Monthly Archives: August 2015

Quilting in Florida Keys

A beautiful sunset from our campsite in the Florida Keys
A beautiful sunset from our campsite in the Florida Keys

This week my family and I loaded up our little RV and headed down to the Florida Keys for a little lobster season action. While we won’t be coming home with boat loads of lobster (we did catch a fair amount, but a fair amount were too small to keep). The water temp was 91 degrees- too warm for most good fishing.  I can say we learned a lot for our next adventure.

By the time my husband and son loaded up dive and fishing gear it was announced that my sewing machine plus all the paraphernalia associated it with was not going to fit in our little camper.  So I did the next best thing I could think of, I brought several quilt kits and table runners and got them pre-cut, so I have several projects ready to go whenever I get the time to piece. Cutting is my least favorite quilting activity so it felt good getting that out of the way at least for the immediate future.

A picture of me cutting quilt fabric using a rotary cutter at our camsite in the Florida Keys
Getting those quilt Kits cut at our campsite

The other quilty activity I did was, I doodled a lot in my down time. On the way down to the keys we stopped in a Walmart, and I roamed into the stationary area looking for a new doodle pad. The only find that I came across was a package of Scotch Velcro dots .

Scotch Fasteners found in Stationary area of Walmart are essentially Velcro dots
Scotch Fasteners

They cost me about $3.00 and have both sides of the hook and loop, so you can decide how much grip you need depending on the threads you are using. I thought these would be a great- inexpensive alternative for the quilt grippy dots that are a little on the pricey side after paying shipping. They really grip your fabric well- the only drawback I can see is on rulers that you expect to “slide” a bit like the Line Tamer or Lisa Calle’s Quilters Groove. They may stick just a little bit too well making you feel like you are fighting to slide the template forward. On those I would stick with the clear quilt grips- gives some traction without really holding on.

What is your least favorite quilting activity? Cutting? piecing? binding??

Well My Quilty Friends, so far Florida has been blessed to side-step a few hurricanes, hopefully our luck will hold with Erika hanging to the south of us!
Happy Quilting!


Review of The Quilter’s Groove Rulers

This week I wanted to take a little time to play around with The Quilter’s Groove Rulers that are from Lisa Calle. My review of the Quilter’s Groove Ruler is from a sit-down quilting perspective,  but some of the information applies to the stand-up longarmer as well.

The ruler fit very well on my Baby Lock Ellisimo with a generic ruler foot on. The presser foot has enough lift that I can simply slide the ruler under the foot and into the channel or groove.

The groove does not fit snugly around your foot (like the Line Tamer) , so initially you have to remind yourself to keep a little bit of pressure on the ruler, keeping it bumped up against the stitching side of the channel/groove.   The ProLine 4 is meant to give 1/4″ lines , but you easily use it to make 1/2″ lines as well- simply by moving the position of the ruler foot from the stitching side of the channel, to the side you bump up against twice (this will make more sense when you watch the video).

On my APQS George, I felt that because of the way APQS makes their ruler feet (even the new ones)  The Quilter’s Groove was best used in a left to right orientation.  On the George, there is a tiny bump on the top of the hopping foot where in connects to the shaft portion of the foot. This little bump keeps the ruler from bumping up flush against the right side of the APQS George’s ruler foot- keeping it about 1/8″ away.

a picture showing a space to right of the hopping foot of the APQS George in the review of the Quilter's Groove
Note the space to the right side of the hopping foot on my sit-down longarm (APQS George) which ultimately effects line spacing

Having played with Handi Quilter’s Sweet 16 with the Line Tamer, I feel that the Quilter’s Groove would fit all the way around the hopping foot without any obstruction or irregularities. Each of us knows our machine’s ruler feet and how rulers/templates fit around it normally( do you usually have clearance to fit a 1/4″ template to the rear of your machine, or do you have to work with rulers in a vertical position?)

Quilter’s Groove also comes in  sizes ranging from 1″ to 1/16″ for straight rulers and a good variety of curved ruler sizes as well ( rulers that are only a 1/8″ to  1/16″ really hard to find!).  The bottom line is , I think that this is another good tool that makes our life as quilters easier. For more information on this and other Quilter’s Groove rulers please visit Lisa Calle’s Website.

Thanks for stopping by,
Happy Quilting,

Review of Full Line Quilt Stencils and Pounce


This week I have been jumping between several quilting projects. I will free motion for a while, then piece for a while, organize for a while, and what happens is, I actually have been busy but really don’t have much to show for all that activity. One of the things that I played with this past week was stencils. Last year when I was in Houston I purchased several Full Line Quilting Stencils (no siree- I just don’t buy one to try , I get a pile 🙂 ). This is my review of  Full Line Quilt Stencils.

A Picture of a pile of Full Line Quilting Stencils
After taking Cindy Needham‘s Craftsy class, I have been much more open to using stencils as a good design tool. I liked some of the contemporary motifs and variety that Full Line offered. Their designs are designed to be used with the Pounce product for marking. The actual stencil is a very thin nylon like material that seems very durable. The actual design is a thinner, see through mesh like area that allows the Pounce product to pass through.
While I think the actual stencils are a good idea , I guess what I don’t like is the Pounce product. I did try applying this product with a painters sponge to control it from being applied too heavily.  It still ends up getting all over me, my table, machine and gloves, but wears off the quilt too easily. As sit-down quilters, we manipulate our quilts, fluffing and stuffing them as needed under our machines. Marking lines have to stand up to this kind of treatment.  I haven’t finished a quarter of my quilting and the lines are really rubbing off leaving me straining to see the lines.
I did email Full Line Stencils and asked them if they had any other recommendations for those of us that do not like the Pounce product to mark their quilts while still using their lovely stencils- they did not. I guess that’s where this review really went from being about Full Line Stencils to being a review about the product Pounce , as that is the element of using these stencils that I really disliked.

So I backed up the bus and tried to mark my design with a blue water-soluble pen, but discovered that I was going to burn through a ton of blue markers in the process of having to really rub to get the blue to transfer through the mesh and the stencil is so thin that sometime while really working the marking pen through the mesh area the stencil had a tendency to shift, which in fairness is not what they are designed for ( where the swiping across the stencil with the pressure of the Pounce pad or a painters sponge actually held it in place).

a picture of me burning the center mesh part of the stencil away

Finally I felt like they just weren’t usable to me in their current capacity so I decided to take a stencil burner with a fine tip and burn the see through mesh design pattern away. Your stencil burner has to be really hot allowing you to move smoothly along the  design . This allowed me to use the blue marking pen on it like a traditional stencil. It worked out okay, you just have to remember, it’s not going to be a “full line” anymore- you need to leave dashes in your lines every inch or so to support the stencil. I felt this made this a product that I would at least use.

an up close picture of using a stencil burner on Full Line quilt stencils
I know from my reading of blogs on the web that some of you like Pounce, and some don’t. I felt I had to try it for myself as I thought it had great potential ,especially the colored powders for lighter fabrics where white won’t show.

A picture of Full Line Grid Stencil
If you are a “Pounce” lover or just want to leave me a comment…I have no use for this new 1″ grid stencil 🙂 I will do a free give away next Thursday for anyone who wants to give it a try! (sorry USA postal addresses only)

What has been your experience with Pounce?  What are your favorite stencils?? Share what works for you !

Happy Quilting!

Free Motion Quilting Curved Ruler Border

This week I was visiting some of my first videos and felt that one of my favorite designs that I made a video of, free motion quilting  curved ruler border, could use some editing.  I originally made this in 2 parts and the visibility of the needle was not good. I hope you enjoy the new video.

As I have said in the past, Kathy at Tamarack Shack did a written tutorial a while back, and I had seen this design on quite a few quilts at shows and really like it. Once I got the mechanics of how to draw out the design- I was good! If you haven’t been to Kathy’s blog- check it out. As I said in my video, she photographs her quilts on her beautiful lake property up in Canada. For a Florida girl, I LOVE seeing her beautiful quilts back-dropped against the seasons throughout the year- I truly look forward to seeing her quilts and where she photographed them in the great outdoors!

I also want to thank everyone that left comments giving insightful advise regarding my table topper. I actually have the quilt basted/ ditched and I now think I have a plan to jump in and just quilt it! I think it is funny the things that freak us out sometimes and causes us to stall in the quilting process. For me on this project ( as I have had numerous conversations with  quite a few of you), was the white background kind of glaring at me. Oh well onward and upward! I will be sure to post pictures on my finished topper!

Also this week, the winner of the Sharon Schamber free form feathers DVD is a gal by the name of Laura. I will email you directly so you can send me your info so I can get this out in the mail to you.

Lastly today I am Linking up with QuiltShopGals creative goodness Linky Party. Please jump on over and grab some inspiration and leave a kind word to some of the creative projects going on!

As Always, Happy Quilting…and may your bobbin never be empty (not sure where I heard that , but I love it 🙂 ),

PS:A Special thank you to Raylene Smith who inspired Kathy Schwartz of Tamarac Shack Quilts to do a written blog post about this border treatment and to Kathy Schwartz and all the quilters that have made this beautiful border that encouraged me to make this video for sit down quilters and visual learners 🙂