Walking Foot WOW! Gets a Mod Mola Makeover

Back in April, I introduced Mod Molas while serving as a Featured Artist for the Santa Clara Valley Quilt Show.  Everyone that stopped by was completely mezmerized by the stunning transformation as I trimmed away snippets from my layered samples.  During that weekend, Isabel, a member of our Programs team asked whether I might consider incorproating this into my upcoming Walking Foot WOW! workshop scheduled for August.  I certainly saw potential for the Walking Foot designs but needed to experiment first.  So I stitched up another Walking Foot WOW! sampler with three modifications:

  1. Layering one of my hand dyed fabrics under the quilt top
  2. Using a slightly shorter stitch length
  3. Stitching less dense designs in order to create larger, unquilted areas
Then I grabbed my trusted seam ripper and thread snips and went to work carefully trimming away sections from the solid black quilt top to reveal the colorful hand dyed fabric underneath.  These pictures do not do justice to the transformation process--it is truly magical!!!!!

Mod Mola Metamorphasis
So I agreed to incorporate the Mod Mola option into the workshop and updated the supply list for those participants who were game to try.  I loaned my new sample to Isabel to promote workshop sign ups!!  Sign ups began at the May general meeting and by the time the meeting began, the workshop had sold out!!  Isabel had a suspicion that this might be the case, so we had already discussed the possibility of scheduling a second workshop date to accommodate.  Well...not only did the second date fill up, but we went ahead and scheduled a 3rd date which is also full with almost 30 members on the waitlist!!  WOW!!

For the nearly 60 members who are signed up, I am sharing three of my favorite Walking Foot WOW! notions:

1.  Machingers Gloves:
These amazing gloves have rubber finger tips which helps you grip and control your quilt sandwich as you stitch out the various designs.  While wearing my Machingers gloves, I no longer need to maintain a death grip on my quilt sandwich, thereby allowing me to relax and enjoy the quilting process.  It may feel a bit funny to be wearing gloves for quilting, but let me tell you that whenever I take off my gloves and try to resume quilting without wearing the gloves, I immediately feel the tension in my shoulders/back.  The gloves come in 4 different sizes (Extra Small, Small/Medium, Medium/Large, Extra Large).  And as you can see below, the white gloves don't stay pristine for long.  While I have had some luck putting on the gloves and washing my gloved hands using Dawn or Palmolive dish detergent, I usually treat myself to a new pair every year or so.  In fact, one of my older pairs (2+ years old) started to experience rubber rot and I would find little bits of rubber flaking over the top of my quilt.
Machingers Quilting Gloves
During the workshop we discuss options available for securing started/stopped lines of quilting including my personal favorite method of tying a knot and burying thread tails within the batting layer.  Using a self-threading needle makes this process quick and easy.  While there are several different brands of Self-threading needles out on the market, I love the Sench brand side-threading needles because they are super easy to thread and I have yet to experience any shredding of my threads!  In fact, I am able to bury 4 or more threads at once, cutting my time in half!
Sench Side-Threading Needles
3.  Havel 4 3/4" Snip-Eze Thread Snips with Curved Blades:
I love, love, love these thread snips!  They are ergonomically friendly to use and their curved blades allow you to trim thread tails very close to the surface of the quilt top.  They are also the secret behind my Mod Molas, as the curved tips allow me to hug up along my stitch line and trim away swatches of the top layer of fabric.    
Havel 4 3/4" Snip-EZE with Curved Blades
Whenever possible, I try to support our local quilt shops.  I am pleased to share that one of our local quilt shops and supporters of our recent quilt show, Golden State Quilting (located in Campbell, CA), is carrying all three products and is happy to restock as needed for our upcoming August workshops.  For those enrolled in the workshop, I recommend calling the shop ahead of time to ensure they have the products in time for your workshop date.

August will certainly be a flurry of Walking Foot WOW! fun.  I will be sure to take lots of pictures to post everyone's samplers (especially the before and after Mod Mola transformations!!)


  1. Oh, my, Mel. I wish I was taking this class. You are amazingly clever. Thanks for sharing some of your favorite tools, too. I'm going to buy those Sench needles.

    1. Awww...thanks Ann...wish you could take the class too! I am happy to share the tools that help me create and those Sench needles are awesome. I keep one next to my sewing machine at all times for quilting sessions. Enjoy!!

  2. Mel, I have to say I have been unhappy with the Sench needles. I find the opening difficult to find. Worse, I tugged on one too hard and it broke off the head leaving it buried inside my quilt. I have been reluctant to try any other brands since a large eye needle seems to be just as easy.

    1. There is definitely a bit of a learning curve to find the side access point for threading the Sench needles. I hope you were able to retrieve the needle from your quilt sandwich. If you are successful using a large eye needle--then by all means go with that...whatever works best for you for quilting success and happiness!!


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