Friday, August 16, 2013

Comma Again?

comma again front
I have my favorite fabric designers, and Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic is in my top ten. Her line Comma is so simple, yet so striking. I came by a layer cake of this line and found a pattern on the Moda Bakeshop. It’s designed for use with a layer cake fabric bundle, but you you can use yardage just as easily. Beginners, don’t fear, this is a very simple quilt. I did add more blocks to make the quilt a little larger than the pattern specified, but it is even easier that the ubiquitous Yellow Brick Road pattern. It’s available free here.
I am having fun with piece backs these days.
better comma again back
Since the quilt design was simple, I decided to experiment with an all over quilting design that was a new design for me, Pebbling. It’s not perfect, but I did have fun doing it. What I especially liked was using Isacord 40 weight polyester thread. This is the thread Leah Day recommends, and it is available in many local quilt shops and online. I’ve been using Superior Thread for a long time, but this last quilt has made me a convert.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Zen Chic Comma Baby Quilt

To anyone who is not a fabric enthusiast, that title means nothing, but Brigitte Heitland is the designer whose company is named Zen Chic. She has designed several commercial fabric lines, and one of my favorites is Comma. One of the projects Brigitte featured on her designer page is this one by Emmaline.

I liked the mustard and grey fabric selections and decided to make a similar one. Here’s my version.

front comma baby quilt

back of comma baby quilt

Fabric : Comma from Zen Chic, back is also from the Comma line, Nigella.

Construction: Cotton batting and Signature cotton thread

Size: 38” x 59”  The blocks are about 6” square

Quilting Design: straight line quilting 1/2” apart

Now a word about my walking foot. I do most of my quilting with a Juki TL98E which I have had for about eight years. I like everything about this machine except the design of the presser feet. I have changed or adapted each of the feet that came with it.  The walking foot has no guide bar for aligning your stitches. I've searched at quilt shows, talked to sales reps, and a walking foot with a guide bar does not exist for this machine. 

Here’s what I finally rigged up.

walking foot adaptation

I taped a guide bar from another machine to the Juki foot. Really now, Is that the best Juki can do?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Canning Tomato Catsup

Gather ripe tomatoes and canning equipment, and call some friends to come over.

ingredients and equipment

Wash and prep the tomatoes

tomato prep

Grind the onions and tomatoes


Wait for the catsup to cook

waiting for the water to boil

Fill the jars and load the canner

filling the jars

25 pounds of Roma tomatoes made 3 batches yielding 36 half pint jars. Yum!

Here’s the ancient recipe card, written when people still measured in pecks.

recipe card

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Japanese One Yard

on a chair
I purchased one yard of this Japanese fabric over 10 years ago. I only had one yard and I wanted to use as much of the fabric as I could. It was one of those “just can’t cut it fabrics.” So I designed a pattern that would use the fabric as the focus but extend the size of the quilt. It now measures 45” x 58”.
front with flash
I had fun with the quilting
quilting detail front
and also with the back
The two inch squares were cut from my stash and scrap basket. I especially liked the purple fabric. It’s a Clothworks fabric by Julie Creus of La Todera. You can click on her name to find out about the fabric line. Fantastic blenders. I have them all!
Backing is Robert Kaufman from the Quilter’s Linen line. Batting is Hobbs washable wool, thread is Superior Bottom line, green fabric is pistachio from the Moda Bella basics line.
I have another yard of similar fabric in red, I’ll make another one and photograph stepouts and write a tutorial. Every quilter has at least one yard of too beautiful to cut fabric in their stash.