Monday, October 31, 2011

After three VERY stressful weeks, I needed to get into the sewing studio and do some sewing, so I decided to make a wonky house.

As I was taking a picture of it, I thought it almost looked like it did when it started snowing on Saturday (green grass, snow falling out of the sky).  I thought about the four seasons, and wondered if could make the same wonky house in four seasons...

I think that's a distinct possibility!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cutie Patootie

Here's my new "fairy nephew" in the snuggie I made this summer. Isn't he just adorable? Turns out I sized it just right, he weighed 9 lbs 3 oz when he was born on Tuesday!
Isn't he just cute as a button?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Rules Find a Home

The Black Cat Rules quilt has a home in my new office. As you can see, it's a perfect fit!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Four Letter Words

 For the afternoon exercise of my class at Quilted Threads, I distributed lists of four letter words to each student. 
 The lists were deliberately filled with words that weren't literal and used some of the "trickier" letters.
 Students had to pick a word, and sew it up using different fabrics.
 I wanted them to push the letters around a bit, and use their fabrics to their full potential.
 This was a difficult exercise, but the students rose to the challenge and really "got it."
 After she made her word, one student commented, "I don't think I'll ever look at fabric the same way again." 

I was thrilled, because that was exactly the point! I wanted the students to be confident to make free-pieced letters, but I also wanted them to get a sense of the possibilities.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Letter Play Class!

Here are some of the wonderful students from the class at Quilted Threads.  For the first exercise, I asked them to make their names.

I thought I got pictures of all the students, but I missed a few.  Sorry ladies!

Didn't they do a fabulous job? I confess I really kept them working hard.

Most of them said seeing my quilts hanging at the shop over the last year sparked their interest in making free pieced letters.  Several knew about this blog, and one of them (I'm not telling which one) has been a faithful blog reader for a long time!!!

They loved the slideshow I put together showing letter quilts by Brenda, Joyce, Sharon, JeanTonya, Julie, Joe Tulips, Victoria and others.

We had a great day.

Letter Play!

Me and my quilts can found here, at the Quilted Threads quilt shop in Henniker NH on Saturday October 22.
My class is today, and I will tell you all about it later.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What do you see?

Over the weekend I was doing errands. As I was getting ready to pull out of my parking place after leaving one local shop, I happened to look over and see the building above. What it is, and where it is, do not matter.  What is important is that when I looked over, I saw Inspiration.

What was it that caught my eye? It was the warm blue door surrounded by the cream trim, against the barn red and the brown shingles and the colder white.

I may not do much with this any time soon, but I knew enough to take a photograph for future reference.

Ideas don't just come out of the air. They don't just fall out of the sky. I've been to this shop at least a dozen times, and never "saw" this before. When you see something, and it "hits" you, take notes.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


My class at Quilted Threads isn't until next week, but I am ready.
 I've got the lesson plan all set. (The first exercise will be the student's name.) I have my samples ready, I've made each of the projects I will ask the students to do. I have a few demo examples (how I make a really skinny element look nice and straight, for example), and I have a lot of my "misfit" letters.

I folded all the quilts I was bringing and stacked them up so I knew two things: 1. how long it would take me to get them ready; and 2. how much space they would occupy.  As soon as I took this picture, I unfolded the quilts, put them all back where they belong (on the walls, on the bed, over the back of the couch...) I am debating if I will even fold them up the night before or if I should do it in the morning before the class.

I'm bringing my laptop and a small projector, so I can project images on the wall so all the students can see.  We'll be having lunch together so we can talk, and I can show them photos of letter quilts from quilters all over the world. I'll also be able to access the internet, so you can bet we will be visiting quilting blogs!

It's going to be exciting.

Why am I ready a week early?  Because I'm a geek, and next week at work we are upgrading our ERP system, moving the software and data to a new server and a new database engine; upgrading our accounting software; and moving from one version of Citrix to another (which is also on a different server.) In short, it's going to be an extremely intense, stressful work week next week.

So if you don't hear from me much, you'll know why.  Yes, I do plan to take photos during the class, and I'll tell you all about it! 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sugar & Spice

"Sugar and spice, everything nice, that's what little girls are made of..."

This was the first totally free-pieced quilt I ever made, and it was groundbreaking for me. It's the most emotional piece I ever created.  I've got it on loan for a few weeks, and I intend to enjoy it, and that includes sleeping under it.

The wonky butterfly tutorial can be found here: Butterfly Tutorial

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Letter Quilts

I made a Picasa album of my letter quilts, and arranged them in the order in which I made them. You can find it here: Lynne's Letter Quilts.

PS to Julie: I will update it with a picture of your quilt, quilted, later!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Coming Soon!

The class I'm teaching at Quilted Threads is less than two weeks away, and it's full. I've got the lesson plan all ready, and am working on a slideshow of free pieced letter quilts to show my students. I visited QT over the weekend and figured out how I'd like the classroom arranged.  While there, I decided to swap out The White Cat's Rules for Nine x Nine.

I also bought some red fabric for the back of the Red Letter Alphabet, but that won't get quilted until after the class, because I want to show my students.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Red Letter Alphabet

 Here is the finished Red Letter Alphabet flimsy. It's exactly what I wanted - a little funky, with one fabric for each letter; letters that weren't too fussy, and each one having its own personality. The letters aren't perfect, and I didn't want them to be.
The finished flimsy is about 32-1/2" tall by 29" wide (about 82.5 x 73 cm).  I've left the photos fairly large so you can click, then click again to enlarge for more detail.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Row by Row

 Once I've joined the letters together, I add big chunks to the end of each row, then trim across the top of the row with a l-o-n-g ruler so the edge is straight.  You can get a 48" metal ruler at one of the big box hardware stores for about ten bucks. It's worth every penny.  Hang it up to store it, and take care of it, because once it gets bent it's not worth anything.  Being metal you can run your rotary cutter up against it without any trouble.
When I sew rows together, I always make sure the strip that shows is at least 3/4" wide. Seam allowances of 1/4" will need that much room so they will lie flat and not be bulky. These letters are about 4" tall when finished, so I cut my strips 1-1/2" wide.
I press the seams so the bulky edge lays flat (which means I press AWAY from the letters.) After I press that strip over, I lay the big metal ruler across the top edge and make sure it's STRAIGHT and PARALLEL to the top egde of the word strip.  Often it needs to be trimmed a bit.

Do not ignore this step. It's a basic rule of quiltmaking that the top has to lie FLAT and not have any wavy edges. If you make sure each edge is straight as you assemble the top, you have a much better chance of the quilt being FLAT and SQUARE, and the rows lining up nicely.

I only trim edges as I am ready to sew them, and I start at the top and work my way down to the bottom.

Next up, the finished Red Letter Alphabet flimsy. Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hard to Sew When...

It's hard to sew when you've cut your thumb.  You're left with either a band-aid that makes it hard to pick up anything, and then with that flap of dead skin that keeps getting caught on stuff.

If you cut away the dead skin, you're left with a very tender spot that makes reaching into the pin tin a painful experience. 

That's my excuse for not blogging much this week. The next two weeks will be crazy busy for me. First, the postponed upgrade of our Manufacturing and Accounting software is coming up, and it's the same week as the class I'll be teaching at Quilted Threads. I've been preparing my class down to the last detail so it will be ready well ahead of time. I'm almost finished.

I am making progress on the Red Letter Alphabet, and I'll blog about it soon.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Row by Row

I'm sewing up the rows for my Red Letter quilt.  I like sewing the letters together first, and adding extra space at each end, then sewing the rows together. I generally don't trim the rows until just before I am to sew them together. I don't want the edge to stretch, and I want it perfectly straight.

Yes, I made a new O.

Go watch Tonya on The Quilt Show! (It's free this week)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Just got this yesterday, and spent all last evening playing with it.  As you can see I found the perfect "wallpaper."

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wink, Wink!

I'm getting my lesson plan ready for the free-pieced letters class I'll be teaching in three weeks at Quilted Threads. This word, WINK, is one of my samples. This particular exercise is about using your fabrics to their full potential.

The finished letters are 5" (about 13 cm) tall and the word is 23" (58cm) wide.
Here is the word before I trimmed it.