Monday, January 30, 2017

Inspired by my Third Grader

I teach third grade.  They're a lot of fun.  One of them cut me a snowflake from a paper towel from school.  I'm not sure why they were using towels instead of paper, but the design is fabulous!

My son also came up to me the other day with this set of markers claiming, "Mom, these would make good colors for a quilt."  Yes, kiddo, they would!

I hope you get to quilt today!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

MN and WI Friends - I'm Speaking and Teaching Near YOU in February!

I am excited to be speaking about my competition and bloggy quilts for Minnesota Quilter's February meetings.  The meetings are on Thursday, February 2 at 7 pm and Saturday, February 4 at 10 am.  The meetings are at their Fabulous new location.  Directions can be found here.  I'd love to see you there!

Here's a few quilts I'll be showing.

I'm also teaching Free Motion Quilting on Sunday, February 19th at Forever Gifts Boutique (a wonderful quilt store!) in Prescott, Wisconsin from 1-4 pm.  You can check out their website here.

I hope you get to quilt today!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Free Motion Friday - Teardrop Hearts

With Valentine's Day coming up I thought it would be fun to create some heart designs.  This first one is called Teardrop Hearts.  You can find the written directions here.

To start you make a tear drop.  Then quilt a heart around it.

Then create a second heart to one side of the first.  If you can't start from where you finish the first heart then travel to where you want to start the next.

Here are the first 8 or so hearts.  You can see that right in the middle there is a smaller heart due to space limitations.  Oh well, it won't be really evident in the final design.

And here's the final design.  Wouldn't Teardrop Hearts make a great filler on a heart-filled quilt?  Or one for your loved ones?

I'm also teaching Free Motion Quilting on Sunday, February 19th at Forever Gifts Boutique (a wonderful quilt store!) in Prescott, Wisconsin from 1-4 pm.  You can check out their website here.

I hope you get to quilt today!  I do....going on retreat!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Curvy Binding Part 2

As I sat and stitched down this curvy binding I realized a couple of things I want to try in the future:

1.  Would a thicker binding help?  Perhaps a 1/2 inch binding instead of a 1/4 inch binding.  (It is a single fold binding)
2.  I cut into the interior points while I was putting on the binding.  Would it turn out better if I didn't do this?

Food for thought for next time.  You can see that the interior point doesn't lay well.  I tried to pull it in and stitch it down in a miter, but there wasn't enough fabric to make it work well.

If you look at the left interior point and the right interior point below you can see that they are vastly different shapes.  One more rounded the other nice and point.   Thing to work on...

Since I didn't want to block and flatten the quilt when I was done I used an Eraser Pen to get rid of all the blue marks.  It worked great!

The final table topper.  I love it even though it's not perfect!  One thing I have definitely learned in doing my blog is that not everything I quilt has to be perfect.  That's okay and it's even more fun that way!

I hope you get to quilt today!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Shirt Inspiration

I love my mother to pieces.  She taught me to quilt and has always been supportive of everything I do including making quilts for my book!  The other day she came over wearing this shirt.  I love the snowflake patterns and the trails of dots would make fabulous quilting.  Plus aren't her orange glasses fabulous?

I hope you get to quilt today!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Blog Post #300!?

I happened to notice my tally of blog posts the other day and this very post is number 300!  How did that happen so fast?

I never knew when I started blogging that I would enjoy it so much!  It's a blast sharing what I'm learning and creating.  It gives me some creative freedom and permission to make something that is not a show quilt.  I love those too, but blogging has been very freeing from that.

So...what to do for post 300?  How about a few highlights!

First of all, I started not only this blog, but at blog post 100 I started a Facebook Group called Machine Applique Adventures which is up to about 550 members!  There are people form all over the world in the group which I find so amazing and fun.

Second, becoming an Island Batik Ambassador has been an absolute pleasure and thrill!  Here are a few lovely projects from my 2016 tenure.

Third, I've done two quilt alongs!  The Flower in a Pot Quilt Along and the Brick Wall Free Motion Quilt Along (links are at the top of the page and I updated them last weekend!).  So fun!  I'm thinking about what to design next...

Fourth, I've made new quilting friends which is always fun!  (Yes, I know....lots of exclamation marks.  The third grade teacher in me cringes, but I'm just so excited I can't help it!!!!)

I hope you get to quilt today!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Free Motion Friday - Some Pictures and Wonderful News

Okay, I know.  It's Friday and there should be a new pattern.  I am feeling the guilt (is quilter's guilt related to mother's guilt???)

BUT...I have TWO exciting things to share instead!  (And one of them is some gorgeous free motion!)

FIRST, my current show quilt Kaboom! took third place at Road to California.  So exciting!

I used a dark navy thread for the fill work so I could see what I was doing.  I like the subtle effect it makes.

These photos are from the back of the quilt.

SECOND,  I have been accepted as an Island Batik Ambassador for 2017!  That means more luscious batiks and more quilting fun!  Stay tuned!

I hope you get to quilt today!
(I don't....pinewood derby day!)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

My First Time Teaching from Folk Art Quilted Traditions!

I had the amazing opportunity to teach for my state quilt guild on Monday!  It was the first time I've taught from my new book Folk Art Quilted Traditions that came out last August.

I had 13 amazing students and we had a blast picking blocks and fabrics.  They kindly gave me permission to post some photos of their work here.  If you'd like to order a signed copy direct from me I can now do Paypal invoices.  Just used the contact me link at the top of my blog and I will be happy to send a copy your way!  Books are $20 plus $5 shipping.

Here's my students work:

Playing with solids and one print.

A gorgeous red tulip.

Aiming for sunflower colors.

The use of the stripe with the birds in it is so much fun!

I love the playful prints in this block.

This student did an embroidery design to put in the middle!  How fun!

Starting to stitch with black thread.

It's so much fun to share my passion with others!

I hope you get to quilt today!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Decor Inspiration

Here are a few pictures I've taken recently of decor in various businesses and restaurants.  I love geometric objects.

I'm teaching for my first guild today!  Here we go....

I hope you get to quilt today!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Very Curvy Binding

A year or so ago I started making this quilt top.  If you look closely you can see that only part of it is quilted and there's a blue outline as to the final shape I wanted it to be.  This quilt was sample for me about doing curvy bindings.  I've done large, loose curves before without any issue.  However, I'd never done something smaller.  This quilt is about 16 inches across.

After the quilting was complete I cut out he final shape of the quilt.  I love it, but it was daunting to think about putting a strip of binding around those curves.

Here's the top with the binding all sewn on.  I cut into the points so I could "straighten" the edge when I was sewing the binding in those sections.

Come back Wednesday to see the finished product.

I hope you get to quilt today!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Free Motion Friday - Braid

This week I wanted to do a simple design that could fit well in sashings and small borders.  This design is a Braid.  You can find the written directions here.

Start at the middle of the skinny end of your rectangle.

Stitch to the right edge, then stitch back to the center.  Then stitch to the left side and back to the center.

Stitch down about 1 inch on the right.  Then stitch to the left edge and back.

Stitch down about 1 in to the left and then stitch to the right edge and back again.  Repeat this process.

Adding another layer to the stitching.

And the final product!

If you wanted to really go all out you could quilt a different design in each section....but it might be a little much?

I hope you get to quilt today!