Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Meet Annette Ornelas of Southwind Designs

 I've cruised and learned with Annette twice now and, man oh man, does it keep getting better!

Last year I went on a quilting cruise through Quilt and Cruise (Dawn Olmstead) with Annette as the teacher. We went to St Maarten, St Kitts, and San Juan PR. It was so wonderful that we booked another cruise for this year - same dates, same cruise line, same terrific teacher - but different ports.

This year - just a week ago actually, I joined the same friends and Annette for another week of sailing and sewing bliss. The ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) were our destination this time.

Most of Annette's patterns use a very clever technique that takes advantage of the bias edge of folded squares and rectangles. After becoming part of a block, these bias edges are then folded back and top stitched down to produce a smooth, gentle curve.

Last year we made "As You Wish" and this year "Mexican Star Dance". Both patterns have this fold and stitch technique that make them really interesting.

Annette also has lots of fun small designs for wall hangings and table runners.  Many of the cute little designs are cruise or inspiring words themed. I'm putting in an order with her so that I can offer her pattrns in my booth are the KC Regional Festivan in June. As soon as I finish Mexican Star Im goihng to start the Flamingo and Victorian Table Runner. There are so many cute ones it's tough to choose! I also just signed up her 2023 Mystery BOM. Can we say excited!

Do yourself na favor and check out Annette's website. If you have the opportunity to take a workshop with her, then please do. I'll be adding a class on one of her pattterns to my workshop list - but its better to get the real deal!

Curiousity on the High Seas!

Monday, April 10, 2023

Sedona QAL Block 3 - Desert Bloom -


Each Block just gets prettier and prettier. This one is my fave so far.
Each block is made of 4 "petals" - smaller units that go togethr fairly quickly.

There are a couple of things that you need to pay attention to. 

The first trouble spot is when you trim off the points on the background pieces. Its important to get the angle correct otherwise  you won't be able to properly cut the curve on this background piece. You should be trimming perpendicular to the short side. It is so easy to get it wrong and trim perpendicular to the hypotenus (remember HS Geometry?). If you trim them correctly, you will have no trouble completing the next step and cutting the curve out.

The next few steps just require following the directions. Easy-Peasy. Remember not to pull your peices as you are sewing the curves.

The next place where you need to pay attention is when you are squaring up the units. If you don't have 1/4 inch from the "petal" to the seam of the triangle on the corners, it won't match when  you sew the 4 petals together. Its more important to be exact on the center triangle (The dark green in this pic) than to be exact on the background triangle.
When you sew the 4 units together you'll want to match the seams of those triangles - see the center of the flower in this photo.

Overall it was a fun block, if a little fiddley to get the seams to match. 

This is the third block, so its not too late to join the QAL


Thursday, March 2, 2023

Sedona Block 2 - Stepping Stones

 Block 2 of Sedona is a cinch! Cutting strips. Sewing strip sets. Cutting strip sets into 2 inch pieces. Sewing 2 inch pieces into blocks. Done!

As usual, though, I have some tips. 

First - it you are doing Sedona Sky, you'll need to either get 1 inch more than the half yard called for, or you'll have to use some of the left over strip set fabric. Its doable, but if you don't want to worry about it, just get an additional inch or so.

Second - use your favorite starch product on either the strips or strip sets before you subcut them.

Third - reduce your stitch length when you sew your strips together. Since you'll be subcutting these into 2 inch units, your stitches may unravel a bit, so its best to use a tighter stitch. I almost always do this for strip sets that will be subcut.

Forth - if you are making the Sedona Medallion, it uses the same amount of fabric as Sedona Sky. 

Two down!

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Woven Wanderings

 Many of my quilt designs and patterns are quite complicated, with many peices and involved techniques. So I thought I should design a quilt that is simple to make, has just one block, and is perfcect for beginning quilters. Woven Wanderings fits the bill!

The block that makes up this quilt is one that I've made many times for block exchanges. It looked very cool on its own. I started wonderibng how it would look repeated over and over again.  So I made several of them and really liked how the pattern took shape. The problem was that there were too many seams to match. I wouldn't want to attempt matching that many, and it certinaly wasn't appropriate for a beginning quilter.

So, ever curious, I began playing with the block to see if I could achieve the same look without the matching. And of course there was another way.  However, this block required one additional simple technique - partial seams.

I've made the quilt in two colorways and I think the results are pretty darn cute! This pattern is a great way to feature a pretty fabric - either in the woven strips or in the background. I've done this in each of the samples I've done.

I am so excited to share this pattern with you. I hope to use it to teach beginning quilting, and I think it will make a really cute lap quilt. Woven Wanderings is available on my Etsy Shop and at the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival in Overland Park in June of 2023. If you make it, let me know and send some pictures.


GE Designs Ruler Stickers

 Who knew such as little thing could be such a big help? Gudrun did!

As I get older, I find myself double checking the lines on my rulers and more often than I'd like to admit, I still make mistakes. The one thing that helps is Gudrun's ruler stickers.

These repositional vinyl arrow stickers are a great tool for marking lines on quilting rulers, marking landmarks on QCR rulers when trumming the curved units for Sew Kind of Wonderful patterns, and marking the grooves on the GE Designs stripology rulers. 

The Sedona pattern has many opportunities to use these clever little stickers. Here is how I marked my QCR mini ruler for the Slide Rock Block. 

The stickers are available on my Etsy site, on GE Designs website, from your local quilt shop, or from Amazon. Check 'em out. I think you'll love them!



Fuzzy Leprechaun

 I thought I might branch out a bit this month and venture into the area of adult beverages. I was looking for something that might be appropriate for a Saint Patricks Day celebration. 

I found this delicious cocktail and am very anxious to try it. A few special ingredients that I don't normally keep in the liquor cabinet are on the shopping list. 

Here is the recipe:

  • 1 part Peach Schnapps
  • 1 part Blue Curacao
  • 1 part Vodka
  • 1/2 part Orange Juice
  • 1/2 part Pineapple Juice

Mix and pour over ice. Garnish with an orange slice and cherry.

I'm planning on bringing the ingredients to the March Retreat and making it for everyone. 

Sunday, February 26, 2023

My New Travel and Sewing Buddy - Meet Abbie

 After years without a furry friend, I took a leap of faith and adopted Abbie. I had the vision of a quilting and travel buddy - a four footed best friend to keep me company on the road. Abbie has quickly become a member of the family and I'm so happy she is here.

We are still getting used to her potty schedule - the cold weather has put a bit of a cramp in her style. But she's learning the rules pretty quickly.

She is somewhat fascinated with my shoes. No chewing, just bringing them out. In any given day she might bring 5 shoes out. 

She loves her bed, her toys, and meeting new
quilters. I brought Abbie on her first road trip down to Oklahoma City to visit the Central Oklahoma Quilt Guild last week. She did well in the car and hotel and was invited to join the workshop. 

We've been walking everyday - so she is helping me be a little more active. Next week the fence will be completed and she can run around the yard to her hearts content. We have 7 doggie neighbors - she seems to like them all.

So I'll apologize now for being an insufferable doggie mama - posting pics and talking non-stop about Abbie.  Look for my future  adventures to contain Miss Abbie.

Curious about adopting a furry friend? Contact your local Humane Society!