Engineer vs. Artist: Sneak Peeks

Hello Friends, I meant to check in yesterday, but I had an Engineer vs. Artist moment (thus the name of the quilt for now), and the Artist won.  You see, when piecing is involved, I am all engineer because of the precision aspect of things.  Then, when it comes time to decide what to quilt, oftentimes the engineer within me takes over for the efficiency aspect of things, due to project deadlines, and I have to be efficient with what I quilt within the amount of time I have…. but yesterday, the Artist in me won!

I was already late because the piecing took longer – piecing ALWAYS takes longer for me because I am a snail-speed piecer. I knew I had a limited amount of time to quilt the quilt.  I could just quickly quilt an allover motif, and be efficient, or I could go all out and quilt fancy, and really add to the quilt.  The battle raged on fiercely (!), and finally, the Artist won!

I won’t tell you how much sleep I got last night, because I will get in trouble should my Mom check in and read the post. ;) But suffice it to say all those all-nighters I had in engineering school amply prepared for a stint like last night’s!



I was glad the Artist in me won in the quilting department of this quilt.  I really like the result. But the icing on the cake was when Miss Baby came downstairs and saw the quilt this morning… she said, “WOW, Mom…. this quilt is so pretty now (that it’s quilted)!” I guess she wasn’t quite sure about it before, and was too nice to say anything negative.

This quilt is now on its way to the editor.  Whether they would let me officially name the quilt “Engineer vs. Artist” remains to be seen.

Thank you for stopping by!  I need to start on the next few things on my list.  I shall catch up with you later.

p.s.  Through today only, you can still get my book Recreating Antique Quilts at a discount at my publisher’s website. Click here to purchase the book.

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2015 National Quilting Day & Giveaway!

Hello Friends — Happy Saturday and Happy National Quilting Day!  Read about National Quilting Day here.


Once upon a time, there was girl who lived in the tropics, in the comfort of home, church, and many relatives.  All her life, she dreamed upon going to England for college… ever since she was five years of age.

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She worked hard at school… because of the consuming dream of going to England for college.




The day came, she left home to go to college…. but to England, but to the United States.  She was disappointed at the time, but she accepted that it was the path chosen for her.



She finished college with a graduate degree.  She married.  She had a little girl.

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Somewhere in her years in the US, she met a most generous and loving lady — who taught this girl how to quilt.



And the rest is history.  Because someone else stepped in, and encouraged, and took the time to teach this girl (who hadn’t really even touched a sewing machine in her life), this girl’s life was changed!




She made many sweet quilting and non-quilting friends along her quilting journey.  She was able to do things not dreamed off in all her dreams of going to England for college…



And she continues to accepts the path chosen for her, by her loving God.



And in a roundabout way, though she sees that she is but a whiff of air passing through this world, she is inspired by the people she meets to make a difference in her small roundabout circle…because someone else had made a difference in her life.


On this National Quilting Day, this is a roundabout way of telling the story of an Asian girl who discovered the joy of quilting, because a loving lady who answered the call to make a difference in the lives of others!  Thank you, Barbara!

And Happy National Quilting Day again, Everyone!!


Annie’s has generously sponsored a giveaway of my online class Learn to Machine Quilt class.  Leave a comment between now and March 27, 2015 to enter giveaway.  Winner will be announce on March 30, 2015.


learn to machine quilt

Speaking of machine quilting, stay tuned for some exciting news!

Book Premise #3: Friendship / How to use the book

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In my experience, one very sweet hallmark of the quilting community is the strong bonds of friendship among quilters!  Honestly, my quilting journey has taken me to exciting places because of the great friends I have made at the various stages of the journey.

This snippet is from about quilting bee:
The quilting bee was an important means of socializing for colonial and pioneer women (and men). Through the winter months, the women would piece their quilt tops. Since there was no central heating in these homes, there was usually only one main heated room that was too crowded during the winter months for a quilt frame to be assembled. When the weather became warmer, an invitation was sent to the surrounding neighbors for the quilting bee.

On the day of the quilting bee, the quilters would arrive early and begin marking the quilt top which had been put into the quilt frame by the hostess. Very often, plates, thimbles and tea cups were used to mark the quilting patterns. (Did you read that?!  TEACUPS!!!  You who collect fabrics and china — you are SO justified in your obsessions collections!  I simply have to insert a china picture here.) 


The quilters would then being to quilt the top while exchanging conversation. The quilt had to finished before the husbands and beaus showed up in the late afternoon when dinner was served to all, the hostess being given a chance to show off her cooking skills. After dinner, there was very often a square dance or country dance with fiddles accompanying the dancers. The quilting bee was an important part of the social life of these people surpassed only by religious gatherings.

