No tricks, just treats

It may be a bit early for Halloween. And here in Southwest Florida it doesn’t look or feel remotely like Halloween or even fall. Well, you can take the girl away from four seasons, but you can’t take the four seasons out of the girl! And autumn is absolutely my most favorite season. North of here, that is. I never get more homesick for the changing seasons than this time of year. And I’m particularly homesick for all things autumn this year. To console myself I spent a little time perusing photos from autumns past with gorgeous foliage, like this. Can that really have been three years ago?

I had to work up the fabric requirements and write handouts for a short version of my Lone Starburst class (for a non-Jelly Roll version) which was the perfect opportunity for me to play with some really fun, spooktacular fabrics. If you read my blog yesterday, you got a sneak peak at what I was whipping up.

I SO love this line of fabrics by Robert Kaufman. Eerie Alley. The fabrics are just so stinkin’ cute!

Eerie Alley II Roll Up SEI for Robert Kaufman Fabrics

Yes, I have the Eerie Allley Jelly Roll. But like I said, I needed to whip up a non-JR version from just 4 fabrics plus a background. It was a tough choice, ’cause I’m so used to using Jelly Rolls and lots of fabric strips!

Once my little Lonestar was pieced, I decided to quilt it myself. Shocking, yes I know. I can machine and hand quilt. Quite respectably, I might add. I just don’t usually have the time to do it myself. But today was different.

Here’s a thought: how many of you own computerized sewing machines with fabulous decorative stitches that YOU NEVER USE? When I teach I see so many students with wonderful mid-range to top-of-the-line sewing machines with amazing stitch capabilities they’ve never even tried before. So, for all of you out there (and you know who you are) I’d like to challenge encourage you to quilt a small project on your sewing machine. But not with free motion quilting, meandering, or stippling. Nor cross-hatching. And not with machine embroidery in the hoop, either. I’d like you to try quilting a quilt using your decorative stitches!

This is so fun and oh-sew-easy to do. I love quilting with decorative stitches because it gives me the chance to play around with my specialty sewing machine feet and accessories and try some of those amazing new threads on the market.  I combined two different stitch patterns to create a wiggly, wonky new design element. The variegated slightly-eerie, limey green complimented the fabrics perfectly!

The new thread I chose was just perfect for this project: YLI’s Variations – size 35, Tex 27. Color: Meadow

I used the wavy stitch over seams inside the star.

And did a little “echo” quilting in the background spaces outside the star. Quick and easy!

I even stitched the binding on by machine! FYI: I’ve added a brand new workshop to my class lineup called Perfectly Decent Wonderful Bindings by Machine!  I can’t wait to teach this hands-on class beginning in January. I’ve been developing this technique for about 5 years. This nifty new way to add straight-of-the-grain binding by machine with no hand sewing is going to make life so much simpler for quilters who want to use or gift their quilts. (More on this later….)

I think the decorative stitches add just the perfect amount of “spooky-ookiness” to my fun little Halloween Lonestar. 

Making this was F-U-N from beginning to end. Did I mention there are no “Y” or set-in seams? The technique is shown in detail in Jelly Roll Quilt Magic. Just in case you need to make one (or more!) for yourself. And if you have the book but would like the fabric requirements for making the quilt from yardage instead of Jelly Roll strips, just let me know.

In the meantime, I’ll just have to just keep pretending that I’m up north, enjoying a cool, crisp, fall day. At least the sunset was painted in autumn colors.

Yep, today was a treat. No doubt about it.

Happy fall, y’all, wherever you may be!

  1. Beautiful quilt!! Those fabrics are soooo cute!

  2. What a GREAT idea!!! I will use that on my next small quilting project!

  3. Hi! This was nice. Your quilt was so nice. I have quilted some quilts like you have done. I like to use the many stitches on my machine (bernina 240). You can come to Norway at this time of the year, and I can promised you

    autumn. The snow is not fare away, and it is not more then 5-6 or seven degrees (celsius). I like this time of the year.

    • Hi Hanne!
      I’m so glad you like to use the stitches available on your machine! Quilting is such a creative way to use them — and the results can certainly be dramatic!
      Oh, how I wish I could visit you in Norway right now — I’d enjoy the cool fall weather so much. So I hope you will enjoy it for me!

  4. How cool! I am definitely one of those people who does not use any other stitch on the machine besides the straight stitch, and I have about 40 of them on Baron von Quilthausen (my Bernina). But I’m not that confident in my machine quilting skills. I was under the impression that I have to use a walking foot to do machine quilting that’s not free motion (when I use my darning foot and drop the feed dogs) but it looks like you didn’t here. I can’t wait to get your new book in the mail soon and make one of these star tops myself without set-in seams!

    • Kristen – You should use your walking foot on your Bernina, but the walking foot can accommodate many decorative stitches! Be sure to test a few on a layered sample (top, batting, bottom) just as you would stitch on your quilt. The reason you didn’t see a walking foot in the photos is because I was sewing on the Pfaff Creative Vision and the dual feed (same as a walking foot) was engaged in the back. Have fun — and give those decorative stitches a try!

  5. I love using the fancy stitches on my machine, but I had not thought of doing this! Can’t wait to see some binding tips…maybe you’ll let a few slip out, for those of us who can’t come to a class? LOL I see from a comment above that you have a design for a star with no Y seams? Awesome! Your book just jumped to the top of my wish list, and I may have to review it for my followers, too! I think almost everyone dreads those!

  6. You are so right about us having these sewing machines with decorative stitches …. we need to use them and make pretties like yours!!!

  7. Hi Kimberly!!! Love this block you did! You gave me a great idea for making just one block for a table topper for Christmas gifts with a candle arrangement on it! Great way to use up some Christmas stash! I wanted to quilt things for Christmas, but alas, I am so behind… but this would give me practice on this block before I make a big quilt and I loved your idea for using the decorative stitches to QUILT with… wow! I am so afraid of machine quilting – so thankfully I get to send my stuff out to Mary at Quilt Hollow (Hi Mary up above me!) – she works magic on my quilt tops! But this would be fun to try on a small scale!! I would love the measurements to make this without a jelly roll – as I have lots of stash – so I can practice on a few squares before I dive into a jelly roll to make the quilt! Any ideas how to make it smaller, too…. if I used honey bun sized strips, would it work if I did smaller triangles and squares? Would your ruler be just the same, only I would use the 1 1/2 mark on the ruler to cut my diamonds? Thanks for all your help! LOVE your blog and book! So glad Mary told me about you!!!! Bari Jo

Leave a Reply