Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Behind the SEAMS of our FEBRUARY Banner WINNERS

I already feel BLUE to say goodbye to ...
YOU and YOU and YOU and YOU

Sandra, Kathy, Cynthia and Mary...
It was a delightful month of tool sharing...
and you ALL made it a month worth noting...
YOU all have sew much ....

Nice segue to our new FEBRUARY Banner

Our February Banner Winners are......
Linda, Deonn, Bente and Christine...

321 red, black and white quilts
were submitted.. That is a lot of quilts
to look at and try to blend into a HEART felt
banner...I felt your heartfelt stitches in all of them..
SEW thank you all who entered.

First let's look at Linda's

Thank you, thank you Madame Samm for allowing my “Ladies” to strut across February’s banner!  I feel truly honored to have my work included this month.
I made this quilt (The Ladies in Red) in 2011 as part of the “Red and White, Too” challenge sponsored by a member of my quilting guild, after she visited  “Infinite Variety:  Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts” in New York last March.  Because I wanted to keep my entry simple so I could finish it quickly,  I chose a design inspired by several pieces of African fabric from my stash showing “the Ladies” as if they were out for a stroll or window shopping.   (I blogged about it here: red and white challenge    and here  and more about here  )  I scanned a piece of the fabric into Photoshop, resized it and printed to paper.  Then I traced silhouettes of their shape onto fusible web and transferred it to the back of my red fabric, which I then machine appliqued to a white background.  I quilted it using a very simple meandering pattern.  It has four adinkra symbols appliqued in the borders, with these feminine qualities quilted between them:  patience, beauty, friendship, love, unity, and initiative.
The Ladies in Red will be part of the “Red and White, Too,” quilt exhibit in Northeast Washington, DC, February 6 – 24.

Thanks again Madame Samm, for allowing me to help make this month’s banner another great success!

Next, is Deonn and here is her...
Hi, Madame Samm,
Thanks again for including my quilt on February's banner--I am thrilled!  And you'll love the story of this quilt.  I originally worked out the pattern for my sister to make a denim quilt for her son when he went away to college.  Not a fan of recycled denims sewn into squares or strips, I wanted a design that really made a statement.  And since there is such a variety in tone with Levi's and other denim-weight pants that can be up-cycled, this traditional "Storm at Sea" made with giant 24" blocks, turned out to be the perfect pattern, and the perfect quilt for a college kid (practically free), or as a throw for the couch or car.  It looks great in blues.  Then I made this one for my son.  It is even quilted with a layer of batting and backed with flannel - a warm hug from Mom.  I've included a link to the original post, which also has a link to more of the story.  Here goes:
this quilt.

Denim Tsunami  (A Giant "Storm at Sea"), Picnic Quilt 72" x 72"
 Mostly though, I love the boy I made it for.

Original post HERE
And when the boy went off to war with his combat engineer unit, sweeping for mines, making roads safe, and performing other route clearance missions in Afghanistan...

...the quilt, too warm and heavy for desert climates, stayed at home as a comfort to this Momma during that long year of his deployment.  Folded over the couch, the quilt was a reminder and a hope for his safe return home when we could wrap our arms around him once again.  
Then the boy returned, a man.  (Oh, my boy!)

Sometimes, a quilt is more than just a quilt.

QuiltscapesBLOGJoin me on Facebook Subscribe Flikr Gallery Send me a note Patterns Follow Me on Pinterest 

 Next is Bente's 

( Btw Bente does not speak English, we are thrilled to have
her in her own words translated from German)

I´m so thrilled that my Baby Jane Quilt is one of the four quilts in
Madame Samm's
beautiful banner, THANKS it is a great honor!!!
My ***Dear Jane quilt is the most important quilt I have ever sewn, it
is my masterpiece.  If you can you sew the Dear Jane quilt you can sew every quilt!
I sew the first block A1 on the 2003.8.8 and I had no problems sewing
until I reached A-11 “Pebble´s Protest”, I couldn’t see how to piece
that block together.
But as we all know, quilters are very nice and helpful, and a good
friend told me that it´s okay to draw extra lines in the patterns,
and generally to sew the blocks that is best for you. That was a very
important advice, and the reason why I mention it here.
I sewed most of the blocks in paper piecing, some are appliqued and D-2
“Mouse in a Mirror” is hand pieced,
at that time I didn´t like to hand piece so I do still remember that
block after all these years.
I only used two fabrics, muslin and a red prewashed! Benartex Fossil Fern.
I hand quilted the blocks individual, and I think after that the blocks
look as if they are alive.
Yes, I know it sounds as if I´m in love with that quilt, and yes I am *lol*
Like Jane A. Stickler did in 1868, I counted all the pieces sewn into my
quilt, I used 5689 pieces.
First block pieced 2003.8.8 last binding stitch 2007.6.9
Size: 80¼ x80¼ inch.
Patterns from the Book “Dear Jane” by Brenda Manges Papadakis ISBN

It would please me if you´ll visit my blog
My blog
Even if it´s in a foreign language, it about quilts!
Stay awhile maybe leave a comment and pay some attention to my quilt
gallery, I hope you like it.

Liebe Grüße
Bente – Germany
I like to QuiltBlog

*** link to my blog posting
You can see more of my quilt here~!

and last but equally impressive

First of all I would like to thank Madame Samm for choosing to use my quilt as one of the four for February’s banner. I must say it was quite exciting to get her email telling me.

A little about me. I live in Diamond Creek, which is a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. I’ve been quilting since 1993 which is when I did an overnight mystery quilt workshop. Thus I was hooked!  I am a member of the North of the Yarra Quilters Guild. Besides reading blogs, this is where I get a lot of my inspiration.

The official name for this quilt is “Mitchell’s As Close To A Collingwood Quilt That He Will Get”. A funny name, I agree but I’ll explain. Mitchell is a die-hard Collingwood Football Club supporter. Collingwood is an Australian Rules Football team. Their colours are black and white stripes. Collingwood is the team you either love or hate! Needless to say, I do not barrack for Collingwood. Hence, the name.

Mitchell asked me for a black and white quilt. I used the stack and slash method. It came together very quickly and I had it commercially quilted. When I checked the label, it was made back in 2008. I can’t believe it was that long ago! This is how I labeled Mitchell’s quilt.

“Mitchell’s As Close To A Collingwood
Quilt That He Will Get!”
This quilt was made with love for
Mitchell James MacDonald
by his mother, Christine MacDonald (Kerr).
The quilt was quilted by Leanne Kaufmann.
Diamond Creek, Victoria, Australia

I like to add a picture or photo relating to each quilt on it’s label.

I haven’t actually done a post on this quilt as I made it before I discovered blogs! I’ll just have to do a post now, won’t I! Please pop over and visit me a tmy blog

Thank you once again Madame Samm for this special honour.

And thank you February Banner Winners...
Certainly a great beginning to our Heart Month..
EVIDENCE that you all have such big Hearts...

March is Runner month...all kinds of quilt
runners will be introduced, short, tall, long, thin,
fat, circles..all shapes..
and our color theme is GREEN
sew if you have any GREEN quilts you have made
I would love to see them...
Maybe next month YOU will be here...
showing your behind the scenes quilt...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

If it's Sunday you know it is a day of ....rest

See you Tuesday...

with our Banner Winners!

NOW go and REST!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tool time with Kari and her Clearly Perfect Angles ( 2 winners today)

Have you ever met someone for the 1st time and thought after the conversation, "We could be friends!"? That was my thought after my phone call from Madame Samm when she asked me to share a tutorial on my Clearly Perfect Angles template. We visited about many things and hopefully, someday we will get to visit over a cup of coffee! Thank you for asking me to participate.

I am a rather practical person who likes to use my time efficiently. I used to get so frustrated when I'd have to spend my time drawing lines for making half square triangles or sewing through and then ripping away paper or dealing with peeling, sticky tape on my machine. One day I looked down at my sewing table at a ruler that stayed in place with static cling... a lightbulb went on and the Clearly Perfect Angles template was born.

Because it stays in place with static, it can conform to any machine and smooth sewing surface. By the time you get throught this tutorial you will wonder why you didn't have one of these before.

Let's take a closer look at the anatomy of the "CPA".

A: Where the needle will be when placed on your machine.
B: 1/4" seam guides on each side of center. The gray bands coordinate for one of the techniques.
C: Angled green bands used when needed in conjunction with the two main techniques.
D: 5/8" seam guides...wait 'till I show you what you can do with those!

The following tutorial shows a flat shot of the CPA that is not actually on a machine so that you can see everything better.

Basic Center Alignment: This is used when the directions tell you to sew from point to point on the diagonal.

Place the top point of your fabric squares at the needle.The bottom point should be on the very center line. The trick with this is to watch the bottom point instead of your needle. So, begin sewing, simply letting the bottom point follow up the line and thru.

You can see how you now have the squares sewn together from point to point...Remember, you didn't draw a line! You would trim the seam allowance to 1/4" and when pressed you have a perfect half-square triangle.

Joining Binding: This is one of the best tips, and a great reason to just leave the CPA in place all the time.

Overlap your binding strips at a right angle so "inverted" points are formed (see arrows). Using the same Basic Alignment, stitch diagonally from one inverted point to the other.

Trim the seam allowance to 1/4" and when it is pressed, the seam is hardly noticeable. AND...you didn't have to draw a line....or guess!

Gray-Band Alignment:Use when the directions instruct you to stitch 1/4" on each side of the center points.

To make alignment easier, I color-coded the CPA for the different techniques. For this one we are going to use the gray bands. Place the top point on the outside edge of the vertical gray band. The bottom point also needs to be on the outside of the gray band. The top, left side of the fabric will be on the outside edge of the angled gray band. Stitch the first seam by following the bottom point up the outside edge of the gray band. I've stitched the first seam in this photo. Just rotate the block, realign, and stitches the second seam.

Cut apart between the seams. This method produces two half-square triangles. (No wasted fabric!)
Green Angled-Band Alignment: These bands are only used when the fabric squares are larger than the area of the CPA and there is not a line for the bottom point to follow.
This may happen if:
1. - the fabric squares are 5 1/2" or larger
2. - you have customized the CPA to fit your sewing set-up and havelost some of the depth due to trimming.

You can see the bottom point has no guide. When needing to sew from point to point,
align each of the top edges of the fabric at the bottom of the angled green bands.

Slowly begin stitching, keeping the same angles on each side. This photo demonstrates how both sides are now at the bottom of the 3rd band. Eventually, you will be able to go back to watching the bottom point come up the line.

The green angled bands can be used with the no-waste method of making half-square triangles too. Begin by lining the top left side of the fabric with the outside edge of the gray band (just as we did above). Watch your angles again until the bottom point can follow the vertical gray band.

I just want to point out that the fabric sides will be at different colors during this process (Example: left side is at the bottom of the 3rd green band and the right side is at the top of the 2nd green band, but the point will remain on the outside edge of the gray vertical band).

5/8" Seam Guides and Caboodles: I originally included the 5/8" seam guides for garment sewing (I am a Home Ec teacher after all...) and also for use in aligning the CPA to your machine. BUT, low and behold, I've discovered a new use for it in the quilting realm. In fact, just earlier this week I submitted the manuscript and projects for my next book with Martingale.
It uses the 5/8" line with fabric squares that have been sewn point to point and the corner triangle usually is waste. Basically, you will get a second project from those scraps. The book is
titled, "The Whole Quilt and Caboodle". So let's see how to make a Caboodle piece........

As you can see in the picture, I have already sewn from point to point. BUT do not trim the seam allowance at this time. Simply move the fabric to the left and line up the points on the 5/8" line. Stitch a second time.

Cut apart between the two seams (they will be slightly larger than 1/4" because the seams are 5/8" apart). On the left is the piece your pattern called for. On the right is the Caboodle piece, ready to be made into a second project.

I know it was a lot of words to describe how to use the CPA, but Ipromise you, once you start using it, it will make all the sense in the world.

The blog would get much longer if I demonstrated how to align the CPA to your machine, but that too, really is simple. I'd like to invite you to visit my site, http://www.newleafstitches.com/, to view the different videos featuring the Clearly Perfect Angles. The QR code below will also take you to an overview video of the product.

Fast, accurate and frustration free! You truly will wonder what you ever did without the Clearly Perfect Angles!

There's 2  free CPA in someone's future... just make sure to leave a comment to be eligible!

Thank you Madame Samm... the coffee pot is always on if you want to stop on by!


Congrats Ladies...

Marsha and Laqueria have won... both have been contacted
thanks to Kari and all those who participated. 
Have a delightful weekend...see you next week 
where we will be launching our new blog design
and a month of Heart and Hand...

Special note from Kari...
Thank you for all of the nice comments. It was very wonderful to be included. Many of you expressed an interest in purchasing a Clearly Perfect Angles. I would like to offer a reduced price of $8.00 (now thru the end of the month) to any of you who left a message. Please feel free to email for details. sales@newleafstitches.com Thanks once again! Kari

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tool Time with Staci and her Shape Cut Ruler Tutorial ( psst 2 guests today )

Hello there!  I'm Staci, The Confused Quilter
 Thank you, Madame Samm for having me here today!  Isn't Tool Time a wonderful theme?  I've discovered several new tools that are now on my wish list, and I'll bet you have, too! 
Today I'd like to show you a tool I have come to LOVE so much I have more than one. It's The Shape Cut Ruler.  When I first saw one of these rulers I thought, "How dumb!" Then my hubby bought me one, and Wow, I totally changed my mind!! These rulers are wonderful for cutting strips and squares.  Such a time saver, and very accurate results.

Shape Cut Rulers come in several sizes and configurations.  My favorite is the Shape Cut Pro.  It has a 20 X 23 grid, with slots every 2-1/2 inches.  This ruler is perfect for cutting 2.5 inch strips (jelly roll size) strips, charm sized squares, and layer cake sized squares.  
Image from June Tailor, Inc. 
The Shape Cut Ruler is very simple to use. See the bold line at the bottom of the ruler on Line Zero?  Line up a straight edge of your fabric with that bold line.  It can be an edge that was cut straight, or it can be the fold in the center of the yardage.  I find you can easily and accurately cut up to 4 layers of fabric. 
As you know, fabric can be slick, and this plastic ruler has a slick surface.  If you aren't careful, the ruler can slide across your fabric. Here's how I keep things still and stable: a pair of 5 pound hand weights.  
The weights keep this ruler (and any ruler) from scooting around.  Do a few bicep curls  and quilting can become part of your work out!  ;-)

Here you can see the fabric lined up with the bold line. 
Place the blade of your rotary cutter in the first slot and take a slice. The first cut gives you a perfectly squared up edge.  Next, find the correct slot for the size strip you need, and slice!  Keep slicing until you have enough strips, repositioning the ruler as needed when you have cut all the fabric beneath it. 
When the ruler  is removed you can see the 5 inch wide strips I have cut.  There is very little waste with this method, just the little bits of scrap of the right and left sides.

Next, I removed the fabric scraps, then rotated and re-aligned the ruler on the long edge of my 5 inch strip.  Then I put my cutter in the appropriate slots, and made charming cuts!

In just a couple minutes I have 48 perfect charm sized squares!

This Shape Cut ruler also lives at my house.  The gridded area is 12 X12 and the slots are 1/2 inch apart.  This ruler is now available in a 12 X 18 inch size, and it's on my wish list! I often use both rulers together.  For instance, I might use the Shape Cut Pro to cut 5 inch width of fabric strips and then switch to my smaller Shape Cut ruler to cut those strips at 3 inches wide to make 3 X 5 inch rectangles.  
Image from June Tailor, Inc. 

Here I've made the 1 inch sashing strips. Quick and easy, very little waste, and not a wonky strip in sight!

Here's a tip: Use little post-it notes to mark which slots you will be using.  In this photo I have flagged the correct slots to make 3.5 inch wide cuts.   Also note 45 and 60 degree angles are marked on the grid.  If you line your fabric up on the angled lines you can cut triangles, diamonds and hexagons. 

Another tip:  I store my rulers on the wall behind the door in the sewing room.  
Keeps the rulers from getting bent, and keeps them out of the way until needed.
(center ruler is my 20-1/2 inch square Creative Grids ruler)
If you'd like to see the Shape Cut Ruler in action click here for a link to a 3 minute video.  I am simply not co-ordinated enough to use the rotary cutter and take photos at the same time and keep all my fingers intact, and oh, how tragic it would be if I bled on fabric!!

The only downside to these rulers is the price, they are on the expensive side, but watch Joann's and Hobby Lobby for sales and 50% off coupons.  Overstock.com, Nancy's Notions, and Wal-mart often have them on sale as well. Remember, like any ruler, this is an investment.  Buy it once, take good care of it and use it forever!  I think my rulers are worth every penny.  I am always a happy quilter when I can cut with these rulers.

Thank you, Madame Samm, for letting me visit Sew We Quilt, and thank you for all you do for the entire online quilting community!

Happy Stitching, everyone!