2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for Mulberry Patch Quilts blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. MPQ blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Whirlwind Pinwheel Quilt

So I’ve been pondering for some time what to make with this lovely stack of triangles called “Color Me Happy” by Moda.  Isn’t it darling?

 

I decided to cut it into smaller triangles, piece half of them to matching triangles in white, and add a white rectangle to the rest.  When put together, they create a pinwheel block I like to call Whirlwind.

  


I put of them together…and added a medium grey sashing.

Then more decisions…white cornerstones?

  
Or dark grey?

  
The grey won out.  Sometimes there is no wrong or right answer, just have to go with your favorite.

I think it turned out pretty well…

  

  

 
  
Time to shop for fabric to add a small border, backing, & binding!

BTW, I tested the labels from the last post by ironing one into fabric and throwing it in the washer & dryer twice…here’s how it compared to a new label:

  
New on top, washed on bottom.  The ink doesn’t look bad at all…yippee.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

  

Making a Flat Label for Quilts and Quilted Items DIY

Making a Flat Label for Quilts and Quilted Items DIY

I needed a flat sew-in label with my shop name and logo for smaller items, like placemats, mug rugs, key fobs, etc.  So I think I figured out a way to do it myself using my PC, Microsoft Word, and an inkjet printer.

I opened up a new Word document and, since I knew I wanted very small labels, I went to page layout and created four columns (see “more columns”).

FlLabels1

Then it was just a matter of “inserting” a jpeg picture of my logo that I had on file (resizing it to fit)  and adding the wording in the style, size, and font I liked best.  Once I had one done, all I had to do was “cut & paste” it down the page until all the columns were filled up for one page.

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Next, get out the freezer paper, and the tightest weave white muslin you have on hand.

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Iron some freezer paper onto the muslin and cut it down with your rotary cutter and ruler so it’s exactly the size of a piece of paper (8-1/2 x 11”).

FlLabels

Iron it again—just to be sure all the corners and edges are secure.  I like to run my lint remover over it, just to be sure I didn’t pick up any stray threads.

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For my printer, I needed to put the prepared fabric upside-down so it would feed correctly.  And print on best quality setting.

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To be sure it’s secure on the item, I fused it to a sheet of Steam-A-Seam 2 (double fusible web).

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Hint:  After it’s cool, it’s easier to pull the backing sheet off now, rather than later.  But be sure to save the backing sheet!

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Then it’s just a matter of cutting the labels to the size you want.  I like to do them a column at a time, and only cut what I need.  I can put the sheet of labels that’s left back onto the saved backing sheet to store for the next time I need them.

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First I iron them onto the item (it helps secure them for stitching).

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And then I stitch them in place, using a matching thread.

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And here are the finished key fobs!

I’m not sure how much these labels will stand up to washing—but since many of my smaller items don’t need to be washed much (if at all), I’m not worried.  I may do a test in the future just for fun.

Until next time…HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Halloween Quilt #2 Topsy Turvy Finished

Halloween Quilt #2 Topsy Turvy Finished

A few months back, I had started this Halloween Quilt (no. 2 in a series) using Riley Black’s “Boo to You” fabrics, and wrote about it in this blog

I finally got the quilting done and binding on and thought I’d share it with you!

HTwo3

Does that happen to you?  I get so excited about trying a new technique or cutting and piecing the new fabric for the top, that I’m on to the next project and it takes me “forever” to get around to quilting and binding.

You should see my piles UFOs (UnFinished Objects)–no I won’t show you!  lol

If you’ll remember, I started this quilt with the “Boo to You” fabric and an idea that I created using my EQ7 software program and a book by Sharyn Squier Craig called “Twist n/Turn”. Looks like the book might be out of print, but you can find similar tutorials online by Googling “tilted block quilt pattern”.  Here’s a picture of the final EQ7 design.

EQ7-Halloween-2_thumb.jpg

It was fun to make, and it’s now photographed and uploaded for sale at my Mulberry Patch Quilts Shop .

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My favorite spot to photograph–my good friend & neighbor’s fence!

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Only “friendly” Halloween characters!

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I can’t tell you how many times I put the triangles on going the wrong way!

Until next time…HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Salvaging Your Selvages

Salvaging Your Selvages

Salvaging: (Verb) … the act of saving anything from fire, danger, etc.” (the trash)

Selvage:  (Noun) ..the edge of woven fabric finished so as to prevent raveling, often in a narrow tape effect, different from the body of the fabric.”

The selvage of the fabric is that little strip down the lengthwise edge of the yardage.  It gives you lots of information…the fabric company, the fabric line, the designer, and little test dots in various colors.  They’re usually white, but occasionally may be a pale color.

Want to salvage your selvages?  Let’s get started!

Save your selvages.  I’ve learned to rotary cut at least 1-1/4” from the edge of the fabric so I can get a bit of the actual fabric along with the selvage edge.  That way I can decide later how much of the actual fabric I want exposed in my project.  I put the selvages in a container, one by one, and over time I accumulate a bunch of them.  You can see in the photo that I’ve got quite a pile.

Next you’ll need a foundation.  I used a piece of cotton muslin, but any cotton weight fabric will do—even that fabric you no longer like (it won’t show in the final project).  Then I cut the foundation fabric into the size square I wanted (5”).

Starting at one corner of the foundation square, lay down a small piece of fabric, then cover the raw edge with the outside edge of a selvage. Roughly cut off the ends—so it’s just a little larger than the foundation.  Next, pull another selvage from your pile and cover up the raw edge of the previous selvage with its outside edge.  Continue doing this until you have the entire foundation covered.   If you don’t like it, you can move them around at this point.

Once you’re happy with the arrangement, carefully set them next to your sewing machine in order and one by one top stitch each into place over the raw edge of the previous selvage and foundation piece.  You can choose to let a lot of the fabric show, or none at all—it’s up to you.  Continue sewing until the entire foundation is covered with your selvages.

I like to give it a good press with Best Press or other fabric sizing.

Then turn it over on your cutting mat and cut it to the size of your foundation piece, using your rotary cutter and ruler.

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And there you have it!  A beautiful block you can use any way you’d like.  Because these were done diagonally across the foundation block, they make a nice zig-zag pattern when two or more are put together.

You can make several and sew them into a quilt.  Or make just a few and sew them together to make a bag or pouch.  The possibilities are endless.

I chose to make four blocks (two for the front and two for the back),

…added a bright green lining & batting and did a little straight stitch machine quilting…added a zipper

and made mine into a cute little zippered bag.

Selvage2

It’s the perfect size to carry a cell phone, sunglasses, keys, etc.…

Selvage6

or for keeping small things in order inside your luggage bag for the next trip…

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My talented sister taught me how to do micro macramé while I visited her in Michigan (she makes amazing jewelry)—so I made a macramé zipper pull with a few beads just for fun.

What will you use your selvages for?  A quilt? …pillow? …vest? …purse?

Start saving them now, so you’ll have them when the creative urge strikes you!  ..so you can salvage your selvages!

(If you’re interested, the little zippered bag is for sale in my Etsy Shop HERE.)

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Finished Quilting My Second OBW (One Block Wonder)

Finished Quilting My Second OBW (One Block Wonder)

I worked really hard yesterday on finishing my One Block Wonder top that I finished a couple weeks ago (see previous blog).

Having the rainy, humid Sunday afternoon helped get me get out of the garden and get the ambition to go down to do the quilting on my Tin Lizzy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And while I hand sewed the binding to the back of the quilt, I was able to catch up on a few episodes of  “Call the Midwives” before the big finale Sunday night. (I was finished in time to give the final episode of  “Selfridge” my full attention… LOL!)OBW6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like the way it turned out.  I tried to echo the flowers in the pattern of the “Samba” fabric, by quilting free-hand swirls and flowers throughout.

OBW1

I think the deep blue border & binding help “reign” in the color explosion!

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…as well as the calm blue backing.  Do you agree?

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OBW4

I can’t wait to do this again.  One Block Wonder’s are so much fun to do.  I think it’s the surprise you get when you start cutting out the 60 degree triangles and sewing them together.  It’s amazing how fabrics off the bolt turn out in the final project.  On my travels to visit my sister in Michigan—I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for a fabric that will make another interesting One Block Wonder…

BTW, this OBW is for sale in my Mulberry Patch Quilts Etsy Shop

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

One Block Wonder Spin Off Quilts!

One Block Wonder Spin Off Quilts!

On page 56 of the “One-Block Wonders” book by Maxine Rosenthal, she talks about creating “Sensational Squares” from some of your layered fabric.  After I finished cutting the 60 degree triangles for the OBW in the “Samba” fabric (see last week’s blog), I decided to cut a few of these squares in case I wanted to use them as connectors in my quilt.  She has you cut a four-layer square, then cut it from corner to corner, and sew the triangles back together into a square with a new design…like this.

Babystar1

I decided not to use them in my Samba Kaleidoscope quilt, and I didn’t want to waste them (of course!)…so I decided to challenge myself to come up with another way to use them!

First, I added a black border to each one:

First I laid them out on some blue fabric I happened to have in my stash, thinking an idea would come to me…but I couldn’t find a layout idea I liked…so

I got on my computer and used EQ7 (Electric Quilt) to try different designs until I finally decided on this star pattern, putting the squares in the center!

It took a little math to figure out what size to  make the squares to sew the easy-to-make triangle blocks the right size…

But I over-sized them, so it was easy to trim each one to the exact size I needed.

I had plenty of star blocks, so instead of one large quilt, I decided to make two baby quilts…

The first one has black sashing with an outer border of blue swirl from my Moda “Bungle Jungle” yardage:

Here’s my EQ7 rendering–

Baby black sash 2

And the final quilt top (yet to be quilted—I need to go shopping for a backing):

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And here’s Quilt #2 which started out with white sashing,

BUT I thought the white sashing just blended in too much with the star blocks.  So after trying a few different sashings, I finally decided that I liked the addition of a strip of black in each sashing strip:

babystarb2

So here’s the finished top bordered with “Samba” fabric, ready to be quilted. (If I had to do it again, I would have made the cornerstones red.  I’ll use either a red or black binding.

Babystarblog2

What’s next in my Kaleidoscope exploration?

Well, I’m taking an online class from “Craftsy called Quilted Kaleidoscopes with Marilyn Foreman. I love it.  I found a wonderful fabric at Mill House Quilts, (“Jasmine” by Timeless Treasures).  I’m planning to make a kaleidoscope table runner that the instructor shows as one of several class projects.  I think the fabric is going to work beautifully for it, and I can’t wait to stack it up into four layers for this technique, cut squares out, and see what kaleidoscope effects will happen!

I’ll be sure share the results (good or bad) with you next time!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts