Monday, November 30, 2015

Designing Monday

I am getting excited for Christmas.  We spent the last two Sundays decorating the church and it is so beautiful.  I forgot my camera, of course, so I will have to show some photos of that another time.  I realized sometime in the last week that I don't have a Christmas quilt.  I do have one with winter scenes that someone gave me.  It is a store bought quilt with bright colors and I keep it out year round.  But I have never made a Christmas quilt and it is time.  So I got on the Internet and found one I really like and then I got busy.  I have been making lots of these....

 to make some of these ......

to eventually make this......

If all goes well I will have the top completed in the next week and soon I will have my very own Christmas quilt.

I hope your heart is filling up with the anticipation of Christmas and all it brings.

Be sure to stop by Judy's blog to see more beautiful designs.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Designing Monday

I finished another little table topper.  I used the polka dot fabric to make the binding and I really love this little piece. This fabric is called Santa Express and it came from 44th Street Fabric.

The binding on the left made a neat wavy design.  On the right it looks like polka dots.  If I were a really great quilter, I would have figured this out at the beginning or I would now take it all apart and make it all look wavy, but I have no idea how it happened, and I am not doing it over.  So I am content being me.

Hop over to Judy's blog to see more beautiful designs.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

How to Create a Freezer Paper Hexagon

I have enjoyed making the hexagon table topper so much and LuAnn's directions are great for doing this.  She uses a plastic hexagon template for creating a freezer paper pattern that is needed to create the center of the table topper.  I don't own a hexagon shaped plastic ruler, so I got out my protractor and drew a hexagon on freezer paper that way.  Here is how you do it:

First here are the supplies you need.

1.  Freezer paper
2.  Scissors
3.  Protractor
4.  Pencil
5.  Long ruler

Pull off a long sheet of freezer paper about 20".  I have marked the edge of the paper with a pink marker to make it easier for you to see what I am doing.  This is the long edge of the paper that is cut by the manufacturer.  When you rip the paper across the width or cut it with scissors it is never straight.

Line up the narrow edge of your ruler with the straight (pink) edge of the paper to the left of center.

Put a pencil mark at 14" on both sides of the ruler.

Slide the ruler to the right of center and line up the narrow edge of the ruler with the straight (pink) edge of the paper again.

Put a pencil mark at 14" on both sides of the ruler.

Now draw a line using your ruler that connects all 4 dots you just made.  You should now have a line running the length of your paper that is 14" away from the pink edge.

 I have colored it green to make it easier to see.

Fold the paper so the pink edge meets the green line and make a crease or fold line.

Open it up so you can see the fold.

Now fold it again in the opposite direction so the straight edges are aligned on the side and make another crease.

When you open it up you will have two folds at 90 degrees.  Make a pencil mark where the two folds meet in the center.

Keeping the pink edge closest to you, lay your protractor on the center point.  The hole or bubble in the center bottom of the protractor is on the center mark.

 The black line on the protractor (under the words "MADE IN CHINA") lines up with the crease going left to right.  
Find the 60 degree mark on the left side of the protractor and make a mark.

Do it again on the right side.

Turn the protractor upside down and line up the bubble or hole with the center mark and the black line with the crease going left to right.

Find the 60 degree mark on the left side of the protractor and make a pencil mark.

 Repeat on the right side.

Take the long ruler and line up the 3 dots going in a diagonal -- 60 degree mark, centerpoint, 60 degree mark.

Now make another pencil mark where the ruler crosses the green line and one where it crosses the 
pink edge. 

Now align the long ruler with the other 3 dots -- 60 degree mark, centerpoint, 60 degree mark.

Make a pencil mark where the ruler crosses the green line and where it crosses the pink edge.

You have now found the 4 corners of the hexagon.  All that's left is to find the two points that are on the center crease going left to right.

Here's a little math magic.  The distance between those two points on the center crease is 2 times the length of one side of the hexagon.  So lay your ruler on the green line placing the zero point at the left corner mark.

Look to see where the right corner mark on the green line measures on the ruler.  In this case it is 8- 1/8".

Move the ruler to line up with the center crease placing the 8 - 1/8" mark on the center point.

Now make a mark at the left end of the ruler on the center crease.  (Ooh, my fingernails look pretty good in this photo!)

Slide the ruler along the center crease until the zero edge is at the center point of the hexagon. 

 Now make a pencil mark at 8- 1/8" on the center crease.  This is your right edge of the hexagon.

Finally, draw lines from each of the corner marks to the new marks on the center crease and this will complete your hexagon.

Cut it out with your scissors and you now have a finished hexagon pattern.  Just iron it on and you are ready to go.

PLEASE NOTE:  I have not included the seam allowance in this pattern.  You will need to add 1/4" all the way around when cutting with this pattern.  I usually write the size of the hexagon on the paper and a note to add the seam allowance as I usually use them more than once ( and I'll probably forget before I get around to using it again.

This technique will work with any size hexagon.   If you want a 10" hexagon, just measure the green line 10" up from the pink edge and continue.

Hopefully this will help someone in the future.

I am linking this to LeeAnne's Podunk Pickins'.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Designing Monday

It has been a busy couple of weeks, but I have been sewing whenever I can.  I was so lucky to be chosen winner in Lea Anne's drawing over on Podunk Pretties.  She has been posting some really great quilting and sewing tips on her blog and inviting others to share their tips as well.  Plus Bev at 44th Street Fabric conspired with Lea Anne and provided some cute, cute fabric called Santa Express for the giveaway.  I just love it and couldn't wait to dig into this bundle of fat quarters.  Thank you both for your generosity!!!

I really love the hexagonal table topper that Luann of Loose Threads designed, so I asked her if it would be okay if I gave a demo to my quilt guild this week using her design.  She graciously said yes, so I put together another fall design and used the Santa Express fabric to make up my samples for demo-ing.  I had 10 minutes to demo the whole thing and I had to repeat it 6 times.  I am a fast talker, but I can't remember ever having to talk that fast.  I had to keep telling myself to slow down, 'cause I knew I would lose my audience if I didn't.  At the end I passed out slips of paper with LuAnn's blog address so they can review all the steps before starting on their own projects.

I showed how to make a Dresden Plate as well as how to assemble the quilt as you go segments.  On LuAnn's tutorial, she makes a hexagon freezer plate pattern for the background using a hexagon template make of plastic.  Since I don't own one of those, I made my freezer paper pattern by using a protractor and a ruler (back to geometry class.)  This is not hard, but takes a bit of time to explain and demo, so that took as much time as the rest of my demo.  I felt it was an important part of the process and allows you to make your table topper any size you want.  Stay tuned as I am going to put together a blog post on how to do this in the near future.

Tonight I am hosting my stitching group, the Fiber Friends, and I'm showing another friend how to make the hexagon table topper, too.  It is really catching on!!

I joined AQS two weeks ago as I am going to attend one of their quilt shows in the near future and I want to take advantage of the discounts they offer to their members.  As a thank you gift for joining they sent me a free book, Judy's Weekend Quilts.

Plus it came in this really cute box. Sweet!

Hop on over to Judy's blog to see more beautiful designs.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Design Wall Monday

I managed to complete this little church at the 11th hour for the Americana QAL sponsored by Dreamworthy Quilts.  I really like the original quilt and enjoy seeing the monthly work by others.  I can't seem to get excited about making a queen size quilt, however, which is what this QAL is all about.  So I am making only one block per month instead of a whole row and seeing where it leads.  I would still like to make an Americana themed quilt, but maybe more lap sized.  Hopefully the blocks I am making will be in the right size to be used that way.  Here is my little church:

I also finished this table topper this week, so overall a good week seeing as how I was raking leaves a good part of the time.

We had a rainy Halloween so not as many trick or treaters and way too much candy left.

Hop on over to Judy's blog to see more beautiful designs.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A Regift for a Friend

Sometime last year or maybe it was the year before, a friend gave me an unfinished piece of sewing that she did not want.  As you can see it is a folded star set into a larger rectangle of tan fabric.

The fabrics kind of scream 1970's.

I don't think my friend made it and I don't know what the maker intended, but my first thought was placemat.  Except there is only one and who needs just one placemat.  Then I thought tote bag.  Except I just wasn't feeling it.  So it sat.  I asked friends who came to my house what they thought I should do with it.  Placemat, tote bag, table topper were the responses.  Still not feeling it.

I even took it to a guild meeting and asked a lady there who demonstrated the folded star once.  Still not much help.  So it sat some more.  As you can see this thing came with several layers.

On top there is tan, then rust,

and then a piece of unbleached muslin.  I made one of these years ago in red and white and I don't remember all this excess fabric on the bottom.  For the record, I put mine in a wooden embroidery hoop and hung it on the wall.

Then a couple of weeks ago I showed a hexagonal table topper that I had made using Luann's tutorial on her Loose Threads blog.  Doreen commented and said it was a nice way to use up orphan blocks and the light bulb went on.  Finally a way to use that folded star.  So I got busy and found some fabric at Joann's for the outer border and here it is all finished.

I didn't even notice when I bought the border fabric that it had gold metallic thread or paint on it.  It really makes the border look special.
So I am regifting it to the friend who gave me the unfinished piece to begin with.  I am betting she will want to keep it now.  If not, I am sure I can find someone who will want it.