PIG Report

After last week’s marathon of sewing, the first thing I did was straighten up my sewing area. I am pretty messy when I sew. l worked on three different projects last week and had bits and pieces of all three on my sewing table. In fact, if I’m totally honest, there were things on that table that had nothing to do with any of the three projects. It was pretty scary.

The second thing I did was take stock of where I am and what I wanted to do next. I have an on-going battle with PIGS (Projects in Grocery Sacks). It seems no matter what I do, I have pieces and parts and half-done projects accumulating at a high rate of speed. I truly have two (almost three) boxes of PIGS. Every year, I promise myself that I will finish one PIG a month and then … life happens. I seldom complete the hoped-for 12 PIGS in a year. This year, I’ve done better than usual. That’s because each time I need to do a lesson or make a quilt for work, I check first in my stack of PIGS to see if there is a PIG that I can use.

So here’s how I’m doing this year with my PIGS. The first two that I’m showing are quilts that I worked on quite a while (like months and months) but for some reason I didn’t think of them as PIGS at the time. Looking back, I realize they had become PIGS, I just hadn’t labeled them that way in my mind.

churndash PIG Report

If I Could Churn Back Time

The first quilt from the PIGS stack was If I Could Churn Back Time. I started working on this to help a friend of mine and then we decided she didn’t need a new churn dash quilt after all. I had this quilted right after the first of the year. It’s traveling this year as part of the Quilts from Within exhibit that is part of the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo events this year.

DPMQP160812 2 PIG Report

Confused Geese

Confused Geese was my second PIG for the year and it is patterned in the July/August 2016 issue of McCall’s Quilting. You can purchase the issue either in print or digital format or the digital pattern at QuiltandSewShop.com. I love this quilt. It was made with a jillion flying geese that I got as part of an office block exchange.

front PIG Report

First Bloom

The third PIG was First Bloom. My husband named it that because it was one of the first quilts that my then 4-year-old granddaughter helped with. She is the one who suggested that the flower blocks on the four corners be set on point.

The next PIG project was one I finished for one of the magazines so I can’t show it to you now.  I’ll show you photos of it later.

johnsquilt PIG Report

John’s Quilt

John’s graduation quilt was the fifth PIG of the year. I told you about it in my first blog post in June.

thewholequilt PIG Report

I Can Do Math

The sixth PIG was this pretty little table topper. I got to review the Pfaff performance 5.2 sewing machine for Quiltmaker magazine. You can read the review at Quilty Pleasures, the Quiltmaker blog. I used these nine blocks left from a bed-size quilt I made in 2015 to try out some of the fun stitches and features of the Pfaff performance 5.2.

churndashembroidered PIG Report

String-pieced Churn Dash Quilt

The seventh PIG is my beautiful churn dash quilt that I showed you last week. It’s at the quilter and I can hardly wait to see it.

piecedback PIG Report

The Start of Another Pieced Back

So here I am on the first of the eighth month of the year and I’m starting on my eighth PIG. Here is the beginning of the pieced back for PIG #8. I’m delighted. And for me, the taking-stock process is motivating. I didn’t actually realize that I was on target. I imagine I’ll work even harder to get those five other PIGS done for the year.

But now, I better see if I can clear some of the projects off my desk here at work. So until next time, 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 , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Scrap Bag: WWII signature quilt & “escape map” dress, 13-year-olds quilt, IMQA closing, and more

It’s been a few weeks since our last Scrap Bag post, and we hope you’ll enjoy its return in time for your weekend sewing plans! (As for the photo, well, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?)

IMG 2837 Scrap Bag: WWII signature quilt & escape map dress, 13 year olds quilt, IMQA closing, and more

“Why Are These People Abandoning Their Art?” asks The Huffington Post. The people in question aren’t abandoning making art altogether; rather, they’re participants in a movement known as Art Abandonment in which people literally leave a piece of art with an explanatory note somewhere out in the world for someone else to find and hopefully appreciate. It reminds me a bit of yarn bombing and made me consider making a small mug rug and “abandoning” it somewhere. I wonder what the reception would be?
www.huffingtonpost.com

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The Livingston Parish News in Denham Springs, Louisiana, recently published a three-part series called “Stitches in Time” about a World War II fundraising signature quilt that now resides in the State Archives at the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office for safekeeping. Part 1 describes the quilt itself and includes memories of those who were children when it was completed in 1944; part 2 and part 3 go into more detail about the stories behind the soldiers and their families that are represented by the embroidered names on the red-white-and blue quilt, resulting in a comprehensive study of how one quilt can carry the history of an entire community.
www.livingstonparishnews.com

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Over nearly the past half-century, the St. Andrew’s Quilters of Lemay, Missouri, have raised more than $250,000 for St. Andrew’s parish and school through the quilts they’ve made and raffled off — at one point the group was holding a quilt-of-the-week raffle! The current group of nine quilters (including a couple of 13-year-olds) still quilt by hand on frames made by the husband of one member, and their work looks beautiful.
stlouisreview.com

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If you happen to be in the Melbourne, Australia, area between now and early November, get yourself to the National Gallery of Victoria to see the exhibit Making the Australian Quilt: 1800–1950, the first major exhibition of its kind to bring together the rich works that constitute Australia’s quilt heritage, including the famous Rajah Quilt that was made by female prisoners on board a convict ship transporting them from England to “van Dieman’s Land” in 1841.
www.ngv.vic.gov.au

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A dress made from silk maps given to RAF soldiers in WW2 to help them find a route out of enemy territory has been sold for an undisclosed sum. The dress, made from ‘escape and evade’ maps, is thought to be from 1945-50. … Cathy Smith, who sold the dress in Harrogate, [England] said: ‘The fact that I could only locate two examples in museums suggests to me that it’s very rare.’”
www.bbc.com

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Maya Reddy of Eugene, Oregon, entered 86 items into the Lane County Fair competitions this year. If that fact alone doesn’t make you feel like a slacker, there’s more: Maya is 13 years old. She has entered every category other than photography, and received the blue ribbon for best pickles for the second year running. Click the link to watch a report produced by a local news program to see some of her quilted items. Congrats, Maya!
kval.com/news

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The International Machine Quilters Association, which just celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Machine Quilters Showcase, announced last week that its board of directors had “made the difficult decision to dissolve IMQA and MQS® … after much deliberation and considering all aspects of the show.”

The IMQA Board wishes to thank all our supporters, sponsors, vendors, teachers, volunteers, and attendees who have made MQS® and IMQA so remarkable the past 20 years. We also give a big thank you to the volunteers in key positions who worked tirelessly throughout each year and at the show to make MQS® possible.

Best wishes to all of you in your future quilting and again, thank you for your friendship throughout the past 20 years.

www.imqa.org

Because of the similarity in their acronyms, the producers of the Machine Quilters Exposition (MQX) realized there was some confusion in the quilting community and posted the following on their website and social media channels:

It has come to our attention that the dissolution of the MQS/IMQA organization is being confused with MQX Quilt Festivals. Please be assured that MQX is not affiliated in any way with this organization.

www.mqxshow.com

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qass summercoupons 600x250e Scrap Bag: WWII signature quilt & escape map dress, 13 year olds quilt, IMQA closing, and more

Quilt and Sew Shop has a great sale that ends at 11:59 p.m. (MDT) tonight, July 29. Using promo codes 5SAVE, 15SAVE, 50SAVE or 75SAVE, you can save up to 25% off your entire order, including quilt kits (remember, no one but you will know if you decide to use the fabric for a different project!), books, patterns, templates, notions and so much more.

QNAS16Cover 200 Scrap Bag: WWII signature quilt & escape map dress, 13 year olds quilt, IMQA closing, and moreWhile you’re there, be sure to take a look at our brand-spanking-new August/September 2016 issue! Available in both print and digital editions, this issue features Cache of Carats on the cover, which has been winning major awards left and right lately. We’ve got close-up photos of the amazing skill and artistry that Gail Stepanek and Jan Hutchison put into this masterpiece, as well as insight and work-in-progress photos of how Gail designed and made it and how Jan designed the quilting. Truly spectacular.

 

 

DPQNP160901 Scrap Bag: WWII signature quilt & escape map dress, 13 year olds quilt, IMQA closing, and more

Autumn Glow digital pattern

We’ve also got digital versions available of each pattern featured in the issue, including the gorgeous and challenging Kanji; lovely intermediate twin-size quilt Northern Lights; batik quilt Autumn Glow, a great pattern for confident beginners; and part 3 of Rhapsody in Red, our skill-building series quilt.

Click here to see all of QN’s digital quilt patterns available from Quilt and Sew Shop.

 

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

Free Quilt Pattern: Waterfall

As a member of the larger quilting editorial team here in our office in Golden, Colorado, I’ve been contributing to McCall’s Quilting and McCall’s Quick Quilts. For the September/October 2016 issue of McCall’s Quilting, I was assigned the “I Love This Quilt!” regular feature, for which an editor selects a pattern from the McCall’s archive to remake; the original pattern is also posted on the website as a free download. Not a bad gig, huh?

Waterfall 300px Free Quilt Pattern: WaterfallI chose Waterfall, shown in its original version in the photo to the left.

I’ll be honest: it was name recognition that initially drew me to this quilt. Waterfall was  originally designed by Diana McClun & Laura Nownes, the authors behind the authoritative book Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! When I first expressed an interest in learning to quilt 20 years ago (how can it have been that long?), a family friend lent me her copy and then gave me one for my own. Because of that, I think fondly of Diana and Laura (we’re on a first-name basis, naturally) as my first quilt teachers and am interested in anything they design.

Now for my second admission: I chose this quilt because it looks fast. Those chevrons are made by strip piecing 2-1/2″ strips, meaning it’s a precut-friendly pattern. I have a special person in my life for whom I’ve been meaning to make a quilt for a while, and this is something I’m confident I can finish in time for Christmas.

Waterfall 600px flat Free Quilt Pattern: Waterfall

Waterfall by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes

There’s one more reason I love this quilt and want to make it: I’ve never used this particular technique of piecing strips and cutting them into sections on the bias before joining them into rows. So I’m looking forward to trying something new and adding to my quilting bag of tricks.

As for my version, the intended recipient of this quilt loves color. Actually, “loves” might be an understatement. She lives in and for color, particularly during the gloomy winters in her part of the country. With Waterfall, I decided to work within one fabric collection rather than go scrappy to keep a handle on the profusion of hues I wanted to include.

IMG 2751 Free Quilt Pattern: Waterfall

Latitude batiks by Kate Spain for Moda

When I saw the Latitude collection of batiks designed by Kate Spain for Moda, I knew it was something the intended recipient would love. I’ll use the jelly roll strips for the chevrons, the indigo batik and light blue handpaint for the vertical strips, and the two orchid batiks for the borders and binding; the turquoise and coral batiks at the top of the photo are for the backing.

IMG 2752 Free Quilt Pattern: Waterfall

This season has been a busy one for my family — not too many lazy, hazy days so far — so I haven’t gotten a start on sewing yet. I have managed to bust open that jelly roll and press the strips; my next step is to decide how I want to arrange them. Should I go totally random or maybe piece them in groups somehow? I’m still playing with that.

I know it’s going to be a fun quilt to make, and these bright batiks will be wonderful to work with during the dog days of summer, which seem to have started in Colorado sometime in June. (Maybe I should mix myself a nice tropical drink to sip while I sew? I’m open to suggestions …)

I’ll blog about my progress, so be sure to check back in a few weeks to see how far I’ve gotten. Someone suggested that I track my time to find out if the quilt is really as quick to make as it seems, which I thought was a great idea.

Click here to download the free pdf pattern for Waterfall.

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, Staff Quilts | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Swan Lake

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

The very first of the advanced copies of Quilters Newsletter presents Best Christmas Quilts 2016 arrived in our office this morning, and the issue contains a bit of everything. It goes on sale in a little under three weeks on Tuesday, August 16, 2016, and you’ll want to check it out on newsstands, at quilt shops, or at Quilt and Sew Shop when it does. In the meanwhile, back issues of Best Christmas Quilts from 2011-2015 are still available in digital format, and I’m going to continue trying to get out of my creative slump. I didn’t manage to do any sewing over the weekend (though I did manage some un-sewing on a project I decided needed alterations), which makes Lori’s completion of not one, not two, but three quilts tops seem even more impressive. Check it out if you missed it.

This week’s giveaway prize is a bundle of Swan Lake collection by Patrick & Andrea Patton for Birch Fabrics: Birch SwanLake1 Swan Lake

And if you need some inspiration on what to create with Swan Lake, check out this block we made from the collection for use in Quilters Newsletter’s August/September 2016 issue’s Staff Picks feature: StaffPicksBlock2 800 Swan Lake

To enter for your chance to win a bundle of Swan Lake, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Sunday, July 31, 2016, telling us approximately how many quilts you’ve ever finished. 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.

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 , , | 189 Comments

I Am a Sewing MACHINE!

A couple of years ago, I got this cute set of pins from my friends at Quiltmaker magazine.

pin I Am a Sewing MACHINE!

Quiltmaker Pins

I like them all but my favorite is the one on the upper right because sometimes when I’m being extra productive that’s what I think of myself. I am a sewing machine! This weekend was one of those times. I introduced myself to one of my coworkers this morning as Superwoman.

I layered all my finished projects from the weekend on the wall in my office this morning and took a photograph.

101 4279 I Am a Sewing MACHINE!

A Busy Weekend’s Play

When the weekend started, I had 4 quilts that I needed to make for upcoming issues and for a video (watch for more on that later). Deadlines were looming. My goal was to finish quilt #1 by noon on Saturday. I told you about starting this quilt in my blog post a couple of weeks ago.

I missed that goal but only by a little. I finished sewing the top together just after noon and by the time I pressed everything, it was nearing 12:30. Quilt #1 is the quilt in the back on the photo. It’s for the January/February issue of McCall’s Quilting so I can’t show you the whole quilt. You can only see about 6 inches on the top and left hand sides of the photo.

Then there is quilt #2. For a web bonus for that same issue of McCall’s Quilting, we are doing the cute little baby quilt that is in the front of my “stack” of quilts. It took me less than 3 hours, start to finish. Somewhere in there, we took time out to go have dinner with our son and his family. Quilt #2 was pieced by bedtime on Saturday night.

Quilt #3 was the most time-consuming of my weekend projects and the biggest challenge to my brain. I started talking about it in mid-May and then mentioned it again at the end of May.

At that point, things were not going well. I absolutely love the quilt top. The huge string-pieced churn dash block in the middle with the double row of string-pieced blocks around the outside is so striking. It’s big – 80” x 80”.

done I Am a Sewing MACHINE!

The String-Pieced Churn Dash Top

I decided to embroider on the dark blue border and things went south – almost immediately. The first two embroidered patterns didn’t line up. It was my error. I was using a new machine and didn’t understand how to match points so the embroidery would be in the perfect spot.

oops I Am a Sewing MACHINE!

Oops!

I knew I couldn’t stand it so I quit on that border.  Then I tried more embroidery on two other borders and failed to match the size to the embroideries on the first border. I’d enlarged the design you see above and when I embroidered second and third borders I forgot to resize the embroidery. So when I stopped working on this quilt a couple of weeks ago, I’d messed up 3 of the 4 borders and had hundreds of stitches that needed to be taken out. After talking to some of my coworkers about how to fix it, I decided to remove the borders, cut new borders and stitch the embroidery on the new border fabric, and then put the new borders in. It was a little tricky. I didn’t take the rows of string-pieced blocks apart; I just took out the center and removed the dark blue border. Then I added the new borders and sewed the blocks back on. There were partial seams but it went well.

It took me most of the day Sunday but I have it done and ready to go to the quilter.

churndashembroidered I Am a Sewing MACHINE!

Oh Yeah! I’m Loving It!

And the embroidery in the borders lines up nicely.

embroidery I Am a Sewing MACHINE!

Much Better!

Quilt #4? Well, I’m planning to do more string piecing and I did get out the fabric that is the right color family. I don’t have the background fabric for it yet so I can work on the string piecing this week. For more information on how I do string piecing, see the video that Mary Kate and I did for QNNtv.com. I give instructions for string piecing and talk a little about layout possibilities. It’s so versatile and it’s great at stash-busting. I know what I’ll be doing in the evenings this week. String piecing!

And now, for more 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 Inspiration, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

So Many Books Part 22!

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

Today in the video studio side of the Quilters Newsletter office, we’re filming Quiltmaker‘s Lessons in Creativity series 4. Series 3 is inspired by a red, white, and blue log cabin quilt and all the things you can do with a log cabin quilt block. Episode 4 airs tomorrow on QNNtv.com, and since it’s a free series, all you have to do to watch the full episodes is register for free and login with your email address. If you miss Quilters Newsletter TV: The Quilters’ Community or Quilters Newsletter Machine Quilting Tips & Techniques or even Quilters Newsletter Workshop, you can find all of the episodes on QNNtv.com as well, viewable by individual purchase or by subscription to the site. If you’re here looking for inspiration, we’ve also got some great books in this week’s giveaway prizes below:

Part 22 Prizes 1 2 So Many Books Part 22!Prizes 1 & 2 are identical and include Cheerful Charm Quilts by Martingale, Super Scrap Quilts by Martingale, Seamingly Scrappy by Rebecca Silbaugh for That Patchwork Place, and Strip-Smart Quilts II by Kathy Brown for That Patchwork Place.

Part 22 Prizes 3 4 So Many Books Part 22!Prizes 3 & 4 are identical and include Make It, Take It by Krista Hennebury for That Patchwork Place; The Travelers Companion by Elaine Schmidt for Kansas City Star Quilts; Super Quick Quilts by Martingale; and Big-Print Patchwork by Sandy Turner for Martingale.

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, July 24, 2016, telling us about the most traditional 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 , , , , | 46 Comments

Fabric for Life – What a Dream Come True that Would Be

I haven’t got any fun sewing to show today. I’ve spent the last week working more on the quilt I talked about in my blog post last week. I am so close to done that I didn’t want to come to work this morning. I have the last eight blocks partially assembled. There are several units in each block. I have the units finished and have started sewing them together. I hope to finish the quilt top and get it sent off to the quilter this week. I find myself sending quilts out to be quilted more often these days, especially with the bed-size quilts.

halfblock Fabric for Life – What a Dream Come True that Would Be

All the Units for the Remaining Blocks

I’m truly excited about this quilt. It’s going to be beautiful. Watch for it in the January/February issue of McCall’s Quilting.

But even though I don’t have any fun sewing to share with you, I do have something pretty fun to tell you about today. Keepsake Quilting is celebrating their 30th anniversary and they are doing a huge Fabric for Life giveaway. FabricforLife2016 450x300 Fabric for Life – What a Dream Come True that Would Be

KeepsakeQuilting Fabric for Life – What a Dream Come True that Would BeLogoBerninaBelowL NO SWIS Fabric for Life – What a Dream Come True that Would Bereliable logo tagline coolg Fabric for Life – What a Dream Come True that Would BeBlankQuilting NewLogo Fabric for Life – What a Dream Come True that Would Be HENRY GLASS Fabric for Life – What a Dream Come True that Would Be PB 9 1 logo cmyk Fabric for Life – What a Dream Come True that Would Be QuiltTreasures logo Fabric for Life – What a Dream Come True that Would Be Studio e logo Fabric for Life – What a Dream Come True that Would Be

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think any one of those prizes sounds like a good thing. If you don’t enter, you won’t win, so check it out. I’d love it if someone who found out about the giveaway from my blog post was one of the winners. You’d tell me, wouldn’t you?

Now, for more 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 Contests, Events, Lori Baker | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Stack of Books pillow for my reading chair

In a blog post from a few weeks ago I mentioned that I wanted to make a small project from Penny Layman’s The Paper-Pieced Home. Which I did end up doing, but of course these things always take a little longer than I anticipate. Regardless, I’m really happy with my results.

MQM06 A Stack of Books pillow for my reading chairPenny’s book contains 40 original foundation piecing designs representing different household items with a retro touch: bathtub, shoe, rotary phone, console TV, gardening tools, bathing suit, and so on.

The pattern I decided to tackle first was the Stack of Books block (I printed foundation patterns for a couple of other blocks to have on hand for when inspiration strikes, including Layer Cake and Fruit Bowl).

 

Here’s an image of Penny’s version of the Stack of Books block from the book.

Screen Shot 2015 03 18 at 10.59.40 AM A Stack of Books pillow for my reading chair

You’ll notice that the spine of the book on the left that’s leaning up against the stack has a title — in this case, Paper Piecing Is Fun – that Penny stamped on. Because I don’t have stamping supplies that would allow me to customize a title, I decided to hand stitch the title of a classic that would represent the sense of “discovering” a story as if for the first time ever and losing myself in it — in my case, Jane Eyre exemplified that experience.

