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PATCHWORK: MQS 131E TEA ROSES Posted on 5 Oct 12:38 , 0 comments

Isn't this just the most yummy collection of fabric from Northcott. The press release reads:                                                                                                                              Wellesley by Ro Gregg  Designed by Ro Gregg for Northcott. A romantic cottage feel that fits perfectly in a shabby chic decor.  The natural colorway features creamy tans, milk chocolate browns and soft pinks.  Perfect for quilts, duvet covers, shams, pillows and curtains.  Florals in a variety of sizes, a paisley, a floral stripe, small tonal stripes, and a geometric print make this collection very versatile.

Just wait until you see what I've come up with to show the collection off a
t its best! Go HERE for more on TEA ROSES ... a patchwork pattern and featured quilting suggestions.                                                                                                                                                                                          Cut a strip here, sew a seam there, arrange a set of blocks into a row, apply a few borders and ... VOILA! And such was the tale with the yummy fabric bundle from Northcott. The collection is called Wellesley and includes a beautiful border stripe fabric.                                                                                                                                                                    I use two historic traditional block designs for this pattern:                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

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Coxey's Camp and Arkansas Snowflake. You will find I frequently surround the body of my quilts with a float border of the background fabric. This helps to highlight the blocks within their setting separate from the border. Using small repeating borders creates a dimensional frame for the quilt body and doesn't that gorgeous floral border stripe look like the most elegant ornate gold leaf frame you've ever seen.

This quilt would fit very nicely in a tea room or sun room done in the shabby chic style. I'll be using my quilt in my guest room done around a garden theme.

The pattern MQS 131E TEA ROSES comes with 3 different quilt sizes (throw, full, and queen) and features fully illustrated step-by-step instructions with alternate suggestions for border designs.

131_quilting_mock_up_2I also included a custom alternating block quilting design mock-up suggestion using 1372 Journey Block and 1279 Feather Block.                                                                                                                 Happy Accident:I love the way the tear drop design fits into the triangle of the Arkansas Snowflake block and the way motion is created with the spikey points of the quilting design in contrast with the smooth flow of the feather block.                                                                                                       Border suggestion: think about using 1273 P2P FEATHER BORDER in the outer floral border and using a 1/4" echoing line of stitching to highlight the framing inner borders.

And, finally, don't you just love it when you can explore your options with my favorite design software Electric Quilt to see how a pattern might look using different fabrics ...

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DIAMONDS ON THE DOUBLE PLUS BONUS FREEBIE Posted on 2 Aug 15:14 , 0 comments

Every summer I host a retreat for my sewing group, The Scrappy Sisters. We meet on Friday night for a "Come One, Come All" BBQ Potluck. We bring, hang, and share quilts and quilt tops from retreats from previous retreats. We have the announcement and awarding of prizes to the winners of the Finishing Club for the year. And then we have the EXCHANGE!

Some years we trade strips of a chosen color sheme cut at 2 1/2" by width of fabric and 4 1/2" by width of fabric. Other years we trade bundles of fat quarters packaged up in a variety of themed containers like a picnic basket supper auction. And after our exchange we are ready to fondle our fabrics admiring our "new" stash before we start cutting and sewing. We stitch until the wee hours in the morning, grab a couple hours of sleep and then come back Saturday and Sunday for even more stitching.

This year Kathy chose fabrics that fall into the 1800's category and many of the gals decided they would like to make a pattern of mine called MQS 112E DIAMONDS ON THE DOUBLE. As a special treat for all the retreat-ers I decided to give them a couple of new layout possibilities and additional cutting instructions for a finished 3" block unit. I couldn't leave my loyal blog readers out of the fun, so I'm including those instructions for everyone here, too.  

How did the retreat go, you ask? Postponed due to our record breaking HEAT WAVE from which we've been suffering over the last week! We came to consensus it would be best and most comfortable for all (since most of us here in the PNW do not have AC in our homes - me included) if we waited until September to get together. Just to keep things interesting, I added another twist to our little event.

Since everyone was all primed and ready to sew this weekend, I decided we need to go ahead and start cutting into those beautiful fabrics we've been collecting over the past year. Instead of exchanging fat quarter bundles in September everyone is to use their collection to create a set of thirty-six 3" block units for all who want to trade when we want to meet for our retreat. I've been sewing up a storm this weekend getting my units all squared up and together in stacks so I'm ready for September 11th. Can't wait to see what I get from the other gals and I know I'm going to absolutely love how scrappy my new quilt top will be!

Please note, you will need the original pattern for instructions on how to make the block unit.


CLASS PROJECTS: STAR TABLE MAT Posted on 30 Jul 12:06 , 0 comments

What great combinations of fabrics the girls came up with from their stash for putting together their Star Table Mats. Everyone came with a collection of fat quarters for possible use and left class with a pieced mat all ready for quilting and finishing. Some of the techniques we covered and topics of discussion during class …

  • Tips and food for thought when choosing fabrics and working color, value, and scale of print
  • Template construction … when to buy a template and when to make your own; which materials work best when making your own templates(My favorite is using several layers of Extra Thick Template Plastic stuck together with double stick tape.)
  • A refresher on making better use of all the lines and angles on our rulers
  • A new ruler for some … how the Omni 96 can work with stash busting through our strips
  • Point trimmer, corner cutter, corner trimmer … lots of different names for several tools that do the same thing and make our piecing more efficient and more accurate
  • Piecing with partial seams opens up a whole new world of design possibilities
  • Bias edges and steam … be careful but remember they can also help a potentially easily distorted block lay nice and flat
  • Spray starch or sizing can make a big difference in stabilizing potentially dangerous grain lines in a patch
  • Beautiful bindings even with funny angled edges
  • Taking the project a step further by moving beyond the table mat into other projects using more blocks … exploring the layout possibilities.

A book referenced during class you might want to check out …

        Happy Endings by Mimi Dietrich




GETTING READY FOR CLASS Posted on 28 Jul 11:52 , 0 comments

Today ... surviving the heat ... barely. Mike, bless his heart, added a window AC unit to the studio to help boost the cooling power of the larger roll-around floor unit we already had. We've never had the weather be so overwhelmingly hot even during the night that we couldn't find a measure of relief sleeping outside on the deck. Just keep the fan blowing on me and I think I'll survive.

Tomorrow ... teaching in a shop with AC. Yeah! We're supposed to reach our peak of high temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday and then things should start too cool a bit. Let's keep our fingers and toes crossed.

Teaching at Pioneer Quilts here in Damascus, our class is the Star Table Mat. This block is a traditional block that's been around for many many years and was originally revived from an antique quilt. I will be showing the students how to make this block large enough to be used as a nice table mat ... about 17-18" in diameter.

The block construction features template cutting as well as rotary cutting and piecing with partial seams. It is amazing to me how quickly it goes together and what a great stash buster! This is one of those quilting projects that you could make several to have on hand as a quick gift for a friend, someone new to the neighborhood, or even get-well-quick wishes. I have made several in Christmas fabrics (trying to burn up some of the stash) so I'll be ready for those quick unexpected gift needs that seem to pop in the door during the holidays.

And, just to spark your interest a little more ... check out what it looks like made with batiks on a black background and bed quilt size. How stunning is that with the rich saturation of color you get from batiks.

 

... available as an e-pattern ... MQS 128E SPINNER STAR TABLE MAT ...