Monday, May 23, 2016

Mystery Block of the Month with Leah Day

Written by Linda Chaney, mother

One of my goals for 2016 has been to learn to free motion quilting. I decided to join the year long project, Mystery Block of the Month with Leah Day, to create the Sunshine Surprise quilt.

Sunshine Surprise Block

It would force me to overcome my hesitation to do free motion quilting and to start quilting the numerous quilt projects I have pieced throughout the years. It would also allow me to look at different quilting motifs and how they are used on more traditional blocks.

I have completed Sunshine Surprise Block #1 - pieced and quilted! Yes, I did mark the quilting lines and used them as a guide for my free motion quilting.

Sunshine Surprise Block

It's not perfect, but I was pleased with the results. After all, I won't be able to quilt unless I start quilting! This was also the block that gave me the confidence to complete the Elephants Never Forget wall hanging for Shannon.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Aurifil 2016 Designer of the Month

Written by Linda Chaney, mother

One of my year long projects was found through The Splendid Sampler, which I'm currently doing, and Pat Sloan. Aurifil sponsors a year long project that identifies different designers. Each month a different designer is interviewed and the block presented (usually around the 15th of the month). I fell in love with the designs for the first three months and the colors used.  So, I went down to the stash and found a variety of colors that I'm using the make the blocks for this year long quilt.

Although I like all three blocks so far, my favorite is Lake Life. On my Bucket List is the desire to make a quilt using Lady of the Lake block. This reminds so much of that block.

Check out the 2016 Designers of the Month sponsored by Aurifil. I think it's going to be a fun year!

Swirl Away
Swirl Away by Heather Valentine,

Improv Star
Improv Star by Christa Watson,

Lake Life by Kari Carr, New Leaf Stitches

Monday, May 9, 2016

Elephants Never Forget

Written by Linda Chaney, mother

I've been quite busy piecing various projects - several ongoing year long projects as well as short term projects. One birthday project that I was extremely pleased and excited to give was a wall hanging I call "Elephants Never Forget".

Elephants Never Forget

My son's girlfriend, Shannon, is very active in the Alzheimer's Association in California and her favorite zoo animals are elephants.  When I found this pattern "Everest the Elephant" designed by Susan Fuquay in my pile of patterns, I immediately thought of Shannon.

By adding tatted flowers in the four colors used in the Alzheimer's Association to represent patients and families in various stages of the disease, I knew I could combine her interests in elephants and Alzheimers patients into one quilt. Shannon hung this quilt in her office.

I designed the free motion quilted elephant border and was extremely happy with the results of one of my first forays into free motion quilting.  Learning to free motion quilt has been one of my goals for 2016.

Elephant Free Motion Quilting

Thank you to Shannon and all those working to determine the cause of this debilitating disease as well as those who work with the patients and families dealing with Alzheimer's disease.  Based on our own personal family experience, it is very hard and sad to watch a loved one slowly forget. If only we could understand how elephants maintain their memory!

Pancho's People

Monday, March 21, 2016

Easter Bowl

Written by Linda Chaney, mother

The weather has definitely changed for the better with warmer, SUNNY days, budding trees and green grass. Signs of Spring are abundant and EASTER is early! For those that may want to make a quick Easter Bowl based on our technique described in our book, Contain It! English Paper-Pieced Style Containers!, here is the new pattern using a modified egg template for the sides. This bowl can be constructed entirely by machine, or do the sewing by hand. It's also possible to construct without doing any sewing!

Supplies Needed: 

In addition to using Template 120 from Contain It! to make this bowl, the book will also serve as the full set of instructions for prepping the materials and constructing container. Here is the basic outline of the steps, but be sure to also read the instructions in Contain It! for further information.


1.Gather the supplies listed above and review the basic container instructions in Contain It! starting on page 9.

Easter Egg Bowl

2. Make Template 20 from Contain It! and cut the following pieces. As always, be sure to label everything!
  • 2 Stabilizer Pieces
  • 2 Fabric Pieces
3. Using Template 136 that you printed, create your template and cut the following pieces. Remember to use the 1" square printed on the Template to ensure it printed correctly.
  • 12 Stabilizer Pieces; Trim ~1/16" off the bottom straight edge of the 6 Stabilizer Pieces that will be on the INSIDE of the bowl. The Outer Egg Side will be slightly larger than the Inner Egg Side. Be sure to label these pieces.
  • 12 Fabric Pieces
4. Adhere Fabric to Stabilizer as described in General Techniques.

Easter Egg Bowl
  • It may be easier to use a running stitch along the curved surfaces to draw the Fabric in around the Stabilizer piece before adhering to the 1/4" Steam-a-Seam double fusible tape. 
  • Only the curved surfaces will wrap around the Stabilizer.

5. Stitch Egg Sides together.
  • Place 1 Fabric covered Outer Egg Side  wrong side up.
  • Place double fusible tape around the outer CURVED edges of the Outer Egg Side.
  • Place 1 Inner Fabric Side right side up on top of the Outer Egg Side, aligning the top and sides of the Outer Egg and Inner Egg Sides. Remember that the Outer Egg Side is slightly larger than the Inner Egg Side along the bottom straight edge. 
  • Fuse in place.
  • Stitch close to the outer edge around ALL the entire egg shape OR continue to next step with stitching.
  • Repeat for the other 5 sides to create 6 Fabric Covered Egg Sides (Fused Outer and Inner Egg Sides).
Easter Egg Bowl
6. Attach the Hexagonal Base.
  • Take 1 Hexagonal Base and place it wrong side up.  
  • Adhere 6 Egg Sides to the Hexagonsl Base with double fusible tape as follows:
    • Place double fusible tape on ONE of the six hexagonal edges (call this Side 1).
    • Butt the straight edge of the Outer Egg Side against the Hexagonal Base edge, allowing the excess fabric on the bottom straight edge of the Fabric Egg Side to lay towards the inside of the hexagon. Iron in place.
    • Place double fusible tape on Side 3 and adhere another Fabric Egg Outer Side.
    • Continue this process, fusing Side 5, then Side 2, then Side 4, and finally Side 6. The even numbered sides will fall slight to the inside of the finished bowl.
Easter Egg Bowl
  • Place double fusible tape along the inside edges of the second Hexagonal Base.
  • Lay the second Hexagonal Base on top of the structure above structure, wrong sides together. Be sure to align the two Hexagonal Bases.  
Easter Egg Bowl
  • Fuse in place.
  • To reinforce the integrity of the finished bowl, stitch around the Hexagonal Base edge forming the inner base of the bowl.
Easter Egg Bow
7. Form the sides of the bowl.
  • To form the sides of the bowl, bring two sides up and tack the two sides together at the outer edges. Placement of this tack is your preference.  
Easter Egg Bowl
  • Add a decorative element, like a button, at the point of attachment.  
  • Repeat until all the sides have been tacked at the same location along the Egg Sides.
8. Enjoy your completed bowl!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Splendid Sampler Blocks

Written by Linda Chaney, mother

My friend, Kim, and I were scrapbooking recently when she received a message from her quilting friend about a new, year long mystery quilt, The Splendid Sampler. I read the message and promptly said, "we're doing this!"  I love mystery quilts because it forces me outside my comfort zone and this one also seemed reasonable - quilt blocks were released twice a week (Thursday and Sunday) and would include all different types of techniques, such as piecing, applique, and embroidery. She agreed and the adventure has started.

My rules for participation included:  using only fabrics from my stash and attempting those techniques that I may not especially like to do or that I have never tried before.  In other words - keep an open mind and try it!! I am also making some modifications that will include using some of my tatted pieces.

The Splendid Sampler First Seven Blocks

I have completed the first 7 blocks and will discuss the modifications I made in these blocks in another post.  Needless to say, I've kept that open mind and have indeed learned some interesting skills needed to complete these initial 6-1/2" x 6-1/2" squares. Perhaps you would like to join in this adventure and enhance you knowledge and skills in the world of quilt making? If so, you can find more information at The Splendid Sampler.