Thursday, December 26, 2013

"Ocean Currents"--Make a Quilt using One Template

Use one template to create a design in your next quilt top by playing with value. "Ocean Currents" is a 60" square quilt that uses one half of a 5" x 10" rectangle as a template. By using the 1 x 2 ratio, you can rotate the block 90 degrees to produce unexpected results. Check out the top 2 and bottom 2 rows in the finished quilt photo to see what I mean. Value contrast and rotating pairs of blocks yields a secondary design of "flowing arrows".

This block is a bit trickier to sew accurately and is best done by using pins to match the seam line beginnings and ends. Accuracy is very important with this block and fudge factor does not apply here. Make sure the edges of your triangle blocks meet as shown in the photo to ensure an even outer edge of your 5" x 10" (plus seam allowances) block.

"Ocean Currents" features batiks on front and back with cotton batting and simple machine quilting. To draft a block for this quilt, simply draw a 5" x 10" rectangle, then draw a line through opposite corners. Add seam allowances to all sides of the half triangle.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Leafy Mug Rug--Gift Idea

Looking for patterns to start making gifts for the Holiday Season? How about leaf-shaped beverage coasters for a unique, eclectic addition to entertaining? Elegantly styled, the leaf top constructs quickly as there is no curved seam sewing. The coasters are a universal gift-giving solution. Make several sets in a variety of colors to have on hand for those last minute occasions when a gift is needed in a hurry.
 Pattern is available through Craftsy independent designers store (link in upper sidebar) as a pdf download, templates included. Want a larger set for oversized mugs? Simply enlarge the templates on a copy machine.   Cheers!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Apple Core in Kaffe Fassett

 Now that we're within spittin' distance of fall, this little piece (33" x 42") in Kaffe Fassett stripes with eggplant backing is just the project to experiment with an apple core pattern. I used Pellon Legacy 100%  Natural Cotton batting and machine topstitched using the sewing foot as a guide to stitch 1/4" away from seam lines.
The quilt is bound with double-fold bias strips cut from the same fabric as backing and hand sewn to close the backside.

Use this small quilt as wall art, a baby quilt, or--my favorite--a bath mat. A cool way to add color and flair to the bath!
The trick to successfully sewing the individual apple core components together is to divide the seam lines into sections. For this fabric, I was able to simply fold the side of the fabric component I would be sewing on in half, then crease the fold at the seam line with my nail. I was not able to crease several ahead as the creases would relax by the time I got to pinning--I just creased two at a time that I would be immediately pinning and sewing. If your fabric won't crease visibly, a light pencil mark on the wrong side will work. Place the two fabric components, right sides together, in the usual manner, but pin the register marks (creases) first, then align the corners and pin, then ease the fabric between and pin. Use as many pins as needed to achieve a seam line free of tucks. Although this pattern is more effort than many, it's very satisfying when well done!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

ID Wallet

Sometimes one just feels the need to make something small and FAST after all the intensive work a quilt requires. I use the business card case, a.k.a. ID wallet in my "Sophisticated Trio of Handbag Accessories" pattern to fashion this little number out of a lovely periwinkle blue/lavender-ish Ultrasuede. When I want to go on a walk or travel light, I can fit my ID, bank card, and a few bills tucked in here, and away we go!

The "Sophisticated Trio of Handbag Accessories" pattern can be purchased through the Craftsy storefront upper right.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Remembering Easter

Sharing today a small wall quilt, named "Remembering Easter". This quilt is simply made, with machine applique, machine quilting and a bit of hand quilting, a tad of piecing and is 17" by 31" at longest point. A colorful version to celebrate life using a variety of cottons and Pellon 987F fusible fleece.

This quilt's genesus was the desire to use the little pieced blocks--they were leftovers from Color Pools table runner (see earlier post) and for some reason I felt compelled to USE THEM. I am truly odd and sure this is some kind of condition I have. Anyway, the quilt started construction from this point, adding elements and colors that were cheerful. You just never know where inspiration will begin!

Fix a Quilt Boo Boo

I can't believe I did this. I made a table topper, Heart Strings, and used a white pencil to outline heart shapes for some very sparse quilting. Being the overly detailed personality that I am, I used Fray Check to hold down the thread whiskers at the seam line end, but did so before I removed the white pencil lines. Do you see where this is going? I glued down the white pencil dust. I still use Fray Check quite a bit, but I think I'll be sure to remember to remove pencil lines first or use the product on the back side from now on. This is a great product and I've never noticed any visibility from using it--this is clearly operator error! There is a happy ending--I covered the boo-boos by coloring the whitish spots with a permanent black Sharpie. Whew!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Beatin' the Blues

Sharing this most recent completion, for someone special. Used raw edge applique and zigzag machined edges, machine quilted. A very simple approach to using fabric to design. A bit of  stimulation for the day. Now...........tag, you're it! This piece approximately 15" x 22".

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Re-purpose Your Fabric


Just wanted to pass along this tip, in case there are folks who haven't had this experience. I am making a wall quilt and needed a purple fabric, one with not too much red or too much blue in it. I ruffled through all the candidates in my stash and nothing seemed just right, except this piece with the gold metallic stars on it. Can't remember where or why I picked this up and never seem to have the project that wants it with the gold stars shining away, wanting attention. Voila! I turned it to the reverse side and there hides a perfectly suitable, hand-dye look that I did use in my quilt. Moral: always check the back sides of candidate fabrics when auditioning!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sophisticated Trio of Handbag Accessories Pattern

 Now you can make a set of handbag accessories for all your custom made bags. Simple and easy pattern pieces make an Eyeglass/sunglass case, Checkbook cover (fits standard checks and register), and Business card/credit card case. One half yard each of cover and lining fabric plus a fat-quarter size batting makes all 3 accessories. Super idea for gifting teachers and others--you'll use this pattern again and again. Business card/credit card case doubles as a "travel light" wallet, just large enough for an ID, bank card, and a few bills to slip in your pocket or sock while you jog. Visit Craftsy Store above right to learn more.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Perfectly Easy Mitered Border

Ever have troubles getting your mitered border joins to lay flat and behave?  I tried to do it the old-fahioned way, pencilling my line from the corner dot on the quilt top to the border outside corner and stitching the line up. Invariably, my pencil would distort the fabric seam line or  my pencil line would be too fat or some other mini calamity would prevent the outcome I wished for. That is, until I tried this method that I'm sharing with you. My apologies in advance if someone else has already developed this technique. Click A Perfectly Easy Mitered Border to view my tutorial. You will need some scraps of fusible tape or fusible web.  May all your corners be perfectly mitered!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Free Pattern

Heart Strings

Happy Valentine's Day to all you Sweethearts out there (you know who you are). Here's a little eye candy for you to enjoy, non-fattening!  Use this HEART STRINGS pattern as a table pad or wall quilt--add to your holiday collection of decorations or please a little Princess Sweetheart year-round. This pattern is available as a free download at XOXOXO

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Baby Quilt & Changing Pads

Just a little sumpin' sumpin' to welcome a little boy into the world. Soft flannel backing and old timey looking plaids birth a cozy hug for this little guy.  Use some children's prints to whip up a couple of changing pads.
The baby quilt is made with half-square triangles and machine-quilted using blue painter's tape to mark lines.  I outline quilted 1" rows following the blue shapes (two half-squares wide).  Quick and easy.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Uptown Tote Bag Free Pattern

Uptown Tote
For a twist on the ol' sling it over-the-shoulder tote bag, put your creative skills to work on this hand-carry tote.  The Uptown Tote, sponsored by Pellon Corporation, is uniquely styled to frame a favorite fabric motif, or to feature a canvas of applique as shown in the example in the sidebar.  Use this framed area to show off your individual handiwork.
The straps in this design are adjustable to fit your needs--constructed as two short straps, overlap the ends after the bag is completed to make them fit you.
The Uptown Tote at right is constructed of pillow ticking with a center medallion of fancy cut shapes from print fabrics appliqued to a batik background. Click the image to link to Pellon website and the Uptown Tote pattern, and to find out what Pellon products were used to produce this look.
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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Encore Performance

Congratulations to Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Vol. 1 for reprinting these popular original block designs (one of mine is included). Creative Folk, grab one now before the 2nd printing is sold out, too.