Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Blue Quilt - Work in Progress

I picked a project from my UFO project stash and spent a bit of time this week cutting and piecing a small quilt top.  This quilt is part of a Digitized Quilting online class that was offered by Quilt University.  The class uses the embroidery module on your sewing machine to quilt the quilt.  I chose the monochromatic color so that the quilting will be the highlight rather than the piecing of this quilt.

The center block is 20" square with 6" borders to make the finished quilt top size a 32" square.
Electric Quilt version of this quilt.

Electric Quilt version of the center block.

My block so far.

Click here for the rotary cutting information to make the center block.

Happy Stitching!

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How To: Scan Your Own Fabric into EQ7

One of my favorite features of using Electric Quilt is that I can preview my own fabric in my blocks on the computer.  I have a lack of self-confidence when selecting fabrics, so I'm glad EQ7 allows me to see it virtually, before any cutting and sewing is done.  I've scanned in some of my fabrics, and would like to eventually do my whole stash.  My stash is not incredibly huge, so that is the good news.  

If you haven't tried it yet, here is how to scan your own fabrics into the Electric Quilt library:
  • First thing to do is scan your fabric into you computer.  Use whatever software you normally use to scan an item.  I have an HP OfficeJet printer/scanner machine.  The Print dialog for this printer has a Scanner button on it, so that is how I will scan in my fabric for this example.
  • On your scan setting window, set the resolution to 72 or 75 DPI, and select the option to Descreen the scan.  This is important!  The DPI setting allows the pattern to be the correct relative size in the block design in EQ.  It also keeps the file size smaller.  The descreen option will remove the moire pattern (lines) that may show up in the fabric scan.
  • Once the settings are correct, give your fabric scan a name and scan it in.  For a smaller size file, you can just frame and scan the repeat pattern of the fabric.  Remember where you have it stored on your computer!
  • After your fabric is scanned in, bring up the Electric Quilt software.
  • To add the scanned fabric to your personal library, select Fabric Library from the Libraries menu.
  • Click on Import -> From Image File.
  • Locate the image file(s) you just scanned in.  You can select more than one file to import.  Select, and click Open.

  • Select Import Results to see your imported fabrics.  
  • Select your fabric(s), and click on the Copy button at the bottom of the window.
  • Click on My Library, and navigate to the library where you want to store your fabrics.  Click Add Library button if you need/desire a new one. I store mine first by where I purchased the fabric (so I know where to get more if needed).  Under that category is a more specific style category of the fabrics.  (You can rename the style category by right-clicking on a name and choosing to Modify style). 
  • When you are in your preferred library style category, then click on Paste to drop the fabrics in to this library.
This daisy fabric has now been added to the Floral style from Walmart.
  • Click on Close to close the Fabric Libraries window.  You will be asked to confirm your additions.  Select Yes, and then OK on the final window.

Each fabric in your library has a notecard associated it.  You can add notes to each to make it easier to find when searching your libraries at a later point. I also like to note how much of the fabric I have.  
Notecard for my newly added fabric.

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Annie's Mystery Quilt Block 1

I signed up for Annie's Quilted Mysteries Book Club for some enjoyable reading on my Kindle.  After finishing the first book, A Patchwork Mystery, I was surprised to see at the end, a block pattern for a mystery sampler quilt.  There will be a book-inspired block pattern in each of the twelve books in this series.  The last book will also include finishing instructions to create a mystery quilt designed by the series characters, Cotton & Grace.

The first block is a Friendship Star pattern with a Finished Block Size of 12"x12".

I played with a friendship star block pattern in Electric Quilt until I had some fabric from my stash that I thought would work well with it.  If you want to make one, here is my rotary cutting printout from EQ for a friendship star.

My fabrics

EQ7 Version of my block

Pieces cut.

Block 1 assembled.

With the ebooks, I have found the block pattern is also available as a PDF to download from their website. I already have the next book on my Kindle ready to read.  Looking forward to finishing it and doing the next block.

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, January 13, 2014

My Crafty Teen's Bandana Quilt

I asked my (freshly turned) 13-year-old what should the next project from my stash be.  I suggested valences for the kitchen windows.  She suggested we do something from her stash. She is my crafty one, and has her own project box.  She has sewn some things before, so I told her to go find something.  She came back with four bandanas and some fleece, and said she wanted to make a quilt. 

She reminded me that last summer, there was a bandana quilt on display at our local JoAnn store for a kid's quilting class, and that she had asked me to take a photo of it with my phone.  I went searching through through the photos and I did find this photo of the bandana quilt.
Quilt on display at JoAnn.

The quilt seems simple enough.  Four identical blocks of four triangles each.

We scanned the fabrics into Electric Quilt to play around with the colors.  Since we only scanned a portion of each bandana, the bandana's design could not be fully shown in EQ, but the colors could be shown well.  My daughter likes to do things herself, including using EQ to design this quilt.
Quilt Block
She said she wanted to give this quilt to her 7-year-old sister, so she got her little sister's input on how the colors should be.  My 7-year old daughter came up with the following design.  She liked the blocks rotated so that the pink and yellow are in the center to form a pinwheel.
Quilt design created by my 13 and 7-year old daughters.

We set to work.  My 13-year-old was the stitcher, and I would cut the fabric for her.

Fabric pieces laid out on cutting table.
- She sewed the pairs of pink and yellows first, then the blues and greens together.  Sew with right sides of the fabric together, 1/4" seams.  Press open.
Sew four of the pink/yellow.
Sew four of the blue/green.
- Then she sewed each pair of halves (pink/yellow to a blue/green) to complete the four identical blocks.  Sew right sides together, 1/4" seams.  Press open.
Complete four of these blocks.
- A pair of blocks were stitched together along the yellow/pink seam.  She did this twice - so she had two rows (of two blocks each).  Sew right sides together again.  Press open.
Complete two of these rows.

- The two rows of two blocks were stitched together along the yellow/pink seam to make the four-block quilt top.  Sew right sides together once more.  Press open.
Chain stitching away.

- She added some batting, and used the pink fleece for the backing.
- She lay the batting down on the table first, then the fleece on top of it.
- She then lay the quilt top (bandana fabric), face-down, on top of the fleece so their right-sides face together.
- Trim the edges clean and pin all around.
- She stitched the outside edges together and left a small opening to turn it out, pillow-case style.
- The opening was then hand-stitch closed.

Watching her embroidery finish for a quilt label.
- She embroidered and cut a label for her quilt from an extra bandana that I had.  Hand stitch it onto the back.
- After top-stitching around the outside edges, and stitching the seams in the ditch, she was done!

Front side.  All done!

She likes how each block has a full circle design across the four bandana colors.

Back side.

Her little sister is so happy.   It's her new favorite.

Putting the quilt to good use already.  :-)

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

FNWF - Quilt Guild tag

Friday Night with Friends!  After spending some time on the computer, I got a late start to FNWF, and an even later finish, but I did complete a name tag for my local quilt guild, Quilters Unlimited.  It's been on my To Do list since I joined the guild last June, and saw the other ladies with their block name tags.

Block pattern for name tag.
The block pattern is for a 4" finished tag.  I drew the design in Electric Quilt to audition my own fabric with it.  I decided on the following fabrics:

Here is the EQ rotary cutting instruction for this block showing my fabric.
Printout from Electric Quilt software.

I cut the pieces and then assembled...

Rows Assembled
Block together.

I decided to add a small border and embroider my info on it:
Embroidered and border added.

I sandwiched some batting and backing fabric, plus a neck strap and stitched and turned it, pillow-case style.  Used the walking foot to stitch in the ditch.

Finished tag.

Butterfly fabric is on the back.
I'll be checking out the others who stitched last night too.  Love to see other's projects.

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Birdhouse Tissue Box Cover

I finished the canvas birdhouse tissue box cover.  Most of it was done while walking on my DIY treadmill desk.  I think I walked about 20 miles to complete this project.

This kit came from Mary Maxim.  The pattern was clear and the instructions were easy to follow.
Mary Maxim pattern on my DIY treadmill desk.  :-)

I will be giving it as a birthday gift at the end of the month.

Friday Night with Friends is tonight.  I plan on doing a little sewing tonight.  Hope you can too.

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I found a Singer 160 Limited Edition Tote!

2012 was the Singer Company's 160th anniversary.  I picked up their limited edition 160 machine that year from JoAnn.   Ever since, I've been looking for the Singer's 160 Limited Edition Tote bag.
Singer 160 Limited Edition Tote

I saw that HSN had offered it originally with their singer 160 bundle.  I've been unable to find it anywhere.  Last month, I saw that Walmart is now offering it.  I was so excited to finally find it.  Even my daughter remembered I had been looking for it when I showed it to her online.

My Singer 160
I have a black Singer bag, but it is not large enough for this machine.  My red tote bag arrived yesterday and looks good!  It is very roomy, sturdy and padded with inside pockets.

I love the large embroidered 160th Anniversary badge.

The kids were home again yesterday due to the severe weather we have had.  They were getting a bit stir crazy in the house as they've only had one day back at school since before Christmas.  Here was the temperature in the morning:  3°F (-16°C) was the air temp and with the wind, it felt like -9°F (-22°C).  They are back in school today!

Our Weather Status at 7 AM Tuesday

My treadmill desk has filled up with my laptop on it, but I like being able to check emails while I do my slow walk.  The birdhouse canvas project is coming along too.  

My treadmill desk is busy on top.

Friday Night with Friends is on for this Friday!  I've signed up, hope you will too.  :-)

Happy Stitching!

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