Monday, September 30, 2013

Twist with the 60s and Blog Hop - Day 4

Trash Basket Batiks
Another quilt from my Batiks Vault. You won't believe the origin of this!

I had been quilting for YEARS and never used batiks until my guild got together for a sew-in day early 2000s. I saw people throwing away scraps of batiks in the trash can and I was horrified. I wasn't sewing with batiks because they were SO EXPENSIVE and I saw BIG pieces go into the "dust bin" (for all you Brits).  I ran over and scooped them up and then made: Trash Basket Batiks! Yes, you read that right. All those flowers and stems were made from beautiful batik scraps.

Now go get inspired on this 4th day of the Batiks Hop!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Flower Power - Blog Hop Twist-a-long

Yes, I lived through the 1960s (junior and high school years - please don't do the math). Today we revisit the 1960s and what I remember, living in California at the time, is FLOWER POWER.

(Click here to view this in your web browser) 

But, first some pics of me in the 1960s. Notice this first one; I kept the date on it so it would be believable. LOOK AT THAT CAR IN THE BACKGROUND ON MY STREET!!!
In 1965 I was 13 years old, living in San Jose, California. SEE THAT CAR?!!
 How about Christmas morning? I'm with Kathy on the left (about 6 years old) and Janet on the right (about 11 years old). Get a load of those rollers! No wonder my dad spent most of his time out in the garage (4 daughters and a wife).

I don't think it did a lot of good, but a girl has to try!
How did those curlers work out? (Me, a few years later - did I really have that much hair?)
Oh, and did I say that my mom was an Avon lady who sold makeup door to door?

There was a LOT of teasing going on with that hair; and lots of eye makeup
And then an Easter morning with Janet (1 year younger than me; no wonder my mom floated in and out of sanity all those years . . .)
Janet and me, high school. Mom, in her 40s and losing the victory
Flower Power (Lazy Daisies fabric from 2007)
I remembered this awesome panel I bought in 2007, but I couldn't find it in my stash. It has a deep, solid black background. Where was it? Can anyone say, "Clean up time?" 

This collection was a wildly popular line from Lakehouse Fabrics. There were fabrics that also had light blue and green for the flower backgrounds. First I cut them up as appliques.

 My Happy Quilt which is on the cover of my 2014 wall calendar of quilts
I cut out those appliques for bold flowers.
Here they are both cut up and then scattered over the four corners.
I cut my panels up in a different way
 Yes, she became another cover girl (1 of 27 covers!)

I gifted this quilt to a friend when her mom died. Lasts longer than cut flowers!

So, with my newly re-discovered flowers with the black backgrounds, I was on a quest to combine some of the elements of both quilts. And, of course, I grabbed some bright batiks!

I started with my cut-out panels:
Two of the four colors of flowers
 I thought I would cut up the panels into four triangles.

Yes, I did. I cut these into fourths. I cut SEVERAL panels this way
I sewed them together with other colors. Sliced them before adding outside batik strips. . .
I added 2 rows of batiks, but just wasn't exciting enough. Lonely block, now a UFO
I abandoned this idea and went with another plan, but still intent on using those lush flowers as the center. Now it's time for the BATIKS!
Got out my trusty melon template (from my EZ Double Wedding Ring set)
 Fusible on wrong side of batiks. Cut out 8 of each color . . .
Aren't these beautiful batiks? From Sew Batik
This is the second color
I had some black batik with little etchings of white. I trimmed down my orange flower, added the black batik to all four sides and then used these melons as flower petals. I call this Flower Power. What do you think?
Power to the flowers!
20" x 20", just resting on a quilted throw pillow
Then I realized on Tuesday that there was nothing TWISTED in my project. Sure, those petals turned but no twisting was going on. So, I pulled out my TWISTED HEXAGON pattern and using the same center, some new batiks, and I got this:
Twisted Hexagon block with an 8" center (a very large 16" block)
 Then I made a mistake cutting out the rest of the half-hexagons and had to tweak a lot of things, but I still was able to make this Twisted Hexagon table runner (needs a border; have to go shopping!).

The black and white fabric is also a batik
Three large blocks make for a very long table runner
So, now I've twisted with the 60s, with batiks, and you got a few pics of yours truly almost 50 years ago!

Giveaway: A jelly roll (2-1/2" strips) of 20 batik fabrics from my stash. Contest is over October 3 at midnight.
Twenty 2-1/2" strips of batiks
What do you have to do? Leave a comment telling me what you remember about the 1960s. If you weren't born then, tell me what you've HEARD about the 60s! Doesn't have to be long.

NOW it's time to thank our Madame Samm of Sew We Quilt and Mary of I Piece 2 Mary for being our cheerleaders. We couldn't do this without them. And now it's also time to visit the other bloggers today:

Debby Kratovil Quilts (You are here)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Twist with the 60s and Batiks Blog Hop - Day 2

Washington Puzzle Quilt using my Magic Stax© technique

What's in my Batik Vault today? My Washington Puzzle quilt, using no funky rulers. Just a stack of squares, four cuts, shuffle the squares and you get 9 blocks at once. Just like sewing a 9 Patch together. And guess what? NO fabric waste, no bias edges, neat and tidy without any templates.

Let's hop on over to see what our bloggers want to show us with their batiks!

September 26

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Twist with the 60s and Batiks Blog Hop - Day 1

Sugarloaf Jewels quilt, my first batik quilt using my Magic Stax technique
Today is the first day of the Twist with the 60s and Batiks Blog Hop.  I am digging into my Quilt Vault and sharing a batik quilt each day along with giving you the schedule of our bloggers.

The Sugarloaf Jewels quilt was made about 10 years ago, right after I discovered the beauty of batiks. I swapped 10-1/2" squares with my guild and had a pile of 24 squares that wanted to become a quilt. It is a class I've taught for years and believe it or not, we do NOT use templates. We draw a few lines on freezer paper then stack squares and cut, shuffle and then resew these back together into uniform blocks.

Sugar Loaf is a pattern I sell at my Craftsy site. (8-1/4" blocks; 53" x 62" quilt)

No templates, no bias edges. Start with 6 squares, make 5 cuts, end with 6 blocks
You can read about it here: Sugarloaf Jewels Quilt

Here are our shining stars today. Let's see what they've come up with. I bet some of them never experienced the 1960s!

September 25

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Some Days I Don't Sew by Machine

Just a few scraps can become something beautiful
(If you can't see this post as a web page, click here)

I get a lot of sample fabric from various places. After all, I earn my living by using fabric! Blank Quilting had a lovely line called Lava in a variety of colors (about 18). I had some in sample books and tore them out and was able to get exactly 6 pieces from each color. Enough for a full hexie GFG for each. Wow - there is a god in the fabric heavens! Here is my start . . .

Five full blocks with a few others in process
I am teaching an English Paper Piecing class through the Fall and into the Spring and Summer for the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo. You know I have to have samples. And more samples . . .

Little scraps from Timeless Treasures. Just enough of each print for a block.
I have been tearing apart the old sample books and using them to make some coordinating blocks. Not sure what I'll do with them; maybe join them block to block. Who knows?

I'm making little kits for my students using the latest collections. They each get a pack of 100 hexagon papers (1" size), some little fabric bundles for making other size blocks (and papers for those, too). I really look forward to a hand stitching class.

Here are some of my other class samples:

Added a little "bling" to the center
 How about two layered?
Double Grandmother's Flower Garden
 Using large 2" hexagons. Fussy-cut the center! My students will get these (and others like them) in their kits.
Center of the placemat for my grandson
Hope you enjoyed seeing my hexie blocks. Aren't they the cutest?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Rocking Out in the Hen House

Betty Lou Marbles - come see how to make this block
It's Technique Tuesday at the Benartex blog, Sew in Love with Fabric. I am the guest designer and I have some fabulous fabrics to share and then show how to make this block. Come take a visit, won't you?

Stack 'em up before I chop 'em up!

Hop on over to Benartex and see how I make this block into a cute kitchen runner.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Stick it to Me - Pincushion Blog Hop and Giveaway

Welcome to my Pin It Blog Post. Yes, I called it "Stick it to Me." Well, why not? Isn't that what we do with pincushions?

I selected a winner of the batiks: Sue Brain of Sarasota, Florida. Congratulations, Sue!

I have decided to go REAL SIMPLE in this hop, only because I am confident that my fellow bloggers are going to knock everyone else's socks off. And also because I have a little pincushion that I make out of batting scraps that is so EASY, QUICK AND FUN.

First, two little pincushions that were gifts from friends. I use them all the time:

This chicken does not mind being poked by my pins. He is just pretend.

A fellow teacher, Kim, made this with a lot of bling. Filled with walnut shells.
Now for my reveal. Let's start at the beginning:

Start with cotton batting (this is Warm and Natural), approximate size: 2-1/2" x 52"
Cut a strip of cotton batting; pink one edge
(Your dimensions may change as you want a different height to your pin cushion.)

Use a specialty cutting blade to pink one edge
You can use pinking shears or a specialty cutter (which is quicker)
 Start rolling from one end
Keep the straight edge even; roll tightly. Glue end closed.

 Wrapped with black and white batik (also pinked); 3/4" batik strip for a tie. Any scrap will do.
Cut a piece of fabric the height of the roll and about 2" longer. Wrap and glue end.
 Four little pincushions, between 2" and 2-1/2" high. Notice that the orange batik pincushion has an elevated center. That's because I pushed it up from the underside - just because I wanted to!
Yum, yum. Even found a piece of cupcake printed ribbon to wrap around this little roll
 I inserted some large yellow rick rack (on the right) as I neared the end of the roll.
Hello Kitty ribbon used to tie around another pincushion with that black batik.
 We are a happy group of pincushions!
7 little pincushions gathered in my ribbon covered brie box
 Brie Box? What are you talking about? This is the box TOP.

I covered the BOTTOM of the box with my cupcake ribbon. I save all these sorts of things.
This is the bottom of the brie box covered with that yummy ribbon.
Happy little pincushions, just waiting for me to stick it to them!

 Many thanks to Madame Samm of Sew We Quilt and Kristen of Meadowbrook for making this hop possible. I love, love, love participating in these hops. I get so much inspiration from all the other hoppers. I hope you enjoyed seeing my humble pincushions today.

What's my giveaway? 12 batik squares, 10-1/2" x 10-1/2" in Autumn colors

These are not Layer Cakes (10 x 10). But sizes I often use in my classes.
What do you have to do?
Tell me what sort of things you like to recycle for use in your crafts. One item is fine; you're welcome to tell me more. I just knew that brie box would come in handy!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Windham Wednesdays and Happy Fabrics

More from the "A is for . . ." Collection by Windham Fabrics. Blocks are about 9" x 9"
Take a peek at my progress with that collection from last week.

Took a few letters from last week and turned them into some pretty large Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks. Here is what they look like from the back, both before trimming and taking paper out and then after:
One stitching is complete, remove papers so they can be reused.
And then remember those letters I made for my grandson? I decided to leave the paper in and back them with wool felt. Used a machine buttonhole stitch for quick work. What do you think?

Almost done with the EPP. Then I'm backing each letter so he can learn the alphabet
Did you know that when you view all these fabrics at the Windham Fabric Gallery pages, you can click on a swatch and find out which stores carry that exact fabric? Isn't that neat? Go try it.
"A is for . . ." Collection . Select the large letters print and you will see all the shops that carry that SKU. I think that's awesome! Many of you asked where you could find the collection. Now you can see who has it.

Now for today's fabric feature. This fabric is called Raj and the main print really reminds me of the wild prints from the 1960s!
Raj Collection with some awesome, wild and crazy prints. Just love it!
I have been playing with a prototype of my Dresden Ruler that has been supersized to 12". I've designed about 4 patterns besides the typical Dresden block. Not finished, but thought you might like to see my progress.
 How about some 3-D prairie points? This is a 30" block
My Blue Plate Special Dresden with prairie points between each blade!
My Flirty Thirty Buzz Saw Block
Yes, there are only 20 wedges. Where did I get the 30 from? That's the angle of the tip of the blade and I simplified the cutting of those white patches so there's no waste. The entire Buzz Saw block will be appliqued to a white background. And then there will be a circle appliqued to the center.

Thanks for visiting today. I love playing with bright fabrics. Windham never disappoints. I'll update you on the progress of these new blocks (and show the others also) in the future.

See you back here on Friday for my Pin it Blog Post!