January 17th, 2016

Here we go 2016

by Julie Hirt

Instead of a New Years resolution or Word of the Year, I chose a phrase for 2016.

Get Shit Done

Doing my best to stick with it and made this little banner. I have it hanging above my sewing machine to remind me.

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I save my selvages in a big glass jar on my cutting table.  After a few years it’s starting to get pretty full so I’m stitching them into 8.5″ blocks. Hoping to have enough variety for 64 blocks. I’ve always admired selvage quilts so I’m looking forward to this one.

 

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Hope you are off to a good 2016!

 

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January 7th, 2016

Rope Bowl Tutorial

by Julie Hirt

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I’ve been noticing a lot of rope bowls in my social media feeds and wanted to share some of the information I’ve gathered. From different ways to begin, end and options to decorate as you go.

Using this basic method you can make baskets, coasters, plate chargers, hot mats, table runners, rugs and I’ve even seen bags!

Gather Supplies

  • Rope*
  • Thread

Optional:

  • Thread in different colors
  • Fabric scrap strips
  • Ribbon
  • Yarn
  • Leather/Pleather scraps
  • Natural dye – Dye your rope beforehand, allow to fully dry
  • Paint – Paint your rope beforehand, allow to fully dry

*I like the 7/32″ cotton clothesline rope from my local hardware store. The cost was $9 for 100 ft.  I recommend cotton approximately 1/4″ to start with, then venture out from there.

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Set your machine to zig zag stitch.

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START – Optional Criss Cross

Make a tight coil and put a pin in place to help hold it.

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Zig Zag stitch straight across and reverse a few times.

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And the other direction.

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What this does is help hold your coil in place.  You need to start your zig zag stitching back in the center section. The criss cross helps with stability and I also like the look of it with contrasting thread.

START

Make a tight coil and put a pin in place to help hold it.

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Slowly start zig zig stitching around the coil.  (If you did the Criss Cross you still need to start in the center)

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The goal is the keep the coil and loose rope going through the center so the zig zag catches both sides.

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Decorate with Fabric

I like to use strips less than 1″ wide and the length is up to you. You could even wrap the rope from beginning to end in different fabrics.

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I just tuck the end in and start wrapping. Keep zig zag stitching.

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Keep going and you’ll come back around to it.

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Decorate with Yarn and Ribbon

Using the same method as above.  The yarn is fun to play with because you can make different designs and use multiple strands at once.

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Ribbon:

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Here is a little coaster using the Criss Cross beginning, loop and tuck end (below), ribbon, yarn and contrasting thread.

(This may not be the most fabulous look combined but I wanted you to see the different options!)

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Bowl Making   

Keep making your base until it’s the width you’d like. This one is 7″.

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You’ll notice that the direction I’m going above puts the coil under the arm of my machine. I cannot continue bowl making with my coil in this position, I have to cut threads and move it to the other side. (You can avoid this by going the other direction to begin with.)

Take your base and lift it up on its side and continue the zig zag stitch.

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A lip will begin to form.

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Just keep going and adding your fabrics, yarn or ribbon.

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Join New Rope

Just for reference – the bowl on the left, coaster and bowl in progress is what you can make with 100′ of 7/32″ rope.

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If you run out of rope, no worries.  Just stitch the end and the beginning of a new rope together.  I zig zagged.

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Cover the join with wrapped fabric.

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No one is the wiser.

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Just keep going around.

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And around.

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END – Loop & Tuck Option

Decide how big you want your loop to be.  Pictured here is a large loop.

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Pictured here is a tiny nub loop.

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For this I will make a small loop.

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Press the loop up against your coils, raw edge inside.

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Zig zag stitch over the raw edge and down the side, back stitch the beginning of the loop.

The further you stitch, the less round the loop will be.

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After you’ve back stitched, zig zag stitch over the raw edge and the outer loop.  This helps secure the loop.

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The further you stitch, the smaller your loop.  Back stitch this as well.

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Result:

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END – Wrapped Edge

Zig zag stitch right up to the end of your rope.

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Fold your leather/pleather piece over the edge and close to the end.

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Stitch down. I triple stitched using matching thread.

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YAY!  You’re all done.

I love my bowls and coasters and know this is just the beginning of a nice little collection.

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I’ll definitely be playing more with color changing thread.

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INSPIRATION!

Different size ropes and and patterns. (image courtesy of @jmzblond Instagram)

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Painted rope! (image courtesy of @onethousandlayers Instagram)

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Gorgeous natural dyes (image courtesy of @sewbettyjane Instagram)

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Handles! Thread and rope options (image courtesy of @vivelymade Instagram)

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January 5th, 2016

Kansas City Royals Rally Towel Quilt

by Julie Hirt

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This quilt is a big deal… because ROYALS! When my Aunt contacted me to make this for my cousin using their 2015 Post Season and World Series rally towels I was pretty excited.

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I was also a little nervous because I had never worked with terry cloth before.  Honestly, it wasn’t an issue other than lint fluffs from trimming the towels.

The process was similar to making a t-shirt quilt as the towels were all slightly different sizes and orientations. I filled spaces with baby blue Kona cotton.

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We found some awesome Royals fabric for the backing and quilted in a baseball pattern.  With a layer of Hobbs 80/20 between the terry and backing this turned into a nice, heavy quilt.

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The only drawback to making this quilt was giving it back.

Let’s go Royals! *clap* *clap* *clapclapclap*

 

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December 20th, 2015

Organic Waves Baby Quilt

by Julie Hirt

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Finished up a baby quilt for friend using Kona cotton solids with a variegated thread.

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Solid white backing really shows the thread pattern and colors.

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Wavy lines are definitely my favorite free motion quilting pattern (right now). The texture is awesome. You can read about that method here.

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Measures 47″ square.

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November 13th, 2015

Firecrackers Blog Hop

by Julie Hirt

I’m so happy to be a part of the Fat Quarter Shop blog hop and share my version of their new Firecrackers quilt pattern.

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I chose to use Jen Kingwell’s Gardenvale fabric collection.

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This pattern is super easy to follow and there is also a video tutorial available here.

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Fat Quartershop has a Quilt Kit and Backing Set available featuring Corey Yoder’s Prairie fabrics. Check those out here:

Firecrackers Quilt Kit
Firecrackers Backing Set

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If you’re looking for an excuse to buy the 30 degree triangle ruler, or a new pattern to use your ruler with – Firecrackers is a fun one to try.  I already have plans to make a smaller version for a baby quilt.

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I wanted to try something new with the quilting and I love how it turned out. The texture is so nice and crinkly. All you need to do is start with a wavy line and loosely echo it using 1/4″ to 1/2″ spacing throughout.

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The concerns I had using Hobbs heirloom 80/20 batting have been resolved. Pretty sure it was the backing fabric that made it feel so lightweight.

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The Firecrackers pattern could have a modern or vintage feel – it all just depends on your fabric choices.

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Be sure to check out the other bloggers and their versions of the Firecrackers quilt:

Ants to Sugar by Daisy
Silly Mama Quilts by Brooke
On the Windy Side by Adrianne
Happy Quilting by Melissa
Must Love Quilts by Corinne
Mommy Sew by Jenn
Little Bunny Quilts by Alison
Fly Away Quilts by Lauren

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You can pick up a copy of the pattern here.  Would love to see your version – tag me on Instagram @juliehirt

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November 4th, 2015

King Mimosa – Quilt Finish

by Julie Hirt

This post is a little late as we’ve been using this quilt ever since I put the last stitch on the binding.

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I was so excited when I finished it a few weeks ago that I put it straight on the bed.

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The fabrics are Mimosa by Another Point of View for Windham Fabrics and may be my absolute favorite fabric collection ever.

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The backing is Widescreen in White by Carolyn Friedlander.  This is the 2nd quilt I’ve finished with a Widescreen backing. The first was the Oh My Stars! quilt in Blue.

 

Edited:  Wanted to add an up close shot of the quilting. All I have is an Instagram shot since I’ve already deleted it off my phone :/ Here it is still on the long arm:

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I completely underestimated how long it would take to stitch up 143 nine-patch blocks.  It was a work in progress (mostly off progress) for about a year.

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It was quilted using single loops and I’m pretty happy with the overall effect. (If you view the full image above, ignore Penny Lane’s dog hairs – we’ve been using this for a few weeks!)

The batting is Hobbs 80/20 Heirloom.  In the future I’ll probably be using 2 layers of that batting or mixing a layer of 80/20 with a layer of Warm & Natural.  As is, this Mimosa quilt is definitely summer weight and not nearly as heavy as my other quilts.  I bought a huge roll of the 80/20 – it was really nice in a previous throw, so I’m not sure why this feels so light.

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I’m really happy with this. This is the first King sized quilt I’ve finished myself from start to finish. The ability to quilt a king size is just another reason I love my Handiquilter Avante!

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