Friday, May 10, 2013

Quilter's Favorites/Share and Learn

I'm joining in on Geta's Quilting Studio link-up party. 
Lot's of bloggers are sharing a few of their favorite tips, tricks and notions. 
Visit Geta's site for more participants with great tips!
If you haven't been to Moose Bay Muses before, welcome! I'm Karen, and I love to make quilts. I especially enjoy adding applique and embroidery to my quilts, and you should also know that I am crazy about blue and white and scrappy quilts. 
This is a peek at what I'm working on right now:

I'm going to need 48 of these split stars for my next project.
I'm using up the remains of my Indigo Crossing fat quarter bundle.

A few of my favorite quilting tools:

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I love all of my Karen Kay Buckley tools--her Perfect Scissors, Circles and Stem--they are the best tools for making applique easy and enjoyable. 
Sewing up accurate half square triangles can be time consuming and a little tedious. 

The Angler 2 or the Clearly Perfect Angles tools attach to your machine bed and eliminate the need to marking that line down the center of the layered squares before sewing into triangles.
 These are both pretty much the same tool. 
The Angler 2 is a clear stiff plastic that must be taped to the machine bed. The Clearly Perfect Angles (CPA) tool is a cling vinyl that lays on the machine bed without tape. After using for several months, my CPA tended to curl up and it also tore in several places. It's more convenient to place on the machine, but I'm back to using my Angler 2 since it's more durable. I use blue painters tape to secure it in place. 

After sewing, using the Eleanor Burns Triangle Square-Up Ruler makes trimming those half square triangles a lot faster. By laying the ruler on the stitched line, you only have to trim once!  

Color Scheme Advice:
Since I'm a scrappy quilter, anything goes, but I have learned that contrast is very important. (see my sad story HERE)

Some thoughts about thread:  

For piecing (and occasionally machine quilting), I use Aurifil thread. My advice: find a neutral color you like and buy Aurifil on the big cone--it's saves money and it last forever!  Also, wind up a lot of bobbins at one time so you can just pop a new one in the case when the bobbin runs out of thread. 

Tips for easy piecing

You will have great success if you can achieve accurate piecing. Nothing is more frustrating than having seams that don't line up or chopped off triangle points! My Angler II helps me to keep an accurate quarter inch seam, but I've also been using this little magnetic seam guide and it has helped a lot! 

The sewing machine:
I've been using my Juki since January and it's a great machine. You can read all about it HERE--yes, I was completely swayed by Lisa! 
Two things that I have added to ALL of my machines (the Juki, Bernina 440, my Singer featherweight, and my HQ16) are a Command hook to hold my little scissors for snipping threads, and 
 I recently added Ecolux lighting to all my machines---a big investment, but awesome lighting! 

Modern quilting tools:
Although I'm not very proficient in using it, I'm so glad I have my Electric Quilt program. 
I haven't taken the time to educate myself on a lot of the features, but I do manage to do some basic tasks. This summer I am following the EQ7 Summer Drawing Sew Along. We are designing blocks using all of the different methods in EQ. The first lesson was really fun AND I learned some things that I didn't know I could do in EQ. 

Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to visit Geta for links to other Quilters Favorites! 


  1. I love the Ecolux lighting, too! I don't know how I got on without it. I always wind 7 bobbins at a time. When they run out, I clean and oil my machine. That system has been working for me for years. The Angler is a good friend of mine, too. Great tips! I didn't think about the command hook.

  2. Thank you for linking to Quilter's Favorites party and sharing your tips and favorites, Karen. Where do you buy Aurifil cones ? It's my favorite thread too - for free motion quilting.

  3. I haven't found a shop that sells the big cones of Aurifil. Would you supply a link to one?

  4. Yes, please tell us where you get your Aurifil cones! Love your tips - scissors and lighting were awesome too.

  5. It's so nice to meet you, Karen! I love the Karen Kay Buckley tools also, especially those scissors! I also use the triangle square up ruler all the time (plus I have a Bernina 440 too). I think we might have a few things in common! Thanks for sharing.
    Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

  6. Hummm, I have never seen a magnetic seam guide, and I think I love it!

  7. Extraordinary post.
    You seem such an experienced quilter. All the tools are so professionals and the rsults are the same. Thank you for sharing your advanced knowledge to us the beginners! :-)
    Alexandra from Romania (friends with Geta)

  8. Thanks for tips, the scissor hook is clever idea.

  9. Thank you Karen for shearing and in this way to meet you. You have so many quilting tools and tips, wow!

  10. Thank you, Karen for this very good tips.
    Interesting tools! I like your Clearly Perfect Angles.
    I'm glad that trough Geta's linky party I have found you.
    I will be back!

  11. Thanks for all the quilting tips I really appreciate it and it was fun to read. You mention so very neat products that I am going to have to check out.