Sue Spargo (Shows 1304 & 810) is a stitching goddess and her classes fill up immediately. But, this past year she has been recovering from treatments for breast cancer. So others have had to step in to fill her big stitching shoes. Tonye Belinda Phillips has been one of those teachers. We are blessed in Central Oregon that Tonye is a local and we get to enjoy her classes more frequently. Sue was scheduled to teach two classes at the Stitchin' Post this month, a 3-day workshop on creating background and motifs followed by a 2-day stitchery class. Tonye stepped in for her and has in the past been a co-teacher in workshops with Sue. I was lucky enough to get in the 2-day stitchery class and was most likely the student who traveled the least. While I had two classmates who came all the way from Maine!!! What I can share with you is taking a workshop allows you a more relaxed immersion into learning. You not only learn from the instructor but in this relaxed environment your fellow classmates are a wonderful support group. Tonye is a wonderfully supportive instructor and has that sweet low key method of helping you learn stitches that Sue has. In the 2-day stitchery class, everyone brought their own projects and the goal was to become proficient in 2-3 additional stitches. I am happy to say I met my goal! I now am able to stitch the Woven Picot, the Drizzle and have perfected the Trellis, Rosetta Chain and Bullion, LOL...don't you want to give these stitches a try!!!

I know you will enjoy the slide show and it might be one you will want to bookmark as a reference in stitch choices!! Sue Spargo is scheduled to teach at The Stitchin' Post in 2017. Her 2017 BOM is already filled and closed, WOW!  But stay tuned, the Stitchin' Post will be organizing a BOM by Tonye Belinda Phillips in 2017 and I for one will be on that stitching list!!!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow


Click here for Anna's blog.

Click here for Anna's YouTube channel.


Cathy Wiggins knows that some people are not comfortable about using leather in their work. Here she discusses her feelings on the subject of using animal hides to create works of art.

Star Members can watch Cathy in Show 1909: Taking Leather to a Whole New Level.

Ever wanted to be part of the excitement of IQA’s Winners’ Circle Celebration but weren’t anywhere near Houston? This year you can be with…

For the first time, the IQA will be live streaming the entire ceremony on Tuesday, November 1, from 6-8 p.m. You’ll be able to see all of the introductions, award presentations, and quilt reveals from three angles in real time.

Be one of the first to see which quilts take home awards and accolades in this year's Quilts: A World of Beauty Judged Show competition from your own computer, tablet, or phone, and right from the comfort of your own home!

And if you aren't able to view it live, the live stream will also be archived in its entirety for two weeks following the event. So, you can enjoy it at your convenience.

The cost to view the live stream is only $3, with all proceeds benefiting the non-profit International Quilt Association! Click on the button below for more information and to pay to view.

And remember, if you can't join in the fun live, TQS will be posting photos of the winning quilts, plus interviews with some of the winners, and highlights of many of the exhibitions. 



The leaves are falling both outdoors and indoors as Jen from Shabby Fabrics teaches you how to make the Falling Leaves quilt block.

Click here for the .pdf file.





We asked you to let us know about some of your quilting disasters, allowing you to share your pain and experiences with other quilters who may have experienced the same. Here are just a few, there will be more to come. Remember, you are not alone.

Want to share your quilting disaster? Click here. - PLEASE DO NOT ENTER IT INTO THE COMMENTS SECTION.

I sent out a quilt to be long-armed as I was in a hurry to get it completed and mailed out for a fifth. After my quilter called all proudly getting it my rushed timeframe, I went to her home to retrieve it. The quilting was beautiful and perfect. The only thing was that it wasn't my quilt.  Seems she had been working on a few in the last week, and someone else picked up my quilt. After a lot of phone calls and searching; my quilt was returned to me; missing the date of the event it was to celebrate.  – Tracy May

