Sunday, November 6, 2016

Christmas FoldnStitch Wreath

Christmas Fold 'n Stich Wreath
Our vacation this year to Texas was the most fun I've had on any vacation. My quilting protege and 15-year old grand-niece, is a multi-talented young lady. She bought her first sewing machine during out visit and we had so much fun unpacking it and testing all its quilting features. 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Baby's Big-Block Star Quilt

I found the pattern for this baby quilt in a magazine. It's
pretty amazing that the entire quilt is made from 16 (9") 
half-square triangles. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Kaleidoscope Stack & Whack Quilt

ilt (a.k.a. Kaleidoscope Quilt)

This was probably the most interesting quilt I've attempted
It was made in a class that was conducted 
at a quilt store which now no longer exists. 
We used Bethany S. Reynolds' 
Magic Stack-N-Whack Quilts
as our guide and purchased 
all our fabrics and 
tools (ruler) from 
the quilt store.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Quilt-Pillows or Quillows

My first pillow-quilt, also called a quillow. 
It is folded into thirds vertically, then folded from bottom to top
and tucked into a pillow case that is sewn on the back of the quilt.
It was made from panel fabric.
This was presented to son #1.
Here is the second pillow-quilt I made that is folded into a pillow.
It is a lap-size quilt made from panel fabric.
I made this for a friend's mother for her birthday.
This is another pillow-quilt I made for
my niece, Anisha, when she was
born on August 21, 1996.
Anisha's quilt folded into a pillow.

Best Friends Toddler's Quilt

 This was an enjoyable quilt to make.
My quilt instructor made acrylic shapes
from the templates in the pattern. 
She gave me a one-on-one tutorial on piecing
the quilt.  That kept me right on track and
I finished the top in record time!

Sunshine & Shadows

This quilt was started in March 1991 and finished in September 1994.
Here is the queen-size quilt I made in that first class. 
The pattern is called Sunshine and Shadows. 
The squares adjacent to the white squares have some red in them,
which the camera didn't pick up, so it isn't completely monochromatic. 
It took 4 weeks to complete the top.
Son #2 has this quilt. 
I took a follow-up class to learn how to assemble and pin the three layers, and another class in hand-quilting.  I initially started out machine quilting it, but since I was working with an old, old sewing machine which didn't have a walking foot, I gave that up in a hurry! 
It took me 3 years to complete hand-quilting this quilt!
There was enough material on the back of the quilt which allowed me to fold it over to the front to simulate binding.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

CATS - Appliqued Wallhanging

CATS - Appliqued Wallhanging (1991)
This was my very first attempt at quilting. 

I'd just had surgery and was on sick leave for six weeks.  After a week, I was pretty much back on my feet and looking for something interesting to do, so I visited a quilt store, QuiltNFriends, close to home.  The store owner was very friendly and helpful and suggested I take a class to learn the basics of quilting.  Well, that class was to take place a week later and I was raring to go, so I bought a pattern for the wallhanging above.

The instructions were very basic. but I had no idea how to use a rotary cutter, so I believe I used scissors to cut all the necessary pieces.  Fusible webbing was used to attach the cats to the background pieces and having no experience in the patchwork process, I assembled the blocks first and pieced the corner pieces last.  What a mistake that was because I was faced with Y-seams which were a complete nightmare!  

The center seams must have been really crooked and wonky, which is why I applied the red bias tape.  Why I chose red is beyond me!


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Adventures in Applique: An Introduction to My Calendar Quilt

Little Quilt Stand
One of the activities at our Quilt Guild this year is to make a calendar quilt. We were given various patterns to cover each of the 12 months in a calendar year, but instead of making a big quilt, I decided to make 12 little ones to display on my little quilt stand. It measures 15" across the top horizontal bar and 11-1/2" on the vertical. The small quilt (a valued gift from a quilting buddy) currently hanging on it measures 8" square.

In my quest to create something different in these calendar blocks, I came upon this lovely blog, chock-full of tutorials and patterns on applique blocks. This provided all the inspiration I needed for this project.  The applique patterns were very easily downloaded in pdf format. Thank you to Wee Folk Art for so generously allowing us access to your lovely patterns free of charge!

Fusible Web
The applique blocks I chose finish at 6" square so the finished block will measure anywhere from 8"-10". And I decided to use the raw-edge applique method for which Lite fusible web was first on my list of supplies. This value pack has been in my stash for a while and there's a lot of it there.

Freezer Paper
Here's something that is invaluable to a raw-edge applique project. These 8-1/2" by 11" sheets  of freezer paper come in a package of 50 and the patterns can be used over and over again. Each applique piece is cut out of the pattern which is printed on the paper side of the sheet.  This particular pattern is not reversed so it is ironed onto the right side of the fabric facing the waxy, gluey side of the freezer paper. 

Transparency for Inkjet Printers 
The next thing on my list of supplies is overhead transparencies made specifically for inkjet printers. These don't smear and dry very quickly. By placing the background fabric under the transparency, it makes it very easy to position the different applique pieces, prior to permanently pressing them in place.

Parchment Paper
This kitchen essential is available in any and all supermarkets and come on a long roll or cut into 12" x 16" sheets to line your cookie sheets. I lay it on my ironing surface so that the glue from the fusible web does not adhere to the ironing board. It's a good idea to tuck the pieces to be ironed between the parchment paper so that the iron is not affected either.

Ready to Begin
Here is the process I plan to follow for this project.
  1. Gather all the necessary supplies.
  2. Make 2 copies of each of the 12 patterns, one on freezer paper and the other on a transparency.
  3. Cut out twelve 10-1/2" squares of background fabric.
  4. Gather fabric for each calendar block.
  5. Cut out pattern pieces from the freezer paper patterns.
  6. Adhere fusible web to wrong sides of each applique piece of fabric, leaving the paper intact on the other side of the fusible web.
  7. Adhere freezer paper pattern to right side of fabric piece and cut out all the pieces.
  8. Remove the paper from the other side of the fusible web and adhere pattern pieces to the background.
  9. Using a button-hole stitch and matching thread, sew around the raw edges of each applique piece.
  10. Once all the blocks are made, they will each be layered, quilted and bound.
Preview of January block
Judging by this first block, I figure it's going to take 4-6 hours to complete the applique for each block. Along with the quilting and binding of each, it'll probably take a day of uninterrupted quilting time.

Watch for my next blog post in which I'll share my trials and tribulations as I complete January's block. I've decided to first make a block for each season and then work on the other eight.

January (Winter)
February (Valentine)
March (St. Patrick)
April (Spring)
May (Tulips)
June (Sunflower) 
July (Patriotic)
August (Summer)
September (Back to School)
October (Halloween)   
November (Fall)
December (Christmas)

Happy Easter, one and all!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Li'l Twister Christmas Wreath Workshop

My Wreath for the Workshop
Our November quilt guild meeting was quite an event because I conducted a workshop on the Twisted Christmas Wreath quilt using the Li'l Twister ruler. It was so exciting to see the quilts that were made as part of this workshop and displayed at our December Christmas party. Most were finished - pieced, quilted and bound.

2013 Christmas in July Twisted Wreath
Last year in July 2013 I used the Li'l Twister ruler for the first time and blogged about a Christmas Wreath wallhanging I made and used it for a show & tell at our Spring Quilt Retreat earlier this year. The guild members were interested in learning this technique & asked me to conduct a workshop at the November meeting this year.

There was an enthusiastic response! 16 members participated and here is a gallery of the wallhangings from that workshop.

This trio of quilts was particularly interesting because the quilter decided to use every last scrap of fabric. The quilt on the right was made from 5" squares with the help of the 3-1/2" ruler. The quilt on the top left was made from the resulting 2.5" squares, using the smaller ruler and the quilt on the bottom left was made with the remaining tiny squares which were sewn together and used to cut out the ivy leaves for the wreath.

This quilter made 3 wallhangings as Christmas gifts. We have an awesome group of ladies in our quilt guild! Enjoy the gallery of quilts.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Churn Dash Reversible Apron

Churn Dash Challenge Entry

This apron was made with my grand-niece in mind. She had a birthday this month and turned 13.

At our Spring Quilt Retreat earlier this year each participant was gifted a churn dash (CD) block and told to make something with it for a challenge to be held in September. My CD block has been stored in a very safe place which is so safe that it cannot be found. So I had to create my own block.

Traditional Churn Dash Block
The block we received at the retreat was a traditional churn dash block.

My Modified Churn Dash Block
Since my traditional block went missing, I could design my own churn dash block which needed the following components to make a 9" finished block.

One 3-1/2" Printed Square
One 14" Strip Cut Into Four 3-1/2" Segments
Made from
two 1-1/2" white strips &
one 1-1/2" printed strip
One Printed & One White 5-1/2" Squares
Sewn 1/4" around the perimeter of the square
and cut twice on the diagonal 
The formula for making 4 half-square-triangles from a dark and light square is
Size of HST + 2" = Size of each of the two squares
3.5" + 2" = 5.5"
Completed Churn Dash Block
Then a decision had to be made as to what to do with this block. There were the usual cushion or table top covers, a wall-hanging or a medallion for a baby quilt. I decided to make an apron. Before the apron was constructed, a 1" border was added to the churn dash block to make it stand out. 

Waterproof Nylon Apron
I used an existing nylon apron as a template, turned it over to its wrong side and pinned the cotton material to the inside of the white piping and strings. Then the cotton material was cut to the outside dimensions of the apron.

The completed apron
To avoid the tedium of having to construct new piping and apron strings, I decided to leave the nylon apron in place, folded and pinned the outer edges of the printed cotton to fit just within the piping and sewed the whole thing all the way around. 

What we have now is a reversible apron, one side that is waterproof!

As I thought, when all the entries were displayed at the challenge, there was only one apron and several cushions and wall-hangings. I hope this project has broken through my quilter's block because there are a whole slew of projects just waiting to happen.