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The Virtual Quilt, A Newsletter for Computing Quilters

Number Thirty * February 15, 1999

Classifieds | Table of Contents

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BOOK REVIEWS: Cathedral Windows and Paper Piecing

Breaking Traditions: Cathedral Windows Quick Method Quilt
by Susan T. Fisher and Kimberly Nappier
Bountiful Press, 1998
12 pages, $8.95
Available from Planet Patchwork and Amazon Books

Reviewed by Lynn Holland

More than four years ago, I started a cathedral windows quilt. Inspired by Pauline Speiks, an eighty-something- year-old instructor who was a hand-sewing purist, I began with twenty yards of muslin and a pack of John James needles. During the class, Pauline shook her head and confided that "some folks actually sew the first two ends of the square together by machine." Somewhere after the first few rows of squares, I stooped to chain-sewing the ends of many seven-inch squares to speed up the process. Then about the halfway point, I read online about a method to allow the machine sewing of the center seam, and added that secret to my repertoire. Now, too far into the project to abandon it, I discover the aptly named Breaking Traditions technique that lets you do it all by machine. Had I found this book four years ago, I would have been sleeping under my quilt for a couple of Christmases by now. However, those of you who yearn for the cathedral windows glory without the agony of making millions of tiny hand stitches can benefit from this nifty method.

If you're into strict definitions right now you're probably thinking, "Cathedral windows isn't a real quilt," and you're right. This technique consists of folding and sewing muslin squares to make a four-layered frame for insets of colored fabric. There is no batting, no traditional sewing through all layers to hold them together. But be forewarned-- a cathedral windows quilt is no lightweight coverlet. Someone once compared hers to chain mail. (Perhaps this is why the authors of "Breaking Traditions" don't give instructions for a size bigger than full).

Written by Susan T. Fisher and Kimberly Nappier, this leaflet-style publication is designed to minimize confusion. First, there is an overview of the project, giving definitions of the terms used in the instructional text. There are charts to guide the process, and the diagrams are very clear and well labeled. I appreciated the clarity and number of the diagrams and what may seem to some to be redundant labeling, but I have great difficulty with spatial concepts (yes, left and right too, if you must know) and even I could follow these diagrams.

This book assumes nothing, which I consider a plus when presenting a novel technique. Not everybody DOES actually know the very thing at which you may roll your eyes. Most possible pitfalls are discussed and critical points are emphasized. The authors have packed a lot into this twelve-page booklet, including two different methods for finishing your quilt, a chart so you can experiment with different color combinations, and instructions for a cathedral windows pillow. The only thing missing is information on the specifics for making quilts in queen- and king-size, and maybe some more specific tips on how to deal with the size and weight of the quilt once you get beyond the halfway point of the larger sizes. Although early in the instructions Susan and Kimberly mention that the quilt will be heavy, it occurs to me that wrestling a bed size quilt under a sewing machine may be a challenge.

So if you've been waiting to get started on that cathedral windows quilt, this book may be what you've been waiting for. You know, once I finish my cathedral windows quilt, I'd like to try a grandmother's flower garden. Susan and Kimberly, could you figure out how to do that by machine by the year 2005?

Favorite Foundation-Pieced Minis: Book II Miriam Neuringer
Chitra Publications 1998

Reviewed by Christina Holland

I've lately become enamored of foundation piecing. Given the proper pattern, it's a remarkably easy technique to learn and the results can be incredible. But I've learned from experience that it's not at all easy to design one's own foundation block. It's kind of tricky to keep in mind both the overall look of the pattern and the order in which the pieces are to be stitched. So I, probably like many of you, have started to collect particularly interesting and fun foundation patterns. Miriam Neuringer's book "Favorite Foundation Pieced Minis: Book II" offers some very worthwhile additions to almost anyone's collection.

There are ten miniature quilt projects in this book. Only one is marked advanced; there are five intermediate projects and four easy. Which is actually a little bit misleading. "Angels at my Window," marked as easy, actually requires the same total number of pieces and has similarly tiny triangles in it as does "Outstanding in the Field", which is labeled intermediate. I have a feeling that the ease or difficulty of some of these patterns is rather subjective - we each have our own specialties and our own particular areas of stress when it comes to piecing.

The fact that there are ten projects hides the fact that some of them include several different patterns, which you can mix into your own quilt designs. The projects themselves are worthwhile, though, and appeal to a wide variety of interests. They feature cows (the author is from Texas), airplanes, flowers, coffee cups, angels, Santas, sailboats and bumblebees.

Reading through the book, you may have trouble deciding which quilt to try out first. Personally, I'm torn between "Safe at Last" and "Flowers and Bees." In the first, a cardinal perches at the entrance to his birdhouse, to the obvious intent interest of a cat sitting below. You have to piece the bird first, then insert that into the larger birdhouse pattern. The cat is a pretty simplified design - really only an outline. Quilting the cat's tail as shown, though, and the context of the quilt, makes it fairly clear. Also, the tulip border compliments the design, bringing out the cardinal's red very nicely. "Flowers and Bees" is pretty much what it sounds like, but made a little more whimsical by the quilting of the bees' circuitous flight paths. It includes one pattern for the bees, two patterns for the blossoms, and two stem and leaf patterns.

On the other hand, the "Sailboats" pattern is pretty easy and will fit in very well with some fish patterns I already have, for a marine-themed quilt I'm about to make.

While only brief instructions are given for each quilt project, the book does begin with a page of general directions on making and piecing foundations, including discussion of different foundation materials, and a few pages of step-by-step instructions, with color photos, using one of the simpler patterns, featuring airplanes, as an example. It's well done, although this is fundamentally not a how to foundation piece kind of book. It's a collection of favorite patterns, and it fills that role very well indeed.



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



Cathedral Windows Quick Method Quilt

This book will instruct even the novice sewer how to create an heirloom quality quilt, entirely by sewing machine, in a fraction of the time it would take to sew by hand. Full color cover, clear concise illustrations, yardage charts and many tips.

The possibilities are endless!

$8.95 per book plus $1.95 s&h
Please make check payable to 'Kimberly Nappier' and mail to: Kimberly Nappier
6827 Sparkman St. Dept. tvq
Tampa, FL 33616
E-mail inquiries to:

Greenhaven Enterprises

Quilt Retreats on the Olympic Peninsula

Visiting Washington State?? Stay with a quilter and her cat, Oliver.

The Herbolds live just outside of Sunny Sequim. Their home, set in the tall trees, is warm, pleasant, and affordable.

Norma can direct you to quilt shops in the area, plus the natural wonders located on the Olympic Peninsula. She can also plan a personal retreat for you and three quilting friends, or cross stitch buddies, or rubber stampers! You name it.

You are invited to visit the website for Greenhaven Enterprises, Quilt Retreats on the Olympic Peninsula, where you can check out Norma's quilts, learn more about Sequim, and of course, see Oliver. The address is:

You may email Norma at or call 360-681-0364 for more information.


Would you like to improve your hand quilting stitch quality and quantity? Of course you would, and My Favorite Thimble can help! My Favorite Thimble's tough, colorful, rubbery surface grips the needle for wonderful stitch control, and control means more stitches to the inch.

My Favorite Thimble comes in two styles and five sizes. You can choose between the standard royal blue, and our embellished version on which we add colorful free-form designs.

Visit our web site at for pictures, more information and ordering. And, be sure to take a look at our newest product, Quilt-Fuse. If you are a watercolor quilter or want to be, this fantastic lightweight fusible layout grid will let you stitch a watercolor quilt top in ONE AFTERNOON!

Questions or comments? Contact us at:
Chris Hanner & Company
3687 Coldwater Lane
Snellville, GA 30039


The Craft Connection ( )is the place for you if you want to buy, make, or sell handcrafted items on the Internet. We sell quality cotton fabric at a discount, vintage ties for crazy quilts, and we'll soon be selling threads at a discount. All fabrics are linked to coordinating fabrics, so you know your choices will look great together. We try to find fabrics you won't see anywhere else. And we'll package them into packets of fat eighths, fat quarters, or 5" squares, so you can get a good variety without a big cash outlay. Among our fabric categories are florals, almost solids, and guy stuff.

Every month two fabrics are for sale at 20 percent off our already discounted prices. At our Crafters Mall, you can purchase quilts, vests, paintings, and music box kits, and we're adding new crafters to our mall all the time. You can use your credit card online on our secure server to safely purchase our fabrics and also our crafters' products. If you're a crafter, you can sell here and take credit cards without having your own credit card vendor account.

Check out our Free Stuff. Each month we offer a new pattern and a new lesson. Come by our website at


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. Come see what we have to offer at our website. We have a great sale page.

Or e-mail for more information to

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

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


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


The Feedsack Club is delighted to announce that it will once again hold a conference concurrently with the Quilters Heritage Celebration in Lancaster PA on April 8 - 10 1999.

The conference continues to grow in size each year and has moved to the Holiday Inn at 521 Greenfield Rd, Lancaster PA, just down the street from the Quilters Heritage Celebration and across from the Tourist Bureau. The additional room at the new location means even MORE exhibits, lectures and demonstrations.

Lectures and classes are planned, including new products demonstrations - come and learn about Gridded Geese & Thangles. Events include the Show & Share, Raffles, a quilt contest, an auction, and, of course, vendors! Throughout the convention, look for buying, selling and trading of feedsacks and other fun stuff as well as door prizes. For more information, E-mail


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.

SPECIAL LIMITED TIME OFFER: Because we manufacture the Mini Dust-it to a very high standard, we currently have a small supply of imperfects. They may be a little 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!


TVQ Winter SPECIAL! - (this offer is NOT on our web site!)

Get a FREE Judy Martin *POINT TRIMMER when you purchase

The Block Book from us at the suggested retail of $21.95 + $5.00 S&H

Mail your check (US funds only) for $26.95, made out to:

907 Columbia Road
Fort Collins, CO 80525-1838

* Judy Martin's POINT TRIMMER is a $7.50 value.


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.

New! PineTree now carries Hoffman fabrics! You'll find them in the Hoffman Challenge category and throught the other fabric categories. More are on the way, and the batiks are expected soon!

Just arrived! Jeanna Kimball's Foxglove Cottage betweens in size 11. These durable needles are as short as the size 12 and as tough as the size 10! Perfect for use in cotton batts.

PineTree now carries the complete line of EQ software, Until March 1 you can order the new version of EQ4 for the introductory price of $80! After that, EQ4 will cost $110 retail, $93.50 PineTree price. PineTree now stocks SEW PRECISE - the Original, stand-alone software for foundation piecing, and SEW PRECISE 3 -- Shirley Liby Designs for foundation piecing. Look for the EQ-related 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 a printed version of their catalog, and an on-line ( ) shopping cart service in conjunction with Planet Patchwork. You can safely order online through Planet Patchwork's secure server 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, beautiful embossed note cards, kaleidoscope pendants, and much more! And while you're visiting, be sure to check out the current Monthly $pecial!!

Schoolhouse has recently begun carrying the complete line of Electric Quilt products, including EQ3 design software, and Sew Precise! and Sew Precise with Shirley Liby.

They also offer a large selection of Merry Mayhem's Mystery Quilts. If you missed any of the Cases which were previously online, you'll find them here!

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 for details.

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. PCQuilt is also available for the Macintosh. Look for PCQuilt at your local Husqvarna VIKING Dealer or visit our website at .

Nina Antze
7061 Lynch Road
Sebastopol, CA 95472
707- 823-8494


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!

Christina Holland visits the Little Quilt Museum that Could. The museum's
rotating quilt collections make a good antidote for Silicon Valley's cyber-everything.

Lynn Holland decides to stay home in Atlanta and write about the quilting
riches around her. Four shops in the Great Atlanta area include the new store
opened by Little Quilts.

Addy Harkavy tests out the new cutter from Olfa, purported to be safer and
easier to use. Is it? Addy clues you in.

The Atlanta History Center's new exhibit of 80 Georgia quilts extracts the
history behind them while educating the public on quilting

The Red River and the Holocaust.


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.

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