mandalei quilts

Quilts & Longarm Services


In case you missed it, my interview with Pat Sloan is in the archives and ready for listening!  You can find it here, at American Patchwork and Quilting Radio or on Pat’s website here.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  We talk about my quilts, quilting, and my book.

 

happy quilting, y’all!

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Today at 4:00 EST, I will be a guest of Pat Sloan’s on American Patchwork and Quilting Radio! I hope you can join in and listen, as I talk about a ton of different things related to quilting and my own work.  Pat does a fantastic show!1 APQPodCastBlogButtonsGuest250

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1 APQPodCastBlogButtonsGuest250

I hope you have some free time Monday June 22 at 4:00 P.M. EST to listen in, because I am going to be a guest on American Patchwork and Quilting with Pat Sloan! I’ll be talking about my life as a quilter, and talk a little bit about the book and other stuff, too.  I am nervous and excited all at once. I’ve been listening to Pat’s podcasts for a long time!

And now, my other news.  A couple of weeks ago, I sent one of my quilts out to the NQA show.  This quilt, “Eggs and Darts”, is one of the ones in my book Wanderlust Quilts, and I love it.  One of my goals is always to be a little better than I was on the quilt before, and I had heard that the judges there at NQA were thoughtful and serious and I wanted some comments about things I could do better. Imagine my surprise when I saw this on Christa Watson’s Instagram feed:

Screenshot_2015-06-18-13-18-50

 

That ribbon was for First in the Modern category!  I almost passed out.  I had designed and quilted this, and my dear friend Sue Bishop helped me out with the construction because the book was on such a tight deadline.  I couldn’t have gotten all my projects finished in time without her.  What a week!  Hope yours is full of quilt goodness!

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Two types of monograms!  I explain how to cut the templates out below.

I have two types of monograms ready for you! “Circle within a circle” on the left, and “straight up” on the right.  I explain how to cut the templates out below.

 

This free wool applique project, a monogram for a small monogram for  a pillow or wall hanging, teaches you some basic techniques that I like to use for wool applique.  In it, I will share how I make and use basic freezer paper patterns and some of the little details that help make your project look really nice and neat.

A note about the templates I’ve provided: Many of these letters include the basic shapes you will want to practice, such as interior and exterior corners, and convex and concave curves.

 

Supplies

I have beautiful wool precuts and Valdani perle cotton threads in bright modern colors over in my etsy shop, as well as notions to get you started! The bundles are the perfect size for these monograms.

  • freezer paper for making templates
  • a printout of your letter of choice.  There are four font choices for each letter and I am providing a link to a dropbox folder where you can find them all. These are PDF files so uncheck “fit to page” to make sure they print at full size.
  • serrated scissors
  • Enough wool for the background circle (the outer circle is 7 1/2″ in diameter, so just slightly larger). If you wanted to use cotton fabric, that would be cute, too!  Just use applique techniques for cotton to attach it to your backing.
  • Enough of a single color wool for the design (at least 7″ square for the monograms)

The Monogram printout

To begin, find the letter you’d like to use. Each monogram looks like this:
sampleDiagram

 

For the “Circle Within a Circle” version:

You will need two contrasting colors of wool for this, or a cotton print background for the outer circle, and wool for the inner circle + monogram.  I will only be providing directions for preparing the wool-on-wool version

1) Print out your image 100%.  Place your freezer paper over this paper-side up, and using a fine tip permanent marker or pencil, trace both the outer and inner circles and the outline of your letter. These will be your cutting lines. A lightbox or window might be helpful with this.  TIP: I choose not to cut the template out along the circle at this point, since I think you get crisper edges and a smoother cut if the freezer paper stabilizes the wool on either side of the line.

2) With a hot dry iron, press your template onto your wool background shiny side against the right side of the wool. This may take a bit of pressing, and pay particular care to making sure the freezer paper is well-adhered where the cutting lines are.

3) Using serrated scissors for best results, carefully cut out the outer circle.  Run your finger along the edge and see if there are any high spots that need to be trimmed away.

4) Peel off the template, and iron it shiny side down as before to the wool piece you picked for the negative space monogram. Cut out the interior circle and again feel to see if there are any high spots.

You can see the first three steps here.  Note that I have left an overhang on the outer edge.

The freezer paper on either side of my cutting line is key to having a nice stable cutting surface.

5)  Cut out the letter by snipping a hole in the center of the letter, and carefully snipping your way to the outer edge of the letter.  Take care here with the points and curves.  Make sure that you don’t snip too far into any of the interior corners!

begin snip

I snip a hole right in the middle away from important edges and points.

Working in small sections, I cut out a bit at a time.

Working in small sections, I cut out a bit at a time.

6) Once I have the entire thing cut out, I attend to the points.  For me, if the points are too sharp, and I know the angle is too narrow for a nice stitch, I will round them off:

Monogramletterpoint

I’ll take a pen or pencil and sketch in a bit of a curve to cut off these points.

These will be much easier to stitch!

These will be much easier to stitch!

7) Once you are satisfied, peel off the freezer paper and center your inner monogram circle on your outer circle, and use pins or glue basting to hold it in place.  I, personally, glue baste because I don’t like snagging myself on pins.  I run a thin bead of washable school glue about 1/4″ in from the edges and heat set with an iron. After this, you’re ready to stitch!

I like to go around all the edges, about 1/4".

I like to go around all the edges, about 1/4″.

To Prepare the Stand-Alone Monogram Version

Many of these directions are the same as above.

1) Print out your image 100%.  Place your freezer paper over this paper-side up, and using a fine tip permanent marker or pencil, trace both the inner circle and the outline of your letter. These will be your cutting lines. A lightbox or window might be helpful with this.  TIP: I choose not to cut the template out along the circle at this point, since I think you get crisper edges and a smoother cut if the freezer paper stabilizes the wool on either side of the line.

2) Iron the freezer paper to the fabric you picked for your background, shiny side down. Cut out the circle along the cutting line, and use your finger to feel if there are any spots that need to be smoothed out.

3) Peel off the template and trim the leftover freezer paper about 1/4″ shy of the exterior edge of your letter, leaving enough freezer paper for a nice, neat cut.

4) Iron it shiny side down to the second wool piece you chose for your letter.

5) Cut out your letter, giving particular care to points, curves, and interior corners. Be careful not to clip into the corners!  This will make your thread “sink” into the cut and your stitch will look as if it is lost.

Be super careful not to snip into these interior points! I gave myself a bit of slack here, and will go back and carefully snip out that corner.

Be super careful not to snip into these interior points! I gave myself a bit of slack here, and will go back and carefully snip out that corner.

6) Peel off the freezer paper, center your monogram letter onto the background, and baste in place, as above. Now you’re ready to applique!

My next wool applique post will be on the basic blanket stitch by hand as well as machine applique, and some sweet notions to help make for a fun experience.

My other posts on wool applique:
Introduction to Wool Applique: Part 1
Wool Applique: Finding your wools and threads

 

 

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“Fair Day”

“Fair Day”


Posted By on May 15, 2015

Well, I may not be at Quilt Market, but I am happy to have something hanging there!  I recently finished a quilt pattern for RJR Fabrics called “Fair Day”, made with the line “Pie Making Day” by Brenda Ratliffe of Pink Castle Fabrics.  The sashing is all 1 1/2″ finished HSTs, and the pattern will be available for free on the RJR site soon!  I’ll let you know when that goes live.  The finished quilt is 72 1/2″ x 72 1/2″. I can’t wait for this one to come back to me!

But for now, I can satisfy myself by looking at pictures.

"Fair Day", quilt pattern by Amanda Leins For RJR Fabrics

“Fair Day”, quilt pattern by Amanda Leins For RJR Fabrics

fairdaymarket

 

fairdayclose

This is actually a much older quilt, the “Linton Block”. When I first saw it flipping through a collection of old blocks, I new it would look great with wild amounts of color! The original block is smaller, so I resized it so that the HSTs would be able to be cut using any one of the die cutters (that really saves a ton of time and helps with accuracy!) My favorite part about this quilt is that all the seams nest, which is one of the reasons the points turned out so nicely.  I’m submitting it to the Blogger’s Quilt Festival at Amy’s Creative Side in the Large Quilt Category.  Please check out all the quilts (and vote for me if you’re so inclined, ha!)

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When Cheryl Sleboda first mentioned she was thinking about having a blog hop for studio cleanup, I knew I needed to be on it.  I had started transforming my sewing space into a for-reals studio for my longarm quite a few months ago, and needed the motivation to get it finished.  Other deadlines had been taking precedence, but its half-finished state was a major thorn.  This room has been used for five different things: Ben’s office, a toy/play area, my sewing room, and now it is my longarm studio. I am totally going to set ego aside and show you how bad it looked after I had finished writing my book:

At the time, this was "moderately clean".  It had been a whirlwind 4 months of writing the book.

At the time, this was “moderately clean”. It had been a whirlwind 4 months of writing the book.  The green on the walls and the area rug are left over from the previous room usages.

This was in October 2014.  The following stages all took place in October and November 2014, and then… it sat for a bit.

First, I wanted better cabinets that weren’t cobbled together from years of mismatched furniture.  These are the Billy series from Ikea.  We took the mismatched bits out, painted that section, then put the cabinets in and started refilling them.

springclean7

this is what is behind the closed door on the left:

springclean4

My fella is the best thing that ever happened to me.  He was a huge help and drove to IKEA 3 hours away, picked up the cabinets, and drove back immediately just for this.  I am probably adult ADHD, so organizational stuff and cleaning can sometimes literally manifest itself as feeling like ants are crawling all over me and I have to get! out!  but he really helps me to stay on task.

springclean3

springclean8

 

 

I donated about 200 yards of fabric to various causes.

I donated about 200 yards of fabric to various causes. Not everything in this picture 😉  I still have 300-400 yards left, I guess.

And from this point, this is where it sat since about December 2014:

springclean1

 

SO, given the timeline of this Spring Clean hop, here is where I’m at now!  I finished painting, and reorganized my shelves so that I could have a shipping station and better storage for all my longarm stuff (and realized I have a bit of a template collection).  Of course, it had gotten back to being messy first, so I had to clean that up, but here is the finished series:

Ta daaaaa! walls are painted and blinds are taken down!

Ta daaaaa! walls are painted and blinds are taken down!

Fabric folded: smaller cuts up top, big cuts on bottom.  I have my photo stuff and collapsing design wall in the cabinet at left.

Fabric folded: smaller cuts up top, big cuts on bottom. I have my photo stuff and collapsing design wall in the cabinet at left.

Shipping station and quilt storage as they wait in the queue.

Shipping station and quilt storage as they wait in the queue.

inspiration wall

inspiration wall

looking back from the opposite corner.

looking back from the opposite corner.

It’s still not perfect or completely finished, but the biggest needs I had have been met, and I am really happy with the results.  Thanks for checking it out!  Here are the links on the blog hop, go and see other people’s befores and afters!  I love seeing how other people have themselves set up.

May 7 Kathy Matthews http://www.chicagonow.com/quilting-sewing-creating/
May 8 Misty Cole Http://www.dailydesignwall.blogspot.com
May 9 Heather Kinion http://heatherkinion.com/
May 10 Jessica Darling http://jessicakdarling.com/
May 11 Lisa Blevis Filion http://upstatelisa.blogspot.com/
May 12 Peta Minerof-Bartos http://www.thenotsewguiltyquilter.blogspot.com/
May 13 Mandy Leins http://mandalei.com/
May 14 Amalia Teresa Parra Morusiewicz http://funfromatoz.com/
May 15 Sam Hunter http://huntersdesignstudio.com/
May 16 Debby Ritenbaugh Brown http://higheredhands.blogspot.com/
May 17 Debbie Kleve Berkebile http://www.mountaintrailquilttreasure.blogspot.com/
May 18 Michelle Mattingly http://stitchesofjoi.blogspot.com/
May 19 Cheryl Sleboda http://blog.muppin.com

Thanks, y’all!

