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Announcing Our Quilting Arts in Stitches eMag Vol. 2 Blog Tour and a Giveaway!

27 Feb 2011

We are so excited to announce the launch of our second edition of our eMag, Quilting Arts in Stitches, that we’re going on tour this week. In our second edition of In Stitches you’ll find a slew of information and inspiration for hand and machine stitching including fun projects, video interviews with leading quilt artists as they divulge their secrets and share their tips for perfect stitching, how to create a stitch workbook to keep at your fingertips for inspiration and reference, and so much more.

I thought to start off the blog tour with a stitch confession. It wasn’t until recently that when I free-motion stitch, I did what everyone should do, and that is to pull up the bobbin thread when you begin. I guess I have just been lazy, but it’s so easy (and so important) so you don’t have to worry about thread nests on the back. Here’s a quick video I made to show you how to pull up the bobbin thread in case you don’t know how:

 Every blog tour should be kicked off with a fun giveaway so here is mine. I have an extra DVD set of all 13 episodes of Quilting TV Series 700, which just started airing nationwide.

Respond to the following question by this Wednesday night, and on Thursday I’ll announce a winner.

My question is two-part:

What is the most enjoyable part of stitching for you? Conversely, what drives you crazy or proves frustrating at times?

Here’s the blog tour schedule so you can follow along, hear what these artists have to share about their stitching tips, and maybe partake in more giveaways!


Monday (Feb 28): Jane Davila:
Tuesday: Lynn Krawczyk (March 1):
Wednesday: Jackie Cardy(March 2):
Thursday: Deb Bates (March 3):
Friday: Deborah Boschert (March 4):
Saturday: Michelle Allen (March 5):
Sunday: Liz Kettle (March 6):
Monday: Lyric Kinard (March 7):   
Tuesday (March 8): A surprise guest on Lindsey’s blog will be the final stop of this tour



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Jeannie EVH wrote
on 27 Feb 2011 3:46 PM

I love hand stitching. I find it relaxing - meditative. I have sewing by machine. I feel my shoulders tighten up just plugging it in. There, my secret is out!

Jeannie EVH wrote
on 27 Feb 2011 3:47 PM

I love hand stitching. I find it relaxing - meditative. I dislike sewing by machine. I feel my shoulders tighten up just plugging it in. There, my secret is out!

scutso wrote
on 27 Feb 2011 3:47 PM

I love the part where I am deciding what the design will be, and what fabrics will work for that design.  The part that drives me crazy is the quilting, especially if it's a larger piece.

perrijk wrote
on 27 Feb 2011 3:58 PM

I absolutely love machine quilting.  I find it so challenging and fun.  The thing that drives me crazy is stitching in the ditch - - booooorrrrring - and difficult at times to keep my attention in tact.

Talltoya wrote
on 27 Feb 2011 4:10 PM

I enjoy machine quilting and using different types of threads.......I dislike the fact that I can only do small projects, i.e. baby quilts or smaller without getting frustrated.  I will have to give in and buy a machine with a larger throat area. 8-)

TheresaO@2 wrote
on 27 Feb 2011 4:24 PM

Love handstitching, lately it's been silk ribbon. What frustrates me the most, is my own problem.... can't seem to finish anything lately!

PamHunter wrote
on 27 Feb 2011 4:29 PM

I think my favorite part is textured stitching.  I love choosing different types of  thread and colors and adding different colors to on top of stitching already on the fabric.  This is embarrasing ... I don't like to replace the thread in the bobbin.   I would love to have a machine that had the biggest bobbin possible that refilled itself!  =)

Pam Hunter


Karen99 wrote
on 27 Feb 2011 4:31 PM

I love driving my machine!  Rrrrrrrrrrrrr!  Fast!  Machine quilting is the best for me!  It's like having a Ferrari without having to worry about gasoline prices or driving off a cliff.

The thing that makes me crazy is having to stop and change threads.  Which I do a lot.  Because then I have to test for tension.

VickiJ@4 wrote
on 27 Feb 2011 4:52 PM

I have recently fallen in love with hand stitching! The repetitive motion of mark making is very relaxing and meditative for me. The challenging part can be choosing the best stitch to complement the fabric surface.

on 27 Feb 2011 5:08 PM

I like to add a little bit of hand stitching to my mixed media art to make it more personal and give it that "made by a human (not a machine)" look.   Of course you can't beat machine sewing for durability and speed, but getting the tension just right can be quite frustrating at times.  

on 27 Feb 2011 5:11 PM

I love the amazing textural effects I can achieve through free motion quilting.  Thread adds another dimension to the work:  something in between flat and 2-dimensional.

I become frustrated when I have persistent thread breakage.

on 27 Feb 2011 5:14 PM

Most Enjoyable - machine couching.  I just love it SO much.  

Most Frustrating - the fact that my Horizon won't do the grass stitch in reverse like my old machine would!  I used to use it like a felting machine to tack down all my yarns & flax & stuff... now I can't.  I forget and try anyway and then I am sorely disappointed.  

klebaum wrote
on 27 Feb 2011 5:28 PM

I love the conversation I have with the piece as I decide what the stitching will be. The worst? Ripping out stitches, whether machine or hand. Boo hoo!

on 27 Feb 2011 5:35 PM

I love to see the patterns emerge and give the finish to the quilt.

The most trying part is breaking threads  when using metallics.

I would love a  series 700 set.

Have a great day.

Mary Ann

Bethquilter4 wrote
on 27 Feb 2011 5:47 PM

I also love to have stitch ! Stopping to wind the bobbin is the worst. When I am in the middle of a project who wants to stop!

Sue120 wrote
on 27 Feb 2011 5:54 PM

I love the machine quilting when everything is working right and I just whiz right along while listening to my iPod. Yes, I do go crazy when I'm trying to decide on just the right fabrics for a project - this color or that one or endless other possibilities. How can I ever decide? And then after I do, second guessing myself.

on 27 Feb 2011 6:03 PM

I love to be totally involved in stitching pieces together and seeing the pattern evolve.

Most frustrating can be tiny star points that don't quite work.

coollabtech1 wrote
on 27 Feb 2011 6:03 PM

I like seeing the finished product after doing free-motion stitching, especially the poofiness that gets created. Most frustrating is dealing with thread tension issues.

on 27 Feb 2011 6:03 PM

I love seeing it all come together in the finished project.  I get frustrated when my sewing machine "acts up" and starts creating uneven stitches or bunches of thread on the bottom.  I hate picking out stitches!

LisaF@12 wrote
on 27 Feb 2011 6:09 PM

I think there are so many parts of the process of making a quilt that are so much fun. Some times though, by the time I get to the binding, I want to be done with it already!!!

goonybird wrote
on 27 Feb 2011 6:13 PM

I do enjoy hand stitching - it is very relaxing and rewarding. I really really hate when I make a mistake, usually stupid because I'm in a hurry, and then have to RIP-IT out!

jabotquilt wrote
on 27 Feb 2011 6:48 PM

I love just sitting fmq when everything is in line... fabric is sailing smoothly, thread is flying thru the needle and hands are flowing like a river... what I want to pull my hair out is when I go to use 'fancy threads' to really make my quilt pop and the thread breaks and breaks and breaks... I am forced to eat chocolate, eat chocolate and eat chocolate.

I have seasons 400-600 so need 700=))

sallyg@13 wrote
on 27 Feb 2011 7:02 PM

I love embellishing - especially sewing on beads and making pieces with texture - creating a piece of fabric by using yarn and other fibers. What frustrates me? When my sewing machine decides to act tempermental and I have to figure out what little piece of thread is hiding somewhere in the bottom of the machine!

icosewing wrote
on 27 Feb 2011 7:28 PM

I think my favorite part is the designing, planning and pulling the fabrics together.  There is nothing better than feeling fabric and coordinating them.  I don't like the final stage - the quilting part.  I get impatient to go on to another project.  UFO's anyone?

on 27 Feb 2011 7:38 PM

I love it when everything works out as you planned with smooth sailing!  I dislike it when things just won't cooperate with the plan in your head!  

robinnn wrote
on 27 Feb 2011 8:17 PM

My least favorite thing... having to rip something out. Favorite thing... seeing a project come together like I imagined.

