Tuesday, September 12, 2017

KCMQG Block Or Every Other Month - #4 The Small Churn Dash

Hi there folks!

I hope you are all well and ready to make some great little quilt blocks. 

This is the 4th installment of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild Block of Every Other Month

Today I present to you the Small Churn Dash.  Isn't is so adorable? Daniella wanted to do Churn Dashes this month. The Churn Dash block is a classic in every sense of the word. I fussy cut the centers and I prefer the block on point, so I added the triangles on the sides. This is optional (as are most things right?) you can easily just omit the triangles and make it a traditional square block.

Here is the video Daniella and I worked on showing how to make the block. Daniella is the sweetest lady.

Here are Daniella's Churn Dash blocks as a table runner. Hers look like crosses the way she worked her colors and her HST (half square triangle) corner blocks don't have a specific background color. I love how you can make blocks look totally different just by color placement.

Here is how I have used the blocks in my quilt. I really am trying to NOT make a Medallion quilt, but the quilt seems to want to be a medallion. I do have a plan to force it into another configuration. I am really loving how this quilt is coming together. If you are following along I would love to see yours.

Cutting instructions:
  • Center 2 1/4 inch square
  • Churn Dash 3 1/4 inch square and 1 1/4 inch x 10 inch strip
  • First background 2 1/4 inch square and 1 1/4 inch  x 10 inch strip
  • Second background 5 1/2 inch square (this can actually be a 6 inch square that way you won't loose your points like I did)
* in the picture above I have already sewn my 2 strips together ready to submit into the pieces of the churn dash and background.

*the video will show me sewing around the 4 sides of the 3 1/4 inch squares and then cutting them in half diagonally twice as well.

Cut your second background in half twice diagonally

The corner HST blocks will be 2 inches. Submit the strip pieced part into 4 x 2 1/2 inch pieces and piece the block like it is show above.

Last sew on the 4 triangles pieces and trim the block to about 6 1/2 inches. Be careful with your pressing as the triangles are cut on the bias and tend to distort. I don't mind this as I can force them into the piecing easier, but some folks don't like this. It does;t bother me in the slightest.

Have the best day and let me know what your quilts are looking like! Ask questions below in comments if you have them. I may have left something out. Next time will be wonky stars...my all time favorite.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Some Quilts I Quilted for folks

Hi There!

Way back in June I taught 5 classes at the Kansas City Regional Quilt festival (KCRQF). It was so fun! There was a crazy amount of work to get ready for it (and for my first class I was really nervous and totally forgot to show my samples. Whoops.) I was also working on client quilts right up until the end. As always before a class I decide that I need a last minute quilt to add to the mix. 

I decided to do another Quilt as You Go on the Longarm quilt. Thats right! An entire twin sized quilt quilted and pieced on the longarm. Is the word long arm or longarm? It is my job, but I don't know which version is the proper one.  Anyway....I found working on this quilt to be such a treat to myself. It was a really soothing break from class prep...but it was class prep!

I sort my scraps by solids and prints, then I resort them according to color. I pulled out all my solid scraps and made kinda log cabin blocks with them on a big piece of backing fabric.

I was just going to do straight lines, but it gets too boring for me so I ended up adding in some more quilting textures.

I absolutely LOVE how this quilt turned out. This is a class I am teaching, so if you are curious about it get a group together and invite me to come teach. You will love it.

I even added in some Welsh style borders!

So now, lets look at some quilts I quilted for folks.

I quilted Lynn's Llamas with my favorite Feathers, Lines and Swirls technique (this was one of the 5 classes I taught at KCRQF and I am more than willing to teach you too. Again, get a group together and invite me to your guild) There was so much beautiful negative space so I filled it up.

I especially love the fur on the llamas.

I quilted one of Latifah Saffir's quilts for quilt market. The one right behind us. I even went to quilt market! It was so fun to walk around and meet all the wonderful characters from the fabric world and it was so great to put faces to names I have been emailing with for years. Latifah is the sweetest lady!

I quilted this awesome Star quilt for Pam. Pam always chooses the best colors. I want to copy this quilt exactly. It is quilted with an e2e named Serpentine.

Here is one of Sharon's quilts. I quilted a Baptist fan on it. I never get pictures of all the e2e quilts I do. The machine quilts them so quickly they are out the door before I know what happened. The custom jobs hang around a great deal longer so I feel they all need to be documented.

I quilted Jenifer Dick's Scissors. She wanted jagged lines and jagged lines were fun to do!

This was a special quilt I quilted for Carol. It has names and special words quilted into the background. Her brother recently passed away and the quilt is for her father.

I also quilted Lynn and Sandi's challenge quilt for KCRQF. This was weeks of work, but I get terrible pictures of it and you can barely see the quilting

Last up today is this fun quilt I quilted for Taylor. Taylor rescues vintage quilt blocks and uses them to finish the makers vision.  This was a fun quilt to work on. Traditional style quilting takes so much longer than more modern quilting, but boy is it worth it.

I have a million other blog posts to type up, so check back. and type a quick comment to let me know you are there. Being an artist working from my home studio can be lonely work. It is nice to know you are there.

Have a great day!

Monday, June 26, 2017

KCMQG Block of Every Other Month - Needle Turn Appliqué vine border

Hey there Folks! 

I hope you have all be doing well. I have been swamped with teaching, quilting and summer fun with my own family. I dropped the ball on getting this June's KCMQG Block of Every Other Month up on the blog. It has been up on the Youtube for sometime, but in case you are looking for it here on the blog I bet you were sad when you couldn't find it. It is an Appliqué border! Huzzah!!!! I like to do my appliqué as needle turn, but you certainly can do it as fusible or machine appliqué. If you know me, you know I am not a big rule follower, so you have permission to do it however you want. I just love the look of mixing patchwork and appliqué. I did 2 different videos for this border. One is kind of an overview and the other is more of a close up. Like you are sitting beside me and we are sewing together.

I chose hand appliqué for our summer challenge because I LOVE doing a little hand work in the summer. It is nice to have a little something to work on by the pool or in the car during road trips.

You can find the template pieces for the flowers and leaves HERE and on my website tiacurtisquilts.com

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Strip Pieced Pyramid Blocks Tutorial

 Hi there!

I am here with the second installment of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild Block Of Every Other Month ( #KCMQGboeom) its a mouthful for sure! So this month we are doing strip pieced pyramid blocks. Anything strip pieced is awesome. It always looks like you worked really hard, but it actually really simple. I am showing how to make the basic block, what you do with it is up to you. I choose to use my pyramids in a border around the Lone Star block from February. You can do that, or here are some more options.

This is the way I used my pyramid blocks for my BOM. I used them as a border. You can use your blocks in many different ways though.

This layout is alternate pyramids

This is regular pyramids.

This layout is diamonds.

I made so very many pyramids that I have enough to make a whole quilt. I will be staggering my pyramids and adding a lot of negative space so I can play with quilting the heck out of it.

If you follow my video tutorial I would love to see what you make! I think these videos are pretty fun. Please let me know what you think. We have fixed the audio problem from the first video so that is good. Also, let me know if there is something you would like to see. I plan to add some long arm quilting videos as well but let me know if you would like to see a specific type of block or quilting design I can do almost anything and my mind is always so full it is hard to pick from the options.

Have a great day and happy sewing!


I won a Cotton+Steel Bernina. Crazy right?

Hi there everyone!

I sure hope you and your loved ones are all healthy and happy. We are good here. I have so many great things to share that I feel like I may burst. I get to go pick up the Cotton+Steel Bernina sewing machine that I won. What?!?!?! Yes indeed! I WON a Bernina sewing machine I still feel like it is a dream. So so crazy. So tomorrow I will find out if it is all a big hilarious joke or not. You all know that Cotton+Steel is my favorite fabric, so much so that I order it by the bolts so I can have unfettered access to it...and I sell some on the side in my shop.

Alice from Bernina asked which one I wanted and I choose the blue one. I mean heck, not only did I win a Bernina sewing machine, I also get to PICK which one I want. Its name is Hello Lovely. Isn't that sweet. Well, I will know more tomorrow. I get to go to Mea Bernina in Lawrence, Kansas and take 2 classes on how to operate the new machine. Goodness Gracious I am so excited!


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Grocery Bag Tutorial

We made another video tutorial! This one is for making simple grocery bags. I hope you like it! I have a bit of a cold so it slowed me down a little. I have been meaning to make myself some bags for the grocery store for ages now as the old ones I have are slowly tattering away. 


1/2 yard of Home Dec or Canvas fabric
2 yards of heavy cotton twill tape for the straps
regular sewing supplies (sewing machine, thread, ruler. rotary cutter, scissors and pins)

So let me know what you think and let me know what you would like to see in the future.

I buy my heavyweight cotton twill tape from Twilltape.com This is an actual link to the roll of twill tape that I use. It is 1.25 inches and comes on a 72 yard roll. I use it for straps, apron ties and sometimes I even use it as binding around the top of quilted bags. It is great stuff folks.



Friday, February 24, 2017

Something is afoot

Hi There!

I am very busy these days quilting. At the moment I have access to a second computerized machine. It is really ramping up my edge to edge output. I am currently accepting quilts for edge to edge treatments and edge to edge with borders. Please email me if you have some that need to be quilted quickly and professionally. I have sailed through all the Edge to edge quilts in my queue, so turn around is just the quilt ahead of it. You can see many of my Edge to edge designs on my Website TiaCurtisquilts.com

Here are a couple I quilted recently.

This first quilt is a lovely Farm Girl Vintage quilt. All these blocks are pretty small. Lori did an outstanding job on them.

She wanted wondering spirals for the center and left the border up of me.

Its hard to see in the picture, but it is a whimsical feather vine.

Lori always makes the best backs. And she always has (or all the quilts I quilt for her have had) a pieced "L" on the back as a signature. I think that is so brilliant.

This next fabulous quilt is a Charming Log Cabin Block quilt by Barbara Eikmeier. She is teaching this fabulous block technique at Meadows Quilt shop tomorrow. I am going to take the class. I have a million charm packs laying around and I must learn this.

Again, it is hard to see, but there is a Modern Snail edge to edge in the center and I did a Baby Welsh Arc border. I think it is super cute and really fun to quilt.

And Finally I quilted this big star quilt. I needed another edge to edge quilt to try quilting on, and I had no more customer quilts left so I ripped this one out really fast. It is a big (I think around 80 inches) I will bind it and have it listed in my shop at some point in time. I really wanted to use the new Cotton+Steel Strawberries print before it sold out of my Shop. Sadly it is all gone now.

OK, That is it. Send me your quilts! My machines are hungry!


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!