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SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas Quilt Section

This quilt is a long time coming, as in years…

Alexander Henry’s Merry Moderns fabric was THE Christmas quilt fabric for me.  I just fell hard for it the minute I saw it.

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The fabric seemed a perfect merge for an improvisational technique I’d been brainstorming about.  A block that was a faster way to produce ‘crazy pieced’ looking fabric.  So I started playing with the block construction concept that became what I now call the Split Personality Quilt Block.  The method quickly produces multiple blocks allowing you instant playtime with it in endless design concepts.

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Fabrics from the stash that would coordinate with a Christmas theme were pulled, auditioned and sewn.  Some favorites were eaten up in the process.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Block

 And so, all these happy fabrics have been living together as blocks for a few years, waiting for the perfect pattern to show itself.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas Quilt Fold

My friend Laurel showed up at an open studio to finish up an Arkansas Crossroads quilt.  I instantly envisioned my blocks in that design and the production began…last year;)

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas Quilt Full flat

The essex linen in a cross weave black stabilized the scrappiness.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas quilt awesome

Merging traditional quilt designs with improvisational techniques has really become where my process leads me.  I love the secondary designs traditional set blocks create.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas Quilt side

When it came to quilting I lived and breathed this quilt for days.  For once I didn’t overthink it and went with straight lines that ran off the edge and echoed the ‘Xs’ the secondary design created.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas Quilt Side block

I dreaded the thought that I’d have to add another horizontal and vertical line because my body was done with quilting, but in the end I dismissed the addition.  It has the perfect drape and isn’t over quilted into the luscious feel of cardboard.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas quilt back

Here’s a peek at the back.  Leftovers and flannel of course.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas Quilt Detail 2

SEW KATIE DID:Side:Split Personality Christmas QuiltThe binding is the small scale print in the Merry Moderns line.  It worked out that some faces landed on the front and back of the quilt’s edge.

SEW KATIE DID:Binding Roll

You can see more designs and concepts with this block in my Instagram feed and I’ve added this block onto my January calendar as a daytime, nighttime and weekend workshop.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and then of course there is spring!

Happy Happy Peeps;)

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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.

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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:Boxed-In Quilt Full

I swear no quilt in history has been put up and taken down from the design wall more.

I kept recycling the left over blocks that I call Psychedelic Baby Block into new design/layout ideas and now have an ample supply of samples for teaching the workshop.

SEW KATIE DID:Boxed-In Block neutral

I was in high gear to finish it for submission to the MQG’s Texas Museum Exhibit, but I realized that with the minimal quilting it would start to sag if hung for long.  Like how I’ve already envisioned it as accepted for exhibit?

The softness is amazing.  I don’t think I’ve even made a softer quilt.

SEW KATIE DID:Boxed-In Center

Not only did I mix in leftover blocks, but my neutral scrap bin got dug into.  Though no dent was made in that bin, texture was added through a mix of linens, flannels, and Osnaburg fabrics.  Shockingly even with the shot cotton it quilted up lovely.

SEW KATIE DID:Boxed-In Block Center

It was difficult to not throw in a print or two.  It is one of the reasons I feel in love with quilting.

SEW KATIE DID:Boxed-In Block Detail

Here’s a little peek of the dot I added too.

SEW KATIE DID:Boxed-In Quilt

Eleven year old boys are worthless at quilt holding for long, but good for showing scale.

SEW KATIE DID:Boxed-In Back full

I did it again and used a fabric from stash for the back.  Twice I ran out of thread when quilting and of course both times I was smack dab in the middle of that red strip where it would show the most.  I left it.

SEW KATIE DID:Boxed-In Back detail

It’s a favorite Alexander Henry.

SEW KATIE DID:Boxed-In Binding 2

The binding I actually cut for my On Target Quilt before I changed my mind to something darker.  I held onto it thinking it would work here.

SEW KATIE DID:Boxed-In Block

It’s all perfect, just perfect;)

SEW KATIE DID/Studio

For Mother’s Day Jefe installed my flooring, cooked every meal and did the dishes while I went shopping.

I’m so thrilled with what I picked.  That goes for guy and floor.

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.

SEW KATIE DID:MOD Pinwheel 3

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.

SEW KATIE DID:MOD Pinwheel Full

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.

SEW KATIE DID:MOD Pinwheel EYE

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.

SEW KATIE DID:REMIX

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.

SEW KATIE DID:Flooring

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.

SEW KATIE DID:Basted

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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I’m still working through finished quilts I’ve never posted to the blog.  There’s still a few.

SEW KATIE DID/Stepping Stone Quilt/Quilting Modern Book

Does this one look familiar?

sewkatiedid/quilting modern

Out of all we made for Quilting Modern Stepping Stone was the one quilt I couldn’t wait to get back.

SEW KATIE DID:Stepping Stone Quilting Detail:Quilting Modern

 I am a firm believer in utilitarian quilts and prefer quilts that are soft, not cardboard stiff with quilting.  Stepping Stone finished very supple.  Large expanses of shot cotton on the front and an all flannel back was likely the largest contributor, but the batting (most likely Quilter’s Dream) and the thread Angela Walters used to quilt this one helped as well.

The flat shot from the book really shows the texture shot cotton’s cross weave can create when its turned in different directions.  I often get asked in lectures and truck shows if the fabric surrounding the blocks is a different fabric from the rest of the background.

SEW KATIE DID:Stepping Stone Quilting Close

 Think mossy Seattle path with stone pavers;)

SEW KATIE DID:Stepping Stone Quilt Blocks:Quilting Modern

We ended up placing this quilt in the Strip Tease chapter of the book, but it can easily be created building the frames with scraps.  There are a lot of favorite fabrics in the logs surrounding each stone as I grabbed from my green and blue scrap bins for the analogous color scheme when creating this quilt.

SEW KATIE DID/Stepping Stone Quilt/Quilting Modern

 When Island Quilter hung my show I was “helping” Anja.  I noticed that it looked like it was hung crooked only to tilt my head and realize it wasn’t a square quilt;)  This makes it even better in my mind.  Who can tell when your all happy under it?

Now that the drywall is finished up in the studio, paint and flooring has been purchased.  Hoping things will be rolling by the end of May.

Happy Week Peeps.

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sewkatiedid/mastering improv curved shapes workshop

I’m teaching my last classes this week at The Quilting Loft as they finish up their liquidation and close;(  I’ve been teaching there since 2007 and am sad to see them go.  There are two spots still in Amebas.  Please call the shop if you’d like to join in.  There might be a spot left in Tuesday’s night class and Thursday’s day class, but I’m not a 100% sure.

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SEW KATIE DID/Design Wall Tutorial

Hopefully in the next month I’ll be updating my design walls for the studio so that I can expose the electrical sockets and make them floor to ceiling.

SEW KATIE DID/Quilt Design Wall Tutorial

I’ll make sure to document the process to be included in the tutorial.

 I use two types of design walls.  The grey one above is insulation board wrapped in flannel (tutorial here).

SEW KATIE DID/Layered Design Wall

 I’m sure none of you have more than one project you work on at a time, but if you do the other is a layered system (tutorial here) that allows you to roll things up and keep them in place so that you can work on what’s underneath or take it for travel.  This system is also perfect for those of you in small spaces since it can be rolled up and stashed somewhere like under a bed.

SEW KATIE DID:Psychedelic Baby Block

SEW KATIE DID:Psychedelic Baby Blocks Square

Design walls aren’t an essential tool in everyone’s creative process, but I do talk with my students about it being number one for mine.  I like to step back and see how things are getting along.  I encourage students to take photos of their project’s progression and even when they think they’ve got it perfect to take everything down and rearrange it.  This is how new ideas might develop.  In Quilting Modern we talked about not being ‘married’ to what’s on on your design wall, and in a workshop Jacquie and I taught together one of our students joked, “You’re just sleeping together.”  That quote has stuck.

SEW KATIE DID:Triangles

I’ve developed some tricks along the way when it comes to using the design wall and the one I utilize the most is not sewing things together, but rather use bits of scraps pinned up to audition color or placement.

SEW KATIE DID:Triangles Add

I now have a bowl of various 90 degree triangles for this task.  Like so.

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I have the same with strips.  This system does add to the amount of scraps, but I’m good with that.  I can’t tell you the number of times something has been all sewn together for me to realize I should have changed out something dead center of the quilt.

Happy Monday Peeps.

Hope you and your design wall are finding some time to sleep together:)

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