Online class #2 — Machine Appliqué

Hi Quilters —

Do you admire appliqué quilts but just feel intimidated when looking at them? You’d love to own one but the thought of making one yourself is just too much to consider?

If you are that person, I have the perfect class for you:

Learn Machine Applique

In this class, I teach you all of the basics to create machine appliqué without taking on a huge project. First you make a step-by-step sample so you can decide if you really like the technique, then I designed a small wallhanging especially for this online class that you can make.

Dreamscapes by Benartex was used for this lovely wallhanging.

I love machine applique. I was a beginner at one time too and was so intimidated by beautiful appliqué quilts — especially hand appliqué done by the needle-turn method. No matter how many classes I took or projects I tried to make, needle-turn was not my thing. When I discovered machine appliqué and how adaptable it is, I knew that I would make appliqué quilts for the rest of my life.

I even wrote a book about Machine Appliqué:

Sadly, my book is now out-of-print — but I do have some copies available in my Online Shop here. Once they are gone, they’ll be available by Print on Demand.

On July 28th, the third Annie’s online class will be released which is all about how to create four different scrappy borders for your quilts, including a fresh quilt pattern.

Happy Quilting!

©2017    Annie Smith     All Rights Reserved


New Online class!

A few months ago, I traveled to Berne, Indiana to film three new online classes for Annie’s Publishing.

The first of the three class has just been released — Learn to Make Easy Jelly Roll Quilts.

Here are the two quilts for the class:

The main quilt is Roman Foursquare, with a bonus quilt (Chinese Coins) to make with the leftovers.

The quilts were made with Timeless Treasures Tonga Treat Batik collections by Daniela Stout — gorgeous. I used Romance and True Love, which are amazing blendable and interchangeable chocolate, turquoise and aqua. I loved using Daniela’s fabric collections to make these quilts — they’re so vibrant, rich and lovely. I think they made some pretty good quilts.


When you visit Annie’s website, check out this Meet the Instructor video!


Concentrated Quilting

Have you ever thought that being able to study with one teacher for a week would be kind-of like heaven? That’s what I thought when I took a class at the Empty Spools Seminar at Asilomar. I have loved studying with the teachers that I have had, and felt so much more enriched with what I learned. There is a real difference in taking a class for one day and taking a class (and studying) with one teacher for a week. You come away from the experience having learned and perfected a skill.

You have the opportunity to do that with, well, me. I’m teaching at the John C. Campbell Folk School in June. Read more about them here. Visit their website here.

I’m teaching an all new quilt that I designed especially for the Folk School, called Garden Delights. It incorporates piecing with appliqué.

We’ll start out with the center block, Carolina Lily, which has easy Y-seam construction. Once you know the trick, you’ll be amazed at how accurate it is.

Then, we’ll draft and create templates for the Butterfly, which is my original block design.

We’ll do a small appliqué square with dragonflies, and then create the corner triangles with vines and flowers — and have loads of fun in the process.

The classroom at the Folk School has sewing machines, so you don’t have to worry about traveling with yours. They also have practical supplies like mats, rotary cutters and rulers, so all you really need to bring is your fabric, thread and basic sewing kit.

Please join me for this very special week at the Folk School. Meals are included – held in the dining hall. They also have evening activities every night, including musical performances and dancing. The Folk School is an ideal and idyllic location for quilting.

Join me!


What’s a BERNINA Ambassador?

This week, a group of BERNINA Ambassadors is doing a Bloghop.

This is a few of us — Lynn Harris, Christa Watson, Cheryl Sleboda, Joanne Sharpe, Kay England and me — at Spring Quilt Market in Salt Lake City 2016.

What do we do and why do we do it?

First of all, we love BERNINA. The sewing machines, the company.

We love to create. We love to inspire. These are the people I love to inspire — I start them young.

I want to share with you a few things that you may not know about me.

I started out as a garment sewer — sew-er not sewer.

Gran gave a sewing machine to my sister and me for Christmas when we were in high school. It was the only thing that we could mutually share and get along with. We had a calendar on the wall in the laundry room, where our Dad set up a desk for us to sew. We scheduled our “week to sew”– one week on, one week off. We made all of our clothes (except Levi jeans – who could improve on perfection?), including prom dresses. I made clothes on the weekends, wore them to school and took orders from my school mates. Repeat. Soon I was making clothes for their moms and my hairdresser’s girlfriend. It was a pretty cool way to support myself through school, doing something I loved to do.

Now, I’m really getting back into garment sewing. I want to return to making unique clothes that no one else has. I’m SO tired of ready-to-wear and faux sizing.

There is one quilt that I wish I had designed:

Patriotic Rose by Janet Miller of The City Stitcher

I love this quilt. I’ve made it once to use as a class sample, and gave it to the owner of the quilt shop in exchange for fabric to make a second quilt. Now, the fabric isn’t as exciting as it was when I made it, 10+ years ago. I will make it again sometime soon, with fresh fabric.

This is my production group for my iquilt online class that you can find here.

Amy, Alyssa, Cara, Joe and Niecy.

Excellent folks – every one. Filming the Fat Quarter Magic class was a surreal experience for me. We did this one year ago — it seems a world away now.

I make mistakes. Sometimes huge mistakes. Making quilts. Here’s an example:

Isn’t this a lovely quilt? no? Not my favorite either — but it’s a great teaching tool. What not to do.

Can you find the 54/40 or Fight block in the above quilt?

No? That’s okay — I made it wrong. See — there’s a rule with this particular block — the star points must be the darkest fabric. Now, look at the quilt again. Can you see it now?

Nowadays, I make things like this:

A is for Annie.

A is for Appliqué.

But I didn’t start here.

I started here:

I remind myself of this over and over.

I remind every student in every class.

So, if you desire to be a BERNINA Ambassador, or even own your first BERNINA sewing machine, remember that everyone starts at the beginning.

We all did. We started out with a BERNINA sewing machine. We got good at what we did. We taught classes at local quilt shops. We created blogs and podcasts, patterns, classes and books. We became professional artists.

In his book, OUTLIERS, Malcolm Gladwell stated a case that there is no such thing as an Overnight Sensation. It actually takes 10,000 hours of work to become an expert in a given field. I believe that statement to be true. (Read his chapter on The Beatles.)

10,000 hours ago, my quilts looked nothing like they do today. I bet yours don’t either.

I also tell my students and people who come to my lectures something that I hope they will remember:

Whatever quilt you’re currently on, you’re practicing on for the next quilt you’re going to make.

Think about it.

If the key to being a proficient machine quilter is all in the practice, why would that not also be true for the quilts you’re making? I get better with every quilt I make, each garment I make, each sweater that I knit.

I want to get better and better — it’s a challenge to me. I don’t compare my work to anyone else’s. I compare my work to what I’ve done before. That’s the true measure of accomplishment.

To see what the other BERNINA Ambassadors have to share, please visit their blogs on the Bloghop at the links and schedule below.

Happy Quilting!


Teri Lucas

Monday March 20

Lynn Carson Harris

Kelly Ashton
Diane Doran
Melody Crust

Tuesday March 21
Kathy Delaney
Christa Watson
Mandy Leins

Wednesday March 22
Sandy Fitzpatrick
Beth Ferrier
Cheryl Sleboda

Thursday March 23
Annie Smith
Lori Kennedy

Kari Carr
Catherine Redford

Friday March 24
Joanne Sharpe
Cherry Guidry
Jenelle Montilone