Tuesday, March 26, 2019

April Events

April is right around the corner and usually I would share our next list of classes but we are not having much for classes this next month because are we doing a major renovation of our classroom.
If you have been in our classroom, it is currently a lot of concrete and brick. But in a few weeks it should be all dry walled and painted with some fresh flooring on the floor and a new ceiling above. We are also getting some custom cutting tables and ironing stations built for the space, as well as some design boards to hang on the walls. There will also be a Smart TV hooked up for some video classes and demos. All of this combined should make for an inviting space for you to come and participate in classes, clubs and sew days.

We put a deadline on the people who are doing the renovations for us, and said we would love to have it done by April 25 so that we could host our Bionic Gear Bag Workshop in our brand new space. They were a little shocked and asked when they could start and we said April 2, but we let them in a couple days early and they started today, will take a break while we have our sale and start up again on Monday.

For those interested the Bionic Gear Bag Workshop is a 2 day event taking place on April 25 and 26. We will be making the Bionic Gear Bag, and Esther and I will give instruction and we will also have some video support from Sally Thompson the designer of the bag. It is $100 to attend and this includes the instruction, pattern lunch for both days and snacks. The supplies are an extra fee and need to be purchased at our shop. 
This Bag was designed to hold all your sewing tools in one convenient bag and still stay organized with a variety of zipper compartments and pouches. It could also be used for any other tools from another hobby, or for your cosmetics or as a way to keep all the little things together while travelling.
I have chosen to use a few pieces from the new line from Bonnie and Camille Little Snippets, I just love the measuring tape and think it will be great for the exterior of the bag.
Their are limited spots available so sign up by clicking the link below to register for the event.

Register Here >

Don't forget our big Spring Clearance Sale starts on Thursday at 10am and continues until Saturday afternoon and we will add new bolts each morning.


Friday, March 22, 2019

Customer Creations and Spring Sale Details

As mentioned a little while back I thought it would be fun to occasionally share with all of you what others are making with fabrics they purchased at our shop.
Gail bought some Minnie Mouse fabric from Chicken Feed and made this backpack, I think it turned out super cute!
Kaelee purchased a few Art Gallery Pieces and turned it into this delightful baby quilt that she gifted to a special friend.
Marg made this collage quilt (Henrietta by Laura Heine) and has been addicted to them ever since, she is currently working on her third collage project.

It is also time for our annual Spring Clearance Sale. The sale will take place next week Thursday-Saturday, March 28, 29, and 30. We will have our basement classroom set up with a wide assortment of fabrics that will all be 50% off. There will be a minimum cut of 1/2 a meter. There will be $5 scrap bags for sale as well. Wool will also be on sale as well as some kits and precuts.
Our vault is full and we need to empty it so we will add new fabrics daily, and I will post pictures to our Facebook Page during the next few days with sneak peeks as to what will be on sale. I can tell you already that there will be a selection of Batiks on sale as requested, and Tim Holtz fabrics will also be 50% off.
This sale is a great way to find some nice backings, replenish parts of your color stash and get some nice backgrounds for great prices.
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Gypsy Wife: Section 6 Part 1

Welcome to Section 6. This section is made up of a lot of blocks, 21 to be exact, but we are going to do them over 4 weeks instead of 2. This is to keep it fun and lower the pressure. So we will do 9 blocks this week and on April 2 I will post the second part. The whole section is pictured on page 28.

This week we will be making:
1x Indian Hatchet pg 12, 6" finished
1x Nurses Cross pg 14, 8" finished
1x Pinwheel Block pg 19, 4" finished
2x Bordered Pinwheel Block pg 19, 6" finished
1x Courthouse Steps Block pg 20, 5" finished
2x Courthouse Steps Block pg 20, 4" finished
1x Bordered Hourglass Block pg 21, 4" finished

Indian Hatchet: A straightforward main block, that finishes at 6". I chose 8 different fabrics for mine and used my simple folded corners ruler from Creative Grids to trim the diagonals rather than drawing a line and trimming afterwards.

Nurses Cross: This block has a lot of pieces, with several rounds and lots of triangles. I over cut some of them in order to have a little wiggle room. For the block construction your UU triangles are going to extend quite a ways past your rectangles, that's good they are supposed to, just stitch them down anyways and when you have the center complete you can trim it into a nice 4.5" square. For the next step, I cut the squares VV at 4" instead, than when they were stitched on, I pressed and trimmed the resulting block to 6.25" before continuing. I also cut the squares Aa at the full 2", and trimmed my final assembled block to 8.5" so that when it is in the quilt it will measure 8". Go slow with this one, stitch and press carefully and if you feel frustrated with it, walk away and come back to it later on, it really is a fun looking block when it is done.

On to the filler blocks for the section.

Pinwheel Blocks: We are going to actually make 3 pinwheel blocks that finish at 4", and than we will set one aside as finished and to the other two we will add a small border to make them a couple inches larger. Follow the instructions in the first column of page 19 for the full cutting and piecing instructions for all three.

Courthouse Steps: we are doing a total of 3 courthouse steps blocks in this section. 1 of them will have 3 rounds, the other 2 only 1 round. To cut and piece these we will follow the instructions for the last two blocks listed on page 20. I sewed all 3 at the same time so I could chain piece and not cut the thread each time, I just made sure I had my pieces nicely organized on my table beside me.
For the 5" finished block you will notice that round 2 is cut wider than 1 and 3, this is NOT a typo, so cut as the pattern says. if you are worried that your block is going to turn out to small, you can always cut the round 3 strips a little wider as well, and trim it to the correct size when it is all sewn.

Bordered Hourglass Block: If you set aside your extra hourglass block from section 1, you can use it now and just add the border and you are finished. Or you can choose to make a whole new block which is what I decided to do.

That's it for this part of the section.
Next time we have 12 square on square blocks to make, in a couple sizes,  and add some more borders to a couple as well.

I loved seeing everyone's section 5s. They all look so unbelievably different. As for the winner of the gift card that I mentioned last time, Congratulations go to Thelma Brown. If you missed her photos be sure to check them out under the photos tab. Her blocks are beautiful and are all done in various shades of blue with pops of yellow throughout!.
Thelma you can pick your $35 gift card up at the shop next time you stop in.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

National Quilting Day

This coming Saturday is the official National Quilting Day, so exciting that there is actually a day set aside for our hobby. This is the 28th anniversary of this event and if you are interested you can read more about the history of the event here. There are also some links to free patterns listed there as well. 

We at Chicken Feed Quilts encourage you to spend some time quilting on Saturday, even if it is only for 15 minutes. The fact that it is National Quilting Day should be the perfect excuse.
To help motivate you even more we will have a special giveaway for those that spend some time quilting on Saturday. 
I will post a picture of some notions and thread to our Facebook Page on Saturday morning. Your job is to comment on the picture with what project you are working on, and posting a photo of your project would be great too.
I will take everyone's name at the end of the day and put them in a draw, and one lucky quilter will win a gift basket! A photo of your project will gain you an extra entry into the draw. 

If you want a new project to work on or a bundle of new fabric either to motivate you to finish off a another project or just because we have lots of new fabrics and kits in store again. 

 On Meadowlark Pond by Kansas Troubles fabrics, precuts, and kits are here. 

In a completely different color tone we have Little Snippets by Bonnie and Camille.

And a new collection that I am in love with is Pollinator by Leslie Tucker Jensen from RJR.

Will you set time aside to sew on Saturday?

Friday, March 8, 2019

Sew Hometown: March

This month we are making the Crosswalk Block for our quilt, and we need to make a total of 5 of them. They are pretty straight forward blocks and is made up of half square triangles and some pieced units that go together quite simply.
I chose to go with a different color for each Crosswalk and to do all the backgrounds in dark brown.
To speed up the cutting, I stacked all 5 contrasting colors on top of each other and cut my strips and squares all at the same time. Than I cut for 5 blocks from the background rather than 1 at a time.
I trimmed my Half Square Triangles using my 4-in-1 Half Square Triangle Ruler from Creative Grids. I love this ruler for trimming these blocks, and we have a tutorial on our Facebook Page demonstrating one of the methods to trim HST's with it.
I am so happy the pattern designers chose to make the "crosswalks" with strip sets, it really speeds up the process, and cuts down on the number of small pieces to cut at the beginning. Be sure to be gentle when pressing the strip sets, it can be easy to distort longer strips when pressing. I like to give it a quick finger press before applying heat.
On the bottom left of the pattern there is a small picture with arrows showing which way to press your seams in the final construction. I actually pressed mine opposite of what is shown, mostly because that is which way my seams wanted to go.
I am having a lot of fun pulling this out once a month and making a few more blocks to add to the stack. I also really like the fact that we are making more than one block each month unlike many Block of The Month programs where the pattern calls for just one block a month. I must confess though that I am almost finished my quilt, because I would like to get it hanging in the store as a sample for the pattern and fabrics.
Have you been working ahead, or are you going month by month?
Come back on Tuesday to see some of the latest fabric arrivals in our store. There will be no blog post next week Friday (March 15) as it is my little sisters wedding that day.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Gypsy Wife: Section 5

This week we are working on Section 5. It is a good sized section consisting of 7 blocks. We will be making two main blocks and 5 filler blocks.
The whole section is pictured on page 27.
The Main blocks are:
 Crazy Anne page 10
 Half Square Triangle Block page 16

The Filler Blocks are:
Pinwheel Block page 19
3 Simple Square in a square blocks from page 22
Square in a square with courthouse steps page 24

Crazy Anne is a fun block using a block that some know as a Cat's Cradle and half rectangle blocks. If you wish to paper piece this block click here for a template.
For piecing I cut M, N, O, and P as well as U, V, W and X an 1/8" of an inch larger than suggested, the rest I cut the same as the pattern, than trimmed the block using my 4.5" ruler.
When cutting Z and AA on the diagonal be sure to cut them all on the same diagonal and all right sides up or your triangles will not fit together properly.

The Half Square Triangle Block is done the same as the one in Section 4. I played around with layouts before making a final decision on this block.

Pinwheel Block: We are making the 4" pinwheel and than adding the border as per instructions in the first column on page 19. I over sized my squares in order to trim, and used 8 squares for a scrappier look, though I stuck two colors.

Simple Square in a Square: we need to make one 3" finished and two 4" finished for this section. We have made several of these already so you should be getting good at them now. If yours are still coming out a bit wonky try starching your fabrics before sewing them, this will help decrease stretching.

Square in a Square with Courthouse Steps: there are instructions for two 7" finished blocks on page 24, and we need to make the first one for this section. I cut as per instructions and did not oversize this time.

As this section marks the half way point in our sections it would be great to have everyone all caught up. As some added incentive everyone who has a picture posted of all 5 sections will be entered into a draw to win a $35 gift card to Chicken Feed Quilts. It can be 5 pictures, one of each section individually, or 1 picture with all 5 sections showing, I just need to see that you have them all done. I will do the draw on March 19, which is also the day I will post the first half of the Section 6 blocks.

We will be doing Section 6 in two parts as it is made up of 21 blocks!

I can't wait to see all your pictures so make sure you post them to our Facebook Group.


Friday, March 1, 2019

Quilting Bucket Lists

At the beginning of the year I challenged myself to step out of my box to learn new techniques. I love learning and I love quilting so I made myself a "Bucket List" of techniques that I want to learn how to do. Some of the techniques I have already started on and others are still on my to-do list. I also have a few patterns that I really want to do but are a matter of setting aside the time to do it.
I always shy away from Applique. It can add such a detailed touch to a project and yet if I see applique in a pattern I will often drop it like a hot potato and choose something else. I have done some raw edge applique in the past but have never done any turned-edge applique. So it is on my list of things to learn. Last week I found a project with it and told myself that I was going to do it. I have watched a few tutorials on it now, mostly by Lori Holt and am hoping to start it in the next couple weeks.
Paper Piecing, both Foundation and English, were also on my list of things to do. I had started the Elephant Abstractions quilt by Violet Craft several years ago, but it got pushed to the side when other projects came along. I pulled it out last month and completed it, so I can cross it off the Works In Progress List as well as the bucket list. The only problem is that I loved doing it and now I have more FPP projects that I want to do.
I started an EPP project when I was on vacation in Mexico this past Christmas, and am loving it, I am doing the Lion by Violet Craft which I am finding more fun than the Hexagons which I started 3 years ago. It is such a nice thing to work on in the evenings, I am finished the face and just need to complete the mane and background now, but since I am currently caught up on hand binding I will be able to work on it again.
I have always bound all my quilts by hand, but I wanted to learn machine binding as well and added that to my list. I have done about 6 quilts now, and I have improved though it is far from perfect yet.
Also on my Bucket list is to learn how to Hand Quilt. I love the look of it, but have never tried it. Hopefully I will be brave enough to attempt it at some point this year.
I have wanted to do the Gypsy Wife quilt for some time, and so I am really enjoying the Quilt Along, because I am actually getting the blocks done, and I am so excited for it to be finished.
We received Lori Holt's Vintage Christmas book a couple weeks ago and it has been added to my list of quilts to make one day! I adore the quilt.
I also have the Moda Dessert Sampler on my list. It is a kit that we got in this past fall and I would really like to get it done, but it looks like it may be a time consuming project.
I also have a Bargello and a 3D Illusion Quilt on my list for when time is no longer an issue, ha ha.

It can be easy to stay in a self made quilters box, using the same techniques and colors, but it can be a lot of fun to break down those walls and try new things. A great way to step out is to sign up for a class, and learn from someone who is confident in doing the technique, while spending time with other quilters eager to learn just as you are.
Do you have a bucket list of quilts you want to make or new techniques to learn? I would love to hear what they are so leave a comment below.