Sock Monkey Mania

Posted By on October 7, 2015

Caff Crafters-Sock Monkey

The Sock Monkeys are here again! Join us on Sunday, October 18, 12 – 5 p.m. for Sock Monkey Mania at my Studio #307 at the Hungerford. We’ll be making sock monkeys. I have lots of embellishments and stuffing. I’ll also have Red Heel socks for purchase. Bring your own machine, if you have one, otherwise you can share one of mine. The cost is only $20 and you can learn to make one of these classic stuffed monkeys for yourself or a lucky recipient. Sign up on my website and pay through PayPal by going to the  Classes page.  After you register, I will email you a supply list, so be sure to send me your email address.

New Albert Paley sculpture, just after it was installed.

New Albert Paley sculpture, just after it was installed.

If you want to see the samples or pay in person, stop by my studio at 1115 East Main Street this Saturday, October 10, from 6 -9 p.m. for the October Second Saturday. When you come by the studio you can also see the beautiful new Albert Paley sculpture in the Hungerford’s new handicap-accessible entryway. How exciting to have a colorful Albert Paley sculpture welcoming you into our building filled with artist studios!

Also, I now have a new Instagram account to keep you posted on what’s new at Quilting with Margaret. I’ll post pictures of new fabric as it arrives, quilts as I complete them, new items for sale at the studio and classes that will be coming up and as they are happening.  I think this will be a much better way to keep you posted than through Facebook, so be sure to sign up for Instagram (it’s free) and follow me.

Lakeside Farmers Market and Open Studios

Posted By on September 8, 2015

At the Lakeside Farmers Market with Mom

At the Lakeside Farmers Market with Mom

This past August through the end of September from 4 – 7 p.m. each Monday, I have been participating in the Charlotte Lakeside Farmers Market. It’s located in the parking lot of Hose 22 on Lake Avenue. This is the first year for the market in Charlotte, and though small, they have a nice variety of vendors including fruits and vegetables, cheeses, fresh pickles, organic meats, homemade pastas and locally brewed cider. I chose to vend here because I’m a Charlotte resident and really would like to see this market succeed. It’s also been a great opportunity for me to promote the Hungerford building where my studio is located.  The market continues until the end of September. Stop by and see me if you are in the neighborhood on Mondays this September. There’s plenty of parking on the street and in the church parking lot across the street from Hose 22.

Also, this Saturday, September 12, is my first Open Studio of the fall.  I have two Open Studios scheduled per month at my studio #307, the Hungerford, 1115 East Main St. Open Studios are a great opportunity to complete projects and make new quilting buddies. There’s lots of space to work with adjustable office chairs, and I have cutting and ironing stations available for you to use. The cost is only $20 per session.  We meet on one Saturday (usually the 2nd Saturday) of each month from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and one Wednesday (usually the 4th Wednesday) of each month from 5 – 10 p.m. Second Saturdays are especially nice because many other studios are also open during these hours, so you can shop around if you like. The hours both days are also flexible, so you can come late or leave early if it suits your schedule better. On Wednesday night, the “regulars” trickle in over the first hour on their way home from work. Everyone brings their own lunch or supper and I provide complimentary coffee, tea and water. A special sale this fall: if you sign up for all 8 Open Studios (2 per month, September – December) you will get the two December Open Studios for free! To sign up, call me or email me.

June First Friday, June 5

Posted By on June 5, 2015

Microwave bowls2It’s tiki time at Quilting with Margaret, studio #307, the Hungerford tonight from 6 – 9 p.m. Stop by for some tiki appetizers and sparkling fruit punch, Hawaiian shirts optional, and check out my latest creation, microwave bowl cozies. The perfect cozy for your microwave bowls of all sizes. No more burnt hands or fumbling for a potholder and trivet. Just put your bowl in the cozy, place bowl and cozy in microwave. Heat, the cozy is microwave-safe. Now here’s the easy part. When your food is steaming hot, just grab opposite corners of cozy and carry dish and food to table. The cozy doubles as a trivet! And the small microwave bowl cozies are perfect for holding your oatmeal bowl while cooking and then eating.

And don’t forget, I also have Westminster designer fabrics by the yard for sale, just $7.50 per yard (90+ bolts). And I just purged my huge flannel stash. All flannel bundles, $4 per yard. It’ s not too early to get started on those holiday quilts. Or if you would rather just buy a ready-made quilt, I have plenty of handmade quilts, runners and table scarves for sale.

First Friday at the Hungerford is the perfect place to shop for that one-of-a-kind locally handmade gift. The Hungerford is a wonderful old factory building re-purposed into 4 stories of creative artist studios.

Recipes for tonight include:
Pink Lemonade Sparkling Fruit Punch
Pineapple Cream Cheese Spread

Sizzlin’ Summer Retreat

Posted By on May 8, 2015

Easy 10-Minute Runner

Easy 10-Minute Runner

The last few weeks, I haven’t been doing a lot of quilting. We have a BBQ team which will be competing in the Roc City Ribfest over Memorial Day Weekend, so I’ve been really busy getting reading for that.  But the weekend after Memorial Day, May 29 -31, I’ve scheduled my annual Sizzlin’ Summer Retreat, this year at Café Sewciety Quilts in Webster. They have a nice large classroom there and lots of natural light.  We’ll be making a couple of quilts from Modern Quilt Relish and Friday night, after our welcome reception, we’ll be making an easy 10-minute runner.

Lap-size "Recipe Cards"

Lap-size “Recipe Cards”

Saturday, we’ll be making a pattern called “Recipe Cards.”  You can determine the size you want to make.  It’s a real good example of a modern quilt so popular today, with asymmetrical piecing and lots of negative space, or background as we used to call it.  This will give you a chance to try some fun machine quilting like the easy squiggly horizontal line I used in the sample.  If you prefer, you can make a smaller project, either a baby quilt or a table runner.

The price of the retreat includes a welcome reception on Friday night, continental breakfast Saturday morning when you arrive and lunch later in the day.  On Sunday, we will have a brunch later in the morning and a big show-and-tell. This is all in addition to the instruction, two and a half days of quilting and lots of fun, including doorprizes.

Sunday, the project that we will be working on is called “Cutlery” and you can also decide what size you want to make with this pattern,  Again, there is lots of negative space, which means quick and easy piecing. For the sample here, I made a table runner but you can choose to make a baby quilt or a larger lap quilt.  We’ll discuss some machine quilting basics in class and I’ll also share some easy modern machine quilting designs which work well to fill up the negative space so dominate in quilts today.

"Cutlery" runner

“Cutlery” runner

Get your friends together and plan to spend the weekend with me at Café Sewciety Quilts for this fun retreat. You can set your quilting station up fr the weekend and leave everything at the store when you go home to sleep.  We’ll provide your food so you can focus just on quilting and having a good time.  I’m ready for some marathon quilting before it gets too hot this summer. How about you?

Machine Quilting Made Easy!

Posted By on April 8, 2015

Machine QuiltingI’ve been quilting for a couple of decades and now my favorite part of the process is machine quilting. I used to be intimidated by machine quilting. When I first started quilting I was a hand quilter. But as you probably know, as therapeutic and beautiful as had quilting is, it just takes too long! Not to mention the potential carpal tunnel issues that seem to go along with years of hand quilting. So I was determined to learn to machine quilt. But when I started, I approached machine quilting from the viewpoint of a hand quilter. It wasn’t until I gave up the notion that machine quilting had to be marked and symmetrical, using stencils to mark, that machine quilting became easier and more fun.  True, you can find continuous-line machine quilting stencils, but marking a quilt takes nearly as long or longer than actually quilting it.  And when your designs are perfect and evenly spaced, even a non-quilter can see where you wen off the line and made a “mistake.”

Then one day I picked up a sale copy of Show Me How to Machine Quilt by Kathy Sandbach. As I started reading through the book, machine quilting was revolutionized for me.  According to Kathy, quilting doesn’t have to be perfect! Think of it more as doodling, even drawing or “quilting” your design over several times, just like when you are doodling.  Don’t pick perfectly even hearts and stars to free-motion quilt, pick more whimsical designs.  And don’t waste your time marking, just go with it. Wow this was “crazy!” Everything I ever learned about quilting involved accuracy and perfection. Wouldn’t this negate all of the time and effort I had spent cutting and piecing so that all of the points were perfect and everything fit together like a glove? But I tried it anyway because I was tired of working so hard on a quilt and then stressing so much over the finishing or quilting process.

And much to my surprise, not only was this concept easy, it actually enhanced my quilts.  If you think about what you’ve learned about variety and selecting fabrics: variety of print scale, variety of value,different color combinations, why not vary the most common element of your quilts (angular, straight line, perfect piecing) with curvy free-form, even whimsical quilting.  Once I let go of the whole need to be “perfect” when I quilted, my quilts became much more advanced looking.  And the more I did free-motion quilting, not worrying about staying on a marked line, the more relaxed and free I began to feel.  And like I said before, it started to become my favorite part of quilting.  I couldn’t wait to get my quilts pieced and basted so that I could have “fun” quilting my quilts!

Angela Walters at Quilt Con 2015

Angela Walters at Quilt Con 2015

And now with the latest quilting movement known as “Modern Quilting,” I am truly in love with quilting again.  Modern quilting is asymmetrical with lots of negative or background space just begging for dense machine quilting. Not to mention the simple and often large scale piecing goes fast so that you can get right to the quilting or “fun” part of the process of quiltmaking.  Just this past February I attended Quilt Con with approximately 10,000 other modern quilters, the second annual Modern Quilting convention in Austin, Texas featuring hundreds of modern quilts, dozens of lectures and workshops and a huge vendors shopping mall. I heard a lecture with several of the quilters of Gee’s Bend and saw some of their beautiful quilts in the show. I went to dozens of other lectures by the top quilters and book authors of the modern quilt movement like Denyse Schmidt, Bill Kerr, Jacquie Gearing and Angela Walters. And I was lucky enough to get into a machine quilting workshop with Angela Walters, whose quilting I admire and books are great.  I learned lots more easy free motion designs to apply to various shapes on quilts.  It was all very inspiring and just helped to make me love machine quilting even more.

Quilt Con WorkshopIf you want to learn to love machine quilting as much as I do, consider taking one of my Machine Quilting Made Easy workshops.  I have one coming up at my studio on Saturday, April 18, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. for just $45.  You will learn several basic all-over designs and lots of different free motion designs all without marking and all easy enough for a beginner machine quilter.  Even if you’ve been doing a lot of machine quilting, this is a great chance to improve your machine quilting and learn some new free motion designs My workshop focuses mostly on free motion machine quilting and easy techniques I have learned over the past few years and some of the great tips I learned at Quilt Con with Angela Walters.  You will be creating a box of machine quilted sandwiches which you can use as a reference tool when you are ready to machine quilt your quilts. To register for this class, email me at or stop by my studio any First Friday or Second Saturday.  I’m also there during the day most weekday, but call first to be sure.

First Friday, April 3, 6 – 9 p.m.

Posted By on March 31, 2015

Dan Eaton2First Friday is coming up again this weekend. And I have a special guest, Dan Eaton. Dan will be playing solo acoustic guitar in my studio from 6 – 9 p.m. this Friday, April 3. Dan Eaton can make you a grilled-cheese sandwich in three minutes as a TV chef on Time Warner cable, or he can sing you a sweet, three-minute pop song. Eaton, frequently is heard around town as lead singer, songwriter and guitarist with The Dan Eaton Band. In January, The Dan Eaton Band celebrated the release of a self-titled debut CD, a collection of eight songs, all originals, mostly focusing on love and relationships. His CD will be available for sale Friday night in Studio #307, the Hungerford, 1115 East Main Street.

Got FabricI’ve doubled the amount of fabric for sale at my studio. Stop by and check out all of the new Westminster designer fabrics for just $7.50/ yard. Also find quilts, table runners, and miscellaneous handmade and quilted items for sale each month on First Friday.


New Date for Reversible Jelly Roll Quilt

Posted By on March 31, 2015

Reversibe Jely RollReversibe Jely Roll2The date for the new Reversible Jelly Roll Quilt has been changed to a Saturday one-day class, April 25, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  We will be making this easy reversible quilt from just one jelly roll and a sashing and backing fabric.  This is your chance to make something with one of those jelly rolls of your favorite fabric collection that you’ve been saving.  Or if you don’t have any jelly rolls in your stash, stop by my studio. I have lots of pre-cut jelly rolls for sale.  I also have the book this pattern comes from available for sale at my studio at 25% off the list price. Come spend a relaxing day at the studio and make a quilt.  Beginners welcome! To sign up, stop by this First Friday, April 3, from 6 – 9 p.m.  Or email me at

6×6 Art Quilt Party

Posted By on March 27, 2015

Join us Saturday, March 28 from 1 – 4 p.m. at Studio #307, the Hungerford for a 6×6 Art Quilt Party. We’ll be making some more 6″ x 6″ art quilts to donate to the Rochester Contemporary Art Center’s annual fundraiser. I will have sewing machines, irons, cutting stations, fabrics and embellishments available, but feel free to bring your own supplies if you like.

