Scrap Bag: storage unit of fabric for sale, quilts from Broadway costumes, Quilt Gardens, and more

Here’s a scrap bag of quilt-type news items to help you kick off your week!

IMG 2426 Scrap Bag: storage unit of fabric for sale, quilts from Broadway costumes, Quilt Gardens, and more

This story was making the rounds on quilt-related social media last week, and for good reason: Barbara Schubert Bartlett apparently took the adage “She who dies with the most fabric wins” seriously, because when she died in March she left behind more than 15,000 yards of unused fabric. Rather than donate it to a thrift shop or sell it online, her children opened a storefront to sell it at $2/yard.
www.kansascity.com

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A small group of volunteers at Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) in Palm Springs, California, is creating two quilts using fabric from numerous Broadway hit shows such as “The Color Purple,” “Sunset Boulevard” and “Fiddler on the Roof.”  The proceeds from their sale toward the end of 2016 will be donated to the organization. In addition to the quilts, the group is creating two coffee table-style books that will contain samples of the fabrics, Playbills autographed by performers like Jennifer Hudson, and letters from the shows.
www.desertsun.com

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In another story of where stage costuming meets quilting, costumer Mike Floyd of Portland, Oregon, recently finished machine appliqueing 1,000 origami-style cranes onto 8-inch squares. His original intent was to use each crane to acknowledge a person who’s been an influence on his life. “I needed to remember I wasn’t alone back in February 2013,” he said of when he started the project. “On April 19, 2016, I was given proof that I wasn’t — and have never been — alone.”
www.pamplinmedia.com

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The Becker County Museum in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, is displaying The Governor’s Quilt made in 2000 by Ruth Hovdenes, who died in 2005. At the suggestion of family members, in 1999 Hovdenes wrote to all 50 sitting U.S. governors and requested a necktie from each. Eighteen governors replied, including then New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman, who sent in a scarf. On display with the quilt are letters from governors that accompanied their contributions.
www.dl-online.com

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For fans of “Game of Thrones,” paint-and-wallpaper company Farrow & Ball have put together a set of color swatches inspired by people and places from the super-popular book and TV series. Named Game of Tones, the colors include Dothraki Ground, Cersei’s Shame, and naturally, Winter Is Coming.
www.instagram.com

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GARDENS 800 Scrap Bag: storage unit of fabric for sale, quilts from Broadway costumes, Quilt Gardens, and more

Quilt Gardens of Elkhart County, Indiana

It’s spring, which means it’s almost time for the Quilt Gardens in Elkhart County, Indiana, to be ready for viewing. We included a wonderful article about the Quilt Gardens in our April/May 2013 issue, and I’d love to work in a trip to see them in person one of these summers.
www.elkharttruth.com

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For decades, Mennonite Relief Sales have been well known as wonderful fundraisers for the Mennonite Central Committee, the international nonprofit extension of Anabaptist churches. A quilt that a man bought at the New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada, relief sale in 1968 is being re-donated to the same sale this year by his children. They are hoping that the gold-and-white hunter’s star quilt, which is in mint condition, will raise even more money the second time around than the $350 CAD ($2,414 CAD in 2016) their father originally paid for it.
www.newhamburgindependent.ca

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MQM06 Scrap Bag: storage unit of fabric for sale, quilts from Broadway costumes, Quilt Gardens, and moreHaving just about finished putting together the blocks for a delectable mountains quilt top I started in 2005 (you can see a picture of it on the McCall’s Quilting blog), and not wanting to deal with basting the queen-size quilt that I probably should be working on, I think I want to make a little foundation-pieced wall hanging from one of the designs in Penny Layman’s The Paper-Pieced Home book. Penny taped an episode of Quilters Newsletter TV: The Quilters’ Community with us last year in which she showed a number of her designs as well as her foundation piecing tips and tools; here’s a little preview of the episode.

The designs in this book are just too cute, and I’m in the mood for something small and charming right now. I just checked Quilt and Sew Shop and saw that it’s currently on sale for only $19.88, 26% off the regular price. With 40 original designs on a CD, plus patterns for 10 different projects and all the basics you need to know about the technique, that’s a great deal for lovers of somewhat quirky and totally modern quilt blocks. Click here to learn more about The Paper-Pieced Home. I’ll be sure to show you what I’ve made after it’s finished.

