Tag Archives: quilting

DIY Design Wall

Our Retreat House opened two months ago and has been VERY popular! It is a beautiful, comfortable, fully equipped home that sleeps 10. There are ten tables, ten adjustable Koala chairs and ten portable 4′ x 6′ design walls.

We wanted a design wall for each ‘retreater’ (nothing worse than one person monopolizing the design wall all weekend…)

So the design walls have been a big hit and we’ve had lots of requests for directions to make them. They are very light weight, easy to move around  and very easy to use with the flannel ‘grippy’ wall along with the added ability to use stick pins.

I made all of the design walls in the garage. Each one took about 5 minutes and $40 worth of supplies. I started with a foam core insulation board. These can be purchased at Lowes or Home Depot. They are 1″ or 2″ thick and 2′ x 8′ or 4′ x 8′.   I selected the 2″ thick boards, and 4′ wide by  8′ tall. It cost about $15.IMG_1224[1]   I cut 24″ off of the top of the board so they would fit nicely in the house without rubbing up against the ceiling. Also, not many quilters are tall enough to use the full 8′ of space. So this made the boards 4′ wide by 6′ tall. They can be easily cut with a box cutter or sharp kitchen knife and a ruler.

Once cut, I laid the board on a set of draped saw horses.

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Then I cut 2 1/8 yards of the gridded flannel fabric. It is 54″ wide, so the 76 1/2 cut is perfect for the 4′ x 6′ board.

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The next step is to lay the flannel over the board, but first I sprayed it with 505 Basting Spray. This just made it easier to keep everything neat and right where I wanted it. I was able to make all 10 boards with just one can of 505.

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When you smooth the fabric down, just make sure you have a couple inches hanging over each side.

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Continue to smooth until the top looks nice, then flip it over and begin securing the fabric. Staples made sense at first, but they were difficult to use with the soft board so we chose a strong, clear packing tape which worked very well.

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The corners are finished just like a present.

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The pictures may not show clearly… there is a lot of tape. Two layers. I don’t want anything to come loose.

After the taping… the design wall is done! Ready to use.

I hope you found this helpful, maybe you have need for a lightweight designwall!

Happy designing!

 

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Finished!!

I finally finished the quilt that was on Pinky. This “Log Cabin Garden” is a great pattern from the Woolen Willow. We did this as a block of the month. It is made of wonderful flannel (“woolies” by Maywood Studio) and wool applique.

Each log cabin block is a 12″ block, so the wool applique section is 24″ x 24″. That black cat is 19″ tall!!!

I took the picture with the quilt laying outside in the backyard. I hope the light is good enough for you to see the lines and the echoing. I still have to remove some of the chalk, I like the iron-erase chalk, so removing it will just take a second.

My next quilt loaded on the machine is one of the quilts for the retreat house. It is a half log cabin pattern that features a center block, it is my pattern, I call it “Crackers”.

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It is a pretty easy to make using jelly rolls, or in this case, bali pops. The center blocks are wonderful fabric images from Tom Murphy photography.

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This little guy is my favorite!!! I will post a picture when it is quilted, I am heading to quilt market in Pittsburgh, so it will be a week.

Happy Quilting!!!

Crumb Cake Class Prep

Tomorrow is a “quilt-in-a-day” class called Crumb Cake. Super simple pattern, addicting, and it truly uses up every “crumb” of fabric. It’s a funny story about this pattern. About 7 years ago a frequent customer came in with 14 Crumb Cake quilts she made in one month! When I asked her about the pattern she told me she made it up. She did a class at the local guild and showed us all how to make it. We were hooked! I asked her if I could write the pattern up for her and she reluctantly agreed.  I had it written up within a few days, giving her full credit on the “by” line. It was a popular pattern, I sold hundreds and gave several classes, always giving my customer her full credit and monetary reward. Then, a few years later, while at market in Houston, I walked by the Embellishment Village booth and noticed the Crumb Cake pattern. I stopped and looked at it. It was the same quilt, with a copyright date of 1996!! I was horrified. I am very much a “rules” girl, I would never copy a pattern (knowingly) and of course it is a crime… punishable with a $25,000 fine!

We quickly removed our patterns and replaced them with the Embellishment Village version. We never spoke of it again until they took their pattern out of print in 2009. At that time I contacted them and confessed my story, asking if I could republish the pattern. They said it would be fine if I kept the name the same, and mentioned that our version (we did construct it a little differently) was inspired by Embellishment Village. So, after narrowly escaping incarceration… the pattern is still a favorite of mine and the shop!

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My class tomorrow will be attended by Rachel, our new office manager. She has been trying to learn how to quilt and tomorrow is her second class. You can follow her fun blog “Frazzled Patch” as she takes beginner classes and explains foreign words like “jelly roll” and “square up”.

I am getting Rachel’s fabric ready tonight. The best part about the Crumb Cake is it uses up stash fabrics, leftover strips, bits and pieces, and it is a great use for those panels we collect but don’t know why….

I have selected a panel that would be great for Rachel. This is an older Clothworks Halloween panel that is super cute and will be perfect for Rachel and her two darling little boys.

Now I just have to find about 12 fabrics that would go with it.IMG_0535

We can also use “bits”. I tend not to save a lot of little pieces. After all of these years I just find that I don’t use them up. Everything on my fabric shelves is more than a yard. I have two drawers with just panels, and I have a few shelves with full fat quarters. But, I do have a secret stash of bins. They are labeled by color, and they have smaller pieces. They are in the closet, and not used often enough. Crumb Cake is a perfect pattern to wittle those down a bit….IMG_0533IMG_0536OK, Rachel’s project kit is ready. I will spend a little time cutting some strips and sewing some panels together so that I have a working sample to teach from… and Rachel has a head start!!

I have some certainty Rachel will blog about her adventures in the class tomorrow. She will also show the steps. We can hope the finished quilt will appear soon! In the meantime… I have another one of these cute panels left. Just like the one I gave Rachel. I would like to give it away.

Rachel tells me there is some way to fairly do a drawing using a “counter”? maybe I have that term wrong. Anyway, I think all you have to do is “like” this post. We will draw a name on Friday, announce it, and we will put it in the mail to you!

I have LOTS of fun things I can get rid of this way….. stay tuned……

 

 

Behind the Pen and Patch

I opened the Fabric Patch 15 years ago and have never regretted a single day. I am busier than ever, writing new patterns, developing new classes and clubs, making shop samples, professionally machine quilting, and working in the shop 5 – 6 days per week. If that’s not enough… now Brianna thinks I should write a blog.

Brianna is the energetic young voice of the shop. My 21 year old daughter that runs the business with me. I threaten to retire in about 10 years, but she knows I will never leave. Brianna has some great ideas, and I suppose people really are spending more time on their phones, tablets and computers. I certainly do. Not that I’m good at it… I don’t understand the difference between a tweet and a post… but I guess I can understand why some of you might want to see some great new ideas, patterns, tricks, tips and projects. So I will commit to finding the time to work on this new blog at least two times a week.

At the moment, it is 11:30 at night and I am finally done for the day. I spent today working on machine quilting a customer’s quilt, then cleaning my sewing studio. It wasn’t all that messy to begin with, but I wanted to re-organize both my “project cupboard” and my scrap drawer and do some purging! I found a few quilt tops that just needed a border or two that I am going to finish up, and three projects to give to Thelma (she takes all of the “un-lovables” and turns them into something nice). I was also able to put together a huge box of fabric for the Ephrata High School Independent Living Class (formally known as Home Ec) for their sewing projects. It will be nice to have the space it freed up. I have attached some “after” pictures of my project cupboard. There are currently 37 projects on the 5 shelves. That’s not as bad as it has been!

I will start working on the quilt tops tomorrow – I’ll check in with you and show pictures…

Good night!