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