Category Archives: Uncategorized

Winner- Shimmer Blog Hop!

Shimmer Blog Hop

Thank you for all your wonderful comments about Shimmer and my quilt!  All of you made my week.

The winner of the charm pack is…..

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#55: Sarah!

I am emailing you right now, Sarah.  Enjoy your Shimmer!

Kite Flight Finished!

I thought it was about time I started catching up on my finished projects. “Kite Flight” is currently cheering up my family room.

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I used a Kona Classic’s roll-up and mixed in several text prints by Suzuko Koseki, Collage by Carrie Bloomston and Architextures by Carolyn Friedlander.

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I did straight line quilting 1/2″ apart on my Juki. I found it easiest to quilt lines 2″ apart, and then quilt between those lines.  The entire quilt is bias, so I think if I had quilted diagonally, I would have had less crinkling. Crinkle is good though, right?!

Kite Flight Quilt

It measures 70″x 84″, perfect for cuddling under.

Winner, Winner!


Okay, so it isn’t Monday still…anywhere, but good things come to those who wait!  The winner of a copy of Quilting Isn’t Funny, buy Megan Dougherty is:

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Jill R!

Congrats, Jill!  Megan will be sending you a copy of her book in the mail.

Thank you to everyone else for all your amusing comments.  I think the winner for funniest quilting term is “stash” and the least favorite is “quilt as desired”.

Have a great week!

Countdown To Christmas Quilt-Along: Winners

Everyone’s Advent Calendars for the Countdown to Christmas Quilt-Along look so wonderful!  I had a wonderful time hosting along Melissa. We’ve been dealing with the stomach flu running through my entire house over the last 4 days, and this is the first almost well day, so I’m going to get an up-close look at everyone’s calendars today!

Now for the winners!  (All winners were chosen by Random Number Generator.)


A fat quarter bundle of Santa’s Little Deer donated by the Fat Quarter Shop goes to Nicole from Modern Handcraft


A $30.00 gift certificate from Green Fairy Quilts goes to Jen at Acts of Craftiness.  


A fat quarter bundle of “Holiday Sweet Tweets”  by Laurie Wisbrun from Robert Kaufman Fabrics goes to Sandy at Upstair Hobby Room.


A $50.00 gift certificate from Sew Modern goes to Martina from Sunshinequilting.


Thank you so much to everyone that participated.  Melissa and I will be contacting the winners.  If you don’t hear from us by tomorrow, it means we couldn’t find a contact, so email us!!

Have a wonderful week!

Mod Festive Placemat Tutorial

Is everyone ready for Turkey Day?  I have a quick and easy project for you today to dress up your Thanksgiving table and add a modern touch.

Mod Festive Placemat Tutorial At Better Off Thread #turkeytablescapes

I was invited to join in Jo-Ann Fabric’s Celebrate the Season Campaign and this month the theme is #TurkeyTablescapes.   I decided to dress up my Turkey Tablescape with some new placemats in modern colors (citrus yellow, tangerine, lime green and navy).  Keep reading for instructions on making your own!

Mod Festive Placemat Tutorial At Better Off Thread #turkeytablescapes


Supplies for four placements (finished size 13″ x 19″):

Mod Festive Placemat Tutorial At Better Off Thread #turkeytablescapes

  • 1/4 yard each 6 different prints ( I used prints by DS Quilts, Juliana Horner, Keepsake Calico and Quilter’s Showcase)
  • 1 1/2 yards navy solid (I used Symphony Broadcloth in Navy).
  • Craft Size Quilt Batting (I used Warm & Natural)
  • Coordinating thread (I used white and navy Gutermann Thread)

Mod Festive Placemat Tutorial At Better Off Thread #turkeytablescapes

1. From each of your print fabrics, cut strips that are varying widths (1.25″-2.25″) x 14″ long.

2. Sew strips together until they measure 13″ wide x 14″ tall. Press seams open.

3. From the navy solid, cut a strip 1″ x 14″ and sew to right side of your set of strips.

4. From print fabrics, cut strips that are 1.25″-2.25″ x 7″.

5. Sew the long edges of your 7″ strips together until they measure 7″x 14 “.

Mod Festive Placemat Tutorial At Better Off Thread #turkeytablescapes

6. Sew your two strip set together as pictured above.

7. From the navy solid and batting, cut rectangle that measures 14″ x 20″.

8. Layer top, batting and navy back and baste with pins or basting spray.

9. Quilt as desired (I sewed vertical lines along the seams).

10. Cut placemat to 13″ x 19″.

11.  Cut 2 1/4″  strips from navy solid and bind placemat.  I use this tutorial and then machine sew the binding to the back, rather than hand-sew.

Mod Festive Placemat Tutorial At Better Off Thread #turkeytablescapes

Enjoy your turkey dinner!!


You can find more craft ideas on the Jo-ann Fabrics website.  Search #turkeytablescapes on Instagram and Twitter to see what the other bloggers have crafted.

Here is a coupon to get you  started!

Mod Festive Placemat Tutorial At Better Off Thread #turkeytablescapes

 Happy Thanksgiving!!

