Posted in Batting, Quilt Stories, Quilting, Threads

“Quilt As Desired”

 So you’ve finished your quilt top.  And the last line in your pattern says – “Quilt as desired. Bind. Enjoy!”  

“Quilt as Desired.” – I remember finishing my first quilt and those were the dreaded final words in the pattern.  What did that mean?  I didn’t know what I desired or what would look good, let alone how to quilt this top.  Geezzz…  That was over 18 years ago and I’ve been helping quilters with “Quilt as Desired” ever since!

I provide customized, freehand quilting.  My longarm machine quilting is not computerized. I quilt freehand using designs  which I’ve  developed over the past 20 years.

You’ve decided to have your quilt top quilted – what’s next?

  • Schedule an appointment. Call (814 883 8708) or email me (
  •  My shop is in downtown Victorian Bellefonte, near the Centre County Courthouse at 107 East High Street.
  •  We’ll need about 30 minutes.

 How to prepare for our appointment.

• Bring your quilt top, batting and backing you have for this project. No need to baste them together.  You can also use the batting I have on hand. (I carry several types of Quilter’s Dream batting).

• What do you have in mind for how you want the finished quilt to look?

• How will the quilt be used? Is it a gift?

• What is your budget?

 At your appointment, we’ll discuss:

• How the quilt will be used and what you want it to look like. Is it a wedding gift? Or for a special someone heading to college?  For your bed?

• Your budget.

Based on those answers, I’ll recommend:

• A quilting design. These range from light quilting to custom designs for the quilt body, borders, and sashing.

• Thread color. I use high-quality threads designed for long-arm quilting machines. You may want a color that either blends with the colors of the top,  contrasts or accents certain elements . I will help you decide.

• When you leave – you’ll know what quilting design we will be using, which batting and thread and the exact cost. I will call you if there are any changes (which rarely happens).

 Here’s a link for more info:

 Not to worry if this all seems a little overwhelming. I’ll guide you through the entire process

I’ll call you when your quilt is finished to set up a convenient time to pick it up.  Take it home and enjoy your new quilt!

But what if you’re not in my local area??? Not a problem at all. Just schedule a time to mail your quilt. Your appointment will be done by phone calls and emails once I receive your quilt- super easy!

Posted in classes, Storm at Sea Quilts, Studio 180 Design tools and techniques, Teaching, Uncategorized

How to use Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design Square Squared Ruler

The Square in a Square unit certainly looks easy enough – Just sew 4 triangles to a square. How hard could that be? Well – very. The center square is precision cut, and each triangle needs to be positioned perfectly to be sure the square is centered accurately. Ugh.

By making the precision cut easy and oversizing the triangles the Square in a Square can be made easily and accurately.

Here’s how: (click on the picture to see it without the words)

This is the first block in the Storm at Sea Quilt. Click HERE to get the FREE Storm at Sea pattern.  


A little more info on the Square Squared ruler:

  • Ruler size – 6 ½” x 12”
  • Unit sizes – 6 size options from 1” finished units to 6” finished units
  • Step by step illustrated instructions
  • Instructions for left hand cutting and trimming
  • Fine lines for high accuracy
  • We have companion patterns – but you don’t have to use our patterns to use our tools.  If the Square in a Square unit is in the pattern – just use your Square Squared ruler – fast, easy and super accurate!!

If you have any questions or need some help – just send an email to – I’m happy to help!

Until next time,


Barbara Dann
Alleycat Quiltworks 
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FREE Storm at Sea Quilt Pattern!

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