Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Quick and Easy Flying Geese Units

I had seen this method of constructing Flying Geese units on various blogs in the past, but it looked way too complicated for me, so I never bothered to give it a try.  However, the directions for a quilt I'm currently working on didn't allow for any other methods, so I had to put on my "big-girl panties" and proceed with this technique.

It works!
And, it's super easy and and quick, and it yields perfectly stitched Flying Geese units with no waste!

Below are step-by-step photos:

Voila, four perfectly-stitched Flying Geese units!

Now I have all kinds of Flying Geese quilts I want to make, including this one!

*Note:  Click here for the link to the directions to make your own"Fast Flying Geese".

Also, Omnigrid makes a set of three 1/2" wide  x 4", 6" and 12" rulers that work great for marking the double stitching lines.  Clear here for the link.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Another Quilt Top for Ronda

I finished stitching this quilt top just in time to take it out for a photo shoot at the college on a beautiful summer evening.  There is something so magical about the lighting at this time of day....

Thanks again, Ronda, it's always a pleasure stitching for you!

Friday, June 17, 2016

T-Shirt Quilt #2 for Jessica

 Jessica discovered a few more of her mother's T-shirts that she wanted turned into another quilt.
There were just enough to make a small throw!  I also incorporated scraps from the infinity scarves we had made to fill in the empty spaces. 

Jessica had me incorporate business cards from her mom's previous businesses into labels for the back of the quilt; I simply scanned them and printed them onto fabric with my inkjet printer as before.  

I usually machine tack my T-shirt quilts with the button stitch on my Bernina, but this time I decided to try a large stipple.  I can't decide which look I prefer, but it's actually quicker to machine quilt a large stipple than it is to do the tacking stitch!  If you do the tacking stitch, you have to clip each and every thread tail which can be tedious and time consuming, especially if you use an invisible thread.  (Trust me, I know!)

Love this backing fabric I found at Good's....  It's has a vintage feel, but the colors are bright and clear enough for the primary colors of T-shirts .  
Fortunately there was enough left over to add into my stash.  :)

And, a polka dot binding in a pretty shade of blue ties everything together!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Scrappy Trip Around the World - The First 25

I had to take this finished Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt top outside for a photo shoot this evening to fall back in love with it.  It is incredibly ugly up close - just UGLY!!  In fact, I seriously contemplated throwing in the towel because I just couldn't stand working with such nasty fabrics.  But, I pressed on, and I'm so glad I did!

This quilt contains scraps from my first 25 years of quilting, as well as fabrics from the cardigan sweatshirts I made to sell back in the 80's (remember them - they were all the rage!!), so this represents about 30 years of my fabric journey.  There are a number of lovely fabrics included in this quilt, but the uglies are what shout the loudest and insist on taking center stage.

But, when you look at it from a distance (natural lighting certainly helps!!), those ugly fabrics come together to make a lovely design!

That applies to our lives too, doesn't it!  All the ugly experiences and not-so-nice happenings can come together and create a lovely life too, if we're willing to take the time to stand back and take another look....

It's hard to explain, but I felt such a need to use these ugly fabrics in one more quilt before moving on.  They represented so many things -  all the sewing projects I worked on before learning to quilt.  That first sampler quilt class I took 25 years ago with Terri Good.  All those quilts I stitched in my early years.  My first apartment in Columbia with plenty of space in the kitchen for sewing space.  My reliable Kenmore sewing machine I bought right after I graduated from college.  Shopping for fabric with my friend Denise.  And on and on the memories go.  

Now that I have this quilt to document my quilting journey, I went through my stash and got rid of all my ugly fabrics, anything I'm no longer in love with, and the fabrics that no longer "spark joy".  Many of them were too ugly to pass on to friends or members of my quilt guild, so I simply took them to my local thrift shop where they will be given a second life.

It's been so meaningful to hit this 25-year milestone, as well as reflect on where my next 25 years of quilting might take me....  I'm looking forward to working with scraps i love!

I'm hoping to finish up this ugly duckling in time for the big Etown fair, but I'm not sure the judges will see its beauty....  

Saturday, May 14, 2016

In Memory of a Mother, Part II

Ever since learning about Binding Love Scarves, I knew an upcycled scarf would be the perfect way to memorialize a loved one using their clothing.  

I had stitched a T-shirt quilt for Jessica out of her mom's T-shirts earlier in the year, but she also had an assortment of clothing in prints that Jessica clearly remembered.  These articles of clothing weren't appropriate for a T-shirt quilt, but they were perfect for this project.

To make the scarves, I cut the fabric into varying lengths that were 9" wide, then stitched them together until I had 2 lengths of pieced fabric that were 60" long.  Then, I placed the lengths of fabric right sides together, stitched along both side seams, turned it inside out, and stitched the ends closed.
(Note: the Binding Love Scarves are closer to 52", but I chose to make these a bit longer.)

I knew the scarves needed to have a label after seeing the labels on the Binding Love Scarves.  

To make the scarf labels, I simply scanned the remembrance card that was distributed at her funeral, then printed it onto Kona cotton, just like I did for the t-shirt quilt.
  Click here for the details.

I trimmed the labels with a rotary cutter using a pinking blade, and then topstitched it onto the fabric.

How special to be able to incorporate the very same shirt that Jessica's mom was wearing in this photograph!

I love that you can use a wide assortment of fabric in this project, and that every scarf will be unique.

What better way to remember a loved one than to wrap their clothing around your neck!
Hugs to you, Jessica!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Jen Kingwell-Inspired Applique

I just stitched up this pillow sample for my upcoming Starch & Freezer Paper Method Applique class at The Old Country Store.  

I knew I wanted to cover the basic shapes (circles, hearts, stars, stems and leaves), but was stumped how to incorporate all those shapes into a project someone would actually want to stitch!  

Thankfully Jen Kingwell's work came to mind, so I was able to sketch out a design in her style that included each of those shapes.

This background fabric is so fun - it actually lists lots and lots of quilt shops around the country, 

including some of the quilt shops I visited in Oregon last summer!

I did a simple envelope cover on the back,

and machine stitched the binding to save some time.
(I'm getting better and better at that technique - glue basting is the secret!)

Click here for the link to register for my class on June 29th!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Another Finish!

Spring is here, and I have lots of yard work and garden planting to do.  So what do I do instead?  Stitch the binding on another quilt, of course!

The color aqua does seem to make a frequent appearance in my quilting these days, not to mention my home.  I just can't get enough of it!  Hopefully it won't be as dated of a color as that 80's peach, once my fascination with it wanes!

This is the last of the aqua/red/pink quilts, I believe!  I took the rest of my scraps, cut them into squares, and made half square triangles with them.  

This dear backing fabric by Sarah Jane dictated the size of the quilt..  At 41 x 49", I just squeaked by with one WOF.  In fact, I had to trim the quilt down a bit on the one side so that the selvage print didn't show!  :{

When it came time for the machine quilting, I really wanted to do rows of tall loops like Kathy O. does, but I just couldn't get the hang of them.  After several attempts (and several ripping sessions!), I gave up and settled on a spiral design to give the pinwheels some movement.

I always love taking photos of the binding.  :)

(This little chair has served me well when it comes to photographing my quilts!)

I contemplated putting this quilt up for sale, but not sure I can part with it!