a very cool quilt



The top is corduroy fabrics and the back is flannel. It is not your usual quilting cotton but it sure turned out to be a cool quilt. All of the corduroy is upcycled from clothing. It is warm and should be great for the cold days of winter. I quilted overall large fans and topography stitches in a golden color. I think it is a nice combinations of textures !

Branching out, you may find a huge new creative spark being started,  and upcycling clothes is a great way to use what you may have and not put more in the landfill. Plus YOU MAY ALREADY HAVE FABRICS ON HAND, saving you money and being a most frugal quilter. Love it! Upcycling and being frugal what is better?


Quilt on,


Machine Quilting Monday



Here is a pen drawing of the three stitches I used on a quilt that I took off the frame last week. I will post a picture of the quilt after the explanation of each stitch.

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I started learning free motion quilting by learning a stipple. I really focused on this shape and problem solved traveling with this fluid motion before I moved on to more difficult stitches. Whether you love or hate the stipple you need to learn this stitch because it is the basis of many foundations of the free motion quilting I do.

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I love the ribbon candy stitch. It has a figure 8 feel. It is useful in borders!


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Feathers are more challenging. I drew them out for weeks before I really was comfortable quilting them. They can be as easy as 1, 2,3.


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First, I start with a spine. I do all over feathers quite often using a large spaced stipple. This method can be scaled up or down as needed in your quilt. Stitch the spine and then put a feather on the end on the top of your spine.

2017-08-11 11.48.31-1Next, make many featherss, see the arrows for “top rows” ? I try to make them teardrop shaped and make the feathers a little bit different in size depending on where it is in the curve as well as space that you need to fill. Moving right to left, fill the spine in a top to the bottom motion to make your shape.


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Lastly, repeat the teardrop shape moving left to right as above only this row you are making the shape from bottom to the top.

Here are the stitches on my quilt!

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Quilt on!


what I have been up to Highland Games and stuff



I went to the 168th St Andrews Society Highland games and festival. I had the opportunity to see Dan McKim again this year. He is retiring this year. He took first in the Pro division.

My husband competed in the Amateur division. A great day of competition.  I saw all of the games but I did walk about and see the festival. The music was good, lots of vendors and clan information. I have to say it is pretty cool and I enjoyed the day. I always have a pint in honor of my Scottish ancestors. I tried a whiskey and I have to say I still don’t like it, lol. Click on the videos below to see some of the games in action!





On the creative front, I finished the multi colored cowl on the lower left. It is a yarn that is spun and has roving.  You cast on about 80 or so on a large circular needle. Knit round one then knit where yarn is spun and purl where yarn is roving. When the cowl has used up the skien knit off. Magic!

I cast on a stockinette stitch scarf that will be a Harry Potter scarf like one from the Prisoner of Azkaban. Link is here for pattern.  I found the red yarn on clearance for 72 cents a skein! I had the yellow in my stash from when I was in a yarn a month club. I love the easy pattern.  You knit a tube then add fringe. How easy is that?

Then the most exciting thing is one of my quilts will be feature on Moda Bake Shop in a couple of weeks. I have the quilt nearly done. I have the how to pictures completed. I need to write the steps up. The most difficult problem is the cover picture. I hope for good weather otherwise it will be improvised inside. I have high hopes for my camera being able to take a really sweet photo. I have lots of spots I can get a nice picture.

Well wish me luck on the pictures lol,

quilt on


A quilt top and investigation

If you listened to my last podcast you will know I said I wasn’t going to piece quilts without intention until I caught up on my long arm quilting of my own quilts. Well, I must have impulsively said that. I had all morning yesterday before I needed to return to work after a good checkup at the dentist.  So, I didn’t have a batting nor the ability to buy one till Friday…. so I sewed a Valentines table topper. It was a panel I bought in Scotland in 2014, It had to be finished! You will also notice the back of a quilt I took off the frame for a customer and now the frame is open waiting to be loaded. The next deadlined quilt is mine. AGH, I need a batting. What to do after to table topper? I started testing a pattern for a friend who is making softies. It is a little dragon stuffed animal. So cute.  A nice change of pace for sewing. More to come on that pattern and my process will be another blog post.

Click on photos for a larger more detailed look !

I went on a investigative trip to the community garden. I have a quilt that will be featured on Moda Bake Shop mid August. I need to take a picture for the cover photo. I want it to be special. The pictures all the other chef’s take for cover photos are amazing and I am feeling a little nervous about the need to have a really good one! The quilt will go on the frame soon AFTER I GET A BATTING. Ugh I hate having wasted good long arming time because I don’t have a batting or backing or thread. Makes me a little bit nutty. But you make do and I have plenty other supplies and lists of things to do.

What makes a good quilt pattern cover photo? I would love to hear what you think? I think the garden has some potential for a good picture.

Quilt on,


Machine Quilting Monday

I wanted to share a quilt I just took off the frame for a customer. Isn’t it the sweetest fabric collection? I chose to do a freemotion feather in the center. The first pink border has curls in it and the outer border is a curl, one leaf and travel with a loopy meander. Overall, I love the texture in each zone and that the quilting didn’t overwhelm the lovely piecing and the sweetness of the fabrics.

Click on each picture for more details. What is fun is how liberating free motion quilting is. I didn’t mark anywhere. I didn’t break the thread on the borders, just snuck in and out in a suble manner and it all flowed together. I used Superior Sew Fine thread and they have my favorite threads for long arming.

