Monday, December 14, 2015

The quilting tool you probably already own..........but didn't know about

Recently, I happened upon a very handy tool for quilting - I bet you even own one yourself! What's that you might ask? Well...........

It's a plastic serrated knife silly!

What in the world of quilting could you possibly use that for?

Why, for closing safety pins used in basting your quilt of course!

The knife slides easily underneath the pin without damaging the fabric, and without your fingers being pricked by the point of the pin. In addition, the serrated teeth grab the pin, so that it is extremely easy to navigate the closure. Try it - I guarantee it, or your money back!

OR you could spend the $8.99 suggested retail on something like this:

Money spent elsewhere = missed fabric opportunities!!!!

"Necessity is the mother of invention" - Unknown

Monday, December 7, 2015

Amish Bars - mug rug pattern - free

Today's free mug rug pattern is my interpretation of an antique quilt found in the collection of the International Quilt Study Center & Museum. If you have not had a chance to visit their website, please make sure to visit. They have a collection of over 3500 quilts - most of which you can view about eye candy!

Anyway, the quilt I used is an Amish Bars/Strippie quilt that is estimated to have been made 1890 and 1910 in Pennsylvania. Here is a link to the photo of the original quilt, found on the International Quilt Study Center & Museum site and here is a link to the detailed quilt information. I hope that you will enjoy making it.

So, here is my interpretation - albeit tiny in comparison and squinched in the middle to make a mug rug:

The finished size of this mug rug is 8 1/2" by 6 1/2" and it uses 3 fabrics. From what I can tell, the original quilt was Dark Red, Salmon Pink and Off-white. Obviously, you can make yours any color you choose. Here are the traditional piecing instructions:

Cutting Instructions:
All measurements include 1/4" wide seam allowances.
From the Dark Red Fabric, cut:
  • 1 strip 1" x 18" long 
    • Cross cut into:
      • 2 strips 3 1/2" long
      • 2 strips 5 1/2" long
  • For the backing - One 9" x 7" rectangle
  • For the binding - One 1-1/2" x 45" (or width of fabric)
From the Salmon Pink fabric:
  • 1 strip 1 1/2" x 29"
    • Cross cut into:
      • 2 strips 6 1/2" long
      • 2 strips 4 1/2" long
      • 2 strips 3 1/2" long
From the off-white fabric, cut:
  • 1 strip 1 1/2" x  16 1/2"
    • Cross cut into:
      • 3 strips 3 1/2" long
      • 4 squares 1 1/2"
  • 1 strip 1" x 4"
    • Cross cut into:
      • 4 squares 1"
Constructing the top:
Make center vertical bar block:
  1. Using all 3 1/2" x 1 1/2" strips - starting and ending with off-white, alternate sewing off-white and salmon pink strips long-sides together.
  2. Press toward salmon pink.
  3. Block should measure 5 1/2" x 3 1/2"

Add inner border:
  1. Add dark red 3 1/2" by 1" strips to each end of vertical bar block.
  2. Construct top and bottom inner border pieces by sewing two off-white 1" squares to both ends of a dark red 1" x 5 1/2"strip.
  3. Sew top and bottom inner border pieces to the top and bottom of the vertical bar block, which already has inner border attached at ends.
  4. Top should now measure 4 ½” x 6 ½”.

Add outer border:
  1. Sew left and right end of outer border to left and right ends of inner border.
  2. Construct top and bottom outer border pieces by sewing two off-white 1 1/2" squares to each end of 1 1/2" x 6 1/2" salmon pink
  3. Attach top and bottom outer border pieces to middle section.
  4. Top should now measure 8 ½” x 6 ½”

Sandwich, quilt and bind as desired.

That's it! Please enjoy this pattern, but as with all my patterns, please do not copy or use any portion other than for your personal use in making a mug rug. If you want to share it with friends, please send them a link to my blog.
May your bobbin always be full!
Michele Hester

A lesson in Values - free quilt pattern

CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE QUILT PATTERN This quilt is a great one to learn about the use of color value in quilt-making. It is also a gre...