Thursday, December 15, 2011

Home Sweet Home Wallhanging & Throw Pillow Gifts

In our applique group we drew names for Christmas this year.  I made this Home Sweet Home Wallhanging for my friend Joy in the colors of her house.  I found the free pattern for the blocks at .  The patterns are only available until the end of the year, so hurry if you want to get them.

I got the nicest thank you note from Joy so it sounds like she liked her gift.

Our holiday party was so enjoyable.  Louise made a yummy homemade chicken pot pie for lunch and spoiled us with cream puffs topped with carmel sauce and pecans for dessert.  She'd homemade this too.  It was delicious. 

After lunch we had the exchange of our gifts.  I got the most wonderful throw pillow from my friend Patty.  The message on it is so precious to me.

Isn't it great!  I just love it!!!

Letter to Santa

Oh boy do I agree with this letter to Santa from Sweet Home Quilt Company Blog :

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tutorial for Mitered Borders

I presented a tutorial on making Mitered Borders at our Foothills Guild Meeting this month.  Here is the hand-out I prepared.  Try these steps - they will make your mitered borders easy and come out looking so nice.  The "Formula Chart" for mitered borders at the end is a helpful way to remember the calculations you need.   This is a free tutorial that may be copied, used, and shared.  I'd appreciate you acknowledging that you found it on my blog if you share it.

Mitered Borders
By Linda Puttmann ( )

Here's the block we'll miter

Step 1:  Borders.  Determine the overall width your borders will be to achieve the look you want for your quilt.  Determine how many borders you’d like on your quilt and determine the width of the strips needed to achieve the look you want.

Step 2:  Determining the length of border strips.  Measure the length of the quilt (notate that measurement and half that size on a piece of paper).  Calculate the length of the strips for each of the 2 lengthwise border sets by adding the measurement of the length of the quilt above, plus the width of the border twice, plus about 3” (notate those totals on your paper, see Formula Chart, below).  Do the same for the width of the quilt.  Why use this formula?  When sewing the border strips on for a mitered border, you must take into account that there is a border on both sides, and you must also add extra length for the miter. 

Step 3:  Cutting and sewing border strips together.  Once you’ve determined how long your border strips need to be, you can cut your strips (2 sets for the length of the quilt and 2 sets for the width of the quilt).  If using more than one border, strip piece the borders together. They are then treated like one piece of fabric when joining them to the quilt.
Step 4:  Determining placement of the borders.  Fold the border sets in half and mark the centers of all 4 borders.  Fold the quilt in half and mark the centers of all 4 sides.

Shows center mark(Step 4) and marks at one side (Step 5)

Step 5:  Marking border sets.  Using the half calculation from step 1, measure and mark the size of the quilt on the 2 lengthwise border sets by measuring out from the center, and placing a mark to designate where the edge of the quilt should be.  Also mark ¼” in from each edge.  With right sides facing, and raw edges aligned, match the centers and pin.  Then match the ¼” marks and pin.  Please Note:  The strip sets will extend beyond quilt edges - do not trim the border strip sets.  Do the same for the border sets for the width of the quilt.  (I combine Steps 5 & 6, pinning & sewing, when doing each side and then proceed to the next side and pin & sew.)

Shows placement with edge of block at the 1/4" mark (Step 5)

Step 6:  Sewing border sets.  Sew lengthwise border strip sets to quilt edge, starting and stopping ¼” from the corner of the quilt, and backstitching at each end.  Do the same with the border sets for the width of the quilt (holding back the lengthwise pieces so they don’t catch in your new seams).  You now have all 4 sides sewn to the quilt, that stop ¼” from each edge, and with strip sets extending beyond the edges on all 4 sides.  Do not trim the border sets.

  Strip sets extend beyond block - don't trim (Step 6)

Step 7:  Pressing.  Press strips making up the lengthwise border sets toward the quilt, press strips making up the border sets along the width away from the quilt.  The border sets will now nestle nicely when you miter them.  I recommend that you don’t press the border seam where it attaches to the quilt at this time.

Step 8:  The mitering process.  Method A:  Lay the corner to be mitered on your ironing board.  With the right side up, fold the border strip back at a 45-degree angle and align raw edges of the adjacent sides.  Work with the fold until the seams meet properly.  When you think you’ve got it, you can use a square ruler to check that the corner is square and flat. 

Miter is folded and pressed (Step 8)

Press a crisp line where the fabric is folded back (you can then mark on the line with a pencil if it will help you to see it better). 

Pin it well to hold it together, then carry it to your sewing machine, and sew on the crisp line beginning at the outer, raw edge, and sewing into the inner corner until you are within about 2 stitches out from the juncture, and secure seam with a backstitch.  Optionally, it’s also okay to sew from the inner juncture toward the outer edge if you prefer and if your sewing machine has good clearance and visibility to start at that juncture.

Unfold and make sure the border lies flat.  Correct stitching, if necessary.  Trim seam allowance to ¼” and press seam open.  Miter remaining corners.

Two borders mitered


Method B:  This method works for small wall-hangings or for individual blocks.  Follow the preliminary steps above.  To miter (instead of using Step 8) with right sides together, fold the quilt or block diagonally at a 45 degree angle.  Use the 45° angle line, marked on your ruler, to pencil a 45° stitching line from the corner of the quilt to the raw edge of the border, and sew on that line.  Check for accuracy, trim, and press.

Method B - this option seems to work okay for small wallhangings or individual blocks

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Formula Chart for Mitered Borders
by Linda Puttmann  ( )
Length of quilt _____, ½ length _____
Width of quilt _____, ½ width _____
Length of quilt _____, + border set width _____, + border set width again _____, +3” = _______
(Cut the 2 lengthwise border sets this size.)
Width of quilt _____, + border set width _____, + border set width again _____, + 3” = _______
(Cut the 2 widthwise border sets this size.)

Friday, August 26, 2011

SunBonnet Sue Blocks

The ladies in my Foothills Quilters group made some darling SunBonnet Sue blocks for me when I was President.  The  blocks have been aging since 2008 and today was the day I finally decided to make them into a quilt.

Here are the blocks set in place with sashing.  Borders are next...........

I based the setting on an antique quilt I fell in love with.  The antique quilt had 44 blocks and mine has 30 so I had to make some changes to make it work.  It still has the feel of the antique quilt even though mine is a bit different.  Tomorrow I hope to work on the borders.  It would make me happy to get the top finished (and maybe even quilted) before our next Foothills meeting so I can show the ladies how the blocks they gave me turned out.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Nesting Robin

What a fun year I've had working on my Nesting Robin.  Do you wonder what a nesting robin is?  It's like a round robin or a row robin but it nests at our own home.  In other words, it's not passed around to other friends to work on; we work on it ourselves.  We're doing the nesting robin as a group in our guild chapter -18 of us are participating.  As usual we each pick out our own color palate, a theme, decide if we want to do a row or a round robin, and what size the blocks will be.  What makes it unique is that each month we randomly draw out of a hat to see which block we’ll all use for the month.  There are 8 categories in the hat and we decided we'd do 5 rows or rounds - what blocks we make is the luck of the draw. 

The first month the drawing was for "Classic or Traditional" blocks.  I decided on a theme of "Quilt My Own Story".  Along with my blocks I'm writing the story of the various places I've lived and some memories associated with those places.  This first row represents where I was born and raised  - in cold country - Wisconsin & Minnesota.  The main block is an 8 1/2" needleturn applique block called "Winter Still Life" - a pattern by Blackbird Designs that I found in one of my quilting magazines.  The blocks on either side of it are 4 1/2" paper-pieced blocks and are called SeeSaw - which was my favorite past-time when I was small.  Here is the first row I made:

The second month we drew "Stars".  I decided to do a swag with a couple of stars and a double star on it that I could use along the top of my quilt.  The stars represent the many friends I made along the way.  Since we moved every couple of years while I was growing up, it was always a case of making new friends and leaving old friends.  The story I'm writing to go along with this row is about some of the friends who enriched my life along the way - the "stars" in my life.  Here is my second row:

The third month we drew "buildings".  My row is a paper-pieced cabin block with some log cabin blocks around it.  Since my theme is about the places I've lived I may want to emphasize this block a little more and this row may undergo some changes when I work on putting the rows together.  Here it is so far:

The fourth month we drew "things".  I decided to make quilting related tools and quilting things since I spend so much of my time quilting.  There's a rotary cutter, a thimble, a button jar, a spool of thread, and a tape measure/ruler - just in case you can't tell from the picture.  My story for this row is about the time I've lived in Arizona and fell in love with quilting.

It's the fifth month and we drew our last category - it was "flora or fauna/plants or animals".  I decided to applique flowers that are either the state flower or flowers that represent/remind me of the various states where I've lived.  Since I've lived in more than 5 states, some states needed to be grouped together.  Somehow it all worked out and I was able to finish it last night.  Yea!  Here is my last row:

Now we'll take about 2 months to put our quilts together, maybe add filler rows, sashing, or whatever.  Then we'll quilt them and have a reveal tea to show them to each other.  We've shown our rows at our guild meetings as we went along, but combining them and putting them into a quilt will be a secret until the reveal tea.  After the reveal we'll take them to our guild meeting and show them to the whole group.

I can't wait to see everyone's quilts.  Here are a few pictures of some of the rows that others have done:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Mom

We'll miss you Mom!  Sadly, my Mom passed away yesterday after her battle with cancer.  She lived to a ripe old age of 90.  She was so happy that she was able to stay in her home until nearly the end.  She really disliked nursing homes and fought like crazy to remain in her own home.  It was only the last 2 weeks of her life, when she rapidly declined and couldn't be managed without medical care, that she was moved to a Hospice Hospital.  I was able to go and visit her in Colorado a month before she passed.  At that time she was still doing pretty well and we enjoyed our time together. 

Here's a picture of one of the quilts I made her that she's been using to cover herself when she's taking a nap in her chair.

Here's a picture of my Mom.  My sisters brought a friend of Mom's into Mom's home to give her a haircut and style.  This was only 3 weeks before she passed and I think she still looked pretty good considering what she was going through. 

Here's a picture of Mom with my two sisters on July 1, 2011.  Sister Sherry, on the left is my older sister and Ruth, on the right is my younger sister.  I also have 2 brothers so my Mom must have been pretty busy as a young wife chasing all of us around.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Simple Stitcheries from the Heart Quilt Top Finished

I'm happy to say I finished making a quilt top this week.  It's a redwork embroidery quilt using brown embroidery floss and brown fabric with an accent of red.  I've been taking this embroidery project with me to many of my quilt gatherings for over a year now.  Talk about a "forever project"!  I'm so pleased to finally have the top finished.  I have the backing cut and pieced together and some wool batting cut and ready - I actually pieced 2 chunks of leftover batting together using large hand stitches that look like big "Xs".  Hope it works out - want to use up that pricey wool batting.

Jamworks.......Simple Stitcheries from the Heart

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fragrant Memories Quilt Finished

While we were driving to Colorado, I was able to sew down the binding on my Fragrant Memories Quilt.  I started on this quilt 4 or 5 years ago.  I had the center all finished but still needed to applique the borders and quilt it.  I also stalled a little bit on picking fabric for the final border.  Thankfully, I got input from the ladies in my guild chapter and off I went to the quilt shop with some ideas in mind.  They were so good about helping me there too.  And now, it makes me happy to say, that it's finally finished, and is hanging on the wall by the bay window in our eating nook.   Here is a picture of the quilt and a close-up of the quilting:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Quilts for My Colorado Family

We're Back from our trip to Colorado to see my ailing Mother and our relatives who live there.  I gave her a comfort quilt, the "Heart of Gold Mini-Baltimore" from my last post.  Unfortunately, she's confused enough that she didn't realize that it was me who made it for her.  She misunderstood and thought it was made by my daughter-in-law.  I think that after some time, and telling her a few times that it was from me, she finally understood.  Regardless of who she thought gave it to her, she said she loved it and appreciated it.  That made me feel happy.  We hung it on the wall where she could see it and I hope it will make her feel loved when she looks at it.

I also made my Mom a wallhanging for her 90th Birthday which we celebrated while we were there.  I thought the sentiment was so meaningful.

While we were there we got to see my youngest son, Scott's, new home.  It's his first home with is new wife, Andrea.  They live in beautiful Fort Collins, CO.  I wanted to make them a housewarming gift for it so decided to make a wallhanging for their entry.

About 5 years ago, Scott's then girlfriend - now wife, Andrea, helped me pick out some fabric to make a quilt that matched one I had made for him.  A his and hers kind of thing.  I finally took it to her on this trip.  The first picture is the quilt I made for her and the second picture is the one I had previously made and given to my son.  The layout, sashing, and borders are different on each of them but they both have the same color log cabin blocks.  They selected the colors for the blocks, but Scott wanted his accent to be black & white, and Andrea wanted hers to be a jungle print. 

My niece has 4 little girls and they love quilts.  I had a quilt I had made previously from "ugly fat quarters" that I won at a quilt gathering at our mountain home last year.  I thought it looked like a quilt for little girls, so decided to go ahead and quilt it, and give it to them.  Coincidently, it was also one of the little girl's Birthdays while we were there so we had her open the "package".  It was funny to me that it was such a hit and yet it was made from what others think of as ugly fabric.

I usually bring a gift for my sister when I get to see her every year or so.  Her favorite colors are pink & blue so I thought I'd make this little Sunbonnet Girls wallhanging with blue floss and put a border of pink and blue fabric on it.  The label I put on it was, "My Sister, My Friend".

Can you see that the disappearing marking pen had not yet completely disappeared on the wallhangings when I snapped these pictures?  Oops.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mini Baltimore

I finished a mini Baltimore album quilt for my Mom.  By way of a bit of background; since we moved away from Colorado I don't get to see my Mom very often.  When I last saw her I was working on the blocks for my queen-sized Baltimore Album Quilt and she couldn't seem to take her eyes off them.  She really made me feel good with all of her kind words about them.  Well they're now made into a quilt and I'll get to take the quilt back to show her when we go later this month.  When I found out she has been diagnosed with cancer, I decided I wanted to make her a comfort quilt and take that with me too.  After pondering what I would make, I decided on this mini Baltimore album quilt.  I call it Heart of Gold Baltimore Album.  It's just 22" x 26" and is made of hand-dyed fabric and marbled fabric.  I used wool batting and really like how the wool makes it look.  I think she'll be pleased to have a Baltimore of her very own to look at and I hope it will make her smile.

I know myself well enough to know that after spending the countless hours it would take to make a Baltimore album quilt I just might have a tough time parting with it - kind of like letting one of my babies go.  Especially after all the time it takes "birthing" a Baltimore.  I thought that it couldn't take much more time to make two of each block as I went along, right?  So I started by making a second block of the few I had already made and then made two of each from then on.  I only wanted one quilt with the hearts of gold in honor of my Mom though, so I put Fleur de Lis in the borders of this second one.  I also put an eagle block in the one I'll keep because it makes me think of my grandson who is currently serving in the army.  I quilted each of them somewhat differently.  My Mom's has more feathers and the border quilting is different also.  Here's the one I'll keep.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Block #5, Civil War Bride Quilt

I enjoyed making this block, especially the vase.  Plus there weren't too many leaves in this block, compared to many of the other blocks, so it went fast too.   This is the 11th block I've made out of 20......finally I'm more than half way there!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Block #1, Vase of Blue Flowers, Civil War Bride Quilt

Over the long weekend I finished a couple of quilt projects. One of them is block #1 from the Civil War Bride Quilt I've been working on.  This is actually the 10th block I've made on this quilt.  That means I'm half way there.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Block #10, Strawberries (Civil War Bride Quilt)

Here is my latest block for the Civil War Bride Quilt.  This is block number 10, the strawberry block.  I decided to embroider the strawberry tops, I got the idea from Janice Vaine's latest book, "The Art of Elegant Hand Embroidery, Embellishment, and Applique", page 62.  There were some strawberries in her book with these cute embroidered tops.  I also decided to make some strawberry flowers.  I searched for a pattern to make three-dimensional flowers and also found them in Janice's book on page 128.  I've finished 9 blocks so far; here's a picture of them all together.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hand-Quilted Baltimore Album Center

After a lot of hours of deliberation and advice from a number of quilting friends, I finally decided how to quilt the center block on my first Baltimore Album Quilt.  I had previously quilted it in two different ways on my longarm but wasn't happy with either result so tore them both out.  This month I finally decided to try hand-quilting the center with a diagonal single cross-hatch.  I finally feel like the quilt is finished and I can celebrate the huge accomplishement involved in making this special quilt.  Here is a picture of the completed center.

Here is a picture of the quilt hanging on my dining room wall.

Hi - I'm back

I've been away toooooo long.  After we moved into our house in October it seems like it's taken an age for me to get everything settled and to get back into my sewing room.  I'm very slow, aren't I?  I actually got the boxes unpacked and the furniture placed in pretty short order.  Then I collapsed for several months.  I finally got with the program, got quilts and pictures hung on the walls, and got my sewing room organized.  I'm glad I had a deadline of getting the finishing stuff done or there probably still wouldn't be a thing hanging on the walls.  I had my Lunch Bunch group here in March, and then was part of a sewing room tour this month, so I was motivated to get stuff finished for both of them.  Here are a few pictures of some of the quilts on the walls............