Monday, November 28, 2016

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland!  That's a great theme for the November Island Batik Ambassador challenge!  Like some of the other Ambassadors, I decided to use the small roll of blue strips that Island Batik sent us to play with.  The strips look like winter with snowflakes and sparkle and lovely blues.

I added another blue and white Island Batik for backgrounds, and was all set to go.  It's really surprising what you can do with strips- even just a few.

I made this table mat and hot pad I call Winter Twilight.

Winter is coming with cold and snow- hope you can snuggle in with some fabric and have fun creating!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Published Table Runners

The new book Precut Table Runners & Toppers by Annie's Quilting has two sets of my projects.

The first project is featured on the cover (see above).  It is called Riverbed and is a set of place mats and a table runner and hot pad.  It  is made with French Roasted fabrics from Island Batik and Warm Blend and Insulbright batting from The Warm Company.

Riverbed by Connie Kauffman from the book Precut Table Runners & Toppers published by Annie's Berne, IN. 

The second project is called Winter and is a runner and table mat made with Holiday Happenings fabric from Island Batik and Warm Blend Batting from The Warm Company.

Winter  by Connie Kauffman from the book Precut Table Runners & Toppers published by Annie's Berne, IN.

Runners, place mats and hot pads are great projects for gift giving - you still have time to make some!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

domestic machine quilting with templates 101

In an earlier post I talked about the Westalee ruler foot and how wonderful it is.  With this foot, you can quilt using templates on your domestic machine - something I've been wanting to do for a long time.

I plan on doing several posts about quilting with templates, so this is lesson 101.  I'm assuming- hoping- that you have purchased the ruler foot for your domestic machine if you are at all interested in quilting with templates.  That is the first step.  If you haven't decided to make the leap and purchase a foot yet- check out the website of Sew Steady to check out purchasing a foot and templates (Sew Steady sells the Westalee Design products in the US).  You might also want to go to the Westalee Design site and view some of their great videos to get you motivated.

Once you get your ruler foot, you need to attach it to your machine at the correct height.  You need to adjust the height of the foot to make sure you can move the fabric easily under the foot when quilting, but not so high the templates would move under the foot.  Experiment a bit to get the correct height.

Now you are ready to start!  I bet you are excited!  Now you have those pretty, shiny templates and you are ready to go - but wait!  Before you start quilting you need to put something on the back of each template so that it will not slide on the fabric.  Believe me- this is about the most important thing you need to do!  If you don't put something on the back, your template will slide all over the place and you have no control and you will end up taking out lots of stitches- ask me how I know!

I've experimented with a few different ways to prepare the back of the template.  Westalee Designs sends you a strip of what they call Stable Tape with each template.  This looks similar to rubber shelf liner, but has fusible on one side.  You cut the strips and adhere them to the back of the templates in a couple spots.  I try to place them where they don't cover any of the lines on the templates.

I've also tried a package of clear rubber dots about the size of pencil erasers, but those didn't hold as well for me.  I also tried spraying quilt basting spray on the back of the template as some long arm machine quilters do.  This works well, but it does attract lint and you need to clean it off periodically and respray.

So after some experimenting, I'm sticking with the Stable Tape.  It works well for me.  I just have to remember to put it on before I start using those fun templates!

If you are starting on the journey of quilting with templates on your domestic machine, I'd love to hear from you.  We can learn together!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Twilight Echoes

My pattern Twilight Echoes is in the Dec issue of American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine.

Photos used with permission from Americn Patchwork & Quilting (R) Magazine
(c)  2016 Meredith Corporation  All rights reserved

This pattern is paper pieced and used Celestial Dreams fabric from Island Batik.  Have to say I love this one!

Friday, October 14, 2016

October Pumpkin Fest

It's October and it feels like fall.  I'm seeing pumpkins everywhere - and the challenge this month for the Island Batik Ambassadors was to make something with a pumpkin theme.  I had a nice selection of fabric from the Equinox Island Batik line that I knew would be perfect. 

I was pondering what to make when one of my local quilt guilds decided to have a quilt retreat.  Wouldn't you know- they decided to make a variety of mug rugs and one of them was a pumpkin!  Wonderful!  The pattern was by Klee2Strings, and you can get her pattern by clicking on her name and going to her craftsy site.

The Equinox fabrics were perfect and it didn't take much fabric- or time to make this cute little mug rug.

We had a great time at our retreat.  Here are some photos of the ladies hard at work (and play).

Several other ladies from the guild made the pumpkin mug rugs.  Aren't they lovely!

Lots of other projects were worked on during our retreat and we had a lovely sharing time at the end, seeing what everyone  had accomplished.  

If you are ever able to attend a quilt retreat - don't hesitate!  It's a lovely time of sharing and creating.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Bountiful Table Toppers

The challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors this September was Bountiful Table Toppers.  Each Ambassador could create a table topper out of their stash of beautiful Island Batik Fabrics.

This was a busy month for me and I didn't get started on this project until last week.  I decided on a table  mat from a larger project I'd already designed.   I decided to use three fabrics from Island Batik Tradewinds.  I love the smokey blue/green/teal with the almost black fabrics.

As I was deciding on which project, I realized that this table topper could easily be quilted with the Westalee/Sew Steady templates!  I've mentioned in an earlier email about the Westalee quilting foot that allows you to sew and use templates on your domestic machine.  What a time saver this is!  No marking and lovely accurate quilting - they are a dream!

These are the three templates I used for the project:  The 2" circle, 12" arc and 4" arc.  The circle and 4" arc come in the sample packet and the 12" arc came with the foot.  I stitched in the ditch with clear around all the shapes and did the other quilting with black thread in the top and bobbin.  The project measures 14 1/4" x 14 1/4".

Here are a couple photos of the quilt being quilted:

Photos of the final project - front and back so that you can see all the quilting.

Table mats and runners are quick and easy- great for gift giving.  Plenty of time to make a few!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Camp Auction Quilt

I've been working on a quilt for our local church camp.  They are having a Festival Oct 1 at Camp Alexander Mack in Milford IN on Oct 1.  It is a fun day with lots of activities, food booths and a live and silent auction.  Everyone is invited for a fun day.  The quilt I made for the auction is called Camp Fire Memories.

I seldom remember to take photos of quilts in progress, but here are a couple of this one.

The above photo shows the process (and mess) of fabric selections.

Here the flames are somewhat decided (notice I took out the gray and silver fabrics), and the browns for the logs are being decided.

Ready for quilting!

Camp Fire Memories Quilt
by Connie Kauffman
Camp Mack Festival Oct 1 Milford Indiana
Live auction 10:30 am