Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016 Free Motion Quilt Along - Happy New Year!

Happy New Year -- Welcome 2016!  

2015 was an awesome year but now we're gearing up for 2016 to rock the house!!

For those of you new to, or just interested in Free Motion Quilting at home, we're firing up a short, simple, free, and fun Quilt Along for beginners.

We'll be using the Lewe's Balloons Growth Chart Panel by Susy Bleasby for The World of Susybee.

We've got some great sponsors -- that means great prizes!!

There'll be lots of FMQ basics and simple motifs, with NO PRESSURE, just FUN!

You can find all details by clicking the image above -- or my visiting:
Redbird Quilt Co. 2016 Free Motion Quilt Along

When we're done quilting you have a sweet Growth Chart to give to someone special.

Share with your friends -- we'll have a blast!

Find the details here.

Happy New Year all!
Hugs,
Karen

Monday, December 21, 2015

Chevron Shuffle on the Moda Bake Shop - A Modern Mini

Greeting fellow quilters -- thank you for stopping by!
I've been busy lately preparing a new recipe for the Moda Bake Shop and I'm excited to share it with you today.
Chevron Shuffle is a modern mini quilt prepared with the colorful and bright
Basic Mixologie by Studio M for Moda.
It finishes just about 24" square.
The design is based on my
February 2015 Moda Bake Shop Recipe
Chevron with a Twist and was created to celebrate the Bake Shop's December Month of Mini's.    
The recipe uses 84 print/white Half Square Triangles and 16 white/white Half Square Triangles.
The quilt top uses well less than 2 Charm packs and can be prepared in a weekend.
 For some fun I decided to use the "Focus" layout shared in the March 2015 post For the Love of Half Square Triangles.
The Focus layout uses the same number of HST's as Chevron with a Twist but they're arranged differently. 
On Chevron Shuffle I strayed from traditional applique and created a modern layered flower that complements the half square triangle design.
Also on Chevron Shuffle I tried some
new-to-me batting,
Dream Orient, by Quilter's Dream.
It's really unique batting -- dense but soft, all natural fibers, and oh-so-dreamy!  
I layered the Dream Orient with Dream Wool (100% Wool batting).

These two layers of batting provided for generous quilting texture, don't you think?
Other fun parts of preparing Chevron Shuffle included quilting with my favorite Aurifil threads in 3 different weights.  50 Wt for piecing, 40Wt for quilting and 12Wt for machine applique and top stitching.
Do checkout the Moda Bake Shop post to see all the details.
You know I love Aurifil thread!
And one last fun component of this quilt was using the QP Curve Templates to create some beautiful curved quilting texture around the modern flower.
I used a water/air soluble pen to mark my reference points 1/4" (A) and 1/2" (B) in from the seam points.  The #8 QP Curve Template worked beautifully!
If you've not tried out Linda Hrcka's
{The Quilted Pineapple}
curved acrylic templates you should.
I use them on my domestic machine to make beautiful designs.  They certainly open up a whole new world of quilting options -- even on your home machine.
*
You can read more about the QP Curve Templates on this post.
***
To view a few videos of my using the templates on my home machine,
 click on over to my YouTube Channel
***
If you have an interest in learning to Free Motion Quilt on your home machine, be sure to join 4000+ other quilters on my Facebook Community Group
 Free Motion Quilting Frenzy.

Also, I'll soon be starting a short but informative Free Motion Quilt Along -- stay tuned to my blog and/or my Facebook Page for more information on that.
Supplies and schedule to be announced soon.

Many thanks for stopping by -- I do hope you like the new Chevron Shuffle Mini Quilt.
Jump on over to the Moda Bake Shop to view all of the details.

Social Media ....
Have you made a quilt inspired by my patterns or tutorials 
-OR-
Would you, your shop, or your guild be interested in my Workshop or Program offerings ? 
You can write me anytime:  
karen@redbirdquiltco.com or 
redbirdquiltco@gmail.com

*** Follow Me ***

Did you know you can visit me on
and/or
I post all sorts of fun things there!!
**
If you love to Free Motion Quilt consider joining my 
Facebook Community Group
*
Plus
I share quilting related
videos on my YouTube Channel
*
I'll soon be sharing live feed TV on my Periscope
*
I'm also on Pinterest and Twitter 
and I share other tutorials and patterns on
My Tutorials on my blog

Thanks again for stopping by...

