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Monday, June 23, 2014

Fusible Grid #1

I recently sent my new quilting friend in Australia, Moli Sparkles some fusible grid interfacing. This is a light weight, fusible interfacing, and it is marked in 1" or 2" grid pattern, also a 1" on point grid. To use a 2" square on a 1" grid, just use a 2x2 square. Likewise to use a 3" square, use a 3x3 square.

What's great about using the fusible grid is that the grid is already on the lightweight fusible. Just place the grid, fusible side up, on your ironing surface, and place your fabric squares on the grid. This lightly take them with an iron to fuse them down. If you only lightly fuse, then it is easy to remove the piece of fabric later.

I like using the clover mini iron, it's tiny, and it's great for tacking down each fabric square.

I have done a number of quilts using this fusible grid.  Way back in 2002, working with my cub scout group, we decided we were going to make 2 quilts for some local veterans.

Each cub scout brought red, white and blue fabrics, and I cut them up into 2" squares. Each cub scout designed several blocks using the colors and the grid to make a pattern. I then tacked down the squares onto the fusible grid.  Of course, I ended up taking the fusible grid to the ironing board at one point!

Then I sewed the rows, then I sewed the columns in each block. The sewing goes much more quickly than sewing all those little squares together, and your points all match with the grid.






















This fusible grid is also great for doing watercolor quilts. Here is a wreath I did in purple:


You don't have to use just fabric cut into squares. In this quilt, some of the squares were made using 1/2 triangles, so that created a diagonal line on the purple ribbon.

The big time saving is you can sew the entire row at a time, and once you sew all the rows, then you sew all the columns at a time, so much quicker than sewing each individual square to another to make a row,

I got really excited when I got the 1" on point grid. Here are 2" squares on the 1" grid:

I needed a filler space in a bed sized quilt between 2 sets of blocks, and I love the on-point look.

Here is what the back looks like:

The interfacing is very light, and doesn't stiffen the fabrics much at all.

Has anyone else used this fusible interfacing with the built in grid?





Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday Stash #1

This is my first blog posting in Moli Sparkles "Sunday Stash".  This week's Sunday Stash is being hosted by  Handmade by Mary Emmens.  I have long kept my stash in the closet, shared with only a few of my closest quilting friends, and then only bits at a time, never out in the open.  Why, I probably don't even recall everything in my stash, hiding in all corners of the house.

Today I have some Michael Miller fabrics that I just purchased:

I recently developed a love for striped fabrics. The green stripe on the left is "Skinny Stripes" by Laura Gunn part of the Poppies collection and the color is "Aqua".Then the other four fabrics are all part of Siren Song. Clockwise from top left is Grass, Rainbow, Citrus, and may absolute favorite is Sunset with those oranges, reds, and purples!  These fabrics will make some great english paper pieced hexagons!  And they will look great in a binding - even more if I should cut in on the bias and have a barbershop / candy cane stripe look.

But I also have a thread addiction. Here are some silk threads I picked up:

These silk threads have a real vibrant color. Not sure how I am going to use them, if for hand appliqué, machine appliqué, or maybe quilting. Check out the other quilters with their Sunday stash finds.


Molli Sparkles



Monday, June 9, 2014

April & May Completed Strip Quilts for Hospice

Life has been quite hectic and I have not achieved much in the way of completions for 2014.

However, I did managed to get another 3 strip lap quilts completed in April.



and 5 more in May:





So that makes 8 more strip quilts towards my goal for 30 for 2014.

My quilts so far are:
  February - 6
  March     - 3
  April       - 3
  May        - 5

So I have 17 towards my goal of 30, not quite halfway through the year, and I have more than halfway towards my goal of 30.

So now I am busy piecing strip tops. I had sewn a bunch of strips together in April, and they sat in a bag for 2 months. Now that summer is upon us, I need to get moving if I am going to make the goal for end of year.

Check out what others have been up to at Fresh Sewing Day:
Lily's Quilts
And for us bloggers who don't have many followers, check out the Small Blog Meet:
Lily's Quilts
And a link-up with SewFreshQuilts on what other quilters are doing this week:

Sew Fresh Quilts


Saturday, April 19, 2014

English Paper Piecing - March progress

It's been a slow month for my english paper piecing progress.  I went away to a quilt retreat. The retreat was 4 days, but I only went for the last 2 (full day Saturday, pack up and leave at noon on Sunday).  One of the great things about being in  a room with 12 other quilters working on projects is that there are so many things to be inspired by.

One of my friends was sitting next to me, and he was making some english paper pieced hexagons, his first try. He was complaining that it would take forever to make a quilt. I suggested a more modern approach with a few hexagons on a blank canvas, and he is  a modern quilter doing improvisational piecing and using all the latest modern fabrics.  He always has the biggest pile of the most wonderful fabrics at the retreat. This time was no exception, he had a wonderful collection of oranges and grays, and at one point he was paper piecing a block, and I noticed that he had some pretty large scraps, mostly on the floor. So I asked if they were fair game, that I would use them to make some hexagons.  And here is a photo of the orange, gray, and green hexagons I made with his cast offs from his paper pieced block. If only I had been at the full 4 days of the retreat, I might have had a much bigger selection of scraps to work with.


I'm thinking I can arrange these in some sort of circle or spiral and make a modern quilt with these modern looking hexagons.  But for now, I have a baggie with these completed hexagons, in a range of sizes, as the scraps tended to be wedge shaped, allowing a larger hexagon to be made at one end, and a smaller at the other, as I tried to minimize the amount of this found fabric I discarded.

I actually made out quite well dumpster diving for interesting scraps to make into hexagons at this retreat. I never considered myself as someone who would dumpster dive at a retreat to add fabric to my stash, but this was different, reusing someone else's trash to make a useful hexagon.  Have you every dived through the little trash bins at a retreat or a sewing class to pick up fabrics to use in your hexagons?

But I also managed to make some Christmas fabric hexagons from left over pieces of fabric that I am cutting for a triangle quilt along that I joined. Here are the hexagons I have completed so far from the scraps left over :



Check out what other English Paper Piecers have been up to last month in the inhand EPP link party:


splish splash stash


And check out what other quilters have been up to this past week at Let's Bee Social!:



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April's Completed Comfort Quilts: Strips Quilts and St. Louis 16-Patch

I started 2014 with the goal to make 30 lap quilts for donation to hospice using strips. I was inspired by the jelly roll race quilts, but I wanted to mix it up a bit. I have 2", 2.5", 3", 3.5", 4", 4.5", 6.5" strips, not always width of fabric as they are left over pieces from sashing and binding, etc. And to turn these into a set of quilts

Here are 3 completed strip quilts, ready for donation:
This quilt was just a series of various width strips. I like how the brights are contrasted by the pinks, and the solid.
This second quilt incorporated some blocks with the strips. Flying geese units the same size as the strip they are included in.
This third quilt has a number of small pieces worked in, blocks just laying around that were the same size as the corresponding strip. Also many more very narrow strips got worked into this quilt.

These 3 quilts are all 42" wide by 55" long, backed with either flannel or polar fleece. The fleece quilts don't have any batting, while the flannel quilts have a batting.

From my friend Joanie, over at Joanie's Trendy Quilts, I got the pattern for the St. Louis 16-patch, and I thought these would make great, quick quilts for donation as well. Here are 3 samples that I have quilted up that I am taking to my quilt guild next week for a 2 hour quilt-a-thon where all the people will be working on making these blocks. Several months back I brought 200 fat quarters to the quilt guild meeting, and passed them around the room. You know most quilters can't resist fat quarters. I told people they could take one and match it up with an ugly fat quarter in their stash that they had no use for, as this is the perfect pattern to mate an ugly fabric with a nicer one and make a stupendous looking block. But for those people who just didn't have an ugly FQ laying around, I let them take 2 or 4, with the thought they could make the 16-patches and bring them to this meeting so we would have blocks to start making quilts.

Our quilt guild also had a fun night where there were FQ games in January, and they collected another 200 FQ towards this project, so those new FQ are coming to this meeting. People are bringing their sewing machines, rotary cutters, etc., and I'm hoping we can get enough blocks made for 25 quilt tops.

So here are my samples to motivate the people in the guild (it always takes one over-achiever to get people motivated!)
First quilt is using just 2 fabrics. At first I didn't recognize it as a St. Louis 16-patch, but that is how it was constructed.
This second quilt was made with 6 fat quarters, a number on the green side. Several random green strips for sashing holds it together. The great thing about sashing these blocks is now there are no seams to worry about matching. If one block turns out 16.5" and the next 16.25", no problem, it's hidden by the sashing!
And finally this third St. Louis 16-patch. It used a number of FQ's that I made from 1 yard cuts of fabric I picked up in an online sale - 10 - 1yard cuts for $20!  All end of bolt items. These fabrics turned out to not be my cut of tea at all, but look how wonderful this quilt turned out. I especially like the scrappy sashing - who says your sashing has to all match, this was using the various scraps of sashing that were left when doing the blocks, and there wasn't enough green, so the red was pulled in for the 2 ends. Looks planned - that I think is one of the secrets of a great looking scrappy quilt, use up your fabrics and when you run out of something to match, throw in a contrasting fabric and it adds some spice and zing to the quilt.

So this brings me to 9 strip quilts completed so for in 2014, towards my goal of 30.  Slow and steady wins the race.  How are you doing on your 2014 quilt making/finishing goals given the year is now 1/4 over?


Posting this as part of Let's Bee Social! week #15. Click on the badge and check out what other quilt bloggers have been up to this past week.


Sew Fresh Quilts


Lily's Quilts hosts "Fresh Sewing Day" to link up finishes. So check out Fresh Sewing Day to see what other quilt bloggers have been finishing up.
Lily's Quilts
And, for bloggers who have less than 50 followers, Lily's Quilts hosts the Small Blog Meet. This is a means to allow new bloggers to meet other new bloggers and make new friends. Everyone wins by getting to see all these new quilter bloggers and the facinating works. So why not check out the Small Blog Meet as well.
Lily's Quilts
Have a great week and keep sewing!  Remember, find 10 minutes a day to do a little sewing, and in a week you will have sewed an hour, and 4-5 hours in a month. Before you know it, you will have made progress towards finishing a quilt.












Thursday, April 3, 2014

Christmas Fabrics - Triangle Quilt-A-Long - Week #2 Cutting Triangles



The Sassy Quilter
Not being content in just doing a green triangle quilt, I also picked out a set of Christmas fabrics to make yet another triangle quilt:


And here are the triangles from these fabrics:
I just love the golds and reds and greens!

So with the green triangle quilt and the taupe triangle quilt, this makes 3 quilts for this quilt-a-long. Is it any wonder I have so many UFOs laying around?  But, having a weekly deadline may motivate me enough to ensure that these 3 quilts don't make it to my long-term UFO list.

Anyone else have an issue starting new quilt projects and then seeing yet another great project to work on before finishing up the existing project?

Be sure and check out the other quilts in the Triangle Quilt-a-long.


Taupe Triangle Quilt-A-Long - Week #2 Cutting Triangles

The Sassy Quilter
Not being content in just doing a green triangle quilt, I also picked out a set of Japanese Taupe fabrics.

I had this set of 12 fabrics as 1/2 yard cuts. I decided I wanted to try my new Creative Grids 4.5" 60 degree ruler, which cuts 5 triangles without lifting the ruler! The official name is the 60 degree double strip ruler - it's designed to use with jelly roll strips, sew 2 together making a 4.5" strip, and then cut with this ruler.

So here are my 12 fabrics, I cut 2 rows of 4.5" fabric from each of the 12 fabrics, and 2 rows gave me 24 triangles, each is 4.5", so slightly smaller than the 6" triangles being used in the quilt-a-long, but why not change it up a bit, and try a new ruler? Especially since I bought the new ruler in the fall and have yet to use it!


So here are the triangles. 12 piles of the fabrics, plus the 1/2 triangles from the start of cutting each piece of fabric. Should be a good contrast to the green triangle quilt.  Can't wait to start sewing these triangles together into rows.