Pet Safety When Quilting/Sewing



The following is a message that was sent in by a member of the Bernina ThirtySomethings Bernina sewing machine list that I run. (Click on the link to check us out and to join us. You’ll be most welcome!)

It is such an important message that I requested permission to share it here. My thanks to Elizabeth for granting it.

I no longer let any of my pets in my sewing room as a result of a couple of very expensive lessons and near tragedies.

I have a very active and lovable dachshund, Bella, who loves to be anywhere Momma is. (That’s me, Elizabeth.) Years ago, she wasnt feeling well, and after a visit to the vet, we discovered she had ingested the fabric strip from shortening a bridesmaid dress. This resulted in very expensive surgery and a long difficult recovery for her.

Not having learned my lesson, a couple of years later, she was sick again. I took her to the vet and a virus diagnosed. After a few days there was still no improvement so back we went again. She was severely dehydrated and was given fluids intravenously which was repeated a few days later. During this time the vet assured me that she was bound to improve in a few days. Finally I took her in once more, begging them to do something because it was my belief that she was near death. The regular vet was not in that day, but by God’s miracle the on call vet had an inkling that perhaps Bella had a string wrapped around the rear of her tongue. You see, she had treated a cat with that problem years earlier. Sure enough, Bella had eaten a thread in my sewing room and it had wrapped itself around the rear of her tongue and gone down into her stomach. She had gone over a week without being able to lap water or eat. The thread was so tightly wrapped that it had actually cut into her tongue. This required more surgery. Once the thread was removed, she recovered quickly.

The vet said that if only we all knew how many times she’d had to do surgery on animals who had eaten thread or fabric, we would never buy them another stuffed animal or fabric toy of any kind. I think it’s an important story to share.

– Elizabeth in Coeur d’Alene

I agree that this is a very important story to share, Elizabeth. Thank you for permission to do so here. I’m sure that though you may never know, you’ll have saved who knows how many pets from suffering through the same experience.

Questions and Answers

Do you know of any place in Canada that sells quilting fabric online such as e-quilter and Craft Connection in the USA do? – Barb

Yes, Barb. I do.

One of my favourites is the Sew-Sisters shop which is located just north of Toronto in Ontario. Visit their website which has a link to their online shopping. I bought fabric from them when they were first selling on eBay and then, when they opened their store site as well.

Another of my favourite places to shop online is Quilter’s Fancy. You’ll find the owner, Robert Carter, is very helpful and service is prompt.

Though I’ve not had any personal experience with them, here are other Canadian shopping sites:

Cottage Quilting Online
Canadian Mail Order Sources – a list of several – another list – and another list

The above may have links to others on their Links pages as well.
I hope you find this useful.

Book Review: Favorite Traditional Quilts Made Easy

Favorite Traditional Quilts Made Easy – by Jo Parrott

This is book is a good one for beginning quilters. More experienced quilters will also enjoy using Jo’s no template methods. She uses strips, rectangles, squares and a folded-corner technique to make blocks with simple cutting and sewing.

The book includes 7 projects for both beginners and advanced quilters. Among them are: Purple Passion Pineapple quilt and runner, Shimmering Hunter’s Star, Nine Patch Jewels, and a Mock Log Cabin. There are shortcuts for making half square triangles and corner triangles.

Included are five pages of how-tos and shortcuts and techniques for piecing diamonds and trapezoids. Photos and illustrations are in full colour. Pattern directions are step by step and complete.

I especially like the Hunter’s Star and Nine Patch Jewel patterns and hope to have time to make them in the near future. The Nine Patch Jewel is a great scrap quilt requiring a mixture of dark and light scraps.

Jo also includes a helpful section on Finishing Touches at the back of the book.

Cover: Soft
Pages: 48
Publisher: That Patchwork Place;
ISBN: 978-156477-843-7


A thief in Paris planned to steal some paintings from the Louvre. After careful planning, he got past security, stole the paintings and made it safely to his van.

However, he was captured only two blocks away when his van ran out of gas. When asked how he could mastermind such a crime and then make such an obvious error, he replied, “Monsieur, that is the reason I stole the painting . . . I had no Monet to buy Degas to make the Van Gogh.”

And you thought I didn’t have the DeGaulle to share this.

Well, I figured I had nothing Toulouse.

Computer Crash Update

I am learning my way around my new iMac and enjoying it very much. I’ve been told that it takes a few weeks to adjust to the differences and that may well be so. It’s day 6 for me so I’ll be a better judge of that soon. I felt rather lost the first day but with the great text and video tutorials on the site, great tech support and my iMac for Dummies book, I’m coming along quickly.

What I’ve learned so far is that everything is definitely easier on a Mac! Barring unforeseen interruptions, I’ll get back to posting weekly now.

Thank you for waiting patiently for me to resolve my computer problems!

Computer Crash

My computer crashed two weeks ago after serving me for 6 years. Having watched all those entertaining PC – Mac commercials on TV and identifying with all the PC problems I needed to take some time to decide on which new computer to buy. Talked to friends who use Macs and they are overwhelmingly full of praise for their computers so I decided to make the switch to Mac.

My new iMac just arrived today. I’m sure I’m going to love it. It only took minutes to get set to go! However things work differently with Macs and I’m still operating with a PC mentality so it will take me a few days to adjust.

Now you know why I haven’t added anything new for a while. I hope to return to weekly additions to Maria’s Quilt Scraps by next week. I’ll have a book review, the first of updates on a baby quilt I’ll be making, and all going well, I’ll introduce you to some special quilters.

Bloggers Quilt Festival

What a great idea, and what fun to take part in this blogger’s quilt festival hosted by
Amy of Park City Girl. Particpants have been asked to write about their favourite quilt. Although I always find choosing just one favourite difficult no matter what the category, I’ve finally decided on this one.

qstarburstssullivansThis quilt is Starbursts and Diamonds. Way back in 2001 when I decided to become a quilt pattern designer, this was the first I designed. My inspiration for designing was, and still is primarily, my husband and his art. One of the things he enjoys drawing are geometric designs. He always seems to colour them in interesting and unique ways. I took two of them, made them into quilt blocks and combined them for this pattern. My original was made in solid fabric colours and thereby reminiscent of Amish quilts.

din400pI created and uploaded my website in January of 2002 and within a few months was contacted by Miniature Quilt Ideas Magazine. I was thrilled to be asked to send them this quilt to be photographed along with my Dinosaur Fantasy Quilt which was my composite of several of my husband’s drawings. To our delight, the magazine gave us a full page feature in their Spring 2003 issue.

Later, Sullivans USA asked for pattern submissions to be considered for making with their Versatiles fabric line and to be displayed at their booth at the International Quilt Market that year. We were thrilled again! Starbursts and Diamonds was one of the patterns chosen. I made it again with this wonderful fabric line creating a stained glass jewel effect. Done, as shown above, in these fabrics, it remains one of my favourite quilts, one that I cannot part with. It hangs in my office where I never tire of seeing it daily.

Be sure to visit all of the other quilt bloggers participating in this exciting online Quilt Festival every day between now and April 24th!

And The Winners Are . . .

Easy Appliqué Blocks Winner – Jennifer

Easter Egg Table Runner – Jane

Jennifer – please send me an email at
maria at (change the at to @ and remove the spaces, please). Include your full name and address and Kay will send your signed copy to you.

Jane – using the address above, please email me to confirm your email address and I’ll send you my Easter Egg Table Runner pattern.

Congratulations to both Jennifer and Jane!

Thanks very much to everyone who participated today. It was lots of fun and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading every comment. I will also enjoy replying to them tomorrow.

The Easy Appliqué Blocks Blog Book-A-Round


Welcome to my stop on Kay Mackenzie’s Book-A-Round from Maria Michaels Designs!

I am a quilt and web designer, and online quilt teacher at QuiltCampus. Maria’s Quilt Scraps is my new blog which takes the place of the Maria Michaels Designs Newsletter I’ve been writing and producing since 2002.


Kay’s new appliqué book is now available!

It comes with a CD, which every quilter will love! The terrific thing about it is that we can use it to print every one of the delightful appliqué blocks in our choice of 5 sizes: 6 – 8 – 9 – 10 – 12 inches! I can’t praise this feature enough. What a time saver! No tracing, no copying, no enlarging required!

An extra bonus – the mirror images are also included and ready to print! How handy is that? The CD, which works for both PCs and Macs, is very easy to use and the book includes complete information on how to use it.

Just looking at the patterns in the book and on the CD makes you want to get right to work making them! They are hard to resist!


Table of Contents pages can be relatively ho hum, but not this one. Look at how attractive these pages are! What’s more important – you can easily see everything included in the book at a glance. All 50 block patterns are listed and easy to find, as are Kay’s appliqué instructions.The pictures on these two pages give us a tantalizing glimpse of the kind of attractive appliqué patterns we’ll find inside, as do the block images below.


Kay’s step by step instructions and directions are all excellently done. They are written clearly and are easy to understand. Guidance in fabric selection and preparation, vision, lighting, and the tools and notions needed, are all a part of her hand appliqué tips. Directions are given for using freezer paper templates, which are used by ironing them to the right side of the fabric.


Back basting preparation for hand appliqué is also described, and Kay even includes a practice piece for those who need it. Hand stitching is gone over in detail, and there’s an overview of raw edge machine appliqué. All of the instruction pages are well illustrated, which is a special boon to those who prefer visual learning and which are a great aid to everyone.


I was just about to start a baby quilt and had been thinking about possible patterns. Kay’s book ended my wonderings because I fell in love with several of her block patterns and knew immediately that I absolutely had to put them in our granddaughter’s quilt, which will be ready to welcome her this summer. I’ll post a photo here to show it to you when it is done.


Send me the photos of the projects you make from Kay’s book and I’ll post them here, too, and forward them to Kay as well. She’ll be delighted to see them. We both will!

Ask for Easy Appliqué Blocks at your local quilt shop. If they don’t happen to have it, ask them to order it in for you. You can also purchase it at Amazon. or at the Martingale & Company website. Order it from Kay’s website Quilt Puppy Publications and get a copy signed by Kay herself!



Contest Prize!

Leave a comment about Kay’s book today and you’ll be eligible to win one of two prizes!

First Prize – a signed copy of Easy Appliqué Blocks!

easter_egg_runner1Second Prize – my Easter Egg Table Runner pattern which will be sent to you via email as a downloadable PDF file.

crossed-tulips Winners will be chosen from those who enter comments today by 7 p.m. Eastern time. The two winners will be announced here between 7 and 8 pm.

Note: I am happy to announce that the deadline can be extended to 8 pm Eastern time!

Winners will be announced between 8 and 9 instead.

The Book-A-Round started March 27. To learn even more about Kay’s new book, go to her website and catch up on all of the earlier stops on the tour. Then, every day through April 5, start at All About Appliqué and Kay will send you off through the blogosphere to another great quilting blog!

Free Pattern Draws

Long time readers of my Maria Michaels Designs Newsletter know that each month a subscriber won one of our quilt patterns. My newsletter replacement, Maria’s Quilt Scraps will also choose a pattern winner each month.

Eligibility remains the same. Pattern winners are chosen from those who have subscribed to this blog via email.

Winners will be announced on the first Monday of the following month starting with May 2009.

Free patterns can be claimed by emailing me to verify your email address.

Winners must claim their free pattern no later than the last day of their winning month.