Monday, July 25, 2011

Let's Learn to Braid

Hello again - Sharon of VroomansQuilts here again. Thank you Madame Samm for a return visit. NO we aren't going to learn to braid each other's hair - I'm talking about BRAID QUILTS.

This type of Braid is known as the Friendship Braid, Prairie Braid, or Pioneer Braid. I know - it gets confusing sometimes when the same quilt block has several names. Here is a good source for this block construction. A great scrap buster pattern.

My friend Sue found over here graciously let me use her Baby Boy Braid for an example of a French Braid block. She has made two quilts with this method and goes into great detail on working with this block. By using cornerstones, the Braid has a whole new look. Don't you just love this!!

The hardest part of a Braid quilt is keeping your strips aligned. So I am going to present a tutorial on how to make a 'Faux' Braid quilt. By using the basic layout of the half log cabin block, changing the color plan produces a Braid. Much easier to keep a block square - yes only one block!

I'm using a Lily & Will jelly roll. Remember, not all jelly rolls are created equal - you are looking for a predominate mix of dark/medium colors. You could use yardage or scraps for a stash buster. I'm making a 30 block quilt set 5 x 6. This jelly roll gave me 10 strips of three of each color line so I had my 30 strips of dark/medium. I used three (3 strips each)from Lily & Will and left over JR strips and scraps for my lights - for 16 light strips.

Cutting for dark/medium strips: trim salvage - 2.5" - 4.5' - 6.5" - 8.5" - 10.5" - left over (used for border). When you cut the lights - omit the 10.5" cut. **You can get more cuts from your lights. I layed out my cuts (forgot to photo) and then just went down the line taking one of each piece and set into stacks - no need for switching stacks around.

I set all my little stacks onto a spare cutting board. They are arranged in the order they are set into the block construction and I put a little number on each pile to help keep things in order. You will need two (2) bobbins, pins, scissors. You should take the time to clean your machine - get those lint bunnies out of the bobbin case! And good needle. Cleared work area. (and people who know me are probably laughing at this one)

We are ready to sew by the numbers. If you are new or like control - work one block at a time. You speed sewers who like to chain piece can work all sections at once (just be sure to keep your stack order). TIP - when you press your sewn #1 to #2, press toward the light (2) - this will help when matching seams during block assembly. All other strips will be pressed OUT. Your 1,2,3 piece is now a 4.5" square - you should square up all your blocks to maintain evenness of your blocks for a cleaner finish.

By the numbers again - add strip 4 and 5. You should have a 6.5" square. Don't skip those 'squaring up' steps, they really help to maintian your blocks and final quilt. ALSO - clip your threads as you go - cleaner presentation and eliminate 'catches' when you quilt your top.

Home stretch - We are adding 8 and 9 for a 10.5" unfinished block. Double check those pressed seams, square them up, clip those threads. You have completed your block - that's it. Now do up the rest of the stacks for your total. By putting your work on a board - if you can only grab 15 minutes or get an interuption in your sewing afternoon, you can easily move your work out of the way - and remember where you left off.

I found it easier to lay out just two rows. Placement is marked with the last strip sewn - #9. If you need to help yourself out - number those. It doesn't matter whether you start with a #9 up or down - just be consistant. I started with #9 UP, next block down, up, down, up - 5 blocks across. The next row you place your #9 strip down, up, down, up, down. I sewed the row of blocks together and then the rows together. By working just two at a time you don't get confused - well hope not. Repeat two more times.

This is just to show how being sure you pressed your seams the correct direction and nice and flat - you get easy match ups when putting your seams together. You can see how nice and flat the back of this quilt is, too. This really helps when you go to sandwich up and quilt.

I don't have a design wall. I have another quilt tacked to my mantle and then I pinned my 'twosies' sections to it. I used a RED butterfly pin in the top left corner of each section to help with keeping straight in which way was up and where to start. I didn't switch any thing around - this jelly roll just worked up so perfectly blending colors and lines. But you could play a little.

When I put my sections together (OH - yes also with the block rows too)I really took the time to press FROM THE BACK to make sure those seams were all flat!! Can't stress that enough. Also, a good time to re-check all those clipped threads and all pins removed. When the entire quilt top is done, then I do a light press on the FRONT.

Adding borders and what type of borders are really an option. I used a 2.5" light border and then used my left over strips to make a scrappy border. I have a chocolate brown/white bias stripe binding waiting for this. Finished at 58" x 68". If you want a larger quilt - wider borders, more blocks, or even use 3.5" strips (remember your cutting length will be different).

Here is another one I did using a variety of JR strips with Oasis. It gave the light section a blending that reminds me of the 'watercolor' technique.

I hope you have enjoyed the tutorial and would like to try a Braid quilt. For a little encouragement, I am giving away a Lily & Will jelly roll in the yellow/brown. And I hope you make your Braid quilt your own.
Leave a comment here and come on over to my blog and be a follower...come and visit me too..
I will announce winner tomorrow.!

Now I'm not a baker, so if you make up one of these braids, make sure you give me a call! Thank you again Madam Samm for having me here and hope anyone who takes the Braid challenge shares with us.

Congrats winner  #24
You will be contacted very soon...
To all those who entered..thank you very much for your lovely comments. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wantobe Quilters Campaign 8 more sleeps!

The boxes just keep pouring in....

Really I can hardly believe in 8 days our Wantobe Quilters
Campaign will begin.

What can you expect.?

#1. We will unveil on July 31st the New Banner !
It is just beautiful. All the Banner winners have already been notified.
OUR Wantobe Quilter Banner will be up for 3 months.
Yes 3 months. there will be subtle changes to TOBE..she is our mascot..
( wee thing up there)
But the color which I am sure you will come to love will spark some excitement.
OUR winners are most deserving! Wait and SEE.

#2 We will have guests like we normally do, but at the end of everyone's post
there will be a giveaway.. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
will be Wantobe Quilters day....Tell your people do be sure to leave comments
those days sew they can win.....if they say in their comments, Betty from Shadetree brook
blog sent me..you will something too....(if they win of course)

#3 Well let me tell you...Once the campaign begins on August 1st....
All the names, emails and phone numbers you collect,
will be sent to me in a personal email. ( madamesamm@cogeco.ca)
( these will not be circulated to anyone)
I will in turn set up a database that will have your name along
with all those you have on your list...let's pretend you have 5 names...
your name is Betty...  you have 5 Wantobe Quilters ...
Your  name will be added to all 5 of those names..
IF any of  YOUR  people win anything, you also win something.

#4 That name will be published the day of the DRAW,
if she or he happens to be an experienced QUILTER and not a Wantobe Quilter,
( and someone will tell me, there is no doubt about that)
they will be disqualified right there and then .....

#5 I do believe 99% of people are very honest, and that most
people believe in karma. What goes around comes around.
Sew I am not worried about qualifying the winners. 
I just know they will be WANTOBE  Quilters...
I have very sophisticated software that matches, email
addresses with ISP's...ever since I began managing this blog,
I have never had any problem with those who won anything
as far as legitimacy...Sew please do not worry about that..
I am on it! 

#6 Now for those of you who have blogs and you would like
to appeal to your own followers/friends. 

Here is the text that I promised you last Saturday...
this you can put on your blogs to let everyone know of our Wantobe Quilters Campaign

Calling all Wantobe Quilters? 

"Hello friends and followers, I would love to welcome you
to a Wantobe Quilters Campaign over here. ( http://stashmanicure.blogspot.com)
 They are having quilting supplies to giveaway 5 x a week for 12 weeks. 
Supplies that will have you quilting
before you know it...From sewing machines to irons, to die cutters,
to mats, to rotary cutters, sewing baskets, scissors, batting, needles,
rolled sewing machine bags, patterns, books, magazines...everything
you could imagine to assist you in being a NEW Quilter. 
Even if you are already part of this community you can win
quilting stuff too...Tuesday and Thursday are days for us..
All you have to do is give me your name and phone number 
and email sew I can submit this to the organizer, because if you win
anything I can win something too. 
All you have to do is be my follower and a follower
That is all! There are over 49 Sponsors involved.
I am pretty excited to be part of this, sew should you.
I love being a QUILTER! 

( p.s you will not be eligible to win anything if you do not register
with a blogger where you see this message)

( copy and paste this and add anything else you would like)

#7 This is the text that you can put on your blog
that states, they will not be able to come to this blog ( stash)  to enter
in a giveaway...They will have to locate our list of bloggers  on the side
bar.... all those who have the 
WANTOBE QUILTER button on their blog ...   I will list you here...
on the side bar...that will be live on August 1st...
what I need from you is this...
( it will make it easier for us to put that info on sidebar )
send to madamesamm@cogeco.ca
( I won't have time to check for this info, sew please help
me to help you) 

#8 Any visitors who want to enter will be asked to look at the list
on the side bar..( not there yet)  and they will be asked to give you 
their name and email and phone number...
( this will all be clearer as we get closer to the launch date...)

( please let me know with a comment  who has this button already on your blog
as I will be compiling a list) and adding it this week...
if you have this on your blog let me know
asap sew I can add you the list here ...

#9 Ahhh I can hear you...what if the same person, registers
their name with all the bloggers..??? No problem, their name
will only be counted once, whoever submitted that name first..
My software will tell me their name is already registered with BETTY .lol...
So if you are Helen, and you have the same name...that name will not be registered again.
How does that sound?

#10 What else can I share with you....??????
mmmmmmm  I hear Nancy Zieman will be popping over for a guest
post, ohhhh and Eleanor Burns too I hear....and. just today I heard from Alex Anderson
she too will be joining us and I think some guy name Ty, .......oh I think that is enough 
excitement for today....Ü

#11 See this button on the side bar...any related topics that are published
at my own personal blog- Sew I quilt.... will be found here...
I have been doing sneak peaks on my blog of some of the giveaways...

( click here to see some highlight of some prizes to giveaway)

#12 Ohhhhh yes, I understand that  
and now Janome..
willl be giving us their GREATEST, LATEST BEST beginner machines...
to some winners....And they are very very nice...!
One of these machines will be in the general pool....sew you 
won't have to be a WANTOBE quilter for that one....
but who knows when that draw will take place..
you will have to check in daily with us...

#13 For anyone interested in contacting a LQS,( local quilt shop)  please connect with me
I have something that you can print off and give them that will
certainly benefit both of you...They will collect names
and get an idea how many  wantobe quilters are in their area, sew they
can schedule new classes for them... and you pick up those names
to enter this campaign. 

9 more sleeps.

#14 What constitutes someone as a WANTOBE QUILTER..?

They do not have a machine, tools, notions, stash as in fabric...
They may have made a quilt with a MOM, sister, friend, niece, aunt, grandma,

Hope that helps?

p.s. again...the list that will be on the blog roll 
will change every day....just sew you know
I really have thought of everything...

There will be no WHINING in this CAMPAIGN.

You will have to trust me that I have a plan for all 
who participate that there will be many many many chances..
'nuff said lol

Shipping costs will be the responsibility of the winners..
Cost to ship from Canada ( ground yes it will take longer
but will be economical, certainly the winnings are triple if not more
than the cost of the goods) Cost is the same if coming from the U.S.A.
ground....sew if you don't mind waiting it won't cost you more...

We will provide estimates for the least rate possible
the winner can choose ....Sewing machines wins will be
sent directly from the United States!

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

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sugar Flowers Tutorial By Quilting In the Rain

Hi All! This is Jera from www.QuiltingInTheRain.blogspot.com I'm a fabric addict from the rainy city of Seattle. My addiction to fabric is the reason I quilt - it's my way of showing off beautiful textiles! I started quilting 5 years ago and immediately got the quilting bug. I started my blog 1 year ago and found that I love teaching others to quilt, hence all of my tutorials. I am absolutely thrilled to have this opportunity to share my Sugar Flowers quilt tutorial with you all - this is my first post on Madame Samm's amazing blog! Enjoy!

p.s. you can see finished pictures of this quilt here.

This is a great quilt to showcase your favorite fabrics. It's a simple quilt that's made up of 46 of these blocks:
In this tutorial I've also included an optional technique that shows how to turn the corner scraps into half triangle squares - these can be saved for making a baby quilt, table runner, pillow shams, etc., so long as you don't throw away those precious scraps! :) Being a fabric addict, the thought of those babies at the bottom of the bin pains me! Enjoy the tutorial!

Materials for the Quilt Top (45.5"x53"):
  • 12 fat quarters (or 1/4 yard cuts)
  • 2.5 yards of white fabric

Step 1 - From each fat quarter or 1/4 yard, cut four 8" squares for a total of 46 8" squares. Layer your fabrics for quicker cuts (e.g. as shown below, I folded the fabric into quarters so there were four layers to cut through. When you fold, press flat with an iron before cutting).
Step 2 - From the 2.5 yards of white fabric, cut a total of 46 8" squares. Layer the fabric for quicker cuts. The best way to do this is to start with one yard of fabric. Fold it in in half lengthwise so it measures 18"x44", and then sub-cut into five 18"x8" strips. Sub-cut each strip into four 8" squares. You can cut 20 8" squares from one yard. Repeat, but with remaining 1.5 yards.

After you've cut 46 8" squares from the white fabric, layer and then quarter them into 4" squares. This will give you a total of 184 4" squares.
Step 3 - Place a 4" square and align it with the corner of an 8" square. As shown below, mark a diagonal line from corner to corner on the 4" square. I used a Hera marker which is a plastic tool that creates a crease on the fabric when pressed with a firm hand. If you don’t have a Hera marker, simply draw a line using a ruler and pen, or fold the square diagonal and press with an iron and then unfold.
Then, sew along the marked line.
Step 4 - Repeat step 3 for all four corners of the square.
Note: Steps 5 and 6 are optional for this tutorial. I've incorporated these steps to show you an easy way to utilize your scraps. I recommend taking the extra minute to do them. :)

Step 5 - After you've finished step 4, it will look like this. Once again, use a marking tool and mark a line 1/4" along the outer part of the stitch that you previously sewed. Repeat for all four corners.
Step 6 - Sew a 1/4" seam along the line that you previously marked. Repeat for all four corners.
When you're done it will look like this.
Step 7 - Cut the corners off by cutting along the marked lines that you marked from step 5. (If you skipped steps 5 & 6, simply cut a 1/4" seam along the outer part of the lines you sewed in step 4. Or in other words, instead of marking a 1/4" line along the outer part of the stitch as was done in step 5, cut the line instead of marking).
Step 8 - Press open with an iron, giving you five beautiful blocks! Note: the four half squares triangles will not be used for this tutorial, so you don't have to press them open right now. Use them for your next project to make a quick table runner, baby quilt, etc.).
Repeat steps 3 through 8 for all 46 8" squares.

Step 9 - Take eight of the 46 blocks, and cut them so they measure 4.25"x8". This will yield you eight end pieces.

Step 10 - Arrange all 36 blocks and eight end pieces as shown below, with two end pieces in every other row. Sew all blocks together in each row, and then sew all seven rows together.
Baste, quilt and then bind. A basting tutorial can be found here. Several quilting techniques can be found on my blog. And lastly, a binding tutorial can be found here!

That's it! And if you happen to make this quilt, I'd love it if you shared it with everyone on the QuiltingInTheRain Facebook page!

Happy Quilting!