Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Red-Work is Finally Going Together!

 Hey all!

Yey it's Oscar night!!  Anyone else watching tonight?  We watch them every year and really enjoy them.

I worked on my red-work quilt today and made some progress on it.  Every time I put a quilt top together I am struck over and over again with just how much time it takes to sew it together!  The first photo shows the top coming together with the blocks in a layout (see my little marking tabs pinned on?) and the vertical sashing on.  This took a couple hours all together.  Hard to believe isn't it?  I always think I'm in the home-stretch when I get to this point LOL!
No I didn't decide to tea-dye my quilt top!  It's just much later and night had fallen hence the more yellow tones.  Sorry!  Maybe I'll replace this photo tomorrow - but probably not ;-)  The horizontal sashing is now on and you can really see how the chain connects now.  I really like it!  This is going to be a big quilt!

Tomorrow I will hopefully attach the boarders.  I made the boarder corner-stones today as well so they should go on tomorrow - baring any unseen events of course!  I really like to set aside a chunk of time for doing the boarders so that I can take my time and do them properly.  Anytime I have ever rushed my boarders they are wavy and yuck!  So now - no way - I take my time with my boarders.

This quilt will unfortunately be hung on a hanger for a while once it is finished as it is my next quilt to go on the group hand-quilting frame and it's not close to my turn yet!  SO, why did I choose to work on this like mad for the last little while?  I just really felt like working on this to be honest.  Working on a red and white quilt during the month of February just felt so right; and, since I have put this quilt off for a couple years, I really wanted to strike while the iron was hot!

What about you all?  Did you do any red and white quilts this month?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Demonstrating the Go!

Last night at our quilt guild meeting it was "Tools and Gadgets Night."  Do you have that at your guild meetings?  If not you have to suggest it to your program chair!  It is sew much fun!

I demonstrated the Go! cutter last night to groups of very eager women who wanted to know what this machine is all about!  I've been talking about it for a while now but many of them have never seen it before!  can you imagine?  I mean I love mine - so I just wanted to spread the love a little further LOL!  It was lots of fun and I wore my Go! T-Shirt that Accuquilt sent me.  I brought my Very Pink Rag Quilt, since it made so much of a stir at my guild, and the tumbler quilt top that I completed.  I demonstrated cutting with the rag die, tumbler, value die, triangle in a square die, strip dies and applique dies - it was a lot to get through and I know that I forgot things but what fun!  This machine really needs to be demonstrated to see what it can do - since so many in the guild had never even heard about it, it seemed like a great demo for the guild.  I'll be demonstrating the Go! again in April at my local Go! dealer The Quilting Quarters.  Susan is holding a School House so that should be lots of fun and very informative!  So if you'd like to come and visit drop on by!  Susan has a wonderful quilt shop :-D

The only negative thing I can say about being a demonstrator is that I didn't get to see any of the other demos!  Ahh well I had a great time interacting with everyone, and, honestly, that is my favorite part of the guild meetings.

Since I'm going to be demonstrating again in April - what are the things that you would like to see if you came to see a demonstration on the Go?  What is important to you?

Happy Quilting All!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Couple Finished Quilts and a Couple New Projects

Hello all!  It been a few days since my last post but I have been so busy!  We had two birthday parties and a busy long weekend.

I saw a cute little clutch pattern in this month's Quilts and More magazine that used 2" squares and I just fell in love with it!  You all know how much I love my 2" square ;-)  They are such a great way to use up scraps and get a cute project from pretty much nothing.  Well this little darling fits my Kindle perfectly!  I made up one using some scraps from my Red-work Granny's Stars quilt that I am still piecing.  Working on that quilt just makes me smile so I thought that a little Kindle case would too - I was right!  I also made up another one, just in case, out of scraps.

After buying the magazine I went on the All People Quilt website and guess what?  The little pattern is up for free LOL!  If you would like to make your own clutch you can find it here.


