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.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Batik Hearts Quilt (#45)

This quilt is a combination of 7 different batik prints - all picked out to create an atmosphere of Hawaiian ocean breezes and cool lagoon waters.  Made for a couple who are getting married in Hawaii - it seemed natural to use a heart pattern.
The batiks & white Kona were cut using an Accuquilt 4.5" HST die, and this diagram from Craft Buds was indispensable for helping me layout the triangles.
 Each heart needed 20 color and 12 white half square triangle pieces - the final block size was trimmed to 18" x 18". 
The hearts looked much better in a staggered pattern, and that left two gaps in the center row to fill.  This little heart pattern from the Moda Bake Shop called:  All in a Row by Melissa Corry, saved the day. 
1.5'" sashing on the little hearts top & bottom, followed by 2" on the sides and then trimmed to fit.
White Aurifil thread is on the top in a serpentine line following the seams in a grid pattern, using yet again this wonderful technique from Nancy Zieman.  The white thread melds into the Kona allowing the hearts to take center stage. 
The bottom bobbin has Aurifil Dove which disappears into the midnight minky backing. Using a #10 needle for piecing, #12 for quilting with a walking foot and going slowly with my beautiful threads and lots of starch - I hit none of the snags I had heard can happen with batiks and their tighter weave.  

7 half yards of batiks
Half Square 4 1/2" Finished Triangle / Accuquilt
Kona white
Minky Cuddle Dimple Dot / Midnight Blue
Aurifil 50wt. Dove (2600), White (2024), Dark Cobalt (2740)
Faultless Spray Starch
Sweet Heart Mini Quilt pattern
Moda Bake Shop / All in a Row
Nancy Zieman Quilted Palcemats
Size: 58"x76"
November 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Quilted Coasters

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/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.

Updated May 2018 :)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Quilted Christmas Stockings

Using up scraps to make quilted Christmas stockings is a short fun project.  My Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements pieces were so many different sizes that that I couldn't make a regular grid pattern - but it still looks great.

More traditional is this one made from a mini charm pack of 25th and Pine from Moda - definitely easier to lay out since all the work is done for you with 2.5" squares.  A very cute look.
Extra charms cut into 2.5" squares were leftovers from my Deb Strain Spa quilt by Moda, and it's good enough to pass for something from the movie Frozen.

The pattern is here in video format from the Missouri Star Quilt Company - or printed directions in their BLOCK magazine (Holiday Vol.1 Issue 6) where it is explained how to make the hanging loop.
Lastly, fabric from this shabby chic quilt, cut with a small Accuquilt tumbler die for someone who loves everything Paris. Win/win.

Final thoughts after making 4 stockings:  this pattern is relatively quick, imperfections just disappear, quilting is fun and they look great - but for an overall festive vibe with more of a Christmas feel - holiday fabrics are the way to go.

Moda:  Spa, 25th and Pine, 
Eclectic Elements, Paris Flea Market, Petal by Tanya Whelan
Warm & White batting
Aurifil 50wt. thread
November 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015

Quilted Fabric Baskets

Nothing says 'cute' as much as these fun and pretty quilted fabric baskets.
A great tutorial from Pink Penguin explains everything. I tried small squares like Ayumi shows, as well as experimenting with larger scraps.
If all goes well when making these beauties, the outside quilted fabric should measure 12" x 9 1/4" - but if you are little off by a 1/4" or more (like I was) just make sure to cut your lining the same size as your outside piece.  Then everything will fit and match perfectly. Still cut the corners the recommended size in the tutorial.
I experimented using fusible Pellon 906F Sheerweight interfacing on the lining fabric to see if that made the basket a little sturdier. It did, although turning the basket to the right side through the lining was a little tight ... it was worth the effort. (see above)
This basket using Amy Butler scraps is made with batting only and no interfacing - it holds it's shape and is a good one to start with to learn the process.
I used a #12 needle and regular sewing foot throughout.  No need to use a walking foot but slow sewing to attach the handles is prudent. Aurifil 50wt thread is a winner as always - as is using up scraps & extra batting.
November 2015