Category Archives: quilt

Quilt Gardens

is for Garden.

Gardens are beautiful (especially if I don’t have to do the work). Flower gardens, those with beautiful blooms are preferrable to the all green of some gardens.

 

Maybe it’s the quilter in me that loves all the color, I don’t know. I do know that on my list of places to visit is Indiana to take a quilt garden tour.

Just imagine. Wondering around a flower garden inhaling the intoxicating scents of the different plants. Enjoying the riot of color as the patch of one color and flower met with the patch of another.

Why, it might even spark a different color combination idea, or plant the seed for a quilt design.

Enjoying time in the garden is always a pleasure and I’m looking forward to the day I can enjoy both quilts and gardens at the same time in a quilt garden.

 

Have you ever visited a quilt garden?

Have you ever considered trying to plant a quilt garden?

If you were doing a mini-quilt garden which quilt blocks would you try to replicate?

 

Today is for the seventh letter of the alphabet (G) in the A to Z challenge. Due to some family challenges I am a few letters behind. Stay tuned, I will catch up.

 

5 Uses for Painter’s Tape in the Sewing Room

Today’s sewing room tool came from the garage. Actually, it came from my junk drawer. Wherever you find  it, that blue tape used to keep paint off  woodwork when painting walls is useful in the sewing room. Five ways I’ve found to use it are:

1. To keep templates from slipping when cutting fabric. A couple of pieces of tape on the back of the template will help keep it place with less shifting. Leaving no sticky residue when it’s removed.

2. Marking the sewing line on the machine. If no 1/4″ foot is available, placing the tape on the machine 1/4″ inch from the needle will help keep all seams uniform. This works well when sewing something with a larger, or smaller, seam allowance. There aren’t special foots for every seam size.

3. Remove loose threads. Once the quilt is finished, or even as we’re sewing, threads find their way to the top of the project. If a lint roller isn’t available, balled up tape will easily remove those threads. Works on our clothes before going out too. Because while no outfit is complete without a few threads, we don’t want to look as though we rolled on the thread-covered floor.

4. Marking the measuring line on the template. Most template have several measurements on them, it makes them more useful and we can make items in various sizes. Sometimes, if I’m not careful, I cut my fabric too big or too small because I followed the wrong line. The blue tape used to keep the template from shifting, will also work to help me keep all my cuts uniform. Simply place the straight edge of tape along the appropriate line. No more miss cuts.

5. As a quick thimble. Many quilters have a collection of thimbles. Not me. I don’t like them, and haven’t learned to use them. Still, there are times when hand sewing that a thimble will be helpful. On those days, wrapping my finger with tape will work.

Masking tape can also be used in place of painters tape. However if using the tapes on the templates or sewing machine, remove them after completing a project to ensure no sticky residue remains.

Have you ever used masking, or painting tape in your sewing/crafting projects?

Do you have another use for the tape?

Do you have another quick fix thimble?

This post is part of the 31days of Shopping The House for Sewing Supplies.

Skirt Hangers aren’t just for Skirts

 

Do you keep those plastic skirt hangers when you buy a skirt at the store? Of course you do. Even if you have nice hangers at home, you need these for your sewing room. And really, what will the store do with them? Throw them away? Recycle them? You can recycle them just as easy, maybe easier than the store, and no other outside costly energy is expended in the process.

How can you use a skirt hanger:

1. Hang your cutting mat on it when not in use. If you only have a small area for your sewing and quilting your mat needs to be stored in a flat area so it doesn’t warp or get all wonky. Hanging it up with a skirt hanger is the perfect solution.

2. Store blocks in progress.  Hanging your blocks on a hanger allows you to have them in view (if you want) yet out of danger of being covered up with other fabric. It also keeps them free of wrinkles. You can add each block as it’s finished which also lets you see at a glance how many are completed. These hangers often will slide, so it doesn’t matter what size blocks you’re making.

3. Hanging a quilt for photos. We want pictures of our quilts, but taking them is often  challenge. Experts suggest taking the photo straight on, that is having the camera and the quilt at the same height and angle. If you don’t have someone to hold the quilt, or a sleeve on your quilt for hanging this can be difficult. Skirt hangers to the rescue. Once you take a “straight on” photo then you can take more artistic ones. Pictures of the quilt covering a loved one, on a bed, draped over a chair or fence. All quilt pictures are worth taking and viewing.

4. Store your fabric.If storage is at a premium add a lower rod to your closet and hang your hangers of fabrics. They will be out of the sun, out of plastic tubs, and easily viewed. Of course this will only work for a few of your fabrics, so you’ll have to make some choice. After all, few people have that many closets.

5. Holding fabric for a project. When you buy fabrics for a specific quilt you can clip all of them to one, or two, skirt hangers to keep everything together as you work on the quilt. You’ll know where the backing and binding fabrics are because they will be on the hangers.

Do you use skirt hangers in your quilt room?

Do you have other uses for skirt hangers?

What non-sewing items do you use in your sewing room?

This post is part of the 31 day challenge. Check out some of the other blogs posting there.

Wax Paper in the Sewing Room

 

Save time and money. Shop at home.

The time you save can be used working on a project. The money will go towards your next fabric purchase.

Shopping at home allows us to finish our projects without making a trip to the store. Today we’re shopping in the kitchen for emergency sewing supplies.

There it is. In your cabinets with other kitchen papers.

The roll of wax paper.

What can you do with wax paper.

Allow me to wax on about the benefits of wax paper in the sewing room.

1. The paper can be used for quilting over tee-shirt quilts. Often the presser foot will stick to the design of the shirt, making quilting difficult. Placing the wax paper over the design allows the presser foot to glide.

2. Draw the quilting design on the wax paper and place the paper over the quilt. Since you can see the quilt pattern through the paper, you will be able to tell if this pattern works for this quilt.

3. If you don’t have fusible handy when making a tee-shirt quilt, wax paper will help stabilize the stretching tee-shirt fabric for sewing.

4. Use the paper as a quilting template. Draw your quilting design on the paper then pin it to your quilt top. Stitch through the wax paper following your design. The wax paper will tear away when you’re finished, tweezers will help get the tiny pieces.

5. In a pinch wax paper can be used in place of a silicone sheet when pressing fusibles. The sandwich your fabrics between two pieces of wax paper. The paper will protect both your ironing board and your iron.

Three Considerations when Looking for Quilt Show Venues

Location is the first consideration when planning a quilt show. You can read all five important ingredients for a quilt show here.

Your location will depend on where you live, and what is available to you. You can make almost any location work. Some may take a little more creativity, ingenuity, and even elbow grease.  However, before you can begin scouting for the appropriate location there are three factors  consider.

1.Indoors or out? Is your show going to be a one day outdoor event, or do you prefer an indoor venue?  This will affect where you locate.  An outdoor quilt show can be fun and successful, although you do need to have a contingency plan in the event of inclement weather.

There are several successful outdoor quilt shows held each year including: Eureka Montana Quilt Show, August 3, in Eureka Montana. Winters California Quilt Show, June 22, in Winters California, and of course,The Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, held the second Saturday in July in Sisters Oregon.

2. Finances. How much can you afford to pay for the use of the facilities?  For small groups a free location is best,  as they don’t usually have a lot of money in their treasury. Some locations to consider for a free, or low-cost use are: school auditoriums if  the students are on a break. Churches, often have a dining hall or activity center they are willing to have used for a quilt show. Town halls, or community centers often have a large open space perfect for a quilt show. Some farmers and ranchers have large barns or shop buildings that are empty, or can easily be emptied, during certain parts of the year, they may consider allowing a quilt show in their barn. The Clarita Amish Auction held the second Saturday in September includes a quilt display (before the auction) in one of the barns. Once your finances are established, it’s easier to narrow the location search.

Sometimes quilt shows are held in huge convention centers.

Sometimes quilt shows are held in huge convention centers.

3. Accessibility. You want people to be able to get to your quilts to view them. Adequate parking is one consideration, if you use a farmer’s shop building, your customers need to be able to drive and park on his pasture, unless of course, the shop is located right next to the road. You want to avoid the need for people to park in the road, it’s not safe, and will deter some possible attendees from stopping.  A nearby parking lot is your best option, if available. You also want your venue to be accessible to those in wheelchairs, with walker or pushing strollers. If stairs must be climbed, you’ll need to install a ramp, a temporary one if necessary, for those needing one. Most public venues will be wheelchair accessible, it’s just something to keep in mind. You want your beautiful quilts accessible to everyone who wishes to see them.

Questions:

1. What is the most unusual location you’ve visited for a quilt show?

2. What is the most difficult obstacle your group has had to overcome to have a quilt show?

3. How far will you drive to attend a quilt show?

Should Quilts Look Like the US Flag?

I used to believe about quilts the way Will Rogers believed about men. He never met a man he didn’t like and I thought I’d never seen a quilt I didn’t like, at least to some degree. I was wrong.

“We should make a quilt that looks like a flag.” A member of our guild mentioned one afternoon as several of us were visiting.

“Um, I’d rather we didn’t.” I tried to be diplomatic, after all if that’s what everyone else wanted to do, they’d do it, majority rules and all that. Of course, that didn’t mean I’d have to participate. Someone always sat out a group project for one reason or another.

“Why, not for goodness sake?” She asked.

“It feels disrespectful to me.” I gave her the short answer. ”

“Well, I think it’s showing respect.” She crossed her arms and sat back as though I should immediately agree with her.

I didn’t.

If the subject comes up again, and it will. After all that was just a few of us tossing ideas around, I’m sure the subject will come up at a meeting. I’ll still opt out. But this time, when they ask me why, I’ll send them to this blog.

Today,  the United States of America celebrates not only our independence from King George, but our establishment as a country..

We celebrate as a country united, a country of mixed ethnic groups, cultures, ideas and ideals. We are one country and we defend each other, even as we disagree.

Today, as we celebrate our unitedness (yes, spell check, that is a word, it’s my word) is a good time to explain why I don’t like quilts that look like flags. Why I feel it’s disrespectful.

First, you need to understand what our flag represents to me. The flag represents every US citizen, from the native-born to the immigrants, recent and past, the flag represents all of us. The flag belongs to everyone, high-ranking executives, to minimum wage hamburger slingers, and every economic, and intellectual group in-between.

The flag represents our rights.

It represents mine and my friend’s right to disagree with each other, and have a discussion about it, in public.

It represents my right to own, have ammunition for, and shoot a gun. Your right to not have a gun in your possession. It does NOT represent my right to shoot you because I disagree with you.

It represents the right of the Jews to worship in their synagogue, the Christians in their church of choice (and we have several), the atheists to not worship at all. It even represents the westboro group the right to believe the way they believe. It does NOT represent anyone’s right to disrupt another person’s life because they believe differently.

It represents my (and your) right to visit relatives and friends, or just sight-see in another state without getting anyone’s permission.

It represents my (and your) right to vote for those who will serve us in our state and federal legislature, it even represents our right to vote them out of office when their personal agenda takes precedence over our wishes.

The flag represents our Heroes. Those who serve us at home, and abroad, our police, firefighters, and military. Sometimes at the cost of their lives. The flag represents their choice to serve us, even knowing the possible cost.

The flag represents all of our rights, not just the few I listed, and those who fought, and sometimes died to protect our rights. I do not want it disrespected.

To disrespect the flag disrespects our rights and more importantly all of those who serve and served to protect those rights.

A quilt  placed on a bed, gets tangled with other covers and kicked on the floor. It is not respected and does not show respect for the original flag or those it represents.

A quilt, folded and placed on the floor for a baby to crawl on, spit-up on, and even have diaper accidents on, is not showing respect to the flag.

A quilt,  thrown over a picnic table, used as a tablecloth, and has food spilled on it, is not being showing respect.

A wall quilt made to look like a flag could be considered showing respect, except I seldom make wall quilts, and if I want to hang a flag on my wall, I’ll put the real thing.

No, I do not like flag quilts. I do not find them a sign of respect.

You, of course, are free to disagree. That’s one of the rights the flag represents. How do you feel about flag quilts? Do you enjoy making them? Share your thoughts.

Introduction to Quilting 001

Yes, I know, classes usually have a one in front of them, as in Quilting 101, not Quilting 001. But, we’re talking basic basics here. The simplest of simple.

Quilting 001 will walk the fearful quilter into the quilt world maize one step at a time. Before long you’ll be walking around, not getting lost, but trying new things. So come along. Let’s make a quilt.

First, the rules.  Rules? What rules? We don’t need rules tangling us up. Right, we’re going to ignore most of the quilt rules. Shhh, don’t let the quilt police hear about this. However there are a few pointers that will make your foray into the quilt world more enjoyable.

Ready? Here we go:

1. Relax, this is your first quilt. Most likely it isn’t destined to become a heirloom quilt for your grandchild. No, this will be a simple wall hanging, lap quilt, or warm cover on your bed.

Basically you’re making a blanket, relax and enjoy the process.

2. Remember that acronym KISS, keep it super simple? That’s a good plan for a first quilt. Keep the pattern and quilt simple.

If you have to fight to get the curves right on a Drunkard’s Path, struggle to keep the points sharp on a star block, or spend more time unsewing than sewing, you’ll be tempted to throw the whole thing down in disgust and walk away from the joy of quilting. It’s your quilt, if you want to go with an intricate pattern, I’m certainly not going to stop you. For the rest of you, a quilt made with simple squares will work just fine.

3. No fancy equipment needed.

  • Scissors to cut the fabric, or a rotary cutter and mat if you have one. Either works well.
  • Pattern or instructions. You wouldn’t try driving in a strange town without a gps or map would  you? Ok, I would and you might too. But, really, the gps, or quilt instructions make life much easier.
  • Fabric, you’ll need something for the backing, batting for the middle, and of course, fabric to make your top. We’ll discuss fabric choices and where to find your fabric in a later “class.”
  • Iron, and ironing board (or a folded towel on a cabinet works well too.) Nothing special, the iron you already own is perfect.
  • Needle and thread or sewing machine and thread, your choice. Whichever works for you, again, it’s your quilt.
  • Pins. Straight pins to hold your fabric together before you sew it and safety pins to hold all three layers together when you’re ready to quilt it.

4. Decide on your level of perfection. Some people (most) strive to have their quilt seams match up perfectly. They may have one “fault” in the quilt, one they purposely put in, but other than that their quilts look like works of perfection. I, on the other hand, am the Imperfect Improv quilter, I don’t care if my seams don’t match. Sometimes I go out of my way to make sure they don’t match by making a quilt with off-set seams. You may fall at either end of the spectrum, or somewhere in the middle. Decide what you can live with, and don’t worry about little mistakes that fall within your acceptability level.

5. Use  fabric of similar weight and quality. This will help your quilt wears more evenly.