Project Quilting…Advent Calendar

Project Quilting…Advent Calendar

When I found out the theme of this week’s Project Quilting challenge: NOTABLY NUMERIC, absolutely nothing came to mind. Then I remembered a kit I bought at the Madison Quilt Expo a couple years ago. It’s for an advent calendar wallhanging designed by Leanne & Kaytlyn Anderson of Whole Country Caboodle.

Everything I need is in the box (except for the batting & backing).

I loved this fabric and pattern, but every year around Christmas I never seemed to get around to it. Well, now’s my chance! …even if the holidays have come and gone, I don’t mind. At least it’ll be done before NEXT Christmas. Yay!

The only problem…can I get it cut, stitched, quilted & bound (beginning to end) by the PQ deadline, in only one week? We’ll see.

It comes with this pre-printed panel (see above) to make the cute numbered pockets. And inside each pocket is a tag. The idea is to take out a tag each day in December and do a kind act that’s written on it… Don’t you love that idea?

Here the labels are… all fused & ready to put in the pockets. Or you could make up your own labels with your own ideas written on them to put in the pockets.

It’s so much fun sewing on all the cute little pockets.

Here’s the layout. After making the pockets & topstitching them to the center of the quilt, she has you surround it with borders of her cute fabrics. It has a Glad Tidings banner at the top, and pieced pinwheels at the corners.

I did simple straight stitch quilting with my walking foot so I can get it done in time to upload for the challenge. But I can always go back and embellish more later if I want. But I don’t think it needs much.

All done.

And Beagle approved!

I love the concept of doing an act of kindness each day.

I was so happy to get to actually meet the designer, Leanne Anderson, at the Quilt Expo in Madison. Her fabrics (Henry Glass & Co) and patterns are all so cute. She’s an amazing artist. She looks great (that’s her on the right). I, on the other hand, look a bit exhausted by all the shopping at the Quilt Expo…lol.

So I’m done in time to enter it in Project Quilting. There’s no voting this year, but if you’d like, follow the link above, you can see what everyone created for the first week’s challenge: Notably Numeric.

Until next time, Happy Quilting!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Quilt Studio Makeover: Design Wall

Quilt Studio Makeover: Design Wall

It’s so nice to be able to place your fabric pieces on the wall when you’re piecing or designing your quilt. I had a small design wall in my tiny quilt studio at our old house. But after gaining a little square footage at our new location (and more wall space), I decided that a larger design wall was in order.

It’s easy to do-it-yourself! Here’s how I did it.

Insulation board— I headed off to my local home improvement store to pick up some insulation board. Since I have a small car, we can’t fit the standard six feet sheets into it, But I was able to find some the perfect size … 2 x 2 foot.

Measuring the space available on my largest wall, I found making my design wall 6 feet x 6 feet would use the 2×2 boards most efficiently, and still be enough space for most of the quilts I do. So I bought 9. If you’ve got the space in your car, it’s a little cheaper to buy the 6 foot boards. But this was ideal for me.

Next I taped the boards together using heavy duty strapping tape. I did both the fronts and the backs of each seam. Duct tape will work, but it’ll show more easily through the flannel covering. The hardest part was finding an area on our floor large enough to lay them all out. A carpeted surface isn’t ideal, it’s best to do this step on a hard surface.

I found it easiest to tape my insulation board pieces in columns & then tape the columns together by rows. Hmmm…kind of like putting together a quilt.

Here it is (above) all taped together on both the front and the back sides.

FLANNEL– You’ll need a soft material (like cotton flannel) that fabric pieces will cling to to cover your insulation board. White or a soft light neutral are the best choices of color. I headed off to my local big box fabric store thinking I could find some inexpensive white wide flannel by the yard. Nope! Any other color or pattern BUT not white! Ugh!

So instead I found these white flannel sheets at a nearby Kohl’s…on sale!…perfect! This one was full size & I only used the flat sheet so the fitted sheet can be cut up and used in another project(s), like my charity baby quilts.

Sorry, I forgot to take a photo–but I laid the flannel sheet on the floor, placed the best looking (& smoothest) side of the taped insulation board on top of it, and worked folded the flannel over, trimming it as needed, and taping it to the back with duct tape. I worked the wrinkles out (taught but not too tight) as I went. You could also use a staple gun, but be sure your staples are short enough that they don’t go all the way through the board.

All that’s left to do is to mount it on your wall. How? There are a few options. You could try heavy duty sticky-back Velcro. Or picture hangers. But I chose to use drywall screws with washers. The insulation board is light weight, so I only needed about ten. They’re not pretty, but I hardly notice them. And it’s very sturdy.

You’ll notice in the photo above that I used a couple of boxes to hold it up so I could stand back and judge the placement on the wall before I committed to it and screwed it to the wall.

Here’s a closeup of the washer & screw. The washer needs a hole large enough for the screw to fit through, but small enough to keep the screw head from going through. I imagine you could camouflage it with a dab of white paint.

I can’t tell you how helpful having a larger design wall is. I love it. Most fabric pieces stay put without assistance, but I have the option to stick pins in the fabric to insure they don’t fall off before I get the chance to sew them all together. And it only took an afternoon to do make it.

So get going and give it a try. I’m sure you’ll love yours too.

You can make yours as small or as large as you like. You’re only limited by the size of your wall and your flannel covering.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

PS: I’ve been asked about the project on the design wall in the photos. It’s a pattern by The Pattern Basket called “Star Drops” and it’s alot of fun to make. It’s made of layer cake (10″ squares) and mine is a Moda fabric by Robin Pickens called “Dandi-Annie”. Love it!💕

Quilt Studio Makeover: Layout

Quilt Studio Makeover: Layout

Is it a sewing room? A quilt studio? What do you call your spot? Whatever you call it, it’s a space set aside to create something beautiful; a special spot to get those creative juices flowing and enjoy some time doing what you love.

We’ve just moved into a new home, so of course I immediately claimed one of the extra bedrooms for my sewing/quilting/creative space. What I love about this room (besides the fact that it’s larger than what I had before), is the view and wonderful lighting.

Where to begin?

So where to start? It was like a fresh canvas… Where will I put everything, and (hardest of all) where should I begin? I guess the layout comes first.

I’ve got an app on my iPad called “Floorplans” by Green Tea LLC Software. In this app, I can draw the floor-plan of my room and add furniture and move around on the screen to see how it looks. It’s a great way to rearrange everything without physically having to move it.

Here are some of the many layouts I tried. Note: there’s a large window at the top, and a closet and door at the bottom of the pictures. The app has alot of built in furniture to choose from, but not a sewing cabinet, cutting table or ironing board, so I improvised with their computer table and tables just changing their size to match my furniture.

Layout #1. Not bad, I can see out the window while I sew, but the light’s not coming in on my left side and I also want the left side of my sewing table away from the wall so I can fit larger projects under my needle.

Layout #2. No…this one’s not quite right either. I don’t want the ironing board jutting out over and blocking the window.

Layout #3. So this is it (above). I finally decided on this layout (although I switched the bookcases around). And after moving everything around to match the layout drawing, I’m pretty happy with it.

I like the proximity of everything to my ironing board… I can walk all the way around the cutting table, and easily have access to the design wall and storage closet.

I like to glance out the window every once in awhile as I’m sewing away…and the extra daylight on my sewing is very helpful.

Note about the view–It’s hard to believe we’ve had 3 snowstorms since October! Looking out the window now, you don’t see any snow…only bare trees and green grass (and some leaves that missed the last raking!). The temps are now up to 50 degrees, but they’ll dip back down with more snow in just a few days. It’s “anything-can-happen” weather in Wisconsin!

Most of the bookshelves from my old quilt studio fit inside the closet here, so when we moved in my sister and I took the doors off the closet for easier access. (BTW, I’m indebted to my wonderful sister, who drove over & spent a few weeks helping us purge, pack, clean, & get ready for the move. I don’t know what I would have done without her!…thanks again Judi!!)

In the next post, I’ll tell you about the design wall with a little DIY hints.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

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