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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Comforting Quilts

I have been busy lately with piecing and, of course, quilting! Here are some photos of my recent projects.

My customer Connie contacted me about quilting this quilt for her. She does volunteer work and, as part of a Volunteer Thank You Event, there was going to be a drawing for this quilt. This quilt was impeccably pieced and it was a joy to quilt. Since I didn’t know if the quilt was going to a male or female and I got a more “modern” feel for the piecing, I kept the quilting simple with wavy lines. Click on the photo for a larger view.

I love the texture of this quilt and the wavy lines remind me of  mountains and maybe ripples on water. I used Soft & Bright batting and Signature 100% cotton thread.

The Comfort of Psalms Quilt

My sister asked if I could make this quilt for her and of course, I said I would make it for her. She had purchased the pattern and fabric as a kit a while ago and was going to give it to a pastor at her church who was leaving.  The piecing pattern is from Block Party Quilt Studio  and it’s called The Comfort of Psalms pattern. (For information about this pattern Click Here)

This photo is the whole quilt hanging up on the clothesline. Click on any photo for a larger view.

Here is a close up of the quilting and the printed text panels.

And here is the back of the quilt. The light is coming through from the front of the quilt so you can see where the piecing is!

I am putting this quilt in the mail to my sister today. I can’t wait for her to see it in person!

Shadow Quilts

I have been intrigued with Shadow Quilts for a while – I really like the almost 3-D look you can get with simple piecing. I have had some scraps that were cut for a simple quilt a LOOOONG time ago and after looking online and doing some thinking, I asked myself – why couldn’t I use the scraps to make a Shadow Quilt? And I did! It was so easy and it looks so good!

Is this one quilted yet? Noooo! But it will be – someday! Actually, I am thinking of donating it to Project Linus Quilts when it is quilted.

These quilts are addictive! I was looking through my fabric stash and found a cute dinosaur print and decided to make another Shadow Quilt! Because I didn’t put a border around the blocks, and the blocks are a single piece of fabric, this quilt was even easier and faster to make then the other quilt!

This quilt is finished and quilted with the wavy lines (like in the first quilt). This quilt has been given to a 2 year old little boy who LOVES it!

I have some “girly” fabric in my stash and I think I may make another Shadow Quilt and donate that one too!

 

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Tuesday is Valentine’s Day and I will be at an all day meeting and I decided (yesterday) that I was going to make something for everyone at the meeting. Fortunately it isn’t a big meeting! I wanted something quick, relatively easy, of course quilted and usable. So I decided that I was going to make Mug Rugs or Coasters!

b-val-01aI took photos of the process to show you how I did it and I hope that you can use these instructions to make some Mug Rugs for yourself or for others. They make GREAT gifts and in an afternoon you can make a bunch of them and save them for future events and gifts.

The photo at the left shows both the circle and square Mug Rugs that I made.

Note: This is a photo intense post. The photos are shown in a small format. Please click on any photo for a larger view.

I started out with a half yard of backing fabric and a half yard of washed, white muslin and put them on the quilting machine with a thin-ish batting. The batting was a left over piece of (I think) Quilters Dream Poly.  I put the selvage edges of the fabrics to the leaders.


Square Mug Rugs

I b-val-01drew horizontal and vertical lines to make 4-1/2 inch squares along the top of my fabric. I used a Crayola Washable Marker  (CWM -my favorite marking tool) but later on realized I could have used a permanent marker. These markings are the cutting lines and will be cut apart or under the binding when the Mug Rug is finished. Note: My first square is only 4 inches wide. That’s all right, it will work out.


b-val-02Now take a marker (CWM) and draw lines 1/2 inch from the first drawn lines. These lines indicate where I want the edges of my feathers to be. If I take my feathers out to the “edges” of the square, they will be covered by the binding – which I don’t want.  After these lines are drawn, stitch a wavy line close to the first drawn lines. These wavy  lines of stitching will hold the layers togehter when the Mug Rugs are cut apart and you put the binding on. Notice that I stitched one line across the top of the blocks. Then I stitched another line starting at the top left, going down the left side, across the bottom , up along the drawn cutting line and then down again. This line of stitching starts at the left edge and goes all the way to the right edge!


b-val-03Divide these spaces in half both horizontally and vertically and mark the lines. If desired, use another color of marker. On the intersections of these lines, draw the heart shape as shown.

