Friday, April 30, 2021

A to Z Quilt Challenge: Z = Zippered Accessories

 For the month of April, I have taken up Frédérique's Quilting Patchwork and Applique challenge to blog daily (except Sundays) on a quilt topic related to a letter of the alphabet.  

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In order to corral our tools and supplies, quilters will often make their own storage accessories.  I will admit that many of the ones I've liked or made utilize Zippers in their design.

A few years ago, I made a zippered project pouch using a pattern by Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts.  The pattern was originally available from Connecting Threads and later Craftsy.  Amanda is no longer designing and the pattern doesn't seem to be online anymore.  However, a similar pattern is available on the Moda Fabrics website.

At the time it was storing my "Scrappy Trips" blocks in progress.

I even got to use an old zipper I had from my grandmother's sewing box for this one!

Last year (pre-pandemic), I finally got around to making a little tote for a micro-mini iron I've had for years.


Having come from a clothing sewing background, I am familiar with inserting zippers.  However, some zippers are easier to install than others!

This topic was an opportunity to get right to work on a new pattern I had just purchased last month: The "Catch-All Cutie" by Teresa Weaver of Your Sewing Friend.

Open

Can be closed and carried!

I couldn't resist this really unique design and its "cutie" moniker is apt!  This one is easier to make than it looks.

Maybe one day, I'll try using zippers as an embellishment in a quilt.  This Bernina We All Sew tutorial shows how it can be done.  

Do you use zippers in either accessories or your quilt projects?  Are you scared to insert them or an "old pro" at putting them in?

So that's it for me, I've gone from A to Z!!  I've enjoyed spending this month looking at some of the many things that I love about quilting.   I'll be linking up one last time with Frédérique and the other Challengers at Quilting Patchwork and Applique.  Bonne journée!

Thursday, April 29, 2021

A to Z Quilt Challenge: Y = Yellow

 For the month of April, I have taken up Frédérique's Quilting Patchwork and Applique challenge to blog daily (except Sundays) on a quilt topic related to a letter of the alphabet.  

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When I first started quilting, if you had asked me if I liked the color Yellow, I probably would have said "not particularly".  Then this project came into my life:

My darling Floribunda!

After working with a scrappy selection of yellow solids to make Bonnie Hunter's "Floribunda" quilt, I was hooked on yellows!  Ever since, I have been stashing yellows for that "one day" all-yellow quilt project.

I've also been stashing inspiration but haven't settled on what I will make yet. 

Piecing? Applique? Add other colors?

Whatever it is it will be scrappy!  I'm definitely looking forward to see where the Quilt Muses will point me!

Edited 5/5/21 to Add:  Just came across this post from one of my favorite scrappy quilters, Cathy of the Sane, Crazy and Crumby blog.  She did a post last fall where she used her yellow scraps to make up a number of different blocks.  If you'd like to see yellow hard at work, go check out her post!

Do you like working with the color Yellow?  Have you used it extensively in a quilt?

Linking up with Frédérique and the other Challengers at Quilting Patchwork and Applique.  Bonne journée!

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

A to Z Quilt Challenge: X = X Blocks

 For the month of April, I have taken up Frédérique's Quilting Patchwork and Applique challenge to blog daily (except Sundays) on a quilt topic related to a letter of the alphabet.  

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I thought it would have been hard to find a topic for the letter "X" except that right before I was making up my topic list, I had been looking at this quilt.....

...made up of these blocks called "Anita's Arrowhead".  I made them from a kit and using the shortcut cutting methods of Anita Grossman Solomon (a list of her books is here). 


I had also just recently caught a special sale on Barbara Brackman's Blockbase software.  When I looked up the "Arrowhead" block....

...turns out it is in the category of blocks called " Four X Blocks"!  While I recognized many of the blocks, I hadn't known that the blocks were actually grouped as a category.  Some other blocks in this category are:

Quarter Square blocks


Spiderweb and Hummingbird blocks


I see "Old Maid's Ramble" from the first Moda Sampler and the "Starry Patch" block which is available as an Accuquilt BOB die.


Another X block I plan to make is the block for Kathleen Tracey's "Soldier's Cot Quilt" from her "Civil War Sewing Circle" book.

Janet at the Rogue Quilter blog made a mini quilt using that block.  She called the block  "Old Italian" and linked to Barbra Black's instructions for making it. 

Have you made any of the X Blocks shown here?  Are there any on your "To Do" list?

Linking up with Frédérique and the other Challengers at Quilting Patchwork and Applique.  Bonne journée!

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

A to Z Quilt Challenge: W = Wool and Felt Applique

 For the month of April, I have taken up Frédérique's Quilting Patchwork and Applique challenge to blog daily (except Sundays) on a quilt topic related to a letter of the alphabet.  

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I was definitely attracted to Wool and Felt applique projects for their ease of execution.  Unlike doing applique with regular quilting cottons, wool and felt applique don't require you to turn under the motif edges or apply them with fusible.  You just cut them out and stitch them down!  

While many people view their wool applique projects as another opportunity to experience the joys of hand work, at least initially, I liked the fact that if your machine could perform a blanket stitch, it was just as easy to execute it by machine.

Some of the wool and felt projects I have done over the years are:

"Warm Heart" (also discussed in yesterday's post on quilts for Valentine's Day).

A Christmas table mat design by Debbie Busby of Wooden Spool Designs.....

....turned into a pillow cover.

One of the rare times I have actually enlarged a design to work with it!

One year, I purchased this Primitive Gatherings table mat kit that also included backing and binding.  

Although this one is technically still not finished, it has already been in service for years as a cover for this basket display.  It may not ever get finished now!  

I've also always wanted to make an Easter display using that same basket and the bunny below.  To complete it, I'll need to buy some pretty wool in Spring colors and pastels and make some embroidered wool eggs to display with it.  


At the end of last year, I finally finished all the sets of felt ornaments I have made from Rachel Pellman kits:

These were all done by machine.


This set and the three above it were done by hand.

Another finish last year was the long desired "All In A Days Work":  

This one was also done by hand while recuperating from surgery.

This is a pattern for a table mat that I reduced and made into a header for a wall hanging to hold note pads in my kitchen.

The very first and the biggest wool project I embarked on is the "Heart & Home" wall hanging  designed by Kathi Campbell of Heart To Hand.   It was offered as a Block of the Month by Primitive Gatherings back in 2012.

I didn't finish this top until 2015.   I was really attracted to this BOM because it not only introduced me to working with wool but it also was a chance to work with woven Japanese Taupe fabrics.  It is yet another UFO that really needs to be quilted, completed and displayed.  Maybe this is the year I'll finally get it done!

Wool can be expensive to purchase but you can also source it from old clothing.  Just remember that for applique, you will need to "felt" the wool by washing it in hot water and drying it.  For some tips on choosing garments and processing the wool, check out this Quilting Daily article.  

Have you made any quilts using Wool or Felt?  Are there any on your "To Do" list?

Linking up with Frédérique and the other Challengers at Quilting Patchwork and Applique.  Bonne journée!

Monday, April 26, 2021

A to Z Quilt Challenge: V = Valentine's Day Quilts

 For the month of April, I have taken up Frédérique's Quilting Patchwork and Applique challenge to blog daily (except Sundays) on a quilt topic related to a letter of the alphabet.  

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Next to quilts for Christmas, Valentine's Day has been the holiday I have made the most quilts to celebrate.  I think that is because much like for Christmas, there are always so many inspiring designs to make under the Valentine's Day theme.

My first V-Day quilt is called "Vintage Cherries for Valentines".







Believe it or not, the quilt design came from the same "Tis the Season" book of Christmas quilt designs that my "High Strung +2" quilt came from.  It was also a fun quilt to make because I finally got a chance to make "jar blocks" and buy a fun set of novelty fabric squares that featured various candies.

I also made this little wool table mat to accompany the quilt.

"Warm Heart" by Zenith Petersen, Quiltmaker magazine Jan/Feb 2008

Since the "Vintage Cherries" quilt was made to hang on the back of my couch when decorating for the holiday, the next logical step was to also make covers for a couple of the pillows on the couch.  Those were made up last year as an early-in-the-pandemic project.

This year, the Fat Quarter shop had the cutest little scrap buster wall hanging project and I just had to make that one up too!

Ironically, I'm not done with Valentine's Day projects!  I have a table runner for our dining room sideboard to finish up that I started when making the pillow covers.  I also have a bench pillow that sits on my couch that I've made a Christmas cover for in the past.  I would like to make this cover for it next year:

The debate is whether to go with the pattern and my stash or the pre-cut letters kit?!?

Have you ever made quilts to celebrate Valentine's Day?  Do you like to make quilts to celebrate other holidays?

Linking up with Frédérique and the other Challengers at Quilting Patchwork and Applique.  Bonne journée!

Saturday, April 24, 2021

A to Z Quilt Challenge: U = Un-Sew

For the month of April, I have taken up Frédérique's Quilting Patchwork and Applique challenge to blog daily (except Sundays) on a quilt topic related to a letter of the alphabet.  

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Sometimes....



You just have to.....


Un-Sew....


and at times like these.....


....THIS is your best friend!

Un-sewing:  love it, hate it or necessary evil?  Did I even need to ask?!?

Linking up with Frédérique and the other Challengers at Quilting Patchwork and Applique.  Bonne journée!

Friday, April 23, 2021

A to Z Quilt Challenge: T = Templates

For the month of April, I have taken up Frédérique's Quilting Patchwork and Applique challenge to blog daily (except Sundays) on a quilt topic related to a letter of the alphabet.  

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In the early days of quilting and the later Quilting Revival, quilters were taught to make piecing Templates in the shape of the squares, rectangles and triangles they needed to cut out for their quilt projects.  Those templates would be made from cardboard or template plastic.  To make the blocks, quilters would trace around them with a pencil and then cut out the shapes with scissors.

From "Readers Digest Quilting School", 1993 

With the advent of rotary cutters and acrylic rulers, we no longer use templates for the basic shapes.  However templates still have a place in contemporary quilting.  In this case, I'm not talking about templates in the traditional sense but tools, sometimes also called rulers, that help quilters make specific blocks or make shapes easier to cut or make the blocks faster to piece using rotary cutting methods.  

One of my favorite blocks to piece are Flying Geese.  Of all the methods I've been taught, my "go to" method is the one taught by Eleanor Burns of Quilt In A Day.  Its formal name is "triangle-pieced rectangles" but I call it the "Two Squares" method.  From two squares you get four Flying Geese.

Piecing for Bonnie Hunter's "On Ringo Lake" mystery.

You can square these up with a regular ruler.  However, when you have to do a lot of them, it can be quicker to have a template marked with the exact size you have to trim them to.

I'm missing one, it must be in with a project!

Eleanor came out with this new slotted ruler which means now I have one template that can do the same work as all of the others.

Lemoyne Stars are one of those traditional blocks that had always been rumored to be "difficult".  Made up of diamonds and pieced together with set-in corner squares using "Y" seams, I figured I'd never make that block.  Then Deb Tucker came out with her "Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star" template and "never" became "now I can"! 


Templates can be expensive so I particularly like if a template can make whatever blocks it works up in multiple sizes.  This way any project I might want to use it in can be accommodated.

The RWB star was made for my "Valor" quilt.

Deb's ruler can make these stars from 3" up to 12".  The diamonds and background triangles are cut from strip piece sets and the ruler and accompanying instructions do all the math for you.  Deb also has additional "Technique Sheets" which give instructions for piecing variations of this block.  Needless to say I have big plans for using this ruler even more in the future!

The Twister templates were all the rage some years back.  As a Gadget Fanatic, I caved and got a set.

See Jenny Doan demo it here.

This technique is fun because you just piece squares together and you get the pinwheels by sub-cutting them with the template.  I made a doll quilt with the small template and I helped my MIL make a gift quilt with the large one (sorry, I don't have a picture of that one) .

Gathering A Garden in a Twister

Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings got permission from the designer of the original rulers to make mini versions.  I lucked up on a BOGO sale of the set!

I have plans to make one soon with the smaller template to add another quilt to my mini quilt display.  

Finally, there are those aspirational templates.  For years I wanted to make a "Circle Magic" style quilt and finally scored the template for $10 at a guild "destash" sale a few years back.  

However, last year I saw a Missouri Star Quilt Co. video about "Circle Magic" projects.  They have purchased the rights to the original template design and have updated it and made a new one for use with charm squares!  I finally got a chance to purchase that one recently.  I've always liked this quilt technique because it's quilt-as-you-go.  When you are done piecing, you are also done with the quilting.

One day, when I'm ready to make the mother-of-all quilts -- a "Dear Jane" -- I will be ready!


 Do you like to use templates?  Are there new ones you look forward to getting?

Linking up with Frédérique and the other Challengers at Quilting Patchwork and Applique.  Bonne journée!