Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Orange Peel Bed Quilt

I love blue and white quilts ... always have, always will ... there is something just so inherently beautiful in two color quilts.  I think it's the simplicity that the colors bring regardless of how complicated the piecing is plus the white really shows off the quilting.  

One of my favorite blue and white quilts is my Orange Peel Bed Quilt - which is actually a new version of an antique quilt.

I made this quilt as part of my Learn to Restyle Vintage Quilts Online class. 

The original quilt is one my Mom and I received from my Grandma Scott's collection and I'm not sure if she made it or if another family member (Great-Grandma Lamle?) made it and I will never know.....  (Moral to the story: ask questions before people pass away!) 

Regardless of who made it, it's seen a better day and I was excited to be able to make an updated version of it that I can use and enjoy.  

The Orange Peel Bed Quilt is one of three patterns that are part of my Learn to Restyle Vintage Quilts online class. 

Each pattern is inspired by a vintage or antique quilt.  In the video you will learn how to take an older quilt and make a new version of it.  I discuss and show you ways to rework it with an easier pattern and simpler construction techniques, plus updating the fabrics and colors.  After learning the techniques in the class, you will be ready to restyle your own vintage quilts into new, functional quilts you can use and cherish. 

Learn to Restyle Vintage Quilts is available both as a online class or in DVD format.  To purchase Learn to Restyle Vintage Quilts, please click on my affiliate link to purchase. 
If you enjoy learning online, I have classes in a variety of topics and you can read more about my other online classes.

This post contains affiliate links, please see my full FTC Disclosure.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

O, Christmas Tree & Charming Pincushions Published in Annie's Pincushions & More book

Sometimes we do things that might just be a little bit outside of our usual comfort zone ... like designing pincushions! While quilts are my usual things... I gave a try at designing pincushions and I was really please with my results!

I use a pincushion or two or three everyday .... I literally have them scattered all over my studio so no matter where I'm at, there is a pincushion nearby.  
Is your sewing area like that too? 

If you typically buy your pincushions, have you thought about making your own?  In Annie's latest book, Pincushions & More you will be totally amazed by all the beautiful, unique and creative pincushion patterns that are in it.    I want to make them all!  

I designed two of the pincushion patterns that are published in this book.  First is my Charming Pincushion that is make with 5" precut squares.  It's a perfect way to coordinate your pincushion with one of your quilts by using leftover fabric!  This particular pincushion is make with Artisan Spirit Shimmer fabric from Northcott Fabrics.  It's nice and large and I like to put different types of pins in each of the sections so it is super easy for me to reach just the right type of pin I want without having to sort thru all the pins.  

Next is my O, Christmas Tree pincushion that is a stash friendly pincushion perfect for decorating the studio at the Holidays!  I really like its vertical height.  It stands tall and doesn't get buried behind the fabric on my cutting table.  I'm sure your cutting table isn't chaotic, like mine! I like it so well, it probably isn't getting put away with the Christmas décor but will be left out all year. 

Pincushions & More can be purchased using my affiliate link.  I know you won't stop after making just one pincushion!  

This post contains affiliate links, please read my FTC disclosure

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Annie's Creative Studio

This is a project I have wanted to share with you for a long, long time!

For the last 7 months or so - I've been taping episodes for Annie's Creative Studio - WHILE keeping it quiet on social media ...  And that's a long time for me to keep quiet :) 

So finally, I can share!  I'm one of the quilting and sewing instructors for Annie's Creative Studio.  

What is Annie's Creative Studio?  

Annie's Creative Studio is online streaming of quilting, sewing, knitting and crochet instructional videos that are viewable on any device and available 24/7. 

The projects include pattern downloads so you can make it right along with the video if you want.  Annie's Creative Studio will help you build your skills, make beautiful projects and discover crafting tools that will save you time and money. 

Episodes are available in a six different areas for you to learn.

And the best part, as a subscriber, you can view all the episodes at any time and as many times as you want .....  Yep, you can BINGE WATCH Annie's Creative Studio! 

So regardless of whether you are a beginner or an experienced crafter there is something for you.  Many of us are multi-craftual  (if it's not a real word, I'm making it one now!) .... we craft in a multiple areas. 

In quilting and sewing, I'm challenged by intermediate and advanced patterns but when it comes to crochet - I need to stick to beginner level patterns so I can build my skills.  And then there is knitting... I'm an absolute NEWBIE with a previous record of failing ...  However, when I received knitting needles and yarn in a gift bag last month - I think it might be a sign that I need to watch an episode or two and try to figure out how to get the yarn on the sticks!

When I'm teaching an episode, I try to share as many techniques, tips and sometimes tricks to making the project successful and the skills easy for you to master.  You get so much more than just me telling you how to make it. I demonstrate a lot of the steps as I work through the pattern with you. And I also share what doesn't work - so you don't make mistakes along the way.  

Still not sure if Annie's Creative Studio is for you.... then check it out for free.  There is a 30-day free trial for you to subscribe and watch.  

And I hope to see you soon - in one of Annie's Creative Studio episodes! 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Starry Sky

In the process of publishing a quilt pattern, I often get so excited (and relieved) that it is finished that I forget to share the story about it.

Starry Sky maybe my favorite design - I know we shouldn't have favorites but it was the first design that I knew I wasn't submitting to a magazine. I was keeping it all for myself! 

I love blues & whites and stars & chains and this quilt has them all. 

I used batik fabrics to piece the first version of the quilt because of the deep saturation of colors. And with the name Starry Sky, the quilt really needed to hold up it's namesake, those deep rich dark blues found in the night sky and the bright twinkling of stars.  Because the fabrics were so strong, I chose to quilt an edge-to-edge pattern across it so the quilting didn't complete with the fabrics or the piecing.  

I was so in love this pattern that I made a second version but I changed out the colors and used white for the background but kept the same dark, medium and light placement in the aqua fabrics for the chain and stars.  This yields a more formal quilt with an old-fashioned look.   I custom quilted this version to really accentuate the stars and chains. 

I enjoy working with oversized blocks which gives a dramatic look without have to work with lots of little bitty pieces!  I also like borderless quilts which allows your eye to extend beyond the edges of the quilt - just like the night sky keeps extending beyond our view! 

And for some fun!  It never fails that as soon as I try to take photos of quilts, the wind starts to blow!  There can be NO WIND for days, not even the slightest breeze, but break out a quilt and a camera and it starts gusting.  This is one of my favorite photos of both quilts at the Ceylon Bridge near Geneva, IN. 

The pattern for Starry Sky is available for pdf download on Craftsy. I would love to see your version of Starry Sky. Feel free to post a photo on my Masterpiece Quilting Facebook Page. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

Island Batik Four Season's Blog Hop

Island Batik's Four Season's Blog Hop starts on January 8th and continues through February 1st.  This is a blog hop you won't want to miss and these new fabrics are GORGEOUS!

I'm not scheduled until January 31st, so I wanted to do this announcement post so you don't miss out on any of gorgeous collections that are being showcased as well as the designs of my fellow Ambassadors !

You can always check the Island Batik blog for an updated schedule and while you are there - be sure to enter the main giveaway! 

Here is a list of the bloggers and their pages. 

January 8, 2018 featuring the Blue Moon Collection

Jennifer Fulton:

January 9, 2018 featuring the Mountain's Majesty Collection

Carol Steely:
Jean-Sophie Wood:

January 10, 2018 featuring the Alpine Ice Collection

Connie Campbell,:
Kate Colleran:

January 11, 2018 featuring the Alpine Jingle Collection

January 15, 2018 featuring the Elementz Collection

Turid Bakken:
Linda Ramrath:

January 16, 2018 featuring the Southern Blooms Collection

Sharon Denney Parcel:
Sally Johnson:

January 17, 2018 featuring the Morning Sunshine Collection

Stephanie Beritcs:
Jessica Caldwell:

January 18, 2018 featuring the Season's Shades Collection

Jeanette Jones:
Connie Kauffman:

January 22, 2018 featuring the Paisley Dot Collection
Pamela Boatright:

January 23, 2018 featuring the Sunflower Serenade Collection 
Kathy Bruckman:
Janet Yamamoto:

January 24, 2018 featuring the City Culture 2 Collection

Maryellen McAullfie:
Joyce Mullis:

January 25, 2018 featuring the City Culture 2 Collection

Karen Overton:
Terri Vanden Bosch:
Marlene Oddie:

January 29, 2018 featuring the Pumpkin Patch Collection

Marian Pena:
Marlene Oddie:
Anna Branch:

January 30, 2018 featuring the Autumn's Grace Collection

Marlene Oddie:
Bea Lee:

January 31, 2018 featuring the Plum Delicious Collection

Nancy Scott:
Suzy Webster:

February 1, 2018 featuring the Northern Woods Collection

Joan Kawano:
Vicki Schlimmer:

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Basic Quilting Tools and Sewing Supplies

We see these words included all the time on quilting patterns and frequently wonder what exactly do they mean by Basic Quilting Tools and Sewing Supplies. 

Here is a quick run down of what I consider to be the basic tools and supplies list.

1. Sewing Machine with Sewing Machine Needles

Your sewing doesn't have to be glamorous but it does need to be able to stitch a straight stitch where you can adjust the stitch length.  For quilting we will primarily be stitching a 1/4" seam.  Some machines have a needle positioning option which allows the needle to be moved sideways to different positions. If your machine has a 1/4" foot available for it, I find it to be a good investment if you are planning on doing a lot of quilting.  I prefer the 1/4" foot with a blade attachment.   Here is a photo of my 1/4" foot with blade attachment.

And sewing machine needles - don't forget to change your needle after approximately 8-10 hours of sewing.   

2. Rotary Cutter

Rotary cutters have replaced scissors for cutting out quilt fabrics.  These handy gadgets come in a variety of styles and both left / right handed options as well as blade sizes.  A few key features to look for include a safety latch, especially if small children might come in contact with it.  Also a retractable blade cover is essential to prevent accidently cutting yourself or your fabric.  Try out several different styles to find the handle that works best for you. I prefer a 45 mm blade size. This is one of my favorite rotary cutters - I love the stripes :) 

 Also, don't forget to purchase extra blades for your cutter as they become dull with use. 

3. Self-Healing Cutting Mat

A cutting mat is essential if you are using a rotary cutter.  Self-healing means that the rotary cutter won't cut thru the mat, however after repeated use it does develop grooves in areas where you cut repeatedly.  Cutting mats come in a variety of sizes.  I would recommend the 24" x 36" size.  It should easily meet all your cutting needs and is the size that I use daily.  

4. Cutting Grid

Cutting grids are clear plastic grids which guide the rotary cutter on the cutting mat.  You will want to have cutting grids in two sizes - either a 6-1/2" x 24-1/2" or 2-1/2" x 36" grid for cutting width of fabric strips and a smaller grid for subcuts such as a 6-1/2" x 12-1/2" grid.  There are a variety of brands with subtle differences between them, primarily in the markings.   Here is a photo of my 6-1/2" x 12-1/2" grid that I use pretty much daily. 

Cutting grids also do double-duty for measuring blocks and many times replace the need for a tape measure. 

5. Scissors 

I recommend having 2 types of scissors.  One larger pair for fabric cutting and a smaller pair of scissors or thread snips for thread cutting.  For some projects you might need "non-fabric" scissors for paper cutting, but I'm presuming you have those some where in the house. 

I am a huge fan of Fiskars Razor Edge Scissors (and no I'm not getting paid to write that) and my thread scissors are an inexpensive trendy looking pair. 

6. Thread - 50 wt.

For general piecing, I prefer a 50 weight thread.  There are a variety of brands available with some subtle differences between them.  Some are cotton, some are polyester and some are cotton / poly blend.  Most importantly you will want a thread that matches or coordinates nicely with the fabric you are sewing.  Many times a neutral thread such as beige or gray is best when a project has a variety of fabric colors and prints. 

7. Pins, Pincushions & Needles

Sharp pins are a necessity for quilting.  The length and style are personal preferences.  I like the flower head pins personally since they are easier to grab but my pincushion contains a very diverse mix of pins!  You will want a pincushion, tray or some type of "pin pan" to hold your pins.  And you will want a few needles for hand sewing.  Pincushions have become fashionable lately and here is one that I made using leftover fabric. 

8. Seam Ripper 

While none of us like unstitching, it is unfortunately part of the process.  Invest in a good ergonomic ripper as it makes the job a little less dreadful if your hand isn't cramping while you are ripping. 

9. Iron

Any type of basic iron will work for your quilting projects.  I use a dry iron because, to be quite honest, steam irons scare me! I always end up with burnt fingers when I use one.  I still have flashbacks to the behemoth iron my Grandma Scott used to press clothing and how it belched steam and boiling hot water on a regular basis.  I do like to use a starch alternative while I press quilt blocks and I always have a bottle of Best Press on hand.  For stubborn bolt wrinkles in fabric, I spritz it with water to help press them out before cutting. 

10. Ironing Board

A traditional ironing board for clothing will work but I prefer a flat rectangular ironing board that can be laid on top of your ironing board for a larger pressing surface.  I also like to use an ironing mat that can be placed on a table or counter top for pressing. 

I hope this quick rundown of Basic Quilting Tools and Sewing Supplies helps take the mystery out of the items that you need and that you find the "notions aisle" less confusing.  Many times you can purchase items in bundles, such as a cutting mat, rotary cutter and grid together at a cost savings.  

Friday, January 5, 2018

Marmalade published in Annie's Time Friendly Quilts

I'm excited to share one my latest designs, Marmalade, which is published in Annie's Time-Friendly Quilts.  

Photo Cred:  Annie's

Marmalade is made with 10" precut squares from Island Batik's Sakura Collection designed by Kathy Engle for Lovebug Studios.  I absolutely love this collection and it's the same one I used for my Island Batik Back to School blog hop quilt. 

This quilt can easily be made in a day - just grab a package of precut squares and some coordinating yardage.  It's a great quilt for a young person learning to sew or kiddos could help you with color placement of the squares. 

I pieced the quilt using Aurifil thread and used The Warm Company's new Warm 80/20 batting when I quilted it.  To keep the project Time-Friendly I quilted it on my Statler computerized longarm using TK Quilting & Design's Sea Shell E2E digital quilting pattern. 

Marmalade is available in Annie's Time-Friendly Quilts which features 23 quick and easy projects that are all simply adorable!  It is available at Annie's Craft Store
Photo Cred: Annie's

Be sure to follow me on IG: @MasterpieceQuilting or at Masterpiece Quilting on Facebook for sneak peaks and updates.