As always, to find out about Quilters Newsletter’s giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on Facebook,  Twitter,  Google+,  Pinterest,  Instagram,  YouTube,   QNNtv.com and our website. Plus, see  Web Seminars on  QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on  Craft Daily.com and  CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Mary Kate Karr-Petras | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lily

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

What’s your favorite part of our newest issue, Quilters Newsletter June/July 2016? QNJJ16 Cover 800 221x300 Lily It officially went on sale yesterday, and Mary Kate blogged in depth about the creation of June/July 2016′s Easy Lesson on using Flour Paste Resist. I mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago that my personal favorite feature this issue was the pattern for Connie Kauffman’s Falling Leaves, which you can also get as a digital pattern and as a kit. (Backing sold separately.) There’s also an interview with the author of Quilts of India, a Meetin’ Place with Jim Smith and Andy Brunhammer, a Workshop on English Paper Piecing, and much more.

Staff Picks always features wonderful new quilting items, and this week’s giveaway prize is from a chosen fabric collection–a bundle of Lily by Alice Kennedy for Timeless Treasures: TimelessTreasures Lily Lily

If you’re looking for inspiration on what to make with the Lily collection, here’s a block we made for showing off the collection in Staff Picks in Quilters Newsletter June/July 2016StaffPicksBlock4 550 Lily

To enter for your chance to win a bundle of Lily, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Sunday, May 22, 2016, telling us what sort of prints you would design if you were a fabric designer. 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 , , , , | 184 Comments

More about Creating Text and Texture with Flour Paste Resist

Textile artist Valerie C. White contributed the Easy Lesson we included in our June/July 2016 issue, “Creating Text and Texture with Flour Paste Resist.” We went with that title because I figured “Super-Fun Technique That You Are Totally Going to Want to Try As Soon As Possible!!” was maybe a little too Tiger Beat, not to mention less than descriptive.

It could work as a subtitle, though, because I still think it’s accurate. The technique that Valerie demonstrated for us is a great place to start if you’ve ever been interested in trying your hand at surface design to personalize the fabric you use in your quilts.

MK and Valerie White copy More about Creating Text and Texture with Flour Paste Resist

Valerie C. White with host Mary Kate Karr-Petras on the set of Quilters Newsletter TV: The Quilters’ Community

This wasn’t the first time we’d worked with Valerie. In addition to featuring her in our August/September 2013 Meetin’ Place, a couple of years ago we brought her in to tape two episodes of Quilters Newsletter TV: The Quilters Community. In one episode we learned more about her life and her art, and in the other she demonstrated a flour paste silk screening technique. I loved the technique but never gave it a try because I still haven’t gotten around to buying silk screening equipment.

So imagine how pleased we were when we reconnected with Valerie and she said she had an even easier surface design technique using flour paste. And let me tell you, she was right.

The full instructions for the technique are in our June/July 2016 issue, but because of the Easy Lesson format, we weren’t able to include some additional tips she had.

But first, some behind-the-scenes photos.

IMG 2317 More about Creating Text and Texture with Flour Paste Resist

Valerie C. White being photographed for Easy Lesson by Mellisa Mahoney

IMG 2319 More about Creating Text and Texture with Flour Paste Resist

Valerie C. White being photographed by Mellisa Mahoney

IMG 2320 More about Creating Text and Texture with Flour Paste Resist

Valerie C. White being photographed for Quilters Newsletter Easy Lesson June/July 2016

Regarding the different paints Valerie uses, she used Jacquard textile paint for our tutorial photos, but does not limit herself to textile paint in her studio. Her other suggested methods of adding color include thickened dye, Dye-na-flow fabric paint and acrylic paint.

For instance, she used acrylic paint to create the fabric she used in Learn, Live & Hope.

EasyLessonScreenPrint 800 More about Creating Text and Texture with Flour Paste Resist

Learn, Live & Hope, 26″ x 31-1/2″, by Valerie C. White

If you want to try adding a design to your fabric using an immersion bath technique, Valerie warns that the flour paste will break down quickly but that you might be pleased with the subtle results. In that case, try a heavier application of flour paste. After you add the color allow the work to sit overnight or even for a couple of days.

