Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Christmas Nativity Pattern

After securing copyrights to use the original design as inspiration for this quilt, and after making a pattern and putting it on my Etsy site in January or thereabouts, I'm delighted to report that I've sold 72 patterns. I'm not sure what is normal for something like this, but for me, this is a blessing. Most of them went to the USA, but some to other parts of the world and to Canada of course. The link to my Etsy store is on this page.

The pattern is about 36" wide, but can be enlarged and made in three panels like this photo. This particular version is about 84" wide. The pattern is also available in digital files, which saves on postage but needs to be printed on a wide printer. A nearby Staples store does that for me.

I've asked those who purchased the pattern to send me a photo of their quilt when it is done. So far, nada, but I'm sure these quilters are at work on it. It is not difficult but does take lots of time. 

I'm hoping to offer more patterns soon. I've secured a copyright for an amazing design that needs to be altered to make it 'quiltable' and then I need to make a sample with directions. Lots of work, but it is neat to be able to do this.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Basically Babies – Lions

Our city has a group called "Basically Babies" that makes one-year layettes for babies in needy families. They accept quilts, so I purchased some panels and am planning to give them to BB. This one is my third so far, a cute lion with cubs. I didn't need to do anything to it except trim and add borders. I put a flange in there too, just for the color. The outer border is about 4.5" and the same rusty color in the shadows on the lions. 

Actually, piecing the backing took longer than assembling the front. It will finish at about 44" x 50" — a nice size. Quilting panels is good practice on my longarm also.

Btw, a tip for some: My dryer has two steam cycles that I thought I would never use. However, when I take fabric out of my stash (I don't wash it when I buy it) the wrinkles are heavily impressed... so 20 minutes in one of those cycles 'irons' it perfectly! It probably does a bit of 'shrinking' too. I'll have to do a before & after measurement. This has been a huge time-saver and likely saves electricity too. Give it a try if you haven't already!

Friday, November 11, 2016

"Sweet Dreams"

For the background on this one, see this post. I decided the only way to figure out how to show my friend the way to make this was by making one myself. I went to the nearest store with kid's clothing and bought a pair of "Frozen" theme pyjamas in a small size, found the necessary fabrics for background and backing in my stash, and started cutting. This was the result. . .

This quilt is about 32" x 50" and was so much fun to make, much easier than it looks. After trimming off the backside and adding a pocket to the top, I pinned and appliqued the pjs to the background, made a sandwich, then quilted it on my mid-arm. The bits left over worked for the binding. 

I'm delighted with this one. It is cute (but way too pink for my taste) and some little girl with enjoy it. I've never seen anything quite like it and have to credit my friend for the idea. She is not a quilter so has no quilt police telling her "You can't do it this way." Her version has four pair of little pjs on a background of her daughter's beloved blankies.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Karen's King

No photo today, just a question. My daughter wants a king-size quilt in taupes with some lights/darks and in a modern, non-traditional pattern. I've been looking and have a few photos but nothing definite. Do any of you have a pattern or a link to a pattern that would work? Or even a photo that would be easy to do without a pattern? It does not have to be those colors, but adaptable to 3 or more values. 

I'm not asking anyone to do the looking, as I can do that, but just in case your research has already found one... that would be super! :-)

Friday, October 14, 2016

"Never Again"

This quilt is only 36.5" x 40.75" and I cannot imagine ever making a bed quilt with 2 inch 1/2 square triangles! I'd be in a white jacket without sleeves long before it was done! Even though making them with "Thangles" was easy, I'd rather applique a zillion pieces than sew these little squares together.

Strangely enough, doing the intricate quilting was fun! I was terrified to start, had no idea what it needed, but made it up as I went along. This was on my Handiquilter Avante. It took about 5-6 hours to do the quilting... but not all at once. Lots of thinking in between. Since this was my first attempt to use rulers with micro-quilting, I should get faster with more practice?? I hope so!

I didn't have a ruler for the trio shapes along the bottom in the photo, so my hubby cut one from a piece of plexiglass. It was not easy, so he won't be going into the ruler business any time soon! But he is asking me what shape to make next!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Tips wanted...

A young mom asked me to show her how to make a quilt from her teenage daughter's beloved pajamas she had when she was little. She wanted to include those beloved blankets too. So we started out with a sketch, and this week got the blankets sewn together, but not trimmed on the outside edges. She pinned the pjs to this background. It will have some borders and be about a twin size.

Our plan is to cut the back of each pj top and bottom off, as in all the parts that do not need to be there, then applique the visible parts in place. We are having a lot of fun and the results so far are just adorable. However, she has little sewing experience and has never made a quilt. I am also 'winging' it on this one. 

The blankets are somewhat stretchy so we hope quilting will help, but the fabric is firmly woven. The borders will definitely not be stretchy! Two pjs are knits and the other two are woven.

Has anyone ever made or even seen anything like this? If so, directions, tips, advice, etc. would be so appreciated!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Quilting the HSTs

This week I started quilting this small project without any plan. I couldn't design anything that had an over-all appeal, but has designs that I liked for some of the parts. So starting with that, it is coming along. This photo shows a partly finished area and some of the ruler tools that I'm using. Rulers are for people who cannot draw a straight line :-) !

The on-point squares on the right will have some oval flower petals in the center, as well as the triangles on the right side. I've not yet figured out what to do with the HSTs under the yellow ruler, but am taking my time. The experts tell that the ideas will come.