Two Tip Tuesday – Fussy Cut

Today I’m working on a fussy cut project.  It is a guild challenge so I can’t show the entire project, but I can show some bits.  The challenge is to bring the outside border print into the center of the quilt.  I debated on making a new piece.  Then, low and behold, I had an unfinished project that would work perfectly.  No new quilt, finishing up an old!  This quilt top was made about 9 years ago for a beginner quilting class I taught.  (I know, it is about time for it to be done!)  I’m happy it is on its way to completion!!  One more out of the closet!

See the photos below for the design and how I decided to break away at the ivy leaf without loosing much of the edge.

#1-  Find a natural break in the design to cut away a fussy cut area.



Now to find a place where it would make the transition on the quilt.  Here will work!  The poinsettia is a bit larger but covers the area and extends the design into the center of the quilt.







Ready to get them ironed in place and sewn down to the quilt.  One more UFO on its way to being complete and filling the bill of a challenge piece.  Win,WIN!!

#2 –  Grab a UFO and finish it!  YES, feels good and serves a purpose, or a new purpose!!!  (Even if it started to be something else in the first place.)

I’ll show the finished piece after the “All About Borders” challenge is shown the end of March.  I’d hate to ruin the “guess whose piece” in the challenge reveal.

in quilting,


Posted in Challenges, Fussy Cutting, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Two Tip Tuesday – visit a local quilt shop

I’m seeing posts from quilt shops that Saturday, January 27th is support your local quilt shop day.  So, what will you be doing on Saturday?  I hope you will indulge yourself and find a shop!  I’ll be teaching Snuggle Tails – Mermaid at Emma’s Quilt Cupboard in Franklin, MA.  There is still time to prep and take the class.  Give them a call to SIGN UP!!  Class will be focused on making a “plain” version but the pieced braid and applique clam shells will be demonstrated.  See the versions below.  The pattern is available in the shop and as always, on my website.

Snuggle Tails ~ Mermaids

Cuties in their “plain” Snuggle Tails! D.W.

Pieced and Applique tails at my guild’s show two years ago.  Third place ribbon!


And look at my friend’s kids in their plain version that she made for them.

#1 – Make them big so they can grow into them!

In collecting my samples, I came across the start of a small braid version.

Snuggle Tails – pieced version D.W.

I used 2 1/2″ strips and cut the trapizoids shorter with my Brilliant Bindings tool.

Using Brilliant Bindings to cut trapizoids for a braid!

You can find the simple braid pattern as a free handout on my website.  The prairie braid style is in the Snuggle Tails patterns and in the Brilliant Braid  pattern, also available online.

Back to the beginning of this post…I’ll be visiting a quilt shop on Saturday, will you?!?

#2- Visit your local quilt shop and give support!  I want them around for years to come.  Please go and buy something great for your quilting needs!

in quilting,


Posted in Brilliant Bindings, Patterns, Snuggle Tails, trapezoids, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Two Tip Tuesday – Deep Freeze

It is winter out there.  And we are getting more snow and cold.  I know several areas of the US are already frozen.  So, what do you do during inclement weather.  Sew?  Cuddle under a quilt?  Bake?  And how many layers of clothes do you wear or just turn up the heat?  My answers, yes to all!  I love to wear my chenille scarf during the really cold days.  The picture below is some of the ones I’ve made.

Chenille Scarves D.W.

Did you know I self published a Chenille book?  “Chenille Made Easy on the Longarm” gives instruction on using a longarm to make chenille; scarves, clothing, chenille strips.  The book is available on my website.

Chenille Made Easy on the Longarm by D.Wendt

Chenille has been around a while and still going strong.  It is fun to make and so soft and yummy to wear.

#1 – Make chenille for a warm and fuzzy project.

I like to use 5 layers for Chenille.  The middle does not get cut, the top and bottom 2 do.  I also use 3/8″ channels.  1/4″ is too narrow and 1/2″ is too wide.  To get the best fray with chenille, be sure the sewing lines are at right angles to the grain of fabric.

#2 – Use 3/8″ channels for chenille.

Stay warm!

in quilting,


Posted in Chenille, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Two Tip Tuesday – Sewing Time

Have you ever just wanted to sit and sew?  I’ve been itching to just sit and hear the hum of my machine.  With my husbands shoulder replacement done and recoup in progress, I was able to spend some time with fabric, rotary cutter and my machine last night!!  Ohhhhhh, the sound of my little featherweight makes me so happy!  I decided to make “back to front napkins” (double sided napkins).  See original post on Dec. 23, 2015 for back to front binding instructions.  These red/white/blue napkins will go to my Thimble Pleasures Quilt Guild’s special project for our upcoming quilt show.  The special project will raise monies for the Fisher House, who supports military and veteran families.  The Thimble Pleasures show will be March 17-18, 2018 from 10am-4pm at the Blackstone Valley Regional Technical High School in Upton, MA.  Mark your calendar!!

Back to sewing….But first, I needed to give the machine a good clean.  I used a hand made cleaner from a coffee stir-er and pipe cleaner.  I got this from Kathryn, owner of Dragonflys Quilt Shop in Bellingham.  (thanks Kathryn!)

#1- Clean your machine!  A homemade tool of a coffee stir-er/pipe cleaner works well to clean the lint from the bobbin area!

On to sewing napkins…  In preparing the back to front napkins, you typically fold the backing even with the top piece of the napkin and then over again.  But, I wanted to make the napkin as large as possible and had limited backing fabric due to the width of the fabric used.  I cut 20 1/2″ squares for the backing and 17″ squares for the tops.  In order to get a larger finished rolled over edge, I did not fold the back even with the top and then again on top of itself.  I made the first fold 1/2″ and then folded over the top even with the top’s cut edge.  This way I got a larger rolled over hem.  Now to make that first 1/2″ press, I could have eyeballed it, measured as I pressed or drew a line.  But, I choose to do it an “old” way of sewing the 1/2″ and then pressing on the stitching line.  I did this a LOT in my “dress making” days.  Especially for a pants hem or facing hem.  As I mentioned earlier, I love to just sit a sew.  Comfort in sewing that silly little 1/2″ line!!  The photos below shows how I “hemmed” (back to front finish) for the napkins I’m making for the guild’s special project.  It gave me a wonderful even 1/2″ fold and I got to relax while sitting and sewing!  Win, win!

  1. Sew a 1/2″ line from the outside edge of the napkin back.
  2. Fold along the 1/2″ line and press.
  3. Fold over again along the cut edge of napkin front.

1. Stitching line 1/2″ from
backing edge.

2. Folded and pressed along stitching line. Note stitching on outside edge.

3. Second fold over napkin front.










#2 – Sew a line for your fold line instead of marking or eyeballing!

Ta Da!  Ready for the back to front miter finish on the corners.  I’ll add photos of how I finished these, since the original directions have the back to front fold even.

Back to Front Mitered Corner with shorter first fold.

1. Fold in half diagonally. Mark 45 degree line from fold line to corner.

1a. Ruler moved to show line.

2. Stitch on drawn line.

3. Trim to 1/4″ seam.

4. Finger press mitered seam open.

5. Roll miter over corner point.

5a. Mitered corner in place.

6. Top/edge stitch along inside fold.










































#3 – BONUS TIP….”Lickety GRIP” helps on dry hand days!

in quilting,


Posted in Back to Front Binding, Sewing Machine Maintance, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Two Tip Tuesday – Happy New Year

Hello quilting friends!  I hope you all were able to ring in the new year with health and happiness!!  I don’t plan on making any resolutions, other than have some quilty FUN!  Many shows are already booked and patterns in the works.  Keep in touch to see what is new for 2018!

The NYB Necktie Pillow workshop was rescheduled to this past Saturday.  I’ll post photos below!   (NYB – New York Beauty).  A slippery time was had by all….the silk ties, that is.  Thankfully the roads were mostly clear and we were able to have the workshop.  The students got a good start on their blocks to make a 16″ pillow.  And learned the importance of a foundation in working with silk ties.  They are slippery little buggers!!  A couple tips they learned and I’m sharing with you…

#1 – Spray starch works well to make the silk ties stiffer.  (Be aware of colors running, probably not silk!)

#2 – Don’t skimp on pre-cutting pieces.  (Give yourself extra fabric when foundation piecing.  You don’t want to be short when the piece is flipped and pressed into place)

The neckties started out as a jumbled heap.  I pressed, and pressed and pressed to prep the ties for class.  (I provided all the ties for this workshop!)  So in order to transfer them from home to class, I pinned them to a length of foam insulation board.  Faye and Carol are holding two of the 7 boards of ties.

NYB Neckties D.W.

Yes, that was a lot or ironing!  But it allowed us to jump right in and begin sewing.

The results are shown below, in no particular order.  Some are in various stages of pieced blocks (four blocks make the 16″ pillow top).

NYB Necktie Pillow –
Kathleen L.

NYB Necktie Pillow –
Faye P.

NYB Necktie Pillow –
Marilyn B.















NYB Necktie Pillow –
Diane Z.









NYB Necktie Pillow –
Kathryn L.

NYB Necktie Pillow –
Margaret T.

NYB Necktie Pillow –
Nancy B.















NYB Necktie Pillow –
Jean Z.

NYB Necktie Pillow –
Nancy R.

NYB Necktie Pillow –
Carol V.
















NYB Necktie Pillow –
my finished top…Debbie




I hope you enjoyed the ties!  By the way, I still have neckties and can teach this class to your shop or guild!

Happy New Year!

in quilting,


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Two Tip Tuesday – snow/no go

Well, the workshop did not happen on Saturday.  Bummer!  But better safe then to have us out in the thick of the snowfall.  So, I don’t have any photos to show you of the NYB Tie Pillows.  We will be rescheduling.  Stay tuned for photos after the workshop happens!

So, what do I talk about today?  How about last minute homemade gifts?!?  My Jewish friends begin lighting the Hanukkah lights and we are two weeks away from the big guy in red and celebrating the birth of Jesus.  I encourage you to look at my website for some free patterns.  The quickest and easiest is the Hotdog Pillow Case.  One pillow case takes 3/4 yard main fabric, 1/3 yard for cuff and 2″ strip for trim.  Hot Dog Pillow Case

Christmas favorites pillowcase fabrics







Or Easy Placemats…Checkout a previous post on Dec. 23, 2015 for detailed instructions!   Leave out the batting, make them square and you have napkins using the same finishing technique.

Double sided napkins. D.W.
Back to front technique









How about a quick scarf?  Take 2 yards of a yarn dyed flannel, cut 10″- 20″ by the length (10″-20″ x 72″).  Hem all four edges and you are done!  Or hem the long edges and fringe the short ends.  Two to four scarves from 2 yards of flannel!!  (If the fabric is 60″ wide, even more!)  See photo below for a 20″ x 72″ quick scarf I made.

Yarn Dyed Flannel Scarf D.W.

#1 – Yarn dyed flannel is woven, not printed.  Fabric is the same on the right and wrong side!

20″ was a bit wide but oh so warm!



Have more time?  How about making a Snuggle Tail?!  The Mermaid and Whale/Dolphin pattern is on the website, only $10 each.  Or use your Brilliant Bindings tool to make a Ribbon Pillow or Braid Quilt (see free patterns on my website).

Whatever you do, ENJOY!  Don’t burn the midnight oil like I so often did in the past.

#2 – Enjoy your Holiday sewing!!

in quilting,


Posted in Free patterns, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Two Tip Tuesday – Prep for foundation piecing

Hello Friends!  I’m prep-ing for the NYB Tie Pillow workshop that I’m teaching on Saturday.  I’m deep into freezer paper and muslin!  So, I thought I’d give the tips this week on how to prep for printing your own foundations.  A couple weeks ago, I showed the boat foundation from EZ Piecing by Comp-U-Wear.  There are many other companies that make and sell foundations…including me.  I made the Wonderful Little World with a stamp, fabric ink and muslin.  See past Two Tips for piecing on muslin foundations.  Today I’ll be focusing on the prep.  This week’s tips will be the process I use.  (Sorry for the void of  color in this weeks tips. 😉  )  After Saturday’s workshop, I’ll follow up with more tips from my students.

First – I cut the freezer paper at 11″ x width (my roll is 18″ wide).

Second – I cut the muslin to 11″ x width of fabric (I used 36″ wide to have less waste…and it is what was on sale!)  Cut into 8 1/2″ sections, I could get three per the width I’m using.

Third – I pressed the muslin pieces to the freezer paper, shiny side to the fabric.  (Two fit per cut sheet of freezer paper.)  Press with dry iron.  I have used steam, but a dry iron resulted in less wrinkles.

8 1/2″ x 11″ muslin pieces
on shiny side of freezer paper







Fourth – I turn over and pressed again from the “paper” freezer paper side.  This helps seal all edges.

Press back side as well.






Fifth – Let cool and cut into 8 1/2″ x 11″ pieces.  Why 8 1/2″ x 11″?  That is paper size (on this side of the pond) and works well in my laser printer!  (The top edge that feeds into the printer must be crisp and free of loose threads!)

8 1/2″ x 11″ freezer paper backed muslin






Sixth – If muslin foundation is curled, curl the opposite way before printing.  I tied with a string to give it time to uncurl.

Roll opposite direction to remove curl

See printed piece below.

NYB foundation pieces









I’m looking forward to the workshop and seeing what tie color choices and backgrounds will be used!!

in quilting,


Posted in foundation piecing, Uncategorized | Leave a comment