Saturday, May 30, 2015

Idaho Square Dance With A Western Swing

My second quilt to make for Quiltmaker's Addicted to Scraps using Bonnie Hunter's block Idaho Square Dance is finished.  This is the block Bonnie made and is featured in the May/June issue of Quiltmaker Magazine.

Here is my block before I pressed it.  Sorry I didn't take any photos of the blocks after I pressed them.  I had a western panel in my stash that I used for the center square of the Idaho Square Dance blocks.

Then I made this similar block to go in one of the borders for a pieced border.  That's where the Western Swing comes in to do the Idaho Square Dance.

I drained by stash of 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" bricks and 1 1/2" squares in light background fabrics plus all the red and blue 1 1/2" squares.  I actually had to cut more from my stash fabrics.  There are 12 - 1 1/2" light squares per block and there are 40 blocks so that's 480 - 1 1/2" squares of light, 160 - 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" bricks, and 480 - 1 1/2" squares of red, blue, and various other colors as well.  They finish 6".

Horseshoes quilted in tan Mother Goose thread.

The outer border is a striped fabric so I had to miter the corners.  And what do you do with all the wasted fabric from the mitered corners?

I pieced them together and made a mitered frame to go around one of the panel blocks left over from the front.

This is the center block for the backing of the Idaho Square Dance.

I kept adding to it using the left over panel squares from the front and some western fat quarter fabrics from my stash  plus some red barbed wire fabric and this is the back.  I like it almost as much as I like the front.

A certain little boy who is mesmerized by the Western Channel on TV will love this quilt.  He loves horses on TV and in real life too.  This is Emmett with Poppy (aka The King) watching Bonanza on TV.  

You can hop on over to the Quiltmaker's Quilty Pleasures blog and see their post about the Idaho Square Dance block.  Here are a couple of my Addicted to Scraps Team members and their Idaho Square Dance quilts.

This is Melva Nolan's.  You can read about it here on Quilty Pleasures Blog

Shari Wonderling set this one on point.  I don't think Shari's quilt has been published yet on Quilty Pleasures.

And June Sinfield made this bright and cheery one.  I don't think June's has been published yet either on Quilty Pleasures Blog but it will be soon.  


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Spring Market 2015

I can't believe I missed Spring Market 2015 in Minneapolis this year.  It was so close to me but alas I had to make a decision.... Spring Market or a 7 day Caribbean Cruise .... why I think I'll miss Spring Market.

Even though I wasn't there in person, some of my work was there and I was there in spirit.  One of my friends, who just happens to be an artist and fabric designer for Quilting Treasure, J Wecker Frisch called me about 2 weeks before market and ask if I had time to quilt a couple of little things for her for Spring Market.  Why of course I did!!!

Her fabric line is called Letter Stitch and you can see it here.  It's coming in July.  I quilted 2 simple black place mats, 2 place mats from the green letter fabric.  I outlined the letters and then just filled in with a diagonal straight line stitching.  I also made 2 pillows using 2 different panels.  Janet and I decided on a "ragged" edge applique for the pillows and simple corded piping around the edge.

I hate it that I missed seeing it all in person at Market but I know her booth looked fabulous.  It always does!  

I'm also linking up with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts on her Let's Bee Social post.  Go check it out and Bee Social with other bloggers.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tips, Tricks, and Tuts Tuesday - Adding Borders

The holiday on Monday has me a day behind.  I have thought all day that today was Monday and I had one more day to get my Tips, Tricks, and Tuts Tuesday - Adding Borders ready.  I'm also a day or two behind because I just got back from a wonderful 7 day vacation Cruise to the Western Caribbean.  I'll post pictures of that later in the week.

So how to you measure for your borders to add to your quilts?  Or do you measure?   Please don't tell me you don't just start sewing your borders on without measuring them and then whack it off at the end.  If you do, you'll likely end up with a friendly quilt.  Those borders will be waving at me (or your longarm quilter) like this one is.

To prevent this and have a somewhat square quilt here's what you can do.  Take 3 measurements of the quilt center.  The first one should be a couple of inches in from the top edge.  The second one should be across the middle.  And the third one should be a couple of inches in from the bottom edge.  If you have a difference of an inch or so, you might want to go back to your blocks and square them up a bit.  It will be difficult to work in more than an inch or two.  Write each measurement down.

Add them together and then divide by 3.  This is an average of the three measurements and should be what you would cut your border length.  For example:
          Measurement #1 = 45"
          Measurement #2 = 44 1/2"
          Measurement #3 = 44 3/4"
The total of the 3 measurements is 134 1/4".  Divide that by 3 and you get 44 3/4".  Cut the top and bottom border 44 3/4".

When you're ready to sew the border to the quilt top, place a pin in the center of the quilt top at the top edge and at the bottom edge.  Now place a pin at the center of the edge of each border strip.  Match the center pins and pin the border to the quilt top.  Now pin each end of the border to the quilt top and place additional pins in between.  This allows you to "work in evenly" any fullness you may have in the border or the quilt top.   You can further divide the border and quilt top into quarters as well as halves, particularly if you're working with a larger bed size quilt.  I rarely use pins when piecing a quilt top but will ALWAYS use pins when adding borders.

If your border is a bit larger or smaller than the quilt center, place the longer piece on the bottom, next to the feed dogs of your machine.  They will help "ease" in the fullness of the longer piece.

Repeat this process for the side borders.   Some instructions will suggest that you add the side borders first and then the top and bottom.  Either way is fine, as long as you are consistent throughout the entire quilt.  

Each time you add a border, do the 3 measurements again and repeat the process.  You will be so much happier with the end result if you will take the extra time to add your borders like this.

One last tip on borders.  Although most patterns (including mine) will tell you to cut your border strips the border width by the width of fabric (for example 6 1/2" x WOF).  This is perfectly fine, however, you will have less "stretch" or "give" if you cut your border strips the length of the fabric (parallel with the finished selvage edge).  I personally like to cut my borders like this.

There are lots of options and considerations for borders like size, color, pieced or plain, etc. that I am not going to address in this post but hopefully this Tips, Tricks, and Tuts Tuesday - Adding Borders will give you a fabulous finish to your beautiful quilt.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Lost Quilt

William and I were brainstorming the other day about quilt patterns that I need to write.  I have a few quilts in my collection that are my original patterns but had never that about publishing a pattern for them.  One of them was a quilt he had made himself in his early teens.  I commented that I also needed to write the directions for the other quilt he made.... and the argument began.  He was convinced we have all the quilts he had ever made right here in front of us.  I was convinced there was one more; I even knew the fabric and colors it was made from.... and then the search began for the Lost Quilt.

I looked everywhere I thought it could be and he looked back in my scrapbooks and pictures.  The only clue he came up with was a newspaper article that stated he won a ribbon for a quilt entered that was called "No Name".  Imagine that.  I was sure that was the quilt.  I looked one more time in a closet I had a few quilts in.  There it was.... I just missed it the first time... and score one for Mom.  I was right!

So now he thinks its the ugliest quilt he's ever seen.  He thinks the colors are hideous!  I've promised to re-make it in other colors and more modern feel type fabrics.  The pattern will be coming soon for the Lost Quilt that is now found.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

I have a Name...Tag

The whole time I lived in Brownwood Texas and was a member of the Brownwood Quilter's Guild all those years, I never had a Name Tag.  I even had a program on making Name Tags when I was program chair and I missed that meeting so still no name tag.

In DeKalb Illinois at the DeKalb County Quilter's Guild, if you don't wear a name tag of some sort, you have to pay a quarter.  The name tag can be a quilty type name tag, an official DCQG name tag, whatever you like as long as it's a name tag.  Members who wear their name tag get their name in a basket and then there is a drawing at the end of the meeting for the money collected from those that didn't wear their name tag.

I think one of the reasons I didn't have a name tag (other than the fact that I'm a procrastinator) is I couldn't decide on a pattern.  I finally made it a mission to find a pattern and by golly I found the perfect pattern.  It's paper pieced.  Here is section one.

And section two...

And Section three....

And what a mess that little paper pieced block makes!

Yes, a seam ripper was required.  I used the wrong piece of fabric clear back in section one and didn't notice it until it was sewn together.  I had to fix that!

 Then there was the fiasco of trying to get the embroidery machine to work after the move.  Apparently that's not happening.  I fiddled with it all day... and I do mean all day!  I kept getting an error when I would send it to stitch out.  I think it's time for a new embroidery machine with lessons!  I finally settled on writing my name with the alphabet letters on my sewing machine.  It will do... at least it's my name on there.

I had to pay a quarter last meeting.  But not anymore more (or at least not because I don't have one, maybe because I forgot to wear it!).... Now... I have a Name Tag.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Hometown Twirl Around

As you may, or may not know, I'm on the Addicted to Scraps Team with Quiltmaker Magazine.  Each publication Bonnie Hunters features a scrappy block and team members are assigned 3 months throughout the year to make a quilt (or other project) using the block.  My first assignment was the block featured in the Feb./March issue of Quiltmaker Magazine called the Twirl Around Block.  And if you remember I blogged about it here.

Well shortly after I finished it, we were smack dab in the middle of the move.  I couldn't share it with you yet as it hadn't been featured on Quiltmaker's Quilty Pleasure blog.  And then I was in full blown unpacking mode when I could and I completely forgot about it.  You can read about it on Quilty Pleasure here.

So now I'm sharing it with you on my blog too.  I called it Hometown Twirl Around after all the wonderful friends in my hometown of Nevada, MO that came to my rescue when I called for an SOS for red/white/blue fabric scraps.  Thanks so much to Erica, Donna, Joann, Sandy, Cindy, and Nancy.  Several others offered but I had collected enough from these gals that I was set!

I completed the blocks and laid them out.  It needed something....

How about a snowball block to set with the blocks....

Here is the top finished and laying on the hotel bed in Illinois.

Once back in Texas it was finally quilted in the nick of time.

I used this pattern called Stars and Stripes from Kay Oft at Mountain Top Quilting and a variegated red/white/blue thread.

Here is one of my fellow Addicted to Scraps Team Member's block and quilt.  Debbie Yarborough made this one.  

I have the second Addicted to Scraps project finished but it isn't scheduled to come out for a couple of weeks so you'll have to check back for it.  It's called the Idaho Square Dance.

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