My summary on things: FRIENDSHIPS

So, it is with “scrappy” friendships and block exchanges in mind that I design a couple of my book projects: namely Oh! Happy Stars and Feathery Formation.  These two projects are conducive for an activity within a guild or quilting group.  Members can get together to learn to make the blocks using fabrics with theme selected by the group (for example, ugliest fabric, fabrics of certain color shades, Christmas fabrics, Spring fabrics etc – you get the idea!).   Members make multiple blocks for exchange — and the result is a scrappy quilt that holds memories of your quilting friends.

star & bird COB copy

An additional “friendship” note on Feathery Formation.  Of course you can quilt to your heart’s content (like I did) on the white patches. :)  But I also thought it might be nice for a friendship quilt to have the white patches be printed recipes from participating quilters on fabric squares and pieced into the quilt, or even words of encouragement for a going-away quilt.


My Floral Fancy (you can see more pictures here) and Ivory Baltimore projects are projects that have possibilities of expanding friendships.  By that I mean, the blocks can easily be adapted as the center blocks for round robin projects within a quilting group of friends.  Or the same block can be made multiple times in by friends in different colorways to make more scrappy quilts.  I am re-making my Ivory Baltimore in a fun way – stay tuned for details.


I hope this post will give you further ideas on how to use Recreating Antique Quilts, and not merely have the book tucked away on a shelf.  And more importantly, I hope this book will play a small part in your friendships – whether you make a project from the book as a gift, or being a part of a quilting activity.

And speaking of friends, do stop by tomorrow for details on a blog hop participated by some of my special friends!

blog hop button


You may read ALL about Recreating Antique Quilts here.

Thread Talk from My Sewing Machine #61


Hello Friends, it’s so good to have you back.  I am passionate about wholecloth quilting when it comes to machine quilting.

However, I am keenly aware not all quilters want to do that kind of quilting — which is PERFECTLY okay!!  I am not in any way getting on to you for not doing wholecloth quilting that oftentimes requires very dense background quilting.  The background quilting you see in the following quilt images is quilted less than 1/8″ apart!

Plus to be honest, that kind of dense background quilting probably is not conducive to be quilted on quilt tops made with printed fabrics.  So, for a while now, I have been thinking about the matter of background fillers to go with feather quilting on “printed” quilt tops that are practical. One of these fillers is my Sand Dunes filler!


1.  So, first, we have a feather plume “quilted” here.  Click here to read about how I quilt my feathers.


2.  After the feather is quilted, I picked a spot on the feather to just quilt something curvy, but somewhat graceful looking toward the outer edge of the quilt top.

So you will notice I quilted my first Sand Dune pass (#1) beyond the edge of the quilt top INTO to the batting and quilt backing portion — assuming you baste your quilt sandwich with excess batting and quilt fabric around the quilt top, like I do.


3.  That’s because… it saved me having to cut my thread and restart on the pass back to the feather plume.  Notice my pass back to the feather plume is only somewhat echoing the first pass. My Sand Dunes are meant to be “liberated” echoes in the sense that they are not exactly echoed.  Another thing is that the Sand Dune passes are quilted far apart, unlike the 1/8″ or less distance in between echoes in my wholecloth quilting.


Once the back pass (#2) touches the feather plume, I would then follow the quilt feather plume outline for just a little bit, and then, I would quilt toward the outer edge of the quilt top with another Sand Dune pass (#3) and so forth to complete the background quilting around the feather plume(s) on my quilt.


This quilt back picture might show you exactly I meant.

I like the Sand Dunes for a printed quilted tops because this filler looks open and doesn’t have a suffocating feel on the printed quilt tops.  It is not demanding because it doesn’t require me to echo exactly, and veering off a bit on subsequent echoes actually adds to the overall textured look.


I would love for you to try out Sand Dunes with your feathers — and let me know what you think.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t checked out my other posts on machine quilting, feel free to do so by clicking here.

I will be sharing with you some exciting machine quilting news in a couple of months – can’t wait!!! But for now, if you haven’t checked out my online Learn to Machine Quilt class (that covers practical motifs for beginning machine quilting) here, I hope you will do so as well.  The class is also available on DVD here.

learn to machine quilt

Thank you for stopping by, Dear Friends!  Blessings to you all!

2014 Recap Part 2: Overseas jaunts

Happy Monday, Friends!  I hope you have had a good weekend!  How is the month of January treating you so far? Right now, I can tell you it is cold where I am.  Very cold for this girl raised in the tropics!

We shall start off the week with another 2014 recap at Ivory Spring.  Last year saw a few overseas jaunts for my quilts and designs, namely in the UK’s Popular Patchwork and Australia’s Quilters Companion.

1.  Mending Fences (UK Popular Patchwork, April 2014)



2.  A Mother’s Love  (UK, Popular Patchwork, September 2014)

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3.  Yuletide Snowflakes (UK, Popular Patchwork, December 2014)


4.  Christmas Wreath Runner (UK Popular Patchwork, December 2014)

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5.  Stars Aligned (Australian Quilters Companion, July/August 2014)

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6.  Pocketful of Daisies Welcome Banner (Australian Quilters Companion, November/December 2014)


In many ways, my overseas features have been very Lynette Anderson-ish except for the Christmas Wreath runner. Lynette is a sweet friend, and an exceptional artist!  I enjoyed working with her tremendously on various projects and features in 2014, including Mending Fences, and Pocketful of Daisies Welcome Banner.  Lynette wrote a sweet blog post about our collaborations and friendship here.

It was wonderful to be able to connect with my overseas quilting friends through publications local to them.  I have a couple of upcoming features already lined up for 2015, but am hopeful I will have a few more.

SO — curious mind wants to know which overseas feature (in today’s post) is your favorite.  DO TELL!

Did you miss 2014 Recap Part 1?  Click here to catch up. :)

Thanks for stopping by.   I have to get back to work!!   I hope this New Year brings you joy and adventures, and here’s to another year of sweet friendship, support and encouragement

To Market and BACK!

Hello Friends! I hope you are well. I have quite the traveling adventure this time around — a constantly screaming child on the plane for three hours, a guy at the waiting lounge moaning about forgetting his comb on his trip (I was forced to listen in on his side of the conversation because he was talking so loudly!), delayed flights etc! I enjoy watching people at airports, so I didn’t quite mind the aforementioned hiccups in air travel!


The acclaimed red and white quilt exhibit is at Market this year – an overwhelmingly amazing collection.


And there were hundreds upon hundreds of quilts in addition displayed in the special exhibit hall.  Many of them are documented in this book, 500 Traditional Quilts by Karey Bresenhan. Photography was not allowed – so, I just bought the book.  You may purchase the book here.


Following are just some of the pictures I managed to snap here and there about 40 minutes before I headed out to come home.  I hope the pictures, which by no means exhaustive, will give you a glimpse of the workmanship, displays, colors, and just the general hustle and bustle on the floor.












More about this cute fox later!









And at Landauer’s Publishing‘s booth…. there is a little section set aside for Recreating Antique Quilts!


Dear friend Annelle emailed me about seeing pictures from my Schoolhouse session on Recreating Antique Quilts here on Fat Quarter Shop’s instagram page.  The Fat Quarter Shop team has posted an unbelievable collection of Market photos!  Check out their Instagram page for more photos!!

Click here to enter the giveaway of a copy of Recreating Antique Quilts if you haven’t already!


I skipped out a bit early on Market, but I was there and back!  I am exhausted, and I still have to unpack, sort through business cards and catalogs, catch up with laundry and meal plans, and get back to my “real” life!!

If you asked me what my favorite part of Market was — Besides meeting and making new friends, it was being able to meet the wonderful people in the industry with whom I work FACE TO FACE!  The personal contact solidifies the friendships for even more adventures!  With that, I shall sign off for the day!  Have a great week.

Recreating Antique Quilts in Spring Market 2014

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Hello Friends, this is a picture of how the projects in Recreating Antique Quilts were displayed at Spring Market in Pittsburgh earlier this year.


You have read about Calico Trail and Ivory Baltimore here, and even though I have yet to share in detailed the quilt, Oh, Happy Stars!, on the top left, you know it’s the cover quilt. The top right quilt, Floral Fancy, is my contemporary interpretation of a green/red album applique block.  I will share more Oh, Happy Stars! and Floral Fancy later.  


I need to get going, Dear Friends, and get to Houston, and see how Landauer is going to do their booth this time around.  I hope to have some Market pictures to show you post-Market!  Take care, Dear Friends!!!


My official appearances at Market this year are as follow.  If you are going to Fall Market, would you drop by and say hi?  If you aren’t going, would you have your LQS rep stop by for you instead?  I would love to meet all of you!

