Tag Archives: tools

A Finish and … Oops!

I have sewn the last of the binding down on the quilt-along quilt. Crooked seams aside I’m pleased with how it turned out. There were a couple of things I learned while making this:

  • Pre-cuts are not always cut accurately
  • Quilting batiks works much better with a smaller needle (say 70/10)

I figured out the last one by accident. I had been using a Microtex 80/12 needle—a couple of them actually. After struggling with skipped stitches and breaking thread while doing the free-motion quilting on the border, I happened to be paging through Laurie Shifren’s book Batik Gems and there it was on page 17. I’ve been through that book a zillion times but hadn’t retained that bit of information. I now have a note by my sewing machine to remind me. What a difference it made!

Little Windows Quilt

Folded quilt

This quilt is also one of my PHD projects on Myra’s blog.

Now for the oops.

nine patch blocks

Wait for it…

quilt blocks

This is from my own pattern. I knew I was supposed to cut the green squares at 6 1/2-inches. Somehow what my brain knew and what my hands did suffered a disconnect. Thank goodness my local fabric shop had more of the green.




I started this months ago and then put it aside to do some other projects. Just recently it started calling me, “Me next! Me next!”

Fans of Ricky Tims will recognize the technique.

The templates and the strata.
templates strata


basting needles basting

After viewing Sharon Schamber’s method of basting, I put away the safety pins and haven’t looked back. I like this method sooo-oo much better. I use two strands of embroidery floss (the cheapest I can find) and snip it out of the way as I quilt. Sometimes I quilt right over it and haven’t had any problems removing it. No more pins clacking and scraping across the bed of the sewing machine and table. (Thank you, Sharon, for sharing this method!)

Here is part 1 of Sharon’s YouTube video on hand basting. Part 2 should show up on the same page. I’ve done the basting with and without boards. If the quilt is small enough, like the kaleidoscope, I can layer everything smoothly on the cutting table and use a few straight pins to hold the layers in place until the basting is finished.

I’m about halfway through the quilting. More pics on the way!