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Triangle QAL- Sign-ups and Fabric Selection!


Week 1

Fabric Selection and Official Sign-up!

Here we are! The Triangle Quilt Along has officially begun. I am excited to get my triangle mojo going again and quilt along with you guys.

First things first! Let’s review how this QAL(quilt-a-long) will work.

Each week(on Friday) I will post the weeks assignment, this week: fabric selections and sign-up. The post will go up on Friday and you will then have until the following Thurday at midnight EST to link up a pic of your progress for the week. A winner for each weeks prize will be drawn randomly and shared in the following weeks post. Keep the time zone in mind for link-up deadlines:)

Worried or nervous about linking up your pic? Please email me if you have any questions and I will do my best to walk you through it. Come back tomorrow for a post on how to link up your picture for those who need it:) I will show you how to navigate from Flickr too. I know some are using it for the first time.

So do you wanna see what fabrics I am using?

Sunnyside by Kate Spain for Moda!


I actually had a layer cake I wanted to use for this one. So I am just cutting as many as I can out of it(3 per 10″square) and filling in with some matching solids. Our total amount of triangles will be 204 if you are trying to make something like this work too.

If you have forgotten the fabric requirements…visit the Triangle Quilt Along homepage HERE or on the menu bar for all the info you need to quilt along.

Just for fun I want to review some things I have shared earlier that you just might need to know about triangles…

There are two types of triangles you see when quilting- Equilateral and Isosceles.

Equilateral triangles byAmanda@MaterialGirlQuilts

Bermuda triangle quilt

Isosceles Triangle Quilt by Ashley@MommybyDayCrafterbyNight.

Now you got to go back to your math/geometry vault on this one. Equilateral triangles have equal sides and are called 60 degree triangles in the quilt world…well, in all the worlds actually. Isosceles triangles have to have two equal sides and are more like 45 degree triangles to quilters. Think short and stumpy(equilateral) and long and lean(isosceles).

What makes people think twice about making a triangle quilt?

A. They are pointy…and we all know it can be tricky keeping all those in our quilt projects:)

B. When cutting out triangles, because of the diagonal lines, you now have the issue of bias to deal with.

Bias is not so bad, it just makes the fabric stretchy and as long as you know that and handle it a little more gently, you will do just fine! Hey, sometimes bias works in our favor. It lets us fudge those points a little if we need to and is great when working with all things curvy.

Want to go ahead and start getting your fabric ready?

Press and Starch all your fabrics. To help with bias I recommend a heavy starch. This will keep things stiff and not so stretchy!


I like to use Best Press! If you are not a starch lover…that is okay too:)

Official Sign-up!

All you have to do to sign up is comment and tell me you are in! No fee or anything special you have to do. Just join in the triangle fun:)

Don’t think you have enough time?

Make a smaller quilt if you like, even make a mini!

If you already commented and told me you will be participating then I have got your name on the list, but feel free to say hello!

This weeks Prize and Sponsor!

$25.00 gift certificate to Cotton Bliss!

Stefanie has some amazing new lines in…so go check them out so you know what to buy when you win! Through today she is having a great sale up to 30% off on all fabrics and precuts.


A Swirly Girls Design pattern!


Now for the link-up!

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If you have a blog and are following along, I would love you to Grab a Button! and Share:)


You can find and follow TheSassyQuilter  on Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin’, Instagram, Twitter or by email updates(form on right sidebar)!

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Starlight, Starbright…

Today was another snow day/sew day here in VA. Downer in that I do need to actually go to work, but always glad to get some extra sew time:)

I have been following along with Melissa @Happy Quilting and participating in her Star Light Star Bright Quilt-a-Long. I just couldn’t resist this fun quilt design! Since my plate was pretty full I did the one block design as a baby quilt. These blocks have lots of pieces, so I’m glad I did! It went together pretty simple aside from one cutting error that led to a design change:), but I think it works… no extra fabric so it has too!

Here is a little show of all our steps we have completed.


Fabric cutting. I am using Gray Matters by Jackie Savage McFee for Camelot Fabrics. I have been dying to do a gray/yellow combo.



Flying Geese.


Half Square Triangles… lots of these! I laid mine out on the design wall to get a feel for the quilt. HERE is a tutorial for how to make your own design wall!


Block centers. Love this star!


Block sides. I did not anticipate all the crazy paisley directions.


Block corners. Love these polka dots:)


Finished top with borders. What do you think….gray or yellow binding?

I have a couple weeks to quilt it and get it in the Grand Prize Linky. Trying to not wait till the last minute on this one. It’s not too late to join in!!! You have until April 2nd. So if you are speedy, head on over to Happy Quilting and catch up!

Here is a pic of a bigger quilt with this pattern:

Be sure to check back in on Friday for the start of the Triangle Quilt Along! Not too late to join in:)


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Sassy Tip of The Week-104

Rule #1: do not bleed on the quilt!

So what do you do when you’re a rule breaker?

When removing blood stains use your own saliva….i know, i know! It is a little gross, but the enzymes in your saliva can best break down your own blood.

If that is out of the question..try dabbing hydrogen peroxide. You can use a q-tip for either method.

Want to know the other rules?

#2: Measure twice, cut once.

#3: It’s not a mistake…it’s a creative opportunity:)

#4: There are NO Quilt Police.

#5: Rules? There are Rules?

 On the quilting front…

This week I am finishing up a pair of twin quilts and just need to get some pics! Coordinating teal and orange backings with some striped binding.


Striped Binding

Just love a stripe on the binding:) You?

Also finished up this months blocks for the Craftsy 2012 Block of the Month that my guild is doing.

String Block

String Block

This months theme is string blocks, loved these! Two different techniques were used. Great for scraps.

Broken Spider Web

Broken Spider Web

You can take this free Craftsy Class by clicking the link or pic below! The class includes free video lessons of each months block and you can watch them over and over if you like!

Online Quilting ClassJoin Craftsy’s Block of the Month

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Sunday Stash and Oblongagons!


So happy to say I have finally got my Oblongagon quilt top done! This one is packed full of Y seams and took me a minute.

This is part of the Oblongagonalong over at Sew Fresh Quilts. I changed my original plan from the chevron layout to the flower design. When I saw how Lorna’s was coming together I just had to try it. I haven’t actually done a lot of Y seams…just a few here and there, but not an entire quilt!

It is only a baby sized quilt but I do love it. A little creative piecing required here and there:) Fabrics are from the Cuzco line by Kate Spain.

Sunday Stash…

Here is my latest stash report! All the goodies I binged on during my recent trip to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival.


Thought the Keep Calm print would be nice to recover a sewing room chair??? I recently saw a FB post that said, Keep Calm and overuse a slogan…haha! I might be a little late on this trend but I like it anyway:) Loved these blueprints!




These are some 30’s I matched up for some unknown project…you know I had to have those umbrellas!


Stocked up on some Swirly Girls Poppy Love:)


Trying to add to my low volume and text prints….love the linen texture!


Never too much gray and black.


These were just the cutest earrings…all made from antique buttons. These were from around 1900 and 1920. Those mini cameos are so teeny. I love teeny jewelry!

Last chance to enter the FWFS giveaway! Click HERE to enter:) Ends Sunday at midnight, open internationally.

Fort Worth Fabric Studio

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Fort Worth Fabric Studio Giveaway!

I am so happy to announce Fort Worth Fabric Studio as a new sponsor here at The Sassy Quilter!

I just love Jodie’s bundles!!! She has such a great color sense. Every Friday she has a new Bundle Batch to share and you can tell she knows how to listen to the fabric when it speaks:) She has sewn and loved fabric since she was a little one and you can see it in her shop. She knows her stuff! Her shop is packed with the latest fun and modern prints and shipping is speedy!

Fort Worth Fabric Studio

Fort Worth Fabric Studio also has a blog with lots of tips, tricks and lessons for quilting HERE. Lindsey of Inspiring Creations is her blog contributor and they always have something fun going on over there! She shares lots of free tutorials and patterns too….and if you love a linky party visit on Fridays for Fabric Frenzy Friday:)

Here are some of her amazing bundles! She recently got me on this one:)

My Cherry Amour

I love the teal/red combo!

Summer Melon

Tiny Town

Low Volume Mixer

Jodie has a special giveaway for you guys today! She wants you to stop and smell the roses…so take a deep breath and drink in this gorgeous fabric:)


Featuring the roses from English Rosey by Kanvas!   She has included shades of spicy pink as well as citrine & lime green to match the gorgeous roses!   


This bundle includes 11 pieces, one FQ cut of each (from top to bottom):


  1. English Rosey Bouquet White – Benartex/Kanvas
  2. Daisy Mae Scrollwork Pink – Benartex
  3. Oval Elements Apple – Art Gallery
  4. Ombre Dots Green – Riley Blake
  5. Dream Ballet – Timeless Treasures
  6. English Rosey Rose Garden – Benartex/Kanvas
  7. Spin Large Floral Green – Windham
  8. Daisy Mae Dots Pink – Benartex
  9. English Rosey Bouquet White – Benartex/Kanvas
  10. Impressions Lime – Clothworks
  11. Sketch Candy – Timeless Treasures



Leave a comment below telling me the latest fabric line you are just in love with.

You can find and follow Fort Worth Fabric Studio on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bloglovin‘, Pinterest and their Blog!

For extra entries tell me how you follow in a separate comment!

(edit- contest ends Sunday at midnight, open internationally)

Mine…..Country Girls by Tasha Noel for Riley Blake. Loving the green, navy and pink combo.


If you can’t wait for the giveaway you can find the Smell the Roses bundle HERE.

Shipping is speedy so she can have that out to you quick!

Fort Worth Fabric Studio

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Triangle QAL Prizes!


Triangle Quilt Along Prizes!

Three weeks until the Triangle Quilt Along kicks off! Yay! I have been so thrilled by how many of you guys are willing to quilt along with me:) Seriously….love you guys!

I thought you might like to know these prizes you will be working for:) So here they are!

Prizes from Our Sponsors!

Week 1, Fabric Selection and sign ups- $25.00 gift certificate to Cotton Bliss!

Week 2, Cutting Triangles- $25.00  gift certificate to Fort Worth Fabric Studios!

Fort Worth Fabric Studio

Week 3, Piecing Rows- $25.00 gift certificate to Pink Chalk Fabrics!

Week 4, Joining Rows- $25.00 gift certificate to Pink Chalk Fabrics!

One week break:) then….

Week 5, Triangle Extravaganza!(Finished Quilts)- Two Grand Prizes- $75.00 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop and $50.00 gift certificate to Cotton Bliss!!!


Swirly Girls Design will be donating some patterns along the way!

Thought I might let you guys know what cool things and deals our sponsors have going on right now.

Cotton Bliss is moving locations and is having an awesome moving sale!!! 30% off their already reduced prices:) Click HERE to check those out.

Photo: We're moving next week, you can lend us a hand by shopping our Big Moving Sale! 30% off lots of beautiful fabrics.www.shopcottonbliss.com

Pink Chalk shared their top 10 downloadable patterns HERE! Number 1 is this Noodlehead divided basket, cute♥ I still have not tried one of these!

Fort Worth Fabric Studios shared this super cute 8 piece bundle HERE! I love the way she bundles her fabrics:) and she is giving away a mini Hex N More ruler HERE!

Fat Quarter Shop recently released their latest free pattern, Charm Pack Cherry! Oh, it is sooo cute. A great way to use up some of these charm packs we are collecting:) They have a YouTube video so you can watch Kimberly make the whole top HERE!

Layer Cake Lemonade

Swirly Girls Design newest pattern is Overnight Sensation. This is Susan’s latest in her Dashing Bobbin series! These are great patterns that are quick to piece…you know we love that:) Ask for it at your local quilt shop or buy online HERE!

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So You Wanna Make A Quilt…Part 7- Quilting


Part 7- Quilting

At this point I am sure you have a couple questions running through your head….How do I actually quilt this thing? or Am I going to ruin this quilt top that I just spent so much time working on? Let’s look at the purpose of quilting and how to do it first and guess what…you are not going to mess up anything!

Quilting serves two purposes for a quilt; function– it actually holds the quilt together and form– the texture and beauty it adds to the quilt.

You can quilt your quilt by hand or by machine. I learned how to quilt by hand…that was the way my grandmother quilted. Now, I primarily quilt on my sewing machine, but I usually have at least one hand quilting project on standby for when I feel like it. I am going to focus on machine quilting techniques, but a lot of these apply to hand quilting also.


A few tools you may need to quilt your quilt are:

Walking Foot or Darning/Hopping Foot for your sewing machine.

Marking tools- rulers, chalk, disappearing pen, water soluble pen, frixion pen, hera marker.


Painters Tape

Machine Quilting Gloves

Quilting Needles

Antique Quilt

Antique Quilt- Crosshatch and Feather Quilting

You will need to look at your quilt and plan out how you want to quilt it. For beginners a simple straight line design or grid is a good starting point. It is helpful to mark these designs on your quilt top before you baste it…no pins in your way at that point. They make quite a few great tools to mark your design on the quilt. You have to experiment a bit and find the one you like the best. Here are a few Pro’s/Con’s to help you make up your mind.

Chalk, Pro-comes in several forms and can be easily removed when you are done. Con-can disappear on you if you keep brushing against the design.

Disappearing Pen, Pro-removes itself! Con-can disappear too rapidly depending on humidity. You should always test this first.

Water Soluble Pen, Pro-design stays put. Con-you may have to wash your quilt to remove it. You may not want to wash every quilt.

Frixion Pen, Pro-this is removed by iron, very easy. Con-these marks have been known to reappear in different temperatures. Maybe not best for a show quilt!

Hera Marker, Pro-this plastic tool makes a crease in the fabric to mark lines and is easy to use with nothing to remove. Con-you cannot do very intricate designs, just straight lines.

Painters Tape, Pro-this low tack tape is great for marking lines and you can sew on either side for uniform widths and is easy to remove and reuse. Con-this tool also doesn’t allow for very detailed designs.

Another great tool for marking quilting designs are stencils. Theses are thin sheets of plastic with designs already cut out and ready to mark with your favorite marking tool.


Time to Quilt!

You have got your design marked and now you are ready to go! What next?

If you are quilting basic straight line designs, the use of a Walking Foot is a must. You will never regret buying one of these feet for your machine.

When quilting you have a lot of layers going through your machine and sometimes the top layer is not being pulled through at the exact same rate as the bottom layer, this can lead to some slight shifting and can cause puckers in your quilt. A walking foot has an extra set of teeth that grab the top layer and your machine has the feed dogs on the bottom to grab that bottom layer….now they are going through at the same speed = beautiful even stitches!

Walking Foot

There are a million ways to quilt your quilt, but here are a few basic quilting designs you might like to try.

Stitch in the Ditch Quilting

Stitch in the Ditch Quilting

Stitch in the Ditch(SITD) – quilting along or inside the seams of your patchwork.

Echo– outlining basic shapes in your quilt and repeating that design several times.

Crosshatch– evenly spaced grid lines that cover the entire quilt, usually on the diagonal.

Straight lines– these can be evenly spaced or even a little wonky for a more organic feel.

Antique Quilt

Antique Quilt- Straight Line and Echo Quilting

Sewing Machine Needles…

An 80/12 Universal, Microtex or Quilting needle are all great for machine quilting. Microtex and Quilting needles have a slim, strong shaft which leaves a smaller hole in your fabric and can penetrate multiple layers in seam areas. If your quilt sandwich is extra thick you may want to use a size 90/14.

Sewing Machine Needles

Taking Your First Stitch

Holding the end of the top thread, hand turn your machines needle until it pierces the quilt and comes back up. The top thread should grab the bobbin thread below and pull it to the surface of your quilt. Now, holding both ends of the two threads, take a couple stitches in place. This will lock your threads in place so that your quilting will not come undone. Finish your line of stitching by locking them in place again and then snip your thread tails. This process is the same no matter what foot you are using on your machine.



You may have to increase your tension while quilting vs. piecing. Test your stitches first and make sure they are even on the front and back of your quilt.

Tips for Starting…

As a general rule you will start near the center of your quilt and work outward. There is a slight pushing effect when quilting and if you start on the outer edges and work inward, you can end up with a puffy area in the center of your quilt.

It is helpful to quilt along the basic grid work of your blocks/borders first to stabilize your quilt sandwich and then go back and fill in your designs.

Roll and scrunch up the sides of your quilt to fit it through your machine. You need to keep the bulk of the quilt from pulling against you while you quilt. I do this by keeping the area closest to me piled up on my chest and the sides rolled up.

Use your hands to keep the area approaching the needle flat and smooth to keep from getting puckers or folds in your quilt.

What about Free Motion Quilting?

For this technique you use a darning foot or hopping foot on your machine, your stitch length is set to 0 and your feed dogs are typically disengaged. You are basically turning off the forward motion that your machine creates and you are the one who moves your quilt through the machine. This allows you to stitch in all directions and the possibilities are endless! This technique is a little more advanced and requires a lot of practice, but don’t be shy! Get a few simple designs under your belt and then give it a go. You never know, you might be a natural:)

darning foot

Darning or Hopping Foot


Relax! and give yourself a break…it doesn’t have to be perfect:) We are our biggest critics, so try to have fun and I promise you will get better.

Click HERE to find parts 1, 2, 3 , 4, 5 and 6 of the Beginner Quilting Series, So You Wanna Make a Quilt…

See you next week for Part 8- Binding.

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Triangle Quilt Along!


I am so excited to launch my first Quilt Along here at The Sassy Quilter!

Do you remember this quilt…

Triangle Quilt

Triangle Quilt Along

Lots of you said you really wanted to make a triangle quilt, but just haven’t yet…so, here is your chance:) I’m calling it the Triangle Quilt Along and I have rounded up some awesome sponsors and prizes!

Our Sponsors!

Fort Worth Fabric Studio

It will be a five week process with weekly link ups to share your pics for a chance at prizes, with an awesome Grand Prize at the end with our Triangle Extravaganza!

I want to encourage everyone to join in because you are going to be surprised how easy this quilt is and it not too big so you will have no problem keeping up!!! Remember there are no blocks in a triangle quilt so once you cut them out….you just piece your rows and join them…Easy!

Here is a coloring sheet you can print to help you visualize your quilt.


Finished size = 49.5″ x 65″

The winners will be drawn randomly so don’t panic thinking you will never get those points to line up just right. Participation is all that’s required. I will be starting a Flickr group to share your pic and progress and you can link to those. Flickr is free so sign up! If you can’t do that, then email me here: thesassyquilter@gmail.com and I will help you figure it out or even link it up for you:)

When do we start?

Not until March 21st! So you have got plenty of time to get your thoughts and fabrics together.


Triangle Quilt Along Announcement and Fabric Requirements- February 14

Official Sign-up and Share Fabric Selection- Week 1, March 21

Cutting- Week 2, March 28

Piecing Rows- Week 3, April 4

Joining Rows- Week 4, April 11

Break week! Giving you some quilting time here:) April 18

Triangle Extravaganza! Week 5, April 25

How much fabric will you need?(go ahead and get these picked out)

Triangles = 1/3 yd cuts of 13 different fabrics. I used 10 prints and 3 solids. You can use as much or as little variety as you like. Just get larger cuts of the same fabric if you want less fabrics in your quilt. For example: You may get 2/3 yds of a particular fabric you want more of and then get only 12 different fabrics. I will warn you that you need exactly 1/3 yd of each, so if you want to be on the safe side you can get 1/2 yd and you will have some extra to add to your scrap bins! As long as your cuts of fabric are generous and give you room to square up the edge, you will be fine. If you want to use Fat Quarters, that would be two of each of the 13 fabrics, 26 in total!

Binding = 1/2 yd

Backing = 3 yds

Do I need a special ruler?

It will be super easy if you use a 60 degree equilateral triangle ruler! It will need to cut a 6″ triangle and that little blunt tip is a life saver. You can find one from Creative Grids HERE, but I will show you how to cut one with your regular rulers too.

Please ask if you have any questions about picking your fabrics!!! I can help with calculations if this is confusing to any beginners…or anyone else:) This is a throw size quilt, if you want to go smaller or larger…we can figure out that too!

Let’s make this fun and get inspired by each other! I would LOVE your support:) Leave a comment letting me know if you are joining in!


If you have a blog and are following along, I would love you to Grab a Button! and Share:)


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So You Wanna Make A Quilt…Part 6 – Basting Your Quilt


Part 6- Basting Your Quilt

We all have a love/hate relationship with basting our quilts! We gotta do it, but it is an interruption in our quilting mojo:) I am curious if there is anyone out there who actually likes to baste?…crickets….

If you are a total beginner you are probably thinking about your Thanksgiving turkey and wondering what it has to do with a quilt!

What is Basting?

Basting is a process used when sewing more than one fabric layer together. To make a quilt you will have to have a quilt top, batting(fluffy stuff in the middle) and backing. When we layer these three together to make our “quilt sandwich” we have to secure them to each other before we start stitching to prevent shifting and puckering.

Basting Your Quilt

Basting Basics

Basting is like many things in quilting…there is more than one way to do it, but the basics are the same.

•Your backing has to be flat and smooth. When making your quilt sandwich, you will not be able to see what is happening with the backing. This means you need to have it secured to something that will hold it flat and taut. Do not over stretch the backing! When it is released it will shift back to its natural state and scrunch up.

A couple popular ways to do this is with painters tape on the floor or with clamps on a table.


Secure backing to a hard flat surface.

•Your backing also needs to be at least 2-3″ larger than your quilt top on all four sides of your quilt. I will warn you to not go skimpy on this one! You will regret it when you have basted your entire quilt and realize one corner has no backing to cover it….ashamed to admit how many times I had to learn that one:)

•Your batting also needs to be smooth and extend 2-3″ beyond your quilt top on all sides. Batting doesn’t have to be quite as flat as the backing, but you want it to be smooth and not have any folds. Lay your batting out for a couple hours so it can relax or breathe from being folded will help. Your batting can be 100% cotton, Polyester or a blend of the two. Cotton batting can be lightly ironed, but Polyester will melt…so be careful of that. I like to use 100% or a Poly/Cotton blend.


Different types of batting.

Quilt Sandwich

Quilt Sandwich

•You will need something to secure the layers together. There are 3 basic techniques:

Thread basting

Pin Basting

Spray Basting

The oldest and most traditional way is with thread. You take large running stitches about 3 or 4″ apart to secure the layers and then, cut and remove when done quilting.

The most popular is probably using safety pins. A size 1 1/2 – 2 curved safety pin is good and small enough not to leave a large hole in your quilt top! You should space them so that when you place you fist on the quilt it is surrounded by pins. Using a Kwik Clip is a good tool to make that easier and try not to pin where you will be quilting. You will need 100-200+ pins, especially if you want to baste more than one quilt at a time.

Safety Pin

Curved Safety Pin

Kwik Clip and Safety Pins

Kwik Clip and Safety Pins

The growing trend is to use a spray adhesive. You do need some ventilation and a mask is not a bad idea. The drawback to spray basting is that it can be difficult to keep things flat and smooth when everything is sticky:) It is really great for small projects, but can be done on large quilts also. You will have to use the adhesive on each layer and work from the center outward. Having a friend helps a lot! They sell fusible batting as an option also.

Spray Basting

Spray Basting

How do I know which to try?

As a beginner I am going to recommend using the pin basting technique. It is the least complicated and can be done on a floor or table top(be careful not to scratch up your table!) You should do at least one on the floor and pay your dues like everyone else:) Just kidding! It’s not that bad. I figure if my 86 year old grandmother could do it, then I shouldn’t complain.


Eventually you have to try out a couple different methods to see what fits your style the best. I love using the table top…that floor was killing me…and I converted to spray basting a while back. My sister uses a board basting method with two 2 x 4’s and it works great for her. You can check that one out HERE at Color Me Quilty. Your longarm quilter may also be able to baste your quilt for a fee.

Once you are basted you can get to quilting! I would love to know your favorite method to baste, so please share:)


Click HERE to find parts 1, 2, 3 , 4, 5 and 6 of the Beginner Quilting Series, So You Wanna Make a Quilt…

See you next week for Part 7- Quilting.

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How to Clean a Sewing Machine and a Giveaway!


Are you having tension issues or skipped stitches?

Well, you might just need to do a little sewing machine maintenance! This means cleaning your sewing machine and giving it a little TLC:) This post will give you some tips and show you how to clean a sewing machine. Now I am as guilty as the rest when it comes to cleaning my machine, but it is seriously one of the most important things you can do as a quilter….these babies are our lifeline, right?

Why do I have to clean my machine?

Our thread and fabrics produce a lot of lint and dust that gets down in the feed dogs, bobbin case and under the throat plate while we are sewing. You will be really shocked if you have never looked inside these parts of your machine! This dust and lint can cause the parts of your machine to not work properly and the result is tension issues, skipped stitches and even machine failure. My machine has a lot of electronic sensors and if I don’t clean it, I notice they start to not work properly.

What do I need to clean my machine?


A screwdriver, a lint brush and my favorite….a pipe cleaner.

How do I get inside the machine?

First and foremost, consult your machine manual! Some machines are different, but here is the basics. Remove your bobbin cover and bobbin and then using a small screwdriver, remove your throat plate. My favorite screwdriver didn’t come with my machine, but it has a magnetic tip on one end that helps me catch those tiny screws so I don’t lose them.


What do I do now?

Using your lint brush and your pipe cleaner, gently remove all the lint you can see. I use a pipe cleaner that has these fluffier parts, they really grab a lot. Swipe all the areas that your thread travels; the tension discs and the take-up lever can also get linty.



I use a piece of scrap batting to wipe it on so it doesn’t try to run away:)


Yes, I took some of these pics after the fact….are you ready to see what I pulled out first????


Um, what the heck is this thing! Disgusting. I told you I was bad.

You will also need to lift out your bobbin case. Take note of how you got this out so you can put it back. Take a pic with your cell phone if you want to keep a reference. Most of these parts only go back in one way.


Get ready for more nasty!


Some references will tell you to use compressed air to blow out the dust, but others believe this forces dust into other areas where is shouldn’t go….use your discretion, but I skip the forced air(and I think most of us don’t have any!)

Put everything back in place and do some test stitching to make sure you are back in working order! Craftsy has a free video on how to clean your machine called Sewing Machine 911. It has lots of other good machine maintenance tips too. Click on the link below to check it out! This is great for beginners.

FREE Online Sewing Class

What else can you do to take care of your sewing machine?

•Keep a cover on it. This keeps all the dust and maybe even pet hair that floats around from settling in your machine.

•Change your needles often! Why do we spend hundreds of dollars on our quilts and shrink away from changing a one or two dollar needle? Your machine likes it and your quilting/piecing will be more accurate. About every 8 hours or even every project is good.


This past week I won an awesome selection of Superior Needles from Superior Threads!


So as an incentive to get you to change your needles and because it is almost Valentines Day…I am going to share the love!


I am going to giveaway this variety set of Titanium coated needles! Just leave a comment below and you are entered.

Contest ends Friday at midnight, Feb. 14th. Open internationally:)

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