Friday, October 25, 2013

pincushion kiss tutorial




I haven't been sewing a lot for a couple of reasons, not the leash of which was some pain in my arms caused by part sewing, part electronics. I was given the opportunity by accuquilt to try a new die and I decided it would be nice to have another odd-angled die in my collection. These are my favorite projects to do, but they are the hardest on my arms because of the cutting angles involved.

I chose the Triangle in Square die because it is teeming with potential and has a shape I really don't want to cut by hand. That is NOT an equilateral triangle. It DOES have dog ears. This is probably not the best die for someone looking to make raw edged banners, but as someone who uses this for quilting, that is a huge plus. For this tutorial I only used the triangle portion

I'm also really interested in the side pieces by themselves and using the die as intended.  It seems like a great value since each element is pretty large and can be used in a lot of combinations.

I took some crumb blocks that I had made with my best friend on our last visit.  These are her fabric scraps and I wanted to make a pincushion for her sewing area since she has bought a new house.  I cut 4 triangles with the die.  I actually took my "waste" and kept sewing back together.  That's the great part about crumb blocks...there really is no waste!  I also cut 1 4.5" square from a coordinating piece of scrap fabric from my stash.

I sewed the triangles in pairs first...narrow angle at the top.  Remember to stop your seam 1/4" from the bottom edge.  These will become y seams.  Don't worry...you got this.


Now you will put the 2 halves RSF, narrow side at the top.  Sew one side from the top to 1/4" away from the bottom.  On the second side, start at the top and sew an inch, then backstich.  Pick up your needle and skip about 2", then continue sewing until 1/4" from the bottom of that side.  If you look at the picture, you will see my fingers poking through the hole in the seam.  We will use this hole for turning our pincushion inside out and stuffing it.  You want the hole closer to the top than the side so your filling doesn't leak everywhere through a hand sewn seam.


At this point, I trimmed the excess from the top of my "pyramid" shape (geometry teacher rolling in the grave at me calling a 4 triangles over a square a pyramid).  I want my tip nice and pointy-ish.

 Now I'm no expert at explaining y seams, but I have done an entire quilt of them and it really isn't hard once you figure it out.  Above I am showing you a picture of the bottom once you're done.  Notice the thread stops 1/4" shy of every single edge. 

An angle from the top side...Line up your edges RSF (they will fit) but only sew 1/4" from the edge here, too.  Make sure you take a couple stitches THEN backstitch a couple stitches to reinforce here.  Think of a y seam as a regular seam, but just pretend you unpicked all the stitches past the point where the seams intersect.  Well, with a y seam you just never make those stitches to unpick later.


Now turn this puppy inside out and begin a ladder stitch to close the opening.  Leave yourself enough room for your funnel.


Fill your cushion with crushed walnut shells (or whatever you like...but the walnut shells supposedly help sharpen your pins).  This can get messy, so be sure to do it over a bowl or something.

 Now finish that ladder stitch and cinch it up tight!.


Now you have a really cute pincushion (about 4" square on the bottom) that reminds you of your awesome projects from the past.  Or your completely awesome best friend.  I think this would be really cute with some measuring tape themed twill tape hanging out of the top...just like a hershey's kiss. 

As for those other elements...

I'd love to use the side triangles together to make a half square rectangle.  Wouldn't that make a very cool elongated zigzag?

The triangles are not equilateral, but I'd love to figure out the angle and see if I can make octagonal blocks...or a very pointy tumbler quilt!

Any ideas for how you would use this set?

Friday, October 18, 2013

blog fatique

Looking on my post history, I seem to be cranking out blog posts at the whopping rate of one a quarter. I just haven't been interested in writing or reading blogs lately. So much felt so forced (buy this! try this! how yummy!) or repetitive (pot stirring, dramatic diatribes, navel gazing).  I do really enjoy the virtual scrapbook of my quilts, so I will probably continue to post many of my finishes, though they will probably be few and far between.  I would rather make a few really detailed quilts, I think. Sorry if this fell into the aforementioned "dramatic diatribe" category. 


 I have been working on this pattern for the bake shop since this past spring.  I feel completely irresponsible, but I really let this one intimidate me.  I hope I can get the tutorial up before the fabric goes on clearance! 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

summertime blues.

Summer.

My old enemy.

I have been plugging along trying to get through the summer.  With 3 kids home all day, a new puppy for my husband (that of course *I* get to potty train during the day), and the blazing heat/humidity of south Texas, I felt very overwhelmed.  Zero energy.  Zero sewing.  And that's ok.  HOW do people do it?




 My last project was this lattice quilts made of scraps and a $2/yard solid I got when the quilt shop closed.  I didn't even take a finished picture, that's how rushed I was!


  I also taught a beginner quilting class to a group of ladies at my church (5 total, 3 pictured) along with the help of a dear friend/fellow quilter.  They were great and I looked forward to seeing them every week.  I am considering a 2nd class but if we have new people come I don't want to start from scratch.  Ideas welcome.




My sister flew in and transformed into Auntie McPhee and made my kids pick up after themselves and generally helped me get back on track.  It was good for my soul, and so I have been able to work on a baby quilt some.  Hopefully I can share that next time with you all, whenever that is!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Finish: Seamstress Stars

I feel I am always apologizing for bad pictures. My sisters visited me this weekend and since the quilt was made for one of them, it went home. I had planned on taking some pics while we were at a strawberry patch, but we never made it there due to extenuating circumstances. I'm sharing what pictures I do have.

This quilt reminded me of my mama the whole way through.  It was probably the reason I lingered just a little longer.  I raided the scrap bins for fabric that was big enough to go through my accuquilt diamond die.  I used my $2/yard Benartex houndstooth for the background and I decided to add a border only to the top and bottom.  It just felt right to me for some reason.  I bound the quilt in the same lime green I used as my stop borders.  The triangles for the background were cut from a paper template I made.  That was definitely the scariest part!





 I didn't really plan on a color scheme, but I've noticed I use a lot of the same colors over and over, so I think everything worked out ok.  It's mostly American Jane stuff with Denyse Schmidt here and solids there.  It reminds me of the quilts of a real seamstress...someone who everything for her family- not just a quilter who buys coordinated fabrics.  I like that look.


 I added a hand pieced mini version of the block for a label.  I put that it was by me, for my sis, in honor of my mom.  This sister has the rattiest scrap quilt on her bed.  Batting is literally falling out right now.  I knew she would not only appreciate it, but might need it, as well.  She has another quilt by me with lots of white in it, but she has a dog and is afraid to put the quilt out because of the white fabric and the dog.  I hope this one will make her feel a little more at ease.





I got a sweet new fridge, too.  It's not magnetic which, if I'm being honest, is a total blessing.  I keep their art and they can still use the fridge in the garage.  I just don't have 50 pieces of art to manouever to open the doors or constantly pick off the floor. 

I have another scrap quilt in the works.  I cut everything into half square triangles with my accuquilt (no, not getting paid for this...just loving the convenience) and the rest I put away for another crumby stars quilt.  Lots of scrappiness coming to the blog!  It's kind of addictive.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Drugs are bad, y'all.


I was digging through my camera from February and saw this little gem I just had to share...it's a project my twins did for President's Day.

  I was so glad to have two kids in the class, because for a minute there I was freaking out.   They had to copy a little mini bio from a sheet the teacher had given them.  I read the one on the right first and my eyes bugged out when I saw that George Washington apparently liked mEth.  My brain was racing...did they even have meth back then?  I don't remember hearing about this when we toured his house...  I ran for the other twins backpack and found that George Washington actually just loved MATH...huge relief, guys!  Please notice that the meth free George Washington looks loads happier with his choices in life.  Further proof drugs are bad!

I have a finish to post about soon, but I couldn't resist sharing a little glimpse into what keeps our household lively.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Peter..not the cottontail variety

I have been enjoying reading the Bible passages about the Resurrection this week. We should think about it all year long but the flesh is weak so it's nice to have the reminder on the calendar to think about Jesus, his love for us, and his sacrifice...and of course his victory over sin & death! Every time I read the scripture about the crucifixion and resurrection I come away with something new. It's just so rich and filled with goodness.

 This year, I thought a lot about Peter. You know...St. Peter? Peter said that Jesus was son of the living God and Jesus said the church would be built on that kind of faith (Matthew 16:17).

But ya know what...Peter wasn't perfect!

He fell asleep on Jesus when Jesus said he needed him the most (Matthew 26:40).

He denied even knowing Jesus three times (John 18:15-27).

His faith shook even as he walked on water toward him (Matthew 14:31).

And yet this is the Peter who Jesus loved dearly and even gave the keys to the kingdom of Heaven to! (Matthew 16:19). This is the same Peter who went on to tell many others about Jesus and even perform miracles in the name of God (Acts 9:6-43). God used imperfect Peter to do so many wonderful things.

I know that just like Peter, I screw up. I make mistakes. I have moments of weakness. Heck, I had one even this morning within 10 minutes of getting out of church. My comfort is knowing that just like Peter, God can love me if I'm imperfect. He can use me to do His will even in my weakness and imperfection.  You know what else... I don't have to be perfect to be FORGIVEN. I just need faith in the One who was.

 Happy Easter to you all!

Monday, March 18, 2013

making the move...



After google dumped piknik, I've been a little lost with photo editing.   I decided with Google Reader shutting down, I would just go ahead and make the move to another feed reader before crunch time.  I chose bloglovin.

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Just click the link if you would like to follow The Tulip Patch on BlogLovin'...and if you sign up for an account they have a very easy way to import your entire google reader.  I really like the setup..much easier to follow and unfollow.  Give it a try...I think you'll like it!



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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Finish & some thoughts..

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I have finished with this quilt for a while but the sunlight has been pretty terrible and I wanted to get gorgeous pictures. We went to a beautiful park this morning and I brought the quilt and camera along, but 3 hours later and my tiny walnut sized bladder struck before I ever took the first picture...backyard pics will have to do!

 I added my scottie block on the corner.  I have yet to make his yoyo collar, but I do plan on it.  My middle son picked out the fabrics for the scottie, so this is his quilt.  It's between twin and full size.

 Here is a wide shot.  I really love the black cornerstones.  I've never been a huge fan of sashings or cornerstones, but I really think these help sell the crochet look. 
 I quilted leafy vines in the sashings, loops in the white areas of the block, and a spiral flower in the granny square itself.  I was very happy with the quilting except for the spiral flowers.  They are not that visible so really the texture is most important on those...and they do deliver on that front.


 All American Jane fabrics from my stash or from Cindy's scrap bin.

 Here is my scottie inspiration.  He's really funny because he thinks a quilt in any stage of production is a dog bed.  I have a quilted pillow cover that he will literally fight me for.    We found out he is deathly allergic to chicken (he's like those peanut allergy kids who can't eat anything in a place that processes nuts).  We have found he does great on a prescription venison food from the vet that does not share equipment with chicken.  I really hoped to get another vacuum cleaner dog, but it was not meant to be.  Luckily for me, the kids panic if food gets on the floor because it could make the dog very sick, so the floor is getting clean (ish) just the same!  He is kind of shaggy right now.  I'm letting him keep a little extra fur til the good weather is here to stay.

 I really love this quilt and I am thankful to Lori Holt for the inspiration.
 I backed in this awesome American Jane fabric ($2.99/yard HOLLA!!).  This is the AJ fabric that was inspired by a piece of vintage fabric that fellow blogger Amy Smart gave Sandy Klop.  I have since shamelessly begged Sandy Klop for scottie dog fabric, so FINGERS CROSSED!  I have zero connections or pull, but I think she might think I'm unhinged with my AJ obsession so she might oblige me.  I can't help it...it is just so sweet and timeless.  I look at some of the designer fabric that is newer than some of these prints and it already looks dated.  Just my opinion...I'm not a fan of the very trendy.

Speaking of trendy...

I have read some blog posts about QuiltCon that, while not surprising, are disappointing.

Modern...traditional...art...who needs the labels?  In my mind, the labels we have in the quilting community have are less about defining who we are than who we AREN'T.   Why must we even define it?  Because...the world loves a box.  To me, saying you are a "modern quilter" is a roundabout way of saying "I quilt...but don't confuse me with a grandma doing a sampler in civil war repros."  Saying you are a "traditional quilter" kind of says "I do quilting the way it was meant to be done...not like those unconventional hipsters with their freeform piecing.  I just don't get having to identify your style of quilting to others.  It's divisive and it just hems us in.    I've made all kinds of quilts and even been a winner of a modern quilt guild challenge...yet I also enjoyed making this traditional great granny quilt tremendously! 

I leave you with an very traditional quilt.  A woman made this from 1/2" hexies during her daughter's nap time and it was hanging at IQF.  It was impeccably made.  It brought me to tears...literally.


If we pour that kind of craftsmanship and soul into something, that it moves a complete stranger to tears, that's the best kind of art...no matter the style.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Australian awesome...or just too much?

 Australian awesome... you know what I am talking about, right?  I'm talking about those awesome quilts that are busy & full of unexpected choices that just somehow work.  The kind of quilts you could stare at for hours. 

 The kind of quilts like you see in...

or

or even in blogland
www.redpepperquilts.com

www.quiltjane.blogspot.com
I don't know why, but these quilts seem not to have the problem I have, which is OVER editing.  You aren't going to find embellishements or funky borders or daring fabric choices in my quilts.  I think I make some nice quilts, but I would love to have that little oomph to make WOW! quilts.  I am trying to get brave.

Having said that, I found a bolt of houndstooth fabric in a shop closing for $2.50 a yard.  I bought the entire bolt.  I also got the white fabric for $3.99/yard there.  I was really just auditioning the idea of a black print and the houndstooth is all I had on hand that was a large hunk of fabric still. 



So here is where I need your help...I am really digging the houndstooth background!  I texted a pic to two friends who quilt, and the reviews were mixed.  Solid black is out, by the way...it is way too stark and overpowering.  Do I find another black print, use the houndstooth, or go with my normal safe choice of an off white?

 
 I am also branching out a little bit in fabric choices.  I got this big piece of fabric (which is really NOT 54", but is regular width) and I am not really sure what it is.  I did a flame test and the best I can come up with is linen or mercerized cotton.  I paid $2 for 4.5 yards.  I just LOVE the feel.  I also burned the individual fibers and they seem to be natural.  I think this is linen.  Thanks to Dora at Dora Quilts for the fabric test advice...she is an avid charity quilter so I knew she had come across some mystery fiber and would know what to do.

 

I am thinking of pairing it with these shot cottons (and maybe more) to make a quilt version of the sewing machine cover from Fresh Quilting by Malka Dubrawsky:
I hope to hear some opinions from you guys!  I'm trying to branch out but I wouldn't mind a little hand holding and direction!

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