Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Quilt

Christmas time is officially here.  It's a time to spend with family, friends, go caroling, special times at church reflecting what Christmas is all about.  All the colors that you see in stores, homes, churches,  lights on houses, lights on the Christmas trees in the windows. 

I want to tell you about the Christmas quilt I made several years ago.   You’ve heard me talk about our shop hops we have around here with all the quilt shops in October.  Now let me tell you this kit sat in my sewing closet for a long time, meaning a few years, before I decided it was time to start on it.  I’m not sure what year the shop hop was, think it was 2006.  They always have one specific material that all these 12 quilt shops use in there blocks.  Then each shop creates a quilt using each of the shops blocks.  This particular year I choose the finishing kit from the store, Quilting Bee.  This quilt really appealed to me because it really did say “Christmas” to me and the real reason for Christmas, Manager scene.  Each shop had a kit you could buy for their block plus their pattern.  So as you can see I purchased each of the 12 blocks.  I used the one block for the center that looked like a star.  On the bottom I choose to have machine embroidered “Oh Holy Night” in gold thread.  The Manager scene I choose to do appliqueing with machine embroidering around each piece. The quilter used a special gold metallic thread to create rays from the star above down on the manager scene.  

For several years it hung in the entrance at the church during Advent.  I had quite a few compliments on this quilt and also on the quilting.  I can say I am very proud of this quilt and glad I invested in the finishing kit and pattern and the time to finish it.  Some day one of my children might hang it in there house and enjoy it as much as I do.

Christmas Wishes:  Hoping your Christmas brings all your favorite things and a Great 2013, Happy New Year to all.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Different Post - Awesome Woodcarving!

It’s Christmas time and I’d like to tell you about another hobby I find fascinating!  I took a trip over the weekend to Ark City, Ks which is about 1 ½ hours from where I live to my cousins house, Carolea.  You might remember this is the cousin that did the chicken quilt, needle turned that I talked about in an earlier post. 

Carolea is very talented in a lot of areas. Another one of her hobbies is woodcarving.  It’s always interesting to visit her because she always has a new project or projects going on.  Christmas time is here and now there are Santa s, snowmen, different types of puzzles, wooden thread spools with Santa faces , misc all over her house.  Now I want to talk about these puzzles that she carves.  She makes different kinds, Nativity, Native Nativity, snowmen, dragons (latest one) and then she has a manger scene with a turtle.  She has written a child's book on this turtle visiting the manager scene.  It is the cutest story.  The puzzle pieces are stored inside this box which looks like a stable, barn or whatever you want it to be.  Inside the box are wood burning details.  Each are different to go with whatever the puzzle is.   All of them are so cute it's hard to pick just one favorite!

Santa Puzzle
She does have a website  Check it out!  Maybe you know someone that wood carves and a pattern would be a perfect gift.  Or do you have a son that loves to widdle and maybe this would encourage him to continue with this hobby.  She has written several articles on how to and pictures showing steps in the “Scroll saw Woodworking & Crafts" Magazine,  which Holiday 2012 edition has her latest puzzle in it.  Again checkout her website I think you’ll be amazed at her workmanship.

I know this isn’t about quilting but once in a while I have to take a break and talk about something else I really enjoy.  I hope you enjoyed something different with this post!

not finished - pieces need painted

Well Christmas is getting closer.  If you're making gifts keep sewing!  If you aren't making gifts try something new, a new technique, just learn to sew, take a class, etc.  

Till next time............

Monday, November 19, 2012

Strip Tubing Again................

I’ve talked about Strip Tubing before in one my blogs.  Again I can’t tell you how much I love this technique.  It’s so easy and so much fun.   You will find out that jelly rolls will be one of your best friends in quilting. Be sure to check out all the books available for jelly rolls and strip tubing.  Colors just seem to blend together regardless how they are put together.

This pattern is “Heartstrings” designed by Gail Yakos, Manufactured by Black Mountain Quilts.  I love the colors blue and teal so this is one of my favorite quilts.  To be honest with you any quilt with these colors fall into that category.  Ho Hum!!!  I’m sure you will find that I like most quilts regardless of colors.  This quilt takes a 2-1/2” wide precut jelly roll strips, 1 bundle or at least 36 strips that you can cut from your stash, 12 fabrics cut ¼ yard each, but not fat quarters, 2-5/8 yard of white background fabric, 5/8 yard for binding fabric, 4-1/2 yards of background fabric and batting

Note:  do not throw any scraps away because you will use these leftover pieces in the outside border. 

These hearts were fun to put together. I was really excited to take it to the quilter and see what she could come up with.  I was not disappointed when I got the quilt back.  Notice what special quilting she did.  On the top of each heart she quilted another heart in blue thread.

Then down the center of each heart she made it look like hearts on top of each other.  She did an awesome job I think.

This week is Thanksgiving and we have so much to be thankful for.  Count your blessings and don't over eat.  HA HA

Until next week have a great and safe Holiday.


Monday, October 29, 2012

"BOO" for Halloween

The first holiday (well I call it a holiday even if we don't get a paid holiday at work) in the Fall is “Halloween.”  There are so many different ways to decorate for this holiday.  Magazines, internet, stores have so many ideas it’s hard to know where to start.  Well I started with a few pumpkins, fall garland with sunflowers, grapes of different colors, small berries and different color of leaves, wall hanging and table runner.  When Halloween is over you can leave the pumpkins, garland and whatever else can stay for Thanksgiving.  Doesn’t that sound like more time for sewing if you don’t have to put everything away after Halloween and redo everything for Thanksgiving?

The wall hanging I just took a piece of the main piece of fabric with lots of color, pumpkins, corn candy, bats, etc. and cut it the size I wanted the center to be.  I then added a small sashing of purple around the center piece.  I’m really excited about the border of stars, moons and spiders.  You ask why I’m excited about a piece of material?  Well this material is “glow in the dark”.  The starts, moon and spiders really glow in the dark.  I remember hanging the wall hanging for the first time and walking in the room and seeing it on the wall and the table runner on the table, it GLOWED!  Awesome!  There was no pattern for this wall hanging but I think if you’re a beginner your quilt store could help you figure it out.  Or get a beginner quilt book with a similar wall hanging and make it using there directions.

The table runner was made from the pattern “Fat Quarter Table Runner.”  This is a quilt as you sew pattern from “Out Of The Blue.”  Once you’ve made the first one, you’ll be creating table runners so quickly all your gift-giving will be taken care of and fast.  This is a perfect way to use fat quarters you might have laying around or from picking up fat quarters and don’t know what to do with.  There are many patterns out there for table runners so if you don’t care for this one check out some of the other patterns available.  Note:  I’ve had this pattern for quite a while so not sure it’s available to buy right now.  Did you notice on this table runner that I put two rows of “glow in the dark” material?  Just love it!

Now that’s some of my Halloween decorations.  Tell me do you have a favorite Halloween decoration? Have you made a Halloween table runner and wall hanging?  Let me know what your ideas on Halloween are?

Hope you have a wonderful and safe Halloween,

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"Candle In The Window" Quilt.....

Fall time is a wonderful time of year.  I just love watching the trees change to beautiful colors.  Bright yellows, oranges, brilliant reds, greens, and more.  Trees to me are like beautiful quilts.  All colors, no matter what colors, all blend together.  It's fun to go to my sewing room with inspiration and start going through the fabric and seeing what I have and what quilt is next.

The cool evenings, all the different colors, taking the kids to the pumpkin patches and watching there faces glow with delight just picking out the right pumpkin to take home, the bonfires, the roasting of hot dogs, smores, hayrack rides, the decorating of your homes.  Don’t you agree that Fall time is a great time of the year?   Just love it!!

The quilt I want to share with you today is “Candle In The Window”
by Kansas Troubles Quilters, Lynne Hagmeier, designer.  The Jelly Roll called “Snow Bloom” was used for this project.  I made this into a full size quilt and this is one quilt I kept for myself.  I always made all my quilts for a special occassion or to give to my grandkids.  Well this one was special to me.  I love the dark colors accenting the cream in the center with the quilting.  Now I love my bedroom – it’s my quilt, I made it, I’m proud to let you see it. I had  quite a few of these blocks leftover and extra material so I decided to make curtains
to match the bedspread.  Couldn't stop there so made some pillow cases with some more of the leftover material.  Now I feel like the room is complete. Its simple but that's what I like, a homey, country feel.

I also want to show you the back of my quilt.  She did the quilting with cream color thread which really stands out on the brown material.  My quilter knows me pretty good and I can just take my quilt to her and tell her to do whatever she thinks will look nice.  She's been a friend for numerous years and owns her own shop in Hillsboro, Ks called Kessler Kreations.  She does longarm quilting and also sells fabric, etc. in her shop.  If you're that way or close to Hillsboro stop in and see her.

If you've been following my blog I've got some sponsors that you need to check out.  They have daily, weekly, monthly sales going on all the time.  I'll try to pass on the sales each week so sign up to be a follower and receive all the information.

Well on to my next project.  October is almost over and really hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner.  Leave me a comment, I'd like to hear what you're sewing for gifts this Christmas.  You might inspire me to make a few more gifts.

Until next time,

Friday, October 12, 2012

"Strip Tubing" Oh WOW..............

Last Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11 shops in Central Ks had a Shop Hop.  Each of these days they had extended hours to accommodate the quilters.   We are very blessed to have so many wonderful quilt shops in this area.  Each one of these shops has there own way of showing and demonstrating techniques, quilts, etc.  If you have a chance and you're visiting this area be sure to check a few of these shops out.  I loaded the car with 4 other women and off we were.   Our goal was to hit as many shops as we could on Friday and finish on Saturday.  We hit 10 of them and the 11th one we did on our own Saturday.  Yes, more fabric was bought, unique patterns and whatever else we were looking for.  Fun day, weekend, or however many days it took the quilters.

If you're in the area and want some names, addresses and cities they are located in just drop me a note to my email address:  I'd be glad to help you.

I took a class recently on “Strip Tubing” and the class really got me hooked on this type of quilting.  It’s so simple!  The only tool you need that you might consider buying is a “Strip Tube Ruler.”  You can use a regular ruler but this one is already marked and ready to use.  I   purchased a bookStrip Tubing“ by Daniela Stout and Georgette Dell’Orco so this ruler comes in very handy.

This technique is very different but easy.  Don’t get excited because if I can do it you can also without any trouble.  This technique is making a tube with 2 ½” strips.  You will need light, medium and 2 dark fabrics for this technique.  Cut your yardage into 2 ½” strips.  Then take a light strip and sew two dark strips on each side of the light strip with ¼” seams.  Next take a medium strip and sew two light strips on each side of the medium strip with ¼” seams.  My light strips are the yellow, dark strip is dark purple and medium strip is the light purple.  Can you find the four squares that make one block?
TIP:  Do not use steam when pressing because it will create ripples on the edges.  You might want to use a spray starch or Mary Ellen’s Best Press Alternative.  Personally, I love Mary Eleen's Best Press and it smells so good.

Press them flat.  Now set them directly on top of each other with right sides together and sew each side again with ¼” seams.  If you don’t have a strip tubing ruler use a 9 ”square ruler and set the 45 degree mark on the seam line first at the top and cut fabric then slide down to bottom seam and cut fabric at the 45 degree angle.  You should get six pieces from each tube, four squares to make one block.  If you have any stitches at the point be sure to take these out before opening.  Press your block open.  Then position your four squares the way you want them to look and sew together with ¼” seam.  Make as many blocks as you need for the size of quilt you want to make.   

This is such a fun and easy to make quilt.  You can turn the triangles anyway you’d like and make the quilt the way you want it!  Try some different colors that maybe you wouldn't have tried before.  Make it your quilt.

 Keep checking back because I have more "Strip Tubing" quilts to show you.

So is this a technique you think you might try………


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

5 Tiny Speckled Frogs Sat On A Great Big Log....

The temperatures are cooling down.  Fall is in the air.  The trees are changing to there beautiful colors.  This is the time of year I really enjoy.

Have to share with you a bus trip I took for three days visiting quilt shops in Kansas and Oklahoma and just had a blast.  If you have a chance to take a quilt bus trip grab a friend and sign up.  You'll have so much fun!  Don’t get discouraged if you have to go by yourself because with three days you do make new quilting friends.   The fun part is you can visit, quilt, show and tell what you bought from each quilt shop and even play a few games.  Oh, I also have to mention we even watched the movie “27 Bridesmaid Dresses.”  Everybody enjoyed this movie and had some good laughs.  You just meet so many other quilters that are just as enthused as you are about quilting. 
It seemed every store had a new technique, new tool, demonstrations regarding a new product to show us.  Even if they had some of the same materials they seem to show different ways to use that material.  Each store was exciting to visit.   It was hard not to buy a lot but I did control my spending.  Proud of myself for that!

