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

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Finished Mini Dresden Quilt

Finished Mini Dresden Quilt

on Sep 9, 2014 in Blog, commission, quilting | 4 comments

Here’s the Elspeth Baby Quilt.  Fingers and legs in the quilt photo.  Quilting has and assortment of Stripes, Crazy Worms, Pebbles and Trapunto.  The overall vertical design has three main bars, which is kinda cool because little Elspeth is the 3rd kiddo in the family. The dryer will be taking taking out those red lines in just a moment.             I learned that if you have a mostly-white front, you’ll need a back that is “light”.  Maybe it was just that brand of white I used.  Who knows.  Just to be safe, the back on this one is pieced greys from my stash.  The piecing wasn’t wide enough, so the white stripe was added.   You can really see the Dresden quilting from the back.   And then the binding.  I must be going through a serious stripe binding phase. Tell a...

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Mini Dresden – Quilting

Mini Dresden – Quilting

on Sep 4, 2014 in Blog, commission, quilting | 7 comments

Ooooh – I got to take my ELSPETH quilt top to my moms to use her super awesome Handi Quilter.  Normally, quilting a project this size would  have been done on my home machine, but the tension is doing something crazy. I need to take it in.  BUT can I just say, I love that HandiQuilter so much, maybe I subconciously broke the tension on my home machine so I’d HAVE to go to my moms….   Anywho, enough of my HQ-FanGirl-ness, let’s talk quilting. The quilt is loaded horizontally, so I could tackle outlining the trapunto letters first.  Can you see in the picture above, the “whiter” letters?  That is because I have two layers of Hobbs 80/20 stitched behind them with water soluble thread. First step is to re-outline the letters with quilt stitching lines.   Trace each letter, then add a pile of free motion quilting pebbles to really make the letters stand out on the quilt.  The pebbles are quilted with a “haphazard” approach.  Whatever size.  Whatever overall finished shape.  Seemed to work.  Afterall, I know what it is going to look like in my head, right? I’m going to not call that an attempt at feathers….  I’m going to call it a success story for Crazy Worms.  That’s right, I’ve quilted Crazy Worms along a spine, to set off my pebble design.  I think the straight-ish lines (along the edge) help the design, too.   There are basically two rows of Crazy Worms, horizontal lines, swirls, pebbles and loopies in the Dresden circles.  Here, let me get you a closer-up picture:   Crazy Worms and all, I LOVE how this quilt finished up.  Loads of people can do feathers.  Not everyone can rock the worms. …cough cough… I’m already planning my stripe binding for it.  I know which one I’m picking and just need to get those strips cut. I should have some finished pictures really soon.  ….after the trimming…. after the dryer to take out the frixion marking… after the binding…  I’m in the home stretch!  Stay tuned. Tell a...

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Mini Dresden – Trapunto

Mini Dresden – Trapunto

on Sep 2, 2014 in Blog, commission, quilt | 0 comments

  Ok, this is the quilt layout.  I needed a design with enough white space to add in the baby’s name into the design.  I did this before on these quilts:  the Tessa Baby Quilt and the Weaver Baby Quilt.  In fact, this quilt is going to be for Tessa’s little sister, Elspeth. Neat name, right? My plan is to trapunto the letters, vertically on the right hand side of the quilt.   Yep.  That is roughly where I want the letters.  If you need letters for a project, I used Cooper Std font at size 600.  Nice big fat chunky letters.  600 point font yields one letter per page, so that is about how big the letters are. Next step is to get these guys lined up.   The bottom of the letters are measured about 10″ from the edge and the H ends in line with the center of the horizontal Dresden lines. Plan out the spacing and then trace the letters.  Cue:  Frixion pen.  I love those pens so much.  At the end of the project  throw the quilt in the dryer and volia- the ink will all disappear.   I pinned two layers of Hobbs 80/20 batting behind the row of letters, then stitched around each letter using water soluble thread.   After the stitching, it’s time to sit on the couch and carefully remove the batting from outside the stitched area. Cut within 1/8″ of the stitched line.   Turns out I didn’t grab my camera, but I do have photos from the other times I’ve trapunto’d letters.  (Is that a verb?  Can you make it a verb?  Somewhere, there is an English teacher shaking her head. )  See trapunto step pictures here:  Tessa Baby Quilt and the Weaver Baby Quilt. During the quilting step,the letter shapes are traced again with regular quilt thread.  I have BIG plans for the quilting.  Stay tuned. Tell a...

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Mini Dresden – Assembly

Mini Dresden –  Assembly

on Aug 19, 2014 in Blog, blogging others, commission, quilt | 0 comments

  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. Tell a...

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Disappearing 9-Patch with Layer Cakes

Disappearing 9-Patch with Layer Cakes

on Oct 15, 2013 in Blog, commission, tutorial | 26 comments

    Love Disappearing 9-Patch?  Wanna make it bigger and faster?  Good news!  You’ve found the FREE FREE FREE blog tutorial for a Queen Size quilt made with Layer Cakes + Yardage.  It is made in the easy-peasy style of Disappearing 9-Patch Pattern.  Lets dive in! Queen Size Disappearing 9-Patch with Layer Cakes     Skill Level: Super Easy Beginner Finished Size: approx 75″ x 90″ Supplies: 1 Layer Cake* (Stitch by Betz White for Robert Kaufman – Organic Fabric shown) 2 1/3 y White yardage (Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Elements shown) *Layer Cake is a precut 10″ x 10″ square fabric bundle with at least 40 pieces.  40 pieces are used in this tutorial. Cut: 32 total white squares From the yardage, cut 8 strips at 10″ wide From the 8 strips, cut 4 squares 10″ x 10″ each Yield a total of 32 white squares Construction: 1.  Make 8 basic, although GIANT 9 Patch blocks using 4 white squares and 5 prints.  Stitch using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Grab a Seamingly Accurate Seam Guide to make sure your 1/4″ seam is always accurate. The colored pieces represent the prints in ANY layer cake or assortment of 10″ cut squares. Updated to add:  Press seam allowances towards the darker fabric. 2.  Slice each 4 patch block into quarters. Honestly, this is the hardest step because you’ll want to make sure you cut the pieces exactly in half and you’ll need a large space to rotary cut them.  Pressing each block very well will make this step easier.   Each quarter of the 9-patch block will be HUGE and look something like this: 3.  Mix up the quarter pieces to get a more scrappy look to the quilt design.  Mix them up and rotate two of them as you will use 4 total quarter pieces to rebuild each block. This is where the disappearing 9-patch magic happens.  Build only SIX (6) blocks, even though you started with a total of 8.  Trust me. 4.  Once you have the SIX (6) disappearing 9-patch blocks, start building the quilt top in only 2 rows. Seriously only two because they are so incredibly large.  Each big block unit is a little under...

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Military Uniform Quilts

Military Uniform Quilts

on Sep 30, 2013 in Blog, commission, recycle | 0 comments

Final touches on the 5 commissioned military uniform quilts.  Name Tapes!  The client requested all 5 quilts have the same custom name tape on each quilt.  I think it will work like an “I Spy” type element, since the tapes don’t stand out against the quilts’ stripe design. I’m dropping them all off today.  Adios Quilty-Quilts.   Tell a...

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Military Uniform Strip Quilts

Military Uniform Strip Quilts

on Sep 20, 2013 in Blog, book, business, commission, recycle | 0 comments

And the strip quilts are finito.  Hooray.  Before I show you all the pictures of the quilts, let me first super big huge mega thank the people that rallied to help me make the quilts.  Karen Morello, Erica Mitchell and Christine Robbins.  The ladies helped piece, quilt and bind these quilts.  It was really a great team effort.  Thank you thank you thank you! So what’d we make? Military Uniform Quilts Inspired by the book, Deploy That Fabric, we used military uniform fabric and Moda Jelly Rolls to create larger twin size quilts.  We made the quilts in the style of the 1600 Quilt Race or Jelly Roll Quilt.  Of course, our quilts – in order to be larger than a couch quilt- we used 2 Jelly Rolls + uniform fabric.  The last step will be to add a name tape to each quilt for the client. Army Navy Air Force Marines Coast Guard Tell a...

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Military 1600 Quilts

Military 1600 Quilts

on Sep 17, 2013 in Blog, commission | 1 comment

Remember those Jelly Rolls from last week’s post?  I had ordered those for a commission job.  5 Quilts using Military Uniform fabrics.  Oh man, these quilts are turning out pretty cool. The quilts are made in the style of the Jelly Roll Race or 1600 Quilts.  Here’s the kicker though, in order to get a quilt 80″ x 94″, I had to use more than one roll.  In fact, I used two rolls + the military uniform fabric.  The math works out to this NOT being a 1600 Quilt, but rather a 3744 Quilt.  Just rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it?  Three thousand seven hundred and forty-four quilt.  Yep.  That’s what it is.  3744 continuous inches once the strips are sewn end-to-end. With SOOOOO much to work with, I decided I should serge the pieces together, since they are all straight seams.  That lasted about 20 minutes until I blew the tension on my serger.  Does sewing with thicker uniform fabrics screw up tension.  No.  Maybe a tiny bit, but the reality is, I haven’t had my serger tuned up in years and this was the project it decided to crap out on.  Shame. With the super fast serger on the fritz, I had to grab old faithful and get her up and running.  Thank goodness for back-up plans.  The home sewing machine was a bit slower but still made a great looking quilt. Since I have 5 quilts to make, I enlisted the help of 3 friends.  I don’t have photos of their quilts yet.  I’ll be sure to grab those pictures when the collection of quilts are finished.  Look for that soon. I’m so excited for how this HUGE jelly roll quilt turned out.  It was my first time sewing with the Navy Blue Pixelated uniform, too.  You’d think after all this time, I would have stitched with it before… but nope.  Maiden Voyage, right here.  The jelly roll with this quilt is TEXAS fabric, requested by the client. Tell a...

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Jelly Rolls

Jelly Rolls

on Sep 12, 2013 in Blog, commission | 4 comments

Jelly Rolls Yep.  This totally happened.  I have a big commission order that finally made me open a little account with a little fabric company.  You may have heard of them…MODA….  SQUEEL!!!  I will be showing you pictures of the commissioned quilts next week when I have more to show. Tell a...

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Altered Tuxedo Shirts

Altered Tuxedo Shirts

on Apr 18, 2013 in Blog, commission, sewing | 1 comment

That would be four (4) of the finished tuxedo shirts for a client in Illinois.  The 4 are only a fraction of the 11 total shirts for this project.  Turns out, it is going to be a big, wild, fun wedding. Here’s what happens, if you don’t already know- The gentlemen are wearing suits/tuxedos/military service dress/mess dress.  The cuffs and collar and front of the shirt are all white and traditional looking.  Once the party is in full swing and the jackets come off- a total personality is revealed.  If the collection of cotton fabrics is any indication- this should be a blast!  I should have photos of the men after the big event. What I do is receive a shirt and 2 to 1 2/3yards of fabric in the mail.  I take the shirt apart and use the actual sleeve and back as the pattern pieces to cut out fun novelty prints.  Then I just build the shirt back.   Then I … The magic wand gets waved.  Fairy dust fills the air.  Angels sing and then- bammo- Tuxedo Shirts for everyone!  You get a tuxedo shirt and you get a tuxedo shirt.  (Say that in your best Oprah voice!)  hahahahah.  These babies are ready to hit the mail on Friday!  I hope the wedding is a blast. Thanks for letting me be a part of it! Tell a...

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Tessa’s Baby Quilt

Tessa’s Baby Quilt

on Nov 9, 2012 in Blog, commission, quilt, quilting | 3 comments

My big commissioned quilt is off the quilting frame!  Hooray!!!  The quilting style was 100% inspired by Angela Walters.  I LOVE how it turned out.  Of course, I have a few pictures to show you. Some progress pictures around the lettering:   You can still see the frixion pen marks in those close up pictures (above).  And I also have pics of the quilting fills:  {{click to enlarge}}   I divided the background with irregular wavy lines, then changed up my fills between the wavy lines.  I used 9 total free motion quilting  fills on the the quilt + the trapunto name.  Hopefully, next week, I’ll have a blog posts showing each fill.  It will be sort of a “menu” for myself, and I thought I’d share it with ya. I also unloaded 11 bobbins of thread on the baby quilt.  The quilt is about 50″ x 65″. Since this quilt was bigger than the original “WEAVER” quilt, I decided to add a 1/4 Dresden circle in the corner.  I like it up there.  The corner is not lonely anymore. I backed this quilt with a vintage sheet. The Dresden is made from a bunch of 2 1/2″ strips.  That means, I have lots of 2 1/2″ strips left over that will go straight into the bright scrappy binding this weekend. Tell a...

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Altered Tuxedo Shirt

Altered Tuxedo Shirt

on May 16, 2012 in Blog, commission, fashion | 1 comment

Prom and wedding season is in full swing.  Well, I suppose prom is over since school is almost out … Anywhoo- here’s another altered tuxedo shirt for a June wedding.  I can only imagine the “I’m soooo HOT” pick up lines this groom’s man will have with all those peppers all over his shirt.  Good times! Tell a...

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