Joint Venture with Karen Miller: Mystery Quilt Along – Part 1

Jan 7: Announcement post
***Jan 21:  Planning, basting, batting, etc
Jan 28:  Stabilization quilting or just to catch up
Feb 4, Feb 11: Inside center panel
Feb 25: Top and Bottom Rectangles
March 4: Top and Bottom Squares
March 11: Left and Right Side panels
Mach 18: Narrow Sashing
March 25: Outside (wider) Border
April 1: Binding & Hanging

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Hello Friends, today is the day we start working on our Free-motion Quilt Along!  We are so happy to hear about the warm responses indicating you will be participating.  Again, this is low-maintenance stress free!  If you haven’t already joined us on this sheepish adventure and are thinking about it, I say, “Just do it!”  Click on the announcement post above if you aren’t sure about the details.

Now, I have heard that certain shops sold out of the panel, click HERE where Karen keeps a list of shops where you can purchase the supplies.

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So, today I will share with you my tips on planning, pinning and basting.

#1.  I first starch-press my fabric pieces – panel and backing fabric piece.  You don’t have to use starch if you’d rather not.  I find that starch helps keep the fabrics nice and stiff for the pinning process so that I don’t end up with unexpected slack.

#2.  I am not doing anything to the panel.  I then trim my backing fabric to be about 1.5-2″ larger than the panel itself.  Then, I cut the batting piece to the size of the backing fabric piece.  The reason I don’t like to cut the backing or batting pieces larger than that is because I don’t like to deal with too much excess with the quilt sandwich.  I have had cases where I had too much excess on the backing piece,, and I would accidentally quilt the excess to the back of the quilt in the process of scrunching and pushing the quilt sandwich through that little throat of my machine.

#3.  This is a light-hearted and really cute panel.  So, I decided to add a little something fun to the quilting scheme.  Besides quilting the free-motion quilting motifs, I am going to quilt the word BAA along the left and right wide borders.

To fit the mood, I just scribbled the letters A and B about 4″ in height onto a piece of paper.  This piece of paper from Miss Baby’s stationery drawer has seen better days.  But I am a frugal Mom.  My daughter will never use that piece of paper, so I get to do the honor!  I did darkened the letters with a Sharpie.

Then, I just slipped the piece of paper under the panel, and use a Frixion pen to mark the letters onto the panel.  I am SO excited about these letters!

ALWAYS mark before you start pinning!

#4.  And let the pinning party begin.  A quilt sandwich is made of quilt backing piece (wrong side up), then batting piece, then panel (right side up).

a.  So, before actually pinning, it’s a good idea to tape down the backing piece with painters tape to make sure the fabric is taut all around.  This should take care of any slack as well as any puckering that might happen otherwise during the quilting process.

b.  Then smooth your batting piece down on the backing fabric before placing the panel.

c.  Starting from the panel center, pin outward in all directions with nickle-plated safety pins about 2″ apart until your quilt sandwich is securely basted and more than likely covered with pins.

d.  Pat yourself on the back — you have done well!

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For my quilt, I am using the Hobbs Silk Tuscany batting.

And I will be using all the colors from my Subtle String Aurifil 50wt collection to quilt this piece.  You may purchase the threads HERE (a $140 value offered right now at $99.99).

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This panel piece is perfect for us to try out the subtle contrast quilting concept that I so love!  Basically, I got tired to being relegated to only using gray, beige or white threads for quilting while there are so many other beautiful threads out there.  So, I began using pastel colored threads to quilt my quilts for a subtly colored effect.  I have been more than pleased!

Alrightie, FRIENDS!  I call it a smashing success if you have done this part.  Remember, successful machine quilting is made of baby steps.  In college, I was taught to set up the equations right for engineering calculations.  In today’s baby step, we set up the quilt sandwich correctly for stress-free quilting on the machine later.

NOW, I wonder what Karen has done …. remember, it’s ALL a mystery between the two of us!!!  I am heading on to her blog to see what she has been up to.  Click HERE to go to Karen’s blog.

Quilting Treasures “Harmony” Summer Mystery Sew-Along / Part 4

Hello Friends, Happy Saturday to you all!  I am glad you are back for the latest installment for Quilting Treasures Harmony Summer Mystery Sew Along!  Before I start with today’s construction, I want to say a big thank you to those of you 36-plyers who have been so sweet about the little hiccup.  I trust that Quilting Treasures took care of you by sending you the replacement strips to make your strip set having a total of 40 strips!  Thank you again for being sweet and gracious about it.

