Tuesday, May 21, 2019

10 Minute Tip




10 Minute Tip

When machine quilting, I always quilt what I call the 'foundation or stabilizing grid' first. This means that I stitch 'in the ditch' between the rows of blocks and borders first. I also stitch in the ditch along all of the sashing if the quilt has it. This allows me to go back and quilt within each block one at a time without worrying about the basting. The 'in the ditch grid' keeps the layers from shifting and allows me to take out any basting pins that were used.

Not all quilts are suited to this method. A quilt that is one large block or an overall design might not work with this method unless it has some straight lines that divide portions of the quilt. Next time you plan to machine quilt a quilt, take a look and see if this would be helpful. Let me know what you think!

To see other 10 Minute Tips click here.

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Banana Muffin Recipe


Banana Muffins

Preheat oven to 350

1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 ripe bananas, mashed
chocolate chips (optional)

Mix the first 3 ingredients with a hand mixer until well blended.
Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the mix, stirring until well blended.
Add the bananas (and chocolate chips) and mix until smooth.

Line muffin tins with paper liners.
Drop medium scoop of batter into each.
Bake 15-18 minutes.
Makes 12-15 muffins.

If making mini muffins, reduce baking time.

This was the first food item my daughter requested upon returning from college this summer. She loves the muffins with chocolate chips. If she's not around, I don't add the chips. They are yummy either way!

Enjoy!
Diane

Thursday, May 16, 2019

NEW PATTERN: Origami Galaxy


I'm so excited to share my newest pattern called Origami Galaxy. I made this quilt a couple of years ago but didn't get the pattern finished until a couple of weeks ago. And my fabulous graphic designer made it look beautiful so I could send it to the printer.

This quilt is made of simple star blocks set on point. Where the blocks meet, along with the pieced sashing, creates the secondary design. To me, these pieces almost looked like they were folded together, even though they are simple squares and triangles sewn in the traditional way.


When my kids were young, my son Danny loved origami. He could fold anything into a rocket, animal or crazy object. So looking at this quilt reminded me a bit of the fun bits of paper I used to find around the house folded into stars and odd shapes.



This was the second quilt I ever quilted on my new longarm last year. I used a fun geometric design that mimics the patchwork in the quilt. I resized it (by a LOT) because I didn't know any better, and I love the way it turned out.


If you've got some scraps, or fat quarters or fat eighths in your stash (and I know you do!) this is great quilt for using up lots of bits. Also, the inner border and setting blocks are easy to assemble, and they are just sewn onto the end of the block rows before the rows are sewn together. I love getting an impressive result that is easier than it looks!


Let me know what you think of this new pattern in the comments and I'll randomly select a winner for a free digital copy. And if you can't wait for the drawing, and have to purchase it now, I'll be happy to send you a copy of any pattern of your choice if you win! I call that a win/win for sure!

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Sew Your Stash Along Show and Tell!


Look at Becky's gorgeous green/turquoise version of the Sew Your Stash Along Quilt! I just love her two color scrappy version. This is right up may alley! And notice how she turned her flying geese border so the blocks are oriented differently. What an amazing quilt.


And Berber was worried that she had made too many changes for my approval but she was wrong. I love everything about her version! The brown and neutral colorway is so pretty, and her addition of pinwheels in parts of the last border is perfection! I think this quilt is as interesting and awesome as she is!


And not to be outdone, Bobette not only finished her top, but she hand quilted it and got it bound! Wow!! Her pretty purples are so fun, and she added some cute little nine patches as well as a pretty floral around the outside. It just doesn't get any better in my opinion!


And while the rest of my local guild friends are still stitching away on their quilts, mine in on my  longarm (between customer quilts) getting some fun custom ruler quilting. Once all the foundation quilting is finished, I plan to go back and add a bit of free motion fillers in some of the background areas. My goal is to have this one on my bed this Christmas season, so I've got a little time. LOL

Thanks again to all of my friends who have sewn along with us. It's been a fun adventure! If you are sewing along from far away, I would love to see your photos as well. Just email them to me at butterflythreadsquilting@gmail.com.

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Cranberry Carrot Salad Recipe

(I borrowed this photo from the internet because we ate ours before I took a photo!)

I hosted my bee group last month and as I was grocery shopping at 10 pm the night before our meeting, I googled recipes to serve. (I like to plan ahead like that! LOL) I found this salad recipe and it turned out really good. I enjoyed serving it and eating the leftovers afterwards!

Cranberry Carrot Salad
1 bag of shredded carrots (4 cups)
1 large apple, diced (I used a gala)
1 bag of dried cranberries (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup choppped pecans ( I buy the bag of halves and chop them myself)

Dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Toss the salad ingredients together in a bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients until creamy. Pour over the tossed salad. Mix until coated. Serve immediately. This salad makes great leftovers, even if it's not as pretty after a day or two, it is still yummy!

Enjoy!
Diane

Thursday, May 2, 2019

10 Minute Tip


10 Minute Tip

One of the things I do to save time and be more efficient in my sewing room is SEWING IN BATCHES. Let me explain. I like to do things in batches when creating a new quilt. I never (or very rarely) cut a whole quilt, sew all of one step, then all of the next step, etc.

I cut enough pieces to make about a quarter to a half of the quilt. Then I sew the units, usually about 10-12 at a time using chain piecing. Then I press those, etc. This allows me to finish 10-12 blocks in a batch. I put them on the design wall and take a photo. I look at what is there, then I think about what might be missing? Do I need to do more of the same? Do I need to switch things up a bit? Do I need to add another color? To I need to avoid a color?


You see, all of my quilts are mystery quilts. I never know how they are going to turn out. Sometimes I have a really good idea, but sometimes that idea takes some turns along the way. Working in batches allows me to make changes or take a different turn before I've gone too far.

It also allows me to see some progress with finished blocks along the way. I need that sort of instant gratification to keep me motivated. If you aren't working in batches, I would encourage you to try it. Let me know what you think.

For more 10 Minute Tips go here.

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane

PS. Yes, he stares at me the entire time I'm sewing until I let him in. Silly dog!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Making a SPLASH


SPLASH is one of my favorite quilts! I love the story that inspired it and I love all three versions that I've made of it. I like teaching the technique and I like presenting it as a workshop.  I had the pleasure of visiting the Duluth Spirited Quilter's Guild last weekend and teaching this workshop. It was a fun day I really enjoyed these quilters. This was our third workshop together and they brought show and tells from the prior workshops. It's always a thrill to see finished quilts from my workshops. It's like they enjoyed it enough to see it through, and they were proud enough to share it with me. Kind of a 'Proud Mom' moment in a way. LOL


The Story of the Original Splash

The first version of this quilt was made from my dad's shirts along with a white background fabric. After my dad passed away, I wanted to make a remembrance quilt for my mom. I was looking through a book of block patterns and noticed that one of the names for this block was 'duck in the pond'. This block has multiple names but this was one version I wasn't familiar with but it reminded me of a fun story my dad like to tell about when my husband and I went away for the weekend and left the kids (3 toddlers at the time) at home with my parents.

While we were away, my parents took the kids to the duck pond to feed the ducks. My son David, who like to do everything with great enthusiasm, was hurling bread chunks into the pond when he spontaneously hurled himself into the pond as well. My dad, having quick reflexes, caught him by the ankle, but not before David's head went under water. David was fine, the ducks were fine, but my parents were pretty worried. They were so worried, that they took David to the Emergency Room to make sure he didn't have any harmful effects from the pond water.

My husband and I laughed so hard when my Dad told us the story. It was a tale that was often repeated and my Dad looked so remorseful every time he told it. Nevertheless, we loved the story and seeing the name of the block brought a smile to my face.


The Splash from the book STRIP QUILT SECRETS

Having given the original quilt to my mom, I wanted to make another version. I had a collection of batik fat quarters that I used. I also found a fun batik print for the background that looked like it had splash marks on it. What could be more perfect?

I enjoy adding pieced sashings to my quilts, I like the secondary block effect it gives. So the purple squares are part of the sashing, not the actual blocks. I also like to add portions of blocks as corners for the border. Repeating elements in a quilt creates consistency, and that's always a good thing when using scraps or lots of different fabrics.


The tiny version

I also made a four block version using solid fabrics. I liked this fun print fabric so much that I chose to use it for the background and let the blocks be solids. I have yet to see a combination that does NOT work for this quilt.


The technique

This quilt block is made entirely from squares and half square triangles. And since I use only make half square triangles from strips, the entire quilt is made from 2 1/2'' strips. Yep, you could make this quilt from a jelly roll!


The workshop

I love the combinations of colors and values that were being used in this workshop. I had been waiting for someone to make it with a black background and it is gorgeous! Also, another person was adding a gold square to the middle of her blocks for some holiday cheer! And the scrappy version that had a different background is each block really spoke to my scrappy heart. I could go on an on, but I'll let the photos speak for themselves.


I am usually too busy to take photos at workshops, but this was a small group and that meant we really had time to visit and chat (and take photos!) Thanks again to each of you who attended, I really enjoyed my day with you!


If you would like to book a trunk show or workshop for your group or guild, find all of the information HERE or email me HERE.

Now go make a Splash!

Diane
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