Sunday, February 26, 2012

"Around My Flower Garden" a strip-pieced hexagon quilt

I have always loved the look of hexagon quilts such as "Grandmother's Flower Garden" but piecing all those little hexies by hand did not really appeal to me.  To be honest I don't think I would ever finish it.  Here is where I admit that I have a somewhat short attention span.  I designed this quilt to have that look without all the time consuming hand piecing.  The center of this quilt is done by strip piecing triangles together to form the hexagon look.  I did hand piece the small outer flowers using no-melt template plastic to stitch the individual small hexies, then appliqued them onto the quilt.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

"Strawberry Limeade" quilt pattern

I designed this quilt to be done by machine applique.  I did a small zig-zag stitch around the folded edge of each piece to applique it to the quilt.  I stitched the heart shaped flower petals on each block then stitched the blocks together in vertical rows adding the leaves and flower centers as I went.  I did a slight wavy edge on the border.  It was a really fun process and I love how the quilt turned out.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Life is Like a "Bow"l of Cherries quilt pattern

I designed this quilt using the bow-tie block and appliqued cherries.  For the borders I added vintage looking bowls with cherries dangling from them and another round of bow-tie blocks.  I used a variety of 1930's reproduction red fabrics. It hangs from a shelf in my kitchen to go along with my other vintage kitchen items which I love.  I think red is such a cheery kitchen color.  Please visit my "Patterns for Sale" page for ordering information.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

How to Sharpen Your Rotary Blades. Have you tried this?

I saw this tip on Pinterest the other day from a blog called Pennys Hands.  Sharpen your rotary blades by cutting through tin foil.  Being the type of person who can't throw anything away that might someday be useful ( my sister says I verge on hoarding) I had 10 old dull rotary blades in a plastic case in my sewing cabinet.  I set up an old ruined rotary mat, (yes I saved this too) and turned it over onto the back since I didn't know if this process would damage the mat at all.  I tore off a large piece of tin foil and folded it several times.

Then I cut through the tin foil in tiny, tiny strips.  Let's be realistic here, tin foil is much cheaper to buy than a trip to the emergency room so be very careful to not cut your finger off while making these thin cuts in the foil. Keep your fingers well out of range of the rotary cutter.  I can't be held responsible for any injuries you may sustain in attempting this dangerous feat.

This is what your foil will look like afterwards.  I wasn't sure if this would be enough to sharpen the blade so I turned the mat sideways and cut through the foil strips again.
Then I tried the sharpened  blade out on some fabic and batting.  It seems to have worked really well.  I folded the fabric and cut through several layers just fine.  I had nicks in some of the blades and it seems to have taken them out too.
I'm sure they are not as sharp as a brand new blade and I don't know how long they will last but I think it was worth trying.

Friday, February 10, 2012

"Old Time Valentines" quilt pattern

This is another fun Valentine quilt I made several years ago.  With, you guessed it, another vintage looking fabric.  Don't you just love all those adorable old Valentines from days gone by?  I think they are just so sweet.  I fussy cut the fabric into squares and added 1930's reproduction fabrics in red and pink and then a pieced heart border.  How is that for quick and easy?   It's just a lap size so I throw it over the back of my couch to decorate the house or use while watching TV.

"Love is in the Air"

I found this antique looking Valentine fabric a few years ago and being an antique lover, I just couldn't say no to it.  Do you ever have that problem when browsing through a quilt shop?  Some fabrics just call out to me saying "take me home, take me home."  I designed this quilt using the card trick block for the outer edges.  My very talented long arm quilter used gold thread to quilt a lacy heart shape with a bow in each card of the block.  Check out the close-up picture.  I appliqued little hearts in the center with an embroidered message "Love is in the Air".  I think red is such a striking color when mixed in varying tones.   Happy Valentine's Day.

"Hearts and Kisses" Happy Valentines Day

This is my Valentines Day wall quilt.  I used a variety of 1930's redproduction fabrics in reds and pinks. (I just love this combo)  The hearts are puffed up a little with batting and embellished with lace around the edges.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

To Stash or Not to Stash?? Tell me what you think.

I was just reading the Quilting Gallery newsletter and ran across Pat Sloan's piece on organizing your sewing work space.  I have a rather large stash of fabric that I quilt from.  As you can see, it tends to get a bit messy as I drag out fabric after fabric to choose what I want when designing a new quilt.  My question is, do you use a stash or buy specifically for each project?  With the price of quilting fabric going up to $10 per yard or more it's so hard for me to resist a sale of $3-$4 per yard fabric to add to my stash.   How do you organize your stash?  By color, type of fabric, piece size, etc?  I'd love to hear your comments.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"Hearts a Bloom" Pretty Hearts and Flowers quilt pattern

I designed this quilt using Valentines fabric but it could be used for any season as hearts and flowers are always nice in a quilt.   I think it would be pretty for a little girls room done in pastels or brights.  This quilt pattern is machine pieced with just a little bit of  applique for the flower centers.

"Bunnies on Parade" Get ready for Spring with this fun quilt pattern

As a small child I loved playing with paper dolls and dressing them in all sorts of different outfits.
Making this quilt reminded me of those special times playing with my sisters.  It was really fun choosing the  pretty fabric swatches to dress my bunnies in.  I especially love the 3-D floppy ears poking out from their hats.  I wanted to display this quilt for all of Spring so I did not make it specifically for Easter, the bunnies are holding kites, balloons, baskets, and flowers.  The Tulip border gives it that extra Srpingtime look.