Thursday, January 02, 2020

Party Like a Block Star! (and FMQ like one too!)

I spent my New Year’s day with 110 year old friend!

It didn’t start out this way – My plan for new Year’s Day was to finally get the old White treadle that Elisabeth so lovingly handed over to me up and running.  I mean – I’d had the part since JUNE!

But truth be told, it was a fix that I was flustered with myself, I couldn’t seem to get it right – and I needed help.

What would you do with parts like this??

A screw.  A washer.  A spring.

But where do they go?

They connect to the feed dogs!

Without this spring, the feed dogs don’t move – and thanks to The Hubster, and some photos coming over Facebook messenger from my vintage machine friend Grant – we figured out that we were trying to put the spring in the wrong way!

She now feeds fabric!

I can turn the hand wheel and watch the fabric go…but the challenge is not over yet.

I was ready to hook her up to a belt, and run some thread through her needle, but – The black tubing belt I had was too thick to pass where it came to the belt guard at the balance wheel below.  What about a good old fashioned leather belt?

The one leather belt I had was too short.  RATS!

So – I’ve ordered some 3/16’’ tubing belt and connectors and expect them to arrive tomorrow. 

So what’s a girl with treadle-brain expected to do when the machine goes back to waiting?

We pull out all the stops -

And pull IN another treadle!

This is Peggy, the 1910 Singer 66 with lotus decals that lives in the basement studio here at the cabin.  She usually sits facing the view beyond my sliding glass doors – but I had a deep desire to binge watch Virgin River on Netflix -

That lovely marking on the sewing stool seat?  It was where I left one of those purple "sit upon" whoopy cushion type things, pokey side down.  Ooops.  Won't make THAT mistake again!  I was trying to elevate myself just a bit and.....hmmmmm.

The project at hand?

24 more string blocks -

Destined for 6 more place mats.

I’ve got the dozen placemats I need for 12 people. But I’m figuring those are going to be washed somewhat weekly – I really should have 2 dozen, don’t you think? 

And yes, there will be a pattern when I get this batch done. The requests have been hard and heavy!  You’ve got the row-by-row license plates.  You want a fun quick project to put them to good use – the pattern is coming!

And something else BIG is coming in February!

For those who were interested in the Free Motion Quilting Academy last September, but needed to put it off until the New Year, guess what?  

There is a Spring 2020 Free Motion Quilting Academy Early Bird Launch this week.

Let 2020 be your YEAR!

No more putting it off.

It's time for YOU to gain the skills and confidence to finish your own quilts and become a Quilting Rockstar!

Free Motion Quilting Academy is an online course designed to guide you from a beginner quilter (yes, even a baby beginner) to a confident intermediate quilter. 

Inside this class, you’ll learn how to set up your home sewing machine for free motion quilting, how to make a quilting plan (deciding what to quilt where), and learn how to stitch dozens of free motion quilting motifs.

Why take this online course?

YOU can finish your own quilts-- bee-yoo-tee-fully-- right at home on your domestic sewing machine.
  • Finishing your own quilts saves you money
  • Sending quilts out may allow you to skip the “complicated” steps of basting and quilting, but if you’re a quick piecer, those long-arming bills add up fast
  • Finishing your own quilts saves you time
  • No more waiting for your quilts to arrive home again. When you’re ready to wrap up a project to clear space in the sewing room, give an amazing gift, or get something fresh on your bed, you have the awesome sauce skills to get ‘er done
  • Finishing your own quilts gives you creative control
  • Ever had a vision for a quilt but felt like you had to settle for something else because of time, skill, money, or communication challenges? When you are the piecer AND the quilter, you have amazing creative freedom to execute your dreams exactly as you dreamed.
  • Finishing your own quilts is fun!
FMQ Academy isn’t so much a class as it is an adventurous journey of realizing that you are more creative and capable than you’ve allowed yourself to believe.

Yes, you’ll learn the nitty gritty of setting up your machine and adjusting your tension, how to baste a quilt, and how to stitch over two dozen free motion quilting motifs. But even more than that, you’ll have a specific, guided, step by step outline for not only learning motifs but also going from a quilt top to a complete and beautiful quilt, including learning how to decide what to quilt where.

In the end: your free motion quilting will be beautiful, but you’ll also enjoy the process of completing your quilts.


Lugging your machine out to class is is inconvenient and time consuming, and learning on a dealer machine doesn’t always mean you can work well with your machine at home. Plus, it’s hard to learn a new skill if you’re nervous about what the students around you think. At home, you can be in your space, on your machine, and at your own pace
The best machine to learn Free Motion Quilting on is the machine you already own. 90+% of the time, your machine is capable of at least basic free motion quilting, you need very few new accessories, and the belief that learning takes a lot of expensive gizmos is just a gimmick.
Whether you live around the globe, have a day job, work nights, have kids at home that make your schedule irregular, or anything else, the meat of this course is pre-recorded, so you can watch it whenever you want! Plus, once you purchase, you have access forever, to watch and re-watch as often as you want or need.
While the lessons are pre-recorded, real-time or nearly real time feedback is important. Inside the course Facebook group, you will value the live Q&A sessions during the 12 weeks of the course for help with any hurdles each step of the way.
While it can be difficult to learn something new while sitting next to a stranger, it is also valuable to learn in community. 

The course Facebook group allows you to get to know and share your work with FMQA Rockstar alumni and your fellow Rockstars-in-Training so you never feel alone as you learn.

Early Bird Enrollment for HollyAnne Knight’s Free Motion Quilting Academy for her Spring 2020 session is now in full swing! 

The course begins Feb 17, 2020 and runs through May 9, 2020 ending with a very fun graduation!

THIS AMAZING COURSE,  Private FACEBOOK GROUP, AND THE LIVE Question & Answers ARE YOURS FOR JUST $150.00 during Early Bird registration only.

That’s right-- for the cost of sending just ONE quilt out, you can learn to quilt all of your quilts forevermore.

Early Bird registration is only open through Jan 4th so don’t delay! (That’s roughly the 5th for those of you Down Under.)  

After this limited Early Bird special, regular registration begins Feb 1, 2020 USA time and the price reverts back to the normal enrollment price of $197.00.

It’s time to turn your tops into completed quilts – YOURSELF.  You can do this!

And that brings me back to NOW.  

Today I’ll be busy filling orders  - the Quiltville Store is back open for 2020!  I’ve sure enjoyed the week I took off Christmas through New Years.  I needed it.  Now I can dig in and tackle 2020 with a vengeance!

Did you see this?

I had a hard time deciding just which pattern to put at 50% off for the month of January.  Irish Courthouse won out for many reasons -

The biggest one of all being NO TRIANGLES!!  LOL!

Sew SO Scrappy, Sew Much Fun!

This Irish Chain variation starts with a simple 9 patch and grows from there! Easy strip piecing and full color photos. Fat Quarter Friendly as well! Quilt size: 93’’ X 93’’.

You’ll love making this quilt block-by-block easily from strips.  It’s fast, it’s satisfying, and destined to chase away those winter blahs that tend to follow when the holidays are behind us but spring is still far off into the future.

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

This is how I partied yesterday - how about you?

Are you planning on making more time for the things you love to do in the coming year?

Do you purposely schedule time on your calendar? Or do you work it in unplanned as time allows?

I am considering doing a bit of both. I want some designated blocked out time every week to just work on what I want to work on.

But today – off to the QPO I go!


  1. The free motion quilting class is an awesome class to take. You will learn tons and Holly Anne is an excellent teacher.

  2. I love that first photo of the beautiful Miss Peggy surrounded by bins of strings... so much fun to be had!

  3. I'm going to treat myself to the FMQ online class. This is one of my learn and do items for 2020. Thanks for sharing this info with us. I want to be more creatively productive this year, and I also want to improve my piecing skills. I'm spending the first part of the year prepping my projects, organizing my scraps using your system, and deciding which sew/quilt alongs to participate in. I've got to get some more Shoo Fly Leader/Ender kitted up today. I'm doing mine in R,W, & B in three sizes (all from scraps) for a future QOV. Ordering the pattern of the month today, too.

  4. Worked on my #1 clue for Frolic on New Year's day. Very relaxing! Also cleaned and reorganized my sewing space. Very productive day. Love your string blocks, and thought I might do some of those too. So much fun,and I have a whole new year to work on projects! Thanks for the inspiration Bonnie.

  5. Ha-Ha You sure fooled me. I thought, "What a treasure! An antique, hand tooled leather seat on her sewing chair." Happy sewing!

  6. I binge watched Virgin River the last 2 days. I thought you might like it. The other show I enjoyed watching was Dirty John, true story about one women's experience with a man she met online. Since I'll be away from home, and thus my sewing machine, for 12 weeks on 3 separate trips during FMQA I'll wait for the next one...again.

  7. I think you would like to read Kelly Cline Quilting. She uses vintage textiles in her quilting.

  8. Grant is so good with machines. I've sent people his way (and used him myself). Have fun treadling.

  9. Today I started a quilt that I have had the pattern since 2004, I have collected fabric for that long also. 77 pieces per block.
    A new adventure.

  10. I love your stories about all the old sewing machines you so lovingly collect and cherish and use! Thank you so much for sharing!

  11. Yup Virgin River here too. Another binge watch was Unbelievable - more traumatic based on true life, but even so a good watch. Meanwhile I've been sorting out my scraps - I think I'm finally at the end of them, so my rule of no sewing till it's sorted is coming to an end!

  12. What a beautiful machine, and fabulous that you can get help on line for those trickier repairs.
    Those placemats are turning out just beautiful shame I can’t get hold of the row by row number plates here but I’m sure I’ll be able to come up with something for them when you put out the pattern.
    Thank you for sharing all your fun sewing
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

  13. I'll have to watch for a nice old treadle machine, I would love to sit quietly sewing. I would think it would be good for children too. My 8 year old granddaughter got a "real" sewing machine for Christmas and scares me the way she will occasionally look up while sewing! I'm so afraid for those little fingers! We are (her mother and I) teaching her to go slowly and pay attention to where her hands are. But a treadle would be awesome. I'm seriously considering taking the fmq class as a treat for me. Your endorsement of the class is enough for me! Thanks for all you do Bonnie! Jan in MA

  14. I took the FMQing Academy in the fall and I learned SO MUCH! I am now quilting my "Bonnie quilts" all by myself, with custom quilting...and enjoying it. Bonnie...every tool, every tip, & every instructor you have ever endorsed has been amazing, and HollyAnne's FMQing Academy is no exception. Thank you for making us all better quilters, and for endorsing what really works.

  15. I would love to join in on this! I have 14 plus quilts hanging in my closet waiting patiently for me. Haha! I can't afford to send them out and right now, I can't afford the price of this awesome class! So my goal this year is to make up a ton of blocks just to practice, practice and practice on. I have been doodling like crazy and feel very good about putting my plan into action! I have quilted all of my mini quilts, so why am I intimidated by my bed size quilts??

  16. Signed up for FMQ academy, hoping to improve my FMQ skills. Also have printed out Frolic to date and will be beginning this one shortly. Had to finish some others first and wait for some fabrics to arrive!


If you are commenting as "anonymous" please leave your name at the end of your comment.

Did you know that ad space on this blog provides for all of the free patterns and free mysteries and challenges at no cost to you? Without ads, this blog would not be possible.

Thank you for understanding the many hours that go into this blog 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year. :)