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Showing posts from 2013

Pressing Matters

Most of my dimensional patterns require some preparation before sewing.  Usually it involves pressing some of the cut fabric pieces:  Squares diagonally into triangles or strips into folded strips or rectangles. My dimensional curved patterns are a little different from conventional patterns.  The main difference is that you can make curves without having to cut and piece an actual curve.  This is where the pressing preparation comes in.  Each pressed piece can be shaped into a curve and the smallest curves can be made easily and without tedious curved piecing.  Pressing may seem like a chore at first, but once you realize that fold equals curve, pressing gets much easier. Some shapes may be finger pressed during construction, but squares are always better pressed with an iron. Squares to folded Triangles: Rather than folding, holding down and pressing each piece of fabric separately, use these fast and easy pressing tips. 1.  Lay them all down:  One fast way to do this is to lay

Quilting Froggy

One of my favorite new patterns is my frog pattern, which will be released this October just as soon as the covers are printed. The frogs have been hatching all summer and the quilt has finally made it to the quilting stage. After layering, pin-basting and otherwise getting the quilt ready I was trying to come up with an interesting quilting design. I decided to frame an orphan block, using the same fabrics I used for the setting of the original quilt, to practice some of my quilting ideas on a single block.  First I used my walking foot and with a light grey thread stitched around each frog block. In the blue background I quilted a random circle design which could either represent pebbles on the bottom of the lake or bubbles in the water.  I quilted the bubbles in random sizes and shapes, some are oval, some round, and some are connected with multiple lines. I wanted to come up with just the right quilting design for the frog background and of course the frogs themselves. A l
The Art of Cutting Up I have been in a time crunch lately - deadlines are looming, quilts have to be made, patterns written.  Many of you know just what I am talking about, maybe for different reasons.  When you want to make a quilt for a special event it helps to get yourself organized and accurate cutting is the first in a series of steps to get things done. Much emphasis is put on cutting strips exactly straight by cutting perpendicular to the fold line.  This is still true of course, however, not as critical if shorter lengths of pieces are needed.  Below are the steps I used to cut out another version of one of my latest designs, a modern, two-color quilt which will be revealed in the coming weeks. The original quilt looks great “in person”, but didn’t photograph quite as well as I had hoped, so I decided on a do-over. Step 1:  Fold the fabric back the way it came off the bolt.  Then fold it one more time so everything you cut is four-ply.  Scoot your fabric so the folds are pa

In the Wind

The Mystery Fabric Saga continues...... It’s already been a few weeks since I posted the start of my mystery fabric saga and of course my blog is progressing a bit slower than my sewing. Since the last blog post I have designed and developed several new dimensional curved patterns, often with the help of my encouraging students and friends, but finally here is part two of the Rolled Mystery Fabric Saga:  .......... the next roll I chose and unfurled revealed a cooler color palette. Initially I had no clear vision or idea as to what might become of this little rolled fabric treat. In that case the best way is often to just get started and see where the fabric will take me.   The beginning is easy: “ Tear or cut a few fabric strips between 1 ½ and 2” wide, then start pairing and sewing strips together and see what develops.”  Sounded like a good strategy to me and ...   Since purple is one of my favorite fabrics it is always a good way to start, curvy pieces are also fun! Just a

Rolled Mystery Fabric

Every so often it is fun to have a Challenge! It wakes up the creative juices and makes you think outside the box. At the beginning of summer I had the pleasure of teaching at the North Carolina Quilt Symposium here in Fayetteville NC.  Part of the symposium was a quilt show and of course vendors.  You can probably imagine that much of the little spare time I had was spent looking at quilts and shopping and chatting with quilting friends and shopping.  On one these excursions I discovered some curious batik fabric remnants. The remnants were packaged in an enticing roll and I couldn’t wait to take a little peak inside one of the rolls. About 7 small strips of fabric between 3 and 7 inches wide, approximately 1 yard total were in each bundle. - These were curious little batik treasures - not big enough to make a large quilt, but not too little to make something fun. I bought a few rolls, but only opened one roll and picked out all the rest based on what I saw in the margins of t

Welcome to my blog!!

I was trying to come up with a special and creative way to bring my new blog into this world, but then after some reflection decided the creative and special way is to just get started.  A short introduction may be in order for some of you.  I am a quilt designer, teacher, author and proud owner of my own company Southwind Designs , a pattern company with many diverse patterns on the market.   My patterns use my dimensional curved piecing or Peeled-Back Patchwork techniques:  Straight-line Piecing with Curved Results! which is the title of my book as well.  One of my better known patterns is Mexican Stars and is still a favorite among many quilters.   When I have a free moment I also like to create Textured Landscapes, a free-form landscape technique I came up with and have been teaching for as many years as I have been designing. Even though I have been around the quilting block for a while I am just now entering the blog-o-sphere , so please bear with me as I learn and explor