Saturday, November 15, 2014

More Log Cabin Quilting

Hi all!

While many of you are getting snowed in we had a lovely fall day today!  And what better way to spend a day than teaching a quilting class!

Today I taught at a guild about an hour away from me and taught the Log Cabin block using the Accuquilt Go! Log Cabin die.  We had a great day and everyone left happy with their blocks and the things that they learned.  I always try to offer lots of little tips on piecing or pressing etc so that people leave happy and, hopefully, inspired.


Here are our blocks for the day.  Some are two colour, some are planned and some are scrappy - they are all beautiful!


A couple of weeks ago I taught this class at another location and once again the blocks turned out beautifully!  Lots of variation in colours and themes but they all are great.

I think that the log cabin is a favourite of almost everyone.  It is so versatile and it can use up so many scraps!  It is such an old block but it can be made in any theme of fabric - traditional, brights, batiks, funky - you name it!


One of my participants had this great tip - she used these paper clips to keep her stacks of logs together and organized.  Awesome!  This is perfect if you have to transport your fabrics, have your windows open or even if you have a playful cat in your house.  Great idea!

Have you made a log cabin quilt before?  Was it planned or scrappy?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Quick Curve Ruler

Hi all!

Recently I purchased the "Quick Curve Ruler" by Sew Kind of Wonderful.  I know, I know - it's pretty shocking that I purchased a ruler when I die cut but this is a great ruler!  It easily cuts curves but more than that it is the patterns that they have!  They are amazing!  So fresh and cool and very well written.  Since I just got the ruler I decided to make the table runner pattern that comes with the ruler.


Cool huh!?  Pretty simple and a great way to get to learn to use the ruler.  I pulled the fabrics from my stash.


I decided that since the runner was so simple, and, being inspired by the quilting on the Sew Kind of Wonderful blog, that, it was just asking for some really dense and cool quilting!  I used FilTech Glide thread top and bobbin and went to town with some scribbles, pebbling and ribbon curl quilting.  I really like it - what do you think?

I am now working on another pattern using the ruler and once again I am pleased with how it is turning out!  Have you tried this ruler before?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Log Cabin Class!

Hi all!

I taught not only a Go Club today but a log cabin class!  We used the Accuquilt Go! Log Cabin die and then assembled a couple of blocks.  Everyone did extremely well and were very pleased with the results.


It was so fun to watch the participants when they saw that HOURS of work was completed in just a couple of minutes of cutting with the die.  I know that this die has a few limitations but overall I am very happy with it and absolutely LOVE how fast and accurate it makes a log cabin!

I don't know what it is about the log cabin block and me.  It draws me.  Maybe it's the history, or the mythology behind it; or, maybe it is the simplicity of it.  Whatever it is I love this block!

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Log Cabin on the Go!

Hi all!

I wanted to share this log cabin quilt with you all!  Not only because I love it - but because it has a bit of a story to go along with it.  You know that I have been busy preparing my store samples for my fall classes - but this quilt and I made a little journey together.


Before I get to the story - this quilt was entirely die cut using the log cabin die for the Accuquilt Go! machine.  I love this die and how easy it is to make a completely accurate log cabin block.  They all turned out the same size!  It was great - no discrepancies between the blocks!  It is quilted with FilTech Glide thread in Tabriz Orchid top and bobbin and cotton batting.

We had a long weekend with friends planned in the Finger Lakes region.  Since the forecast was calling for rain I figured I would get a couple projects together to take with me.  Quilt geeky huh?  

4 people packing into a car for over a week away meant that I was going to have to pack small and plan well!  To justify bringing things along with me I had to make it fit a small part of the trunk.


I packed all my sewing gear into a small art organizer.  If it couldn't fit in this tote - it didn't come along.  I had a grabbit with pins, thread, rotary cutter and small ruler, small travel iron, scissors and a thread bag as well as two pre-cut quilting projects.  I was a little ambitious with the two projects but hey!  LOL!  I also had the June Tailor cutting and pressing board to save space.  It isn't my favorite but it's good for traveling.  You can see my little Goiron (a travel iron) it is great for classes or travel - I really like the little guy!  The only thing I didn't pack was a small spray bottle of starch :-(  Next time I will for sure!  I also took over the little kitchen table  that we had in our room - hey, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!


I also took my Pfaff Passport sewing machine.  For those of you that haven't met her yet this is my fourth Pfaff - Paige.  This is a great little machine that is made for being on the go!  It is great for travelling or classes.  It sews like a dream and has the built in IDT.  See my leaders and enders?  Travelling is no excuse not to do leaders and enders!


Travelling also means that you have to make do with smaller quarters!  The blocks had to go on the floor in between already tight furniture but I got the job done.  I wanted to make sure that I didn't use the same print in each block twice so I had to lay out the blocks.

I am so glad that I packed this quilt along for vacation because it was a really fun experience to bring it along and I have a lot of great memories associated with the quilt now (and that the quilt is finished!).  

This definitely will not be my last travel quilt!

Monday, September 01, 2014

Storm at Sea

Hi all!

I have always loved the Storm at Sea quilt pattern.  I love the illusion of curves even though everything has straight edges.  It's so visually interesting and has so much movement!

I posted a couple pictures of the beginning of this quilt  and since I finally finished it I thought that I would post a picture of the finished quilt - ready to hang!


Ta da!  I love the way that it turned out!  I love the Kona solids and I love the quilting pattern!  I used my Loricles grooved board in Egyptian Eye.  I thought that it would give the illusion of waves across the quilt.  I quilted it in 40 wt Glide thread, top and bobbin, in Turquoise.  Love that Glide thread!

This quilt was all die cut using the pattern that comes with die number 55319 the half square 1 1/2" finished triangle.  I made a change to the pattern though and next time I make a Storm at Sea quilt I would make one more change.  I added on one die to the quilt.  The 3" Finished Quarter Square Triangle die - either for the Studio or the Go!  By adding in this die I eliminated pricing together 2 HSTs to make a QST unit, and, therefore bulk in the seams - yey!  There is a lot, and I mean a lot of point to point action going on here and getting rid of seam bulk is pretty major!  Next time I would use my 3.5" strip die to make the diamonds instead of pricing them with 2 triangle in a square units.  Again - less bulk!

I love to find ways to simplify patterns so that I have less work.  Sometimes less is more!


I used a batik wind-back that I had a meter of for the backing.   I love how it picks up the colours in the top of the quilt!

Now onto the next store sample!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Class Samples

Every year I make myself the same promise - I will get my class samples done, for the fall, in the summer!  And, regrettably every year I cram at the end - last minute LOL!  I am almost finished and I will have more blog posts for you; but, I thought that I would share a quick post to let you know what I have been doing.

Sorry the pictures are dark but you'll get the idea I am sure!

This fall I will be teaching several classes using the Accuquilt dies as well as the regular Accuquilt Go! Club that I teach and I needed to get my samples finished.

I had been making great progress with lots of them and then I remembered that I needed to get another one finished.  I already had the fabric washed and prepared I just needed to cut.

So cut I did and of course that went quickly


All the lovely little triangles, perfectly cut and ready to go!

Several hours later I had all the units ready to go together into the blocks.


I am making the Storm at Sea pattern that comes with the 1.5" Finished HST die.  I thought that it would be nice for the participants if they didn't have to purchase a pattern for the class as well as the dies.  So far I am very happy with how it is turning out!  I love green and blue colour combinations and the Kona solids are so nice to work with!  Now to pin these rows together.

Once I finish this top I will be loading 3 different tops onto my frame and quilting up a storm!

I have more pictures to share with you once I get access to my husband's phone - he took pictures of me quilting on my travel machine while we were at a lodge on vacation - LOL!   I know, I know - but I honestly got a lot done and it didn't take up that much room once I packed everything correctly; and, believe it or not - I got a lot done!

What do you think?  Do you like my idea for a class?  Are you interested in die cutting classes or are you content to work from home?


Sunday, July 06, 2014

Chinese Coins


Hi all!

I finished a UFO from my quilt closet the other day and I am fairly happy with how it turned out.  The biggest thing I am happy about is that it is finished more than anything.

This is a traditional "Chinese Coins" quilt - very simple pattern.  I completely cut this using my Accquilt strip dies.  The strip sets and sashing were made with the 2.5" strip die and then sub-cut with the 4.5" strip die.  It was a very easy pattern for a lap quilt.

 

What got me to finish this quilt was that I purchased another groove board from Loricles called "The Egyptian Eye" and it is the perfect quilting motif for the simple lines of this quilt.   I absolutely love the texture it creates!  I know that I will be using this board over and over again - I think it's my new favorite.

 

You can see the quilting a little better in this photo - so cool!  This will be a great quilt for summer :-)

I used 40 wt Fil-Tech Glide thread top and bobbin in white and I love the subtle shine of the thread.   It is my new go-to thread.  I have very few problems with it and the pre-wound bobbins last forever.  When I have to wind a bobbin myself now I realize how spoiled I am with the pre-wounds.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Yard Sale Find of the week!

The quilting yard sale gods must really like me!  I went to some yard sales again this morning and I came away with this!

 

It is a rolling stool!  I have wanted one for a long time to use in front of my longarm for doing detail work.  But I just couldn't justify the large price tag for a saddle stool.  well today was my lucky day.  I was able to get this dental stool at a yard sale for  - wait for it - $2.00!! I couldn't say no to that for sure!  I just saved myself a couple hundred dollars - and if I am not nuts about it eventually - hey it was only $2!

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Night Sky Tablerunner is Finished!

Hi all!

I am so happy to report that my Night Sky test-run table-runner is finished!  t was a sucess in that i got to test the quilting that i was thinking of doing.  And it was a failure in that  really don't like how  quilted it LOL!  Since my Bridal Wreath Spireas are in full bloom I thought that I would try to capture them in the shots.

 

I do like the table-runner over-all.  I mean it will work - it will sit on a table perfectly well -I just have no desire to quilt the whole quilt like this.  I think it is too fussy without enough differentiation between the size of the quilting elements.

 

This is a better shot so that you can see the quilting in the stars - I like that part very much.  It was inspired by the quilting that Angela Walters did.

 

In this shot you can see the background fills more if you zoom in.  Not crazy about the pebbling (and I love pebbling!) but not in this case.   Time to re-think and try something smaller ;-)  All in all its is a nice runner and a great test piece!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Yard Sale Buy!

Hi all!
I hope that you are all enjoying the nice weather and spending a bit of time outside!  This morning my Mother and I decided to go yardsaling and we had a blast!  It's always fun to see what is out there and we get to spend some time together sans kids!

This morning I was at the yard sale of a quilting friend of mine and she happened to be selling this!

 
The Elna Press Alize! 

 

Here it is open.  I have wanted one of these for a while to press out my finished rug hooked pieces.  Even though it was a reasonable price I at first hesitated.  But, after I got home I thought - why not!  So, I went back and grabbed it..

I had a spot in my sewing studio that was pretty much just covered in what ever I needed to throw somewhere that turns out to be the perfect spot for it; so, I cleared it off and it fits perfectly.

I switched it on and wow does it do a great job of quickly pressing those blocks and units.  I know that I will be very happy with this addition :-)  My husband is also happy b/c he will be able to iron his work shirts LOL!!

I love yard sales :-D







Sunday, May 18, 2014

Scrappy Trips is Finished!

Done and done!  Quilted and bound!

  

Scrappy Trips is finished and ready to be donated.  I am very happy with how this turned out.  I am extremely thrilled with how many scraps this used up.  My 2.5" strip bin is nearly empty after my New Years mystery quilt and this one.  I backed this with a large piece of flannelette I have had forever and didn't really have any use for but didn't want to get rid of.  Even the binding was EXACTLY the right amount to bind the quilt with very little left-over.  Awesome!  I think that I will try to keep one of these on the go to be donated.

 

Here's a close-up of the quilting I used my loricles swirls grooved board and  a 40 weight variegated cotton thread top and bobbin.  I have to say - after working with Glide thread so much I forgot how temperamental and linty cotton thread can be!  Don't get me wrong I still like it but you definitely cannot move the machine as fast as with the Glide thread. 

I am really enjoying doing these charity quilts again.  I feel like it is a win-win situation.  I use up scraps, get to quilt; and, I am not storing yet another lap quilt that I honestly don't need.  I mean really - how many quilts does a girl need?!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Sick Day Sewing

Hey all!

I have a wicked spring cold and it has really taken me down.  I can't do anything requiring strength or deep thought  and that has resulted in me being extremely bored!  I wanted to do some sewing but I don't feel up to doing too strenuous.  I remembered my Scrappy Trip Blocks (Bonnie Hunter inspired!) and thought that I would sew some together of them for a charity quilt.


You wouldn't believe how long this took me to do LOL!  It was like I was sewing in slow motion.  It is a little bit big for a Victoria's Quilts but I think they will still accept it. 

Hmm now to find something else to do.  Are you able to sew while you're not feeling well?  Any suggestions?

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Testing the Quilting

Hi all!

What a fine, rainy day it is today!  It is the perfect day to stay in your pajamas and play if you ask me!

I have been wanting to get quilting on Night Sky but I was a little apprehensive because what I want to do is a bunch of techniques that I haven't done a lot of before.  Then I remembered the left-over blocks from the quilt!

I grabbed the blocks and pieced them together into a runner so that I could test-quilt without the pressure ;-)  These are the less than perfect blocks so if it's not perfect I won't be too upset at myself.

I decided to double layer the batting as well; cotton on the bottom and silk on the top to see how I like quilting with a double layer - might as well try it out here and not on the quilt!

 

Now I am just laying out a few different threads to see what colours I like and then I can get to work.  I think I have everything I was needing for this quilt, sigh, I was really hoping that I could justify some thread purchasing LOL!! Maybe next time.

So any thoughts about the threads?  I am envisioning some pretty heavy quilting on this one so it should be fun to see where it all goes!  Time to bring over some more light so I can see on the black.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Snack Time - Converting a Pattern to Die-Cutting

Hi all!

Ever since I finished the Night Sky top I felt like making another one of Julie Herman's patterns; so, while I was at my LQS I picked up Snack Time.

 

Isn't it cute!?  I started to really look at it and thought - hmm that looks like it is put together the same way that Accuquilt uses the equilateral triangles to piece hexagons into horizontal rows!  That got me to thinking about this quilt.  

I am often asked by newer die-cutters how to know when they can die cut a project and how to know which die to use.  I will explain my process of how I converted this pattern from rotary cutting to die-cutting.  It is much easier than you think!

Sometimes, it is easy to convert a pattern because it is all in strips and you can figure it out easily; but, sometimes a quilt is made with different shapes, like Snack Time, and you are uncertain how to proceed.  Sometimes you just need to follow the directions and cut one of the shapes and then see if you have the corresponding dies.  Sometimes, it is easier than that!

 

This pattern uses either the templates provided or the Hex N More ruler.  I LOVE it when patterns provide templates!  Look at those shapes - they look an awful lot like some die shapes I own! I used my dies and cut paper shapes and compared them to the template shapes.

 

So I grabbed some of the new Go! die release and the old hexagon die and compared them.  I used my dies and cut paper shapes and compared them to the template shapes.  They were not exactly the same size but close enough that it would still work and because all of these dies work together I knew that the blocks would go together!

The dies I used are:

Again, these are not exactly the same size but they work in the end!  When you first start converting patterns you have to sometimes take a leap of faith and try one block - it gets easier with practice.

 

See how pretty they are turning out!  This will be a nice, cheerful quilt when it is finished I think!


Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Night Sky

Hi all!

It is finally starting to look like spring here!  I can't even tell you how excited this makes me!  I think everyone has had a long hard winter and we're all anxious for some heat.

I have been busy sewing away on my Night Sky Quilt - the pattern is by Jaybird Quilts and uses her Sidekick ruler.  Well, finally the top is finished!!


What do you think?  I am really pleased with the way that it turned out!   I loved the colours in the pattern so we stuck pretty much to them for this quilt and I love the way that the colours sizzle.  It makes me think that spring is indeed coming - someday.

You know that I love to die cut; so, I figured out a way to die cut a pretty fair amount of the project so that I would have to rotary cut!  I was able to use my 3.5" strip die for all of the initial cuts - yey! - and use the same strip die for the diamonds by marking the 60 degree lines - big yey!  However, I couldn't figure out a way to cut the star points without quite a bit of waste :-(  So, for those, I had to use the sidekick ruler.  But, the blocks are framed in 1.5" strips so I was able to cut all of those without and problems. 

I really enjoyed this quilt and the challenge of putting it together.  I love that Julie writes he patterns for the more experienced quilter as well - not everything is spelled out in minute detail - she assumes that we do indeed know a few tricks and that really makes me happy. 

I was so happy with this quilt that i dropped it off at my LQS today, to be a store sample, and, I purchased another one of her patterns called Snack Time.  I think I might be able to die-cut the entire thing!!!  I will keep you posted ;-)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cutting

Cutting, cutting and more cutting!

This is what I have been doing when I can.  Life has been crazy busy and I haven't had as much time as I have wanted to sew.

I am working on Jaybird Quilts' quilt Night Sky and loving all the solids!  The quilt uses her Sidekick ruler; but, I figured out a way to cut quite a bit of it using my Studio cutter!  I was able to cut all of the 3.5" strips, using my strip cutter; and, using the strip cutter again cut all the parallelograms on the right.  That was easy peasy!  I could figure out how to cut the triangles using the die cutter without quite a bit of waste so I used the ruler.

 

Sigh, when you are accustomed to die-cutting - rotary cutting takes forever and the rulers are so slippery!  I used True Grips on the bottom of the ruler and that helped but wow cutting those triangles took forever and a day :-)  And, I had to re-cut a couple of pieces because the ruler slipped and they were inaccurate.  I know - I am spoiled by my Studio cutter ;-)

Oh well, now the cutting is complete and I can get to the sewing!  I can't wait to see these colours come together!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Raggy Rectangle Trick!

Hi all!

I know I haven't blogged for a while!  I caught the virus that has been going around here and frankly I haven't felt like doing anything much or that I could do much :-P

I had my Accuquilt Go! Club yesterday and we featured the rag dies.  I pulled out my bin of orphan rag blocks to take with me and saw just how many of them I have and thought - I wonder if there is enough of like colours for a little quilt?  So, last night I made this.

 

A nice little lap quilt good for the Christmas season.  Needless to say this used quite a few of those orphan blocks and also some Minecraft Creeper Quilt scraps - yey!  This quilt uses the large and small rag squares and the now discontinued rag rectangle (the Go! is discontinued but the studio one still exists).  I have often thought that it was a real shame that the Go! rectangle was discontinued as it works so well with the other two dies and you can make so many different patterns with it.  This one is a sort of Take-5 Variation and it is wonderful for using up bits :-)

 

Here is the old rectangle next to the old large square.  One day I was looking at these and thought - hmmm, I wonder . . . . . 

 

If you cut a 5 1/4" strip from your flannel fabric (or whatever you are using) fold it in half lengthwise and then lay it across the LARGE rag die right next to the blades.

 

You only need to cover the are of the die that you are using with your cutting mat and run it through your cutter.

 

Unfold your fabric and there it is!

 

You have an exact replica of the raggy rectangle without the die!  If you are using the newer rag dies this would have the corners cut out but that's not what I have (so I would manually cut these out myself).

So there you go!  A little quilt and a new trick.  Enjoy!

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Pattern Testing Pillow

Hi all!

I hope that you are all enjoying your winter, or, at the very least, getting some sewing done while spending time indoors - I know that I am!

I am trial testing a pattern to teach a class on it.  I was attempting to die cut some, if not all, of the pattern instead of doing it all with rulers and templates.  I can die cut some of it at least!  Yey!

I made one block and really liked it so I thought that I would make it into a pillow - just to do something with it.

 

I think this looks good on my sewing chair.  And, I think this might just be it's new home.  I like the hexagon shape instead of square and the size is nice and small so it's an accent.  

The pattern is Jaybird Quilts Night Sky pattern.  What do you think?

Monday, January 06, 2014

Unidentified Bag in the Closet

I was looking for something in my UFO closet today and found this in the far back corner.

 

A really small bag with some fabric in it.  Huh?!  When did I put that in there.  I don't remember any of it LOL!

 

I opened up the bag and found some all blue 16-patches.  I vaguely remember these . . . . and some other squares and a piece of paper.

 

There is a patter from the 2008-2009 guild year for snowballs along with squares to cut them out using the stitch and flip method.  Hmmm.  Starting to remember this more now.  I sort of remember thinking to match the 16-patches up with some snow-ball blocks to make a scrap quilt.  It must have seemed like a good idea at the time because I packaged it all up for another day.

But, I must have had this idea before I understood quilting math very well LOL!  You see, those white squares are 2.5" and they will not match up with the 2" cut squares in the 16-patches.  I will end up with the HST not aligning with the squares.  This wouldn't bother some people, and I don't think it would have bothered me 5-6 years ago when i put this leaders and enders project away; but, this would really bother me now - silly I know but it would!

 

I remembered the snowball die that Accuquilt sent me and pulled it out.  This is a cool die that cuts all the shapes so that you have no trimming to do after you piece.  I like that!  Maybe I will play with the large blue squares and this die and make a snowball project.

I like the concept I had for a 16-patch, snowball quilt but I really don't like the values I chose here.  I think this would be MUCH better if the snowballs were white and the tips were blues, and, the right size for me ;-)  I think that would make a cool secondary pattern with nice contrast.

So, I think what I found was in fact not one but two little projects in my UFO closet.  Sigh!  How can one little bag hold so much stuff!?

Friday, January 03, 2014

New Years Day Quilting

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope that you all had a great and safe New Years celebration and that, if you're in this area, kept warm!  It was -35 C today and that is COLD!

I spent New Years day as I did a couple of years ago making the Merry Mayhem's New Years Day Mystery quilt.  They gave us the first clue well ahead of time to do the prep work, and, when I saw that it was scrappy I JUMPED in with both feet to get rid of some scraps.  So, I spent New Years Day piecing this.


It used up so many small scraps out of my 2.5" strip bin and that made me very, very happy.  Between that and my other 2.5" strip project the bin is almost empty!! :-o  I know shocking.  Since I, frankly, had no need or place for this quilt I thought that it might be nice to donate it; so, now that the quilt is completely finished: it is quilted and bound and off to Victoria's Quilts to go to someone in need of comfort.  I know that the borders are uneven but I added them to bring the quilt up to the size that they like which, for this chapter is 50" x 70"

 

Here is a close-up of the quilting.  I used my Loricles Baptist Fan board again and I love the effect it gives - it makes the quilt look so vintage!  I backed it in a plaid homespun flannel out of my stash - yey!  It is quilted in 40 weight YLI cotton thread top and bobbin.  It went very smoothly and I think that the quilting really adds to the quilt.

So, what do you think?  Will this quilt make someone happy?

Do you plan on any charity quilting this year?