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Posts Tagged ‘piecing’

Each of my quilts returned from the NQA Show in Columbus with its own ribbon!  Square in Square I won second place in the Miniature category, and Five Bar Blues won second place in the “Small Quilt, Pieced” category.  The judges comments on my quilts – which I am always very interested in – were very thoughtful and comprehensive,  and they were even typed!

I am especially pleased that my miniature was honored with an award in this show.  It is the first award in a ‘Miniature’ category that Square in Square I has received.

(DH called “2 quilts, 2 ribbons, 2 2nds” a “triple double” …  a sports acronym … basketball?)

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Do any of you listen to Annie Smith’s quilting podcast, “Quilting Stash – the first podcast for quilters“?  I am a great fan and have been enjoying her podcast for years, so I was intrigued with her new online classes.  Especially when I found she is offering a class on her “Quilters Palette” quilt – I have always loved this quilt, and she has never published a pattern for it.  So, I signed up for the class, and it is really fun!  The class includes high quality video instruction in addition to written handouts, and a weekly online chat with Annie.  Check it out – you can follow the link to the Quilting Stash Classroom at the right, or find out more about the Quilters Palette class here.

Dresden Plate block

Dresden Plate block for Quilters Palette quilt

We started the class by selecting fabric for our quilt.  Annie asked us to pick a focus fabric, and then choose 16 fabrics that blend well with the focus fabric, and provide sufficient value contrast for the quilt.  I decided to use all solid fabrics for this quilt.  I have been using solids almost exclusively for the past year, and this gives the the opportunity to experiment mixing solid cottons and cotton sateen, silks, and cotton/silk blend fabrics in a single quilt.  It was a challenge to pick out the fabrics – the range of solid fabrics (and ones I have in my stash) is much smaller than the range of prints today!

The first block we made was the Dresden Plate block.  It uses all of our fabric choices and becomes the fabric ‘palette’ for the rest of the quilt.  The block is sewn together, but not yet appliqued to the background fabric.

Stay tuned – I’ll be posting my blocks here as they are completed.  I hope I can keep up with the weekly lessons!

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I have been assembling units for a pieced border this week and forgot how much I like using homemade starch.

Pieced border units

I usually reach for the can of starch or sizing from the store, because it is just there.  When I use it, I never know whether it will spray or dribble in globs out of the can.  If it sprays, the starch also goes all over the ironing board, the floor, or other nearby furniture.  This week I took 10 minutes and got a box of starch out of the kitchen cabinet and cooked up my own starch, using Diane Gaudynski’s recipe (which you can find on her website at the bottom of the monthly ‘Tips’ page).

I put it in a plastic spray bottle (no more metal aerosol can).  Now I can control the spray and exactly where it goes!  No more sticky globs… and the starch adds body and stiffness to my fabric without leaving white flakes all over everything.  It really helps to tame those bias seams – almost eliminating distortion when piecing triangles or other bias-cut shapes.  Of course, it’s also perfect for starching the back of your quilt just before you layer it for machine quilting.  The additional stiffness of the backing makes it easier to avoid tucks or puckers while you are basting and quilting your quilt.   And it helps your quilt slide more easily on the bed of your sewing machine when you are machine quilting.

I highly recommend using your own homemade starch!

P.S. Can you guess how many border units are in the picture above?

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