Thursday, December 27, 2012

December's Quilts

Yay!  I'm finally announcing my latest quilt pattern.  It is entitled "Ligthning Bolt" and can be purchased through my etsy store.  It's a fast and easy quilt featuring the Marmalade Layer Cake by Bonnie & Camille for Moda Fabrics.  The pattern also includes a scrap fabric and yardage layout.

Here are some photos of my daughter's Smocked Christmas dress.  I chose not to do a tutorial on this one because I was both pressed for time and it was a very difficult project due to the types of fabrics involved.
The dress was made from polyester crepe with a polyester organza overlay.  FYI, polyester fabrics don't hold pleats very well which made this dress particularly difficult to smock.  For this reason, I chose to leave in the pleating threads.  The beads on the organza caused the pleater needles to break so I had to hand gather about half of the bodice.  At least it turned out and my little one was thrilled with her Christmas dress!

It has also been a busy quilting month as well.  Here are some picts of my favorite customer's quilts.

This was an antique top from the 1960's or 70's they found stashed away in an attic in excellent condition.  For Christmas, the customer simply wanted Grandma's top quilted.  We agreed on continuous curve to mimic the traditional 1/4 inch hand quilting and a feathered longarm border as it was a motif the customer recognized from Grandma's tops.  It was special--and challenging since the fabrics--true to the time era--were from clothing and not quilting cotton fabrics.  The corderoy left a lot of extra  bulk at the seam intersections which required extra care.

This is a stunning lonestar quilt top--I love them.  The free-motion windblown motifs in the black background added a lot of movement to this beautifully pieced top.

As always, I love heirloom samplers.  This top was pieced from Maywood fabrics and was a block of the month quilt from Mormon Handicraft.

This is my favorite quilted block from the quilt top.  It was fun to create a minature feather wreath in the center square with swirls accentuating the outer square.  The leaf-vine sashing sets all of hte blocks beautifully.

Friday, December 7, 2012

My Newest Quilt

Here are photos of my newest quilt.  It is "America the Beautiful" from McCall's Quilting magazine, serialized 2011 pattern.  It was actually pieced by Linda at SugarQuilts (Etsy) and quilted by me.  After much debate, I decided that I would sell it on my Etsy store: ModernTraditionQuilt.

Here's the link:

Enjoy the photos!

Friday, November 30, 2012

My "Official" Logo

Ooooh!  I feel so "official" now.  After two years of quilting for hire and writing my own patterns I finally have a company logo--I suppose it's about time. it is!
Pretty cute, eh?  Look for it on all of my quilting patterns!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Stack 'N Whack Blocks

Lately I've been messing around with Stack 'N Whack Blocks.  I thought it would be fun to do a heart.  It surprised me with the amount of squaring required to make it work.

  1. I printed off a template from EQ5--I can load the PDF if anyone is interested, just leave me a comment.
  2. Fold the fabric in half to align the center with the half template.
  3. Cut the square in half.
  4. Aligned the template for the right hand side and used the rotary cutter to remove the triangle pieces.
  5. Flip the template to the template's mirror image and cut the other side of the heart.
  6. Take the top piece from the stack and moved it to the bottom so that the back-ground has a different color than the main heart.
  1. Sew on the three outside triangles.
  2. You will notice that the block is no longer square and will require trimming.
  3. Trim 1/4 inch from the center seamline--ensuring both sides are equal so that the center point aligns.
 4. Sew the center seam.
 5. Square three outer edges, which will also need to be trimmed 1/4 inch.  Note, don't trim the bottom edge of the heart, it is already square and if you did it would blunt the point of the heart.

     This project required a lot of squaring...I'm used to squaring the outer edges of a block but not the center seam.  Oh well, it worked out.  I designed the template to work with 10 inch layer cakes and found that I can whack through about 8 layers of fabric at a time.  The resulting block measures 9 inches square.  This method makes good use of fabric.

    Up next...a whack and stack 5 pointed star.

    When they're done...I'm going to put them in to a whacked sashing.  Is it just me or are these posts a little "whacky"...okay...too cheesy there...I've not had much sleep lately.  :)

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    $5.00 Summer Popsicle Quilt PDF Pattern

    Hey!  Happy back-wards day!  As you can tell, I have children...and they celebrate "back-wards day" so I thought my blog should too.  A lot of people do "Christmas in July" sales so I thought I would do a "Summer in Winter" surprise.

    Because this post has so many visitors, I decided to re-open the link and leave it up!  Thanks for visiting and enjoying this pattern.  Simply click on this link to download your $5.00 copy!

    The pattern also comes with yardage requirements if the quilter does not want to use pre-cuts.

    Two-toned layout

    Mono-chromatic layout.

    Merry Christmas!  I thought some of you would like this fast and simple pattern--just in time for all of your Christmas project sewing.  I used the Riviera II stack ("Layer Cake" is TM of Moda and works well with those) and some extra fabric.  I will be posting more patterns soon!

    Additionally, I cordially invite you to become a Follower.  Happy Quilting!

    Saturday, November 10, 2012

    New Quilting Pattern

    Hello All!

    I'm announcing my latest quilt pattern!  The snow got me really super excited about Christmas projects, so I plunged into my scrap fabric pile (my husband will be so glad I didn't go fabric shopping for this one) and sewed this little cutie this afternoon!  It's fast--a perfect Christmas present quilt and perfect for people new and inexperienced  at quilting.

    Here's the pictures:

    It's so exciting--taking pictures of quilts in the freshly fallen snow.

    I love my sepia color-changer!

    Close-up of the scrap fabrics I used.

    If you would like to purchase a down-loadable PDF copy of my quilt pattern, they are currently on sale for $4.50 (usually $7.50) at my Etsy store Modern Tradition Quilt.  You can view it at the following link:

    Happy Quilting!

    Saturday, October 27, 2012

    Progress Brings Pricing Changes

    If you follow my blog, you may have read a recent post where I discussed some of the set-backs in owning a quilting service.  I greatly appreciate the time my customers took to answer my questions on facebook, blog and even by phone call! I value all of your opinions greatly and have taken all of your comments into consideration. Most customers value my Mix'N'Match technique and that is the only reason why I have them as repeat customers. It is true that nearly every quilting business in Salt Lake County offers Edge-to-Edge (Pantograph or Computer driven) quilting. I thought I needed to offer it to my customers to be a complete service, but have found out from my customers that is not the case. As a result, I will be eliminating my Pantograph service (I know, this goes against every quilting business plan I have ever read, but I'm gonna try this experiment anyway!). I feel that it is time to set myself apart from the other quilting services in the area. Additionally, due to the cost of shipping, I will only do local quilts. I cannot afford to ship quilts.

    So...what do I offer? I will continue my Mix'N'Match custom quiting service. I will only be doing custom quilting jobs as the owner of the Gammill dealership recently quipped to me, "Do you know how rare and hard it is to find a good customizer?" It will satisfy my need for creativity. For those customers requiring a fast/cheap service, there are other quilters available.

    My customers also pointed out that my prices are about 25% lower than other services they have used in the past. Effective November 1st, there will be the following pricing structure. Truthfully, it is the same as it has in the past, just the $0.01 per square inch has been eliminated.

    • Mix'N'Match: One back-ground choice and one motif choice carefully placed in your quilt's designated areas will be $0.015 per square inch.
    This is a photo of a  Mix'N'Match daisy precisely centered in this quilt block square.  The quilt had a background filler of meandering leaves.

    • Mix'N'Match With Specialized Borders: One or two back-ground choices and one motif choice carefully placed in your quilt's designated areas will be $0.02 per square inch. Why? To make the borders and sashing flow around the quilt. The quilt is done in one direction, un-loaded then re-loaded to get the pattern to flow evenly around the corners without ugly thread starts and stops. This requires more time and hence costs more.
    This is my daughter's quilt.  In the butterfly blocks, there are a back-ground filler of loop the loops or swirls, feather plumes in the purple blocks, a specialty wave border and continuous curve border. It's much more complicated and costs more.

    I will also require a 50% deposit at the time a quilt is booked. As in the past there is a $25.00 surcharge for a "rush" quilt that needs to be completed within one week--and is subject to my quilting schedule's availability. Also, during the months of November and December, I am not offering my quilting binding service as I need the time to complete quilts.

    Since this is the time of year when a lot of quilts need to be done, please email me at to schedule your projects.

     Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  I am giving away a $50.00 gift certificate for my quilting services for anyone who leaves me a comment with your email on this page and enrolls as a follower.

    Note:  This is not the actual gift certificate--the actual one has already been prepared and doesn't look like this.

    Saturday, August 11, 2012

    Machine Quilting A Perfect Star Border

    I thought I would share with you how I quilt a perfect repeating star border the fastest way possible.  When I attended HMQS, there were several teachers who taught how to quilt an 8-pointed repeating compass star border, but not any who did a simple 5-pointed star.
    My notes from HMQS of the repeating 8-pointed compass star border.  I then drew out a repeating 5-pointed star border and divided it into two passes.

    I marked one-inch segments in the border using a blue quilt pounce pad and a one-inch stencil.

    Quilting pass one was the same as drawing the second-half of a 5-pointed star.  I did this to avoid thread breakage.  As any machine quilter knows, going from right to left keeps the thread in the needle better thus avoiding thread snaps.  FYI, the thread path is bottom left hand corner, diagonally up 3/4 of the border, straight line back, then diagonally down to the next corner and repeat across the length of the quilt border.

    The second step is a right to left hand pass of going corner to corner.  Because I was not having thread issues (I rarely do when using Signature Brand threads), I did not need to tie off and do a second pass, just a reverse pass.  If  your machine has a lot of thread breakage, you should tie off and go right to left so it does not snap.

    I erase the chalk markings with a wadded up leftover piece of batting before rolling the quilt.  This keeps it nice and clean and keeps chalk from getting onto the backing. 

    TIP: If your machine's carriage does not move diagonally very well (and there are some brands that don't), use a ruler to press your hopping foot against to get perfect angles in your stars.

    Here are photos of my daughter's latest dress.  It is the "Love Nest Ruffle Dress" by Carina Gardner.  This pattern has several mistakes in the cutting layout diagrams and they are currently re-printing its directions.  After I sewed it, I contacted the company and Carina personally called me and we discussed the problems I experienced with the pattern.  They knew of the some of the printing mistakes have posted the additional changes we discussed on their website.

    The pattern does not tell you to cut two back pieces and that one of these two pieces will be used for the front lining.  Instead, I cut two front panels, one from the top skirt pattern and the front lining straight across without the arch cut-out.

    The pattern tells you to sew the back to front side seams and then add ruffles.  This makes the ruffles floppy on the sides as they do not lie flat.  I sewed the ruffles to the skirt lining first, then sewed the side seams, catching the ruffles in the side seams so that they would lie down correctly.  This is an "alternate" method they posted on their website after I talked with Carina.

    In short, it's a cute pattern, but if I were going to buy it again, I would make certain to down-load the new sewing directions from their website and make certain I got a re-print of the cutting layout diagrams as they were incorrect in the initial printing.  Additionally, most patterns have you cut three pieces of the bottom ruffle for more fullness as it goes around the entire width of the skirt.  This pattern only called for two which left it lacking in fullness.  Next time, I'll add another piece.

    That being said, this dress is currently my daughter's favorite--she loves the Disney princesses.

    Until next time...happy quilting!

    Thursday, July 5, 2012

    The Underground Railroad Quilts

    Hello everyone, I hope you're enjoying your summer.

    A local quilt guild has sewn a lot of underground railroad quilts (pattern by Elanore Burns) and are having me quilt them, as these type of quilts appear to be my specialty.  I thought you would enjoy the photos of how some of them were done.  It's a great project to be doing in July!

    This top was sewn by S. Mann.  She chose loop the loops for the background areas, longarm feathers for the outer border and "E's and L's" for the inner border with longarm feathers in the red sashing.  She also gave me "artistic license" to quilt anything I felt like in the squares themselves so I did a lot of orange peels and other motifs I learned from my HMQS class by Pam Clarke.

    This quilt top was by M. McReynolds.  I really like the way the teal sashing draws in your eye.  She chose longarm feathers for the outer borders and sashing, leaves for the inner border with a background of loops to fit the quilted area.  She also gave me the same artistic license so I used some Pam Clarke techniques in the blocks as well.

    This quilt top was by L. Whitemore.  She chose alternating swirls for the sashing, longarm feathers for the blue outer border and a ruler work cable for the outer border.  The blocks back-grounds were quilted with longarm feathers in the back-grounds and continuous curves over hte piecing.  It's another beautiful quilt!

    This quilt was by K. Cundick.  She chose a repeating star border in the yellow areas, longarm feathered vines with swirls and stars in the outer white border and red sashing, alternating swirls in the black border, and a back-ground filler of loop the loops with stars.  It's cute.  I also liked that she had me quilt-write a dedication to her spouse and the year on it.  That saves the step of putting on a quilt label!  :)

    Boat Block

    Crossroads Block.  I like the orange peels in the brown squares.
    Crossroads block.  It was quilting using contiuous curve in the square piecing with feathers in the triangles.  Pretty!  It's fun to see the same block quilted three different ways.

    Birds in the Air Block.  I liked adding the swirls in it to mimic the wind.  This area needed something to even out the quilting and I thought this did the job nicely.  It's a lot easier to do than cross-hatching.

    Monkey Wrench Block with an orange peel center, longarm feathers in the sashing and loops background filler.
    This monkey wrench block features a swirl center to compliment the sashing and back-ground feathers.

    Drunkard's Path Block with loop the loop background filler.

    Basket Block with loop the loop background filler and orange peel center.

    This flying geese unit quilt pathway was from a Fons & Porter magazine article.  I loved it and was glad to try it.
    This flying geese block was quilted with continuous curve in the geese triangles with plume feathers in the outer triangles.
    Dresden Plate block. I like quilting a longarm feather wreath in these circular blocks.  This feather wreath features swirls in the center brown patch. The back-ground feathers compliment the design.
    This block features continuous curves in the red squares and feather plumes in the back ground.
    These blocks are simple continuous curve--beautiful!
    These bow ties are quilted with feathers ony in the back-ground, yet still looks luxurious.
    A close-up of the rope cable border (beige) with a longarm feather border (blue).

    On the other quilts, I did a wreath in the wagon wheel block.  I really like thi sone, I did an 8-pointed star in the center with swirls coming out of hte center then caught the ege of the applique using the loop the loops and star background filler.
    Sometimes the simple continuous curve looks the best!
    I like the clam shells in the "water" portion of this boat block.
    Unloading the quilt from the frame.

    Bear Paw Trail block quilted with orange peels and a alternating loop in the sashing center blocks.

    So many quilts are fun to do!  It's great to see the different colorways.