Showing posts from 2019

Starlight Plaid is a pattern!

I'm pleased to present the quilted and bound cover quilt for my newest pattern, Starlight Plaid.

I had planned to quilt this one myself, but there just are not enough hours in the day. The pattern was written, the tester feedback was in, the edits were made, and still the cover quilt was not quilted.  Something had to give so I sent this one out to Liz Meimann to quilt.  It was the right thing to do.  The longer the top sat unquilted in my sewing room, the more the frustration of not having found time to quilt it ate at me.  With that baggage, I started falling out of love with the quilt.  I handed it to Liz and in a day or two (I swear that woman does not sleep!) I had a beautifully textured quilt to bind.  By the time I finished binding it with a pop of solid red, I had fallen back in love again...and promptly lost the quilt to my daughter, but that's another story.

The greys and reds remind me of cozy plaid flannel, so I had to put some flannel on the back to make it as coz…

Frosty placemats

Here's one of the projects that kept me away from the computer over the last month. These fabrics had been calling my name for a long time but I was a good girl and didn't bring them home until I had a plan for them.  When a customer at the LQS where I work gathered these up and paired them with my Geese Across the Table placemat pattern, I took one look at her stack and knew I had finally found my plan!

It is hard to tell from the picture, but the grey is actually silver metallic, and all the fabrics have silver metallic accents.  You can see the sparkle better in the closeup below.

Sparkling fabric is not usually my thing, but these spoke to me.  Maybe it's because the sparkle is paired with blues.  You know I love blues!

I stitched in the ditch on both the place mats and runner, because really, the gorgeous fabric is doing all the work here!  The binding is machine stitched.  There's a lot of binding in 6 place mats and a runner, and I just did not have the time or …

December means ornaments

How did a whole month streak past? I could have sworn I posted just a week or two ago, but it has been a whole month.  My lack of posting certainly wasn't for lack of stuff to share.  I've been happily humming along with my sewing machine in the sewing room.  Come to think about it, that pretty much explains the lack of posts.  I can't sew and type at the same time!

I'll share a bit about those 4 finishes and one top over the next couple of weeks, but tonight, while I listen to Christmas music, I'm in the mood to share Christmas ornaments.

Last weekend I enjoyed an afternoon trimming the Christmas tree with my family, and was overwhelmed at the number of ornaments we have.  I remember the first Christmas my husband and I were married, we had a little 2 foot tree and not much to put on it. Money was tight. We bought one box of cheap plastic bulb ornaments, made a popcorn garland, and I made 4 little cinnamon stick baskets.

I didn't sew at the time, but I did kno…

Triple Sunset photo shoot

Fall colour didn't last long around here this year.  Leaves seemed to drop almost as soon as they changed colour.  I was glad to get Triple Sunset quilted and bound in time to have a photo shoot with the last of the leaves!

The wind gave us a little bit of trouble, as you can see.  It seemed to pick up every time we unfolded the quilt, without fail, but we still managed to get a few good pictures.

I love this one on the bridge, though it does look a bit like I forgot to quilt whole swaths of the quilt.  That's a bit unfortunate, considering all the hand wringing that went on in the sewing room about how I should quilt it.  I pushed through it and my favourite picture doesn't even show it!

This one is a bit better.  You see those vertical quilted lines up at the top?  There are some of those filling in all the white spaces that are not quilted with diagonal lines.  My original plan was to quilt half the quilt background in one diagonal direction, and the other half in the o…

Welcome IAQ members!

I'm a guest designer for the International Association of Quilters! If you are not familiar with the IAQ, it's an online subscription membership quilting group.  The group hosts online quilt alongs, forums, monthly guest designers and an archive of past IAQ patterns.  It's rather like an online guild. You can hop over to its website for more information.

As November's guest designer, I am pleased to welcome members of the IAQ today.  If you are here from the IAQ, welcome.  I hope you will stay and explore a little bit, get to know my quilts, and perhaps check out a few tutorials.  Also, remember to download your Night Sky Mystery block for November.

Since the mystery quilt theme is the night sky, I felt I really should design a star block.  That's right up my alley. Perhaps being married to an astronomer has influenced me, but I love star blocks.  If you browse this blog or check out my Etsy pattern shop, you'll find just a few star themed quilts.

The block you…

Reindeer block

Tomorrow evening I am teaching a class on making a quilt-as-you-go, fully lined Christmas stocking. Since my two mostly-grown children have finally come around to the idea of having new stockings (the old ones are getting fragile) I thought I could start theirs as the step outs for the class, and finish them after.  One of the options for the class is to build around a block or fussy cut piece of fabric so I needed a block.  I checked with the kids to find out what they would each like on their stocking.

I should know better.  Wording matters.  I asked "would you like a snowflake or a star or something else?"  That is what is called, in education speak, an open ended question. If I had asked "Is a star block OK?" I would probably be making a star block.  I didn't ask that.  I left the field wide open and that's how I ended up spending all afternoon making this instead.

This is a 6" block which means those antlers are teeny tiny.  Here is the block agai…

Machine Binding Tutorial

Binding my quilts by machine used to intimidate me, and I was not satisfied with the results.  I was more consistent about missing the binding on the blind side than I was about stitching it down, and I figured it was just easier and tidier for me to sew the back of the binding down by hand.  However, though my speed has improved, I'm still a slow hand sewer. When projects with deadlines started piling up, I decided I needed to start practicing machine binding.

After watching and reading multiple tutorials and tips and tricks posts over the last year, keeping some tips and discarding others, I finally have a process that works for me.  I'll share it here and encourage you to do what I did: use the bits that work for you and leave the rest

I like to use 2 1/4" binding strips folded in half, sewn to the front of the quilt with a 1/4" seam allowance, just like I do when I hand sew the binding.  This gives me a finished binding that looks more like hand sewn binding on …