QUILTS FOR COMFORT NORTHEAST

Quilts for Comfort Northeast – Meeting the challenge of bringing comfort one stitch at a time.


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Quilts for Comfort

..Hi Happy Quilters

everyday a new stitch is sewn in the Quilts for Comfort quest to deliver lap quilts to as many teens as we can that need comfort.

As i type this post a striking quilt is sitting ready to be quilted, exciting knowing that this particular quilt will be on its way to a teen in foster care who will really be delighted to receive comfort from a quilt so lovingly stitched.

Yesterday i had a phone call asking if Quilts for Comfort could supply 2 lap quilts for 2 teenage boys who are part of the teenage cancer unit..both young men 18 and 19 have said they would love a quilt (their request was “could it be boys colours and not pink or girlie”).

I am hoping that we can  gather a few boy quilts too as teenage boys seem to love them as well.

I will leave you with this thought

Ask not what your fabric can do for you, but what you
can do for your fabric….

 

 

 

 


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HOW TO MAKE INDIVIDUAL PRAIRIE POINTS

Prairie Point 5

I recently made some cushion covers to which I added Prairie Points as embellishments. So today I thought I would show you how I approach this task. It’s really easy and looks great.  I make up my individual Prairie Points with 3″ squares but you can resize them larger or smaller depending on your project but I find that 3″ is a pretty good size and quite easy to manipulate.

I cut however many 3″ squares I feel I will need. Now take your 3″ square and fold it in half diagonally and press.

Prairie Point 1

 

Prairie Point 2

Now fold it again and press. You just carry on in this fashion until all you squares have been shaped and pressed.

Prairie Point 3 Prairie Point 4

And here’s an example of  what you can do with Prairie Points.

Applique Cushions 1

 


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JAPANESE FOLDED PATCHWORK BLOCK TUTORIAL

Japanese Folded Patchwork just happens to be one of my favourite techniques. It’s right up there with making hexagons. So I thought I’d show you how I approach the task. Keep in mind that others may do it a little different.

I’ll start by giving you the template dimensions; I’m aiming for 4-1/2” block. I have cut out two circle templates. The measurements are for the diameter. The first template measures 6-7/8” but 7” is near enough if that’s easier for you to produce; and you will use this for tracing the circle onto your outer fabric. The second template measure 6-1/4”, this template is the sewing template. And finally the square of fabric and wadding should measure 4-1/4”. I use a rotary cutter to cut the fabric and then lay the fabric on top of wadding scraps and trim it with scissors.

When I make a Japanese Folded Patchwork I use two colours; one for the outer circle and one for the centre square. So here is the method I use when working on Japanese Folded Patchwork Blocks.

First I take my larger circle template and trace it onto the outer fabric. Then cut on the traced line.

JF 1

Now using a doubled up thread with a knot in the end I sew a running stitch a scant 1/8” from the edge all the way around. DO NOT SECURE AND CUT THE THREAD YET.

JF 2

Place the fabric circle on the table. Now lay the smaller circle template in the centre and hold it down with one hand and pull the needle and thread like a drawstring until the fabric fit snuggly around the cardboard template. Now secure the thread in place and cut. This is the same method I use to make really good circles for applique purposes.

JF 3

The next steps is to press the circle on both sides. Let it cool. Gently remove the template. Press again on both sides carefully. This second pressing gives the circle a good crisp edge to work with.

JF 4

Now it’s time to add the centre square. Layer one fabric square over one wadding square and centre them both in the middle of the wrong side of the circle. Now you simply fold the circle edges over the sides of the square and pin in place. Make sure that everything looks even on all sides. You can measure up with your squaring up ruler to make sure it’s square.

JF 7

JF 8

Now we stitch everything in place. That’s pretty simple. You can either use a matching thread or a contrasting thread depending on whether you want the stitching to show up or blend in. My preference is a thread that blends in but for these photos I have used a contrasting thread. When stitching, make an effort to stitch thru all the layers right thru to the back so the stitches will show front and back. This will assure that nothing moves and your block will keep its square shape.

JF 9

JF 10

 

Once you have pieced all your blocks they are sewn together to produce your project. I recommend you sew carefully making very small stitches.

JF Bag

Over the years I have pieced a couple of bags using his technique but you could make placemats, table runners, quilts, sewing machine dust covers and a whole range of things. Let your imagination run wild. And let me know how you get on.

I hope this little tutorial helps.

Happy stitching.

Lucie the Happy Quilter X


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CREATIVE FRIENDS LAUNCHING AGAIN…..

Back in May two of our Creative Friends launched a successful companion project. Well they have gone back to the drawing board to create something new and truly whimsical. This time Sandra of The Crafts House has designed the most whimsical of hangers called A Pocketful of Gingerbreads for a quilted Gingerbread Pockets designed by Lucie the Happy Quilter. The two projects look fantastic paired up together. So now, as of today, you can purchase the pattern for the quilted Gingerbread Pockets and you can make the Pocketful of Gingerbreads hanger at The Crafts House with the guidance of the very talented Sandra in her wonderful treasure trove of a studio. You can find more info about the Pocketful of Gingerbreads hanger here and more info about the quilted Gingerbread Pockets by clicking here. Sandra and Lucie have worked hard to bring this project together and have had plenty of laughs along the way. This companion project is the perfect gift for a special someone.

 

♥♥


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..Mixed Media Quilting..

….what happens when you put a mixed media artist who likes to paint and create designs on just about any surface she can get her hands on….with a sewing and quilting artist who can create and free motion on fabric like the thread was attached to her finger tips???

..You get a Mixed Media Quilting Workshop..a double act of Lucie and Sandra..showing you how to use paints and threads to create your own fabric panels..
..we have designed a quirky chicken project just for this workshop..
.learn how to use paints,stamps,everyday items to create your backgrounds and doodles
..then after a break for lunch (and some yummy cakes and chocolate!!)
.. its onto the wonderful world of thread play….applying applique and free motion stitching and using threads like paints to detail your project.

Dates and details for this workshop can be found here


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HOW TO MAKE REALLY GOOD CIRCLES

Do you struggle with making really good round circles for your appliqué work? Well here’s a simple way to make good round circles without a struggle. You’ll love this method because it’s really quite simple and gets great results.

I start with a cardboard circle template the size of the circle required. I don’t use fancy cardboard; just cereal box cardboard is perfect. Now I trace the circle onto the chosen fabric.

Now cut the fabric leaving a generous ¼” allowance.

Stitch around the fabric circle using a running stitch approx. 1/8” from the edge of the fabric. Do not cut the thread yet.

With the wrong side of the fabric facing up, place the card template back into the centre of the fabric and pull the thread and needle which makes the fabric bunch up around the template. Secure the thread, cut. Press the circle on both sides. Let the circle cool.

Remove the card template. Press once more. Voila you have a perfect circle to appliqué to your project. Wasn’t that fun? You can use the same method for ovals as well.

I often think that it’s the simplest techniques that are the best. I learned this particular method of making circles from a Thimbleberries BOM many years ago. I’ve used this method ever since. After having a little go today I feel a scrappy quilt coming on. Circles are great fun to make especially if you’re using this simple method.

So the next time you have to make circles for a project I hope you’ll visit again.

Thanks for popping in today.

Happy stitching.

Lucie the Happy Quilter ♥♥


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PROTECTING YOUR IRON FROM THE DREADED STICKY STUFF

Sticky Stuff is my scientific name for the horrible sticky substance that makes fusible web work. As most of you will know fusible web is very useful for appliqué work in patchwork but it can do dreadful things to the sole plate of your iron and your ironing board cover. To avoid the struggle of cleaning the Sticky Stuff off your sole plate here’s a little tip for all the beginners.

Make a folder from grease proof paper place the fabric and fusible piece in between the layers of the grease proof paper and press using a dry iron. Any Sticky Stuff that might squeeze out will be trapped in the grease proof.

I fold my grease proof in half forming a folder and in half again which makes it easier to store for the next time. I also write something in the corner which side is up so there’s always a clean side to run the iron on. I keep a greaseproof folder close to my ironing station. So there’s no excuse for finding Sticky Stuff on the sole plate of my iron.

If your grease proof folder isn’t big enough for the piece you’re working on just slide the folder and press one section at a time.

It’s a very simple, inexpensive way of protecting both your iron and ironing board cover from Sticky Stuff.

Enjoy your summertime creating.

Lucie the Happy Quilter XX


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HOW TO REDUCE BULKY SEAMS WHEN PIECING PATCHWORK BLOCKS

Today this happy longarm quilter has a tip for all the beginners out there who struggle with too much bulk where seams meet. Bulky seams are no fun when it comes time to do some quilting. This little tip works well whether you plan on stitching in the ditch or even for free motion quilting. As a professional longarm quilter I quite often come across bulky seams and this little tip works quite well. Of course it adds a little more time to get thru your project but I think it is definitely well worth it if it makes the quilting a little easier especially if you’re planning on quilting your project using your domestic sewing machine.

Click on the photos to zoom in.

I’m using a simple four patch as an example for this tutorial but this works well with other types of blocks where seams meet.

You start piecing your four patch block as you always do making sure that your seams have been pressed in opposite directions. Be sure to lock in the seams that way you know your seams will be aligned. Once your four patch is pieced, using your handy little stitch ripper remove the last couple of stitches from the seams which you have just locked in on both sides. Refer to the photo that shows where to remove the stitches. It’s really quite easy to do.

You will most probably find that the seam which you have just sewn will try to fold over in opposite directions on either side of the centre point, which is exactly what you want it to do. Using you index finger squish down the centre where the seams meet.

Take the block to the ironing board, with the block facing right side up press. Voila, you have a lovely block with no bulk where the seams meet in the middle. I find this little technique makes quite a difference come time to do the quilting.

I hope this little tutorial helps. Remember to take your time and press all your blocks properly. Pressing is such an important part of the job if you want to make nice quilts.

Happy stitching everyone,

Lucie the Happy Quilter X


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EASY PEASY PINCUSHION TUTORIAL

As a Creative Friend I thought I ought to post something creative before the month comes to an end. So here’s how to make a very simple pincushion using scraps from you scrap basket. I start by tracing this template which is very much like a Dresden Blade onto both layers of my chosen fabric. (You can add some fusible interfacing if you would like a little more body to your pincushion.) I lay my fabric right sides together and trace.

After tracing the template I secure both layers with a couple of pins and cut on the traced line.

Now we can start machine sewing. Just like the Dresden Blades, fold your pieces lengthwise and sew across the top.

Clip the corner to reduce bulk.

Now turn you pieces right side out and work the points out. I use a blunt pencil for this task.

Now press the point flat.

Now with right sides together match both pieces and sew around the three raw side edges.

Clip the corners to reduce bulk. Now press again.

So now I fill the pincushion. I use a combination of wadding and I make a little pouch for bird grit. I know you think I’m nuts but I find the bird grit keeps your pins sharps and it helps keep the rust to a minimum plus it gives the pincushion some weight. You can fill your pincushion using your preferred recipe.

We’re almost finished now. Match the points and sew straight across so that your points can be flipped down.

Now that your pincushion filling has been secured you get to do the best part; the embellishing. I just added a little ribbon and a button to mine but the sky’s the limit. Go on dig around your stash and find some interesting things to add to yours.

I hope you all have a go at making this very simple project. And if you do make one please send photos and we’ll try to publish it. If you would like to use the template that I used please email me at lucie@mapleleafquilters.co.uk and I will email it to you.

Happy stitching.

Lucie the Happy Quilter XX


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GIVEAWAY WINNERS ANNOUNCED

We are very pleased to announce that the winners of the companion project GIVEAWAY are:  Jackie, Patricia & Terri

Congratulations ladies you will be receiving one Owl Kit and one Owl Block Keeper Pattern each. Please email your postal addresses to lucie@mapleleafquilters.co.uk so that your parcel can be posted off as soon as possible.

The Creative Friends look forward to releasing other projects sometime soon. So please keep checking for new and interesting projects.