Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Island Batik - October Challenge: Borders & Binding

October's Island Batik challenge was exactly that - a challenge !

I frequently design quilts with out borders so this challenge left me a little stumped....  I've done elaborate pieced borders before but it took a while to get my design creativity wrapped around this one!

I started by sorting through the Island Batik fabrics I had available....which was a whole lot of scrappy pieces - so how about a scrappy border?

I sorted them into lights and darks since they were from several collections.  I came up with this really cool design, I sketched it out on graph paper and everything was ready to go....  and everything was ready to go....  except me ... I just didn't LOVE the design.  I know that sounds so corny - but it seemed forced and every time I started to work on it... I just couldn't.  

So back to the drawing board... now note, I've just spent 3 weeks NOT LOVING the original design so time is not on my side at this stage.  I need to get a design and I need to get it done.   Our theme is Creative Bindings and Borders - so I went to my sketch book and started looking through all the border and binding ideas I had jotted down or sketched out.  So this quilt is literally a compilation of those untried ideas!  It's an early experiment model! It's R & D at it's finest and you get to see it all - unfiltered :) 
And to be totally honest - I like some of the ideas better than others, some I need to tweak and some you may never see again :) 

So without further adieu .... I present my Broken Hearts Quilt!

Let's start on the outer edge and work our way in...

The binding is a pieced binding made from lots of small pieces - you know I said I had lots of small scrappy precuts strips.  I saw this technique on a competition quilt this summer where the quilter used really small - like 1" - long pieces so the binding looked like striped fabric.  I used slightly longer pieces but the concept is the same.

This technique results in a bulkier, thicker binding due to all the seam allowances.  I trimmed each mitered seam to a scant 1/4" and pressed the seam allowances open, making sure to trim the dog ears. I used 2-1/2" wide strips to help accommodate the extra bulk. Next time I might try 2-3/4" so I have a wider binding.  I think it turned out pretty cool. What do you think?  It has lots of possibilities such as using smaller pieces like the inspiration quilt or using one color with little bits of a second color randomly placed for accent.

Next is the bright pink flange.  I frequently add a flange before binding to add a bit of color at the edge of the quilt.  This time I used a corded flange for added dimension.  I cut the flange at 1" width and pressed it half lengthwise.  I inserted the cord and used the adjustable zipper foot that came with my new Brother sewing machine to baste the cord in place.  

Now onto the quilt top.  I have three individual borders which measure 2" - 5" - 2" with floating hearts raw edge fusible appliqued across them.  The part from my jottings was making the appliques not from a single piece of fabric but from pieced fabric.  Since I was testing this out - I wanted to make it as simple as possible (remember - I'm on a deadline here !) so I cut my appliques using an AccuQuilt die cutter. 

I grabbed some of my scraps and cut them into 3" squares and stitched 4-patch units.  

Next I fused Steam-A-Seam 2 fusible interfacing from The Warm Company to the wrong side.  I ran them thru the die cutter which made quick work of cutting all the heart shapes.

After fusing, I machine appliqued each heart in place with a contrasting color of Aurifil thread.  
I want to try this technique again using improv piecing and then cutting my shapes.  I think it will result in a crazy quilt look - which I love and will take advantage of some of my smaller scrap pieces. It might be fun to add decorative stitches too!

Moving inward to the center section of the quilt, I have a 9" finished star block surrounded by two pieced borders that build off the center block.

Wow - that's a lot of borders and binding options for you!  Let me know which one you like best... Leave a comment and be sure to follow me on IG @masterpiecequilting and like my Facebook page.  I will select one lucky winner on November 1st to received this bundle of Island Batik precut 5" squares.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Christmas Caroling Row Along - Sharing

Hi!  Welcome to Masterpiece Quilting!

The last few weeks have been super busy with the Christmas Caroling Row Along. 

I have absolutely enjoyed reading everyone's blog and seeing the rows they have designed. If you want to read more about my row, it was the Jingle Bells Row.

As we wrap up the Row Along I want to share the blocks that I made.  There were so many gorgeous rows, it was hard to make a decision which ones I wanted to make.

The four rows that I made and then incorporated into a quilt are: 

Let it Snow by Susan Arnold  

Deck the Halls by Nancy Myers 

Carol of the Bells by Suzy Webster 

Jingle Bells by Cynthia Woodham 

Some of the rows are vertically oriented while others are horizontal so incorporating them together into a quilt took a little bit of work and several versions on draft paper.  I decided to add a pieced center block to pull everything together.  Here is a photo of the completed quilt top.  I still need to quilt and bind it. 

To make it easy for you to make your own quilt, I'm providing a free pattern for the Christmas Caroling Row Along Finishing Layout as a pdf download on Craftsy.

The Jingle Bell Row I designed is available for $5.00 as a pdf download on Craftsy and is the outer border for my Jingle Bells Quilt pattern which is available for just $5.95 thru October 31 on Craftsy. 

And what Row Along wouldn't be complete without a giveaway - Amy Bradley's 1 Little 2 Little 3 Little Quilters Pattern. Shipping Is Anywhere / Shipping Cost must be paid by winner. Cost To Ship In USA $4.43
Value 15.00
For more information please link to: http://www.seamstobesew.com/?p=13454

To enter the Amy Bradley giveaway, please enter here.

And from Calibre Arts Is: 50% off a Calibre Arts 14x14 Rotating Mat
Shipping Is USA only
Description Link: 


To enter the Calibre Arts giveaway, enter here.

Rules and Guidelines For Giveaways
Please take the time to read it.
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  3. You’ll have to visit the blog or the featured blog to enter the giveaways. Not all giveaways can be entered at Seams To Be Sew.
  4. I will start announcing winners on September 12, 2017, and finish announcing winners on October 12, 2017 with the exception of the Calibre Art giveaway, those will be available after each featured day, starting September 06, 2017.
  5. In most cases, the blog where you won at also will announce their winners.
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  20. The word giveaways in the rules and guidelines are also known as sweepstakes.
Most of the giveaways are international shipping this year in some cases, you will be asked to pay for shipping your giveaways.

I am not rich and I do not ask sponsors for money, they provide prizes only. If they shipped the prize to me, you will be asked to pay for shipping. All giveaways will be shipped that are in my home within 48 hours of my having heard from you.

An invoice will be sent to you via Paypal, and shipping will take place via Paypal, so your Paypal email will be needed to send the invoice. You will receive a tracking number except for overseas shipments. All shipping will either be first class which averages out at 2.77 to 4.00 up to 13 ounces. Paypal fees are added to that amount to cover that fee. All fabric bundles from Michael Miller, Hoffman, and Moda will be shipped via Priority Mail to protect the fabric itself.

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Most companies are very good about getting prizes off to customers quickly also, but some companies are overseas, so please allow all sponsors a 2-week time period before you report to me that you still haven’t received your prize. When the company is overseas, it can take 6 weeks to 90 days for an item to also arrive.

Whether or not you read the above, the rules for giveaways are in place to protect everyone. I do not want to hear you didn’t read them, they will be posted on my blog daily during each featured day. There is no excuse for not reading them.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Oh Christmas Tree - Quilter's World 2017

It's always a fun day at the studio when quilts come back from the publisher!

The process for having a quilt published in a magazine can easily take 6 - 12 months from when the call for submissions is received, preliminary designs are submitted, accepted contracts are signed, the sample quilt is made, instructions are written, everything is submitted to the publisher who then edits, photographs, lays out and prints the publication.  Wow, that's a lot of steps and I'm sure I have forgotten some!  

And during this time, the project is on the hush-hush ... which is why so many designers post "secret sewing" photos of random blocks with the promise that it will be really cool when it's done.  It's why when someone pops into my studio, I warn them with "you don't really see that quilt on the wall!"

Earlier this week, my Oh Christmas Tree wall hanging came back from the publisher.  The pattern is the Winter 2017 issue of Quilter's World magazine which is arriving in mailboxes and hitting the newsstands right now. 

The quilt is playful twist on a traditional quilt block - my favorite thing to design!  And is a perfect way to use up some stash greens.  

I hope you enjoy it and I would love to see the version you make of it. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Making Connections Blog Hop - You Voted & Here are the Results + A Give-A-Way !

A few weeks ago I was honored to be part of the Making Connections Blog Hop to celebrate the release of Dorie Hruska's new book: Making Connections: A Free-Motion Quilting Workbook with C & T Publishing. 

You can connect to my original post here and learn about the voting that I asked the readers to participate in to help me select a quilting pattern and thread color for my table runner. 

Well, I've tallied the votes.  On the thread - it was a landslide victory for So Fine 421 gold thread.  But on the quilting pattern voting, it was a neck-to-neck or should I say stitch-to-stitch finish!  Option A won by just a few votes over Option C. 
I used my longarm to complete the quilting and here's a photo of the quilted block.  I just love it!  Don't you? 

I love the nice even consistency the quilting gives the table runner.  I'm kinda picky (well, maybe obsessed) that table runners lay flat ... after all, they will have dishes and vases and candles and such sitting on them and we sure don't want those falling over! 

Here is a photo of the completed runner.  The quilting is a perfect compliment to my Let's Gather pattern and showcases the fabrics beautifully.

This is just one of the many connecting patterns in the Making Connections book.  You can order your own signed copy of the book on Dorie's website.   And while you are there, be sure to check out the FREE Shipping special on her "I Want it All" bundle.  You can also follow her on FB @forever.quilting and IG @foreverquilting

And, if you have read ALLLL the way to the end of this post,  as a thank you to everyone who followed along with the blog, I'm giving away a free PDF copy of my Let's Gather pattern.  Just leave a comment below and be sure to like my Masterpiece Quilting FB page.