week 8, block 8 Moda BlockHeads BOW

 

This week – Pins

To pin or not to pin?

I think because I used to make clothes, before I found quiltmaking, I pin.  I have friends that don’t pin, or don’t pin much.  This past winter I made a little 16 patch doll quilt, my personal challenge was: don’t pin.  It turned out fine because I thought about how I was going to press seams before I started.  Fine works for me, perfectionism is over-rated in my book, but once quilted and bound, it looks fantastic!  I look to some of my favorite antique quilts, they are not perfect, but they are absolutely fabulous in color and design.  They make my heart skip a beat.

Back to sewing ‘perfect’.  I’m not a perfect sewer, sometimes things don’t match or line up ‘perfectly’, on those days ‘close counts’, this usually means a thread or two off, not an 1/8″, that I would fix.  Most days I make the choice to keep moving forward.  Once my quilt top is quilted and bound, I don’t see the little ‘not perfect’ things that I can see when making the blocks, one at a time.

Another tip, step away from the block at least 3 feet, can you see the not perfectness?

We don’t live with our quilts 12″ from our nose. Quilting softens a flat quilt top and some small imperfections disappear.  And, if you haven’t guessed yet, I don’t enter my quilts to be judged.  My choice.  If you choose to enter your quilt to be judged, then follow the show rules.

I think on any given day what I do changes a bit, but basically I pin.  I recently make some Ohio Star blocks, 3 3/4″ finished, and didn’t pin (a personal test), and they came out great.

I must confess I pin differently than most.  When I place a pin to hold fabric in place or at a seam intersection, I pin about 1/2″ or so from the seam edge, and parallel to the seam edge. This means I can sew the seam and NOT sew over pins. And, I don’t have to remove them as I’m sewing, can remove them after sewing the seam.  No one showed me this, I wonder if it comes from making clothes and not wanting to sew over pins?  Basically it doesn’t matter to me why I do it, I just do it this way.  lol

Think of this as the non-tip of the day!

 

 

block 8

This week’s block is by our friend Betsy Chutchian, go to Betsy’s Blog (listed below) to get the block directions.  I added a bit more pink to my block this week!  This was a fun block to plan and sew.

 

block 8, pressing

I only needed to clip one seam intersection so I could press the block the way I wanted to press it.

Happy Sewing!

Jo

 

Be sure and check the rest of the Blog posts for their blocks and tips.

Lynne Hagmeier

Blog – http://kansastroublesquilters-lynne.blogspot.com/

Jan Patek

Blog – http://janpatek.blogspot.com/

Betsy Chutchian

Blog – http://betsysbestquiltsandmore.blogspot.com/

Lisa Bongean

Blog – https://lisabongean.com/

Moda

Blog – http://blog.modafabrics.com/

 

 

Jo’s Little Favorites II

Russ and I are on vacation in Europe, I’ve had to set up posts to publish while we are away.  If you follow me on Instagram @joquilts you may see a few pictures of our adventures!

Today I want to share a few more of the projects in JLF2, May 2017 release.  You know these are selected from my Jo’s Little Women Clubs.  You had to be a Club member in a Quilt Shop to get the patterns, then I retired each Club at the end of the year.

This is an opportunity to enjoy making some of the quilts you may have missed out on.

Working with Martingale on these projects has been so wonderful, and their photography is yummy and so beautiful.

Gratitude quilt

Have you ever thought of lining a wire basket to show off a quit?

Arlington

I think by now most of us have wooden ladders to display one or more of our quilts.  The great thing about this is the cat isn’t sleeping on it!  Arlington quilt made with brown Pinwheels, this quilt part of the HST Challenge mentioned below.

HST Challenge:  this small Triangle quilt was part of a Retreat I taught at in Texas a few years ago.  The concept was make a bunch of HST units, either color controlled or scrappy, then play on the design wall and come up with different settings.  I did bring a binder of antique quilt inspirations.  Not sure they loved the idea at the beginning, we are used to getting ‘a project’, but it was great fun to see the many ideas materialize, and see the beautiful variety of quilts. This is one of my small quilts and I hand quilted it, I think it has more vintage charm when I see the dimples of hand quilting.  Probably just me.  lol

Redware and Harvest

This quilt is another of the HST Challenge results.  Brown HST, set with cheddar triangles, a rust print for the large triangles.  It looks pretty nice with my redware dishes, and is perfect for Fall decor.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I make quilts for ‘me’, then I share them with you.

When I make a quilt, I think about how am I going to use it in our home. I’m a traditional quiltmaker, and will always make traditional or reproduction style quilts. I like to make small quilts because they are easy to change out, and . . . I can get them done!  There are lots of quilts I want to make and making a small version makes me very happy!

Hope you have enjoyed a little more of the book preview!

Happy Sewing!

week 7, block 7 Moda BlockHeads BOW

 

My goodness the weeks are flying by!

This week we are talking a bit about Rulers.  I’ve been an Olfa ruler fan for a very long time.  A few years ago I found Bloc Loc rulers and added some of them to my ruler tray.  I’m not a tool collector, I can do most everything with basic set of rulers, this is me because I learned to make quilts in 1980 (took my first quilting class), this is ‘before’ the rotary cutter. Before a lot of what we take for granted these days.  Whew that makes me feel a wee bit old, but it is what it is.  So, I’m a ‘basics’ kind of gal.

The cool thing about quiltmaking is that you can also be a tool collector and use lots of different rulers and tools to make your life easier.  I think we are all wired a little differently, and therefore we will make our quilts differently.  We certainly are lucky there are many ways to do anything, none of the right or wrong, but we do what works best for us.

 

This week the block is Penny Basket by our friend Lynne Hagmeier.  I guess I felt spring was in the air, and I added a couple of flowers to my Spring Basket, instead of pennies.

I went to my ‘Prairie Flowers Encore’ book and used these flowers from it.  I pieced the block then appliquéd the flowers.  In hindsight (if I did it again), I would do the math for a large triangle and not have to appliqué over the seams.

One of the great things about quiltmaking, we keep learning!

 

block 7

 

Below is the back of my block for pressing.

 

block 7, pressing

Be sure and hop over to the other Blogs to see their blocks and tips.

Enjoy a lovely Spring day when making your block!

In Stitches . . .

Jo

 

 

Lynne Hagmeier

Blog – http://kansastroublesquilters-lynne.blogspot.com/

Jan Patek

Blog – http://janpatek.blogspot.com/

Betsy Chutchian

Blog – http://betsysbestquiltsandmore.blogspot.com/

Lisa Bongean

Blog – https://lisabongean.com/

Moda

Blog – http://blog.modafabrics.com/

 

 

May release – Jo’s Little Favorites II

Coming soon to your local or favorite Quilt Shop . . .

Jo’s Little Favorites II

 

One of my very favorite small quilts was made with ‘leftover’ HST (half square triangles), this sweet quilt measures 11″ x 12 3/4″, I hand quilted it in the middle of the night, you know one of those nights you can’t sleep, so you may as well get up. I go stitch, at least I feel I accomplish something besides tossing and turning.

Leftovers

 

Below is Courthouse Steps, another favorite.  I know I use ‘favorite’ a lot, but I do have lots of favorites, I know you do too.  It rests comfortably in my dry sink, I can change out other collectables. I also have one in reds and greens. And, yes this one is hand quilted too. No marking needed, as I quilt about 1/8″ from the ditch, easy to carry around and add a few stitches.

Courthouse Steps

Prairie Basket – from my first JLW Club, it certainly has the timeless quality, I still love it all these years later.

I had it hanging on the wall at the studio, until I needed to share it with Martingale for a while. It will be rehung on the wall in June, after our vacation and of course it will go to Quilt Market with me.

If you are a Shop owner reading this, be sure and come to my Schoolhouse sessions with Martingale, one on ‘Simple Friendships’ book with Kim Diehl, and the other on ‘Little Favorites II’.

Prairie Basket

Fun Sewing ahead!

Jo

block 6, Moda Blockheads BOW

Oops did it again, you will find the directions for block 6 on the Moda Blog this week:

Moda

Blog – http://blog.modafabrics.com/

 

Be sure and check the other designers Blogs for their tips!

Lynne Hagmeier

Blog – http://kansastroublesquilters-lynne.blogspot.com/

Jan Patek

Blog – http://janpatek.blogspot.com/

Betsy Chutchian

Blog – http://betsysbestquiltsandmore.blogspot.com/

Lisa Bongean

Blog – https://lisabongean.com/

 

Happy Sewing!

Jo

week 6, block 6 by our friend Carrie Nelson – Sunflower

This week, a wee bit about block pressing . . . many options, many opinions out there.

I try to think about how would ‘I’ quilt this block? If you know me at all, you know I do not MQ, but I used to HQ every quilt I made, yes it was eons ago. I can’t HQ fast enough to keep up.  It is OK with me, MQ has moved to a new beautiful level, it is a very wonderful way to finish our quilts. I have a very good relationship with my long arm quilters, they make my quilts shine!

Next how would this block like to be pressed?

No easy answers, no one size fits all here.  It could differ for me if I was sending out for MQ or if I was HQ.

Yes, a lot of us of still HQ, but me, mostly HQ smaller pieces, I send out larger quilts for MQ. I like to think of it as quilt-by-checkbook.  Get it done mentality.

FYI – I don’t publish every thing I make, some are just for me.  I do love the rhythm of HQ, it is peaceful and love looking at them on the wall at my sewing studio.  FYI – studio is small, do not get any grand ideas.

Pressing is important to me, a well thought out, and well pressed quilt block, then quilt top allows your favorite long arm quilter to do her best work for you.  A serious Win-Win!

Mostly on any given day this process has been known to vary. No hard rules.  Many opinions and options, oops already said that.

This week is our friend Carrie’s sweet Sunflower block!  I did think about yellow blades with a brown center, then I looked at my other blocks, and changed my mind.

week 6, block 6 by Carrie Nelson

My tip for this block is piece the block, then appliqué the circle in the center.

You do not want to catch any of your appliqué stitches when you assemble the block.  I also went with a dark center, you know the Sunflower thing.  Seems I have a blue sunflower with a beautiful blue sky.  Important to me, as it works well with my other blocks.

clipping trick at the four intersections, and how I pressed my block

This is my pressing for this block.  Note that I DO NOT clip at the seam intersection as that would weaken the intersection.

I clip along the seam edge, 1/4″ from the intersection, the clips are 1/2″ apart, sometimes a bit wider of you deal with a diagonal intersection seam.  You can press the seams in the directions they really want to fall, and press the clipped intersection open, to reduce the bulk there.

One more FYI, I sometimes press seams open, because there is too much going on, you will see that in the future BOW

Now I want to say ‘Carrie on’!

lol

 

 

 

week 5, block 5 . . . more

Seems I take some things for granted, and I shouldn’t.  Blockhead seems really appropriate for me.

Each week, you go to the Blog of the featured designer, to get the block directions.

This week the block is designed by Lisa Bongean.

Here are the links to the other designers Blogs.  Go to Lisa’s Blog first for the block directions, then check the rest of the Blogs to see their versions of block 5!

Enjoy!

 

Lynne Hagmeier

Blog – http://kansastroublesquilters-lynne.blogspot.com/

Jan Patek

Blog – http://janpatek.blogspot.com/

Betsy Chutchian

Blog – http://betsysbestquiltsandmore.blogspot.com/

Lisa Bongean

Blog – https://lisabongean.com/

Moda

Blog – http://blog.modafabrics.com/

 

week 5, block 5

Good Wednesday morning!

I’m going to begin this morning by letting you know that I use Aurifil 50 wt thread on my sewing machine, (seems I forgot to tell you that last week), my machine loves it, very little lint when I change bobbins. I’m currently using #2900 a shade of tan that works well with my color palette.

Sewing Machine needles is this weeks topic.  I use Schmetz 70/10 Denim needles, have used them for probably 15 years.  I change needles about every 5 to 6 bobbins.  I used to wind 10 bobbins at a time, now I wind 5 or 6, as it is the perfect reminder to change the needle.

The exception is, I’ll change the needle after a marathon of using triangle paper for lots and lots of HST.

This weeks Moda Blockheads block is by our friend Lisa Bongean.  There are a few more pieces in this block, so I proceeded slowly and carefully, made sure each unit was the correct size before sewing units together.  I’ll confess that my 1st block measured at 6 5/8″ plus a couple of threads.

I made a second block with a different set of fabrics, it came out perfectly at 6 1/2″.

But, I liked my fabric choices on the first block much better . . . the next day, I made a third block and it also came out perfectly at 6 1/2″.  I sort of have the rhythm of these small pieces now.  Can’t wait until it is Lisa’s turn again!

block 5

This week I’m sharing a picture of the back of my block, to show you how I pressed. Some seams were pressed open, other seams were clipped so I could press to reduce the bulk.  The front looks great, so it worked for me.  Your pressing may vary.

block 5, my pressing, some seams open, some clipped

 

Do not be in a hurry when making this block, you can do it, the result is this gorgeous block!

Happy Sewing!