February 16, 2016 · 9:46 PM
DC Modern Quilt Guild has a skill building Quilt Along going on right now. Anna from Life Sew Crafty has challenged us with a weekly quilt block. Anyone can join in this fun challenge! Go to Anna’s blog or join this Facebook group.
Blocks 1 thru 5 are pretty straight forward. Block 6, however, is one of several “theme” blocks the quilt will contain. I chose a “flying geese” theme and found this trail of geese block from Daniel of Piece and Press. It is a foundation pieced block and he says in his post that he used a freezer paper technique to sew it.
I had some freezer paper sheets that are sized for printing. After resizing the block to fit the size I needed for the QAL quilt, I printed it onto the freezer paper sheets and made two red registration marks between each piece. This block only has 9 pieces which I think made it especially suitable for this technique. *The complete trail of geese block contains 6 of these individual blocks – 3 of which are mirror image.
Each template piece was cut out and ironed onto the wrong side of it’s corresponding fabric and then the fabric was cut 1/4″ larger than the template. In this block six of the pieces are background and three are the geese. I numbered the geese (and my fabric) 1 thru 18 in order to have the geese end up in the color order I wanted.
They were arranged back into their block positions and then sewn together in order – the registration marks made it very easy! I placed right sides together and sewed along the paper edge – not through it.
Once done, the paper was simply and easily peeled away. This is so much easier than removing paper from stitching. I’m not sure this technique would work for a more complicated foundation pieced block, but it sure was great for this one!
There is a great round-up of foundation piecing tutorials by VeryKerryBerry here.
This was a fun block to sew and I look forward to the upcoming theme blocks during this Quilt Along.
November 17, 2014 · 6:09 PM
Angela showing one of her quilts.
I had the extreme good fortune this past week of hosting Angela Walters in my home while she was in the DC area giving lectures and a workshop to the two quilt guilds that I belong to. She is a long arm quilter who’s work is so exquisite that many of the modern fabric and pattern designers (Tula Pink, Jacquie Gering, Cherri House to name a few) ask her to quilt the quilts they are going to display at market to sell their designs. See her quilting portfolio here.
Angela quilted this quilt that is on the cover of Tula Pink’s book (and all of the quilts inside).
My traditional guild, The Needlechasers of Chevy Chase, brought Angela to the DC area to give a lecture and a workshop. DC Modern Quilt Guild got to take advantage of her being in town and scheduled a lecture as well. When I asked Angela which type of guild she normally speaks to, she said that she enjoys to speak to both traditional and modern guilds and considers herself “bilingual”. She also has a theory that the two groups are getting closer together and that as the younger modern quilters gain more sewing experience, there will be less and less difference between them. I found this to be very interesting and hope that I am not misspeaking what she said about this.
This quilt highlights Angela’s fabric line “Drift”.
I think that the take away message that Angela gives when she teaches is to not let free motion quilting intimidate you. Have fun with it! She learned to quilt on a long arm machine without any preconceptions of what the quilting should look like. She had hand quilted before she got her first long arm machine. She didn’t know at the time that it was possible to quilt on a conventional sewing machine. (Lucky her!)
There is no doubt that she loves to quilt and she wants everyone else to love it too! Her website is www.quiltingismytherapy.com. There are links there to her blog, to video tutorials, to free quilt patterns, to her shop and to where she’ll be teaching next. If you are not lucky enough to catch her in person, she currently has four Craftsy classes on free motion quilting which surely must be the next best thing – or even better because you can pause it and play it over and over while you’re practicing.
“Impracticality” Pieced and quilted by Angela Walters. Featured on the June/July 2013 issue of Quilter’s newsletter. Click on photo for free pattern.
Angela has written several books and has YouTube video tutorials. She has recently announced another book which will be available in April 2015 that she wrote with her 9 year old daughter about quilting with kids.
I am so excited about free motion quilting now and hope to practice on some smaller projects like tote bags or pouches. The smaller size will help me feel more comfortable when I go to quilt something larger – I think! I hope!
I have always defaulted to using my walking foot but I am encouraged to try something new. As I’m working I’m going to hear Angela telling me that echoing is my friend and that there are no mistakes that can’t be made to look better with more quilting. I’ve also found that using a coordinating thread color can make even a multitude of flaws look pretty darn good.
Angela and myself.
Thank you, Angela, for being such an inspiration and for sharing your love of free motion quilting with us!
July 13, 2014 · 5:29 PM
Fabric postcard – Size is 5 x 8 inches.
Nicole at the Finch Sewing Studio is celebrating the 1 year anniversary of her shop being housed in an old building in the historic business district of Leesburg, VA. I met Nicole through the DC Modern Quilt Guild and I have been an avid supporter of her business.
Photo from July 2014.
It hasn’t been hard to support her. I have had so much fun taking classes with my sister, my daughter, and my friend Anne at her shop. She always has an interesting and varied selection of modern fabric. She has inspired me to try my hand at sewing clothing that actually fits me.
Last night, knowing that I would see her today (to shop her Anniversary sale!), I made a little fabric card to give her.
How did I do?
I didn’t take any “progress” photos. Basically, I new that I wanted to replicate the front and side of her building. I wanted the front of the building, but also the Finch sign and pretty bay window on the side. I searched on the Finch Facebook page, Instagram, and Google Maps for photos of the shop.
I wanted the card to fit in an envelope that is 5-1/2″ by 8-1/2″ which is a regular sized piece of paper folded in half. I sketched out the design in pencil.
I realized at this point that the overall design had to be a little smaller than this to fit in the card and for me to do a satin stitch around the edges. I simply reduced this drawing to 85% on my copier and cut out the pieces for the front of house, side of house and roof to use as templates.
Everything sort of fell in place after that. A piece of Pellon Peltex (really stiff interfacing) forms the core of the card. I used Wonder Under to fuse the pieces to the card. I also had to interface the white building pieces to avoid having the blue of the sky or the red of the brick walk show through. Sewing themed fabric was incorporated just for fun. I debated about free motion stitching the “Happy Anniversary” at the top. I knew it would look messy. In the end, though, I decided to go ahead and do it. It is a hand-made card after all!
Happy Anniversary Finch Sewing Studio!
March 6, 2014 · 8:19 PM
A few weeks ago the Anacostia Arts Center in Washington DC opened an exhibit of quilts by local quilters. DC Modern Quilt Guild members have a variety of quilts hanging there including one of mine.
My husband and I helped to hang the quilts on the day before the opening. The quilt below was made by a member of the Daughters of Dorcas quilt organization.
My husband hanging the largest quilt in the exhibit. Photo courtesy the Anacostia Arts Center.
I wanted to make something new to wear to the opening reception. I had some Nani Iro double gauze fabric just waiting for this purpose and chose to make a pattern by Sew Liberated called the Schoolhouse Tunic.
Linda Fasules with “Zakka Style Quilt”
The pattern comes in two lengths and I chose to make the longer version.
I love how it turned out and it is beyond comfortable. Because the fabric was so precious, I did make a muslin first, but ended up not having to make any changes. This is a very quick and easy pattern to make.
Other quilts in the exhibit with their DC Modern sewists –
Dana Seltzer with DC Metro Map
Frederick Nunley (on the right) with his partner Keith and Shoofly Orange Slice. Photo courtesy Anacostia Arts Center
Elle Sutherland Irby (and Miles) with “Smooth Sailing”
Lynne Mackay-Atha with Kaffe’s Paintbox (which is the back of this beautiful quilt)
The front of the quilt above. Read her post about the Arts Center choosing to show the back.
There are many more quilts to see and the exhibit is running through March 29, 2014. If you are in the DC area, make plans to go see it. There is a wonderful cafe in the center that is well worth visiting as well.
On Saturday, March 8th there will be quilting lectures and pop up shops at the Anacostia Arts Center.
March 8 event
Katie Blakesley and Laura Gunn will be speaking from 1 to 3 PM. You do need tickets to attend the lecture. More information and a link to buy them can be found here.
Finch Sewing Studio and Del Ray Fabrics will be selling from 3 to 5 PM.
See you there!
Filed under DC Modern Quilt Guild, Garment sewing, Pattern review, Uncategorized
Tagged as Anacostia Arts Center, DC Modern Quilt Guild, Del Ray Fabrics, Finch Sewing Studio, Katie Blakesley, Laura Gunn, Schoolhouse tunic, Sew Liberated
July 3, 2013 · 8:52 AM
My flag quilt top
The Fourth of July is a fun holiday for me. I spend it in NH on Lake Winnisquam with my brother and sister and as many of our kids as can come. My brother has 3 grandsons that live nearby and they definitely add to the fun and excitement. This year about 2 weeks prior to traveling I was on a road trip (by bus) with the Needlechasers of Chevy Chase to a quilt shop called Patches in Mt. Airy, MD.
Patches – quilt shop in Mt. Airy, MD (Picture from their website)
There was a quilt laying near the cutting table that was essentially a flag. I really loved how it was pieced together in different shades of red and white and had a star fabric for the blue canton. I immediately wanted to make one and figured, as I often do, how easy it would be to make up fast! So despite the fact that the store staff was busy cutting fabric for our 40 or so members on the trip, I was able to ask if they had the star fabric, and luckily they did.
Needlechasers shopping at Patches
Patches flag quilt.
I took this picture of their quilt because I liked the easy wavy quilting that was done on it. (Are you catching on to what was important to me?) I chose fat quarters and took them home, washed them and cut them into 3″ squares.
On the following weekend, the DC Modern Quilt Guild had a sewing retreat for 3 days. I had a serger there for a different project and decided it might be quicker to use that to sew all these squares together. Since completing it, I’m really not sure that it made ANY difference at all in the time it took, but I did love how tidy the back was when I was done.
Serged back to the quilt
I got the quilt top done at the retreat but didn’t have any backing fabric so the final backing, quilting and binding was done at home.
Working on the wavy quilting.
Quilting this way with a walking foot was very easy. I used matching thread and did a wavy line on each of the red and white stripes. I did a diagonal straight line through the star fabric.
Finished quilt is 60 x 32.5″
I originally thought that this quilt would be a table topper but the size may be a little awkward for that. I think that we will display it off the deck as though it were a flag. Surely no one will get close enough to count the stars. Although the size of the stars look about right for the size of the flag, there are actually 70 stars!
I gave the flag quilt to my brother and sister-in-law while cruising Lake Winnisquam in a pontoon (party!) boat from Winnisquam Marine which my brother owns and operates. It turns out that it’s actually a pretty good quilt for keeping warm.
Sunset on Lake Winnisquam