Woven Bubbles Pattern Available

I am happy to announce that my newest pattern, 

Cut Loose Pattern from Checker Distributorsis available through your local quilt shops!

I so like to design patterns to share my love of quilting with others. 
The name of my blog and pattern business reflects what I have always wanted quilters to know about making a quilt: "Patchwork is a Breeze!"
Teaching classes at local quilt shops, my goal was to show people that there isn't always one way to construct a quilt, but many ways, some easier than others, making construction a breeze.

Have you heard about Cut Loose Patterns?
Presently there are almost 400 patterns they can print. 
The patterns are printed on demand when a shop orders them. 
The shop name is included on the pattern, which is a good reference for the quilter regarding fabrics, or tools and where they were purchased.
We designers create a pattern, include construction illustrations,
and a photo of the finished project which all has to fit on two sides 
of a heavy 8-1/2" x 11" piece of paper (tagboard). 
Not much storage space needed. 
Storage is simple, patterns have punched holes so they can be put in a binder.

Cut Loose Patterns has a 4 inch, D-ring binder that can be purchased from your local quilt shop. It comes with a set of 12 pre-printed tabs that correspond with the tabs on the patterns, so you can easily file patterns in the appropriate section. 

The price is great, usually less than $4.00 USD.
While these patterns may be written primarily for the beginner or confident beginner, 
that hasn't stopped me (as an advanced quilter) from purchasing with designs I like.

One thing I like and appreciate about the printing process is that there is an invisible-type watermark on the cards. If the pattern is copied on a copy machine, the watermark shows, letting people know it was copied and not purchased. I hope this helps designers hold on to the integrity of the patterns we work so hard to design.

I will continue to design patterns and share my newest with you as they become available. 

Thanks for visiting. 
Happy Quilting in the New Year!


Post-Christmas Sewing

I had a nice Christmas. I took a few weeks off from blogging to get things ready for the holidays. Our daughter and son-in-law were flying in a week before Christmas. We took some short trips with them to visit friends and relatives. We also visited relatives on the east side of the state. I was on the go more than I thought. This morning I slept in an extra hour--I was worn out!

I got back into sewing projects this afternoon. I made 13 bowl cozies for a craft shop where I sell some of my handmade items. There was a call for bowl cozies and I had the fabrics cut, so all I had to sew were the darts and finish them off. These are the fabrics. There are 4 each of some of them.

I had not cleaned my bobbin case when I last sewed. My machine was sounding quite loud. Here is what I found and spent about 10 minutes cleaning out! So much lint--mostly from sewing batting strips together for the cat kennel quilts I made before Christmas.

Speaking of kennel quilts, my plan is to deliver them to Bellwether Harbor on Wednesday this week. I hope to get some photos. And I told Marie, a fellow Island Batik Ambassador, that I would again link the Kennel Quilt information from The Quilt Pattern Magazine HERE. "TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team is a volunteer organization sponsored by The Quilt Pattern Magazine (TQPM) that is available when disasters strike. It is a way to join a larger effort to help our animal friends in times of need by doing what we love. TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team supplies kennel quilts to shelters."

I plan to put away Christmas decorations in between sewing for Island Batik's January project, New Beginnings, and the Four-in-Art challenge due February 1, 2017.  Gosh that new year is fast approaching! 

What projects do you have planned for 2017? Is anyone joining Merry Mayhem's New Year's Day Mystery Quilt? The cutting directions are up and I have to choose my fabrics.


Kennel Quilts

The other day I sewed one kennel quilt for the Island Batik Ambassador project for December. 
I mentioned in that post how I was using my scraps of batting and fabric along with fleece to make them.That post can be found HERE.

This is the kennel quilt I made this evening. I think by the end of the week I will have 5 to bring to Bellwether Harbor for the cat kennels.

To follow up on the snow, we ended up with a foot of snow--the wet, heavy kind. 
Glad we have a snowblower!

Are you sewing this week?


Snowing Means Sewing

I know it is snowing in many parts of the U.S. today and many areas have had or will have heavy accumulations of snow. The warm waters of Lake Michigan sometimes make it difficult for the weather forecasters to predict how much snow various areas of West Michigan will get. We could get 4 inches and 10 miles away they could get 10 inches! When I wake up in the morning I'll see what we have here. 

These are photos of our deck right now. We had about 6 inches from the other day, but it looks like 12 inches now (and it is still snowing steadily). 
(I left the tomato cages and pots on the deck this fall.)

(And the chair was left out!)

Whatever the amounts, the silence and peacefulness on a snowy night like tonight is wonderful.

After church, a day like today meant staying in and relaxing at the sewing machine. Our meals were leftovers, so I accomplished much while sewing. 

The Island Batik Ambassadors are working on items to Give this month. 
I am using Island Batiks scraps from this past year's projects as well as my batting scraps to make kennel quilts for Bellwether Harbor Animal Shelter and Training Center. Which is located in our county of residence. 

Their mission statement says: "We are dedicated to the health and well-being of the abandoned, abused and neglected dogs and cats coming into our shelter, preparing them for their adoption with people looking for forever companionship. We do this through medical care, socialization, training, and sometimes rehabilitation.
We work with people looking to adopt our animals by helping them to find the dog or cat that is the best fit with their lifestyle. We do this through an interview process, multiple visits, education and training.
Our ultimate goal is to encourage and support the human animal bond."
The kennel quilts are for the cats. 
I am zig-zag stitching the batting strips together. 

I sewed the Island Batik scraps in crazy quilt style onto the batting. I opened each sewn piece, ran a row of stitching down the piece (about center), then added the next piece. 

I trimmed the crazy quilt section to 14" x 18" and cut a piece of fleece the same size. I sewed the 2 sections right sides together, rounding the corners and leaving an opening for turning out. 

I top-stitched the opening closed as I went around the entire quilt using a zig-zag stitch.
I will make more tomorrow as I predict the snow will be deep and I would rather stay home!


Mug Rug Christmas Exchange

This evening our quilt guild had their annual Christmas potluck. We enjoy appetizers and desserts at the potlucks. Then we have a fun gift exchange.

This year we were to bring a mug and a matching mug rug that we made. I had chosen my mug a few months before, but really pondered about the mug rug design. I found an embroidery at Embroidery Library, Inc. called Koi Circle which was just the thing for the mug rug.

I found the fabric colors that would go with the mug. All the fabrics are Island Batik fabric scraps I had. The mug rug measures 7" x 11". 

I layered the top and batting on the larger solid piece of Island Batik ginko print in red. 

Quilting didn't need to be extensive because the piece is small. I slowly stitched around the circle with my walking foot. I threaded the starting and ending tread tails in a sewing needle, pulled the threads to the back and knotted them. I could lift the red side piece to tie the threads because I hadn't quilted the straight seams yet.

I stitched in the ditch of the seams between the red and blue sections. 

I didn't have any more of any of these fabrics for a binding. I brought the backing around to the front, pressing, pinning and hand stitching the binding down. Finally I stitched a label on the back. 

Sue got my gift. She used to have koi in a pond in her yard, so she really liked it. 

All of the mugs and mug rugs were spectacular. This is the gift I got in the exchange from Denise. 
Looking forward to hot chocolate in the morning. 

If you belong to a guild, do your members have a gift exchange? 


Sew With Me: Seasonal Pathways

Today I invite you to sew with me.

In October, I designed and made a table topper for the Island Batik Ambassador Pumpkin Fest.
Some readers expressed an interest in how it was made, asking if there was a pattern. In October, I created it as I sewed. Today I am giving you the details on how I made it, with measurements, steps and photos. I am sharing it with everyone as a Christmas table topper. I named it Seasonal Pathways.

It is a simple, straight-forward pattern. Scraps can be used, or strips cut from yardage. In fact, in today's share, I cut some strips from a striped Christmas fabric. (Change out the fabrics for a different season.) All the fabrics I used have some shiny gold in them.

Let's start!

  • Round up 12 pieces of fabric that work well together. Cut 12 strips  1-1/2" x 12-1/2" and 24 strips 1-1/2" x 6-1/2".
  • Cut 2 squares (6-1/2" x 6-1/2") of fabric for two opposite corners that will stand out from all the strips. (My corners read as a solid with some gold.) 
  • Cut 2 binding strips 2-1/2" x WOF.
  • You will need basic sewing supplies, including a rotary cutter, ruler (6" x 24" is good), maybe a 12-1/2" squaring ruler or a mat with graph lines.
  • Thread that blends with your fabrics for sewing.
  • Thread for quilting. 
  • Batting piece (scrap will work) 14" x 26"
  • Backing fabric (14" x 26")
  • A design to fuse to the 2 corner squares OR an embroidery design (machine or hand). 
  • Fusible for the design. 
If you are using an embroidery design, embroider on a larger piece of corner fabric (to account for any pulling in with embroidery) and trim down to 6-1/2" square size. 

The fabrics are cut, so on to sewing:

Arrange the 12 long strips in a pleasing plan.

Sew the long edges of the strips together. 

You can press after each seam; but, I have The Strip Stick which allows me to press one seam at a time and not interfere with any other seams. I get no curving or distortion when pressing the seams. (I have no affiliation with the company.) Press the seams in one direction.

Lay out 6 shorter strips as shown below. In each set, I did not want the short gold strip adjacent to the long gold strip on the left, or the greens touching on the right side. I arranged them that way first and the joint stuck out like a sore thumb! I put green next to gold on each side. 
Sew. Repeat for the second set. Press.

Sew the 6-1/2" squares to each 6 strip set as in photo below. 

I added a fused embellishment, but I could have used a fussy cut square of fabric and made a little less work for myself. I used a soft gold rayon embroidery thread and a tiny zig-zag stitch around the flower. 

Layer backing, batting and top. Stitch on the side of the seam, opposite the pressed seam, starting in the center block. I went down one seam, turned the piece and stitched through the next seam, toward one end of the topper. 

Sew the shorter strips, starting at the edge, pivot where the strip joins the center, stitch along the center seam. 

Turn the piece and sew back toward the edge. Continue along all strips. Repeat for the other side. 
I did not quilt in the corner sections, but one could.

Trim so the topper edges are straight. Add binding.

If one sews the center section and one side, a placemat could be made for the table. 
I hope you like the pattern and make a table topper.