- The Bed of Roses quilt that was at Road to California in January was mine; I won a second place ribbon on it, too! I am starting to encourage friends to enter their quilts in more shows -- if you know you are going to enter a quilt, it will make you a better quilt-maker!
- For those who are timid about doing needle-turn applique.... just do it! You will be amazed at how quickly you can pick up the techniques. Take a class or two, also -- I still take classes, and I still learn something every time I do.
- I sometimes ink around my applique templates (freezer paper or mylar shapes) with a small-point Pigma pen, particularly when the shape is supposed to be perfectly symmetrical. Then, I cut out the piece, and turn the seam allowance under as I applique it in place. This method allows me to use the inked line as a guide: when it does not show on the top, that's the turn line!
- My thoughts on the Frixion pen: if it works for you, go for it. I do NOT use it, nor do I use any other type of markers like blue or purple washaway markers, other than chalk, mechanical pencils with ceramic lead (white lead only!) or even regular lead, and Pigma markers. I don't even use starch, Best Press, or other fabric finishes. Every single one of these things, I have found, can cause more problems than they solve -- with each (washaway markers, starch, fabric finish, etc.), I have had occasion for fabrics to bleed, especially reds and dark navy or black. It's just not worth the hassle when a pre-washing fabric, a good steam iron, Pigma pens, ceramic/lead pencils work just fine.
- Almost every quilt I've made has a pattern for it (there are exceptions) - check your local quilt store first and if they can't get them, go to my website, www.ComeQuilt.com. I am still updating some of my older patterns and bringing them up to my usual standards; my older patterns did not have all of the tips and measurements that many of you have now come to expect!
- Hand-quilting across layers of applique is a breeze for me because I don't use a running stitch; I'm an old stab-stitcher, and love how it relaxes me to do hand-quilting. Because I poke the needle down from the top, pick it up from underneath with my other hand on the bottom and then poke it back up and catch it on the top, I can just about quilt through concrete! It takes practice but I have total control with stab-stitching. Just remember to always have your quilt frame parallel to the floor and your needle perpendicular to the floor and your stitches will be even on the top and the back.
Now... if I could just find that bottle with time in it... oh heck. I probably couldn't afford it.