Friday, June 29, 2012

Graduation time

This is the best graduation gift you can give to those kids going off to college, or a new job, or apartment life.

I have made this T-shirt quilt many times and I am always amazed by the variety of shirts that I get when I request the t-shirts for the project.

It is a simple project, easy and something you can do with the recipient if you want to include them.
  • at least 35 t-shirts for a twin size quilt. But don’t forget you can use other kinds of shirts too.
  • 7-8 yards of backing fabric. This is the perfect place to use up leftover fabric, or buy 7-8 yards of different fabrics for a nice variety on the back. I live in the north so often I use flannel for the back.
  • a twin size batting
  • a serger or zigzag machine stitch
  1. Start out by using that big 15” square we all have and cut out both front and backs of the t-shirts. Leave a little extra around the edges, because you will square it up later.
  2. Do the same on the backing fabric and the batting.
  1. Divide the shirts into piles of light and dark
  2. Divide the fabric for the back into two piles one will only go on the back of only light squares and one will only go on the back of dark squares. You want to divide up the backing fabric into two different piles so you will have different fabrics on the darks and completely different fabrics on the light t-shirt piles, that will go either on one or the either so when you start to arrange the squares for the finally layout, if you do a light/dark checkerboard arrangement of the t-shirts on the front you won’t get any repeat fabrics next to each other on the back.
  1. Make individual sandwiches with the t-shirts, batting and backing fabric. I do all of them at once and that way when I start quilting I just have to pick one up and go.
  2. Spray the batting with 505 spray adhesive before you layer the t-shirt on the top of it. This will keep the t-shirts from slipping around while you quilt them.
  3. Once the squares are all quilted, square them up again to an exact 15” square, or 14”. It really doesn’t matter as long as they are all the same size.
  4. Lay them out on the floor to look at and arrange the colors. Can you see the Hawaiian shirt on the left side of the above picture. They don’t have to be all t-shirts.
Serge the rows together in a chain stitching fashion. Once all the rows are together I put on a traditional binding made from the left over fabrics of the backing fabric.

These quilts really wear like iron and are great fun. They also are not so precious that if they get ruined at collage you don't feel bad about it.

I think it would be a fun idea to display this at the graduation party and let the recipient’s friends sign the quilt with a sharpie marker.

If you run short of t-shirts you can always use the backs of the shirts. Sometimes the logos on the back are more interesting anyway.
I  have to say I love this project.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Well just the end of June’s special. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to get TWO half yards of my most popular fabrics for just $20.
It is going to be HOT today. A great day to be inside quilting.
Happy Quilting DAY.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Understanding Thread Tension


I started sewing when I was 7 or 8 years old.

And like many girls at that age I was interested in stuffed animals, dolls and making clothes and outfits and homes and living spaces for all of them.

I really didn’t get interested in making clothes until I was in college.

BUT I have always wanted to make quilts.

One of the first magazines I ever subscribed to was Threads magazine.

Threads not only has articles about fashion and making clothes, but it has always been a pioneer in creative thinking related to sewing. NOT a craft magazine but a creative magazine.

I came across this article on their website about machine tension.

In my machine quilting classes people are always asking me about this subject.

Click on the link and go take a look.

Learn how to use the tension devices on your sewing machine and how to thread for proper tension.

I think you can print the article as well. It is a great resource to have in the drawer of your sewing cabinet, or even on your computer, if you can remember what file you put it in Smile

Happy SEWING today.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fusing for Fun, Liberation and Freedom

I don’t know if I ever mentioned why I fuse my quilts.

It has become so much of what I do I don’t think about the reasons anymore.
But maybe you would like to hear my reasoning.

I really, really, like the freedom fusing gives me in creating imagery.

I started out as a traditional quilter. Piecing and hand quilting.

But I kept getting ideas that just didn’t translate well with traditional pieced methods.

I begin to create these ideas with my own hand dyed fused fabrics.

I was just too impatient to hand turn my applique. And come on these are pieces that are going to hang on a wall not be laid on a bed.

Why oh why did I have to finish the edges. The fused applique if applied correctly isn’t going to come unstuck and I don’t NEED or WANT to wash my art.

So there it is in a nutshell, fast, efficient and fun. Liberated quilting.

If it isn’t fun you shouldn’t do it!! That’s my motto and I’m sticking (pun) to it!

Happy Monday.Press ON!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Blooming Fun and Field Poppies


Two of the other classes I taught at NQA in Columbus were Field Poppies and Blooming Fun.

It is always fun to see just how creative my students are.

I learn just as much from them as they do from me.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Frieda’s Free Motion Machine Quilting Class

I recently returned from teaching in Columbus OH at the 42nd NQA show.

Here is a glimpse into one of my classes.

A look at Free Motion Machine Quilting class with Frieda Anderson

Monday, June 18, 2012

Crinkly Wrinkly To Dye For

This is what happens when you leave a book outside too long:
I was so grateful when I discovered I could still open it up and read all the pages.
They are crinkly and bent but. . .
I can still get all the wonderful information I need!
I'm actually surprised there aren't more dye stains on the pages.
ACTUALLY, this is what my own notebook kind of looks like. It has dye finger prints all over it, and spill marks and water stains. The hazards of the trade.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Blooming Fun

I recently taught my 1/2 day class - Blooming Fun.

I thought you would enjoy seeing the process. This class is fun and fast and everyone always has a good time making the little quilt. The finished quilt measures. 16” x 20”.

Blooming Fun Fused Art Quilt

Monday, June 11, 2012

It is all about the work.


I saw an interview last night with Warren Buffett, and of course they were asking him all kinds of questions about investing and his life, you know the usual stuff … but the one thing that really struck me about the interview was Mr. Buffett talking about visiting colleges and talking to students.

He tells them that the one thing he thinks is so important is to figure out what you like to do and then make that your job, goal, mission in life. You will always be happy if you are doing what you love.

As Joseph Campbell says “Follow your Bliss.”

I think I am living my dream. I knew at a very young age I wanted to work with textiles. I have made all kinds of things, always working with my hands and figuring out how to do something that interest me.

And when it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to, reworking it until it did.

Perseverance is the KEY to success I believe.

I hope you are successful with your work and life today, and when frustration, aggravation and circumstances get in your way I hope you take a long breath, close your eyes and envision the life you want to lead.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Color me happy

When I am dyeing fabric I am a happy camper.
I love working with color, either I am making the color or putting it in my quilts.
Bare Naked Trees

Here are a few more things to HELP you when you are dyeing fabric.
I use
  • Regular measuring units, cups and teaspoons and tablespoons. Not from the kitchen but just for this.
  • I use hot water to mix my dyes and a blender to mix them in.
  • I use six quart bottles to hold all the dye.
  • I use 12 squirt bottles to apply the dye directly.
  • I use several flat “platters” made from styro-foam to apply the dye directly.

Don’t you just want to EAT IT UP!!

Abstract II
Gotta have COLOR!

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