Tuesdays Tips -Quilting: HST Tip Tool

Tuesdays Tips -Quilting: HST Tip Tool

Hi! Thought you might enjoy a quick tip when you need to join half square triangles (HST) the traditional way–by sewing two triangles together.

I’m working on a Christmas quilt, and the pattern calls for cutting squares in half (corner to corner) and sewing them together.

I usually make my HST by cutting squares a bit larger, stacking them right sides together, drawing a line from corner to corner, sewing 1/4″ on either side of the line, cutting between the lines, pressing and squaring them up to size. You know the drill.

Or (if I have the right size die) I’ll use my Accuquilt to cut perfect triangles with the dog ears pre-trimmed. But for this pattern, I didn’t have the right size die.

So…I happened to remember a sweet little tool I got at the Quilt Expo quite awhile back (and amazingly was able to find it)! It’s a Porter & Fons Triangle Trimmer. It made the job so much easier.

Just line it up with the corner and trim!

Why? Because it makes the triangles easier to line up, and easier to feed through the machine (easier to get the trimmed edge under to needle than that tiny point).

And because once they’re opened up and pressed, there are no dog ears to trim.

I was lucky…these HST finished up right on target, so there was no need to spend time squaring.

So if you’re into a project that calls for sewing HST the old fashioned way…take a look in your tool stash. You just might have forgot about this great little tool.

Hope this tip was helpful. Until next time,

HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Making Folded Fabric Pine Cone Ornaments

Making Folded Fabric Pine Cone Ornaments

A customer asked if I’d do a custom order for my folded fabric pine cone ornaments, and I was happy to make some for her.

I love using the Prairie Pointer by Susan K Cleveland. Along with the Woolie Felted Ironing Mat, & my Tailor’s Clapper, it’s the perfect trifecta for ironing crisp and perfect little prairie points.

First, I cut dozens of little squares and fold them in half and iron

Then I center the Perfect Pointer & use it to fold down the sides…slip it under the iron and use my new wooden Riley Blake Tailor’s Clapper to help them keep their crease while cooling.

One by one, I pin each one to the styrofoam egg base…

And they’re finished! Aren’t they cute…?

Four of these (in fall colors of brown, rust, & gold) are on their way to a wonderful customer in Virginia. But I made a few extra pine cones that are in my shop now, and plan to make more to add in the coming months.

If you’re interested in getting a pine cone ornament (or Christmas or Easter ornament), be sue to stop in my shop, Mulberry Patch Quilts and go to the “ornaments” section.

Hope you’ve enjoyed seeing what I’ve been up to.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Chocolate Coffee Quilted Mug Rug PQ 10.6

Chocolate Coffee Quilted Mug Rug PQ 10.6

I found this cute panel fabric ages ago, and the last Project Quilting challenge of this year is a great time for me to use it!

This week’s PQ challenge is “Craving Chocolate”. I don’t know about you, but when I crave a yummy piece of chocolate, a cup of coffee isn’t far behind. And the chocolaty browns in the panel make me think of a delicious mocha coffee. Mmmm! Chocolate AND coffee…my mouth is watering already.

To make this coffee & chocolate mug rug, I used my EQ8 computer program to design a simple flying geese paper piecing pattern and printed a bunch of them on a single piece of paper.  I like using a newsprint-weight paper.  Then I pulled some fabrics from my stash and got to work.

Here’s a photo (above) of sewing the very first seam on the paper piecing template…always the hardest part.  I find it takes a few seams before I get into my “paper-piecing rhythm” going.

A couple seams under my belt, and here (above photo) I’m folding back the paper on the seam line to trim the fabric to 1/4″ so I can add the next piece of fabric.

A quick press & it’s ready to “fold back paper, trim 1/4 inch, add next piece, sew on the line…and repeat”!  …the paper piecing mantra!
The tiny block is done & ready to flip over & trim on the outside line (above)…it’ll finish up to be a 2 inch square when it’s all said and done.

And here’s one of the final blocks (above)… very cute … time to get busy–more to make!

If I trim the panel just a bit across the top and bottom, the strip of flying geese (once they’re all sewn together) should fit perfectly on the side.

After trimming, sewing on the strip of flying geese and border, it’s ready to sandwich up for some machine quilting. I’ll outline the hearts, coffee cups, and do some additional straight stitching.

All that’s left to do is the binding. I like to sew a 1-1/2 inch strip of single binding to the front & fold and hand sew it to the back. It takes longer, but it just looks so much better than my attempts to finish the binding completely by machine.

CoffeeMR9c

And here it is! Ready to enter for this week’s challenge.  And for sale in my ETSY SHOP:  Mulberry Patch Quilts! 🙂

CoffeeMR8

And a close-up of the little flying geese…

IMG_8223

I hope you’ll get the chance to join in on the fun and VOTE for your favorite entries this week on the LAST Project Quilting Challenge of this season.   Just follow the link, scroll down to the bottom, and click on the little heart in the upper right hand corner of each of the thumbnail photos that you like best.  You’ll probably get about ten votes.

Voting begins Sunday afternoon (3/23/19) and goes through sometime Friday (3/30/19).  Hope one of your votes is for me (hint-hint).

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

 

 

Project Quilting Challenge 10.5 Words

Project Quilting Challenge 10.5 Words

This week our PQ challenge designer, Trish, came up with a word about words that I’ve never heard before… abecedarius. …what? My spellchecker can’t even find it (lol).

The word “abecedarius” means “an alphabet primer.” Literally, the word itself is made up of a+b+c+d! It can refer to a form of poetry where the first letter of each line or verse is the next letter of the alphabet, or it can be a book where each letter is defined (A is for … B is for …).

Lucky for me I can interpret this challenge very loosely, and make it into an opportunity to make a paper pieced wallhanging with a background made up of fabric with words!

I found this in amazing Moda fabric in my stash. It features dozens and dozens of actual quilt store names. Do you recognize any of the shop names? I recognize a few. They’re from all over the US.

Trees8The pattern I’m using is paper pieced. Don’t you just love paper piecing? I think it’s relaxing…no stress, no seams to worry about matching. And somehow, by using the lines on the paper as sewing guides, it all comes out nicely in the end.

Here are some of the pattern pieces on the design wall. I think the hardest part was choosing which fabrics go where.

A light box really helps with the paper piecing process. My new Cutterpillar came with a translucent self-healing cutting mat so I can actually rotary cut the fabric right on top of it.

It doesn’t take long for the trees to magically emerge on the back side of all the papet piecing patterns.

And here the little trees are…ready to square up and quilt.

I chose to quilt straight lines with my walking foot…outlining the trees and then filling in the background with rows of horizontal stitching..

Trees6

And here’s the result: I’m calling it “Whispering Pines” because they seem to be whispering the names of all those quilt shops in the background … all calling my name to come shop (lol).

Trees4Very simple, but sweet.  The wall hanging has hanging triangles on the back top corners to make it easy to hang on the wall.  It’ll soon be in my Etsy Shop for sale.

Trees5a

COME JOIN IN THE FUN…go to the Project Quilting website to see this week’s entries and to vote for you favorites (hope one of them is mine, #14 “Whispering Pines” …hint, hint). Voting starts Sunday afternoon, March 10 and runs through Friday, March 15, 2019.

HOW TO VOTE: Just go to the link above, scroll down to the bottom until you see the thumbnail photos of the quilts. Then click on the heart in the upper right hand side of the photo of the entry you want to vote for ❤️ and it’ll fill the heart in & tell you how many votes you have left. If there are over a hundred entries, you’ll get 10 votes. Enjoy!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Baby Knit Hats for “Hope 2 Others” Charity

Baby Knit Hats for “Hope 2 Others” Charity

March is National Quilt month! My Quiltsy Team on Etsy (a group of quilting artists who sell their work on the Etsy.com website) is celebrating by featuring a different member each day and the charities they support.

So today I’d like to share photos of donations I’ve just finished up to give to Hope 2 Others, a non-profit based in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, that operates with the mission of improving education and health care in developing countries.

I first heard about them through a “Hats 4 Hope” charity work day held at Mill House Quilts where we gathered to sew soft stretchy fleece baby hats.

One of the many ways “Hope 2 Others” helps is through their distribution of the Hats 4 Hope care kits that give at-risk babies a chance at life. 

For more info on the charity and their kits, watch the interview of Karen Klemp and Jane Krogstad on Sewing with Nancy: Nancy’s Corner.

It’s a brutal winter here in Wisconsin, so while I’m spending more time indoors, I like to do hand work in the evenings, and knitting a baby hat is an easy thing to make while catching up on a favorite TV show. This year I knit soft, stretchy hats in a variety of sizes, using up some beautiful yarns I already had on hand. There’s variegated blue & red, yellow & green, orange, and a variety of pink, white & baby blue.

I recently dropped all these off at Mill House Quilts (one of the many drop-off sites), and I hope they’ll be helpful and enjoyed.

They say that this simple gift can make a huge difference in the life of a child, where threat of death from infant hypothermia is a real concern. It takes just two minutes for a wet, newborn baby to lose a dangerous two degrees in body temperature. Most of this vital heat is lost through soft spots on a baby’s head.

From May-August, Tanzania experiences its rainy and winter seasons. Karen Klemp (founder) explained, “People don’t think countries along the equator are cool, but when you are in the mountains and at altitude and in the rainy season, it gets very chilly, and it does not take much for a baby to lose its heat.

If you’re interested in knitting a hat, I’ve developed a free pattern on my blog here. You can choose to add the striped hearts, or leave them plain.

Or if you prefer to sew hats instead of knitting, make the hats with fleece fabric. There’s a free pattern with a step-by-step tutorial at Nancy Zieman’s charity website.

If you live in south central Wisconsin, there are several drop off sites listed on their website, or you can mail your hats directly to their office address: Hope 2 Others, P.O. Box 1006, Sun Prairie, WI 53590.

Since there’s plenty of cold Wisconsin weather left, I’m going to keep those knitting needles clicking, and maybe add a few cuddly soft sewn 36 inch receiving blankets as well.

What charities do you support with your quilting, sewing, or knitting talents? I’d love if you’d share them in the comments section below!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING (or knitting),

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Fear-less — Pixel Play Project Quilting 10.4 Challenge

Fear-less — Pixel Play Project Quilting 10.4 Challenge

This week Trish (our challenge designer for Project Quilting) chose PIXEL PLAY for our 10.4 challenge.

This week, I’d like you to be inspired by these particles, whether you pixelize a picture, make use of low resolution like 8-bit graphics, or are merely inspired by these hard-working colored boxes.

Since I love to work with mosaics, the thought of working with pixels was inspiring. So I’m definitely IN this week. Thanks Trish!

I found a website (Pixel Stitch) that will convert a photo to an embroidery pattern made up of squares. Although it’s made for embroidery, it creates a grid of the pixels in the photo with colors, so it works for pixelated quilt patterns just as well. All I had to do was figure out how big each square would need be to make a reasonably-sized quilt that I might actually be able to finish during a busy week.

https://www.pixel-stitch.net/index.html

Another site (Pic2Pat) does the same thing: http://www.pic2pat.com/index.en.html

We had an juvenile owl, called a “jumper” (because it was just learning to fly), in our back yard a few years ago. You can read about it HERE. It was rescued and placed back in its nest. I’ll never forget the surprise I got when I saw the little guy several days later. He had learned how to fly and was sitting on our back yard fence staring at me with those big yellow owl eyes, almost as if to say “thank you…I’m fine now…and I’m fearless”. I knew that I had to capture the fierce look in those riveting, yet beautiful eyes in a future quilt.

I thought I needed to print the pattern to the full size, but later realized all I really needed was a copy large enough to follow alongside my gridded work surface.

The printed pattern sheets taped together

The next decision was what technique to use to get all those little squares (half inch) together on a quilt? The squares are far too small for me to piece. I’ll have to use a raw edge technique. Hmmmmm… how about placing squares on some sort of foundation and stitching over them to keep them in place. But what kind of foundation? I’ve used fusible woven interfacing before and ironed them into place. I’ve also used Steam-a-Seam II. Or I could use a temporary glue on muslin to keep them all in place until they’re stitched down. Or even pin tulle over them before stitching.

I decided to use a technique I used to do the quilt of my father in a previous post. It involves marking a quarter-inch grid on a fusible light weight interfacing and ironing each 1/4″ fabric square to the grid using the printed pattern as my guide.

Half-inch squares of batiks sorted by value

Placing squares side-by-side on the fusible interfacing grid

Original print out helps keep me on track

I placed a shear tulle over the squares before I started free motion quilting.

Strips of paper help keep me in the right place

Superior & Aurifil threads for quilting

Closeup of free motion quilting

Closeup of the owl eye

And the little guy is done! Doesn’t he/she look fearless? And I finished just in time to enter it in this week’s Project Quilting Challenge Season 10.4 (2019).

COME JOIN IN THE FUN…go to their website to see this week’s entries and to vote for you favorites (hope one of them is mine, #36 “Fear-less Owl”, hint, hint). Voting starts Sunday afternoon, Feb. 24th and runs through Friday, March 1st, 2019.

HOW TO VOTE: Just go to the link above, scroll down to the bottom until you see the thumbnail photos of the quilts. Then click on the heart in the upper right hand side of the photo of the entry you want to vote for ❤️ and it’ll fill the heart in & tell you how many votes you have left. If there are over a hundred entries, you’ll get 10 votes. Enjoy!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

My Favorite Iron for Quilting

My Favorite Iron for Quilting

One New Year resolution for 2019 is to organize leftover scraps, so I decided to spend a little time this morning ironing the mess. It just makes it so much easier to find what I need. That made me think about how much I love my iron…and about sharing that with you.

You may remember the earlier blog about the problems I had with the Rowenta Pro Steam Iron. I desperately needed a new iron. There are so many irons out there, I had no idea where to start.

Then I remembered the iron I used while I was at the quilting retreat at The Jones Mansion …a gravity fed iron. It was by far the BEST iron I’d ever used.

The model I decided to purchase was the Hot Steam Gravity Fed Iron, and I ordered it through Wawak.com sewing supplies (right around $100, including the iron, hot plate, hose, & water tank).

It was easy to hang the water tank from a plant hanger I attached to the wall above my window. And it uses tap water with a demineralizer (resin) that only needs replacing a couple times a year. It heats up fast, creates nice flat seams, and the on-demand steam by pressing the thumb switch is wonderful.

The only downside is that it’s not very portable. Because of the water tank, it is easiest to keep it in one spot.

Here’s the water tank…

And my lovely iron…I’ve had it for almost 5 years now and still love it! ❤️

Paired with my homemade large ironing board surface and my new Wooly ironing mat, I’m a very happy camper (or I should say happy quilter)!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING,

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts