Monday, March 26, 2012

Ladybug Twist & Shout

My granddaughter's nursery is decorated in ladybugs.  I designed this fun quilt for her room with flower-pot pinwheels and ladybugs dancing all over the quilt.  The flower pots are done with a little bit of simple paper piecing.  I used large rick-rack for the flower stems and a bright button for the pinwheel centers..  The ladybugs are appliqued and their anntenae are embroidered.  I added a piano key border using the leftover fabrics.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Windmill Garden a flowery quilt for Spring or Summer

This quilt was all done by applique.  The flowers, the blue block border scallops, and the cream outer border scallops.  I don't usually do quite that much applique on one quilt but I had fun with it.

Here are some closer views.  Don't look too close as I am not an applique experts or perfectionist.


Plane Patrol

This was one of the first quilts I gave to my grandson.  He sleeps with it every night.  I had to borrow it back once to take pictures and he cried and cried when I hung it up.  He thought I was going to keep his beloved airplane quilt.  It was fun going through my stash to find all those blue fabrics.

Friday, March 16, 2012

How to Clean a Goopy, Gummy Iron

Last night I realized I had left my iron on.  No big deal right?  Well unfortunately it was too close to a plastic ziploc bag of scraps that I had setting on my pressing station.  By the time I smelled the hot, melting plastic it was too late.  Ugh!  Now my iron has goopy plastic on it.  Wait a minute, I remember how to easily get that mess off.

Place a towel or piece of fabric on your pressing station.   Sprinkle some salt on the fabric.  I used coarse salt like the kind you get on soft pretzels.

Heat your iron and rub across the salt until the goopy mess is gone.  This takes relatively little effort.

Whew!  Thank goodness I remembered that trick.  Now I can use my iron again without having to run to the store for iron cleaner.  Do they even sell that stuff anymore?

I think it cleaned up rather nicely, don't you?  No more melted plastic gumming things up.

Now just go ahead and throw the salt away.  Warning: Do Not Feed it to Your Family.  I probably didn't need to tell you that. Lol  But seriously, throw it out.

Circle Fun - Free Quilt Pattern

For one full year my quilt group of twelve fun ladies exchanged 6 1/2" squares of black on white, and white on black fabrics. At the end of the year we each had a large assortment of black and white fabrics to use however we wanted.  This is what I made from mine.   I called it Circle Fun.  It is approximately 70" x 90".
Since it's St. Patrick's Day weekend, I decided you should all enjoy a little Irish luck with this freebie.

This was such a fun, no-brainer type quilt to make, and a great way to use up your scraps.  I appliqued the quarter circles by hand while waiting at the Dr.'s office or watching TV at night.  I find this very relaxing and it takes my mind off the idleness.  You could machine applique them very quickly if you prefer.

Fabric Requirements:

70 black 6 1/2" squares
70 white 6 1/2" squares
140 bright 3 1/2" squares to cut quarter circles from
1/2 yard stop border
1 2/3 yard outer border
5/8 yard binding
5 1/2 yards backing

  1. Place a white 6 1/2" square right sides together on top of a black 6 1/2" square.
  2. Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. 
  3. Stitch 1/4" away from each side of the line.  Cut on the line to make two half-square triangles. 
  4. Press, then trim each square to 6".  Repeat with all 6 1/2" squares of fabric to make 140 half-square triangles.
  5. Trace a 5 3/4" circle onto freezer paper.  Cut the circle in half twice to make four quarter circles.
  6. Press a paper template onto the wrong side of a bright fabric scrap.  Cut on the straight edge but 1/4" away from the rounded edge.
  7. Fold the rounded edge over the freezer paper and press well.  Make 280 bright quarter-circles.
  8. Remove the paper and applique a quarter circle into the two seamless corners of each block.
     Note:  I just did a random variety of color combinations.  You may want to lay out your quilt prior
     to making the last 10 or 15 blocks so you can adjust the colors if necessary.

      9. Repeat for all blocks using a wide variety of interesting, bright fabrics.

       10. Lay out your blocks in fourteen rows of ten blocks each, alternating the white and black
       sides of each block.  Make sure you will have four different bright colors to form each circle.
       11.  Stitch the blocks together in rows.
       12.  Stitch the rows together.
       13.  Stitch two stop borders 2" x 77 1/2" to the sides of the quilt and two stop borders 2" x 58 1/2"
       to the top and bottom of the quilt.
       14.  Stitch two outer borders 6 1/2" x 80 1/2" to the sides of the quilt and two outer borders
       6 1/2" x 70 1/2" to the top and bottom of the quilt.

       15.  Cut nine strips 2 1/4" x width of fabric for binding.
       16.  Quilt and bind.

My entry into Just Something I Whipped Up sponsored by Appliances Online and the Bosch Washing Machines, .

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pineapple Quilts and ruler

When I worked at a quilt shop several years ago, I was asked to make a Pineapple quilt for a shop display and class.  I made two versions using the book Positively Pineapple by Lynda Milligan and Nancy Smith. 

I used their Pineapple Rule to make sure the blocks were even and accurate which was extrememly helpful and fun.

The first quilt was from the pattern Mocha Latte.  I really liked the light, medium, and dark tones of this pattern.  Here is the picture from the book.

I made my quilt in my daughter's favorite color tones, turquoise blue. It has been tucked away in the closet to save for her someday wedding. I pulled it out the other day and finished up the binding. My sister Debbie in Marietta, Georgia quilted this for me on her HQ16.

The second quilt I made was from the pattern Jelly Beans.  I did this one using the same color scheme as the picture in the book, Lime green, Yellow, Hot Pink, and Orange.  It is such a bright, cheery quilt.  It has not yet been quilted as I've had too many other projects in front of this one.  I think I'll save it for one of my grandkids.

My entry into Just Something I Whipped Up sponsored by Appliances Online and the Bosch Washing Machines, .

Monday, March 12, 2012

Dresden Baskets WIP

This is my current work in progess.  Dresden Baskets.  I got a little sidetracked with my blogging so I haven't worked on it for about a month.  I hope to get back to it soon.

 I have all of the blocks sewn together with the setting triangles and the yo-yo flowers stitched on.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Flying Geese Ruler by Quilt in a Day

I love making flying geese with the Quilt in a Day Flying Geese rulers.  I own the large and the small one.  These are the things I love about this ruler, it's  easy, accurate, it makes two different sizes, and there's no waste of fabric.  You can make four matching, perfect flying geese from two squares of fabric.  It is a must have if you are making a lot of flying geese for a border on your quilt.  By the way, this is just my personal opinion and I am not being paid to say this.  I know there are some newer rulers out for flying geese but this is the one I have used for years and I still love it so why spend the money for a different one?  What is your favorite method of making flying geese?  Please leave a comment below.  I'd love to hear from you.

Quilt Block Design Mirrors

I purchased this Quilt Block Design Mirror by Collins several years ago when I was working at a local quilt shop.  It has been tucked away with some of my rarely used rulers, out of sight out of mind.  I ran across it today while straightening up a bit in my sewing room.  I had forgotten how much fun it was to play with.

Tonight I pulled out some bright, large print fabrics and started to wow myself.  You can run it across the fabric and watch to your delight as beautiful kaleidescope views appear.  I am truly amazed by this.  Ok so it doesn't really take that much to get me excited about fabric,  but trust me, this is really fun.

Every time I see a kaleidescope quilt I am awestruck at how many different looking blocks you can get from one print of fabric. This just may inspire me to make a new quilt.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

1,2,3, Under The Sea A Counting Quilt for Toddlers

This quilt was inspired by my grandson who loves to go to the aquarium.  When he was 2 years old,  he thought that anything more than one was two.  I designed this quilt to help him learn to count.  One sun, Two octopus, Three whales etc.  I used the needle-turn method to applique the sea creatures.  I tried to draw very simple shapes so they would be easy to applique.  It went together remarkably fast.   I just happened to have some bright sea shell fabric in my stash that worked really well for the border. 

Double Continuous Prairie Points quilt tutorial

I love Prairie Points on a quilt.  Here is a quick and easy way to make a double prairie point edge or border that is all in one strip, evenly spaced apart, and ready to stitch to your quilt.  I will be demonstrating a 3" prairie point but you can easily adjust the size if you like. 

Cut your fabric 6" x width of fabric.  Press in half widthwise to make a center crease.  If you want to have two alternating colored points, cut each strip of fabric 3 1/4" wide and stitch them right sides together along the one long edge.  Press.

Lay the fabric on your cutting mat.  Measure 3" in from the left edge and cut with your rotary cutter just to the crease mark in the center.  Now make another cut every 3" to the end of your strip.

Turn the fabric so that the uncut edge is closest to you.   
Measure 1 1/2" in from the left edge and cut just to the center crease.  Cut off this section completely. 

Now measure 3" in from the new left edge and cut just to the center crease.   Make another cut every 3" just to the center crease. 

Place fabric strip on your pressing table wrong side facing up.  Fold each top square diagonally to the right to the center crease and press. Fold each bottom square diagonally to the left to the center crease and press.  I spritzed with a little Mary Ellen's Best Press to hold it in place

Now fold each triangle diagonally in the opposite direction and press.

This is what your fabric should looke like with both edges folded twice to form the prairie points.

At this point you can either place a little drop of applique glue at the tip to hold it in place, or machine baste along the inside edge close to the crease mark.

Fold the fabric in half widthwise so the bottom prairie points are overlapping the top prairie points.  Repeat to make as many strips as you need.   You are now ready to stitch them to your quilt.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

One of my favorite qulting tools, The Angler 2

I know there are lots of tricky ways to make half square triangles now days.  I  like to make mine by using the Angler 2 by Pam Bono Designs.  I have owned this nifty quilting tool for about 9 years now and still use it all the time.  Just line the key hole up with your sewing machine needle, tape the plastic template to your sewing machine, and follow the line.  So accurate and easy.