Below are some of the 6×6 quilts we made at Quilting with Margaret’s Get-Away Weekend a few weeks ago. Read more about this annual art exhibit and sale at


Paraffin Quilt Party

Posted By on March 18, 2015

What a relaxing and fun time we had at the 2015 Get-Away Weekend.  One of the fun extras was the paraffin hand treatment that was available to everyone.  If you’ve never been to a spa and had a paraffin treatment, here’s your chance to try it out.  It’s like a glove of warm paraffin which seals in the moisture.  It relaxes your hands and relieves any carpal tunnel or arthritis pain in your  hands.  Then after about 15 minutes, you peel the paraffin off like a glove.  And with the paraffin, goes all of those dead skin cells leaving your hands moisturized and soft.

So to celebrate spring and the end of winter, on Saturday, March 21, from 1 – 4 p.m., I’m throwing a Paraffin Quilt Party, so you can all check out this wonderful spa treatment.  Stop by my studio #307, at the Hungerford, 1115 East Main St. and receive a free paraffin hand treatment, have some refreshments, see a free demo and check out the new classes I have scheduled for this spring.  I just added 50 more bolts of new Westminster designer fabrics all priced at just $7.50 per yard.  Plus on this special day, I’ll be having a special sale: buy 5 yards of fabric from the 90+ bolts, you’ll get your 6th yard free.

So come by, check out my studio and say goodbye to winter and hello to spring! Shed your dry winter skin and celebrate spring with us!  This winter is finally almost over!!

Fabric 2015

Snowbound at Bristol Harbour

Posted By on March 16, 2015

Path from the Quilting Room to our Hotel Rooms

Path from the Quilting Room to our Hotel Rooms

Well! What a fun weekend we had at Bristol Harbour this year. It may have been a month earlier, but that only made this relaxing weekend even more fun. There was lots more snow than ever before, but we all made it up there safe, with more than three-quarters of the retreaters arriving a day earlier on Thursday to make the most of their weekend. It was picture perfect, with snowbanks piled high, like a ski resort in Vermont. No distractions to keep us from quilting…except the bar!

Vicki and Jane, 2013 Get-Away

Vicki and Jane, 2013 Get-Away

We celebrated our 10th year of Quilting with Margaret’s Get-Away Weekend with cake and champagne on Saturday night. Sadly we toasted a nine-year veteran, Jane Arundel, who passed away last December. Jane was a friend to us all and her name came up frequently throughout the weekend. She was definitely with us in spirit.

Since Theresa and Kelsey were unable to join us this year to do hot stone pedicures (due to Kelsey being about to give birth) we added something new instead. This year we spent Friday and Saturday giving each other paraffin hand treatments when we wanted a break from quilting. The warm paraffin was a welcomed break, soothing and moisturizing our busy hands. Some of us took advantage of this free spa treatment several times! And of curse there were the always welcomed chair massages Saturday afternoon. Tiffany and Lucia helped sooth our aching backs.

GetAway 2015Saturday night we had a special wine tasting with Mary Burden, an experienced wine enthusiast and Women for Winesense member. She taught us all about Spanish wines while offering us tastes of five different Spanish wines, a cava or sparkling, two reds and two whites. But the weekend was not all fun and games. We got lots of quilting done too. Despite the beautiful view out the window of snow-covered golf courses and a frozen Canandaigua Lake, with an occasional cross-country skier skiing by, there was no desire to go outside for a walk so we quilted all day and into the night. And when it was time to brave the cold to walk to our rooms, we were welcomed by cozy Adirondack-style rooms equipped with gas fireplaces and heated tile bathroom floors.

Snowed Inn at 2015 Get-Away

Snowed Inn at 2015 Get-Away

Bristol Harbour is a real winter retreat! Saturday we learned about the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn which hosts the juried Art=Quilts=Art exhibit each year. Donna Lamb who organizes this show, explained how quilt artist’s quilts are selected and how the cart center hangs the show. She also told us about another project of the Sweinfurth, Quilting-by-the-Lake, a summer workshop of nationally and internationally known quilt instructors. In other words, we relaxed, we learned, and we quilted (some of us sewed, cross-stitched, and scrapbooked). But we definitely all had fun!

And after having to leave this nearly perfect weekend of quilting, sewing, crafting and female companionship to return to our snow-covered driveways and our everyday lives, we welcomed this past week with the first hints of spring…warmer temperatures, sunny days, melting snow and I even heard a bird singing this morning. Yes, spring is just around the corner! Thanks to everyone who attended and helped make this our best ever Get-Away Weekend. And for those of you who are thinking, I wish I had come along too, mark your calendars for next year. We’ve already set the dates, April 7 – 10, 2016. Watch for details coming soon. Check out more photo from our weekend by clicking here to go to my Facebook page: Quilting with Margaret.