Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Straight and Flat

jill here....As I was working on a scrappy backing, I thought I might share a could of tips/reasons we sew with seams pressed open.  I had some previously sewn strip sets that I wanted to sew together.  

Firstly, when we sew width of fabric strips, it's a good practice to alternate the sewing direction to prevent bowing.  If you look at the fabrics below, the fuschia is sewn to the grey and the the next strip set, orange to the grey.  Both of these sets are sewn with the selvedge ends even so we can identify the direction (the other ends do not match and are uneven).  So...when you sew the two sets together, match the uneven ends as best as possible and start from this end to counter the previous direction.  This keeps the sets straight.

These two strip sets are sewn together, but not pressed.

First I set the closed seam by pressing from the wrong side. This "tempers" the seam and prepares it to open easier.

With the point of the iron, open the seam gently by holding the other end of the strip set up.  The iron will glide easily and press the seam open.  Finish the entire length of the strip set.

Once the seam is pressed opened, press again from the right side of the fabric.  It's flat and straight.

Pressing seams open prevents those ridges of double fabric seam allowances.  There is more exposure to the actual seam so you may have to tighten the stitch.  The present day machine quilting holds the piecing securely.

So there you go!  Any insights or comments are welcome...'till next Tuesday!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Spring Quilt Market, Pittsburgh!

Marny here…
Back from Market.  We really enjoyed our teaching experience, lots of friendships were renewed, new friends were made and our booth was such fun!  We chose a corner booth and were so fortunate to get placed on the center aisle in the midst of lots of action.  
One wall of our booth.  Our hanging pattern covers make it easy to point and choose and discuss.  Gourmet Values is pictured here (at the far left) with the current issue of Modern Patchwork.  It was fun to share it with Carolyn Friedlander, since the fabrics were all designed by her, and to hear the stories of the magazine photo shoot from the editor, Vivika Hansen DeNegre. 
The rest of the first wall wrapping around to the remaining wall.  Hanging, from left to right, you can see Lunchboxes, Cutlery, Torte and our new pattern Tasty Measures.  Leftovers, Supper Club and the Tasty Measures runner are on the table. 
Tasty Measures baby brightens up the booth and drew lots of smiles!
Quilt Market floor "after hours" from one end of the Convention Center.  The ceiling has windows that allow the huge space to be filled with natural light.  Having sunshine in parts of the building much of every day was terrific!
Quilt Market floor from the other end of the building.  These two photos were taken from bridge like walkways used to go to and fro the upstairs classrooms.
So good to be home, recharged, inspired and ready to get back to work on our book!

Till Tuesday…

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tasty Measures, new Modern Quilt Relish pattern

Marny here…off to Quilt Market we go!  Pittsburgh here we come!  The car is loaded with quilts and booth outfitting supplies, patterns are sacked and our Take & Teach lesson plan is prepared.  Just this one exciting task remains…introducing our new pattern, Tasty Measures.  

Tasty Measures features segments of color that gradate in value away from large rectangles of focus fabric.
This throw uses a single ombre' fabric as the source of the color segments.
It is a super and really fun way to use the ombre' fabrics! 
This baby size is so cute!
Here individually chosen fabrics serve up the segments.
Tasty Measures is a great way to use those happy novelty prints that tempt you (even when you don't have much time)!    
One view of the Tasty Measures runner in indigos.  Notice the dark to light in the segments are prints!

Another shot of the runner with the quilting more visible.

Don't you love the fabulous frontside of this Tasty Measures runner Jill shared last week in her post about using the backing fabric to establish a quilting design?    

Tasty Measures is written for four sizes; Baby, Throw, Queen and Runner.  The directions are written such that you can choose whether to use ombre' fabric or individual fabrics.  It is such fun to put together!  We'll have it in the shop once we return from Quilt Market.  

See you a week from today…if not before!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Backing Design Cue for Graphic Quilting

jill here....  I love indigo fabrics set on white backgrounds.  It's that crisp juxtaposition that is fresh and modern.  At Houston market I discovered fat quarters at a TransPacific booth.  These were the inspiration for our newest pattern's table runner, Tasty Measures.

The middle four fabrics are portioned in the smaller segments, the outer fabrics are used in the larger.  Some are reversed (used the darker side) for value, creating more of an incremental difference from the white background.

I discovered this coordinating fabric at the Quilting Connection:  a graphic pattern for straight line quilting with my walking foot.  Perfect as the backing!  This line of fabric is now carried through
 Henry Glass.

Not to bore you with the whole process, I worked backwards starting with the top taped wrong side up.  I added a flat cotton batting that was 4 inches larger, then placed the backing, right side up.  I purposely aligned it on the sandwich so that the design was not "centered" with the top,  just a bit asymmetric.  I taped all around and then pinned every3- 4", avoiding the straight lines of the design.

I quilted, with the walking foot, both sides of the straight lines (5) the full length of the runner.  This gave the quilt enough "basting" that I removed the pins for a clear shot at the angles.  I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was, just had to anticipate the points to turn the pressor foot.  I did not quilt every line but I do like "channel lines" so strategically alternated for a pleasing pattern.  I took breaks for my hands and shoulders.  What a fun discovery on the other side!

I used a very light grey thread.  The design is visible but doesn't overpower the pattern of the runner.

The graphic lines are a nice counter to the indigo print's organic nature.  We'll reveal our three new samples as we leave for market next Tuesday.

We look forward to International Quilt Market in Pittsburg.  We haven't experienced a market east of the Mississippi so it will be fun and we hope to meet new customers.  Rather then our regular schoolhouse talks, we going to "Take and Teach".  We have a class, Saturday morning before market opens, where we show modern marketing ideas and make some pattern mock-ups.  The class is full but we'll share ideas and a market special if you stop by our booth #1934. We're on a corner with a great central location ...would love to meet you.

'Till next Tuesday...