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New You Tube Video

How to Piece Perfect QuiltsI’ve just gotten a new You Tube Video uploaded.  This video is special because it’s actually a sample video from my new Ebook and Video set “Stitch it Up a Notch: How To Piece Perfect Quilts.

This set is devoted to all things piecing!  I pieced 15 blue and white 9 patch quilts, over 100 9 patch blocks for the making of this project.  I don’t think I will ever look at a 9 patch block the same way again.

But making all of those quilts was necessary.  I really wanted to show not just how to piece, but how to plan and design a quilt from start to finish.  I focus on sashing, or the space between your quilt blocks, as an excellent area to create designs in the quilting process by widening this area and leaving more space between your blocks.

Quilting Beyond the DitchThe great thing about having 15 quilts, is that now I have to quilt them all!  My next ebook and video series will be “Stitch it Up a Notch: Quilting Beyond the Ditch.”  It should be finished by November 2009.

So here’s the newest video:  This is a sample video on Paper Piecing.


Leah Day


Judy Simons Lecture

I had a wonderful quilt guild meeting last night. The speaker was Judy Simons, a famous quilter from North Carolina. The lecture was on fabric printing, how to use an ink jet printer to print pictures onto fabric.

I was amazed to learn that you aren’t limited to printing on only 100% cotton. Turns out you can print on just about anything, so long as you stabilize it properly with either freezer paper, card stock, or fusible web.  Using different fabrics creates differences in how your prints come out. I especially liked the way silk noil printed.  The nubby texture made the picture less grainy and more interesting.

Another great thing to learn is that these techniques aren’t limited to photographs of your great Aunt Mildred. Judy Simons really opened the door to creativity by showing us fabrics with pictures of handwriting, newsprint, enlarged fingerprints, gardens, rusted objects.  Even pictures of stairwells made great printed fabric!

Judy Simons struck me as a very wonderful person and a really good teacher.  If I ever get the opportunity to take a class with her I will!

No Time to Stitch

My quilting time has been really limited in the last few weeks. I’ve just launched my skin care business, my quilting website is taking off, and oh yeah, did I mention I have an 8 month old? I like being this busy, but it hasn’t left me much time to quilt, which is what I like to do best.

My lack of stitching time may also be due to my lack of inspiration. I’ve recently started making yoga bags, which are fun and a great way to make extra money, but they’re definitely lacking when it comes to creative energy. I feel like I’m back to being a seamstress: sew seam A, B, C, turn, iron, fold up, on to the next one.

I’m also finding it frustrating that when I actually make a quilt, get it all ready and finished, I’m either so attached to it I don’t want to sell it, or I’m so sick of the damn thing I want to throw it away. There really isn’t any balance is there?

Mother Nature in cross stitchWhat I really want to be doing is designing. I’ve got several ideas buzzing around in my head for quilts with women as the main focus. Call them goddesses if you like, but they are just women to me. Beautiful, strong, fiery women. Maybe I’ll play hooky from my computer today and go draw one.

Here’s a picture of mother nature I designed for cross stitch several years ago. I never finished her in this project, but maybe in a quilted wall hanging she would really fly.

Off to my design wall…


Solution to the Photo Problem

So I think I’ve found the solution to my photographing problem. I was struggling to take decent pictures of my quilts that looked good as thumbnail sized pics. All the photos I took turned out off kilter, dim, or just plain bad.

So I’ve decided to hang a curtain rod just for my picture taking quilts. My guest bedroom doesn’t get much use, so I’m stretching a bar across one wall. This hanging rob will hang high enough that I can photograph most quilts on the wall, but low enough that I don’t have to drag a chair into the room every time I want to use it.

I was also needing a place to sketch designs and have decided that this wall will do great for that job too. I buy the really big pads of graph paper (the grids are 1 inch square) and I tape pieces together to make my designs.

The problem is finding a place to sketch. I like to draw a bit, step back, walk away, come back, etc and doing this around a bed can get difficult. I’ve decided to make do with this space and hopefully I won’t trip over the bed too much!

Off to hang my rod…

View From The Porch

Landscape QuiltView From The Porch

This quilt was created in the spring of 2006 for the Alliance for American Quilts “Roof Over Your Head” quilting contest.

This was the very first quilt I created using Ann Holmes’s “No Sew Till You Quilt It” method of piecing. I had just seen her demonstrate the technique at a round robin quilt guild meeting and I ran home just ready to try it out for myself.

Before this time I pieced everything the old fashioned way. Precision cutting and piecing is okay if you’re doing squares and rectangles, but curved piecing was still very intimidating to me.

Basically using Ann’s technique I was able to draw a design, cut out the fabric, and the put the pieces back together again over a piece of fusible web like a puzzle. That’s why I prefer to call it “Puzzle Quilting”.

So using this technique I created a design that fit within the contests rules. I was living in the mountains at the time and liked the idea of doing a landscape. As the idea evolved I began to picture myself standing on a porch, looking out over the mountainous landscape. My real life front porch looked out onto a garden and a driveway at the time. Not exactly picturesque!

Overall the design came out great and I was very pleased with the end result of this quilt. One of these days I’ll make another for my husband because he liked this little quilt the best.