Wednesday, May 2, 2012

McCall's Design Star Contest

Hi all.  
I have been working on a quilt for the McCalls Design Star contest. I had to enter as a professional because of my quilt patterns and having sold the Seasonal Mat series to McCall's Quick Quilts. Anyway, here is my entry, number 31 in the professional division.

I think it turned out pretty good.  When I was in college, one day when it started to rain, the many colored umbrellas started popping open like flowers.  That is where I got the idea.  The pattern curved piecing, but could be done as applique.  I have never had many problems with curves.  After mastering the set-in sleeve, for clothing, this seems kind of easy.  

I hope you like it and vote for my entry, there is a link on the right hand side of the blog that will take you there, 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Owl Party quilt

This is the newest pattern I am working on. I have the pattern almost ready for testing. What do you think?

I love scrapy quilts. It was fun finding three related pieces for each owl.

I have just a little of the pansy print left. It is so happy looking.

The body fabric is acually a scale print I bought to make dragons from, but it looks great here.

I love the paisley print for the belly, and the wings are from a scrap of ocean print fabric I had.

If anyone is interested in testing this pattern or the elephant pattern, email me.

I use the freezer paper applique method I show in a previous post for the Valentine's Day quilt.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Valentine's Day Wallhanging

I spent yesterday working on a quick Valentine's Day wallhanging. This is the way I designed it in EQ6:

Here is the top I made. I haven't had time to quilt it yet.

The center is 16x20 inches, the block border is 4 inch blocks. I put a layer of warm and natural batting under the applique of the balloon and the basket togive them more dimension. It puckered more than I like. I found a a fat quarter of very pale pink to use around the side blocks. I used three different reds in the heart blocks. As I was adding the triangles to the hearts, I realized I was going to be short enough pink for 8 blocks. What to do?

I decided to use the same red for "spacers" to make up each row. I used white to border the 4 corner blocks and then sewed on the borders.

I use a freezer paper applique for my quilts. I cut out the shape I want to applique and iron it on the back of the fabric. I have to remember if it a directional piece, like letters, to reverse the pattern. Then cut out the applique with about 1/4 inch of seam allowance.

To get a nice clean line on outside curves, I sew a small running stitch around the curve. For the sharp inside point of the heart, cut one clip straight into the point, but stopping 2 or 3 threads before the point.

Then, using a small paint brush, run a line of starch around the curve on the seam allowance.

Holding the piece down with your fingers, pull up the gathering thread until the fabric is gathered over the edge of the pattern.

Use the iron to help you fold the fabric over the pattern and press until the starch is dry.

For straight lines or very gentle inside curves, just paint the starch and fold over with the iron and press dry.

For tight inside curves, clip the curves as needed, paint with starch and use the tip of the iron to fold over the paper. I sometimes use a pair of tweezers to tease the cut seam allowance to where it needs to be.

For sharp outside points, you will get a fold of fabric that sticks out. If I am using machine applique, I cut the point off even with the folded edge it sticks out from. For hand applique, you might need to fold it back under the point.

I cut out a piece of batting a little smaller than the balloon and the basket pieces and tucked it under the applique before I sewed it down. I used a button hole stitch on my machine. I used some braid from my stash for the ties between the basket and balloon. I tucked the ends under the appliques and sewed them down when sewing the appliques. They are free floading except where sewn under the appliques. I also measured out some lace for the curved flourishes on the balloon and tucked them under the edges. Later I hand sewed the lace down, but I could have sewn it by machine. In the final picture, you can see that I used a lace applique instead of the word "LOVE".

Here is a closeup of the center block. The basket looks a little bare. I still need to think about what to do there. After it is quilted, I want to add some ribbon bows and streamers, or some charms.

I will post a copy of the pattern here as soon as I can. If you want the pattern before I get a PDF up, just email me. It will be a bare bones pattern, with approximate yardage. Use your imagination for any embelishments.

This works up pretty fast.

Download pattern PDF here.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Trunks Up! New Design

I have just finished the first version of a new design. I should have the pattern ready for testers this week.

I call it Trunks Up! Tradition says that elephants with their trunk up are good luck. I hope so. I loved fussy cutting the paisleys for the elephants. Thier ears are free to move, only attached on one edge. The tails move, too.

I decided to change the name to Lucky Elephants.

I hope you like it.

I used paisley prints for the elephant decorations. When the fabric pattern allowed, I fussy cut the blankets for the elephants backs.