Sew in the Know Newsletter!

I am thinking about cookies. Yes cookies. Shortbread cookies in fact... isn't this the season? How about Jelly Rolls? Or layer cakes?

Some you can eat and some you cannot - so read more about all of them below.....

Last week I finally got the tulips in the ground - already I'm thinking SPRING. Last week we had a wonderful sunny day with warm weather and so out I went to plant about 75 tulips, which got me to thinking how far ahead we have to plan when making a quilt!

For us "makers" Christmas is already here - and along with quilts to finish many of us are looking for a few last minute projects for gift giving.

Last year I created some cool Santa pillow cases for a few young folks and table runners for friends out of scraps I had.

Quilting these on your domestic machine is quite easy and I KNOW you all have batting scraps kicking around! Christmas-sy pot holders or table mats also make nice gifts.

Here are some other ideas I googled: Holiday Gifts

And if you look to the right - I have a workshop coming up where you can have a quilt top created in a day!

Finally - I have to say - YOU ARE ALL doing such great work. I love seeing the designs and fabrics that you all use when building your quilts. They inspire me and comfort others - and there is no greater gift than the gift of comfort!

Read on and get a great recipe, and if you take a look at the last section - I expound on the virtues of layer cakes and jelly rolls....and even have several discounted jelly rolls and layer cakes for sale.

Happy quilting,


November 25th, 2023


Six (6) hour quilt!

Great last minute gift!

Get it done - Lickety-Split!

A couple of years ago we had a friend retiring and my guy asked me 48 hours before the party if I could get a quilt made for him!

I know this has happened to you too!

I got it done - in one day and bound it the next. Since then I have made several variations of this quilt becuase it is so quick and easy - and you can make several patterns from this method.

See about a workshop on HOW - here.


As promised - I am offering a one day quilt workshop on December 7th for those in the Belleville to Bancroft area for a quick easy quilt that would make a wonderful gift. One day of sewing and you will have the quilt top completed!

Learn more here. We only have 2 spaces left - so sign up NOW if you are interested!

Want a workshop in your area? Let me know!

If you have a quilt that needs quilting - get it to me as quickly as possible. I will do my best to make sure you have it back for Christmas.

I should be making 1 more pick up and 2 more delivery in the Toronto- Hamilton area before Christmas so get your pick-up request submitted here.

Pick-up and Delivery Request

Christmas is coming - so if you anticipate having a quilt or two that you will need picked up - please fill out the "pick up request" so I can schedule next pick up dates. This also helps me plan ahead.

Request pick-ups here

Shortbread Cookies - This Month's Tip

Oh yeah - who needs tips when there are COOKIES!

Sometimes we just have to take a break from ALWAYS learning something new - and just have a snack. Cookies work for me!

I must have 20 cookbooks but one of my favourite is my Laura Secord Cookbook. In it is a great shortbread recipe that never fails - so my tip for this month is make shortbread!

Preheat oven to 300 degrees (F) - Celcius is a four letter word!

Cream I cup room temperature butter until very light (very important)

Optional - Add 1 tsp pure vanilla

Blend in 2/3 cup Brown sugar

Gradually stir in 2 1/4 cups regular flour (NOT PASTRY FLOUR)

Knead well to blend all flour in.

Chill 30 minutes

Roll out to 1/2 inch thick and cut into shapes ( I do 2 inch circles)

Bake 300 degrees for about 18-20 minutes

OPTIONAL ICING (I love this)

Make butter cream icing with icing sugar, butter, cream and vanilla. Don't ask me for the measurements - just go for it. Blend to the consistencey of peanut butter.

Ice the cookies with a dollop of icing anf put 1/2 a marachino cherry on top.


Wool and White-space

Nothing is quite as calming as laying under a nice warm quilt when I am chilly in the winter.

I have to admit to spending too much time admiring your beautifully created quilt tops that I wish were mine - before I long-arm them.

Many times once people finish their quilt tops - they don't take time to consider the batting that they use. Hobbs 80/20 is a favourite pick but there is also silk, bamboo and wool that make wonderful fills for quilts. My favourite is wool.

It is one of the best battings you can use when you want a warm quilt in the winter. But it is also light and cool in the summer.

But the reason I like to use it is when a quilt has a lot of white space and I want some special custom quilting to stand out. Here is a customer's quilt that had a lot of white space that I went CRAZEEE with feathers!

Another technique for lots of white space is 'negative' quilting - where I use thread the same colour as the background and only quilt in the white or background area. This can make a block really 'pop'. (second photo)

The third photo here is a quilt with 'white space' (even though the space is blue) using wool batting. You can see how well the feathers show up and the nice loft that wool has.

Although wool has in the past been something many people stay away from for fear of shrinkage and the scratchy feel - it has come a long way baby! It washes well and is a natural fiber - and a renewable resource.

I do carry wool batting - so if you want to try something a little different or have a spacial quilt - ask for wool.

Items for sale

Did you know you can list items for sale in the Quilters Buy and Sell? It is a buy and sell for trusted members! If you do list an item - I may also highlight it in the newsletter. Looking for something or want to sell something? Request a listing here




GO! Fabric Cutter

GO! Qube 8" Mix & Match Block

GO! Qube Book by Eleanor Burns

Over 70 free patterns included!

Lightly Used - $300 

(Selling because I have upgraded)

New price over $800.00

​Contact Mandie

Re-use, Recycle and Re-Love!

When I was about 5 years old my Grandmother made me a little cable sweater that I wore and wore until I was just too big to fit into that little sweater. My mother took the sweater to an elderly neighbour who knew how to crochet and she made me a wonderful granny square afgan. (yes that's the photo of my re-used sweater)

Fifty-seven years later, I still have that afgan and snuggle up under it to read every once in a while. We were re-using things sixty years ago - so it's not such a new concept.

In fact the first quilts were made of bits of clothing that had been worn threadbare in many places and the good parts of the clothing were cut into pieces and made into quilts.

But what about a worn out quilt?

A few weeks ago a customer asked me if I would re-quilt her well loved first quilt. It had been a Christmas present for her then boyfriend and now husband and had served her family for over 40 years. Over the years it had been tucked in around sick children, warmed toes in front of the TV and even served as a picnic blanket.

She pulled the old quilting out and discarded the frayed batting and backing and sent it to me to see what I could do.

She told me it was pretty crooked and may not come out looking perfect but because the quilt had so many memories she wanted it preserved in some way.

When I looked at the top ( we call it a flimsy) it was very flimsy indeed! She had repaired a couple of small areas but the quilt top had no body left. I added 100% cotton backing right behind the flimsy, added batting and a backing and quilted all 4 layers quite densely.

The results were amazing.

The quilt looked as good as new and was sent home ready to be bound and given to her husband for Christmas - a second time around to be loved for many more years!

I also embroidered a lovely label for the back of the quilt recording the history of the quilt and including words of love to her husband. (How romantic is that?)

Why Jelly Rolls and Layer Cakes?

For a long time, I wondered what the value of a Jelly Roll or Layer Cake was. Known as 'pre-cuts' these bundles of fabrics are created from a full fabric line and are colour co-ordinated. There are also 'fat quarter bundles', 'charm packs' and 'mini charms' as well as other fun sounding collections!

I soon became a fan of them when I got tired of going to a fabric store looking for a 'line' of fabric and finding that they only carried two or three of the 20 fabrics in the line. A bundled pack often carried a little of each of the fabric line. Here is what is contained in two types of pre-cuts.

Layer Cakes: 40-44 - 10 inch squares

Jelly Rolls: 40-44 - 2 1/2 inch strips

The cost of pre-cuts is often the same as if you bought the same amount of fabric - but it gives you many co-ordinating fabics in one bundle. There are also many, many patterns coming out using pre-cuts. It can save a ton of time cutting - but it also ensures that your pieces are all cut the same size!

I have started carrying some pre-cuts in stock and have listed them on a hidden page on my web site. Only my newsletter subscribers have been given the link below.

They are all priced at least $10 below retail cost. Let me know if you are interested. Many have sold before I could even announce that I had them!

Have questions or comments - please be sure to let me know! Email me at

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