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*raspberries*

Several months back, I submitted several quilts and patterns to magazines. Out of all my submissions, I got one response, asking for some revisions and colour options. After making those revisions, I sent it back and never heard from them again. so… *raspberries* to them. I never even got a response to this submission. I don’t want to keep it to myself anymore. I want to share this quilt with you. I have written a pattern for it, in a reverse engineering kind of way since I pieced it without a plan from the beginning. I’m not sure yet if I will offer it up for sale, or free.. I mean, it starts with something like “Cut 536 triangles of various colours” LOL!! So, I am not sure how many people will actually want to make it, but it sure it great eye candy!

I started with a huge stack of batik charms. If you were with me at the beginning of the podcast, you may remember that my first giveaway was to guess how many squares were in that pile of batiks.
After cutting a triangle from each square, I used the leftover bits on the sides, and pieced oodles of two toned triangles. Then I trimmed them down to size and used them on the borders. For an idea of scale, the little squares in the border finish at one inch. :0

Rainbow Mountain

Wrap~Up Wednesday

On Monday, my day off,I spent some time at my sewing machine. I’ve been looking at some nifty dish drains online and thought of ordering one, but then I decided I’d save my $40 and make a pretty quilt to serve that purpose. After measuring the counter space I wanted to cover, I knew our Tuesday Tutorial HST blocks were the perfect thing!

You’ll need your five blocks, plus 4 background pieces cut 8.5″ x 6.5″ (I used twelve 2.5″ x 8.5″ strips)

Lay them out like so..And sew the blocks into rows. You can arrange your 8″ blocks however you like, but the 6″ friendship star must go in the center. On rows 1 and 3, sew the background rectange to the blocks with the 8″ edges together.. On the center row, note that you need to turn the background rectangles the other way, sewing the shorter ends to the friendship star.

I used a slightly different off white and I like the subtle contrast with the white in the blocks.

 

I then glue basted, using a fabric for the backing that I have been hoarding for 6 years. I LOVE this print, and I have very little left of it.I used two layers of Dream Poly batting in white.

 

I have been wanting to try some circle quilting for a long time now and I knew it was perfect for this little quilt. After about 15 circle rounds, I had to take it back to the ironing board and smooth everything back out again. Even though I basted, I didn’t let it dry long enough and in sewing circles, I had to handle the quilt a lot, so there was some shifting. I only had a couple barely noticeable puckers on the back. I used a walking foot on my Kenmore to do the quilting. I simply drew a circle in the center  of the friendship star, and used the edge of the foot as a guide to keep spiraling out.

 

 

This backing fabric is one of my favourite prints ever. I used it for the binding too. Now I get to look at the pretty everyday!

 

Go Quilt Something!

My thoughts on Modern Quilting

Breathing new life into old patterns

What comes to your mind when I say “quilt?” Do you see sweet little grey haired ladies gathered around a table, or working at a frame that’s suspended from the ceiling? Do you imagine your mother, or grandmother hand-piecing little patches of fabric into a recognizable design? Do you picture yet another double wedding ring quilt, like the one on your Great Aunt Tessie’s bed? While all those traditional visions may still be true, there is another side of quilting I’d like to talk about.
Quilting can be a lot of things to a lot of people. It can be the medium by which to express care and kindness to a friend in need. It can be the language in which you tell a battered woman and her child that someone cares. It can be the love that wraps a sick newborn. It can be the soft and warm way the mother of a fallen soldier remembers her baby.
A quilt can also be part of a celebration. It can mark the passing of time as a gift to a friend on her birthday. It can hold all the signatures of the guests at a wedding and all their well wishes for the future of the happy couple.
Quilting can be a mode of self expression. Through colour and texture, movement and flow, we can make a quilt sing with joy, or scream in anger. For those of us that just happened to wander into the quilting world in search of the next crafty thing, and then found ourselves completely smitten, quilting is all those things and more. Quilting is our therapy, our go-to feel good activity that trumps all chores. When we are cutting apart beautiful fabrics, and sewing them back together (doesn’t that sound completely insane?) We are the happy people we were created to be.
The world of quilting has evolved so much from the times when a woman pieced together whatever was left from household sewing in order to keep her family warm. These days we can walk into a quilt shop and see so many prints right at our fingertips, the possibilities can often be overwhelming. We even have men who’ve been bitten by the quilting bug! Quilting is no longer something that only older women do. I love being part of such a diverse craft.
I truly love traditional patterns, but I also enjoy finding new ways to add interest and a new spin to those blocks that are so familiar to us. Whatever sparked your interest in quilting, I hope you can find your own voice. Because I think that’s what being a “modern” quilter is all about. It’s not necessarily about negative space, or the use of grey as a background colour. It’s not about points that’s don’t match or wonky stars. Being a modern quilter is about being the quilter you want to be. If you feel confined by the old rules, try letting go of the idea that your quilt blocks have to be set in a grid. Challenge the idea that your colour choices have to fall in certain spots on the colour wheel. Point some of your flying geese in the wrong direction, just to make people take a second look! Break some rules! Find your own voice. Traditional patterns help us to connect with our rich history, and bring all we’ve learned from the quilters who came before us, into our modern, ever changing world. Now let’s see where we go with it.. The possibilities are endless!

Quilty Resolutions- UFO Madness- First Quarter Check In

You’ll remember me talking about my quilty resolutions in THIS post back in December. The good news is that I got two of those three quilts done already. I don’t know when I will get to quilt the Louisiana one since the top is hanging at Quilts Bayou next to the pattern that are for sale. But I am mentally calling that one “done” for now. At some point in the near nuture (this year) I will take it down and longarm the snot out of it.. then hang it back up.

I am well on my way to finishing all of my UFOs that are already tops, during this year. Many days I spend some time after my shift working on my own quilts. I’ve finished a few of them since I started working.

I got Kiss My Grits all done and bound.

before binding

 

I got the Barn Raising donation quilt done, bound, and out the door.

I also quilted Mr Furly, but I have to rip and redo the borders before I can call it done. That is my weekend project.I will show you the whole thing when I get it fixed and bound.

 

Go Quilt Something!

LDQ #46 All The Big Words

Ok, the words aren’t that big, but I used several of them in a row.
Today I talked about going to the dentist, a longarm quilting update, the quilts I’ve finished, or almost finished this week, trying feathers for the first tome on the longarm, Round Robin projects, vintage sewing machines.. Including my newest one, Elly. I talked about a lot of stuff! Give it a listen. Someone once told me I talk too much. Well, that’s a lie, someone didn’t tell me that, many someones have told me that!
Here’s Elly! Isn’t she pretty?!

 

 

This is the 128 that I converted to a hand-crank. She still needs a name. She sews beautifully! She was made in 1923.

 

 

I love how this donation quilt came out, and I hope it fetches a tidy sum for the family in need of help with medical bills for their little girl who has cancer.
I quilted meandering loops on it and I am loving that quilting design. I also used it on the Kiss My Grits quilt.

 

 

And something that I did not have time to talk about in today’s podcast because I was almost late for work.. Someone surprised me with a gorgeous quilted postcard!! They signed it as “Guess Who” and since the postmark says MI, I’m wondering if it was Nonnie.. I’m not sure who else is from Michigan.. I LOVE IT!!! The pebbling is fantastic and the flower is just beautiful! Thank you so much, whomever you are! Now, fess up! :-)

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend..

Go Quilt Something!

Paper Pieced Tulips Tutorial

The first quilting group I ever joined was an online group, based on the Outlander series.  These ladies helped me sew my first quilt blocks, and I just love them all! My Lallyquilters are doing what we call “One Block Wonder”. This works much like a block lotto. Each participant makes a block, and their name is entered into a drawing. The winner gets all the blocks. Then we choose another block and rinse and repeat. This is a great skill building activity, because each quilter is only committing to one, or in this case, maybe two blocks. Many of the ladies thought it was time to try paper piecing. We wanted to make pink tulips to represent something in Dragonfly in Amber, the second book in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Just in case you haven’t read it yet, I am not going to spoil it here and tell you what that pink tulip signifies. Just go read the book!!! :-)

So…  I designed a couple paper pieced tulip block patterns and decided I would offer them to you guys too. They are a free download on Craftsy. You can find the pdf for both of these blocks HERE

If you are new paper piecing, I put together a little video that may help you get started. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! There’s one point in the video when I meant to say “A1″ and instead I said “AB” or “BA” I don’t remember exactly.. But you will know when you get to it, and I think you’ll know what I meant from the context of what I am explaining.

Each pattern is done in two sections. An “A” section which is numbered A1-A7 and a “B” section which is numbered from B1-B7

Start by cutting your pattern sections apart, and placing your A1 piece and sewing A2 to it as shown in the video. Proceed to attach each piece in the numerical order.

Complete each section, and then press them and trim them on the dotted lines. Then sew the two sections together. Give your block a final press, and remove the papers.

Here is a very simple idea of what you could do with these blocks. Mine will end up in my Outlander quilt on which Tanesha, of Crafty Garden Mom Podcast and I are collaborating.

 

Now, Go Paper Piece Something!

Paper Piecing Tutorial Video

Gumbo Recipe ~ Finally!

I promised this to a listener a while back and kept forgetting about it. I made a big pot of gumbo recently, so it reminded me that I needed to share it here.

 

Getting Started

First, you need a big honking soup pot. (8-10 quarts)

Fill it halfway with liquid and set it to boil. Some folks use water, but I like to use at least some chicken broth. It doesn’t need to be ALL broth, but at least half of your liquid should be broth for a richer tasting gumbo. I used to buy the cartons of broth, but now I just get the little jar of powdered chicken broth seasoning stuff. Its easier to carry home..  I boil my water, then add this stuff.

 

 

 

It’s Pronounced “Roo”

When it’s boiling, add half a jar of roux (about 8 ounces) and turn the heat down just a bit to avoid boiling over. I use this stuff.. Savoie’s dark roux. I don’t make mine from scratch anymore. It’s time consuming, and a pain in the patootie, but if you want to try it, there is a recipe HERE. My mom used to make hers in the microwave, and the link has instructions for that, or on the stovetop, or in the oven. Let it boil for about 25 minutes. It needs to boil so that the roux bonds with the liquid and it doesn’t separate and get all weird when you serve it. Now is the time to do your chopping…

 

 

Chop Chop

You’ll need a couple large onions, and one or two green bell peppers, depending on how much you like. We like a LOT, so sometimes I use three. Just dice these up into chunks and set aside.

You also need to slice up 2 lbs of sausage. We like to use a smoked pork sausage that is made locally. But, a big name brand like Hillshire Farm will work too.. Just don’t tell my husband I gave you permission to put that into a gumbo!

 

Now you can prepare your chicken pieces. Rinse them, and set them in a bowl, ready to drop into the pot. You can use whatever you like. Breasts, legs, wings.. whatever. I like to use about 8 boneless, skinless thighs. In my opinion, dark meat works better in a gumbo, and I prefer it in texture over white meat. Many serious Cajuns will tell you that you have to use a whole chicken.. bones, skin, and all. Tell them to go jump in the lake. You do what you wanna do. If you did what I told you and used a good broth, the lack of bones will not cause your gumbo to suffer any loss of flavour. If you like white meat, use breasts and wings. If you prefer only drumsticks, throw a whole package of those in. Over the years I have made a lot of gumbo.. and nothing pees me off more than the meat falling off the bones, and then having to fish out all the bones from the pot. I prefer a boneless gumbo; it’s less messy.

 

It’s showtime!

It is time to dump all the stuff in! First add your seasonings. I use the basics.. salt, red pepper, garlic. season it the way you would a soup of the same size. I can’t possibly give you a measurement for this.. Some like it spicy, and others do not. Remember you can always add more salt and pepper, but you can’t take it away.  Carefully, don’t splash and burn yourself with the hot liquid, add all your chopped onions, bell peppers, and sausage. And add your chicken one piece at a time to avoid splashing. Don’t dump the whole freaking bowl at once, for goodness sakes..

While your gumbo is simmering on medium heat  (it needs to cook at LEAST a hour) make some rice. I do own a rice cooker, but it’s a gigantic one and it doesn’t cook evenly. So, I normally make a small pot of rice right on the stove. In a medium saucepan, add a couple cups of rice. Rinse the rice a few times and add enough water so that it reaches the first joint of your index finger. The tip of your finger should just be touching the level of the rice, not going down all the way to the bottom of the pot. You can also add a little salt to the water. Bring this to a boil, then cover and let summer on medium low heat for 25-30 minutes.

You can also serve some potato salad on the side… I’m not telling you how to make that, though. :-P

Serve the gumbo over rice. How much rice? that’s up to you. I like a lot of rice in my bowl.. My mom likes very little rice, more “juice”.. It’s a personal preference.

HINT about leftovers: It’s even better the next day.

I hope you enjoy!

LDQ #45 Learning to Longarm

Hi guys! In this episode I talk about learning to longarm quilt, even though I never thought it would be for me. I’ve been adding some ideas I’d like to try to a new pinterest board called Quilting Designs.

You can also check out my other quilting boards; Modern Quilting, Quiltspiration, and Rainbow Quilts.

This is the blog post with the example of gradation I spoke about. The quilt is called Gelato

 

Here’s the tool I talked about. Todd’s Catch n Cut

 

 

I talked about the quilt we made for our sweet friend, Frances. Yay Twilters!!

 

 

And this picture gives you a nice view of the lovely backing that Pam contributed, and the gorgeous label that Tina made.

The label says, “True friends are like angels, You don’t have to see them to know they are there. Made by Twilters for Frances Dowell. Quilted in February 2014 by Daisy Mier Fredericks.”

I included a card to Frances with all the names of everyone who helped make this, including those who sewed blocks or sent supplies or funds to help with shipping.

Thank you to all of you who participated! I could not have gotten this done without all of you.

 

Go Quilt Something!

~*~ Tuesday Tutorial ~*~

Welcome! If you are new to the Tuesday Tutorial, you can use the search box on the right side bar to find the other posts in this series. My goal is to help you find ways to use up leftover half square triangles, and make a beautiful sampler quilt, with each block showcasing this versatile unit. I am using blues and whites, because I have a lot of them. Pick a colour you love, or go scrappy! It’s all up to you.

Today, we are making a slanted diamond block to add to our HST sampler blocks. As always, we start with some leftover Half Square Triangles. It’s a quick and easy block. I made it this morning in less than ten minutes, while I waited for my kids to get ready for school.

You’ll need 16 of these in whatever size you want. I have used 2.5″ squares

 

Lay them out like so:

 

Sew them into rows. Make sure you keep your points oriented correctly. Press seams in opposite directions.

 

Sew your rows together, and give your block a final press. All Done!

 

I wanna go fast

I have been practicing on the longarm machine at the shop so I can get good enough to do some customer quilts. Nothing fancy yet, just a simple meander. Which is very easy, but it had been a long time since I used a longarm, and was a bit rusty. By the second quilt, my muscle memory started to come back, and my curves are looking like curves again, instead of jagged, over caffeinated chicken scratch. It helped a lot once I found the flux capacitor and was able to turn up the speed. I was going super duper fast, and I loved it! The first quilt had a few spots where the stitches were a bit long, and I had to constantly remind myself to slow down. Longarms have a dial that goes from 0-100, meaning the percentage of  the speed at which it is operating.. I was rockin’ 80. It was totally rad.

I love loopy swoopy designs, and that is what I did on this quilt. After I was done, I wished I had done it a little more densely, but it certainly is enough quilting, as far as holding it all together. I used a variegated Aurifil thread, 50 weight poly.  I used Quilter’s Dream Poly, and I LOVE this batting. I’ve used it before, so it’s nothing new, but it has been a while since I got the “good” stuff. Which is funny, actually, because I recently realized I have been over paying for batting from Hobby Lobby, (even with my coupon) and settling for a lesser quality than what I really wanted in my quilt. This dream poly has a wonderful drape and softness. And the texture actually helps when floating a top on the longarm, because it sort of grips it better. When I was quilting all the way to the edge of the borders, I didn’t have to baste or pin the edge down. The top clung to the batting, and stayed in place very nicely! I used an orange dot for the back, and the leftover bits may become the binding, unless I see a stripe in my stash that will work better. That’s a job for tomorrow. For now, I need to go fall asleep with a quilty magazine stuck to my face. I’m exhausted.