Thursday, September 26, 2019

Sue Daley Recap and More!

Sue Daley comes to PA

Hello Friends!

I was so happy to be able to take in Sue Daley's English Paper Piecing class and trunk show last Friday, along with a number of you!  She is the Australian queen of English Paper Piecing.  I learned how to English Paper Piece by watching her videos on YouTube a number of years ago and have been in love with EPP ever since.  Sue was delightful - down to earth, funny, humble, generous and eager to share her tips and tricks with us.  And, her new Paper Daisies fabric line is just lovely.

I'm offering another Intro to English Paper Piecing class on Saturday, October 12.  I figured it would be perfect timing after all the inspiration we gleaned from Sue's events.  I'll be covering her glue basting techniques as well as other popular methods.  This is a great opportunity to learn the basics if you didn't get a chance to take one of her classes.  And, if you need some more help with that knicker knot and/or quilter's knot, or want to perfect your skills, this class is for you too!  Click here to register.

English Paper Piecing is my favorite past time at the beach, thanks to Sue!  I recently spent a few days at the beach, stitching away to my heart's content.  I highly recommend scheduling your own personal hand stitching retreat - I can't wait to do it again next year!

We've also scheduled another Intro to Applique class on Wednesday, October 9.  It's a wonderful technique to add to your English Paper Piecing skills; we saw lots of examples of how Sue combined both.  I looove hand appliqué, and I love introducing the Freezer Paper and Starch method to students!  You can register here.

Deb's Barn Quilt

Deb attended our very first Mini Barn Quilt class back in March and went on to complete this amazing full-size barn quilt for their property in Lancaster county.  If you take a look at the center, you'll see that it's the same block design that we used in class.  It's been so fun to see how students take the simple techniques that we cover in class to new levels!  We'll be offering this class again, so stay tuned!

The Beach was meant for quilts....

I had fun photographing a few more quilts at the beach again this year.   This Flower Girl quilt pattern is by Camille Roskelly of Thimble Blossoms.

And, this is Lori's Holt's Bloom quilt, a free sew-along on her blog.

Let me know if you have interest in a class on either of these quilts!

I think I belong at the beach....  :)

Past Newsletters

Past newsletters are accessible on my blog.  If you are a new student and this is the first newsletter you have received, you can read previous newsletters here!

I'm gearing up for the "Weekend with Andrea" retreat; I'm looking forward to sewing with my peeps.  :)   Hope you're able to find time to sew this weekend as well!!



Monday, September 9, 2019

September 9 Update!

Hi Everyone!  

I just wanted to pop in and say hello in case you were wondering what in the world happened to me!  I was in a good groove of sending out a newsletter every few weeks, but then BAM, all the craziness of spring and summer (yardwork, vacation, Etown fair prep, etc. etc.) hit in full vengeance! I am SLOWLY getting back on track and working at getting caught up.  I have a long list of things I want to chat with you folks about, but for now, I wanted to at least send out a quick note!


I've been entering the Elizabethtown fair every year since 1991 when I made my first quilt.  As a farm girl, I grew up with the Franklin County Fair, and love the tradition of local fairs.  I entered a whole slew of things again this year - quilts, flowers, herbs, vegetables, and canned goods.  But, hands down, coaching my 16-year-old nephew to a blue-ribbon win for his Macarons was the best moment of any fair - ever!  Fair deadlines and competitions always push me to improve my skills, finish projects, and try new things, and this year was no exception.  By the way, I've got my sights set on that apple pie contest for next year!  :)


I've hardly even had a chance to touch my sewing machine this summer, but I finally took some time over the weekend to clean up my sewing space and reorganize, and now I can't wait to get back at it!  I have, however, had some fun with counted cross stitch after an almost 30-year break!  This pattern by Lori Holt is my next project!


It's been so enjoyable having so many of you in class recently, both new and previous students!  I wanted to highlight a few upcoming classes, especially for those of you I haven't seen recently:

  • ByAnnie Stash & Dash PouchWednesday, September 25:  While this is not a new class, it is a great introduction to ByAnnie's patterns.  You'll learn to work with her Soft & Stable stabilizer, mesh, vinyl, strapping, and also how to insert zippers.  After tackling this organizer, you will have learned the basic techniques for any ByAnnie pattern, and it's the perfect preparation if you'd like to make an Ultimate Travel Bag!

  • Ultimate Travel Bag Workshop, Monday, October 28:  I so enjoyed making this bag to take along on my trip to Oregon in July.  I am eager to share tips and tricks so that you can make a bag of your own!  It is a bit time consuming, but trust me, it's not at all difficult once you understand the ByAnnie techniques!

  • Farm Girl Vintage Sewing Day, Wednesday, November 13:  I love everything Lori Holt touches - patchwork, appliqué, and counted cross stitch!  Join me and learn tips and tricks for any Lori Holt project you wish to stitch!

For those of you who are new, past newsletters are accessible on my blog.  You can read previous newsletters here:  

Thanks so much for staying in touch!  I post regularly on Instagram @missandreaquilts as well as on Facebook, so feel free to see what I'm up to there as well!

Blessings to you!
Andrea  :)


Monday, September 2, 2019

Cross Stitch Project Bag

Here's a basic how-to for this simple project bag, perfect for counted cross stitch!
Finished size:  13" high x 14" wide

I couldn't resist stitching one out of this cute camper fabric in preparation for stitching Lori Holt's Happy Camper counted cross stitch pattern!

  I decided to use ByAnnie's Soft and Stable foam stabilizer to give it a bit more structure,
and I wanted to round my corners to reduce wear.  I changed out the dimensions a bit so that it would be the perfect size for an 8-1/2" x 11" counted cross stitch chart, as well as supplies for a project.

Supplies needed:
  • Fabric:
    • fat quarter - one for front (visible through vinyl)
    • fat quarter - one for back, contrasting bands on front, and zipper pull
    • 1/2 yard for binding
  • Shape Flex 101 fusible interfacing: 3-1/2" x 15"
  • ByAnnie's Soft & Stable: 14-1/2" by 15-1/2" 
  • Zipper: nylon zipper 16" or longer
  • Thread in neutral shade to match fabric (I used Aurifil, but So Fine would be a good choice as well.)
  • 1/4" Wash Away Wonder Tape (for basting zipper)
  • Clover Wonder Clips
  • 1/2" Bias Tape Maker
  • Fray Check

Cut fabric:
  • Front (visible through vinyl): 14-1/2" high x 15-1/2" wide
  • Backing fabric:
    • back: 14-1/2" high x 15-1/2" wide
    • top band -  3-1/2" high x 15" wide
    • binding for top of vinyl: 2-1/2" x 15" 
    • zipper pull:  1" x 10"
  • Bias binding: cut 2 strips 2-1/4" wide x width of fabric, cut on bias
  • Vinyl: 11 x 14-1/2"
Machine quilt:
  • Sandwich the backing fabric, Soft & Stable, and front fabric; pin to hold layers.
  • Machine quilt as desired.  (I used a walking foot and stitched a cross-hatch design 1-1/4" apart; then I went back and stitched another line of stitches1/4" to the right of each line of stitching.)
  • Trim quilted piece to 13" high x 14" wide.
Prepare top band:
  • Fuse interfacing to the back of the 3-1/2" x 15" backing fabric following manufacturer's instructions; fold in half lengthwise and press to create band for top of zipper.
Prepare vinyl:
  • Pin 2-1/2 x 15" strip of quilting cotton in half lengthwise to create binding for top of vinyl.
  • Clip binding to top of vinyl using Wonder Clips.  Stitch to vinyl using a 3/8" seam.  (You may need to use a teflon foot if you find the vinyl sticks.)
  • Wrap binding to back of vinyl and top stitch close to binding fold.
Install zipper:
  • Using Wonder Tape, adhere fold of top band to zipper along stitching line, centering band lengthwise.  Top stitch band to zipper close to fold using a zipper foot.  (If using a handbag zipper, you can use a 1/4" patchwork foot in place of zipper foot.)
  • Do the same thing with the vinyl section.
  • Layer zippered vinyl front section over quilted sandwich; trim zipper vinyl section as needed.  ***Be sure to slide zipper tab in before trimming!
  • Clip layers together and stitch 1/8" from edge.
  • Round corners using a 2-1/2" round object; stitch again 1/8" from edge.
  • Bind edges with bias binding.
  • Stitch zipper pull using 1/2" bias tape maker.  Slide through zipper tab and stitch to secure.  Cut ends on diagonal and apply a bit of Fray Check to prevent fraying.

    I want to play around with some other sizes, but this is a good start for now.  
    The current counted cross stitch craze has totally sucked me in, so I'm sure I'll be stitching some more bags for additional projects!

    Thursday, May 23, 2019

    Newsletter, May 23, 2019

    Hello Everyone!
    Hope you are doing well! Here’s what I’ve been up to!


    I spent last week hunkered down sewing a ByAnnie Ultimate Travel Bag (while the weeds all around me grew like crazy!!)., I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed making it!  A big thanks to student Deb Kanagie for inspiring me to make one – she brought hers to class recently, and I couldn’t get it off my mind as a result. I know it sounds hard to believe, but it truly was not that difficult to make, just LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of steps and time.  In fact, I found it easier than working with smaller pieces on projects such as the Stash and Dash Pouch (anyone remember struggling through that project?  :)  Deb recommended the Bluprint video tutorial which was super helpful.  I’ll be leading a workshop on the Ultimate Travel Bag in the near future.  I’m also planning on offering a class or two on some simple ByAnnie pouches; they will be a good intro for any of you who haven’t yet used one of her patterns or worked with Soft and Stable (her foam interfacing which gives her bags that perfect structure).  Her patterns are outstanding – well written and easy to follow.  I’ll keep you posted on dates!  I was motivated to get my bag finished in time for my upcoming trip to Sisters, Oregon in July.  I can’t wait to take pictures of it in front of the Sisters mountains!!


    I just recently started using Superior’s So Fine thread for bags and I LOVE it!  It’s nice and fine like Aurifil, but much stronger since it’s 100% polyester, so it’s perfect for bag making.  I knew I wanted something stronger than Aurifil for my Ultimate Travel Bag, and this was the perfect solution.  My Bernina loved it too.  :)  The Old Country Store will now be carrying spools of it, so be sure to pick up some for your next project.  More and more quilters are piecing with it too.  They like it  because, again, it’s fine like Aurifil, but it doesn’t generate any lint since it’s a polyester.  Just make sure to iron at a lower temperature, according to Superior Threads' recommendations.


    Did you get a chance to attend the Mancuso show in Lancaster this month?  I thought it was a great show, despite the fact that the venue still looked like a war zone – ha ha!  I always learn a few tips and tricks from Charlie at the Olfa booth.  I was able to ask him the best way to flatten a warped OLFA mat (question inspired by a student who had inquired!), and he directed me to their website where it tells you exactly how to go about doing it.  Here's the link: 


    I can’t stop making Gingham quilts!!  I have 2 more baby size quilts ready for machine quilting, and 2 larger ones cut out and ready to go.  They are embarrassingly simple to make, but the possibilities are endless....

    I finally took my pink lap size out for a photo shoot.  Next class will be Wednesday, June 26.  It’s a great class if you want a simple project, and perfect for beginners if you have a friend who has been wanting to learn to quilt.


    I thought you might enjoy seeing photos from our last Mini Barn Quilt class.  Marjorie joined us from the UK, three students traveled from New York, and we had some locals too!  I still think we need to get more men involved….  :)
    Next class will be Thursday, August 12!


     I love this picture of Lisa and Rita with their flag blocks from the recent Stars & Stripes class!


    Intro To English Paper Piecing: Wednesday, July 24 

    Modern Hexies: Wednesday, July 31


    Not a fan of radishes? Well, Martha Stewart’s Radish Butter may change your mind! I just harvested my first radishes and promptly ate them, Martha Stewart style!

    Past newsletters will now be accessible on my blog.  So, if you are a new student and this is the first newsletter you have received, you can read previous newsletters here.

    I think that's it for this newsletter!  As always, I love staying in touch with you!  You can also follow me on Facebook (Andrea Hoke) or on Instagram (@missandreaquilts).
    Blessings to you!

    Andrea :)

    Monday, May 6, 2019

    Newsletter, May 6, 2019

    Hi Everyone!
    I couldn’t resist sending you a few pictures from recent classes!

    First of all, how amazing is this Barn Quilt that Marti Clugston finished over the weekend?!!!!  She came to class on Thursday, but took the simple technique we covered in class to a whole new level!  And, her socks even match too!!  :)

    I’ve been playing around with a few more designs also, but on a much, much simpler scale!!   We still have some openings for Wednesday’s class, and will be adding more dates to the schedule.  I’ve been wanting to get some of the husbands/men out there involved – would anyone be interested in a “couples-friendly” class??  I think we could convince some men to join us if they knew they won’t be the only male present – ha ha!


    Saturday’s Jelly-Roll Rug class included students from all over – two ladies plus another gal from England, two sisters from Boston and Virginia, and one woman from New York!!  I am so grateful I get to teach at a quilt shop that attracts students from near and far!


    I’m planning to schedule another Gingham Quilt class shortly.  These quilts can be made in any size from Mini up through King size, and are!! I stitched a little Mini top last night - I can’t stop making them! The Old Country Store (including online) has Kona solids on sale May 6-11, so this is the perfect time to stock up on solids.  Here’s the link for the free pattern we will be using in class in case you want to purchase yardage for that project:

    ZIP CLASS 101

    The Zip Pouch 101 class is now open for registration and has two date options.  Use the link below to register:


    I’ve been pouring over Lori Holt’s patterns and Sew Alongs in preparation for our upcoming Farm Girl Vintage retreat October 18-20 (retreat will be open for registration on June 3 @ 4:30 pm).  Oh my, the possibilities are endless – I’m thinking a week-long (or month-long!)  retreat would be in order....  If only that were an option!  Lori's Farm Girl Vintage 2 book will be available in September, just in time for the retreat!

    MY MOTHER....

    My Mother’s 90thbirthday would have been today!  My sister and I are planning to celebrate her birthday this evening by going out for dessert.  Even though she was a Home Economics Education major, she never really enjoyed cooking.... It was more of a necessity versus an enjoyable venture for her, but she did love to eat if someone else did the cooking, especially dessert!!  I credit her for introducing me to all things domestic at a very young age, including teaching me to embroider by the time I was in kindergarten, and how to sew my own clothing by fourth grade.  I still have that cross stitch sampler.  :)

    Keep sending me pictures of your completed projects – I love seeing them, and I love adding them to the Class Gallery for other potential students to see!  And, thanks so much for your kind feedback re: my initial newsletter!

    Blessings on your week!
    Andrea :)


    Saturday, April 27, 2019

    Zipper Tab Tutorial

    This is my technique for neatly covering zipper ends with zipper tabs for zip pouches!  

    I use this same technique for pillows too, especially if the pillow doesn't have binding or has more of a modern esthetic to it.  There are tons of tutorials already out there, but everyone's measurements and techniques are slightly different, so I decided it was time to document my own method, both for you and for me!

    First of all, I always start with a zipper long enough that both metal stops extend beyond the body of the pouch.  It's so much easier!  This way you don't have to worry about accidentally hitting one of the metal stops with your machine needle, potentially breaking the needle or messing up the timing on your machine.  In fact, I keep a supply of 14" zippers on hand from an Etsy shop called Zipit (one in every color they carry!) so that I always have a zipper to choose from.  Occasionally I need a longer zipper, especially for pillows, but 14" is almost always long enough when it comes to zip pouches. Then, from time to time I simply order replacement zippers for the zippers I used up from my supply.

    OK, here's how to go about it!
    Slice off the metal bottom stop with a rotary cutter.  (I have a rotary cutter designated for paper and zipper cutting.)

    Now trim down the other end of the zipper so that the length of the zipper tape is 3/4" shorter than the length of the unfinished pouch piece.

    But, be sure to slide the zipper tab in before slicing so that it doesn't get cut off!

    This is what your trimmed down zipper should look like.

    To make the fabric-covered zipper tabs, cut a strip of fabric 1-1/2" x 4".
    Press in half lengthwise.

    Open fabric strip up, fold lengthwise edges into the center, and press again.

    Fold and press one more time.

    Cut pressed strip in half, yielding two tabs.

    Slip zipper into the tab, making sure the end of the zipper is the whole way in and butted up against the folded edge.  Pin.

    Repeat on other end of zipper.

    Carefully topstitch through all layers.  Don't stitch too close to the edge of the fabric fold, or you will run the risk of not catching the under layers of the tab.

    The extra length of the fabric makes it easier to stitch a tidy seam, especially those first few stitches.

    Trim off excess fabric even with the edges of the zipper tape.

    If you were careful about slipping your zipper the whole way into the tab, your covered zipper should still be 1/4 - 3/8" shorter than your unfinished pouch piece on both ends.

    Now you can insert your zipper!  

    You will need to use a zipper foot to install the zipper into the pouch.
    If you are using a Bernina zipper foot, simply move your needle the whole way over and line the edge of the foot up against the edge of the zipper tape and stitch.
    You can hand baste your zipper if you like, but careful pinning is usually sufficient.

    Then, I overcast the raw edge, along with the zipper, with a zig zag stitch.  It makes for a nice finish when you peek into the pouch.

    And last, 
     topstitch along the zipper from the outside.

    To finish the pouch, open up the zipper (important - or you won't be able to turn your pouch right side out!), pin right sides together, stitch sides and bottom with a 1/4" seam, and overcast the edges with a zig zag stitch.  Then, turn pouch right side out and you're finished!

    And that's it!
    Don't forget to add a tag, of course!