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The Virtual Quilt, A

Newsletter for Computing Quilters

Number Twenty-Five * July 1, 1998

Classifieds | Table of Contents

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TWO BOOK REVIEWS: Falling for the Trick

By Christina Holland

LeMoyne Stars Made Easy
Sharyn Squier Craig
Chitra Publications, 1998
32 pages, $12.95

Sharyn Squier Craig's book, LeMoyne Stars Made Easy, saved my quilt.

I'm new to this quilting thing. I have yet to actually make a full size quilt. When I found out that three of my friends were getting married this year, I naturally figured it would be great to make a quilt for each of them, designed with their personalities in mind. Naturally.

The first one to tie the knot will be "Skippy" in July. Now, Skippy's a huge science fiction fan -- into Star Wars and Star Trek and so on -- he even owns a Trek uniform. Therefore his quilt needed to feature stars. I envisioned a random field of stars, of all different varieties. Unfortunately, I didn't know how to make any of them. In my very first quilting books, Start Quilting (Alex Anderson) and Quilting made Easy (Karen Costello Soltys) I found the Friendship and Ohio stars. I got the hang of them fairly quickly, but they were pretty simple. I wanted bigger and better.

The coolest stars are variations on the LeMoyne star theme. Where Friendship and Ohio Stars have squares and triangles on an ordinary nine patch, the LeMoyne brings in the diamond - and removes any semblance of a regular grid. You have to join three, not two, pieces of fabric together for each sub-unit. But when you're done, you have a star with eight, twelve, or sixteen points - a star, basically, that looks like a star. So, I set out to master LeMoyne stars.

Several days later I was just about ready to admit defeat, when a package arrived from my in-laws (the ones I blame for starting this quilting obsession in the first place). In the box was LeMoyne Stars Made Easy.

After an introduction and a short first chapter meant to bring the reader up to speed on strip cutting, Craig devotes chapter 2 to carefully written step-by-step instructions for the basic LeMoyne Star. Each step is clear and concise, plainly labeled and accompanied by a color photo. This is not a book you read and then set aside to sew. It stays open, right next to your machine for easy referencing.

Soon I had a pretty pile of 6-inch LeMoyne stars. More telling, I had the confidence to keep reading past Chapter 2.

For the more complex blocks, Craig no longer provides step-by-step instruction. For each, however, there is a picture of the complete block, cutting measurements for two different block sizes, templates, and a handy diagram to guide the order of piecing.

This book is full of cheerfully-given, sound advice, helpful tips, and tons of pictures -- photographs of the finished product as well as the method, and plenty of diagrams. It is perfect for a raw beginner like me, but contains enough advanced blocks to interest a much more experienced quilter.


Big 'n Easy Mini Quilts: 17 Enchanting Projects
Christiane Meunier
Chitra Publications 1998
32 pages. $12.95

I read quilting books because I like to try new things. And because I believe that a new project, undertaken with the help of a book, will take less time than the same project without the book.

That was not the case this time.

Big 'n Easy Mini Quilts looks like the perfect book for a beginner. It's full of projects which are small enough and simple enough to be completed within a day. I will say that it contains some very helpful hints of which I would not have thought. I chose to do the "shoo fly" mini quilt, which has lots of small pieces. Meunier shows how to simplify the piecing of several small squares by first stitching on a larger square, and then cutting.

This is a book that had the potential to be very good. The projects are fun and attractive when finished. Each section has a photo of the finished quilt and directions, including color diagrams to show the steps and the piecing order.

This makes it all the more aggravating that a little more effort was not put into the book. For each quilt, Meunier provides a list of the types and amounts of fabric you'll need. Don't trust it. I haven't done the math for all of the quilts, but I discovered the hard way that the 1/4 yard of muslin print she recommends for the pattern I was using was not going to stretch to cover the 13 inches of fabric required by the cutting instructions. That meant a waste of fabric and time, since I had to scramble to find a different muslin in my stash.

I found some new fabric, and I had to admit it was probably a better one to use, so I was prepared to forgive a little mathematical clumsiness. I did all the cutting, and started on the piecing. It was all going along fine until I realized that the quilt was going to be completed without my ever needing the twenty 1-1/2 inch squares which I had, following instructions, cut from the muslin.

I figured maybe that line in the instructions was put in by accident - that probably explained the earlier confusion on the amount of fabric needed. Wrong. Even without those squares, a quarter yard would have been insufficient.

Also, the instructions call for setting triangles, both half and quarter squares, but cutting information is given only for the half squares. You can't just cut the half squares in two; the edges don't match up. Similarly, cutting instructions were provided for the small squares in the sashing, but not for the triangles formed when they intersected the quilt edge. Perhaps the expectation is that the reader knows all about setting triangles. However, this was my first time laying blocks out on point. (By the way, if you do want instructions on setting triangles, sashing and other mysteries of life, check out chapter 4 "setting solutions" of Sharyn Squier Craig's LeMoyne Stars Made Easy.)

I did finish my "shoo fly" mini quilt (well, almost - I'll get the binding done eventually). It only took a Saturday afternoon and evening, and I was able to use fabrics I already had. It was even fun, mostly. If you like mini quilts, to hang on your wall or make into a pillow or whatever, then by all means, take a look at this book. There are some great ideas in there.

Just don't trust this book's instructions too much. Read all of the piecing instructions first, to see what you'll actually need to cut. Then figure out how much material you'll need. It's kind of like back in grade school, when the teacher would hand out a test and say "Be sure and read all of the instructions." Then you'd struggle with instructions number 1 through 9, which would be things like "Write down the chemical formula for penicillin" or "Give the square root of the population of Mongolia." When you got to number 10, it would tell you to "Disregard instructions 1 - 9. Write your name at the top and hand in this paper."

I think I only fell for that trick once.

Christina Holland lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, with her husband and two cats. She quilts when she's not studying for her doctorate in physical oceanography. You can see her various quilting projects at



Beautiful hand Dyed Fabric perfect for piecing, applique and pictorial quilts. Colors range from a sunrise spectrum of mauves, pinks, and golds to deep purples, blues and teals. Available in the following convenient packages:

8 step color progression- fat eighth cuts- 1 yard $25.00
12 step color wheel- 6"x22"cuts 1 yard $25.00
24 step color wheel- 6"x22" cuts 2 yards $45.00
  10" squares 1.5 yards $35.00

Send a self addressed, stamped envelope for free samples and full price list or to order send check or money order to:

Jay Dee Designs
18640 South Lowrie Loop
Eagle River, Alaska 99577


PCQuilt for Windows

PCQuilt for Windows is easy to learn and easy to use quilting software. The block and the quilt are on the same screen so you can see your quilt emerge as you design and color your blocks. Combine blocks in a variety of ways to see endless new designs. The program includes all the features that have always made PCQuilt easy and fun to use. Now with the new Windows version, PCQuilt will help you estimate your yardage, print templates, quilts and blocks, and has a friendly Windows interface with easy to use toolbars. PCQuilt comes with a extensive library of blocks, border, quilts, palettes and fabric patterns. Manual with disk, $85. PCQuilt is also available for the Macintosh. Visit our web site at .

Nina Antze 7061 Lynch Road Sebastopol, CA 95472 1-800-731-8886

DESERT THREADS Custom Embroidery and Screenprinting

Want to make a splash at the next guild meeting or quilt show? We embroider Ocean Waves, Jacob's Ladder, Shoo-fly and three other popular quilt designs on t-shirts, sweatshirts, and large zippered tote bags. Available in a variety of colors on six different colored garments, these designs will be the envy of your quilting friends.

We also specialize in custom logos for quilt guilds and businesses. Also available are quality embroidered custom labels for quilt backs. No minimum quantity is required and vendor inquiries are welcome.

E-mail us for more information at or visit our website at

You can take a look at our designs and order online using our automated form.

Desert Threads 195 Regier Springs Drive Sparks, NV 89436 (702) 425-2726


We are a cottage industry located just outside of Yosemite National Park. We specialize in clothing and patterns for quilters and for people who love quilts.

