Sunday, December 18, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I have a Christmas present for everyone.  I decided to give you the instructions for the Fit to be Ruler Case.  Several people have asked me for the pattern so here it is:

Supplies:
1/2 yard for main body of bag
3/8 yard for lining
1/8 yard for accent
1/2 yard fusible fleese
zipper

Instructions:

From the fabric for the main body, cut:
2 - 12" x 12 1/2" pieces
1 - 3" strip
From the lining fabric, cut:
2 - 13" x 16" pieces
From the accent fabric, cut:
2 - 3" x 12" pieces
From the fusible fleese, cut:
2 - 13" x 16" pieces
1 - 3/4" strip

Piecing:

Press the 3" strip of main fabric, in half, wrong sides together.


Open up and place the fusible fleese at the fold with the fuse side downs. 

Bring up the raw edge to meet in the middle repeat for the other side, fold and press.  Fold again and press.  Sew an 1/8" from both edges to make the handle.  Cut the handle in half so that you have 2 - 20" handles.



Place the lining with wrong sides up on an ironing board.  Place the fusible fleese with fusing side to the wrong side of the lining.  Fuse in place.  Repeat for both lining pieces.  Lay the accent piece near the top approximately 1/2" away with right sides up.  Lay a handle piece 3" in from both ends of the accent piece with the raw edge of the accent piece even with the raw edge of the handle. 

 Place the 12" x 12 1/2" piece of main body, right sides together on the accent piece, sandwiching the handle.  Pin in place.  Sew 1/4" seam, catching all layers.  Press down towards the main piece.

Sew an "X" on the handle where it meets the bag.  Sew 3 quilting lines from the accent piece down to the bottom.  Repeat for both sides of the bag.



Sew around both pieces using an 1/8" seam to anchor it in place.  Trim the excess batting and backing off even.




Sew on the zipper as desired.  I used Terry Atkinson from Atkinson Designs method for sewing on zippers.  Her instructions make it very easy.









Turn the pieces right sides together and sew down the two sides.  Make sure that the zipper is open!  Then sew across the bottom.  Zig-zag the edges so that they don't fray.



Create a squared corner, sewing in 3/4" from the corner.  Repeat for both bottom corners.  Trim to a 1/4" and zig-zag the edges.



 
Put in your Fit to be Rulers and go!



I'd love to see pictures of your Fit to be Case, so please send me some pictures. 

My helper - Tillie
Hope you have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Lots of News!

Fall has been a busy time for me.  I have been traveling to teach classes and lecture.  My most recent trip was to New Hampton, IA to visit my friend Denise and teach through her shop, Quilter's Window.  She had a retreat planned at the local hotel and started Friday afternoon and lasted until Sunday morning.  Everyone seemed to have so much fun and I even sewed a little.  I taught Gin Rummy and Speed from my book Fat Quarter Winners
 Gin Rummy

Speed 

I have also been in Princeton, IL to teach at a retreat for the Covered Bridge Quilt Guild.  The  retreat was held at a Church camp and was perfect.  There was plenty of room for everyone to sew.  I taught Pinochle and here are some of the quilts that were made that weekend.  Awesome!





The latest news is that I have designed a 2012 Mystery Quilt for American Patchwork & Quilting!  The first month block is in the February, 2012 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting and can be seen in the form of a table runner. 

This is from Elizabeth Beese, the Senior Editor of American Patchwork & Quilting:

Who doesn’t love a good mystery? Here’s the scoop on the 2012 Mystery Quilt created exclusively for you by designer Monique Dillard of Open Gate Quilts. Throughout the year, you’ll get instructions for eight blocks (one in each 2012 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting magazine and two additional blocks online). Make one of each block in the fabrics of your choice and set it aside for the end of the year. In the December issue, we’ll give you a mystery quilt setting joining all the single blocks together.

Doesn't this sound like fun?  Make sure that you check out Elizabeth's blog to find out how to start and how to participate.  She also includes different color variations. 



I'm excited to see how everyone else's turns out!

Another exciting piece of news is that my friend, Thelma, from Cupcakes 'n Daisies has a quilt featured in the same magazine!  Wait until you see it!  It's absolutely gorgeous and perfect just like Thelma!  If you haven't read her blog, I encourage you to hop on over.  You will love her quilts, her writing and especially her - I know I do!

Hope everyone has a good week!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Quiltmaker 100 Block Winners!

Congratulations to the 3 winners who commented on my blog.  Here they are:

The winner of a Quiltmaker 100 Block magazine is:

Jill who said:

"We have a dog named Lexie. She likes to lay under or across my feet whenever I sit down. She is an English Springer Spaniel."

Jill, if you could email me, with you arddress at info@opengatequilts.com, I would appreciate it!

The winner of the Fit to be Geese ruler is:

Karen (Misiz C), said:

"Know what you mean about enough time for applique. If we only didn't need sleep! ;-) Your block is beautiful!

My fuzzy quilt helpers are the cats. From rearranging blocks laid out on the floor to weighing down stacks of fabric so they don't blow away, they are always involved. We have three. Cosmo, a gray van shelter kitty; Miles, a bronze Egyptian Mau; and Aurora, a calico se Scottish Fold."

And the winner of the sampling of Memories of Provence is:

Judy said:

"I am definitely a dog lover. We have a Bichon named Smeggel who is 10 years old. He was rescued from a puppy mill where he had lived for 8 years in a crate. He could only crawl when he was rescued. He is spoiled rotten now though! I just have to win this fabric, because I am redecorating part of my house with Provence fabrics. I love them."

One of the things that I love about blogging is getting to know people through there comments.  It is so wonderful to hear the compliments, the stories and the wonderful tales (no pun intended) about their pets.

Thank you all for participating and make sure that you come back to see what other blog hops, giveaways and surprises that come up on my blog!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks

Welcome everyone! 

It's my day for the blog tour.  I hope you have been tuning in daily to the other blog hop participants.  I have checked them out and am very impressed with all the wonderful, talented designers out there! 



Here is my block that was included in the latest issue.  Applique, you say?!  Yes, I have been designing a bit of applique these days.  I love to applique but unfortunately, there is not enough time to do it all.  I was inpired by a tile design for this applique and hope you enjoy it too!

As for my giveaway for the blog tour, I have a few items to give to 3 lucky winners!  Read below to see how to enter for the drawings.   

First, from Quiltmaker, a copy of the Quiltmaker's 100 Block Vol. 4.  It is an awesome magazine that has some great blocks and lots of inspiration!

Second, Fit to be Geese ruler.  If you haven't used my Fit to be Geese ruler, here's your chance to win one!  It is perfect for trimming flying geese from 2" x 3 1/2" to 3 1/2" x 6 1/2".  Also included with the ruler is a free pattern.



Third, fabric.  How about a sampling of my newest fabric line, Memories of Provence?  Combining rich reds, beautiful blacks, fabulous blues and soft creams, this is the latest fabric line that I designed with Maywood Studio.  Here are a few of the pieces.



Now, how do you enter, you ask?  Simple, leave a comment on this blog answering this question:  Dog lover, cat lover, neither or both?  If you do have a pet, let me know his/her name, breed (if applicable), and age.  I would love to hear all about your favorite 4 legged friend.  If you don't have a pet, let me know what keeps you company when you sew.  Music, dvd's, silence...?

Make your comment before Sunday night and I will draw for the winners and announce them Monday morning. 


This is my quilting buddy, Tillie, our Old English Sheepdog.

Thanks for participating and good luck!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Quilt Market in a Day

You've heard of Quilt in a Day, how about Quilt Market in a Day?  Sue and I made a whirlwind trip to Houston for 1 day at Quilt Market.  We were actually in Houston for less than 48 hours but walked the show on Saturday only.  We arrived Thursday night late and I had a 15 minute lecture on the Block of the Month on Friday.  The show didn't open until Saturday morning.   

Friday night, Sue had her first experience at Sample Spree.  Sample Spree is a "pre-show" the night before Quilt Market.  Designers and companies set up tables and have everything from fat quarter bundles to patterns and notions. 

Check out the lines to get in!  Sue and I waited until everyone was in before got in there. 




It was quite a frenzy of buying and looking at the new items.  Here are a few of the fun things that we picked up:

Fat Quarter Bundles from Riley Blake and RJR.  Yum!!

 Robyn Pandolph for RJR
Riley Blake Fabrics

Saturday, Sue and I walked the show.  Our main goal was to find some bag patterns and one of our favorites, Penny Sturges from Quilts Illustrated was there and here are some of her new patterns that we picked up.

We also bought some new patterns from Pink Sand Beach.  We were so excited to see their bag patterns.  They have a great supply and we bought a few to make.

Another new designer that we visited is Aunties Two Patterns.  She had this adorable square purse that I am dying to make and also this cute odd shaped bag.  She did a demo that had Sue and I wanting everything she made.  Brilliant way to put on a zipper!  I will have to make a bag to see how it works.

Here is a photo of me in front of the Maywood booth with the Block of the Month, Echo and Monte Carlo displayed.  They did a great job of displaying the quilts!



We left Saturday evening.  We had a great time but Sunday was definitely a regroup and get ready for the next adventure!

Off to another retreat this weekend.  This time, I am working.  It is up in the picturesque town of New Glarus, WI.  Very peaceful and the BEST bakery!

Don't forget to tune in for the Quiltmaker 100 Block blog hop starting next Monday, November 7th!

Have a great week!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

October Projects

I have been working on some new projects this fall.  I just spend a wonderful, relaxing, and enjoyable weekend with some of my friends.  We retreated in beautiful Lake Mills, WI.  We rented a cottage, set it up with our sewing stuff, laughed, ate and had fun.  I had plenty of things that I "needed" to do but instead, I decided to do some things that I wanted to do! 


 View from out the front window

Before all the tables, sewing machines, irons, chairs, projects and quilters.
First, I decided to make ruler bags out of my new fabric and made one for each of my retreat friends.  Sue and I designed a ruler bag for my "Fit to be" series of rulers.  It is about 15" x 11 1/2", with handles and a zipper.  Here is mine.  I used Terry Atikinson's method of putting in the zipper and if you haven't done her method yet, you need to!  It makes putting zippers in so easy! 


Also, I did get to work on a new pattern of Terry Atkinson's that I had picked up.  It is called the Lollipop bag and has the cutest little rosette on it.  At first, I wasn't sure that I wanted to put the rosette on it but when the other girls said that they did and started making them, I was sold.  They are the cutest things.  Terry is also making these hooks for handles.  I love them!  I have many things that I could use them for.  My mind is racing with possibilities!  Here is my version of the Lollipop bag:


Then, I still wanted to work on some quilting projects so at the Madison Expo, I had picked up this new book and kit from Whimsical.  It was fun to make and I didn't have to choose any fabric!  How fun is that!  I am planning on appliqueing the ornaments as I quilt it but I didn't get to that yet.  Hopefully, before Christmas!

In a few weeks, Quiltmakers 100 Block magazine will be distributing their 4th edition.  I am so excited to be included in this!  Not only that, but there will be a blog hop.  My day will be Friday, November 11th, so make sure you stop by to see who's blogging and the wonderful give-aways . So much fun!  Will keep you informed about the Blog Hop.


Take care!