Monday, February 21, 2011

Pineapples and Big Stitch Quilting

My pineapples are done! I made another 13 blocks this weekend and even got them put together! They are so cute- just 3" finished. I love how this little quilt turned out. I don't have much left of my fat eighth pack of taupes and greys so it's good that I didn't want to make it any larger. It is 18 inches square. I have a couple of ideas on how to quilt it but I'm undecided so I pinned it to my bulletin board and at least there I can enjoy looking at it until I figure out the quilting design.

One thing about making pineapples... you really get into a groove and it can be pretty mindless, especially using such neutral colors. It gives you time to think and look around at all your UFO's , of which I have too many. And I'm not sure how this happened but most of mine are LARGE quilts. Oh, what to do?

Now here is a peak at my big stitched quilt. It is coming along well. I try to quilt at it a few times a week usually just an hour or so at a time. I am falling in love with it...that is the magic of quilting it yourself.

I am using a fan pattern and pearle cotton ( used up 1 spool already) with Fons and Porter Utility Quilting needles. I also have a pack of Chenille needles I will try.

Big stitching is easy and you see results quickly so it is satisfying too. The hardest thing is keeping your stitches uniform especially if you are a hand quilter. My stitches keep trying to get smaller, but it is a rather rustic looking technique so it looks fine!

And speaking of big stitching...I think that quilt is calling to me!

Happy Stitching

Sunday, February 13, 2011

New Placemats and a Tutorial

I finally replaced the 12+ year old placemats for the kitchen this week. Do you think I needed to?

So I got busy in my stash and found a print I liked for the borders and then a variety of prints that went with it. These are my new placemats! I love this technique I used because the quilting is all done for you as you sew.

Here is how I made them...

For each placemat you will need:
-backing cut 15 x 19
-batting cut 14 x 18
-4 border strips cut 2-1/4 x 12-1/2
-binding to go around placemat
-strips from assorted fabrics cut 9" long and a variety of widths- I used 1-1/4" , 1-1/2" and 1-3/4" wide. Each placemat I made used 14 to 15 strips.

Next, set up your sewing machine with a walking foot if you have one.

Layer the backing and batting. Then mark a rectangle in the middle of the batting 9 x 13. That's 2-1/2" in on each side.

Line up the first inside strip with the end mark on the batting. I started on the left side and worked right.
Place the next strip on top, right sides together and sew with about a 1/4" seam. Back stitch at the top and bottom.  For this project it doesn't have to be perfect. Flip over and lightly press making sure you don't get your batting with your iron.

Keep going lining up your pieces with your marked lines until you reach the mark on the other end.

Next mark a rectangle on your inside strips 8-1/2" x 12.5". You will use these lines to line up your border fabrics for sewing.

Pin the long side borders down lining them up with the marking you just made. Sew with a 1/4" seam. 

Flip the borders out and press lightly. Then line up the borders for the short side with the markings. These borders will be a little too long but we will trim them later.

Flip and press again. Next baste around the outside edge of the placemat just inside the 1/4" seam allowance. Trim the excess batting and backing off the placemat.

Now you are ready to prepare your binding ( however you like to do it) and sew it on.

After the binding is on check quickly for any folds in the fabric. Then finish sewing down the binding.

Ta-da! You are done! Enjoy your brand new placemats. I'm enjoying mine!

And just a peek at my pineapple block progress...8 more done!

Happy stitching!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I have a great giveaway (in fact 2) to celebrate my 1 year anniversary blogging!

The first is Series 8 of The Quilt Show. If you haven't subscribed to this online quilt show then this is your chance to see it first hand. It is 13 episodes ( many almost an hour long) packed with all things, tricks, projects, new techniques, inspiration! It is a must see!

The second giveaway is any previous series (Series 1 through 7) of The Quilt Show! All series are wonderful and you'll have your choice!

To enter, just leave a comment telling me whether you are a "Star" member of The Quilt Show or will know if you are. If you want a second entry then just mention me on your blog and let me know!

 Remember to leave me your email address if it is private on your profile otherwise I can't get in touch if you were to win.

 Since I wasn't too clear about the giveaway I am extending the deadline a bit until Monday Feb. 14th! What a great Valentines Day surprise if you win!

Go check it out. The Quilt Show is a great show for every quilter...

Good luck and happy stitching!

Friday, February 4, 2011

I'm Almost a Year Old!

I can hardly believe I've been blogging for almost a year! It has been a wonderful experience and I can't wait to get started on year two!

I was thinking I must celebrate so....

I have two gift certificates for The Quilt Show to give to 2 of my blog friends!

The first certificate is good only for people who have never been a 'Star' member (ie. for those who have never subscribed to the shows) and the second one is for any past series of The Quilt Show (ie. series 1 through 7) and is good for anyone.

How do you enter to win?

Just leave a comment saying whether you are a 'Star' member or not. I'll keep track!  If you want a second entry then just mention this giveaway on your blog with a link and leave me a comment or send me an email telling me about it.

I want all of you to have a chance so make sure that if your email is private on your profile that you let me know your email or you won't be able to win.

I guess we need a deadline so my blog birthday it is...Friday, February 11th. I will make the draw on Friday night as soon as I am home from work!

Good luck everyone!