It’s Groovy. It’s Far Out. Can You Dig It?

QN FebMar p32 2 It’s Groovy. It’s Far Out. Can You Dig It?

This quilt was the inspiration for Groovy.

A few months ago, I saw a blog by Bill Volckening with this wonderful, reversible, polyester quilt from the 1970s. I fell in love with it. I studied the photos and figured out how the quiltmaker made it and I just had to try it. We were just beginning to work on a special issue, Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts, and I thought it would be a perfect fit so I drew up a proposal, submitted it to the team and it was selected. If you’ve not already gotten a copy of Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts, it’s available at QuiltandSewShop.com.

I made my quilt and named it Groovy. As we started writing patterns and adjusted the page count, we realized we had too many quilts. So we decided to save my quilt for another issue.

At the same time we were talking with Bill Volckening about doing a feature in the February/March issue of Quilters Newsletter about his collection of 1970s quilts and decided adding the Groovy pattern to that issue would be a perfect fit.

My only disappointment was that we didn’t use the beautiful photography that we had for the special issue. In Quilters Newsletter, we use what we call a flat shot. It’s just that, the quilt hanging and photographed straight on so you can see it all.

QNMP 15030 GROOVY It’s Groovy. It’s Far Out. Can You Dig It?

Here is the flat shot of Groovy.

For special issues, we do things differently. Susan Geddes, art director, Kath Wagar Wright, senior designer, and Mellisa Mahoney, photographer, go to different locations and photograph the quilts in set-up shots.

QNMS Groovy blog It’s Groovy. It’s Far Out. Can You Dig It?

This is the set-up shot of Groovy.

Isn’t that a fun photo? Our team of artists and photographer are so good.

Groovy has already found a home. Our youngest son chose it as his Christmas present in the quilt grab I explained here.

To read all about Bill Volckening’s collection of 1970s quilts and to find the pattern for Groovy, pick up a copy of Quilters Newsletter  on the newsstands, at your local quilt shop or at QuiltandSewShop.com.

And don’t forget about Bill’s web seminar at 1:00 pm (Eastern time) on February 27, 2015, talking all about quilts from the 1970s. I think it will be so interesting to hear what he has to say about the fabrics and construction methods, how to recognize a 1970s quilt, why 1970s quilts matter today, the cultural factors that contributed to the popularity of quiltmaking and the influence of modern materials such as polyester double knit in quiltmaking. I smile whenever I think of the quilts I own made of polyester double knit. The colors never fade and they are just packed full of memories.

Check out Quilters Newsletter on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and our website for the latest news, quilting fun and ideas. For more information, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com, and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

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Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 4

The 21 quilt patterns in Quilters Newsletter Presents Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 will certainly last more than 4 days, but today, Day 4, is the last day of our Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour. TwT Cover 500 235x300 Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 4Each of the quilt patterns in this issue is a modern take on a traditional block, concept or technique. Some of the quilts still look fairly traditional but with modern twists, and some of them look very modern but with traditional inspiration. There’s a quilt in this issue to suit the tastes of every quilter! If you don’t already have your copy of the issue, you can get one at your local quilt shop, bookstore, newsstand or online at Quilt and Sew Shop. Not sure you’re ready yet? We’ve got previews on a Pinterest board, on our website, and here on the blog tour! Let’s learn more about three of those wonderful quilts and their talented designers by visiting their blogs:

More than one of the designers in our Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 issue modified a log cabin block, but this one by Nancy Mahoney has a brand new look due to a change from the traditional color placement. Twisted Logs was made with prints from the Basics collection by P&B Textiles.

TwistedLogs 500 Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 4

Be sure to leave a comment on Nancy’s blog for your chance to win a fat quarter bundle of Victory from Red Rooster.
Victory Bundle Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 4

Another modification on a log cabin quilt, Post & Beam by Natalie Barnes has a postmodern flair that’s extra fun. The change in the dimensions of the logs made them reminiscent of architectural posts, around which beams made of the Mini Confetti Dots collection from Dear Stella float.PostandBeam 500 Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 4

Be sure to leave a comment on Natalie’s blog for your chance to win a fat quarter bundle of Mini Confetti Dots from Dear Stella.
Mini Confetti Dots Bundle Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 4

The traditional snail’s trail quilt block gets an update and an extension with Gigi Khalsa‘s Snail Spiral. Make yours scrappy with delicate florals as Gigi did or use a more modern collection to give it a different feel.SnailSpiral 500 Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 4

Be sure to leave a comment on Gigi’s blog post for your chance to win a fat quarter bundle of Bella Suede from P&B Textiles.
Bell Suede Bundle Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 4

Comments must be entered by Midnight Mountain Time tonight unless otherwise noted in the individual designer’s blog post to be eligible to win. Randomly selected winners from all blogs involved in the Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour will receive an email from QNMquestions@fwmedia.com with the subject line “Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour giveaway.” Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days.

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

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Let’s Do the Traditional Twist!

Welcome to the last stop of Quilters Newsletter Presents Best Tradition with a Twist 2015 blog tour! It’s been really fun to see all the different quilts and hear from the designers who made them, but there are even more wonderful patterns in the issue, plus a lovely article from Victoria Findlay Wolfe about her work. If you don’t believe me, get the issue at the Quilt & Sew Shop and see for yourself.

TwT Cover 500 Lets Do the Traditional Twist!

Available in digital or print editions.

My contribution to the issue is a pattern called Snail Spiral. It’s a variation on the traditional snail’s trail block, one that I’ve always admired for its great sense of movement. I wondered what would happen if the swirling lines continued out of the block, so I worked on designing the quilt to find out.

SnailSpiral 500 Lets Do the Traditional Twist!

Snail Spiral by Gigi Khalsa

There are two modified snail’s trail blocks, and the ‘trails’ sort of overlap one another. I realized soon enough that the various trails extending out of the blocks got pretty big, so that each trail section would be made with some really huge pieces of fabric. That would be fine, but I wanted something a little more interesting. My solution was to break up the large trail sections into smaller squares, creating a checkerboard pattern on the outer edges. The combination of the colorful trails and different values of the checkerboard is pretty fun and makes for a unique pattern.

I couldn’t have made this quilt without using my design wall to audition fabric choices. There is a bit of advice in the issue about how to select and place colors for the pattern, so I hope that is helpful if you choose to make this quilt. The fabrics I chose were all little floral prints, very traditional looking, which I thought was an interesting counterpoint to the unusual quilt pattern.

I hope everyone takes a look at the issue, it’s a good one and we all worked very hard on it! But I know why you’re here, really. You want to win some fabric, and I don’t blame you! This is the prize that one lucky winner will get – a fat quarter bundle of Bella Suede from P&B Textiles. It’s a really nice tone-on-tone collection that would be a great starting point for making a quilt like Snail Spiral.

Bell Suede Bundle Lets Do the Traditional Twist!

Bella Suede from P&B Fabrics.

Leave a comment below to be entered for a chance to win this bundle. One comment per person, please. Comments must be entered by Midnight Mountain Time tonight to be eligible to win. The randomly selected winner will receive an email from QNMquestions@fwmedia.com with the subject line “Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour giveaway.” Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days.

I hope you’re visiting with us not only here on our blog, but on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ and our website. Good luck to everyone who enters!

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Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 3

Here in Colorado, we pretty much never have normal weather. I’m pretty sure it’s winter, season-wise, but the weather this week has been more like winter with a twist of summer. TwT Cover 500 235x300 Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 3 It snowed last week and it’s supposed to snow again tomorrow, but Tuesday got up to 74 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s kind of like the weather equivalent of our newest issue, Quilters Newsletter Presents Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015. It’s traditionally-based quilts that have a modern twist to them. It’s log cabin and bow-tie blocks but with stained glass window and solid white additions or a storm at sea block enlarged to grand scale and made out of denim. (Check out our website or Pinterest board for previews of those quilts.) It’s also taking a traditional theme and making it your own. If you don’t already have your copy of the issue, you can find one at your local quilt shop, bookstore, newsstand or online at Quilt and Sew Shop. But for now, let’s learn just a little more about two of the quilts in the issue and their designers:

Jennifer Parks designed and made Just a Taste with lovely tone-on-tone prints from the Color Weave collection from P&B Textiles. The sampler blocks, which use several different techniques, are laid out in an appealing way that keeps your eyes on the move. Care to make a quilt identical to this one? We have a kit available for purchase at Quilt and Sew Shop with a companion optional backing kit.
JustaTaste 500 Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 3

Be sure to leave a comment on Jennifer’s Blog for your chance to win a fat quarter bundle of Zenith from P&B TextilesZenith Bundle Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 3

Patti Carey designed Going in Circles with metallic laced fabrics in the form of fat quarters from the Artisan Spirit collection from Northcott. The ovals and circles are attached with fusible applique, using a no-waste technique that makes this a soft and fun quilt which is perfect for a beginner or anyone who wants to update their applique skills.
GoinginCircles 500 Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 3

Be sure to leave a comment on Patti’s Blog for your chance to win a fat quarter bundle of Artisan Spirit Shimmer (Pansy colorway) by Deborah Edwards from NorthcottArtisan Shimmer Bundle Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 3

Comments must be entered by Midnight Mountain Time tonight unless otherwise noted in the individual designer’s blog post to be eligible to win. Randomly selected winners from all blogs involved in the Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour will receive an email from QNMquestions@fwmedia.com with the subject line “Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour giveaway.” Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days.

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

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Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 2

Welcome to Day 2 of our Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour! TwT Cover 500 235x300 Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 2We’re celebrating the release of this brand new issue full of original quilt patterns by visiting the online homes of some of the designers and giving away prizes. The best way to give a traditional quilt a twist is to put your own personal stamp on it. Each pattern in our Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 issue has a section talking about the twist used in that quilt, hopefully to give you ideas on how you might use the same twist with a different traditional quilting block or style. If you don’t already have your copy of the issue, be sure to get one at your local quilt shop, bookstore, newsstand or online at Quilt and Sew Shop. And in the meanwhile, let’s continue with our tour, learning about two more of the talented designers whose quilts are featured in the issue:

The traditional nine-patch block gets a modern makeover with different-than-usual sized blocks in Cornflower Crossing by the first designer on our blog tour today, Jen Daly. Make yours in a two color scheme as Jen did, or use multiple colors or make it scrappy to put your own touch of individuality on your version of this spirally-quilted creation. CornflowerCrossing 500 Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 2

Be sure to leave a comment on Jen’s Blog for your chance to win a fat quarter bundle of True Blue from P&B Textiles.
True Blue Bundle Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 2

Careful planning and improvisational piecing both go into Rossie Hutchinson‘s Emily’s Nonsense. The pops of bright blue energize the layout, making it an intriguing quilt.EmilysNonsense 500 Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 2

Be sure to leave a comment on Rossie’s Blog for your chance to win a fat eighth bundle of Lakeside Gatherings by Primitive Gatherings from ModaLakeside Gatherings Bundle Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 2

Comments must be entered by Midnight Mountain Time tonight unless otherwise noted in the individual designer’s blog post to be eligible to win. Randomly selected winners from all blogs involved in the Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour will receive an email from QNMquestions@fwmedia.com with the subject line “Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour giveaway.” Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days.

