Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Make a Lined Drawstring Bag for gift giving!

Marny here…our DSMMQG had it's yearly November social meeting last week.  We exchange seasonal gifts using the tried and true "steal a gift technique". It was lots of fun! 

First, what I took to give
What's in the bag?

I made a drawstring bag to present my contribution using my purchased Jeni Baker's Lined Drawstring Bag pattern. The size was customized according to Jeni's instructions.
Checkout Jeni's great online tutorial here!
It seemed appropriate to select truly seasonal fabrics from my stash. Iowa, like much of the country, has already had snow(s)! We've definitely brought out mittens, scarves and hats.
I have had this bodkin for many years. I love it! It is so useful for pulling drawstrings, elastic, ribbons or whatever through a casing. 
Plus it is a fun word to pronounce.
A bodkin makes a great stocking stuffer for the sewists in you family!
If you go looking for one, you have two choices. One is a needle with a large eye. Mine is the other sort built on a tweezer concept. It has teeth on one end that you clamp onto the ribbon (by sliding the ring down till tight). 
Here is the adorable "what" that was in the bag!
I wish I could say that I made this cute (store bought) snowman!
Don't you love his shaggy texture?
Again with the mittens, scarves and hats!
Now, let me share the special gift I received at the exchange…
Look at this wonderful little pillow! Doris Brunette of Row House Creations made this using reverse appliqué and a hand stitched accent line! I love looking through the snowflake at a moment captured in time! 
Looks like it is going to be a long, cold winter. This little pillow will brighten my home! Thinking about the kind and generous members in our guild warms my heart!

Till Tuesday… 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tasty Measures Smooth Sewing

jill here...There's a new quilt shop in the area! Woodside Quilting opened in September.   Easy to get to on the north end of Des Moines; the shop is cute, fresh and has great classroom space!

Trina, who runs the shop during the week showed us around.  When a new Robert Kaufman ombre fabric arrived, I offer to make a Tasty Measures sample.

This is the folded ombre, RK Quilter's Linen background in the left corner with the batik focus on top.  The focus has those interesting luminous areas of yellow against the dark background.

 Robert Kaufman's pointillist ombre.

 This ombre transitions from dark to light (selvage to selvage); some ombre fabrics transition from one value in the center to the same on the outer edges.

The major portion of this one is in the red/ red orange range with small amounts of the very dark and light.  With larger segments radiating from the center, the sets are cut with the orange to dark on the bottom and orange to gold on the top.  There is extra fabric to allow for selection but one has to plan ahead.

 Ribbons of strip sets make the fabrication come together quite quickly.  Start to finish, the throw top was sewn together in 4 1/2 hours.

 I'll deliver to Trina this week! Trina is a wonderful long arm quilter so it will be fun to see how she makes her magic bring it to life.

Three good things about the cold: soup, sewing and basketball!  What are your favorites for this very long season ahead? 'till next Tuesday...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

We're in Quilts and More, Winter 2014

Check out the new Quilts and More!  It has lots of fun and easy projects, one of which is OURS.

Quilts and More, Winter 2014
The quilt is a baby sized sweet treat using a small jelly roll.  It's perfect for a fun collection, sashed in white to make it pop.

Easy as 1, 2, 3 project in Quilts and More. See it here.
Quilts and More did a great presentation of a more modern throw size.  How fun and easy is that?

Free pattern for their alternative found here.
Burr...stay warm until next Tuesday.  Time to sew!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Quilt Festival Houston 2014

Home again! We're back from a great week, feeling inspired and ready to get back to what we love to do -- designing and sewing!  Quilt Festival is a remarkable retail event filled with lovely people, shopping, ideas, and a stunning quilt show!
Modern Quilt Relish booth day 1. 

Simple layers of interest on the walls.

A little change each day.  

Love my little Raskog cart filled to the brim with kits and quilts. The new Olov adjustable legs allow me to have a counter height table for my computer in my workroom.  

Looking from the other corner.

Shopping opportunities too! Here are Oakshott ½ yards from Pinwheels. These yummy crossweaves have depth and sparkle and interest.  Can you hear them calling out "design me, sew me"? We can!

Till Tuesday…

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


jill here….On our way to Houston…

Recently, Iowa State University hosted Tibetan Monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery where they created the art form "Mandalas".  I had never seen or heard of this so it was an adventure in a beautiful product with a very interesting and intricate process.  Patience is the key!

There are several official steps in creating this art form.  An opening ceremony followed by the "drawing of the lines" starts the 4 day process.

Once the lines are drawn, the colored grains of sand are distributed with the tube tools shown on the left side of the photograph.  Each grain of sand is tapped out with a minute vibration into a colorful design.  The lines are carefully defined, working from the center out.  As you can see, the monks have to maintain this bending position, rotating and resting with the group.  They did rest at night, thank goodness.

These are the tools of their art.

Aren't the colors just beautiful?

A friend shared this photo of the completed Mandala.

Once the Mandala was completed, there was a closing ceremony and dispersal of the sand.  The final product, although short lived, illustrates that these designs don't last forever and we need to appreciate them in their brief time.  

Until next Tuesday….

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Simple Baby Quilt top completed

Marny here…the Simple Baby Quilt top is complete!  
To follow how it was made, click on the label "Simple Baby Quilt" in the label column and all the posts will appear. 
(10/7/14, 10/14/14, 10/21/14 with a bit of relevant information on 9/9/14)
The strip set segments stacked with giraffe background on either side.

Testing how the column of segments would look like with a "spacer" of color before the giraffe background begins.  Seems like a good idea.

1 ½'' x 48 ½'' strips of dark pink added.

Giraffe background added.
Left side strip is 8 ½'' x 48 ½'' and the right side strip is 20 ½" x 48 ½''.
I cut these length of fabric to avoid piecing.
The 8 ½'' background strip +  20 ½'' center column + 20 ½''  background strip = 48 ½'' (when sewn together)
This makes the Simple Baby Quilt a 48 ½'' x 48 ½'' square.  
To Review
Ingredients for the Simple Baby Quilt from Modern Quilt Relish
4 fat quartersCut a 6 ½'', 3 ½'', 2 ½'' and a 1 ½'' strip from each. They can be cut either along the 21'' length or the 18'' width. HERE are the directions for the strip sets.

Vertical spacer fabric (dark pink here): use 4 ½'' so ⅙ yard or ¼ yard. Cut 3 strips 1 ½'' x wof. Piece into 2 spacer strips 1 ½" x 48 ½".

Nondirectional background: 1 ⅞ yard.  2 strips 6 ½'' x wof and cut them at the fold for strip sets. (You'll actually use a total of this 13'' + 48 ½", start with 1 ⅞ yards so you have plenty for length of fabric cuts described.) Cut an 8 ½" x 48 ½" length of fabric strip and a 20 ½" x 48 ½" length of fabric strip.  
The term nondirectional means that the print works when seen from any direction and therefore can easily be used in strip sets and background pieces without regard for orientation.
Perfect for a baby or toddler in your life!

Till Tuesday!!! Quilt Festival here we come!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Simple Baby Quilt continued

Marny here…the Simple Baby Quilt is well underway now. (Worded another way, the quilt top is still not completed.)
On a positive note, the blocks and the arrangement have been decided upon since last week's post!

Strip Set Ingredients for the Simple Baby Quilt from Modern Quilt Relish

4 fat quartersCut a 6 ½'', 3 ½'', 2 ½'' and a 1 ½'' strip from each. They can be cut either along the 21'' length or the 18'' width. 

Nondirectional background:  2 strips 6 ½'' x wof and cut them at the fold for strip sets. (You'll actually use a total of this 13'' + 48'', so start with 1 ⅞ yards.) The term nondirectional means that the print works when seen from any direction and therefore can easily be used in strip sets and background pieces without regard for orientation.)

Sew a 6 ½'' strip of background to the color strips in this order; 6 ½'' to the 1 ½'' to the 2 ½'' to the 3 ½''. Following the picture is easier than following the words! Refer to the Table Runner Tutorial and the
Simple Baby Quilt Challenges post for more instruction.

Cut two 6 ½'' wide strips from each strip set. It is helpful to align the horizontal lines on the ruler along seam lines to keep cuts square.

Alternating the 6 ½'' strips from the strip sets with the background to the left and then to the right.
Creating blocks from placing strip sets in pairs

Pairs rearranged to have the yellows more centralized. My eye liked this better.
Till Tuesday!