Saturday, February 18, 2017

Lone Star Quilt Block Tutorial

Hi there! Welcome to the first block of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild Block of Every Other Month. For our first block we will begin with a classic. The 30 inch Lone Star Quilt Block. I have always loved a Lone Star quilt. They look so complicated and for ages I was intimidated by all the perfectly pieced diamonds. Well, folks they really aren't so hard! Let me show you some strip piecing magic and you can knock out a pile of these blocks too! I made a video tutorial on how to piece this block and to highlight the tricky bits. I know there are some sound issues, but bear with me and the next one will be better. Ask questions or make comments so I know how to improve. If you prefer to watch the tutorial on Youtube, my channel is Tia Curtis Quilts. I used to have quite a few videos, but I deleted them all because they were pretty cruddy. Next up will be wonky flying geese and a shopping bag.


(9) 2.5 inch WOF (Width of Fabric) strips of fabric
(4) 9.5 x 9.5 inch squares of back ground fabric.
(4) 6 7/8 x 6 7/8 inch squares of back ground fabric

Cut each square in half diagonally to equal 8 large triangles and 8 smaller triangles.

There are several ways to make these blocks. Two color blocks, 5 color blocks and 9 color blocks. Set up the strip sets as follows. I go over this in the video, but a picture helps heaps I think.

For a 2 color block choose a good contrasting pair. You will need 5 darks and 4 lights Set up the three strip sets like the picture above.
dark light dark
light dark light
dark light dark

For the 5 color block choose light, medium and dark fabrics.  You will need 2 mediums, 4 lights (2  different prints) and 3 darks. For this one the pink/lavender fabric are my lights and the aqua/periwinkle are my mediums. If this is the type block you would like to make set the strip sets up as follows.

medium light dark
light dark light
dark light medium

Finally the 9 color star. Choose nine different colors. Sort them into light, medium and dark. You will need 4 lights, 2 mediums and 3 darks. Set them up like above with the mediums as the center and star tips.

Medium light dark
light dark light
dark light medium

This is another picture that may be helpful. Sort your 8 star points into two sets of 4. Set up both right and left pointing star points. You need both directions to make an eight pointed star.

Watch the video for answers to your questions and feel free to ask questions either here or on youtube. I will answer as I can.

Good Luck with your blocks and have fun!


Friday, February 10, 2017

I have also been making faces.

Hello there!

Since I am making the time to blog, I wanted to show you my newest obsession. Face Quilts! I took a workshop with the one and only Melissa Averinos when she came to Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild back in October. It was one of the best workshops I have ever participated in. If you get the chance to take a workshop with her, do it! Melissa taught us the basics of drawing faces and then how she cuts shapes for eyes, nose, mouth and eye brows. Then she turned us loose. It was so fun, so very very different from what I normally do that I felt so refreshed! Well, I left the workshop with 2 lady faces and a cat face, but I was a little lost about what to do next. I mean, I knew the next step was to quilt them, but there are so many tiny pieces. This is all raw edge and glue stick (glue stick is my newest favorite sewing notion) so it was going to take some serious custom quilting to tack everything down. I hung them up on my design wall and did a bunch of quilts. Well, then I got an email from Melissa and she wanted to know if I wanted to put a face in her book? Uhhhh....Yep. She is writing a book!!!! Yay! And of course I wanted to submit a face or two to her book. No problem. 

At this point I decided I needed to finish them. I still didn't want to quilt them though.....until my eyes landed on the chore my daughter was working on. I hired her to tidy up my studio and there was this crazy piece of tutu toile. That netting stuff. It was leftover from some sort of art project and was splattered with glitter paint. I had a stroke of epiphany! The netting would hold all those little bits down! OMG folks. This was a game changer. It became so darn fun to quilt these ladies that I would make them while the Statler quilted edge to edge quilts. When I would get enough faces glued down I would load up a quilt back, lay down some batting, next comes the face quilts and finally the netting. Then I quilted them with straight lines. They still needed more so I changed out the thread to black and used the black like shading. That was the magic for me. The netting gives the quilts the best feel and heaviness. Very arty.

I love these faces and my husband totally makes fun of my crazy band I am making in the basement. So far the ladies are stacking up in the studio with no real plan after being quilted. All I know is that I have many more planned in my future. So so fun. 

Buy Melissa's book when it comes out!


Still Here, Still Quilting!

How have you all been doing? 

One of my quilt guild members let me know that I have not blogged since early December. I have been pretty busy folks.
I have been good. Quilting away as usual. Something so very exciting is also happening and I can't talk about it, so I have just tried to hide from the internet so I am not tempted to spill the beans. I figure if I am busy working I won't be tempted to overshare. Below are some of the custom quilts I have gotten to work on.

This first one is Merrie's. She wanted something different in each row and a different design in each triangle. This was super fun to quilt. Doing the same stuff gets rather boring sometimes. It was a fun challenge. She really likes pebbles so I did them in the most visible spot.

I used a gold thread to do the quilting.

This was a really cool one I custom quilted for Taylor. The blue part is water and the stained glass is breaking off into the water.

Taylor wanted it to look shattered.

And the water to look somewhat like map contour lines. I felt it should have a little bit of swirl.

Next up is Vivika's Quilt. Isn't this cute. I wasn't sure if it was "Oh, Boy" you had a male baby...or "Oh Boy" we are totally lost. I figured map contours would work in both situations. My boys love maps and maps help when you are lost.

Someday I will do a whole cloth quilt with just this map contour lines. It is really the best texture.

Here is Stephanie's quilt. This was another really wonderful quilt to quilt. I used Wool batting to make the quilting pop. Wool is the best batting.

So pretty. I used a ton of different color thread on this one too. I think that actually took the longest with this one. Changing out the threads between each block.

This back is so awesome! I even managed to match up the centers of the top and the back. Yay!

This lovely one is from Mary. We decided on lots of straight lines inside the blocks. Again I used wool batting. Let me tell you that wool batting and shot cottons = fantastic. I think I used 15 different threads on this one. I am getting good at the thread change.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

So many awesome quilts so little time!

Hi There!

It has been ages since I blogged. I feel as if I have been sewing like "a cursed princess in a fairy tale" (that is from Downton Abbey, but I like to say it when ever I can. I am in no way cursed, but I have been doing sooooo much quilting lately). So much that I just can't find the time to sit and blog like I used to. When I do have the time there is one of my 3 kids sitting at the computer working on homework. When did all homework have to be done online? Maybe I need my own computer? The thing is that my computer is an iMac. It has been great these past 5 years....but I am not sure about getting a Mac book especially since my Gammill Statler is on a PC. We bought a laptop for me last year, but so far my husband has taken it over. 

OK, Lets look at a zillion pictures. I won't be able to give each quilt the glory it deserves. but when will I have the time to sit at the computer again? If it isn't on the blog it didn't happen right? This is my record. My portfolio.

First up this awesome quilt by Hillary. She is entropyalwayswins on Instagram. I have had a quilt crush on her for a while now and was pretty geeked out when she contacted me and wanted me to quilt for her. I used to crush on fabric designers, but now that I quilt all the time I have little crushes on quilt Makers. I love watching their process and watching them make from the screen of my phone. Long arm quilting can be a pretty lonely work...but with Instagram I feel like I have a tribe. Hillary is part of my tribe (in my imagination).

So, when I first saw this quilt I thought Tin Tile Ceiling. Do you have those old houses or shops with stunning tin tiles on the ceilings? We have a heap of them here in Leavenworth, Kansas. I love how all are different, pretty simple when looked at individually, but wildly stunning as an entire ceiling. So that is how I wanted to quilt her quilt.

Hillary choose double batting. A cotton blend on the bottom and a fluffy wool on top. I love quilters dream batting. The wool is so so good.

Next up is Susan's Double wedding ring. I quilted a Dear Jane for her not too long ago.  This is a wedding quilt for her son (I think). I knew that I needed to quilt it with a pretty quick turnaround. I thought I would do arcs in all the little squarish pieces, but that would have added a week at least to the quilting. I looked at a bunch of vintage and antique quilts and I loved how they just echo quilted inside the rings. That is what I did. It gives is a little bit of a modern spin...but in reality it is anything but modern.

Feathers are so awesome. Everyday!

And the back.

This awesome quilt is by Sue. She is in my Modern quilt guild here in Kansas City.She is a fairly new quilter and decided to jump in with Tula Pink's 100 Modern Quilt Blocks . She gave me acres of open space to quilt. Luckily I had just taken a Compositional Quilting Class with Krista Withers (who I have know for YEARS on the Internet. She is totally awesome in real life and we stayed up way to late talking and laughing about everything) . I knew that compositional quilting quilt be perfect for this quilt.

It took a long time to quilt, but it was worth every stitch. The batting is wool and that added fluff really makes all the quilting sing.

This was seriously so fun to quilt.

The blocks were fairly small, but I tried to make them unique with a little fancier quilting than Stitch in the Ditch,

Next up is an e2e quilt. in real life there were about 9 e2e quilts, but for some reason only this one slowed down enough to post for a picture. This e2e is really pretty, but takes SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO long to quilt out.

While the above quilt was being quilted by my Stater, I quilted a sugar skull quilt for my very best friend on the planet. All the pieces were loosely glued to the piece of fabric below it. That was a bit of a surprise, but in the end it worked out ok.

I used my older machine on this quilt since it was more arty from conception.

Next up some sample sewing.....this will actually be listed in my shop as two smallish quilts. I thought it would be a good class sample, but the feedback has been that is looks too hard. It isn't really hard folks. just take it piece by piece.

Last up a Christmas quilt! Isn't this pretty? Gwen made it. The appliqued bits are wool and some parts were thick, but overall it worked out awesome. I love it and wish I would have made it!

This was another quilt that was so fun to quilt.

Thank you ladies for letting me quilt your quilts!


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Dreamscape quilt for Carrie Bloomston

Hi There Folks!

Wow. It has been such a long time since I blogged. I have been so busy quilting and I even got to take a little personal time and take a couple classes. It felt so indulgent to take some time and learn something new. I will blog about it later I hope.

Today I wanted to show you the quilt I made for quilt market. I only did one this market and I am so please that I made that decision. I figured if it was only going to be one quilt it should be a pretty wild one. 

Carrie Bloomston sent out the call for her quilting friends and as soon as I saw the fabric I knew JUST what I wanted to do with it. I have designing quilts and bags for Carrie's quilt market booth since she began designing fabric. I always love her work and her kind soul is an example for me to try to follow. 

I wanted to fussy cut and appliqué. I wanted it to be a modern broderie perse with a great deal of movement. I wanted the feathers and beautiful bees to be tossed about in a whirlwind. I was on a very quick timeline and all of this appliqué was needle turn so towards the end I was getting a little sore. I just tossed the little pink pluses down on the quilt and stitched them down where the fell. Oh! and this time I used glue stick to hold it all in place while I worked. Glue stick worked awesome!

This was the top before I quilted it. This shot does not do Carrie's wonderful colors justice. I always love her colors. I strip pieced the inner border.

I quilted it in a big radiating spiral. I have not got a perfect spiral figured out yet on the long arm, so I just did it wild and free. I love this quilting so much.

I used a wool batting because it is my favorite. You should try it next time.

Gosh I love this quilt so much. Such fun easy shapes to stitch down. I have been thinking about ordering enough of this fabric to kit the pattern...but I have never done that before and I don't know what sort of success that endeavor would be.

At any rate I loved making it. I loved the quiet stitching and the time I was able to spend sitting with my little family while I worked. I do hope appliqué becomes more popular. It is so nice to work on and let your mind wonder and dream.

Carrie Bloomston is having a giveaway on HER blog. GO there and leave a comment to win a bundle of fabric and a copy of her wonderful book The Little Spark. The winner will be selected on the first of November. You still have time to enter!