Project Quilting 9.3: Bold & Brave, Fabric Weaving Technique

Project Quilting 9.3: Bold & Brave, Fabric Weaving Technique

So for challenge #3 of this ninth season of Project Quilting we got the words “bold & brave”.

It was interesting to me that Kim had mentioned the new wefty needle process for weaving strips of fabric together. I’ve been wanting to try that technique, and now would be the perfect week to do it.

It’s something new, so I’ll be BRAVE by getting out of my comfort zone. And I’ll use some of my BOLD hand dyed fabrics in bright red, pink, with a bit of yellow throw in. And for the background, I’ll add some of my hand dyed teal greens. All the strips will go beautifully with a fat quarter of Tula Pink’s BOLD kitty fabric That I simply love.

The first challenge I had was that I don’t own that cool wefty needle…which, btw, I DO intend to purchase in the very near future. But because we’re expecting a snow storm today, I didn’t feel like trecking out to find it and online isn’t fast enough (I want it now!), So I found a tool from my old clothing sewing days that might work. It’s intended to help you insert elastic in your waistband. For today, it will just have to do.

The next challenge was finding my Clover 1/2″ bias tape maker. I knew I had an entire set of them somewhere. But where? A-hah, I found them…in every size imaginable, EXCEPT the 1/2 inch size. So, again not wanting to venture out, I decided to go with smaller strips and use my 1/4 inch bias tape make instead. I may as well be bold AND brave (or is that “stupid”)?

I decided on a modern box weaving pattern that I can use with the Tula Pink fabric to make some kind of a bag. I liked the fresh, modern look. Of course it’s one of the more difficult weaves … and right off the bat I wove the first 5 rows wrong and had to take them out and start over…but I CAN DO this (be bold, be brave, be courageous!!)…be persistent!

Here I’m beginning my first try…no, no, no

And here I’m re-weaving them on my second and more successful try…

Ahhhh!  Much better…at least I hope so. You know the old saying…”measure twice, cut once”? Well in this case it’s “count twice before weaving in the next strip”!

…notice the cute little “boxes” that are formed in the weave? …love it!

Isn’t it cute with my Tula Pink kitty fabric?

Now to decide what to make…hmmmmm.

I looked through every pattern and book I own, and decided on the “snack sack” from Atkinson Designs, “Big Bags, Little Bags”. I’m had to make some changes (not quite big enough) and I wanted to adapt it as a small bag to carry my cell phone & keys (cross body  strap) so I can grab my phone & keys when I take Snicks for a walk. …perfect!

Oops…forgot to insert the rings BEFORE sewing the loops onto the bag! Yikies! Good thing I could open up the rings and slide each through their fabric loop…

Here’s the inside (lining side) of the cell phone bag … it’s quilted to the woven front, French side seams done, & bottom sewn & zigzagged…no batting needed, and it’s ready to turn right side out. and bind the top edge.

Snicks approves, but was not happy to be woken up from her nap in the sunshine to see it.  She’s not overly enthusiastic.


I’m happy with it.

My phone fits perfectly inside the little bag, and I can attach a ring to add my keys.


Found the perfect button in my stash!



This is the photo I think I’ll use for PR

I’m done early!  Voting for Project Quilting Season 9, Challenge #3 starts SUNDAY AFTERNOON, FEB 11 through FRIDAY, FEB 16.  I hope you’ll come vote for your ten favorite quilted objects (and of course I hope one of your votes is for mine).

Oh, BTW, I DID order the Wefty Needle from Tara’s ETSY SHOP: WEFTYneedle.  I’m sure her tool will make my next project easier and faster.  Can’t wait to get it and try weaving a different pattern–only next time I’ll do it with 1/2 inch or 1 inch folded strips instead of 1/4 inch.  …that reminds me…where IS that 1/2 inch bias tape maker of mine??

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

(Madison WI)

Project Quilting Challenge—Confetti

Project Quilting Challenge—Confetti


It’s January, and time to begin Project Quilting!  As you’ll remember from last year, this challenge is put on by Kim Lacapik of Persimon Dreams blog.  Just like “Project Runway”, Project Quilting has a challenge, a time restriction, and instead of voting someone off, the viewer votes who wins!

I’ve been wanting to participate again this year, because it helps the after-holiday, mid-winter blues, and jump starts creativity.

This week’s challenge (#1) is “CONFETTI”.  Right up my alley.  I immediately thought of the “confetti technique” I first saw demonstrated by Noriko Endo.  I’ve used this technique for many of my art quilts in the past, and was wanting to begin a new one.  This challenge is just what I need to get me going.

First I need inspiration…so I took some time to look through my photographs to find something that inspires me. I think I’ll choose a single tree.  One that is the very first to show it’s color and even start dropping some leaves before the others have turned—and the grass is still green.


First, I need to prepare some “confetti” by cutting up batiks and some of my hand-dyed fabrics for the leaves…


Next is the background.  I’ve chosen some hand dyed fabrics for the sky & commercial batiks for the background & foreground.


I cut and temporarily “paste” strips of grey & black fabric onto the background for the tree trunk & branches.


Then “sprinkle” and position the confetti leaves.


Everything gets encased in black tulle & pinned before it’s taken to my sewing machine.


First I straight stitch around the edges so nothing “falls out”, using dark grey cotton thread and my walking foot.


After that, I put on the free-motion foot, drop the feed dogs, and sew over the confetti & tulle with different colors of variegated thread.


I liked the look of circles.



Now I can move on to the bottom half and add the confetti for the leaves that have fallen to the ground.  Everything needs pinning so the confetti doesn’t fall out before I get to the machine!


It always looks better once it’s all straightened and trimmed.


I like to add triangles to the corners so the piece can be hung by wooden dowels.  So here you can see the triangles and binding ready to sew by hand.


And it’s finished.  I’m so glad I got it done in time…it took about 5 days–just finished in time to post today…(deadline is Sunday)…


I hope you’ll go to Persimon’s Dream blog and vote for your favorite “confetti” quilt.  The voting starts soon…January 10, 2016!!

UPDATE:  The voting has closed, & my art quilt came in #2 (SECOND!!) out of the 67 beautiful quilts entered!  I’m so pleased!!  If yours was one of my votes, I want to say thank you so much for your vote!


Hope you enjoyed my journey through making the quilted wall hanging this week to enter in PROJECT QUILTING:  SEASON 7 (2016)!!  It was fun.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Tessellating Leaves Paper Piecing

Tessellating Leaves Paper Piecing

So I found a pattern I’ve had for ages—“Little Bits: Fallen Leaves” by Cindi Edgerton (2001) for paper piecing tessellating leaves.  It’s a beautiful pattern and includes tissue paper patterns for each of the 25 leaves in the piece.  It’s one of those patterns that’s been sitting in my stash too long.

I’ve had a fascination with tessellating patterns for awhile now.  I think they’re so interesting.  So when I found this particular pattern, I had to give it a try.  Instead of the tissue paper patterns included in the pattern envelope, I chose to copy the patterns onto “Carol Doak’s Foundation Paper” using my printer/copier.  The foundation paper has the consistency of newsprint–it’s easy to remove, yet stable enough to hold up when piecing.

The first step is to find 25 different scraps of fabric and cut them into squares, rectangles and triangles.  No problem…

Each leaf pattern has different numbers on it—which makes it a “no brainer” once you create the master chart (see below).  The first number printed on the pattern piece is the order for paper piecing (1 to 2; 2 to 3; etc), and the second number is the fabric (1/8 = first piece with #8 fabric from your chart).

