Sunday, June 28, 2015

Patriotic Wave Place Mats

What table doesn't look great with patriotic place mats?

Made with leftover strips from the Patriotic Wave Table Runner


and a portion of the curve from the pattern, these were just as easy to put together! Just one star completes the look. Click here for the the table runner pattern, available in my Craftsy pattern store.

Quilting was the same as the table runner,



with an open McTavishing and two straight lines in the stripes versus one. Now I'm definitely ready to celebrate! Are you?

And for those working on my Spangled Stars QAL


there are just two days left to finish your top. Linky closes on June 30 at midnight! Click here if you're ready to post your entry and show off your work! And don't forget to send me an email with a quilted top picture for the parade on July 2. Can't wait to show all of them - they look fantastic!

Have a great day quilting!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Patriotic Wave Table Runner

Time to celebrate the Fourth of July with this beautiful Patriotic Wave Table Runner!

Patriotic Wave

Measuring 20" x 62", it proudly displays the red, white, and blue of the USA! Designed by me, the pattern is available on my pattern page at Craftsy, with additional instructions for a 14" x 42" size. Click here for the pattern.

Made with a strip set, and a very gentle curve, this runner was a snap to put together. Applique stars finish off the patriotic look.

Here's another shot:



And a quilting closeup, using a more open McTavishing in the blue background, straight stitching in the stripes, and double echoing in the stars.










So happy to have this grace my decor! Now I'm really in the spirit to celebrate the Fourth!

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Quilty Adventures

Seems like ages since I've posted anything! Truth is, I just haven't had time to process pictures and write a post. So here's an update on my crazy quilty life!

Friday was devoted to preparing the backing for my second QAL quilt, Water Lilies. Sorry for the teaser picture - I'll post more when it's bound.

Now, I'm not a huge fan of pieced backs, but I had a Monet inspired water lily fabric in my stash that I just didn't know what to do with. But it went perfectly with the water lily theme! There wasn't enough for the whole quilt, requiring other pieces to bring the back up to size. The Monet water lily piece became the center panel for the back.




The fuschia next to it is from the flowers used on the front, and the sides are another Monet floral print that coordinates with the center. The top and bottom is a new piece I found in the clearance section at Beverly's that has the same look as the ponds printed in the center. Boy, did I get lucky!

On to Saturday. We (me, mom, and my two sons), drove 80 miles to participate in the Shop Hop by the Bay. And that was just the local shops. I was pretty tired the rest of the afternoon, so no quilting happened. We continued on the southern leg on Sunday, and made it to the last shop with 10 minutes to spare! Again, no quilting. But, because there were 4 of us, we came home with lots of strips for the flag table runner project.



The pattern is a little short for the area I need it, so I might do something else. I've definitely got enough strips for it!

And of course, I had to pick up some of the Row by Row 2015 patterns from participating shops. Love the summer theme of all the rows! Not sure I'll get a Row by Row quilt done this year, as there is a lot of applique to some of the rows. For fun, here's last year's, and here's the link for more detail pictures.



Continuing on to Monday. AM, guild membership processing. PM, finish quilting Water Lilies, which leaves me 20 minutes to grab something for dinner before heading off to the guild meeting. The meeting features Peggy Martin, inventor of Quick Strip Paper Piecing, and all of her beautiful quilts. And of course, I had to sign up for her Feathered Star class for the next day!

So, on Tuesday, I got halfway done with my New Feathered Star, and finished it up this morning.



Just need to remove some paper, and add it to the 'to be quilted' pile!

And in other exciting news, I've become an ambassador for Calico Cat Fabrics! Tanya's Etsy shop features Tula Pink, Riley Blake, and Kona solids, to name a few lines, and of course, lots of pre-cuts and yardage. She graciously sent me this 10" Stackers from Riley Blake's La Vie Boheme line, to show what it can create. I got my inspiration today, after ordering the Metro Twist pattern from Sew Kind of Wonderful



This pattern will be perfect for these 10" squares! Metro Twist is also required for Sew Kind of Wonderful's Twisted Blossom QAL, starting next week. Jenny is having a sale on the Quick Curve Ruler and the Metro Twist pattern for this QAL, June 23 and 24, 2015 only. So, if you want to quiltalong, get your supplies today! 

And for those of you who have finished your Spangled Stars QAL tops - they all look fabulous! I love seeing all the different color layouts everyone used - great job!! The link remains open until June 30, so there's still time to finish up! To add your pictures, go to the link on the Spangled Stars QAL Completed Top Linky page.

Ok, I've got more quilty fun to write about, but for now, I need to get back to quilting! Have a great day!


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Spangled Stars QAL Completed Top and Linky

We've made it! And just in time to show off for the Fourth of July! It's time to link up all of those terrific Spangled Stars QAL completed tops everyone has been working on!



I've got one top done, and just need to sew the blocks together on the other. How about you?

The linky party starts today (button at the bottom of the post), and will stay open on this post until midnight June 30. So, there's still time to enter in your completed top, even if you join in now.

