Archive for September, 2009

More Quilt Show Pics

More pictures from this past weekend’s guild quilt show.





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Our local quilt guild, the Meherrin Piecemakers, had it’s annual quilt show this past weekend.  It’s always held at Village View, an historic house which is beautifully furnished and restored. It was great fun to look at all the quilts and to sit upstairs with the breeze blowing through between the two second story porches while demonstrating spinning, quilting, and knitting.  We had a wonderful time.

I’ll be posting some of the pictures I took over the next few days.

We created a guild quilt that is being raffled to raise funds for the development of the local Civic Center.  I think it turned out beautiful.  Someone is going to be really fortunate to win it.  Guild members made a block each, then it was sashed together and machine quilted.


Guild members also made baby quilts to be given away to the Jackson-Feild Home for teen girls.  Here are some of them.



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Here are the hot pads I made for the quilt show sale table.

The base fabric with chili peppers was purchased in Taos.  The log cabin fabrics are from my stash of hand-dyed fabrics.  Color run dying works great for log cabins.

Yesterday I posted a tutorial on how to make Log Cabin hot pads.


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Log Cabin Hot Pad

I wanted to whip up some quick hot pads for our local quilt show sale that starts tomorrow, so I pulled out some Christmas fabric to make a prototype before using the hand-dyed fabric I set aside for this project.

I wanted to make a hot pad similar to one that a friend made for me a few years ago:


While I was at it, I decided to make up a tutorial.

First, cut a 10″ square of backing fabric.


Then cut two squares of good quality cotton batting (leftover from another project).  I wanted the hotpad to have a nice weight.  If you have it (I don’t), you could add some special insulating fabric, but I don’t think it’s necessary with good batting.  Cotton is definitely better than polyester, though.

The batting is placed on top of the base square with the right side of facing down.

Next cut a 1-1/2″ center square.  In this case I was able to center a Christmas wreath right in the middle.


Then cut 1-1/2″ strips of six other fabrics — three green, and three red, graduating light to dark in value.


Now the fun begins.  Center the little square in the middle of the batting (with base fabric on the bottom).  That makes for about 4-1/4″ on each side.  Pin in place.

With the lightest of the green fabrics lay a strip down on the square and cut it to match exactly.


Lay the second square on top, right sides together and stitch with a scant 1/4″ seam.  On my prototype I stitched from end to end, but discovered that it makes for a nicer look on the back if you begin 1/4″ in and stop stitching 1/4″ before the end of the seam.  Be sure to anchor with backstitching or tiny stitches at beginning and ends of seams.  Trim threads. Finger press open.


Using the same fabric, lay the strip this time on the two squares and cut to that size.  Stitch.  I found it was much easier to cut the strips correctly to size if you cut before stitching.  Fold the strip back on itself evenly and finger press to get a fold, and cut on that line.  Then stitch.


Next, using the lightest of the red strips, cut to size, stitch. Repeat for the next row.



Alternate two strips of each color back and forth until you have completed the Log Cabin.


Did I mention how much better this works if you have a walking foot on your machine?  Mine worked great, but it can be done without it if you don’t have one.  You just have to use care to make sure the fabric feeds evenly.


Once the Log Cabin is completed, trim the batting to 1/4″ all around.


Fold in and finger press two parallel sides of the backing leaving about 1/8″ space between edge of fabric and edge of batting.  Fold over on top of Log Cabin.  Pin in place with about 3 pins.

Stitch with a decorative stitch or zig zag.  I used an applique (or blanket) stitch.


Fold in the other sides like the first two, but before turning and pinning, turn in the corners so you won’t have any fraying edges sticking out at the ends.  Stitch in place.


Voila!  It’s finished.  ‘About 30 minutes start to finish, not counting digging the fabric out of the stash.


I didn’t add any kind of loop because I don’t hang my hot pads, but I think it would be easy to add one if you want.

After the prototype I stitched 6 Hot Chile Pepper Hot Pads using a chile pepper print for the base and 7 of my hand-dyed fabrics.  I’ll show the finished hot pads on tomorrow’s blog.

I’ll be at the show tomorrow demonstrating hand spinning yarn while people browse the quilts.

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I have finally finished the first of the two “Jelly Roll” baby quilts I’ve been working on.  Not being very practiced at machine quilting, I kept putting it off.  But the deadline for at least one finished baby quilt was looming, so I took a deep breath and sat down at my machine on Saturday and did some simple straight line quilting.  It is definitely nice to have a walking foot.  I also discovered a quilt-look stitch on my machine but didn’t have the right thread to make it look exactly as it should, but it’s fine.

Once quilted it sat for several days while I tried to find the binding strips I set aside when I cut the backing.  Do you think I could find them?  NO!  I’ve looked everywhere.  I can only imagine that I must have somehow accidentally thrown them away.  But I also imagine they’ll turn up AFTER both quilts are finished.

So, I had to figure out what to use for binding.  I had lots of end pieces of Jelly Roll strips left over from the tops so I decided to piece them together.  I had EXACTLY enough to make binding for one quilt.  By exactly, I mean there was only enough at each end to turn under for finishing.  But I think it made a cuter binding than the plain peach fabric would have.  The quilt is now finished and I like the way it turned out.  The pattern is Pandora’s Box from Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott.


This one will be displayed in our local quilt guild show this weekend, then sent off to the Jackson Feild Home, a residence facility/school for girls that also has a program for teenage moms.  They are our charity quilt recipients for this year.  Each member of the guild was asked to make at least one baby quilt for the project, so there will be several.


I’m saving the other top I made with this jelly roll to quilt after I’ve been through a machine quilting workshop our quilt guild is having in October.  I’d like to be able to do free motion quilting on it.  I’ll have to figure out something different for the binding, though.  Unless those wayward strips turn up.

Now on to some hotpads for the quilt show sale!

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Quick, before I have to run off to a church meeting:

Here’s a picture of another New Mexico project I started.  This is the one that was for airport and airplane knitting.  And for the end of the day when I’m wiped out and need something mindless to work on.

It’s Grace Anna Robbins’ Double Bias Scarf made with Kauni fingering weight yarn.  I love the way the colors graduate.  And it’s super simple to knit yet interesting enough with that little bias trick and an increase at the beginning of each row to keep you from totally zoning.

Got them both on my first visit to Tutto in Santa Fe last month.


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I started a few new knitting projects while on vacation in Taos last month.  I usually don’t like to work on more than one project at a time, but I needed something challenging, as well as something easy for airplane/airport knitting.  And, I of course, had to do some sampling at some of the great yarn shops in New Mexico.  So I now find myself with 5 active knitting projects–two of which are socks that have been on the needles for months.  We won’t go there right now.

While visiting Village Wools in Albuquerque on our last day I found a great book called Knitting Goes Large.  There are some wonderful patterns in this book, so I just had to get it along with the yarn to make one.  This week I’ve been swatching for the Twisted Rib Cardigan by Wendy Baker.  The yarn is Jo Sharp Luxury 8 ply DK Pure Wool, color Fleur 353.  It’s worked up quite nicely in the twisted rib with size 6 needles.


I’ll post the other projects in coming days.

In the meantime, along with everything else, I’m reading an outstanding book on creativity titled, Trust the Process: An Artist’s Guide to Letting Go, by Shaun McNiff.  There is so much great stuff in this book.  I’ll be using it to spark my own creativity for a long time, and am also finding some great ideas to use in planning for my doctoral dissertation project.

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