Monday, December 27, 2010

And Now a Word From Our Sponsor.....

Wow... over a whole month of not posting!.. What can I say.. the holidays swallowed me up and have just now spit me back out!  But with a quick assessment of things I am happy to say that I am launching into the New Year with lots of ideas, classes and fun for 2011!

For all of my Chattanooga area sewing peeps you can find me teaching at Chattanooga Sewing a couple of times in the new few months with other dates as I post them.

Want to learn the ins and outs of In-the hoop applique?   Love cupcakes?.. then bring them together with my in the hoop class. Jan 19th at 5:30

Have a 6needle machine and want to learn how to get more out of it?
Feb 5th is the time to get all of your questions answered and learn some tricks that will make your machine sing!

New to quilting.. love batik?.. need a table runner?
Feb 16th.. be there!

New baby in your life or need a shower gift to wow the mother to be?  Want to learn how to work with Minky but quake in your boots just thinking about it? March 5th..

Interested?.. have questions?

Contact  Chattanooga Sewing Machine Center for more details and class sign up!

Or drop me a note in the comments section!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I Play With Fabric

I play with fabric... honestly I think maybe you could have a form of therapy that is all about unfolding and refolding fat quarters in a slow even pace... when I am stressed.. this totally zones me out and brings my breathing back into a normal range..

Too much life and not enough quilting of late.. it makes Maddie a cranky girl!

Here is to hoping that tomorrow is holding lots of thread and stitches!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Book Lovers... take note!

 Please note that you can find the books I am putting up for sale in the ~Bookcase~ on the Fresh Thread sister site... the Longarm Virgin. Click HERE to find out what is new!  

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

M is for Mailbox!

And Amy you need to check yours since you are the winner of the newest copy of
 Creative Machine Embroidery magazine!
So leave a comment and drop me a note so I can get it into the mail to you this week!

Friday, November 5, 2010

It's a Giveaway!

It's been way too long and I think you all would agree!

So it's time for a little giveaway!

To celebrate my new article in
Creative Machine Embroidery Magazine
I have a copy to give to you!

Even better it comes packaged with a bonus CD with CME Fashion Numbers
So it's all good!

( Please note that it will be the Nov/Dec issue not the one pictured here.. it seems that I can't get an image of that issue to upload right now... geesh I love technology!)

So..  if you want it just leave a comment below and I pick from the comments next Monday.. since I think that a little good news like winning a magazine would be a nice offset to the usual "joy" of Monday!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

On the road again.....

Ok... it seems like I just got home and I am on my way back out again... my, this makes me sound like SUCH a jetsetter..NOT.   This time it's the whole fam-damily and we are going to Tybee Island off the coast of GA for a Marine biology camp.  I am running around here like a chicken with my head lopped off trying to get ready and get the house ready for the housesitter.. I mean.. reeeaaaallllly?  Cleaning my house to go on vacation.. where is the mercy?

The week has been good but fast!... ran into an adorable blog reader at one of my local fabric haunts... she is new to embroidery and cute as a button.. she does hair ( yep I am talking about you!).. I need to go see her and see what she can do with mine!

I started a new quilted piece... not really a quilt so much as a piece of art that will be quilted.. not sure about showing it off here but it will be over on my Longarm Virgin Blog at some point.

I am teaching next week at Chattanooga Sewing... so if you dream of "blinging" up your embroidery  this is the class to learn it all!  We will be Hotifixing ourselves silly.. and I think there is room for one more in the class... so if you want to come play call Chattanooga Sewing and  get that last spot!

I finally saw my new article in Creative Machine Embroidery magazine and  saw my photo in the front!.. yikes.. looks like I am storing nuts for Winter in those cheeks!

I hope to have a holiday/winter type free file up real soon.
Happy trails!

Monday, October 18, 2010

It's on the stands - Twinkle Toes

As I mentioned last week my new article/project is in Creative Machine Embroidery this month and you can now find the issue on the stands at your favorite local book store. With a copy of the magazine you can have the instructions and access to the free files but I thought I would show you how I use my Twinkle Toes.

I have a lot of Mary Jane style shoes.. some low and flat and some higher than then sky. Each pair just screams out for a bit of flash and more comfort never hurts!

So get a copy of the magazine and join the fun!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Monogram That!

Tis the Season already!

Machines at Fresh Thread are running full tilt with holiday orders that are already coming into the studio. Many of these items are big and bulky so best handled by a 6 needle machine. It's not that many of the home machines don't have the power it's that they don't have the room to get items under the head of the machine or a way to support the remaining weight of the item.

But even with the big machine drag can be an issue so supporting the item being monogrammed is very important!  Here you see me using my  ~ Monogram That~ Support system that takes the weight off the frame and supports flexible movement of the item so that it follows the movement of the hoop.  Monogram That! can also be used with home machines  helping you monogram items that you never thought possible!

~Monogram That!~ is currently in pre-production and if you are interested in getting your hands on one or learning more just drop me a line or watch here for further details.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hello and Goodbye!

Hello to everyone from Creative Machine Embroidery Magazine! I am so happy you have dropped by!  I did not even know that the latest issue on was on the stands until I started getting e-mails. I hear that there might be an upload problem with the files and will do my best to get that sorted out but once I hand the files over it's a bit out of my hands but I feel certain we will get it all worked out.  Please note that you will need a JUMBO frame to make the Twinkle Toes project. Due to it's nature the project cannot be split.

I am on my way to Utah tomorrow morning " bright and squirrely" as my dad used to say.  I will be at the loverly Handi-Quilter HQ for a a couple of days soaking in all there is to be had on the subject of HQ longarms.  I am quite excited about this and will be posting updates to my FB page so if you want pop over there and find the Fresh Thread page and join up so you can keep up with the fun!

Monday, October 4, 2010

We interupt this blog for an awful cold

Maybe having an awful cold would be easier if I had cool tissue like this!

Maybe not.

In any case I must get better since I fly out on Sunday for Utah to spend 3 days soaking up all that the Handi Quilter company has to offer!

I will be posting updates to my Facebook page if anyone is interested.

Until then... please pass the tissue

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Midwest Modern with eyelets!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a fussy sort of person, I might have some vintage doilies but they are not sitting on my chair backs they are appliqued to my jeans and my life is pretty casual. So when pondering the eyelet kit that is a possible accessory for my Bernina 830 I had a hard time of thinking of a lot of uses for it in my life. After all I am not doing any heirloom sewing right now and I am not the "dainty nightie" sort of gal.  ( This of course begs many questions but we are just NOT going there!)

But..but.... it's SOOOOO cool and it makes BEAUTIUL full- lush eyelets..but then I was not in need of a lot of full-lush eyelets but something did start brewing in my head.  As I saw the circles for what they were.. design opportunity! In my head they were the large fluffy top of Spring Alliums.. those huge purple ball flowers that look like they were created by dr Suess???  Bold lines, interesting shape.. circles.. potential.  So I started sketching.. and came up with idea. 

Using the eyelets in a loose casual way  I was able to achieve a modern clean look that works perfectly on a t-shirt  to wear with jeans.

Please note that I had to do some fast working with these eyelets to get them to NOT be full and lush.. I wanted to be true to the look of a wind-blown plant, scraggly and  a bit disheveled but still beautiful in the way only nature can get away with!

The stem and  star burst area of this design are run in the embroidery machine and then then eyelets are added using the Bernina Eyelet kit ( #82/92)

If you would be interested in doing this yourself please drop me a note here on the blog and I will see about getting it posted up to share!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Just a few more days!

Just a quick reminder that Septembers Free Files will be going away at the end of this week so if you want them you had better download them now!

Scroll down a couple of posts for more details and download links!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tip Tip Hurray!

It has been a while since I have offered up a tip but I hope this little gem makes up for it.

When making clothing I often cut the fabric when I have time and then sew as I have time. This works well except I often forget what I need to do and which part is what. To solve that problem I have stepped back into the past and pulled out a little used office supply,

Gummed Reinforced Circles

 These little gems are are small , get sticky when you wet them and hold tight to the fabric letting you mark details and make tiny little notes to keep you on schedule!

Try it!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Walking Foot woes and some clarification

I have had a couple of questions about the Retro-Fit kit for the Bernina Walking foot guide issue that some 830 owners have with their machines. 

 To answer these  questions:

YES!.. you can buy this stuff yourself.. please do!.. it's rubber tubing, often used for mower gas lines.  Just find the right size at your handy dandy hardware store and you are in business.

Does everyone need this?  NO!.. if your waking foot and it's guide and bracket fit on your machine you don't need it.. so don' buy it!

Why did you make this kit?  I created the retrofit to solve my problem, I let people know how I did it but some people did not want to have to hunt down the tubing, thus I made the little kits ( find the link on the right side of the page. )

How do I make this little kit work?.. ah.. glad you asked... how about you take a peek at this webacast for more details!  ( yep.. camera was tipped funny... sorry about that!)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dreams Come in All Sizes

I am so glad you all have liked the new Freebie file!  Remember it's up just for the next week for free!  But so many of you needed other sizes and I hear you!...

 So.. for you 5x7 people how about a dream that looks like this???

And dont' worry 4x4 folks... your litle dream is just as sweet!

to download the 5x7 click HERE

To download the 4x click HERE

And remember... add those hand stitches... you will be charmed and delighted!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Finally a Freebie!!!!

Well that took WAY longer than I ever dreamed...  you yadda
BUT!.. I think you are really going to like this.

Enjoy a totally modern take on machine embroidery with this new design. Just right for an accent pillow or as a free-hearted touch on the back of a jean jacket! Sized for the larger 7x11 hoop this file stitches out quickly but is greatly enhanced by the careful addition of hand done running stitches to echo the machine work. This simple addition raises the bar on the project from a simple embroidery to something you are going to want to really show off. After stitching simply use DMC pearl cotton to add simple running stitches to accent the tree and the swish. If you desire also add a small eye to the bird, it’s just that simple!
The sample shown was stitched on pre quilted fabric for a fast project but don’t be afraid to use this design on other fabrics. I think it would look wonderful on a dark denim!

This design is yours free for the next week. Enjoy! 

You can download the design here!   CLICK HERE

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Where is Maddie?

Right here!

Dear Friends, I will be closing down my yahoo page for Fresh Thread due to some technical issues.. please feel free to join me over at Facebook where it will be MUCH easier for me to manage things :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Finding inspiration

There are days when I would not be surprised if my head just exploded with all the inspiration I see around me each day! So many ideas and so little time to get them on the fabric!

Today I was looking at this sweet piece of Fabric

It's part of the Farmdale collection by Alexander Henry and it just SCREAMS  Fall, but in a fresh/retro way that steals my heart.  It reminds of a some fabric in the depths of my childhood.. very cool!

From that...
I did this!

This one was just a test but I was quite charmed by it and think  I will get it posted up here for everyone to enjoy very soon.

What do you think... do you like it??

I am still refining the technique  since I don't want to see the cross hatch color running on the edges.. of course this effect is easy to pull off in print ( see fabric sample above)  and more more complex when it comes to fabric! :)

I am thinking of doing it on some new Fall grocery

Friday, August 27, 2010

Jumping out of the Hoop

I am a woman of great contradiction.. and that can be a bit confusing at times and at others the combination of my love of technology and love of handwork come together is a way that really rocks my world. 

Anyone who knows me knows I am obsessed with  DMC Pearl Cotton  Honestly there should be a 12 step program for me, it's just that bad.   I own every color... and that is a LOT of Pearl cotton, but it makes me oh so happy.  I love to stitch with the stuff and use it everywhere that anyone else would just x-stitch floss. 

 Now to combine it with all my pretty machine embroidery threads is a dream come true! I have spent many a happy moment of late adding  hand stitches to a new group of embroidery designs. Adding little hand touches is a fast refreshing way to freshen up your embroidery that anyone has time for!

It's just a couple of stitches but wow... what a punch it gives any project!

I can't wait to share this with you!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Be Still My Heart

Have you ever seen a  fabric collection that made every little tiny part of your soul just sing??
For me it's Meadow Sweet 2

Lordy.. it makes me happy just looking at it and I must must must make it mine.  And opposed to my usual random acquisition of fabric I have a PLAN for this fabric.. ( I sure you a relieved to hear that!)  I have a chair in my living room that is uber comfy but no longer matches anything and I am going to re-do the chair with  the fabric after I quilt it up!  I think it's going to be smashing!

Wish me luck!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Studio Time

I took some time today to make a cover for my Studio... want to make one too?.. follow along.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Do You Know Your Fabric Sweets?

A Layer Cake contains 40 or 42 10" squares (always at least 40, regardless of the number of pieces in the line, so you could have duplicates or have a few pieces of the line left out).

A Candy Bar contains at four collections of 2 1/2" x 5" strips of each fabric included in the fabric lines. In some instances, we have "broken" our candy bars up and you can purchase "Snack Size Candy Bars" of individual fabrics.

A Charm Pack contains at least one 5" square of each fabric included in that fabric line. However, the newer Moda Charm Packs now include at 40-42 squares, so you could have duplicates.

Turnovers contains 80 triangles (40 squares). Join 2 triangles to make a 5" half square triangle block.

A Jelly Roll contains 40 strips, 2 1/2" x width of fabric (always 40, regardless of the number of pieces in the line, so you could have duplicates or have a few pieces of the line left out).

A Honey Bun contains 40 strips, 1 1/2" x width of fabric (always 40, regardless of the number of pieces in the line, so you could have duplicates or have a few pieces of the line left out).

A Jelly Cake contains one Layer Cake AND one Jelly Roll!

A Charming Jelly Cake contains one Layer Cake, one Jelly Roll & one Charm Pack!

A Dessert Roll contains 10 precut 5" x WOF strips


Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Well its' pieced and I have to decide how to quilt it. I know I will be ditch stitching on the bigger lines..  but after than i am drawing a blank.. of course that is why it's on the wall not on the machine right now :)

 Zensiprations stitched out great.. the Fairy Frost was just right...  come on quilting  inspiration!

What do you think???

Monday, August 16, 2010

The First Noel

Dare I say it?... but yes its time to be sewing for the holidays, if not a bit late if  you have a really long list. I am just getting started and first out of the shoot is this wall-hanging in process.  Done with the OESD Zenspiration collection this is a modern take on an age old holiday sentiment.  The letters are 7inches high and the blocks are 9.5inches.

I have not as of yet decided how I am going to sash these but will be messing around with ideas today.   Ater piecing I think I will stipple quilt the background... but who knows.. hopefully inspiration will strike me.

While not traditional  in color the fabric is Fairy Frost and has a slight metallic sparkle to it helping with that holiday feeling.

The letters are wild and lavish.. really pretty much over the top but grounded by intense lines. I am really grooving on it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


A simple little kit to solve a big PIA!
For those with Bernina 820 and 830's that are not able to use your guide on your walking foot I have come up with a small fit enable you to once again use your guide with ease.
This little kit contains 6 snug washers ( 3 nylon, 3 rubber) and a length of rubber tubing that can be cut to size for your spacing needs.

Just thread the cut to length tubing onto the guide first.. put the guide through your walking foot and then use one of the nylon or rubber washers to hold it snug up against the walking foot. It's that easy!

When done it should look like this

To order ..
CLICK HERE and it will take you to my storefront ( yep.. it's open again!)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bernina boo-boo- walking foot guide problem.

It seems that on some of the new Bernina 830 machines that the dual feed gets in the way of the bracket on the walking foot that you would use to keep metered spacing between your rows.  My personal machine is plagued with this bothersome feature and I know of others in the same boat.  there are other who are able to use their guides with no problem.

For those with the problem it looks something like this.
Can you see how the downward prongs on the dual feed are hitting my bracket on my guide bar?.. this interferes with me lifting the foot all the way on the cone and locking it in place..

Same here
knocking again ~sigh~

With the dual feed foot lifted up out of the way you can see how my walking foot it not even centred on those prongs..

Totally wack-a-doo.. the bracket will not fit on....

but I am not a woman easily daunted.. I am a woman who wanted to use her guide for some channel quilting!

Thus a trip to my hardware store brought me delight!
( I will take a moment here to praise the small town hardware store where they guy there is willing.. neigh happy to drag you all over the store looking for ways to solve your problem...thanks ROY!)

My Solution

Rubber vacuum tubing and nylon washers... not exactly pretty but it works like a charm!

I purchased tubing that was a snug but not an impossible fit on the rod as well as matching  nylon washers. I cut the tubing to size for the gap I wanted to have between rows and slipped it on the guide arm.. slide the guide through and then slid on the washer to hold it snug.  It works like a  charm!

I am putting together a few kits for those who might have the same problem.
The teeny-tiny fix it kit will contain
1 small length of tubing enough to cut a couple of buffers
6 washers, 3 nylon, 3 rubber
and instructions

I will send them out via the post office and the kit cost will be $5, including shipping.
If you need one ( if your guide works you do not need one!)
Just drop me a line at
and I will send you a Pay-Pal invoice and then get the little kit into the mail this week!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Boosting sewing room productivity!

It's getting sort of crowded in my studio with the arrival of my new STUDIO from Accquilt.  For those who don't know this machine or it's portable little sister sidekick The Go!.. these are die cut machines, both big and small. They make short work of cutting fabric into quick shapes for faster and more accurately cut quilt blocks.

On my end while I will be using it for quilting I have some ideas for combining the die cuts with in the hoop embroidery, with hopes of some awesome results!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lovies for the Cause

Once again I am partnering with my husband  to raise money for The Susan Komen 5k Run for the Cure. On my Longarm Virgin blog I am quilting for the cure and over here at Fresh Thread I am offering a complete set of Lovies Embroidery files ( as seen in my header) for a donation of $10 or more to my husband's race donation page.   This offer begins on August 9th and runs through the race date Sept. 26th

Take advantage of this offer you will need to go to my husband's race page and make your donation and then drop me a line at I will then check the race donation confirmation page for your donation and  send your files via e-mail. 

  This will be my husband's second year to run the race after rehabbing from two leg fractures and heart surgery. I could not be more proud of him and his running to support multiple different charities each year.
Thank you for helping support his mission to run in support of the women in his life!

To access the race page click

Friday, August 6, 2010

Serging ahead

Today the mamas at SEW MAMA SEW ask why I would want another serger.. in fact they are so serious about the knowing our thoughts that they are giving away a serger!

As for me... i love my serger  but adding a second serger to my studio would mean being able to keep one threaded up with dark thread and another with light thread... or to have one set up for doing the ever so wonderful rolled edge while the other would be set up for regular serging.

Don't get me wrong.. I am blessed to have 1 serger but I used to have two and when I did it was SUCH a blessing to be able to bop between the two machines.. making sewing even faster and more fun.  Since no matter how easy a serger is to thread ( with some being easier than others!) it still takes time and totally kicks my sewing mojo in the tail when I have to switch back and forth a bunch of times.  When my second serger ( which use to be my first.. follow that?) died it was a sad day but I did  not understand how much it had added to my productivity.. I would LOVE to have that option back!

Now for something totally differnt!

Anyone who knows me will not be surprised that in my head there are very many drawers.. and while some of the drawers are related to one another many of them are quite divergent!  I go through my day mentally opening and sorting through each one. taking stuff out.. putting stuff in and acting ideas that spring from them. This can make for a rather chaotic through process but also makes for some really cool ideas, one of which I am working on right now. - Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Modern Victorian Heart

While I always admire that cool spare design you see in modern  mags my heart beats faster with color and detail. Couple that with a nod to the modern with somewhat cleaner lines and progressive
 technique and you get ...

 My Modern Victorian Heart. 
 Coming this Fall.

Start gathering those silks, satins and velvets.. you are going to love this!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Taking some time to tidy things up.

Many of you have noticed that my store-front is now closed.  I have tried to remove all of the front page links but I am sure I did not get all of them.  Don't worry it's not forever and if there is something that you really need just drop me a note and I will make it possible for you to purchase the files. 

Basically it works this way.. I have one month until my kids start back to lessons ( yep, we homeschool) and during that time I will be getting them ready and revamping the store front with new files, links, hints and tips as well as getting my longarm business up and running all while continuing my embrodiery/monogram.  But to do all  that I need to close the store- front to make the changes easy to accomplish. I will still be blogging here and there is a good chance that I will have some cool freebies in the coming days so do check back so you can see the progress!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Oh gads!  I woke up this morning with a start remembering that I had not picked a winner for the Halloween Fabric giveaway!   Then I had to find the hat.. pulled out the bunny... put in the numbers.. and picked number

That makes Deb the winner of the cute pack of Halloween scraps!

*I actually used the Random Number generator but for some reason  it will not cut and paste into my post.. and the bunny is so much cuter anyway!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I have some class

I am a saver.... like  magpie I have  hard time getting rid of stuff let alone not collecting more and from this I have a rather large stash of scrap fabric.. I have a certain way I store it that we will talk about later but for now just knowing that I can make lots and lots of holiday gifts from that stash is really comforting.

This project comes from the "strip bin" and while I would like to say in made  a real dent in that in you really can't tell I used any and I will have to make trivets for my whole county at this rate.  But look at those colors!.. happy huh?  I like the pop of the black on the colors but if you wanted something that more blended  a soft grey does the trick. 

I will be teaching a class in how to make these this Fall. I  will be teaching the the foundation skills that will move us on to making baskets and purses.. very cool.. yes?  But from that process the students will get really neat trivets, placemats and coasters all from their scrap baskets!

Want to take the class?  If you are in the Chattanooga area I will be teaching it this fall and would love to meet you!  I will be teaching at Chattanooga Sewing  (423) 899-3664 , call them a reserve your spot!

A wee bit overblown...

No need to gasp... I know it's over blown.. and beyond the pale but oh how I do love it!  I happen to have two cameras and while I had made a strap for my trusty Fuji my Cannon was still looking pretty lean and plain so I went the whole nine yards and used some Texture Magic and made this cha-cha camera strap from some of my favorite leftovers of the vintage sheets I used to make the curtains in my office.

The center part of the strap is runched using the Texture Magic and a simple running stitch and the sides are all full and fancy due to using my ruffling attachment for my machine.  I am pondering whipping up a pattern for this.. what say you?? 

I am pretty sure my husband will never be able to use my camera again!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Go Me!

Well I will admit that I obviously did not know what I was getting into since I thought that it might take an hour.. maybe two to get it all folded, bolted and stored back... Ha!

It's done and it looks pretty dang good if I do say so myself.  Where a week ago it looked like THIS  today it's looking a lot leaner, meaner and a lot more organized!

Top shelf  - clothing fabric, most on homemade fabric bolts made from foam core board

Second Shelf - baskets full of sizable scraps and fat quarters sorted by color. ( the other container is all Kaffe Fassette fabrics since I LUV them so much!)

Third Shelf - vintage sheets, muslin and quilt yardage

Fourth- Felt and novelty/freaky fabrics

Fifth shelf- (mostly unseen) large containers with batting and other odd ball items.

Not bad huh???

and YES... I got rid of that UGLY light fixture.  The one I got is school-house style, very simple to the point of plain but a nice relief from the stained glass monster!