Monday, March 28, 2016

No-Calorie, High-Fiber Treats

I've been cooki ..., er ... I mean, sewing.

Hotpads are an easy way to use scraps, and they make great gifts.

These are my latest:

Yum, right?

My technique is outlined here-- Hotpads.

Very easy, pretty, and useful--After all, have you ever heard anyone say that they have too many hotpads?

I'm linking with Fiber Tuesday 53 at The Quilting Room with Mel.

 The Quilting Room with Mel

Monday, March 21, 2016

Jamestown Landing--Part 5

I have been piecing the string borders for Jamestown Landing.

I usually use telephone book pages, but since I need long strips of strings, I decided to buy a ream of newsprint paper (12" x 18").

I split it lengthwise and had two long strips for foundation piecing. The paper was inexpensive, and it has saved me a lot of time. It peels off easily as well.

I marked the top and bottom edges to help with the straight placement of my first strip.

String piece as normal. For a tutorial see THIS POST . Here is a quick recap:

Secure first strip somewhere near the center with a little dab of washable glue stick.

Sew second strip to the edge of the first and fold back.

Add the third strip to the other side of the first.

Continue adding a strip to each side and pressing them back until your paper is filled.

Filled paper

Turn it over

Trim to size


Remove paper

Two finished strips of border

These will be sewn together to create the correct border length for my quilt. I'll post pictures when I've got them on. Making progress!

I'm linking with Fiber Tuesday 52 at The Quilting Room with Mel.

Monday, March 14, 2016

A Different Sort of Quilting Books

I love to quilt, but my day job is teaching. In my Children's Literature class a couple of weeks ago, my students did booktalks about picture books.

I always enjoy their presentations--it is fun to see the range of books they come up with for their reports. This time, however, one of my students talked about a book I had never seen before--The Quiltmaker's Gift by Jeff Brumbeau, with illustrations by Gail de Marcken. I immediately decided I needed a copy. When I looked it up, I found that there was a second book, entitled The Quiltmaker's Journey, by the same creative team. I also found a book of quilt patterns by Joanne Larsen Line and Nancy Loving Tubesing (also illustrated by Gail de Marcken) that is a companion to the Quiltmaker's books.

Both the fiction books are lovely--stories about the importance of giving and caring. Both are lavishly illustrated by de Marcken, who is herself a quiltmaker.

The Quiltmaker--note the log cabin and the corresponding Log Cabin quilt block.

The greedy King's possessions--many of these are echoed in the quilt shown in the next image.

The Quiltmaker's gift to the now-generous King--the quilt block shown is Peace and Plenty

The endpapers show the quilt blocks from the stories.

The companion book, Quilts from The Quiltmaker's Gift, has patterns, instructions, and photographs of 20 traditional patterns used in the children's books. It also contains stories and pictures of the quiltmakers who created the samples.

The instructions are clear and concise, and the diagrams are straightforward. Charts include the fabric requirements, quilt information, and cutting instructions. Illustrations from de Marcken decorate the pages strengthening the tie with the fictional story.

These books were published in 2000 and 2004, so they have been around for several years. Many people may already be familiar with them, but if you aren't, they are well worth a look. Enjoy!

Brumbeau, Jeff. Illus. Gail de Marcken. The Quiltmaker's Gift. NY: Scholastic, 2000.

---. The Quiltmaker's Journey.  NY: Scholastic, 2004. 

Line, Joanne Larsen and Nancy Loving Tubesing. Illus. Gail de Marcken. Quilts from The Quiltmaker's Gift. Duluth, MN: Pfeifer-Hamilton, 2000. 

I am linking with Fiber Tuesday 51 at The Quilting Room with Mel. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

New Sewing Pins

I'm a pinner, and I don't mind admitting it!

For years, I used my regular garment sewing pins for quilting, but two years ago for Christmas, my husband bought me a box of extra fine pins, and I loved them! Problem was, now that I needed new ones, I couldn't remember the brand. I ordered three different kinds to test them against each other. (And, by posting this, I can look back to find what I want next time!)

Here are the three kinds--two are Dritz brand and the other is Clover.

Here are the three types out of the box. One of the Dritz boxes and the Clover box are long (47 and 48 mm--about 1 7/8"). The other Dritz pins (with the white heads) are shorter (35mm/1 3/8"). All have glass heads, so they can stand up to the iron.

I've always liked long pins, but they do bend with use. I was very surprised to find that I preferred the shorter ones--though the shaft is the same gauge (.5 mm), the shorter length makes them feel sturdier, and they bend less. The shorter ones were the least expensive as well--always a plus!

Time will tell if they remain my favorites, but, for right now, I'm enjoying them. You must be a quilter if you get pleasure from new pins!