Two Tip Tuesday – More Hexies!

I attended a Getaway this past weekend. I love the chance to work on projects with like minded people. First up, the binding on my lap size Baby Blocks quilt. I showed the quilt previously asking for border opinions. The final decision was to add a little border of the surrounding brown fabric and be done. It didn’t need anymore and since I was out of the brown fabric, decision made!  (Note: it is laying on a brownish carpet, only a small brown border was added.)

Hex-a-ma-jig Baby Blocks D.W.

#1 – Go with your gut! I just wasn’t happy with using my inspiration fabric in the border, some quilts don’t need a giant border. Let it talk to you and be done!  BTW, the inspiration fabric was used as part of the pieced backing.



Several student’s quilts from the Hex-a-ma-jig workshop about a month ago showed up at the Getaway.  Another super job by Kathleen L. and her Hexie quilt is DONE!  I love how the brights sing!

Two Halves Make a Whole by Kathleen L.








I started another Hexie quilt, but this time a using Hex-a-ma-jig to cut FULL hexies and triangles.  I used triangles between the full hexies so I did not have any set-in “Y” seams.  It was quick and easy with the large full hexies and I got it pieced together!  It sure helped to use my portable design wall.

Full Hexies D.W.








Here is a start Priscilla’s flannel version using full hexies and triangles.  LOVE those plaid flannels!  This design really shows off the fabrics.  I also love how she used the black at the edges to float the hexies.  She borrowed the use of my portable design wall<grin>.  Bonus idea…the repurposed creamer bottle on the floor was used for water for the iron!

Full Hexies by Priscilla M.

#2- A Portable design wall is great for Getaways (or Retreats or Workshops).  Much easier than working on the floor.

The Portable Design Wall is now sold by Off The Wall Quilt.  I like how they easily fold up and have their own carry bag.

Nancy used a flannel backed table cloth on the floor for her design “wall”.  It also works great as you can roll it up and keep everything in place.  Her Christmas Two Halves Make a Whole quilt is awesome.  That is ONE jelly roll cut with Hex-a-ma-jig Jr.!!  (The layout for this quilt is in the instruction booklet that comes with the tool.  There is also a free pattern on my website with more detailed instructions for cutting, piecing and making the quilt.)

Two Halves Make a Whole by Nancy B.

I’m loving all the quilts using both versions of Hex-a-ma-jig!!  It is great to have a quilty tribe!!!

in quilting,


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Two Tip Tuesday – RWB

This past weekend, I attended a sew day that Pam Machamer of Twin Maple Studio hosted. The day was organized to help Janet-Lee Santeusanio reach her goal of 25 Quilt of Valor for MQX. Pam already made a quilt. We were making blocks to make more of the same.

Pam’s RWB Quilt

The quilt uses large 6″ finished half squares. The pattern “Homeland” was designed by Candy Hargrove and is available at It was published in their July/August 2017 magazine.



Here is Shirley Tetreault’s partially finished quilt!

Shirley T’s RWB Quilt

I worked on a scrappy version. Thanks to others who already made the half squares, I was able to jump in, put blocks on the design wall and start sewing!!

RWB Scrappy Quilt

Have you made a Quilt of Valor?  I’ve made several over the years and love that the organization is very active in getting quilts to our service members and veterans!  Their website is

#1 – Make a Quilt of Valor!  It is a tip, REQUEST, to help a very worthy organization!

The half squares were made 8 at a time.  Have you ever done that method?  We started with two 14″ squares and placed them right sides together.  Draw diagonal lines both directions from corner to corners.  Stitch 1/4″ on each side of drawn lines.  Cut apart down the center in both directions and on drawn lines.  Ta Da 8 DONE!!  There are very detailed instructions at this site… (

#2 – Try making 8 half squares at a time.  Quick and easy!

If you can make a Red White and Blue quilt it would be wonderful!

in quilting,



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Two Tip Tuesday -Twirls!

