Thursday, August 25, 2016

Quiltscapades: A European Adventure!

Here's an overview of some of my quilty adventures this past summer as I enjoyed a tour to Eastern Europe with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (more on that over at our family blog, 3rDegreeBakery). Quilting is a universal language, as I've discovered!

But first, a new "Hipster" travel bag, with a couple of German details:  

Used some adorable bits of fabric designed by my new friend Nadra Ridgeway, ("Ellis & Higgs") who lives in Germany and designs fabric for Riley Blake Designs.  We met at Quilt Market in Salt Lake last May.  I used some of her Backyard Roses prints.  A few Dresden plate wedges (named for typical fancy pointy-edge plates made by a company in Dresden, Germany) embellish the bag front.

My daughter Lauren made the little travel journal for me, as well as this beautiful little Temari zipper fob to match ~ looks like a quilt block!  Find the pattern and instructions to make your own HERE.

Temari Zipper Fob
We had a bit of free time in some of the cities, and my DH (darling husband) was game to come along and snap some photos as I searched out quilt shops on our travels.

Quilt & Textilkunst (Quilt & Textile Art)
Munich, Germany

With Sandra, shop manager
Sandra's blog:

I arrived in Europe with no handcraft, can you believe that?  My hand-stitching project got left back in the car at the airport!  We found this darling little shop just off the Marienplatz in downtown Munich where Sandra set me up with some supplies to keep my hands busy on long bus rides through Europe:  

A charm pack of Blueberry Park bright 5" squares, a hexagon template, scissors, thread.  Just what I needed to make Hexagami!  I was looking for fabric manufactured in Germany, but the closest I could find was some custom-made ribbon of the Munich skyline.  I think it will look cute stitched on my new bag.
photo credit: Joanne Andrus
Quiltin' on the Bus

One afternoon, with a little free time prior to Sound Check, a few choir ladies stopped by my table to see what I was up to with my needle and thread.  They all tried their hand at a little hexagami flower.

I'm still working on my pile of Hexagami flowers.  Need. More. Fabric...

Quiltmanufaktur (Quilt Manufactory)
Frankfurt, Germany

Look, it's a quilt shop in Frankfurt!  Just over the bridge from the old town center, we found a little shop recommended by Nadra.  I looked for another little charm pack, and Andrea, the shop proprietress, spied my Hexagami.  I asked if she would like to make one and gave a little demo.  
As I said, quilting is a universal language!  Just grab a needle and thread...

I spied another sweet little charm pack.  And she did have some new fabrics from a German manufacturer, G├╝termann.  I've used G├╝termann thread and their new fabric line is lovely.  Can't wait to make something pretty.

Such a fun morning at the quilt shop!  

Bird Block (Blackbird)
 Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Holland)

This adorable shop was chock full of bright, quilty goodness!  We loved Amsterdam and I wanted a little memento.   I could not resist a bundle of adorable fabric and a pattern book representative of the little houses that line the canalways of this amazing city!

With Bryony and Riet

Bright, fun quilts and the original Little Amsterdam quilt adorned the walls.

And located right next door:
Den Haan & Wagenmakers' Dutch Quilts
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Full of lovely quilts and lovely ladies, many of the fabrics in this store are Dutch Heritage.

with Anette and Elsbeth
Elsbeth's Blog:

Oooh, loved this quilt too!
Elsbeth's "Phoenix" quilt pattern made by a customer.   Email elsbethw@gmail for the pattern.
A collection of Dutch Heritage fabrics to pet and dream about the next quilt.

And finally, it seems that one afternoon in Paris is not nearly enough time to see everything PLUS find a quilt shoppe.  I came home empty-handed, but full-hearted as we explored the lovely Paris!  I have since learned that there are several quilt shops close to sites we visited, but I will just have to wait until I get the chance to go back again, someday!
Au Revoir, Vaarwel, Auf Wiedersehen! Until we meet again!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Little Birdie Pincushion Tutorial

Note:  This is a revised re-post of my original tutorial at Riley Blake Designs' Cutting Corners back in November of 2014.  As I continue to have requests for the tutorial which is no longer available at the previous link, I'm sharing it again here at Quiltscapes.   

This adorable little "Snippet" is perfect for your own sewing room or to make as a gift for friends.  A couple of scraps and a bit of stuffing or filler - that's all you need! 

Little Birdies
"Little Birdie" Pincushions
  •   Body:  2-1/2-inch x 5-inch rectangle (Print A)
  •   Head:  1-1/2-inch x 5-inch strip (Print B)
  •   Tail accent:  1-inch x 5-inch strip (B)
  •   Wings:  2-1/2-inch square (B) 
  •   Beak:  1-1/4-inch square (Yellow/Gold)
  •   Filler (poly fiberfill, wool roving, silica sand, rice, ground walnut shells, lavender, etc.
  •   Glue Stick 
Little Birdies

Prepare Beak:
FOLD 1-1/4" beak square in half; PRESS.  Bring folded corners to the center, forming a triangle (prairie point); PRESS again.  FOLD in half again to form a pointy little beak.  Set aside.

Little Birdies
Little Birdies

Stitch Wings:
FOLD the 2-1/2" square diagonally in half, right sides together and STITCH raw edges together using 1/4" seam allowance.  Backstitch at beginning and end.  

Little Birdies

CUT stitched triangle in half; trim corners, turn each wing right side out (use a chopstick); PRESS. 
Little Birdies

OR *cut two 2-1/2" squares for wings and fold just like the beak instead of stitching, cutting, turning, etc.  (Yes, I'm a lazy-girl sewist.  If there's an easier way...)

Bird Body:
ARRANGE wings along one edge of body as diagrammed, 1/2" from the outer edges, leaving about 1-1/2" of space between the wings.  Trim corners.  PIN or *GLUE in place. 

Little Birdies

LAYER 1-1/2” head strip right sides together over wings; PIN.  LAYER 1” tail strip right sides together along opposite side.  STITCH both to body using 1/4” seam allowance.  
PRESS seams open, then PRESS tail piece under 1/4" to form a crease for the final seam. 

Little Birdies

FOLD bird unit right sid in half, matching side seams; PIN.  
Finger press to find the center of head.  INSERT folded edge of beak about 1/4" down from the center fold line.  PIN or GLUE beak in place. 

Little Birdies

STITCH as diagrammed, enclosing beak, pivot at the corner and stitch the bottom seam.  Backstitch at beginning and ending.

Next we need to shape the little bird's body with this seam:

Little Birdie Pincushion

Box Corner:
With wrong side still out, flatten the unit by centering the bottom seam, forming triangle points.  On the corner opposite the beak, finger-press the seams open and PIN, matching the seams.   I find it's easier to create the triangle point if I insert my finger right into the corner to press the seams open.  Double-check to make sure the seams are lined up!  MARK a straight line along the edge of the seam allowance, about 3/4" from the tip as diagrammed below.  

Little Birdie

STITCH on the line (right next to the seam allowance edge) to form the little bird's body.  Tuck the beak section down inside the body section to make it easier to sew the box seam.

Little Birdie

TURN bird right side out.  
Little Birdie

FILL the bird head and only about HALF of the body with your choice of stuffing; about 2 Tablespoons of filler.  Don't stuff it too full or you won't have a tail!

Little Birdie

Next, Re-FOLD the raw edges at the bird's tail along the pressed lines.  Center the seam and PIN.  STITCH by hand or *edge-stitch by machine to close the opening.

Little Birdies

Hold the bird tail-side up so all the filler is out of the tail area.  Pack the filler down toward the beak and body as tightly as possible.  Use a mini *elastic band and wrap it around as many times as possible without breaking to cinch in the bird's body and form the tail.  Fan out the tail.

If you don't have a little tiny elastic band, you can double-thread a needle with matching thread or embroidery floss.  Take a running stitch all the way around the body center about 1/4" away from the stuffing, then gather to form the bird's body and tail.    Wrap the thread around several times and secure with a knot, then bury the threads.  

Little Birdie

For eyes, stitch buttons or seed beads, work a French knot or simply use *pins.  Lastly, give a little tug on the beak to straighten it out.

Store needles in the tail - and load your new pincushion with pins, if you can bear to poke him!  

See more ideas for your Little Birdie HERE.

Little Birdie

See how you can easily make a whole flock of Little Birdies with this TUTORIAL.

Happy Stitching!
*Lazy-girl shortcuts

Monday, June 6, 2016

Color Me a Rainbow... Quilt Market

Here are a few snapshots from International Spring Quilt Market, held right here in Salt Lake City where I was able to work (have fun) in the Riley Blake Designs' booth.  Don't mind the goofy smile.

Isn't that Crayola box the cutest thing you have ever seen???  At first glance it looks like a box of sidewalk chalk. Then you open the lid.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

It's time for the annual Panguitch Quilt Walk Festival!

Looking forward to teaching these classes next week in Panguitch, Utah.  "Pecking Up the Pieces" is the theme of this year's show, and it's always a hoot!  Can't wait!  What a great way to kick off Summer!  If you are in the area, check out the classes and events at

Laser-cut kits for the Owl quilt are available on my Website, and you can find the other patterns on Craftsy or Etsy.

I love small towns where quilting is a big deal.  The little town of Panguitch is one of my favorites.

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...