Uncategorized Archives - Handi Quilter

Cyber Quilt Show

I love going to quilt shows. I love getting inspired by looking at the quilts. I love shopping the vendors and I love to take classes to learn a new thing or three. I’ll bet you do too! Right now we need to keep our distance from one another, so quilt shows have had to cancel or re-schedule. In an effort to keep our quilting community close (is that a bad word?) and keep the inspiration flowing, Handi Quilter is hosting the Cyber Quilt Show.

At the Cyber Quilt Show we can do all the things we love doing at a quilt show and still keep ourselves healthy and do our part in keeping our country and the world safe.  Join us for a special online event complete with show discounts*, education events, and inspiration galore! It’s the next best place to find great show deals and longarm education. Looking for inspiration or have questions about our longarm machines or accessories? Just ask. We’re here to help you find the tools and resources you need to create beautiful quilts finished with craftsmanship and care.

Learn

Mary Beth Krapil teaching class

Take advantage of the FREE classes available on the website with more to come during the month of the show, great quilting education provided by our talented Handi Quilter educators.

Spark

AQS QuiltWeek – Fall Paducah 2018, Janome America Best of Show Winner, FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS by Kathy K. Wylie

AQS QuiltWeek – Fall Paducah 2018, Janome America Best of Show Winner, FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS by Kathy K. Wylie

Looking for some quilty inspiration? Scroll down on the home page to see the quilts in the show, then post your quilts on social media with the hashtag #cyberquiltshow and you just might see your quilt “hanging” in the show on the website. What a great way to inspire one another!

Save

cyber show specials

 

If you’ve been wanting to purchase a longarm machine and have been waiting for a show to take advantage of show special pricing, now is the time to act. During the Cyber Quilt Show we not only have super special prices* but you get FREE shipping* as well! All Handi Quilter longarm purchases come with the assurance of local training, education, and support. We will connect you to your local authorized HQ retailer and that retailer will get credit for the sale, just as if you walked into their shop and bought your machine there. They will train you on the operation of the machine to make sure you will know your machine and have fun finishing your quilts. That training and education is the hallmark of Handi Quilter’s outstanding customer service reputation.

“See” you at the quilt show!

by Mary Beth Krapil

* Show pricing valid through April 25, 2020 only. Discount available for new orders only. Offer is valid only at participating U.S. and Canada Handi Quilter retailers and on the Handi Quilter website. Contact your local retailer for participation details. Free shipping on select machine packages for the 48 contiguous states only. Shipping to Alaska and Hawaii receive a discount toward the total cost of freight charges. May not be combined with any other offers, discounts, or promotions.
2020-03-26T12:34:40-06:00March 27th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

More Fill Designs

Last week we saw some great examples for stipple and pebbles on the quilts at the AQS Quiltweek Show in Daytona Beach, FL. This week we’ll explore even more fill designs and get an idea how they can be used effectively. So let’s dive right in.

Straight Lines

I think the next most popular fill design is simple straight lines. These create great contrast with anything curvy and it is easy to get the right size contrast with straight lines by their spacing. This quilt by Claudia Scheja uses straight lines in multiple places for a great effect of contrast with the circular applique and curved piecing.

In the border:

Spring Thinng by Claudia Scheja of Werne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany AQS Daytona 2020

Spring Thing
by Claudia Scheja
of Werne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

And within the piecing:

Spring Thinng by Claudia Scheja of Werne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany AQS Daytona 2020

detail Spring Thinng
by Claudia Scheja
of Werne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Spring Thinng by Claudia Scheja of Werne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany AQS Daytona 2020

Congratulations!

Varied spacing of straight lines can create some quite interesting texture.

Sheer Joy by Shirley Gisi of Colorado Springs, CO AQS Daytona 2020

detail Sheer Joy
by Shirley Gisi
of Colorado Springs, CO

Sheer Joy by Shirley Gisi of Colorado Springs, CO AQS Daytona 2020

Sheer Joy
by Shirley Gisi
of Colorado Springs, CO

Straight lines create a beautiful contrast and make the trapuntoed quilting motifs really pop.

Paradise of Flowers and Fountains by Naomi Ootomo of Todashi, Saitama, Japan AQS Daytona 2020

detail Paradise of Flowers and Fountains
by Naomi Ootomo
of Todashi, Saitama, Japan

Paradise of Flowers and Fountains by Naomi Ootomo of Todashi, Saitama, Japan AQS Dayton 2020

detail Paradise of Flowers and Fountains
by Naomi Ootomo
of Todashi, Saitama, Japan

Paradise of Flowers and Fountains by Naomi Ootomo of Todashi, Saitama, Japan AQS Daytona 2020

Paradise of Flowers and Fountains
by Naomi Ootomo
of Todashi, Saitama, Japan

Paradise of Flowers and Fountains by Naomi Ootomo of Todashi, Saitama, Japan AQS Daytona 2020

Congratulations!

Hatch

Straight lines can also create hatch fill designs. Hatch fills are a classic fill. Think of all the Sun Bonnet Sue quilts you have seen. What is quilted behind Sue? Cross hatch. This triptych quilt is much more modern but uses hatch fills to great advantage.

Respite by Sandy Curran of Newport News, VA AQS Daytona 2020

detail Respite
by Sandy Curran
of Newport News, VA

Respite by Sandy Curran of Newport News, VA AQS Daytona 2020

Respite
by Sandy Curran
of Newport News, VA

The double lines of this hatch fill makes for nice texture.

Chocolate Fantasy by Linda Fleschner of North Fon du Lac, WI AQS Daytona 2020

Chocolate Fantasy
by Linda Fleschner
of North Fon du Lac, WI

Chocolate Fantasy by Linda Fleschner of North Fon du Lac, WI AQS Daytona 2020

Chocolate Fantasy
by Linda Fleschner
of North Fon du Lac, WI

You saw this quilt by Marilyn Badger last week. It has some nice cross hatching that follows the lines of the plaid fabric. A very nice quiet design choice for a kind of loud fabric. There’s contrast!

detail of Christmas in St Andrews by Marilyn Badger of St George, UT AQS Daytona 2020

detail Christmas in St Andrews
by Marilyn Badger
of St George, UT

detail of Christmas in St Andrews by Marilyn Badger of St George, UT AQS Daytona 2020

Christmas in St Andrews
by Marilyn Badger
of St George, UT

Basket Weave

A bit of a take-off on hatch designs are basket weave fill designs. Basket weave can create interest in an otherwise dull part of a quilt. This is another gorgeous Marilyn Badger quilt.

Midnight in Morocco by Marilyn Badger of St George, UT AQS Daytona 2020

detail Midnight in Morocco
by Marilyn Badger
of St George, UT

 

Midnight in Morocco by Marilyn Badger of St George, UT AQS Daytona 2020

Midnight in Morocco
by Marilyn Badger
of St George, UT

Midnight in Morocco by Marilyn Badger of St George, UT AQS Daytona 2020

Congratulations Again!

This design looks kind of like a basket weave to me. Maybe a “modern” basket weave? This quilt was one of my favorites of the whole show. I love how Cindy used circles to create her self-portrait.

My Big Face by Cindy Stohn of Chandler, AZ AQS Daytona 2020

detail My Big Face
by Cindy Stohn
of Chandler, AZ

My Big Face by Cindy Stohn of Chandler, AZ AQS Daytona 2020

My Big Face
by Cindy Stohn
of Chandler, AZ

My Big Face by Cindy Stohn of Chandler, AZ AQS Daytona 2020

detail My Big Face
by Cindy Stohn
of Chandler, AZ

Geometric Grids

Some of my favorite fill designs are grid designs. I love the symmetry and the texture. This one creates an almost optical illusion.

Venus by Rosani Ganc of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil AQS Daytona 2020

detail Venus
by Rosani Ganc
of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Venus by Rosani Ganc of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil AQS Daytona 2020

Venus
by Rosani Ganc
of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

A unique combination of grid design and stipple. Love! I’m sorry to say I do not know the name of this quilt nor the maker. My apologies!

maker unknown AQS Daytona 2020

maker unknown

The diamond geometric grid fill pattern has the spaces filled with radiator fill. A fill in a fill, how about that?

Dangerous Liaisons by Cristina Arcenegui Bono of Alcala de Guadaira, Spain

detail Dangerous Liaisons
by Cristina Arcenegui Bono
of Alcala de Guadaira, Spain

Dangerous Liaisons by Cristina Arcenegui Bono of Alcala de Guadaira, Spain AQS Daytona 2020

Dangerous Liaisons
by Cristina Arcenegui Bono
of Alcala de Guadaira, Spain

Random Geometric

The variegated thread color and random geometric fill adds so much to the background of this fun quilt.

15 Warthogs by Marilyn Smith of Columbia, MO AQS Daytona 2020

detail 15 Warthogs
by Marilyn Smith
of Columbia, MO

 

15 Warthogs by Marilyn Smith of Columbia, MO AQS Daytona 2020

15 Warthogs
by Marilyn Smith
of Columbia, MO

Margaret Solomon Gunn is the master of fill designs. She combines them artistically to create her wonderful quilts.

The Value of Violet by Margaret Solomon Gunn of Gorham, ME AQS Daytona 2020

The Value of Violet
by Margaret Solomon Gunn
of Gorham, ME

 

The Value of Violet by Margaret Solomon Gunn of Gorham, ME AQS Daytona2020

detail The Value of Violet
by Margaret Solomon Gunn
of Gorham, ME

 

The Value of Violet by Margaret Solomon Gunn of Gorham, ME AQS Daytona 2020

detail The Value of Violet
by Margaret Solomon Gunn
of Gorham, ME

 

The Value of Violet by Margaret Solomon Gunn of Gorham, ME AQS Daytona

detail The Value of Violet
by Margaret Solomon Gunn
of Gorham, ME

 

The Value of Violet by Margaret Solomon Gunn of Gorham, ME AQS Daytona 2020

Congratulations Again!

 

Which fill design is your favorite? There are so many to choose from!

 

by Mary Beth Krapil

 

 

 

2020-03-19T10:38:55-06:00March 21st, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|1 Comment

Fill designs

I had the pleasure of attending the AQS Quiltweek Show in Daytona Beach, FL a few weeks back. The weather was a little chilly this year but the sun was bright and a welcome change from our rainy weather at home. Daytona Beach is a fantastic place for a quilt show in February. The beach, sunshine, quilts and vendors, what could be better? As I enjoy the quilts, I love to check out the quilting. I noticed some amazing fill designs this year. I took a lot of pictures so I could share with you.

 

AQS Quilt show Daytona 2020

Fill designs serve a couple of distinct purposes on quilts. They add interesting texture and serve to emphasize the more major elements. That might be applique or embroidery, or pop a quilting motif forward while smashing down the background.  There were plenty good examples of fill designs at the Daytona show.

Stipple

In days gone by, everyone used a stipple to emphasize a motif or applique. And stipple still works today. Here is a masterful example by Caryl Bryer Fallert on her quilt Electric Ellipses.

Electric Ellipses carol Bryer Fallert AQS Daytona 2020

detail Electric Ellipses
by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry of Port Townsend, WA

Electric Ellipses by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry of Port Townsend, WA AQS Daytona 2020

Electric Ellipses
by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry of Port Townsend, WA

The name of the game is contrast when it comes to fill designs. Notice Caryl used a contrasting color thread and the size of her stipple is smaller than the wiggly line design. The wiggly line pops thanks to the stipple and the thread color creates extra texture and interest. Almost suggesting piecing where there is none.

Here’s an an example of a different kind of stipple that is accomplished with hand quilting. Wow! Can you even imagine how much time went into this quilt?

The Crossing by Linda Roy of Knoxville, TN AQS Daytona 2020

detail The Crossing
by Linda Roy
of Knoxville, TN

The Crossing by Linda Roy of Knoxville, TN AQS Daytona 2020

The Crossing
by Linda Roy
of Knoxville, TN

Congratulations!

Another example of contrasting thread paired with a stipple fill design in Marilyn Badger’s quilt Christmas in St. Andrews.

detail of Christmas in St Andrews by Marilyn Badger of St George, UT AQS Daytona 2020

detail of Christmas in St Andrews
by Marilyn Badger
of St George, UT

detail of Christmas in St Andrews by Marilyn Badger of St George, UT AQS Daytona 2020

detail of Christmas in St Andrews
by Marilyn Badger
of St George, UT

detail of Christmas in St Andrews by Marilyn Badger of St George, UT AQS Daytona 2020

Congratulations!

Stipple is that wiggly pattern that never crosses over itself. Sometimes the stipple is so tiny that you can’t help but cross over. I refer to that fill design as a sand stipple or a scribble. Here’s an example by Margaret Solomon Gunn, who quilts on a HQ Fusion.

My Secret Garden by Margaret Solomon Gunn of Gorham, ME AQS Daytona 2020

detail My Secret Garden
by Margaret Solomon Gunn
of Gorham, ME

My Secret Garden by Margaret Solomon Gunn of Gorham, ME AQS Daytona

My Secret Garden
by Margaret Solomon Gunn
of Gorham, ME

My Secret Garden by Margaret Solomon Gunn of Gorham, ME AQS Daytona

Congratulations!

Pebbles

With the advent of movable longarm quilting machines, more and more show quilts were being machine quilted. The judges got bored with stipple and asked contestants to step up their game with unique fill designs and the pebble (bubble, circles) became wildly popular. So much so, that I think we see more pebbles at a quilt show than stipple.

Remember contrast is important in a fill design so pebbles work well with straight lines. The pebbles on Jodi Robinson’s quilt Plain and Simple really set off the geometric design.

Plain and Simple by Jodi Robinson of Enon Valley, PA AQS Daytona 2020

detail Plain and Simple
by Jodi Robinson
of Enon Valley, PA

Plain and Simple by Jodi Robinson of Enon Valley, PA AQS Daytona 2020

Plain and Simple
by Jodi Robinson
of Enon Valley, PA

Plain and Simple by Jodi Robinson of Enon Valley, PA AQS Daytona 2020

Congratulations!

These pebbles are a nice contrast in shape and size from the straight lines.

Tribal Dance by Jackie Van Houten of Monroe, MI AQS Daytona 2020

detail Tribal Dance
by Jackie Van Houten
of Monroe, MI

Tribal Dance by Jackie Van Houten of Monroe, MI AQS Daytona 2020

Tribal Dance
by Jackie Van Houten
of Monroe, MI

Did I mention size? Size matters when you are going for contrast. Generally, the fill design should be 1/3 or less the size of what it is meant to enhance. Look at these teeny, tiny pebbles! (finger in photo for size reference).

Princess Rose Garden by Naomi Iida of Tokyo, Japan AQS Daytona 2020

detail Princess Rose Garden
by Naomi Iida
of Tokyo, Japan

Princess Rose Garden by Naomi Iida of Tokyo, Japan AQS Daytona 2020

Princess Rose Garden
by Naomi Iida
of Tokyo, Japan

I have photos of other fill designs that I’ll save for next week. In the meantime, practice those stipples and pebbles!

by Mary Beth Krapil

2020-03-04T15:20:01-07:00March 14th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|6 Comments

A guest post from And I Quilt personality Sarah McNary

This week we are so lucky to have a guest post from And I Quilt personality Sarah McNary. Sarah is a pilot, a camper, and she quilts! You can learn more about Sarah and get inspired by watching her And I Quilt video. Here, Sarah is sharing her sources of inspiration when it comes to quilting the quilt and takes the fear out of the words “quilt as desired” Take it away Sarah…..

Sarah McNary And I Quilt

Why Not Take a Chance? Try Something New?: Tips and Lessons Learned from a Wall-Hanging

 

The words “Quilt as desired” may inspire some to let their creativity run free like wild horses; but my creative horses seem more inclined to trot back to the barn for an early dinner and bed. Somehow I always feel that the generous instructor who so thoughtfully detailed each and every step of my quilt pattern has suddenly abandoned me with those ominous words. Then I’m left with the quilter’s equivalent of “writer’s block.”

 

This is when the voices start…my lazy voice argues that, “Edge to edge is good enough.” When I hesitate, she reminds me, “There are no quilt police!”

 

My clever voice advises copying the quilting from the pattern picture. She says, “After all, you liked it well enough to buy it in the first place…maybe that’s why.”

 

But there’s another small voice in amongst the louder ones, and it’s her I’ve come to listen to more and more. She’s the one who whispers, “Why not take a chance? Try something new?”

 

“That’s all fine and well,” I tell her, “but I’m stumped.” And so she begins her sage advice:

Tip #1: Look to the Pattern of the Quilt Itself

In this case, my quilt top is a Marti Mitchell “Hexi Puzzler” pattern, pieced from her templates. I see a nice geometric 6 pointed star that would make a nice ghost pattern of the main motif.

Marti Michell ahexie Puzzler pattern

Tip #2: Look to the Pattern of the Fabrics

In this case, most of my fabrics are from a hand-dyed class I took years ago so don’t have much of a pattern. The background white fabric has white on white dots. They remind me of bubbles which is a fill pattern I’m working on improving. A wall quilt is the perfect place to practice.  It’s not so large that it’s overwhelming but enough space to improve (hopefully).

Tip #3: Look to Contrast Shapes for Visual Balance

Since there are so many straight lines and geometric shapes in this quilt top, it has a more “yang” or masculine feel. Introducing a few curves with more organic, feminine  or “yin” lines may help balance things and what is more suited than a free-motion feather?

 

Tip #4: Choose Color Contrast Based on Your Confidence Level

For this wall-hanging, I know I’ll be stitching scaled stars in the white hexagons (imprecise at best) and the tiny feathers I have planned for the star points present their own challenges in the irregular shape so I’m going with matching thread. White for the white areas and I’m going to commit to all six color changes in every star (all those stops and starts…gulp) to disguise any goofs. I did get lazy and stick with a white bobbin the whole way – full disclosure.

 

Tip #5: Always Ask for Help from Friends

Sometimes, I can’t see the forest for the trees and so I called a fellow quilter to help me decide between two border options. I’d used a sharpie on my preview plastic to help her see what my options looked like full scale on the actual quilt. It didn’t take her more than a minute to decide what I’d been deliberating over for hours.

 

Lessons Learned:

 

I’m not a professional quilter. I quilt for love, for family, for friends and charity on occasion. I’ve won a few ribbons and even had one of my quilts on exhibit in that National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY, but can best be classified as an enthusiastic hobbyist. I do teach classes at a local quilt shop so I like to share what I learn from each quilt I complete.

 

Lesson #1: Always Stitch a Test Pattern when Changing Thread.

 

Check out the lovely green test pattern here – looks pretty good doesn’t it? Now check out the back!!! My green thread was a heavier weight than my white and I didn’t get it fully “flossed” through my tension discs. So glad I caught that before I stitched on my quilt.

Lesson #2: Always Check that Your Method of Marking Comes Out Easily

 

I used my favorite blue, water-erase marker to mark up all my ghost star shapes. It worked great right up until I spritzed water on to check how it was going to look in white on white. The marker disappeared instantly but so did my crisp white background as the nearby green, hand-dyed fabric started to bleed.

marking quilt

 

Side note: it was a great fabric dying class but I am not a natural dyer. Even after multiple rinses and Retayne, my fabrics continue to bleed when wet making them only suitable for wall-hangings which won’t get washed…which I forgot in this case.

 

Luckily, my sister suggested a small paintbrush and a careful hand and although it took far longer and I felt like an amatuer restoration artist, it worked!

 

Lesson #3: Audition Your Thread Choices with Unwound Piles of Thread or Actual Stitching Rather than Whole Spools

 

My favorite blue turned out to be way too dark. Then my next choice was way too light. Feeling a little like Goldilocks I settled on my third choice in order to find the best fit.

thread choices

Lesson #4: It’s Never Too Late to Go Back to Your Longarm

 

After I had squared and trimmed the quilt (I’d even threaded my domestic machine with matching thread to attach the binding), I discovered an un-quilted section of the wall-hanging that hadn’t seemed like much of an issue previously but puffed out haughtily now (I used a double batting on this quilt – Warm and Natural on the bottom, wool batting on top to enhance the definition of my quilting). So I loaded it back on the frame using my Easy Grasp Clamps and quilted the poufs down.

easy grasp clamps

Finally done and ready for our local quilt show!

finished quilt

 

Thanks Sarah! Hopefully we won’t fear those 3 little words at the end of the quilt pattern anymore!

Be sure to catch Sarah’s And I Quilt video and take advantage of the 20% off on all feet during Sarah’s campaign.

AIQ Sarah McNary

2020-03-06T15:34:05-07:00March 6th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|3 Comments

Even more new features of Pro-Stitcher Premium

I’m glad you’ve come back for even more new features of Pro-Stitcher Premium! The Pro-Stitcher Premium Beta software release was made available February 3, 2020. Click here for more information and to download the release. I have saved the best for last. We now have the ability to skew to triangles! I know, right? I can hear your shouts of joy all the way from here!  If you missed the previous posts you can read them here and here.

Three Skew Options

To access the skew function choose the Modify tab and the Skew button. On the sidebar you will see four options: No Skew, Skew, Border Skew and Triangle skew.

3 skew options

1. Skew

This equates to Skew 1 in previous versions. It’s great for 4 cornered, straight block areas. It is the one to use for 4 point area shapes that have fairly straight sides.

skewed block

2. Border Skew

Border Skew works for areas with 4 or more points. The reason it is called border skew is that it is really useful for those wonky borders. If you have been in my classes, you probably remember my sister-in-law, Judy. Judy has a bit of difficulty with sewing a straight, even seam and she also struggles with her rotary cutter. Here is an example of one of her borders.

border skew

You can see the bottom (seam between border and quilt) is pretty wobbly and the top (raw edge of border) shows her deficient fabric cutting skills. Poor Judy! And poor me, because I quilt her quilt tops. But Border Skew comes to my rescue! It will make the design fit between those undulations perfectly and makes me look like a really good quilter. Judy just needs more practice…..a lot more. 😉 If you reading this, Love you Judy!

3. Triangle Skew

With older versions it was a bit of a challenge to skew triangle designs into triangular shaped spaces on our quilts. Now it is a snap!

Here is an example of a design and the triangular area where I want to quilt that design.

plump feathers

Simply touch the Triangle skew button in the side bar and voila! Please note: Triangle Skew will only be an option when the area on your workspace consists of 3 points; otherwise it is greyed out.

skewed plump feathers

It could not be any easier!

Here’s another example with a straight line design.

straight triangle design

Triangle Skew activated.

straight skewed

Looks so good!

Sometimes the design needs to be rotated to look it’s best in the area. Triangle Skew first, and then Modify > Rotate.

curly feathers

Triangle Skew

feather curl skewed

Rotated 45 degrees clock-wise.

feather curls rotated 45

Rotated 90 degrees clock-wise

feather curls 90 degree rotation

Very fast, very easy, and so very cool!

Hope you enjoyed learning about the even more new features of Pro-Stitcher Premium over the last few posts. Is this your favorite, like it is mine? Let me know in the comments.

If you run into any issues on your Pro-Stitcher system with these features of the new Pro-Stitcher beta version we would love to hear your feedback.

Happy (Triangle skew) quilting!

by Mary Beth Krapil

2020-03-06T11:06:39-07:00February 29th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|6 Comments

More new features of Pro-Stitcher Premium

I’m glad you’re back to learn about more new features of Pro-Stitcher Premium! If you missed the first post last week you can read it here. The Pro-Stitcher Premium Beta software release was made available February 3, 2020. Click here for more information and to download the release.

Here’s some more of the wonderful new tools we now have at our disposal. Let us know in the comments which are your favorites.

Record Snap to Grid

Select the Pro-Stitcher tab, then the Record button on the ribbon.

record button

Press Snap to Grid.

snap to grid

When using the Mark feature with Snap to Grid turned on, the marks will land on the nearest grid intersection making the resulting drawing very square and straight. Sometimes you won’t want or need to use this feature, especially if you are marking a curved shape. But if you are marking something with straight lines, it’s the bee’s knees!

If you choose to use Snap to Grid when using Record, your free motion will be quite jagged as it will follow the grid. It kind of looks like the old Etch-a-Sketch.

record with snap

Quilting Space

Have you ever wondered if the next row of an edge-to-edge design will fit in your quilting space? Or if you have really positioned a design properly? Now we have a visual representation of the quilting space right on the screen. It will appear as a black box on the workspace.

To activate, select the Area tab and the Quilting Space button on the ribbon.

quilting space button

Move your machine to the top left corner of the quilt and press 2-Corner in the Sidebar.

2 corner button

Move the machine to the bottom of the quilting area and the right side edge of the quilt. Press 2-Corner in the sidebar again. This will create the black box on the workspace that indicates the maximum quilting space for the quilt you have on the frame for your throat space.

E2e out of bounds PSP

Ut oh! I can see that the first row of this edge to edge design extends beyond my throat space! This can sometimes happen when you stretch vertical to fill the area of the entire quilt. Each row grows a bit to make the whole design fit the quilt. Now we can easily double check and make adjustments if needed before we get into trouble.

Snap to Grid when Creating an Area

When you select the Area tab in the sidebar you will notice a Snap to Grid option. This is a great feature to use when creating a layout or blocks in simulation. It will result in very accurate area points.

New Start & End Arrows

In the past it was a little tricky to move a start or end point through the design to place where you needed. It moved very fast! We now have 2 sets of arrows. The arrows at the top of the slider allow for slower movement forward and backward and the arrows at the bottom of the slider can be used for faster movement. We still have our Jump Arrows to move the start and end points to jump points in the design. This gives us more control and who doesn’t like more control?

start and end arrows

Come back to the blog next week for even more new features of Pro-Stitcher Premium. Spoiler alert!  I have saved the best for last. In the mean time, go ahead and download the update and give it a go!

If you really love the features or if you run into any issues on your Pro-Stitcher system with the new Pro-Stitcher beta version we would love to hear your feedback.

Happy quilting!

by Mary Beth Krapil

 

2020-03-06T11:07:38-07:00February 22nd, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Features of the New Pro-Stitcher Beta version

update announcement

Are you wondering what all the excitement is about? The great new features of the new Pro-Stitcher Beta version are the talk of the town. And as always updates are FREE. The Pro-Stitcher Premium Beta software release was made available February 3, 2020. Click here for more information and to download the release.

But what’s that “beta” mean? Beta software refers to computer software that has gone through our internal testing processes, but has not yet been tested in the real world, and therefore is not officially released as a final version. Releasing a Beta version allows Pro-Stitcher engineers to get bug fixes and new features into quilters hands sooner, and gives quilters the opportunity to provide feedback to our developers. Remember, you can always rollback to a previous version if you find you are having difficulties.

Features of the New Pro-Stitcher Beta version

Stitch Stats

The program will generate stitch statistics for the selected design. The feature is found on the ribbon of the Settings tab.

stitch stats button

the design below is 4″ x 4″ and is set to stitch at 12 stitches per inch. The stats will change if the size of the design is changed, if the stitch length is changed or if the speed is changed. In the example below the design has 429 stitches, it will take 31 seconds to stitch, and the needle will travel 35 inches which means it will us approximately 35 inches of thread.

stitch stats dialog

Have you ever wondered if you have enough of a certain thread to complete an edge to edge design? Maybe now, with all this great information at hand, we can make a better informed guess.

Load Pattern at Crosshairs

To enable this feature of the new Pro-Stitcher Beta version, select the Settings tab and the Advanced>General button on the ribbon. In the sidebar select Load Pattern at Crosshairs.

load at crosshairs

With this button selected, when loading a pattern, the Start Point of the pattern will load at the crosshairs.

load at crosshairs dump truck

Load Point to Point

To enable this feature, select the Settings tab and the Advanced>General button on the ribbon. In the sidebar select Load Point to Point.

load p2p

With this button selected, open your first pattern. Now load a second pattern. The second pattern’s start point will load right on top of the first pattern’s end point. This allows the combined pattern to become continuous. It’s really fun to mix and match continuous line patterns to create new border patterns and new edge-to-edge patterns! Think of the possibilities!

load p2p 2 trucks

Point to Point Default

We used to have to press the P2P button in Horizontal Repeat to remove the gap between some designs, but not anymore! Now, when repeating horizontal designs they will automatically snap point to point. You will see a green/red square together at the start/end point between designs.

p2p button baptist fan snapped p2p

If you want to have a gap between designs, you can always touch the p2p button to turn it off and then increase the gap.

baptist fan gap

 

Come back to the blog next week for more new features of Pro-Stitcher Premium. In the mean time go ahead and download it and give it a go!

If you really love the features or if you run into any issues on your Pro-Stitcher system with the new Pro-Stitcher beta version we would love to hear your feedback.

Happy quilting!

by Mary Beth Krapil

 

 

 

2020-03-06T11:08:34-07:00February 15th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|2 Comments

Piecing on the Longarm

Some of my favorite things to do with my HQ Infinity are NOT stitching the 3 layers of a quilt together. Have you ever done any piecing on the longarm? It can be a fun and quick way to piece and quilt something all in one step. This method works especially well for strip quilts.

My story

Many years ago, I went on a shop hop with a big group of friends. We descended on each shop en masse and spread out to find the newest and coolest. Then, when someone found something wonderful, of course each of us had to buy one. Mob mentality at its finest!

One friend found a Cuddle kit that consisted of multiple strips of various coordinating Shannon Cuddle fabrics. Inside was instructions on making a strip quilt using these fabrics. The idea was to start with a large backing fabric, lay down a strip and place another strip right side down on top of the first. Stitch through all 3 layers and flip the top strip open. Repeat this till all the strips are used and the backing fabric is covered by a lovely strip style quilt top.  And it is all quilted! None of us had seen anything like this before, so naturally we all bought one.

The idea

My friends and I got together once a week to sew. The following week my friend, Carole, brought her kit and set to work. If you have ever sewn with Cuddle, you know it can be quite slippery. The back is a shiny polyester knit with a fuzzy, furry, cuddly top side. Carole was having quite a bit of trouble keeping her layers together and trying to stitch a straight seam. She said a few un-lady-like words that evening. As I drove home, I regretted buying one of those kits. But then I had a light bulb moment! I could load that backing fabric on my Handi Quilter frame, then use my channel lock to stitch a straight seam. And If I used the Move feature on my Pro-Stitcher I would have both hands free to hold onto the strips and keep them aligned.

I gave it a go the next day and it worked like a charm! It was finished in about 2 hours. I left enough backing fabric all the way around so that I could turn it to the front for a binding. Next week I took it to our meeting and was hand stitching my binding. Carole came in and was shocked. She held her project up and she had 3 strips sewn. Then said some more un-lady-like words.

The quilt I made from that kit lives on our couch and in winter there is a race to see who gets the quilt for TV watching. So this Christmas I decided to make one as a gift for my husband. While I was at it I took photos so I could share the process with you.

How it’s done

I found this great kit at a quilt shop  in Florida.

