Weekend Workshop: Hand Applique Your Way

Way back when, like in the late 20th century, I took a class on hand applique and ended up with this quilt.

applique quilt detail 1024x916 Weekend Workshop: Hand Applique Your Way

detail of hand-appliqued quilt made (but not designed) by Mary Kate Karr-Petras

Aside from one of the long stems that was first stitched to the background by machine and finished by hand, the whole thing is hand appliqued, mostly with the classic freezer paper-and-thread-basting technique. I won’t lie, it was time consuming — I finished the reverse-appliqued border months after the class ended, and then it sat around for a few years until I added two more rounds of borders. And then it sat around for a few more years until I finally (hand) quilted it.

Now it’s back at my parents’ house, where I was living when I took the class all those years ago. In fact, I picked my fabrics based on how much that border print reminded me of the living room couch, so it only made sense to actually give it to my parents when I’d finally finished it.

If you look at it closely, you’ll see that it’s far from perfect — most of the leaves have fairly blunt tips and some of those curves could be smoother. But no matter. Hand applique has a tactile and organic appeal that I think supersedes imperfections.

What I didn’t know when I took the class was just how many different techniques fall under the heading of “hand applique.” Just as there are many ways and tools available to applique by machine, so are there for hand applique. If you’ve ever wanted to try something different, take a look at some of the different looks you can achieve just with needle and thread.

To start, let’s take a look at a couple of the best-of-the-best hand-appliqued quilts that we’ve been lucky enough to feature on our cover in recent years. In the issues themselves you can see more close-ups and read about the quiltmaker’s process.

OTC 800 6345 Weekend Workshop: Hand Applique Your Way

Album of Roses by Rita Verroca, seen on the cover of Quilters Newsletter Aug/Sept 2012

PrimitiveWeb 800 Weekend Workshop: Hand Applique Your Way

Primitive Web by Linda Roy, featured on the cover of Quilters Newsletter Oct/Nov 2014

One basic technique, but two very different and equally inspiring quilts.

13QM01FP Weekend Workshop: Hand Applique Your WayIf you’re looking for a resource on basic hand-applique techniques, check out The Quilter’s Appliqué Workshop by Kevin Kosbab. It covers raw-edge, prepared-edge, and needle-turn applique techniques, and each section includes detailed instructions, tips and illustrations. The raw-edge and prepared-edge chapters discuss both hand- and machine-sewing techniques. Several projects illustrate each technique and explore more specialized techniques, such as broderie perse and felt applique. Click here to learn more.

LA4131 Weekend Workshop: Hand Applique Your WayIf you love traditional floral applique, you may want to take a look at Garden of Applique by Peggy Waltman. Designed for needle-turn applique, the book features four projects: Clover Patch wall hanging, Rosy Dreams large throw, Saidi’s Flower Garden wall hanging and Polka Dot Blossoms large throw. Click here to learn more.

 

QNLS004 Weekend Workshop: Hand Applique Your WayDesigner Alison Glass offers a fresh twist on hand applique in her recent book Alison Glass Applique, such as large-scale applique and how to applique on crocheted, embroidered and patchwork backgrounds. The book includes instructions for 14 modern projects. Click here to learn more.

We taped an episode of Quilters Newsletter TV: The Quilters’ Community with Alison in which she showed a couple of hand applique techniques, such as using knit fabric for an easy throw. Click here to view the episode on QNNtv.com.

We also featured author and teacher Barbara J. Eikmeier demonstrating two different hand applique techniques on The Quilters’ Community. In “Front Basting Applique,” Barbara demonstrated a technique using a sewing machine and die-cut applique shapes without fusible backing. She finishes the applique with a needle-turn technique and shows how easy it is to turn the applique edges on the perforated line created when the basting stitches are removed. Click here to view the episode on QNNtv.com.

In “Learn to Back Baste Using Reverse Applique,” Barbara uses the traditional Latin American mola technique, which showcases multiple layers of fabric, to give step-by-step instructions for back basting using a reverse-applique technique. Click here to view that episode on QNNtv.com.

