Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Windham Wednesdays, Summer Solstice and Shoreline

It's here, it's here; the middle of the year. That means the Summer Solstice and (sigh) the days start getting shorter. But, we have 3 months of Summer and that means for many folks a visit to the shore/beach or whatever you call it.

Shoreline by Windham Fabrics is perfect for things "beachy." I decided to bring out my crab appliqué and see how he looked in that solid red fabric (hard to see in this pic, I know).

Shoreline Collection by Windham Fabrics
I transferred my half-pattern (because it's so big) to folded freezer paper and carefully cut him out. (OK; I don't know if it's a "he" or a "she."). I transferred fusible webbing to the wrong side of the red fabric, ironed my crab template to the RIGHT side of the fabric. Then I cut it out.

Crab appliqué template of freezer paper
 Doesn't he look awesome (and a bit scary with those claws!) on that khaki colored print?!!

Red Crab (9" x 11-1/2")
He's patiently waiting for me to figure out what I'm going to do. While I do that, I go and play with other fabrics! And since I'm in such an English Paper Piecing mood these days, I'm going to see if I can fussy cut some of these motifs!

Shoreline main print
I figured out that a 1-3/4" hexagon would be the best size to feature these motifs and so I made a window template out of - what else? - freezer paper! I did have some 1-3/4" hexagon papers in my stash (I ONLY use papers from Paper Pieces).

Fussy cutting two of the motifs for use with 1-3/4" hexagons
But I wanted to have something to go with that awesome red Crab! Now what's cooking? (Certainly NOT my red crab, of course!) Next week I'll visit those fussy cut hexagons. Now for my crab!

More hearts using one of the Shoreline prints
And then I auditioned them with my crab. What do you think? I call him Crab Happy.

My crab appliqué with several hearts made with EPP jewels
And here's what I got! I call this Crab Happy and is fat quarter friendly (because that's all I had, anyway). I played around with adding those fussy cut hexagons, but it just didn't work.

Crab Happy Quilt: 28" x 30"
My Crab Happy quilt is on my Craftsy pattern site and is a 5 page pdf which includes the full size (well, half) template for tracing onto freezer paper for raw edge machine appliqué. I also included a printable page for those Jewels to make the EPP hearts (just print on heavy paper or card stock). Well illustrated and fat quarter friendly, too!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Windham Wednesdays with More Diamonds, Jewels and Hearts

Last week I shared about some mini hearts made using Jewel papers and English Paper Piecing (EPP). These are some samples for my upcoming EPP class in July. I'm going to stack the hearts and they will nestle into one another.

Stacked Hearts made using jewel papers and a variety of Windham Fabrics
I received a card in the mail the other day with Stacked Hearts. Cute, huh?

And then I got to thinking: Hmmm. Stacked Hearts. Stacked Hearts. I think I have a quilt by that name!

This is one of my appliqué patterns that I shared a few months ago as a Valentine's Day blog post. I used the Uncorked Collection by Windham Fabrics.

Stacked Hearts using the Uncorked Collection by Windham
Here's the range of fabrics in a set of fat quarters. Quite luscious, don't you think? I've already pulled the pinks for some EPP hearts.

Fat quarters of Uncorked by Windham
And, yes, for some reason I cut a square from each of those fat quarters. I think they were used to make another quilt (I'll share that another day).

6" squares from each of the fat quarters
This is my first Stacked Hearts quilt using a variety of Windham fabrics (Raj, and Spin). Don't you love all that color!

Stacked Hearts
I decided to make a sample for my upcoming Machine Quilting workshops and used my Stacked Hearts appliqué as a stencil. I used freezer paper ironed to the fabric; stitched around it; peeled freezer paper off and then went to town free motion quilting both inside and out. A little crazy with those outside waves. Sort of reminds me of some Super Hero radiating her power - stand back!

Stacked Hearts
Now, let's see some of those Uncorked Hearts, shall we? Because I'm working with 1" jewels (which are also 2" along the long sides), I first cut diamonds from 2-1/2" strips. A basic ruler with the 60 degree markings is all I use.

Then I cut off one tip as shown. I always allow 3/8" (and not the recommended 1/4") for my seams. I like having more to work with and the fabric stays folded better! Quilt Police are NOT allowed anywhere near my sewing room!!

Trimming rotary cut diamonds for use with jewels
And how they look front and back:
Jewels pinned and ready to be transformed into hearts!

Three little Jewel Hearts. So sweet. So pink.

3 Jewels Hearts
Here are 3 of the hearts in two arrangements. Which do you like best?

3 Heart Wreath made using EPP jewels
 And let's get back to the stacked hearts!

3 Stacked Hearts
I have a few other EPP patterns using other shapes. Check them out!

My Pin and Needle Case is an awesome way to keep your EPP papers, pins, fabrics together. There are pockets inside and even "pages" using batting. This Grandmother's Flower Garden block uses 1" hexagons.

Hexie Needle Case
And my Zig and Zag of Hexies Table Runner made with some awesome Lotta Jansdotter fabrics. I used large, 2" hexagons for this. I actually made two of these.

The Zig and Zag of Hexies
Large, 2" hexies capture a lot of the print! Can you see that little frog sitting by the side of the river?

2" Hexies using the Briar Rose collection

Zig Zag Hexie runner using Briar Rose

Monday, June 11, 2018

Calling All Paper Piecers!

My best selling CD, Building Blocks and Borders, was first published in 2003. I created 40 different blocks for foundation paper piecing and then I made them in 4 sizes each: 3", 4", 5" and 6". That means you can mix and match over 240 blocks to your heart's content! Now I offer this as a pdf pattern on Craftsy: Building Blocks and Borders. And I haven't changed the price in 15 years - it still is only $13.00!

Building Blocks and Borders
These blocks have been used in my own quilts. Here is Slashed Hearts from 2007, which was published in Quilt Magazine so many years ago! This is one of several patterns on the CD which includes the reverse (mirror image) of the pattern. Don't you just love that rick rack?

Slashed Hearts using the 6" paper pieced heart
Can we see some of the other blocks?

20 of the 40 blocks in my Craftsy pattern: Building Blocks and Borders
 And here are the second set of 20 blocks:

I have a Shark's Teeth quilt using larger blocks, but here is a set so you can see them up close:

Shark's Teeth blocks
 And my larger Shark's Teeth Quilt which is a great Scrap Buster project!

Shark's Teeth using larger, 10" blocks
And using some older fabrics:
Shark's Teeth
And one more block:
Shark's Teeth
I've made Dancing Squares many times, too. This is perfect for fussy cutting the centers!

Dancing Squares blocks tilt both left and right
And one more is Velvet Stars, which is perfect as a Scrap Buster quilt!

Velvet Stars (in a larger block)
I'll share some other quilts that I have made with these blocks in coming weeks. If you love to paper piece and want to print your own patterns without tracing or going to a copy shop, then this pattern set is for YOU! Everything is accurate for view and print.

Go check out my Building Blocks and Borders pattern with 40 blocks in 4 sizes each! This is perfect for making your own Row by Row quilt, too!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Windham on Fridays, too! Civil War Sampler

On my 3 mile walk this morning I was thinking about quilting (nothing new, there). And I realized I may not have shared this awesome quilt with you when I made it! Windham released a collection called The Blue and the Gray by Nancy Gere in October 2016. I love these fabrics!

I selected various traditional blocks (many used in my 2016 Civil War Sampler pattern) named after famous people and places from the Civil War era: Order No. 11, Fredonia Oak Leaf, Lincoln's Platform, etc). These are 12" blocks with the center Fredonia Oak Leaf at a whopping 24"!

The Blue and the Gray quilt is 72" x 72". It was beautifully quilted by Connie Gallant (who also now owns it).

The Blue and the Gray Sampler: 72" x 72"
Let's see the blocks up close, ok?

Fredonia Oak Leaf:

Fredonia Oak Leaf: 24" x 24"
Lincoln's Platform:
Lincoln's Platform: 12"
 Louisiana Block:
Louisiana: 12"
Order No. 11
Order No. 11: 12"
 Right Hand of Friendship:
Right Hand of Friendship: 12"
Rosebud Block:
Rosebud Block: 12"
I now have this pattern on my Craftsy site. Check it out: The Blue and the Gray Sampler.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Windham Wednesdays with Diamonds and Jewels

I like to pull fabrics from a variety of collections when I'm playing with my fabric. Sometimes I have a project in mind; other times I just like to sew patches together and see what they say to me!

Windham sent me their new collection called Foundation by Shayla Wolf that is bright and fresh and very modern. No "girlie" flowers here! Let's see some of them.

Foundation fat quarters
I pulled a few of the lights and combined them with some other collections (Mimosa, a holiday red print from several years ago, Butterfly Dance and some Upper Case). I'm getting ready to make some hearts. Yawn, you say?

Various Windham prints

I'm making some small units using English Paper Piecing (EPP) for an upcoming class I teach in July. Here is a picture of my hearts - nothing "yawn" worthy here!

EPP hearts using the jewel shape
I start with rotary cut diamonds from 2-1/2" strips. Then I slice off a small triangle on one end which turns it into a jewel. The diamond patches will work with 2" diamond papers. The jewels are called 1" size, but really are 2" along the long edges. The short sides measure 1".

These pink heart parts use the It's a Hoot Collection. Click that link and you will go to my blog post with a tutorial and FREE pattern for making tissue holders.

Jewels from back and front
And two little hearts!
Two little jewel hearts from It's a Hoot Collection
My students will be getting enough paper jewels and pre-cut fabrics to make a dozen or two hearts. We will be putting the jewels into other blocks. Can I show you one? The aqua and white dot is from Butterfly Dance. The green print? I have no clue! Just figured it out: it's from Maker's Home by Natalie Barnes. Released in October 2017. I get these bundles. I put them on my shelves . . .

Vintage Jewel block
I'll update this with more blocks. I have one where I combine these jewels, a small center hexagon and 6 diamonds around the outside edges! So much fun!

Hope you enjoyed the show. Take a visit to the Windham site to see the entire Uppercase2 and Foundation fabrics. There is also a Look Book on both the Foundation and Uppercase 2. Gorgeous quilts and other projects - you don't want to miss it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Technique Tuesday with Front Porch by Benartex

"Mom. Can you make another zipper bag for me? I need something to take to the pool to hold my keys, phone, etc."

It was the magic word "pool" that made me think of Front Porch. Remember, I did a post about these fun fabrics a few weeks ago? Read it here.

Front Porch fabrics featured a few weeks ago
 And here's that really cool panel!

Front Porch panel
I had a few of those panels left and made two small rectangular pouches with velcro closures:

 I lined these and then rolled the lining over to the front and topstitched them closed. I used pieces of sticky-back velcro and then stitched around the edges to secure it.

Two small pouches with Velcro closures
And here's the backing fabric I used. Love that sunglasses fabric!

Small panel for bag front; sunglasses print for the back
And here's the zipper bag. I have to confess, I was close to a meltdown making this simple thing. I'm a quilter. I only make quilts. When I have to try a new technique, I begin to pull my hair out.

I did find a very helpful tutorial on YouTube, but I had to stop it about 10 times to figure it all out. It was hilarious, except I didn't think so at the time! Then I made one for each of my grandsons using the Matthew's Monsters in the Machine fabrics (but I forgot to take pics of those).

The zipper pouch using the fruit print (that's what she asked for; I thought she'd like the sunglasses for the pool, right?) I lined this will a heavy decorator fabric I had on hand. I think that's why I was having a meltdown!

Zipper pouch
I am determined to make some more of these EASY zipper pouches. I have several dozen zippers in assorted colors and I even know how to cut a zipper down to size, so that doesn't limit me. Repetition aides learning!