Monthly Archives: November 2015

Quilting Class with Gail Garber

This week I had the pleasure of taking two classes from Gail Garber through my local Quilt Guild. The first day the class focused on paper piecing a really beautiful Star and flying geese pattern called Tutti Frutti that is designed by Gail. It was a great refresher if you hadn’t foundation pieced in a while, with great tips to expand your skills to more complicated designs.

a picture of Tutti Frutti by Gail Garber
Tutti Frutti by Gail Garber
Tutti-Frutti-Square quilt by Gail Garber
A square version of Tutti Frutti by Gail Garber

The second day the class was Designing Sensational Stars. In this class Gail took you step by step through the process of designing and drafting your own star patterns and pieced borders. I wouldn’t have known where to start that process when looking at her lovely quilts. But I have to tell you…I’m teachable! At the end of the day I had a beautifully drafted pattern of a very pretty star quilt and was well on my way to a beautiful quilt. I highly recommend taking a class from her if you ever have that opportunity- or suggest to your quilt guild that they sponsor classes from her. The classes are based on Gail’s book Flying Colors.

Gail Garber's book Flying Colors
Gail Garber’s book Flying Colors
An Example of the star quilt that we were taught to draft (quilt by Gail Garber )
An Example of the star quilt that we were taught to draft (quilt by Gail Garber )

The pictures that I am posting of her quilts don’t do them justice.  A lot of Gail’s quilts have great stories and interpretations that really make her quilts come to life. Her use of color definitely conveys her feelings and emotions that she has put into each quilt.
On another note- I only got a little quilting done this week on my version of the Judi Madsen modern quilt from her class Quilting makes a difference. That will have to be finished after the Thanksgiving holiday, as there’s no time left in my life to really sit, relax and enjoy the quilting journey.

Having said that, I am pleased to say that Diane C. has won the drawing of the Judi Madsen iQuilt class, Quilting Makes a Difference. Once again I have to thank American Quilter’s Society for generously sponsoring this giveaway.
Wishing you and yours, a Thanksgiving that is safe, healthy and filled with memories that we will be thankful for, for many years to come.
Happy Quilting!

Judi Madsen AQS iquilt Class Free Giveaway

a picture of my version of Judi Madsen's AQS iquilt class traditional quilt
My version of Judi Madsen’s traditional quilt from her iquilt class  Quilting Makes a Difference was stitched with Superior Threads Bottom Line on the top and Filtec Magna Glide Classic in the bobbin

This past summer I was asked if I wanted to participate in beta testing the new, soon to be launched, AQS iquilt online class site. Of course I jumped at the chance (the hard part was I had to promise not to blog about it until the class went live and I got the okay). I had to make a really tough choice between which instructor’s class I would like to take. I chose Judi Madsen AKA Green Fairy Quilts. I had just lamented to a friend that I would love to take a class from Judi- hoping she would be coming to the new AQS show this year in Daytona Beach, Florida (they still haven’t announced the classes). If you don’t know who Judi is (you must be living under a rock  🙂 ), check out her website or better yet go to Pinterest and search Green Fairy Quilts or Judi Madsen for an extensive library of her beautiful quilting.
Anyway – back to the class…Judi’s class is called Quilting Makes a Difference. Even though this is a free motion quilting class that is taught on a longarm, I felt that most of what she taught I could apply to the sit-down quilter. Judi takes you through 2 small quilt tops in 2 different styles of quilting, one traditional and one modern. There is some basic straight ruler work in both quilts (if I can do this you can too).a pictrue of using a quilt template to outline stitch around quilt

a picture of using the handiquilter versa tool to do basic ruler work

I Finished the traditional one (being a feather girl I couldn’t resist), and have started quilting the modern quilt and hope to have that done in a week or so (we’ll have to see how busy life gets).
This is a great class but as a sit down quilter I thought you may find these suggestions helpful.
• Stitch in the ditch the whole quilt first.
• I chose to stitch out the quilt in the order that she did her sample (after SIDing the whole quilt)  following along with the video- which Judi started with the border first (which is way normal for a longarmer). I pin basted, used a little temporary quilt adhesive spray in between quilt layers and SID, which stabilized it just fine- I had no shifting. If I was going to do a larger quilt, as a sit down quilter, I would not start in the border- I would have started more central in the quilt.
• In the corner scrolled/feather motif I found it a bit easier to get my spacing of the feathers in each corner a little more even by dividing the corner into ¼ sections.

a picture dividing the triangle areas into 1/4th sections helped keep my feathers evenly distributed
dividing the triangle areas into 1/4th sections helped keep my feathers evenly distributed

• Mark your border boundaries before you start quilting. Give yourself a little wiggle room for when you get wild with your feathers making sure your binding doesn’t cover any feathery wonderfulness 🙂
• Turn your quilt frequently- I don’t care what anyone says about not turning your quilt- if you can’t see it- you can’t accurately quilt it.
• Having said that- if you are quilting on a sit down longarm, be aware of the direction that you are quilting in. Your best stitch quality is usually left to right if you are facing the sewing head as in the HandiQuilter Sweet 16 , or pulling the quilt straight toward you as on my APQS George or other quilting machines that orient as a traditional domestic sewing machine. Pushing my quilt through the throat space toward the back of the machine causes a bit more problems…I’m not saying never  go in that direction…just be aware.
• Seeing my stitches is difficult with white on white fabric at certain times of the day. I found it easier to quilt losing my progressive prescription glasses and putting on a pair of cheater magnifier readers instead. It gives me a larger magnified area to view my work….. (I know it all sounds so…old lol)
• Lastly-I would watch the whole class through once, then set your computer up in your sewing area where you can pause the class as you follow along or back it up and review sections that you may need to spend a little more time on
Please take a moment to click through and visit the iquilt site and check out the great classes that they are offering. We can never have enough of this great instruction being piped directly into our homes. It is through American Quilter’s Society generosity that I am able to offer Judi Madsen’s class Quilting Makes A Difference to one lucky reader. Please show them some internet love and give them a look.
To register to win, just leave me a comment or subscribe to my blog before midnight 11/20/2015. Please make sure that your security settings allow me to reply to your email. I will make every effort to contact you through the email you provided. If you have any questions leave a comment or email at .
Best of luck and happy quilting….I’m off to finish my modern sample!

Linking up with Lorna over at Let’s be Social 

Making Quilting Stencils with Stencil Magic


A few months back I wrote a review of Pounce marking powder and Fill Line quilting Stencils (click here for that blog post). While I thought the Full Line Quilt Stencils were a cool idea with lovely designs, I hated that I had to use Pounce to transfer the quilt pattern onto my quilt….Enter Carol Olson from Accents in Design. Carol and I have become friends over the internet like so many of us do through our blogs. It was through one of my rants about hating Pounce that Carol sent me a jar of her Fine Line Stencil Magic marking powder and taught me how to make my own stencils. I have to admit- I was reluctant to try the powder….I felt “been there done that”! But out of respect for Carol, I knew I had to give this an honest try, and boy, am I glad I did!! In the following video I have shared how Carol has taught me to make stencils and my review of Stencil Magic as a quilt marking tool.

Yes it is a powder, but from the very minute you dip your sponge into the jar you can feel that the powder is heavier or denser. Stencil Magic is Zinc Stearate. It doesn’t fly all over you, your table or your machine. If you have it all over the place – you have used too much- you only need a little. It also sticks to your quilt (yay!!) Carol suggested I let it sit for a few hours or overnight to let in seep into the fibers. I did that….truth be told it ended up sitting for about a month before I got back to it. I did give it the man-handle test , as sit-down quilters have to bunch, smoosh, shove and smooth our quilts. The markings held up reasonably well too- as well as my Bohin Chalk pencil- ( I think better).

a picture of a pumpkin stencil marked with Stencil Magic
a quick example of a hand drawn stencil marked with Stencil Magic

I wouldn’t mark your entire quilt at one sitting-(I only marked a small pumpkin table quilt) as I think it may rub off before your quilting is done, as any chalk-type marking aide would do (even though this isn’t chalk).
When you are done it disappears with a few puffs of steam from your iron.a picture showing ironing away Stencil Magic markings
Accents in Design sell a stenciling kit. It comes with a jar of Stencil Magic, a foam brush, 2 sheets of stenciling film and a Quilters Proportional Scale to help you resize a design to whatever size you would need. I really like the Quilters Proportional Scale ( I briefly demo the Scale in the video) , it enables you to resize any of your favorite stencils or motifs into whatever size you need without you doing the math.

a picture of Accents in Design Stencil kit
Accents in Design Stencil kit

As far as making stencils, you can draw out the motif that you would like to go into any space, make your stencil and repeat or mirror image it to your heart’s desire and you can use them over and over again. I also frequently use coloring book outlines that are royalty free and found online to make stencils or for quilting motif inspiration. Just trace your design with a permanent marker, as the ink from my copy machine came off the plastic film (even when using the overhead projection sheets made specifically for copy machines).

a picture of Overhead projection film sheet that are made for your copier released ink when handled
Overhead projection film sheet that are made for your copier released ink when handled

I think the kit is a good way to get you up and started making  quilting stencils.
For those of you that have never made a stencil before I hope you enjoy making this a part of your quilting skill set. A special thanks to Carol Olson for taking the time to teach me something new that I think will enrich my quilting life :).

Happy quilting!

Heading over and linking up with Tips And Tutorials Tuesday At Late Night Quilter