Archives for June 2013

City Sampler Progress

Hey party people. I finally got caught up on my #tula100 blocks! Here are blocks 7-18, continuing with the theme of mainly Edges, Architextures, and my hand-dyed fabrics.

City Sampler blocks 7-10

CitySampler blocks 11-14

CitySampler blocks 15-18

I also started in on the quilt-as-I-go plan. Here are blocks 1-3 with the sashing attached and quilted to the batting.

City Sampler block 1

City Sampler block 2

City Sampler block 3

I figure my free motion quilting is going to improve a lot over the course of 100 blocks, though it’s hard for me not to be critical of the imperfections in it now. One thing I’ve decided is I think less is more. I like block 2 (the pink one) the best, where I mainly followed the pattern and just echoed a bit of what was in the fabric itself.

Linking up over at Sew Sweetness. Go check out all the cool blocks people are making!

Startitis and Flaming Batting

Hello! I’ve been quiet lately, but busy! I’m not sure why, but I have been possessed with the urge to start new projects. Even though I’m behind on my City Sampler and just cut down the fabric I pulled for the Impromptu Quilt-Along into 10-inch squares, I ended up making only minimal progress on those, and instead started making the Garnets and Gold quilt from Kathreen Ricketson’s Little Bits Quilting Bee book (and heroically resisted starting more, though there was much fabric fondling).

Garnets and Gold progress

Maybe I felt the need for more color?!?

Little Bits Quilting Bee was one of the first quilting books I bought, and there are so many projects I love in it. I had bought a bunch of Amy Butler fat quarters with the goal of eventually making this quilt, but I assumed it was going to be out of my skill range for a while, with all those triangles and sewing on the bias. But then it occurred to me: paper piecing these blocks would be easy!

I had to size down the block a bit to fit on an 8.5″x11″ piece of paper. To make a lap sized quilt I’ll need an 8 x 10 grid of blocks, so I’m nearly a quarter of the way done. One thing I’m not sure about is whether I should remove the foundation paper from the back of these blocks before I sew them together. I’m leaning toward leaving it on. Does this sound right? This sounds like the way to keep all those points precisely lining up, but there’s also something that feels vaguely wrong about having a whole quilt top with paper still attached to it.

In other news, I found a large piece of batting that I had forgotten about, including whether it’s cotton or polyester. I remember buying a piece of polyester batting to cut up and practice free motion quilting, but I can’t remember how much of that I’ve used. I know with yarn that you can distinguish wool from acrylic by burning it, so I decided to subject the batting to the same test.

burning batting

I’m thinking that burning rather than melting means this is cotton. Though now that I think about it, I guess I could burn some that I know is cotton as a comparison. What do you think? Is there a better method for knowing what kind of batting this is?

Blog Hop Intro

Hi old and new readers! Welcome to my stop on Plum & June’s New Blogger Blog Hop. I’m so glad you’re here! And thank you to Beth for organizing!

What can I tell you about myself? I’m a very new quilter (about 8 months) and even newer blogger (6 months). But if you hang out here for very long, you’ll see I jump into everything I do with great enthusiasm. :) In honor of this blog hop I worked on another “first” for me, which was writing a pattern, for this patchwork/appliqué pillow. I posted about this earlier this week and you can read about it here.

Palatina Pillow

The name “There’s A Thread” is intentionally vague, since when I started this blog I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about! I do a lot of crafty things in addition to quilting, including knitting, weaving, spinning, and dyeing (although the quilting has pretty much taken over lately). So “There’s a Thread” alludes to the relatedness of all these things. It’s also the start of a favorite poem that you can read on my About page.

I work as a professor, and I love to teach. If I didn’t have sufficient outlets for that desire, I’d probably drive the people around me crazy. So you will find a lot of tutorials on this site. So far they cover quilting, dyeing yarn and fabric, and a bit about fabric design (another new interest of mine). I also just wrote a post about choosing fabric that’s a little bit like a tutorial.

Here are some photos and links to past posts you might want to check out.

project mosaic1 The Verdict: Paper Piecing Is Not That Hard! | 2 I Learned How To Longarm Quilt! | 3 Finished! Architextures Lap Quilt | 4 “Scrunch” Dyed Fabric | 5 Sun Printing Fabric | 6 Custom Coordinates Using Inkscape and Spoonflower | 7 City Sampler Blocks 1-4 | 8 Finished ! Sunday Morning Quilt | 9 Patchwork Pencil Case


Thanks for visiting and come back soon!

xo, Cari

Introducing: Palatina Pillow

In honor of the New Blogger Blog Hop, I’m releasing a pattern (my first!) this week. Read the full version with photos below, or grab the printer-friendly PDF pattern.

Palatina Pillow

This pillow was inspired by a fascinating book I stumbled on while browsing at my local used book store, called Islamic Geometric Patterns by Eric Broug. I had never given much thought to how such designs would have been constructed, and learning about it gave me real admiration for those early artists. As Broug points out, if you have a rope, you can draw a circle (by holding down one end and using the other end to trace it out), and you can draw a straight line (by holding down both ends). Broug shows you how to mimic the construction of those patterns using just a ruler and a compass.

Islamic Geometric Patterns book

The design of this pillow is based on one of the simpler designs in the book, which appears on the ceiling of the Capella Palatina in Palermo, Sicily. (Actually since I’ve been reading this book, I’ve started to notice this and other Islamic patterns all over the place!)

The techniques used in this pattern are simple, a combination of basic patchwork and raw-edge appliqué. I use a special product called Fuse and Fix that is fusible on one side and sticky (without ironing) on the other. You can pull the sticky side up and reposition it multiple times if needed, which makes positioning the fabric pieces very easy. If you don’t have Fuse and Fix, you can also use double-sided fusible webbing and use an iron to attach the pieces. [Read more…]

New Blogger Blog Hop Starts Today

Plum and JuneI’m excited to be participating in the New Blogger Blog Hop being hosted by Beth at Plum and June! The hop is starting today, and you can check in at Plum and June every Friday for the links to specific posts. My blog is being featured next week, and I’ve got a new tutorial in the works for that I’m very excited about! Here’s a sneak peak.

raw edge appliqué

And here’s the full line-up for the blog hop: [Read more…]