Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Millefiori Jumbo Blocks #3 and #4

Got two more blocks finished. Have one more to go, but have to put it aside for a few days...getting behind in my chores. :)

Hope you have time this week for a little sewing!

Hugs :)


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Traditional Quilting Course - TQC201 - MugRugs OPEN FOR REGISTRATION

Traditional Quilting Course (TQC) - August 2016 

Free Online Machine Piecing Course

This new class was first offered in May, and it went over fabulously! So, here it is again...a TRADITIONAL machine quilting course…this is NOT crazy quilting. For this course, we'll be creating a group of Mug the photographs throughout this blog post. Each has an optional embroidery panel attached to the quilt block we will be piecing. The embroidery designs are provided in the course...or you can use your own designs...or you can use machine embroidery...or you can omit the embroidery all together and create a square Mug Rug rather than these rectangle ones.
As you may (or may not) know…I’ve been quilting and teaching quilting for decades. While classes that are "taught in person" are honestly still my they give me great joy is instructing students and watching their faces light up as they “get it”. I really have missed that so much being retired and not living near my quilting guild friends any more. But, I have found unexpected peace and joy in teaching on-line courses to fill this void in my life and share my love of quilting. It was odd at first, but now…I’ve gotten a process down that is easy for me and seems very beneficial to the participants.
So far, crazy quilt classes have been the main focus. But, even crazy quilts have to begin by piecing a block…so these "crazy" quilters can also benefit from a traditional quilt course. Plus, folks that might want to learn about traditional quilting may stumble into the crazy quilting classes too! So, win – win either way!
This course, as all of my courses, are free. There is no fee to sign up or to take the class. Of course you do need supplies…as we can’t produce quilts from thin air!
I’ve tried to keep the costs as low for you as possible by designing a course that consists of small quilt blocks, rather than create blocks for a large quilt. Also, these blocks will be “used” as part of small projects rather than stored away in a drawer or box. The finished project will be a set of “mug-rugs” which could be a gift or a personal keeper.
You will need some tools for machine piecing of quilt blocks. Here too, I’ve tried to keep the costs down by creating my own patterns and guides for your use…printable of course. And the fabric costs are low because the amounts needed are minimal. While there is still an “up-front cost” for a rotary cutter, mat, rulers…at least the other costs are at a minimum requirement.
You can use whatever cotton fabrics you have on hand…or select a nice palette of pretty cotton fat quarters from your local quilt shop or online fabric store.
The genesis of this course is my Adult Education Course that I sometimes teach at the local community college. That course produces a full-size quilt using 12-inch blocks. So, the lessons had to be totally re-done to accommodate the smaller 6-inch blocks in this TQC module.
There was a plan to adapt these Adult Education Course instructions for use at my friend Shari’s Yahoo Group – StitchMAP. We spend many hours working towards that goal. But, it was just too time consuming for us to complete and did not work out as we had expected or hoped. I am thankful for Shari’s help in the editing of the drafts and the use of a few of her vintage embroidery patterns. But even more so, I’m thankful for her friendship.
The embroidery work is optional, but I think that the projects really benefit from that. The quilt squares are paired with this small embroidery panel to create a finished 6 x 9 inch rectangular Mug Rug. If the embroidery is not stitched, then the panel is omitted and the finished size will measure 6 inches square.
A Mug Rug is basically like a quilted coaster or hotpad. It sits on your table and you place your hot cup of tea (or other beverage) and perhaps a wee little treat (chocolate anyone?) on it. It protects your table top…and looks pretty alone as well.
The course will include general information at the beginning…then we will work each Mug Rug as individual tasks. The first Mug Rug to be created will be at Task #4 and there will be nine of these all together.
As the course progresses, each quilting block technique introduced at the Tasks will get progressively more technically complex. Not harder (well maybe a bit harder)…just more Thought Provoking…and probably requiring more Patience. Here is how the course Tasks will be issued:
Task #1 – Orientation to Quilting and Obtaining Supplies
Task #2 – Learning to Sew Precise Seam Allowances on the Sewing Machine
Task #3 – Learning to Cut Precise Strips and Shapes from Fabric using a Rotary Cutting System
Then we begin the Mug Rugs…actually sewing!
Task #4 – Simple Nine Patch Block: Learning the Basics of Assembling Rows and Columns of a block design
Task #5 – Bars Block: Learning strip piecing techniques
Task #6 – Diamond Bars Block: Learning to create corner triangles with “flip-squares”
Task #7 – Churn Dash Block: Learning to create double triangle patches from square pairs
Task #8 – Card Game Block: Learning to piece with bias edge patches
Task #9 – Star Block: Learning to use a paper grid system for piecing smaller patches
Task #10—Dresden Plate Block: Learning to piece wedges, adjust seams, and applique a curved edge
Task #11 – Fan Block: Learning to piece convex and concave curves together
Task #12 – Flower Block: Learning to paper piece
The course will run from a Blogger class blog. You’ll receive an invitation to this blog before the course starts. When received, accept the invitation…and remember the URL of the site. The invite only works once, so it is good to bookmark the class blog once you have arrived at the site. If you need help, let me know by emailing me at
Each lesson in the course has a “TASK” at the back of the handout. It is clearly marked by a red box. Once you have completed this task, a photo of your work will be uploaded (posted) to the class blog. I’ll see that and leave you some comments on the class blog. If you have problems…email me…don’t post about them as I see my emails several times a day but may only check the class blog once or twice a day. Also, once I’ve left you some feedback below your blog post…I may not be going back to that post again since you have completed the task.
When I finish leaving feedback on all of the current class blogs (this course and the crazy quilt courses open at the moment)…I’ll send out new tasks. So, when you have finished a task…posted your photo of that finish…I’ll comment to that..and THEN will send out the next task to you. This may take a day. However, if you see that I have left you a comment on the class blog post…and have not yet sent you the next task…email me. I do sometimes mess up and forget to send the next task. I try not to…but, it does happen…so, this is my admission and request for your help. 
So…if you are interested in taking this course…Registration is NOW OPEN. It will close at midnight, CST...on Wednesday night, 31 August. 
Here's how you sign up for the class: Just email me this information about you:
Email that you want to use for this course (handouts will be sent here)
Once I get your registration information...I'll add you to the class roster and email you back with a "Welcome" to the course. Then, in the next day or so...I'll also have a "Class Invitation" emailed to you so you can access the class website; remember this URL once you get to that site.
THIS IS AN ON-LINE you must be a little knowledgeable about reading and getting to a blog. But, since you are on THIS one at present...that should not be too hard to do. If you have me and I'll try to help.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Millefiori Patterns

Just a few days ago, I launched the Hexagon Magic pattern. This design has some small parts which make a fantastic (but challenging) quilt. Sometimes we want a challenge...and even need a challenge. BUT, as I was reminded...other times...we just want a relaxing time of stitching...YET STILL we want the results to be fantastic.
So, I'm resizing the pattern pieces for each of the five Hexagon Magic designs...and will be issuing them as individual (and cheaper) patterns in my Etsy Shoppe. Each design can be used as a small table topper when just pieced as an individual block. OR these Millefoiri style designs can also be combined to create a more kaleidoscope style quilt. Each design can also be used individually (repeatedly) to create a quilt using only the single block design. The photo above shows the relative size difference between the Hexagon Magic and the Millefoiri  patterns. So, which challenge interests you the most? I liked both piecing experiences...but the larger does appeal to me more because I like to have something "finished"....and it would be easier for me to achieve that goal. So many things don't get finished...I need the extra leverage!
The size of each hexagon measures about 10 inches on each flat side and about 18 inches across (flat side to flat side). It would not take very many of these hexagon medallions to create a larger quilt.
After I have re-sized the five Hexagon Magic designs into the Millefoiri Pattern series, I'll be adding even more designs to the group. I think these larger quilt blocks will be more fun for "everyone" to stitch.

Here is the second block to be pieced.  I know I had fun creating the first couple of this series...and used my glue stick to do the "securing" of the fabric seam allowances to the back of my card-stock pieces. Check out the tutorial post this morning to see how the piecing came together on this first and second blocks...3 more to go!

Working in a Larger Scale Hexagon EPP

I'm loving the Hexagon Magic pattern (see prior posts) and enjoyed actually creating the blocks. They were not as difficult to work with as I had first expected. But, even so it will take a few blocks to get a large project completed; and my eyes/fingers are just not what they once were. So, I went back to the designs and have begun to enlarge them. 
Here is the first block pieced (photo above)...which I am "re-naming" the Millefiori collection of blocks so they can be addressed as a different pattern grouping. Each will be re-issued as an individual pattern. No elaborate instructions but the full size pattern pieces and a layout design are in each pattern, with simple instructions.
Here's how easy it is to create:
1) print the pattern pages on to card-stock paper (about the thickness of index cards) and cut each one out on the line (or inside the line).
2) Use your favorite method of basting fabric to these pattern pieces, having at least a 1/4 inch seam allowance around each. Now, I used 1/2 inch seam allowance and was not all that worried over the "amount" of fabric. These are scissor cut and not consistent in the seam allowance measurement...and that did not matter one bit when putting these together using the English Paper Piecing technique. I used a glue-stick to glue-baste each fabric piece to the cardboard shape. The glue was applied to the seam allowance only...and pressed against the pattern shape by folding each seam allowance over the shape.  As they were formed, I stacked them into groups of about six...and clipped the edges. Left them overnight to let the glue dry completely. 
3) Prepare each fabric/card-stock piece. Consider the design and work the smaller pieces into larger units of patches.
4) Sew the pieces together following the design. 
Use a small "slip stitch" that secures each pattern piece to the adjoining one in the design.
4) Remove paper as needed. When some elements are sewn in place, it is cumbersome to deal with the cardboard in the surrounding parts. I left the cardboard pieces in place as I worked on adjacent pieces...then removed them when I moved to other areas that were no longer adjacent. In the photo above, note that the hexagon shaped pattern piece on the left (arrow) is it does not have any other patches sew to the outer 2-sides yet. The right hexagon shaped pattern piece (arrow) has the cardboard removed. This made it easier to sew the diamond (blue) patches as the hexagon pieced needed to "fold over" to accommodate the angle of stitching.
The cardboard pieces were not hard to remove. The seam allowance was "lifted" from the cardboard just by pulling them up. Then, I just got my finger under one edge and pulled the cardboard out. The shape remained intact. I do recommend that you leave the outside edge cardboard pieces in place until the block is assembled to another it will just make that easier. This will require that you print some pages again...since you can't use these pattern shapes over. The other shapes can be re-used until you feel that their shape is becoming distorted by the amount of usage. Or just print the block pattern pieced the multiple times you need for the entire project.
Hope you give this larger sized project a is easy enough to create and would make a very portable project after the fabric/cardboard pieces have been created. I've done two so far this week, and working on the third one today. The patterns are available at my Etsy Shoppe, and the cover photos are of the blocks finished. If I have not yet sewn the block, then the cover photo is the  artwork diagram (which I will change as I finish that specific block). I'm having a lot of fun with these blocks, they are so much easier to work with than the smaller pieces.
Please share your photos if you give these a try!

Monday, August 22, 2016

OPEN Registration for ICQC-103 - Surface Embroidery Motifs

 REGISTRATION will remain open until midnight on Thursday, August 25th CST
ICQC-103 Embellishing with Threads
This class covers Surface Embroidery Motifs
to include beaded and silk ribbon monograms.
Additional seam treatments are also part of the course. 
This is the "introductory" course to embroidery motifs. The following course (ICQC-104) will build on the skills taught in this course.
The class is FREE, you will not be charged anything for the instructions.
Registration for the ICQC-103 requires the completion of the BCQC class first. This is a prerequisite.

  If you are interested in taking this course, please email me at and provide me this information:
Your first name
Your last name
You country of residence
Your state of residence IF you live in the USA
The email address you wish me to send class instructional handouts to.
After you register, I will send you a Welcome Email within 24 hours of your email. IF I DO NOT CONTACT YOU in that timeframe...please email me again. You will not be in the class until I actually receive/respond to your request.
Next, Google/Blogger will send you (at my request) an Invitation to join the Class Blog where the class will be held. Watch for BOTH of these emails, check your spam folder. If you do not receive this by Friday morning, email me to let me know. You will need this invite to actually gain access to the class blog.
Supplies needed for this course include various colors of embroidery floss and/or perle cotton thread. A pattern will be provided for the creation of a series of pieced blocks; or you can use plain fabric and work the items as technique samples only. 
You are encouraged to have completed the ICQC-101 class before this one...but it is no longer a "requirement".
Hugs to all, 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Piecing Experiement for Hexagon Magic

If you know me, then you also know that I like to find "easier" ways of doing things. So, I've been thinking about how to work with the small pieces in the Hexagon Magic pattern the quickest and simplest way. You can see the relative size of the pieces based on my eyeglasses in this photo.
Here is what I've tried so far...and maybe you can use part/all of this process to create your own small pieced project. To begin, I chose one of the five block patterns from the Hexagon Magic Pattern and printed only the pattern pages for that specific block. 
I printed these directly to water-soluble printer sheets.
These WS sheets have a paper backing (shown at the bottom of this photo). When removed, the "sticky" back of the WS page is reveiled. I applied the entire page to some heavy interfacing that I had some scraps of. After all, this just an experiment, so no need to go out and buy supplies.
I then cut out each individual pattern piece. Sorry that there is no photo of these, but you can imaging them all cut out from the above photo.
The great thing about the water-soluble is that I didn't have to trace the pattern. The same would apply for printing directly on to card-stock paper. The good thing about using the interfacing rather than the card-stock is that it does not have to be removed after sewing the parts together like paper would.
This is important, because it allows me to glue-baste all the pieces. No sewing a basting line or tacking stitches. A word of caution however, use solid fabric or washable glue stick...not crafters liquid glue. The reason is...the WS pieces will "dissolve" when the water of the glue contacts with them. Of course, a solution for this problem would be to peel off the WS shape from the interfacing as you work IF you use a liquid type of glue.

Lastly, I hand stitched the pieces together. My only negative in this experiment was that the interfacing was too stiff to be drape nicely. So, will have to try this again with a more medium weight to see how that works. But with a medium weight, I'm thinking that the edges will not be thick enough to get a good point...we shall see.

Also, I prefer larger eyes are just getting too old to handle these little parts much longer. So, going to go and enlarge another block...and give that a try with the card-stock. Will let you know how THAT goes....


Thursday, August 18, 2016

I moved all of my patterns from Craftsy to Etsy this morning. Now, they are all in one place. :)


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Hexagon Magic

Here is what I've been working on lately...a new quilt pattern "Hexagon Magic". It is available now in the Etsy Shop. There is a lot of flexibility with this pattern. I've provided five really neat (at least I think they are neat) designs which can be either combined or used as single designs. The cover for the pattern shows both of these ideas on a black foundation.
You can create each hexagon as an English Paper Piecing project or as a Traditional Quilt Piecing endeavor. Patterns for both techniques are included! 
The pattern also has printable pages for each block, with the quantity of paper piecing units needed for that block. So, you just print these pages within the pdf pattern...and print them on cardstock or plastic (if your printer will handle these) for easy cutting out of the unique shapes.
Plus, I have included a full size layout with you can also draw your own designs. The size will match the five provided, so you can include your designs along with mine for even more crazy fun! is a section of smaller versions of the designs...just for coloring! So, this is a great way to try out some fabric ideas using colored pencils...before you even cut the first piece of fabric.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

OPEN Registration for Basic Crazy Quilt Course (BCQC) - August 2016

 REGISTRATION will remain open until midnight on August 8th (CST)
NOTE: I do not accept late or early registrations for need to register within the dates of the open registration period. I'm sorry, but I just have too much going on to keep up with early or deal with late registrations.
The FREE class is self-paced, and expected to take 4-8 weeks, depending on the time you have available to complete the 12 assigned Tasks.

These 12-Tasks include:
1 - How to Use the Class Blog
2 - Selecting Supplies
3- Design Principles of CQ
4 - Sewing the Block
5 - Surface Beading Techniques
6 - Template Seams
7 - Shape Seams
8 - 11 Various Silk Ribbon Flowers
12 - Finishing (lace, charms, etc.)
The class is FREE, you will not be charged anything for the instructions. You will need to obtain your own supplies as I do not sale kits.
Link to the Basic Supply List 
Basic CQ supplies include silk ribbon, pearl cotton threads, tiny beads, etc. as the photo above indicates. None of these are in large quantity for a single block that measures about the size of a sheet of print paper.
You will be required to use a quilting hoop (Q-snap is fine).
You WILL be required to access the private class blog (upon an invitation sent to you) and post photos of your work as you progress through the class.THIS IS AN ONLINE COURSE.

  If you are interested in taking this course, please email me at and provide me this information:
Your first name
Your last name
You country of residence
Your state of residence IF you live in the USA
The email address you wish me to send class instructional handouts to.
After you register, I will send you a Welcome Email AND Google/Blogger will send you (at my request) an Invitation to join the Class Blog where the class will be held. Watch for BOTH of these emails, check your spam folder. If you do not receive by Saturday morning, email me to let me know.
Because this is an ON-LINE internet class:
You will need to follow some simple instructions to register and gain access to the private class blog. Your name and email will need to be entered; but NO social security or credit card information is required. Just basic information to "recognize" you as a class participant.
You will need to be able to take a photo of your work, and upload it to the class blog. You will get instructions on "blogging" so don't worry if you don't currently do that now; you will learn.
But, you DO NEED to have an operating camera and be able to take photos.
You do need a basic understanding of how to save these photos and then retrieve those picture files. IF you use an IPad to take will need to email them to yourself, download them to your computer, and then upload to the class blog. If you use a phone or camera...follow the instructions for that specific camera to upload photos to your computer.
NOTE: You will be given class handouts/instruction in the form of emails and pdf documents.
 The pdf files can be opened with Adobe Reader (free software on the site)

 You need to be able to open these handouts/instructions and save them.
You can also print as you desire. In total, the course contains over 200 pages of paper/printer will be required if you want to retain a hard copy of this information.
Hugs, and I hope to see you in the class! 
This class is a REQUIRED before you can sign up to any of the Intermediate (ICQC) courses offered throughout the year.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Update to Course Schedule for 2016

I just updated the Calendar of classes for the remainder of this year. More BCQC classes and Traditional/Special classes have been included. Here is the new schedule (it is also under the page link for course/class schedule):

Please note that ALL Classes are open for registration on "specific" windows in time. Early/late registrations are not please mark your calendar to remind you of these time-frames. Thanks! :)

Each individual course is offered more than once a year...but not during the year-end holidays. If you miss a course this year...there will be a new schedule for 2017 posted towards the end of the year. I update the schedule as new classes are developed and based on the interest level of existing courses throughout the year.

The BCQC Course is a requirement for all of the ICQC Courses (except ICQC-102).

  Some ICQC Courses can be taken "out of order" (except for the 103 & 104 modules).

The TQC Courses must be taken "in order". 

Special Courses do not require any prior course work.

Classes that require they be taken "in order" means that the instructions are progressive, one module leading into the next they can't be done out of order. The BCQC is the preliminary requirement for the intermediate crazy quilt courses because it contains the basic instructions on how the CQ courses will be conducted and where the primary handouts for reference material is provided (it is not an indication of "skill level"; so advanced as well as novice stitchers both begin with this course).

All classes are FREE of charge, but supplies will be needed of course. I do not sale kits or supplies...and encourage you to use what is in your existing stash for most items. I also provide information on CQ Suppliers that have given the class participants a the BCQC Module. All of my classes are ON-LINE courses...which will require a printer and accessibility to the individual class blog site (by invitation from me).

BCQC - Basic Crazy Quilting Course:

6-8 August
14-16 September
11-13 October

ICQC - Intermediate Quilting Courses:

ICQC-101: Design and Piecing Various Blocks 

(All 2016 ICQC-101 courses are underway, Open again in 2017)


ICQC-102: Changing Colors (Dying/Painting/Inking, etc.)

(All 2016 ICQC-102 courses are underway, Open again in 2017)


ICQC-103: Embroidery Motifs and Seams

23-25 August

ICQC-104: Motifs w/Fabrics and Threads

4-6 October
 TQC - Traditional Quilting Courses:

TQC-201: Different Piecing Techniques

29-31 August
18-20 October

TQC-202: Additional Piecing Techniques

25-27 October

  Special Courses:
SP-301: Shadow Applique Christmas
28-30 September 

LAST EDIT of THIS Schedule was on 4 August 2016