Thursday, August 27, 2015

If It's Summer I'm Sewing Hexies

I often revisit my hexagon papers for English Paper Piecing. I love what you can do with them: blocks, place mats, table runners, quilts. I've made all sorts of things as a result of a year's worth of teaching classes with the Sewing Expo. I am finishing up not one but TWO quilts using sets of little Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks I made during that time. Allow me to show you:

First a block or two:
Simple Grandmother's Flower Garden using 2" hexagons and a little flower in the center
 Adding an extra row of hexagons:
Double GFG leftover from another quilt
Double GFG (a flower made with 1" hexies layered over a flower made with 1-1/2" hexies)
I had several leftover blocks from a quilt which appeared in my first book (AQS 2004)
The larger quilt appeared in a Fons and Porter magazine a few years ago. I called it Grandma's Garden Party:
Combined a lot of brights, dots and stripes to make something to keep anyone awake!
1" Hexagons using fabric samples from Blank Quilting
Here are the sets of blocks I've converted to two quilts (pictures later)
 And another set of fabric samples:

1" Hexagons from fabric samples from Timeless Treasures

And here's a quilt I call "Spring Bloomers" which was rejected by two magazine editors because of the direction of the stripes in the four corners. The third editor loved it and put it on the cover!

Spring Bloomers pattern now on Craftsy

Block Size: 10"
Quilt Size: 42" x 56"

Spring Bloomers

Monday, August 24, 2015

My Winner for the Stella Fat Quarter Bundle is . . .

Sandy from Missouri is my winner. She gets these awesome fabrics from the Stella Collection. I had so much fun sewing with them and I'm sure she will, too.

Stella Collection by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics
Thanks to every one of you who left comments about making log cabin quilts. I think there needs to be some more sewing going on. I honestly thought EVERYONE has made a log cabin quilt. I was wrong. I think I might have to feature a few of my oldie - goldie log cabin quilts (if I can find pictures).

Take a visit to Pinterest and see all sorts of great ideas with log cabins.

Here are a few of my recent ones (2014):
Warm Welcome Home pattern
Red Hot Logs (the Greek Key Log Cabin)
Sunshine Butterflies using the Curvy Log Cabin Tool
I'm cooking up some new things, resurrecting some old patterns, and I'll be back with more free patterns and fabric giveaways. I'm discovering lots of older patterns that are Scrap Buster Bonanza types and I know we all enjoy finding ways to use up our scraps. So many quilts; so little time!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

My Two Fruit Salad Winners

I have my two winners: Sharon of New York (who lives on Quilt Lane, can you believe it!) won the Berries and Watermelon bundle and Elizabeth of Sweden (the country) won the Cherrys bundle. CONGRATULATIONS!

Cherries and Berries, Purple Colorway
Berries and Watermelon, Red Colorway
 I hope you have had fun thinking of all this yummy fruit and try your hand at using my wedge template to make your own super sized Dresden Blocks.

And thanks to ALL who commented about your own dresden adventures and using (or not using) quilts as tablecloths. I totally understand not wanting food splashed on our works of art!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Sweet Baby Logs with Lotta Jansdotter's Stella Fabrics

Today is Day Four (I think) of the Windham Fabrics blog hop using Lotta Jansdotter's latest fabrics. I chose the Stella Collection. Windham is giving away a fat quarter bundle of these fabrics, so stay with me!

You may remember this collection from a few months ago. I shared how I made some 10" off center log cabin blocks with a fat quarter bundle. Let's see those fabrics again:

Stella Fabrics by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham
I showed the steps I used to make my blocks using two different sized strips. This was so much fun that I continued sewing until I literally ran out of fabric!

Let's see what I mean

 3" center square and 2" fat logs of a darker color
 Then I added 1-1/2" light colored logs; then another round of dark "fat" logs

Keep adding logs to two sides ONLY of the center square, which btw, is no longer in the center!!!

When beginning with a light center square, you end with light colored strips
I made 8 blocks with a light center and 8 blocks with a dark center.

I sewed them into a quilt center using a theme I like to call:
When Four Blocks Become Five

Sweet Baby Logs quilt center
I added borders, again only using the fat quarters, so that limited me to pieces. So, I stayed with the 10" length of the blocks. I quilted it the other day on my Handi Quilter Sweet 16. Isn't she lovely? I changed the name from Amazing Logs to Sweet Baby Logs because the fabrics are soft colors that make me think of little babies (and my grandchildren!).

Sweet Baby Logs: 44" x 44"
This is now a 9 page pattern I offer at my Craftsy site. It gives detailed instructions for cutting and stitching the blocks (using all the pictures I had here two months ago; that post is no longer available).

These blocks are so much fun to make and work so well with fat quarters. One fat quarter EACH of a light and a dark will make four blocks.

And what about the grays? Did I do something with those? Glad you asked! As you can see, I haven't finished the last two dark gray blocks or the last two light gray blocks, but you can see how the mirror images work with my pattern.

Extra blocks. Not sure what I'll do with them
Visit the Windham Facebook page and tell them you like these Stella Fabrics. Come back here and tell me if you've ever made a Log Cabin quilt. Contest is over Monday August 24, midnight.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Fruit Salad and a Wild Watermelon Quilt

Sometimes my ideas get a bit zany and I only blame it on the fabric, of course. I started out with good intentions but I guess my taste buds got the better of me.

I have my two winners: Sharon of New York (who lives on Quilt Lane, can you believe it!) won the Strawberries bundle and Elizabeth of Sweden (the country) won the Cherrys bundle. CONGRATULATIONS!

I received a lovely bundle of Fruit Salad fabrics by Benartex and the watermelon images jumped out at me. What do you think?
Fruit Salad Collection by Greta Lynn for KANVAS and Benartex Fabrics
What? You don't see watermelon? You see strawberries and blueberries and cherries? Hold on. I'm getting to the watermelon, because I WANTED watermelon and I tried to make this a watermelon quilt.

You have to head on over to the Sew in Love with Fabrics blog (Benartex) to see what I came up with using some of these fabrics. But once you start, you know you just have to keep going.

Then come back here for TWO giveaways.

I have two bundles of LONG QUARTER cuts from this collection. Each contains 5 long quarters (9" x wof). I don't like fat quarters when I'm working with a quilt that needs borders and long strips.
Cherries and Berries, Purple Colorway
Berries and Watermelon, Red Colorway
Let me know if you've ever made a quilt and used it for a table cloth. And tell me which of the two bundles you like. I will select two winners. Deadline for comments is Friday August 21 at midnight. International winners will need to help with postage if you are chosen to win ($10, US). Or you can have any of my Craftsy patterns. Now, take a hop on over to Sew in Love with Fabrics.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Hawaiian Applique

I have featured my Friendship Plume block here before and decided to add the entire pattern for the flanged pillow and also another Fleur de Lis pillow pattern as a bundle. I think I showed these two smaller blocks before.

Fleur de Lis applique pillows
 These pillows were sewn at the same time I made my Colorburst Squares quilt:

Colorburst Squares quilt, pillows and pillow cases
And I made one for my sister out of quilter's cottons:

14" Fleur de Lis block for an 18" pillow
 And a close up of the batik pillow:

And the Friendship Plume flanged pillow:
Friendship Plume, 16" block
 And here is my full size freezer paper template:

I have fusible interfacing (NOT webbing) on the wrong side of the fabric
I now offer the pillow patterns (Fleur de Lis and Friendship Plume) at my Craftsy site. Detailed, well illustrated instructions for making both flanged pillows and full size (quarter) templates.

I have 2 more blocks appliqued of the Friendship Plume and two more blocks to cut out. Maybe I'll make a large quilt - someday!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Mom, Can You Make This for Eva?

Do your children think you can sew anything? Or everything? Or only quilts? Just because I can sew it, doesn't mean I want to (did I really say that?)

But this looked easy enough. And she gave me the link to the pattern for the patches. But she wanted oilcloth (which I don't have). Why? Eva is only 18 months old and makes a mess when she eats (and did I really say THAT?)

Let's start at the beginning. And yes, there is a link for you to get the pattern, too. Yes. Sometimes Debby sews other people's patterns, but not much!

Free pattern link for the Montessori style placemat. This will finish to 9" x 11".

First, I traced the simple patches onto freezer paper. Then I fused paper backed webbing to the wrong side of my fabrics. If you use freezer paper and iron it to the RIGHT side of the fabric, you don't have to trace a mirror image to draw it onto the wrong side. Seems like a lot of extra dumb work to do it the mirror image way (did I actually say "dumb"?)

Freezer paper applique templates ironed to RIGHT side of fabric
I placed the pattern under the background rectangle for proper placement:

Then I cut them out and fused them to a 9-1/2" x 11-1/2" light pink rectangle (placemat base):

Fused patches ready for stitching
Then I used a matching bright pink thread and used a simple zigzag machine stitch:
Quick stitching
 Then I layered the placemat, batting and backing and stitched around each shape:

Simple outline stitching around each shape
Trimmed and added binding. Done! (But she still wants oilcloth)

Now Eva knows where to place her eating utensils!
I think I would enjoy making a few more of these.

Free pattern link for the Montessori style placemat.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Textured Leaves with Windham Wednesdays

I got inspiration from last Monday's post with my Princess Feather quilts and plumes. And I looked at a new collection by Windham Fabrics called Textured Leaves and decided to cut out a single large plume from each of the 11 fabrics.

Here are the fabrics:
Textured Leaves by Windham Fabrics
I let time get away from me (hello? how are things in YOUR sewing room?) and only cut out 10. Not to worry, the 11th one is traced. Here is what I'm up to:

Freezer paper template ironed to fusible web backed fabric
I drew the template onto freezer paper. I cut it out. I iron it to the RIGHT side of the fabric, which has fusible webbing on the back. (Yes; I will be sharing the pattern with you.) Now I cut it out:

Princess Feather plume spins to the left
 And the mirror image:
Princess Feather plume spins to the right
Why? I don't know. I always let the fabric tell me what it wants. And who has to be all matchey-matchey anyway?

Here are the random plumes (minus the 11th one) scattered on my quilted pillow sham:

Oh, the possibilities!
Some spin right:
6 plumes spin right
I changed my mind on the way to the table runner I had in mind. Remember what I shared last week?

Dancing Leaves made with a Princess Feather plume template
I decided to work with blocks. I didn't like my first plan with the background fabrics competing with the plumes. These are too ho hum, don't you think?

First plan
 I cut 6-1/2" x 8-1/2" rectangles of each of the prints. I also cut two 1-1/2" x 8-1/2" strips of the same fabric as the plume. This way the block will become a square. This is how a block looks with a contrasting print behind it:

First block plan
I pulled out some light khaki solid fabric and this is what I got:

Second plan with the first block: much better!
I used fusible webbing to adhere the plumes to the background rectangles and then used matching thread to zigzag applique them to the background. Quick is my method here!

And now what do I have? A quilt center that measures 24-1/2" x 32-1/2" (unfinished). I have a plan for borders, but ran out of time. What? That never happens to you?!!

Dancing Plumes made with Textured Leaves fabrics by Windham
Here is the link to the FREE Princess Feather pattern that I made for Windham back in 2007. I used the large top half of the plume which is included full size in the pattern. Of course, you can make the entire Princess Feather quilt if you like. And whatever you make, please do send me a picture!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Revisiting My Princess Feather Quilts

Almost 10 years ago Windham Fabrics asked me to design something with their Regency Dandy Collection by Gerald Roy. The fabrics were reproduction prints from c.1810 and the craze of men dressing "to the nines" and looking dapper and dandy and quite colorful.

I took a cue from this time frame and decided I wanted to focus on a quilt block from near that time (though a few decades off, btw). I chose the Princess Feather, which was first called Prince's Feather.

Here is that quilt I made. And the quilting was done by Leslee Evans. She is an artist with a longarm machine (and in her former life was an architect).
Princess Feather #1
Windham owns it. I missed it. So I made Princess Feather #2.

Princess Feather #2
My neighbor saw it in my house and begged to buy it. I never say no to money (at the right price)

I made it again for my second book:
Princess Feather #3
And I made it into a table runner, which I call Dancing Feathers:

Princess Feather #4
Every so often I pull out my teaching folder and look at all the extra plumes I've cut out and waiting for another quilt. Can I show you just some of them?

Princess Feather Plumes
I'm working on another design with Windham Fabrics with this pattern. I'm also thinking about making another of those table runners. Don't you just love this awesome shape? And, yes, this was all done with machine applique! Is there any other way to do it?