Tonga

I’m sorry I haven’t posted recently but I’ve not felt well.  Finally feeling better today!

Whenever I go into local quilt shops to look around I always see the beautiful Tonga Treat strip packages designed by Timeless Treasures.  I never know quite what to make with them.  Then I found this great quilt book also put out by Timeless Treasures called “Pick Up A 6-Pack”!  All of the patterns are designed for the 6″ Tonga Treat strips.  There are 24 pages, full Color, and using Harvest, Boysenberry, Reef, Punch, & Cabana packs.  The Tonga Treat bundle shown below is called “Boysenberry”.

   

My Room

Hmmm, you’d think I’ve been sewing these past two days!  What a mess!  I can’t believe I actually know where things are.  Move something and I’m done for.

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And while I’m trying to get a bunch of projects done – I go and purchase these three EQ7 Quilt Designing Lesson Books!  I’ll work with these on my downtime.  Ha!   I like using my EQ7 program to design my quilt patterns, but there is still a lot within the program that I don’t know.

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Hello everyone! I’m excited to be able to share this news with you!  One of my favorite quilts artists, Jacquelynne Steves of The Art of Home,  is holding a Block of the Month Blog Hop starting October 27, 2014.  She has designed a beautiful quilt with six blocks that she has named “Sew Sweet Simplicity”.  I love it!  My exciting new is that Jacquelynne Steves has asked me to participate in her Blog Hop!

For more information and to sign up for this Block of the Month Blog Hop – click on the button at the right of this page.  “Sew Sweet Simplicity”.  Fun prizes and giveaways too!

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Jacquelynne Steves Free Block of the Month

Sewing Basket

Here is my latest project – a Sewing Basket.  The pattern is from Art-To-Heart’s “Sew Necessary” book.  The book has lots of cute scissor holders, thread catchers, and notions bags.  Unfortunately, the basket is just too large for me.  It’s not quite what I’m after to hold all of my sewing supplies that are scattered on the table next to me.  It’s SEW darling that I hope I can figure out how to make it smaller.  What do you use to hold all of your notions that are close at hand at your sewing machine?  I need suggestions!

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I was so happy to find “The Whole Country Caboodle” at this year’s AQS show in Grand Rapids!  When I had my quilt store I used to carry a lot of her products.  The designer and owner is Leanne Anderson, .  I’ve always loved Leanne’s cute sewing and quilting characters, and like the projects that she comes up with to use them on.   The packaging for her kits are adorable!

Years ago I had trouble finding “The Whole Country Caboodle” merchandise from my distributors.  I just assumed that she had gone out of business.  What a nice surprise to find out that she hasn’t!  She has a website www.thewholecountrycaboodle.com that has all of her patterns, books, kits, and fabrics on it.  Also – lots of free downloadable patterns!  She also has a blog that you can reach from her website, and she offers two giveaways each month on her blog!

Now for the best part!  Leanne from “The Whole Country Caboodle” and Mary Jane from “Holly Hill Quilt Designs” have combined talent for a year of fun projects and recipes – A Year of Love…A Year of Fun Club X2.  Each month you will receive a pattern and a recipe for only the one time fee of $25.  You will receive 13 patterns (I per month via email, except December when you will receive 2) and 13 delicious recipes.  All projects will be designed using fabrics from Leanne and Mary Jane’s collection for Henry Glass Fabrics.  The club begins September 2014!!  (You can sign up any time during September.)  Email: twcc@butler-bremer.com, or call 641-435-2559 to sign up!

Here are a few of the designs you’ll find on the website:  “Winter Coasters”, “Parallel Posies”,

Winter Parallel Posies  Faith Sees The Flower

Batting

How did you choose the batting you usually go to for your quilts?  Trial and error?  A friend’s suggestion?  A quilt store owner or a quilt teacher?

What do you like best about the batting you use?  There are so many choices now when it comes to batting.  Loft, texture, what it’s made of, and how loose or tight the batting is.  You can buy polyester batting, cotton batting, wool, bamboo, and even soy-blend.  How do you know which batting to use?  There is no “good” or “bad” batting.  It all comes down to preference.

Yes, some batting might not have the preferable outcome that you want on a personal level.  You may like low loft, but your friend doesn’t.  You may like cotton batting, but she doesn’t.  Who’s right?  Neither of you!  My firm suggestion to all of my customers and students is use what you are comfortable to work with, BUT don’t go cheap!  I went cheap on one of my first hand-quilted projects and have regretted it ever since.  It pilled, or bearded.  “Pilling” is when the batting fibers come through the fabric of the quilt and look like little white fuzzies.  I had used a low-loft polyester batting.

After that I began using cotton batting.  I have used Warm and Natural batting for over fifteen years now.  It’s just my preference.

Loft is basically what the word means – thickness.  The higher the loft, the thicker your quilt will be.  You’ll most likely find high loft in manufactured comforters since it is very difficult to machine quilt through high loft batting.  It’s easier to tie a high loft quilt.  You do not need a high loft batting for warmth!  Wool and cotton tightly woven batting serves the same purpose.

Polyester batting – is not suggested for long-arm quilting.  This type of batting often shifts, pulls, tears, and is very loosely woven.  It can easily warp and become misshapen.  But it works great for baby quilts since you can buy polyester batting in different lofts.  Do not use in trivets, placemats, or potholders as polyester batting can melt.  There are many different brands of polyester batting available.  Again – don’t go cheap!

Cotton batting – is suggested for long-arm quilting.  Cotton batting is tightly woven and stays in place when quilting.  This type of batting doesn’t come in real high lofts as polyester does, but you can get different lofts from certain brands.

There’s organic batting, and some considered all-natural.  Just remember – there’s no one “right” batting!

       

“AQS” – here we come tomorrow!  A bunch of us are heading into Grand Rapids to spend the whole day at the AQS show.  We’re talking feet hurting, shoulders hurting from holding all those bags of purchases, and coming home exhausted.  But it’s going to be fun!

Well – it’s finished!  My latest pattern that will be sold through Cut Loose Press which is Checker Distributor’s pattern division.  This quilt is called “Autograph Quilt”.  It uses the Creative Grids “Hatchet Template” for charm fabric.  It’s so easy to make!

How fun to make this up for a family reunion, a baby shower, a graduation party, or any gathering where you’d love to have memories to keep and share?  I made my sample here in Kona’s Dots fabric line.  This is a photo that I took of my lap quilt because I can’t put the actual pattern picture on my blog per Cut Loose Press rules.  The patterns will be available any day now.

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As written by Penny Haren:

“This is one of those products that has taken on a life of its own!  Once quilters got their hands on it, they discovered its versatility – and it has been flying off the shelves ever since!

A gallon treats approximately 20 – 24 yards of fabric.  Consider it a “super starch”.  When treated, the fabric holds its shape.  It stabilizes the fabric so fusibles are no longer necessary.  The treated fabric has additional body so appliques maintain their shapes and don’t fray.  Place with a dab of glue and stitch in place.  Terial Arts washes out so there is no bulk or stiffness usually associated with stabilizers!  Is that cool, or what!

Own a Cricut cutting machine, Silhouette cutting machine, or other fabric cutting machine?  By treating the fabric before running it through the machine, the fabric cuts are perfect with no fraying – and they release easily from the cuttingmat. Machine Embroider the shapes with no puckering or stiffness!

Want to create quilt labels on matching fabric?  Treat the fabric and run it through an ink jet printer.”

Terial Magic turns your single ply fabric into a workable medium, allowing you to create beautiful dimensional art. It’s fray resistant, easy to sew by machine or by hand, holds folds and pleats, gathers beautifully works well with hot glue gun and can be washed out of fabric later.  Get it at your local quilt store – it runs $14.95.

But for art quilters, this fabric can be manipulated into amazing shapes to create beautiful flowers!  This is a fabric kit with all products necessary to make these gorgeous flowers.

Couldn’t Resist!

 

My friend Janet urged me to consider buying this adorable Singer sewing machine two days ago from our good friend Louise.  She was having a garage sale and had four vintage sewing machines for sale.  Janet picked up a sweet Singer which is a soft green with cream accents.  Louise offered me a price I couldn’t refuse – $5!  What a sweetheart she is!  Louise knew I’d love this special gift!

This machine is a 99K and I’m still trying to find out what year she is.  I haven’t name her yet!  This Singer isn’t as small as the portable style that most quilting folks love to work with, but it’s not as large as the traditional vintage black Singer machines.  This machine is considered a 3/4 sewing machine!  Cute!  My iPad takes a bit of a grainy photo so she’s not quite as dull as she looks here.  I can’t wait to shine her up and get the motor attached.  Everyone knows I love shiny things!

Okay – just found out she was made on February 24, 1937!

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