Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Applique and a Glue Stick

I have a new favorite product that I use for applique and it has been so helpful as I work on my Dear Jane quilt. It's a handy dandy glue stick that I picked up from Missouri Star Company. It's called Lapel Stick from BandK Enterprises, now you need to know I am in no way being paid or reimbursed for my opinion on this product. I'm sharing it with you because I really do love using it and it has made hand appliqueing some of these blocks so much easier! There are many products out there and I'm sure they work just as good and if they help you in your quilting journey, then use them! The technique I am showing you today is like freezer paper applique. Instead of using freezer paper I am using just plain old paper from my computer that I traced my shapes onto for my Dear Jane quilt. (Which I have been slowly working on.... I may get it done before I turn 100 years old)



I cut my paper shape out and I use this handy dandy
glue stick to 'glue' my fabric onto my paper foundation piece.
I love that there are no basting stitches!

I then will hand applique the shape into place on my block.

I then trim away the excess fabric on the back side leaving about a
1/4 seam from my hand stitching.
This will expose the paper foundation piece that I glued my fabric to.

I then pull the paper out. Don't worry about the glue residue.
It is water soluble.

My block is finished! woot woot!

I used this technique on these Dear Jane blocks!
 I hope that this little tutorial and hint helps you out when you do applique. Using the water soluble glue stick is a handy dandy alternative to basting your fabric onto freezer paper. It has sure helped me out with my Dear Jane journey. Those of you that follow me on Instagram have been seeing some of my progress as I work on my blocks. I am fascinated with the Jane Sickle quilt and love to see other Janiacs finish their quilts.

Have a great quilty day!
Happy quilting,
Cindy




Wednesday, September 14, 2016

An Adorable Fox!

I've been having fun working on some projects using my applique designs on something other than tea towels. So today I'm going to share with you a fun project! A super easy project! An insulated pot holder! Now this is not your loop de loop type of pot holder like we made at girl scout camp or home ec class.... although those are cute too. No, this is an adorable fox pot holder that would be adorable to have for when you go camping or up north to the cabin. It would be a sweet hostess gift for your cabin loving friends too! My grandma used to have cute pot holders on display in her kitchen hanging on a hooks near her stove. She didn't usually use them, they were for decoration because they were so adorable. What happened to those days? Let's put some potholders on display again just because they are cute! 

I used this years Minnesota Shop Hop fabrics. I had leftover pieces left in my layer cake that I bought. I picked out two 10" squares for the front and back of my potholder. Then I traced my fox pieces out onto my heat n bond lite and ironed them onto my fabric pieces for my design. Cut them out and ironed them onto the front square for my potholder. I ironed my design on at an angle so when the potholder hangs from the corner loop the design will be 'upright'. I then layered my backing, batting and front together to make a batting sandwich. I used Insul-Bright Needlepunched Insulated Lining for my 'batting' for my quilted Garden Visitor potholder. You can find Insul-Bright at most quilt shops, Walmart, Connecting Threads etc.

Using brown thread and my machine's buttonhole stitch, I machine applique around the design, sewing through all three layers. A quick way to quilt your potholder!
I've got all the applique done in this picture. I'm ready to sew on the binding.
I sewed on the binding by machine and added a loop for hanging. If you leave the loop off, it makes a really cute trivit. (Although I would never want to put a hot pot on it!)
Now onto the fun part! Let's sew on the buttons for the fox's eye's and nose. I also add buttons for the flowers center, yo-yo's would also look cute! I couldn't just stop there, I added a yo-yo to the hanging loop.


I love how my potholder turned out! I don't think I can give it away, it's mine!
I hope that you take some time to make some potholders. Have some fun! It's a great way to use up some leftover pieces of fabrics from those bigger projects. My quick potholder tutorial would work with any of my tea towel designs. Let's display cute potholders again like our grandma's did!

Happy quilting!
Cindy

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Camper Sweet Camper!

Oh how I love when the Minnesota fabric comes out each year for the Minnesota Shop Hop. I know many devote quilters criss crossed the state to collect their stamps and Minnesota fabric. This year I didn't have a bunch of time for shop hopping, so I visited a couple of my favorite local shops and picked up just enough fabric to make a few fun projects.  I'm going to share one of them with you today. I wanted to show how you can use my applique designs on more than just tea towels! One of my favorite patterns is my 'Camper Sweet Camper'. I just love this little retro camper.How about a quick and easy cosmetic bags for traveling.

I started out with a layer cake of the 2016 Minnesota fabric...

I pulled out different fabrics that worked for my 'Camper Sweet Camper' design and traced the design out onto some heat n bond lite, ironed it onto the backside of the fabrics I choose for the design and ironed them onto a 10" square. I am soooo in love with this mosquito fabric.

I have cut 2 - 10" x 10" pieces of batting, 2 - 10" x 10" pieces of fabric for the lining, and another 10" x 10" piece of fabric for the 'back' of the bag. (Remember, I have the mosquito 10" square for the front of the bag. I am also planning on sewing a strip along the bottom of the front of the bag as an accent color. (the blue check/plaid fabric)

Then I layer the lining and front of the bag, right sides together on the batting and sew along the top of the 10" square. I then turn it right side out and iron it. This forms a finished edge across the top. Repeat this step with the lining and back of the back fabric pieces.

Here are the front and back pieces of the bag with the finished edge on the top.

Using brown thread, sew around the design pieces using your machine's buttonhole stitch. (or whatever stitch you like best for machine applique) You will sew through all three layers.

Machine applique is all done.... I have star buttons to sew in the sky instead of appliqueing the stars in my original design.

I did a simple quilting line design on the back of the bag... sorta sewing in between all of the vintage campers.

I then added a fabric accent strip along the bottom... totally optional.

I don't have a picture to show you, but I took a couple of 2" x 4" fabric pieces and doubled them up, (Sorta like a binding) and sewed am eight of an inch top stitch on each side to make a couple of tabs. These are for each side of the zipper, they are easily seen in the below photo. This is a pretty simple way to set in a zipper. Sew the finished edge along each side of the zipper setting in the 'tabs' on each side of the zipper.

In this picture you can see that I have one side sewn and the other side ready to sew, see the pins? I then also sew along the 'tabs' to secure the zipper better.

Fold the bag with the outside sides together and the zipper at the top. I also made a loop handle 18" by 4" strip of fabric that was folded and doubled over on itself lengthwise. I sewed an 1/8th of an inch on each side to give it a nice finish. (Topstitching) I made sure to have it inserted towards the top on the one side so that I would catch and sew it into place as I sewed the side seams.

  Here's a huge hint... open your zipper a little bit or at least half way. Why you ask? Well after you sew the three sides... it will be almost impossible to turn your bag inside out. It will be like trying to break into fort knox... I kid you not! Took me close to an hour to wiggle my zipper enough to get my hand in there to turn it right side out!  Anyway, sew along the sides and bottom using a quarter inch seam,  then zig zag over the raw edge to finish it off a little better on the inside.

This is an option bit, but I fold the bottom corners in on themselves  and sew across about an inch or so in to give the bag a nice bottom... it also helps to give the bag a good shape. Remember to trim the excess fabric. I also do a zig zag stitch along the raw edge.

Now it's time to embellish this cute bag with some buttons!

Maybe next year I'll hop on a bus and visit a section I haven't been to yet. It would be fun to go on a little quilting trip and visit a section of Minnesota I don't normally go to. Maybe go on one of those fun overnight shop hop bus trips. I'll have a cute Minnesota cosmetic bag to pack for the trip!

Have a great day!
Happy quilting,
Cindy

Thursday, September 1, 2016

September's Block ~ Hats

It seems like an odd time of year to be working on a stocking cap block, but there have been times early in the morning while fishing we have worn them to keep from freezing to death on the boat. We once rented out a captain and his boat to go trout fishing on Lake Superior at the end if August, right before the beginning of the school year. Thank goodness to a group of fishermen who recommended to us that we wear warm clothes. (They had snowmobile suits for fishing) We quickly ran to Target and stocked up on warm clothes since I had only packed t-shirts and shorts! It was funny... we went out on the lake clad in long underwear and winter gear early that morning (stocking caps included), kept it on for most of the day while we were out on the lake.  As our ship/boat/rig whatever you want to call it came back to shore for the day, we were greeted by tourists in shorts and t-shirts. They looked at us as if we just arrived from the moon. It does get pretty cold out on Lake Superior, even in late August.

Have fun with this block.
Play around with colors and mix it up for your five blocks. The directions are for a plain stocking cap and for a striped stocking cap. It’s a good opportunity to tie some of your fabrics together for the quilt. I used up bits and pieces that were left from the other blocks.

I have all of my strips cut out for all of the hats for this section on the quilt.
I used leftover scraps from the other blocks

I 'chained' sewed from corner to corner on the 1 1/2" squares to form the hat shape.

Here I have the top of the hats all done and ready to
piece with the brim of the hat block.

Hat blocks all done! For the pom-pom on the hats you will
make yo-yo's and sew them onto the hats after your quilt is quilted.

The pattern can be found for FREE this month in my Craftsy Shop and also on my website. Also, if you ever need to find past blocks or tutorials, I have a tab at the top of my blog labeled 2016 BOM that you can click on to get links to all past blog postings for this quilt. A complete listing of fabric supplies can be found on my website, Craftsy Shop and also under the 2016 BOM tab on my blog. Remember to post pictures of your progress on Instagram #quiltdoodledesignsBOM2016 (you can also tag me at Quilt Doodle Designs) There is also a flickr group you can join and post pictures. I love seeing pictures of what you guys are doing with the Tis the Season patterns. It is soooo much fun to see the quilt made in different fabrics! Love it!

Button packs are available in my Etsy Shop. I have packaged the button packs a couple of different ways. Either as one big pack with everything in it or individually for each design/row.




There's also a handy dandy grab-able button to post on your blog to help me promote and get the word out about this fun Christmas BOM .  Please help to spread the word!

I hope that you have fun making this block this month. Remember to post those pictures!

 Happy Quilting!
Cindy
grab button for Quilt Doodle Designs
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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Zucchini Bread

I had thought that I planted only 1 or 2 zucchini plants along with my other squash seeds, but it seems I have a few more plants then I anticipated. Good thing my family likes zucchini. I thought I would share a really good zucchini bread recipe with you. It's pretty yummy, I like the added vanilla flavor... it's a great afternoon snack to go with my tea (or coffee) as I work on my quilting.
So let's grab a little snack and brew some coffee and go do some hand stitch applique and watch a fun movie like 'French Kiss' or 'You've Got Mail'.

Happy quilting!

Cindy


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Needle Turn Applique

During these lazy days of summer I have fallen in love with needle turn applique again. I have a couple of quilts that I did in the 80's that had some hand applique. There is something so relaxing and therapeutic about hand stitching a quilt block. I also think it's very 'old school'. I have pulled out my two very big projects, my Dear Jane quilt and It Just Takes Two quilt. I have been camped out in my living room watching chick flicks, drinking my tea or diet coke and hand stitching. The perfect way to spend the day... I'm not perfect at hand applique but let me show you the process. Just don't look too closely at my clunky stitches. I'm sure I will improve as I continue to work at it. It's been awhile since I last hand appliqued.
I have traced my design onto the 'wrong' side of the background fabric. Then I layer the
design fabric and the background fabric right sides up. Then I used white thread and basted
on the drawn lines. It's really hard to see in my picture....

From the 'front' side you can see my basting easily.

I trimmed the 'design' fabric a quarter inch from the basting stitches.
I pull the basting out as I turn the edge under to hand stitch. Remember to clip corners and curves as you sew along. I am using thread that matches my design fabric.
Here are some of my blocks that I've done needle turn or reverse applique on.
As you can see, I've been busy catching up on my Takes Two quilt. I am only using scraps from my stash.

I have always loved applique. If you ask me my favorite type of quilting, I would have to say applique is on top of the list along with paper piecing. Most of my designs (almost all) is fusible applique, which I love. Fusible applique is quick and easy, but I'm starting to think of designing some needle turn designs too. hummmm it's time to look for another good movie and pull out my hand stitching... I hope that you give needle turn applique a try.

Happy quilting and stitching!
Cindy

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Let's Talk About Seam Allowance

Seam allowance, seam allowance, when I was a beginner quilter, I didn't think much about seam allowance. I was young and had to take my time to concentrate on sewing straight lines let alone worry about the size of my seam allowance. The last thing on my mind was if I was sewing an accurate quarter inch seam! lol.... well, I was able to 'fudge' back then and not think about it so much based on the easy peasy quilts I was making at the time. (Not to knock easy peasy quilts, we all love easy peasy quilts ... easy quilts were hard for me when I was a beginner quilter.) Now remember, when I started quilting, back in the stone age, I was cutting everything out using a scissors, pencil and a wooden school ruler. Many of my blocks were far from accurate based on the results we can achieve with today's tools.  Beginner quilters have all sorts of tools available to them today that make accurate cutting and sewing so much easier. How did we ever function without the rotary cutter! I find that if a block isn't turning out right, chances are your seam allowance is the culprit. Seam allowance is important and I always check it when I start a project.

 Some of you are wondering why check your seam allowance, I have a guide on my sewing machine. Well, every machine is a little different. It's always a good idea to check. Once I start sewing a quilt on my machine, I do not switch machines while working on a quilt. (I have three machines, 'Lucy', 'Ethel' and 'George') Believe it or not, there can be differences between machines too, ever so slight... but depending on your project, it can make a difference.  Here is how I check my quarter inch seam.
In this photo my seam line is just outside the 1/4" mark... it doesn't seam like much...

But, my two blocks should measure 2 1/2" and look... I'm an 1/8th of an inch off..
In a block that has several 1 1/2" blocks sewn together, an 1/8th of an inch adds up quickly.
Here my seam line is just within the 1/4" mark....

My two blocks measure 2 1/2" exactly.... Perfect!

So the moral is that 1/4" seam really counts. It is worth the time to measure it from time to time so you know exactly where you need to line your fabric up so that you have the perfect 1/4" seam. There are many seam allowance tools available in quilt and hobby shops, and they are all wonderful.  So remember to check those seams and have a wonderful quilty day.

Happy Quilting,
Cindy