One Scrappy Story

I just read a wonderful story about how a scrap quilt came to be.  It’s called  One Scrappy Story

Posted on March 27, 2014 by Diane Harris and here is the link if you are interested:

It’s wonderful to hear how other quilters encounter aspects in a project that are not particularly pleasing. Instead of quitting and tossing it in the “to be donated” bin, Diane kept going and I think she found a beautiful solution. Now, I’m really biased toward scrap quilts, so I tend to like them all, but Diane did a great job choosing a border that gave the piece the cohesiveness it needed. She has some great photos too.  I’d post one, but I don’t have permission, so you’ll have to go to her link to see it. …It’s worth the time.

Bye for now. Wishing you happy stitches. 🙂

Safety First- Rotary Cutter Tips

I’m working on a king size quilt for a client. Here’s the photo of the triangle I will be cutting- I need 100 triangles!Strip Set and Triangle ruler My strip set is 10 yards long, so it is not practical to turn the fabric while cutting. However, EVERY rotary cutter manufacturer will tell you NEVER cut toward you. If you watch the video classes of people using these triangle rulers, nearly everyone cuts toward themselves- saying “Now, be careful.”

Well, back in 1994, I was being careful when the cutter jumped the ruler and sliced off the end of my finger. Since then, I’ve acquired safer tools.


Finger Guard with True GripsThe easiest way to prevent accidents, even if you do cut toward yourself, is to get a ruler guard. Here’s a photo. It’s an “L” shaped piece of plastic. I placed TrueGrips on the bottom of one side and set it on the ruler. The TrueGrips keep the guard from slipping while allowing you to pick up the guard and move it where you need it. Finger Guard on Ruler




Everyone has a favorite rotary cutter. Me too! The Martelli company makes a right hand and left hand rotary cutter,  ergonomically designed to prevent carpal tunnel and other wrist injury. It is comfortable to use and because it fits your hand, it allows you to get an accurate cut.

Left side triangle cut“I’m right handed,” you say, “so why would I want a left handed cutter?”

Safety- Instead of running a right handed cutter towards me, I use my left handed cutter in the safer, correct direction. That’s why I have both rotary cutters. It was the best investment I ever made.

Just so you know, I am not affiliated with any of the products I talk about. I receive no endorsements of any kind. I like to know what other people use and when I find a tool that helps me, I share that info.  The link to the Martelli website is provided at the end of this article if you are interested.

Wishing you safe and happy stitching. I’ve got to go cut some more pieces. 🙂right hand rotary cutter on triangle

Get Your Irish Up! Happy St. Pats Day

I’ve been listening to Celtic music all day while sewing.Celtic Bodhran embroidery





Earlier this week I stitched out a wall hanging with my husband’s Irish family names. I also made several  shamrock mug rugs and mailed them out to family and friends. Green RootsDid you do anything special to celebrate the day?  I’m going to take a break from sewing on Monday and when I get back from jury duty, I’m going to play my bodhran and tin whistles.

Quilting-Sewing Room Clean Up

Can you tell I’ve been working this week?  Cluttered Cutting TableCreative Clutter may be better than Idle Neatness, but my table is 6 feet by 4 feet- that’s 24 square feet, buried with at least a foot deep of mess. It’s Friday night and Saturday is National Quilting Day. I need to find my cutting table! (I also need to figure out how to word wrap around a photo- if anybody knows how to do this in WordPress, please send me an email. I need all the help I can get 🙂   But… I digress.

Part of the mess you see is leftover scraps. I keep the pieces that are larger than 3/4 inch or 2 cm wide. Some people think I should throw away these little bits, but if you stick around for future blog postings, you’ll see some projects I made from these small pieces.  However, until they are needed, I have to keep my stash organized and accessible. I hope this gives you an idea you find helpful.

I use old greeting cards because I can place the really small or odd shaped pieces inside.Little Scraps inside card

And wrap strips around the outside.Wrap fabrics around outside

I store the wrapped cards by color  in plastic food containers that would normally go in the recycle bin. Store in a plastic bin







Just looking at my organized strips and clean table inspires me to get busy on the next project. It’s also easier to work because I found, buried in mess, my scissors, 6″ square ruler, seam ripper, rotary cutter, tweezers, a box of facial tissues, my Frixion pen, and the sample labels I’ve been working on. It’s like an archaeological dig! But it’s done and I’m ready for National Quilting Day….actually, at Kinsey Quilts, every day is quilting day.Clean Table

Wishing you joyful stitches.


Sign Your Work! Creative Quilt Labels

While attending computer class yesterday (yup, I’m still struggling to get a handle on all this technology),

Friendship Quilt Label

Friendship Quilt Label

I struck up a conversation with the lady sitting beside me. She was asking about quilt labels and wondering what to write on them. I hope these thoughts inspire you to sign your work and create beautiful labels.

Why Bother With A Label?

As quilters, we often view our work as gifts of love. The artistic quality is often overlooked. I frequently hear “Well, it’s just something for the kids to drag around and cuddle up in.” This is true. That “something to cuddle up in” is a work of art that came from the heart. It was stitched with loving care. We have to learn to value our work.

“But it’s just a first effort. It’s not really good enough to put a label on.” This is what I used to say, and sometimes I catch myself doing this even today. I had an eye-opening experience with my nephew, Spencer. Spencer is a passionate young painter. He signs every piece he finishes. This is probably required by his art teacher, but there is a lesson here for all of us. Every artwork deserves a signature- even your early efforts.  

Why? Who? Where? When?  What Should A Label Say?

Basic Label

Basic Label

Start with the Title, if your quilt has one.  You have invested thought, effort, blood, sweat, tears and time in each creation, so whenever a title comes to mind,  christen the project with a name.

Who is this quilt for? Was it made for a special occasion?

Why did you choose this design, pattern or color palette?  This can be included if it is part of the reason for the quilt. Sometimes, the answer is so obvious you don’t need it on the label.

Who designed the quilt? Who pieced it? Who quilted it? Often, these tasks are accomplished by more than one person. Always credit the workmanship. It’s just good manners.

Because quilts travel all over the world and down the generations, include the city, state, or country in which the quilt was made. If you are not sure who pieced it, say so. For example, I have some quilts that Grandma Kinsey pieced. I plan to finish them. From the fabrics, I can guess she worked on them during the 1930’s. It’s a guess. I’ll include that info on the label in case it winds up in a historical study sometime in the future.


Whenever I remember to do so, I like to include laundry instructions.Jungle Safari Label

Not everyone knows how to care for a quilt. Some pieces go in the washer and dryer with the sheets and other blankets. Some require “gentle” handling.

Make It Memorable

Whenever possible, decorate your label with a motif that goes with the quilt. I search for embroidery designs that capture the spirit of the project. Below you will find a few examples.

If you need help with the wording on your label, send an email to and I’ll be glad to help you. If you would like a custom label, I would be happy to create one for you. Custom labels start at $8.Libby Flower Quilt label

Ellie Jo Quilt label

Better Cutting with AccuQuilt GO!

This week I am working on a quilt for a client that requires 8 different fabrics 45″ long by width of fabric. Each fabric will be cut into 15 strips 2.5 inches wide by 45″. That’s 120 strips! Cutting this by hand would take a very long time, so I’m using my AccuQuilt GO strip cutter. (I have no affiliations with AccuQuilt GO or anyone at the company. I just like the product.)

If any of you have ever cut strips with the GO, you know that you can get a kink in the fabric at the fold if the fabric is not positioned exactly.

Here’s a photo of the fabric when it looked to the eye that it was placed correctly. When I placed my Helix T-square (no affiliation) securely against the edge of the cutting plate, you can see that it is not aligned.

AccuQuilt Go Cutting 1

I just moved the fabric a little so the fold lined up exactly with the edge of the ruler. I now have my strips all cut perfectly. I hope this idea helps you.  Just make sure you hold the T-square securely against the cutter so the ruler is perpendicular to the cutter. The second photo shows proper fabric alignment.

AccuQuilt Go  Cutting 4


If you have any tips or tricks for using

your AccuQuilt GO!, please leave a

comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Well, I’m off to the Dallas Quilt

Show tomorrow-

Sew many quilts…Sew little time!