Monday, April 23, 2012

Senior Year due out soon!

Harriet and Carrie Hargrave's long-awaited "Senior Year" is coming out SOON!
I can hardly wait!!

Freshman - Sophomore - Junior Year

Have you tried their piecing and pattern-making techniques?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Stack 'n Whack

Hello, Blogland Friends!

After trying a new (to me) technique this weekend at my local quilt shop, I must say I'm rather hooked!

From Jason Yenter's "In the Beginning" fabric line.

I forgot to get a pic of the first step where you stack!  I tore every eight inches in the same spot (where the design repeated itself) - most everyone had a twelve inch repeat, but the eight-inch repeat worked out really nicely because it didn't waste as much fabric.  

Once you tear six strips of fabric, then you pin them all in place by locating a "spot" on the fabric that you want to match exactly - none of the edges lined up, but we trimmed those.  I picked out four different spots to match and smooth out.   When matching them up, the layers of fabric underneath seem to bunch up a bit, so you have to take the time to smooth them out nicely so it all lays perfectly flat.  So, that was the "stack".

Here's the "whack" where we cut 6 1/4" squares and then cut them each in half using a 45 degree marking line from our rulers.  Each half will create one entire block!  This means that from only six squares of fabric, you can create twelve blocks which makes this a fast quilt top!  Next, from the background fabric, we cut one 2 3/4" x WOF strip and cut four 
8 1/2" strips of that, then another 6 1/4" x WOF strip was cut for one 6 1/4" block cut in half on the 45 degree angle.
To sew one block you need:
Eight - 6 1/4" squares in half
Four - 6 1/4" squares in half
Four -  2 3/4" x 8 1/2" strips

The ironing technique is different because seams are pressed open.

The 8 1/2" strip must be trimmed away to create a triangle.

Sew the triangles together and ta-dah!

The center material above is the exact same material as the one beneath, but look how different each block looks - it's a magical effect!

How fun that the giraffes turned out so nicely!

Here is a finished tabletopper!

Have you ever tried this technique?

Do you like the kaleidoscope effect?

This is perfect for a busy fabric and with only two fabric choices that need to be made, it's simple to choose!

Best wishes,


PS  Sewing/quilting room makeover coming up!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Free Motion Quilting for April (Don Linn) via SewCalGal

Don Linn's book entitled "Free Motion Machine Quilting" arrived on April 5th and after enjoying his free, online tutorial on SewCalGal's blog and reading his book, then visiting about fifteen quilting blogger's websites to see what they experienced, I felt ready to prepare a baby quilt I am working on with an image of Pooh the Bear.  

Here's my pictoral:

I chose Aurifil 50w for both top and bobbin with a 70/10 needle, but switched to an 80/12 later after breaking the smaller needle (I believe it was due to the heavier flannel in the quilt).
I traced Pooh from a coloring book page, but left out a few of the finer details.  I did stop and start for each eyebrow, the eyes, the nose and his little mouth.  It was worth it!
I borrowed this ironing board idea from quilter's at a recent festival I attended.  This is simply an $8.50 USD wooden folding TV tray/table that I covered with an ironing board cover (cut to fit) and stapled to the underside.  It's portable, lightweight and great to work with!  
Thanks to several other SewCalGal FMQers who advised setting the Sharpie-marked bridal weight tulle with a nylon setting!  This helped alot since this is going to be a present!

I tried light-colored chalk first, but couldn't see it, so I decided to use the blue wash-away marker.  I was tempted to use the Frixion pen, but chickened out at the last moment.

***Isn't Pooh such a happy little guy?  His face brightens my day :-)***

Open-toe quilting foot on my Brother Innovis 4000D (you can get Disney machine embroidery designs for this machine from  Feed dogs down.

Here's the little guy (easier to see with the blue marker since I used ecru colored Aurifil.

Can you see Pooh's little nose and mouth after I washed his face? 

This was a very timely challenge - thank you Darlene of SewCalGal and Don Linn, free-motion machine quilter extraodinaire, a.k.a. Mr. Quilt!

Best wishes for a successful April FMQ to you!  


Friday, April 13, 2012

Hold the phone! Step right up and vote!

My wonderful, creative online artist friend has created her very own fabric at and would appreciate your vote for favorite sewing fabric!

Please vote HERE for Darla Royal's "Crafty Ladies/Bless This Creative Mess".

The amusing story behind this charming fabric can be found HERE.  

Good luck, Darla!!  

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Magazine-inspired quilting!

It has been a rather productive weekend, I'm happy to report!
I have two quilting magazine-inspired projects going...

Quilt block as wall art as inspired by American Patchwork & Quilting June 2012 Pg. 128

(I still need to get a staple gun that works - the one I purchased from WalMart didn't have a tension lever, so I'll have to return it.  I'm considering trying Ace Hardware or Sears next.  Any suggestions for me?)

Very interesting reading this month...I enjoyed the "Quilt Your Way!  Bend, Break or Follow the Rules" self-quiz and article.  By the way, I'm a "do it both ways" kind of about you?  Are you a 'follow the rules' type or a 'rule breaker' or do you enjoy some of both depending upon the project?

My second project is inspired by the following magazine article and the Kitties panel I purchased a month ago with my mother in mind....

Kitty Belles from McCall's Quick Quilts April/May 2012 pg. 17

Here's my version - all done with 10.5" blocks, five across and five down

I like the idea of a small inside border and larger outside border.

For the outside border and four of the inside blocks, I found a full-sized vintage sheet for $5.50
at the local second hand shop...

For the 4.25 yards backing I found 1930's inspired material for just $5.00/yd on sale at a local quilt shop (below left), I had dark blue polka dot on hand for the inside border and then I'll use the rest of the pink dotted floral vintage bed sheet for the outside border and I might use a solid red I had on hand for the binding....

potential backing, binding in red and inner border in dark blue polka dot

It was very quick work to cut out my 10.5" squares (although the pattern calls for 10.25")

I prefer to use my AccuQuilt cutter, but was concerned with the Kitties blocks - I wasn't sure I could get them spaced right, plus my AccuQuilt Go! cutter doesn't have a 10.5" option (it's too large), so I wanted to play it safe and purchased a Fons and Porter safety rotary cutter and a 10.5" grid to use as my guide (10.25 grids weren't something I could find and template plastic at my local quilt shop came in 8x11 only.)

This rotary cutter is one of the safest I've seen soon as you release the pressure, the blade instantly goes back into position, thanks to Fons & Porter for the great idea!

10.5 x 10.5 by Creative Grid
has 'sticky' dots on the back to help prevent slippage for better safety!

What have you been doing this weekend?  Please visit Linda's blog HERE for a fun feature on how her sister is creating and printing her own fabric - what an awesome opportunity from !

Has the unseasonably lovely weather got you out in the garden already?

Best Wishes!


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