You know that great feeling you get when it's the end of November and you already have all of your Christmas sewing and shopping done, and you're sitting by the fire drinking coffee or cocoa? Yeah, me neither :-) But maybe this year will be better, we're going to do our best to help! I know it's not even Halloween yet, but we quilters don't get to wait until after Thanksgiving to think about Christmas and still avoid the rush! Start now and enjoy your sewing projects more. To help you out, ALL of our kits are 30% off until November 15th! And with kits, half the work is done for you. Who do you know who would love a dragonfly, moose, or birch trees on their wall? (And, shh....don't say anything, but you could help out your family and get a few stocking stuffers for yourself, right? You're just doing them a favor, right?) :-)
Click the photo to go to our newly reorganized Shop Online page! And send me photos when you make your projects, email@example.com, I love to see them, and may just put them in my blog, with permission, of course! Happy sewing, and here's to a less stressful holiday season! Beret
I have had so much fun making these little panel quilts, and they have been very popular with customers too! They are a great way to get in a little free motion practice and have something you can finish quickly. Many of them are similar in size, (approximately 11" square) so I will include some measurements, but make sure to check yours for sure! The first two above feature the artwork of Alaskan artist Jon Van Zyle, who I have been a fan of for 35 years!
First of all, they are notoriously printed crooked on the fabric.... I always try stretching them a bit, but not too much, then I trim them square. Because I am putting an accent strip around the edge, up to 1/2" will be covered up, so I can leave up to that much of the black border to maximize the size. However, I can get away with just one strip (width of fabric) of accent fabric if I only leave 1/4" of black.
The second photo shows after stretching but before trimming, the third photo is a different one, but after trimming. You just need to go by the lines on the mat, nothing else is square!
The next step is to cut the flange/accent strip. I cut it 1 1/8", but you can do one inch if you want also. Then press it in half lengthwise. A nifty trick is to press part of it, then put a pin tightly around it on the ironing board as in the first photo. You can just pull it through and press it as it comes through.
Stitch it all the way around the edges of your panel, with the folded edge toward the center, and with anything less than a 1/4" seam allowance...this is just to tack it on. It will get stitched accurately with the border seam. Cut each end even with the panel, no extra is needed. It doesn't matter what order you do them either, I just go around.
The panel in the last photo is horribly wrinkled too, even after pressing, but I knew the free motion stitching would disguise that! See the finished quilt at the top of the post.
The next step is to add the borders. I cut those 3 1/2" wide. I need to cut two strips, width of fabric, but if I am making two panels with the same border fabric, then I only need three for both. Add the sides first, and cut even with the panel, then add the top and bottom. I don't even cut them first, I just take my strip and start sewing, and trim it at the end. On a large quilt, it may get distorted that way, but you can get away with it on these little ones! It's funny that I actually like math, but many of my projects eliminate much of it. It's more about saving time for me! I have learned when I can get away with squaring things up at later :-)
Then I stack my little quilt top with batting and muslin, about 17" square. You could add the back now instead of the muslin if you want, but I like to cover up the stitching in the center on the back.
Quilting the center, using the design as a guide for patterns and colors. Have fun with this! I usually just outline the main shapes, so they puff up a bit. Then I add the back and quilt the borders. You could do the border quilting before adding the back if you don't want any quilting to show on the back too.
Time to finish! Trim it square on the cutting mat. Then I cut my binding strips 1 5/8". This allows me to make a 3/8" wide binding, which is about the width of the needle to the edge of a regular straight stitch foot. I do the sides first, then the bottom. The top edge will get the hanging tabs added first. After the first row of stitching on the binding, finger press or press it from the front, then wrap around to the back, and fold over, making sure it is covering your first line of stitching. Pin in place, then turn to the front and stitch in the ditch, or hand stitch it if you want. For the top and bottom, make the binding strips about 3/4" too long on both ends, and wrap them around at the beginning and end of the first row of stitching. No mitered corners! My card patterns have more details about this binding method, too much to write here.
Now the hanging tabs... Take three 5" squares of backing fabric. (sorry, mine looks crooked in the photo!!) Fold in half diagonally and press, then fold in half again so all the raw edges are on the same side. Place them on the top back of your quilt, two at the ends and one in the center. These can be caught in the binding stitching, then you just have to tack down the three tips by hand. This creates an easy 'sleeve' to put a dowel through. Or you can skip it and use pins to hang them like I usually do :-)
Congratulations, you are done! Let me know if anything is not clear, I'm writing this really fast, ha!
Happy sewing, Beret
Check out all our kits and patterns here! (click the photo)
I've been waiting all week to share this project! I spent a little time tweaking the design, and a LOT of time trying to get photos... It's notoriously hard to photograph light, but light PLUS air is a little ridiculous :-) I have tried this process before, but I wanted to try again. This time I added a new twist...light!
I started by cutting a hole in a canvas, I then pinned two layers of water soluble stabilizer with my design drawn on it over the hole. Then lots of loopy stitching to make kind of a background. I had to make sure that the stitching was all connected to the canvas, and all overlapped, so it wouldn't fall apart when the stabilizer was washed away. After I was having trouble taking pictures, I thought of putting the battery operated string of lights behind it. Which kind of helped and kind of made it even harder, ha! So much fun! The photos are the best I could do, hopefully you'll get the idea!
First picture, lights on, and out from wall a bit so the light shows around the edges also.
Lights on, but pushed up against the wall:
In the window:
Very messy back! I added paper to block the light from showing through the rest of the canvas, and lots of tape to attach the lights. After this photo, I bent the wire so the very last light was behind the moon!
Most (but not quite all) of the stitching was done from the back due to the wood frame, so the bobbin thread shows the most, usually I used the same on the top and bottom. But I used a bit of metallic thread, which I didn't want to put in the bobbin (might be fine?), but I had to remove the extension table and do a little maneuvering to stitch from the front! (The frame gets in the way) I used a small bottle of water to remove the stabilizer starting with the center, so I didn't have to get the canvas wet. You don't have to get every speck out, it is like starch if you leave a bit in, I just did it until the water went through when I squirted some on. I had to do a bit of gentle finger rubbing with paper towels under it too.
When it was all done, I added some sponge painting to the front of the canvas. I love to try unusual ways to use a sewing machine, and particularly the free motion foot! Feel free to ask questions if I missed something!
While you are here, check out our kits and patterns by clicking the photo or the 'shop online' tab! And follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, or sign up for our mailing list, all in the sidebar. And lots of photos and free tutorials here too! Thanks for stopping by, I love to share my sewing adventures!
Collage for pinterest :-)
You've seen that we have patterns and kits, but did you know that we have free tutorials too?
We actually have our own YouTube Channel, as well as many tutorials featured on this website under the tutorials page. Everything from journal covers, to card making and techniques.
Click here to see all of our free step-by-step tutorials!
If you're a visual learner, and watching the steps will help you learn better than simply reading instructions, then subscribe to us on YouTube! Click here to check it out. The featured Iris card is from the Inktense and Threadpainted Iris Tutorial video.
We would love to hear from you what your favorite tutorial is, and if you have any suggestions for new ones! Whether it is an On the Trail Creations product you've always been hesitant to try on your own, or an art quilting technique, we'd love to hear about it! Comment below, or on the post on Facebook.
I am very happy to announce that my daughter Brienne is going to be working for us doing the marketing/social media. Some days I feel like I spend more time on the computer than working with fabric, so I'm happy to pass that on to someone who knows more about it than I do anyway. Brienne has worked for a couple of local quilt shops, so she is familiar with that side of things too. She also works at nearby Camp LiWa, sometimes with horses, sometimes with people :-) I'm looking forward to having more consistent communication with people and quilt shops!
Also, I have a couple of classes coming up at Northern Threads quilt shop!
Saturday, Sept. 16, 1-4 Beginning Free Motion quilting
Saturday, Oct. 7, 10-5 Your choice of my wall hanging designs.
Click here to go to their website to sign up!
Yikes, we have the keys!! I posted a video tour of the current and new shop/studio on my facebook page, check it out!
https://www.facebook.com/On-The-Trail-Creations-193362840773724/ That's my 'half excited, half terrified' face :-)
Also, the sandhill cranes are passing through Fairbanks again, and the Crane Festival is coming. The first crane quilt photo (Sandhill Sunset) is available as a kit, and 25% off right now! (All kits except pillow covers, and every kit order comes with a free surprise card pattern and all orders have free shipping :-) ) I thought I'd add some other crane projects I've done too, and it turns out it's a lot... 😂😂 As usual, feel free to share, pin, or comment.... those all determine how many people see my posts!
Click the photo below to see all our kits and patterns!
It finally is starting to feel like fall here! And fall here always means rain and mushrooms.... With all the moving, I haven't had time to finish a new design, (although there are lots in the works), but I decided I DID have time to make an alternate design for the Autumn Leaves kits! The kits (and patterns) will come with both applique options, but it's still enough to make ONE wall hanging or table runner, I hope that's not confusing! The appliques don't take a lot of fabric, so I'm including them both.
All kits but pillow covers are still 25% off, (Plus a free surprise card pattern, AND free shipping) and now the two Autumn Leaves kits will automatically come with the leaf AND the mushroom options for appliques. I don't have a sample of the wall hanging one yet, I even cheated and had my son photoshop the table runner.... For the practice piece, I just did one round of stripes with the corner squares from the table runner, and discovered I had made a cute potholder! So that would be a good use of the applique fabrics that you don't end up using. And these all have the same fabrics, it's the lighting that's different in the photos....
Two classes scheduled at Northern Threads quilt shop! If I move my shop, I will have room for classes again, but I think I will focus on kids' classes there since it's on the second floor, and teach adult classes at the quilt shops. The two classes at Northern Threads are Free Motion Quilting on Sept. 16 and your choice of my wall hangings on October 7th. Here is the link to their page to sign up: https://www.northernthreads.net/classes.htm
And remember our 25% off kits sale is still going, you could get your kit for the class while it's on sale :-)
We're getting closer to being able to move into an amazing new space! So our 25% off kits (except pillow covers) sale is still going! And each order will also receive a free surprise card pattern, AND still free shipping! I think there are around 14 card patterns in all, which one is your favorite? Click the photo to see the rest!
These are just some of the kits that are 25% off
Summer is winding down here, but you can keep some with you with this summery quilt :-) There are video tutorials for some of the stitching on this quilt, check them out and see if it doesn't look easier than you thought! Click on the photo to see them. The stitching for the birch trees also has a video, but that one is with the Moonshadows quilt, since it has them also.
All kits (except pillow covers) are still 25% off, AND you get a free surprise card pattern, AND free shipping!
Click the photo below to see all of our kits and patterns!
I am a homeschooling mom of three fun kids, who are now old enough that I have a little time to pursue my passion for sewing! After several years of making quilted cards and art quilts, I'm now designing kits and patterns. Some of them have even been in Keepsake Quilting! I teach classes at local quilt shops, and would love to do more traveling and teaching eventually. I also have many tutorials, including some on you tube. I am blessed to live in Alaska where I am surrounded by the inspiration provided by the beauty of God's creation!
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