APQS Quilting BlogIn like a lion or a lamb? - February 25, 2014
Take this last month of winter while the weather is still keeping you indoors to become a "March Lion" and set some ferocious goals for yourself.
Thread cutter tips - February 25, 2014
Good care and maintenance can keep the thread cutter slicing just as you expect; and when it needs a little adjustment to keep working at peak efficiency, that's easy, too!
How to load a quilt by "fully floating" your quilt top - February 18, 2014
With a “full float,” the quilt’s top edge is basted to the backing and batting, but the bottom edge hangs down with the batting.
How to quilt feathers – 2 methods - February 11, 2014
When delving into the world of custom quilting there is one design element that virtually all quilters want to learn to create – feathers! The best part is, with a little practice anyone can create beautiful flowing feathers.
Quilting the Quilt: Mix and match border designs - February 4, 2014
A quilt border serves the same purpose as a picture frame—it keeps the viewer’s attention focused on what’s happening inside it.
Frugal fabric finds - January 28, 2014
We’ve put together some ideas on how you can indulge in your love of fabrics for a lot less than what you’d usually spend.
Prepare for "quilting emergencies" - January 21, 2014
During every class I teach to beginning longarm quilters, I bring up the subject of an "emergency preparedness plan".
Step-by-step process for thread breakage problems - January 14, 2014
When you're hard at work on a quilt, and your thread decides not to cooperate, your blood pressure can increase exponentially.
Better bindings all around - January 7, 2014
When it comes to binding quilts, you either love it or you hate it.
Get creative with your fabric stash - December 23, 2013
If you are truly a "quilter" you have a fabric stash. Once you reach your limit on available shelving, it's time to get creative.
Quilting the Quilt: Pantograph or custom - which should I choose? - December 17, 2013
When debating between custom and overall quilting for your quilt, you’ll save yourself lots of time and stress if you answer these questions to help you decide...
Strip cutting quickies - December 10, 2013
Here's a handy chart to use to help you cut the patches you need for your project using a 6" x 24" cutting ruler and long strips of fabric.
You can quilt that out, right? - December 3, 2013
For machine quilters who work for others, those are famous (or maybe infamous) words!
What's in your wallet - November 26, 2013
Your wallet can help you with your quilting and fabric purchases as well as save you money.
You can test quilting designs with vinyl - November 19, 2013
If you're struggling with how a quilting design might look in your quilt, here's a great way to audition your ideas.
Quilting the Quilt: Echo Quilting - November 12, 2013
Echo quilting is a technique that is often overlooked as a design element, but it can create dramatic results.
Houston Quilt Festival 2013 - November 5, 2013
We share some of our favorite pictures from this year's quiltling show in Houston.
Start over, start fresh! - October 29, 2013
Sometimes a person just needs to begin again.
To wash, or not to wash... - October 22, 2013
Among quilting circles, it's as polarizing as politics and religion ... do you wash your fabric or don't you?
Storage ideas for quilters - October 15, 2013
Quiltmaker Suzanne Nelson shares ideas to store all our beloved gadgets and gizmos.
What's the best way to store your quilts? - October 8, 2013
It's a good idea to store quilts in a space where you'd feel comfortable yourself.
Why is my block not square? - October 1, 2013
Inaccurate seam allowances, inaccurate cutting, and even careless pressing can add to the "attitude" our quilts develop about laying flat, square, and true.
What causes railroad tracks? - September 24, 2013
These railroad tracks aren't of the Amtrak variety … these tracks refer to those pesky "flat lines" of bobbin thread sometimes found on the back of your quilt.
Thread wisdom - September 17, 2013
With so many thread choices available, including thread type, TEX, weight, ply, twist, choosing the right color may be the simplest decision you'll have to make!
The color of emotion - September 10, 2013
Much research has been done regarding color and its effect on emotions. Hospitals paint their rooms blue to promote restfulness, and fast-food restaurants install red booths to evoke an "urgent" feeling.
Quilting ergonomics - September 3, 2013
Correct machine height and ergonomic features will allow you to quilt for many hours without fatigue and strain on your body.
Pin poke folklore - August 22, 2013
Flower head pins, corsage pins, T-pins; it doesn't matter how you attach your quilt to the frame. One of those pins is going to get you some time!
Sewing secrets revealed - August 20, 2013
In the spirit of sharing, here are some fun hints that just might make your sewing and quilting more efficient, but also more fun!
Taming thread woes - August 12, 2013
When your thread starts to snap, it doesn't take long before your nerves start to snap, too. Here are some things to try that will help you narrow down the trouble and get back to quilting without stress.
Quilting for others ... what should you know? - August 6, 2013
If starting a quilting business is one of your long-term goals, here are a few tips to get you started down the right path.
Sore finger first aid - July 30, 2013
Every now and then, we quilters have to pick up a needle and thread. How do you avoid sore fingers after a bout of hand sewing? Read some of our quilters' home remedies, and you might find a method that work for you!
Bobbin basics - July 19, 2013
Longarm quilting machines require much less bobbin tension than you may believe when compared to your home sewing machine.
Sign your work - July 16, 2013
Labeling your quilt appropriately establishes original authorship and recognizes individuals involved in the quilting project. Use these tips to help authenticate your next creation!
Right brain, left brain, no brainer - July 9, 2013
Learn how to create more consistent quilting designs by determining what type of quilting “thinker” you are.
What makes a balanced design? - July 2, 2013
The concept of balanced quilting seems easy to understand, but there are many aspects to address while finishing your quilt.
Quilting the Quilt: Traditional, Contemporary or Modern - June 26, 2013
Are you a traditionalist, or do you lean more toward contemporary? As the next quilting generation finds its voice, a new and different genre is emerging.
Scissors Savvy - June 25, 2013
When it comes to quilting and piecing, you should always have a good pair of scissors on hand. Read our tips to help you choose the proper scissors for the job and to keep your scissors in great shape.
I'm stuck...what do I do? - June 18, 2013
If you're wondering what to do with a quilt, check out the APQS Forum for quilting inspiration or ask yourself these questions to alleviate "quilter's block!"
Flat quilts can still get wavy borders - June 11, 2013
What can make an otherwise flat quilt get wavy borders? Read on to find out!
By hand or machine...which way to go? - June 4, 2013
Do you wash your fabrics by hand or machine? Either way, we've got great washing tips for you!
Thread breakage - May 28, 2013
If you are having trouble with your thread breaking on a recent project, use our step-by-step process to eliminate the obvious suspects before calling in the big dogs!
Blue Star banners - what are they? - May 21, 2013
If you know someone in the military, check out this short history and free pattern to honor your soldier!
Quilting the Quilt: Find Your Feather Style - May 17, 2013
From fluffy and fun to frilly and fancy, feathers are designs that quilters long to master.
Ten tips for cutting fabric quickly - May 14, 2013
Check out these ten tips to help with your efficiency in the piecing stage. You'll be whipping out quilts in no time at all!
Relieving quilter's guilt - May 7, 2013
Don't let "quilter's guilt" of an unfinished project rob you of the pleasure of sewing or quilting.
Quilting the Quilt: Fabulous Feather Formation - May 1, 2013
We are never satisfied with our own shapes and curves, and we pine after the style or gracefulness we’ve seen in other quilters’ feathers.
Wool applique on your longarm - April 30, 2013
Donating your old wool clothing to Good Will? Not so fast! Here's a few ways to re-purpose wool fabric in your quilts.
Inspiration station - April 23, 2013
Inspiration for your next quilt design can come from anywhere - all you have to do is look!
How you can secure starts and stops - April 16, 2013
If you are still using needles to bury the beginning and ending threads on your quilt, you are missing out on ways to be more efficient! Check out these two methods using your longarm machines.
Finding a balance in quilting - April 9, 2013
With show season upon us, use a critical eye when designing your quilts. Learn how to balance your quilt designs.
Quilt show etiquette - April 2, 2013
Whatcha gonna do when the quilt police come for you?
Up Close Quilting with Liz Porter - April 2, 2013
This month we’re back with an Up Close Quilting profile about Liz Porter, the other half of the dynamic quilting duo behind Fons & Porter.
Spring has sprung, clean your studio! - March 26, 2013
In the mood for a little bit of spring cleaning? Don't forget about your quilting studio
Create a quilt "repair kit" - March 19, 2013
Before you slice up the leftovers or shove the scraps into the garbage, consider making a "repair kit" for every quilt you make.
Banishing bulky seams - March 12, 2013
Whether you quilt for others or quilt yourself, you've most likely encountered a few mountains of fabric at patchwork intersections. Here are a few tips from the APQS team to help you avoid roadblocks or needle breaks from bulky seams!
Clever bobbin storage ideas - March 5, 2013
Is your bobbin collection an unorganized mess? Use these storage ideas from APQS to help keep your quilting area tidy!
Our new generation of quilting machines. - February 27, 2013
Our machine updates have made our machines even easier to use. Watch this video for more information.
Oh say...can you see? - February 26, 2013
Is your eyesight not what it used to be? If the answer is yes and you feel it's affecting your ability to quilt, it might be time to make some adjustments!
Add luster, luminosity and depth to your quilts - February 19, 2013
You can add richness to your quilts using fabrics that create the illusions of luminosity, luster and depth.
Hearty advice for quilters - February 12, 2013
Celebrate Valentine's Day by giving a special valentine to the person closest to your heart...YOU!
Up Close Quilting with Marianne Fons - February 7, 2013
The APQS Up Close Quilting Series is starting 2013 by featuring the women behind Fons & Porter. These talented quilters have established one of the largest quilting entities in the world and continue their passion for quilting every day.
A touch of yellow - February 5, 2013
Do you love the color yellow in your quilts? Yellow can have some amazing powers when incorporated your design!
APQS Tutorial: Abstract Tulip Border - January 29, 2013
Breaking down a border into quadrants can help give needed references points to make custom quilting much easier. This abstract tulip border can be altered a number of different ways and will serve you well.
Batting has an "up" and "down" - January 22, 2013
Well, most of it does, anyway! It may surprise you to know that many batting products have a right side and a wrong side, just like fabric.
Mind your "P's" and "Q's" - January 15, 2013
Practice, practice, practice...did we just hear you groan? Though it may not be your favorite thing, a good warm up session will not only improve your skills, but keep you from blacksliding each quilting session!
Backing mysteries busted - January 8, 2013
Next time you choose a backing fabric, take these tips from our APQS team into consideration!
APQS Tutorial: Custom Flying Geese Border - January 8, 2013
Sometimes it can be difficult to find the continuous path of certain pieced border designs. Here is a great way to tackle a flying geese border.
Quilting the Quilt: Feather Quilting Basics - January 3, 2013
Feather designs are revered by quilters, as if they are the “holy grail” of quilting designs. Once you master feathers, you’ll feel like you have conquered the quilting world!
Quilter's new year resolutions - December 26, 2012
It's nearly time to close the door on 2012, and put all of the regrets about what didn't get done aside.
Quilting the Quilt: Tackling Tension Part 2 - December 21, 2012
You’re in “the zone.” You’ve been quilting for thirty minutes, and your feathers actually look like feathers! Before you move to the next section, you decide to check the back of your quilt. Your heart sinks when you see your tension has been totally out
Husband's guide to last-minute gifts - December 18, 2012
A handy guide of gifts the quilter in your family is sure to love.
Quilting the Quilt: Tackling Tension - December 13, 2012
Tension won't be so mysterious and irritating if you learn a few secrets about managing it and how the other choices you’ve made regarding your quilt top affect it.
Lacy longarm scarf - December 11, 2012
Need a simple, beautiful homemade present for a gift exchange or to give to a close friend? Here's a quick tutorial on for a lacy scarf that's sure to impress!
Quilting the Quilt: Bitty Border Quilting Ideas - December 10, 2012
You’ve seen them, you’ve probably used them, and you’ve possibly ignored them! Skinny little “separator” borders help us frame blocks, set off larger borders, and make our quilting math come out right.
Holiday Stockings - December 4, 2012
Have you hung the stockings by the chimney with care? If yours are looking a bit tired and weary, or the toes have holes from lumps of coal, try whipping one out using your longarm machine.
APQS Tutorial: Pebbles and Marbles Filler - December 3, 2012
Sometimes combining two simple shapes can give a basic filler design a whole new look.
Keeping your machine oiled - November 29, 2012
Keep your machine running in tip-top shape!
Magic metallic thread - November 27, 2012
Even if you consider yourself a more "traditional" quilter who likes muted tones, country flair, or even Civil War reproductions, sometime during your quilting you will discover the luster and shine that metallic thread can bring to your project.
Thanksgiving reflections - November 20, 2012
Thanksgiving Day marks a month of celebrating family, friendship and love. Remember to spend time with those you hold dear during the next few weeks.
Better bindings: part 2 - November 20, 2012
A recent blog article mentioned that binding stitches should be very close together, up to 1/16-inch apart. Several panicked quilters quickly questioned the sanity of this notion. Let's clarify that today!
Up Close Quilting with Claudia Pfeil - November 14, 2012
Claudia Pfeil, became the first European APQS dealer in 2005. She owns Quilt & Co and runs the entire European APQS showroom in Krefeld, Germany. She’s been sewing and piecing since she was a teen.
Keeping scale in perspective - November 13, 2012
Is your purse full of little scraps of paper with quilting design ideas doodled on them? Does your checkbook register look like an artist's pad?
Better bindings - November 13, 2012
Quilters are often polarized when it comes to whether binding is the best or worst part of a quilting project. When you reach that stage in your quilt, the end is near – literally!
What's the magic TOWA number? - November 6, 2012
Any number you want it to be! That wasn't the answer you were expecting, was it?
What makes a SmartBobbin so smart? - November 6, 2012
Every day quilters ask about the APQS SmartBobbin and wonder what makes it the intelligent choice for longarm quilters.
Applique quilt quandaries - October 30, 2012
Personal preference aside, the decision to quilt on top of applique can often be guided by the amount of quilting in other areas of the quilt.
Trick or treat - October 30, 2012
Just for fun, and because we quilters deserve a few "treats" every now and then, here are a few quips that pay tribute to our passion for chocolate.
How to avoid oxidation residue on machines - October 23, 2012
One of the great features about APQS machines is their weight.
Ruling the world: getting the most from your templates - October 23, 2012
Here are hints on making those acrylic rulers really work for you, both safely and effectively.
Up Close Quilting with Lorraine Harnish - October 22, 2012
Lorraine is a founder, teaches classes and is a part-owner of The Quilt Academy, a quilting company based in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, where they rent out a Lenni APQS longarm.
Ask APQS: Matching thread color - October 16, 2012
Machine quilters must choose between what may be "practical" in relation to the time investment for the quilting, in addition to what is aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Do you need some creative ideas for fabric hiding places? - October 16, 2012
Sometimes you have to get creative...not only to store your newfound fabric, but to disguise your purchases from anyone who doesn't understand why you needed more in the first place.
Boo boo Band-Aids for quilting mistakes - October 9, 2012
Here's a great trick for touching up spots where your stitching line wandered off its path.
Fuzzy flannel fast appliqué - October 9, 2012
For a fast, fun weekend project, try whipping up a flannel throw.
Football Fridays...bleacher quilts - October 2, 2012
Whether it's soccer, football or another sport, having a little cushion under the tush is a must for fans on the sidelines.
Needle flex and its impact on tension - October 2, 2012
You can move your longarm machine much faster, which has a huge impact on the needle. That's why your longarm needle is so large - it is to reduce the impact of needle flex!
Get to the "Point" - Inserting Your Needle - September 25, 2012
Lots of discussion has abounded regarding the best needles for your APQS quilting machine.
Just How "Tight" Are You? - September 25, 2012
When the quilt is stretched firmly on the frame, any air space created by the batting is crushed by the quilt layers.
Machine applique tips - September 18, 2012
When you really have to get things done, fusible web and machine applique come to the rescue.
Quilt As Desired...A designer's epitaph! - September 18, 2012
How many of project patterns have you come across that contain the words "Quilt As Desired?"
Up Close Quilting with Matt Sparrow - September 14, 2012
Matt Sparrow is an APQS dealer who started Sparrow Studioz in Edmonton, Alberta, where Matt and his wife rent, sell and service APQS longarm’s to local Canadian quilters and more than 300 certified renters.
Flannel facts and fables - September 12, 2012
Who can resist the feel of that soft, cuddly fabric against your skin when the temperature starts to dip and the evening chill encourages you to throw the windows open at night?
Fast fun fall fabric - September 12, 2012
You can capture some of this fall spirit with a quick and fun project that you can complete right on your longarm!
Blanket stitch with a longarm? - September 4, 2012
Autumn presents the perfect time to put a small project together to give the technique a try.
Setting your batteries to recharge - September 4, 2012
With Labor Day in the books, now is your chance to revitalize yourself in preparation for those long winter nights when you really WANT to quilt!
How Many Stitches per Inch? - August 29, 2012
Hand quilters and machine quilters use different measuring gauges (figuratively speaking) to determine the right stitch length for a project.
What's the Difference Between Bobbins? - August 29, 2012
If you are a little bit of a sleuth, you can find several different bobbin types on the market today.
Up Close Quilting with Myrna Ficken - August 24, 2012
Myrna started longarm quilting in 1998 when she worked at a longarm dealership. Today, she owns her own business, A Quilter’s Choice, in Laurel, Maryland where she teaches numerous classes and has come out with a number of quilting DVDs.
Couching with Your Longarm - August 22, 2012
"Couching" secures fibers to the surface of the quilt that would not normally fit through the needle's eye.
Fusible Interfacing and Quilts - August 22, 2012
Fusible interfacing has transitioned from a staple in sewing rooms to a valuable tool for many quilters.
Back to School for Quilters - August 15, 2012
Quilt shops have been gearing up all summer for "the return of the quilters” - that special time when piecers and quilters start to think about what projects they can tackle in the long winter months ahead.
Did you know...Manual or stitch regulated? - August 15, 2012
The evolution of machine quilting has produced some wondrous features that early quilters could only dream about.
Did you know...Attending to Pressing Matters - August 7, 2012
The debate about "ironing" versus "pressing" has waned in recent years as quilters finally realize that piecing quilts requires a different skill set apart from the laundry room.
Did you know...What the judges are judging - August 7, 2012
Learn more about some of the "measurable" criteria judges use to evaluate quilts in competition:
Did you know...How Do You Secure Starts and Stops? - July 30, 2012
Quilters for generations have used needles to bury the beginning and ending thread tails on their quilts. However, you may not need to use that extra effort...
Service Tip of the Day: Easy Adjustments to Wheels - July 30, 2012
APQS machines' unique track system has helped quilters glide across the quilts. However, even these wheels need adjustment from time to time to give you great performance
Up Close Quilting with JoAnn Hoffman - July 30, 2012
JoAnn had been doing embroidery for 20 years when she discovered longarm quilting. She has since built a successful quilting studio and dealershipin the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Did you know...Simple Sashing Setting Squares - July 26, 2012
When you're the quilter and not the piecer, you know what a barrel of fun it can be if the sashing strips on a quilt don't quite line up at the corners of the blocks.
Did you know...Do you really HAVE to stitch in the ditch? - July 19, 2012
Quilters can make a case for both a "yes" and a "no" answer...
A rose is a rose - July 17, 2012
Learning how to quilt simple floral shapes, including leaves and vines, is so helpful. If you’re new to freehand quilting,
Up Close Quilting with Angela Huffman - July 9, 2012
Angela started quilting in 2000, and quickly established a successful quilting studio and dealership.
See the Quilt - July 6, 2012
Quilted by APQS Quilt Artists with and APQS Longarm Quilting Machine
Up Close Quilting with Dawn Cavanaugh - July 5, 2012
Ever since I was young, arts and crafts have interested me. Growing up on a farm in Northwest Iowa meant creating your own fun, since trips into town were rare.
Up Close Quilting with Karen McTavish - July 5, 2012
"The things I love about APQS? Where do I begin?" she said. "I love the customer service. I love the control I have of the machine. I love that the machine is easy to maintain. I love that the machine is easy to use and makes me look like a better quilter
Up Close Quilting with Marilyn Badger - July 5, 2012
We sat down with Marilyn Badger, a renowned quilting artist and teacher who has appeared on more than 50 PBS quilting shows with Fons and Porter and whose work has been featured in countless magazines.
Up Close Quilting with Denise Tallon Havlan - July 5, 2012
We sat down with Denise Havlan, an award-winning quilting artist who is known for integrating fine art skills and tools into her wall quilts.
Up Close Quilting with Noriko Endo - July 5, 2012
Noriko literally paints landscapes with her longarm quilting machine, using thread for colors and stitches for brush strokes.
Up Close Quilting with Caryl Bryer Fallert - July 5, 2012
Caryl is an internationally recognized art quilter whose award-winning quilts have appeared in hundreds of national and international exhibitions, collections and publications.
Up Close Quilting with Robbi Joy Eklow - July 5, 2012
Robbi is a talented longarm quilter who travels the nation teaching classes on free-motion quilting, fused appliqué and fabric dyeing.
Up Close Quilting with Ann Johnston - July 5, 2012
Ann is a talented longarm quilter who has an international reputation for her beautiful hand-dyed fabrics and art quilts
Quilting the Quilt: Freedom rings through quilting - June 27, 2012
For decades, quilts have symbolized “heart and home”, wrapping warmth, comfort, and love around family and friends. Dawn profiles two popular patriotic organizations...
2011 Quilting the Quilt articles - June 27, 2012
Dawn's 2011 Quilting the Quilt articles include lots of tips and tricks to help you with your quilting.
2010 Quilting the Quilt articles - June 27, 2012
Dawn's 2010 Quilting the Quilt articles feature hands-on tips, tricks and examples.
2009 Quilting the Quilt articles - June 27, 2012
Here are Dawn's 2009 "Quilting the Quilt" articles with in depth tips, tricks and examples.
Did you know...What's under your bed besides dust bunnies? - June 27, 2012
With all that creativity, time and effort that goes into each project, it's a shame to think of your treasures stuffed into closets or cedar chests. There are better ways to store your quilts (and even show them off!)
Did you know...just how "tight" are you? - June 27, 2012
Somehow, just because we can, we stretch and pull and tighten until our quilt top sits military-style on the frame, ready to bounce a quarter to the ceiling. However, we fail to notice how that tautness pulls at our seams, stretches our borders and makes
Did you know...Hand appliqué tips and tricks - June 27, 2012
Here are some tips that can make your hand appliqué easier while giving you great results.
Did you know...Caring for your steam iron - June 27, 2012
Here are some tips to keep your iron lasting for years and out of the garbage can:
Service tip: Built-in circuit breaker protection - June 27, 2012
Quilters call our service department and comment that their machine is "dead" and won't turn on!
2008 Quilting the Quilt articles - June 26, 2012
Dawn Cavanaugh's "Quilting the Quilt" articles are published in each issue of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting magazine. Each article focuses on a topic and Dawn provides an in depth explanation and example.