Ooh-Rah – a Block of the Month Patriotic Quilt

I am so excited that I have completed this quilt. I designed it forever ago.  The first time I found it mentioned in print was the February/March 2014 issue of Quilters Newsletter.

I have a son and two grandsons who served in the Marine Corps so Ooh-Rah (the Marine Corps battle cry) seemed like an obvious choice for the name. The fabrics are all wonderful batiks from Island Batik. And the quilt was made as a part of a quilting industry-wide program to support military men and women and their families and Operation Homefront. As I said, I designed Ooh-Rah but I had so many things going on that I made the individual blocks so they could be photographed but didn’t actually put the top together. Sometime since the first of this year (2015), I got the top put together but there was still no time to get it quilted. Two weeks ago, because it just HAD to be finished, I sent it to Crystal Zagnoli, a local machine quilter. She got it done and back to me in no time and I am completely delighted with her quilting. This was only the second quilt of mine that has been quilted by someone else and it may be happening more often. Having a large project like this done is just a satisfying feeling. And it is done; I put on the binding this weekend so it’s finished.

001 Ooh Rah – a Block of the Month Patriotic Quilt

Ooh-Rah!

So you can see the lovely quilting here is a block.  I told Crystal I wanted something with stars to go with the patriotic theme. I really like the design she suggested.

002 Ooh Rah – a Block of the Month Patriotic Quilt

Isn’t the quilting beautiful?

And here is a different block with the sashing.

003 Ooh Rah – a Block of the Month Patriotic Quilt

Here’s another photo of the quilting.

I like the design of the quilt, I love the quilting and I love that it’s done. If you would like to make your own Ooh-Rah, it is available as a block of the month kit at QuiltandSewShop.com.   Block of the month quilts are a great way to get all the pieces and parts you need for a quilt. And, of course, if you are making it for someone in the Navy or the Army or another branch of the military, you can name it something other than Ooh-Rah.

Now, be sure to visit Quilters Newsletter on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and our website for the latest news, quilting fun and ideas. There are new Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com, and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com to check out.

Until next time, happy quilting!

Posted in Inspiration, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Wanted: Hand-Quilted Quilts

To be a hand quilter in this modern era means it can sometimes feel as if no one understands you. “But why would you spend all that time quilting by hand when you can do it so much faster by machine or by check?” is a common question, even from quilt shop workers.

The answer is: Because we like it. (Even though I don’t quilt exclusively by hand, I do consider myself a hand quilter thankyouverymuch.)

Another common sentiment among hand quilters is the feeling that hand quilting isn’t adequately represented in quilt magazines and books or at quilt shows. I can’t speak for quilt shows, but on behalf of Quilters Newsletter, I do want to toot our horn: we regularly show hand-quilted quilts, even if we don’t highlight the technique in the description.

For instance, one of the patterns in our August/September 2015 issue, Barbara Fritchie’s Star, was designed and made by Georgina Fries, co-owner of Bellwether Dry Goods, which specializes in providing Amish and Mennonite hand quilting services. You can see the hand quilting particularly well in the setting and corner triangles in the photo below (click the photo to enlarge).

Barbara Fritchie detail2 1024x807 Wanted: Hand Quilted Quilts

detail of Barbara Fritchie’s Star by Georgina Fries, from Quilters Newsletter Aug/Sept 2015

As for quilt shows, it’s true that some have eliminated separate categories for hand quilting and judge the quilting regardless of technique. And of course, there are the large shows that are dedicated to machine quilting — the winning quilts are always stunning works of art.

Well, I’m here today to tell you about two upcoming events that are dedicated to hand-quilted quilts.

BANNER ENG Wanted: Hand Quilted Quilts

The first is the Acadian Museum’s 10th Annual Quilt Exposition taking place July 15-17 as part of its Acadian Festival in West Pubnico, Nova Scotia, Canada. “The goal of the quilt show is to preserve and promote traditional hand quilting as it has been done by French Acadians in Pubnico since the 1650s,” says the museum’s press release. On the one hand, it would be quite a hike to get to West Pubnico from Colorado; on the other hand, on Friday the 17th they’re having music, fireworks and seafood chowder in addition to the quilt show. Anybody want to carpool with me?
http://www.museeacadien.ca/english/index.htm

 

The second event is a little closer to home (for me, at least) and would give me a few more months to make travel plans. Every two years, the Intermountain Research and Medical Foundation of Salt Lake City, Utah, holds a Holiday Quilt Show and Auction to raise funds for medical research and development. This year’s event will take place November 14-20 and will feature approximately 70 hand-quilted quilts on display before they’re auctioned off on the final day. Since the first auction in 1983, the Foundation says it has raised more than $2 million. Based on the video, it looks like a wonderful event.
intermountainhealthcare.org

Although not nearly as ubiquitous as machine quilting, hand quilting is far from a “dying art form” as I see it described all too often. There are lots of us who hand quilt — it just takes longer for us to finish our projects, that’s all.

Keep your eyes out for the August/September 2015 issue, which will start arriving at subscribers’ homes soon and officially hits newsstands on July 21.

As always, to find out about Quilters Newsletter’s giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on FacebookTwitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube,  QNNtv.com and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Mary Kate Karr-Petras | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

State Quilt Blocks

PLEASE NOTE, THIS GIVEAWAY HAS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED. CONGRATULATIONS LISA, CHRISTI, CANDY, MARY and JANEEN!

Summer is the perfect time of year to do some travelling. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, you might either be on or be looking forward to a summer vacation, and what better places to travel to than the ones with quilts or quilt blocks? (Or quilting fabrics.)

Each state in the United States has a state quilt block in the Olde America Antiques 50 States Quilt Block Series, which was featured in the Staff Picks section of Quilters Newsletter June/July 2015. The ready-to-sew blocks are printed on cotton sateen and come in three sizes — 4″ x 6″, 6″ x 9″ and 8″ x 12″. The first two prizes featuring Colorado and Ohio have all three sizes. The third prize featuring California has the 4″ x 6″ size and the 8″ x 12″ size, and the fourth prize featuring Texas has the 4″ x 6″ side and the 6″ x 9″ size. All of the blocks in prize 5 featuring assorted states are 4″ x 6″.

Colorado State Blocks State Quilt Blocks

Prize 1 — Colorado State Blocks

Ohio State Blocks State Quilt Blocks

Prize 2 — Ohio State Blocks

California State Blocks State Quilt Blocks

Prize 3 — California State Blocks

Texas State Blocks State Quilt Blocks

Prize 4 — Texas State Blocks

Assorted State Bolcks State Quilt Blocks

Prize 5 — Assorted state blocks

To enter for your chance to be one of the 5 lucky winners who will each win one of the 5 prizes, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Sunday July 5, 2015 telling us a question you would most like answered about quilting (or one you’ve had answered that was helpful to you). If you have a preference between the prizes, let us know that in your comment as well. Since winners are randomly selected, we don’t guarantee you’ll win your preferred prize if chosen, but we’ll do our best! Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days. If you are randomly selected as a winner, the email will come from QNMquestions@fwmedia.com with “Quilters Newsletter blog giveaway” in the subject line.

To find out about more giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and to see all the beautiful quilts we like to share, join us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, InstagramYouTube and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Caitlin, Contests | Tagged , , , , , | 283 Comments

An Oldie But a Goodie – A Quilt from a Kit

I can’t show you what I’m actually working on right now – I just finished a quilt for an upcoming issue and my current project is for our next filming for Quilters Newsletter TV: The Quilters’ Community.  So I brought out one of my older quilts to blog about. I don’t remember when I started Fat Felines, Fences & Flowers but probably in the mid-1990s.

0012 An Oldie But a Goodie – A Quilt from a Kit

Fat Felines, Fences & Flowers

When I started seriously quilting in 1994, I took a monthly class at my local quilt store. I took that class for 3 years and made three bed-sized quilts and a number of table toppers and wall hangings. I never did like the colors of the fabrics that we used and I have long since given all the quilts away. But the point of the classes for me was to learn to quilt. And I did.

Sometime during those three years, I ordered the kit for Fat Felines, Fences & Flowers from Keepsake Quilting. It was a block-of-the-month quilt. I loved the colors and I loved that it had lots of applique combined with patchwork. I think that is such a fun look. Unfortunately, I didn’t finish the quilt for a long, long time. The label says I finished it in 2007.

Let me show you some close-ups.

0021 An Oldie But a Goodie – A Quilt from a Kit

Border – Left Side

The wide side borders are just rectangles of cream-colored prints with appliquéd flowers and leaves.

003 An Oldie But a Goodie – A Quilt from a Kit

Top Border

The top border is flower buds, leaves and a house appliquéd on rectangles of cream-colored prints.

The blocks that make up the center include some fairly easy blocks …

004 An Oldie But a Goodie – A Quilt from a Kit

The Upper Left Part of the Quilt Center

and some that have lots of points to match.

0061 An Oldie But a Goodie – A Quilt from a Kit

Right Center of Quilt

My label is a simple machine-stitched label (not embroidered).

0051 An Oldie But a Goodie – A Quilt from a Kit

I held the camera crooked – The label is a nice rectangle.

The machine quilting is simple meandering.

I like the idea of block-of-the-month quilts. They break the project up into easily doable parts and you get all the pieces and parts no-muss, no-fuss.  If you are unsure of color combinations, they are a great way to go.

There are several block-of-the-month selections available now at QuiltandSewShop.com  in several color schemes and with several different techniques. Check them out, you might find one you want to try.

Also, be sure to visit Quilters Newsletter on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and our website for the latest news, quilting fun and ideas. There are new Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com, and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com to check out.

Until next week, happy quilting.

Posted in Inspiration, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Weekend Workshop: Serge That Quilt

Have you ever used a serger to make a quilt? Neither have I. Truth be told, I think I’ve only ever given a serger a test drive on one occasion. But we get enough visitors to our blog from people who are looking for information on serger quilts that I know it’s a technique that’s increasing — dare I say “surging?” — in popularity. So let’s talk about it.

Serger quilt 010 2 Weekend Workshop: Serge That Quilt

Lori’s serger in action

One person on the QN team who knows a thing or two about making quilts with a serger is Lori, and she’s blogged about it a few times (hence the traffic we get on those search terms). In April 2014 she blogged about an easy serger quilt she made with a pack of precut 10″ squares.

“Serging is a nice way to get a quilt done quickly and to use up bigger pieces of scraps,” she wrote. “I think serger quilts are ideal charity quilts or car quilts.” She used a quilt-as-you-go technique after piecing the 10″ squares into rows; read more about how Lori made her serger quilt in “Serge On!”

001 2 Weekend Workshop: Serge That Quilt

Lori’s completed serger quilt

A couple of months later she finished the quilt after changing her mind a few times about how to quilt it. By this point, she had decided to make it a “caring quilt” for a family member who was facing some health issues. The ease of piecing and doing some of the quilting with a serger allowed her to put more time and effort into making it special with the rest of the quilting, including some free-motion cursive writing; read about “A Caring Quilt” on our blog.

And then last summer while on a road trip Lori visited a quilt shop where the owner showed off the serger quilt top she’d made; it’s still an easy quilt but the piecing is more involved than Lori’s. “Isn’t it pretty?” Lori wrote in her blog post “Show and Tell.”

2 11 2013 021 768x1024 Weekend Workshop: Serge That Quilt

Lori’s first serger quilt

Lori made her first serger quilt over 10 years ago. As she wrote in her blog post “Stretching the boundaries,” there are things she’d change if she made that quilt again. But it was a good experiment and one she appreciates. “I think it is okay to have things around that show how much my quiltmaking skills have improved,” she said.

Connie Fanders, director of education for Bernina of America, has also blogged for us on how to use a serger to make a quilt; you can read her post “Quilting with a Serger” on the QN blog.

Serger blog 300x225 Weekend Workshop: Serge That Quilt

The serger’s chain stitch is perfect for making a rag quilt.

In addition, Connie taped a few episodes of Quilters Newsletter Machine Quilting Tips & Techniques specifically about how to use a serger in making quilts. In “Quilting with a Serger, Part 1,” Connie demonstrates how to make a rag quilt with an overlock serger. In Part 2, she demonstrates a quilt-as-you-go method, and in Part 3 she talks about the types of patterns that lend themselves well to serger quilts, particularly those made with precut charm packs. Connie makes the point that sergers, with their ability to sew at a rate of 1,300 stitches per minute, are a great fit for quick quilts. You can watch “Quilting with a Serger” Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 on QNNtv.com.

If you’re looking for how to use your serger to sew more than straight seams, you’ll want to want to watch “How to Sew Curved Seams with Your Serger” from “Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting.” In it, Pam Mahshie and Mary Fons demonstrate how to successfully serge a curved seam with a serger, how to set the proper stitch width for an accurate seam, and also how to hold quilt fabric when piecing with a serger. Mary also provides a quick Serger 101 course to explain the basics of serging and how it can be beneficial for every quilter. Watch “How to Sew Curved Seams with Your Serger” on QNNtv.com.

Z2917FP Weekend Workshop: Serge That QuiltFor more ideas of quilt patterns that can be made with a serger, check out Serge and Merge Quilts by Sharon Rotz. In this project-driven title from the “Create with Nancy” series, Sharon uses serging stitches to create and embellish 15 quilt projects in a range of styles and sizes, including bed quilts. Bonus sidebars and notes from Nancy Zieman provide additional tips and tricks to readers. Learn more about Serge and Merge Quilts, currently on sale for 1/3 off from ShopFonsandPorter.com (prices subject to change).

 

Granted, if you don’t have ready access to a serger you won’t be able to put these tips to use this weekend. But it you do a lot of sewing, especially for charity as Lori said, then a serger might be a worthwhile investment. It’s just one more tool in a quilter’s arsenal, and it looks fun to boot. So next time you’re in a sewing machine shop, give the serger a test drive — you may want to bookmark this blog post just in case you get hooked!

As always, to find out about Quilters Newsletter’s giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on FacebookTwitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube,  QNNtv.com and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

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Organize Your Quilting Tools

PLEASE NOTE, THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED. CONGRATULATIONS JENNIFER and HOPE!

Summer officially started for those of us here in the northern hemisphere this past Sunday, which actually means that days are getting shorter again with a few seconds less of daylight than the days preceding. As quilters, we know that that just means we need to turn on the room lights and lamps a little sooner and get back to our favorite hobby. It also means that there’s a few less seconds of natural daylight to be able to organize our quilting tools and make sure that everything we need is kept well within reach. This week’s giveaway is all about helping you organize those important tools with two of the types of organizers featured as number 8 in the “Quilters’ Wish List” feature from Quilters Newsletter December/January 2015.

Both of these two types of organizers are Rule-It-All Ruler Organizers from Built by Briick Quilting. The first of the two is the Traveler model in the Golden Pecan color. The first photo below shows what it might look like set up with various tools (not included) in it, and the second photo shows it inside its box. Traveler in Golden Pecan Organize Your Quilting Tools Rule It All Traveler Organize Your Quilting Tools

The second of the two organizers is still a Rule-It-All Ruler Organizer from Built by Briick Quilting, but it’s the Storum model in the Cabernet color. Again, the first photo below shows what it might look like set up with various tools (not included) in it, and the second photo shows it inside its box. Storum in Cabernet Organize Your Quilting Tools Rule It All Storum Organize Your Quilting Tools

To enter for your chance to be one of the two lucky winners who will each win one of the two organizers, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Sunday June 28, 2015 telling us about a tool or piece of furniture or other item that you dream about adding to your quilting space (or something you have added that you absolutely love). If you have a preference between the two prizes, let us know that in your comment as well. Since winners are randomly selected, we don’t guarantee you’ll win your preferred prize if chosen, but we’ll do our best! Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days. If you are randomly selected as a winner, the email will come from QNMquestions@fwmedia.com with “Quilters Newsletter blog giveaway” in the subject line.

To find out about more giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and to see all the beautiful quilts we like to share, join us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Caitlin, Contests | Tagged , , , , | 378 Comments

Time to Teach How to Quilt

I have a delightful task ahead of me. In fact, it’s going to be so much fun, task seems like the wrong word. I have a daughter-in-law who wants to learn to quilt. I am thrilled. It is so enjoyable to pass on any art or craft.

She’ll truly be starting from scratch. She has a great eye when it comes to decorating so the artsy part should come easy for her, but she doesn’t even own a sewing machine. I’ll probably take her one of mine so she can play with it and decide how “much” of a machine she wants. Will she want one with all the bells and whistles that she can grow into? Will she want a middle-of-the-line machine? Or maybe she’ll want a lower-end machine? If she wants a nicer machine later, she can send the low-end machine to college with her daughter. We’ll have to talk about that a little more.

But the machine is just the beginning. I’ve made a shopping list for us. Until we know if she likes quiltmaking, I’ll keep the beginning quilting supplies to the basics. Here’s what I think she, and any beginner quilter, needs:

mat Time to Teach How to Quilt

Cutting Mat

 

 

  • A cutting mat  This one is 18″ x 24″. If quilting is a hit for her, we may want to get a larger mat sometime later.

 

 

rotary cutter Time to Teach How to Quilt

Rotary Cutter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scissors Time to Teach How to Quilt

Scissors

  • A pair of scissors I like these because of the curved blade. It’s easier to be precise.

    ruler Time to Teach How to Quilt

    Ruler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

square ruler Time to Teach How to Quilt

Square Ruler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • A 12½” x 12½” square ruler   I have to admit this isn’t a basic but it’s just so much easier to square blocks with a square ruler, I think it’s worth the price.
needles 12 80 Time to Teach How to Quilt

Needles

 

I’ll give her a few straight pins and a spool of medium gray or tan thread.

Then all she’ll need is some fabric and she’ll be good to go. There might be enough fabric in my sewing room to give her a good start. (Wink, wink.)

014 Time to Teach How to Quilt

Most of My Fabric Inventory

 

Have I forgotten anything else necessary for a new quilter?

We couldn’t have picked a better time to go shopping for beginner quilting needs. All of the products on my shopping list are available at ShopFonsandPorter.com and they are having a big 25% off sale through tomorrow June 23rd. Many, many of the items on the site are on sale. The promo code is CUSTLOVE25. Check it out.

And you can see all the latest quilting news (and giveaways!) on FacebookTwitter, Google+Pinterest, InstagramYouTube and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

In the meantime, I’m thinking about what beginner quilt pattern I should use for my beginning quilter. Happy quilting!

Posted in Lori Baker, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Weekend Workshop: Curved Piecing Courage

I’ll keep this short and sweet: you should try curved piecing if you’ve never tried it before.

It’s not hard, and it’s not scary.

It will require making templates or using special acrylic rulers. And you’ll need pins. Other than that, it’s pretty similar to the straight seams you’re already used to doing.

Most quilters first encounter curved seams when making the popular drunkard’s path block (one of the best quilt block names ever, in my opinion). More of a unit than a full block on its own due to only having two patches in it, the drunkard’s path offers almost limitless design opportunities.

Drunkards Path block MK 300x244 Weekend Workshop: Curved Piecing CourageI had my first experience sewing curved seams back when I was learning to quilt by working my way through Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes*. I hadn’t yet invested in a sewing machine, so I was doing all my piecing by hand. The drunkard’s path block I made (shown at left) is a traditional setting and is probably supposed to finish at 12″, which means those are 3″ units. Although hand piecing offers you more control in tight spots than machine piecing does, stitching those 3″ units by machine wouldn’t be much more difficult than sewing larger ones. As long as you can control your speed to some degree, you’ll find that with just a little extra guidance, your machine’s feed dogs will still do a lot of the work for you.

If you don’t trust me and need a little more convincing, here are some resources you may want to check out before you get started.

In a free video tutorial from Quilty called “How to Make a Pie ‘N’ Crust (Drunkard’s Path) Quilt Block,” Mary Fons shows how easy it is to cut and piece the block, resulting in a very modern quilt design. Click here to view this free Quilty video.

 

Last year Lori and I did an episode of Quilters Newsletter TV: The Quilters’ Community in which Lori used a pattern from our February/March 2014 issue as the basis for her tutorial. Click here to view the full episode of “Sewing Curves in Quilts with Lori Baker” on QNNtv.com.

AlongtheWay 800 Weekend Workshop: Curved Piecing Courage

Along the Way by Tailormade by Design, from the February/March 2014 issue of Quilters Newsletter

The quilt that inspired the episode, Along the Way, features 8″ drunkard’s path blocks set in vertical rows and rotated to create a winding path, a perfect showcase for hand or machine quilting.  Designed to show off striking large-scale prints, the wide curves of the bigger-than-usual blocks are easy to piece by machine, making this a good pattern for those new to curved piecing. The pattern is included in both the print and digital editions of the February/March 2014 issue.

 

 

 

Along the Way My Way 005 300x237 Weekend Workshop: Curved Piecing Courage

Along the Way – My Way

As you can see in the preview video above, Lori had not quite finished her version of Along the Way when we taped the episode. However, she finished it up soon after and blogged about the choices she made, including enlarging its size and how she decided on the quilting motifs based on the fabrics she picked. Read Lori’s post “A Finished Quilt — Just for Me” on the QN blog.

 

 

If you’re a fan of the “Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting” TV show, you won’t want to miss “Curing Curve-O-Phobia” on QNNtv.com, in which Marianne and Liz show you many different types of quilts involving curved seams that anyone can sew by machine. Click here to view “Curing Curve-O-Phobia” on QNNtv.com.

 

LQNEBD11 Weekend Workshop: Curved Piecing CourageAlso available from Fons & Porter are a variety of acrylic templates for making curved blocks, such as these 7″ Crazy Curves quilt block templates by Elisa’s Backporch Designs; a free pattern for the Circle Dance quilt is included. Click here to learn more about the Crazy Curves templates.

 

 

Katy Jones has also tackled the reluctance many quilters feel toward curved piecing on her QNNtv show “Quilt Monkey” with a two-part episode called “Learn How to Sew Curves.” In them, Katy guides you through fabric selection and sewing techniques to help you make a chic, modern pillow sham. It’s a great intro to the drunkard’s path block for beginners and for those interested in low-volume fabrics. Click here to view part 1 and click here to view part 2 on QNNtv.com.

 

DPODW110414 Weekend Workshop: Curved Piecing CourageIn her on-demand web seminar “Making Curved Piecing Easy,” Jennifer Parks shows you her best tricks to make curved piecing fast, easy and beautiful. This web seminar covers how to prepare your fabric, make templates, tracing, cutting, piecing, pressing and piecing blocks together and so much more! Click here to learn more about the “Making Curved Piecing Easy” web seminar.

 

 

WinterSnowfall 200 Weekend Workshop: Curved Piecing CourageWinter Snowfall by Connie Kauffman is a pattern for a quilted table runner available for free download from QuiltersNewsletter.com. It incorporates foundation piecing and curved piecing resulting in an elegant, complex look that can be adapted to a wide variety of color palettes, not just wintry ones. And I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but we also included instructions in the pattern for appliqueing the curved sections so you can avoid curved piecing altogether. But armed with the knowledge you’ve gained from the resources above, you’ll have the courage you need to face down any fears of curved piecing from now on, right? Click here to download the free pattern for Winter Snowfall.

 

*We included the most recent edition of Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! in our QN Select Editors’ Choice Kit because we all agreed it simply continues to be one of the best quilting instruction books available. The kit also includes glass head pins and Aurifil thread in addition to a 12-1/2″ square ruler designed by Laura Nownes. Check out the QN Select Editors’ Choice Kit on QuiltandSewShop.com.

Posted in Mary Kate Karr-Petras | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Quilt long and prosper

[whispering] I did it. I finished the foundation-pieced Vulcan Greeting project I started a few weeks ago. But it’s still in transit to the friend I made it for, so let’s keep this just between you and me for another day or so.

IMG 1298 Quilt long and prosper

Vulcan Greeting quilted pillow made by Mary Kate Karr-Petras

I first wrote about this project a few weeks ago in a blog post about foundation piecing fundamentals. At the time all I’d completed was piecing the 10″ block (seen below), which was designed by Vanda Chittenden and is available as a free download from Fandom in Stitches. Turning it into a finished project — well, that was another matter.

Live long Quilt long and prosper

Vulcan Greeting 10″ block designed by Vanda Chittenden, made by Mary Kate Karr-Petras

The friend I made it for has much better taste than I, plus she doesn’t have children, which means her home looks like a showcase pretty much all the time. I really have no expectations that she will display this Vulcan Greeting prominently if at all. At the very least I know she’ll get a kick out of it and she’ll appreciate the effort that went into it. After that point, she can do with it what she likes.

FIREWORKS 200 13341 Quilt long and prosper

Firework Flag pattern by Gigi Khalsa, a combination zippered pillowcase/wall hanging

Even so, I wanted to make it easy for her to display it in a couple of different ways if she so chooses, so I decided to make it into a 12″ pillow sham. If I wasn’t still intimidated by zippers I would have used a method devised by our own Gigi Khalsa for making a dual-purpose pillowcase/wall hanging, which was detailed as the Easy Lesson in our June/July 2013 issue. (Click here to purchase the print or digital edition of June/July 2013, both available for 50% off as of today, June 18.) Gigi also demonstrated her technique in a class for Quilters Newsletter Workshop; the full episode of “How to Make a Quilted Flag Pillowcase and Wall Hanging” is available on QNNtv.com.

But before I could worry about making my block into a pillow case, I had to quilt it.

For some reason — I don’t remember what it was — I decided I wanted to quilt the hand with the words “live long and prosper.” My inspiration was The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery by Graeme Base, one of my favorite illustrated children’s books that is fun for anyone who loves to solve riddles and puzzles. (You’ll have to work your way through the book to figure out which illustration I took my inspiration from, but no spoilers!)

IMG 1306 Quilt long and prosper

First I roughed out my idea on a couple of smaller-scale printouts of the pattern (as you can see, my 3-year-old seems to have gotten to it, too). Then I photocopied the pieced block itself at 100% to get a full-scale copy on which I drew my final version. I made some variations in placement on the different versions, but the main idea stayed the same.

IMG 1242 Quilt long and prosper

Before starting to quilt the actual block, I made a practice sandwich. If you know me at all, you may know that I sometimes skip this step — I just want to get to the actual quilting. But there were too many unknowns with this project so I played it safe. What you see above is the result of trying a few different approaches. At first, I thought I wanted to hand quilt the letters; you can see where I practiced with 50-weight neutral thread from Presencia in the middle of the photo (letters N & G). But I realized that I would have to quilt over some thick seams and didn’t want to deal with that, so I switched to machine quilting with the 50-weight thread. Because the letters are so long, most of the quilting is made up of straight lines, perfect for using a walking foot. Even the curves were easy to handle just by going one stitch at a time and rotating the block as needed.

I wondered if using neutral cotton thread wasn’t maybe playing it a little too safe so I experimented with some other threads. In addition to a white polyester thread from Isacord, I tried a silver metallic from Kreinik and a gold metallic from Sulky. As much as I liked the idea of the metallic threads, and as easy as it was to quilt with the polyester, I and my fellow QN team members felt they called too much attention to themselves and actually detracted from the quilting motif. So I went back to the 50-weight neutral cotton.

IMG 1227 Quilt long and prosper

I tried a couple of different lightbox approaches for transfering the letters to the foundation-pieced block, to which I had added borders, and ended up taping the pattern and block to a window on a sunny day.

IMG 1243 Quilt long and prosper

I left all my thread ends loose so I could bury them. Tedious, but I prefer the look to backstitching.

IMG 1272 Quilt long and prosper

Here’s the quilted hand after I removed the water-soluble pen markings and buried all my threads.

IMG 1271 Quilt long and prosper

The best way to read the words is to hold the quilt at eye level and parallel to the ground; you can make out the word “LIVE” in the thumb in the photo above.

IMG 1276 Quilt long and prosper

I decided to have fun with the silver metallic thread in the navy blue background, which I quilted improvisationally with a zigzag or starburst motion.

IMG 1273 Quilt long and prosper

Even that little amount of quilting in the background helped smooth out some of the distortion that had been caused to the unquilted areas by the dense quilting in the center. When all was said and done, I think the quilting took longer than the foundation piecing since I designed it from scratch.

IMG 1287 Quilt long and prosper

Because I wanted this pillow sham to fit a 12″ pillow form, I had added 2″-wide borders to allow for any shrinkage cause by the quilting. After trimming the quilted block to 12.5″ (I know some of the starburst points are cut off — it doesn’t bother me since I did it improvisationally), I added an envelope back and bound it. For some reason, hand finishing the binding took me a long time — trying to stitch dark fabric with dark thread by lamplight was not as easy as I thought it would be.

IMG 1298 Quilt long and prosper

Vulcan Greeting quilted pillow made by Mary Kate Karr-Petras

But finish it I did. I kind of like making small projects; the feeling of accomplishment is fantastic and it gives me the chance to experiment with new techniques, tools and materials without having to commit to a large project. Pillow shams seem to be my thing this year. I’m planning to add to the winter and spring pillow shams I’ve already made with one for summer, and I’m pretty sure I want to make it my first mariner’s compass. Stay tuned.

CT10985 Quilt long and prosper If you’re interested in foundation piecing (aka paper piecing), you may want to pick up a package of Carol Doak’s Foundation Paper. I used regular copier paper for this small project, but for anything with more blocks I would want to use a specialty paper, if only because it’s designed to perforate easily when it comes time to remove the foundations from the blocks. Most experienced foundation piecers only use specialty foundation paper, and Carol Doak’s is one of the most popular.

 

As always, to find out about Quilters Newsletter’s giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on FacebookTwitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube,  QNNtv.com and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

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Three Times the Urban Textures

PLEASE NOTE, THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED. CONGRATULATIONS ROBIN, JULIE and BECKY!

Do you like fabric? Do you like quilt blocks? Do you like new fabrics and free quilt block patterns? Keep reading. CoverJJ15 200 Three Times the Urban TexturesOur June/July issue has some wonderful staff picks in it, including four new fabric lines. You saw one of those new lines here on our blog a couple of weeks back (stay turned for more colorways of Modern Elements later on) and today we’re introducing three colorways of Urban Textures by SAQA for Andover Fabrics, one colorway bundle to be given away to each of three lucky randomly selected winners. If the staff picks section doesn’t entice you as much as four wonderful quilt patterns, an easy lesson on quilt binding, a workshop on Y-seams, articles on Chilean Arpilleras and Social Media as Quilt Documentation and much more, then don’t worry because those are also included in Quilters Newsletter June/July 2015. But for now let’s focus on those colorways of Urban Textures by SAQA for Andover Fabrics.

In orange:
Andover Urban Textures Orange Three Times the Urban TexturesOr gray:
Andover Urban Textures Gray Three Times the Urban TexturesOr blue:
Andover Urban Textures Blue Three Times the Urban TexturesStuck on what you might do with Urban Textures? Try this good cheer quilt block which happens to be the free staff pick block for the Quilters Newsletter June/July 2015 issue.
UrbanTextures 800 Three Times the Urban Textures

To enter for your chance to win one of the three Urban Textures bundles, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Sunday June 21, 2015 telling us about your favorite fabric you’ve ever seen/bought/worked with. If you have a preference between the three colorways, let us know that in your comment as well. Since winners are randomly selected, we can’t guarantee you’ll receive your preferred colorway if chosen, but we’ll do our best! Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days. If you are randomly selected as a winner, the email will come from QNMquestions@fwmedia.com with “Quilters Newsletter blog giveaway” in the subject line.

To find out about more giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and to see all the beautiful quilts we like to share, join us on FacebookTwitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Caitlin, Contests | Tagged , , , , , | 386 Comments