Friday, January 30, 2015

Machine Quilting Grammy Squares

Hello Everyone,
I've been trying to put enough days and hours together to begin machine quilting Grammy Squares.  I finally realized it was never going to I loaded it on the long arm and I'll quilt a row here and there as I get the time.

It takes me forever to stitch in the ditch around each ring of every block.  There is going to be a ton of ruler work on this quilt.  One row down.......bunches to go!

This has been a tough week/month for a couple of my quilting friends with extended stays in the hospital to treat some serious conditions.  One of them is not out of the woods yet, the other is on the road to recovery.  Reach out to someone you know who may not ask for help.  I offer specifics such as bringing over a meal, running errands, or just sit and chat to fill in the long hours of being alone.  That's what quilters do.  We help each other mend, and keep each other in stitches!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sew'n Wild Oaks Class is in Session

Hello Everyone,
The classroom was loaded with activity and creativity yesterday at In Between Stitches for my Sew'n Wild Oaks session.
Isabelle finished another beautiful block with great precision from the Country Corners project.  

Irene is making great progress on her Country Corners.  She's making the Courthouse Steps blocks to showcase her wonderful blocks.

Evelynne was bitten by the Lucy Boston bug yesterday and completed a beautiful center for her first block.  The possibilities are endless with the Lucy blocks.

Karen has just one more block to finish for her Nostalgic Christmas quilt. She will have a beautiful quilt on display in her home by the time Christmas rolls around again.  The bocks for this quilt are fun to make.  So much so, that I couldn't stop making them and have lots of Christmas pillows to show for it!

Several of the girls are working on Once Upon a Vine.  There were cute little piles of baskets spread across the tables.

Jeanne's baskets are finished.  She finished adding some embroidery to her grape leaves.

Gail is spinning circles with her pinwheels for Winterset. She doubled the size of the quilt and turned it into a bed quilt from the original wall hanging size.  It is going to be magnificent when she's finished.  The added benefit is she can now make pinwheels while she sleeps!

Here's my original Winterset so you can see why she needed to make so many pinwheels for her borders.

Wendy is learning to make some Ohio Star blocks to go around a cute panel.  She was very determined yesterday to get them done!

Marti brought in these wonderful little storage boxes to keep the little pieces of her baskets corralled.  What a great idea.

That was my day with "my girls."  What a treat for all of us.  A quilting class isn't just about quilting.  It's about making a connection with other quilters with a shared interest.  It is about lending support, sharing ideas, and being totally embraced in the quilting community.  Give yourself the gift of a quilting will be good for the soul.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Dresden Basket

Hello Everyone,
The girls in my Sew'n Wild Oaks class requested a few smaller projects this year.  My idea was to make different blocks using a Dresden template.  This little 12" basket is going to be one of our first mini projects.

I can just picture this block in Christmas fabrics, or made in pastels for Easter.  Put three of them together and you would have a nice table runner. It would be a cute pillow, small wall-hanging, or the center of a medallion quilt.  I feel a whole new quilt coming on!  The journey begins with just one block, one idea, and my mind takes off in hundreds of directions.

After I finish the applique, I'll add some embroidery to dress it up and finish it off.  All of the fabrics used in this little gem are from Marcus fabrics.

This has been a week to share with family.  Our daughter-in-law turned forty on Thursday.  There was a big family dinner at a local restaurant to celebrate with her.  Sunday, we'll have a houseful to view a slide show I put together of Athena's life.  This slide show idea created quite a ruckus in our house.  We collectively decided it was time to organize all of the thousands upon thousands of pictures that were stored in trunks, boxes, envelopes and drawers.  We went digital around the year 2000, but prior to that, it was all prints.  Mr. Joe has been organizing and sorting every picture one by one as he strolls down memory lane.  He is a past president of the local camera club, so everywhere we went for the past 40+ years, the camera was always present.

I have been scanning and sorting through all the digital files.  To make a long story short, the slide show is finished and tells the story of Athena's life in 200 pictures.   Athena is a beautiful person with a good heart, and she's given us two of the best grandchildren on the planet!  Happy birthday "daughter".


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Some Important Dates from Sew'n Wild Oaks

Hello Everyone,

Just a quick post this morning to give you some important information.  Well, I think it is important!!  The Quilt is now selling my Patchwork Math book on their website.  You can find it by clicking HERE in their online store.

There is information about my segment on The Quilt Show HERE.  The segment begins to run on February 16th.  I decided to have a family viewing at the house on the first day of the show.  I'm going to fix hot dogs, popcorn, and movie theater food for all of us.  This will probably include Milk Duds (I hope I'm not a dud!) 
I think I should roll out a red carpet leading to the house for a Hollywood walk of fame for the family.  Mr. Joe kindly offered an old trophy that he won at a car show to present to his leading lady.  What a guy!  Mr. Joe also suggested we rent the movie theater downtown and have a BIG viewing.  That is just what I want,  my face, 20 feet wide across the screen.  Better my face than other 20 foot wide body parts.....again, what a guy! 
Another important bit of information, I created a new tab at the top of the blog listing my classes, guild lectures, workshops and quilt shows for the next five months HERE.  I think I'm going to be busy!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Emilie Elizabeth Block of the Month

Hello Everyone,
The beautiful Judie's Quilt Album fabrics have arrived from Marcus Fabrics and the girls at the shop have been busy cutting and shipping the first fabric packet for my Emilie Elizabeth block of the month offered by In Between Stitches. There are a few more openings available.  All of the fabric for the first month will create this beautiful 18" center for your quilt.

The fabrics are identical to this picture.  There's no guessing what fabric goes where, you can see it all right here.

Throughout the program, I will be posting tutorials to help you through the process.  I think my first tutorial will be the flange around the center block.  It isn't hard, so don't be worried or intimidated.  Just take it step by step, month by month and at the end of the program you will have a beautiful, heirloom quilt.
Along this journey you will learn a lot.  This quilt is made from quilting components.  You will be making flying geese, parallel geese, double flying geese, half-square triangles, square in a square, and a square in a triangle.  You will learn precision and patience.  This isn't a quilt you will rush through.  Take time and enjoy the process.

I will create a tab at the top of the blog so you can refer to it easily and not have to wade through pages of my ramblings.  Here's a Smilebox that I created so you can watch Emilie Elizabeth take shape.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
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Enjoy the show.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

How to Mark a Cross-hatched Border

Hello Everyone,
Have you always wondered how to mark a nice, even cross-hatched pattern on a quilt?  How do you get perfectly mitered corners?  How do you do this if the length is different than the width?   Well, when I took my second class at the HandiQuilter headquarters in Utah, the mystery was solved.  The instructors taught me about cross-hatching and I'm going to share my knowledge with you.
To begin, you need your tools of mass creation.  A roll of adding machine tape, a pair of scissors, a large triangle ruler, a long ruler, and a fabric marking pen.
Lay a piece of adding machine paper along the outside of the inner border on the side of the quilt.  This is important to get the perfectly mitered corner.  (I know the roll of adding machine tape looks like a miniature roll of toilet paper.....but it's not.)
Side of the quilt
The paper goes right to the end of the inner border.

Do the same with the top of the quilt.  In this case, the top measurement is different than the side measurement.  Not to me.

Top of the quilt
Fold the strips of paper in half, then in half again and again until you get them down to about an inch.  Any smaller and you will go crazy.

You will end up with two little accordions.  Mark which one is the top and bottom and which one is for the sides.  They are going to be a little different in size.....which is okay.  It takes the measurement and evenly distributes the difference give or take a 1/32th of an inch here and there.  When a measurement goes below 1/8th, I give up and throw in the towel.  Life is too short to worry about 1/32th of an inch.  I just do the best I can.

Place the paper back on the quilt, and using a fabric marking pen, place a little "tick" mark on the quilt at each fold of the paper.  You can barely see my white tick marks right next to the red border. 

Place the triangle ruler on each point.  Use the border of the quilt as your plumb line, so your lines will be straight. Draw a line on each side of the ruler. Does this take a fair bit of time you ask?  YES, or H-E-double toothpicks yes, but the results are worth the effort.

Draw a line from the point of the inner border to the outside point.

Now take your long ruler and draw lines across the corner.  This worked out to be a 1" grid, so my lines are 1" apart.

Mark the lines all the way out to the corner of the quilt.  See how the grid looks?  It's not magic, it's just time consuming, and this quilt is going to look fabulous.  Is it perfect?  Probably not, but nobody is going to know.

With my long arm I will outline all around the ribbon and hexies to make them pop.  I love my little hexies with their little checked centers.  Too cute!

Once you turn the corner, just work your way around the quilt, marking the grid.  I used a Sewline tailor's pencil for marking this black fabric.  I tested the pencil first for removal with water.  I found out when I was marking, that the pencil is disposable. I had additional lead, which I didn't need because there is absolutely no way to load the pencil.  I made it all the way around the quilt to the last two lines before the lead ran out.  Just like a bobbin......almost done, and the lead runs out!  How do inanimate objects know when to run out??  Now that is the biggest mystery when it comes to quilting.

Give cross-hatching a try sometime.  I love the old fashioned look which is perfect for my Grammy Squares quilt.  I was ready to load it on the long arm today and start would have been nice if I had remembered to make the backing first!  There's always tomorrow.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sew'n Wild Oaks Class is in Session

Hello Everyone,
It was another very special, and enjoyable day in the classroom at In Between Stitches yesterday. My girls have been at it again, creating beautiful treasures.
Judy followed along making blocks for Country Corners and put them all together in this beautiful setting of her own design.

Judy gets extra points in my book for adding not one but two flanges!

Isn't this cute to just top off the quilt with her own special touch.

Susan has been diligently making her blocks and stitched her rows together for her patriotic Country Corner blocks.  Susan also came up with her own design to make a nice lap quilt for her family room.  Just beautiful! 

Jan finished up her last block for Country Corners.  I love the fabric she selected for the center section.

Yesterday in class I demonstrated how to make the Lucy Boston blocks and Barbara had a field day cutting a variety of pieces to make her blocks.  She went from refined and elegant..... whimsical cowboys.

Flowers to.....

Fence posts.  Barbara is hooked on Lucy Boston blocks.  And NO Lisa, they are not called Lizzy Borden blocks!  I know when I'm teaching this class, that I'm going to slip and call them Lizzy Borden instead of Lucy Boston.  You know when you get something in your head and you just can't let it go??  They only become Lizzy Borden blocks when you are having trouble with them and want to replace your scissors with an ax! It's hard to fussy cut with an ax.

Suzanne brought in her English Paper-Pieced flower block. It is all in the fabric selection and fussy cutting, and Suzanne did a wonderful job. EPP was very popular in the classroom yesterday.

Kathy is working on her Snow Globes quilt by Crabapple Hill.  Kathy's work is exquisite and I don't throw that word out too often.

Each block is absolutely precious.

I have the patterns sitting in my sewing room complete with all of the floss.  Maybe one of these days when I retire for real, I'll be making Snow Globes in the retirement home.

Judy is working on her Country Charmer blocks.  She has quite a few finished and is well on her way.  Each pattern includes a block layout sheet which has become very popular.

Irene is putting together a gorgeous basket of flowers for her Harvest of Hope quilt.  Irene fussy cut each and every flower petal out of one fat quarter.  Wonderful attention to detail!

Wendy is hiding behind the patchwork strips for her Mittens With Moxie.  She is so smart to start on Christmas projects now!  It will be here before we know it.

Doris is working on this sweet little applique project.  I love the sparks from the fire and the plaids she used to keep her little people warm.

Marti started her Once Upon A Vine quilt. Once you get the first block under your belt, it's all downhill fro there.  Marti learned how to make HST eight at a time, and Double Flying Geese four at a time.  So she actually has enough components for her second block already.

Snow Globe Kathy surprised us all with these adorable pincushions which she made out of bottle caps.  They looked good enough to eat!  So sweet and delicate.  We all thank you Kathy for your thoughtfulness.

There you have day at class with a fabulous group of women.  I wish you could all enjoy the companionship, camaraderie and creativity that is always in the classroom with "my girls".  It's not just a quilting class, it's a time to gather and share ideas, lend support, listen, laugh, and enjoy each other.  This class had become so popular, I'm adding two additional sessions on Tuesday February 3rd and Tuesday March 3rd.  I have a couple more spots available for those dates.  I would love to have the Sew'n Wild Oaks circle grow and be able to include more quilters.  You are guaranteed to have a good time!  But I can't promise everyone an adorable pincushion!