Friday, February 28, 2014

Peter Rabbit Baby Quilt

I finished these sweet Peter Rabbit baby quilts (two of them) yesterday. The back is done with coordinating Peter Rabbit and yellow fabric in a checkerboard layout.

I put one of them on eBay, just to see how it would do. As y'all know, the proceeds from my patterns and quilt sales go to pay for the batting and other costs for my charity quilts, so every little bit helps. Thought it was worth a shot. LOL!  I don't think I'll use eBay anymore though... just not what it used to be "back in the day". But the quilt did sell, and I appreciate that!

The second one is in my new Etsy shop. (You'll find the link on the column to your right.) Hopefully this will be a good outlet for some of my smaller quilts for now, and who knows... maybe I'll add some of my big quilts someday! *wink*

Today I plan to get into the sewing room and catch up on some of those flimsies that need to be quilted up. I'll post photos when they are done. I also have a new design churning around in my head, but it hasn't quite come together yet. Too many distractions, I guess! *wink*

Happy Quilting!
Jean MaDan

Friday, February 21, 2014

Too many flimsies!

Oooops... UFOs in the making?

Usually when I start a project I tend to go start-to-finish on it. You know... design the quilt, make the blocks, put the top together, get it quilted, put the binding on, and the it's done and off my mind. But things have been a bit on the difficult side around here lately, with lots of interruptions, so I admit my powers of concentration are a bit on the ragged side. As a result, I have *gasp* FLIMSIES (tops that aren't quilted yet) on hand that need attention. They may wait a while, but here's what is ready to quilt:

 Red-work Stars is just a simple variable star pattern with an embroidered red-work flower in the center of each star. (My sister is a nut for embroidered flowers, AND for red-work, so this will make a great gift for her on her next visit.)

 Banded Logs was designed to use up those don't-match-anything black pieces of fabric scraps that were in my scraps. This seemed to work well, as the blacks blended away nicely into the brighter prints.

This Disappearing Pinwheel Churndash pattern from the Missouri Quilt Company, was just something I "had to try"... so I DID! Here's where to find it on Youtube:

(I Hope the link works! If not, just go to youtube and type in disappearing pinwheel and you can find it.)

About this pattern... for you beginners, be aware in advance that this method puts all bias edges on the outside of your block. So, sew gently and try not to stretch it out of whack. And I, for one, advise immediately bordering the blocks in straight edge fabric if you want it to lay flat when you're putting rows together or quilting it. But, that's just me, and if you're an expert you may not have issues with that at all.

Oh... and that tutorial I did a few days ago... yep... it's still waiting to be quilted:

Now, since I figured I had enough tops laying around, I started cleaning up my sewing room and saw that my "string bin" was getting a bit out of hand again, even after doing the quilt shown above, so I knocked off 160 regular string blocks:
(16 stacks of 10)
So now my string bin is finally empty again! *whew* Mind you, that's just my strings, not my precisely measured strips, which are a whole-other-issue! LOL!

Now I'm sitting here realizing that I need to start quilting, when what I REALLY want to do is go start another quilt top. (Somebody smack my hands!) Preferably something really pretty and maybe even NOT SCRAPPY! But most of the designs in my head would involve shopping, so that isn't likely to happen right now. So... it's time to get inventive. I need to go shop the scraps and make a controlled scrappy that will do the same thing for me, right? Okay... I need to quilt first, and THEN go shop the scraps! *wink*

Happy Quilting!
Jean MaDan

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Stacked Blocks Tutorial

Stacked Blocks

A new free tutorial from Jean MaDan, using bonus HSTs and strings from your stash.

As most of you know, when I write tutorials, I like them to be SIMPLE, and use fabrics and tools that you are most likely to already have on hand. I like them even better if they are something that you wish you had a way to use up! *grin* I started doing this particular pattern about ten years ago when I got bored with regular string quilts and wanted to do something just a little different. So, I started fussing around with what I had in my stash, and this is what I came up with. I've done several of them over the years, and decided that some of you might want to play with your string collection and see what you come up with, so here are the basic steps.

First, you'll need to pick one solid color to use for a frame. I chose Kona Black, because I always have some in my stash, and every fabric shows up well against it. It helps tone down the chaos a bit as well. *wink* But you choose whatever you like. You'll need to cut that solid fabric into 1½" wide strips. (This is the only thing I'll be fussy about.)

Now gather up your bonus HSTs. Here's the good news... I don't care what size they are! Yep, that's what I said! I don't care! They can be 1½", they can be 2", whatever you have laying around. If you don't have any and want to make some, make them whatever size floats your boat! Plus, you can have some of each size and mix them all together into the same quilt. (Look at the photo above, and you'll see what I mean.) You're going to find this is the most I-don't-care tutorial you ever read! LOL!

Now you'll start framing your HSTs with the black strips:
 I can't really tell you how long to cut those pieces, because I don't know what size your HSTs are, because... yep... I don't care. *giggle* Okay, enough silliness. You got the point. So on with the lesson. 

Next you're going to start adding strings.. any width will do. Use narrow and wide and all sorts of colors. Just stick to ONE FABRIC per round as you go, so that you keep getting a sort of frame effect. Now, normally, I measure and cut my fabric before I add strips. I do that if I'm making log cabin blocks for example. But on this, because strings are so often a weird width, it's not practical. So, I cut it longer, sew it on, and trim off the excess.

Using the SAME FABRIC, add the next side:

Do this on all your squares, until they measure AT LEAST 5½" square. I usually go for slightly larger, and then square them neatly up like so:

NOW.... on EVERY OTHER SQUARE, you'll add an outside 1½" strip of black on one, and on the other square you'll do the same with a print fabric:

When they go into your rows, you'll rotate them so they form your pattern like so:

And when you put your rows together you get this:

Easy and fun, and you can use up weird sizes of HSTs, weird widths of strings, and you don't have to worry if the HSTs are facing the right direction or anything else. I like it! But then... I'm weird that way. *wink*

Happy Quilting!

Linda just sent me her finished quilt using this tutorial, so I wanted to share it with you!
 Beautiful job, Linda!!