Sewing with Leather

Last weekend I took a class to learn more about sewing with leather.

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It was a lot of fun! I made two pouches, a keyring, learned new things and got to hang out with my SMQG friends! The Guild brought in Krista Fleckenstein to teach for two days and give a lecture. The classes and lecture all revolved around projects in her book, Beyond Cotton.

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The first class was about printmaking, the lecture was about mixed media artists and the second class about sewing with leather. Both of which are talked about in her book. I debated which class to take becuase I wanted to do both. I had taken two classes from another guest teacher and wasn’t happy, so I was a little leary to take both. Now I’m kicking myself! The printing class turned out awesome work! ANYWAY…. The book is really good. I get kinda annoyed when teachers books are ‘required’ for the class, but this one is worth it. I got the book from the library to start, to see if I wanted to actually add it to my own stash of books. It is full of useful information, so I did purchase it!

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We learned about the different kinds of leather, things to look for when purchasing leather and how to cut leather…

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And then we were off to actually sew with leather! There are quite a few tricks of the trade that I didn’t know about! Different stitch lengths and sorts of things like that. It is hard to get remember to switch back and forth between the right stitch lengths for leather and fabric!

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We ended up with 2 pouches each! I still need to add in my fancy labels, but otherwise they are ready to be stuffed with something!

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The class ended up with such a great pile of pouches! I love some of the others fabric choices! And some even used fabric they had made in the class before!

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Then we got to play around with veg-tan leather and make a key ring. No sewing involved on this one. The leather is way to thick. But there was a lot of pounding involved!

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If Krista comes to your town, take both classes! That’s my advice! The only problem with this whole sewing with leather class is that now I want to go buy leather!!! There’s a cool leather shop here in Seattle almost in my neighborhood… This could be bad…. but in a good way…..

 

 

Skirting the Issue with a QAYG Row by Row Tutorial

I’m honored to have been invited by Simple Simon to participate in their yearly series, Skirting The Issue! Skirting the Issue is a  month long event every July where you are invited to sew along with us to make skirts (and quilts)  to donate to local Foster Care centers for the girls to receive just in time for back to school.

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Of course, I was excited that quilts are now included in their series. As most of you know that I also participate in a quilting bee that used to donate our quilts to a foster child organization. We no longer do, which is another reason I was excited to make another quilt for foster kids. Can you imagine not having anything? Not even a blanket? That’s what so many of these foster kids move from house to house with. Nothing. I’m hoping I can change that for at least one kiddo! And hoping I’ll inspire others to also participate and help another kiddo!

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This quilt started as a office meeting doodle. I doodle so that I don’t day dream in meetings! I think some people think I’m not paying attention, but really the doodling helps me focus on the meeting…. So I doodled this and a co-worker asked if it was going to be another quilt design. No…. I mean YES! That would make a cool quilt! I had grand plans of piecing each block with strips of fabric… Then I came to my senses and realized, they make striped fabric! Hello!

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I wanted to make an easy quilt for new quilters to be able to make and share with the kids! This quilt uses blocks cut from striped fabric using a modified Quilt As You Go method. There are many QAYG tutorials out there. But my biggest thing with QAYG is the bulk at the seam allowance. I found a way to get around that and I’ll show you how I do it. So here’s how I do QAYG….

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First, I cut all the pieces. This fabric has 1″ stripes. And a shout out to It’s Just Sewing for the awesome fabric! I want 8″ blocks for this quilt to really show off the stripes. So cute your blocks to be 8 3/4″ blocks. Here’s my biggest QAYG secret…. I don’t use 1/4″ seam allowances. I use 3/8″ seam allowances! Why? I’ll tell you… It’s hard to iron flat 1/4″ seams when you have both the fabric and the batting to be ironing open. And if it’s not ironed flat, it’s hard to catch the seam allowance when you’re quilting….

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Next I quilt the batting to the fabric, but not a full QAYG style! I chain pieced each row with just one row of quilting. Just enough to hold the fabric to the batting. I’ll tell you why later!

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Combine the blocks into rows. Are you wondering why I have quilted yet??? Hold on… Keep with me!

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Then combine the first two rows….

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NOW QUILT the top row only! I know it’s hard to see in this picture, but the top row is actually quilted.

Now here’s the thing. You could combine all the rows and then quilt the whole thing. But… For me, with all the quilting in this quilt and all the moving around of the quilt, it is easier to me to quilt a row, then another row, etc…. I’m avoiding stuffing my whole quilt through the machine over and over and over each time I change directions.

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I’m doing this same technique with my SMQG BOM quilt. So this may look familiar to you… (Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the backside of this blue and green quilt once I started quilting it!) So this is what the back will look like.

As you are quilting the lines, you will be stitching in the ditch between each quilt line and then quilting over the seam allowance as you continue quilting the stripes.

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Now we continue on. Top row is quilted and combined with the second row. Then add another row. Quilt the second row. And on and on.

This quilt has 8 rows. So again to eliminate a lot of quilt being moved around and stuffed through my sewing machine, I did four rows. Then started again with the bottom row and worked my way up. Then I combined the two pieces and quilted down the middle.

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And you end up with this! Yea!

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Add your back and quilt in the ditch. and you don’t have the bulk of the seam allowances!

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Another way to do it would be to quilt all the lines on your blocks. Combine them all and then not quilt in the ditch, but do your quilting over the seam allowances. Easy Peasy…

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So why didn’t I do it this way? The plain and simple reason…. Aesthetics. I didn’t want the straight lines at the seam allowance to be quilted over the quilting of each stripe. Make sense?

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My son asked why I take pictures of the labels… Because I do! ha!

Recap:

So the two things I do a little different with quilt as you go.

1. 3/8 seam allowances.

2. I don’t ‘quilt as you go’ prior to combining blocks. I quilt as I go, row by row. (or as with the SMQG BOM, block by block.) I don’t do the quilting until at least a couple of the blocks are joined  so that I can quilt over the seam allowance.

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Where is this quilt going? I haven’t figured that out yet. There’s a great organization, My Very Own Blanket, in Ohio that organizing matching quilts with foster kids. I’m looking for a local group here in Seattle that does the same thing.

Here’s another secret… I got the fabric for this quilt Friday night. Then I marathon quilted all weekend to get it done by Sunday night. I thought I had until August 26th to share my project with the Skirting the Issue series…. So I’m a bit behind on finding the right home for this quilt….

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January doGood Stitches Quilt

This is my first doGood Stitches post for the year! WOW!

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Have you seen the Forest Quilt Along Quilt hosted by Shape Moth? It’s precious! But A LOT of work! Each block is either an animal or forest plant. For our group, we each got to choose one block. And then Kat from Kat and Cat Quilts pieced them. I choose the fox! I’ve been wanting to make the fox for a long time. So I jumped on it!

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I do love how she put all the pieces together. And the triangle piece going through, but tying it all together at the same time.

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My block was pretty straight forward. I picked the Maple Fox by Sewing Under the Rainbow. But some of our bee mates blocks were not so straightforward. Some of the blocks the instructions were very confusing on how to actually put the paper pieced sections together. The fox is pretty easy in that sense. From what I hear, all the blocks are time consuming. But don’t they look great!? It’s a great BOM project for sure.

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You can see the fun quilting and someone added eyes to the little fox! Smart thinking!

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to make the fox, Kat!

 

 

A Memory Quilt Using the Complete Quilt Design Planner

Remember the Friendship Bracelet quilt that I finished not long ago? Well, originally I agreed to test Blair Stocker’s, AKA WiseCraft, pattern to make a memory quilt. Very quickly I realized that wasn’t going to work for that pattern.

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Then she asked me to test another pattern, The Complete Quilt Design Planner Pattern. I was one, very intrigued by the name, but also knew it would work well with my memory quilt idea!

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The pattern is really not a pattern at all, but step by step guide to designing your own one of a kind quilt! It has layouts for 6 different sized quilts. It was really fun! My son and I laid out all the fabric we were going to use, grabbed some colored pencils and we both started designing!

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A friend of mine from way back… Like Middle School I think? I was actually best friends with her younger sister for a while… Anyway, she asked me to take her sons clothes to make into a quilt. I ended up separating the piles and using mostly wovens on the front and the knit t-shirts on the back.

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I really loved this little center guy from a baby outfit! I also think it also tied together the colors from the other clothing pieces. Once I had it designed, I realized not all the pinks were the same, etc… So there was a bunch of laying out and picking up and laying out again to get it right!

