Quilting Fun Archives - Handi Quilter

Shop @ Home LIVE

Shop @ Home Live!  If you’re on Facebook you probably already know about this fun new event that Handi Quilter hosts on our Facebook page each week.

If not, I’m gonna get you up to speed!

It happens every Tuesday at 2p Eastern, 1p Central, Noon Mountain, and 11a Pacific time.

It is on our Facebook fan page. Facebook.com/handiquilter

It’s a LIVE video filled with quilting tips and education. You can ask questions in the comments. Some questions are answered LIVE on the air and others are answered in the comments.

There are chances to win a prize!

Every week we feature a special item at a super special price. The presenters will tell you all about the item and it’s features and how to use it. You get your questions answered by an expert and you can purchase right from the comfort and safety of home.

Do you like to support your local Handi Quilter retailer? No worries! Just let us know and the sale will get credited to your local retailer just as if you bought it in their shop.

Please join us for Shop @ Home LIVE! You’ll be glad you did.

P.S. if you can’t make it live, you can watch any time later. A recording will stay on our Facebook page. You can also enjoy the special pricing because it will stay in effect til Sunday at Midnight Mountain time. We’ve got you covered.

 

Machine Quilting 101

The adventure continues!  Diane continues to quilt and learn and has some questions for Mary Beth. Read some of the previous blog posts to learn about Diane Harris and her adventures in learning machine quilting on her new Handi Quilter Capri with the help of Mary Beth Krapil.

By Diane Harris, HQ Stitch Brand Ambassador

HQ Stitch Diane Harris Machine Quilting 101

and

Mary Beth Krapil, Handi Quilter National Educator

 

Diane: I started machine quilting an old UFO this week, and because I’m not experienced, I had questions right away. Mary Beth is a seasoned longarm quilting pro and is always just a text away. I sent my questions to her!

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My general plan was to outline or echo quilt the horses, to put scallops in the setting squares and to finish off with ribbon candy in the borders. (Debby Brown, another Handi Quilter National Educator, has gotten me hooked on ribbon candy!)

Once around the pony didn’t look too bad so I echo quilted a few more times. I always get ahead of myself.

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I stopped to see what Mary Beth thought because I wasn’t sure it was wise to continue.

A Little Q & A

Q (Diane): Should I stick with one outline here or continue with echo quilting?

A (Mary Beth): That’s a matter of personal preference. If you like it, go for it. Audition with Quilter’s Preview Paper before you commit. 

I personally do not like echo quilting, for the most part. Echo quilting creates motion and when quilted around some shapes like animals it makes them look like they are shivering or vibrating. Also, unless echo quilting is super-well executed it looks sloppy.

On the other hand, there are some instances that echo quilting is perfect. Have you seen Hawaiian quilts quilted in this style? That is an example of echo quilting that really sings! To do it well you need tools to get those echos nice and evenly spaced. The Handi Echo Feet work perfect for this. The Echo Feet Kit is a set of three acrylic feet with a ring that extends the width of the hopping foot. The feet provide a fixed interval to use when echo quilting around a motif. The Echo Feet provide a 3/8-inch interval, a 1/2-inch interval, and a 3/4-inch interval. When quilting an echo, position the edge of your foot on the edge of your applique and stitch using the edge of the foot as a guide to keep your echo uniform.

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In the end, I took out all but one outline of the ponies. Now I’m happy with their appearance.

Between the ponies are checkerboards of 2″ squares. I tried machine quilting scallops/curved lines but I realized that if you’re using the patchwork to create something regular, then it has to BE regular (as in consistent) or it looks sloppy.

Q: Do the scallops in the square patches work? Should I fill in the middle, or fill in the scallops, or leave it alone?

A: Yes, I love continuous curve (what you call scallops) in checkerboards! This works so well because one of the principles to remember when you are choosing machine quilting designs is that curved quilting lines accentuate straight line piecing. And what could be more straight line than checker board?

I like to use a ruler for continuous curve and the curve at the bottom of the Handi Versa Tool is usually my go to. Using a ruler keeps the scallops all the same height.

However, with practice, it is possible to get fairly even and consistent continuous curve doing free motion. Here’s a tip, (this applies to ANY free motion quilting): Look ahead. Don’t look at your needle. Your eye should be on your goal. Start in an intersection, Your eye is there where your needle starts. Then your eye should be at the next intersection. As you quilt to that goal you will naturally make a nice smooth curve. If you are looking at the needle you will try too hard and quilt a wobbly curve instead. Once you reach the 2nd intersection your eye goes to the NEXT one. Look ahead to your goal. The other advantage of this is that your quilting line will go to the intersection if you are looking at it.

I put a version of ribbon candy over two borders: the checkerboard and the narrow orange. If I could redo it, I would probably quilt them separately.

MB: I know you didn’t ask, but I will pipe in here anyway 🙂 You have good instincts, Diane. When it comes to narrow borders I always stitch in the ditch on both sides. Often times, these are referred to as “stop borders”; they stop the eye and let the viewer know they are leaving the body of the quilt and are entering the border. If you combine the stop border with another part and treat them as one it defeats the purpose.

I prefer to define and accentuate that stop with stitch in the ditch. I know it is no fun to stitch in the ditch. It is slow and boring and when you get done, if you did it right, no one sees it! But it really makes a difference in the appearance of the quilt. In the case of a narrow border, it creates a channel which is a design feature that I love to incorporate in my quilting. Worth the practice time to get good at it.

Had a little “whoops” on this one. I squashed him flat!

In the final border, I repeated the pattern and nested the loops together. I like the idea of nesting, but I’m disappointed with the overall effect.

