Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Local Classes Spring and Summer

It's that time, when upcoming classes are confirmed at local quilt shops.

April 7 and 28, 2018  Two-For-One, 9-3 both days:

I love teaching this class and it's been a while since it was offered locally. It will be at least two years before it comes up again--I teach it all over the country but not all the time here at home. Don't miss it now if it's on your "list". Two all-day sewing sessions  Huntsville Sew and Vac

June 9, July 7, August 11, September 8, October 13, November 17, 2018, 10 a..m. - 1 p.m. My Favorite Things.  I will be designing 6 separate quilts using my Favorite Blocks--make small quilts or combine them all into one amazing creation you design. This is a comprehensive class filled with tips and tricks to improve all your quiltmaking. No Sewing Machine needed at class--you'll sew in the comfort of your home. Huntsville Sew and Vac

Sunday May 6, June 3, August 5, 2018 1-3 p.m. The Patchwork Barn 2018 Block of the Month
It's not too late to join the fun with the Sunday Sew and Sews. You must be a member of to access the FREE pattern designed by Edyta Sitar, available until December 31, 2018. Learn lots of tips to make the blocks several ways. Patches & Stitches--enrollment ready soon. Space is limited.

June 5, 2018 5:30-8:30 pm. Bonnie's Baskets. Learn to paper piece these simple basket blocks. Free pattern from Bonnie Hunter. Patches & Stitches--enrollment ready soon.

June 23, 2019 9-3. Antique Rose Star by Machine. A very popular class I teach all over the country. Completely machine pieced, you will love the tricks to this one. Patches & Stitches.--enrollment ready soon.

June 26, 2018 5:30-8:30 p.m. Little Monkey A great quilt for a child or just to use your favorite fabrics. A free pattern from Bonnie Hunter. Patches & Stitches-- enrollment ready soon.

July 14, 2018, 9-3 String Stars--Save Our Scraps  Burritt on the Mountain Folk School. More info coming soon. We will piece fabric strings by machine to create a simple star block quilt. Learn an old skill in a wonderful old environment. Burritt on the Mountain.

I hope some of these catch your interest and I'll see you in class.

Let's Quilt!


Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sunday Sew and Sews Blocks

I thought you would enjoy seeing the blocks made so far by the Sunday Sew and Sews. The pattern is the Patchwork Barn, 2018 Block of the Month, FREE to Star Members of The Quilt Show. If you aren't a Star Member, I encourage you to join--so much on the site for such a small cost:  The Quilt Show

Judi, keeping the blue and white theme

Jodi, her Crystal Farms kit arrived yesterday

Brenda and Jo Anne, sisters, one blue, one mostly yellow

Joan, using the Blue Sky kit and keeping fabrics as suggested in the pattern

Diane, she calls this her "Dreamsicle Quilt"

Terri, her Crystal Farms kit is due to arrive tomorrow, she used a layer cake to get started, also added a few fabrics

Janet, Blue Sky with a few fabrics added

Cindy, very striking neutrals and a few golds
A few had to miss our monthly class today--bet we'll see more wonderful blocks in April.

Great job, ladies!

Let's Quilt.


Projects in Progress

I am hard at it, working on Long Time Gone #2:

The six sections are joined together, only the borders remain. When I made the first Long Time Gone, I completed the borders as the pattern suggested, only enlarging the last set of strips:

This one I intend to enlarge to queen size, from the 60" x 61" it is now. Here is the plan:

This quilt is being made with a kit from Homestead Hearth. There is a lot of fabric left from the 12 months of kits so I figure it's time to use it, so I don't have to store it. And I usually make a project harder than it needs to be so, go figure...

While working on this quilt, I am working on smaller projects. Here are the Temecula Quilt Co. 1880 sampler sew along blocks:

I've kept up with the Temperature Quilt  but have decided this will be a 6 month project, when it finishes to about 26" x 30" before whatever border I decide to add:

My Lifetime Quilt is getting done each week too. More info on it is here and here. I do plan to have it finished this year--then find a NEW Lifetime quilt to make:

The Patchwork Barn Quilt is keeping me busy and I'm doing the Block By Block 40th anniversary quilt from Patches & Stitches. No photos of them yet, I need the design wall for that. Soon...

Next up is quilting Little Monkey:

The outer border is marked for hand quilting, the middle part of the quilt I will machine quilt, some stitch in the ditch, some free motion. That is how I quilted Stella's baby quilt--this is the quilt for her new brother or sister, joining the family this September. We are very excited and so thrilled--another baby to love!

I am teaching quite a bit and have a few new irons in the fire--more on that soon.

What are you working on?

Let's Quilt.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Illinois Quilters Inc--Stars All Over

I recently spent time with the Illinois Quilters Northbrook, IL. Their program person, Sue, saw me in action at Spring Festival in Chicago as I gave Open Studio presentations the last 3 years and booked me to come teach for them.

A great hostess, who took care of everything, Sue:

Flying into O'Hare with very minor time delays, I was met by two great hostesses, Sue and Martha. They  have the airport run down pat--Sue came into baggage claim to help with the bags, while Martha circled or went to the cell phone lot--no parking permitted at the arrivals area unless you are loading your car. They keep you moving. As soon as my bags arrived, Sue texted Martha and she pulled up to the curb as we exited the building--very smooth.

After dropping off my personal luggage at the hotel, we headed out for a lovely meal and conversation at a Market/Deli. Quilters always feel like they've known each other forever--these women quickly felt like old friends.

Then we headed to the church were the meeting was held to get the technical stuff done--connecting my Ipad to their projector worked perfectly--we felt so smart but were probably just lucky. The lecture was "How to Make an Award-Winning Quilt" and it was well-received.

The next day we gathered back at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, for our first class:  Feathered Stars Precisely Paper Pieced. This is usually a 9-12 hour class but the guild asked if I could do it in one day. As long as everyone had all their pieces cut out before class, we could give it a good try. It was pedal to the  metal all day and they got pretty far along. One amazing student, Nona, worked really hard and got 2/3 of her star pieces made: 
This was helpful for the rest of the students to see--it's like a jigsaw puzzle.  Here is some of the student's class work:

Vickie, I think

Bill, the lone gentleman in the class

Martha, I think

Lynne--don't you love the orange against that blue?
All in all, they did great and most figured out why it's usually a longer class. But they all know how to finish their stars once all the "parts" are pieced.

Day Two was a new class with a few students staying on and a some new ones joining the fun. We made String Stars--Save Our Scraps, here are a few:

Barbara, with a Christmas theme

Diana, with plans to make an "exploding" star

Vickie, very scrappy and happy

Mary with a beautiful scrappy red, white and blue star

Lynne, determined to use up lots of bright kids fabrics

This time we remembered to get a class shot
Everyone got their block assembled, or very close--a successful day.

Nona, from the Feathered Star class, was the class "hostess" for the second day but did not take the string star class. Instead, she worked hard to complete her Feathered Star, in between taking lunch orders and going to get lunch.

It is helpful for students to see how all those paper pattern pieces come together--the jigsaw puzzle. Here is Nona's before she assembled it:

And, ta da! Nona and  her beautiful block--thanks for keeping at it for most of two days, Nona:

I had a great time with these good folks. They fed me well, showed me around and did their best in class. Too soon it was back to O'Hare the 4th day to head for home.

A few days later, Bill posted his completed block on Instagram--beautiful block, Bill:

I hope to see more Feathered Star and String Star blocks from this group in the future.

Let's Quilt!


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Month 3: The Patchwork Barn

This is the FREE Block of the Month pattern "Patchwork Barn", designed by Edyta Sitar exclusively for The Quilt Show. You must be a Star member of this world-wide quilt guild/show/internet community to receive the free patterns each month, beginning January 1, 2018. Join today and get started on this journey.

Previous instructions are here:

Month 1

Month 2

NOTE: On The Quilt Show, the Forum is the best place to ask questions, find answers, find out if there is an error on the pattern, as there was for Month 2, Block 5. I recommend you check in there frequently. And there is a Show and Tell Topic--show us your blocks. Forum The Patchwork Barn 

Month 3 brings us three more great blocks. Two of them can easily be paper pieced. NOTE: You can always follow the instructions as written. Here I offer options to help you build your "toolbox" of techniques.

Block 7: Flying Geese  is comprised of 8 flying geese units. In Electric Quilt, it is called "Flying Geese 14". It is easy to print this block out from EQ, being sure you set the correct block size. By printing Foundation piecing patterns, and selecting "Separate Units", you will get a pattern for each strip of geese, here is one ready to sew:

Last month there was a lot of information on how to paper piece.  I also have a Tutorial called Paper Piecing Primer, if you need a refresher--see the Tutorial Tab above. 

In order to paper piece, you need to cut the pieces larger than the pattern requires. Luckily, it is easy to find out what size to cut them: My Four Flying Geese Tutorial includes a chart that shows exactly how to oversize the pieces. 

Start at the bottom, placing the first goose on the back side of the paper.  Being sure you have a 1/4" seam allowance, add the first background triangle on top of the goose, flip the whole thing over, and sew on the line. BE SURE to shorten your stitches--I use 1.5. Stitch 1/4" beyond the stitching line, just as you would if piecing regularly:

Continue until the four geese and their backgrounds are in place. Be sure to finger press or iron press firmly after each seam--do not use steam, we don't want to make pulp:

Left strip before trimming, Right strip after
Trim carefully, being sure you have 1/4" beyond both sides of the strip. Measure from the center out:

Remove the paper from both strips and join the two halves to complete the block.Yes, I know I rotated one strip completely around. Do whichever you prefer:

If you prefer to make the geese with regular piecing, try the "make four geese at once" method--discussed at length in the tutorial mentioned above. I use the oversize measurements and "trim to perfection", my preferred method. To easily draw the line on the background, I start with a square that is the size of the 4 squares, in this case, 2.75" means a 5.5" square. Draw the diagonal lines from corner to corner in both directions, then cut the square in quarters--it's magic, you easily have lines drawn on all 4 small squares quickly:

The Process:

Before and after trimming to perfection:

Make your geese however you like. The choice is yours.

Block 8: Rolling Stone presents a math challenge. The four corners are "square in a a square" units. To be 100% accurate the A square should be cut 1.9142"--a number we just can't deal with. 1 7/8" is slightly too small, 2" is slightly too large. You could fiddle with making a very scant seam allowance OR you can use 1 7/8" as the pattern calls for BUT I recommend you cut the B triangles from 2" squares, slightly larger than 1 7/8" listed in the pattern. This will give you just a smidge more fabric to be sure you get the correct size corners. 

BUT to be 100% accurate easily, those corner blocks can be paper pieced. In Electric Quilt I selected the Rolling Stone block, and printed just the four corner units, being sure the block size was correct:

 Cut the fabrics larger than the pattern lists, very important for paper piecing. I chain pieced all four squares, pressing each triangle as it was added. Left unit trimmed, Right ready to be trimmed:

Consider using different fabric combinations in your three blocks--the choice is yours. Even if using a kit, there is enough fabric to customize your quilt:

Block 9: reminds me of a portion of the Bear's Paw block. This one is fast and easy. My preferred method for making Half Square Triangles is to use Creative Grids Half Square Triangle ruler. Add .5" to the finished size of the HST, cut two strips that size, put them right sides together and cut. They are ready to be easily fed through the machine:

When pressing, remember the little arrows in the pattern diagrams show the recommended direction for pressing. If you prefer to press open, that is up to you. Whatever works best for you is the correct method. 

What if I use different fabrics for the HST and the large center? One more block to go and I just might do this, or something else for that large square. Time will tell--I'll sew the 3rd one at the Sunday Sew and Sews class later this month:

I hope you are enjoying the process.

Let's quilt!