QN1607 EL 13467 More about Creating Text and Texture with Flour Paste Resist

art fabric by Valerie C. White

She often likes to build layers of texture with this technique, as you can see in the finished quilt above and in some of the other samples she brought to share with us. It’s worth noting that all of these samples were made with Valerie’s own hand-dyed fabric.

QN1607 EL 13464 More about Creating Text and Texture with Flour Paste Resist

art fabric by Valerie C. White

To build layers like this, add one paint color, allow it to dry, then crinkle and fold the fabric to create additional cracks in the flour paste resist before adding another paint color. You can add as many different layers as you like in this manner.

As I said above, this technique is easy, requires you to purchase next to nothing that you probably don’t already have, and opens up a world of possibilities in terms of making fabric with meaning. Not only that, but it’s low-tech enough that it’s something I plan to try out at home with my young daughters. The only difficulty I foresee is convincing them to let things dry overnight before moving on to the next step.

Both of the videos featuring Valerie that I mentioned above, “Creating Images and Text Using Flour Paste Silk Screening”  and “Meet Mixed-Media Textile Artist Valerie C. White,” are available to view on QNNtv.com (subscription required). And if you want to read the Meetin’ Place profile of Valerie, our August/September 2013 digital issue is currently available for $2.99, which is half off the cover price.

QNJJ16 Cover 800 221x300 More about Creating Text and Texture with Flour Paste Resist

Quilters Newsletter June/July 2016

The June/July 2016 issue of Quilters Newsletter officially goes on sale today, so if you’re not already a subscriber, look for it at your local quilt shop, bookstore or newsstand; it’s also available for purchase online in print and digital editions from quiltandsewshop.com.

As always, to find out about Quilters Newsletter’s giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on Facebook,  Twitter,  Google+,  Pinterest,  Instagram,  YouTube,   QNNtv.com and our website. Plus, see  Web Seminars on  QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on  Craft Daily.com and  CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Mary Kate Karr-Petras | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Up Close with the Quilting

I finished two quilts last weekend. And today I want to talk a bit about the quilting on one of them. I quilted this one myself. Most of the quilting is free-motion except around the applique patches and all of the center medallion. I used one of my personal machines – a Pfaff 2144. It has a smaller throat than some of the newer machines but it works great for quilting if the quilt isn’t too large. The batting is Warm & Natural by the Warm Company.

front Up Close with the Quilting

Here’s the front of the quilt.

back Up Close with the Quilting

And here is the back.

Most of the time, I don’t even consider the back of the quilt when I am deciding how to quilt it. That was the case with this quilt. I just looked at the front and quilted what I thought would look good there. And what happens on the back of the quilt is just what happens. If it’s great, I’m delighted and if it’s not, that’s fine. It’s just the back after all. I do, though, love how the quilting patterns show up so clearly on the solid areas of the back of this particular quilt.

cornerblockj Up Close with the Quilting

Corner Block

In this close-up of one of the appliqued blocks you can see in the corners the buttonhole stitching around the edge of the applique. When I applique on quilts, this is how I do it if the applique patches are large. The technique I use is raw-edge fusible applique and when I have the applique patches fused in place, I do nothing else to them until it’s time to quilt.

Once I have the quilt top all sewn together, I assemble the quilt sandwich and stitch the applique in place with a buttonhole stitch, through all the layers of the quilt sandwich. I like the extra dimension that the applique has when I quilt and attach it to the quilt in one step. I also stitched around the edges of the roses, stems, leaves and bows with a straight stitch. The applique patches are about 8½” across and that seemed too large an area to leave unquilted. Do notice the seam on the right side of the applique. I had only fat quarters of the wonderful fabric from the Retro Florals collection by Michael Miller Fabrics but by carefully matching the pattern, I was able to get the fourth applique and the seam is barely noticeable.

closeupofcenter Up Close with the Quilting

Detail of Quilting

Here’s a close-up of the quilt so you can see the quilting. I stitched in the ditch for the blades of the Dresden plate. (If you’d like instructions for making blades like this and several others, allowing lots of combinations, see the Easy Lesson by Dixie Haywood in the August/September 2015 issue of Quilters Newsletter.)

