View my Episode on The Quilt Show!

At long last, my episode of The Quilt Show – Wonky Piecing & Easy Appliqué: Episode #3012 – has been released! Carl and I had so much fun filming this on location in Austin, Texas with Alex Anderson & Ricky Tims!!

Here’s what Alex & Ricky say:
Love color? This is the show for you. Linda Sullivan of Colourwerx joins Alex and Ricky to demonstrate her method of wonky piecing. First, she shows Alex how to create a “wonky piecing building block” which can be used in any number of quilts. She then builds on that idea by demonstrating to Ricky how to use that building block to create fun and adorable machine appliquéd motifs. Linda continues her demonstration by highlighting the use of decorative stitches on the pieces of appliqué. Then, stick around until the end where Linda surprises Alex and Ricky with a “TV treat”.

Watch a preview of the episode right here:

Wanna watch the whole episode??
You can and for free — as well as experience all the benefits Alex, Ricky & The Quilt Show’s website and tutorial videos offer you in a free 7 day trial. Watch other quilt artists’ episodes! Shop for the latest and greatest patterns and notions! And tune into to see what Alex and Ricky are working on in their sewing studios! You can jump into your free 7 day trial at any time that is convenient for you through the special link below…

Click here for your seven day free trial to ‘The Quilt Show’!

I hope you have as much fun watching the episode as we did in filming it! Happy colouricious quilting everyone!

ModBox QAL Week #4 – Put It All Together

Welcome back! It’s the last week of our ModBox QAL and it’s time to put it all together and finish your quilt top! Hurray! There will be no companion video this week as this week is simply about piecing your quilt top all together – pretty easy !

By now you should have laid out your blocks from Week #3 in color order according to your fabric color key and also placed the background fabrics #1 & #2 sashing strips in place in between the colored blocks (refer to Fig 8 & 9 in the pattern). Remember to alternate your background sashing strips from block to block following the layout diagrams in the pattern. See my first vertical row laid out in the photo on the right.

Referring to Fig 9/page 5 of the pattern, notice that each vertical row is made up of a left column of blocks and right column of blocks. First things first, starting on the left side, piece the background sashing strips to each of the colored blocks (similar to how we pieced the colored strips to these blocks in last week).

Here’s my first block in the first vertical row on the left side with the sashing strips laid around it and then stitched together.

Make sure to double check the unfinished size of these blocks and trim them down if needed (refer to page 4 of the pattern).

Also be sure to follow the pressing instructions so your seams nest nicely together when you stitch the rows together – remember: when stitching Background Fabric #1 sashing strips on each block, press all seams toward Background #1 (or the white fabric in the diagram), and when stitching Background Fabric #2 strips on each block, press all seams toward the colored blocks!!

Once you have the background sashing strips pieced on your colored blocks, stitch the blocks together in a vertical row or create a column of blocks. Make sure you keep double checking your fabric color key for the order of your blocks. Nest and pin the seams together from block to block.

Then repeat on the right hand side to form a second column of blocks, and finally stitch the the two vertical columns together to form your first vertical row of blocks. Repeat the above on additional rows if you making the Large Lap size or the Baby quilt. Be sure to press all the seams to one side.

Before stitching the vertical rows together, don’t forget to piece together and attach to the right hand side of the vertical row the long sashing strip made up of the (7) 2-1/2″ x 12-1/2″ background fabrics 1 & 2 as shown in Fig 12.

I must admit I get so carried away with getting the quilt top complete, I always forget this vital step and then end up seam ripping my vertical rows apart in order to add back in these long thin sashing strips. Argh! And double argh!!

Also note if you are making the Table Runner, this would be your final step and your quilt top is complete!

If you are making the Large Lap or Baby Quilt, once the vertical rows are complete, simply stitch the first row to the second row and second row to the third row, and then your quilt top is complete! Yay! Here’s a sneak peek of my quilt top in that gorgeous Kaffe Fassett! I love it!

This concludes out ModBox QuiltAlong – I hope you enjoyed it!


Thank you so much for following along and for your continued support!  Look for more Colourwerx QuiltAlongs on our Colourwerx Facebook page or on our website under QuiltAlongs!

Until your next colour fix – happy quilting!  Linda & Carl xxoo

ModBox QAL – Week #3 – Piece the Block

Hello, hello! Welcome back to Week #3 of the ModBox QuiltAlong! Finally – the week we’ve been working for – this week we start to piece the blocks together and let me tell you, they go together in a breeze!

By now, you should have decided upon the colour order of your fabrics, precut the fabrics and then grouped the colour combinations together. If you are need to refresh or are just joining in, check out Week #2’s blog post right here!

As always there is a short companion video tutorial as well. You can view the video here!

Grab your first set of Fabric “A” blocks combined with Fabric “B” strips. Remember: All seams are scant 1/4″ (which is a hair less than a full 1/4″ seam). Following the directions on pages 3 of the ModBox pattern, stitch the Fabric “B” short strips to the top and bottom edges of the Fabric “A” block. Press the seams towards Fabric “B” – then stitch the remaining Fabric “B” longer strip to the left edge of the unit. Be sure to measure the block and trim it to match the benchmark measurements included in the pattern on page 3.

That’s it! Super easy! Now continue on piecing blocks in this manner until you have pieced all the blocks and strips together. Make sure you keep the fabric combinations together of blocks and strips you created in Week #2!

In preparation for Week #4 (where we put the whole quilt together), begin to layout the first vertical row of blocks. Follow the diagrams on page 5 of the ModBox pattern.

Once you have the blocks for the first vertical row in place, begin to place the background fabric strips in place between the colored blocks. This can get a bit confusing because if you are like me, I am using (2) purple fabrics for my background and the pattern diagrams show the background fabrics in black and white.

To make it easier to follow the diagram and avoid confusion – I code my background fabrics and label one white and the other black.

Then I can place the correct background fabric around each colored block like so!

There is an updated Figure 12 for page 6. Especially for those of you doing the ModBox Large Lap and using half yards, please be sure to download the new Fig 12 (file PDF below for you to print) – this revised Fig 12 gives you the correct color sequence and block layout – again, especially if you are using half yards and making the Large Lap. You can retrieve the updated diagram here.

That’s it – we are ready for Week #4 where we will put it all together! See ya next week and until then, happy colouricious quilting! XX00 L&C

Feelin’ Groovy QAL – Week #4 – Paper Piecing (Technique #3)

Welcome back yet again!   It’s Week #4 of our Feelin’ Groovy QuiltAlong and it’s time to learn our last technique – Paper Piecing! This week we’ll be constructing the spikey outer border.

But first — If you’re just joining us this week or looking to catch up, be sure to catch last week’s blog post and video – it’s all about appliquéing the swirls to the background blocks.


Make Copies of the Spikey Outer Border Pattern —
First, you’ll need to make some copies of the spikey paper pieced pattern included in the Feelin’ Groovy pattern.

You can use a cheap thin copy paper to do so and your home printer.

Or you can use Carol Doak’s Foundation Paper sold at most quilt shops. This is a paper specifically made for paper piecing and can also be sent through your printer to make copies.

TAKE NOTE!! Make sure when you make a copy that you have your printer set to “print at 100%” or “actual size”. Make a test copy and refer to the 1″ scale in the bottom left hand corner of the pattern. If this scale doesn’t measure 1″ EXACTLY as it says you know something is off. Additionally measure around the dotted lines of the spikey paper pieced pattern…it should measure 6-1/2″ x 9-1/2″.

For the Lap Quilt size on the pattern cover, you’ll need to make a total (18) copies and for the Baby Size, you’ll need a total of (12) copies. Make yourself a few extra copies just in case!

Cutting Your Strips —
I found that for this particular pattern that if I cut all of my black and white scrap fabric into 3” X 8” strips, I could easily and speedily paper piece the spikey border pattern in no time. So cut a variety of black and white fabrics into 3″ x 8″ strips.

What is Paper Piecing?–
“Paper Piecing”, or also referred to as “Foundation Piecing”, simply means to assemble a unit piece by piece using a paper-printed pattern or muslin fabric pattern as the foundation for the fabric strips. Paper piecing is super fun, super easy and super accurate – you’ll never cut off another point that’s for sure.

First, you need to just wrap your brain around the fact that you are sewing backwards or somewhat in reverse. Before begininng let’s start off with some handy tips to help you along the way – these are also in the pattern on pages 3-4!

• Reduce your stitch length on your machine to 2 or a little smaller – this will help perforate the paper and make it easier to remove later;

• The printed side of the paper (with all of the patterns, marking and numbers) will be the side you sew on and therefore it will become the WRONG side of the unit when complete;

• The solid lines on the pattern denote the lines you sew on. Sew directly on all solid lines starting with “Sew 1”, – starting and ending your stitching several stitches before after the sew line;

• Note that each part of the unit has a number and a color – piece the unit together in the numerical order indicated starting with 1, then 2, 3, 4 and so on. Do not deviate from the numerical order listed;

• Cut a separate piece of fabric for each numbered section of the pattern. The fabric piece should completely cover the numbered section and extend at our over all the dashed lines of the section;

• For paper piecing, place fabric pieces on the unprinted side of the pattern over the appropriate numbered pattern section. For this step, you may need to hold the pattern up to the light to see the section lines or place pins along the lines to guide you in placing your fabric strip over the correct section.

For exact paper piecing instructions, I always think a visual example is better – so here is my companion video for the week. You can also follow along in the pattern on pages 4-6 for detailed paper piecing instructions, more descriptions and diagrams.

Once your first unit is complete, trim the unit to 6-1/2″ x 9-1/2″ on the dashed lines. DO NOT REMOVE THE PAPER ! We will do that next week when we put the quilt top together.

That’s it for Week #4!!  Next week – Week #5 – our final week – we’ll be putting it all together – woohoo!

Until then, please be sure to email us at if you have any questions.  Or feel free to post questions or progress pictures on our Colourwerx QAL Facebook Group.

Until your next colour fix and next week’s QAL post ~  happy and bright quilting always!    L&C xxoo

Join Us for Our New Live Broadcast – Fab Friday !

Hey -hey!

Carl and I have really missed chatting and interacting with all of you these last few months.  And like you, we’ve been home bound and it looks like we won’t be traveling to see you all for at least another few months!

So what to do??!  Well – like so many in our industry we took the leap and have decided to reach out to you via live streaming!

(drum roll please…)

Welcome to Fab Friday!
Carl and I are now streaming live every Friday at 10am PST (Pacific Standard Time or for us – Palm Springs Time 🙂 )  on our Colourwerx Facebook page.  

And best of all, you can join us by tuning in and posting your comments or questions live as the broadcast is going on!  It’s as close to chatting in person as we can get!

Fab Friday

Each broadcast is filled with:
•  Lots of #colouricious news;
•  A quick demo of a tip or technique I’d like to share with you;
•  The world famous “Cactus Cam” (a quick look-see out the sewing studio window);
•  Off camera quips and fun with Mr. Colourwerx (Carl)    :-0;
•  And every week announcing the weekly winner of a $10 Colourwerx gift card!

Follow Us on the Colourwerx Facebook Page

If you miss the broadcast, you can always see a replay on the Colourwerx Facebook Page or on the Colourwerx YouTube Channel!

Watch Last Week’s Broadcast Right Here!

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So let’s make a date to chat LIVE on Facebook…every Friday at 10:00am PST (1:00pm EST) on the Colourwerx Facebook Page.  Tune in every Friday and let’s chat!!


ModTV QAL: Week #3 – Piece the Antenna & Color Bar Blocks

ModTV_CW110_FRONTWe are back again!   I hope you’re enjoying our series of free quilt alongs!  Again, if you are new here, I invite you to join or subscribe to either our Colourwerx QuiltAlong Facebook page or our Colourwerx YouTube channel so you don’t miss out on any of the fun! I always post a weekly companion video to each quilt along  blog post and other tutorials on You Tube!


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IMG_1007It’s Week #3 of our ModTV QuiltAlong! !  This week we’ll be ‘slashin’ and sewin’ the TV Antenna Units together, and if you are making the Lap Size Quilt, piecing the Color Bar Blocks together.

Let’s get started….


Stitch the Antenna Unit  —
Turn to page 4 in the ModTV pattern and gather all of the pieces needed to make your TV Antenna unit.   First, as stated at the top of page 4, be sure to cut in half diagonally the (2) larger squares to make (4) triangles, and cut in half diagonally one of the smaller squares to create (2) triangles.

Antenna 1
BIG HINT! I like to lay all of the pieces out on my cutting board like so.  As I stitch these Antenna units together I do not disturb what is on my cutting board.  When I take 2 pieces and stitch them together, I return them to their exact positions on the cutting board so as not to confuse myself about which pieces go where.

Antenna 2

First fold the antenna strips  in half lengthwise to create a center crease. Return to position.

Starting with the right antenna, flip the B/G triangle on the right side over and angle it from the bottom right corner to the center top edge of the antenna unit like so (the center crease on the antenna unit will guide you). See Fig 10 on page 4 of the pattern.

Antenna 3

Stitch down the edge of the angled B/G triangle and trim the any excess fabric away to reduce the bulk  leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the B/G triangle outward.

Return the right antenna unit back in position and flip the B/G triangle on the left side over and angle it from the bottom left corner to the center top edge of the antenna unit like so.  Make sure that top edges of the B/G triangles are overlapping each other by about 1″ at the top and that there is at least an 1″ overhang of the B/G triangles on the bottom edge (see Fig 11 on page 4).  Again, stitch down the edge of the angled B/G triangle and trim any excess fabric away to reduce the bulk  leaving at least a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the B/G triangle outward. Your antenna unit should somewhat resemble the below photo.

Next. rotate the unit 180 degrees, lay your ruler across the top slightly angling it and slash off the top edge of the Antenna unit .

Antenna 10a

Take the smaller triangle and place the long diagonal edge right sides together along the top edge of the Antenna unit and stitch it in place (see Fig 12-13 on page 4).

The antenna unit will now need to be trimmed and squared down.  Before trimming the unit, place your square ruler on the Antenna unit and double check that you are leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance near the bottom  tip  of the unit.  Trim the unit to a 4″ square (see Fig 14 in the pattern).  Be sure to return the unit back in position on your cutting board!

Antenna 9

Repeat the above to create a second Antenna unit.

Next referring to Fig 15 and adding the B/G Top Filler strip in place,  stitch the (5) pieces together to create the Antenna Unit Strip. Press the seams according to Fig 15 in the ModTV Pattern.

Antenna 10

Next gather your TV Set with Legs (created in Week #2) , place the Antenna Unit skewing it across the the top edge of the TV set at a wonky angle – you can tilt it from right to left or left to right.  Stitch the two units Right Sides Together across the top edge.   And if you are making several ModTV blocks, remind yourself from block to block to alternate the direction you skew the Antenna, so you create a delightful variety of different wonky ModTV blocks.

Square your ModTV block to 12-1/2″ square.  If for some reason, your ModTV block is not large enough to fit inside the 12-1/2″ square boundaries, simply stitch a thin strip of the background fabric onto the side (or sides) that need enlarging – no one will ever know that you added these strips to enlarge your block to the 12-1/2″ measurement and it will look fabulous when complete!

Antenna 13

Stitch the Color Bar Blocks  —
These fun little color blocks are only needed if you are planning on making the Lap Size Quilt or perhaps you might like to use them as end caps blocks if you are making a wallhanging or table runner.

You can make these from either cutting strips from the extra TV fabric or from scraps from your stash.

It’s simple straight forward patchwork piecing and alas – I am afraid that you will need to use you a 1/4″ seam, when piecing these together so the block comes out correctly.

Referring to the directions on page 6 of the pattern, arrange the pieces on your cutting table or near your sewing machine.

Color Bar 1

Yup – you got it! – stitch those pieces together with a 1/4″ seam following the directions on page 6.  Voila!

Color Bar 2

That’s it for Week #3!!  Next week – Week #4: we’ll talk about personalizing your TV screen with a photo or licensed fabric and finish off the project into a pillow, little wallhanging or the quilt!

Until then, please be sure to email us at if you have any questions.  Or feel free to post questions or progress pictures on our Colourwerx QAL Facebook Group.

Until your next colour fix and next week’s QAL post ~  happy and bright quilting always!    L&C xxoo

Designer Tips & Techniques Facebook Live Event

UPDATED as of 6/2/20!  This event has been rescheduled to a future date!  I will let you know the new dates when I know!  Thank you!


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I am so excited to have you join me  for the 2nd installment of the Designer’s Tips and Techniques Live Facebook Party – this is a three day event, June 2nd, 3rd & 4th, from 12pm to 8pm EST.  Each designer listed below will present a 15 minute live presentation on her Facebook page at the top of each hour, demonstrating their favorite technique or showing some of her favorite tips and tricks.

You can see  the full schedule of Designers below.

Yours truly (that would be Carl and I here at Colourwerx) are scheduled for Thursday, June 4th at 5pm Eastern Standard Time (2pm Pacific Coast Time).  You can view our demo live on our Colourwerx Facebook Page.  I’ll be demoing my favorite slash ‘n sew technique and show you how to make these mod and liberated Colourstruck pillows! So tune and enjoy!  🙂  

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Tuesday, June 2 (all times are Eastern Standard Time)

12:00 Marija Vujcic

1:00   Becca Fenstermaker

2:00   Debbie Wendt

3:00   Jo Westfoot

4:00   Lisa Ruble

5:00   Marlene Oddie  

6:00   Reed Johnson

7:00   Cherry Guidry

8:00   Ebony Love


Wednesday, June 3 (all times are Eastern Standard Time)

12:00 Tina Dillard

1:00   Annie Unrein

3:00   Patti Carey

4:00   Sarah Maxwell

5:00   Andi Stanfield

6:00   Laura Piland

7:00   Tammy Silvers

8:00   Terri Vanden Bosch


Thursday, June 4 (all times are Eastern Standard Time)

12:00 Toni Smith

1:00   Kate Colleran

2:00   Marcea Owen

3:00   Epida Studio

4:00   Geeky Bobbin

5:00   Linda Sullivan  (This is ME!)

6:00   Kimie Tanner and Missy Winona

7:00   Simone Fisher

8:00   Swan Sheridan




ModTV QAL: Week #1 – Gather the Pattern and Materials plus Precut for One Block

Hello!  And welcome to the ‘first week’ of our fourth Colourwerx QAL (quilt along) where ModTV_CW110_FRONTwe’ll be making our super fun ModTV block (and or quilt)!

First, I want to thank you so much for joining us here and on our Facebook Colourwerx QuiltAlong Page.  Whether you’ll be sewing up the pattern along side us or just observing from afar, we welcome you and are overwhelmed by your enthusiasm so far – so thank you, thank you, thank you!

Also, if you want to meet with other Colourwerx quilty friends and aren’t yet a member of our Facebook group, I  invite you to join our free QAL Facebook group where you can ask questions, share your progress and of course, post pictures of your finished projects so everyone can share in the fun!  Also feel free to share this invite and any other QAL news with quilty buddies and invite them to join along in the fun!


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Look for a companion video to be posted in a few days!  If you’d like to receive alerts to when the videos are posted and other neat tutorials, then subscribe to our Colourwerx UTube channel right here!

You can watch our ModTV Intro Video by clicking here!

So this is Week#1 of the ModTV QAL –  First let’s review the schedule!

ModTV Slug

As you can see it’s a 4-week QAL this time, but please know that you can take it at your own pace and join in anytime.  All of the videos and blog posts will remain here, as well as be posted on our website and social media pages throughout the year.  My quilt alongs are always  free to join and I’ll be making a 12″ TV block along with you over the next 4 weeks.  I’ll also show you other ModTV quilts I have made and ways you can personalize your ModTV block by changing out the TV screen shape to a licensed fabric or a fabric photo.  But first things first….

Here’s what you’ll need to join in on the stitchin’ fun –
• The ModTV pattern by Colourwerx – and great news? – the ModTV pattern is now 20% off until May 31st!  Yippee!


Fabrics —
•  To Make just (1) ModTV block –
— (2) Fat Quarters;
— 3″ x 6″ scrap for the TV Antenna;
— 5″ x 7″ Piece of Fusible Web to Fuse the TV screen in place (i.e.:  Heat n Bond Lite, Steam a Seam II Lite or Pellon Wonder Under;
**For each additional TV block you’d like to make just add a another pair of fat quarters and a fabric scrap for the TV Antenna.


•  To Make the Larger 48″ x 54″ Quilt (16 TV’s plus (4) Color Bar Blocks) – refer to the cover of the pattern –
— (16) Coordinating Fabrics – 3/8 yard each fabric;
— Dark Grey (or Black) plus a White (for color bars) – 1/6 yard each;
— (Optional for the quiltalong) Binding – 1/2 yard and Backing 3-1/2 yards;
— 1-1/2 yards of Fusible Web to Iron the TV screen in place (i.e.:  Heat n Bond Lite, Steam a Seam II Lite or Pellon Wonder Under16 Fabrics

Also begin to think about whether you might like to personalize the TV screen with a piece of licensed fabric (like ‘I Love Lucy’ or ‘Star Wars’), or perhaps a fun zigzag print that looks like static, or a photo of a favorite person or family pet (photo should be sized to 4″ x 6″).

If you do want to use a photo, be sure to purchase some photo fabric from your local quilt shop or at a Joann’s Fabrics or Walmart.  I prefer the brands EQ Printables or June Tailor Computer Printer Fabric.  Make sure you select the type for your printer at home:  InkJet or Laser.


Precut to be ready for Week #2 —
Screen Shot 2019-09-22 at 4.26.21 PMFirst off, before cutting – I really, really, really  like to starch my fabric.  Mary Ellen’s Best Press is terrific stuff but it it’s too pricey to use on larger pieces…so when I need to starch several yards or a larger piece, I use the Faultless Gold Top Firm Finish Spray Starch. First you can’t beat the price at like $1.99 a can – available at Target, Walmart, the supermarket, etc….  Secondly, I just happen to love the way it makes my fabric feel.  It gives the fabric a firm hand but not too stiff and makes my cutting and piecing more precise.  Use a hot dry iron (no steam) and definitely starch the fabric before you make that first cut as the fabric may shrink ever so slightly after the starch is ironed dry.

Next,  precut your fabrics to make (1) TV block –
•  If just making a single TV block:  gather your (2) fat quarters, or;
•  If making the pattern cover Lap Size Quilt, select (2) fabrics – 3/8 yard each fabric.

Follow all of the cutting directions and dimensions in the ModTV  pattern on pages 1 & 2.  In the pattern there is also a handy insert page which details and diagrams how to cut your pieces from the 3/8 yard cut or the fat quarter to ensure that you get all of your pieces from the yardage.

And with all of these pieces, it can really get confusing so here’s my BIG TIP for the week!  –  be sure to label each of your pieces to keep them organized.  Each ModTV block is made from three sub units:  the TV unit,  the legs unit  & the antenna unit.  All three units come together on the final step to create one 12″ finished ModTV block.  The TV screen is ironed on after the TV block is together.

If I’m making just one block, I might just use post it notes or scrap pieces of paper to label each of my pieces.

But, if I’m making several blocks, I open up my word processing program (like MS Word) and choose the address label template …I type in all of my unit names and then copy those descriptions (X) however many blocks I am making.


I then peel these labels off and apply them to each unit.  This little tip keeps you super organized and ready to to start piecing for next week!

That’s it for Week #1!!  Next week – Week #2: we’ll begin slashing and sewing our TV sets together – woohoo!

Until then, please be sure to email us at if you have any questions.  Or feel free to post questions or progress pictures on our Colourwerx QAL Facebook Group.

Until your next colour fix and next week’s QAL post ~  happy and bright quilting always!    L&C xxoo

Wonky Piecing & Easy Applique QAL – Week 4 – Easy Machine Applique & Finish

Wonky Week 3 Slug 4Welcome back!   It’s our final week – Week #4 – of our Wonky Piecing & Easy Appliqué QuiltAlong !  This week is all about applique stitching your animal shapes to your background fabric and then finishing off your project into either a wallhanging or pillow!

I’ll also be sharing with you how to get your sewing machine ready for machine applique, how to do some basic applique stitches, sew in and out of points and some very  general “rules of the road” to perfect your own applique stitch!  So let’s get started!

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First off, my biggest tip to perfect applique stitching is: practice, practice practice….  Machine applique requires practice and alot of patience.  You may want to review this blog post, watch my companion video or subscribe to our Colourwerx UTube channel.  Then set yourself up with some basic scrap shapes like squares and circles on a background fabric and practice, practice, practice.

But first things first….

Set Your Machine Up For Success –
Here’s how I set my machine up for a day of applique:
1.  Open Toe Presser Foot – a must!  Notice that this foot  has no bars or metal in the middle of the two outer prongs – this allows you to see the “open road” ahead of you while stitching.  For me, it is a must have before I start any applique stitching;

Open Toe
2.  Schmetz 90/14 Quilting Needle – here we go again 🙂  but this size and type needle is perfect for applique stitching and allows me to switch from thread to thread regardless of the thread thickness as I applique stitch;

3.  Bobbin Thread – Regardless of the thread you choose for stitching around your shapes, I always use a neutral colored cotton 50 weight thread in the bobbin – usually the same weight and color thread that I piece my quilts with — something like a tan or light grey Aurifil 50 weight (look for the orange colored spool) works well.  Although the exception to this is that if the piece will be finished as a wallhanging and I have already pre-quilted the background fabric, I will match my bobbin thread to the backing fabric – again, using a 50 weight thread;

4.  Set Your Stitch to ZigZag – This is stitch #2 on my Bernina machine and my go-to stitch settings are: Width – 3.0, and Length – just under 0.8-0.9.  This seems to be good starting point for me.  Your machine may be slightly different and more than likely, you’ll need to adjust your settings as you practice and gain more confidence.

Machine 1
5.  Very Important:  Test Your Stitch & Adjust Your Tension – Once you have your machine set up, test your machine by stitching out a straight line of zigzag stitches.

Test 1

Check your tension –   common issues are these:
If you see the bobbin thread (gray) on top like this, adjust your tension dial to a higher number;

Test 2

If you see the top thread (orange) on the bottom of your stitches like this, adjust your tension dial to a lower number;

Test 3

If your stitches “caterpillar” like this – you’ll need to attach a stabilizer to the wrong side  of your background fabric.

Test 4


Stabilizer is just as the name suggests:  it provides stability to your stitching and helps to avoid distorted stitches.  Any stabilizer (like you use with digitized embroidery machines) will work just fine and even freezer paper works in a pinch!  My favorite brand is Sulky Iron On Tear Away Stabilizer.  (Sidenote:  If you pre-quilted your background fabric,  you won’t need to add a stabilizer.  The batting acts like the stabilizer.) 

Iron Your Shapes On to Your Background Fabric –
Once your machine is set up, you are ready to go and it’s time to iron your animal shapes onto your background fabric.

Score the release paper on the back of your applique shapes with a pin and then peel the release paper off.


Place your shapes in place on your background fabric – making sure that those shapes  that are overlapped by others are placed down first.  Once satisfied with placement, with a hot iron, press the shapes down applying at least 10-15 seconds of heat to the shape to secure it firmly to your background fabric.

Pattern Ease

You might want to make an overlay sheet for something like the ModFish which has several shapes overlapped on one another.  This can be made from tracing paper or a dress making interfacing product called Pattern – Ease which is sold at stores like Joann’s.  Pattern Ease is a non fusible, woven lightweight interfacing.  I like it because I can trace my pattern on it, place it over my background and then move the individual shapes into place under the Pattern Ease. Once satisfied, I can iron right through the Pattern Ease to secure the shapes in place.

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Additionally, I like to fuse the smaller shapes onto their bigger shapes and stitch around those smaller shapes before fusing that bigger shape onto the background fabric.  Great examples of this are: the ModCat head and eyes and eyelids, or the ModDog eyeball; or the ModFish eye, or ModFish fin on the belly! .

Small Shapes

Why make your job harder?  Take for example the ModCat head, once the eyes and eyelids are fused in place, I leave the release paper on the wrong side of the head as it acts as a stabilizer and then I applique stitch around those shapes…I only have to wrestle with the head and concentrate on making my stitching around the eyes perfect and not deal with the whole background fabric, etc.  Easy-peazy!

Applique Stitching “Rules of the Road” –
I’ll do my best to explain these here on the blog but if you are more of a visual learner than I would encourage you to check out my companion video to this week’s quilt along which is now posted on our Colourwerx website and Colourwerx UTube channel.

1. Starting: Whenever I start, I like to bring my bobbin thread to the top.  This stops all of those nasty thread nests from occurring as you start. Turning your hand wheel one whole rotation, lower the needle into the fabric and then all the way back up again.  Pull on the top threads and pop the bobbin thread up to the top.  Now hold onto both the top and bobbin threads to start stitching. Secure the start of your stitch by either engaging your “secure stitch function” (check your manuals) or taking a stitch in place.   You can also just start stitching and when you finish going around the shape, you can bring all the threads to the backside, knot the threads and tie off.

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2.  Start Stitching:  Notice the photos below – the needle is “zagging” just to the outside of the applique shape and then “zigging” back onto the shape itself.  The foot is NOT really positioned in “dead center” of the shape and the background fabric.  The foot actually rides more onto the applique shape itself .  This is where I personally like my zig zag stitch to fall when I stitch.

3.  Stitching Around Curves:  Again check out the companion video as that might help, but the general rule on stitching around curves is as follows:

if it’s an outside curve, stop and pivot on the on the outside edge:  to do this, stop with the needle down on the OUTSIDE edge of the applique, lift the presser foot with the needle still down,  pivot (or turn toward you) the applique piece ever so slightly, drop the presser foot and take a stitch or two until you feel you need to stop again and pivot to maintain your stitch quality and position on the edge of the applique;


…if it’s an inside curve, stop and pivot on the inside edge: just as above, stop with the needle down on the INSIDE edge of the applique, lift the presser foot with the needle still down,  pivot (or turn away from you) the applique piece ever so slightly, drop the presser foot and take a stitch or two until you feel you need to stop again and pivot to maintain your stitch quality and place on the edge of the applique.

When you are turning the corner and the stitch is falling on the outside edge of the applique, try to aim for the same exact point as you go around the corner (see the 4th picture where the purple pen indicates).

Straightaways are easy – curves and circles are not so easy because it requires patience and lots of stop and pivots , stops and pivots to stitch around the curve.  You might find that it will take you just as long to stitch around a small curve as it does for you to stitch the rest of the applique with straightaways. A great example of this is the top of the cat tail or the little paws on the Mini ModDog.   Be patient, slow down and practice.

3.  Stitching In and Out Of A Point: There are some really beautiful ways of stitching in and out of points but this requires dialing your stitch width down and up again as you keep stitching (meaning reducing your stitch width as you approach the point and then increasing your stitch width as you stitch out of the point)…this is a little like rubbing your stomach and patting your head at the same time and takes a lot of practice.

I prefer to do a more “lazy man’s” way of stitching in and out of points.  Stitch all the way down and directly over the point. Keeping the needle down, lift your presser foot and pivot the piece so that it is now at a 45 degree angle to the presser foot.  Take one, (sometimes two) complete stitches so the needle is again on the outside edge but on the opposite side of the point.  Again keeping the needle down, lift the presser foot and pivot the piece so you are ready to stitch down the new side.  Continue on stitching.   It’s appears a bit bulky but it works!

Now with that and a little practice – applique away!

Finish your Animal –
To Make Into a Wallhanging – Once all appliqué stitching is complete, trim your project down so the edges are neat and even.  Here are the approximate measurements of my samples to give you an idea:
•  Mini MoDog 12-1/2″ x 16-1/2″
•  ModCat – 15″ x 21″
•  ModFish – 21″ x 14-16

Bind the wallhanging as desired.

To Make Into a Pillow – Once all appliqué stitching is complete, trim your project down so the edges are neat and even. I’ll explain in detail below what I do for a Mini ModDog, but if you are making a Cat or Fish, you may want to find the appropriate size pillow form first and then cut the project 1/2″ larger than the pillow size and then size the backing fabric accordingly using the Mini ModDog examples below.

Trim the Mini ModDog to 12-1/2″ X 16-1/2″.

I use a Travel Pillow Form for my Mini ModDogs that measures 12″ x 16″.

Cut the Backing Fabric into 2 pieces: 12-1/2” x 14-1/2” and 12-1/2” x 12-1/2”.  Turn and press only one outer edge (not the 12-1/2” edges though) of each backing piece 1/4” over twice to the wrong side to encase the raw edge. Topstitch down the edge to secure. Place the two backing fabric units RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER over the Mod Dog and stitch around all sides. Turn the unit right side out and poke out the corners. Stuff with a 12” x 16” travel pillow form through the slit on the backside.

This now concludes our Wonky Pieced & Easy Applique QuiltAlong – send me your pictures so we can see your cute and fun Wonky Pieced Mod Animals!!

Thank you so much for following along and for your continued support!  Look for more Colourwerx QuiltAlongs on our Colourwerx Facebook page or on our website under QuiltAlongs!mouth21

Until your next colour fix – happy quilting!  Linda & Carl xxoo








Wonky Piecing & Easy Applique QAL – Week 3 – Machine Quilt the Background

Wonky Week 3 SlugWelcome back!   It’s Week #3 of our Wonky Piecing & Easy Appliqué QuiltAlong !  This week we’ll be machine quilting the background fabric.

There are so many different ways you can machine quilt the background fabric and anything goes so don’t be afraid to use this little quilt along project to experiment:

•  you could practice your free motion quilting and simply stipple the background;
BG Quilt 1
•  you could practice ‘matchstick quilting’ – this is simply stitching straight lines about 1/4″ apart up and down over the background fabric; or,

BG Quilt 2
•  you could mark diagonal lines about 3″ apart, set your machine to a decorative stitch and stitch a crosshatch pattern.

BG Quilt 3

Really – anything goes, so have fun ….

But I’d like to share with you three of my favorite machine quilting patterns that look “artsy”, are pretty easy to do and imho, make a great quilted background for smaller quilts like these.  I’ll do my best to explain how to do these patterns here in the blog but if you are more of a visual learner than I would encourage you to check out my companion video to this week’s quilt along which will be posted on our Colourwerx website and Colourwerx UTube channel in a few days.

Linda Week 3

These are the three patterns I use most often:
•  The Wonky Slanted Line pattern – you see this most often in my Mini ModDog pillows and quilts, and if you have the Mini ModDog pattern, you’ll find instructions on how to do this pattern on page 2;

Wonky Slanted

•  The Curvaceous Quilting Pattern – easy to do and very relaxing!


•  The Wonky Chevron Pattern – this is fun and  is wonderfully forgiving.

Wonky Chevron

Create the Quilting Sandwich —
First you’ll need to gather your Background Fabric (a fat quarter or a piece about 18″ x 21″) , and a scrap piece of batting or fusible batting of the same size.  If you’ve already decided to make your animal into a wallhanging, then you should also gather a fat quarter size of fabric to use as your backing fabric too. (If you are making a pillow, you don’t need to add a backing fabric unless of course you think you might wash the pillow in the future).

Place the batting on the WRONG side of the Background Fabric and secure.  You can do this by safety pinning the two layers together or using a fusible adhesive spray like 505 Temporary Spray Adhesive.  If you are making a wallhanging, go ahead and fuse (or safety pin)  your backing fabric to the other side of the batting as well.    You now have your quilting sandwich ready for machine quilting.

FuseWonky Slanted

Let’s get started with the first quilting pattern –

#1 – The Wonky Slanted Line Pattern —
When I quilt this pattern, I like to use a chunky thread – like the Aurifil 12 weight – and a variety of different thread colors – usually I choose 5-6 different colors.  But this method also looks very nice with any variegated thread or even just a lovely solid thread.

Also just a tip – if you are using a a chunkier thread, make sure you change your sewing machine needle to a larger size.  I prefer to use the Schmetz 90/14 Quilting Needle.  This size accommodates a variety of different weight threads with no problems.

The first step is to draw a few wonky lines on your background fabric.  With a iron off marker (or water soluble pen), just drop your ruler at a slant and draw a line.  Slant the ruler in opposite direction and draw another line.  You can also use a Hera marker to make these lines as well.  Hera Markers are sold at all quilt shops and actually just crease your fabric with the rounded edge – so no fear of a marker staining the fabric or never coming off.

Start with about 3-4 lines and with your first thread color.  Set your machine to a straight stitch, leave the feed dogs up and put your walking foot on (or engage your even feed system).  Also set your stitch length to about 3.0 so the stitches are a bit longer.   Stitch directly across those drawn lines.

Wonky 1

Mark another 3-4 lines.  Switch threads if you’d like, and stitch on those lines.

Wonky 2

Continue adding wonky slanted lines and stitching until you have filled the background fabric.

Voila!  Done And it looks super especially behind your dog, cat or fish!Curvaceous

#2 – The Curvaceous Quilting Pattern —
I really love doing curvy quilting – it looks very artsy and I love the movement it provides to the background fabric.  I use this pattern alot when making the ModFish as it gives the feeling that the fish are swimming with the movement the curved lines create.

To start, again set your machine to a straight stitch, leave the feed dogs up and put your walking foot on (or engage your even feed system).  Also set your stitch length to about 3.0 so the stitches are a bit longer.  Start in the middle of the fat quarter and just stitch straight stitches from the top to the bottom, gently ‘ungulating’ from right to left creating a curved stitched line.  Think of driving down a country road – no sharp turns.

Curvy 1

Move over about 2-3″ and stitch another curvy line.  Again move over another 2-3″ and stitch another curvy line.  Keep filling the background with curved stitched lines about 2-3″ apart.
Curvy 2
To fill in the background, next begin to stitch in between the stitched lines with more curvy quilting.  How dense you make the curvy quilting is entirely up to you.  I find that it really depends upon my mood – some curvaceous quilting is quilted quite dense and some not so much…again, anything goes and stop when it looks good to you!

That’s it – doesn’t that look great!?!?Wonky Chevron

#3 – The Wonky Chevron Pattern —
This is a fun pattern, looks great with a variegated thread and one that I use alot on my little ModCat wallhangings .  Once again, set your machine to a straight stitch leave the feed dogs up and put your walking foot on (or engage your even feed system).

The first step is to draw a few chevron-like lines across the center portion of your background fabric.  With a iron off marker (or water soluable pen),  just drop your ruler slanting it right and left and draw wonky angles or chevrons. Don’t worry about making the chevrons too even or regimented – in fact the more uneven they are the better!
Chev 1

Stitch directly on the drawn line  (it’s ok if you are not directly on the drawn line – it’s more of a guide for you to start from…)  Now move down about an inch and “echo” the same chevron pattern but don’t try to be too perfect – in fact, adding little changes or additional little chevrons to “mix it up” as you stitch along makes it look more artsy.

Chev 2

Keep echoing and stitching  out from the middle drawn first chevron until you reach the edge.  Turn the background fabric around and start to do the same chevron echo stitching from the middle drawn line out to the other edge filling up the background fabric with wonky chevron lines.   Check that out!

What fun!  🙂  I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!  be sure to chedk out the companion video to this week’s blog coming out in a few days on the Colourwerx website and Colourwerx UTube channel .

That’s it for Week #3!!  Next week – our final week – Week #4: we’ll be machine applique stitching our animal shapes onto the background fabric and I’ll be sharing some tips and tricks with you!

Until then, please be sure to email us at if you have any questions.  Or feel free to post progress pictures on our Colourwerx QAL Facebook Group.

Until your next colour fix and next week’s QAL post ~  happy and bright quilting always!    L&C xxoo