Snuggles Quilts  
 
Jun
24
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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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Jun
11
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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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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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May
15
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I love to display my quilts around the house but when the spring rolls around, I think about cleaning those quilts.

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I want to display them and I want people to use them. However, I worry about how to clean them if they get dusty or dirty. The methods you use to clean your quilts can be personal choice based on how important the quilt it to you . These tips I am sharing are what works for me.  These tips are NOT for antique or family heirloom quilts. It’s best to consult a textile preservation expert for those quilts that are very old with weaker seams and fibers.

Cleaning and Airing

For wall quilts that can collect dust or cobwebs, use the soft brush attachment for your vacuum cleaner on the low suction setting and brush across the surface.

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Do not use any kind of attachment that has moving parts like a pet hair attachment. Those moving parts can possibly catch on the fabric or the seams and cause damage.

If the wall quilt has picked up a musty smell or another smell from the room it is in, it can be aired out by placing it outside (in a shady area) on a clean sheet.

For  cleaning large quilts, lay it out on a flat surface and vacuum with the soft brush attachment. They can also be aired out using the same method as a wall quilt.

Do not shake quilts like you do for rugs since that can weaken seams.

Washing

If you pre-washed your fabric before making your quilt, washing it should be a less stressful experience. Hand-washing is best, but if you wish to machine wash, pick the gentlest cycle (usually “delicate”) and  use a gentle detergent such as Orvus Quilt Soap.

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A quilt should be air dried so no more stress is put on the seams or stitching. I have put quilts in the dryer for about 10 minutes on “air” dry (no heat) to get some of the dampness out. Once that is done, I lay it out on a flat surface to air dry.  Never hang a quilt from a clothes line. That will cause additional stress to seams and stitching. Also, do not ring it out! Be very careful moving the quilt from the washer to the dryer (or the area where it will be air dried).

If I am unsure of a quilt’s colorfastness, like if I did not pre-wash fabrics, I throw in a couple of Shout Color Catchers.

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 I have washed several quilts with these and have had no color bleeding. This is just from my experience though … if you are worried about your quilt, you may want to do a color-fast test. A quilt that is just displayed and not used very often only should need washing once a year. It’s best not to wash quilts too often, even though they are not antiques.

Storing

If you want to store quilts that you are not using or displaying, the best way to do this is to fold them with acid-free paper between the folds to help prevent creasing and wrapped in a clean white sheet.

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Try to find a storage area that is not in the basement or the attic where there could be extreme dampness or temperatures. Placing wrapped quilts under a bed will work well. If want store a quilt flat, a bed in an unused bedroom is the best. Lay the quilt flat on the bed and cover with a sheet. You can store several quilts this way.

So, I hope these tips have helped! Let’s get started on that spring cleaning!

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May
03
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Congratulations to Trena J who wins an issue of the 100 Blocks magazine and to Maureen who wins the pattern pack from me. I hope you all enjoyed the tour!

Come back and visit!

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Tags : Blog Tour

Apr
29
218 comments

 

Good Morning! 

Welcome to the Snuggles Quilts blog, one of your stops on the Quiltmaker 100 Blocks Blog Tour for volume 9 of the 100 Blocks magazine! I am so proud to have a block featured in this issue.  Be sure to continue to visit the Quilty Pleasures Blog today and throughout the week for information on the tour and to enter drawings for some great prizes!

 I hope you had fun yesterday touring the many fun blogs. Take your time to look around my web site to view my patterns and books. If you would like to receive an e-mail when I have new patterns or books coming out, click on “join newsletter” on the left sidebar and fill out the request. I do not send lots of e-mails (I don’t like that either!); I only contact you with new pattern or book information.  Also, if you are on Facebook, be sure to like my page, SnugglesQuiltsPatterns.

Now ….. for the block! Here it is …..

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I call this block “Puzzle Star”. It is block #863 and appears on page 57.

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My block here is made in gold, green and black fabrics, but I am sure you can picture it in any of your favorite colors. Here’s a version I made with purple, green and black fabrics.

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Here is a pattern I came up with for a fun large table topper or a wall hanging. It’s 32” square.

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Find the fabric requirements and pattern here. This one is in red, green and black for a Christmas project!

Be sure to leave me a comment with this blog post for a chance to win a free copy of the 100 Blocks magazine from Quiltmaker. Also, I will be drawing for a pattern packet of my most recent patterns! I will be choosing the lucky winners at the end of the blog tour on May 2nd.  Enjoy!

Happy Quilting!

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Tags : Blog Tour

Mar
31
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Do you Label? I hope so! So many quilts I look at in books say "Quilt maker unknown". I don't want that to be any of my quilts. Also, I think it adds a beautiful touch to a quilt you are giving as a gift.

There are many ways to label. You can use a permanent pen made for marking fabric and write directly on the back of the quilt if you have a light background. That is what I did here:

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The only drawback to this method is the possibility of the ink fading over time. If you use the right pen made for marking fabric, they are generally labeled as "fade resistant".

I have also used a scrap of fabric and written on that with a permanent pen. When sewing this label onto the back of my quilt, I have affixed it prior to attaching the binding so two edges of the label are secured by the binding stitches. This quilt was labeled that way:

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Another way I have labeled quilts is by using fabric paper that I have purchased at the quilt store.

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This paper can be expensive (about $18 for 6 sheets). If you do not want to spend that amount you can purchase a fat quarter and make up to three labels by using freezer paper and Bubble Jet products.

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First, treat your piece of fabric with the Bubble Jet Set 2000 following the directions on the bottle. Place the fabric wrong side down on the shiny side of a piece of freezer paper. Then cut the fabric into pieces that will fit in your printer. You should be able to get three 8 1/2 x 11" pieces out of one fat quarter. The freezer paper stabilizes the fabric so it can run through your printer. You must use an ink jet printer for this. A laser printer can not be used because of the way it works and the heat generated with those types of printers.

Type up what ever you want your label to say and print it onto the fabric side of you homemade labels. Follow the instructions on the Bubble Jet Rinse to set the ink. Now your label is ready to use!

I like the idea of using labels to tell a story, whether it's for a member of your family or just for yourself. You can talk about what inspired you to make the quilt, what fabrics you used, the date it was made, etc. The possibilities are endless! I have even written a poem for the back of the quilt when I made some quilts for my nieces.

How do you label your quilts? I'd like to hear what you do and what you like to put on your labels.

The most important thing is to label the quilt so there is a record later in time so your quilt is not labeled as "quilt maker unknown!"

Happy quilting!

 



 


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Mar
10
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New Patterns from Snuggles Quilts!

Here are three new table runner patterns from Snuggles Quilts for the spring season! These runner patterns are scrappy, fun and quick.  As with my other patterns, these have more than one project to keep you busy! So here they are:


#217 More in the Stars

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Two runner projects, one with a pieced center and one with an appliqué center. The appliqué can be done in fabric or wool!

#218 Star Gazing

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Two pieced table runners featuring scrappy, fun star themes. 

#219 Star Gazing, Too!

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Two more "star studded" projects to have some fun with!

All three of these new patterns can be found on the Everyday category page on my web site. There you will find more information about each pattern and ordering information.

I hope you enjoy viewing my new patterns! If you like these and want your local quilt shop to carry them, bring them the information. I will be happy to assist them in ordering.

Happy Quilting!

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Tags : New Patterns

Feb
28
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Since I am working on an applique project I thought I would share some tips with you to make the experience more enjoyable. 

First .... have a nice open workspace. I clear my sewing table and move my machine to the side to create an open surface. Then I make sure I have really good lighting.

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I really like this light I use because it also has a built in magnifier on the top for close work. I can't stress good lighting enough .... it will definitely save you from eye strain that can give you a headache.

The next thing I do is something that keeps the quilt top or the block you are working on from fraying. Have you ever been appliqueing a block or a portion of a quilt only to have the edges of the background fabric fray from over-handling?  I take care of this problem by applying Fray Check™ to the background edges before I begin to applique the pieces down.

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I apply a small amount Fray Check™ around all of the raw edges of background fabric.

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Then when I am sewing down my applique piece, the edges don't fray!

Now it's time to choose the right needle. I use Clover brand size no. 8 applique needles.

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That is the most comfortable size for me.  Just like with quilting betweens, the larger the number, the smaller the needle.  Try different size needles at first and see which size works best for you. 

 

Also, make sure your needle is in good condition.  Needles wear out, they get dull and bend from use.  I usually use a needle for two projects (maybe four small projects) before retiring it.

My last little tip is this:  when you have an applique motif that is made up of several layered pieces, start with the top piece, as long as it's smaller than the piece it's to be appliqued to, and applique it down to it's base piece before appliqueing the entire unit to the background or the next size piece.  That way, you are dealing with less "bulk" while sewing.  The photo below of a piece I am working on shows a center medallion made up of four layered pieces that I pieced together before applying the whole unit to the brown background.  Carefully cutting out background fabric from behind the applique piece, inside the seam allowance, will relieve bulk. Otherwise, in this example, you will have four layers of fabric in some places!

Here is an example of a piece that can be layered before stitching it to the final background.

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The blue center circle can be stitched to the gold piece. Then that unit can be stitched to the purple large flower. Once that whole unit is done, it can then be stitched down to the quilt top as shown. 

Here's a photo of what it looks like when you cut away excess fabric from underneath an applique:

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Well, I hope these tips have been helpful and will make you want to start an applique project today! 

Happy Quilting!


 



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Tags : Applique Tips

Feb
13
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Have you ever looked at a quilt and saw the not only the intended design, but a secondary design? This is actually a fun type of quilt to design and one I like to do. I love it when someone can not tell what the individual blocks actually are in a quilt because of the secondary design..... unless they look really close!

The way to create a secondary design is to start with a block with interesting elements that, when joined with additional blocks into a quilt top, combine to make the secondary design. For example, this is a block I have been working on recently:

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Notice how there is a criss-cross design that is formed by the black pieces. With several of these sections assembled into a quilt top, it would create a cool overall criss-cross design.  Here is another option with these blocks:

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This lay out will have the black pieces create an overall diagonal secondary design.

Another way to create a secondary design is with sashing joining blocks together. Here is an table runner I designed where I used this method.

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Notice how the sashing I added creates the secondary star design and also creates a cross-hatch design. Hey .... a tertiary design!

Here are some photos of some of my other patterns. See if you can pick out the block and also notice the secondary design or designs that appear in these quilts.

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So, next time you go to a quilt show, once you are done with your "close up" viewing of a quilt, step back and take in the view. Look for the secondary design that creates a completely different "attitude" to the quilt and creates movement.

Happy Quilting!


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Pattern designs on this web site are © 2015 and the property of the designer, Dorothy Eisenman and Snuggles Quilts.
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