Snuggles Quilts  
 
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What is your favorite time to sew?  What types of projects do you like to work on?  Do you have more than one project going on at a time?  I usually have a piecing project and a hand appliqué project going.  That way I have something I can work on that's "portable" if I don't have the time to sit at my machine. 

To take a project with me on the road, first I have to have a way to store all the pieces so I do not lose anything. I use small zip lock baggies, either snack, sandwich or quart size (depending upon the size of my project) to store my appliqué pieces. This also works for wool appliqué, hexies or other hand projects!

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Then I use a larger "project bag". You know those plastic bags with zippers that small sheet sets come in? They are perfect to pack a project into. enough room to fit your project and sewing supplies you will need such as rulers, thread and needle storage, etc.

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can find tins in all sizes that will fit your needs. I like a shallow one so I don't have to go digging around for what I want.

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Here is what it looks like on the inside:

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Notice the magnet in the corner. I found this magnet "block" at my local hardware store. It fits right inside my tin and holds needles, a small scissors and some pins. A lot better than having them rolling around inside the tin!


Next, I needed a place to put sewing supplies with in reach when I am sewing in the car. I got this idea from a student in one of my classes. Go to the bathroom section of the store and look for these small suction cup storage items. I think they are used in a shower to hold soap. I stick it on the car window and store my thread ans scissors at an easy reach!

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Isn't it amazing what you can do with everyday items, huh?

So, I'm packed and ready for my next car trip at any time. It's a good thing because we will be driving to Houston Texas in about 10 days for Fall International Quilt Market. Come to think of it, I better get going on some ideas so I have something to work on for the car ride!

Happy Quilting all!

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Happy October!

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These weeks fly by so fast ….

Here’s a great reason to love October …. my new book will be hitting the quilt shops later this month!  

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                                               Blooming Patchwork from Kansas City Star Quilts

If you like scrap quilting and appliqué, you will love this book! I have included a fun brief history of appliqué in north America and have 9 different projects inspired by this history. Here's a preview of what it looks like inside my book. The photos were taken at a lovely bed & breakfast outside the Kansas City, Missouri area. I love the look! What do you think?

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October also brings the release of several new patterns from Snuggles Quilts as well. This pattern has been released but has not visited a Quilt Market yet. It’s making the trip with me to Houston later this month.  

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It's called Delightful Seasons. The pattern includes instructions for the pieced wall hanging and four seasonal changeable panels. The panels are wool appliqué on fabric backgrounds. You can do the appliqué in fabric if you prefer. 

I also have new patterns debuting at Quilt Market at the end of the month. I have had a lot of fun creating these designs over the spring and summer and cannot wait to share them with the quilting world.

 

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From the top, the patterns are: #221 Sister's Reunion - a 74 x 74" scrappy lap quilt; #222 Crisscross Cabin Blooms -  a 72 x 72" scrappy lap quilt with border appliqué; #223 Garden Gate - a 40 x 40" wall hanging that can be made with fabric appliqué or wool appliqué and #224 Greetings! - a wall hanging and table topper that can be personalized with a special date!

If you see what you like here ….. request my patterns from your local quilt shop!

 

Happy Quilting!

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Sneak Peek!
Sep
16
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New Book on it's way!

I'm excited to announce that my new book, Blooming Patchwork, will be out in October! I am working with Kansas City Star Quilts on this book and I am really happy with it.  Here is one of the quilt projects in the book. It's called Star Gazing.

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What do you think?

The book has nine projects that range from table runners and wall hangings to lap quilts. All the projects are scrappy and include appliqué that can be done by hand or machine.

There is also a brief history of appliqué in America and tips to help you create you own appliqué masterpiece!

Here are a few shots of other projects in the book:

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So.... make sure you mention this post to your favorite quilt shop! Have them look for my book from Kansas City Star Quilts in October. If they go to the International Quilt Market in Houston at the end of October, they can visit me in my booth or visit the Kansas City Star Quilts booth for a closer look and more information.

This book has been a labor of love to my favorite past time .... needle turn hand appliqué. I hope you will like the finished product as much as I do!

Happy Quilting!

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Color! How do you pick color for a project?

Many quilters look at a pattern and want the exact fabric shown in the photo. Unfortunately, that is not always possible since fabric companies often print limited quantities of a fabric …. and when it’s gone, it’s gone! Those of you who are shop owners know what I am talking about! It’s even more difficult when a quilter wants the exact fabric for a quilt they have found in a magazine or book. Those quilts are often made 6 months to a year before the magazine or book is published! Oh no!

So, here’s my advice …. just go by color and not the exact fabric. You can take the photo of the quilt with you to your favorite quilt shop and look for fabrics that are in the same color family and have the same scale print as the one in the photo. For example, here’s a red fabric in a quilt:

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And here is a fabric that can be substituted. It’s close to the other fabric in color and scale of the print. It will give you the same look.

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 The print is not exactly the same, but it is on the same scale and the color is the close to the same shade as the original. 

Another thing that tends to stump a quilter is when a pattern says “chose 15 fabrics in lights, mediums and darks”. Well, that’s easier than you think! For me “light, medium and dark” is all relative based on the fabrics you chose to use. What I do is pull the main colors I want from my stash and then find different shades for light, medium and dark.

For example, here is a blue I chose.

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You may think this is “dark”. But, when you put it next to the next blue I chose, you see it can be classed as a “medium”.


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You could use it for your “dark” if your other blues went lighter on the “shade” scale. Get it? Everything’s relative! 

So, here’s the 15 fabrics I picked out for my next project. See how the 5 basic colors I chose show up in each stack?

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There you go! I hope I have taken some of the fear out of choosing fabrics for a project. Now you can go into a quilt shop and stack up bolts like a pro! Stack the up, stand back and squint!

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Happy Quilting!

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As you can see by my quilt patterns, I like scrappy quilts. Over the years, I have come up with a few "tips" to make scrap quilting easier and more fun. We can all use more fun, yes?

When you are making a scrap quilt, you are usually using at least 5 or 6 different colors of fabric for variety. But, when you are piecing your quilt top, it never fails, you get the same colors right next to each other or clumped together on one side of a block or quilt. So, here are some tips I have come up with to take care of this problem.

Tip #1:  I number the fabrics. For example, if I have a blue, purple, green, pink and gold fabric, I will number them 1 through 5. If you have 20 different fabrics, you can group them by color family and then number them. Once they are numbered, I then take a diagram of the quilt block or quilt top (you can make a copy of the block or quilt from the pattern and enlarge it if you need to) and write numbers on the quilt top pieces. As I am numbering, I make sure the distribution of the colors is even!

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 Tip #2: Are you worried that you are going to sew rows or block pieces together wrong after carefully planning the color placement above?

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As you can see by the photo above, I have the sections numbered starting with #1. Section 1 is to be sewn to section 2 and then section 3 is sewn to the bottom of section 2 and so on ..... I started doing this when I flubbed on color placement a few times when transferring pieces from my design wall to my sewing machine. I would end up sewing the wrong pieces together and not notice it until a whole border was done and I saw the same colors clumped together. Time to "unsew" then! 

Here is a complete row laid out and ready to be joined:

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I use the sheets of the little square Avery stickers (#5418 Multi-Use Labels) to number my pieces.


Tip #3: Another thing I use these stickers for are "directional" arrows. As you can see by the units above and looking over my pattern diagram above, the triangles face different directions based on which side of the quilt they are on. In order to keep me straight, I draw a little arrow on one of the small stickers and place it at the top of a row so I know which way is up.

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Well, it's the end of the month already! Where is the summer going? Hopefully, the summer weather stretches into fall in my neck of the woods (not likely, but one could hope!)

Now to my topic for today. Everyday items in the sewing room. I like to think I am an innovator, however, some of these ideas have come from my quilting friends or from students. These are some ways to make your sewing days easier and more fun.

The first idea keeps your snipping scissors close at hand. I know when I am stitching and need to snip threads, sometimes, I can not find my scissors that I just laid down! This tip uses a command hook attached to your machine to hang the scissors. Pretty genius, huh? And, since command hooks can be removed easily, there is no permanent damage to your machine.

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I have to admit, this is not my idea. But I found that it was so useful, that I did it myself as you can see above.

My next ideas deal with fun ways to create storage with everyday items. Those pegboards that you often see in garages really come in handy for hanging rulers and other tools.

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I use this coffee mug holder for hanging my scissors and rotary cutters. I found this coffee mug holder at a local thrift store for $1.00!

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I found these sewing machine cabinet drawers at some local antique shops (for not much money either!) and I use them to store things next to my sewing table that I may need while sewing. Seam ripper, threads, extra bobbins and needles, etc.

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The final thing I want to show you can be fun for decorating or for storing things you need but don't use often. I use these mason jars to store buttons and perle cotton threads that I use occasionally. Also, one of the jars is full of old sewing notions I inherited from my mother-in-law. It's kind of a fun display and a tribute to her.

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So, are there any everyday items you use in your sewing room? Share those ideas. It's always fun to learn new things from other quilters!

Happy Quilting!

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New Pattern!
Jul
02
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Ready for sale! My new pattern #220 Delightful Seasons.

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This pattern includes instructions for the 20 x 26" wall hanging base and the four seasonal panels. The panels are 12" and feature wool appliqué and embroidery on a pieced fabric background. If you like, you can substitute black wool or woolies fabric for the panel backgrounds.

Find further information on the pattern here.

I hope you like this fun seasonal pattern to dress up your home! If you like it, tell your favorite local quilt shop owner about my website!

Happy Quilting!

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Congrats to LaNetta Barnes! She came up with the name "Crisscross Cabin" for my quilt. Using her suggestion, I named the quilt "Crisscross Cabin Blooms". She will be receiving a pack of my patterns for a prize!

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Great name .... I think it fits!

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Have you ever wondered how someone "names" a quilt? What goes into that decision? Well ..... I can take out the mystery, at least for me. It's off the cuff! Sometimes a quilt name will just come to me the minute I see the finished top. Sometimes, I labor over a name for days. That is the reason why I am doing this post. Stick with me until the end because I am going to ask for some help in naming my newest pattern.

I named this quilt "Paper Chain" .....

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.... because when I stared at the top long enough, the blocks began to look like those paper chains I used to make in grade school. It helps that my long-arm quilter chose a circle pattern to bring out the design.

Other quilts I have named are obviously drawn from the quilt pattern. I have several quilts with stars in them and so I named them things like "Scrappy Star Parade" or Star Shine Runners". A bit uncreative, huh? This one was a little more creative: It's called "Strippy Stars"......

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I combined the fact that I used only 2 1/2" strips for the quilt top and then added appliquéd stars.

I got a bit more creative on this one called "Basket Banter" .....

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So, we come to the reason for this blog post. I need help in naming one of my newest patterns! I have been drawing a complete blank for the last two days! I am posting a photo below and would like you, my fellow quilters, to offer up some name choices. I will take comments for the next week (either here or on my Facebook page) and then I will choose a winner. The winner will receive a pack of my newest patterns!

So .... here it is .....

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Have fun and Happy Quilting!

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Strip Happy!
Jun
01
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I was doing a bit of cleaning in my fabric closet today … rearranging and putting away fabrics and scraps like strips and small pieces for appliqué. This is a photo of the inside of my fabric closet showing my labeled bins. 

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It’s a pretty good system. I have my fabrics separated by size (1/8s, 1/4s, 1/2s and yards) and colors. Some colors share a bin is I don’t have a lot. I actually think I need more space! Oh no!

At the bottom of my closet is a basket chock full of bags of 1 1/2” and 2  1/2” strips.

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When I get down to a small section of fabric left when I am cutting out a project, I always cut the remainder into these strips if the piece is less than 1/8 of a yard. I can pull out one of these bags of strips and have some fun!

What can you do with these strips you say? Besides the obvious, Log Cabin blocks, I have used these strips to make borders for orphan blocks (those “test” blocks you have lying around) and before you know it, you have a small table topper/candle mat!

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This one uses 1 1/2” strips to make three extra borders around this star block. It’s a fun little project and makes a great gift.

Another uses for these strips is to add pieced borders onto larger quilts to make them bigger. You can make a piano key border or a checkerboard border like these shown. 

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You can also make flying geese borders!

Finally, I’ve used these strips for pieced scrappy borders. I use the 1 1/2” strips on wall hangings or table toppers and I use the 2 1/2” strips to make double-fold binding for lap size or larger quilts.

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This photo shows a flying geese border and a scrappy binding from 1 1/2" strips


With all the strips I have collected over the years …. I don’t think I’ll ever run out of binding. Either that or I can make hundreds of Log Cabin blocks!

So, use up all that fabric! Save those strips and you will never be without a project. Here is a table runner I made entirely from  1 1/2” and 2 1/2” strips.

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 It’s called Scraps All Over. You can get a free copy of this pattern here. Enjoy!

Happy Quilting!

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Jan
10
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Hello to my quilting friends! Blog Info If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may see a bit of a difference. On the blog home page, the tag list and tag cloud to the left look a little empty.  Fear not!  My old blog posts from the last three years are still on my site. Simply click on a year under the "Archive" tab to the left and pick a month to see blog posts from that time. However, if you click on one of my recent blog posts, the tag list and tag cloud fills in. This is another way to access old posts. In the coming months, I plan to choose some of my most popular topics and repost them so they will be easier to access. Now on to where you come in ..... topics! What would you like to see me discuss on the blog, besides my new patterns and books? My posts are usually on topics that pop into my head while I am busily sewing.  Things I think would interest you, my readers. But, if there is something specific you want, let me know! Fun time! On to some fun ..... Got some extra fabric lying around? I thought this was pretty funny.  From my early driving days I have always wanted a VW Bug. When I saw this photo, it combined a Bug with another favorite thing of mine .... fabric! I know we all have some scrap fabric lying around .... I guess this is one use for it! Have you seen odd things covered in fabric? Do you own any odd things covered in fabric? If so, I'd love to see it! On a smaller (definitely smaller) scale, I have a cutting table that is loaded with 1 1/2" and 2 1/2" scraps that are left over from other projects.   I often keep these scraps bagged up by size and color to use for scrappy binding on future projects or to add additional scrappy borders. It's fun to experiment. I am currently working on a new design that will use only 1 1/2" and 2 1/2" strips. Come back and see what I come up with. What to you do with your leftover scraps? What is too small a piece for you to keep? I would love to hear your views on this topic. Snuggles and I are waiting ........ Happy Quilting!

Jan
02
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The new year has started off very cold where I am. I'm looking out the window expecting a polar bear to come strolling down the street! But, it's winter, so I guess there's nothing I can do about it. Best way to deal with it? ...... quilt! I have a new pattern in the spring 2014 issue of  Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine that is on news stands very soon. The issue will ship to subscribers in early January. Here's the cover of the magazine: I am excited about my project because it's my first pattern that includes wool appliqué. Here's a "sneek" peak ..... It's a project that can be a table topper or a wall hanging. I love how it came out and am excited for you to see it in the magazine. Now here's a chance for you to win a free 1 year subscription to Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine! Leave me a comment giving me your New Year's resolution for quilting in 2014. I will choose a winner among my commenters. You can leave the comment here on my web site or on my Facebook page.  I look forward to hearing everyone's New Year's resolutions!  Happy Quilting and the new year to everyone!

Dec
17
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Have you bought a pattern recently, or made a quilt, that is just made of rows of blocks? Are you making a quilt that you would like to make bigger, but don't want to make more blocks? Here's an idea .... add borders! Whether they are just plain borders or pieced, they will add another dimension to the quilt and make it larger. I myself love to add pieced borders to frame blocks and to also make a quilt bigger. If you want to do this for a quilt you are planning, purchase a little more fabric than the quilt requires and use that to make pieced borders to add to your quilt. Here's a quilt I made. In the photo, I have cut out the border so I can show you a before and after. Now, here is the same quilt with the pieced border added. I first added a tan strip border and then added a simple pieced border made up of strips of squares. Here's a close-up of the border: Here is another quilt with an interesting pieced border. Rectangles of colored strips and black strips. Kind of fun! This one uses a black strip border and then color strips in a "piano key" pattern to add fun to this quilt. Finally, here is another option for a pieced border. Take an element from the block and use that to create a pieced outer border. So, these are a few ideas. Use your creativity to make your quilts bigger. Of course, you can make more blocks to make it bigger and then also add a pieced border. I think these borders not only add size, but they also add some interest to the quilt itself. The above quilts are four of the many lap quilts I have designed and can be found in the "Everyday" section on my web site. Happy Quilting!  

Dec
10
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I noticed it's been awhile since Snuggles and I have been here on the blog. Like everyone else, I guess I have been busy with the holidays ... especially getting ready for Christmas.  It's been snowy and very cold here but I have managed to get most of my decorating and shopping done. Now it's on to the home made gifts. Are you looking for a last minute gift for that friend or family member who doesn't quilt? Look no further than your own stash of UFOs! This little candle mat started as a test block or "orphan" block and was just laying around in my stash. All I did was dig through my 1 1/2" strips and added three borders to the star block and there you have it! This simple candle mat took me just an afternoon to finish! Another fun way to whip up a gift is to dig through your stash of 1 1/2 and 2 1/2" strips and make this fun table runner I call Scraps All Over. You can download a free .pdf pattern here. So, go dig through your closets or wherever you have your quilting supplies stored. Look for those single blocks and gather those strips. Put on the Christmas music, brew some hot chocolate and get to work! Other News: If you would like to receive updates from me when I have a new pattern or book on the market, click on the "join newsletter" link in the sidebar and sign up. I do not send a lot of e-mails out (I don't like that either!), just when I have something new to share. Do you like to buy patterns and download them immediately? Did you know that some of my patterns are available on the Craftsy web site here at my store? Check it out! You may find something you like! After the new year, my blog will be updated. The old blog format is outdated and has to be replaced. Only problem is I will lose many of my old posts unless I transfer them manually after the new blog is running.  I will be going through old posts and will add back those that have some good information like appliqué instructions, etc. So, if things look different after the new year, don't panic! I'll be working to add back some good information during the spring as well as continuing to add new posts. In the meantime, keep up with me and Snuggles on Facebook. So, I'm off to hunt through my UFOs ..... Happy Holidays!    

Nov
18
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I've been thinking about bucket lists lately. Do you have a list of things you would like to do before you are unable to do them or before your life is over? I have lists that include places I would like to travel to, activities I would like to do, etc. But ..... I also have a bucket list for quilting! First on that list is to visit the many quilt museums and quilt study centers around the country. I have never been to Paducah! Have you? I would love to visit there and also the International Quilt Study Center & Museum in Lincoln Nebraska (photo below)makes the top of that list. Second on the list is the type of quilt I would like to make ... either my own design or someone else's pattern. This is a type of quilt pattern I shy away from when designing. One with curves (oh my!) or "Y" seams (yikes!). I would love to make a Double Wedding Ring quilt .... hopefully for one of my kids one day .... in the way distant future (no rush, guys!!)   Or how about a Lone Star quilt? I've always found this quilt pattern quite intimidating! So, that's just a small portion of my quilter's bucket list. Share with my your bucket list! Let's get the conversation started! Happy dreaming!

 

Pattern designs on this web site are © 2014 and the property of the designer, Dorothy Eisenman and Snuggles Quilts.
Written permission is required to copy and/or distribute copies of these designs whether or not you profit from it.

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