Ready to start using rulers?

Ready to start using rulers?

Last May I mentioned the wonderful three part series that Patsy Thompson was writing about ruler work on a domestic machine for MQU. Since then I’ve taken the plunge and am loving working with rulers on my own machine. It’s really fun! I am in no way as expert as Patsy is, but, as a relative… Continue Reading

Happy National Quilting Day!

Happy National Quilting Day!

Today is National Quilting Day, and it’s not too late to celebrate! I haven’t managed to actually quilt yet today, but have spent a bit of time reading and reviewing books for our May/June 2017 issue. (Spoiler alert: there’s quite a crop of good quilting books out there just now.) I’m hoping to get a… Continue Reading

Batting Basics

Batting Basics

Batting is often an afterthought, especially for newer quilters. But since batting can dramatically change the look and feel of your work it’s really quite important. Here are a few things to consider when selecting the right batting for your project. How will you use the finished quilt? Will it hang on the wall, be… Continue Reading

Fusible Appliqué

Fusible Appliqué

Appliqué is such an incredibly versatile technique. Quilters of all levels can successfully incorporate it into their work whether they prefer traditional, modern, art, or innovative styles. We’ve frequently featured artists who use fusible appliqué since it’s fast, easy, and precise. In our January/February 2017 issue Jane Zillmer shared some great information on how she uses raw… Continue Reading

It’s Electric!

It’s Electric!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with hand cutting appliqué shapes or stencils for quilting. Hand cutting designs with scissors (or an Exacto knife) has its benefits, but sometimes you might want more speed or accuracy, especially when cutting multiples of the same shape. Electronic cutters to the rescue!… Continue Reading

Walking Foot Quilting

Walking Foot Quilting

A walking foot has long been a staple of many quilters’ toolboxes. The beauty of a walking foot is that it helps to feed the fabric evenly through a domestic sewing machine by working in concert with the feed dogs. This makes them extremely useful for accomplishing long rows of stitches to stabilize your quilt sandwich when you… Continue Reading

Piece Out

Piece Out

Stressed out? I sure am! Last week was a real doozy so I grabbed some fat quarters, sliced them up, then started piecing. It’s one of the things that relaxes me the most and yet I haven’t done it in a long while. With no real plan in mind, I just tried to pair a slightly… Continue Reading

Detail Oriented

Detail Oriented

Our March/April 2017 cover artist, Bethanne Nemesh, is well know for her attention to detail and expert workmanship. Combine that with her beautiful design sense and you end up with a winning combination! In fact, her cover quilt, Into the Westward Sun, has only been exhibited in the last few months and  has already won… Continue Reading

Stitching Ground Foliage

Stitching Ground Foliage

Kit Robinson continues her popular series on landscape quilts in our March/April 2017 issue. It features a variety of lovely quilts including REGENERATION – Halls Gap (Australia) by Linden Lancaster, shown below. Kit found herself in the enviable position of having more quilts to share than would fit in the article, so she wrote a… Continue Reading

Last But Not Least – Labels!

Last But Not Least – Labels!

We recently received an email from one of our readers, Vivian Burrus, with a great suggestion. Vivian said “I was recently going through my back issues of MQU and “rediscovered” Maria Elkins great article “Last But Not Least — Label Your Quilt” in the Nov/Dec 2013 issue. With the Quilt Alliance’s Labeling Pledge (http://quiltalliance.org/labelingpledge/) still in fill… Continue Reading

Making a Statement

Making a Statement

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes we really want to just make a statement. There are many ways to add lettering and words to quilts, from surface design techniques to quilting or embroidery. Let’s look at a few of them. An option that quickly comes to mind is writing on the… Continue Reading

The Three R’s

The Three R’s

No matter what style of quilt you’re making, the three R’s – Repeat, Resize, and Rotate – can help you achieve a more effective design. Repetition can be used to create a visual rhythm to a piece, or help to emphasize a particular design element. Repetition can also assist in creating consistency that helps to… Continue Reading

Consider Curves

Consider Curves

The graphic quality of pieced blocks is often the initial draw for new quilters. The piecing lines are ideal starting points for adding quilting, whether it’s in the ditch or echoing the angles created by the geometry of the piece. If you’re ready to branch out a little, or just change things up, consider adding… Continue Reading

Meandering Musings

Meandering Musings

Back in the day, meandering seemed to be the overall quilting design that all the kids were doing. What’s great about it is that it’s fast, and it’s pretty easy to fill a large space of almost any shape. It’s still a good design for beginners to help hone their skills, but it can also be… Continue Reading

To Mark, or Not to Mark?

To Mark, or Not to Mark?

Truth: if I can avoid marking, I do! But there are some occasions when marking saves more time than it takes to do it. Markings are guidelines that work in a variety of situations. The most obvious time to mark is when you want to replicate a specific motif. Bear in mind, though, that in… Continue Reading

Anniversary Contest Part III

Anniversary Contest Part III

Here is the last, but certainly not least, group of entries from our 10th Anniversary Challenge. I think it’s truly remarkable how many different ways folks chose to meet the challenge of referencing the number 10 in some way; over 50 ways in all! I hope you enjoy and are inspired by this last set… Continue Reading

Driving Lessons

Driving Lessons

The day after Christmas my husband and I drove almost exactly 1400 miles, door to door, to visit my sister-in-law in Fort Worth. One week later I turned around and completed the same journey in reverse with one of my sons who happens to have a learner’s permit. It sounds a bit crazy, and it… Continue Reading

Anniversary Contest, Part II

Anniversary Contest, Part II

More fun and festive quilts from our 10th Anniversary Challenge! Thanks so much to all the entrants, we appreciate your creativity, hard work and artistry. Be sure to check back next week for our final group of entries. Continue Reading

Winter Wonders

Winter Wonders

In the U.S. winter isn’t coming, it’s here! My first instinct in frigid weather is to stay inside and hopefully quilt, preferably something involving riotous color. I try to take pictures of the snow covered landscape but never seem to create something with much visual interest. These artists, however, have managed to create beautiful works… Continue Reading

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary!

Woohoo! We’re celebrating our 10th anniversary year here at MQU. In August 2016 we challenged quilters to make 10″x 10″ quilts of any style to help us celebrate. Each artwork was required to reference the number 10 in some way, have three layers, and the edges needed to be finished. We were blown away by… Continue Reading

Going in Circles

Going in Circles

Circles are a design element that’s appropriate for almost any quilt. Sometimes free handing them is the way to go, while other times we’re looking for more precision. For really precise circles ruler work is one of the best ways to achieve a crisp look. In our January/February 2017 issue of MQU columnist Margaret Solomon Gunn… Continue Reading

Stitching the Sea

Stitching the Sea

Our November 19th blog post was all about stitching the sky. Senior Editor Kit Robinson continues her series on stitching landscapes in our January/February 2017 issue of MQU with Stitching the Sea. Here are some of the gorgeous pieces she shares in her article. Rachel Wright truly captures the feel of a seaside cliff with  Around… Continue Reading

Combining Stitch Patterns

Combining Stitch Patterns

Earlier this week we talked about combining hand and machine quilting in the same piece. Today we’re discussing a different type of combination, combining stitch patterns. Our latest issue of MQU, January/February 2017, will be heading to our subscribers in just a few days. One of the articles that particularly caught my attention is by… Continue Reading

Making Your Mark

Making Your Mark

Most quilters seem to choose to quilt their work just one way – either by hand or machine. Recently, though, I’ve noticed more and more quilters, particularly art quilters, combine both techniques in the same piece. Our September/October 2016 cover girl, Jill Kerttula, combines hand and machine quilting beautifully as she makes her mark with… Continue Reading

Couching!

Couching!

