Tips and Tutorials Tuesday: Machine Quilting with Style

October 6, 2015

Welcome to Tips and Tutorials Tuesday! As I work on the 2016 Quilter’s Day Planner, I’ve decided to temporarily shift Tips and Tutorials Tuesday to once a month.  Please scroll down below to see the fantastic tutorials that have been added below, and if you’re a blogger feel free to add as many as you’d like!

For my tip today, I want to share a new book with you that I’m thrilled I added to my bookshelf. Machine Quilting With Style: From Walking-foot Wonders to Free-motion Favorites (Amazon affiliate link).

Machine Quilting with Style

I met the author of this wonderful book last month at the HandiQuilter headquarters.  Christa Watson is a warm, effusive, funny, joyous person, and I enjoyed every moment I spent with her.

As a longarm quilter with four young children, it is rare for me to have time to sit down to practice my quilting skills on a home sewing machine.  But I have been making a point to try to do it a few times a week, even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time.  A longarm is a wonderful tool, but it doesn’t work well for certain designs (for example- long diagonal lines). So I was ecstatic when Christa told me about her new book.  It’s perfect for beginners and more advanced quilters alike.

Since I’m a professional longarm quilter, I know I shouldn’t be telling you this… but I love the idea of making a quilt from start to finish all by yourself.  So I love that Christa empowers quilters to do just that (even if it means less business for me!)  She has a practical, logical way of presenting information.  And I love the little tips that are off-set throughout the book.  These are details that patterns don’t usually mention – that you usually learn the hard way; Christa’s suggestions spare us from this pitiful fate.

The book contains 12 modern patterns. Christa walks readers through all steps of the quilt-making process, from start to finish.  I love this comprehensive approach to teaching. Christa’s book is a primer of sorts, with 10 free-motion quilting techniques and 8 walking foot desgins that are perfect starting points for me on my domestic sewing machine.

Of all the 12 patterns in the book, I particularly like Focal Point.  Here is a version of it by the oh-so-talented Amy Garro of 13 Spools:

13 Spools Focal Point quilt by Christa Watson

I also love Rain.  I think I could make this quilt over and over again with different color combinations.  Here is Cheryl’s version from Meadowmist Designs:

Rain by Cheryl

I hope you get a chance to take a peek at Christa’s book for yourself.  Add it to your list of modern quilting must-haves!




Add a Little Vintage to Your Life

October 5, 2015

I have a small obsession I haven’t shared with you yet.  Vintage quilts.  Oh, you’re not surprised, are you?

When I travelled to Utah last month to film an episode of the show called Quilt It (affiliate link), I met someone else who has an even greater obession with vintage quilts.  Her name is Kelly Cline.   Have you seen her work yet?  Kelly is a longarmer, like me, and she follows in the footsteps of domestic machine quilter Cindy Needham.  Kelly’s specialty is taking vintage linens, and filling them with new life.  Here’s a sample of her work that you can find on her blog. I’m a huge fan; Kelly is so full of joy and enthusiasm for what she does.

Kelly Cline quilting

Kelly is a free-motion quilting whiz. And on occasion, she combines FMQ with intricate computerized designs to create masterpieces that will surely live to see another century. If you like the idea of trying this, she has a facebook group that will give you plenty of inspiration!

Although I love old quilts, I don’t often have the opportunity to visit antique shops like Kelly does.  So I troll ebay and etsy, looking for beautiful pieces from the past.  If they’re unfinished, that’s even better!

Look at this lovely log cabin.  I like to daydream about how I will quilt it.  But I can never seem to commit.  The ghosts of quilters past hover over me, and I collapse under the pressure and tuck it back on the shelf, only to pull it out the next week and stare at it again.

vintage Quilt CLose Up log cabin 1

We visited the lake the other day, and I brought some of my vintage finds along with us.  The kids played at the playground next to me, and I snapped a few sunset pictures.

The grass is burnt and dessicated from the blistering August heat.  But there’s still something beautiful about it.

vintage Quilt Aunt Ginny log cabin 1

Sophie vintage quilt at lake jpeg III

My daughter can’t resist a quilt photo shoot.  She thinks it’s just a normal activity that all moms do with their kids every week.  We had so much fun attempting to flip this quilt out against the lake breeze.  We tried and tried until we were both in hysterics.

Then we turned around and looked at the giant sign two feet away from us.  How did we miss it?!?!?! We ran away screaming and laughing at the same time.  Apparently the water moccasins like this location too.

Swim at Your Own Risk and Snakes

We moved to higher ground for the rest of the pictures.  This X block quilt is from the 50s. I love the high value crispness of it.

vintage Quilt CLose Up 1

Can you see the perfect little hand stitches on the back?  I think of the time spent on these quilts, how much must have happened in a woman’s life during the time she slowly stitched each piece together with her hands.  I think about what she might have been thinking and feeling with each length of thread.  What would she think of me holding her quilt now?  How would she want me to finish it?

vintage Quilt CLose Up 1 Hand Stitches on Back

My mother found these feedsack Sunbonnet Sues for me.  There’s a whole perfect set of them.  What would you do with them to finish them?  Would you stay true to the period, or would you run with the solid colors and do something with a modern twist?

Sunbonnet Sue set of 3 Sunbonnet Sue set of 2

They are all hand stitched too.  So much time.  So much love or heartbreak, or laughter or tears.  Probably all of those things.

Tomorrow I will finally post another Tips and Tutorials Tuesday!  I know you bloggers out there have written some amazing posts in the last month.  I hope you’ll link them up for us all to share!


Finish it Up Friday

My Favorite Quilt Ever – Modern Paper Pieced Stars

October 1, 2015

Happy October!!!  Are you feeling the signs of fall yet?  Not so much here in Austin… we’re still enjoying the heat.

If you’ve seen my Instagram feed, you might have seen my pictures of a quilt I finished longarming last month for a wonderful client named Rachael Ferrera.  This is Rachael’s own layout, using paper pieced stars from a number of sources.

I love it so much that I think it would make a beautiful cover for the 2016 Quilter’s Day Planner.  I’ve been busy working with Rachael to get permission from all the various designers who published these different paper pieced stars.  And so far, everyone has said yes!

Modern Stars Ferrera_ WholeQuilted by Stephanie Palmer watermarked

Speaking of the planner, I heard all your feedback, and we are moving from our original plan for a moleskin-type cover, to a hard cover with a spiral binding.  This way, you can easily open the book flat on a table, or fold it in half to make it easier to use.  I am excited about this change of plan.  Thank you all for sharing your opinions with me about it!

Modern Stars by Rachael Ferrera quilted by Stephanie Palmer

If you’ve wondered what happened to my Tips and Tutorials posts and Linky parties- don’t worry! I’ll get back on the wagon again soon.  I’ve been spending every minute of my work day putting together the content for The Quilter’s Day Planner so we can launch it in mid-October.

And my children – yikes.  My children have been sick (it always happens that way at the beginning of the school year) and needing some extra attention.

I will admit that I’ve been overwhelmed this month.  The big clue to me that I’m burning the candle at both ends came the other day when I repeatedly entered my ATM pin into the microwave while trying to warm a snack for my kids.  It took me at least three tries to figure out what was wrong.  I know.  Pitiful.

So I’m thinking of moving the Tips and Tutorials Linky party to a once-a-month event until I finish birthing this planner.  This baby is demanding all my attention!

Modern Stars by Rachael Ferrera, quilted by Stephanie Palmer

Modern Stars by Rahael Fererra, quilted by Stephanie Palmer

Modern Stars by Rachael Ferrera Quilted by Stephanie PalmerI



Tips and Tutorials Tuesday

Tips and Tutorials Tuesday

September 15, 2015

Hello!  Welcome to Tips and Tutorials Tuesday!  To link up your own tips and tutorials today, scroll to the bottom of the page.

I have an exciting announcement today that many of you have heard tidbits about over the last few months.


2016 Day Planner for Quilters by Stephanie Palmer at Late Night Quilter 

I am thrilled to announce that I am publishing a Day Planner  for 2016 that’s specifically designed for  quilters!  It’s a  daily  planner   that will inspire you to  achieve your  goals, and  organize both        your personal  life and your  quilting life.  Imagine  having to-do    lists for your quilting  projects and your home and  work life all in     one place…. and space to write all  your  appointments and    responsibilities too.  

  And what about when you have those  brilliant ideas in the      middle of the night for your next project?  There’s graph paper  for   sketching out your quilt ideas, blank space to  brainstorm or      practice  free  motion quilting drawings, and project planning    pages.  And a quilting reference section too.  It’s all  there!

 Plus, there will be instructions for a gorgeous, original  quilt  block on each weekly spread (courtesy of the wonderful new quilt bloggers from 2015), and fantastic quilt  patterns from top  designers like Pat Sloan, Kitty Wilkin, Lee Heinrich, Mandy  Leins, Yvonne Fuchs,  Cheryl Brickey, me and more!

 To learn more about it when I launch the pre-order site, please sign up here:

Subscribe to my mailing list

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The Quilter's Day Planner for 2016 by Stephanie Palmer

I can’t wait to share more details about the planner with you as it evolves. Please feel free to leave me comments about your ideas for the planner.  I am editing content every day, and working on making it the best product it can be!

What things could I include that would make a planner most useful to you?
The Quilter's Day Planner for 2016 by Stephanie Palmer


Tips and Tutorials Tuesday

A Tip for Tuesday – The Ideal Seam Gauge

September 8, 2015

Hi everyone!

First, let me say congratulations to Connie C. for commenting on my blog last Wednesday and being the randomly selected winner of a 1/2 yard bundle of fabric from Fabri-Quilt!

It’s Tuesday, and I’ve got another quick tip for you today that will make your life so much easier. If you have a link of your own to share this week, scroll down to the bottom and share your knowledge!

Changing my seam allowances from project to project drives me nuts.  I frequently switch back and forth between 1/4″, a scant 1/4″ and 3/8″ for attaching my binding to the face of my quilt.

It’s so important to be perfectly accurate with these seam allowances; and for awhile, I found that I was failing on that front.  Enter the Ideal Seam Guide! By the way, this is not a paid endorsement or an affiliate link… I just want to share a tool that I love with you.

The ideal seam guide is a small plastic ruler, with tiny holes in it for each possible seam size you might need (all the way from 1/8″ to  1 1/2″).

Ideal Seam Gauge image

You choose the hole you need that corresponds with the marked seam allowance of your choice, and lower the needle of your machine into the hole, and attach the seam guide of your choice.

Here’s a quick video to show you how it’s used:


(Sidenote: I’ve tried everything for a guide– 1/4″ foot, moleskin, sticky notes, frog tape, sticky cork, and now my heart and seams are happy with my adjustable screw-in guide on my Janome 1600P).

You can buy the Ideal Seam Guide in several places.  I bought mine directly from  I’ve seen it on Ebay, and on Fat Quarter Shop in the past too.  I’ve also seen cheaper versions by Dritz and Connor on Amazon, but they don’t seem to have a scant 1/4″ option, which is a must for me!



Another Set of Free, Fabulous, Brand New Quilt Block Tutorials for the Fabri-Quilt New Block Hop

September 3, 2015



Terri Ann Childlike Fascination Tutorial Fabri Quilt

Today is the last day of the Fabri-Quilt New Block Hop.  This is the gorgeous block my friend Terri Ann, from Childlike Fascination, created.  You can visit her blog today to download this tutorial, and enter to win a 1/2 yard bundle of some beautiful Fabri-Quilt fabrics. You can also visit 15 other bloggers’ sites to get more free, unique block tutorials!

Terri Ann is a wonderfully creative quilter, who has also developed a helpful site called that maintains an up to date list of swaps, block of the month clubs and community quilting projects. It’s such a fabulous resource. I’ve bookmarked it on my computer and I visit it regularly.

If you missed any of the 60+ tutorials this week, you can catch up by visiting the following links below:

Monday, August 31st, 2015
Host – Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Host – Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs (me)

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Host – Stephane @Late Night Quilter

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015
Host – Terri Ann @Childlike Fascination



Free Pattern, Giveaway Day

Geese at the Crossroads Tutorial: Fabri-Quilt New Block Hop

September 2, 2015

Block Hop Collage

Welcome to Day 3 of the Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop sponsored by Fabri-Quilt. I am hosting 15 bloggers today as they show off new, beautiful quilt blocks, using Fabri-Quilt’s Prairie Cloth Solids.

Turquoise, Chartreuse, Lapis Blue, Aqua, Coral


Here are the links to each of their blogs. I hope you enjoy visiting them all, and pin the block tutorials for future use:

Hannah @Modern Magnolia Studio
Cindy @Stitchin At Home
Abby @Hashtag Quilt
Lisa @Sunlight in Winter Quilts
Carrie @Chopping Block Quilts
Brianna @The Iron and Needle
Tish @Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland
Jan @The Colorful Fabriholic
Sarah @Smiles Too Loudly
Beth @Cooking Up Quilts
Leanne @Devoted Quilter
Liz @LizzyClips Design
Kim @Leland Ave Studios

Kitty @Night QuilterF

On Thursday, make sure you visit Terri Ann at Childlike Fascination to see the last 16 blocks in the hop.

Now it is my turn to share my new block with you!

Geese at the Crossroads Block

Geese at the Crossroads Cropped

Click for a Downloadable PDF of the Block Tutorial: Geese At the Crossroads 

Here is a digital rendering of the secondary design the block creates, when 4 are sewn together:

4 Block Image I - 24 inches

And here is a second possible layout that I really love:

4 Block Image II - 24 inches

Instructions to Make Geese at the Crossroads

Finished bock size: 12″ x 12″

Unfinished block size: 12.5″ x 12.5″




*Wash and dry Prairie Cloth Solids, with like colors, or with a color catcher, before cutting.


Combine B1 and B2 and cut 1 piece 2½” x 16″. Cut B1, B2 and C1 longer than necessary (at least 16″). This will make it easier to diagonally trim.




  1. Make 10 half-square triangles (HSTs) from A1 and A2:


2. Trim HSTs to 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″


3. Make flock of geese:

Sew together white square and HSTs.


4. Sew together rows. Press seams for Row 1 to the right, Row 2 to the left, Row 3 to the right and Row 4 to the left.



5. Trim on diagonal 1/4″ away from HST points.



6. Add B1, B2, C1 and D1


Here is a trick I used to make sure I lined up my blue triangle on the bottom left correctly:  I placed a ruler at the top of the block, measuring 10.5 inches.  Then I lined up a second ruler vertically on the left, at 10.5 inches, and made a chalk mark on the coral strip where I wanted the blue triangle to line up.


2015-09-01 05.20.31

Then I placed the navy triangle on top of the coral, right sides together, with it’s left corner at the chalk mark, and pinned and sewed a scant 1/4″ seam.

2015-09-01 05.22.52

7. Trim block to 10 1/2″ x 10 1/2″.



8. Add strips to side in this order:






For a chance to win a half yard bundle of the Watermelon Summer palette, please follow the Inspired by Fabric blog (either by email or blog reader) and let me know how you are following in a comment here on my blog.

This giveaway is open to everyone (international entries welcome), and the giveaway will be open through Sunday, September 6th at 11:59 pm EDT when I will use a random number generator to select a winner from the comments.

Good luck! Inspired by Fabric is also hosting a *separate* giveaway today, so don’t forget to visit and enter to win there as well!

Geese at the Crossroads Corner



Tips and Tutorials Tuesday

The Secret to Making Test Blocks You’ll Love and Day 2 of the Fabri-Quilt New Block Hop

August 31, 2015


Welcome to Tips and Tutorials Tuesday and Day 2 of the Fabri-Quilt New  Block Hop!

Today, it’s my wonderful friend Cheryl’s turn to host the blog hop.  Cheryl is  an amazing person who inspires me every day.  She’s got an incredible quilt  design business, she has young children and a husband, a busy job, a blog, and  is  an  incredibly creative, prolific person.  I have no idea how she gets it all  done,  and so perfectly to boot.  I am lucky to call her my friend, and have her  on  speed dial.

For today, in honor of Cheryl, it seems appropriate to share with you a  quilting tip that she taught me:

When you’re making test blocks, choose one line of fabric that you will always use.  After you make test blocks for that new pattern you’re trying out, or the bee block for a friend, or a challenge block for your guild, you’ll be surprised to find that you have a collection of interesting blocks, of many different sizes, that look beautiful together with the addition of a little negative space.

Farmer's Wife Blocks

I’ve begun making test blocks in the same Bonnie and Camille fabric line I used for my neglected Farmer’s Wife project.  Although I may not have an official Farmer’s Wife quilt in the end, it will eventually be a finished sampler top, with many different styles of blocks that remind me of the projects I have taken on over the years.

Test Blocks

My test blocks, all made from Bonnie and Camille’s Happy Go Lucky line, by Moda.

If you have a tip or tutorial you’d like to link up today, please scroll to the bottom and enter your information.

Here is the list of 16 bloggers that Cheryl is hosting today.  If you click over to their blogs, you will see that they each are sharing brand new, creative, unique block tutorials with you. Pin them for later, and have fun being inspired!

Host – Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs

Josi @Avocado Quilts
Stephanie @Quilt’n Party
Cristy @Love You Sew
Sarah @Sarah Goer Quilts
Shelly @The Carpenter’s Daughter Who Quilts
Jayne @Twiggy & Opal
Sharla @Thistle Thicket Studio
Adrian @Making It – Family Food Quilts Crafts
Julie @Pink Doxies
Sarah @123 Quilt
Jane @Jolly and Delilah Quilts
Carrie @The Zen Quilter

Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop Button 2015


For a chance to win a half yard bundle of the Watermelon Summer palette, you have two opportunities to win today.  Visit Cheryl at MeadowMist Designs and leave her a comment for one entry and visit Inspired by Fabric to enter to win there as well!

Free patterns

Check out 64 Free, Brand New Quilt Block Tutorials Starting Today

August 30, 2015

Welcome to Day 1 of the Fabri-Quilt New Block Hop! Over the next 4 days, you will have access to tutorials from 64 bloggers who are all creating brand new quilt blocks for you.  How cool is that?

If you’ve wanted new ideas for quilt designs, and want to see unique and modern blocks, this is the week for you!

Click over to my co-host Yvonne’s blog, Quilting Jetgirl to check out the amazing blocks designed by the first 16 bloggers.

Here is the list of today’s participants:

Host – Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl
Kelly @Quilting it Out
Martha @Once a Wingnut
Irene @Patchwork and Pastry
Cassandra @The (not so) Dramatic Life
Andrea @The Sewing Fools
Bernie @Needle and Foot
Silvia @A Stranger View
Wanda @Wanda’s Life Sampler
Sandra @Musings of a Menopausal Melon
Vicki @Orchid Owl Quilts
Jess @Quilty Habit
Diana @Red Delicious Life
Chelsea @Patch the Giraffe
Margo @Shadow Lane Quilts
Renee @Quilts of a Feather

Fabri-Quilt is also generously sponsoring a half yard giveaway of the fabric bundle put together for the blog hop, so don’t miss out on two different ways to enter to win (details at the bottom of the post).

All of the quilt blocks featured this week are going to be assembled into quilts and donated to charity. I hope you enjoy this fantastic creative endeavor.

I’ll see you tomorrow with news of the next 16 new block tutorials for you!


Inspired by Fabric

For a chance to win a half yard bundle of the Watermelon Summer palette, you have two opportunities to win today.  Visit Quilting Jetgirl and leave her a comment for one entry and visit Inspired by Fabric to enter to win there as well!

Tips and Tutorials Tuesday

Fabri-Quilt New Block Designs: Announcement of The Greatest Blog Hop Ever!

August 25, 2015

Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop

Hello!  It’s tips and tutorials Tuesday! I’ve been absent for awhile, so if  you’ve saved up some blog posts over the last few weeks that you’d like to  link up to share, please scroll down below.

I’ve got a hot tip for you today:

Next Monday is the start of a very exciting 4 day blog hop: the Fabri-Quilt  New Block Blog Hop. We have over 60 participants lined up to each  present a tutorial for a new quilt block design that finishes at 12-inches  square using a bundle of (6) fat 8th fabrics generously donated by Fabri-  Quilt.

That’s 60 new blocks for you to enjoy perusing over the four-day blog  hop!

Be sure to check in at each of the hosts’ blog posts each day for the whole list of blog participants.  All of the quilt blocks featured are going to be assembled into charity quilts.

Monday, August 31st
Host – Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl

Tuesday, September 1st

Host – Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs

Wednesday, September 2nd
Host – Stephanie @Late Night Quilter (me)

Thursday, September 3rd
Host – Terri Ann @Childlike Fascination

Another bonus will be the fabric giveaways during the hop!  There will be a total of 8 bundles containing 1/2 yard cuts of the 6 featured fabrics given away on the hosts’ blogs and the Inspired by Fabric blog.

Watermelon Summer Color Palette

I can’t wait to show you my block design and I am excited to see everyone else’s creativity. I hope you join us next week!