Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Time to shop

My wonderful husband researched how to add a shopping cart feature to my website and helped me set it up, so I now have a way of selling my patterns online, in addition to the shops and distributors who offer them. Hooray! He is my favorite IT (Information Technology) guy.

Monday, November 19, 2007

First block done!


Here's the first (center) block of my new Mystery Block-of-the-Month quilt, Bohemian Bouquet, finished.

Quilters Loft Company, the quilt shop where I teach in Mooresville, N.C., will be offering this quilt as a kit (with the patten and fabric) each month. The starting session will be a class on Saturday, Jan. 12 from 10 a.m. to noon. The price for the pattern with the fabric kit will be $19.99 per month (January through November). Quilters Loft will also have the patterns available on their own, in case you want to choose your own fabrics.

If you live farther away and want to order fabric kits, please call Quilters Loft Company at (704) 662-8660. If you just want the patterns, they are now available for preorder on my website, www.bluemoonriver.com. The price is $5 per block, or $55 for the entire set (plus shipping). The first block pattern will ship by Jan. 15, 2008.

I am doing my blocks using needleturn appliqué, but if you want something faster and easier, you could do fusible appliqué with satin or blanket stitch around the appliqué pieces. This center block is 20 inches square, so even though it looks intricate in the photo, the shapes are actually large, and the corners rounded. I do recommend that you have some experience with appliqué if you want to do it as needleturn. These patterns will be rated intermediate to challenging.

To see the layout for the entire quilt, see my October 13 post. The colors and fabrics shown in this photo are representative of the fabrics and colors I'll be using in the rest of the quilt. I'm planning to use a lot more fabrics, and it will be quite "scrappy," with some additional colors (blues and purples).

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Punchneedle madness!


I must admit that I have been quite entranced … okay, obsessed … with punchneedle embroidery lately. I've completed these two designs in the past week! They only take a few hours, are very easy, and the finished result is really charming.

The design at the top is “Fraidy Cat” by Brenda Gervais/With thy Needle & Thread Punchneedle Designs. I dyed the background fabric with instant coffee granules to make it look old and spooky.

The design below is “Angel with White Wings” (although I changed the wings to gold and the background to green) by M. Shaw/Hooked on Rugs.

If you want to try punchneedle embroidery, my best advice to you is to buy the Cameo punch needle and threaders, and the Cameo hoop designed specifically for punchneedle embroidery. When I tried this craft for the first time, I used a regular embroidery hoop and it didn't hold the fabric tight enough, and I was very disappointed in the results. With the right equipment and a little practice, it is really easy and fun to do.

You can use regular embroidery floss you buy at the craft store, but the hand-dyed flosses (mostly available online) create wonderful irregularities in the color that really look wonderful in folk art and primitive designs.

I also love and highly recommend the book Punchneedle Embroidery: 40 Folk Art Designs by Barbara Kemp and Margaret Shaw (a Lark/Chapelle book, 2006). It is a great resource for those new to the craft, plus you get 40 fantastic designs to use, and complete descriptions of how to display and frame the designs once they are done.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Wool bead bracelet


Just made this fun bracelet from beads I felted from wool roving. I strung them on stretchy bead string, then tied on bits of batik fabric and wool yarn. My friend, Vickie Clontz of Annie's Keepsakes (www.annieskeepsakes.com) gave me the instructions for making the beads.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Cell Phone pouch

A free “use me and share me!” pattern by Susan Brubaker Knapp

Check out all the other great free patterns for hand-made last minute holiday gifts offered through Cotton Spice this November at www.cottonspice.com/CSblog/

If you’d like to print out a copy of this pattern, click here to download the PDF.



MATERIALS:
- Scraps of fabric for outside
- Piece of fabric for backing approximately 10″ square
- button or charm
- perle cotton or thread (to tie button or charm)
- 1″square Velcro
- thread for piecing and quilting
- batting, approximately 10″ square
- caribeener clip

DIRECTIONS:
Please read all the directions before you begin!

1. Measure your cell phone. Use this formula to determine how big to make the outside of your pouch:
Width: (cell phone width x 3) + 1″
Length: cell phone length + 2-1/2″
For example, my phone is 2″ wide so I needed a piece 2″wide by 3-1/2″long, so I needed a piece for the outside that was 7″x 6″.



2. Sew your scraps together to create a piece for the outside of your pouch. Cut a piece of batting 1/2″longer and wider than your outside piece. Cut or piece a backing piece 1/2″longer and wider than your batting piece. Layer in this order: backing piece (face down); batting; pieced outside (face up).



3. Pin and quilt. An overall quilting motif that is fairly small is best. I used a square spiral on one pouch, and a pebble design on the other. Trim this piece for the outside of your pouch, using this formula:
Width: (cell phone width x 2) + 2-1/2″
Length: cell phone length + 1-3/4″
For my phone, I needed to trim my outside piece to 6-1/2″ wide by 5-1/4″ long.





4. Cut a strip of fabric 2″ long by the width of your piece. (In my case, this was a piece 2″ x 6-1/2″.) Fold it in half lengthwise, right sides out, and press. Pin it to the top edge of the outside, with raw edges aligned. Sew the strip to the outside with a 1/4″ seam.



5. Fold the binding around to the back of the outside and pin. From the front, sew right under the binding edge, catching the folded edge on the back side.



6. Fold the outside, right sides together, with the binding at the top. Pin along the raw edges, and sew a 1/4″seam.



Then zig-zag along the same raw edges. Take care and go slowly; you are sewing through many bulky layers.



7. Turn the pouch right side out.



Cut a 1″ piece of Velcro. Take one half and position it at the center of the inside back, just under the binding, and sew it down. Take the other half and position it at the center of the inside front, just under the binding, and sew it down.



8. For the loop, cut a piece 4×2″. Fold it in half lengthwise, right side out, and press. Then fold in and press each side again. This leaves the raw edges inside the strip.



Topstitch very close along both long edges.



9. Sew the strip together in a circle by folding it in half, and then making a 1/4″ seam along the short raw edge. Turn right side out. Fold the loop in half, tucking the seam at one end. Pin the loop to the top of the back of the pouch, and sew it down so that this spot is trapped in the new seam and does not show. Take care and go slowly; you are sewing through many bulky layers.



10. On the front, hand sew on a button or charm at the top. This makes it easier to pull the pouch open when you need to get out your phone.



If you add a caribeener clip to the loop, you can clip your cell phone pouch to your purse strap, belt, or to a loop inside your purse. You are done! Enjoy!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

What a show!


My local quilt group, Lake Norman Quilters, held its very first show this weekend, and it was a great success. We had nearly 500 attendees (not including group members) and more than 250 quilts displayed. I feel very proud of our group tonight. We have about 40 members in our group; some of them are in the group shot above. Our quilt show chairwoman, Liz McNabb (sitting in the photo above, wearing a green shirt) did an outstanding job organzing the event, and nearly everyone in the group pitched in and did a lot of work to make the show happen.

My latest art quilt, “Harbinger’s Hope,” took Best of Show, Best Amateur Machine Quilting, and a blue ribbon in the art quilt category!



Here's the full list of winners:

Best of Show: Harbinger’s Hope by Susan Brubaker Knapp
Best Hand Quilting: A Summer Night’s Dream by Eileen Brown
Best Amateur Machine Quilting - Harbinger’s Hope by Susan Brubaker Knapp
Best Professional Machine Quilting - Deb Sells Fast! By Sandy Palmer
Judges Choice (Scott Murkin) - A Study in Black and White by DeLane Rosenau
Judges Choice (Kathlyn Sullivan) - Fall in My Garden by Greta McCrea

Category 100 - Large Bed Quilt, Quilted by Maker (Pieced)
1st - Twisted Bargello by Barbara Barrier
2nd - Sunrise, Sunset by Susan Brubaker Knapp
3rd - Centered by Jean Craig Long
HM - Raspberries & Peaches by Jean Craig Long

Category 100 - Large Bed Quilt, Quilted by Maker (Applique)
1st place - American Virtues by Susan Brubaker Knapp

Category 100 - Large Bed Quilt, Quilted by Maker (Mixed Technique)
1st - Good Morning Sunshine by Susan Brubaker Knapp
2nd - A Summer Night's Dream by Eileen Brown
3rd - Polka Party by Susan Brubaker Knapp

Category 200 - Large Bed Quilt, Professional Quilted (Pieced)
1st - Deb Sells Fast! by Sandy Palmer
2nd - Have Fun by Kimberly Crawford
3rd - Fish by Jean Craig Long
HM - Spring Trail by Kimberly Crawford

Category 300 - Small Bed Quilt, Quilted by Maker (Pieced)
1st - Paper Posies by Eileen Brown
2nd - Funny Valentine by Susan Brubaker Knapp
3rd - Follow Your Heart by Marianne McCormick
HM - Orange You Glad I'm Pink by Elizabeth McNabb

Category 300 - Small Bed Quilt, Quilted by Maker (Applique)
1st - Amethyst Remembrance by Susan Brubaker Knapp

Category 300 - Small Bed Quilt, Quilted by Maker (Mixed Technique)
1st - Ducks in a Row by Susan Brubaker Knapp
2nd - The Christmas Train is Coming by Eileen Brown
3rd - Spinning Colors by Elizabeth McNabb

Category 400 - Small Bed Quilt, Professionally Quilted (Pieced)
1st - Colourblocks by Grace Howes
2nd - Finally Finished by Alisan Royster
3rd - Blueberries & Mint Parfait by Grace Howes

Category 500 Large Wall Art (Pieced)
1st - Luminous Butterfly by Barbara Barrier
2nd - Look for the Bird by Barbara Barrier

Category 500 Large Wall Art (Applique)
1st - Now We Know Our ABCs by Greta McCrea

Category 500 Large Wall Art (Mixed Technique)
1st - Crown Points by Jean Craig Long
2nd - It is Good to Be Queen by Elizabeth McNabb
3rd - Snow Folks (Starry, Starry Night) by Dolores Fobare
HM - Celebrating Debra by Elizabeth McNabb

Category 600 - Small Wall Art (Pieced)
1st - Snowdrop in Spring by Judy Whitehead
2nd - Wholecloth I by Judy Whitehead
3rd - Shoot for the Stars by Kimberly Crawford
HM - My Christmas Tree by Jean Sherrill
HM - Remembering Italy - Jean Newman

Category 600 - Small Wall Art (Mixed Technique)
1st - Celestial by Susan Brubaker Knapp
2nd - From Flower to Flower We Go by Elizabeth McNabb
3rd - What’s the Buzz? by Elizabeth McNabb
HM - Sparkle and Shine by Elizabeth McNabb

Category 600 - Small Wall Art (Applique)
1st - Black Sampler by Susan Brubaker Knapp
2nd - Flower Power by Greta McCrea
3rd - Beach Vacation by Susan Brubaker Knapp
HM - Grandmother's Flowers by DeLane Rosenau

Category 700 - Novelty
1st - Pinked by Jan Savu
2nd - Gingerbread Countdown Advent Calendar by Susan Brubaker Knapp
3rd - Happy Faces by Elizabeth McNabb
HM - Hippity Hop by Sandy Palmer

Category 800 - Wearables
1st - Artisan Purse by Susan Brubaker Knapp
2nd - Jacket by DeLane Rosenau
3rd - A Little Blue Christmas by Donna Loebs
HM - Nice Kitty by Eileen Brown

Category 900 - Art/Pictoral
1st - Harbinger’s Hope by Susan Brubaker Knapp
2nd - Gossamer by Susan Brubaker Knapp
3rd - Snow Queen by Judy Whitehead
HM - The Bluest Eye by Susan Brubaker Knapp