One thing I did fall in love with on this trip was this frog material.  I like frogs but I don’t have an obsession with them.  When I saw this pattern and all the different frog materials I just had to purchase it.  Wouldn’t it be a nice quilt for some little boy or girl especially if a little boy or girl likes to catch little pollywogs.   Aren’t all these little frogs happy?  Got to love it.  My 6 month old grandaughter, Mariah smiles when she looks at it.

For the backing I used a colorful print that had the same bright colors.  Flowers are usually found by ponds and so I thought this would go with the frogs sitting on the logs.  Now this quilt can be used either side.  Does anyone else remember this  "5 Speckled Frogs Sat On A Log" being sung to them when they were a child?

Novelty prints are fun to work with.  There are so many different prints and so many ways to use them.  Put your thinking caps on and come up with your special quilt.  Let me know what you like to do with novelty prints?

Here's to Fall, keep smiling

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chicken Wallhanging - WOW!

I'm so excited about this post.  Keep in mind when you read this blog I'm not taking credit for making this  wall hanging that I’m going to talk to you about today. 
This wall hanging is made by my cousin, Carolea.  She purchased this wall hanging by joining a Block of the Month Club through Keepsake Quilting which provided the material and pattern each month in 2000.  She finished the blocks in 2001.  Now I have to tell you that this whole wall hanging is done by hand.  She needle turned all of it.  Each feather, each raspberry and grape clusters, all the branches, flowers, leaves, eggs all of it.  Layers upon layers were added by appliqueing on each chicken feather.  Last July she took it out of the closet and decided that she only wanted to finish the wall hanging by hand quilting it.  She started hand quilting it the first night of the Olympics and finished it a week ago.  Hand quilting was challenging because of the thickness of all the materials.  She said she’d probably never do another raspberry or grape cluster again! Appliqueing  and/or hand quilting.   Can u blame her!  She’s happy with it and I would to be if it was mine.  Another point this was her first project or attempt at needle turning.  Looks awesome cousin!

Carolea will welcome any comments!  She’ll be watching my blog to see what you say.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed posting it.

Off to the sewing room…….


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Disappearing 9 Patch Quilt

Have you ever gone into a quilt shop or on line and see these little 5” square packs of material and don’t know what or how to use them?  These are called “Charm Packs.”
I am really starting to like using 5” charms.   Charm-square packages are produced by the manufacturers using there fabric line and colors that blend together.  It’s quick and easy!  They come in a variety of different colors or values.  The theory is “use what you have” just like quilters have done for so many years. These charm packs come in a variety of quantities within a pack.  Just depends on who your manufacturer is.

TIP: A note on charm packs, they usually don’t stick around very long so if you see one that you like you might want to purchase one or two right away.

Cutting a charm square is very important to make sure you don’t miscut.  Don’t let this scare you because if you do miscut there’s a good chance you might have a piece of stash that you could cut a 5” square out of and use it for a substitute.  It doesn’t have to match perfectly and remember you’ll be the only one that knows you substituted.  Some charms have pinked edges and these are usually measured from the outside edge of the pinking.  So be sure to measure your square before you cut.

I’m going to tell you how to make a “Disappearing 9 Patch!” If you don’t have any charm packs and you’d like to try it you can cut 5” squares from any of your stash and do the same thing.  That’s why charms are so much fun because they are already cut for you and not that expensive and you can go right to sewing them.

Now how does a “Disappearing 9 patch” work?   Using 5” Charms, sew together 3 charms x 3 charms, which makes a 9 patch.  When figuring out which charms you want on each row remember that the 4 corner blocks will not be cut.  So within the pack you find a few squares you don’t really care for then put them in the centers of each row.  You are now ready to cut.  Cut down the middle of the 9 patch, turn and cut down middle again.  Once cut then mix and match the blocks, the way you like them.  Don’t forget to take the time to square your blocks up when completed. There is no right or wrong way to set your blocks.  It's your quilt!

Now doesn't that sound very quick and easy?  Try it and let me know if you like this technique. 

Keep that sewing machine humming,

Monday, August 20, 2012

Holstein Cow Quilt?

Imagine a quilt with a Holstein Cow, colors of black, white and hot pink!

Well I’m sure this quilt wouldn’t be for everyone but kids love animals and I grew up on a big dairy farm so it brought back lots of happy memories.  So I made this one for my granddaughter, Ryleigh.   We had a shopping day together at the quilt shops and found this quilt and the elephant quilt (previous post).  She fell in love with the cow quilt and said she wanted it.  So being a sneaky grandma I bought both kits that day and planned on giving them to them for their birthdays. Decision was made, what to do for their birthdays, was made.

The pattern is called “Clara” by Custom Creations, CC-218. Instead of a black cuddle tail she wanted a yarn one with a ribbon.  Otherwise I made it like the pattern.

There’s not been one person that hasn’t liked these quilts after they first touch them.  Ryleigh showed her Dad the quilt and her brother laid on it and said Grandma I want one of these quilts but not pink or a cow.  I want it with a big “GB” (Green Bay) and colors green and yellow.  Hum!  Sounds like a great idea for another soft project.  Some day!
Have you tried making a quilt with the cuddle/dimple material?  Share your ideas and if you have comments they are always welcome.

The weather has changed here in Kansas, finally not 3 digit temperatures.  This last week and over the weekend we enjoyed 80’s and 90’s and it feels so much better.  Is  Fall time here?  It’s been fun sewing in the sewing room with the windows open and feeling the cool air.  We have welcomed the change.  Now if we could only get some rain.  Still in drought conditions but as they say “one day closer to the rain!”

Keep creating and sewing, have a great week,

Monday, August 6, 2012

Product Review - My sewing machine....................

Do you ever wonder what sewing machine is the best one out there?  Everyone has their own idea on this subject.  The sewing machine that I use and have used for over 10 years is the “Brother.”  I love this machine.  This machine sews beautifully and has never given me any problems.  The one and only problem that I have is making time to get it serviced, cleaned once a year.  I just don’t want to be without it even for a few days.  Just like your car it needs maintenance periodically to keep it working fine.  Other than cleaning I’ve had no problems with this machine.  I love it so much that I bought a second “Brother” machine for my daughter to learn to sew on.  However, she never took to sewing so it never got used too much.  Now my granddaughter is learning how to sew and using it.  This machine is newer than mine and even has a quilters table attached to it.  She thinks it’s awesome to have a newer machine than Grandma! 
Don’t be fooled by low prices! My machine wasn’t the most expensive machine out there.  So price isn’t everything.  This machine can sew just as nice as any machine out there. 
Check out the Brother sewing machine link I have on my blog.  Think about trying this machine!  You might fall in love with this sewing machine and love it like I do!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Something different.............

This post is still relating to quilting but a different angle. 

I just have to share with you something I was so excited about when I was designing my sewing room.  I took one section of the cabinets and designed a Murphy’s table not a bed but a large cutting table.  Purchased a large cutting mat to go on top so I could cut anywhere on the table I wanted.  Don’t let me fool you because you go where there’s space open to cut!!!  I just loved it.

Now I’m not a carpenter so if my wording for certain parts are incorrect I hope you still can figure it out.  The table would disappear in the cabinet and held up with latches.  When I wanted to use it I’d pull the latches and slowly lower the table top and secure the legs with hinges I had mounted.  For the top of the table I had taken some Formica that I had left over from a kitchen project.  My kids also enjoyed this table top because they could use it for homework, putting puzzles together, craft or school projects, really anything.  One problem? It was always full of my projects when they needed it but I would just move my projects over.  There is always room for another project or two, ha ha.  It just seemed that this table didn’t get put in the closet too often.

Now did I make you jealous? 
Well I better confess up!  I did have this table in my sewing room but then I moved.  I got to use it for about two years.  My son is now using the table for multiple projects so it is still being used.  I moved to the country where I grew up, the home place.  I really like country life but do miss my sewing room and the Murphy’s sewing table.

So if you’re designing your sewing or craft room and have a large space think about a table like this for you!  I bet you’ll love it as much as I did.

What sewing room or storage ideas do you have? Maybe you have an idea I could use in my sewing room that I'm designing in my country home!

 Until next time,

So soft...............

Have you ever gone into a quilt shop and find this shelf that has really, really soft material that you want to just stand there and rub your hand across it.  It’s so soft you just want to take it home, make a quilt and sleep under it.  This material is called “Cuddle and/or Dimple” material. 

I finally decided I was going to try making a quilt with this material and not be scared of it.  Guess what?   I’ve made quite a few cuddle quilts and yes it is different using this material but anyone can do it.  Just take the first step by buying the material!  Then you get it home and it lays on your table just staring at you – saying when are you going to use me up, I don’t want to just lay here!  No really it’s not bad at all.  After the first one I said “no more!” Guess what?  I’ve made 6 more since then.  So never say never. 

One of the quilts was for a special couple’s wedding.  They both graduated from the same college so I used the college mascot on a white back ground in the middle and had their wedding date machine embroidered underneath.  I also used the college colors for the borders to accent.  They just loved it.  In fact, they used it for the backdrop with the wedding cake.  Awesome!  I was pretty proud.

This quilt is for my gran daughter, Brooklynn, age 2.  This was the first time I tried appliqueing.  I found a website using this material  There are several videos that you can watch.  Watch it and see which of these techniques you would like to try.  To be honest I tried the spray adhesive and couldn’t tell that it worked for me.  So I just pinned and basted really good and seemed to work for me.  So try it and see what technique you like the best.

(TIP:  If you work with dimple material don’t iron it on either side because you’re dimples will disappear.
What do you do with all the leftover scraps?  I made a miniature quilt just like her big quilt for her doll cradle for Christmas.  Also out of leftover pink scraps I made a little doll pillow. She thought that was really neat because she could carry this quilt and her baby doll together.  On both the quilts I used buttons for the eyes.  Realized I forgot the eyes when I was taking the pictures.
So give it a try and see how you like working with the cuddle material.  Watch out because this does cause dust bunnies! Or maybe I should say furry bunnies!  It wouldn’t be the first or the last bunnies that I will ever see!  

In on a secret!  I also did a cuddle Holstein cow which I haven’t got back from the quilter yet.  Keep checking back with me to see the hot pink quilt with the black and white Holstein!!

Until next time………….

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

More with Panels and Borders.....

I wanted to talk more on panels and borders today. One of my choices for my granddaughter, Mariah’s baby quilt was another panel “Baby’s First Friends” by Pat Yville, #21454, Wilmington Prints Collection. This panel had many matching pieces which I had to buy. Yes, just what I needed was more material but how can I not pick all these wonderful colors to make this adorable quilt. At the time I decided this was my baby quilt I didn’t know if it was a girl or boy. So I chose the greens, yellows and blues. I was really happy with the end result.

Another thing you can do with border prints, especially with this baby material, I chose to make matching bumper guards. I decided to make six individual pads, tying them together with matching material bias strip ties, and matching dimple cuddle material for the backs. 
(Tip: If you can’t find a border print that works for you, add a row of 4” pieced blocks along the top and bottom. Don’t forget you can use a theme print for the outer border also.)

I hope that maybe I’ve opened a few more doors now with panel and border prints. Try them you can have so much fun and it’s exciting to see the end project. I would love to hear some of your ideas with border and panel prints.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Don't be scared of panels?

Do you ever see a panel print or border that you wish you’d know how you could convert it into a quilt?  Another way to empty those overflowing scrap bags or totes that you have stored on your shelves by adding additional blocks.  Yippee!!!  These are more challenging projects but you can do it.  Just have fun with it and don’t stress out! 

 Panel prints are usually a large central design.  They will vary in size but can usually be used in place of pieced blocks in quilts or the center of a large quilt.  Most the time when you see a panel it will also have frames or additional designs between panels that go along with the theme.  Some will have border prints which are images printed lengthwise on the grain of the fabric.  These border prints are usually repeated 2 or 3 times across the width of the fabric.  Cut these up and use as blocks within the quilt.  Sometimes they will also have scenes along both selvages with area in between left plain to incorporate within your quilt.
(TIP:  Remember when you are picking out fabrics they don’t always have to be from the same collection or line of fabric. This would be of your choosing which to use where in your quilt.)

Spaces between blocks can be filled with sashings or filler strips, allowing you to use border strips or theme prints here.  Sometimes your fabric frames, pictures you want to use are too small and won’t match your other block sizes.  Consider adding a frame around all 4 sides of a darker fabric to make them stand out.  If you want these blocks to blend in then use a lighter fabric.  Don’t forget that adding triangles to a block will also add dimen
Now start jotting down your ideas on how you want this quilt to look.  Look through quilt books.  The first step is starting somewhere!  It might change by the time you start cutting or maybe change your mind at the end.  It will work!   Be sure to pat yourself on the back when you are finished because you deserve it!!!

You will see in the picture I have posted below is four panels the same print and size. 

I used coordinating fabric for the sashing in between and around the outside of the panels.  The picket fence was a coordinating fabric and chose that for borders with sunflowers in the corners.  These sunflowers were too small and I added a frame with light fabric around the flower to make it fit my border pieces.  I had the quilter machine quilt sunflowers and vines in the blue border to pull it all together. 

This is not as complicated as you might think!  So look for those panels and just imagine what kind of wall hanging or quilts you can come up with!  Get those creative juices flowing!
Let me know your thoughts and ideas on panels. Feel free to comment below.  I have more panels to work with but that will be another time. 

Glad you could join me – until next time………Connie

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer means new projects!

Well summer is finally here! I have a feeling it’s going to be another hot one for us here in Kansas.  I’m thinking staying inside and what better way to spend your evening or day being in your sewing room! New projects or finish old projects here we come!!!

I have a new granddaughter born March 2, Mariah Rose and decided to make her a very colorful rag quilt. I started looking for baby flannel and was quite surprised to see all the colors in flannel with baby designs. Now she can lay on the floor and play! (photo) I decided to make it 6 blocks wide by 7 blocks long. I cut my flannel into 5 inch squares, batting into 4 ½ squares. Assemble with the right side of 1 flannel piece down, piece of batting, 1 flannel block right side up. Secure all pieces together with pins before sewing because it will shift on you as you’re sewing. Sew blocks together by sewing an X from each corner to corner. See my tip for the day to sew the “X’s.” Sew each of these blocks together with all the seams being on top of the quilt. Then you have one side with all the seams on top, flipping it over and have a quilted look from your blocks on the back. Clip your seams to about ¼ inch from seam line about every ½ inch. This is really up to you how close you want to clip. Clip the entire quilt. I found using a small Fiskars scissors was the easiest because it didn’t hurt your fingers so much. Now the fun parts of making it look like a rag quilt! I go to a laundromat to wash my rag quilts for the 1st time. I do wash it by itself because of all the loose threads it loses. However, a nice gesture would be to clean out the wash machine before leaving so the next person doesn’t have to. I come home and dry it in my dryer which gets more loose threads. You’re finished and now to pass it on or enjoy yourself!

My tip for the day: I use Tiger Tape on all my rag quilts for sewing the X’s. It goes much faster than drawing a line on fabric. These tapes you can reuse over and over until it doesn’t stick on fabric any more. It sure saves a lot of time versus marking each block. There are other ways to use Tiger Tape than marking corner to corners on blocks. Be sure to check this product out.

I’ve also made a puppy dog rag quilt for another granddaughter, Ryleigh at that time she was age of 3. This puppy quilt had big floppy ears and legs. Ryleigh used this quilt so much that I had to sew the ears and legs on it several times.

Another idea is football season is around the corner! Whether its high school, college or NFL wouldn’t it be awesome sitting in the stands watching your favorite team or player with a rag quilt. Make it your own design! Just have fun with it. So you can see that everyone “LOVES” these rag quilts. They’re soft, warm and nothing beats “coziness” under a homemade rag flannel quilt.

More to come... Have a great week sewing.  Until next time bye for now

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Learning How to Hand Quilt Starts Here

Glad you stopped to visit with me.  I’m so excited about quilting and want to share my ideas with you and also hear about your interests in quilting.  I’ve been quilting now for 17 years, but only in my spare time. I still feel like I have a lot to learn.  I’m sure most of you can relate to not having enough time to do something you really enjoy.

I would like to share with you some of my ideas for quilting hoping it will spark an interest for you to begin quilting or just inspire you to try something new to add to the knowledge you already have.

My latest projects have been flannel rag quilts.  I’ve got 3 grandsons, ranging from ages 6-11 and each of them loves to hunt.  For each of their birthdays this year I decided to do a rag quilt with the theme of “deer hunting.”  Of course each one of their fabrics were different so no arguing over who’s is who’s!  If you’ve never tried a rag quilt they are lots of fun and fast.  There’s some awesome flannel besides hunting out there.   Just look for it.

I’m grateful to be able to spend time working at something that I really enjoy which also brings joy to others.  So I hope you will visit my blog often.  Hopefully, it will inspire you to learn to quilt, continue with quilting and try something new, maybe teach your grandchild to quilt whatever inspires you.  Then when the project is done there will be a smile on your face because you’ve accomplished a beautiful quilt/project.

As always your comments or questions about rag quilting are always welcome.  Check back with me and see what else I’ll have for you. Have a good day to all.