Friday, May 31, 2013

Patchwork Friends is a GO!

Come join me as we quilt a project.. you pick your project and join "Patchwork Friends" to share your progress as we move along... it will be step by step for those that need it and independent and show off your work for those that already quilt!

Go here for the facebook group Patchwork Friends and request to join!

We will be starting officially around June 1 but you can start anytime you are ready... just share your design in the comment of this blog post for now... letting us know you are ready to quilt!  Also are you hand or machine piecing... what colors are you looking at...  you can describe it all!  This will be so fun!!!

So here is an example...
I go by Kathi and I am making a quilt for my bff... it is bright sunshiny colors on white background with a batik backing fabric when I get to that point.  The design will be pinwheels and a small border to make it about 68" x 72" when finished.  So far I have all the supplies I need for this project and am anxious to start designing the squares and the quilt top itself. 

See!  Easy... so take some time and plan it out... this will remain at the top of my blog until you join my "Patchwork Friends" facebook group!

Thanks for reading... hope you decide to participate!  Kathi

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I am soooo blessed :)

As May ends and 5 years ago so much tragedy hit our family I want to recall all that I now have to be blessed with.
Know what those purple flowers are???

I have 4 great kids :)

DL helps when I do vids and is my go to person for all things technical, historic or trivia like.
James lives in Tennesse with his beautiful wife and has an aspiring medical career and calls once a week just to check on me :)
Mike is about to graduate from high school.
Brandi is my only girl and the baby of the family... although at almost 15 she is NO BABY! lol
Love all my kids :)
starting to mature a bit now...

I have 4 great friends plus one awesome honey :)

Pam has been my friend the longest and even though our friendship started out close by to each other most of our friendship has evolved long distance and we know each other so well... She is a little older than me and her wise advice is coveted on a regular!
Brandy I met while working as a charge nurse in a large pediatric critical care where I trained her to our practices there.  She went on to be a shooting star in her field and is now a stay at home mom so we get more time to chat!  Love that :)
Connie I also met at work but only got close to over the last couple years as I have begun quilting our friendship grew and we are now very close :)  We have similar family situations and even though she is a grandma and I am not yet we find PLENTY to chat about :)
Joyce lives the furthest from me being in California... we met online and have yet to meet in person but we chat on Skype and on the phone and via email... we enjoy papercrafting together and sharing about our families.  Joyce is quite a bit older than me and has lots of great advice from her years of mothering to help me with the teenage angst I face with my son :)

My closest and most precious though is the friendship I have with my honey.  He loves me even when I fail at something.. he makes me laugh when I am sad and he listens to how I say something not just what I say.  He knows me better than I do myself sometimes.  Thanks honey!  You rock my world!
see the nectar leaking out???

I am blessed... now I will get back to quilting... heading to 3/8 done on these pinwheels I am quilting ... baby steps gets it done with hand quilting :)
So relaxing... today we are gonna go to the beach and I will quilt and my honey will read... will we like that???  Something new to ponder :)

Take care and God bless you!

Hope you find something or someone (as I have) to be grateful for in your life :)


P. S. My honey is sacked out on the bed still reading and I am still quilting... just back home now... the beach is windy but a great place to get a lot of quilting done quickly we found :)

Monday, May 27, 2013

My latest obsession :)

I have watched all the "Quilty" episodes up til current so I have been searching for more vids to watch on quilting to help me become more creative and find my own voice in this craft.  I have found this lady who calls herself the Gourmet Quilter :)  Check out this vid on how to make mug rugs... about 4 1/2" square and super cute!  The vid is about 8 minutes just so you know :)

So that is my latest obsession!  What is yours ???  Here's my progress on Pam's quilt thus far...

I have 6 pinwheels completely quilted :D  Here is a close up of the quilting I am doing on one :)

Are you ready to quilt???  I am excited to see what creativity lies within you that hasn't been unleashed in quilting whether you quilt a lot or a little or never before :)

My daughter has been stippling a lot... color and black stipples and she is really doing quality stuff :)

My sons don't express their creativity as much in artistic ways.  More in how they cope with the day to day I would say.

Did your friends or kids learn from you... did you learn from someone???

Okay now for a quick tip.  Handquilting is hard on your fingers... so simply cut a circle about 3/4" around from electrical tape to cover your damaged fingertips... still have the same "feeling" but protects your skin from needle pokes and slips.  :)

Congrats... you made it to the end... enjoy a view of the intercoastal and the little town I live in called Port Orange :)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A quilting I will go!

The quilt top and back were waiting to be sandwiched....
And I was giddy with all that I accomplished in such a short period of time :)
I just started cutting this quilt out May 16!!!  So 10 days to go from this...
to this...
This is my 5th quilted project... first I made a pillow top.  But this is the first one I pieced on my own when points needed to match and such so it really mattered more... and no... all my points don't match but it is a wonderful quilt top :)
Isn't the clothes line delightful for displaying the quilt top!  I want my honey to install one on our fence :)  It makes it look like stained glass like this though :)

So I figured with all the time and zeal for this quilting thing I have why not open a fb page for those interested but intimidated by quilting and a place experienced quilters could go to share ideas and Yahoo moments ... or find a shoulder to cry on like I did the other day when I sewed a seam wrong... for a long way!!! lol  I can laugh now but I was crying then!  So come visit me at Patchwork Friends here!

Patchwork Friends was created as an invite or request only so it is closed and not everyone will want our quilt chatter on their newsfeed... not to have anything rude or risque involved... just quilty friends looking for others to chat with in a safe environment.

I had my quilting friend Denise embroider my name and the year on this quilt... it is for my very best friend of over 20 years :)  Pamela actually chose the design and the fabrics with my guidance... but she is artsy so not much really :)
Denise is embroidering my signature on the quilt top :)

Didn't that turn out nice???

I weeded all the strings and stabilizer off... I had already practiced on other things first... tip here is not to use the point of your scissors... you can easily cut your quilt top removing the stabilizer too close on the back.

So I sandwiched next... the backing I sewed with a center seam instead of 2 side seams because it was such a busy batik fabric.  AND.... I was ready to get to the quilting! lol

I officially took my first stitch in a hoop that a great person sent to me in another facebook group I am a part of... so sweet of her... but for this part of the quilt I need to quilt hoopless it seems... so I am .. and it is soooo wonderful to have the needle in the fabric again... with yet a new design!

So if you have made it though this quilt story how about a pic of the aloe vera bloom :D
Have a blessed Memorial Day.. my honey is a veteran and I plan to spoil him like crazy ... like I do every day! :)


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Will you vote for me???

There is an online quilt show over at Amy's Creative Side website... it is called...
 Entry has closed and now voting is open but just through May 30th...
Follow this link to find my quilt... it is #51 in the throws category :)

And while you are here... look at the finished quilt top and backing waiting to go together today!
 So I went out to take a pic of the aloe but it looks much the same... I think it is gestating before the blooms get enough power to stand up for the hummingbirds that will come feed from it... plus the nights are still a little cool so no hummingbirds around yet to enjoy the nectar... but I did find some inspiring blooms to share with you!
Have a blessed day and thanks for taking time to vote for my quilt :)


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Aloe blooms and the back yard is alive!

I have posted several pics from my back yard because it is where I see so many wonderful color combos...

Purple Queen!
Azalea blooms!

Mexican Petunia's
And that last one I don't know the name of but love the frosty green of the leaves so deep and gorgeous with the flourescent purple blooms... it has been very cold tolerant too!  And in that pic you can see the bright green elephant ears in the background... just stunning colors :)  And I am not a huge earthy green person... I am more a lime girl :)

But the star of the back yard is definitely the aloe vera!  Look at those fireworks getting ready to bust open and draw in hummingbirds!  Won't that make a lovely shot!

 And a close up to see all the stages of blooming there is going on with this plant... it will feed hummingbirds for a while with all these blooms!
 Right now the color is more of a coral orange... but it changes every day!  We are talking to it and watering it when it doesn't rain enough... but so far it has just been a great show without much effort!  Just using cactus soil and having a root bound pot removed and placed it in our home made show piece of a pot!  Yay :)

Now take a look at my TABLE!

Currently I am putting all the squares together on this quilt design to make the quilt top... then I can make my sandwich and start quilting all the pinwheels in aqua blue!  Yay :)

Have a blessed day and hope you have enjoyed this time with me today!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Piecing a double pinwheel block pattern

Welcome to my tutorial on how to make a double pinwheel block that will look like this...
And a lot of them that will give you this overall pattern if set square...
This block would be extra fun set on point though... and a fun block it has been for me to learn precise piecing...

If you haven't quilted before you CAN do this... but learn from an expert and watch Quilty with Mary Fons or beg your local quilt guild to help you... you will find your style as you create quilts for those you love!

Okay... now onto the fun :)

Gather your supplies....

Sewing machine & Scissors
Iron & Board
Rotary cutter & Mat
Rulers of all kinds :)
Fabric & Thread made for machine quilting
                (30 to 50 wt.. no lighter is recommended for a sturdy quilt)

And the supplies for this block....

fabric yardage is one main color for your background (mine is white)
fabric in 2 contrasting colors (mine is green and blue)
small ruler for rotary cutting
rotary cutter
snip scissors (mine are baby ginghers and they are super sharp!
watch this vid to see how these half square triangles (hst's) come together :)  just 5 minutes!

Let's put this block together!

Cut your fabric to the desired size of the finished block... for mine my finished size is 9 1/2"... so my fabric squares wound up being...
4 1/2" square 1 background color and 1 small pinwheel color and 2 large pinwheel color = 4 squares
2 7/8" squares in background color = 8 squares

I played with scraps until I found a size I liked... then measured the hst pairs and cut my 8 squares a little larger to give the block a little room for moving.... thus the magic 7/8" measurement even though my square measured 3/4".

With your pieces cut it is time to sew together your large squares as I have them paired above so you end up with a small pinwheel and a larger pinwheel... put right sides together and sew 1/4" from the edge all the way around... then they will look like this...
 Now press those squares to relax the thread and slice them as in the video criss cross like this...
Ta dah!  You have your 8 hst's in no time!
Now lets get those hst's ready to work for us by prepping them :)
 First press them open and PRESS TO the dominant pinwheel color... so when I set them on my pressing board I just put them that dominant color up so blue is up :)  Run the iron over them and whalahhh!
 8 triangles and some good snips are next.  I use little ginghers I got with a coupon at Joann's but just a sharp good cutting pair for fabric only works :)  Now snip off all the dogears to decrease the bulk... this is important ...

 That bulk adds up over a quilt so remove it now...
Now set out your pinwheels and bring in your 8 background fabric squares to make this arrangement... or another if you choose... you have lots of options playing around with the hst's you have made...

 Now it is time to start sewing them together...
Start by completing the center... the block goes together best if you watch this vid on putting together the middle pieces.

As per the vid start by laying sewing together these pieces....
Sew them together with a 1/4" seam and butted close to each other chain piecing style.... so they look like this when you are done...
You can butt them right up next to each other too... I just like to have a little give in mine... lol
Press the freshly sewn edges and open up the squares to make rectangles and close them right sides together on each other as in the vid like this....
Pull them tight and go with which way the seam wants to naturally go so that your seam allowances are opposite... that part is critical to an unbulky block.

Sew with a 1/4" seam and Press the freshly sewn seam...
Next trim all your strings from sewing and clip the joining thread where all the squares meet as outlined in the video... this is the BEST way I have found.

Now finally you can Press all your seams in the direction you sewed them.  So they lay down nice and flat like this.  Make sure you fluff out the center so it spreads out like a mini pinwheel or else the middle of your pinwheel will be standing up! lol
And the front side looks like this...
Next we will chain piece the outside blocks together in pairs first then to each other or this main block.  Specifically we will do it like this...
 So above we are joining by folding to the left from your board to the sewing machine with 1/4" seams each pair above... then Press the freshly sewn seams on your ironing board...

 With those sewn together now it is time to chain piece the larger units so first sew the centerpiece and the left side unit together and continue with the 2 top pieces and 2 bottom pieces.  Finally come bring the centerpiece back to the sewing machine on the chain and add the right side unit.  Almost there... 
 Press the freshly sewn seams everywhere... and you will have a strip that looks like this with the long top unit and long bottom unit left to sew on... sew them on making sure your seams remain opposite each other.
 Finally you are ready for the final press... press all the seams the way they were sewn...

 Tadaah!  You have one double pinwheel block complete!

My Plan with this block is...

To make 42 like in the group shot above and add a border to finish my quilt top... the quilt will measure 63" x 74 1/2" when complete :)

So this is my first quilting tutorial and I would appreciate feedback on how helpful or if it is too intense or not intense enough.

Thanks for reading and have a blessed day!