How many feet do you have?

As you may or may not know, I recently got the BERNINA longarm.  The first time I stitched on this machine, I was in love.  The stitches were exactly as they are on my BERNINA 750QE domestic machine.  Now, I am not a bells and whistles kind of gal so when I use a longarm it is all about the feel of it.  Needless to say, I love it.  And have fallen in love with some of those  bells and whistles.  I will be highlighting these in my journey  through my next competition piece.

I had the pleasure of traveling to Switzerland a couple of weeks ago to tour the BERNINA factory.  It was amazing.  Here are some pictures…

One of the questions I get asked a lot is can the Quilter’s Groove® rulers be used on the domestic machine.  The answer is yes but you want to make sure you use a ruler  foot.  BERNINA is in the process of creating one…. hang tight!  The one for  the longarm can damage your machine so please don’t use that one.

I really like the fact that my feet that I use  on my domestic machine can also be used on my longarm.      This means that there are so many to choose from… now I am sure there are some feet that you would use on your domestic machine that might not be applicable to the longarm but still, there are a lot of feet.  So finding one that you like to go around…. say appliqué,  is just a matter of experimenting to see which works best for you.

Do you have a favorite foot that you use in your machine quilting? I’d love to hear about it.

Here are the first two quilts that I finished on my new machine.

Can’t wait to start my next one!!  Want to follow along?  make sure you follow my blog for updates!

Quilt on, My Friends!


Inspired to Redesign!

I have been working/procrastinating on a quilt for a while now.  You all have seen it.  It has been finished for quite a while now and I have pretty much designed the quilting so why was I procrastinating loading it?

I realized that I wasn’t really happy with what I was going to put in the floral border.  I was planning on doing a basket weave since I just wanted to texturize it.

A Color of its Own

A Color of its Own

I recently watched Gina Perkes iquilt class,  machine Quilting on the Grid.  I was inspired to redesign the border of the quilt.  So I am currently marking the grid in the floral border.  If you aren’t familiar with you should check it out.  There are some fantastic quilt classes.  My Divide and Design class is on there as well as classses from quilting greats,  Bethanne Nemesh, Jodi Robinson, Gina Perkes just to name a few.

All of the designs that Gina shows can be done either on a domestic machine or longarm so the class is great for no matter how you quilt.  I am going to finish marking this top this weekend and once the batting arrives, I will start quilting.  I plan on posting some along the way photos so please make sure you follow my blog so you can join me on my quilting journey.

Quilt on, My Friends,


Zip, Zip, Zip…. Zippers or Pins?

So I have finished a couple of quilts on my BERNINA and am loving it!  BUT, it was time ….. to put the zippers on!

You may be thinking zippers on your longarm… whatever for?  Loading quilts can be a time consuming process so when I was doing customer quilts, I started using zippers instead of pinning my quilts to the leaders.  WOW, what a time difference.  But that wasn’t the only great thing about zippers…. There were times that I ran out of thread for a particular quilt and I was able easily zip it off and zip another on.  Once the thread arrived, I was able to zip the quilt back on and continue.

How many of you have stuck yourself with those corsage pins?  Those really hurt, pins are bad enough but those pins really gouge you. So happy to be done with them.  :)

We are all familiar with the seam ripper.  Well, with the zippers, I was able to take the quilt off, rip out the offending stitches and put back on easily with those zippers.  Yippee!!!

So now that I have my new BERNINA Longarm, it was time  to put those zippers on the leaders.  I purchased my zippers from The Quilting Connection LLC .  Its called the Quick Zip system and it is super easy.

First I find the center of my leaders and the center of the zipper and I pin from the middle out.  I do this on both the backing leaders.


Then I zip them together. But don’t pull tight.  I then take the machine and sew the zippers to the leaders removing the pins as I go along so I don’t hit them.


Once both zippers are sewn to the leaders. You can pull tight.


You can also put a zipper on the leader where you attach the quilt top.  I tend to either float my top or  just pin my top on with flower head pins as  I won’t take my quilt off till it is at least stabilized.   Then you can just zip your quilt on.  This quilt had zippers on because I had started it on my other machine.

IMG_0877When I am ready to do a new quilt, I will take the backing fabric over to my BERNINA 750QE and set my stitch length to the longest there is and baste the backing to the zippers.  I start from the center out to make sure it centered.  Then I can just zip the backing on.   The best part is when I am done with the quilt, I can just rip the quilt from the zippers.   LOVE that sound!

I am curious how everyone loads their quilts?  Do you float, pin, leader grips?  And why do you do it that way?

Quilt on, My friends!


MQX East recap…

The past two weeks were a whirlwind.  I was at MQX East where I spent the week with some very talented quilters.. my students.  I always learn so much from them.  I launched a new class All Marked Up!  It was so much fun.  It was a round table discussion on marking tools and all 25 students participated.  It was such a great class I can’t wait to “teach” it again.

Of course I taught ruler classes, my Divide and Design technique and Mastering the Mini.  Here are some pictures….

Divide, Design, Get it done!

Mastering the Mini!


And of course, my Sis, Judy is there with me.  She’s the one that makes sure all the students are sufficiently caffeinated with coffee and chocolate..


We always try and squeeze in some fun as well…. Judy surprised me with a quilt she made me…. Love it!

Always a great time!  Can’t wait till next year!  Hope to see you there.

Quilt on, My Friends!


Under the Needle: Monday’s Eye Candy

Let’s start the week off with a few pretties from all of you!  Keep sending them in as I love to see what you all do with the Divide and Design technique and/or the Quilter’s Groove Rulers!

JocelynAtkinson faithmcleod ellenpalmer


Thank you Ladies for sharing!  Keep them coming!

Quilt on, My Friends!


Eye Candy Monday!

The response you all had to my Under the Needle Newsletter was amazing.  I love getting all the emails about how my little picture inspired you!  What I loved even more was the pictures some of you sent.  So here are a few…

Here is Angie Bess’s quilt.  She was giving the ProPebbles a try out.  Look great, Angie!  Keep it up!



Up next was Rachel Atienza!  A beautiful miniature whole cloth… looks like its my favorite fabric too…. Radiance by Robert Kauffman.  Love the straight line fill!



One more for today…. Elizabeth Witchel!  I see one of my favorite rulers in this pic.  of the ProLine!!  Elizabeth made a great barter with a woodworker.  She made him this beautiful quilt and he is making her a thread cabinet.  Elizabeth…. make sure you send me a picture of the thread cabinet.  Would love to post it as a follow up.  I know I love to see how every one stores their thread…



So since we are on the topic of tread storage…. how do you all store your thread?  Any good before and after pictures you would like to share with us? Of even just pictures of how you store your thread… I could always use a little inspiration in this department.  So please send me pictures of your thread storage!

Quilt on, My Friends!



Pebbles, Echoes, Crosshatches.. Oh my!

Pebbles, Echoes, Crosshatches.. Oh My! is a  new hands on class that I will be teaching at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival in March!  This class is sold out at MQX New England so if you can make it to Pittsburgh, it is going to be a blast!

There are so many fills to choose from, how do you choose, size and stitch it out?  These are a few of the questions that will be answered in this fun hands on class.  It is Saturday March 5th from 2-5:30pm.



We quilters have so many more interests than just quilting… come check out the classes on knitting, felting, sewing and surface design… if you can think it, its probably being taught here.

Who will I see there?

Quilt on, My Friends!


Did you know that…..

The Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival has added quilting to their lineup.

If you are like me…. we quilters don’t just quilt…. we knit, crochet, felt, weave, dye and so much more!  Well, Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet festival has it all!  Come join me in my quilting classes or come learn something new!  I don’t have too many teaching gigs on the books this year but this is one of them AND I am teaching 4 hands on classes….

Totally Templates and   Gettin in the Groove for those who want to try their hand at templates.  They will transform your quilting!


Crown Jewels

Crown Jewels

Neon Lights

Neon Lights


Once you learn the tricks its pretty easy!







Feathers for the Timid!  Do you have  phobia of feathers and think they are out of reach…. they aren’t!

Not so Plain, Jane!


Longwood quilt

Longwood quilt








Pebbles, Echoes, Crosshatches, Oh My!   This is my new fills class.  Most of you know that I have spacial issues, I have learned to deal with it by quilting everything!  But how do you know what fills to use and how big/small to make them?  This class will help you out with those decisions.

I would love to see you all there!!

Quilt on, My Friends!