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Scarecrow Faces

Important information about our upcoming cruise

Our Sew We Go cruise from Quebec to Boston in September of 2017 is going to be norwegian-dawnspectacular! And we still have a few cabins left. Because this is such a popular cruise, most cabins not spoken for by December 26 will be released back to Norwegian Cruise Lines. So, if you’ve been contemplating joining in on the fun, we need to hear from you soon. This could be a wonderful addition to your Christmas “wish list”. For all the details go to:, or to open a printable pdf click here!”

***And now for my topic of the week***

While teaching in Nebraska last year, I found a pattern for a table runner I just had to have.

To order your own pattern go to: Happy Hollow Designs!

I usually like to design my own projects, but these scarecrows were just too cute, and I promised myself I would make it this year! I pulled it out in the beginning of September only to realize I didn’t really feel like tracing/cutting out all those little pieces. Inspiration struck when I thought about scanning the pattern into my Brother Scan ‘n Cut™, and letting this wonderful machine do the tedious work. It was a great project for me to learn more about what my Scan ‘n Cut™ can do (to read my previous Scan ‘n Cut™ post click here).

Once the pieces were all fused and cut out, Sommer helped me to “build” the scarecrows. She was disappointed when I ironed them down


and machine blanket stitched around them,


because she couldn’t keep playing with them. So she offered to draw the faces. I stalled until mommy came to pick her up. That night I told Mike about it and he said I should let her. Duh!

The next day I had her draw some faces on paper first. We talked about different expressions, and shapes for eyes and mouths. I was amazed at how confident she was. Then I handed her a washout marker (grandma loves her, but she’s not crazy 😀 !) and stepped back. Without hesitation she drew every face: boom! boom! boom! She was done and never even needed to turn the piece around to draw the upside down scarecrows!!!


scarecrow faces scarecrow-faces-detail2

And here’s the finished runner:

scarecrow faces

I love them! I traced over Sommer’s lines with permanent marker. I think it’s my favorite table runner ever.

November 27, 2016, Appliqué Computers and Quilting
I’ve Discovered Pinterest!

Before I get to this week’s topic, I wanted to post the promised picture of my niece and nephews with their new scarves. They were a hit!

Von scarves

And now for some true confessions:

It’s crazy, I know, but I’ve gone into every step of this technological age kicking and screaming. My friend Di talked me into doing this blog (she’s the one who did a wonderful job of building my website and she can be reached at She needed to do a lot of convincing, because I really wasn’t sure I could do it. I’ve had this same feeling about all of the social media universe. I’m just a little slow to jump into the unknown, but so grateful to Di because I really love doing this blog! So what’s next???

Well, a while ago I signed into Pinterest. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I found some interesting stuff on the site, pinned it to my page, and that was about it. Occasionally I’d look things up, but have never really gotten in to it. When I posted the blog about Connie Yersin’s tree skirts I thought her story was so wonderful I wanted to share it with as many people as I could. This led me to think I should figure out a way to get it on Pinterest. What I discovered is that a whole bunch of my blog postings are already out there. In fact, I have a “source” page on Pinterest! Who knew? Here’s a screenshot of that page:

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 10.35.46 PM

You can see it at:

One of the main reasons I started to do this blog was to share information. It’s amazing how fast, and in how many ways the internet spreads ideas around! What I found most interesting was the pictures from my previous posts that were pinned the most often. By far my most popular one was my technique for turning a block on point (the blue/black star repeated many times in the screen shot above). You may visit that very popular post (Praise the Lord!) at:, or continue to read this post, as I’ve re-pasted the instructions at the bottom.

Woo Hoo! I’m a teacher at heart and I’m thrilled to have my blog posts be a help to others. I wonder what other ways my blog is getting around.

Would you like to know how to use Pinterest (be careful, it can be addicting and the hours will fly by)? Just go to: sign up and jump in. Once you’re signed up, please feel free to “pin” any of my posts/pictures you find helpful! This would help me to share with even more quilters, and I thank you in advance 😀 .

Do you do Pinterest? What do you like best about it? Any suggestions or recommendations?

Turning a Block on Point

1. Square up the block. Then place a square ruler over the block as in the picture:

turning a block on point

The diagonal line of the ruler is lining up along the vertical center of the block, and the upper corners of the block are at the same measurement along the rulers edges (mine are at about 6 1/4″).

2. Add 2″ to this measurement and cut 2 squares of your chosen corner fabric this size (mine were cut 8 1/4″). Cut both these squares on 1 diagonal.

turning a quilt block on point

This will yield 4 triangle with the bias on the long, diagonal edge. By cutting the triangles this way, the outside of the block being created will be on the straight-of-grain.

3. Place a triangle, right sides together, along one side of the original square. To center it, make sure the point of the triangle is on the center seam of the block. If your block doesn’t have a center seam, press it in half in both directions, and line the point of the triangle up with your creases.

turning a quilt block on point

4. Stitch with a 1/4″ seam allowance and press the seam towards the triangle. There will be portions of the triangle not stitched down on the sides.

5. Repeat for the opposite side of the block.

turning a quilt block on point

6. Repeat for the remaining 2 sides. This time the seam will go the entire length of the long edge of the triangle.

turning a quilt block on point

7. Square up the block to the desired size.

turning a quilt block on point


January 3, 2016, Computers and Quilting
Word Patterns

A few months ago I got a new computer and thus I needed to adjust to a new version of MS Word. In my second book, “Snuggle and Learn Quilts for Kids”, I use Word to create my word patterns. These patterns need to be a mirror image of the word so that they can be stitched using my Repliqué technique (which reverses the pattern). I know many of you have this book or have seen my demonstration on how to make these patterns. Here’s the problem: MS Word no longer allows us to type a word in Word Art and then stretch it to fit the page, nor can we use “flip horizontal” to reverse the image. Grrrrrrr.

So I decided I needed to try to find an alternative – and I have :-)! If you have my book, please copy and paste these new directions into a blank document, print them and place them in your book for future use.

To Create a Word Pattern:

1. In the Layout menu select “Orientation” and check “Landscape”.layout,orient,landscape

2. In the “Document Elements” menu select “Word Art” (the tipped “A”); select the simple outlined letter (mine is in the upper left).


Your Text Here

A Text Box should appear. Type the word or name you want in the box. If you attempt to type and it doesn’t work, highlight “Your Text Here” first and then retype the word.

3. Make sure your Name/Word is still highlighted and select “Effects” (the fuzzy “A”); select Warp square“Transform” and under the “Warp” menu cursor over the different options and click on the one that reads “square”.

4.  You may now stretch (warp) your word by “left clicking and holding down” the “handle” on the lower right corner of the text box then dragging it to the desired size for your pattern.

stretched word

To Reverse the Image:

1. Highlight the Name/Word once again (it may shrink back to it’s original size, don’t worry – just proceed).

2. Select “Effects” once again; select “3-D Rotation”; select “3-D Rotation Options” at the bottom of the menu box.

3d rotation options

3. In the new menu type “180” in the “X” box and click “ok”.


Your Name/Word should now be the desired size, reversed and ready to print!

ready to print

I hope this was helpful. These patterns may also be used for fusible web appliqué, but I would recommend Repliqué :-)!

Upcoming Classes

I have a few one day workshops open this Summer. If you are available I hope you’ll consider signing up.

Logs and Chains – Friday, 8/9, 9-2:30

logs and chains

Click here for all the information:

Compass Capers – Friday, 7/12, 9-2:30

Mariner's Compass

Click here for all the information:

June 23, 2013, Computers and Quilting
Quilters are Ubiquitous

U-biq-ui-tous (adjective) – existing or being everywhere.

As many of you know, our upcoming Sew We Go adventure will be to Italy in October. We’ve been searching for quilty things to do while we’re there and Wendy suggested checking out Quilting Bloggers to find Italian quilters. I thought it was a wonderful idea. There were 62 Italian quilt blogs listed so I decided to surf through them and glean the ones that would be of the most interest to our travelers. Here’s the best part of the story:

After going through 6 pages of potential blogs for our list I was getting a little punchy and just randomly picked one on the last page. It was This quilter’s name is Rossana, her blog is in English and 3 posts in I discovered that her daughter, Anna, is going to be a foreign exchange student this August in Waukesha, WI.  Wendy and I teach in Waukesha and a number of our travelers are part of the Crazy Quilter’s Guild which holds a quilt show in Mukwonago where Anna will be attending High School. I found this a pretty amazing coincidence :-) ! Rossana and I have been emailing back and forth ever since and I’m very hopeful we’ll be able to meet at some point.

So, if you’re planning a trip to another State or another Country, you might just want to go to Quilting and check out what the quilters are doing and saying in that area. You never know what might come of it!

Oldies But Goodies 2

As promised in my last post, here are a few more links to past posts.

I had the delightful opportunity to lecture and teach for 2 guilds in Illinois this past week and I promised the students I’d share the link to a recent post on my Quilt Float system for free motion quilting. It’s done in 2 parts: supplies and set up.



July 18, 2011 – Making a Quilt Sandwich – Another older blog that many quilters seemed to find helpful contained step by step directions for basting the layers of a large quilt together. My frame is made from simple materials, sets up wherever there’s room (garage, outside, ???) and will get you off your knees!



January 9 and 16, 2011 were a pair of posts about reorganizing my studio. I came up with some storage strategies you might find helpful. Part 1 was called Housekeeping and Part 2 was called Project Creep.




Oldies But Goodies

I just realized that I began blogging 2 years ago! The time has flown by. Since the beginning I’ve covered a lot of topics. There were quite a few that received great feedback and I got to thinking that some of you who joined my list recently may never have read about these topics, while others may want to refer back to some of that information. Navigating to just the topic you’re looking for might be a challenge, especially since my blog address has changed, so here’s a list of some of those lessons along with a link to get there. Just click on the colored words and the magic of the internet will take you to just the right spot – and in a new tab so you can get back to this post easily. Isn’t technology amazing?!?



June 2, 2010 my initial topic was about Stash Storage and showed what works for me.




June 23, 2010 was about Photographing Quilts with a simple “point and shoot” camera.



September 20, 2010 was entitled Which Rulers Rule. I gave my opinions and there were many other ideas in the comments section.



January 2, 2011 – for a good laugh you need to go to this post! It was entitled Pucker Less and in it I shared my favorite tip for avoiding puckers when you’re machine quilting with feed dogs. It was written in 2 parts the first was the chuckle and the second,  Pucker Less II , had my favorite tip with pictures. Please be sure to visit both.


April 17, 2011 was entitled A Pressing Issue and in it I shared a simple way to accurately press seams.




There were a few more I’d like to revisit, but I think this will keep you busy enough for this week. Next week I’ll provide links for a couple more of my favorites.

Your feedback is very helpful to me. Is there a past post that was particularly interesting to you. If so, I’d love to hear about it. Thanks!



June 10, 2012, Computers and Quilting
A New Look For My Blog & a Quick Miter Tutorial

Welcome to my new blog look!

Diahann Lohr, of Adunate Word and Design, inspired me to create my blog over a year ago. I then hired her to design my website, now she has integrated the two. I’m thrilled and I hope you enjoy the change!

The address for my new blog is: It’s shorter and simpler than my previous blog address, and the good news is that if you usually access my site by clicking on the link in my emails, you can continue to get here the same way. Please feel free to offer feedback by clicking on the word “comment” at the end of this post.

This week’s topic is about my favorite way to miter a border. Once you have sewn on the border strips, stopping both seams 1/4″ away from the corner to be mitered, it’s as easy as:

1. Fold diagonally through the quilt while aligning the border strips on t0p of each other (right sides together), and lay a ruler along the fold with the 45° line along the stitching.

2. Draw along the edge of the ruler on the border strip, remove the ruler and pin.

3. Sew on the line!

I’ve been doing a bit of mitering lately because I was designing a new Attic Window project for a Summer class at WCTC in Waukesha. If you live in southeastern Wisconsin I’d love to have you sign up for a class or 2. Here are my upcoming Summer classes:

Attic Windows – Use this three-dimensional style block to showcase your favorite “too-beautiful-to-cut” fabrics. Learn how to make the windows different sizes to accommodate whatever you choose to set in them. It’s also a great pattern for setting a printed panel scene “through the window”, finishing up a collection of  embroidered blocks, or even showcasing leftover blocks from previous quilt projects. Thursday, July 12, 9 – 2:30.

Threaded Borders – In this advanced machine quilting class you’ll create delightful borders and illusions using only free motion quilting techniques and contrasting thread. This class is for those comfortable with free-motion quilting who want to advance their skills. Thursday, July 26, 9 – 2:30

Compass Capers – Using the steps from my new book, learn easy paper folding techniques to draft a Mariner’s compass block. Begin with a traditional round compass, then learn to create compasses of different shapes and sizes. From there, select a favorite design and and learn how to paper piece it. Thursday, June 21, 9 -2:30

Great Finishes – Bindings are nice, but there are so many exciting variations and options for finishing the edge of a quilt: piped, ric rac, bias, curved, couched, faced, and even continuous prairie points. Make samples of each in class to keep for future reference.

To register on line go to:; click on “Class Search”; check Summer semester and fill in “quilting” in the Course Title/Subject Box; Click “Submit” and all the summer quilt classes will appear. Then follow the site directions to register.

Birth Announcement

I’m so excited – my new website has just arrived!


Please click on the image of my home page above and enjoy!

The time had come for a change and my friend, Diahann Lohr, did a wonderful job of combining my passion for quilting with the beauty of the woods surrounding my home. Her web design business is called  Adunate Word and Design. Di is very creative, patient and professional and I would highly recommend her to anyone in need of graphic design help!

So, what do you think? Please be sure and visit the Gallery page. Diahann did all the stunning quilt photography.

August 28, 2011, Computers and Quilting
Find a Fabric, Find a Blog

Blogging was something I feared for quite awhile, but since being encouraged by my friend Di, I’ve discovered that blogs are a wonderful teaching and sharing tool. Recently Laura shared a few quilt blog directories with me that I have now linked to. I’m hoping we’ll get more quilters reading this blog, so the sharing and learning can increase!

I was especially excited about a site I found through Quilter Blogs.  Many of my students have asked about sites for finding fabric that they’ve run short of. This one is great! You simply click on:, upload a picture of your fabric (they make this step easy) and they’ll send you information on shops that carry your fabric or something similar to it!

Quilt Qua not only has a directory for blogs, but a listing of quilting teachers also

Quilting Blogger is a directory that finds bloggers, shops and guilds by location. An excellent resource if you are doing a bit of traveling!

I hope you find these sites helpful :-).

June 20, 2011, Computers and Quilting
The Big Picture

 Thanks for the positive response to my method for creating a Celtic quilting design. If my ideas inspire you to create a design of your own, please send me pictures. One of the comments mentioned using green thread. Actually – I did, the picture just didn’t show it. Here’s a new one:

And a view of the entire quilt (please ignore the binding clips :-):

Now for something completely different :-). This week’s topic concerns making pictures or patterns larger and then printing them easily. I often need to do this. For example, when recreating a picture in appliqué using my Repliqué technique, an enlargement of a photograph is needed to make the pattern. Another instance where this is necessary is when I draft Mariner’s Compass patterns using my paper folding techniques. Sometimes I draft them the size of a sheet of paper and then need to make them bigger (for descriptions of both of these techniques, scroll down to the Architectural Repliqué and Mariner’s Compass Simplified descriptions on my website at You can probably think of instances in your quilt life when this would be helpful too.

In the past I’ve enlarged pictures at my local print shop; and I’ve made patterns bigger with the help of an overhead projector. Since the enlargements cost money and the overhead has to be used while I’m at work, neither is a particularly convenient option.

A while back I read an article in The Quilt Life magazine which recommended doing these enlargements using Microsoft Excel, along with a home computer and printer. It really works, so I just have to share! Here’s the step by steps:

1.  Open Microsoft Excel

2.  In the File Menu select Page Set Up; select Margins; set footer and header to “O” and set the margins to .5 on all 4 sides; select “OK

3.  In the View Menu select Zoom; change the magnification to 25%; select “OK

4.  In the Insert Menu select Picture; select From File and then find the drawing or picture you want to enlarge from your computer, click on it and then select Insert

5.  Your picture/drawing will now be in the upper left corner of the Excel document. Click on it and then place your cursor on the bottom right corner square; click and drag your picture/drawing to the desired size. Each rectangle in the Excel program represents an 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet of paper and when you press “print” it does …… and all the sheets fit together!

If you’re printing a photo onto printer fabric, the margins we left will provide enough space around each portion for seam allowance.

If you’re printing a drawing or pattern, the margins can be overlapped when the parts are taped together.

I hope this is helpful. If it seemed a bit confusing, open Excel and give it a whirl. You may be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is!

May 23, 2011, Computers and Quilting