Who's Got the Mitten?
Do you ever remember something from childhood -- but can't remember the context. That is how I feel about my blog title. The saying came to mind as I work working on my blog post. I am wondering if it was a game we played or a book I read. An internet search was not helpful. If anyone else remembers this, let me know.
We are in the midst of a snow storm with 8-10 inches projected followed by a significant drop in temperature plus heavy winds that will whip all that snow around (think blizzard) . Since I shovel my own driveway, I've been out two times today (and will probably do once more before going to bed tonight to try keep my snow lifting to a manageable amount).
Because of the cold weather, I went on a search for my warmest mittens -- the kind that will feel good on a super cold day.
Since mittens were on my mind, I decided I needed a mitten quilt block. And then I decided to make it more interesting. In my video tutorial I describe my design process, starting with a single block, working with it in custom set and ultimately designing the final block.
Here are the blocks from the video.
I did end up swapping out the background fabric used in the video for one that included snowflakes. The snowflake fabric I chose was part of the EQ8 Fabric Library. You can locate it under Themes>18 Holidays-Winter.
I have some ideas for a setting (or two) for this block -- but I will save that for a future blog post.
Snow Couple Calendar Quilt
I released a new class to the Tech Know Quilter group in January. This class is entitled Calendar Quilts and each EQ lesson provides a calendar quilt block. I pieced my January quilt block during a retreat last weekend and decided to turn it into a stand alone quilt and then a pattern.
-The block was pieced with only squares and rectangles using the folded corner concept. I love the simplicity of that method as it produces super accurate results and there is no need to trim down over-sized units to achieve that accuracy.
The applique was transferred to Inkscape and then to my new Cricut Maker for super easy cutting of the pieces. The mouth could be appliqued or done with 1/4 inch buttons.
The quilt finishes 20" x 15".
I've decided to sell the pattern (with cutting charts and instructions for my folded corner construction method). For the rest of January, you can purchase this pattern for only $5. (The regular price (effective February 1) will be $7.50 The pattern is immediately downloadable and includes an svg file for the applique (if you would like to use your electronic cutting system for cutting out the applique pieces). There are also templates that can be traced if you wish to cut your applique pieces manually.
Check out with some of the Tech Know Quilter members did while designing their own snow couple block. (Note: We also covered creating a backdrop with an EQ calendar for our desktop computer using these blocks.)
If you would like to join the wait list for our next Tech Know Quilter's open enrollment period, you can sign up here.
Penguin Mug Rug
Last week I shared about cutting my applique patches using a Cricut Maker. This week I decided I needed a new Mug Rug and decided that with the ease of cutting out designs with the Cricut Maker, I would create a mug rug that featured some seasonal applique.
The penguin in my mug rug came from the EQ library -- so this was a fun and easy project for Electric Quilt 8.
Transferring Designs from Electric Quilt to an Electronic Cutting System
Problems: After writing the tutorial last week on transferring designs from EQ to my Cricut Maker, I ran into a couple of issues. I found out that designs resize when moving from Inkscape to Cricut Design Space. (They also resize when bringing them into Silhouette Studio as well.) I also discovered that when I imported designs into Cricut Design Space, the patches did not always show up on the import.
I've signed up for a class/membership on using both Cricut Design Space and creating SVGs in Inkscape from Erica Martin. I had watched a number of her free tutorials in December and knew Erica would be super helpful in finally moving my Inkscape skills beyond basic hacker -- and to be be able to confidently use Cricut Design Space. She very graciously responded to questions on my problems and assisted me in identifying the best way to address them. I would highly recommend her membership if you are interested in mastering Inkscape and Cricut Design Space. Here website is svgandme.com if you would like to check out her tutorials and membership.
In my bonus tutorial, I will walk you through my updated process for transferring designs from Electric Quilt to Inkscape to Cricut Design Space. This will also work if you are using Silhouette Studio or Brother Canvas Workspace.
Free Penguin SVG File
Piecing the Penguin Mug Rug
Today was Day 1 of a quilt retreat. In addition to catching up with friends and lots of great stories and laughing, I managed to sew up the Penguin mug rug as shown here. The background squares are cut 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" and the "ice" is cut 9-1/2" x 1-1/2".
For the applique, I ironed SoftFuse on the back of my fabric. Removed the paper and with the fusible size down, placed on a Cricut Green Mat. I cut all the pieces using the rotary cutter blade on my Cricut Maker with the material setting Fused Fabric.
After fusing the applique to the background, I used a blanket stitch on my machine to stitch down the pieces.
For quilting, I did some stitch in the ditch around the applique shapes and cross-hatching through the grey background squares.
The mug rug finished 9" x 6" (before binding).
Background: I owned a Silhouette Cameo (first edition) and had pretty mixed results with cutting fabric. I had some nice cuts but wouldn't have achieved that without some great advice from my blog readers. Check out my paper snowflake project last year -- which was done on the Silhouette Cameo.)
Given my fairly frustrating learning curve on the Cameo, I will admit to being a bit gun-shy. However, I have a retreat coming up next week, and realized that if I actually wanted to make my snowman project, I needed to cut it out -- NOW!
I experienced a couple of glitches with Cricut Design Space including designs not showing up in the import and modifications to design in Inkscape not carrying over to Cricut Design Space. But once my design was loaded, the cutting process was a dream. Not one bad cut in my first time cutting fabric with the Cricut Maker.
Here was the block I created for the TKQ Calendar Quilts class. I want to piece the block at the size 20 x 15.
If you would like to join the wait list for the next open enrollment for Tech Know Quilters, you may sign up here.
Here is the video describing my process. Not sure if I figured out the most efficient way to do everything -- but I figured I needed to start with the basics.
In the video, I explain that I printed my block to a pdf writer. In the video I used Cute PDF Writer. However the actual pdf writer is not important. Feel free to use what you have available to use on your computer.
Look to see if you have a setting for your pdf writer called Post Script Custom Page Size. I just discovered this setting a few months ago -- but essentially it lets you pick a page size (even one that is larger than any of your installed printers). This is particularly useful for larger sized blocks.
If you don't have this option, just pick the largest paper size you have installed on your computer. You make have some tiling which will require multiple Inkscape files.
The intermediate software I used to convert my design from the pdf format to an svg format is Inkscape. Inkscape is a professional vector graphics editor for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. It's free and open source.
Inkscape can seem overwhelming to use when you open it for the first time. However you only need to use a couple of tools within Inkscape -- so this really is a piece of cake. You can download Inkscape here.
Inkscape will allow you to create an SVG file which may be used in any electronic cutting system (Cricut Design Space, Silhouette Studio, or Brother Canvas Workspace).
So what is an SVG file? An SVG file is a graphics file that uses a two-dimensional vector graphic format. Unlike raster formats such as JPG, GIF, and PNG, an SVG image remains crisp and clear at any resolution or size.
In Inkscape, ungroup your image and select and delete any patches that you don't want to cut with your cutting system. Then save as an SVG. (Update: Make note of the size of the svg objects.)
In Cricut Design Space, select Upload Image and navigate to the SVG file. Select Save. Select the Image and select Insert Images. (Update: Resize the grouped images to match the size noted in Inkscape.)
Make any modifications. I chose to remove the circles for the mouth as I think it will be easier to use a decorative stitch on my sewing machine rather than appliquing 1/4 inch circles on my block.
I chose to back my fabric with Soft Fuse Premium. I love the soft hand of this fusible -- it actually feels like there is none. I ironed the fusible to the fabric (3 seconds with a dry iron), removed the paper and placed it fusible size down on the Cricut mat. I used the green mat -- but after I was all done found that they actually recommend the pink mat.
Cutting with the rotary cutter blade was an absolute dream. I had absolutely no problems with shifting material and there were no snags in the cut (both issues that I had with my old Silhouette Cameo). (Note -- I had the first version of the Silhouette Cameo and based on conversations with others who have upgraded, I think the later versions are less troublesome.)
New Years Eve Celebration Block
Growing up, our parents would let us stay up on New Year's eve. We would closely watch the clock so we would know exactly when it was time to blow our paper horns and wish each other Happy New Year.
If you are a clock watcher on New Year's eve -- create your own clock using Electric Quilt 8.
This tutorial will share how to use PolyDraw and add some simple Applique shapes.
PolyDraw has some unique features that often makes is the best option for working with blocks based on a circular grid.
The block in the video was colored using the October 2019 free fabric download from Electric Quilt 8 -- Valley by Sherri & Chelsi for Moda. You can find and download the collection here.
November Apply What You Learned Challenge
Enjoy the virtual quilt show as Tech Know Quilter members shared what they learned during November. If you would like to join the wait list for the next open enrollment for Tech Know Quilters, you may sign up here.
Kristy Goodin Soard -- Immediately upon learning I was to design a sampler quilt, my mind harkened back to my days of designing counted cross stitch samplers for various publishers. I also wanted to make a memory quilt to honor my maternal grandma, and when those two thoughts meshed this quilt resulted.
Sabine Neuberger I love the patterns of Elizabeth Hartman and the technique she uses. Therefore I always wanted to draft a pattern, where I can apply this technique. Well, some of my blocks are pieced traditionally, but that does not bother me. I have used fabrics from my stash and I am sure, with some other nice fabrics it could even look better.
Camille Lechliter I'm doing Intro to Applique and I love being able to work with curves. Barbara Brackman posted a photo yesterday of an old quilt at an Oregon show that I fell in love with. Here's my quilt. I made one wedge and then stretched and pulled them to fit. As I was laying in bed last night I realized this being rainbow colors that there are 6 x 2 pieces.
Other Tech Know Quilter Projects
Cat Edwards Beckstead With some help from Kari I was able to draft a quilt from one of my history books. The quilt was intended for the 1933 Worlds Fair but the quilter got sick and wasn't able to send it in. This is a quilt that I will make.The picture on the left is my draft. The one on the right is from the book.
Foundation Tree Design Challenge
If you would like to join the wait list for the next open enrollment for Tech Know Quilters, you may sign up here.
Scroll down for the Canday Cane Joy Tutorial!
Converting Merry Christmas to a Wrap Around Tree Skirt
Step 1: Simplify the quilt. Eliminate the star in the center and replace it with a 4-1/2" x 4-1/2" piece. Eliminate one of the holiday lights blocks and replace it with an 8-1/2" x 8-1/2" piece.
Step 2: Trim the 8-1/2" piece 1-1/2" from the upper right and lower left corners. Discard the smaller corner.
Step 3: Layer with batting and backing and quilt.
Step 4: Before binding, cut through all layers from the center of the edge with the plain setting triangle to the center of the quilt. Cut a circle 4" in diameter for the center. Depending on the size of your tree trunk you could make this larger or smaller.
Step 5: Bind the quilt including both sides of the slice line and the center circle. Note that a bias binding would be easier to use for the center circle.
Step 6: Add iron on velcro pieces along the cut edge. Space them about five inches apart. The number needed will vary depending on the size of your quilt. The bottom velcro pieces (on the left side) should be applied to the top of the quilt and the top velcro pieces (on the right side) should be applied to the bottom of the quilt.
Joy Candy Cane Quilt
I went to the alphabet blocks and found a couple that I thought might work.
After some playing, I realized I couldn't nicely just add the candy cane stripes. So I decided to just start from scratch and create the blocks in Easy Draw.
My video tutorial this week will share with you how to draw these candy cane blocks for yourself.
Would you like to piece this quilt. Click on each image to obtain a download of the foundation pattern printed from EQ8 (9 inch finished size)
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