To make the heart shape, Click on the highlighted text for a pdf file of the mug-rug-shapes need for this project. Print out this page, trace the shapes onto piecing template plastic and cut out. Position the shape where indicate and draw around.


b-val-04Now you are ready for quilting the feathered heart!

Start at the bottom point of the heart and stitch along one side of the drawn heart shape and make a swirl at the top of the heart.  Come back to the bottom of the heart along the previous line of stitching. Don’t worry if you are not exactly on the first line of stitching. This is called a double spine line and, I feel, this is gives more “character” to your quilting. Do the same thing for the other half of the heart. See photo at the left.

 


b-val-05At the top of the heart and along the center line, stitch a loop up to the drawn line. From here, begin making feathers along one side of the heart down towards the bottom point of the heart. Keep the tops of your feathers even with the drawn lines of the square. Follow along the fist line of stitching and get back to the top of the heart.  See the photo at the left.  Your feathers don’t have to be “perfect.” Just do the best you can!

 

 


b-val-07Now begin making feathers on the other side of the heart until the outer area is filled with feathers! When you are at the bottom of the heart, make another “double swirl” heart in the bottom of the inside of the heart shape.

See the photo at the left of the completed feathered heart!

I want my quilting to show and I used a red variegated  cotton thread for the quilting.


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For those who are a little bold and daring, draw the center lines in the block on the diagonal and position the heart shape on the diagonal. Then quilt the feathered heart on the diagonal! This is the same design but it looks different!


Circle Mug Rugs

val-13Refer to the pdf file (above) and cut out the 4-1/2 and 3-1/2 diameter circles from piecing template plastic. Note: If you have circle templates you may be able to find the sizes needed.

 

 

Draw the 4-1/2 diameter circles, then center the 3-1/2 circles inside. Draw the center lines, position the heart shape and draw around it.

b-val-15aSquiggle stitch close to the outer line. This will keep the layers together when you finish the edges.

Quilt the feathered heart in the same way you quilted the square one, keeping the tops of the feathers even with the 3-1/2 inch diameter drawn line.

 


Make as many of the square and /or circle Mug Rugs on your fabric as you want. Because I used the Crayola Washable Markers, I had to wash my finished “quilt” in warm water with detergent – to remove the marker –  before cutting the Mug Rugs apart and finishing them.

b-val-01aI finished the edges of the circle Mug Rugs with a Satin Stitch and then trimmed the excess fabric close to the Satin Stitching. If you have some, you might want to put some water soluble or tear away embroidery stabilizer under the circle Mug Rug before Satin Stitching. This sometimes helps keep the curved (bias) edges from stretching. I also ran a line of Fray Check along the edge of the Satin Stitching. This will keep the fabrics from fraying and will keep the Satin Stitching from coming apart.

On one circle Mug Rug I experimented with putting a turned “facing” on the back. If you want to do this, that is fine. I felt it was a little too “fiddly” for me.

I put “regular” quilt binding on the square Mug Rugs and stitched everything in place with my home sewing machine.


val-23  b-val-24When I got finished quilting my square and circle Mug Rugs, I realized that I had a bunch of un-quilted fabric, especially around the circle shapes. So I did some quilting in this area with a Ribbon Stipple.

In the un-quilted area at the bottom of my fabrics, I did  Spiral Squares. I’m not quite sure what I am going to do with this new quilted fabric, but I’m sure I will think of something! More Mug Rugs maybe???

I hope you have fun making some of these Mug Rugs for Valentine’s Day, or any holiday or special occasion.

If you make any Mug Rugs, please send some photos and I’ll post them here.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

 

 

 

 

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Earlier today I posted to this blog, step by step photo instructions on how to make an easy zippered pouch. Somehow, when I was trying to upload the WordPress app to my new smart phone, I  DELETED that post!! Don’t ask me how I did that, I have absolutely NO idea how that happened.

Fortunately, I was able to selvage the original post and here it is again. I apologize for this and this is where I can say I both Love and Hate technology!!!


Easy Zippered Pouch

A belated Happy New Year to Everyone! I hope that 2017 is wonderful for you and your family!

I have been SO busy the last few months that I have not had a chance to post to any blog. Now that things have slowed down slightly, I can finally “get to posting!”

For Christmas, I made the Grandkids these simple, easy zippered pouches. A few years ago I began giving the Grandkids McDonald’s gift certificates as a Christmas gift. The kids love them – I’m not too sure about the parents loving them, but I am the Grandma and Grandma’s do things like this! Sometimes just to annoy their children. This is payback time! – and I like to put the gift certificates in things that I have made for them. (See my post about last year when I made all 10 Grandkids knitted socks. To see that post Click Here)

When I made the zippered pouches, I took photos of the process and I am going to show you, step by step, how I made them. Believe it or not, these zippered pouches were NOT quilted! If you wanted to quilt the fabric you can, but the zipper is bound and applied a different way. I have a unique way of doing this and I may post those instructions later on.

Below are the instructions for the Easy Zippered Pouches. Note: The instructions are photo intensive and I have the photos at a small size so more can fit on the screen. Click on any photo for a larger view.

Easy Zippered Pouch

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Supplies – Outside the pouch fabric, pouch lining – a fat quarter of each will make several pouches. I love to look through my stash and use larger scrap fabrics. Zipper several inches LONGER than the finished pouch, standard sewing supplies.

Finished size – you determine the size of the finished pouch. The pouch in the photos above finish about 6 inches square.


b-zip-01Cut your fabric twice as long as it is wide plus seam allowance. If you want a pouch about 6 inches square, cut your fabrics (the outer pouch fabric and the lining fabric) 6 x 12 inches, plus 1/2 inch seam allowance on all four sides. Your final fabric measurement should be about 7 x 13 inches

This is not a hard and firm number and it can be adjusted. If you wanted a bigger pouch, say 7 inches square-ish, your fabrics should be about 8 x 15 inches.

 


b-zip-02Place your zipper face up. Center and place the narrow edge of your outer pouch fabric face DOWN on top of the zipper. Make sure both ends of the zipper EXTEND well past the cut edges of the fabric. Pin in place.

 


b-zip-03Turn the zipper/pouch fabric over. Place, then pin the lining fabric, face DOWN on top of the zipper, aligned with the pouch fabric. Move the pins from the pouch fabric side to the lining side and pin all three layers together. The fabrics at this point are right sides together.


b-zip-04Using a zipper foot, stitch close to the teeth of the zipper. If desired, stitch another line close to the first line. I apologize, I used white thread for the stitching. You can barely see it in the photo!

 


b-zip-05Turn the fabrics to the right side to expose the zipper. If desired, press fabrics in place.

 

 


b-zip-06Take the bottom edge of the pouch fabric and bring it to the (top) edge of the zipper tape. When you do this, the fabric will be right sides together. Line up the edges of the fabric and pin in place along the zipper tape.

 


b-zip-07Turn this over and bring the bottom edge of the lining fabric to the (top) edge of the zipper tape. Move the pins to this side and pin the three layers in place. As you can see in the photo, the bottoms of the pouch are “hanging free” and are NOT stitched together. At this time, all the stitching is being done at the top, zipper edge of the pouch.

 


b-zip-08Using a zipper foot, stitch close to the zipper teeth. If desired, stitch another line of stitching close to the first line. Notice the gentle fold in the fabrics at the bottom.

 

 


b-zip-09Turn the fabrics right side out so that the zipper teeth are exposed. Position the zipper so there is about 1/2 – 3/4 inch of fabric ABOVE the zipper. If desired, press this fold in place. Don’t press the bottom yet.

 


b-zip-10If you open the zipper, you will see how nice the inside and the outside of the pouch looks. The edges of the zipper tape is encased in the fabric.

 

 


b-zip-11If desired, make one or two lines of top stitching along the zipper edges. Click on the photo to enlarge it to see the stitching lines. I used pink thread on the sample and you can barely see the stitching!

 


b-zip-12Cut a piece of the pouch fabric about 1-1/2 inches x 6 inches. Again, this is not a hard and fast measurement. Instead of fabric you could use ribbon or something similar. If using fabric, press in half lengthwise, WRONG sides together. Then press the cut edges to the inside about 1/4 inch or so. Fold and press again so all the raw edges are to the inside. Stitch close to the folded edges. This piece should finish about 1/2 x 6 inches or so.


b-zip-13Pin this tab in position at either the right or left edge of the pouch and pin in place. Pin only through the top two layers of fabric. See way below for the right edge placement of the tab.

 

 


b-zip-14Open the zipper about half way and turn the pouch inside out. The lining fabric will now be on the outside. Match the raw edges of the pouch and pin in place. Notice how the zipper edges at the left are positioned. Make sure the zipper is at least half way open!!!

 


b-zip-15Stitch the raw edges of the pouch together with a 1/2 inch seam. If desired, stitch a line of zig zag or 3 step zig zag in the seam allowance close to the first line of stitching. You can trim the edges of the zipper at this time, but I like to wait until a little bit later.

 


b-zip-16Let’s deal with the bottom of the pouch! I like to press the fold in the bottom of the pouch. Then I take this fold line and line it up with the side seams we just stitched. The pins in the photo show where the fold line and the seam lines come together. Yes, the pouch will be a little “poofy” because of this.

 


b-zip-17Measure in from the point about 3/4 of an inch and draw a line across the “point” of the bottom.

I used the blue, Mark B Gone, water soluble marker to make this line. Do the same thing on the other side.

 

 

 


b-zip-18On both points, stitch along this line. If desired, stitch a line of zig zag or 3 step zig zag in the point. You can trim the points away, but on something this small, I just leave it as is.

 


b-zip-19Here is another view of the pouch. The zipper has been trimmed and the points at the bottom have been stitched.

 

 

 


b-zip-20Turn the pouch inside out and – taa daa – you have a completed zippered pouch! Give it a light press and your pouch is done!

 

 


b-zip-21What if … You wanted the tab on the other side? No problem! Go through all the steps above until you get to the part where you are pinning the tab in place. Pin the tab to the RIGHT edge of the pouch and stitch it in place. Continue stitching your pouch following the instructions above and turn the completed pouch right side out.

 


b-zip-23Here is a photo of both of these pouches, one tab is on the right and the other tab is on the left.

 

 


I know that this looks like a lot of steps, but once you get started it takes about 10 minutes (maybe less) to make a pouch like this. It is also fairly easy to “assembly line” the construction if you are making several at one time.

If you make any of these pouches, please send photos. I love seeing what others can do with this basic design.

 

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Quilted Turkey

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

(click on the photo above for a larger view. You have got to see the details!)

I want to wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving! Whether you are spending this day cooking in the kitchen or visiting with family and friends, let us all give thanks for what is truly important in our lives including family, friends and faith.

To thank you for your support of Longarm University this past year, I have put a FREE Online Class on the Longarm Classroom website. This class will show you how to make the cutest pillow top from a child’s hand and foot print. reinweb1(Click on the photo at left for a larger view.) It also makes a great gift for any child or grandchild! Also included in this FREE Online Class are instructions on how to machine applique using your quilting machine.

For complete details on this FREE Online Class, including photos, Click Here

For a list of other FREE Online Classes Click Here

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and travel safe!

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Mt Rainier Holiday

Yesterday, my daughter Katie, her two children and I went for a ride to Sunrise at Mt Rainier, WA. It was a free National Parks weekend and we made a day of it!

Mt. Rainier was FABULOUS and breathtaking! We were at 6,700 feet above sea level and the breathing got a little labored with exertion, but I survived! While there, I took some photos (of course) –

Click on any photo for a larger view

B-MR-1     B-MR-2     B-MR-3

We also took a “little” hike – about a mile out and a mile back – but the trail was somewhat un-even and there many rocks and branches on the trail and there was a fair amount of up and down (at 6,700 feet above sea level!). I had to be careful where I put my feet. I didn’t want to fall.

The first photo below shows my 10 year old Grandson Nathan. Make sure to notice his backpack.

Along the trail we took a rest and had a snack. If you were in the sun it was almost HOT but when the wind was blowing it was cold. In the second photo, Nathan and I are resting. I wore my sun visor and my scalp got sun burned!

B-MR-5    B-MR-4

After out little rest break, Nathan didn’t want to carry the back pack anymore so his Mom carried it for him, along with his 30 + pound sleeping sister! Katie is a “pack horse Mama!!” Notice how the back pack is being carried. I did offer to carry the backpack.

B-MR-6

Because the park was so crowded, we had to park about a half mile from the Visitor Center along the side of the road on a very narrow turn out. It’s a good thing Katie not only know how to be a pack horse Mama, but she knows how to park a car almost anyplace!

This is a day that we all will remember for a LONG time!

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My sister is going to be a Grandma!!! I am SO excited for her! The baby, a boy, is due in a few months and the whole family is excited.

My sister is also a quilter and in her travels, before there was even a hint of a baby, she found these absolutely darling panel prints. She purchased them and saved them for when she would be a Grandma, or if that didn’t happen, she would donate them to a kids charity. I don’t know where she purchased the panel prints, but these were some of the nicest panel prints I have seen or worked on!

The first panel print is titled “In the Beginning” for obvious reasons. Here is the full view of the finished quilt.

Click on any photo for a larger view.

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Here is a close up of the top of the quilt.

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And a close up of the bottom of the quilt.

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This is quilted with Signature, 100% cotton thread and many thread color changes were done to match the thread to the fabric.

Now for the fun quilting!!! My nephew, the baby’s father, is a heavy equipment operator. When my sister saw this panel print, she could not help herself! Here is the full view of the panel. It isn’t very large, only about 42 x 34 inches.

B-Trucks-1

On a panel like this, I like to quilt “texture” into what is already printed on the fabric.

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Here is a close up of some of the trucks.

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And another close up of another truck. Please click on the photo for a larger view and you can see the stitching on the trucks.

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Again, I changed my threads many times and I also used Soft & Bright batting.

I have one more panel to show you – Another heavy equipment themed panel. (My sister finds the GREATEST fabrics!) Here is the full view of the “Gravel Pit” and I went crazy with the texture! Yes, I did quilt pebbles in the gray “asphalt” on the panel! This quilt is also 42 x 34 inches.

A-Pit-A1

Because I knew that I was going to be changing my thread a LOT, I decided to baste the quilt first. I like using a bright (usually neon) color, high sheen poly thread for the basting with a large stitch. After the basting, I put a color of thread in the machine ( I started with a variegated gray) and quilted the “asphalt”  and anything else using that thread color, moving the quilt back and forth as needed to get to the area to be quilted. Then I changed to another color of thread and quilted ALL the areas that need quilting with that color. Before I quilted any area, I removed the basting from that section.

This photo shows the basting on the un-quilted quilt top. The quilt is on my machine with the bright overhead lights.

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In this photo, this area has been quilted and it is hanging outside on a cloudy day. Click on any photo for a larger view.

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Another photo of a basted area.

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And here is that area quilted.

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One more basted area –

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And the same area quilted.

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One more photo of another section of the Gravel Pit.

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I have sent my sister photos of these quilts but I can’t wait for her to see them in person! These quilts are getting mailed back to the Midwest in the morning!

I can’t wait to hear about the reaction of both my nephew and his wife when they see these quilts. And of course, after the baby is born, I’ll get photos of the baby laying on the quilts!

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Last month, my second oldest Grand Daughter, Mackenzie, graduated from high school! Woo hoo!!! She lives in North Carolina and unfortunately, I live near Seattle and no, I was not able to attend her graduation in person. Boo hoo!!

But… technology to the rescue! Her graduation ceremony was streamed LIVE and I was able to watch the whole thing in real time, sitting in front of my computer. To make things even better, my sister and my Mom and Dad, who all live in Illinois, were watching the same thing on their computer. We were doing group texts and conference calls during the ceremony and after. Even though we were all (literally) thousands of miles  apart, it was like we were all in the same room!

I even took a photo of my computer screen (on my cell phone) of Mackenzie getting her diploma.

Click on any photo for a larger view.

Mack-4A

Ain’t technology great!

And of course, Grandma Cindy made a quilt for Mackenzie for her graduation. She will be going to the University of Nebraska next month and she will be studying music.

I found some perfect fabric in the Keepsake Quilting Catalog, ordered it and began making her quilt. Since she is studying music I found a “music fabric” collection and also a collection of red batiks for the University of Nebraska.

To see the Fabric Collections at Keepsake Quilting Click Here

The piecing pattern I made was a Free Pattern that I found online called Garden Path. To view the instructions Click Here

Mack-1A

Mackenzie’s Garden Path quilt is completely done. It’s all quilted and I just finished putting the binding on it. If you click on the photo you should be able to see the fabrics with the music theme.

I quilted it with silver high sheen polyester thread using a free hand Swirls & Hooks pattern.

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Here is a close up of the piecing and quilting.

I used a black print fabric for the back. It is a very dark black, but in the photo it looks more gray.

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You can see the quilting better from the back of the quilt.

I wish Mackenzie lots of luck and fun times at college. Enjoy your quilt Mack-a-doodle! Grandma Cindy loves you!!!

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