Sunday, June 27, 2010

Apr-May-Jun Review

My 2010 Quilt Challenge continues to forge ahead... and I am already at the midway point. It has been an enjoyable journey so far, as I continue to check out those quilting books on my own bookshelf. Some of them have waited until now to be enjoyed. Take another look at the projects that I’ve blogged about over these last three months:

easy does it autumnclassic quiltsbargello book 001 (492x640)51HEFSF9PJL__SL500_AA300_turning twenty again
--Quilting Books on Review--

Several main goals still being maintained for this challenge are...
· EXPLORING the books in my own library,
· USING fabrics I already own,
· CREATING small projects to test out these new techniques.

APRIL 2010

Easy Does It for Autumn
Nancy Halvorsen

Halloween Candy Quilt
6B-AprDSC06353 (2) (742x1024)
Book Project                            My Quilt

My sixth project was definitely fun to make and there are a few more projects in the book that I'd love to try. I usually change things that don’t fit my way of doing them. First off, I did not include any buttons, as they were specialty ones that I would have had to go buy. The only item I am allowing myself to purchase for this challenge is batting. And, secondly, I added a binding to the quilt when the pattern didn’t use that method; therefore not adding the hanging tabs, either. These types of quilts are my favourite as they are small, the machine appliqués are done with fusible web, and the quilting is easy to do on my own machine. My favourite choice for batting in these wall-hangings is fusible Pellon. This bright quilt will be certain to get attention with its beautiful autumn colors. If you prefer stitcheries, then you may like to make the smaller version in embroidery, as shown above. This project is: 9" x 24". Mine was very close at: 9 3/4" x 24 3/4".

New Collection of Classic Quilts
Lynette Jensen

High Country Pinwheels – Christmas
7-AprDSC06983 (2) (1008x1024)
Book Project                                My Quilt

My seventh project went together quickly as it was all done by piecing the cut fabrics together. This method seems too plain for me, as I love embellishing with appliqué, buttons, and mock piping. However, the opportunity to use some of my Christmas fabrics, and see how fabric can create such an amazing result; were two factors in my choice. I also love the process of cutting up fabrics with my rotary tools, so it was still enjoyable. The projects in the book are mainly large quilts, so downsizing of the pieces was in order to get this one finished. Even though there are many beautiful quilts in this book, I think this is the only one I will try. This project is: 56" x 56". Mine was 32 1/4" x 32 1/4".

MAY 2010

The Bargello Quilt Book

8-MayDSC07013 (2) (1024x944)
Book Project                      My Project

My eighth project was inspired from all the colourful quilts shown in the book. So, did I follow the pattern? Yes and no! Firstly, the method is so simple... and fun. It is a must to follow the technique to achieve what is called “bargello”. However, the color palette is completely your own! I don’t know if I’ll make this exact pattern again. But I do know that trying a variety of “bargello styles” would be fun to explore. It was rather difficult to pick my colors, and when nothing suited the amount of print fabrics that I had on hand, I chose one print and the rest were plains. I hadn’t seen that color choice done before. And, then, I only picked seven colors instead of ten. I chose to do the ‘diagonal quilting’ over the ‘in-the-ditch quilting’. This quilting was actually quite fun... an opportunity for me to go out of my comfort zone. Although I still did breathe a sigh of relief when I got to the binding stage! I hung my quilt with the points going downward. The project shown is: 27" x 35". Mine was 29" x 25 3/4".

Four Seasons of Quilts
Cori Derksen and Myra Harder

Pumpkin Patch Baby Quilt
001 (2)DSC08232 (2) (883x1024)
Book Project                        My Project

My ninth project began with enthusiasm; however, I just couldn’t get myself motivated to work on the freezer-paper templates and creating all that bias for the stems. Even with this background, you can see I have difficulty with random placement of color. So, I had to decide if I could push myself to doing it anyway or change the project to one I could complete. I went with the latter, and was very glad I did...

Holly and Berries Table Runner
9-May DSC07294 (2) (493x1024)
Book Project            My Project

With a Christmas project already made in April, my first choice from the book was this autumn project. However, because this one wasn’t going to happen and I wanted to keep this book for May, this table runner was my second choice. Of course, I had to try my own method when doing the paper piecing portion. It worked out perfectly with the appliqué and my piece of holly and berries fabric. I had also planned on doing the stems in hand embroidery, but after spending so much time on my first attempt, I went with machine stitching, instead. Of course!

There are four fun mini projects (14” x 9”) that I’d go back for, but I still don’t know what I’ll do with my “Pumpkin Patch” appliqué-less quilt top. This completed project from the book is: 16" x 38". Mine was 15 3/4" x 34 1/2".

JUNE 2010

Turning Twenty... Again
Tricia Cribbs

9 Blocks – 3 x 3 setting
10-Jun DSC08493 (2) (1022x1024)
Book Project                        My Project

My tenth project was a perfect choice for using up some of those fat quarters that I have and aren’t particularly fond of as I like my fabrics to have two selvage edges. And fat quarters aren’t always so perfectly cut. I chose the smallest size because that is what I work with best. And, if you like to do everything will precision and order, then this technique is a sure thing to challenge you. When it says, “it makes no difference which side you choose”, it means exactly that. Of course, I am challenged when doing things randomly. So, if I ever make another one of these, I may just use my scrap fabrics, and choose my colors at random, to keep me from wanting to always match things up evenly! When quilting the layers together, I think all those seams and edges wanted to take a stretch because it wasn’t fun to quilt. I did, however, finally get it to work.

The project shown is done with the 12 blocks -3 x 4 setting. The finished size without borders would be 48 1/2” x 64 1/2 and with a 6 1/2” border would be 60 1/2” x 76 1/2”. Mine was the 9 blocks – 3 x 3 setting, and the pieces decreased by about one half to finish at 29" x 29".

Thanks for reading...

Enjoy your quilting adventure for... 2010!!

Next Week:
July begins my third quarter of quilting topics and book reviews. For more details of upcoming quilting techniques and more great books check out my website for even more inspirational ideas!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Turning Twenty…

Turning Twenty… Again/ by Tricia Cribbs

Time to reveal my next project... I choose: "9 Blocks – 3 x 3 setting" from the book.  [We can use the Turning Twenty technique using 9, 12, 16, 20, or 30 blocks.]

Book, Fabrics

The fabric requirements for this technique use fat quarters. If you are making the quilt with 20 blocks then all you need is 20 fat quarters.

Also, if you like to do scrappy quilts, then this quilt pattern would be a perfect choice. Just go through your fabric scraps and start cutting until you have the required pieces.

All the Pieces Cut - Labels show the Size

Stitching Together the Units

A Complete Block

After the blocks are sewn together, you can decide if you wish to just add the binding or if you want to add borders. Go ahead and experiment…

I particularly like quilt projects that either have a variety of sizes to try or can be easily scaled down to make a smaller one. It’s a great way to familiarize yourself with a new technique before deciding whether you wish to make one in a larger size.

When sewing the blocks together, it doesn’t matter which side they are placed on… this makes each quilt unique.

The thing that I had the most trouble with was the quilting portion. I prefer to use 505 spray instead of safety pins to baste the layers together. However, I didn’t have any left and was determined to make it work without the spray, this time.

So after considerable time stitching and ripping out stitches, I decided on stitching in the ditch around each main block. Then, I stitched a square in the center of each of these blocks. I used a scrap piece of paper for a template.

Template for Block Centers

Center of Block Stitching

I usually breathe a sigh of relief when the layers have been stitched together. Then, I can enjoy stitching on the binding.


I believe I have decided on two things in this quilt challenge:

<>  My favourite quilts to make are ones that are small enough to fit on my 24” x 36” cutting mat.
<>  And, I think that those that are not totally square, are most preferred.

While the most challenging part of this particular project was the quilting of those layers, it was good to finally dig this book out from my collection of quilting books.

What is the most interesting about this quilt challenge for me, is that I am utilizing quilt books that are on my bookshelf. No longer will they stay there just to decorate my sewing room.

My Finished Quilt
Finished size: 29” x 29”

I choose fabrics to match one of the quilts in the book. However, it would be fun to try a scrappy quilt with no set colors.

Next Week...
It is time again to do a three month review of the five books I've reviewed. If you wish to see what books are being featured you can also check out my website for more details.

Enjoy your quilting journey in 2010!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Half A Quilter?

Since… a quilt top isn’t called a “QUILT” until all three layers are sewn together. And… I really only like the process of making the top layer of the quilt.

I ask myself this question:
Am I only half a quilter if I only like to make quilt tops?

I am getting a real sense of why people end up with so many unfinished quilt projects. The eagerness to want to do more then is physically possible will always result in a long to-do-list of projects in waiting mode. There are many reasons that quilts don’t get finished… the quilting process is one of them.

I too, love to sew up quilt tops and find the quilting portion a real chore on quilts larger then my cutting mat. I am grateful that there are long-arm quilters to aide in my successful completion of these projects.


2010 is a time for me to see how far I can stretch my quilting comfort zone. At times, this is more of a challenge then I anticipate. At other times, I even surprise myself and am able to push beyond the limitations in my mind.

So... I have determined that for myself, I will utilize the services of a long arm quilter to complete the layers for quilts on larger projects. My machine has a very small throat and I only add frustration to the quilting process, which should stay “fun”.  And, when I wish to do it all myself, I can enjoy making small quilts.


So go ahead…. be any kind of quilter you like!! There are no rules or limitations to quilting… you dream as big as you desire. Perhaps the only thing to really remember is to HAVE FUN!! And, if that isn’t happening, change the things that stand in the way to make it FUN.

Continue creating… all year long!!


My tenth project will be shared next week...

Turning Twenty... Again/
Tricia Cribbs

More Details...
Next week I will do the book review and reveal my quilt project. Then the following week, I will be doing a review of the past three months. If you wish to see what books are being featured you can also check out my website for more details.

Enjoy your quilting adventure for... 2010!!