Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sewing for a Cause

Next weekend a friend of mine, Ella, is having a sew-a-thon to make quilts to sell at an auction. The money is to help a historic church (whose claim to fame is being on the movie Foot Loose) get new windows. More information about the church and sew-a-thon is here:

Ella has some things planned to encourage people to come and sew including:
Friday, Sept 6 at 1:00 trunk show by me while you sew
Friday, Sept 6 at 2:00 a beginning quilting class
The class I am teaching will be very different than most beginning quilting class. I am working up samples to show the difference between doing something "correctly" and doing something "incorrectly." AND - this part I am pretty excited about - I hope it is well received - I am going to talk about some times when it's okay to break the "rules."
Ella may not ask me back. I told her the contents of my class will be a surprise. (insert mildly evil laugh here)
If you will be in the area, come join us! (I heard Chick-fil-a is providing dinner Friday night!)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Quilting with Kids

I was happy to get an email the other day from one of you with this picture.

It is a quilt made by an 11 year old. This is her first quilt! Isn't it fabulous!
The pattern is called Square Dance from Simply Charming Kids:
It is called Simply Charming Kids for two reasons. First, it is a great book to introduce kids to quilting! Kids love charm packs as much as we seasoned quilters do. If they like the charm pack, they will love the quilt! The patterns in this book are kid friendly!
The other reason it is called Simply Charming Kids is because sometimes we want to make a quilt for a child. When I make a quilt for a child, I want them to use it. I want it to be a fort or a cape or a picnic blanket or a doll's quilt. I don't mind if it gets muddy or puked on or bloody. Because I hope that the quilt will be used, I want it to be a simpler quilt. One that is fun, but one that didn't take me forever. The quilts in this book fit that purpose.
There are certain stages in life when we want to make fast, fun quilts. Simply Charming Kids has 8 fast, fun patterns! I am so happy to see kids using it (with help from loving adult quilters)!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Knit & Purl Part Two

Now for the rest of the story! If you missed Part 1, you can find it here:

One thing you may have noticed from reading Part 1 is that I spell Knit & Purl differently than Quiltmaker does. Well, that isn't completely true. If you look on page 48 in the magazine, you will see they spelled it as I do. Funny! I write it as Knit & Purl because the quilt reminds me of knitting.

But back to the retreat. . . . With the help of Edyta's half square triangle paper, I did finish all of the half square triangles. There are also a few (120 I think) squares that are something I don't know the name of. If you used two HSTs, it would be an hourglass. That isn't the square. It pairs one HST with a square to make two blocks made up of three triangles. That isn't a good description. How about a picture.

Can you see it in the blue circle? Well, I finished those as well. That means that all I had to do was assemble the blocks. Sounds like all the hard work was done!

It should have meant that. It would have meant that. Except that shortly after I returned from the retreat, I ended up in the hospital with my daughter. Naively, I thought she would sleep a lot, or we would be sitting around watching tv. Under those circumstances, I could whip that puppy out like lightening! I even had a back up project in the car. Well, as many things, the hospital trip didn't go as planned. That story is here:

The nurses all had something to say about my sewing machine set up. (Don't you love the drapes! It's a children's hospital.)

They had never known anyone who was crazy enough to bring a sewing machine to the hospital before. I think I got the blocks done at the hospital. When my daughter would finally go to sleep at night, I would stay up sewing for an hour or two. Sometimes I would be able to sew one block during the day. Sometimes one is enough.

When we got home, it was just a matter of sewing blocks together. That really was the easy part. I knew exactly how to quilt this quilt. From the moment they asked me to make the quilt, it asked me to quilt it by echoing the design. Have you ever had a quilt tell you what to do? I never questioned the quilt, but it's choice was reinforced when I emailed one of the editors of Quiltmaker. She said she was thinking the same thing! The quilt talked to her too!

Here is another picture of my quilt. I decided not to crop the second picture so you could see part of my daughter in her wheelchair. Just keeping it real! (P.S. my daughter is in physical therapy now, and I love to see her getting stronger!)


Monday, August 5, 2013

Knit & Purl in Quiltmaker Part 1

I am excited to show you my new quilt in the latest Quiltmaker Magazine! Meet Knit and Purl! They are even offering kits here:
This is the beautiful picture from Quiltmaker!

This quilt started out as a block that I submitted to be in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks. When I submitted it, I showed some fun variations putting the block into a quilt. So they asked me to make the quilt instead of a block. Of course I agreed! When I started sewing the quilt, I realized it had 960 half square triangles. That means it took a little longer than I was expecting.

I started sewing it on my Pennsylvania Retreat. (The icing on the retreat cake was that the dogwoods were in bloom! It's one of my favorite trees, and it doesn't grow in Utah very well.)

I expected to finish it at my retreat. That didn't happen.
Because I was making so many half square triangles, I decided to experiment with different ways of making them and see what I like better. The method I ended up using was Laundry Basket Quilts Triangle Paper by Edyta Sitar:

I LOVED this paper! I cut strips from my fabric and cut them in half so they were about 6 1/2" x 21". I pinned the paper on and sewed away. The thing I liked about this one compared to others I tried was the sewing. It seemed so logical that I was surprised it was the only one that sewed the triangles exactly this way. Others are similar, but this one is the best. After sewing, I cut each paper into 28 HSTs. It got tedious removing the paper, but it's one of those mindless things that I did watching a movie or at sewing group while talking.

One other thing I loved about Edyta's paper was it's size. 28 seems like an odd number, but it was the perfect size to use with a fat quarter or half of a full strip. The fabric was used economically. And just one more thing. . . this one is silly, but it helped me a lot. Because of the size of the strip, it didn't take too long to sew or cut apart, but it also made the quilt more managable. When I got tired of doing the same thing, I would take a few and tell myself for example, "I can count to seven." (I remember seven distinctly for some reason.) Seven was an easy number. If I can count it easily, then I surely could sew that many! However, seven papers made 196 HST! Not bad!

As you can see, this quilt has a story. Oh, and it gets better. Stay tuned until next time!

Update: Find Part 2 here:

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sea Pebbles Quilt Kit

I just found out that Keepsake Quilting is offering a kit for my Sea Pebbles Quilt!
Here's more about the quilt:
You can order the kit at Keepsake Quilting: