Tuesday, December 16, 2014

School of Sewing Provides Holiday Instruction

jill here...What a pleasure to sew a holiday gift from a quilter friend's new book School of Sewing.  Shea Henderson has authored a great resource of 12 beginner projects: "Learn It, Teach It, Sew Together".  Not only projects, the book is filled with sewing instructions for those who are beginners to the sewing world. And a good review for those who have sewn a long time!  It's skill builder lessons with the final project sewing a half square triangle quilt.  I will be gifting a couple of the books for a grandmother/granddaughter team and one for my daughter-in-law.

The rufflled wristlet key fob, designed by Alex Ledgerwood, had just the right attributes of challenge and panche for our annual get together. This little key ring is bright enough to be spied inside the purse... without settling to the bottom!

Here's a visual of the  book displayed with all the different fabric versions  Each guest chose their own combinations.

Marianne was our chef, serving another wonderful meal.

Marny and Jane created laughter while they gathered.

Laura proudly displayed her finished key ring.

Sue and Gale had time for conversation while they sewed.

Seven little rings all in a row.

Life gets busy so it's really fun to share an annual holiday project.  We made a space to gather and celebrate friendship.

'till next Tuesday...

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Super Simple Paper Pieced Santa

Marny here…with a simple little project with so much potential. This little santa can be used for a pillow, pocket on a bag or apron, add on for bibs or baby onesies, part of a stocking, etc. You get the idea! Let's get started.

A 5'' x 6'' inch rectangle drawn in pencil on printer paper.
The top and bottom points are at the center 2 ½'' mark. 

Fabric scraps of white (beard), pink (face), red (hat & coat), 
and background (here cream with red).

Start paper piecing from the center out. 
Note the first two fabrics are lined up with edges fairly even with one another, 
right sides together, at least ¼'' above the line between beard and face, on the back of the pattern. You can just barely see the lines of the pattern through the paper in this photo. 
Hold tight or pin and flip the entire unit over to stitch from the front side.
PRESS AND TRIM (instructions follow) AFTER EACH SEAM.

Stitch from the right side with a reduced stitch length. Using a shorter stitch makes it easy to rip off the paper at the end of the project.

Working from the back side, fold the paper out of the way along the stitch line and trim the two fabrics just sewn ¼'' away from that stitching line.

Beard, face and hat sewn. Notice they are not trimmed to the actual shapes.  This will happen as the next fabrics are stitched on, one at a time.

The whole unit can be held up to a window or light to ballpark where the next fabric should be placed to the back. Again, all stitching is from the front of the pattern.

Coat added next

Final paper pieced background pieces added.

The entire unit is trimmed ¼'' away from the original outer edge.

Paper removed and Santa appears!

Little stripe border added top and bottom, left and right sides.
The stripe was cut ¾'' wide.
A little stitching for eyes and blush for the cheeks and this Super Simple Santa is ready for the holidays!
Till Tuesday…

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

International Quilt Festival Exhibits

Our recent adventure to Houston's International Quilt Festival allowed us a little time to enjoy the special exhibits.  Ruby Jubilee: A 40 Year Celebration was inspired by the 2011 Red and White exhibit in New York.  The quilts, made from 1974 to the present, were dramatically displayed from a radial overhead "mobile".  The quilts' scale in the vast overhead space was quite impressive. The red and white contrast made the display very graphic and harmonious.

The following quilts are just a few from the "Modern Quilt Guild Showcase 2014".  We strive to give appropriate credit to the designers; these photos are only to be viewed from our site, not to be reproduced.


The numerous exhibits included inspiration for every type of quilter.  Add the show to your list!

'Till next Tuesday,  stay warm and snuggle under a quilt!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Make a Lined Drawstring Bag for gift giving!

Marny here…our DSMMQG had it's yearly November social meeting last week.  We exchange seasonal gifts using the tried and true "steal a gift technique". It was lots of fun! 

First, what I took to give
What's in the bag?

I made a drawstring bag to present my contribution using my purchased Jeni Baker's Lined Drawstring Bag pattern. The size was customized according to Jeni's instructions.
Checkout Jeni's great online tutorial here!
It seemed appropriate to select truly seasonal fabrics from my stash. Iowa, like much of the country, has already had snow(s)! We've definitely brought out mittens, scarves and hats.
I have had this bodkin for many years. I love it! It is so useful for pulling drawstrings, elastic, ribbons or whatever through a casing. 
Plus it is a fun word to pronounce.
A bodkin makes a great stocking stuffer for the sewists in you family!
If you go looking for one, you have two choices. One is a needle with a large eye. Mine is the other sort built on a tweezer concept. It has teeth on one end that you clamp onto the ribbon (by sliding the ring down till tight). 
Here is the adorable "what" that was in the bag!
I wish I could say that I made this cute (store bought) snowman!
Don't you love his shaggy texture?
Again with the mittens, scarves and hats!
Now, let me share the special gift I received at the exchange…
Look at this wonderful little pillow! Doris Brunette of Row House Creations made this using reverse appliqué and a hand stitched accent line! I love looking through the snowflake at a moment captured in time! 
Looks like it is going to be a long, cold winter. This little pillow will brighten my home! Thinking about the kind and generous members in our guild warms my heart!

Till Tuesday… 

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…