#DIME Embroider-along Trapunto Seashell Table Runner

Hi everyone! As promised, here is the post with the instructions and link to the machine embroidery design files to make the runner. I want to thank Eileen Roche from Designs in Machine Embrodiery (DIME) magazine for graciously allowing me to share this with you. And a special thank you to Christine from Amelie Scott Designs who designed this beautiful embroidery pattern. I first learned about Amelie Scott Designs when I was experimenting using an embroidery machine to quilt my quilts. This was long before I took the plunge on my longarm. I have many of her quilting packs and I love them! Note: You will need a machine than uses hoops larger than 5×7 to make this runner. Those of you with hoops that are 4×4 or 5×7, don’t worry, we’ll do another Embroider-along just for you soon. 🙂

CORRECTION: The measurements in the .pdf are off and you need to use the measurements provided below. You can click here to see the page with the correct measurements. Hey, look at it this way – we let others work out the kinks for us! LOL

CORRECTION: When you are ready to make the quilt sandwich, lay the backing fabric FACE DOWN.

1 – Fabric measurementsThe fabric and Pellon measurements should be 6.5 x 8.5 and 2.5 x 6.5 inches. 

2 – Download link — Click on the link below to download the zip file that contains the free embroidery files for our Sea Shell Table Runner.

Link to free embroidery files –

The link will allow a direct download of a ZIP file that contains the 3 embroidery files you will use. Most web browsers can use that just fine. Remember, after the file has downloaded, be sure to right click on it and choose Extract All from the menu. Otherwise the files won’t work.

Also, don’t forget, through July 31, 2019, users who use the link below will receive two entire years of DIME Magazine for the price of one for $19.95. No coupon code is required. You will LOVE this magazine – or at least I hope you love it as much as I do. 🙂

When you are finished, share your project with me on Instagram and tag me @powertoolswiththread I’d love to see your work!

Tomorrow we leave for the coast to celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary and will be home on Sunday. See you then!

A Better Hour Glass Block

A friend asked me to go to her house this past week for a quilting lesson.  She is in a BOM (Block of the Month) club with our local quilt store, Scrappy Quilter.  She had her fabrics all laid out, cutting mat, ruler, rotary cutter, and pattern book.  All was good.  She said she was really struggling and ripping out more than she was sewing so I had to see what the problem was.  Well, I tell you what.  It wasn’t all her.

The first step on this month’s block had her make an hourglass block by cutting two larger squares into eight triangles and then sewing them all back together on the bias.  ACK!!  The odds of getting a nice finish using this method is down around zero. Three seams must be sewn and everything has to be just exactly right.

I’m in the middle of a BOM myself and had to make some hour glass blocks for the most recent installment.  However, the method in my pattern had me put two of the large squares – a print and a solid – RST (Right Sides Together) and draw a diagonal line down the middle point-to-point.  Then I sewed ¼” away down each side of the line.

You cut on the line to create two HSTs (Half Square Triangles) so the HST is half print and half solid.  Open them up and finger press.  

Pin the blocks together, RST, and nest the seams so that they sandwich nice and tight. You want color on the top on one side and on the bottom on the other. They must be nested in opposite directions for this to work. Mark the center line on the other diagonal and sew down both sides of the line as before.  Then cut on the line.

The result is not only the same, it is BETTER!  You get a perfect center of the hourglass every time, your block isn’t all stretched out, and you still have hair left in your head when you’re finished! Oh, and no ripping involved!

If you ever come across a pattern that calls for the first method, stop.  Life is hard enough as it is and this crazy hobby is supposed to be fun.   No change of fabric cutting measurement is required to do this alternate method.  My friend was ecstatic at how pretty hers turned out and she thanked me profusely.  Totally not necessary my friend.  🙂

Do you have any favorite block short cuts? Let me know in a comment below!

#RowByRow Taste the Experience

During the Sizzlin’ Summer Shop Hop that I went on a couple of weeks ago, many of you commented on wanting to get the pattern and the kits for the quilt that was designed by Julie from #2ChicksQuilting in Ganado,Texas.

Here is a list of shops in Southeast Texas that are participating in the Row by Row Experience and they will all have a kit to make a block of this beautiful quilt.

  1. Beefore It’s a Quilt in Port Lavaca
  2. Quilter’s Cottage in Richmond
  3. Quilter’s Patch in Victoria
  4. Two Chick’s Quilting in Ganado
  5. It Seams to be Sew in Sugar Land
  6. Seams Like Home in Yorktown
  7. The Square Quilter in Shiner

Here is the video that shows the quilt that Julie designed.

Contact info for all the stores is on their websites. Get the kits before they’re gone!

DIME Trapunto Seashell Table Runner – Supplies

Designs in Machine Embroidery (DIME) has been so gracious to allow me to do an Embroider-along with you featuring a free table runner pattern that is featured in the May/June 2019 issue of the DIME magazine. The only catch was I had to wait until July 1st to share with you how to get the freebie machine embroidery patterns. The embroider-along will be like Embroidery 101. We will go slow with learning how to thread your machine and getting familiar with the parts of it. I want you to go dig around and find the manual for your machine. Yes, you have to take the machine OUT of the box! Then I want you to read that manual like you would a book. I guarantee you’re going to learn something. You spent a ton of money on this thing and it deserves better than remaining in a box. You have powerful tool in your hands and it’s time to learn how to use it.

Now, I CAN give you the list of supplies you will need. This particular pattern is for hoops larger than 5×7 however, I’m going to search for some free designs that can work in smaller hoops. No promises, but I’ll do what I can. I will post where you can get the free designs on July 1st and I’ll also post a .pdf of the directions on my blog then.

Here’s the supply list from the article. The links below are Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase from Amazon using these links, I make a few pennies. Don’t feel obligated; the legal beagles make me tell you this. If the specific product name isn’t mentioned (like the painter’s tape, needles, and thread) those are my Amazon choices vs. coming from DIME).

  1. Floriani Wet & Gone or OESD Aqua Mesh Water Soluble Stabilizer
  2. 1 yard Pellon Shape Flex
  3. Six 6″ squares of batting (I’m using 80/20 White & Natural)
  4. Six 6″ squares of different pastel fabrics for the seashell applique
  5. Six 2.5″ x 6″ different pastel fabrics for accent rectangles
  6. 1/4 yard background fabric (42″)
  7. 1/2 yard backing fabric
  8. Quilter’s Dream Blend Batting (craft size)
  9. 1/4 yard binding fabric
  10. Painter’s tape
  11. Mark-B-Gone water soluble pen
  12. 75 embroidery needle
  13. Embroidery thread

Now, if you don’t have those special battings or that particular brand of WSS (water soluble stablizer), use what you have on-hand. I will be using my Sulky Solvy for my WSS. This is a learning exercise for newbies and I don’t want you to feel like you have to rush out and spend scads of cash on specialized products. However, for the best results or if you’re not sure, use what DIME recommends.

A note on the thread linked above. That thread is recommended for many machines and used to be called Embroidex. I have a couple of boxes of it and I’ve had good results and it gets good Amazon reviews. I originally bought it because name-brand thread is so expensive and I wasn’t sure if I would like this whole machine embroidery thing so I bought it to keep my initial investment to a minimum. Yes, I’ve had thread breaks, but I’ve also had thread breaks with Madiera. I’ve not had any thread breaks with Isacord but my quilt shop carries that for about $6 per spool. You use or buy what you have on hand or can afford.

OK, this should be fun! Again, I’ll post where you can get the free designs on July 1st! You have homework:

  1. Take your machine out of the box.
  2. Read your manual.
  3. Find fabrics you want to use.
  4. Choose your thread colors. You will need 3-4 per shell (see below) and one that disappears on the background fabrics to create the trapunto effect.
  5. Take a deep breath…YOU CAN DO THIS!! If you have questions or get stuck, comment on the post in this blog for that part, and I’ll respond. I’ll write it out and give a video demo if need be.

Also, DIME has provided a discount to my subscribers if you want to subscribe to the magazine so you can get TWO years for the price of ONE! YAY!! Here’s the link. No coupon code required. It is only good until July 31, 2019.

So excited!! We start in 2 weeks. This will be fun!

Villa Rosa Designs “Peace” Pattern Quilt Top Finish

I was in Ganado, Texas at Two Chicks Quilting and found the most lovely Sunny Side Up fabric by Corey Yoder for Moda, and thought that the Villa Rosa Designs Peace pattern would be perfect for it.

It’s a simple square-in-a-square design with lattice (sashing) in between the rows. Blocks are made up of 4 square-in-a-square sets.

I used a Jelly Roll and yardage for the yellow centers and 4″ outer border.

The pattern calls for 42 2.5″ strips which is exactly what was in the Jelly Roll. Two of the strips wouldn’t work: a yellow that matched the center and a white-on-white that wouldn’t work with the lattice. So by removing those two strips, I had to alter the block count. I figured I could have either just dropped a whole row of blocks, but I thought it would be more interesting to make a single row of blocks of two at the top and bottom. I love how it turned out!

The backing and binding are on the way! Can’t wait to get this on the longarm. 🙂

Streamlined Sewing with New IKEA Linmon Tables

You may recall, we enclosed the back patio on our home to become my sewing room in this post. Here’s a quick look at how I had my machines set up before. I only had one machine on top of the sewing table and if I needed to use the serger or cover stitch, I had to perform all kinds of acrobatics to make room and move machines around in order to sew a single garment. It was so inconvenient and I hated it.

I searched all over online and watched tons of YouTube videos to get ideas of what I wanted and what would work for me. I finally decided to go the IKEA route and used Linmon tables to give each machine its own living space. I wanted an assembly line of sorts to be able to use any machine at any time without having to move them around. I purchased two sets of Alex drawers to hold all my sewing notions and placed one at each end of the assembly line. I also place a little bamboo box within each reach of the machines that contain scissors, seam rippers, rulers, and other notions I use frequently. To keep things neat, there’s a trash can next to each machine.

To get from machine to machine, I simply roll back and forth. It’s heaven! Yes, I need another chair, but for now, this is what I have. That’s a memory pillow on the chair made from a couple of my dad’s old shirts. He’s always with me when I sew. 🙂

From bottom to top: Brother Quattro Embroidery Machine, Brother PQ1500SL quilt piecing machine, Brother PC420 sewing machine, Brother 1034D Lock serger, and Janome 900 Cover Stitch.

My first garment using the new set up was a pair of Jalie Clara leggings and it was such a joy to roll from the sewing machine, to the serger, to the cover stitch. I even completed the project faster than I had ever sewn anything before because I wasn’t stopping and starting throughout the process. And for once, I hemmed my garment right away with the cover stitch because, well…it was right there ready to go!

I’m so, so happy with the new set up! I’m certain my garment sewing is going to really ramp up with more projects in the works!