June 21, 2016

Perfect Half Square Triangles

I have been making many Half Square Triangles lately as I test patterns I designed. Of all the methods I have tried I liked one the most, and this is what I will demonstrate today. It involves using a ruler which I have had for a very long time but never used before (I am the only one who does that, right?).

The ruler is called Strip Tube Ruler and it is super super easy to use. I could not find any directions with it (I told you, I purchased it eons ago) so I went to their website and printed out the two-page instruction sheet. OMGoodness - I don't think I will stop making HSTs any time soon.

Here is how you use the ruler:

With RST, stitch together two strips of fabric on both long sides. The width of the strips will depend on the finished size of your HSTs. I press the strips after stitching to set the stitches.

If you want, say, 3" HSTs , place the line on the ruler which corresponds to 3" on the bottom seam line and cut on both sides using the rotary cutter.

Then, flip the ruler and this time place the 3" line of the ruler against the top seam of the strip (or tube).

Cut it and flip the ruler again, placing its 3" line on the bottom seam of the strip set. Repeat these steps until you have cut all the HSTs you need. Then, press them open and trim the ears.

This is the block I was making. This ruler has been placed on the very front of my ruler rack now. The best part of it is that you can make HSTs from 1-1/2" all the way up to 9" with no fabric waste. However, you can actually make them smaller by making the 1-1/2" size and then trimming it down to your desired [mini] size.

Which method do you prefer for making HSTs? Have you tried this one using a strip set (or tube)? This is such a breeze now... No more cutting patches with weird measurements. It works for me...

Have fun today,

June 15, 2016

Orphan Block Central

Hey, have you dug all your orphan blocks out yet? Here is another project using them. This table topper measures 23" x 23" with fabrics that I absolutely love and have had in my stash for quite a while.

It all started when I found this leftover border. I had 3 pieced just like this one. Using a triangle ruler I cut six triangles and I made this:

Now what? Well, I ironed fusible web on the back of the block, fused it to a white background and machine appliqued using blanket stitch and heavy weight thread (Aurifil 12 wt).

The design came about as I went along adding a piece of this and a piece of that. The ricrac, my go-to vine material, was stitched down with Aurifil monofilament in a zigzag pattern, from edge to edge, to keep those little scallops from bending. It works like a charm. I used a zigzag stitch to applique' the corner hearts, and tiny tiny meandering to quilt it all and and make the [unquilted] borders pop.

The binding, this time, was applied by machine. After the quilting, I trimmed the excess batting along the edges of the quilt, trimmed the backing down to 3/4", folded the backing towards the quilt and folded it again over the quilt, pinned and stitched. Easy and fast.

It looks like I have another Christmas gift ready ahead of time. I am really enjoying working with orphan blocks (or orphan borders!) to turn them into quilted beauties. What have you made lately with those blocks and borders pieces I know you have in your stash? Send me a picture.

I will link this post to Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict on Friday. I hope your day is filled with happy colors!

June 9, 2016

Butterfly Wall Hanging

Quite a while back I reviewed the book Cute Quilts for Kids by Kristin Roylance for Martingale. In it, Kristin had a very fun butterfly quilt called "Butterfly Kisses" which featured a different way to make a butterfly block. I made one block and saved it. Last weekend I turned that block into this wall hanging (funky lighting on this photograph).

I used scraps from my stash for everything. The fabrics look so good together and their prints add whimsy to the project. Butterflies without flowers look out of place so I added corner flowers and leaves. Loving it!

This one block quilt comes together fast and would look very pretty in the nursery or in a girl's bedroom. I backed and bound it with American Jane Bread n' Butter Red.

This project measures 19" x 19" and has three hanging loops which I attached when I was stitching the binding. The flowers were machine appliqued with straight stitch and the leaves with blanket stitch. I quilted around all shapes with monofilament by Aurifil, and quilted loops with white thread to finish it all off.

I hope this post will inspire you to create your own one [orphan] block quilt. When you do, send me a photograph and I will show it off here. I will link this post to Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict on Friday. Until then, happy sewing!

May 31, 2016

Skinny Tote

You know those blocks you use to test your pattern before you make dozens of them for the quilt? Before I made "All Grown Up" for Moda Bake Shop I pieced two blocks - obviously using scraps of different whites - to make sure all was well.

Yesterday I saw the blocks and could not resist turning them into a tote. This one measures 13" x 17-1/2", is lined with matching gray fabric, and has batting in between (I ran out of Soft & Stable!). I followed my tutorial for the Blooming Bag, except for the handles.

Here is the other side. I added the ric-rac for a pop of different color. It was stitched with Aurifil monofilament. In fact, this tote was pieced and quilted using Aurifil 50 wt gray. The bottom and sides are also made of leftover four patches with same fabrics.

Simple quilted loops contrast with the straight lines of the blocks and go well with the ric-rac. These Moda Bella Solids, and the gray with white dots, make me happy!

For handles, I used recycled belts as on my last few bags. They are sturdy, do not fray, and have fun colors and texture. So, don't discard the belts that come with your (or your kids') shorts and pants. Store them in your studio for future bags!

I will link this up to Freemotion by the River today, and Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict on Friday. Until then, have a fun week!

May 22, 2016

Quilt Market

I am back! Got my Master's Degree on May 6th, went to Las Vegas the next week with my mom to celebrate, then it was on to getting ready for Quilt Market in Salt Lake City. Phew! I am looking forward to serious sewing very soon.

In the meantime, my friend Deb and I got to visit with some very talented artists at Quilt Market. Here is a little peek (I've been bombarded with pictures from Quilt Market on Instagram so I will not post any there, and only a few select ones here):

Stopped by and gave Annie a big hug. She is the creative mind behind Soft & Stable, my favorite stabilizer. Soft & Stable is very versatile (see my Quilted Cake Dome here and you will understand what I mean), and I always have a good supply of it in my studio for bags, totes, baskets and other projects (I never know when I will come up with a project that only Soft & Stable can handle!).

Jillily's Studio had a very fun booth called Sweet Shop. Her patterns are to die for! A glorious mix of blocks and applique' featuring amazing fabrics.

This strawberry quilt features her new fabric line - I can't wait!

Here is Karen Combs displaying her beautiful fabrics and patterns. It was so wonderful to see her again! I took a class with Karen at the Utah Quilt Guild a few years ago (see my project here) and was impressed by her creativity, patience, and sense of humor. Her Serendipity line of fabrics has jewel color gradations from light to dark and back to light with added texture. They are a must-have!

Look at Karen's batik fabrics. Great colors and textures!

Here is Sandy Klop, the mastermind behind the American Jane line for Moda Fabrics. Look at the puzzle quilt behind her - what a fun and easy pattern! Her fabrics feature happy, rich colors in fun prints. I am totally hooked!

Speaking of Moda, here is Amy Rosenthal at her booth. Love her patterns and fabrics, too!

I also visited with Alex Veronelli from Aurifil (my favorite threads), Karen Johnson from Martingale, and many others. What a fun day!

These pictures are meant to inspire you to continue to create beautiful quilts and other projects!

Enjoy your week!

April 28, 2016

Quilted Cake Dome

I love cake domes and have a few crocheted ones from Brazil. One sunny day I looked at them and thought I might make a quilted version, lined with laminated fabric so it would be easy to clean if it touched cake frosting. I am loving it and will make a few more with holiday themes!

The pattern was just published in Quilter's World Magazine, Summer Edition. It is easy to make and uses byAnnie's Soft & Stable to keep its shape.

This cake dome is perfect for summer picnics or outdoor parties as it covers cakes and other treats with style. I could not resist using these Riley Blake Designs fabrics I had been saving for a quilt because they were perfect for this project. The dome was pieced using Aurifil 50 wt and quilted with Aurifil monofilament.

The pattern has diagrams to show you how to make these cute flowers, which can be used to adorn other beautiful creations, too.

How do you like my quilted cake dome? I hope it inspires you to make something beautiful today!

April 15, 2016

Country Charm Runner

I have had charm packs with French Roosters by Riley Blake Designs for a little while and wondered what I would do with them. It would definitely be something for my sister because she loves roosters. So, here is the newly born table runner!

I used the roosters with red background on one end of the runner, and the ones with black background on the other end. To lighten up the project, I found a beige fabric that would do just the trick. For the sashing I picked a color that would not wash out the beige on some of the blocks, so dark green worked.

The middle of the table runner has more 5" squares from the pack. This runner measures 51-1/2" x 16-1/4", a good size for tables or coffee tables. The backing is dark red so the white quilting loops show very well.

Pieced and quilted with Aurifil threads, it looks very good with my own decor actually...

So, this is my finish for this Friday. What is yours? I am linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.


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