Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Technique Tuesday with Matthew's Mini Monsters

Today we feature a collection by Matthew Pridemore, husband of the famous quilter, Heidi Pridemore. Matthew's Mini Monsters is the name of this fun collection of boy prints. Of course, girls would love these, too!

We quilters have fabric stashes that are about 90% "girlie". Flowers, ribbons, bows, pink and sweetness all over the place. When you need to make a quilt for a boy or man, you have to look far and wide for masculine themed fabrics.

I asked Benartex to lead me to something that caters to boys and they sent me these called "Matthew's Mini Monsters." Many of us are familiar with the name Heidi Pridemore. She's been in the professional quilting industry as long as I have (25 years) and I have always like her playful, whimsical style. She is a natural artist and her quilt designs are always joyful.

This collection was designed by her husband! Now, that's a family affair, right?

Matthew's Mini Monsters
The collection includes a panel for a soft book AND this wonderful group of 8 monsters. The squares measure 7-1/2" and for a printed panel, they were very accurate both vertical and horizontal (which almost never happens). I knew I wanted to work with these.

I could have turned this panel into a quick quilt with a border, but that was too easy. Easy is for other quilters; me, I tend to torture myself with details (just kidding!)

Matthew's Mini Monsters panel
Head on over to the Sew in Love with Fabric page to see how I used this panel and the companion fabrics to make a fun boy's quilt. And, yes, I cut out those monster blocks!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Easy Matching Pillowcases for Your Quilts

I have made dozens of pillowcases using quilter's cottons and, to tell you the truth, it's EXPENSIVE! More than a yard of fabric to make a standard sized case. And at $10 - 13 a yard, that is pricey.

10 years ago I made a set of cases to match my Good Luck quilt and I used a set of purple cases I bought at Walmart for about $5.00. Let me show you what I did by using pics I took the other day making some for my two little grandsons.

First, the Good Luck quilt (a VERY popular workshop for a few years). It is a vintage pattern that I tweaked to eliminate funky templates and everything is done with strips and your rotary cutter and ruler with NO waste. This is a good sized quilt at 79" x 79". Take a good look at my border fabric!
The Good Luck Quilt (pattern available at my Craftsy store)
Here it is with the pillowcases:
Good Luck quilt with matching pillowcases
 Inside, to show there are no raw edges! (Tutorial below, so don't go away!)

Inside the pillow case
 I used the quilt's border print for the pillowcase hems.
Pillow case with matching fabric
Now, let me show you what I did (oh, clever person that I am). This only uses 6" x wof fabric for each case. A real bargain. Oh, and you do need two purchased standard sized pillowcases! I bought two sets at Marshall's for $5.99 each. (I also made some cases for my daughter).

Cut 6" x wof of contrasting fabric. Seam short ends so that the width is exactly the width of the pillowcase (about 40"). This part is important. You don't want any pleats or "ruffles" where they come together. The right side of dinosaur print is placed against the wrong side/inside of the pillowcase.

Yes, you are covering the hem of the purchased pillowcase.

Pillow case outside; right side of contrasting fabric against the INSIDE of the pillowcase
Seam the raw edge of the print with the finished edge of the pillowcase, using 1/4" seam. Press as shown, toward the 6" strip. Now you see the WRONG side of print and the RIGHT side (outside) of the pillowcase.
Seam with 1/4". Press as shown.
 Now fold the contrasting fabric over to the outside of the pillowcase. Press.
Press to outside as shown
This is what it looks like on the inside - a little 1/4" finished edge. No raw edges!

Now turn under the raw edges of the dinosaur fabrics and pin.

Pin turned under edges, ready to stitch.
 I used my serpentine, curvy stitch on my trusty Bernina 1230. A straight stitch will do.
Two pillowcases ready to gift to my grandsons!
Both fabrics (6" quilter's cottons and pillowcases) have NOT been pre-washed. I will now prewash these cases and probably throw in a Color Catcher for any renegade dyes.

These do not take a long time and are wonderful gifts for just about anyone on your holiday list.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Quilter's Block a Day Calendar: Week 50

Thanks to everyone for all the kind words about these blocks. I also have thoroughly enjoyed what Patricia Bryant has done with my designs. We all are anxious to know how she will put them together. Remember her little pile?

Patricia's stack of all 366 blocks from my calendar
Let's see the next seven for Week #50.

December 10: Gentleman's Fancy
Gentleman's Fancy: 12"

December 11: Holiday Mosaic
Holiday Mosaic: 12"
Just added: Deanna commented below that she would like to see Holiday Mosaic in a 4 block setting. I have this from the Calendar CD version. The blocks are turned 90 degrees and make an interesting arrangement, don't you think?

Four Holiday Mosaic Blocks

December 12: Honey's Choice

Happy Chanukah to my Jewish bloggers!

Honey's Choice: 10"
 December 13: Around the Mountain

Around the Mountain: 9"
December 14: Odds and Ends

Odds and Ends: 12"
December 15: Slanted Diamonds
What a sweet little Nativity!

Slanted Diamonds: 6"
December 16: Pennsylvania (that's where I was born!)

Pennsylvania: 12"

Friday, December 8, 2017

Zendoodle for Children: New Book

Here's a delightful book for that special child in your life. And there's a unique twist to the contents. Zendoodle for Children is a story about Milli and Matti, two pattern mice! What's a pattern mouse?

