Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Recent Finishes


This is a sample for the shop.  I will quilt it when I get it back later.

And this is Adrienne’s baby quilt!  DSC01405 DSC01406

Here is a close-up of the quilting.  I am still just meandering, but I quilted closely around the center images and then outlined the parts of the leaf, butterfly and caterpillar.  I hope Adrienne-and the baby- like it. One more week to go! I hope this baby comes on time!!

Hard at Work

Michael is earning money this summer to buy an IPod Touch.  So Katie dropped him off this afternoon to help his Poppa and me around the house. I had him swiffer my living room and stairs.  This is what he did with my husband:DSC01400


My car hasn’t looked this good in a long time!

Of course , there was some time to relax before he went home.DSC01402

Tuesday’s Tip June 29,2010

Because I taught in a Catholic school, I could say things that were otherwise unacceptable in public schools.  I expected my third graders to always do their best but I would remind them that “only God is perfect”.

Which brings me to the topic of unsewing.  It is something that I do often as a quilter.  Unlike those mythic quilters of the past, my sewing skills do not require an obvious mistake so that I am not competing with God.  Flaws abound in my finished projects. But how much unsewing do we really need to do?

I always try to correct obvious mistakes:  an upside down triangle or misplaced section of a block.  It is those little mistakes that require a decision.

If a point is chopped off or a seam is mismatched, I will go back and fix it.  However if a point appears to be “floating” (that is, a little ways away from the seam), I will leave it.  Likewise if a seam is off by a thread or two I will leave it.  BUT, if I have tried to correct it at least 2 times and the match is still a little off, I will stop.  Too much fussing causes distortion in the seams which can make matters worse.

By the way, if I am sewing late at night (and into the morning) and I start making lots of mistakes, I know it is time to stop and get some rest.  But here is a little tip: You may be tempted to just stop and fix the problem in the morning.  But before you finish up and go to bed, do your unsewing and then stop for the evening.  It is sew much nicer to start the day ready to sew!


(A sneak preview of my next post.  Ooh….are you excited??)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fun in the Sun

100_1144 100_1145 100_1148  100_1154 100_1158

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday’s Tip June 22, 2010

A a teacher, I learned to overplan for subs.  It was always better to leave work undone than to have free time in the classroom (25 kids waiting for you to find something to do becomes old very fast).

In my sewing room, just the opposite is true.  Whenever I think something will “just take a minute to do”, something happens (yeah, yeah, I make a mistake that needs to be corrected) that adds extra time to the project.

This is a table topper I made for the shop:


It was quick to do but I rushed and made a mistake (corrected, btw) which of course took extra time.

So today’s tip is to give yourself the time to do a project correctly.  For example, I assume that putting 4 borders on a larger quilt will take me an hour and a half to two hours.  That includes any measuring, cutting, seaming , pinning and pressing.  If I get done more quickly it is a bonus.  But when I start that part of my quilting project, I don’t rush myself to get it done in more quickly.

Enjoy your sewing time!

P.S. Happy Birthday to my brother Frank!

Monday, June 21, 2010

What’s on the Frame?

Is now actually off the frame.  I just finished quilting Adrienne’s baby quilt.  More pictures after I get the binding on.DSC01374

Can you guess what it is?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Folded Bowtie Tutorial

This was my entry for  my guild’s (Thumbstall Quilt Guild) challenge: 


I used a technique to make the squares on top three dimensional.


Here is how I did it. There are lots of pictures but the block takes about 5 minutes to make.

The basic technique is to make a four patch block with an extra square folded in.  You can make the block any size;  mine finishes at 6” so I cut :

two (2) background squares at 3 1/2”

three(3) bowtie squares at 3 1/2”


Take one of the bowtie squares and fold in half wrong sides together.


Layer your pieces:

Background-right side up; then the folded square.  Make sure that the fold is in the middle and the raw edges are at the top.


Then put a bowtie square on top, right side together.  The folded square will be sandwiched between.

DSC01378 DSC01379

Sew with a 1/4 “ seam.


And you get this:


Flip the sewn pieces to the left so that the folded square is to the right.


Layer again:  Background square on the bottom, folded square and bowtie square on top (right sides together)



Yes , this is the same picture as before but I wanted you to see that you are sewing just like you did before.


Open out your block and it should look like this.


The next step is easy to do but wordy to explain.  You are going to put the block together like a regular 4 patch. But first you need to open and spread the folded square out and flat. Use your fingers to pull the folded square evenly to both halves of the 4 patch. The fold you see where my finger is will be below your seam allowance.


This next picture shows that the part of the folded square that is part of the seam allowance will be flat  but under that the square is still folded.  Does that make sense?


This is how I pin: first I match the center seam (like a normal 4 patch; then I pin either side of the folded square.  Yes it looks wonky but as you sew, you fix the ends so they meet.

DSC01390 DSC01391 

And this….


becomes this!


Press as you normally do


      Ta Da!


Honestly they are very easy to do.  To change the look, just change the size of the folded square.  For my challenge quilt, I used 2 1/2” squares for the 4 patch and then a 4 1/2” square for the center.

Let me know how you do.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Update at Beauty’s Tattoo

Adrienne has updated her blog.  Check it out!

Tuesday’s Tip: June 15, 2010

Monday, I cleaned up  my sewing room.

When I am really into a project or I am working on several projects at once, my room gets very messy.

DSC01356 DSC01361

Then I start losing things and I get frustrated. 

So before I started sewing, I picked up my room.  Yes it is still cluttered, but now I know where everything is.  And I won’t accidentally cut into fabric or patterns left on my cutting table-which I have done more often than I care to admit.


Trust me-cleaning up will make you feel better!  That is my tip for today!

Monday, June 14, 2010

So What HAVE You Been Doing, Diane?

Keeping Busy.DSC01349
This is my challenge quilt for our guild show.  The challenge was to use only squares (except for the borders) and to use the dotty fabric.  It is hard to tell from the picture but the dotty fabric is actually folded and sewn into the yellow and green 4 patches.  I learned the technique making 3 dimensional bowtie blocks.
This is my fat quarter quilt for June.  I still need to get it quilted.DSC01357
While in Lancaster, I picked up this kit.  It is called Spin Star.  You start with log cabin blocks.  I really like the way it turned out.
Have you tried needle punch embroidery yet?  It is very addictive.  It is like rug hooking on a very small scale.  This little beauty is 2” x 4”.
I have made a few samples for the shop.  This is a table runner I am working on.
Now aren’t you glad you asked?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

And in Other Family News…

Four birthdays in April:  Adrienne, Lauren, Michael, and Dylan.


Lauren has moved into her own apartment AND bought a new car.  My husband and I are learning how to be a couple again.  To celebrate, we replaced the liner in the swimming pool and got a new dishwasher.  WooHoo!  And yes, the dishwasher is really that small.  Our kitchen only has space for an 18” dishwasher.

DSC01343 DSC01344

Adrienne is growing a BIG baby.  She is due in just a few weeks and we are all getting very excited.  Did I tell you we all know what the sex is but Adrienne doesn’t?  Joe called and told us but Adrienne wants to be surprised.  Can you believe that none of us has spilled the beans?

Thanks to Katie, I have a garden in my front lawn.  She came over a few days before Mother’s Day and planted pansies and marigolds and some perennials (OK, I don’t know what they are!) and they look great.  She also babysits Buddy when I am at work.  I am lucky to have her living close by.

Next Post?  Some actual QUILTS!

Happy Birthday Buddy!

DSC01320 DSC01321  DSC01330  DSC01334