Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday Stash

Road Trip!  Today Friend Mary and I drove north to the annual Colorado Quilt Council's "Quilt-a-Fair" at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont.

Wow, what a day.  Nearly 200 gorgeous quilts, hung high in the exhibit building.  More than 90 vendors from as far away as California.  And perfect weather for a road trip -- best part, Mary drove!

Not to mention some serious stash enhancement.  My favorites, two kits from Material Girl Fabrics in Gand Island, Nebraska. I bought my very first Lotta Jansdotter, "Bella's Bird."

And I couldn't resist this yellow, grey and black number.  I stood behind a lady holding the last kit in the booth.  I promise I didn't say a word, but I silently intoned, "You don't like yellow.  You don't want that.  You don't like yellow."  She put it down, and I asked her if she really had decided against it -- the instant she said, "Yes," I grabbed it!

The Quilt Studio from Longmont featured several of Jenny Pedigo's "Quick Curve Ruler" quilts. (Go here to see the first quilt I made using Jenny's clever ruler.)   I bought one of her patterns and a new "Modern Quilt Relish" pattern, "Recipe Cards."  Both will show off my growing collection of modern fabrics.

Whistlepig Creek has a new graphic designer, and they also have a lot of new patterns.  They had this one made up in  Malka Dubrawsky's "A Stitch in Color" collection, which I just happen to have stashed.

I also bought two of their e-reader cover patterns and a great new diaper bag pattern that has an attached changing pad.

I had a fun chat with the girls from Legacy Patterns.  I love their patterns for fat quarter fun.  Big news:  their own fabric line from RJR will be out in early 2013!

Naturally, I had to visit the Sweetwater booth.  This is my first bit of "Mama said Sew!"  It's designated for more Christmas prezzie e-reader covers.

This was the deal of the day!  Can you see the price on this complete Vintage Modern fat quarter bundle?  $120 regular, on sale for $65.50!  A steal!

If you haven't commented on my giveaway post, go here for a chance to win!  Giveaway ends Monday at noon.

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Big Friday Finish

Tomorrow is the first day of Fall.  And just in time, I've finished my Summer Block a Day quilt.  DH graciously held it over the edge of our deck so I could photograph it -- it is too big to photograph on the design wall. Sorry, you can't see his blue suede running shoes in this photo!

Each season, Karen Snyder of Anna Lena Land hosts a "Block a Day" project.  Each day, followers make one block, and at the end of the season we have a finished quilt.  For Summer 2012, we made "string blocks."  Mine are 9" finished, sewn onto a muslin foundation. 

Here is the link to Karen's tutorial for making string blocks.  I made 90 blocks, so my quilt finished at 90" X 99" and I'm planning to quilt it with no batting.  It is heavy enough already!

Because it's Friday, I'm linking up to Thank Goodness it's Finally Finished Friday.


Remember to go to Thursday's post to enter the giveaway for my upcoming QAL.  We'll be making this quilt:

 The QAL begins October 1.

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

A Quilt a Long and a Giveaway

And now for something completely different!

Urged on by the comments on this post (it's all your fault, Shannon), 52 Quilts is hosting my first QAL!

Shannon said:

So here we go!  Before the QAL starts, I have a new copy of the pattern to giveaway to one lucky follower.  The pattern is even autographed by Eleanor Burns herself!

Here is my quilt:

It's easy to win:
  1. Be a follower of 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks
  2. Leave a comment on this post.  Tell me, have you ever made a quilt using an Eleanor Burns pattern?  Which one?
  3. If you're a "no reply commenter," be sure to leave contact information in your comment.  Use this method:  AuntMarti at 52quilts dot com to avoid spam.
Giveaway ends Monday, September 24 at noon MDT, so hurry!

The QAL will begin October 1.

Because I've never hosted a QAL, I'm linking up to TNT (Try Something New Thursday).

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Strip Club

I'm working on the sample for the November Strip Club quilt at High Country Quilts.

We'll be making "Classic Rendition 1 & 2" by Antler Quilt Designs.

This pattern is a two-for-one design. While making the pieces for the main block, you can also make the HSTs for a second quilt!

I just started on this last night, so I'm only to step 2.  The blocks are made with a unique method:  First, you sew a lot of  2 1/2" X 10" strips together with a partial seam.  (Only sew halfway down the long side.)

Then mark the background squares corner to corner, and again 1/2" away from that mark.

If you have a Quick Quarter tool, it is really easy to make both marks at one time, since the tool is 1/2" wide.

Stitch the background squares onto the sewn strips, then cut halfway between the marks.

 Press and you have completed Step 2 of this quilt.

The bonus block looks like this:

That's as far as I've sewn -- because it is WIP Wednesday!  Linking up!


Come back tomorrow when I announce the Braid In a Day Quilt Along!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday Tool

Quick Curve Ruler

Today's Tuesday Tool should convince you that sewing curves is easy.


This ruler was designed by Jenny Pedigo of Sew Kind of Wonderful.  I recently tested a quilt pattern. "Deco Tumbler," designed by Jenny's sister, Helen, of HGMR Deco Quilting.   

Many quilters may look at the quilt and say "Oh, I can't sew curves."  I'm here to tell you, you can, and without using any pins!

1.  First, cut your fabric to the dimensions named in the pattern.  In this case, I am cutting a fat quarter into rectangles 8 1/2" by 10".

Why do I have two rotary cutters?  Because if you can master cutting with either hand, you can cut without moving your fabric and you'll get a more precise cut.  The yellow cutter on the left is set up for cutting left-handed.  The pink one is for the right hand.  It will take some practice to learn to cut with either hand, but it is worth it, I promise.

2.  Once you've cut the rectangles, place the Quick Curve Ruler as directed and cut across the curve.  The ruler had a curved slot that guides your rotary cutter and makes cutting the curve, well -- quick!

I cut two layers of fabric at once in this example.  When I cut for a quilt, I usually cut six layers at once.  More, and the fabric shifts.  Less is just a waste of time.

Jenny has a tutorial on how to use  the Quick Curve Ruler at Scroll down the page and the tutorial links are on the left-hand side.

Now for the magic!  We're going to sew a curve without using a single pin!  

3.  First, place the convex curve on top of the concave curve.  (Remember, concave curve curves in.)

4.  Line the two pieces up so that just a 1/4" triangle of the concave piece extends beyond the corner of the convex piece.

5.  If your machine has a "needle down" setting, engage it.  Place both pieces of fabric under the presser foot with the needle down and in the "v" formed by the two pieces of fabric.


6.  Continue to sew across the block, stopping about every 1/2" to 1" to readjust the two pieces so the edges are flush.  As you approach the end of the seam, you may need to slightly stretch either the top or bottom piece so the end has a 1/4" triangle just like the one you started with.

See?  You will end up with the same tiny "dog-ear" as at the beginning.

7.  Press the seam toward either side.  I generally press toward the dark.  On my Deco Tumbler quilt, I pressed always toward the print so the blocks would nestle together.

See?  Nice, flat block and smooth seam!

Jenny has designed several quilts using the Quick Curve Ruler.  Click here to see them and order your own QCR.

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sew Modern Monday

Just a quick shot this morning at my "Sew Modern Monday" entry.

This is "Deco Tumbler," by Helen Robinson.  Helen is sister to Jenny of Sew Kind of Wonderful, and has recently launched her own blog, HBMR Deco Quilting.  Helen asked for volunteers to test-sew some of her patterns, and I got to test "Deco Tumbler."

Here is my flimsy:

The prints are "Bryant Park" from Anthology Fabric.  The background is Bahama Blue Kona Cotton.

Helen has already finished, quilted and blogged her Deco Tumbler -- here.  I guess I was too slow to "test" the pattern, but I really like it!

Come back tomorrow and I'll show you Jenny's Quick Curve ruler on Tuesday Tool!

Oh!  Look!  Sew Modern Monday is back.  Linking up!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday is for Scraps

Here is an oldie but goodie scrap project!  The split -patch can be made of any size squares and half-square triangles.  For my block, begun twelve years ago in 2000, I used 3" squares.

For each block, you will need:
  • (3) squares light fabric
  • (4) squares dark fabric
  • (2) half-square triangles (light and dark)

This is a "Leaders and Enders" project.  Go to Bonnie Hunter's blog to see how Leaders and Enders work. Basically, I sew together two squares or one half-square triangle at the end of every seam I sew on whatever is the current project.

It's easy to tell I started this quilt soon after I inherited my Mother's fabric stash.  Look at those classic 1980s calicos and tone-on-tone fabrics!  This was probably my very first "Scraps Users System"collection -- many years before blogs were popular.

I even calculated how many of each scrap I would need to make a twin-sized quilt.  Here are my numbers in case you decide to put your own scraps to use.

For a 65" X 95" quilt of 7" finished blocks, you will need 117 blocks.  That adds up to:
  • 462 dark squares
  • 351 light squares
  • 234 HSTs

By the way, I know I started this in 2000-2001 because this magazine from December 2000 was in the bin with the scraps:

I was inspired by this layout (the one in the magazine uses 2" squares and more darks and lights than my block):
Any Log Cabin quilt layout will work with the split 9-patch.  I'd love to see yours!

Linking up to:


From the desk of your auntmartisignature