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Harmony Mystery

If you are new joining in, and would like to access previous posts, click:

HERE for introductory details

HERE for Installment #1

HERE for Installment #2

HERE for Installment #3

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YOU MAY WANT TO DOWNLOAD TODAY’S INSTRUCTIONS IN PDF FORMAT TO FOLLOW ALONG HERE. [Please note that this file is the MOST updated version!  Always check the postings on this site for the most updated versions of instructions.]  Instructions will be available on this site through Oct 31, 2016.

mystery harmony

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We will actually be solving part of the mystery today.  So, we begin by sorting out what we need for today’s installment.  We will need the four patch units made on July 9, the pastel row units made on July 23, selected strips and vanilla weave fabric.

The ready made units:

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The vanilla weave fabric, and strips (L-R): soft green weave, daffodil leaf, apricot leaf, party pink leaf, turquoise leaf, azalea spiral square.

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CUTTING & SEWING

#1.  VERY simple — to start solving the mystery, the units you will need to make for today’s installment are a bunch of flying geese units.  40 total.  Refer to the instructions to cut all the necessary pieces, and make 8 flying geese units each for daffodil leaf, apricot leaf, party pink leaf, turquoise leaf and azalea spiral square.

#2.  VERY important — do be careful when you cut the square 2-1/2″ squares from the strips because a 42″ strip cuts exactly (16) 2-1/2″ squares.  In the event of a cutting error, you may substitute from leftover fabrics.

#3.  FRIENDLY reminder — when you make the flying geese, try not to heat set the units with the iron until later. So you can see my flying geese units are not exactly flat at this point of the process.

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Also, I would go ahead and square up the flying geese units as best as I can, and trim off any excess as necessary. You can see in the following picture even though I had sewn as carefully as I could, and that I hadn’t used the iron, distortion still happens.

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#4.  After the flying geese units are constructed, follow the instructions to sew them to the four-patch units to make a star unit.  Now, if you want the points to match up nicely when you sew the flying geese units to the four-patch units. You might try the following:

a.  Crease downward the flying geese where you can check to see if the “V” of the flying geese unit matches up to the seam intersection of the four-patch unit at the “guess-timated” 1/4-inch seam allowance.  If they don’t match, scooch until they do. :)

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b.  If all check out, I place a very fine pin (transparent blue in picture below) where the “V” of the flying geese unit meets the seam intersection of the four-patch unit.  I would very very carefully sew over that very fine pin by moving the hand wheel of my machine when I get close to that pin.

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c.  And hopefully after you sew your units together, your points would line up somewhat decently for you. :)

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d.  You will find out a star unit will start to emerge as you follow along the instructions.  It wasn’t till after the star units was completed that I used the iron to heat set the sewn unit. When I did use the iron, I pressed and not ironed.

#5.  After a star unit is constructed, you will now have the necessary puzzle pieces to solve part of the mystery!  Sew all the constructed units together to complete 1 block.

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#6.  Refer to the instructions for fabric placements to make a total of 10 star blocks!!!

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And that’s it for today!!!  I hope you have had a bit of Sherlock Holme-ish kind of fun today.  I shall see you next week to solve the second part of the mystery. :)  Have a lovely rest of your Saturday.  Hugs to you all!

Quilting Treasures “Harmony” Summer Mystery Sew-Along / Part 3

VERY VERY VERY Important Public Announcement – please read carefully before proceeding: 

It was brought to my attention that some of you might have ended up with strips sets of 36-ply instead of 40-ply! Not good… but what fun is a mystery without a bit of mysterious twist?  So, in order to determine whether you have the 36- or 40-ply, you have to put on your detective hat and do a quick look-see.  If you have TWO strips of the weave pastels (namely, cloud blue, powder pink, soft green and butter), then, you have the 40-ply, and all is well.

We will be using TWO strips of the following pastels today (L to R: powder pink weave, cloud blue weave and butter weave), shown in the picture below.  The pastel strips are the lightest of colors among the strips.

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If your strip set has only ONE strip for the weave pastels, then… you will not be able to complete the correct number of the units today until Quilting Treasures sends you the extra strips.  If you are one of the 36-ply-ers, please email me your mailing address AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, latest by this coming Thursday (July 28), so that I can forward the address to Quilting Treasures.  Quilting Treasures WILL take care of sending you the missing strips, but you have to email me your mailing address!  My email address is: wendy2@wendysheppard.net

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Harmony Mystery

If you are new joining in, and would like to access previous posts, click:

HERE for introductory details

HERE for Installment #1

HERE for Installment #2

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YOU MAY WANT TO DOWNLOAD TODAY’S INSTRUCTIONS IN PDF FORMAT TO FOLLOW ALONG HERE. [Please note that this file is the MOST updated version!  Always check the postings on this site for the most updated versions of instructions.]  Instructions will be available on this site through Oct 31, 2016.

mystery harmony

Happy Saturday, Friends.  I hope you have had a good week.  It’s time to get my box of Harmony strips out for today’s installment.

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Basically, we will just be sewing together 2 1/2″ squares together to make row units for today’s installment.  Easy peasy, as long as you keep track of what goes where.

CUTTING & SEWING BRIGHT ROW UNITS

#1.  Very simple.  Divide the following strips into 2 groups.

Group 1:  L to R – marine swirl, tangerine swirl, royal spiral square, sunflower swirl, melon weave. Cut from each strip 10 (2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″) squares.  Arrange the squares in the same order, and sew together to make a row unit. Make a total of 10 units.

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Group 2:  L to R – geranium leaf, carrot spiral square, crocus leaf, bubble gum swirl, deep ocean spiral square.  Cut from each strip 10 (2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″) squares.  Arrange the squares in the same order, and sew together to make a row unit. Make a total of 10 units.

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#2.  You should have something like this upon completing this step.

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CUTTING & SEWING PASTEL ROW UNITS

#1.  Identify and layout these strips:

2 cloud blue weave, 2 powder pink weave, 2 butter weave, lilac weave, melon weave, butter cream weave, powder blue weave, turquoise blue weave, green mist weave, cotton candy weave, peony weave, soft green weave

NOTE:  At this point, some of you might only have 1 cloud blue weave, 1 powder pink weave and 1 butter weave — if that is the case, remember to email me your address as stated in the public announcement at the beginning of this post.

#2.  Cutting the strips:

From the cloud blue weave, powder pink weave and butter weave strips, cut: (20) 2-1/2″ squares

From lilac weave strip, cut: (8) 2-½” squares / From melon weave strip, cut: (2) 2- ½” squares

From each of the remaining strips, cut: (10) 2-1/2″ squares

NOTE:  Cutting is tight on the pastel strips.  You should be able to cut 16 (2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″) squares from each strip. In the event of finding yourself not having enough of a certain strip to cut the required number of squares, there should be some leftover from these strips that you can use to substitute (if you have the 40-ply strip set): melon, butter cream, powder pink, cloud blue, soft green, butter.

#3.  Make (8) Row Units 1a and (2) Row Units 1b.  These row units only have 4 squares arranged and sewn together.

1a: L to R – cloud blue weave, powder pink weave, lilac weave and butter weave.  Arrange squares in the same order and sew to make 1 Row Unit.  Make a total of 8 units.

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1b: L to R – cloud blue weave, powder pink weave, melon weave and butter weave.  The order is the same, except swapping out melon weave for lilac weave.  Arrange squares in the same order and sew to make 1 Row Unit.  Make a total of 2 units.

You should have units looking like these upon completing this step.  Top shows (8) 1a units, and bottom shows (2) 1b units.

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#4.  Divide the following strips into 2 groups.  Row units in these 2 groups have 5 squares arranged and sewn together.

Group 1:  L to R – cloud blue weave, powder pink weave, powder blue turquoise blue weave, green mist weave. Arrange the squares in the same order, and sew together to make a row unit. Make a total of 10 units.

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Group 2: L to R – butter weave, cotton candy weave, peony weave, soft green weave, butter weave.  Please note that picture only shows butter once on the left.  Arrange the squares in the same order, and sew together to make a row unit. Make a total of 10 units.

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Your units should look like these upon completing all the pastel row units.   If you look at the right row units, the top and bottom patches of the unit are BOTH butter weave, even though the bottom patch looks slightly orange-y due to the lighting.  You are good as long as you have 2 butter patches arrange and sewn in that unit. :)

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Again, if you received the 36-ply strip set, you will not be able to make all the required row pastel units.  SO, you will need to email me your mailing address to rectify your situation.  We are going to have a week break for catching up next week.  I will be back on August 5 with Installment #4.  Until then…. meanwhile, I hope you continue to have a lovely summer!

Do you love mysteries?

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I have to admit I am not a huge fan of mysteries.  Even when I read a book or watch a movie, I have to know the ending first before getting into it.  But…. I am collaborating with Quilting Treasures and hosting a Summer Mystery Sew-Along starting July 9.  Go figure!!!

We get to play with these beautiful fabrics!

Harmony Mystery

I can promise you that the things we have to do aren’t going to be demanding — because it’s summer after all.  The instructions come in 6 installments (July 9, July 16, July 23, Aug 6, Aug 13, Aug 20) to make a 46″ x 66″ lap sized quilt.  I hope you will join me?

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Click here if you haven’t known about the incredible Harmony Line, newly released by Quilting Treasures.

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Below are the official participating shops where you can contact to purchase the supplies.  If you are customers of these shops, please tell them I thank them for being a part of this cooked up Mystery!

Candy’s Quiltworks, Northridge, CA

Nimble Thimble, Gilroy, CA

Blue Iris Quilt Shop, Palo Cedro, CA

The Quilt Corral, Willows, CA

Country Cloth Shop, Angels Camp, CA

Kathy’s Fabric Trunk, Del Norte, CO

Quilter’s Dream, Loveland, CO

Rossville Quilts, Rossville, IN

Sew Unique by Jackie, Granger IN

Sew What’s New, Las Cruces, NM

Patchwork Angels, Endicott, NY

Quilty Pleasures, Geneva, NY

Pinwheels & Posies, Dickinson, TX

Tea Time Quilting, Houston, TX

Sew Much More, Nederland, TX

Quilters Crossing, Tomball, TX

Quilter’s Apprentice, Terrell, TX

Sew Let’s Quilt It, Dallas, TX

Savvy Quilters, Savoy, TX

Patti’s Last Resort, Acton, TX

Rahrah’s Fabrics & Quilting, Lubbock, TX

Tomorrow’s Quilts, Waco, TX

Wimberly Stitch Studio, Wimberly, TX

Beefore It’s A Quilt, Port Lavaca, TX

Salt Lake City Spring Market Sightings & NEWS! – Quilting Treasures Harmony

Disclaimer: All photo credits belong to Quilting Treasures, and make sure you scroll to the bottom of the page for an exciting announcement.

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Hello Friends, Happy Monday!  I hope you are well.  As you know, I wasn’t at the Salt Lake City Spring Market this past Spring, and so, I have been having to wait for pictures from Market to be posted…. and I am REALLY REALLY excited to see samples displayed at Quilting Treasures’ booth, made from my designs using their newly introduced tonal and textural line, Harmony!!!

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You know I love working with basic fabrics, and you might remember the cover quilt of my Creative Quilts & Projects using Precuts or Stash book, Crossings, was made using Quilting Treasures’ Lola Textures and Quilting Temptations (previous tonal basic lines).

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The following samples shown at Market show the different palettes of the new Harmony Line:

#1.  Brights (the butterfly quilt on the right is my design):

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Bright Strips_Design 1a_64 x 78.5

#2 & #3.  Neutrals (Row Quilt) and Warm (Modern Precuts Fat Quarter Quilt) — both designs are mine.

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Row_Design1c_43.5 x 53

FQ Large Bundle Set 2_61.5 x 75

Now, to make things even more exciting, Quilting Treasures and I have teamed up to offer a Summer Mystery Quilt Along!  Ask your local quilt shops if they are participating to purchase the supplies and for more information!  If not, the shops are welcome to contact Quilting Treasures for assistance.  More details will comes soon, but the first installment of the instructions will be offered here sometime in July!  I hope you will join in the fun.

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And right now, Quilting Treasures is having a giveaway of 1 Bright Strip Set.  Click here to find out how.

That’s all for now.  It is another super busy week at my end… but it will be a good week!  You all have a great week yourself.  Hugs to you all!