The Process

DSCN3048Yesterday I had paperwork to do.

And 2 quilts to bind.

Now normally quilting takes precedence over paperwork, at least in hierarchy of which is more fun to do, but not when it is attaching the binding.

We all have parts of the quilting process that we like more than others. Sewing binding to the quilt by machine is, by far, my least favorite part. So when there are tips on sewing binding to the quilt by machine on both sides, a part of me thinks, WHY?

Why do this bad part twice????

I know why; it is faster.

DSCN3046Is faster always better?

Anyway, once I had done some of the paperwork, it was time to put the binding on the 2 quilts.

To make the process more enjoyable, I put on a movie. Julie and Julia. Have you seen it? I love this one. And Julie is writing a blog. Fun.

As I was putting the binding on, I decided to evaluate why this process is not fun.

1. Big quilt, small space. That part is a no brainer, but really, unlike quilting, I am not trying to smush a quilt thru the small opening in the sewing machine. But I am trying to wrangle a large quilt that keeps falling off my table, gets stuck underneath my Sew Steady table so when I go to advance the quilt, I can’t and end up with a wonky seam…

2. Long stretches of just trying to sew straight. I can’t. Truly. It wobbles.

3. Hmmm… is there a 3?

Then I debated, how can I make the process easier?

1. I could start by moving the ironing board to the left side of my sewing table to help hold the weight of the quilt while attaching the binding. (OK- why have I not been doing this? Laziness- I just don’t want to move things around. Pretty silly.)

2. I could remove the Sew steady table while putting on binding. I LOVE my clear table; I am a much better piecer with the table. But if I remove it, then the quilt can’t get stuck under or around it. (I know a different table where the sewing machine sits down in the table would help, but that is not in the budget right now.)

3. Slow down. I cannot sew a straight seam, and the faster I go, the worse it gets. Then I have to rip out sections and resew. I have a guide to follow but… I still wobble. So if I go slower, then I wobble less. But then, the part of the process I dislike takes longer! Drat and double drat!

OK, fine. I will slow down.

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So I have a plan. I should have a new quilt to bind in a few of weeks so I will see if my plan works.

In the meantime, I have 2 quilts that I need to hand sew the binding to the back.

And honestly, I like this part. It may not be my favorite part of the process, but it is close. The quilt is almost done, I am able to do a little handwork that is easier than hand quilting on my joints and I get to sit, relax, maybe watch a movie, maybe just reflect and the day, the week, what project is coming up next. A good time to let my mind wander and think up the next quilt!

happy quilting,

Kate

 

 

QuiltCon

QuiltCon was fun.

Understatement.

Best in Show: i Quilt by Kathy York

Best in Show: i Quilt by Kathy York

When we first saw the room we thought, this is it? There is not much here.

We were wrong.

There were more quilts displayed than we originally thought. And what quilts! Some we loved, some that were thought provoking and some were just fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diamond Dust by Doris Brunnette

Diamond Dust by Doris Brunnette

 

 

 

Here is one of Alyssa’s favorites; I say one of because it was hard to choose just one!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Absent Minded by Lauren Palmer

Absent Minded by Lauren Palmer

One of my favorites…

And there was more to do than just look at quilts, shop, take classes, listen to lectures, see free demos… (like that wasn’t enough?). Some of the booths had games. Moda had a bean toss and we each won a charm pack! They also had a fun photo booth with silly stuff to wear. Kona had their naming the Kona color game and a friend of ours Bonnie won a tote bag. Aurifil had a ping pong ball toss game- no winners here.

 

 

 

 

 

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And tattoos! A few of the booths had tattoos including C&T (where we got ours), Cotton & Steel… we could even gotten a real tattoo. And some did.

 

 

 

 

 

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We were in Texas so we would not have been surprised to see a riding bull somewhere, but instead there was a riding sewing machine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Complete with hat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Best part of QuiltCon? Seeing friends and making new friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ok- and getting my picture taken with Alex of Aurifil in front of our quilt!

happy quilting all!

Kate and Alyssa

 

 

 

Guild Lecture

Last week I went down to Colorado Springs and did a trunk show at the Colorado Springs Quilt guild meeting. What fun! They are a great group and everyone was so nice and welcoming. I did not take many pictures, actually only one right before their meeting began, but their social media gal did so I am hoping to get a few to share.

I have not done a lecture in a while; since before I moved here to Colorado. I was pretty nervous about it. I have done some small speeches at Schoolhouse at Quilt Market, but those are only 15 minutes, not an hour long lecture. But once I got started, I had fun.

DSCN2835I have a busy few days ahead. I have a quilt top to get done by Wed so Crystal can quilt it while I am away at QuiltCon. My plane leaves Thursday at 6am. Seriously? What was I thinking?

I was thinking I want to get to QuiltCon!

I was thinking I want to see my daughter! My sweet thing is meeting me at QuiltCon. We are going soak up the atmosphere, see great quilts, attend some lectures and get inspired! Woo hoo!

We are planning to post pictures – so follow us on Instagram! But we will share the pictures on Facebook as well.

What are you up to this week? Will any of you be at QuiltCon???

happy quilting,

Kate

Book Review

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Photo from Martingale

I recently received a copy of the new book, All About Strips by Susan Guzman. I am sure many of you know who Susan is- she has been a regular contributor to McCall’s Quilting magazine and McCall’s Quick Quilts and now is the Content Director for those 2 magazines.

She is a great designer and a lovely person, and she now has her first book out with Martingale! How exciting for her- and us, because this is a wonderful book.

I mean really, look at the cover, that quilt is just yummy! It looks like sherbet flavors to me. Susan has a wonderful sense of style and a great way with color. In the book, she first gives us some really good advice about color, mixing fabric and discovering your style.

 

Finals B1266 All About Strips.indd

Photo from Martingale

Then she has 15 different patterns that use strips of different sizes, from 1½” to 10½”.  Each pattern is unique and full of color! They just pop off the page at you and it will be hard to decide which quilt you want to make first.

Best of all, not only are the quilts bright and colorful, but her directions are concise and easy to follow.  The quilts, while they look amazing, are broken down into easy to piece sections so you will be thrilled with how stress free it is to make your quilt. Perfect for a newer quilter, or a seasoned quilter.

 

Photo from Martingale

Photo from Martingale

The quilts have a more modern feel, but will be sure to appeal to quilters with a variety of styles.

So go grab some of your strips, a copy of her book and you will have a beautiful new quilt in no time!

happy quilting,

Kate

p.s. Please look for Susan’s book at your local quilt shop. Just in case they don’t carry it, I added links to both Martingale and Amazon so you can easily purchase the book- they are not affiliate links and I receive nothing if you go there. They are just to help you find it.

 

 

Magazine Giveaway Winners

DSCN2795What a weekend! We started off with a beautiful day here; sunny and we broke a record at 74 degrees on Saturday! Wow. Is this really February?

I won’t complain. It allowed us to take a few pictures outside of our newest pattern- it is almost ready to meet and greet the world. A few tweaks and she will be good to go!

I will post more when she is all ready.

In the meantime, I have winners to announce. Normally I would have done them Saturday but we had some website issues. Earlier this week, we weren’t getting all our emails. And then Saturday, the site was down briefly but then we could not get in! Crazy internet stuff.

Oh right- winners!

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The winner of the McCall’s Quilting magazine is: Lisa Marie!

 

 

 

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The winner of the Quiltmaker magazine is: Darlene!

 

 

 

 

Congratulations to you both! I will send you an email because I will need your mailing address to get these out to you.

Florianna Star Quilt

 

Recently I had the opportunity to design a quilt for P&B Textiles for their line Florianna.

Like it? You can get the PDF here at P&B’s free patterns page. I will get it up on our Tips and Freebies pages soon.

Up next, on Tuesday I have a book review to share and later in the week, well… who knows?

happy quilting,

Kate

 

 

 

 

 

Quick Valentine’s Table Runner Tutorial

DSCN2788Hi friends!

As promised, here is the tutorial for a cute heart runner you can whip up this weekend and have on the table for Valentine’s Day.

To get started, you need either 3 or 4 fabrics for the front. The fourth would be a different fabric for the border and binding if you wanted. I used 3 fabrics, repeating one of my fabrics from the block for the border and binding, but I separated it out in the directions in case you decide to use something different. You could even make the heart scrappy- that would be super cute.

Pieces of my Heart- 14″ x 50″.

Fabric A- pink -for the heart block- 3/8 yard.

Cut 2 strips 2 ⅝” x WOF- cut into 4 rectangles 2 ⅝” x 6 ⅞” and 8 rectangles 2 ⅝” x 4 ¾” .

Cut 1 strip 4 ¾” x WOF- cut into 4 rectangles 4 ¾” x 6 ⅞”.

Fabric B- purple -for the heart block- 1/4 yard or if you want a little wiggle room, get 3/8 yard.

Cut 3 strips 2 5/8″ x WOF- cut into 8 rectangles 2 ⅝” x 6 ⅞”and 4 rectangles 2 ⅝” x 4 ¾”.

Fabric C- white for background of the heart block- 3/8 yard.

Cut 1 strip 7 ¼” x WOF – cut into 1 square 7 ¼” x 7 ¼”- sub cut the square on the diagonal x 2 for 4 triangles. Cut rest of strip into 4 squares 6 ⅞”x 6 ⅞”. Sub cut each 6 ⅞” square in half on the diagonal x 1 for 8 triangles.

Cut 1 strips 3 ⅞” x WOF- cut into 4 squares 3 ⅞” x 3 ⅞”. Sub cut each 3 ⅞” square in half on the diagonal x 1 for 8 triangles.

Fabric D- border and binding- 3/8 yard or if you want a little wiggle room, get a 1/2 yard.

Cut 4 strips 1 ½” x WOF- piece strips together and cut into 2 side borders 1 ½” x 12 ½” and 2 borders for the top and bottom of runner 1 ½” x 50 ½”.

Cut 4 strips 1 ½” x WOF- piece together for single fold binding**.

** For small projects, I like single fold binding. If you want, you can make double fold. Your choice.

Backing and batting- 7/8 yard.

Cut backing into 2 pieces 20″ x 29″- piece together for a backing about 20″ x 57″. We always make our backing about 3-4″ bigger on all sides. Adjust as you like.

Okay, the cutting part is done. Ready to make a runner?

Step 1

DSCN2760Sew 2 short Fabric A pieces and 1 short Fabric B piece together as shown. Press to the darker fabric.

Sew 1 long Fabric A piece and 2 long Fabric B pieces together as shown. Press to the darker fabric.

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Step 2

Sew the units from Step 1 together. Press to the longer unit.

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Step 3

Sew a 3 ⅞” Fabric C triangle to the top edge of the section from Step 2. Line up the point of the triangle with the seam allowance as shown. The triangle is NOT as long as the top edge.

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Press to triangle.

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Step 4

Sew a 7 ¼” Fabric C triangle to the short edge of the 4 ¾” x 6 ⅞” Fabric A rectangle as shown.

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Press to the triangle.

Step 5

Sew a 3 ⅞” Fabric C triangle to the left edge of the unit from Step 4. Line up the triangle carefully.

The triangle is NOT as long as the edge of the unit.

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If you hit your ¼” mark correctly, the seam will look sort of like the one below.

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Press the seam to the triangle.

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Step 6

Sew the section from Step 5 to the section from Step 3.

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Press to one side. Almost done- you can see the heart!

(Sorry the photo is so dark- it was getting dark outside!)

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Step 7

Sew a 6 ⅞” Fabric C triangle to each lower edge of the heart.

Starting with the left edge, line up the point of the triangle with the center seam as shown.

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Press to the triangle.

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For the right lower edge of the heart, find the center of the long side of the Fabric C triangle and then line up the triangle as shown.

The center should be 4 ¼” up from the seam allowance you just sewed.

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The triangle is NOT as long as the edge of the heart.

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Press to the triangle.

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Your block looks a little weird. Let’s fix that.

Step 8

Trim your block to 12 ½” square. There, that’s better.

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Make 4 Blocks. Sew the 4 blocks in a row rotating the blocks any way you want!

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Step 9

Sew a 1 ½” x 12 ½” Fabric D border to each side of the runner. Press to border. Sew a 1 ½” x 50 ½” Fabric D border to the top and bottom of the runner. Your runner should measure 12 ½” x 50 ½”.

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Baste, quilt as desired and bind. Done!

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If you want your runner a little skinnier, leave off the border and just bind. If you want your runner wider, add a bigger border or add 2 borders! Make it whatever size you need.

Did you notice the cute coasters at the beginning of the tutorial? I made them the same way- making little 5″ squares instead of big 12″ squares. I laid the squares right sides together with a backing square and laid them both on top of a square of batting. Then I sewed all the way around the edges leaving an opening for turning.

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I clipped the corners, turned them right sides out, poked out the corners, whip stitched the little opening closed and quilted with my favorite Aurifil thread. So cute!

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So how was that? Fun, right? And really,  not too hard.

If you make a runner, send us a picture. We would love to see your beautiful hearts!

happy quilting,

Kate

QMMP-150200-cover_500p.s. don’t forget to pop over to this post to enter our magazine giveaway- ends tonight- Friday Feb 6th!

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p.p.s. For those of you who want to make little coasters, here are the cutting directions- for 4 coasters.

Fabric A- pink

Cut 1 strip 2 ¼” strip x WOF- cut into 4 rectangles 2 ¼” x 3 ⅛” and 8 rectangles 1 ⅜” x 2 ¼”.

Cut 1 strip 1 ⅜” x WOF- cut into 4 rectangles 1 ⅜” x 3 ⅛”.

Fabric B- purple

Cut:1 strip 1 ⅜” x WOF- cut into 8 rectangles 1 ⅜” x 3 ⅛” and 4 rectangles 1 ⅜” x 2 ¼”.

Fabric C- background

Cut: 1 strip 3 ¾” x WOF- cut into 1 square 3 ¾” x 3 ¾”- cut in half on the diagonal x 2 for 8 triangles; 4 squares 3 ⅜” x 3 ⅜”- cut in half on the diagonal x 1 fro 8 triangles; 4 squares 2 ⅛” x 2 ⅛”- cut in half on the diagonal x 1 for 8 triangles.

Backing and batting- cut 4 squares 5 ½” x 5 ½”.

Trim the block to 5 ½” square after piecing.

Magazine Giveaway

QMMP-150200-cover_500Don’t you just love quilt magazines? I love to look thru them and get inspired. Sometimes I am inspired by the pattern of a quilt, sometimes by the color palette and sometimes by the scene the quilt is placed in.

Today the newest editions of Quiltmaker and McCall’s Quilting are due on the shelves and I have a quilt in each one. Lucky me! I love how they showed the quilts in each magazine. They are so creative with their photos.

 

Tulips in the Cabin

Tulips in the Cabin

 

In Quiltmaker, I have a quilt called Tulips in the Cabin. Bright, cheerful and just fun! Looks like spring!

It is another “One Block” quilt-  make one block and then play around until you have a setting you like.

 

 

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In McCall’s Quilting, I have a sweet appliqué quilt called Twilight Posies.

I love this little quilt.

 

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Twilight Posies

 

 

Here is a shot of the quilt, but wait until you get the magazine and see the pretty scene they used to photographed the quilt.

 

 

 

 

So, how about a giveaway? You know how I LOVE to give things away!

Leave a comment below and you will be entered in the drawing- I will give away one each of the Quiltmaker magazine and the McCall’s Quilting magazine. Drawing is open until Friday Feb 6th at 9pm (my time).

As for the upcoming stuff here on the blog, I had promised a tutorial for a BOM starting in January. And I did not deliver. I am Sorry. My bad.

DSCN2720So, at the end of this week there will be a tutorial for a cute and quick Valentine’s Day runner. Later in the month, I will start a small BOM- or BOEOM (Block of Every Other Month!). Promise.

And I have a book review coming up for a great new book, a new Seams Like a Dream pattern and other fun stuff, so stay tuned!

happy quilting,

Kate

runner4p.s. Want a Valentine’s Day table runner but don’t have time to make one? Our Prints Charming Valentine’s runner is still over on ETSY- click here to check it out!

 

 

 

 

Weekend Plans

DSCN2711So, what are doing this weekend? Anything fun?

To start this weekend, hubby and I are going to rip the carpet out of one of our bathrooms. I don’t know about you, but we don’t happen to like carpet in bathrooms. So we are going to do a little demolition and then a little tile work will happen. It should be nice once it is done. It will be one of those projects that will get worse before it gets better!

And we are going to watch the Super Bowl.

Are you? Or are you having a non Super Bowl get together? Even if you aren’t a big football fan, the commercials are always fun. Sometimes we eat during the game and watch the tv during the commercials!

Either way, we have a recipe for you for Spinach and Artichoke Dip. Alyssa took a recipe we had found a few years ago, tweaked it a little, and made it much better. This version is a little healthier than the original, but you wouldn’t know it from the taste!

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Garden greens in the snow!

 

Keep in mind, she works at an organic farm so her preference for the spinach is fresh and organic, but frozen works well too if it’s not in season. The same goes for the artichokes. If you are lucky enough the find them fresh, go for it! Otherwise, canned artichokes work just fine.

 

 

 

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Ingredients:

14 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained.

3 cups fresh organic spinach (or 1/2 box of frozen spinach, thawed and drained)

2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup greek yogurt

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 tsp cumin

olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Warm up a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add a touch of olive oil, and then add in the chopped garlic. Cook until the garlic begins to soften, and then add the spinach. Cook until just wilted. (If you are using the frozen spinach, skip this and move on to the next part. You don’t need to sauté the garlic if you don’t want to.)

Put artichokes, garlic and spinach in a food processor and chop.  Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl and add the contents of the food processor. Spread into a small casserole dish and bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve warm with pita chips, crackers or small toasts.

Yum!

Have a great weekend whatever you do!

happy quilting,

Kate

 

 

Creativity

Writing this post feels a little like being in a post holiday funk. After all the fun of the Studio Spotlight Blog Hop, there is a little bit of a letdown. So many great ideas, so many pretty spaces. I hope you all get to put some of those creative ideas to good use.

runner4When talking about creativity, one reads a lot about getting out, getting away from your craft, doing something different to inspire you. Go to a museum. Go for a hike. Go walk on the beach.  And those are all good suggestions- we all know that sometimes our best ideas come to us in the shower!

(By the way- what do you like to do when you need a creative jolt?) 

But there is something to be said for just slogging thru it, for just keeping going, for just trying. The other day, I was working on a project. Computer work. And while what I had done was OK, it was not quite it.

Not quite right, not quite there yet.

What to do? I was so deep into it, I couldn’t see the trees for the forest. (I know, that is the reverse of the usual saying, but more the truth!) But I just kept going. Tweak. Change. Tweak. Change. Add.

And then, a tweak. A change. An aha!

Moral of the story? Sometimes, you do need to walk away from what you are doing, get a new perspective, a new motivation or a new idea. And sometimes, you just need to hunker down and keep going.

happy quilting,

Kate

runner2p.s. I did get my Valentines table runner done! It looks great- and it is over on my ETSY site for sale!

 

 

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p.p.s I can’t wait to show you our newest pattern- Alyssa just tested it and I am making the changes/oops! /corrections and it will be ready soon. We played with this yummy fabric from Art Gallery- Petal and Plume by Bari J. Gorgeous fabric!

 

 

 

 

Winners of the Studio Spotlight Blog Hop!

Studio Spotlight ButtonThank you to everyone who posted your kind comments about our studios- we loved sharing our spaces with you and we so enjoyed seeing the other designer’s studios as well!

We saw it all, small spaces, medium size spaces and big spaces. On this I think we can all agree, no matter how big or small your space, having a spot to sew and quilt is better than not having a spot! Even if that spot is on the dining room table. You can do amazing things anywhere!

 

We so enjoy giving things away and we are so lucky to have had P& Textiles work with us to provide some amazing prizes for you! (OH- and if you check out their free pattern page, you might see a familiar name there. Way cool!)

On to the winners! We have three-Untitled

DSCN2680Debbie Miller is the winner of the Color Weave and Fantasy Garden FQ packs and the Urban Twist pattern!

 

 

 

 

 

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Jennifer P is the winner of the Luxury Essentials FQ stack the pattern Brick and Mortar!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Untitled 2And, Karen A is the winner of the Suede Medley and the Whirlybird pattern!

 

Congratulations! We will be sending an email to each of you to get your snail mail address!

 

Hope to see you back here again soon!

Happy quilting,

Kate

p.s. Today is visit your Local Quilt Shop day- so get out there and have some fun!