Machine Quilting Tips (part 1)

By Mary Covey

From fabric to thread to batting, as quilters we are always in contact with fibers. Whether it is piecing a quilt or machine quilting a quilt, the fibers we work with create particles of dust. Over time those small particles become larger bundles of dust. These bundles can cause all kinds of problems for both you and your machine. From skipped stitches to machine malfunctions, it is not a pretty picture. The dust in the picture below is from quilting just one row.


Dust Bunnies 1


Here are a few suggestions to prevent these problems:
 1. Start with a clean surface. Wipe the outside of your machine and working area off with a lint free cloth.
2. Check your bobbin hook, bobbin case, and bobbin to make certain they are free of dust and lint. Just as the dust collects around the needle, it can also collect in the bobbin area as pictured below.
Dust Bunnies 2
3. Oil your machine according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
4. Start each new project with a new needle. A dull needle can cause dragging and puling in the fabric.
5. After each project is finished ( or in the middle of a big project), blow the dust that has collected in the machine out using compressed air, the same kind you would use on your computer.

Happy Sewing!


Inspirations for Quilting!

By Mary Covey

“Where do you get the inspiration for new quilting designs?” is one of the questions that I am  most frequently asked and one of the easiest to answer. Inspiration is all around us in everything from architecture to nature.

Many of the fabrics used by quilters are drawn or photographed directly from nature. Shapes you might be familiar with include grass, leaves, ferns, flowering plants and animals. The beautiful cabbage rose pictured below is just one example.

Shapes that are more geometric in their design are often drawn from everyday architecture. Windows, fence rails, gates, and doorways are examples of places that influence my quilting designs. Pictured below are a few of the pictures that I took to add to my ideas.

Take some pictures the next time you are out and about – you will be amazed at the inspirations you will find.

design inspirations2


design inspirations3


design inspirations


Waiting for Perfection

By Mary Covey

When I saw this photo on Pinterest, perfection is the first word that came to mind.  Think about all the things that had to be in place for the photographer to get this amazing shot. The right camera, the right lens, the right location, the right lighting, it all had to be there ready for the big moment to happen. Lots of hard work –  just waiting for perfection. The thought of the “perfect moment” can be so daunting that we do nothing for fear of failing. As a quilter, an author, and business person, I am always thinking of ways to prepare myself for opportunities that might be perfect for me.

bird and frond

I set daily, weekly, and monthly goals that are all preparing me for the opportunities ahead. I work hard to master the skills I have and even harder to master new ones while constantly making adjustments. I have many failures. They make me very grateful for every small success. I urge all of my students and readers to take time to review your goals whatever they may be.  Ask your self  “What are my goals?” “Where do I need to improve my skills?”  “How can I prepare myself for opportunities?” Don’t let the anticipation of the “perfect moment” freeze you in your tracks, let it propel you into action!


Studio Redo

By Mary Covey

Organization is not always my strong suit. Just like the tide, being organized comes and goes for me. Things are neat, orderly and in place when the tide of creating comes in bringing with it a new mess. Time for a studio redo.  Those of you who follow me on Pinterest know I have a board of beautifully organized studio spaces and craft rooms. I found a great post on Everything; Craft Room Makeover -StudioPebbles  all about studio makeovers that I am re-posting here. Enjoy!

Craft Room Makeover – Studio Pebbles
By Kim Layton


This craft room makeover will give you tons of inspiration to make your crafty space all your own.  The room was already functional and cute, but now it’s simply amazing!  Who wouldn’t love a creative space that’s this beautiful?!

Jennifer from Studio Pebbles was blessed to work with Target to design something that fit her style and could be done without spending a fortune.


I love how there’s a few spots to sit and work on projects.  You could even leave one in-progress project on a table and go update your Etsy shop on the computer at your desk.  I hate having to clean up when I’m in the middle of something creative.  It ruins my crafty vibes…you know what I mean?

The colors, the style, the quote on the wall…I LOVE it all!

Visit Studio Pebbles and see all the fabulous photos including lots of before shots…AMAZING!


Pretty, pretty, pretty!


Visit Studio Pebbles on Etsy for adorable printables like these 3×4 cards!  These would be perfect for your Project Life books or scrapbooks!

Jennifer is super creative!  Keep up with her beautiful blog right here and you won’t miss any of her inspiring projects.

Still want more craft room inspiration?  Check out our Craft Studio Section for hundreds of ideas!


You won’t want to miss on of our most popular posts full of craft room ideas you’ll love!

Have you made any changes to your crafty space lately?  I’d love to hear about it!

Have an inspiring week!


#organization #craftroom #DIY