Beading the quilt….

On Sunday, I shared the MQG Fabric Challenge quilt at its final stage…..

….or rather it’s ALMOST finished stage!!

I wanted to add one more thing before I called it finished….


I had picked out some seed beads that matched the fabrics……

….and was ready to add them to the Dreamcatcher.

First I had to find all of my beading tools……

…… specifically, a beading needle, beading thread, and tray to hold the beads.

All happily stored in an Altoids tin……

My biggest concern was that none of the stitching showed on the back of the quilt so I was very careful in the sewing.

I started with a knot in the thread…..

and then pulled it to set the knot inside the batting so it didn’t show……

I took one stitch up to the front of the quilt and added a bead.

The stitch going back to the bottom doesn’t go in the same hole but needs to be a “beads length” distance away from the original hole……

I stitched back up in the same space…..

and ran the needle thru the bead again……

This helps it to lay flat rather than have the hole sticking up and also helps to secure the bead.

Then the stitch goes to the back again……

and runs UNDER the backing fabric to the next bead placement.

Repeat this 140+ times and I can actually proclaim that…..


Catching A Dream

The beads are very subtle but that was what I was going for.

If you have an interest in beading, you might check out this post from a class that I took with Lyric Kinard…..


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How NOT to wash a quilt!

Yesterday you may have seen my HELP Facebook post. Here is the story……

I finally finished quilting the circle color wheel quilt (more to come on that later).

After squaring it up and applying the binding, it was time to wash out all of those blue lines and clean off all of those years of sitting in the closet waiting to be finished!

I started worrying about washing it from the moment I decided to use wool batting. After all, you have to be careful about wool felting!!

I did some research and found that it could be washed in cold water and laid out to dry, so that was my plan.

My initial plan was to put it in the washer with a small amount of clothes soap….

….and set it on Cold Wash!!

Unfortunately, with my “modern” washer, I couldn’t fill it up as far as I wanted so I ended up adding lots of extra water….

Once the cycle started agitating, I paused the cycle and used my hand to mash the quilt up and down in the water.

Then I set the washer on “Drain and Spin” and let it do both. I didn’t let it spin too long.

I then repeated this long process two more times to be sure and remove all of the soap.

While this was going on, I set up my deck to receive the washed quilt. I started with an old king-size blanket and added a plastic drop cloth.

I was SO excited when it came out of the washer for the final time…..

I took it to the deck and started opening it up.


…..a HUGE yellow dye transfer and additional bleeding on the white fabrics.


In my mind, I could see all of those hours going to waste. It was NOT a fun few minutes!!

SO, I now turned to the internet and started researching ways to remove the errant dyes.

First step was to fill a bathtub with cold water, adding “Dawn Ultra” detergent…..

….. and submerge the quilt…..

Then I noticed that the water was getting murky meaning that OTHER fabrics were bleeding as well.

Now remember……I religiously wash every fabric that comes into my studio, so this was really upsetting!!!

I drained the water and could see that the two problem areas were getting lighter so I wanted to continue soaking the quilt.

BUT, I didn’t want to give any other fabrics a chance to bleed!!

After wandering around the house for a few minutes, I found 3 plastic trashcans that I could put in the bathtub and prop the rest of the quilt up mostly out of the water, making a “well” to hold the soapy water. If I had to do this again, I would get a large plastic box, fill it with soapy water, and just soak the problem area.

I said a little prayer and headed to my office to work.

Two hours later I returned and was excited to find that the spots were gone!!!

I ran it through the washer for a quick spin and then to the deck.

One hour on this side…..

….and another hour on this side…..

….and it was ready for the bed!!!

SO….what was the problem???

I think that there simply wasn’t enough water in the washer and it allowed the fabrics to lay against one another. Next time I will use the bathtub method at the start!!!

It did make for an exciting morning but I guess “All’s well that end’s well”…….


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Don’t fall down that hole!!

I have a fear that when I am changing the needle on my machine, I will lose my grip and it will fall DOWN that little hole and get lost in the bowels of my machine!!

Being nervous doesn’t really help when you are trying NOT to be fumble-fingeredi!!

The other day I thought of a simple solution……


I grabbed a Post-It Note……

…..but a piece of fabric would work just as well and might even be sitting on your machine!!

I now feel secure when holding the needle…..

….. and am less likely to drop it!!

Isn’t it amazing how much security a small piece of paper can bring?



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Pipe Cleaner to the rescue

Okay… I the LAST person to know this trick???

I read recently about using a pipe cleaner to clean your sewing machine. It sounded interesting and I had recently bought a bag on a clearance table so had 100 brand-new stems ready to work…..

I was cleaning my sit-down longarm after doing weeks of thread painting and it needed to be cleaned well!!

I had tried to reach one area with my tweezers…..

….but was unsuccessful.

So, it was time to pull out the pipe cleaners!

I was amazed at how they could curve around and between areas…..

And I was even MORE amazed when I looked at the “stuff” that came out…..

Even when I thought it was completely clean, I ran the Pipe-Cleaner through one more time and found even more smutz…..

It was probably the cleanest that my machine has been since I bought it!!!

Are you one of the millions who already knew this trick???.

AND….if you are….what other tricks are you hiding from me???

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Do you wax??…..

That may seem like a VERY personal question, but I am actually talking about waxing your sewing machine bed……

Have you ever waxed your machine? I love my sit-down longarm, and I found it extremely useful in quilting. When I purchased it, I bought the plastic cover that goes over the top of the machine. This was designed to help the fabric slide better

I was never truly happy with the slickness of the cover, so I also added my super slider to it….

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of threadwork. The problem is that I have backed the piece with interfacing to give it a little more stability as I stitch. The interfacing is a little fuzzy and it does not slide well on my machine bed.

Since I was getting ready to do a lot of detail work, I really wanted this to be as slick as possible.

Enter Turtle Wax for cars.

I had read this works well, but hadn’t tried it yet, so I decided that this was the perfect time to give it a test.

I applied the wax with a rag…..

…. although, after the fact, I realized that I was supposed to use a damp rag… Oh, well note to self… Read the instructions first!

I was careful to keep the wax away from the needle area….

Once I was finished……

I turned on the overhead fan and waited for the wax to dry. I then buffed it off….. first with paper towels…..

and then, with some soft cheesecloth…..

As you can see, I used too much wax and ended up with bits of balled-up wax everywhere. I had to be very careful to get them all into the trash can and NOT on my floor or other supplies!!

Now for the ultimate test. Do pieces more smoothly?…

And the answer is a resounding YES.!!

When I started doing more stitching I found that it was so easy to move the fabric around on the bed of the machine.

It was definitely a success, but….. Would I do it differently next time?

First of all, I will read the instructions…..I WILL read the instructions…..I WILL READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!!!

Secondly, I won’t add such a thick layer of wax!! (Using a damp rag will help this)….see the above statement!!

I have also heard of using a silicone spray but since the wax worked so well and since I still have a lot left in the can, I will probably stick to waxing going forward.

My only question is how often do I need to do this?

If you have waxed your machine bed previously, how long did it last???

If you are interested, these supplies can be purchased on Amazon….

Turtle-wax” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>urtle Wax Super Hard Shell

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