New Quilt Bloggers 2015 Blog Hop

Andrea BertoneMy name is Andrea and I am a Sewing Fool. Are you someone with an absolute passion for textile arts, obsession for all things involving needle and thread and a bit of a fabric hoarder? Yes? Well, that makes you a sewing fool too!

Seriously though, my love of sewing is a gift from my Mom. We spent most weekends in her sewing room where she sat at her machine and I looked at patterns, trims, fabrics and dreamed. She always made me cut the patterns that I wanted made. When I was in my early 20s she bought me my first Viking and I was shocked to realize how much I learned without knowing it. We did more than sew though and whatever fun new project we were about to embark on my mom would say we are gonna be painting fools or shopping fools or whatever it was that day. My mom lost her battle with cancer 5 years ago but when I sew I feel her with me and that is why we are The Sewing Fools.

Over the past few years I’ve made it a goal to share that love of sewing with others. To accomplish that I started a meetup group called “Make it Sew” and we meet monthly at TechShop. It is free to attend and each month we work on a different project. I’ve had several people come with sewing machines they’ve never taken out of the box and have sent me pictures of completed quilt tops weeks later! I am also an instructor at TechShop teaching all of their textiles classes, laser, vinyl cutter and some fun workshops I created including using the CNC Wood Router to create blocks to print textiles. I also teach the Bag of the Month Club, longarm techniques and other various classes at a local quilt shop called The Cotton Cupboard. I love it there!

I started this blog a few years ago in order to have another avenue to share tutorials but struggled to make it a priority. When the opportunity to participate in a group to help new quilt bloggers I figured it was a great way to light that fire to get it all done. So far it has been helping me stay on track and I am so excited to share some fun stuff with you. When you are done here, I hope you’ll visit some of my fellow bloggers that you’ll find below.

Thanks to TechShop I have had to opportunity to take my quilting to the next level. Access to all that equipment allows me to stretch what’s possible for me. My favorite quilting tool is the laser cutter. With the laser cutter I can cut any shape imaginable perfectly over and over and over. It saves so much time on more complex patterns and piecing is a breeze when everything is cut with such precision.

Laser Cut Fabric
Shabby Chic Roses Quilt. Laser cut and then raw edge appliqué on the longarm
Over 1,000 pieces went into this quilt. 984 of them were laser cut in mere minutes.
Over 1,000 pieces went into this quilt. 984 of them were laser cut in mere minutes.
Left to Right: Progressive Quilt done in yellows and greys. Finished with hand guided custom quilting and ProStitcher. Christmas Jelly Roll Quilt finished with ProStitcher using a design I created in Illustrator. Another fun jelly roll quilt and quilted with the ProStitcher. I was in a prostitcher phase :) Friendship Stars quilt finished with hand guided quilting and lots of micro quilting fills
Left to Right: Progressive Quilt done in yellows and greys. Finished with hand guided custom quilting and ProStitcher. Christmas Jelly Roll Quilt finished with ProStitcher using a design I created in Illustrator. Another fun jelly roll quilt and quilted with the ProStitcher. I was in a prostitcher phase 🙂 Friendship Stars quilt finished with hand guided quilting and lots of micro quilting fills

Not only do I love to piece quilts but I adore longarm quilting. Especially hand guided custom quilting. Once a quilt is quilted it is so fluffy and yummy.

My first successful attempt at doing micro fills in the stars.
My first successful attempt at doing micro fills in the stars.
I designed this quilt top specifically to custom quilt it. I call it bleeding heart and love the quilting.
I designed this quilt top specifically to custom quilt it. I call it bleeding heart and love the quilting.

Sewing Fools Tip

How do you pull up your bobbin thread? This tip is especially helpful at the longarm but works on your domestic machine as well. For those of you that longarm quilt you know how important it is to pull up your bobbin thread. Most will take a single stitch, move the machine to pull up the bobbin thread and then move the machine back to where you started. But, there is a better way where you don’t have to move the machine.

  1. Take a single stitch.
  2. Grab onto your top thread and create an angle with it with both hands.ThreadAngle
  3. Swoop it under the presser foot, which will pull up the bobbin thread.
    SwoopUnder
  4. Now you have both threads on top of your fabric.
    Bobbin-Up

Well that’s enough about me 🙂 I hope you’ll look around a bit and maybe try a few of my tutorials. Also, please visit my fellow new quilt bloggers here:

Geraldine @Living Water Quilter
Irene @Patchwork and Pastry
Martha @Once a Wingnut…Always a Wingnut

and our host

Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl

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  • Lovely to know more about you. I think sometimes we don’t realise how much we’ve learned until we share it or try to teach it. Your workshops and classes sound like great fun!

    • Andrea

      Thank you Ruth! When I’m teaching sometimes tips come out of my mouth and I think, “hmmm? How did I know that?”

  • I love the quilting on bleeding hearts. So nice to get to know you better.

  • I have just been introduced to what a “tech shop” is; you might provide a link so others could learn more about it! What an awesome resource for you and it sounds like teaching is really a passion for you. I am so glad the blog hop has helped you develop a consistency with your blog and I hope it continues to build momentum for you here.

    • Andrea

      Thank you Yvonne. I have added the link to the post and I can’t believe I missed that! It is such an incredible resource and I hope someday they will be everywhere so anyone has access to the fun tools and creative energy.

  • My granny was a very crafty woman – you name it, she did it! I often wonder what she would think of me being a quilter. I like to think she’s looking down and approving! Your name is a lovely way to remember your mum.

    Love the quilting! The quilting in your stars is beautiful.

    • Andrea

      Thank you so much. My mom did a little bit of everything too! I wish she could be here to see how far I’ve come but so thankful I have all she taught me. I bet you are too and I am sure your mum would be very proud of you!

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  • Thank you for giving an insight into your ‘tech’ approach to patchwork and quilting. I’ve never heard of laser cutting fabric before reading your post. Your quilting is beautiful.

    • Andrea

      Thank you Allison! It is funny that I joined TechShop to test drive the handiquilter and it has blossomed into “sew” much more!

  • I love how you came up with your name. It’s such a sweet story and a lovely way to honor your mother’s memory. You’ll have me looking in to laser cutters now. I’ve tried die cutters, but didn’t love them. I’ll have to ask my friends and see whether anyone local has a cutter I can play with. Thanks Andrea.

    • Andrea

      The nice thing with a laser cutter is that you aren’t limited by the what shapes you have dies for. You can cut any shape you can imagine. So far the local quilt shops and their customers have loved not having to cut their appliqué pieces for the patterns I’ve cut!

  • I love the story behind your blog name. Also, I am amazed by all you can do at the TechShop. I wish I had one near me. I’m glad I got to “meet” you through the blog hop.

  • I love your bleeding heart quilt, I have never mastered whole cloth quilting, or “fancy ” quilting, pretty much every which way of straight or wavy lines is my style, though not for want of trying. Your classes look great fun. Pleased to meet you, I popped over via quantum quilters

  • Lisa

    I really enjoyed meeting you through your post. I think it’s wonderful that you have found a way to share your love of quilting and sewing with so many other people. The blog hop has been great for many of us…helping us on the way.

    • Andrea

      Thank you so much Lisa. This has been a great way to get to know each other!

  • Liz

    The story behind your blog name is so touching. I’ve never heard of a Tech Shop before, but I’ll definitely have to see if I can find one in my area – cutting is such a pain in my butt, so the idea of laser cutting is especially intriguing. It’s nice to learn a bit more about you and your crafting passion, Andrea!

    • Andrea

      Sometimes I cry when I think about my blog name. So glad I can honor my mom with it. At first I was worried people would take offense to me using the word “fools” and so glad my worries were for not. Thank you so much! I don’t know what area you are in, but you might search for a maker space to find a laser. Cutting is a pain 🙂

  • Hi Andrea, It is so very nice to meet you. I like your passion for sewing and for teaching! Sharing what we learn and know with others is a blessing. You have a nice variety of finished quilt tops. Most of my finished quilts are small. I have some large one in the quilting cue. Your bleeding heart quilt is filled with yummy free-motion quilting texture. I love it.

    • Andrea

      Thank you so much. I was inspired by my MIL to teach others. I have been so blessed by her and so blessed by all those I’ve had the opportunity to share what I’ve learned with. Selfishly, I feel like I get so much more than I give from all of them!

  • Hi Andrea. That quilt you made with over 1000 pieces is amazing. How wonderful that you had all those wonderful experiences and memories with your mother. I usually stay pretty busy, but reading your blog, I feel like a slacker!!! I look forward to seeing more of your work in the future. Take care, Mary.

    • Andrea

      You are so sweet Mary and I can assure you that you aren’t a slacker! I love the your darling Food and Fashion quilt… just adorable.

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