Blog - Handi Quilter

Ice Dyed Baby (with super cool quilting)

Have you seen this fabulous Ice Dyed Baby poster? Handi Quilter created this fun poster with the Debra Linker ice dyed pieces that were quilted by some of the Handi Quilter educators.

ice dyed baby poster

I want to share with you some of these quilts and their quilters. The quilting on them is fabulous! They will be seen at shows around the country. So keep an eye out to enjoy them up close and personal. Watch the Handi Quilter Facebook page for announcements of where they will be. Be sure to click the “LIKE” button so you will stay up to date on all things Handi Quilter, also watch your Instagram feed and be sure to follow us with the hashtag #handiquilter.

Quilted Ice Dye

Kaleidoscope Flower
by Vicki Kerkvliet


by Megan Best


Quilted Ice Dyed

The Beat Goes On
by Mary Beth Krapil


Stars and Garters
by Marie Eldredge


Quilted Ice Dyed

Sunny Beaches
by Linda Matteotti


Sky at Dusk
by Linda Gosselin


Iced Dahlia
by Kelly Ashton


Quilted Ice Dyed

Pretty in Pink
by Jane Hauprich


by Harriet Carpaninni


My Mid-Century Blossom
by Gina Siembieda


Blinged Bubbles
by Denise Best


by Susan Manry


by Allison Spence


Will you try your hand at quilting Ice Dyed, Baby?


by Mary Beth Krapil




2019-08-15T14:35:55-06:00August 17th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|2 Comments

Amazing Together


This is my ice dyed mini created by the talented, Debra Linker, and gifted by Handi Quilter. It’s uniquely beautiful. I am itching to quilt it.

Each person who attended HQ Academy got to take one of these treasures home with them. Handi Quilter issued a challenge: to quilt them and bring them back, to be displayed at next year’s Academy. Which by the way will be June 16-19, 2020. I cannot wait to see!

The ice dyed minis created a centerpiece at each table at our banquet.

When they are together it is amazing! The colors play together and compliment each other. And what quilter can’t appreciate the beauty of 250 hand dyed fat quarters all in one place?

See the ice dye quilts hung on the wall in the background? The HQ Educators quilted those a few years ago. I wrote a blog post them a while back. Sadly, many of our older posts were lost in a major website crash. I will share those quilts with you next week. This year HQ created a fun poster of those quilts.

ice dyed baby poster


The Spirit of Academy

It’s just that way with us. Each quilter is creative, talented, and uniquely beautiful. But when we come together it is amazing. We play together, compliment each other and best of all learn from each other. The spirit that is created by the joining of us all in one place is the most fantastic thing ever. That’s what HQ Academy is all about. Every one of us returns home enriched.

I hope that when you get home, you have a guild or bee or simply some quilty friends with which you can pass along the spirit of Academy and a thing or two of what you learned.

Don’t forget to quilt your ice dyed mini. Seeing all of them together again, this time quilted, will be amazing!

By Mary Beth Krapil

2019-08-09T10:52:41-06:00August 10th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|2 Comments

Basic Things

Basic Things

Sometimes we take for granted the really basic things and forget how important they are in our lives.

There have been many times in my career as both a pharmacist and a HQ Educator that I have learned to remember the basics and to explain, completely, the process I am trying to relate. Just that one tiny piece of information can make all the difference. Here’s an example: As a very new pharmacist, a Mom came to me with her sunburned child and asked what she should do for him. I suggested she put the child in the bathtub with some baking soda. She called the pharmacy a bit later and asked if she should sprinkle the baking soda on her kid, or just put it in the tub and have the child lay on it. Water. That one basic thing I took for granted and did not say to add baking soda to the WATER in the bath tub. (You can’t make this stuff up).

I have heard questions in the quilting world that would not have come up IF the Basic Things were explained.

So here are a few of the basic things when it come to longarm quilting.

Turn your machine on properly.

It is important to turn your machine on and let it completely boot up before you start to quilt. These machines have software components that need to complete their start up procedures in order for the machine to work the way it should.

I unplug my machine any time it is not being used. So first, I plug it in. I plug it in to a battery back-up surge protector. I like for my electronic equipment to be as protected as possible from fluctuations in power. Please consult your local geek (computer expert) for what kind and where to purchase.


Then I turn on the switch at the back of the machine.

Next, I go to the front of the machine and turn on the power switch there. While my machine is booting up, I use the time to change to the thread I will be using that day.

Once I am sure my machine is ready, I turn on my Pro-Stitcher tablet and allow it to completely boot up. While that is happening, I wind my bobbins and clean and oil my bobbin race.

Place the drop of oil where it belongs

Speaking of oiling, it is important to oil the bobbin race in the right place for the oil to be able to do its job. One drop of oil goes on the little ledge at the front of the bobbin race. (See photo)

One tiny drop of oil every time you change the bobbin is all it takes to keep things running smoothly.

Shut your machine down properly

If you quilt with Pro-Stitcher, shut it down first.

Go to the File Tab > Shut Down button and choose Shut Down from the menu

Wait til the screen goes black. While you are waiting you can dust off your table and remove any stray threads from your tracks and your wheels. You will be glad you did the next time you quilt.

Once the PSP screen is black, press the front power button on the machine. Move to the back of the machine and turn off the power at the back, then unplug.

There you go. Basic things, but oh, so important. Stay tuned, more basics to come.

Oh! And please use sunscreen.

by Mary Beth Krapil

2019-07-18T12:29:09-06:00August 3rd, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|7 Comments

UQSM Moda Fabric Challenge Quilts

The UQSM Moda fabric challenge quilts acquired by Handi Quilter are hanging in the gallery as a special exhibit. Moda Fabrics sponsored the challenge and featured the “Looking Forward” collection of fabrics by Jen Kingwell.

Looking forward

Looking Forward fabric collection by Jen Kingwell

The show held a live auction where the competition quilts were sold and 100% of the proceeds were donated to Sew Much Hope.


Sew much Hope

Sew Much Hope operates to restore hope and balance to communities devastated by war, genocide and poverty by providing sewing machines to enable impoverished individuals to create a better life for their families and communities, one sewing machine at a time. They work with other organizations, governments and communities to develop solutions and programs that allow the poorest of the poor to earn income, start a micro-business, or simply mend clothing and improve living standards for their families. Sew Much Hope also provides electric machines locally, to libraries and community centers in Utah. They encourage sewing education to help build and enrich lives through the art of sewing.

We were thrilled to add these wonderful quilts to our collection and contribute to a worthy organization.

You are welcome to come visit the gallery to see these quilts. For those of you who are not able to come, here’s the next best thing.

The UQSM Moda Fabric Callenge Quilts from the Handi Quilter collection:

Pieced by Shannon White
Quilted by Sharlene Russell


Seeking Serenity
by Jolly Stanford


by Connie Eagle


Paper Round
by Kimberly Sandberg


Garden of Cassiopia
by Lynne S Dallmeyer-Hartman


Flying Forward
by Deonn Stott


Fairy Garden
by Annette Falvo


Circle Forward
by Louise Mudd


I am amazed by the variety of quilts created from the same fabric collection!

The UQSM Moda Fabric challenge quilts are inspirational and entering one of these challenges looks like a lot of fun. Have you ever entered a fabric challenge? What did you learn by making a quilt with rules and restrictions as to fabric selection?

by Mary Beth Krapil

2019-07-05T15:14:25-06:00July 27th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Vintage Baby Quilts

Handi Quilter has a gallery where collections of quilts are displayed. These three vintage baby quilts were tops rescued (from Ebay) by Brenda Groelz, Director of Marketing and Education.  The makers of the tops are unknown and they were finished with quilting by Handi Quilter National Educators . They are hanging in the gallery right now. If you’d like to see them in person, please feel free to visit.


HQ gallery quilt

Farm Yard Friends
quilted by Vicki Kerkvliet
pieced by Anonymous


Merry Go Round
quilted by Diane Henry
pieced by Anonymous


HQ Gallery baby quilt

Night Night Teddie
quilted by Kelly Ashton
pieced by anonymous


So sweet! Have you quilted any vintage baby quilts? What challenges did you face? Please share and post a picture!


by Mary Beth Krapil

2019-07-05T14:09:58-06:00July 20th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|2 Comments

Landscape Quilts

At the Quilters Unlimited show in Chantilly, VA this May I noticed quite a few lovely landscape quilts. It’s interesting to me how a theme just forms naturally at some shows.  This time there were numerous landscape quilts. I was taken by the quilter’s abilities to create dimension with their color choices and their quilting patterns. At Handi Quilter we are all about quilting patterns.


Of course I want to share some of them with you!


Landscape Quilts

Maratea Morning
by Kerry O Britton
of Arlington, VA

I love the soft colors and peacefulness  of this quilt.


Landscape Quilts

The Path Well Traveled: Santorini
by Kerry O Britton
of Arlington, VA

This quilt demonstrates amazing depth.



Landscape Quilts

The Scrap Bag….Was a Challenge
by Jennifer Thorp
of Arlington, VA

These cute little houses and their background is a place I want to go for a tropical vacation.



Landscape Quilts

Sail the USA
by Rosemary Ryan
of Centreville, VA

Can’t you just feel the sea breezes?




Landscape Quilts

Planting the Fields
by Dottie McQueenie
of Haymarket, VA

Great perspective and lovely little details make this a wonderful quilt.



Landscape Quilts

Choose your Horizon
by Ginny Mayes
of Mt Vernon, VA

The Modern take on landscapes. Very cool!


I’m putting a landscape quilt on my quilting bucket list. How about you? Have you made a landscape quilt? What was your inspiration?


by Mary Beth Krapil

2019-06-17T18:05:09-06:00July 13th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|3 Comments

Handi Quilter Academy 2019

Handi Quilter Academy 2019 is in the books. It was bigger and better than all the Academies that have gone before. But the spirit was the same as it has been from the very first Academy. Everyone there, staff, teachers and attendees alike, were excited to share their passion. We all love to finish quilts and love exploring new and beautiful ways to accomplish that. We all filled our cups with inspiration from each other.

Hester Helen (Telene) Jeffrey, our keynote speaker, reminded us that inspiration is not going to just fall into our laps. We have to go out and look for it. And she gave us a great visual representation of what happens in our brains when we find inspiration in our world. She said we have to be open to new ideas, willing to try, and to believe in ourselves. You can do all those things at HQ Academy. And more.

At Academy you will laugh,

you will never go hungry,

you will make new friends,

and reunite with old friends who live far away.

You will share ideas,

and learn more than you ever thought was possible.

And let’s not forget the opportunity to shop!

Save the date for Handi Quilter Academy 2020. We would love to see YOU there!




2019-07-07T17:24:27-06:00July 6th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Modern Goes Colorful!

I’ve struggled with a succinct definition of “Modern Quilt” ever since I heard the term several years ago. What exactly makes a quilt modern? Since I talk to lots of quilters in my travels and teaching, I asked them to help me define it. Gathering answers from all over the globe there were a few terms that stood out: Geometric, non-symmetrical, lots of white. I agree with those 3 attributes but I think there’s more to it than that. While I was at the Quilters Unlimited show in Chantilly, VA, I spotted a few quilts that I thought could be considered “Modern” but they did not align with the “lots of white” stipulation. So maybe there’s a new trend in the modern quilting world? Modern goes Colorful?

Examples of colorful modern

by Nancy Hoskins
of Annandale, VA

Nancy’s background is grey! And it is not a solid and it is pieced. Loved the softness of this quilt.

by Robin Tilsworth
of Arlington, VA

Robin’s negative space (background) is quite dark but very effective at showing off the colors of the piecing.


Intersections With Attitude!!!
by Bonnie Anderson
of Haymarket, VA

Bonnie used grey as well, am I sensing a trend here? I really love that she quilted with red thread. (Sorry I didn’t get a close-up)


Gypsy Wife
by Martha Bush
of Annandale, VA
quilted by Cindy Luby

Martha’s quilt is on the borderline of Modern vs Traditional with all those traditional blocks, but I think her unusual choice for background pushes it into the Modern camp.


Lemon Lime Pop
by Emily Mickelwait
of Haymarket, VA

Now we’ve got the Modern Goes Colorful vibe really going on with this quilt. Some of my favorite modern quilts have the blocks start out as traditional but then seemingly fall apart and scatter. I loved Emily’s color choice! It was much brighter in person, the photo toned it down some.


by Bonnie Rhoby
of Reston, VA

Bonnie’s hand-dyed background is fabulous. Definitely Modern Goes Colorful!

If you are interested in a comprehensive explanation of Modern Quilting, the Modern Quilt Guild has a great read on their website. A recent HQ Live showcased some modern improv quilting, too.

Are you a modern quilter, and what is your definition?


by Mary Beth Krapil


2019-06-27T09:32:26-06:00June 29th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|1 Comment

Gifting Quilts

Weddings, graduations, baby showers, and Father’s Day are all great occasions for gifting quilts! Quilters show our love and affection to family and friends through our passion. We put tons of time, thought and money into making a quilt gift. As we stitch it together, we think loving thoughts of the recipient.  It’s sharing a small part of our soul, when we give a quilt.

I’ve heard from quite a few quilters in the last weeks about how upset they are about how their gift is being treated or how it is not being used as intended.

“I can’t believe they put in in a closet!”

“They keep it in their car!”

“It went on a picnic!”

“The dogs (cats, hamsters, lizards) lay on it!”

“They washed it in bleach (hot water, with their blue jeans)!”

The Solution

In my mind, there is only one way to remedy this situation. Tell them!

Do you want the baby quilt to get used and washed and spit up on and washed and loved and washed? Tell Them.

Is the quilt meant to be used on the couch for snuggling and movie watching and reading? Tell Them.

Did you intend the quilt to be used carefully on a guest bed or to be hung on the wall? Tell Them.

Quilts can also be heirlooms meant to be handed down through generations. No one will ever know, unless you Tell Them.

Often times the person who receives your quilt has no idea how much time, money and love went into making it. These are the people who call quilts (shudder) “blankets” and it’s up to you to educate them. They may not know the best way to care for a quilt. Include a card with instructions. The Quilting Company has put together a printable Quilt Care PDF that you can download and print. Here’s another one: (its got all of those hieroglyphics that no one knows what they mean, but will make you seem sophisticated).

On the other hand, they may know how dedicated you are and how much of your energy goes into the quilts you make and my not want to “spoil” the quilt by using it. Be sure to talk with the recipient and say something like, “Please use this quilt. I made it for baby to be loved and comforted. It is not an heirloom. Use it and wash it. Put it on the floor for baby to play. If it wears out, I can make another. ”  Here’s a cute poem (sorry I do not know the author, it’s been used by me for many years):

Your Baby Quilt

This quilt is made of cloth and thread

To place upon your little bed.

It’s not an heirloom just to keep,

But to lay upon as you count sheep.

Or perhaps the floor’s the perfect place

For a doll and teddy picnic space.

This quilt can be anything you dream

From Superman’s cape to the robe of a Queen.

Pretend it’s a raft adrift at sea,

Or just cuddle up and watch TV.

So use it up and wear it out.

I promise I won’t yell or pout.

Just tell me when it’s days are through,

And I’ll make another, just for YOU.


When gifting quilts, Tell Them or you are not allowed to complain!

How do you convey this information?  Does anyone know who wrote that poem? I would love to give credit. Tell us in the comments.

by Mary Beth Krapil, Handi Quilter National Educator

2019-06-17T09:24:54-06:00June 22nd, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|9 Comments

New Tools!

Handi Quilter introduced two fantastic new tools that we can use to finish more quilts! I love how Handi Quilter is always innovating and coming up with ways to make our quilting faster, easier, more fun and better.

If you are a Little Foot frame quilter you’re going to love this:

HQ Little Buddy

The Little Buddy includes special brackets and poles which allow the quilt to be rolled and advanced to simplify quilting small quilts on your space-saving Little Foot Frame. You can quilt up to 48 inch wide quilts using the Little Buddy and you can still quilt larger quilts in the usual manner on the Little Foot frame. The package includes appropriately sized leaders. You can get it now for a special introductory price!

The other new tools are for sit down quilters, and not just Sweet Sixteen quilters. Maybe you quilt on your HQ Stitch 710 or your domestic machine? These will be great for you as well!

HQ Sweet Spots and HQ Paddles

Both the Sweet Spots and the Paddles offer a non-slip grip to help you keep the quilting area flat and to easily move the quilt sandwich. The two control knobs on the paddles provide a comfortable free-motion quilting experience. Place the Sweet Spots or the Paddles on either side of the machine needle while applying light downward pressure. The special non-slip material on the base ensures that the fabric moves without the layers shifting. You can quilt for hours without hand fatigue. Maintain the non-slippiness (I made that word up) by cleaning lint and threads from the bottom with sticky tape. Yay!

Be sure to keep up to date with all the new products and tools from Handi Quilter by subscribing to our newsletter. You’ll be glad you did!

by Mary Beth Krapil

2019-06-12T09:52:30-06:00June 15th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|3 Comments