Lanyard Tutorial for Quilt Shows

lanyard_hangingI didn’t have a lanyard last year at QuiltCon, and my pins slipped and slid everywhere, beside the fact that I jingle-jangled as I walked.  I wanted one of those spiffy ones, where I could pin on my pins.

lanyard_1

I patchworked up a strip 3 3/4″ wide and 37″ long, took it to my ironing board and pressed it in half, lengthwise. lanyard_2

Open it up, and to one side of the center fold, lay down a 1″ wide by length-of-lanyard strip of fusible interfacing; iron that into place. lanyard_3

Fold both raw edges in, almost to the center, but not quite.  The side with the interfacing should be folded over that interfacing, and the side without interfacing should match when all folded up.  With the interfacing UP (not to the feed dogs), stitch first along one long side about 1/4″ away from the fold, then the other.  Make sure you’ve caught all the folded edges when you stitch it down.  Then stitch down the center. lanyard_4

Arrange the strips so that it will hang around your neck (see top photo), then mis-align the lower raw edges, setting the top one 1/4″ beyond the bottom strip.  Slip on the lanyard clasp. lanyard_5

Zigzag the extended top strip over the bottom strip, to hold it in place. lanyard_6

(View from the underside)

Again, for ease in wearing, slightly splay the two strips apart, then stitch along the finished ends (refer to photos). lanyard_7

(View from the top side)

lanyard_heartYes, I’m headed to QuiltCon West 2016 this week (held in Pasadena, California), along with some friends from the Good Heart Quilters, the small monthly sewing group I belong to here (which is why there is heart fabric on our lanyards).

1QuiltCon2016Classes

That Friday night class is taught by Jacqueline Sava.  I hope to meet a lot of my online friends, trying to make “real” the digital friendships I’ve enjoyed.  There should be more than a few a whole mess of photos on my Instagram feed (button is to the right).  If you are going, find me and swap me a button!

Button for QuiltShows

Wonky Baby Baskets and Narrow Stem Applique

Vietnam War Memorial Statuette

(momentos left at the Wall–I am grateful to those who have fought in service of our country.)Arlington Cemetary Mem DayHappy Memorial Day, to those of you who are in the United States.  We spent a year back in Washington, DC some time ago, where I toured every monument I could (going to the Vietnam Wall on Memorial Day and waving on the East Coast Rolling Thunder motorcycle riders on the bridge near the Lincoln Memorial; today I’ll be waving on the West Coast Rolling Thunder).  I also joined a lovely little quilt guild, named the Mt. Vernon Chapter of Quilters Unlimited (which covered the entire state of Virginia), where I learned this technique.

Basket Blocks Quilt Top

I recently made a wonky basket quilt with some baby baskets (below).  Here’s some basic guidelines for the baby baskets.

Baby Baskets

Baby Basket Dimensions

Follow the directions for the Wonky Baskets, cutting the base pieces smaller, as the finished size is shown above.  So maybe cut the upper part in the 5″ by 3″ range, and the lower part the same (it will be bigger after you splice in the basket).

Sewing the handles mini baskets

Follow the instructions for the bias strips for the bigger basket, but sew these narrower–about 3/8″ wide.  I’m using leftover handles strips for the big baskets. The woman who taught me this. in our Mt. Vernon Guild, made very narrow stems for her flowers by using this method.  So I call this the Narrow Stem Method.

trimming the handles baby basketsTrim close to inner stitching.

pinned handles baby baskets

Laying the basket below (to gauge for the width), pin on the handles with the raw edges facing towards the outside.  Place the handle edges at least 1/2″ inside the basket to allow for turning.

Narrow Stem Applique 1

Stitch on sewing line.

Narrow Stem Applique 2

Narrow Stem Applique 3

Now press the bias strip outward–letting the fabric fall back over the stitched line and the raw edges.

Narrow Stem Applique 4

Narrow Stem Applique 5Stitch down both edges, then finish block as for the bigger wonky block.   If you were doing a stem, you would hand-stitch down that outer edge invisibly.

Trim as shown in above photo–to 4 1/2″ by 5 1/2″.  I combined two to fill out those rows without the wider basket blocks.

Dumpling Bags

I had some leftover little baskets, so used them to make tiny Dumpling Bags, using a free pattern from Michelle Patterns.

Basket Blocks in the garden

WWII Lincoln Memorial One of my favorite memorial sites in Washington, D. C.  

My mother remembers this day not just for the Veterans, thinking instead of its original purpose: that of taking a day to remember our own deceased relatives.  She still calls it “Decoration Day.” My parents would go around to all the graves of their deceased ancestors and leave flowers.

Memorial Day 2014

I went up last year to see them on this weekend, but they’d already done most of the graves.  I did get to go with them for a couple of my great-grands, my father anchoring the pot of mums with bamboo skewers so it wouldn’t tip over.

Mother

This week is also my mother’s 87th birthday, and so I celebrate her as well.
Happy Birthday, Mom!

 

Baskets Finished!

Basket Blocks Quilt Top

You know, I think I have had more fun with this little quilt than I have in a long time.  Of course, maybe the fact that last Monday I taught my last class of the semester may have something to do with it.  (At church this past week, I was flanked by two K-12 teachers from two different districts, and they knew practically to-the-minute how long before school let out for the summer.)

Baskets wo border

Here they are without the borders.

Border Try One

The suggestion I’d seen for a border was a piano key border, so I whacked up a bunch of 6″ wide, random-width strips and put them together.  I just couldn’t figure out why I didn’t like it.  I thought it was the fact that there were a lot of light-colored pieces in there.  So I ripped all the borders apart (which is why I have a photo of only one border–on the bottom) and took out the lights.  Still didn’t like it.

I had this older piece of blue fabric laying on the board so I could cut it up for darker “keys” for the piano key border, and pinned it up to the quilt and liked it!  Not quite enough, so I pieced in some random pieces to hint at the idea of a piano key border, and went with it.

Baby Baskets

Tutorial for the big baskets is *here.*  Tutorial for the baby baskets is in the next post.

Wonky Basket Blocks Tutorial

Wonky Baskets MCM

Carla, of Grace and Favour, asked us to make Wonky Baskets for her bee month for May 2015  Mid-Century Modern Bee.  She sent us some photos of examples of Gwen Marston’s Liberated Baskets and gave us instructions to make colorful baskets with contrasting handles.  I just found my way to completion.  I thought I’d share how I proceeded.

Wonky Baskets_nine

This is a result of the process called “Grading Avoidance.”  (My final papers just came in and I run upstairs in between each paper and play with the cloth to get my brains back.  It’s a skill I’ve learned since becoming a professor.)

Baskets Quilt

Carla’s request reminded me of a quilt I saw last summer in the Springville Art Museum, Going to Market, by PJ Medeiros (quilted by Amity Golding).

Baskets Detail

I liked all the different-sized baskets, so I drew up this sketch:

Wonky Baskets_size options

Wonky Baskets_pair up fabrics

I then pulled up a bunch of two-fabric combinations and laid them all out on my ironing board, and started to cut.

Wonky Baskets_cutting

Wonky Baskets_cutting2

This is how I assemble the basket part, beginning with the bottom piece (or base piece).  I lay the basket piece on top, about 2″ from the edge, and placing the ruler at a slant, I cut through both the LEFT base and the basket pieces.  Shift the basket piece to the left so it overlaps the righthand base piece by about two inches, then lay your ruler down on a slant, and cut through both pieces.  I show you how it looks once you are finished (above).

Wonky Baskets_ready to sew

Pin and stitch, then press towards the basket.

Wonky Baskets_cutting3

Lay the upper piece and the newly constructed basket bottom piece together, then measure about 11″ from where you will cut the base; place a pin.  This is the outer boundaries for the handle.

To make the handles, cut a bunch of bias strips anywhere from 1 -1/4″ to 1-1/2″ wide.  Fold in half, wrong sides together, long cut edges aligned and stitch a narrow (1/8″ seam).

Wonky Baskets_bias pressing

I have these bias strip press bars that help me with the next step: I slide them in, wiggle the seam to the middle back and press.  You can just do this with your fingers on your ironing board.  Try really hard not to stretch out your bias.

Wonky Baskets_sewing handles

The above weensy picture (click to enlarge) shows me 1) auditioning bias strips for the handle (I have a bunch to choose from ).  Go to the ironing board and press, with steam, a curve into your handle, then pin it on (photo below).  It’s better to think about easing in the inside curve, rather than stretching the outside curve, but truthfully, both happen at the same time.

Then back to the above photo: 2) stitch on the handle, doing the inside curve first, then the outside curve; 3) handle stitched, and finally 4) the seam between the upper and lower parts are stitched and trimmed.

Winky Baskets_handle pinned

Wonky Basket_final

For the final press, press seam toward basket so the handle will look like it’s coming out of the basket.

Wonky Baskets_stacks

I cut and stacked a bunch so I could slide up here between grading and sew a couple.  Bias strips are in the front.

Wonky Baskets_ten

And now I have ten!  You can see I’ve made one of them bigger.  I also have a couple of midget baskets ready to make, too, to even out the rows.  I’m just making them–I’ll figure out how to put them into a quilt later, after these last essays are graded, the final given and grades assigned.  A perfect summer project, I think.

Sentimental Journey: Bee Blocks for the Mid-Century Modern Bee, part 1

Cindy, of LiveAColorfulLife, called me up one day and said she had a great idea and a great name for a bee: Mid-Century Modern Bee, and that everyone had to be at least mid-century in age.  Maybe it was the exasperation I felt that all the newbies were claiming invention of tried and true blocks and methods, or that I was ready for another bee, or that Cindy’s charm could not be turned down, but I jumped at the chance to be a part of this new group. We’ve been going strong for three years, so I’m dividing this post into parts, and am grouping them by the participant, rather than going through the calendar years.  We now have a blog, courtesy of Susan and PatchnPlay, so I guess you could say we are all grown up. I wanted a place where all our blocks, quilts, and tutorials could be listed; you’ll find links to many tutorials of these blocks, so have fun browsing. MCM_Timberlake1The first project we did was Carla’s Church Dash quilt, with the tutorial found *here.*  The next year, Carla (Lollyquiltz) had us make another block churn dash block for her, and the beautiful quilt above is the result. MCM_Timberlake2 Carla is still working on this year’s batch of blocks, a birthday cake block using *this* tutorial.  This bee also does signature blocks, which I love, and you can see the array at the top of her pin wall.  My birthday cake block is the blueberry with mint filling, as one of the fun things she had us do was list what “kind” of cake we would make for her.  If you use the tutorial, remember to set your print scaling settings at 100% so your block will be 12″ square. MCM_Wiens Bird in Air Cindy thought for her first turn, she would do the Winged Square Block with the tutorial found *here.*  When I sent around the letter asking for photos of blocks/quilt tops/quilts, she sent me a photo of all the blocks together. MCM Wiens Block Spiderweb For her second round, she fell in love with Rene’s spiderweb block (another member in our bee) and decided she wanted one too.  This became common–we are so well matched that we borrow ideas for each other regularly, tweaking them slightly.  We used *this tutorial* for these blocks. MCM_Wiens2 2015 MCM March w0 label Using *this* tutorial, and again borrowing from Rene’, Cindy went with a rainbow Dresden plate, with a black and white center.  Unlike the Always Bee Learning Bee, we make from our stash, not sending out fabrics to each other.  It is fun to see how many of us have the same fabrics. MCM-Wiens Dresdens Her last request was matched by another bee she is participating in, so her design wall was flooded with circles. MCM_Jeske1Debbie, of A Quilter’s Table, asked for a variation of the Hugs and Kisses Block, but done in soft hues and colors (aka “Low Volume”).  Her stunning completed quilt, above, titled Common Affection, has gone on to be published and to win ribbons.  I love that blue wall, as it really shows off the low volume fabric choices. MCM April 2014_2 Debbie’s next block (in 2014) was a pair of rolling diamond blocks, from *this tutorial.* MCM April 2014_1 Vivid Here’s her completed quilt, Vivid, adding a few more to round out the original collection.MCM_Martinez Spider WebRene’ of Rene Creates, and who inspires many of us with choosing blocks, asked us for a spiderweb block (tutorial link found above), but in scrappy fabrics. She made this cool quilt with the colors moving all around–a real scrappy treat.  She took it with her when the family did Christmas photographs together; I love the setting. dresden plate_OpquiltHer 2014 block was this cool-in-blues-and-greens Dresden block (tutorial listed above). Rene's dresdens She laid them all out on her bed to show us how they look together.  Because of different printing sizes, they range from smaller to larger.  She plans to place them scattered across a solid background for her quilt. MCM_Russell House blocks Deborah, Simply Miss Luella, asked for house blocks, and here are a few.  Mine is in the upper left; link to the blog post about it, with the pattern is *here.*  You can find her on Instagram. MCM January14 Block I made this house for Linda, drawing from my collection of free house patterns that I had worked up for my in-town sewing group. The reason she asked for houses, is that her house burnt to the ground, and she lost everything shortly before Thanksgiving of the year she was with our group.  We all made houses, our hearts going out to her as she worked hard to rebuild her life. (to be continued)