Scrapbuster of a Scrap Quilt

Scrapbuster of a Scrap Quilt

It’s the last challenge of the year (“Scraptastic”) for season 9 of Project Quilting, and if you’ve been following along you know I’ve entered every challenge this year so far. However, for this one I’m really in a time crunch. I think my real challenge will be to finish it in time! The entire quilted item must be started and completely finished (yup, quilted & bound) within one short week.

I’ve got bins and bins full of leftover fabric from years of sewing. Some are so old, I think they might be considered “vintage “…maybe you’ll recognize a few of these prints. I gathered my beiges, browns, threw in a few reds, greens, and blues, and made a plethora of half square triangles.

As I was pinning them up on my design wall, secondary stars began to appear in the pattern…so I purposely went back and placed light contrasting hst in white or beige in those areas to help the stars shine.

You really need to stand back to see them.

It’s a very simple pattern once you lay the hst and squares out to make one block at a time…

It’s a 16 block made up of hst and squares, and depending on where you place the lights and darks, it creates the stretched star.

Here I’ve done a little better job of alternating the beige and white stars. Each block measures 12-1/2 inches (12 inches finished). It’s a great stash buster, but as you can see on the table, half square triangles seem to multiply like bunnies when you’re not looking! The clock is ticking, so to get done in time, I’d better stop now and use those extras in another project.

I found a great backing in my stash, and here it is on my trusty Tin Lizzy ready to quilt. I’m planning to do straight lines around each of the stars and then fill in with meandering and loops between the stars with swirls inside the centers…leaving the star points unquilted so they pop.

I decided on a faux flange binding.

And here it is…finished just in time!

Hope you’ll stop by Project Quilting and vote for your favorites Mine is #50, hint-hint). Voting begins Sunday, March 25, 2018 (I think voting runs through Friday).

It’s now for sale in my shop here.

Until next time,

Happy Quilting!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

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Project Quilting Stitch in Time Entry

Project Quilting Stitch in Time Entry

So…I thought about the challenge for Project Quilting this week…A STITCH IN TIME SAVES NINE. And nothing came to me for several days. I thought this would be the week I just didn’t enter.

Then, as I was thinking about the time change this Sunday…and about having more daylight, …the sun was shining (even though we did get more snow a few days ago)…and the birds were singing outside. They weren’t singing their usual winter chirps, but their special beautiful spring time songs! Then I thought about how I should be saving bits of colorful ribbon, yarn, and little strips of fabric and putting them outside so the birds could use them because they’ll be building their nests soon. And the idea for the challenge came to me…

I started to equate “a stitch in time” with the little birds getting their nests “stitched” together with bits of string and twigs. And then I started to visualize nests made out of fabric selvages and bright fabric strips. And the idea started taking shape!

I used scraps from my stash to flip and sew the background, and fused the appliqué shapes on top. Then cut up a bunch of my selvedge edges I’ve been saving and quilted them down to create the nest.

I even found the Stonehedge fabric selvage from their fabric called “a stitch in time”!! What are the chances? Totally unplanned! How cool was that?

So here’s my entry for Project Quilting Season 9, Challenge #5 “A Stitch in Time”. I hope you’ll stop by the website to vote for your 10 favorite entries. Voting starts after noon (Wisconsin time) on Sunday, March 11, 2018 and I think it runs through Friday, March 16, 2018.,

Until next time…HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Mellow Yellow Organizer

Mellow Yellow Organizer

So I’m enjoying a few days on a quilting retreat at the lovely Jones Mansion Retreat Center. I always enjoy a few days away to relax, refresh, regenerate with a few quilting friends (new and old). I always get a lot of projects done (or at least started) and I always get inspired by my friends and their projects. So much creativity and talent!

This week I was in a room I’ve never had before — the Ivy Room. Isn’t it beautiful?

I’ve been able to enter small art quilts in the first two challenges of Project Quilting Season 9, and made woven fabric into a cell phone bag for the third challenge. But between all that was going on this week, plus packing and organizing for the retreat, I didn’t seem to have time for this challenge.

Then, today, the wonderful owner of the mansion gave us her own pattern and her tutoring skills (she’s an expert quilter and seamstress) to make an organizing mat to go under our sewing machines. I ran down to the local fabric store and found the perfect fabric … one with yellow measuring tape, and the other with spools of thread–many of them yellow.

Isn’t it the cutest?

After sewing it together, I added some YELLOW rick-rack and pink binding with a serpentine stitch.

Here it is…ta-da!

It’ll keep all my needed gadgets right by me and help keep things organized… Hmmmm…it has lots of YELLOW, and finding all my sewing gadgets and goodies at the ready makes me MELLOW! So … I know it’s a bit of a stretch, but I entered it in the “Mellow Yellow” challenge for Project Quilting Season 9 this week!❤️. I hope you’ll click on the link and vote for your favorite quilted entries. Voting begins Sunday (Feb 25) through Friday (Mar 2, 2018).

The mat will be great to bring along to retreats and classes, and it can do double-duty as a dust cover when I’m away from my machine… (which is never for long)!

Super cool. Thanks so much Lori!

For more info on other fabulous quilting (and sewing) retreats at the Jones Mansion In Historic Mineral Point, Wisconsin, see my earlier blog here Or visit their website here. You can even rent out the space for your very own retreat with friends.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

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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.

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I’m happy with it.

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

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Found the perfect button in my stash!

 

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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!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

(Madison WI)

Tuesday Tips: Accuquilt Die Cutting

Tuesday Tips: Accuquilt Die Cutting

So I’ve been debating whether or not to buy one of the new fabric die cutters available out there…I wondered… Was it really worth the price? Would it really save me time?

After watching a b’zillion videos on the Accuquilt website, and an in-person demo at one of my fabulous local quilt stores, Mill House Quilts, I was “hooked”. It wasn’t the time saved or even the “rotary cutting wrist relief” that sold me on them… It was the consistent accuracy of the pieces the Accuquilt dies cut.

There are several sizes of Accuquilt Die Cutters (ranging in price) for me to chose from.  I felt a little like Goldi-locks–this one’s too big, this one’s too small, this one is just right!  I felt for me the Go!Baby was a bit too small. I wanted to use the larger strip cutting dies, and the Baby only accepts the small dies.  On the other end of the spectrum the Go!Big Electric was too much for my small sewing space.  It would be a great choice for people with hand issues that can’t handle the manual crank.  And the Studio (the top of the line and most expensive) was way over my needs, space, and budget.  So I settled on the Go!. It can handle the larger dies, but is light-weight and easy to fold up and put on the floor under my cutting table when not in use.  Very easy to bring up and use anytime.  Of course I waited until it was on sale, and it came with a “Value Die” (55018) a 6×12″ cutting mat, die pick, and pattern booklet.   I also bought the 1-1/2 inch strip cutter–thinking ahead to log cabins in my future (yes!).

I absolutely love it!

There’s one tip I learned along the way that I’d like to share with you about preparing the fabric.  I found it helpful.  I create a simple cardboard template for the die to help.  Here’s a sample of the one I made for my 2″ finished half square triangle die…

I’m in the process of making a baby quilt for a friend (soon-to-be grandma again) that has 4″ finished Signature Blocks.  To create the two corners of the block, I need 2″ finished half square triangles, and I happen to have this die (yay! It’s part of the “value die”).   To make the cardboard template, I measure and add about a quarter inch or so on each side all around that particular die and cut it out (with paper scissors).  Then whenever I use that die, I can use this template to help me visually prepare the fabric so it’s not too large or small and I can make the most of the fabric strip or scrap from my stash.

I can place it on my ruler when I’m cutting a strip to judge the correct width…

and then place the carboard template at the end of a strip and roll the fabric around it…

…until I’ve got 6 layers of fabric (the most my Go! will cut at one time)…then I cut off the excess fabric on the strip (if any)…

And give it a quick press with my iron…

**IMPORTANT**:  Don’t forget to slip the cardboard template OUT of the fabric before you take it to the die cutter! –you do NOT want to run the cardboard template through the die cutter with the cardboard inside!!

Place the fabric over the template, being sure it hangs over all the edges of the marked die, cover with the plastic cutting mat, and run it through your die cutter…

Here’s a quick video of the cutting process…(forgive my amateur video taking!)… it’s difficult trying to do this with only one hand!  LOL

It actually didn’t take long at all! From beginning to end I cut 24 perfect half square triangles in about 2 minutes.

The best part (and the real reason I was hooked on a die cutter) is the accuracy. Each triangle is perfectly cut.  And even better, all the “dog ears” are cut off…making piecing a breeze.

Between then and now (my birthday was in there and the family knows what I want–LOL), I’ve accumulated a few more dies.  I plan to make templates for all of them except the very large strip cutters.

That’s all for today… I hope this was helpful.  I’ll share the quilt I’m making with you next time.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my friends in the U.S.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

DIY Four Circle Table Topper with Bernina Circular Embroidery Attachment

DIY Four Circle Table Topper with Bernina Circular Embroidery Attachment

I’ve been eyeing a special attachment for my Bernina sewing machine for quite some time.  I was at Mill House Quilts in Waunakee this past week, where they have all the newest Bernina sewing machines along with a great assortment of attachments and feet.  Then I saw it, they had it in stock!, so I finally decided to buy it — the Circular Embroidery Attachment.  (cue the trumpets) Ta da!

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I have lots of ideas of how I  want to use the attachment (none of which included embroidery–hehe), so I got online to find a few YouTube videos to visually see how to attach it to my machine and how they used it.  Here are some great links if you’re interested:

The attachment comes with 2 screws and a nifty small screwdriver, and attaches to the bed of my machine with one screw in the hole on the right of my pressure foot.  One video suggested taping the other end near the pin to be sure it doesn’t wiggle (which I did—see blue painter’s tape in the second photo below).

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There’s a sharp pin under that plastic nob on the left of the tape (see above).  You carefully take off that plastic bit and poke the center of your fabric through the sharp pin and replace the plastic bit, and that’s all there is to it.  You place the fabric under the pressure foot and “step on the gas” and it glides around in a circular pattern all on its own with little help from you.  You do need to stabilize the fabric so it doesn’t wrinkle and bunch up, but if you’re doing the project I’m doing, it’s not necessary.  The directions recommend using a open embroidery type foot, but since I’ll be sewing through a few layers with batting I’m using my walking foot.

The pin is on a sliding mechanism so that you can adjust the size of the circle you want to sew.  The distance between the pin and your needle x 2 = the size of the diameter of the circle.  So for this particular project, I measured and slid the pin at a distance from the needle so the circles would measure around 8-1/2 to 9 inches.

So here’s my first project using the Circular Embroidery Attachment – A Four Circle Table Topper.

I went through my stash of unused layer cake squares and chose 8 coordinating fabrics (4 peach/pink and 4 mint green), and cut 4 squares of batting to match.

Then I layered them starting with the batting on the bottom, mint fabric face up, then peach/pink fabric face down (so the 2 fabrics are right sides together).

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Line them all up and use your ruler to find the center and mark a dot lightly with a water soluble marker (or other washable mark).  Then take it all over to your sewing machine and put the pin of the circular embroidery attachment through all the layers at that center mark and feed the right end (edge) of the fabric under the pressure foot.

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It’s so easy!  It walks (sews) itself around in a perfect circle and comes back to exactly where it was started.  LOVE IT!

Here’s my short (very short) YouTube video showing how it works on my machine…(my very first one)…

After trimming around the edges with a pinking shears (or pinking rotary cutter if you have one), you cut a small slit along an edge being sure to only cut the top fabric.  Be sure the cut slit is in a spot where the fabric will eventually be folded over (so the it will be hidden).  Then turn the circle inside-out, using a blunt ended tool (like a bamboo paper folder, purple-thang, or bamboo skewer) to be sure all the edges are nice and crisp, and press.  OH, you might want to use a tiny bit of water to get rid of the water soluble mark you made in the center…you don’t want to permanently heat set it into the fabric with your iron.

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Use a ruler and a water soluble marker or chalk, draw a square box within the finished circle (being sure that the cut slit falls beyond the square in the outer edge (see top of the photo below).  Each of the corners of the square should just touch the edge of the circle.  I was lucky enough that my square ruler was a perfect fit.

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After making four of these, place them on a flat surface and see what arrangement you like best, turning up two edges on each one to expose the fabric underneath… it’s important that the “flap” that has the cut (used to turn them right side out) is in one of the seams so it’s covered.  Then it’s similar to sewing a 4 patch together—Take the 2 upper circles and match them BACK to BACK using the drawn lines as a sewing guide, pin,  and sew them together edge to edge, do the same with the lower 2.  Then sew the top 2 with the bottom 2 and it will look something like this..

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Iron the flaps down and use your favorite decorative stitch around each edge of the flaps (petals) to finish.

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I chose a blanket stitch in green variegated thread, but you could opt to use a straight stitch, any decorative stitch, or just tack the flaps at each center point.  You could even hand sew them down if you wanted to.  You need to at least tack them down (or sew them) to be sure that the cut you made to turn the circles inside out is completely covered.

And here it is, all finished

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What’s nice about this pattern is the quilting is done as you go, and the back is as interesting as the front…

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So it’s completely reversible.

And no worries if you don’t have the attachment…you can create these table toppers by tracing a circle (using a platter or template) onto the fabric and carefully sewing on the line.  That will work, but I’ve found this is a time saver, I can make any size circle,  and just looks a bit better too.

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I think they make a wonderful gift—Mother’s Day is coming up.

So I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and that you’ll try making a reversible 4-circle table topper.  I have them for sale in my Mulberry Patch Quilts Etsy Shop if you’d like to purchase one instead, along with lots of other ideas for Mother’s Day.

I’ll be posting other ideas for using my Bernina Circular Embroidery Attachment in the future…hope you’ll come back again! And be sure to post a comment below on how you use your circular attachment—any tips or ideas?

Until next time,

HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Quiltsy Team Charity a Day for National Quilt Month

Quiltsy Team Charity a Day for National Quilt Month

March is National Quilt month!
My Quiltsy Team (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 Mikayla’s Grace.

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Mikayla’s Grace is a local charity in my area that supports families with a baby in the NICU (neonatal ICU) and those who experience the death of an infant at hospitals throughout Wisconsin by providing NICU care packages that offer both practical and emotional support for parents.  They also reach out to comfort women who experience miscarriages.

I’ve knitted quite a few preemie hats throughout this past year, but when a call came out for special small items, it was an opportunity for me to try a new technique…combining quilting with crochet!  I’ve seen quilts that were made up of squares with crocheted edgings and then put together like a granny square afghan.

So, starting with small squares of cotton and soft flannel, I made little tiny quilts by sewing them right sides together,

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with a quarter inch seam (leaving an opening to turn)

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And then turning the right side out and top stitching around the edges.

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I found yarn was too thick, but white pearl cotton was just the right size, to do a blanket stitch around the perimeter of the square.

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That gave me something to anchor my crochet edge stitching to.  And then it was a matter of crocheting whatever edge stitch I desired around the entire square for several rows.

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Here’s a few simple edgings done in green baby yarn (top) and blue cotton yarn (bottom). I liked using the soft baby (or sports weight) yarn the best.

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And here’s a few more in coral and mint green.  You can see I tried to use the yarn to do the blanket stitch (one on the right), and although I like the look of it better I found it very difficult to thread and poke through the edging, so I went back to using the pearl cotton.

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By folding, they make the cutest little wraps—you can see how small they are next to my hand…

Next I decided to make some little quilts for preemies out of some beautiful cotton fabrics and soft flannel.

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Squares put together and backed with soft flannel.

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Aren’t the chicks cute?  I love the bright, cheerful colors.  And here are a few more pieced in strips across the quilt with soft minky fabric on the back.

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Last but not least, I added a couple of tiny knit afghans that I made out of soft yellow baby yarn with a blue crochet edging.  Can you see the “heart” created by the pattern? So fun.

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I hope these small gifts bring love and comfort to the families they go to!

I’m so blessed to be a part of such  great Etsy Team.  Each member is not only creative, but so caring and generous.  Just this past month when one of our members found out about a need for quilts for victims of fires in Tennessee, our Quiltsy Team immediately went to work and made 67 quilts to donate to them–yup SIXTY SEVEN!!  An amazing group that I am so thankful for.

Until next time,

HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts