Wednesday, November 29, 2023

A Season of Thanks and a SALE!

A wonderful Thanksgiving week is in the books!  It has been a season of Thanks, indeed! 

Had a chance to visit with the Matriarchs of our family, my Aunt Marjory and my dear Mother-in-law, both of whom are 91 years young!  Delightful women who, despite some physical challenges, have minds that are still very active, engaging, and interested in every detail of our lives.  I am always interested in the stories they each have to tell.

We have recently added two new grandbabies to our clan, and are grateful for all of these delightful little grandchildren who bring such joy to our lives!

And, as I reflect on the past year of traveling and teaching, I am consistently struck by the sense of camaraderie among quilters.  No matter where you go in the world, you can always find a quilty friend!  I feel thankful for those opportunities to gain new friends, learn new tips and techniques, and share our creativity together.   

At Quilt Market last month, I connected with several people I've known or have met or even just corresponded with over the years, and I also made lots of new friends.  I was so excited to meet up with Amelia Johanson, acquisitions editor and Debra Kaunitz, account manager of Fox Chapel/Landauer Publishing.  And it was a thrill to see a BLAD ("Book Layout and Design") and hold it in my hands!  I may or may not have cried like a baby when I saw it on their shelf!  The BLAD is a pre-publication example of the book with about 8 pages, used for sales.  

The publication date for the book is February 6th, and will begin shipping in January!  You can pre-order a signed copy from me here:  Ultimate Binding & Edge-Finishing Guide.  Look for a full post a little closer to publication.

Meanwhile, I'm having a SALE!! Through Dec 2nd, I've got a sale going on at Quiltscapes, where you can enjoy a 25% discount on all items site-wide. Use the code THANKS25. Whether you're planning to create a festive tree skirt for the holidays or explore other patterns, now is the perfect time to indulge your creative spirit!

Happy Quilting!

~ Deonn

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Cuddle Buddies - Felix the Fox

Felix the Fox Cuddle(R) Blanket and Stuffie

When I spied this adorable "Cuddle Buddies" kit over at Missouri Star Quilt Co, I knew it was the perfect thing to make for my newest grandson, born just a month ago.  

Cuddle Blankets
These are so quick and easy to make!  

This little throw is made of two layers of plush fur, spray-basted together with temporary spray adhesive.  I love Odif's 505 spray - non-toxic, no smell, and holds the layers together.  It's perfect for sewing with minky.  

Trim the blanket to even out the edges, then add a binding.  The binding holds the project together permanently.  

Because Cuddle comes 60" wide there will often be leftover strips.  Rather than using cotton for binding, I use those extra strips of minky for binding.  Seams are joined with a diagonal seam to distribute the bulk as with a regular cotton binding.  

Binding is sewn to the back in a single layer, then brought to the front to finish.   

Corners are mitered, then the binding is stitched down with a serpentine stitch. 

{{  This technique using minky strips for binding is another one of those "alternate endings"
included in my new book,
coming in February -  available for pre-order now. }}

I quickly made a couple of these minky throws for the baby's older brothers.  You could make a quilt of it by adding batting between the layers.  These little throws are just right for story time, or just dragging around the house.

Felix the Fox Cuddle Buddies Kit
This cute kit came with a selection of different textured Cuddle fabrics to make the cute strip-pieced blanket, along with Kimberbell patterns for an adorable little fox to applique on the quilt, plus enough supplies to make the sweet plushie to accompany it.

Did you know you can applique' with minky?  I do not have an embroidery feature on my sewing machines, but it's simple enough to machine-stitch.  Here are a few tips.

1)  Adhere fusible web on the back.  I used Heat 'n' Bond light.
2)  Cut out the pieces from the back.  Sharp scissors are a must!  Cutting from the back makes it easy to cut just the fabric base and not the fur.

3)  Keep a vacuum handy!  The fur really flies!

4)  Iron to adhere the applique' pieces to the background using a damp press cloth.
5)  Use an open-toe foot with the needle positioned to the right which allows the toe to glide along the edge of the applique.  Stitch with a blanket or zigzag stitch.

So cute!

Cuddle Buddy

Kimberbell's pattern book to make Felix the Fox has detailed, thorough instructions.  Stitching the parts from plush fur is made easier by stitching through the paper.  

Here's another tip:  Once the seams are sewn, use a toothpick or other semi-sharp tool to pull the fur out of the seam.

The pieces were relatively simple to put together - just needed lots and lots of pins!  Oh, he's adorable!

Took a trip to the zoo with my little grandsons the other day while the weather was still nice.  The baby is a bit young for this toy, but his big brothers, ages 2 and 4, like it, and took turns playing with their new buddy!  Even met a new friend, Rusty!!

"Hi, Mr. Fox!"

Then it was the 2-year-old's turn!


Yep, I think Gramma may need to make one or two more Cuddle Buddies!

Big thanks to the folks at Missouri Star for sponsoring this post - you can find this Cuddle Buddies kit online at their website,  << Use this link for a one-time 15% discount at checkout on your entire purchase.  



Friday, October 6, 2023

Two-color Binding Tutorial

Here's a binding technique I had never tried before - a two-color pieced binding with joints on. the. corners!  Good Challenge!

Monday, October 2, 2023

Missouri Star Quilt Co. Affiliate

I am thrilled to announce that I have accepted an opportunity to participate in Missouri Star Quilt Co.'s Influencer program!  Here's a look at my first box:

Thursday, August 10, 2023

TGIFF = An Appli-quilted Finish!

Hi, and welcome!  It's time for Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday!  So glad you stopped by!

This little gem of a quilt has been sitting in my "Box of the Unfinished" for about 8 years now!  I'm so happy to show you this finish and link up with  TGIFF.  We'll also have a little giveaway! (details below).

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Practically Perfect Paper-Piecing! A Tutorial + Tips

Kaleido-Medallion with "Practically Perfect" Paper-Pieced Pretty Points!

Oh, how I love precise, pretty points in quilts, and foundation paper-piecing is my favorite way to get that to that happen.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Picnic Party!

Welcome to the Picnic Party Sew It - Show It Blog Hop!  Today I'm helping to kick off this fun hop, organized and hosted by Carol Swift at Just Let Me Quilt.  

Red, White & Bang! center fabric panel by Sandy Gervais for Riley Blake Designs
featuring Starstruck! border blocks 

The challenge for this hop was to sew and share picnic-ish quilts or other sewn items made to use for a picnic. 

Thursday, May 4, 2023

TGIFF - Quilted Pillow with a little Extra

Hello! Welcome to Quiltscapes for today's "Thank Goodness it's FINISHED" Friday!  So glad you are here!  
"Oh, My Stars! (& Garters) quilted pillow

It may not look like much at first glance, but this little quilted pillow has a little something special about it.  It's "Extra" as they say these days.  

Thursday, March 30, 2023

How to Roll & Store Binding

Here is my favorite way to ROLL & STORE quilt binding, using a "Figure 8" technique!

Years ago, I watched a gal at the cutting station in a fabric store rolling lace in this figure 8 manner and asked her to show me how.  That was a fun way to store it, but later on, I realized that when you turn it over and pull the strip from the center, it comes out straight!  Wow, I was amazed!  

How many times have you started to add the binding to a quilt - especially a large quilt - and because the binding has been stored by rolling it into a circle, it pulls off in a corkscrew and you have to unroll the entire 450 or so inches of binding down the hall, through the house and down the stairs?   I exaggerate.... a little!  I know you know what I mean.

This trick of "pre-twisting" will fix that!

There are some super-cute binding storage gismos out there, but the binding is usually wrapped around these in a circular fashion as well, causing the same issues.  Cute, yes.  But I am all about finding easy, practical, economical solutions to common issues, and this figure 8 technique doesn't cost any extra!

A figure 8 roll is handy for storage, too.  Sometimes I'll slip one of the loops over a hanger that holds the backing and quilt top, keeping the set together and ready for quilting.

When I'm ready to use the binding, I set the roll on my lap or on the floor by my chair and it simply pulls out from the center, ready to apply without twisting!  

Leftover binding strips can be re-rolled and used for smaller projects, or pieced together for a fun scrappy binding.

Or, just keep them in a large jar to decorate your quilt studio.  It's a beautiful thing.  And, it makes me happy.  And when I sit down to bind a quilt, I have a smile on my face.

Happy Binding!

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Tips, Tricks & Tools, Part I: What's in Your Sewing Kit?

This is Part I of a 3-part series of my favorite Tips, Tricks & Tools when it comes to quilting. 

One thing I was advised when I first started quilting:  Always use the best tools and supplies you can find and afford: sewing machine, scissors, rotary cutting equipment, fabric, needles, thread, even good quality pins can make a difference.  

Here are a few of my favorite tools and toys in my quilting arsenal: