Jun 18 2014

Many sewers and quilters pride themselves on sewing without pins.

They somehow feel it elevates their command of the skill, demonstrating they are able to precisely feed fabric past a feed-dog at lightening speeds.

Nothing could be further from my truth. I use zillions of pins, the more the better, removing each one as it approaches the needle, having insured proper placement for the intended stitches. I need my pins. I love my pins. And, I wouldn’t work without them.

Pins Side w typeFive inch squares with side sashing pinned in place.

I feel secure with my pins, while I scoff at those who feel I’m below them in the quilting pecking order. Am I to be defined by my abundant use of pins? Are you who “do without” really, truly a better quilter? Isn’t the finished product, a rigid cross hatch of perfectly met corners and uncompromising 45º diagonals the true test of quilting merit? Are the biddy’s at the Quilt Shows with their half glasses pranced mid-nose able to qualify your work as “Sans Pins” upon inspection? Ha! I say not!

Pins Close up w typeGazillions of pins help make zillions of Quilt Squares.

So let me wallow with my pins in ignorant bliss, while feeling secure as to the outcome of my work. I stand firm in my belief that pinning prevents unexpected mix-ups, fly-aways and fall-aparts. No matter what happens to my quilting space, my in-progress work will be preserved. Not so with that reckless Latifah Saafir, the “Quilting Engineer,” who publicly sews “Glam” Clamshell Tops without pins holding the pieces together. Just take a gander at this:

Maybe you won’t break out in hives watching
this pin free video, but I did.

See? See? Did you see that? Amazing! But then, to my taste, I could pin that curved seam before the first notch pretty fast, then not have to futz with it while it’s in the machine. Everybody finds their own best way to do things, once basic skills are learned, so maybe I am talking to a legion of healthy, happy non-pinners. If so, I salute you, saying, “How would I know?”

Overview Pins w typeAh! Everything is in secure order.

But, as for me, I shall continue to revel in boxes, and boxes, of yellow headed quilting pins, loving them, tending to them, making sure they are dry and sharp, while ready for duty. I will lovingly make them pincushions, sharpen them with emory and promise never to leave them alone in the damp. For, as my pins go, so goes my sewing. And, that’s the truth!

So, ‘fess up! Are you a pinner? Non-pinner? Or fall somewhere in between? I promise not to take it personally.

Let me know by Commenting below, Tweeting to @SunbonSmart or following SunbonnetSmart on Instagram. The whole world is waiting!

 Sewing wihtout pins

Sewing Without Pins for Everyone

 

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Jun 04 2014

It’s that time of year! Jump in the car for a road trip to see Barn Quilts.

Much like the Hex Signs posted on barns by the Pennsylvania Dutch in the eastern part of the United States, large plywood cutouts of quilt blocks have become popular sights in rural communities across the country. Placing quilt blocks on the side of barns and sheds, so they can be seen from the road, has brought auto traffic with income to towns otherwise lost to the Interstate Highway System.

Donna Sue Quilt Barn

Donna Sue and her Mother.

While the origin of Hex Signs has been lost, the recent advent of Barn Quilts is directly traceable to one woman, Donna Sue Groves, in Ohio, who bought a farm with her mother and wanted to spruce it up in honor of her mother’s love for quilting. Donna Sue is well known to quilters and Barn Quilt enthusiasts alike, and will be even more famous once a film about her is released. Called, “Pieced Together,” the movie is in production with an anticipated release of early 2015. Filmmaker Julianne Donofrio has been working on the film since 2009 and successfully ran a Kickstarter cloud funding campaign in the fall of 2013. Funds are still being solicited to enhance the final product, BTW, and by going to her Kickstarter post, you can still contribute.

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 10.08.51 PM

Many states with rural area have now set up Barn Quilt trails along with accompanying brochures to guide visitors on self-directed tours. Michigan has many such trails, offering an on-line PDF to be printed out here. There are many web sites devoted to Barn Quilts now, but one of the most inclusive is Barn Quilts Info, maintained by Suzi Parron, who with Donna Sue Groves wrote the book, Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement. It can be purchased on-line at Amazon and a link is found below.

Whether you make quilts, or just love to look at and sleep under them, the American Quilt Barn movement provides an enriching hobby and a great excuse to enjoy back road America.

 

Click for a preview

 

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Jun 03 2014

 With a bit of color work in fabric choices, a simple quilt pattern looks complex.

This sweet quilt from the web site and blog, “PleasanTree,” demonstrates the potential, perfectly. What could be easier, construction wise, than alternating blocks of “Nine Patches” and “Half Square Triangles?” And yet, look at the sophisticated appeal of this quilt, the pattern called, “Country Charm,” from the book Country Inn by Barb Adams and Alma Allen.

Pleasant Tree Country Charm

PleasanTree makes “Country Charm”

The work is also appointed with a ruffled edge, lifting this quilt up and out of the ordinary in another delicious way. The cuddle factor is a hit “outta the park.” What a Home Run with just a bit of planning for color in fabric selection. To enjoy more photos from PleasanTree, go here.

Auditioning Fabric

Try auditioning fabric without cutting.

Audition possible fabric choices with colored pencils on graph paper, or physically try them out by folding them onto a background fabric, or by pinning them to a design wall. Some quilters also print out their pattern layout on EQ, or Electric Quilt, a computer design program, print out the required number of blocks and then cut small fabric squares to glue stick onto the paper. No matter how the color way is planned, the time spent choosing fabrics will produced a high level design, with few construction headaches.

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 SunbonnetSmart.com is authored by a little bird who loves to lure SunbonnetSmartsters to her BlogHer.com profile, daily newspaper,
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Jun 02 2014

Crazy letters! What in the world do they mean? If you are are a scientist, a quilter or observe the Chakra energy centers, you probably know!

The letters ROYGBIV stand for the colors of the rainbow, or visible light spectrum: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. All of the light we see is divided up into these colors or their variations. In addition, white is the absence of any color and black is the summation of all of the colors.

Rainbow Chipotle May 2014 w type

 Rainbows are spectrums in the sky.

Working as fabric artists, the appreciation for and understanding of color is essential. Quilters love color so much that sometimes, they want to display the whole spectrum in one quilt. There are infinite ways to play with the patterns to include all seven colors, and their infinite variations. Quilts that include all seven colors of the spectrum are called ROYGBIV Quilts. They have become so popular, that some quilt shows and exhibits have separate ROYGBIV entry categories.

Jessica, the quilter behind the web site and blog, “Quilty Habit,” decided to make a quilt to celebrate her wedding. She decided upon a glorious ROYGBIV Dresden Plate, full of love and outstanding color blends. Be sure and visit Jessica and share in her joy.

Quilty Habit Rainow Center

 A ROYGBIV Dresden Plate by Jessica of “Quilty Habit

Scientists study color, just as they do all other natural phenomenon, in fact, at RIT, the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY, the Munsell Color Science Laboratory has been granting Masters Degrees and Ph.D.’s in the theory and science of color since 1983. This course of study is not the artistic application of color, as one would find in art school, but rather, the actual scientific study with research on wavelengths of light as they interact and are perceived by the eye.

If you are interested in the study of color, both artistic and scientific, this list, found on the web site, Color Matters, will be valuable.

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Jun 01 2014

Using an extra block between traditional blocks can add a compelling eye-catcher. #quilt #quilting

Welcome to SunbonnetSmarters joining in from Facebook! I was tooling around the Internet when I found Kay MacKensie’s wonderful “ruminations,” as she says, of her fondness for Jill Finley’s book from Martingale Press called, “Home Sweet Quilt.” Kay’s web site and blog, “All about Applique,” has much to offer, and in reading today’s post, I noticed a fun and simple design option easy to employ in your next project.

Winding Down All About Applique wo type

“Winding Down”

Traditional quilts often use “Solid Sets,” where all blocks are the same pattern. Or, they can alternate a pattern block with a same sized block of fabric to produce, “Alternate Sets.”Here, a simple Pin Wheel block, made of half square triangles get dressed up!

Jill Finley introduces a bit of sashing and a single half square triangle block to join her patterned “Alternate Set” blocks on the diagonal. What an interesting effect! It gives more negative space where the eye can rest, while surprising the viewer with an unexpected rhythm. To enjoy Kay’s web site and read her review of Jill’s book, go here.

Click for a preview.

 SunbonnetSmart.com is authored by a little bird who loves to lure SunbonnetSmartsters to her BlogHer.com profile, daily newspaper,
The SunbonnetSmart.com NewsFlash, and Facebook Fan Page



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