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Sewing Patterns, Free Sewing Tutorials, and Recycled Military Uniform Designs

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Fall Table Runner Sewing Challenge

Fall Table Runner Sewing Challenge

on Sep 1, 2015 in Blog, blogging others, SAMQG | 2 comments

Each year the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild issues a President’s Sewing Challenge. For the past three years, the sewing challenge has been Pantone color related. This year we were asked to make something smaller than 36″ on any side and feature Pantone Classic Blue: Working from my fabric stash, I decided to mix in a little Tula Pink Frog Prince fat quarter with a couple of blue solids I had on hand. Hopefully, this will match the Classic Blue Swatch. I ended up working from Nancy Zieman’s Heartbeat Table Runner tutorial to make my challenge piece. The pattern is so much easier than it looks. Chain piece a bunch of strips. Create fabric tubes from the strips. Cut the tubes in halves. Of course, that is the super short version. Her tutorial has all the measurements, pictures and step-by-step to make the runner. Good gravy, my desk is a MESS.  Avert your eyes. Only look at the fabric, ok? In January, I declared 2015 The Year of the Feather. I haven’t been too vigilant, but I did add some feather-esque quilting to this project. There are lumps, but that’s ok. I’ll get there. I had convinced myself that if I “echo” around the feather shape, you’d never notice the lumps. All part of my diabolical master plan.     …..I still have 4 months left in The Year of the Feather. =) The quilting really does look better from the back, though.   Why’d I use baby pink and blue batik on the back? Well, why not? It is a table runner, where you will probably never see the back of this piece. I had the fabric in my stash and figured it was just wide enough to use as a quilt back for my sewing challenge. There ya go, perfect. (ha!) I think the challenge is due at our October meeting. Tell a...

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QuiltCon 2016

QuiltCon 2016

on Aug 25, 2015 in Blog, contests, quilt, quilting | 1 comment

QuiltCon 2016 Tis the season to get the modern quilts ready to enter in QuiltCon 2016. I think the deadline is in November. (I did find this quilt entry page for you.)  Though I won’t be attending QuiltCon out in Pasedena, I’m totally crossing my fingers that this quilt may have a shot at it. Today’s post is a portion of my quilt entry for the “small” category. I’m choosing not to show the whole quilt. I think the Modern Quilt Movement is sooooo online that by the time the show came around last year, I had seen most of the quilts already, on instagram. Instead, I’m just going to show a portion of the quilting. I have quilted this little guy completely on my home machine with my free motion (FMQ) quilting foot. In the very slim chance this quilt makes it to the show, it will be a surprise. Um, on that note, if it doesn’t get accepted, I’ll totally be blogging the whole image. Looks like the lighting in my studio turned that right-hand side a bit yellow. Oops.  Not too worry, once it is bound, I’ll be taking those fancy “show entry photos” in better lighting. There may be pebbles. There may be feathers. There might also be some lines… and there may be a bit of Graffiti Quilting!! Just to keep it interesting for you, some of these pictures are the quilt back and some are the quilt front. Strangely, you really cannot see the graffiti quilting from the front at all. I better get off to binding this dude. You can enter up to three quilts. I wonder if I’ll get around to making two more???? So far I have no plans to do so. Tell a...

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Pink Scrappy Trip Along Quilt

Pink Scrappy Trip Along Quilt

on Aug 18, 2015 in Blog, blogging others, quilt, SAMQG | 2 comments

Pink Scrappy Trip Along Quilt Recently, I told you about my sew along/quilt along experience with the Scrappy Trip Along hosted by the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild. The pattern is by Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville. It is a GREAT pattern and is so easy to make. In fact, the pattern is toooooo easy. That’s right, I said it. I planned on sewing along with my quilty friends and making my quilt with the quilt along schedule. Well, I made the first one, a brown quilt, pretty fast. I had decided I’d make a much bigger quilt using red and whites from my stash. This would take me a while… right? I went to my fabric stash only to find I didn’t own very much real “red” fabric. I did, however, how a big ole pile of bright pinks. Red, pink; tomato, tomahto. Right? Ok, it looks good. I altered the original pattern to cut 3-1/2″ strips. In fact, I cut a total of 60 strips: 50 were “scrappy pink fabrics” and then 10 were the white diagonal pieces I’d need. I stitched 10 strip sets, each with 6 strips. It was at this step, I realized that pink is really really really pink. Oh man. What have I done? I decided to forge ahead. I made my 20 blocks, each one will measure 18″ when finished.  Good gravy it is sooooooo pink. Here’s a little test layout to see if you can even focus on the white diagonals in that sea of Pepto. Hum. Ok. I’m not a pinky-pink girl. Most of these fabrics were purchased when I sewed for military spouses.  Sewing using military uniforms and pink is a great combination, by the way. In this moment I was happy again. Look, when you see only the backs of the fabric, it is not nearly as in-your-face with the saturated color of all things Barbie. Welp, time to see how it is going to turn out… Time to see the whole sha’bang out on the floor… Whoa. Holy Cotton Candy, Batman! Now, how’d I do time wise? Well, the family had gone upstairs to watch a sequel and I hadn’t seen part one… So instead of ruining the movie...

