Confused? Curious?

In June of this year we purchased a Gammill long arm quilting machine for free motion quilting. This long arm differs from our Gammill Statler Stitcher which is used for our long arm quilting service.  We offer this service to our customers who want a professional quilting their quilts.

But if you always wanted to quilt your own quilts but didn’t want to do the quilting on your domestic machine (your home sewing machine) this just might be the answer you’re looking for.  To become familiar with how to operate the machine you must take a mandatory six hour class.  These classes are offered each month during the weekday, evenings and/or weekends.  Some classes are 2 hour classes taken 3 times or they may be 3 hour classes taken 2 times.  Either way you receive 6 hours of training.  Once you have taken the class, you can begin to quilt on your own and rent the machine during our regular store hours for $15.00 per hour.  This rate will increase to $20.00 per hour on January 1, 2015.

Have you already taken our class but haven’t rented the machine?  Why?  Are you feeling nervous? Intimidated?  Just haven’t done it?  For those of you in this boat, we are offering a free refresher class on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 6:00pm or Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 10:00am.  Also Margaret will be available in the long arm studio on Thursday, November 6 and Thursday, November 13.  Having Margaret right in the studio with you, will give you the support you might feel you need.  You’ll find out you remembered more than you thought you did!  And you’ll begin having fun quilting your own quilts !

Having the free motion long arm has also given us the opportunity to offer more classes for anyone who wants to learn different free motion designs and techniques.  Mandy Applebee is teaching these classes.  You do not need to take our rental class to take Mandy’s classes.  Why? Because Mandy is right there with you supervising your use of the machine.  Do you own a mid-arm machine?  Do you want to expand  your repertoire and knowledge?  Take one of Mandy’s classes !  She is a very knowledgeable teacher and has won many awards for her free motion design work.
Grab the opportunity to learn from her !

Last but not least give us a call 607-535-6550 or email me or stop in during shop hours Monday-Saturday 10:00-5:30, Thursday until 7:00 and Sunday 11:00-3:00.Long arm free motion class


Quick and Easy Table Runner

Placemats with Candies


Recently I was watching a YouTube tutorial on Missouri Star Quilt Company on how to make a real simple ‘Zig Zag Table Runner’ by Kansas Troubles.  The complete Table Runner pattern and is available in their new book Layers of Love, stop by the shop and get your copy of it!  There are some really great patterns that are quick and easy!



The runner was really cute and looked beyond simple but one problem, I didn’t need a new table runner but I did need some new placemats!  I adapted what I saw them doing to make some new ones for my table!  What do you think?  Did I do good?  Stop into the shop and we’ll tell you how we made it and you won’t believe how fast and easy it is!




To make mine I used 4 – 5” WOF strips of Jo Morton’s new line of fabric Melodies by Jo Morton we just got this in and I just HAD to do something with it!  These are some really great blender fabrics stop in and check them out, Kim has displayed them front and center in the shop!  For the 2 ½” squares I picked Laundry Basket Quilts Jelly Bean Candies by Moda.  We’ve got some great Candies that would be perfect for Christmas Placemats!


Fabric Requirements


4 Placemats 6 Placemats
Background 1 1/2 Yard 3/4 Yard
Background 2 1/2 Yard 3/4 Yard
Background 3 1/2 Yard 3/4 Yard
Background 4 1/2 Yard 1/2 Yard
Moda Candies 2 3
Backing Fabric 4 Fat Quarters 6 Fat Quarters
Batting 4 – 18″ x 22″ 6 – 18″ x 22″
Bindings Strips  (inc) 8-2 ½” WOF 12-2 ½” WOF

Have you completed your requirements to rent our new Long Arm?  If you have this would be a FANTASTIC project for free motion quilting!  If you haven’t done the intro class yet, make certain you get registered so you can get some made before the holidays!


Fabric I used:


Background Fabric I used Melodies by Jo Morton
#1 Green Pinwheel Waves
#2 Green Clematis Blooms
#3 Green Feathering Leaves
#4 Green Stripes
Laundry Basket Quilts Jelly Bean by Moda



I also used “The Strip Stick” when pressing my seams open.  This is a pretty handy tool to help when pressing seams open or to one side because the iron concentrates on pressing where the seam is.   The Strip Stick is available in 3 sizes: Mini, 18” & 45”, I like the 45” one it’s great when pressing borders too!  Next time you see Ennie in the shop ask her how she likes it!

Have You Tried This New Thread For Hand Embroidery?

Sulky brand thread in 12 wt. on a 50-yard spool. Also known as a "petite." The spools also come in larger sizes of 330 yards. This picture shows a little comparison between traditional embroidery floss and the Sulky thread.

Sulky brand thread in 12 wt. on a 50-yard spool. Also known as a “petite.” The spools also come in larger sizes of 330 yards. This picture shows a little comparison between traditional embroidery floss and the Sulky thread.

When I was at Spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh, I briefly noted a booth with gobs and gobs of threads available for embroidery that were wound on spools. That got me pretty darn excited. I don’t know about you, but I get frustrated with skeins of embroidery thread. It twists, it knots, and unless you unwind it and wind it back up again on a spool, it can result in a mess in your sewing bag.

Alas, I thought, someone has gotten smart and created a solution for my frustration. I decided to try out this spooled thread.

I was on a mini shop hop with a couple of friends in the Utica, NY area, and at one of the shops there was a display of 12 wt. Sulky thread on 50 yard spools. They were called “Petites.” The shop owner told me that the thread was supposed to be good for embroidery as it had about the same weight as typical embroidery floss, like you might get from Cosmo or some other brand. I decided to give it a try.

I bought a few spools in red, blue, and brown as those are the colors I am working in right now for redwork. I don’t remember what I paid for them but I have found them online for a couple dollars for a spool of 50 yards.  The larger spools are more money, of course. Those spools hold 330 yards of thread which I find to be wonderful if you have a large project to do. Typical embroidery floss skeins hold  8.7 yards.

The picture above gives an indication of what the spools look like.

Sulky brand thread in 12 wt. on a 50-yard spool. Also known as a "petite." The spools also come in larger sizes of 330 yards. This picture shows a little comparison between traditional embroidery floss and the Sulky thread.

Sulky brand thread in 12 wt. on a 50-yard spool. Also known as a “petite.” The spools also come in larger sizes of 330 yards. This picture shows a little comparison between traditional embroidery floss and the Sulky thread.

The picture shown here shows two lines of embroidery. The top piece is embroidered with traditional embroidery floss, using two strands. the bottom embroidery shows a piece using 1 thread of the Sulky brand thread in a 12 wt. Now let me give you some pros and cons for each one. These are my personal observations, only.

(I can’t get a comparison table to look right here so I’ll just have to list these.)

Sulky Thread                   
Cost                              $2-4/50 yards
Ease of Use                 Easy*
Knotability                  Low
Color Options             About 80
Threading Ease          **
Wearability                 ***

Embroidery Floss
Cost                              $.50-$1 for approximately 9 yards
Ease of Use                  Easy
Knotability                   Medium-high
Color Options              Hundreds, 400+
Threading Ease            Typical
Wearability                   Good

* I find the Sulky to be superior in ease of use because it comes off a spool. It doesn’t knot while you’re trying to unravel it from a skein and it doesn’t knot when you do so. This saves time and aggravation.

** For some reason, I find the Sulky to be slightly more difficult to thread. I wonder if it’s the width of the thread. I have figured out if I fold it over the needle but separate the threads that hang over, it somehow moves the looped over thread so it doesn’t result in it being too thick. Then I can thread it more easily. This sounds complicated but it isn’t.

*** I feel like the Sulky wears slightly more than the floss but I may be imagining that. I just use a shorter length of thread and then I’m fine.

What I truly love about the Sulky is that there is only one thread so I don’t get little loops of thread sticking up and there isn’t another thread to get knotted with or have the threads become uneven resulting in loops. Sulky thread makes the embroidery smoother and that I like a lot. I take out fewer stitches with the Sulky.

The biggest issue I see with the Sulky is that there aren’t enough colors if you do a lot of embroidery. I do redwork so the color choices are fine for me.

Here’s what Sulky says about the thread:

“To celebrate our 25th Anniversary, Sulky of America recently introduced a fabulous NEW line of Sulky 12 wt. Cotton “Petites” Thread. These smaller 50 yd. snap-end spools of 80 dynamic colors of premium quality Sulky 12 wt. Long Staple, Egyptian Cotton Thread were especially created for the myriad of you who love Hand Embroidery, Quilting, and Applique, as well as numerous other Hand Crafts such as:

Cross Stitch, Crazy Patchwork, Couching, Hand Sashiko, Blanket Stitch, Needlepunch, Candlewicking, Smocking, Heirloom Sewing, Redwork, and also Bobbin Work.

  • Since one strand of Sulky 12 wt. Cotton Thread is equivalent to two strands of typical floss, the huge benefits are:
  •  You don’t have to separate any floss;
  • There is no tangling;
  • You can cut any length you want; and

Storage is tidy with no loss of color identity. You will also love the fact that this smaller 50 yd. Sulky Petite spool has a suggested retail price that is almost three-fourths less than the price of the same Sulky 12 wt. Cotton Thread on a 330 yd. spool. See colors.” — from

If you try out this thread, please let Sew, O’Susannah know what you think.

Don’t forget to Like, Post, Comment, Link, Pin, Tweet and Share. Have a great week. –Betsy





Mandy Applebee and Leah Day


After Spring International Quilt Market I was approached to write about a quilter whom I have been admiring and following for years. She is a domestic quilter but her work has inspired me in many of my longarm quilting adventures. During Market this spring I got the pleasure of meeting both her and her husband since they were staying on the same floor of our hotel.

I found Leah Day more than 3 yrs ago and have been subscribing to her emails since then. You might as well follow the link and sign up now you wont regret it!! Each email is PACKED full of amazing information and free links to online video tutorials on over 400 designs…… yes you read that correctly, FREE and over 400 designs.

Now a bit about Leah and her 365 freemotion fillers project. Leah is a mostly self taught absolutely delightful down to earth creature with a heart of gold!! Her creation of the 365 project was born from frustration with a lack of fill designs available to her. She began searching and the frustration led to a decision to challenge herself to create a new design each day for the next year. That is how the 365 project began. On August 14th 2009 she launched the project with a short blog post about the rules she had set for herself and the first design. WOW did it snowball from there! Follow this link to hear more of Leah’s story in her own words.

The 365 project eventually led to a quilt consisting of small blocks made during the design process. The blocks were joined together and sandwiched just like a quilt, those sandwiches eventually became a quilt which was FINALLY completed in May of 2014 just a few short years after it started (she discovered it takes a LONG time to hand bind over all those seams on the back from joining the blocks).

the 365 quilt at market




i was able to admire it in person

it was SUPER cool!!
Each of the blocks in the quilt were photographed and a video was created of Leah stitching out the designs. These videos can all be accessed on their site. Many changes in the video techniques occurred thru the process and improvements have been made along the way compared to the beginning but one thing that has not changed is Leah’s view on providing her inspiration to others. Her designs are FREE, you do not have to join a group or pay a fee to access her site. You will not find a cost associated with her designs or videos. She believes that inspiration lies within sharing knowledge and helping others to learn not in the profit which can be made. This philosophy has served her well as her designs and inspiration has reached over 5million people since she began in 2009.

This year Leah’s husband Josh decided to learn to quilt and you will now find videos of his progress as he learns to freemotion quilt Leah’s designs in her latest project. 2014 began a new adventure called the buildingblocks quilt along You can join the quilt along at any time and learn new designs each week to boost your freemotion design library. This project along with the help from Josh and his bobbles and trips has been a fun adventure for them both.

I was delighted to find out Leah’s original 365 freemotion fillers book (which I use CONSTANTLY) has a new design and will be available exclusively at quilt shops. The new design includes a spiral binding which is completely awesome!! I cannot wait to get my hands on it!! Keep your eyes out at our local quilt shop and ask if they can get the new book for you if you don’t see it!!

During Market I talked with both Leah and Josh a great deal and they did not disappoint me, they were just as I pictured they would be. Sweet, honest and willing to inspire at every turn. Take a bit of time to explore all they have to offer and sign up for the news letter it is amazing!! Here I am with Leah in front of the 365 quilt at spring quilt market when she signed my little book 50 feather to flames designs ( Josh is in the purple on the left of the quilt).

Leah helps take the scary out of domestic machine quilting and proves that it can be done on a domestic machine, it just takes a bit of practice. Come on, join us and start finishing your UFO’s and quilt tops with beautiful designs to accent your work.


Mandy joined us at Quilt Market and teaches machine quilting classes at O’Susannah’s.  Check out our website for her next classes.  She will also be introducing a new technique in the Fall so continue to check out our website.  Leah’s book has shipped and will be in any day now.  Give us a call to reserve a copy!




Welcome to Spring!

I don’t know where you all hang your bonnet but I live here in Upstate New York, plunk in-between the great Lake Ontario and the scenic Finger Lakes region. We are having a veerrrrrrry looooooonnnng winter. My spring bonnet is still in the closet while my wool hat, scarf and mittens sit at the ready. Spring is not coming soon enough for me. But alas, I have sidetracked.

Today is the first day of spring and to celebrate, I created a little appliqué block. I know. I know. Not everyone appliqués but honestly, this is really easy. In fact you hardly have to have any preciseness at all. In fact #2, you could probably just freehand draw whatever you want and make it into appliqué. Try it. You just might fall in love. After all, it’s spring!

So here’s the little block I made for you. I am calling it Ode to Spring. How’s that for a little poetic levity?

Ode to Spring Applique Block

I made up this little block for you. I call it Ode to Spring. I hope you enjoy it. It’s a little bit whimsical, I think.

You can Ode to Spring Pattern PDF. I put this pattern and block together in an hour or two so the pattern was simply sketched but it will work fine to trace. Just print it out on your computer.  Easy, peazy.

This is what you will cut:
From  green: 1 stem; 2 leaves
From  8 different prints: cut 8 petals
From blue: cut 1 circle center

For my background I just used a piece of muslin. My background fabric was cut as a 9 ½” square.

That’s it. I really love this pattern. It could be made up a bunch of different ways – Christmas fabrics; golds and yellows with a black or dark brown center for Black-eyed Susans – the variations are endless!

I was on Pinterest today. I love Pinterest, don’t you? I was poking around looking for, what else, antique quilts, but also for quilt blocks. I looked at a couple of great sites that I often visit. One is Laura Fisher Antique Quilts and the other is Betsey Teleford-Goodwin’s Rocky Mountain Quilts.

At Rocky Mountain Quilts I found the quilt blocks that inspired my Ode to Spring design. Here’s a picture of the blocks at Rocky Mountain Quilts. I am sure they are for sale but I didn’t see any prices on the blocks so if you’re interested you would need to contact them. Did I mention that I also love Depression-era quilts and fabrics? Could be that’s what attracted me to these blocks.

Vintage applique flower quilt blocks from Rocky Mountain Quilts.

Vintage applique flower quilt blocks from Rocky Mountain Quilts.

Rocky Mountain Quilts can be found here:

Laura Fisher is at Fisher Heritage and Laura Fisher Antique Quilts & Americana and can be found here:

Have fun creating and have a lovely first day of spring 2014!


I never met a quilter who doesn’t love a good recipe whether to feed friends at a quilting retreat or your own family.  What’s not to love about a good recipe.  Betsy and I brainstorm each Monday morning about where we want our blog to head and recently I shared some stories about my very good friend, Sandy.  They haven’t met yet but they will and Betsy will love her just as I do.  Sandy is not only a wonderful friend but one of the best cooks I’ve ever met!  So I’m going to introduce you to Sandy and each month share with you one of her terrific recipes.  So subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss a single recipe!

Sandy and I first met about eleven years ago and were introduced by my former boss’s wife, Carol Peters.  I worked for Bill and Carol and they knew I loved to quilt.  Sandy was their neighbor and Carol knew she loved to quilt.  Carol invited us to lunch and the rest is history!  We’ve been friends since.  When a person meets Sandy for the first time, they meet a  lady who is outgoing, bubbly and always has a great story.  And she is the most caring person you will ever meet.  She brings out the laughter in all of us.  She always has a smile on her face and those smiles are contagious.  Sandy grew up in Cortland the only daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Shay – hmmm, Doctor’s daughter you’re thinking possibly a little spoiled and a life without troubles.  Yes, maybe a little spoiled as she was the apple of her father’s eye but certainly not a life without hardship.  She’s had her fair share and then some.  But she’s still smiling and caring for others.  Her brother introduced her to Gene Waters and warned her “don’t date one of my friends !”but he didn’t say don’t marry one of my friends.  Good thing because that’s just what she did – married Gene Waters the love of her life.  A love some of us never experience, a love that stays alive long after they are gone.  Gene was killed in an automobile accident when 3 of their 4 children were in college, ten minutes after he kissed her goodbye one morning.  Gone the love of her life but never forgotten.  She has shared stories with me over the years.  And have I laughed and laughed over the antics of their life together.  She is still laughing all these years later about their good times and the years of caring for their four children alone.  And now at 76 years of age, she’s caring for her son, Kevin-blind from complications of diabetes.  But she’s still smiling.  And its not just her family she cares for, it’s her friends, too.  And she cares for her friends by feeding them !  Thank God, I can count her among my friends because she feeds not only me but cooks every time I advertise a class – class fee includes lunch – class fee includes dinner-class fee includes snacks !  As many of you know, I rarely cook these days not because I don’t know how but because Sandy just does it better !  Now, you too can enjoy some of the same dishes I often enjoy in front of the fire in Sandy’s kitchen. Enjoy our first recipe from Sandy !

Sandy Chicken Dinner in a Dish

Sewing spaces

Our sewing spaces are as individual as each and every one of us!  But I bet many of you can identify with my sewing space except maybe Kathy my high school classmate.  She is as neat as a pin.  I’ll show you her sewing space another time.  My sewing room is a disaster but I’m hoping not for long.  Really I’m fortunate to have a dedicated room in my house for sewing BUT it needs help.  Many of you know I’ve been working on the house I purchased a year and a half ago and as you can tell I haven’t gotten to the sewing room.  I am getting closer so I wanted to be sure to show you the before shots.  What do I do if the before looks better than the after?  Heaven help me!  My plan is to strip the walls of the old paper and then paint.  I should replace the ceiling but I think I’ll leave that to the next owner after I’m dead and gone.  So it should be a simple little job.  The element I have to have is a design wall maybe just so I can see what I hope to get done someday but I thought it would be nice. Looks like tons of work to even begin to get this room organized much less painted. Wish me luck and look for the äfter”photos.

My dresser stores fabric but as you can see it is overflowing.

My dresser stores fabric but as you can see it is overflowing.

There is a cutting mat underneath all this!

There is a cutting mat underneath all this!

sewingroom 3sewingroom 4
This is where I hope my design wall will go.

This is where I hope my design wall will go.