Posts Tagged ‘improvisation’

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;)


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!

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

March has simply flown by. I was able to teach and lecture in some beautiful spots, meet some wonderful people and sew with my local peeps.

SEW KATIE DID Stellar Block/Medallioned Magic Number Workshop

I also launched my Medallioned Magic Numbers Workshop Series.  It was fun to feed off of everyone’s excitement over our first technique and blocks we played with, what I call Improv Stellar Stars.  Some stuck with the Stellar block motif and others diverged. Some embraced favorite color ways or went scrappy like me.

Unlike other Medallion style quilts we’re not going to be growing our’s out from the center and systematically sewing them from there.

Since Magic Number Blocks (see tutorial here) automatically fit together for flexibility in design and construction we will be creating the parts and moving them around to see what other shapes and designs we can create.  Once we are happy with our design layout we’ll construct our top. It will be a surprise to see what ends up in the center I guess.

We’ll be creating borders in our next session as well as adding another class to accommodate the wait list.

But what I’m here to show you today is my Night Owl Quilt.

SEW KATIE DID:Night Owl Quilt Full Front

At one of my lectures this week I got a bunch of questions from an attendee about my Night Owl Quilt.  Typically I can send someone the link from my “Quilts” page where I post all of my finishes when they want photos.

 Night Owl Quilt was MIA from that page.

SEW KATIE DID:Night Owl Quilt

So as I ran out the door for Roan’s field trip I thought to grab it and my camera for photos on the morning ferry commute and make use of my minions.

The design is a pattern called Supernova that is published in our book Quilting Modern.

SEW KATIE DID/Supernova Quilt/Quilting Modern Pattern

I think quilters are drawn to reproducing this quilt pattern due to its simplicity of technique and construction.  I come across its remake online more than any other quilt in the book.

SEW KATIE DID:Night Owl Detail Front

The softness quality is exactly balanced for me on this quilt.  Soft colors, soft Essex, wool batting, Osnaburgh on the back, and just enough density of an organic quilting pattern all add up to perfect.

The only thing I wish I would have added are the spin-offs into the background.  There’s always something;)

SEW KATIE DID:Night Owl Quilt Center

I really love how the design allows you to play with just about any fabrics you’re in love with, including novelty if that’s your thing.  I’ve always been drawn to this Alexander Henry owl print and used it as my starting point, layered fabrics from stash as I built out.

SEW KATIE DID:Night Owl Quilt Back

Quilting swirls=Starry Night.

SEW KATIE DID:Night Owl Quilt Binding

I love these colors.  For some reason I’m smitten with the binding pick on this one. Something about the small scale tone on tone and the color of this fabric attracts me to hoarding it.  You can try to find it, but I’m pretty sure I bought it all so you couldn’t;)

There it is, Night Owl Quilt has landed on my Quilt page!

If anyone has suggestions of a graphic designer that does logos I’m in the market.  Please only  someone that has a real business, with a questionnaire to get us on the same page with design and fresh looking portfolio;)

Happy Monday Peeps!

Read Full Post »

I was rather nostalgic traveling to Victoria last week to talk and explore all things quilty with my hosts the Victoria Quilters’ Guild and some members of the Victoria MQG.  Jefe worked on the Coho ferry between Port Angeles and Victoria for many years and Roan and I would occasionally go see him on board.

SEW KATIE DID:Roan Victoria 2010When we docked in Victoria this image of Roan pretending he was waving to all the fine people of Victoria popped into my head.


And reading in the wheel house.

It was a happy image to start my trip with.

I can never say enough about the hospitality of guilds and The Victoria Quilters’ Guild was exceptional;)  It was marked with wonderful conversations, amazing creativity in workshops, and learning experiences.  All wrapped up with a little “quilt fluffing” at the border.

Jo-Anne drawing

My Victoria friend Jo-Anne drew me this Zentangle as a souvenir of the trip.  The hair, boots, quilts, the “A” and socks…the whole thing is perfect.  This is getting framed and going in the studio.

Big thanks to my friend Marianne of The Quilting Edge and Jo-Anne for entertaining and feeding me.  So fun to hang out away from home and feel so happy and comfortable with good friends.

I travelled home Friday, taught again Saturday and regrouped Sunday and today so I can start it all over again tomorrow.

SEW KATIE DID:Studio Windows

While I was gone amazingness happened in the studio.  Jefe completed the electric, as well as hung and wired the lights.  He put in the windows quite some time ago.  Hunting for a door with windows and flooring is next.

SEW KATIE DID:Studio Back wall

I didn’t really want a closet, just good functional storage, so he build me a nook that holds two of these shelves to house my fabric.  I’ll try to keep my fabric collection limited to that;)  Now that I think about the niche I wanted at the top, that will house fabric dust and hopefully some rolled quilts.  Originally the side niches were going to be walled to hide some structural stuff, but he made storage room there for me too.

SEW KATIE DID:Design Wall Space

This whole wall will be design wall.  Everyone needs a padded room;) I figure when students come I can roll laminated backed design walls down over whatever I’m working on to provide them with their own space.

SEW KATIE DID:Studio Corner

Jefe thought of things I never would have thought of, like being able to open the door and step in onto a platform rather than straight down some stairs.  This corner I envision a little food/tea/coffee station.

I’m finding that I need things complete before I can envision a practical and functional set up.  Luckily I’ve had a lot of opportunities to work in unique spaces and know what works and doesn’t work for me.

Of course I’m collecting my Studio/Garudio Pinboard, but I would love suggestions if anyone has any in making the space more efficient, what they couldn’t live without, etc…

SEW KATIE DID:Hit the road

I’m loaded up again for my week.

Happy Monday Peeps.  I managed to post.

Have a great week;)


sewkatiedid/going circular

Thursday’s Improvisational Curves class is full, but if you were wait listed or just interested you can contact me (sewkatiedid@gmail.com) to attend another workshop on Curves this Saturday with the Mukilteo Lighthouse Quilters’ Guild.

sewkatiedid/stripped sample for design seeds workshop series

March Open Quilt Studio is full, but there are a couple spots in my monthly Medallion/Magic Numbers Workshop and one spot in my Strip Piecing Workshop on the 24th.

We’ll hold our last Open Quilt Studio at Island Quilter on Sunday, March 29th until they find their new space.  Keep current by following their Facebook page.

Read Full Post »

SEW KATIE DID:New York Beauty pillow:Full

Paper piecing workshop development and sample made, CHECK!  And totally drool worthy if I don’t say so myself.

The Foundations of Paper Piecing Workshop is listed if you find yourself with some spare time on March 14th.

SEW KATIE DID:New York Beauty Pillow:Full on

A New York Beauty block has been on the bucket list F-O-R-E-V-E-R.

SEW KATIE DID:New York Beauty Pillow

I bought just enough new make me happy fabrics and combined them with some old to create a new to me color way.  It seemed to just come together on the design wall so effortlessly.  As usual it matches nothing in my house.

SEW KATIE DID:New York Beauty Center

The white/creams I pulled from the scrap bins.  There’s even some flannel in there.

SEW KATIE DID:New York Beauty Pillow:Side

It ended up that neither the shot cotton and the flannel on the front, nor the voile on the back created the headaches I imagined.

I crosshatched it in a lightly variegated lilac thread. This easy off the edge quilting design has the kind of impact makes me happy.  Off course all quilting minds of Seattle that I saw last week were consulted;)


I almost put the voile back into the stash.

It’s one of those fabrics I have to force myself to cut into if I had curtains in mind five years ago.  There’s still that hope of getting to that alive;)  The decision was a good one, it pairs perfectly with the front.

SEW KATIE DID/Psychedelic Baby Quilt

If you’re headed to Quiltcon please go say hi to my quilts.  There are two on exhibit and I just finished up this one here for display there in Island Quilter’s booth.

It will look a little bit more lively than it does it this taken at midnight photo.

This quilt thoroughly falls under the “it doesn’t have to be perfect to love it” category and I considered not sending it due to some obvious struggles I had quilting it, but then I reminded myself that perfection isn’t what it’s all about.

Happy week peeps.  I hope it’s a good one;)

Read Full Post »

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!

Read Full Post »

sewkatiedid/cutting corners binding technique/tutorial

I posted a photo on my Instagram the other day and a comment was made about how I stitch the corners of my binding.  Years ago I noticed my mom used it on a quilt and I just messed with it until it was second nature for me.  I’m sure the method has a name.  I’ll call it the Cutting Corners binding technique.

I use a ladder stitch to bind my quilts and if you need some direction on that Turning Turning’s blog has a great tutorial.

sewkatiedid/cutting corners binding technique

1) As I approach a corner I fold the corner binding towards the middle of the quilt and bring the binding’s folded edges on the right and left sides together at the inside corner so that they just touch.

sewkatiedid:cutting corners binding technique

Secure where the right and left sides come together with a clip.

The goal is to aim for the right and left fold of the binding to come together at an equal measurement and create 90 angle at the corner.  Binding clips on either side of the corner can help even things out.  

cutting corners binding technique

2) When I approach the corner I take the needle into the quilt back and bring it out through the binding’s corner fold. It might be easier to do the next step before pulling the needle through.

sewkatiedid/cutting corner binding technique and tutorial

3)  Grab with your needle the opposing folded corner of binding and if things are looking even pull your needle through.

These two points where the needle is pictured above is where you will complete some tacking stitches.

sewkatiedid/cutting corners binding technique and tutorial

4)  Once you feel it’s got enough stitches to be secure, take your needle into the right side and  through into the quilt backing, coming out into the fold of the binding.  Continue with the ladder stitch.

sewkatiedid:somewhat circular hex

It should look all nice and square from the front.  I’ve never had any issues with it coming untucked.  Anyone know of the name of this technique?

Let me know if you have any questions.

Poof, Somewhat Circular Hex is another sample for my Hexagons by Machine workshop next week;)  Now I need to get a post up on it.

Happy Tuesday.  I’m off to get my tax crap together, exciting stuff Deb;)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 18,069 other followers

%d bloggers like this: