Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Monday, May 10, 2021
If you have been quilting for more than a few years, you probably have fabric scraps busting out at the seams. I know I do! Scrap quilts to the rescue. I have made about 6 scrap quilts this year and still have more fabric.
A cutting party is where you make a list of quilts to make, sort your scraps then cut the pieces you need. Here is what I do.
Plan Your Quilts and Cutting Requirements
Sunday, May 9, 2021
This week I started working on 2" finished bowtie blocks. I bought the new 4" Qube Mix and Match plus the companion sets. If you don't have an AccuQuilt cutter yet, I have included instructions below to make a 4" finished bowtie block the traditional way.
Monday, April 5, 2021
Many of us like to make projects such as purses, bags and totes. In addition to being quick and fun to make, these projects are useful and make great gifts. Before making a project you need to decide how stable you want the finished product to be. If you're making a reusable bag for groceries, you might want to add a thin layer of batting to give it just a little body. If you're making a wallet, you probably want a lot of stability to hold credit cards and cash in place. Fusible fleece, available in various thicknesses, is one solution.
Lightweight fusible fleece was used to make the lining in this Mondo Bag For more information see the article, How To Make A Mondo Bag.
What is Fusible Fleece?
Fleece is a synthetic material made from polyester. It is available in different thicknesses or lofts. Fusible means an adhesive has been applied to on or both sides of the fleece. The products discussed in this article have fusible material applied to one side only. The fusible material appears as small bumps on the surface.
Fusing to Fabric
Follow these basic instructions to fuse fabric to fleece:
- Place the fusible fleece on the ironing surface with the adhesive (bumpy) side facing up.
- With right side facing up, place the fabric on top of the fusible fleece.
- Use a hot iron to melt the adhesive, fusing the fleece and fabric together.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions for using steam and for fusing time. I suggest using an applique pressing sheet while fusing the fabrics together. The applique pressing sheet protects the fabrics and holds them in place as you fuse. The video below demonstrates how to fuse fabric to fleece.
Lightweight and low loft, adds a layer of softness, body, and stability. Fuse to fabric, cardboard and wood. It is sewing machine safe, will not gunk up the needle. Black works especially well with dark fabrics. Machine wash warm, delicate cycle. Tumble dry low or dry clean.
- 100% Low Loft Acid-Free Polyester
- 45″ by-the-yard width
Saturday, March 27, 2021
Today I fertilized the two pecan trees in the west lawn. They are just about the only plant on the property that has not shown any green yet. A friend told me that they are the last to green up.
I have no idea what type of pecan they are. I fertilized with Nirto-Phos.
Citrus & Pecan Tree Fertilizer 16-8-4
Citrus & Pecan Tree Fertilizer:
16% nitrogen promotes vigorous growth.
3% zinc and 1% iron for better nutrition and production.
- 16% sulfur has a soil acidifying effect. A slightly acid soil provides for the maximum availability of phosphorus needed for flower bud formulation and increased fruit and nut production.
6 12294 90003 6
|NP-PCF-4||4 LB.||6/CS||6 12294 90029 6|
Monday, March 15, 2021
Saturday, March 13, 2021
I made this quilt in the summer of 2017. The pattern is Fractured Star by Quiltworx. It was designed as a beginner pattern to introduce quilters to paper piecing. The quilt finishes 80″ x 80″.
This 6 lesson tutorial shows how to piece the entire top.
Monday, March 8, 2021
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Quilters use this triangle cutting chart when piecing a diagonal layout quilt. In a diagonal layout, blocks are placed on-point. The blocks are shown in white above. The corner triangles, shown in black, are in the corners. Side triangles, shown in gray, are along the edges.
Sunday, February 28, 2021
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Chain piecing is a method of speed piecing where segments of fabric are fed into the sewing machine one after the other without stopping to cut the threads. This produces a chain of sewn segments that are then cut apart and pressed.
Chain Piecing Steps
Here are the steps to accomplish the chain piecing technique:
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
The needle plate, sometimes called the throat plate, covers the area near the needle. There are 2 commonly used needle plates: the zig zag plate, shown above, and the straight stitch plate shown below. In this article you will learn about the differences in these plates and why you might want to have both of them on hand.
NOTE: In October 2017 I posted this one minute video on using scraps from pre-cut strips. Since that time I have probably made 5 or 6 more of these. That's a lot of scraps.
Here is the finished quilt!
Monday, February 22, 2021
If you need a quilt that's easy, fast and fun to make, the Strip Pieced Diagonal Beginner quilt is for you. I found this easy strip piecing pattern a few years back when I was looking for easy quilts to make for Veterans.
Using just three fabrics and strip piecing, you will love how quickly this quilt comes together.
Saturday, February 20, 2021
I have seen plenty of paper piecing patterns with spikes and star points. Paper piecing makes these points nice and sharp at the seam allowance. Even with the precision of paper piecing, we can sometimes end up with cut off points when piecing the units together.
What can we do to prevent ever cutting off our points? The answer is paper piecing floating points. Floating points mean the points do not end at the seam allowance. Instead, the points end in the interior of the unit.
The floating points for these spikes will never be cut off because the points don't end at the seam lines for the unit.
Here it is guys. Amazon Star designed by Quiltworx.com. It finishes at 104" x 104". I have never made a quilt this big. My daughter, Diane, wanted a duvet cover for a king size bed. So I offered to make one for her. This is a picture of the finished quilt top taken by China at Sew Special Quilts in Katy Texas, where I purchased the fabrics.
Friday, February 19, 2021
Strip piecing is a technique using strips of fabric sewn together in parallel rows. The parallel rows are called strip sets. Cut the strip set into segments called units. Sew the units into the quilt top. This strip piecing tutorial shows you how.
Strips are cut in various widths from selvage to selvage. Using this method cuts down on the time it takes to cut and sew units together.
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Traditionally string quilts are pieced using a foundation of lightweight muslin or newspapers. In old quilts you often see the newspapers still inside. A string quilt uses long scraps of fabric. You can use scraps of any color or use coordinating colors for your quilt.
For my Quilts of Valor I use scraps of blue and red with a single white or tan fabric on the diagonal. I place the blue fabrics on one side of the diagonal and the red fabrics on the other side. This creates a look that is similar to the log cabin block. Where log cabin blocks have a light and a dark side, this block has a red and a blue side.
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
The Lone Star block is a classic design. It is traditionally made by piecing rows and rows of diamond shaped fabrics into larger diamond shapes. Piecing these diamond shapes, with all the bias edges, is often difficult to do, especially for beginner quilters. Instead of cutting fabric into diamonds, this workshop shows you how to use fabric strips. This free mini workshop shows you step by step how to make a Lone Star block. The following techniques will be demonstrated and explained:
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Monday, February 15, 2021
My friend, Jackie Theriot, owner of Black Cat Creations, suggested an article on how to fold and store a quilt without getting creases in it over time. This is something that has always concerned me. Generally, most of my quilts are given away or donated to causes. But the ones I will always keep are simply folded and placed on a shelf. They do have creases in them but Jackie has inspired me to look into this problem and find a solution. Here is what I found.
Saturday, February 13, 2021
The finished block in this quilt is 9" so each of the squares and half square triangles finish at 3".
- The squares are cut at 3-1/2".
- For the half square triangles normally the squares are cut at 3-7/8" but we will cut them 4" and square up the half square triangle later.
This article was originally posted in July of 2018 on my old website.
Mitered corners look great on quilts. Many quilters shy away from sewing them because it seems complicated. Break it down to these 5 simple steps and get the results you want every time.
Step 1: Cut Border StripsIn this example we use a quilt top that measures 11" x 14".
Friday, February 12, 2021
A star block with perfect points made from squares
I saw this technique at a retreat sometime in 2015. These star blocks are easy to cut, easy to piece and make beautiful quilts. The block is made from 2-1/2" squares and 3-1/2" squares.
Thursday, February 11, 2021
Revised February 17, 2021
Changed number of units needed to complete quilt.
Last weekend I cut the fabrics for this quilt block. This is the sample I made before cutting all the fabric pieces with my AccuQuilt.
The churn dash quilt block is an old favorite. It's a 9-patch block, meaning there are 9 units of construction. There are four half square triangle units, four rail fence units and one plain block unit. In this article you will learn how to piece a 12" finished churn dash quilt block. Look at the end of this article for other finished block sizes. There is a link to instructions to make a Churn Dash Quilt approximately 66" x 80" finished. For these instructions you can use scraps or two fat quarters of contrasting fabrics. Two fat quarters will make two blocks.
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
This article describes how a lockstitch is made. Most standard sewing machines produce the lockstitch.
Lockstitch - a sewing machine stitch formed by the looping together of two threads one on each side of the material being sewn. -- Merriam-Webster
This video was produced by Threads Magazine and published to YouTube on March 11, 2015.
This block is part of the Texas Edition Block of the Month program.
Trace The PiecesNOTE: The Bluebonnet flowers at the bottom of the block will be a little challenging….but you can do it! I suggest you leave those till the end. Don’t even trace the pieces just yet. There is a video at the end that will help you through assembling the Bluebonnets.
This block is part of the Texas Edition Block of the Month program.
Trace The PiecesYou will need a light box for tracing. If you are making the small size you can begin tracing now. If you are making the large size, you will need to tape the large pages together to make the complete design. Once the paper is ready you can begin tracing the applique pieces. The video below shows how to prepare the drawing and trace the pieces.
This block of the month program was done in 2019. The pictures are for inspiration. The patterns can be purchased from the designer, Tana Mueller, on her website Designs By Tana.
The first four blocks have lessons on how to make the raw edge applique blocks. There are links to them in this article.
This short video introduces the program.
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Monday, February 8, 2021
This weekend I started cutting my next scrap quilt I'm calling Scrap Garden. I've never been good at coming up with clever names for quilts but it's a scrap quilt and I'm making plans for a garden so Scrap Garden works for me.
The quilt is made from two classic blocks:
In July of 2019, after a subscriber asked me about the lining, I added a video I found that explained the lining a little better. It is included later in the tutorial.
In This TutorialHere are the steps for making a Mondo Bag:
- Gather your supplies and fabric
- Sew outer fabric panels
- Assemble outer shell
- Assemble lining shell
- Attach handles
- Stitch outer shell to lining shell
- Turn and topstitch
Before you start preparations for making your Mondo Bag, take about 10 minutes to watch this video from Quiltsmart. It’s a very good overview of the process.
A few things about the video:
The interfacing used in the video is By Annie’s Soft and Stable. As you saw in the video, it stands up on its own. You can choose that product if you like your bag to stand up. I used Fusible Fleece which is available in various thicknesses. Be sure you are purchasing a fleece or interfacing that is fusible. Choose the thickness that you like best. I use Pellon Fusible Fleece in a mid-weight loft. For more information about fusible fleece see the article --> Product Review: Fusible Fleece for Quilting and Sewing Projects.
The instructions include options for adding pockets to the lining and adding a key holder. These are not addressed in this tutorial. Follow the printed instructions if you wish to add these to your Mondo Bag.
For information on fusible fleece read the article, Fusible Fleece for Sewing and Quilting Projects .
Gather SuppliesYou will need instructions and interfacing panels to make a Mondo bag.
The Mondo Bag Fun Pack includes instructions along with enough panels to make one Mondo Bag.
The Mondo Bag Interfacing Set includes just the panels.
What You Need
Refer to the instructions that came with your Mondo Bag Kit for fabric and fleece requirements. In addition you will need the following:
Applique Pressing Sheet
Sewing Machine with 1/4″ foot and regular foot
Iron and ironing surface
Thread: Coordinating thread for sewing. Contrasting thread for top stitching.
Sew Outer Fabric PanelsThe next video describes all the information printed on the gridded interfacing.
Cut the fabric squares according to the Quiltsmart instructions. For each of the four panels you will do the following steps.
The gridded interfacing has two sides. The side with the bumps is the adhesive side. Lay the panel on your ironing board with the bumpy side up. With right sides up, center a fabric square inside each square in the grid.
Arrange the Fabric Squares
Fuse Fabric to InterfacingNext use the iron to fuse the fabric to the interfacing. The instructions tell you to use steam and press for 5 – 10 seconds. Instead of using steam, I use a spray bottle of starch alternative or plain water.
After the pressing, check that the fabrics are fused properly. Fold the panel along the long and short lines and check that the edges stay in place.
Sew Along Grid LinesNow it’s time to sew the grid. Start with the short lines.
Next, clip on the dots between squares.
Assemble Outer ShellIn this step you will sew the 4 panels into two “L” shapes.
Next, the two “L” shapes are sewn together to form the outer shell.
This is what the panels look like after stitching.
Sew the Side SeamsNext the side seams are sewn.
After all 4 side seams are sewn, you will have a square bottom and 4 points at the top.
HandlesFuse a 2-1/2″ strip of fabric to each of the two handle interfacings. I chose to piece a handle using 13 squares for each.
Assemble Lining ShellUpdate July 18, 2019 – I found this new video from QuiltSmart. It shows how to prepare the lining and the pocket.
The lining shell is made by fusing the fleece to the lining fabric then assembling as you did for the fabric panels. Please note: these instructions do not include the pocket stitched into the lining. If you wish to include pockets or a key ring holder in your bag, follow the instructions provided by Quiltsmart.
Fuse the Lining Pieces
- Following the instructions in Step 5 of the Quiltsmart instructions, cut the following:
- 4 panel pieces from lining fabric
- 4 panel pieces from fusible fleece.
Assemble the Lining ShellFollowing the same process for the outer shell, assemble the 4 lining/fleece panels into the lining shell.
- Place a lining/fleece handle right sides together with a fabric/interfacing handle.
- Stitch a 1/4″ seam on each long side.
- Turn the handle so the right sides are out.
- Top stitch on each long side.
- Baste the handles to the outer fabric as shown below.
Stitch Outer Shell to Lining Shell
- Turn the lining shell so the fabric is inside and the fleece outside.
- Turn the outer fabric shell so the fabric is outside and the interfacing is inside.
- Place the outer fabric shell into the lining shell, keeping right sides together. This will make it easier to stitch the two shells together.
- Pin along all the top edges as shown.
Stitching the Inside CornerStart stitching just before an inside corner. Backstitch.
Stitching the Top PointWhen you reach the top point with the handle, stop with the needle down.
Trim Corners and Top PointsBefore turning the bag, the inner corners and top points are trimmed.
Trim each top point to 1/4″ as shown.
TopstitchTurn the bag so the right sides of the fabric and lining are facing out. Arrange the bag so the lining is on the outside and the outer fabric is on the inside. This will make it easier to position it in the sewing machine as you top stitch.
Close the Side OpeningThe opening you left for turning needs to be closed. For each side of the opening, turn under the raw edge 1/4″. Pin the sides together as shown.
If desired, add another line of topstitching about 1/4″ from the edge.
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