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Two for Teal Mug Rug Swap

Two for Teal Mug Rug Swap

on Aug 11, 2015 in Blog, blogging others, charity, swap | 0 comments

Two for Teal / Teal Mini Swap Maybe you’ve heard of Two for Teal? This year it has a new name – the Teal Mini Swap. This is a fundraising, quilty-initiative developed by my friend Beth at Eva Paige Quilt Designs. Each year she organizes a swap via Facebook Group page.  This year you can make a mug rug or a mini quilt up to 18″ square. You pay a small fee to join the swap, get a partner, make your creation, mail it, and swap. The fee goes directly to Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Pretty neat, right? There is a whole FAQ page for the event, so you can find out all the details and time frames. This year the event sponsor is Blank Quilting Corporation.     Tell a...

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Scrappy Trip Along

Scrappy Trip Along

on Aug 4, 2015 in Blog, SAMQG | 3 comments

Scrappy Trip Along Quilt The San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild fired up a Scrappy Trip Along quilt along this summer. It is a fun fast pattern AND it uses precut strips (jelly rolls). Cool, right? I started out with a collection of strips that I cut myself. I ended up not using a precut jelly roll fabric bundle. The design is a strip-pieced quilt. You sew rows of strips, sew them into “tubes” and then cut them. All the directions are over on Bonnie Hunter’s Quiltville website. Strip-piecing quilts are so easy! If you haven’t tried one, you should give it a go. The pattern can look super scrappy by using any color in any placement. The trick to making this scrap quilt have order is to choose a common color/fabric to place in the diagonal position of each block. I went with a dark browns. Fortunately/Unfortunately, I didn’t follow the directions exactly. My blocks are 16″ square and I decided to make as many as I could with the strips I had cut. This turned out a little brown baby quilt sized piece. I know on the Quiltville site there are many Scrappy Trip Along quilts with borders. I think the whole modern quilt movement is anti-borders, but then again this is not a very modern quilt pattern. I thought on it for a little while and decided to try to add a modern-esque border to my traditional top. I ended up adding an off-white color, squares leftover from an extra strip set, and an asymmetrical flare. On the top and left lower edges, the squares go all the way to the edge and will eventually touch the orange binding. Do I think it is modern? Nope. Do I super like how it turned out? Yeppers. How big is it now? 64″ x 80″ To quilt it, I’m thinking I might try to make little “points” all over the quilt, to emulate the zigzag/chevron design in the block arrangement. Of course, who knows how I’ll actually quilt it. Now here’s the kicker… I’m not good a quilt-alongs. I thought I’d be using up my scraps and sewing with my friends online. The time table is set up (1) for...

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Strip Pieced Diagonal Beginner Quilt

Strip Pieced Diagonal Beginner Quilt

on Jul 21, 2015 in Blog, charity, quilt, tutorial | 2 comments

Welcome to the Strip-Pieced Diagonal Quilt Tutorial! If you follow the blog, you’ll know my 13 year old son has recently approached me about “summer volunteer hours.” We decided to work on quilts for charity. Needing a simple quilt pattern, this quilt was born. The tutorial was tested by this kiddo who has never stitched before. The design is created by sewing sets of strips, then chopping up the sets. It is quick and super easy.  Finished Size: 36″ x 48″ The quilt is created from one block: The quilt finishes at 36″ x 48″, a baby size quilt. If you want to make this bigger, 72″ x 96″ (large enough for a bed) simply make this tutorial size 4 times and stitch the quadrants together. Fabric Requirements: 2/3 yard medium color fabric 2/3 yard medium color fabric 5/8 yard dark fabric (diagonal squares and binding) Construction: Use a rotary cutter, cutting mat, and ruler to cut the following strips: From EACH medium fabric: One strip 3-1/2″ x width of fabric One strip 6-1/2″ x width of fabric One strip 9-1/2″ x width of fabric From the dark fabric: Four strips 3-1/2″ x width of fabric Four strips 2-1/2″ x width of fabric (binding) Join the following rows using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Use the Seamingly Accurate Seam Guide to ensure the 1/4″ is accurate before the fabric hits the presser foot. The seam guide is great for “training” beginning sewist’s eyes. Make a total of FOUR strip sets for one baby quilt. Press seam allowances towards the dark fabric. With each strip set, first “even up” the ends trimming a small amount of fabric. Once the end is square, cut 12 columns from each set, 3-1/2″ wide. To really make this quilt FAST, we layered all four sets, staggering them 1″ so the seams wouldn’t lay on each other, and rotary cut all twelve columns at once. Arrange the 3-1/2″ cut columns so one column from each strip set is represented in the block, as described below: Join the four columns using a 1/4″ seam allowance and the Seamingly Accurate Seam Guide. Arrange the 12 identical blocks into a 3 x 4 grid. We created a diagonal grid with our...

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Wisconsin Quilt Expo

Wisconsin Quilt Expo

on Jul 18, 2015 in Blog, classes, Hexagons Made Easy, Learn To Sew Easy Curves | 0 comments

See Jen Eskridge at the 2015 Wisconsin Quilt Expo Guess where I will be on September 10-12th? WISCONSIN! If you are in the area, registration is already open for the Wisconsin Quilt Expo. Come see the Hexagons Made Easy/Books Trunk Show on Saturday! Registration for the show is already open. See all the classes here. The Quilt Expo has 10 categories of shows, over 200 classes/lectures and boasts an 85,000 vendor hall. Oh my gosh! I’m going to need a backpack for all the quilty-shopping.  The show is put on by Wisconsin Public Television with Nancy Zieman. See you there! Tell a...

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Batik Plus Quilts for Charity

Batik Plus Quilts for Charity

on Jul 14, 2015 in Blog, charity, quilting | 3 comments

Clearly, I’m going through a Plus Quilt phase. More accurately, I want to use up some of my fat quarter stacks in a fast, efficient way -> Batik Plus Quilts Each Plus Quilt uses 12 Fat Quarters. I use the Plus Quilt Worksheet to plan and organize the quilt without using a design wall. I have started to sort my cut pieces onto my ironing board. Next, I whipped them up pretty quickly on my serger. There are no delicate triangle points to match, so it is really easy to sew seven columns of straight seams. After trimming the column ends of my quilt top. It is ready to head to the longarm quilter. But wait – We aren’t sending it out!! Since my mom has the long arm at her house and my son is working on summer volunteer hours we thought it’d be a great idea to let him quilt the two batik quilt tops. He was able to quilt “horizontal wavy lines” which really looked like water waves when the quilts were done. Of course, he did wind loads of bobbins and was tasked with changing them out, too. Here’s the second quilt top. It has much more blues and greens and is quilted in the same horizontal-wavy-line motif. Lots of concentration on that dude’s face. =) I think Grandma has 9 more tops for him to work on, for charity. Good thing he had a blast, but we all already knew quilting was a blast. Of course, our quilt needed a label, so here is his first hand-sewing event. He’ll be going a quilt guild meeting with me to present the tops to the outreach committee. He did a great job at the guild presentation/ show’n’ tell portion and LOVED going up on stage. Updated to add this photo:     Tell a...

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New Random Circles Workshop

New Random Circles Workshop

on Jul 7, 2015 in Blog, business, classes, Learn To Sew Easy Curves | 2 comments

Random Circles Workshop The new Random Circles Workshop is finally here!  Hooray! Hooray! Hooray! This wall-hanging or baby size quilt will be offered with my traveling lectures.  The pattern supports the title Learn to Sew Easy Curves.   The workshop is only 3 hours long and requires only 8 Fat Quarters (or assorted fabric scraps), interfacing, and 1-1/2″ yard of background fabric. I am currently researching fabric companies to be able to provide the best Random Circle Workshop kits, too! The class sample is created using Windham Fabrics designed by Lotta J. I’m so thrilled that the project will not only feature techniques in the book but will also include a “donut” or reversible-applique technique, as well. Since the workshop is only 3-hours long or half-day, it can easily be combined with the Hexagons Made Easy Workshop,  which is also a half-day workshop. Find out more about pricing and student numbers on my Lectures and Workshop page. I look forward to hearing from your guild/shop!   Tell a...

