Here we are in New England once again, right next door in Connecticut. Kate Colleran of Seams Like A Dream designed this week’s block. We have dear friends in Connecticut and we love visiting them at the shore! I, personally have had fun exploring unique towns and seeing beautiful old homes. You can find Kate’s block HERE. ENJOY!
This week’s two tips comes to you a day late. With a guild lecture yesterday, THANK YOU Village Squares in New York!! and a hubby with a replaced hip, it got away from me. I love sharing my Egyptian Tentmakers’ Applique pieces with quilters. Yesterday I was “at” Village Squares Quilt Guild in Westchester, New York and tomorrow I will be “at” Oregon Coastal Quilters guild in South Beach, Oregon. I love how Zoom has allowed me to continue lecturing for guilds when I couldn’t be there in person. Are you in a quilt guild? I find it is a great way to meet and hang out with like minded people, quilters! With Zoom coming into play last year when travel was discouraged, it opened up a platform to continue meeting and sharing.
#1 – Join a quilt guild! They share the love of quilting, have speakers with trunk shows sharing the many aspects of quilting. Plus every one I have been a part of or visited is doing wonderful comfort/charity work for their community.
To continue the idea of sharing… Over on Instagram the group of designers who had the Snowball Fight Challenge is moving to a new block this month. Innovation Renovation is looking at a simple blocks and coming up with some new ideas using said blocks. The block for March is RAIL FENCE! A favorite when learning to quilt. I think almost every beginner sampler uses this block. A Rail Fence is defined as a block with three or more rails. Monday was our Fabric Pull. I’ll show you mine below. I’m excited about working with some Kaffe Fassett Fat quarter fabrics I had in my stash and a gray background!
Hmmmmmm, wonder what I’m making??? I already have a plan and will be sharing the process each Monday remaining in March. Check out my Instagram page for my process photos. My post on Monday shared the other designers’ pages so you can follow along. Please take a minute to follow me on Instagram. As I believe I’ve said, Instagram is a new place I am sharing my quilting journey and I’d love to have you along for the shares. (@debbiewendtquilting) Oh, Instagram isn’t new, but new for me. <grin>
To change the subject a bit, have you tried a pressing clapper? One of the girls in my guild, (Hi Diane S.), shared hers at a Getaway a couple years ago. Wonderful to get those seams to lay flat without standing and pressing forever. So, I called my dad and BAM! He made me not one, but two!! I think I’m in love! I have always been a steam presser as I like nice flat seams. I think will take some time to remember to use it on each seam. (It does slow down my process time, but results is great flat seams.) Here are the gorgeous ones my Dad made for me!!
The dark wood is from Belize and the other is oak. Heavy and great! The oak for shorter seams and the longer one for block seams. As I mentioned, they are new to me and I’ve only used them a few times. I’ll have to report back, but I love the results so far. These wooden clappers along with the wool pad I have on my ironing board are super!
#2 – A wool ironing pad helps to pull the heat through your fabric (seams). The wooden clapper holds the heat/steam!
The Great Board behind my ironing board is from TNT Quilt Boards by Tracy and Tim Kennedy, no affiliate, a happy customer. They are here in Massachusetts.
Here we go… to OHIO! Applique Quilts and More designed the Ohio block. You can find it HERE. Back when I was traveling to quilt shows, I spent many hours driving through Ohio. I usually came in at the top, going through Cleveland and cutting right down the middle of the state to Cincinnati and crossing the Ohio River into Kentucky. It was always a thrill to see the Great American Ballpark (Cincinnati Red’s baseball stadium) in Cinci and know I was a day closer to the next state!
March brings the promise of Spring! Snow still covers all of my yard but I know the warmer weather is coming. Are you ready for some bright, flowers? I hopped on my Instagram page (debbiewendtquilting) yesterday and shared one of my favorite spring influenced quilts, Flowers in the Valley! I was inspired to post by several other designers for an Easter/spring sale. Check out the quilt below. I have Flowers in the Valley on sale this month use SPRING21 to receive a 21% discount on the pattern. Spring 2021, I’m looking forward to flowers here in the Blackstone Valley!
Flowers in the Valley was made using 1930’s Reproduction fabrics. I love the sweet colors and simplicity of the fabric designs. The white background helps to set off all the colors. The flowers in this quilt are so simple to make. I have the flower points ending further in from the seam. A great way to not loose your points in my block design! Sometimes when blocks have points ending at the 1/4″ seam, “they like to hide in the seam line“. I heard Kaye England use that expression years ago “they are shy and like to hide“. I love it and use it often.
#1- Flowers in the Valley flower points are set in further from the seam line…on purpose! If working with points that touch the seam line, be mindful of the points. I have been known to sew a narrower seam to not “loose” the points. Encourage them to come out from the seams…stand and be proud!
Flowers in the Valley is under patterns on my website. You can find it HERE.
I realize I’ve referenced Instagram in this post. I’m working on increasing my photos and showing more of my work as it happens. I’d love to have you follow me! Last month we had a Snowball Fight (snowball block challenge). Thank goodness we had snow HAHAHA!! This month we are changing the block and have a new challenge. I’m not sure if I can share the block yet, so on the 8th, I’ll post the fabrics I’ve chosen and the block. Plus, I’ll report back here with the block and my fabrics!
March is known as National Quilting Month. Are you planning anything special. The 20th is National Quilting Day! I hope you will share the love and beauty of quilting with your friends and family. Speaking of sharing…The Global Quilt Connection has a new website. You can find my teacher listing there. It is a great resource for quilt guilds and anyone wanting to take quilting classes. My website is almost ready for adding my new Zoom classes that will be open for signups. I have been teaching and lecturing for guild via Zoom. Are you in a guild? Checkout my offerings over on Global Quilt Connection or my website!
Happy March! and tip #2 – Do something fun for yourself to expand and explore your love of quilting!
Lets head to the mountains! This week we go to Colorado. A favorite of mine, because growing up in Missouri we headed to Colorado to go skiing most winters. A long drive across Kansas and into Colorado then, BAM!! The Rocky Mountains! Several family trips and then school trips and even chaperone trips when I was teaching… ALL to go snow skiing in Colorado. Enjoy the block by Catherine at Dragonfly’s Quilting Design Studio. You can find the block HERE.
Over on Instagram I’ve been a part of the Snowball Block Challenge. Yesterday was the finish! Did you see my project? Follow me at debbiewendtquilting! There were 16 designers that took the challenge. The snowball block was our start and it must have a solid center. I got my idea a few weeks ago when I was teaching a Mini Paper Piecing class to my guild. One of our projects was a pillow with LOVE on it. I replaced the O with a heart. All the blocks were paper pieced and made into a pillow. I quilted around the letters and heart highlighting to pieces of the heart. For some strange reason I saw a bird head in the heart shape…BINGO! There was my challenge idea. A LOVE Bird! The eyes of the bird could be the snowball block. I like my funky bird!
The first bird I made had the sparkle in the eye looking the wrong way. oops, remake. I also made a one with more color under the eyes. I went with the rounder bug eyes. Hence my funky bird reference. It was a lot of fun and I’ll be adding the bird to my LOVE Heart pillow pattern. The pattern will be on my website on Feb. 28th. Keep your “eye” out for it there.
The sparkle was on the wrong side because I marked my while look at the back numbered side of the paper piecing pattern. NOPE, it is reverse from how it will show on the front. So, keep this in mind if you want to color a specific paper piecing piece.
#1- Remember paper piecing is constructed in reverse, meaning the pattern/design/numbers are on the “wrong side” of the paper and you add your pieces to the opposite side. Keep this in mind if coloring a specific area.
#2 – Mark your paper piecing pattern. Make notes and coloring hints right on your pattern. After sewing the paper is removed and it saves time.
I hope you followed along and got to see all the challenge pieces. Or go back and take a look! There was a very wide range of finishes. We will be doing a new challenge next month. I’m in, so I hope you’ll follow along. I’ll let you know the details as soon as I know them.
Welcome to week 30! This week we stop in the middle of the USA! IOWA! A state very near to my University (NWMSU – Northwest Missouri State University). It was a short trip up to Iowa when I was at school. Many of my college friends are from Iowa, even one of my roommates and many of my sorority sisters. Lizard Creek Quilting designed our Iowa block. You can find it HERE!
One of my favorite ways to finish my binding, when time is of the essence…. by machine. There are many ways to sew a binding on the edges of our quilts. I want my binding to look like it has been hand finished from the front. So I’m a fan of sewing the binding to the front of the quilt as usual. Instead of hand sewing it on the back, I stitch in the ditch from the front. Voila, done!
A tip in getting the best finish for my machine sewn binding is to use a double fold binding. I cut my binding strips 2 1/4″, sew the strips into a continuous binding and fold/press in half. This gives me a finished fold to turn to the back of the quilt. I find 2 1/4″ is better, for me, than 2 1/2″. I can sew anywhere from 1/4″ to 3/8″ seam and get a nice full binding. If finishing by machine, I keep it closer to 1/4″, then I have plenty to turn over to the back and I know my stitching will catch it. (If I sew to the back by hand, I prefer 3/8″ seam. I have plenty to cover my stitching and when hand sewing.) I want my binding to be close to even in width on the front and back. These measurements help to accomplish that. Plus, I mentioned I want a full binding. This is where the top, batting and backing fill up the space inside the binding when I turn the binding to the back. If there is any gap at the edge, it tends to wear faster and look wimpy. The thickness of your batting can also play a role in how full your binding feels. A thinner batting may require a wide seam as it doesn’t take up as much space.
#1 – I love a 2 1/4″ cut strip width for my double fold bindings!
I started with telling you I like to machine sew my binding to the back by stitching in the ditch from the front. This is what it looks like on the back. And you can barely see the stitching on the front! Blue thread to match the blue binding also key. Match your thread color to your binding.
For your mitered corners, I pin the miter before I get there when sewing. It holds it in place and I can slip the pin out as I near the corner. Below is a close up of my stitching at the miter on the backside of the quilt.
And finally, how do I keep the binding from tangling or getting wound around my chair leg? I put it in a bag and hang it on my chair arm. But, if my chair does not have an arm, then I let the bag sit on the floor or tape it to my table so it hangs open. This allows the binding to easily flow out of the bag up to the machine bed where I am sewing the binding to the quilt.
#2 – Put your prepared binding in a bag to keep it from ending up on the floor, around a chair leg or in a twisted mess.
By the way, I do not pin the binding ahead of sewing (expect to mark my mitered corner stopping point). I lay the binding on the quilt and stitch. No pulling, just smooth it in place and sew. Also when turning the binding to the back, no pins (except one pin at the mitered corner). I hate getting stuck with pins while I’m sewing…well actually, I don’t care to ever get stuck with pins!
I hope you’ll give it a try. I find it a better finish than sewing the binding to the back and turning it to the front and stitching along the fold.
P.S. I’ve got a major redo happening on my website. I’m thrilled with the new look I chose but if something is not linked correctly, please know I’m trying to stay on top of the work being done! Take a look over at Wendt Quilting!
This week we head Northeast to Vermont. It is a beautiful state! I’ve enjoyed going to the Vermont Quilt Festival, but we’re not here to talk about quilt shows. The Vermont block was designed by Kate Colleran at Seams Like a Dream and can be found HERE.
We are in week two of the SNOWBALL FIGHT! I posted my fabric pics over on Instagram, but I thought you might like to see them here, too.
The challenge is using a snowball quilt block. So, what is a snowball block? It has a solid center and four triangles on all four of the corners. The triangles to do not meet in the center. They typically cover 1/3 of each adjacent side. See below!!
A snowball block can be found in many different quilt designs. It looks like a snowball and is often used to make a snowman. It looks round so often becomes a ball or circle. It will be fun to see what all the designers come up with for their SNOWBALL FIGHT design! We will see the reveals in two weeks. One more week of sneak peeks, then reveal on Feb. 22nd.
A hint on my challenge, I’ll be paper piecing. So here are two more tips when foundation paper piecing. (By the way, the photos are not my challenge design! <grin>)
#1 – Use card stock or even a greeting card to fold the paper back on the seam line.
#2 – Trim the excess seam allowance with “Add-A-Quarter” tool. No affiliation, just a great handy tool when foundation paper piecing!