Tutorials

My Turn at Hive Queen

As many of you know, I’m a member of an online bee known as Bee Inspired. I met my bee mates through the New Quilt Bloggers group, and I couldn’t ask for a better set of quilters to be associated with. Recently, I got far behind in my work and also in my commitments to the bee—three months behind, in fact! Luckily I’ve caught up early in June. I can’t tell you what a relief that was!

This month is my turn at hive queen, which means I get to choose a block for the other members to make for me. I had a tough time choosing, but in the end I designed a block I’m calling Irish Eyes.

Irish Eyes block.JPG

I’m Irish and I’ve always wanted to make an Irish Chain quilt but I could never decide if I liked single Irish Chain or Triple Irish Chain quilts better. Lately, I’ve been wanting to make something that looks like an Irish Chain but with a modern twist. I’ve been trying to design my take on a modern Irish Chain block for some time now, and becoming Hive Queen this month was the push I needed to finally decide on something.

The block finishes at 12” and uses the No Waste Method Flying Geese method. Here’s what you’ll need to make one block:

White
               (4) 4-1/2” squares
               (8) 2-7/8” squares
               (2) 1-1/2” x 4-1/2” rectangles
               (2) 1-1/2” x 2-1/2” rectangles

Dark Green
               (1) 2-1/2” square

Medium Green
               (1) 5-1/4” square

Light Green
               (1) 5-1/4” square

Use (1) 5-1/4” Medium Green square and (4) 2-7/8” squares to make (4) Flying Geese using the No Waste Method. If you need help with that, click here to view my tutorial.

Repeat, using (1) 5-1/4” Light Green square and (4) 2-7/8” squares to make (4) more Flying Geese. Sew (1) 1 Medium Green and (1) Light Green Flying Geese together as shown. Repeat with remaining Flying Geese.

To make the Center, sew (1) 1-1/2” x 2-1/2” rectangles to either side of (1) Dark Green 2-1/2” square.

Sew (1) 1-1/2” x 4-1/2” rectangles to the top and bottom of the unit.

Layout the Center, (4) Flying Geese units, and (4) White 4-1/2” squares as shown. Sew the block together in rows, then sew the rows together. Trim to 12-1/2”.

Here’s what I might make with my blocks. I just love this, and all the quilting possibilities it presents. But mostly I’m psyched by the idea that I’ll have a quilt that reminds me of my Bee Inspired bee mates. Woot!

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Thanksgiving Begins My Gift Making Frenzy!

Well it’s Thanksgiving here in the States and I’m off enjoying turkey, stuffing, and all the trimmings. I hope you’re doing well and that you’re enjoying a little bit of me time catching up on blogs. Making Thanksgiving dinner can be overwhelming since my family has so many favorites I just have to make! To ease the stress, I learned a long time ago to make the turkey ahead of time.  

Wish I could say the same for my holiday gift making. <grin> It seems that I always get my best ideas for quilty gifts to make at the last minute. So I was thinking….if you’re like me, perhaps you’d like to see a list of quick gifts you could make for your holiday gift giving now instead of at the last minute.

Best of all, these projects can be made from your fabric scraps! Consider this my early Christmas present to you. Be sure to check back as I've got some new ideas I hope to work up as additional tutorials.

Last year I blogged for 12 days, posting a different gift tutorial each day.. Just click on the picture to jump to my post where I show you how to make that gift.

Day One - Three Part Fabric Pillowcase

Day One - Three Part Fabric Pillowcase

Day Two - No Sew, No Knot Fleece Blanket

Day Two - No Sew, No Knot Fleece Blanket

Day Three: Funky Fabric Picture Frames

Day Three: Funky Fabric Picture Frames

Day Four: Folded Fabric Flower Ornament

Day Four: Folded Fabric Flower Ornament

Day Five: Kitty Cat Needle Case

Day Five: Kitty Cat Needle Case

Day Six: Chalkboard Soda Can Koolie

Day Six: Chalkboard Soda Can Koolie

Day Seven: Folded Fabric Christmas Tree Ornament

Day Seven: Folded Fabric Christmas Tree Ornament

Day Eight: Insulated Fabric Wine Glass Coaster

Day Eight: Insulated Fabric Wine Glass Coaster

Day Nine: Quilted Eyeglass Case

Day Nine: Quilted Eyeglass Case

Day Ten: Fabric Luggage Tags

Day Ten: Fabric Luggage Tags

Day Eleven: Wonky Tree Mug Rugs

Day Eleven: Wonky Tree Mug Rugs

Day Twelve: Quilted Camera Strap Cover

Day Twelve: Quilted Camera Strap Cover

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful holiday season!

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Tell me…what's your favorite fabric gift to make?

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  I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

Popup Thread Catcher Demo

Last month, I went to a quilt retreat and actually attended the demos, something I rarely do because inevitably I want to work on my own things more.

One of the demos focused on a popup thread catcher.

The shop never told us where they got the pattern, but I can share how I made mine. I’m sure there are tons of tutorials out there for popup thread catchers if you need more details. First off, materials:

  • A circle cut from a Pringles can approximately 1” wide
  • Two circles cut from a cereal box (these circles should just fit inside the Pringle circle)
  • Two circular pieces of fabric for the bottom of the popup, cut larger than the cereal box circles by at least 1/2”
  • A bit of packing strapping—just enough to fit inside the Pringle circle to reinforce it
  • A 9” x 10” fabric rectangle. I wanted my popup to have a top border, so I cut two rectangles 3-1/4” x 10” and sewed them to either side of a 3-1/2” x 10” rectangle

Fold the rectangle RST to form a rectangle 9” x 5”, match your border seams, and sew. Turn right side out and press.

Put the scrap of strapping inside the Pringle circle. Fold the fabric rectangle over the circle so that the fabric encloses the circle on either side. Even up the raw edges. I know this probably doesn't make sense but maybe a photo will help. See the Pringle can ring inside the folded fabric?

Push the circle tight against the top of the border and sew a running stitch just below the circle to hold it in place.

Turn one of the fabric circles wrong side up, then place a cereal box circle on top of it. Sew a running stitch around the edge of the fabric circle and gather it up around the cereal box circle. This is kind of like making a fabric yo-yo. Take a couple of stitches in place to hold the gathers. Repeat for the second fabric/cereal box circle set.

Put the two circles together, right sides out. I used my Clover Wonder Clips to hold the two circles while I sewed them together. This creates the floor of the popup thread catcher.

Hold the floor in place as you whipstitch it to the bottom of the fabric tube. I used my Clover Clips again (handy things!) to hold the floor so I could carefully whipstitch it in place.

That’s it! To pack up your thread catcher, just twist it and stuff the floor into the circle. It’ll stay in place all by itself.

To use your thread catcher, just give it a nudge and it’ll pop up on its own.

If you like to make small gifts and useful items with fabric, check out my free patterns. There are also some blog posts listed below you might want to glance over.

I share my blog posts with these awesome linky parties!

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Tell me....what are your favorite small things to make?

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

Another Retreat and a Thread Catcher Demo

True confession: I went to another retreat this past weekend! Yeah I know, that makes two weekends in a row! <grin> How did I get so lucky?

The retreat this past weekend was sponsored by a local quilt shop and it was the first time they’d ever hosted one. I had a good time, met some new quilters and generally relaxed. Like most of the retreats I go to, the shop had some make-and-takes demos. Generally at a retreat I want to focus only on my own projects. Get 'er done! That's my mantra.

But somehow this time, not only did I attend the demos but I actually made the things. Will wonders never cease? <grin>

The first thing they showed us how to make was a triangle thread catcher.

I have no idea where the shop got this pattern, or if it's their own. I did a quick Google search through the vast Internet sea of tutorials and noticed there were plenty. Here's my addition to the Tutorial Sea:

Start by cutting out some 60 degree (equilateral) triangles—one for the outer fabric, one for the lining, and one out of batting. The larger the triangles, the bigger your thread catcher will be.

Layer the outer and inner fabrics right sides together, then place the batting on top. Sew around the perimeter, leaving an opening for turning.

Clip the points, turn the triangle right side out and press. Fold in the seam allowance at the opening and topstitch around the perimeter of the triangle to close it.

Bring two of the points together. Sew the side up from the bottom towards the points. How far up do you sew? I dunno. All I know is you want to be able to fold down the point later on and not have it touch the floor.

Repeat, sewing the other two sides. Stop at the same distance from the end.

Your triangle thread catcher now looks like this.

Use buttons to hold down each point and you’re done! Isn’t it adorable?

I share my blog posts with these awesome linky parties.

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