Thursday, May 24, 2012

Raggy Shaggy Square Tutorial

A few months ago I cam across this blog. Margaret's Hope Chest sponsors a "Project Hope" project every two months to create quilts for charity. The May/June project is a Ragged Squares quilt. I put together a tutorial for this project, there are also several other tutorials that can be viewed here and here. Initially I was cutting and assembling one block from start to finish. I found after the first color set that assemble line style works well and saves a lot of time. I would cut all my 9.5" and 6.5" blocks, pin, sew, cut and then add the 3.5" block and repeat the process.

To start select single color fabrics pieces that are larger than 9.5" square. I personally was cutting 4-5 squares at a time to speed up the process. 

I stacked the fabrics together and cut them using a 9.5" square ruler. When I had a stack of 20 squares cut I  move onto cutting the next size square. 

The next size for this project is 6.5" square. Select coordinating fabrics and cut stacks of 4-5 squares at a time. Once you have enough squares cut to match your 9.5" squares you are ready to start pairing blocks. 

Select a 9.5" and 6.5" square that coordinates and contrasts and center the smaller block on the larger and attach with 4 pins.

Sew around the edge of the 6.5" block using coordinating thread leaving a 1/4" seam allowance. I started in the middle of one side of the 6.5" block, back stitched a few stitches and then proceeded around the block, when I got back to my starting point I back stitched a few stitches again. Depending on which tutorial you follow at this point you can cut out the section of the 9.5" block that is covered by the 6.5" block or leave it to add bulk. Since I hate to waste fabric I cut out the backs of my blocks.

Once I had sewn all my 6.5" blocks onto my 9.5" blocks I would move to the couch, watch TV and start cutting out my middles. Flip over the block so you can see where you sewed the two blocks together. CAREFULLY separate the two layers of fabric and snip only the fabric from the 9.5" block inside the stitched area. Leaving an allowance of at least 1/4" snip all the way around your stitched area. When you are finished you will have a stack of "middles" that are about 6" square or so. I used these for the center 3.5" block or you can add then to your scraps for a later project.

When you are finished it should look like the picture above.

Once I had all my middles removed I cut them down to 3.5" squares. I have searched far and wide for a 3.5" square ruler but cannot find one. So I used a straight ruler for this portion.

Add one 3.5" square to each of your 9.5/6.5" combos making sure to select squares that look good together. I also didn't want to use the same 3.5" square as 9.5" square in the same block but that was a personal preference. Once you have these pinned proceed to sew around the 3.5" square.

The final step is to flip over the blocks and cut of the extra fabric between the 6.5" square and the 3.5". Once these were cut out I trimmed the shaggy edges. In the end you will have something that looks like the pictures below. I created one set of pinks and one set of teal/blues for project hope. I encourage you to make a square or ten for this project. The mailing address is on Margaret's Hope Chest Blog and they are collecting blocks til the end of June!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Quilting In The USA - Milwaukee, WI

I was able to spend sometime in my home sweet home this weekend and since it was my birthday I took a couple extra days. I got a lot of sewing and shopping done while I was home and have some new shops to add to my growing list as I travel the USA.

The closest shop to my house is actually a Ben Franklin Crafts in Oconomowoc, WI. This Store is located at 1083 Summit Avenue in Oconomowoc, WI. Although this is not a traditional free standing quilt shop it is close to my house and it has a number of things that I enjoy. They have a great selection of fabrics and wool, numerous classes and quilt samples and something I haven't seen elsewhere AccuQuilt rental. They have the machine and a number of dies and you can rent it by the hour to cut your fabric. I haven't taken advantage of this yet but it certainly is a cost effective way to try out or use the machine without the investment of having one of your own. If I was at home more I would definitely take some classes here

Heading toward the south of where I live The Quilt Patch is a store I stumbled upon going to meet my husband for lunch. He apparently drives past this place everyday on his way to work and conveniently forgot to mention its exsistance. This is a smaller store which is part of a house and is only open limited hours. Inside they have packed a lot into a small space. The fat quarters are $2.50 each and they have tons of very well packaged quilt kits. They also have some mystery boxes available for $5.00 each, I am a sucker for mystery anything. I ended up buying one of these boxes and had two generous quarter yards of fabric and a panel as well as a pattern inside. Can't be beat and I love the surprise.

My favorite shop along this route is located in Milton, WI. Loose Threads is not only an awesome shop but it is also in an old schoolhouse which combines my two favorite things. This place is packed to the gills with fabric, room after room of bolts. They also have a selection of discount bolts for $6 a yard and "misfits" which are remnants that are width of fabric and are sold by the length. They have a separate classroom area as well as fairly priced fat quarters ($2.50-$2.60). This is one of the only places I have found that have Sunday hours so if you need a fix on a Sunday this is the place to go.

The final shop we went to was located in Genesse Depot. This address does not want to come up in my GPS. I blame it on the crazy Wisconsin street addresses, the longitude and latitude method should only be used by pilots and sea captains in my opinion. If you can find this place it is a smaller shop with no crazy bargains. Pamella's Place is a Bernina dealer and it is pretty tightly packed. I don't know if I would seek it out again but it was worth a visit at least once.

We tried to hit up a couple other shops in Fort Atkinson and Whitewater but they were closed early on Saturday. I have some more shops headed toward Milwaukee which I will give you the info on the next post and I have a bunch of quilting projects I need to share as well. I hope to catch up this weekend. Happy stitching!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Quilting In The USA - Columbus, OH Part 2

I'm back in Columbus, Ohio this week (Week 7!) I am proud to say that there is an exit strategy in place and I should be done here by the end of the month. I am pretty pumped. I have a couple trips to Missouri planned for later this month and next. I have never been to Missouri and am excited to cross another state off my list, I am also excited to locate some shops in the Kansas City, MO, and St. Joseph, MO area.

Last night I went to two more Columbus quilt shops. I think I have exhausted the available quilt resources in Columbus but if i have missed any let me know. I have also added a quilt shop map to the blog so you can see where I have been if you want to check them out yourself.

The first shop I visited yesterday was Sew To Speak in Clintonville. If you look at the map you will see that Clintonville is in the North central part of Columbus. It is a cute suburb with lots of boutique shops, restaurants and such. A place where a girl like me could lose track of time and money. I had read many reviews about this shop and was scared/fascinated at the prospect. The general opinion of this shop in everything I read was that they have the cutest designer fabrics that are hard to find anywhere else, also that you are going to pay dearly for them. I headed out expecting to look at all the store had to offer but leave empty handed as I am cheap cheap cheap. Initially I missed this shop, twice, and had to keep turning around to find it. The signage is not the best on this place. The store itself is small but does have a lot of less common designers as well as some old favorites. The prices i found to be fair for quilt shop fabrics. Moda and Robert Kaufmann were starting at $9 and $10 a yard. They did have some local designers and imports that were significantly more (up to $21.50 a yard). Some of these higher priced fabrics do make their way to the 20% discount rack. I did end up grabbing some 1/8 yard chunks of fabric for my on going 6 point star project and I found some more owl cuties. I am not sure if these will go with my current owlets but I haven't seen these before and am willing to risk it. I like to call them "how now brown owl".
Owls In Retro - Robert Kaufmann - Suzanne Ultman
Overall I would say that Sew To Speak is worth a look. The prices were pretty fair, they do have some designers you just won't see elsewhere, the store is on the small side and you have to be looking for it. They have reasonably priced fat quarters ($2.75) and some of the most unique notions that I have never seen in a quilt shop before (leather squirrel zipper pulls!!!). If you are looking to take a class they have a pretty wide variety from kids to adults, skirts to quilts. They also sell oilcloth and patterns for some oil cloth projects.

From Sew to Speak I continued down the street to The Glass Thimble. I have been in Columbus for some time and haven't been to this shop yet. Their website did not inspire me to hop in my car and head over there. I gave in last night since they were open until 8pm and it was only 2 miles from the other shop I had planned on visiting. The store itself is not hard to find, finding the entrance is another story. The store front is on N High Street but the entrance and parking is in the rear which can only be reached by turning on East North Broadway Street and then turning onto Broadway Place which is a one way street. Once you find the parking lot there is plenty of parking to go around. The shop itself appears to be two houses that have been conjoined by a pass through. As a result the store is somewhat of a maze. It seems to go on forever and there is a lot to take in. The fabric selection is pretty good, fat quarters are $3.19 and fat eights are $1.69. This store has many many patterns and most of them have a quilt top example made and displayed in the store. Who ever is doing the quilting for this store has an amazing eye for color and is a very adept quilter. The displays are amazing. The Glass Thimble also offers classes and a long arm service. Overall a very nice shop, worth the maze to get in there.

Where is your favorite quilt shop????

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Quilting In The USA - Columbus, OH

I travel quite extensively for my job. Monday through Friday I am on the road throughout most of the central United States. I don't get to see my husband or beagles nearly enough. I am on a first name basis with most TSA agents at the Milwaukee airport. However when I travel I seek out local fabric and quilt shops to entertain myself and add to my stash. I have been in Columbus, Ohio now for about 6 weeks......(sigh)
Columbus, Ohio....Looking Snazzy
I have found a couple great quilt shops here in town.

Here are the highlights.....

Red Rooster Quilts- Located in Dublin, Oh (North-West of downtown). This is a great store with a nice selection of quilting fabrics and wool. They offer classes in the back studio which is also where they have a selection of bolts that are 40% off. They have a lot of quilt kits, pre-cuts, patterns, and finished display tops. The are an authorized Janome dealer and have a longarm quilting service. They aren't the cheapest store I have ever been too, the fat quarters are $3.25, which is a little rich for my blood, but I did find the cutest owl print here.
Ten Little Things - Yellow Owls - By Moda
The fabric is Ten Little Things by Moda in yellow. I just want to squeeze that little green owl until his eyes pop out. They have this print in a number of colors. I am proud to say that I bought the green and the yellow. This fabric was the inspiration for my friend Megan's baby quilt. They aren't going to find the gender of the baby until its born and I was looking for a neutral fabric. This is not an easy task if you have ever spent any time looking at children's fabrics. They are all pink or blue!!! I plan on making a version of the quilt below (New Wave Quilt) using this pattern I found at Oh, Fransson!.
New Wave Quilt by Oh, Fransson!
Hopefully my quilt will look half as nice as her's when I'm finished. If you haven't been to Oh, Fransson! stop what you are doing and click the link. I love every one of her quilts more than the last. Her tutorials are very very easy to understand. She does great work and this pattern is available for download from her website for free!. She also has a number of beautiful quilt patterns available for sale on her website.

Back to the task at hand. The next shop I found here in Columbus was Quilt Beginnings, they have two locations to the north or east of the city. I first went to the store to find Quilt Patis templates after watching this video on how to make a six point star. As I mentioned before I travel a whole bunch and my sewing machine stays at home. So i was looking for a project that would be portable and airplane friendly. I started searching and found Quilt Patis which happens to be a product created by someone who lives in Columbus. I took this as a sign and went out to buy said Patis. I found Quilt Beginnings on Quilt Patis website and went to the North side location one day after work.

The North side location does not have the Quilt Patis but they have a lot of other great stuff. Large selection of quilting fabric, sewing machines, many fat quarter bundles, and a classroom in the back. The fat quarter here are $3.00 each which is a little pricey, but they have a selection of $5.00 a yard bolts (minimum cut of 1 yard) and often have fat quarter bundles of 12 for $18.00. So there are some bargains to be found.

The east side location is very close to the Columbus airport, which works out great for me. If I am looking to kill some time before my flight this is where I will be. This store has a different selection of items than the north side store. They do have a bargain area with $5.00 per yard bolts (1 yard minimum) and fat quarter bundles of 12 for $18.00. This location does carry several type of the Quilt Patis templates. I use the 1.5" diamond which come 60 to a pack and are $20.00. At first I thought why spend $20.00 when i could make my own. Then I did some math and figured I didn't want to go through the trouble to make them to save a couple cents each. They are reusable and very handy. I will be posting a tutorial on using the Quilt Patis and showing what I have made with mine.

Hope you have enjoyed this trip through the quilt shops of Columbus. Let me know if you have any other gems I need to check out.

Welcome to The Peach Patch

Hi my name is Dhia and this is the first post for my new blog, Peach Patch Quilts. About 5 months ago I got bitten by the quilting bug inspired by my old friend cheapness. I was out on black friday and ended up in Jo-Ann Fabrics. They had the cutest flannel prints for $1.50 a yard. I had been moving around a sewing machine for a couple years and after talking to one of the employees decided I would attempt to make a baby rag quilt. Since then I have completed a couple baby quilts and have several other projects in the works. I hope to share these with you through pictures. Welcome!