Thursday, December 31, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Here is another giveaway for you – I will draw one name next Wednesday, December 9th. I have 7 fat quarters of “On a Whim”, by Amy Schimler! They are pictured at right – cute owls, birds, flowers and leaves. All you have to do is comment on my blog (if you are anonymous, please email me so I have your email contact information). Let your quilting friends know about this giveaway- who knows? You may have an early Christmas present! Thanks for following!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Our next giveaway starts tomorrow and here's a hint: it involves fat quarters....stay tuned! -Kris
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Happy news! Quick Quilts (Harris Publications, www.quiltmag.com) has published a project designed by moi in their Winter 2010 issue! And I just happen to have an extra which I'd like to share with one of you!
The project that I did for this magazine is a laptop bag which would be a great gift for your favorite college student! There are also 18 other projects that would surely make your holiday gift making list! And, as indicated by the name of the magazine, the projects are quick!
If you'd like to get this copy, please comment on this blog and I will enter you into the drawing. The drawing will take place Wednesday December 2nd by 10 am. If you are anonymous, please include your email in the comment so I can contact you if you win!
Please let your friends know about this too - you will enjoy this issue of Quick Quilts!
Happy quilting! -Kris
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
In order for your piping to easily follow seams and curves without wrinkling and twisting, you will be cutting the piping fabric on the bias (or at a 45 degree angle); find a ruler that has this angle included on it.
You will need Rayon Rat Tail Cording (2 mm) (from your local craft store) and your piping fabric. (This cording is a narrow diameter perfect for smaller accessories; piping for pillows requires a heavier, thicker cording).
Cut strips of the piping fabric 1” wide at a 45 degree angle. Piece strips together to make one long strip, joining at a 45 degree angle.
Place the cording in the center of strip. Wrap the bias strip around the cording, matching the edges.
Attach zipper foot*. Align the zipper foot so the edge of it is against the cording. Sew the seam allowances together to enclose the cording. The needle should be positioned as close to the cording as possible. You should now have piping with a ¼” “carrier” on the side.
*If you have a piping foot for your sewing machine, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for attaching and needle position.
How to use piping? Piping is placed between pieces in the seamline. Position piping along seamline (right side), so that the raw edges match the raw edges of seam. Sew along the seamline; place opposing piece over and follow previous stitching. If you need to sew around a curve, pin the piping in place and clip along piping raw edges – this will relieve the strain on the piping, and create the smooth curve that you want. Be careful not to cut through the original piping stitching.
Use striped fabric for piping – after cutting on the bias, you will have diagonal stripes on the piping.
Use a mottled or small polka dot for piping – everyone will know it’s custom made!
You can add your custom piping on quilts (on right side) before you bind, then place binding at this seam for a different look.
Have fun with piping and send along pics of your results! Enjoy! -Kris
Monday, October 26, 2009
Stop by Stitched in Stone, located at the Carriage Town plaza, off Rt 125 – you will not be disappointed! In this spacious shop you will find great lighting (I crave good lighting in Quilt Shops!), loads of space for classes, and a selection of fabrics that just keeps getting better and better! Tammy stocks batiks in every color, fun fabric collections, traditional solids in every color, specialty threads, tools, you name it, they have it.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Fall colors are best when late summer is dry & autumn has bright sunny days & cool nights below 40 °F.
Fall days become shorter & many plants stop making food. That is when the green chlorophyll starts to disappear from the leaves.
Most leaves fall from trees because the ends of the branch are sealed off near the leaf stem to protect the tree through the long winter months.
At left is a birch leaf (approximately 10" high) I made using my stash - I am going to make this into an art quilt/wall hanging and I will share the final product with you.
How to do this:
- Take a digital picture of a single leaf using your driveway or sidewalk as a contrasting background. Pick a leaf with a shape that you like - the color is not important.
- Load the photo into your computer and open your photo editing software. Crop close to the leaf.
- Resize the image to the size that you like.
- Print out a picture of the leaf in black and white.
- With a sharpie, outline then divide the leaf into different sections along natural divisions, such as the veins of the leaf. Use the different gradations of gray to determine where you will use darker and lighter colors. Number each section.
- Now trace each section onto paper backed fusible web, and follow the manufacturer's instructions for prepping and fusing.
- Zig-zag onto backing and have fun!
- I used ribbon floss for a stem.
Have fun with this! -Kris
Friday, September 4, 2009
I have to admit: Blue is never my first choice. However, this collection made a believer out of me! This is an analogous color scheme, using blues/green inspired by nature.
My personal favorite of the Teal Blue colorway is the Arabesque Turquoise. It's a timeless floral - perfect for a bag, front porch quilt, or a wearable!
