Archive for the ‘Modern Quilting’ Category

SEW KATIE DID/Solstice Parade

 Regardless of moving from Fremont we did not break tradition and made it to the Fremont Solstice Parade with children in tow.


I won’t get into too much about the history of the parade, but it originated in a hope to make a better world by supporting the neighborhood and raising funds to end poverty.  Roan’s school in Fremont was a grant recipient and in turn able to help school many of the city’s homeless children.  The parade is void of anything motorized, highly artistic in nature often with a theme of political protest and really is an all over good time.

It is traditionally led by body-painted bicyclists.  This year there were hundreds of them.  A great way to show eleven year olds that even painted artistically 99% of bodies look nothing like in magazines;)

SEW KATIE DID/Solstice Picnic Quilt

Of course we broke out the Solstice Quilt to place on the pavement.  This quilt lives in the car and is the most washed quilt we own.  One thing I noticed this year about putting something handmade onto the ground was people respected your space a little more.  Considering the parade was the largest I’d seen this was a good thing.  Once the parade was in full swing and we weren’t really sitting anymore I pulled it back to a less selfish amount of space.

SEW KATIE DID/Solstice Picnic Quilt

The Solstice Picnic Quilt was the first quilt I ever created in a virtual quilting bee.  I gathered 36 scraps of the same color for each participant and had them cut and sew together the postage stamp blocks.


Of course as I discovered when the blocks were returned is that a quarter inch seam isn’t the same measurement to everyone, so I built each block out log cabin style and squared them all wonky with my largest template to the same size.

SEW KATIE DID/Solstice Picnic Quilt

This quilt was also my first free motion quilting experience.  I had a cramp in my calf for about four days after from pressing the pedal and it truly is a disaster if you look close.  It was a great practice tool.

SEW KATIE DID/Solstice Picnic Quilt Pockets

House on Hill Road  gave me the idea for the ‘rock pockets” on the back corners to weight the quilt so that the crows or wind can’t fly off with it on the beach.

SEW KATIE DID/Solstice Quilt back

I’ve always loved this out of print Alexander Henry Sun Signs print and fussy cut out Jefe’s, Roan’s and my signs.

If you don’t have a quilt of this utilitarian nature I suggest you make one.  Picnics, beach, parade, soccer games, I can’t imagine life without it.

Happy Week Peeps;)

 I believe I’ll have furniture in the studio by next week!

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Thanks to all of you that have kept in touch about my workshops and teaching!  I had the opportunity to make it to Circa 15 Fabric Studio in Kirkland a few weeks ago to talk with my friend and the owner Kristen.

Finally, all you East Siders that have continually come this direction don’t have to drive, it’s my turn to come to you;)

Circa 15 fabric studio

Kristen and I decided on a paper piecing class.  I really enjoyed teaching this workshop last round and once you can repeat the little mantra that I teach, paper piecing will become second nature.  Looks like we’ll do some other favorite small project classes in the fall, like quilted zip pouches and invisible zipper pillows.

SEW KATIE DID:Paper Piecing

::The Foundations of Paper Piecing::

Sunday, July 19th from 10:30am-4:30pm at Circa 15 Fabric Studio in Kirkland. Call (425) 309-9553 to register.

The traditional technique of piecing quilt blocks on paper is well known for its precise results. Sharp triangles and sleek curves are easily a stitch line away. Learn and practice the fundamentals of basic paper piecing while creating all types of star blocks.

This is a great workshop to refine skills in choosing fabric and where to place it in a quilt pattern, we’ll cover how color, value and prints work and drive design in quilts as we create our own unique blocks.


As always, let me know if you have any questions or wish to be added to my newsletter;)

Happy week peeps!

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SEW KATIE DID:MOD Pinwheel side

I’m continuing my documentation of projects that haven’t yet made it to my Quilts Page for one reason or another.

Mod Pinwheel is another quilt pattern Jacquie and I created for Quilting Modern that didn’t make the cut, but is available as a free e-book.


The adjective Mod is a little off for this quilt in my opinion, but we named it years ago.  When I look at it now it speaks to the traditional side of quilting that I love, with a taste of something a little different.

SEW KATIE DID:MOD Pinwheel Quilt Detail

It’s these ‘eyes’ that are the twist, removing it one step from a traditional straight set layout.


Hanging this quilt up gave me a new appreciation for it.

As always, I have a love/hate relationship going on with this quilt.  A little more thought with the value and color placement might have elevated the design, but truly I think this is a pattern that speaks to going scrappy, something we stayed away from in the book, but where my heart really is in quilting.


