Monday, July 18, 2011

Diamonds are they your best friend?

Hello blog land, Dorian here, from RidgeTopQuilts. Today I want to talk about diamonds.
My very favorite quilt pattern that uses diamonds is the Lonestar. 

Using quick strip piecing and cutting, you can cut these diamonds out easily.

Cut on the diagonal.

And piecing is a breeze, without quite so many little seams to sew.

Then put your diamonds together, like in the top picture.

And add your backing pieces. Oh no!! That means you need to do 'Y' seams! Don't fear, they are not hard, they just take a little patience. I have a tutorial for you right here, if you need some tips.

You can make a HUGE star, that covers most of your quilt. Or you can make little ones, make a bunch of them, or only a few. There are tons of variations on putting these together in a quilt. And lots of patterns for the Lone star out there.

And scrappy? Oh yes! Use up those scraps. Here are two scrappy wall hanging versions I have done.

Yes, I am a 'controlled' scrap user. Verses a 'spontaneous' scrap user. I like to use scraps, but also like control of where my colors are going.

You can use strips. Or you can cut your diamonds out of small pieces and sew them together to make your diamond.

Sew them together.

And make your strips, put them together in the same way.

But you can do more than just Lone stars. There's the 8 point star. Which is what the Lone star is, but the simple 8 point star only uses 8 diamonds all together. 

You can put setting triangles on the ends, and make these fun rectangles.

Play around, make some neat designs. You just might come up with a great pattern. Here's a fun windmill.

Or make a border strip.

Or you can reverse half of the diamonds, so they are pointing the other way, and make something like this border strip.

'Phires Compass pattern by Jessica Smith of the Quiltandneedle.com

You can also cut rectangles in half on the diagonal, and put four of those pieces on your diamond. Like this..

And use it in storm at sea variations.

Storm at Sea variation pattern by Jessica Smitt@ the Q&N

Hope you've enjoyed playing with diamonds with me! 
Thanks for having me here Samm, it's always a pleasure.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Wantobe quilter Campaign Updates every Saturday...

Have you been collecting names of Wantobe Quilters? YES that is good....now what to do with them...
Hold on to them till August 1st ok....then you can send them into me (madamesamm@cogeco.ca)
WHY? ' cause I said sew...lol  To tell you the truth - I will have someone looking after that for the whole day... ( they will be working on my other pcs .)

#1 Collecting names of Wantobe quilters....will give you more opportunities to win. Each name you collect..and they must be legitimate....( You know when your Mother used to say she knows....I am saying it too...I will know) lol. Technically I have means to know...that is all I will say.......NOW each name you submit with name, email and phone number ( these will not be circulated) will have your NAME attached to them. IF they win anything , you too will win something , not the same amount but similar... NOD  your head YES!

#2 There will be MEMBER list of those who have blogs who will be added to this blog on the side there...all who have this button...( please let me know now.. send me your blog name and link and  your name ( if missing I will not have time to follow up with you)  to madamesamm@cogeco.ca . will be added to the list ( July 30)...this list will be mixed every day of the campaign ( in other words, you will all be on the top ) ...sew anyone who leaves a comment and does not say what member they are affiliated with will not qualify for any prizes.... I will tell them to go to the list on the side bar of this blog and choose someone and give them your information....Each  time  you get new names you will send me  them sew I can add your name to that list ---again if they win, sew do you.. NOD  your head YES!
Copy this code to your blog....OPEN Gadget search for HTML and copy this to it... Voila button will appear on your blog..

<center><a href="http://stashmanicure.blogspot.com/"><img border="0" src="

#3 If you do not have a blog  but you are a follower...then share with me your email address and your avatar button and you too can submit names....The advantage of those with a blog is that they will be on the list...., but those without blogs can gather names too ...from Local Quilt Shops, Guilds....NOD your head YES....good..

#4 NOW why do this???? Well this campaign is going to go ----are you sitting down?..... 12 weeks, yes 12 weeks...3 months...YES 3 months.... That is a lot of giveaways and I have a lot to GIVEAWAY. This way,  anyone with blogs will be able to build more traffic, have new followers.Those who want to enter this contest must be a follower of someone's blog....NOD your head YES....good I can continue now...
See everyone wins....everyone...NOD  your head YES!

