Hi, my name is Ruth and this is my blog to show & share my quilts that I give to family & friends.
Simple designs that may inspire you to make one too.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Thicket Baby Quilt (#98)

It's always exciting to see newly released fabrics and what is 'trending'.  The flip side is that over time fabrics go out of print and become "rare".  I found the timeless quality of Moda's Thicket worth investing in for future quilts.
You can't beat a baby quilt using these lovely animal panels. The simple black and white designs make it perfect for a boy or girl.
Batting and white minky give this quilt weight but not so much that it feels bulky.  Following the seam lines to quilt in a wavy stitch makes a nice 2" grid throughout.  Aurifil 50wt. worked like a charm as always for piecing & quilting .

This is my 4th Thicket quilt and the design still feels fresh and current.  A previous post here has more sewing details on how to make a baby Thicket quilt.
Shown above is an 'adult' version using lots of small panels.  There is a stash of fabric waiting for me to make two more  blankets like this. I love these critters and so does my family & friends. For more on this quilt - the link is here.

While Thicket fabric may not be as available as it once was - the artwork of Stacie Bloomfield (aka Gingiber) can be found in fabric lines called Catnip Savannah.

Thicket by Gingiber / Moda
Warm & White batting
Aurifil 50wt. #2311 & #2024
Dimple dot minky / white
Size: 38" x 44"
May 2018

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Photo Tutorial for Fabric Coasters

On this little blog my most pinned picture is not a quilt but these cute coasters.   I figured it was time to update the coaster posts & include a tutorial -  Enjoy :)

 Whether you use a charm pack or cut the fabric yourself into 5" squares - this coaster design works every time.

These coasters are machine wash and dry friendly (they shrink just a little) ... and no matter what fabric you use: French inspired, modern, novelty, floral ... they look great.

Total items needed are (5) squares 5"x 5" and a piece of fusible fleece 4" x 4" or scrap batting for each coaster.
Put the fusible fleece, fleece or batting on the back square for more padding.  A little spray baste will adhere it if you don't have fusible fleece.  No spray baste? Just sew an "X" through the fleece/batting on the back square.
The reason for this is so your batting or fleece will latch onto the back and not move.

Iron the 5" squares into triangles and assemble as shown above.  Triangles lay on top of each other and the last triangle goes beneath the first one (pic 4). You are kind of weaving the triangles all together.

If you have a design element you want to see on your coaster - do steps 1-4.  I wanted the coffee cups to show on the front of my coaster - so here is how to achieve that.
(1) slide a piece of cardstock or paper plate under your coaster pieces.

(2) put another piece of cardstock on top of that
 Now flip everything over - like you are making pancakes.

(3) Lift off the cardstock and what you see is the BACK of the triangles. That's what you want. The coffee cups I want to highlight are facing down, not towards me.  They will  appear after sewing since I will turn this whole unit inside out! 

(4) Nestle everything tightly and pin so the triangles don't slide around (they will!).

(5) Move the pinned unit on top of the right side of back square (the one with the batting)  and pin everything together (6). 

(1) Sew around the edge of the coaster using a 1/4" seam and small stitches.   I usually sew off the coaster after each side but do a few reinforcing back and forth stitches at the corner area. Neatness does not count! Remove pins.
(2) Trim sides and just take a little off the corners.
(3) Dig into the center of the coaster and start to turn it inside out.
(4 - 6) Keep turning it inside out - poking the corners with a chopstick or something pointy.  
Give your coaster a good iron. If your fabric has patterns that don't need highlighting, everything goes faster. You just iron, pin & sew.  But I like the 'flip/pancake' method option so I can choose what part of the design shows.  

Lastly - its personal choice whether to top quilt them - I say 'yes' as they tend to flop & not look finished.  How to do it in one continuous line is shown (a little rustic) below.

May 2018

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Drunkards Path in Avantgarde (#97)

"A simultaneous explosion of color & geometric shapes" is how Art Gallery Fabrics describe their collection AvantGarde by Katarina Roccella.  Boy are they right!
20 artistic patterns and the Accuquilt large Drunkard's Path was the best way to showcase all the different geometric designs.  
I put into piles 8 pieces that looked good together (4 'pie' shapes and 4 "L" shapes) to make one big 'circle' block'.  A structured look was better for this quilt since there is a lot going on ... graphic angles, color, flowers, arrows, strips, dots ... it's all here.
Eack block is supposed to be 7.5" but since there are curves I always trim down to 7" in case of wonky sewing.
This Art Gallery Fabrics is beautiful and thin and a #10 needle worked nicely.  A small border all around brings this quilt to 59" x 73" - perfect for a minky/batting blanket.
Straight line stitching with a really pretty 50wt. mint thread by Aurifil on both the top & bottom... yes, even on the black back ... it's an AvantGarde quilt after all.
Lastly, if your fabric has an image that is too good to lose,  cut it the same size as a pieced block and squeeze it in.
AvantGarde / Katarina Roccella / Art Gallery
Warm & White batting
Aurifil 50 wt. #2835 (medium mint) / #2692 (black)
Dimple dot minky / black
Accuquilt large Drunkards Path
Size: 59" x 73"
April 2018

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Big Sky Simple Square Baby Quilt (#96)

Some quilts just resonate and the Big Sky simple square blanket I made for my high school's fundraiser  is one of them.
The soothing colors and bear & moose motifs were so cute that I got asked to make this quilt from various friends.  My math skills are not great ... end result is I bought way too much Big Sky fabric.  I guess it's more quilts for everyone and thankfully my friends are a patient lot so I can take my time making them!
What's better than this bear blanket going to Alaska for a new baby boy.  I chose to continue with  4.5" x 4.5" squares unfinished since I had leftovers from the other quilt.  I did buy some more bear and moose fat quarters since that is the cutest motif and who doesn't like more cuteness! 10 squares across, 10 rows down and a border trimmed to 2.25".
This is a blanket that will grow with baby.  A nice 43" x 43" with minky on the back and batting on the inside.  I duplicated the 'melding' look again by using the same fabric for the border & binding. 
I like making easy quilt patterns because of time restraints.  I enjoy making different patterns since I get bored.  Squares seem like cheating since they are so simple,  but time & time again they come out looking really pretty and are very well liked.  

Big Sky by Annie Brady / Moda
Warm & White batting
Simple dot minky - brown
Aurifil 50wt. #2360 (brown) & #2314
Size: 43" x 43"
April 2018

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Kaleidoscope Quilt ... Again (#95)

Kaleidoscope novelty fabric quilt #2 - just as fun to make as the first one. It's like an eye spy quilt for every age.
After making four kaleidoscope quilts I am still not tired of this pattern - nothing obsessive going on here!
Accuquilt die + white Kona + lots of fun scraps = a happy quilt.
Novelty kaleidoscope tips here.
Little Ruby star kaleidoscope with more details here.
Vintage style kaleidoscope quilt post here.

Novelty cotton fabric / Kona white
Aurifil 50wt. #5007 & #2311
Warm & White batting
Dimple dot minky in Azurite & Candy Strip in Azurite from Hawthorne Threads
Accuquilt dies: Triangle-Isosceles 5"x6" / HST 3" Finished
Size: 60" x 70"
March 2018

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Starburst Quilt ... Missouri Quilt Co. Style (#94)

I love a simple large scale pattern for novelty fabrics and Starburst from the Missouri Star Quilt Co. is perfect.  While the Starburst tutorial uses layer cakes - I choose to make my half square triangles with fabric yardage and the 6" finished square HST Accuquilt die.
A little rustic so please ignore the color scheme and focus only on the diagrams: On the left is a master template I made for a super big Starburst!  I printed it out and cut the paper to show 10 blocks across by 12 rows down (the picture on the right).  If I was using a smaller HST, the diagram on the left would be my guide for triangle placement.
I did exactly like Jenny said in the video - working in quadrants which was fun and easy to keep track of.
It's nice to use bold colors. Bright turquoise minky on the back (to match Captain America), and Aurifil 50wt. black thread for the top.  I really wanted those black elongated starbursts to stand out without distraction.
Using a smaller 6" finished half square triangle had some nice benefits.  I could use scraps, not distort the pattern too much when keeping it to 60" wide - and the best bonus of all ... a 'bigger starburst!"  This two tone quilt needed 240 HST's - 120 black and 120 comic book. 
Marvel Retro Comics Covers fabric
Wintergreen Aged Solids / Moda
Aurifil 50wt. #2600 (Dove) #2692 (black) #1148 (Turquoise)
Warm & White batting
Dimple Dot Minky in Peacock / Hawthorne Threads
Accuquilt Half Square Triangle 6" finished square
Size: 60" x 72"
March 2018

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Big Sky Simple Square Quilt (#93)

Some fabrics look really nice cut up into simple squares.  Big Sky by Annie Brady for Moda is one of these collections.
Cute bears, woodland creatures and a variety of colorful foliage harmonize in forest greens and browns.
I started out with a few layer cakes ... steamed ironed & starched.  I knew they would shrink so all squares were cut  4.5" x 4.5".  
14 squares across by 17 rows down plus small borders on all sides makes this a perfect minky quilt at 60" x 72".
I am really liking the same color fabric for the small borders and  the binding.  Usually I 'frame' the quilt with a different colored binding - but after seeing this I will do the melding look again. 
Aurifil 50wt. thread in simple straight lines on either side of the seams makes a nice square pattern.  
To read about this minky's quilt journey from start to finish there are 7 blog posts under "How to Make a Minky Quilt" here.
Got the wooden box, the S'mores and the cuddly bear - it's off to auction we go. This will be my third quilt to be donated for the Immaculate Heart Morther/Daughter Luncehon - the alma mater for both me & my daughter. So, from the Class of '75 & 2017 - this sweet quilt is made just for you.

Big Sky by Annie Brady / Moda
Warm & White batting
Dimple dot minky - brown
Aurifil 50wt. #2360 (brown) & #2314
Size: 60" x 72"
February 2018

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

How to Make a Minky Quilt Part 1 - The Top

Minky quilts have their challenges but nothing that is too hard to handle.  This starts a series of posts on how I make a minky quilt. I quilt on a home machine with a walking foot and these blankets are made to be machine washed & dried for daily use. 
The following thoughts & tips are my own - but as in all things, you must do what is right for you.
Basically the bottom line for any quilt is to have a nice flat quilt top before you start assembly of your quilt sandwich. 
This includes the front and the back.
What I do: 
* Pre-wash fat quarters or fabric yardage  
* Do not wash pre-cuts
* Use lots of canned spray starch
* Iron, iron & iron
* Press seams open
* Trim all loose threads - front & back
* Use a #12 needle for regular quilting cotton and a
  #10 needle for batiks 
* Stitch length is 1.5  in a scant 1/4" seam

* Using steam to iron and starch will shrink your unwashed fabric.  Use your judgement on this point if you need every inch for a specific pattern or design.  Ironing at every stage is still necessary.
* If you stitch in the ditch - do not press seams open. 

All posts are linked at the top of the blog under 'How To Make a Minky Quilt" - or scroll down to read Part 2 - The Table.

Monday, January 29, 2018

How To Make a Minky Quilt Part 2 - The Table

My minky quilt sandwich is: minky on the back, Warm & White batting and a cotton top. I have used flannel and muslin with minky as well - it just depends on how heavy you want your quilt to be. Since the size of my minky quilts never goes beyond a lap at 60" x 73" - its a good weight for snuggling and washes & dries nicely in large load machines. 

I use to layout all my quilts on the carpet floor in my garage - which is my sewing area.  I made a portable layout table a few months ago and it's great.  Bottom line - whether you assemble on the floor or a table - the sequence is the same.  First ... the table.
The layout table is:  two banquet tables on risers. Standard tables from a super store - 30" x 71".
The bed risers are 5" from Amazon and run about $17.

Up next are 3 pieces of sanded/finished plywood that have been cut to 24" x 82".  They are 1/2" deep.  The panels started out at the hardware store at 8' x 4' and were cut to size.  This means they are pretty narrow to stack and lay against a wall in the garage when not in use.

These 3 plywood pieces go on top of the banquet tables - and are taped together with blue wide painters tape.

You do use quite a bit of painters tape for minky quilt layouts but that's what stops the minky from slipping & sliding!
Cut your batting to the size you need.
 Now would be a good time to shake the minky OUTSIDE to remove any stray fluffy bits - even a few mins in the dryer on low will do to reduce shedding!  

I usually pre-wash minky in cold and dry on low.  I use a lot of Kona white and if the minky color is really saturated - like a bright red or blue - I feel better if it's washed and know any color bleed happens before I quilt.  If the minky is white or cream I will wash only if time allows. Also, it depends on how dusty it arrives - but bottom line - it's fine to pre-wash the minky!
Clear the table and spread out the minky. 
The total table area is 72" x 82" - perfect for a minky quilt that is no more than 60" wide.  60" is the standard width of minky.   
All posts are linked at the top of the blog under 'How To Make a Minky Quilt" or scroll down to read Part 3 - The Layout.