Hello Friends, it’s Tuesday again! You know what that means! Continuing with our discussion on piecing and points, here is something I do!
Oftentimes when I sew block units together when completing a block and there are no butting seams, I guess-timate where the intersection would be where the point forms. Then, I peel back the top unit and check to see if the point is indeed where it’s supposed to be.
Once satisfied it is, I would place a pin where the intersection point is. I would use a much finer pin than shown.
THEN, when getting close to the pin, I actually leave the it in, and use the handwheel to glide my needle over the pin instead of using the pedal. Works like a charm 99% of the time for me! Here is an example…
Alrightie – that’s all the 2 cents I have to offer today. Now it’s your turn! Happy Quilting!
Hello! My name is Gwen Sheppard. Today I’m happy to guest post on my mom’s blog. I am currently a 6th grader who loves going to school to see my friends. I am in my 8th year of learning to play the violin. In my spare time, I like to explore the woods, read, write, and recently, I started making simple bead jewelry. In the summer time when I have more time, I also like to try out different baking recipes.
You may have known that I also do needlework. Here are a few examples of what I have stitched in the past.
I am very excited that my Valentines designs was recently featured in the JustCrossStitch February 2021 magazine.
I stitch all my projects with Aurifil threads. I like their wooden spools for their cotton embroidery floss, and vibrant colors. I myself have curated two thread collections for Aurifil.
Recently, I have begun to store the threads for my projects in a strong, durable bag made by Yazzii.
I use the bag CA14 to store not only my threads, but my whole team of stitching supplies. I have found it extremely helpful in keeping my stitching supplies organized. The see-through pockets in this bag make it easy for storing what I need to stitch, as well as maybe a couple of toy items.
The bag comes in vivid colors, including aqua, olive green, and hot pink. I chose aqua because it’s my favorite color at the moment. You may find out more about the bag HERE.
The bag looks attractive and is easy to carry around using the handle. The fabric is thick and durable, yet the bag is small, so it is ideal for taking your sampler supplies on the airplane, on vacation, or simply to your favorite stitching spot in your own backyard. I really like my stitching bag.
My Mom asked me to share my stitching tip. I think mine would be keep on stitching until the project is complete. This tip helps me from having UFOs, because chances are I might have to stitch my Mom’s UFOs, haha (at least that’s what she tells me!).
Thank you for letting me visit with you today. I hope you have a most wonderful Valentines Day! I am looking forward to the heart-shaped Valentines Day cake that I have been seeing in the fridge!
Hello Friends! I hope you are all well, and are sewing! My 2-cents will be brief today.
This is actually a little trick my friend Wanda showed me years ago when I was a newbie quilter, and I am forever grateful for this trick. Well, this is how I pin my pieces — I pin toward the raw edges of my fabric pieces.
You know how they tell you not to sew over pins?By pinning my pieces this way, it’s almost as if I can sew over pins without actually sewing over pins!
We all have different ways of doing things. If you have never tried pinning your pieces this way, you might give it a try, and see if you like it. So, that’s my 2-cents for today — it’s now your turn! Till next time!
p.s. See those purple fork pins? I have never used them until my quilting teacher Barbara sent them — I am learning now learning and experimenting with pins because of Barbara. Will have more to share on pins soon.
Hello Friends, I hope you had a great start to your week! We had snow over the weekend, and of course snow days followed!
Last Tuesday we left off our 2-cent Tuesday with me making HST units larger, pressing the seams open and then trim to size. It is VERY important that your HST units remain perfectly square during the process of pressing and trimming.
[But please allow me to remind all of us that we are all of different, and what bothers us as a quilter might not be a big deal for another quilter.]
Because I want to keep my HST units (or any block units for that matter) as perfectly square as possible, I actually almost never use steam in my block construction process, because I have found in my experience that steam distorts the square-ness of my block units.
Dry iron aside, I have also found the following to affect the accuracy in my piecing as well:
#1. When I cut up fabrics into pieces, I make sure the pieces are cut accurately. I have found that sometimes inaccuracies happen when rulers of different brands are used in cutting pieces that go into the same block. So I try to use rulers of only one brand to keep the consistency. This is where personal preferences come into play where he ever so slightly minute inconsistencies might not bother another quilter. Eliminating inconsistencies to ensure accuracy was a big part of what I did as an engineer in my former life. So I think that has definitely carried into the quilting world for me.
#2. Of course cut pieces are only part of the equation in making a quilt block happen. I always check my unit measurements after the pieces sewn together, pressed etc to make sure I get the correct unfinished sizes. If the unfinished sizes don’t come out right, then, I will tweak adjustments like needle position etc to achieve the correct unfinished size.
The following pictures show how the points come out in one of my recent finishes, without any special treatments from me other than: correctly cut block pieces, correct seam allowances and a dry iron.
And I don’t ever really have to square up my blocks after my blocks are constructed. However, it would be remiss of me to not show you the a point that didn’t come out quite to my satisfaction. I inspected the entire quilt of 83″ square, and found about 3 spots where the points didn’t come out just right for me. And that’s when I deliberated if I could live with those not so perfect points. In the end, I decided I could….
That’s all I can offer for my 2 cents today! It’s your turn to share yours. Happy Quilting, My Friends!
Happy Friday, Friends — I’d bet you didn’t expect to hear from me so soon! Before I go on, I want to thank you for the comments you left on my previous posts. From now on, I will be responding to your comments a little differently: INSTEAD OF RESPONDING TO SOME OF YOU VIA EMAIL, I AM GOING TO BE POSTING MY RESPONSES AFTER YOUR COMMENTS.I may not always respond to each comment, but I do read all your comments.
Today is my turn in Jessica Dayon’s Season to to Taste book tour! If you haven’t heard of this newly released quilting book, you need to check it out. You may have seen Jessica’s work all over the place, because she is an amazing designer! She hosts many quilt-alongs as well. Check out Jessica’s blog HERE.
Jessica’s book takes you through an entire year of 12 quilts (with complete patterns) according to the seasons. So, it’s a really neat book concept. For my book tour project, I decided to make a mini quilt out of the large leaf block in Jessica’s Gratitude quilt.
I just recently finished a leaf quilt myself, but the way I constructed my leaf blocks was different from the way Jessica constructed hers. So I was intrigued. I followed the steps exactly as prescribed in the instructions. I like the way Jessica made her leaf blocks, especially how to make 4 HST units at one time!
Jessica also hand-embroidered sayings on her large leaf block in the book. I decided to quilt mine instead — because I can quilt much faster than I can do handwork, haha!
I really enjoyed making this mini quilt. I set out with the following goals with this project:
#1. CHECKED! Making a mini red/white solid quilt – for some reason I have never been brave enough to do a red/white solid quilt. So I thought working on a mini first would help me get a feel of things!
#2. CHECKED! Trying a different way to make a familiar block – Jessica’s method is brilliant!
#3. CHECKED! For the last seven years or so, I have been playing with the idea of feathers and letters — and I was able to try it out on this mini quilt! This is the first public sighting of my feathers and letters concept. You will be seeing more feathers & letters from me soon!
I have more technical aspects about this mini quilt to share, but will save that for a different day — because today is Jessica’s day! Would you check out her book HERE?
Happy Tuesday to you, my Friends! I know some of you got a whole bunch of snow. We haven’t gotten any significant snow yet where I’m at, but it does look like we might have some in the forecast.
Have you seen my La Rouge Basket quilt in the Feb 2021 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting? Complete instructions are in the magazine. This quilt is actually not complicated — it has 2 blocks that you just make over and over again. Then, the quilt design emerges from tweaking the block orientations. This design is a great segway to my 2-cent for today: Half-Square-Triangles (HST). This quilt has a total of 936 HST units.
DISCLAIMER: I want you to know my 2-cents are NEVER dogmatic — there are MANY other ways to successfully make HST units!
I always cut the squares for making HST larger than the conventionally recomended size— and that’s my 2-cent for constructing HST units.
For example, if you are to make a 6″ finished HST unit. The conventional measurement for the squares would be 6 7/8″. I would instead cut my squares at either 7″ or 7 1/4″. Then, I would do the usual: Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of one 7″ square. Place it, right sides together, on another 7″ square. Sew 1/4″ away on both sides of the drawn line. Cut along drawn line to yield two HST units. Open and press.
NOW — I press my seam OPEN in this case to distribute the bulk from the seams. Then, I line up the diagonal seam of the HST unit (on the right side) against the 45 degree angle line on the quilting ruler. And square up and trim my HST unit to the right unfinished size. So if we are using the previous example 6″ finished HST unit, the unit would measure 6 1/2″ unfinished after squaring up and trimming.
Then, I would treat the HST unit as if it is a 6 1/2″ square cut up to be used to make a quilt block.
And that is all there is to it. This little trick has served me well for large, small, and tiny HST units. I have made them as small as 1″.
Here is a closeup of the basket block. You can see my little trick works out quite nicely for the points to come out decent.
I just used the same trick to start making a few blocks for my Patriot Dream quilt sample, granted, there aren’t 936 of them I have to make, ha! You may purchase the pattern HERE if you want to sew this quilt with me. I will be sharing snippets of the process as I make it.
So, that’s my 2 cents for today — and next week, I will have sort of a sequel to this trick that kept my basket blocks from turning into problem children.
NOW — it’s your turn to share your quilting 2-cents with the rest of us!
Hello Friends, I hope you had a great weekend. How is it that we are in late January already?
I thought today is a fun day to share a poem Gwen recently wrote of the elephant.
by GKS, Jan 2021
Oh, creature of colossal height!
Oh, creature of such stately might!
Your trunk is like a garden hose
But bigger. And, as for your toes
They are huge! Oh, Mighty One,
When most see you they want to run.
Your trumpeting is louder than
An orchestra. And, having no fan
You slop black mud between your ears
Which takes care of your sweaty fears.
Your tusks! Well, they’re something to see!
For they are made of ivory!
Oh, wonderful! Marvelous to behold!
What a brave creature and bold!
I think we overlook your tail.
You show it off, but to no avail.
So I will help. Oh, lovely tail!
It’s quite thin, quite as thin as a rail.
And your legs! Oh, gracious, they’re like trees!
And just look at those giant knees!
Oh, how could I forget the ears?
With them, one most assuredly hears
Things that us humans do not know
Such as ‘Elephants know their friends from foes!’
Your physique is clumsy, I’m afraid.
It is the truth, it must be said.
However, you can run, if needed.
Your wise advice is quite best heeded
Because of your great memory
And because you are quite, quite free.
And now, my poetry must relent –
Goodbye, my friend, the elephant.
So, how’s your stomp going if you decided to join the fun? Feel free still to jump in anytime. Pat Sloan has the information HERE. Pat’s schedule has 2 more Mondays left after today.
Check out Pat’s Facebook Quilt Along page HERE and see all the different versions of Elephant blocks. Just looking at the fabric choices is most inspiring. Pat Sloan has the information on the quilt along on her blog HERE.
You may purchase the Pattern PDF here. And Fat Quarter Shop has both paper and PDF formats here. I am sewing along and making a second quilt. This is one of my blocks using Woodland Song fabrics by Poppie Cotton.
Hello Friends, Happy Tuesday to you! I hope you have been well. Today kicks off a weekly 2-cent-Tuesday on my blog! I used to have “my two cents” in my machine quilting posts, and I have been wanting to continue that to cover the various aspects of Tuesdays… so here we go:
If you quilt your own quilts, leave the completed quilted piece alone for at least 24-48 hours. Chances are you would anyway – if you are laying the piece on the floor for squaring up purposes. THEN come back and and admire your piece. More than likely, all you see is just quilted texture, and not any mistakes!
Feel free to share in the comments section your 2 cents on anything quilting! I look forward to reading them, and learning from you!
Have you joined Pat Sloan’s Stomping Ground Quilt Along? Check out her Facebook Quilt Along page HERE and see all the different versions of Elephant blocks. Pat Sloan has the information on the quilt along on her blog HERE. I am sewing along and making a second quilt. This is one of my blocks using Woodland Song fabrics by Poppie Cotton.
You may purchase the Pattern PDF here. And Fat Quarter Shop has both paper and PDF formats here.
This is one I had mock-up digitally, and I have called it the Paint Chip Ellie version!
That’s all for today — don’t forget to leave your 2 cents in the comment section! Have a great day!
Hello Friends, Merry Christmas to you! I hope you had a blessed one. I know that many of of us weren’t able to do what we usually do for Christmas this year, but I was comforted to know that Christmas is Christmas no matter what I usually do! So this year without our usuals, I was able to focus on the FIRST Christmas, and enjoyed the simple things. My daughter and I even “binge-listened” to Bach’s 6-part Christmas Oratoria in one sitting on the radio, as opposed to, say, watch a group perform live. “Mom, this is really old-fashioned, and I love it!” – said my daughter.
Watching the wildlife that come through our yard is always special.
Earlier in December, my daughter hosted a Christmas party for her American Heritage Girls troop. My oven was working almost 24-7 for several days there while I dried orange slices while my daughter was in school. The orange slices were then used to decorate the centerpieces. I ended up with tree upon tree after the party. What you see aren’t all. I ended up scattering the rest throughout the entire house.
During the hectic craziness leading up to Christmas, I had a red and cream quilt published in the Feb 2021 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting. This quilt has the most half-square-triangle units I have EVER made that go into one quilt – 936 of them! The quilt isn’t hard – just lots of repetitive parts! I had to say the whole process was made really fun because of the pretty fabrics I used. For this quilt, I used La Rouge Rose fabrics by Moda.
And if you subscribe to Pat Sloan’s blog or YouTube channel, you know TODAY is the day! Today starts the sewalong Pat Sloan is doing with my Stomping Ground pattern! Here is a screen shot from Pat’s blog post dated December 21, 2020. Click here for her YouTube episode on how to cut pieces for an elephant with a 10″ layer cake square.
Here are pictures of the quilt I had made before. This version is made with Pat’s Morrison Park fabrics.
Here are a few more color options if you want to join the sewalong but aren’t sure about what fabrics to use:
I am making this quilt the second time with Woodland Songbirds by Poppie Cotton! These fabrics are really sweet. Look me up on Instagram later to see my blocks. My handle is ivory_spring.
Hello Friends, I want to take this time to wish you and your family a very Happy & Blessed Thanksgiving!
This turkey was from last year. For some reason I ended up with a 19 lb turkey this year. I told my family we will be eating leftover turkey through the entire month of December.
It’s been a busy and crazy year! Nonetheless, I have jotted down the last couple of weeks in my planner to remind myself that God is good, and to make being thankful to Him a lifestyle.
In case you didn’t see, Gwen shared her trinket stitching pumpkins on Aurifil’s blog. You may download the chart there. You may read her post here.
I have been making blocks for my Basketful of Blessings in November. These blocks go really quickly. I like that I am able to incorporate the Ohio Star unit in my blocks. You will get a chuckle if you have attended my How Many Ways to use the Ohio Stars presentation.
This design works well with anything from your stash. 10 FQs + fabrics for background and border. Of if you want yours scrappy, you could use 20 different fabrics for the 20 blocks. Or you can just make 3 or 4 blocks for a table runner.
My house is cleaned. My table is set. I have a few hours still before I have to work on Thanksgiving sidedishes. I am going to sit and just do some handstitching for a couple of hours while listening to my daughter chatter on.
Some of you might have seen QuiltShopGal’s feature on Gwen’s call for sponsorship for Wreaths Across America. If you haven’t, here is the link.
Click HERE if you would like to sponsor any wreaths at Arlington Cemetery this year. We were going to help lay the wreaths this year, but just got news that this year’s laying will not be open to the public.
And with that, I hope you will remember in your thoughts and prayers the gold star families in our country as you gather amongst your loved ones in commemorating Thanksgiving this year.
Love and blessings to you, from my house to yours!
Hi Friends, I hope your week has gone well for you! We are about 2 weeks from Thanksgiving, and it seems to me time only flies these days!
I know many of you sew gifts for gifting for Christmas! I will do some as well this year. My daughter and I stitch at least one Christmas ornament each year to add to our tree. She already stitched hers for this year with the two sled ornaments I had shown you here. I just have to finish mine.
If you indulge in hand applique projects, I am sharing with you a gift item you could possibly add to a gift list for yourself — the Maxie Yazzii (CA375). You may read the specifications of this bag here,
So, it’s a large-sized bag, but narrow, compared to the many other Yazzii organizers. I like the large size, and the not so bulky depth of the bag. I can definitely see it used as bag one would bring to a multi-day class or retreat — because this bag actually stores a small-sized cutting mat!
So, what I really really like about this package deal is that the bag comes with 4 pouches – all see through so you know the contents of the pouches. It comes with a large square pouch, and 3 much smaller organizer pouches. The large square pouch is perfect for storing the fabrics you would bring to class, while the pouches and organizers within the bag are great to bring all your notions and tools.
BUT, I am actually using the Maxie Yazzii as a bag to hold what I need for one major hand applique project! It is one that I was teased that my granddaughter (!) would have to finish for me one day. But I persist… it’s the Mary Brown quilt. Do a search to see an image of the quilt, and you will see the teasing is quite justified.
I am NOT starting another hand applique needleturn project until I get this one completed. The only problem is that this is my “ME” project, and I don’t get much of any “ME” time. So, most of the time, it would be months before I get a block of time to work on my “ME” project. And I lose track of my blocks, patterns, and fabrics because they end up all over the place. With Maxie Yazzii, I am able to consolidate all my hand applique supplies into one spot, and best of all, this is conveniently portable. I tend to work on my ME projects when I go on trips — so, I can easily bring the bag with me, versus lugging a plastic tub + a pizza box for the blocks!
You can see that I am using the large square pouch to store my completed blocks. The smallest pouch has my essential notions – toothpicks, scissors, needles and a thread spool.
[My thread of choice for hand applique is the 80wt made by Aurifil – which I use for hand applique as well as for machine quilting. I have written about them here, and here.
I am using the other pouches to store fabric pieces for my next block. I don’t have my fabrics picked out yet. But it will be pieces for a pineapple block in the Mary Brown quilt.
So you open up the actual Maxie Yazzii bag — this is what you see. See the large see through pocket on the left? That is where my little pouches will go! One thing about these pouches, if you have them in another color, they are even better for identification purposes when they are in the pocket.
Then, the see through pockets on the attached sleeve are where I sort my Aurifil 80wt spools by color.
Then I turn the sleeve over, and there are more see through pockets for me to organize my bits and bobs specifically used for hand applique.
And on the other side is the another pocket for me to store my patterns.
I hope you can see from the picture that is where the “depth” of the bag is, where I will lay my large pouch (on top of the pattern pocket).
I like this bag a lot to organize my applique project. IFI were to have another applique project, I would not hesitate to use another separate Maxie Yazzii bag to organize my project that way. I said IF — haha! The only thing I would like is a front zipper pocket like the Quilters Project Bag (CA880). I have written about the bag HERE. I like the front zipper pocket to either store my phone or keys. Being able to find my keys/phone easily in a front pocket would come in really handy if I were to bring my Maxie Yazzii to a class.
Yazzii is having a giveaway on their Instagram feed at the moment – check out their feed for more information. So, do give them a follow. They also regularly post vidoes on how to use their bags. They are fun to watch, and are great for organizing ideas!
For my list of reviews on Yazzii’s bags, click the following:
Stay tuned — my daughter will have a say on another Yazzii bag in a few weeks! She is using hers for cross-stitching purposes, and she is definitely doing much better keeping track of her stitching things with her own Yazzii bag. One thing I really don’t like to hear as a mother is… “Mom, where is my….?”
That’s all for now, Friends. It is close to 2am, and I need to catch a few zzzz’s before I do it all over again!
Hello Friends, I hope you have been well. There’s no pressure or anything, but it would seem like there are only 46 days till Christmas! I thought I would share with you my completed Christmas quilt made with my pattern Maisons de Patchwork.
The fabrics are Christmas Figs II by Moda Fabrics. The fabrics are current at the moment, and I have seen many have made different quilts with this beautiful fabric line.
You may purchase the pattern in PDF format by clicking HERE.
Most of my patterns from my pattern line are written non fabric-specific fashion. But I have been asked about the fabrics used in my Maisons de Patchwork Christmas quilt. If you are interested in making the quilt using Christmas Figs II fabrics, click HERE for the Fabric Chart.