Friday, April 30, 2021

The Technician

Now isn't that an interesting title? The Technician. And what does it have to do with this sailboat?

red and white sailboat

Actually, a lot! This sailboat, which I've named the 'QuiltFabrication' according to the picture, is another block for my son's beach quilt. I'll just add the sailboat to the palm tree and the beach umbrellas,

green palm trees and red and white umbrellas

the beach house, 

pink beach house with blue trim

and a few other fun blocks not shared just yet. Yes, progress is slow on this quilt, but isn't that the epitome of life at the beach? After all, it is a place to chill, go with the flow, and relax. 

When I designed my beach quilt, I wanted the blocks to be complex looking but ultimately, easy to put together. Sure, it's one thing to design in EQ, but a different story when translating the block to fabric. EQ doesn't come with construction instructions - I have to create that myself.

Which means I am a Technician when figuring out how to assemble a block in fabric so that matches my vision. 

Why am I using this Technician label? Well, hubby had me take a FREE, new style personality test from PrinciplesYou, which gave my main personality trait as 'Technician'. There are other scored areas too, one of them being 'creativity', which I scored low in. Go figure.

Anyway, after reading about the Technician personality, it hit me when constructing the boat at how correct the label was. Technicians have the ability to analyze how something works, using a methodical and practical approach to put it together. Those are the exact skills I employ to take that drawn boat to fabric reality.

I'll confess that the pretty red and white boat wasn't my one and only. It was actually my second boat, but the first pretty one. The test boat, the one from which all the construction notes were made, was this scrappy mess.

scrappy sailboat block

And mess it is! If you look hard enough, you'll see the sailboat. Believe it or not, I was very proud to show hubby this scrappy boat, mainly because I had figured out how to piece it with absolutely no paper piecing. Hubby, on the other hand, missed that point and wasn't impressed. Though I didn't win him over, I was also happy that this hard-to-envision test sailboat used up several large, hard-to-sort scrap fabrics - woohoo! 

After cleaning up my notes, I then easily followed along to construct the second sailboat, a pretty version. This time, hubby was impressed with my efforts! 

red boat white sail sailboat

Now the technician side of me kicks in again to take all of my construction notes and format them into a pattern so others can make a pretty sailboat - I'll keep you posted when it will be available. Until then, I'm sailing away to do some writing this weekend.

Happy Quilting!


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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Midweek Makers 277

Welcome to the awesome sharing that is Midweek Makers! Today, I'm featuring flowers - check out the beauties below!

In my part of the world, spring has definitely arrived. We recently visited Hakone Gardens, soaking up the beauty of cherry trees in full bloom. 

cherry blossoms seen against a blue sky

cherry trees in landscaping at a garden

I love the beauty of cherry trees loaded with delicate pink and white blossoms, and we had timed this just right.
Though I love Japan, catching the cherry blossom in bloom there two years ago, it was nice not to travel 12 hours across the ocean for viewing.

And I know spring is struggling this year in certain parts of the world. So, how about making some of your own spring flowers? The Felt Flower Workshop book giveaway can help with that - enter now thru Friday, April 30.

felt flowers

Continuing on with the flower theme today, how about these pretty floral cards from I - Completely Without Makeup?

And how about these batik flower blocks from For the Love of Geese?

Do you have any flowers to share? If not, quilts will do!

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  • please link a quilt project
  • visit with the other guests and leave some comment love
Have fun!

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Monday, April 26, 2021

Felt Flower Giveaway!

The calendar says it's spring, though with recent snows around the country, most would beg to differ. If flowers and trees aren't blooming yet where you are, then how about making some of your own? The new book Felt Flower Workshop by Bryanne Rajamannar (affiliate link) will get you started!

I was impressed with the absolutely beautiful flowers that can be made with felt, and the cover shows just a few of them. The Felt Flower Workshop affiliate link shows a few more, plus a few snippets of construction - much more than I could put in this post. 

Here's a sample of a few flower arrangements projects given in the book. Don't they look lovely and realistic?

different flowers made from felt

A lot of the techniques remind me of my days cake decorating, making flowers out of gum paste, a non-edible soft sugar dough. But flowers from felt? So much better because they have a wider variety of display options and will last forever. See what I mean with this beautiful floral wall display?

felt flowers set on one side of a hoop

Are you ready to start making some of your own flowers to usher in spring?

To enter the Felt Flower Workshop giveaway, courtesy of C&T Publishing, fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Contest is open now till midnight April 30, Friday, to those in the continental US only. No international entries at this time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering and good luck!

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Friday, April 23, 2021

Block Base+ - Block 2 Tutorial

Are you sewing along with Electric Quilt's Block Base+? It's time to share the second block, #2898, also know as Magic Cross.

orange green and pink quilt block

EQ's post featuring this block came out April 12, giving us eleven days to stitch it for sharing on the EQ linky party today. In case you want to join in, block 1 is #1273, and block 3 will come out on Monday, April 26. That's one block every two weeks until mid-July, for a total of eight blocks. 

Keep in mind that EQ's post is all about using the features of their new Block Base+ program (no affiliation), which can be a stand-alone program, or linked to EQ7 or 8. It's a great program - I especially like the quilt layout previews!

Because all EQ blocks come with no instructions for construction, I thought I'd provide a little tutorial on cutting and assembling #2898 for a finished 12" block size. Ready?

Here's block 2898 in it's original EQ coloring,

and recolored to match my actual block and avoid confusion in the tutorial.


Here's block 2898 broken down into labelled parts, and I'll refer to the above coloring in the tutorial to match my block. I'm also showing all parts at once, which may seem confusing, but it makes it easier to see how the construction is completed.


Cutting for a 12" finished block

     for A:  2 squares 3 7/8" background (green) 
                     2 squares 3 7/8" yellow
                     2 squares 3 7/8" red, cut on the diagonal for 4 triangles 

     for B:  1 square 7 1/4" background (green), cut on both diagonals for 4                                triangles
               1 square 7 1/4" red, cut on both diagonals for 4 triangles

     for C:  1 square 4 3/4" background (green)

Make Corner Half Square Triangles (HST's)

This is basic quilting 101, but I'll include it anyway. 

Draw a diagonal line on each of the 2 yellow 'A' squares. Pair with 2 green 'A' squares. Stitch a scant 1/4" from the line to make a total of 4 yellow/green HST's.
Press seams, and trim HST's to 3 1/2" square. As independent HST's, they're seen in the upper and lower left corners in this picture.

By laying out all pieces with jumped ahead construction, you can also get an idea of how this block is going to be put together. To follow along, it's easiest to lay out all the pieces in the correct positions. 

Once those corner HST's are made, the next step is to add the red triangle piece 'A' to side of the of each green triangle of the yellow/green HST. The piece is seen independently in the upper left, and sewn in at the other corners.


Next, add red triangles 'B' to the red and green of the previous unit.

You can see where the construction is going in the above photo. I'm making two corner triangular units and a center diagonal strip for the easy piecing.

To make those two corner triangular units, add two green 'B' triangles, shown with the circles, on each side of the red triangles. And stitch the remaining corner units to the green center square 'C' to make the center diagonal strip.

To finish, add the corner triangle units to the diagonal center strip, matching seams.

And there is block #2898 completed, at an unfinished measurement of 12.5" x 12.5". Easy, right?

Sew along with the EQ group or make more 2898 blocks for an entire quilt - have fun!

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Midweek Makers 276

Welcome to Midweek Makers! 

My share this week is an in-progress quilting picture, adding the pantograph Pretty Paisleys to Carol's colorful quilt, done in between block making.

And did you see all of the finished Stay at Home Round Robin quilts over on Quilting Gail's blog? I was certainly impressed with everyone's creativity! There are some very talented quilters out there. And the big news is, we'll do the SAHRR again next January, with different block choices than this year. Hope you join us!

As for last week, how about these three finished beauties that popped up?

From Kathy's Quilting, an RSC finish,

from Vicki's Craft and Quilting, an adorable butterfly runner,

and from Grace and Peace Quilting, this adorable donation quilt, Little Heat Wave.

Now it's your turn - come share what you're working on!

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Monday, April 19, 2021

Lattice Fruit Pie Trivet

Who wants some pie? I've got the best kind of pie there is with these adorable Lattice Fruit Pie Trivets, along with a free tutorial to make your own!

fruit fabric plus strips and ric rac make a pie

Made for the In the Kitchen Stitchin Blog Hop, hosted by one of my favorite quilters, Carla, of Creatin In the Sticks. Both she and Carol of Just Let Me Quilt always have such fun hops! And this one is no different.

And don't those pies look delicious? I can't decide which I like better: the blueberry or the multi-fruit of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Definitely a tough choice!

These are so cute that I'd rather use them as trivets to pretty up the table than fold them and mess them up as potholders. With all the filling of batting, insul-fleece, and the stitching, they're a bit on the stiff side for potholders anyway.  That may be just fine for some, but for me, I like seeing their deliciousness on the table!

Want to make your own? Then grab the following ingredients and let's make a pie!

Lattice Fruit Pie Trivet Ingredients

Makes 2 pie trivets

  • 1/4 yard fruit themed cotton prints
  • 1/4 yard insul-fleece (the one with the metal in it)
  • 1/4 yard all cotton batting
  • 1/4 yard backing (I used beige, a 'crust' color)
  • 1 1/2 yard (or 1 pkg) medium or .5 inch beige ric rac
  • 1 1/2 yard (or 1 pkg) 5/8" wide beige double fold bias tape
  • 1 new, sharp, size 14 needle 

Step 1 - Cut circles

Use a circle cutting tool or an 8" plate or bowl as a template to cut the following number of circles:

2 (two) from beige backing, and insul-fleece 

4 (four) from cotton batting.

1 (one) from each of the fruit prints, for a total of 2 (two) 

cutting circles with a half circle template

Step 2 - Layer the pie

Stack the cut circles in the following order to make two pies:

backing, cotton, insul-fleece, cotton, fruit print

BTW, I placed the exposed metal of the insul-fleece up to (hopefully) better reflect the heat back to the dish and not onto my table

batting and a fruit print in circles

Step 3 - Baste

To keep layers from shifting, use a long stitch length to baste circles together, with a line parallel on two sides. Baste a group 2 and a group of 3, 

basting circles

then baste all 5 together. Finish the basting by stitching close to the circle edge.

Remove straight line basting stitches before proceeding to Step 4.

Step 4 - Add lattice

Cut bias tape lattice strips for the center and each side, 6 (six) pieces total. Stitch in place using a zig zag stitch and thread to match the 'crust'. Trim lattice ends when done.

Easy lattice:

Starting in the pie center, add bias tape lattice strips there and on each side. Add the remaining three lattice strips perpendicular to the first set.

applying bias tape to make a lattice pie trivet

Woven lattice

If weaving the lattice strips, cut all six bias strip pieces, weaving them over and under each other. Start stitching with the 'under' center piece, keeping pieces that go on top folded back out of the way. Continue stitching down strips for the woven effect.

weaving lattice on a pie trivet

Step 5 - Apply bias binding

Pin bias binding to the edge, overlapping and folding back final end for a nice finish. If necessary, use a bit of glue to hold binding in place.

Stitch binding with trivet backside up (fruit print face down) for even zig zag stitches along binding edge. Do not worry about catching the binding on the front of the trivet - it gets covered in the next step.


Step 6 - Apply ric rac to front

Using a longer straight stitch, around 3.5-4, stitch ric rac to the front covering binding edge and with ric rac at the trivet edge. Fold back the ends for a clean finish.

Step 7 - Enjoy!

Want more kitchen stitchin inspiration? Be sure to see what my fellow creators are up to today:

Monday, April 19th


and be sure to visit these creators throughout the week.

Tuesday, April 20th

Wednesday, April 21st

Thursday, April 22nd

Happy Quilting!

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