Oct 24, 11:50am, Room 382A – Schoolhouse session on further thoughts on Recreating Antique Quilts

Oct 25, 2pm, Booth 2305 – Meet & greet and book signing session hosted by Landauer

More on Recreating Antique Quilts & Giveaway


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It is official!  Recreating Antique Quilts are now shipping.  I have already gotten word that the books have arrived at their destinations from some of you! Thank you for letting me know.


I thought I would share with you a picture showing three of the featured projects in Recreating Antique Quilts.

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The quilt on the left, Calico Trail, is my husband’s favorite of all my book projects. It is actually a very easy quilt to construct.  Click here to go to Landauer Publishing’s blog to read more about the “behind the project” thoughts on Calico Trail, and a couple of other projects.


Don’t forget to leave a comment there to be entered in the giveaway of a free copy of Recreating Antique Quilts!  I am turning off comments here so that you can leave your comments at Quilt Books and Beyond!  Also, be sure to note my Fall Market appearance if you (or someone you know) plan on being at Fall Market this year.

Information on signed copies will be forthcoming.  Meanwhile, you may order your own copy of the book here.

If you have missed previous features and want to catch up, click here, and here.


Over time, I will share more about each project.  But it is the aim of Recreating Antique Quilts to meet the needs of quilters in an individual and group setting through treasures of the past.  And I hope you will have the time of your life attempting/making the projects in this book.

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Thank you again for stopping by!  I shall catch up with you soon.

Come meet little ol’ me at Landauer’s blog!

The sweet Landauer ladies love and treat their authors well!  I have had a very fun adventure working with these ladies on my book Recreating Antique Quilts.

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Recreating Antique Quilts will become official really soon (in a matter of days/weeks).  I shared with you before pictures of the cover quilt, Oh, Happy Stars!,  when I first announced the news about Recreating Antique Quilts.

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[image source: Landauer Publishing]

Today, I am excited to show you Ivory Baltimore, another project featured in Recreating Antique Quilts.


[image source: Landauer Publishing]

You may pre-order Recreating Antique Quilts here.  Meanwhile, do head on to read Landauer’s latest Meet the Author blog post here.  They did a feature on little ol’ me!

I am turning off the comments here on this post, and would really appreciate it if you leave comments on Landauer’s blog instead of over here.  Would you also share about the post with your friends?  Again, I owe you one, Dear Friends, for getting the word out on Recreating Antique Quilts.

Thank you for stopping by.  I hope you have a lovely weekend.  It is going to be a working weekend for me – here’s to getting lots done!  Hugs to you all.

Giveaway: Learn to Machine Quilt

A couple of days ago, I received a sweet, sweet comment.  Thank you, Ann-Marie, for making my day.

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I am happy to announce another giveaway today — a free copy of my online Learn to Machine Quilt class, produced by Annie’s.

Learn to Machine Quilt

Click here to read more about the class.  Shown in the following are the topics covered in the class.  This class is designed to help beginning machine quilters to get used to moving their quilt sandwiches.  It remains my firm belief that being able to maneuver one’s quilt sandwich is the key to enjoyable quilting on a domestic machine.

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Here are a few images of the class sample.

Learn to Quilt 2

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Lean to Machine Quilt4

And here you see pictures of the class samples made by quilters who took the class.  Here is one by Joyce:


And here is one by Jean:



To be entered in the giveaway, please leave a comment below between now and August 6th, 2014 – and tell me one challenge you face when quilting your own quilts on your domestic machine.  Winner will be announced in August 7th, 2014.  Good luck! :)


Thanks for stopping by.  I am still working on Iron Man II (or Insanity, as Mary calls it).  But I am almost done piecing the top, woo hoo!


Sew in Love {with Fabric} Blog Hop: Christmas in July

Hello Friends – I know you all are getting antsy Christmas is right around the corner, right?  According to the bookseller that comes to the church we attend, there were 150 shopping days till Christmas as of last Sunday!   Maybe that little fact would induce us to get ready for Christmas?   Well, I said all that to share with you today a fun little project I did for a Christmas in July blog hop at Benartex’s Sew in Love {with Fabric} blog!

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Look at these adorable fabrics I got to play with.  They are from Benartex’s Holiday Magic collection.  Click here to view the entire fabric range.


But these fabrics aren’t it – they are just the supporting actors.  The star of the show are these patch prints from the same collection.  I have liked a lot of the patch prints that have come out.  But I realize sometimes they are hard to feature in a quilt design.  So, I have generally used patch prints as quilt backing fabrics.



But not for my blog hop project today — I made the patch prints my feature fabrics!! Here is a peek of my Christmas blog hop project, in hen-and-chicks style, sort of.


Head on over to Sew in Love {with Fabric} for further details!  Once there, don’t forget to enter the giveaway for Holiday Magic fabrics.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a fanta-bulous weekend, Dear Friends!

p.s.  Please don’t tell me you have started shopping/making gifts for Christmas this year…. okay, you may tell me anyway!!  :)


Click the following links for my past blog hop participations at Sew in Love {with Fabric}:

Flower Favorites

Going Places

Christmas in July 2013

April Hop



Hello Friends!  I hope you have had a great week so far!  Let’s see, Miss Baby and I have done the usuals this week.  We also squeezed in our schedule to see a Reptile Show at our local library, where I learned more about certain crawly creepies than I wanted to know.  Miss Baby was brave enough to pet this large albino snake (gross!).


I am really thrilled about another Australian feature in the midst of all the craziness.  Since I am currently working on things I can’t show you just yet, I am happy to show you something I had worked on months ago. Meet Stars Aligned, my new design featured in the No.68 Australian Quilters Companion issue! You will be able to purchase the magazine on newsstands if you aren’t a subscriber and live in Australia.  If not, you are able to easily purchase the digital version here.


[image source: Australian Quilters Companion]

See my name and quilt on the table of contents page?!  I am very excited.  You will also see my friend Lynette Anderson has a project featured in the same issue too!  Yay to Lynette. :)

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[image source:  Australian Quilters Companion]

I do like the layers of stars in Stars Aligned.  Are you able to spot the starry layers?

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Stars Aligned is made with fabrics from Lynette Anderson‘s Starry Night and Bread & Butter, released by RJR Fabrics.  Fabrics are now in stores.


Since the actual sample, made by Jill – a wonderful sample maker, is in Australia, Lynette graciously sent me these pictures from the Down Under.

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If you wish to purchase the quilt kits, Lynette has them for sale here.


Lynette also has the kits for Santa’s Sleigh (download pattern instructions here) for pre-order here, our joint design using the same Starry Night fabrics.


Thank you so much for stopping by to read about snake and stars.   I am not nearly as excited about my slightly increased knowledge of snakes as I am about my continuing starry quilting journey!

God bless you all!


Click here to view the exhaustive list of my featured designs and projects.

My 2014 lineup to date —

Editorial features:

Annie’s Row Quilt Book (March 2014): Stardom

Annie’s Dazzling Diamond Quilts Book (May 2014): Solar Star

Australian Quilters Companion (Issue 68): Stars Aligned

Fons & Porter’s Easy Quilts (Summer 2014): Teething Rings

Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting (January/February 2014): Hurry Home

Generation Q (May/June 2014): Hole in the Wall

McCall’s Quick Quilts (August/September 2014): Owl Be Your Friend

McCall’s Quilting (January/February 2014): Spiral Squared

McCall’s Quilting (July/August 2014): Bird Watching

Popular Patchwork, UK (April 2014): Mending Fences

Quilt Trends (Winter 2014): Enchanted Forest

Quilt Trends (Winter 2014): Urban Stars

Quilter’s World (Spring 2014): Urban Oasis

Quilter’s World (Summer 2014): Starry Repetitions

The Quilter (December 2013/January 2014): Farm Crossing

The Quilter (December 2013/January 2014): Boxing Day

The Quilter (April/May 2014): All Squared Up

The Quilter (April/May 2014): Tulip Trail

The Quilter (June/July 2014): Garden View

The Quilter (August/September 2014): Song of Praise

Free to use designs / PDF download:

January: Midori’s Place using Gramercy by Benartex

January: View on Lexington using Gramercy by Benartex

January: Everything’s Coming Up Rosey using English Rosey by Benartex

February: Verde (Quilt) by Quilting Treasures

February: Verde (Banner/Runner) by Quilting Treasures

March: Hot Topic by Quilting Treasures

March: Poseidon’s Adventure using Neptune’s Dream by Benartex

March: My Cozy Sweater using Palm Springs by Benartex

March: Wild Kingdom using Sew Rousseau by Benartex

April: Fun with Frosty (Quilt & Runner) by Quilting Treasures

April: The First Thanksgiving (Quilt & Runner & Placemat) by Quilting Treasures

May: Party Poppers using Paintbox/Shadows by Benartex

May: Sprinkled Sweets using Paintbox/Shadows by Benartex

May: Dino Craze using 10,000 B.C. by Benartex

June: Monster Mash by Quilting Treasures

June: Santa’s Sleigh using Starry Night by RJR Fabrics

June: Learning is Fun by Quilting Treasures