Did you know I travel to give lectures and teach? I DO!! Yesterday, I gave a lecture/trunk show on the Egyptian Tentmaker’s Applique for QUILT North guild in Clifton Park, NY. Today, I taught “Twirl-A-Tool” Workshop using “Brilliant Bindings” as a cutting template.” I do believe FUN was had by all! Photos below! Most of the students got 2-3 blocks finished in class and a faux piped binding put on a small quilted sample.

“Twirl-A-Tool” Workshop with QUILT North in NY







The quilted sample just had to have a camel and pyramid on it!

Faux Piped Binding Sample
YES, a camel!!








It was a great group and I, too, had FUN!  If you are looking for a speaker or teacher for your guild, please keep me in mind.  I have bags and will travel!

Some tips we discussed in class…what do you do when your teacher didn’t triple check your work and had you cut wrong??…She takes off your entire binding so you can start again.  I do know how to use a seam ripper and I’m happy to help.  A nice fine point seam ripper is my preference.

#1 – The seam ripper has many parts…

A fine point for lifting the stitch, the ball helps protect the fabric and the U-shape blade between the point and ball is where you cut the stitch.  Don’t just pull at the stitch, slide the thread down the blade so the stitch is cut with the U-shape blade.  Otherwise, you are plucking at the stitches, not cutting them.

#2- If you get frustrated, hand your piece to someone else.  I’m guessing they will happily help you rip out some stitches.  And my “rule”…I’m not ripping more that three times, it can stay in.  You are likely to starting ripping apart your fabric.

On another note, look at all the wonderful blocks that were made in class.  I’m very proud of the work that was accomplished today!!

in quilting,


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Two Tip Tuesday – a break but inspiration

What do you do with your quilting friends on a cold day when it is visit your local quilt shop day? …..WELL… First, we went to Pickity Place in Mason, NH. This little red house/cottage was built in 1786 and was the inspiration for Elizabeth Orton Jones’ illustrations for the Little Golden Books 1948 “Little Red Riding Hood”!! How cool is that?!  They have daily luncheon seatings and have a set menu that changes every month.  Talk about GOOD!!  The food is amazing and the atmosphere so sweet!  Below is the flyer about Pickity Place.  Reservations recommended.

Pickity Place flyer

Anyone local or visiting, I HIGHLY recommend it!  Take a trip back in time!  And quilting was on our minds.  Look at the wall art or wall paper (I don’t remember if it was painted or paper.)

Pickity Place wall….inspiration!










#1 – Look for quilt inspiration, EVERYWHERE!

They also have a great gift shop.  We stopped at a little quilt shop that was near, appropriate as it was National Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day.  Appleberry Fabrics in Westminster, MA is a tiny shop but loaded with a wide variety of fabric.  I found some marking tools I had not seen before.

I’ve said it before and I love to repeat it…

#2 – Visit and support your LOCAL quilt shop!

Registration is open for several of the AQS Quilt Week Shows.  this Spring I’ll be teaching in Lancaster and Paducah!  My “Become a Brilliant Binder – Binding Made Easy” class in Lancaster is already full, but “Bindings a World of Options” lecture still has openings.  Keep your eyes peeled for another show.  In Paducah, my “Hexies and Honeycombs – Getting Started with English Paper Piecing” is a night class Wednesday of the show from 5-8pm.  I’ll be vending at both of these shows and I start my vending season at Daytona Beach next month.  I hope to see you soon!

in quilting,


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Two Tip Tuesday – colder and still cold

Many of us are in a deep freeze. Those of you in warmer weather, ENJOY! I’m looking forward to the AQS Daytona Beach Quilt Show the end of next month. It will be good to be in the sunshine with short sleeves. Here in New England, we have sun today but brrrr! It was 10 degrees when I left the house this morning.  Snow and sleet had me slowblowing my driveway a couple days ago.  If I had to be out in it, how about making quilting designs!  I shared this on Facebook so some of you saw it already.  But, worth repeating!  I thought about doing the whole driveway, but the cold (1 degree that day) sent me inside as soon as I finished.

Clam shells in the snow!








On the quilting front…

I’m working on a challenge for one of my guilds.  I started cutting full Hexies with Hex-a-ma-jig and ended up short on fabric.  (We swapped 1 yard, so I had limited fabric.)  I wanted just a few more Hexies so, with the extra fabric, I pieced the leftovers and cut a few more!

Full Hexies cut with Hex-a-ma-jig

Can you see the seams?








Now can you?

Hexie using pieced leftovers

Hexie with pieced leftovers









I felt very fortunate the leftovers matched up so well.  Is it perfect?  NO!  Will it work?  YES!  I took the first photo from about 3 foot away and it is very hard to see my seams from that distance.  No stressing here, it got me the number of Hexies I needed!  (And shhhh, don’t tell any BVHQ member, the reveal is later in the year.)

#1 – Piece together leftovers to make a larger scrap to cut more!

#2 – Match if you can.  If it doesn’t match, oh well.  Use it anyway!

Look at the antique quilts, I bet there will be many pieced together spots.  We like it on the antiques, so why not on yours?!?

in quilting,


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Two Tip Tuesday – a different list

If you read last week, I didn’t manage to get those quilts on the frame. BUT, I did get a quilt cut out and another almost finished. So, my list got some additions that I was able to cross off and other things already on there, still remain!  I must look at it as progress…progress is still progress!!

I’m trying to decide on the borders for a Baby Blocks quilt made with Hex-a-ma-jig.  The fabric I have as the border was my inspiration for the coloring of the blocks.

Baby Blocks with Hex-a-ma-jig D.W.

Baby Blocks with small focus border D.W.

Now to decide which is better….Opinions welcome!  I’ve about decided the border fabric does not go but was perfect for the inspiration colors.

#1-Use a fabric for pulling colors as inspiration for your quilt.

#2- You can change your mind!  If it just isn’t working, don’t force it!!

Did you make any lists?  Are things crossed off or do you keep adding to it?!?

in quilting,


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Two Tip Tuesday – Hmmm, What to Work On?

As the title suggests, what do I tackle first? I have so many ideas and projects, I need my word from last year, FOCUS! I think I might try to finish up some unfinished quilts from last year. I even have a new pattern that is almost written but it needs the cover quilts quilted. Yep, that should be first!

Do you ever get in a quandary of what to work on?  I believe that is what I do best.  As a dear friend once said to me, not all you started has to be finished.  Shew!  Good thing around here.  She also said, You learn something with just starting a project.  Sometimes just picking fabrics is all you needed to do with that project.  (She, is a VERY SMART friend!!  Hi Barbara!)  No matter what I’m doing in quilting I enjoy the process.  I’d enjoy it even better if it was done….wink, wink!  So, with that, I need to get started on my lists.

#1 – Make lists of what you need/want to finish.  Cross off when complete.  That is such a GOOD feeling!

I’m planning on bringing out the quilt I talked about above for Spring Market.  This one is back to using Brilliant Bindings as the template for cutting the trapezoid shapes.  I’ll be posting in the next few weeks peeks at the quilt.  Stay tuned for the pattern release (you’ll be the first to know!).

I had a great surprise by text a couple days ago.  My Aunt Jody made a quilt from one of my Brilliant patterns.  She did Brilliant Swirl with a change of coloring.  Instead of using all one color family she used two.  The contrast really gives this quilt a different look.  I LOVE it!  Her version is below left, then mine.  The pattern is available on my website.  Brilliant Swirl

Brilliant Swirl by Jody S.
My aunt does excellent work!

Brilliant Swirl D.W.
A portion of the quilt









#2 – Change a blocks coloring.  You might be surprised what outcome you get!  Case in point above!

Have you made any quilts lately with my patterns?  Please send me photos!  I’d love to feature your quilt here on my blog.  Now off to cross something off my list….

in quilting,


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