Two Tip Tuesday – “in the style of”

Last week I showed the end tails of some machine applique I was working on.  Now for the front….


Tentmaker Applique

I was still in the process of finishing the small purse in the picture.  I spent some time looking for an applique pattern “in the style of” the Tentmaker’s Applique.  I love the design above by my friend Barbara Chainey!  Great to show off applique and the Arabesque style that the Tentmakers stitch, but very intricate.  So, the bag will be fun to carry and a possibility for a full day class, but not one for a 3 hour class.  The 2 zippers were really easy to put in.  I did need to turn my work “in” instead of out over the arm of the machine.  This made it easy to stitch the zipper in place the way I constructed the bag.  (I’ll show the construction of the bag at another time.  Hmmmm, might just have to be a video!)

zipper on bag

Working on zipper in a tube.

#1 – sometimes it is easier to turn your work in instead of out!

Back to the drawing board, so to speak.  I found another favorite by Barbara of a lotus flower, BINGO!  Perfect to show the Pharaonic style and much simpler lines to stitch.  I stitched it on a messenger bag and I’m pleased with the result!  The first coloring was a bit lacking in contrast, second version is the winner!

tentmaker messenger bag

Pharaoh’s Messenger, lower contrast

messenger bag with light points

Pharaoh’s Messenger

#2 – Play with contrast in fabrics to get the best results.

Another bonus….#3 – Use variegated thread for the entire project so you don’t have to do all the thread color changes for each fabric!

This, Pharaoh’s Messenger, will be what I teach at Sew Lubbock.  Might you be able to join the fun in October?

in quilting,


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Two Tip Tuesday – Ending Threads

How hot is it by you?  Yep, Summer has arrived!  Will you be inside sewing staying cool or out in the heat gardening or playing?  I’m an inside girl at the moment.  I love the outdoors but bugs LOVE me.  So, I’ll stay cool and inside thank you!

I’ve been working on samples for the Sew Lubbock Conference in October.  I’m honored to be one of their featured teachers.  I’ll be teaching Egyptian Tentmakers Applique.  What does that mean?  You will learn machine applique techniques using patterns/designs in the style of the Tentmakers in Cairo, Egypt.  I’m beyond thrilled to share some of the Tentmakers actual work (they hand applique!) and give tips and tricks for improving your machine applique.  It will be FUN and informative!!  Win, win!  Their website is up and running for you to register!  (

The photos and tips I have today are working with a spiral eye needle to hide the tail ends of your machine applique stitches.  I’ll show how I tie off, use a spiral eye needle and hide the thread tails to tidy up your work.

  1. Pull both beginning and ending tails to the back of your work. Tie a knot to secure the stitches.
  2. Use the slot in the spiral eye needle to easily thread the needle.  Tip #1 – Use spiral eye needle to bury your thread ends.
  3. Run the needle behind some of your stitches on the backside of your work.
  4. Turn the slot in the spiral eye toward the backing fabric away from the stitches.  IMPORTANT!! as this keeps the slot from getting caught on the stitches!  Tip #2 – turn that slot away from stitching!
  5. Cut thread ends, keeping your work nice and neat.  The back will look almost as good as the front!  No messy threads hanging around.  Bonus Tip #3 – Bury each finish as you go.  This keeps those threads from being caught in other stitching lines and becoming a tangled mess.

See photos below for detail of each step!

Spiral eye knot on back

Knot tail ends on back to secure stitching.

spiral eye slit

Closeup of Spiral Eye slit.

Spiral eye rotated

Rotate slit away from stitches and toward the back of the background fabric.

Spiral eye through stitches

Slip needle under threads on the back.

spiral eye cut threads

Pull threads through and cut. Leaves your work nice and neat!

in quilting,


P.S.  stay COOL!

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Two Tip Tuesday – Hex-a-ma-jig and Gradient Nuance Knots

Since I last wrote, I taught a class at Emma’s Quilt Cupboard in Franklin, MA!  The class was one of my new patterns “Gradient Nuance Knots” and it uses my Hex-a-ma-jig template!  (The pattern will be on my website very soon!  Hex-a-ma-jig is already on the website!!)

