Saturday, October 30, 2010

Start Small....(for the Holidays)

To the left is a link to a free pattern offered by Quiltmaker Magazine for a set of very easy and quick Holiday placemats.  You will find instructions for there napkins as well.

I am going to put together a few sets of these for hostess gifts.

So get out that holiday fabric, grab a cup of tea and get into the holiday spirit.....slowly....don't panic...start with a small project.  We can handle this!  Right?
Even if we have to put it off until the last really is do-able.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Feet, Feet, Feet!

Feet, Feet, Feet!

Florence over at Flossie Teacakes has taken the mystery out machine feet and given us some great ideas of what we can create!  She has given me permission to quote from her blog post to bring you this great information.

Be sure to visit her well crafted and delectable blog  and  shop.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Process Pledge

I found the process badge on somebody's blog a while back....checked it out and liked the idea.   So,
I took the process pledge. This whole process came from the fruitful mind of Ms. Rossie over at Mutant Quilting.  Go on over and take a look....But COME BACK...I'll wait for you.  Please don't outclick to other yummy looking sites you will find there.  (start using Delicious so you can find your way back.......sorry, that's for another post).

Are you back?  OK....So far there are 420 of us who have signed the pledge.....that is kind of  a lot of quilters who are willing to take the time to photograph, post and discuss the artistic process.  I am going to look at their blogs and see if it is working.

I really do get the idea of shared creative process (or better put, I feel your pain.)
The goal of the process pledge is to create a new sensibility in quilting blogs where we don’t just show finishes or occasionally confess about our moments of indecision, but chat openly and often about our works in progress, our inspirations, and our moments of decision. 

Rossie says:
"I know that many of us are already posting about our thinking on quilts and the processes involved from start to finish, let's do more!  And let's post about quilts as we work on them.  I want to see more half-done quilts, not just the finished thing with a journal entry about the process."

Then she goes on to list some prompts to help us with the 'process'......
  • Do you have any new sketches to show?
  • Is this design inspired by a past quilt or someone else's quilt you saw (link, please)?
  • Does the color palette come from somewhere specific?
  • Are you trying to evoke a specific feeling?
  • Is this quilt intended for a specific person?  How did that inform your choices?
  • Are you following a pattern, emulating a block you saw somewhere, using a liberated process, or totally winging it?
  • What are you hating about this quilt at this stage?  What do you love?
  • Did you push yourself to try something new?
  • In working on the quilt, are you getting ideas about what you might want to try next?  What?  Did you sketch it?
I will keep this on hand so that I can talk about what I am doing.  Take the pledge and then see how it affects your approach to your craft.  I have a feeling we might start considering ourselves artists.  (smiles condescendingly).  You think?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Complimentary Fall Quilting Pattterns

This in  from Jenni over at Quilters village "It's autumn, and cooler temperatures plus the inspiring colors of the season make this a great time for quilting. Our websites are full of wonderful free quilt patterns with fall themes, from Halloween to nature's bounty to Thanksgiving and beyond.  Visit for a pattern for a pumpkin  quilt perfect for wall or table, designed by
Colleen Reale and Chloe Anderson of Toadusew Creative Concepts

Pennsylvania Scrapple has a bonus pattern for a super new Halloween quilt by Jason Yenter. Dig deep into your stash and make your own version of Pennsylvania Scrapple, an exciting scrap quilt by Irene Berry, patterned by Quiltmaker.  Click here to down the pdf pattern.  And McCall's Quick Quilts has a pattern for a super quilt for football fans. No matter which aspects of fall are your favorites, we've got you cozily covered with patterns for quilts to celebrate!"

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stacked Coins Baby Quilt Tutorial

2 charm packs-Soiree by Lila Tueller
1 1/2 yards white fabric for sashing/borders
1/2 yard fabric for binding
1 1/2 yards of fabric for backing
batting that measures 44" x 55"
quilting thread

please note: 1/4" seams are used throughout this project.

Cut each charm in half. This will yield 144 "coins". Each will measure 2.5" x 5". (You will use all but 12 coins for this quilt.)
Sew coins together. I found it very helpful to match the pinked edges with pinked edges and straight edges with straight edges when piecing.

Make 5 strips of coins. Each strip is made with 22 rectangles.

Cut 6 pieces of white fabric 3.5" wide x 44 1/2" long for the sashing.

If your seam allowances aren't completely accurate, you may want to measure the length of your patchwork strips and cut the sashing to match.

Sew sashing to the coin strips. Press all seams toward the white.Cut 2 pieces 3.5" x 41" for the top and bottom of the quilt. Sew together and press well.
Your quilt top is done!

For the back...
I love adding a patchwork detail to the back of my quilts. It takes a bit more time, but it's a nice way to tie in the design from the front to the back.
Join 22 coins together and press.
From the backing fabric, cut one piece 36" x width of fabric. And one piece 15" x width of fabric.Layout as shown and sew together. Press.And the back is done, too.

To finish your quilt, baste, quilt and bind as desired.

On this quilt, I did an all over stipple in white thread.
I just love the one strip of patchwork on the backing. Wash and dry your quilt for that soft crinkly goodness.

The finished quilt measures approximately 41" x 50".

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Some more about fabrics...


My quest continues to learn more about fiber and what it means to all of us....from an environmental and economic view.  I deal with fabric every day..... I make quilts and bags, I shop for it,  I read about it and I have blogged about it. Back in June, I came across information that led to a fiber epiphany ..... I was aghast at what I found and so I blogged about the what I found.  

Recently a friend asked me about modal...if I knew what it was.  Had no I googled around a bit and found some information - not only on modal but some other fabrics as well.  Thought y'all might  be interested in this site is a little of what I found there. easily dyed fiber that retains its shape; cool to wear in the Summer and warm in the Winter.....

Wool......a hearty fiber that’s light weight; naturally wrinkle and dirt resistant as well as absorbs moisture

Linen/Flax.......70% cellulosic, it absorbs as much as 20 times its weight in humidity before feeling damp. Linen fibers are naturally non-allergenic, antistatic and antibacterial

Cashmere.....a luxurious goat wool imported from Central Asia

Viscose....called an artificial silk, it has a silk-like aesthetic with superb drape and feel. Viscose is moisture absorbent, abrasion resistant and low in pilling.

® ....a blend of TENCEL® and Modal® fibers combining Modals soft hand with Tencels moisture absorption's skin sensitive properties and strength. With ProModal® you can feel nature. The fiber blend is extracted from wood. Timber from sustainable grown forest plantations have a much lower impact on the environment than cotton, consuming 10 to 20 times less water than cotton.

Modal LP
®......a 100% Modal for garment dyers that will greatly diminish the pilling and hairiness effect associated with regular Modal in garment dyeing.

Supima Cotton/MicroModal
®......if hand and softness is needed for drapability, then the intimate blending of two yarns creates an unbeatable product. Buttery soft knit fabrics in a variety of stitches and colors.

Triblend......using a combination of polyester/cotton and Rayon intimate blended to form textural yarns. Used in a variety of coarse gauge sweater knits for contemporary fashion.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Baby Quilt Tutorial

Tutorial: The 3-2-1 Throw, A Quick, Easy Little Quilt

3-2-1 Quilted Throw My Happy Garden Organic Fabric
Melanie over at Modern Organic Fabrics has put together a tutorial for a fast and fun quilt.  To the gals in my Project Linus Group, I am thinking this would a great pattern for baby size.

According to Melanie this is "Perfect for beginners who feel a bit intimidated about quilting, or for the more experienced who want to put something together super-quick! This quilt utilizes the "pillow-case" method of binding, so there are no bias strips to make. Please note, however, this method of binding quilts is best only for small quilts like throws and baby blankets."

The 3-2-1 Quilted Throw is made with organic fabrics and organic batting. Fabric shown is from Melanie's  "My Happy Garden" collection by Cloud9 Organics. (Found at Modern Organic Fabrics Shop)

~My Happy Garden organic cotton fabric as follows:
  • Speckle Grass - 12 1/2" x 48"
  • Meadow - 12 1/2" x 24 1/4"
  • Speckle Sun - 12 1/2" x 24 1/4"
  • Speckle Sky - 12 1/2" x 16 1/4"
  • Toadstools - 12 1/2" x 16 1/2"
  • Flock - 12 1/2" x 16 1/4" 
  • Lines -  approximately 37" x 49" (this is the backing fabric, it is cut a little large at first and will be cut to size after the front is finished)
~Organic cotton batting:
  Approximately 40" x 50" (cut a little large, will be cut to size when the front is finished)

~Rotary cutter & cutting mat (or scissors)
~masking or painter's tape
~sewing machine (or needle & thread)
 ***1/4 inch seam allowances are used, unless stated otherwise***
Courtesy of Modern Organic Fabrics
Diagram is not to scale

~Step One~
Cut pieces for quilt front. Do not cut back to exact size yet.

~Step Two~
With right sides together, pin Speckle Sky and Toadstools together on one short side and stitch. Place Flock on Toadstools, right sides together, pin and stitch on short side.
~Step Three~
With right sides together, pin Meadow and Speckle Sun together and stitch on one short side.
Photo:  Courtesy of Modern Organic Fabrics

~Step Four~
 Place each column on the batting in it's approximate finished spot. Remove the 3-piece column and the 1-piece column. Pin the 2-piece (middle) column to batting.
Photo:  Courtesy of Modern Organic Fabrics

~Step Five~
 Stitch the middle row to the batting by stitching around the edge.
Photo:  Courtesy of Modern Organic Fabrics

~Step Six~
 Place the 1-piece column right side down on the 2-piece column. Pin and stitch long sides together (you are also stitching it to the batting).
~Step Seven~
 Flip the 1-piece column back, pin wrong side to batting. Stitch around edge.
Photo:  Courtesy of Modern Organic Fabrics

~Step Eight~
 Place the 3-piece column face down on the 2-piece column. Pin and stitch long sides together (you are also stitching it to the batting).
~Step Nine~
 Flip the 3-piece column back, pin wrong side to batting. Stitch around edge.
Photo:  Courtesy of Modern Organic Fabrics

~Step Ten~
 Trim the batting to the quilt top. Make sure the quilt edges are straight and corners are squared up, trim if necessary.
Photo:  Courtesy of Modern Organic Fabrics

~Step Eleven~
 Tape the backing fabric to a table or the floor right side up. Place the quilt top right side down on the backing and pin. Trim the backing to same size as top, keep quilt pinned together.
~Step Twelve~
Stitch front and back together, leaving a 4-inch opening on one short side.
Photo:  Courtesy of Modern Organic Fabrics

~Step Thirteen~
Trim the corners. Turn quilt inside-out and use a dull, pointed instrument (such as a chopstick) to turn out corners.
~Step Fourteen~
Press edges. Sew opening closed (the best way is to hand sew it closed).
Photo:  Courtesy of Modern Organic Fabrics

~Step Fifteen~
Sew around edge of quilt using a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

Photo:  Courtesy of Modern Organic Fabrics

~Step Sixteen~
You can be finished, if you'd like. This quilt is small enough that you don't have to quilt the back. However, this is a great little quilt to practice some machine quilting. I used a walking foot on my machine and stitched random diagonal lines.

Friday, October 8, 2010


I have been saving the most beautiful Daiwabo Fabric to make a quilt for Garth.

In the process I kept aside enough to make four wristlets for my Etsy shop.

I used the basic pattern from Lea over at Sew Spoiled just click on the 'shop' tab at the top of her blog.  This pleated wristlet pattern, by the by, is very versatile and fun to make.
Here they are!!!!!  All ready for you over at Square Bag Shop on Etsy

All have zippers on top with a hand beaded zipper pull. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wash my vegies?

From the New York Times' ANAHAD O’CONNOR

"THE FACTS: The prospect of ingesting pesticides and other contaminants can make supermarket produce seem less than appetizing. Buying organic lowers the risk, but is no guarantee against food-borne pathogens.

Scientists have found some effective household measures that can eliminate germs and pesticides. The simplest? Rinsing with tap water, which works as well as a mild soap solution or fruit and vegetable washes.

In studies at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in 2000, for example, scientists compared pesticide removal methods on 196 samples of lettuce, strawberries and tomatoes. Some were rinsed under tap water for a minute; others were treated with either a 1 percent solution of Palmolive or a fruit and vegetable wash. Tap water “significantly reduced” residues of 9 of 12 pesticides, and it worked as well as soap and wash products, the studies found.

Water temperature was not the key; friction was. “The mechanical action of rubbing the produce under tap water is likely responsible for removing pesticide residues,” scientists wrote.

For micro-organisms, try rinsing produce with a mild solution of vinegar, about 10 percent. In a 2003 study at the University of Florida, researchers tested disinfectants on strawberries contaminated with E. coli and other germs. They found the vinegar mixture reduced bacteria by 90 percent and viruses by about 95 percent. 

THE BOTTOM LINE To remove pesticides and germs, rinse produce with a vinegar solution, then wash with tap water for at least 30 seconds."