A Moment of Discovery

Do you ever have those moments where you go, know why didn’t I think of that? That’s what happened to me the other day while reading Felicity’s blog. She posted about her Craft Buds month entry, and mentioned that she got her book from the local library.

“SAY WHAT? The library has modern quilting books? Well, I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before!” I said to myself.

Needless to say I promptly went online and searched around the Surrey Public Libraries website, and boy, do they ever have quilting books. Not just modern quilting, but any kind of crafting book. And new ones, modern ones! Tula Pink, Elizabeth Hartman, Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr, and not one but three Kaffe Fassett? My library card now holds a coveted spot in my purse, and I almost have the numbers memorized to log in online and reserve books, but because I am a new cardholder my limit is 10 books at a time. I laughed when she said that, 10 is more than enough to keep me occupied for 2 weeks. I maxed out my limit the first night (better on a library card than a credit card) and have 8 books on order. I have to bring the lot of them back this weeks and exchange them for the next batch (Quilts from the House of Tula Pink is in this batch, yippee!)

While digging through my little trove of quilty goodness, getting inspired and copying templates, I discovered something about myself.  A couple of the modern quilting books were centered around minimalist quilting, or had projects that fall into that category. As much as I can appreciate the design and time that goes into them, I found myself thinking more and more that these were not things I would make for myself. Only one color and a plain white background…? I am not a minimalist!

I love to put as many colors as possible in my quilts.

Rich, vibrant prints and blenders with a tone-on-tone black background? Yes please!

Batiks? Let me at ’em!

Don’t get me wrong, I really like many of the modern quilts I see, and there are many that I would like to/will eventually make. I love anything Tula Pink, I think Pat Bravo makes some amazing fabric lines, and the use of solids is stellar, and I love the projects that come up in the blogs I follow that put a modern spin on the traditional quilts. Don’t even get me started on the amazing quilts of Kaffe Fassett! I just can’t make a quilt with only 3 fabrics in it when there are so many out there just calling my name. Use Me!!

Flights of Fancy, using Nest by Tula Pink for Moda

I am looking forward to this week’s mail, my order of Rock n Romance by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics will be arriving! Hurray! I ordered a fat quarter bundle from The Intrepid Thread. It has all the prints with an equal number of matching blenders. I am going to use these to make the Starburst Quilt.

Happy Quilting!

Bottled Rainbows Quilt by Maureen Cracknell Handmade

Today I would like to share a quilt from Maureen Cracknell Handmade. Maureen’s blog is one of my favorites. She always has something creative, fun and inspiring to share with us. That she does it with 3 children makes it even more amazing!

Maureen Cracknell Handmade, Bottled Rainbows

Image courtesy of Maureen Cracknell Handmade

The Bottled Rainbows tutorial is one that many modern quilters know. It inspired one of our VMQG Challenges last year, and the resulting quilts are always beautiful and colorful. Maureen took Bottled Rainbows to the next level by using shapes and motifs instead of just squares and rectangles. You can read more about Maureen and her Bottled Rainbows Quilt here : Maureen Cracknell Handmade: My Bottled Rainbows Quilt : :. I love her construction techniques. You can also find the original Bottles Rainbows Post and Tutorial here.

Thank you Maureen for allowing me to share your work!

 

Rainbows For Maranda

I am part of a couple mommy groups, and one of the other mommies came across this. I contacted Patricia, and the little girl is in her friend’s Brownie Troop.

I know I get some international readers, so I would like to encourage everyone to take part. It will cost you nothing but a stamp! Lets help make a little girl’s dream come true!

Could everyone, including you big kids, draw a simple picture of a rainbow and mail it to Patricia Verhelst Box 355, Radville, SK S0C 2G0 Canada, by next week and I will send them all in together. There is a little girl in Saskatoon who is sick who wishes to get a rainbow from everyone in the world. Please write your name and where you are from on it. Lets make a wish come true if it was your child you would want that! Thanks everyone and please copy and paste this to help spread the word!This little girl’s name is Maranda, she is 10 years old and I’m really hoping everyone will do their best to make her wish come true!

During my clinical training, I did a month long rotation through the BC Children’s Hospital. Even three years later, that month has stuck with me, even more so now that I have a child of my own. It takes something so simple to make these kids happy.The odds seem so stacked against them, yet they shine through the adversity with bravery, strength and smiles for those who care for and about them. I will always remember my time there, and I know it shaped part of who I am professionally with my patients and at home.
Please, share this with your friends, family, and other bloggers!

Here is the address again:

Patricia Verhelst

Box 355

Radville, SK

S0C 2G0

Canada

Exciting News!

I had the best news waiting in my inbox when I got home today.

Dear Stacey , 

Congratulations!

Your quilt has been selected by our jury to compete in the quilt competition at Georgia Quilt Show on October 18, 19 & 20, 2012 a the Gwinnett Center in Duluth Georgia. The following quilt(s) are accepted:

 

Quilt Name:

Sapphire Star

Hurray! I am sending off my quilt to the Georgia Quilt Show at the end of the month. A big thank you to Julie House at Sculptured Thread for the beautiful quilt job!

Happy Quilting!

Stardust Pinwheel Tutorial


This is the block I chose for my Pinwheel Block Swap on Flickr. There have been a lot positive comments and requests for the block, so I am posting the pattern here for everyone to enjoy. You will need to print 2 copies of each page to create the pinwheel. The templates are numbered in the order to piece them. They are also lettered but you can ignore the letters

You only need a basic knowledge of paper piecing to complete this block, which is why it is such a good one to start with. You get stunning visual results with any color combination! You can piece it anyway you like, or you can follow the tutorial below.

Instructions


Cut out your templates and place them into two piles as shown. 4 blocks will have corners, 4 will not. Pick out the fabrics you want for each part of the pinwheel.


I like to pre-cut my fabric strips. This way I know I have enough to cover the block, and I can chain piece my block. The templates with corners are numbered 1-6, the templates without corners are numbered 1-5. For the sake of the tutorial I will refer to the numbering for the blocks without corners. The templates are identical once the corner is sewn.

The numbers in the brackets indicate the position numbering for the templates without corners.

Cut your fabrics as below:

1 = 2 squares 4 ¼”x 4 ¼”” cut into Half Square Triangles ( yields 4 HST)

2 (1) = 8 strips 6″x 2″

3 (2) = 8 strips 3 ¼” x 2″

4 (3) = 8 strips 5 ¼” x 1 ½”

5 (4) = 8 strips 5″ x 2″

6 (5) = 8 strips 4 ½” x 3″

Start with the 4 templates with corners. Place the HST right side up on the unprinted side. Take strip #1 and place it Right Sides Together on the HST, as shown below. Hold the block up to the light, printed side facing you, so you can line up the seam allowance. Sew on the first line. Repeat for the remaining 3 templates.


Press the blocks ( no steam). Place a straight edge along the next sewing line, fold the paper back along that line (tearing paper from the previous stitched line as needed), and trim the seam allowance to ¼” using an Add-a-Quarter Ruler (or whatever your preferred method is). Set these pieces aside for now.


Take your 4 Templates without Corners and place strip #1 Right Side Up on the unprinted side of the template. Use the light trick to make sure the entire section is covered. Baste the strip in place on the dotted cutting line or in the extra paper outside the template. This will hold your fabric in place. Place your straight edge along the sewing line, turn the paper back, and trim the seam allowance. (It is the same line as shown above)

Light trick

From here on you can piece all 8 templates at the same time. It goes together quickly from here!

Take strip #2, place it RST with strip #1. Sew and press. Place your straight edge along the next sewing line and trim the seam allowance as before. Repeat these steps for the remaining fabric strips.

Here is a photo montage of the rest of the piecing process (‘Cuz everything is better with a montage! MONTAGE!) Enjoy!

RST

Sew

Press

Trim

(oops, no picture)

(oops, no picture)

Trim round the templates on the dotted line. Voila! 8 wedges ready to be sewn into your block!


Voila!

Place a no-corner wedge RST on top of a with-corner wedge. Pin together at the top and bottom by placing a pin through the points at the top (black) and bottom (white) so it is loose, as shown. Line up the seam allowances. Hold the bottom firmly so the pieces don’t move and secure by pinning normally.

At the top there is a lot of bulk because you have seams meeting as well as the paper. If you were to pin through all the layers you end up with a humped area that can be bulky and messy to sew through.

Bulk Hump

To avoid this you need to pin through the FABRIC ONLY. This keeps the pieces from humping up.

Through the fabric only

Sew the seam, pull the paper out of the seam allowance, and press your blocks in the same direction (this is important later!). You now have 4 quarters. Sew your quarter together into half blocks using the same process outlines above, making sure that the bottom points are well matched. Sew your seam and press in the same direction as before. Your points should match.

Sew your final seam, pinning at the corners and at the center point. If you want to make sure your points match, use the technique from the Wonky Compass Tutorial, or you can pin and sew just through the center, then open and check your alignment. If you are happy with the alignment sew your final seam. Press the last two seams in the same direction as the rest, and use the technique from the Wonky Compass Tutorial to press your center flat. Tear out your paper and do a final press with steam. Trim and clean up the edges of your block, and your done!

A New World for Baby Quilts

Does it ever seem like when one friend has a baby, suddenly everyone is having babies?? Not that I’m complaining, because it means getting to make lots of super cute baby quilts! I love the selection of spunky, modern fabrics available right now for babies and children. Especially all the owl prints. I love owls, and its so great that they are in right now! The only problem I’m having is that the owls all seem to be in little girl colors! I love how they look, but I don’t think my son would enjoy a hot-pink and green owl quilt as much as I would *sigh* so I slowly walk on past and find the blues, greens, yellows, oranges, reds and  browns. Don’t get me wrong, I love what they have for baby boys, such a breath of fresh air over baby blue, white, and more baby blue. But maybe they might consider all these adorable little owls Ok, I found that they do make all those adorable little owls in that palette! Zoologie from Robert Kaufman!

Anyhow, I digress!

One of my best friends, M.H. just welcomed a new little girl into her family. Born yesterday morning at 9lbs 13 oz, and she came in just under 3 hours, all natural, though not by choice I’m told! M.H. is a champion, and they chose the most beautiful name for their little girl. So yesterday baby H and I went to the fabric store and picked up some cotton prints and a pastel mint minky, and we whipped up a crib sized quilt.

I always make my baby quilts 45″x60″ ( or somewhere around that mark) because its the perfect size to lay baby on the floor to play, and when baby is old enough to use fluffy quilts safely (not until after 9 months) it will fit their beds and their growing bodies. On average, a 60″ long quilt can be used as the main covering until the baby hits 3 years old. Sometimes longer, depending on the child’s growth.  After that they are the perfect size to cuddle up with on the couch, floor, wherever your child wants, AND it works as a bed runner!

Since I plan baby quilts to last so long, I always choose colors and prints that are fresh, bright, and fun so that as they get older the child doesn’t feel that the blanket is too babyish. I always back with either minky or flannel so its always warm and cuddly, and I do an all-in-one backing/binding. I love this method, as it keeps the corners soft and flexible, and keeps the binding from becoming too bulky. It is also much easier than trying to use minky in traditional binding methods, minky is naturally stretchy and can be finicky.

Here is the finished baby quilt. I used the Turning Twenty block with only 6 fat quarters instead of twenty, and added 3 1/2″ borders. It makes a perfect crib size!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fabrics:

Urban Zoologie by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman

Good life by Deena Rutter for Riley Blake Designs

Hoos In the Forest by Doohikey Designs for Riley Blake Designs

Get Together by David Walker Studios for Free Spirit

Baby Safari by Carina Gardner for Northcott

The Threads that Weave

I have been sewing and crafting since I was 6 years old. All my life I have been surrounded by talented, creative women like my mother Sue, my Grandma Shirley, and my Auntie Pat. Every holiday, celebration or special occasion a quilt was gifted or created, and I always loved how the colors flowed, and how you could convey an emotion using nothing but little pieces of fabric.  Little did I know then, but I had been bitten by the quilt bug.

The first quilt I ever made on my own was one I had a dream about. My mom always tells the story best. “Why don’t you start with something small first, and see how it goes?” was her advice, but when it comes to quilting and art I have never really been one to test the waters before jumping right in. After a month of drawing up the design, picking the perfect colors, and some “Let’s see if this works…”, I showed my completed quilt to mom. After a minute of stunned silence, she gave me a hug and then introduced me to the website of Carol Bryer Fallert. I took one look at her quilt New Dawn and I was forever hooked.

To me, quilting is freedom. I have heard there are rules, but I would be hard pressed to tell you what they are. I love the smell of fabric, the feel and texture, and the stunning array of colors I can’t even put names to.  My favorite fabrics are batiks, and often I am inspired by a single piece of fabric that sings to me in a tune I can only answer with a needle and thread. I create my own patterns, drawn from the inspiration I find in countless books, magazines and other quilters. I am greatly influenced by the work of Sharon Schamber, Jacqueline De Jonge, Judy Niemeyer, Marilyn Badger and Claudia Clark Myers.  I have many of their patterns in my library, and look forward to someday completing them all at least once.

I wouldn’t be able to quilt the way I do without the love and support I find in my family. My wonderful husband has been known to make surprise stops at local quilt stores when we are on vacation, and doesn’t raise too much of a fuss when I spend a little bit more than I planned on a beautiful piece of fabric. He doesn’t like to admit it, but the man does have an eye for color!

The best part about quilting is the fellowship and commonality that quilters have. Quilting is a language all its own, and you can walk into any local quilt shop and find a friendly face and even friendlier advice.  I am honored to be able to share my quilt story with everyone, and I look forward to meeting many fellow quilters!

Circa 2003, one of my first quilts.