Merriejo wrote
on 27 Feb 2011 9:53 PM

I enjoy free motion trying new designs. The frustrating part is having to stop and rest my arms, shoulders and eyes!

Jamie Fingal wrote
on 27 Feb 2011 11:33 PM

I love free motion machine quilting to outline an object or make a nice design in the background of an art quilt. It adds a whole new dimension to any piece that I work on - inviting the viewer in to see it up close.  Greatest frustration is running out of bobbin thread in the middle of a cool design, or breaking a needle while I am sewing.

okiegirl97 wrote
on 28 Feb 2011 12:06 AM

I love the meditation of chain piecing a big stack of blocks- The hum of the machine, the repetition, going from 100 pieces to 50 pieces to one big quilt top! I HATE when I'm having tension problems! Evening out tension wastes so much thread & fabric. Argh, I'm having flashbacks just typing this!! Lol

gtm11 wrote
on 28 Feb 2011 1:14 AM

Stitching is therapy for me especially hand quilting.  It helps me relax and unwind.  

on the flip side, I'm still learning to machine quilt and after finishing my first queen quilt, my back and shoulders hurt!  It will be awhile before I attempt that again.

on 28 Feb 2011 2:41 AM

Stitching by machine energizes me like coffee and some hand stitching puts the cream on top.

To unwind, I read Quilting Arts, one of my favorite magazines!

on 28 Feb 2011 4:36 AM

Good Morning Pokey!

I love sewing!! Anything Primitive...dolls, tissue box covers, ornies and lately I have been wanting so badly to make a quilt. I don't have anyone close to me that crafts or sews so You have helped me so much and have given me the courage to try to make a quilt. That is my answer! I love to create and I hate to have self doubt!!


JoanieH3 wrote
on 28 Feb 2011 6:44 AM

I love sewing the bits & pieces of a project together & watching it grow! I REALLY do not like running out of thread! Thanks for the giveaway!

linjbil wrote
on 28 Feb 2011 7:15 AM

I love the design stage - particularly when it is for a challenge, I seem to get on better when there are rules!

What frustrates me most is when I continue working, even though I know I'm tired,  and I make silly mistmakes. Agghhhh!

woodsew wrote
on 28 Feb 2011 7:17 AM

WOW !! I think buying fabric with the project in mind and then using it is the exciting part.  It is so much seeing the quilt come together.  

Frustrating is the fabric you thought was going to work into the project and getting home and it is the wrong "warm or cool"  Of course everyone got a cardinal pillow case for Christmas this year from some of those fabrics.  Not all was bad.

Doris47 wrote
on 28 Feb 2011 7:58 AM

I love machine quilting and the process of choosing fabrics and the design of the finished quilt.

My most frustrating part is getting interrupted when everything is flowing so smoothly.  

on 28 Feb 2011 8:04 AM

The most enjoyable stitching I do is hand stitching. It relaxes me and I'm always amazed at the finished product.

The most frustrating is stitching with an old sewing machine. It drives me crazy when it makes the "bobbin nests", when it skips stitches, when I can't make the machine do what I want it to do!!

jojo wrote
on 28 Feb 2011 8:13 AM

The most enjoyable part of stitching is the creating.  The most frustrating - the reverse sewing. . . it's inevitable - lol.

on 28 Feb 2011 8:46 AM

I love stretching beyond anything I have tried before and having success!  I do not like the ridiculous amount of angst I create before mustering the courage to dive in and let the creative process take hold.

klg727 wrote
on 28 Feb 2011 8:56 AM

I love the process of cutting out the pieces and watching it come together. On the other hand, nothing is more frustrating when it doesn't come together!!!!

quilties wrote
on 28 Feb 2011 9:02 AM

What I love is being creative with the materials of thread and fabric I adore so much. What drives me crazy are the technical & mechanical issues, especially getting the tension right!

kakiyork wrote
on 28 Feb 2011 10:46 AM

i love machine quilting when i am in the zone....sort of mindlessly with the machine going full tilt and my favorite song playing in the background.  i hate it when despite all my adjustments, my machine starts making birds' nests on the back while i sew.

jwgrendel wrote
on 28 Feb 2011 11:34 AM

I love doing hand-stitching, whether it's handquilting or embroidery/embellishment. It's so relaxing. On the other hand, machine quilting is frustrating for me, mostly because I'm so it turns into a chicken-and-egg thing.

SueS@68 wrote
on 28 Feb 2011 1:24 PM

The most enjoyable part of machine quilting to me is just getting in the zone and having the stitches fly out from the machine.  The most frustrating part is stopping to go make dinner.

Karen K wrote
on 28 Feb 2011 3:14 PM

I love to hand sew so I can sit in the living room in a comfy chair and watch TV, I love to sew on the machine too but lately with my Mom living in the sewing room being able to use the machine has become very frustrating.

LindaS@41 wrote
on 28 Feb 2011 3:27 PM

My favorite part of stitching/machine quilting is deciding what design to use - what will suit the piecing/applique pattern, the batting, etc. and what effect I want it to have.

:) Linda

on 28 Feb 2011 7:34 PM

I love doing anything by hand--piecing, painting, embroidery, beading. For me, stitching is a visceral thing, and I feel in control when I use my hands, even when I have no idea what the outcome will be. On the other hand, I find it easy to procrastinate when the time comes to do free motion work. I love the outcome--well, almost always--but it requires me to step outside my comfort zone.

bhschatz wrote
on 28 Feb 2011 9:30 PM

I love matching fabrics.  I hate ripping out mistakes.

von8 wrote
on 28 Feb 2011 10:23 PM

My favorite part of art quilting is adding pizazz!  It could be beading, or using foil, or just adding that small spot of color that adds a focus to the meaning of my piece.  My least favorite part is putting the materials away.  I  like to keep the creative juices going, but if your area is too cluttered, it blocks creativity.  Sometimes I just dump stuff in a box to get it out of the way so I can create a new project!

ses4 wrote
on 28 Feb 2011 10:32 PM

The most fun part is when everything is going smoothly.  I love doing applique and machine quilting.  The most frustrating part for me is when i cannot get accurate 1/4" seams.

on 1 Mar 2011 5:51 AM

I love to add random  beading to my art quilts.  My least favorite part is the FM.  I am a beginner and find it difficult. But, I will keep on practicing!

elainejr wrote
on 1 Mar 2011 7:08 AM

It never used to be true, - I used to hate the quilting part of a quilt and thought I preferred to be a piecer.   Since starting to make art quilts - I think I like the free motion quilting & threadplay or threadpainting that I do the most.   Conversely, it is that same thing that can proved the most frustrating - when my "supposed" vision just doesn't translate to fabric!!!

DebraB@8 wrote
on 1 Mar 2011 7:13 AM

I love to do free motion machine stitching and thread painting. I go nuts if I have to piece and match points.

SewLindaAnn wrote
on 1 Mar 2011 8:45 AM

I love machine stitching on projects as a way to add dimension and character, sometimes to play with a color or to emphaszie texture (which is my latest craze). I also love hand stitching, it's so personal to do something by hand it makes me feel like an artist. What I hate about machine stitching (besides removing stitches) is when the fabric sandwich gets thicker or thinner (great description I know) and my stitches don't remain even if I want them that way. Pulling up the thread is new to me, and I'm trying to always do it and not be lazy since it makes for a much neater piece of fabric.

on 1 Mar 2011 9:10 AM

Thanks for the giveaway!   For me hand quilting is by far the most enjoyable part of creation.  Followed closely by picking out my fabrics for a new project.

I HATE BINDING!!!! It is just maddening to me.  

janicen7 wrote
on 1 Mar 2011 9:20 AM

I love doing free motion and finally feel that I am reasonable competent.  I get very frustrated using specialty threads such as metallics, which tend to split, especially when using in the machine

lawsonlouisa wrote
on 1 Mar 2011 12:24 PM

I love hand quilting when I have the time and machine applique. I use the glueing method and love sitting and quietly glueing all the seam allowances under before hitting the machine. The most frustrating thing is cutting out the wrong size strips to make squares and triangles. This is especially true when tried late at night. I also find free motion quilting very frustrating and I know that I need to spend more time practising.

Dawneman wrote
on 1 Mar 2011 12:29 PM

I guess the most enjoyable part of stitching is seeing the finished project after I have finished quilting it. The thing that drives me nuts is those times when my machine decides to skip stiches!

on 1 Mar 2011 4:03 PM

The must enjoyable part of stitching are the fabulous finishing touches that hand embellishing gives to a project.  What drives me crazy is when I can't bet the bobbin thread to look good when I am free motion quilting!    

on 1 Mar 2011 4:07 PM

The most enjoyable stitching is hand embellishing.  I hate it when I have thread problems when free motion quilting!

rlambatos wrote
on 1 Mar 2011 4:47 PM

I am frustrated with a quilt I am working on right now - trying the find the right fabric to achieve the effect I want!

twiglet5 wrote
on 2 Mar 2011 5:13 AM

My creativity is stimulated by the sheer variety in the art of stitching. I am a butterfly that  flits from hand stitching to free machining and I love to include my embellishing and felting in the projects that I make. There are so many wonderful stitch artists out there - I just wish I had more time to link to sites like yours so that I can see what they are all busy doing!!

elainejr wrote
on 2 Mar 2011 6:48 AM

Contrary to my earlier quilting thoughts, I now love the free motion quilting.   I always thought I preferred to do the piecing, but since starting art quilting, it is the free motion thing I like the most - I rarely mark a quilt and just let whimsy or careful "patterning" in my mind take over.   Ironically, that can sometimes be the more frustrating part of what I do - if what I envision doesn't work out.  

gillw3 wrote
on 2 Mar 2011 9:55 AM

I'm enjoying hand stitching more and more! So therapeutic

Running out of thread!  Grrrr it always takes me by surprise and I'm never organised enough to have threaded several bobbins before I start machining

on 2 Mar 2011 10:03 AM

I started incorporating hand stitching in my art combined with machine quilting, and I love the added texture these stitches add to the piece.  And I find it relaxing to be able to sit on the couch and stitch by hand while listening to music.  I switch threads and stitches quite often so as not to get bored.

What I find frustrating is running out of bobbin thread when I am in the middle of machine quilting, as invariably the thread runs out when you are in the middle of the quilt, never around the edges.  That's why I usually wind 6-8 bobbins with the bobbin thread before starting to quilt, so they are ready when I need them, and I don't need to stop and wind a bobbin each time.  When I need a break, I will wind all the empty bobbins again.

on 2 Mar 2011 10:18 AM

I love to do any kind of hand-stitching -- covered up with a quilt in my chair, with a cup of tea and my stitching -- bliss!!   I think the most frustrating thing is when I'm making a garment, and I'm moving faster than my brain is, and I sew something in backwards = (    This doesn't happen as often these days, thankfully, as I try to make it a point to slow down and enjoy the process!

on 2 Mar 2011 10:38 AM

I love to free motion stitch it gives me the opportunity to be a free spirit and try new designs.  Although I have a lot to learn and numerous stitches to explore, I find this process very relaxing and rewarding.  My most frustrating hurdle to overcome is not having enough time to create.  I steal every opportunity I can even riding my eliptical watching quilting DVDs.  This also makes stitching a healthy part of everyone's life:)  

on 2 Mar 2011 12:55 PM

I love hand stitching, using my embellisher and then stitching again.  Not very good at actually finishing things so have a lot of UFO's.

Sandi@29 wrote
on 2 Mar 2011 2:40 PM

I love sitting down at my machine to finish a quilt.  Free motion stitching becomes like a meditation, and it is easy to get lost in the tranquility.

Conversely, I go nuts when I start going too fast and end up breaking a needle or find that I have been sewing for the last 10 minutes without a bobbin thread because the bobbin is empty.

quiltzy wrote
on 2 Mar 2011 3:10 PM

The most enjoyable part of stitching for me is coming up with different free-motion shapes and challenging myself to create interesting color combinations and textures as well as just being surprised with the results.  What drives me crazy is when I put in the plate for straight-stitching only (with the small hole), then forget to change back to the plate with the wider hole for zig-zagging, then promptly breaking my needle when I go to do free-motion zig-zagging.

Maria Elkins wrote
on 2 Mar 2011 4:21 PM

I love free motion quilting -- you can do just about anything with it! It can also be the most frustrating part.  I hate it when the thread keeps breaking or knotting up underneath and nothing seems to solve the problem.

Penelope14 wrote
on 2 Mar 2011 10:41 PM

The most enjoyable part of stitching for me is to do the binding. I find doing the hand stitching part relaxing and yet exciting as the end is near!

gardengirl49 wrote
on 6 Mar 2011 5:09 AM

I enjoy all spectrums of stitching from hand embroidery to stitching on metal. As a fiber artist I don't make clothes...not my cup of tea. The most frustrating thing is two part -- the first being when the machine breaks down right in the middle or at the end (or anytime really) of a project and the second -- I get very frustrated when my fibromyalgia makes my hands ache during and after hand embroidery.

profmom wrote
on 6 Mar 2011 12:22 PM

The ability to be creative and experiment with color and style excites me.   Running out of time is the most frustrating, especially when I have a limited amount of time and want to accomplish something, and the machine is not functioning properly!   I suspect it is operator error more than anything else.

I love your show, but when they changed to multiple channels for viewing, I cannot seem to find when your show is aired.   Got any ideas about how to find out?:

on 6 Mar 2011 12:40 PM

Hi Pokey I guess the most enjoyable I would have to say is putting the binding on..I just love doing it by hand and to me it is my grand finale'.

Frustrating at times would be the free motion quilting.  I work on an old brother and it is so frustrating with such a small harp to try and free motion quilt.  There simply is not enough room in there to get to all the quilt.  Now my dream is a bernina but at my rate I will have to win one or something and believe me I try, but I am on disability and do not ever see me getting a Bernina.  But I still dream and I am a positive person but with limitations.  I love your saturday show and watch it whenever it is on and love the whole family of Quilting arts...thanks for all the incentive.....

adasalcove wrote
on 7 Mar 2011 7:29 AM

I love free-motion stitching and thread painting.  I do hate squeezing my large pieces through  the tiny throat area, especially when the backing gets a tuck in a heavily quilted area.

casachavez wrote
on 7 Mar 2011 4:20 PM

I loved this new issue of Stitches eMag -- thank you.  My favorite part of stitching is when I see the texture and pattern evolve when I do FME.  Most frustrating is not yet being good enough for my FME to look as beautiful as some of the designs I see in my internet, quilt shop and trading travels.

queenopearls wrote
on 7 Mar 2011 5:03 PM

Hi Pokey,

  Stitching can be meditative for me and hours can go by without ever looking at the clock.  Sometimes, I "itch to stitch" and nothing else fills the bill.

  What puts a king my my thread thoughts is metallic thread.  I've loosened tension, used quilting needles, top stitch needles, sewers aid, loosened my tension, slowed down and ... snap! ::: groan :::.  Ultimately, I look for a nice shiny rayon.  

  I'll keep trying and thanks for asking as well as offering your giveaway.

All the best,


on 8 Mar 2011 8:01 AM

I love watching a design pattern develop as I stitch but get highly frustrated when thread nests occur beneath the throat plate.

KarenHelen wrote
on 8 Mar 2011 1:01 PM

The most enjoyable part of sitting at the machine and going with the flow: stitching color, design, wiggles and squiggles to the top of my quilt art. What drives me crazy...having to stop because its an hour past my bedtime.