For links to all of the block instructions, click on the pink links below.


Completed Top and Grand Prize Linky - June 18, 2015
 Completed Quilt, Grand Parade and Prizes - July 2, 2015


And of course, posting your top enters you into the drawing to win one of two Grand Prizes! The following three companies, Aurofil, Green Fairy Quilts, and Fat Quarter Shopwere very generous in their donations towards this prize!

Aurifil Italian Threads Green Fairy Quilts Fat Quarter Shop


And just what are the prizes? The first prize is an Aurofil thread package of 12 50wt spools of cotton thread from the Angela Yosten collection. The second prize is two $25 gift certificates, one from Green Fairy Quilts (sent via email) and the other from the Fat Quarter Shop.


How awesome is that??? Be sure to show these fabulous companies some love!

So get your tops done, link up those pictures, and keep your fingers crossed until July 2 when I'll announce the Grand Prize Winners!

And if anyone is especially ambitious in getting the quilting done, please send me a photo so that I can post it on the Grand Prize posting, July 2. Everyone would love to see the finished quilts!

Good luck and Happy Quilting!






Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Spangled Stars QAL top and Other's Quilts

I've been quilting away, not on my own quilts, but for others.
First this week, was this beauty made by my sister-in-law.



She's made small quilts, and this is one is queen size! Kudos to her for such a large project! She chose really pretty fabrics, and a larger version of the panto Happy Times in Glide cornflower yellow thread for the quilting.

Such a beautiful quilt to adorn her bed!

Today, it was a guild charity quilt, this sweet little thing!


I slightly modified the panto Easy Peasy for the center, then did freehand scrolls, and e's and l's for the two borders.


I love how simple designs can make pretty quilts!

And I finished the piecing of my Spangled Stars QAL top.


I'm leaving it hanging on the design wall, seeking quilting inspiration. Just need to find backing fabric, then I can get this quilted.

Speaking of backing fabric, I'm still searching for that for the t-shirt quilts. Each needs around 3 yards, or they can be squeezed onto a wide back. I'll be shop hopping this weekend, so hope to find something.

But back to the Spangled Stars QAL. Tomorrow I'll be posting the linkup for posting pictures of the completed tops. The tops don't need to be quilted to be eligible for the grand prize, they just need to be a completed top. I can't wait to see everyone's work! Until then,

Happy Quilting!


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Good and Bad News

After a rough week, today I got some good news. I finally got a chance to go to the San Mateo County Fair, in which I entered five personal quilts, and one group quilt. Three of my quilts, Falling Leaves,


Frozen, and Irish Chain Twist,


received Honorable Mentions in their categories.

And Scraplicious Florabunda, my improv flowers from scraps, won 1st place in Wall Hangings.


Poor Fred, the Fugitive, was left out in the cold,


as was our Modern Group Quilt, Missing U.


There was a lot of competition, with some really pretty quilts. Definitely a fun show!

And now for the bad news. We found out last week that my active, vibrant father-in-law has pancreatic cancer, for which there is no cure. We're all in shock and trying to make the best of a bad situation. It's just a reminder of how we take life for granted. Take some time today to love those around you.




Thursday, June 11, 2015

Spangled Stars Quilt Assembly

Welcome back to the Spangled Stars QAL! The blocks are made and it's time for the assembly instructions! All that work has been building up to a fantastic quilt top! Yeah!



If you're just joining in, all of the previous block instructions can be found through the pink links below.


Quilt assembly - June 11, 2015
 Completed Quilt, Grand Parade and Prizes - July 2, 2015


There's still plenty of time to quilt along, as the completed top linky party for two grand prizes will open up next week, June 18, and will stay open until midnight June 30, giving everyone plenty of time for assembly. I'll announce the two winners on July 2, and show pictures of quilted Spangled Stars that have been sent to me. Sound good?

As for this week's winner, Mr. Random Number Generator has chosen 


Congratulations Marei! I'll send you an email for your mailing information, so be on the lookout for it.

Now grab all of those lovely blocks, and let's make a quilt top!



The assembly is quite easy, as there's very few seams to match. Essentially, it consists of alternating rows of bar/uneven 9-patch blocks, and stripe and cross/star/bar blocks. Attention is required for orientation, and what row is being assembled, but I've made available for download two pdf pictures for each size that will help. For example, one file, SS Twin View, is what the twin size looks like,

and the other file, SS Twin by Row, has the rows separated and numbered. 


The files are labelled as 'SS' (for Spangled Stars), then the quilt size (Wall, Throw, Twin, Double, Queen, King), and either 'View' or 'by Row'. Print both "View" and "by Row" for the required quilt size to use as reference in assembly. Click on the button below to go to the folder of all the files, which are arranged alphabetically. Then download and print the sizes needed.



A special note for those making a queen size. This size is the same layout as the double, but it has an extra column of bar blocks and background blocks on each side. Cut (14) 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" squares of background fabric to set in between the bar blocks. 

Now for some of the sewing and pressing. I laid out two rows at a time, 


then stacked each row to go to the sewing machine. The first row is easy to put together, no seam matching involved. The second row does require seams to match at the blue bars.

The instructions for these three blocks has the seams pressed toward the blue bar, which means they won't nest with their neighboring blocks. Personally, I'd rather work with un-nested seams than have dark fabric shadow through my quilt. So here's how to deal with matching up those seams.

Lay the blocks right sides together, and lift up the edge of the top block at the seam to be matched, turning it back just 1/4". Line up the seams, and place a pin just before the first seam. Line up the next seam, and place a pin just before it.


By putting the pins in front, it helps eliminate the push of the top fabric by the foot, throwing off the matching. Sew the seam, and check it before moving on.


The blue bars are the only areas that need matching, which makes this top go together pretty fast. The other block to be aware of is the stripe and cross - make sure the red/white/red stripes in the middle go up and down.


Pretty easy! This is how far I've gotten with one of my twin sizes,

and I have four more rows to put together. Then it's on to sewing all of the rows.

And a word about pressing. This quilt really doesn't work well with the one row pressed right, the next row pressed left idea, because of the star points. So I'm pressing mine based around those stars, with the seams pressed out, away from the star, eliminating bulk. The seam above and below it will go the opposite direction. I'm also treating the stripe and cross block the same way as the star. Sorry no pictures - haven't done any pressing yet!!

Now, go sew! Be sure to link up the completed quilt tops next week. I'll be sending out reminders, along with pictures of mine. 

Happy Quilting!









Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Making a T-Shirt Quilt

The last of the five T-shirt quilts is pieced!


They still need borders, as I wanted to assess how much fabric I had left before putting them on. Plus, I have little bits and pieces left that will go in the borders too.


But this post is all about how these quilts were put together, providing ideas for making one. My technique involves 
1) having more than enough fabric (so there's no worry about being short),
2) designing a layout that's interesting, taking advantage of different sized blocks,
3) lining up some seams for ease in assembly, 
4) being creative as the top is put together,
5) and having no fear to cut different sized strips! 

The first step in this process is the shirts. The logos are cut out with plenty of space around them, at least 4 inches. Taking care to use a press cloth on the logos so that the paint/ink doesn't get on the iron, a lightweight fusible interfacing is applied to the backside to help control the stretchy knit. Leaving a 2-3 inch border around the logo, the shirts are trimmed and squared without being overly concerned about size consistency. I ended up with four different size ranges - large, medium (more wide than tall), small (approximately 6" square), and a couple short and wide pieces.

 

Now time for the layout. Loosely using a 46" x 72" layout size, the shirts were arranged in a pleasing arrangement, with small, medium, and large pieces distributed evenly to fit within the space. 


Shirts were lined up in some areas to make sewing the sashing easier. See the white lines in the pictures below.




If a shirt didn't fall on one of the sashing seam lines, it just needs to have strips added to it to bring it up to size.

Now to start sewing. I chose simple blocks that added interest, but didn't become the focus of the quilt. The four patches at the top complement the small logos, while helping to increase the size of block for that area. 


This block is still small, and needs more sashing to bring up the size. Keeping design in mind to distribute color and interest, more sashing was added to the sides.



It's still just a wee bit small, so one more sashing strip goes on the sides. Notice that I am just sewing a strip and then cutting the extra length off. This is a much easier process than measuring the strip to length, and then sewing. 


Now the top and bottom sashing gets added so that the new 'block' fits the shirt to the right. I'm not worried about the shirt to the left, as a sashing strip at the bottom of my newly created unit will fill in the space.


Time to move to the next section, that within the circle.


Again, keeping design, color, and interest in mind, black strips are laid out to see how they look in the space. The blue pieces on the edges of these black strips are the longer sashing strips mentioned above.


I'm pleased with this idea. Now I just need to figure out what width is needed for the blue strips in between. The gap measures 2 1/2", and  1/2" is added on each side for seam allowances. That's very important to remember - add 1/2" seam allowances to the strips. Here, the strips need to be 3 1/2".

I cut a 3 1/2" blue strip, sewed a black strip to each side, added another blue/black unit, and then cut the whole thing to the right width for the space. 


The unit is then stitched to the corresponding shirt. This one ended up a bit longer than the shirt, so the excess was just trimmed away. I'm not going to fret over an 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch size difference between the strips.


Now the little block on the right needs sashing to fit the space. This time, black was sewn to the top and bottom of the small shirt logo,


and two black/blue strips are made for the sides, without a great concern for length. To get the small shirt block centered, it was creased in the middle, as was the corresponding shirt with sashing, (see the circle below) and those folds matched up. 


Sewn on, the excess at the top and bottom is trimmed off after lining up the ruler with the shirt to the left.


Now all of the pieces in that area can be sewn together. The upper corner of the top is now done.


I could go on, but I think you get the idea of how to do this. If the t-shirt block is too small, add blocks or sashing to make it fit the area, being creative in the design. Also, add sashing in between blocks for ease of sewing units together. The result is a fun t-shirt quilt that will make it's owner very happy!

Happy Quilting!