Saturday, October 22, 2016

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Road to Heber Valley, Utah! "Road Home" Row-Along

Hello, and welcome to my stop along the "Road Home" Row-Along Blog Tour today!

I'm happy to join 40 other wonderful quiltmakers and bloggers to give a little glimpse of our "Road Home" and share free patterns on this hop.  Marian @ Seams To Be Sew and Amy @ Sew Incredibly Crazy are hosting, and they've rounded up fabulous giveaways too!

Heber Valley is a beautiful mountain valley, nestled on the east side of the Wasatch range of the Rocky Mountains, about an hour from Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. This is the view that greets me every time I come home.

Heber Valley, Utah
Surrounded by mountains, forests, lakes and a river that runs through it, the Heber Valley is ideal for outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, biking, hiking, golfing, picnicking, off-roading and horseback riding to name a few.

Deer Creek Reservoir
In 2002, Heber Valley was host to the Winter Olympic Games at Soldier Hollow where all Cross Country skiing events were held. Skiing, tubing, snow-shoeing, ice-fishing and snowmobiling add to the appeal of this lovely, peaceful little valley in the winter.

Predominant over the valley is a picturesque mountain, Mt. Timpanogos.   If you look closely, you can see the silhouette of a sleeping Indian Maiden, with her hair cascading down as depicted in this pin from the Olympics.
Small-town community activities abound including an Outdoor Theatre, County Fair, world-class rodeo, a Farmer’s Market with weekly summer concerts, a Cowboy Poetry Festival and “Swiss Days” in the Fall.   Enjoy a hot air balloon ride (<check out the recent festival)...

I see quilts!
...Soak or scuba-dive in natural hot springs at the Homestead Crater, or take a picturesque train ride down the canyon on our famous old steam locomotive we lovingly call the “Heber Creeper” ('cause it goes so slow!), which, in days gone by, transported the most sheep in the nation. You may even be able to spot some wildlife (deer, elk, moose) that roam the area.

The "Heber Creeper"
LOL, looking back over my post, it sounds like a commercial for the Heber Chamber of Commerce or something!  And look what I found!  I think they made this VIDEO just for today's hop!

Doesn’t it make you want to come and visit? If you do happen to find yourself in the area, be sure to stop by! We'll head over to My Girlfriend's Quilt Shoppe in Midway, ride the Heber Creeper by the lake and see the leaves changing colors on the mountain, grab a shake at the Dairy Keen (home of the "train burger"), maybe even take a hot air balloon ride over the valley!

 However, if you can't come, you may enjoy making this row! 
The Road Home to Heber Valley
 Click the button to download the pattern with templates and full instructions over at my Craftsy store:

The pattern will be available free of charge through the end of October.  Create the easy background setting, then peel-and-press the train and hot air balloons, ready for machine applique', my favorite technique!  Cut - press - stitch - done!  If you have trouble downloading the .zip file, send me a note via email and I'll send the patterns directly.

With all the open areas, feel free to embellish as desired. Add a sun or sunset, some sunflowers in the foreground, wildlife or sheep on the hills, trees, maybe a little Victorian or Swiss house with quilts on the clothesline, etc. As far as fabric choices, don't be limited by the traditional! Let your imagination soar!

Thanks for dropping by!

Now, here's your chance to win some fun giveaways, listed below. Click each one to enter, then visit my fellow blogging sisters for more free row patterns and enter more giveaways.
Alida @ Tweety Loves Quilting  Edinburgh, Scotland
Marian @ Seams To Be Sew  Idaho Falls, Idaho (she lives in Italy!)
Sharon @ Pine Valley Quilts  New Zealand
Click here for the Master List. You don't want to miss anyone! The hop runs through October 11th. A big thanks to today's generous sponsors, Kathy McNeil and Anita Goodesign!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The "Road Home" Row-Along Blog Hop

Let's take a virtual trip around the world!

Hey, it has been awhile since I jumped on the bandwagon to participate in a blog hop, and I'm super-excited to be part of this one!  The "Road Home" Row-Along kicks off today and runs through October 11th.  Marian@SeamsToBeSew and Amy@SewIncrediblyCrazy have put together this hop, organizing 40 busy quilters from around the globe who have designed quilt rows that depict their home, homeland, or wherever their heart longs to be.

Twice a week for the next month each stop along the trail will share their row and a free pattern, along with oodles of prizes.  You can create your own row from the patterns you collect, upload to our Flikr group, and qualify to win even more prizes!  For more details check with Marian HERE.

Today is off to a great start as we visit Adelaide, Australia; Grand Coulee, Washington;  Alberta, Canada; and Harrisville, Michigan.  For the next six weeks, check back on Tuesdays and Thursdays and visit each blog to collect your free pattern and enter the giveaways (stop by my place next Tuesday)!

Below is  the Master List.  Happy Travels!

September 6
Allie @ Allie-Oops Sweet Happy Life  Harrisville, Michigan - Sunrise Coast
Cynthia @ Cynthia’s Creating Ark  Adelaide, South Australia  
Marlene @ Kissed Quilts  Grand Coulee, Washington 
Renee' @ Renee's Quilting Addiction Alberta, Canada

September 8
Amy @ Sew Incredibly Crazy  Colorado  
Rumi @ 3 Patch Crafts  Bulgaria 
Carol @ Just Let Me Quilt  Las Vegas, Nevada 
Vanda @ Quilt in Piece  Amanzimtoti, South Africa

September 13
Alida @ Tweety Loves Quilting  Edinburgh, Scotland UK 
Deonn @  Quiltscapes  Heber City, Utah  << My Turn! 
 Marian @ Seams To Be Sew  Idaho Falls, Idaho  
Sharon @ Pine Valley  New Zealand

September 15 
Barbara @ BDieges Designs  Road to Tehachapi, California
Elizabeth @ Elizabeth Coughlin Designs  Worcester County in Central Mass 
Patti @  Patti’s Patchwork Toronto, Ontario Canada  
Mary @ Seacoast Quilter  New Milford, Connecticut

September 20 
Bea @ Beaquilter  Denmark  
Heleen @ Heleen Pinkster  Netherlands
Joan @ MooseStash Quilting  Alaska
Sherri Noel @  Rebecca Mae Designs  Northern Maine

September 22 
Beth @ Words & Stitches  Mt, Hood, Oregon 
Janeen @ Quilt Art  Africa  
Nancy @ Patchwork Breeze  Michigan
Sonya @ Any Pattern  Port Angeles, Washington

September 27
Amy @ Creatin’ in the Sticks  Dodge City, Kansas 
Paula @ Batts In The Attic & Marian @ Seams To Be Sew  Hollywood/LA, California 
Monica @ I Can Quilt 2  Baltimore, MD
Sue Griffiths atJust Let Me Quilt  New South Wales, Australia

September 29
Carol @ Quilted Fabric Art  Burlington, Vermont  
Lauren @ Westend Quilter  Manitoulin Island, Canada 
Pamela @  Pamela Quilts  Oregon  
Susan @ Quilt Fabrication  Silicon Valley, CA

October 04
Linda @ Linda Robertus  Netherlands  
Patty @ Elm Street Quilts  North Carolina
Sarah Quinn Featured At Seams To Be Sew   Outer Space 
Daryl @ Patchouli Moon Studio  Central New Mexico

October 06
Cheryl LaPlant Featured At Quilt In Piece  York, Maine 
Mel @ Cloth & Paper Studio  North Georgia Mountains
Loreen @ Miss Loreen’s Schoolhouse   New Hampshire  
Theresa @ Bumbleberry Stitches  Oklahoma  
Tiffany @ Needle in a Hayes Stack  Mojave Desert

October 11
Show N Tell Day (More details to come)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Fancy Fleece Finishes + Fleece "Yarn" Tutorial!

I know this is a quilting blog, but sometimes, you just need a quick, easy, no-sew blanket or project!  And sometimes fleece is the answer. Lightweight and warm, a few snips and clips, and it's ready to go!

Last Fall, when I helped judge 4-H entries at the Utah State Fair, I saw many youth projects and blankets made of fleece.  Every one of them had edgings sliced in to fringe, and each and every piece of fringe had a knot tied in it.  Every. single. one!  I knew there were other "alternate endings" and
techniques to finish the edges of this stuff - so I compiled a bunch of these techniques and taught them in a class at last Spring's USU Sewing Training Seminar for 4-H leaders and FCS teachers.

First, a few details about this stuff.  (If your eyes are glazing over, just know that it is a warm fabric, easy to sew, and you should use rotary cutting equipment when cutting.  Then skip down to the pictures.)

“Polar Fleece” was developed in 1979 by Aaron Feuerstein as a man-made replacement to wool, hence the name. It is a lightweight fabric, holds less than 1% of it’s weight in water, is durable and washable. Fleece does not fray, making it great for no-sew projects and crafts. Fleece yardage usually measures 58-59” wide, so you get more fabric for your dollar. Fleece comes in a variety of prints, styles, weights and stretch-ability.  With fleece, you get what you pay for.  A higher grade of fleece is toted as “anti-pill” grade, as opposed to lower grades of fleece that are thinner and have a tendency to pill when washed repeatedly.  It’s recommended to wash in cold, and tumble-dry low so as not to “melt” the fibers. Fleece is easy to sew. You may need to use more pins to keep edges from slipping.  When sewing, use a size 9/14 ball-point needle, and stitch using a longer stitch length and/or a slight zig-zag stitch as fleece does have a bit of a stretch on the cross grain. Prepare edges by trimming off selvages. Rotary cutters make the best cuts, as fleece shows every scissor mark.

Edges cut with a Fancy Fleece ruler and rotary blade
Here's a comprehensive look at some NO-sew and LOW-sew techniques to take you "Beyond the Fringe!"

  • Polar Fleece  
  • Rotary cutting equipment: mat, ruler, rotary cutter.  Optional: wave blade or skip blade
  • Seam ripper
  • Size K crochet hook
  • Large-eye tapestry needle
  • Specialty Rulers (Optional)
INSTRUCTIONS   Download  >> Print-Friendly Instructions.

FRINGE:  I use June Tailor's Shape Cut Slotted Ruler to get straight, even slices for fringe.  Creative Grids also has a Stripology ruler, more geared toward quilting, but would work well also.   Cut strips about 3” deep, 1” wide.  Since I'm using 1" increments, I begin by squaring the fleece to the nearest inch.  Cut away a 3-inch square on corners. 

TIP: Whatever length of fringe you cut, that is the size square to cut away on the corner.
Another TIP:  Use a strip of painter's tape to mark the length of fringe.

*  Half-knot ~ Just in case you need to know.  Make a loop at the top of each piece of fringe and pull the end through. Repeat for each strand.  I'm not even going to show a picture!  Let's leave behind those lumpy knots and try something new!

*  Pull-Through Knot (“Not” a Knot) ~

Use a seam ripper (nothing fancy) to cut a small hole (about 1/4-inch) centered on the fringe above the cut lines.
Fold the end of the fringe into a triangle, then use the tip of the seam ripper to push the point of the strand through the hole.  Pull the strand all the way through so it creates a little roll at the top.  The fibers will lock and keep the strand in place.

This makes a nice, flat knot that will not unravel.  And, did I say flat?  NOT lumpy, NOT really a knot - the "Not-Knot".  This is my favorite treatment for fleece fringe.
picture credit
By the way, this pull-through knot is a great knot for fleece blankets donated to Project Linus, whose mission is to "provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized or otherwise in need through gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer "blanketeers."  Find out more at

This fringe was cut a little wider, 1-1/2 inches and the bottoms trimmed to a point.  They look like Dad's Ties or maybe Bunny Ears.

Try a double layer of fleece for a little fancier effect.  Trim both pieces the same size.  Layer together and cut the fringe at the same time as diagrammed above.  Proceed with the Not-Knot technique, pulling both layers through the hole.  Fancy!

*  Curlicue Stretchy Strands ~

Usually, fleece will not stretch much on a lengthwise cut (parallel with selvage edges), if at all, but will stretch substantially on the cross grain, about twice the original size. Try cutting the strands in smaller increments (3/8", 1/2") for an even curlier look.  Then simply pull to stretch and curl the fringe.  This is also how you can make your own fleece yarn** (see tutorial below)  Looks great on the ends of a scarf.

*  Tied Bows ~ 

Cut away a 2-inch square on the corners.  Make a 2-inch slice, 4 inches apart.  Use a seam ripper to cut a small hole centered on the bow above the slice lines. Pinch to gather the center of the bow, then push a 2" to 3" strand of yarn, Perle cotton or self-made fleece yarn**  through the hole, loop around the gathers and pull tight, then tie a square knot on the back of the bow to secure; trim yarn.  Repeat process for each bow.

*  Stitched Bows ~

Skip the seam ripper and yarn altogether and take the gathered bow to the sewing machine to tack the center with a few zig-zag stitches.  Notice the cute edges, cut with a wavy rotary blade.

*  Chunky Crochet ~

Cut slices 2-inches deep, 1 inch apart. Cut away a 2-inch square on the corners. Clip a 1/2” snip about 1/4” up from the bottom edge of each piece of fringe.  Insert a large crochet hook (about size K), through the snip and pull an adjacent loop through the hole. Repeat and continue all the way around the quilt.

On the last loop, slice through the strand so you can take it around the base of the first loop, then tie a knot or stitch the loop back together to finish.  Tuck the knot under the first loop.

*  Loopy Braid ~

This technique looks a little smoother, doesn't require a crochet hook, and also works great with double layers. Cut away a 4-inch square on the corners.  Fold edges over 2” wide and zigzag to finish the hem.

Cut slices about 2-inches deep (to, but not through the stitches); 1 inch apart.  Use your fingers and begin by pulling an adjacent loop through the first loop.

Repeat and continue all the way around the quilt.  On the last loop, carefully cut the loop at the fold line, then take the strand around the base of the first loop and tie (see chunky crochet) or re-stitch the loop where it was cut.  Tuck the joint under the first loop to finish.

*  Crocheted Edging  ~

Make little 1/4-inch cuts with a seam ripper about 3/8- to 1/2-in from the edge of the blanket, and spaced about 1/2" apart.  Try using a “Skip Blade” in your rotary cutter to cut perfectly symmetrical 1/4-inch holes to prepare the edge for crocheting.

Single-Crochet around the edges of the blanket using yarn,
Perle cotton or self-made fleece yarn** and a large crochet hook.
Ask a friend or google "How To Crochet" for more comprehensive instructions.

*  Blanket-Stitch ~  

Use a skip-blade to perforate symmetrically spaced holes, about 1-inch from the edges.  Fold the fleece edge over 1/2-inch, then use a large-eye needle with fleece yarn or regular yarn and blanket-stitch the edge of the fleece.  Here's a little blanket stitch TUTORIAL in case you need a refresher.


Leave the blanket stitch as-is for a final finish, or add more crocheted edges for a fancier finish.  Try these Fun & Easy Edges.

So many different ways to finish a fleece blanket edge, and I'm sure there are tons more!  Who knows, maybe we'll see some change in the 4-H projects this year at the fair!

Happy Making!

How to
Make your own **Fleece Yarn!

Begin with 1/2 yard of fleece.  Trim selvages and square up the edges.  Cut 3/8-inch to 1-inch cross-grain strips (from selvage to selvage, the stretchy direction), then stretch the strip as far as it will go. It should stretch up to twice the original length, curling up on itself to be about half the original width.

Here's a "knotless" way to cut fleece yarn:  Use a rotary cutter and ruler for the cuts, slicing almost through at each end, leaving 1/4" to 1/2" uncut. Change the uncut portion to the opposite side with each slice as diagrammed below.

Slice the fleece, (I used 1/2-inch increments)...

...stretch out the yarn, trim off the square corners... 

...then wind it up like a ball of yarn.   
See "How to Roll a Ball of Yarn"  tutorial HERE.

Make rainbow yarn or use up scraps by cutting individual slices in the width desired, then tie or splice the ends together.  Stretch out the strips and wind them up in a ball of new "yarn".  You did it!

Gallery For > Snoopy Happy Dance Animated Gif

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