Monday, June 30, 2008

Savanna's Quilt Part 3

This is the last part of the free quilt pattern, Savanna's Quilt. Instructions on how to make the borders are found by clicking Savanna's Quilt Part 3. I love pieced borders and use them often in my quilts. It fascinates me to go from one color to another without using straight lines. I don't know what the name of this border is. I saw a picture of an Anne Orr style basket quilt from the 1930s that used this style for the final border. I call it Dental Border because it reminds me of a design used in moldings made by woodworkers.

Pieced borders can be tricky. For the borders to turn the corners successfully, measurements and construction must be accurate. In the course of quiltmaking many things affect the outcome. First the math in the design must be right. Next, measuring, cutting, sewing and pressing all have an impact.

In my instructions, you will find measurements given for every stage of construction. This will help you remain on track before going to the next step. When I design a pieced border, I almost always have a floating border between the body and the pieced border. I like the look of the body being separated from the pieced border and it's a place where you can make adjustments if your measurements are off. For instance, if you've finished the body of the quilt and it is too large, you can make the floating border narrower to accommodate it. If the body of the quilt is too small, you can make the floating border wider to accommodate it.

Another problem can occur in the pieced border itself. Most pieced borders are long and it's very easy for a small error in each seam to multiply into a problem when fitting it to the quilt. While sewing the pieced units together, stop and measure after a few to see if you're on track. If you still end up too long, choose a few seams over the length of the border to re-sew with a slightly large seam allowance. This will be less noticeable than if you just lopped off the end of the border. If the border is too short, you can do the opposite and choose a few seams to re-sew with a narrower seam allowance.

Pieced borders are one of my favorite things to design and sew in a quilt. This is an easy one and I hope you enjoy making it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Savanna's Quilt Part 2

Part 2 of Savanna's quilt is ready. Just click Savanna Part 2 for your free copy. As I was writing this pattern I was thinking about my favorite ways to applique. First, I'll admit that applique is not my favorite part of quiltmaking, but I have managed to do a nice job when I need it.

In the early 1990s I ran a quilt retreat in Northern Michigan. Being the retreat organizer, I got to choose the teachers who were hired and I hired some of the best appliquers. When I read my Quilter's Newsletter Magazine I don't see these ladies names often, so I want to share them with you. They are all active and still doing amazing work. Please check out these talented women: Elly Sienkiewicz, the queen of the Baltimore Album style quilt and a great storyteller; Pat Campbell, the woman who converted Jacobean embroidery into gorgeous applique; Jeanna Kimball whose simple designs exuded a wonderful animation; and Charlotte Warr Andersen whose pictorial and portraiture quiltmaking is second to none. I hope you enjoy their websites.

They also offer wonderful products that make appliqueing more enjoyable.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Savanna's Quilt Part 1

One of life’s great joys is girlfriends. 27 years ago I met my two best friends, Jennifer and Kristen. We had all just had our first babies and met in a Mother-Baby class. The class started with 8 mothers, 8 babies and 1 nurse. Now 3 of us mothers still meet each week for a lunch we call Baby Day. We have 7 kids aged 23 to 27. Our first grandchild was born to Kristen’s daughter Jenny on January 27, 2008. Jenny named her Savanna Marie.

Now, there is no better way to celebrate a new baby, than a baby quilt. And, as I’m still trying to finish up UFO’s, I designed this baby quilt around a set of appliquéd heart blocks given to me by another friend, Leanna Brunsell. I alternated the heart blocks with a scrappy old block called Thrifty. The last inspiration was a quilt I saw on eBay that had a nifty, easy Dental Molding border. Add it all together and Savanna’s Quilt was born. I have turned the project into a free quilt pattern! The pattern will be in three parts. Click on Savanna, Part 1, the Thrifty block, to download the first two pages. In the next two weeks you can download Savanna, Part 2, the appliquéd heart and Savanna, Part 3, the borders.

For anyone near Morehead City, North Carolina, make sure and attend the Quilt Flap. To quote Pepper Cory from her blog, it's "a glorious show-n-tell... showing strange-n-wonderful quilts from my collection." Also attending are quilt preservation and repair experts Lynn Gorges and Janice Pope. Bring yourself, your old quilts, and your camera.
When: Saturday June 21, 2008
Where: the auditorium of The History Place, 1008 Arendell St., downtown Morehead City NC.
Starts: 8:30 AM till 10 AM socializing, register etc. The real thing begins at 10 and goes to noon. recommences 1-4 PM.
Make sure and go to Pepper's Blog to learn more about this excellent quilt adventure.