How to Thread a Needle Easily

Did you know 
That needles have a front and back?

I didn't either.

But they do. 

Watch as we easily thread a needle. 


One last thing...

Get the needle eye wet (a little spit didn't hurt any needle)

It will help so much!Image HTML map generator

How to Thread a Juki DDL-8700 Sewing Machine

When I first began sewing rag quilts for a living, I went through so many needles. I could have bought stock in Schmetz!

No joke! 

I bought the thickest needles I could find in my local big box craft stores. The typical Universal 90/14.

But I still broke needles. 

Every time I broke a needle I would:

  1. Stop sewing (duh)
  2. Change needle
  3. Clean out anywhere the broken part of the needle could have ended up
  4. Checked the seam in the quilt for any remnants of needle.
  5. Began sewing again

This process could take several minutes each time. I knew exactly where I would break the needles (always where 4 seams would cross at). Rag quilts can be bulky to sew through as they are made by sewing quilt back, flannel batting, and quilt top together at the same time. So where seams would meet I could be sewing through 6 layers of fabric, 4 of which were flannel. That is a lot of material! 

So after a few years, and many quilts later, we decided to add to my sewing machine collection and get a Juki DDL 8700. 

We picked it for several reasons. But I am guessing that if you are trying to figure out how to thread the darn thing like I did when I first bought it, you already know you need it.

Once you figure it out, it is really easy to rethread and takes just a second

Follow the video below and you'll be set in no time!

 Image HTML map generator

How to Clean A Sewing Machine or Serger from Dust Bunnies

{affiliate links below}
I don't know about you, but I sew enough that I am constantly combating the dreaded dust bunnies that accompany fabric. 
I have "heard" from my Bernina dealership to not use canned air as it can put moisture on the metal. Moisture and metal create corrosion. 
Plus, a canned air is plenty expensive for my taste and it never lasted long enough
So, I tried a vacuum
When that didn't work, I would blow my own air
Counterintuitive much?
Yes, moisture and metal create corrosion.
So we I came across a handy dandy tool on amazon.

Its a compressed air duster. 

No canned air required.

 So now, when I need to clean out my sewing machine, serger, laser, or whatever else that has pesky dust bunnies. A quick little treatment with the compressed air duster, and I am set!

Watch the short video below to see it in action.


 Image HTML map generator

Personalized Gifts for Mother's, Grandma's, or the Special Gardener in your Life

 Image HTML map generator

Beautiful engraved wall art for grandmas garden. We love memorializing grandmas posterity with this unique plaque.

We can also change grandma to other wording as well 

We’ve done mom, nana, aunt, grandmas great, and custom names for mom and grandma.



You can purchase and learn more about this beautifully customized wall art in our shop. 

We also have the file available for those that have their own laser cutting machine 

We sell a wide variety of rag quilts, kitchen linens, crib bedding, large quilts made from your clothing, ruffle valances and crib skirts, and rag quilt patterns

Chinese Checkers Game Board

Watch as we give you a behind the scenes look at the creation process of the fun and unique Chinese Checkers board game. 

Chinese Checkers is a fun board game. Up to 6 players. Its simple enough that my 4 and 7 year olds love to play it with me.

The object of Chinese checkers is to get your marbles to the opposite star point before the competition. Strategies include lining up your marbles so that there is only a space in between so that you can jump. Thereby greatly decreasing the number of turns required to get the marbles all the way across.

It is seriously a simple game, with hours and hours of entertainment.

Chinese checkers are the perfect gift for birthdays, Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day. 

We leave ours out on the end table, and often as we are hanging out on our phones, someone will ask to play. Its a great way we have found to build our family bond.

Image HTML map generator

Strip Rag Quilt

Rag quilts are traditionally made with squares. Here at AVTR, we like to think outside of the rag quilt box. Instead we're thinking about simple quilt patterns that are made in a strip rag quilt. 

Unique? Yes!

Fun? Yes!

Most importantly...

Quick? Absolutely!

Enjoy the following strip rag quilt patterns (click on the picture for more information on each quilt)

Log Cabin Quilt Pattern

Log Cabin Quilt Pattern

Arrow Quilt Pattern

Arrow Quilt Pattern

Ashlyn Quilt Pattern

Ashlyn Quilt Pattern

Split Strips Quilt Pattern

Split Strip Quilt Pattern

Rail Fence Quilt Pattern

Rail Fence Quilt Pattern

Jelly Roll Quilt Pattern

Jelly Roll Quilt Pattern

Free Strip Log Cabin Rag Quilt (Perfect for scraps)

Free Strip Log Cabin Rag Quilt Pattern

Strip Quilt Pattern

Strip Quilt Pattern


  Image HTML map generator

Log Cabin Rag Quilt Pattern

The log cabin quilt block is one of the most popular and versatile quilt blocks out there. So we decided to try our hand at creating one in our style. Rag Quilt style that is. 

(clicking on any picture will take you to the rag quilt pattern available on our website AVTRBoutique for purchase. Thank you for supporting our small family business)

We love that rag quilting is quick project friendly. This quilt was made in an afternoon. Clipped in a couple hours. Then washed and ready to be snuggled with.

We centered the quilt around Riley Blake Designs Cottage Core fabric line, then mixed in a few other fabrics (all from Riley Blake...They're our favorite!)

Then we added Shannon fabrics Lux Minky to the back of the quilt after we had created the rag quilt. Followed by a binding in a soft mint green.

We love the way this quilt turned out. Its such a fun quick project with a huge impact. Perfect if you're wanting  a quick project, a gift for someone special, or just because!

You can find the direct link to our shop by clicking on any picture to purchase the quilt pattern

Quilting goodness in a roll. 

Image HTML map generator

Barn Style Shed Built from the Ground Up, 8x16 Shed

 Remember the beautiful pallet chicken coop we built a few years ago? 

Remember the matching (un)treehouse we built a few years later? 

Surprisingly (ok, not really) we've got a MATCHING shed. You heard it...a matching shed.  

The shed is also barn style, and we built it from the group up. We also chose to put it on a platform instead of directly on the ground for several reason. One major one was to avoid getting a building permit. Building off the ground and not on a pad allowed us to avoid that small fee. 

See the cute little chicken coop in the corner?

Image HTML map generator

To get us started off, we rented a sod cutter and went to town cutting out sod. We didn't just want the shed, but also a couple of planter boxes for raspberries and strawberries. Where the rocks and the cement stands are is where the shed would sit

My husband carefully (he's the perfectionist in our family) built the platform on a cement pad. For a couple reasons, but most importantly so that it would perfectly level and square. So important for building the walls and roof later on. 

I don't have any of the specific measurements or plans of the process. Dillon is a pro at figuring out the measurements as he goes, but doesn't write any of it down.

Thankfully we had a skid steer that was able to safely move it from the cement pad to the platform pad we had made. 

Walls are going up, complete with cute little windows. 

The frame of the shed is lean to style. It was easier than building trusses for the shed.

Walls done, windows installed. Checking out our cute little barn style doors to complete the shed, but not installed yet. We ordered the barn doors online, but the company is no longer online.

Then we got to painting. First we prime. Families that prime together, stay together. Right?!

All painted and primed. Ready for trim and doors to be installed. Of course we used the same paint as the chicken coop (appropriately named) Barn Paint

Trim makes all the difference! Slowly but surely we're getting there.

Installed the barn style doors just in time for winter to set in


Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Let's Get Social

Image HTML map generator

Featured Post

Woodland Baby Girl Quilts and Nursery Bedding with Deer Heads

These Deer Quilts are killing me!  In a good way.  I love them. Seriously! I can't decide which is my favorite! So can you help m...