Monday, January 5, 2015

Keep It Simple Make It Fun #35

Hello all!

What would you like me to blog about on "Keep It Simple Make It Fun" in the new year?  When I first started this features, it was about free-motion-quilting (FMQ) thread paths.  Would you like it to be more about quilt design, more machine quilting or simply run features of your fabulous projects?

Also, I am going to start another quilt-a-long using pre-cut charm squares.  Anyone interested?  I still need to make the blog-button for it, but it should be great.  We will be making traditional heirloom blocks from charm squares.  I figure sewing a block a week shouldn't be too difficult.  After all, many quilters have a sampler on their New Year's resolutions list.

For this project, you'll need 2 packages of white 5" pre-cuts, two packages of print 5" pre-cuts and 2 1/2 yards of fabric for the borders.  I've done the diagrams in multiple colors for you to get fabric ideas.

This will be similar to the quilt I'll make.   I'm using the "Honeysweet" collection from Moda Fabrics.


Here's a "modern" version using gray sashing and bright prints.

Here is a version if you choose to select specific colors from your stash to create specific color blocks.

My favorite quilt linked up on the last KISMIF features was the Long Winter's Nap from Leann with Not Afraid of Color.  Be sure to check her blog post out.  She has lots of great Christmas pictures.  I too love Christmas lights.

I've had a busy WRITING week--but not a lot of quilting.  In fact, I didn't piece a single block.  Shocking!  Aaagh!  I know (just kidding).  I finally turned in and finished my first pattern contribution to a book.  While I can write and do the math, I admit that doing the diagrams really had me nervous.   When I write my own pattern I can put in tutorial photos wherever I want.  This isn't the case for a book--and the diagrams must be compatible with the publisher.  Whew, I learned a lot. I'm so excited and can't wait for it to come out--so more information later.

I also did a customer's custom quilt--the first since I switched my local machine quilting business to custom only.  I'm considering doing edge-to-edge by mail order.  My biggest weakness is quite funny when you think about it.  Aren't I the quilter, the one to do the up-selling?  Instead, my customers up the ante--convincing me to do custom work for edge to edge prices.  Mail order protects my weakness.  I just don't have the heart to screw up someone's heirloom!  :)

Here are my steps for a custom quilt:

  1.  Mark spacing for quilting.  This customer wanted hearts in the borders.
  2.  Quilt the hearts.
  3. Ditch the blocks
  4. Echo the blocks
  5. FMQ the open areas.  This customer wanted stippling (which I didn't show).
  6. Rotate the quilt to finish the borders going all the way around.
 So...this quilt was actually loaded on the frame 2 times--and quilted 2 times.  Shouldn't it cost more than edge-to-edge work?  I am only showing close-ups  of the quilting as I don't want to "violate" anyone's copyright (since I don't know who wrote the quilt's pattern or it's name).  I think that works, don't you?

Well, now it's your turn, what have you been doing to Keep It Simple and Make It Fun (KISMIF).  Remember, if I choose to feature your quilt next week, you get a free PDF quilt pattern from me.  Options can be viewed in my Craftsy, or Etsy shops or through my distributor Connecting Threads.  Thanks for sharing your projects!