Thursday, March 31, 2011

Quilt Design

Here's a new quilt design. I can't want to make this one! I'd love to know what you think.
Spinning Puzzle
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Quilt Blocks

Here is an picture of what you can do with any quilt block.
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Quilt Blocks

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Bento Box

A Bento is defined by Wikipedia as “a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container. Bento are still used by workers as a packed lunch, by families on day trips, for school picnics and sports days etc. The bento, made at home, is wrapped in a furoshiki cloth, which acts as both bag and table mat.” 
I picture all of the school children who no longer have a school to take lunch to, homes have been destroyed along with the main place to make a bento, and I am painfully aware that few bento will be taken on day trips any time soon. This is just one little aspect of daily life that has stopped since the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. I know that so many of us are hurting for those in Japan and I’d like to offer a way that we can all help out.
There is a wonderful quilt that I have seen pictures of around the web called a Bento Box Quilt (if you know who originally deisgned this quilt please let me know so that I can give them credit.) I have written up instructions to make this quilt. Now there are two ways that you can participate: the first is to purchase the pattern and make this beautiful quilt yourself. The second way is to purchase a raffle ticket to win a Bento Box quilt. It will be an oversized lap blanket at 40'x40'.  I plan on running the raffle for the entire month of April and I will draw the winner on May 1st.  Here’s the fun part about the raffle: just as your generous donation will go to help others that are unknown to you, the quilt will remain unknown until the winner is drawn. All proceeds from the raffle and pattern sale will go to Food for the Hungry.
This is a wonderful Christian organization that  helps to provide disaster relief worldwide and they are working to aid those in Japan who have lost so much through this tragedy. Their mission statement is: To walk with churches, leaders and families in overcoming all forms of human poverty by living in healthy relationship with God and His creation. I love the work that they are doing and I am excited to partner with them. Please check them out here: Food for the Hungry.

To purchase a raffle ticket please donate through Pay Pal.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Press or Iron? Ironing board or pressing pad? How do you care for your fabric?

     As I have learned, there are differences in opinion when it comes to pressing or ironing your fabrics. Do you iron your fabric and your pieces as you would a shirt or do you use the Quilter's Press and simply press down on your seems? When your fabric has a stubborn crease in it, do you use water or starch to help get it out? There are some quilter's that I know who never press their fabric at all!
    For me, I do a little combination of everything. I know that there are some very traditional quilters who would firmly object, but it's what works for me. On a pre-cut piece of fabric, I will iron it like a shirt with the back a forth motion. I know this can distort your fabric a little, but since I haven't cut it yet, I am not concerned and haven't notice any difference. This helps me to get out those difficult creases, and if necessary I will use a little water.
    On my already cut and seamed pieces, I use the Quilter's Press. I gently finger press open my seams and than lay the iron on top of the seam. That's it, just a simple up and down motion.
    Now to my favorite part: do you use an ironing board or a pressing pad? I simply love my pressing pad! It has so much more area to iron on for those pieces of fabric that are 45' by multiple yards long. Instead of having to constantly much my fabric around and readjust it so that I can get it smooth (which for me just introduces new wrinkles), I can get the whole width in one shot. Let me show you:

   This is my pressing pad. It is about 36'x45'. The thing is enormous and heavy but oh so worth it. And super easy to make yourself.

     I used a 1 inch square gingham print fabric for my top. This allows me some extra use out of my pad because I can use it for measuring. I especially like this to check my seam allowances and hems quickly. For padding I used 100% polyester batting. Polyester is necessary here because it will be able to stand up to the heat.
     I placed my batting on my board (I used an old piece of wood, you want something heavy so it doesn't move around on you) and sandwiched it with my fabric. Then I pulled back on side and applied glue to my board (spray glue works really well, but I didn't have any on hand.) I replaced my battling and fabric, smoothing it out and then applied glue to the other side. If I had had spray glue, I probably would have glued my fabric to my battling as well so that nothing moves when you flip it.
    So, then you flip your board, tugging on all sides of the fabric to make sure there are no wrinkles or extra fabric anywhere. You want it to be tight.
    Then you need to pull and stretch your fabric and staple it down, all the way around. I stapled the middle and close to the corners first and then went back around and put in lots of reinforcing staples. If you have a print like mine, make sure to keep this in mind when you are pulling your fabric. I had to ensure my gingham print was square with the board.
    Finish up your corners, flip the entire board back over and your ready to press! I'd love to hear how you have your ironing station set up and how you care for your fabric.
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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Quilt Blocks

    These quilt blocks can be set together or alone to create your own customized quilt, table runner, place mats, and whatever else you can dream up. You can change the color, add sashing or borders, decide on what type of backing and batting you'd like. It's all up to you. Are you interested in a certain block, but you can't quite envision how it would look in a quilt or with different colors? Let me know and I can modify the blocks to show you. Please use the form below to order, or e-mail me with any questions.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sarong Tutorial

     A wonderful co-worker of mine is going on vacation to a fabulous little island. She wanted some kind of beach cover-up to wear around the house and on the beach. We decided that a sarong was the perfect way to go. Now a sarong is a super simple little project that whips up in no time if you can press and hem pretty quickly.

     To start you want to get the right type of fabric. She choose an awesome silky animal print. You want something that will flow and that won't bunch up weird when you gather it to tie it. Make sure you buy at least 2 feet of fabric more than your widest measurement. If you are looking to tie your sarong in many different ways, you might want to get a little more fabric so that it can be tied behind your neck as well
If the piece that you bought is a little wonky than you will need to square up the sides making them straight and even and you will want to cut off the salvage ends. After that, it is a simple hem. As you can see in the picture, I folded the edge over once, about 1/4 of an inch. And then I folded it again, pressed and pinned for all four sides. I sewed down the middle of my folded over edge.
And that's it! If you want you can add some embellishments like ribbon, ric rac, or some fringe. It's really up to you!

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Quilts - The Gift that Keeps on Giving

     This is the quilt that my Grandmother hand-made me back in 1995 The top was hand pieced and it took her a couple of years to hand quilt the entire twin sized quilt. At 9 years old, I didn't really appreciate the time and love that had gone into my Christmas present, but I used my quilt all the time.
     After I received my 'Sleepy Vaquero' quilt, I visited my Grandmother many times and she taught me to hand piece and quilt. I have lots of memories of sitting around a huge quilt frame, propped up on saw horses, and rolled around the edges with her quilting club and quilting my section of the quilt. The time that my Grandmother took to teach me to quilt and sew has been such an invaluable gift to me. She taught me to really love and appreciate quilting. And now, I am using those skills to start J.Lynne.
    At J.Lynne we carry quilts, bags and totes, baby and kids bibs, blankets, and toys through our J.Lynne Littles line, plus so much more. We also offer customized orders so that you may have the perfect gift or addition to your home. We invite you to follow us here to see what we are doing and to visit our store on Etsy to see what we have for sale.
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Creative Commons License
J.Lynne by Jessica Shafer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.