We offer t-shirts and sweatshirts in sizes from medium to xxx-large. All of our quilts are machine pieced. Most of our patterns are easy enough for beginning quilters. The photo at right shows our watercolor sweatshirt called "Kristie's Watercolor." There are 361 pieces in the quilt. Come see what else we have to offer at our website at !

Or e-mail for more information to

The Quilt Block P.O. Box 127 Midpines, CA 95345

(209) 742-5418 Fax: (209) 742-7662


Combining the best features of metal and leather thimbles, My Favorite Thimble's tough, colorful, rubbery surface grips the needle for wonderful stitch control, while the metal base guarantees that you never have to worry about sticking your finger. This thimble is a breeze to pick up or put down when you need to switch to another task.

My Favorite Thimble comes in two styles. You can choose between the standard royal blue, and my new embellished version on which I have added colorful free-form designs. Both styles work equally well, the embellished one just puts a smile on your face.

Hot Summer Offer for Planet Patchwork and TVQ readers only. During July and August, My Favorite Thimble is having a Price Melt-Down. The standard MFT is now only $5.00 and the embellished version is now only $8.00! Such A Deal! Send your check along with your choice of size (petite, small, medium, large, or x-large) to:

Chris Hanner & Company
3687 Coldwater Lane
Snellville, GA 30039


The MINI DUST-IT. Genuine sheepskin duster on a 6" stick that is perfect for picking up dust and lint from your sewing machine and serger. Soft, beautiful sheepskin won't scratch polished surfaces. Picks up the lint and tiny threads; doesn't spread them around. Prevents lint build-up. Inexpensive way to protect expensive sewing machines and sergers. Fun and handy to use. Also works great on the computer.

Price: $3.50 each including mailing.

To order send check to Silver Dollar Sheep Station, 5020 Winding Way, Sacramento, CA 95841. 800-887-8742. E-mail:

SPECIAL LIMITED TIME OFFER: Because we manufacture the Mini Dust-it to a very high standard, we currently have a supply of  imperfects. They may be thinner and not as pretty or have some other defect, but they still work great! And best of all we offer these to you for just $1, including postage. You can order them at the address above and enjoy this wonderful product at a bargain price!


The QuiltBroker is The THANGLES Place!

Try this EASY way to make half-square triangles. Thangles are now available in several NEW sizes!

Get a new and exclusive FREE pattern every month.


Quilt Shop Service -- Discount Prices

20% off retail on most items

When you visit PineTree Quiltworks' website catalog, don't forget to check out the Virtual Fabric store, where fabric is discounted! With more than 2500 bolts on the floor, more fabric goes on the website catalog each week, at prices 20% off retail.

Don't miss PineTree's **New** Stash Stockers(tm), the exciting selections of six fat quarters from top manufacturers!

PineTree now carries the complete line of EQ software, including New SEW PRECISE stand-alone software for foundation piecing. You'll find it with EQ 3 and Block Base software and the books, TOO MUCH FUN, EQ3 SIMPLIFIED The Basics, and the EQ3 BLOCK BOOK.

PineTree is proud to offer Quilter's Cotton fine cotton batts as well as the full lines of Hobbs' and Fairfield's cottons, blends, and polys. Look for tools to make applique easier and more fun; fabric and hand care products; pencils and markers; templates and template plastic; needlecraft gloves; rotary cutters and related supplies; rippers, clippers, snippers, and scissors; machine sewing needles; seven (!) brands of hand sewing needles -- including Jeana Kimball's renowned Foxglove Cottage needles; basting systems; thread, including Mettler and Gutermann cotton sewing and quilting, Tire silk sewing, and Sulky rayon, metallic, and sliver, and *new* Roxy 100% cotton thread on economical 1200-yard spools; patterns ... and

There are many more books at PineTree than you'll find in the books listing online, so if you don't see what you want, e-mail and ask. All books are discounted 20%.

Just scope out the website catalog at and place your credit card order from the ***new*** secure website order form. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover are welcome.

Free with each order a hard copy of the catalog and a Mettler thread color card!

PineTree is online to answer questions about quilting products at


Gridded Geese(c) is a unique paper foundation method for mass-producing Flying Geese units up to 24 at once (no kidding!). Schoolhouse Enterprises, inventors and manufacturers of this revolutionary product, offers both an on-line ( ) and printed version of their catalog.

WOW! Now Schoolhouse Enterprises is even better! They now have an on-line shopping cart service in conjunction with Planet Patchwork. Now you can safely order online through Planet Patchwork with your credit card!

The folks at Schoolhouse Enterprises and Planet Patchwork search for items for quilters (and friends of quilters) which are unique and often overlooked by other catalogs you might connect with. Check out their on-line catalog, which offers such interesting items as Photos-to-Fabric(tm) photo transfer paper, Ott Lights, and now Planet Patchwork items... all at discounted prices! And while you're visiting, be sure to check out the current Monthly $pecial!!

If you're not able to access the web page, just e-mail Schoolhouse Enterprises ( ) with your "snail mail" (post office) address for your FREE CATALOG and Sample of Gridded Geese(c)! (Sorry, but Samples are only available in the printed catalogs.)


Perfect Square's mother is pregnant and about to have a new product. Perfect Triangle is due any day now. Perfect Triangle is also a REUSABLE iron-on design but it will make quarter square triangles instead of half-square triangles.

Perfect Square is growing up now and has gotten a job at a creative quilt pattern company and is doing quite well. In fact, patterns are being written exclusively for Perfect Square. See the Perfect Square web site at fore details.


Our advertisers, both here in the newsletter and at the Planet Patchwork website, have found TVQ to be an effective and economical way to reach thousands of online quilters. Ads in the newsletter are only $5 each (up to 100 words, inquire about longer ads) or 3 for $10, and there are also attractive packages available which combine newsletter and website ads. For more information e-mail or visit We specialize in helping small quilting-related businesses gain exposure on the internet.

In This Issue:

Following is a list of the rest of the stories in this issue of TVQ. In order to read them, you must be a subscriber. Subscribing online here and following up with the small subscription fee will entitle you to eight issues of TVQ, including this one. You will receive TVQ every six weeks by e-mail, and will be issued a password to access it here at Planet Patchwork.

Subscribers: Please report any password problems to Rob Holland. Be sure to include your name & e-mail address. We will try to resolve all password problems within 24 hours. Thank you!

And here's what's inside!

TVQ visits three quilt shops in Maryland, including the fabled G Street. Which ones were best? The visits yielded a few surprises!

Anita Smith's dream comes true, with the help of the web!

Author of a great new book on quilt labels shares her insights with TVQ readers.

Pat Autenrieth's background in painting and other fine arts brings an unusual dimension to her quilts. She also maintains a great website!


Like any news publication, TVQ is always hungry for information about new developments in the area we are trying to cover. If you have an idea for a story, or want to tell the world about something you are doing which relates to computers and quilting, we'd like to hear about it.

We'd like news of new classes starting up to teach quilt design on computers, or new approaches to that teaching. New products, maillists, World Wide Web pages, etc., are all fair game, and we'd appreciate any tips you can provide. Send your tips by e-mail to

If you have a comment about an article, a complaint or a correction, we're glad to hear that, too, and may publish some comments as letters to the editor. Again, these may be sent to

Editor and Publisher: Robert Holland, Decatur, GA

1998 by Robert Holland. All rights reserved. This file may not be reproduced in any form except to be printed out for the personal use of its owner without the expressed, written consent of the copyright holder.


MCVISA.GIF (2236 bytes)If you would like to see the rest of this newsletter here, and have it appear in your e-mail about every 6 weeks for the next year, all it requires is a small contribution of $5.00!

That buys you 8 issues (including this one) of news and in-depth features. We are now also offering a two-year subscription option, 16 issues for $9.00.

In upcoming issues you will find more in-depth reviews of quilt design software, more profiles of quilters, as well as profiles of online quilting communities. These features will be interspersed with news of developments in the quickly changing and expanding world of online quilting.

To receive a free sample of a recent issue, e-mail and one will be sent to you.

To subscribe, fill out this form and send a check or money order for $5.00 made out to Robert Holland, to 140 Ridley Circle, Decatur, GA 30030-1117. Or if you prefer, you can subscribe online using your credit card.

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