Category Archives: Designing quilts

Steps to designing quilts

How Many Quilters Does It Take

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…to change a light bulb? Well, have you ever put such mundane things off (like changing a light bulb) just because you don’t want to stop your sewing/quilting project? The answer is only ONE, I just had to stop long enough to do it, after all the bulb(s) were in the potty room and the hall to the utility room, NOT MY Sewing room! Who needs light in those rooms? Anyway, light has come back into the Shively house!

Meanwhile back at sewing I have been quilting away, making memory pillows for some middle schoolers, and making my way through an Art For Quilters online class. So much fun and so little time!

Thought you might like to see the memory pillow project. Quick, easy, and another option for a favorite t-shirt. I used my trusty serger and an embroidery machine, but, of course, you could use a DSM and even hand embroider. First cut through the t shirt straight up the side seams. In this case I used a 12 inch square ruler and fussy cut the artwork. Mine was too big so I had a great natural spot to cut another piece as large as possible, using the natural hem of the shirt. Then I used the back piece to cut another square about two inches shorter. These pieces will overlap and provide the back of the pillow pocket. Just sew around all four sides and you have a cute memory pillow. Hope these pics give you a better idea. First pic is finished pillow, second shows the front of the T-shirt cut into two pieces, the third was the original tshirt before I cut in apart, and the last is the finished pillow. Super simple and took less than ten minutes (not counting the embroidery of course).

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Back to having fun. Hope you get a chance to try the pillow. In this case I used a 14″ pillow for stuffing, no backing on the shirt, worked perfectly!

Bee happy…Karen

Great class with award winner!

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Great classes with award winning Cathy Wiggins from North Carolina! Took a whole cloth design class as well as an art class about perspective. They were both great and I can now draw a box and a house in correct perspective. Here is a picture of Cathy. You might remember her from her clown quilt and the witch quilt.

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Here are her quilt entries from this year. Both winners!

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Last night we had a great program from Rickie Tim’s, one more Sharon Schamber class this morning then Bonnie and I will be winging our way home .

Bee Happy…Karen

Disaster Assistance Team

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Well, yesterday totally required a Disaster Assistance Team…part of the days disaster was loosing my so terrific picture of friends Sandy and Judy standing next to a truck advertising Disaster Assistance Team. Sigh…

Left early morning for a trip up to Montgomery Texas to meet a quilting buddy and her hubby, Sandy and Gerald. Going to visit and bring home a wonderful batting rack that Sandy was kindly donating my way. Almost made it when my baby, my cream white SUV decided it wouldn’t go further. Beautiful weather, sunny with a nice breeze, and there we sat! Onstar was great, that is after nearly an hour of convincing the obviously new employee that I was indeed 12 miles from I45 and did not need to be towed to Austin, 3 hours away. What can I say, she was obviously very new and trying hard. Eventually the tow truck came and off went my baby. It now sits at Buckelew Chevy in Conroe Tx. The good thing about that was that the serviceman, CW, lives on my end of town and gave us a ride back to a stafford, Tx. Looking on the bright side! Had a great time visiting with Sandy and Gerald!

Ok, back to quilting. Here is the result of my pin wheel experiment from a few days ago. I will use it as a table topper when I get it quilted. I do like it though. The method worked really well, although it needed to be heavily starched to avoid mis shapen blocks due to the bias’.

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Also finished a wonderful Texas bluebonnet quilt which will wing its way to its new home next week. Can you see the wonderful quilted bluebonnet a? I love them

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Off to see a lady about her tshirt quilt.

Bee happy, Karen

Pinwheel perfect!

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Well I’ve been playing with using up my stash and found some wonderful charm squares. Somewhere I saw a quilter making half square triangles from these. I wish I could remember where so I could give her credit. Here is how I remember it though.

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Take 2 charms and place them right sides together. Sew a scant 1/4 inch seam all around all four sides of the charms

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Carefully use your rotary cutter and ruler to cut these from corner to corner across the charms diagonally. Press each HST open, pressing the seams to the dark side. I advise using starch to stabilize the bias edges.

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Once you have your pieces ironed, place them so that you can sew two HST together to form half of your pinwheel. Sew both halves. These will each nest easily. Now you will sew both halves together to form the final pinwheel. This is the tricky part. I pin them because of the thickness of the intersection. Note the pins in my pictures. I first pin one pin vertically thru the layers at where the center seams meet. You can peak between the layers to see that these seams match. THEN, I put a pin into the project on both sides of center, very close to the first pin. You can then remove the center pin and sew your seam. Only one center pin allows the fabric to “roll” and can offset your perfectly matched seam.

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Once you have your perfectly matched seam you are ready to press your pinwheel. Make sure your seams are all pressed the same direction as they spin around your pinwheel. Then, by gently manipulating the center (you may have to loosen one or two stitches) you can make a beautiful tiny pinwheel in the center back of your block. Press this and you will have a perfect pinwheel!

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Congratulations. Sew easy!
Bee Happy, Karen

Another landscape – retreat coming!

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Well, getting ready for a great guild retreat next Monday thru Thursday – can’t wait.  I will be teaching a quick free half-day class on this super easy way to do a landscape quilt.  Being so close to the Gulf of Mexico I thought it would be fun to do a beach scene, and, I had to add one of the Lorelei beach ladies to my scene.  My studio bathroom is decorated with them so guess where my little quilt will eventually end up.  The quilt needs to be quilted yet, and, of course bound, but it’s moving right along.

Sexy Lady at the beach!

Paula and her quiltWell, if the above picture is titled “Sexy Lady at the Beach”  it stands to reason that this one should be called “Sexy Paula With Her Quilt!  It is so much fun to deliver a quilt and see the big smile!!!  Good job Paula!

Off to the Coastal Prairie Guild meeting tonight to learn all about broderie Perse…should be interesting.  Always fun to see so many quilters in one space having a great time.

Until later..BE HAPPY

Karen

Landscape Quilt – what a blast!!!

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Landscape 1Well, I really had a great time yesterday playing with my first landscape quilt.  I’ve been wrestling with something to do for a fabric challenge and hated my first project, sew…here is the beginning of my second try.  I have been collecting landscape fabrics for quite some time so now have a big pile to fold and put away again.  The roof of the old house is the challenge fabric.  Lots to do yet, it is only glued together so far.  Trees need foliage (thinking Angelina or snippets), thread painting, quilting, and embellishment.  It has turned out to be a fun project!

I love red and white quilts.  This one belongs to Paula and I just quilted a lovely edge to edge design onto it.  It was a pleasure to quilt, nice and crisp and square!

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Hope to get more accomplished on my landscape later today, although I have “the worlds biggest quilt (at least that’s what it feels like) on my table and quilting it.  Sure glad it wasn’t an inch bigger.  Actually it is a bedspread with extra fabric and is about 120” across and five yards – yes 5 – long….sigh!  Pictures later.

BE HAPPY…..Karen

WORKSHOP PROJECT ALMOST DONE!

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Drunkards Path close up

Drunkards Path quilt

This quilt top came from a workshop with Ebony Love and the Coastal Prairie Quilt Guild of Missouri City, Texas. We had the opportunity to work with Ebony and cut out Drunkard’s Path quilt blocks on an Accuquilt Studio machine supplied by Quilters Cottage in Richmond, Tx. It was a lot of fun and I was determined not to let all of the pieces sit in their little zip lock bags as usual. Sew….here is my version of a happy quilt made entirely with Drunkard’s Path blocks. The curved piecing went smoothly and it was great fun arranging, and re-arranging the blocks on my design wall. This will eventually be quilted and become a new table covering for my kitchen table. Bright colors remind me of Spring and Summer approaching.