Author Archives: Anne Wiens

About Anne Wiens

Quilt pattern designer and teacher.

A Wee Little Quilt

Mini Love“Mini Love” is the theme for my second project as an ambassador for Island Batiks Fabric. For this project, I wanted to make a mini quilt, which is usually defined for competition purposes, as a scale model version of a full-size quilt pattern, usually a scale of 1/4″ = 1″. That means a miniature version of a 12″ traditional quilt block would be just 3″ square.

Believe it or not, a miniature quilt block is harder to make than a full-size block, because while accuracy is important with a full-size block, it is crucial in a mini block. By their very size, mini quilts invite close inspection.

IMG_2076For my mini quilt, I chose a version of the Ohio Star, and chose to celebrate the Irish portion of my DNA by using greens and oranges from the “Stash Builder” collection of 5″ strips that was included in the lovely box of fabrics that Island Batiks sent me. I’m using Aurifil 50-wt thread, courtesy of the company, and Heirloom batting provided by Hobbs.

 

IMG_2091I have a friend who likes to count the number of pieces in a block, and she would be quick to point out that there are 29 pieces in each of these mini Ohio Star blocks. I prefer to think in terms of units. Each block has four quarter-square triangles, and four half-square triangle units with a little accent corner. Plus, of course, the center square. It seems not quite so intimidating. Still- that’s a lot of pieces.

 

IMG_2081There are nine blocks in this quilt. When I have blocks with those accent corners, I will usually carry that out into the border. To do this for this mini quilt, I cut sixteen 3.5″ squares. I added orange on two corners of twelve of the squares, and one orange corner on the remaining four.

 

 

 

IMG_2092It took me a while to decide how to quilt this little gem. I decided to trace around the octagons in each block, and crosshatch the border, using the star tips as my starting points. To keep my lines straight, I used a square ruler, with the diagonal line placed along the border seam, drew a very (very) light line with a #4 drafting pencil.

When machine quilting, I adjust my stitch length from 2.5mm to 3.0, and loosen my top thread tension just a tad.

After quilting, I added a binding that was similar to the fabric in my center squares, and here is “Indiana Irish,” celebrating my family roots in the Emerald Isle and the Hoosier State. This little treasure will be hanging in the kitchen while the corned beef and potatoes are cooking on St. Patrick’s Day.

Indiana Irish

“Indiana Irish”  2018 by Anne Wiens

Check out the blogs of my fellow Island Batik Ambassadors:

Den Syende Himmel

Busy Hands Quilts

PamelaQuilts

Ark Angel Creations

Desert Bloom Quilting

Freemotion by the River

Yellow Cat Quilt Designs

Quilting Affection Designs

Inquiring Quilter

Bejeweled Quilts by Barb

Clever Chameleon

Sarah Goer Quilts

Mania for Quilts

Steph Jacobson

Inchworm Fabrics

Kauffman Designs

Moosestash Quilting 

BeaQuilter

Gateway Quilts & Stuff

Carole Lyles Shaw

Sally Manke

Mary Mack Made Mine

Kathleen McMusing

heARTs Creations

Sew Karen-ly Created

If These Threads Could Talk

The Quilt Rambler

Devoted Quilter

Slice of Pi Quilts

Creative Blonde

Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting

Masterpiece Quilting

Patterns by Jen

Powered by Quilting

Quilt in a not-Shell

Dizzy Quilter

Curlicue Creations

Lizard Creek Quilts

Little Bunny Quilts

MMM Quilts

Sew Increadibly Crazy

Adventerous Applique and Quilting

Sweetgrass Designs

Living Water Quilter

Whispers of Yo

Our next challenge: “Try a Technique”. I’m looking forward to that!

 

 

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Categories: Aurifil Threads, Hobbs Batting, Island Batik Ambassador, Island Batik Fabric, Miniatures, Tools, Tucket Trimmer (Studio 180 Designs), Uncategorized, Wallhangings | 5 Comments

GALentine? It’s a Thing.

You learn something new everyday.

The first of the monthly challenge projects for the 2018 Island Batik Ambassadors was to make a mug rug celebrating Galentine’s Day. That is not a typo. Galentine’s Day is an actual thing. Inspired by a character on the television series “Parks & Recreation”, it is a day set aside to celebrate our female friends.

For future reference, Galentine’s Day is February 13th.

Island Batik sent me a pretty little bundle of five pink, red and neutral fat quarters to use in my mug rug, and I promptly set three of them aside and broke open the Stash Builder package of  5″ strips. I decided to make an 8″ hexagonal block that I designed to teach the Sidekick® tool designed by Julie at Jaybird Quilts.

Figure 1

Figure 3

Figure 2

 

The feature I like…no, love…about the Sidekick is that your triangles have a flat top, which (Fig. 1) makes them easy to line up for stitching. No trying to eyeball that perfect 1/4″ notch. If you press your seams open (Fig. 2), you have a dog-ear that also helps (Fig 3.) in positioning your pieces.

For this mat, I cut 24 1.5″ triangles from the off-white dotted fabric and a dozen 1.5″ triangles from the beige and green print. I also cut six 2.5″ triangles of a multicolor print, and six light pint and twelve dark pink 1.5″ diamonds.

Setting aside the larger triangles, I sewed six of each of these pieced units.

Notice the difference in the top two units. In one the darker triangle is to the right of the dark pink diamond, and in the other, the darker triangle is on the left of the diamond.

 

 

Then, those three units are stitched to the multicolored triangles to make six matching triangle segments.

You can trim those dog-ears off now if they bother you. If they don’t shadow through the fabric, I just leave them be.

 

 

 

 

Now you can sew the segments together. Sew two half-hexagons, with three segments in each one, then sew the halves together to complete your hexagon. At this point, it measures 8.5″ top to bottom.

Layer your top, batting and backing. I used a little corner of the 80/20 Heirloom batting Hobbs sent me in this project, and quilted it with the ecru thread provided by Aurifil.

 

I quilted 1/8th inch around the outside of the lighter pink center star, and the larger multi-color star, then inside the beige and green diamonds on the outer edge of the mat. I also decided to go back and quilt inside the center star.

I was able to use the inside edge of my machine’s 1/4″ foot as my guide.

 

I used a 2″ folded binding in the beige and green print to finish my Galentine’s Day mug rug.

Thanks again to Island Batik, Hobbs and Aurifil for sponsoring the Ambassadors!

One project down, thirteen to go! Up next: Mini Love. In fact, a few of my fellow Island Batik Ambassadors have already begun posting their mini quilts.

Follow the links below to visit their blogs.

 

Barbara at Bejeweled Quilts
Bea at BeaQuilter
Jeanette at Inchworm Fabrics
Jennifer at Curlicue Creations
Jennifer at Dizzy Quilter
Jennifer at Inquiring Quilter
Kathleen at Kathleen McMusing
Leanne at Devoted Quilter
Maryellen at Mary Mack Made Mine
Michelle at Creative Blonde
Pamela at PamelaQuilts
Sally at Sally Manke
Sandra at MMM Quilts
Stephanie at Steph Jacobson

 

Categories: Aurifil Threads, FQ Projects, Hobbs Batting, Island Batik Ambassador, Island Batik Fabric, Other Blocks & Patterns, Placemats, Tools | 3 Comments

Will Work for Fabric

If I thought I was busy in 2017 – and I was- 2018 is going to be a continuous “mad dash to the deadline.” No, no, don’t feel sorry for me. It’s my own fault. I tend to dive headlong into design opportunities especially when there’s company-supplied fabric involved. And so, when fellow designer Cindy Wiens mentioned the Island Batik “Ambassador” program, I had to check it out…and apply…and they accepted!

First, they sent me some nifty artwork to display proudly on my blog:

Next came an email from FedEx that my first (there will be two this year) shipment of fabric was on its way. Another ambassador pointed out that the package weighed 22lbs. Holy Cow!

On the way home the other evening, I stopped for Chinese take-out. This was the fortune in my cookie:

I arrived home to find a very large box on my doorstep.

Before I show you what was inside, I need to point out that the fabrics were supplied by Island Batik, the battings by Hobbs, and the threads by Aurifil.

First was this little bundle of five fat quarters for my first project, a GALentine’s Day mug rug. GALentine. I’d never heard of it, but it’s a thing. More about that when I post the project this weekend.

There was a twin-size cotton batting from Hobbs. It’s wonderful stuff – and I’m not just saying that because they gave it to me.

And there was a queen-size Thermore, Hobbs‘ super-thin poly batting. This should be perfect for my mug rug and other small projects.

Yes, Auri-philes, that is six spools and one huge cone of Aurifil threads. I’ll share the brochures, but not the thread!

 

Island Batik calls this package a “Stash Builder”. It contains five rolls, and each roll has four different 5″ wide strips of various prints. Imagine the possibilities.

Next came this collection of fat eighths, plus a couple yards of a coordinate. This collection is called “Mountains Majesty.”

Here’s a side view of the Mountains Majesty bundle. My muse thinks he has an idea for this collection.

Then I found this lovely rayon scarf and a couple yards of this aquamarine color rayon print. I’ve never worked with rayon, so this will be an adventure.

There were several yards from Island Batik’s “foundation” collection.

Island Batik‘s collection of 42 10″ squares is called a “Stack”.  This one is called “Northern Woods”, and it was accompanied by two coordinates.

And then there was this:

I haven’t opened it, because I am under strict orders not to show the contents to anyone yet, and, well, I know me. I do know this much – it is full of brand new Island Batiks that will be introduced to shops at Quilt Market this spring, so they will be arriving at your local quilt shop this summer.

Yes, it’s all mine, and all Island Batik, Hobbs and Aurifil asked in return is that I produce a series of projects using them over the next few months!

I am proud to be one of the 45 Island Batik Ambassadors for 2018. Each of us will be posting projects on our blogs monthly. Most have already posted their GALentines projects, so grab your favorite beverage, and prepare to be inspired!

Barbara at Bejeweled Quilts
Bea at BeaQuilter
Jeanette at Inchworm Fabrics
Jennifer at Curlicue Creations
Jennifer at Dizzy Quilter
Jennifer at Inquiring Quilter
Kathleen at Kathleen McMusing
Leanne at Devoted Quilter
Maryellen at Mary Mack Made Mine
Michelle at Creative Blonde
Pamela at PamelaQuilts
Sally at Sally Manke
Sandra at MMM Quilts
Stephanie at Steph Jacobson

 

 

Categories: Aurifil Threads, FQ Projects, Hobbs Batting, Island Batik Ambassador, Island Batik Fabric, Other Projects | 6 Comments

A Wing and a Plan

A while back I scored a leftover piece of a pretty holiday bird print, and was able to fussy-cut several 6.5″ squares from them. There aren’t nearly enough for a quilt, so I tossed them into my bin of 6.5″ squares to await an appropriate pattern. One evening I was playing with ideas for simple blocks that would appear to interlock. I came up with these two. One is not quite a Square-in-a-Square, and the other is not quite a Sawtooth Star. Here’s how I made them:

BLOCK 1 – Not Quite a Sawtooth Star

IMG_1965For a 10″ (finished size) block, you will need:

Center: One 6.5″ Focus Print

Starpoints: Eight 2.5″ squares

Background: Four 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles, four 2.5″ x 3.5″ rectangles, four 1.5″ x 2.5″ rectangles.

 

 

Step 1: Use the Stitch-and-Flip method to make four Flying Geese units from the 2.5″x 4.5″ background rectangles and 2.5″ squares.

TIP: When making Flying Geese, always stitch from the center of the rectangle toward the outer corner. This prevents your machine from “eating” the tips of your corners.

Step 2: Sew the 1.5″ x 2.5″ background rectangles to the ends of two of the Flying Geese units, and sew these  to the sides of the center square. Sew the 2.5″ x 3.5″ background rectangles to the ends of the two remaining Flying Geese units. Sew these units to the top and bottom of the center square.

 

BLOCK 2 – Not Quite Square-in-a-Square

IMG_1971For a 10″ (finished size) block, you will need:

Center: One 6.5″ fussy-cut square

Triangles: Eight 2.5″ squares

Background: Four 2.5″ x 3.5″ rectangles, and four 2.5″ x 5.5″ rectangles.

 

IMG_1972Step 1: Use the Stitch-and-Flip method to put colored corners on lower right corner of half of your background rectangles, and on the lower left corner of the rest.

 

 

 

 

Step 2: Sew the rectangles into pairs. Sew the shorter pairs to the sides of the center square, and the longer pairs to the top and bottom.

So now I have two blocks without proper names…though, I’ll admit that “Not Quite Sawtooth Star” and “Not Quite Square-in-a-Square” are kind of growing on me.

Where am I going from here? The plan is to make 10 star blocks and 10 diamond blocks, all with a bird print in the center and put them together in a solid alternating pattern, add a 2″ border, bind it in a woodgrain fabric and add it to my Thrifty Quilter trunk show. Unfortunately, I only have one more 6.5″ square with realistic looking birds on hand, so it will take a while to collect enough blocks for this one.

Someone asked how many Thrifty Quilter quilts I am working on at any one time. Right now, I am actively working on five. Here’s how I keep them straight:

IMG_1979I have a large zip-lock plastic bag for each project. On it, I write the title of the quilt, and the number of blocks I need to make the quilt. I also keep a running tally of how many blocks I have completed for that quilt.

Inside, I put a copy of my pattern sketches, any completed blocks, and any background fabric I have for that quilt. Then, each time I add a block or two to the bag, I add a mark to the tally line on the front of the bag, so I can tell at a glance how close I am to having enough.

My quilty resolution for 2018 is to finish one UFO for each new project I start…and to finish the new project as well. I know I will fail on the UFO pledge, but we’ll see how close I can come. This year, I already have another Moda Bake Shop project, two magazine quilts, my National Quilters Day pattern sample on the to-do list. It helps that they all havd dealines. I have also signed up for TWO block-of-the-month programs. (What was I thinking?)

Oh wait, it gets better: I have been named an Island Batiks Ambassador for 2018.

600px---I'm-an-Island-Batik-Ambassador--Green-Ribbon

That’s 13 more projects! Thankfully, most will be smaller projects. I’m waiting for my first package of Island Batik fabrics now, and my first two projects will be posted here next month.

It’s going to be a busy year here on the blog, so if you haven’t already, click the “follow” button, so you don’t miss any of the fun!

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Seams Like…the Best of 2017

Here we are, days away from putting the wraps on another year, and if you judge by the number of blog posts I’ve produced, you’d think 2017 has been a slow one in the studio. You’d be wrong, too.  I’ve kept track of projects started and completed this year. I started 28 quilts, wallhangings, and smaller projects, and actually completed 24 of them! It helped that most were on a deadline of some sort. Along the way, I also managed to produce 10 blog posts. My goal was one a month. This is #11, which means I have until the end of the week to come up with one more, and if I add “on average” to my original resolution, I can check it off.

Link Party ButtonI am participating in the “Best of 2017” link party, hosted by Meadow Mist Designs.

Note to self: Spend some time looking through Cheryl’s patterns. There are several that are begging for the TQ treatment.

For those of you visiting “Seams Like a Plan” for the first time, my name is Anne Wiens, and I am a radio announcer by day, and in my precious spare time, a quilter, instructor, pattern designer and author of the book The Thrifty Quilter: Make (Nearly) Free Quilts with Leftover Fabric, which explains my system for taming that mountain of fabric scraps we all have by pre-cutting them into six usable pieces…and then actually using them.  Two early blog posts (this one and this one) sum it up pretty well.

You’re welcome to wander through the archived posts at your leisure, of course, but here are the 5 posts I consider my best for this year, presented in no particular order:

Showcase BlockMay 3 – “Plays Well With Others”

This post features a block I contributed to Quiltmaker magazine’s “100 Blocks” special issue series. I honestly didn’t love the Showcase block…until I started putting it together with some of the other blocks in the issue.

Big Sky TitleAugust 9 – “Call Me Chef”

This summer I began producing patterns for Moda’s “Bake Shop” blog, using their pre-cut collections. “Big Sky” was my first, and to celebrate, I published this post exploring twelve more blocks made from half-square triangles.

