Monday, December 5, 2011

Comfort and Joy Guest Geta from Romania and her Puff Quilts

Hi all,
I am Geta from Geta's Quilting Studio/ Romania. I'm excited to be here with you, thank you Madame Samm.
Today I would like to share with you what I made for my little nephew, Alex, who is 15 months old. A little chair "cushion" for his little chair.

If you like puffy things, here is how you can make a puff quilt. As you can see, it is made from small pillows.
For each pillow you need two square pieces of fabric. You can make the pillows in any size you want, just cut the front square 1/2'' bigger than the bottom square. The bottom square is not visible in the finished quilt so search in your stash for that "ugly" or cheap fabric.

Finished size of my pillows: 2''x2''
I cut :
Bottom squares: 2 1/2'' x 2 1/2''
Front squares: 3'' x  3''; for front I used flannel.

Place the two squares wrong sides together, lining up the top right corners. Place them under the needle and take a few stitches.
Line up the bottom corners and fold the front square to fit the bottom square. I used a pin to show you the fold, but you don't need to pin. Pinch the extra fabric in the middle of the side then lay it flat and stitch over it.

Do this for three sides,  here is how it should look like. Stitch 1/8'' away from the edge.

Then stuff it with some fiberfill stuffing. Don't use too much and you will not have difficulties in joining them later.

Finish the fourth side.

Here are my little pillows.

Sew your puffs together (in blocks, rows..., like any regular quilt). This time sew with 1/4'' seam allowances.

After you have finished the top, you can layer it with batting and backing or you can add just backing. 
If you want to make a large quilt, consider to use a lightweight batting. This type of quilt weights a lot...
You don't need to quilt it! Bind it then tie it.

My little piece measures 8''x12''.
I thought that working on a small scale and with flannel would be difficult but it was a real joy to make it. No problem and incredibly fast!

And here are pictures of the quilt I made one year ago.That one was larger- 52''x52''.

You can see more pictures of this quilt  here.

Thank you so much for letting  me share with you today.
Happy Stitching!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Comfort and JOY begins with Mary and her Nine Degree Ruler...Gotta Have It? or Make It Stop? pssst Jacque below ....we have 2 guests tuts today!

First I would like to thank Madame Samm for the invitation to share with you today.  

Are you thinking I just can't buy any more quilting tools?  
 That's what I thought before I saw what fun I could have with the 9 degree Circle Wedge Ruler I was going to share the tree skirt I made out of Roman Holiday wovens:

But then I decided the Spicy Spiral Table Runner by School House Quilts would be more fun to show you!

To start with you need:
Spicy Spiral Table Runner pattern
8 fat quarters plus two for binding
9 degree ruler
1 yard of backing
These are the 10 fat quarters I already had.  They are mostly from the Crazy Eight line by Sandy Gervais.

You need to choose two of those fat quarters for bias binding and it works best if one is dark and one is light.  
I chose the polka dots and cut 2 1/4" bias strips of approximately 35" from each:

Next you need to lay out the remaining eight fat quarters from lightest to darkest and cut four strips of each in the width indicated in the pattern:

Those strips are sew into four strip sets all in the color order you chose.  You can make a swatch list to make sure you keep them in the right order.

Next you CAREFULLY cut wedges from the strip sets which are in a double layer using the numbers on the ruler and the chart in the pattern:

You need to carefully stack your cut wedges in the order indicated and check each one off on the chart in the pattern.

You will have one dark set and on light set.  Sew the smallest wedge of each color to the next smallest wedge matching the top edge:

As shown, chain stitching works perfectly for this step.

Keep your stack of wedges in order while you continue to add the next largest size wedge of the light color/dark color to your chain pieced sections.

And it grows and grows.....

When all the light wedges are sewn together and all the dark wedges are sewn together, you will press the seams toward the largest wedge on each section.
Then sew the two sections together matching the largest wedge of each.

And now you have this:

Now you will need to trim to make an even curved edge:

Next sandwich the top, batting and backing together, baste and quilt.
I simply sewing a curve through each like fabric piece using either ivory or red thread.

And lastly add the dark bias binding to the dark areas and the light binding to the light areas, joining them with a bias seam.

And here is the completed Spicy Spiral Table Runner:

This pattern is very addicting and you will want to make LOTS of them - for gifts and maybe even one for yourself!

Thanks for sharing some time learning about the nine degree ruler options.

Stop by my blog Mary on Lake Pulaski and see what else I'm up to!

PS. Editors note..
WE have a giveaway too..
I connected with Marilyn and she is going to 
give one of these rulers to giveaway
sew YOU too can make this lovely quilt
like Mary's....
Thanks to  Marilyn for offering these amazing RULER!
Winner will be announced on Monday..

Sew what say you? 
Would you like one....?
congrats Sandra...you won this specialty ruler.....thanks to everyone who participated...
Sandra has been contacted... Thanks goes out to Mary of such a fine tut.

Comfort and JOY with Jacque ....TEA anyone......tea carrier

Oh, it's that time of year again!!  Lots of ho-ho-ho-ing, and jingle bells, and prancing little feet (will you PLEASE get out of my sewing room? I have surprises in here). Bet you thought I was talking about reindeer, didn't you?

I'm Jacque (Snoodles from Lilypadquilting) and I am so excited to be kicking off the December "Comfort and Joy" campaign here at Sew We Quilt! Thank you, Madame Samm, for inviting me back here - I hope by the end of this post, that you don't regret your kindness! December will be all about small projects, and tutorials to help you complete them!

In case you are searching for ideas for small gifts that can be whipped out in that final frenzy before the holidays, this might be just the thing. Or, if you are one of those irritating exasperating wise people that gets it all done ahead of time, and hosts parties for scads of people, impeccably dressed, beautifully manicured, never-a-hair-out-of-place, while all the presents are ready and waiting under the off-a-magazine-cover tree . . . oh, where was I? Well, for those folks, this might be the very last giftie that they need before going into party mode. (Personally, I'll be the one at the party who is scouting Mrs Prepared's house, buffet table and decor for ideas, and then scrambling home to make more last minute gifties --- you'll know me by the quilting thread clinging to my jeans, and the craft glue on my fingernails!)

I always believe in giving credit where credit is due, and I need to tell you right off the bat that I got this idea from another blogger, and adapted it. I have no clue if she was the first to think of these cuties, but the original idea is from this post and I simply made it charm pack friendly! (Gotta love those pre-cuts --- what did we do before them?)  When you finish, you'll have a lovely wallet to put singles of tea and coffee (yes, you can get coffee that way, too, now!) into, so that the lucky recipient is prepared at a moment's notice for a Java or tea break!


Ready? Oh, wait. This one is going to have lots of instructions, and photos. Better get a snack to sustain us...
Ahh, perfect --- sugary, holiday yumminess!  Hang on tight, 'cos away we go!

 First thing you need to do is grab a charm pack of materials that you don't mind cutting into. I know, I know, that is difficult, but you really can't keep them forever. Pat it lovingly and lay it down on the chopping block sacrificial table cutting mat. I chose one that I thought was appropriate: Java by Deb Strain.

Next you will summon up all of your guts, er, willpower, er, fortitude and select and cut up some charms. I cut mine into 1.5 inch strips --- you'll get three out of each charm, with only a little tidbit to go into the scrap bin.

Ain't they cute? Now you're going to mix 'em up and sew six of them together! Part of the insanity, in some people's minds . . ."Quilting? Oh, yeah, you cut up perfectly good fabric and then sew it together again!" Uh-huh. And what might your hobby be? I like mine!

The picture above shows the strips sewn together into what we'll call The Outside (we're quite technical here, and very precise in our terminologies). You'll want to trim them to a 5 x 7 rectangle, and then lay that on top of The Batting, as you see there. How to trim to a 5 x 7? Well, you know that at Lilypadquilting and at OleFrogEyes, too, we are all about cool tools! Check this out!

Those of you that are muttering to yourselves about it being cardboard covered with duct tape are per-zackly right! Heck, I think that duct tape is probably one of the most necessary things in my house. I'd hate to think of all the things that wouldn't be useable if they weren't repaired with this silvery-gray miracle! Stack up a couple of pieces of corrugated cardboard cut to 5 x 7, and wrap 'em up with tape and you have your Magic Template.
Now, when you have The Outside made, lay it on top of the rectangle of batting, and quilt as desired. Sometimes I just do "stitch in the ditch" along the seams, and sometimes I go a little bonkers with my machine (my sweet sis gave it to me) and do a little of this:

('Scuse me whilst I slurp up some tea . . . I don't usually talk so much!) Now, the next step is to make The Inside (rectangle) in the same way as you did the outside: cut the strips, sew six together, and lay them aside.

Next we need pockets --- wallets have pockets. It's just been that way since the world began. Don't fight it.
Take two charms and lay them right sides together, and stitch a quarter inch seam, then press. Here's what I got:

(You'll have to forgive the pressed fold there . . . I scooted ahead and had to come back to this step!) So, you have two charms joined, and you are going to fold that in half, wrong sides together, and press.

Now haul out your trusty template again, and make sure that this new piece is just 7 inches across longways. Go ahead, just trim a little off the sides.

For the other pockets, I pulled out a fat quarter of coordinating fabric, and made a pocket out of that, too. Same measurements; second verse just like the first. Here is what that one looked like. Well, it actually has two friends that look just like it. That's because I had a lil assembly-line action going on here, and I was making three at a time!

Now you'll need to lay one of your pockets on The Inside, one inch up from the bottom. Here's a picture to make that more clear:

See? Just lay your little ruler there, so that the one inch line is at the bottom edge of The Inside, and put your pocket right at the top edge of the ruler. Your other pocket will be snuggled up at the edge, like this:

Now you'll want to pin it carefully and stitch on the far right edge and the far left edge. I usually use about a one-eighth inch seam.
Here is what you will have then:

See the stitching on the right and the left? And right in the middle, where you see my chubby little finger, is where you will stitch from the bottom, just to the top of the upper pocket. That line of stitches is dividing the two pockets into four --- pretty clever, ay? (You can click on the picture to em-biggen it, and you'll see what I'm telling you about.)

At this point, you will want to make the loop that holds the wallet closed. Start with one of your 1.5 inch strips that was left over, and fold it in half lengthwise. Make sure the right sides are together like this:

After you press it, open it out, and fold the raw edges in, to touch the pressed line. Press again, but be careful that you don't press your chubby finger. Don't ask me how I know to warn you about this; I'm just very, very wise. Quit pointing at the bandaid on my finger! This is what you end up with:

Now you can fold it into a loop and baste it on the edge of The Inside of the wallet. Make sure the loopy part (there's that precise terminology again!) is over in the middle of the wallet!

Now you are ready. Take a deep breath and put The Outside and The Inside right sides together, and stitch all the way around except for an opening to turn --- I left about 1.5 inches un-sewn, and it worked pretty well. Your wallet should look something like this now:

I guess you could just topstitch now, but I like to hand-sew the opening closed, and then topstitch. It just works better for me. Once you have topstitched around the edges, you can choose a lovely button and sew it onto The Outside, and here is what you have:

Now all you have to do is load 'er up! Choose some tea and coffee singles that you think your special person would enjoy, and pack 'em in there!

I've made several of these, and they have been well received. It is especially nice for folks who work at an office and would like to have some warm comfort during the day, that actually tastes good.....let's think about this: can you really trust that other person to have washed out the coffee maker?

I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and that you will try this adaptation for a tea and coffee wallet! If you'd like to see more tea wallets that another Lilypadquilter made, just click here. Thank you so much, Madame Samm for having me back here at Sew We Quilt!

You might like to stop by Lilypadquilting and check out our giveaway that is starting up today --- twelve fat quarters of "Penguin Pals" and a matching panel, too!



Thursday, December 1, 2011

Behind the Seams with our December Banner Winners...bye November lol

Thearica, Trudi, Debuko and Alice...
YOU all made our November something to remember...
Your quilts, your behind the seams stories...
made this a very special month...
Thank YOU! Hope to see you all again!

And now for our December Winners....
Oh look at them all...

( We had 468  Christmas quilts sent it.....all of them
would have been perfect here...I never know
who they belong to- till I have completed the design..
Then I check to see who's who? I blend until
I find a theme...in this case, trees, wreaths and poinsettias..
Thank you for all those who entered..YOU 
all were very special treats in my inbox ....xxx)

There is 
Christine, Nan, Marsha and Anne Marie...
( in this order)
and here is their .....

with Christine

You can see why I chose Christines....it is lovely isn't it?
I aded some snowflakes and some cool air for you ....Ü

I want to thank Madame Samm for the honour of having my miniature Christmas tree quilt chosen for the December banner. I was beyond excited when I got the news! The story of my quilt is not accompanied by much fanfare but it is rather a special little quilt to me.

I live in sunny South Africa where December is usually hot and I’m sure very different to what quilters in the Northern hemisphere experience over Christmas. Certainly we do not have any white Christmas’, instead festive celebrations take place under the hot African sun.

I belong to a quilting guild called Part Time Quilters who are a very active and hands-on group of quilters. We have a yearly programme of all sorts of projects that we can take part in. We sometimes have visiting quilters who come and give us demonstrations or one of the very talented guild members will share their knowledge and expertise. My little Christmas tree quilt was one such project last year.

I got the fabrics from my favourite quilt shop called Umnyama, which by the way is an African (Xhosa) word meaning rainbow. Every year they have a Christmas in July sale and we get to buy Christmas fabrics to our hearts content.  I used 1.5” squares, about 6 shades of green, a few squares of red in between and 5 shades of cream fabric. I really liked the outside border fabric. The tree was cross-hatch quilted and then decorated with a handmade beaded angel (made for me by my mom) and other miniature decorations. The finished quilt measures 13.5” x 15.5”. By varying the size of the squares we could make our quilt as big or small as we liked. One of the ladies used 5” squares and made a large wall quilt which she says she will use this year instead of a real Christmas tree and the gifts will be stacked in front of it on the floor….
pretty neat idea don’t you think?

This brings me to why my little quilt, titled “Christmas with love” is special to me.
I am engaged to a darling man who is as enthusiastic about my quilting projects as I am. I wanted us to have our own Christmas tree (instead of a “his tree” and “my tree”) and since my language is one of quilting, I decided to make a Christmas tree quilt to hang up over the festive season. Well, my fiancé was so pleased with the quilt that he refused to take it down, even long after the obligatory period for taking down Christmas decorations had passed. No amount of cajoling worked, even when I offered to make something else to hang in its place. So, I relented and it is with much humour that I tell everyone how it is Christmas in our home all year round…… This wee quilt now has a place of honour in the hallway. Who made the rule anyway that something you cherish must be displayed only once a year! 

with Nan....
(yes same Nan who brings a chuckle each month here)

fits in perfectly...yes Nan...and I didn't even know it
was yours till I had completed the banner design...

Here's the story of my quilt:

This table-top/wall-hanging Wreath Quilt was a Christmas gift for my mom in 1999.  It's from a Thimbleberries pattern, called Countryside Wreath, and it measures 40-inches square.  Here's the thing, this little quilt came together so quickly and turned out so wonderful that I could barely bring myself to part with it.  I even had it wrapped and taped with a bow around it and then unwrapped it and decided to keep it for myself!  But my conscience got the best of me and I rewrapped it and got it into the mail before I changed my mind.  And I'm so glad I did - my mom has loved this little quilt - she keeps it out year round on the back of the bench just inside her door - she always likes to keep a little Christmas Cheer up all year.  Every time I go visit my mom I get to see this little quilt and have my mom tell me how much she loves it.  That's what you call a gift that lasts!   (This pattern is still available on-line from Thimbleberries/Lynette Jensen or from Amazon.com.)

I have attached a new photo of the quilt, it's not the best but it's all I have.  I am sewing together another wreath quilt, since I found the pattern and have been wanting one for 11 years ..Now I will have one...

Thanks again, this is a fun thing for me and my mom will get such a kick out of it!!!

xoxo, Nan
visit me here

with Marsha....

 this just screamed at me ..pick me, I want
to be in your banner lol

Thank you Madame Samm for choosing my special quilt to be in the banner.  I used the pattern "O'Christmas Tree" created by Nancy Murty of Be Creative Studio.  My husband and I were out running errands one day, he wanted to stop at a hardware store and the quilt shop is right next door.  I'd never been to the quilt shop so while he went to look for his stuff, I stopped in to look around.  On the wall was the shop sample of O'Christmas Tree for a class they were having.  I love Christmas designs and I fell in love with this quilt.  I looked the sample quilt over really well and decided to buy the pattern.  This is my first large quilt, it measures 60" X 69".  Even though I had only made a couple of small quilts at the time, I decided to tackle it without going to the class.  I took the pattern home and read through it several times, then went back to the quilt shop and had the wonderful ladies there help me select fabrics.  I started piecing the quilt in October 2008 and finished hand quilting it in January 2009.  Since it was my first attempt at hand quilting I mostly stitched in the ditch or made X's through the blocks.  I drew around cookie cutters and stitched gingerbread men and stars into the top and bottom border and Christmas trees into the side borders. This quilt was made just for me I can't wait to have it out again for Christmas this year.  
I did not have a blog when I made this but I do now.  The link is http://sunshine-marsha.blogspot.com/
I am so excited I can hardly wait (but I will, I don't want to spoil the fun!)
If you need anything else, let me know.  Thank you again!

with AnneMarie

 and tell me what is the holiday
season without a poinsettia...see? 
perfect wink

 MY Story:

This Poinsettia Quilt is one of my favorites!  It is one of my first few quilts and really brings the Christmas spirit to my home when I pull it out on Thanksgiving.   I found the green border fabric at an after-Xmas sale and somehow everything else just fell into place.  I was still a beginner when making this quilt and selecting fabric was difficult for me.  I was beaming when I finished this quilt, as I finally got the "pop!" I was looking for that makes you say "Now that's a great quilt." The two different tones of red give the petals depth, and I love how the four flowers are accented by the candy cane border. This quilt hangs high up in my two-story great room below a crecent window.  Which means my husband has to get out the ladder to put it up and take it down each year..... and with the snow, sometimes we display this quilt until April or May!!  (I certainly don't mind


SEW here is to a beautiful month
for many reasons...
Thank you Ladies for adding your spark...

( January will be BLUE quilts..
please send them to me for consideration....
( madamesamm@cogeco.ca)

If you would like to be highlighted on YOUR BLOG!

Ohhh and tomorrow...we begin
a month of Guests Tutorials Holiday Projects...