 *This tutorial is part of the Jo­‐Ann Fabric and Craft Stores® Celebrate the Season campaign. I was given a gift card to create a unique holiday projects, but all views, opinions and designs are my own.




Super Kids Inspired Party at Ann Kelle Fabrics

Free Super Kids Mask Tutorial by Better Off Thread for Ann Kelle Fabrics

Last month, I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Kelle Boyd (The designer behind Ann Kelle Fabrics) to create Super Hero masks based on her Super Kids fabric line for Robert Kaufman Fabrics and Super Hero cards she designed for Tiny Prints.

Free Super Kids Mask Tutorial by Better Off Thread for Ann Kelle Fabrics

Kelle created a colorful, fun, Super Kids party to celebrate her new line and the photos on her blog today are adorable!  Be sure to check it out. She is also hosting a giveaway for a $50 Tiny Prints giftcard (just in time for the Holidays!).

Free Super Kids Mask Tutorial by Better Off Thread for Ann Kelle Fabrics

There are also lots of great tutorials in her blog for super hero capes, party printables and I created a free tutorial for the masks, so you can have your own little Super Kids (children not included).  Click here to check it out!


Candy Corn Table Runner and Bunting Tutorial


When Jo-Ann asked if I’d like to be a part of their Celebrate the Season Campaign, I jumped at the chance!  I love creating holiday crafts and the kids get really excited about seeing the decorations.


Our neighborhood gets pretty crazy on Halloween and my husband does up the entire outside of the house.  I had abolutely no decorations for the inside, though, so I decided to create some festive decor for the mantle and coffee table. My kids are 2 and 4 and don’t really like spooky, so I decided to play it safe and use candy corn as my inspiration.  This table runner and bunting are super easy to make and customizable to any size table and mantle.



Candy Corn Table Runner and Bunting Tutorial

(All amounts and measurements are for a table runner that is 17 1/2″x 40″ and bunting that is 6′ long.  You can modify the patterns by adding more, or less, candy corn triangles.)

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Materials Needed:

All seam allowances are 1/4″

Step one: Cut fabrics

(Fold all fabrics in half, selvage to selvage.  Tutorial assumes your fabric is 44″ wide.  If your fabric is several inches narrower, you may need extra strips.)

White Fabric
- Cut 3 strips 2 1/2″ x 44″ for strip sets

Gold Fabric
- Cut 3 strips 2 1/2″ x 44″ for strip sets

Orange Fabric
- Cut 3 strips 2 1/2″ x 44″ for strip sets
-Cut 3 strips 2 1/4″ x 44″ for binding

Black Fabric
-Cut 3 strips 6 1/2″ x 44″ For background
-Cut 3 strips 3″ x 44″ for border

Step 2: Sew and Cut Triangles

Take your 2 1/2″ strips, and sew a white, orange and yellow strip together lengthwise (orange will always be in the middle). Press seams open.

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You will now have three sets of 3 sewn strips that match the photo above.

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Line your Pyramid Ruler (or your printed template) up with the top and bottom edge of your strip set and cut out your first triangle.  (Don’t worry if your strips are wider or narrower than the template, just line your template up with the top edge.)

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Flip your template and cut your next triangle.  Repeat until you have 21 triangles.

 Next, take your 3 black 6 1/2″ wide strips and cut them the same way you just cut your strip sets.  Cut 21 triangles.

Step 3: Sew Triangles for Table Runner


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Sew triangles together using the diagram above as a guide.

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Triangles are sewn right sides together using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Press all seams the same direction.

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You’ll now have two strips of triangles.

Step 4: Assemble your table runner

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Sew the two strips of triangles together, matching the point of the candy corn triangle with the center of the black triangle. Press seam open.

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As an alternate layout, you can match your triangles point to point to create diamonds.

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Trim  sides of table runner, so they are even, as pictured above.

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For the border, sew the black 3″ wide strips to the sides of the runner, trim,  then  sew to the top and bottom.  Press all seams towards border.

Most of my readers are quilters, so I am not going to bore you with instructions on quilting and binding (plus it would get really long!), but here is a list of my favorite tutorials, if you need help:

- Making a “Quilt Sandwich” at Oh Fransson: that’s quilter speak for layering the top, batting and backing.

- Straight line quilting tutorial at Amy’s Creative Side.

- Double Fold Binding Tutorial at Canoe Ridge Creations.

Step 5: Make your bunting!

You should have 10 orange and 10 black triangles left over.  Feel free to cut more and make longer bunting.

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With right sides together, sew an orange and a black triangle along two sides.

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Clip point, turn and press flat.  Repeat to make 9 more triangles.

Clip off those tiny seam allowance points that are sticking out of the raw edge.

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Open bias tape up,  align with raw edge of a triangle and sew.  Butt next triangle up to first and sew to the same piece of bias tape.  Continue for all triangles.

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Fold bias tape around to orange side of bunting and press.  Sew just inside the edge of the bias tape.

You are done!

Happy Halloween and enjoy your new decorations.

For more craft and sewing ideas, check out Jo-Ann Fabric’s Celebrate the Season website.  There are tons of project ideas from very talented craft and sewing bloggers. You can also search #spookyspaces on Instagram and Twitter.

 As an added bonus to you, I have a 50% coupon to get you started on your holiday projects!


This tutorial is part of the Jo­‐Ann Fabric and Craft Stores® Celebrate the Season campaign. I was given a gift card to create a unique holiday projects, but all views, opinions and designs are my own.

Sew Cute Tuesday

Better Off Thread

I came to the realization, as I was sewing at 11pm last night and still hadn’t written up the Sew Cute Tuesday post, that I just don’t have time for everything anymore (what, really?!). I need to either A. say no, or B. hand some things off.

I’ve had such a great time hosting Sew Cute Tuesday, but it’s been falling by the wayside because my family comes first, then my work (so I can help support my family), and THEN my blog.  I do want to keep active on the blog and post when I have new projects to show you, but the link up is the one thing on my weekly schedule that I can easily hand off.  It makes me sad, because the link-up has really started growing, but I think it will grow more with someone who can pay attention to it!

So, if anyone is interested in taking over Sew Cute Tuesday, please email me and I’ll give you all the details on doing it!

And I’m sorry to anyone who was hoping for a link-up this week.  If someone takes over, I’ll post where to find the next link-up and I’ll put a new button in my sidebar, so you don’t get lost!


Countdown to Christmas Quilt Along Week 3: Applique


Have you all been busy cutting your fabrics for your Advent Calendar?  It’s time to put the numbers on!

If you are new to the Countdown to Christmas Quilt Along, there is still plenty of time to join in and catch up!  You can read about it here and the schedule is as follows:

  • August 19th – Announcement of Giveaway and sponsors
  • September 2nd – Quilt Along begins:  Choosing fabrics and fabric requirements
  • September 16th – Cutting fabrics
  • September 30th – Applique techniques (machine, hand, puff-paint, ironed on).  The options are endless for how you would like to add your numbers to the pockets.
  • October 14th – Piecing and layout variations
  • October 28th – Quilting ideas
  • November 11th – Binding
  • November 25th – The Big Reveal and ideas for what to put in the pockets.


There are lots of ways you can put the the numbers on your calendar.  In Elizabeth’s version, she has you do classic machine appliqué with fabric, Steam a Seam and a machine satin stitch around the edge.

Some other ideas you could try:

  • Machine Embroider like Melissa did on her calendar
  • Hand Embroider
  • Fabric puff paint
  • Rubber Stamp with fabric paint
  • Applique with hand sewn blanket stitching
  • Raw-edge appliqué
  • Iron-on Felt appliqués


I chose the last option which is making iron-on appliqués out of felt.  It was quick and I like that the felt has dimension and  texture.  My kids are 2 and 4, so they are all about texture.


I used Ecofelt and Heat n Bond Lite (you can get both at Michaels) to make my appliqués.  They are so easy to make and all the instructions are on the Heat n Bond packaging!  Once you iron the felt on, you can zig-zag around the edge, but I have found there is no need to do this as long as I am not going to wash the item.


I decided to go with an orderly layout for my calendar.  My children are just learning to count and understand the passage of time, so I didn’t want to confuse them by jumping around the calendar! I did randomize the placement of my numbers on the squares.  I didn’t want to cover up the images, so I just placed the number in the best spot on each square, rather than the bottom right corner.

I can’t wait to see what everyone else is up to!  Be sure to check out Melissa’s amazing embroidery on her calendar and don’t forget to link up and post photos in the flickr group.

Have a great 2 weeks!



Finished Projects and New Classes

Are you ready to see the oodles of projects I’ve been working on?! This is not even half of them, but it’s all I can show for now.


First, I’m going to be teaching two classes at Sew Modern in October.

PicMonkey Collage

The first class will be October 19th, from 10:30am-5:30pm and I’ll be teaching my Round the Blocks Pattern.  I’m really excited about this class, because these blocks are so fun and easy to make.  The class will cover paper-piecing, fussy cutting, setting in circles and sewing curves.


I’m really excited to make a full quilt out of these blocks someday soon, and I have a stack of fabrics waiting to be cut into!


The second class is not on the schedule yet, but I’ll be teaching the adorable Geranium Dress.  This is the perfect beginner’s pattern for anyone who is interested in venturing into garment sewing.


I’ve also been working on various projects for upcoming fabric lines by Anne Kelle and Andi Hanna at Robert Kaufman Fabrics.  You can see the list of fabrics and patterns on the images below.  I loved making all of these projects and they are all great gift ideas.  The best part; most of the patterns are free!

CozyCameraCaseSS copy copy

A cute little camera pouch from Amy Ala Mode.

PeasAndCornSS copy copy

The Peas and Corn Bag by Sew Sweetness.

AnnKelleBlogProjectsSS copy copy

Notebook cover, Pencil Case and Crayon Roll at Anne Kelle.

DoppKitSS copy copy

Dopp Kits (Men’s toiletry kits) at The Cottage Mama.


That’s it for now.  I’ll share more as I can!