Ten Gifts for Quilters (Other Than Fabric!)

As the holidays approach, I’m sure there are a lot of friends and family looking for gifts a quilter would love.  If you are a quilter, you may be looking for a fun or unusual notion to include in a guild gift swap.  This list includes a few of my favorite non-fabric gifts at a variety of price points- from just over $5 to around $50.

10 Gifts for Quilters

Duo Marking Pen and Eraser:  This two part pen set is fabulous for marking quilts that won’t necessarily get washed immediately.  The dark pink pink marks your dots or lines with a brown line, and once its quilted, you trace over it with the white pen to erase the mark.

Duo Pens

Full Line Stencils and Pounce:  These stencils and pounce pad are super easy to use and any residual chalk washes out or disappears with the iron.  I have the 1″ grid stencil, and it is perfect for subdividing areas of negative space.  The next stencils on my list are the 1/2″ grid, a diamond grid, and a clamshell.  They also carry more detailed designs if the quilter in your life prefers the design to be completely drawn out.

Full Line Stencil

Spiral Eye Needles:  These are hands down the best needles I have found for burying quilting threads- they are a massive time saver!  My favorite size is the 8 Quilting, but if the quilter you are buying for likes a larger needle you may want to try the 8 Sharp or even a 6.

Spiral Eye Needle

Safety Stiletto:  Not the shoes :)  A stiletto is used to guide fabrics near the machine needle, and is also great for picking out threads left after seam ripping.  I like the safety version so I can toss it in my sewing kit and not have to worry about ripping the bag or impaling myself or others.  (The stiletto I linked to here is very similar to the one I own, but I can’t remember what brand I have- it may be this one, but it may not be this one) The pointed end unscrews and turns inside the handle for travel and storage.

Safety Stiletto

Clover Protect and Grip Thimble:  The scallop shape allows this thimble to expand and contract slightly to provide a perfect fit, even if your finger swells a bit at times.  It comes in a few sizes- I use the medium.  It is so much more comfortable than any other thimble I have used, and it doesn’t turn your finger green like the metal ones!

Thimble

Waxed Silamide Skein:  This is the best thread for basting!  I use it to baste english paper piecing templates and needle turn appliqué pieces.  It  comes in a skein, so once you tear off the bottom of the package and cut through the end loop of the thread, you have precut sewing thread in the perfect length.  Since it is pre-waxed, there is virtually no tangling!  I do not use this for any permanent stitching on a quilt.Waxed Silamide

Commercial Lint Roller:  Have you ever seen the quilter in your life covered in thread and lint?  They need this!  The handle is super sturdy, and I recommend the set with a dozen rolls.

Lint Roller

Quilters Select Rulers:  They somehow managed to come up with a rotary ruler that grips the fabric really well, has thin (and therefore accurate) lines, and is still translucent enough to see what is going on with the fabric under the ruler.  You can find a retailer on the Quilter’s Select website.

QS Ruler

Bobbins:  If you know the type of machine your favorite quilter has, I am certain they would appreciate some more bobbins- You can never have too many bobbins!

Bobbins

Gingher Rotary Cutter:  This is a sturdy rotary cutter that is available in both the right-handed and left-handed version.  The best part is when you do have to change the blade (they last a really long time!), it is set up so you never have to touch the blade.

Rotary Cutter

What quilt-y gift would you like to give or receive this year?

Lateral Ascension

Lateral Ascension is based on a simplified drafting of a spiral staircase.  Lateral refers to the suggestion of treads on the staircase, and ascension references the use of stairs to move to an upper level.

Lateral Ascension full

This quilt is a larger and even more simplified version of a spiral staircase mini quilt I did a couple years ago.  A spiral staircase is a really beautiful thing to look at in its drafted form.  The image below shows the beginning stages of drawing a front view of spiral stairs.

/Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Work for Michael/Shockheaded Pe

 

The horizontal lines of the stair treads are emphasized with matchstick quilting done in 12 weight thread in a color to match the fabric of the tread rectangle.  The remaining quilting is also comprised of horizontal lines.  In the background, every quarter inch is stitched in 50 weight thread to match the background.  Between many of these lines are rows of stitching in a variety of colors.  All of the primary and secondary colors are represented in the fabrics and/or thread in this piece.

Lateral Ascension detail

Some large stitch hand quilting is included between some rows of machine stitching.  This is intended to show the balance between the regimented appearance of architecture and the hand done craftsmanship that goes into producing it.

Quilt Stats:

Title:  Lateral Ascension

Size: 65″ x 74″

Techniques:  Machine Piecing

Quilting:  Walking foot quilting on a domestic Bernina 1008, Large stitch hand quilting

Fabric:  Kona Cottons

Batting:  Hobbs Tuscany Wool

Thread:  50wt Aurifil in multiple colors, 12wt Aurifil in three colors

Binding:  Facing in the same Kona as the backing

This quilt was entered into QuiltCon 2018

Taking Flight is in Modern Patchwork

Taking Flight is is a contemporary reinterpretation of the traditional Flock of Geese quilt block with an asymmetrical twist.  This quilt is now a project in the November/December 2017 issue of Modern Patchwork.

Taking Flight Magazine

I designed this quilt shortly after completing Overlay (post coming soon), so I was apparently really into the Flock of Geese Block.  The blocks are rather large- each large half square triangle (HST) measures 10″ square, meaning that a full block is 20″ square.  I had drafted the quilt in my usual AutoCad and did a lot of experimentation with possible color schemes.  My top two choices were citrus-y colors with a white background and a play of warm and cool colors with the red/orange/pink and a blue background.

Taking Flight Light Background Illustration

Taking Flight Dark Background Illustration

Both color ways were included in the magazine proposal, and I am thrilled that they liked the blue background the best.  I have done a lot of white backgrounds in the past few years, so it was exciting to work with a mid-value-range color scheme.

Taking Flight Front

The quilting in the warm colored areas is ruler work with a touch of free motion in a wishbone design.  The blue background is filled with mixed motif free motion quilting.  The feathers in these areas relate to the title- Taking Flight.

Taking Flight detail image

Here is the magazine cover so you know what to look for at the newsstand!

MP5_Cover copy

Quilt Stats:

Title:  Taking Flight

Size: 90″ x 100″

Techniques:  Machine Piecing

Quilting:  Mixed motif free motion quilting and Ruler work, all done on an A-1 Longarm

Fabric:  Kona Cotton in Deep Blue, Flame, Cardinal, Bright Pink

Batting:  Hobbs Tuscany Wool

Thread:  50wt Aurifil

Binding:  Bias binding in Deep Blue Kona, cut 2″ wide, machine stitched to the front and hand finished on the back

Entries for QuiltCon 2018

QuiltCon 2018 is coming up in February, and Thursday was the last day for entries.  I always end up having one quilt that I either:

1) Have to make by the deadline – or

2) Allow to grow from a small project to a big one.

My Michael Miller Challenge quilt was definitely the second.  It was going to be a small-ish wall quilt, but it ended up being a generous lap quilt at 63″x69″.

Complementary Composition full

“Overlay” is my second entry and is entered in the Modern Traditionalism category.  This was also my entry in the Riley Blake Challenge earlier this year.  I really hope this one gets in- it is a personal favorite!

Overlay full

For my negative space entry, I continued exploring the idea of highlighting the use of thread to tell the story of the design.

Pivoted Plaid full

“Lateral Ascension” is entered in the Minimalism category.  The design is inspired by the drafted front elevation of a spiral staircase.

Lateral Ascension full

Franklin Park/Greenery in the Garden” is the only quilt I have actually written a more in depth post about.  It is entered into the Improvisational category.

Franklin Park full

Even though there is now a maximum number of five quilts accepted per entrant, I couldn’t resist adding a sixth entry.  I would love to share it with you, but it is a piece of secret sewing, so I will have to wait (and so will you!)

I have been away from the blog for awhile, and I am really missing it.  In the hopes of encouraging myself to make it more of a habit to blog, I am going to try participating in the 31 Day Blog Challenge hosted by Cheryl Sleboda at muppin.com.

BlogChallengeYr3-1

 

Building Bridges: January BOM

2017 is going to be an exciting quilting year, and one of the projects I am most excited for is working with a local shop, Dabble and Stitch, on a block of the month program.  Throughout the year we will “travel” in and around Columbus, Ohio, creating blocks that are designed to represent the neighborhoods that make up the larger community.

We are starting the year with the block, Building Bridges, which is inspired by the Lane Avenue Bridge that crosses the Olentangy River on the Ohio State University Campus.building-bridges-block-copy

Bridges are more than physical structures- they create vibrant communities in areas that a natural divide could easily separate people into different social, economic, and cultural districts. The location of this bridge on a university campus is particularly notable since academic institutions bring people from around the world to live and study together.

As a cable stayed suspension bridge, the structure has a strong, dynamic lines that make it a notable architectural feature of the area.  The medallions on the bridge are super eye catching.  (I travel by this bridge each time I go to Dabble and Stitch, and I secretly hope to have to stop at the light leading up to it so I can stare for a minute!)lane-avenue-bridge-collage

When designing this series of blocks, I want to make them representative, but in an abstract manner- sort of like how a log cabin quilt block abstractly represents the building of an actual log cabin.  My hope is that people both in and outside of Columbus find these designs both attractive and inspiring.

Each section of the Building Bridges Block represents an aspect of the Lane Avenue bridge.  The Stripes on one half of the block represent the sidewalks and street, the Olentangy River, and the bright red center of the decorative medallions.  There are three pairs of cable lines to represent the three bridges that have stood at this location.bridge-block-with-notes

This block is even more exciting when it is created in multiples.  Every other block is constructed as a mirror image of the original, and a couple fabric placements alter position to create a sense of depth.  When a set of four blocks come together, they form a full square which symbolizes different communities coming together as one.

The table topper version is comprised of four blocks./Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Quilting/My Quilts/Block of the

16 blocks make up the baby or wall quilt./Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Quilting/My Quilts/Block of the

You will need 48 blocks to construct the Twin sized version./Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Quilting/My Quilts/Block of the

This pattern is available through Dabble and Stitch and includes instructions for a single block as well as the table topper, baby/wall quilt, and the twin sized version.  I am also very excited to be doing a class on this block next Sunday, January 15, so I hope to see some of you there!

I’m linking this post up with Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She.