Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Short Comment Follow-up...

I thought I would quickly respond to some comments that came in, before I forget to answer.  First, thanks to all for your comments; I read them and am inspired!
  • 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,  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.
Thanks, everyone, for your support.  Please remember that my comments, above, are just MY opinion.  If you have a different opinion, I am FINE with that!  Everyone develops the tools and techniques that gives them the best results. 

Now... if I could just find that bottle with time in it... oh heck.  I probably couldn't afford it.



  1. I do not like to mark my quilts with anything. I've had problems with stuff not coming off. SO, I either "mark" with an object like a pin or my favorite is a clover marking tool - this just puts an indentation in the fabric that you can readily see. Or I use masking tape for straight lines or I print a stencil/pattern onto full sheet label paper, cut out the pattern and just stick it on - this hint came from Charlotte Warr Anderson's books One LIne at a Time.

  2. Thank you so much for the timely advice. I use chalk for applique but was considering the ceramic pencils. I want to give them a try...the white one.

  3. Thank you for the additional information on your process. I'm curious, do you hand-draw your patterns or do you use a computer program? I'm finding adobe Illustrator to be a big help in designing blocks, but not so great in designing the whole quilt, as I have yet to master that particular skill. I enjoyed drawing by hand, but it's so much easier to do it on the computer and print out the templates when it comes time to applique.

    Do you still use an overlay (I think in the quilt show you mentioned that you used clear projector sheets taped together, which is what I have used in the past) for placement of the applique?

    I was so moved by your Bed of Roses quilt and the work was so breathtaking up close. I think I will make my next block with the method you've illuminated here. I can only get better, right?

    Thanks again!

  4. Thank you so much for posting!

    I've attended your trunk shows, taken classes from you, made your quilts and I'm STILL learning from your posts. (Have you considered a book?)

    Thank you again for everything that you do and the time you take to show us your thought process. You really do inspire me.

    *I have ALWAYS wondered why that quilt was named the "Houstonian"!

  5. I saw your quilt at Road 2 California last weekend. I have a picture of it hanging with its ribbon. If you would like a copy of it, I can send it to you. It really is lovely up close and in real life.

  6. For Bullet number 4. Thank you SO VERY MUCH for saying that. I laugh at the gadgets people are selling. Unbelievable quilts were made without electricity. LOL

  7. I was wondering if you block your quilts, and if so, how do you avoid bleeding then?


  8. I am really impressed from this post! The person who created this post is a generous and knows how to keep the readers connected.Thank you. Please keep on posting.