to grab your copy of Quilters Newsletter June/July 2014 if you haven’t already, because it’s packed full of intriguing techniques like using LED lights with conductive thread, history articles like “Cheddar Quilts” and intermediate and challenging quilt patterns!)

One lucky winner will receive 24 fat quarters from the Golden Age collection from Collecting Threads, a densely decorated series of opulent prints to give your next quilting project the royal treatment.

JJ14SPL 002 550 Golden Age Fabric Giveaway!

To enter to win this bundle of fat quarters from the Golden Age collection from Connecting Threadsleave a comment on this post below telling us about your favorite summertime place to quilt. Comments must be entered by 11:59 PM Mountain Time, Sunday July 20, 2014. Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days. If you are randomly selected as a winner, the email will come from with “Quilters Newsletter blog giveaway” in the subject line.

Once you’ve added that new variation of our editorial questions email to your “safe senders” list, be sure to follow us your preferred form of social media: FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest,Instagram and YouTube, and don’t forget to visit our website for previews of what’s in the latest issue (currently June/July 2014 which can be purchased at your local quilt shop, bookstore, or online at Quilt and Sew Shop)!


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