Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Go'n Sew'n for the Row by Row

A lot of my normal design time has been taken up this month by helping the quilt shop get ready for the Row by Row experience.  This includes writing the pattern for the current year as well as re-writing the 2015 Row so we can continue to sell patterns for that without having them professionally printed.  I got a lot of good practice in on drawing applique shapes in EQ7!

This is the 2015 row Sea Sam and Sue.  Another lady drew the design, and I wrote the pattern.  We had a local printer do full size reversed patterns for it, but we had to have them printed in larger quantities than we liked.  I drew the pattern up in EQ7 so we could print it out ourselves in smaller quantities as needed.

And here is the 2017 row!  We loved the theme and thought a row of ATV's headed for the quilt shop would be great for our row this year.  It was a lot simpler to design, and make.  We fussy cut the stripes from the border print and it made the perfect frame for our row. We aren't including that in the kit, but have some available in the shop.  I love how well this year's fabric worked for our row!

Are you participating in the Row by Row Experience?  Make sure to tell all the shops how much you appreciate their work - believe me, a lot of time and energy goes into creating the free patterns you collect.  It's really fun, and we enjoy it, and it makes it even better when we know how much the customers appreciate it!

 And Thank You for coming into the shops and buying kits, and other goodies!  We love our customers and it's fun to meet new ones.  We all hope to make your Row by Row Experience fun and enjoyable, too.

If you would like this row, it's available at Threads That Bind in Coos Bay, OR.  We'll be offering a kit, and both will be available to order after the Row by Row Experience ends this fall.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Peach Cobbler - Alternate Block for Square in a Square, Quilter's Recipe Box

I can't believe this is the 24th block I've made for this series!  If you are new to the series, check out the Quilter's Recipe Box tab at the top for an overview and a look at all the blocks I've made so far.  This block is from EQ7 and is another in their Dessert titled blocks - Peach Cobbler.

For this block, you will need five 3 1/2 inch squares of a feature fabric, two 3 7/8 inch squares of a coordinating fabric and a background fabric for the star points.  Cut four 2 inch squares of a contrasting fabric, and twelve 2 inch squares of a light fabric to make the square in a square units.

Start out with making your square in a square units.  Each one of these will use one square the contrasting fabric and three squares of the light fabric.  You won't have to worry about where you add the one that is different, so you can sew them in any order you like! Arrange them with the center square like this:
Notice how the contrasting color points toward the center of the block.  Now make the four half square triangle units for the friendship star part of the block.  Arrange them like you see below and sew your units together to make your block.

Isn't this a pretty variation on the Friendship Star block?  I always think that each block I make is my favorite :)  This one is another favorite!

Next week I'll be sending out my monthly newsletter and I think I will have to come up with a block in Red White and Blue since the Fourth of July is on Tuesday!  Wow, I can hardly believe I'm thinking ahead a bit - usually I'm a day late and a dollar short!  Make sure you join me next week - I'm thinking I might have a little giveaway to celebrate Independence Day.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Ahh - Time for the Weekend!

Yesterday was one of those rare gorgeous, warm, no wind days on the coast!  We decided to take a break and get out of the house for a change.  It had been a very busy week of working on dresses for a pageant and two emergency bridesmaid dresses.  I was ready to get out and enjoy a day of relaxing!

After lunch at our favorite Pizza Place we headed for the beach.  It was a little breezy there, but I didn't have to put my sweatshirt on, so you can just about count that as a heat wave!  We stopped for an afternoon Ice Cream Cone at the Tillamook Creamery - what a deal!  You get a huge scoop of ice cream for $2.25!  I bypassed the chocolate and tried Coconut Creme - it was delicious!

After that we headed back home.  Still beautiful, no wind at all!  It was close to dinner time, but I decided to drag out my lounge chair and relax with a book.  I kept hearing a funny click/chirp and spied hummingbirds up in the tree above me!  This is at 6:00 in the evening!  Absolutely clear, warm and no wind (wait till next week, I'll go out there on a regular afternoon and let you see what it's like)

I didn't even get bitten by any mosquitoes, though I watched various birds flitting through the air catching bugs.

I was having a hard time concentrating on my book because I was enjoying being outdoors so much in the perfect weather!

It was so lovely to enjoy an evening in the yard - that rarely happens due to the winds that come up most afternoons.  We live at the top of a hill so we get it full blast most days.

Now I am refreshed and ready to get back to quilting!  I am working on finishing up the Vintage Embroidery quilt:

And getting together a new shop sample for my CityScape Pattern.  I have all the blocks put together now and just need to do the sashing.  This is the third sample I've made for this pattern, we keep running out of the fabrics we use!  Good problem to have in the quilt shop :)

I enjoyed picking out another bunch of fat quarters and I could not resist that lime-y green with the pebbles.  It's going to be perfect for the cornerstones, and the seagulls are an ideal sashing.  They tone down the blocks, but keep with our ocean theme.

Next week I have some mending, pants hemming and two wedding dresses to finish up.  I keep thinking I'll get to the end of the pile, but every time I get close, the phone rings again!  Not that I'm complaining...it helps keep the bills paid, and that's important.

Hope you are having a good weekend!  Get out and enjoy the fresh air - it will do you a world of good!  Then you can go sew :)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Curvalicious Quilting with Island Batik

This month's challenge to the Island Batik Ambassadors is Curvalicious Quilts!  I love the challenge of piecing curves.  I was all set to make a great little quilt using the Quick Curve Mini ruler.  That is, until I realized that I didn't actually own it!

Turns out that I only own the regular size Quick Curve ruler...oops!

There I was with a whole day free to work on a project, a box of lovely fabrics, a ruler, but no pattern.  Darn.

Luckily the Quick Curve ruler comes with a pattern for a table runner.  (There are also several free patterns on their website.)  Unluckily, I didn't have quite enough fabric for the background.  Now what should I do?  


I decided to start cutting some fabric and make some units, then figure out how to put them together after I got a few done.  I found that you can get 4 arcs out a 5 inch strip (pulled from the Stash Builder rolls I received in my box!)  When I started sewing I found that the gentle curve is really easy to sew.  You just put the concave part on the bottom (it caves in) and the convex part on the top, line up the edges, and start sewing!  As long as you don't pull too much, or sew too fast you end up at the other end with a matching seam.  I think working with batiks makes curves come out really well because they are very stable in their weave.

Aha - I realized that if you sew a background section to the top of one arc and the bottom of the next one they make a complete arc as well - makes me think of waves.

Looking good!  I decided that this would make a nice wall hanging.  I ran out of 5 inch strips in the colors I liked, so started digging through my container with the leftover fabric from previous Ambassador boxes.  I found some nice additions in the colors I wanted.  I think I've got a little something from each of the collections I've received in this quilt!  That's another great thing about batik fabric, they blend so well from collection to collection!

  At first I didn't think I was gong to use that light yellow piece at the bottom right, but I decided if I add a row to the bottom that I can use the periwinkle color at the top and bottom of my quilt, then add side borders of the same.

And here all all my curves sewn and now I am ready to start sewing the sections together!  

I'm looking forward to seeing how this quilt comes out, it's been a lot of fun so far.  Thanks to Island Batik for the fun fabrics and the challenge to sew some curves. I finally broke that Quick curve ruler in, and can't wait to make more fun projects with it...I'm wondering how I could use it to make a cool border now!

Linking up with Connie for Linky Tuesday

Monday, June 19, 2017

Raspberry Cheesecake - Square in a Square alternate block Quilter's Recipe Box

 Raspberry Cheesecake coloring sheet
Today's alternate block for the Square in a Square unit comes the EQ7 library - it is called Raspberry Cheesecake.  I'm not sure where the dessert themed names for these blocks came from, but they are a lot of fun!

This block is different because it uses the Square in a Square units on the sides of the block.  When you do this, the triangles in the corners make a small variable star in the center of your block, and you can achieve a variety of effects using contrast, as you can see from the banner at the top of the post.

To sew this block you will need four 3 1/2 inch squares of your focus fabric, eight 2 inch squares for the small star points plus eight 2 inch squares and one 3 1/2 inch square of a secondary fabric.  For the corner triangles you will need two 3 7/8 squares of a contrast fabric and two 3 7/8 triangles of your background fabric.

Since you are using two different colors for the corners of your square in a square, make sure that you sew the colors opposite each other on the 3 1/2 inch square:
After you sew the remaining corners you can lay them out and see the star in the center:
Sew the half square triangle units for the corner and lay out your block:
Then sew it together!

That was pretty easy, right?  By rearranging your fabrics you can achieve a variety of looks with this block.  I had so much fun playing with it that I decided to make up a coloring sheet for you to use, too!  

 Raspberry Pie download

You can download it by clicking here:  Raspberry Cheesecake Coloring Sheet or on the picture above.  Have fun with it!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Feeling Brave!

Sewing machine tension issues can be so frustrating!  My Juki has been having some really random tension issues over the past few months.  When I had it serviced back in November it seemed better for a while, but it seems like I've been having problems more and more lately.  For example, when I was sewing a bunch of strips the tension was absolutely fine for 5 of them, then on the 6th I would start seeing loose stitches on the bottom.  I was also having trouble quilting, especially with heavier weight threads, even using Aurifil 40 wt thread was giving me quite a lot of issues.

This really came to a head last week while I was trying to finish my quilt for Island Batik's fall line that I needed to get mailed out - luckily I was able to finish my quilt.  I decided it was time to solve this problem and started doing some research to see if I could figure out what was causing this issue.  I had a gut feeling that it had to do with my tension discs.  I was nervous about taking this part of my machine apart, but after watching a Sharon Schamber video on You-Tube I decided that I could do it, and went for it!

I really wish I would have thought to take some pictures as I worked on it, but the task was actually very straight forward.  Instead of removing the entire tension assembly, I just unscrewed the tension dial all the way, then removed each piece one at a time and cleaned them as I went.  When I got to the outer disc I found a small spot of something that was rough and tacky in one area.  I used a cleaning cloth and rubbed it off, and when I took off the other disc I found a similar spot on it.  I also found some debris wrapped around the spindle.

After replacing the discs, spring and tension dial, I reset my tension and did some trial sewing with some of the most temperamental thread I've been using and it worked great!  I was excited to try some more quilting today, so started working on a custom quilt that is due to be sent out soon.  So far, so good!  I'm using my favorite Aurifil 50 wt thread on the top and the bobbin, and my quilting was truly care free.  Despite quilting over many seams and in every direction I had no skipped stitches and only one break.  I used 2 bobbins worth of thread, and had zero tension issues.  I sure hope this continues!

I know that not everyone feels confident in taking such drastic measures with their sewing machines, but I was in a pinch and unable to take my machine to be serviced so I felt it was worth a try.  There are a lot of resources on the internet to guide you through many basic repairs, so I would advise that with caution it can be worthwhile to do your research and try this if you think you may have debris that is interfering with your tension.  I'm just relieved to be quilting without any issues now - will let you know if it continues!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Ornate Star - Alternate block for Square in a Square Unit for Quilter's Recipe Box

Sorry to be so late today with my post.  I usually like to get the blocks worked up early so I can write my post over the weekend, but that did not happen this week.  I was busy doing some secret sewing for Island Batik!  I'll be sending my quilt out for the Fall Winter Catalog tomorrow, but I can't share about it until September.  That't the hardest thing about making projects for fabric companies - you work so far ahead and have to keep the fabric hidden until the appropriate time!  But it is fun, too!

On with the block!  This one is Ornate Star from EQ7.  It uses four Square in a Square units as well as four Quarter Square Triangle Units.  You will need to cut five 3 1/2 squares of a focus fabric, and sixteen 2 inch squares of a light fabric.  Then you will need two 4 1/4 squares of a secondary fabric, one 4 1/4 square of a light fabric, and one 4 1/4 square of background fabric.
Sew four Square in a Square units using the light 2 inch squares and four 3 1/4 inch squares of four focus fabric.

Sew four Quarter square triangle blocks using the secondary fabric, light fabric and background fabric as in the Twinkle Star instructions.

Lay them out like this:
And sew them together to complete your block:
I love how this one came out!  I wasn't too sure about using so much of that vibrant green, but it looks great with the darker green and blue.  These fabrics are from the Dotalicious line from Island Batik.  Click here to see them all - really lovely colors and designs!   If you can't find them locally they are available online in a variety of places including Hancock's of Paducah.

Come back next week - I'll have another block using the Square in a Square unit - I can't believe that just a couple more blocks and I'll have hit the halfway point for this project!  Lots more great blocks to come, so I hope you are following along.  You can find links for all the blocks at the top under the Quilter's Recipe box tab if you've missed any or if you want to catch up.  Lots of great blocks and ideas for quilts available there.

Hopefully I'll have more quilting to share this week - I've caught up on most of the urgent deadlines and am ready for some serious quilting!

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Time for Winners!

It's always fun to get to this part of a giveaway!  When I woke up this morning I had rafflecopter randomly draw my winners - Donna won the fabric giveaway and Lee won the patterns.  Congrats, Ladies!  Check your e-mail for more information!

This is one of my projects from yesterday.  I believe it is going to be a raffle quilt for a local group.  It's pretty awesome, but it isn't your typical quilt!  The motorcycles are all that rubbery t-shirt transfer fabric, and the black is pleather (imitation leather).  It has a layer of poly batting and is backed with black fleece.  Quite an interesting combination to work with!
You can see the gorgeous texture in the pleather.  That's the way it came, not from quilting!  The only quilting I did was to outline each of the motorcycle squares.  With all the thickness of the fabrics there was a small amount of puckering on the back, but it's not that bad.  The backing was turned to the front for the binding.  A bit of a challenge, but it came out pretty well!

The binding clips were perfect for the job!  You can really see the texture in the pleather with this shot - so pretty!

I also started working on the Vintage Embroidery quilt.  I got it basted - this is my first quilt using two layers of batting.  The top batting is Dream wool and the bottom layer is pellon cotton.
I got the stitch in the ditch done to stabilize it and have started to quilt the blocks!  It's going to be stunning, I think!

 I was so nervous to stitch on the blocks, but I love the results!  It takes about 5 minutes to do a block and there are 42 in the quilt, so I have a few hours of quilting ahead of me.  Each block is 4 1/2 inches plus 1 inch borders framing it.

Today is grocery shopping day, so I suppose I'd better get off the computer and get my day going.  Congrats to Donna and Lee!  Thanks to everyone for your comments and participation - it was really fun hearing about your favorite blocks.  It made me want to sew them all up!

Monday, June 05, 2017

Quilter's Recipe Box - Square in a Square Unit, Rolling Stone Block

Ready for a new unit?  This month I'll be using the Square in a Square unit.  This is one of the units I usually like to use a shortcut method even though it does waste a bit of fabric.  I think the accuracy of doing them this way makes the waste worthwhile.

This block requires quite a bit of cutting!  You will need sixteen 2 inch squares of your background fabric, plus four 2 x 3 1/2 inch rectangles.  Cut four 3 1/2 squares and four 2 x 3 1/2 rectangles from your dominant fabric, and one 3 1/2 inch square for the center of your block.

Start by marking a diagonal line on the back of all the 2 inch squares.  You can mark them with a pencil or other marking tool, or finger press them in half diagonally.  Place a 2 inch background corner on one corner of each 3 1/2 inch square of your dominant fabric.  I like to chain piece them, line them up on my cutting mat and cut off the extra fabric.

Press the corner triangles out.  Then sew the opposite corner in the same way and trim.

Then press:
Continue in the same manner until you have all four corners sewn.
Then use the two sets of rectangles to make four split square units:
Lay out all your units like this:
And sew together.  I usually take a peek to make sure the corners of my square in a square units line up with the seam in the split square.
Then, when I sew them together I make sure to sew a hair to the inside of the intersection on the square in a square point.

This ensures that your point doesn't disappear in the seam line:
Once your block is complete it will look like this:

I love the circular effect in the center!  Just click here to download the recipe card for this month's block!  If you've missed the previous blocks, you can click the tab for Quilter's Recipe Box tab at the top of the page and you can find it at the first post for each month.

Today is the last day to enter my giveaway - if you haven't already completed your entries, be sure to do so before midnight - tomorrow I'll be announcing the lucky winner of thirteen 10 inch square and a roll of 5 inch strips!

a Rafflecopter giveaway