Friday, May 27, 2016

I SPY Quilts

I SPY Quilts

I have never seen an I SPY quilt before but this customer quilt is so incredibly cute that I may end up doing one myself.

This quilt (and there were actually two identical!)  had a lot to think about for the quilting so we went through the process of taking a photo, printing it and using tracing paper on top to audition designs and see what worked for this quilt.  

The planning stage looked like this:

Once the plan was approved,  I used Aurifil 50 weight cotton thread in primary colors of yellow, blue and red for the quilting  We started in the center with a very simple 1/4" echo to solidify the "I Spy" embroidery block.  The black stripe borders were skipped entirely as they were only about 1" wide.  The I spy blocks were for the most part quilted with an "X" cross hatch in yellow for simplicity and as to not detract from the prints.  

Now came the fun:  the green border was quilted with the numbers zero through ten (twice)  using the blue thread and quilting over them twice.  This was a lot of fun!   We went with a simple serpentine curved line in the cute red border to quiet things down,

 Next was another border of  I Spy blocks  but in the corner blocks of this border of prints was a surprise:
Each of the four blocks open with prairie points!
No quilting in these blocks but I stitched in the ditch around them and that lifted the prairie points just slightly so you knew they opened.  Absolutely love it!

From there we went with another simple serpentine cured line, followed by a series of "l" quilting in the yellow border.  Then came the real fun again:  stitching the entire alphabet (twice) in both capital and lower case in the green border.  This turned out so cute!!

The entire quilt was framed with a final ribbon candy border to finish it off.  I left about 1/2" empty from the quilt edge to allow for the binding so nothing would be hidden.

And that's the adorable I SPY Quilt. Hope you enjoyed the quilting process. 

 Have a safe and blessed Memorial Day Weekend.  Thank you for those who have given, and continue to give, their lives for the sake and freedom of the people of our wonderful United States of America.  

Check out the quilty sites on my sidebar and don't forget Finish it Up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts here:  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Flannel Snowmen

I know, I know, who wants snowmen and flannel right now?  Considering that our spring has been wet, cold and snowy, I agree.  However, this is an absolutely adorable quilt!

My customer, Bea, does an absolutely fabulous job creating the cutest snowmen quilts.  This one is made entirely out of flannel scraps. We stitched in the ditch around each of the cornerstone stars as well as those within the quilt blocks and then stippled among the remaining small flannel blocks.

And these guys?  Aren't they the cutest?
The snowmen were appliqued so we simply stitched around the appliqué.  These stars were also stitched in the ditch and we added some stars among them as well.

The border was stitched with a variegated 50 weight Aurifil thread in loops and some fun winter motifs:

 Ice Skates

A winter hat and scarf

 some ribbon candy

and mittens!

Hope you don't have to bundle up in winter clothes this weekend; have fun outside!  We are having gorgeous weather in Wyoming.  Enjoy linking up with some of the sites on my sidebar and don't forget Crazy Mom Quilts here:

Friday, May 13, 2016

Quilt Club and Dragonfly Tutorial!


Wallhanging / Table Mat
Yes, today is Quilt Club over at Blakeman Vacuum & Sewing and I have been busy this week getting ready for all the busyness!  Last month we swapped 5" charm squares so this month I planned to show a few things that can be done with charm squares.  

The first and easiest, is a simple wall hanging or table mat.  I took some charm squares I had received and made a simple nine patch block.  Then I grabbed out my Sizzix and cut a few flowers and leaves with four more charm squares.  Sandwich with a piece of batting and backing, add a little free motion, bind and voila!  We are also doing a spring gift exchange this month so this little treat accomplished two purposes at once.

Fabric Trays

Another charm square project is this ADORABLE little fabric tray.  

These trays are awesome!  You can find the pattern here: and the same tray in a hexagon pattern here:  I didn't manage to get the hexagon one done but they are both absolutely adorable!  They take two charm squares, one piece of batting, some matching thread or floss and about 10 minutes of your time!

So I thought I would attempt my first tutorial this week.  This tutorial is photo heavy so be prepared.
I have been quilting dragonflies lately and came up with a special technique that I used in the wall hanging above and in this customer quilt.

So I thought it would be great to demonstrate how to do this simple dragonfly as you are free motion quilting and without any straight lines.  Here goes:

Dragonfly Tutorial

First, this motif looks best if you curl into it so find a place where you can make a nice bend or portion of a circle:

Then, as you continue the circle, form a pretty elongated tear drop on the end (dragonfly body) like this:

Work your way back up the inside of the dragonfly body to the top center and form a circle or oval for the head:

Now come out to either side (I did the left first) with an oval or tear drop (wings) and back to center:

 Form another one that overlaps toward the center of the previous one:

Continue through to the other side with another tear drop or oval:

And other one overlapping the one you just completed:

Although it can be embellished with antennae if you like, I like it simple and choose to leave those off.  You could also add interior designs to the wings and body if you like.  In this case, I chose to closely echo the wings and head and end by echoing down the outside of the body and around to a new design.

So here is an idea of how this may work on a quilt.  Stitch a few daisies, add a dragon fly in the center and head off to quilt a butterfly and maybe another set of flowers.  Cute, cute cute for those spring and summer projects!

I love free motion quilting and love to teach it so I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  Let me know if you did so I know whether to do another in the future!  Give it a try and join me at the link parties on my side bar and over at Crazy Mom Quilts here:  Have a great quilty weekend!

Friday, May 6, 2016

New Class Samples!

New Class Samples

Since starting to teach free motion quilting classes 2 1/2 years ago, the basic class has evolved from a four week class to a full one day class.  Those new machines are just too heavy to carry back and forth for four weeks, and with our busy lives, it's hard for people to commit to four straight Saturdays, even for just two hours.

I also developed a new technique used at the beginning of the basic class called Quilting Calisthenics, which is basically the continuous quilting of very simple geometric movements to gain control of the fabric.  It seems to help the confidence of free motion quilters immensely.

So because of the changes,  my week was spent developing new samples to be used to promote the three different classes.  The one above is for Basic Free Motion Quilting, which starts with the calisthenics, progresses to loops, loops with motifs, and then into florals and leaves with no loops.  Students learn how the designs can be used allover, in borders and in specific blocks.  That's about all the time there is in that class as we also focus on learning basic free motion information and how to quilt a large quilt on a sewing machine.

This class is being offered in Boulder on the 14th of this month so I needed to get it there pronto!

The next sample is for my More Free Motion Quilting class.  It used to be called an advanced class, but that scared people so the title was changed to what it is now.  The new name is quite honestly more appropriate as it is mostly information that could not get covered within the time frame of the basic class.

The sample appears to be a jumble of designs but it's actually divided into more border techniques we learn, some allover and background techniques, ways to work in blocks and some modern quilting.  This class will be offered in Cheyenne on the 21st of May so I wanted to get this sample done to aid in getting a full class.

And finally, the sample for my Fantastic Feathers class.  I recently taught this class in Cheyenne but figured it would still be good to get a sample done so people could begin planning for the next class. I love my feathers class!  We learn many different ways to create feathers and how to use them in projects and quilts.  It includes wreaths, scrolls, deep borders, hyper quilting: almost everything a quilter needs to begin stitching out feathers.  Did I say I love this class??  

Free motion quilting is awesome and I love teaching it and sharing my knowledge. But I also love taking classes to increase my talents and knowledge!  Instead of reading books when I go to bed, I am often watching quilting educational videos to improve my skills!  It's my "down time". Now it's back to customer quilts and sandwiching my own for quilting as well!

Have a wonderful quilty weekend!  Be sure to link up over at Crazy Mom Quilts here:, as well as some of the links on my side bar.  The inspiration is always amazing!