Shannon Cuddle kit

It had all these great variations of Cuddle. Some are smooth and some have texture.

fabric assortment

Load the backing

I loaded the backing fabric on my Infinity‘s Gallery frame by pinning to the leaders.

pin backing to leaderbacking loaded

I wanted to leave 2 inches all the way around so that I could fold the backing to the front to form a binding. The measure tool on my Pro-Stitcher was perfect to measure 2 inches down from the top edge and 2 inches in from each side. Then I basted a straight plumb line across the top and down each side.

measuring with PSPbasting a plumb line

Place and sew strips

The first strip got lined up to those lines.

placing first fabric strip

Changing to the 1/2 inch square foot made it easy to line up with the raw edge of the strip and get the perfect 1/2 inch seam allowance. The channel lock gave me a perfectly straight seam.

change to square foot square foot lined up

The instructions on the kit suggested some useful notions when making this quilt.

recommended notions

I did use a ball point needle, but I did not need the temporary spray adhesive on my longarm. I could hold onto the fabric strips with my free hand to make sure they did not shift as I sewed.

On some of the more textured fabrics I found I needed the extra security of some pins to hold the fabric in place. I was able to remove the pins as I came to them.

pin when necessary

Once the strips are sewn together, flip open the top strip and smooth in place.

open strip

Keep adding strips one at a time, stitching and flipping til you run out of strips.

When I reached the bottom and flipped the last strip open, I sewed the strip across the bottom to secure it in place.

basting bottom edge in place

Finishing

I took the quilt off the frame and trimmed the backing to 1.5 inches from the edge of the strips all the way around. Then I double folded the backing over the raw edge and hand stitched in place.

This was so quick and easy I had more time to play with the grandies!.

more time with kids

Happy quilting!

 

by Mary Beth Krapil

 

2020-01-27T18:23:34-07:00February 1st, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|6 Comments

Handi Quilter Gallery

There is a new group of quilts hanging in the Handi Quilter gallery that I’d like to share with you.  They are the work of St George, UT artist, Margaret Abramshe.

Salt Lake City, UT

Since retiring from her career as a public school educator, Margaret uses her time to create stunning art quilts from photographs.

Salt Lake City, UT

Using vintage photographs from family albums she starts with a digital image and uses photo manipulation software to create her composition. She then sends her images to a commercial fabric printer. When the fabric returns she uses dyes, paints, and quilting stitches to bring her quilts to life. Margaret quilts on a Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen machine.

Her quilts are truly amazing in person. You are welcome to visit the Handi Quilter gallery at our headquarters in Salt Lake City to see them yourself. Call ahead to be sure the display has not changed. 877-697-8458

Margaret Abramshe

Margaret says. “Every art quilt I make has a rich subtext – a hidden story.” Wouldn’t you love to sit with her and hear the stories behind these quilts?

Learn more about Margaret on her YouTube channel.

by Mary Beth Krapil

 

 

2020-01-21T14:14:36-07:00January 25th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|3 Comments

New Tools for a new year

There’s nothing like a few new tools for a new year in your quilting studio. And Handi Quilter has you covered at the start of 2020! We have some great new accessories to make your quilting better, easier, more accurate, and more fun.

 

HQ Pinpoint Needle Laser

First up is the Handi Quilter Pinpoint Needle Laser. Owners of the next generation machines (Infinity, Forte and Amara) have been enjoying this feature on their machines and now, owners of the Fusion, Avante, Simply Sixteen, Sweet Sixteen and Capri and other machines, even domestic sewing machines, can enjoy the same benefits.

Handi Quilter laser pinpoint

The Needle Laser accessory provides a guide for accurate needle placement at the start or end of a quilting design. The laser light is adjustable for precise alignment with the machine needle. Compatible with most longarm machines with USB ports at the front of the machine. Don’t have a USB port available? No worries! This accessory can be installed on any longarm or domestic machines with the addition of a USB 2.0 wall charger and USB 2.0 Type-A male to female extender cable (not included). This tool is especially useful for robotic system users (like Pro-Stitcher) to create accurate placement of designs.

Handi Feet Micro Foot

Handi Quilter

We have a new foot added to our line-up of useful feet that is great for any time you need to really see the needle. The Micro Foot is ideally designed for micro quilting, stippling, and thread painting. The Micro Foot also provides precise access to the quilting area when working with embellishments. The base of the foot will allow a clear view of the stitching path in every direction. Your machine needs to be fitted with a Handi Feet mount that works with the interchangeable Handi Feet. NOTE: To use the Micro Foot, the machine must have been purchased after November 2014, OR you first need to install the Handi Feet Conversion Kit.

Handi Quilter

 

Pro-Stitcher Designer

Pro-Stitcher Designer needs a blog post all its own, so stay tuned! In the mean time think about getting those new tools for a new year.

by Mary Beth Krapil

2020-01-16T12:31:01-07:00January 18th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments