Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Kiss Lock Clutch, Appliqued and Quilted "Autumn Leaves"

Applique and quilt your own 9-inch Kiss Lock Clutch
(see my "Patterns and Tutorial" section on how to make a kiss lock clutch)
or purchase this one at:


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thursday, October 4, 2012

"Joyeux Noel" Quilted Christmas Table Runner

"Joyeux Noel" Quilted Table Runner
I entered this Christmas table runner in the Greater Salt Lake Quilt Guild's Holiday Table Runner Quilt Challenge and was very happy to learn that it took 1st Place.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Yeah! The Pinwheel Quilt Was Worth All the Work!

Just returned from the Sandy Stitchers Quilt Guild meeting this evening and was excited to learn that my "Pinwheel Parade" quilt took 1st Place.

Check out the link below to see some of the other quilt challenge entries and other beautiful work members of the Sandy Stitchers are creating:   http://www.sandystitchers.blogspot.com/

Thursday, September 6, 2012

"Pinwheel Parade" Quilt Ready for the Challenge

Finally! My quilt is finished in time to enter the quilt challenge tonight.  While focusing on learning to piece the pinwheels with precision, they appeared to be marching along the quilt in formation, so the quilt was dubbed "Pinwheel Parade."

Now that the quilt is finished, I can look back and say I'm very glad I chose a pattern with 130 rather than the minimum 5 pinwheels because I learned so much.

I learned that I chose the wrong method for cutting and piecing the pinwheels, as described in my July 26 post.  The little time I saved cutting out the pinwheel pieces using method 4 was outweighed by the many problems and frustrations experienced trying to solve fabric puckering and waving caused by sewing the pinwheels pieces together along the bias (even though I was very careful when cutting and sewing).  From now on, I will always use Method 2 (sewing 2 fabric squares together 1/4" along both sides of a cemter line marked for cutting diagonally through the square), where the sides of the pinwheels are sewn along the grain.

I also found that having to sew so many pinwheels gave me lots and lots and lots of practice.  I can now say I have the confidence and ability to sew pinwheels exactly on point on a consistent basis.  That's important to me because I have found that the value and beauty of a quilt increases when designed, sewn, and quilted with care and precision.

Finally, I  gained a greater appreciation for the talent and skill demonstrated by all you quilters who over and over again turn out beautifully pieced quilts.  I salute you!

Well, here's keeping my fingers crossed as I enter my quilt in the Sandy Stitchers Quilt Block Challenge ....  (Check back in a week to see the finished quilt and the contest results.)

Monday, August 20, 2012

This Tension is Causing Me Tension - Pinwheel Block Quilt Challenge

Tension Too Tight

I am soooo ready for this quilt to be finished!  Last night I came up with a new project idea and can't wait to get started on it.

The quilting stage of a project is usually one of my favorites.  Not this time!  I can't seem to get the stitch tension correct.  No matter how I try to correct the machine settings, nothing seems to work.  Could it be Murphy's Law? ... because I'm trying make the quilt well enough to enter in a challenge, everything goes wrong?  I think by now I've picked out more stitches than I have quilted.  I find myself singing that song from "Music Man" ... except with different wording ... 

              Quilt a little, talk a little,
              Quilt a little, talk a little.
              Pick, pick, pick
              Talk alot, Pick a little more .....

              Quilt, quilt, quilt, quilt, quilt, quilt, quilt, quilt

I've tried to adjust everything I can think of.  Maybe the walking foot or sewing machine needs repair?  I can't think of anyth.....  wait!  I just remembered I am using 40# thread for the first time.  It's a little thicker than the regular 50# thread.  I remember learning in one of my quilting classes that "you can have 40# thread on the top and still use the regular 50# thread in the bobbin if you adjust the tension so the top and bottom stitches lock within the layers."  Apparently, I can't seem to find that fine adjustment.  Hmmmm, I think I'll just try using the 40# thread in my bobbin ...  Perfect!  Problem solved! 

Yeah!  I enjoy quilting again. With a few more days left to finish the quilting, bury the thread ends, hand sew the binding, and rinse out the markings ... I think it'll be ready in time.

What thread weights do you use for your quilting?  I'd love to hear, can you sucessfully get your quilting thread tensions correct when you use different weights in the top and bobbin? If so, how do you do it?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

At the Quilt Design Wall -- Pinwheel Block Quilt Challenge

"I know the perfect spot for this ... This quilt is going to be beautiful!"
says 5-year-old budding design artist at the quilt design wall.

After spending days and days and days and days (I'm sure you get the picture) piecing together 150 pinwheel blocks and rueing the day that I chose a quilt design that required 123 more pinwheels than I needed for the challenge, one of my little helpers showed up with her dad (who came to help us paint our doors and frames).

I had just happened to make 32 additional pinwheels with the hope of replacing those blocks that didn't match in the center so well.  So we took all the extra blocks to the design wall and she showed me her fresh idea for a quilt center.  We had lots of fun.  There's nothing quite like the simplicity, enthusiasm and spontaneity of a happy child to brighten your day.

Usually, I design my quilts on paper or with my EQ7 software program; so, I mainly use the design wall for one final viewing before piecing the quilt together and to keep the pieces in order as the quilt is being assembled.   After searching to find the best design wall for my studio, I decided that a large square of white wool felt tacked to the wall along the top in 3 places works just perfect for my needs.  Well, I will have to admit, it's not the most classy design wall on the block, but as my little helper would say, "Oh well!"  I guess what matters is that there are classy blocks on the design wall. 

I'd love to hear how you design your quilts ... do you plot yours out on paper, do you use a design wall, do you just piece everything together and hope for the best?  What works for you?

Posted below is her final center quilt design ...  I'll post my design after I have entered my quilt in the challenge ... that is unless I enter her's instead.