Gradient Nuance Knots
pattern by Debbie Wendt
fabrics from Sew Batik









It was fun to see how the student’s quilt came together and I thought you might like to see a peek at it.  Thank you Denise for letting me share your quilt!  A couple of things to preface…Denise considers herself a beginner and she found some amazing stripe fabric she wanted to try.  She is NOT a beginner anymore!!  She did an amazing job of working with the stripe fabric!!  The first section she cut was a bold navy and green stripe.  The stripes were cut in both directions to play with the movement.  Well as you can see below.  Sometimes too much of a good thing is just TOO much!  We needed to calm it down, see second photo.  Much easier on the eye and really moves you across the section.

#1 – Combine stripes to keep the flow moving.  In this case, stripes in two directions made it jumbled.  But we worked with them and they ended up working well together!

Gradient Nuance Knots
pattern by Debbie Wendt

Gradient Nuance Knots
pattern by Debbie Wendt
More stripes matching!











The second and third sections that were cut still are stripes but they blended a bit more in coloring.  All these hexies were cut with the stripes in the same direction and we played with colors instead of worrying about stripes in two directions.  See the results below.

Gradient Nuance Knots
Two more sections

Gradient Nuance Knots
showing three sections








A bold choice of fabric is going to turn into a great FUN quilt!  Nicely done Denise!

#2 – Don’t be afraid of stripes!  Play and have fun!

I’ll be teaching Hex-a-ma-jig again on Saturday.  This time the Flower Garden at Bits n Pieces in New Hampshire.  There still might be a spot or two to join the class.  We’ll be having fun with Hexies!!

“Hex-a-ma-jig” Flower Garden D.W.

in quilting,


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Two Tip Tuesday – wide “Cuddle” binding

Last week I showed a photo of a quilt I made for my niece’s baby shower.  I am psyched about being a Great Aunt!!  And so happy for them!!  I made two quilts.  Yes, two!  They had both pinned on Pinterest so I HAD to make them both!  As you saw on the Cuddle/Flannel quilt last week it has a larger binding edge.  (I’ll show the photo again below in case you missed it last week.)

Flannel Squares with wide Cuddle
back to front binding D.W.

This binding was done as a back to front binding.  I have given instruction on this binding before but not this wide.  The reason I am repeating and showing these instructions…I didn’t want to loose any of the width of the outside squares.  That would have looked a bit “off”.  So, my solution was to extend the batting beyond the pieced top edge.  This gave the extra width I wanted for the binding and did not take away from the pieced front squares.  I quilted into the batting and backing layer beyond the quilt top so it would have a similar feel and weight of the rest of the quilt.  I used a number of basting lines to be sure I had enough batting and backing to make the Back to Front WIDE Binding.  I will post the steps below!

Backing – Allow double the width of desired WIDE binding plus extra 1/4″ – 1/2″.  For quilting, I loaded the Cuddle backing on my longarm but you can accomplish the same on a domestic machine.

Layer –  Layer batting then quilt top, same as layering for any quilt.  Where this technique will differ… make sure to allow for the extra batting width and backing on ALL four sides.

Quilting – I basted down the raw edge of the quilt top.  I also basted a line 2″ beyond the top’s edge.  When quilting, I extended my quilting design over the top edge into the exposed batting.  This gives the back the same look all the way out to what will be the new outside edge of the back.

Trim – Trim batting just outside of the basting line you stitched 2″ beyond the top.  Scissor cut the batting!  You will need the backing fabric to extend even wider!  Trim backing 2 1/4″ – 2 1/2″ beyond the trimmed batting edge.

Wide Cuddle B to F Binding
with extended batting D.W.

Bottom side batting trimmed with scissors to basting line.  (backing still to be trimmed to 4 1/2″ from quilt top edge.)

Side edge of Cuddle backing rotary cut to 2 1/2″ from basting line on batting for a total of 4 1/2″ from quilt top outside edge.  (batting still needs to be trimmed to basting line)

Back to Front Binding (B to F) – Before proceeding, be sure the backing will turn to the front covering the extended batting and at least 1/4″-1/2″ of the outside edge of the quilt top.  (If you did not allow enough backing, you can trim down some of the batting.)

See photos for back to front binding finishing steps or refer to my previous posts on the technique.

All batting trimmed, basting removed and folded for B to F binding corner seam.

Corner seam sewn and trimmed

Wide B to F binding turned
Ready to stitch in place







TaDa!!!  A wide back to front binding without loosing any of the width of the outside edge of the quilt top!  This technique can be done with “regular” cottons as well.  I would recommend your turn a hem in the backing edge so you do not have a raw edge.    It is o.k. to have a raw edge with Cuddle, it won’t fray.

#1 – A WIDE Back to Front Binding can be added without having to add extra width to the quilt top.

#2 – By following the tips in the above instructions and photos, it is an easy edge for a Cuddle Baby quilt!!

in quilting,


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Can a blog get hacked?  Thinking maybe so.  Do NOT open any strange emails looking like they are coming from my blog.  Always check the “from”.  Don’t open them and Delete them!  I would never send you anything like that.

in quilting,


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Two Tip Tuesday – back at it!

I’m back after the brief vacation.  I was an exhibitor at Quilt Market, took a mini vacation, then another 2 trips for family happenings and went to a quilting professional retreat.  Now, here we are!  I’m back on track for Two Tips and to continue sharing my quilting journey.  With all the changes to facebook and compliance with opt in notifications, I have noticed “things” don’t always happen as in the past.  My posts here are not always showing up on my FB page.  ;(  I’m working on correcting that.  I loved meeting everyone at Market!  My focus was on the new Hex-a-ma-jig template and all the quilts included in the booklet included with the tool.  Fun to share!

So on to photos and Two Tips…

The view going into Portland and my booth in Portland at Spring Quilt Market.

Spring Market 2018 D.W.








Two quilts I made for my niece’s baby shower.

Mountains for Baby by D.W.

Flannel Squares with wide Cuddle
back to front binding D.W.









I love it when you have enough thread of the perfect color to make it all the way around the quilt binding!

Made it around! D.W.








With the Cuddle backing, I didn’t want to add a label, so I put it on the front.  Cleverly hidden in one of the fabric squares!

Label on front. D.W.

#1 – A label doesn’t have to be on the back.  Add to the front!

#2 – Cuddle makes a wonderful backing and back to front binding.  The edge does not ravel.  A straight topstitch was done to finish.

I’ll show more of the back to front Cuddle binding next week!

in quilting,



Posted in Back to Front Binding, Cuddle, Tips, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Two Tip Tuesday – Market Prep

As promised I took a photo of my Half Hexie quilt.  All those miters took some time but I love the result!

Half Hexies with

I’ve been busy quilting several other Hex-a-ma-jig quilts.  These quilts/designs are included in the Hex-a-ma-jig instructions.  One tool, six quilts right off the bat.  Hex-a-ma-jig is on my website! Hex-a-ma-jig I will be featuring the tool and quilts at Spring Quilt Market next week in Portland, OR.  Three others are shown below.  YES!  I love to quilt feathers.  I had a lot of fun with these feathers.

Flower Garden

Mixed FlowerGarden













And with the Baby Blocks (or Tumbling Blocks) I took a straight approach, literally.  The front of the block is a “Zentangle” inspired design called “paradox”.

Hexie Baby Blocks
with “Paradox”

Hexie Baby Blocks









My tips today were inspired by my dear friend Kim.  She layed out her quilt blocks while we were in Paducah so we could give her advice on the layout.  She had her blue painters tape in hand.  My question to her, “what will you do with the tape, mark the rows”.  “No, to tape the blocks together in the row,” ….BRILLIANT!  I told her I’m stealing the idea for Two Tips!  And then as most of us do, mark the row number to keep track.  She marked it right on the tape.  After rolling up the rows we realized she needed to have the number on the outside edge to be sure to find it.

Blue Tape on blocks

Row number on blue tape









#1- Use Blue tape on blocks to keep then in their row.

#2 – Mark Row # on the blue tape.

I’m looking forward to meeting those attending Quilt Market!  I’ll be on the “road” next week on Tuesday, but I hope to check in with some tips.

in quilting,


Posted in Hexagons, Tips, Uncategorized | 1 Comment