Saturday, May 2, 2015

Quilt Backs You'll Flip Over

The smell of new fabrics is among my earliest memories stemming from frequent visits to the local fabric shop.  Not many of my memories involve smells but in this case, I was nose-level with the bottom of all those bolts and while my mother was using her sense of sight,  my sense of smell was getting a work out. 

The shop owner greeted us by name as we entered the door and she and my mother talked sewing.   No wonder I still remember the place.  It was a place of comfort and friendship amidst beautiful fabric patterns, colors and textures. 

In later years my older sister and I would walk the short distance to the shop for a time of inspirational summer fun.   We could look at pattern books for least Linda could and it seemed like hours to me.  The only thing that could pull Linda away from dreaming over the books was hunger and then candy was the answer.


"Pedal Pushers" were my first solo project.  I was twelve.  After my successful sewing experience I learned not only could I sew, I could sew fast.  I could complete a project in much less time than my mother could do the same project!
She was so easily distracted....meals, children,  PTA meetings, cleaning, coffee..... She was so slow getting my things done.
I sewed! 
And sewed!
And sewed!
Until it became drudgery
It was another job...and after all.... I had cooking and cleaning, and meals to make and meeting at school and a never ending job of  maintaining a home... and washing....I had kids! 

I stopped sewing!
Only recently did I retire from teaching.  Now every day is like a vacation day, spent in some form of creative work whether it be at my drafting table, sewing machine or in my garden.  Every day is a good day for me. 
All the women in my family quilted but I resisted it….never wanted to do it.  I ignored it as best I could….had a healthy respect for quilters from a distance but finally, it caught up with me.  Now, I am a quilting fanatic.  What can I say?  I never stood a chance!

Now, I love it all.
I sew every day!
Every day that I sew is a good day!
And I have begun to quilt!
Quilting had became a passion.
 So for all of you ladies out there who, like me, love the art of sewing, quilting and creating here is a FREEBIE download to help with making quilt backs you'll flip over.

Click here to Download.
One of the obstacles I ran into as a new quilter was making a quilt back that was pretty. 
 But luckily, as I mentioned, I had people who quilted I could lean on. 
So I leaned on my sister for a little more help and she showed me the basics to quilt fact, she is my go-to person for all my quilting questions. 
With her guidance and my background in art I began to think of the backs of my quilt like the continuation of the story.

The back should be simple yet compliment the front. 
Backs You'll Flip Over, is a simple 5 page guide which applies the rule of Thirds (a concept from my art background) to design a quilt back using you scrap fabrics, reject blocks and pieced fabrics. 
Download here.

Trust me, it is free.  No obligations. 
I would love to see you beautiful backs. 

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Everything I Learned About Letters I Learned in Junior High

Who would guess I would learn something in a junior high, one semester art class that would last me a life time and  be used continually.  Thank you, Miss Burks. 

Miss Burks was a soft spoken art teacher in the junior high I attended.  Although Miss Burks was in my life only for a short period of time she gave me confidence and skills that have endured all of my crazy life.  She was a quiet woman, never married and had the responsibility of taking care of her aging mother who lived with her.  As far as I knew back then Miss Burks was fairly old herself.

Looking back, all my teachers seemed old to me but I was young and everyone older than me was old.  Now as an old woman myself I wonder just how old she really was. 

All of Miss Burks students entered a poster contest of some kind.  The poster was to be completed on a half sheet of black poster board with an image and title painted on with....of course, poster paint.  Now when I smell poster paint it takes me back to my time in Miss Burks junior high art class. Although, now poster paint is not my medium of choice, it is cheap and probably worked well with her school budget.

Her method of making the letters was so simple  everyone learned to make pretty letters.  Not everyone was able to stay in the lines when they painted them but they started off looking great. 
I have taken this skill for granted until my daughter said, "You never taught me that."

Although in Miss Burks class we drew the letters and painted them now I use the same concept and cut my letters in fabric which I use to customize quilts, purses, and other fabric projects. 

The concept is simple.  Most letters are symmetrical therefore can be easily cut from a small folded rectangle.   "A" as on the left is horizontally symmetrical while "O" on the right is symmetrical both directions horizontal or vertically. Most letters fall into one or the other category. 

The asymmetrical letters are the most challenging but even those letters are easy when you apply the simple concepts I learned in a junior high class. 

So I wrote up the instructions and made a PDF for anyone to download and keep.

To download the PDF go here.  It is free.  No obligation to buy is just free for anyone. 

Once you learn the concept of a simple letter you can easily customize the letters and get as fancy as you want.  It is so easy even the children can do it. 

 Customizing quilts is fun and easy. 
I use fabric stabilized with a fusible interfacing.  Instructions in PDF.
Here are two of my quilts made for grandchildren.  Patterns for these quilts are available in my Craftsy store.(Link on right.)