Monday, October 29, 2012

Candy Corn is Complete!

Hi all!

I was so determined to get my Candy Corn Quilt finished before Halloween that I worked on it a lot!  You can see a short tutorial on the construction of this quilt here.


I also had my Go! Club on Saturday, and I was featuring the Tumbler dies so I really wanted to share this with the group.  So, to prevent myself from just showing the top - I loaded it onto my frame.

This is how my brain works LOL - I'd rather quilt it then load it again ;-)


I had this perfect 40 weight YLI variegated thread that I used for the middle - top and bobbin.  The spirals in the fabric became my inspiration for the quilting design.


I quilted the middle in an all-over spiral pattern and I quilted spider webs in the borders in a dark grey thread.  You can't really see the quilting in the borders all that well but it adds great texture - I hope that you can see the quilting!


I decided to use some left-over Halloween prints on the backs.  The two main prints have been borders and backs on a couple quilts so it seemed great to use them up on the back of this quilt!  A girl only needs so much Halloween yardage before you HAVE to do something or other with it! Anyways I like the effect of the fabrics on the back and it makes me feel good to use the stash.

I was able to show this at my Go! Club the morning after I finished it and everyone seemed to like it - yey!

So what do you think - are you going to make a Candy Corn quilt?  Or, maybe a table-runner?

Want to do me a favor?  I entered a Halloween quilt contest over at the Warm Company Facebook page and you can easily vote for my quilt by clicking on this picture and click like for me!!!   It will only take a second - I promise!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Big Little Book of Fabric Die Cutting Blog Tour!

It's finally my day!

I am so excited to be a part of the blog tour for The Big Little Book of Fabric Die Cutting Tips, by Ebony Love, and today is finally my day on the tour!

Why am I so excited?  Because, frankly, we need this book.   It is not another project book - this is an information book!

When I first started even looking at fabric die cutting there was next to NO information out there other than the Accuquilt site itself - and, at that time, there was next to nothing on that site except a basically a catalog of the dies themselves and the two cutters - the Studio and the Go!  As a person interested in purchasing a die cutter I had to really search for information - I had to really try to find information.  I searched YouTube and blogs trying to find reviews and videos and it took a lot of effort.  I finally purchased my Go! from a local quilt shop and dived into die-cutting.  I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning.  I didn't pay attention to grain, I bought dies I still haven't used because I bought what I thought I would use and not what I actually would use.  I thought that I would use the machine primarily for applique - nope!  I use it primarily for piecing - funny huh?  I bought dies that I knew I would use and love (the tumbler, the rag die etc) as well; but, if The Big Little Book of Fabric Die Cutting Tips had been around when I was first purchasing I probably wouldn't have made these mistakes.  The section on which dies to buy is very honest and very helpful.

The Big Little Book of Fabric Die Cutting Tips contains a die-cutter comparison that is very frank and honest and not exclusive to one company.  Ebony focuses on Accuquilt and Sizzix since they are, currently, the two companies that have the most to offer for quilters.  I really like the open discussion of the merits of each brand and which brand and cutter would suit different quilters.  Let's face it - each quilter has a different situation and different needs.  Your quilting set-up, budget and needs will affect your decision as to which cutter to purchase.  Would Ebony's book have helped me here?  You betcha!  Honestly, I still would have made the same choice that I did - but - I wouldn't have waffled for months before I made it and I wouldn't have worried so much about making it.

As I read, The Big Little Book of Fabric Die Cutting Tips, I found myself nodding my head in agreement with many of Ebony's statements - especially her take on the strip cutters.  I laughed out-load when I read her statement that many quilters point to the strip cutters and say what a waste of money they are and that they can cut strips faster with a rotary cutter.  When I first purchased my Go! I was guilty of this myself!  Yes, I admit it, I said this myself.  Guess what?  I was completely wrong!  Strip cutters are so much more than strip cutters and are some of the very BEST and most necessary dies to get!  There is a reason there is a whole chapter devoted to them in the book - they are workhorse dies!

There are lots of great chapters in the book including storage, maintenance, applique, fabric preparation, the rag dies and piecing - just to name a few.  These sections are an indispensable resource for those people wanting to get the most out of their die-cutters!  The information has been compiled, by Ebony, based on experience and by other leaders in the fabric die-cutting community.  Basically with this book you will have the most common questions answered and more - this will save you the hours that I had to spend researching when I first started die-cutting.

Ebony also has a big section on her EDeN system.  I'm not going to re-invent the wheel here though - Marjorie at Marjorie's Quilting Bee has already done a fantastic review of this system that I know you'll want to check out!

You will want to check out the other stops along this tour!

Other book tour stops this month:

If you're on the fence about purchasing a die-cutting system or someone who has a die-cutting system and wants to learn more about it - this is the book for you.

And, if you want to know if you will use your fabric die-cutting system I wouldn't hesitate to say yes!!!  I love my system even more than I ever thought that I would and I love cutting projects i never thought that I would ever make easily.  I also absolutely love processing my scraps soooo fast and easily so that I can actually use my scraps and my stash to make projects - so in fact - die cutting fabric saves me $$$ ;-)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dumpster Diving

Ok - confession time.

Hands up everyone who has picked something out of the garbage or dumpster dived?!!

Come on be honest.

I'll start - me - I did.  Yesterday in fact.

After I finished my class yesterday I was walking around emptying all of the garbage bins in the classroom (as I always do after I finish as class).  And, in the last bin there were these lovely fabric scraps.  I stopped and thought - now who would throw those away!?  They are lovely!

So, yes, I scooped them up and put them in my bag and brought them home.  They were clean and undamaged so why not!?


I brought them home and layered them onto my 1.5" finished half square triangle (HST) die (Studio 50771, Go! 55319) and in no time I had all these lovely HSTs!!!  Aren't they yummy!?

These will work so well with my 2" leaders and enders squares.  I just couldn't resist.

Maybe I am just frugal; but, I always think that that scrap of fabric cost just as much off the bolt or in the garbage and the more fabric I can save from the landfill the better!

So, let's hear the truth - would you have saved these or tossed them?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

More Stockings!

I can't seem to stop making these!

My LQS had the Grinch fabrics in and I HAD to make some stocking in it!



I just love these!  Don't you just love those fabrics?  And, since my wrist is still sore these are a perfect, quick, little project for me to die-cut and then sew - easy peesy with my inside-out stocking method.  Don't know what I am talking about?  You can see my stocking video here!

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Candy Corn Quilt!

Hey all!

Halloween is coming and I LOVE Halloween!  I had this idea to make a candy corn quilt for a long time now but I never feel like working on Halloween stuff after Halloween so needless to say I always end up running around in October making my Halloween projects.

 Well since I have the large tumbler die I decided that now was the time to jump on this and make a candy corn quilt!


I'm sorry, but, I wasn't going to do any type of a tutorial on this quilt until I was close to being finished so I will just have to explain:
  •  cut strips 2 1/2" wide of each; white, orange and yellow - cut as many as you like for the quilt size you want.
  • sew strips together and pick a side to press towards
  • use your large tumbler die (or rotary cut) to cut out your candy corns.  Always have the yellow at the wide end and the white end at the smaller side.  There will be some waste here - but - hey - candy corn in a quilt!
  • lay them out in an order that is pleasing to you.
 Note:  You could also make candy corns with the baby tumbler die - just cut your strips at 1 1/2" and then re-cut on the tumbler die - that would be sooo cute!


Cut 1 1/2" strips of a blackish fabric (mine is a black batik with some blue tones).  I think I had to cut about 14'ish of these.  Sew a sashing strip to every right side of your candy corns - except for the the right-most row - leave that alone.  When you are chain piecing these leave some space between your yellow edges or you will have to trim these apart at a wrong angle - try it once and you'll see why!  you need to be able to trim the tops and bottoms evenly and we are sewing them together at an angle - so we need to leave some space to accommodate that angle.

This is a great video on Tumblers 

Add 3" strips to the outside edges of your rows - we will trim these later.  Yes, I could have been more efficient with my fabrics here but the waste was sooo small that I didn't mind.   Add 1 1/2" horizontal sashing.  Trim this off so that you have 1 1/4" after the wide points of your candy corns.  This way your outer sashing will be equal to your inner sashing.


I decided to add an outer border to this because I had this amazing Halloween print in my stash!  yey!  The moons are just perfect with the oranges and yellows.   Also, the outer border will help stabilize the bias edges on the vertical inner borders - remember the trimming?  We trimmed the fabrics so that they were now on the bias.  Bias = stretch!  So I wanted borders so that I didn't end up with a rippling quilt.

I like to cut my border fabrics on the length-wise grain - so - I cut my binding at the same time so that it is done.  Then I make my binding and wrap it around a ruler so it is neat.  Slide the binding off the ruler and put it into a zip-lock bag so that it is ready to go for later.  I just thought I might share that for you :-D

So there you have it!  A candy corn quilt!  Sorry the tutorial is not as full of pictures as usual but I think it might be ok??  If you have questions feel free to leave them here and ask and I will try my very best to answer them here.

So what do you think?  Yummy?

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Thanksgiving Sewing!

Happy Thanksgiving my fellow Canadians!

This year we are doing a small family get together only - ie just the 4 of us - so I had lots of time this long weekend to get some sewing done!  Yey!

Unfortunately, I have really hurt my right wrist - and I am right handed :-(  Yep :-(  Rotary cutting is impossible right now - it sends absolutely sharp pain spikes through my wrist.  Fortunately, I have a fabric die-cutter!  I can turn the crank - just not apply the pressure necessary to rotary cut.

So, I grabbed a fat quarter bundle gifted by a dear friend - thank you!  And cut out a Take 5 - type quilt ala the Cherry Bomb Quilts tutorial that I have used before - I love it!!


These are some Christmas Thimbleberries prints that I liked when they came out but I didn't buy any of.  When they were given to me I thought - wow - those colours would look good in my green living room!  So, I was able to cut and piece this top.  That is as far as I am going until my wrist is better - I don't think that it could stand the vibration of machine quilting and maneuvering the machine.  Oh well!  Christmas isn't for a while.


Next, well, really first LOL, I pulled out the Halloween chisels I had cut last year and then put away, since I didn't feel like working on them, and made another one of my table-runners.  I love it!  But, yet again, I don't think my wrist can take the quilting - darn it!  I would love to get working on this one but I need my wrist to get better first :-(  If you want to check out the complete tutorial on how to make this table-runner you can find it here.  And, if you do make one, please post a picture to our Facebook group!

And, last but not least, I am working on a new tumbler quilt - if you belong to my Facebook group, you have seen a little preview, but, I will post more later!

BTW aren't the leaves in the pictures amazing?!  They were so bright and wonderful I just had to take pictures with them!

Happy Thanksgiving all!  I wish you all a safe and blessed weekend.

Binding Update

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