Friday Longarm Quilting Tip #2:Squaring The Backing

24 02 2012

This week’s tip is dealing with squaring the backing of the quilt. We all know about squaring the quilt top and how important it is but how do you do the back. You MUST have the top straight as that is how you will attach the backing and if it isn’t straight as it pulls inward you will end up with pleats and a general mess.
If you find that the back has to be pieced, square the two pieces and then sew the seam horizontally. This will give you a great way to see if you are keeping the back straight as you load it as well as keeping the seam tight (iron the seam flat open, by the way). Next fold the back in half and lay it over one of your frame bars lengthwise…be sure the the fold is in the middle and check to see if it lays flat when the edges are together. If they don’t match up, use your rotary cutter, ruler and mat to make the edges even. Now fold the backing along the width of the piece. Follow the same procedure. This should square the backing so that you will be ready to load it.


Artsy Fartsy Class at Quilting with Machines

18 02 2012

One of the techniques that I will be teaching in my class in Sept. is how to make a soft background fabric for an art quilt. I have woven straight strips before, but wanted to try the wavy strips in some practice fabric before I did “the real thing”. I do like how it looks…it gives the fabric so much movement.

Woven irregular strips of fabric

Background Fabric Weaving

And again it is Friday and I am Keeping My Promise!

17 02 2012

Again it is Friday and I am thankful for another awesome week! I have been extremely busy but that, praise God, is a good thing! I have two logos that I am working on for clients and I had the pleasure of meeting a great group of people in my Business Blogging Class on Wednesday evening.

As promised, I am going to pass along a couple of tip that I usually give in my beginning longarm quilting class.  Many quilters have problems with keeping the sides of their quilts straight from top to bottom. Although basting along the side of the quilt at each advance does help, here are two ways that you might be able to alleviate the problem:

  • Most quilting frames come with wimpy little clips for the sides of the quilt. Although there are expensive wide clips that you can purchase, here is a tip on how to make your own from “the queen of cheap”, me! First, go to your local home improvement store and pick up two of their FREE paint sticks for stirring cans of paint. These sticks are about 12″ long and about 1.5″ wide. Next, cut two 12″ squares of muslin and create sleeve that is the width of the paint stick along one side of each piece of muslin. Insert the paint stick. After loading your quilt, pin the non-sleeve side of the muslin to each side of the quilt. Attach the wimpy clips to the paint stick side of the muslin. You now will have even tension for at least 12″ of the quilt helping to keep it straight as you move down the quilt. NOTE: You will need to remove the side pieces before you advance the quilt and then pin them back on before you begin your next section of quilting.
  • Keep a tape measure draped around your neck and check your width after each advance. Sounds like a pain, right? Believe me, it will pay off if you can fix a problem before you get to the bottom of the quilt.

Well, that’s it for today. Tune in next Friday for another longarm quilting tip.

Ch-Ch-Changes Part 2

13 02 2012

Today I would like to tell you about the changes that are occurring in my  business, ChiliQuiltes. As of the January, my focus has changed and I hope you will share with me the excitement that I feel as I venture out into new territory.

First, ChiliQuiltes, my first business venture, will be the overall umbrella for two other smaller ventures. First, I would like to introduce TAKE IT PERSONALLY, a custom embroidery business that will be a joint partnership with my husband. We will be doing custom embroidery ( for shirts, wedding accessories,baby items, hats, towels, graduation and other special event or holiday gifts, etc.) both locally and online.

Secondly, I would like to reintroduce you to my other smaller venture,NECKS 2 NOTHING. Necks2Nothing is a pet accessory business which includes unique dog bandanas (personalized), as well as personalized leads, collars, T-Shirts with your dog’s picture and personalized with embroidery, as well personalized crate covers  and beds.

What about ChiliQuiltes? What’s up with this part of the business? Well, I will be doing my teaching under this name. I will continue to teach my business blogging,  Designs within the Lines (certified through Pam Clark), and a brand new class, Artsy Fartsy, which is an introduction at art quilting and surface design techniques.  I also hope to begin giving tips for beginning longarm quilters to help them as they begin their love affair with machine quilting. BTW, I will be teaching at Quilting With Machines again this year. The two class that I will be presenting are Artsy Fartsy and Business Blogging.

In the upcoming days, I will be adding a cart and paypal capabilities to this site with further information about products and policies. In the mean time, if you have questions, please contact me at

Again, I hope you will join me and be a part of my new adventures. I would love to become a customer but just having your support will be a thrill, believe me! Happy Monday!