EQ7 Tutorial

Purple appliqued butterfly on a blue background.

Butterfly Quilt


I am so excited to be able to share this. The goal was to print applique shapes from EQ7 without the letters and text so that I could publish my pattern.  This led me on a internet search and then a twitter post introduced me to Al Navas.  I’ll let him explain what we did, but if you use EQ7, this is brilliant. If you don’t, there’s a great section on Inkscape which is a nifty free program that I can now use for more than patterns and other fun stuff. Please hop on over to his site, EQ7 Training, to download the lesson AND the pattern. For Free!  How awesome is that?

Working on a project with someone who has same passion for bringing quality instruction to the web is now one of the highlights of my summer. I am hopeful that this will not be our last collaboration.

What are your EQ Challenges?

Getting Ready to Publish

birdiehouseAugust (2)

Well, I’m getting closer to publishing my first pattern. I teach an applique class and was getting really frustrated with the patterns that are readily available, so I made my own. EQ7 made designing a snap.  I taught a class and the students were really great about testing this pattern and yes, found a few mistakes. I ran into issues when printing the templates; I won’t get into the details now, let’s just say I wasn’t happy with the process I was using.

Then Twitter jumped in. I’d been lax in using my Twitter account, but finally decided to jump in. Within hours, I got a tweet from an EQ instructor of all people.  This eventually led to us working on a great (and super efficient) way to do what I wanted. Ok, he did most of the work, I just added comments here and there. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but.,,,,,there will be a lesson posted to his website…..soon. When it is, I’ll post a link.

Protect Your Electronics


Living in the desert southwest, we get our share of glorious thunderstorms, aka monsoons, in the summer. They are one of Mother Nature’s most spectacular shows and I cherish the evenings I can sit on my covered patio and watch the lightning fill the sky with color and listen while the thunder echoes off the mountains.

These storms can also raise havoc with our electronics. So…unplug your sewing machines, sergers, irons, etc when you’re not using them in the summer. These toys  tools of ours are expensive to replace. I, for one, would not want to do so.

Yes, there’s another one coming and I have double checked that all my tools are no longer tethered to the wall. Perhaps an afternoon on the couch with one of my favorite quilting books is in order.

Birdie House


Finally finished my applique sample. I used EQ7 to create the design. I’ll post more details later. 

Partial Seams

I’m working on a quilt where the designer chose not to use partial seams where they would have worked really well. This decision might have been based on classifying the pattern as suitable for beginners.  I have always thought that less seams means not only less work, but less room for error.  This is the way the block was designed, which requires 8 seams.

Original Design

Original Design

I went with this design, which requires 4 seams.

Redesigned block

Redesigned block

This is the math. (Don’t be afraid, it’s not complicated)

The strips are the width of unfinished border x (length of inside unfinished block + the width of the unfinished border – ½”) Subtracting the ½” takes a ¼ “ seam allowance into consideration.

If your inside block is 6 1/2” x 6 1/2” and the borders are 2 ½ ”, cut the strips 8 ½ ” (6 ½” + 2 ½” – ½ “) x 2 ½ “

Here’s how it goes together.

Step 5

Step 5

This is the finished block

I hope that you will incorporate partial seams in future projects. It really is a nice way to border a block.

Should of gone to Paducah

Hind site is always 20/20 and this was no exception. I spent a week in the Midwest recently. Not really close enough for a side trip to Paducah, Ky, but maybe I should have figured it out. Most quilters will find a way to work their passion into any trip, whether it is 100 miles from where they live or half way across the world. There are quilt shops and sewing machine dealers that are just begging for out of towners to pop in.

During this trip, I was staying about 90 miles from the Quilter’s Hall of Fame and what kind of quilter would I be if I didn’t go check it out? Plus, Eleanor Burns was inducted a few years ago and besides being one of my favorite quilting celebrities, I had the honor of taking her Teacher’s Certification course. She really is an amazing woman and I encourage you to meet her if you have the chance. Who wouldn’t want to see anything of hers?

So, I found myself driving through rural Indiana or my way to Marion. The drive was reminiscent of my days as a youth; driving through farmland, quaint little towns filled with red-brick buildings and white picket fences. I have lived in the desert for over 35 years, so I’ll admit to chuckling when crossing rivers with running water. Where I live, the river beds are dry, save for a few months in the summer when we’re lucky enough to get enough rain to fill them.

When I arrived at my destination, I found a cute yellow house. There is quit a history to this building and I encourage you to read about it. And that is where the interest for me ended. I’m not sure what I expected and if I had done more reading I might not have been disappointed. I was hoping to see more works and information on all the inductees, but the only HOF display was of this year’s recipient. I’m not minimizing their accomplishments, just wish there had been more to see.

They did have a book for sale with previous inductees ending in 2011. Eleanor was inducted in 2012. I didn’t buy the book.

I filled my heart with a few little purchases in the gift shop: pins, holiday ornaments, knick knacks and the like. On the way back to my hotel (90 miles away), I took in the scenery and the trip became more focused on the journey and not the destination. In the end, I would have regretted not going so I am glad that I did.

Paducah is still on my list and one day, I’ll make the journey. I understand it has changed some since I was there over 30 years ago.

Happy Birthday Discount to Me!

Quilting fabric, patterrns, and booklets

My Birthday Haul


Yesterday, I went to two local quilt shops to cash in on my birthday discount. One shop offers 20%, the other half your age. The one day it actually pays to be older!

I came hope with 2 jelly rolls and fabric to make gifts for friends. A quilt kit for me!  Seriously, I actually bought something to make for myself. Picked up a Halloween applique pattern and a few free motion books. One of these days, I’ll conquer free motion. For the icing on my cake, I added quilt themed microfiber cleaning cloths. If you don’t own those, you should.

Hope you’re lucky enough to know quilt shops that offer birthday discounts.

Jimmy’s Journey

Jimmys Journey

I like my quilts to mean something. This one is for my brother. He recently came to visit and helped me clean out my garage. This is my Thank You to him. Jim loves to drive and takes road trips on a regular basis, even just for a day. He hates to drive on interstates and is much more likely to spend 8 hours on the road getting to a destination where most of us would spend less than 4. Makes him happy; I’m good with that. I wanted to make something that would reflect that sense of wandering. The printed fabric represents the roads. The quilting is where my brother drives. The backing is a blue batik that reminds me of Hawaii. It also happens to be where Jim goes for vacation annually. I think all in all, it is absolutely perfect!

I found this pattern in the Moda Bake Shop. Mine is 64″ x 80″. It was labeled easy, so I knew I could get it done quickly.

I thought I had a color palette all picked out, but once I started auditioning fabrics, I started second guessing myself. As you can see from the photos below, taking fabrics out and laying them together will often give you the answer you’ve been agonizing over.

Background Choices 1 & 2

Background Choices 1 & 2

Background Choice 3

Background Choice 3




I didn’t like the look of the printed fabrics  on both of the background choices (1&2) on the left, but the one on the right was the perfect color for the jelly roll I had picked up. Plus his car is orange, so the decision was actually quite simple.

I don’t always follow directions to the T and instead of using a second jelly roll for the background, I cut my own. I chose sewing the strips together and then cutting them down instead of cutting first. Next time, I’ll try to remember to do the math first, as I think I had enough left to piece a binding with the printed fabric. Unfortunately, they were all cut up by the time I thought of that. Putting the top together was a snap and was done in less than a week.


piece 1piece 2

The blocks are coming together!

Quilting Process

I used QuiltMotion by Grace for Bernina for the quilting with a curly q pantograph.

I’ve yet to put it in the mail, so I hope he doesn’t see this.