Monday, November 17, 2014

Quiltmaker's 100 Quilt Blocks & Giveaway!

Celebrating the 10th Edition of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks!

And with the Volume 10, Quiltmaker now has a collection of 1000 great blocks!  Including this little gem on page 45, Block #953.  I call it "Spring".   *Ü*


Can you tell I just love fluffy little sheepies?  This design idea started with my "Sheep Shape" hexagon quilt (featured on the cover of Quiltmaker earlier this year), and as I'm always looking for ways to simplify... construction for this sweet little block could not be any easier!

First, it's all cut out with my fabulous AccuQuilt die-cutter using Rose of Sharon dies.  (Don't worry if you don't have one, the patterns are also located on p.75 of the magazine!)  It's all machine-applique'd with a blanket stitch and includes my favorite dimensional die-cut fabric flowers, leaves, ears and topknot; even the embroidery is all machine-stitched.


To make these soft, pliable, double-sided, non-raveling fabric 3-D applique' shapes, click to see the full >> TUTORIAL <<.



Now, what to do with your cute little block?  Here are a couple of ideas:
Single table topper/wall hanging:


Or rearrange the elements to make a sweet little runner/wall hanging scene:


And of course it will be cute as a full quilt, too!

GIVEAWAY INFO:   Win your own copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks vol 10, plus a little stack of 5" Basics from Riley Blake Designs and package of Heat n Bond Ultrahold for you to create your own dimensional applique'!  Leave a comment here, and of course you are welcome to follow along via email, facebook, bloglovin, etc, but that's not a requirement to enter the contest.  What's your favorite method of applique'?  I'll select a winner on Saturday morning.  A second winner will receive Volume 10 directly from Quiltmaker.

Be sure to visit the other designers on this blog tour for more prize-winning opportunities and creative inspiration!  Here's a sneak peek of what's in store:


 Check in at Quiltmaker's Quilty Pleasures blog, every day this week for the daily blog tour schedule and even more giveaways, including the actual signed blocks from this collection!


Good luck, and thanks for playing along!  (Be sure to inlcude an email address if you are a no-reply blogger).  Thanks for visiting, and I hope to see you again soon!
      

Thursday, November 13, 2014

'Twas the Night...

It snowed this morning!  Really puts me in the mood to start thinking about the holidays ahead, and the perfect setting for my stop on today's "Twas the Night..." holiday Blog Hop.  

Madame Samm @ Sew We Quilt has organized this inspiring hop, and sweet Marlene @ Stitchin by the Lake has been our wonderful cheerleader.
This hop has been something special - not only have the ladies all shared fabulous ideas for quick projects for gifts, but it's also a "Swap Hop"!  

Let me first showcase the amazing gifts I received from Jane @ MooseStash Quilting!

Lindt Chocolate Truffles ~ oops, (not pictured)... nothing left but a few wrappers...

Fat Quarter Star ~ sweet holiday fabrics

Embroidered hand towel ~
 Jane embroidered this and added the cheery accent strip to the bottom.

Cupcake Pot Holder ~ Sew cute!  And I've used it already!

Pie Plate holder and wide rimmed glass pie dish ~ Beautiful wrapped cord in a star design; amazing!  
(Are you sure it took just an hour or so, Jane?)  Even my husband was duly impressed.


But then, I needed to fill the dish. You know, for the pictures.  

I haven't made a pie for ages, but my Momma had some amazing recipes, including the best. pie. crust. ever! Mmmmm!  Hop over to my family blog at 3rDegree Bakery if you'd like the recipe for a fabulous All American Apple Pie and Luscious, Tender Pie Crust.  Or just to drool over the pictures.

Now for some ideas for gifts that take just a few hours or an evening to whip up:
This is my go-to gift ~ I've made dozens.  
I use a glue-stick to position the rickrack and speed things along, 
And isn't my niece a cute model?!


Use a single quilt block, about 8" to 10", quilt it up with 1 to 2 layers of cotton batting 
and a layer of heat-reflective batting such as Insul Bright, then trim square and bind.

 
Use a 2 1/4" x width of fabric strip for binding.

1)  Begin at a top corner, align raw edges at top and sides, 
then stitch binding to the back of the quilted hot pad using 1/4" seam allowance.

 2)  Miter the remaining three corners, same as on any quilt.
Stop 1/4" from the corner, backstitch, remove from machine and clip threads.

a)  Fold binding at a 90-degree angle to create the miter.

2.b)  Fold binding back to align raw edges; fold is even with top quilt edge.
Start sewing at the edge and continue to the next corner.  Repeat.

 3)  Pin or glue-baste beginning edge of binding around to the front;
Stitch over beginning corner.  Remove from machine and clip threads.  
Leave a 6" tail of binding at the end.

 4)  Fold binding around to the front side of the pot holder;  
miter the corners, then pin or glue-baste in place.

 5)  Fold leftover tail into thirds, then edge-stitch the loose section,
continuing to edge-stitch binding into place on the pot holder,
pivoting at corners and backstitching at the end.

6)  Form a loop at the top, turn raw edges under and machine-stitch to finish.


And, this season, I'm all about this little Birdie.  
He's a great little pincushion (see >>TUTORIAL<<),
but he'll also make a sweet little ornament or sachet.
It takes just a couple of charm squares and bits to make.


Paint around the eyes and you've got a sweet little Christmas Cardinal.

My gift went to Elizabeth - she's a pattern designer and works mostly with wool.  You can see her designs in many issues of Create & Decorate, and she sells patterns on her Etsy and Craftsy stores.  Trying to think of what she might like, I used one of her own patterns as inspiration for a little quilted hot pad.  I've also learned a few fun ways to fold fat quarters and will share some of those techniques in a few days.  

I absolutely love love little projects that can be made with just a couple of scraps from the sewing room.  A needlenook, a little scissor pocket, a tissue cozy, and many more gift ideas and free tutorials can be found here on my Snippets page.  

And I absolutely love little trinkets or tools that make my life (sewing life) easier - including my new Beam n Read lamp!  I've worn it around my neck for the past few days, sewing into the night and up before dawn, getting a wedding quilt bound - stitching in the dark while the family watched a movie.  It's the perfect brightness, focuses right on my work without bothering anyone else in the room,  and adjusts to the right angle.  It was a lifesaver! 

Would you like a Little Birdie pincushion of your own?  Leave a comment below and I'll choose a winner on Nov 21st at 5pm when the hop is over.  For a second entry, leave a comment over at 3rDegree Bakery, too!  Meanwhile, if you've missed any of our previous hoppers, see Marlene's master list HERE.  And also, Mdm. Samm is collecting pictures of everyone's projects on her Pinterest page HERE.

Be sure to visit the rest of my quilty sisters on today's hop!

Quiltscapes  << So glad you stopped by!
The Days Dewings

p.s.  I just returned from Choir practice - we've been rehearsing Christmas music for a few weeks already!  It's a 52-mile drive one way, and tonight's drive home through every sort of winter weather condition (black ice, snow, fluffy white fog over the pass, slush, etc, etc) had me wishing for some led headlights as bright as my Beam n Read!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Quick and Pretty 3D Applique'...

Here's a little tutorial for adding quick dimensional elements to your quilt.
Like this...
"Spring!" block featured in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks vol 10
                                                    Or this ↓↓

Or these:
Blossoms & Beyond

I seem to have a thing for butterflies:




Hexagarden Wall Hanging (PATTERN)
Here's how to make your own dimensional applique' pieces ~
Supplies:
               Heat n Bond ULTRAHOLD fusible web
                            (best results are with this heavy-duty "no-sew" fusible product)
               Regular Cotton fabric (batiks, solids, prints)
                            Remember, it's going to be double-sided, so double the fabric needed.

1)  Line the ironing board with a sheet of parchment paper or mylar to protect the surface.


2)  Follow manufacturers' instructions and PRESS to apply Ultrahold fusible web to the wrong side of fabric.  Use a hot, dry iron.  Hold in place for up to 8 seconds per section, overlapping iron until the fusible is adhered to the fabric piece.

Allow to cool, then peel off paper backing.

3)  PRESS two fused sides together.   Here I just folded my fused strips together.  It basically "plasticizes" the fabric, but leaves it soft and pliable to use in a quilt.  Another bonus - no raveling!


4)  CUT out shapes with sharp scissors... or die cutting machine.   Love my AccuQuilt Go! Cutter!



This creates a soft, pliable, double-sided, non-raveling piece of fabric.

For added dimension, PRESS to heat shapes through with an iron, and roll or form as desired, HOLD in place for a few seconds until cool, and the pieces will keep their shape!  I rolled the butterfly wings around my finger.  

In the example below, the larger flower pieces were formed around a dime to give them shape and stand out from the quilt block.  Then I formed the small flower centers around my fingertip, and just bent back the leaves a little on each side.  If you want to change the shape, simply re-heat and re-shape. A-dorable!!


Stitch the dimensional elements into place by hand or by machine.  All of the examples above were machine-stitched.  To embroider through the dimensional applique' pieces, a larger needle is helpful, and if you are doing a lot of machine-stitching, you may need to occasionally clean off the needle with rubbing alcohol. I think it's worth the effort!

Happy Quilting!

  Be sure to subscribe or follow along so you don't miss out on more great quilting tips like this!

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