Diane's Notebook

From Diane's Notebook




Blue and White - always a classic....


I have moved to my blog, so check there for news and what's going on. I'll still update this website but the blog is oh sooooooo much easier.


I'll be in Brainerd, MN in September - hope to see many of you there, and plan on a lttle fall color up there I hope. We don't get autumn until October here in the southeastern part of Wisconsin, and it's my very favorite time of year. I'll be traveling to Green Bay, WI in October, and Galena, IL in November and then we can cocoon for the winter and get some quilting done.


I have two sessions scheduled next year at Empty Spools Seminars at Asilomar, Sessions IV and V, March 14-19, and June 27-July 2. This is near Pacific Grove and Monterey, CA. My classes filled early, but many times wait list people do get in. I think this is a great value - the place is amazing, I liked the food a lot, and adored my room. There is no tv, but I found the vacation from it to be just what I needed. You get a 5-day class with your instructor, see us here and there, at meals, at night, etc., and get to meet all the instructors and many other attendees. I talked with people from all over the world at our family style meals, and really enjoyed getting to know so many of you that were in my classes, and many who were in other classes. Go to www.emptyspoolsseminars.com to sign up or read about the event. Below, the ining hall set for a casual meal. At dinner, we get lovely linens too....ah, it is so great to be pampered!

dining hall


I also have scheduled two new 3-day workshops at MAQS, the National Quilt Musem in Paducah, KY for '10 in October. The first one will be my class for those who have not had one there with me before "A New Tradition in Quilting," sort of the basics in machine quilting when you have experience and want to improve your work. The following class is for more advanced students who have already studied with me either at the museum or other multi-day classes. It is called "The Adventure Continues" and is more of an independent study class with new techniques and ideas from me, and my guidance as you work for three days on your own project.

The museum will be announcing these classes soon, so be sure and sign up early as they do fill fast. They'll have forms and info available at the quilt show coming up in April or go to their website to check latest workshop information: www.quiltmuseum.org Hope to see you there, and October is a beautiful time of year to come to Paducah.


Are you ready for a great blog to check out? Nope, not mine, although I can't believe I am saying this but I am considering doing a blog. This one is from a terrific award-winning hand applique artist who just happens to machine quilt beautifully and writes about her ideas on her blog, and who just might be the little spark you need to get inspired for your own work. Her thoughts on machine quilting applique I know will be appreciated by those of you who do hand applique and are wondering about the machine quilting. I'm sure you'll recognize her exquisite work when you go through the blog entries. Here is the link....enjoy! sandraleichner.com/wordpress


There is an interview with me posted online - go to www.handquilting.blogspot.com to read it.

Another source for the cones of #100 silk thread online is: www.textileart.com



I have never ever ever enjoyed quilting what I call "rocks" or pebbles. Going around and around, trying to make them natural and irregular simply drives me wild. So instead, I decided to do them in small areas as a transition between types of background quilting, or in areas where a simple circular design works best. Instead of going over my stitching several times to build up the thread presence, I slowed down, took it easy, and quilted small circles, only once around and then switched directions and did another circle. Mine are all circles, not perfect, but almost round, they work in any excess fabric beautifully, and they look very very nice. I can do this! I call these "Heirloom Bubbles" or "Froth" but definitely not rocks. See photo, below.

In a recent class at the museum in Paducah one of the conclusions we came to regarding machine tension is that the technique you are doing dictates the tension. Default may work well for walking foot quilting. Lower the top a number for free motion to give the thread a bit of slack, so it can create beautiful stitches. For something with more stress and tighter turns, smaller shapes like rocks or bubbles, lower it even more until the stitch looks "right." Not strung tight, no bobbin thread popping through when you change directions or between stitches. Bouncing Bananas would take a looser tension on top (smaller number) than Dianeshiko. Plus, thread color does make a difference. Between ecru and dark red, there will defnitely be a difference in machine tension. It is so EASY to tweak it and get a great result. Do it. And those of you with electronic sewing machines, remember, it goes back to default when you turn the machine off, so alwasys do that Pilot Checklist and make sure all your settings are the way you want them.


If some of you have had email to me bounce back, try my alternate address: dianequilter@sbcglobal.net


My Virtual Purple Patch! September 21 was World Alzheimer's Day, and to help support research and support for those affected by this disease I have created a Purple Patch here, in honor of my mother, Erma Hinterberg. She suffered from dementia and passed away in March of this year. I think of her and miss her every day and always will. She gave me so much that has helped make me the person I am. I try to pass that along to others in my teaching, and hope you will remember her too. She would have liked the fabric in my patch. Over 26.6 million people worldwide have this disease. Please visit www.AlzQuilts.org to see how you can help fund a cure for research and to make your own Virtual Quilt Patch.

my purple patch for my mother


Quilters with embroidery machines or modules for hoop embroidery are learning to use them for quilting designs through a prepared quilt sandwich. I have a series of designs available for you to stitch out as quilting or as outline embroidery as used in Redwork. The photo above shows several of these designes combined in the available software to create this lovely composition. Designs can be sized, rotated arranged in a way that YOU like and want for your quilt. Here the design was stitched out after being finalized on the computer screen (this is easy to do with the software, and this was done on a Bernina Artista) using #100 silk thread. The background lines were then quilted in with a walking foot, but you could also do any kind of background quilting with free motion. You could also use the programmed stippling and the hoop and position it around the design.

The super talented staff at Bigsby's Sewing Center created this quilt using my digitized designs. Every time I see it I think I must have made it and forgotten I did it, it looks so like my own quilts.

You can purchase this CD of designs from Bigsby's; give them a call at 262-785-1177.

The new Bernina 830, soon to be available, has a folder of my feather designs included in the machine for you to use. My "Bouncing Bananas" is in this machine and you can use it as the background for the designs that are in the machine or for any embroidery or quilting project. One of the included designs is the urn from my last quilt, "Shadows of Umbria."

 Below, another composition using my "Quilting Fancy" collection of digitized, hand drawn quilting designs. This collection is being retired but is still available in the "Licensed collections" on their website. It is also available for any brand of machine, and in Embroidery Take Out. Have fun with it - send me some photos!

Quilting Fancy CD designs


Although we lost our dear cat Hillary recently, she is forever captured in all her sweetness, beautiful pink nose and intense lovely eyes in Roberta Williams' lovely little quilt. You can purchase the pattern now at Keepsake Quilting, online or in their catalog. www.keepsakequilting.com

Watch for new Hillary patterns as Roberta creates more for us who love quilts and cats. Stay tuned!

To see a pattern based on Hillary "in fur," go to www.robertawilliamsdesigns.com

Proceeds of sales of this pattern will go to the Morris Foundation, and will help find cures and treatments to these diseases and conditions that take the lives of our loved pets. We have now been able to make a sizable contribution to this fantastic organization and we APPRECIATE your support so much. THANK YOU!!!!

The Hillary Quilt


YLI will be winding more colors of the #100 silk thread on the 1000 m. cones and those should be showing up in stores soon. Our local sewing center, Bigsby's, has already received gorgeous new shades in the cones and more will be coming. The quality of YLI silk cannot be surpassed. Give it a try.


Recently I sat down and did a back-and-forth email interview with Karen Musgrave for the Alliance for American Quilts and the S.O.S. program online (Save Our Stories). This one is now posted online and it is about my small quilt made for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative exhibit, "Forgetting, Piece by Piece." I tried to answer all the questions as best I could and I think you might enjoy the interview and so many of the others that are part of this project. The link below should take you to the main web page: www.centerforthequilt.org

Then click on the S.O.S. page and the interviews; mine is right at the top.


The emails have been rolling in telling me of completed quilts, successful quilting, trapunto tees, new sewing machines. You are all finally having time to try out the ideas you learn from me in class and in my books. They work, truly. Here are a few quotes, with names deleted to protect the innocent!

"Just wanted to tell you that I used the free pattern that you included in your latest book [Quilt Savvy: Gaudynski's Machine Quilting Guidebook] and did the trapunto feathers on a gray tee shirt. I used silk thread on a $5.99 tee shirt and the result is fabulous. I pre-washed the tee shirt and the muslin backing, just to be safe. The compliments are unending; and now when I wear it and people stare at my chest---I just smile!"

" I had a major breakthrough when I started thinking that I was driving a car instead of quilting. My stitches are so even now. I look back on what I have just quilted and just say "WOW!" My foot works the foot pedal automatically and speed is no longer an issue when I think about driving, down the street, into the garage, park the car before you change the tires...(my hand position) etc. Driving is so automatic with my foot I have fooled it into acting like I am driving....WOW!

 (I said that before, didn't I... But, Well I am just speechless, and Wow says it best.)

Thank you ever so much..."


"I wanted to give you an update on my new Bernina (430). I absolutely love it! It is such a pleasure to use. I have been doing lots of free motion quilting, and EVERY stitch has been perfect. The foot control is SO RESPONSIVE, and the machine just purrs---it is such a contrast from my ...[previous machine]. I had no idea you could have this much control when free motion quilting! I don't mean to be over the top about this, but I can't thank you enough for responding to my email---you helped me find the sewing machine I only thought existed in my dreams."

This is just a sampling of recent emails. I am so pleased things are working out for so many of you and that you are finding the joy and sheer fun of free motion quilting a quilt on your home sewing machine!


We have a new online quilt shop! Since Web of Threads' demise, it has been tough for me to find some of the threads I recommend, but here is a new one that carries Aurifil #50 cotton thread (which I still love for piecing too, bobbin thread, and for quilting when you choose cotton) and #100 YLI silk thread. www.quiltersthreads.com

My books are there too.....!


If you are using the Bernina BSR, be aware there are current updates available for you at your Bernina dealer. Take in that foot and it will be so much nicer with the update! Call ahead to see if you are up to date first and ask what needs to be brought in. Sometimes it's the foot only, sometimes the machine as well.

I used several machines with the BSR currently updated in my last class in SD and wow, wonderful smooth stitching. Also, if you do use one, set the speed of the machine all the way to the "+" so it has the capability to keep up with your hands should they go a bit too fast, and know too that you can adjust the stitch length for the size of your thread. The default stitch length is fine for heavier #40 and above threads, but fine threads like the silk I use or fine cottons like Superior MasterPiece need a smaller stitch length. Try a 1.6 and see if that makes the design look smoother and more refined. It will help so much in the appearance of your quilting.


Word is out! Some of my quilting designs are now digitized and available for the Statler Stitcher by Dawn from www.justquiltingdesigns.com

Check it out!! New: A Visit to Wales.


My newest book "Quilt Savvy: Gaudynski's Machine Quilting Guidebook" is out! It continues to lead you into confident quilting on your home sewing machine, and has many of my new freehand techniques with photos and explanations. It is spiral bound and small enough to fold back and put right near your work while you quilt. Ask at your local quilt shop, or get it at www.amazon.com You can of course order it from the publisher, AQS, at www.americanquilter.com

 New book!


If you have high speed internet and a video player on your computer, there is a video of me demonstrating how to stipple at www.taunton.com

Click on "Threads" magazine, and then the Tips list on the left and scroll through until you find my tip on stippling. You'll have to put up with my whiny Wisconsin accent, but you can see how I do this and hear the machine running. You will also notice that I can actually speak while stippling!


Some information about my classes and teaching style for those of you considering taking a class--I like to get information across in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere, as situations arise and lend themselves to a particular point. I do not like to have a list of things to do, in exact order, at exact times. I think every class is made up of different skill levels and personalities and you need to be treated as adults who can make sensible decisions about work in class. If this teaching style is not for you, and I realize many like a much more structured environment, then please give my classes a miss. If you do sign up for a class, be sure to bring the items on the supply list for best possible chance of success, and remember that we all approach information giving in our own ways. Good machine quilting can be done on many machines, and I try to work with you on your particular machine, but with all the new computerized ones it is sometimes difficult for me to diagnose or solve common problems. It's a good idea to bring your owner's manual.



For those of you who want to try the new cones of my Signature #100 silk thread for YLI, it is available online at www.roserushbrooke.com



© 2009 Diane Gaudynski