My Favorite Tutorials: Chicken Pin Cushion

I originally learned about these Chicken Pin Cushions from Cindy Needham, several years ago,  as a guild she belongs to was making and selling them as a guild fundraiser.  Of course, I bought a “flock”, as they were so cute and for a great cause.

I was delighted when I saw this tutorial by Jenny Doan, of the Missouri Quilt Company, and knew instantly that I wanted to share it with you, as one of My Favorite Tutorials.

If you are using a MAC, or have problems viewing this embedded video, here is a link where you can watch this video directly in Youtube:

You can find Jenny and the Missouri Star Quilt Company at:

#CreativeGoodness With Modern Quilting And Free-Motion Quilting

While at QuiltCon West 2016, this past February, this stunning quilt, by Cheryl Brady, of Kansas City, Missouri, caught my attention:



Stunning quilt with inspirational free-motion quilting.


An interesting variety of quilting motifs, creating a feeling of movement.


And each design plays well with the others, as well as the pieced design.


I hope you enjoy seeing Cheryl’s quilt as much as I did.



You can find the QuiltCon at:




The Ultimate Quilting Challenge – How To Tips with Cindy Needham – Using Transparencies with Stencils

This challenge is a quilt as desired challenge, using The Ultimate Quilting Stencil Collection and/or The Ultimate Background Stencil Collection, from Cindy Needham. To heighten awareness of how easy these stencils are to use, today I want to share one of Cindy’s Youtube video tutorials:

If you have problems viewing this embedded video, here is a link to watch it directly in Youtube:


You can find Cindy Needham at:

For more info on The Ultimate Quilting Challenge:

Linky Party #1 –

Linky Party #2 – tba – kicks off July 15th

Linky Party #3 – tba – kicks off August 15th

The Ultimate Free-Motion Quilting Challenge – Summer 2016 – Linky Party #2 – Doodle/Sketching – Everyone Can Do This!

ultimate quilt challenge badge

Welcome to the 2nd Linky Party for the Ultimate Quilting Challenge, hosted by QuiltShopGal this summer.   This 2nd of three Linky Parties is all about doodling/sketching on paper, your free-motion quilting design ideas for The Ultimate Stencil Collections.  This is a great way to build up your muscle memory for free-motion quilting such designs, as well as a great way to inspire others thru your sharing.  And, by sharing in our Linky Party you are automatically entered to win prizes in this challenge! 

Our sponsors for this event include, but are not limited to:

ultimate quilt challenge linky party #2Our Linky Parties are open up to bloggers and non-bloggers, but please take time to read the entire blog post, especially the rules, before you add a link, or you may find your entry is removed.



  • Bloggers and non-bloggers are eligible to enter:
    1. Bloggers need to share their entry in a current post, dated during this event (links to old posts will be removed).  Not required, but appreciated if you also let others know about this Ultimate FMQ  Challenge and include a link in your post.  Of course, you can share more than one doodle/sketch design idea with as many photos and insights as you wish to share, but only one link per person.
    2. Non-Bloggers have a variety of ways to share, but they need to ensure that they only share one link in the linky post. Depending on the tool you use to share, you can reference that you are participating in this event and clarify if you have additional photos that can be viewed. For example, if you upload to Flickr you can link one picture, but share more via a folder, just be sure your security is open to anyone to view.  You can also share via uploading to Pinterest, or other free online sites, but you do need to ensure the site you upload your photo entry is open so that anyone can view it.  To eliminate the risk of having your link deleted, consider asking others to check for you.
  • You can only share doodle/sketch design ideas that you have sketched on paper using The Ultimate Stencil Collection and/or The Ultimate Background Stencil Collection.  But you can incorporate any FMQ motif with these stencil designs that you wish.  To clarify, you need not stitch your ideas out on fabric.  
  • When you share a project in any of the three Linky Parties for this event you are giving permission for QuiltShopGal and Cindy Needham to share a picture of your project, to recognize you, on our blogs, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts.
  • Prizes will be randomly awarded the last week of September.


  • LINKY PARTY #1 – VIRTUAL QUILT SHOW – PROJECTS MADE PRIOR TO THIS CHALLENGE can be shared in a Linky Party that kicked off June 15th.  Projects can be any size, any style, but need to incorporate the FMQ based on The Ultimate Stencil Collection and/or The Ultimate Background Stencil Collections. And, of course, you can incorporate any FMQ design with these stencils that you wish.
  • LINKY PARTY #3 – VIRTUAL QUILT SHOW – PROJECTS MADE THIS SUMMER Kicks off August 15th, with a Linky Party, for those that create a project, of any size, any style this summer and show that you have used one or more of the stencils, from the Ultimate Stencil Collection, by Cindy Needham.  Don’t overlook the fact you can start working on your project now, as  you need not wait to August 15th to start!  
  • VOTING FOR YOUR FAVORITE Quilts (from all Linky Parties during this event) will be held the week of September 19th. 
  • Prizes randomly awarded the last week of September.


To clarify all entries must incorporate The Ultimate Stencil Collection and/ or The Ultimate Background Stencil Collection, by Cindy Needham. For sketching and doodling everyone can dowload the FREE handout from Cindy, which includes the Master circle and square template from the Ultimate Stencil Collection, which you can copy and use to doodle/sketch out FMQ design ideas from Cindy, shared by others, and hopefully also create your own design ideas to share in this challenge.  


The design possibilities are endless with these stencils.   Cindy also has a great collection of inspirational ideas for these stencils on Pinterest.



ultimate stencil by cindy needham
Cindy has also written many handbooks (aka  e:books), which she updates annually.  While you can purchase these books individually, when you purchase the Complete Collection, you receive updated copies for free, every year.  Trust me, you’ll want the Complete Collection.  It is an amazing value, packed with Cindy’s insights for creating beautiful free-motion quilting, with easy to follow instructions and great visuals.

There are many prizes that our generous sponsors have donated, including some great prizes that will be eligible for International participants, not just US Only participants.  A detailed list of prizes is at the bottom of this post.


Note:  We hope you are inspired to participate in this event to learn/improve your FMQ skills and have fun, not just to win prizes.  On the other hand, we have some very generous sponsors who have donated amazing prizes that will be awarded to those that participate in one or all of these events.  To clarify, the more events you participate in the more chances you’ll have to win prizes.  You may also win prizes for Viewer’s Choice, which will open in September for all three Linky Parties.

Sponsor Prize Winners
Martingale Five new release books (to be announced later this summer)

QuiltShopGal will ship these prizes, one each, to five lucky winners. A maximum of 1 winner will be an International winner, with a minimum of 4 winners that are US only residents.

 Prize #1, #2, #3, #4, #5
Craftsy A Craftsy class of your choice.  This prize is open to WW participants.  Prize #6  winner – Tba
FabricWorm  A Fat Quarter bundle of Birch Fabrics.  Specific details are not yet available, but bundle is estimated at $35-95.

This prize is open to WW participants.

 Prize #7  winner – Tba
Inspired LED 5 LED kits, one each

These prizes are open to US only participants.

 Prize #8, #9, #10, #11, #12  winner – Tba
Robert Kaufman Fabrics A beautiful bundle of Radiance, 1 yard cuts of four different colors.  This prize is open to US only participants.  Prize #13  winner – Tba
Aurifil  Sewn Desert thread collection:

–          1 large Spool collection

–          1 small spool collection

These prizes are open to WW participants.

 Prize #14, and 15  winner – Tba
SewSteady Ruler Foot and templates for FMQ with a ruler on a domestic machine.  As the ruler foot is machine specific, the winner will receive a gift certificate that they can redeem for this prize.  More details on this prize will be shared shortly. Prize #16 – winner tba
You can find Cindy Needham at:

PR Angels that can help spread the word about this 2016 Free-Motion Quilting Summer Challenge are certainly appreciated.

If you have any questions, please email me and I will try to get back to you as quickly as I can, but be prepared it may be 7-10 days before you hear back from me.  Thus, I also encourage you to add a comment on this post and I’m hoping others may also help out by replying to your comment, should I not be able to respond in a timely manner (bless those that help others).

email address for quiltshopgal

Here is a list of previous posts #UltimateQuiltingChallenge:

QuiltCon West 2016 – Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild

The Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild won an award, for free-motion quilting (machine quilting frameless category), with this stunning quilt that incorporated the design of their MQG Club Logo.


The details are amazing and include a variety of FMQ motifs, from swirls….20160221_123938

to circles…20160221_123941

to balloons blowing in the wind.20160221_123945 20160221_123954 20160221_123959

Logo designed by Bob Lowe
Pieced by Lois Warwick
Applique by Sally Williams & Laurie Moodie
Quilting by Renee Hoffman
Albuquerque MQG
86” x 45”

Great job Albuquerque MQG. Wonderful guild logo quilt.  Absolutely wonderful.

You can find the Albuquerque MQG at:

You can find the QuiltCon at:




Sneak Peek: 180 Doodle Quilting Designs

I’m thrilled to share a a sneak peek with you on a new quilting book that will be released in July:  180 Doodle Quilting Designs : Free-Motion Ideas for Blocks, Borders and Beyond, compiled by Karen M. Burns and published by Martingale.


When you’re done piecing a quilt, do you often wonder how to finish it with free-motion quilting? Discover how to fill setting triangles, blocks, and borders with a variety of traditional and modern quilting designs, divided into chapters by style: Lines and Squiggles, Curves and Pebbles, Swirls and Feathers, and Just for Fun. This is a must-have book and lifelong reference for any quilter’s library.


  • Gain confidence as you follow the arrows and see how to fill a confined space with continuous-line quilting motifs that are adaptable to blocks, triangles, and borders


  • Discover which designs will work best before you sew by practicing your quilting; trace the designs with your finger or on tracing paper



  • Whether you use a long-arm or home sewing machine, you’ll enjoy quilting the wide variety of designs




This book definitely looks like a “must have” for anyone interested in expanding their FMQ motif design skills.  I hope you get a chance to check this book at at your favorite quilt shop, but if you don’t see it definitely let them know you are interested in having them carry it.  As it is such a new release, they may not be aware of it.  Don’t forget you can also find it online at Martingale and Amazon.


You can find Martingale at:

martingale logo

The Ultimate Quilting Challenge – How To Tips with Cindy Needham – BackGrounds – Clamshells

This challenge is a quilt as desired challenge, using The Ultimate Quilting Stencil Collection and/or The Ultimate Background Stencil Collection, from Cindy Needham.  To heighten awareness of how easy these stencils are to use, today I want to share one of Cindy’s Youtube video tutorials:

If you have problems viewing this embedded video, here is a link to watch it directly in Youtube:


You can find Cindy Needham at:

For more info on The Ultimate Quilting Challenge:  

Linky Party #1 –

Linky Party #2 – tba – kicks off July 15th

Linky Party #3 – tba – kicks off August 15th

Here is a list of previous posts #UltimateQuiltingChallenge:

25 Years with the Electric Quilt Company – An #EQ25 Celebration With Prizes and More – and an EQ Tutorial too!

This month, the Electric Quilt Company, is celebrating their 25th Anniversary where you can win yummy fabric from Island Batik, as well as other prizes.


And, to help with the celebration, I’m sharing an EQ tutorial which I hope and, I’m thrilled to have several blogging friends joining me today, to help celebrate.  As you may already be aware, many of us, will be sharing a EQ themed blog post on the 10th of every month this year, where you’ll find tips, tutorials, inspirational projects, as well as hopefully some fun quilty insights, as well as learn about how to win amazing prizes.

EQ 25 Celebration EQ logos


I love to continue to create when I’m traveling.  And, I’ve found EPP projects are great to take on a trip. While I could cut my own paper pieces, I’ve found great value and excellent customer service by ordering such templates from Paper Pieces.  I’ll also confess I’ve sometimes ended up on a trip and forgotten my paper pieces, or not brought enough.  But they are super good about shipping orders out quickly, I don’t hesitate to place an order with them while traveling.

As I’ve heard many quilters  mention that “they can’t design hexagons in EQ7”,  But that isn’t true. I do it all the time and love how easy it is to do, as well as how helpful it is to plan my fabrics and colors within EQ7 for such projects.  While I initially thought I’d share a tutorial on this, there are actually so many excellent EQ7 tutorials for creating hexagons, as well as showing different ways to do so, that I wanted to heighten awareness of a few of My Favorite EQ7 Tutorials for creating Hexagon designs:

As I’m currently planning a couple of EPP projects using the 60 degree diamond shape, sized for easy cutting of 2 1/2″ strips, I thought I’d share a tutorial for you, based on what I’m planning to create.


NOTE:  As with life, there are many different ways to design in EQ7.  This is one of the ways I approach this type of design.

Launch (aka run) your EQ7 software.

On the CREATE A NEW PROJECT TAB, type the name of your project (I used “EPP 60 degree diamond projects”).

On the file menu bar, on the top, click on BLOCK >> NEW BLOCK >>EASY DRAW + PATCHDRAW BLOCK



Change the settings in the DRAWING SETUP menu for a 10″x10″ block.

drawing setup

CLICK on the EASYDRAW table



View Sketchbook button

The Project Sketchbook will appear.  CLICK on the  HEXAGON BLOCK and CLICK the EDIT button.

Project Sketchbook

Edit block 2

Click FILE EXPORT IMAGE and browse to where you want this image to be created on your computer.  For me, I selected desktop.


Click on the TRACING IMAGE TAB, located at the bottom.

tracing image table

Click on the IMPORT IMAGE button

Image import button

Browse to select your previously exported Hexagon block image.  You will not need to crop this image, so when the pop up window appears simply CLICK OK and then click anywhere on the TRACING IMAGE TABLE to have your image appear.

tracing image table with imported hexagon image 2

Click on the APPLIQUE tab

Applique Tab


We will now trace this image to create an applique shape for our EPP project.

To do this we will use the LINE TOOL.  Left click on a point, drag release and the end point. Repeat to get all sides of each diamond.

line tool


CLICK the HIDE/SHOW IMAGE button, to view your drawing independently of the image. This helps to see if you missed drawing any of the diamonds.

hide show image button

applique six pointed star 2

Your Undo button is your friend as you can click it to undo steps you have created within the software that you may not want. It is located in the row underneath the file menu, towards the top of your screen.  

undo button

EPP Six pointed star idea 1

As we have completed several steps, let’s be sure to take a few quick steps that are actually good habits to periodically during any EQ7 project, as well as at the end of your projects, before you close the software:

  • Click the ADD TO SKETCHBOOK, to save a copy to your sketchbook.

save to sketchbook

  • click the save icon to SAVE THE FILE.

save tool


You simply take three of your 60 degree diamond shapes, rotating to create a block.

tumbling blocks rotated 59 degrees


Highlight your tumbler block, then Ctrl C and Ctrl V to copy paste to create more blocks.

tumbling blocks 2

tumbling blocks 3


Very easy to nudge your blocks into place and continue to build your tumbling block design in EQ7.tumbling blocks 4


Have fun using the color/fabric selection tool to plan your project too!

EPP Six pointed star idea 2

Easy peasy to design EPP projects in EQ7.  What do you think?  This was really a quick tutorial, which I hope to inspire you to play with EQ7 software to design and plan out your EPP projects.  If you have any questions, or feedback let me know.  You can leave a comment on this post, or email me.  I’ll try to get back to you as soon as I can and help you, while also incorporating your feedback to make this tutorial easier to follow.


EQ and Island Batik have great prizes you could win this month, as part of the EQ 25th Anniversary Celebration: Wouldn’t it be fun to win a bundle of fabric from Island Batik or a copy of EQ7 this month?

For a complete schedule of events, as well as information on the amazing prizes and generous sponsors:
Use the hashtag #EQ25 on social media throughout the 2016 as much as possible! Pair the hashtag with something related to EQ and you may be chosen to win a prize!


Yes, each month several blogging friends are releasing a post on the 10th of each month to help celebrate the EQ 25th Anniversary.  Along the way, you’ll find tips, tutorials, inspirational project and various EQ themed insights.  Here are some bloggers that I hope you’ll click thru to visit today:

Marian of Seams to be Sew 

Pamela of Pamela Quilts

Tina of Quilting Affection

Lastly, if you are a blogger that loves EQ and wants to help with the 25th Anniversary Celebration, consider releasing an EQ themed post on the 10th of each month (e.g. tip, tutorial, inspirational project you’ve made all showing how you use EQ products).  Let me know and I’ll include you in my blog post, to encourage others to pop by your blog and check out your EQ themed sharing.  I’ll also make sure you are on My Creative Blog List, which is a easy to use site designed to follow creative blogs, as well as increase awareness of blogging events.

 You can find the Electric Quilt Company at:
You can find Paper Pieces at:

Help! How Do I Quilt It? with Angela Walters


Today I want to share insights about another free-motion quilting class, with Angela Walters, that is available through Craftsy.  I honestly think this is an excellent class for quilters of all levels, and, if you have not yet taken it, I want to recommend that you consider signing up for it.  Great fun and value.  Here are the details:

CLASS TITLE:  Help! How do I quilt It, by Angela Walters

help How do I quilt it


Learn how to pair complementary quilting with six styles of pieced tops for your most beautiful results yet!

angela walters

Lesson One – Introduction (7 minutes)

Meet your instructor, quilter extraordinaire Angela Walters, as she walks you through the different types of quilt tops you’ll explore in this class. Then, learn how you can audition your designs before you quilt them.

how do i quilt it with angela walters 1

Lesson Two – Applique’ Quilts (22 minutes)

Learn how to use quilting to enhance appliqué, complete a pattern or add detail. Pick up professional tips for using monofilament thread and quilting through extra layers. See how echoing accentuates appliquéd designs and learn how to quilt leaves, pebbles and swirls together for dense fillers.

how do i quilt it with angela walters 3

Lesson Three – Quilts With Small Spaces (19 minutes)

Squeeze dramatic design into small spaces as you explore quilting that works on tops with lots of tiny piecing. Group blocks or pieces together for use on larger designs or break down quilting motifs for use on small elements. Discover the universal appeal of continuous curves and all-over wavy designs.

Lesson Four – Paper Pieced Quilts (16 minutes)

Don’t be scared away from quilting intricate paper-pieced tops that often have bulky seams and intricate designs! Angela shows you how to break them down into manageable sections and demonstrates two great designs that work well with paper-pieced tops: wishbone stitching and the back-and-forth filler.

angela walters 3

Lesson Five – Sampler Quilts (16 minutes)

Whether you prefer traditional, modern or art quilts, you’ll love Angela’s quilting advice for unifying your design or highlighting favorite blocks! Repeat a few favorite motifs throughout or join blocks together by unifying the spaces between them. Learn how to create perfect serpentine lines and swirl hooks.

Lesson Six – Quilts With Large Spaces (21 minutes)

Don’t become daunted by an open space on your quilt! Angela shows you how to use echo quilting to break large spaces into smaller ones. You’ll learn how to manage negative space and quilt motifs and geometric designs, too!

Lesson 6 HELP How do I quilt it with angela walters

Lesson Seven – Medallion Quilts (19 minutes)

Have an ocean of borders and unsure what to do? Break rows of borders into chunks, traveling from one to the next as you work your way down the quilt. Discover how to quilt borders that highlight the centerpiece, and learn how to add paisley feathers and square chains to these tight spaces.

angela walters 2


This class taught many tips and tricks, as well as beautiful free-motion quilting motifs.  But what I found the most beneficial is Angela’s insights for deciding how to quilt various quilt designs (e.g. applique, paper pieced, pieced, medallion, etc.), including borders. Of course the many designs that she taught in this class are also beautiful and will certainly come in handy.

I feel this class is perfect for domestic, as well as longarm quilters of all levels.  An excellent value when you consider the Craftsy platform allows you to take their classes at your liesure, as well as repeat it as often as you wish.  Plus, it is helpful to interact with the teacher and other students, as well as find inspiration in the classroom sharing.

how do i quilt it with angela walters 2

Definitely a fun class and a great way to learn/improve your free-motion quilting skills.

If you have taken this class with Angela, I hope you’ll leave a comment to share your perspective.


You can find Angela at:

Full Disclosure:  QuiltShopGal has enjoyed Craftsy, for many years.  I share my own opinion when I write reviews on classes offered by Craftsy.  I became an Affiliate as I believe in the value of Craftsy.    If you click through  to Craftsy, from QuiltShopGal, to make a purchase, I “may” receive a small payment from Craftsy (but your price is not any different than if you purchased it elsewhere).  I pursued signing up for the Affiliate program to help supplement expense costs for QuiltShopGal (e.g. shipping prizes).  But, even though I am an Affiliate I will only share my honest opinion when sharing such insights.  

Here is a list of my reviews of various classes at Craftsy:

#CreativeGoodness – Re-Purposing

I love ideas for re-purposing.  I spotted this youtube video that shows how to take the cap of an empty plastic bottle to use for sealing a plastic bag.  And I wanted to share it with you today.  I hope you also find it helpful.  

If you are on a MAC or have problems viewing this embedded video, you can click this link to watch this video directly in Youtube:

The possibilities for using this bottle cap and a plastic bag are endless and I’m curious how you might use it.  Here are a few of my ideas:

storing buttons,
snacks to take to a quilting retreat,school lunches, etc.
storage of products that came in large containers, which take up space, but you may only have a small amount left (e.g. laundry soap)

What ideas do you have for using this approach for storage?

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