#5  Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays will be Wantobe Quilters Giveaways...Tuesday and Thursday,
members world wide can win... Nod your head yes..... I Know it is making sense now...right?

#6 All winners will pay for shipping....( you will be winning lot's of goodies sew we will ship it out the most economical as we can) YOU will be WOWED... p.s if  they do not pay for shipping, I will hold prize for 1 month and then select another winner if that person wishes me to...fair enough?
NOD  your head YES!

#7. We will still have guests 5 days a week, at the end of their posts there will be giveaways with links to sponsors.... Saturdays will be sponsor day....Sponsors will be able to shout out about deals, new products, sales, anything...that is their day....GREAT IDEA RIGHT? WE have to thank them somehow, don't we....we will be supporting them right? YOU BET because they are given us $$$$$$  Sewing Machines, Irons, Needles, Mats, Threads, Sewing Baskets, Scissors, Batting, Interfacing, Fabric, lot's of fat quarters, Rotary cutters, Rulers, Floss, Caddies,   Books, Patterns, Memberships for quilt shows,  Machine Die Cutters..you name it I think I just about covered everything but CAMERAS...I could not find a sponsor for CAMERAS...you would think someone would supply us with 3 cameras....only 3....digital...ANYONE?  lol NOD  your head YES!
Note all of these sponsors and there are a few more to add....
just waiting for their buttons..

#8  Ok, yes...I have a flyer that you can circulate to Local Quilt Shops, Guilds...they all know someone who wants to quilt...This gives them a great MARKETING Plan to attract new WANTOBE quilters in their stores...model special classes for them...and it cost them NOTHING, no advertising, just a flyer...WHO THINKS ABOUT THIS?????   ME, I guess...lol...I wanted everyone to WIN.....Did you know a Marketing Plan like this could cost thousands and thousands of dollars....( for our generous sponsors...very little in the scheme of things....) And they know it and I know it..wink......NOD  your head YES!

#9 Ok, I think that is all I can share today....Return next Saturday for more goodies...ok...NOD your head YES ....

for Flyers....

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Hi! Thank you, Madame Samm, for inviting me today. My name is Patricia, aka Yumm Yumz by patticakes. When I first tiptoed into the World of Quilting, I wanted the best of everything. So, I ventured into the alien territory of a LQS. I had been sewing clothing and home decor for many, many moons so it couldn't be so different from a regular fabric store . . . right?

Au contraire, mon ami! My LQS is much more magical, bright, and shiny . . . to this magpie's eye at any rate!

I immediately spied wonderful tidbits called Jelly Rolls.    And, beside them were smaller, even more wondrous items labeled Honey Buns

Next to them were lovely squares marked Layer Cakes. And, to top off all this yummy goodness, were Candy Bars.  Lions, Tigers, and Bears . . . oh, My! And, each and every one seemed to have my name on Speed Dial!!!

Next, I ventured to the treasure trove of patterns where I found White Chocolate, Strawberry Lemonade, and Cream and Sugar!  I dreamily skipped to the fabric section where I found Cotton Candy, Cappuchino, Mocha Mint, and Sherbet Pips!

Are you starting to detect a common denominator here?  Oh my, YES Everything (well, it seemed like everything to my perpetual dieter's eye) was named after food!  I was in Heaven - I had found the perfect hobby made just for ME!  You could indulge to your heart's content . . . NOOverindulge and never gain a single ounce!

So, it should come as no surprise that when Madame Samm asked me to do a tutorial on making pillowcases, I chose my favorite method . . . the Burrito, also called the Hot Dog, also called the Roll, and sometimes called the 20-Minute Pillowcase.  Easy to do, easy to remember, easy to make before Lunch!

Shall we begin?

My preference is to use three different, coordinating fabrics:  a main fabric, the cuff fabric, and a narrow trim/contrasting band that separates the main pillowcase from the cuff.  All measurements are based on the standard 44-45" WOF.

Fabric requirements for a standard size pillowcase:

3/4 yard (27") main fabric
1/3 yard (12") cuff fabric
1/8 yard of the narrow trim/contrasting band fabric

Fabric requirements for a queen size pillowcase:

7/8 yard main fabric
1/3 yard cuff fabric
1/8 yard of the narrow trim/contrasting band fabric

*  In Step 2 of the directions:  Cut the main fabric 32" long for queen size

Fabric requirements for a king size pillowcase:

1 yard main fabric
1/3 yard cuff fabric
1/8 yard of the narrow trim/contrasting band fabric

*  In Step 2 of the directions:  Cut the main fabric 36" long for king size

1.  Cut your narrow trim/contrasting band 3" X WOF.  Fold the band in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press. 

2.   Cut the main pillowcase fabric 27" X 41'.  (*For queen size, this measurement is 32" X 41"; for king size this measurement is 36" X 41".)

3.   Place your cuff fabric right side up .  (This is your hot dog bun!)

4.   Place the folded, pressed, narrow contrasting trim on top of your cuff (hot dog bun) matching raw edges.

5.   Now place your main pillowcase fabric (This is your hot dog) right side down on top of the trim fabric and cuff fabric, aligning so that all raw edges are even.  Pin.

6.  The main fabric will be (and should be) narrower than the trim and cuff fabric: Like so.  Hang on!  Don't get your knickers in a knot - we will trim it in a minute!

7.  Starting at the bottom (un-pinned) edge of your hot dog (main fabric) start rolling your fabric up until approximately 3" of your hot dog bun (cuff) is showing at the bottom.  Make SURE to keep your rolled-up hot dog free of the top seam.  It should not be sewn through on the next step!

8.   Now, take the bottom (un-pinned) edge of your cuff, encasing your "hot dog" inside "your bun" and re-align the new cuff edge, making sure all previous raw edges are even.  Re-pin again.

9.   Stitch across the top of this tube through all pinned raw edges in a 1/2" seam.

10.   Reach inside your sewn tube (hot dog bun) from one side and grab the hot dog just as if you were pulling a sleeve out of your favorite cashmere sweater. 

11.  Press cuff and narrow band seams flat.  Fold pillowcase in half (wrong sides together) lining up the cuff and narrow band seams.  Now you can trim off the excess cuff and trim fabric, making all edges even.

12.  We will now be making a French seam to finish the pillowcase.  Pin WRONG sides of fabric together, matching remaining un-sewn two edges; the side seam and bottom of your pillowcase. 

13.  Stitch the side and bottom of pillowcase (Remember, you must have WRONG sides together for this step!)  using a scant 1/4" seam.

14.  Now turn the pillowcase wrong side out.  Push out corners and press pillowcase so seams are flat. 

15.  Now, with RIGHT sides together, stitch the sides and bottom of your pillowcase one more time using a slightly wider 3/8" seam.    You have just encased all the raw edges inside the two seams.  This is called a French seam and now your entire pillowcase has no raw edges at all!

16.  Turn your pillowcase right side out.  Push out corners and press.  You are done . . . just in time for lunch!

The pillowcase for this tutorial was made for this amazing project to deliver patriotic pillowcases to servicemen and servicewomen serving our country and defending our freedom.  Local veteran's homes and nursing facilities are always grateful as well for any small tokens to make their patients feel more at home.

You could also make and donate a pillowcase for my personal pet project, ConKerr Cancer, or any other organization for children facing life-changing illnesses.  Ronald McDonald Houses and children's shelters are always a good bet.

 It's fun to make holiday-themed pillowcases for Valentine's Day, Halloween, Christmas, etc.  With novelty fabrics so varied and available now, you can match your pillowcase to your recipient's favorite NFL team or other hobby or interest.  They are quick, economical, and fun personalized gifts to make and give.

If you would like to give the Hot Dog method a try, I will be giving away this Mary Engelbreit pillowcase kit on the Stash blog.  The teacups are in honor of our gracious hostess, Madame Samm, who is our Cuppa Cozie Queen.

 And, I will be giving away the Groovy Slug Bug kit on my blog.  I would love to have you as a Follower, but it is not required to win.  Simply, leave a comment here . . .  or there . . . or both places if you would like two chances to win, describing what (the stranger - the better) is your favorite quilting food.

Thanks for having me, Madame Samm and you, Gentle Readers, her lovely posse.  Enjoy your pillowcase projects if you should choose to try one.

 and Bon Appetit'!

oh and giveaway will be announced
on both blogs tomorrow-Thursday!

Congratulations to:

sandra (from Canada) Winner of the Groovy Slug Bug Kit said...

Kelly J (from Ontario, Canada) Winner of the Mary Englebreit TeaCup Kit said... 

Life is like a box of chocolates...you never know what you're gonna get"?

Actually, Life is a like a fabric store! All the treats are waiting inside, you just have to push open the door.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Paper Piecing Phobia

Hi!  I'm LuAnn from Loose Threads blog, and I am really excited to be here doing a guest post today.  I'm also a bit nervous.  Thank you Madame Samm for inviting me to be a guest blogger. 

When someone mentions paper piecing, do you shiver like you've just been chilled by a cold wind or do you just shake your head or pretend not to hear?  If so, you may have paper piecing phobia.  I'm going to do a tutorial on paper piecing and show you some of the quilts where I've used paper piecing.  I really enjoy making blocks by this method, and I hope you will, too.

These are the materials that I use.  I prefer That Patchwork Place foundation paper, but I have also use Scribble Pads that I buy from the dollar store.  I use an Add A Quarter ruler that is available from most quilt shops.  A regular ruler can also be used for trimming, but the Add A Quarter ruler has a lip that catches on the paper when you trim so that the fabric doesn't slip when you are trimming the quarter inch seam.  Of course, you will need a rotary cutter, cutting mat, and paper scissors.  I keep the Magic tape on hand in case the paper foundation perforates and tears before I've had a chance to sew.  You will also need a post card or an index card.

Paper piecing is just like a lot of things:  Getting started is the hardest part.  Set your sewing machine to a short stitch.  I set my Bernina at about 1.5.  Your objective is to perforate the paper so that it is easy to remove after you finish the block.  
Experienced quilters measure the spaces and add the seam allowance and then cut their pieces, but for this tutorial we’re just going to cut the fabric large enough so that we're sure it fits and sew.
First, fold the foundation paper on the line between spaces 1 and 2.  Place fabric piece on the back side of the paper right side up so that it covers space 1.  Fabric #1 is the only piece that goes face up.  I put a pin in far away from the sewing line to hold the fabric in place.

Cut a piece of fabric to cover space 2 and put it on top of piece 1 right sides together.   If you hold the paper/fabric up to a light source, it will help you get the first two pieces in the correct place.  Sew on the line between spaces 1 and 2 starting a few stitches before the line and continuing afterwards. 

Now flip your work over to the fabric side and press the two pieces open. 

Now you are ready for piece 3. Take your post card or index card and fold the paper over the post card on the line between spaces 2 and 3. 

Use the add a quarter ruler or regular ruler and trim the fabric leaving a quarter inch.  This is your sewing guideline and seam allowance for piece number 3. 

Add the piece of fabric to cover space #3 right sides together and SEW.

Flip it over, open and press.

So….from now you:

FLIP the paper back and
TRIM the fabric.
Add the next piece of fabric and SEW.


Continue  in numerical order.  Piece number 7 is done the same way.  Fold piece number 7 up over the postcard and trim to a quarter inch using your add a quarter ruler.  Add your piece of fabric to cover that little triangular space and sew. 

Now trim your block around the edges and you are finished.  This is what 4 of these units look like sewn together. 

After you are comfortable with this method, you can chain piece your paper pieced blocks. 
This is a quilt that I paper pieced when the book Easy Stash Quilts by Carol Doak first came out in 1999. 

I just made this one in a different colorway as a gift earlier this year.

Here are several 3" blocks from a swap that I was in for almost 3 years.  Each of these blocks was paper pieced.

The pattern for this quilt is from the Judy Martin book, Piece 'n' Play Quilts.  Each block is alike, so I drew it into Electric Quilt and printed it as a paper piecing pattern.

This is my quilt called A Distant Star that is published in the book Dear Hannah, A Tribute to Jane Stickle by Brenda Magnes Papadakis.  I enlarged one of the blocks for the center and paper pieced the sections and then applique'd them together.

I love paper piecing because I feel that my sewing is much more accurate.  It is a lot easier to get sharp points and works great for smaller blocks.
I hope that if you haven’t tried paper piecing that you will print an easy pattern and try it.  If you haven’t tried it for awhile I hope you will give it another chance. 
Thanks again Madame Samm for letting me come over to visit and be a guest blogger here.
I hope you'll drop by my blog sometime for a visit.  I'd love to meet you and have a chat.