Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sew Steady Table Review

Recently I purchased a Sew Steady table for my BERNINA 780.  I had walked by their booth a couple of times at Market and was intrigued.  Their tables enlarge your elevated sewing space quite a bit, making for easier piecing and quilting, and they are portable.  Of course, in an ideal situation we would all have a full size cabinet-sized table with a sunken place to put our machines but - well, I don't know about you - personally I work in the middle of everything.  My workspace is constantly changing; I may have the sewing machine out one day and a graphics tablet the next.  It is one of the things that I love about my job, but, in a limited space shared with family it can be a challenge.

When you order a Sew Steady table you need to specify the machine you work with.  I vacillated between ordering one for my BERNINA 580 and my BERNINA 780, but in the end I chose the 780 because I quilt on it more regularly.

The Sew Steady table mounted on the BERNINA 780
When the table arrived I assembled it and mounted it on the machine.  At first the left side of the table, near the needle, was a little too elevated and the right side near the neck of the machine, was a little too low, but I called Sew Steady and this was easily remedied with a slightly shorter set of legs.

The table has a grid, which you install on the backside of
the plastic.  It has special markings for 1/4" seams.

I was really excited when I got to try the table for the first time this weekend.  I knew it would make quilting larger quilts a bit easier, but I was surprised how much easier it made smaller pieces, like pillows or table toppers.  Virtually the entire piece fit on the table so there was no drag.  Of course, if you were quilting larger pieces you would still want to make sure you had plenty of space behind and the the left of the machine to take the weight of the quilt, but the table does make things easier.  Verdict:  If you are someone who always dragging your machine around the house with you like a security blanket like me (haha) Sew Steady's extended (but still portable) space might be something you would want to consider.

Quilting a design using the Sew Steady table
and the BERNINA Stitch Regulator
Oh, I almost forgot, for you organized sewers out there there is a drawer underneath the table to hold scissors and pins etc.  I need to train myself to use this because I'm a train wreck when I sew and have always have to pick up my mess at the end of the day.

Happy sewing!

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Hugs and Kisses Blog Hop and a Giveaway

And the winners are of the giveaways, according to the random number generator, are Theresa here who likes Everbloom in Ivory and Light Blue and Wendy Christian over on Instagram!  Congratulations! Ladies, please send me your snail mail addresses.

Hi everyone,

Today is my day to post my project for the Hugs and Kisses Blog Hop going on at Sew We Quilt.  We were asked to sew 1, 2, or 3 Valentine's-themed paper-pieced blocks designed by Soma from Whims and Fancies.  Proceeds for these patterns go to charity and you can find out more about where to get them at Sew We Quilt.

Of course I had to use Topiary!   I decided to use the heart block since it was my favorite.  I wanted to use the X and O blocks too but in the border.  Since I was shrinking the size of these blocks I appliquéd them, rather than paper-pieced them.

I decided to quilt swirls in the background to contrast with the
straight quilting in the heart.
And I free motioned petals in white border blocks.
I debated about the corners and almost did them in the dark pink fabric,
but in the end I decided to fussy cut the "Arbor Walk" print to
showcase the smaller topiaries.
And now for the giveaway!  I'll be giving away a copy of my block-of-the-month Under the Veranda, (which is pictured in Topiary on the cover), three patterns from my line, and a fat quarter of the "Gazebo" fabric in all three colors.

The giveaway prize...

To enter, hop on over to the Topiary page at Blend Fabrics and leave a comment below telling me what is your favorite Topiary print.  One comment per person please and let me know how to reach you if you are an anonymous.   For an additional chance to win go follow me on Instagram (AMANDAMURPHYDESIGN) and mark my picture of this project over there as a "favorite".  So there will be an Instagram winner and a blog winner, okay?  Deadline is today, Tuesday the 18th, at midnight.

And be sure to check out all the other sites on the hop today!

Lady Lana

Lady Judy

Lady Shanna
Lady Kay

Thanks to Madame Samm and Soma for hosting this blog hop.  Happy quilting everyone.  Have a great week!



Topiary Table Topper

I'm guest blogging over at Blend Fabrics blog today with a free pattern just in time for spring!

Topiary Table Topper
When Blend asked me to create a special design for this line I was sure I wanted to do something garden-related and a Dresden-style garden gate design fit the bill.  

You can find the pattern here.
If you are a shop ordering Topiary  please be sure to contact me so I can add you to the list of those stocking the line on my blog!

Happy sewing!

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sundance Quilt: Part 1

Hi everybody,
Yardage for my Topiary collection from Blend Fabrics arrived just over a week ago and I've been busy planning how I want to use it for my new version of my Sundance quilt that I'm going to sew along with BERNINA fans everywhere.  (Sundance is a quilt I designed for BERNINA that is available exclusively through their dealerships.  If your dealer is in the US they already have access to the directions, and BERNINA is hard at work trying to arrange it to be available through their international dealers as well, so keep asking and stay tuned!)

Here is the original version of the Sundance quilt in my "Bonjour, Mon Ami" collection…

Sundance in (mostly) Bonjour, Mon Ami

And here are the Topiary options I've been playing with…

Sundance in Topiary (Option 1)
Sundance in Topiary (Option 2)
Sundance in Topiary (Option 3)

I think I'm leaning toward Option 1, but what do you all think?  If interested, you can access the SKUs I used for these versions here...

For shops looking to order the Topiary collection please call Blend Fabrics at 1-855-817-0604.  And don't forget to let me know you ordered Topiary so I can add you to my list!

For all of your quilters out there, I will be keeping a list of shops that are stocking all 15 SKUs of the Topiary collection.  I added a special section to the top right sidebar of my blog to start.

Remember, if you are sewing the quilt, to note #berninausa #sundancequilt to share your fabric choices on Instagram!  You don't have to do it in my fabrics - choose whatever strikes your fancy!  (My local shop, Sew Much Fun, in Lowell, NC, is doing this quilt in batiks and I just can't wait to see it!)

Happy quilting!

P.S.  I'm sorry, but I can't sell the directions to Sundance to anyone directly as per the terms of my agreement with BERNINA.  I do have another Block-of-the-month called Under the Veranda available also in Topiary.  You can find it here.  If you are a shop you can contact me directly to place a wholesale order for that pattern or order it through any of the major distributors.

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Hugs and Kisses Blog Hop

Well, it isn't my day until Tuesday but I just wanted to share with you the really fun Valentine's Day-themed Hugs and Kisses Blog Hop going on over at Sew We Quilt.  Here is the schedule:

Feb 12th

Lady Carol

Lady Sandy

Lady Cynthia

Lady Pat

Lady Jolie

Lady Susan

Feb 13th

Lady Beth

Lady Jenny

Lady Britt-Inger

Lady Carla

Lady Marian 

Lady Lyndsey

Feb 14th

Lady Soma

Lady Laura Ann

Lady Doris

Lady Rexie

Lady Shari

Feb 17th

Lady Mary

Lady Vickie

Lady Anne

Lady Selina

Lady Theresa

Lady Jane

Feb 18th

Lady Lana

Lady Judy

Lady Shanna

Lady Amanda

Lady Kay

Feb 19th

 Lady Bente

Lady Kristen

Lady Linda

Lady Marcy

Lady Susie

Mdm Samm

There are some really fantastic projects there so be sure to check it out!

Happy sewing!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Craftsy President's Day Sale

Craftsy is celebrating Presidents' Day with a sale.  Select classes are up to 50% off and my Elegant Embroidered Bags class is available at a discounted rate!  We are still digging out from snow down here in the south, but I'll be back Monday to do my first post for the BERNINA Sundance quilt.  I hope you will join me!

Happy sewing!


Friday, February 7, 2014


Guess what the fedex man brought to my doorstep yesterday?

Topiary, my newest collection for Blend Fabrics, will be shipping to shops later this month.  If you like this collection, please ask your local shop owner to order it.  I'm so excited because it is just in time for spring!

I'll be back next week with a sneak peek of some projects and maybe even a giveaway!  Have a great weekend, everyone!


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