Meet Toby Lischko of Gateway Quilts & Stuff

Woman smiling in front of quilts

We are so excited to introduce Toby Lischko, a National Quilters Circle contributor! Be sure to connect with Toby on her website, Facebook, and Instagram.

Check out our question and answer with Toby below!

How long have you been quilting, and who taught you how to quilt?

I started quilting in 1985 after my mother (a home economics teacher) and I took a 6 week beginning quilting class from Jackie Robinson, who owned the local quilt shop in St. Louis. I had learned to sew when I was 11 and made my clothes for years so this was just an extension of my sewing skills.

What was your first quilting project?

My first quilting project was Rail Fence quilt. We were just learning the technique of rotary cutting and piecing in my first class.

What are you currently working on?

I am working on a project for Island Batik fabrics. I am an Ambassador for them and I complete monthly project challenges with the fabrics they send us. The projects have different themes each month and challenge us to try new things.

celestial crown quilt

What project have you been most proud of?

I have made two quilts that I am very proud of. My Celestial Crowns quilt won a first place prize for wall quilts in the AQS Paducah, Kentucky show in 2005. The other quilt is called Ocean Deep. I entered it into the National Quilt Museum’s New Quilts from Old Favorites contest and received a 5th place prize on it. It was displayed in the museum in 2015.

purple and green celestial crown quilt

What do you like to do when you’re not quilting?

There isn’t too much time to do anything else but quilt but I do love to cook and bake fresh bread.

What kind of sewing machine(s) do you have?

I currently own 5 sewing machines. A Singer Featherweight which was my mother-in-law’s, a Grasshopper (1950 Elna), Pfaff 7550, Janome S7, and my newest machine is a Juki Dx-2000QVP. I also have an A-1 longarm machine.

sewing room

What’s your sewing room like?

I have a separate studio for quilting above my garage, which is separate from my house. It is used as a shop, classroom, office, and design studio.

If you could create your dream quilting space, what would it be like?

I already have it!

What quilting tip has changed your life?

In early 2000 I took a quilting class from Sharyn Craig. She showed how to get a consistent seam allowance using Dr. Scholl’s Molefoam foot pads. That tip revolutionized my quilting and I was able to enjoy the process more. You can see a video on how I use it here on Youtube.

shelves of fabric organized by color

What’s your favorite type of fabric to work with?

I love fussy cutting, so my favorite fabrics to work with are symmetrical fabrics. Some of my favorite designers are Paula Nadelstern, Jinny Beyer, Jason Yentor, and Tula Pink.

What would you say to someone who’s just getting started in quilting?

Find a good teacher or video and start with something easy. Don’t give up if you don’t get it just right in the beginning. Just like anything, practice makes perfect. Don’t be afraid to try your own thing with different patterns. Make the quilt your own by adding something unique to you.

Learn more about Toby on her website, Facebook, and Instagram.

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26 Responses to “Meet Toby Lischko of Gateway Quilts & Stuff”

  1. Lelia Cameron

    Never made a quilt, after going to a quilt show here I am. ? where to start, lol.

  2. Joela Oetterer

    Toby is inspiring. Looking forward to doing my first quilt block challenge. Thought it would be a great way to start using my AccuQuilt Qube Sets.

  3. Jean Maybell

    It’s good to meet you Toby! I am also on Facebook. I tie quilts rather than actual quilting, and I am happy with that! Starbursts seem to be “my thing.”

  4. Gail Hoffman

    In making the Ice Crystal blocks, some of the seams become very bulky where multiple layers of fabric come together, in spite of the seams being nested. Some of the junctions spin quite easily, but others do not seem to do so. Do you have any advice for reducing the bulk?

    • Customer Service

      Dear Gail,

      Thank you for your patience while we get the answer fro our experts. Here is what she said:


      If you are not able to twist a seam in order to reduce the bulk- I always recommend pressing those seams open.

      National Quilters Circle

    • Patricia Santos

      I’ve never done paper piecing. I’m looking forward to learn new things.

  5. Elizabeth

    I can’t get the u-tube video on quilting using Dr Scholls foot pads to open. Can you tell me how to access this video?

  6. Beverly

    I’m trying to post my fabrics for the paper piecing challenge. Having trouble how to do it

    • Customer Service

      Hello Beverly,

      You will want to post on our Facebook site “NQC Quilt Block Challenge.”


      National Quilters Circle Video Membership

  7. Fran

    Have not received instructions for mystery quilt. was told they would be available yesterdau 1/31

  8. Cheryl

    I am looking forward to paper piecing. I have wanted to try it for years but just kept putting it off.

  9. sue eisenman

    can anyone tell me how to put a quilt in a frame made of common wooden sawhorses? I’ve done this in the past but been so long, I forgot how to do it. Thanks for any help.

  10. Carol Kobashigawa

    Never did paper piecing before, excited to learn. Looking forward to this new challenge, thanks to Toby Lischiko!

  11. Amy

    A wonderful interview, I am looking forward to my first Mystery Quilt Challenge, I also love paper piecing.