Friday, July 22, 2011

Hot, Hot , Hot and its not the weather

Now this is Cool......... I was invited to Stash Manicure by Madame Samm and what I've learned from her is exactly what I'm all about! A Wana-be quilter with no experience required. Let me air out some details, are you ready?

She didn't really know about me and I didn't know about Stash Manicure but what a fit we are!

First of all I didn't get the manicure part of the biz because I was a hairdresser for 29 years and I only found out what a "stash" was 5 years ago. However its all making good sense now.

 You see I had always sewn from my days in home ec. class in junior high school, and continued through decorating my homes and sewing clothes and costumes for my two daughters. I have always loved fabric however was intimidated by the whole quilting "thing". Well that changed one day while in quilt store in my hometown when a very nice sales clerk suggested that I could use a fusible grid interfacing to help me put together a simple quilt. I had purchased a small bundle of 5" squares (Charm Packs) but didn't have any idea as to how to use them, but they were so darn cute, all pre-cut and color coordinated. She showed me how to use the fusible grid by ironing the fabric to it while following the pre-marked lines and then folding and sewing. I was very enthusiastic about the idea and started the new project, it all seemed to work, and before I knew it I had something that looked as though it could be a quilt. I went back to the store to show the clerk and find out my next step and of course to buy more squares! When I was ready to check out with my purchases I said to her that I would like to buy the pattern so I could have instructions to follow on my next quilt.
She informed me that there wasn't a pattern "No one would write something that simple" she said. My life changed that day, I thought to myself: If I can do this ANYONE CAN! I began to write my very first quilt pattern. May 2005

The whole story is on my website: http://www.crookednickel.com/

This propelled me into a world and industry I knew nothing about. What I did know was that there was a faster and simpler way to construct a quilt that had a finished look just the same as a traditional method of piecing a quilt and why in the heck didn't someone let us know!

Since I was a hairdresser I had a captive audience so I started showing my quilts and then I started teaching little classes, learning along the way. Everyone was successful. I was thinking of other designs and writing and sewing everyday.

So here I am solely employed with my new business Crooked Nickel Quilt Designs for the last 5 years, traveling the country, teaching classes, doing presentations and being a vendor at quilt shows and now with you on Stash Manicure.

It is one method with multiple designs. My instructional DVD ($39.00) is a wonderful addition to learning in a visual manner. The patterns have great written instructions and diagrams and photos to follow also. You see I wrote them so I could understand them, this seems to be a difficult hurdle in a lot of patterns.

The fusible interfacing we use is made by Pellon, it is printed on the diagonal in one inch squares.

When all of our projects are finished they are "On Point" (on the diagonal), the interfacing is called Quilter's Grid On Point #821. This is what makes our quilts and projects so interesting, the "On Point" look is difficult in the traditional piecing methods, not so with our technique.

I have 14 patterns varying from quilts, baby to queen size. Tablerunners and placemats, Tabletoppers, Pillow Shams, Aprons, Totes, Small dresser scarfs ( great beginner project), Bedscarfs, Christmas Tree Skirt, and Wallhangings.

You will find samples of all of these on the website, www.crookednickel.com.
My very first pattern is still our topseller, "And Your Point Is...with a twist". It is a random layout of 5" squares and works the greatest with Charm packs or use up your "stash". A wonderful scrappy quilt!

With our technique you do need some supplies, of course the pattern, On Point Fusible Grid #821, An Applique pressing (this is a must as it protects the fusible from melting to your iron, it also lasts forever). All of these are for sale on our website. The Pellon Fusible grid varies from pattern to pattern so watch for the sizes recommended.

Some of our FAQs are:
How do I know what side of the fusible to iron to?

One side has the glue, it will feel bumpy or rough and the other side is smooth, always have the rough side up when fusing the fabric to it.

How do I make the fusible grid larger than the width it comes 44"?

You can overlap the fusible grid, about 2", matching the grid lines exactly, fusible side up and use the applique pressing sheet to fuse the two pieces together.

What if I make a mistake while fusing?

There are no mistakes...just reheat the fabric pieces and remove while warm, it will refuse!
I'm having a hard time getting the fabric to adhere to the fusible.
There can be a couple of things to check and do. First of all make sure your iron is on the highest setting and not turning off automatically, therefore it isn't staying hot. Are you using the 10-20 second time frame for fusing? If you are still having issues, turn the fusible over to the smooth side, turn down your iron temperature and iron from the backside. What this does is it gives a more direct heat source to the glue without using the applique pressing sheet and the fabric will adhere. You must be careful not to scource through the interfacing since you aren't using the pressing sheet.
Will the fusible grid make the quilt stiff or heavy?
No, it will not. The Pellon company and I have worked very hard to make this fusible grid #821, very light weight, it will give the fabric a little bit more body but not any stiffness. It will help make the less expensive fabrics work very well in this technique.

Is there a wrong or right side to the Applique pressing sheet?

No, both sides are usable, I do like to mark on side of the Applique pressing sheet with a piece of tape in the corner so I know what side to iron on so I'm not using both sides on the fusible grid as you will get some small residue on the pressing sheet.

If I get fusible on my iron or Applique Pressing sheet how do I remove it?

Use a dry non-abrasive cleaning pad (I like the Scotchbrite brand) and lightly rub it over your hot iron and the applique pressing sheet. This will remove any build up from the fusible grid. Then take an unused dryer fabric sheet and rub it over your hot iron also. This will help immensely.
Is the fusible grid in the borders in the quilts?
No, there is no grid in the borders.

Where do I buy the fusible grid, is it available anywhere?

Check at the quilt stores near you and some of the craft stores, just make sure you are buying the On Point #821 fusible grid, don't let anyone talk you into buying the fusible that is printed vertical and horizontal. They are not interchangeable. You can always find #821 on our website store page, www.crookednickel.com.

What if I don't want the quilt to be On Point?

Then don't use our fusible grid and technique, but I will tell you that the on point technique is a challenging look for a quilt without the frustration of all your corners and points turning out perfect.

What is included in the Memories to a "T",  the perfect T-shirt Quilt pattern?

You will get the instructions, layout diagrams for two sizes of quilts, and the 10" acrylic template to use to trace and cut out your T-shirts with.

What if my T-shirts have a logo that is larger than the 10" template?

I picked the 10" square for the T-shirt quilt because that is the size that worked best for the layout on the 44" width of the fusible grid. It also worked out on most of the logos to get in the amount of space. You don't have to have all the printed design in the square, the person that had that T-shirt will know exactly what and where that T-shirt came from.

How many T-shirts do I need?

For the small quilt you need 12 T-shirts and 1 2/3 yards of fusible grid.
For the large quilt you need 22 T-shirts and 2 1/2 yards of fusible grid.

Do you need to stabilize the T-shirts before starting the quilt?

No, because the stabilizing will come when you fuse the T-shirts to the fusible grid.

I'm having a hard time getting the grommets in my Tote.

This is why we sell grommets on our website. They are the deepest grommets I have found and snap easily through all the layers of fabric, fusible and batting in the Totes. There is no special tool to put the grommets in with.

Now give yourself a pat on the back for sticking with me on this blog and all the info I have just shared with you! I can only hope you are thinking "Gosh maybe I can really do this" or you know someone to share this with.
 I would just like to make a difference in someone's life so they to can feel what I felt when I made my first quilt.
Remember a quilt is made by sewing together pieces of fabric and how that is acheived can be in many different ways, this is just another one, they are all made by hand and from the heart.
When you give a gift made by hand it is love.

now for a GIVEAWAY please leave me a comment here and come and see me here..
at I have a T shirt video here. and I will have a giveaway announced tomorrow.

I will give away 3 kits, includes the pattern "A Simple Point" (dresser scarf or wallhanging), fusible grid and pre-cut fabric, binding and backing.

Thanks for having me Madame Samm


  1. Good heavens, am I the first to post? I absolutely love your 'on point' patterns. I enjoy trying new ways of doing a pattern and your's are spot on. Very easy. Thanks. You started your post as HOT, HOT, etc. Well here in OK it is HOT!! 104 today, again! Whew, come on Winter.. OH, I would love to be a winner..;o)

  2. Great post. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us. Now I'm off to the website to check out the grommets!

  3. I love the look of your quilts, and I want to try your patterns. Thank you for posting here.

  4. I would LOVE to try this! What a FANtastic idea! ♥

  5. Your technique sounds exciting and something I'd love to try out! I like the "on-point' look but have never tried the traditional method. Liked your post and hope I'm a lucky winner. Now off to read your blog.
    Gmama Jane

  6. Thanks for a chance to win!

  7. An interesting concept. Love the grommet totes. A child's t-shirt quilt would work nicely, but most adult shirts need a 12-14 square - sometimes larger (large men).

  8. I love your fusible grid and am inspired by your story. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  9. off to read your blog looks so interesting thanks for sharing,love your bags .

  10. I too love to work with charm packs. Your patterns look great. I've got to try one.

  11. Beautiful stuff. Thanks for sharing.

  12. My next quilt is going to be "on point" (I've never done one before). Your posting on Stash Manicure has intrigued me to try your method!

  13. You are amazing. Love your story, your quilts and all of the information you have shared with us. How lucky you bumped into our Samm. Please return, I will be here waiting for you.

    Katie in N.C.

  14. I loved reading about your quilting experience. I think your patterns are great for beginners and experienced alike. Thank you for having a giveaway.

  15. OK, now I am intrigues. You mean I can actually quilt without pulling my gray hair out?? Thanks for the giveaway; I can't wait to get started!

  16. I love that you can use up those charms squares so simply! Thanks for the tutorial! Dee/dhansensan@hickorytech.net

  17. Good Morning Lisa..and yes my dear you are HOT, hot in your ideas, quilts, imagination, and your lovely post to us today...Sew glad we met, sew pleased to have you here...Love the check purse...oh goodness me that is sensational...!

  18. Dear Lisa,
    I loved your article but got confused about your iron on fusing. Would have love more pictures with the fusing and fabric being attached.
    You also said to leave a comment to win a give a way adn no place to connect. I even went to your blog and nothing there but the 3 comments. Hiliariour, insightful and I forgot the last one.
    I am a quilter and have a blog I don't keep as often as I should. You may check me out at( I really need a new email address but too lazy to change it on everything I have now!)

  19. I have been quilting for 20+ years and have not made an "On Point" quilt. I would love to try your method. Thanks for the giveaway.

  20. Lisa, thank you for sharing this - it is exciting, and I really want to try it! I hope I can win your giveaway!
    Jacque in SC

  21. I have only been quilting for a little over a year now, and want to try a tshirt quilt really badly...maybe this could be the answer to my fear!!! Thanks for sharing!

  22. Your post was very helpful. If your patterns are as clear, that will be great. I love the on point quilts but usually stay away from them because they seem so much more complex. The grid sounds like it would be really helpful.

  23. Would love to make a wonderful tablerunner!! The on the point makes it look extra special, but a little scary to me, I would surely need a bit of direction. I'm not ready to just wing it. Thanks for the chance in your giveaway.

  24. I think it's terrific that you took an idea that was "too simple" to merchandise and turned it into a whole range of products. Kudos to you!

  25. Beautiful quilts and an intriguing method! I'd love to try this technique so I'll be visiting you. blessings, marlene

  26. Congratulations on having an idea and running with it! I've had trouble with grommets so I will definitely order some of yours. Thanks for the great ideas.

  27. I have a lot of great ideas, but never do anything with them! YOu really took your idea and ran. Sounds like fun, would love a chance to win. Thanks

  28. What a unique idea to grab and go forward with. I have never made an on point quilt as they intimidate me. But they will no longer. thanks.

  29. I haven't tried this particular method --- like the idea of "on point" --- it totally changes the look of a block. Always interesting to read how we've come to quilting.

  30. Going to check out your website since I ordered gommets from an online nationally known craft store and couldn't get them to work on a small bag. The pattern designer was no help since she told me that they worked fine for her and had no idea what to do. The grommets wouldn't close for me over the thickness of the bag openings. I finally threw the whole thing in the garbage in disgust but really like the pattern so maybe I will try it again with your grommets!

    Fun post.

    Susan R

  31. I am new to quilting and this sounds like something I can do! The patterns look great! sewingmom42@yahoo.com

  32. Sometimes it just takes one person to say "Hey, I can do that" and helps so many!

  33. I would love to give this a try! All the designs look wonderful! Deborah

  34. What a wonderful story!! Love your patterns.

  35. Interesting concept , something I'd like to try .Thanks for the info.

  36. I'm doing a T-shirt quilt so can't wait to see what you have to offer! Thanks for the give-away.

  37. Wow! Didn't know there was such a technique. Added to my To-Try list. Thank you so much for sharing!

  38. What a great 'getting to know you'!!!!
    I love your bags with the huge grommets!

  39. Great Post! And thanks for the chance!

  40. Thanks Lisa, this looks very cool:) I love things that look difficult but really are easy to make. I need to make a Tshirt quilt for my son so I'm definitely going to check that out.


  41. Very interesting!! I love trying new things, and love things that look complicated, but are easy!! Thanks so much!!

  42. I've never tried the fusible pellon grid but I've seen quilts done with it. I'd love to try it.

  43. Thank you sew much for your wonderful insight to quilting. It is always great to see a project from another view. Can't wait to check out your website.

  44. Very nice story and lots of new ideas would love to try this method sometime looks like lots of fun, would love to win your giveaway and i will check out your website to. Thanks

  45. I'm new to quilting but I've only heard of the sewing squares together pretty much. I'm glad you were able to blog about your technique here! I just might have to give it a try!

  46. interesting! Thanks for the giveaway...now to look at your t-shirt quilt, I am in the middle of one....maybe it will give me some inspiration to get it finished!

  47. This a great opportunity and wonderful giveaway. I am intriqued about this method - sounds very "do-able". Thanks for sharing so much information with us. Judy C in NC

  48. Hi Gals,

    Thank you so much for all the notes and kind words of support. This has been a ton of fun for me and I only hope that I will be back one day to fill you in on more information. Someone wanted more explanation on the ironing steps, well if you go to my website,crookednickel.com you will see a video to help make it more clear.
    Stick with me on this...it works and anyone can make a wonderful quilt or On point project with no experience!
    Thanks again
    Lisa Maki

  49. This is a very cool technique, can't wait to try it! Thank you for sharing it with us.

  50. I watched the videos twice because it just looked like a fun and different way to quilt. I really would love to try this. Thanks for sharing and the great giveaway.


  51. I am not brave enough to do patterns on point...until now, your method is intriguing!

  52. Your post was quite fun -- I'm glad you made the move to quilting!! :)


  53. What fun! I can't wait to get your pattern and give this quilting technique a try. Thanks!

  54. Your quilting technique sounds very intriguing! Thanks for the chance to win!!

  55. Amazing story! Love this technique..can't wait to give it a try.

  56. Sounds interesting, I need to make a T-shirt quilt.

  57. Your patterns are amazing and your personal story too! I have boxes FULL of tshirts from our 2 daughters sport teams, I have promised them Tshirt quilts and your method looks like just what I need! Thanks for the giveaway!

  58. One of the creative patterns n designs
    God Bless u!


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