Friday, 8 July 2016

Fruit Pie Potholders or Hotpads Tutorial

Last fall my mom was making a few of these for her local quilt show and sale. I thought they were pretty cool and have been keeping my eyes open for fruit themed fabric just in case I wanted to make a few.
Pear Pie Hot Pad or Pot Holder
At the end of May at Calgary's Heritage Park's Gathering of the Guilds quilt show, I found some great fruit fat quarters and they followed me home! I already had a tan colored fabric that could be used for the lattice pie crust, some insulbrite and cotton batting and a quick trip into Fabricland netted the shining heat resistant fabric (normally seen on ironing board covers) that would be the pie pan backing.

Cutting Directions: I'm not much for finding a pattern for something that I can figure out, so I made a circle template from a piece of cardboard that was about 9" in diameter. For each pie, I cut 1 fruit fabric, 1 insulbrite batting, 1 cotton batting and 1 shiny fabric from the circle pattern.
Pieces cut for pie pot holder
Then I cut myself some 1" strips for the lattice and pressed the long edges a scant 1/4" on each side, leaving me with a 1/2" wide strip to stitch to the top of the "pie". You will need eight pieces each at least 9" long for each pie.
Pie lattice
And if you want a loop to hang your pie, cut 1 piece of tan fabric 1.25" x 4". Take your piece of fabric, press in half lengthwise and then press both long edges to the centre fold you just made. Then press again in half lengthwise and top stitch the edge opposite the fold. Fold in half as shown and top stitch the side opposite the fold.
Hanging Loop
The next piece of the pie is the outer crust and I made some 2.25" bias binding to finish that edge up. You will need about 30" of bias binding per pie. (If you've never made bias binding before, just do a google search for Bias Binding Tutorial and you'll find some great YouTube tutorials.)
Adding lattice to top of pie
Step 1: Place cotton batting down with the fruit fabric on top. Using 8 pieces of fabric prepared for the lattice, weave 4 horizontal and 4 vertical pieces and space them out evenly in a way that looks good to you. I pinned my pieces down at each end to keep them from shifting before top stitching, but you could use a strip of fusible web or fabric glue and that would work just as well. Just remember if you are using pins to remove them before your sewing machine sews over them!
Top stitching lattice on pie
Using an even feed foot on your machine and tan thread to match your fabric, top stitch the lattice to your pie fabric/cotton batting. Trim the "crust" to your pie's circle shape.
Trim lattice to pie shape
Baste around all four pie layers
Step 2: Place the shiny heat resistant fabric wrong side up, add your circle of insulbrite batting and top with your pie filling completed in Step 1. Taking care that your edges line up, pin around the outside edge. Machine baste with 1/8" seam and large stitch length around the outside edge catching all four layers in your stitching.
Adding hanging loop

Checking placement of hanging loop (You'll want to do this before stitching!)
Step 3 (optional): Adding the hanging loop.  and stitch to the backside of your layered pie. Before stitching, make sure that the hanging loop is placed where you want it from the front.
Pinning bias binding to pie backing
Step 4: Binding. Take your 2.25" binding strip and press in half lengthwise. Pin around the outer edge of your pie on the backside, leaving about 4-5" unpinned on each end as shown. The bias binding should curve nice and easy around the circle and you'll want to pin every inch or so.
Measure 2.25" from end of bias binding
 Mark 2.25" from one end of the binding with a pin.
Pin the end of the binding strip to your pie
 Leaving the 2.25 pin just in the binding, pin the end of the binding strip to your pie.
Overlap other end of binding to 2.25" pin
Overlap the other end of the binding and trim to the 2.25" pin so you have an overlap of 2.25".
Remove all pins from binding ends
Unpin the end and remove the 2.25" pin. (You may need to remove a few more pins to get the next step done!)
Pinning the binding for the join
 Open up the binding and pin as shown. It may feel a little awkward if you've never done this before, but it will give you a nice finished edge with no noticeable joint. If you're having troubles, just remove a few more pins or fold the pie a little.
Stitching the join
 Stitch a diagonal seam as shown.
Trimming the seam on the join
Trim as shown. Press seam open and then refold this section of binding in half lengthwise.
Bias binding pinned around pie
Finish pinning around the entire pie!
Stitch with 1/4" seam
Stitch around the binding with 1/4" seam, removing pins one at a time as you go, all around. Go slowly and the bias binding will lie flat - if you hurry it will stretch and you'll have a lump of binding at the end you will need to ease in.
Turning binding to the top and top stitching
Turn binding toward the front of your pie and top stitch down with a tan thread on top and a gray thread on the bottom to match your pie plate! You'll have to stretch the binding a bit to cover the stitching and if you find it a little hard, you can always trim away a bit of the bulk around the edge. I like the look of a stuffed binding, so don't mind having to do a bit of stretching!
Finished edge
And ta-da! Finished! I can't wait to use mine for fresh pie this summer!
Optional hanging loop
The hanging loop lies flat on the back when your pie pot holder is being used.
Blueberry Pie Pot Holder or Hot Pad

Blueberry Pie Pot Holder or Hot Pad

Blueberry Pie Pot Holder or Hot Pad Front

Blueberry Pie Pot Holder or Hot Pad Back
Let me know how your pie making goes!

Monday, 4 July 2016

Baby Quilts!

Baby quilts continue to be a popular item at Magpie Quilts on Etsy. And these ones are so adorable, it's easy to see why.

This first one is the result of a quilt guild mystery that we did over the course of the winter. The 30's reproduction fabrics blend together well and the pattern really looks great in the pastel shades with the white background.
Vintage Look Baby Quilt - FOR SALE!
 The second one is a pretty basic quilt with what I had left of Dr. Seuss fabrics. Never underestimate a simple pattern and awesome fabrics. This one was sold before I could get it listed!
Dr. Seuss Baby Quilt - SOLD!
 And this last one is a rail fence pattern. This second picture shows the fabrics a little better. I've always loved this pattern and the zig zag diagonals it makes across a quilt. Very traditional baby blue quilt!
Baby Blue Rail Fence Quilt - FOR SALE!
Baby Blue Rail Fence Quilt Detail

What do you like to see in a baby quilt? Do you lean towards traditional pastel colors or do you like bright primary colors?


Saturday, 7 May 2016

Top finished!

Just thought I'd update you on the progress of the quilt top in the last post. Here's the completed top! 
I found a great medium rose fabric that brings both the pieced middle and the outer borders together even though they are from different fabric lines. And I have a grey-green for the border! 

And I've used up almost the entire piece I had for the outer border - just a couple small (2.5"x10" maybe?) pieces left! 

Working through my stash! 


Wednesday, 27 April 2016

WIP Wednesday - Something old, Something new

Something Old:
This week had me pulling out a package of fabrics left from a previous quilting project. The more interesting prints of this fabric bundle were mostly used up, so the challenge was to make something with the more bland (IMO) prints that were left.
Layout Number 1
I started by using squares already cut to make 1/2 square triangles. Then I took two very similar fabrics (same pattern, different color) and made some 4-patch blocks.
Layout Number 2
Then I cleared my design wall and played and rearranged the pieces until I had an arrangement that I liked.

Layout Number 3
Which layout do you like the best? This only makes a piece that is 36" x 48", so I will still have to come up with some borders to make it a lap size quilt or larger.

Something New:
The other project on my design wall is a Christmas tree skirt using a wedge ruler. I am using the 10 degree ruler for this one and am beginning to see all kinds of possibilities for using this and the 9 degree ruler for making circle quilts.
The fabrics I chose were just something I had on hand - bought long ago without a plan and just enough to make one tree skirt.
Strip sets were sewn together, then wedges cut and then it was time to see how it all looked! Can't wait to finish this one and then try again with different fabrics.


Monday, 25 April 2016

Scrappy Double Irish Chain Quilt

As much as I like quilts that are made from a single fabric line, my true love in quilting is to make quilts from scraps. For me, it's a closer connection to the roots of quilting, where women (and some men) used fabrics from worn clothing to make warm coverings for their families.
The pieces of a double Irish chain quilt
 This scrappy double Irish chain quilt has been in progress for a while. When I have scraps from quilt projects that are smaller than 6" square, I will cut them into 1.5", 2" & 2.5" squares that I collect in see through plastic containers. When I feel inspired to make something scrappy, I can just go to these tubs and start sewing!
Sunflower Scrappy Irish Chain
This quilt is what I would call co-ordinated scrappy! Most of the squares are totally random colors - you will find everything from pastel to Christmas to civil war to batiks and many more, but the yellow squares were placed specifically to make the diagonal lines of the traditional Irish chain pop out. I did not have enough yellows in my scraps to make all these blocks, but it was easy enough to use a few larger pieces of yellow fabric to make up what I needed.

And then I had this wonderful sunflower fabric from a friend that makes a perfect border! This quilt is now off to Blueberry Hill Quilts to be quilted and I'm looking forward to getting it back and getting some awesome outside photos to share with you!