Monday, April 27, 2020

~ Hunkering Down Quilt Block PDF Tutorial ~

Over the last few weeks we've all been doing our best to social distance.  Many quilter have taken this time to make masks or catch up on UFO's.  I've watched the social media change in ways I never even imagined.  Some changes have been good and others not so good.  Of course the not so good is always opinion oriented.  I tend to ignore and block those who cause too much fluff.

The post I like the best are of course pretty pictures of quilts.  Second on the like list is quilters looking for patterns.  For one I like the challenge of searching for the pattern on the internet.  Every once in awhile the internet search disappoints.  Such was the case this weekend.  While scrolling through Facebook I saw this picture of a vintage quilt with a request for the block pattern.
After a hour of searching high and low I came to the conclusion that this block does not exist.  So it was off to my encyclopedia's of quilt blocks.  And again it was total failure.  Well what's a quilt designer to do but draft the quilt block.  It seemed like the right thing to do.  I've been wanting a yellow and white quilt for my bedroom anyway.  This block would be perfect.  And since I couldn't find the name of the block I had to name it myself.  Hunkering Down seemed perfect not only because we're all doing it but because the center block is  called the Economy block.  Our economy is taking a big hit right now.  I also thought the center white square was a little trapped....quarantined.   Now I want everyone to know I don't feel trapped.  My life has changed very little other than wearing a mask when I do go to town.  It's business as usual in Podunk, we hunker down all the time because it cost to much to drive to town everyday unless your going to work.

Okay back the quilt.  It's classic and not too complicated so it will look great in just about any color or fabric as long as the print is not to big.  

In no time at all I had whipped up the design in EQ8 and was stitching up the test block.

If you would like to make this block you can download the printable PDF here.  This is basic instructions and you must have basic quilting knowledge.  No pressing directions or yardage requirements are given.  THIS PDF TUTORIAL IS FOR ONE BLOCK ONLY. 

 If your friends see your block and wants the pattern, please send them to my blog where they can download their own copy.  DO NOT SHARE THE PDF.  The internet is a world where popularity matters.  Clicks, comments, Likes, and shares help me to work my way up the popularity list for my little business.  Thank you for understanding.

Don't forget to share your quilt blocks and quilts with the hashtag

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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

~ Simply Summer Quilt ~

I took a little detour in the last couple of weeks to work on a simple blue and yellow quilt I started as a leader and ender project a year or so ago.  This is the umpteenth time I've tried the leader and ender technique and it just isn't my cup of tea.  So I decided to just jump in and get the piecing done all at once.

The simple patchwork goes together super quick.  I was making about 4 blocks an hour.  The quilt needed (64) 12" blocks and will finish at 96" x 96".   As you can see in the picture below my design wall was a tad bit too small but I made it work.

I had to get a little creative and put a few pins into the drywall and trim to hold the blocks in place.  

Now all I need to do is find a backing for this monster.  A quick dig through my stash cabinet for the backing produced a whole lot of nothing. 

Then I remembered I had a box in my office with four bolts of fabric in it that wouldn't fit in my stash cabinets.  Look at this cute blue and yellow floral print, it's perfect!

It would be better if it didn't have a pink dot in the center of the flower but it'll work just fine, don't you think?

Since the quilt pattern is simple I decided to keep the quilting simple.  The continuous circle quilting design is fast and easy.  I can't wait to get this one finished and on the bed.

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Sunday, April 5, 2020

~ Quilting and Cleaning ~ Gingerbread Man Quilt ~

Hello Happy Quilters!  For the last couple of weeks I've been trying to quilt my Gingerbread Man quilt.  The progress is slow but little by little she's getting done.  
I love it when the light shines through the studio in the evenings, it really helps to show off he quilting.

As usual I started out thinking a simple quilting plan would be best.   I had no real plan other than a few feathers and free motion with no marking the quilt.  And as usual me, myself and I took over the plan.  This trio can come up with good ideas but the ideas usually are more work than I want to do.

Luckily they came up with a plan that wasn't too hard or intense.  Lots of free motion feathers with very little marking.

All was going well, just feather this girl to death!

And then this started happening and it was leaving black marks on my quilt.  It happened several times and each time I had pick out stitches.  For some reason I kept thinking it was a thread or needle issue.

After about 4 or 5 times of this I pulled my quilter off to the side and started taking it apart.  I soon realized I was the cause.  I wasn't cleaning the bobbin area as often as I should.  And I also didn't oil my quilter after my last quilt.  Oh the shame.  What a mess.

A good cleaning and oiling and I was back in business and things were running smoothly once again.  Lesson learned.....well at least for a little while.  For some reason I repeat this mistake every few months.  Trying to push the limits of my machine when I clearly know what she can handle.  Do any of you do this?  Am I the only one?

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Saturday, April 4, 2020

~ Orange Dots Mask Pattern FREE ~ BEST FABRIC TO USE ~

Just wanted to pop in to share a mask I made for myself.  Please excuse the at home all natural me.  I never do hair and makeup when I don't plan to go anywhere or have company.   Anyway back to the mask.  I have an autoimmune disorder so I wanted the best mask I could make.  This one looked like it provided the best protection without curved piecing.  Quick and easy was important.  It took about 30 minutes to make.   The mask quilters are making with the 3 pleats are great for covering a N95 mask to extend the life of them but don't provide good protection without an N95 mask.  

The pattern I used was designed by Dora Cary Orange Dots Quilts. CLICK HERE FOR THE PATTERN.  You will need to fill out a form as if you were purchasing a product.  NO CREDIT CARD INFORMATION IS COLLECTED.  A PDF pattern will be available for download after you complete the purchase information.

Dora suggests batting as a filter but I chose to use a non woven interfacing because I had it on hand and it has been proven to help filter the virus.  Is it as good as a N95 mask?  I don't think so but it's better than nothing and the simple pleated masks.  You can read more about using interfacing (CLICK HERE) and decide for yourself., there is also another face mask pattern provided on the same page.  

I saw on social media some quilters were having issues understanding the folding instructions for the mask I made.  Dora has made a short video that you can find on her Facebook page.  or on her Instagram This is the one I like best
Below is a screenshot from Dora's Instgram showing her masks being used by some nurses.  You can find the Instagram post by CLICKING HERE.

The next big issue is finding elastic.  I didn't have any so cut the elastic out of an old bra to use in mine.  But I found a couple alternatives for those of you who don't have an old bra to cut up.
First option buying T-shirt yarn.  Here's the article by The Renegade Seamstress about using T-shirt yarn.  There's also a video showing how to make your own.


Stay safe quilty friends!

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