Wednesday, February 20, 2013

 I hope you are finding my new site and visiting over there.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Quilter's Calendar


Hi everyone. I have moved my blog to wordpress, my blog and website are now all in one place.
Please go to to view my musings and check out my website. See you there.
If the curser takes you to my old webpage home page hit the refresh button.
If you have been a blog follower you can still sign up on my new site. Thanks

If you know the program chair at your quilt guild or another guild please share this!!!
The Quilter’s Calendar is a brand new website that connects quilters and guilds with quilt teachers, using an easily searchable online calendar
Instead of having to search through every quilt teacher’s website, looking for opportunities to book that teacher or attend a class, quilters and guild members can use the calendar, which is searchable by state or province, to see quilt teachers that are scheduled in their state/province or nearby. Guilds can then contact the teacher to book them to their guild, sharing expenses between guilds. That means less expenses and more opportunities for classes for guilds and their members.
Quilters can easily see what events, classes, retreats and shows are happening in their state, month by month.
Teachers can submit their teaching engagements for free, and by being visible on the calendar they can enjoy higher attendance and increase their opportunity to receive “piggy back” teaching engagements.
Visit today to see what’s happening near you!
BACKGROUND: How this site got its start:
Maggie Ball and Marguerita McManus are both authors of quilt books, published by Krause Publications, an imprint of F&W Media. They met at Quilt Market, Houston, 2007. Maggie freely shared her experiences as a professional author and traveling teacher with novice author Marguerita and Marguerita happily shared her marketing tips with Maggie. A friendship was born that regularly has each author sharing tips as she learns them.
Marguerita branched off into self-publishing and Maggie pursued a busy and rewarding traveling itinerary. They shot video together and learned about using it to enhance their presence in the quilting community.
Maggie's desire to increase her bookings led to some interesting conversations, reminding Marguerita of just how difficult it is for quilt guilds to find teachers to host for their guild classes. Bringing in a 'famous teacher' is a big expense to most guilds, something that most do only once or twice a year because of the expense. Getting guild members to agree on a teacher is another hurdle. Some guild members who might have had a chance to meet a quilt teacher at a show or other event can describe a teacher to the guild committee (and "make the sale", convincing the guild to book the teacher) but that only works just so often. Some guild members might be familiar with a teacher's books, and use them as a way of "presenting" the teacher's portfolio to the guild, but again, that's a hit-or-miss technique. Seriously, it's hard to understand just how any teacher ever gets a booking!
Marguerita remembered her experiences with her guild, and how difficult it was to convince a group of quilters how to spend a majority of their annual teaching budget, and how difficult it was to have the materials to convince the members that a certain teacher was worth having, especially when several members each wanted their favorite teacher booked.
Making matters even more difficult, a teacher's schedule may not be compatible with the guild's calendar! Guild members have to go from teacher website to teacher website, looking for links to their teaching schedules, hoping for a good match. Talk about work! Once a teacher has a contract to teach for a guild, both the teacher and the booking guild often approach other nearby guilds to see if the nearby guild would also like to book the teacher, thereby sharing traveling expenses (between the two guilds) and giving the teacher and additional engagement. BUT, that's a lot of work, and many times the nearby guilds were already contracted with another teacher.
What if there were a single site, with all teacher engagements, that all guilds could refer to, to find and book teacher? For free? Wouldn't that benefit both the teachers {more engagements} and guilds {more chances to coordinate with other guilds and save money}. Sounds good, right?
Loving a challenge, Marguerita dove in. With a solid background in creating websites to serve quilters and designers/authors Marguerita had a good idea of what was needed but no idea of how to create the right site, but she went looking. She found an awesome plug-in, designed for Wordpress, her favorite platform, and a clean looking theme and she got started.
By allowing teachers, show organizers and retreat organizers to advertise here Marguerita hopes to provide a good resource to traveling quilters and recoup some of the expenses of building and maintaining the site.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

I have moved

Hi everyone. I have moved my blog to wordpress, my blog and website are now all in one place.
Please go to to view my musings and check out my website. See you there.
If the curser takes you to my old webpage home page hit the refresh button.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Spring Basket


I wanted to share the steps to making Cathy’s Baskets.

This quilt is 35” square so it is the perfect size to hang on the wall or to become a table topper.

I made a 10” square pattern for my basket design from freezer paper.

I like working this way, it allows me freedom as well as guide lines to work from. 

I find it is much easier to square things up after I have pieced them and if I start with a guide I get better results.

Supplies for this project are:
  • 2 yards of gradation Raspberry fabric
  • 1 yard of Limey Avocado fabric
  • Freezer paper
  • mechanical pencil
  • glue stick
  • 40” square piece of batting
  • 1 yard of backing fabric
  • Quilting thread of choice

I drew my pattern on the mat side of a piece of freezer paper. 

  • I marked out a 10” square and divided it in half in both directions. 
  • I  marked my basket triangle on the bottom half leaving about an 1 1/2” from the bottom to add two triangles for the base. This can vary. 
  • I made sure I left between 1/5” – 1” from the edge of the square for the triangle basket.
  • I cut out all the shapes right on the inside line to use as templates as I make the baskets.
  • I left 1/2" on the outside as extra to be trimmed away later when I square up the blocks.

To get started:

I started by dividing up the Limey Avocado fabric into five strips. 

I just cut it apart where the fabric changed color. 
This will become my baskets, handles and part of the stripy units on the border.

To Start:
  • Cut the green sections into 2-3" wide strips. 
  • Sew two strips of green together with a 1/4" seam. 
  • Cut each of these units randomly at an angle
  • Add another piece of green to the random angle to create very scrappy looking basket pieces.
  • Make 10 of these units.
  • Cut out the base triangles from these units, allowing a 1/4” seam allowance all the way around the freezer paper shape.
    • Place the shiny side of the freezer paper against the front of the fabric and press with a hot dry iron.
    • Use a rotary cutter and ruler to cut around the paper pattern.

I used my dress makers curve to create a smooth arched handle on my freezer paper pattern.
  • Cut out the exact shape of the handle from the freezer paper. 
  • Place the freezer paper template shiny side against the fabric and ironed it to the fabric.
    • Use these freezer paper templates over and over again for all the baskets.
  • Cut out the rest of the basket templates from the freezer paper. 
  • Leave a 1/2” seam allowance around the outside edge of the drawing but cut exactly on the lines for the inside pattern shapes.
Place the freezer paper templates on the raspberry fabric.

The Raspberry fabric grades from light to dark. I place my templates to utilize the gradation and work from the light end to the dark end as I create each row of three baskets.
  • For the top two templates that will create the area for the handle cut out leaving  a 1/2” seam allowance on the inside and outside of each section.
  • Cut out the inside curved areas using a rotary cutter. Leave a 1/2” seam allowance. You need a more than 1/4” seam to glue and sew these sections.
  • Use a pencil and mark the inside curve right next to the paper on the top pink section and the bottom of the green handle. This is the pressed seamed line that will be your sewing line. I also mark the bottom edge of the pattern pieces to give me a guide when I go to trim up the bottom finished edge of this top unit.
I don’t have to mark it with a pencil but I find it helps me see the line better when sewing the curve.

In order to glue all of the curved pieces together before sewing I clip all of the seam allowances about a 1/2” apart around the curve. Make sure not to go right to the edge of the paper when clipping.

Finger press this seam back against the paper and finally press it with a hot dry iron. I don't glue any of these seams to the paper.
  • Do this to all three pieces of the top of the basket section, the top, the handle and the bottom half circle under the handle.
I will clip and press all of the seam allowances of the curved areas against the paper templates.  

Notice that I drew a center line down the middle of the pattern so that when I go to alien all of my pieces I have a mark to guide me.
  • Run the glue stick along the turned back edge of the top pink basket section seam (the edge facing you).
  • Alien the green handle piece snug right under the top pink section.
  • Open up the top edge of the green handle piece and using a hot iron press this seam over the top of pink top section seam securing them together.  The glue will hold the pieces together for sewing.
Do the same thing with the bottom pink 1/2 circle that completes the bottom of the top handle section.
  • Run the glue stick along the top of the turned back edge of the bottom of the green handle.
  • Line up the pink circle under the green handle piece.
  • Open up the pink pressed edge to lay over the top of the bottom of the pressed curve of the green handle .
  • Press these two seams together using a hot dry iron
  • This will secure the bottom pink section to the bottom of the green handle.

Once these pressed seams have cooled carefully remove the freezer paper templates.
You can use these paper templates again on all the basket squares.
  • Sew these sections together placing the green handle section against the sewing bed and the top pink section up to see the pencil or fold line that you will sew on.
  • Sew slowly and carefully along the fold mark or pencil line.
I use a small scissors to hold the edge on the right side while I open up and guide the left side with my hand.
  • Once the curves are sewn make sure no tucks were create. 
If there are any tucks correct them now.

Trim the 1/2” seam allowance to 1/4” and press both seams to the inside of the handle.
Notice on the bottom left I also marked with my pencil the bottom line of each pattern piece as a guide for when I trim this bottom edge up. I will trim leaving a 1/4” seam allowance.

I really like working with freezer paper and glue this way. I don’t have to be so precise when I cut my pattern pieces and in the end when I trim it all up I still get very straight and clean lines.
I’ll show you the rest next time.
Happy Quilting.

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