Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Why I LOVE Aurifil Thread

I have been using Aurifil thread exclusively for years. I use it for piecing and for my applique hand work and I absolutely LOVE it! Aurifil is made in Italy, and is a very high quality cotton thread.

I mainly use the Aurifl 50 wt (orange spool), though they do make other weights, and I love those as well when I'm doing embroidery or other miscellaneous sewing. Aurifil thread is 100 % long staple Egyptian cotton, which makes it very fine, but it is strong because it is dense. Fine thread makes your piecing more accurate because it takes up less room in your seam allowance. More thread also fits on your bobbin. Aurifil thread does not have lint and because it is a 2-ply, low twist thread, it doesn't tangle when you're doing hand work. I stopped having to use thread conditioner when I applique when I switched to Aurifil.

Try it out. I promise you won't be disappointed!

Watch this little video for more information about the reasons I love Aurifil:

I'm a Aurifil Master Designer. For more information on my Aurifil Thread Collections, click below

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

My Swiss Heritage and Cuckoo Clocks

 Have you ever seen the Quilt Shop Cuckoo Clock?

Jodie Davis, author and host of Quilt Out Loud! has designed these beautiful cuckoo clocks with a quilt shop theme just for quilters. These are authentic, high quality clocks made in Germany by the Schneider Cuckoo Clock Company and I am now offering this clock on the Jillily Studio website!

When the clock strikes on the hour, the quilter's arm moves to rotary cut fabric, the cat jumps on the bolt of fabric, a chimney sweep comes out of the chimney, and of course, a bird pops out to cuckoo!

You can even personalize the color of the quilter's hair or change the kitty to a dog. 

Click this link for information about your very own Quilt Shop Cuckoo Clock!

These cuckoo clocks are fun for me because I have Swiss heritage. In fact, a few years ago, I designed a fabric line, Elizabeth's Letters, which featured a letter written in 1898 by my Swiss great-grandmother to her daughter, Margaritha, when she was leaving Switzerland to come to America. The letter is written in high German, so I can't actually read it, but I have the translation and the words are special to me. 

Part of the letter reads:

German script fabric in red
"Memory and farewell words from your never forgetting mother...My dear child, take these few lines with you as you travel. Be an example to your brothers and sisters, as the oldest daughter... Never forget your parents who raised you with tender care. Pray for thoe ones who stay behind that they can follow soon...Now goodbye, my dear child. I wish you happiness and God's blessings throughout your life's journey...In memory from your mother....Farewell my dear child..."

The fabric has been out for a few years, but if you happen to see it in a shop, you'll know what the script means.

This summer, my daughter and her family were able to take a trip to Switzerland to visit the home that Margaritha left to come to America. The house and property are still a working farm today! Even the old "cheese house" where their family made cheese is being used as living quarters. It was a neat experience for them to be able to visit the house and I hope that I will be able to visit it one day as well! 

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!