Zendoodle for Children
The descriptive blurb at the Schiffer web site says it best:

"Children will love following along with a charming pair of white mice named Milli and Matti as they search for colorful patterns to wear to the Festival of the Animals. Along the way they meet many animals such as a zebra, bee, tiger, ladybug, and armadillo, packing the animals’ body patterns into their suitcase. The mice take turns drawing the patterns on each other and invite readers to draw along in the book with a felt-tip pen. This kind of repeat pattern-painting is called zendoodling and has a relaxing effect. Included are simple Zendoodle tips and 25 animal outlines for children to copy, enlarge, and fill in for hours of fun."

Well, you say. Can we see them? They're kind of sad here because they're looking for beautiful patterns to decorate themselves with in order to go to the Festival of Animals.

Milli and Matti in their "plain" skin before the Festival of Animals

Now, look at this giraffe all decked out in so many Zendoodle designs. OK. I know you didn't read all that text above and you're asking: "What the heck is Zendoodle?" It is repeat pattern painting. See all the repeats in the sections on the giraffe!

Milli (or maybe it's Matti) with a new, best friend going to the Festival of Animals

They discover a patterned wall and a chessboard. Can they draw them?
 They hear a snore up in a tree and look up. Yikes! A leopard. But he goes back to sleep. This guy has a natural pattern. Can they draw it?
Matti and Milli discover the pattern on a leopard
 And, of course, another natural pattern in the rings of a tree stump! How beautiful!

They discover all sorts of natural patterns around them
The book is a wonderful story and includes lots of places for children to draw the patterns - Zendoodle. I used to doodle when I was young. Wish I still had some of those scribbles.

Be sure to check Zendoodle for Children out. I've already shown this to my grandchildren and I think I will gift it to my little 3-1/2 year old granddaughter. The boys are more interested in laser guns, walkie talkies and Legos!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Holiday Love Doves FREE pattern

Here's a post from 2014 that I think is worth revisiting. I have a lot of new blog followers who may never have seen this quick and easy Christmas tree ornament.

Quick sewing 8 dove ornaments with Audrey
"Hi, mom. Can you help me? I need 8 dove ornaments for a Christmas exchange next week."

Oh, sure. I'll put my magician hat on and wave my magic wand and voila! - 8 quick ornaments.

Lucky for me I had a Santa sack of various crafts sitting in my hall closet (honest) that I had pulled out last week looking for something. In there is my trusty Dove Ornament pattern. And I even had a sample ornament to remind me of what they look like.

I did the fusing. Audrey did the cutting out. I quick stitched the gold thread on the outside. I was shocked to see I still had some gold cording. We found that 10" lengths worked best.

Here is a single ornament front and back:

Holiday Dove: 4" x 5"
 Use pretty fabric on the back, too.

Holiday Dove, reverse
You can get the FREE PATTERN at my Craftsy store. It's a one page pdf that also includes a simple heart shape. All you need are scraps of pretty fabric, bits of fusible webbing and batting. Everything is sandwiched, fused and then stitched. I use freezer paper as my template material.

This will only be available through December. Then I will remove it from my Craftsy store until next year.

Holiday Love and Dove Pattern

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Technique Tuesday with Festive Season and Hexagons

Here are two versions of one block: same fabrics but different technique. The first is English Paper Pieced (EPP) using Katja Marek's New Hexagon Perpetual Calendar. It is 6" wide (3" along a straight side).

November 25 block from the New Hexagon Perpetual Calendar
I tend to be a renegade and don't always follow the rules exactly. (Nothing illegal, just a bit off the beaten path.) I first looked at this block and realized I could easily rotary cut and sew it by machine. And that's exactly what I did.
November 25 block rotary cut and sewn
This is all part of a year long adventure with Katja's quilt shop and her "Quilt with Me" project. Each month Katja selects one of the blocks in the calendar and then we make a wreath of 6 blocks. Quite a lot of work when you EPP. As a renegade, I have used rotary cutting to make several of them.

Today at the Benartex blog (Sew in Love with Fabric), I share my finished November wreath using this block and Festive Season fabrics by Jackie Robinson. I absolutely love this fabric and have made quite a few blocks with it (besides the wreath). My favorite fabrics are those with the large cardinals, which I fussy cut for a few other blocks.

Fussy cutting one of the cardinals
Here is the finished wreath of 6 blocks with that awesome fussy cut cardinal in the center.

Festive Season table topper
Go check it out at Sew in Love with Fabric and see my steps. And you will see my finished Festive Season table topper. And there are NO y-seams - honest!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Quilter's Block a Day Calendar: Week 49

Here we are on home stretch with Week 49 and seven more beautiful blocks from Patricia. (She actually sewed all of these in 2016, one a day!)

December 3: Wandering Foot
Wandering Foot: 10"
 December 4: Antique Tile
Antique Tile: 12"
December 5: Cutting Corners

Cutting Corners: 9"
 December 6: Double Four Patch

Double Four Patch: 16"
 December 7: Duck Paddle
Duck Paddle: 10"
 December 8: Flying Squares

Flying Squares: 10"
 December 9: Four Patch in Nine

Four Patch in Nine: 8"
Just 3 weeks to go! Can you believe it?