Friday, July 21, 2017

State Map Applique (A Tutorial)

I made a thank you gift for my sister celebrating a state they love to visit.

The pillow is 18'' square.  The states and lakes are raw edge appliqued and outlined in black several times using my FMQ foot.  The edges of the lakes that meet up to the state are appliqued in blue.

I wrote the names of a bordering state, the lakes and of Canada in a matching thread.

I used a fusible fleece for this front piece - the back shows off the quilting.  I think this looks cool.

To create the applique outline for state and the great lakes, I used EQ7.  I thought I'd share a brief tutorial on how I did this.

First, I screened grabbed from google maps using a snipping tool.   Choosing New Block then Easydraw+Patchwork Draw, I then imported the image into EQ7 (see red circle upper left in diagram below). 

Then, using the applique tab and the Freehand tool (see red circle upper left in diagram), I traced the state outline.

Over to the color tab to check it out and confirm I have a nice closed image.  (If you color it in and the color bleeds out of the shape just start over.)

To print, I choose print block and go to the OPTIONS tab in the print dialog.  There I make sure MIRROR is checked so it prints a reverse image.

Back to the BLOCK SIZE tab, I choose 15 x 15 '' for my applique, sized for my 18 x 18 '' pillow.

Choose PREVIEW to make sure you are getting what you expect.  My applique will print over four pages - easy to tape together to make my patterns.  You can see how the image is nicely reversed.

I choose new block and repeated the steps for the Great Lakes.  It could have been done in one big block but it was helpful (to me) put the lakes in a second block.  Less to start over again with when things went wrong as they are known to do.

Does that all make sense?  Drop me a question in the comments and I'll be happy to help.

For a tutorial on putting a zipper in a pillow back, please see this post.

I'll be linking up my pillow with  Freemotion by the River,   WIP Wednesday's,  Let's Bee SocialMidweek Makers.  Needle and Thread Thursdays, Finish it Up Friday and Finished or Not Friday.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

An otter and a bird

How can I resist such a cute face on this otter?  Or this sweet Kingfisher?

I am having fun with Juliet from The Tartankiwi's latest QAL called Woodland Creature 2.  The sweet hedgehog is next (although I'm not sure about all that sharp points!)

I'll be linking up my blocks with  Freemotion by the River,   WIP Wednesday's,  Let's Bee SocialMidweek Makers.  Needle and Thread Thursdays, Finish it Up Friday and Finished or Not Friday.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Awesome Bernina Giveaway

Did you see the amazing giveaway from FQS?

They are giving away a special edition Cotton + Steel Bernina 350SE!

To enter, visit Fat Quarter Shop

No purchase necessary to enter.  Commenting on this blog post does not count as an entry.  Fat Quarter Shop employees, Bernina employees and bloggers paid or compensated by Fat Quarter Shop are not eligible to enter this giveaway.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, July 17, 2017

And now there is 70 - a passing grade!

Here are the next batch of 10!

My daughter will have the assignment of putting the blocks into three piles - the blocks she loves, the ones she hates and everything else.  I'll put together the final layout from there!

The first 20 blocks -

and blocks 21 through 40 -

and blocks 41 - 60

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Friday, July 14, 2017

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Mom turns 80 today and I made a signature quilt to celebrate.  We held her party in June and I just loved giving her the quilt that everyone had signed.

Label above was printed at Spoonflower.  I printed other photos on fabric - see what I made for my dad for Father's Day here.

What fun she had reading the messages that everyone had written.

In a post earlier this week, I wrote about the process of designing the quilt and collecting the signatures.  You can read about it here.

Signatures were collected from her 7 daughters, her 7 son-in-laws, her 16 grandchildren plus 1 granddaughter-in-law plus her 2 brothers, her 2 sisters-in-law and my dad.  That's 36 people!

Signatures from the daughters and our families were all done on the rectangles that border the top and bottom of the quilt.

Then my sisters and I as well as mom's brothers and their wives captured a special memory or special message which I put in the center of the star.

To quilt, I first outlined in the ditch all the white area.   The background was quilted with loops with some hearts mixed in.  There are also special words hidden in the quilting (which I just realized I never told mom about!)

I enjoyed every minute of creating this quilt.

Happy Birthday Mom!  You are one amazing person!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Creating a Signature Quilt

My mom turns 80 years old on Friday.  To celebrate, I made her a quilt that contained signatures from the 36 members of her family.  This includes her brothers and their wives, her daughters, son-in-laws, the grandchildren and one granddaughter-in-law.

I'll share the finished quilt in Friday's post - on her birthday! - but today wanted to share today how I approached the process of designing the quilt.

Like many of my best ideas, there usually isn't much time between the idea of something I want to make and the opportunity for giving.  I started with several design elements (or restrictions.)

The first was to include 80 flying geese blocks.  Flying geese (the real kind) spark a special memory for my mom.

The second was I wanted everyone in the family to sign their name onto fabric.  In addition, I wanted to include some extra blocks with written memories from growing up.

The third was that the signatures needed to be the star of the quilt.  This was my first EQ7 design, rejected because I thought the geese were competing too much with the signatures.

After auditioning several scrappy fabric layouts in EQ7, I settled on a pretty fabric from my stash.  I knew mom would love the color and it wouldn't compete with the signatures.

Collecting Signatures

For this quilt, I had about two months to make the entire project before gifting.  32 of the 36 signatures needed to be collected by mail at twelve different addresses.

Into every envelope went:

  • a pen
  • a 4.5'' piece of fabric marked TEST so everyone could practice writing on fabric
  • a combination of squares and rectangles as needed in one plastic bag
  • a couple of extra of each size in a second plastic bag
  • a return stamped envelope
  • a second envelope to mail the project onto the next person
  • instructions with pictures to make sure everyone understood the concept of the 1/4'' seam allowance!

To prepare the fabric for writing, I ironed freezer paper wrong side of my neutral fabric and then cut this into  4.5'' squares and 2.5 x 4.5'' rectangles.

I found these pens from Amazon (affiliate link) and tested them first by sending fabric through the washer a few times.   (I just love how my son even tested out different formats of his signature!)

No package went to mom's house - a sister who lives nearby was tasked with getting my dad's signature in secret.

It was so much fun to get back all the signed fabric!

Everybody did their job and promptly signed and mailed things along on time.  I was very proud - and I'll admit - a little surprised on how well everyone followed directions.

Designing the Quilt

While I waited for the signatures to return in the mail, I started playing more with possible designs in EQ7, looking for a design that used 80 geese, ten 4.5'' squares and 35 (2.5 x 4.5") rectangles.  EQ7 gave me the opportunity to try many different things, including the design below which I never finished.

Once all the signatures had been returned, I stared playing around on my design floor as well as EQ7

I was finally able to settle on my final design after yielding one of my original design parameters - I made more geese.  

With the number of geese restriction lifted, the fun began and I started creating many different design possibilities.  I never drew the final one in EQ7 but this one is close to where I ended up.

I'll share the final quilt on Friday and my special quilt label.

Several friends offered guidance, options and encouragement along the way.  Since Mom reads my blog, I had to keep the whole project secret.  Thanks Kris, Frances and Paige!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, July 10, 2017

Pillow exchange

I've belonged to my local Modern Quilt Guild for a year now and so very much enjoy the people, the challenges and our meetings.

We had a pillow exchange yesterday.  Assignments were handed out in secret.  I stalked my assignee a bit on Instagram and decided to focus on a pillow that used curves, orange (a dominant  color in her quilts) and use fabric from a favorite designer - Carolyn Friedlander.

I was so happy with what I came up with!

I quilted lines going every which way using my walking foot and had a blast.

I put a zipper in the back hidden by a flap of fabric.  (See tutorial.)

I managed to include a bit of the selvage in a place that will show if you lift up the zipper flap.  I really liked this bit!

The pillow form used was 2- x 20''.  Once quilted (photo below is before quilting), my pillow top measured roughly 19.5'' square.  The pillow form filled it out quite nicely.

Did I mention how much I loved doing the quilting?  It took awhile but I had music playing (Hamilton) and enjoyed every minute.

I created a tutorial on installing a zipper in a pillow back - check it out here!

I used this tutorial for making my templates and found this video on curved piecing quite useful.

I'll be linking up my pillow with  Freemotion by the River,   WIP Wednesday's,  Let's Bee SocialMidweek Makers.  Needle and Thread Thursdays, Finish it Up Friday and Finished or Not Friday.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Friday, July 7, 2017

Installing Zipper in Pillow Back (tutorial)

Recently I've made two pillows.  Since they are yet to be gifted, I can't share the front of either pillow.

But, I can share the lovely back of pillow #1 complete with zipper.

Here is a tutorial on how I installed a zipper into a pillow back of pillow #2.

My pillow form is 18 x 18'' and my quilted pillow front is 18'' square.

For the back, I took two pieces and lightly quilted - just some straight lines for some texture.   The top piece measures 8.5'' high (and has quilted lines running vertically).  The bottom piece measures 14.5'' high and has quilted lines running horizontally.  Both were 18'' wide.

(For a 20 x 20'' pillow, I'd probably start with pieces 10 x 20'' and 16 x 20''.  Trimming would be done in a later step.)

I've used fusible fleece on this pillows pieces.  The fleece will show up as white in the photos below.

On the top piece, I folded over and pressed roughly 1 3/4 '' to make the flap that will cover the zipper.

Using a zipper that was longer than the pillow width, I placed the zipper on the top piece with the zipper facing down and the right side of fabric facing up.  You can see my folded pressed crease in the photo.

Attach the zipper using the zipper foot on your machine.

Flip over and top-stitch.  I usually use my regular foot to do this instead of the zipper foot.

Go ahead and run a line of stitching along your folded crease at this point as well.

Now for the tricky bit. We are going to make the flap and get that zipper tucked inside.

Lay the piece right side down and fold over at your creased line.  Pin zipper carefully along top zipper tape - the one you haven't sewn on yet.  (The photo below shows a portion of a pin.)

Sew another line of stitches along zipper tape.  Your are sewing through the zipper, the flap, and the outside of the pillow.  Black dashed lines in photo show the stitching line.  You want to stay a constant distance from the folded part of the flap.

Admire your zipper flap!

Doesn't it look good in there?

Move zipper tab to middle of zipper and trim off zipper ends on both sides.   Be careful to keep that zipper tab away from the edges.  We'll secure it in another step.

Lay zipper face down on bottom of pillow back and pin zipper.   Your pillow should be right sides together at this point.  Attach zipper.

Switch to regular foot and top-stitch.

Run a line of stitching along each edge of pillow at the flap to secure zipper.

Trim pillow back to meet the dimensions of the pillow front.  Trimming gives you the opportunity to adjust where you want the zipper to sit on your pillow.

Making sure zipper is left open, place pillow front and back right sides together.   Sew around all edges and turn inside out with opening left in zipper.

Install pillow form.


I can't wait to show you the front of this pillow and the other one I made.  Both should be gifted next week.

Any questions?  Just leave a comment.

I'll be linking up my tutorial with  Freemotion by the River,   WIP Wednesday's,  Let's Bee SocialMidweek Makers.  Needle and Thread Thursdays, Finish it Up Friday and Finished or Not Friday.

Have a wonderful day! Patty