Twinkle Twinkle Tannenbaum Quilt

The Twinkle Twinkle Tannenbaum Quilt uses an assortment of holiday fabrics to make this adorable, modern holiday quilt. The throw size is even fat quarter friendly! Naming this quilt was so much fun! I polled my friends and came back with the Twinkle Twinkle Tannenbaum as my favorite! I made 2 sample quilts already and have a third quilt in process! Just take a look at these samples so far!

Red & White Version

I love a red and white quilt! This Twinkle Twinkle Tannenbaum sample was made with Fat Quarters from the Adel in Winter Fat Quarter Bundle by Sandy Gervais for Riley Blake Designs. The background fabric is Vintage Red, a Painter’s Palette Solid for PBS Fabrics. I made this sample in the throw size, so it was simple to use a few of the Fat Quarters from the bundle and have plenty left over for more quilts or other Holiday projects!

Modern Twinkle Twinkle Tannenbaum Quilt

I also made a modern version of the Twinkle Twinkle Tannenbaum Quilt. You may already know that I just love solid fabrics and the Painter’s Palette Solids by PBS Studio are amazing! I used the some of my favorite colors as the Fat Quarters in this quilt sample. Bubblegum, Abyss, Pale Pink, Jade, Real Red, and I used Mahogany for the tree trunks and also Handmade Holidays for the fun print.

Fabric Pull for Modern version of Twinkle Twinkle Tannenbaum

Share your progress and finishes!

We would love to see your version of the Twinkle Twinkle Tannenbaum Quilt! Be sure to share your progress and finishes in the Modern Quilting Group!

Keep on Stitching!

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Christmas Tree Coaster

How to make a Quilted Christmas Tree Coaster

Making and giving a Quilted Christmas Tree Coaster is the perfect gift for your family, friends and neighbors. You can use your scrap fabric and make one or a dozen. Pair of these with a cute coffee mug, hot chocolate bomb, or your friends, favorite coffee and you have a ready to go gift for the holidays! Let me show you how to make these for yourself!

Christmas Tree Coaster - Pinterest Image

Materials Needed

Supplies Needed

Starting the Quilted Christmas Tree Coaster

The first thing to do is to sandwich your backing, with a scrap piece of foam in the middle, and your Christmas tree quilt block on the top.  Taking your clover chalk pen, and a ruler, mark half inch grid lines, diagonally.

Christmas Tree Coaster - Marking the Quilting Lines

Quilting the Christmas Coaster

I used a larger stitch length with my Juki TL-2010Q sewing machine. You can set your stitch length to four. Stitch along the chalk line for all drawn lines.

Christmas Tree Coaster - Straight Line Quilting

Repeat, but cross-hatched

Once you have your first set of diagonal lines, drawn and quilted, go ahead and mark out your second set of quilting lines, just in a perpendicular direction from the first. Use the same technique for the second set of quilting lines, and it finishes out nicely.

Trimming and Binding the Quilt Block

Once you finish quilting, you will trim away the excess foam and backing and prepare your Quilted Christmas Tree Coaster for binding.  You can use the same binding fabric as your backing fabric.

If you need to more tips and tricks on how to bind with this technique, head over to check out THIS ARTICLE that showcases this in depth.

Binding your Christmas Tree Coaster

You can finish up the binding in a quick manner by just enclosing the raw edges with a simple fold. After securing that with stitches, then you can press the binding away from the coaster, and ensure that your corners are snipped before sewing your binding down. 

Finishing your Christmas Tree Coaster

You can either finish your binding by machine or finish your binding by hand. It’s completely up to you! I think these make super cute gifts and I can’t wait to see the Christmas coasters that you make. 

Christmas Tree Coaster - Finished Coaster

Watch the Video

See how simple and fun this project can be! Watch the video tutorial and make these Christmas Tree Coasters for everyone!

Falling for You Quilt Pattern

The Falling for you quilt pattern is my latest pattern release.  I have a video linked below, where I demonstrate how to be make a queen size quilt. This pattern also has the throw and full sizes available.

The Falling for You Quilt Pattern is available in a variety of sizes. This pattern features the Maple Leaf Quilt block in two sizes.  I chose some solid fabrics from my online shop.  This fall fabric bundle turned out to be the perfect combination for this Falling for You Quilt!  Let’s dive into making the maple leaf quilt blocks!

Nancie’s Version

I love the larger leaf and all the smaller leaves surrounding it.

One of my pattern testers, Nancie V, chose a darker palette and it looks amazing! Nancie made the Full sized version. Take a look at her finished quilt! Nancie did an amazing job on her Falling for You quilt! Be sure to keep up with Nancie on her Instagram account.

Nancie sent her quilt top to the long armer for finishing! I can’t wait to see her finished quilt!

Michelle’s Version

Michelle also used solid fabrics for her version of the Falling for You Quilt Pattern.

Michelle chose some really happy color combinations and even made some of the maple leaves with different shades of the same color. How fun!

Michelle completely finished her quilt top so fast that she was even able to get it quilted! I just love this fun version of the Falling for You Quilt Pattern! Be sure to follow along on Michelle’s instagram to see what else she is up to!

Zuzana’s Version

I was truly smitten by Zuzana’s version of the Falling for You Quilt Pattern! I think we all know how much I love this color palette!

Zuzana is quite the photographer too! She took special care in her stitches as well as her photo layout! I mean, take a look at her finished quilt! Amazing!

I just love everything about this picture! Zuzana’s top turned out amazing and it fits perfectly in this amazing scene! Be sure to follow Zuzana’s journey on her Instagram account. You won’t be disappointed!

Lori’s Version

Lori has an amazing version of the Falling for You Quilt Pattern! Her photos make me want to run and vacation at her spaces, right away!

I love her green background and all the lovely batiks for the leaves. Lori said her quilt top came together quickly and I would have to agree! Check out her finished product!

I’m ready to snuggle up in this quilt for a long cozy cup of something warm! Who’s with me? Be sure to keep track of what Lori is doing next on her Instagram account. Lori offers custom quilts and custom quilting with her longarm! Be sure to visit her at Glass House Quilting!

Connie’s Version

Connie was my super fast tester and she also told me that everything came together quickly. I love the fabric’s that Connie chose for her Falling For You Quilt Pattern.

These batik fabrics are perfect for a fall themed quilt! Connie has yellows, oranges and reds with a lovely solid background. Just look at her finished quilt top!

Connie has already dropped off her quilt to her longarmer, so be sure to follow Connie on her Instagram account and see how it all finishes up! Just lovely!

Karen’s Version

Karen completed her quilt top quickly as well! She, like many of my other testers, also chose batiks for the leaves. I love her color collection!

I had to do a double take to make sure I wasn’t sharing the same picture (as Connie’s Version) because they both chose such a similar fabric palette!

Karen managed to even quilt her quilt with a lovely E2E quilt design! She said it seemed appropriate to use her Creative Stitches’ quilt design called ‘Falling for You’ on her version of the Falling For You Quilt Pattern. You can keep up with Karen on her Instagram account.

Karma’s Version

Karma went bold with her background choice and I love it! You can’t miss this version with her amazing fabric selection!

You really can’t go wrong with Kaffe Fassett! I just love how Karma’s quilt top finished up! So much quilty goodness all in one project!

I can’t wait to see what Karma’s quilt will look like, once it’s quilted! Be sure to follow Karma on her Instagram page so you can find out!

Nicole’s Version

I said, ‘Go Big – or Go Home!’ I made the Queen sized version of the Falling for You Quilt Pattern. I used a lovely bundle of fabric that I curated from the Painter’s Palette Solids Collection.

I pieced most of the quilt with my Juki DX-4000. This came together quickly since making the Maple Leaf Quilt Blocks was simple.

Once I had all the different Maple Leaf Quilt Blocks sewn together, it was just a matter of adding all the background fabric and assembling the rows of the quilt.

Sometimes, I use the rails of my Long Arm to organize my rows. This came together quickly, since a majority of the quilt is negative space.

Quilting Falling For You Quilt

I knew that I could use a Quilt Design from the Gold Collection on my QCT5 Quilt Automation. I selected a Maple Leaf Quilt Design and it stitched out perfectly!

Watch the Video

Buy the Pattern

I would love to know your favorite version of the Falling for You Quilt Pattern in the comments below!

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QCT5 – How to Plot a Quilt Design

There are many ways to quilt your quilt. In this article, I will explain how I use my Quilting Automation,
with my Juki J350 QVP Longarm. Juki uses the QCT5 system. QCT5 stands for Quilter’s Creative Touch. The number five is the latest edition of the software. Also in this article, I will explain how I plot out an individual quilt block from start to finish. Let’s get started!

QCT5 Pinterest Pin

QCT5 – Getting Started

This system allows you to quilt designs, instead of using the free motion quilting method. I’m using
QCT5 and choosing “Select & Sew”. This option opens a multitude of Quilting motifs and designs.
The design that I chose is Basic pattern, which is square. However, I need it to Quilt onto a parallelogram shape.

This shape has four plotting points. I’m going to move the head of my long arm, and align the needle to each particular point on the parallelogram shape. I’m in going to assign each corner to the design on my QCT5 interface. Continue to plot out the shape and I’m also going to select the ditch feature. This will basically stitch around the perimeter of my shape.

Handy Tools

I am using a stylus instead of my finger to touch my screen. I have found this to be a more accurate way to command my movements into the system.

These little gadgets are super handy! I have even used them with my iPad and my iPhone! And since I often teach, I uses these on other peoples machines too! You can get these right HERE.

QCT5 – Optimize your Pattern

Once I’ve aligned everything then I’ll select the quilt button. This takes me to some additional features where I’m going to optimize my pattern. The first thing I’m gonna do is take out this trim line.

This aqua blue line simply means that it’s going to require us to move to another section and possibly cut thread and bury threads. Select Remove All. This will turn your trim line into a stitching line. I happen to like this stitching line, so I’m going to leave it.

Start and Stop Options

You’ll notice a red and green circles here. The green means this is where stitching is going to start and the red indicated the stitching end. I prefer to start my stitches on a corner. You can move your start and stops around by clicking the reverse all button.

You can also see how your pattern is going to stitch out by pressing the animate stitching button. I like to slow down the speed for this because I think it goes too fast. There are quite a few features on this page but we’re going to press on to Quilting our parallelogram.

Bobbin Thread Management

So you’ll notice that our stitching point is on the bottom left-hand corner of our shape. I’m going to
manually move the head of my long arm towards that spot. You can let the computer do this for you but I like to go ahead and pull my bobbin thread up, before the stitching begins.

An easy way to move your bobbin thread to the top is to take a single stitch and then pass your top
thread under your quilting foot and grab hold of that bobbin thread. You’ll see the bobbin thread come up. Simply grab that bobbin thread and pull it up and out to the top.

Let’s Press ‘SEW”

At this point, you are ready to stitch out your quilting pattern. Simply click the sew button on the QCT5 interface and your pattern will begin stitching, just as it was programmed. In case you’re wondering, I am using the glide foot. This is a great accessory to have.

The machine I’m using is the Juki J-350 QVP. It has 18 inches of throat space and has built in stitch
regulator. You can learn loads more details about this machine right HERE. The QCT5 package is an
added feature and upgrade from just having a Long Arm. Hooking it up to the QCT5 interface was easy. While I am comfortable quilting in the free motion method, you cannot compete with this quilting automation software! It’s so fun and easy!

QCT5 – Finishing the Quilt Design

Once the pattern is stitched out, it’s time to bring our bobbin thread to the top. This is easy to do.

Make a single stitch at your stopping point. Pull the head of your long arm away from that stitch and
grab the top thread to create some slack. Go back to your stitch point and make a second stitch. Pull
the head back again to reveal your bobbin thread. Now pull these threads and trim.

Bury your Threads

Finally we’re going to bury our threads. I love using the Snag Magic Tool. This little gem comes in a 2 pack and it really helpful for the tedious task of burying threads.

If you bury your threads, you will want to grab this for your quilting studio. You can get these right
HERE. Once you’ve pulled your threads through, simply snip the excess threads and go onto your next block.

Watch the Video

Show us your creations! Whether you use a quilt automation or not, we want to see your quilts! Be sure to post these in our Modern Quilting Community.
Happy Stitches,

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Float A Quilt Top

I love to float a quilt top on my frame. There are several ways to load your quilt onto your quilting frame. My favorite way to load a quilt on a frame is to float a quilt top. I have found this method to be quick and easy. Make sure to watch the video at the end of this article as well!

Start with your Backing

First we will start with our backing. For this Quilt, I am using only solid fabrics from PaintBrush Studio. This line of fabric is called painters palette at and it is my favorite solid fabric because of the quality, color consistency and the high thread count.

I highly recommend you try this brand of solid fabrics. The color I’m using is called Honey and it’s really going to complement the front of the Quilt.

About my Quilting System

My quilting frame is Juki J350 Miyabi QVP. I can create beautiful stitches on my quilt with plenty of space. I have 18 inches of horizontal throat space between the arm of the machine and the needle and 10-inch height, unlike most long arm quilting machines, which only provide an 8-inch height or less.

All these amazing capabilities come mounted on a deluxe quilting frame of up to 12 feet. I have a 10 foot quilting frame, which fits perfectly in my home sewing studio. There are two (5 foot) rails that create this frame, so the center line is easy to find. I also have markings on my leaders which I intentionally aligned with my center marking of the top rail.

Loading the Backing

In a previous video, I shared how I use the red snapper system to load my quilt. This system is quick and easy and that is what I’m using here. I snap the top, center, of my backing onto the top rail. I pull the rest of my quilt through so that it goes underneath the dead bar.

The first thing we’re going to do is locate the center of the top of the backing. I’m just folding the backing in half to identify the center and then marking it with a sewing pin. Next, I am locating the center of my quilt frame. Using the turning wheel on the frame, I advance my quilt so that the bottom of my backing is easily accessible to my backing rail. Again, locate the center of my backing, this time, on the bottom. I repeat the same process by aligning and snapping the bottom of the backing to the backing rail. Once I get the top of the backing and the bottom of the backing attached to the rails, I move the backing back to its starting position.

Float your Batting

Now it’s time to load the batting. This particular batting is called Elegant Blend, by Stitch N Time. Stitch in Time Elegant Blend 80/20 (which is 80% cotton and 20% Polyester) is a premium blend batting designed by quilters for quilters. This batting is needle-punched into a very fine scrim providing a stable and tug-gable batting for frame quilting but still wonderful for hand or domestic quilting. I used the twin sized package, which is the perfect width for this quilt.

I’m just aligning the top of my batting against the top of my backing. I’ll let the remainder of the batting float over the edge of the rails. There are rails at the bottom of my frame that I could attach this batting to, but I like to float my quilts so I just let it drape over the edge. I’m using my side clamps to attach each side of my quilt. This helps to create an even quilting surface. These can easily adjusted to fit your quilt.

Float a Quilt Top

I’m also going to float my quilt top. This is just a personal preference. Many people like to attach the bottom of the top to the rail system, but I just like to float my tops. The quilt that I am loading is the Turntables Quilt. I have this pattern available in both paper or PDF format!

Once I align my batting and my quilt top, I’m going to do some large basting stitches with my long arm.

Baste Your Quilt

My Juki J-350 QVP has a basting function which helps me make sure that my Quilt stays put during the entire Quilting process. I’m simply basting and advancing the quilt until I get to the end. Each time I advance my Quilt, I make sure that the Quilting surface is taunt, but not super tight. It’s a delicate balance that you’ll learn over time. With each quilt advancement, I am applying another row of basting stitches.

My Juki J-350 QVP lets me choose how large I want my basting stitches to be. I usually choose the largest stitch, since these will eventually be taken out either as I am quilting or after I am done quilting. It’s helpful to use a contrasting thread for basting. This makes it really easy to identify what needs to be removed. I like to trim off the excess batting. I don’t trim it too close to the edge of the quilt because you might need a little extra room when you finally get to the end of the quilt. I just don’t want all of the excess rolled up on my rail, so I just trim it off.

Ready for Quilting

Once I have the quilt basted then I will move the quilt back to the starting point and prepare my machine for the edge to edge design I have chosen.

I also have the quilting automation package on my my machine. This package is called Quilters Creative Touch 5 or QCT5. Look for more articles and lessons on this quilting automation.


I would love to hear from you about how you load your quilts! Do you like to float your tops?

Be sure to share your makes in my Community Group and don’t forget to join my Newsletter, where I share all the best tips, techniques, specials and events!

Happy Stitching!

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How to plan an Quilt Retreat

You all know that I love to sew with friends, right?  In fact, I like to fill my schedule with these types of events!  Having the right space, mix of friends and even some sponsored goodies can really make it a great time for everyone!  I wanted to share a really fun event that we had.  I hope you can glean some tips from my event planning and make a fun event for you and your own Quilty friends!  Let’s take a peek into my process of how to plan a quilt retreat!

Who to invite

We all have a variety of sewing and quilting friends. When you think about who you want to attend your Quilty Retreat, try to think about which of your friends are best suited to spend time together. As you know, not all personalities will mesh well together. With that in mind, see if you can’t pair your friends nicely. This doesn’t mean that you have to have assigned seating but it’s always nice to sew with your favorite Quilty people.

Overnight Accommodations

Sometimes, you’ll get an opportunity to either attend or plan an overnight retreat. This is usually done in a facility that can accommodate overnight guests. Sometimes, you’re lucky enough to have a friend who can host something like this, but that is few and far between. Many of the overnight retreats that I have attended are either in a facility that was built specifically for this purpose or in a hotel type setting. Which ever you planner attend, it’s important to pick your roommates wisely. Many times, we won’t get our own bedroom. Sometimes, we even have to share a bed! It’s always a good idea to bring earplugs and anything that helps you feel comfortable sharing a sleeping space.

Location, Location, Location

I’m always on the hunt for a new retreat location. In fact, I just learned of a new place that’s only a couple hours away. I’ll be able to share more about that after our planned retreat this fall. One of my favorite things to look for in a location is whether or not it’s relatively easy to drive to. I’ve only attended retreats that have been less than three hours away and that seems to be a manageable amount of distance to drive for a retreat. I know there are several of my friends that have flown to destination retreats and even attended retreat cruises!

The Sewing Lounge (owned and operated by The Fabric Chic in Parkville, MO)

Workstation Setup

Another important thing to consider is each attendees workstation set up. Will each quilter have enough room to work on a project? Are there enough ironing boards and irons? Sometimes, a location can’t even accommodate the amount of wattage that’s required in order to run multiple irons at once. I like to ensure that there are ergonomic cutting stations available. There’s nothing worse than leaving a quilt retreat with a desperate need for a massage. Working in an awkward position all weekend to cut out your different projects can be hard on your back! Another nice thing to have at our “retreat is a design wall. Obviously, you can bring those portable design walls. But it’s really nice if you have a location that already has this affixed to the wall.

Inside the Sewing Lounge – Adjustable height tables, comfortable swivel chairs, design walls and plenty of outlets for all your tools and devices

Food and Snacks

Most quilt retreat centers will have a fully functional kitchen. If you are retreating overnight, you are looking for a full-size refrigerator, an oven, microwave, and all the dishes and pots and pans and utensils that you and your group will need. If you are just planning a retreat (without the overnight), then you can settle for a place that perhaps has a smaller kitchen/dining setup. You can increase your daily cost by catering in your meals, or or you can get organized and assign meals to the attendees. Programs like sign-up genius or even a simple spreadsheet can help you stay organized when you want to make sure that everyone understands how the meals will be handled. Never fear, there’s always gonna be way too many snacks to go around!

This was our SBG and Sew Hot Mamas Quilt Retreat in the Spring of 2022

Planned Group Projects

When you plan a retreat, you can also plan a group project. This could simply mean that you have everyone make a specific quilt block for a specific project like Project Linus or Quilts of Valor. You could also organize an instructor to teach a technique or offer a little project as a learning experience through the course of the retreat. I’ve also attended retreats where the theme is UFOs. Everybody brings something they haven’t started and the goal is to finish an unfinished object. You certainly don’t have to plan a project or even a theme for your retreat. It’s always nice to have options though.

We made our own Quilt Retreat T-shirts, with the help of the Ricoh Ri100 DTG Printer

Games and Giveaways

Everyone loves to win prizes! You can either arrange to have prizes donated by a sewing or quilting related company or you can ask each retreaters to donate a giveaway. I like to keep it fun and exciting and draw names from a hat during the retreat. Playing games is also a good time at a quilt retreat. I like to let folks know, in advance, that we will be playing my favorite game when I schedule a retreat.

I love the dice game of left right center. Tell all interested attendees to bring three fat quarters with them in order to play. Most recently, we started theming our fat quarters so that the one winner will have enough fabric to make an entire quilt instead of them winning a random variety of fabric. Having door prizes and a fun game keeps things interesting and lively the entire length of the retreat. We had some very generous sponsors for this retreat!

The Grace Company, Magic Quilting Spray, Aurifil, Oliso, Birdie Batting, and The Fabric Chic were very generous with the door prizes and random drawings throughout the retreat weekend. We are so grateful!

I want to know!

I would love to hear from you (in the comments below) of your favorite retreat location! Maybe you have a favorite retreat tradition to share.

I’m looking forward to learning more about new places to quilt together!

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