Tuesday, May 22, 2018

My Block Of Every Other Month Quilt is finished!

Hi There Folks!

I hope you are all doing well. I have been busy quilting as usual. I have been traveling to teach and do trunk shows too. That has been quite fun. Earlier this month I squeezed my own quilt into the Custom quilt queue. It was super fun to quilt. I don't make many quilts these days as I spend most of my time quilting for people. While I was making this quilt I knew how I wanted to quilt each section so the quilting went quite quickly. I think the quilt needs a different name than #KCMQGBOEOM What are your ideas for a different name? I stink at naming quilts.

Here I am in my sunny studio. I have a basement studio too. My quilting business has swollen to take up quite a bit of the house. If we ever move I think I need an out building to set up shop it. Oh and that fluff ball under my arm is my daughter's cat Ragnar. He is a dream boat.  All the tutorials for this quilt are here on my blog and over on my Youtube Channel. If you make blocks from my tutorials I sure would LOVE to see them. Please tag me on Instagram, or send me a picture. I will happily make more tutorials if I see that people are using them. Its a little vainglorious to just write posts that no one reads or is inspired by. So sound off if you are here. Now, lets look at pictures.

Almost ALL the fabric in this quilt is Cotton+Steel from my shop. Go get some for yourself if you like. For the next couple days you can use the code SUMMERBREAK to get 15% off your fabric purchase of $25 or more. There is some great stuff in the shop and more on the way.

I used 2 layers of batting. Quilters Dream Blend on the bottom and Wool on top. Using two layers of batting creates a false trapunto look. The un-quilted bits pop and it looks more fancy. The quilting can really show off.

The whole quilt is quilted with Glide thread in the color Tar Heel. Not only is it a great color, but I like the name too.

I did a little curved crosshatching because it is fun and I don't do it very often. I love Linda's rulers from The Quilted Pineapple. They are the best I have ever used.

So there you go. Everything I can think of about this quilt. Please ask questions if any spring to mind.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Modern Arch Block Tutorial

Hey there! Are you ready for the last block in the KCMQG Block or Every Other Month? I am. I won't lie...I never take this long to make a quilt and its kinda driving me nuts. I don't like dragging things out. I am a woman of action and I want things made and done. boom.

This was a hard block to name. I took it to the Instagram hive mind because all I could come up with was "Humpy Block". While I love the block and I think they are really fun to make my daughter told me they looked like ogre fingernails...and if you butt them together they look kinds like pills or lady parts. Funny how it goes when you are so pleased with how something turns out and then to get someone else's opinion on their appearance it totally changes how you feel about them. Boo. I think they look like the fantastic Olga mountain range in The Middle of Australia. If you want to read more about that trip you are welcome to read about it on my old blog Camp Follower Bags. Its a funny story and my kids were so so so cute! I also wanted to name them the "Olga Blocks" but I figured no one would understand so without further ado I have named this last block "the Modern Arch" Thank you so much for helping me name it.

Of course I made a bunch of them. These blocks are both pieced and appliquéd. The appliqué is a small bit so it is easy and a great place to begin if you are new to needle turn appliqué. You are also welcome to just use raw edge appliqué or fusible. These will be your blocks, do them however you please.

Here is one of my aboriginal paintings of the Olgas. See how they are fabulous rounded domes? Such a magical place. The Artist who painted this piece is named Rooth,

I have several Aboriginal pieces and I love the swirls and curves...I bet you can see it reflected in my own quilting can't you?

Modern Arc Tutorial

Start out with two sets of rectangles. Overlap them. One will be the right side and the other will be the left side.

Cut an arc while the blocks are overlapped. If you are uncomfortable free cutting with your rotary cutter, you are welcome to draw an arc and use that line to cut on. Don't worry if they aren't symmetrical, I think the asymmetrical quirkiness is what makes these so fun. You do need to leave at least a half inch on the far edge so you can piece the Arcs without loosing your curves...unless that is the look you are going for.

To piece the curve you need to have a bit of an overhang of the inner piece.

I don't pin the block I just go for it and ease the curve in as I go.

As you can see you will have some waste that you will need to trim away. Thats fine. You can stop here or add another inner curve.

Do it the same way. Overlap another square or rectangle and cut a curve a so the curve angles match the piece you are sewing them into.

If you notice there is no way you will get the center seam to match up feel free to piece in a scrap and make it straight. You are in charge of these blocks.

Now for the piece that you will be appliquéing. Cut an arc that is smaller that the last one you stitched in.

I like to make a basting stitch about 1/4 inch from the edge and then I use my needle to tuck the seam allowance under. That basting line acts as a barrier and helps keep the proper shape.

Maybe this picture shows you what I mean?

Trim the fabric beneath the appliqué if you can. I do this because it makes for less layers when I quilt it and if the fabric is darker under it will make a shadow that might be ugly.

OK.... go forth and make some Modern Arch blocks. I Sure would love to see what your look like. If you make them tag me on Instagram.

Tia Curtis

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Crazy Daisy Tutorial - BOEOM #7

HI There!

Welcome to another episode of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild BOEOM (Block Of Every Other Month) We are on block 7 - the Crazy Daisy!!!! This is a super cute block that is fun to make. As you can see below this is what my quilt top looks like. I have finished the top so you can see where we will be going from here. I didn't do a video this month...too much was going on and I just couldn't find the time to plan it out. An old fashioned picture tutorial will have to do.

Here are the Crazy Daisy blocks. One has a pieced center and one has an appliqué center. I think both are fun, you choose what you like best.

April I will show how to do the hump blocks. I am not wild about that name, so if you have a good one let me know. They are really fun and surprisingly versatile depending on how you use them.

So here is the finished block. I trimmed mine to 6 inches, you can trim yours smaller if you like. I also fussy cut the center, it looks great if you aren't fussy, but I felt the need to make it just a little more complicated. Its the way I roll.

I like to strip piece. So I cut my pieces as WOF (Width of Fabric) and make several blocks at one time since I am sitting there anyway. This set of instructions is for just one block.

You will need:

  • One 6" x 6" background square
  • Two 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles
  • One 4.5" x 4.5" square of fabric you would like for your daisy
  • One 1" x 1" square for the center of the daisy

Sew the two background rectangles to two opposite sides of the daisy colored square. Press the seams.

Sub cut the pieced bit into four 1" segments. There will be a tiny bit of leftover.

Cut the 6" background square in half diagonally.

Sew one of the petal pieces into the cut. Press the seams towards the background for this first petal. The rest of the  daisy seams will be pressed towards the petal pieces.

Cut the piece in half again on the diagonal.

Sew another petal piece into the cut and press the seams towards the petal piece. I think the block looks pretty great at this point. If you ever need an X block, here you go.

You can piece the center of the daisy anytime. Just cut one of the petal pieces in half and sew the 1" center into the cut. Press the seams towards the petals.

Cut the flower again in half through the center of the X and piece in another petal. Press the seams toward the petal piece.

Cut the flower piece in half one more time. The center of the last petal piece should nest perfectly with the previous piece. Here is a bad close up picture with pins (even though I don't really pin this block in real life).

This is what your Crazy Daisy block should look like.

Here is a picture of the seam side. I always think it is helpful to see the seam side. You can see how the first petal piece was pressed towards the background, but all the other seams are pressed towards the petals.

Last step is to trim the block. I trimmed the block to 6 inches, but you can certainly trim it smaller or even make it asymmetrical. You can do a lot with this block. The petals don't have to be even sizes, you can make them wonky or when you cut the block to piece the petals you can cut is crazy. That is fun too. I tried hard to make this one nice and symmetrical so you would all be impressed. In real like I make mine pretty wild.

OK, have fun making these! I would love to see yours on Instagram. Just tag them with #KCMQGboeom. Yay! Oh and lat me know if you have any questions in the comment section.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Quilted Boxy Zipper Bag Tutorial

Hi There and Yay to 2018!!! 

I hope everyone had a great holiday break. I know I am already way back in the swing of my work so I figured I should blog. My resolution for 2018 is to blog more. I do so much fabulous sewing and I have gotten out of the habit of documenting it. It gets given away or sold and I never see or think of it again...its like it never happened.

My husband and I have already made a video tutorial over on Youtube for the way I make Quilted Boxy Zipper Bags. Please go over and have a look. If you are visiting from Youtube, welcome! I am so happy you are here. I have quite a few tutorials here (and over on my old blog) the list is over on the right hand side of the blog as well as several video tutorials over on Youtube. Poke around a bit and make yourself at home. Feel free to make comments or suggestions for future videos too. 

Here is the video if you don't want to go to youtube.

The lighting is funny, but it sure showed all the lint and pet fur on the navy blue fabric. I used a really cheap sheet as the quilt back and it just acted as a magnet to any lint, fur, hair and thread. yippee.

OK, so a couple things that will be important if you want to make the zipper bags. Below is a quick shot of the dimensions for the different sized bags. It is not fancy and it is really the technique I wanted to showcase, not really the pattern. I just wing it whenever I make them anyway. I find a zipper to fit the quilted bit I have ready to go and move on from there. But maybe you want more structure? I get that. I am here for you!

If you want a closer look at how I put in the zippers, here is a LINK to a picture heavy blog I did a couple years ago. It might help you.

I will have the same info below with a couple sample bags pictured too. I have your back!


More bags!

Both of these bags are made from the same 10" x 16" quilted piece. I just used a different sized zipper and did the sides and boxing of the corners different.

Boxy Zipper Bag

The large bag = 14" sport zipper and 15"x 21" quilt

The Small bag = 9" zipper and a  10" x 16" quilt

Tall Curved top bags
Wide Bag = 12" zipper and 10" x 16" quilt

Skinny Bag = 6" zipper and 7" x 13" quilt

Pencil Bags
*this is the only bag where you will sew the zipper along the longer edge of the quilt sandwich. All the other bags get the zipper sewn along the shorter edges. Muy Importante!!! 

Large bag = 12" zipper and 13" x 11" quilt

Small Bag= 10" zipper and 11" x 9" quilt

So folks, use these formulas to make some great zipper bags. This is just the jumping off place. Go bigger, go smaller do your thing! Practice your quilting and make some great little projects. These are perfect for gifts or to organize your stuff.

I buy my zippers from ZIPIT on Etsy. Her (or his) prices can't be beat and the selection is too awesome.

Ok, let me know if you have any questions!


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

KCMQG Block of Every Month #6 The Improv Spike Border

Hey there folks!

Here is the sixth portion of the #KCMQGBOEOM. Improv Spike borders are awesome! They are really great looking and are quick and easy to make. I made a video, so the instructions are there. I have all the other videos on my Youtube channel and there are also links to them on my website. 

You can see how my version of the quilt is coming along. I am trying to figure out the last part that will be available next year. Between you and me I really just want to get one to the best part...the Quilting!!!!!!

Here is the video. I bet you will be able to see it better on Youtube, but I can't figure out how to make it bigger here. Oh well.

The Improv Spike can just be used as individual blocks too. 

Yay Improv Spikes!!!


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

KCMQG Block of Every Other Month #5 - The Wonky Star

HI there! 
Thank you so much for shopping from me this Holiday season. It really means the world to me. I am a tiny business and most of my time is spent quilting. I don't make time to market my shop and that has been a poor decision on my part. For those of you who have sought out my shop and bought fabric, patterns and things from me I truly truly thank you. 

Hi There! Are you ready for the next Part of the KCMQG BOEOM?
 It is stars! I love stars. I always turn to these wonky little stars when I am feeling my quilting muse has abandoned me and I'm not totally sure what to make, but I feel like I must make something!

I love to use ombre or gradient dyed fabric. I used Cotton+Steel Pigment Gradients for these stars. I think the different shades really add so much to my quilts. I used Navy and Marigold. The two different sizes really make the stars shimmer.

I have a Youtube video for you to watch if you want to. 

Wonky Stars are easy to make. They are basically a 9 patch block, and those are super easy right?

I used 2 different sizes, a biggish one and a little one.
The bigger one is made using 2.5 inch squares and the little ones are made with 1.5 inch squares.

You will need: 
8 background squares
5 squares for the star.

Cut 4 of the star squares in half diagonally, keep the 5th square for the center of the star.

Choose 4 background squares and lay 4 of the star points on the lower right corner pretty side down like the picture above. When you do this hold them down at the stitch line to make sure after you sew them the star points will cover all the triangle part behind the point. I don't always do this step, at this point in my quilt making life I can eyeball it pretty well so I don't check. If you are new to this type sewing do check. It will save you some frustration.

Sew them all down. If I am going to be making a bunch of stars I chain piece these puppies by the bucket full.

Flip over and press the star point down then trim away the extra fabric so there isn't a lot of bulk. This step will make it easier when it comes time to quilt your quilt.

Do the same thing with the other 4 star points. 

Same sewing 

Same pressing and trimming

The last step is going to be sewing the block together and trimming it to whatever size you want it to be. If its too small add some fabric, if its too big trim it down. Easy Peasy.

After you have made your stars you can make them into a border I used 13 large stars and 10 small stars. I knew I wanted my border to be 10 inches wide, so I added more of the Navy gradient dyed fabric to make the star segments 10 inches wide. Then I scattered them around the 2 sides of the quilt and filled in with more fabric. Not very fancy or precise, but that is how I work.

I used a bunch of the stars in this Menagerie Eclipse quilt too. Once you get going you will knock out a big stack and have so many stars you don't know what to do with them!

So I am making the next blocks already. Just to tempt you a little they will be spikes!

Have the best day!