Pressing Half Square Triangles

Here’s a new little video showing how to press half square triangles so they do not warp. If you have ever tried to press half square triangles and have the bias seam stretch, you know how frustrating it is to end up with a wobbly diamond shaped unit. No matter how hard you try to fix it when you are sewing it into the block, it can be frustrating and still come out awful. This simple trick will make your units come out consistently square and reduce the urge to grit your teeth and toss your hard work in the trash!

If the video is taking a long time to load, you may want to visit the YouTube site and watch it from there. If you hover over the vid frame you can find a link that will take you there. Or click here.


New Vid

Just a quick note to let you know that I just put out a new video (well, three actually) on how to press for success!!

Pressing is really important when you want your quilt to come out looking good. If you don’t press correctly it is easy to get pleats, mis-matched points, truncated points!, and your units ends up being the wrong size…. of course that makes your quilt look like a big wobbly mess so watch this video to see how to press when you are sewing strips into bands.

That’s one of the worst problems! When we are trying to sew bands together for strip pieced quilts it is so easy to get that “rainbow”… and then your units get cattywampus.

Have fun stripping! BTW, I noticed, when I previewed this, that it took a long time for the video to load. If you mouse over the screen it gives you the option of watching it on YouTube. Let me know if this is a real problem. I will see if I can come up with a solution!

It’s our 27th anniversary today!

Today is my 27th wedding anniversary! I can hardly believe my husband has stuck around for that long, even through the hot flashes. Wow. No wonder we got married right before Thanksgiving… we have so much to be thankful for.

My son, Matt, just got into a lease/purchase program for his own truck!
On his way through he stopped and spent the night… here’s a picture of him with his new ride.
While he was here, Brandy decided to crawl up in his lap and pretend she was still a baby and could be a lap dog. It’s a good thing my son is 6’4″. Otherwise he would have been crushed.

I’ve been sewing together a new quilt, the Blue Jam that I will be teaching in Austin at the Chisholm Trail Quilt Guild January 5 & 6. I can hardly wait to get there and meet everyone. Here are a few shots of the quilt.

I’ve also been working on a new pattern that I plan to have ready to go… think you can guess what it is?

Talk to you soon. I had a question recently about fusible applique and am planning on showing some options and results soon so check back.
Have a great Thanksgiving if I don’t see you before then! Ta.

Quilt Festival, etc.

Just wanted you to know, I realize I haven’t posted in a while, things get away from me.
It’s great out… we’ve had lots of rain (over 30″ in one month) so things are a little soggy, but the sun has been out for the past two days and I love it. I washed the dog outside today, too. A bit chilly but she was starting to smell like swamp… eeeeuww.

I went to CA and had a wonderful time teaching. My pictures are all still in my phone but I called Sprint and talked to a nice young man and I think I know how to get them out now. I’ll post the pictures of the class soon.

Quilt Festival in Houston was amazing, as usual. I was in Cindy Surina’s booth “Custom Creations”. She invited me to sign books at her booth and I was happy to meet so many of you while I was there. It was really nice not to have the responsibility of my own booth, so I got all of the bennies but none of the stress.

If you didn’t attend Houston I have to tell you the quilts that won awards were fabulous. And there was a display there from Germany… a “forest” of quilts. Very interesting. There were a lot of incredible ideas that were inspiring and it was so interesting to see how different textures were created. I am sorry. I didn’t have a camera so I don’t have pictures to share this time. I won’t do that again. Next show I will be sure to take pics to share with you so you can at least see some of what I experienced.

My favorite of all of the quilts was a quilt done on black wholecloth. It was awarded by Superior Threads and was a scene of the wetlands called “Protection” done by Hollis Chatelaine of Hillsboro, NC. You can see it at this link:

I am so enthralled by Hollis’s work. What an artist!

BTW, I have about 20 Jamaica Vanilla Patterns left over after what was needed for the cruise. If you are interested please order soon. They are moving very quickly. The applique is full size line drawing so I don’t plan on printing that again… it was pretty expensive to do the oversize printing.

Click on the picture and it will take you to the online store where you can order it. I’ll put more in soon, with pictures, next time! jamaica_vanilla
Oh, one more thing… if you are interested, we are offering a Christmas Special. It is one of everything in the QuiltArt series of books and DVD’s. Click on the Jamaica Vanilla pattern and it will take you to the online store.

Quilt Market & Festival

It is just around the corner! I’ll be attending Festival, not Market this year. But the wonderful news is that I will be signing books at Festival in the first booth you come to on aisle 100! I’ll be there on Preview Night and then will be signing books Thursday and Friday at 10am and 2pm both days. I can’t wait to meet you!

If you have a picture of a quilt you have made from one of the books, please bring it by. I would love to see what you have done. It’s not often I get the opportunity to actually come in contact with you, to see the quilts you have put together, so this will be a great opportunity to chat. I’ll be a captive audience and can’t wait to hear about your fabric exploits.

Festival is October 15 this year in Houston. Mark your calendar and, please, come by and introduce yourself to me! I’m looking forward to meeting you.

Back from CA

I’m back! I took some pictures in the class with my phone and as soon as I figure out how to download them to the computer I will post them. We had a lot of fun. Stay tuned.

Preparing for CA

I’m leaving in a week to teach in Burbank, CA at Conejo Valley Quilt Guild. I am really looking forward to this! It has been quite a while since I have taught the basics of using ink to create different textures on fabrics.

I’ll be teaching using ink with salt and water:
The workshop kit will be in these greens. I figured everyone can use green, especially if you are creating leaves or some other organic plant look.

We will also be playing with shaving cream. I think this is a lot of fun, and getting messy with something that is so easy to clean up really is an ice-breaker. If you were feeling a little reserved before we get to this, you definitely are not feeling that way once we start.
shaving cream flower
This shows one of the ways we will use the shaving cream. There are lots of techniques presented in this workshop.

Our afternoon is going to be working with foil. Lots of people hear “foil” and think “Oh, that is so chunky. I just don’t know where I would ever use that”. Well, if you have ever seen those $30 t-shirts you will re-think your stance on this! Foil is easy to apply and you can go way beyond the artwork you see on commercially prepared and sold items.

If you are creating a bag and want a unique, wow-em look try foil. Here is a sample of one of the images I did for the class.
hummingbird in foil
As you can see, using multiple layers of foil that has already been partially used up makes for a beautiful, soft blend. There is a trick to it which I demonstrate in the workshop.

Once you have put foil on your fabric you can use it as a basis for thread painting. Same with the shaving cream and ink, and same with the ink and salt. It really is a wonderful base for your next project.

One of the new patterns I just created, which will be available on the website soon, uses plants and foil to create the image. It is a little thread and trash collector you can place next to your sewing machine. Of course, thread work was added to it to make it really pop. I’ll be showing a picture of it soon…. so check back.

Speaking of which, I have some new tote patterns. Lots of different concepts you can use in them and I will be presenting them soon. Well, maybe after I get back from California.
See you soon…

Setacolor Sun Painting

Oooh, I love Setacolor paints. You can get some absolutely gorgeous fabric using this light/heat sensitive paint.

Recently I used InkoDye to do sun painting. This time I used Setacolor. I wet the fabric, just as I did with the InkoDye, then poured diluted Setacolor over the fabric, lastly laying plants over the top of the fabric.

In this sample I added silver Lumiere metallic paint to the mix. When I poured the mixture it left a beautiful stream of shimmering silver behind.
Here is a picture of it after I removed the plant:
setacolor blue & silver

Have you tried using SetaColor Paints?

Jamaica Vanilla

I am so READY to get on that cruise I will be teaching in February. I have never been to the Caribbean and being asked to teach on a cruise to Jamaica and other stops, well, it’s like a dream come true.

Here is what I will be teaching on the cruise.
Strip piecing makes the block fairly quick to piece. The applique is raw edge fusible. Two large stars are surrounded by the “diamond” blocks. Then the same block is used around the quilt, creating the illusion of a 3D border. Using colors very close in value provides you with a nice base for the art nouveau type applique. I absolutely love using neutral fabrics like this.

I plan on making a new pattern that will be a modified version of this, using a color, rather than neutral fabrics so check into the website soon to get a look at it: I think you will be pleased to see what a difference COLOR can make!

Pictures of InkoDye

You asked for a few pictures of the finished InkoDye projects.

This one is the first one I tried to do. I did not dilute the ink very much. I am not wild about how high contrast all of it is, but it cured/set really, really fast. There wasn’t time for the ink to soak into the fabric to create the shadow effect under the plants. Plus, I had not made the master grid of all of the colors I had purchased yet, so I didn’t know what to expect.


I THREW plants on here. Didn’t take much time to try to press them into the fabric. As you can see, there isn’t a lot of detailing for the veins in the plants because of that.

Here are two that I did having diluted the ink more. I used probably 2 times the amount of water (1 part ink, 4 parts water). I also spent time pressing the plants to the fabric, used fewer plants, and then moved it into the sunlight. I really love the way I got a different color under where the plants were. When I use the SetaColor paints, the color under the plant is the same color as the paint I used. With the InkoDye, the color was NOT the same as the ink I poured onto the fabric. I really like the hand of the fabric after this, too. Better than the extra body and slight stiffness I got with the SetaColor.


This image has some metallic paint added to it, as you can see in the streaks. Plus, this is diluted even more than the previous image. Fewer leaves. Not nearly as defined but would make a great background cloth.


And finally, I am not sure that this next image is SetaColor. I am thinking it is the InkoDye, because I spilled a BUNCH of it on the area I was working, and used the cloth to mop up the dye. Then I threw a plant on top of it, so I am thinking this is the result. I could be wrong. I get going and lose track of which is what.
Well, no, now I am thinking it really is the SetaColor… see how the black stays put? Not spreading like the ink does. I’m not sure.

Hope this helps you. If I do more of them, I’ll post pictures.

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