Prayers for my friend

Hi Quilters –

Please remember our friend Mark Lipinski in your prayers. He’s been in the hospital for an extended stay and is in need of kind thoughts and prayers sent his way.

He is my friend. He was so kind to call me when I first started my podcast and feature me in an article called “The Podcast Queens” in the first issue of Quilters Home magazine. He has been my friend ever since, and is a friend to many, many quilters.

Just in case you haven’t heard it for a while, here’s the link to my first podcast interview with Mark, when we met at Spring Quilt Market in 2006.

Teaching in Southern California

Hi Quilters in Southern California!

In ten days, I’ll be teaching in San Diego, El Cajon and Tustin.

I’m doing a lecture (Help! My Fabric Stash is Growing and I Can’t Make It Stop!) and workshop for the Village Quilters Guild in San Diego at the Scripps Miramar Ranch Branch Library, 10301 Scripps Lake Drive, San Diego CA 92131 beginning at 10:00 a.m. My workshop is Essential Machine Applique and will be on Sunday beginning at 10:00 a.m. in Poway at Quilter’s Paradise.

On November 10th, I’ll be doing a lecture (Color Sense) at Cozy Creative Center in El Cajon:

And a two-day Machine Applique workshop — The Midnight in the Garden quilt:

Then, the following week, I will teach a two-day Color Sense workshop at Mel’s Sewing Center in Tustin.

Come see me!! Or better yet, come and take one of the workshops ; )


©2015   Annie Smith  All Rights Reserved

This just happened.

Good Morning!

This is what I found when I woke up today:

My Quilt Bag tutorial …

On BERNINA’S We All Sew Blog!

I made the bag when I discovered that I had a leftover block from this quilt:

So, if you’d like make your own quilt bag, hop on over to the We All Sew Blog.

The instructions have step-by-step photos to follow along.

Happy Quilting!!

©2015   Annie Smith   All Rights Reserved

Pacific International Quilt Festival — opens today!

Follow me on Instagram to see LIVE photos of the whole event!

Here’s a sneak peek:

Liz Angus’s Sunflower Fields Pattern Co. — darling wool pieces!

So — keep an eye on me on Instagram — I can’t post pictures here from my iPhone ; )

Anniesmithqs   at Instagram.


To Stash or not to stash, that is the question…

Hi Quilters –

I’m finally back from a month long trip to Utah — partially to participate in the Utah Quilt Guild’s QuiltFest, which happens every September. More about that in an upcoming podcast.

It occurs to me that I think about quilts and quilting all day long, almost every day of the week. It just dawned on me that I really need to share what I’m thinking about, even if I don’t have a microphone coming out of my mouth.

I’ve had this little dilemma –

I’m teaching the West of Baltimore quilt as a block of the month at my local quilt shop. You know the one:

(you know, the one that was featured in the Keepsake Quilting catalog for 2 1/2 years?)

Okay, traditionally on a black background, although the prototypes for the quilt are this:

(for real)

Anyway, I created an online class for the West of Baltimore – making a traditional one, as close to the original quilt as possible. So it looks like this:

(this is a hard trend to buck. I’ll tell you why.)

For the current class, I wanted to do something “different” — a new look, a new style. I love the new trend of using newsprint fabric and I’ve been collecting them wherever I go. The newsprint and Kona solids would look fantastic together, wouldn’t they?

Here’s a glimpse:

(Cute — but not quite right)

There’s something about that newsprint block that is just a little “off”. Maybe a couple of things. The main consensus I got back on Facebook told me that the light blue and pink blended into the background and got lost, the newsprint was too bold a value, the traditional look of the baltimore appliqué and the modern look of the newsprint doesn’t blend well, and trends (newsprint) will go out of style. That’s a lot of feedback! That, and, did I mention that WebGuy *hated* it? Yeah.

So, today, I’m switching gears.

I had this little idea pop into my head that I have a whooooooooooole stash of beautiful fabrics in my studio, just begging to be used. This stash:

Popped into my head.

Why these colors? I have no idea, but they are really perfect in keeping with the Baltimore applique style. Probably moreso than the black background has ever been.

If you notice at the bottom left of the above picture, is a binder with a pattern from Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine from 2004. I collected every issue – even sending away for the one issue that I missed, so I could have the whole thing. The quilt, Jubilee Album, was designed by my favorite appliquers – Sue Nickels and Pat Holly.

I collected each fabric I needed for the quilt, and it has been lovingly folded and kept together in my stash for the last… well… eleven years. ELEVEN years.

I’m not sure why I was inspired to use these fabrics for the quilt — but I love them! Especially this one:

(Red feather. This photo does this fabric no justice whatsoever!)

Just wait til you see it in the quilt. I think it will be lovely. I bought three yards of it, in 2004 ; )

Tell me what you think.

Do you like the newsprint? Would you go back to your stash, or even buy new fabric, to start a project over again that you’ve already begun?

Everyone overwhelmingly loves the black. Understandable. It’s just not a new idea. West of Baltimore was first shown in 2006. Most quilters, when they see it for the first time, think it’s done in wool. That’s the nature of the Cherrywood hand-dyes that were used for the appliqué. My friend, Kaye Moore, has offered the West of Baltimore in wool for several years.

Think about it, and then leave me a comment below or send me an email at I really love to hear from you – especially if you have an opinion. And you do — don’t you?

Hey — if you haven’t been following me on Instagram, you can! My handle is anniesmithqs.

Also, if you haven’t heard of Periscope yet, it’s all the new hotness as far as social apps go. Follow me there too, (anniesmithqs) because — I’m going to start broadcasting there. Soon. I’ll shoot an announcement out here, and on Facebook (Annie Smith’s Quilting Stash fan page, if you’re not following me there, you might want to “like” me : ), and on Twitter: also anniesmithqs

Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

©2015   Annie Smith    All Rights Reserved

Away, and then again — not away

Hi Quilters!

Did you think I left again? I haven’t posted or podcasted for a little bit, thinking of course that I’ve been so busy and that you all know what I’ve been doing. You see, I post regularly on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – thinking that you all know that. And, of course, you don’t.

So – here’s what I’ve been up to, amongst the endless tidying of my work space:

A quilt that has taken over 5 years to make, of fabrics that should never be put together in the same quilt, and using the wrong side of the fabric for the sashing. Still not quite done, but a podcast is being built around the reason why I’m making it.

I decided to make WebGuy a quilt for his birthday this year. So instead of giving him a wrapped box with fabric and an explanation, or a quilt top, or a quilt without the binding attached (I know you can relate), I was determined to give him a whole finished quilt, on time, for the first time in his life. He kinda deserves a finished quilt, after all of the quilting activities he puts up with and supports. So, the photo above are the fabrics I chose for a quilt that is decidedly HIS style. Cotton + Steel prints and Kona and American Made brand solids on white. Very modern.

Can you guess what the pattern will be?

Here it is: Flight Path.

We have a flock of geese who fly overhead every morning around 6:30 and every night around 7:00. We love to hear them and the one odd goose whose honker is so unique – we figure he is either the Instructor (“Come on, stay in formation!”) or the Baby (“Wait, wait – I’m comin’. Don’t lose me!”)

Well, WebGuy loves it so much, he doesn’t want to use it on the couch – he wants me to add a hanging sleeve so he can use it as art in his man-cave.

Because it was made to be used as a gift, I was never going to remove it from the house, to be used as a teaching sample — but — it turns out that I have enough fabrics left over to make 3-4 more, exactly the same. I learned a LOT from making this quilt for him. Like, maybe there is another way to make flying geese (of course there is), another way to quilt it (myself) or have a pro do it (my favorite quilter) and have it come out slightly different. So, that’s what I’m going to do. Just as soon as I get back from the Utah Quilt Guild QuiltFest.

This is what I’m working on today:

I’m working on three projects: one for BERNINA, one for a new class, and one to be finished. I’ll talk more about them as I finish them.


Hey, what have YOU been doing this Summer?! Let me know — comment and post pictures in the Comment field.

Happy quilting! (and watch for new Podcast!)



©2015  Annie Smith  All Rights Reserved

Happy Independence Day, America!

And the quilt keeps growing

Quilters –

I am ever thinking about you and what I can share with you. I’m currently working on super-special Podcast that will be presented in two parts — I really think you’ll like it.

In between, I am working on this quilt that needs to be finished by Friday — and — working on my Studio space. When I get into it, I really get in to IT. Here’s a pic of how far we’ve gotten on the studio:

So far, I have gotten quilts that I don’t take with me when I travel, neatly folded and stored in the bottom part of my Gran’s hutch. The ones that you see folded on the Baker’s Rack are the ones that I do take with me, in suitcases, for my trunk shows. Yep, that’s a lot of quilts, alright. Just getting that done took two people and three hours to accomplish. I’ll show you more as we progress. The Studio is one of two work spaces.

So — here’s what I’m working on now:

The DOE fabric is the center of the block – a nice neutral print to pull the very un-alike fabrics together. I’m using it for the sashing too, and here’s my quandary:

Do I use the fabric right-side up and put a nice bright accent in the cornerstones? In my eye, the DOE fabric fights the block edges and blends away in some places. So, this afternoon, I did this:

Here’s a close-up so you can see the cornerstone better:

What if I turned it over and use the wrong side of the fabric for sashing — which is a lighter value — and use the right side of the fabric as cornerstones? Kind of cool, huh?

What do YOU think? Please let me know by commenting below SOON. I need to finish the quilt top by Friday.

I know you’re still wondering why I am putting all of these disparate fabrics together in one quilt. I promise I will reveal all in pictures and in the special Podcast, coming soon!

Before I get back to the quilt, I want to share with you something I found for our super-duper nephew and his fiancé for their wedding next week. My all-time favorite cake shop, Icing on the Cake shared a pic of these on their Facebook page (which I follow religiously ; ) — and knew that they were the perfect pre-wedding gift for Keith and Carrie. Are you ready?

How can you stand all of that cuteness?! Even better, they are vintage sterling silver. Some clever person has done a great job of transforming these into a cool gift, don’t you think? Best of all, they weren’t sterling silver prices, believe it or not.

Okay — so I’m waiting to hear from you about the sashing!

©2015 Annie Smith  All Rights Reserved

Why am I making this quilt?

What do you do to pull together an assortment of disparate fabrics to make it a cohesive quilt?

Why — add a fabric that will pull them all together:

Decide what quilt pattern you’re going to make with these loverly fabrics:

(This quilt is courtesy of Pinterest. I apologize to the maker for not knowing her/his name, as I would like to credit them for this wonderful quilt. Please make sure that you know who the maker is when you pin something great. My quilts that are on Pinterest? Not one of them has my name on them, as the designer, maker, nothing.)

Here’s my first block:

Pretty good so far. They are 10 1/2″ blocks, which I will sash. It will make a 25 block, 5×5 quilt.

These fabrics have been hiding out in a white garbage can liner for the last five years.

Why am I making this quilt now ? The answer will become clear soon. I need to find some pictures that I’m hoping didn’t go south with a busted hard drive. 12,000+ pictures became thumbnails (trying not to cry again).

What would you do with fabrics like this? Tell me below. (P.S. There is not an option to just chuck them all ; )


©2015  Annie Smith  All Rights Reserved

Podcast 227 — Little Known Thread Facts

Podcast 227 — Little Known Thread Facts
(Right-Click or Ctrl-Click on the icon below and select “save link as…” to download the podcast to your computer) podcast Running time: 00:53:47 Size: 25.8 MB

This is a podcast of little snippets of information about the thread we use — and why not to use certain threads.

Here are the threads in the order that I talk about them, and a few interesting factoids:

Mettler – changing cone colors to lavender — 250 colors  – made in Spain, Made in Germany

Aurifil – cone colors indicate thread size — 270 colors – made in Italy

Presencia — 182 colors — made in the Giza Valley of Egypt

Superior Threads – use Masterpiece for piecing — 75  solid colors — and color cards, made in Japan

Guterman – variety of thread types — made in Mexico

Coats and Clarks/ Dual Duty – confusing variety of thread types — made in Egypt

Our thread has a “Nap” or a cuticle — you must know where the smooth direction is. IF you knot the end of the smooth side, you will have less knots when you hand stitch.

Cross wound spools:

Stacked spool:

Don’t use these:

You don’t know how old they are or what the fiber content is.

Do you really want to use this thread for your lovely contemporary quilts?!

Instead, do this:

or how about this?

Schmetz needles

Nancy Prince’s article on BERNINA’s We All Sew Blog:

 Now for two of my favorite, can’t-live-without notions:

the Clover Needle Threader!

Thread Heaven

The quote of the week:

Don’t forget to leave me a comment and let me know any thread factoids that I missed, or to let me know what you want to hear about on an upcoming podcast. Just click the COMMENT button below!

©2015   Annie Smith   All Rights Reserved