I attached the fussy-cut rose in the center with buttonhole stitch as described above. I echo quilted around the remainder of the center medallion.

I followed the lines in the print of the first border – the black and white print with the little roses that look like they are on point. That’s a good way to decide on the shapes in your quilting, just follow the lines in the print you are using (outline flowers and paisley swirls, straight stitch down stripes, etc.). Then on other strips that I had added to make the blocks on the sides the correct size to fit the center medallion, I quilted swirls. The rest of the quilt has just ordinary meandering. I did change the thread color and the bobbin thread to black for the black print areas of the nine-patch blocks on the front.

closeupof center back Up Close with the Quilting

Detail of Quilting – Back of Quilt

I’m always amazed at what a difference the quilting makes. I thought this quilt top and back were pretty. I really like the fabric and the colors. But after quilting and binding it, I don’t just like it anymore. I love it!

I think its name is First Bloom.  My husband suggested the name since this is the first quilt that our nearly five-year-old granddaughter wanted to help me with. She’s the one who set the corner blocks on point. You can read about that part of the project in another blog post.

Now, until next time, remember, 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 more Web Seminars on  QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and  CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

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Scrap Bag: Quilts for Fort McMurray, Jimmy Fallon on quilt fiction, quilt block patio design, and more

Hey, guess what? It’s Friday! Looking for some fun and interesting news tidbits from around the internet about quilts? Then you’re in the right place!

IMG 2425 Scrap Bag: Quilts for Fort McMurray, Jimmy Fallon on quilt fiction, quilt block patio design, and more

Museum Open House is a video series produced by NewTV in Newton, Massachusetts, that highlights different museums around the state. A recent episode was devoted to an interview with Pam Weeks of the New England Quilt Museum, in which she talks about and shares images from upcoming exhibits as well as the museum’s permanent collection.
vp.telvue.com

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When large disasters strike, such as the devastating fires in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, people often want to help by donating items in addition to money. Sometimes those donations can get in the way and are even discarded, but in the case of the Fort McMurray  evacuees, new pillows and new blankets are being requested by the Edmonton Emergency Relief Services Society. With that in mind, if you would like to donate a quilt to help the people of Fort McMurray, there is at least one group in Saskatchewan collecting quilts that has a collection point in the U.S. You can read more about them at the link below or go directly to the group’s Facebook page for details.
www.cbc.ca

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Apparently Jimmy Fallon doesn’t remember the Great Quilted Northern Uprising of the late 1990s, when quilters across the land changed a national advertising campaign after they felt slighted by the misrepresentation of their craft, because last week the lead book in The Tonight Show’s “Do Not Read” segment was Murder at the Quilt Show by Aliske Webb (1995). Hey Jimmy, quilt-themed cozy mysteries are a definite genre that many people enjoy — don’t make us deluge you with Goodreads reviews and lists!

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For a limited time only, May 14 through June 5, a colorful display of master quilts from the American Folk Art Museum’s renowned collection will be on view at the museum in New York City. The lively selection includes Amish, stenciled, pieced and appliqued quilts.
folkartmuseum.org

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With the weather warming up, maybe you’re in the mood to spruce up an outdoor area of your home. Why not make it quilty and paint cement pavers to create a large quilt block? On her blog Lov Your Space, Sara Lov shared photos of how she created a large swoon quilt block out of $1 pavers for her Los Angeles backyard patio. I know I’m inspired.
lovyourspace.tumblr.com

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Quilt blogger and Floridian Katie Vickery was recently interviewed on Tampa TV station WFLA’s “Daytime” program about modern quilting. In the four-and-a-half-minute segment, Katie manages to give an overview of different techniques, such as easy piecing, surface design with crayons and foundation piecing, and takes some of the mystery out of quilting for a general audience (which is a good thing!).
wfla.com

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We love the work of quilt designer Tammy Silvers in this office and work with her frequently. On her blog, Tammy recently wrote up “10 Steps to a Great Quilting Project,” a checklist of things you should do before you start something new. It’s a nice reminder even for the most fastidious and organized of quilters of how we can organize our space for maximum efficiency (note: I do not consider myself among ‘the most fastidious and organized of quilters.’ I was using “we” in a very general sense).
tamarinis.typepad.com

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Spring is in high gear for a lot of us, which means summer milestones and holidays — graduations, Father’s Day, the 4th of July — will soon be upon us. Quilt and Sew Shop has a number of quilt kits that would make great gifts for these occasions on clearance at excellent prices of up to 40% off. Here are some of my favorites.

QM150805 Scrap Bag: Quilts for Fort McMurray, Jimmy Fallon on quilt fiction, quilt block patio design, and more

A Hero’s Homecoming

A Hero’s Homecoming was published in the July/August 2015 issue of Quiltmaker. This patriotic queen-size quilt looks much more complicated to make than it is; you can learn more about the pattern in the short video from content director Carolyn Beam below. Not only that, but it is currently marked down to $119.99, a savings of $80 off the regular price — it’s hard to find a better deal on such beautiful Hoffman Bali Batiks for a bed quilt suitable for summer or to honor a veteran for their service. Click here to learn more about A Hero’s Homecoming.

QNKSP08 Scrap Bag: Quilts for Fort McMurray, Jimmy Fallon on quilt fiction, quilt block patio design, and moreOrange Blossom Special is a favorite of mine, and was published in Quilters Newsletter’s Best Kids Quilts 2015 special issue. This 73″ x 82″ quilt would make a terrific graduation present for a young person about to move into a dorm or apartment for the first time. Techniques include quick-corner piecing and applique, which you can do by hand or by machine. It is currently available for $68.99, 40% off the regular price — another great deal for about 10 yards of top-quality solid fabrics from RJR. Click here to learn more about Orange Blossom Special.

QQK15095 Scrap Bag: Quilts for Fort McMurray, Jimmy Fallon on quilt fiction, quilt block patio design, and more

 

At the Shore, from the August/September 2015 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts, is a throw quilt with definite summer vacation appeal. Bring an ocean cottage touch to your home with the nautical-themed, blue-and-white prints from the Sand Surf Sun collection by Timeless Treasures. And because it’s from Quick Quilts, the 56-1/2″ x 61″ quilt will come together quickly. This kit is also marked down 40% and currently available for $41.99. Click here to learn more about At the Shore.

 

And that’s just a taste of the great deals to be had; visit quiltandsewshop.com to view all of the quilt kits and backings currently on sale.

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

Carrying Your Quilting

PLEASE NOTE, THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED. CONGRATULATIONS CAROLYNN, JOYCE, MELISSA, and LISA!

Over the weekend, I somehow managed to come to the conclusion that I really wanted to reorganize my apparel fabric stash (don’t do it, it’s a trap). Mahtahb on Fleece Carrying Your QuiltingMy quilting fabric stash and my home dec fabric stash were both reorganized about a month or so ago, which means that if I was going to reorganize any fabric, the apparel stash was probably due for it. That task turned into me wanting to rearrange the structure of the wire cubes I use for apparel fabric shelving, and I’m pretty sure my cat, Mahtahb, had the right idea about how to rebuild furniture. (That is, sit on top of the tallest pile of fabric on the cutting table and stare out the window while someone else rebuilds the furniture.) I apparently have a lot of fleece, like the pile of fleece she’s sitting on in the photo, and I’m probably never going to use it all for apparel projects, so I might have to make a quilt (or three) out of it. Quilt and Sew Shop has a couple of cute quilt patterns which use fleece in the appliques — the Flock of Dreams pattern has fleece sheep, and the Snuggle Sampler uses fleece among other fabrics to create fun textures.

Flock of Dreams Carrying Your Quilting

Flock of Dreams

Snuggle Sampler Carrying Your Quilting

Snuggle Sampler

This week’s giveaway isn’t so much about rearranging fabric as it is moving fabric and quilting supplies from point A to point B, however. There are four prizes — one each for four lucky winners:

PurpleBag Carrying Your Quilting

Prize 1 is a Yazzii Quilted Organizer.

RollingBag Carrying Your Quilting

Prize 2 is a Star Quilts Eco Wheelie Tote from C&T Publishing.

ClearTote Carrying Your Quilting

Prize 3 is a 12″ x 12″ Album and Paper File Tote by Creative Options.

PicassoBag Carrying Your Quilting

Prize 4 is a Sliced: Wheat Fields–Eco Tote inspired by Wheatfield with Cypresses by Vincent van Gogh from NAMTA International Art Materials Association.

To enter for your chance to win one of these four prizes, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Sunday, May 15, 2016, telling us a place you might carry a quilting project to. 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 , , | 65 Comments

A Few of My Favorite Things

When I’m asked to describe what I do at my sewing machine, I call myself a seamstress. I know there are other words (sewist, sewer, quiltmaker), but I must be a bit old-fashioned, so sewist doesn’t work for me. And I write about what I do often enough that I don’t like to use sewer. Sewer can be someone who sews or a place where waste goes. I don’t want my reader to have to read twice to understand what I’m saying. And while much of what I do is make quilts, that’s not all I do. Until 1994, almost all of my sewing was garments or home dec projects. However, in the past 20 years or so, most of my sewing has been making quilts. But if you ask me about the five things I’ve sewn that I am most proud of, four of them are garments, and I’d like to share them with you.

In 1990, I made my daughter’s wedding dress. It had yards and yards of lace that we embellished with pearls and sequins. I’m sorry, I don’t have a photo of it to show you but believe me, she looked like a princess in it.

In 1998, I made a christening gown for a granddaughter. I love this beautiful dress. It has over 100 yards of lace and my granddaughter looked amazing in it. The pattern is still available at marthapullen.com.

trystans dress A Few of My Favorite Things

Trystan’s Christening Gown

In 2000, our oldest son asked us to attend the Marine Corps ball. When we accepted, he said, “Mom, you have to wear a formal and Dad has to wear a suit.” I made a simple sheath formal with a wonderful embellished jacket. The sleeves have many rows of decorative stitches in purple rayon thread; the front and collar are decorated with black metallic thread. It took me 6½ hours to do the decorative stitching on ONE sleeve.

MarineCorpsball A Few of My Favorite Things

A Jacket for the Marine Corps Ball

In 2004, I made Uncharted Journey, a quilted jacket that talks about my diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer and all the emotions that went along with that experience. It’s quilted with a combination of feed-dog driven decorative stitches and free-motion quilting.

Uncharted Journey A Few of My Favorite Things

Uncharted Journey

In 2006, I made Hawaiian Roses. It is totally reversible.

Hawaiian Roses front A Few of My Favorite Things

Hawaiian Roses – front

The front is the traditional patchwork side. I know I used a purchased pattern but I don’t know the name of the pattern or publisher. I added machine embroidery and pintucks and other dimensional touches.

HawaiianRoses back A Few of My Favorite Things

Hawaiian Roses – back

The back is the Hawaiian applique side. I created the pattern myself. Using ¼” graph paper I cut a snowflake with gentle curves. Then I enlarged the pattern so it would fit on one width of fabric.

Hawaiian Roses detail A Few of My Favorite Things

Hawaiian Roses – detail

I quilted it from the back so I could do the echo quilting associated with Hawaiian applique and then added dozens and dozens of crystals to both sides.

Those were the top five. Here are two other jackets that aren’t in the top five but they are favorites.

embroidered jacket A Few of My Favorite Things

Embroidered Jacket

Almost quilted but not quite, this one has massive amounts of embroidery, and panels on the front of silk dupioni and two different batiks.

lacyjacket A Few of My Favorite Things

Lacy Jacket

All the different laces that I added to this jacket make it fun. It’s quilted with free-motion meandering.

Now I’m wondering about you. Are you strictly a quiltmaker? Or are garments your specialty? Or are you like me someone who enjoys both? That actually leads right into my next thought. From now until May 20, 2016, the Sewing in America Survey is taking place. I would love for you to go here and tell your thoughts.

SewSurvey 300x250 A Few of My Favorite Things

The results will be shared at International Quilt Market in the fall. Everyone who participates in the survey will get a free digital pattern and a chance to win a $500 shopping spree at shopsewitall.com. Please take part.

Now until next time, for 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 more Web Seminars on  QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and  CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

 

Posted in Inspiration, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

It’s never too late to be a beginner

One of the biggest events in a person’s life that acts as a catalyst to try quilting for the first time is the impending birth or arrival of a child, whether her or his own or one expected by a loved one.

DP139632 Its never too late to be a beginner

Young Mother Sewing (1900) by Mary Cassatt, Metropolitan Museum of Art, H.O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H.O. Havemeyer, 1929

Very often, women who find out they’re about to become grandmothers decide now is as good a time as any to finally make their first quilt. Which means women — and men — of a “certain” age (what does “certain” mean anyway? 45? 55? 95?) may find themselves in the unfamiliar position of being a beginner again.

1aladiesquilting2 Its never too late to be a beginner

image from thegraphicsfairy.com

Well, first of all, if you’re middle-aged or a senior citizen and just now learning to quilt, you’re in great company — there are a lot of you out there! So you certainly shouldn’t feel as if you’re an outsider or an outlier. Come on in, you’re going to fit in just fine.

Second of all, science says you’re doing the right thing for your health. That’s right — quilting and doing all things creative later in life is no mere indulgence, it’s a step in the right direction of keeping mind and body healthy and proving that age-related decline is not inevitable.

In her article “Art makes aging more attractive” for The Arizona Republic, Linda Valdez describes how “creativity does not dim in old age. … The arts can help people who are in good health stave off isolation and depression by encouraging creative expression and the social engagement that comes with it.” She quotes researcher and author Anne Davis Basting who says, “It’s about developing a sense of mastery and accomplishment at a time of life when the rest of society tells you that you are valueless.” 

Using the arts to promote healthy aging” on the New York Times blog addresses how the arts help not only those suffering from severe memory loss but how they enrich and drastically improve the lives of senior citizens regardless of their health challenges. Two residents of a retirement facility “said their newfound involvement with the arts has made them feel decades younger.”

In “How to find your inner artist at any age” on nextavenue.org, Hélèna Katz describes how she tried a variety of artistic mediums before arriving at a creative turning point when she took a silk-painting workshop. In that moment, she said, she felt like an artiste, and she continues to derive great satisfaction from the hand-painted scarf she made in the workshop. It may take several attempts to uncover your hidden talent, but it’s worth it. (Actually, the Next Avenue Artful Aging Special Report page contains lots of wonderful, inspiring stories for artists of all stages and ages.)

But just what is happening to us when we feel creative? Well, a lot apparently. In the animated short film below based on a longer lecture, mathematician Cédric Villani reveals the seven key ingredients that come together to create breakthrough moments in human knowledge and innovation.

  1. Documentation — building on contributions from the past
  2. Motivation — the most important and elusive ingredient
  3. Environment — an “eco-system” favorable to the birth of ideas
  4. Communication — collaboration with others, perhaps from different environments
  5. Constraints — they force you to get beyond obstacles
  6. Illumination & Meticulous Systematic Work
  7. Luck & Tenacity

 

One common element found in these different studies is that of community. As it says in the NYT blog post, “Social engagement, which nearly all these programs provide, has been repeatedly found in major population studies to prolong life and enhance healthy aging.” Which means quilting is the perfect hobby/obsession to take on, because it is all about community, whether you find it at a local quilt shop, a guild, a senior center, at your place of worship or in an online group. One of the hallmarks of quilting through the centuries has been its communal aspect. And if the first group you try to join doesn’t work out, don’t despair — you’ll find your tribe eventually.

CuddlyKid Fuchsia Styled 800 300x292 Its never too late to be a beginner

Cuddly Kid crib quilt in fuchsia from Quilters Newsletter’s Best Kids Quilts 2015

If you are looking to make a baby quilt, toddler quilt or kid quilt, we have some great patterns and kits at www.quiltandsewshop.com for you to take a look at, especially if you’re looking for a good deal. There are a few kits on sale right now, including the fuchsia version of  Cuddly Kid, which we published in our Best Kids Quilts 2015 special issue. This kit contains soft, synthetic Cuddle fabric, which makes for an incredibly cozy quilt that lives up to its name. Cuddle fabric needs to be handled differently than quilting-weight cotton, but we’ve got you covered with tips for success written into the pattern.

QM140803 Its never too late to be a beginnerThe Patch Pals menagerie from Quiltmaker magazine just keeps growing, and it’s easy to see why. Featuring adorable designs and easy construction techniques, you can have your pick of your little one’s favorite animal, whether it’s a tiger, a frog, a koala, a toucan … the list goes on and on. Both patterns and quilt kits are available.

Visit www.quiltandsewshop.com to view all of the baby quilt and child quilt patterns and kits available.

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Kids Quilts and Flamingo Fling

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

The US celebration of Mother’s Day is this Sunday (the last day of our giveaway this week). It’s got my quilting projects on pause because I’ve had the fabric and pattern for a night-shift FallingLeaves 800 Kids Quilts and Flamingo FlingI’ve been planning to make for my mom for months now and the upcoming holiday seems like the perfect excuse to stop procrastinating and actually make it. Something else that’s coming up soon is the release of Quilters Newsletter‘s June/July 2016 issue. It’s already on sale at Quilt and Sew Shop, and you can see previews of what’s in the issue on the June/July 2016 page of our website. My favorite thing is probably the pattern for Falling Leaves by Connie Kauffman (image to the right).

This week’s giveaway consists of two prizes. Each prize includes an identical bundle of Flamingo Fling by Michele Scott for Northcott: Northcott Flamingo Fling 1 of 2 Prizes Kids Quilts and Flamingo Fling

And a copy of Quilters Newsletter presents Best Kids Quilts 2015: Cover BestKids15 500 Kids Quilts and Flamingo Fling

Here’s a picture of the two fabric bundles together: Northcott Flamingo Fling 2 Prizes Kids Quilts and Flamingo Fling

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, May 8, 2016, telling us something your mother or another woman in your life taught you. 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.

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What If I Make a Mistake?

When you make as many quilts as I do, there are bound to be mistakes. Some mistakes are little, some not so little.

Little mistakes are the ones that are easy to fix. They are the ones that require a little unsewing and restitching and all is well.

Bigger mistakes aren’t that simple.

This past week, I made a big mistake. I was making multiple units like this but not in the traditional way.

right What If I Make a Mistake?

This is what I was supposed to be making.

I wasn’t cutting half-square triangles and a square. I was sewing rectangles and squares together and then cutting to get the triangles.  We’ll explain the technique in the Easy Lesson in the August/September 2016 issue of Quilters Newsletter. I’ll show you the completed quilt later but for now I’ll just tell you I needed 81 of this unit with the 2 small triangles, 1 large triangle and a square.

I usually sew assembly-line style. I cut all the patches needed for a quilt and stack them in piles. I sew all the A patches to the B patches for the whole quilt, then I add all of the C patches for the whole quilt, etc. Somehow that works better for me than doing just a few blocks at a time. So I sewed and cut many of the units I needed for my quilt top, 56 of the 81 units to be exact. Then I went to the ironing board to press and found that 20 of those 56 units were wrong, and not just a little wrong. I’d cut on the diagonal through the square instead of the rectangle so now I had a unit with 3 different sizes of triangles and a rectangle with the point cut off.  Twenty of those strange looking things … 20!

wrong What If I Make a Mistake?

I made 20 of these.

After a few minutes of being disgusted at myself for not noticing my mistake until the pressing stage when it was too late to change anything, I started thinking about how to fix my mistake.

I thought about using the strange blocks on the front of the quilt and tried a few on the design wall but that really changed the overall look of the quilt. The mix of the units sewn correctly and the units sewn incorrectly just didn’t look good to me.

I decided to make a new design on the back of the quilt. So here are those strange little units in a chevron design.

strip What If I Make a Mistake?

This is my fix for the mistake.

It’s not awful. I don’t hate it. In fact, I think it is a good beginning for a quilt back.

And here’s a part that makes me smile. I can imagine someone years and years from now saying, “I’ve never seen this block before. It’s very unusual.” Do you think they’ll be enough of a detective and look at it long enough to see that it’s not an inventive new block but rather an old block that I made wrong?

As a quick aside, I was looking at the QNNtv website, at videos under the Quilters Newsletter TV, The Quilter’s Community heading and remembered some of the really good things we have there. We talk about machine quilting and hand quilting, techniques for traditional quilters and art quilters, just about anything you’d like to learn. Check it out.

Or if you’d like to brush up on the basics, check out the My First Quilt videos with my friend Sara Gallegos.

And remember, for 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 more 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 , , | 5 Comments