Posted By on February 16, 2018

Fabric OrdersSome of you have maybe heard rumors that Coats & Clark, owners of Free Spirit/Westminster Fabrics will be out of the fabric business as of May 1. I got the news through an email Monday that the rumors are true and that they are filling past orders but will no longer be printing/selling fabrics. I’m sure their wonderful designers (like Tula Pink and Kaffe Fassett, just to mention a few), will all find new fabric companies to print and sell their fabrics.

Meanwhile, I immediately started looking for another fabric wholesaler. Today I placed an initial order with Art Gallery Fabrics. They too have some fabulous designers, one being Angela Walters. I remember being at Spring Quilt Market five years ago in Pittsburgh when I was looking for a fabric line to carry at my studio. I was immediately drawn to the Art Gallery booth because of their modern colors and designs. This week in researching who carries Art Gallery Fabrics, I found it was not very available in Rochester. So I am very excited to announce that I will be carrying Art Gallery Fabrics in my studio. I just placed my initial order today and expect to have lots of new fabrics coming within the next few weeks.

But what Does this mean? It means I need more room, so….that means a SALE! All of the Westminster Fabrics in the studio will be ON SALE for just $5.99/yard starting tomorrow and ending Thursday, February 22 when they will return to the regular price of $8/yard. Now’s the chance to stock up on some of you favorite designers like Tula Pink, Kaffe Fassett, Brandon Mably, Erin McMorris, Denyse Schmitt, Nel Whitmore and more for just $5.99/yard. But this is not a permanent markdown, as these fabrics will become less available soon and in higher demand. So after February 22, they will return to the regular price of $8/yard. Don’t miss this chance to get your favorite fabrics before they are gone and at a sale price!

I will be keeping special hours starting tomorrow through the end of the sale:
Saturday, February 17, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Monday, February 19, 1 – 6 p.m.
Tuesday, February 20, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Wednesday, February 21, 1 – 6 p.m.
Thursday, February 22, 1 – 6 p.m.

Stop in, buy some great fabrics at a remarkably low price and see my newly expanded studio and “quilt shop.” Call me at 831-2566, if you need a ride up in the elevator at door #2. I’m on the third floor.


Announcing Regular Hours

Posted By on February 7, 2018

20180207_144050Quilting with Margaret, Studio #307-309 in the Hungerford at 1115 East Main in Rochester, will now be keeping regular hours at the studio/quilt shop. You can find me there every Wednesday and Thursday from 1 – 6 p.m. Also, I will be open on the First Friday of each month from 6 – 9 p.m. and the First and Second Saturdays of each month from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

However, if those times don’t work for you, I’m always available by appointment. And I will also be at the studio during any scheduled classes, but you may want to call first to be sure the class hasn’t been cancelled. I will also announce here on my website and on Facebook when I will be closed due to weather, illness or vacation. Hopefully these more regular hours will make it easier for you to stop by and shop!

This weekend is February Second Saturday, so I will be open and also, it will be the first Open Studio in 2018. If you are not familiar with my Open Studios, they are open sew days, where you can bring your sewing machine and U.F.O.’s (or Un-Finished Objects) to work on completing in the company of other quilters/makers in a studio enviromment. My studio offers lots of tables, ergonomic chairs, ironing and cutting stations for your convenience. The cost is only $20 for the day.

Stop by this Saturday, February 10th and check out my new expansion. Also, pick up a 2018 winter/spring class list. And if you feel creative, make a fabric Valentine’s postcard from a $5 kit. Hope to see you Saturday!

Grand Reopening, February 2 – 3

Posted By on January 29, 2018

20180128_155046The expansion at Quilting with Margaret is almost complete. To celebrate, I will be having a 2-day Grand Reopening on February First Friday from 6 – 9 p.m. and Saturday, February 3, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Stop by for some refreshments while checking out my new Quilt Shop and expanded Studio Space. Friday night enjoy the music of Rochester’s singer-songwriter trio Spring Chickens, featuring Scott Regan, Connie Deming and Steve Piper. There will also be make-it/take-it Valentine fabric postcards, guest artists Sarah Long Hendershot and Trudy Fiekert and a free gift with each fabric purchase.

On Saturday, the first 10 customers will receive a free swag bag. Again there will be make-it/take-it Valentine fabric postcards, guest artists, demos and fabric specials. Stop in and shop at my new Quilt Shop and check out the class schedule for this winter/spring. The enlarged working studio space will be perfect for classes, workshops, retreats and open studios. Studio 307-309, the Hungerford, 1115 East Main St. at Goodman.

Exciting Expansion of Quilting with Margaret

Posted By on November 19, 2017

20171117_101857Very excited to tell you that I will be expanding my space at the Hungerford to include Studio #309. They knocked a hole in the wall between the two studios Friday and framed out the new Archway. Monday the electricians will reroute the electricity around the archway and add some outlets. In January after the holidays they will paint walls, ceiling and floor to match my current space. To celebrate, I decided to host a Pop-Up Makers Market during the Hungerford’s holiday hours. So I have found several different local makers to share their handmade items in the new space.

The Pop-Up Makers Market will be open on the following days:

Black Friday, 11/24, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Small Business Saturday, 11/25, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
First Friday, 12/1, 5 – 9 p.m.
Holiday Saturdays, 12/2, 12/9 & 12/16, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Hungerford will be offering FREE Swag Bags to the first 20 visitors at door #2 on both Black Friday & Small Business Saturday. The Swag Bags are filled with coupons, an item from an artist at the Hungerford and lots more goodies. I will have free soup at my studio both days plus holiday cookies and warm spiced cider.

20171118_160223Pop-Up Makers Market will include different artists with locally handmade items  on various days:
Jess Mrva Schulte (baby blankies/lovies, adult & toddler aprons, kitchen & bath linens)
Laura Robinson (mosaic tile & magnets)
Michele Kurpisz (metalsmithed jewelry)
Scott “Jones” Hendershot (architectural photography)
Lori Massa-Prince (handcrafted jewelry)
Jane Bartett (hand-dyed clothing)
Heather Behrendt (lampwork beads)
Trudy Feikert (knitted yarn hats & fingerless glove creations)
…and more to be announced!

Stop by and check out what’s new at Quilting with Margaret.

2017 Handmade Holiday Retreat, October 27 – 29

Posted By on September 13, 2017

Quilted Artwork Frame

Quilted Artwork Frame

Join me at my studio for a weekend of fun with other makers. We will be making 6 handmade items, all which would make a perfect holiday gift. Learn techniques for working with some of the newest fabrics like Kraft-Tex, a eco-friendly leather-like paper fabric that is washable and can be sewn. The weekend includes meals, recipes, some patterns and will be a lot of fun. Bring your own sewing machine that you are used to using and set up your maker’s station on a table at my studio for the weekend. We will have hors d’oeuvres and punch and make a quick project, a quilted artwork frame, from 6 – 9 p.m. Friday night.

"Leather" Tech Stand

“Leather” Tech Stand

Then return on Saturday morning (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) for hot coffee, tea and a continental breakfast. In the morning we will make a “leather” tech stand from Kraft-Tex. After a box lunch, we will do another Kraft-Tex project, a Ready-to-Travel Backgammon board. Then we will finish up the afternoon making a “leather” & ribbon key fob from your scraps. These eco-friendly items make great gifts for men, women or children.

Sunday (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) we will make a couple of fabric gift items, both from Terry Atkinson Designs. In the morning we will work on a Zippy Strippy zippered bag made from 2 1/2″ strips. Then in the afternoon, we will make a fat sack which is great for carrying groceries, but also would work well as a reusable gift bag. Also, on Sunday, enjoy a warm brunch with bottomless coffee, tea and water.

Don’t miss this annual retreat! Read more on the Handmade Holiday retreat page of this website and download a signup brochure here.

"Leather" & Ribbon Key Fob

“Leather” & Ribbon Key Fob

Fat Sack

Fat Sack

Ready-to-Travel Backgammon

Ready-to-Travel Backgammon












Zippy Strippy Zippered Bag

Zippy Strippy Zippered Bag












Fabric Sale Sept. 1 – 10

Posted By on August 31, 2017

IMG_20170830_112643_733Just got in a new shipment of fabric, 25+ bolts! Stop in and check them out over the next week and take advantage of this special sale. All fabrics at my studio are regularly just $7.50/yard, but for the next ten days: buy 8 yards or more of fabric and get them at just $6/yard. This sale includes all of the new fabrics too. I will be open Friday, September 1 for First Friday from 6 – 9 p.m. and will also be open Saturday, by appointment. Call or text me if you want me to meet you there Saturday or any specific time next week. I also plan to be at my studio during next week in the afternoons, 1 – 4 p.m.

Also, on First Friday I will have a class list of fall quilt classes available at my studio. Stop in to see samples and sign up. I will also be taking signups for the April 26 – 29, 2018 Get-Away Weekend at Beaver Hollow. Special discount available if you pay in full by September 25. And as mentioned before, I will be hosting guest artist, Eileen Deloff, who makes pillows from African fabrics. She will have these for sale along with African made baskets, shea butter and black soap. All proceeds help support medical missions in Ghana.

This will be a fun and special First Friday with African inspired snacks and music. Stop by the Hungerford, Studio #307 and join the fun!

First Friday, September 1, 6 – 9 p.m.

Posted By on August 24, 2017

ASAP First FridayOn First Friday in September, I will be welcoming Eileen Deloff, from A.S.A.P. (Americans Serving Abroad Project). She will have beautiful handmade pillows for sale.  She sews these pillows from African fabric that she bought last March when she visited Ghana. The proceeds from pillow sales support health and education in impoverished communities in Africa. She will also have baskets that were designed and handwoven with love by women of the ASIGE Project in Bolgatanga Ghana. Purchase of a basket gives these women the ability to support their families and the hope for a better future. Proceeds also support the purchase of essential medications and supplies for healthcare mission trips to remote villages in Ghana through A.S.A.P. Also for sale will be black soap and shea butter. Please stop by the studio and help support this wonderful cause.

You can also check out the new quilt fabrics that recently arrived at the studio. All fabrics are regularly just $7.50 per yard.  And I will be taking signups for fall classes and the 2018 Annual Get-Away Weekend at Beaver Hollow scheduled for  April 26 – 29. The weekend is starting to fill up already, so get your deposit down if you want to join us.

September’s First Friday will be on Friday, September 1, from 6 – 9 p.m. As always, First Friday is a wonderful evening to wonder around the Hungerford building and check out all of the varied artists’ studios. There are four floors with over 100 different studios featuring painters, photographers, sculptors, ceramics artists, potters, glass artists, jewelry artists, fiber artists and more. It’s a great place to find a one-of-a-kind gift while supporting local artists and locally-owned businesses.

2018 Get-Away All Set

Posted By on August 17, 2017

Our spacious classroom in the Fireside Room

Our spacious classroom in the Fireside Room

Everyone had such a wonderful time at the 2017 Get-Away at Beaver Hollow in April, that we will be returning there in April of 2018. They have given us the same prices and the dates will be April 27 – 29, with an optional add-on night, Thursday, April 26. We all enjoyed the spacious 3000 square foot Fireside Room where everyone had a large workstation and an ergonomic adjustable office chair. The food was exceptional and plentiful. And the evening bonfire with s’mores was a definite favorite where we all got to know each other a little better.

Also, if you didn’t attend this year, having the extra full day on Friday for everyone really made a difference. Because of that, I was able to spread out the special activities over the full weekend so that everyone had plenty of quilting time on both Friday and Saturday. I’m sure those of you who hadn’t come for the extra day previously, really noticed a difference this year with being able to sew all day Friday. And for those of us who opted for the extra night Thursday, it seemed like a really long and rejuvenating retreat.

So if you are interested in joining us in 2018 at  Beaver Hollow, you can download a sign-up brochure here:

2018 Sign-Up Brochure

A $200 deposit saves your space, with the remainder due by March 10, 2018. You can pay monthly, or if you pay in full by September 25, 2017, you will receive a coupon for 2 free open studios and 2 free yards of fabric (a $55 value). you can pay by check, cash, or credit card (with a 3% credit card fee added). I sent out an email to past retreaters and have already gotten lots of responses, so I expect the Get-Away to fill up fast. Looking forward to an even better Get-Away Weekend in 2018!

Want to find out more about this weekend? Stop by my Studio #307 at the Hungerford, 1115 East Main Street for First Friday, September 1, 6 – 9 p.m. The weekend is already starting to fill up!



Who's going to win Quilt Bingo?

Who’s going to win Quilt Bingo?

Cut, cut, cut those scraps!

Cut, cut, cut those scraps!

"Vanna's" Coronation

“Vanna’s” Coronation

Sunday's big Show & Tell inspired us all.

Sunday’s big Show & Tell inspired us all.

Connie works on a colorful creation.

Connie works on a colorful creation.

New Fabric at the Studio

Posted By on July 28, 2017

Tula Pink's "Eden"

Tula Pink’s “Eden”

Just got a couple of Tula Pink “Eden” backorders in at the studio last week. If you haven’t been by the studio for awhile, I got a bunch of new Tula Pink fabrics in in April. Let me know (text me at 831-2566) if you want to stop by and take a peak. I’ve been coming to my studio mainly by appointment only this summer. It’s been a crazy summer for me, getting my mom settled in Rochester. She moved here from Ohio and will be living with us.

Burst Block in progress

Burst Block in progress

But I have been able to sneak away several times to go to the studio and quilt. I just finished piecing this baby/wall hanging made with a Man Sewing burst block template, which I now sell at my studio. It’s an interesting and challenging block to cut and piece.  But recently I’ve decided that quilting the quilt is my favorite part of quiltmaking.  And I’m currently quilting a modern quilt top with “ghost” blocks.  Thanks to my new portable air conditioner at the studio, it’s not to hot to work there! I’ve been busily trying to finish some new pieces for a special show in September of 2018. I will tell you know more about this show as it develops.

Tuesday Tips & Tools: Pressing

Posted By on June 13, 2017

Ironing machineIt’s Tuesday and after skipping several weeks of posting Tuesday Tips and Tools I’m back on track, I hope! It’s been a little hectic here getting my mom settled in at our house. In April she decided to take us up on our offer for her to move in with us. So expect to see Helen at the studio more in the future. My mom was never really a quilter, although many of you have met her at one of my midnight retreats or this year’s get-away weekend. She has made a couple of runners over the last few years, but she doesn’t consider herself a quilter. But she used to knit my brother and I a pair of mittens every winter when I was a kid. And she has made me many Easter dresses, an occasional coat and helped me learn to sew. She can tailor a suit and made my wedding dress. She’s a retired home economics teacher, so need I say more. She didn’t teach me to quilt, but I got my love of fabric and sewing naturally from her. And although I never knew her mom (my grandma), she was a quilter and sewer, and I am fortunate to have a couple of her quilts.

When I was a little girl, I remember laundry day and my mom ironing all of our clothes. She would keep an old 7-Up bottle filled with water and a plastic sprinkler lid on the top in the refrigerator. She used a dry iron and sprinkled the clothes with water and rolled them up in a towel until she ironed them. I used to help her and iron my dad’s cotton handkerchiefs. She had these metal stretchers that she used to stretch my dad’s trousers on so they didn’t need to be pressed. I remember the day she found an electric “ironing machine” (I think that was what she called it) at a household sale. She was so excited to buy this efficient time-saver that would mean less time spent ironing sheets, tablecloths and anything flat. She taught me to iron and as I got older, the weekly family laundry became one of my chores. Fortunately, by then there were permanent press clothes and ironing was not an entire day chore.

I was always taught to iron-as-you-go when sewing garments. And I learned from experience that if you did this, your garment always came out better and looked more professional. Everything laid flatter, corners were sharper and things went together easier and better when you ironed-as-you-go. The same thing is true with quilting. However, the rules are different when quilting. Which leads us to:

TIP #1: We don’t call it “ironing” when quilting…we call it “pressing.” And that’s because the proper way to press seams is to “press” them or apply pressure to the seam with a hot iron and not slide the iron around to avoid stretching seams and bias edges. That means pick the iron up and place it down on the seam, no sliding or “ironing.” I’m sure all of my students out there have heard me say many times, “Press, don’t iron!”

TIP #2: “Set the seam” before you press it to one side or the other. Setting the seam means pressing the two seams together from the wrong side with the side you will be pressing towards on the top. This sets the stitches. If you are pressing two long width-of-fabric strips that have been sewn together (for strip piecing), lay the two strips on the ironing board in a straight (not curved) line. This is why I prefer to have ironing board covers with a grid printed on them instead of a cute print. You can use the line as a guide to keep your long strip straight. Remember to put the dark side (or the side you will be pressing the seams towards) on top. Next press down the seam in an up and down motion to “set” the seam and never slide the iron or the tip of the iron down the seam or you will stretch it. If you don’t have a straight line on your ironing board cove, you can always draw one with a permanent pen.

TIP #3: Lastly, use your fingers to gently open the fabric so it will be right-side-up and follow your finger down the seam “pressing” the seam over to the top fabric, usually the darker fabric. However, sometimes we press to the lighter fabric if it reduces bulk. so always anticipate the next step when choosing how to press, since most patterns fail to tell you this important step of which way to press the seams. You don’t want to pull the fabric open too hard or you will flip the seam back towards the bottom fabric. That why I like to follow along behind my finger with the iron.

Thermal ThimblesTIP #4: Never use steam when pressing seams, as this will only stretch the fabric. Also, if you use steam when pressing long strips open as discussed above, the steam will burn your fingers. And if you don’t have asbestos hands like I do, you may want to purchase a quilting notion: thermal thimbles to protect your fingertips from getting burned by the iron.

TIP #5: It’s ok to use steam when you are pressing or actually ironing your fabric before cutting. Also, many people like to use a product called “Best Press” which works like starch, but is archival and won’t attract bugs to your fabric like spray starch. However, I recently read “never put water in your iron” claiming that your iron will last much longer and you will never have any unfortunate leaks or spitting on your fabric. The article suggested spritzing your fabric with water from a spray bottle or using Best Press. I can say from experience the when trying to remove folds and wrinkles from fabric, the wrinkles almost fall out with the heat from the iron after the fabric has been spritzed with Best Press.

TIP #6: When piecing lots of small squares or triangles into pairs, “chain piecing” saves lots of time. It also is handy to leave the pieces chained together until after pressing. Take the whole chain to the ironing board and press, then cut the units apart.

TIP #7: Always press from the right-side not the back-side to void pressing “pleats” in the unit which will be nearly impossible to un-press or press out. The only time I press from the back side is when I occasionally press seams open to avoid bulk. But I always follow up by flipping the unit over and doing a final press on the right-side. The best time to press seams open is when you make stars where lots of seams come together in the center. Again always “press” not iron the seams open in this case. Running the point down the seam will stretch it and your star centers won’t lay flat. A seam roll helps a lot when pressing seams open.

TIP #8: When piecing two pieces together and one seam is bias and the other is straight of grain, always pin and make sure to match up the ends. Then if the bias edge is longer because it stretched while handling or cutting, ease the excess in with pins. Now here’s the magic tip: Put the fuller or bias side on top and set the iron on the seam. the heat from the iron will magically shrink the longer stretched side right back to its original size. Now they will fit together perfectly when you sew them.

press to dark sideTIP #9: I know quilters are always taught to “press to the dark side.” But sometimes it actually works better to press to the lighter side when you want to eliminate bulk. Also when you want a piece in you quilt to appear to come forward when you look at it, you should press the seams toward that piece. This is especially helpful when doing landscape quilting. But it also works when you want the background fabric to appear further back and highlight the star or applique by pressing so they appear to be on top of the background.

Well, I guess I made up for skipping the past few weeks of Tuesday Tips by giving an entire lesson on pressing! Hope I didn’t lose you halfway through. See you next Tuesday for some more quilting tips and tools.