Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A few favorite things

The past few weeks I've been working on several projects and using some "tools of the trade" that I especially love.  I thought I'd share these with you in case you need a last minute gift for yourself or a quilting friend.

1.   Triangulations 2.0 by Brenda Henning/Bear Paw Productions.  This is a CD Rom that prints out Half Square and Quarter Square paper piecing patterns in 1/8" increment sizes.  Believe me- this makes any size you could possibly need.  I've used the half square patterns many times over the years, but just used the quarter square paper patterns for the first time and they are just as wonderful.
You can't beat them for speed and accuracy.
I love many other paper patterns like Thangles, but this CD is so handy to have on hand.  During the cold, stormy weather the past couple weeks when I really needed the patterns, all I had to do was pull out the CD and select the size quarter square triangles I needed and I could print exactly what I needed!

I've had this CD for many years and just found that they now have a new CD called  Triangulations 4.0 that looks really great too.

2.  Free Motion 1/2"  Quilting Ruler Foot for domestic machine sewing by Westalee.
This ruler foot is just fantastic.  I can't say enough about it.  I've wanted a foot like this for years and am loving all that it allows me to do with my domestic machine.  The foot and many quilting templates are sold in the US thru www.sewsteady.com. 

I find that I switch from my 1/4" foot, walking foot and 1/2" ruler foot continually.  They are my most used feet for my domestic machine.  There are also many You Tube tutorials to get you started, and be sure and check out all their quilting templates.

3.  80 wt Aurifil Thread.  I was fortunate to try out the new 80 wt. Aurifil Thread on a project that will be published in a book with Annie's next year.  I love 50-60 wt threads and this 80 wt is also wonderful.  The quilting was smooth and the thread seems to sink into the fabric.  Lovely!

These are three of my favorite things - check them out!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Quilting for Charity

December is a wonderful time to think of doing some quilting for charity.  The challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors this month was to choose a charity of our choice and make something for them.  I chose David's Run for Autism.  A friend of mine has two teenage sons.  The younger of the two boys - David, has Autism.  Two years ago David's brother Noah began a run in honor of his brother and to benefit the group Autism Speaks.  Autism Speaks  provides many services for those with Autism.

I made a table runner for the Silent Auction for next years run from a small bundle of strips from Island Batik.  I seldom remember to take photos of my quilts in process- but here are a couple:

I started with a small bundle of strips and thought it would be fun to see how large a project I could make with them.  I wanted to make a puzzle block design as that is the symbol they use for Autism Speaks and David's Run for Autism.  I had fun at a guild retreat getting the whole top put together in a couple days.  The leftover pieces I used in the binding.  For once I hardly had any scraps left!

Here is the finished Table Runner.

The run this year will be May 6, 2017 in Nappanee Indiana.  You can find more information by going to Facebook at David's Run for Autism.  The run is fun and there are informational booths, some games for the kids and a great silent auction. It is a fun day for the family and the proceeds go to a great cause.  If you are in the area in May- come for a run and join the fun.  Also be sure and check out the silent auction and bid on the table runner and other great items!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Crossing Lines Table Runner

There is a new book out that is about working with charm squares.  It is called Just Charm Quilts by Annie's Quilting.

My project in the book is called Crossing Lines,  It is a table runner 37 1/2" x 15" that uses a charm pack from Island Batik called Drizzle.  The 5" x 5" fabric packs from Island Batik are called Stamps. The background fabric is also from the Drizzle collection. These are lovely fabrics and the squares are fun to work with.  You might want to pick up some to work with!

Crossing Lines by Connie Kauffman   Published in Just Charm Quilts by Annie's Publishing, Berne IN.  Annie'sCraftStore.com

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.  AnniesCraftStore.com 

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.  AnniesCraftStore.com.

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

Monday, September 12, 2016

Westalee Ruler Foot for Machine Quilting - Domestic Machines

I am so excited to share with you the Westalee Design Ruler Foot for Domestic Machines.  This is a foot that fits on a domestic machine and allows you to use rulers for machine quilting.  I have been looking for a foot like this for a long time, and I have to tell you it is WONDERFUL!

This foot is a true 1/2" foot that gives you 1/4" stitching from the needle to the template. on all sides.  It works just like you see on a long arm machine.  The foot is available for low shank or high shank domestic machines.

Sew Steady is a wonderful company that will be able to help you make sure you have the correct foot for your machine.  All you have to do is give them the name of the machine you have and they will be able to tell you if you need a low shank or high shank foot.  You can also go to the Westalee Design website and they have diagrams and info on which foot you will need for each machine.

          *just a note of clarification - Westalee Design products are designed and made in Australia,.  They are partnered with Sew Steady to bring these great tools to the USA.

The foot attaches to your machine just like your other feet.  I have a Bernina machine and I did need to purchase a small adaptor shank to put the foot on, and now it attaches like all my other feet.  Sew Steady can let you know if you need an adaptor shank- not all machines need this.

My Bernina machine took a low shank foot (almost all Bernina's take a low Shank foot), and this foot also fits on my Gem Gold Machine from Janome because it is also a low shank machine.

I encourage you to go to both the Westalee Design Website and the Sew Steady Website and read all their information and how to order your own ruler foot. You can also start looking at their great variety of templates.  They have many wonderful videos on how to use the templates- these are very helpful.  You can also find their videos on U Tube. 

I'll be sharing about many of their templates in future posts - stay tuned!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Seaside Summer Blog Hop Winner

I hope everyone enjoyed the Island Batik Seaside Summer Blog Hop.  The winner from my blog was chosen by Random.org.  The winner is:  Allison!  Your fabrics are on the way.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Seaside Summer Blog Hop

Welcome to the Seaside Summer Blog Hop!  I hope you have been following the Island Batik Ambassadors on their daily blog posts Aug 15- Sept 2.  Today is my day to share with you.

The Island Batik fabric collection I received to create with for this blog hop is called Equinox.

Aren't these lovely fabrics!  They are a great mix of oranges, greens, and browns with a pop of red and burgandy.  I had these fabrics for several months before they announced what the theme of the blog hop would be. I had visions of pumpkins and quilts with leaves....and the theme became Seaside Summer!  Oh my!  Well, I was told I should make anything that showed off the fabrics- even if it didn't match with the theme of the blog hop.

So I finally decided to just go with my first instinct and make a fall themed project.  Here is my quilt  called Looking At Autumn.

I had a lot of fun using 20 fabrics from this collection - the more colors the better!  The colors were wonderful for mixing and matching half square triangles.  There is a quick and easy secret to making the inner border that sparkles. This project is much easier than it looks!  I used Aurifil 2360 and Superior Fantastico 5131 to piece and quilt with.  You can see how well the colors work with the fabrics.

I still felt I needed to make something with a summer theme- even if it wasn't a large quilt.  Here is my mini pineapple block- thanks to the free pattern from Red Brolly  And only about 11 colors in this one!  This was quilted with a 4" arc template from Westalee, and using their foot for quilting on a domestic machine. I will be posting about these fantastic templates in future posts, so stay tuned to my blog.

Pineapple is so refreshing for summer snacks. Since my small block is a pineapple, I thought my recipe should have pineapple in it. This recipe is super quick and easy - great for a hot summer day.

Pistachio Pudding
6 oz pkg cool whip
small can (8 oz) crushed pinapple
Instant pistachio pudding
small marshmellows
Mix everything together and cool

To enter to win a 5" x 5" Stamp pack of Island Batik London Fog fabrics (they look like summer to me) leave a comment on what is your favorite "summer" color.  Make sure that I can reach you by email if you should win.

Enter the rafflecopter below to be entered to win some beautiful Island Batik fabrics.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here is the full schedule for the blog hop- be sure to visit everyone!

Monday Aug 15 - Rain Forest

Tuesday Aug 16 - Red Tide

Wednesday Aug 17 - Sand Dune

Thursday Aug 18 - Seashore

Friday Aug 19 - Surf Squirt

Monday Aug 22 - Tradewinds

Tuesday Aug 23 - Equinox

Wednesday Aug 24 - Sea Canyon

Thursday Aug 25 - Sea Foam

Friday Aug 26 - Spoolin' Around

Monday Aug 29 - Tide Pools

Tuesday Aug 30 - Wind and Sea

Wednesday Aug 31 - Spring Zing

Thursday Sep 1 - Splash

Friday Sept 2 - Landscapes

Monday, August 15, 2016

Seaside Summer Blog Hop

Today starts the Summer Blog Hop with the Island Batik Ambassadors.  Join us for 15 days of quilting fun.  Lots of beautiful fabrics, patterns and giveaways!  Check out the schedule of stops below.  Be sure and come back here on the 23rd when I post using the Island Batik Equinox fabrics.