I’m making a baby quilt. I don’t have it completely planned out yet, but that isn’t unusual.
Here’s what I know: I want to make mini Dresden Plate circles cut from a charm pack.
3 Dresden wedges can be cut from one charm. The pieces are only 3 1/2″ tall, but they are so great and scrappy looking. I started out cutting a Lizzy House charm pack, the one with the hedge hogs. I also ended up cutting a Kate Spain Daydream charm pack, too.
Next up, chain piecing. I just jammed those wedges right on through. I picked very randomly.
Sewed pairs. Sewed pairs of pairs. Sewed pairs of 4-packs.
Just keep sewing and pairing until the circle is complete.
They look so great all stacked up and ready to be ironed. I didn’t press as I stitched. I really chained them all together really quickly, then pressed only at the very end. I pressed all my seam allowances to one direction all the way around. No worrying about the lights or darks or anything like that.
With the smaller Lizzy House (Andover Fabrics) charm pack, I made 3 1/3 Dresden circles. With the bigger Kate Spain (Moda) charm pack, I made 6 1/3 Dresden circles. I don’t think I can use them both in the baby quilt. Maybe if I would have mixed ALL my wedges, but unfortunately, all the Lizzy’s are with Lizzy’s and all the Kate’s are with Kate’s.
I’m going to be preparing these for applique using the technique in Learn to Sew Easy Curves. I’ll have a blog post for you on that shortly.
‘Tis the season to whip up some Pet Postcards.
You can read more about the Pet Postcards from last year here. And read more about the fundraising event on Pokey blog here. Last year the fundraising event raised more than $40,000 for Friends for Life No-Kill Animal Shelter in Houston.
These postcards are made of fabric and have 3 traditional quilt layers. They measure 4″ x 6″ .
The cards can be made in any style or method you prefer. The all painted cards in this post are created by my daughter. (Instagram @meepsketch)
She had a great time creating the little pieces with the InkTense pencils and Sharpie markers.
This year our Pet Postcard event was coordinated through the San Antonio Modern Quilt guild and was hosted at a member’s home. It was a blast. Very fun social event and very fun to trade all sorts of scraps for the projects. Turns out, our gals have loads of novelty pet fabrics. I had no idea they even make that many cat prints. seriously.
You may recognize these little guys, above, from the FREE pdf template last year. Feel free to click the link or image below to download the kitties so you can whip up a few pet postcards, too.
Each card sells for $20 at the Houston Quilt Festival in October. They are fast to make and benefit a great cause.
I made a crazy little Dragonfly Quilt for my Michael Miller MQG Challenge 2014 entry. You may have already seen it on the blog, here.
The concept was to take some of the basic “swirl + pointy” shapes of a tribal tattoo and make something with fabric. I needed a rough draft before I cut into the challenge fabric.
Enter: Butterfly Quilt
The method to make the design started with pencil and paper.
I sketch out a dozen or more butterflies. Each one had the wing quadrants filled with different shapes. The butterfly silhouettes varied quite a bit, too. Ultimately I decided to sketch a final butterfly, cut out the “swirl + pointy” wing shapes and trace them directly onto Heat’N’Bond fusible web.
I traced each shape twice to I’d get a symmetrical butterfly. (For the Dragonfly, however, each wing quadrant is unique as I drew those shapes straight onto the fusible, with out a tracing stencil.)
After fusing the Heat’n’Bond to the wrong side of the fabric and cutting out the shapes, I needed to decide on the placement.
I tried some things out. I moved some things around. I re-worked the quilt composition. I definitely definitely over-thought it. (Over thinking things is kinda my jam.)
Ultimately decided it was a rough draft and I should just make it look like a butterfly.
Yep. That is what the quilt will look like. I was using a fat quarter stack by Carol Van Zandt for Andover Fabrics. I actually had some leftover planned shapes and was able to make the butterfly body out of “negative” or trash pieces cut from the wings. That was totally by accident.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take the time to measure twice and my border has a bit of a wave to it. The natural reaction to that problem “Oh, that will quilt out.” The real remedy, however, would be to remove and re-stitch that border. I think we all know which one I went with….
Find a great thread (Sulky Blendables) for the top thread and wind up a few bobbins with the regular ole white thread.
Enter: Matchstick Quilting
Do you know Matchstick Quilting? It is where you cover your quilt with reasonably straight lines, all 1/8″ apart, using your walking foot for even fabric feed. I’ve done 1/4″ apart straight-line quilting. And I’ve tried echo quilting.
Start in the middle. No problemo. Couple of lines are looking good.
OH- I should mention, if you are doing this style of applique, Raw Edge Applique with a fusible web on the back of your fabric, generally you stitch around each shape to secure the edges. I figured, though, the quilting would be so dense and the wall-hanging sized mini would never be washed…… so I did skip that step.
My lovely Angela Walters fabric for Art Gallery Fabrics did act as quilting camouflage for my stitching lines, but the texture is turning out amazing.
After an hour (above), I’m a Bon Jovi song. What song you may ask? ♪ ♫ ♪ Whoa’oh, We’re half way there. ♪ ♫ ♪ (Living on a Prayer) Yes, I might sing that in my head when I’m half way to anything… consider yourself warned….
I did notice when I got towards the edges that my piece needed more securing. I stitched every inch or so, out to the edge, then filled in the spaces with loads of lines. That seemed to help the shift a bit.
Oh Lawdy. I’m crossing Matchstick Quilting off my Quilt Bucket List, but oh man. I don’t know what to think. Wait, yes I do: It is really cool, but insanely time consuming. It may be better on a longarm, where you can just slide that machine across, right-to-left, but I think you would still have to go slow enough to plan that 1/8″ stitching distance. ???
For a baby quilt, my quilting style generally has me using 7 bobbins for a much larger 40 x 60 sized piece. For this little smaller-than-a-fat-quarter piece, the quilting used 4 bobbins. Matchstick Quilting may have been invented by a thread company. Just sayin…..
Rocked some machine applied binding in about 20 minutes and the little guy was finished.
After I folded my fabric in the Great Fabric Re-Fold of 2014, I decided I really needed to make up a few quick quilts. I found a tutorial for really fast half-square triangles (which are really quarter square triangles – anywho). I decided to take the same idea and make big ole quilt blocks with it.
Scrappy Strip Quilt Tutorial
Here’s a little tutorial for how it went:
**You can make this whole thing using a 1/4″ seam allowance and a straight stitch. I used a serger because it was much faster.
First, I cut strips and serged them together in pairs.
I cut a total of 48 strips from 7 different fabrics. Could you use a 40 piece pre cut jelly roll and 2/3 yard of additional fabric but into the remaining 8 strips? Totally.
I serged 6 strips, at random, together to get a row that was 12 1/2″ tall x width of fabric. Here’s what it looks like from the back, on the ironing board.
And the front of the strips. Oh man, these look great in the sun. I have orange, blue, khaki, floral-y brown, blue and orange, again.
Next I cut the strips into squares. These ended up to be 12 1/2″ squares.
If you are using this tutorial to make your own – at this step, measure the width of your strip set and cut the squares to be THAT size. If you have a wider 1/4″ seam allowance, your strip set may finish up 11 3/4″ tall. That is totally fine. Just make sure to cut your squares 11 3/4″.
Lay two blocks on top of each other. Make sure you rotate the top square 90 degrees, so the stripes do not line up. This will be important.
The next step (and here is the magic!) is to sew -or serger- around the entire perimeter of the square.
Love. Love. Love.
Serge. Serge. Serge.
Half-square triangles seem to be generally regarded as a triangle block made from half of a square. When it is finished the block has straight-grain on all the outer edges. Quarter-square triangles are made from one-fourth of a square cut to yield triangles. Those triangles are then sewn back into a block. If you use QUARTER-square triangles as HALF square triangles, be advised that ALL your edges will be bias and stretchy.
Ok, so armed with that info – here’s what comes next:
Quick Quarter Square Triangles:
Take the big serged squares and cut them into quarters. Corner to corner with your rotary cutter.
Open each triangle shape to get a strip-y-square. Below I was arranging the 4 new strip blocks to see which way worked the best. After all the turning and mixing, I went with the first block. ((click on any of them to see them larger))
It is a go! My quilt will end up making little “blocks” if I use the first arrangement. This part was also serged. I did not stitch one “new” block at a time. Instead, I worked in columns. You could definitely work either way, though. The quilt is 6 rows by 8 columns, total.
I chain-serged these like a maniac.
Then I came up with my columns. Two-by-two the columns were joined. It was super crazy because I made this with a random approach, so **chaos theory** what are the odds that two pieces will touch? Ok, pretty good, there are only 7 fabrics BUT what are the odds that two identical blocks would touch? Yeah, 100% because it happened. Le Sigh. Not a deal breaker, though.
Here are two columns right together. I did try to estimate them not having identical fabrics touch, but eh, you know. AND let me just say, I’m not ripping out any serger, 4-thread, overcast business, so I’ll just pretend like I planned that bit. ((cough cough))
One thing you can do with a serger is finish straight seams in record time.
One thing you cannot do with a serger is sew over pins. I did that once in college only to have the pin shear in half and a portion go flying off into the sky. …. so I didn’t pin my intersections ….
On that note- matching 6 of the 8 points seemed like a little victory for me! Who needs those guys on the northwest corner anyway….
The entire edge of the quilt is bias. I’m going use a straight stitch on the sewing machine to “stay stitch” around the whole thing before I start to quilting it. Stay stitching gives the edges stability. I don’t want it to become a big wavy mess. Honestly, I even thought about adding a brown border around the whole thing. Gasp. A border. =) We’ll see.
And that is how my small random baby quilt used up 48 strips.
Of course, I cut twice as many strips as I needed, so I’m going to make another quilt in the same pallet, different layout. Stay tuned for what that will be coming next.
While on vacation this summer, I had the opportunity to quilt my 60″ Swoon Block. I made the block/quilt in 2012. Yes, this project was rocking some serious UFO status, until a couple weeks ago.
My mother-in-law has a 28″ Gammel. That dude is heavy. Really, heavy when you consider I’m generally sewing on a 9″ Juki on a mid-arm frame. There was definitely a learning curve with the weight of the machine.
I used one color top thread and tried to do an all over design. In fact, I tried to do the same background free motion quilt (FMQ) fill as I did on my little Dragonfly Quilt.
I pretty much made big cinnamon rolls. You know, where you are aiming to make a graceful circle shape, but instead (much like cinnamon rolls) you find that you baked them too close together and the get square-ish edges? Mmmmmm…. cinnamon rolls…..
It was a great little afternoon. With the big awesome machine, comes big awesome bobbins. I only used 2 1/2 bobbins to quilt. On my smaller house machine, I probably would have used 6 to 7. I like big bobbins and I cannot lie…. =)
Here she is. Swoony and Cinnamon-Rolly, draped over a timber fence in North Carolina. The first thing I did when I got home was throw on the binding.
This might sound crazy… or obsessive… or bonkers, but I bought the binding right when I finished the top. I have been hoarding this fabric in a pile earmarked “Don’t cut this amazing stripe, you are saving it for that one quilt.” I have looked at the stripe a couple times thinking “Cut it! You can find something else later.” Thankfully, I did manage to hoard the binding. It turned out pretty well on the edge of the Giant Swoon.
And the best part- I still have about 1/3 yard of the stripe to actually cut into and create. Win. Win.
The quilt is backed with vintage sheets. I cannot believe I don’t have a photo!!! Love those sheets.
15 Minutes of Play Scrap Quilt
So I told you about the 15 Minutes of Play book, right? I LOVE the quilt that came from “yeah, just sew your scraps together however you want.” It is such a liberating process.
I opted to sew all my scraps together in color families. I made the finished “Made-Fabric” pieces any size. Really, whatever size turned out is what size it is. So, here’s how the pieces fell together.
Now I just need to plan an arrangement.
Here’s something funny: In the book Victoria Findlay-Wolfe talks about what you’ll see from the accidental pairing of unlikely fabrics and what shapes will evolve through the improv process and all… And what you learn about yourself – what you like and don’t like…
Um. Yeah. I like rectangles and 90 degree angles. Not too terribly surprised, but it is pretty funny. All kinds of improv and wild, as long as it can be 90 degrees for the most part. =)
Honestly the neutral/off whites did kind of throw me a bit. I just added them in the corner over here:
I was floored that most of the pieces seemed to match up with one another give or take an inch or so.
Chaos Theory, right!
Happy to report that this is the layout that stuck.
Of course, it is now it is my new favorite thing.
It super super needs to hang out with the iron for a bit. I’ll be doing that on quilting day, though. There are a couple areas that I do think will have a “That will quilt out” moment, but over all, pretty square and uber scrappy!!
Big Congratulations to
She has won a copy of the eBook from Martingale.
Linda, be on the look out. Check your email soon.
Thanks to all the other blog hoppin commenters. You guys rock.
There is still time to enter the Celebrate Christmas Give Away. A winner will be selected Monday (tomorrow!)
Funny because it is ironic. =)
I think I’m going to hang it in my office.
I first saw the:
Always Plan Ahea
phrase online. I think it was some graphic/typeface/font website where I found it. It cracked me right up so, of course, I needed to make it in fabric.
Gathered the scraps and set forth to make improv letters from the Word Play Quilts book. I seriously love those techniques and letters by Tonya Ricucci. I think the last time I used the improv letters was for my “May The Fork Be With You” Star Wars quilt. Loved it.
It is so funny how much planning actually did go into “not” planning ahead. But there it is, the little “d” on the last row. By himself. Poor little guy.
Got everything squared up and put together. It was small, so it really took an evening to make this up. After all, it is only 15 letters.
My plan to quilt it was to quilt channeled lines. I was aiming to try to quilt 1/8″ apart, but it turned out to be a bit bigger at 1/4″ apart. Still worked for me though. Since this piece is so small, relatively, it quilted it quickly on my home sewing machine.
Next up the binding. I used scraps there, too. I have loads of binding scraps mixed into my scrap bin. Note to self: I should really pull those out.
Slight blur on that last one. Sorry about that.
And that is my quick little “Always Plan Ahead” picture.
Christmas In July
Welcome to ReannaLily Designs stop along the blog hop!
Thanks for visiting. Read through and head over to all the other blogs for 11 chances to win.
It is never to early to start working on sewing for the holidays. Gifts, decor, games, calendars – all great for the holiday season. The staff at Martingale Press/That Patchwork Place have put together some fun staff projects in the new book Celebrate Christmas.
I have two favorite projects in the book.
How fun is this tree skirt? It had texture, depth, dimension and a contemporary/scrappy feel to it. I think I’m drawn to the non-quilter-fabric shimmering out from underneath. It is a really straight-forward pattern, too.
My second favorite, possibly for the same reasons is the Snow + Snowflake Pillow.
They are clean, crisp, and are appliqued onto silk. The textures are just great. Wool felt + silk. Lovely lovely.
Wanna win a free copy of the book? Leave a comment and stop by all the other bloggers for additional chances to win.
For your chance to win a pdf “eBook” copy, please leave a comment answering:
“When do you start your holiday sewing?”
July? December? January? None, I just like it when my sister makes things for me.
Any answer is a good one. The winner will be chosen at random on Monday July 14th. Please make sure your email address comes through so I’ll be able to notify you.
Thursday, June 26: Stitch This! [http://blog.shopmartingale.com/?p=28008]
Friday, June 27: Pat Wys at Silver Thimble Talk [http://www.silverthimblequilt.com/blog/]
Saturday, June 28: Kim Brackett at Magnolia Bay Quilts [http://magnoliabayquilts.blogspot.com/]
Monday, June 30: Rebecca Silbaugh at Ruby Blue Quilts [http://rubybluequilts.blogspot.com/]
Tuesday, July 1: SewCalGal [http://sewcalgal.blogspot.com/]
Wednesday, July 2: Cindy Lammon at Hyacinth Quilt Designs [http://hyacinthquiltdesigns.blogspot.com/]
Thursday, July 3: Gen Q [http://generationqmagazine.com/]
Saturday, July 5: Cheryl Brown at Quilter Chic [http://quilterchic.com/]
Monday, July 7: Jen Eskridge at Reanna Lily Designs [http://reannalilydesigns.com/blog/]
Tuesday, July 8: Kathy Brown at The Teacher’s Pet [http://www.theteacherspet.typepad.com/]
Wednesday, July 9: Amy Ellis at Amy’s Creative Side [http://amyscreativeside.com/blog/]