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And the back is a t-shirt quilt. These t-shirt quilts take a long time. I didn’t want just a bunch of regular squares, so it took a bit, I mean a lot, longer to layout than I thought it would! I also added in a few colored blocks to fill in the spaces in between.

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This is a great pattern, especially for beginners. It also got me to try something new. I don’t think I’ve ever done a whole quilt out of the same size blocks before. It’s always fun to look at quilt design a little out of your design comfort zone and this is exactly was I experienced with this one.

You can see more examples of this quilt here.

AND… It’s the one thing that I actually finished this quarter! oops…

 

 

SMGQ First Giving Quilt for 2016

This year my friend Debbie and I are the co-Chairs for the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild’s Giving Committee! We have decided to shoot for 6 quilt designs this year. Some of those designs are lending themselves to more than one quilt, so we don’t know how many finished quilts we’ll end up with!

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When we took over the committee, we were given a bag of fabric and a lot of information! When we looked through the fabric, we found a bunch of these star blocks… So what do quilters do with random blocks? They make a quilt!

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It looks like the blocks were made by guild members a while back, but nothing was ever done with them. So we decided we might as well go ahead and make a little quilt out of them! There is assortment of stars, including these appliqued stars!

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We were short by one star, so I decided to make one to match!

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The backing fabric was also in the pile! We thought the little teal birds went well with the colors on the front.

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This little guy will be heading off to the Nurse Family Partnership!

 

Quilt Name: First Star I See

Quilt Size: 36×48

Blocks by: Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Members

Pieced by: Louise Wackerman

Quilted by: Debbie Jeske

Binding by: Deborah Christensen

June Blocks for Nurture Circle- Quilts for Fort McMurray

I haven’t posted about any of our do.Good quilts this year, but I’m skipping ahead to the June blocks!

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For the June blocks we decided to switch from our regular charity to do the maple blocks that were called for for the Quilts for Fort McMurray. I know with all the devastation in Orlando, the deadline for the Fort McMurray deadline may be getting overlooked! (Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be making blocks for Orlando as soon as I get home from vacation!) But I’m hoping my posting will be a last minute reminder for everyone that wanted to make these blocks but haven’t yet! The deadline to mail is June 30th!

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It’s funny (not in a haha kinda way) how fast our news moves from one situation to the next. Once the drama is gone, the news stories move to the next drama. Fort McMurray in Alberta Canada, was devastated by fires earlier this year. Whole neighborhoods burned to the ground. Whole towns evacuated. I know here in Washington there are worries about the wildfires starting early. I can’t imagine what the people of these towns have gone through. But the news has moved on… As a quilter, I want to be able to make a little difference to these people and let them know that just becuase the news has moved on, there are many people who still have the fire victims in their hearts.

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The call for blocks from SloStudio lists a couple of different tutorials to make these blocks. I choose to use the tutorial from All Patched Up. It’s such a simple block! I think it took me about an hour to do both blocks, including picking fabric! I did a bit chain piecing that I think helped move it along faster!

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Have you made these blocks? There’s still time to make them and get them in the mail! All the info, including where to mail the blocks to, is right here!

SMQG BOM May Blocks

For this month I’ve been working on quilting my Seattle Modern Quilt Guild BOM a bit more, but I also added a new ‘row’

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Excuse my photo editing… Something doesn’t look right, but oh well…

You can see the bottom row is this months project. The prompt was sewing with scraps. When I make a quilt, especially a BOM that lasts for a while, I keep a bag of all the scraps from that quilt. I don’t integrate my scraps with the scrap bins until the quilt is all done! So this was easy to do! I had the bag right there and ready to go!

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These are my ‘two’ scrap blocks. I started with a long piece of batting that was close to the height I was looking for. But slightly larger. Then I just started a bit in the middle and kept using my scraps until I ran into where the pieces kinda quilt building on themselves. Then I started over. It’s very log cabin like….

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You can see my ‘eyes’ are the center, where I started. Then I’d kinda log cabin around the center, then go off in one direction and come back and go somewhere else! I used only scraps for these, except I did have to cut a little extra white.

I do want to add another thinner strip of this block up the right side, but I ran out of scraps! So I need to do some other blocks and come back to add another row.

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And I really started making some ‘rules’ for my quilting. Most of the quilting is in the white. Sometimes I’ll quilt in the yellow, but not often. And I am NOT quilting on the grey!

I’ve also found that I don’t want to quilt to the edge until I another block to sew on. I’m using my quilting to sew down my seam allowances, so therefore I need a seam allowance to quilt over!

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And I’m stitching in the ditch to get from one stop to the other…. I’m loving this one! I just learned about June’s BOM, so I’m excited to get started on it!

Technicolor Galaxy Quilt Update

I took a LONG break from this one and finally got it back out!

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I finally finished the outer circle. It’s 3 blocks, 4 times… 12 blocks. I did take some liberties on these blocks!

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The first one I did was supposed to be orange peels… But I hated them… I tired to do them per the directions. Didn’t work out. Then I tried them my own way… Still didn’t like them. Ok, the truth is I couldn’t make them. They looked horrible! So I branched off and did cathedral windows. They kinda resemble the orange peels. Maybe? Anyway, I like them!

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Next up was the hexie flowers…. Well, I didn’t want to do flowers. The idea is that this quilt might go on my son’s bed, and I didn’t want flowers. So I did a little random hexie thing!

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And lastly, the moons. Easy peasy. This is the same circle technique I used for my sports quilt. Love it!

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And here it is all put together! Well, not exactly PUT together, but laid out together. I just have one border to go! I can do this!

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Modern Sampler Quilt Along Blocks G, H and I

Man! I’ve been playing catch up on this quilt along, the Modern Sampler Quilt Along with Salty Oat!

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You know I’m more of a bright color kinda quilter, so this one has been a challenge. But I like the low contrast with a pop of color! But this is a very challenging pattern and I got really frustrated doing these blocks! I think they came out quite nice despite the lack of instructions!

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This is Block G. I didn’t do any measuring around the curves. And I like how they turned out. Not perfect, but I think they are pretty close to perfect.

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And Block H. This turned out pretty nice. A LOT of practice with Y seams for one stinkin’ 12″ block! Has anyone else made this one? I’m curious how you made it. I considered doing it as an english paper pieced block, like I sew hexagons by hand. But then decided that would take way longer than I wanted to spend on this one….

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And lastly, Block I. I’m actually in love with this one! It’s pretty near perfect! (If I do say so myself…) I took my friend Debbie’s advice and did the strips as paper pieced triangles. It worked! Nice and quick!

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And look at those Y seam corners! Oh, yes!

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Please ignore the horrible picture, but this is the quilt so far! I do like the quilt, but making it has had some frustrated moments!

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Three more blocks down. Nine blocks done. Three to go!

Friendship Bracelet Quilt

Another finish!

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Yea! I have to say, I love the pattern, but wasn’t really excited about the quilt…. But the more I look at it, the more I like it!

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A SMQG friend is also a quilt designer and author and all around pretty cool lady! She’s Blair Stocker, AKA WiseCraft. She asked for pattern testers fir her Friendship Bracelet Quilt and I was looking for an easy idea/pattern for a memory quilt, so I said YES! But then it ended up it wasn’t going to work well for my memory quilt, but I did have a jelly roll that would work quite nicely!

It’s a jelly roll that I’ve had for years and never used becuase the fabrics are exactly me so I haven’t used them. For years, did I mention that? I’ve gotten so used to only quilting with mostly solids, it’s been a little hard to embrace this one. But it’s growing on me!

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The quilt went together very easily and quickly! I’ve seen the pattern in solids, and I think I’m just drawn more to solids. It’s a GREAT pattern for newbie’s! The directions are great and easy to follow.

It all went together so quickly. Until…. I started quilting! I’m pretty sure the quilting took way longer than all the rest of the quilt construction! I really want to start keeping track of how many hours a quilt takes. Does anyone else to this?

I did the quilting with a freehand square spiral. I also did a big one on the bottom, until it ran out of quilt nad then I moved and did two smaller square spirals on the top!

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I had a couple of strips left over so I sewed them together to start the back layout. And the rest just evolved with the fabrics I had on had that coordinated!

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And I get to use another one of my labels! Since they are dated, I can only make 48 more this year!

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A little behind the scenes moment… My lovely husband of 10 years today (the 20th) is nice enough to hold most of my quilts. (He does grumble a little bit.) shhh…. But he does help!

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The more I look at it the more the contrast between the stripes show and that makes me love it more!

 

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