I realized that I could hand stitch just one piece of fabric in place of needing five as in the pattern (a center stamped panel with four green patches surrounding it), which would further simplify the amount of foundation piecing in an already straightforward design.

The first thing I did, after printing full-size foundation patterns from the CD that comes with the book, was to pull some text prints from my stash and audition them together.

IMG 2634 A Stack of Books pillow for my reading chair

I decided only to use the text prints with cream or ivory backgrounds and then to coordinate the rest of my fabrics with them.

IMG 2662 A Stack of Books pillow for my reading chair

Using semi-transparent foundation-piecing paper allows you to figure out exactly where to fussy cut your patches.

I love this recipe print, which I believe was made in the 1960s or perhaps early 1970s and that I found in a thrift store a couple of years ago.

IMG 2666 A Stack of Books pillow for my reading chair

These three sections went together very quickly. I used scraps of chambrays from Andover Fabrics for the book covers, as their texture is very similar to that of clothbound books.

And then it was time to do some stitching. First I auditioned some size 8 perle cotton threads in different colors by stitching them on the fabric I planned to use to see what I preferred.

FullSizeRender4 A Stack of Books pillow for my reading chair

auditioning size 8 perle cotton threads

After I’d made my choice, I traced the book title (taken from the spine of my own copy of Jane Eyre) onto my fabric and pinned a piece of cotton batting to the wrong side to act as stabilizer.

It … didn’t go as planned. At first I tried to replicate the serif font I had traced, but I am not an experienced embroiderer and I quickly saw that I was not going to end up with anything close to the look I wanted.

So I traced the title onto another piece of fabric and tried again, this time with a straight stitch. Again, I was not happy with the results.

FullSizeRender6 A Stack of Books pillow for my reading chair

attempts #1 and #2 at hand stitching the book title

Attempt #2 was an improvement over attempt #1, but it still wasn’t what I would call good, or even acceptable. (Please ignore my crude stitches and admire the beautiful texture of the fabric in the picture above — isn’t it lovely?)

After attempt #2, I realized that size 8 perle cotton was not the right thread for this job. So I went back to look through my stash of threads for hand work.

FullSizeRender3 A Stack of Books pillow for my reading chair

This is the what I ended up with: Weeks Dye Works 3-strand cotton floss in Scuppernong (what a great word, by the way! It’s a type of grape, one I’d never heard of before). It was the right thread for this project.

Once I’d finally finished this step, the rest of the block was a breeze.

IMG 2685 A Stack of Books pillow for my reading chair

I added borders to bring the 10″ block up to 16-1/2″ square to make it into a pillow sham, again using a coordinating chambray from Andover.

completed top A Stack of Books pillow for my reading chair

My version ended up being rather subdued, as appropriate for a library or a study as for my living room owing to the fabrics I used. But I can totally picture, and now kind of want to make, a “beach read” version with bright, summery fabrics — it would look great on a tote bag, don’t you think?

Just so you know, The Paper-Pieced Home is available from quiltandsewshop.com for $19.88, a savings of 26% off the regular retail price and a great value for 40 foundation patterns and 10 project patterns, plus all the basics you need to know about foundation piecing if you’re new to the technique. If it interests you at all, you should definitely check it out — it’s a lot of fun!

QASS CustomerAppreciation 630x250 A Stack of Books pillow for my reading chair

And just so you know, Quilt and Sew Shop is having a Customer Appreciation Sale through July 20. Use coupon code THANKU20 to receive 20% off your order at checkout (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.

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

Hand-dyed Indah Batiks and Solids

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

July is almost half-over and there are only twenty-three weeks until Christmas, but who’s counting? There’s still plenty of time (okay, one week) to get Quilters Newsletter‘s June/July 2016 issue QNJJ16 Cover 800 221x300 Hand dyed Indah Batiks and Solidson newsstands and at quilt shops if you don’t already have your copy, and lots more time to make gifts for Christmas (stay tuned for our Quilters Newsletter presents Best Christmas Quilts 2016 issue coming out in August). Our June/July 2016 issue has easy, intermediate, and challenging quilt patterns; fabric dying and hand-piecing techniques; and 80 gorgeous quilts for inspiration. You can check out previews of the articles and the two free quilt patterns and one free quilt block pattern on our website.

A featured fabric collection in the Staff Picks section of QN June/July 2016, this week’s giveaway prize is a bundle (shown in two stacks below) of Hand-dyed Indah Batiks and Solids by ME+YOU for Hoffman Fabrics:Hoffman Indah Hand dyed Indah Batiks and Solids

If you’re looking for inspiration on what to make with Hand-dyed Indah Batiks and Solids or any other collection, why not try Skyrocket, a free block pattern on the QN websiteStaffPicksBlock1 550 Hand dyed Indah Batiks and Solids

To enter for your chance to win one a bundle of Hand-dyed Indah Batiks, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Sunday, July 17, 2016, telling us what quilt block you would most like to have a pattern for. 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

It Will Be a Beauty, But …

I started working on a quilt this weekend for an upcoming issue of McCall’s Quilting. It’s one I designed myself using Electric Quilt 7. I love designing with EQ but because the computer is drawing the blocks and I don’t have to hand draw them, sometimes I don’t think of how many pieces will be in a quilt.

I should have had a clue when we selected the quilt for publication. The entire team started teasing me about how I was going to disappear for a couple of weeks as the deadline for finishing the quilt drew near.

On Friday, I started writing the actual pattern that will go in the magazine. The first step in that process is to figure the yardage. We count the patches of each color in each block and calculate how big the patches need to be, and then multiply by the number of blocks in order to figure how much fabric to purchase. I realized the scope of the project with the total patch count. I’ll have 1,977 patches in my queen-size quilt. Oh, my!

I have the fabric. It’s four different batiks in beautiful shades of blue and purple from Robert Kaufman.

On Saturday, I started sewing. The quilt has two different blocks. I completed all the first blocks on Saturday. There are 13 of them. I used all the tricks I know of to make the sewing go quickly. My machine is in tip-top running order. There was a new needle in it. I sew with only high-quality thread. My rotary cutter has a good blade. I strip-pieced whenever I could and marked big blocks of fabric so I could stitch 18 of the half-square triangles (HSTs) at a time. That seemed like the smartest and fastest way to piece the HSTs for this particular quilt.

Mary Kate and I did a segment for QNNtv.com about different ways to make half square triangles. I think the method you choose depends on how many of a color combination you need to make. In this case, I was making a whole bunch in the same two fabrics so a large block of fabric seemed like the best idea.

When I’m making just a few, I frequently use Thangles or other marked paper. There are a few choices at quiltandsewshop.com. Remember that marked paper comes in sizes. Shop for the paper that corresponds with the finished size of the HST you are making.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’d like to learn more, my friend, Sara Gallegos, did a great explanation of half-square and quarter-square triangles on My First Quilt for QNNtv.com.

Sunday, I didn’t have nearly as much time to sew, but again, I strip pieced as much as possible. I need 80 of these little 9-patch units.

9 patches It Will Be a Beauty, But …

9-Patches in Progress

And I made many, many HSTs by cutting big squares of fabric, marking a grid and stitching 18 HSTs at a time. All in all, I used 2 partial and 2 new spools of thread this weekend and I’m so very pleased with my progress. Here’s what was on the table by my sewing machine this morning. And yes, I realize the two rows I’ve yet to stitch are in the reverse order. Because rows 1 and 2 are exactly the same as rows 4 and 5, I didn’t stack rows 4 and 5. I put all of those parts in rows 1 and 2 and when I was done stitching a row, I put it clear to the left, out of the way. I should be able to finish the rest of these blocks tonight.

GonetoPieces It Will Be a Beauty, But …

Blocks – Ready to Finish 

I do want to tell you one funny thing. As I was sewing this weekend, I binge watched all of season one and part of season 2 of the Outlander series. It is set in Scotland; they speak with Scottish accents and there is quite a bit of Gaelic dialogue. This morning when I came to work and began writing my blog, I typed LMcCaqll’s Qluiltng. I wondered if I had accidentally learned some Gaelic. But I think I maybe was just thinking too fast for my fingers to keep up.

Until next time, for more 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 Inspiration, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts, Tools, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments