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FREE Sew & Trace Worksheet

I am passionate about teaching others to sew, particularly the next generation. I am in the minority as a thirty-something woman in the quilting community, but even fewer members of the next generation are learning to sew. To help spread the sewing and quilting love across multiple generations, my husband and I designed a series of Sew and Trace worksheets that can be printed on a home printer. I taught my children to sew using lines on printer paper, because paper is stiffer and easier to maneuver than fabric, and cheaper as well! 

Remember to establish safety rules before sewing with a child, and the age at which they are old enough to safely use a sewing machine with supervision will vary from child to child. [. . .]

How to Make a Microwave Bowl Cozy with Precut Squares

If you have been quilting for any length of time, you most likely have a stack of
precut 10" fabric squares in your stash. Many of them are probably unopened, but you may also have some odd pieces left from quilts that did not use all of the squares. There are many quilt patterns that you can make using these handy precuts, however, there are other quick projects that they are useful for as well!

The handmade gift I have had the most feedback from over the years has been one of the simplest: microwave bowl cozies. I made a dozen or so of them about five years ago and gave them as holiday gifts. I have had many of the recipients ask “When are you making more?” or suggest that 
[. . .]

Teaching the Next Generation to Sew

For quilting to continue to be a multi-billion dollar industry, we must teach the next generations the art of sewing.

The majority of children and young adults are not learning how to sew in the home or at school like so many did in the past. Most quilters that I know are in their sixties or seventies and say that they learned in Home Ec or from a family member when they were young. Home Ec has not been offered in schools for decades and very few young people, in my experience, are learning to sew in the home. [. . .]

It was a little over a decade ago that I first heard the term quilt guild. My husband was on a 15-month deployment in Iraq, I was trying to figure out motherhood on my own and I was a million miles from any family. I had made a number of quilts at this point, but I was stretched thin and worn out. I came across an opportunity to have a photo quilt made for my daughter using my husband's photos and happily submitted photos to be printed and made into a quilt. A local guild was donating their time to make these precious quilts for children, like my daughter, who did not quite understand why their Dad (or Mom) were gone for so long. [. . .]
Moda Village Quilt Along

Moda and Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. have generously given their 
Moda Village quilt pattern to their retailers to use for marketing or business purposes. I thought that the village was a lovely representation of our quilting community, so I am encouraging you to join in a little quilt along, block swap, or both. You choose.

This is great for using and mixing up charm packs, making a dent in your scrap bin, using layer cakes, or even fat quarters. The pattern is a FREE download on my website ($9 retail value), and I just ask that you spread the quilting love as you use it, and if you share your blocks and quilts online to please include the hashtags #emiandkostudio and #modavillage so I can see all of the beautiful blocks and quilts! [. . .]

Why Wide Backing?

If you have been quilting for a number of years, you have more than likely come across wide backing. It is available in widths such as 90” and 108”, and there are some good reasons to consider it for your next project. 

The two main reasons that I encourage you to use it are that it can save you time and money. It saves time, because you do not need to seam any fabric together, and it can save you money because it costs less per square inch than regular yardage. If you like to match up pattern repeats when seaming a backing, this takes even more time and more yardage, however, with wide backing this need is eliminated. 

One downside is that there is a much more limited selection of prints and colors than regular yardage, and you may not be able to coordinate prints or fabric collections from the front as easily. Some fabric designers, however, will release coordinating wide backing prints with some of their collections, but you will want to snatch it up since it most likely will not be reprinted.  

Another con to consider is that 108” wide fabric can be a little cumbersome to work with, and although a larger cutting mat or cutting area can help, not everyone has these available. In addition, squaring the fabric can take some extra time and patience, but the pros still outweigh the cons for me. 

Let’s look at a price comparison using Moda fabric. 

Moda Bella Solid wide backing is $12.99/yard, so for a king size quilt it is $38.97 for 3 yards of wide backing (108” x 108”). If you were to piece 42-44” yardage you would need 9 yards @ $7.99 for Bella Solids $71.91 (131” x 108”). So wide backing ends up being about $33 less (46% savings), plus lots of extra fabric for future quilts or sashing.

The actual savings will ultimately depend on the size of your quilt top, and you may not always have a purpose for the excess fabric that will result in some cases, but the savings are pretty large.