Machine Binding

Every time I show a quilt that has a machine-finished binding, I’m asked how it was done. So, here it is! Let’s start with what it looks like at the end. (Sorry for the not-so-great photos, I didn’t take them with the intention of publishing them!)


First, you need to select two fabrics for the binding. One for the outer binding (pink) and one for the little flange (orange) that lies between the binding and the quilt. Cut enough binding to go around the entire quilt with a 12-16″ overlap for joining. Cut the outer binding 1¼” wide. Cut the flange fabric 1½” wide.

20121115_105207Join the lengths together as you would for a regular binding – do this once for the outer binding and once for the flange so you end up with two lengths of fabric.

20121115_105423Press the seams open and trim the seam allowance. With the seams offset, stitch the two lengths together, right sides facing, with a ¼” seam allowance.

20121115_111142Press the seam allowance toward the outer binding fabric.


Press the binding in half – wrong sides facing as you would regular binding – matching the raw edges. I lightly spray the wrong side with starch prior to pressing so the binding doesn’t shift as I attach it to the quilt.


Attach the binding to the WRONG side of the quilt with a ¼” seam. Form the corners as you normally would. Leave long tails at the beginning and the end with an unsewn area of about 10″ for joining.



To join the ends, lay one tail down. Cut it about half way into the unsewn area.

20121115_121554Lay the other tail on top. Take the piece that you cut off and lay it cross-wise on top of the tail to mark the overlap of the two tails. The overlap should be the same width as the binding.

20121115_12161620121115_121631Stitch the ends together. Press open. Trim. Stitch down.

20121115_12183720121115_122004Turn the binding to the right side of the quilt and stitch in the ditch formed by the flange and the outer binding. If you keep it snug, the stitch line will fall beyond the binding on the back side.

20121115_13232020121115_135040I don’t use this method often – I still prefer to hand stitch my binding down. But, when I’m in a hurry it’s my go-to method!












Blog Tour and a Giveaway!

I am so happy to have been asked to join in on the blog tour for Optical Illusions! This is a beautiful book, I could spend plenty of time just looking at the pictures – but knowing the designers at Kansas City Star, that doesn’t surprise me! Other than the gorgeous photographs, I like that this book is pretty representative of what I see in Modern Quilting today – a wide range of modern-traditionalism to an all-out Modern aesthetic. But all of the quilts follow my definition of Modern design – simple lines with a strong design.

op illusionsOn the more modern-traditionalism end of the spectrum there are the block-based quilts. Melissa Corry‘s Old Dutch is reminiscent of a traditional windmill block which any quilter would love. Tia Curtis‘ Tropical Storm reminds me of an Ocean Waves block. I love that she added a few surprises in the quilt – if only I could stand to make that many half-square triangles! Then there is Jessica Toye‘s Water Ripples, a modern take on a snowball block. I love her well-planned color placement.

CurtisTropical Storm by Tia Curtis

Moving further into the modern spectrum, there is Katie Larson‘s Curvilinear with its strong lines and very modern appeal kind of reminds me of a Storm at Sea quilt in the way that it moves and fools your eye into seeing circles. Karen Hansen‘s Surfs Up brings to mind a Drunkard’s Path – updated in both the approach and setting.

LarsonCurvilinear by Katie Larson

Next we move to the quilts that remind me of classic Victor Vasarely art work. There is the very Op-Art inspired Blurred Vision by Penny Layman. 3-D Diamonds by Jenifer Dick is very modern in its simple, bold lines – but not a simple design. Then there is Mary Kay Fosnacht‘s Tangerine Tumbler – I love her layout and modern take on the classic Tumbling Block.

3d diamonds3-D Diamonds by Jenifer Dick

The last quilt on this spectrum – in my opinion – is Jamie David‘s Aura. Inspired by the Modern artist Josef Alber, it has a very modern appeal.

DavidAura by Jamie David

It think this book will appeal to a wide range of quilters – from traditional to someone wanting to add a little modern influence to their quilts to someone who has a very modern aesthetic and is looking for a little inspiration.

Speaking of inspiration! I have a giveaway to take care of! I am giving away a Kona Color Card. I have my own card sitting next to me for another project that I’m working on. I find that card to be invaluable! It’s great to have access to a library of colors that are actually rendered in fabric. Just leave a comment about how you get your inspiration and I’ll randomly choose a winner at the end of the tour!

kona card

Jenifer Dick is also blogging about this book today … and has a different giveaway! The rest of the tour finishes up tomorrow:

Jenifer Dick,

Nov. 14 Jessica Toye,
Jacquie Gering,
Shea Henderson,

Thanks for stopping by!

American Quilter

Look what came in the mail today! The latest issue of American Quilter Magazine – November 2014.

aqs cover

Why am I so excited about this particular issue? Linda Hungerford of Flourishing Palms wrote an article about my book, Accentuate the Negative. I made all new quilts for the article – so there are not any duplicates from the book – using each paradigm from the book. They asked me to design a pattern to be featured with the article. So I designed a quilt called ‘Spiraled Squared’.

spiraled squares

It was quilted by Tammy of Quiltin’ Kaboodle – she has detailed photos of the quilting on her blog. Another Tammy, this one from Marmalade Fabrics, has put together a kit for the pattern. If you would like to purchase the kit from the exact fabrics that I used, click here. If you would like a kit, but you’re not keen on the colors, you can just send Tammy a message and she can work with you to make up a kit in a palette you would love – she is great with colors!

spiraled squares - outdoor


If you make this quilt, please let me know. I’d love to see photos!

Fall Quilt Walk

One of the guilds that I belong to is having a quilt show in a couple of weeks. I love this guild because we are made up of all kinds of quilters: modern, traditional, contemporary, art – you never know what you are going to see at show and tell! Well, we are going to be showing our quilts off on October 11th at the Overland Park Arboretum. We will have quilts hanging from the fences, information about our charity projects: Quilts of Valor and Safehome, and a series of bed-turnings. Some of the bed turnings include:

Ida Houston - ThreadPlay
Barbara Bruce – Petal Play
Trisch Price – Modern Quilting
Joan Nicholson – A Quilting Journey
Carla Timberlake - Quilting with Scraps
Nikki McDonald - Finish What You Started
Shirlee Vieria – As the Applique Turns
Shirley Peterson
I’ll post the final bed-turning schedule soon! I’m hoping to add one more!
quilt walk

Creative Mojo

I was interviewed on Mark Lipinski’s Creative Mojo earlier this week. Mark was great and he even likes Modern quilts now! YAY! If you want to listen to it, click here (it’s the April 23rd show). At the end we were talking about making quilts with fabrics other than cotton. The Silk Bricks quilt in my book is made of silk dupioni and linen. The silk was a breeze to work with. I didn’t have to do anything to it – however, everything in that quilt is cut on the straight of grain so that helps. The only thing I found necessary for the silk was a lint roller!! The linen was a bit of a pain. I used regular linen used for garment sewing because I loved the look of it. Even after starching it, it still loves to shift. The biggest issue with the linen is the quilting. It really misshapen it. By the time I was finished with the quilting, I had a 3-D quilt! So, I blocked it. I had to avoid getting water on the silk – I used a lot of reds and they all were prone to bleeding. I just laid an old towel over an insulation board, sprayed the linen until it was pretty wet and then pinned it down everywhere. Here are a couple of pictures of the blocking.


Waves Before Blocking

Lots of Pins!

Lots of Pins!

In the end, it’s nice and flat and I still love the look of the linen. However, if I was a beginner, I’d consider using Quilter’s Linen instead!

Mod Roses – The Quilting

When I originally conceived the idea for my book, Accentuate the Negative, I never envisioned it as a book about how to quilt negative space but rather a book about how to make negative space and use it to its fullest. I have come across a few comments from quilters that are interested in the quilting. Given that, I’ve decided to write a little about the quilting of each of the quilts. I’m going to start from the back of the book and work to the front! So, first up: Mod Roses.

The background of this quilt was generally quilted with an all-over, simple meandering leaf motif. Nestled in the leaves are quotes about roses – there are six quotes on the quilt.

roses 7Each improv rose is framed as is each of the pieced leaves. I just did SID around each of the frames and chose to leave the frames free of quilting. As far as the roses, I just quilted wiggly-concentric circles starting in the center of the rose and working my way out to fill the space. The leaves in the rose blocks just got a little swirl and SID around the outside. I filled the background with horizontal and vertical lines – that was my only rule. I didn’t use any rulers, and everything is randomly spaced.

roses 6I filled the background of the leaf blocks with pebbling.

roses 8





Another Giveaway!

Kansas City Star’s My Stars is sponsoring a book giveaway on their facebook page. They are giving away four sets of four modern books – my new book, Accentuate the Negative is included in the set as well as the book that I was in last fall, Classic Modern Quilts! All you have to do is ‘LIKE’ their facebook page! To make it more convenient, just click this image, or the button on the right side of the page. Good Luck!


Quick Tip Tuesday – What’s What?

I rarely make block-based quilts. On the up-side: my attention doesn’t wane; on the down-side: I tend to design quilts with lots of different pieces that are rarely the same size. Which means I have a lot to keep track of! I’ve tried several different ways to do this: stacking the pieces in order of dimension, writing the dimensions on the back with chalk, etc. I’ve finally settled on stickers! I love those little, round garage-sale stickers. There is just enough adhesive to keep them on without leaving a residue. I avoid hitting them with the iron – but I have done so many times and it has never had any effect.

20140324_090228When I start a project with lots of pieces, I write each size on a sticker – if I’m cutting several different fabrics at once, I’ll note the fabric as well. This way, I can just take my stack of stickers to my cutting table and use them as my guide. I transfer each sticker as I cut each piece. When all the stickers are done, I am done! I also use these stickers when I have a bunch of improvisational blocks to make of specific sizes (as in the pictured project).



A New Year and A New Book

I really didn’t mean to ignore my blog for so long! Between the holidays, snow-days, and my new book time has just flown by! So, first things first, when I last posted I was giving away a copy of Classic Modern Quilts to whomever got the closest to picking the colors that I love for 2014. The winner was ‘usairdoll’ with smoke and dark violet. I love that shade of gray and my personal favorite purple or pink, or whatever color you want to call it, is cerise. I finished the quilt top and my sister (Quiltin Kaboodle) is quilting it for me. I’ll post a sneak peak when I get it back. I’ve seen some of the quilting that she is doing and it’s phenomenal!

On to more current news: my book is out and I think it’s just beautiful. The photography and the layout alone are enough for me to stare at it for hours! I am so excited to have it in my hands! The book is laid out in six chapters each addressing a different way of using negative space. Each chapter includes three quilts and patterns for each demonstrating the technique. I’m looking forward to seeing what other quilters will do with these techniques. Here are a few peaks inside the book.

Technically, I guess this is not an ‘inside’ peak! Isn’t this cover awesome!

AtN-front-coverHaving a sister that is battling breast cancer, it is always on my mind. This quilt – ‘Aware’ – can be made to represent any awareness by changing the colors.

Aware_WatermarkThis quilt – ‘String of Pearls’ – was inspired by Lizzy House’s pearl bracelets fabric. The quilt uses two charm packs and a few extra pieces. I love the way it turned out. It was quilted by Ida Houston of Cowtown Quilts - the quilting is amazing!


This last peak is ‘Savanna Nights’. I have a weakness for Echino prints in general and this Echino print was the inspiration for this quilt. All of the blue solids are In The Beginning Modern Solids.


If you would like to purchase a signed copy of the book, you can click on the button on the right side of the screen!

Double Wedding Ring Challenge

Anyone who knows me as a quilter, knows that I have a problem passing up a challenge. I’m trying to resist them, but I still get sucked in. This time, it was the Double Wedding Ring Challenge from NYC Modern Quilt Guild. I’ve always wanted to make a double wedding ring quilt. Add to that, my 25th wedding anniversary is this coming year. Add to that, a little Kate Spain fabric collection that needed a project. Add to that, an idea sprung into my head. Obviously, I had to do it – and I’m now nine months ahead on a project … that NEVER happens!

The quilt I designed has 25 rings, one for each year. To make the years more distinctive, I ventured from the traditional design and made each ring distinctive. Each is improvisationally pieced using three different Kate Spain fabrics in the same color family. No three combinations are repeated. Then I added ‘I Do’ down the side and our wedding date across the bottom.

Double Wedding Ring ChallengeThe challenge required a minimum of four rings … so, I made a king size quilt! I took the photo on my driveway, standing on a ladder, holding the camera as high as I could. I’m sure the neighbors are wondering about me!

Inside each ring, I quilted something significant that happened during that year of our marriage – new house, kids, dogs. Once those were exhausted – I devolved to family vacations. Some just have symbols or words. Here are the kids – taken with a flash, so they aren’t great:


 dwrTyler dwrkileyThat’s the project in a nutshell. I’m happy to have the double wedding ring pattern off of my list!