Kathleen's Blog
Thursday, 05 March 2009 20:56

I just got back from THE QUILT SHOP ON THE CORNER in Augusta, Georgia, where I will be teaching in April and May.  Kathy, the owner of the shop had this really neat antique ironing board in her store and it was perfect for my THINK PINK display.  Click on the picture to see it up close...if you go to the MY SCHEDULE section of the website you will see which of these Think Pink classes are on the schedule in the upcoming months.  There is also a pink lap size quilt called TOMORROW'S HOPE that I will be teaching in May.  So if you are anywhere near the Augusta, Georgia area, be sure to stop in at THE QUILT SHOP ON THE CORNER and check it out.

There are several displays at THE QUILT SHOP ON THE CORNER and this little one is the MACHINE APPLIQUE PRIMER 101 class.  This class is designed for those of you who want to learn to Machine Applique and really need to start at the beginning and get all the little tips and techniques per your machine.  When you start with a Primer class like this one, you spend your lesson on the essentials of Machine Applique, so you are not becoming frustrated by trying to actually "applique" a full project.  We deal with shapes of all kinds, convex and concave curves, sharp points, and how to start and stop your applique.  I have a short lecture at the beginning of class about the products and textiles used in Machine Applique and explain in detail the importance of laying the "ground" work in getting started with the whole process.   This class has been one of my most popular sessions and it continues to be so.   Join this class, and see how successful you really can be in Machine Applique.

I also have a small PATRIOTIC display up at the shop, so we can find out exactly what the stores customers and students want to see on the upcoming class calendar, so be sure to check that out too.  The AMERICAN DREAMS is a flag wall hanging that deals with both piecing and machine applique.  I designed this quilt for my sister Angela who loves it dearly, but has graciously allowed me to use it in my store displays for a bit.  Aren't sisters great?  Actually, she may have forgotten that I have it still, so shhh...don't remind her!



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Wednesday, 04 March 2009 22:44

AHHH!  The Orange Slices Quilt is complete and I am thrilled with how it turned out!  I have done a lot of quilts in my life with a piano key border, but this one is offset and wonky.  The outcome of a quilt that is just a bit "off kilter" is amazing!  Be sure to click on the picture to enlarge it and check out the cool outside border.  I am dropping my Orange Slices Quilt and my Purple Crazy Coins Quilt off to my long arm quilter, Ms. Fannie in Anderson, SC.  Fannie is one of those gals you just instantly like, from the moment you meet her.  She loves your quilt as if it was her own, and she treats it accordingly.  I am so lucky to have her skill available to me, as it helps me get my bigger projects quilted, so I can bind them and put them in a  store display.  Thank you Fannie, you're the BEST!

Now, here is a little funny for all you quilters out there who have read my blog once or twice.  My sister Michelle (you know, the one who cut her "cowlick" out of her hair as a child on Easter Sunday morning)  cracks me up on a daily basis.  Her sense of humor is one of her best attributes!  I was telling her the other day about how I use Ms. Fannie's long arm quilting service and after a short pause she says to me..."Is that a woman with a really LONG arm, who quilts"?  I almost fell off my chair as she laughed so hard she could hardly catch her breath!  When Michelle asks me goofy questions like this about quilting, I laugh and think, this is WHY Mrs. Martin, from 8th grade Home Ec class said to Michelle...step AWAY from the Sewing Machine, and find yourself a different hobby!


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Tuesday, 03 March 2009 22:21

I am taking a break from the Orange Slices Quilt to post this Bunny Holiday Wall hanging and with Easter just around the corner, I figured this is a great time to show this cutie off.  This applique is an Amy Bradley design and I just love her patterns.  I don't always use applique patterns published by others, but this one is just too adorable to resist! 

These fun appliqued bunnies remind me of one particular Easter Sunday Morning...here, let me paint the picture...

Growing up in a large Catholic family of 8 kids, Easter was always a big event in our home.  My mother did not think Easter was  complete with out the matching outfits she always had her 6 daughters wear (don't forget the one for Mother too).  These matching outfits were only ONE of the things that Mother thought made Easter special in our home, there's lots more where that came from. Mother felt compelled to subject all 6 of her girls to having curlers and bobby pins stuck in our hair with that ever adorable hair net atop it all and then making us sleep on it overnight.  This is probably one of the worst nights sleep you will ever endure as a child.  Curly and wavy hair was important to a mother with 6 girls, so such was the life as a female in our home.   However, there was one special Easter Sunday morning that we all will never forget...and that was the year the one of my Mothers 6 girls decided her hair just "wasn't right".  You see, my sister Michelle, had one horrible cowlick in the front of her hairline, and it drove her absolutely NUTS!  Michelle decided on Easter Sunday morning, right before we all loaded into the big station wagon to head to church, that she would cut the cowlick out of her hair.  When Mother found her with the scissors still in her hand, and NO bangs or hair of any kind on the front of her head, she nearly came unglued.  Instead, Mother grabbed Michelle's Easter hat and plopped it on her head, and said..."Don't take your hat off in church".  I am pretty sure that the whippin' stick came out from under the front drivers seat for a little visit when we returned home from Mass.  My sister Michelle was not aloud to use scissors WITHOUT proper supervision for quite some time after that!  Aren't family memories fun? 

PS...sorry Mic, it could be worse, I could have pulled out the pictures!


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Tuesday, 03 March 2009 12:26

I just finished the border sections for the Orange Slices Quilt...they are off set, just like the blocks are.  This kind of set gives it a lot of depth and dimension to the border and of course I used all the different oranges from the blocks.  These sections went together really fast and I had them done in no time.  I should have this border on very quickly, so check back soon!


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Monday, 02 March 2009 22:53

I'm moving right along with the Orange Slices Quilt.  The center is now complete and I am working on the fun border I've been talking about.  This is a great time to talk a little about the construction of a quilt.  After I make one block...I set it on the table to make sure it "lays flat" and if it does, I move on to the next block, and I do that EACH and EVERY time I make a block.  If the block does not lay flat, it will not lay flat in the quilt.  And FLAT is what you want in a quilt.

When I sew blocks together to make a competed row, you must lay the pieces you have sewn together in the row construction on the table to see if they lay flat, before you move on and add another block to the row.  Once again, the same rule applies.  If the adjoining blocks do not lay flat then the row will not lay flat in the quilt...and FLAT is GOOD!

Now, each time you sew two rows together, you must do the same thing and lay it on the table to see if it lays flat before you add another row.  When all the rows are sewn together, you must lay the quilt on a flat surface (like a really large table or floor space) and make sure that it is laying completely flat!  If you follow this simple rule of the sections laying flat and double checking it, you will know where your mistake is, and you won't "realize" something is "off" after the whole quilt is done.  Some people think you can "Quilt" out a ripple in a quilt top and I am really sorry, but this not true.  You will end up with a lot of puckers across the quilt, because the fullness has to go somewhere.

The next time you make a quilt project, try this method of "checking" your progression and see how it works for you.  I know it is highly successful for my students...and this is why I love what I do

Ok... I just read over what I had written and it sounds so boring and very monotone, so sing it when you read it and then it sounds a lot more FUN!





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