Friday 26 February 2016

Kaleido-design meets Flow by Zen Chic

I have had a lot of fun designing and making quilts for my newest class called Kaleido-design. My favourite has to be the medallion style quilt using the line "Flow" by Zen Chic for Moda.  The fabric will be released to stores in March!

I used the Marti Michell Kaleido-Ruler to make the quilt.

I started with the centre medallion, inspired by several mini quilts popping up on Instagram lately.  I was going to stop at thirty six inched and then decided, what the heck, I want a big quilt.

The next round was a block that I picked out of a discarded doodle for a quilt.  The layout was a bust, but this little gem just screamed to be made.

The last round is the simple Kaleidoscope block that we all think of when we think of Kaleidoscope quilts.  I am in love with every part of this quilt.

Recently I taught the class for my local guild.  This is the quilt that Sandy designed and pieced.  I am so impressed with her creativity.

Blocks 3 and 4 are done for the Splendid Sampler Quilt Along.  I am going with a very scrappy quilt, using what is laying around my cutting table as each block comes out.  Block 3 is a mash up of Flow and For You, both by Zen Chic.  Block 4 is a little Me and My Sister fabric, set on a piece of First Crush by Sweetwater.

Linking up with Finish it up Friday.

Friday 19 February 2016

Groovy Satchel

I had previously made a "Groovy Satchel" for a friend.  Happy to say that she has used it so much that it is almost wore out.  Sooooooo, it was time to make another one.

This time I used a Hoffman digital print.

The pattern is in the book "Style and Swing."  I have made a few bags from this book.  They are fairly easy to make.

The last time I made this bag I used interfacing as suggested in the book.  After a few washes, the bag had lost all of it's shape.  I wanted something a little more substantial, but not as heavy as the soft and stable that I used in last weeks bag.

I had read somewhere that car headliner (available at upholstery shops) was an option.  I went to Rosemarie's shop and ask her husband if he thought it would work.  He only slightly rolled his eyes at me, and then pulled out the headliner to compare to the soft and stable.  Both have foam with a polyester layer.  Soft and stable has it on both sides, headliner only on one side.  The headliner, in grey, was slightly thinner.  I took a piece of both and threw them through the washer and drier.  They both came out fine.  So into the bag the headliner went.  The bag isn't as firm as the one last week, but I'm happy with the results.

I have decided to try and make the one hundred blocks that are going to be presented for The Splendid Sampler.  There are so many quilt alongs happening on line, it was hard to decide which one to do.  This one won out, because of all the fabulous designers that are taking part.  If you haven't checked it out yet, click here and see what you think.

Linking up with Finish it up Friday!

Friday 12 February 2016

"Hey Mercedes" Bag

I finally had a day to spend making my "Hey Mercedes" bag from my favourite Cotton + Steel fabric.

The bottom and side panel tapers to meet the side seams.  I was a little worried about the sewing but....

It worked out fine!

Zippered inner pockets and a snap closure to keep everything safe.

The square rings for the handles were purchase through Emmaline Bags.  She is a Canadian distributor of bag hardware out of Alberta.  I found her delivery to be fast and without those cross border fees and shipping.

The pattern is from the book Windy City Bags.  I met Sara in Houston and had a hard time waiting for this book to be released.  Now that it is in my hot little hands I may have to make a few more from the book.

Linking up with Finish it up Friday!

Friday 5 February 2016

Purple Girl

Last Saturday I had a few hours alone with my youngest granddaughter.  She wanted to help me sew a bit, so we got right to it.

I had all the pieces stacked up so Hallie was in charge of handing them to me, making sure there was no dog hair lingering about.  She loved using the lint roller.  Not quite big enough to operate the machine, but the thread cutter button was within easy reach.  We both had a great time.

The purple block was her favourite.  She packed it everywhere with her.  It was folded, rolled and laid upon.  Luckily it was made from Indah Batiks, so it handled the treatment.  When it was time to go home, there was a tear shed when over the fact that the block had to stay at Grandma's house.

The quilt is finished, and I think it has to have Hallie's name on it.  I quilted it with big bubbles and of course I used Fireside on the back.  I think we can have snuggles under it next time we have a day together.

Linking up with Finish it up Friday!

Wednesday 3 February 2016

Fireside Fabric

There are many Polyester Microfibre fabrics on the market today. l have tried several and have decided that Fireside is the one I want to put on my own personal quilts.

This is the back of a quilt that was a sample for Trend-Tex recently.  If you click on the picture you can see the texture that Fireside has.

Quilting on a longarm with Fireside is easy, keeping in mind nap and stretch.  The fabric has a knit backing so it is stretchy, more so on the cross grain.  Mount on the machine with the width going cross wise.  Snug the backing up to the top, not pulling it too tight.  Quilt just like you would flannel. I like to put a fair bit of quilting on all my quilts.  With both flannel and Fireside I try not to leave large areas open to reduce the chance of popped stitches under heavy use.

Fireside is sixty inches wide.  If it needs to be pieced, make sure all the stretch and nap are going the same way.  If you are unfamiliar with nap, click here for clarification.  Use a half inch seam allowance and let the seam allowance lie open.

I have tried both Cuddle and Minky.  They are a little silkier feeling, therefore a little colder to the touch.  I ran into problems with Minky with the fibres pulling through to the front.  I asked the women at Shanon Fabrics if they had the same problem.  They showed me their quilts and they all had fibres pulled to the front.  My solution to this was to quilt with the same colour thread as the backing, to disguise the problem.  When I first used Fireside I found that very little pulled through.  I do still use a thread that is similar in colour to the back.  On this quilt I used white thread on top with a grey Fireside on the back.

I do put batting in my quilts with Fireside on the back.  I use Arctic Cotton natural with scrim or Arctic Cotton Blend.  They help to stabilize the backing, and make the quilts extra warm and cuddly.

Next up is thread.  I use a 40 wt cotton on the top, as that is what my machine likes.  On the bottom I use a 60 wt poly so it sinks into the back and I get a lot more on a bobbin.  It really is about what's easy.

These pictures show the front and back of a quilt.  The fireside on the back really shows off the quilting.  If you haven't tried it yet, go for it.

Quick note for domestic machine users.  If you are using Fireside, spray baste to your batting, and the stretch won't be a problem.