Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sewing Machine Guideline Tutorial

I wanted to share a little tip about a guideline I keep on my sewing machine bed that helps me sew so much faster! You can do it yourself, it's easy, and it will save you a ton of time when you're piecing!

You'll need about 6 or 7 inches of duct tape - enough to go from your needle to the edge of your machine bed. The wilder the tape, the better, in my opinion. I used sparkly silver duct tape, and it works perfectly because I don't ever sew with anything sparkly so when I see too much of the sparkles, I know I'm not lined up correctly (more on this later). It also makes my machine look fancy!

Watch the video or read through the steps below!

Take a piece of duct tape (about 6", or the length of your sewing machine bed) and cut it 1/4" wide. 
Put your needle in the down position. Line up your ruler right against the needle. Don't put pressure on the needle, just make sure the ruler is flush against it. Then line up the ruler markings to be parallel with your throat plate to make sure it is straight. 
Using your ruler as a guide, place your piece of tape from the throat plate onto your machine bed (right up against the ruler).

Now you can start sewing! It's that easy!
These next steps will show you why this little piece of tape is so helpful!

When sewing corner triangles, you typically need to draw a line down the wrong-side center of the square that you're sewing on. When you have a ton of those blocks to sew, though, drawing all those lines can be tedious! With the tape guideline, you just need to put your needle down in the top corner and follow the tail end of the other corner as it is lined up with the left side of your guideline.  Keep the corner lined up with the guideline and you'll come out with a perfectly straight line down the middle of your square. 

Instead of drawing a line down the center of the fabric and sewing 1/4" to the right and left to make two half square triangles, just place your square in the machine with  the top point lined up with your 1/4" presser foot (the other point will line up on the right side of the guideline) Put your needle in to start and stitch, keeping the block straight the whole time, then flip it around and do the same to the other side. Usually I will chain stitch pieces like this and do a whole row of seams on the left and then flip all of my pieces around and do the other side.
When you cut down the middle and open each side, you'll have two perfect half square triangles  without having to draw a line down the middle of the square each time.
When you're just piecing with regular 1/4" seams, line up your piece with the right of the tape. I like to take a scant seam, so when I can see a tiny bit of the tape, I know I'm right in line. If I don't see any, my seam is too big, and if I see too much sparkle, my seam is too scant.

Thanks for watching this tutorial and let me know if you have any useful sewing tips to share!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Red Windows Open House

A quick tour of the Red Windows Open House. We had such a great time! You can see pictures and watch a video below.

A few of you who couldn't make it to the Open House wanted me to upload a video of the tour but we were so busy at the beginning of the day! After things died down later in the day I was able to take a few videos. 

*Disclaimer* This is an amateur video! If you get motion sick, watch at your own risk.... Or just look at the pictures below.
Also, the wind had blown many of the outside quilts away, so they don't look as nice as they did earlier in the day. 


 Thank you to everyone who was able to attend. We had a great turnout and were able to meet so many of you wonderful quilters in our community!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Best Booth Award and Quilt Market Wrap Up

I've been so busy this summer, but decided it was finally time to do a Spring Market Wrap Up. It was my first time back with a booth at market since I got sick, so I was excited! Since Quilt Market was in my home town this year, I decided to do some fun things I wouldn't normally get to do when market is so far away (like utilizing having my sons close and making them bring in heavy furniture). The last time Quilt Market was in Salt Lake City five years ago, I did an ice cream shop to promote my fabric line, Sorbet Garden. We handed out little ice cream cones, brought in a real ice cream freezer, and the whole booth was a total hit. I even won the Most Creative booth award and I wanted this year to be just as memorable.

The Sweet Shop theme came about because I wanted to promote the Jillily Studio Sweet Shops program for Quilt Shops and my newest fabric line "Meadow Sweets", from Penny Rose Fabrics. Doing an actual old-fashioned sweet shop seemed like the way to go.

Let me give you a tour of my booth:
I liked having this bar in the booth because it made it feel like a real old-fashioned sweet shop.
The quilt behind me, Meadow Weaver, shows off my newest fabric line from Penny Rose coming out in the fall. The red color-way is shown on a poster next to the quilt.  
I rented this glass case and put in real truffles, bon bons, and petit fours, because you can't have a sweet shop without real sweets. I had my latest patterns and quilts displayed as a "treat" in the case as well. We handed out little chocolates for people who came by the booth.

One of the patterns I really wanted to display was my Sweet Delights pincushion pattern,which I originally wrote years ago. I made up the little pincushions in the Meadow Sweets fabric and they turned out so cute:
Because we were local, I was able to bring in large pieces of furniture that I can't take when I usually travel for market. This china hutch was also used in my ice cream shop five years ago!

The two red/pink quilts are new designs also using Meadow Sweets fabric. Penny Candy and Strawberry Tart. Patterns will be available for these in a few months.

I love these glass apothecary jars that we bought for my daughter's wedding a few years ago. I use them all the time! Christmas, parties, and when we're not doing anything fancy they hold notions in my studio
I always have my signature black and white floor, but this Sweet Shop sticker might be my favorite thing! I got the inspiration from my daughter's wedding when we had a sticker printed for their dance floor
I borrowed this antique candy scale from a boutique here in Utah. I thought it really added to the Sweet Shop charm. You can see my "Meadow Sweets" fabric line displayed on the bookshelves. It'll be coming out in October!    
I won the Best Booth Award!
Me and Margaret in the Sugar Sister's cute booth. Don't we look like sisters?
My sister Margaret helps me out with my booth nearly every market and my nieces and daughter were able to come to this one as well since it was in Salt Lake.
Carina Gardner and Sugar Sisters Design (both designers for Riley Blake) also won booth awards. Our booths were all on the same corner of market. I guess it was a lucky corner!

Thanks for stopping by to check out my booth even though it's been a few months since market.

To find out more about becoming a Jillily Studio Sweet Shop, click here. If your shop carries my products, you may already qualify!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Red Windows Open House!

Join us for the Annual Red Windows Open House! If you'll be in Utah at the end of August, come check out my studio and see my quilts displayed around my home. I was doing an open house every year but when I got sick I had to take a break for a couple of years. I'm starting it up again this year and I'm very excited!

Come and check out the new things from Jillily Studio and spend the day with other quilters. There will be demos, giveaways and prizes, treats and fun! 

Jillily Studio
15083 Bugle Ridge Drive
Herriman, Utah 84096

August 26th, 2016
10 AM - 4 PM

Also stay tuned for new Red Windows Workshops where you can come to my studio in small groups to learn quilting tips and tricks!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Featured on The Quilt Show!

Get your subscription to the online quilt video database, The Quilt Show to watch me demonstrate Applique The Jillily Way, my bias tape technique, a mini trunk show, and stitching tips!

                                       My show will post 
on July 17th, 2016, but as one of my customers, you will be able to watch the episode for FREE from July 24-31, 2016. Just click on the button on the left!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Big News!!

I've got some big news! 

As many of you know, I have been a fabric designer for Henry Glass for about 8 years now. I've enjoyed my time with them and the people that I got to know while working there, but it was time for a change. I'm happy to announce that I will now be designing fabric for Penny Rose Fabrics, a division of Riley Blake Designs. I am very excited about working with Penny Rose and looking forward to exciting projects in the future! Great things are happening!

My newest fabric line, "Meadow Sweets" will be available in stores this fall. Salesmen have started showing it to your local shops, so be sure to ask for it!

I wanted to thank everyone at Henry Glass for the time I was able to spend there and for the continuing support. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Quilt Retreat 2016 - Colcha Fiesta!!

All of us with the mariachi band!! (Missing a few ladies who came later)
We had our 19th annual family Quilt Retreat last weekend. Every year me and my sisters get together with our daughters and daughter-in-laws for a weekend to quilt. We had a great turnout this year (about 32 quilters) and had such a fun time! The theme this year was Colcha Fiesta (Quilt Party)!

For the registration packet, we had mini piñatas stuffed with candy, mustaches, pencils, and the itinerary. There were festive cookies as they came in, and a special surprise -- a real live mariachi band!! We wanted the band to be playing to greet our family as they arrived, but most people were early (!) so we just had the band come and entertain us while we set up our sewing machines. It was the perfectly way to get the party started!

The Mariachi Band
Since my sister Margaret and I were in charge this year, the project we worked on was my Star Dance quilt pattern. We did an optional block exchange, so anyone who wanted to participate could bring their pre-cut squares to retreat and we cut the white background for them. We spent a few days sewing and then we had our exchange the last day. Everyone did their own thing, so we had table runners, wall hangings, and full-size quilts--all different and unique.  Not everyone participated in the exchange; some just brought their own fabric, some worked on their own projects and some just came to chat.

The first night of our retreat, we always have a trunk show where anyone can show off what they've worked on throughout the year. It's always fun to see what people have to share! We also taught mini classes throughout the retreat; a hexi class, carseat cover, backpack class, and a fun how-to-make-delicious-churros class!

Students in the hexi class
We played a few games throughout retreat, mostly so that everyone could get up and stretch and not be sitting at their machines for 3 days. We had a giant piñata filled with quilt notions and little spools of thread that had a number for the block exchange on it. Everyone had a fun time whacking it and getting their goodies when it broke open!

Before the exchange on Saturday, we were lucky enough to be able to go a quilt shop early before it opened and get focus fabric/inspiration for what colors we wanted to pick up at the exchange.  This was a fun treat! Thanks Thimbles and Threads!

The Block Exchange. So many beautiful colors!!

Because we've been doing this retreat for 19 years now, everyone is good at creating their own unique spin on our focus quilt. These are a few of the quilts that were created during retreat:

The original Star Dance quilt

And every once in a while we'll go out to eat at retreat. It's always fun to get out (to a place that can accommodate us!)