I wanted to share with you one of my favorite projects I’ve been working on over the last few months. My “Star in a Star” Quilt started with an idea for using one of my favorite pattern-less quilt blocks to make a unique quilt. What if I took a star pattern an made one big star out of a lot of little stars? And what if I used only blue and white fabric? “Star in a Star” is what came from those two questions.
Since taking a machine quilting class last fall, I’ve been crazed over the idea of quilting all of my quilts on my machine. I was itching to try out a full-size quilt on my new Janome machine. And so I basted “Star in a Star” together and jumped in. I wanted to use some new thread I purchased, Auriful 100% Cotton Mako 40 in silver. I was hoping this would be a nice thread for machine quilting, and it was! Aurifil Mako 40 is a thin, yet strong, thread that runs smoothly through my machine. I did not have trouble with breaking or tangling. I will definitely be using this thread again in different colors.
I am always trying to challenge myself to be true to my own quilting, to design quilts that are uniquely my own. I am feeling really good about trying new things. I highly recommend that you try some new techniques, even if you know you’re not expert in them yet.
P.S. Aurifil sent me this thread to try. However, I only recommend products that I truly use myself and love. This Aurifil 100% Cotton Mako 40 is definitely one I recommend and will be using more in the future!
One of the first blocks I learned to recognize and name was the Bow Tie quilt block. This traditional block is easy to create and can look very different depending on the fabrics you choose. If I am making a quilt for a boy or man, the Bow Tie block is a great one to use. When done in traditional blues and browns, it has a masculine feel. However, you can do the same pattern in modern fabrics and give it a modern spin too.
Here are some variations of the Bow Tie quilt block for you to try. And some of these patterns are free!
I love going to quilt retreats! But I hate packing for them. It is not an easy task to decide on all of the items to take with me. I don’t want to get there and find out I have forgotten safety pins, or the color thread I need for the project I’m working on. I often am throwing in notions and tools last minute into bags to take with me, only later to find I have to fish around in all of the bags to find the one thing I’m looking for. That’s why when I saw the Tutto Tool/Embellishment Holder, I had to have it!
My daughter and I had a conversation this week about Geometry versus Algebra, which is better. She loved Algebra in high school and is now enjoying it in college. But in school, I loved Geometry. This should not have surprised me as I was already learning to quilt, and geometry plays such a large part in the construction of quilts. Something as simple as a triangle can turn into thousands of different patterns. This got me hunting for new and old quilt patterns that prominently use triangles. These are my favorites!
I am having a ball this year learning how to free motion quilt. I took one class, at my mother’s insistence. She thought I would like it. I thought I would not like it that much, but figured it was time to learn this technique.
Mom was right! I loved the class and am loving machine quilting my quilts. I am still a beginner and I know I have a lot of practicing to do before I get really good at it, but I love how fast it is, and how much creativity I can use in the freelance aspect of it. I also love the Zen-like state I am in when I’m working on a quilt. Time slips by without me noticing it!
One product that I’ve tried and JUST LOVE, is the Grip and Stitch Quilting Pads. These pads help me grip the quilt as I move it through the machine. Having an easy grip allows me to stitch more consistently. My stitch length is much more uniform when I use the Quilting Pads, because I’m not fighting the quilt, trying to get a grip. Instead, I’m easily guiding it through the design I’m working on, and my speed stays steady, which gives me uniform length stitches.
Valentines Day is such a cheery holiday, it got me in the mood for cheerful heart quilt projects. I’ve found 10 great patterns to make quilts, table toppers, and more. These are some great projects to give to your sweethearts, or make for yourself!
This is a product I almost missed. It looks just like an old product that I had but didn’t like. Now it’s improved and much better! The Ultimate Quilt Pounce Pad used to be messy and would disappear easily. Now it is not nearly as messy, and it adheres to the quilt much better. But the best part is the added feature that it Irons Off!!!
Fulllinstencil.com also carries a huge selection of stencils. These are not your grandmother’s stencils. They are flexible and easily portable. You can even iron them without melting them! You’ll want to check out their website and see for yourself the hundreds of designs you have to choose from.
P.S. Hancy and Fullinestencil gave me these products to try. But I only recommend the product that Iike and use myself. These tools has a spot in my quilters tool box for sure!
I’ve always been drawn to pinwheel quilts. The block is so simple yet can be so beautiful. This is one of those blocks that, depending on the fabrics you choose, can give you dozens of different looks for your quilt. It can easily be made by a beginner and yet can be incorporated into a sophisticated pattern by more experienced quilters. Here are just a few patterns that show you how really different this quilt can look depending on the setting and fabrics.
This weekend I was sewing up a storm. I finished the binding on two quilts, finished one top and started a second. I was pulling fabrics out, deciding which to use, and stuffing the others back in the cupboard to take care of later. Problem is, I often don’t want to take a lot of time to refold all of the fabrics I’ve strewed around so my sewing room ends up looking like it was struck by a tornado! So this was a good week to try my new Fabric Organizers by Polar Notions.
I am so pleased with how easy they were to use and how nice they look! I’m not a fussy person, so the thought of carefully refolding fabric doesn’t seem appealing to me. But Polar Notions sent me these Fabric Organizers to try, and so I gave them a try. To my surprise, they were not fussy to use. And I’m able to use both the full size for yardage, and the small size for fat quarters and anything smaller than a yard. When I see how nice they keep my fabric, I’m willing to spend a little time putting fabric on a bolt.
My sewing room is now going to look like a mini quilt shop with all those bolts. And who doesn’t love quilt shops!
We are really in the thick of winter now! Here in Michigan, we are getting hit pretty badly with cold weather and snow, snow, snow. This got me thinking about snowflakes and warm quilts. We’ve found 10 great snowflake quilts, mug rugs, and wall hangings for you to work as you stay inside with some warm cocoa. And some of them are free!