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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Keeping It on the "Q.T." Quilting Tip # 3

It's past time for another "Q.T." tip so here is next "Keeping it on the Q.T."  tip.

Tip # 3 - Audition your fabric before you start sewing. 

If you audition your fabric before you take that first stitch, you will save your time and hopefully eliminate using your seam ripper.  Below is an example of how auditioning your fabric will help when making a quilt.

As you know I'm working on a quilt for Quiltmaker's Scrap Squad.  My quilt will be featured in mid March.  I blogged earlier about Tip # 1 selecting the fabrics I would use for the quilt. 

Once my fabrics were selected, I pressed each piece with Best Press.  Mary Ellen's Best Press is a clear starch alternative.  I purchase mine at the local quilt store.  I love it for removing wrinkles and adding crispness to my fabric.



My first cutting involved my scraps. I described the cutting process in  Tip # 2 "selecting the right tools".

 

Now to AUDITIONING before you sew.

 I had originally thought that my scrappy pyramids would have 4 of the small novelty print pyramids.  See below.
 
Once I saw how the 4 prints looked in the pyramid (auditioning), I decided to change it up a little.  Back in Tip # 1, one of the last things I did in fabric selection was to add a POP of color to the stack of fabric.  It was a bright yellow fabric.  So I decided to audition the yellow in the center of the pyramid. 

 
Now that's better!  I did end up using the back of the yellow fabric.  I felt the front of the fabric was a little too yellow.  I will do a post on looking at both sides of your fabric at a later date.

I still can't show you the finished quilt but here are the scrappy pyramids to be used in the quilt.

 
Thanks for stopping by.  For more info on Scrap Squad click on the link at the top of the blog.  Happy Quilting.  Keep checking for more Keeping it on the  "Q.T." tips.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Wishing You a Happy Valentine's Day



A few years ago I found a bag of vintage Valentine cards at the Peddler's Mall in Campbellsville, Kentucky.  When I got them home, I realized that they were all for Mrs. Howell.  Evidently all the students gave Mrs. Howell a Valentine.  Many were teacher Valentines but these two were generic.

I hope each of you has a wonderful day filled with chocolate, flowers, and LOVE!  Enjoy the day.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Keeping it on the "Q. T." Quilting Tip # 2

I've been out of the country for a week but now I'm back home and ready to continue my Q. T. Quilting Tips.  ( You can find Tip # 1 here).

 

Q. T. # 2 "Use the correct tools." 


Use the tools you have in your “toolbox” or your studio.   There are many tools designed just for quilters. 
 
As you know I’m working on a quilt for Quiltmaker’s Scrap Squad (click on link to see my bio).   I can’t share the completed quilt but I am able to tell you that it consists of 60 degree triangles.  Below are the tools I selected to cut my quilt pieces.
 
Paper templates for the triangles were supplied by the magazine.  However, I decided to check my supply of rulers.  I personally don't think there is such a thing as having "too many rulers".  The perfect ruler can make a quilter's life much easier.  I found three 60 degree triangle rulers in my studio.  I ended up using only two of the triangle rulers.  These rulers are sometimes called Pyramid Rulers.  I also used my rotary cutter, cutting mat, and 24" ruler.
 
These are the two specialty rulers I used for my project. 
 
These rulers are designed to be used with strips of fabric.  This quilt pattern called for 4 1/2" and 8 3/8" strips. 
 
The ruler above is the larger ruler used to cut the 8 3/8" triangles.

 
I used the ruler above to cut the 4 1/2" triangles.  These rulers also have makings for half triangles.  Above you can see how I cut the half triangles.
 
 
Above is a half triangle from the larger ruler.
 
 
I love the fact that of both these rulers remove that little "ear" at the top of triangle points. 
 
 
 The larger ruler had all three points removed but the smaller ruler just had the top point removed.  I had to reposition the ruler two additional times to remove those points.  It is worth the time it takes to do this.  Sewing the seams is much easier with the points removed plus I don't have to snip those corners later. 

 
Here are both sizes of triangles ready for stitching.
 
Now I'm ready to start sewing. 
 
Thanks for joining me on my Scrap Squad Journey.


 
 
 
 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

January Mini Sampler Swap



When I began blogging in 2007, I was involved in a number of on-line swap groups.  Much of my blogging centered around these swaps.  I have gradually cut back on swaps but when Linda at A Swap for Seasons announced that she was hosting a Mini Sampler Swap for 2015, I knew I just had to be involved.  We swap a mini sampler each month.  No themes - only rule is that is must be 4" x 6" and made of fabric.  Just my kind of swap.

I made the sampler above for Wendy in Missouri.  I used a vintage hankie as my inspiration piece.  The sampler's base is a reproduction 30's print.  I used the corner of the hankie that had both hand embroidery and a hand crochet insert.  Someone spent lots of time making this.  And then it ended up at Goodwill.  Lucky me!
I inserted a small piece of darker fabric behind the embroidery so it would be more visible.  Then I machine quilted around the square.

For embellishments I used a Recollections flower, vintage yellow button, lace, and vintage rick rack. I didn't take a photo of the back but I added a "mini hanging sleeve".  I'm a quilter and every quilt needs a hanging sleeve!

Linda sent me a sampler in January.  I will post about it later.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Keeping it on the "Q.T." Quilting Tip # 1

Recently I was selected as a member of Quiltmaker's Scrap Squad.  Monday, we received our first quilt assignment.   I decided to Google the word SCRAPPY -

 Scrappy -  consisting of disorganized, untidy, or incomplete parts:


No one wants a quilt that is disorganized, untidy or incomplete.  So how do you use scraps in a quilt and keep it organized, tidy, and complete.  Well here is Q. T. # 1.

"Choose an inspiration fabric and let it be  your guide."

I began by looking through my stash of fabric.  The fabric below had been in my stash for a few years waiting for the perfect quilt.  I decided to use it as my inspiration fabric.

It is a hand dyed fabric.  Not sure how I will use it in the quilt but it will serve as my guide for selecting scraps of fabric.  After looking at the inspiration fabric, I remembered that I had recently purchased a small amount of various colors of hand dyed ombre fabrics.  I placed then on the inspiration. 
I eliminated the gray and red fabrics. The gray was completely wrong and the red was a little too red.  (not pinkish enough)
I decide to go with these six colors.  Again I'm not sure how I will use them but I added them to my stack.
 
Now comes the fun part, gathering together my scraps.  Since this is the Scrap Squad the scraps will be the focal part of the quilt.
I began by going through my scraps and selecting fabrics that were similar in color to the six colors above.
 
 
I auditioned each fabric and some were eliminated as was the yellow fabric shown below.  It has similar colors but was too yellow.
 
I have a maybe "pile" of scraps. You can see them at the top of the photo below.  I can always go back and add then to the mix if I choose.
 
If you are having trouble deciding whether or not to use a certain fabric, sometimes it helps to take a photo and look at the photo.  It can give you another point of view.  Here I used my IPad and took a photo. I eliminated a few fabrics after viewing the photo.
 
Below is my final selection of scraps.  You will notice that I eliminated the orange ombre and one of the blues.  I also eliminated the orange scraps and combined all the blues into one stack.  Now I have my inspiration fabric, 4 ombre hand dyes, and my scraps in four piles.
 
All of these selections were based on my one inspiration fabric.   I have found this to be a simple and effective means of selecting a variety of scraps for my quilts. 
 
 
My final stack of scraps
And I didn't add in any of my "maybe" fabric this time but often I do go back and revisit those fabrics.  This time I had enough variety without them. 
 
Hope you enjoyed my Keeping it on the "Q.T." Quilting Tip # 1.
 

"Let an inspiration fabric be your guide."

Oh yes! Leave your fabric out on your table for a few hours or days.  Walk by and see if you are concerned about any of the fabrics or if something is missing.  After doing this, I decided I needed a POP of COLOR.  Referring back to my inspiration fabric, I decided to add yellow as my POP.
 
 
Remember, I still don't know how I will use these fabrics but my quilt design is beginning to come into focus.  I'm pleased with the fabrics I selected and know that they "fit together".  Now the quilt  design will begin to take shape.   I won't be able to share the quilt pattern until my quilt is revealed in March but I will share more later as I make design decisions.
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Quiltmaker Scrap Squad 2015

QM scrap squadB3 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Silver Lining
I've been selected as a member of Quiltmaker Magazine's 2015 Scrap Squad.  I'm so excited.  I received my first assignment today and I'm already planning the quilt.  I plan to do a "Keeping It on the Q.T." (Quilting Tips) here on my blog.  I'll probably do a couple of "Q.T." tips each month.  I'm busy planning my first post for late this week. 

We were to submit a few pictures for use on the Quiltmaker blog.  I'm not sure which photo they will select but I've chosen this one for my post here.
 
Check back often as I blog about my experiences as a member of the Scrap Squad.

Western Themed Towels



Christmas 2014 was a Hand Made by Pam Christmas at our house.  Everyone received something handmade.  I shared the mug rugs for nieces and nephews earlier.  Today I am sharing a set of Western themed Christmas towels I made for my sister.  She recently decided to decorate her home with a Western Theme.  This embroidery by Anita Goodesign was a perfect fit. 

The towels were purchased from Bed, Bath and Beyond and embroidered on my Janome 15000.  I love that machine with it's large hoops.  Below you will see each individual design. 

Bath Towel
Hand Towel
Wash Cloth
 
If you are a machine embroidery person, you know that sometimes it is difficult to embroidery with metallic threads.  I have found that the Janome 15000 does a wonderful job using metallic threads. 
 
This was a fun project and my sister loved her towel set.  She wants another set!!!!