Here is a little video!

Quilt on!


Podcast and vlog

Listen to the audio only podcast here


I posted a vlog and you can watch it on YouTube above or  here. I am taking the audio out of the video and recording a podcast, we will see how that goes. It may be a total disaster but I am gonna try it lol. EDIT: WHOA I DID IT! I knew it was possible!!!

Links talked about  in the show is http://www.modabakeshop.com

Quilt Week Grand Rapids http://www.quiltweek.com/locations/grr17/

Here is the quilt going to the show!!!

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Every Princess needs a crown post and pattern is here

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Pattern for Mistake Rib scarf is here

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I am hoping to get back into the swing of things this week and enjoy the rest of summer, it will go by so fast!!!

Quilt on,




Frugal Quilting



I wanted to write a series of blog posts about being frugal in quilting. Quilting can be very expensive but it doesn’t have to be. Frugal quilting doesn’t mean that you need to buy items that are of low quality.  I like to be frugal with my quilting and I don’t spend top dollar for the materials that I work with every time I buy fabric.

This week I wanted to talk about fabric purchases and acqusitions. I have to say that the biggest problem in spending money in quilting is impulsively buying fabric with no intention. Now there are times when I will buy fabric because it is on sale, but it has to be a great buy. I will buy kits with 1//3 or 1/4 yard cuts even if I don’t like the pattern because the collection of fabric can be used in a future project. I try not to pay full price for anything.

I also accept fabric from people who don’t want parts of their stash etc. I have found some real gems in other people’s fabric. I don’t have a problem throwing out or recycling fabric that I would not use in my quilting. So many times these  fabrics, that are a bit different from my stash, are perfect for backing a quilt. And I don’t like to piece backs because I am lazy but it will save money so I do it!

Did you know solid fabrics are considerably less money than prints? They are. They are really easy and fun to work with. I mix a focus print fabric with solids in many of my quilts. Solid fabric with a big coupon? Win!

I hear people are finding fabric at second hand shops, I wish we had one here that had fabric but we don’t. If you do go into a resale shop or yard sale don’t forget to look for fabric!

I ask for specific fabric lines for gifts or a gift card  around my birthday or the holidays when I want to buy some fabric that I know I will have to pay full price for — Like a new Tula Pink line etc. I think splurging occasionally is a good thing but I don’t do that often. I only do that once a year or so for my birthday or Christmas.

Here are my tips for frugal fabric acquisitions:

  1. Shop with intention. Shopping impulsively often leads to buying fabric you may never use. Which ultimately leads to excessive money spent. And those costly fabrics being wasted.
  2. Accept donations of fabric from others when they don’t want it anymore and then purge from the fabric you won’t use or if it not appropriate.
  3. Shop sales first.
  4. Shop solids and sprinkle in prints.
  5. Check out second hand shops and yard sales, you may hit the jackpot!
  6. Swap and share with you quilting friends if you need a special color. They may have it and want to get rid of it!
  7. scrappy quilts are lovely shop the stash at home first!
  8. Watch for people doing “destash” sales on social media such as Instgram. I have seen some great buys there, just calculate shipping in the total cost.
  9. Coupons can really save you money!
  10. Shop everywhere – I shop at my local quilt shop, online, big box stores, big craft stores etc. I have a specific plan when I shop and buy what I need. Rarely do I buy off the intended fabric list but if I do I has to be 60 percent off.
  11. I try to minimize the number of fabrics needed for a quilt. Unless it is intentionally scrappy and I have it on hand, I won’t use 17 shades of white for a background and then go buy it because a pattern says to. One shade is fine with me. Hint : some pattern makers also are selling their fabric line and want you to buy as many fabrics as possible for each pattern. I think that’s cool because they need to make a living and want to show you examples of how to use their fabric but I may not choose to use so many different cuts of fabric if it costs too much money.
  12. Block of the Month-be careful of the cost. Many times you are paying for the work to cut the pieces for you and that can be expensive when you are trying to be frugal. I once spent $25 for a block of the month that had 5 blocks in it plus paper piecing foundations. The small lap quilt cost $250 for just the top and nothing else but the pattern. Its gorgeous but it was riddled with problems and I still have to invest in a backing and batting. A very expensive lesson learned. A
  13. Anything precut is expensive because again you are paying for the cost of cutting it., however there is a time and place for precuts if you can get them at a good price . Another factor is time, you time is money too. I love precuts !!! Especially as a GIFT!!!! T
  14. Try to build a stash of fabrics that will work together over time. Then you can really use it up without feeling like you are always on the hunt for the right shade of blue etc.
  15. I will work for fabric if it “pays well enough” and accept gifts of fabric.  Many times I test patterns or help my quilting friends and they can’t pay me money but they can fabric which is money to me!
  16. I don’t buy without intention at show. I don’t do Shop hops, sign up for monthly clubs, bom’s because usually it is impulse buying and pressure buying. I wind up with things languishing in my stash bins because everybody bought it and when I get home I have a stack of “what was I thinking” fabrics that I would never use.


I hope this helps you in your pursuit of being a Frugal Quilter. I like to spend money on quilting but I also like to feel good about what I saved!

Please share you tips in the comments and then I can add them to our list which may grow over time so check back periodically!

Quilt on ,