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New Patterns!
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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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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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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New pattern!

Check out the March/April issue of McCall's Quilting on newsstands this week for my newest pattern, Bloomin' Baskets! Here is the quilt:

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I am so excited to share this pattern with all of you. Here is the cover of the magazine:

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Yes .... that's my quilt on the cover draped on top! I'm excited since I never had a quilt that showed up on a cover. Yay!

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Over the last few weeks I have been piecing a few projects and also doing a lot of machine quilting. I thought I would share a few things I do to make quilting a more enjoyable experience for me. 

Rotary Cutter

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One of the things that will help (and not cause injury!) is a nice sharp rotary cutter blade. Have you noticed yourself pressing down harder and harder when cutting pieces with your rotary cutter? That's because your blade is dull and needs to be changed. It saves you time in your cutting, because when you cut with a dull blade, it takes you longer to cut out a project. It's also a safety issue because a dull blade can slip easier. If you notice that you are pressing down more when you cut, your blade is dull. Change it!  Here are some rotary cutting safety tips from About.com.

There are other things that will add to your safety when using the rotary cutter. I have a safety shield attached to my long ruler that I use most often while cutting.


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There are gloves,  like Fons and Porter's  "Klutz" gloves, that will protect your hands as well.

Sewing Machine Maintenance

I know, I know .... who has time for this? But, by doing some simple maintenance, you can keep your machine humming between check-ups at the sewing machine hospital.

Every time I have an empty bobbin, I do a little cleaning. I use the brush that came with my machine to brush out the lint that gathers inside the bobbin casing and inside the machine. I also clean out the area under the feed dogs.

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I also oil the machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. This is something I learned many years ago when I purchased my Bernina and went to the Bernina classes. I think this applies to any brand machine.  Here's some basic sewing machine maintenance from About.com.

Needles

Another important thing is to change your sewing machine needle! Wonder why your thread keeps breaking? Wonder why your needle is making large holes in your fabric? Your needle needs to be changed. A good rule of thumb I follow is to change my needle after every large project. If I am making table runners, I will piece three or four before changing my needle, but if I just pieced a large quilt (lap top or bigger) I change my needle before moving on. Here's what happens to your needle through it's life:

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So, following these tips should help to make your quilt making experience more enjoyable! And safe! Happy Quilting!

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Here it is! The Spring issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine has arrived with my pattern in it. I just received my copy today in the mail.

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Here is a better view of my project. I have done it in wool appliqué but it can also be done with fabric.

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This issue has 16 beautiful garden inspired projects. I know you will love them! So hurry off to your favorite quilt shop or wool shop and pick up your issue! You can also go to Primitive Quilts and Projects web site for more information.

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
2 comments
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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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