Monday, May 30, 2011


Last year on our way home from my quilt guild's retreat at Princeton, IL, we stopped at several quilt shops.  I picked up several quilt kits.  I actually did get them sewn, and only one is left to be quilted.  The one that I most recently finished was a quilt pattern by Clothworks.

I was really drawn to the bright colours.  It was a fun quilt to make, and I had some great scraps left over!  But the most fun was when I went to quilt it!

When you read the books that teach free motion quilting, they often suggest that you quilt a patterned piece of fabric, following the designs to loosen yourself up.  Well, the floral fabric in this kit was just begging to be quilted like that!
I was trying to do some free style butterflies around the center, but I ended up just doing freestyle feathers.  My friend Bev suggested I use a bright variagated thread in both top and bobbin, as I was using a white muslin on the backside.

I was really amazed at how well this looked on the back!  I'm still at a point that I am wishing to hide my back stitching, for fear that all the mistakes will just pop out!  But it really turned out nicely.

I liked the look so well that I decided to make a small wallhanging using the same technique.  I have been following Nancy Prince's classroom on Thread Painting on "The Quilt Show".  This is just a bit of a warm up!

And what am doing with the Sunflower quilt?  I gifted it to my friend and co-worker Bonnie.  She had been whining that she didn't know what she could do to get a quilt from me.  Turned out, a little whine, and be my friend, was all she needed to do!  Bonnie, I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Kindle Cover

Our quilt guild, Illini Country Stitchers, holds a quilt show every other year.  This is the year for a show, and yours truly is the show chairperson.  I have been immersing myself for the past 18 months with quilt show adminstration, and trying to get everything in order.  It is kind of like planning a wedding; a lot of things need to happen a long time before the event.  Then there is a lull, then things start getting exciting.  We are starting to get to the start of the busy time.  One of the things that needs to be done is to get handmade items made for our boutique.

One of the things that I am thinking would sell well would be e-reader covers.  I have developed a pattern for a sleeve, which is easy to make.  But I wanted to make one that looked more like a book cover.  I found a pattern on Etsy  The pattern was easy to understand, and easy to make up.  I have asked for permission to sell at our boutique, and I hope they respond positively!
Hubby likes the grey one best.  It has a maroon interior, which is pictured below.  I still need to get a button for each of them.  I'm thinking of using Velcro if I make more.

I like the one on the left.  The batik looks like beach landscape!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Disappearing nine patch...with a twist!

My state guild, Land of Lincoln Quilting Association, conducts block swaps, like many other guilds.  The newest block swap is based on a disappearing nine patch.

Our instructions are to start with 9 different batiks, cut into 8" squares.  From 9 fat quarters, I was able to get enough for 4 blocks.  With the left over fabric, I cut out 5" squares, enough for 3 blocks.

Sew them into a nine patch.  Colour arrangement is personal preference.

Then cut the nine patch in half vertically, then horizontally.
Here's where the twist comes.  Take one of the newly formed blocks, and lay it over another block, right sides facing.  The key is to have your small squares in opposite corners.  Repeat for the remaining two blocks.
Pin the blocks together to avoid slippage, then sew around the block on all four sides.  Repeat for the last two blocks.
Then cut your sewn block diagonally (from corner to corner) twice to create four new blocks.  Repeat for the second block.  Then press open!
Voila!  You get a very complicated looking block with very little work.  And certainly endless combinations to work with placement.  And the colours will change dependent upon how you arrange your initial 9 squares!  Each original 9 patch generates 8 blocks that measure around 8 1/2" unfinished.
Isn't this fun!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Jelly Roll Races

The words "Jelly Roll" conjure up different images for different people.  But for a quilter, a jelly roll consists of 40 fabric strips (2 1/2" x width of fabric) rolled up in a cute bundle!  At our recent Illini Country Stitchers quilting guild we held Jelly Roll Races!

Each contestant was given a jelly roll.  Our jelly rolls were not commercially made up, but cut from fabrics donated for Project Linus.  Prior to the actual start of the race, each contestant sewed her strips end to end, doing a bias seam to join them.  Then cut off the first 18".

At the green flag, each contestant finds the beginning and the end, puts them together right sides together, and starts sewing a VERY long seam.  When you get to the end, you cut the loop and finish sewing.  Bring ends together again and do it again.  This is done a total of 5 times! 

We were supposed to work unassisted, but I had a 7 year old by my side to get me a drink, tell me all about her poison ivy, and how her dad is addicted to Angry Birds!  She was also rooting me to victory!  Yeah, I was the first to complete my quilt top!

This will be quilted,  and donated to our local Project Linus!  We got 5 or 6 done, and several people took jelly rolls home to make without the stress of the race!

I did get a nice bundle of fat quarters as a prize.  And I let my little assistant pick out her favorite!