Friday, July 30, 2010

Modified Bento Box Tutorial

I'm surfing tonight and found this tutorial...I see this one in my near future too...

Some Boxy Stars by Other Quilters

These are some Boxy Star Quilts done by other quilters as shown on

Boxy Stars Gallery

Boxy Stars Blocks Completed

This is my initial lay out, I may change a few things around before I finish the top.  Right now I'm going to live with it on my design wall for at least 24 hours.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Boxy Stars continued

I have three blocks up on my flannel board.  It's interesting what color does to a design, these are all the SAME blocks, just the value is different.

Starting Boxy Stars

I was looking at the scraps of batik that were left after I cut out my Batik Drunkard's Path quilt.  I recently joined an online quilting group and they have been making scrappy boxy star quilts from the pattern located at this web site:

The pattern is very easy and it will be a great way to use up the bits I have left.  Here is the beginning of one of the blocks that I just made up.

I am stitching one extra seam before I cut each block, see below, which is creating another little 1/2 triangle square block for me to use in either the border or another quilt.

Here is how it looks when it's pressed out, it takes four of these to make the star.
So you would have 8 little squares left from one block.

I think this will turn out real pretty and it's a great way to use up my left over scraps!  I know this makes you happy trips to the fabric store!  Saving $$$.  Still indulging my passion.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Batik Drunkard Design

So this is my next project, I will be doing two of is a secret for a friend and the other is for us to enjoy.  I have picked out the fabrics and will start cutting it out this weekend.  The sewing room is coming along.  Got the chair put together yesterday, $19.00 at Walmart!  John brought in the 6 foot table and I put that where grandma's cedar chest used to be.  I vacuumed and shampooed the carpet yesterday.  Looks nice.  Today I will be moving the machines in and finish putting things away in their PROPER places.  Still have lots to do so I better get started, it's almost 9am and I've been up since 6 with not much to show for it...LOL.  I did watch a Shirley Temple movie this morning though!

My finished quilt will not be as "bright" as the one shown, I have muted colors but I think it will turn out nice, just couldn't find the exact run in my fabric libraries on EQ6.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bowl of Fruit

Several years ago, I joined the Kelseyville Quilt Guild.  Great gals, lots of fun.  One of the projects was to take a photo and cut it into 12 pieces, each woman would take the photo home and translate their piece into a quilt block.  The blocks came back the next month and it would be your job to assemble them.  Below is the inspiration picture, I think the gals did a pretty good job.  I am still working on this with hand beading on the fruits and bits of leaves to cover areas that I think will need coverage.  It will make a nice wall hanging when I am done with it.  I think I'm going to piece in a bit of fabric on the left side where the block is a bit short.
The inspiration piece was out of a magazine, it was one of those decorator plates you could purchase to place on your wall.  I liked the vibe and the colors so...that was my selection.  When the gals translated it they used a variety of techniques, some dimensional which were very exciting to me.  I was a bit overwhelmed trying to figure out how I would get them all together so they sat for several years, until I joined the Colfax Junction Quilter's Guild and then I thought, heck, I'm gonna work to put this thing together.  I can't say that it was enjoyable trying to piece this together, but I am happy with the end result so far.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Crayon Apron for Isaiah

Our grandson had his 2nd birthday recently.  I put this color crayon apron together for him, he can wear it, it can be hung on the chair or set on the table.

Cut 1 1/2 or 2 inch strips, depending on the size of your crayons, in either solid or print fabric in the color of the crayons, sew these together and top this with a piece of muslin or other fabric folded in half with raw edges at the bottom.  Stitch on the seamlines for the strip piece to create "pockets" for the crayons.  Fold over the top and stitch down creating a slot through which you can thread some cording.  Wha La you are done!  Toss in a pad of paper and you have one delighted child.

I put the crayons in opposite so they would show up in the photo, but the child can match the colors or mix, their choice.

Here is the happy artist, Isaiah, busy working on a picture for Grandma.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tutorial: How to Make A Knitting/Crochet Needle Case

Knitting/Crochet Needle Case (it still has pins in the binding because I have to stitch it down tonight)

This is a fun project.   Very fast and simple, good for scrapping and fat quarters.  Read all instructions before starting.
Step one:  select your fabric.  I have selected 5 fat quarters for this case.

Pick two of the fat quarters and trim them to measure 20 x 18 1/2 inches.
Cut 1 thin piece of batting to measure 20 x 22 inches.
Sandwich these together with right sides of the fabric facing out from the batting on both sides.  It helps to lightly press the pieces together.   Set this piece aside.  Your batting should be larger than your fabric.   See Below...

Step two:  we will make the pockets.  Cut a piece of fabric 20 inches x 10 inches.  Fold this in half wrong sides together so that it measures 20 inches x 5 inches and press.

Cut another piece of fabric 20 inches x 20 inches.  Fold this in half wrong sides together so that it measures 20 inches x 10 inches and press.

These will be your pockets and will line up on the fabric with raw edges at the bottom,  as shown in the picture below...we are not ready to attach these pockets yet, this is just to show you how they will line up to help you with your fabric selection process.

Take the small pocket and lay it on top of the big pocket with raw edges together as shown below.  

Take a clear plastic ruler and mark lines with a chalk pencil or other removable marking pen.  The lines on the small pocket will be for crochet hooks, small knitting needles, and you can include a large pocket for pattern instructions.  These lines do not have to line up with the ones on the larger pocket.  The lines on the bigger pocket will be for long knitting needles.  Make the lines no closer than 1 inch apart.  You may wish to pin first and check your needles to make sure you have allowed enough room.  I like to pin between each line and just remove them as I stitch, this keeps the backing in place with no creases.

Start your stitching from the bottom raw edges and stitch only to the edge of the first pocket, stop and back stitch.  Do this for each line you have drawn on the bottom pocket only!  Clip your threads.  I have turned the pocket over in the photo below, to show you that  I have only stitched part of the way up, you can also see the large pocket that has been left to hold patterns.

Step Three:  Turning the fabric pockets back over, place them on your quilt sandwich now and pin them with raw edges to the bottom, take your ruler and continue your lines up the case as shown below...

We are now going to stitch the pockets to the case.  This will quilt your case at the same time that you are making the slots for your needles.  This is very important....You will start from the TOP of your small pocket and insert your needle on one of your lines, take a few stitches and back stitch, careful NOT to catch the small pocket.  Stitch to the top of the case following your chalk mark as shown below.  

The picture above shows you that we have started the stitching just above the bottom pocket and have stitched all the way to the top of the case.  Clip your threads.

Step Four:   you will use a clear plastic ruler and rotary cutter to cut away the excess batting and square up your piece as shown below...

Step Five:   cut strips to make the binding.  I cut mine 2 1/2 inches wide and I cut as many as I need to go around the raw edges and over lap a couple inches.  About 80 inches is a good number, you have 2 x 20 and 2 x 18.
If you are using a fat quarter as I have done, you will need to cut a few strips and piece them together which I like to do on the diagonal as shown below, then fold them in half and press.  Pin to your fabric, miter the corners and stitch in place, turn, press and stitch down your binding.

When you have turned your binding, it should look like this below... and you are ready to start putting your needles in.

Once you have your needles in place you can fold the top flap down to secure your needles, this will keep them from falling out of the case when you roll it up to take it along with you.

You can see that I still have pins in this binding, I will be hand stitching it down tonight while we watch TV. But I know you get the idea.  Here it is rolled up, you tie it with a satin ribbon...I will probably purchase some chocolate brown ribbon for this one, but you get the idea as shown.  If you want to attach the ribbon you can center it at one edge and straight stitch through the ribbon into the binding seam so it won't show.

Here is one I made a while ago, same design, just different fabric to give you some ideas...

Here it is rolled up.  This was a gift for a friend.

And here is the REASON I'm inside quilting today and not at the Pioneer Day Picnic up in Grass Valley...107.1 in the shade!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, please give me your feedback.  Thank you.

Batik Jacket

I found this delicious fuchsia batik at Beverly's Fabrics.  Last night I cut out a jacket, from the pattern by CNT Pattern Company called "A Little Somethin' Jacket".  I wanted to try this pattern out first in a light weight cotton for summer to see if I would like it in perhaps a corduroy or a blended wool for winter.  It went together incredibly fast!  I don't think I spent more than an hour on this.  There are a total of 6 seams in the jacket and then you will need to hem the sleeves and the bottom and stitch down the neckline.  Here's how it turned out...

I think I will sew some light weight shoulder pads for it today.  It has a nice drape, no buttons, self facing, really a very easy pattern.  I have a Fuchsia dress that this will go nicely with and I think it would look nice over levi's or slacks too.  

Here is a link for the pattern company, they have a great selection of patterns, many which would be great quilted!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Quilter's Church in Newcastle, Maine

Quilt show at the 2nd Congregational Church of Newcastle Maine 16 July 2010 .  I love how the folks display their quilts across the pews.  I'm sure, although it seems a bit irreverent to me to use a chapel for that purpose, that Heavenly Father loves those beautiful quilts.   And if folks are coming to see them, well then, that's certainly a way to get them into church!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I don't know who this little dog is, he was featured on my puppy of the day link on this blog, I love his face, he reminds me of my dog Bummer who is in the picture at the right.  That picture was taken at Jenner Beach in California in 1971.  He was an awesome dog, you could pick up a big log, toss it out to sea and he would retrieve it, smiling the whole time.  He use to chase squirrels when we would go on a hike together in the hills above Sonoma where I grew up.  Well, you are missed Mr. Bummer, you were a mighty fine companion.  I'm sure the little guy above will be a special companion for someone as well.

Drunkard's Path Video by Elisa Wilson & Auditioning Fabric

The lovely thing about taking a photo of your fabrics before you cut can see in a moment, the one that doesn't work.  So I will continue the dig tomorrow for one more that will work in place of that glaring one in the middle of the pack here.  There are actually two in this bunch that I'm not sure about...3rd row center and 3rd row far right.  Below is a video of the quilt that I will make with this fabric.  She is using charm packets in her video, I will be using fat quarters and a larger template for a bigger quilt, rather than a table runner.  I may pop in more light fabric...we'll see, I'll have to hover over this for a bit before I cut.  I met Elisa Wilson at the Pacific International Quilt Show about 5 years ago and have made one quilt with her plexiglass templates. Easy and Fun.  Thinking about another using some different techniques she has demonstrated in other videos.

3 1/2" Drunkards Path from Elisa Wilson on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Blooming 9 Patch

This is the next project that I will be quilting on Deanna's quilting machine.  She was kind enough to offer and I have been dying to get this one finished up.  This was so much fun to make.  Picking out the fabrics was the best part.  The sewing is basic strip pieced 9 patch blocks sewn together with simple squares, it actually goes together very fast.  This pattern is from the book "Tradition With A Twist" by Blanche Young and Dalene Young Stone, published by C & T Publishing 1996.  The pattern is on page 78.  Sometimes the most basic pattern can work into something wonderful.  I am delighted with this quilt top.  Below is a close up of the piecing.

One of the most helpful things my friend taught me on this quilt was to make a fabric map.  Cut a 1 inch piece of each fabric and assign it a letter or number as indicated by the pattern, helps you keep it all straight.  If you click on this photo it will open in another window and you can make out the 9 patches and the simple squares, you can see how easy it is for yourself.  Dramatic effect.  Fabrics with white or ivory bits add sparkle and others blend seamlessly, one into another...and that's the objective!

Patriotic Quilt

Well, making progress, the center is simple strip piecing, cut into 10 inch blocks, turned on point and stitched together, all done on my serger which made it really fast.  Working on the corner stones which are paper pieced and then I will tackle the stripe border which will have a bright gold in it, should make it pop a bit. The quilt below will be a fellow patriotic quilt, it's the Turning Twenty pattern, but I'm not sure what I want to do for the border of it yet and I think I'm going to applique some stars about in the same gold fabric used in the quilt.  Not sure yet.  Pretty clear on what I 
want for the one above.  Turning Twenty is 
quick and easy but I'm not enamored with
the outcome.  I will, however, keep us warm
this winter while we are watching TV.

I like paper piecing for this purpose, it allows me to create a design which I normally couldn't piece without difficulty.  Makes it quick and I'm all for quick!

If you have ideas for a border for the one below, let me know, drop me and e-mail or make a comment.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Been looking around for ideas for my next project after I finish my patriotic twin quilts for John and I to snuggle under.  I saw this site with "boxy stars".  They look quick, easy and fun, so I think the next design will be something around this...

Also on her website is this photo of her stash...I can relate!  I have been folding boxes of fabric for weeks and sorting into colors, but you know what?  I realized that I have a lot of fabric, I don't need to go to the store for any fabric, I can clearly work out of my stash for many years to come.  I am a fabric junkie and you only have to ask my husband how I twitch when we pass a fabric store, it's pathetic.  If I had unlimited sums of money, I could wander for hours and hours, touching and feeling all the pretty colors, dreaming of future projects (ignoring those that have gone unfinished in my drawers at home)  My commitment to myself this year is to finish at least two of those UFO's.

So I have this pile of scraps on the living room floor which are not large enough to fold and keep with the stash, so I am on a mission of what to do with these pieces that are too small to fold but too big to toss.  I cannot bear to waste fabric, I don't know where that came from.  This last quilt that I am currently working on, I have forced myself to toss out anything that is less than 1 inch in width.  And every time I toss a piece into the trash I feel like a chicken killing dog.  I hear my grandmother's voice in my head "there are children starving in China".  I guess I could save them and send them off to China, but send them to who and exactly how much would that cost?  These are the kinds of obsessive compulsive thoughts that ramble around in my head.  Moving back to the ironing board or the sewing machine and continuing with the project, I try to refocus on something else to force them out of my head.   Sometimes it works and then sometimes I find my self standing over the trash to see if I inadvertently tossed out something of value.  SICK!