Terrific Tip Tuesday: Cutter Clean Up

Today’s tip is pretty simple, but also pretty life changing if you don’t know about it. I learned it from Adam, the awesome tech who works on my sewing machines. You can remove and clean out the cutter on the side of your machine. This might not be true for all machines, but if it’s true for yours, prepare to basically have a brand new cutter. This picture is of my BERNINA 530 and it works on my 350 as well!

Once you pull out all the thread, the cutter works perfectly!

xx LC

BERNINA Ambassador 

I’m beyond excited to share some big news with you today! I’m a BERNINA Ambassador!! I’ve been sewing on a BERNINA since birth so it’s no surprise that I still love them. I currently stitch on a BERNINA 530 Swiss Edition (It’s red and adorable!) and travel with a BERNINA 350 Special Edition. There are lots of reasons why it is my machine of choice, but it all comes back to this.

FullSizeRender

Perfect stitches every time. They’re straight. They’re consistent. I know exactly what I’m going to get. It’s all about the stitching. As I was thinking about sharing this news, I came up with a few ideas on what to talk about; there will be lots of fun things to come with this opportunity. There are some tutorials already in the works for the We All Sew blog that I’m pretty pumped to share. But I decided to talk about my favorite BERNINA feet. Here is my top five!

The #37
This little gem is commonly referred to as the quarter inch foot. Piecing for quilting would not be the same without it. It’s so easy to get a perfect 1/4″ seam every time! This foot basically lives on my machine. I get asked a lot why I use the 1/4″ foot without the guard. (The #57 has a guard along the right edge.) The easiest answer is that I’ve been using a 1/4″ foot longer than the #57 has been around. The other reason is that I can see everything better. I know exactly what the right edge of my foot looks like when the fabric is perfectly aligned with the foot. If you like the guard, use it! If you’ve never tried it, try it! You might find that the guard makes it easier for you. I’m a big believer in trying them all!

IMG_3214

The #39
This is the foot I use for decorative stitching. I used to prefer an open toe foot (#20) until I discovered this perfect foot. It’s clear so you can easily see everything and it smooths out the fabric as it stitches. I’ve found with an open toe foot, you would get bunching of the fabric in the middle; that never happens with this foot. I use it for all of my machine appliqué and fancy stitching. There is a center red mark on this foot that is great for when I’m doing machine appliqué.

IMG_3209

The #29
There are SO MANY options for free motion quilting feet! I’ve tried them all and this is the one that I come back to again and again. It’s not too large, but I find that it smooths the fabric as I work. It rarely gets hung up on a seam because the edges are slightly rounded. Plus, I can see everything because it is clear. I definitely recommend trying them all and finding what works for you.

IMG_3212

The #54
If you’ve ever tried to stitch on vinyl, you’ll understand why a teflon foot is genius. The teflon makes the foot glide over the vinyl like it is fabric. I have the zipper teflon because most of the time that I am stitching on vinyl, I am putting in a zipper. I tend to use vinyl on pouches. It’s easy to straight stitch with the zipper foot when needed as shown here.

IMG_3210

The #10
There is no way that I could write about my favorite feet and not mention the #10. Any comment that I’ve ever received on straight top stitching, I owe to this foot. It has a little guard that glides along the edge of the fabric so that your stitching is straight. It’s magical. Completely magical. You can also try a blind hem foot (#5 on BERNINA) as it has a similar guard. It’s not the same, but in a pinch, it works!

IMG_3206

BONUS: The Walking Foot
I had to put in one more! We’ve all watched as the feed dogs move our fabric along from below. Well, the walking foot basically is a feed dog for the top of your fabric. It works well when there are multiple layers, such as straight line quilting. I use it a lot in bag making too!

IMG_3222

This is where my feet live! This box came with the original 830 that my mother bought not long after I was born. She then passed it on to me. While I’ve moved on to newer machines, the box stayed.

IMG_3217

Happy Stitching!

xx LC

No Scrap Left Behind GIVEAWAY 

img_2925

Today is my stop on the No Scrap Left Behind blog hop! No Scrap Left Behind is the latest book from the uber talented Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts fame. Her first book Sunday Morning Quilts, written with Cheryl Arkison, is a must have for any quilter’s library. And No Scrap Left Behind is sure to become a go-to book as well! It was tough to choose which project to make, but I immediately loved Mini Nines! I decided to make placemat versions of the pattern. Make sure you don’t miss the GIVEAWAY at the end of the post:)

img_3162

This is some tiny town piecing. T-I-N-Y T-O-W-N. For reals. You have to cut very carefully and piece just as carefully. Amanda Jean has some great ideas for getting started on this project! I wanted mine to be super scrappy so I didn’t strip piece as she suggests, but I did take her suggestion by cutting longer than was needed and trimming. 

IMG_3149

I used a mixture of bright blues, aquas, greens and limes mixed with low volume background pieces in greys. I ended up editing out some of these because the scale of the print was too large for the finished sizes of the pieces.

IMG_3148

It was fun to play around with the block arrangement! I made twelve blocks per placemat, six light border and six color border.

IMG_3152

Voila! Two placemats! I’m going to put them in my breakfast nook, but the lighting is not too great on rainy days (it’s been raining for days…), so here they are on the living room floor. 

 FullSizeRender

They are all things scrapalicious! I used quite a few favorite fabrics which makes me happy on scrappy projects.

IMG_3156

I went with simple quilting 1/4″ from the seams on both sides. I used Aurifil 50 wt in 2010 because I wanted to quilting to be subtle.

IMG_3160

For the binding and backing, I used Robert Kaufman Essex Linen in Lime. I love the backs too! I decided not to put on a label so the mats are two-sided.

img_3157

The linen binding felt bulky while hand stitching it, but looks great from the back and front! I think it was more awkward because it was different.

img_3158-1

Obviously, Amanda Jean is all about the scraps! The book is full of ideas and tips for sorting and storing your scraps and most importantly USING them! She asked us to share a bit about our scrap storage. I sort into large glass jars. I have a pure color jar, a little bit of grey jar and a muddy color jar. Scraps look best when you are using similar color types, so this works best for me. Plus, if I am seeking a specific color, it’s easy to look through the glass and find the color I need. I save anything from 2×2″ to just under a fat quarter in the jars.

IMG_2919

My pure color jar is always the one that is overflowing! As soon as the jar is full, it’s time to whip up something scrappy and fun. These jars are the only scraps I keep. If I make a quilt with a full line of fabric, I pull out the scraps I love to put in my jars. I bundle the rest and gift them at guild. If I have a whole quilt in a fabric line, I’m usually “done” with that fabric in my mind. 

IMG_2922

It’s GIVEAWAY time! I’m giving away a copy of No Scrap Left Behind! If you are a winner and you live with in the US, you will receive a hard copy of the book. If you live outside the US, you will receive a digital copy of the book. To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me about your favorite scrap using tip! One entry per person pleasae. Entries open through May 6! <UPDATE> Entries closed. Mack the Chihuahua will choose a winner using the random number generator!!

Spoiler alert, there’s a chance to win at each stop of the blog tour. Make sure you check it out and enter for many chances to win!
Monday, April 24: Mary Kolb
Tuesday, April 25: Lee Monroe <— That’s me! You’re here!!
Wednesday, April 26: Sandi Hazlewood
Thursday, April 27: Bernie Kringel
Friday, April 28: Erin Cox
Monday, May 1: Katherine Greaves
Tuesday, May 2: Tracy Mooney
Wednesday, May 3: Cheryl Arkison
Thursday, May 4: Debbie Jeske
Friday, May 5: Amy Smart

Go use those scraps! Or at least pet them and dream up a fun project!!

xx LC

Terrific Tool Thursday: Mini Screwdriver

I was recently gifted the best little screwdriver! It’s perfect for getting into tight spots on your machine.


There are six interchangeable tips! One is perfect for the screws on the hard frame clutches I use. Double score! If you’re local, they’re available at Sew Original. If you’re not local, ask your local shop! 

xx LC

Terrific Tip Tuesday: Stitch Down

This trick is bag related! When you’re stitching the sides of your bag, you want to sew in one direction, i.e. stitch from the top to the bottom on the left and then the top to the bottom on the right. 


Once you’ve stitched both sides, you can stitch across the bottom. This will prevent your bag from pulling in one direction. If you stitch down one side, across the bottom, and back up the other side, your bag will likely lean a little to one side.

xx LC

Stitching a Bunny

Who needs an adorable quick finish?! I got this darling little kit from Alyssa of Penguin + Fish fame. If you’re not already familiar with her cuteness, you need to check it out. She’s quite talented and her site is full of unique critters.


I started my bunny after dinner tonight and it’s just before bedtime. I’m already blogging and he’s found his forever home in my studio. What?! I originally thought he’d be Easter decor, but I’m thinking he’ll stay out year round.


The kit includes everything you need from the floss to the hoop. The directions are clear and concise. There are diagrams for each stitch if you need a reminder (or a beginning course!). You can find the kit here


Alyssa might even draw something fun on your package!


xo LC

Terrific Tool Thursday: THE Oliso

Okay, full disclosure, I had to actually google whether this was terrific tool Thursdays or Thursday’s terrific tool. It’s been that long since I’ve posted a cool tool! But I am back with a doozy. The Oliso. I know what some of you may be thinking. Is it worth it? Can it really be that great? Do I really need another iron? The answer to all of the above is yes! 


For an iron, it can be a bit spendy. Think of it in terms of fabric. Do I want 15 yards of fabric or do I want the most amazing ironing experience of my life? For those of you who aren’t familiar, what is unique about the Oliso is that it pops up and down. This means you never pick up the iron. When you are quilting all day and pressing repeatedly, it makes a huge difference in how your wrist feels at the end of the day. Here’s a short video.


I have definitely heard rumblings about Oliso’s that leak water. I will say I hear these complaints about most irons. I have no concrete facts on whether this iron or that iron leaks more. That said, I do not use steam and therefore do not ever put water in my iron. None of my irons leak;) I can say that a really good way to prolong the life of your iron, is to use a spray bottle instead of putting water in the iron. 

Another full disclosure, I was given this iron by Oliso last Spring at Market. I wanted to use it a bit before I introduced it on the blog. After a few short months of use, one had to be purchased for The Guru! Iron envy is a dangerous dynamic for a mother daughter duo. If/When this one dies, I’ll be purchasing a replacement stat. My wrist thanks me in advance.

xo LC

Terrific Tip Tuesday: Centering Dresdens

I love a good dresden quilt! It’s one of my favorite blocks. Today’s tip is to help with getting your dresden point perfectly centered. As you go to stitch across the top of the dresden, finger press down the center line.


Once you’ve turned it right side out, use the finger pressed line to align with the seam.

Press! Your point will be right in the center.

xx LC

Let the Scraptastic Adventure Begin

Last year, I showed you the awesomeness that is Shannon Brinkley’s scrappy appliqué. You can check out that post here. It’s possible that I still need to finish my project that I made with her, but I did baste it, so there’s that. This is it pre-basting.

img_8939

I’m mentioning it because Shannon is about to offer another round of her class online. Her Scrappy Appliqué technique is great fun (and highly addictive). If you want to check out one of her workshops, you can find out more and sign up here. She has two dates coming up on Tuesday, April 4, 7-10 CST and Saturday, April 8, 12-3 CST.

xo LC

PS: This post contains affiliate links. I’m telling you about because I find it interesting and valuable:) They’re paying me a small referral fee because they’re good people.

Improv Meets Paper Piecing


If you’re like me, when you saw this book cover, you thought, what??? How can I be both improv in paper pieced? So I was really excited to get a copy to review from the author, Amy Friend.


Amy kicks it off right with a really detailed chapter explaining. It’s good stuff. I feel like another title could’ve been Precision Improv! The book is very conversational in tone and an enjoyable read.


The quilts are stunning. I love how the low volume selections in this one really add depth. It’s the one I have my eye on making. The shapes have an improv vibe, but the repitition makes it unique. 


The directions are quite clear and concise. Even if you’re new to paper piecing, you’d find them easy to follow. There are lots of tips for efficiency and clear diagrams. 

I’m not a huge fan of paper piecing and improv is not my jam, but Amy sucked me in. There are lots of good projects in there, but it’s really just a cool process that makes the book stand out. 


Here’s an added bonus, Amy is giving away a copy of Electric Quilt. You can enter over on her site here

xx LC