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GSAQG Challenge Quilt 2019

GSAQG Challenge Quilt 2019

on Apr 30, 2019 in Blog, contests, Featured, free spirit fabrics, quilt, quilting | 0 comments

Greater San Antonio Quilt Guild is gearing up for the 2019 quilt show with a challenge! This blog post showcases how my 41″ x 41″ quilt came together. It was an absolute evolution of design. The Challenge Whirling Dervishes Deco by Philip Jacobs The challenge issued to our quilt guild was to create a small quilt, no bigger than 250″ perimeter using a fat quarter of this Philip Jacobs print. I fell in love with the fabric instantly. It has every color and is the brightest print I’ve seen! The Inspiration My design process started with the idea that I wanted to stitch various New York Beauty blocks and add applique shapes at the points. I tried making the block once by paper piecing and once by raw-edge fusible applique. Each of the squares above measures 10″ x 10″. That seemed like a good place to start. My test pieces for the quilt challenge quickly became out of control. (No one saw that coming!) I had raw-edge fusible shapes on everything. I was adding stuff left and right in all the bright colored fabric scraps that I could get my hands on. Instead of roping it in and editing myself, I decided that I love MORE IS MORE. This was my jumping off point. Buckle up, buttercup. The Progress Some days I feel like I’m learning to quilt. Specifically, learning to hand applique small shapes. I don’t know if a perfect circle would look like a circle when appliqued. After all, this isn’t a large Learn to Sew Easy Curves situation, though I did use the facing technique as I added a few quadrant arches. The small fabric circle problem is fixed with FELT. I thought, “Hey, wool felt applique is pretty popular. I bet there’s a reason.” Then, I priced wool felt. Cough. Cough. Since this was a small challenge piece that may turn out to be a total circus, I treated myself to a rainbow sampler of synthetic felt from amazon. Quadrant One Ok. Now I’m on my way. I just need some shapes and an idea… I drafted the New York Beauty portion of the block in Adobe Illustrator. The pink and white background fabric is...

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Take and Teach Quilt Market Houston 2013

Take and Teach Quilt Market Houston 2013

on Oct 22, 2013 in Blog, classes, free spirit fabrics | 0 comments

Quilt Market Kits We are less than one week from Quilt Market!!! Exciting times. I’m here to report that the kits for the Hexagons Made Easy class are all finished! The Take and Teach Class is on Sunday, October 27th at 8am.   These kits are some-kinda-full! You’ll have everything you need to complete the wall hanging and you’ll also leave with a signed copy of the book. Pretty great deal for the price of the class. If you are shop, you’ll have all the information and resources to finish up this shop sample. You’ll also have all you need to be able to kit this project when you get back to your shop. And thanks to the generous folks at MODA, the kits feature one of two different fabrics. The new and amazing Day Dream by Kate Spain and Grant Park by Minick Simpson. I purposely chose a traditional line (Grant Park) and a more fresh/bright line (Daydream) so you can pick the kit that best suits your style. The fabrics pictured on the sample image are by Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit and is the quilted wall hanging from the book chapter itself. The Take and Teach Class should be pretty fun. Not only will you learn how to make this exact wall hanging, but you’ll get the “designer’s ideas” of how you can change it up and maximize your yardage to make this design your own. There are limited seats in the class so make sure to sign up as soon as you can. I can’t wait to see ya. I’ll have a kit waiting for you. See you soon.  ...

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Kool-Aid Liquid Snowman Craft Tutorial

Kool-Aid Liquid Snowman Craft Tutorial

on Aug 8, 2013 in Blog, free spirit fabrics, recycle, tutorial | 0 comments

I thought it was about time for a little crafty tutorial. What do ya say? Have you seen these Kool-Aid Liquids out at the grocery lately? The kids talked the hubbs into buying a few and it turns out, they are GREAT. And… they are perfect for an easy snowman craft. Since it is only August, I think by the time December rolls around, we’d be up to our eyes in Kool-Aid Liquid Snowmen. This one is so easy, I think the kids will really like it too. Alrighty, lets get to recycling and reusing this little KoolAid container. This is the first one, and how I made him. I took photos, as you do for a tutorial, but really- I think you’ll figure it out with the first picture.   Supplies And here are the supplies you’ll need. (Though, I think for other snowmen that I add to the snowmen horde, I will have a black felt hat. The buttons look waaaayyy too much like Devo’s Whip It! Snowman.) Empty, Clean Kool-Aid Liquid Container Sharpie – Black and Orange Glue – like Aileens or 1600 Glue Scrap Fabric (Anna Maria Horner fabric shown) Stacked Buttons (or not) How-To Seriously- just a few easy steps. 1. Take off the Kool-Aid packaging and clean the outside of the container with soap and water. 2. Add the sharpie for his eyes, buttons and nose. (His nose is really all orange. There’s a bit of window glare on the picture.) 3. Tie on the fabric scarf and use a dot of glue to secure it. (Poor guy looks like he’s going into surgery.) 4. Stack the buttons on his head, gluing each one as it is added. I used two sizes of buttons and all of these were from a garage sale button stash I have. Maybe I’ll make another guy with RED buttons for the full effect. Great. Now that song is stuck in my head… I bet you do too. You’re welcome. 🙂   That’s it. Let the glue dry. I think I might even add a wire on the back of the scarf (glued down) so that I might even be able to hang these little guys on a...

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Hexagons Made Easy Appliqued Hexies

Hexagons Made Easy Appliqued Hexies

on Feb 1, 2013 in Blog, free spirit fabrics, Hexagons Made Easy, quilt | 0 comments

Hexagons Made Easy focuses on two main types of hexagon construction techniques. Both techniques eliminate Y-seams and hand stitching (like English Paper Piecing techniques). Let me tell you about the first technique. ((The second, Reversible Techniques, found here.)) Applique When creating hexagons for applique, you have to first consider how to turn under all 6 of those edges and have nice flat corners. The book shows you how to stitch a facing to the hexagon shape, which when turned right-side-out, will create a hexagon with all the raw fabric edges concealed. You can use the facing technique for any shape. Shapes that require every single edge concealed, but will not have the back shown, are quickly turned right-side-out by slicing through the facing and turning the shape. There are many tips and tricks in the book to make you as successful as possible at this method. The diagrams created for the book are clear and exact. Quilts There are 7 original quilt project in Hexagons Made Easy, in addition to using the Applique Technique in the 18 block designs. I was able to show the back of this wall hanging (above) on the blog when I was quilting the project for the book deadline, but now I can totally show you the front. (below) Hooray! Although I have not done this, the wall hanging is situated in a way where you could add clock movement to the center of the finished design. The quilt is a basic introduction to placement and machine applique. It only requires 12 hexagons. Pretty easy, right?? Get your feet wet while making this modern, contemporary quilt with loads of negative space. This particular wall hanging is great for the extra pieces from a charm pack (5″ square precut fabric squares) or featuring fabric scraps. I chose to feature a handful of Anna Maria Horner fabric scraps, left from various other projects....

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Giant Double Aster Block and EQ7

Giant Double Aster Block and EQ7

on Jun 14, 2012 in Blog, blogging others, eq7, free spirit fabrics, quilt, tutorial | 9 comments

I came across a neat block on Pinterest. It is a link for a flickr image found here. Turns out the quilt block is a Marcia Hohn Quilter’s Cache block called the Double Aster Block. (Her block is “on point” where mine is straight on, by the way.) Well that background story is all good, but I really thought the block had enough interesting lines by itself, to make it into a quilt. One block- one quilt. Not 12 identical blocks. I mean really ONE BLOCK = ONE QUILT. You read that right. Doesn’t look too big in the photo, right?? Just look like a block? Let me show you how I went about making the block super-sized. This is the how-to, which I did, of course you can always go all MATH on it to make it bigger also. My method uses Electric Quilt software. (EQ7)? If you have the software, this is super easy. You don’t even have to work in the quilting worktable. It is just one BIG block. {{Click on the images to make them larger.}} First, I had to draft out the block in the Easy Draw board. It might already be a block in the block library EQ provides, but I thought it’d be quicker to just draw it out. (You can do this One Block = One Quilt with any block) See that red arrow in the above picture?? That box tells you the blocks finished size. My default is 10″ (I don’t know why, I’ve never made a 10″ block???) Simply, change the 10 to whatever you like. In my case, I made the BIG block quilt 50″ square, so both number 10’s were changed to 50’s. See how the ruler changed along the edges? Next up- super easy, color it in. Or don’t. It’s up to you. Then all you have to do it go to FILE-> PRINT-> ROTARY CUTTING… There are a few variables to change around when you are looking at the print menu, like rounding all seams to 1/8″ of an inch or allowing for a 1/4″ standard seam allowance, but that stuff isn’t tricky, so I didn’t do a screen shot. Now you have the cutting...

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Thrift Store Inspiration

Thrift Store Inspiration

on Jan 24, 2012 in accessories, Blog, free spirit fabrics, sewing | 3 comments

I love going to the thrift store. Recently I picked up a little black purse for about $2.00. I really liked the shape and really liked how it was constructed. I decided it would be something I’d have to try to remake. I carried the bag around for a day only to find out that it was WAY too small for my purse loot. I liked the shape. I liked that it was vinyl. I like that it had a “binding” around the edges. Before I make a bag like this little bag, I’d have to do some re-design work. That totally works out because for me, it’s like solving a puzzle. Ok, solving a puzzle backwards…. But still. Once I started sketching, lots of bag variations emerged. I think that is a normal part of the process. But now, I’ve got these mystery bags that I’d like to make, bigger, vinyl, and finished in binding. I must edit and pick just one for the “test run”. Hooray for the discount fabric store for having a grey vinyl remnant. I took a picture of the back of the vinyl, so you can see the “fabric” side as well as the vinyl side. And of course, there’s some bright crazy Sugar Snap fabric for the lining. I sketched. I drafted. I stitched. I pinned. I ironed (the cotton only*). I basted and finally I made a big bag. *Turns out the vinyl MELTS! -which I knew, but wasn’t thinking about… then the kids came into the studio telling me it smelled horrible in there… which it totally did!!! It is about 14″ across and much wider than the inspiration bag. I even added little petal details along the front, top edge. The lining turned out great. It was supposed to be the lining only… but as? I was going along, I realized that my vinyl remnant wasn’t going to be enough fabric to bind the edges, as I had planned. I had to improvise. Honestly, I have to file this in the “oh, I guess that’s neat” section, because I wouldn’t think of doing a quilt binding on fabric that doesn’t fray, and yet- it totally worked out. And a...

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Adjustable Aprons Ready for Market

Adjustable Aprons Ready for Market

on Sep 1, 2011 in accessories, Blog, free spirit fabrics, Houston Market 2011, pattern | 0 comments

Today I’ve been stitching away on my Adjustable Apron Pattern (RD2015). I have the samples from the cover of the pattern, but the fabric isn’t available and isn’t “new”. Turns out, that is a big deal for market. I wanted to make the pattern in bright fresh fabrics. I actually went to the quilt shop this morning only to find some fabulous Joel Dewberry Heirloom laminates. Now there’s a good idea- Laminates for an Apron. It took about a 1/2 second to decide in which color way I’d like to make the Adult Apron and coordinating Child Size apron. The apron pattern is drafted onto butcher paper or Pattern Ease and then cut, stitched and trim is added. It is a super simple pattern. I really wanted to go crazy with the trim, though. I doubt “two rows” constitutes crazy, but two rows in hot pink might push me a bit more in that direction. We’ve got ruffles. We’ve got rickrack. We’ve got pom-poms. All of those trims were purchased in the fabulous SoeMun market in Daegu, South Korea. Hum, I should dig out a picture of the ribbon shop down at that massive outdoor market and show you where I used to buy trim. Ah… I loved it there. (We lived there with the USAF from ’06-’08.) (Above) Its ribbon hanging from the ceiling, covering the tables and walls and on spools along each table edge. The only place there was NOT ribbon or trim was the floor. And this whole “shop” was probably about 20′ x 30′. It was so overwhelming to walk in and look around and so amazing all at the same time. And sometimes I’d find good satin and grosgrain ribbons down in the flower district or flower mart areas of town, too. (above) Tons and tons of ribbons. Ok, so I kinda got off topic. What was I talking about?? {{scrolling up}}? Ah yes, the pattern. The pattern suggests you spice up the apron by adding trim across the bottom edge. Take matters into your own hands and add as much or as little, as wild or tame type trims as you like. Here’s how the finished Adult Apron is finished in trim....

