I am a Quilter, I am a Quilter, I am …

April 23rd, 2013
…a Quilter.  I’ve been repeating this phrase for the last few days after I spent a frustrating weekend trying to make a simple pillow and had to put in a  zipper.  I do this (put in a zipper) about once every 5 years so it’s a task that feels pretty new every time I do it, and it always takes me much longer than it should.  These are the moments where I have to bolster my confidence by telling myself that I know how to make quilts, and most of the time, that is enough!


It all started very innocently.  I have a new class to teach people the basics of MEA using die-cut shapes and using a technique where you never hoop the fabric but instead “float” the fabric on top of the stabilizer.  Besides avoiding the hassle of hooping the fabric and getting it centered, this technique is kind of cool because you can take a file and do multiple different designs with it, depending on how you place the fabric on top of the stabilizer.  As an example, you can start out with a simple heart and make something basic like a pincushion:
Learning how to make this single appliqued heart really gives you the basic skills you need.  Once you learn the basics of how to do that (it’s very easy), the you can create other designs like this mug rug:
The mug rug is fine, but I wanted to have another option for something a person could make from that trio of hearts, so I came up with this pillow:
After the hours I spent putting in the zipper, I forgot to partially open the zipper once I finally sewed the front and back of the pillow together, so I had no way to “get inside” of the “pillow-cased pillow” to turn it inside out!  I tried to gently force it to open but it wouldn’t so I ended up having to rip out one of the side seams and open it that way!
The quilting on the pillow was fun but you can’t really see it in the photos.  Here are shots from the backside of the pillow front as the quilting was going in:
and then the final version:
This was the first time I hadn’t carried a quilting design through the 4 corners and I actually like how this came out.  I thought it would look kind of “fractured” but I guess I like that fractured look!

buy viagra australia

Floral Quartet Quilt Finished

April 18th, 2013


I finished this quilt about a  month ago and never posted about it.  It has a lot of texture to it, which I love.  Here’s a shot of it lying on the floor near a window.  The color is not right, but it shows the texture pretty well:



Here are some other shots that are closeups of different areas.  The deep blue is more a reflection of the true color, but I had to take some shots without a flash to show the wonderful texture:





I love how the outer blue border came out.  I need to do more stuff like this down the road:





I felt kind of dumb at the end because I had been really careful to mark a border line about 1/2 inch from all edges to be sure I didn’t quilt into the area that would ultimately become the binding.  Once I went to bind it, I felt like it needed a little punch of color right at the edge, so I added that narrow orange channel along each edge.  Of course, this covered the edge of the quilted design…GRRRRR!!!!:



The appliques were all cut on my small Sizzix Big Shot using the Appli-K-Kutz Stems 2 die and Petals 4 Large die.  Totally, totally fun to make!

Sick as a Dog

April 13th, 2013

You might have noticed that I have been absent from my blog for awhile.  I was really sick, sicker than I’ve ever been in my life, and I didn’t do anything other than lie around for 1 1/2 weeks.  I’ve been really fortunate and never been ill like that before, so it was quite an experience.  I’m glad to say that I feel back to my old self now and am ready to go!  This first post back amongst the living is of a quilted tote bag I made about a month or so ago:



I started out by creating the center block of the bag using machine embroidery applique to make a feathered wreath (this is the 10 1/2 in wreath made with the Appli-K-Kutz  Plume Family die) and then added top and side fabrics to make 2 of the front/back blocks below:


I quilted each block, but did not use a backing fabric.  Here’s the backside of the front block:



I sewed the front and back together, then made the bases into box corners.  I turned it inside out so that the good side was on the outside again, then gathered my ruffle and pinned it to the good side and then pinned my straps in place on top of the ruffle (this way they would fall inside the ruffle in the final bag):



Here’s a closeup of what the top looks like after these layers have been stitched together:



…and here’s what the inside looks like at this point:


Next, I created the lining.  I do this by fusing the front and back lining pieces to fusible interfacing.  (I do this to give them more body.)  I cut my pockets twice as high as I want them to be and fuse those pieces to interfacing as well.  I fold over the pocket so the front side of the pocket is actually 2 layers (more body and more stable if you’re someone who likes to really stuff your pockets full of stuff!).  Here’s a shot of the lining and I placed some tv remotes inside them so you could see them better:


(In the photo above, the front and back lining layers have been stitched together and the bottoms have been turned into box corners just like the front/back of the tote bag were.)  Next step is to place tote bag front/back unit inside of the linign unit so that the good sides of each are facing one another.  That’s what you’re seeing in this next shot and you can see that the top edge has been pinned in anticipation of  sewing them together forever:


They’ve been sewn together in this next shot, but you can see from what I’m holding that there’s a small area of the top edge that was not stitched together:


You just slip your hand into that opening and begin pulling the “good sides” from the inside to the outside…here it is in a half-in/half-out stage:


Once it’s all been turned inside-out, you simply pin that small opening shut and then whip stitch it closed for good.  I then pin all along the top edge and then topstitch it all together at the end:


…and here it is in all its finished glory:


A lot of people have emailed me to ask about classes at the warehouse.  They were supposed to start later this month but we had to cancel them because I lost so much time from being sick.  We WILL be having classes in May, though.  The classroom is all ready for some fun quilty stuff:




canada pharmacy