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Thursday, May 3, 2018

ISLAND BATIK AMBASSADOR MAY CHALLENGE Playful Pillows

A first for me! I'm actually getting a project done early. Of course I did because I had a sooner deadline to get it done. My parent's 70th anniversary!

My family celebrated my parent's anniversary on Sunday and I wanted to make them something that they would really cherish. I had a copy of their wedding photo. Aren't they a handsome couple!!


Since I didn't have a lot of time to make it, (I'm always doing things at the last minute) I had to figure a fast way to do it.

First I scanned the photo and saved it on my computer. I printed the photo on some Epson Iron-on Cool Peel Transfer paper. I found that it creates a better image than printing it directly on the fabric.
I then, just started sewing strips to the photo. I started with 1", then 1-1/4" then 1-1/2" and so on until I felt that it was as big as I wanted it to be. (I was in too big a hurry to take photos of sewing the strips on.)

I didn't have any pillow forms so I looked up how to make my own with batting on the internet. Isn't the internet a wonderful thing. You can find out how to do anything on it. I found an article that said to make a pocket with 2 pieces of batting by sewing on 3 sides. Then to stuff it with batting scraps so that it is the thickness you wanted without it being too stuffed. Then just sew the last seam down. You don't have to worry about the seams showing since they will be inside the pillow. 
After I made the pillow form (which I measured from the pillow top) I realized that it was too big after stuffing it for the top so I had to add one more row of strips to the top. 

I tried out the alphabet stitches on my sewing machine and stitched their names and date of their wedding.

I didn't have time to quilt it so I sewed the backing on the top on three sides and turned it right side out and put the pillow form in. I pressed the fourth edges in and used some glue to hold the edges together. Then I hand sewed the last edge with a ladder stitch. Here is the finished pillow.

Here they are with the pillow. Aren't they still a handsome couple! (My dad never smiles when you take his photo, but he is happy!) Would you believe my dad will be 98 in June and my mom is 93?
It's not fancy but it served it's purpose. Now when they look at that pillow they will always think of me.

I hope this gives you some incentive to make your own photo pillow for that special occasion. If you have a similar story please share it.

As always; Do what you love and love what you do. Feel free to share with your friends. Thank you for reading. Toby



Tuesday, May 1, 2018

ISLAND BATIK AMBASSADOR APRIL CHALLENGE PART 3


This will be a short blog. So far I have showed how I paper pieced my little log homes. This blog will just describe how I pieced them together and where I got my inspiration.

First I said I would let you know how I fixed that block that had an "attic" and some of my friends called it. Luckily with freezer paper foundation piecing I could iron the foundation back onto the pieces that were already pieced and then continue with fixing that one part.

I have a book called America's Glorious Quilts. 

It illustrates the history of quilts and is divided into chapters of the type of quilts.

I chose the chapter America's Folklore.















Here is the quilt layout I found. The description said it was made in 1880. It's funny because as I was posting the progress of my blocks, when I laid them out I had a lot of questions why were some of the blocks upside down? So I had to show them this quilt. I got quite a few funny responses about it. "You can put on the back of a sofa and it will look good from both directions." and "depends on which side of the bed you are standing!"
I liked the layout because it had large sashing to separate the blocks. Gives me plenty of space to quilt! 

I used a 2" sashing between the 6" x 8" blocks. So here is the finished quilt. I had a hard time deciding on whether to put a border on it so I asked my FB friends and the consensus was to put on a border. Since I was making this with fat eighths I was limited to how many blocks I could make with them. The quilt has a 2-1/2" border and finishes at 37" x 39". I haven't found time to quilt it yet but when I do I will show it off.
So let me know what you think of my little quilt!

As always; Do what you love and love what you do. Thanks for reading and please share this blog with your quilting friends. Toby Lischko

Here is a list of the other Ambassadors that blogged about this challenge.


Alison at Little Bunny Quilts
Amy at Sew Incredibly Crazy
Anita at Quilt in a not-Shell
Anna at Ark Angel Creations
Anne at Sweetgrass Designs

Barbara at Bejeweled Quilts
Bea at BeaQuilter
Carole at Carole Lyles Shaw
Connie at Freemotion by the River
Connie at Kauffman Designs
Dione at Clever Chameleon
Geraldine at Living Water Quilter
Jackie at If These Threads Could Talk
Janet at Whispers of Yore
Jeanette at Inchworm Fabrics
Jen at Patterns by Jen
Jennifer at Curlicue Creations
Jennifer at Dizzy Quilter
Jennifer at Inquiring Quilter
Jessica at Desert Bloom Quilting
Joan at Moosestash Quilting
Joyce at heARTs Creations
Karen at Sew Karen-ly Created
Karen at The Quilt Rambler
Kathleen at Kathleen McMusing
Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts
Leanne at Devoted Quilter
Mania at Mania for Quilts
Maryellen at Mary Mack Made Mine
Michelle at Creative Blonde
Myra at Busy Hands Quilts
Nancy at Masterpiece Quilting
Pamela at PamelaQuilts
Sally at Sally MankeSandra at MMM Quilts
Sarah at Sarah Goer Quilts
Sharon at Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Sherry at Powered by Quilting
Stephanie at Steph Jacobson

Suzy at Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Teri at Lizard Creek Quilts
Tina at Quilting Affection Designs
Turid at Den Syende Himmel
Vicki at Vicki's Crafts & Quilting


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Monday, April 23, 2018

STATE BOCK CHALLENGE Indiana Block 2

This block is another block that is not that difficult. It only took me a couple hours from start to finish.
Here is how the block looks without the fabrics.
block outline

Here are the fabrics I chose.
indiana blk 2 fab
Here are the patches cut out.
indiana blk 2 fab cut

Cutting instructions:
Fabric 1
Symmetrical 1: Cut (4) with template A. (MM B9)
or Cut (2) 4-7/8" squares and cut each once diagonally into HST.
Fabric 2
Symmetrical 2: Cut (5) with template C. (MM B10)
or Cut (2) 4-7/8" squares and cut each once diagonally into (4) HST.
Fabric 3
Blue: Cut (16) with template B. (MM13)
or Cut (8) 2-7/8" square and cut each once diagonally into (16) HST.
Fabric 4
Red: Cut (4) with template B.
or Cut (2) 2-7/8" square and cut each once diagonally into (4) HST.
Fabric 5
White: Cut (4) with template A.
or Cut (2) 4-7/8" squares and cut each once diagonally into HST.


Construction:
1. Sew the Fabric 3 template B HST to each side of (4) of the Fabric 2 template C squares and the Fabric 4 template B HST to the remaining Fabric 2 template C square. Press to HST.
indiana blk 2 dis
indiana blk 2 center

2. Sew the Fabric 1 and Fabric 5 Template A HST together. Press to darker fabric.
indiana blk 2 hst

3. Layout the (5) diamond in a square patches and (4) HST patches as illustrated. Sew across and then sew rows together. Press towards HST and center.


After completing the block, I was not happy with how the corner blocks looked so I decided to take the corners apart and resew them. I would love to hear what you think of each of the finished blocks. Which one do you like the best?
                              indiana blk 2 revised

Here is the link to the templates.
Indiana Block 2


As always, do what you love and love what you do. Please forward and share with your friends. Thanks for reading.

I am trying a different blog company. Please help me decide which one you like better. The new one may be easier to customize than this one.

New Blog
2 Weeks Of Craftsy Unlimited For Just $1 at Craftsy.com 4/18-4/24/18.

Friday, April 20, 2018

STATE BLOCK CHALLENGE INDIANA BLOCK 1

Sometimes simple is better. I have been doing these time intensive projects and needed to take a break and do one of my state blocks. This block is super easy. It only took me 30 minutes from cutting to completing the block.

Here is what the block looks like without fabrics.
Here are the fabrics I picked.

Here are the pieces cut.
CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS

Fabric 1 Main fabric
* Fussy-cut (4) Template B. (MM B9)
Fabric 2 (pink)
* Cut (8) Template A (MM B12)
or Cut (8) 2-1/2" squares
* Cut (1) Template C (MM B8)
or Cut (1) 4-1/2" square
Fabric 3 (yellow)
* Cut (8) Template A
or Cut (8) 2-1/2" squares
Fabric 4 (light)
* Cut (4) Template B
or Cut (2) 4-7/8" squares and cut each twice diagonally into (4) HST.

PIECING INSTRUCTIONS
1. Sew a four-patch with the Template A Fabric 2 and Fabric 3 patches. Make 4.
2. Sew the HST Template B Fabric 1 and Fabric 4 together. Make 4. Press to darker fabric.
3. Sew the (4) four-patch, (4) HST units, and Template C square together. Press towards the four patches and the center square.
Finished block.
Can't get much easier than that! I love the play of the fussy cut pieces and the background fabric. Creates a very interesting effect.

Here is the link to the templates.

Take advantage of my spring cleaning sale on my website. All pink, purple, green, and yellow fabrics 25% off. Write "springcleaning" in the coupon box when checking out for the discount. Search by color to get to the fabric you want quickly.

As always: Do what you love and love what you do. Thanks for reading. Feel free to share with your friends. I would love any comments to see if you are participating or plan to participate.

2 Weeks Of Craftsy Unlimited For Just $1 at Craftsy.com 4/18-4/24/18.
One (1) redemption per email address 4/18/2018 12:01AM Mountain Time through 4/24/2018 11:59PM Mountain Time. You will be charged $1 upon sign-up and be granted access to Craftsy Unlimited for 14 days. At the end of 14 days, if you have not canceled your subscription, it will renew automatically at the regular rate for the plan selected upon checkout. (Regular rates in USD are $14.99 per month or $120 per year. Rates for subscriptions priced in other currencies vary and will be presented at the time of sign-up). $1 for 2 weeks offer is in US Dollars. This offer is only valid for new subscribers. One (1) redemption per email address. Offer cannot be combined with other offers. You can cancel at any time, but your monthly or annual subscription will remain active for the full term and prorated refunds will not be offered. Craftsy may end or alter this offer at its discretion.


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Monday, April 16, 2018

ISLAND BATIK AMBASSADOR APRIL CHALLENGE Part 2


Whenever I start a new quilt or block I always do a test block first, before cutting out the fabric I plan to use with the actual quilt. There are a couple reasons why I do this. One is I want to make sure that I like where I put the fabrics. When I first started quilting (before the design programs were available) I just thought that the fabrics I picked would work out fine in the places where I had planned to put them. Well lesson learned, after I cut out all of the pieces for a quilt and I put a block together and realized I did not like the way the block looked! Even though now I use Electric Quilt to design my quilts, I do sometimes change the way I arranged the fabrics.

Another reason is I like to check my pressing directions as I am making it so when I write the instructions the pieces fit together the way I like.

The third reason is, I always check my seam allowance to make sure that the block is the size I want it. I don't want to get all my blocks done just to find out they are the wrong size! The wonderful thing about foundation piecing is you don't have to worry about that 1/4" seam allowance!

With this house block I am glad I made a test block because I realized that when I went to piece the sections together, I ended up with a "y" seam. (See part one of this project post.) Not that I don't like "y" seams, but they just take a little longer to piece than regular ones. So, I went back to the EQ design and regrouped the foundation sections so that there were no "y" seams. So instead of 4 sections there are now 5 sections. (They look backwards because when you print out foundation sections you choose a mirror image.)
I then again wrote the cutting sizes on each section, labeling whether they were dark or light. I got out my small baggies and labeled them with the section (A, B, etc.), the size of the pieces to cut, and how many of them to cut per section. To make cutting quicker I layered the fat eighths 3 at a time, cut out the strips and sub-cut the pieces I needed, placing them in the correct baggie. I find that organizing them this way, I can sew each section, chain piecing and get 3 or 4 done at a time. This might be a little time consuming in the beginning, but you will see that it makes finding the right pieces so much easier, actually saving time in the long run. (When I am finally ready to sew, I don't want to go back to have to cut out pieces. Unless of course I didn't do my math right!)



I'm going to try to illustrate with photos how to foundation piece with freezer paper. It will probably make more sense when you do it following my written instructions. 

I have a mantra when I paper piece. Four basic steps: Press, fold, trim, sew. When I teach this method in my New York Beauty classes I give the students a "cheat sheet" with these steps on and tell them to repeat them as they sew.

You can fold the foundation sections on the lines before you begin to sew or as you are sewing. I chose to fold them first using a business card or some type of thick card stock.

Step 1. Press your first section, wrong side of fabric to the shiny side of the paper. Try to limit your pressing to section one only and make sure that the fabric sticks out of each side for trimming later. You can see that the fabric hangs out past the edge of the foundation section and beyond the lines inside.
Step 2. Fold back the foundation section on the line.
Step 3. Using an Add-a-Quarter or any ruler, trim the edge to 1/4".
Step 4. Place the next fabric right sides together, lining up the edges and sew ALONG THE FOLD of the foundation. I use an open toe foot and move my needle all the way to the right so I have a guide to keep the paper straight and the needle as close to the fold as I can. No need to shorten the stitch since we will not be tearing it off. Start sewing a few stitches before and beyond the seam line of the foundation section.

Back to step 1. First finger press the fabric on the right side then turn it over and press it to the freezer paper to the next fold line.
Continue following these four steps until the section is completed. Trim the excess fabric off along the outside line and gently remove the paper, being careful not to pull any seams open. If you find that you have problems doing that, then do a small backstitch at the beginning and end when sewing on the outside edges. Here are all 5 sections completed. Now they are ready to sew together (this time without the "y" seam).
Here are the first four blocks done (only 9 more to go).
Oops! Can you see my mistake? Easy to fix. (Leave a comment to let me know what I did wrong.)

In the next and final installment of this project, I will show how I got the inspiration for the setting and the completed quilt. (And what I did to fix my mistake.)

I have started a new Yahoo group page called Toby Lischko's Creative Quilting Group. I hope you will join and share your projects!

As always: Do what you love and love what you do. Thank you for reading and please share with your friends. Toby

Save 33% on a full price Craftsy class (including my Clever Curves). Code:INSTRUCTORENROLLAPRIL. Use this link to take you there. Craftsy class. Coupon good until 4/30/18.


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Friday, April 6, 2018

ISLAND BATIK AMBASSADOR APRIL CHALLENGE Part 1


This month's challenge is to make a new quilt from an old block. Since I consider myself a traditional quilter I use traditional blocks all the time for my patterns. I thought about using one of my patterns, but then I realized that since this is a challenge, I should do something different.

I want to congratulate the winners of my last blog. The first name I pulled was Anita Skjellanger. I found out that she lives in Norway!
Since shipping is so expensive to send this overseas I offered her one
of my patterns instead and pulled another name. The second winner
is Peggy True. She won my Binding Minder and 4 fat eighths from 
Batiks.

I want everyone to see how my brain works when I am designing a quilt so there will be several blogs related to this challenge. Plus, I am working on other quilts at the same time (nothing unusual) so these posts will be intermittent through the month of April.

I have always liked the house block. There are many versions of the block, especially in EQ8. Some easy, some more complicated.  I ended up using this one that was in the block library. It is called The Old Homestead. Electric Quilt has a fantastic product. I use it to design all of my quilts. They now have a mini version if you do not want to purchase the full EQ8 version
With EQ8 (or any version) it is very simple to make changes to the blocks so I did some revisions and ended up with this square block. (I always seem to want to make revisions to blocks to make them more my own!)
I liked this version but of course I had to make one more change. Instead of a square block I wanted to make it a rectangle, so I changed it from a 9" block to a 8" x 6" block.

Now the challenge was to find which fabrics I wanted to work with from the ones that Island Batik sent me. I thought about doing bright summer colors, but this block makes me think of being in the woods, so I decided to go with more "woodsy" colors and ended up with these fabrics. They are part of the Autumn's Grace collection. They have wonderful textures, some look like wood.
The next challenge was to see if there was enough fabric (they were fat eighths) to make each block. I always tell my students that you should make a test block before tackling your good fabrics. That way you can make any corrections ahead of time.

I thought the best way to make this block is to paper piece it so I printed out the paper pieced sections from EQ8 and measured all of the sections to see what size pieces to cut out. I don't like a lot of waste in my fabric (especially since I only had a fat eighth). I wrote down all of the sizes on my foundation paper. These were the pre-cut sizes.
I then added 1" (the 1/2" seam plus an extra 1/2") to each measurement and wrote them down on a sheet of paper as to how many I needed to cut out. That way if they were the same width I could cut out a strip and cut multiple pieces from the strip. Tip: Always cut out the longest strips first, then use the remainder for cutting out smaller strips. It makes the best use of the fabric.

The next step was to cut out the pieces. The foundation sections were tinted so I knew which patches were for the dark fabric and which were for the light fabric. I didn't want to cut into the actual fabrics I chose, so I picked a different fat eighth.. I also labeled each piece with the corresponding section and measurement. I go lucky! I was able to get all of the pieces I needed from that fat eighth with just a tiny bit left over. Good thing I didn't do a bigger block.



 
The biggest challenge with paper piecing is sewing on triangles. It doesn't work well when you use a square or rectangle so the best thing to do is cut out a triangle that matches the one on the paper plus your 1" extra. I realized I hadn't done that so my rectangles I cut for the triangle patches had to be re-cut into oversized triangles.

I then made the four sections. I use a freezer paper method of paper piecing so I don't have to tear off paper when I am done and can reuse the paper. I will show how I to do this in the next blog. Some of the seams I had to trim to 1/8" (the thin section of light fabric). Here are the four sections trimmed after sewing.
At this point the freezer paper is still on the fabric so I will take it off. Then I can see if some of my final seams need to be pressed in a different direction to make it go together easier. (Another good reason to use freezer paper.)

Now you know how my brain works. Sometimes I don't really know how it works! Be sure to come back for the next installment.

Check out the Island Batik Facebook page for more great quilters' challenges.

As always: Do what you love and love what you do. Thanks for reading a feel free to share.

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