Quilty Life Update

Ok, I have to admit I wanted to name this post: “Overwhelmed!” or “Over my head”. Or just simply “Help!” But maybe then you never would have opened it.

But yes my dear readers, this is how I feel right now and after messing up another block of my latest project, I have had to come and vent. I am hoping that someone will have that essential piece of advice or sympathy, that will kick me back into action and over this very small hurdle.

Now I know many of you would think ” What is she complaining about?” but I guess I just feel really busy lately and am feeling the pressure when it comes to my quilting.

First of all the Quilt Show, I have now been 3 times with different friends to show them around, and expect to do this one more time at least. It is a lot for a small show like ours but it is great for me, because I am new to the group and have seen so few of the quilts before the show. Now I get to take the time to inspect each quilt individually.   I have to say though, aside from my quilting, I feel pretty inferior to some of these woman, and only have their age and quilting experience to offer some consolation.

But boy when I get to see quilts like this, it just blows me away!! The fantasy behind them and the ideas.

By Martha Daugaard

See the sea fan, that is made of lace which is appliqued on the starfish and fish too, if I remember correctly. There are more ingenuine additions appliquéd at the top too. Unfortunately such poor lighting, but I hate flash.

Similar little surprises await the viewer in this creation.

“Water’s Edge” by Ursula Guignard

For more utilitarian style quilts I especially loved these two:

“Bed of Roses” by Margrit Rathgeb


Irish Chain by Margrit Rathgeb


If you are able to visit and would like more information about the quilt show, please see my post here for further information.

Now back to my own quilting.


This Sunday, I will be helping out at the Textile Museum in St. Gallen where the 6th European Quilt Trinnieale is being held, you can read more about that here. To accompany this quilt exhibit, the museum has organized volunteers from my quilt guild to show visitors how to quilt, by showing them how to make different quilt blocks. (” You mean teach”, my mother would but in here.) Yes I guess it is teaching, even if I had never done the block before and am just learning. (Yikes!!)


Basically I have a week, which sounds like plenty of time. Although I have done the half-square triangles and flying geese units before, with the geese I managed to not follow the directions, and so used one of the wrong fabrics (despite all my organization). So I  had to redo them all from the beginning!




And then, piecing the half-square triangles together by machine, the machine ate the corner. How frustrating.

My first thought was that it could very well be the needle. The machine I am using is a friend’s and I don’t know what needle is inserted. Not knowing anything about needles I decided to reach for my Essential Sewing Reference Tool book which is a lovely spiral bound book published by Stash Books and written by Carla Hegeman Crim.


I love this book and thought you might want a peak. It is just so practical to look up anything.

I love all of it’s clear tables, photos and diagrams.



So this afternoon I went to Bernina and they showed me a trick, which I had started using a while ago but then for one reason or the other decided it was probably the wrong way to fix the issue: lowering the needle into the corner manually.  The lady also told me, aside from changing the needle to a more appropriate one, I could get a special switch plate, just for straight stitching, that is supposed to prevent that issue of the needle eating the fabric. So I have ordered it.

Meanwhile I will have to make do with simply the  right needles, especially for quilting and piecing .

So if you have any smart ideas for easing my piecing woes, please let me know. Hopefully, I will survive my first quilt demonstration experience!

Wishing you all a creative and crafty weekend!




10 thoughts on “Quilty Life Update

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    1. Yes, I did. This morning I started again, and it went much smoother. Now just piecing the rows together. Hopefully no more major problems. The new needle and trick seem to do the job. Love you!


  1. I have no suggestions pertaining to sewing machines. End of story.

    However, I know that you can do anything you put your mind to. Breathe deeply, imagine the finished product and the joy you will feel when the ladies you are showing leave with a smile on their face and a heart full of gratitude. They are going to be so grateful to have a young woman interested in quilting with a great personality helping them, and a beautiful smile, laugh and big heart. I can’t wait to see the results!! Xoxix

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are always so inspiring Robyn! Thank you, it means a lot to me to have your support, even when you are unable to provide sewing or quilting advice, that is all I need someone there to say cheer up, it will all work out in the end.
      Miss you Robs!


  2. Gosh Jodie, you sound stressed! If you have been asked to demonstrate this block technique, why not be honest with your audience, and explain the difficulties you had, and how you went about trying to correct them? As a novice quilter, I would like to hear about problem-solving techniques, rather than be simply awe-struck by the skills of the person demonstrating. Your block looks beautiful to me! X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is an excellent piece of advice, yes I might not be the only person with these issues. Or issues that include mind wandering. Thank you so much for your time! P.S. I learnt today that when I turn off the podcast I am listening to, things go a lot smoother too! Those tips I mentioned also worked, needle manually put down in the fabric before you take your first stitch and that needle too. Thanks, you can see the block on Instagram, in it’s not yet finished state. Thank you for your feedback, it is much appreciated!! It is good to have good quilty friends out there in our big quilty world!!


  3. Place a scrap of fabric in the machine and stitch just to the end. Place your block under the foot – like chain piecing – and sew. At the end of your piecing, chain on the scrap so it’s ready for your next sewing session. (These are sometimes called leaders and Enders). Hope this helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much for the advice, I used this method but for some reason it wasn’t working, probably that needle. Now all is well though. Thanks Meredithe for stopping in!


  4. I’m sorry, Jodie! I admit I chuckled to myself before I read beyond your first paragraph! Isn’t that awful of me?! 🙂

    I understand your frustration because I’m a definite perfectionist. My little bit of advice is NEVER feel inferior. We all begin somewhere, usually the bottom, lol, when we’re learning a new craft and the only thing that makes us better is doing things over and over and over again. You’ll get there and one day will be just as awe inspiring.

    Personally, I think the first 2 photos you have, those shouldn’t even be called quilts. No one would ever use them as such, they’re simply too exquisite. I prefer quilts people will actually snuggle under and enjoy the warmth of for years 🙂

    Good luck with your demonstration, Penny’s right, talking about sewing woes can be equally important as showing the proper techniques.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Jodie, thanks so much for your advice, I so appreciate it. I know my latest quilts from a quilt show are more textile art, they are hardly the same thing but nevertheless… I love art quilts but making them is something else I agree quilts should be able to be used and enjoyed. Even if they are hand quilted and took a long time to make. I think my quilting has been dragging me down lately, this week I tried out something new, just to do that, not to be used and it was a new sensation doing something just to be able to say I could do a particular skill. Maybe I will use the new block for a sampler one day who knows, but for now it is just that, practice!
      I appreciate your friendship and encouragement. Boy do we need it sometimes fierce!
      have a great weekend, soap making or quilting or in the garden!


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