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I am pleased as punch to announce the winner of Quick Change!  Thanks to everyone for leaving a commment, and I hope you’ll share your projects when you’re ready.

Drumroll please:

 

random

Number 32!  Terri!  Who said “I am working on piecing some table runners for spring and summer. Your design is beautiful! Thanks for the chance to win.”  Terri, I am sending your email to Martingale and they will contact you with your download code!  Congratulations!

Now, for other announcements, I have sold my longarm and will be organizing delivery for a new one so that there will be no gap in coverage, so to speak.  I cannot wait!  I will be the new owner of a BERNINA Q24!  There are some time-critical quilts to finish first, and then the transfer will begin!

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Quick Change Blog Hop and Giveaway!

Quick Change Blog Hop and Giveaway!


Posted By on May 4, 2015

A compilation by Karen Burns at Martingale

A compilation by Karen Burns at Martingale

Lately I’ve been falling for quilts of different sizes.  I love making bed quilts for using and giving away, but they can really take up resources and time that, right now, I seem to have less and less of.  That’s why, when Martingale asked me to submit a design for their compilation of bedrunners, I said, “of course!”

The quilts I make are usually a journal of the kinds of things that are interesting to me at the time.  As I recall, I was desperately searching for beautiful flowers to pin since it was in the middle of winter, and I was feeling the lack of sunshine and green things.  I also have a long love affair with Art Nouveau and Art Deco.  At that time, the colors that really spoke to me came from this flower bouquet

Those pale pinks, peaches, and greens with that rust and bright blue?  Can't resist this palette.

Those pale pinks, peaches, and greens with that rust and bright blue? Can’t resist this palette.

At the time, I was also in love with how  chains were linked in the jewelry from Dec and Nouveau pieces.  In particular, I was looking at this bracelet, that was sold at Christie’s at auction in 2009.  It is by J.E. Caldwell, and was made in 1930.

Image from Christie's auction site.

Image is from Christie’s auction site, link above.

The interlocked links with the difference shapes cross over really appealed to me, and together with the light and summery colors from the fabrics I chose (thanks to Art Gallery’s great collection of blenders), a quilted bed runner was born.
FINALS B1316.indd

 

I also wanted to play up the feel of the Art Deco Style with the quilting, using the big areas to make marquis-like shapes and then adding flowers and swirls to the prints.  The binding I wanted that bright purple color because, on our bed, there is a lot of white just as in this photo, and I wanted the bed runner to have a frame around it so it stood out more.

If you want to see the other bed runners in this book, check out the Martingale shop!  Martingale is also offering a chance to win Quick Change as an e-book.  To enter, leave a comment below telling me what you’re working on right now OR a comment with a burning question you might have about quilting (I’ll answer these after the hop is over!).  For me, I’m designing new patterns, and I really want to know where to buy giant sheets of freezer paper.  One comment only, please!  The giveaway for my stop will be over Saturday 5/9/2015 at 5:00 PM EST.

For more chances to win and to see who else has contributed Follow the Quick Change blog hop for fun designer Q&A’s, plus more chances to win the eBook!

Tuesday, April 28: Blog-hop kickoff at Stitch This!

Wednesday, April 29: Kimberly Jolly and Jocelyn Ueng at Fat Quarter Shop

Thursday, April 30: Heather Andrus & Megan Jimenez at Quilt Story

Friday, May 1: Brigitte Heitland at Zen Chic

Saturday, May 2: Heidi Pridemore at the Whimsical Workshop Studio

Monday, May 4: Amanda Leins at Mandalei

Tuesday, May 5: Doug Leko at Antler Quilt Design

Wednesday, May 6: Audrie Bidwell at Blue is Bleu

Thursday, May 7: Stephanie Prescott giveaway via Facebook

 

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