Saturday, December 29, 2012

Stacked Coins Tutorial Part 1

I am teaching a 6-week series for new quilters at Sew Portland starting January 25. I thought it would be fun to post a tutorial here for the stacked coins quilt we'll be working on in class. Work along with us if you like! Here are the fabric requirements:
 Select a charm pack or equivalent fabric (you will need at least 30 charms). Add 1 yd of neutral background fabric; 1⅓ yards backing fabric; ¼ yard binding fabric (or a fat quarter) and 1 crib size batt.
 Cut charms in half. I chose to leave a few uncut, like the girl on a swing--so look through your charms before you cut! If any of your charms have directional prints, be mindful when you cut them—note the dogs on the red charm.
 Make two stacks of cut charms (coins) and start chain piecing pairs. Try not to get too fussy about which coins to pair up. Leaving 8 to 10 coins unpaired will give you design flexibility. Press paired coins open, pressing seams to one side. Lay out 3 columns with 20 coins in each column. Don’t forget to include any uncut charms in your columns—count each of those as 2 coins. Use your single coins as needed to create three columns that make you happy. Stitch columns, press. They should each be roughly 42” long.
 Check back for part two. This is a super simple quilt and lots of fun to make with different fabric and quilting choices. Any questions? 

Quilt gallery and quilts for sale at: Rana's quilt photos

Monday, December 10, 2012

Book Review Monday

The family that reads together...
photo by Rana O'Connor
Eric Woolf at Fons and Porter emailed today to ask if I would write a review of their Log Cabin Quilt e-book. Shortly, the book was in my inbox ready for download. My first impression was wow, beautiful pictures and great colors! The cover showcases three patterns. One is sure to grab your eye. Titled Build Your Best Log Cabin, the book features antique log cabin quilts from Sara Miller’s collection alongside modern quilt patterns for each of three log cabin block variations: Traditional, Courthouse Steps, and Chevron. There’s loads of technical information as well—cutting charts for each block style to take the guesswork out of designing your own quilt, side bars with tips and tricks, and instructions for special binding finishes. I would have liked a side bar on Sara Miller who collected the antique eye candy quilts pictured. Download the book just to see the antiques, even if you have no plans to make your own log cabin quilt—you might be inspired! Here’s the link: Build your Best Log Cabin

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Over the Top

 Or perhaps over the backing? This is where I sometimes wonder about my own sanity. It's a back, right? Like won't really be seen. But as it hung on the design wall waiting for layering day I kept thinking, "Don't really like the leaves on the outside." (See Kahalu'u post below for comparison.) So tonight, knowing I will be layering Tuesday, I sat down with a seam ripper for my least favorite activity: frog stitch (rip-it, rip-it) I only had to take out and re-stitch 4 seams to get the effect I wanted. Worth it? Probably only to me, but it does make me happy. Now it is ready for quilting! Promise!
Quilt gallery and quilts for sale at:

Friday, December 7, 2012

Press for Art Quilts!

Follow the link to a story in the Daily Bulldog about Art Quilt Maine's exhibit at Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers in Farmington! Time to celebrate! The show will travel to Saco in January, Waterville in March, then wind up at the Center for Maine Craft at the West Gardiner turnpike service plaza in June. Catch it if you can! Daily Bulldog Feature

Quilt gallery and quilts for sale at:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

And the back.......

The back of Kahalu'u Beach just flew together. I had leftover half square triangles pieced in long rows, so a strippy back seemed the way to go. Plus I wanted to showcase the Hawaiian pareo print I stumbled upon locally. Isn't this guy wild! Next up: Find a location big enough to spread everything out and layer, then get quilting! I bought some new variegated threads that I can't wait to use.

Quilt gallery and quilts for sale at:

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Kahalu'u Beach

I wish I had posted photos of this quilt in progress, but it wasn't until I started working with this beyond beautiful Hoffman leaf fabric that I thought of sharing it! Sorry! I was so thrilled to realize those leaves, bought on impulse at a guild sale in New York weren't going to linger in my stash for long! The quilt began as a collection of fabrics bought in Hawaii--the turtle print inspired the palette. Not what I had imagined, but Hawaii was surprising that way, so I went with it. Think of the center as coral reef colors and honu (turtles) of Kahalu'u. The waves breaking against the lava shoreline form inner borders framed by the lush forest leaf border. I cut fabrics--all the ones bought in Hawaii and whatever else my stash provided--into 4-inch squares. A marathon of chain stitching gave me piles of half-square triangles to arrange and rearrange, creating the pieced center. A daughter claimed it for her bed, thus requiring borders. Isn't that leaf fabric perfect! Now to piece the back.
Quilt gallery and quilts for sale at: