Introducing Best Christmas Quilts 2016

If you missed Mary Kate’s blog post yesterday about her rendition of Merry MerryBCQ16 Cover 200 Introducing Best Christmas Quilts 2016 then it’s possible you’re unaware of our latest special issue, Quilters Newsletter presents Best Christmas Quilts 2016. There are projects of various sizes and skill levels inside, several of which could be made to celebrate winter, or even year round depending on your fabric choices. See previews of each of the projects on our website.

One of the projects inside is Cookie Swap Party, designed by Kimberly Jolly for It’s Sew Emma, Austin, Texas, and made by Ruthie Wasmuth of Lafayette, Indiana. It was made with the Cookie Exchange collection by Sweetwater for Moda, which happens to also be what our first prize this week is comprised of as well as the Sweetwater Cookie Exchange Gift Bag, a free pattern from our April/May 2016 issue. Cookie Swap Party is also available as a kit.

Prize 1 is a fat eighth bundle of Moda’s Cookie Exchange collection by Sweetwater. Moda CookieExchange Introducing Best Christmas Quilts 2016

Prize 2 is a fat quarter bundle of Northcott’s Penelope collection by Sue Beevers. Northcott Penelope Introducing Best Christmas Quilts 2016

To enter for your chance to win one of the two fabric bundles, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Sunday, August 28, 2016, telling us what holiday is your favorite to make quilts and/or quilting projects for. 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 FacebookTwitter, Google+, Pinterest, InstagramYouTube and our website. Plus, see quilting tutorial videos and shows on QNNtv.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Caitlin, Contests | Tagged , , , | 35 Comments

Have Yourself a Merry Little Quiltmas

Yes, you read that right: Merry Quiltmas!

BestChristmas2016 800 225x300 Have Yourself a Merry Little Quiltmas

Best Christmas Quilts 2016

I know, as I described myself in last week’s Scrap Bag blog post, I’m typically a grouchy Grinch who doesn’t even want to talk about Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving.

This year, however, I actually got a jump on making a holiday quilt project, mainly because I wanted to share it with you all to coincide with the release of our latest special issue, Best Christmas Quilts 2016, which went on sale last week!

Best Christmas Quilts 2016, similar to previous editions, includes a pretty wide variety of projects in terms of size, difficulty and style. In addition to bed quilts and throws, we have a lot of patterns for other types of holiday quilt projects inside, such as ornaments, wall hangings, pillows, table runners, placemats and even napkins. Today I want to highlight one in particular.

Merry Merry by Wenche Wolff Hatling is the only bedrunner we included in this issue, and I’ve been excited about it since I saw Wenche’s initial proposal.

Merry Merry Styled Have Yourself a Merry Little Quiltmas

Merry Merry by Wenche Wolff Hatling, from Best Christmas Quilts 2016 from Quilters Newsletter

I love her blocky, stylized pieced letters. They have an abstract quality but you can still read them and the message they convey. Wenche made the bed runner using her new fabric collection Jol, which she designed for Moda.

MerryMerry 1200 Have Yourself a Merry Little Quiltmas

Merry Merry bed runner by Wenche Wolff Hatling from Best Christmas Quilts 2016

I’ve been wanting to make my own version since we wrapped up production on the issue a couple of months ago, and this past weekend I made it happen using blenders from Sweetwater’s Cookie Exchange collection, also for Moda.

Merry MK flat Have Yourself a Merry Little Quiltmas

Merry wall hanging based on the pattern by Wenche Wolff Hatling, made by Mary Kate Karr-Petras

We wrote the pattern expressly for traditional piecing techniques — no templates or foundation piecing required to make this.

I only made one set of blocks for my wall hanging, which measures approximately 35″ wide, rather than the three sets seen in the original 92″-wide bed runner. I used up most of a fat quarter of the white-on-white background fabric, and the rest of the fabric requirements really only amounted to scraps.

I was able to piece it in just a few hours over the course of a Saturday afternoon and evening, and I plan to quilt it when we get a little closer to the holidays and I’m more in the Christmas spirit.

Hey, maybe that’s what I should do in the future — piece or at least prep a project or two in the summer, then put them aside until Thanksgiving weekend and finish them up when I’m finally ready to haul out the holly, put up the tree and listen to Nat King Cole’s crooning.

