A Glossary of Important Terms

I decided it would be fun to put together a glossary of the major players on my blog and include some of the sewing tools I find most valuable! I’ve received nothing in return for talking about these things, but just personally find them amazing. It’s more public service announcement, less infomercial!

Major Players at May Chappell:
Bert: My Bernina 150. He’s a work horse. Sometimes I sew all through the day AND all through the night, but he never complains. I keep him clean and give him oil and he spirits through each task, never stopping. Even when I put Sulky 12 wt in the bobbin so the back of a bib will look perfect, he presses on:)

Ernie: The Guru’s Bernina 830. It’s amazing! I do all my machine quilting on it. It does so many things that I think it might be able to launch the space shuttle.

The Guru: My Mom. She gave me life and then made it better by teaching me everything she knows about sewing, quilting and making awesomeness! She’s quite often my right hand (wo)man and rarely does a project leave my studio without passing through her. She has many contributions, but one of the most appreciated is that she hand sews all my binding:) She is simply the best!

Locked Seams: I like all my intersections to be neat; it’s kind of a obsession of mine. I have a short tutorial on locked seams that explains it all. Locked seams are your friend. You need to marry your seams first!

Mack: Mack the Chihuahua road tests each quilt for me to ensure nap worthiness. He’s my little buddy in and out of the studio:) And quite adorable!


MayC: (pronounced Macy) My NEW Bernina 350! She’s a dream!! I got her because she travels so well and is full of stitches to play with! She also came with everything a quilter needs- a walking foot, 1/4″ foot & a FMQ foot!! She’s the best!


Married Seams: Before I press my seams, I marry them (some people call it setting, but marrying seems more fun than setting). This is just pressing the seam flat before you turn anything. It keeps your stitches where you want them and I use the residual heat so that I can finger press the seam where I want it (left, right or open) And then I press it with the iron.


The Studio: My little sewing area:) Right now, it is just a corner of my bedroom, but someday…

The Sweat Shop: The Guru’s sewing area:) Named by my Dad because she has a lot of machines. A lot.

A Few of My Favorite Things:
Add-a-Quarter Ruler: A completely necessary item for any paper or foundation piecing. It’s a ruler with a lip at the quarter inch mark. So you can slide it on and get a perfect quarter inch seam allowance every time! Don’t even bother paper piecing without it!! My only (small) issue with it was that I cut my hand while using it- it is only about 1.5″ wide. BUT, great news!! If you buy the 18″ long one, it is 3″ wide! And you can have it cut into a 12″ and 6″ piece. My fingers thank whomever came up with this; I heard from one of my students:)


Aurifil: The perfect piecing thread! I use it for everything- paper piecing and traditional piecing! I buy neutral colors-usually beige and grey- and it always works great:) The stitch is always smooth and flat. Bert & Aurifil play well together.

Circle Cutter by Olfa: Every time I use a circle in my projects, someone asks me how I make the circles perfect, here’s the secret…the Circle Cutter by Olfa! It’s like a compass and so easy to use:) The guru bought it for me on a whim and I don’t know how I lived without it!! Perfect circle every time! If I’m using wonder under or another stabilizer, I attach it before I cut the circle.


Omnigrid Rulers: I’ve always been an Omnigrid Ruler fan, but recently I purchased the green gripper version instead of my usual yellow version. It’s so much better!! It doesn’t slide at all. My favorite ruler sizes are my 6″x14″ and my 15″ square; I use these the most. I find these rules to be easy to read and accurate.

Paper Blade: I do a lot of paper piecing. This means I do a lot of cutting through paper and fabric. Nothing dulls a blade faster than paper, but I still like to use my rotary to cut paper. So, I have my fabric rotary and a spare labeled “P” for paper. When my fabric rotary blade wears out, I move it to the paper blade and toss the paper blade. And so on and so forth.

Sulky 12: The perfect thick thread. I love that it’s thick, but still smooth. I use the black with the blanket/buttonhole stitch on machine appliqué. There is no better thread when you want the old fashioned look on your machine. (I pretty much avoid hand work like it’s my job.)


Tula: As in Pink! She’s my favorite fabric designer!! I love all things Tula, buy all things Tula & hoard all things Tula:) Other favorites include Laurie Wisbrun & Denyse Schmidt and all their fabulousness!! There are tons of great designers out there; these are the ones that I consistently use.

YLI Machine Quilting: It is my machine quilting thread of choice. I use it about 90% of the time. Their colors are scrumptious! They have variegated colors that are wonderful!! (And this is about the only instance where anything variegated is wonderful to me; I’m usually not a fan.) I’ve just always had good luck with this thread. And it’s a South Carolina company, so we are keeping it localish.

Hope y’all enjoyed this little intro to my world. Let me know if I’ve missed anything:)
xo LC

Twelve Weeks of Christmas TUTORIAL

Are you ready for some merriment? I adore the holidays! I love making things for gifts and decorating every square inch of my house:) In preparation of the holidays, Sarah of Bluprint Textiles and I are launching THE TWELVE WEEKS OF CHRISTMAS!

Do not panic, you actually have fourteen weeks until Christmas:) Every Tuesday, we will post a tutorial for a fun Christmas project! All of the projects can be completed in a few hours and are beginner friendly. They will make fun gifts (and gifts to yourself:)
Sarah got started with an amazing Get Twisted Pillow! It is quite fun to make and will add cheer to any room!!


Here’s the schedule:


At the end of the 12 weeks, we will have a link up party holiday extravaganza!

Start sewing!
xo LC

Sew Sew Modern

UPDATE: We are full! Partners coming soon! If you missed out, join the group anyway- Round 2 coming in the Spring!!

Are y’all ready to sew up something MODERN and amazing?! Mel, Sarah and I are starting a swap called SEW SEW MODERN. It is a blind swap and we will be making one large item and one complementary small item. This is a swap for experienced swappers who love to make all things modern and covetable! (Is that a word?? It is now.)

SIGNUPS: Begin on September 23 and end on October 1. We will close at 45 participants.


MAIL DATES: January 27 for International. January for 31 for domestic.

You must have lots of MODERN awesomeness in your photostream to join the group.

You will make one large item and one small item that complements it based on what your secret partner wants. A tote with a journal inside. A sewing machine cover with a pincushion. You get the idea. There will be no assigned item you have to make. This is all about making your partner happy!!!

The small item can be handmade or purchased. You might want to send a quilting book in the tote you made or napkin rings with the table runner. It’s up to you:)

You MUST post a mosaic to the group before submitting your form. If you don’t have a mosaic up when we get your form, your form will be deleted.

Please fill out your form thoroughly. This helps your partner know what you want. Everyone wants to make something amazing for their partner:)

This is a blind swap. Do NOT tell your partner who you are! They will find out when they receive your item. That’s part of the fun:)

This swap is for your best work! We have all been guilty of waiting until the last minute to complete a project and that is okay, but make sure that you give yourself enough time to make something AMAZING!

Be active. Comment often in the group. It helps your partner see what you like. And be kind. It is possible to say something is not your style without being rude. “That’s really cool, but aqua and orange aren’t my favorites.” is okay. “That sucks. Why would you put orange and aqua next to one another?? They are hideous.” is NOT okay.

Mail on time! If you ship late this round, you will sit out next round. If you are a no-sender, you are out of the group permanently. If something happens where you cannot complete the project, please contact your swap mama as soon as you know you’re in trouble. Life happens and we are reasonable people. But everyone deserves their project on time!

No batiks, cival war, gingham, calico or non-modern fabric. Seriously, none of it. If you don’t have a modern stash, this swap is not for you.

You must be willing to ship internationally.

We hope to swap 2-4 times per year. You can join the group at any time, but sign ups will be for each individual round!

Have fun. Play nice. And don’t run with scissors!! :)

Here is the sign up form!

Grab the button for your blog:

Check out the Flickr group for even more details!

xo LC (& Mel & Sarah)

It’s Been a Four Aurifil Summer

Happy first day of AUTUMN! I love Autumn!! It’s my favorite time of year:) The first day of Fall also brings to an end a great Summer! Just for kicks this Summer, I saved all my empty spools of Aurifil. I used four full spools! That’s crazy… There has been a lot of sewing, but FOUR SPOOLS?!

I also looked back at some fun things I’ve made this Summer. Here’s some eye candy that y’all haven’t seen yet:
Cool journal for the guru!




Bibs for Allison!

Low Volume Bee Blocks!



Pillow for X-Factor Swap!


Name Tag for Lori for RATZ Swap!


“Thar She Blows” Pouch for Modern Scrappy Bits Swap

Designer Star with Any Butler! (This is just the quilt top-I will take a better picture once I quilt it:)

Keep sewing!!
xo LC

And the Winner is…

Last night was the end of my first giveaway! And I could not wait to find out the winner!! Mr Mack and I excitedly went to the random number generator to find out. Here is Mack; he hides his excitement well…

Mack, with the assistance of the random number generator, selected #63. Ali M. Clearly, she is a lucky gal as she won this and a FORD MUSTANG before!! I’ve emailed for her address and a fun package will be en route soon!!

I also had a lucky week. I live in Winston Salem and they are doing a program with Coca-Cola and Harris Teeter to encourage recycling. You are supposed to put these special stickers on your recycling bin and the prize patrol will cruise the neighborhoods looking for people recycling the right way. (I’m not even sure what that means…) If they spot your sticker and choose you, you win a $50 Harris Teeter gift card. (Harris Teeter is a grocery store for those that are wondering:) Well, we became obsessed with winning. There was arranging of the recycling bin for the perfect angle to see the sticker. There was placement of the bin the night before in case the patrol came early. There was even consideration into sabotage of other stickers, but we drew the line. And guess what, we won!! $50 in free groceries! So excited:)

xo LC

It’s Always Better in Voile

My obsession with voile is years in the making. And with so many great voile lines coming out, I HAD to teach a voile class. Monday was the Sew Original group. It was a great class- full of friends:) Debbie, Laurie, Jeannie, Lisa & Betty White! (In my head, she’s always Betty White, never just Betty!) We had a great time, check out what they made:




Betty White left before I could snap a pic:( But trust me, it’s awesome!
UPDATE: Here is a picture of Betty White. She is putting hers together slightly differently, but it looks gorgeous so far!!

They all chose different fabrics, but I love every one of them:) I’m obsessed with all the new voiles at the shop.
Yesterday was the Studio Stitch crew. Sarah came into town to take the class! I had not seen her in forever so it was great to hang out talk about fabric and all things sewing! Ann was also in the class; she has taken a few of my classes before and I just love having her! Here is what they made:


I’m so excited about their quilts!!
And here is a pic of our mid afternoon snack:

A fun day of piecing is always made better with the addition of peanut butter & chocolate. Although voile and chocolate do not play well with one another, so be careful!
I’m working on another voile quilt myself. It’s going to live at Sew Original soon and then with the guru after that. It’s part TULA, so it’s perfect.

Here are a few things I’ve learned during all my voile adventures:
–Cutting with a friend is smart. The ruler slides more on voile, so one ruler holder and one cutter can help. Voile cuts like butter, so I cut a lot of layers at once.
–Using a small, sharp needle stopped puckering and made the foundation paper easier to remove. I lowered my stitch length even more than I normally do for paper piecing. I used a Microtex 70 and stitch length 1.3-1.5 on my Bernina.
–Sometimes the piece of fabric at the tip of the triangles would flop around during trimming and sewing, so I started tacking it down in the seam allowance.

–Low loft batting kept the light feel of the voile. I used Warm & Natural. Quilters’ Dream would also work well.
–Pinning was difficult. I started smoothing and pinning in sections. I smoothed out the middle section, pinned that, and then moved to the section. I would fold it back and make sure the back was smooth. I only clamped the middle foot of the quilt to start and then worked out in foot wide sections.

–I tried lots of quilting threads. YLI is usually my top choice, but it was just too heavy. I ended up going with the Metler Silk Finish, which is traditionally a piecing thread.

Voile is tons of fun! And the end result will become your favorite quilt instantly.
Don’t forget that today is the last day to enter my GIVEAWAY, you have until 11:59 pm est. Good luck! I am loving hearing what y’all have won; y’all are a lucky bunch-cars, trips, cutters and FABRIC!
xo LC

Is it time for a GIVEAWAY?

I love free loot! Who doesn’t?! My best friend and I have a long standing tradition of entering one another in strange contests. She once won a “Fabulous Character Themed Birthday Party featuring Anne of Green Gables.” She probably would have loved it if her upcoming birthday hadn’t been her sweet sixteen! The joke was on me when she won a drum set and promptly sold it for a few hundred bucks. But I digress… This is a giveaway that anyone (that loves to sew) would be thrilled to win!
I am giving away my new pattern:

And some fabric (from my stash) to make it with! Who doesn’t love Amy Butler!?! You will get 5/8 yard of each print.

To enter:
1. Comment below. What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever won?
2. Follow my blog via email or RSS.
3. Follow me on twitter and tweet the giveaway.
4. Follow me on Facebook and post about the giveaway.
5. Post about the giveaway on your blog!
You can do any or all of these! Please post a separate comment for each one. Plus, if you do all five, you get TWO bonus entries! (Please post two extra comments for your bonus entries:) Entries will close September 21. International folks welcome. The winner will be randomly selected by Mack the Chihuahua (using the random number generator). Make sure to put your email if you are a no reply blogger; I have to let you know you won!!
I’m quite excited for my first giveaway and I hope you are as well:)
xo LC
ps: In case you are not the lucky winner, you can buy a PDF of my pattern or the physical pattern on Etsy!

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Yesterday and today, I had the pleasure of taking a fitting workshop with Linda Lee. As you might know (since I’ve never mentioned it before), I am not much of a garment sewer. Truth be told, my last run in with garment sewing was a skirt I made in junior high. Linda is seamstress extraordinaire of
The Sewing Workshop.
Linda is also a genius!! She helped me (okay, she did it while I observed…) to alter the Mixit Top to fit perfectly. I am all kinds of not the exact pattern size. I made a muslin with my special pattern and just needed a few tweaks. And by muslin, I mean I used a piece of Amy Butler Charm off the sale rack…my machine would be offended to sew muslin.
Guess what fabric I chose for my top?!? TULA PINK The Birds & the Bees!! I am so excited that I can barely stand it! I am going to wear Tula!
Here is Linda showing me how to align and ease my shoulder seams. I might be new to garment sewing, but I certainly know how to ease:)

I still have to put in sleeves, so you’ll have to wait to see the awesomeness that is my new shirt! Also, stay tuned for shirt number two…can I just say MELODY MILLER typewriters!?
Very excited about my new adventures in garment sewing; I’ll keep y’all posted!
xo LC

Back at the Top of the Class

I’ve already told y’all about how great my students have been doing this summer. Well, Color Theory had a make up class last week and you have to see what they’ve done!
First off, Joyce came with her wall hanging complete and ready to quilt! She did an AMAZING job. And her quilting is going really well. This is the first time that she’s machine quilted!!

You have to see a close up!!

Peggy came in with gorgeous bright batiks. She is going to use a bright pure batik in each diamond with warm neutral inner borders. And she put a batik with both those colors in it for the outer border. Once she has it all pieced, it will be beautiful! (and probably make more sense…)

Carole just came home from a visit to Seattle. While she didn’t buy any of these fabrics there, the fabrics she selected definitely have a Pacific Northwest vibe. We worked through her choices and she’s going to piece at home. She’s using a lot of fabrics that are special to her. It’s going to be very cool!

I also have been plugging away on my VOILE QUILT! I’ve dreamed of having a voile quilt for YEARS! So I decided it was time to teach a class on it. I’ve read every book, article, blog, snippet and tweet on the subject! And I’m ready:) Here’s my sample for Studio Stitch!! And I’m working away on my sample for Sew Original.

And I have a big announcement! I’m adding classes at the Sew Original Boone location! They will be October 11-12. I’m teaching Color Theory, Voile Quilt and The Designer Star! If you (or anyone sewing folk you know) are going to in that area for the classes, come join the fun!
xo LC