Monday, July 21, 2014

KISMIF 20--Sea Kelp

I know what you're thinking--Sea Kelp?  A free-motion quilting thread-path?  Are you nuts?  Yep, temporarily--or simply dealing with heat-exhaustion of some kind.  We've had several days of 100+ Fahrenheit degree temperatures and many weeks of 95+.   We went boating last weekend and although I covered my pasty-white body with sunscreen, I am sunburned!  So...I thought an aquatic-thread-path would be appropriate for today.  So...let's "Keep It Simple and Make It Fun" (KISMIF)!

As you can see, this Sea Kelp motif when done on sashing is actually very striking.

This is a customer's quilt which she named "Aquatic".  This was my first time seeing the folded-curve piecing technique, and she wanted custom quilting to preserve the 3-D effect this created.

She chose varigated thread for the black back-ground.  It really made the quilting stand out.  The Sea-Kelp motif is shown down the center sashing.
This quilting motif is really forgiving.  Unlike most vines, there is no need to mark a center line or arc.  Why?  Simply think of the gentle swaying motions of sea kelp in the surf, a gentle, yet un-predictable arc is all that is needed to create the swaying motion of the kelp.  Also, there is no need to re-peat the pattern at predictable lengths.  It's very free-form.  KISMIF!

For variety, even swirls can be added.  This motif looks great done in a specific area such as sashing, an edge-to-edge motif or even "driven off the seam" to fill specific areas.  I love doing quilt motifs "driven off the seam".  If you'd like me to share with you that technique in the future, just leave me a comment.

Now it's your turn to share!  What have you been working on this week?  I'd love to see any of your projects and blog posts relating to the home-arts!

Modern Tradition Quilts

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

KISMIF 19--FMQ Ballet Shoes

Hello, welcome to my weekly linky party where I share with you a new free-motion quilt (FMQ) quilt path.  When it comes to FMQ, my motto is "Keep It Simple and Make It Fun" (KISMIF).

Today, I"d like to share with you some ballet shoes.

Yes, i know this looks complicated, but it really is deceptively simple.  Can you draw a kidney bean?  How about an oval?  If you can do that, then yes, you can quilt a ballet shoe!

I did this on a customer's quilt a while back.  She wanted red thread so the ballet shoe would stand out.

Here is the customer's quilt.

She had a lot of hand embroidery on this quilt and chose a simple back-ground filler to not detract from the embroidery--the leaves compliment it nicely. do we make a ballet flat?

STEP ONE: Thread-line in and make a kidney bean shape.
STEP TWO: Make the foot hole inside the kidney bean.
STEP THREE: Be creative here, do some ribbon vines.
STEP FOUR: Make a loop and mirror image the ballet shoe.  Do a  back-wards kidney bean, then fill with the foot opening.  Then ribbon away to your heart's desire.  KISMIF!

Note, this is an advanced thread-path.  I had to sketch it over and over for an hour before I dared do it on an actual quilt!  However, it turns out cute and fabulous!

Now it's your turn, what have you been working on this week?  Please feel free to share anything from the home arts.  Also, share the love--take the time to comment on some of these other awesome blogs!  :)

Modern Tradition Quilts

Monday, June 30, 2014

KISMIF 18--Firework Threadpath

Hello everyone!  I live in the United States of America and we celebrate our country's independence from Great Britain this week on Friday.  Since I was a child, this has always been my favorite holiday.  I love the fireworks, barbecues, neighborhood parties at the park and city carnivals we use to celebrate!  So, to celebrate, I decided I would share with you my Firework FMQ (Free-Motion Quilting) threadpath.  You'll love it!  It fits right along with my KISMIF motto (Keep It Simple and Make It Fun!).

This thread-path looks great done in sashing.  I wish I took a photo of it,  as I did it once on a a customer's QBOM batik quilt with black sashing.  I centered this in the sashing--fabulous and KISMIF!
Start with the blue star.  The top diagram is the basic travel path.  Once you can do it, create 5 or 6 more arcs as shown in the bottom diagram.  This looks great as an edge to edge style or centered in a block or as sashing.

In other 4th of July news, I just had my first patriotic quilt pattern published--the American Sparkler quilt.  A special thank-you goes out to Connecting Threads for being the fabric sponsors on this project.  It will be available to download from them shortly and is now available to download on Craftsy and Etsy.

Aren't these fabrics great?

Now it's your turn to share what you've been working on!
Modern Tradition Quilts

Monday, June 23, 2014

KISMIF 17--Lasso Edge to Edge Pattern

Modern Tradition Quilts

Some of you saw my latest Moda Bake Shop feature, the Jellly Turnover Quilt and asked what was the thread-path for the edge to edge Lasso design, so for today's KISMIF (Keep it simple & make it fun) FMQ (free-motion quilting) thread-path, I'll teach you the "lasso."

It's rather simple:

Start by making a large open-ended circle then trace the edge of your presser foot, echoing smaller and smaller until you have a small, quarter-sized hole, then go out and start another circle.

Here's a close-up of a quilt I used it on:

It looks great on modern and masculine quilts.   In this quilt, I added 5-pointed stars as it is for my son.
Now it's your turn to link-up!  Feel free to share anything in the home-arts you've been working on.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tutorial of a 6 Inch Sawtooth Star Block

Here's my work in progress for this Wednesday.  I'm sharing it with WiP Wednesday, WiP and Whatnots, Let's  Bee Social, I Quilt Thursday, Needle and Thread Thursday, Friday's Whoop Whoop and Crazy Mom Quilts.  For quick links, see the blog buttons I've loaded on my right-hand side bar.

For this post, a special thank-you goes out to ConnectingThreads for sponsoring this blog post and my next quilt pattern to be released.  I'm working through the pattern-testing and demo part of this quilt.  True, this is my most piecing-intricate pattern to date and I'm so excited about it. 

Connecting Threads sent me their newest line, Hometown Summer to play with for this design.  You can purchase the fabrics through the underlined hyper-link above.  My new pattern will also be available on their website as early as next week--and I should have a finished project to show you on Friday!  Yay!  I'm grateful that Connecting Threads will let me blog (blab? ha!) about it.  So many companies ask you to keep stuff hush-hush until they post it first--but not Connecting Threads--they just like you to show-off their cute fabrics!

Aren't these cute!  I've always been a fan of red, white and blue quilts and traditional prints.  This fabric line is perfect for any summer or patriotic quilt!

So...let's talk about sewing 6 inch sawtooth stars.  Shouldn't be too tough, right?  But yes, there are tricks.  The smaller the block is, the more important it is to get it sewn and trimmed correctly.  I've assembled a step by step photo montage of sewing these blocks so point out what needs to be done so the points do not get blunted in the final project.

What a messy pile!  This project requires 25 of these blocks (plus 20 more of a different size....that's a lot of blocks in one quilt!).

CUTTING DIRECTIONS: (for one block--the pattern has directions for strip cutting all 25!)

  • For the center light-blue square, cut one square measuring 3 1/2 inches.
  • From the cream setting fabric cut:
    • 4 squares measuring 2 inches for the outer corners.
    • Cut a square measuring 4 1/4 inches, then cut these into quarters diagonally for the flying geese point of the block.
    • For the navy blue points, cut 4 squares measuring 2 1/2 inches then cut them in half diagonally once to yield 8 triangles for the flying geese unit.
  • Sew the flying geese unit first by sewing the navy blue points onto the cream back-ground triangle.  Make sure to match the bias edges together.  You will have the unit shown in the photo below.
Trim the "dog-ears"--those funny yet pesky points of fabric that are sticking out beyond the block (I'm pointing to it).  They just get in the way.
Press seams out toward the darker fabric.
  •  Add the flying geese unit to the center 3" block.
To ensure that you do not blunt the point of the flying geese unit, pin the block through this point.  Then, watch your needle as you are sewing and approaching the intersection of the thread lines (the scissors are pointing to them and the tip of the pin is sticking through this point).  If you sew between the "X", you won't blunt the point.  This is important when sewing small blocks.

To press, I press the flying geese unit so it lies flat on top, then flip the block over.

Holding the flying geese down with the iron, I peel back the 3" block.  This way all of the seams lie flat.  When longarm quilting, there is nothing more annoying than a poorly (not pressed flat) seam that puckers up.  It creates problems in the quilting machine.  This method corrects that piecing error.

Chain-sew on the remaining sides. and press in the same manner.
  •  Add the 2 1/2 inch squares to the outsides of the remaining two flying geese units and add to the outer edges of the star block as in the manner already described.
Voila!  A 6-inch star pieced block that actually fits and has no blunted points!
 In other news...we finally learned how to dutch-braid my daughter's hair so that it goes all the way around her head!  Yep, that's an accomplishment for me--especially since she has three older brothers so I haven't been able to practice.  Her hair goes to her waist so this "hair-do" wrapped around her head 1 1/2 times!   Wow!  The calls it the, "Elsa at the Coronation 'do"--after Disney's Frozen.  Love that show!

Now it's your turn to share....what have you been working on that's fun this week?  Remember, when it comes to sewing, "Keep It Simple and Make It Fun!".

Modern Tradition Quilts