If you’re interested in wool applique, be sure to check out Lisa Bongean on Quilt with the Stars. In the first of two free episodes, Lisa talks about the simplicity of wool applique. In the second, see Lisa’s studio and then watch as she gives you a trunk show of some of her quilts, including her wool applique and flannel quilts. Find out why and where she uses flannel versus wool. Both episodes are free to view on QNNtv.com.

Put your hand applique skills to work with one or more of the following digital-download patterns:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And be sure to check out the following free patterns:

 

 

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Tango Giveaway

The Quilters Newsletter April/May 2015 issue holds inspiration both for making quilts and embellishing quilts. CoverAM15 200 Tango GiveawayIt also holds a quilt pattern for April showers (see Shower Power by Carol Strief) and several quilts with flowers, May or otherwise (see Japanese Tea Garden by Mary Ann Hildebrand and Hidden Roots by Judy Taylor for two examples). History articles, techniques, two other quilt patterns and much more are included as well. The issue is still available on newsstands, at bookstores, quilt shops, and online at Quilt and Sew Shop if you don’t already have your copy.

If you do have your copy and you haven’t already checked out the Staff Picks section, now might be a good time to do so, because this week from the Staff Picks section, we’re giving away a bundle of 15 fat quarters from the Tango collection by Greta Lynn for Benartex Fabrics: Tango Tango Giveaway

If you need some inspiration on what to do with the Tango collection, or any other collection of bright print fabrics, here’s a quilt block made from Tango:
Tango Quilt Block Tango Giveaway

Since today (the first day of this giveaway) is Earth Day, to enter for your chance to win the lovely bundle of Tango, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Sunday April 26, 2015 telling us how you “go green” and/or celebrate the Earth in your quilting. 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 Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

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Just a Tweak

I’d like to talk a bit about designing quilts, about how it doesn’t take a lot to make a quilt your own design. Sometimes a tweak is all it takes. This quilt, Moonlight on the Snow, is what sparked the idea.

0011 Just a Tweak

Moonlight in the Snow

I made this quilt from a book. I don’t remember the name of the book. I often make a quilt or two from a book and then give the book to a friend or a guild. Now that I blog about many of my quilts, I think I need to add a column to the spreadsheet where I keep track of them. The column needs to be something about where the inspiration came from – a book, a magazine, or maybe an old quilt.

Back to the quilt … According to the label, I made it in 2007. I quilted in the ditch and added machine embroidery to the borders.

0041 Just a Tweak

Embroidered Snowflake

I think the designer of this quilt was brilliant. He/she made one big block, a hexagonal star, and then pieced the segments of the block. But the segments are pieced in a simple way that looks complicated. The sewing to make the pieced-star segments is not hard. The star segments are simply diamond-shaped log cabins.

0031 Just a Tweak

Pieced Star Segment

The hard part would have been the math because the blue strips are wider than the purple strips. But again, I had a pattern in a book so I didn’t have to do the math.

Let’s talk about making this idea your own. The standard log cabin block is simple. You start with a square and add logs to it until it is the desired size.

So here is a quilt with a basic log cabin block.

log cabin Just a Tweak

The Basic Log Cabin Block

And here is what happens when you rotate the blocks.

log cabin 2 Just a Tweak

The Basic Block Rotated

Now by adding one more set of logs and making the purple logs wider than the blue logs, look at what happens.

log cabin 3 Just a Tweak

Just a Tweak – Adding Logs and Varying the Width of the Logs

And again, if we rotate the blocks, we get a completely different look. We are getting a lot more movement as the lines between the purple and the blue appear to curve back and forth.

log cabin 4 Just a Tweak

Rotating the Blocks Changes the Look

Or these are the same blocks, just rotated differently. If we made the difference in the width of the logs more, the lines would curve more.

log cabin 5 Just a Tweak

And Another Look by Rotating the Blocks Differently

Then here is one more try at the same block with the same rotation of the blocks, I’ve just changed the colors.

log cabin 6 Just a Tweak

What a Difference the Color Makes

The point of all this is to tell you to feel free to play a bit. If you are a beginning quilt designer, experiment with basic blocks, color placement and rotation of the blocks. Start with a basic pattern, like the log cabin. If you don’t have a basic log cabin pattern, check out McCall’s Quilting’s Log Cabin Patterns eBook. Then just have fun. Play with the color; play with the width of the logs. Sometimes all it takes is just a little tweak to change the look completely. Once you have your blocks constructed, spend some time arranging them on the floor or on your design wall. Each quilt is a lesson, you learn things you like and things you don’t like. And it is all fun.

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 also Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com, and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com to check out.

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Weekend Workshop: Improve Your Free-Motion Quilting

If improving your free-motion quilting skills is on your to-do list — I know it’s on mine — you can get started this weekend. All it takes is the decision to give it a try, and we have  blog posts, videos and books to help you get started.

022 300x175 Weekend Workshop: Improve Your Free Motion Quilting

Cursive Writing

QN creative editor Lori Baker has blogged frequently about her free-motion quilting progress over the years and always offers insight into what’s worked (and what hasn’t). In her latest blog post on the topic she compares examples of her work from a few years ago against a recent piece to show her improvement. Click here to read Lori’s blog post.

 

DPODW031815 Weekend Workshop: Improve Your Free Motion QuiltingIn her blog post Lori credits the tutorials of machine quilter Lori Kennedy with inspiring her to keep working on improving her skills. Lori Kennedy’s web seminar, “Meander No More: Learn to Free Motion Quilt with Confidence,” is available on-demand. In it, Lori Kennedy guides you through the Four Skills of Free Motion Quilting to help you get a jump on those quilt tops you’ve wanted to quilt but haven’t known where to start. Click here to learn more.

exttable 300x225 Weekend Workshop: Improve Your Free Motion Quilting

Custom-built sewing extension table for free-motion quilting

Last year associate editor Gigi Khalsa blogged about what happened when she decided to stop avoiding free-motion quilting and just jump in, including how she adjusted her sewing machine set-up to create a sewing machine extension. It may not be pretty, but it worked! Click here to read all of Gigi’s great tips and to see her lovely results.

If you’re looking for video tutorials on free-motion quilting, we’ve got those, too! In fact, there are too many free-motion quilting videos on QNNtv.com for me to list here. Below are links to a couple of my favorite episodes from Quilters Newsletter TV: The Quilters’ Community. After you watch those, you can search the dozens of other episodes on QNNtv.com for more inspiration, including a number of free videos.

We were fortunate to have award-winning quilter and teacher David Taylor visit us in the studio where he demonstrated his techniques; click here to view his episode on QNNtv.com.

We also hosted Peg Pennell, another prizewinning quilter and teacher, who demonstrated how she finishes her beautiful art quilts; click here to view her episode on QNNtv.com.

Once you get into your quilting rhythm, inspiration for quilting motifs will be at your fingertips with the following books in your library.

QMDSD0800 Weekend Workshop: Improve Your Free Motion QuiltingLeah Day’s 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs is a great resource for a huge variety of background filler designs guaranteed to get you out of a stippling rut. It also includes quick tips on machine settings as well as preparing your quilt top and backing for quilting. Click here to learn more.

 

 

QMT4986 Weekend Workshop: Improve Your Free Motion QuiltingAnd I’m not exaggerating when I say that 502 New Quilting Motifs from our sister publication Quiltmaker is simply one of the best resources for a quilter, period. Not only is it full of the motifs themselves, but each one is accompanied by diagrams that show how you can use it, rotate it and combine it to fit a variety of blocks, borders and settings. You’ll never be at a loss for a quilting design with this book in your library; click here to learn more. (One more video for you: we did a couple of episodes about this book with Paula Stoddard from QuiltmakerClick here to view the first one on QNNtv.com.)

As always, to find out about Quilters Newsletter’s giveaways, quilting news, tips,  techniques and more, visit us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestInstagramYouTube,  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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So Many Books Giveaway Part 8!

PLEASE NOTE, THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED. CONGRATULATIONS PEGGY, CAROLYN and CHRIS!

My cat likes to sleep in my sewing and quilting stash. She’ll turn 8 years-old this year, but she’s small — only 6.5 pounds — so she fits in even smaller spaces than most adult cats. If I can’t find her in the more obvious spots in the house like on her cat tower which faces the front window or in the spot on my bed where she likes to curl up during the daytime, the next best place to check is on top of any random space in which I’m storing black fabric.

Not that she doesn’t like any other colored fabric, but she’s all black, and I think she likes the camouflage. Having found her there a number of times this week, I’ve been thinking a bit about getting my stash more organized and maybe (*gasp*) quilting or sewing with some of it, so I’ve been looking for books and project ideas which might help me do that. Thus this week when I was looking through our pile of possible giveaway books and found that we had several from Stash Books by C&T Publishing, they seemed like an obvious choice. Each of the books in each of the three giveaway prizes below (one set of books each for three lucky winners) is from Stash Books by C&T Publishing.

Part8Prize1 So Many Books Giveaway Part 8!
Set 1 includes Liberty Love: 25 Projects to Quilt & Sew Featuring Liberty of London Fabrics by Alexia Marcelle Abegg; Essential Sewing Reference Tool: All-in-One Visual Guide by Carla Hegeman Crim; and Stitch ‘n Swap: 25 Handmade Projects to Sew, Give & Receive by Generation Q Magazine compiled by Jake Finch.

Part8Prize2 So Many Books Giveaway Part 8!
Set 2 includes S is for Stitch: 52 Embroidered Alphabet Designs + Charming Projects for Little Ones by Kristyne Czepuryk, Quilt As-You-Go Made Modern by Jera Brandvig, and World of Quilts: 25 Modern Projects by Cassandra Ellis.

Part8Prize3 So Many Books Giveaway Part 8!
Set 3 includes Scrappy Bits Applique by Shannon Brinkley, Modern One-Block Quilts by Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting, and Free-Motion Quilting Workbook by Angela Walters.

If you’re also looking for ideas on how to organize and/or reduce your quilting and/or sewing stash, you might check out some of the following:

To enter for your chance to win one of the three prizes, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Sunday April 19, 2015 telling us which of the three prizes is your favorite and what color you have the most of in your fabric stash. As 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 Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

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My Polyester Double-Knit Quilt

This quilt is, according to my records, the 10th quilt I made and the first that was hand-quilted. Previously I’d tied my quilts and all but three were baby quilts. I’ve learned a bunch about quiltmaking in the 20+ years since I made Almost All My Children.

001 My Polyester Double Knit Quilt

Almost All My Children

And even though there are several things that could be improved upon, it is one of my favorite quilts.

Let me tell you the story. We’d moved to a much larger house so all three of our sons who were still living at home had their own bed. I didn’t have that many blankets. A favorite aunt, who was a quilter, lived just down the road and said she had lots of fabric and she’d talk me through making some quilts. I was delighted to give it a try. My previous bed-sized quilts were marginal at best. So Aunt Alta brought out a couple of boxes of polyester double-knit fabric. This was in the mid-’90s so the fabric was long out of vogue. But it could still make warm quilts.

I wound up making four Nine Patch quilts out of those boxes of fabric. This is the first. As you can see, I used white in all the blocks. The second quilt was twin-sized, had mint green sashing and borders and the blocks were all two shades of the same color. I remember sky blue and navy, peach and orange, olive and forest green – combinations like that. It was stolen, and I have no photos. The third quilt was all shades of blue, from sky blue to slate blue to navy. There wasn’t enough contrast. It was ugly. I don’t have photos of it either. I talked about the fourth quilt in my blog a while back; you can check it out here.

Now back to Almost All My Children.  I didn’t have a rotary cutter so the patches were cut with scissors. The blocks measure from 11”-11¾” and they are not perfectly square.  But it’s still one of my favorites.

I didn’t get the sashing matched from one row to the next. But it’s still one of my favorites.

007 My Polyester Double Knit Quilt

The sashing doesn’t line up quite right here.

The borders are a bit ruffly which means I didn’t cut them to the right length and I stretched the sashing as I stitched the borders on. But it’s still one of my favorites.

005 My Polyester Double Knit Quilt

Wavy Border

I had a quilting frame, the very, very old kind that is two long boards and two shorter boards. You attach the layers of the quilt to the two long boards and clamp them to the two shorter boards and rest the whole thing on the backs of chairs so it is at a height that you can work. I wish I could find a photo to show you.

My husband and I loaded the quilt on the frame and I started quilting. I used two strands of crochet thread and a technique I’d read about called big-stitch quilting. Can you imagine trying to get two strands of crochet thread through double-knit fabric? It’s no wonder I hated doing it.

As I was in the process of quilting this quilt, one of our sons was leaving to join the Navy. We had a family going away party and all of my children who were there quilted part of a block. One son lived out of state so he wasn’t there. That’s how the quilt wound up with the name Almost All My Children.

003 My Polyester Double Knit Quilt

Elijah’s Block

I embroidered their names on the block they quilted.

004 My Polyester Double Knit Quilt

Zac and Kylie’s Block

This block had two quilters, my son and his girlfriend at the time. She’s now my daughter-in-law.

Because of the story, this quilt will always be a favorite. And because it’s made with polyester double-knit fabric, it will never fade and probably never wear out. I do see a few places the quilting thread has frayed but I can mend that.

Polyester double-knit quilts are a special kind of quilts. Even though my quilt was made in the mid-’90s, it has a lot in common with the 1970s quilts because of the polyester double-knits that I used. Bill Volckening has an interesting web seminar about 1970s quilts . He talks about how to recognize a 1970s quilt, popular fabrics and methods of construction, the influence of modern materials such as polyester double-knit on quiltmaking, how quilts have evolved and the relevance of 1970s quilts today. The cost is $19.99. Check it out. I think you’ll enjoy it and learn a lot.

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

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Speed Up Your Quilting This Weekend!

Are you planning to do any quilting this weekend? What are we saying — of course you are!

QNMP EDIT LORI 086687 Speed Up Your Quilting This Weekend!

QN creative editor Lori Baker

No matter how fast or slow you sew, accurate and efficient work is always satisfying. Quilters Newsletter’s creative editor Lori Baker is known for being a prolific, accurate and experienced quilter who is happy to share some of the tips she’s learned over the years. Check out the following links to hear and read her favorite hints for successful quilting, and you may be surprised with what you’re able to accomplish by Sunday night!

To see Lori in action, be sure to check out her episode “Speed Sewing with Lori Baker” available on QNNtv.com.

If you’re looking for advice or reminders on the basics, Lori’s got you covered there, too. Click here to view her episode on on “Quilting Basics,” also on QNNtv.com.

Strip piecing is a fantastic time-saving technique but it can present its own set of challenges. Watch Lori’s “Easy Strip Piecing” episode on QNNtv.com to learn how to set yourself up for success before you even start.

Lori has also blogged about some of her tips; click here to read “Speed Sewing” part 1, and click here to read “Speed Sewing” part 2.

One thing Lori places high importance on is having quality tools in good working order. With that in mind, she and the QN staff put together the QN Select: Editors’ Choice Kit, which contains some of the best basic quilting tools available to help you maximize your time and talent. Click here to learn more.

 

 

Lori put her own tips to the test when she designed the pattern for “Groovy,” which she based on a photo she saw of a quilt from Bill Volckening’s 1970s quilt collections. It’s a fun, fat quarter-friendly, quilt-as-you-go pattern that results in a fully reversible quilt, and it’s available for digital download (click here).

So take some of Lori’s tips and apply them to your weekend sewing. We can’t wait to see what you make!

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The most honest quilt

IMG 1018 The most honest quilt

I found another vintage quilt at a bargain price at my local thrift shop over the weekend. One thing is official: I will never again disclose the location of this thrift shop because I want to keep it all for myself. Nope, don’t even ask.

IMG 0994 The most honest quilt

When compared to the other vintage quilts found there by my friend and me – a 1930s-1960s Dresden plate and 1940s bowtie, respectively – this one is not what most people would call beautiful. It was almost certainly made in the 1970s from every last scrap of double-knit polyester the quiltmaker could get her hands on, as well as woven cotton, wool, acrylic and who knows what else.

Aside from a red zigzag and subtler blue zigzag running across the rail fence blocks, there was no other attempt to “design” the fabric placement.

IMG 1015 The most honest quilt

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I was the one to find it and bring it home. And to be honest, without the exposure I’ve had recently to Bill Volckening’s collection of 1970s polyester quilts, I don’t know for certain that I would have bought it. Well, OK, I probably would have, but maybe I’d have thought about it a little longer. But because of Bill’s work in this area, which he wrote about for our Feb/March 2015 issue and followed up with a web seminar containing even more information, I knew right away that I was looking at something of value.

But given my druthers, I would rather have found something prettier and more carefully constructed, something more aspirational that would impart loveliness and order to whatever room it graced.

However, sometimes we don’t get the quilt we want, we get the quilt we need.

This $10 thrift store quilt was brought to a home about as thrown-together-feeling as itself. A home in dire need of spring cleaning and organization. One in which health concerns — of its inhabitants, of its inhabitants’ parents, of friends’ parents — have been frequent topics of conversations lately. One in which the demands of a highly spirited 3-year-old on her stay-at-home father often leave them both exhausted by dinner time. Where the just-spayed dog is clumping around and knocking things off low shelves with her Cone of Shame. Where simply managing to get the dishwasher loaded and running before bed can feel like an accomplishment.

Come to think of it, this quilt may wish it had gone to a more aspirational home than ours. But we ended up together, and somehow it all makes sense.

If every quilt has a story, I’m pretty sure the story behind this one is, “Just get it on the bed.”

IMG 0995 The most honest quilt

Quilting? There’s no quilting. This thing is yarn-tied at distant intervals — good thing the polyester batting was bonded well enough not to shift. And I know it’s polyester batting because there are some seams in need of repair.

IMG 1022 The most honest quilt

The backing is a full, untrimmed and rather blousy cotton-poly sheet that was folded to the front as binding and borders and zigzag stitched in place. This quilt needed to get done and get on someone’s bed.

IMG 1016 The most honest quilt

So those wool patches shrank in the wash and are distorting everything around them? Doesn’t matter — get it on the bed.

IMG 1019 The most honest quilt

The seams around the woven cotton patches keep popping open? Just zigzag stitch through all three layers and get it back on the bed.

IMG 1021 The most honest quilt

Zigzag stitches mending popped seams go all the way to the backing

I like to think that this twin-size quilt covered the bed of one of my contemporaries, made for him or her by someone with much more love than time, skill or money, someone who was determined that this young person would sleep warm and safe under it for years. The fact that it ended up being donated to a thrift store is perhaps a little sad, but there’s no doubt this quilt served its intended purpose over time. It did its job without pretense and I’m sure it did it well. Which is a pretty good thing to say about anything — or anybody — and is a good reminder these days.

IMG 1017 The most honest quilt

You can catch Bill Volckening’s web seminars on-demand and read his article about his “offbeat and double-knit” 1970s quilt collection in the Feb/March 2015 issue; click the links below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also recently did an episode of Quilters Newsletter TV: The Quilters’ Community in which Thomas Knauer talked specifically about vintage tied quilts and how he uses yarn tying in his own work; click here to view that episode on QNNtv.com. He may have even made a convert out of me.

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 CraftDaily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

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Embellish Your Quilting Giveaway

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

If you follow our giveaways every week, you’ll remember that last week I posted a picture of some flowers starting to grow and bloom around my house. This week, it looks like the tulips which were just leaves when that photo was taken are getting ready to bloom soon, and I’m more than ready to see what color(s) they’ll turn out to be when they do so. All those spring flowers have me in the mood for floral quilts and fabric embellishments in my quilting, which is the perfect mood to be in for this week’s giveaway:

Double Notions Prize Embellish Your Quilting Giveaway

We have two identical sets of this prize, one set each for two lucky winners. The prize includes Clover Kanzashi Flower Makers in Small Daisy, Small Orchid and Large Orchid; a set of 6 favor boxes; a set of Pinmoor quilting pin anchors; an EZ Craft & Sew One Step Transfer Pen; an English Needles Needle Sampler pack by Kathy Delaney for Colonial Needle; Fuse ‘n’ Gather with Nancy Zieman from Clover; Color for Quilters by Lauri Linch-Zadel and the editors of Quilters Newsletter and Quiltmaker; Stacking Cases from Clover in Small, Medium and Large; a pack of Size 9 Quilting Needles from Clover; and a pack of Size 12 Black Gold Needles Quilting Between from Clover.

If you need some more inspiration for matching your quilting to your garden, check out Quilters Newsletter‘s April/May 2015 issue‘s Photo Finish quilt, Japanese Tea Garden by Mary Ann Hildebrand:JapaneseTeaGarden 800 Embellish Your Quilting Giveaway

Want to know how to begin making a quilt like this one? Check out “Landscape Quilts with Karen Charles” on QNNtv.

To enter for your chance to win one of the two identical embellishment prizes, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Sunday April 12, 2015 telling us your favorite way to embellish your quilting. 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+, 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 Caitlin, Contests | Tagged , , , , , , , | 320 Comments

Floral Rhapsody – and Helpful Hints from Its Construction

001 Floral Rhapsody – and Helpful Hints from Its Construction

Floral Rhapsody

This wall hanging is one of my favorites because of all the stories that go with it.

I was talking a class from Jenny Haskins. She encouraged us to multi-task by using two machines simultaneously. Those of us taking the class had one machine embroidering while sewing on another machine. It’s a trick I still use when I am machine embroidering. But because I didn’t go to the class prepared to do machine embroidery, my thread choices were limited. I embroidered the beautiful design on a square of ivory fabric and then had to find the fabric to complete the project. I looked for the right fabric everywhere I went for several months before I finally found the right burgundy fabric. So that is hint #1. Choose the fabric and then choose the thread for the embroidery.

009 Floral Rhapsody – and Helpful Hints from Its Construction

The Free-motion Quilting

I quilted the quilt with free-motion quilting. As part of the class, I was encouraged to try different designs. So on my quilt, I have swirls in the upper right, my lame attempt at McTavishing in the lower right, stippling in the lower left and pebbles in the upper left. I’ve never mastered McTavishing. And here is hint #2, practice with a paper and pencil before starting to stitch a new pattern. I think it would have helped the look of my McTavishing. As it is I think it looks like bananas in a bunch. It makes me chuckle but it isn’t the look I was going for.

Quilting draws up the fabric. Dense quilting draws up the fabric more than sparse quilting. My pebbles are tiny. I joke that I made grains of sand, not pebbles. So hint #3 is if you want your quilt to lie flat, you’ll want equal amounts of quilting on all parts.

006 Floral Rhapsody – and Helpful Hints from Its Construction

Detail of Prairie Points

I love the decorated prairie points. I cut the fabric the correct width and stitched two rows of decorative stitching just to the right of center. I cut squares and folded them and I had fancy prairie points. Hint #4 is this: when you are doing decorative stitching for something like that, stitch more than you need so you can cut from the best part of the project. In other words, for this project, I needed 16 prairie points. I wanted them to finish at 2” tall so I needed 16 4½” squares or 72” of stitched fabric. I stitched 80” of fabric and cut my 16 squares. I had just a few inches of decorated fabric left so I made two smaller prairie points.

008 Floral Rhapsody – and Helpful Hints from Its Construction

This prairie point is just plain cute.

I put one on the front and then just so I didn’t have any leftovers, I put the other on the back. It doesn’t serve any purpose. It’s just for fun. I didn’t have Susan Cleveland’s Prairie Pointer tool then but I’ve started using it when I’m making prairie points and I love it.

The piping on this quilt is another special touch. I like that it is very narrow since the quilt is small. The quilt is only 26” square. The piping measures 1/16”. Hint #5 – if you are doing something that requires this much accuracy, take advantage of the special feet available for nearly all sewing machines. Ask your machine dealer, they’ll be able to tell you what foot will be most helpful.

007 Floral Rhapsody – and Helpful Hints from Its Construction

The Plain Back

I made Floral Rhapsody a while back – I had not yet discovered what fun pieced backs were. I’m amazed at how boring this quilt back looks.

Before I quit for today, I want to tell you about a web seminar that is coming soon. Mary Fons is presenting Color Me Quilter: Brown. I’m looking forward to hearing all that Mary has to tell us. She’ll be talking about everything from Civil War quilts to quilts in the modern quilt movement, suggesting types of quilts and blocks that make the most of the color brown and, as an extra bonus, she’ll talk about the straight grain and bias of fabric and which one works best for different techniques. Mark it on your calendar. It’s scheduled for April 29, 2015 at 1:00 Eastern Time. The cost is $19.99 and if you can’t be there for the live presentation, your registration fee gives you access to the archived event for one year.

And now, 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 other Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com, and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com to check out.

Posted in Inspiration, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts, Tools | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments