Monday, June 19, 2017

summer block party

I am sew excited to be joining the sew much fun blog hop with Jen at I am fairly new at pattern design. I have so many ideas constantly going through my mind.

 I designed this block for a monthly challenge as an Island Batik Ambassador. That project used 6" blocks, so I made this into a 12" block. This is a paper piecing block and you can find the pattern  here. You will follow this tutorial, which you can find at You will make 4 of these blocks and put 2 on top and 2 on bottom.

Your will need 2 fat quarters each of 3 colors and 1/4 yards of white or cream.

Your finished block will look like this:

It is going to measure only about 12" unfinished.  I goofed up and have not had a chance to fix it.

 Would you like to win a stash builder roll of beautiful Batik fabrics? All you have to do, is leave a comment about the tutorial and for a 2nd chance, leave another comment about how you follow me. I am on facebook at Kathy's Kwilts and More
IG @kathyskwiltsandmore
And of course here on my blog.
The contest will close at Midnight mountain standard time on Sunday, June 25th. Good luck. Open to U.S. residents only.

Be sure to visit the other bloggers today.
Jen @
Michelle @
Leanne @
Laura @
Amanda @
Jen S. @
Rachel @

Friday, June 16, 2017

tutorial: foundation paper piecing

I wanted to learn paper piecing.  So, I looked up some tutorials, and ended up confused. So, I played and came up with the easiest way to do it, at least for me, so I wanted to share.  I hope it helps some of my readers.

The first thing I do is copy my patterns. Then I trace them with a sharpie, so I can see through on the opposite side.  So, your pattern looks like this:

Now I flip the paper over and trace with a pencil.  Now I can see my lines on both sides of the paper.

One of the best things about a paper pieced block is it doesn't take a lot of fabric. These can be great stash busters. So, let's get started. 

You will notice on the pattern, that you can find here, that there are numbers. You piece in this order. Let's call this sewing by number, like we used to paint by number.   Take a piece of fabric and lay the wrong side of fabric against the wrong side of the paper, so that the right side of fabric is facing you. I also mark this side telling me it is the fabric side. Because it is mirror image, I put my numbers on this side as well. So, for this pattern, 1 is the center, then 2 will be where 3 is on the front, and 3 is where the 2 is. I don't worry about 4 - 7 as they are just in white and each corner has a triangle. 

   Lay against spot that has the number 1 and make sure it extends 1/4 inch. It can be a bit bigger, but no smaller. Now you will lay fabric number 2 on top of number 1, still matching your numbers, and having right sides together. At this point, I stick a pin in there, and fold over where the seam is, just to make sure I have it right.
Pieces for 1 and 2 laid on top of each other. 

Now, I turn the paper over, and stitch with the fabric against the feeddogs. So, just make sure you have your fabric very flat.  Yes, you can ask me how I know.  Stitch with a smaller stitch length than you normally would, as this will aid in tearing the paper away.
Stitching numbers 1 and 2

Now it is time for trimming that seam you just sewed. Fold the paper backing on the seam you just stitched and trim at a 1/4". I just use a small ruler for this. 

Now, you will repeat the same steps, going in numerical order.  When you are finished, your block should look like this: 

Now, go ahead and trim around the block. Your block should measure 6".  You are done. How easy was that?

Make a master showing what colors you want where. 

Make one complete block to make sure you know what the layout will be. Put it close to where you are working so you know where your colors are going to be. 

I like to do a good amount  first if I need several blocks before trimming. So, pin pieces already sewn, so they are out of the way. 

Some patterns will have more numbers than this, just go in  numerical order.  Some will also have "A1" "B1" etc. Start with "a" first and then continue on. 

I hope this tutorial has been helpful for you. Please let me know if you have tried it. I have to apologize for the pictures with spots on. I have dropped my phone a few times, and that is the only camera I have right now. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Tutorial : Hand applique

I love to do hand work. For one thing it is very portable. Today's tutorial is hand applique.  Every one has a different techniques they prefer to use. I will be sharing how I like to do hand applique  and what works best for me.


Hand sewing needles. I use the embroidery size. I use as small as needle as I can.
Embroidery Floss:
I use DMC floss, mostly because I can get it easily and I have a bunch that was given to me.
Fusible Web: I usually use wonder under. It is what works best for me.  I have not had good luck with heat n bond.

I always prewash my fabric.  All fabric has a sizing on it. Your fusible Web won't bond well if you don't prewash. Also, don't use fabric softener.

I cut at piece of fabric, bigger than the applique. Only about an inch bigger. Especially on my small pieces. Then I cut my fusible Web the same size as the fabric.  Then I fuse the two together. Your fusible Web is going to have a paper backing. Make sure the side that does not have the paper backing is next to the fabric. You want the paper backing next to the iron. Otherwise, you might have a big mess on your iron. Ask me how I know. Once the fabric and fusible webbing are fused, then you can cut your pattern out. To do this, I pin the pattern piece on and just cut around it.

To start I separate my floss and use 2 strands. I thread a needle and tie a knot in one end. I take my applique and choose a starting point. I come up through my background fabric very close to the edge of my applique. Then I stick my needle through the top of the applique, about a 1/4" from the edge, then I go down at the edge of the applique. ALWAYS keep the floss under the needle and it should fall to the right of the needle. I space my stitches about 1/4" apart.

To end my stitching, because I have finished a section, or need more floss, I put my needle down through the fabric at the top of my last stitch and flip my work over and tie it off.

What color floss do I want to use:
It depends what look you want. I usually use matching floss.

Sometimes I will use a contrasting thread:

OR sometimes I will use a shade or two darker.

I hope you will give hand applique a try. I love it. It is something that is easy to take no matter where you go.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

May challenge Island Batik Ambassador part 1

The Challenge for May for the Island Batik Ambassadors is really a challenge for me. It is Modern May.

I am more of a traditional quilter, so this has been interesting for me. I started by researching the elements of modern quilts. One of those elements is negative space.

Once I researched the elements of modern quilting, I started looking for patterns. In all honesty, I am still confused.  But, I may be overthinking it. So, I turned to a magazine I had picked up called Modern Patchwork.  I figured if it said modern, it would be helpful.  I found a few patterns that I liked, but I choose this one called "Yellow on a Gray Day".

Instead of using yellows and grays, I have chosen to use some purples from the Drizzle collection, Daffodil from the basics, the gray is from the Merry and Bright collection and the white is from the neutrals collection.

Okay, now we can get started cutting. But, wait. I don't have the right size ruler. This pattern uses a ruler called the "recs tool". I have the right ruler, but not the right size. So, I figure it is just 2" smaller, I can make it work. This ruler makes 1/2 rectangles.

With my ruler being small I know I will have smaller blocks, but that is okay. I can make a smaller quilt or add more blocks. That is the best thing about quilting, you can change the size.

After I get the pieces all cut, then I chain piece. I love chain piecing as it goes really fast.

Then, when I  get quite a few done, I start laying them out. I try to make sure that I don't have 2 of the same fabrics touching.  So I take a picture to double check everything. Then I find that I may end up playing switcheroo with my blocks. Once they are all laid out, then I can start sewing the rows together.
I have a few of the colors touching where they don't need to be. 

This has been a very fun quilt to work on. I can't wait to get it all together and start the quilting.

I will be back with part 2 soon, and share the quilting I am doing with you all.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

March- Island Batik Ambassador project

The Challenge for March for the Island Batik Ambassadors was to do a project with paper piecing or english paper piecing.  I decided I was going to do paper piecing.  I had only done a simple heart, so I decided it would be a fun challenge.

The idea that I came up with was to draw some kite shapes and then put in some different shapes within those kite shapes.  I did this in EQ6.  EQ stands for Electric Quilt and is a program that a lot of quilt pattern designers use.

I chose kites, as I like the song from Mary Poppins, "Let's Go Fly A Kite".  Also. it is beginning to warm slightly and I was tired of the winter weather we were having here in Utah.

I started doing English Paper Piecing, but that was taking some time, so I decided to do paper piecing.  I used aurifil thread color 2024 (50 wt)  for the piecing.  And for quilting I used  Aurifil thread 1147 (40 wt) to quilt blades of grass in the green area and Fantastico #5117 (40 wt) by Superior Threads for the clouds in the sky.

The quilting of the grass. 
 After I got it to this point,  I texted a picture to one of my daughters. Her 4 year old said it looked like grass, the 6 year old saw carrots.

The clouds. These are fun to quilt. 

This was a fun project to do.  I am a bit slow in posting as there was just a bunch of crazy life going on.  I thank Elizabeth and Katie at Island Batik for being so understanding.
All finished.

The backing and binding is white from the basics collection at Island Batik. The kites are made from the Drizzle collection,  and the blue is from the basics collection. The green was from a little roll they had sent.  These are awesome fabrics to work with. If you haven't tried them, please do so.  I do need to add a Kite string to both kites.

Monday, April 17, 2017

cutting at a 45 degree angle

Every now and again, you may have a pattern that wants you to cut your fabric at a 45 degree angle, especially if the fabric is directional and the pattern has you put the block on point.

Today I want to share with you some important tips that I have learned.

1. Use starch on your fabric. I use either best press or niagra. Niagra is less expensive and you can get at most grocery stores in the laundry section. Best press is more expensive and I only buy it if it is on sale or I have a coupon. The reason you use starch, is because you are cutting on the bias.

2. Handle your blocks carefully when they are cut. Because they are on the bias, they will stretch.

Cutting your fabric on the 45 degree angle.

Your cutting mat will usually have 3 different angle lines. A 30, 45, and 60. Today we are dealing with the 45. The pattern tells me to cut a strip of fabric 4 3/4" on the 45 degree_ angle. To do this, I make sure my edge is even and straight, and lay it on the 45 degree line.

Next you will take your ruler that you cut with, and put the 4 3/4" mark against the edge of the fabric on the 45 degree mark, and cut along the left edge of your ruler.  Cut as many strips as the pattern tells you to.

Now, you have your strips.  Lay them straight on your cutting mat, and cut the squares (4 3/4).

 It is that simple and easy.  Now you have your squares ready.

It took me some time when I first started quilting to do this.  However, I figure if you don't learn new things you don't grow.

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial.  Please let me know if there are other things you would like to learn about.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

2017 New Quilters Blog

This year, I am again participating in the New Quilters Blog.  There are 3 groups, and they are all divided into hives.  The name of my hive is "Let's bee Quilt'n".  I am excited to participate in this.  I learned a lot last year, and hope to learn even more this year.

So, let me tell you a bit about me. I grew up watching my mom quilt. One of the things we would do is sit under the frame when she was quilting and pull the needle through and them push it back up.  In high school, one of my favorite classes was home economics. I would even attend summer home economics. I was also very active in 4h and had some wonderful teachers.

This year I am serving as an ambassador for Island Batik.  I love working with their wonderful fabrics. I am also a quilter for Stash Builder Box, which donates quilts to different organizations for kids. I also test patterns for different quilt designers.

 I sew all types of things. So, when I was trying to figure out a name for my blog, I wanted to include more than just quilts.  There were so many Kathy's out there thay I decided to spell quilts with a "kw".  I really enjoy sewing and sharing that joy with others.  I have been teaching my 6 year old granddaughter to sew.  My day time job is sewing trade show displays and different things for different events.

I love everything I do. Sewing and quilting is a deep passion of mine, and one of my goals is to inspire others to want to learn these skills. Why? Because I think they are important to have. You never know when they will come in handy.

Sewing/quilting tip:

A few weeks ago I was down in bed, having to keep my leg elevated, heated and iced, due to a knee problem. Thank goodness I had some projects I could take up to the bedroom and do hand piecing. I had taken and put my projects into ziploc bags, with a paper telling me what they were. It worked great for that and also works great for road trips.

This is just one example of how I kit my projects for working on away from home. This is in a plastic container.  Usually though I use ziploc bags and will put smaller pieces in different bags. 

Some of what I have made:

This is a quilt that I tested for Designs by RR. I gave this to one of my grandsons for his 1st birthday.

This is a fun quilt that I made

I made this quilt for my bosses little girl.

I know this is not quilt related, but this is a Cinderella dress that I made for my daughter.

A BYU quilt that I am working on for my sweetheart.

My goal is to do regular posts on my blog, and to share with you things that you would like to see or things you would like to learn.  I want to do tutorials on Tuesdays, at least twice a month.  So, with that in mind, what would you as readers, like to see a tutorial on?  Please leave a comment below.

Where did I get my inspiration?
I follow a lot of quilters and designers on instagram, Facebook and pinterest. People like Judi Madsen @greenfairyquilts, the sweet wonderful ladies @sewkindofwonderful, Marion @myquiltdiet, Angela @quiltingismytherapy, Christa @christaquilts, and Natalia @pieceandquilt.
There are so many more, but these are a few.

I love to read the comments from my readers, and I try really hard to reply to all of your comments.

Thanks to our hostesses for this blog, Leanne at, Yvonne at  and Beth at  They have a great giveaway going on, so be sure to visit them and enter.

I have had fun meeting the other people in all the hives that are also blogging today, so please visit my friends at the following blogs

April at

Nancy at

Gail at

I hope you have enjoyed visiting my blog. Please take the time to look through the different pages, and come back often to visit me. You can also visit me on Facebook at
 or on instagram @kathyskwiltsandmore.