Thursday, March 15, 2018

Festival of Stars :: A Finish

This was a block of month my shop did last year. I have a few kits left so I decided to finish the top before hanging it back up in the shop in hopes that the rest of the kits will sell.

I really enjoyed making this one. It finishes at 78" by 83.5". The quilting was not done by me. In my area there are several long arm quilters and we hand out business cards for three of them in my shop when folks ask. I had never had anything quilted by this lady so I wanted to see an example of her work. She did a fabulous job! Here are some detail shots:

This is not a fast project or one that I would recommend to a beginner. You need to cut and piece accurately! The pattern is well-written and easy to follow, but again, it's not a beginner level project. My favorite part is the vertical sashing that twists and turns around the blocks. It really sets off the beautiful blocks so nicely.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Project Bag and Fabric Buying

When I was at Fall Market I purchased a few bag patterns to test to see if I want to carry them in my shop. One of them was the Project Bag by Annie Unrein.

I've already ordered patterns for the shop as I love this one! It is easy to make and the pattern makes four sizes of bag - small, medium, large, and extra large. I chose to start with the medium size which finishes at 10" by 12". The large finishes at 13" by 13". The extra large finishes at 16" by 16 which would be a perfect size for storing completed blocks for a project. I can't remember the dimensions of the small size, maybe 8" by 10" but I'm not certain.

Fabric Buying:

I often get asked, "how do you choose which fabrics to order for the shop?" Well, the way I prefer to work is to have fabric reps visit me at the shop and show me samples of what they have available.

Recently my lovely Moda rep stopped by. In the photo above you see our classroom tables piled high with all of the things I could choose from! If only money and space were not a consideration! Seeing the samples in the shop allows me to see if the new fabrics will fill in or blend well with what I already have.

In a nutshell, I like to see everything available and I make mental notes of what I like. Then as we go back through I set aside everything I like. Finally I figure out from this smaller stack what the shop needs and what the shop can afford based on when the fabric will be shipped.

It's a tough job, but somebody has got to do it. *wink, wink*

Monday, February 26, 2018

Playing with Ruler Quilting

When I was at Fall Quilt Market I bought a set of quilting rulers to try out. I'm just now getting around to playing with them.

These blocks are only 6" which is a nice size to practice with. Right now I'm just playing. Eventually I will develop a project or use the one that comes with the rulers and teach this as a class in my shop.

These are done on a domestic machine, not a long arm. They intrigued me for this reason. Not many of my customers have a long arm, but they all have a regular sewing machine. You don't need any fancy equipment to be successful with these rulers!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Pinwheels & Sixteen Patches

My scrap group meets today. We are winding down one project so I'm thinking ahead to the next one. This is what I've been working on.

The pinwheel blocks are made from 5" squares and the sixteen patches are made from 2.5" by 11" strips. 

I have enough fabric to make another quilt this size (30 blocks) plus a third quilt that would use only 20 blocks and a border. Or I could sew all 80 blocks together to make a 64" by 80" quilt. I'm not sure exactly what I will do at this point. I'm still in the "just making blocks" phase of this project.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Wonder Clip Pin Cushion :: A Tutorial

My mom made one of these for me and took one as a door prize to my guild meeting. The lady that won it at the guild meeting asked for the pattern, but Mom didn't use a pattern. This weekend I made one and took pictures so I could write a little tutorial.

The one on the left is the one I made. The one on the right is the one my mom made. For the purposes of this tutorial I made mine a little smaller. You can easily adjust the pattern to add more (or less) clip strips. The finished size of mine is 4.5" by 6".

I used scraps to make mine and it took less than a fat quarter worth of fabric. You'll also need some sand or crushed walnut shells for the filling.

Here is what you need to cut:

(4) 2" by 4.5" rectangle for the clip strips
(3) 1.25" by 5" rectangles for the spacers between the clip strips
(2) 2.5" by 5" rectangles for the end pieces
(2) 4.5" by 5" rectangles for the back

To make the inner bag that you will fill with sand or crushed walnut shells you need (2) 4.75" by 6.25" rectangles of scrap fabric.

Step 1: Fold the 2" by 4.5" rectangles in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. Sew both short ends. Clip the seam allowance a bit to reduce the bulk at the corner. Turn right side out and press.

Step 2: Layout your base pieces and put the clip strips on top of the appropriate pieces, aligning raw edges. Your base pieces are the (3) 1.25" by 5" rectangles and the (2) 2.5" by 5" rectangles. Notice that the clip strips are shorter than the base pieces. Just center them on the base piece as best you can.

Step 3: Sew the clip strips to their base pieces using and 1/8" seam allowance to hold them in place before sewing the pieces all together.

Step 4: Sew the pieces together using a 1/4" seam allowance. You will need to make sure you keep the unbasted edge of the clip strips out of the way.

Step 5: Press all your seams in one direction.

Step 6: Press one of the 5" sides of your back pieces over 1/4" twice, then topstitch the hem down. The piece on the left below is only pressed while the right hand piece is pressed and sewn. Notice that my fabric is directional. I made sure that the two edges I was working with in this step align the pattern on the fabric properly.

Step 7: Pin the two back pieces to the completed top piece, right sides together. The back pieces should overlap 1" to 1.5" along the hemmed edges.
Step 8: Sew all the way around the outer edge with a 1/4" seam allowance. I usually backstitch over the overlap section since this area will get some extra stress on it when it's time to put the inner bag inside.

Step 9: Turn it right side out through the opening in the back.

Step 10: To make the inner bag, place your (2) 4.75" by 6.25" pieces right sides together and sew all the way around the outer edge with a 1/4" seam leaving about a 2" opening in one of the shorter sides. You may want to shorten your seam allowance for this step since you will be filling this little bag with sand or crushed walnut shells. Clip the corners and turn it right side out then fill. I used crushed walnut shells for mine.

Step 11: Hand sew the opening closed. This does not have to be invisible since no one will ever see it once inside the cushion, but it does need to be securely sewn.

Step 12: Insert the inner bag into the cushion through the opening in the back. It may take some finessing to get the filler bag inside if you have filled it really full like I did. Just take your time.

That's it! Enjoy your Wonder Clip Pin Cushion!

Friday, January 5, 2018

On Ringo Lake Progress

Sorry I haven't been able to post for a while. The holidays and taking inventory of my store have taken up a lot of my time lately. I am still making progress with my On Ringo Lake quilt though, just slowly.

All of clues one, two, and three are done.

Clue four is done too even though they aren't all shown in the photo below.

I'm working on clue five now.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Still At "The Lake"

I'm still making progress on my On Ringo Lake project.

The photo above is of my progress on Clue 3. I have some of Clue 4 made too. I had planned to use my Deb Tucker Corner Pop ruler for clue 3, but I wasn't thinking and cut out my neutral squares for a different method! Oh well, it will work. I did use the Essential Triangle Tool ruler for clue 4. I must say that I am impressed. It was easy to use and my units are coming out great!