Machine Quilting

I have been re-learning how to machine quilt on my new Bernina 750. It is very different than machine quilting on my Bernina 130. 

Notice this meandering foot, and the black wire coming out from the back of the foot?  This is a BSR foot, and the black wire plugs into the back of the machine. 

Two features make free-motion quilting on this machine a dream. First,you don’t have to control your speed with a foot pedal. NO FOOT PEDAL. Yay!!  Just press to stop – go button above.

I have been re-training myself using the pattern in this book;


It has some great exercises with patterns that go from easy to more complicated. I am loving this book, and I’m going to review next week.

Two Great Sales for Quilters and Sewists.

A quick post, newsflash to let you know about two great sales. 

First is the bi-yearly sale at the Cotton Patch Quilt Shop,

Twice a year this brick and mortar store offers a different daily deal on the most common notions we use, and love to stock up on. You can participate online very easily, by following the directions on their website. For example, today is needle day. Sewing machine needles, regular needles and related items are on sale just today. All you have to do is call or place your order by e-mail. They put it aside for you until they sale ends, and mail it too you for one shipping price.

Christa, from Christa Quilts,
is closing her shop, not her amazing blog, and will be involved in more quilting activities than ever. She is so full of enthusiasm and energy. I read her blog everyday. Her last 500 items are on sale.

More to come this week. Stay tuned.

Happy bargain shopping.

Machine Quilting – Tip

I am about to begin machine quilting on the lighthouse quilt, I haven’t machine quilted in about a month. The memory muscles in my hands are a bit out of shape. It’s just like taking a brake that’s too long from your workout; painful or painstaking.

Before beginning the quilting I like to practice what I am planning to do on it. I also like to try out a few options to see how it might look. Just diving in, might result in more time spent with my seam ripper. Not my favorite relationship, but glad to have it when I need it.

My general rule of thumb when machine quilting is; if the piecing is straight and angular, I use curved, wavy or circular patterns. If the piecing uses curves, I will choose a pattern with more straight lines. Two exceptions; I have done a cross hatch over a pattern with triangles and squares, which looked great. If I’m filling in large negative spaces, I might quilt a pattern with a maze-like square shape.

So I practice on small sandwiches made of muslin or scrap fabric with pieces of leftover batting in them, until I feel good and ready.

More on this topic to come!!

Happy Quilting and have a great weekend!!

Fabric Give-A-Way From Cuts of Cotton and A Busy Week

This past week has been so busy. A lot has happened. 

My monthly quilting goal is to finish the Lighthouse quilt. It’s basted and I’ve finished stitching in the ditch. I will be doing free motion in each of the light areas below.

This quilt is for our newest cousin who was born this week on Wednesday, March 12, in Chicago. Each of the four triangles are lighthouses. But one of my friends in my quilting clinic said it reminded her more of beach umbrellas.  Either way it is representing Lake Michigan. 

On the back I used a strip of scraps in between 1/3 and 2/3rd’s of the green and white checkered fabric. In my last post,, I showed part of that strip. In the end, that strip is going to take on some embellishments. I will keep that a surprise for now. But I will tell you that it has do with Andrew’s new family.

I had a birthday too. Tuesday, March 11. And my husband and I had a great day.  It started with a long walk together outside.  The temperature was in the upper 50’s.  Finally!!  This was followed by a long massage at a new spa in Briarcliff, New York, I highly recommend it to those of you who live in the area, or may visit Westchester County, New York someday.

Later we had a cupcake decorating lesson and learned how to decorate with fondant and pipe icing through plastic bags at,

This was our journey;

We added special food coloring into the plain white fondant.  Not to appetizing yet. But it will be! 

A bee.  Looks more appetizing now!! 

We’re in progress at this point.

Our finished cupcakes; iced, decorated and ready to take home!! We only ate one each so far. They are yummy!!  The others we put in the freezer for another day.

This is us, showing off our cupcakes.

And this week we have a great give-a-way from Cuts of Cotton.

There are 12 fat quarters in this bundle in a variety of colors. All you need to do in order to win is “like” us both on facebook;,  Sign up for Cuts of Cottons, newsletter, and sign up to receive the Hudson Valley Quilts blog,  Let me know that you did by leaving a comment in my comment box.  And Cuts of Cotton is running some great specials;

This give-a-way ends at 12:01 AM on Thurday. Please leave me your e-mail address, so I can contact you if you are the winner. I will announce the winner later in the day on Thursday. Good luck!!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, and Happy Quilting!!

Quilting, Blogging and Taxes

Since my last post, I’ve been consumed with prepping three sets of taxes for three different accountants, (one is for my mom), working on my goal of finishing my Lighthouse quilt, and blogging at least twice a week. Quilting and blogging are very near and dear to me.  So let’s start with my WIP.

I finished the back.

The back is a small, checkered fabric in green and white. I split the back into 2 pieces; 1/3rd and 2/3rd’s. I pieced four inch pieces of fabric that were used in the front, and a few others that would have some meaning to the receiver, and inserted in between the two back pieces, similar to a bridge. 

Who will that be?  Our new unborn cousin who is due any minute. This part of my family lives in Chicago. The mother is from Texas, and the father is from the UK. Music is very big in our family, and so are our pets. The have a big poodle named Dixie.

So there are some fabrics with music notes, paw prints, and some that use those dessert colors for Texas. To represent the UK, I have ordered some Paddington Bear fabric, and fabric with Paddington’s yellow boots. The will be appliqued in on the back.

The book that inspired me to do this back this way is The Modern Quilting Bee Block Party by Alissa Haight Carlton & Kristen Lejnieks.

There will be at least one more post this week, maybe another. I will be basting this lovely quilt on Friday. Very excited. Then off to machine quilting.

So about those taxes. I knew about some of these deductions, but not all of them. I am sharing them with you below.  

Did you know….

1. As an Inc., such as Hudson Valley Quilts, Inc., you have to file the yearly income tax by March 14th?  REASON WHY – Other than that’s the law, the accountant who prepares your personal income taxes, needs the profit or loss number. I actually did know half of this.  What I didn’t know, was that it was due Friday.

2. For your personal income taxes, you can deduct medical expenses, charitable donations, continuing education and association fees in your profession. And all your mileage to and from a medical appointment is deductible, as well as those to a charity event or board meetings. If you work for someone else and they don’t reimburse you for continuing education, and travel miles between a conference and home, it’s tax deductible.

Number two, has taken me hours and hours of calculations with mapquest.
Not to mention calculating all the co-pays, and price of those doctor visits, e-rays, and tests, such as mamograms. Also, all RX fees that you pay to the pharmacy that aren’t covered from your insurance plan are tax deductible.
Fortunately, the pharmacy will calculate that for you.

Even though I began working on all this on February 10, I still had so much to do. I finished all the work on two out of the three sets of taxes on Saturday night. So quilting and blogging took a backseat.  Actually quilting, not so much, because I have challenged myself to finish the Lighthouse Quilt by the end of the month, and I am making lots of progress.

Have a great week!!

Back From Vacation

Back in early February, when the snow and cold were relentless, (it hasn’t exactly let up), we decided to make a spontaneous decision to go someplace warm during the last week in February. We left New York very early last Sunday, to go to Scottsdale, AZ, and came back on the red eye this past Saturday night. 

We had a great time doing nothing. Sometimes I get so busy, stitching, planning new blog posts, researching and writing them, I don’t get time to just relax and hang out, not to mention get enough exercise. 

Before I left I wanted to post this WIP,which came from Faith Jones blog. It is the first QAL, I have ever participated in


I finally finished the quilt top!! My goal for March is to have it basted and machine quilted. Wish me luck.

Happy Quilting!!