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Kristen Farwig sends 3 recommendations she found on the great but now defunct site 
Joyce Noell recommends searching for fabrics here —
Kim Clark says, “I have found some older material by typing in the name of the design found on the selvage edge if still on the fabric, and the name of the designer in the search box of the internet.”
Kathy Martin recommends
“They have just about everything and the site is easy to use.”
The quilter who asked this question mentioned polka-dot fabric. I put this in a google search engine —
quilt fabric white dots on navy
— and got images of fabric on sale for $2.25 up. 

Small Half Hexagon Template for 5” Charm Packs and 2 ½” Jelly Rolls

By Natalie Dawn for Missouri Quilt Company (SKU NOT132) – $5.95 online



  1. If not using charm packs or jelly rolls, cut 2 ½” strips of fabric.
  2. Cut out a stack of trapezoids using the template.
  3. Arrange and sew together to form braid. I construct two rows at once allowing chain stitching.

Continue adding pieces to desired length allowing enough length to square off top and bottom leaving ¼” seam allowance on each end.

Internet Resources for Quilters 2017-10


Thank you so much for helping with the charity kits that we call  “Beach Balls”  for short.  Use the link to Pellon’s Divide & Conquer free tutorial for help piecing the kits, but……… We have added a little extra.

On the 4 1/2″  corner squares we have drawn two stitching lines.  (This is where we get the triangles for the pinwheel quilts )  ******* you must place the shorter line towards the corner that will be trimmed off.  Stitch on the drawn lines with 2.0mm or 2.5mm stitch length.

— Betty Ann



I substituted for Linda Cronise.  I do lots of hand appliqué, but I hadn’t done this particular method before the demo.  I found a tutorial on-line to guide me.

More notes on my experiences:

  • I use 50 weight silk thread matching the applique piece.
  • Size 10 Straw Needles from Foxglove Cottage are my favorite.
  • Clover needle threader
  • DON’T clip any outside curves; just sweep the seam allowance under with your needle for 1 or 2 stitches at a time.  You’ll get lovely smooth curves.
  • Clip inside curves almost to the turn line.  When sweeping under, pull it fairly tight to make it a smooth curve past the clip point.
  • Points: this video is very similar to the way I do my corners.  Except — she omits my cheat of an “eyelash” stitch straight out from the end of the point to fool the eye about the point sharpness.  The video shows inside corners as well.

We had an appliqué demo in 2011 as well.  Use that as another perspective on the process.

— Susan Kraterfield

Quilt blocks that are leftover from a project or blocks that were test or practice blocks.

Other names: leftovers, part of an UFO ,WlP, (3.1 (Good Intentions) or PhD(Project half Done), reject, false start , OOPS, re-do, “What was I thinking?” , and Treasures in Reserve.

The Wisdom of Orphan Blocks: “Take something imperfect and unloved and give it a home in a completed quilt!” Tricia Lynn Maloney

Orphan blocks can be used for:

Practice square for hand or machine quilting
Practice square for new technique
Wall Hangings
Potholder or hot pad
Case for eyeglasses or rotary cutter
Tote bag or pocket or a tote bag
Mated with other blocks for a quilt
Center for a Round Robin quilt or a medallion quilt
Needlecase (tutorial @
Table runner
Sewing table, remote or bedside pockets
Block for calendar
Coin or jewelry purse
Sewing machine cover
Gift bag or Decorative box cover
Patchwork Stuffed Dolls or Animals
Wrist pillow
Online orphan block challenges
Sell, Giveaway and/or Trade

A few websites to check out:

— Kathy Wickham

Converting a photo to fabric takes fewer artist genes than you might think. My secret is using software to manipulate the photo into a “values” picture to use as a pattern. My package is Adobe’s Photoshop Elements 10 on Windows, but there are several alternatives, each with their own lingo:

  • Picasa: free download from “Crop” is in the 1st menu tab. “posterize” in the 4th menu tab (“more fun and useful photo editing”) does the values thing.
  • Corel Paintshop Pro $30 on Amazon: contours, posterize, and topology. Demo available
  • Tammie Bowser’s is $99 and up.

My directions below use the Photoshop Elements names for the various tools.


    • Photo (to which you have rights) scanned into computer.
    • Clear plastic to make a pattern (e.g. a clear photo sleeve protector or a shower curtain)
    • Dark sharpie
    • 7 or so fabrics; graded from light to dark.
    • Steam-a-seam-2-lite
    • Scissors for cutting paper
    • Iron
    • Applique Pressing Sheet (fusible won’t stick.)

pretty susanSteps:

  1. Choose a photo with nice contrast. For faces; make sure there are some shadows to delineate the features.  For example, I used this Polaroid taken by my father when I was little.
    • Lighting from the side is always good; flash photos may not have enough shadows.
    • Decide either the original colors from the photo or values of any colors
  2. If you are not using the colors from the original, then change it to black and white:
    Enhance… Convert to black and white
  3. Now, convert it to a “values” picture. In Photoshop Elements: Filter… Artistic… cutouts.  Try different number of levels from 4 to 7.  The best choice depends on the picture.

pretty susan cutouts   portraits pallette

  1. Choose fabrics
    • Original colors: about 4 value levels in any given color family; like face vs. clothes & hair.
    • Free colors: use the black & white tweaked photo with 5-7 value levels in any colors you like.  Previously, I always used realistic colors, but this time I experimented.
    • Avoid contrast in any one fabric; want constant value.
  1. Cut fabric
    1. Make a “placement diagram” by tracing face edges onto plastic with a sharpie and write POSITIVE on it
    2. With placement plastic upside down, trace individual shapes onto grid side of fusible leaving some space for overlapping.. leave at least 1 edge “extra” to tuck under another shape. (I draw “hair” sticking out where I don’t want to cut tight) Cut out loosely.
    3. For tiny dark bits, don’t make patterns.  Add those details later with markers, paint, or pens.
    4. Fuse all the shapes for each fabric level onto BACK of fabric.  Cut on shape line; except for the “tuck under” edges

    portraits diagram   portraits fusible    portraits fused

  2. Build the photo
    1. Use an applique pressing cloth for a base
    2. Arrange the pieces under your plastic placement diagram nudging into place.
    3. Set aside the plastic diagram (it’ll melt), cover w/ your pressing cloth & fuse together.
  1. Finish
    1. Fuse your motif onto the quilt.
    2. Anchor all pieces with stitch of choice. I used a free motion zigzag with invisible thread.  Other choices: the “snow” stitch (#105 on a Bernina), just free motion around like Tammie Bowser.
    3. Quilting: either quilt A LOT or not at all. Don’t mimic the color edges; those are not muscle edges and look funny. Actual edges like a nose or ear profile work.
    4. Invisible thread works, but hair likes colored thread work.

Daddys Girl

— Susan Kraterfield

spoonflower Years ago, Linda Greene introduced us to Spoonflower by handing out little welcome packs at guild, but the whole thing seemed way “out there” to me at the time.  It took my hip daughter Elizabeth to kick me into gear this year.

Recipe Tea Towels ~ Susan Kraterfield

Recipe Tea Towels ~ Susan Kraterfield

In honor of my niece’s wedding, Elizabeth found this great project online: How to Turn Handwritten Recipes into Tea Towels. I couldn’t improve on the instructions in that blog if I tried, so I’ll just give you a précis… Scan in 3×5 recipe cards and arrange them in a JPG sizing the result to 36”x54”. Then order 1 yard of that design in Linen-Cotton Canvas. When it comes, cut them apart & hem.

The entire time I was working on the towels not-exactly-yardage projects popped into my head.  The Linen-Cotton Canvas would be a fabulous customized chef’s apron with a collage of personal memorabilia.  You could design your own “panel” for a round robin center. You could arrange perfect wedges of a floral closeup to build your own kaleidoscope or stack-n-whack.   The result would be much better ink and larger formats than our inkjet printers, easier, not particularly expensive considering the costs of inkjet cartridges and fabric for printing.  You could even design custom quilt labels and order just a $5 swatch by positioning your swatch correctly on your design.

Want to get started?

  • Create a Spoonflower account –free.
  • Make your design using photo software of your choice. DPI (dots per inch) is important – Spoonflower likes 150. You’ll find lots of advice & tips in the FAQs.
  • Upload your design to Spoonflower – free.
  • Order a $5 swatch (8”x8”) to test your colors, fabric, and image quality.
  • Order the fabric. The price depends on what fabric you order. Kona Cotton quilting weight is $16.50 for 42×36, and the Linen-Cotton Canvas is $24.30 for 54×36. Here’s the whole list: Products & Pricing


Susan Kraterfield

Here is a tutorial for Betty’s new string piecing charity project:

String Diamond Charity Quilt

Thank you quilters for all the help you have been in making these charity quilts. Here are the directions on how I found best to make them.  –Betty Tyree

Supplies needed:

Paper, triangle template or rotary ruler, scissors, rotary cutter, Kite template and lots of strings or scraps

I use the Marti Michelle Multi size kite template along with a 12″ setting triangle template.

This will make approximately a 17″ block when using 4 triangles.

Paper triangles

I found a large Doodle Paper Pad  (12″ X 18”) at Ollie’s in Salem for $3.59 that contains 200 sheets of newsprint.  I can cut 3 different size triangles from each sheet.  I use the strip tube triangle template and it matches the Missouri Quilt Clubs Papers and Kites. (10″) and a smaller triangle that could be used for string pieced flying geese. (To be worked out later)


Using the largest size Template cut out enough kites for your project.  A six-inch strip will give you 8 kites.


Left over and ugly fabric that you want to get rid of cut in random sizes anywhere between 1 1/2″ to 3″



Set machine stitch slightly higher and use a larger needle as you would for paper piecing.

Secure Kite to center of triangle either by pin or glue. I will sit at night watching TV and Glue a stack of kites to triangles.


Choose a string and place right side down on top of the Kite aligning the raw edges.  Sew on top of the string through the paper using a slightly larger seam allowance than ¼”.  Flip the string right side out and finger press. Repeat on the other side of Kite.  This is the only time that you will sew through the paper.


Lay the next string right side down, on top of the first strip.  Before sewing fold the paper back and stitch only through the fabric.

Keep adding strings using the paper only as a guide.  Alternate sides until you get approximately 3″ to 4″ from tip. It is important to leave plenty of room for a large piece at the ends of the triangles.  You do not want seams close to the ends. When you are sewing the blocks together it is easier not to have extra seams that will add bulk.


Tip: Sometimes I sew small or thin pieces together before adding to the triangle.



Add a large piece of fabric making sure the complete triangle is covered.

Lay the Triangle right side up on the ironing board, spray with starch, let soak in a minute and give a good press.


Flip triangle right side down (paper side up) on a cutting mat and trim with rotary cutter and ruler along paper edges.


Remove papers from the triangles carefully.  You should only have 3 pieces.  YEA!

I have 2  block layouts for the string quilts

layouts1 layouts2

eq1 eq2

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