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

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Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 1

The concept of Tradition with a Twist Quilts is one that’s both fairly simple and very complex.TwT Cover 500 235x300 Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour    Day 1 It’s equal parts traditional quilting and modern quilting. It’s taking the old and making it new again. Our designers for Quilters Newsletter Presents Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 took the idea to mean something just a little bit different to each of them. Some of our designers played with non-traditional colors and altered blocks to suit their personal tastes while others played with non-traditional fabrics and techniques. To celebrate the release of this wonderful issue, we’re holding a blog tour this week. Each day, today through Friday, we’ll introduce you to two or three of our talented designers and give you the opportunity to win a bundle of fabric for each of their blogs you visit! If you don’t already have a copy of Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015, you can find one on newsstands, at bookstores, fabric shops, and online at Quilt and Sew Shop. Plus, check out the promo video we made for the issue:

To start us off with our blog tour, please visit the online home of our first designer, Brenda Miller, who designed and made Skip a Beat for our Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 issue. This lovely table runner could be a perfect Valentine’s Day decoration, but it could also celebrate warmth and love all year round.SkipaBeat 500 Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour    Day 1

Be sure to leave a comment on Brenda’s blog for your chance to win a fat quarter bundle of Just Color from Studio E Fabrics.Just Color Bundle Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour    Day 1

Our second designer today on our blog tour is Janet Jo Smith, who designed and made Lady in Red using her own hand-dyed fabrics. The gradations in the hand-dyes really make the two colors of this variation on a traditional lady of the lake block quilt pop.LadyinRed 500 Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour    Day 1

Be sure to leave a comment on Janet’s blog for your chance to win a fat quarter bundle of Penelope by Sue Beevers from Northcott.Penelope Bundle Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour    Day 1

Comments must be entered by Midnight Mountain Time tonight unless otherwise noted in the individual designer’s blog post to be eligible to win. Randomly selected winners from all blogs involved in the Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour will receive an email from QNMquestions@fwmedia.com with the subject line “Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour giveaway.” Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days.

Don’t forget to visit us here at the QN Blog again tomorrow for chances to win two new bundles of fabric by visiting two more designers’ blogs!

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

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Jackpot

If there is a quilt lottery, I feel like I have won the big one – the grand prize.

We went to see my mom and stepdad this weekend. The weather had been nasty enough that they weren’t able to come to my house for our family holiday get-together, so one of the things we did during this visit was exchange Christmas gifts.

Mom gave us two quilts. This one is one that she made from start to finish. It’s very pretty and beautifully done. I like it a lot.

09172013 120 houses Jackpot

Mom’s House Quilt

But now look at this quilt. This is the second quilt she gave us. It’s amazing.

016 Jackpot

Grandma Brown’s Quilt. It’s rectangular, the camera angle makes it appear otherwise.

Mom told us this is the last quilt top her mom (my Grandma Brown) pieced. Grandma died in 1976 so I know the newest of the fabrics in this top are from the mid-1970s. Grandma was a scrap quilter in the truest sense of the word. Some of her fabrics were collected from the leftovers of her sewing and her daughters’ sewing. Other fabrics were gleaned from worn clothing. She would cut up the clothing and use the least worn parts for quiltmaking.

Grandma didn’t have a rotary cutter and ruler. She cut her patches with a pair of scissors, using cardboard templates. The cardboard was frequently from a cereal box or something similar. I don’t know how she did the designing part of her quilts. Did she make the blocks and then lay them out and arrange colors or did she have a plan for color arrangement in mind when she pieced the blocks? I don’t remember ever being in on that part of the process.

Mom said some of the seams in this quilt top were not very good so she quilted with a feather stitch on the seam lines with her sewing machine to reinforce them.

018 Jackpot

Mom quilted on the ditch with a decorative stitch.

As you can see, the piecing is not precise like Mom’s piecing. There are places where there is excess fabric so the fabric bubbles a bit. But that doesn’t bother me in the least.

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Some of the blocks aren’t quite flat.

The brown fabric for the background is a number of different shades; some is cotton, some is polyester (maybe the lining from a coat). I think the different colors of brown are part of the charm of this quilt.

019 Jackpot

Aren’t the lavender polka dots delightful?

This lavender polka dot is the print that Grandma used the most often. It’s in six of the star blocks and is paired with a spruce green solid in three of the blocks. Orange, lavender and turquoise are the solids in the other three. I love Grandma’s color sense. It breaks some of the rules but the end result is so attractive.

I absolutely love this quilt. I plan to add a sleeve so I can hang it on the living room wall. It is such a treasure.

I was thinking about Grandma’s quilt this morning; thinking that Bill Volckening would appreciate it. Bill wrote a wonderful feature about 1970s quilts in the February/March 2015 issue of Quilters Newsletter. There are photos of eight quilts from his collection. Bill is also going to be presenting a web seminar at 1:00 pm (Eastern time) on February 27, 2015, titled Modern Materials, Quilts of the 1970s. He’ll talk about how to recognize a quilt as being from the 1970s, fabrics (including polyester double knits) and construction methods used, how quilts have evolved and the relevance of 1970s quilts today. There is more information at QuiltandSewShop.com. Put it on your calendar; it promises to be very interesting.

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

 

Posted in Inspiration, Lori Baker | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Zigzag to the Finish!

I have a quilt finish to share! You might remember when I talked about making the quilt top and designing and doing the quilting for the Rectangular Prisms pattern. The pattern was designed by Marcia Harmening and it’s available in Quilters Newsletter‘s special issue, Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014. You can get a copy, digital or physical, at the Quilt & Sew Shop if you are interested. There are 24 great patterns in the issue aside from this one.

This finish was a little more involved, because the top and bottom of the quilt are shaped kind of like zigzags. That means the binding technique and process was new to me and so I had to go pretty slow and make sure I was doing it right. And, since I am stubborn and refuse to hand-stitch the binding down to the back, I had to work out the best way to machine-stitch the entire binding. It went pretty well, though slow. I’m not sure that it was any faster than hand-sewing, ultimately, but I was determined.

In the magazine, there’s a Designer Tip to go along with the pattern that explains how to best work with shaped binding. I followed the instructions and they worked well, but I tweaked a few things to suit my sewing style. The main difference is that you don’t use a double fold binding, to minimize bulk in the corners.

The pattern recommends backstitching at each corner, and I did that. But rather than take the quilt all the way out from under the presser foot to reposition, I just pulled it to the side a bit to fold and reposition the binding at the outer corners. I don’t do this with regular binding, but there are so many little points to tackle on this quilt that I thought it would save some time.

zigzag2 Zigzag to the Finish!

Try not to laugh at my poor, beat-up presser foot. I didn’t make it that way, it was like that when I got it! I think in its previous life, my sewing machine was used by many people who maybe weren’t very familiar with a sewing machine and how to care for it, like at a school or something.

zigzag3 Zigzag to the Finish!

Here I am repositioning so the binding can go over the corner. I don’t use a walking foot for binding because my walking foot doesn’t do well with uneven surfaces. Plus I like having the 1/4″ guide.

zigzag4 Zigzag to the Finish!

Boom! Back under the presser foot. No wasted thread and not much wasted time.

Then I folded the binding to the back and started to stitch the other side down, stitching in the ditch from the front to catch the fold on the back. This is how I always do my bindings, double fold or not. I may be the only quilter who does it this way. It’s how I learned to do bias binding for garment sewing, and it’s been one of my favorite finishing techniques for years (facings on garments drive me nuts, whether sewing or wearing them) so when I started making quilts I just did the same thing.

I use about three pins at a time and pin as I go, making sure to catch the fold on the back with my pins. It’s a little more labor intensive than clipping or pinning all at once, but it works for me and I’m less likely to get poked by some pin I can’t see. I took my time, especially on the corners, in order to catch the fold on the back, but I did manage to finally finish it. Maybe you want to see the finished quilt? Here you go!

zigzag7 Zigzag to the Finish!

Finished Quilt! I don’t know yet what I should call it.

zigzag8 Zigzag to the Finish!

