As promised, I’m trying to release more video tutorials so you can have something to watch or listen to while you sew! In my latest chat, which runs about 15 minutes, I go in depth about my teaching schedule for the rest of 2023, plus I get a little philosophical about why I do what I do. Click play below to watch and enjoy!
Did you attend QuiltCon this year? I did and it was so amazing. In fact, I feel like it was one of their best shows yet! Put on by The Modern Quilt Guild, QuiltCon has been going strong for 10 years now, and I’ve been a part of every single event! In years past, I’ve written blog posts about the show and shared a lot of real time pics on Instagram and Facebook.
This year, I made a 24 minute video sharing all about my experience as a vendor, along with over 50 of my faves from the show. Click below to watch:
Whether you were there in person, or watched from afar online, the excitement and camaraderie are unlike any other show I’ve attended. I’d love to keep the conversation going, so I’d love to hear about your thoughts. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!
Recap Below For My Previous QuiltCon Experiences:
Click each of the links below for previous blog posts. Most of them include more links to other thoughts from the show. So don’t be afraid to go down a rabbit hole to get the full experience from the last 10 years.
From the years 2019-22 I was a bit overwhelmed with blogging and mainly shared on instagram rather than as a separate blog post. So be sure to check out #quiltcon2019 #quiltcon2020 #quiltcontogether and #quiltcon2022 to get a feel for it on social media. The event was virtual in 2021 and then back in person in 2022.
There’s also a great hashtag #tenyearsofquiltcon. If you have memories from previous shows, I’d love to hear all about them! Other than that, I’ll plan to be there again in person in Raleigh NC in 2024. I hope to see you there!
While I’m away at QuiltCon this week, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite technique tutorials with you. I’m diligently working on adding more videos to my YouTube channel in my hope of making quilting more accessible and less intimidating for everyone!
How to Spray Baste Your Quilt Using a Design Wall
By far, this is my most popular technique ever. Once you learn how to demystify the basting process, machine quilting is a breeze! Click play below to watch:
When I’m in a hurry, this is my go-to method for a fast quilt finish! Click play below to watch:
How to Hand Bind Your Quilt
I love hand sewing but don’t often have much time for it. So my favorite thing is to relax and watch a tv show or listen to an audio book while hand binding. Take a look below to see how I attach the binding to the quilt and finish by hand:
Do you have a specific technique you’d like to learn? Or do you want more guidance on how to make a quilt from one of my patterns? Please leave a comment letting me know what you’d like to see more of! I’m happy to add it to the list!
Are you planning on attending QuiltCon next week? It takes place in Atlanta, GA February 23-26. I’ve attended every show since it’s inception in 2013. Sometimes I teach, other times I take classes or volunteer. But this time I’m doing something new: I’m super stoked to be attending as a vendor this time around!
I’ll be hanging out in booth 2508 and I’ll be bringing a whole load of my designer products with me! I’ll have my books, patterns, fabrics and threads on display and I can’t wait!!
It’s a lot of work to set up a booth, so I’ve been taking time this week to stage what some of my displays will look like. Figuring out where to get containers to hold my products has been fun. It makes me appreciate folks that do this on a regular basis!
I’m figuring out how much product I can bring and the best way to display it!
Fortunately, I have family who live in the area, so I’ve been able to have a lot of my things shipped to them ahead of time. They’ve also agreed to help me set up and man my booth, so I’m excited to make it a family affair!
Office supply stores have so many great display pieces that will really come in handy!!
Also, by a stroke of good luck, I’m returning to GA in April to teach for a nearby guild (The East Cobb Quilters Guild). So my aunt told me she’s happy to let me keep anything remaining at her home in the meantime.
I’ll be able to share the leftover goodies with the guild members when I teach and then (hopefully) bring anything extra back in my suitcases. Figuring out the logistics has been a TON of work!
I’m using cuter buckets than these, but this gives me an idea of visual presentation for my booth.
This will be a fun new experience for me as a vendor. I’m most excited that I’ll be able to hang out in one spot, chatting with folks all weekend. If you are there, please stop by and say hi! Now I’d better go pack!!!
Spray basting has really revolutionized my machine quilting process. It makes quilt basting faster and easier, and there’s no pesky pins getting in the way while you quilt! I’ve shared my spray basting technique many times, using my design wall to assemble the layers. However, lots of folks don’t have access to a design wall, so I put together a new video showing how to use my method using a table instead. Take a look below:
In my video above, I’m making a king sized version of my Interlinked quilt. You can grab the Interlinked quilt pattern to make one for yourself and it includes 4 sizes:
In the video you also see me trimming the extra batting and backing using my Christa Quilts Batting Shears. These are a must-have in your sewing space! They are thicker and longer than regular scissors which more than doubles the cutting speed versus regular scissors. They really do cut through batting like butter!
I love my Christa Cabinet from Arrow Sewing – it’s perfect for domestic machine quilting!
Collaborating with a sewing furniture company was a dream come true!
Here’s a quick backstory: I’ve been quilting my own quilts for over 25 years, and with the rise of social media I began sharing more pictures and videos of my work. Anytime I shared my sewing setup, I would get about a dozen people asking where to get my table.
I had a hard time answering that question since the table I was previously using was a gift from my mom over 20 years ago. The shop she purchased it from was no longer in business and I didn’t even know the brand!
When you order your Christa Cabinet from me, it comes with a free custom insert to fit your machine!
So fast forward to just before the pandemic. I spent a good amount of time coming up with the *perfect* design for a sewing table since I couldn’t find anything like it on the market. In addition to creating a large flat surface with a drop-in hole for my machine, I needed a table that would hold up the weight of the quilt in ALL the right places, with plenty of room for my notions close at hand.
But here’s the most important feature: I needed a table with raised edges to keep the quilt from falling off the sides as I quilted. I was dumbfounded that no one thought of this before!! Another super important consideration was cost. In my research, I checked out all of the leading companies’ offerings and found the prices to be way too high for the average quilter.
Moreover, most of the high end tables I researched were actually too big to fit in an average sized room, especially if you wanted to keep your cabinet completely open and in use all the time, like I do.
The “L” shaped design to the left of your machine holds up the weight of your quilt.
Much to my luck, a mutual friend helped me get in touch with the folks at Arrow Sewing. I showed them my design and asked if they could produce something like this.
When they said yes, a beautiful partnership was created and I was thrilled to work with them to create the Christa Cabinet which made its debut in May of 2022. It was an instant hit and the response has been amazing!
If you haven’t seen this amazing table in action yet, I’m excited to share measurements with you, plus a video for you to check out. So keep reading…
Christa Cabinet Specs
My cabinet will fit all of the BERNINA & Juki models out there, plus about 95% of all other brands currently on the market. As long as your machine measures less than 23 1/2″ wide by 12 1/2″ deep, it will fit nicely. Here are the rest of the cabinet measurements:
Cabinet fully open, will all leaves extended: 71 5/8″ W x 40″ D x 29″ H
Cabinet closed with side leaf down: 56 1/2″ W x 22 5/8″ D x 29″ H
Quilt leaf (back extension): 55 3/4″ x W x 18 1/4″ D
Right side leaf for notions and stuff: 15 3/4″ W x 19 5/8″ D
Lift opening (table top cutout): 23 3/4″ x 12 1/2″ D
Drawer (open or closed on left): 18 3/4″ x 15″ D x 3 1/2″ H
Cover for drawer (extra table space): 22 3/4″ W x 14 3/8 D
With my Christa Cabinet, domestic machine quilting is a breeze!
Shipping the Christa Cabinet
As of right now, the cabinet can only be sent to addresses in the continental US. It can be shipped fully assembled to about 90% of US addresses through Fed Ex’s premium delivery service. For areas where this service is unavailable, you’ll have the option for it to be shipped unassembled and flat in a couple of boxes.
Here are a few more FAQs (frequently asked questions):
The Christa Cabinet features manual lift and locking casters.
Standard height with casters is 29″
Assembled Cabinet takes 3-4 weeks for delivery
Both top loading and front loading bobbins can be accessed.
Knee will fit with the cabinet; specify with custom insert
Custom insert ships separately, allow 3-4 weeks for delivery
My quilt blocks shown above are a separate add-on purchase. But the best thing is, they’ll fit most tables already on the market. They come in a set of 2 are they are like guardrails for your quilt, keeping it from going overboard!!
Christa Cabinet Pricing
Due to MAP regulations (minimum advertised pricing), the retail price (MSRP) listed on my website will usually be higher than what you will actually pay. In addition, Arrow offers special deals from time to time, plus I can offer a few bonus incentives when you order it directly from me.
So if you are at all interested in getting more information about the cabinet, just shoot me an email to email@example.com and I’ll help you determine if it’s a good fit for your machine! I’ll be able to quote you the lowest current price and help you with shipping questions, too!
Watch This Videos for More Info about the Christa Cabinet
One thing the pandemic taught me is that I absolutely LOVE being out and about with quilters in person. Although I tried the live, online teaching thing, I realized it just wasn’t for me. After returning home from my first teaching event of the year, I realized there’s nothing like being in a room full of excited quilting students, walking around and giving them encouragement. I just can’t duplicate that online.
Examples of student work from my workshops at Road 2 CA in January, 2023
That’s why I’m so happy to be getting back to a full traveling & teaching schedule! See below for my complete list of 2023 events. It’s a fun mix of guild events, quilt shows, and few quilt shops from coast to coast. If you plan to attend one of these, please let me know in the comments. I’m really looking forward to it!
2023 Travel Schedule
February 23-26: Vending at QuiltCon in Atlanta, GA
April 27-29 – East Cobb Quilters Guild, Marietta GA Thursday: Walking Foot Quilting Thursday night: Meet & Greet Friday Lecture: How Do I Quilt It? Saturday: Free-Motion Quilting
May 3-5: Sauder Village Quilt Show Featured Artist, Archbold Ohio Wednesday: Walking Foot Wonders Thursday: Free Motion Favorites Thursday Evening Lecture: How Do I Quilt It? Friday Schoolhouse: What makes a quilt modern?
May 19-20 Dave’s BERNINA in St. George and Provo, UT Friday: How Do I Quilt It? workshop in St. George Saturday: How Do I Quilt It? workshop in Provo
June 14-17: Minnesota Quilters Show in St. Cloud Thursday 1:30-4:30 How to Make a Quilting Plan Thursday 6-7 Lecture: What Makes This Quilt Modern Friday 8:30-4:30 Quilting Between the Lines – Free Motion Saturday 8:30-4 Quilting Between the Lines – Your Walking Foot
June 27-30: BERNINA University, Dallas TX
Aug 1-2: The Quilt Guild of the Villages in Florida Tuesday Lecture Wednesday Machine Quilting Workshop
September 14-16: All About Sewing in Mobile, AL Thursday: Lecture/Trunk Show Friday: Walking Foot Quilting Saturday: Free Motion Quilting
I get a lot of requests to travel nationwide and even a few overseas! I try to get to as many of them as I can. If your guild, group, or local quilt shop would like to host me for an event (starting in 2024 or later), have them shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to come!
Partnering up with Brewer Sewing to create my own line of quilting notions has long been a dream of mine. These are tools I use every day in my quilting life and I’m super excited that I get to share them with you!
We worked together to create my top 5 most useful notions: batting shears, quilting gloves, a creasing tool (also known as a Hera marker), an ergonomic rotary cutter, and a mini mat and ruler set. Let me tell you more about them!
The batting shears are my absolute fave because they make trimming up batting such a breeze! I use them first of all to cut off a large chunk of batting from the roll so that it’s larger than my quilt top. Once my quilt is all basted together, I use them again to trim off the excess batting and backing from my quilt. They cut through the thick quilt layers like butter and I don’t know how I ever got along without them!
They include flat handles for left or right handed use.
Machine Quilting Gloves
My machine quilting gloves are a game changer when it comes to scrunching and smooshing your quilt under the machine. The grippy dots help you grab onto the quilt, reducing hand fatigue. They are one size and reversible so you can wear each glove on either hand (just in case you don’t want to show off my cute logo while quilting, LOL!) The gloves are washable and they don’t get as dirty as other gloves I’ve tried, so that’s an extra bonus!
Say that 3 times fast!! Here’s a fun fact: I usually call this creasing tool a “Hera” marker. But when it was time to create the packaging for this notion, I looked up to see if that word was copyrighted. It was, but whoever owned it had let the copyright lapse. However, not wanting to take any chances, I opted to go by its more generic name instead. No matter what you call it, this handy gadget is perfect for marking straight lines on your quilt to follow while machine quilting!
This is the most comfortable rotary cutter you’ll ever own! This safety cutter is fabulous because you can lock the blade open or closed, and it can even stand upright on a table when not in use. Each cutter comes with several spare blades, making it a fantastic value to add to your toolbox!
My rotary cutter pairs nicely with my mini mat and ruler set. This handy pair is perfect to keep right by your machine to make small cuts without having to get up from your workspace. I also use it to trim off binding ends when sewing my binding to a quilt.
In case you haven’t made this one yet, it’s a free pattern that you can download and make at your convenience using 5 colorful fabrics with matching low-volume backgrounds. As I made the quilt I took videos of all the parts so that I could show you how easy it is to make this quilt from start to finish including cutting, piecing, basting, machine quilting AND binding.
I originally shared this video in 2 separate parts. But now by requests, I’ve edited into one longer video that runs about 35 minutes in length.Click the image below to watch, and let me know if you have any questions!