Friday, July 18, 2014

Greg's Birthday Quilt

I wanted to share the quilt I made for my son-in-law Greg's birthday.  He had told me that I didn't have to make anything fancy or complicated.  He even suggested I just buy camouflage fabric and quilt it. haha  I thought I might be able to do a little bit better than that...and this is what I designed...

Greg loves the outdoors and enjoys hunting and fishing.  I had purchased the mallard duck/hunting panels several years ago without any specific projects in mind at the time.

First, I measured all the panels and then played around with my EQ7 software.

You can see the darker colored sections where the panels would fit.  The tiny squares are in 1" increments. The lighter colored block spaces were designed to be common block sizes (2 1/2", 4 1/2", 8 1/2", 12 1/2" unfinished).  Next I shopped once more in my stash of fabrics and found an old beige/brown fabric with wolves, bears and deer.  Then I found a larger piece of the darker green (green is his favorite color).

All I did was play around and make different blocks to fill in the spaces.  Then using a solid chocolate brown Kona cotton, I framed the blocks, filled in any other gaps, made the inner border and used it to bind the quilt at the end.

My design wall as I made new blocks and filled in the puzzle pieces....

I used a mottled tan for the backing fabric and the quilting design was Urban Elementz Squibbles - Grande

I thought this looked close enough to a camo design to suit the quilt well. :)  

All in all, Greg was thrilled with his quilt, which in turn made me very happy.  

Until next time!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wine Glass Coasters Tutorial

Need a quick and easy gift?  Several of my quilting buddies have been making these cute little wine glass coasters so I decided to make a few myself.  Even though we are not wine drinkers, we have always enjoyed having sparkling cider for holiday meals, etc.  Even sparkling cider tastes better in fancy wine glasses. :) :)

Accuquilt Friendly

For ONE Coaster you will need:

Four  -  4 1/2" fabric squares -  Accuquilt Die # 55060
One  -  4 1/2" square of batting

Lay one 4 1/2" fabric square face down...

Place 4 1/2" square batting on top....

 ***NEXT Place one 4 1/2" fabric square face UP on top of batting.  I somehow forgot to get a photo of this step.  Sorry. :)  

Then take the two remaining 4 1/2" fabric squares to your ironing station, fold in half and press...

Two folded pieces should look like this....

Now lay them on top of your three layer sandwich (square face down, batting, square face up).

The folded and pressed sides should meet each other in the center.....

Pin or clip all layers together.  (I'm really loving these much easier to use than pins for projects like this.)

Sew around all four sides with a very scant 1/4" seam....

After it's sewed together, clip the corners just a little (this will reduce bulkiness once we turn the coaster inside out.....

Now turn your coaster inside out and it should look like this.....

To finish, topstitch/sew around the entire coaster using a very narrow 1/8" approximate seam.

Slip the base of your wine glass into the coaster opening.....

The coaster will just stay with the wine glass wherever it goes....isn't this a cute idea?

Just flip it over and now it's a regular coaster suitable for your coffee cup in the morning.  When I showed it to my husband, he jokingly asked..."Do you REALLY have to turn it over to use it with a mug?"  :) :) :)

I quickly stitched together a set of four to give to my daughter.

Until next time!  Keep sewing!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Austin's Birthday Quilt Show and Tell

Back in January my grandson Austin celebrated his 13th birthday.  I started having difficulty accessing my blog to post updates just about the time I was getting ready to reveal his birthday quilt to all of you.  The reveal is a few months late, but hope you enjoy it anyway.

Benartex put out an adorable line of fabrics called "Buried Treasure".  Making a quilt for a 13 year old boy can be difficult...he's not a kid anymore, but not quite a man either.  I felt this fabric line was bright, fun and "cool" enough for a teenager but not too childish.

This is a picture I took one morning as the sun was shining through the window and hitting the quilt so beautifully while on the quilting frame.

The quilting design I used is called Fern Gully by Urban Elementz.  I think it looks a little bit like seaweed or maybe even ocean waves, or palm trees on the tropical islands.....perfect!

How the quilting design shows up on back...

Hanging over my banister before boxing it up to mail to Tennessee.

Isn't SKYPE a wonderful thing?  Otherwise, this Grandma would not have been able to watch her grandson as he opened this special birthday gift.  

I must admit, it is a bit funny when I realize that I'm taking a photo of my computer screen in order to get a photo of Austin opening his gift.  Can you see me in the bottom left corner holding my camera?  hahaha

Family members hold the quilt up behind him.....

Thankfully my oldest daughter (and Austin's mom) was using her camera also and was able to capture him reading the label on back....

Close-up of label....

My favorite photo.....

Austin made a comment to his mom that the quilting made it look like the water was moving in waves on his quilt.  Now, in my opinion, if a 13 year old boy notices the quilting on his gift, then he is ONE SPECIAL GRANDSON and will probably be the recipient of more quilts through the years from this Grandma!!!!

Until next time...keep quilting and sewing!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Simply Classic Table Runner Pattern

My 4th of July weekend was mainly spent in my sewing room.  My daughters all had plans to celebrate with their friends so dear hubby and I spent a relatively quiet weekend.

One evening I pulled out my little box of scrap 3 1/2" triangles and another little box holding my scrap 2" squares and started to play.  This is the result of my playtime....

Simply Classic by Theresa Litz
18" x 42" Table Runner
Supplies Needed:

24 - Red 3 1/2" Half Square Triangles (Accuquilt Go Die #55009)
24 - Neutral 3 1/2" Half Square Triangles
     *Other Cutting Techniques:  Cut 3 7/8" squares, then cut on the diagonal once to get 3 1/2" Half                                                       Square Triangles.  
       Of, if using the Easy Angle Ruler, cut HST's from 3 1/2" wide strips of fabric.

48 - Brown 2" squares (Accuquilt Go Die #55022)
48 - Neutral 2" squares
3 - 1 1/2" x Width Of Fabric strips Brown for inner border (Accuquilt Go Die #55024)
3 - 1 1/2" x WOF strips Neutral for middle border
3 - 1 1/2" x WOF strips Red for outer border

1)  Sew Red and Neutral 3 1/2" HST's together.

Make 24 Red and Neutral Blocks....once sewn together, they should measure 3 1/2" square.

Press toward the red fabric.

2)  Sew a Brown and Neutral 2" Square together.  Press toward the brown fabric.

Sew the Brown and Neutral 2" squares into 4-patch units.

Make 24 - 4-patch Blocks....once sewn together, they should
measure 3 1/2" square.

3)  Using your pieced 3 1/2" Red/Neutral HST Squares and your 3 1/2" Brown/Neutral 4-patch Blocks.  Assemble as per diagram.

Make 12 - once sewn together, this unit should measure 6 1/2".

4)  Assemble 4 of these 6 1/2" Blocks per diagram.

Make 3 - once sewn together, this block should measure 12 1/2"

5)  Sew the 3 completed 12 1/2" blocks together.

6)  Brown (First) Border

Using two -  1 1/2" WOF Brown strips, cut 2 strips that are 36 1/2" long and sew to both long sides of table runner.

Then using remaining 1 1/2" WOF Brown strip, cut 2 strips that are 14 1/2" long.  Sew to both short sides.

7)  Neutral (Middle) Border

Using two -  1 1/2" WOF Neutral strips, cut 2 strips that are 38 1/2" long and sew to both long sides.

Then with remaining 1 1/2" WOF Neutral strip, cut 2 strips that are 16 1/2" long and sew to both short ends.

8)  Red (Outer) Border

Using two - 1 1/2" WOF Red strips, cut 2 strips that are 40 1/2" long and sew to both long sides.

With remaining 1 1/2" WOF Red strip, cut 2 strips that are 18 1/2" long and sew to both short ends.

Now just quilt and bind in your desired style.

Would you like to experiment with your own color choices?  Copy and print this blank version that I created just for that purpose.

After completing this project, I am wishing that my scrap box had held enough blue scraps to have exchanged the brown for blue...then I would have a lovely Patriotic table runner for the next holiday.  Oh well, I guess I can always make another one. :)

Happy Quilting!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Quilted Plastic Bag Keeper Tutorial


One of my daughters recently asked if I could make a plastic bag keeper for her home.  I'd never made one before, but figured it couldn't be very difficult.  I looked online and found all kinds of bag keeper patterns. Some looked so complicated that I just shook my head...some very cute but time consuming (maybe something I would want to make when I had more time).  In the end, I decided to just go for it and create my own.  Really, how wrong could I go...right?  :) :)  I know I could spend time and piece adorable quilt blocks together (and I probably will one day), but for now....I NEED SIMPLE AND QUICK!!!!

Since my daughter's home is completely decorated in a beach theme, I searched through my fabric stash and found some fabric that looks like water - maybe even ocean waves if you use your imagination! :)


I will give a couple of options simply because I believe you should use what you have on hand and not feel a need to run to the store to buy specific sizes, amounts, etc. :)

Focal Fabric:  At least 18" x 18" and up to about 20" x 20" 
Coordinating Fabric:  2 strips that are at least 2 1/2" wide (up to 3 1/2") wide x's the measurement of your                   focal fabric.  (Example:  If your focal fabric is 18" square, you will need two strips 2 1/2" x 18")
Batting:  At least an inch or two larger than your focal fabric on all sides.
Backing:  Same size as Batting (this won't end up showing, so don't worry about beauty with this piece)
Elastic:  One piece approx. 12" long 
             One piece approx. 10" long
             Can use elastic 1/4" wide up to 3/4" wide
One piece 8" - 10" long ribbon for loop to hang your plastic bag keeper

1)  Sandwich/Layer your Backing Fabric face down, then batting, then Focal Fabric face up.  (OOPS..........I forgot to take a photo of this step...the photo below was taken after I had quilted and trimmed the pieces even.  Just pretend the Backing and Batting pieces are an inch larger around than the Focal Fabric. :) )

2)  Quilt any way you desire.  I didn't want to pull out my newer machine JUST to be able to free motion stipple/meander, I decided to just sew straight lines on the diagonal using my vintage machine.  I didn't even worry about the fact there was no "walking foot".   It may not be perfect, but it will do for this project. :)

Trim away the excess batting and backing fabric.

3)  Next, take your two strips of coordinating fabric and press it in half, just like you would when making your binding for a quilt.

4)  Just like machine sewing binding to the top of a quilt, use a 1/4" seam and sew one strip to the top of your "bag keeper" and one strip to the bottom.

5)  Take your "bag" to your ironing station and PRESS the sewn binding/coordinating strip AWAY from the "bag".  The binding creates a "sleeve" you will be "threading" your elastic pieces through to make the top and bottom of your "bag".

At this point, your "bag" should look something like this......

6)  Now comes the fun part....threading your elastic through the top and bottom binding strips.

The longest piece of elastic goes in the top binding sleeve.  (Bigger opening to push bags inside.)
The shortest piece of elastic goes in the bottom binding sleeve.  (Smaller opening to pull bags out.)

I find that it makes the job pretty easy if I use a safety pin on one end of the elastic to feed and guide it through the binding sleeve.  :)

You can either sew a couple stitches or pin each end of the elastic to the edges of your bag.  I personally just sew down each end of the elastic to the opposite edges of the binding sleeves to hold everything in place and prevent me form pulling my hair out while I continue with the project. :)

Your bag will look like this once elastic is in both ends......

7)  Another fun part....turn your "bag" with right sides facing each other and very carefully pin the LONG side together.  I use lots of pins for this because the bag won't lay flat with the elastic in place and lots of pins makes my life easier.

 BEFORE PINNING THE TOP OF YOUR BAG.....grab the piece of ribbon to make your hanging loop.  Fold it double and push the loop end INSIDE your "bag" directly underneath the TOP binding strip.

Can you see the ends of my white ribbon poking out of my "bag" below?  :) :)

9)  Almost finished!  Just sew your "bag" together from Top to Bottom.  (I decided to go back and forth a few times with my stitches over my ribbon loop just to make it stronger.)

10)  Turn your finished Plastic Bag Keeper inside out and it's ready to hang and use!

Okay, you may be wondering "Why go to the trouble of QUILTING 3 layers to make a plastic bag keeper?"  "Why not just use a single piece of fabric and do the same thing?  

Well...I guess you could...but I must say that I am REALLY IMPRESSED with how this bag keeper holds its shape and has a quality, sturdy, well constructed feel to it.  I can only imagine that using a single piece of fabric would be very flimsy and floppy looking.

In the end, my daughter is thrilled with her new bag keeper and it makes me feel good knowing I made my child happy.
Until next time!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Free Instructions for my Quilt Neighbors Lap Quilt

QUILT NEIGHBORS, designed by Theresa Litz
63" x 66" Finished

It's completely FINISHED....quilting, binding and label!  As a reminder, I started this project as part of my local quilt guild's Design Challenge. 

Those of you who follow my blog probably thought I had disappeared from the face of the earth because of my lack of blog posts since January.  I still have no clue what happened, but my computer would not allow me to post any writing or photos, etc. to this blog.  In fact, even now it is a gamble whether or not I can access my own blog.  I tried at least 10 times this morning before finally getting through with this latest attempt.  So now I'm typing as fast as I can and hoping I can finish the post and add what needs to be added before it stops working again.

EQ7 Design Sheet
57" x 66"

***Important Note:  Can you see the difference in the photo of my finished quilt compared to my original EQ7 design?  The difference is that I added a "green grass" sashing strip ABOVE the top row of House & Tree blocks...and also BELOW the bottom row of blocks. 

If you prefer to add these two extra sashing strips....understand you will need MORE fabric than the yardage given below.

Basic Fabric Yardage Requirements for EQ7 Version:

No yardage amounts are provided for the "House" and "Tree" blocks simply because the intent is to use scraps.  Patterns containing rotary cutting instructions for these two blocks are shared below.

1/2 yards of a bright green fabric is needed for the "grass" sashing strips between each horizontal row.   Cut these strips 3 1/2" WOF

1/2 yards of yellow fabric is needed for inner border.  Cut strips 2" WOF

1 yard of red fabric is needed for outer border.  Cut strips 3 1/2" WOF

I'm really hoping that you are able to view the following attachments clearly.  They provide the rotary cutting instructions for the scrappy House blocks and scrappy Tree blocks.....

Picture tutorial for constructing the House Block can be found here:  HOUSE BLOCK 12 1/2" x 12 1/2"

Page 2 of House Block Rotary Cutting Instructions.....

Please note that the "quilt" on each of the House blocks (section F) will accomodate any design you choose as long as the block is 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" square (unfinished, prior to piecing the entire House block together).

Although my finished quilt uses a Modified 9-patch block within the construction of all the House blocks, I personally think it would be much cuter if each house showcased a different quilt block within the construction.

My picture tutorial for the Tree block can be found here:  TREE BLOCK 6 1/2" x 12 1/2"

Tree Trunk......

***Note, if you find yourself having difficulty obtaining the correct finished size of the Tree block
(6 1/2" x  12 1/2" unfinished) may be easier to cut the neutral rectangles just a smidgen larger.... then if the totally assembled Tree block is slightly too large, you can easily trim it and square it up to the appropriate size of 6 1/2" x 12 1/2".

When quilting, I used a pantograph design called Snapdragons - Grande from Urban Elementz

Now I'm going to cross my fingers that my computer allows me to actually upload this post to my blog.  Only time will tell if I'm successful! :)

Until the next time....Happy Quilting!