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Finished the Dresden Block

Finished the Dresden Block

on Apr 13, 2011 in Blog, free spirit fabrics, quilting, sewing | 1 comment

At the end of the day, I just decided that this quilt was TOO small to NOT finish. So… I finished it. Overall, I’m not sure if I love it. It’s definitely growing on me, though. It has a sort of FUNKY going on that I do really like. I don’t even notice the lop-sided points. They aren’t nearly as prominent as I first thought they’d be. I ended up quilting flower petal type arches in the Dresden wedges with a variegated rust thread, Sulky Blendable. Then I meandered with a Mettler variegated Grey-Smoke-White thread all over the rockin’ plaid background. The bobbin thread is some crazy pink polyester cone I purchased in Korea. I made a crazy zig zag grid of quilting over the flower center. And as promised, I used pink on the back and for the binding. It finished exactly 15″ square. I can now cross “give Dresden Plate a try” off my bucket list. =) Don’t forget to enter the 101 Patchwork Projects Give Away. It’s open until Friday, April 15th, 2011. Fabric: Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit, Chocolate...

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Setting The Dresden Plate Block

Setting The Dresden Plate Block

on Apr 12, 2011 in Blog, free spirit fabrics, quilt, sewing | 0 comments

Ok, I told you about the Dresden Plate block earlier this week. I’ve decided to finish it, but not in a traditional way. I’ve decided to put my little Dresden (wedges cut to 5″ long) mounted on a 15 1/2″ block of shirting fabric. After ironing the shirting fabric, I’m certain it’s a poly/cotton blend. I don’t think I LOVE the project, yet. I do really like the idea of it, though. (Ever have that happen?)? The design is totally growing on me now that I have figured out how to “set” the block. I think by off-setting the Dresden Wedge Circle, it gives the block a more modern feel. Of course, I’m a pretty thrift quilter and couldn’t stand to throw away the extra wedges, so I added them in the opposite corner for a little compositional balance. I’m still brain storming the quilting process, but I do like the setting. I think the quilting thread in the “flower” will be brown and likely some kind of variegated white/beige in the plaid shirting. But don’t you think it’d look cook with some kind of bright embroidery floss quilting somewhere?? The wheels are turning… I also already know I’ll be binding it in the AMH pink (which is some of the wedges and the backing fabric.) So far, it’s NOT in the UFO bin… we’ll see how it goes. =) Don’t forget to enter the 101 Patchwork Projects Give Away. It’s open until Friday, April 15th,...

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Dresden Plate

Dresden Plate

on Apr 4, 2011 in Blog, fabric stash, free spirit fabrics, sewing | 2 comments

I own the ruler. I’ve used it once in about 8 years. I’m loving the scrappy traditional blocks of the Dresden Plate- morphed with fresh fabrics to get a more modern look. I thought I’d try it. Basically I set forth thinking- Hum, I guess I’ll dig up a bunch of scraps and start cutting until I have um… well, a bunch of wedges. As it turns out, I’m not too good at that guestimation, and I had no idea how many wedges I actually needed. I laid all my wedges out in a circle, neglecting the whole seam allowance deal. Needless to say, I went back and cut more wedges twice. Well, that’s OK. ((Obviously, I should have just counted someone else’s wedges to save myself the trouble.)) I also prepared all the little “tips” of the dresden plate wedges BEFORE I joined them to each other. I have no idea if that is the right way to do it. I really just jumped in with both feet and a ruler. As it turns out, when I ironed my wedges, they weren’t … what’s the word… straight. I’ve got some wild, crook’ed, funky points on the ends of some of these shapes. Lordy lordy. The center will have a brown Anna Maria Horner circle on it. Not that it’s her circle, but it is her fabric. If you cannot tell from the back, the whole thing is her fabric. (Chocolate Lollipop)? I’m thinking the block might be mounted on linen, but time will tell. This is one of those projects that is teetering on the edge of “will I finish it?”. Eh, I think I will…. but don’t all UFO’s start out with that sentiment???? hahahahaahah. We’ll see. Stay...

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Ruched Silk Flower Tutorial

Ruched Silk Flower Tutorial

on Jan 19, 2011 in free spirit fabrics, pattern, sewing, tutorial | 1 comment

Welcome to the Ruched Fabric Flower Tutorial. First- lets talk about ruching. When you say it out loud ruch sounds like “Whoosh!”? You know, the word you use when the basketball flies straight into the net and never touches the rim. The online dictionary defines ruching as:? a pleated, fluted, or gathered strip of fabric used for trimming. In this how-to, the WHOLE flower isn’t ruched, just the center of a fake/silk flower. And off we go. I’ll show you how to make a small ruched fabric strip to replace the center of a silk/fake flower so that you can then adorn all sorts of craft and sewing projects. In the above photos, I have a flower made into a hair clip and on on the flap of my Express Mailbag. (The bag is made from a part of a layer cake -10″ cut squares- to give you an idea of the size.) Supplies: One fake fabric flower from the craft store. 1 strip of fabric 1/2″ x 10″ torn, not rotary cut (great way to use up scraps!) Fabric glue, such as Aleene’s Fabric Glue Hair Clip- optional {{I’m trying something different with this tutorial. Instead of having a LONG blog post with tons of pictures, I’ve made numbered picture groupings. Lets see if this is easier for all my favorite visual learners. }} CLICK THE PICTURES TO ENLARGE THEM 1. Pull the tops off a bunch of silk flowers from the craft store. 2. Take apart the fabric flower part from the plastic parts. The center of the flower and the back plastic of the flower will now live happily in the trash can. 3. ZigZag stitch over the center of the flower to hold it in place while you work with the layers. 4. Don’t worry what color your zigzag thread is. It will get covered up later. CLICK THE PICTURES TO ENLARGE THEM 5. Tear a strip of fabric 1/2″ wide and about 10″ long. I recommend tearing so that your ruched finished flower center will have even more texture and interest. 6. Finally! A useful decorative stitch on the sewing machine!!! WOOT! Find the stitch that looks like a zigzag, but is actually made...

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Modern Hexagon Quilt

Modern Hexagon Quilt

on Jan 7, 2011 in free spirit fabrics, quilt, quilting | 5 comments

 (click image to enlarge) Drum roll please….  This is the most hexagons I’ve ever made!!!  Yes, I realize its not all that many in the grand scheme of things, but who doesn’t love a good drum roll? I took a little lap table on a road trip over Thanksgiving and was able to do the English Paper Piecing prep work in the car.  All the hexies are Nicey Jane by Heather Bailey. Of course, when I saw my (cough cough) amazing stack of hexagons I then had to start planning my quilt.  Would it be huge?  Would it take long to hand piece?  Would it look as unreal as the Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilts I had seen before?  So many question, so few hexagons.  Um.  28 to be exact.  Dangit. I decided to bail out on all that jazz and make my quilt way more modern.  I used 6 long strips of fabric for the background, then I did this cool “fractured” technique to them.  Once I had the background ready, I was able to place my hexagons. I lined them up 1″ apart.  I tried to be as consistent as I possibly could, but you know total perfectionism is a bit over-rated. So the top was finished.  I had scattered hexies and a fun background.  Once I had it all squared up, I needed a quilting plan.  I wanted to quilt something modern to match the modern feel of the top… but most of the modern quilts I’ve seen are meandered or straight line quilted.  This quilt was WAY too angular for meandering.  Straight lines were not going to work since the background had no straight line to follow…er…wait… then it hit me- I’ll follow the HEXAGON lines to get a cool argyle-esque straight line design.  I marked the whole top with water soluble pen and busted out the walking foot.  I used variegated grey/smoke/white quilting thread. I’ve already washed the quilt and it does have a bit of shrinkle going on.  Shrinkle?  You know, when the quilt SHRINKS and CRINKLES.  Mmmm…. shrinkle. After I take this to our Traditional Quilt Guild next Tuesday, I’m dropping it in the mail to my favorite friend who LOVES pink +...

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