IMG 2874 for web Have Yourself a Merry Little Quiltmas

Merry wall hanging from a pattern by Wenche Wolff Hatling

In addition to being included in both the print and digital editions of Best Christmas Quilts 2016, the pattern for Merry Merry is available as a digital download from Quilt and Sew Shop.

And keep your eyes on our blog — I have it on good authority that we might be giving away some fabric in conjunction with Best Christmas Quilts 2016, and maybe even some fabric shown in this blog post, very soon **cough** Wednesday **cough**.

So whether you start your holiday quilt projects in sweltering temperatures or wait until the air gets a little brisker, let me be the first to wish you a Merry Merry Quiltmas (yep, I did it again).

As always, to find out about Quilters Newsletter’s giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on Facebook,  Twitter,  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 , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sewing Troubles

I’m trying to finish quilting a small quilt. It’s my PIGS (Projects in Grocery Sacks) finish for the month of August. So I only have 10 days to complete it. I talked about the quilting and my quilting plan in my blog post last week.

I’m done with the stitch-in-the-ditch portion of the quilting and the double row of echo quilting around the 9 “octopus” portions of the blocks. (Why that makes me think of an octopus I’ll never know. There are only 4 “arms” and an octopus has 8. Go figure.)

today Sewing Troubles

Snail’s Trail Quilt Top

I consulted with Paula and, as always, she had some great ideas for quilting. For the fill pattern in the background, she suggested leaves or something like that. I loved the idea. I’m doing a combination of loops and leaves.

today2 Sewing Troubles

A Close Look at the Quilting

And as so often happens for me when I’m nearing the end of a project, I’m bored with it. I want it to be done and, since I want to be done, of course, Murphy’s Law came into play and my machine isn’t stitching as nicely as I’d like. When I finally sat down yesterday evening with a big chunk of time available to quilt, my machine was skipping stitches. I slowed down just a bit and solved that problem. But then the thread broke. I did my usual thing when the thread breaks the first time. I simply unthread the top thread completely and rethread and start sewing again. The thread broke again in a very short time. So my usual thing at that point is to change the needle and rethread the machine completely. That still didn’t work. The thread broke again in just a little while. I gave up for the evening.

So now, before I start in again, I’ll check a few other things. I’ll clean the machine thoroughly. That includes removing the needle plate and bobbin case so I can get rid of any lint that has collected there. I’ll check to see where the thread is breaking – Is it when I am stitching over multiple seams? The back is pieced and some of the patches are pieced so there are many, many seams. Maybe the extra bulk is causing the thread breakage problem.

If, after all that, I still haven’t figured out the solution, I’ll switch to another machine.

Then, if all else fails, I’ll try a different spool of thread. Changing to a different spool of thread comes much earlier in the process when the thread I’m using is not visible on the finished project. But I don’t really want to change thread since I’ve already stitched about 1/5 of the background with the thread I’m using. And just so you know, if I do change thread, I will not take out what I’ve already quilted but the quilt will never be quite as nice in my eyes if I have to use two different threads for the fill stitching on the background.

As I said, I’m bored. I’m ready to be done with this quilt. I want to go on to something new and exciting.  Maybe the first step is to go ahead and do the work on my desk so when the end of the day comes, I feel like I’ve had a good day. Then I can start my evening in a good frame of mind and get the silly quilting done!

And for those of you who are just thinking of quilting your own quilts, Sara Gallegos did a segment on My First Quilt on QNNtv.com called Beginner Machine Quilting. She talks about layering and basting your quilt sandwich and then explores types of quilting thread available. Sara talks about choosing the color and the weight of thread and then goes into in-the-ditch, beside-the-ditch and diagonal quilting and the feet that help with each of those three different types of quilting.  Check it out.

And now until next time, remember, to find Quilters Newsletter’s giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, 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 Inspiration, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Scrap Bag: Controversy at the quilt show, missing Hawaiian scrap quilt, Texas fundraising quilt, and more

Please enjoy some news from the quilt world as you plan your own weekend sewing adventures!

IMG 2870 Scrap Bag: Controversy at the quilt show, missing Hawaiian scrap quilt, Texas fundraising quilt, and more

 

Amelia Perry, mother of former Texas Governor Rick Perry, made a red-white-and-blue quilt that she donated to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas to raise money for construction of the new Republic of Texas History Center.
www.uvaldeleadernews.com

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QNMP ROCCO DOUB FP 200w Scrap Bag: Controversy at the quilt show, missing Hawaiian scrap quilt, Texas fundraising quilt, and more

Double Cross by Pam Rocco

Instagram user Allison Schnackenberg (@schnacks ) made her own version of Pam Rocco’s improvisational Double Cross quilt, which we offered as a free pattern in conjunction with our August/September 2012 issue, and we all think it’s pretty awesome (you can download the free pattern for Double Cross from our website). As the QN editor who wrote this pattern, may I just say how relieved I am not only that someone was able to follow the instructions, but pleased to see how she took the pattern even further and made it her own!
www.pictaram.com

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Kathy Nida is an art quilter and member of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) whose work has appeared in Quilters Newsletter; her Disrupted appeared in “Readers’ Quilt Show” in our December/January 2012 issue as part of SAQA’s “Sightlines” exhibit. Kathy’s highly personal work often includes depictions of the nude female body and reproductive system, both internal and external, and addresses issues surrounding fertility and childbirth. Her piece I Was Not Wearing a Life Jacket was recently pulled from a SAQA exhibit on display at a major quilt show after an attendee complained that she (incorrectly) thought she saw a representation of male genitalia in it.

Kathy is no stranger to controversy over her work; indeed, after we published Disrupted (an 80″ x 70″ piece reduced to under 4″ x 4″, mind you), we received and printed a letter from a reader who called the quilt “obscene” and more befitting Playboy magazine than “a product for mature women.” We then received letters for the rest of the year from other readers who disagreed and thought Kathy’s artwork was neither obscene nor offensive to “mature women” (or, as one writer noted, to himself as a mature man) and deserved to be published as much as any of the other art quilts. QN readers are awesome like that.

My point is, Kathy has been down this road before, but this latest brouhaha is much ado about nothing, as she explained in a recent post on her blog, which includes a small image of the quilt in question; note that Kathy does use proper anatomical terms where appropriate, starting with the title of her blog post.
kathynida.com

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The opioid addiction problem, particularly in rural America, has been rising over the past few years, leading to a devastating number of deaths from overdose. Bev Kelley of Appleton, Wisconsin, has started a community quilt project called Wisconsin Sharing without Shame to spotlight those who are still struggling with heroin addiction, in recovery or who have died. She explained, “Nobody wants their kid to be forgotten and many of them were taken in their 20′s and 30′s,” including her own daughter, Megan.
www.nbc26.com

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File under “Quilts in unexpected places:” the high-end store Dover Street Market New York, which opened earlier this year, has a wall decorated with a variety of vintage quilts in its men’s shoe department.
www.lonny.com 

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Tammy Lacy of Oahu, Hawaii, has put out a call to return a quilt that she accidentally donated to a local thrift shop back in March but only just discovered was missing. The quilt was made for her by her grandmother over 40 years ago and has tremendous sentimental value. Note that this doesn’t appear to be an applique quilt made in two colors, which is what most of us think of when we hear “Hawaiian quilt.” Based on the photos, it looks more like a scrappy patchwork quilt made of Hawaiian prints (coincidentally similar to the quilts described by collector Bill Volckening in an article he wrote for our August/September 2016 issue). These things have a way of making their way to the mainland (just ask Bill), so keep an eye out for it if you can (Bill, I’m talking to you).
www.hawaiinewsnow.com

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QAS WarmFall 600 Scrap Bag: Controversy at the quilt show, missing Hawaiian scrap quilt, Texas fundraising quilt, and more

Most of the school districts here in the Denver area have already gone back to school and  NFL exhibition games are in full swing, so there’s no denying that autumn is right around the corner. If you’re craving all things pumpkin spice, take a gander at all the seasonal fall and Halloween patterns and kits available from Quilt and Sew Shop. Here are a couple I think you should know about (because they’re both on sale!).

QQK15119 Scrap Bag: Controversy at the quilt show, missing Hawaiian scrap quilt, Texas fundraising quilt, and more

Trick and Treat quilt kit

The Trick and Treat quilt kit features the Spooktacular Eve collection by Maude Asbury for Blend Fabrics and Chenille-It™ Blooming Bias trim, which you stitch onto the surface during the quilting process. It’s a fun, modern throw quilt that’s easy enough to put together in time for Halloween. Better yet, it’s currently marked down 45% to only $52.25! Click here to learn more about the Trick and Treat quilt kit.

 

 

 

08P030 Scrap Bag: Controversy at the quilt show, missing Hawaiian scrap quilt, Texas fundraising quilt, and more

Robbing Peter to Pay Jack

A perennial favorite, the Robbing Peter to Pay Jack pattern is now available as a digital download for only $3.20. This wall hanging makes use of a positive/negative applique technique for a look that is only slightly spooky. The download includes a bonus pattern for a 15″ x 41″ table runner. Click here to learn more about the Robbing Peter to Pay Jack digital pattern.

 

 

QN20816 Scrap Bag: Controversy at the quilt show, missing Hawaiian scrap quilt, Texas fundraising quilt, and more

Best Christmas Quilts 2016

In the midst of all this talk about fall, I don’t want to forget to let you know about Best Christmas Quilts 2016, the brand new special issue from the Quilters Newsletter team! You still have four whole months to get some holiday sewing done, whether you want to make quick and easy ornaments, add some seasonal flair to your dining table or walls, or make a unique throw or bed quilt for guests to enjoy. Keep an eye on the QN blog in the coming weeks, as we’ll be talking about it more. In the meantime, be sure to get your copy in bookstores and quilt shops, from newsstands or from Quilt and Sew Shop, where it’s available in both print and digital editions.

As always, to find out about Quilters Newsletter’s giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on Facebook,  Twitter,  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 , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

So Many Books Part 23!

PLEASE NOTE, THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED. CONGRATULATIONS MARTI, FRED, ANNE, and KATHIE!

Over the weekend, I reorganized my crafting room again. I do that every so often when I’m not in the mood to finish the projects I’ve started, partially to see if the newly rearranged space gives me a new perspective on my projects, and partially because I happen to quite like reorganizing every once in a while. This reorganization put my quilting fabric into color-and-project categories better than it was before, and put the new fabric I’ve acquired since my last organization spree in the same place as the fabric I already had. While I’m not sure everything’s completely settled in its new proper places yet, it did help me clear my head a bit and I think put some of my previously hard-to-remember-where-I-put-them specialty-quilting-supplies in easier reach. If new patterns help you keep “in the mood to quilt,” this week’s giveaway prizes might help:

Part 23or25 Prizes 1 2 So Many Books Part 23!Prizes 1 & 2 are identical and include Rubies, Diamonds and Garnets, Too … by Bernadette Kent for Kansas City Star Quilts; Documenting Your Quilted Treasures by Agnes M. Pool for Kansas City Star Quilts; Paper Piecing Quilts of Praise by Jaynette Huff for That Patchwork Place; and Paper Piecing Perfect Points by Debby Kratovil for That Patchwork Place.

Part 23or25 Prizes 3 4 So Many Books Part 23!Prizes 3 & 4 are identical and include Fabric Play by Deanne Moore for That Patchwork Place; Stack, Shuffle, and Slide by Karla Alexander for That Patchwork Place; and Urban and Amish by Myra Harder for That Patchwork Place.

To enter for your chance to win one of these three sets of books, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Sunday, August 21, 2016, telling us about the most whimsical quilting project you’ve ever made. 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 FacebookTwitter, Google+, Pinterest, InstagramYouTube and our website. Plus, see quilting tutorial videos and shows on QNNtv.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Caitlin, Contests | Tagged , , , , , | 38 Comments

Free Pattern: Ring Around the Rosy

I’ve been Pam Rocco’s regular editor for her “Words to Quilt By” column and free web patterns for over four years now, and have always looked forward to the challenge of writing patterns for her often improvisational and always unique quilts. I never fail to learn something new, and I usually end up wanting to go home and start making my own version.

WtQB Ring 800 Free Pattern: Ring Around the Rosy

Ring Around the Rosy, 58″ x 87″, by Pam Rocco

When it came time to write the pattern for Ring Around the Rosy, the free web pattern published in conjunction with our August/September 2016 issue, I figured out pretty quickly that sewing up my own version was going to be required, not optional. I’ll be honest: this quilt had me a little stumped the first time I looked at it. How exactly did she do that?

Now, I could have emailed Pam and asked her to tell me how she made her block, but where’s the challenge in that? In her notes she said that she’d figured out how to make it based on a quilt she’d seen, so by gum, I decided I would also figure out how to make it.

There was more involved than just the personal ego gratification I would get by figuring it out on my own. Because I had no prior experience making or writing a pattern for a block like this, I wanted to be certain that the pattern I wrote was something I could be assured would work, both mathematically and in fabric.

About that math: I don’t remember exactly how I initially approached the dimensions of the block or what formula I based it on (it’s been a few months since I did it), but suffice it to say I was wrong the first time. I figured out I was using incorrect measurements pretty much as soon as I started cutting fabric, but I finished that first block anyway because I still wanted to test the technique itself.

IMG 2470 Free Pattern: Ring Around the Rosy

first attempt at Ring Around the Rosy block

Above is the first octagon I cut by trimming the corners from a square piece of fabric. Already you can see how much longer the diagonal sides are than the vertical and horizontal sides. Still, I plugged onward.

Here are some photos I took of the block as I made it that demonstrate the technique, accompanied by general comments for a quick tutorial. For full instructions, be sure to download the pdf of the pattern.

IMG 2471 Free Pattern: Ring Around the Rosy

first strip stitched on and pressed open

Add your first strip to one side of the octagon but stop stitching about an inch away from the bottom corner of the octagon; you will need to finish this partial seam later in order to get all the seams going in a consistent direction. Press the strip open.

IMG 2472 Free Pattern: Ring Around the Rosy

trim one end of the strip

Because the strips are added in a counterclockwise fashion, trim the top of the strip even with the raw edge of the adjacent left side of the octagon. Leave the tail of the strip untrimmed.

IMG 2473 Free Pattern: Ring Around the Rosy

second strip stitched and pressed open

Stitch a second strip to that adjacent left side from raw edge to raw edge (no more partial seams from here on out) and trim the top of the strip even with next adjacent left side. If you want, you can also trim the tail of the second strip even with the unit now or wait to deal with the tails all at once after all the strips are stitched on — your choice.

IMG 2474 Free Pattern: Ring Around the Rosy

Add strips 3-8 in the same way. The only difference with adding strip #8 is that you’ll need to pull the tail of the first strip out of the way so it doesn’t get stitched down or trimmed when you add strip #8 (hence the partial seam). After you’ve trimmed the top of strip #8, you can finish the partial seam of strip #1, stitching it to strip #8. After you’ve trimmed all those tails, no one will be able to tell which strip you added first.

IMG 2475 Free Pattern: Ring Around the Rosy

the completed block

Now all you have to do is add half-square triangles to the corners (and no, the corners you trimmed from the square to begin with won’t work as they’ll be too small) et voilà! Your block is done!

Once I had the technique under my belt, all I had to do was finesse the math to get the sides of the octagon more equal in length.

IMG 2476 Free Pattern: Ring Around the Rosy

octagon #2

My second attempt was “close enough for rock n’ roll” but not quite close enough for publication; the measurements I used to make the third version are what ended up in the pattern.

IMG 2481 1024x1024 Free Pattern: Ring Around the Rosy

Block #3

And then, because I had one more colorway of that tropical print (from Robert Kaufman Fabrics) and because I was having fun, I made a fourth block for good measure.

IMG 25202 Free Pattern: Ring Around the Rosy

Placemats!

A few weeks later I turned my four blocks into a set of quilted placemats for everyday use by adding coordinating strips of Indah Solids from Hoffman along the left sides. You may be able to tell that the placemat made with my first test block, seen at the top of the photo, is a bit smaller than the others. If I was trying to make a quilt with them it might have mattered, but as individual placemats, no one ever needs to know.

I may still make a full quilt using this block. It’s a large one, finishing at 14.5″, which makes it a great option for large-scale prints that you want to showcase.

While it’s true that Pam Rocco frequently works improvisationally, that doesn’t mean she works haphazardly. In Ring Around the Rosy, she paid close attention to fussy cutting a few prints and to her directional fabrics. Here’s a tip for cutting half-square triangles from directional fabrics to make block corners: with the squares oriented so the print is pointing “up” or away from you, cut the first square on one diagonal, then cut the second square on the opposite diagonal. This way you’ll have four corner triangles that you can arrange so the print is oriented consistently.

The full free pattern for Ring Around the Rosy is available from the Quilters Newsletter website; click here to download the pdf. To read Pam’s full column, be sure to get your copy of the August/September 2016 issue of QN, available in print and digital editions, as well as on newsstands, in bookstores and quilt shops.

As always, to find out about Quilters Newsletter’s giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on Facebook,  Twitter,  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

PIGS and Snails

I’m well on my way to finishing the quilting on my snail’s trail quilt which will be my PIGS finish for August. PIGS (Projects in Grocery Sacks) are something I have to keep working away at all the time. If I don’t concentrate on completing them, they start to take over the whole sewing room (or to be brutally honest, the whole house).

I finished the pieced back last week. (Mary Kate and I talked about my pieced backs on QNNtv.com a while back. Check that video out here.)

This is not one of my favorite pieced backs but it’s okay. And once it’s quilted and bound, it will look better. I brought the quilt to work so I had a big flat surface to work on and got the quilt pin basted.

back PIGS and Snails

The Pieced Back

Back at home again, I started to do the quilting free-motion with a ruler and a special foot on my domestic machine. It didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. When I was stitching toward myself, it worked fine but I don’t have the hang of keeping the foot right next to the ruler when I’m stitching any other direction. So the straight lines aren’t so very straight. And my machine was skipping stitches (I think because of the different thicknesses of the pieced back.)

oops2 PIGS and Snails

OOPS!

So for the in-the-ditch and straight-line echo quilting, I went back to feed-dog driven quilting. But stay tuned; I’ll try the ruler again on a smaller project without a pieced back. I’m pretty intrigued by the possibility of doing ruler work on my domestic machine.

better PIGS and Snails

Better

I’m stitching in the ditch and echoing once inside and once outside the center of each set of four blocks. I’ve finished that part of the quilting for five of them. I plan to put some free-motion loop-de-loops or loopy leaves in the background and perhaps a flower in the center of each set of four blocks – unless one of you has a better idea. Maybe???

whole top 2 PIGS and Snails

My Partially Quilted Snail’s Trail Quilt

I made the first of the snail’s trail blocks for a segment on QNNtv.com where we talk about attaching a quilt block to a stretched canvas frame for some easy-to-do home décor.

I was working with a limited amount of fabric so some of my snail’s trail blocks have several pieces sewn together to make a single patch but I’m okay with that. This is a fun quilt, a sit-on-the-couch-and-snug quilt. I won’t be entering it in any shows or contests. It’s something for my family to enjoy. There’s a lot of freedom when I make my quilts with that thought in mind. I’m not saying I get sloppy with my sewing but at the same time, a little thing like having to splice patches isn’t a problem.

When I was looking for the video on QNNtv about the quilt blocks on canvas frames, I searched for it by entering my name and remembered that Mary Kate and I did one on PIGS where I talk about how and why some of my projects get put to one side and getting back to actively working on them so they can be completed. And there are quite a few other videos I’ve done. There may be something here you’d like. Check them out.

Now until next time, remember, to find Quilters Newsletter’s giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, 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 Inspiration, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Scrap Bag: Quilt of Valor for McCain, Olympic gold quilt, quilt shop news, and more

However you spend your quilty energy this weekend, be it sewing, shopping or just dreaming, here are some news items and tidbits to feed your imagination.

IMG 2859 Scrap Bag: Quilt of Valor for McCain, Olympic gold quilt, quilt shop news, and more

Senator John McCain is arguably the most prominent military veteran currently serving in Washington, D.C. On August 4, Michelle Nelson presented Sen. McCain with a Quilt of Valor that was pieced by G. Ann Varley Bryant and quilted by Barbara Steers.
www.facebook.com/photo

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Justin Edwards wanted to turn his old U.S. Army uniform into a quilt after returning from Afghanistan in 2013. The Sew Fine Quilters Friendship of Chino Valley, California, which has regular meetings where Edwards works, agreed to take on the project. They even made a quilt for Edwards’ 10-year-old son with the excess material, which included Hawaiian prints in addition to the deconstructed uniform. “It was pretty overwhelming when I got it,” Justin Edwards said. “… I couldn’t even talk. I had no words.” “It was almost like I had to talk for him,” his son said.
www.cvrnews.com

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Do you have Olympics Fever? On her blog Natalie Ever After, Natalie Smith shared a tutorial for an Olympics-themed quilt she designed and made that was inspired by the theme ”The Olympics — Go for the Gold!” with an emphasis on the gold.
natalie-ever-after.blogspot.com

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Big box crafts retailer Michaels purchased the rights to Hancock Fabrics’ brand and intellectual property for $1.3 million, which includes Hancock’s patents and trademarks, personal and transactional data from 10 million customers, as well as its name. Hancock filed for bankruptcy protection in February and closed all of its locations in April.
www.chainstoreage.com

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The owners of New York shop The City Quilter recently announced to their customers that the shop will be closing when their lease expires in the fall. In their email they said since they were approaching retirement they did not want to sign another five-year lease and weren’t able to find a buyer for the shop. They have said they will continue to produce and sell their signature New York City-themed fabrics online.
www.dnainfo.com/new-york

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Flaun Cline, co-owner of SPOOL quilt shop in Chatanooga, Tennessee, blogged about an interaction she had with a customer, or rather, the husband of a customer who was quite clear that he was not the customer because then he’d have to turn in his man card. Flaun has some thoughts on that.
ipleadquilty.blogspot.com

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Apartment Therapy has identified the latest textile trend in home decor: pillows made from mud cloth.
www.apartmenttherapy.com

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This item is not news, but it’s something I just learned about thanks to my daughters’ Netflix-viewing choices (back to school can’t come soon enough, apparently). The third season of “Courage the Cowardly Dog,” which aired on the Cartoon Network  1999-2002, included an episode entitled “The Quilt Club.” In it, a pair of eerie conjoined twins named the Stitch Sisters own an ancient, dusty fabric shop they use to recruit unwitting sewers to contribute to a supernatural quilt that keeps the sisters immortal. It’s unusual, that’s for sure — it could make for fun, if somewhat unorthodox, guild viewing at Halloween (depending on your guild). You can read a synopsis of the episode or view the full 10-minute cartoon online at the link below.
www.dailymotion.com/video/

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BargainBin 600  Scrap Bag: Quilt of Valor for McCain, Olympic gold quilt, quilt shop news, and more

I love a good sale and I’m sure you do, too, which is why I want you to know about the Bargain Bin sale Quilt and Sew Shop is having this weekend.

Save on Quilt Kits, Fabric, Books, Tools and More - Choose Your Deal!  
10% off Quilt Kits 10KITS
15% off Fabric 15FAB
20% off Clearance 20SALE
10% off Tools 10TOOLS
15% off Books/eBooks & DVDs 15BOOKS
20% off Digital Products 20DIGI

QQK14090 Scrap Bag: Quilt of Valor for McCain, Olympic gold quilt, quilt shop news, and more

Urban Jungle quilt kit containing Art Gallery Fabrics, 96½” x 96½”, regularly $209.99, marked down to $99.99 — take an additional 20% with code 20SALE

Be sure to take a look at the deals in Sales & Clearance — with the coupon code you can take an extra 20% off, meaning you can save up to 60% off quilt kits of all sizes and styles. In the case of Urban Jungle, a large bed quilt made with Art Gallery Fabrics, the discounts mean you actually get 62% off the regular price. And that’s not the only one. Click here to see all of the Sale & Clearance items available.

Also note that the 20% off Digital Products applies not just to patterns, but to digital books and magazine issues, too, which you can download with the click of a button.

The Bargain Bin sale ends Sunday, August 14. Use the promo codes above at checkout. Only one coupon can be used per order. Some exclusions apply.

As always, to find out about Quilters Newsletter’s giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on Facebook,  Twitter,  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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Sulky Slimline Storage Boxes with Blendables or Metallic Threads

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

One of the projects I’ve been working on recently is a braid quilt. There are three different sizes of braid, each starting with a different strip width. I completed the length needed for the largest strip size and had a bunch of left-over strips because I’d gotten maybe a little too excited when I was cutting them from my scraps. I’m certain I was also overly excited when cutting the other two strip widths, so I decided to use them jelly-roll-race style for the quilt’s back. You can see the start of the first braid in a previous post, and here’s an image of what will be the center of the pieced back:BriadQuiltBackCenter Sulky Slimline Storage Boxes with Blendables or Metallic Threads

This week’s giveaway prizes (one for each of two lucky winners) are a Sulky Slimline Storage Box 12 wt. Blendables Dream Package and a Sulky Slimline Storage Box Metallic Dream Package:

Slimline Blendables Sulky Slimline Storage Boxes with Blendables or Metallic Threads

Slimline Metallic Sulky Slimline Storage Boxes with Blendables or Metallic Threads

To enter for your chance to win one of these two thread prizes, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Sunday, August 14, 2016, telling us about your favorite quilting project you’ve ever worked on. 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 FacebookTwitter, Google+, Pinterest, InstagramYouTube and our website. Plus, see quilting tutorial videos and shows on QNNtv.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Caitlin, Contests | Tagged , , , , | 137 Comments

You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

We went on a picnic this weekend. We pulled the “car quilt” out of the trunk to put on the grass in the shade of a tree.  We ate on the quilt so it was covered with crumbs. One of the kids spilled water on it so it had a big wet spot. When we were done, we just threw it in the trunk to take it home and wash it. It’s still usable but it’s not what I consider a valuable quilt. It stays in the trunk of the car – just in case.

carquilt Youve Come a Long Way, Baby

Picnic at the Park

But at one point in the afternoon, I spent a few minutes reminiscing about that simple green log cabin quilt.  According to my records, I made it in 1995; it was my 11th quilt and my first attempt at quilting-as-you-go.

The binding is worn completely through in spots, some of the fabric is really thin, and there are holes in many places. The two big things that I would change if I were to redo that quilt today are:

  1. I would use GOOD fabric. Some of the fabrics were selected for color only and not for quality. Guess which fabrics have holes in them.
  2. I would quilt it more. I just quilted in the ditch. More quilting makes a quilt wear better. That would have been a good thing for this quilt.

After the picnic, we went home and I finished the quilt top I had been working on last week. I’ll be filming next week for a segment on QNNtv.com about starting with a traditional quilt pattern and making it modern. They gave me a choice of 4 different patterns and I decided to work with the pickle dish pattern. Kelly Bowser is the host for this series. Be watching for it starting in January 2017. I’ve seen a photo of Kelly’s pickle dish quilt in progress and it’s wonderful.

Here’s my take. The blocks are huge – this is a queen-size quilt. The pickle dish segments are string pieced. And then there is all that yellow background. My quilt is so different from a traditional pickle dish quilt. I think I’m going to like it.

Pickles for my blog Youve Come a Long Way, Baby

My Pickle Dish Quilt Top

My quilt needs lots of quilting. With all that negative space, it’s begging for some over-the-top quilting. I’m always amazed at what a difference the quilting makes.

I’m trying to think of the title for my quilt. The yellow fabric is from the Curly Scroll line by Quilting Treasures and it really is this bright lemon yellow. Do you have any ideas for a fun name?

As I was working on my pickle dish quilt (and my old log cabin quilt was on my mind), I couldn’t help but chuckle at how different what I’m doing now is from what I did then.

08 01 16 Youve Come a Long Way, Baby

String-Pieced Pickle Dish Sections

I string piece on a paper foundation and I’m figuring out more and more that I can string piece anything that uses fabric: small blocks, large blocks, applique patches, etc. The possibilities are endless. Some projects just require larger patches of string-pieced fabric … I just finished my churn dash quilt top and told you about it two weeks ago. The half-square triangle blocks in the churn dash block that makes the center medallion are 13” square.

churndashembroidered Youve Come a Long Way, Baby

String-pieced Churn Dash Quilt

I’m really sure there is more string piecing in my future. I’m going to have to do some scheming to see what I can come up with. If you’d like to learn more about string piecing, check out this segment on QNNtv.com. Mary Kate and I talk about some of the how-to’s of string piecing and some of the simpler layouts that you can try.

Remember, to find Quilters Newsletter’s giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, 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 Inspiration, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments