Sew On The Go is authored by Michelle Renee Hiatt, who is the designer for her own pattern line Sew On The Go as well as Modern 180, a modern pattern division of Deb Tucker's Studio 180 Design. Additionally, Michelle is a certified Studio 180 Design Instructor, as well as a certified Professional Process Expert (LSSMBB); she uses her process improvement techniques and applies them to her quilting and teaching others how to simplify their piecing while improving the quality of their quilt making. Michelle Renee is known for her humor, enthusiasm and encouragement! Michelle can be reached on her website @www.Sewonthego.netor her

Monday, August 10, 2015

Summer – Quilter Motivator or Deterrent

In preparing to travel to the AQS-Grand Rapids Quilt show, of course I looked through my “to-do” list and it started me wondering if summer is a Quilt motivator or deterrent?

I think for me, I net less sewing time, due to a variety of activities; fabulous summer Quilt Shows, gardening, boating, friends/family visits, mini-breaks (one for my UK friends), etc. 

However, I believe those exact activities are what inspires me in my quilting, whether it be flowers in my garden inspiring a quilt design, or colors on the Sound horizon inspiring a color palette for my next quilt…  Therefore, I guess it is a motivator however it fuels my actual quilts and quilt making later in the season.  How about you?  Do you feel summer helps or hinders your quilting?

I’m getting ready to fly out the Grand Rapids, MI for the AQS-Grand Rapids Quilt Show, so it is only a short post today.  I will be working alongside Deb & Haley Tucker this week at the Studio 180 Design Booth.  If you are in the area, you should stop by, I hear it is a great show, it is a first time for me.  Come check out my Modern 180 Quilts!

Starburst - Tucker Tool Time Series - WIP

One teaser and then I’m out of here; My Hunter Star Retreat, November 13-15th is almost sold out (only 2 spots left) at Quiltingin Vermont (Strong House Inn), however, I’ve been working with Mary to arrange a 5 Day/4 Night Finishing School for January 27th-31st (Wednesday-Sunday).  This is in addition to my Spring Choice @ Quilting in Vermont- Summer Bouquet for April 15th-17th (2016).  So, for all of you ladies with UFOs or WIPs out there, here is your chance to book a 5 day/4 night retreat in a beautiful Inn and knock some of them out.  Stay tuned…  

Above is one of my WIPs that I’ve been working on completing.  They are my Sample blocks from my Tucker Tool Time Series, I’m in the process of completing a second Starburst Quilt.  Unfortunately, it keeps ending up at the bottom of the pile since new- 1st round quilts are due.  This is the perfect project for my Finishing School at Quilting in Vermont!

Friday, December 5, 2014

How to Organize your Studio - Design Wall

Today we are going to talk about putting a design wall in your sewing studio.  I believe the solution I ended up using, in my recently studio remodel, will work for most of you.  Even those of you that "share" your sewing space with another household need.

When I was remodeling my studio, I gave good consideration to the semi-permanent solutions with the insulation boards, etc. that you will find on Pinterest.  However, I followed my own advice and really spent some time thinking about how I wanted to use that space and I determine that I wanted additional functionality.

I thought it would be nice, to be able to use the same wall space to display completed quilts when I need to photograph them, as well as for inspiration when I was working on other projects that don't require a design wall (yet).

Therefore, I wanted something that is versatile.  Additionally, because of my lower ceilings (7 1/2 foot), I wanted something that would fit snug to the ceiling.    Furthermore, I wanted something with clips that would allow me to hang nothing (and go unnoticed), hang a quilt(s), or hang a flannel design wall.  I believe these would be the same needs as someone who is sharing their sewing space with another household need.  They could hang their design wall when they were sewing, or hang a quilt for decoration when they were sharing their space.

So, I needed something that would hold a completed quilt - up to 10-15 pounds.  Therefore, I went searching.... What I found was "Universal Track Rod Set".  They stated it was ideal for patio doors, large windows and room dividers, use with any curtain or pinch pleats! With a universal mounting bracket design, this track rod can be ceiling or wall-mounted. The universal track rod system is designed for smooth and quiet operation and uses no cords and is easy to install.   It only measured 7/8" in diameter, it can span up to 120" and can be used for up to 15 pounds.  Plus, they are available in Black or Pewter.

Here is a sneak peak (Quilt is my Winter Jewels, my pattern Loco for Lemoyne Star):

I have a pretty long room, which allowed me to put up two rods, one behind my long-arm and one for my multi-purpose design wall.

So, we hung the rods just under our crown molding.  However, it can be hung on the ceiling too.  Here is a picture showing the ceiling mount, provided by Country Curtains, where I purchased the rods (to purchase -Countrycurtains).

The rods went up fairly easily and I couldn't wait I to hang my quilts!  We utilized the whole 120" for rod behind the long arm and therefore, I was able to hang a throw and a wall quilt (Quilts are Honey V, my pattern and my version of Atlantic Flyway, Deb Tucker's pattern).

As seen above, I also hung my Winter Jewels up behind my domestic sewing machine table.  That rod, I want to use for a dual purpose, so I immediately got busy on making my "design wall curtain".

For the design area, we utilized 110", which allowed me to ordered a king size, good quality, flannel sheet from the Company Store.  Yes, I know I could have made one, but I much prefer to quilt, so I purchased a sheet, so I would only have to hem the flannel sheet.    I ordered a  pack Dritz's Drapery Lead Weights.
I then measured the height from the clips to the floor.  Since the width of the king sheet was perfect for my Design Wall, I cut the length of the sheet 4" longer than the height from rod clips to floor.

Since my sheet was 110", I divided the width measurement by 8, and figured out I needed to mark every 13 3/4", using 9 lead weights (you can't forget the end).
Then, I went on to sew a stay stitch 1/2" from the edge, placing a lead weight where I marked, and sewing them to the sheet.

Next, I pressed the seam and then folded it over to make a 2" hem.  Sewed it.  Pressed and folded over again, making triple 2" hem and sewed it.   The triple 2" hem, with the lead weight, gave me the enough weight, so that flannel design wall/curtain would hang straight, instead of just draping.

Then I took down my quilt, but simply squeezing the clips and hung up my flannel design wall/curtain (weights at the bottom).

Then it was time to play, up when my Northern Neighbours block (pattern by Deb Tucker).
Ta Da - From a Distance!

And compare - Same space - from Quilt Design Wall to Quilt Display - easy to change in minutes.
I hope you found this helpful, please feel free to ask questions.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How to Organize your Studio - Lesson 1 Tools, rulers and templates

As a Process and Organization expert, I organize without really thinking about it, but I know a lot of quilters struggle with it, therefore I thought it might be fun to run a series on Organizing your Studio.  By the way, don't think for a moment, that I don't fall into disorganization.  Just like the rest of you, in the heat of creativity and deadlines, my studio looks like something blew up in it.  However, for the most part I remain organized.  The key is to have a system, so when you've complete your work of art or meet that deadline, you can restore your studio back to a state of organization (SOO).

The first step in preparing to organize your studio, or to create a new space for your sewing,   is to assess what you "use".   Lets start with your essential quilting tools.  I consider my essential quilt tools to be my rulers, templates, and anything else I need and use to get my fabric ready for piecing.  

I don't know about the rest of you, but I haven't meet a quilting tool, ruler or template that I haven't had to have!  Of course, I'm partial to Deb Tucker's Studio 180 Design Tools, but I have tons of other tools that I use regularly.  The key to keeping track of your tools and more importantly "using" your tools is organization.

Prep Work:  

  • First let's focus on the word "use".  That is the key word when you are getting ready to organize or create a space for anything, but especially your tools.  You need to think about what you use, how often you use it, etc.  Don't forget to think about what you have, that you haven't used as much as you would like --  maybe you haven't always been able to find it.
  • The next word, that you need to focus on is "how"; how do you want to access your tools?  Determine how easily you want to access them, are you willing to have them exposed or do you want to have concealed storage?
I'm fortunate that I have dedicated sewing space and I'm in the process of redoing my studio, with my recycled kitchen cabinets.  We will talk more about that in further posts.  However, since I have the dedicated space, I elected to go with exposed storage, using (3) 24" x 48" peg boards, to hang my tools.  This will make them easy to access and easy for me to use.  


Let me walk you through how I planned and executed my Quilter's Tool Pegboard.

1.  Hang the peg boards, using a support bar, to allow the peg boards to float off the the wall and allow for the hooks.  I elected a corner for mine.  I felt it made the best use of my space.

2. Sort your tools, first by "use", then purpose, similar shape and hang style.  I have so many tools, that I need to hang multiple tools on the hooks, but I still want to be able to find them easily.   I grouped all my Tucker Tools separately, I use them daily.  Then I grouped my long rulers, triangles, squares, funky shape tools, etc.

2. Sort your hanging hooks.  You are going to want to hang certain tools on particular hooks to allow for easy handling and use.  Don't forgot those black little braces, you need them for the hooks that don't have a built in mechanism for keep them hooked when you pull things off.  I use the hook with the built in mechanism for the often used tools that I will be reaching to get - like my long cutting rulers.

3.  Start planning how you want to hang your groupings.  I'm putting a counter in front of one of the boards, so I need to take that into consideration.  Plus, the boards are hung all the way up to the crown molding, with me being 5'1", I need the rulers I use the least or can pull off without pulling out a stool, to be at the top.  So that is where I started.  We will save the middle (most used) and lower areas for later.

I put my Dresden Tools, long angle tools, long curve tools, in the corner.  I love these tools, but I only use them for special projects.  They are longer, so I can reach the bottom of them and pull them off.  Since I will be reaching, I used one of the sturdy long hooks.  

4. Next, I started hanging my other groupings of tools that I use less, at the top.  I try to use the space well, fitting the odd shape tools like a puzzle.

5. Analyze, evaluate and shuffle.  Yes, even best laid plans will require you to shuffle a bit.  Don't be afraid to make changes as you go.  Better now than later.  I ran into 2 pending issues with my above layout.  I figure this out by walking through using the tools.  Yes, you read correctly,  I would think about using a tool, and see how easy it was for me to get.  What I noticed was that I had a lot of smaller, less used tools at the top, which made for a lot of tools, that would require me to have to pull out a stool to get, so I moved them around, and worked in larger mid-use tools at the top.  However since those mid-term tools are longer, I will be able to reach them just as easily as if they were hunhg lower.

6. Now once you are happy and comfortable with the upper third of your pegboard,  lets focus on the lower portion.    I hung 2 of my boards so that I would be able to hang items at the bottom.   I reserve this space for things that will not mark up my beautiful green walls, but that take up a good amount of space.  Typically things that I use a lot, like the cutting bar for my Alto mat.  

7.  Next, grab your Reference Material and Ironing tools.  My ironing station will also occupy this corner of the room, so I placed wire baskets at the bottom of my pegboard.  The basket will hang to the left of the area that will become my ironing station.  I'm left handed, so this makes sense for me, you may want to place yours to the right, if you are right handed.  

I have all my quick reference guides clipped and hung for easy reference.  I know these items can be found on my phone, but I like to have the physical guides easily available.  I also hang my True grips, masking tape, etc.  Items that I use in conjunction with my rulers, templates, etc. 

8. Now, for the middle -the maximum use space.  Grab those regularly used tools.  This is where I place my Deb Tucker's Studio 180 Design tools and my main cutting rulers.  I arrange them by their shape, the space they need and function.  Apologies, I noticed my Corner Pop wasn't hung in the picture - - I was using it :). 

9. Do a final evaluate and shuffle.  Make sure you are comfortable.  Ta-da! 

10. Never, never forget to REVISE as needed.  If you you feel like you are fighting any part of keeping this organized or finding things, etc.  You need to reevaluate and shuffle.  One thing is for sure, if you are fighting it, you will not keep it organized. 

Organization should not be hard, it should make your life easier and allow you more time to do what you love.

I hope this helped.  Next, I will walk you through design wall options, displaying your works of art, and basically making the best use of your wall space in your studio.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Preparing Fabric 101

I thought I'd cover some tips on preparing your fabric for cutting.  I promised my friend, fellow blogger and Studio 180 Design's CI (Certified Instructor)  Jackie O'Brien that I'd post some helpful hints on preparing your fabric after our last CI reunion.

1.  Gather your fabric, Mary Ellen's Best Press, your best iron and ironing surface.  

For Irons;   I recommend  Oliso Pro Smart Iron - Yellow or Eurosteam Steam Iron with Boiler Tank & Ceramic Soleplate.  Both work great.  The Oliso is my current favorite.  The proper, most likely high priced iron, will earn its money with the time it will save you.

For Ironing Surface;   I recommend a sturdy large surface, with only a layer of Insul-Bright and covered with a neutral canvas.  This will give you the best pressing surface.  I love my fully constructed Foldaway Big Board.  Can be purchased at Nancy's Notions.

2. Lay out your fabric flat, unfolded.  I press with the selvages running down my right and left side of my Big Board.  I work on what is on the Big Board top, spraying it well with Mary Ellen's Best Press, then ironing it with mid level steam.    Make sure you press until the fabric is dry.  Keep moving the fabric back, working on each section, until you come to the end.

3. Next, fold the fabric back to selvage to selvage, making sure the fabric is laying flat.  Do not attempt to align the cut edges together.  The fabric may have come off the bolt incorrectly, therefore your quilt shop may have cut it slightly off kilter.  Be more concerned with aligning the selvages and have the width of fabric laying flat and folding without creases.  Like before, continue until you've pressed the entire length of the fabric.

4. Fold to a manageable width, while ensuring your pressing efforts weren't for not.  I do this by taking my Creative Grids 6 1/2" x 24 1/2" ruler and place it at the top my folded fabric.

Then, fold over, pinching the fabric on the edges, roll the ruler, wrapping the fabric around the ruler.

Roll all the way to the end.  Once you have it completed rolled, you can remove the ruler.

5.  Next,  I work on the rest of the fabric for my quilt.  This works on Fat Quarters too.

I like to completely press the fabric for my entire project.  Stack it, and  then start my cutting.

When I cut, I only unfold what can fit on my cutting board, keeping the rest folded.  I find this helps beginners, who tend to get overwhelmed when cutting from a large cut of fabric.

I hope you find my Preparing Fabric 101 tips helpful.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Off the Charlotte

Wow!  It has been an incredibly busy summer for me and my quilts.  We've been traveling all over East Coast.  

I had a terrific time at MAQ last weekend and another great set of classes at Pennington Quilt Works this past weekend.  Here are just a few pictures from yesterday's class , Tucker Tool Time.  Jenn, Alli, Beth and Dawn did a fabulous job.  We covered; Studio 180 Design's Pickets & Quickets, Shaded 4 Patch, and Side Kick High Low Technique Sheets.  We used tons of tools - Wing Clipper, Tucker Trimmer 1, V Block, Corner Beam, Square2.  Such fun learning how to use the tools in everyday blocks.

I'm heading to Charlotte tonight to join Deb and Sue Tucker at AQS's new Charlotte Show.  If you are in the area, come check it out!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Southern Hospitality Class - Saturday - June 22nd

I just found out there have been a couple cancels in my previously Sold Out Class for Southern Hospitality, at Pennington Quilt Works, in Pennington NJ, on Saturday, June 22nd. Therefore, there is room for a few sign-ups.  Check those calendars and see if you can join me!

Southern Hospitality is a relaxing soothing quilt, it has such lovely movement.  It is an awesome throw size quilt.  This quilt was designed by Deb Tucker and will have you thinking of warm, slow paced afternoons. 

You can learn to use Deb Tucker’s Square2 tool to make two types of units- the Diamond Square and the Little Houses block.    Then learn to make Migrating Geese using a fabulous technique perfected by Deb Tucker.  The Diamond Square technique will leave you wondering how you lived without it.  What girl doesn’t love perfect Diamonds!  Plus, the Migrating Geese adds such a wonderful flair to the border; you will use it over and over again.   It really is perfect for those Round Robins.  Come relax and enjoy your piecing!

You can sign up online at: Pennington Quilt Work's Website. The Class is from 10am-4pm and is $72.  If you have never been to Pennington Quilt Works, it is so worth the drive.  Several people travel over 100 miles just to go there regularly (me one of them).  The selection is just terrific and they just announced that they have been named 1 of 10 shops to make Quilt Sampler's Fall Issue.

Here are a few versions of Southern Hospitality:






Hope to see you there!

Strong House's 2015 Quilting in Vermont brochures are out!!

I'm so excited, I got my copies of the Strong House Inn's Quilting in Vermont Seminar brochures!

I can't wait to teach there, it looks so heavenly.  I'm actually going to the Strong House Inn for the Vermont Quilt Festival, from Friday to Sunday.

I can't help but share, so I've attached imagines below.   I will be teaching Loco For Lemoynes Stars and Northern Neighbors!


I know it has been forever since I blogged, life has just been crazy with work and teaching.  :(  However, things are starting to get a little better now that our Fiscal Year at work has settled down a bit and I'm hoping to get back to blogging more often.  There are several exciting things happening that I must share!  More to come!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What is your Go-To Spring Color?

I saw this graphic on Art Gallery Fabric's Facebook page and I couldn't wait to ask other what is their go-to Spring color?

This year, I have to say it is that Poppy Peachy Pink (say that three times).  I think in previous times this was called Salmon..  However, Art Gallery is called it a Pinkest Angle Blush.  Here are two fabric samples from an upcoming fabric line by Jeni Baker call Geometric Bliss.

I've have a few quilts in the works and most of them have a version of this color in it.  I think my friend Jenn would be proud of me, as I think it is a version of orange which I used to be opposed to anything orange.

So what is your go-to Spring Color?