About zippyquilts

I quilt for pleasure but I also teach and write about quilting.

10 Fun Items (that aren’t quilt books)

You probably know that I have loved getting to review quilt books for C&T this past year. What you may not know is that C&T has so much more than quilt books. Here are 10 of my favorites:

10. Diamond Star Quilts by Barbara H. Cline. It may look like a quilt book, but it’s actually a whole method for making those extremely elaborate-looking star quilts that most of us drool over. If you’ve been wanting to make one of those, this may be the tool for you.

9. Zakka Wool Applique by Minki Kim is full of very cute projects including baskets, bags, and home dec.  If you want to craft with “woolies” as my friends call them, this book has a number of cute and useful projects.

8. Kim Schaefer’s Calendar Candle Mats is a packet with full-size patterns for cute little mats made with fusible applique and embroidery.  She calls them candle mats, but I think they would be good mug rugs, too.  Presents for school teachers come to mind, and teachers certainly deserve gifts this year!

7. Who knew there was a puzzle book for quilters?!?  Yep, More Happy Quilter Variety Puzzles, Volume 3, is just such a book.  There are crosswords, logic puzzles, and more.

6. Everyday Embroidery for Modern Stitchers makes me want to take up embroidery again.  The book has iron-on transfer patterns included (I remember those from back in the day!).  The designs are intended to appeal to young people, but some of us “older” folks like them, too!

5.Botanical Embroidery, by Brian Haggard, is a packet with instructions and iron-on transfers for more traditional motifs.  The designs are gorgeous and would go especially well with heirloom projects. 

4. Bags!  C&T makes bags!  There’s everything from pouches to this large tote, all made from recycled water bottles.  They are water resistant and suitable for carrying things like pens and knitting needles that might poke through other bags.  Here’s the large holiday tote:

3.  The perfect hand applique paper, at last!  Oh, yes, it has every feature I want!  It is fusible on one side and, best of all, it is water soluble!  Yes!  Just iron it on, applique as usual, and the paper goes away when you wash your item.  This is some of the best news of the year for those of us who don’t like picking paper out of projects! 

2. The Foolproof Color Workbook is mostly a coloring book for adults with beautiful mandala-like designs to use for experimenting with color combinations.  It’s nice, but my very favorite color tool is the #1 item on this list.

And my #1: The Foolproof Color Wheel Set created by Katie Fowler is the best single tool I’ve seen for working with color.  There are 10 disks demonstrating the various ways in which colors can be combined (analogous, complementary, etc).  I like this because it simply cuts through all the color-related vocabulary that bogs people down (tints, shades, color triad, blah, blah) and provides concrete, visible examples. It is my favorite tool of the year.  If you struggle with choosing colors, I recommend it.

What is your favorite tool of the year?

A Quilt for A Man (or anyone)

It’s sometimes difficult to think of a quilt design to make for a man, and can be even more difficult to find fabrics that don’t seem too “girly” or cute. Leaving aside the options of fabrics featuring beer labels or half naked women, I thought muted blue and brown would be a good option.

And of course, Studio Stitch had the perfect fabric collection! Here’s the quilt:

And here’s a secret:  I used flannel (the 108″ wide backing flannel) for both the batting and the backing!  As you can see, it drapes beautifully.  An added advantage was that flannel sticks to itself pretty well, so there was no trouble with layers shifting when I quilted it.

Having made it, I wrote up the pattern for Studio Stitch. They will be offering it free with purchase. I don’t know details, so if you’re interested, go to  their website  and sign up for the newsletter and they’ll let you know.  (Newsletter signup is just below the big picture on the front page).

Have a good Thanksgiving and STAY SAFE!

Little Jewels

I found a quilt like this somewhere online, and you know I love improvised scrap quilts, so I just had to make it!  (Sadly, I have lost the link, so if you know where this came from originally, please let me know.)

It’s always a great idea to offset the intersecting seams!

My quilter was able to use Minky Dot for the backing and quilt it with no batting. That makes the quilt nice and cuddly without being too heavy.

I have been informed that the grandchildren prefer the quilts backed with polyester fleece for cuddling. The lighter weight of the quilt without batting also makes it ideal for dragging around the house or building forts and tents.

Polyester fleece can be a challenge to quilt because it stretches in at least one direction. The quilter told me that a midarm or long arm quilting machine does not have feed dogs, so stretching was not a problem, though the tension was a problem at times.  I suppose I could do free motion quilting with the feed dogs down on my domestic machine, but walking foot quilting might stretch the back.

Minky backing with no batting allows the quilt to drape nicely

Quilt stats:

Name: Quilted Jewels

Pattern source: anonymous picture on internet

Finished size: 46″ x 62″

Quilted by: Julia Madison

Another Scrap Quilt

This started as a “leaders and enders” project to intersperse a little play time with other projects. I cut some scraps into strips, joined the strips lengthwise, and cut across the strip sets to make multi-fabric strips.

The blocks finish 12″ square because I had a square ruler 12.5″ x 12.5″ at hand to trim them as I made them. They are set on point because “why not?”  The biggest challenge was making the setting triangles–of course it would be waaay too easy if one could just cut a regular block in half, but it doesn’t work that way!

If you want to know how to figure setting triangles, All People Quilt has an excellent chart that makes it easy. After starting with the chart, I recommend rounding up to the nearest inch (or centimeter).  The resulting triangle will fit into its space just fine but will stick out from the outer edge of the quilt.  Once the quilt is all sewn together you can just cut off the extra as you square up the top.

QUILT DETAILS

Name: Another Scrap Quilt

Finished size: 63” x 63”

Finished block size: 12” x 12”

Designed and pieced by me

Quilted by: Julia Madison

One thing I enjoy about scrap quilts is seeing lots of little bits from previous projects.  Some of those scraps are older than the age I feel 😀  

Perfect! A Book Review

If you have something but can’t find it, do you really have it?                              –Lilo Bowman

Love Your Creative Space, by Lino Bowman, turned out to be the perfect book at the perfect time for me.. When I read the sentence quoted above, it struck a nerve!

Photo courtesy of C&T

Here’s my stash of backing fabric before:

The fabric was folded and stacked, which made it hard to see.

I’m pretty sure some of that fabric hadn’t been touched in several years because I couldn’t see it and therefore didn’t know it was there.

And here’s the after:Fabrics are rolled so I can see and pull them out easily, and they are tagged with the size!  Woo!

Lilo’s book is about both studio design and organization.  I loved every part of it, but here are some favorites:

There are ideas on organization and storage for many types of creative supplies, not just quilting things.  She has many photos from real studios to give the reader ideas.

Photo courtesy of C&T

Some of the studio photos look to me like they were done by a decorator, which I am not!  And some were very realistic-looking in my opinion!

Photo courtesy of C&T

The book also addresses ergonomic studio design, including sewing machine set-up, which I found especially helpful.

Photo courtesy of C&T

.In addition to studio ideas for “most people”, Lilo discusses adaptations that many of us will need as we age, or simply as a result of our physical limitations.  There is one especially nice chapter on how one woman adapted to being partially paralyzed after a stroke.  

This is not just a book for quilters, though I found it very helpful in my quilting studio.  There is an emphasis on making the creative space attractive “without breaking the bank”, as the subtitle says.  You can learn more about the book here.

Note:  C&T sends me lots of books and I review my favorites so you don’t have to hunt around to find the best books.  Of course, “best” is my personal opinion 😀

It Happened This Way…

A friend and I made Pat Sloan’s weekly blocks for her Going on a Picnic quilt. It gave us something to look forward to when the blocks came out each Wednesday and we enjoyed exchanging pictures of our blocks. Here’s my finished quilt top, though some of the blocks are NOT what Pat designed. If I didn’t like hers, I just made my own.

Meanwhile, my husband and I decided to lease a house for part-time use near where our grandchildren live. It’s a long story and not about quilting, so I’m not elaborating here. However, it came to mind that the house might not have window coverings. So all my quilt backs got packed to move in case we need temporary “curtains”.

And then I finished the quilt top, now known as “The Elvis Quilt”.

Elvis on The Elvis Quilt

There was no quilt back available, and I wanted to get it to the quilter before the moving van arrived. Therefore, I took all the leftover fabric from the quilt top and combined it with leftover pieces from a gray quilt back, and here it is.

It took all day to do this, with time out for packing, laundry, etc. Now I know why I buy the wide quilt backs. Anyway, a good quilt back is a done quilt back!

Hope you have a good week!

A COVID Swap

As for so many people, I have missed scheduled retreats with my usual group due to COVID. The situation appears set to drag on for a while more, so we decided on a monthly block swap to give us something to look forward to.

We take turns deciding what the block will be. All blocks are made from batiks and all finish 9″ square, but there are no other “rules”. Here are the blocks I’ve made or received so far.Obviously this is going to be more than one quilt. The original rule was make one block for each person each month, but mostly we’ve done 2 for each. And, as you might suspect, the most over-scheduled person in the group made 3 for each last month!

What are you doing to make up for missing your quilt group?

Have fun and stay safe.

Recent Donation Quilts

Having said goodbye to these quilts when I donated them recently, I’m showing them one last time just for fun!

Made from scraps

 

Wonky Log Cabin Remix, from scraps

Rescued Dots from a quilt that went wrong

A quilt made years ago, from actual yardage!
Another scrap quilt!

And to my chagrin, there were three others I never even took pictures of!  Anyway, these were fun and I’m now reminded to take pictures of everything!

Two Finishes with Kaffe Fabrics

As sometimes happens, I bought a fat quarter bundle of Kaffe fabrics for something else entirely but changed my mind.

If you’ve ever tried making a quilt with fabrics designed by Kaffe Fassett, you know that you have to choose the pattern verrrry carefully if you don’t want a hot mess.  The fabrics are beautiful in their own way, but they don’t play very well with traditional patterns or patterns requiring good contrast between pieces. Therefore, I found a pattern written specifically for Kaffe fabrics.

The pattern made a larger quilt than I wanted, so I sorted the blocks into Kaffe 1 and Kaffe 2.  Here’s the larger one:

Quilt Name:  Kaffe 1

Pattern Source:  Free Spirit Fabrics (see link at bottom of post)

Finished Size:  58″ x 70″

Quilted by: Julia Madison

And here’s the smaller one made with “leftovers”:

Quilt name: Kaffe 2

Pattern source:  Free Spirit Fabrics (see link below)

Finished size:  48″ x 60″

Quilted by: Julia Madison

It was fun working with those wild fabrics, and the pattern was fairly easy.  Here’s the source for the free pattern if you’re interested: Carnival of Color

 

New Quilt for Studio Stitch! OMG!

OMG is One Monthly Goal,and I’m linking up.  My goal was to make a quilt from the lovely fabrics shown below, and there’s a picture of the finished quilt below as well!

It happened again!  I fell in love with these fabrics, so I’ve written another pattern exclusively for Studio Stitch.

These fabrics are from Studio Stitch

Here’s my shop sample in crib size:

The pattern is written to make it easy to set blocks on point, so if you’ve never done that, now is the time.  There’s even a little “cheat” to be sure the points don’t get cut off when you add the coping strip.

The quilt shown above is crib size, but the pattern includes four different sizes from crib to queen.  It can be made with one or more charm packs, or Studio Stitch will make you up a kit with the same fabrics used in the sample.  And yes, they can make you a kit even if you want to make a different size from the sample!

The pattern is free with a purchase from Studio Stitch; Here are the links to the kit and the fabrics used. 

Kit: click here to view

Fabrics: click here to view the fabrics used in the quilt, including more options and the charm pack that would give the quilt more variety if you prefer that.

Of course, this also would be great in seasonal fabrics for certain little people… just saying!  Hope you have a great week!