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Ohio Star Barn Quilt

Ohio Star Barn Quilt

on Jun 30, 2015 in Blog, tutorial | 1 comment

It is warm enough to finally put together a small barn quilt project. I have been wanting to make a barn quilt for about 5 years now. Unfortunately, I have no barn. In fact, I live in HOA-suburban-America-land. (Ok, but it would be awesome if I could just hang a barn quilt over my garage!) Thankfully, my parents live in a rural area where a barn quilt would look awesome. My quilty-mom doesn’t seem to object to the idea of getting a barn quilt as a gift. How To Make a Barn Quilt Unlike traditional barn quilts, designed to be seen from the highway on fabulous barn quilt trail drives, this project will be 4′ x 4′ and hang in a large backyard. Please keep in mind: This is not the exact science of all things woodworking and painting. This is how I made my little barn quilt. First up, I priced the plywood. Turns out it is much more cost effective to buy a large sheet of plyboard and have the folks at the home improvement store cut it in half. Hooray – I have a spare piece for when I mess up the first piece! Side note– If you really do screw up the first try, you can always flip the wood over to the back before you have to bust out the second piece. Supplies: This is a “here’s what I bought” list. Interior/Exterior Spray Paint Painter’s Tape Paint Brush Kilz 2 Primer Ruler (not pictured) Pencil (not pictured) Poster board (not pictured) I might still go back and buy a sealer used for exteriors, even though the paint and primer is rated for outdoor use. I just didn’t grab it on the first day. The hardest part of this project was determining which block to use. For the first, traditional barn quilt, I decided to go with the uber-traditional Ohio Star quilt block in patriotic colors. Maroon, Navy, and Cream. I thought the darker colors would wear better over time. – I’ll let you know in a few years if that holds true. – Step 1– Prime the whole 4′ x 4′ square with Kilz2. Make sure to add the primer to the edges to give them a bit...

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Stacked Circles in Fun Colorful Quilts by Leisure Arts

Stacked Circles in Fun Colorful Quilts by Leisure Arts

on Jun 23, 2015 in Blog, book, Learn To Sew Easy Curves | 1 comment

Fun Colorful Quilts by Leisure Arts Late last year I was contacted with a note that one of my projects would be used in a new book from Leisure Arts. Well, folks, I’m here to tell you Fun Colorful Quilts has arrived! From the Leisure Arts website: “Vibrant fabrics in a medley of popular shapes, from circles and stars to squares and triangles, make eye-catching quilts with a frivolous touch. In Fun Colorful Quilts, designs for patchwork and appliqué techniques include Petal Pushers by Me and My Sister Designs (Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobson), On a Roll by Tammy Tadd, Dragon’s Tooth by Sue Marsh for Whistlepig Creek Productions, Spinning Stars by Linda Sullivan, and Stacked Circles by Jen Eskridge.” Check out the back cover- Now that is fun! In fact, one of my favorite projects is in this book. It is called Stacked Circles and features military uniforms and Anna Maria Horner fabrics. The color combo is dreamy… because it has EVERY color. If you like the circles in the project above, you might also like my other projects in my book Learn to Sew Easy Curves, also published by Leisure Arts.         Tell a...

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Knit Tights ala The Crafty Gemini

Knit Tights ala The Crafty Gemini

on Jun 2, 2015 in Blog, blogging others, sewing | 0 comments

Knit Tights ala The Crafty Gemini Vanessa, of the Crafty Gemini, said “You can never have enough tights.” and my 14yo agrees. With that simply quip, I watched her excellent tutorial and set out to create more tights based on a pair my 14yo already owned. I have a serious amount of grey jersey knit fabric. Let me tell you why: Thrift Store!! I bought this giant grey jersey flat sheet with the intent of making a maxi dress or maxi skirt. Sure, it was bedding, but at the end of the day it was still a super soft jersey knit. I think I might have paid $5-$7 for the huge sheet.  I heart thrift stores! If you cannot find a jersey flat sheet at the thrift, you can always grab jersey knit sheets here. Vanessa walks you through all the steps on her video.  I sorta skipped a step though… I didn’t trace it onto paper first. As it turns you, you should totally do that!  No worries. I’ll do that for the next pair. Instead, I just grabbed a ruler and rotary cutter and set forth to cut out a piece 5/8″ larger than the folded tights. That worked out. Back in college, I made my brother about 25-30 pair of shorts from various woven cottons and flannels. Do you guys remember “jams” from the 80’s? We’ll we were rockin’ those well into the 90’s. I can whip up a pair of shorts, pj pants or… as it turns out… leggings in no time at all.  Fun fact. The serger made the construction even faster and is perfect for stitching knits. Vanessa uses a great technique for the waistband. I had actually never tried this technique before, but I can tell you, it will be my go-to from now on. Holy smokes it was super fast, super easy AND I didn’t have to look for safety pins or create a waist band casing to hold the elastic. Her method is the bomb! The elastic is serged (or zigzag stitched) to the fabric’s cut edge at the waist.   Fold down and zigzag it into place. Very cool. Last step should be the leg hems. Those are also zigzag’d....

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