Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Dandelion--Quilting Tutorial

Last week I shared with you my tutorial on piecing together the Dandelion Mini Quilt.  This week I thought it would be fun to spend some time talking about how I chose to quilt my wall hanging.  One of the biggest hurdles I found myself jumping along my quilting journey, was figuring out how to quilt my projects.  There are thousands of ways to quilt something, so how do you chose what is the best way?  I absolutely dreaded the words "quilt as desired" at the end of quilting patterns because I had no idea what I desired.  It wasn't until I started studying pictures of other quilters's work that I was finally able to start generating some ideas.

One of the first decisions to make is what threads to use.  I personally like to use 50w cotton thread most of the time and more often than not reach for my trusty Aurifil thread stash.  For this project I chose to quilt my top using thread colors that would match the different sections.  Using a matching thread color can hide almost all of your quilting blunders.  I chose Aurifil 2135 yellow for the flower, 4026 green for the leaves, 2692 black for the ground and boarder and 2309 cream for my background.  I also stitched in the ditches of my seams before I started free motion quilting using Sulky Invisible.

Let's talk about the flower and the leaves first.  I wanted my quilting to be somewhat simple so I chose to do continuous curves in all of the squares.  Continuous curves can be a bit tricky at first, but once you get a rhythm of how to move around the squares, it's really quite simple.  Below is a numbered diagram showing the order in which I quilted my curves.  From start to finish it took 140 curves to quilt the flower.  When I quilted mine I did not mark them but eyed it.  Even in my diagram below the curves are not perfect, but you can tell it does not take away from the overall design.  Fear not and quilt forth.

The leaves can be quilted with 111 curves.

When working with continuous curves, if you have a way to draw them out or even running your finger over your possible quilting trail can really pay off.  I like to lay Plexiglas over my project and use a dry erase markers to audition designs (just make sure you do not mark on your quilt).

For the ground area, I chose to do pebbling.  The easiest movement for tackling this design is to make your pebbles in a figure 8 movement.

I started at the arrow and made a circle counter clockwise, then swung up to make the rest of my figure 8.  It's ok if your circles are not completely round or not even the same size.  And it's 100% ok to travel around your circle twice to get to where you need to go.  I almost always use a thread color that matches my fabric so that my flaws are hidden and whats left for the eye to focus on is great texture.

For the borders and the background quilting I added some straight lines.  In the background I marked diagonal lines.  I started by marking a line that went from the upper left corner to the bottom right and then spaced my lines every 2."  I chose to quilt these lines using my walking foot.  I marked straight lines every 2" apart in the border.  When I stitched the border piano keys, I used my free motion foot.  This allowed me to stitch a line up and then travel in the ditch to stitch the next line down.  Since the lines were marked and not very long in length, I felt I could keep them pretty straight without the use of the walking foot.

 And this is my wall hanging all finished

If you decide to make this little wall hanging I hope that you will email me at tishnwonderland@gmail.com.  I would love to see your version and how you decide to quilt it.  Thanks for stopping by!

And a big thanks to Freemotion by the River for featuring my last weeks piecing tutorial on her linky party!

Come join the party!!  Today I'm linking up with

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Dandelion Mini--PiecingTutorial

As you may remember, earlier in the summer, I constructed a quilt for our local theater group to use in their production of the musical Quilters.

I thought it might be fun to write a tutorial for the small wall hanging for anyone that would be interested.  So here we go... 

Fabric requirements:

Sky Fabric                          3/4 yard
Ground Fabric                    1/4 yard
Assorted Greens                 total of 1/2 yard
Assorted Yellows               total of 3/4 yard
Border Fabric                   1/2 yard
Binding                              3/8 yard

Cutting Instructions:

Sky Fabric
2    2 3/4" x 30 1/2" rectangles
4    2 3/4" x 12" rectangles          
6    2 3/4" x 7 3/8" rectangles
2    2 3/4" x 9 3/4" rectangles
4    2 3/4" x 5 1/8" rectangles
6    2 3/4" squares
10  3 1/4" squares

Ground Fabric
2    2 3/4" x 12" rectangles
2    2 3/4" x 5 1/8" rectangles
3    3 1/4" squares

Binding Fabric
5   2 1/2" strips WOF

Border Fabric
2    3 1/2" x 30 1/2" strips
2    3 1/2" x 36 1/2" strips

Yellow Fabric
4    3 1/4" squares
29   2 3/4" squares

Green Fabric
9   3 1/4" squares
15  2 3/4" squares

**A note about the 2 3/4" green and yellow squares--These squares are used to make the flower and the leaves and stems.  You can use a mixture of 2 3/4" squares and 2 3/4" half square triangles as you wish.  You will just need a total of 29--2 3/4" squares for the flower and 15--2 3/4" squares for the leaves and stem.**

Piecing Instructions:

Construct the HST as follows:
     4 Yellow and 4 Sky Fabric 3 1/4" squares to yield 8 2 3/4" HST
     6 Green and 6 Sky Fabric  3 1/4" squares to yield 12  2 3/4" HST (you will have one extra)    
     3 Green and 3 Ground Fabric  3 1/4" squares to yield 6 2 3/4" HST

Below is the method I use to construct half square triangles.

First, place two 3 1/4" squares together, right sides together, and draw a diagonal line on one of the squares.

Next sew 1/4" on either side of the diagonal line; shown as the dotted lines.

Then, cut along the diagonal line to create two units.

Press the units open and trim to 2 3/4."  Each pair of squares will yeild two 2 3/4" HST.

After you have completed all of the half square triangles for the project, we can begin assembling the quilt as follows.  All of the HST and unmarked squares in the diagram measure 2 3/4."

After constructing your rows and sewing them together (it's always a good idea to pin seams together that should match up to prevent uneven rows), you can add the borders.  Then all that is left to do is baste the dandelion block and quilt it.

That concludes the piecing tutorial for the Dandelion miniature quilt.  If you decide to make this wall hanging I hope you will take some time to email me (email button found on the top right of my blog), I would love to see your creation.  I would like to say a big thank you to Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs and Sandra at Musings of a Menopausal Melon for taking time to look over this post.  Next week, I would like to take some time to discuss how I quilted it.  I hope you will join me to talk about quilting this little quilt.

For a printer friendly version of this tutorial can be found here.

Come join the party!!!  Parties are more fun with friends.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Scraptastic Award--Part 1

Sometimes in life we win awards.  These awards may not even be real awards and may seem like not-awards to other people.  When you receive it, just like Ralphie's dad in A Christmas Story, you beam and gloat about it even when people are looking at you like you have lost your mind.  This is my quilting award or not-award story, (however you want to look at it).

So what does my award look like?

Isn't it beautiful???  You might be asking, "Tish, where exactly is the award?"  It's in the box and the mesh totes and the huge garbage bag in the back seat you can barely see.  And how exactly did I get this award and who gave it to me?  A friend of mine named Courtney, who I have known ever since we were in elementary school and her family.  And I consider everything contained within an honor to receive.

Right after Easter of this year Courtney's grandmother, Mrs Carver, passed away.  I never met her grandma in person, but through Courtney's posts on Facebook I felt like I knew her.

She was a die hard quilter with lots of quilts under her belt.  The one thing she loved more than anything were her scraps.  They were her treasure and her passion.  Her grandmother would sit and sort the scraps.  She even conned her family into sorting her scraps.  How could you not love her??

Quilts entered in a local quilt show
Quilts she made from her scrap bin for her family
So a few months ago Courtney contacted me to see if I would like to have her grandmother's scraps, adding that her mother says I must take everything...and...was that a laugh?  She and her mother had talked and knew that I loved to make smaller quilts and thought maybe I could give them a new home.  I offered to pay for them but they wouldn't take anything.  They just wanted to see them be loved and used, just as her grandmother would have done.  I felt honored that they would give them to me.  I could only imagine all the memories behind these scraps.  So we will call this the Hoarder in Training Award...only I didn't know that at the time.

We set a date and I met them at her grandmother's house.  As we entered her mom reminded me, "You must take everything."  And again that same laugh.  Suddenly they began pulling out boxes and mesh totes filled to the brim with scraps of all imaginable sizes.  I'll admit as as the containers kept stacking up I wondered if I was in trouble.  After everything was strategically loaded into the back of my car they gave me a tour of the house and shared some of her quilts with me.  She had a very good eye for color and loved her some scrappy quilts.  Most of the quilts were hand quilted.  
It was just amazing.  Again, I felt so honored that they shared this with me.  Even though I'm swimming in scraps, they will never know how much it meant to me that they thought of me.

So now what will happen to all this stuff??  Stay tuned, my friends.

Come join the party!  Today I'm linking up with...

Monday, September 14, 2015

Holiday in Kashmir

Last Monday, I started the binding process of this quilt.  I'm not sure why I drug my feet finishing it this week, but going slow just felt right.  Before it even became a quilt top, the fabric for this quilt lingered in my stash, and it has been in my UFO pile for several years now.  Crossing it off the dreaded UFO list, has felt incredibly good!

 On special occasions my husband likes to surprise me with jelly rolls and charm packs for my stash.  While shopping online, he stumbled onto charm packs of Moda's Holiday in Kashmir and he fell in love with them.  I remember opening them Christmas morning and being blown away at how beautiful they were.  The deep dark colors with the shimmering flakes of gold made them seem so regal.  It made me want to run away and celebrate Christmas in an exotic land.  In the back of my mind though all I could think was, what in the world can I do with these???

A few years later while playing around on the Moda Bake Shop site, I came across a pattern by Stefanie Roman at Little Lady Patchwork called Charming Stars and I knew that my fabric had now found a home.  The hardest part in making this quilt was finding yardage to add to the charm packs.  After searching the internet high and low, as luck would have it, a quilt shop an hour from my house had several bolts from this line still on their shelf.  Construction of the quilt went very quickly and quite easily.  My husband loved how it turned out.  Sadly, this beautiful top was immediately folded and placed on the to be quilted someday pile. 

At the beginning of the year, I had high hopes that this quilt would see it's finish before another Christmas came.  I even had a quilting plan drawn out.

As much as I wanted to quilt this one myself, I realized I wanted it to be finished more than anything.  When I dropped off my Goodnight Irene quilt at the quilt shop a few weeks ago, I realized it was time to finish this one as well.  When Irene was picked up, Kashmir was dropped off.  Two weeks later, I had a finished top and that felt amazing.

Sunday was suppose to be our quilt guilds annual outside quilt show at our local river walk and I had hopped to get some pictures of Kashmir while it was on display.  Sadly the weather did not co-operate and we had to cancel the show.  So in between storms yesterday, I was able to snap a few pictures of its finish.

I just love all those rich colors!

So, Holiday in Kashmir, it has been fun, but I sure am glad to call you complete!  Now it's time to get back to work on some other projects.

Come join the parties!!  Today I am linking up with...

Val's Quilting Studio

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