Monday, July 10, 2017


My latest quilt pattern, Sweet Lizzie, is currently available as a kit through Keepsake Quilting.  The pattern is also available from me through my Etsy shop.  The quilt uses RJR Fabrics Afternoon in the Attic, which is full of flowery, romantic pastel fabrics.  The pattern also includes the master foundation patterns as a second option to foundation-piece the three- and four-inch variable star blocks and the three-inch snowball blocks.

Unfortunately, it has just come to my attention that there is a typo error on page 8.  Obviously, this is one of the biggest fears of a pattern designer!  I do proofread everything at least a dozen times, and triple-check all of my measurements, but this one little fraction slipped passed me.  I apologize to everyone who has purchased the pattern and am hoping that anyone who has started making the pattern will see this blog post or my post on Facebook.  For the Etsy patterns I sell directly, I have made the change already.

 3" Variable Square--Star Points--Cut four 1-5/8" squares, then cut diagonally once--yields 8 triangles.

If you purchased the kit or pattern and would like an updated pdf version of page 8, please email me at and write PAGE 8 in the Subject Line and I will email it to you.  My apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused!

Here are some additional pictures of the quilt:

And a big thank you to Joanne Flamand of Alberta, Canada who quilted Sweet Lizzie for me.  She did a beautiful job!

And for those of you who think that I have given up my blog altogether, I haven't!  This has been a crazy and unpredictable year so far and I have just not had the motivation to write about much of anything.  A few months ago, we had to cope with the unexpected loss of my mother-in-law the night we got home from our 30th anniversary vacation.  Thankfully, we were able to say our sad good-byes just in time, as though she were waiting for us to come home.  It was a shock the way it all played out, but life won't be the same without her.  She was truly one of the best "mother-in-laws" I could have asked for and I am grateful that she and I had such a wonderful relationship over the last 34 years.  Even though she never took up sewing, she absolutely loved and adored quilts and everything handmade.  She loved everything I ever made or gave her and I know she truly appreciated all of it.  She would have been 90 this week. 

I've also been trying to play "catch-up" on my own quilts and things that have been left unfinished for way too long.  I've made a little progress, which I will show in another post.  But the reality is, I don't think I will ever "catch up!"  So it's been a matter of setting priorities and juggling my time between work and quilting.

Our custom apparel business my husband and I own has also been extremely time-consuming this year as well.  We are currently in the process of expanding and growing and while it is all very exciting, it has taken up much more of my quilting time.  So when I do have a moment to spare, you better believe it is in front of my sewing machine and not in front of the computer!  I do have a couple of things I plan to share in further detail on my blog that I have already posted pics of on both Instagram and Facebook, it's just a matter of taking the time to write. 

To those of you who are still following along with me, thank you for your loyalty and tremendous patience!  I hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far.  And again, my apologies for the pattern error!  Happy Quilting!


Thursday, March 30, 2017

How I Fit a Cable to a Border

Yesterday I posted this picture on Instagram showing how I fit a cable on a border and make it wrap around corners evenly.  This has been a question I've been asked repeatedly ever since I posted about machine quilting cables on a home sewing machine.  I thought I would share it with you while it's fresh in my mind, but keep in mind, there is math involved!  It also requires software that allows you to resize an image.  I use Adobe Photoshop.
First, I measure my borders to get precise dimensions.  You need to measure at the seam line where the border is sewn to the quilt, not along the outermost edge of the border.  I never use a plastic tape measure, they are not accurate.  I use the metal type you find in any hardware store.  I place the one-inch measurement on the very corner of the seam line, measure across, then subtract one-inch from the final dimension.  The quilt I am working on measured 42 7/8" by 59 7/16" and I converted these dimensions to decimals--42.875" by 59.4375".
I have a large variety of cable quilt stencils, but rarely do they ever fit the border of a quilt perfectly unless I design a quilt specifically to fit a stencil repeat.  In addition, none were wide enough for this border, which is 7 inches.  I also knew that I wanted the repeats to work out evenly on all four sides so that the cable would wrap each corner.  This meant I had to find a common fraction for the repeat size that would work with both border measurements and would divide evenly.  So rather than get into overly complicated math (from high school classes that I have no memory of!),  I take each border dimension and divide it by 4, 5, 6 and 7 (or whatever numbers are appropriate for the size quilt I am working on) until I get a size that is as close possible for both border dimensions:
You can see that approximately 8.5" is the closest measurement each side shares.  To get a bit more precise, I subtract the difference between the two and then divide by 2:  8.575 - 8.491 = .084, then .084 ➗ 2 = .042.  I subtract the .042 and add .042 as follows:  8.575 - .042 = 8.533 and 8.491 + .042 = 8.533.  This gives me the final measurement of the cable repeat I will need--8.533", knowing that the shorter borders will have five total repeats and the long borders will have seven total repeats.  I also know that I will have to fudge the cables a little to make the repeats meet the corners precisely, due to the slight differences in measurement for the cable repeat for each size border, but I do that as I am drawing them onto the quilt and once they are quilted, it looks seamless.

Next I scan the cable stencil in my scanner with a black piece of cardboard on top of it so that the lines will scan black when I open the image file in Photoshop.  It is critical to lay the stencil as straight as possible on the scanning bed.  I am only concerned with scanning the repeat, not the corner part, at this point.  I use the cropping tool in my scanning software to select the repeat as precisely as I can, scan, and then save the file as a .jpg image.  I then open the file in Photoshop and make sure that the repeat is precisely selected with the Marquee tool, deleting any excess area outside of the cable lines, and crop if necessary.  Then I change the dimensions of the image under the menu Image→Image Size, making sure the Constrain Proportions box is unchecked, and type in the size I want.  In this case I wanted the Document Size to be 7" wide (cable width) and 8.533" (length of repeat) inches high.  I set the Resolution Size to 300 pixels per inch.  I also adjust the brightness and contrast of the image in Image→Adjustments→Brightness/Contrast by setting the brightness and contrast settings to the far right until the background of the image is bright white and the lines are dark black.   After I save the new image, I can print as many repeats as I need, cutting and taping them together to fit the border.  This is where I double-check my math and fudge repeats to fit as necessary if needed.

Next I repeat the same process for the corner cable, selecting just the corner part of the stencil and following the same steps as I did for the repeat, above.  The only difference is, since this is a corner, I want it perfectly square, not rectangular like the repeat above.  Holding down the Shift key while selecting the image will keep the bounding box perfectly square.  For this corner cable, I set the Document Size at 7" by 7" (which is the width of cable itself). 
I print and tape this to one end of the length of the cable.  I now have a complete master of my cable which I trace onto the quilt using a light table and my blue soluble markers.
Hope this gives you a better idea on how to fit cables to your borders.  It sounds complicated, but once you do it, you will be so happy that you can actually make a cable wrap around four corners of a quilt and have it look seamless!  Happy Quilting!