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!


Elsa and Anna

By Mary Covey

Elsa and Anna – anyone recognize those two names? It is amazing that an ordinary movie can have such an influence on us. When Disney released the movie they did not believe it would become the mega hit that it did. They had not planned on accessary sales like costumes, dolls, coloring books, ice castles, music, etc. would be very large. Wow! wow! I wonder if they watched the movie before it was released?

Well I have two grand daughters, Ella and Abby, who can sing all the songs word for word; they can quote the lines and argue over which one will be Elsa and which one is Anna when they play. Older sister – younger sister, Ella and Abby, Elsa and Anna -see where all this is going?

Preprinted panel of Elsa and Anna with borders trimmed off.

Preprinted panel of Elsa and Anna with borders trimmed off.

These pre-printed panels became available at the end of summer. The original panel came with a pink border about the same color as Anna’s cape. Of course like every other grand mother in the world I wanted to make my quilts (bought two panels – one for Ella and one for Abby) very special. I trimmed off the preprinted border so I could add my own.

This snowflake /stripe fabric by Ellen Medlock Studio was the perfect choice for the new borders. Each girl will get her own quilt with a travel pillow case made from the same fabric.

Finished quilt top,

Finished quilt top.

It is not very visible in the picture but on the left side of Elsa’s face in the background is quilted “Abby” my youngest grand daughter’s name. The second quilt has “Ella” quilted in the same spot. I may even had a few crystals here and there for some sparkle.

The best thing about these quilts is the magical power they have to make wonderful memories that my grand daughters and I will share forever.


Grey+Lime Green = Modern Cool

By Mary Covey

Most every quilter, seamstress, and crafter that has been in a fabric  store lately has seen it. Seen what ? you ask – well the “MODERN Quilt/SEWING MOVEMENT” of course.  This movement started small but has slowly and steadily found itself  in full view of quilters, sewing enthusiast, and  crafters every where.


Modern Quilt –

In my last post I showed the picture of Jennifer Alpe’s beautiful yellow, grey, and white modern quilt. It will be a really great addition to any modern home. Are you asking yourself “what makes a quilt a modern quilt”? Well I was wondering the same thing, so I used this marvelous computer to look it up! Modern quilts are basically a functional quilt that is inspired by modern designs. Some of the things that help me define a modern quilt are: *use of bold colors. *high contrast. *large areas of solid color like white, grey, red, etc. *minimalism in piecing.


Modern Quilt Use of Bold Colors

In this quilt, Jackie used a light grey for the large blank area on the top of the quilt. By using the black and green pieced blocks in the lower one third of the quilt, she added interest to the layout and a cool vibrancy to the dark grey bottom.


Modern Quilt Grey + Lime Green

There are two books that came out around 2005 that  every modern quilter should have in her library. They are “Denyse Schmidt Quilts” and “Modern Workshop”. During this same time, the very first on line quilt-a-longs were established and many blogs on the world of “modern quilting” popped up everywhere. As quilters, sewing enthusiasts, or crafters we all have our favorite colors and color combinations. Next time your a pulling fabric for a project throw in some modern grey and a little lime green. It will make your project – cool! #modernquilt #moderncool #boldcolors