(MB: Love the nesting! Keep that in your bag of tricks.)

My problem is a failure to plan.

Why am I averse to planning? Sometimes I think I need a therapist more than I need a quilting coach.

I get so excited about my ideas for quilting. I start right in without thinking it all through. My personal style is to make decisions as I go. It’s how I design quilts, it’s how I cook, it’s just how I function.

Note to self:

Failure to Plan = Planning to Fail

Maybe that’s too harsh. The little UFO is finished, and that’s a good thing. I learned some stuff. And I got in a few hours of practice.

MB: Maybe it’s not a failure to plan but a failure to preview. You are just jumping into this and are gaining experience, learning what works and what doesn’t. Previewing helps with that learning curve, so keep that Quilter’s Preview Paper at the ready. And call me, I’ll be your therapist.

Onward!

Follow along as Diane makes her way through Machine Quilting 101. Will she graduate? Will she find quilting happiness? Tune in next week.

 

Third-Annual Million Pillowcase Challenge 24-Hour Sew-a-Thon

 

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Since 2010,American Patchwork & Quilting has been challenging quilters, crafters, and sewers across the country to help reach the goal of donating 1 million pillowcases to local charities.Since inception, more than 687,000 pillowcases have been recorded on the challenge website. Handi Quilter is proud to be a sponsor of the Million Dollar Pillowcase Challenge, along with other sponsors, including Baby Lock, Coats, Free Spirit Fabric, Martingale, Moda Fabrics, Northcott, Paintbrush Studio, Robert Kaufman, and Timeless Treasures Fabrics.

American Patchwork & Quilting is hosting the third annual One Million Pillowcase Challenge 24-Hour Sew-a-Thon at its headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa. Starting at 3:00 P.M. on Friday, September 16 and running through 3:00 P.M. on Saturday, September 17, the public is invited to Meredith Corporation to sew pillowcases for local Des Moines charities. However, quilters not in the Des Moines area are encouraged to join in the fun and make their own pillowcases to donate to charities in their local area.

More than 1,480 pillowcases were made at the event in 2015 and distributed to Central Iowa charities such as Blank Children’s Hospital, Youth Emergency Services and Shelter, Rebuilding Together, Child Serve, Hope Ministries, Orchard Place, Catholic Charities, Lutheran Services in Iowa, and Children’s Cancer Connection.

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Handi Quilter has donated the sew-off quilts that are created as part of the testing process of Handi Quilter machines after they are built. The sew-offs will become pillowcases as part of this weekend’s Sew-a-Thon. We invite shops and guilds to let us know if they are interested in making pillowcases (or even quilts) from our sew-off quilts, and we will send them some sew-offs to use.

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It’s not to late for you to become involved in the One Million Pillowcase Challenge. American Patchwork & Quilting magazine even has more than 50 pillowcase patterns to choose from if you need some inspiration.

2017-07-24T13:53:26-06:00August 23rd, 2016|Categories: News & Events, Quilting Fun|0 Comments

Recap of the 2016 HMQS Show

 

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The Home Machine Quilting Show (HMQS) is underway in Salt Lake City and the quilting awards have been announced. Handi Quilter sponsors the Main Stage (where the awards take place), as well as the Best of Show quilt award. We were also happy that there were several other Handi Quilter connections throughout the awards ceremony.

The first award was Teacher of the Year. Congratulations to the newest HQ ambassador Laurie Tigner for being named Teacher of the Year.

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Laurie also won quilting awards in a couple of the quilting categories, so it was a big day for Laurie.

Last year’s Teacher of the Year was Suzanne Hyland, also an HQ ambassador. This year HMQS featured a special exhibit of Suzanne’s fabulous quilts. Here are a few to enjoy:

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We also want to congratulate Margaret Solomon Gunn for her first place award in the Traditional Whole Cloth category. Margaret quilts with an HQ Fusion.

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And of course Handi Quilter was honored to present the Best of Show award to Nancy Prince for her quilt “On This Winter Day”.

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Handi Quilter also sponsors the Youth quilt category. It is so wonderful to see quilts pieced and machine quilted by young quilters.

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We also want to congratulate two Handi Quilter employees who received quilting awards: Marie Eldredge and Connie Eagle.

Connie received a judge’s choice award for her Quilt of Valor challenge quilt. Awesome job Connie!

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And we love Marie Eldredge’s distinct quilting style that always brings oohs and ahhs. Marie received a teacher’s choice award for this amazing quilt:

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Congratulations to all of the quilters who received awards at this year’s HMQS show!

2017-07-24T13:53:27-06:00May 6th, 2016|Categories: Gallery, Quilting Fun|0 Comments

Get to Know HQ National Educator: Megan Best

Megan Best has always loved fabrics, and made her first quilt while in high school. She continued to foster this love throughout her education, achieving degrees in apparel design and merchandising/textiles. Thousands of quilts later, she still loves to create.

Megan’s career in the fabric industry includes experience in fabric stores, retail management, quilt shop ownership, and as a professional longarm quilter. She excels in both computerized and free-motion quilting, winning many ribbons at local and national shows. She loves her HQ18 Avanté® and HQ Pro-Stitcher®.

Megan’s teaching career includes experience as a college instructor, a quilting teacher for local guilds and retail shops, and an instructor at national and international machine quilting shows.

Be sure to see how Megan approached the HQ educator challenge quilt:

Megan lives in NW Washington, has two children, and a very supportive husband. Visit her atwww.bestquilter.com

2017-07-24T13:53:28-06:00March 14th, 2016|Categories: Education, Quilting Fun|0 Comments