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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Primitive Quilts and Projects ~ Fall 2015 Issue!

I'm very blessed to say that I am one of the lucky designers to have a project in one of my favorite magazines....Primitive Quilts and Projects,  Fall 2015 issue!  

Photo used with permission by Homespun Media LLC.  Photo courtesy of Jim Osborn.
I love a sampler quilt, and in this quilt called Simply Charming, I combined two of my loves...sampler blocks and stars!   Each sawtooth star block has a different sampler block in the center for some very fun piecing!  
Notice how your eyes are dancing around the quilt?  Do you find yourself looking at the centers of each star, and all the warm, lovely colors and prints in the fabrics?  You and I can thank my pal Lynne Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles Quilters for the beautiful fabrics as I used a bunch of KT charm squares to make everything but the last border in the quilt.  Fun with color play, stars, and sampler blocks....you'll no doubt have a lot of fun piecing this quilt for yourself!  

And, just in case you'd like to buy a kit, using a variety of Kansas Troubles fabrics, you can!!  Just call Jaime at KT Bernina and Quilts (785) 488-2120.

The fall issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects is available now at your local quilt shop and has 14 more wonderful fall projects to welcome the changing season.  AND.....

I have three extra issues of the magazine that are lonely and need a good home, so...leave me a comment about the end of summer and beginning of fall, and what you will be working on in the next few months.  Post your comment and I'll choose winners on Sunday.  

We've got to keep our sewing machine and hand piecing needles busy and happy!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Prairie Gathering Quilt of the Quarter ~ Month Seven

It's now month seven in our Prairie Gathering piecing journey.  At last, you have graduated from Quarter Two, much of which was spent on repetitive piecing, all in preparation for more exciting tasks!  Yay!!  You will be so happy that you did just that!!

The photo above shows what your quilt top should look like today.  We're about to add the Flying Geese pieced border.  Be certain your quilt top is the correct measurement stated in your pattern before proceeding.  

Following along in your pattern for Chapter Seven, you will gather (9) Flying Geese units to make one half of one side of your Flying Geese border.  As you can see in the photo above,  I arranged all of my FG according to the red goose print.  There will be nine piles.  Each pile has the same red print with assorted lights.  
For each border section, choose one red print from each pile, trying not to repeat the same light print for a nice, scrappy mix.  Arrange the (9) FG units in a good mix for each section.

When sewing a pieced border together, DO NOT sew all the pieces for the border together and then measure the border, or skip the measuring and just sew it to the quilt!  Nine times out of ten, your border won't measure what it should.  You have no idea what seam(s) are sewn in error, so you have to check them all.   

What I'm about to say is the most important advice I 
can share in producing accurate, pieced borders!!!

Begin by sewing (4) pairs of FG units: press.  Each pair should measure 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" unfinished.  Stop and measure right away.  If any one of the pairs does not measure correctly, you instantly know what seam is a problem.  Rip it out and sew it again...it's a small seam...no big deal!  Do not proceed until all of the FG pairs measure what they should!!!! 
Now you can sew (2) sets of pairs together: press.  At this point, your FG section should measure 3 1/2" x 6 1/2" unfinished.  Again, if it doesn't measure what it should, the center seam is the only problem.  In essence, you are isolating any problems making them easy to identify.  Do not proceed until the (4) FG units measure what they should.  

Next, sew the two (4) patch sets together.  Now the FG border should measure 3 1/2" x 12 1/2" unfinished.  And again....if the border doesn't measure what it should, there's only one seam that could be the problem!  You know what to do to fix it!
For the last step, sew one single FG unit to the strip: press.  The strip should measure 3 1/2" x 14" unfinished.  If it doesn't, again, you know where the problem is and it's very easy to fix. Repeat these steps for the remaining border strips.

In this way, you can be super confident that your pieced borders will measure exactly what they should.  You just can't beat the great feeling you have when everything fits together, and all your points are in tact!  It just takes a few minutes to check your measurements and correct any errors as you go.  
Sew (2) FG borders together, checking the measurements listed in the pattern.   Repeat to make another, and sew them to the sides of your quilt top.  Be ever so proud of yourself that you have taken the time to measure along the way, and everything is looking good!

Assemble the top and bottom borders in the same manner, sewing the Square in Square units you made in a previous month to each end of the borders.  Check your measurements again according to the pattern.  Sew to the top and bottom of the quilt, then check the measurement of your quilt top.
You can sew plain border #2 to the quilt top and enjoy the fruits of your labor!  The Flying Geese border really adds a lot of movement and excitement to the quilt, framed by the deep, dark red borders...it really pops!

Additionally, you'll be continuing to make your red on red Two-Patch units.

You'll be working to begin assembly of the Four Patch border, beginning with the cornerpost units, moving on to the Four Patch units.   Hate to sound like a broken record, but be sure to measure!

Make a bunch of Half Square Triangles for your Large Triangle Sawtooth border units.  These must, must, must measure correctly, too!!

I hope you found my pieced border hints to be helpful to you.  Taking these steps with every quilt you make will result in a beautiful, accurate quilt that goes together well and looks great!

I also hope you enjoy the story included this month about the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.  Gotta admire their spunk!  

Hope you take some time to enjoy needle, thread, and lovely fabrics!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Quilts And More Magazine!

"Images used with permission from Quilts and More magazine. 2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.” 
I am so thrilled to show you the cover of Quilts and More magazine's Fall 2015 issue!!  

The tote bag and table runner on the cover were each made from one 10 inch precut of my Treenware & Berries fabric collection (Marcus Fabrics, of course)!!  I'm so jazzed!!  

In each issue, the editors choose one precut to feature, and ask three designers to create three different projects using that precut for their Scrap Lab column.  This time, they chose my Treenware & Berries 10 inch precut!  The tote bag was designed by Sherri Falls, and the table runner was designed by Monique Dillard.

"Images used with permission from Quilts and More magazine. 2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.” 
I designed the quilt in the photo above, called Prairie House Stars, which is made using one 10 inch precut, and additional fabric for borders and binding.  
"Images used with permission from Quilts and More magazine. 2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.” 
Two blocks, a Double Four Patch and Sawtooth Star, work with the fabrics to create a colorful, cozy throw quilt that's easy, breezy to assemble!  All three projects are perfect for the coming fall season!  

Look for this new issue of Quilts and More magazine at your local quilt shop, and on newsstands!  It's loaded with lots of goodies you'll love.  

Kits are available for my Prairie House Stars quilt.  Click here to check it out!

Click here to order 10 inch precuts of my Treenware & Berries fabrics.

Click here to purchase a copy of the magazine.

Monday, July 13, 2015

My Kitchen Sink

Talk about slow stitching....I hate to admit this, but it's been several years...yes, years since I finished redecorating my kitchen.  I've been looking at a blank wall while doing dishes all this time.  Now, I don't mind taking my time in finding just the right pieces for decorating my home, but staring at a blank, painted wall while doing the dishes is just wrong on so many levels.  

Several months ago, I had it!  Enough is enough.  If I don't take the time to make something pretty it will never happen.  I knew all along what I wanted to make, it was just making that project a priority that was the problem....read...making me the priority.  We always put ourselves last on the list, don't we?  There was nothing stopping me but me, so as Nike says...just do it already!

Yesterday Remembered, designed by Kim Diehl in her book Simple Graces
I have loved this design by Kim Diehl since the moment I purchased the book.  I combines all my favorites...cotton, wool, and a lovely applique.  I took my sweet ol' time slow stitching this little sweetie and enjoyed every stitch!  

Now, I have something lovely to look at while doing dishes, cooking, and anytime I'm in the kitchen (which often seems like half of my life!)  I chose all the components carefully, right down to the antique buttons.  

As you can see, there's already soapy water in the sink!

Even when I'm just passing thru on my way to my sewing room, it makes me smile.  After all, isn't that exactly why we bring needle and thread to fabric anyway?  It just makes us so happy to spend our time sewing, and have something truly wonderful to enjoy afterward.  What's not to love?

My friend, Becky C., from my wonderful group of women for my Prairie Women's Sewing Circle club at The Quilt Merchant (I miss you all so much!!!), shared this awesome tip for hanging quilts.  Becky is truly an inspiration when it comes to decorating her home with quilts, and she shared how she uses the velcro 3M Command Strips to hang small quilts.  It's really wonderful.  It doesn't harm the quilt, or the walls at all, and you can easily remove or re-position the quilt any way you'd like!   My husband asked me if I was worried about the quilt getting dirty from any splashes at the sink.  Well....not so much, but honestly, if by chance I was concerned, I can just pop the quilt off the wall, and put it back.  So far...after all these years, the blank wall made it thru unharmed, so I'm not that worried about the quilt.

So...you and I need to take a lesson from this!  Make time to sew, and make more wonderful things...just for us!  We deserve it!   

And thank you, Becky, for passing along such a great tip for hanging quilts!  


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Love Worn

My sample yardage of my next fabric collection, Antique Cotton arrived, and we've been busy sewing and sewing several new quilts.  Here's a little peek at some of the blocks for the feature quilt called Love Worn.  I'm so jazzed about how the quilt is coming along and can't wait to share the finished quilt with you all.  

There's been a lot happening here behind the scenes....exciting stuff I can't talk about just yet, but fun things keeping me busy so that, in time, these projects will hopefully inspire you! Watch for several new quilt projects coming in two different magazines all before the year end.  And...I'm still trying to fit in another Pocket Patchwork Sew Along before the end of the year as well.  Whew....better get back to work!

Find some time to make yourself happy....go and stitch!!!