The lime paisley really makes this collection pop - it is also a very versatile fabric. It can be paired with so many fabrics in my stash- I would bet you'd find it a good addition to your collection.
Stay tuned for more Sew and Go Totes done up in Sketchbook!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Did you know that September is also National Sewing Month? You can find out the details here! There is a Sewing Green Contest that is going on now until September 30th. What a great way to entice a crafty teen!
I hope you are enjoying the first day of September! -Kris
Thursday, August 27, 2009
This morning, I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine and fellow quilt pattern designer, Karen Dumont. She’s the creative mind behind Karie Patch Designs; a pattern company specializing in whimsical designs for the young at heart! Karen and I met at Quilt Market in 2007 and she has been an inspiration to me ever since! Karen's quilts have been featured in Harris Publications' Quilts, Quick Quilts and McCall's Quilting Magazines. Grab a cup of coffee and let’s meet Karen:
I would visit the local quilt shop frequently and take my quilts to show to my friends there. The owner, Sheddy Reese encouraged me to publish patterns of my work. I did not have a clue how to go about doing that but eventually became friends with another quilter, Susan Emory, who was also a graphic designer. She was willing to do the computer work that was needed to produce the patterns. The rest is history. Susan now owns the quilt shop that Sheddy sold to her 3 years ago and I have another friend do my patterns for me.
Usually ideas pop into my head in the middle of the night, friends suggests things they would like me to make but most of the time it is the fabric that inspires me.
Bright, whimsical, and cheerful quilts that make people happy when they see them. I want my quilts to give a warm and inviting feeling to a room.
Applique. I feel that I can express myself in my applique designs more so than pieced.
Sweet Caroline and Dolly Claire, they run neck and neck as being my favorites. Of course, there is a reason for that. Both patterns are named after our two granddaughters, Caroline and Claire!
My daughter calls Caroline and Claire, Sass One and Sass Two so I told Caroline at dinner just this evening that my next pattern will be named Sassy Girls!
I love being with others who share the same interests that I do. It is fun teaching other quilters most of the techniques and shortcuts that I have taught myself over the past 12 years.
My advice to beginners, only make the type of quilts that you find pleasure in sewing. Start out making simple things and don’t get into complicated patterns that will frustrate you because you will never finish them. Change any pattern you make to meet your likes and experiment with choosing your own fabric not the same as the pattern designer.
That I am one wild and crazy Grandma!!!!!! Seriously, I love life and like to find humor in everything I do.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Turning Leaves Tote fabric kits are available at the Urban-Amish website by Yolanda Fundora. What? you haven't been to her site? Why not jump over now? This is a great website if you are loofing for creative inspiration!
The Turning Leaves Tote is a truly comfortable medium sized bag that you can whip up in a day! And, I especially like the fact that you can buy a kit with all of the fabrics ready for you to sew. A little rotary cutting and you are ready to start your sewing machine humming!
Features of the Turning Leaves Tote:
- Easy cutting - strips only;
- Quilt as you go - this project can be as easy as you want it to be;
- Applique options - use the leaf patterns provided or add your own;
- Easy strap - fuse and topstitch - no turning of bulky tubes
- Simple Zippered pocket inside - quick application!
Give this tote a try and email me a picture! I would especially like to hear from you about the zipper application - let me know what you think! Have a successful sewing day! -Kris
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
This one is fun - write, then echo! Have fun with this last exercise and keep in mind that you are better at free motion than you were 21 days ago (OK give or take a few days!!).
I will continue to post fun free motion exercises for you - please send me links or pics of your successes! I'd love to post them!
Have a great weekend and happy quilting! -Kris
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Take it easy and keep quilting! -Kris
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Wow - is it really Day 18 of this exercise? This morning we are deep sea diving and creating a seascape with shells, stars and swirls. This takes some control, but you have it! I think it would be a good idea to draw this one out on a piece of paper first. For the shell – I created the outline of the shell first, then came back and added the ridges. For the star, I created the outer then the inner star. Wouldn’t this be great on a summer placemat?
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Click here to read Kathy's blog and see her beautiful embroidered Tidal Tote. You will also be inspired by all of the color choices. Check it out!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
We are almost done with our 21 day experiment – I hope you are having fun with this! Our next exercise is my take on a hibiscus – but it can be any flower you’d like to draw! I started with a petal, then added the center, then added the subsequent petals. After that, I just kept echoing. Echo quilting requires that you pick a thickness that you’ll “keep” when stitching around a shape. I used the relative distance between the edge of my darning foot and outermost row of stitching. You can determine the distance you’d like and just be consistent and have fun!
Friday, July 10, 2009
I’d like to take a walk with you down the street with your sewing machine. You are going to take it slow making (approximately 1”) houses and trees. There is no perfect house or tree. You are smiling, enjoying the sunshine, and walking along at an even pace. Also remember, this is not a race – this is a perfect lazy summer day free motion exercise – keep it even and consistent. Are you getting the hang of this now? (Go easy on yourself - this is fun!)
Email me a pic of your houses!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
This morning, I brought my machine to Portsmouth Fabric Company for its annual tune-up. If you’re in the Seacoast area of NH – don’t miss it! It’s a great place for color inspiration and art quilt fabrics. Here is a great article on the store.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
To add to your repertoire and instill more confidence, we will work today on a common shape - the 5 pointed star! Like the last exercise, I combined it with loops - but it would also look nice with hearts. This is a good meander for a child's quilt, by the way. You may want to draw the 5 pointed star first. This should be a large meander.
For fun - attend this on-line quilt show! http://www.americanquilter.com/shows_contests/paducah/2009/contests/quilt_winners.php
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Let's get back to free motion quilting! Before we start on a new exercise, here's a tip that I have found extremely helpful: When you need to take a break, stop with your your needle down. When you start again, stitch in the same place and then keep going. In the past, I tried to move right away from my stopping point, but that would result in long uneven stitches at that point. But now, I take a few stitches in place and then get going again and this seems to have eliminated the problem. Try it!
Today we'll work on a shape that is so versatile: leaves! We'll be sewing these along in row, but they are easy to do in a meanering fashion also. So, let's get started!
Make one leaf shape, going up one side and down the other.
Add one vein in the middle.
Travel down from here and add a leaf out to the right and add a vein, then repeat to the alternating left and right.
Happy quilting! -Kris
Friday, June 19, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
- Look at the photo top left and start with making hills in the middle of your sandwich.
- Without rotating your sandwich, follow around your "hills", with more "hills"(top right)
- Continue around and around your sandwich with these "hills" until it is completely filled (bottom right then bottom left).
Your sample may look like a frilly flower. Again, don't worry too much right now about spacing between hills but instead, try for smooth, consistent motion. Also take a look at what you've done to determine if you need to slow down or speed up your hands (see Day 4).
Tip: I hold my hands about 6" apart and they act as a frame to my work. I complete the work "inside" my hands, stop (needle down), reposition, and start again.
Here is a list of my all-time favorite Machine Quilting Books (they may be at your library):
- Machine Quilting: A Primer of Techniques by Sue Nickels (pub by American Quilters Society)
- Guide to Machine Quilting by Diane Gaudynski (pub by American Quilters Society)
- Easy Machine Quilting edited by Jane Townswick (pub by Rodale Press)
Enjoy the process!! Keep Quilting!
Monday, June 15, 2009
I'm baaaaack! Let's try something a little more challenging today! Today, we'll make some waves. Start on the left, go smoothly up and over the wave, then come back and scoop under. Let's make a multitude of waves, some rows to the right, then switch to rows going to the left (I started on the right for these rows). I am right-handed - I felt more control when traveling to the right.
This time, try to look for consistent stitch length - adjust your speed as you go along. If you find your stitch length is too long, you may need to run your machine faster. If you find that your stitches are too small, move your hands faster. Consistent stitch length takes time to achieve - practice and you'll be rewarded!!
Don't forget to:
- Drop your feed dogs.
- Reduce top tension slightly to start.
- Thread your machine with good quality thread.
- Install a new needle (let's use a Universal 80/12 needle to start).
- With your practice quilt sandwich under the presser foot, lower the needle and raise it to bring bobbin thread to the top of the sandwich. As you start sewing, hold onto both threads to start.
Smile and keep quilting!
Friday, June 12, 2009
give yourself permission to make loops - here are the rules:
- No particular size;
- No required direction;
- Keep your motion smooth;
- Turn on some great music;
Try fill in at least 1/4 of your quilt sandwich! If you have a quilt sandwich that you'd like to share, send me a photo and I'd love to!
Our adventure resumes next Monday!
Keep Quilting! -Kris
Thursday, June 11, 2009
When you are free motion quilting, you may find that your stitch tension is not what it should be. You may see that your top thread appears to be "laying" on top of the fabric , and you may see loops of bobbin thread on the top . This indicates that your top tension needs to be decreased. Decrease the tension one number at a time and continue to sew.
What if the back side of the quilting is loopy? Try increasing the top tension to eliminate those loops. You'll find a setting that works for you if you work at it. This is also a good time to check your manual for tips to help you balance your tension.
Now - your assignment for today is: Write your name in free motion. This exercise is to be done in cursive. Here is what I did:
Because you have written your signature so many times, this will be an easy exercise to familiarize your hands with moving in all directions. This is fun - use your quilt sandwich and the "get started list" from yesterday. You may want to try quilting gloves also!