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If you’re like me, you might be experiencing a reprieve now that the holiday season is over. My shopping, decorating, wrapping, cooking and cleaning are done and yesterday, I finally had time to give myself a gift I’ve been longing for: the time to finish my quilt, Sun-kissed, on my embroidery machine!BabyShorte

The thought of finishing that pretty, sun-splashed quilt has gotten me through many household chores, magazine deadlines, blog posts and more. I’ve been saving this task for a block of time that I could devote to quilting it properly. I wanted to audition several different designs on it and take my time in making the decision. You see, I feel in love with this little quilt during the piecing process. I worked on it last summer during a sad time in my life and those bright colors and modern prints kept me going. They helped me focus, pray for better days and hope for a bright future. I don’t normally get emotionally attached to projects I’ve made (well, maybe a little) but this one was different. Some tasks come to us for a purpose we never intended. This was one of them.

First, I auditioned the Chandelier designs that come with the purchase of shortE. I thought they would be perfect but after careful consideration, I was concerned the geometric pattern of the Chandelier repeats would compete with Sun-kissed’s strong graphic pattern. Sun-kissed called for softer quilting designs – something fluid but more interesting than plain stipple. I rummaged through my design stash and found one I had previously sketched and digitized. Happy Flowers are big and small loopy flowers that run in a continuous line of stitches and align easily from hoop to hoop. Perfect!IMG_0204

I took a few steps to get ready for the actual quilting:

  • Fill several bobbins with my thread of choice: polyester white embroidery thread and thread the machine
  • Print a template(s) of Happy Flowers on Print & Stick Target Paper (gee, how did I live without that stuff all these years?)
  • Turn on the machine, retrieve the design and attach the bottom frame on Snap-Hoop Monster to the machine
  • Load Sun-kissed on the shortE
  • Position the Sun-kissed template on the upper right corner of the quilt (the first hooping on all shortE quilts)
  • Center the top right corner of the quilt in the hoop

Stitch the first design, and the second and the third…Oh my gosh, it was so much fun. It’s such a rewarding experience to see the first half of the quilt come to life. I love this process; I call it ‘working the quilt’: filling the hoop, aligning the designs and advancing down the quilt.

In future posts, I’ll share some secrets to success on making this process smooth, like what to do when you get this frown:IMG_0206

I wish each of you a happy and healthy New Year!

Here’s your assignment this week:If you had a day all to yourself to spend on a project, what would it be?  Leave a comment and one lucky winner will receive an autographed copy of my latest book, Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine (to be released January 2, 2015).
Last week’s winner answered the question, “What memories do you have that you could convert to stitches?” Elizabeth is the winner of a copy of Calligraphy Project Designer with her comment: My dear friend and I are in recovery together. I would love to put together a wall-hanging celebrating our sisterhood. Congrats, Elizabeth!



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  • Suzanne D

    I would spend the day making a beautiful memorial quilt for a friend out of her favorite colors.

    • Heidi Halvorson

      my project would have to be—organizing my “stuff” sometimes I buy duplicates because I don’t remember that I already have it stashed!

    • Nana Darlene

      I would call up my best friend and ask her if I could quilt as many UFO’s as I could on her LongArm Quilt Machine… and bring her a beautiful gift just for saying YES without thinking about it… and if she said NO… then I would bring her a gift anyway just cause she is the Bestest Friend EVER!

    • Bruce

      That would be a cool idea!


  • Kathy Stoessner

    Learn more about stippling with my embroidery unit

  • Anne Marie Reilly

    i would work on the Christmas banner that I couldn’t do before the holiday because I have been sick for 3 weeks.

  • Debbie

    I would use it to try to finish some of the projects that I started in the past year.

  • Patricia Jones

    I would organize my UFOs, decide which ones I’m really going to finish, get rid of those I won’t (with eyes closed) and start finishing the keep pile.

  • Sally Hudson

    I would love to sort all my scraps – by color and size – then clean up my sewing room – then I would start making crazy quilts with all my scraps and remember what I made with all of them – I have scraps from 45 years ago!

  • Karen Poole

    I would make a big dent on a couple of quilts waiting for some simple finishing touches. Like a quilt I have in my Little Grace Quilting Feame. I started quilting it but I didn’t have a stitch regulater for it, so I didn’t work much on it. I have since bought a stitch regulator and my youngest son installed it for me this weekend, now it will be easy to finish my quilts!!!! Hip hip hooray!!!

  • Bebe Franklin

    Purses I have several that I got just so far and can’t decide how to finish them

  • Dee Dickerson

    so many to choose- the tee shirt quilt for my daughter,the astronaut /space alphabet quilt for my grandson,learning a new technique like combining large designs,warping the loom for scarves, felting with new roving I just bought- how can I decide?? I need a month but would be happy with a full day !,

  • Lori E

    I’d start working on a winter coat that I’ve been designing in my mind.

  • Denise Amey

    I would start making my Xmas presents for next year! I always leave it too late, thinking I have heaps of time.

  • Dottie W

    A coat project from a pattern I bought on Craftsy last winter. Have all the fabric and notions now I just need to get in my sewing room and get to work.

  • Cathy

    I would start learning to use my embroidery unit to quilt those UFO’s that are sitting on the shelf. This is the year that I will use my embroidery unit more. I got a Elisimo II in April and still have used it to embroider quilts with it yet… so 2015 will be the year.

  • Sue Duisenberg

    We have a new grandbaby due this year so much to prepare! There is always much thinking involved before starting a project. sometimes it takes longer to plan it than it does to DO it!

  • Julie Borne

    My project would be to complete my daughter’s memory quilt – she will turn 35!!

  • Sharae-Sue Quatermass

    I would begin making my first quilt ever. I have most of the materials I need. I just have to actually start it.

  • Jane Ruhl

    Assuming that my sewing room was clean and my cutting table clear, I would like to spend that whole day cutting and piecing a quilt for one of my daughters.

  • Donna

    I would finish the quilt made from my father in law’s ties to give to my mother in law. I think a couple of days would be enough but I never can find 2 whole days together.

  • Pam Wolfe

    I would spend the day with my 88 year old mother. She is blind and can’t hear very well but we would spend the day discussing items she and her mother made when she was a girl and I would try to make one of those projects with her and me.

    • eileenroche

      Best way to spend the day!

  • Laurie Watkins

    I would spend the day finishing the quilt I’m making for my daughter as a wedding gift (my first quilt!)

  • Karen

    Once I got over the shock of having a day to myself, I would sew a bright quilt that would bring joy to everyone that came into my home.

  • Claudia O

    Well, the list is endless, but I would definitely make something for ME, for a change!! LOL

  • Marianne Myrick

    Well, I do have a lot of days to myself and could probably make better use of them. But, I bought the cutest completed baby quilt top (from a shop that I had just discovered and unfortunately was closing) and I would quilt and bind it. The baby will still be young enough so that a “baby” quilt is appropriate.

  • Dottie C

    I would love to finish a ton of projects that have been gathering dust( or wrinkles!!). But I would love to find out where to buy one of those shortE quilt frames.

  • Susan J

    i have had a poinsettia quilt on the design wall since Fall of 2013. I would spend a day putting the blocks together. Then it might be ready for Christmas 2015.

  • Michelle Hall

    I would organize my sewing room and plan what project to start next.

  • Pat Curtis

    I would start on a baby quilt for my dear friend for her first baby.

  • Sandra Butts

    I would spend my day completing a Dresden plate quilt I started 3 years ago for my 44 yr old daughter. She wanted it at 21 so I am way, way behind. I work a little each year –then back to the bottom of the closet it goes. My new year’s resolution is to finish it this year while my health allows me to sew & quilt!

  • Judith Clauss

    I had a day today and spent it sorting, washing and folding several totes worth of vintage fabric that were given to me just before Christmas. Next I will continue this process and try to get it all integrated into my stash. As I am doing this, I am deciding which fabrics will work for the bags, wallets and purses I love to make, which for a variety of quilt projects and which I will use in machine embroidery that will then be incorporated into bags, or quilts or… My mind stays busy planning while my hands stay busy with the fabric. A very uplifting day.

  • Mary S

    I would quilt the quilt that is waiting to be sandwiched for our granddaughter and also make a pear pincushion for my friend.

  • Rita

    I would get back to the 2 quilts in progress for the past 2 years.

  • Kathe pollard

    I would make a quilt for me. I have given away all my quilts but keeping one would be wonderful decadence. Yeah.

  • Belinda Germain

    I would work on an embroidered patchwork baby quilt. Love working on baby things!

  • Cindy

    I would work on new Christmas stockings for my family.

  • Paula Somers

    I would complete the three dresses for the junior bridesmaids and flower girl for my daughter’s wedding. Creating this memory will be a gift of love.

  • Hilary McDaniel

    i would love to finally learn my software. There are so many things I’d love to do but don’t because I don’t know how to use the software.

  • Sheryl Colle

    I would work on my Y2K quilt – I know, I’m only 14 years, whoops, make that 15 years behind! Ha!

  • Gail

    I’ve dreamed of making an antique style christening dress. Years ago I found a picture of an antique dress in a Martha Pullen book that included the digitizing of the embroidery designs that was incomplete. I decided to play with it and find designs to fill in the missing parts while I was learning to digitize. I had fun adjusting the design until it was complete. I’ve got it ready to embroider to see if I did it right but my eyesight is failing and I have been afraid to start (I’ve only been sewing for almost 70 years). My daughter and I bought a Babylock Destiny and I can actually sew on it because it has so many lights. I’m hoping after reading all the comments about other sewers wishes I will actually get going while I still can see. The old comment Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today, is very true. You might find time has caught up with you in a way you didn’t expect. Time to get my act together and haul out the design and see if the design works. Everyone cross your fingers!

    • eileenroche

      Good luck Gail! Happy New Year to you.

  • Sherrie Lilly

    Due to a knee injury and a re knee replacement I did not get any projects finished or new ones started. I would first move all of my sewing and embroidery materials and machines into my new sewing room space. I would then take out the two quilts that I pieced a couple of years ago and finish the. I would use my Babylock embroidery machine to quilt them.

  • Karen

    I think I would start some reorganizing in my sewing room.I tend to get side tracked and finish a project instead.

  • becky3580

    I think the comment by Pam wolf is the best and most important. Family and family history and tradition trumps all. Bless you Pam wolf.

  • Kaaren Reed

    I got a new embroidery machine for Christmas, I would spend the entire time learning it and embroidering two birthday gifts for granddaughters. Thank you for the encouraging words to keep me going!

  • Donna G.

    I’d finish the quilt my mother started years ago. She doesn’t see well any more and has severe arthritis, so finishing it would be a great gift and memory for her.

  • Karen Smith

    I would finish a quilt that my husband’s grandmother gave me.

  • Denyse Rose

    I would finish the quilt I’m making for my son who moved to the East Coast where it is already winter and I am way way behind!

  • Dorset Boronia

    A Whole Day! Wow! What luxury. So many things. But being a machine embroiderer and not a quilter, I would like to start a small quilting project. There is a lovely table topper I have found. My one whole day would be used to “play” with it. The materials are already purchased and waiting.
    Melbourne Australia

  • Dorset Boronia



  • joyce

    I up graded to the Babylock destiny and would like to have nice block of time to just play with all the different features on the machine.

  • Desiree

    I would FINALLY finish the purse I started months ago from the Handbags 2 book!

  • Judy G

    I would get started on the Native American design quilt I have in mind for my DIL. I already have the fabric and have graphed out the design. Now need to determine the block cut sizes based on the finished design size I have graphed and get going!

  • karen

    I have embroidery designs for a set of days of the week kitchen towels that I have been anxious to make.

  • Dorothy S.

    I have had Stipple! Sassy Cats now for several years and now that I have the BabyLock Destiny, I feel that I can complete this project.

  • Beth R

    I would spend an entire day doing UFOs! I have several that I don’t want to abandon, and just thinking of them can keep me from focusing to finish the most immediately-needed project. If I can get some of the UFOs out of the way, then keeping my work area cleaner will be easier and I’ll remove the clutter from my brain also!

  • tammy wright

    If I had all day to make a project, I would make me a decigner purse.

  • Sandy D

    I would work on a baby quilt that I’ve been planning for my 7 week old grandson Jaxon.

  • mary grace

    I would finish the quilt I started several years ago & got quilted a few years ago but it now needs to be bound but smaller before it is bound….it is way too big for my bed…I either make things too big or too small…not sure what is up w/that…Wishing you & yours a Happy New Year & most especially healthy!

  • Nancy Grove

    I would devote the time to FINALLY quilting the queen size quilt I made years ago.

  • Casie Williams

    I’d digitize a quilting design to try out on my new ShortE. Santa was very good to me this year!

  • Charlee Turner

    I have so many UFOs to complete, that I would love to have a full day, (it would take more like a month!) to work on finishing them!

  • Kristi Alexander

    My friend and I will be doing just that tomorrow. We will be working on a state flower quilt. We have blocks representing the flowers of each of the 52 states. We are each making two sets of blocks so we can swap when we are done!

  • Karen Rilstone

    I would stitch and stitch and stitch all the lovely projects lined up.

  • Kristi D.

    I would get down the quilt pieces that my Grandmother cut out and put it together. I have been looking at it for some time now but other things keep getting in the way.

  • Lou Bush

    After frantically finishing embroidered gifts for friends and neighbors, I’m about “sewed out”. What I really need to do is close my eyes and throw out a huge pile of fabrics I’ve kept just to test-stitch designs on. Since that wouldn’t really take that long (if I did really close my eyes) I would then start on the closet in my sewing room and get rid of past projects that I will never finish. It’s hard to tell what I may find!

  • Fonda Baus

    I would start and finish a quilt of valor. And present it to the Veterans Club in our village, to choose a worthy Vet to receive it..

  • Wilma

    I have 4 grand daughters, ages 8 – 15 who like to sew and design. My day all to myself would include them and we would design and start to sew a comforter representing all of us at the beginning of 2015.

  • Dena Martin

    I would spend the day with my 8-year old granddaughter Brielle picking out fabrics for a joint quilt project. She loves to browse through my quilting books and magazines selecting those she would love to make.

  • Darlene Graham

    I would definitely be working on finishing the wedding quit for my nephew and his bride. It would be nice to get it done before their first anniversary! Of course, I would be resisting the temptation to get started on a quilt for the grand baby due at the end of the month. Can I have two days please?

  • Meghan M.

    I would make a duvet cover for my pre-teen cousin. I worked with her over the holidays so help paint her room and make it ready for her “teen” years, and I’d love to make her new bedding to match =)

  • Nancy Johnson

    I am going to organize my sewing area today!

  • Donna Magee

    If this day also didn’t include my family needing to walk through our start by pulling projects out of different spots they’ve been forgotten in throughout the house and after getting them sorted I’d work on a quilt that’s for my mother.

  • Kathy

    I would like to finish my many UFO this year

  • Jo Ann Queen

    I would like to make a the 1-Step Fabulous Flowers & Medallions quilt I purchased at Sisters event in KC, MO Sept of 2014. To start & finish this would truly be an accomplishment for me. Thank you for a wonderful event.

  • Donna Fecteau

    I would like to make a quilt with my moms hankies and scarves for my dad.

  • Betsy

    I would finish up 2 quilts that have been put on the back burner during the holiday rush, embroider labels for them, then begin a new project!

  • Patty Fiske

    I would finish a project. More specifically one of MY projects. One I wanted to do because I liked it. They keep getting interrupted by projects I need to do. I don’t know which one but something finished would be amazing

  • maria elena blecha

    A whole day to myself??? Oh joy! I would use it to learn more about embroidering, specifically relearning the embroidery softwear as I just retire and now am ready to jump right in. Thanks Maria Elena

  • Olivia

    i would start a Swoon quilt that I have the fabric for. I’m using Cotton and Steel basics! Love the little metallic details.

  • Carol howell

    I would like to just sit and sew all day, going back and forth between my sewing machine and embroidery machine! I have plenty to do! Yikes!

    • eileenroche

      That sounds like fun!

  • Carolyn Daugherty

    Have been so busy over these past few months, I would reconnect with my quilting sisters. Quilts mean family, friends, nurturing, warmth, love. One day to myself must be to share.

  • Patricia M. Huckabay

    I had a pair of the most amazing little Shih Tzu puppies. They loved me and cuddled me through the healing process after my husband died. They were my devoted companions for fourteen years. Last spring the little girl died when her heart just became too big for her tiny body. The little boy simply couldn’t live without her & died of a broken heart just before Christmas. I would like to make an embroidered and quilted wall hanging in appreciation for all the years they took care of me.

  • Marilyn

    I got a new embroidery machine about 1 1/2 years ago and as of now have not done any embroidery projects on it. I would like to learn how to use the new options on it and learn the software and then go to town on all the projects I have in mind. Happy New Year All and happy sewing or quilting!

  • Anita McGregor

    Plan, cut and and piece a quilt top for our grandson expected on Feb 14.

  • Carol K.

    I would work on my soft ware class that I have been wanting to start doing for a year now! So much to learn. As soon as I have learned one thing I realize there is so much more to explore.

  • Sharon P.

    A day all to myself. I would pull out one of several projects that I bought all of the supplies for but had no time to start.

  • Darlene Khosrowpour

    Looking for a time when I can make a special memorial quilt for my brother who lost his only son to suicide.

  • ann santistevan

    I planned to make embroidered santa hats to go over the backs of my dinning room chairs. I have everything I need to complete the project except TIME….

  • nancyB

    New Grandchild in July! need to organize and find out how to sew baby accessories! HUZZAH!

  • Carole D

    I would start working on a Christmas quilt for my bed for next year while I am still thinking about it and enthusiastic.

  • Deb Hurtig

    I’m in “reorg” mode so that I can feel comfortable, creative and stree-free … Really easy to quilt the lemoyne star sampler I completed almost a year ago

  • Maxine Mac Neill

    I was beyond excited when I received my ShortE. I had so many things rushing through my head of what to do first. I had made my mom a quilt top and put it away as she passed before I could complete it for her. It has been a UFO for some years as it was hard to bring it out to finish but now with my ShortE it will no longer be a UFO. Memories will no longer be painful as she was such an person with unbelievable fortitude after the loss of her legs, she just keep going no matter what. So now it’s time to honor her with this UFO. Love you mom

  • GloriaJean Grevenstuk

    I was “flying by the seat of my pants” last week trying to remember how to embroider a T-Shirt. I failed miserably. My thread tangled and when I tried to remove the thread “mess” there was a hole formed. After weeks of trying to get the right fabric color to match a skirt that I have never worn, because it is difficult to match, now I had ruined it!

    Eileen Roche to the rescue! I found some videos by Eileen and purchased the class and followed them. I am doing the “Happy Snoopy Dance” today because I have embroidered a piece of the fabric and laid it over the bad part, stitched it on and removed the underneath mess. It looks like I planned it that way.

    After having a pity party, about how I can never do anything right, etc…….I finally have a great day. That’s what I call “Starting the new year right!”

  • Sandra Nettles-Rhodes

    I will design a coverlet for Daddy. Moma died on November 1, 2014 and after 65 years plus of marriage the hole in his heart is bigger than the size of Texas, as my Bother said at her funeral service. I am trying to think of a way to ask for Moma’s extensive collection of sweatshirts that kept her warm for the last several years of her ilness. A quilt would be too warm for Florida, but I would appreciate any suggestions.

  • Linda

    I have a couple machine embroidery quilts to finish……loving the process…..

  • Pat

    As another poster said, I have a lot of days all by myself (read, “all of them”). I would take one day and sort through my stash, organizing the things I’d keep by size and color. Then I’d make a trip to donate the things I’ve decided to pass on to another quilter.

  • Susan

    I would like to have a sew day with my sister. She lives far from me and it would be fun to share a day doing what we both love, sewing and embroidery.

  • Doreen

    Hmmm, wow that’s a tough one I have so many things to do. There’s organizing and inventorying all my stuff. There’s also so many unfinished projects and new ones to start. I would probably try to do at least a little on organizing and work on some of my unfinished projects.

  • beth

    I would probably work on my next quilting project or a machine embroidery project that I have an idea for. I do have some unfinished projects that I can work on too.

  • Alicia

    I would love to make a Sunbonnet Sue and Fisherman Fred quilt or wall hanging for my Mother – they are her favorite!

  • Michele Harvey

    If I had a whole day to myself I would totally spend it on learning to embroider on boot socks. I want some for this northern winter soooooo bad. Then I would start on my new monogram handbag. But the truth is I never get around to projects for myself. But I still enjoy every minute creating anyway.

  • Judy Beach

    I have wanted to try using my embroidery machine to do my quilting. I would spend my time trying to accomplish quilting a small quilt with the machine.

  • Deanna

    I would make a baby quilt for my neighbor who is raising g her grandchild. Also would like to finish a quilt I h have alreadypieced for my daughter

  • Kit

    I would prewash all the fabric I have sitting around in bags as they came from the store, iron them and label with the yardage amount. I have a new sewing room (remodeled porch with great south and west light) and a new machine so organization is at the top of the list!I love what is happening with the embroidery machines. Software for quilting! YEA!!

  • JudiC

    I would start & hopfully finish an embroidery & quilted snowman wall hanging I have been trying to get to for almost a year now ⛄️

  • Lisa Kline

    If I had a whole day I would work on my grandson’s Sock Monkey applique quilt. I have fabric to make a pillowcase also.

  • Carole Steigerwalt

    I would finish the purse that was in DIME magazine with the hourglass designs that I got from your Craftsy class. Then plan the quilt too. I made the tablerunner sample and need to use the help you gave for aligning designs. Thanks,

  • debe

    Finish some police themed items for my grandson, sew/a pair of pajamas for another & quilt by embroidery the fireman wall-hanging for a 3rd.

  • Pam

    If I had an entire day to myself I would get lost in finding inspiration for my craft. I work full time and even though my kids are grown I still don’t get much alone time. So, to have a day to get lost in thought without any interruption would be a dream

  • Danie Duchesne

    I bought a BOM class on Craftsy as well as a class to learn free motion quilting. I am anxious to get started but I can’t seem to make the time for it. Well, I just finished cleaning my sewing room and packing all the Christmas decorations so maybe next weekend…

  • Jan Albright

    I would work on my granddaughters Tree of Life quilt. Time is so precious… My grandmother was such an inspiration to me as a little girl and I want to pass that inspiration of sewing and crafts on to my granddaughters. This quilt is absolutely gorgeous with all of the bright colors I have used. I cannot wait to put in the last stitch and give to her.

  • Charlotte Silber

    I would spend the day working on a silk type quilt for my daughter and her husband, who are moving in to their new home this year. My daughter’s husband is a business man, get it, silk ties and silk fabric. LOL

  • Pat Bartholomew

    I would spend the day starting on my first quilt. I love the look of the crazy quilt, so that would be my project for the day. I would plan the embroidery designs to make it personal.

  • Ellie Stratton

    Thanks for your precious time in sharing this sun-splashed quilt design. You have created nice machine embroidery designs. You wrote very well and it was nice reading your blog-post. Your writing is showing your passion for embroidery.

  • Susan Ford

    I would spend the day stitching out the blocks for Hearts by Sarah Vedeler and dream of how to use the silk scraps in a crazy quilt that I would make from your new book.