Blog Archives

2018 Mug Rug Swap

between NWAMQG and TULSAMQG. Last month we turned in our forms for this swap and received a form from a Tulsa member with color preferences, etc. My swap partner, Lora Whitfield, indicated all colors but that she loves a teal and red combo, NO BABY PINK, any style. I used up most of my red and teal fabrics for the wonky churn dash exchange, but happened to find these in my strip box – the one that is now sorted by color.
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These strips had been on the design wall for a couple weeks with no inspiration forthcoming. Writers have Erato for their muse–I need to invent a muse for quilting.

Friday I had 15 minutes before heading out to the Green Country Quilters Guild Quilt Show in Tulsa so I started sewing some pieces together. I was thinking about the MQG Challenge for 2019, using tiny piecing in a donation quilt. I was going to subcut this strip set and make a tiny grid (photo above) but Saturday I had a different idea. I started cutting up 3/4-inch strips and mimicked a quilt I have seen several times.

After piecing, pressing, and trimming, I layered this with Peltex (a stiff interfacing) and a backing with glittery Valentine’s fabric. I prefer Timtex (a little heavier than Peltex) but have not been able to find any for awhile. I left the red strips unquilted and quilted a line next to the border seam. This gives you a place to turn around with diagonal stitching. If you start at the edge, pivot/stitch/pivot and stitch back to the edge, you have no threads to weave in.
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Finally I traced around this metal end caps (given to me by dd, probably from incense stitcks container from BBB) to round the corners and satin stitched around the edge. The butterfly pin reminds where the round starts. Satin stitch using #8 zigzag on Janome with three rounds:

Round 1: 5.0 wide, 1.5 length

Round 2: 5.5 wide, 1.0 length

Round 3: 6.0 wide, .5 length

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Now I just need to make a label and turn in my mug rug at our August meeting. I have some small projects (camera strap cover, microwave bowls, pieced biscornu pincushion) to work on until I get my needle arm fixed–I just don’t dare do free-motion quilting and this is seriously putting me behind. Waiting to hear from Janome.

This was my viewer’s choice at the quilt show. Quilt by Janet Hoeltzel, quilted by Glenda Harkey, pattern by Mary B. Hayes; Thangles used.

BAB 14 – Shattered
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DIET UPDATE: After seven weeks, I have a net loss of 4.5 pounds and almost 3-inches. Whoopy-dip is all I can say that’s fit to publish.

Next posts: My Artful Log Cabin with exactly 50 log cabins celebrating our anniversary and photos from quilt show.

Improvisational Piecing Tutorial

I thought I would be back to my placemat project by now, but got a little carried away with the leftover scraps so I thought I would do a little tutorial on improvisational piecing. When I cut out a 13-inch circle from my lily fabric, I had a big hole and a lopsided frame. After piecing together my large scraps, this still wasn’t quite large enough to fit inside the circle with a seam allowance so I added three more strips to the center of three sides. I like the way this looked, so pressed down a 1/4-inch seam around the circle cut-out (lily fabric).

Auditioning piecework with lily fabric

Auditioning piecework with lily fabric frame

Adding three more pieces to sides and top

Adding three more pieces to sides and top

A note about improv piecing–you can end up with some bulky seams so use a dressmaker’s tip: steam the seams that need flatting, and press a piece of wood on the damp fabric. I placed an old cutting mat underneath for a firmer surface. I don’t have a professional wood piece so I just used a scrap of wood I had.

Pressing block

Pressing block

I use a wood block but you can see what a professional uses, a tailor’s clapper:

http://www.nancysnotions.com/product/tailors+clapper.do

Next, I centered the pieced circle within the frame with 3/4-inch sequin pins and hand appliqued the edges. I didn’t have any dark purple silk thread so I used Superior Bottom Line–works great for applique. I guess you could call this reverse applique without the work (although it took me several tries to get this pinned evenly)!

Pinned and ready for applique

Pinned and ready for applique

Man in the Moon with Lilies

Man in the Moon with Lilies

And finally, your tutorial on improv piecing. Sometimes, I straighten then edges before piecing, but you don’t have to–just sew them together then trim the seam allowance and press.

Stitch two pieces together, trim

Stitch two pieces together, trim, press

Stitch two more pieces together

Stitch two more pieces together

Nest seams, sew together

Nest seams, sew together

Add another unit

Add another unit

And another

And another

Press toward unpieced unit when possible

Press toward unpieced unit when possible

I trimmed this edge–just too much going on for me to see where to sew.

Trim if there is too much noise

Trim if there is too much noise

I didn’t feel like figuring out how to add a piece to this angle so I just folded the edge under and stitched it to in place. This is called texture and just plain laziness on my part. Whatever works, eh?

Fold under angled edge, stitch

Fold under angled edge, stitch

Stitch down, rather than piecing

Stitch down, rather than piecing, trim away excess

Add a triangle to form a corner

Add a triangle to form a corner

Add some more strips to finish

Add some more strips to finish to desired size

Which way is up?

Which way is up?

How about this?

How about this?

Or this?

Or this?

Actually I’m going with the first one. I thought this was too ugly for a potholder so decided to play around with some embellishing. After quilting in the ditch at almost every stinking seam (I’ll tell you where I learned that next time), I decided to play with couching yarn, beading, and more quilting. I don’t always wait till Friday to have Fun.

But wait, there’s more. I also made a new name tag. TIP: If you round the corners, satin stitching the edge is much easier.

Piece a square from scraps

Piece a square from scraps

Matchstick quilting, rounding the corners

Matchstick quilting, rounding the corners

Satin stitch the edges

Satin stitch the edges

My job here is done. Till next time–