Tutorials and Tips



  • Hexi’s
    • On my hexi projects – I just baste hexis in sets of at least 6 identical pieces and of course ‘custom cut’ or ‘fussy cut’. I can’t do it any other way. Some of my flowers end up with 3 and 3 pieces alternating. I don’t worry about extras or leftovers up to this point.
    • What kind of thread are you all using to stitch the hexis together? And do you use one color, or do you switch off? I was never really satisfied with the amount of thread that was showing through to the front side – any suggestions on that? And what needles? I think I was just using milliners or straw appliqué needles. Is there something that works better? Answer: I’m using an appliqué needle, actually a Jeana Kimball straw size 11. For thread I’m using Presencia 50wt cotton 3 ply in a neutral color (#212). I’m not worrying about any stitching showing on darker fabrics. When I recently studied the Mosaic Quilt exhibit in Lincoln, you can see their stitching on darker fabrics too, so that gives me permission.
    • Scant seam allowance is not your friend when basting hexis.
    • On fussy cutting hexagons: I cut out a ‘Templar’ template instead of template plastic as I can see through the Templar better.I traced around one of my 1/2″ hexis on the matt side of the Templar, added 1/4″ on all six sides and cut it out for my template.I hold the template on the right side of the fabric to see what is showing in the center, using scissors I cut out the fabric the same size as the template, move to template to reveal the same area of fabric in the center of the template and cut a total of 6 identical pieces for the flower, I use a different fabric for the center.
    • On basting hexagons: I don’t sew through the papers, I take a tacking stitch on each of the 6 corners to hold the fabric.
    • After I have a tin full of hexis I do give them a press so I have a better edge for stitching them together. I’m working, or playing, with 1/2″ hexis.
  • Hand Piecing
    • I don’t press LeMoyne Star blocks until they are entirely assembled
  • Words of Wisdom
    • Be proud of ‘Queen of the Quilts in Progress‘ title
  •  I do pre-wash all my fabric, not a rule it is my choice.
  • Batting: 
    • For machine quilting – Mountain Mist Blue Ribbon 100% cotton batting – use this in all my larger quilts sent out for MQ. It is slightly needle punched for stability so long arm quilters will use it.
    • For hand quilting – I have some Mountain Mist natural cotton batting, the old fashioned type with the two scrims and cotton between, it can easily be separated to be even thinner for small quilts, however it works well just the way it is, it is a fragile batting in that it tears easily, handle with care. It is very hard to find.  The last ones I bought were from Fabric Shack in Waynesville, Ohio.
  •  Thread
    • 50wt for hand piecing and hand appliqué
    • 60wt for sewing machine
    • 100% cotton good quality thread like Presencia or Aurifil