 

Quilt BibSeptember 14 – “Making the Case for Quilt Bibs”

My second Moda Bake Shop pattern, “Stargazer” had a 30’s vibe and a 4″ top border that gave me an opportunity to present a little history lesson about quilt “bibs”, also known as “whisker guards” on my blog.

 

QM100-WIENS

November 12 – “Around the Block”

My contribution to the latest Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks issue is “Starshine”, and in this blog post, I toyed with color placement, and presented three ideas for turning the block into placemats.

 

Happy Scraps BlockJune 4 – “Born to Be (Not Quite) Wild”

There are scrap quilters who can throw pieces together and come up with an amazing quilt. I admire them, but I am not one of them…yet. My friend Diane (a.k.a. Stash Bandit) inspired me to give it a go with one of her quilts, which we dubbed “Wild Abandon.” I tried…and did not succeed. But I did get a new block out of it, so that’s a win in my estimation.

So there you have it – my 5 favorite Seams Like a Plan blog posts for 2017. Hopefully, I’ll have more to choose from in 2018. That’s the plan, anyway.

Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

A Wild Geese Christmas

It’s been my pleasure this month to contribute two 6″ quilt block patterns to the Moda Bake Shop’s “Countdown to Christmas” – Wrapped Up on December 17th, and today’s Christmas Eve post, Christmas Geese.

This is one of those blocks that looks a lot more complicated than it is, and the 12″ (finished size) version is totally TQable, which means it can be made entirely with self-made precut scraps from my Thrifty Quilter scrap system.

WGC PiecesFor each Wild Goose Chase block, you will need:

16  2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles. I used four sets of four matching rectangles.

32  2.5″ x 2.5″ white squares

1  4.5″ x 4.5″ print square. This may be a fussy-cut

 

WGC Step 1Step 1 is to make sixteen Flying Geese units, using the white squares and print rectangles. I used the same Stitch-n-Flip method as in the Moda Bake Shop post.

 

 

 FG PairsStep 2 is to sew the Flying Geese units together. I sewed my green geese into pairs, and sewed the red geese into strips of four.

 

 

RowsStep 3 is to sew three rows.

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Goose ChaseStep 4 is to sew the three rows together to complete your Wild Goose Chase block.

So you now have a 6″ version of this block, and a 12″ version.

If you want an even quicker quilt, use 3.5″ squares of white and 3.5″ x 6.5″ print rectangles to make your Flying Geese, and a 6.5″ center square, and you’ll have 18″ finished blocks!

 

So far, I have contributed two quilt “recipes” to the Moda Bake Shop: Big Sky and Stargazer . There are two more coming in January. Be watching for Snowbirds on January 4th, and Anne’s Windy Day Quilt, scheduled for January 20th.

Merry Christmas from Sweetgrass Creative Designs!

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, Moda Bake Shop, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Once Around the Block

QM100-WIENS

“Starshine” by Anne Wiens – 2017

Welcome to my stop on the Road Rally celebrating the latest issue of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks! My contribution to volume 16 is “Starshine”.

If you wander through some of my previous blog posts, you’ll see that I am a big fan of scrap quilts. One reason is that I have a very low tolerance for tedium, and I find making the same block in the same colors over and over very tedious. Even when it’s my block, and even when I know the quilt would be fabulous. Given my druthers, I’ll make it a scrap quilt almost every time.

I built the color scheme for “Starshine”on the colors in the center square. As much as I love the original block, I couldn’t resist moving the colors around. If my math serves, there should be 720 possible combinations of the six colors in this block. Here are six, starting with the color placement in the sample block and simply rotating them through the positions:

Color Rotation

The rotation is top row, left to right, then bottom row, right to left.

When I show someone a new block design, the inevitable question is, “Now, what are you going to do with it?” Well, to stay with the Road Rally theme, that puts me at a crossroad. I decided on making placemats, and came up with three designs:

Crossroad

If you see one (or more) you like, follow the instructions in the magazine to construct the block. The instructions below are for two 3″ wide borders to turn the 12″ (finished) block into a 12″ x 18″ placemat.

OPTION 1

Pmat 1

OPTION 2

Pmat 2

OPTION 3

Pmat 3

Vol16-Cover-200pxNow, who wants a free copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, vol. 16? Leave a comment below, and you’ll be entered into a random drawing, which will take place Sunday evening, Nov. 19.

If you enjoy scrap quilts, click the FOLLOW button at the bottom of this blog, and you’ll be notified anytime there’s a new post. It doesn’t happen as often as I’d like, but there is usually a block pattern involved.

You can also “Like” Sweetgrass Creative Designs on Facebook!

Return to Quilty Pleasures to continue the Road Rally.

Categories: 100 Blocks, Other Blocks & Patterns, Placemats, Quiltmaker Magazine, Uncategorized | 91 Comments

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

It’s only mid-November and we’ve already had our first bout of sub-zero nights here in northern Montana. There will be more of those nights to come over the next few months, and many colder still. Winter weather puts me in a mood to bake cookies and play with plaid scraps. No cookies today, but I did whip up a Bear Paw quilt block I call “Bear Footin’.”

For each 12″ (finished) block, you will need: Pieces

  • Two 4.5″ squares each of two novelty prints.
  • Four 3″ or 3.5″ squares of a light-medium coordinate
  • Four 3″ or 3.5″ squares of a dark-medium coordinate
  • Eight 3″ or 3.5″ squares of a light tone-on-tone
  • Four 2.5″ squares of light tone-on-tone

 

Sewn HSTsStep 1: Cut all of the 3.5″ squares in half diagonally, and sew the medium triangles to the light triangles. you will have a total of eight half-square triangles (HSTs) in light and light-medium, and eight in light and dark-medium.

 

Trim 1Step 2a: Trim the HSTs to 2.5″ squares. Use a square ruler. Lay the diagonal line on the ruler on the diagonal seam. Notice the HST extends beyond the 2.5″ lines on the ruler. Trim the right and top edges.

 

 

 

Trim 2Step 2b: Rotate the HST and lay the ruler on the diagonal line again. This time the edges you just cut should line up with the 2.5″ lines on the ruler. Trim the right and top edges again.

 

 

 

HST PairsStep 3: Sew the HSTs into pairs. Make two pairs of each color that “point” to the left, and two pairs of each color that “point” right.

 

 

 

PawsStep 4: Sew a 2.5″ light square to the right end of each of the “point left” HST pairs. Sew the “point right” HST pairs to the right side of the 4.5″ novelty print squares. Sew the HST strips to the novelty print squares to make four “paws”.

 

You have three options for setting these Bear Paw units into a 12″ block:

Option 1

Option 1

Option 2

Option 2

Option 3

Option 3

Bear Footin

“Bear Footin'” – 2017 by Anne Wiens

I made these blocks 12″ (12.5″ as shown). If I start with 6.5″ novelty prints, 4.5″ coordinates, and 4.5″ and 3.5″ squares for the background pieces, I would have 18″ blocks, and it would only take a dozen of those larger blocks to make a toasty warm 54″ x 72″ afghan-size quilt. That, a cup of hot chocolate (perhaps with a bit of Irish Cream), a good book and a snugly cat would be a perfect solution to a chilly evening, don’t you think?

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, 6" TQ Blocks, HST's, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Making the Case for “Quilt Bibs”

My second Layer Cake® quilt pattern for Moda Fabrics has posted on the Moda Bake Shop blog. It’s called “Stargazer“, and I made the sample quilt with 10” squares from the new 30’s Playtime 2017 collection, paired with a royal blue Bella Solid, also by Moda Fabrics.

Title Photo

The Stargazer quilt is 64″ x 84″ as shown, which includes a 4″ solid blue border across the top of the quilt to give it the length I prefer for a twin bed quilt. That border also gave me an opportunity to include a practical feature that I have only seen once, on a vintage quilt in an antique shop.

It was a strip of muslin folded over the top edge of the quilt and basted in place. There was a row of daisies embroidered  along the bottom edge. I wish I could have purchased the quilt, or at least taken a photo of it. When I described it to her, my Grandma Wiens explained that the muslin strip was a “bib” or a “whisker guard”.

If your quilts are used as blankets, as mine are meant to be, they are most likely to become soiled along the top edge by body oils and/or worn through by whisker stubble as they get tucked up under chins on chilly nights. Can you imagine trying to launder a quilt by hand, or even in a wringer washing machine? So, Grandma explained, she would baste a strip of muslin over the top edge of the quilt. Instead of washing the whole quilt, she only had to snip the basting thread, pull the “bib” off, launder it, and baste it back into place!

I did a little online research and found another form of quilt bib. This one was a sort of long, narrow casing that slips over the top edge of the quilt.

To make mine, I purchased 5/8 yard of one of the fabrics in the 30’s Playtime 2017 collection. I cut one 8.5″ x 40.5″ strip and two 8.5″ x 13″ strips, then sewed the shorter strips to the ends of the longer strip.

IMG_1672

Hem the two long edges. I used my rolled-hem foot. Going over the seams was a little tricky, but if you go slowly and use a stiletto, it is a nice finish. If you don’t have a rolled hem foot…or aren’t on speaking terms with it…you can cut your strips 9″ wide and turn under a quarter-inch and a quarter-inch again, press and sew with a straight seam.

Next, I sewed the lace along one long edge on the right side of the piece to hide the basting stitches that would fasten it to the quilt, and keep them from snagging little fingers.

IMG_1674

Then I folded the strip in half lengthwise, right sides together, and  sewed the ends. Be sure to backstitch the ends of the seam. I added a second seam for strength, but it really isn’t necessary. Trim the  top corner and turn the piece right-side-out.

IMG_1675

Slip the casing over the top edge of the quilt, and baste in place. I used approx 1″ basting stitches, tucked under the edge of the lace. Be sure you baste through both sides of the casing, the entire length of the quilt.

Of course, there are other options for attaching the bib to the quilt. You could sew several buttons at intervals along the border of the quilt, and button holes on the casing. Remember you will need them on both sides of the quilt. A row of snap tape front and back would also work.

I don’t expect quilt bibs to come back into vogue anytime soon, but it was fun to take a step into history for this project.

IMG_1678

 

Categories: Moda Bake Shop, Other Blocks & Patterns, Other Projects, Quilts, Scrap Quilts | 5 Comments

TQ Mug Mats

Do you need a quick hostess gift, teacher gift, or table favor? Whip up one of these totally TQable Mug Mats! I used pre-cut scraps from my Thrifty Quilter stash for these, but if you want to make several, 1/4 yard….regular cut or a fat quarter…will make two mats. Here’s how I did it:

Your materials for one mat:

IMG_1615One 4.5″ square (brown) for the center.

One 6.5″ square (blue) for the backing, and four 3.5″ x 6.5″ rectangles (blue) for the frame. Note: You can use narrower frame strips and a larger center square if you prefer.

One 6.5″ square of scrap batting.

Thread should match your frame fabric.

IMG_1616

Step 1: Press the 3.5″ x 6.5″ rectangles in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.

IMG_1620

Lay the batting square on the table and lay the 6.5″ backing square on top of it, right side up. Lay the framing strips on the square as shown, as if you were closing the flaps on a cardboard box. Raw edges are on the outside.

IMG_1622

Sew a 1/4″ seam all around the outside edge and trim the corners.

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Flip the frame strips to the batting side of the piece. Poke the corners out as squarely as possible, and top stitch 1/4″ from the edge.

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Insert your 4.5″ square. Pin in place and stitch the frame edge down close to the center square.

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When I’m top-stitching, I don’t like to back-tack the end of a seam. Instead, I leave myself a good 4″-6″ of thread, and using an embroidery needle (because it has a larger eye), I bury the thread ends inside my piece.

There! Now how easy was that?

I saw another great idea the other day. Same general idea – use binding leftovers, cut to 6.5″ lengths as your framing pieces. Sew and flip as show above, but instead of inserting a small fabric square, just leave the batting exposed. Set it next to your machine and it’s a thread catcher!

So simple, you’ll want to make one of each for your quilting pals.

 

 

Categories: Other Blocks & Patterns, Other Projects, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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