Monday, August 24, 2015

Product Review - Bloc_Loc Ruler

I recently tested the Bloc_Loc ruler. The staff person at my local quilt shop told me it was for squaring up half square triangles.

I always make these by using squares that are cut slightly larger than the size I need and I 'square them up' so they are perfect every time. I usually use my 6" square ruler to trim them square.

The Bloc_Loc has a diagonal groove on the underside, designed to 'lock' into place along the seam line. When I first put the ruler on my half square triangle I knew something was wrong. 





If I had trimmed with the ruler in that spot I would definitely be trimming too much!

I had to turn the ruler around, be sure that it was 'locked' and that the block size I wanted was inside the fabric edges.


I trimmed the right side and the top,




then I turned the block around and lined up the cut edges with the measurements on the ruler and made my final two cuts. These are perfectly trimmed.





The only drawback I see with this ruler is that there are no instructions with the tool. If you go to their website (www.blocloc.com) you can see exactly how to trim the blocks. 

The key part that I didn't know until I watched the video is that the Bloc_Loc logo on the ruler should always be placed on the lower side. That is the one that does not have the seam allowances underneath. Once I knew that it was very easy to position the ruler and trim my blocks. 

The video also shows how to trim quarter-square triangles accurately. This is definitely my new 'go to ruler' for trimming half square triangles. I used the 6-1/2" ruler but they even have a 12-1/2" BlocLoc ruler for larger blocks.




Friday, August 21, 2015

Flowers on Friday

 Sunflowers
 
 
 
********************************************************
Are you working on your entry for the Patchworks Studio
2nd Annual 'Flowers on Friday' Challenge - Summer 2015?

Haven't heard about it?? Here's the info:
 
The challenge:
 
Make a quilted project using one of five
Flowers on Friday photographs as your inspiration.

 

Deadline for entries:
September 7, 2015 - midnight, Pacific Daylight Time
***************************
Judging:
An independent quilt industry professional
will choose the Grand Prize Winner.
*************************** 
One Grand Prize (value over $150.00) will be awarded.

Additional prizes may be awarded.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Coming Soon! Snow Follies Fabric Kit

I have been receiving a lot of inquiries about the fabrics for my new pattern Snow Follies.

I have ordered the fabrics to make kits for this quilt. I will start shipping kits in early September. Quantities will be limited. 

The kit will have the pattern PLUS all the  Northcott fabrics you need for the quilt top and binding.

The quilt size is 56" x 64.

The price for this kit is $103.95 Canadian Funds
+ shipping and taxes (where applicable).


(Customers not paying in Canadian funds, see notes below).


SPECIAL PRE-ORDER PRICING!

If you place your order for this kit by Friday, August 21st (midnight, Pacific Time)
 you will save $10.00! You pay only $93.95

Orders must be placed online.
Offer valid while quantities last.





Non-Canadian Orders:
 
All orders require credit card payment.
Your credit card company will convert from Canadian dollars to YOUR currency.
 
For US Customers, the exchange rate is approximately 20%;
your credit card company will charge you about 20% LESS in US dollars.
 
All non-Canadian orders will NOT be charged taxes - just actual shipping costs.
 
 
 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sign up TODAY - Ripless Paper Piecing at the Academy of Quilting


Marlene's quilt from Ripless Paper Piecing




It's not to late to join me for Ripless Paper Piecing at Academy of Quilting.


Class starts on Friday - why not join in the FUN!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Flowers on Friday





Dinner Plate Dahlia


Photograph taken at one of our local grocery stores.
 
Thanks to my husband for being the 'hand model'
so you can see how large these flowers really are!

********************************************************
Are you working on your entry for the Patchworks Studio
2nd Annual 'Flowers on Friday' Challenge - Summer 2015?

Haven't heard about it?? Here's the info:
 
The challenge:
 
Make a quilted project using one of five
Flowers on Friday photographs as your inspiration.

 

Deadline for entries:
September 7, 2015 - midnight, Pacific Daylight Time
***************************
Judging:
An independent quilt industry professional
will choose the Grand Prize Winner.
*************************** 
One Grand Prize (value over $150.00) will be awarded.

Additional prizes may be awarded.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Academy of Quilting - Ripless Paper Piecing

Academy of Quilting - Ripless Paper Piecing

 
This class begins on Friday, August 21. It's a 3-lesson class with one lesson posted each week. The classroom remains open until September 28 so you don't need to rush to complete your project in the first 3 weeks.  And I'm with you every step of the way.
 
The fee for the class is $30 US.  Here's my version of the class project.


You may already have some experience with paper piecing, sometimes called foundation piecing since the usual way is to sew onto a foundation.  This class will show you how you can achieve the accuracy that paper piecing gives without some of the extra steps.
The steps you WILL NOT do are:

  • create one foundation for every block you sew by printing or tracing
  • sew with a very small stitch length that is extremely difficult to rip out if you make a sewing mistake
  • spend time removing the foundation from your blocks

Included in this class is a tutorial about fabric 'value' - no, that's not how much it costs!  It is the relative lightness or darkness of your fabrics. This can 'make or break' a quilt.  Here is an excerpt from the class:

Choosing Your Fabrics

You will need a larger range of values for the two colors in your quilt. Choose two colors that you like to put together.

It is generally thought that there are seven main values that we can select for fabrics. When you move from one to another, you are stepping up or down the value ladder. These are the steps we will consider using:

·         very light
·         light
·         light-medium
·         medium
·         medium-dark
·         dark
·         very dark
         
There are many more subtle variations in between each of these named values. It is the selection of values from the light, medium and dark that create the contrast we see in traditional quilt patterns. Here are two blocks. One has excellent value contrast and one does not. It is very easy to see the difference.

                        



 

Dakota Star  in light, medium, dark at left and in medium and dark at right

Here are those same blocks arranged as quilts. Which quilt uses value better?  High contrast quilts make each block piece stand out. Low contrast is a more subtle approach. There will be times when you wish to use low contrast. A great use of low contrast is for clothing items. The important thing is to know the difference and choose the values of your fabric to create the effect you wish to achieve.
 

                  
High contrast and low contrast




                        
Both blocks in grayscale
 
Notice how the two blocks look in grayscale. The green reads as very dark. The melon color reads very light and almost blends with the background. This is a case where you must trust what your eyes tell you. No one would confuse the melon color with the beige background when looking at the colored version. The red grayscale shows the dark, medium and light medium values.  There are no extremes in this block.
Learn more about value and Ripless Paper Piecing in the classroom. 


Monday, August 10, 2015

Product Review - Quilt Ruler Upgrade Kit

In January I reviewed Grip Strips™ by Guidelines 4 Quilting. These prevent rulers from slipping as I cut. That review is here.

The company has developed a new combination product, the Quilt Ruler Upgrade Kit. It promises to 'Mistake-Proof and Slip-Proof your 12" and 24" quilt rulers'. These tools allow you to cut accurate pieces and you never waste fabric by lining up your ruler on the wrong line. How many times have you done that?
 



The package contains enough Grip Strips for both a 12" and 24" ruler. The Fabric Guides are yellow plastic strips that are installed on the underside of your ruler. They are held in place by hooks that go over the short edges of the ruler and there is a stretch band that keeps the guide in place. You slide the guide up to the line for the strip width you want to cut. 

Grip Strip installed underneath my ruler.

Make your first straightening cut on the edge of your fabric and then slide the ruler over the fabric until the Fabric Guide's edge catches the fabric's edge and cut your strip.




I found the guide worked very well on my 12" ruler but when I used the guide on my 24" ruler I had to watch that it lined up correctly against the cut edge along the entire length of the ruler.




 I wouldn't install the guide if I was just cutting one strip but for multiple strips, the same width, it is definitely a time saver and prevents mistakes.






Sunday, August 9, 2015

Victoria Quilters' Guild Workshop - Sheer Collage

I will be teaching a workshop for my 'home' guild on September 9th.  Sheer Collage is a freeform, spontaneous way to make fibre art projects. Most quilters use only cotton fabrics. This workshop gives you the chance to play with lots of other fabrics, particularly sheer fabrics. 

These pictures are just a few examples of collage pieces using my techniques.






You will learn about basic design principles as you create a base collage design. Then you will embellish with stitchery, yarns and threads. We will sample both hand and machine embroidery techniques. At the end of class you'll have several small works of art.

I'm looking forward to seeing what students create in this workshop.


Friday, August 7, 2015

Flowers on Friday

It has been a hot, hot summer here on Vancouver Island - and throughout British Columbia. This is perfect weather for my pots of geraniums!





These 2 plants above are several years old. I overwinter them in our unheated garage where they get a small amount of light and no water. They come back vigorously each spring!

The two geraniums pictured below are in a hanging basket on our back deck. They will also spend the winter in the garage.






This isn't the best picture but in the background you can see how dry my back lawn is. We usually don't water it in the summer and leave it to the rain to keep it slightly green. This year we have had almost no rain since the beginning of June but I know it will 'green up' right away when the fall rains come.


********************************************************
Are you working on your entry for the Patchworks Studio
2nd Annual 'Flowers on Friday' Challenge - Summer 2015?

Haven't heard about it?? Here's the info:
 
The challenge:
 
Make a quilted project using one of five
Flowers on Friday photographs as your inspiration.

 

Deadline for entries:
September 7, 2015 - midnight, Pacific Daylight Time
***************************
Judging:
An independent quilt industry professional
will choose the Grand Prize Winner.
*************************** 
One Grand Prize (value over $150.00) will be awarded.

Additional prizes may be awarded.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Quilting with Fat and Fuzzy Threads

In workshop #2 at Quilted Strait you will learn to use beautiful threads and embellishments to enrich your quilt or garment surfaces. Use thick thick threads in the bobbin and also learn how to use them on the surface of your quilts in this techniques workshop. You will build a series of samples for future reference. 

This class is appropriate for beginning to advanced students, but students must be familiar with and know how to use their own machine.

This class is on September 22. ENROLL NOW

Here are a few pictures to inspire you.


Not hand embroidery - this is bobbin stitched (machine sewing).

Trees come alive with texture!

Use decorative stitches when bobbin quilting.



Use even the 'fattest' fibres to enhance your work. 

Sparkly delicate threads work beautifully when bobbin quilted.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Fall Workshops - It's never too soon to Plan Ahead!

I have been invited to lead 2 workshops in September at Quilted Strait, Port Gamble, Washington.  This is a lovely shop in an historic town on the Olympic Peninsula and it's just a ferry ride and short drive away from me. I'm looking forward to getting back into the classroom!

In the first workshop on Monday, September 21st, you will learn about my amazing two-for-one, positive/negative design technique called Give & Take Appliqué™. Here is the New York Beauty table runner that you'll be making in the workshop.


Sign up for this workshop at Quilted Strait.


This table runner uses only APPLIQUE - that's right.....no foundation paper piecing, no curve piecing!  We'll create the magic with fused appliqué and I will be sharing my best tips and tricks.  




You will learn all about machine appliqué as you make your project and you will discover and test a range of stitching options.You will be confidently stitching your blocks in no time!



See more info, the supply list and sign up here.


Tomorrow I'll tell you about the 2nd workshop I'll be teaching at Quilted Strait:
Quilting with Fat and Fuzzy Threads.


.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Flowers on Friday

More spectacular flowers from Butchart Gardens
 
Begonias
 
There were an amazing array but I particularly like these ones with the 'painted' edges.



********************************************************
REMINDER - don't forget to enter!
 
Patchworks Studio
2nd Annual 'Flowers on Friday' Challenge - Summer 2015
 
The challenge:
 
Make a quilted project using one of five
Flowers on Friday photographs as your inspiration.

 

Deadline for entries:
September 7, 2015 - midnight, Pacific Daylight Time
***************************
Judging:
An independent quilt industry professional
will choose the Grand Prize Winner.
*************************** 
One Grand Prize (value over $150.00) will be awarded.

Additional prizes may be awarded.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Quick Bably Quilt - a FREE pattern


I have been busy sewing for the past few weeks; it is nice to re-introduce myself to my sewing machine!  There is a 'baby boom' going on around here. My granddaughter, Brooklyn, is 3 months old and close friends have a new grandson.  New babies mean .....baby quilts!  
 
This is the baby quilt I made for our friends' grandson.
  
I had a set of bright-coloured checks and stripes Fat Quarters for a LONG time. I bet you have fabrics in your stash, just waiting for the perfect project.  I knew I wanted to use a couple of them for a child's quilt and the timing couldn't be better!

 
 
 
 
 
 
This quilt was so fast and fun to make. I quilted the quilt on my Handi Quilter Avante and used this quilt to learn about some of the features and ruler tools. I quilted half-circles and circles and a random box design to add texture to the quilt.
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Flowers on Friday

Daylily
(Hemerocallis)



********************************************************

REMINDER - don't forget to enter!

Patchworks Studio
2nd Annual 'Flowers on Friday' Challenge - Summer 2015

The challenge:

Make a quilted project using one of five
Flowers on Friday photographs as your inspiration.


Deadline for entries:
September 7, 2015 - midnight, Pacific Daylight Time
***************************
Judging:
An independent quilt industry professional
will choose the Grand Prize Winner.
*************************** 

One Grand Prize (value over $150.00) will be awarded.

Additional prizes may be awarded.