Friday, April 26, 2013

Quilts for Boston!

Often times when something takes place that is so horrific as the bombing in Boston, you can feel at a loss for what to do.  And perhaps you live on the other side of the country as I do, or maybe even the other side of the world.  Well, you CAN make a difference!  Right now the Boston Modern Quilt Guild has sent out the request for those of you who might be willing to make a block and send it along to them.  They will assemble the quilts and get them to the folks.  Surely you can take a moment from your busy day to make one block and send it along in an envelope.  They have some criteria that they would like you to follow, not at all difficult, but it will help with a uniform effect and ease in piecing once the blocks are received. Their instructions and the address are below.  Thank you sisters for helping out with this worthy cause!  Please be sure to visit their Flickr site for inspiration.

We are asking the modern quilt community to support our efforts by sending us blocks for these quilts. Additionally, we will accept donations of fabric to be used for binding, sashing, and quilt backs. We would like to have the quilts ready to deliver to those in need as soon as possible, so we ask that you send your blocks to us within a month, by May 24th, 2013.

Blocks sent to the Boston Modern Quilt Guild should be blue, yellow, gray, and white. All blocks should be 12½” tall x the width of your choice. That could mean 12½” x 7”, 12½” x 12½”, or anything wider, more narrow, or in between. Please machine piece your blocks in any style you would like. Please use only “quilt shop quality” 100% cotton or cotton/linen fabrics. Both print and solid fabrics are welcome. Our preference is white or light gray 100% cotton thread, but any coordinating thread of good quality will do.

Please consider adding photos of the blocks to our flickr group. This is not required, but it will be wonderful to share the blocks as we are making them and to see what people are working on.
Our goal is to make bright and modern quilts that will bring cheer to those who need it most! We chose this color scheme as these are the colors of the Boston Marathon, and have become the colors representing the OneFund, an organization formed to accept monetary donations for the victims, as well as the tribute tees sold to benefit the One Fund. Be creative with your blocks, and make any pattern or design that inspires you!

Please mail all blocks and fabric to:
Quilts for Boston
P. O. Box 79225
Belmont, MA 02479

Spread the word!

Sending off my two blocks today!


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Paper Piecing Perfection - Louisiana Block

Louisiana Block

A Short Visual Recap on Paper Piecing:

Remove the thread from your machine, including the bobbin.  Stitch on all the lines of your block, this will perforate the paper for easy folding and easy removal later.  Stitch past the intersections.

It helps to have an extra block printed that you can cut apart to use as a template in cutting fabric pieces.

Make sure that you give yourself a good 1/2 inch all around before cutting.  This gives you seam allowance and wiggle room.  Stack your fabrics right side up 4 deep for this pattern and cut all at once, unless you are fussy cutting your pieces.

Some people pin the first piece in place, I prefer to use a glue stick.  I like how the fabric lays flat and stays where you put it.  You don't need a ton, just a bit and keep the glue out of your seam lines, which are the perforations.

After applying the glue to the paper, place your fabric and check to make sure you have an overhang of at least 1/4 inch beyond all of  the seam lines.  Holding your paper up to the light will help you see this easily.

Do the same for all of your blocks at once, we will do the same step, over and over for each piece, sewing all of our blocks at the same time.  This will help you to keep things straight in sequence.

Fold your paper back along the perforated line between section #1 and section #2, trim your fabric to a generous 1/4 inch.

Get your pattern piece #2 and you are going to do the same thing as previously shown, using it as a template, cut a generous 1/2 inch around the piece.    You can cut a strip and turn your template back and forth cutting generously as shown below.

Take your fabric piece #2 and lay it right sides together on the trimmed edge of piece #1.  Make sure that your fabric is on the side of the paper with no printing, right sides together as shown below.

If you need to pin, pin in the center of the piece of fabric, out of the way of your seam, scotch tape will work too if you place it along the seam line, outside of the stitching area.  Carefully turn your paper over and stitch on the line between #1 and #2 as shown below, Be sure to start or finish beyond the intersecting lines.

Finger press your seam open before you press with your iron, to make sure you have the seam all the way open.

Do the same for piece #3 as you did for piece #2.

Again, finger press and then press your seams open with your iron.  You should have 4 beautiful flying geese right now.  Don't worry about uneven edges, they will trim up as we go along.  The important thing is to have enough fabric covering your stitching lines that you can trim back.

Fold your paper on the line between #4 and the first part of your block #'s 1-3 as shown below.  Note the little hole in the center?  As you fold your block, you will notice that you have stitched into section 4, just give that a tug, yes the paper will rip, that is okay, you want to be able to fold along the stitching line and trim to a generous 1/4 inch as shown below.

Do this for all four blocks, you will have a nice straight line to line up your last piece of fabric.

When you are stitching the last piece into place, you will be crossing the intersection of the previously stitched pieces, it is very important to stitch exactly on the line when you reach this point.  This will guarantee that you have a perfect point as shown below.

Take any ruler with a straight edge and trim up your blocks to the dotted line.  You should have four beautiful blocks as shown below.

Okay, now the fun do you want to put them together, here are some possible could also put them all in a row, one after the other for a unique border treatment on a quilt.

We will be having our next Paper Piecing Perfection Class this coming Friday, April 19th.  We will be meeting at the LDS Church on Todd Valley Road in Foresthill, CA.  All are welcome!  I will have 3 block patterns for this class, we will make one in class and you can work on the others at home or in our extra week get together.  If you can't join us, you can follow along online.  Click on the Icon at the top right hand side of this page and it will take you to the PDF pattern downloads for this class.  Please post your work at our Flickr group, Paper Piecing Perfection, we love to see your creations!

Note for May, there will be a wedding at the church the third weekend and so they will need the space that we occupy for our class, we will meet the second Friday, May 10th and can meet again on May 24th if you like for an extra class.

Our Second Block is the Pin Wheel Block

Here are some arrangement options with this block...

This block can look very different and dimensional with some color additions.  We will talk more about that and I will demonstrate that in class.  See you Friday!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Saturday's Stitches

Sunny Days Block

I'm up late sewing, had a great nap this afternoon and I am full of energy, I may stay up all night and sew.  Just finished the 4th block in the Sugar Block Club BOM, Sunny Days.  I'm going to call it Bird Songs and Lace.  It's been raining out so I'm not feeling the sunny day yet.

This is a fun and easy block, only 4 pieces to each of the eight triangle components.  Goes fast and lends itself to fussy cutting.

Earlier today I decided that I needed a thread catcher and I liked the one that my friend Brenda made.  I have had the tutorial printed out for a while now, so it was time to get at it!  The tutorial is available online at CraftGossip.Com  I have already filled that thread catcher tonight and will be starting on the next project shortly!  I have two blocks to get caught up on for The Vintage Block Quilt Along.  Check back, I may have them done by

Auburn's BEST Fabric Shop! Whistle Stop Quilt Shop!

We have a quilt fabric shop in town now!  Auburn's BEST, the Whistle Stop Quilt Shop!!!  Can I just say how excited I am that Suzanne and Larry have moved their shop from Colfax to Auburn.  Much more space for much more fabric!  What a perfect location, right on my way home from work every night.  My husband is shaking his head already.

Right off of Hwy 80, take the Foresthill Exit to Lincoln, turn right, you will see the Sierra Grill Restaurant on your left, just past McDonalds.  Turn into the driveway like you would be going to the Sierra Grill and head all the way to the back corner of the shopping center, there you will find fabric Nirvana!  There is plenty of parking and they have wonderful classes for folks with all skill levels.  If you need that special piece of fabric, thread or notion...a new pattern or just want to pet the fabric, you do NOT need to head down the hill anymore!

You know I couldn't leave with out a little purchase!  

Totally LOVE this fabric, and I think every woman my age probably does takes us right back to when we were little girls with our moms, learning to sew and speaks to a very different time in life.  What will I do with it?  Not sure, but it will be something that I will want to look at daily in my sewing room!

Thanks Suzanne!  I am looking forward to many sweet visits to your new store.  

A Bali Charming Table Runner

What can you do with a charm pack?  Well, you can whip up one of these sweet table runners. I used the entire pack of the Bali Snaps that you see above to make this little table runner.  I stacked the fabric and cut it with a 3 1/2 inch finished size Acrylic Quarter Circle Template purchased from Elisa's Backporch Design.  She has all different sizes and they are so quick, fun and easy to work with.  

For the backside, I used two fat quarters of fabric I had laying around which I randomly pieced for some interest.  Then I free motion quilted the piece using a variegated light green on the front and a berry on the bobbin for the backside.  I love quilting leaves.

I finished it off with a bargain bin remnant of batik for the binding. 

 Below is a video by Elisa, showing how to use her templates to make the quarter circle.  I think you will enjoy it.  

She also has a great book titled Crazy Curves Continues

which you can purchase online at or at your favorite quilt store.