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Patriotic Stars Release!

I am so happy to inform you that a new kit, “Patriotic Stars” Scatterings, is being released today.  This is a simple kit, but I have had so much fun playing with it and thinking of all the possibilities!  I LOVE this table runner!  It was so much fun to make, and I have quite a few stars left over!  I know it is a bit late for the Fourth of July, but we still have Labor Day and Veteran’s Day ahead of us this year.  And there are many possibilities for Quilts of Valor as well.  I love the sparkle of the Michael Miller Fairy Frost… white with silver glitter.   This same fabric is featured in the “Snowflakes” and “Let It Snow” kits.  I wish photos could do it justice, but I haven’t figured out how!  The featured photo for this particular article was taken outside in the sun.  A passer-by actually commented on how much she loved the sparkle, but alas.   The sparkle once again eludes the camera.  Sorry, but you will just have to take my word for it, unless you have seen the other kits.

I also made a 10” square that I will turn into a hot pad, so that I could practice the free motion quilting that I was envisioning.  As you can see, I did change the quilting a bit when I moved over to the table runner.  I started out thinking fireworks, and ended up moving more toward celebration.

IMG_1833

For both the table runner and the hot pad, I used two layers of cotton batting, so that they would be more usable as items to protect my table from heat.  But then I also used rayon embroidery thread to quilt them, so that it would be shiny too.  I don’t know how that is going to work with hot things.  Oh, well.  Time will tell.

Another thing I didn’t think through as well as I should have, was the amount of “shrinkage” I had from heavily quilting the center panel of the table runner through two layers of batting.  That probably would not have been an issue if I was heavily quilting the outside sashes, but that was not what I planned to do.  So I had to do some “unsewing” and some re-calculating (Quilters started doing that WAY before GPS was invented!) and I got it fixed.  I may do a whole ‘nuther blog on that process.  I DID take photos just in case.

Whether you buy a kit or not, I hope this inspires you to be creative today!

And while I don’t agree with all of Mr. Reagan’s politics, I do agree with this quote from him!

Blog Quote 4 July

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Welcome Spring!

Artfully Quilted Design LLC "Brown Bunny" Fusible Laser Cut Applique

This year, I am so happy to put winter behind us, and move forward to spring!  It seems like most of my family and many of my friends have had bugs of one kind or another off and on all winter, including myself.   But spring is here, and I welcome it with open arms!

To me, spring means change…  The sun comes out from behind the clouds more often.  The grass turns from brown to green.   The bare branches of the trees start to show color, greens and pinks and yellows and whites.  The snowblower gets put away and the rakes and shovels come out.

And then there is new life!   We have a farm close to us that raise sheep, and I am waiting for the sight of the dozens of newborn lambs that will soon be in their pasture.  The birds are nesting and getting ready to lay their eggs.  Soon the chipmunks will be out of their winter holes and on my front porch to taunt my dog.  🙂

Another new thing?   Two new kits to honor spring!!!

The first is the “Brown Bunny”, pictured at the beginning of this article.  This beautiful bunny is 12 ½ high X 12 wide and is a simple kit to put together.  This would make a lovely medallion center for a baby quilt and would look great on a door hanging, wall hanging, or table runner.

The second new kit is “Watercolor Flowers” Scatterings.  This kit contains fusible laser cut flowers, four each of 2”, 1¾”, and 1¼”, plus sixteen 1” and twelve 1¾” leaves.  These work great in little arrangements on the border of a quilt, in the corner blocks, or scattered on top of a quilt, wall hanging or table runner.  They could even be used on child’s clothing.

Artfully Quilted Design LLC "Watercolor Flowers" Scatterings

I hope this has inspired you to bring some spring into your home!

Happy sewing!

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Video Tutorials are Now on the Website!

A video tutorial for the entire process of assembling the Bluebird of Hope kit and the Scarlet Cardinal kit are now available on the website!  At this point each of these tutorials is located in the Store on the appropriate product page.  Just click the “Video Tutorial” tab on the left side of the screen and the video will come up.

These two videos are each about 45 minutes long.  Please feel free to fast forward!  🙂  I did want to do a couple of videos that showed the entire process, with a lot of explanation (and some less than professional moments), so that you could see how easy these kits are to assemble.

I apologize for the amateurness of these, but you have to start somewhere, right?  What a learning process this all has been for me!

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Quilting Letters into Your Borders

I make quite a few t-shirt quilts, and I love to quilt the borders with information about the t-shirts that are in the quilt.  For the high school quilts, I like to put the person’s full name on one border, the high school name on another, and “Class of …” on a third.  Activities can be added this way as well.  The family name and year can be added to Christmas quilts.  Baby’s name, birth weight and length, and date can be quilted into those special baby quilts.

To do this, I use the Mylar Alphabet Stencils and lay the wording out along the borders.  I trace the letters with a pencil or pen that will be able to be removed after the quilting.  In the past I have used Frixion pens, but recently, I have had issues getting the lines to disappear.  When heat is applied, the line changes from the color of the pen to white.  The moral of that story is to ALWAYS test whatever pen, markers, or pencil you are using to mark on a scrap first to make sure it will come out!

I start my quilting about half way down on the left side of the first letter (see photo below) and, moving toward the bottom first,  follow the outline of the letter around the bottom and up to the point that it is closest to the next letter.  I keep stitching and move across to the next letter.  I quilt the bottom part of each of the letters in the same manner.  When I get to the last letter, I quilt all the way around, and when  I get to the line coming from the previous letter, I stitch over it and complete the top half of that letter.  Moving from right to left, complete the tops of the letters.

Alphabet Stencils

Alphabet Stencils 2

Hopefully the pictures will help you to visualize this!  These photos do not necessarily use the same same font as the 2 1/2″ Alphabet Stencils in my store.  Click here to check them out!

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Color Inspiration for Quilting

beautiful sunrise, quilt color inspiration, God's handiwork, featured

Heaven is declaring God’s glory; the sky is proclaiming his handiwork.  Psalms 19: 1

When I first started quilting, most of the quilting fabrics were “calicos” and solids.  There were few “quilt” shops (I don’t think I saw a single one until I was well into quilting and that was in an Amish area almost 2 hours away).   The big box fabric stores did not have aisle after aisle of fabrics organized by color.  There definitely were not many collections and colorways to help with your fabric choices, and for the most part I used fabrics that were left from other sewing projects.

So…  if you are not an art major, how do you pick colors that will look good together when you are finished?  I think the best advice I ever received on this subject is this:  Look to God’s creation.  In my early days, I would not have considered putting a vivid red and a vivid purple together, and definitely would not have put green in the mix.  But look at the poppies on my first blog.   How beautiful they are!   All red and purple, against a background of green!   The green makes the red “pop” because your brain cannot register red and green at the same time.  Consider the salmon, blue, and purples in the sky in this sunrise against the black background.  Wouldn’t either of these palettes make for a beautiful quilt?

Or consider the beautiful colors of a different sunrise: the soft pastel peaches, yellows, blues, pinks, and lavenders!  If you happen to be as fortunate as I am, you may even have a golden field of wheat below them to accent all of it.    Or how about the colors of autumn?   Or the colors of the rainbow?   Or the colors of the beach: the water, sand, birds, and seafoam?  Then there are the mountains… or a bouquet delivered by the florist… or a snowy day with blue jays and cardinals and the scarf of the snowman…  I am sure you have the idea.  Look around you.  Color is everywhere.  When you see something that registers as “I love that!” or “That is beautiful!” consider snapping a picture and capturing those colors in your next quilt!