Every year about this time my inner Christmas elf comes sneaking out. I start cooking up ideas for cool handmade gifts that are as fun to make as they are to receive. My applique tea towels combine raw edge applique with free motion quilting, so it’s a win-win for me! Click HERE to watch the tutorial!
I’m a free motion kind of guy. My quilts are like blank canvases just waiting to be filled with pure creativity. But this week, I’m actually “coloring” inside the lines. Free motion quilting on a panel is like target practice. As you stitch along the printed designs of your panel, you get a feel for the pace and movement of machine quilting. Bonus: because you’re practicing on a panel rather than scraps, you’ll end up with a totally useful quilted project. Click HERE to watch the vid!
Cork fabric is made from the bark of the cork oak tree. And the cool thing is, these trees are able to regenerate their bark, consuming massive amounts of carbon dioxide in the process. Talk about “green!” The fabric is waterproof and stain resistant. It wears like leather and is super lightweight and durable. In short, it’s the perfect choice for my Streamline Wallet. Click HERE to learn how to make this cool little project!
A fidget quilt is outfitted with a variety of textures and moveable parts: prairie points, ric rac, pockets, velcro, zippers, you name it! It’s purpose is to occupy restless hands and soothe anxious minds – all while keeping your legs warm. Fidget quilts can provide tons of comfort to individuals with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, and fiddling with those little parts and pieces is great exercise for the mind as well as the hands. (They are also great for kids and adults with ADHD, ADD, or autism.) These quilts are super fun to make, and they bless the lives of those who receiveRead More →
I began work on the Shark Applicutter more than five years ago, and the reason I invented it was a safety issue. I had started using the smallest rotary cutter I could find, an 18mm, to cut out the shapes used in my Endangered Species project. These quilts featured an “up close and personal” portrait of each endangered animal and required a lot of intricate cutting. As we all know, necessity is the mother of invention, so I started using my rotary cutter in a new way, holding it like a pen instead of using an overhand grip. When I used it this way, I couldRead More →
Stitch in the ditch is a style of machine quilting that simply follows the seam lines of the quilt top. The trouble is, all those layers of fabric and batting can really bog down the operation. My advice? Swap out your presser foot for a walking foot. The walking foot is like “4-wheel drive” for your machine. It gently guides the top layer of fabric in sync with the feed dogs, so everything stays smooth and properly sandwiched. Click HERE to learn how to stitch in the ditch with your walking foot!