Monday, September 15, 2014

Some Great News and BOM--Penguin Blocks

I received some very exciting news today--one of my pieces was juried in as a finalist in Infinity Gallery's on-line 2014 Fiber Art exhibition. It wasn't chosen for an award, but I'm thrilled to be included in this exhibit. If you'd like to take a look at the show, check it out here: Infinity Gallery 2014 Fiber Art Exhibit.

Now, on to some "traditional" work. I was a block behind on my "Penguin Cheer" blocks, so I got busy yesterday and finished the block for last month and this month. Here they are.

Block for August

Block for September

I even got the stitching around the fusible appliques finished. I must confess that I DID have to paint the bow on the green package. I thought using a satin stitch in turquoise to outline the bow would make it stand out, but the fabric I originally chose still didn't show up enough against the green batik. I ended up using fabric paint to make it darker; I like it much better now. If you'd like to check out the Penguin Cheer BOM, click on the link.

I'm still working on two "art" pieces, but it is SLOW going. Both are hand stitched, so they will take a lot of time to finish. I will take some pics later as there isn't much to show you right now.

 

Friday, September 12, 2014

"Quick" Quilts with My Sister

My sister, Pam, came for a visit this week. She IS NOT a quilter, but she does do some sewing. I had purchased two color ways of some really cute kids fabric--"Meet The Gang" by Marisa and Creative Thursday for Andover Fabrics. I thought we could have some bonding time in my studio while making simple "drag-around" quilts for the little girls in our lives. The last time she visited (and we had time) we worked on dinosaur tails for her grandsons. They turned out REALLY cute. You can see them here--dinosaur tails. This time, we concentrated on making quilts for her granddaughters. Here is a really simple way to make a fast quilt.

First, here is what they look like...

That's Pam with her finished quilts.

For the top (larger) one, we cut the main fabric approximately 44" by the width of the fabric (approximately 44"). We added a strip of coordinating fabric on the top and bottom. We cut the strip as wide as the widest band in the printed fabric. For the bottom one, we simply cut the main fabric approximately 37" by the width of the fabric. We finished the quilts off with an "envelope" turn--no binding. (We used a walking/evenfeed foot for all steps requiring sewing/quilting.) The final sizes of the quilts ended up 43" X 53" for the larger quilt and 36" X 42 1/2" for the smaller quilt.

STEPS:

(This is just the way we did it. Of course, you can do it however you wish!)

  1. Stack the fabrics and batting in this order--batting first, backing (face up), top (face down).
  2. Pin around the outside edge to hold all pieces together.
  3. Sew around all four sides using a 1/2" seam allowance leaving about 6-8 inches open to be used for turning the quilt right side out.
  4. Trim any excess material off the edges and cut excess fabric from the corners to reduce the bulk.
  5. Reach in and turn the quilt right side out. Poke out corners being careful not to poke a hole there.
  6. Iron the edges so the seam lies on the edge of the quilt. Iron the seam allowances under where you left the opening for turning.
  7. Pin the opening shut.
  8. Sew around the outside of the quilt a 1/4" from the edge. (Use a coordinating machine quilting thread). This step will make the edges flatter and will close the opening you left for turning.
  9. Using basting pins (bent safety pins), baste the three layers together. (Don't place pins too close to where you will be quilting. We found this step helped to keep the layers from shifting while machine quilting.)
  10. Quilt a straight line along the bands of the quilt top. (We used polyester batting, so we didn't have to quilt too closely. Of course, you can use any batt you want and quilt this any way you wish. This was, by far, the easiest quilting we could do. It was great for Pam since she is a beginner and had never machine quilted before. She had great, "quick" success, so I'm hoping we can tackle more quilting projects in the future.)

It was so nice to be able to share something I love to do with someone I love. We REALLY had a good time; I hated for it to end. What have you been up to?