Tag Archives: diy

Music, Food, and Quilts

Cajun cooking, jazz music, Mardi Gras parties, with all that going for it Louisiana must have quilts. They do, quilt guilds across the state, at least one show each year, and they have their own block.

The Louisiana quilt block is a patchwork block of flying geese set in a pin wheel design.

The Louisiana Quilt Block, image from ideas-for-quilting.com/images

According to Quilter’s Resource there are two major quilt shows in Louisiana, and I’ve missed both of them this year. That’s ok though, that just gives me more time to plan on visiting.

The first show, presented by the North Louisiana Quilters Guild is a biannual event. That gives me a whole year to plan that visit. Their next show will be in February 2015.

The second show, sponsored by The Gulf States Quilting Association, is an annual event. Held in Slidell Louisiana , one of the towns  affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, they have a wide array of teachers, vendors and I’m sure quilts. This one is definitely going on my quilt tour list.

Have you ever been to Louisiana? If so what was your favorite thing to do or see?

Are you from Louisiana? Do you know of other quilt shows?

Have you made a quilt using the Louisiana block? Share it in comments?

Please join me on Facebook at Devoted to Quilting  for more quilting fun.

Joining the The A to Z Blogging Challenge  which includes creative bloggers from all areas and across the globe. 

 

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.

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.

Spoons in the Sewing Room

Spoons are for more than stirring.

Spoons are for more than stirring.

I love my wooden spoons. They serve several purposes. On the rare occasions that I cook, they are great for stirring mixes together, stirring food in the skillet or saucepan. I’ve even used it to move the ingredients in the blender.

However, my favorite use for the spoons is in the sewing room. To be more correct, with my sewing since I sew in the dining room, cut and iron on my kitchen bar. Maybe I should have started with the bar as a sewing tool.

I digress. I love the wooden spoons for sewing.

First, they are great cold irons. They can “iron” the seam to one side, or open if need be. If you don’t have a cold iron, try using your wood spoon.

The handle end works for helping to push stuffing into a narrow tube. The handle can also be used to help turn a tube right-side out.

Linking up with The Nester in the Too Awesome to Categorize category. There are almost 200 bloggers in that category alone. There are eight other categories, each just as full.  Enjoy the awesome blogs.

31 Days of Sewing Tools From Around The House

Quilters,and sewists,  love gadgets. Even if we missed the shoe buying gene, the shopping gene, and the “must have chocolate” gene, we seemed to have managed to acquire the, “anything for the sewing room” gene.

We have multiple sewing machines, templates, scissors, and untold number of items designed to make our sewing life easier, or just because we like them.

Sometimes all of those nifty gadgets and tools cost money the electric company insists on having. If not, they will make sure our sewing machines and lights don’t work. Bother!

Other times, it’s not money that stops us from adding to our ever-growing collection of helpful items, it’s time. We are working on a project and need something RIGHT NOW. Not tomorrow, or next week, not even in an hour. We want/need it NOW. We don’t have time, or want to take the time, to run to the store and purchase the item.

We begin to scour our house, we look in the kitchen, the office, even the garage, for something that will suffice. So, for the next time you’re in dire need of a tool you don’t have, look around your house.

To help you locate these multi-use items, for the next 31 days, I’ll be highlighting one for you. I’ll also be linking up with The Nester, where over 1000 others bloggers are gathering and sharing their 31 day blogs. The blogs cover a variety of subjects divided up into specific categories. You’re sure to find something you enjoy.

I’ll be posting a list here of the items I cover, so you can find them easier.

Do you have any sewing room tools you enjoy using that were designed for another purpose? Share them in the contacts.

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.

Five Components of a Quilt Show

A few of the 103 quilt items on display

A few of the 103 quilt items on displ

“There’s nothing to having a quilt show. We just hang some quilts and people come look at them. ” Ever heard those words, or similar words when considering sponsoring a quilt, or craft show, or a book fair?

If you have, you can gently inform the speaker there are at least 5 items you must consider to help ensure you have have a good event.

1.  Location, there must be some place to display all your beautiful work. A location that can be secured if the show is more than one day, and one that will protect the quilts from the whims of mother nature. Finding a location for the quilt show is paramount.

2. Date and Time. When will you have the show? A date and time that works best can take a lot of discussion and consideration. In Oklahoma, we don’t schedule a quilt show on the same weekend as the OU/Texas or OU/OSU football games. Attendance will be low. Figure out the dates that will work best for your group. After you have a date, you’ll need to have the open and closing times for your show. How early will you open and how late will you stay? These vary from show to show and area.

3. Display Method – How will you display your different sized, and types of quilt and quilty items? Poll your members, someone will have the perfect idea of a display method that works best for your group.

4. Workers – Ah yes, the backbone of any group endeavor, people to actually do the work. Luckily most groups have enough members that the workload can be shared with no one having to hang the quilts, work the guest book, monitor the guests (no touching the quilts), do the advertising, design the programs, and any other jobs necessary. More people participating makes for a better show for everyone, guests and hosts.

5. Advertising – No one will see all your hard work and beautiful projects if they don’t know about them. Advertising will draw new people to your show, and introduce them to your group. It is vital for even the smallest show.

Our quilt group, The Material Girlz, had our first annual show in June. We had 103 items on display. Too many for our small space, but we were so excited to have a full show and not a half-empty room with too-few quilts. We learned much about putting on a show, and over the next five Mondays, I’ll explore a little more in-depth each of the five major components of having a successful show.

Has your quilt group ever sponsored a show? Share your favorite tips in the comments.