Monday, October 31, 2011

Dresden Winner!

Happy Halloween!

The winner of the Dresden Pincushion and a few other goodies is.....

Margaret of Solstitches!!!
Margaret said....

Love that pincushion and will HAVE to make one although would prefer to win the one you made in those gorgeous fabrics.
I would like to meet the designer behind the Sweetwater label.

Congratulations Margaret!  I will be sending you an email!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival...Fall 2011

Amy has been hard at work again organizing the fabulous Blogger's Quilt Festival!!!
My entry is the Stashbuster Quilt!
This is a pattern from Kathy Doughty and is found in Material Obsession 2.

There are so many things I love about this quilt.  The bright colors, combination of warm and cool colors, the dots, the piano key border, the stitching and the yo-yo's.

The pattern suggests the Kaleido-ruler from Marti Michell.  What a great ruler!  I have used it over and over, so definitely money well spent.  
Stashbuster is a crossed canoe block done in a piecey fun way!
Sew together strips, from your stash of course, and use the Kaleido-ruler to cut the large triangle.  Flip your ruler and use the other side to cut the small triangles!

Once the quilt was pieced and a piano key border added, I hand stitched the entire quilt with #8 perle cotton.  I stitched around the triangles and then added this strong red line of stitching from point to point.  The borders are stitched in a zig-zag pattern.

Finally, fun yo-yo's were added at the point where the 4 smaller triangles meet. 

And there you have it.....The Stashbuster!!!  Pattern by Kathy Doughty found in Material Obsession 2.

Pop over to Amy's Creative Side and have a look at all the wonderful quilt and add one of your own to the line-up!!!!



Thursday, October 27, 2011

BIG Dresden Pincushion Tutorial....and a wee giveaway!

Every once in a while I wish I were more competent with the would make things a tad bit preparing a tutorial. Ugh!
But here you go....I have prepared the BIG Dresden Tutorial for any of you who would like to make one for yourself...or for a friend.

First: Here are the templates you will need to complete the project.  Please set size to 100% to copy....not fit to page.  And be sure the copier also is set to 100%.
Click on the image to bring it up to copy.
The large circle is for the top and bottom of the measures about 6.25" across.  The medium size circle {within the larger one} is for cutting out a piece of stabilizer { I used Decor Bond} or cardboard to fit on the bottom measures 5" across.  This will help keep the bottom flat.
The smaller circle is for the center of the Dresden Flower.
And the wedge is the template for cutting out the blades if you do not have an 18 degree Dresden ruler.

Copy the templates at 135% on your printer 

To begin cut 20 wedges using the template or if you have a Dresden ruler you can cut a strip of fabric 2 inches in width to cut your Dresden blades from.


Set the bottom edge of the ruler at the bottom edge of the 2 inch wide strip.  The top of the strip should touch the 2 inch mark on the ruler.  Begin on the left side of the strip and make one cut on the right side of the ruler.  Now you can flip the ruler and use the last cut as the left side of the wedge....  

  Once you have 20 wedges, fold them in half length wise and finger press.  

Reduce the stitch length on your machine...I use 1.7 for tiny pieces like this.  You will sew a 1/4 inch seam allowance across the top {wider} edge of the this stage chain-piecing comes in handy. 

Cut wedges apart and turn inside out...push out the pointy top of the blade.  They look like little hoods!

Press the pointy wedges with your iron and stitch them together along the raw edge.  Don't worry about the bottoms aligning so evenly...the peaks and valleys are more important.  You will be putting a center circle over the raw center edges - later.

Press all the seams in the same direction.

   For the bottom and top circle {the larger circle}, I cut one from two different fabrics.  I cut a piece of Decor Bond from the medium size circle and fused it to the wrong side of the bottom.  If you don't have any stabilizer, you can just cut some poster board to slip in before you stuff the pincushion.

   To the top circle I attach my Dresden with applique pins.  Center the Dresden on the top large circle.  Be sure to keep at least 1/4 inch from the edge of the circle free from any Dresden Points!

  I like to hand applique my Dresdens, but if you prefer to use the machine you can simply top stitch close to the edge.
I use applique pins when I am hand appliqueing so I don't poke myself too much!

 For hand applique I use a long thin milliner needle { also called a straw needle }

Here's a little tip to keep your stitches from showing too much when doing applique.  When you are taking the needle back down into the background fabric....go down directly under where your needle came through the edge of the Dresden wedge.  That way your stitch should not show....if you stitch at an angle the stitch will show.  And I try to use a thread that matches what I am appliqueing....not the background fabric.

After you have finished the Dresden Plate applique, it is time to put the center circle on the Dresden.  There are a couple of methods you can use here.  You can trace your circle template onto the right side of the fabric, cut beyond the traced line, clip around the circle and needle-turn applique the center in place.  Or you can trace the circle onto the wrong side of the fabric {cut 2} and stitch them together on the line.  Trim around the line, close to the stitching and pull the two pieces apart slightly....snip a hole to turn the circle inside out.  Turn inside out and press.  Then applique this to the center of your Dresden.  The advantage to the second method is that you don't have to do needle-turn and your edge is already finished.  Plus it is easier to center the center circle without that extra fabric for turning in the way.

 center for needle-turn

center circles stitched together....cut a slit in one half and turn.

Then simply applique the center onto the Dresden can just top stitch if you would rather.

I placed a smaller piece of batting under my top circle {batting is the same size as the stabilizer circle}....I did this because I want to add some pick-stitches and french knots.  Then I added a yo-yo and a button!!!

  Are you still with me???
Now I am ready to put it all together.  Cut a piece of fabric 1 1/2 inches wide by 23 inches long for the band that wraps around the center of the pincushion.  If you want your pincushion to be deeper then simply cut a piece of fabric wider than 1 1/2 inches.

   Take the long strip and fold over one short end about one inch.

Pin the long strip to the bottom of the Dresden.  It should go completely around the bottom circle {right sides facing} and over lap by about an inch from the beginning fold.  You can trim off any excess.
Carefully stitch around the circle.

  Normally, I would stitch the top with the Dresden first, but I wasn't thinking and did the opposite.  So you may want to stitch the band to the top first and then to the bottom.

Now I am ready to stitch the top of the Dresden onto this band.  Again, with right sides facing pin the band and the top of the pincushion together.  Be sure to leave a 3 inch opening for turning during this step!  And use a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance so you don't catch any blade points in the stitching.

After the top and bottom have been stitched to the band, turn inside out and push out all around to give a nice circle shape.  Then stuff your pincushion with cotton stuffing or even with left over batting.

  Once it is stuffed -   sew the opening closed!!!

So there you have BIG Dresden Pincushion.  I love mine!  I hope you like yours too :)
If you really like the one I have just made...with this sweet American Jane fabric....add a comment and I will draw a lucky winner of this pincushion {plus I will throw in some fat quarters from the shoppe}.  This giveaway will end Sunday at HIGH NOON!!!!  And since this is the weekend for Quilt Market, in your comment tell us which fabric designer you would like to meet at Quilt Market!!!  
Oh!!!!  And last - BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST - be sure you are not a no-reply blogger!!!  I just can't find you if you are a no-reply blogger.  I need an email address so I can contact you...please :)

Happy Thursday everyone!  And if you haven't visited Summerfete yet must read her sweet tale of her 400th. post!  So fun!

***Note*** Sorry....didn't mean to mislead you...I am not going to Quilt Market :(  I am having too much fun saving my extra pennies for College Tuition {only 2 girls this year} and text books!!! heh, heh!  But someday....although I will only be an observer not a featured player...LOL! 

***The Giveaway is Closed....will be announcing the winner very soon....stay posted***

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday Wrap-up.....The Courthouse Steps Quilt....

If you recall, over the past couple of months I have had several super secret projects I have been working on.  One of which, is completed and received {just in time} for someone very special.

This project was inspired by a mini-quilt from Purlbee.

Pinned Image  
The design is courthouse steps....a log cabin variation.  I was already familiar with this arrangement.....this one I made several years ago and is in my family room....

    But the new quilt was destined for Lora and her new baby.  Lora was one of my very first students at Sew To Speak....
We love Lora...seriously....everyone at the shoppe LOVES Lora!!!  So Lora expecting her first baby was definitely something to celebrate :)

Because they were keeping the gender a mystery until the big day...I knew I had to do something gender neutral.  But we all spied on Lora as she selected fabric for her nursery so we knew her colors and even the fabric she was choosing....aren't we sneaky???

I knew yellow had to be a central color and then I simply added several off white fabrics....mainly because I wanted to incorporate this lovely Nani Iro {Colorful Pocho} print.

My center rectangle is 1 1/2" X 2 1/2" and the logs {or steps}  are 1 1/2 inches wide....

In the Purl mini-quilt, I really loved the very thin strip of dark.  I placed these strips randomly in each of my courthouse blocks....

I had to hand quilt this one....Lora knows how much I love hand quilting with perle cotton.  And as cheesy as it sounds, when I hand quilt it gives me time to ponder the quilt and the special person that will be receiving this quilt.  Almost as if every stitch is laid with love and blessings for the recipient.

I used dark grey perle cotton....stitching randomly around the steps on each block....

The quilt was bound with the same sweet red gingham as the center.....

And then an embroidered label for the new baby....


End of story??? No!  I am pleased to announce that Lora had a beautiful baby boy about one week ago!  Congratulations Lora and tons of love to baby Harrison :)

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fabulous Quilts!

I want to share with you the quilts from class last evening...
These are first time quilts for each....


 Mindy...for baby due early Spring

Fabulous quilts....they will be machine quilting and adding pick stitches over the next couple of weeks.

And here is a little bit of my progress on the Lark quilt.....

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Lovely Lark.....

I couldn't wait to find a way to use the new Amy Butler fabric, Lark.  It recently arrived in the shoppe and my brain was in over-drive trying to blend the right quilt design with this fabric. 

At first I thought a pickle-dish quilt would allow me to showcase the beautiful red and white Souvenir.....

Lark PWAB068-Ivory Fabric by Amy Butler

And I still think this would be beautiful, but then the other fabrics from the collection would be used in small blades {maybe not showing off their full potential}
 I noticed that the inspiration for the collection was Maxime de la Falaise....who???

So I did a little reading.....

Maxime de la Falaise

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Maxime de la Falaise
Maxime de la Falaise (25 June 1922 – 30 April 2009)[1] was a 1950s fashionista, model,[2], and underground movie actress.[3] She is also remembered as a cookery writer and "food maven"[4] and, at least occasionally, as a clothing designer[5] and as an interior designer who decorated the homes of friends.[6]   

So now I have a time frame....the 1950's.  When I think of art and design from the 1950's, I think of angular forms and lines.  I think of mom performed with a local group of singers, dancers....real troubadours {heh,heh} in the 1950's.  This was before my time, but I do remember playing with some of her costumes and one had a harlequin pattern....real cool daddy-o!!!

My thoughts about this quilt and fabric then turned from the arcs of a pickle-dish to more angular or triangular designs....

And I have decided on this for the Lark Quilt....

The quilt will consist of LARGE pieced diamond shapes....

Each diamond consists of 32 equilateral triangles.....

I think this works well with these fabrics....

What do you think?

Happy Monday!