Have you noticed that everyone seems to be playing with hexagons lately?  Hexagons are all over the blogs so I thought I'd better not be left behind!  I cut the plastic templates from cream cheese and yogurt lids etc and then got some great Amy Butler and Michael Miller etc fabrics and decided to see if I liked the process.  I do!  It's a nice hand project and it's quite relaxing.  I made most of these in the car the other day.  Don't worry - I wasn't driving.  I love the way the hexagons look in modern fabrics.  It's a nice juxtaposition to the old hexagon quilts.  I'm not really sure how I am going to arrange these yet - but so far so good!


If you want to try your hand at making the hexagons there are many tutorials on the web for making them. Just try Googling hexagon quilt tutorial!  There are lots!  I didn't like using paper for my templates though - I found it slipped.  So, that's why I chose the plastic instead.  Either method works.

Last night was our Silver Thimbles night and we had a couple of group photos to take to show off our quilting!  I know that I finished this sampler a while ago but somehow my camera memory card got corrupted and I couldn't retrieve our photo so we took another one.  This sampler I started back in 2001!  Needless to say I am thrilled it is finished and photographed.  You can read more about the story of the sampler here if you like ;-)   It really has had quite the journey!  This quilt is now back on our bad and I smile every time I look at it.
We also were able to photograph Joan's lovely charm quilt.  Every fabric is different in this quilt!  It was really fun to work on since it was so fun to look at all the different fabrics.  There were many vintage fabrics in this quilt and what amazed me, as we quilted it, was how many of the older fabrics are right back in style again.  So many of the fabrics from the 1950's 60's 70's etc are what is being released as the "new" fabrics for the season.  I was absolutely in love with a lot of the vintage prints and would love some yardage in them.  It just goes to show you - what is old is new again. 

Tonight is our quilt guild meeting night - it's Tools and Gadgets night and I can't wait!  It's one of my favorite nights of the guild year.  I'm going to be demoing my Accuquilt Go! cutter and I am really looking forward to it.  I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.  Does your quilt guild do a Tools and Gadgets night?

Happy Quilting all!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Winners!

Hello everyone!

We have a couple of lucky winners for a Lapel Stick!  I, once again, used the very technical pick a number between 1 and 31 valid entries and my son yelled 5 and then 21!  So congratulations to Mimi and Monika!  The winners have been notified and I will get your sticks out into the mail for you ASAP.  I just know that you are going to love this product as much as I do.  Congratulations!

I'm sorry I didn't post the winners last night.  We went to see the movie The Black Swan and it made me feel physically ill!  Don't get me wrong the movie was amazing and Natalie Portman was fabulous; but, it was so dark and disturbing that it really affected me.  We got home and I made chamomile tea and just sat until my stomach calmed down.  I haven't had that happen to me for a long time.  Has anyone else seen it yet? 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sew Cal Gal is doing a Valentine's blog hop featuring quilters that use Accuquilt products and I thought up this cute little Valentine's wall hanging that I wanted to share with you all!  It is a Valentine's snow-globe with confetti that moves around inside.  I hope that you enjoy my little project!
You will need the 2 1/2" strip die, the circle die and the large tumbler die.  You will also need various heart or Valentine's fabrics and some vinyl for the snow globe.  You will need a selection of beads and confetti that will look good inside your snow-globe.  I used some read beads and cupid and heart confetti.  Cut a 9 1/2" square of white fabric that will be your background fabric.  If you don't have these dies you can cut all the shapes by hand or rotary cutter.
First using the large circle on the die cut one circle of vinyl.  This is a little bit slippery since the vinyl is so slick.  The vinyl can be found at fabric stores and is used to make coverings for things.

 Using the small heart die cut three hearts.  I used three different heart fabrics but you could use just one if you wanted.  I didn't use fusible on the hearts for this project; but, you could back these with fusible before you cut them out if you wish.  Also cut 4 hearts from the same red fabric.
 Use your 2 1/2" strip die to cut a strip of fabric for your snow-globe base.  I used red fabric.  Next put your vinyl circle on the small edge of the large tumbler die until you find a place where the bottom edges intersect with the circle in a pleasing manner.  I put mine a couple of inches down.  Remove the vinyl and use your tumbler die to cut your base.
Center your three hearts under your vinyl for placement, using a fabric glue, I used Lapel Stick, and applique them down.  I used a red thread and the blanket stitch for this.  Next put your vinyl over the top and and applique the circle down but leave a open spot on the bottom of the circle.  You will need this spot to put your confetti in.  Don't worry this will get covered up later.  make sure that you don't use a satin stitch to applique down the vinyl or it will cut the vinyl.
 Put some beads into the circle.  The beads will allow the confetti to move around.  If you don't put any beads in the confetti won't move around at all.  I used red glass beads for my project.
 Next add some confetti.  I used hearts and cupids as well as an opaque round confetti.  You can get the confetti at dollar stores seasonally or in party stores.  I have quite a collection of seasonal confetti now!
Keeping the confetti at the top of the globe place the base on and applique it down.  I used a red thread and the blanket stitch again.  The appliqued base will seal off the bottom of the snow globe so that the confetti won't fall out.  I squared my fabric down to 8 1/2" at this point.








Cut 2 strips of red fabric at 1 1/2" for your first boarder.  And, cut 2 strips of your background fabric at 2 1/2" for your second boarder using the 2 1/2" strip die.  Place the 4 matching hearts in the corners over your first boarder and glue down.  Applique the hearts down - I again used the blanket stitch using red thread.
Layer your quilt and quilt as desired.  I decided to quilt this really densely and I like the effect on this little wall-hanging.  I decided that my globe base was a little too plain so I free-motion wrote Love on it using a zig-zag stitch and my wide darning foot.

I hope that you enjoyed my little Valentine's Day project!!  If you have any questions please feel free to post them here.

And, don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY!!  You can find all the information here!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Review of Lapel Stick and a GIVE-AWAY!! (now closed)

 Hello quilters!
The GIVE-AWAY is now closed!  Thank you to all who entered and congratulations to the lucky winners!

I was lucky enough to be asked to do a review of a fabric glue stick called Lapel Stick.  I have mentioned this product in my Valentines Fabric Postcard blog post to lightly fuse the hearts down and I really liked using it for that purpose; but, I thought that I would try Lapel Stick in a couple of less obvious applications.


First I thought that I would really challenge test this product to see how strong it was by using it to hold my binding down when I bring it to the front to machine sew on the binding.  I was very skeptical that this glue stick would be able to hold the binding down since you really have to hold it with pins or clips.  I applied the Lapel Stick to the binding and then folded it to the front and pressed it down with my hand.


I removed my hands from the quilt and guess what??

 

The Lapel Stick fabric glue was strong enough to hold the binding to the front!!!  I couldn't believe that this glue was this strong!  I then took the quilt to the machine and used a decorative stitch to hold the binding down.  I expected the needle to become gummed up a bit like it does with other fabric glue sticks.  Well, guess what?  The needle was not gummed up at all even after all four sides were stitched down!  I was so pleasantly surprised with this.  The binding remained soft and very nice.  Since this product is water-soluble it will come out in the first washing.  I think I am in love!

I have also tried using Lapel Stick to hold down the sashing strips in my Crazy Short Cut Quilts before I machine sew them down with a decorative stitch.  It worked amazingly well and, again, it didn't gum up the needle at all!  I'll be showing this product to my students in my Crazy Short Cut quilts class for sure!!

 

I next decided to using Lapel Stick to help me miter this border print on my son's quilt top.  I will provide a bit of a mitered border tutorial for you now so keep on reading!!  I sew my borders together - here I am using two borders.  Then I pin them onto the quilt body and sew all 4 sides on stopping 1/4" before the end of the quilt body.  I don't press at this point but I do take the quilt over to my ironing board and tackle each corner one at a time.  Lay out the quilt on the ironing board with the right boarder flat and fold the top boarder up on the diagonal - it will be a 45 degree angle.  Take your time with this step - it will be worth it!


You might want to increase the size of this photo to see the pins in this step.  Since this border print has lots of lines to match up I take my time and line up each of those lines and make sure that they are intersecting properly.  The pins are standing straight up and sticking right into the ironing board.  I do the same thing with the first boarder to make sure that the corners are all lined up.  This step takes a few minutes but it is sooooo worth it to make a spectacular miter.  When the lines are all matched up it really looks like you have multiple borders and it will really enhance your quilt.  Now I know that some of you are probably saying - umm Katrina that's not how you put pins in a quilt!  Don't worry the pins are just holding the position right now and are sticking into my ironing board.





Use your iron and give the areas between the pins a quick press so that you will have a sharp crease in your top fabric.  This step will be important a bit later.

Are you seeing why using your ironing board is so important to the way I miter my boarders?


This is where the Lapel Stick comes in!  I have used other fabric glues at this point that are heat activated and I was never very pleased with how they got really hard and were difficult to sew through.  I was very excited to try the Lapel Stick here.  I use my finger to lift the top fabric up between the pins and dab a bit of the fabric glue in the areas between the pins.  The Lapel Stick really holds the fabric in place.

 


Next remove the pins and take the quilt top to your sewing machine.  There are now no pins in the quilt top at all.  Starting at your stitching line where you stopped 1/4" before the end of your quilt sew directly on the crease that you pressed in earlier.  You may need to increase the size of the photo here to be able to really see the crease.  It is very visible while you're stitching it and the fabric glue is holding the layers together without shifting at all.  Lapel Stick didn't make the fabric hard at all and it was very easy to sew through.  I was extremely pleased!


And Voila!  We have a perfect miter!  The miter is still soft and not hard at all.  This will be easy to quilt through!

You will now miter the remaining three corners one at a time.  Once all the miters are done you can press your borders.

I've been doing my mitered borders this way and have always been pleased with the result - I am even more pleased now that my corners are not hard!  Lapel Stick gets two thumbs up from me!

If you have any questions about this little tutorial feel free to post them here and I will do my best to answer them!

Now for the GIVE-AWAY!!! (now closed)

Lapel Stick gave me two tubes to give-away to readers of my blog!!  This is a great product that I really think every quilter should try.

So now how to enter to win one of these tubes - I think that having two lucky winners will be the most fun here:

For one chance to win comment on this post!  Tell us how you would like to use Lapel Stick.  Please make sure that you are not a no-reply or anonymous poster - I need to have some way to contact you!!

For a second chance to win FOLLOW my blog and add another comment.  If you're already a follower just tell me that you are in the comments and you're entered!!!

For a third chance to win blog about my give-away and come back here and leave another comment telling me where I can find your post.

We'll draw on Friday so get entering and Good Luck!!

Also, come on back tomorrow for my special Valentine's Day Accuquilt Go project post!!!  I love the little project I made for Valentine's Day!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Another Great Quilty Day!

Oh I had a wonderful day today!  I got to teach sweatshirt jackets this morning and I had a great group of women taking the class.  The jackets are all going to be so different and so lovely - I can't wait to see them in a few weeks.  I promise to take my camera and show some pictures next time.  I just love teaching this class because there is no set pattern for the class it is just the method.  And, teaching the method allows people to see that they can do any jacket that they want - the sky is the limit!  I like to teach classes that allow people room for creativity instead of just teaching a pattern.  I think that may be one of the reasons that I am so attracted to teaching Crazy Short Cut Quilts.  there is so much room for individual expression and creativity.

After my class I drove over to my Accuquilt dealer and grabbed the 2 dies I had ordered.  I ordered the 2" square die and the 5" square die.  I wasn't going to order these but after cutting down so many scraps using the rotary cutter I thought - why not - it is sew much easier!  I came home, marked the dies, and started cutting.  What a joy!  So much easier, faster and more accurate.  I love them and am so happy I got them!  I will be demoing the Accuquilt Go! at my next quilt guild meeting and I am looking forward to it - so many of the guild members had never even heard of the Go! before so I think that this will be a great demo for them all - and me!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Another Twister and More Red-work!

 I found a neat pattern online for a Twister Wreath quilt and just had to try it ;-)  The pattern comes out in how the blocks are laid out and it actually not difficult at all!  You can see the lay-out here.  I know that it is well after Christmas; but, there is always next year - and, I figure, it's better to be late/early for next year rather than not doing the pattern at all.  I am going to be teaching the Twister rulers at my LQS and I think that this will be a great shop display for my fall/winter classes this year.  I always get so busy come September that I know I never would have made this if I didn't do the project when the inclination struck!  I quilted this in feathers using Yenmet metallic thread and I just love the effect.  The quilting was the first thing a couple of my friends noticed when they saw the quilt.  I just love metallic thread - it's sew yummy.
I'm still slowly working away on my Granny's Stars quilt blocks.  Because this is a "planned scrappy" quilt, I am laying out each block to make sure that the fabrics are not replicated anywhere they shouldn't be, and, to make sure that nothing gets flipped.  Consequently, each block is getting worked up one at a time.  It's a slower process but I think that it will be worth it in the end.  I have 5 of the 12 blocks pieced and squared up. 

I love the bright red, saturated fabrics in this quilt.  It's really making me happy and working on a red and white quilt in February just feels so right.  I've had these fabrics in my stash for a while (pre-washed and pressed even) but I just wasn't in that place to get going on it.  I think it's because when I re-sized this pattern a lot of the measurements ended up being odd - like 3 3/16" types of things - so I put it off for a long time.  All of a sudden I felt like working on it.  Maybe it's because I've been pulling so many projects out of my quilt closet and making great progress on them?  I don't know why really - but - all of a sudden I really wanted to get to work on it.  So, once again, I decided to strike while the iron was hot and got to work.

Are you like that as well quilters?  Do you have to be in the right place mentally to pick up a project?  Do you stick to one project at a time?  Or, do you work on whatever strikes your fancy?

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Lots of Quilting!

Hello quilters!
I can't tell you all how happy I am to report that I can honestly say that I quilted all weekend and i wasn't even on a retreat!!  How cool is that?!

First of all I pulled out my Dessert Nine-Patch quilt that I put away back in November.   I started this way back in August!  You know how it is ~ Christmas projects take precedence at that time of year and I had to put this one aside.  Well I got it out and just couldn't stop working on it.  I finished piecing the rest of the nine-patches and then laid it all out on the floor to arrange it into something pleasing.  I got the lay-out done on Friday night.
Saturday came and I continued to pin the rows together and sew - and pin - and sew.  And yes, once again, I was in my pajamas while sewing.  That's probably one of my favorite things - sewing in my PJ's!

I worked on this until the top was together.  It was a nice relaxing day!
At this point the pattern finishes but I thought that the quilt looks unfinished.  I started going through my stash and found that orangey-yellowy batik that is in some of the nine-patches; but, I don't have enough to do long boarders. So, now I'm toying with the idea of doing pieced boarders.  Maybe a square in a square boarder with the rust in the center.  I do have enough of the darker background batik but I don't think that will be enough of an impact for me.  So I hung this quilt up while I pondered my options.
 Next, I pulled out my red and white quilt.  This quilt has been put away for a while (yes, yes in the closet) with all the fabric washed and pressed and the red-work embroideries finished.  I finally pulled it out and pieced 3 of the 15 blocks.  These blocks are really big! 20.5" unfinished!  I found the pattern in a 2009 Love of Quilting magazine but the blocks weren't big enough to incorporate the embroideries so I re-drafted it in EQ and came up with these blocks.  They are large but I think that that quilt is going to be really nice.
Here's a close-up of one of the blocks.  A couple of the patches look pink in this picture but rest assured they are not pink in real life.

Working with these vibrant fabrics and pure tones of reds and whites is really making me happy.  I love working with a white back-ground instead of cream lately.  For the longest time I worked almost entirely with cream back-grounds but lately I've wanted to lighten things up and work with whites instead.  It's really a nice change and I am enjoying it.

So quilters ~ what did you all work on this weekend??

Friday, February 04, 2011

We Have Winner!

Hello all!!
     I just got back from teaching part one of my Crazy Shortcut Quilts class and I can't wait until part two to see what these ladies create!  Sometimes I wonder who is more excited - them or me - to see their blocks ;-)

     Ok, ok we have a winner!  Thanks to everyone who entered!  We had 31 entries all together and I decided to use the highly technical way to pick one.  I shouted over to my kids "Pick a number between 1 and 31!" and my youngest yelled "11!"  So our winner is Dee!  Congratulations Dee!!  I hope that you will love your prize.

Last Chance to Get in on the Giveaway!

Last chance quilters!  I will be drawing later today for the winner of my Birthday Giveaway!!!  You can still get in the action by traveling here!

I'll draw a name after I get home from teaching my Crazy Shortcut Quilts class!!

Good Luck!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Another UFO Top Done!

I'm on a roll!  I pulled yet another UFO out of the closet today and got to work on it!  My oldest son chose all these fabrics, and the pattern, and pieced the center of this quilt top about 3 years ago.  He did an amazing job with his 1/4" seams and everything - I was so proud of him.  Then he chose a jungle boarder print from my stash and decided that he absolutely had to have it as a second boarder.  I thought - gack! - I have to miter those boarders and they have lots of points to match up.  Needless to say, it got put on a hanger and hung in my quilt closet for a few years.  Occasionally he would ask me about it and I would say that I still hadn't sewn on the boarders yet.

Well today was the day - I pulled it out and got those boarders on - 4 miters on the 2 boarders done at the same time.  It's not that I find miters hard - it's just that they are time consuming.  I am extremely fussy about my mitered boarders and this particular one had a lot of lines to match up and I wanted them to perfectly match up.  So I took my time and spent a couple hours getting the two mitered boarders on and they lay nice and flat now.  I think this quilt is calling out for a variegated thread!

When my son came in, from playing in our newly fallen snow, he was so happy to see his quilt!  I now feel silly for putting this off for sooo long when it honestly wasn't a hard job - just a fussy one.

Quilters do you ever do that?  Put a quilting job off just because you have reached a task you don't love?

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Progress on the Plaid Tumbler Quilt

Well I seem to have caught whatever my son had last week.  I woke up at 3 am with a really sore throat and throughout the day I just felt worse and worse.  Just a bad cold ~ a classic cold really.  But, I feel yucky!

I was just out of sorts today so I pulled the plaid tumbler quilt out of my quilt closet.  Remember back in October in 2010 when I cut this out and worked on the lay-out??!!  Well, it has sat in a bag until then.  I needed something to keep my hands busy so I pulled this out and laid it out on the floor and slowly pieced the top together.  It was slow going, not because this is a difficult quilt, quite the contrary; it was slow because I was moving slow LOL!  It was the perfect piecing project for feeling under the weather.  No difficult points or intersections.  It went together quite nicely and I am glad to have the top finished.

Note:  I decided I didn't mind those two pink plaids being on top of each other ~ they are actually different plaids so I decided that since this is a throw I was fine with it!

Can you sew when you feel ill?  Or do you just lay in bed?  I was fidgety today so sewing was a good option  and big blocks were the answer!

Have you entered my Birthday Giveaway??  It ends on Friday so there is still time!  You can catch all the details in this post.