I see myself playing with this foundation pieced block again with a bin of scraps to see if my vision is true.  What a great baby quilt it would make.

SEW KATIE DID:MOD Pinwheel Binding

Teal dot for the binding and a delicious red dot flannel for the back.

SEW KATIE DID:MOD Pinwheel Detail

If I had to pull one component that I love most in this quilt it would be the quilting by Angela Walters combined with the flannel backing.  Oh wait, that’s two.


I pulled out some sample blocks to dream up something new with, but ‘been there done that’ set in and cutting seemed necessary.

You can make your own Mod Pinwheel with the instructions posted here.


I went ahead and ordered the flooring on the right for the studio.  We’ll hopefully install it and paint in the next few weeks.  Three Berninas have arrived for student use and tool kits are collected.

Things are coming together;)

Have a great week peeps!

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SEW KATIE DID:Psychedelic Baby Block:Don't Box Me In Quilt

To make a quilt a quilt you eventually have to baste it through your choice method.  I’m a pin baster.  I also have OBD (Over Basting Disorder).

SEW KATIE DID:Quilt Sandwich

 If I’ve already over thought my quilting design then I try to land my pins in areas that won’t interfere too much with it.

SEW KATIE DID:Psychedelic Baby Full

In my life basting a quilt is a good excuse to clean my floor, have a beer, and soak in a few episodes of whatever TV series I’m currently chain-smoking.  I’m having a marathon with Scandal today.

Here’s a list of my tools for basting a quilt.  A nice container to store them all together in makes for easy transport to my basting spot.

SEW KATIE DID:Quilt Basting Tool Kit

::Basting Tools::

  • Basting Pins-  I’ve run into a load of poor quality basting pins in classes.  If you’re going to bother pin basting buy good quality, your quilt top will thank you.  Heavier thread count material can also make sharp pins even more important.  I prefer the smaller curves ones.  They are about 1.5″ long.
  • Kwik Klip   This little tool helps close pins.  I don’t know what my problem was that it took me so long to purchase one of these.  If you are going to pin baste this tool is also an essential in your toolbox.  Trust me;)
  • Painter’s Tape  Use this to systematically tape your quilt back right side down to the floor.  I work by alternating sides as I tape.  Beginning from the midpoint of the sides.  Don’t stretch, but it should be flat.
  • Shears  For getting rid of excess batting.  I fold the batting back onto itself and cut away at the fold to an inch or so smaller than my quilt back.  This gives me a visual to run my quilting off the quilt top and secure it into the backing.
  • Snips To rid quilt of stray threads.
  • Lint Roller  Don’t forget about the back.  If the quilt has been handled a lot the back will have longer stray threads.  It generally isn’t even a problem, but if I have a light color on the front and a dark thread gets quilted behind it it will show through.  I find this annoying after putting so much work into perfection.


This is by no means a concise tutorial on all aspects of making a quilt sandwich or basting, but I’ll fill in the blanks at some later dates.

I also am a true believer that there is no need to reinvent the wheel, so I’ve pinned a Whole Cloth and a Quilt It Pinboard with a load of great tutorials on quilt finishing such as basting, quilting and binding that wonderful people have put together for wonderful you;)

Any tools you can’t live without?

Happy Week Peeps;)  I’m off to quilt and fold a mountain of laundry.

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Remember this quilt?

SEW KATIE DID*Psychedelic Baby Quilt

I showed and sold Psychedelic Baby at Quiltcon 2013.  It is still one of my favorite quilts and block workshops to teach.  I love blocks that provide so much design potential.

SEW KATIE DID*On Target Quilt

 I instantly wanted to recreate Psychedelic Baby a little differently, so I upcycled the leftover bits into a new quilt with a little different take.

I’ll call it On Target.

SEW KATIE DID*On Target Quilt Detail

 Just as with any quilting I learned some things.

SEW KATIE DID*On Target Quilt Bottom

The amount of linen and shot cotton meant some stretching would occur and my choice of quilting didn’t help.  As I reached the smaller outer edge with my “V” things started puckering.  If I was to do it all over again I would stitch in the ditch between the blocks that create the “V” shape and then go back in between with the fill lines on the blocks.  This likely would have stabilized it a bit more.  I was also lazy on switching directions when quilting the same side and this certainly didn’t help.

But let’s not take things too seriously, it’s just a quilt.

SEW KATIE DID*On Target Quilt Back Full

On the back I showcased an Alexander Henry print that I love.  This was all I had of it and I’m continuing on my path of using what I have to create quilt backs.

SEW KATIE DID*On Target Quilt Back Side

The binding I made twice.  I wanted to reproduce the feel of the original quilt and selected the light blue with out auditioning it.  Poor choice.  This quilt needed the drama of the dark purple.

SEW KATIE DID*On Target Quilt

(Thanks Rachel of Wooden Spoon for the photo;)

I finished it up just in time for Anja and Paul of Island Quilter to take it with them to Quiltcon for their booth.

This year was Quiltnon for me, but three of my quilts made it;)
SEW KATIE DID/Pigeonholed

AND I have another layout in process to add to my Psychedelic Baby Quilt Block workshop samples.

I’d think it might never end, but I’m officially D-O-N-E with this color way.

Happy Week Peeps!

(p.s. thanks to my friend Krista for being my quilt holder;)

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Happy Monday Peeps and greetings from Palm Springs:)

palm springs baby;)

It so turns out that I managed with some help to have a finished quilt to show you along with my obligatory palm tree photo.  I’m happy I did because I haven’t been able to talk quilt all week with anyone;)

I can’t even tell you when I made it.  I guess it’s what you would call an ‘Oldie but Goodie’ in the UFO pile.

SEW KATIE DID:Sleepy Owl Quilt full

It’s been folded, refolded and moved.


It must have come about around the time I made HST LOVE and Pantone Pop.  Both very traditional quilts in block style, but I had fun mixing up the fabrics, picking the color way and giving them some random placement.  It all breaths some fresh air into those simple half-square triangle blocks that you can do so much with.

I’ve got a huge bucket list of ideas built off knowing this block and how you can twist it or add to it.

Well anyway, babies need quilts and this quilt needed a baby.

Sewkatiedid:Sleepy Owl Quilt Star Detail

It also needed a star center, because of course I wasn’t thrilled with what I originally picked AFTER I had sewn the whole thing together.  With my friend Sandie’s help we decided to fill it in with a corduroy print.

Sewkatiedid:Sleepy Owl Quilt Binding and Quilting detail

 Sandie quilted it up with the maze pattern and finished it with this lovely binding.   The binding and the star points in the Alexander Henry Heath add some texture without too much print distraction.

I never alone would have thought to go with the maze she picked and we both were so happy with how it turned out.  Collaborating on quilts for babies is so fun.

  The color way was inspired by my suitcase.

Sewkatiedid:Sleepy Owl Quilt Back Full

The back turned out amazing.  I’m still up for my challenge to myself of using fabric from my stash and left overs from the front.

Sewkatiedid:Sleepy Owl Quilt back detail

It’s made up almost entirely of a fine wale corduroy and a few left over half square triangles.  I’ve now made four backs with this goal and have loved them all.

Quilt is now with happy baby.  So fun to gift.

The pile of finished quilt tops is getting smaller!  I believe I have three complete quilt tops left to quilt and certainly a lot in pieces;)

Have a fun week.

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As I’m making one quilt I generally have block cast-offs and another design lay out evolves.  That’s just what happened with the leftovers from the Scrappalicous Double-Trouble Quilt I made a while back.

Sewkatiedid:Double-Trouble Take Two Quilt

What I call the Double-Trouble block is a half-square-triangle with an improv Stitch and Flip triangle on one side.  Merging the two triangle techniques creates a block that is both controlled and chaotic.  The Swirling Medallion quilt we made in Quilting Modern has the directions for the Stitch and Flips and my tutorial for hst is combined with my value quilt tutorial.

sewkatiedid:on-point double-trouble quilt

This time around I thought I’d try out the squares by turning what I had on point and giving them some space to breath.  I love the scrappy controlled sets.

sewkatiedid:Double-Trouble Double Take Back

I tried my best to create the whole quilt, even the background with scraps.  There’s a mix of flannel, muslin, and other neutrals that I used for landing the improv triangles.  Anything goes for the triangles, voile, flannel, home decor and corduroy are all present.

sewkatiedid:double-trouble take two quilt detail

I failed on using left overs for the binding.  This small scale print from Alexander Henry’s Farmdale line was perfect.

sewkatiedid:double-trouble side

I could have adjusted my neutral squares in some places with a larger size, but keeping everything to 3 1/2″ squares created more texture and depth.

Sewkatiedid:Double-Trouble Back

The backing is another old Alexander Henry.  Shocking I know.

One of my goals this year is to have my backings consume cast offs from the front and fabric from stash.  This challenge so far has led to creating some backs that I’m rather smitten with.  Unfortunately I don’t have a current full shot to show you what I’m talking about.

The quilt hangs at Island Quilter on Vashon Island for the month of January with other lovelies made by my peeps in the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild.  Go take a ferry trip!

Happy Monday Peeps!

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