Monday, June 29, 2015

Profile Quilt - A tutorial

I promised you all a tutorial a while back for the profile quilt I made for a school auction for my daughter's Montessori school...and I'm finally here to deliver.  This idea is perfect for charity quilts like I did, teacher's gifts with her students, a family tree sort of quilt, or really any way you can think of putting profiles on a quilt or frame.

Profile Quilt


This quilt can be customized to any size, given the block size, the profile size, and the number of profiles that you want to include.  So my directions will be slightly generic on actual cutting instructions (though I'll tell you approximately what I did).  I just want you to know that it is adaptable to your needs.

Materials:

Fabric - I used a number of solid color fat quarters that is approximately 1/2 the number of profiles.  So in my case, since I have 25 profiles I need about 13 fat quarters.  *this size worked for the size profile I used, but remember to adjust this amount if you are drastically changing the size of anything

Printable Fusible - I used a product by June Tailor that allowed me to print out pictures on a fusible that I could apply to the fabric. I needed a printable paper backed two sided fusible and this is what I found.  It was a bit of money to get as many sheets as I did but well worth it I think.  Follow the instructions on the product.
Profile Quilt

Photo Editing Software and Camera - Any camera and software will do.  I took my pictures with my good camera and edited them using picasa.

Basic Sewing Materials - Iron, Thread, Scissors, etc.


Directions:

1.  Take individual photos of children all facing one direction (to the side for the a profile).  To make sure that the kids were all looking exactly the same way, I had another kid stand in one spot that they all looked at.  It worked well and helped keep them focused.

2.  Edit the photos of the children so that their heads are all approximately the same size when printed on a piece of paper.  I didn't go crazy over this but just eye balled it.  The pattern allows for plenty of room for error here.  OR in contrast, deliberately make the profiles different sizes for another effect. *note that we will end up with the image in reverse on the quilt, so be sure you are okay with that or reverse your image digitally now.

Profile Quilt


3.  Change your pictures to Black and White for easy contrast when cutting and less ink waste when printing.  Be sure your pictures fit nicely on an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper (this is the size of the June Tailor printable fusible)

Profile Quilt


4.  Print out each child's face on the June Tailor Fusible.  I found the the paper curled a bit on itself due to the amount of ink being put of the paper fusible side.  So I printed one at a time and laid them out to dry flat on the floor.  *Don't worry about any imperfections in the printing.  Ultimately you just need the outline.

Profile Quilt

5.  Follow the manufacturer's instructions and iron on the printed profiles to a piece of fabric.  I trimmed down the printable a bit to waste as little fabric as possible.  I also used a pressing cloth to help protect my iron.

Profile Quilt


6.  Sit yourself down in front of the tv and put on a good show and break out your cutting scissors.  It is time to cut out every single profile.  Try to get as much personality as possible in the profile without making pieces that will be impossible to stitch down...you might find this particularly necessary around their hair.

My first profile! 25 more to cut out...who wants to help? ��


7. Lay out the placement of the blocks and colors. I used one profile per block and I *think* the blocks were 10" x 12" but don't quote me on that.  Whatever looks good to you. I chose to do an opposing loose rainbow theme with my colors and profiles and I really love how that turned out.  But school colors would be a great idea too...or black and white.  Whatever floats your boat.  

Okay! I think I'm liking this layout. Rainbow but not *too* rainbow. Now to iron them all in the center and stitch each down...



8. Remove the backing and iron profiles onto the background fabric.  I centered the profiles on the blocks by marking the center on both pieces and lining them up.

Profile Quilt

Profile Quilt


9.  Then it is time for "hard" part.  Stitch each profile down around the edges.  I changed my thread for almost every one and just used a slow and steady hand.  I find that an open toe applique foot works well because I can see where I need to go next.   This is definitely the bulk of the work for your quilt right here. 

Sometimes you want high five yourself! �� #montessoricharityquilt #profiles

Profile Quilt


10. And now an easy step!  Just sew all the blocks together.  Rows and columns...however you like.  And you will have a finished quilt top!!

Profile Quilt


Profile Quilt


11.  Then do the usual baste, quilt and bind as desired!  The amazing Penny Barnes quilted this for me and has my unending gratitude.  She truly has super hero powers.


Profile Quilt


Profile Quilt


Profile Quilt

Profile Quilt



I hope you all find this useful and that there are lots of profile quilts out there after this!  The teachers LOVED it and could spot each student immediately from their profile.  They ended up being the ones to win the quilt and it will be at the school.  I sort of totally love that. 


Profile Quilt

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

For Keeps


Today I am so happy to share with you all a wonderful new book written by a wonderful person. (I love when the people I love are legitimately good at what they do!) My dear friend Amy Gibson of sticherydickorydock just released her first book, For Keeps, and I just HAD to share it with you.


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Amy's book is PERFECT for beginners (she has a real heart for teaching everyone how to quilt and sew) and so her book has a dense section called " A Patchwork Primer".  It is filled with instruction after instruction on how to everything from piecing basics to foundation and paper piecing.  It's a great resource for anyone looking for a comprehensive list of "basic" techniques. 


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But truly my FAVORITE part of Amy's book is the meat of it I think...and that is the next two sections, entitled Memory Makers and Memory Keepers.  

Her concept is how some quilts are used in our lives and literally become part of our memory of the event.  Movie night with the kids?  Pull out the Popped Quilt (seen above and on the cover).  Dinner with friends?  Throw a quilt over the table as a table cloth or spread it at the picnic.  Her quilt Potluck is perfect for that!


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And after you have made memories, sometimes you want to create a quilt to KEEP the memories. "These projects are intended to help preserve the memories of times gone by  - to honor those things that are worthy of honor, and bring these stories to life in a practical and beautiful way."
Her section titled, Memory Keepers, is filled with projects that do just that.


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Amy also has a second site set up just for the book, Quilts For Keeps, and the premise behind the book.  As she says:

"Why do you sew? Who do you sew for? Does your patchwork give you joy, and bring your family together? We’re refocusing our hearts and committing ourselves to a more thoughtful mindset when it comes to our quilting and sewing intentions. Make a statement and join this uplifting campaign!"


Amy's heart is truly in the right place when it comes to sewing.  She is sewing with intention and purpose.  She is doing it to bring more beauty to the world (she and I see so eye to eye on this!)

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And Amy even has a fabulous free tutorial for a darling house block available if you go to her site, Quilt for Keeps, and take the pledge.  Plus you can make a few charity blocks and send them to Amy who will be sewing quilts for Charity with them.  She's putting her money where her mouth is.  




Oh and by the way, if you didn't think Amy was already super talented, let me tell you that she is the force behind this book in so many ways.  Amy was the main photographer for her book and sourced her own props and locations and of course models (many of them family!) to showcase in the book.  It is truly HER story.  A rare thing to get in a book these days. 

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So hop on over to her site and take the pledge, buy her book, or just spread the word about this lovely lady.  She's the real deal in every way.  


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Kansas City

This past weekend I had the pleasure of presenting and teaching to the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild.  It was a fun and busy weekend and I loved getting to know the women and men of the guild. I had some of the crazy tales of travel including a mad dash across an airport to catch my connecting flight (which only proved to me that I need to start exercising again).  And somehow I was in the last row on all of my flights.  Who knows. lol


KCMQG


I gave a presentation on the night I got in to the whole guild.  It was great to see such a large active guild.  They were a delightful and attentive audience...and hopefully they enjoyed what I shared with them.

KCMQG


I spent the next couple of days teaching two different classes.  The first day was a longer class in which we tackled one of of the quilts from my book, A Quilter's Mixology.  Everyone worked on the Nine Patch Curves Pattern and a few even got pretty darn close to finishing it.  There are 40 curves to sew in this quilt, so that is some power sewing!

KCMQG



I explored the city a bit and was lucky to be staying near Kansas City's famed Plaza.  Little did I know that Kansas City is also well known for all of its fountains.  I enjoyed seeing them all and even found a few little gems such as this one.

KCMQG


The second day of classes, I taught my recently released free pattern, Adorla (available on Robert Kaufman's site).  I was able to show them how to use an Accuquilt machine to cut the Drunkard's Path curves quickly and accurately.

KCMQG



This project is great for those new to curves because the curves are large and gentle.  And the blocks are offset for minimal matching.  Plus! There are not as many curves to sew because of the large amount of negative space in the quilt.  All in all, a perfect quilt for a shorter class.

KCMQG


Here I am individually demoing my curves sewing technique.  Thanks to all of those whom I stole pictures from. ;)

KCMQG



There were so many great versions of the quilt being made!  I can't wait to see them all finished and quilted.  I don't think that these will stay UFOs for very long.  

KCMQG

KCMQG




KCMQG


I forgot to grab too many pictures on the first day of classes, but I did take more on the second.  And I was happy to get the whole group together for a picture during the Adorla class.  A janitor sweetly took this for us and we had spent so much time getting arranged for the picture that we forgot to grab our curve blocks to show.  lol  We were just all having too much fun.

KCMQG

I can safely say that all the women in my classes are officially NOT afraid of curves!  And I'm so excited to see what they will tackle next.  May I suggest something from my book? ;)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Fabric Backed Bookcase Free Pattern

Goodness!  When it rains, it pours!  Ironically today ANOTHER great free tutorial/pattern of mine is also available now.

This time it is with Pellon and their EZ Steam II product plus some fabulous Anna Maria Horner fabric from Free Spirit fabrics.




I take you step by step how to apply the EZ Steam II to the fabric and then apply it to the bookcase to create a truly customized piece of furniture.  Your only limit is your imagination and deciding on the fabric you LOVE.  This is a way to revamp an old piece of furniture into something new or make a big box store piece look like something special.

I've never loved my bookcases more!



Check out the free downloadable pattern HERE.

Adorela : Free Pattern

Hey all!  I just wanted to let you know that the pattern for my quilt Adorela (formerly known as The Orla) is now available for download on the Robert Kaufman site.




This was designed using Kona solids and all of the amounts and color names are listed in the pattern.  It also is compatible with the Accuquilt 7" Drunkard's Path Die for easy cutting (though templates are also provided!). The finished quilt measures 50" x 60" and is my homage to the amazing designs of the epic Orla Kiely.

This is a great block that makes use of my technique of one pin curved sewing and trimming for disappearing seams.  I explore both of these techniques at length in my book, A Quilter's Mixology and my DVD on Curved Piecing...so for more tips check out those resources.

And just as a teaser, I also made myself a scrappy background version. (though the directions are not currently available for that, it can be done!)


So go check out the pattern at Robert Kaufman and make one of your own today!  Who doesn't love a free pattern?!


Monday, June 8, 2015

My Small World QAL - My short journey

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I was looking recently for a project to kind of move me out of a sewing slump and so I decided to drink the kool aid over on IG and participate in a QAL going on there.  People are coming in droves to make an epic quilt (as they all are) of Jen Kingwell's.  It is in the special recent issue of Quiltmania and is call My Small World.  

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But me being me, I couldn't just make it the way it is pictured in the magazine.  As much as I love low volume fabrics, seeing them used for the "sky" just reminded of gloomy overcast days.  And we have too many of those for me to spend time making a quilt with one.  So I decided to approach it from a different time of day and knew that a NIGHT sky would be perfect for me.  I made it just as scrappy as I could (I have a LOT of blue fabrics!) and I am thrilled with how it turned out.


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Then I set off on making the first set of buildings...at this point I am *maybe* half way through section 1 of 7 I think of this quilt.  And I have already spent a VERY long time on this.  If you are familiar with these fabrics then you might be able to tell the scale.  If not, I should have put a penny on there.  Those little night sky pieces?  They finish to 1" square.  Uhm, yeah....  that's small. And as you can see I was doing enough fussy cutting to add some extra challenge to it all.

So....my plans changed....

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I have to let this project go.  I'm admitting that this is not the project that I need right now.  It kind of kills me because I love it...but it was NOT relaxing me the way I wanted a project to.  And it was taking MUCH more time than I planned on giving a side project.  

Thankfully I was able to pass it all on to someone who is planning on finishing up what I started and was having a hard time finding the magazine.  So my work will hopefully not all be in vain.  The quilts people are making are beautiful.  (check them out under the # mysmallworldqal) I think I actually have too much fabric right now to make a quilt this small with this many different fabrics.  I don't know if that will make sense to anyone else but me.  

It was fun while it lasted...sometimes.. ;)  But I had to be honest with myself and my time and goals.  And unfortunately I could not do more than dabble with this one.  You might remember that my word for the year is DELIBERATE.  I am really trying to hold on to that and not do anything that I am not choosing to do for a good reason.  And my pride on saying that this is too much for me is not a good enough reason to keep sewing it.  But hey, Elsa has taught us all to "Let it Go".  And I think it's important to take advice from animated characters.  ;) 

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