And the back! I had to piece part of the back, as you can see. Look at all those cute ziggy zaggies, though!

zigzag9 Zigzag to the Finish!

Here’s a closeup of the front and back of the binding on the corners. You can see that my weird binding technique actually does work!

zigzag10 Zigzag to the Finish!

And just for fun, here are all the edges folded up together.

In retrospect, hand-stitching the binding to the back might have been less hassle and time in the end, but I guess I can find out about that another day.

Speaking of finding things out, I hope you’ve been enjoying the assortment of webinars that we’ve been offering recently. It’s nice to get different people’s perspective, thoughts, ideas and techniques and the classes give you a chance to do that with a really interesting, wide variety of topics. Click here if you want to know more about the web seminars currently on offer.

I’m feeling pretty good that January’s not over yet and I already have two finished quilts to enjoy! Sure, I didn’t make them start to finish in January, but they’re done! How’s your quilt finishing going so far this year? If you take a little break from sewing, come visit us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and our website to share what you’ve been up to. Have an accomplished weekend!

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Meadowlark Giveaway

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

It’s coming to that time of year where many people have already given up on their New Year’s resolutions. QNDJ15 Cover 200 Meadowlark Giveaway As quilters, however, we know that we have the entire year to complete those UFOs we made plans to finish in 2015, and it doesn’t really matter if the sewing room isn’t organized yet as long as it’s usable for sewing in. Each moment we spend on our hobby is a moment spent doing what we love, and it’s that enjoyment of the craft that brings us all together. The December/January 2015 issue of Quilters Newsletter features moments in quilting history as well as tips, techniques and quilt patterns to help enhance those future moments. It also features a wonderful Staff Picks section and Quilters Wish List section that list all sorts of items for quilters to love. This week’s giveaway features one of the fabric bundles from that Staff Picks section as well as notions from both sections.

Prize 1 includes a fat quarter bundle of Meadowlark by Melanie Testa from Windham Fabrics, two assorted packs of Tulip Hiroshima Hand Needles  from United Notions and a finger pincushion from Oodles of Pincushions.
Meadowlark Prize1 Meadowlark Giveaway

Prize 2 includes a pack of 10″ precuts of Meadowlark by Melanie Testa from Windham Fabrics, two assorted packs of Tulip Hiroshima Hand Needles  from United Notions and a Round Off Nested Template Set from Winner Designs. Meadowlark Prize2 Meadowlark Giveaway

Just in case you need some inspiration on what to do with those wonderful fabrics, here’s a quilt block made from pieces in the Meadowlark collection: Meadowlark Block Meadowlark 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 January 25, 2015 telling us what quilting tool or notion you couldn’t live without. If you have a preference between the two prizes, please let us know that in your comment as well. 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.

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Hints, Hints and More Hints

Today I’m going to critique some machine quilting and a pieced back. I’m going to be pretty hard on the quiltmaker but that’s okay because it’s me. I did some things wrong and I should have known better. Now they are going to be a part this pretty little quilt forever. It’s definitely one of those slap-my-forehead-and-shake-my-head-in-disgust times.

001 Hints, Hints and More Hints

Here’s the quilt top.

First, let me tell you a little of this quilt’s story. We cleaned lots of spaces at the office this past year. Excess items, including several unfinished quilt tops, were put on a table to give away. This was one of those unfinished tops. I loved the block and the way the different colors in adjoining blocks create a secondary pattern. The piecing is beautifully done. The red, green and brown are not colors I typically use but I just couldn’t resist. Thank you to whoever made the quilt top.

My husband and I are in the process of buying a new home and the living room has two cocoa brown walls. I’ve been telling everyone that I don’t have any quilts the right color to use in that room. (That might not actually be true, but it gives me an excuse to make another quilt or two.) This wonderful little quilt top fits exactly into the color scheme I have in mind.

So it came out of the PIGS (Projects in Grocery Sacks). I wanted the back to go together in a hurry so I selected two large-sized pieces of green fabric, two medium-sized pieces of red and one medium-sized piece of green. I sewed them together, cut them in strips, sewed them together again and the result was just plain ho-hum. I got one more small piece of red fabric and put the narrow strips of that red in the dark green strips. I added a one more medium-size piece of green to make the strips all the same length and sewed them together again. It was so much better. At this point, I was thinking I had the start of a great reversible wall hanging.

This is where I started to go wrong. I spray basted the three layers together. The unfinished top is 35” square so in a perfect world, I should have been able to get by with spray basting. But given the straight lines on the pieced back, I should have taken a lot more care with putting the layers together. So here is hint #1. If you have a pieced back with obvious straight lines, you should pin baste carefully making sure you maintain those straight lines in relationship to the quilt top.

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The Upper Left Quarter

I started quilting the straight lines in the center, quilting in the ditch around the four-pointed star. Then I moved my needle position to the left and with the edge of the presser foot right next to the previous row of stitching, I quilted all those rows of echo stitching. That’s hint #2. An easy way to echo quilt is to change needle position and use the edge of the presser foot as a guide. But following right on the heels of that, I have to tell you hint #3. Do mark occasionally when you are making many rows. I didn’t check until row 15 and the angles weren’t quite right anymore. If you are looking closely at the quilt, you can see the uneven spacing where I made the corrections.

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Closeup of Quilting

I quilted the straight lines in one continuous line until I got to the light green border. Then I finished quilting one quarter at a time. I’m not sure, but that may have been a mistake or it may have just added to the mistake of the poor basting job. Anyway, you can see on the back of the quilt that the straight seam lines are not straight. Notice on the left side that the distortion is very noticeable. There are a few tiny tucks right along the edge of the quilting. If I were to do this again, I’d keep quilting one line in each quarter of the quilt at a time, in an effort to keep things square.

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I love the modern look of the pieced back.

The next mistake is the one that makes me the craziest. I usually do my quilting with a minimum of stops and starts. I do that on purpose so I don’t have many knots to bury. But on this quilt with this quilting design, I didn’t see a way to do that. So once I got to the light green border, I had to start and stop each row of stitching at the border. That means two knots for each row. The rows are about ¼” apart. I’m estimating about 400 knots. The only hand sewing needles in my sewing room had very small eyes. I was impatient. It was late enough that the sewing stores would no longer be open. I cut off the threads. And of course, now I’m mad at myself for doing that. Those 400 or so knots are now noticeable bumps on my quilt. Hint #4. Buy yourself a self-threading needle, sit down in front of the TV and go to the effort of burying the knots. You’ll be so glad you did.

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Just look at all the knots.

I quilted in the ditch on both sides of the light green border and then added another row of quilting down the center. It looks fine on the front of the quilt but on the back it just draws my eye to the crookedness of the seam lines. Susan, QN’s art director, suggested removing those straight lines and quilting the outside two borders with something with curving lines instead. Hint #5. When there is something less than perfect on your quilt, you can do something wonderful nearby to draw the viewer’s eye away from the part that is not as wonderful. I’ll be unsewing tonight so I can take Susan’s advice. I’ll be sure to show you the finished project so you can see the difference. I can hardly wait for the end of the day so I can “work” on it again.

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The vertical quilting lines are noticeably not straight with the seam lines.

On another subject, I wanted to tell you about an upcoming web seminar. We frequently get questions about how to do the binding on quilts. On Tuesday, February 17th, Jenny Kae is going to be presenting a seminar on binding quilts by machine. She’ll take you through the whole process, from squaring up your quilt to cutting, piecing and pressing your binding strips and on to attaching the binding and hiding the ends. She’ll even talk about making perfect corners. Just one beautifully bound quilt will be worth the $19.99 price and you’ll forever be able to bind your quilts in a way that will make you proud. Check it out at QuiltandSewShop.com.

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

Until next time, happy quilting!

Posted in Inspiration, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments