Sunday, November 29, 2009

Winner of Pattern GiveAway

I hope you have been busy with Thanksgiving and perhaps some Christmas shopping. Or did you spend the weekend cutting and stitching hand-made gifts?

I looked through all the past blogs and found all your comments for the Pattern Give-Away. I put your names in a hat and asked my husband to pick out one. "What am I doing and why am I doing this?"

And the winner is Laura K from WI (I will email you for your address.) Thank all of you for your comments, I enjoyed all of them. Continue stitching and checking my blog for further give-aways.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

As you work on your Thanksgiving pies today, give thanks for your family and friends. We have lives filled with golden opportunities, may we all make the best of them.

Reflect and enjoy the day!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oil Up Your Serger

As you are reading this, are you searching through your memory trying to remember where it was that you last saw your serger?

Because I want to make more use of mine, I decided to see all the capabilities that it had for quilting. I found that my serger loved the decorative threads that my sewing machine would rather not know existed. In this small project "Spinning Pinwheels", two decorative threads are used to make the three dimensional pinwheels. Because the stitching is done with the most basic serger stitch, the overlock stitch, this couldn't be easier.

Unearth your serger, oil it up and give it a go to make a fabulous serged quilt.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Review of Serge and Merge Quilts

After writing a new book, it's always exciting and nerve-wracking to see how it is received by others. My newest book, Serge and Merge Quilts, came out this past summer. It was fun to read the review of my book in Mark Lipinski's magazine "Quilter's Home", January 2010 issue.

Yes, Mark, I agree that if you don't have a serger this book is not for you. So many of quilters have spent the money and own sergers, I wanted to show them a few of the exciting possibilities of using their serger to create quilts.

Are you a quilter who owns a serger? Have you tried using your serger as a complement to your sewing machine as you quilt on your merry way?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pattern Give-away

This is the last week for the pattern give-away. Just post a comment about scrap quilting to be entered in the give-away. I'll be waiting to hear from you.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What is your plan for the day? Today will be another multi-quilting day for me. I am beading on an art quilt, hand quilting a wall hanging and assembling a quilted bag. (I can't show pictures, one might be for you!) I love having several projects going at the same time. When I stumble on one, or my eyes give out, I can switch to another with renewed enthusiasm.

Are you a multi-quilter or do you stick with one plan until you're done? Bravo to you, if you can go start to finish without looking at another project!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Collaboration Quilts

Off the subject of scrap quilts -- or is it??

Have you ever worked on a quilt with another quilt artist? My good friend, quilting teacher Chris Lynn Kirsch, and I have worked on several quilts together. We've found it to be a very rewarding experience and pushed us past what we could have accomplished alone. This quilt "Goyne Round in Circles" is now traveling with the New Quilts from an Old Favorite contest sponsored by the National Quilt Museum (AQS) in Paducah, KY.

Because we live several hours apart, Chris and I sent the quilt back and forth as it progressed. Chris created the center based on the traditional block - Burgoyne Surrounded. I loved the use of circles and the fabulous hand-dyed background. I added the border using multiple fabrics in blue and yellow/orange. Mmmm, this brings to mind 'scraps', doesn't it? Just can't get away from them and the punch they bring to a quilt.

We both shared in the machine quilting and were so pleased with the results. If you have not tried working with another quilter, I definitely recommend it. Not only will you be stretched to try new ideas but you will be blessed with a wonderful friendship.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What a glorious morning! With the sun streaming into my house, I walk into the room and see, oh no, how terribly spotty my windows are. How could they be? I just washed them. I understand the line of doggy nose prints at the bottom, obviously Shadow can only keep track of my every move by pressing his nose tightly against the glass. But where did all the rest of those speckles and streaks come from? UGH!!

Will I be strong enough? Will I have the courage? Will I be able to break the hold? Will I make it to my studio before the guilt takes over and I am forced to clean before I sew? I scratch and claw and make it. Now if I stay here all morning, the sun will no longer be highlighting my east windows and I will be safe for another day.

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More uses for scraps

Do you still have a few fabrics in your scrap bag? Pieces as small as 4" squares are ideal for making half square triangles for use in quilts such as "Swallow Finale".

You will need one background 4" square and one colored 4" square. Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the wrong side of the background square. With right sides together, match the background square with the colored square. Stitch two 1/4" seams, one of each side of the drawn line. Cut on the line and open to reveal your two half square triangle blocks. Press seam allowance toward the darker fabric. Trim to 3-1/2" x 3-1/2".

You can order your own "Swallow Finale" pattern for $5.00. Just say, you saw it on my blog. (Info for ordering patterns on my website --

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

More ideas for using scraps

I have found that I use scraps if I go through and trim them to more usable sizes.

When I was looking for a backing for my "G.P.S." wall hanging, I gathered all my red and green scraps left over from this project as well as others. I cut and stitched them into four patches. I combined small four patches into 16 patches, and joined them with larger four patches and solid blocks for my quilt back.

Four patches are very usable because they are easy to make. If you find the size needs adjusting for a project, they can be easily trimmed to the required size by trimming equally off all four sides.

Now I've found that I like the back of my quilt as much as the front.
And I've used a multitude of my scraps.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Free Patttern Giveaway

Log cabin "freedom" blocks can be combined with other blocks as we see in this quilt called "Izburndaurite, Goddess of Too Much Fun in the Sun". It's an easy fit because your blocks can be cut to any size. Measure your surrounding blocks and trim your log cabin blocks to the perfect measurement. No more stretching or easing to make them match.

Post a 'log cabin scrap quilt' comment before the end of November and you may be selected to win a free "Izburndaurite" pattern.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Freedom Quilt using scrap strips

The Freedom Quilt is made log cabin blocks busy tilting and turning all over the surface.
What a glorious way to use up those extra fabric strips leaving you free of the guilt of not using your fabric to the max. This quilt and others using "freedom" log cabin blocks can be found in my book "Log Cabin Quilts with Attitude". (Available on my website

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Nicholas' Quilt

Here is a quilt that I made for my grandson. The animals were embroidered by my mother and made exciting centers for the log cabin blocks. Tilting the blocks give them the freedom to add fun to an otherwise common quilt layout.

It was a joy to combine talents with my mother to pass on a memory quilt that "Grandma and Great-Grandma" hope will be treasured for many years to come.

Yes, another fabulous way to use our scraps. And just in time, there is a fabric sale going on.....

Friday, November 6, 2009

Assemble blocks

Now you are ready to assemble a quilt top with your tilting log cabin blocks. Lay out rows alternating a marked block and an unmarked block. The first block will tilt one way, the second block will tilt the other way, etc. (If all the blocks tilt the same way, your quilt will look like it is falling over.)

Seam the blocks into rows. I like to seam my rows vertically as it seems to provide more design options. Seam the rows together into a zany, fun loving quilt top. This is a wonderful way to make good use of your extra strips. A multitude of pattern options using these scrap-eating blocks can be found in my book, "Log Cabin Quilts with Attitude".

This design option makes a lovely scrap quilt, but come back to see the possibilities.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Trimming your scrappy Log Cabins

Today you will take the log cabin blocks that you made and trim them to a consistent size so they can be combined in a quilt top. For a bed size quilt, a 9" block works well so you will trim the blocks to 9-1/2". Here is where the fun truly begins.

Use a 9-1/2" square ruler or mark a larger ruler to that size. Lay the ruler on your first log cabin block, tilting it as much as possible but still keeping it entirely on the block. Trim off the edges on all four sides. Trim half of your blocks with the ruler tilted in this direction. (Because some of your blocks are larger than others, you will be able to tilt the ruler more. This is good because your blocks will have more attitude.)

Using the second half of your blocks, tilt the ruler in the opposite direction and trim. Again, on some of the blocks you will be able to tilt your rule at more of an angle than others. That's great because each block then adds its own special interest. Mark each blocks in this pile with a pin or a piece of tape so you can easily and quickly tell them from the blocks in your first pile.

Don't your blocks look so much more fun now that they are trimmed?

Come back soon to see how to put your blocks together into a quilt top.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Scrap Strips

Today, we'll delve into the pile of scraps that is overwhelming you.

We'll start with the strips that were left over from another projects. Pick out your strips and put them in a paper bag or box. See that pile of scraps getting smaller.

Wasn't it fun to remember what you made out of those fabrics? Wouldn't it be fun to use those scrap strips? But who wants the bother of resizing them for a new project, I sure didn't.

So here's the plan. Sew those strips into log cabin blocks. Use any widths, use any colors. Start with squares, rectangles or pieced bits such as half square triangles. Have fun pulling strips out of your bag and stitching them on. Since we are headed for a bed size scrap quilt, continue adding strips until your log cabin blocks are approximately 10-1/2" to 12" in size. Your blocks probably won't be the same size or shape, after all your strips are all different widths. That's o.k.

Come back tomorrow to see how to transform these mundane blocks into their jazzy, fun-loving counterparts.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Overwhelmed with scraps?

Have your scraps taken over your world? Are they crawling out from the corners? Are they tangling around your ankles as you try to move? Are they poised on the upper shelf ready to attack you when you least expect it?

No, this isn't a leftover Halloween horror story. But this may be the reality of your quilting world. In the next few days, I will be giving you suggestions for taming your scrap overload and getting control over your quilting studio.

Come back soon.
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