Quilting

Hello again…it’s been a while.

Hi everyone! I hope you are all keeping well and staying safe during these crazy times. It’s been quite a while since I posted anything here but I have been super busy longarming quilts for clients. Longarming is my day job (https://magnoliaquiltingstudio.com) and I love doing it but it got so busy after Covid hit that I really had no time to do much else. My studio is in my home so I had to figure out how to handle drop offs and consultations and keep everyone safe. It worked out great and now that everyone is adapting to our new normal I found a little time to finish a couple of quilts that I started earlier this year. I don’t know where the time goes but every day seems to just fly by so I was really happy to get these two finished.


The first quilt is called ‘Coming and Going’ and the flying geese go in alternate directions to represent how they migrate north in the summer and south in the winter. The fabric collection I used is Day In Paris by Moda. I must have really, really liked this collection because this is the 3rd quilt that I’ve made with the yardage I purchased and I think there is still enough fabric for one more. Quite often I buy fabric without a specific project in mind so I guess I was worried about running out and just bought lots of all of it.

I put blush coloured minky on the back and quilted it with one of my favourite pantographs – Circles of Life. I can’t wait to get a good book, a cup of tea and snuggle up under this one for a couple of hours.

The second quilt was a real challenge for me because it used a layer cake I’d purchased called Soho from Northcott Studio. I loved all the colours (the picture doesn’t do it justice) and I had no idea what I was going to do with it when I bought it but I still had to have it. Since I had just finished a king size quilt for my son (I’ll share that one in a separate post) I needed a quick and easy project and this was it!

I found this quilt block that was designed for a layer cake and it was super easy to put together! I had all the cutting done in an hour and then pieced it all together in an evening. Nice and quick! I did the extra bits in the border from the leftovers and honestly I think this is the first time I have ever used up every last bit of fabric that I bought. It was really nice not to have a whole bunch of leftovers to add to the scrap bin.

The back of the quilt is blue Fireside, my second favourite backing to use for warm, cuddly quilts. The pantograph is called Windswept and it’s got lots of movement to it and works on all kinds of quilt designs. I think this quilt will probably end up the the TV room and like most of the quilts I make it will get used a lot.

Well…that’s it for now. I’ve got more projects in the works so I’ll share those as they progress.

Happy quilting!

Quilting

A Modern Lap Quilt

I’m so happy to share a little quilt with you that I just finished this week. The quilt top was pieced quite a while ago but I hadn’t gotten around to quilting it. Not sure why. I guess life just got busy. But now I seem to have lots more time because I am staying at home and social distancing. I figure this is the perfect time to try and get as many quilts finished as I can. I still seem to get distracted and side-tracked but I’m trying to stay focused and I have to admit that it feels pretty darn good when I see another project done.

The inspiration for this quilt came from some pics I had seen on the net. Probably Pinterest because I browse on there a lot. It looked pretty straight forward so I decided to forge ahead without a pattern and just do my own thing. It actually went together fairly quickly with only a few hiccups along the way. I hadn’t thought through how I was going to align everything so that became my biggest challenge. In the end it all turned out and although it isn’t perfect I’m happy with the end result.

I quilted it on my longarm with an edge-to-edge design called Circle of Life. It’s one of my faves because it works so well on all different styles of quilts and it’s not really dense so the quilt stays soft. Because I wanted to keep the quilting subtle I used Glide thread in Linen so that it would blend with the background. On the back I used Fireside and also added a layer of batting so this quilt is going to be cozy and warm, perfect for snuggling under while enjoying a cup of tea and a good book. Can’t wait to try it out.

Thanks for stopping by. Happy quilting!

Quilting

Spring Quilt #1 with Petals & Pots

A month ago I picked up some bright, cheery fabric called Petals & Pots that was designed by Gabrielle Neil for Riley Blake Designs. I was immediately drawn to the colours – blues, coral, pink & mustard – and the whimsical floral design so I did something I’ve never done before, I bought a jelly roll, two charm packs and some yardage of the main floral print and matching colours from the Kisses line. Did I know what I was going to do with all this yummy fabric? Absolutely not but it was begging to come home with me so how could I say no?

Fast forward a couple of weeks and I just couldn’t resist opening up the charm packs and jelly roll any longer. I laid them all out and knew that these happy little prints were destined to be part of a little spring quilt to throw on the couch and brighten up the living room. Now I just needed to figure out how to use them. It didn’t take me long to come up with a simple charm design with white sashing and patterned corner stones.

Thank goodness for design walls! I spent quite a bit of time moving things around and making sure that I didn’t have two of the same blocks near each other. Who would think that random placement could be so difficult sometimes? I did all the usual things like taking a picture on my iphone and converting it to black and white so that I could assess if there were any areas that were too dark or light. Then I moved some blocks around and repeated the picture process. After a few times I decided that I could spend days trying to make it perfect or I could just say ‘good enough’ and get ‘er done. Since this is just going to be and everyday throw for the couch I opted for get ‘er done.

It was such a quick and easy top to put together the hardest part was remembering to press the seams on every second row the other way so that they would nest together nicely. I added another white strip all around the outside and then put on the final border. And just like that I had my first quilt top all finished.

I can’t wait to start quilting this one. It is definitely asking me to do some ruler work on it. This will be the perfect quilt for me to use my new Charming ruler from Silly Moon Quilting Co and maybe Beanie in the border. Hmmmm. So many ideas. I’ll keep you posted on my progress when I get it loaded on my longarm.

Happy quilting!

Eco Friendly · Tutorials

Adventures with Beeswax

Okay, I have a confession to make. There is absolutely no sewing in this project but it’s a heck of a lot of fun! Last year my sister-in-law gave me a couple of beeswax food wraps to try out and I absolutely love them. I’m trying very hard to eliminate single use plastic from our home so they fit right in with my mission. They can be used to cover or wrap up just about anything (except raw meat) and are wonderful for keeping cheese fresh for quite a while longer. When you need to clean them you just rinse under warm (not hot) water and let dry. Easy right?!

I knew that I needed to get more because I was always running out and was just about to order some when my daughter gifted me with a set that she had made at a Girl Guide Leaders camp. Best gift ever!! And…she told me how to make them so I’m going to share that with all of you in case you want to go plastic free too.

The first thing you need is some 100% cotton fabric and I just happen to have a little bit of that hanging around LOL. It can be plain or printed. I chose these ones because they looked bright and cheery and the one in the middle looks like honeycomb.

Then you need some special wax blocks that are a mixture of beeswax, jojoba oil (it is antibacterial) and resin (for a more sticky wrap). I get mine at the Honeybee Centre near me and they do online orders and shipping if you don’t live in this area. You may not see the blocks on their website so you may have to call and request them. If you are local, it’s an amazing place to visit and they have an incredible selection of honey in so many flavours. Really yummy and lots of it is local.

You will also need a grater that you won’t be using on food anymore, an old iron that you don’t mind if you get wax on, a sturdy ironing surface, lots of parchment paper and pinking shears or a pinking blade for your rotary cutter. Yes, you read that correctly. There actually is a pinking blade for 45mm rotary cutters. Who would have known? I just happened upon it by accident at Michaels of all places. It’s definitely a time saver.

Now for the fun stuff…

Step 1: Heat up your iron on the cotton setting without any steam. This is really important, you must use a dry iron.

Sept 2: Cut your fabric into squares with your pinking shears or pinking blade. I like 6″ x 6″, 9″ x 9″ and 12″ x 12″ squares. These are the sizes that I have found to bee the most useful but you can really make any size you want.

Step 3: Grate your beeswax block onto a piece of parchment paper. My grater is fairly fine but any size will do.

Step 4: Cover your ironing surface with parchment paper and make sure that the paper is larger than the fabric. Cut a second piece the same size and set it aside. You will be using the second piece on top of the fabric.

Step 5: Place your square onto the parchment paper and sprinkle grated wax on top. You don’t have to cover every little bit, the wax spreads as it melts and you can always add more wax later if you need to.

Step 6: Now place another piece of parchment paper on top and make sure that you have all the fabric covered and extra paper on all sides.

Step 7: Now you are ready to melt the wax. Simply place your iron down onto the parchment paper and hold it there for a few seconds. Lift the iron and place it in the next area. Repeat this until you have melted all the wax. Keep ironing and use a little bit of pressure on the iron to move the melted was around until all the fabric is covered and saturated with wax.

Step 8: When you think that the whole piece of fabric has been covered with wax you can peel back the top layer of parchment paper and check to make sure there are no bare spots. If there are just add some more grated to that area, put down the top sheet of parchment and iron that area again.

Step 9: If everything looks good, gently peel the fabric off the bottom sheet of parchment hold it or hang it up to cool. It only takes a minute and then your beeswax wrap will be ready to use.

It should feel slightly tacky when you are all done. When you go to use it the heat from your hands will help to mold it around the food you want to cover and it will stick to itself.

These were so much fun to make that I just couldn’t stop until I ran out of the special beeswax blocks. The smell from the melted beeswax was divine and it lingered in my studio long after I’d finished. As soon as I can get more beeswax blocks’ going to make more for gifts for friends and family.

Hope you give this a try. Happy crafting!

Plus Quilt · Quilting · Quilting with Rulers

PLUS Quilt Finish

Well, it didn’t take me long to finish up this cute little Plus quilt once I got it loaded on my longarm. It was so much fun to quilt with the Beanie rulers that I had just received from Silly Moon Quilting Co. I am in love with the rulers from this company! They are so well made and the markings are etched in so they are easy to see and if that’s not enough, they are a Canadian company located right here in British Columbia. Since I’m Canadian I am always happy to support Canadian businesses and these guys are amazing. Quick delivery and always happy to answer any questions. Sorry…this is probably beginning to sound a little bit like a sales pitch but I love to share a good thing when I find one.

This quilting was done on my longarm (a HandiQuilter Avante) using a ruler base, a HandiQuilter Sure Foot, the 5/1 size of Beanie ruler and my fave thread, Glide in Cool Grey 3. (I’m putting in links so that you can see exactly what I’ve used and where I buy them in case you want to get them too but there are many other sources for all these items.)

Beanie 5/1 ruler with gripper applied

You might be wondering how I decided to use the 5/1 Beanie because there are several sizes in the set that I got. Well, my blocks were 2.5″ x 2.5″ so I used the larger (5″) side of the ruler to make my arcs so that they would go over two blocks. This way I could easily reposition my ruler on the second pass to create the overlapping clams. The markings on the ruler make it super easy to do this.

By using the blocks themselves and the markings on the ruler I was able to get this little quilt done in no time. Gotta love it when you a project comes together quickly and without any problems.

This baby quilt is going to be donated to the Community Quilt program at the Langley Quilter’s Guild where I am a member. There are several organizations that they donate to so I’m sure they will find a home for this little cutie. The finished size is 29.5″ x 36″, just right for tummy time or wrapping around baby in a stroller.

I recently started doing my bindings completely by machine and have found that it works great on quilts that are going to be loved and washed a lot. It took me a while to get the right settings on my machine but now that I know what works it’s a great time saver.

Just for fun I used one of the decorative stitches on my machine to finish sewing down the binding. There are swirly hearts in the pink fabric so I chose a heart design to match. My friend Jean did a demo at a recent guild meeting showing how to finish binding by machine and she used a decorative stitch on one of her samples which is where I got the idea. Normally I just use a really tiny zig zag stitch so thanks Jean, it was nice to change it up. I’ll definitely be using more decorative stitches on my bindings.

Thanks for stopping by. Happy quilting!

Custom Quilting · Halloween · Quilting · Quilting with Rulers

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone!

I’m so excited to share this awesome quilt that Bev brought to me (Magnolia Quilting Studio) for quilting. I don’t normally share quilts that I longarm for customers on my blog but I had so much fun working on this one that I asked Bev if it was alright to post it since I just finished it and it’s perfect for Halloween.

Bev is so creative with her quilts and never uses a pattern, she just sees something and figures it out. Amazing!!! She started with a panel that was the silhouette of the witch and cauldron but it wasn’t big enough so she added the solid black strips and the moon in white to make it the size she needed. I love how the moon adds so much more to the quilt. It was a brilliant idea!

As many of you know, I love doing custom quilting on my longarm because it gives me the chance to get really creative and play with design and texture. I also love the whole design process that has to happen before I even load the quilt on the frame. Quite often I will take a picture and print it in grey scale and then just start sketching out ideas and that’s what I did here. Bev left the quilting completely up to me and only asked that I try and incorporate some of the graphics of crows, potion bottles and assorted Halloween items that she sent me to the 7 inch outer border if possible. Other than that she told me to have fun, which I most definitely did! This quilt gave me lots of room to play and be creative.

There was lots of ruler work done on this quilt because each strip and border had to be stabilized by doing stitch-in-the-ditch around it. I used my favourite ditching ruler, Rocket, from Silly Moon Quilting Co (my favourite ruler company and they are Canadian by the way) so that I got nice, straight lines right in the ditch. I also used it for stitching the radiating lines in the background. Outlining all the other elements like the witch, bats, cauldron, cat, broom etc. made them really pop out.

The smaller borders each got a different design in them in coordinating thread to give them some texture but not take away from the other elements in the quilt. The two designs in the black borders were done with the ProStitcher (my computer system) and made to fit the different size of each border and then I did a freehand wave in the green border. I like adding a variety of textures in small borders because I think it makes them more interesting.

Then the real fun began! Designing the elements for the outer border was my next challenge. I didn’t want them to take away from the center design in the quilt but I wanted them to be interesting enough to make your eye move around and explore. That’s why I opted for outline images that looked like they had been sketched with a pen. There was so much solid colour in the center of the quilt I felt I needed to keep things light and open in the borders. Each element had to be individually digitized and then brought into the ProStitcher on my longarm, sized to fit and stitched out. By doing this I was able to place them exactly where I wanted them so that they framed the quilt. Glide thread in black and a coordinating green let me create the sketchy effect I was going for. It was so much fun seeing this all come together.

This quilt was made for someone very special to Bev and I am so grateful that she gave me the opportunity to quilt this for her. It was a wonderfully creative journey and I enjoyed every minute of it.

I’ll leave you with pics showing some of the individual elements that I added.

Happy stitching!

Kathryn

Spooky eyes are watching!
Spider webs & spider in the outer border.
Bottle full of ‘Eye of Newt’
Witches brew in a bottle.
A couple of old crows!
Bat Wing Toni
Plus Quilt · Quilting

Plus Quilt Fun

One of the quilts designs that I wanted to try this year was a Plus quilt. I have been seeing them all over Pinterest and at my quilt guilds and I kept saying, “I’ve got to try one of those!”

Part of my mission this year is to use what I have in my stash and make as many projects as possible using just what I had on hand. This seemed like the perfect project to do that so I got out all the fabric I had left over from a baby quilt that I made last year.

And that is how this Plus quilt was born. When I cut out the baby quilt last year I ended up with quite a few 3″strips that could easily be cut down to the 3″ squares I needed. My plan was to make the quilt 30″ x 40″ so I quickly calculated that I would need 192 squares and that the layout would be 12 squares wide and 16 squares high. After cutting out the strips I had there was only enough for 180 squares so the quilt ended up being 12 squares by 15 squares. Still a good size for a baby quilt.

This is actually a super easy quilt to put together. I started by laying out all the squares on my design wall so that I got all the colours/prints where I wanted them.

Next I numbered each row with a piece of painters tape and started sewing them together. I decided not to press each row as I finished it. Instead I waited until all the rows were sewn together and then I pressed the odd numbered rows to the right and the even numbered ones to the left so that the seams would nest nicely together.

While I was piecing everything together I had an Angela Walters video going on my iPad and before I knew it the quilt top was together.

Can’t wait to quilt this one. I think I’m going to play on my longarm with some rulers. I’ll be sure to post pics of the quilt when it’s all done.

Quilting · Uncategorized

A great day to start…

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. I’m so excited to start sharing my quilting, sewing and making journey with all of you and can’t think of a better day to start than today, Worldwide Quilting Day.

Who am I? Well, I’m a quilter, sewist, maker and overall crafting enthusiast. Over the years I’ve tried just about any craft or art that you can think of but I gravitate to anything to do with fabric and thread. I love to share my passion for these endeavours and hope to do that here with all of you.

So here we go…today being Worldwide Quilting Day I hung some quilts off the railing on our balcony and posted this pic on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #worldwidequiltingday. Many others are doing the same so look for them using the hashtag. I think you will be blown away by the awesome quilts that everyone is showing.

As you can see, I like bright colours and recently have gone to a more modern aesthetic. I still make traditional quilts but I am definitely drawn to more modern designs. That being said I absolutely love batiks and apparently they are not considered modern. Since I have a huge stash of them I’m still going to use them and hopefully the modern quilt police won’t come knocking LOL.

When I post I’m going to share projects and ideas and sometimes random thoughts. Nothing too serious but hopefully inspiring or encouraging. Feel free to comment and let’s connect and have some fun. After all that’s what I’m doing – JustSewing4Fun!

Kathryn