Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sew Sweet Simplicity & Kickoff Giveaway

Jacquelynne Steves @ The Art of Home  is sharing a free Block of the Month! 

Welcome to Quiltscapes!  My name is Deonn, and just in case you're visiting for the first time, here's a little tidbit about me:  I learned to sew from my mother, tied my first quilt at around age 8, and have spent many hours (days, years, decades...) in the sewing room with Mom, sisters and eventually my own children, including triplet daughters.  I'm a longarm quilter with a home business, Quiltscapes, and I sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  I love to dream, design, make stuff, dream about it some more, write up patterns and tutorials, practice singing while I quilt, then teach what I learn.  My girls often have to come check on me to water and feed me sometimes, lol!  You can find loads of free tutorials here including my favorite "Snippets from/for the Sewing Room".  You can also find my monthly "How to Sew/Quilt" tutorals over at Riley Blake Desings' Cutting Corners.  It's my personal quest to always look for budget-saving ways to simplify the process!  "If there's a simpler way..."  that's my motto.

So now about this sweet block of the month - sew sweet, sew easy - using squares, half-squares and flying geese units.  Jacquelynne's got a great tutorial for easy peasy flying geese HERE.  

I'm gathering my fabric, thinking of possibilities for this darling Sew-Along.  My favorite color combo right now (which changes daily, of course...) is red with teal, especially in my sewing room, since I have both a little red featherweight and a little teal Kaiser sewing machine... and loads of little accessory snippets to match, of course.  And I'm thinking my new quilt will hang out on the couch in the sewing room, so I'm considering these...

Adorn It - Crazy for Daisies Juicy Fruit
I'm honored to be joining Jacquelynne's blog hop each month to showcase her adorable patterns along with >> these gals! <<  

Now to decide:  applique', embroidery, or a floral print for the block centers.  Maybe a little of each?  Here's a sneak peek from Jacquelynne's blog:

I really enjoy Jacquelynne's sweet blog and newsletter - a gal after my own heart - making stuff and sharing it!  Her blog is loaded with free tutorials, recipes, patterns and an ebook, and now this free block of the month!  And just to get things rolling, she's provided a pattern bundle to give away! Isn't that just sew sweet?

Want to win this little prize bundle?  Just leave a comment telling me about your favorite color combo today. This giveaway will close on October 23rd at 5pm, just before I head off to Quilt Market! (find me at Riley Blake Designs' booth for some awesome free demos and Make'n'Takes!)  No-Reply Bloggers please leave an email address, or risk being disqualified from the drawing.  Thanks!
UPDATE:  Thanks for playing!  Giveaway is now closed.  Winner will be announced on Monday, 10/27/14.

Of course, you're always welcome to follow Quiltscapes here, on facebook, bloglovin' etc.etc., but not a requirement for the giveaway.  And the block of the month?  See all the details and sign up for Jacquelynne's newsletter HERE.  Kickoff is October 27th if you'd like to play along!

p.s.  Here are links to the other hoppers - a few Barbs, a couple of Sandys, Snoodles, Deonn, Deanna and Teresa.  Looks like a fun bunch!
Snoodles ~ Lily Pad Quilting
Teresa ~ A Quilt and a Prayer
Sandy ~ Upstairs Hobby Room
Deonn ~ Quiltscapes <<Thanks for stopping in!
Barb ~ Bejeweled Quilts
Sandie ~ Crazy ‘Bout Quilts
Deanna ~ Wedding Dress Blue
Barb ~ Mountain Quiltworks
Barb ~ Garden Path Quilts

Monday, October 6, 2014

On the Edge...

Blanket Stitch / Buttonhole Stitch.  Are they the same thing?  Find out over at Cutting Corners today!

My cute friend Frannie gave me an old Necci booklet called "Modern Home Sewing" published in 1952 which I've used as a resource (and an occasional giggle) to prepare this year's series of vintage stitchery and sewing tutorials at Riley Blake Designs' blog. 
I also had a look at my Mother's little Coats & Clark's "100 Embroidery Stitches" booklet.  That one is from 1964. They're little treasures!  And don't you love it when everything old is new again?  I do.  I love it. Click on the button to come check out today's tute. ↓↓
Cutting Corners with Riley Blake Designs

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Plush Fur Binding

That nip in the air makes me want to grab a cozy, furry quilt!  

Have you sewn with Minky or Cuddle fabric?  It's a poly plush fur fabric that comes in varying lengths and designs of furry goodness that's hard to resist.  I've sewn with it a bit, and quilted it a lot.  The key is pin, pin, pin, and if you aren't sure it won't stretch or slide, pin some more!

My favorite product is Shannon Fabrics' Cuddlesoft.  It has a little stretch, but usually only cross-grain.  I pin it to my longarm frame with the selvages along the sides then I pin the cut edges at the top and bottom leaders with extra pins to control the stretch.  I love quilting on this stuff for a quilt backing - it really emphasizes the quilting and kids of all ages can hardly keep their hands off it's soft goodness!

Here are some tips for machine-stitching plush fur binding to a fuzzy creation.

Use a single layer for binding strips:  1-1/4" strips for a generous 1/4" finish.  Cut strips from the lengthwise grain - same direction as the selvage edge.  Join strips by overlapping short ends 1/4" using a zig-zag or mending (serpentine) stitch.  Mine is #18

If the fur is especially long, I'll sometimes zig-zag the quilt edges after trimming to control the bulk.

1)  Leave about an 8" tail and begin to stitch binding to the back of the quilt.  I use my quilter's 1/4" seam foot with the edge guide.  You may want to use a walking foot to be sure it doesn't stretch as you go.

2)  Stitch to 1/4" from the edge, then backstitch a couple of stitches and remove from the machine; clip threads.

3)  Fold binding back 45o to form the mitered corner...

4)  Fold binding strip back down with the fold even with quilt edge; align raw edges together.  Pin to secure.

5)  Turn the quilt and begin stitching at the folded edge, repeating the miters at each corner.  Stop about 8" from the beginning stitches.

6)  Overlap ending strips and join again with zig-zag or mending stitch for the final binding seam, then continue stitching to quilt, overlapping the beginning stitches.

6)  Form miters on the corners of the quilt front; pin to secure.

7)  Stitch edge of binding to the front of the quilt, pivoting at the corners.  I really like the look of that serpentine stitch. Looks great on the back, too!

p.s.  Keep a lint-roller, dustbuster, vaccuum, or garbage can  handy - the fur really flies!  After each cut, clean off your mat with a dry washcloth.  Shake out the quilt over a garbage can, or just take it outside and shake it off!

Happy Cuddling,

Linking with Project Parade - lots of great Autumn ideas!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Summer Sewing! (& Giveaway)

September, already!?!

After a summer of sewing among other things - it's such a pleasure to take a minute for a little Sew & Tell on the "See You in September" blog hop!  We're to display three projects made this summer, with at least one article made with Riley Blake Designs' gingham prints. A big thanks to Mdm. Samm at Sew We Quilt who organized this wonderful hop and sweet Shari at Living With Purpose for cheering us all along!  It's been a great motivator for me, especially with the push to "Save the RBD Gingham!!"   I've been trying to knock out some UFOs.  Now, it's tough to narrow it down to only three projects!!  How about three... categories???  Ok, read on.

1)  Saving RBD Gingham!
Many of you know that I do some contract work for Riley Blake Designs.  You can find my "Sewing (& Quilting) Basics" tutorials on the "Cutting Corners" page of, and Cindy (co-owner of RBD) invited me to help her put together a series of How-to-Quilt videos based on those tutorials. (Only slightly mortifying!)  It has also been my assignment to feature and promote their Basics line of fabrics - the solids, shades, dots, chevrons, and of course, ginghams!

Here I am at Quilt Market last year to demonstrate some quick Make & Take projects.  I spy gingham! (lanyard, bag, backing on the Bullseye Baby quilt, orange-peel runner and I even made my gingham shirt.)

Cutting Corners with Riley Blake DesignsSome of my recent RBD tutorials have focused on vintage stitchery techniques using different sizes of gingham.  You can click the button for a link to all my RBD tutorials.
The 1/2" gingham check is perfect size for Smocking.  For Shirring and Chicken Scratch, I like the 1/4".  Embroidery and Cross-Stitch are so easy to learn and practice on the 1/8" gingham checks.  Ruching works well with the smaller checks, too.  I like all the sizes.

Here's a little collection of Gingham Stitchery.  I plan to use all my samples in quilt blocks.

And my actual Gingham project?  An Orange Peel Table Runner.  After teaching the technique several times, I ended up with a nice little pile of extra circles.  I decided to add them to my existing runner.

 I tried it as a square, 
 as separate place mats, 
and finally, decided on the long runner.  
Gingham-y Goodness!

If you'd like, you can see the video instructions HERE.  (You can probably tell how terrified I am in front of the camera, argh!  But just turn the sound off, and you can see how we made it!)  I could keep adding blocks to make it a larger quilt, but this runner fits my dining table nicely!  

#2)  Tree Skirts!  I've been playing with my EQ7 quilt design software a lot this summer, learning new things every week.  Here's this year's version of my Star Medallion Tree Skirt.  Can't wait to see it made up in these fabulous fabrics.

And my actual project?  Star Weave Tree Skirt ~ Done!
This and the original Star Medallion Tree Skirt patterns are available on my Craftsy Store.  It's never too soon to get ready for Christmas!

And last, but not least...
3)   Round Robin quilts!
Have you ever participated in a Round Robin Exchange?  Form a group, and each person supplies a center block.  The next person will add a border, send it to the next person to add another border and so on.  Sometimes the group will establish rules, and sometimes anything goes.  When your quilt has made the rounds, your block has grown to a decent size wall-hanging with several borders.

Here's my "Little Ruby" that took a 'round the world trip to Montana, Australia, Georgia, Paris, New York, a detour to Ontario Canada, then North Carolina! The rules for this RR were to add simple 2" to 2-1/2" borders.   Little doo-dads were added along the way - a bit of ribbon, a few charms, along with some super-cute fabrics and fun piecing.  Oh, how I love her, hanging in my sewing room!
"Cherish, Love, Joy."  Sweet.
Right now I'm working on another Round Robin I call "Around the Block."  My cute friend Amber Sisson sketched it out and I've been working on the pattern all summer long.  Let's just say, I've learned alot about designing with applique'!  Giveaway:  If this piques your interest, I'm giving away a center block and embellishing supplies along with the pattern (as soon as it's ready) for this adorable (trust me) wall hanging, and a tree skirt pattern of your choice.

Leave a comment below telling about your favorite summer outdoor activity as a kid.  Giveaway ends on Tuesday, September 16th at 5:00 pm.
UPDATE:  Contest over and winner notified.  CONGRATULATIONS, BarbCarol!!!
Thanks to everyone for playing along!

Stay tuned for the full story and "Around the Block" reveal in the next little while!  And remember, you're always welcome to follow along for more quilty goodness!

Be sure to visit all my Hop Sisters today - they're amazing!  If you've missed the previous hoppers, see Shari's master list HEREThanks for stopping by!
 >>  Quiltscapes  <<

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