Friday, April 21, 2017

Quilt Finish: St. Patrick's Placemats

You might think that these are a little late, but I prefer to think of these as very, very early for St. Patrick's Day 2018.

I found some cute shamrock fabric and wanted to make placemats for my mom.  I quickly quilted them up using a decorative stitch on my home sewing machine as recommended by Pat Sloan in her Teach Me to Machine Quilt book.

Since Pat has never let me down, I used her machine binding technique, my FabuLux Hint of Lime thread, and some life-saving binding clips to finish the binding:

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Mom -- a little early.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Top-Secret Sewing

"T'was the month before Quilt Market and all through the studio, not a quilt photo is showing...."

I'm sewing my fingers to the bones and fabric is flying, but I can't show you what I'm making.  Trust me, this hurts me far worse than it hurts you.

My house and studio are usually destroyed by the time I leave for Quilt Market, so I'm trying to keep up with the quilting debris as I finish the unshowable quilts.

I'm often told I'm a tease for talking about quilts but not showing them, so I decided to show a peek of the last quilt I finished:

Don't you just love it?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Tempted: Dandy Flowers

Oh, the temptation is killing me!

Designs by Sarah J is hosting a Quilt Along and it. Is. ADORABLE!

Read about it HERE.

If I have to choose between starting this project and finishing up a bunch of UFOs to improve my sewing room greatly, won't these fabrics look great for this quilt?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

How to Mend Pants

My children are the most supportive and helpful young adults imaginable.  Somehow they knew that I wanted to write tutorials about how to use a sewing machine to make simple clothing repairs and they brought me torn garments just so I would have something to show you!  Aren't they the greatest?

So, courtesy of my children, I bring you:

Dear Child o' Mine:

If I understand the problem correctly, this nearly new pair of work pants lost the seam under the zipper.  The pants could be returned, but it's so much less work to have Mom mend them.

Even though you are grown and no longer live with me, I still have a thing or two to teach you -- like how to mend pants.

I know that you have a sewing machine because I gave it to you.  Watch and learn how to use the sewing machine that is sitting and doing nothing at your house.

I found some matching thread:

I threaded my sewing machine, put on the zig-zag foot, and restitched the missing seam:

I made sure to back-and-forth stitch each end of the seam so it wouldn't come out any time soon:

You know I've always said "If one is good, two are better," so I stitched the seam a second time right inside the first stitching line:

I changed my straight stitch to a zig-zag stitch:

And stitched over the edges of the seam, remembering to back-and-forth each end of the stitching:

The seam was repaired and the pants were serviceable, but there were a few missing stitches that I couldn't reach with my sewing machine:

I threaded a needle, made a knot, and pulled my needle through to the front of the pants keeping the knot on the inside of the pants:

Once the needle was through the seam at the beginning of the un-stitched area, I took a small stitch alternately from each side of the opening.  One stitch through the top seam:

One stitch through the bottom seam:

Once that seam was stitched closed, I put my needle through the seam so I could make a knot on the inside of the pants:

When the needle was inside the pants, I began to wrap it with the thread:

After wrapping two or three times:

I pulled the needle through the threads to make a knot.  I cut the thread and the pants were fixed:

And that, sweet child o' mine, is how you will mend your pants from this moment onward,

(aka "The Pants Whisperer")

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Cutie Quilt: Picnic Patch

As much as it hurts to admit this, one of my favorite Cutie Quilts patterns is one that I didn't design.  I love everything about Picnic Patch.

I had a bolt of coarsely woven caramel colored fabric for the block and border and dug through my low-volume scraps for the sashings.

I grabbed a cone of oatmeal colored thread so I could quilt the entire quilt with one thread color:

Look -- ribbon candy!

I'm not a photographer and struggle to take quilt photos that show just how lovely they are in person.  Sometimes, the light in my living room is very "quilt friendly."  Like here:

I gave this quilt to my friend for her birthday.  I sent her photos while I was piecing and quilting it, asking if she thought a bride would like a quilt like this.  "Who cares about a bride?  'I' want this quilt!"  Hint taken.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Living With Quilts: A Change of Seasons

Last week I realized that I still had a snowman quilt hanging in my living room, so I changed it for the spring season.  I'm headed home from MQX today and looking forward to seeing this quilt:

Happy Spring!

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Weekly Summary: BOM quilts

Back to back quilt shows make keeping up with my "block a day" habit, but I did make some progress:

Pat Sloan's Globetrotting block San Juan:

I filmed videos about how to quilt this block HERE.

I have more blocks from The New Sampler Quilt book:

I'm making Progress on the Cutie Quilt "Inez's Walk Around the Block:

I'm currently in Manchester, NH working at the MQX quilt show.  I'm getting some quilting done in my hotel room.

I finished piecing a Going My Way? Cutie quilt sample:

Aren't those Allison Glass Sunprint fabrics beautiful?

My Handi Quilter Stitch 210 machine and I are working on a pattern sample for a future Cutie Quilt:

I can't show you the whole quilt, but I kind of have a crush on it.  Yes, I'm a bit of a tease.

Have you made any progress on your sewing this week?

Friday, April 07, 2017

Quilt Finish: A Subtle Quilt

I recently pulled out a stack of Scrappy Mountain Majesty blocks from Bonnie Hunter's pattern.  I pieced them together and found a backing in my stash, which always makes me scream "Score!"

The quilt is 48"x60" and I quilted it with some simple wavy lines using my Handi Quilter Pro-Stitcher and some tan thread:

Sadly, the need for a comfort quilt came more quickly than I expected when a friend was in a head-on collision.  Praise God, everyone involved was able to walk away from the accident.

When I heard the news I thought, "Hey, I can quickly bind that quilt and give it to him.  Wait!  The quilt is black and gold and he's a New England Patriots' fan and I can't give him a quilt made with Steelers' colors.  Wait!  I'm a Steelers' fan and there's (somewhat) friendly rivalry between us so this black and gold quilt will be a perfect gift from me to him."*

I delivered the quilt and very soon read a Facebook post containing these words:  "Upon closer inspection of said quilt, I realized that the quilt was full of Steelers colors!!! Sneaky, sneaky friend."
Sneaky.  That's me!
*Yes, sometimes I have long conversations with myself.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Tempted: Sugar and Spice

I've tried to stop looking at all of the pretty quilts on the internet so I wouldn't be tempted to start any new ones.  I try to be strong, really I do --- but what's a quilter to do when she is flipping through a magazine to read the article she wrote and accidentally stumbles upon this:

This quilt is made using five-inch squares.  I have pounds and pounds of ten-inch squares!

As you can see, I was auditioning light blue background fabric and black/white prints for this quilt.  This is the "Year of the Baby" (at least among the people we know) and I'm short on baby boy quilts.

Check out the Sugar and Spice pattern in the Summer 2017 issue of Quilter's World Magazine.  It's designed by On William's Street.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Once A Mom...

My children visited me last weekend and turned my binding chair* into a ....


I guess I'm going to be mending in the near future.  I'm thinking about filming a few videos for the young'uns on how to mend.

*Read about the binding chair HERE

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Cutie Quilt: Summer's End

Recently, I had the pleasure of teaching some friends from my local quilt guild how to piece my Summer's End quilt:

I decided to make another copy of this quilt in neutral fabrics and stitch along with my friends.  After a day of stitching, this is how far I got:

Do you see all of those little triangle trimmings?  Please stop me before I decide to stitch them and use them in a new crazily miniature quilt.  PLEASE!

This quilt has approximately eleventy-thousand triangles.  I warned my friends that they were in for a lot of triangle trimmings, but they were good sports about it:

I don't often get to hang out with my local guild members because of my travels and I forget how much fun they are.  At lunch time, we played a round of "Left Right Center:"

An observant reader might notice that Hello Kitty fat quarter.  If you guess that one is from me, you'd be correct.

The winner of this game would take home between 30-40 fat quarters and while we were playing I kept chanting "Please don't let me win!  Please don't let me win!"

I didn't, but two happy quilters went home with bags full of new fabrics.

I can't wait until I get to hang out with these fun quilters again!

Monday, April 03, 2017

Operation Happy Place: A Cut Above

I was at QuiltWeek in Lancaster Pennsylvania last week.  I promises myself not to buy quilty things that will make my sewing room more crowded and I'm happy to report that I kept that promise.  I did shop, though, but it was a planned purchase.  I have a New Cutting Board!

 Doesn't this pink board just scream "I belong in Debby's sewing room"?  I think so.

Here's my before:

Admit it -- the pink is much better, right?  It also will make smoother cuts since these two green boards were old and worn out.

I'm only home two days this week before I leave for another quilt show, but I'm going to enjoy this pink addition to my cutting room every second of each of those two days!

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Help Wanted!

The time has come.  

I need to hire an assistant.  I'm working on a job description and wanted to run it by my readers first:

Help Wanted!

Job Title:  Hand Slapper

I need to hire help to work efficiently.  When I start to do something that is counter-productive to my personal or professional goals, my new employee needs to slap my hand and re-direct my energies

Scenario:  I try to buy new fabric “just because it’s pretty” rather than for a specific project
Job responsibility:  Slap the fabric out of my hand

Scenario:  I pull out fabric to start a new quilt
Job responsibility:  Slap the fabric out of my hand and firmly state “You need to finish what you are working on first”

Scenario:  I pick up a piece of chocolate
Job responsibility:  Slap the chocolate out of my hand.  (Hazard pay scale applies to this scenario)

Please join the team and help Debby Brown Quilts become more successful!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Quilt Finish: Scrappy Baby Quilt

Sometimes, I make quilts that have to remain secret, but those secret quilts still have leftover bits of fabric that I want to play with.

This quilt was made from the leftovers from that nameless quilt:

It's a little baby quilt for one of the little babies I'm expecting this year.*  I quilted it using my Handi Quilter Fusion with Pro-Stitcher using a Linda V. Taylor dandelion design.  I used Dream Angel batting, like I do for my baby quilts, so it's nice and flat and densely quilted.

Backings have been a problem for me this year.  I've finished 27 quilts so far in 2017 and each quilt had a backing.  Shocking, right?  As I'm digging through my UFOs, some of them have backing fabric packaged with them, some I buy new backings for, and others I try to supply with backings from my stash.

For this quilt, I had some leftover fabric from the front and then some yummy orange fabric in my stash covered the rest of the back:

Even my non-quilting friends** like this sweet little quilt!
*2017 is the year of the baby, apparently
**Yes, I have non-quilting friends.  It surprises me, too.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Tempted: Spring Along Charm Quilt

Moda Bake Shop has done it again.  They have tempted me with another quilt:  Spring Along Charm Quilt.

It's made using charm squares.  Have I mentioned that I have a few charm packs?

And that I routinely cut my scrap fabric into five-inch squares?  Enough to fill this huge tub?:

As soon as I get home from QuiltWeek in Lancaster, PA and MQX, I think I might have to dive into this tub and pull out enough squares for this quilt.  

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Do You Want to Learn to Machine Quilt?

If "learn to machine quilt" was one of your New Year Resolutions, I have great news!  I am a columnist for Quilter's World Magazine and write the "Quilting on Your Machine" feature in each issue!

Did you notice that they (kind of) mention me on the cover?


I saw the list of shops carrying this magazine and was tickled to see two familiar shops.  I've taught at both Sew What's New and Yarn, Too in Islip, Long Island, NY and Bits 'n Pieces in Pelham, NH.  I'm sure they'd be happy to sell you a copy!

In each issue, I will address a different machine quilting topic to help give you the confidence to finish your quilts!

I wrote a list of machine quilting topics to cover in future issues but wonder what part of machine quilting is the most challenging for you?