Many years ago I had taken a class from Ricky constructing a primitive patchwork quilt. I had four of my best quilting buddies over one afternoon and was showing them my finished top. I put the top over a small tv in my sewing room. I had lit a candle in a jar for a nice ambiance and an edge of the quilt was partly over the jar. We were talking and one of my friends noticed my quilt smoking. There was no major fire, but I had a pretty good burned spot on the edge of my quilt. (I shutter to think what might have happened). My dear friend Teri sat and removed all of the scorched pieces for me to replace saying that I probably wouldn't do it right away. I repaired the quilt and always think of that incident when I look at that quilt. I have not burned any candles since that time.  – EmmaD

I have gotten very good at disguising mistakes over the last fifty odd years of sewing. Latest one was cutting a slit in my trouser knee as I didn't bother getting up to get the cutting mat while I opened up a buttonhole with one of those little slitters. Have a little flower embroidery on it now. I have done lots of things, - sewing seams the wrong way round, mismatching patterns, Works on wallpapering too. Lost count of the times I have stabbed myself with a needle or pin. Probably my best effort was when I fell over a cushion which was waiting for its new cover I was making, it was leaning against the wall near the kitchen door, and was out of the way, or so I thought. I swear I had gone past it ten times or more without any problem. It just fell over as I went past it. Broke my leg. My foster kids were upset as I had promised to take them to the East of England show, so I went anyway, I had an electric wheelchair at the time, as I have foot problems, so I took them anyway. Brilliant day out.  – Susan Nash

I took a completed quilt top to a new long arm quilter. It was my sister's Christmas gift. I told her I wanted southwest motifs on it (howling coyotes, cactus, Native American symbols, etc.). She called me three weeks later to pick up the quilt. She told me, as I was unfolding my precious quilt, that she didn't really know how to quilt howling coyotes, so SHE DREW THEM ON THE QUILT WITH BLACK MAGIC MARKER! She wasn't a very accomplished artist. The  quilt was ruined; I recommended she call a customer if she didn't know how to quilt something; and I did not pay her. For Christmas, I cut the quilt up and gave my sister a southwest vest. – Gonnahappen

We have had several quilting disasters.  But the most traumatic actually happened to my oldest daughter.  She had just finished the binding on a queen size quilt that she had made for her good friend.  The wedding was the next weekend and my daughter was the maid of honor.  My younger daughter had recently gotten a new puppy.  I bet you know were I am going with this.  My oldest left the newly completed quilt on the living room couch.  Puppy had been let out of her kennel when my youngest got home and she was not paying much attending to what puppy was doing.  I received a hysterical phone call from my oldest when she arrived home to discover that a fairly good-sized hole had been chewed in the quilt.  Not on a side but two blocks in and about two blocks up.  When I arrived later I began removing all the quilting and the damaged block from the quilt.  My daughter made another block.  Luckily, and I use the term loosely, the back had been pieced.  I was able to open up a seam and cut out the damaged portion.  Before fixing the back I sewed in the block for the front, whip stitched in a piece of batting and was able to hand stitch in a section for the back.  We then made a large quilt label and placed it over the back to hide the patch.  Since this all took a couple of days to do my oldest was now calm enough to load the quilt back on her long arm machine and re-quilt the repaired quilt.  We wrapped the quilt and gave it as a wedding gift. Never mentioning the dog incident.  It was the only time she ever chewed on a quilt.  The two-time quilt chewer award goes to my own dog.  But that is another quilt disaster story. - regahn


A famous quilter told us to check out this new machine. It is just 13 lbs and perfect to take to class, on vacation, or to retreat. Yes it is also perfect for the new quilter, sewist, or a young learner. We loved the machine enough that we asked if we could sell it in our Shop. It's less than $300 and has lots of features we will talk about in future blogs. There are three models. Our pick is the mid-range model and is only $279.99. You can get quilting feet and a carry bag as accessories to complete the package. (Currently we can only ship in the Continental USA, sorry).







Now that you have everything in its place, it's time to address another area that most of us don't really enjoy...keeping the studio clean and regular maintenance. You have spent so much time and effort creating a place that is both functional and inspirational; if you can spend 5-10 minutes at the end of each sewing day doing a quick clean up job, you will be amazed at the results. Not only do you avoid the tendency to 'just set things here for a bit' (which often means more like a few months), it means that each day when you enter the studio, you can get right to work. There is nothing worse for stifling a bit of creative energy than having to clean up beforehand.

To keep things clean while you are in the studio, here are some suggestions:

  • Clean your cutting mat
  • Wipe off your sewing tables
  • Place trash cans around your sewing studio (cutting table, sewing area, desk/office table)
  • Keep tools stored near their designated work area, such as rulers and rotary cutters by the cutting station
  • Use pegboards to hold items and to keep the floor space free
  • Try to avoid keeping multiple projects out at once. Unless your studio is large and can accommodate multiple projects, a smaller space can very quickly become buried. If you do need to switch projects, put the current project (pattern, fabrics used, and any other items that need to be included) away for the time being, in its own container. This way, when you do come back, all of the elements are there for you to get right back to work.

Dust and Vacuum
Every so often you should do a thorough cleaning of your space, especially if your fur friends hang out with you. Mark your calendar and take an hour or so to vacuum, sweep and dust to keeps things fresh and orderly. If you have carpeting, you might even find a few random pins that escaped without your knowledge.

Cables and Extension Cords
Worn and damaged cables are a potential fire hazard, so they need to be inspected on a regular basis. Katie Fowler (Show 1807) went to church one Sunday morning only to discover upon her return, that her home was on fire.  A worn cable, buried under a pile of random items, caught fire in her basement studio.

Iron and Ironing Board Covers

Remove the cover from your ironing board and toss it in the washing machine. Over time, there is a lot of build up on the ironing surface, especially if you use starch or similar products. If you have made an ironing board using MDF or heavy plywood, remove the old cover and replace with a new one.

While you are at it, check your iron to make sure that it too is in tip-top shape. If your work includes a great deal of fusibles, or other 'glues,' these residues, over time, can build up on the sole plate of the iron. Keep your iron in good working order with these tips.

Here is a great recipe for making your own cleaner for a steam iron.

Cutting Mats

Cutting mats can become 'fuzzy' after extended periods of time. A simple cleaning trick from MadebyChrissieD will have your mat looking brand new in no time.

Needles and Pins

Old needles and bent pins have served their purpose and need to be disposed of in a proper manner. Old pill containers, spice jars, or small mint containers are perfect for holding old needles and bent pins until they can be thrown out. Label the container and keep it near your sewing area.

We wanted to share a cute pincushion thread catcher pattern (from MerrimentDesign) that will help to keep those stray threads off the floor. These little holders would also be perfect by your cutting station. Happy sewing!

Click here for more organization blogs.



This is a very interesting block. What do you think it is called? Play the game and find out.


Pick four of your favorite fabrics and you can make these adorable star ornaments. Just follow along with gilliancrafts at "Crafting a Rainbow."
(Photo: CraftingaRainbow)


The Quilt Alliance is seeking quiltmakers interested in documenting their quilts at the 2016 International Quilt Festival.

QA will have a booth (#1460-1461) at this year's International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas, November 3-6. In addition to sharing information about the Alliance and its work, Quilt Alliance staff will be interviewing quiltmakers throughout the show as part of its Go Tell It at the Quilt Show! project. 

Anyone with a quilt on exhibit at the festival, or who'd like to bring a quilt with them, can participate in Go Tell It!, a project that seeks to document quilts and their makers in three-minute videos. 

Anyone who has a quilt story--not just quiltmakers but quilt owners, designers, collectors or friends & family of a quiltmaker--is invited to record a 3-minute video with a special quilt. There are no pre-arranged questions or guidelines; just one person telling the story of one quilt in three minutes or less. 

Visit the Go Tell It signup page

Each interview slot lasts for approximately 15 minutes to include time for setting up the interview and audio testing. Go Tell It at the Quilt Show! is a free service for the quiltmaking community, provided by the Quilt Alliance, but a requested donation of $10 helps cover the cost of travel, staff time, web hosting, and video equipment. 

If you would like to volunteer at Festival in the Quilt Alliance booth, find out more and sign up here.

For more information, email qsos@quiltalliance.org


 Show#1909 with Artist: Cathy Wiggins

Purchase your Leather Journal Cover Kit and be ready to follow along as Cathy Wiggins takes you on a "Leather Journey"

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