Two Tip Tuesday – Catching UP

Well, how did that happen. I completely missed last week. I was on my way to Texas to take a look at our property we have had for over 27 years! And there I am in amongst the trees.

I even missed the reveal of the Bear Paw Block Challenge. I still need to take some photos, so that will be posted next week.

The last post was about the Summer Scrap Elimination. A great event that will help you “get rid of”, I mean USE your scraps. I love a scrappy quilt! Most of the designers are focusing on smaller projects. Swan, the designer of the event is making some amazing quilts with free patterns! We are up to week 2 and two more designers have joined the Elimination…. so be sure to GO check them out HERE.

One of the favorite scrap quilts I designed is my “Won’t You Be…” It uses Fat 1/8ths (9″ x 20-22″) and Fat 1/6ths (12″ x 20-22″). If you have extra bits of fat quarters this is perfect. The instructions have detailed cutting diagrams, so it is easy to cut and piece. No piece is larger than 3 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ and I bet you have some of of that size in your stash!

“Won’t You Be…”

Another favorite is “Flowers in the Valley” A background fabric and 4″ squares makes this another easy to piece quilt! (Bow Tie Blues is behind Flower in the Valley)

GOT SCRAPS? Make a quilt! In this summer heat, stay inside and enjoy the hum of your sewing machine.

Tips for beating the summer heat…

#1 – Drink lots of water and how about keeping it cool in a homemade snuggie for your glass.

#2 – Do your cutting in front of an AC unit or stand over a cool air vent.

#3 – I think we all need snack breaks….did I hear an ice cream truck??!!???

in quilting,

Debbie

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Summer Scrap Elimination – Summer Scrappy Christmas

I am super excited to be a part of Swan Amity Studios Summer Scrap Elimination. Swan asked several quilt pattern designer if we would be a part of her event. Why YES! I’d love to!

I love the Christmas in July sales and thought my project might be a push to get rid of…I mean… use up your “old” Christmas fabric so you can go buy more when those sales come around. I designed a tool that uses 2 1/2″ strips, Hex-a-ma-jig Jr. Whether you are using strips or scraps cut into 2 1/2″ wide pieces, Hex-a-ma-jig Jr. and my Winter Tree-Land pattern is perfect. The idea of Winter Tree-Land is to use 2 1/2″ strips x WOF, one light and one dark to make a variety of trees. Those two strips can make any one of the options below.

1) 3 Small Trees

2) 1 Small and 1 Large Tree (shown in first and third photos below)

3) 1 Medium and 2 Tiny Trees…with option A for light tops or option B with dark tops (A Medium and Tiny shown as the placemat in the last photo below)

4) 5 Tiny Trees, great for coasters (Coasters shown in second photo below)

The photos below show several of the options listed. I did this for the AQS Countdown to Christmas a couple years ago. The pattern is a free download my website!

I took the idea of Winter Tree Land in a little different direction MORE SCRAPPY! Remember we are eliminating our scraps! I played with a variety of pieces I cut with Hex-a-ma-jig Jr., triangles, diamonds and a half hexie, to make a Christmas Tree with a base. I think these would make fun coasters to make/give as gifts. These are one row taller than the Tiny Tree coasters. (I swear the photo was clear when I took it.) I think it would be fun to use scraps instead of strips to make any of the options in the Winter Tree-Land pattern.

The directions for Winter Tree-Land is on my website under Free Patterns. The paper template shapes are included for the 4 options given in the pattern. It is much easier to cut around an acrylic template and I recommend you use Hex-a-ma-jig Jr. (also available on my website!)

A couple of things to be aware of when making the Scrappy Coaster shown above…

When I began cutting my Christmas fabrics, you will see the mess of how I roll when playing/arranging. Cut many and use few. BUT now I have more to play with for the next one! You will need to do a creative order of piecing, so there is no Y-seam. I stitched the tree “top”, then layered it with batting and backing sewing it like a pillow. Trim off the excess batting in the seam allowance. Turn right side out and hand sew the opening. Then I quilted it. Ta Done!

I hope you have fun using your Christmas or Winter fabrics to create some TREES!! I looking forward to seeing what you create (send me a photo!) and what the other designers present in this Summer Scrap Elimination!

in quilting,

Debbie

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Two Tip Tuesday – Sneak Peek and Scrap Elimination

The second Sneak Peek of the Bear Paw Designer Challenge was yesterday. I am keeping the total reveal until next week. I’ve got some mad sewing to do in the next few days! My Peek is below. I’m doing a different triangle shape from the traditional half-square triangle!

This is a busy week as I’m also participating in the Summer Scrap Elimination put on by Swan Sheridan. You can read about it on her website. Swan Amity Studios. There are a number of designers that are sharing ideas to use up your scraps. Swan will have a course offering much more about working with scraps. My day is Thursday, yes! busy week!! I’ve done a bit of a scrappy take on one of my favorite projects and tool, Hex-a-ma-jig Jr.. That means I’m working with 2 1/2″ strips. Who doesn’t have those laying around? <grin>

A couple of tips when working with 2 1/2″ strips. Remember, all roll strips are not equal. Some are cut with straight edges, others with a pinked edge. #1 – be sure to measure, they may be wider or narrower. If they have a pinked edge, #2 – also measure, is 2 1/2″ at the outside edge or the inside dip of the zigzag pinking.

I’ll be back on Thursday for my Scrap Elimination project….Summertime Scrappy Christmas

in quilting,

Debbie

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Two Tip Tuesday – Another Remix ~ Bear Paw

The Quilt Designer Remix for June is Bear Paw. It often goes by Bear’s Paw as well. One section of the traditional block is below. I made a Bear’s Paw quilt for my husband a number of years ago. I called it Petroglyph Paws. All the fabrics were purchased in Albuquerque, NM when I went for a visit when he worked there.

I am giving the Bear Paw a remix this month. The fabrics I’ve chosen stated with these great finds in Dallas, Texas at Sew Let’s Quilt It quilt shop. I’m leaning towards southwest or northwest for my color palette. I’ve already got the design started, so hoping it comes together as planned! So the above fabrics mentioned in my husband’s quilt will work in beautifully.

When washing the teal fabrics, I through in two “color catchers” and I’m so glad I did. Look at how the catchers turned this beautiful shade of light teal (they did their job!). All that die would have been in the washer and could have attached to the light batik. It would not have hurt this particular fabric since it has splotches of blue anyway. But, now I know it will not bleed on any other fabrics I add to the quilt. Tip #1 – use color catchers!

In making sure all my fabrics (those scraps from my husband’s quilt) were washed, they got wrinkled in the dryer. I forgot to grab them out before they were completely dry. This helps keep the wrinkles to a minimum (tip #2). So, many of them had to be ironed. I even used steam, but they still had some creases. So I sprayed with water! This did the trick to get the wrinkles out and keep them out. (bonus tip #3).

The next two photos are what I posted on my Instagram page @debbiewendtquilting for my first Sneak Peek. I was sewing a 1/4″ seam, I added some great bear and petroglyph fabric for the paw and the orange-ish for the claws. Well, look what happens when you don’t worry about where the designs land…

OH MY GOSH….well, YES, I guess they do!!. I had to share, as I’m still laughing at it. I have not gotten out the seam ripper just yet. One follower on Instagram said I should leave it, HA! I just might. I’m not sure I could have planned that. Truly an accident, but a great funny one! There should be another bonus tip about being careful where the designs on your fabric land….

in quilting,

Debbie

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Two Tip Tuesday – Thank You Dallas

A HUGE Thank you to the Quilter’s Guild of Dallas! I post some photos of the workshops and their wonderful progress. It was fun to be in person and travel to Dallas, TX to be a part of their guild for an evening and two days of workshops.

The first set of pictures is the Egyptian Tentmakers’ Hand Applique.

This is the Done by Three students and great progress on the design walls.

My tips … #1 – Foam core boards covered in flannel make great design walls. If you don’t have one, you can use a flannel backed table cloth.

#2 – Don’t be afraid to change you mind if you don’t like a fabric. And you LOVE a fabric, find a way to add more to your quilt. Add what makes you happy!

in quilting,

Debbie

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Two Tip Tuesday – Packing quilts

I almost made Tuesday here in MA, so it is still Tuesday somewhere else in the world! I’m busy packing and getting ready for my trip to Dallas that I told you about last week. Countdown! I thought I’d give some of my tips when I pack my quilts.

First is to fold them right side out….YES! You read that correctly. Why? Well if the quilt will get any creases from the folds they will show up on the back of the quilt rather than the front. The curve of the fold on the right side of the quilt will help keep the crease from forming.

And to pack them in my suitcase, fold them as little as possible and as big as possible so they fit the entire size of the bag. I learned this trick from my dear friend Patricia Cox, when helping her in Houston many years ago. It is a great way to keep the quilts as flat as possible and fewer folds! (Sorry for the blur, my camera has a hard time focusing on small dots of Hexie Flower Garden. And I may have moved on the Done by Three photo, oops!)

Back to folding quilts and weighing bags….

I look forward to being at the Quilter’s Guild of Dallas!

in quilting,

Debbie

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Two Tip Tuesday – May Block Reveal and Travel

Yesterday was the Reveal for the May Designers Remix Block Challenge. As I mentioned last week, the quilt block for May was the Arkansas Snowflake. I didn’t realize what this block really looked like until I decided to do the challenge. The original block is below.

And here is my block REMIX! Nothing fancy, I kept it simple. I like the way it looked like springtime flowers on a trellis (as I’ve said before!)

I kept my design simple as well. A five block table runner.

It has been a fun design to work with. Now to dig out a hand pieced version that I have collected fabric for years ago.

Next week I will be traveling to Dallas, TX to be the featured speaker and give two workshops for the Quilter’s Guild of Dallas! I’m super excited to do this IN PERSON! The lecture will be “Teaching the World to Quilt” The photo below is one of my favorites from this lecture.

The first workshop is Pharaoh’s Messenger Bag (hand applique in the style of the Egyptian Tentmakers) and the second is my Done by Three fat quarter quilt. These workshops are very different from each other but fun in their own right! I look forward to being in Dallas and hope we have a great turnout during this busy time of year.

Speaking of classes…AQS opened up the Grand Rapids show class sign ups to non-members today!

#1 – Take a class!! It is fun to learn something new or to be with other like minded people!

#2 – Take a class from ME! I just had to say it. I love to teach and help quilters learn tip and tricks to make their quilting life a little easier…and FUN!

in quilting,

Debbie

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Two Tip Tuesday – Paper piecing

The May Designer Block Challenge Remix is the Arkansas Snowflake Block. My fabric pull and design has nothing to do with snowflakes or Arkansas for that matter. However, I’m looking at it as to after the snow and what blooms in Spring! I have not gotten very creative with remixing the block but I have added some bits to the corner. A bit of a trellis look….that Springtime idea!

I love working with my 30’s reproduction fabrics. The freshness of the colors say Spring to me. the first couple photos below are my fabric pull and now I’m on to week 2 and 3 with the Sneak Peeks.

I decided to paper piece this block. I’ve never been a huge fan of paper piecing but it lent itself to making some really nice points of the Arkansas Snowflake Block. First all pieces need to be oversized. You can see by my first corner block that I did not get it oversized enough (shown above with the green diagonal corner block). I’m within and 1/8″ of the outside edge, so I’m going with it.

I do like to use these nice card stock flyers as part of my paper piecing tools. It works well with my Add-a-quarter tool! This flyer just happens to be the AQS Quilt Week for Grand Rapids in August, where I will be vending and teaching (I told you about this last week!)

My progress this far with the block is a bit further than these photos, but I’ll wait for the Reveal next week to show my finished idea!

Paper piecing fabric pieces MUST be oversized! No reason to cut smaller to save fabric, you’ll only have to take it out and resew….a waist of time and a bit frustrating. #1 – OVERSIZE those pieces!

Also when trimming up to add the next pieces, use card stock to fold back the paper. A nice slick flyer is a great asset! #2 – Use card stock to help in trimming up for the next steps in paper piecing. An Add-a-quarter is also a great addition!

Do you get great points when paper piecing….absolutely. Is it my favorite method, not so much. There is also all the paper to remove once the block is finished. But, I’m going with….love those points! And a reason to paper piece.

in quilting,

Debbie

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Two Tip Tuesday – Class Enrollments OPEN

Today is the start for AQS Grand Rapids class enrollment for AQS members! I’ll be vending and teaching! Below is the AQS promo …. PLUS Quilt Festival in Salt Lake City!!

I’ll be teaching Machine-Sewn Bindings on Wednesday, Aug. 17th from 1-4pm

my lecture Bindings: A World of Options on Thursday, Aug. 18th, 11-12.

Hexie Flower Garden Quilt also on Thursday from 1-4pm

and a second offering of Machine-Sewn Bindings on Friday, Aug. 19th, 8:30-11:30am

Non-Member registration opens May 24th, but you can join AQS for $25 for the year; they will save 20% on every class and get early registration. 

Also today registration opened for QUILTS, INC. Quilt Festival in Salt Lake City!

Done by Three on July 21st, Thursday, 9 – noon

Become a Brilliant Binder, also July 21st, Thursday 2-5pm

Piecing is the Cornerstone on July 22nd, Friday, 9 – noon

I hope you’ll join me at one of these shows. It is exciting to share my love of quilting through teaching.

#1 – Take a class! They are fun and great for learning new techniques and being with like minded friends.

#2 – Most show provide beautiful new sewing machines for hands-on classes. It is a great way to give a machine a try!

in quilting,

Debbie

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Two Tip Tuesday – Quilt Week Paducah

A long week in Paducah has ended. Three classes and vending at Quilt Week, thank you customers and students! Here is my booth.

The week started with the loss of one my of my dear quilting friends. My heart is heavy and my thoughts scattered. Life can quickly change in a moment. I’m thankful we got to the quilt museum and discussed quilting projects we have been working on. I’m also thankful for family and friends that have been there to support me. Cheryl, you will be dearly missed.

Carol and I set up the booth, I taught classes and we shared quilting stories with many of you. We looked for laughs and had a wonderful moment when a young quilter wore my Winter TreeLand became a hat!

#1 – Look for the positive. #2 – Hug your friends. #3 – Share your love of quilting.

in quilting,

Debbie

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