Celebration of Quilting Giveaway

In the world of silly holidays, tomorrow, Thursday, March 26, 2015 is “Make Up Your Own Holiday Day.” Considering how many silly holidays there already are, I’m pretty sure just about anything you might dream up has already been placed on the calendar somewhere. (Today, the 25th, is both Pecan Day and Waffle Day if you were curious). I was flipping through the pile of books available to give away and found Celebrate the Day with Quilts by Shannon Gingrich Shirley from Schiffer Publishing, an art quilt challenge book which features quilts for many of the days of the year as well as helpful calendar pages listing a great number of those silly holidays to help you find something to celebrate with quilting on any day of the year. This week’s giveaway prize is built around that art quilting concept.

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Celebrate the Day with Quilts is just the first book of this celebration of quilting prize which also includes Pictorial Art Quilt Guidebook by Leni Levensen Wiener from C&T Publishing, First-Time Machine Applique by Janet Pittman from Landauer Publishing, Color for Quilters by Lauri Linch-Zadel and the editors of Quilters Newsletter and Quiltmaker, a Clover Water Soluble Marker, a Clover Finger Presser, a Handy Helpers Extendable Magnifying Mirror, and Richard Hemming & Son Big Eye Quilting Needles in sizes 10 and 11.

Don’t want to wait to see if you win before starting a new art quilt — or just a quilt using some of those same techniques? Check out these bits of inspiration:

To enter for your chance to win the celebrations prize, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Sunday March 29, 2015 telling us about something you have cause to celebrate lately. 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 giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on Facebook, TwitterGoogle+, PinterestInstagram, 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 Caitlin, Contests | Tagged , , , , , , , | 215 Comments

More adventures in quilting with little kids

ruler More adventures in quilting with little kids

I’m pretty sure I’m not the one who put puppy stickers on my acrylic ruler…

This past Saturday morning — which just happened to be National Quilting Day — I was watching Fons & Porter’s “Love of Quilting” on our local PBS station, as I try to do every week when new episodes air. Because it airs at 8:00 a.m., however, and because I have small children who seem to want food or attention (or both) from mommy first thing on Saturday to get the weekend started, I’m usually not able to pay attention to it as closely as I’d like.

So I was a little surprised when, completely unsolicited, my kindergartener said she wanted to do some sewing, and my 3-going-on-13-year-old agreed.

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My view of my sewing machine when my 3-year-old “helped” me with my machine quilting.

A few months ago we did an episode of Quilters Newsletter TV: The Quilters’ Community in which I talked about some easy quilting projects I did with my daughters (click here for the episode on QNNtv.com); I also blogged about them (click here to read my blog post).

Truth be told, we haven’t done a whole lot of sewing together recently. Sure, I let my younger daughter sit on my lap when I’m at my sewing machine and she “helps” by placing her fingers on the fabric to guide it. But I haven’t done hand stitching with them since the first time I did it with my older daughter because, well… To be honest, it’s because my younger daughter is no longer taking a regular nap, and I haven’t felt like wrangling two small sets of hands simultaneously. And besides, when I’m downstairs in the guest/sewing room, I want to be working on my own projects. Yep, I’m selfish that way.

But they were both pretty insistent they wanted to sew, so I took them up on it.

10995858 10153089843305552  300x210 More adventures in quilting with little kidsGetting started was a challenge, as my older daughter was having trouble deciding exactly what she wanted to do and how to describe it. When she said she wanted to draw on some fabric with my marking pencils (which she’s already worn down to nubs by scribbling on paper), I decided to press scraps of white fabric to freezer paper for stability and let both of them color with crayons. My older daughter wrote, “I ❤ you mom dad,” in keeping with the theme of her current series of notes left around the house, similar to the one shown. Meanwhile, my younger daughter took a Jackson Pollack-approach to her scrap. I’m going to heat-set both of them and use them in the pieced backing for the queen bed quilt that is currently a UFO but will be a WIP before long (she says optimistically).

After some breakfast, my older daughter remembered that what she really wanted was to sew with a needle and thread as she’d done before. I took a deep breath, pulled out some scraps, two small embroidery hoops and my sashiko needles, and then I let them pick some thread. My older daughter ended up choosing a pretty, light orange rayon thread, which maybe wasn’t the best match for a big-eye sashiko needle. The needle came unthreaded a number of times, but once she got the hang of holding it at the eye, she got into a rhythm and worked by herself while I focused on her sister. When I checked on her progress, I was mighty impressed by how diligently she stitched and how (relatively) even her stitches were.

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The kindergartener’s hand stitching

Such a difference from the large, crisscrossing stitches she did last year!

And in her first foray, the 3-year-old did a good job, too. She’s always caught on quickly to how things work, saying, “I do it mySELF!” And by and large, she’s right — she can do it herself, as you can see below. (I let her choose which color size 8 perle cotton thread she preferred, but limited her choices to my thicker threads.)

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The 3-year-old’s first hand stitching efforts

So I guess you could say National Quilting Day was a successful one in our house. It will be interesting to see if and how their interest in sewing develops over the years. They’re still both very young, although my older daughter is acquiring new skills at an exponential rate these days, so she may be ready for some real projects soon. I noticed that longarmer extraordinaire Angela Walters and her daughter Chloe recently appeared on Jodie Davis’ “Quilt It!” show to talk about Get Quilting with Angela and Chloe, their upcoming book of quilting projects for 8- to 13-year-olds (click here for the full episode on QNNtv.com). I haven’t watched it yet but I can’t wait to do so. After all, my daughters will be 8 before I know it.

If you’re not a kid anymore and are looking for some fun hand-stitching tools and projects, check out the links below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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National Craft Month Quilters Celebration Week 4

March is National Craft Month and National Quilting Month, and here at Quilters Newsletter, we’d like to spend March celebrating the craft of quilting by celebrating you, the quilter. At the end of February, we asked our readers to submit a photo of themselves with a quilt they made with information about themselves and their quilt for a chance to be a featured quilter. This week, the fourth week of March, we’re featuring the fourth set of two quilters who submitted photos: Linda Creel of Ocean Springs, Mississippi and Lisa Timmer of Boonsboro, Maryland.

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Red Quilt, 50″ x 60″, 2015, by Linda Creel

Our first featured quilter for week 4 is Linda with a quilt she designed both the fabric and the pattern for. Here’s what Linda had to say about this quilt: “This quilt epitomizes what I love about working with fibers. I want to showcase my fabrics. There is no precision piecing. It was constructed using the quilt as you go method, with large wonky blocks of fabric and very simple quilt lines. All the fabric, with the exception of the black sashing, is hand-dyed, stamped, painted or disbursed by me. As you may be able to see, a few of the blocks are actually pieced from leftover strips of the fabrics, but the majority are single pieces. And a lot of the fabrics utilized are recycled fabrics, often 100% cotton sheets that I find in thrift shops. In fact, the backing fabric is an old sheet that I pulled out of the drawer and tossed in the washing machine with the remains of a bottle of RIT dye. And it came out the perfect shade quite by accident! I love these colors, but I’m also planning to make a similar quilt using shades of blue and aqua, which I may use as a wall hanging.”

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Detail with backing fabric of Linda Creel’s Red Quilt.

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Linda learned to sew when it was cheaper to make your own clothes than buy them and made everything she wore for many years. Currently she also loves to knit and to dye fabric, usually using low water immersion dying with Procion MX dyes. She also likes to combine dying with random disbursing, stamping and painting. She says, “Because I only have a standard sewing machine, I make quilts using the quilt as you go method, either in blocks or strips. I particularly like the vintage strippy quilts from the North of England. The quilts I make are utilitarian, made primarily for practical reasons, combining blocks and strips and, frequently, tying. They are made to be used.”

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Comfy Critters, 34.5″ x 34.5″, 2015, by Lisa Timmer

Our second featured quilter of week 4 is Lisa with her version of Comfy Critters. Here’s what Lisa had to say about this quilt: “Attached is a photo of a baby quilt I made just last month. The pattern comes from The Big Book of Baby Quilts (That Patchwork Place) and is called Comfy Critters. It is machine pieced using simple 9-patch blocks, strips and squares. The quilting was done on my machine. I stippled the inset blocks and added wavy lines for the strips to mirror the print.

“I love this quilt for a couple of reasons. My husband and I are going on a mission trip to Haiti this July with a team of 12 others. We are hosting a fundraiser dinner this month and having a silent auction at the same time. I have been busily sewing to provide auction items and there is not much time left. So, reason #1 that I love the quilt is that the pattern was easy. I was able to cut it and sew the top together is a single sitting. I was also able to quilt it myself and save money rather than sending it off to the longarm experts.

“Reason #2 is that I was able to pull it together using my current fabric stash. I inherited the fish print last year from a dear friend whose mom passed away. She shared my quilting passion. I wasn’t sure what I would do with this print but thought it might come in handy one day. The bold strips in the quilt remind me of seaweed, and I thought it would pair nicely with the fish print. The blue bubbly print looks like water — this came from a kit I chose not to do when I received it. I am glad I was able to make use of fabrics that I otherwise didn’t know what to do with.

“Reason #3 is that this is the first pattern I am making using this particular book and now I feel as though I have validated my purchase!

“Reason #4 why I love this quilt is that not only it is being offered up for a good cause, but I simply love to sew. I work full time outside of the home, but the job doesn’t provide me with my quilting fix — just the funds to feed it. Until I work in an industry where I get to play with fabric every day, I have to sneak off to my sewing room in the evenings. Love it!”

Want to be a featured quilter? Send a photo of you with a quilt you’ve made to QMNsubmissions@fwmedia.com with your name and location as well as any details you’d like to provide about your quilt and quilting career.

Need some inspiration for that next quilting project? Check out our these digital quilt patterns from Quilters Newsletter:

As always, to find out about giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on FacebookTwitter, Google+Pinterest, InstagramYouTube, QNNtv.com and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on CraftDaily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

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Her three favorite words: Thrifted. Vintage. Quilt.

Last Friday evening a friend of mine posted this photo of a Dresden plate quilt on Facebook with the following caption: “Pretty little vintage thing spotted while thrifting tonight. Too bad I couldn’t justify the price. So, I’ll have to settle for a pic and the hope that it’s still there next week, when it would theoretically be on sale.”

11074397 10203628390295248 120390770352977435 n Her three favorite words: Thrifted. Vintage. Quilt.

My first comment was, “Where? How much? (Just curious, not going to take it.)”

Her reply was, “You know where! $35.”

I sure did know where. Apparently I live near one of the better thrift stores in the Denver suburbs, to the extent that this friend (Stacey) as well as fellow editor Gigi both visit it regularly even though (as I regularly point out to them) they are traveling out of their zip codes and into mine to do so. The unmitigated gall of some people!

It’s the same thrift store where I found my vintage quilt made from 1940s bow-tie blocks. But I got my quilt for only $9, and the one Stacey had found was priced almost four times as much. Either someone new was setting the prices, or she had found a real treasure. The more I looked at the photo she’d posted, the more questions I had.

Essentially, even though it was scrappy and the fabrics looked vintage, there was something about the quilting in the sashes that bugged me. It just didn’t seem crinkly enough for a quilt that would presumably have been washed a number of times. My curiosity was piqued. I told Stacey I’d try to swing by the thrift store the next day to take a look at it: “If I think it’s truly vintage (note I’m not an expert but I have seen a wide variety of quilts) I’ll snag it for you.”

So when my husband said something about having bagels and lox on Saturday morning, I volunteered to go get some. By some strange coincidence, the thrift store is between our house and the bagel shop — what are the odds?

I strode into the thrift store shortly after they opened and made a beeline for the linens section, a woman on a mission. I found it quickly and pulled it off the hanger. Stacey was right: it was large, and it had a $35 price tag. She was also right about it being vintage. As with my own vintage quilt find, I checked the binding on this one carefully. There were no tags or labels at all, and the binding was certainly done at least partially by hand. It looked like two opposite edges were bound by folding the backing to the front and tacking it down by hand (with white thread), and the other two edges were bound with strips, again back-to-front. The quilting and turned-edge applique were also done by hand, and done quite well, with neat, small stitches. [Click on the photos to enlarge them.]

IMG 0906 Her three favorite words: Thrifted. Vintage. Quilt.

Most of the blocks were made with fabrics that looked to be from the 1930s or 1940s.

IMG 0905 Her three favorite words: Thrifted. Vintage. Quilt.

It was also really dirty, as in someone might have used it to wrap furniture being transported in the bed of an old pick-up truck type of dirty.

IMG 0904 Her three favorite words: Thrifted. Vintage. Quilt.

In other blocks I saw fabrics that looked more recent, maybe from the 1950s or 1960s.

IMG 0908 Her three favorite words: Thrifted. Vintage. Quilt.

IMG 0907 Her three favorite words: Thrifted. Vintage. Quilt.

I snapped some photos, and conscious of the bagels cooling in my car, headed back out. Stacey texted me just as I was leaving, so I called her to tell her what I thought: certainly homemade, definitely hand quilted and appliqued, most likely not any more recent than the 1970s and probably earlier. I suspected the fabric used in the sashes and borders was not 100-percent cotton but probably a blend of some sort, based both on how it felt and how smooth it looked. The one thing I forgot to try to assess was the type of batting used, which would have told us a lot.

My advice to Stacey was, If you love it, get it. The price, although high for that particular shop, is still a lot better than retail, and it was good quality if in need of TLC. I offered to post my photos on the Quilts-Vintage and Antique Facebook group to see what some of the experts might think. She said she thought it was a great idea and looked forward to hearing what they would say even as she was simultaneously sending her husband over to the store to pick it up.

There are some serious quilt collectors and historians in the Quilts-Vintage and Antique group who really know their stuff, and membership in the group certainly has its privileges. People were quick to help me play Quilt Detective, and in addition to input I got from Bill Volckening, to whom I’d sent the photos separately when I was having trouble uploading them directly from my phone, I got a better sense of how and when the quilt was made. (Bill also made some recommendations on how to clean a vintage quilt safely. He’s done so many times with great success; click here to learn more about Bill’s tips for collecting and caring for old quilts.)

The consensus seems to be that it’s an intergenerational quilt that was started as early as the 1930s with additional blocks made in the 1960s; friend-of-QN Pepper Cory said, “perhaps in order to make it a larger quilt, the assembler used what older blocks she had and then added new ones.” One woman commented on the photo directly above, “I made a maternity dress from the fabric with the aqua, pink and small flower. That was in 1964.” Another said of the same photo, “I couldn’t see it as well in the other photo, but in this one, it does appear that the block center is different than the border. And yes, newer fabrics by far.” Yet another said, “I think the quilting reflects the later dates too, not as dense as older quilts.”

Regarding the peach fabric, one woman commented that it could be a polished cotton, which she said was popular in the 1950s. I don’t know anything about polished cotton, but now I’m intrigued. I’d like to find a time for Stacey to come to the office to take advantage of the experienced eyes and hands of some of my colleagues, Lori in particular, who know a lot about different quilt and garment textiles from the past few decades.

Until then, my friend will just have to be content with the one thing everyone agreed upon: she found a true treasure and she should be happy. And she is.

If you also love vintage or vintage-looking quilts, here are some resources you may want to check out to tide you over until you find your own hidden treasure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

National Quilting Day Giveaway

PLEASE NOTE, THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED. CONGRATULATIONS NANCY!

The first recognized quilting day was called “Quilters Day Out” by residents of Kentucky in 1989. By 1992, Quilting Day had been voted in as a national holiday, celebrated on the third Saturday of March each year. That day happens to land on this Saturday, March 21, 2015. The day before that this year, Friday, March 20, is the spring equinox here in the northern hemisphere as well as International Earth Day. Which explains why I was in a bit of a springtime mood when assembling the prize for this week’s giveaway. You might notice some flowers, birds and butterflies among the items, all of which can be used to help celebrate National Quilting Day: NationalQuiltingDayPrize 550 National Quilting Day GiveawayThis wonderful prize includes a bundle of fat quarters from the Baskets in Bloom collection by Gail Pan for Red Rooster Fabrics, a Butterfly Effect quilt pattern in three sizes by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes for From Me to You, a Stencil Series Feathers and Flora template from Indygo Junction, Color for Quilters by Lauri Linch-Zadel, a Creative Options plastic storage case with handle and locking lid, a Handy Helpers EZ Bob, Stacking Patchwork Pins (Fine) from Clover, 20 size 10 Big Eye Quilting Needles from Colonial and 6 size 12 Applique/Sharps Black Gold Needles from Clover.

To enter for your chance to win the quilting prize, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Sunday March 22, 2015 telling us how you’re celebrating either National Quilting Day (March 21) or National Quilting and Crafting Month (March). 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 giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestInstagramYouTubeQNNtv.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 Contests | Tagged , | 785 Comments

National Craft Month Quilters Celebration Week 3

March is National Craft Month and National Quilting Month, and here at Quilters Newsletter, we’d like to spend March celebrating the craft of quilting by celebrating you, the quilter. At the end of February, we asked our readers to submit a photo of themselves with a quilt they made with information about themselves and their quilt for a chance to be a featured quilter. This week, the third week of March, we’re featuring the third set of two quilters who submitted photos: Jeannie Zimmerman of Middleburg, Florida and Jerry Luschen of Texico, Illinois.

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Christmas side of Reversible Door Quilt by Jeannie Zimmerman

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Halloween side of Reversible Door Quilt by Jeannie Zimmerman

Featured first of our week 3 quilters is Jeannie, who sent in images of two of her quilts. Above is both sides of her reversible holiday door quilt. Here’s what Jeannie had to say about it: “My husband spotted a skeleton quilt panel at a quilt show. Halloween is his favorite holiday, so I promised him a quilt with it. We found the black/white owl fabric at the same show. Then I thought, why not make it a two holiday quilt. I had a drawer full of Christmas fabrics in my stash and decided to make a Christmas tree panel with gifts under the tree. Once I rough sketched the layout, I used only a rotary cutter and long ruler to cut and sew the front and back. The batting I used was rayon and bamboo, for a Southern weight. I basted the sandwich with safety pins and hand quilted the layers, mainly echo quilting the skeleton. For the gifts under the tree, the packages and ribbons are pieced and joined to the upper section. The bows are stitched like flaps to add depth. The ornaments on the tree are hand stitched to the tree, with red ornaments placed to run new ribbon “garland” through each year. I added hanging loops to the top in each side so that we can slide a dowel through. It is about the size of my front door where we hang it for holiday gatherings. We really like this quilt. I hope you get ideas from it , too.”

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T-shirt Quilt for WIll, by Jeannie Zimmerman

The second quilt Jeannie sent an image of was a t-shirt quilt she made for her second cousin, Will. Here’s what she had to say about it: ”This quilt was made from selected t-shirts of his from t-ball through adulthood. I bordered the shirt panels in 3 fabrics. He loves the outdoors and is a nature photographer, so that guided my fabric selections. The bottom was a close up of printed grass blades; the middle was a distant, dark pine tree forest on mountain sides; and the top was a dark moon sky print. I had it longarm quilted at Calico Station Quilt Shop, in Orange Park FL, and they did a great job. I added the binding myself. The attached photo was taken the night I presented it to him. It was a surprise for him. I was a little nervous that he would be angry that I cut up his special shirts, but he seemed very pleased.”

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Barn Quilt, 48″ s 48″, by Jerry Luschen

Our second featured quilter for week 3 is Jerry, whose wife, an avid quilter, and trips to Kentucky where they enjoyed viewing the barn quilts there, inspired him to make barn quilts for their area in Southern Illinois. Above is his first barn quilt, and below is his third. Here’s what he has to say about them: “I recently retired and have always enjoyed working with wood. My wife has quilted for several years, and we may have  to build an addition for all of them, so I decided to try to do it with wood. Right now I’m just using oak and pine but want to start to use others woods including old barn wood. The one we are doing now will be 2-dimensional  with a color background. Basically, I’ve been looking for patterns that I think would look good in wood.” Jerry also says his wife’s quilt guild has been giving him a lot of praise and encouragement, and he’s been enjoying making barn quilts so much, he may have to come out of retirement to make them as more than just a hobby.

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Barn Quilt, 24″ x 24″, by Jerry Luschen

Want to be a featured quilter? Send a photo of you with a quilt you’ve made to QMNsubmissions@fwmedia.com with your name and location as well as any details you’d like to provide about your quilt and quilting career.

Need some inspiration for that next quilting project? Check out our these digital quilt patterns from Quilters Newsletter:

As always, to find out about giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on FacebookTwitter, Google+,Pinterest, InstagramYouTube, QNNtv.com and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on CraftDaily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

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Quilts Don’t Have to be 100% Cotton

I’m still sorting through boxes and trying to get organized from our move to our new home. Moving is complicated to begin with but we added a whole new level of difficulty by having things at two locations. We moved things from our apartment to our new house two weekends ago.

sewing room 1 Quilts Don’t Have to be 100% Cotton

Sewing Room – Stage One

This is what my new sewing room looked like after that weekend. I put away some of the things but then we did the second stage of moving and brought all of the things from storage. We had all the critical things in the apartment so they were moved the first weekend. We’d sorted as we packed things into the storage unit but we didn’t know what our new house would be so we have lots of things that we thought we might want to keep. But look at my sewing room now, I think I kept too much.

sewing room 2 Quilts Don’t Have to be 100% Cotton

Sewing Room – Stage Two

Hidden in all those boxes are specialty rulers, specialty fabrics (not the typical quilting cottons), embroidery collections and lots and lots of patterns and ideas that I’ve drawn out but never actually started sewing.

It will still be awhile before I get organized enough to start sewing again because all the available space in my home looks like this except the master bedroom. I see many evenings of sorting and putting away in my future.

But as I was looking at the storage tub with my specialty fabric, I thought I’d write about sewing with fabrics other than quilting cotton.

When I started quilting, I was using scraps from my garment sewing and scraps given to me by my aunt. I made five quilts using polyester double knits. One of them is still among my favorites but that’s a story for another day. When the double knits were gone, I started using woven fabrics – a mix of cottons and polyester and poly-cotton blends. Those quilts were successful as were the double knit quilts. My goal was warm bedding for my sons and that’s what I got.

Turn the clock forward a number of years. My beds all had quilts so I started making quilts for decorations and I still used assorted fabrics. Here is a quilt from back then. I call it Simply Charming. The date on the label is August 2003.

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Simply Charming

The majority of the fabrics in this quilt are “normal” quilting fabrics but the white is eyelet. I think it is a poly-cotton blend. The only challenge I remember is that sometimes when I went over the embroidered part of the eyelet, the bulk of the extra thread made my stitching go crooked. I should have experimented with needle sizes and types, but I didn’t.

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One of the Appliqued Blocks

The applique is all fused raw-edge applique. I quilted in the ditch on the appliqued blocks and quilted diagonal lines in the alternate blocks.

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A Tiny Quilted Heart

The upper left corner of the appliqued block had an area without quilting that was larger than I liked so I free-motion quilted a small heart in that area.

It’s a pretty little quilt and I’m pleased with what I did with it considering my skill level at the time.

My best advice if you are considering a non-traditional fabric is to make a sample block. Consider bulk, washability and how much the fabric will ravel. I have a silk dupioni wall quilt that I love. I’ve used satin and I’ve used denim in quilts. I’ve used embroidered fabric. It’s fun to experiment, so just go for it.