Earlier this week I had a wonderful opportunity to attend an event at the BERNINA Creative Center in Naperville, Illinois. Not only did I get the chance to learn about some of BERNINA’s latest products, I also got to know other passionate sewing and quilting professionals from around the country. Talk about fun! One of… Continue Reading

Looking for Light

Looking for Light

Here in the Northern Hemisphere the days continue to grow shorter. With the sun going down before 5:00 PM any light is a welcome sight! At the same time the winter holidays are fast approaching, and it’s no wonder that for many holidays, no matter what time of year, light is a key part of… Continue Reading

Tooling Around

Tooling Around

We can all quilt with just a few straight forward tools, but it’s always fun to try out new and sometimes more efficient ways to get the job done. Every issue of MQU features a “tool box” section where we present some of the latest and greatest tools and materials available. We also have had many… Continue Reading

What’s Your Procedure?

What’s Your Procedure?

Howdy! Stopping by briefly this evening to talk about something that sounds pretty dry, but I think it will make your quilting easier. Many Americans, myself included, have been scurrying around today, cooking and cleaning, getting ready for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a little different from other holidays in that lots of folks have many of the… Continue Reading

Stitching Landscape Quilts

Stitching Landscape Quilts

Landscape quilts seem to have a nearly universal draw. It’s fascinating to see how many different ways quilters interpret them in fabric! So it’s not very surprising that multiple readers have told us that they would like to know how to machine quilt landscape quilts. MQU Senior Editor Kit Robinson to the rescue! Though we seldom get… Continue Reading

Special Exhibits

Special Exhibits

The Special Exhibits at this year’s Houston International Quilt Festival did indeed live up to their name. I unfortunately didn’t get a good look at some of them until the last day I was at the show, and wished I’d left myself more time to study them. They were all amazing! One exhibit that particularly delighted… Continue Reading

Houston Quilt Festival 2016 – Part Two

Houston Quilt Festival 2016 – Part Two

Here are a few more of the amazing quilts shown at the Houston International Quilt Festival this year. Once again the details are truly inspirational. Happy and Grateful by Mary Zahner. Based on a photo taken in a bamboo forest in Japan, Mary appliquéd over a thousand leaves on this piece! The thread painting on… Continue Reading

Houston Quilt Festival 2016

Houston Quilt Festival 2016

Well, I’m back and nearly rested from another great trip to the Houston International Quilt Festival! If you missed my Facebook live videos at the show, be sure to check them out on our Facebook page. (And I apologize that the sound on one of them is not so great. Live and learn!) One of the… Continue Reading

It’s Showtime!

It’s Showtime!

My social media feeds are jam packed with photos and videos from Quilt Market in Houston. And, in just a few days, Quilt Festival Houston will be happening! If you’re planning on going to Quilt Festival, or another large show, we’ve got you covered. Linda Turner Griepentrog gives some wonderful tips for show attendees in our… Continue Reading

A Little Echo Quilting

A Little Echo Quilting

Sometimes it’s fun (and maybe even instructional) to see how someone else quilts a particular motif or design. In that spirit, here’s a video demonstrating echo quilting around a feather motif. Enjoy! Continue Reading

10 X 10 Challenge FINALISTS Announced!

10 X 10 Challenge FINALISTS Announced!

We are so excited with the response to the 10 X 10 Challenge! The number of entries plus the quality of work  made it very difficult to narrow the field to just the top 10. Those finalists have now all been notified and their quilts are on their way to us for final judging. We… Continue Reading

Using Samples to Quilt As You Go

Using Samples to Quilt As You Go

So, you’ve embraced creating samples to practice your machine quilting. Or, maybe, followed my lazy habits and quilted a little bit extra all around the outside of your quilt to avoid burying threads when you start and stop. What can you do with those bonus pieces of machine quilting? There are, of course, countless crafty type… Continue Reading

Perfectly Imperfect

Perfectly Imperfect

OK, let’s not worry about perfection for a few minutes. Any practice will improve your machine quilting skills. When I lecture, I always shows the audience one of my practice pieces. Yes, that’s right, a quilt I made simply to practice my machine quilting skills. It’s comprised of 25 nine patches, some open blocks and… Continue Reading

The Value of Value

The Value of Value

Quilters often use the print of a fabric to wonderful effect, giving dimension and interest to a pieced or appliquéd quilt through the use of a particular design. Another easy way to add interest is through the use of changes in value. By carefully selecting, or perhaps fussy cutting, your fabric, beautiful dimension can be… Continue Reading

The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild

The leaves are starting to change color here, and every day for the next few weeks there will be a new vista of beautiful hues to admire. It’s no secret that I love leaves, and have incorporated them many times into my own designs. But I’m not the only one who finds them fascinating. In our… Continue Reading

Go For It

Go For It

Our motto is “Inspiration and instruction for ALL machine quilters!”. I love this, and it is genuinely what we try to bring to you in every issue. It’s so inspiring to see quilters of all skill levels trying new things and creating what appeals to them, and that’s just what I got to do a… Continue Reading

Retreat!

Retreat!

The definition of “retreat” is very interesting. It can mean both “an act or process of withdrawing especially from what is difficult, dangerous, or disagreeable” or “a period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study, or instruction under a director”. (from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retreat) Quilting retreats seem to cover both instances, as we get to leave behind our everyday… Continue Reading

More PNQE Eye Candy

More PNQE Eye Candy

There were so many outstanding quilts at PNQE 2016 that I’d like to share just a few more. I have to start out with Keiko Ike’s American Spirit. This quilt has it all – the graphic drama of red and white, superbly pieced Mariner’s Compasses, and fabulous quilting. It was an award winner at World… Continue Reading

PNQE 2016 – Beauty in the Details

PNQE 2016 – Beauty in the Details

Last Saturday I trekked up I-95 to attend the 2016 Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza. I was truly wowed by the number and variety of quilts there. Several special exhibits were shown, as well as the PNQE contest and international quilts and winners from the World Quilt Competition. Here’s a peek at some of the exquisite… Continue Reading

Gifts for Quilters

Gifts for Quilters

My sons and husband all have birthdays around now (three of them are within a 2 week span) so I can’t help but think about gifts this time of year. Sometimes our non-quilting friends and family want to get us quilting related gifts, but alas, they really have no idea what might be appropriate. Here… Continue Reading

Maintenance Required

Maintenance Required

Don’t we all dread when that message pops up on the dashboard? But, just as with our cars, maintenance is an important task to keep our precious machines humming along. Over the years many of our articles have touched on machine maintenance, including Sarah Ann Smith‘s article in our March/April 2014 edition. Here are a… Continue Reading

Behind the Scenes at Zebra Patterns

Behind the Scenes at Zebra Patterns

Long before I met Debra Gabel friends were telling me that I *needed* to meet her. They told me how interested she was in quilting, and what a talented artist she was. She is that, but also so much more! Debra and I live ten minutes apart, and I’ve probably known her now for about ten… Continue Reading

Studio Reorganization

Studio Reorganization

Full confession: Over the years I’ve been envious of too many other artists’ studios to count. At the same time, did I do anything about it? Not really. There is ample  space to be organized and spread out in our finished basement. However, due to the many responsibilities in my life, when there is time to quilt or… Continue Reading

Thread Tales

Thread Tales

Ever wonder how thread is manufactured? Then be sure to catch one of Alex Veronelli’s lectures on how his company, Aurifil, makes thread. Alex is currently touring quilt shops in the Delaware and Maryland area. I attended his talk at a wonderful local shop,  Spring Water Designs in Columbia, MD. I didn’t know what to… Continue Reading

Free Form  Cross Hatching

Free Form Cross Hatching

I’m always on the lookout for fills I haven’t used before. On my last quilt I tried a free form cross hatching technique that was really fun, very fast, and allowed me to fill in even the smallest areas with ease. You can see it on the gray/brown area to the right of the white blossom… Continue Reading

Show Quilts

Show Quilts

When school starts it seems like quilt show season also gets in gear. Many of us have admired the amazing quilts we’ve seen at a variety of shows. Have you ever wondered what goes in to making these beauties, like Best of Show winner Arandano by Marilyn Badger? How about the lifelike blossoms that Andrea Brokenshire creates?… Continue Reading