It’s August in Texas and it’s HOT! But the heat doesn’t seem to phase quilters.

We continue to piece, applique and quilt to our heart’s content. I don’t know about other long-armers, but my clients are keeping me busy these days. Quilting and quilters are alive and well.

If you haven’t already discovered, the Houston International Quilt Show registration catalog came out in July. If you don’t get a catalog by mail, you can go online at www.Quilts.com to check out all the activities and classes available.

If you want a class, you’d better register ASAP because they fill up quickly. If registering online, it will tell you if the class is full.

Looking through my last issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited (MQU), I was amazed at all the new gadgets and products that have been developed with us quilters in mind. Working through the magazine, the first thing I saw was an ad for pre-wound bobbins.

Personally, I’m not a fan of these. I almost always match the bottom thread with what I’m using on top. But I’ve been told they really save time. If that’s an issue for you, you might want to check www.bobbincentral.com out.

Next, I found Appliquick system. This is a new system of turn edge applique. It helps turn the edges under and keeps them in place so the quilter can apply each piece either by hand or machine. The appliqued material becomes soft after washing. For more information about this product, go to www.kathymcneilquilts.com.

Then came The Little Flipper. This 2-inch by 4-inch ruler is small enough to work in limited space. It has quarter-inch markings as well as 45-degree and 60-degree markings to help you quilt precise designs in small areas. It’s available at www.Kimmyquilt.com. I might have to look into this one.

Urban Elementz has expanded its pattern business to www.appliqueelementz.com. They are marketing laser-cut fusible fabric applique. They offer an Applique Block of the Month Club you might be interested in.

This magazine always gives reviews of the newest quilting related books. This issue there were six books reviewed. I’m taking notes so when I get to Houston in November I can find the ones I may be interested in and purchase one, or two, or ...

If you like to enter contests, MQU usually has one to enter. They are fun and challenging to see if you can make a project that follows their guide lines and come up with a quilt that’s stunning.

I haven’t entered one of their contests yet, but I’m waiting for a contest that I think I can make a quilt good enough to be considered. Prizes for these contests are well worth the effort.

Machine Quilting Unlimited magazine has in-depth articles on different techniques used to create a masterpiece, and also features interviews with recognized quilters and their works of art. If you travel extensively, you’ll find all the larger quilt shows and exhibitions in ads throughout the magazine. If you are looking for a magazine with quilt patterns for you to make, this magazine is not for you. There aren’t any.

I have downsized from getting all the quilting magazines being published to just a few.

Machine Quilting Unlimited is geared for those quilters who prefer to machine quilt and it offers them “unlimited” ideas to use to expand their art and craft.

If you consider yourself a machine quilter, either domestic or mid-arm or long-arm, perhaps you should check it out.

Nancy Judd is a Herald correspondent.

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