Now, a reminder about two web seminars this week. On Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time, Lori Kennedy will present Meander No More: Learn to Free Motion Quilt with Confidence.  I’m really excited about this one. Lori does wonderful free-motion quilting. I’m sure I’ll pick up some good tips and techniques from her. Then on Friday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time, Alex Anderson will be giving a lesson titled Scrap Quilting with Alex Anderson It’s another web seminar that promises to be excellent. I’ve learned so much from Alex over the years. The cost of each seminar is $19.99 and if you can’t be there for the live event, the registration fee will give you access to the archived version of the program.

And remember 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.

Happy Quilting!

Posted in Lori Baker, Staff Quilts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Getting stuff done: some thoughts for quilters

IMG 0897 Getting stuff done: some thoughts for quilters

Here we are, almost midway through National Quilting Month — how’s it been going for you? Have you been getting more sewing done than usual? Or any sewing at all?

Apparently we are also nearing the end of Selfish Sewing Week, which I just learned about. It’s a week during which you’re encouraged to sew something for yourself just because it makes you happy. I’m still at the point where pretty much any sewing I’m able to accomplish makes me happy, so the fact that I’ve been adding borders to my daughter’s twin bed quilt (click here to see the completed top before adding borders) counts as far as I’m concerned.

One of the things I love about my job is that I get to spend a significant part of my workday thinking about the creative process. Whether I’m interviewing someone for an article or on Quilters Newsletter TV, or I’m writing a pattern or tutorial, I’m always interested in how people work and why they make the work they do.

It’s a topic I’ve addressed a number of times on this blog, too. Last week I blogged about free online resources for artistic inspiration. A few years ago I blogged about some thoughts on creativity and the creative process I found inspiring. And a little over a year later, I wrote a blog post aimed at aspiring quilters, those who say, “I’d love to be able to do that!” Guess what — you can! All you have to do is start, simple as that.

Last month I blogged about my first finished project of 2015 and then posted a photo of it on my personal Facebook page. One of my brothers-in-law commented, “You’re so artistic!” My knee-jerk reaction was to say, “No, I’m not artistic, I just quilt.” Which is exactly the response I hope QN encourages quilters not to have!

The truth is, after I thought about it, I realized my pillow sham is an example of artistic expression. Whether it’s good art or not is up for debate, but even I can admit the fact that I designed it as a way to interact with and express a personal experience — even something as banal as the weather — means that it is at least a little bit ‘art’ in addition to ‘craft.’ And I only got to that point by deciding to stop conceptualizing it and instead get my hands on some fabric and graph paper to start the work.

So in that spirit, with half of National Quilting Month still before us, here are some additional insights into how creative people work and view inspiration. I find them useful, and I hope you do, too.

“I have a reward system. I am the monkey with the pellet and it’s so bad that I write almost everything in restaurants or cafes [so] that when I have an idea, I go and get chocolate.”
Joss Whedon is an enormously prolific Hollywood multi-hyphenate, the director-writer-producer-actor-author behind TV’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” blockbuster film “The Avengers” and many other projects. In this interview he lays out how he gets all that work done in addition to being a husband and father. Some of his tips run counter to the conventional wisdom on how to be successful, such as “eat dessert first.” And what quilter can’t relate to wanting to grab a bite of chocolate to keep the momentum going?

“You give inspiration a lot more windows to climb through if you’re working.”
This post on the National Endowment for the Arts blog is a compilation of thoughts on inspiration from eight artists from different disciplines.

“Innovative approaches come from people trying new things and being willing to make mistakes — even planning for them.”
In this open letter published on the NEA blog, Ann Meier Baker, NEA director of music and opera, thanks her childhood piano teacher for the important lessons learned at the keyboard that she’s carried into her career.

If you’re looking for some ways of jumpstarting your creative process, here a few places you may want to investigate.

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tidal Lace and NeedlePack II Giveaway

PLEASE NOTE, THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED! CONGRATULATIONS CAROLINE AND ADINA!

The hobby of quilting isn’t always just about quilting. Sometimes it’s about creativity or stress relief FebMar15Cover 200 Tidal Lace and NeedlePack II Giveaway and sometimes it’s about friendship and a shared connection or a charitable cause and giving back. Quilting can be about a lot of things, and Quilters Newsletter tries to embrace a lot of those reasons why we quilt. Every issue we meet new quilters, see new beautiful quilts, learn about news in the quilting world and quilting history, and provide patterns and new techniques. In Quilters Newsletter February/March 2015, our Meetin’ Place features Mary Kay Price, who started quilting after an excursion trying to find vacuum cleaner bags. We also take a look at History in the Digital Age, Quilts of the 1970s, a tribute to Jewel Pearce Patterson as made by winners of the Jewel Pearce Patterson Scholarship, and so much more.

Our Staff Picks section also features some great items, and this week, we’re giving away two prizes from those items, one prize each to two lucky winners. Each prize contains a bundle of fat quarters of Tidal Lace by Kim Andersson for Windham Fabrics and a Colonial Needle Machine NeedlePack II. Tidal Lace Colonial Needle Tidal Lace and NeedlePack II Giveaway

Just in case you need a little inspiration on what to do with Tidal Lace, here’s a block I made from the collection. I ran across an older quilt pattern a few days ago which had several different sailboat blocks in the border and think I might have to play with the idea and make more blocks to go with this one. (Now if only I could remember where I ran across that pattern…)Tidal Lace Block Tidal Lace and NeedlePack II Giveaway

To enter for your chance to win one of the two prizes, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Sunday March 15, 2015 telling us what quilting means to you. 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 giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+PinterestInstagram, 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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National Craft Month Quilters Celebration Week 2

March is National Craft Month and National Quilting Month, and here at Quilters Newsletter, we’d like to spend March celebrating the craft of quilting by celebrating you, the quilter. At the end of February, we asked our readers to submit a photo of themselves with a quilt they made with information about themselves and their quilt for a chance to be a featured quilter. This week, the second week of March, we’re featuring the second set of two quilters who submitted photos: Birgitt von Dewitz of Bavaria, Germany and Brandy Perkins of Hodgenville, Kentucky.

Birgitt von Dewitz flat 550 National Craft Month Quilters Celebration Week 2

Sampler Quilt, 69″ x 86″, 2009, by Birgitt von Dewitz

Our first featured quilter in Week 2 is Birgitt and her first quilt with matching throw pillows. Birgitt likes to quilt in the evening after a long day of tending her garden with over 190 different rosebushes. Aren’t the flowers behind her quilt in the below picture lovely?

Birgitt von Dewitz setup 550 National Craft Month Quilters Celebration Week 2

Sampler Quilt, by Birgitt von Dewitz

Here’s what Birgitt has to say about this quilt: “I started quilting in 2008, and this quilt was my very first one. It was hand-quilted, and I love it. I love the colors, and since it was a sampler quilt, I learned a lot about quilting. In fact, I did some of the patterns with paper first so not to spoil the fabric. The pattern I made this from was in a magazine called Patchwork für Einsteiger (Patchwork for Beginners) edited by the HCM-Verlags GmbH. I still have the magazine and often turn to it for reference.”

Brandy Perkins quilt 550 National Craft Month Quilters Celebration Week 2

Applique Star Quilt, 110″ x 110″, by Brandy Perkins

Brandy Perkins pillow 200 National Craft Month Quilters Celebration Week 2

Applique Star Pillow, by Brandy Perkins

Our second featured quilter this week is Brandy and her first quilt. Here’s what Brandy had to say about this quilt: “This is first quilt I completed on my own. I had no pattern to follow, so I winged it. I have a large metal star which hangs on my wall that I used for the center star pattern. I traced it out on Wonder Under and went from there using free hand to do the rest of the pattern. For my first quilt, I’m pleased. I also made throw pillows to match.”

Want to be a featured quilter? Send a photo of you with a quilt you’ve made to QMNsubmissions@fwmedia.com with your name and location as well as any details you’d like to provide about your quilt and quilting career.

Need some inspiration for that next quilting project? Check out our these digital quilt patterns from Quilters Newsletter:

As always, to find out about 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 CraftDaily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Caitlin, Inspiration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments