Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Welcome my Guest Blogger - Toby Lischko

I am so pleased to introduce my Guest Blogger today - Toby Lischko. 

Toby has been quilting since 1985 and teaching quilting workshops since 1995.
She  considers herself a traditional quilter who loves working with traditional quilt blocks, but she likes to add her own special flair and Toby does that so beautifully.

She has won many national awards for her quilts including a blue ribbon for her Celestial Crowns quilt at the AQS show in Paducah, Kentucky and the MQX show in 2005. She has her own line of patterns and templates under the name of Gateway Quilts & Stuff, Inc and a book called St. Louis Stars, published by Kansas City Star. She does commissioned work for many fabric companies and has been published in many of the major quilt magazines since 1998. In her classes she lets her students know that quilting should be fun, not difficult and she loves hearing  her students say, “I didn’t think I could do that!”

Welcome Toby!

My name is Toby Lischko and I am the designer owner of Gateway Quilts & Stuff, Inc. I have won national awards for my quilts and also teach and give lectures nationally for quilt guilds, shows and quilt shops. I want to thank Nan for asking me to be a guest blogger at Purrfect Spots Blog. 

When I started quilting in 1985 I was taught that I had to sew a "scant" quarter inch seam allowance. I was told that it was a thread's width from a quarter inch. Every pattern I read used the word "scant" so I purchased a quilting foot (1/4" foot) and worked hard to get my seam allowance just right. Sometimes the edge of the fabric went under or past the edge of the foot. I never could get a consistent seam allowance, plus I was working so hard at trying to figure out where the edge of my fabric was, I was not enjoying the process. Being the perfectionist that I am (only when I'm sewing, LOL) I thought that there had to be a better way.

As I travel and teach quilting the first thing I ask my students is "What is your definition of a ‘scant’ quarter inch seam allowance"? There were many answers. Some said a thread's width, some said two thread's width, and some said a "smidge"! I tell them "THOSE
ARE NOT MATHEMATICAL TERMS!!!!" Then I go on to tell them about an "accurate" quarter inch seam allowance.

I came to this realization when I started taking workshops from some of the national teachers. My method is a compilation of Sharyn Craig’s and Sally Collin’s methods. You first have to go out and purchase a very expensive tool called Dr. Scholl’s Molefoam Foot Pads™! You have to make sure you get the foam pads and not the skin as they are thicker.


You will also need a seam gauge that has holes at ¼”. There are a couple companies that make these such as Clover and Collins. Be sure to check that the gauge does not say “scant” quarter inch.

The next thing to do is, if you can, move your sewing machine needle to the furthest right position that it will go. Take the seam gauge and place the needle in the ¼” hole. Cut up small strips of the foam pad and place one touching the edge of the gauge.

Now you are ready to sew. As long as the edge of your fabric is touching that foam pad you will always be at ¼”. No more guessing where the edge of the fabric is, because you should be able to see it touching the foam. Another plus to having the needle in the furthest right position, is that it keeps those pesky corners of triangles from going down inside of the foot plate of the machine.

Now some of you are probably saying to yourself I am happy with what I am doing. I know that not everyone is the perfectionist that I am when it comes to quilting. If you are happy with how your blocks come out, then by all means, continue what you are doing. There are NO quilt police to tell you that you are doing it wrong. This works if you are the only one sewing on the quilt. But, if you ever do a project where a number of people are making blocks and you notice that they are all different sizes, you need to show everyone how to get that EXACT quarter inch seam allowance so that they will all get the same size blocks. Your friends will all think you are a genius! Of course you will tell them "Toby Lischko showed me how to do that"!

I hope some of you will come visit my blog at gatewayquiltsnstuff.blogspot.com to check out some of my other tips and tools. I always feel that quilting should be fun and my motto is: Always love what you do and do what you love. I certainly do! Thank you again Nan for including me as a guest blogger.

Wow, Toby, what a neat tip to share with us. I am sure we will all be rushing out to buy Dr. Scholl's Molefoam Foot Pads. Nobody will believe that we need it for quilting. Thank you so much for sharing and for being a Guest Blogger.

I will be introducing April's Guest Bloggers in my newsletter so sign up. There will also be specials offered with every newsletter, so add your name to the list.
Until next time...


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