Amy is a guest on American Patchwork and Quilting Podcast

I'll be chatting it up today with Pat Sloan as one of the guests on the American Patchwork and Quilting Podcast, episode #392.


You can catch it LIVE here: http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/radio/index.html

After the airing, you can listen later at the same link. Just look for episode #392. This is the second time to be a guest with the lovely, fun, and talented Pat Sloan. The first time was episode #298 back in April of 2016. So much has changed since then!

Owl Quilt-Along Panel Assembly Tutorial

There's a hurricane south of us and the school system is excessively cautious, so I lost quite a bit of my work day Friday to time with my kiddos. I could have let them do what they wanted while I tried to power through and work on this post, but instead we had some fun. I have to admit, with both parents working on a relatively new small business, sometimes fun family time is hard to come by.

We've just got a bit of rain and wind so far. No damage, but I still expect  lower areas here to get some flooding. Though it's been far more gentle of a rain than we had expected. My thoughts do go out to those closer to the coast in South and North Carolina.



On with the tutorial! First, remember this is a "relaxed quilt along," The main focus will be free motion quilting the actual owl panels, so if you are short on time, feel free to just use the panel as-is. If you want a bigger quilt, feel free to do your own arrangement of panel and other fabrics. I think the squares will make excellent pillows or bag sides as well, if you'd like a smaller project.

You will need:
one Boho Owl panel
1/2 yard each of two coordinating fabrics (actual fabric use is about 1/3 yard, but you will likely need a smidgen more for squaring up)
1/4 yard for cornerstones
Optional: outer border fabric


I wanted to make use of the print to the outsides of the blocks so I incorporated it as a border. 

First step is to cut carefully 1/4 inch to the outside of the magenta frame around the blocks on 3 sides, and 4-1/2 inches away from either the left or right sides to keep that outer print. You will have two blocks with the outer print to the right and two with it to the left.



From two coordinating prints, you will need to cut eight 2-1/2 inch strips by 16-1/2 inches. It is important to note that this is not the final length of these strips! The digitally printed squares are not 16 inches square, and vary in that measurement depending on horizontal or vertical. We'll trim them down later.

Next, cut nine 4-1/2 inch squares from a third fabric for the cornerstones. 

Sew your strips in pairs, long sides together. Press to the dark side. Then trim them down to match the actual length or width of the blocks.  Leaving them at 16 inches long and easing them to fit will yield in a wavy outer edge. I found them to measure 15-1/4" wide by 15-7/8" long. 


Sew a strip pair between the inner sides of each two pairs of blocks, keeping the outer 4-1/2" strip to the outside. To get the alternating placement of colors like I did, you'll want to alternate the colors between the two pairs of blocks. One will have the first color on the right, and the other pair will have it on the left. See diagram below.


Watch your quarter inch seam allowance to make sure you don't get a strip of the printed color from the seam allowance showing. You may find it best to keep the panel on top so you can see the line where the seam allowance meets the narrow magenta border. Press towards the strips.

Stitch 2 pairs of strips between 3 conerstone squares, paying attention to the color arrangement as shown below, to make the 3 sashing rows, alternating in color placement as shown.


Sew these horizontal sashing units between the pairs of blocks, making sure to align seam between the the outer corner stones and the strips with the printed line of the outer magenta border of the owl block and the outer fabric. Press towards the strips as you go. Double check your color placement before sewing!


I plan on adding a 6 inch border to this but ran out of the print I wanted to use. I am totally blown away by the response we got to this project and have ordered more of the coordinating fabrics for delivery next week. (Edited to add: The companion fabric is back in stock) Cut 6 inch strips by the length needed to attach them by the method of your choice. I will be using a mitered border for this and will do a post when I add it.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. I am still honing my graphic design and pattern writing skills, so forgive me if it's not as clear as it could be. I'm a work in progress!

Looking forward to next Wednesday and our quilt along video on the Amy's Quilting Adventures page on Facebook.

We have plenty of this line left if you want to sew and quilt along. Explore and place orders at AmyQuilts.com

Quilt Along with Amy

Ever since I shot my first class with Craftsy and couldn't include as much information as I wanted to due to following their content format, I've wanted to do my own classes for free motion quilting and quilting with rulers.

I've been doing a lot of work in the background, prepping to do just that, but there are a lot of "ducks" to get into a row.  If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I've been doing a lot more Facebook live videos there instead of my usual YouTube videos.

If you're lucky enough to catch me live, you can ask questions and I'll even "Quilt on Demand!"

Until I'm ready to launch my own classes, I'm getting more involved with these live videos as it's a great way to practice, learn the lighting and audio techniques I need, and yet, because it's done live, I don't have to do the very involved and time consuming editing work that my own actual classes will need.

I'm launching a little, informal, quilt along this Wednesday evening, approximately 7pm eastern time in the US, on my Facebook page. This is the first project that I'm selling the fabric I'm using and folks can follow along. If you haven't been watching my Facebook content or aren't on Facebook, I apologize for the short notice. I have been talking about it on Facebook and Instagram for the last 3 weeks, but neglected to put anything here.



As I said, it's informal. This is a good way to decide if you like my teaching style, before I launch my other classes this winter. I will be quilting up an adorable owl panel and discussing how I choose quilting designs for something like this. Unlike many quilt-alongs, there isn't a mandatory pattern to follow and pardon the pun, I will largely be "winging it" when it comes to quilting these adorable birds as that is the best way for me to share my thought process with you.

I will be cutting the 4 owl blocks apart and piecing some of the coordinating fabric in between and adding borders to get a final project that makes for a nice throw sized quilt. I will share that information here, but you can just watch if you want, quilt just the panel as-is, or piece up your own version. You can find the panel and coordinating fabrics at AmyQuilts.com

 If you've watched my classes at Craftsy and my live videos, you'll see that there's a big difference in my delivery with highly scripted classes like with Craftsy. My upcoming classes will be more scripted and edited for clarity, but since they won't be shot in less than three days (like Craftsy) I can take my time and present more information in a more relaxed way.



I'm really looking forward to these classes and all this Facebook live video practice has been fun for me, informative for my followers and a good time for all. I hope to "see" you Wednesday evening live at Amy's Quilting Adventures Facebook page, but don't worry, the video replay will be available to watch at your convenience.

This is going to be sew FUN!





Binding Quilts with the Janome Quilt Binder Set

I love to free motion quilt my quilts, but once I get done quilting them, especially if I've gone a little over the top with ruler work and dense fills, I tend to stall out on the binding. So I finally got around to using the Janome Quilt Binder Set.

I am totally in love with the quilt binder set! It's perfect for just getting these quilts bound and done. And I'm a big fan of done over perfection any day.

People usually wonder, "What about the corners?" Well, I think my corners are possibly better than my usual traditional method. I've got a pictorial tutorial for you and I will hopefully follow up with a video at some point. (This is not the easiest process to get good video footage while still getting my hands where they need to be.)

turning the corner with the quilt binding attachment
Four fabulous corners and #2 is where I joined the beginning and end!
This is the Janome Quilt Binding Set, not to be confused with the simple binding foot, which can't handle the thickness of a quilt but does a great job with binding raw edges of garments or making thin straps. If you have something other than a Janome, check with your dealer as I would think some of the other brands would have a similar product.

Janome Quilt Binding Set
It attaches to the machine, in part, by replacing the bobbin cover door with the base of the binder set, so it's important to get the right one for your machine. It's only meant for the bigger machines as you've got to have some room to work.

feeds the binding onto the quilt

It does a half inch binding using a 2 inch strip of fabric. There are other binders that are compatible that do different sizes, but you need the base from this set to make them work with means another purchase, which can get spendy. So just stick with this one unless you've got your own sweat shop going.

I cut my strips 2 inches wide and join them with 45 degree seams, then press to one side. I've tried to press them open but the binder just pushes them to the right as it is fed through, so to one side they go. I also make sure to load it with the seam allowances going to the right.

 As you can see in the above picture, the attachment wraps the binding around the edges. That 90 degree positioning/fold of the binding really helps get the quilt fully into the binding. There are several adjustments that the various screws allow you to make, including angling it for a curved edge and making the bottom fold stick out further than the top fold of the binding.

It comes with a foot but I chose to use my narrow Acufeed Flex Foot (a built in walking foot that is perfectly synchronized to the regular feed dogs) for more even feeding of the quilt layers and binding. It works fabulously together.

You can use a straight stitch but using a decorative stitch ensures that you'll catch both edges of the binding for sure.  In these two samples, I used pretty wide stitches because they looked great with the quilts, but I have used a narrow serpentine stitch, blanket stitch, and straight stitch with great results.

When you get to a corner, you stitch right up to the edge. Then you lift the foot and pull the quilt straight back about 10-12 inches (away from you) and put the foot back down on top of the binding and finger press the folded binding hanging out the back of the machine. Don't skimp on how much you pull through the back or you won't have enough to comfortably work with.

turn the binding around the corner

Then you fold the mitered corner down in front and secure with pins or tape, then the same for the back.
Kimerbell tape to secure

I now prefer Kimberbell Tape to do this. I do not sew over pins and when using them, as soon as I took them out, it would shift. I can sew right through the tape and it picks out easily without gumming up my needle or fabric.

Kimberbell tape on the back

Then you pull the quilt towards the back and insert into the extra binding that was pulled out. Then you carefully pull the binding backwards through the binder attachment, moving the quilt backwards as you go, until you are at the corner ready to continue stitching.

Gently pull until the binding encases the edge and you are back at the corner

Since I use the Kimberbell tape, I don't have to futz with pins. Just start stitching again. For the record, I wouldn't use any other brand of tape for this even it it does look like paper bandage tape. It's been made for stitching through.

turning a corner with the Janome Quilt Binder Set

And how do I join the ends of binding? There are a couple of different methods, but I am now a fan of joining the ends at a corner! This means I can use the binder as much as possible. If I joined along a side, I'd have to wing it to secure the binding on either end of the join.


 So I just hand tuck the raw ends to make a nice mitered corner and stitch it down. If I stitch all four corners down at the miters, it would be super duper hard to tell the difference. My friend and one of my favorite customers, Ann, took a look at this quilt and totally approved.


Because the attachment covers the bobbin cover door, you'll want to start with a full bobbin. Learn from my experience! Also, I don't recommend using a super complicated decorative stitch for this reason; uses more thread.


I wouldn't use this for show quilts, but if you want something to help get quilt binding done, this is fabulous. Great for charity quilts, utility quilts, and in my case, shop samples. I know some will say they prefer to hand bind, that's it's relaxing. I actually agree, but I am strapped for time and this helps.


My daughter is certainly happy to finally have her first quilt done. She pieced these 10" squares together and then we split the quilting. We each quilted every other block, and then it sat....waiting for its binding. Now it's all done!

Now, it's not cheap. But time is priceless. Many dealers don't keep the binders in stock because of the price, but I do, now that I've seen how easy it is to use. You can find the Janome Quilt Binder Set over at AmyQuilts.com in two versions for different machines.

Finally, yes, I'm back to blogging here. Turns out our online shop's blogging platform makes it difficult to format a decent article and more importantly, it didn't allow me to respond directly to comments! That's a total deal breaker, so this will become the blog for all of my sewing and quilting adventures.