Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Catch Up

Time is passing at lightening speed. Or is it just me? My beginner quiltmaking classes are already coming down the home stretch. Today I showed one class of students how to sew binding to a quilt. My thanks to whoever picked up my camera to take this picture!

This Friday is an all-day free motion quilting workshop. For those quilters who have never attempted FMQ, I'll do a pin basting demo as I've done on this "Spinner" quilt. Spinner is a 36" X 48" quilt I recently designed for First Time Quiltmaking students. It's simply an additional pattern option, besides the four basic designs students have had since 2005. (Oh my! I've been teaching for a long time, haven't I?!)

Catching up on a long-intended to-do, I recently had two more books made of my Flourishing Palms blog posts. While I managed to have volumes 1, 2 and 3 printed shortly after the end of each year -  2009, 2010, and 2011 - somehow, I never made the time to create Volumes 4 and 5, from 2012 and 2013. Both those years were pretty monumental for us, so I didn't want to lose record of them.

Having blog posts made into a print book is a pretty easy process. I did it through Blog2Print. You get to choose a date range, and then several options for formatting - a cover style, front and back cover photographs, and whether to include a table of contents, or blog comments. I didn't include either. It takes a couple weeks to have the book order fulfilled by Shared Books.

Here are pages from a post about a Carolyn Friedlander trunk show I attended last year. It's great having lots of pictures.

The only posts I didn't include were those about giveaways.

I'm expecting that someday, probably after I'm gone, my children and grandchildren will look through these books and find that their Mom/Nana was crazy for quiltmaking. As if they don't know that already! They'll also know I'm proud of them. After all, they made the covers of several books!

Below are four churn dash blocks for Carla, the February queen of our Mid-Century Modern Bee.  This is the link to our new Mid-Century Modern Bee blog where you can see pictures of blocks and 2013 quilt finishes by our 12 bee members. I'm sorry to say that my 2013 quilt isn't there yet - because it's not finished - and I don't have a clue what I'm going to ask my bee mates to sew for me when I'm the July queen.

Carla's churn dash blocks might look familiar because she asked for them, and I sewed them, in January 2013. Now she's requesting them again because she needs a lot of 4" blocks for a queen-sized quilt! All the blocks are bright - orange, red, pink, yellow, and white/snow. The quilt will be appropriately named "Juicy Fruit." If you ever need a clever method for sewing a churn dash block, check out Carla's super tutorial!

When I sewed together each little block, I used my web method of piecing. If you're not familiar how to sew a web, check out my tutorial here. This joining method works for sewing together blocks to make a quilt top, and can be applied to sew together little patches to make a block like this.
Chain-pieced columns to make a web.
All four blocks as webs.
Then, I sewed rows together to finish each block.

Last weekend I finished improv-piecing my 2014 Pantone Challenge quilt. That was a lot of fabric-chopping and resewing! I've pretty much decided improv takes longer than sewing together more traditional blocks. The four sections, and the gray and white strips are all improv-pieced.

With fabric leftovers, I pieced together very scrappy single-fold binding. It's ready to sew to the quilt when I'm done quilting. Happily, I'm on track to meet the March 21 entry deadline.

So far, this is the quilting - very much an improv quilting design since none of the quilted arcs have uniform spacing.

To quilt those arcs, I used this handy FMQ tool - a Fine Line Curve Ruler made by Accents in Design

Stay in touch! In an upcoming post, I'll show you how to use the ruler, and you'll have an opportunity to win a set for yourself! Linda


  1. I didn't know you could get your blog printed. Is it very expensive? I love your Radiant Orchid quilt. The greens just make it. How does that FMQ tool work?

  2. I always tell my students (12 year old boys!) that I have been teaching for one hundred years! (It only feels like it some days!) I love that you print off your blog posts! I love that page with your MCM bee blocks! Are you going to do a post about Carla's blocks on the MCM blog? I hope so!

  3. Thanks for the lovely churn dash the fabrics that you chose, LInda. I like the addition of the lime with the orchid and grey....very pretty combo!

  4. What a clever idea to turn your blog posts into a book. I never would have thought of that!!

  5. It must be exciting for you to watch your quilting students get just as addicted as the rest of us are! Just seeing those church dash blocks are enough to brighten my overcasty winter day.

  6. You HAVE been busy!! I love to teach. I started working with a new quilter just yesterday. We had such fun!

  7. Great post, glad to catch up on all your doin's. I love the idea of the book, will have to do that one day. Carla's blocks are perfect, so fun. I've had fun watching your ruler work, very intrigued.

  8. Your students must be thrilled to make such good progress! The blog books are really a nice idea. Carla's quilt is going to be vibrant, that's for sure. Thanks for the links to the tutorials.

  9. Your printing of the blog is an excellent idea for those with family, but since there are no kids or grandkids, I have no one to pass it down to. Your FMQ ruler looks very interesting. Do you hold it while you are FMQ too? You are one talented and busy lady.

  10. Having my blog printed has been on a list for the longest time, especially since I stopped scrapbooking--my blog essentially IS my scrapbook. Our son and daughter-in-law started blogging when they lived in Miami, in a horribly decorated/furnished condo in Miami while Aaron was doing an optometry residency there. They did a weekly "ugly item of the week" and I have always meant to turn those posts into a book for them.

  11. Wow Linda you have been busy. I really like your blog books too!
    Now the rulers. I've watched the videos and she's demoing on a small quilt sandwich.
    How is it using the curved ruler on a large quilt. Is it hard to move both together?
    It looks like something I'd have a go at.

  12. I'm really intrigued by those new rulers of yours. I'm wondering if I'm ambidextrous enough to guide the ruler as well as move the quilt along. Are those rulers "sticky" on the underside to make that process easier? I've been looking at YouTube videos and it always looks quite easy but maybe that's after hundreds of hours of practice. You definitely have picked it up as if you've always done it and your quilting is perfect (but then you are a perfect quilter)!!!

  13. Hi Linda, that is a great idea about putting your blogs into a book it will be lovely to look in later years for you and family. What a beautiful memory to your creativeness
    Your improv is coming along beautifully and I will look forward to seeing how you use that ruler. I bookmarked the tutorials and will look more closely at them . Blessings Sandra

  14. I'm visiting from WIP Wednesday. Love your Pantone Color Challenge quilt! :)

  15. A blog book is an excellent idea - they look great!

  16. Your improv quilt is divine! Love!

  17. Your Pantone quilt is FABULOUS.

  18. Congratulations! Your blog books look fab!
    The accent rulers would be a great help to me.
    I am still in Quilting 101;-)
    Pauline in Sydney Aus


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