Web Site: http://quiltaddictsanonymous.com/
Bio: I'm a social media marketing professional by day and a quilter by night.
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When I was a little girl my American Girl doll and I both had matching dresses. That outfit was my absolute favorite, mostly because with thick bangs and dark brown hair, the Samantha doll looked like a mini me.
So when I saw this pattern and fabric during a trip to Hancock Fabrics for cloth diaper supplies last spring, I knew I had to make a pair of matching dresses for my niece and her American Girl doll.
The dress was a labor of love. I pulled out all the professional finishing touches I know for garment sewing. I used French seams to conceal raw edges in the skirt, sewed the lining to the bodice by hand and used an invisible zipper with a hook and eye for the back closure.
Over the weekend I got a chance to see my niece and her doll modeling the matching outfits at a family gathering. Before the get together my niece insisted the doll sit next to her while eating lunch and that the doll be buckled in next to her in the car.
As seamstresses we always hope your handmade gifts are appreciated and it was so fun to see my niece truly enjoying her outfit. I have a few more patterns of dresses with matching doll clothes, and I can’t wait to make some for Angela someday to play dress up with. I just love sewing for little girls and their dolls.
Have any of you ventured outside of quilting to make fun outfits for the little girls and dolls in your life?
I’ve been sewing more garments since I had Angela and finishing seams is always a challenge. I don’t have a serger to bind off the edges and keep the fabric from fraying. But to be honest, even though serging is the fastest way to finish a seam, I don’t really like the look of serged seams. That’s the way pretty much every cheap store-bought garment is finished, and I prefer a more polished look.
I’ve been experimenting with French seams, seam binding and I even tried a Hong Kong finish. But I have just discovered what I think is my favorite seam finish, covering the raw edge with single fold bias tape.
I discovered the new method while making a sun hat for Angela. The pattern called for sewing a ribbon over the raw edges that connect the brim to the hat. I didn’t have a ribbon that was wide enough, but I did have single fold bias tape left over from another project.
The single fold bias tape is folded in thirds. I lined one fold up with the seam line and sewed along the fold through the seam line.
The I folded the single fold bias tape up to cover the raw edges of the seam line. Then I used a whip stitch to secure the folded edge to the lining of the hat.
Then the raw edges are completely covered so they won’t fray with wear and washing. Plus it looks a lot better than serged edges. This is going to be my go-to seam finish from now on.
When I teach quilting classes the biggest problem my students encounter is figuring out which fabrics will look best with their pattern. The difficulties range from picking a palette of busy prints with no neutral fabric, having trouble putting prints together when they don’t come in a neatly packaged fabric line, to just not being confident when it comes to putting fabrics together.
“The Quilter’s Palette: A Workbook of Color & Pattern Ideas & Effects” by Katy Denny can help solve all those problems and more. This book is much more than color theory for quilters. The book addresses combining patterns, texture and prints to create beautiful combinations in your blocks and quilts.
There are six chapters dedicated to creating pleasing palettes of colors that play nice together and create stunning quilts. There are full color pictures, and multiple block design examples in each color palette from pastels and neutrals, to rich colors and contrasting prints.
Each chapter includes a project to make from the color palette, plus there are 50 block patterns and templates. The patterns are a combination of modern and traditional blocks, and are a great way to see the color palettes on a large scale.
When you’re done reading this book, you will understand how to create fabric and color combinations that make stunning quilts. I’d definitely recommend adding it to your quilting library, and taking it with you the next time you go to the quilt shop to buy fabric for a new project.
Creative Publishing International provided a complimentary copy of “The Quilter’s Palette: A Workbook of Color & Pattern Ideas & Effects” for review.
Olfa is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the rotary cutter by making a Anniversary Commemorative Quilt that will be displayed at the International Quilt Market in Houston this October.
I was lucky enough to be asked to contribute a block for the quilt. The only requirements were that the block measure 6 1/2 inches square and included yellow in the design. The rest of the design was up to each quilter.
I can’t imaging quilting without this essential tool. But I especially can’t imagine paper piecing without the rotary cutter. So I designed a block that is an abstract version of the rotary cutter.
The block design contains a whopping 28 pieces. I know, I may have gone a little overboard when designing it. But I think it speaks to the why having a rotary cutter for quilting is so wonderful. After all, would you want to trace 28 templates and then cut each one out with scissors?
I’m offering this design as a free pattern download so you too can celebrate the 35th anniversary of the rotary cutter. If you make the block, the official hashtag for the anniversary celebration is #Olfa35. I’d love to see your finished blocks on Twitter and Instagram.
Just click here or on the photo below to get your free download.
It’s an art quilt book giveaway! Schiffer Publishing has provided three of its latest releases for a giveaway. To enter, comment below on which book you’d like to win and why by midnight on Thursday. I’ll draw three random winners on Friday. Good luck!
Dance is a rhythmic movement of the human body, a form of expression that allows one to creatively experience a wide range of emotions. In this new art quilt book, see how 60 artists rose to the challenge and created an 18 x 30 inch quilt that reflected the theme, “Dare to Dance: An Artist’s Interpretation of Joy.”
Shannon Gingrich Shirley
Quilters are always looking for a reason to buy more fabric or use up some of their stash while enjoying one of their favorite things to do, and what better way is there than to celebrate a special day by making a quilt. Broken down by the month, fifty-three artists from seven states share 72 original wall-hangings that were made to celebrate some of the lesser-known “holidays” throughout the year
Truly exquisite designs, intricate details, and brilliant color schemes come together in this new DIY book on decorating eggs. This age-old craft is given new life through gemlike color dyes and beeswax. Design a simple two-color pattern, such as a snowflake or a Mexican stamp. Go traditional with a Ukrainian egg. You can even “quilt” on your eggs with a patchwork or appliqué design.
And the winners are…
Kim won Decorating Eggs: Exquisite Designs with Wax & Dye by Jane Pollak.
Heather won Celebrate the Day with Quilts: An Art Quilt Challenge by Shannon Gingrich Shirley.
Sue won Dare to Dance: An Art Quilt Challenge by Mary Kerr.
This month we’re making quarter square triangles, also known as hour glass units, from squares. It’s a new block for this quilt, but the technique is very similar to making the double pinwheels from squares, which we did in May and July. If you can handle those blocks, then this month will be a piece of cake.
And while it took me all week just to make two blocks, that’s because I could only get about 15 minutes of sewing in a night between making dinner, feeding the baby and singing all manner of silly songs when she was fighting going down for the night. Ah, the life of a working mother.
As always, I’m making the quilt in two colorways, so you can see how making the fabric choices your own can completely change the look of the quilt.
Click here or on the picture below to go to Craftsy and download this month’s free pattern. Happy quilting!
I may have registered my maple leaf log cabin quilt for my guild’s quilt show in September. Which means I actually have to finish it.
The top has been done for a year, but I haven’t quilted it because it is too large for the frame on the longarm I rent time on. There is a larger frame, but I’m not used to the machine and I think I will have better luck on my home machine. I have quilted a queen sized quilt on my Babylock, but it was a bear. So I took Quilting Big Projects on a Small Machine with Anne Petersen on Craftsy so I could get some pointers.
In the class Anne Petersen demonstrates spray basting in a piece of fabric the size of a table topper. It looks easy. It’s not. This is the mega-sized, grab some knee pads and try not to swear like a sailor version.
Start with your favorite brand of spray baste. Use one that is acid free so it won’t damage your quilt. Go outside. This is critical. I once got myself a little fuzzy headed trying this indoors with a set of placemats. Lay your backing fabric wrong-size up and spray the backing fabric, following the spray baste instructions. Repeat with the batting.
Lay your backing fabric out on the floor with the wrong side facing up. Tape it to the floor using painters tape. You want the baking fabric to be smooth and taught, but not stretched.
In the Craftsy class, Ann Petersen recommends folding you batting in quarters and simply unfolding it in place. That sounds great in theory. But when you’ve just finished applying spray adhesive to a 120-inch square batting, it look more like this mess above than an neat little folded square.
So with the sticky side up, I matched up one corner of the batting with one corner of the backing fabric.
Then while crawling around on my hands and knees, I continued to smooth out the batting and line it up with the edge of the backing fabric along one entire side. When I finished one section, I just kept moving over until the entire batting was smoothed out and looked more like the picture below.
Now it’s time to repeat the process, just with the quit top. I started by arranging the quilting in the corner, this time about four inches in from the edge of the batting and backing fabric.
I recommend changing your pants at this point. You’ve been crawling around on your hands and knees on top of adhesive, so to prevent transferring it to you quilt top, now is a good time to switch your britches and wash your hands.
Then I roughly laid out the quilt top, getting one side in place first and then moving to the other side of the quilt. There is no adhesive on the quilt top, but it does stick to the backing fabric, so this step requires some maneuvering to get it smooth.
It’s not unlike playing with the giant circular pieces of fabric in grade school, where the kids hold their section and flip it to create colorful waves of fabric to watch and run under. Just this time your holding and flipping your quilt top to smooth it out.
Now it’s time to set the quilt top in place as square as possible. I started with the border and left two rows of the quilt and started lining everything up. I crawled around going from block to block, making sure the borders were straight and the quilt looked square and there were no wrinkles in the fabric. When I was satisfied with the placement, I patted it firmly in place against the adhesive. I just worked two blocks at a time so this process wouldn’t be too overwhelming.
Once you have your top in place, it is time to flip it over and heat set the back. At first it is going to look like this, a mess of wrinkles. You’ll want to smooth those out with the iron as you heat set it. Sometimes you can just smooth them out with your hand, other times you have to lift up the fabric and reposition it.
I recommend putting your iron on an extension cord for this step so you can move freely. I started with the center of my backing fabric and worked my way out to the sides smoothing out the fabric as I went. I was a little worried about what the heat from the iron would do to my floor, but I kept it moving and never left the iron in one spot for too long and everything was fine.
I never did get my backing fabric completely smooth, but this seemed good enough to me.
Now you have to flip the quilt back over and heat set the spray baste on the quilt top. Now because I was feeling particularly anal retentive when I did this, I pulled out a carpenter’s square and double checked that all my borders and every block was square before setting it in place with the iron.
When you’re done you can remove the tape from the backing fabric and begin quilting. I started with the borders, as recommended by Ann Petersen in the Craftsy class, then moved on to stitching in the ditch along the rows. Ann recommends started from the outside in, because your borders likely will never be as straight again as they are when you finish heat setting the top. That made sense to me, so I followed her instructions.
Good luck and I hope you’re not too sore the next day when you attempt this at home. I’ve only scratched the surface of what Ann Petersen covered in her Craftsy class. For more tips and tricks, click on the picture below and take it yourself.
I’m in love with quick baby knits. Often the sewing projects I work on are so involved and time consuming, that whipping up a cute baby sweater for Angela seems like a welcome break.
So earlier this month I stopped by by local yarn shop, Knit & Knot, to find yarn for a new project, Little Sister’s Dress by Tora Froseth Design. It’s available as a free download on Ravelry. The pattern is worked from the top down and is seamless. For those of you who don’t knit, those are two pattern elements that make the knitting very fast and easy. The yarn I chose is Heritage Silk Paints from Cascade Yarns. I love the changing colors as the pattern makes its way around.
I haven’t spent much time on the project, but I’m already nearly done with the yoke. From there the project will go quickly because it will just be a simple knit stitch until I get to the end.
I’m knitting it in the three to six month size, because that’s how big my little peanut should be in a month or so. Insert sad face here. She’s getting so big so fast. But that also gives me plenty of time to get the sweater dress done so she an wear it for a while before we move her up to an even bigger clothing size.
Any other quilters that double as knitters out there? What’s on your needles?
I have a few quilting rules, most of them regulate what I can and cannot attempt to sew after 10 p.m. Paper piecing is at the top of the do not attempt list. The results are similar to getting a Mogwai wet or feeding it after midnight. My sewing abilities turn into the quilting equivalent of a Gremlin. Destruction ensues in the form of wasted fabric and seam rippers. Oh the horrors.
Now I’ve got a new item to add to the do not attempt after 10 p.m. list … measuring borders. Seems like a simple enough task. Lay the quilt out, extend the tape measure, take the average and cut. Well that wasn’t the case last night. I was nearly finished adding the second solid border to the block of the month center medallion when I realized I cut the border a full inch too short.
Yes, a full inch, and it was only 10:22 p.m. Not even half-an-hour past my cut off time.
I promptly shut of the iron and my sewing machine and went to bed. I’ll try again today when my mind is fresh. Well as fresh as it can be after six or so hours of sleep, which isn’t so terrible considering I have a newborn.
Let’s face it. We love our quilts and hope those we give them to or inherit them after we’re gone, will cherish the quilts and always remember the occasion for which they were made. But we’ve all heard the horror stories of handmade quilts being sold at garage sales, or the tales of quilt appraisers giving a family the news that the family heirloom from the Civil War actually dates to the early 1900s.
Our quilts tell a story, but often that story is lost with the passage of time and generations. Shannon Ginchrich Shirley is on a mission to end that with her book “Let’s Get Creative with Quilt Labels.”
The book is half inspiration, half tutorials. The basic concept is this: You need to label your quilts, and the label should contain as much information about the quilt as possible. Now if you can make the label a beautiful extension of the quilt, that’s even better.
Gingrich Shirley goes beyond the standard name and year most of us are likely to put on our quit labels. She includes the provenance, a fancy term for the story of why and for whom the quilt was made.
The examples are endless. There are four chapters on basic, to circular, to specialty shaped labels, complete with a full color photo and description of why Gingrich Shirley chose that particular design and information to include on the label. This section gets a little long if you’re reading through it, but it works well as an inspiration gallery to flip through as you’re pondering how to label your next quilt.
The tutorial section is packed as well. There are complete instructions on how to incorporate orphan blocks, computer printed fabric and embroidery in your labels. There are tips for preparing the label to be attached to the quilt in a multitude of ways, including the pressed edge technique that probably most of us are used to, as well as using fusible web and interfacing for a clean look. Gingrich Shirley dedicates an entire chapter to using hand embroidery stitches to embellish labels, complete with clear, easy to follow diagrams on how to do the stitches.
“Let’s Get Creative with Quilt Labels” is a great book to add to your quilting library if you don’t want future generations to wonder just who the quilter was when the label just reads, “From Mom with love.”
Schiffer Publishing Ltd. provided a complimentary copy of “Let’s Get Creative with Quilt Labels” by Shannon Gingrich Shirley for this review.