Today's post is a departure from my usual art quilting, but it was too cool not to share! I've been trying to do some fun things this week as it's not only the week between Christmas and New Year's, but we've been having epic snowstorms back to back preventing us from leaving the house! It's also the time of year when many of us regroup and plan for the next year. So, I've been doing some paper crafting and also working on a planner for this year. (I definitely let my schedule get out of control multiple times this year, hoping to reel it in for 2022...)
I'm not a committed bullet journal person, but I have been having fun playing around with it. But this trick has lots of other uses anyway! I really wanted something temporary to mark pages, but not a ribbon or a bookmark. I decided to try magnetic tabs, and I think they will be great. I have already learned a few things, so I will share them here, as well as several paper cards I made this week while watching it snow! (and snow.... and snow... 😂)
These are really easy, but I did learn a few things... First, fold your paper before cutting it to size. I wanted mine to end up 1 1/2" wide and about 1 1/8" tall, but that's up to you. I already had these small scraps of paper, but they were still big enough to make two at a time. So I folded them, then trimmed to 1 1/8" from the fold with the rotary cutter. I cut strips of adhesive magnets about 3/8" wide, but again, measurements are flexible. I learned that while my magnets were nice and thin, ( I have some thicker/stronger ones too, but thin is nice for this), they didn't always stick very well. So I made sure my magnet strips were going to stick together before attaching them to my paper. Not sure why some didn't, and it did seem to matter a bit which way I had them turned, so try both directions. Then, it's actually easier to attach them to the paper if they are stuck together anyway.
I also decided to add a thin strip of double sided tape in the crease. This gave it some stability, but also keeps them from sliding too far in, I wanted the tabs to stick out. I left the magnets and tape a bit long, then trimmed after they were attached. I then was able to get two 1 1/2" tabs from each of these.
I had already added washi tape along the edges of my pages, which helps the tabs stay on a little better also. Just put it on the edge of your page, using only half the width of the tape, fold it over to the back, then trim the corners to match the paper, another favorite tip! (which I saw online somewhere...) For me, that marks the sections, and the tab will mark the exact page I'm on.
If you carry your journal around or it gets jostled a lot, this might not work for you, but mine just sits on my desk so it's fine. You could experiment with stronger magnets, or put them all the way across instead of just on the edges. Lots of ways to be creative with these, but I am going to love being able to move them around! They would also make good bookmarks!
I hope you will try it, and if you are new here, I hope you will look around at our art quilty patterns, kits, and tutorials 😃 Two of our designs were featured in today's Keepsake Quilting email, and are in the current catalog. But of course available here too!
Here are a few paper cards I made this week (while sorting paper!) and some of our epic 35+ inches of snow! That big lump is our grill 😂
Blessings for the new year,
I recently participated in the online Raven Art Show sponsored by the Alaska Songbird Institute. I made a different shape of framed collage quilts than I had before, and they were really fun. (And they all sold quickly, plus I have several orders for more, hopefully I will keep making them to sell too!) I will update the class with some tips on making these.
I also updated my gallery page, so there are lots more pictures there!
Framed Collage Class update, price increase coming November 29:
When I first made this class, it had four designs in it. It's up to I think 12 now, and I haven't added information on this newest batch yet! You can still choose to keep it simple and stick to the original designs, which are at the beginning of the class, or you can keep going and try some of the added ones. Or branch out on your own, which is always my goal! But because I have invested tons of time into adding to it, I feel that I need to raise the price a bit. It's still a steal for how much information it contains 😊, and is not overly expensive! You get permanent access to it. It was $35, and will be going to $49 on Tuesday, November 29, after black Friday weekend is completely over. So you still have 11 days to get the current price! These quilts are really fun, if you haven't tried it, I hope you will! Click online classes above, or here to sign up!
If you are already in the class, look for an email coming soon with some other information about it.
Also coming soon, a couple of my kits in the Keepsake Quilting catalog!
I've had a little time to come up for air between a major wedding dress alteration and sewing my daughter's wedding dress, hopefully I will still be able to fit in a little art quilting during that one!
These mini pocket prayer quilts have been popular on the internet recently. The idea is you give it to someone with a note saying to keep in in their pocket, so whenever they feel it, they remember God's love for them, or a Scripture, or whatever you decide to suggest. They fit in a greeting card, so they'd be a great addition to a quilted one! You could even make it match 😊 They're a quick, fun project, but also a little tedious! I came up with a way to make the process a bit easier, and it also adds a little pocket to your pocket quilt 😂 You could tuck your note into the pocket. There are endless ways to vary them, of course, but this is a quick way to make the basic four patch version. I hope you will try it, and happy sewing!
What started as a fun little project turned into a study on what makes quilting show up... I already knew that quilting shows much better on solid fabrics than prints or hand dyes, but this fabric was so pretty I decided to try it anyway... a project that is only quilting. If the light is just right, it looks ok, but if it's not? Then it's just a pretty piece of fabric hanging on the wall 😂🤦♀️ I also wondered if lighter or darker fabrics made a difference. So I made a few more samples to show you, or future students, what I'm always talking about in my free motion quilting classes!
I used wool batting for extra loft; I will put in a couple of pictures to show just how puffy it was! I traced the swan shapes, which I had printed out and then cut out. (Tracing with a light box would have been smarter..🤦♀️.) I used 505 spray to adhere the layers, then started stitching. I outlined the swan shapes, then filled in the rest with matchstick quilting, 5-7 lines per inch. Still free motion as I wanted them a bit wiggly, and not be constantly turning around! Process photos at the end, I'll focus on the visibility of quilting first. All samples were done with a 40 wt thread, I'm sure the thread weight makes a difference too.
Isn't it amazing how the cream thread shows up almost as much as the dark? A little too much, like every little bubble! 😂 (I can tell I wasn't as careful on these two samples either...)
I also tried photographing all of them in bright sunshine. Usually more angled light helps the quilting show the best. The aqua one shows a bit, but the white ones show more, and again, very little difference between the light and dark thread on the white ones! (I used three shades of thread on the aqua quilt)
Now for the backs, at least of the white ones:
It's a subtle, even print, and it's in light with good shadows, so it still shows. In the photos below, I'm surprised the aqua shows up as well as it does in the bright sun. It's less in the shade for all of them. It still shows up better than I expected on the print, so maybe light fabrics do show better than dark... maybe the shadows disappear on the dark...
Here is the solid black sample, in different lighting.
So, while quilting shows up better on solid fabrics than prints, it also seems to show up better on lighter fabrics than dark. And the lighting when you take a photo makes all the difference in the world! And of course, a higher loft batting will show more as well. If you are learning and you DON'T really want your quilting to show, use lots of dark prints and a low loft batting 😂 What doesn't seem to matter as much as you would think is the thread color. Scroll down to see close-ups: the dark thread shows up well there, but not from any distance!
Here are a few process photos:
So much puff! It looked like it would never go flat, but it did. The quilting needs to be close together, and also go very close to the outlines of the shapes, or you will get a little ridge around them.
And, for anyone who made it this far, our crazy snow is melting so fast! It started warming up on the 12th and it's been spring ever since 😂 The first and last photo below are the same spot, our driveway...
Happy Sewing! Beret
Wow, it's been awhile again...not sure what happened! Anyway... I have a fun and quick project for you today. We're still buried in snow, which I love, (photos at the end) but somehow all of my recent projects have been very springy 😂 These greeting cards are very easy and quick!
I wasn't kidding about the snow... 🤣
Winter Survival Kits
These have been a big hit, but the name turned out to be unfortunate, since much of the country was actually in survival mode for a few weeks! I haven't said much about them for a bit, since it sounded insensistive..., but hopefully you have all recovered your water, power, and a bit of normal life after the polar vortex 😢 I promised they'd be available until the end of February if supplies last (it will be close!) so that's four more days to take advantage of this offer!
Here's what you get:
1. A wall hanging or table runner kit of your choice
2. A hand carved Alaskan birch point turner, handy for all of the kits
3. A full yard (by weight) of hand dyed fabric scraps from Starr Design Fabrics, $18 value
4. A 5 inch reclaimed barn wood quilt block to paint (our design choice) from The Reclaimed Nation
5. A card pattern (our choice)
6. A little treat with custom On the Trail wrappers 😊
The sets are $59 or $79 depending on which big kit you choose. Click here or on the photo to see your options, and happy sewing! Beret
I'm pretty excited over here, I've been working on this for a long time. The Framed Collage Class is ready to go! I hope you will design your own, but there are four different designs with specific instructions to choose from if you wish. I love the idea of this format, because I can keep updating it. For this first one, I made it self guided, there won't be any live sessions, it's much less complicated that way. You can work at your own pace and have permanent access to the class. Lots of text, photos, and videos, and a PDF file for pattern pieces. But if you take it, I hope you will join my Beret's Online Classes facebook group for questions and support! I'm working on another class too, so hopefully that won't be far behind.
Introductory price, through this weekend only! The class will normally be $35, but for this weekend it will be $25. At this time, there are no kits available, choosing fabrics is part of the class! But while supplies last, I will have this tree fabric available in 1/3 yard pieces if you want to do that version.
These are very fun, pretty quick, and very forgiving to make, I hope you will give them a try! Beret
As usual, it's been way too long since I posted. I've been chipping away at my list of goals for the winter, but that one is still lacking 😜 I did, however, get a new card kit made, with my own chickadee artwork printed on velvet, which prints the colors really well. It's a very quick project, as all you have to do is a little quilting and then binding! The panel is square, so the card can be made in either direction. Click here to go to the kit! Out on a Limb card kit
Also, I made a very short video that is an overview of the process for my wall hanging kits and patterns. (Most of them, the Sandhill Sunset is pieced like normal) Since my methods are a little unorthodox, I thought it might help to show that they are really not scary 😃
I hope you are still thriving and creating during this unusual season! Beret
One of my goals for being home this winter was to do more blog posts with tutorials, and not just 'newsletter' updates. So, I'm finally doing one! I'm in a lot of quilt groups online, and I often see people asking how to quilt with appliques. There is no 'right' way, as there are some variables, which I will hopefully cover here. I'll show you four (and a half 🤣) options, so if you know of another, I'd love to hear it!
For all of these examples, I used raw edge applique and machine quilting. Most of it translates to other types of applique, and hand quilting doesn't have some of the issues these methods are trying to address, but some of it still applies! Most of them also work with the 'quilt as you go' method.
Quilt the background before adding the appliques. This is often the easiest, because you don't have to deal with the appliques at all. It's especially good if you want to use straight line stitching, as that would be extra hard to do while working around applique shapes. The drawbacks to this option are, one, you can get 'ghosting' of the quilt lines through the applique. (see second pic) With this one I had to bend it to get that to show, but washing may cause it to appear also. (But if that doesn't bother you, it's fine, no rules!) The second drawback is that you have to save all of the appliques until after the quilt is otherwise mostly done. Often people like to applique the individual blocks before even stitching them together, but you can't do that with this method. (Unless you are doing 'quilt as you go') With my designs, however, most of the stitching is done before the appliques anyway, so this would work fine, plus the wall hangings and greeting cards are unlikely to be washed.
Quilt around the appliques after they are on. This solves both issues of the first method, but creates a new one. It can be tricky to quilt around the appliques, depending on the quilting design and the applique shapes. A simple free motion design like stippling is a good option, while something like feathers might be more challenging, or even just straight lines! You may have to make decisions like whether to quilt in that little space between the second two mushrooms, which I didn't in this case. Another benefit of this method is that the appliques 'pop' up a bit more than other methods, almost a trapunto effect.
The next option is to quilt both around and on top of the appliques. This is especially important with larger appliques that are too big to be left unquilted. If you echo quilt, or something that complements the shape, it becomes part of the design.
Option three and a half:
A related option is to quilt an overall quilting design right over the top of the appliques. In my first sample, it would look better if I had used matching thread to stitch around the applique shapes, because it's competing with the quilting. I left it in to show you something to watch out for! Or needle turned appliques without visible stitching, or maybe appliques stitched with invisible thread would be good candidates. I could tell it wasn't my favorite method, because my brain had trouble doing it🤣 Longarm quilters are probably used to it!
This one is a relatively new discovery for me, I saw it online somewhere as a good option for kids, which I have found to be true! But it's not just for kids, I have definitely used it myself :-) It's similar to option three in that you quilt over the top, but with matchstick quilting (close lines). This eliminates the need to do any stitching around the applique pieces, which is great for beginners, or just to save time. It's always amazing how much the thread disappears. On each of these examples, I only used one color of thread. For the crane, I used the color of the head, since that was the part I least wanted dark lines to show on, but the light ones don't really show on the dark. I should try one with dark thread to see what happens! The lines show, but not really the thread color. The drawback to this one is it makes for a stiffer quilt. That's fine for a wall hanging, but maybe not for a snuggly quilt.
As I mentioned at the beginning, there is no right way. It depends on a lot of things... what the quilt will be used for, your skill level, and what you want it to look like, to name a few. I hope this was a helpful explanation of the most common options. If you have another, please let me know! And of course, check out our kits and patterns (click photo below) while you are here! Happy Sewing, Beret
Since the world went crazy, I don't have any bazaars scheduled for this fall. So I'm very excited to be participating in the Raven Art Show 2020, which is being done virtually this weekend, so you can attend from wherever you are! Some of the proceeds will go to support the Alaska Songbird Institute. There are lots of great artists participating, I hope you will check it out. Items will NOT necessarily be all raven themed. To attend, join this facebook group, which will just be for the weekend.
New items for sale will be posted at noon every day from today through Monday the 9th. I have several going up today! Here is one sneak preview: Midnight Ravens
I hope to see you there! Beret
Beret Nelson's On The Trail Creations Blog Page
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 am starting to do more traveling and teaching. I also have many tutorials, including some on YouTube. 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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