Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spoken For Class Was In Session

Hello Everyone,
I was at Cloth and Quilts in Turlock on Monday teaching Spoken For.

The girls created some beautiful, and sweet beginnings for their quilts.

The blocks look larger before they are sewn together.  They "shrink" down considerably once those 20 seams are finished.

They were all involved in fussy cutting the blade and fans.  The extra effort will pay off in the end.

Linda brought in her Brown Sugar Sampler designed by Brandywine Designs.  So pretty!

Jerrilee brought her Lucy Boston blocks to show me. She took the class last year from me.  She was very creative in the use and placement of her fabrics.

Linda took a workshop from David Taylor, and brought her bird quilt in to share with us.  I would say she received an "A" in this class!  Look at the detail that brings this bird to life.

I wanted to take a picture of Linda with her quilt so you could get a better idea of scale.  This is an amazing work of art.

As always, I love teaching in Turlock.  The classroom is spacious, there is a great selection of fabrics, and it's always fun for me to spend the day with the girls.

When I came home after class, I arrived to a very ill Mr. Joe.  The flu has completely knocked him off his feet, even though he faithfully got his flu shot last Fall.  Our house smells like Lysol as I'm trying not to get sick.  He seemed to have a more restful night......we'll see how he is this morning. I will play the roll of Nurse Ratchet today and try to get him to eat some of my homemade Minestrone soup which he requested. Neither one of us get sick very often.......but when we do, we get really sick.

It's going to be a quiet day of sewing for me.  Sounds heavenly!


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Spoken For Tutorial

Hello Everyone,

I've taught Spoken For a couple of times, and I've noticed how the blocks seem to be all over the spectrum when it comes to the final size, so I put a tutorial together to walk you through the process.

Begin with the end in mind.

Select three fabrics that play well together.  I always begin with the "Blade" fabric.  The blade is the pointy piece in the block.  The fans are the rounded sections.  Key off your blade fabric, by selecting fabrics that work with it, and you can't go wrong.

I put a piece of template plastic over the template page of the pattern and made my templates. I used a ruler and an ultra fine permanent marking pen and traced the templates on the plastic.  Template plastic comes in a blue or red gridded form or plain.  I prefer the gridded template plastic. Cut the template out directly on the line.

 I love using the plastic so I can place it over the fabric and be able to fussy cut the blade.

Trace around the template and cut out directly on the line. You will need to make 4 blades.

Fold the blade in half and pin.

Stitch 1/4" from the raw edge of the blade to the folded edge.

 Backtrack at the end and clip off the inside, folded corner.

Press the seam open.

Use a little pointy thingy to make a nice sharp point, and press. Now you are finished with the blades.

Now use your fan template and cut out your fans.  Since I wasn't fussy cutting them, I traced around the fan template on the back of the fabric.  I carefully cut out each fan directly on the line.

I then made my freezer paper template.  I ironed three pieces of freezer paper together and made a stiff freezer paper template.
Iron the freezer paper template to the back of the fans.

 Clip to the freezer paper right here.

 Gather your applique tools together. Apply a bit of starch to the end of the fan.

Use an iron and stiletto and press the fabric over the freezer paper.

Prepare 16 fans for your block.

Carefully peel the freezer paper away from the fans.  It helps to briefly press the back of the fan to help release the freezer paper.

Place right sides together, and begin stitching at the opening in the center of the block and stitch to the outside.  Backtrack at the beginning and the end.
****IMPORTANT***** There are 20 seams around the block.  Make sure your seam is 1/4".

This is what the back will look like on both sides of the sections.

You can press the seams open if you don't plan of stitching in the ditch.  If you do plan on stitching in the ditch, then press the seams to one side. I experimented to see if there was any difference in the size of the block if the seams were pressed open or to one side.  The conclusion of my unscientific experiment showed the blocks were a smidge larger if the seams were pressed open. My only explanation is the block can stretch a bit more if the seams are pressed open.

Continue sewing, and PRESS after each addition to the block.

If the block is a little wonky or wavy when it is all sewn together, (especially in the middle around the "pie hole"),  give it a good shot of heavy duty spray starch, let it dry, then iron it into submission. I admit I had to do this step on more than one occasion. 

Make your hexagon templates from the template plastic.  First cut out the fabric hexagon.  Make a freezer paper template, and iron on to the back of the hexagon.

 Use starch, an iron, fold and press the fabric over the template.

Carefully remove the freezer paper template and place on top of the block.  The block is now ready to hand applique to the background fabric.  You can also think about machine appliqueing the block to the background. 

From tip of blade to tip of blade, the block should measure between 7-1/2" to 7-5/8".  The "pie hole" in the center should measure between 2" to 2-1/8". 

I can't give away the farm here, so continue making the quilt by following the directions on the pattern which is available HERE.  Once you refine your process, the blocks become very addicting.  Maybe that's why I'm making another Spoken For!






Friday, March 17, 2017

Spoken For Class at Cloth and Quilts

Hello Everyone,
I'm working on a new tutorial for Spoken For.  I got a little carried away as I kept making more and more of these addicting little blocks.


This is the last block I finished up yesterday afternoon.  I'm only pulling from my scraps for this go round.  It will be a combination of reproduction fabrics and whatever else I have in my fabric cupboard.  Anything is fair game for inclusion in this quilt.  I'm also thinking about making it 8 blocks by 9 blocks......for a queen-sized bed.  I know I'm crazy, but I can just picture this one as a bed quilt.  I think I will set it differently too.  No sashing.  How about them apples?  I'll keep you posted on my progress which is going to be slow, as this is just the start of a very busy time for me.  Quilting time is going to be at a premium.

I'm putting a tutorial together as several of the girls have been making the blocks, and they all have different sizes.  There are 20 seams going around the block.  This gives you 20 opportunities to make a boo boo. 1/16th of an inch here and there all add up to a bigger block.  As soon as I get the tutorial finished, I'll post it online.

I'm teaching a Spoken For class at Cloth and Quilts on Monday, March 20th.  There are a couple of openings, so click HERE if you are interested.  Would love to see and meet you in Turlock next week.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Sew'n Wild Oaks Class Was In Session

Hello Everyone,
"My Girls" gathered at In Between Stitches on Tuesday for our Sew'n Wild Oaks bi-monthly sewing day.  Kathy brought in her finished Country Corners quilt.  Some of the cutting instructions for the 9" blocks are located HERE on my blog.  Kathy selected a wonderful setting arrangements to showcase her blocks. Well done!

Suzanne has another Jo Morton project completed and it's ready for quilting.  The border is from Jo's newest fabric line.

Valery is working on her Spoken For blocks.  She is about half done! Every block is made from fabric in Valery's stash. Her only purchase was the background fabric which is perfect for her blocks.

Pat is working on her quilt design by Minick and Simpson.  Love the block!

Barbara is moving right along on her batik quilt.  The next time you see this one it will be all together in one piece.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Melody's house. There is so much detail in this applique quilt!

Barbara G. put the borders on her Kim Diehl table runner.  The pineapple fabric is perfect! I might have to make one in my spare time!

Susan is moving right along on her blocks for Walk in the Park.  The color combinations are glorious!

Martha stopped by with her red and white beauty.  She is going to hand quilt this one for an old-fashioned look and feel.

The creativity of "my girls" has no bounds.  They are quilting machines!

Yesterday I actually had time to sit and work at my sewing machine.  Of course I had to dust it off first, but it remembered me.  I've managed to get some huge tasks off of my plate....beginning with the income tax. Everything is together and now in the hands of my accountant.  What a good feeling.

Prairie Flower was delivered to the East Coast before the big snow storm arrived.  Another sigh of relief.  Now I need to work on the pattern writing and fabric requirements.

Little League is in full swing.  We watch our grandsons play four times a week, as they each play two games. One of the little guys also plays flag football every Sunday. The first high school swim meet of the season for our oldest granddaughter is this Friday.  It is going to be chilly!!!!  Another granddaughter has a fast pitch softball tournament next weekend.   Our days and calendars are full of activity from quilting, to yard work, to watching the little kids play sports.  We love it!  I think all of this activity keeps us young.  But I have to admit, I don't feel too young when I try to get these old bones moving up and out of my stadium seat after sitting in the bleachers for a couple of hours in the chilly temps.  I'm looking forward to Spring, to put a spring back in my step.