Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tasty Measures Smooth Sewing

jill here...There's a new quilt shop in the area! Woodside Quilting opened in September.   Easy to get to on the north end of Des Moines; the shop is cute, fresh and has great classroom space!

Trina, who runs the shop during the week showed us around.  When a new Robert Kaufman ombre fabric arrived, I offer to make a Tasty Measures sample.

This is the folded ombre, RK Quilter's Linen background in the left corner with the batik focus on top.  The focus has those interesting luminous areas of yellow against the dark background.

 Robert Kaufman's pointillist ombre.

 This ombre transitions from dark to light (selvage to selvage); some ombre fabrics transition from one value in the center to the same on the outer edges.

The major portion of this one is in the red/ red orange range with small amounts of the very dark and light.  With larger segments radiating from the center, the sets are cut with the orange to dark on the bottom and orange to gold on the top.  There is extra fabric to allow for selection but one has to plan ahead.

 Ribbons of strip sets make the fabrication come together quite quickly.  Start to finish, the throw top was sewn together in 4 1/2 hours.

 I'll deliver to Trina this week! Trina is a wonderful long arm quilter so it will be fun to see how she makes her magic bring it to life.

Three good things about the cold: soup, sewing and basketball!  What are your favorites for this very long season ahead? 'till next Tuesday...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

We're in Quilts and More, Winter 2014

Check out the new Quilts and More!  It has lots of fun and easy projects, one of which is OURS.

Quilts and More, Winter 2014
The quilt is a baby sized sweet treat using a small jelly roll.  It's perfect for a fun collection, sashed in white to make it pop.

Easy as 1, 2, 3 project in Quilts and More. See it here.
Quilts and More did a great presentation of a more modern throw size.  How fun and easy is that?

Free pattern for their alternative found here.
Burr...stay warm until next Tuesday.  Time to sew!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Quilt Festival Houston 2014

Home again! We're back from a great week, feeling inspired and ready to get back to what we love to do -- designing and sewing!  Quilt Festival is a remarkable retail event filled with lovely people, shopping, ideas, and a stunning quilt show!
Modern Quilt Relish booth day 1. 

Simple layers of interest on the walls.

A little change each day.  

Love my little Raskog cart filled to the brim with kits and quilts. The new Olov adjustable legs allow me to have a counter height table for my computer in my workroom.  

Looking from the other corner.

Shopping opportunities too! Here are Oakshott ½ yards from Pinwheels. These yummy crossweaves have depth and sparkle and interest.  Can you hear them calling out "design me, sew me"? We can!

Till Tuesday…

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


jill here….On our way to Houston…

Recently, Iowa State University hosted Tibetan Monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery where they created the art form "Mandalas".  I had never seen or heard of this so it was an adventure in a beautiful product with a very interesting and intricate process.  Patience is the key!

There are several official steps in creating this art form.  An opening ceremony followed by the "drawing of the lines" starts the 4 day process.

Once the lines are drawn, the colored grains of sand are distributed with the tube tools shown on the left side of the photograph.  Each grain of sand is tapped out with a minute vibration into a colorful design.  The lines are carefully defined, working from the center out.  As you can see, the monks have to maintain this bending position, rotating and resting with the group.  They did rest at night, thank goodness.

These are the tools of their art.

Aren't the colors just beautiful?

A friend shared this photo of the completed Mandala.

Once the Mandala was completed, there was a closing ceremony and dispersal of the sand.  The final product, although short lived, illustrates that these designs don't last forever and we need to appreciate them in their brief time.  

Until next Tuesday….

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Simple Baby Quilt top completed

Marny here…the Simple Baby Quilt top is complete!  
To follow how it was made, click on the label "Simple Baby Quilt" in the label column and all the posts will appear. 
(10/7/14, 10/14/14, 10/21/14 with a bit of relevant information on 9/9/14)
The strip set segments stacked with giraffe background on either side.

Testing how the column of segments would look like with a "spacer" of color before the giraffe background begins.  Seems like a good idea.

1 ½'' x 48 ½'' strips of dark pink added.

Giraffe background added.
Left side strip is 8 ½'' x 48 ½'' and the right side strip is 20 ½" x 48 ½''.
I cut these length of fabric to avoid piecing.
The 8 ½'' background strip +  20 ½'' center column + 20 ½''  background strip = 48 ½'' (when sewn together)
This makes the Simple Baby Quilt a 48 ½'' x 48 ½'' square.  
To Review
Ingredients for the Simple Baby Quilt from Modern Quilt Relish
4 fat quartersCut a 6 ½'', 3 ½'', 2 ½'' and a 1 ½'' strip from each. They can be cut either along the 21'' length or the 18'' width. HERE are the directions for the strip sets.

Vertical spacer fabric (dark pink here): use 4 ½'' so ⅙ yard or ¼ yard. Cut 3 strips 1 ½'' x wof. Piece into 2 spacer strips 1 ½" x 48 ½".

Nondirectional background: 1 ⅞ yard.  2 strips 6 ½'' x wof and cut them at the fold for strip sets. (You'll actually use a total of this 13'' + 48 ½", start with 1 ⅞ yards so you have plenty for length of fabric cuts described.) Cut an 8 ½" x 48 ½" length of fabric strip and a 20 ½" x 48 ½" length of fabric strip.  
The term nondirectional means that the print works when seen from any direction and therefore can easily be used in strip sets and background pieces without regard for orientation.
Perfect for a baby or toddler in your life!

Till Tuesday!!! Quilt Festival here we come!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Simple Baby Quilt continued

Marny here…the Simple Baby Quilt is well underway now. (Worded another way, the quilt top is still not completed.)
On a positive note, the blocks and the arrangement have been decided upon since last week's post!

Strip Set Ingredients for the Simple Baby Quilt from Modern Quilt Relish

4 fat quartersCut a 6 ½'', 3 ½'', 2 ½'' and a 1 ½'' strip from each. They can be cut either along the 21'' length or the 18'' width. 

Nondirectional background:  2 strips 6 ½'' x wof and cut them at the fold for strip sets. (You'll actually use a total of this 13'' + 48'', so start with 1 ⅞ yards.) The term nondirectional means that the print works when seen from any direction and therefore can easily be used in strip sets and background pieces without regard for orientation.)

Sew a 6 ½'' strip of background to the color strips in this order; 6 ½'' to the 1 ½'' to the 2 ½'' to the 3 ½''. Following the picture is easier than following the words! Refer to the Table Runner Tutorial and the
Simple Baby Quilt Challenges post for more instruction.

Cut two 6 ½'' wide strips from each strip set. It is helpful to align the horizontal lines on the ruler along seam lines to keep cuts square.

Alternating the 6 ½'' strips from the strip sets with the background to the left and then to the right.
Creating blocks from placing strip sets in pairs

Pairs rearranged to have the yellows more centralized. My eye liked this better.
Till Tuesday!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Simple baby quilt challenges…

Marny here…choosing fabric is fun. And you think I would have known better than to make such a classic mistake. Let me share my tale. 
Remember the 1 hue 4 fat quarter table runner tutorial from a couple of weeks ago? Jill hinted it could make a nice quilt with background added.  Next thing I know I want to use the idea behind the table runner to make a simple visual statement in a toddler or baby quilt.    

Here are the fabrics I chose Day 1. An adorable giraffe print for the background, and 3 colors found in the print + a cute dot. The dot was chosen because 4 fat quarters were needed for the blocks and adding one more solid seemed jumpy. So far I see two mistakes. Stay with me now… 

The giraffe print is part of Ann Kelle's Urban Zoologie fabric for Robert Kaufman. Love it!

The dot is a Kensington for Quilting Treasures fabric.

Prewashing fabrics in a mild soap is required for baby quilts. Baby skin is too sensitive to expose to the fixatives and dyes used in fabric. 

Numbers doodled trying to make the best use of fat quarters and end up with a baby sized project and have a nice proportion of colors to boot! Like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, we don't want the blocks too big or too small, we want them just right! 

Good the washing process is complete! Warm fabric from the dryer is pressed.

Next it was cut into strips and arranged into piles. Note, the four fat quarters were the dot and the solid pink, orange and yellow.
I knew I was heading down the wrong path from the start, but sometimes, while convoluted, the wrong path becomes the right path so I just blasted away.

Here are the two problems.  

  • The dot, while very cute, did not work within the blocks on the giraffe background. The dot areas bled into the giraffes without an edge since they shared the common denominator of white in their backgrounds.  This isn't always a bad thing but here it didn't work. 
  • AND, the giraffe print itself is too competitive with the blocks.  The scale of the actual giraffes competes with the scales of the strips chosen and it seemed like blocks screamed "look at me" and giraffes screamed "no, look at me".
So what to use instead of the dot in the blocks? What is missing? A range of values is the answer of course. 
A dark has made it into the mix.
Here are the strips cut and ready to make new blocks. 

I'll share more in my next post! Adding a dark value and using the dot in a new role lead to a cute and simple baby quilt, I am just sure of it! 

Fingers crossed…till Tuesday…