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Westalee Snowflakes; Tips and Tricks

Thinking about snow in October? Some places have already had their first flurries, but I suspect it will be a while before we see any in the Desert Southwest.

Thinking about snow in October? Some places have already had their first flurries, but I suspect it will be a while before we see any in the Desert Southwest. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be making them out of foam board, pom poms, pipe cleaners, paper & glue, or any other items you can think of.  I’ll be sticking to fabric, batting, and Westalee Templates this season.

Like the other templates in the Spin-E-Fex collection, the Snowflake templates have reference lines that work with the 8 point Crosshair Square. I want my snowflakes to have 6 points. Oh, and I don’t want to mark my fabric. Then it occurred to me. I don’t have to if I spend a little time preparing my templates. In the following video, I show you how to mark your templates instead of your fabric, how to stitch out the snowflakes and stick around to the end for how to clean your templates.

These are the products I used.

Mini Cross Hair Squares

Snowflake Templates

Grid Glider

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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?

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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.

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October: Something For Everyone

Something For Everyone
Something For Everyone

I started this quilt in January of 2012. It was a block of the month at a local shop. You pay a minimal amount to join and then if you bring in the finished block form the previous month, the fabric for the next block is free. Then there’s no incentive to get the 12th block done, let alone the top finished.  Let me just say, I’m not a fan of most blocks of the month. There are usually way too many colors and not enough consistency for my taste. This quilt is no different. That being said, I do them to learn and hone my craft.

The pattern called for the blocks to surround a large colorful piece made of 3″ blocks.  I made an error in color choice and didn’t like the way it looked. So I will save that center for another project.

Once I started laying out the blocks, it became obvious who would receive it. A family with 3 small children who ALWAYS fight about color. Each has a favorite color and the others don’t want anything to do with anything that is in their sibling’s favorite color.

At first I was going to do some complicated quilting on the frame using QuiltMotion (a computer program for quilting.) The plan was a block motif for each block and then something different for the sashing and cornerstone  pieces. Then reality kicked in and I quilted it with a simple pantograph. I’ll save the complicated quilting for another time.

One major Christmas gift ready to wrap!


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April: Pam’s Yellow Roses


I love yellow roses, so when I saw this pattern I knew the color scheme immediately. I am over the moon pleased with the outcome. I found this pattern in a 40% off basket on a trip to Chicago in 2008. Yes, I did the math and it only took 6 years to complete. I bought the fabric locally and started my adventure. Fortunately I was super organized about it and although it some times sat for years untouched, when I did bring it out I was able to pick up where I left off.  This is a picture of my organized mess.


I first became fascinated with paper piecing when I saw a very intricate quilt of a humming-bird.  I was not a quilter back then, but I would go into the shop where it hung every few months or so just to look at it. Finally I asked how it was done and heard the term “paper piecing” for the first time.  I never did purchase  the pattern so when I saw this one for English Roses by Eileen Sullivan,  I was not about to pass it by.   The shop that displayed the humming-bird quilt is long gone. You can see this and other gorgeous paper pieced patterns here.

Coming up with the quilting took longer than normal for me.  Quilt tops talk to me. No, I am not the quilt whisperer.  Sometime during the process, the quilting style comes to me. When this didn’t happen, I was stumped.  I really wanted to keep the lines straight and not fight the angles of the piecing.  Finally, it came to me.  I was afraid to use some of the standby marking methods, so I went for painter’s tape.  Pinning the tape turned out to be the key.  It is difficult to see, but I put down the tape out in the opposite order of how it was quilted.  I would quilt a line, remove the tape and then quilt to the next line. I started on the far right.


I really enjoyed the process and yes, I will definitely do this type of piecing again.  It requires staying somewhat organized, referring to a fabric chart constantly, and being focused.  I can do that.  Even in the midst of what most would call a mess, I could put my hands on everything I needed.

Wow, another month done.  This is actually the first UFO that I finished.  The feeling of satisfaction is inspiring.  So far I am 4 for 4.  Now, if I could just be that focused on blogging.