Sunday, September 30, 2012

Show and Tell

It is always so wonderful to see what other people have made with my patterns.

Elizabeth from Montreal (no blog) sent me some pictures of a couple of clothespin bags that she made. Instead of quilting the bag she used outdoor fabric - such a great idea. Thanks for the pictures Elizabeth! The bags are fabulous!

Colleen (Colleen's "Quilting Journey to Oz") recently won her first blue ribbon (the category was "Machine Pieced and Quilted on a Home Machine") at a quilt show for her quilt that she made from my first quilt along. Congratulations Colleen!! You are so talented! More pictures from the quilt show can be seen here.

Another very talented quilter, Karen (Log Cabin Quilter), recently finished this little quilt from my Crow and Pomegranate appliqué  pattern. Great machine quilting Karen!

Thank-you ladies for letting me see your lovely creations!

I watermarked the centres of the pictures because people lift pictures from my blog without my permission, and I wanted to make it clear that these are not my photos.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

September Free-Motion Quilting

Here is the September Free-Motion Quilting challenge piece.

This is on my FMQC sample quilt.
This month's free motion quilting expert is Paula Reid.

I "free motion quilted" the paper pattern on my sewing machine with a #90 needle that I keep for paper. I then used quilt pounce to mark the design on to my sample quilt.

Paula recommends a single hole throat plate for the sewing machine, which is what I use, and I highly recommend one if you can get one for your machine. It eliminates a lot of tension problems.

Thanks to Sew Cal Gal and Paula Reid for this month's challenge.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Block 2 THQA 2012

Another simple block this week - the Churn Dash.

For one 7" block you will need -

Print A (mine is the gold print) -
                   1 - 3+1/2" square (this is the centre of the block)
                   4 - 3+1/2" x 1+1/2" rectangles (for the outer sides of the block)
                   2 - 3" squares (for the half square triangles - HST)
                             NB - the EQ measurements are actually 2+7/8" squares,
                                      but if you are making the HST like
                                       I show, 3" is easier to cut.  

Print B (mine is red)  -
                     4 - 3+1/2" x 1+1/2" rectangles

Print C (mine is green) -

                   2 - 3" squares (for the half square triangles - HST)

Sorry - these pictures really don't do the beautiful Jo Morton fabric justice.

Like last week's block - for best results, measure accurately, use a scant 1/4" seam allowance when sewing, press the seams to one side, and trim the individual units before piecing the block together. As the weeks go on I won't keep mentioning this.

Sew the 3+1/2" x 1+1/2" rectangles together as shown.

These four units should measure 2+1/2" x 3+1/2".

Using the 3" squares, make the Half Square Triangles (detailed instructions can be found here).

I mentioned last week that I was "stepping out of my box" for this quilt - normally I steer clear of stripes and directional prints, well this fat quarter pack is full of them! I bought it because I liked the colours. If  it is important to you that the stripes/directional prints match over a block, here is what to do -

For the HST, when you trace the line on the back of the fabric, have the print going at right angles (90°) to each other for the two squares (you can see the direction of the stripes and the direction of the drawn line in the above photo). This also works when you are making Fast Flying Geese. Because I also had a directional print for the contrasting squares, I had to pay attention to how I placed those squares too. I also paid attention to how I cut the rectangles of print A to make sure the print was going in the right direction for all the sides. I know, it is probably just me!

Anyway, back to sewing!

Trim these four units to 2+1/2" squares - once again this is important because we cut the print squares bigger than we needed.

Here are the four HST units.

All the units are ready to be sewn together (like a regular nine-patch).

Sew the three units into rows,

pressing the seam allowances in opposite directions (this helps with matching the seams, they will "lock" together. I also pin the seams). You can use an iron or just finger press.
Sew the rows together.

Trim the block to 7+1/2" (it will be 7" when the quilt is finished).

Here are all three of my blocks.
The fabric you use can change the look of a block.

I used a different fabric for the centre square for this one.

For this one I used three different fabrics for the "Print A" squares and rectangles.

All 6 of my blocks so far (better colour in the natural light).

Please email me if you have any questions or concerns (about the blocks or in life!), I'll do my best to help.

I have started a THQA 2012 Flickr Group for those who want to post pictures of their blocks. Anyone can join (I think you just need a Yahoo account, which is easy to set up).

Lots of people are printing the instructions, and I hope they have noticed the little printer symbol at the bottom of each post. If you click on it, it opens up a new page, and you can click on photos and text to remove it (there is an "undo" button at the top if something you wanted disappears) so that you don't have to print out the whole thing - saves ink and paper. This is courtesy of Print Friendly and works for any web page - thanks Print Friendly!

Thanks for quilting along with me, and a huge thank-you for all the kind comments and words of encouragement! It makes it so much fun for me. Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Block 1 THQA 2012

 We are starting the Quilt Along with an easy block.

A Variable Star with a Four-Patch centre (the Variable Star is one of my favourite blocks, so there will be a few more with different centres throughout the QA).

For this 7" block you need -

Print A (background, mine is the green striped)

           1 - 4+3/4" square - for the Fast Flying Geese (FFG)
           4 - 2+1/4" squares - for the corners of the blocks

Print B (mine is the orange dots)

           4 - 2+5/8" squares - for the Fast Flying Geese

Print C (mine is the green print)

           2 - 2+1/4" squares - for the centre Four-Patch

Print D (mine is the red print)

            2 - 2+1/4" squares - for the centre Four-Patch

I hope the 5/8" measurements don't scare any one off, most rulers have the markings on them.

Sew all the seams with a scant 1/4" and trim all the units for more accuracy.

Using the large Print A square and the 4 print B squares make 4 Fast Flying Geese (all the instructions are shown here).

Trim the units to 2+1/4" x 4" (my ruler has regular kitchen plastic wrap on the back to help prevent slipping).

Here are the 4 units.

Sew the 4 Print C + D squares together to make a Four-Patch.

I spin the centre seams to reduce the bulk, just give them a little tug on the bias and they should open up.

The centre is trimmed to 4" square (if it needs trimming).

Sew all the units and Print A squares like a regular Nine-Patch,

sew the pieces into rows.

I press the seams to one side, in opposite directions so that they will "nest" into each other.

Sew the rows together.

I like to pin the seams too.

When sewing the rows together I stitch just off the point of the FFG triangle,

this way it keeps the point on the triangle.

Trim the block to 7+1/2" (it will be a 7" finished block).

I am making 3 blocks each week, and I am trying to make the blocks look different with fabric placement.

This one has the same fabric for the background and one of the prints for the Four-Patch (thanks for the tip Wendy).

This one has the same fabric for the FFG and one of the prints for the Four-Patch.

All three blocks together.  I am trying to "step out of my box" with this quilt, maybe you will consider doing the same.

I hope that the instructions are suitable for all levels of quilting experience, if you have any questions don't hesitate to email me (my email address can be found here).

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Trying to Get Back in the Swing of Things!

I haven't done much blogging recently, but now things are starting to get back to a regular routine.

We had a "stay-cation" at the end of summer -

"Top of the World" - Falcon Lake
we did some hiking,

Winnipeg Zoo
The Forks, Winnipeg
Canadian Museum for Human Rights (under construction)
we took in some local sites, and we played lots of games. It was a lovely holiday, especially with the nice weather, we were able to enjoy our new patio.

I also started a new sweater (the free pattern is here, but I am using Patons Classic Wool),

 and I finished a pair of socks.

I have been sewing too.

Last weekend I taught the Pine Needlers quilt group, in Victoria Beach, Manitoba, a two day workshop on free motion quilting - the 17 ladies all did a great job, and they made it such a wonderful experience for me. I am looking forward to going back in the spring to see how their quilting is coming along. Practice, practice, practice! I really enjoyed teaching quilting and hope to do more in the future.

My new Quilt Along starts on Tuesday (the 18th of September). I am so pleased that so many of you are going to quilt along - makes it much more fun for me. The first blocks will be posted early Tuesday morning. More information for the Quilt Along is here.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!
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