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Another scrap project

While I’m waiting for the service manual for my Janome (the needle bar will not stay centered AGAIN), I can at least piece so I’m playing with log cabins. I got the idea after watching Episode 2210 (Reimagining the Log Cabin Block) on The Quilt Show with Katie Pasquini Masopust (Katiepm, as she calls herself). After my brother died in 2003, we came from Georgia through Paducah, Kentucky, on our way back to Minnesota. Katiepm had an exhibit at the National Quilt Museum–at that time she was making quilts with large flowers–at least that’s what my memory recalls–no photos allowed. Search out Katie on Pinterest to see the varied techniques and styles she has used in her quilts over the years. Anyway, back to the log cabins. Katie’s latest book is Artful Log Cabins. Basically, she uses a photograph and interprets it by making log cabins. Some of the cabins (like most of mine) are what she calls one-log cabins, one round around the center.

I traced a loose grid on tracing paper over a b/w copy of one of my photographs.


Then I pulled strips from my scrap box (which is sorted by color now). I thought about piecing with gentle curves, but these log cabins are small so I think I’ll just use straight seams. I’ve been squaring up each log cabin to around 2-inches and will not worry about matching up seams because that would mean thinking about pressing rather than just pressing outward toward the strip last sewn.

I quickly ran out of scraps for the ground color so went digging for some more in my brown scrap box, which holds mostly fat quarters but also some larger scraps). Some log cabins don’t start with a 1-inch square, but just a scrap left from a previous log cabin.

Here are two vertical rows, with the first green for foliage and my original photo. I’m hoping to be able to squeeze out 50 log cabins in honor of our 50th Anniversary this year.



As for ROYGBIV? It’s just going to be ROY. I didn’t like the greens and blues I had added so ripped them off and put them back in the scrap bags. I’m going to enlarge this square a little more (it’s about 20-inches square), practice some concentric circle quilting, and make another Big Bad Bag–it’s a start. See you on the other side of the rainbow.



The Stitching Pillow

One of my favorite features in The Quilt Show Daily Blog is Anna and G on the Road. Anna lives in Sisters, Oregon, travels a lot, takes her quilting and blog on the road. This winter she featured a stitching pillow–a pillow you place on your lap when doing handwork. Raising up your needlework relieves tension in the neck and shoulders. One of my friends, Judy S., informed our Van Go-Go Girls small art quilt group that this odd shape is called a biscornu. It took me a long time to memorize this strange word. Wikipedia: A biscornu is a small, octagonal, stuffed ornamental pincushion. Collins Dictionary uses biscornu as an adjective meaning crooked or weird looking.

Here is a picture of my pillow, made in January, at the start of a mini-workshop I held on Friday. Like a dork, I got so focused I forgot to take more pictures. While my daughter does handwork, she would like this second pillow for use with her smart phone and ipad.


Here is the link for the video tutorial.


(2) 15-inch squares fabric

(2) 15-inch squares batting

(1) 2-1/2 x 10-inch strip for handle

(1) 16-oz bag of poly-fil

I actually used double-sided pre-quilted fabric; otherwise, quilt the top and bottom pieces. A simple diagonal grid is sufficient if you’re not comfortable with free-motion.

To make the handle, I folded the strip in half lengthwise, unfolded, pressed each raw edge in to the center, refolded, and stitched along both long edges. For my second pillow I used a Moda tape used to wrap a set of fat quarters.




Remember to leave an opening for stuffing and to sew on your handle before finishing.

TIP: You can pivot at the corners to continue stitching, but you will have the needle down and need to manipulate the fabrics to continue on. This will put stress of your needle, possibly causing breakage at some point (I learned this from a previous project).

TIP FROM JUDY S.: Use a forceps to stuff into the corners.

Yesterday, I made a biscornu pincushion using this same method. I started with 4-1/2 inch squares. You can go smaller but I don’t recommend it as you will have a very small opening for stuffing (unless you go around corners) and a very small pincushion. If you want a tutorial for the pincushion, try this. My first try yielded two pleats at the end because my stitching got off. I ripped it, started over, and marked the center point on each side for better matching. Voila–pretty cute, eh?




If you have to cut and paste the links, I apologize. The Edit/Insert Link function wasn’t working today. Have a great week–I hope you are having wonderful weather like we are, albeit the deluge of green oak pollen is causing a lot of us grief. Thank goodness for nasal spray and eye drops.

Next post: Less is More (I promise).






Tutorial: How to Print on Twill Tape

In 2012, I took an on-line class on The Quilt Show: Fabric Fancification, by Lauren Vlcek. Lauren is a very talented fiber artist and doll maker. Check her out.

In our class, we learned to bead, applique letters and print on twill tape. Not only was this class fun, I also won Lauren’s sample when the class was finished.


Fabric Fancification Class Sample by Lauren Vlcek

And here is mine.

Quilting=Love Class

Quilting=Love, Fabric Fancification Class

I used a piece of hand-crocheted trim for the flower stem on the left. We also did some hand embroidery and used machine embroidery stitches as well as free-motion quilting. Lauren encouraged us to use fabrics besides cotton so I used some silk scraps and ribbon.

If you would like to learn to print on twill tape for a project of your own, see my tutorial, How to Print on Twill Tape. As noted, I washed one of my words in Ivory dish soap and there was no fading. I cannot guarantee the same results in the washer or with other soap. Have fun.

Tutorial How to Print on Twill Tape




The Grandmother’s Flower Garden Project

I have now finished appliqueing The Grandmother’s Flower Garden to the background.  I was writing a blog on The Quilt Show when I was putting this miniature together.  For all intents and purposes, those blogs are gone forever.  I now save my blogs to ensure against loss.  Anyway, I’ll back up just a little to show how to put a hexie flower together, no matter what the size.  I start by adding three petals to the center.

Sewing Hexies

Sewing Hexies

Sewing hexies

Sewing hexies

After this, you can fill in the last three hexies by starting on the outside edge and sewing the three sides without breaking your thread.

Sewing hexies

Sewing hexies

Sewing hexies

Sewing hexies

Sewing hexies

Sewing hexies

After adding two more petals in this manner, you will now have a completed hexie flower.  Sweet.

Finished hexie flower

Finished hexie flower

When I started this project, I used cotton thread–don’t ask me why because using silk thread hides the stitches so much better, which is what I used to applique this project to the background.  I decided to practice quilting on just one flower.  I just stitched around the center hexie using the edge of my open toed applique foot (Janome F2) and 2.2 stitch length.  This is what I’ll do to quilt this project, after layering with a thin batting like Thermolam.



On my sample piece, I marked some lines with a Frixion pen (marks will disappear with a hot iron) and then just echo-stitched around the entire piece.  After finishing the edges, this can be a mug rug.

Quilting hexie flower

Quilting hexie flower

Hexie flower quilting

Hexie flower quilting

This week I will layer this project and start quilting.  It’s a great feeling to near the end of another UFO.

Finished applique

Finished applique

Tomorrow I’m going to run away and take some pictures of the Jamie Wyeth exhibit at Crystal Bridges.  That and the Andy Warhol Nature Exhibit will be closing October 5.  In the meantime, Hwy 71 is Thunder Road for the next day or so with the end of Bikes Blues and BBQ in Fayetteville.  The count was 400,000 last I heard — some mighty cool bikes and riders out and about.  Safe journeys home, all.