quilting, Uncategorized

Inspired by Fabric

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I was recently asked if fabric has ever inspired me and my immediate answer was ‘Yes!’ The best example I can give is my Dash into Spring Placemat.

The story behind the idea is pretty simple. As a gift, I was given two charm packs of Moda’s Dot, Dot, Dash! by Me and My Sister Designs. For some reason, I never put them with my stash; I found myself thumbing through the brightly colored fabrics…green, pink, purple, yellow, and blue. And then it came to me—a placemat depicting an outside scene complete with grass, butterflies, flowers, sky and sun! The colors were perfect for it, and all I’d need is one charm pack. I can’t explain where the idea came from other than by just looking at the fabric and thinking about what I could do with it.

So there it was, I had my idea. To get started, I looked up the average placemat size and then I sketched it. Once the design was determined, I made a sample with scraps. Admittedly, the sample process always takes a few tries. Once I finally got it scaled correctly, I took a photo and sent it to a few family members asking them to tell me what they saw (due to the abstract design I felt this was a necessary step). Everyone recognized it for what it was supposed to be so I was good to go!

Next, I began writing the pattern. While doing so, I decided to make it a tutorial instead. Then I decided to submit the tutorial to the Moda Bake Shop. It was my first time submitting any of my work, so you can imagine how excited I was when it was accepted.

In March 2016, my Dash into Spring Placemat was featured on the Moda Bake Shop. It’s also available on Craftsy and right here: dash into spring placemat tutorial PDF.

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So, sure, fabric can inspire us. I hope a gift of fabric has inspired you too as a fellow quilter!
Uncategorized

Choosing a Quilting Design

Once I finish a quilt top it’s time to decide on a quilting design, and that can be a tough decision. I figured if it’s an issue for me, maybe it’s an issue for other quilters, too. Since actual ‘quilting’ is not my strong suit, I came up with this easy tip to help in the decision making process.

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Often times when I finish piecing a quilt top, I’m unsure of how I want to quilt it. To experiment with a variety of quilting designs, I lay out cut lengths of inexpensive contrasting thread and string them on the quilt top in a chosen design. It’s a great way to test ideas because it allows me to see it what my quilt will look like when it’s finished.

I’m happy to note that this quilting tip was featured in the June edition of American Patchwork & Quilting under tips from readers (page 8).

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I came up with this idea a while after I began quilting as I really wanted to learn (and hopefully become very good at) free motion quilting. After seeing beautifully quilted quilts and projects, I thought for sure it was something I wanted to master…who wouldn’t?!? But after a lot of practice, effort and frustration, I realized I wasn’t very good at it and I really didn’t want to take the time to learn it either. It just wasn’t going to happen so I left that dream behind. Throughout my trial and error, I definitely learned to appreciate what a great skill it is to acquire, and how difficult it must be, but I’ve also decided to leave it to the experts!

As far as my quilts go to date, I usually quilt straight lines and I’ve grown to love the simplicity of it…and I always do some ‘thread painting’ to test my ideas first!

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