So…you need to do a paste-up board numbering each of your different fabrics from 1-25, plus a border “B” fabric (see above).  Then you’re ready to start…


Grab a square of fabric that corresponds with the second number on the pattern after 1/# (I’m working on 1/8–so I grabbed fabric #8).  Place it on the  to back of the paper piecing pattern (this is the only time the fabric is placed right side up).  I like to use a dab of glue stick to keep it in place.

Then flip the paper pattern over, fold the paper back on the first fold line and trim the fabric to about 1/4” from the line with your ruler…

Go to the chart to find your next fabric number—in this case it’s a triangle (fabric #13…2/13)

And place that fabric on the trimmed line, right sides together (from now on every piece will be face down).  You can add a pin to keep in in place, but after awhile you won’t even need to.

Then “flip” the paper over and sew right on the line (using a smaller stitch—like a 2.0)…between 1 & 2.

Flip and finger press the fabric in place.  Then grab the next triangle (in this case it’s fabric #7)…

…and do the same thing.  Fold the paper to trim the next seam, flip and add the triangle to the seam you just trimmed (right sides together).

And sew on the line…then repeat the process…

…flip, finger press, flip, fold on the line, trim fabric, add the next fabric rst, flip and sew on the line, etc.

Here’s the smaller rectangle being added.

Until you’ve sewed all the pieces and your block is done.

Then square up your block by trimming on the outside line (be sure to cut on the outer line—not the seam line).

Put the blocks up on your design wall, join blocks into rows…

And then rows into the center of your quilt.

Here’s the back…don’t remove the paper until you’re all done adding the borders.

I love the way the pattern showed you how to sew the leftover triangles into 3-dimensional triangles that make the leaves “float” into the inner border.  Don’t you?  Now all that’s left is to get material for the outer border.  Then I can remove the paper and quilt it into a wall hanging or table topper.

Paper piecing takes a bit longer to do, but I think the results are worth the extra time.  It was like putting the pieces of a puzzle together.

Have you ever done a tessellating quilt?  Or paper piecing?  If so, post a photo!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Halloween 2 Quilt

Halloween 2 Quilt

Since I had some of the cute fabrics left from the Halloween Quilt, I went into my EQ7 (Electric Quilt program) and decided to design a second quilt using the fabric I had left over.

EQ7 Halloween 2It took several tries, but finally came up with this idea—kind of a topsy-turvy block set.

I had just enough of all the fabrics left to do it.














Here’s the individual block centers being fussy cut…my remainder looked a little like swiss cheese (so many holes)!


And here they’re surrounded in either the black/orange stripe or candy corn…


It took me several tries before I figured out the math to cut the right size rectangles (sliced corner to corner) to create the triangles to make the blocks tilt!


And a little trial and error as well to remember how to piece them! There’s a “trick” to this trick-or treat quilt!


But in the end, I think it will work just fine…I used an eyebrow pencil to mark the area to square up the tilted block.  (Eyebrow pencil will show up on the ruler, but is easy to wipe off after you’re done–and it doesn’t come off while your working as easily as dry-erase pen.)


All that’s left is to piece the rows & columns, add the borders.  I’ll post the final photos of both Halloween quilt tops soon.



Mulberry Patch Quilts


Autumn Leaves Art Quilt Series #2

Autumn Leaves Art Quilt Series #2

I’m working on the second in the “Autumn Leaves” series for the McGregor-Marquette Center for the Arts.

It begins with one of my hand-dyed turquoise blue fabrics as a background.

This time I sandwiched the top and backing fabrics with low-loft Pellon batting, and a layer of craft interfacing (Pellon 809 Deco-Bond) before beginning.









Next I added more colors of shredded hand-dyed and batik fabrics to “paint with” and started sprinkling them on.  It takes a long time to adjust them just so.  I find a tweezers (or in this case a dental tool) works much better than fingers!









It’s a very messy process.  The little bits of shredded fabric get everywhere!  I find I have to clean out the sewing machine often…









…and keep a lint roller handy!









After layering tulle netting on top and free-hand quilting the layers together (catching the bits of fabric in between) with several colors of variegated thread, I add more branches, quilt again–  And finally bind the edges–using the backing technique I put in my earlier post.









I like the depth the different colors give the piece.















I’d like to do a piece specific to the McGregor – Marquette area…I’m searching for some of our hiking trips to Effigy Mounds National Park to see if there’s something inspiring.

Until next time…



Mulberry Patch Quilts



Art Quilt Backing Technique for Hanging on Wall

I’ve been working furiously this week-end on creating a new autumn leaves art quilt using the “confetti” technique to add to my collection for the McGregor Marquette Center for the Arts display (opening May 16th).

Starting with a piece of my hand-dyed aqua fabric as a background, and shredding up several different hand-dyed shades of red, green, brown, black and yellows, I started “painting” by sprinkling the “confetti” onto the background.


then adding tulle netting and heavily free-hand quilting it with variegated cotton thread in shades of green, gold, red.  Finally adding the tree trunk and limbs in black fabric, quilted in black cotton thread…


I decided to try a new technique for backing the art quilt.  I first stiffened it by adding Pellon craft fuse-on interfacing to the back lining, and then cut four squares (5″ each) and pressed them in half–adding them to each corner of the back of the quilt.  The raw edges are sewn into the binding and the raw edges will be encased when I fold the binding to the back and hand stitch it closed.


Then I can simply add a thin wooden dowel to both the top two triangles to hang it on the wall, and I can add another dowel across the bottom (tucked into the bottom two triangles) to keep it from “curling” over time.


I’ve seen this technique before on some “Pinterest” sites, and I think it might be the best way to hang smaller art quilts.  So for the smaller ones (those under 24″), I adopting this technique from now on.  There are a lot of great tutorials out there…here’s a great 2 minute tutorial via Craftsy by Beth Ferrier:

For my larger art quilts, or for those going to shows, I’ll add the usual hanging sleeve in the traditional way.  Here’s a tutorial for how to do that:

All that’s left to do is to add my label to the back, and my art quilt is finished!

On to the next…

Happy Quilting!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Leaves on the Forest Floor art quilt

I’m so excited to have been accepted by the jury to show several of my art quilts this summer at the McGregor-Marquette Center for the Arts.  They’re located in McGregor, Iowa–just across the Wisconsin/Iowa border. If you go to visit, be sure to stop at the beautiful Effigy Mounds National Monument for a hike, and the Old Man River Restaurant and Brewery for some of the best hamburgers we’ve every tasted!

I want to make a few new pieces to take with the others later this month, so I’ve started working furiously this past week…

One of my new pieces is a replication of the forest floor.  As I was taking a hike last fall, I looked straight down and was amazed at how beautiful the fallen leaves were against the forest floor.  I took several photographs, hoping to some day make a quilt.

A few days ago, after laying a background fabric onto my batting and backing, I fussy cut leaves out of some of my batik and hand-dyed fabrics.  Next, I  took them to my machine and free-hand quilted them each down, trying to emphasize the veins in each leaf.









It took some time (a few days actually) to carefully free-hand quilt around each and every leaf…I have to take several breaks.









I decided it needed a little spark of color, so I did a three-piece border surrounding the main leaves…it has a peach batik narrow border, with a very small folded 1/2″ strip, and then a border of background fabric, bound in the same stripe.









Here it is, finished…and it does remind me of the hike in the woods.









My next piece is going to replicate autumn leaves in full color, using the “confetti” quilting technique…

Happy Quilting!


Mulberry Patch Quilts



Art Quilt Wallhanging of Devil’s State Park

Ever since I was a little girl, the family (first with my own mom & dad, later with my husband & children) loved to take the trip up to Devil’s Lake State Park in Wisconsin and hike the bluffs.  The quiet lake is so serene, and the bluffs change color with the seasons.  I wanted to make a quilted wall hanging of a scene from the lake path viewing the opposite side of the lake in full color.

I found the perfect watery batik fabric, and then searched through my stash of hand-dyed and batiks to come up with the colors I needed.  Then started cutting and “pasting” the horizon and water.


To create the land on the opposite side of the lake, I cut up the fabric (confetti style) and carefully placed the different colors across the fabric base, adding tulle netting and pins to keep everything in place.


Then very carefully took it to my sewing machine to quilt the layers together, so none of the “confetti” fabric moved.


After quilting the sky & water, I wanted to add a rocky shoreline in the foreground.


I tried piecing individual rocks to the foreground, but the cut fabric just wasn’t working.


Then, in my stash, I found the perfect rock fabric–and cut it into sections to replicate the shoreline.


It wouldn’t be a trip to Devil’s Lake without seeing the turkey vultures soaring over the bluffs!  So I just had to add them.  So I hand-drew and then thread stitched a close-up of one, with several smaller ones “soaring” in the background sky.


Here’s the finished, bound quilted wall hanging–about 15 x 20″ finished.

It’s at my shop on Etsy.


The Process…

Creating a landscape or art quilt is a little intimidating…because I’m never quite sure how it will turn out.  Sometimes I get “stuck” trying to think of an idea, or imaging the fabrics I’ll use.  So I tend to procrastinate instead and make another baby quilt (much easier because it’s so much more predictable).

So, to get inspired,  I went through a bunch of my photos one night last week and pulled up several that just might make a good landscape project.  So, I decided to start with this one…


I took this photo last fall when we were taking a hike at Aztalan State Park, near Lake Mills, in Wisconsin.  There was something about the bright reds in the foreground, and the depth, that really appealed to me…

Using the photo as a starting point, I started pulling out all my fabrics.  I have bins full of fabrics–some that I’ve hand-dyed over the years, some purchased, … all sorted by color.  It takes hours to go through them and  pick out ones might work–and makes quite a mess!  But it’s fun.

Confetti 1

Then comes cutting.  After laying down the background fabrics (I found just the right blue/greysky & hand dyed green for the grass), I decided to cut up “confetti” with my rotary cutter for all the fabrics I’ll use for the bushes and tree leaves.

Here’s the tray full of little bits of fabrics in a range of colors…

Confetti 2

After that, I started sprinkling the fabric “confetti” onto the background fabrics, a little at a time–moving them around with a sharp stiletto.  You have to be sure to add lights and darks to make the landscape come to life and look more like the real thing.

Stiletto 1

Stiletto 2

After it’s just so…I have to cover the area I’m working with a mesh fabric (tulle) and pin it heavily before taking it to the sewing machine–so all the little pieces don’t fall out…

Once there, I set up my machine for free-motion quilting with cotton variegated thread (I love the Sulky Blendables) and quilt through all the layers to make sure all those little pieces stay where I want them to!

Sewing 1

Each area (the foreground, the tree and bushes on the left, and the tree on the right) have to be “sprinkled” and sewed separately.

Aztalan State Park has stockades that were put up (like telephone poles) to simulate what the area was like when the Mississippians lived there 900-1200 AD.  To create the detail, I decided to cut a strip of fabric into tiny logs and place each one by hand .  I think it made a difference.

Cutting LogsPlacing logs

Here’s a close-up of cutting the fabric “logs” and placing them on the fabric background.


And a close-up of the trees…see the “confetti” under the mesh tulle?


Photo of the free-hand quilting over the leaf fabric in the foreground.

Clean up

Have to keep my cleaning wand close at hand!

It’s a messy job…so many little bits of fabric get everywhere!

After several days of working at it, it was finally finished.

Closeup Tree

But I felt something was missing …  So I added some flying geese.

After binding, hand stitching the back, adding a label and a hanging sleeve, it was finally finished…

Full photo

This will be uploaded for sale at my Etsy Shop sometime this week-end!

Come see it at Mulberry Patch Quilts.