About Marjorie Busby

My blog is about helping other quilters learn to use great tools in their quilting through what I can teach and through finding other bloggers who have good information. In addition, I am a mother and grandmother. Other hobbies include any other stitchery which makes me happy at the moment. My profession is as a registered dietitian, and I have worked in clinical research for most of my career. I am now retired and enjoying every minute.

Happy St. Paddy’s Free Embroidery Design

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with this cute little bird holding a shamrock balloon. The design set includes ART, dst, exp, hus, jef, pes. sew, vip, and vp3 files. The shapes are cut using the Silhouette Cameo, and the file set includes an svg file as well so it can be cut on any electronic cutting machine. The instructional pdf includes a pattern for the shapes so it can be stitched with a regular sewing machine using a blanket or satin stitch. Just click on the image below to download the stitch files, instructions, and pattern.



Happy Valentine’s Day – Free Download

Hope you’re having a great Valentine’s Day. I have been working on a little snail and thought you would enjoy having it to stitch. If you have an electronic craft cutter like a Silhouette Cameo or a Brother Scan n Cut, this is a perfect way to try it with machine embroidery. This embroidery design would be so cute on a baby’s bib or hand towels for the children’s bathroom.

The file set has both an svg and a dxf file so you can import the shape into the software for your machine and cut the shapes. Then all you have to do is take it to the embroidery machine and stitch.

Free Snail Download

Free Snail Download


Comfort Quilt Finishes

It seems 2014 keeps us unbelievably busy with grandchildren and family. Last weekend, all that was put aside for some time doing nothing but stitching on the machine. The quilt retreat in January made me realize how much I enjoy just sitting at the machine stitching. I spent all of Saturday piecing quilts.

This is one of the finishes from last Saturday. It is the quilt for my daughter’s friend’s mother who is undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. The pattern is the Warm Wishes free pattern from Quiltmaker magazine. It is often used in the crib size for project Linus quilts. It is simply a six inch rail fence block alternated with a focus fabric block. It can be pieced in long strips –easy to cut, easy to stitch. With different color placements and widths for the rails, the quilt has many variations.

In the sunlight, the pinks on the two focus fabrics I used looked the same, but under the CFL light, the pinks are not the same.



And one of my goals for the 2014 is to make more quilts for an organization that befriended us each of the four times that Ezri had her brain surgeries. The organization is AZ Blankets 4 Kids. I will never forget the first night we were in the PICU with that tiny little girl with tubes and wires everywhere, and someone brought in a beautiful red and white lap quilt. That was the softest and most comfortable quilt and truly was a comfort quilt for that night and many nights thereafter in the hospital. And the next morning as we walked through the PICU, there were bright, beautiful quilts on every bed.

Yesterday, I sent this quilt to Arizona. It is leftover zoo animals novelty fabric. It was a piece and quilt as you go on the longarm. I loaded the backing and batting and stitched fabric strips and flipped them and stitched the next strip. IMG_5156


Red and White EQ Blog Hop

The Red and White EQ Blog Hop is only on it’s second day. Already there are the most wonderful tutorials and inspiring tips. Here are the links for the whole week.

Monday, January 27th -SewCalGal

Tuesday, January 28th -Marlene at Kissed Quilts

Wednesday, January 29th -Connie at Freemotion Quilting By The River

Thursday, January 30th -Bea at Beaquilter

Friday, January 31st -Raewyn at Love to Stitch


And if this inspires you, then please check out the Year of Red and White Challenges at SewCalGal’s Blog.

artwork year of red and white quilt challenges_edited-1


Experimenting with Strip Twist

Last weekend at Quilt Retreat Sherry and I were experimenting with Bonnie Hunter’s Strip Twist to see if we could make a quilt that she envisioned making for her son. Somehow we couldn’t get the pieces for the blocks we wanted without making a second block (and in the end a second quilt). But Monday morning, I decided to take the holiday to give it another spin. Using strips from the 2-1/2″ strip bin, this is the result. It is the Strip Twist pattern from Bonnie with the colors going from dark to light in the strip sets. When the strip sets are joined, it creates a block that goes from dark to light on one side and light to dark on the other side. When set into an on point layout, it creates this great design.



strip twist1


At quilt retreat, I almost finished this one (which is the double rail fence with 3-1/2 x 6-1/2 inch rectangles) and continued to work on it at home. It went onto the longarm on Sunday and was quilted. The binding was stitched on with the quilting machine, so I am going to finish the binding–maybe by hand while watching movies in the evening. IMG_5143


Here are some pics from quilt retreat. We had a great time.

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A Quilt and a Hat

This is yesterday’s project. It was complicated only by the fact that the backing was only one inch larger all the way around than the top. After talking with the client, we decided to trim 1-1/2″ of the border all the way around. The border was originally just over 6 inches, so this left plenty of border on the quilt, and it gave me enough room to do the quilting.

The pantograph is Sumptuous by Hermione Agee. This is the second time I’ve used it, and this time I reduced the size to 5 inches. The original size is 14 inches which is much too open to suit me.

What is really funny is that my husband came in while I was quilting and said, “I thought that was your quilt”. He was remembering a blue and white quilt I made several years ago for my Mother that used exactly the same prints.

Donation Quilt for Meals on Wheels

Donation Quilt for Meals on Wheels

Back of Quilt

Back of Quilt

And here’s the hat. Last year I was knitting lots of hats and this is the one that I made for Owen. He wore it a lot. Then his Mom washed it in the machine, and the blue yarn was felted–that’s what happens when you use scraps. Besides being smaller, the hat also lost it’s stretch. I cut out the felted top and re-knitted a new top. He still wouldn’t wear it. So, I went to the yarn store (spent $30-ouch!) and got new almost matching yarn and knitted a new one. Now he likes the old one better. What can I say?

Removing the felted top

Removing the felted top

New hat almost finished

New hat almost finished


New Project, New Energy

This week has been busy with a new project. Every time I write a Craftsy blog post, it seems it ends up with a new project. This time I am making it into an embroidery project that I can offer for sale. It’s very simple, but has lots of potential. Teaser pics are below. 

Somehow I totally lost my mojo after the holidays. We did some traveling, I stopped consuming as much caffeine, and came down with a terrible cold all at once. It seems this all conspired to bring my energy to a complete halt for almost two weeks. Thank goodness I woke up Sunday morning feeling like a new person and ready to conquer the world again.

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I am also working on quilting a donation quilt for Meals on Wheels. Hopefully will get that done today and can show you pics of that tomorrow. 

Chevron Progress

Slowly but surely the re-do of the jelly roll race quilt is coming together as a chevron quilt. And I like it. The goal was to use only quarter square triangles. I didn’t like the bulk in the center seam so added 1-1/2 inch strips between the triangles.

The triangles have the seams pressed open. I know you are all aghast at me for that as I preach pressing to the side. But this time it was the right thing to do.

And as I stitched I found that I could match the points with the strips better if I stitched with the pieced strip on top. However to keep the seam allowance from flipping as I stitched I had to use a stylus.

So what do you think? Are those strips too distracting? Other possibilities were to use different fabrics for the black strips and varying widths for the background strips but I took the easy way this time. How would you do this one?



Shirley’s Quilt

Sherry sent me photos of a quilt she finished for Shirley, one of the members of our Slap Happy Quilters’ guild. Below are instructions for making this quilt as well as a photo of the members of the SHQ holding the quilt at the Christmas gathering. Shirley was not well enough to attend–and our prayers go out to her and her family. As you can see from the quilt, she has a beautiful sense of style and quilting.

Finished Size: 39 x 61 inches.

Medium fabric: Cut 55 bricks 3 1/2” x 6 1/2”.

If you are using yardage, cut 5 strips 6-1/2” across the width of fabric (WOF).

Rotary Cutting: Layer 6-1/2” strips and cut across them at 3-1/2” to get 55 bricks.

Accuquilt Cutting: Fanfold 6-1/2” strips across the 3-1/2” die and cut.

Light fabric: Cut 55 bricks 3-1/2” x 3”.

If you are using yardage, cut 5 strips 3” across the WOF.

Rotary Cutting:  Layer 3” strips and cut across them at 3-1/2” to get 55 pieces.

Accuquilt Cutting: Fanfold 3” strips across the 3-1/2” die and cut.

Sashing and borders: Cut 380 inches 3-1/2” wide.  These strips can be cut across the width of fabric or on the lengthwise grain.

Join these strips with a 45 degree angle seam by placing ends of strips at a right angle and stitching corner to corner.

Assembly: Sew light to medium as shown. Arrange 11 patches as shown and sew into a row.


Make 5 rows. Place sashing in between rows and add borders.

If you cut your sashing strips across the width of fabric remember that there is some ‘stretch’ associated with the grain across the width and lay the sashing strips flat across the rows and pin before stitching.




Slap Happy Quilter’s Guild, Christmas 2013


Are you Ready?

Seriously, have you finished all your gifts and shipped them? I suddenly realized yesterday that packages need to be in the mail–YIKES!! –my organization skills must have collapsed as I’ve been making cookies with the children and having coffee with friends instead of getting things packed and ready to ship. Thank goodness I go ahead and buy gifts throughout the year when I see things that are perfect for the people in my life. Got three packages to the post office yesterday afternoon just before it closed. However, there’s more to be done.

Every year I make personalized pillowcases for my children and grandchildren. Although I’ve been buying novelty fabric all year for these, I haven’t even started making them. So, that is my project for today–get the serger out and get busy on pillowcases. Will post pics when I’m done.