Sew in the Know Newsletter!

I have not always been a quilter. In fact - I worked for many years as a first responder and also had several small businesses - one of which was actually a fabric store where I sold sewing machines, knitting machines, fabric and notions. More about that below...

I did not take Home Economics in school, but instead took drafting and auto mechanics. Truth be told - I do not think I have used any of the knowledge I gleaned in those classes in my life - ever. Home Ec - as we called it would have been a much better choice.

I took up quilting - for a minute - when I was twenty something. It has been a creative outlet that I kept returning to over the years and has been recognized as good for mental health and healing. (I wrote about that in February)

Now it is my full time work - and work I love - so not work at all.

I have met many new and even more seasoned quilters over the past several years and one thing we all have in common is that we love to learn new techniques. We also LOVE NEW FABRIC. But it has become an expensive hobby.

My goal in these newsletters is to send you great tips, ideas and to provide you with an economical way to continue your hobby. (More on that below too)

This newsletter has all this things and even a story or two - so thanks for reading to the end and thank you also for supporting me in working at what I love!

There are lots of tips in previous newsletters too and you can read back issues of my newsletters here.

And as I have said before and will say again......keep on quilting!

Mandie (the quilter)

Located in Limerick (Near Bancroft) Ontario, she travels hither, thither and yon to spread quilting merriment!

April 15th 2024

Upcoming Events

In addition to teaching 2 workshops for quilt guilds I have been asked to speak at a Women's Leadership Luncheon in Kingston. I will be speaking on "Resilience" for a long time friend who owns a Real Estate Brokerage.

More info here

Women in Business Leadership with Mandie Eddie 

Date: Wednesday, May 1st

Time: 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Location: 650 Cataraqui Woods Drive, Kingston

The two workshops I am teaching are my "No Waste Quick Finish" quilt workshops. You can read more about those below...

Moraine Quilt Guild - May 8th

Region of York Quilter's Guild - October 19th

Pick up and Delivery Schedule

Tuesday April 16th - Aurora, Maple and Peterborough

Tuesday April 23rd, Newmarket, Hamilton, Dundas, Bethany and Peterborough.


Please do not let a temporary 'shortage of funds' delay you from getting your quilt longarmed! Contact me - and we can work out a payment plan. (yes - we can!) ANd I can also offer Visa and Mastercard options.

Contact me here to learn more.

Quilt Blocks That Talk!

My mother grew up near and now lives in Otterville Ontario, a town that has a rich history around the Underground Railroad. For those who have not heard of the "Underground Railroad" - it was not actually underground, nor was it a train.

It was in fact a network of people, both white and "Free Black" who worked together to help 'runaways' from slaveholding states travel to states in the North and to Canada, where slavery was illegal. Here they could be free to make their own futures - which I think we can all agree - is the right of every human being.

Otterville was the site of the 1856 African Methodist Episcopal Church and in fact the Black settlement in that area that was large enough to maintain a school in 1842. And that is just a small part of a much bigger story. But how did this railway operate and how did the run-away slaves know where to go?

Songs and stories often had codes giving directions and warnings to those on their journey north. Quilts hanging on clotheslines also gave directions and many quilt blocks actually had a meaning. So in a way - quilt blocks actually communicated instructions to those on their journey!

Here are some reported meanings that quilt blocks had:

Many of our current day quilts also have meaning. We use colours and symbols that we hope will speak to the recipient. Some quilt blocks still talk - sending messages of love and hope and appreciation. We even use quilt blocks to store memories. With every quilt we make - we are making history.

Have a story about a quilt meaning? -Send it my way so I can highlight it in the next newsletter!

Unfinished Quilt tops? Yeah... me too!

I cannot tell you how many quilt tops I have finished that still remain simply - a quilt top. Lost to me (for now) after many moves and life changes, they used to hang on walls as easy home decor or get packed away in boxes never to be seen by me again. Somewhere in a thrift store, someone will find one of them, purchase it and send it to me to have it longarmed.

Won't that be a surprise!

Last month - I was surprised. My daughter sent me a quilt top her grandmother made - to have it finished for her. It was a log cabin quilt with fabrics in it that she had purchased at MY STORE - in Cayuga Ontario. (Yes I had a fabric store for a short time in the 1990's) I recognized the fabric right away and it started me to wonder, WHY she had not completed it - and WHY I had not completed so many quilts as well.

The answer: No supplies. No funds. I did not have the batting or the wide backs needed to finish the quilt. I hesitated buying packages of batting - as there was so much left over - and batting alone was upwards of $75. Add to that - I was told that hiring a long arm quilter would cost upwards of $500. Finishing a quilt was cost prohibitive!

It took me 20 years to find out that is simply untrue. Longarm quilting can often cost as little as $125 for a 58 x 70 inch quilt. Batting by the meter is far less in cost than in bags. And widebacks mean I do not have joins in the back of my quilts. (It also helps eliminate wrinkles)

So I am here to help make finishing those quilts a little easier!

I have batting and wideback in stock - all at reduced costs. In fact, I have 3 types of batting in stock and over 10 wideback fabrics - so if you like - you can just send me that 'flimsy' (unfinished quilt top) and I will send it back ready to bind.

Don't let those beautiful quilt tops languish in a box somewhere - or find their way to a thrift store.


In stock

  • Hobbs 80/20 Batting - discounted 20% off retail
  • Hobbs 80/20 Bleached - discounted 20% off retail
  • Hobbs 20/80 Wool Cotton Blend - discounted 20% off retail
  • Hobbs 100% wool - Back in stock in May

Widebacks - all 25% off retail

  • 4 colours of Fireside 60-80 inches wide. (Merlot, Black, White and Burgundy)
  • 4 Beautiful colours of Batik Wideback in blues and 1 in tan
  • Thatched by Robin Pickens - Dark Blue, Cream/black and white and Grey/black and white
  • Eleanor Burns Rose whispers wideback in grey and white (this is gourgeous)



Please do not let a temporary 'shortage of funds' delay you from getting your quilt longarmed! Contact me - and we can work out a payment plan. (yes - we can!) And I can also offer Visa and Mastercard options. Contact me here to learn more.

Perfectly Proportioned! (Quick Tip)

Am I referring to the supposed perfect womanly figure of 36-24-36? NOOO! I don't know anyone who has a figure quite like that! (wouldn't that be nice though lol)

When it comes to quilting, proportions do matter - especially when it comes to borders.

Quite often a quilt pattern is smaller that what we may want - or we may get a quilt top done and love it so much that we want to put it on a bed instead of use it as a throw. So what do we do? We add a border .... or two.

I am often asked, "how big should I make the border?" My response usually starts with the question "how are you having it quilted? Will it be 'Edge to Edge' or 'custom quilted'? WIth custom quilting wide, plain borders can be made into a lovely work of art! But this is not the answer I should be giving you!

But the answer is actually mathematical.

Each border when added should be 1.6 times larger than the previous one. So if the sashing or first border is 2" wide, the next border should be about 3.2" - which I would change to 3 1/2". If the first border was 3" wide the next border would be 3 x 1.6 which equals 4.8" - which I would change to 5".

So a quilt with three borders could have a 2", a 3 1/2" and a 5" set of borders. This would add 21" to the width and length of a quilt taking it from a large throw size to a double bed size.

Next month, I will cover how big a first border should be in relation to your block sizes - so stay tuned!

Fast, Easy, Economincal - patterns and kits ready!

As promised, I now have four (4) pre-cut kits including the patterns, available. These kits are priced right at $75.00 and include all the high quality fabrics you need to make the quilt - including matching binding.

Each of these quilt kits come with many of the quilt components pre-cut for you - so you can start sewing right away! Patterns are easy to read - with lots of pictures! I have limited quantities - so check them out. I can ship or deliver with your next quilt drop off or pick up.

You can see all the kits with descriptions here.

Waltz Into the Woods Quilt Kit

Bears in the Woods Quilt Kit

Canada Geese Quilt Kit

Canadian Fireside Quilt Kit

Rewriting History...well almost!

Although we have heard this term lately in the news - I am not a politician and no this is not about politics! I’m not rewriting that kind of history. But there is a part of history that needs re-writing.

Over the past several years I have looked at thousands of patterns - and chosen to make about two dozen. I have taken the time to follow the directions - that are often not that easy to follow! I’m sure you can relate.

Along with learning all the new abbreviations and terms like WOF (not the WTF that has become part of our swear-word vocabulary) and HST (no, not the tax) there are many new techniques as well. Strip quilting. Stitch and flip. Quilt as you go. These are only a few of the techniques that are popular.

These techniques save a lot of time and simplify what used to be the tedious part of creating a quilt. Instead of cutting out hundreds of triangles we can create 2,4, 8 or more half square triangles (HSTs) with only a few seams, a rotary cutter and ruler.  (See how here)

One of my favourite quilt patterns is the Double Irish Chain. This pattern, like many others, was developed around tools like the 2 ½ inch wide ruler and rotary cutter we use for strip cutting/sewing. Other tools like the 6 ½ inch ruler and specialized triangle rulers are key to some of the new, quicker assembly methods in the patterns that we follow.

Chances are that there are not many new quilt patterns that are yet undiscovered. Every quilt block we make today may have been developed decades or even centuries ago. The new patterns that are available now use those patterns and employ new techniques to make piecing easier - but often with one drawback.


I can’t tell you how it pains me to buy the fabric the pattern requires and to follow the directions only to learn that as much as half a square is cut off after sewing - and discarded. (sew and flip method). I was so disappointed finding many of the new patterns di this that I decided to stop buying patterns and develop my own.... read more here

Thanks for reading to the end!

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