Have a blessed holiday.
Karen

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Tis the Season - A Donation Quilt

Mr. Redbird and Berries has gone mini!
Really Mini
A wee 11" x 13"
Isn't he sweet?
 He was created for the O Tannenbaum fundraising event at our local Historical Society...
with a little Moda Muslin for the background and backing fabric...
using Aurifil 12Wt cotton thread to hand stitch the wool applique... 
AND a bit of Aurifil 50Wt thread for fun free motion quilting
on a domestic machine...
It was the perfect opportunity to re-use the
flanged and mitered machine binding technique
(See the tutorial here)
using this beautiful fabric by Primitive Gatherings for Moda -- LOVE!
And yes, on that binding I used yummy Aurifil 12Wt thread for finishing with a machine.
Oh! I love that little extra touch :)
I was sure to use 2 layers of Quilter's Dream 100% Wool batting -- it provides lovely texture!
Last I checked the silent bid was up to $75 - not a bad price for a mini quilt
Bidding is open for another week though -- you never know what it will go for.
The donation quilt is considerably smaller
 than the original Redbird and Berries
created for the Moda Bake Shop.
Click here for the original tutorial and download.
Making little pieces like this are fun and rewarding...
especially for a great cause.
Sister snapped a picture of me at the O Tannenbaum event... 
I thought it would be fun to share! 
*
If you've not tried wool applique and would like to learn more...
Click here and follow the links for some introductory posts.

Have a blessed weekend...
Hugs,
Karen

Social Media Details....
You can write me anytime:  
karen@redbirdquiltco.com or 
redbirdquiltco@gmail.com

*** Follow Me ***

Did you know you can visit me on
and/or
I post all sorts of fun things there!!
**
If you love to Free Motion Quilt consider joining my 
Facebook Community Group
*
Plus
I share quilting related
videos on my YouTube Channel
*
I'll soon be sharing live feed TV on my Periscope
*
I'm also on Pinterest and Twitter 
and I share other tutorials and patterns on
My Tutorials on my blog

Thanks again for stopping by...

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Throwback Thursday Redbird Christmas Pillow 2013

Greetings all and happy week after Thanksgiving!!

We have much to be Thankful for in our family -- aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, children and grandchildren included.
As our parents watch over us from heaven, we continue to nourish the relationships we have with one another on earth.
I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving too!!

Today I want to highlight an old favorite tutorial - one that comes together quickly using 2.5" fabric strips and a bit of wool.

Remember the free tutorial for the
*** Redbird Christmas ***
envelope pillow?
It's the perfect accent for your holiday decor!
Redbird Christmas was based on a free design and tutorial that I shared on the Moda Bake Shop, the Family Tree Quilted Envelope pillow.
Family Tree was my first tutorial for the Bake Shop and jump started my designing career.
I'm very thankful to the the Moda Bake Shop for taking a chance on me and allowing me to share what I love through their awesome program.

You can peruse all of my Moda Bake Shop Recipes by clicking here.

The Redbird Christmas pillow design is holiday oriented but generic enough to display after Christmas.
It includes a cotton background with a tree and bird wool applique focal point and a log cabin style block to finish out the pillow front.
I added a little extra batting behind the bird and the tree to make them pop!
It was quilted free motion and top stitched on my domestic machine using Auriful 50Wt Mako Cotton thread.
***
I LOVE Aurifil thread for quilting!!
When I created the Family Tree and Redbird Christmas pillows I had yet to try Aurifil 12Wt cotton thread so I used another brand of embroidery floss for the wool applique.
If I were to make them again today, I would be sure to dig into my Auri-Stash and use Aurifil 12Wt thread.  
The Aurifil 12Wt works perfectly for wool applique and for beautiful top stitching!
Instead of using 2.5" strips for the back of the pillow, the Redbird Christmas pillow has a two piece envelope back.   The envelope works perfect to switch pillow covers from one season to the next.
If you're interested in making Redbird Christmas you can see the original Moda Bake Shop Recipe by clicking here.   
The tutorial is available as a PDF download at the end of the Bake Shop post.

If you're interested, you can read the Family Tree excitement and announcement on my blog by clicking here.
To convert the Family Tree tutorial into the Redbird Christmas pillow, just download the Redbird Christmas tree and bird template by clicking here and follow the original tutorial for the Family Tree pillow.
You can read the original blog announcement for Redbird Christmas (Dec 2013) by clicking here.
I hope you enjoy this featured Throwback Thursday Tutorial -- Stay tuned for some fun upcoming announcements!

I leave you with a Keuka Lake Sunset from Sept, 2015
Any day is a good day at the lake.
Many thanks for stopping by and do let me know if you have any questions or if you enjoyed this Throwback Thursday Tutorial!  
Blessings,
Karen

Social Media Details....
You can write me anytime:  
karen@redbirdquiltco.com or 
redbirdquiltco@gmail.com

*** Follow Me ***

Did you know you can visit me on
and/or
I post all sorts of fun things there!!
**
If you love to Free Motion Quilt consider joining my Facebook Community Group
*
Plus
I share quilting related
videos on my YouTube Channel
*
I'll soon be sharing live feed TV on my Periscope
*
I'm also on Pinterest and Twitter 
and I share other tutorials and patterns on
My Tutorials on my blog

Thanks again for stopping by...

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tutorial - Mitered and Flanged Machine Binding

Today I'm excited to share a Mitered & Flanged Machine Binding Tutorial.
***
It's fun, saves time and looks awesome!!
***
Don't be overwhelmed by the number of steps -- after you do it once or twice it will become old hat... I know you'll love it.
***
It works nicely for samples, baby blankets, and quilts that will be washed and worn!!
(or if you're in a plain old hurry ;)
It's the whopper of machine binding tutorials because I decided to include steps for a Mitered Finish as inspired by a YouTube video by Lisa Bongean (Primitive Gatherings) with Kimberly at The Fat Quarter Shop.
**
I followed Lisa's steps to prepare the mitered finish -- AND included a link to their (most helpful) video in this tutorial.  After watching the video be sure to leave a comment or give it a "thumbs up" -- it's an awesome learning tool!

** Note, the YouTube video does not include instructions for the Flange OR the Machine Finish - it explains nicely though, how to prepare mitered corners and a mitered finish -- it's a great tool and video and helped me tremendously with the mitered finish.  Thanks so much ladies !!

OK - Let's get started:


We're going to make this sweet little flanged binding by machine with mitered corners, a mitered finish and with beautiful top-stitching to show off your pretty Aurifil threads!
 
Begin by choosing a primary and an accent (flange) fabric.
*
Add in a complementary 50Wt thread for piecing and a 12Wt thread for top stitching.
I chose from my #AuriStash -- #Aurifil thread is always my first choice {love}. 

Determine Length of Binding Needed:

Calculate the total length of binding needed by adding the length of each of the 4 sides and adding an extra 10" to the number.
*
The sampler was 18" square.  18 + 18 + 18 + 18 + 10. = 82 inches.
I assumed I could squeeze 41 usable inches per WOF strip, so I cut 2 strips of each the primary and the accent fabric.

Cut the Primary and Accent fabric strips:

 Cut the primary fabric 1&7/16" wide.
I did not have 16 of an inch marks on my ruler, so I split the width between 3/8 and 1/2 to achieve 7/16th of an inch.
Now cut the accent fabric 1&3/4" wide (by the number of strips you need). 
 Showing: Strips after cutting the correct number of Primary and Accent
 NOTE: When using solid colors, I sometimes place a pin in the right side of the fabric so I can tell the right side from the wrong side of the fabric.

Piece Binding Strips to Achieve Necessary Length:

 Now you want to prepare the total length of binding.  The sample required 82" so I pieced two WOF strips together at an angle (mitered seams).  
 Be sure that your diagonal line is marked correctly before sewing and cutting.
After testing the positioning of the fabric and diagonal line, stitch along the marked line with a straight stitch.  (Excuse my wonky straight line - it was Free Motion Stitched ;).
After stitching, remove the pins and check to ensure you have a continuous length before trimming.
 Now fold right sides together and trim the seam allowance to 1/4", trimming the tabs too and pressing open to reduce bulk. 
Repeat the above steps for the primary fabric.
  Now you've prepared the correct (total) length of each the primary and accent fabrics.

Sew Primary and Accent Fabrics Together Lengthwise & Press:


Next you'll layer the primary and accent strips right sides together, aligning one raw edge.
Sew along the edge with a 1/4" seam allowance
Showing the sewn raw edge
 Position binding on an ironing surface with the Primary fabric on top.
Press flat to set the seam
 Next open the fabric and press the seam toward the Primary fabric.
 Showing after binding is pressed open toward the Primary fabric
 Showing back after pressing toward the Primary Fabric
 Next you'll fold the wrong sides together, aligning the raw edges and gently press the length of binding.
I press gently so the fold IS NOT Crisp or Flattened.
***

Attach prepared binding to Quilt Back:

This section of the tutorial was inspired by a YouTube tutorial prepared by Lisa Bongean (Primitive Gatherings) with Kimberly of the Fat Quarter Shop.
You can view that YouTube tutorial here:
"How to Add a Double Fold Binding to Quilts"
The section applicable to this tutorial starts around the 2:00 minute mark and continues to the 3:40 minute mark.
***
Keep in mind Lisa is attaching to the front of her quilt and finishing by hand (on back) -- we will attach to the back of the quilt and finish with machine on the front.
***

Continuing... attach binding quilt back:

Working on the BACK of the quilt, position the binding right side down with the Primary fabric to the right (aligning raw edge of Primary fabric with raw edge of quilt back).
Next fold the top right corner to the left, wrong sides together, to make a 45 degree angle and press.
 Now fold the binding wrong sides together so both of the binding raw edges are aligned with the raw edges of the quilt back.
***
Position the binding about 1/2 way down the side of the quilt.
***
You'll need space above the binding to complete the mitered finish.
***
You will begin stitching the binding about 6" from the point shown below.
Leave at least 5" of the binding un-stitched (pin but don't stitch) and begin stitching with a 1/4" seam allowance.
***
Stop a 1/4" from the quilt corner (I marked my 1/4" with a pin - see below).
***
When you stop at the 1/4" mark, be sure your needle is in the down position.
 Showing, stop stitching 1/4" from the quilt corner.
 Now lift the presser foot and pivot the quilt layers so you can stitch off the edge of the quilt at a 45 degree angle.
 Showing: After stitching up to corner and with a 45 degree angle to the corner of the quilt
 Next, trim threads and rotate the quilt counter-clockwise and prepare for the mitered fold.
The fold (below) is required to make a mitered corner.
***
After trimming threads and rotating the quilt so the stitched binding is running perpendicular to the foot, fold the binding strip straight up.
***
When you do this you'll see a 45 degree angle from the corner of the quilt to the folded corner of the binding.
Keeping the top fold steady, lay the binding down over itself, so the 45 degree angle is preserved under the top layer and the straight fold is along the top edge of the quilt.
Begin stitching a 1/4" seam allowance at the top fold.
Stitch to within 1/4" of the next quilt corner and repeat the process.
Repeat the folding and stitching process at the next corner.
After you've mitered all 4 corners you'll be headed down the last side of the quilt (The side where you started the binding).
***
  Stop stitching at least 6" (longer if you can) from the Beginning Tail of the quilt.
***
You'll now have a beginning tail that is un-stitched and an end tail that is un-stitched.  
Remove quilt from the machine bed and trim threads.
***
Lift the beginning tail up and fold it out of the way.
***
Smooth the "End tail" down along the raw edge.
Be sure there are no puckers or folds and that it rests flat against the quilt.
Now unfold the "Beginning Tail" and position it over top of the "End Tail" -- making sure that both tails are smooth and are without puckers and are flat against the quilt back.
 Now you'll place a pin in the "End Tail" just a couple of threads away from the Point of the "Beginning Tail".
***
Mark this position with a Pin through the top layer of fabric only (only through the accent fabric on the End Tail, do not pin the primary).
 Another image after putting a pin through the top layer only of the "End Tail" right at the point (pointed fold) of the "Beginning Tail".
Now, I use my left hand to unfold the End Tail.
Keep the right side of the fabric facing up
The Pin should remain on your right
and 
the primary fabric will unfold to the left. 
 Next you'll unfold the Beginning Tail so that the right side is facing DOWN
and
wrong side is facing you.
2nd image of the Beginning Tail unfolded with wrong side of fabric facing up.
The tricky part is positioning the Beginning Tail so it is perpendicular to the End Tail
***
Align the Beginning Tail "Point" at the End Tail "Pin" and secure with pins
(Thanks Lisa!)
Here is where the crease from the fold comes into play -- you're going to stitch on the fold making the finished mitered seam.
(Be sure NOT to stitch through the quilt -- only stitch the binding)
After Stitching on the Fold
Before cutting excess fabric, fold the binding closed again (wrong sides together) and check to ensure that the binding is right sized and not twisted.
***
This is a very important step -- do NOT Skip ;)
***
Once you've double checked the length and positioning (no twists) of the binding you can trim the mitered finish to a 1/4" seam allowance.
Finger Press or Iron Press the seam open
Lay the binding along the raw edge and finish sewing it to the back of the quilt with a 1/4" seam allowance being sure to pickup a few stitches into where you stopped and started.
You're almost to the FUN PART!!!

Roll the Binding from Back to Front of Quilt & Prepare to Machine Stitch:

Yippee!!
Once you've finished securing the mitered finish on the back of the quilt, you get to 
roll the binding around to the front of the quilt and admire the beautiful flange...
***
I just LOVE the look of the flange added to this binding...

Prepare the front of the quilt for machine stitching


Prepare each corner by tucking the bottom of the binding fabric into the corner and folding the top of the binding to make a 45 degree angle (or mitered corner).
***
Secure with Wonder Clips (love those little clips).
After the tuck and fold you should see a perfectly mitered corner -- ready for stitching
Secure that corner with another Wonder Clip
Next...

Top stitch the Flange Binding

Use a 90/14 top stitch needle in your machine
Choose thread colors that complement your fabric.
*** 
Both the Top and Bobbin thread
will be completely visible when you're done stitching. 
***
Use Aurifil 50Wt or 40Wt thread in your Bobbin
Use Aurifil 12Wt thread on Top (my favorite)
Set a straight stitch length to 3.0 or higher (a nice "top stitch" length).
You may have to adjust your top tension down a bit (try it on a test swatch first).
***
Start stitching near a corner, taking smaller stitches to secure the start.
***
Note:  No need to stitch in the ditch.
Show off that awesome Aurifil 12Wt thread by stitching well on the flange
You may have to fuss when you get into a corner so there is a stitch just before the miter and one just after you turn the quilt top
Slowly stitch all the way around the quilt top to secure the binding and finish with smaller stitches to secure your threads.
Doesn't it look just beautiful ?
Here is an image of the front (left) and the back (right)...
Love, love, love!
I hope you found this tutorial helpful.
Thanks again to Lisa Bongean (Primitive Gatherings) and Kimberly from the Fat Quarter Shop for sharing the steps for the mitered finish. 
See links above.  
***
This binding and the awesome Auriful thread adds great dimension to a quilt top and is admired by all who see it! 
***
I especially love it because I can do the work by machine and save a little time preparing samples. 

  It's also great if your gifting the quilt to a little person, where a hand-sewn binding might not hold up under wear and tear and tugs... 
*
Thanks for stopping by today -- leave me a comment and let me know what you think
Also -- I would love if you share this tutorial on social media AND if you send me pictures of any work you create with it.
***
Be sure to follow me on social media (below) for fun and inspiring posts!.
See My Tutorials (tab on top of blog) for more detailed and free tutorials and patterns.

Is your Shop, Group or Guild preparing for their 2016/2017 Programs?  
I'm touring the countryside to share my love of quilting.
Email me for a list of available workshops.
(Oh Yeah -- Retirement from my Day Job is getting closer) 

You can write me anytime:  karen@redbirdquiltco.com or 
redbirdquiltco@gmail.com

*** 2016 Free Motion Quilt Along ***
It's starting up January of 2016!
Join us
Click image below for details


Free Online Quilting Classes

Did you know?
There are a wide variety of free Mini Courses on Craftsy
If you're new to Quilting -- check them out by clicking the link below:


*** Follow Me ***


Did you know you can visit me on
and/or
I post all sorts of fun things there!!
**
If you love to Free Motion Quilt consider joining my Facebook Community Group
*
Plus
I share quilting related
videos on my YouTube Channel
*
I'll soon be sharing live feed TV on my Periscope
*
I'm also on Pinterest and Twitter 
and I share other tutorials and patterns on
My Tutorials on my blog

Thanks for stopping by today...

~ Blessings ~
Karen

Note: This post may contain Affiliate Links.
If you purchase anything through these links I may be compensated for the purchase.
I promise to only recommend those products I know and love -- especially those with fantastic prices!