Triangle Scraps!

Posted by Daisy Aschehoug on

My fabric stash is overflowing, and lately I've been trying to focus on ways to inspire people to use what they have on hand. These triangle shapes make good use of odd size scraps and create an amazing effect in a finished project. 

I've got two templates to share. This first one creates strips that can be assembled into diamonds. The second template set creates larger triangle units that can be joined into hexagon shapes.

When either the diamonds or the larger triangles are joined in an alternating fashion (dark up/light down and then light up/dark down), the checkerboard effect is pretty awesome!

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Global Quilt Connection Videos

Posted by Daisy Aschehoug on

With so many restrictions in place during the Covid 19 pandemic, many quilt teachers switched from teaching in person to virtually. I participated in two Meet-the-Teacher events with Global Quilt Connection, and these were  the videos I used. The first presents my lectures and workshops for guilds, and the second showcases my offerings for quilters who want to sign up for workshops as an individual. Enjoy!




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Review of a new quilting book: Design, Make, Quilt Modern

Posted by Daisy Aschehoug on

[all photos from Heather Black's new book: Design, Make, Quilt Modern]

Someday, I'll do a blog post of all the different quilters that influence and inspire me. Heather Black will be all over that list - she's an amazing designer, and I've said for a long time that I want to quilt like her when I grow up. Each time I see one of her new quilts, it's the quilting stitches that really capture my attention. She seems to know just the right motif that will fill a space in a way that perfectly coordinates with the piecing of a quilt.

New quilting book called Design, Make, Quilt Modern by Heather Black

Her new book, Design, Make, Quilt Modern has some really interesting sections on design tools and design basics. I'd never heard of an S-curve, and I was fascinated by her explanation of the different ways that odd-versus-even can play out in a quilt. I skimmed through the sections on color because I was so eager to get to the QUILTING, but I'll probably head back to them at some point to see what I can integrate into my own design process.

But, oh the quilt stitches! 

I love Heather's tips and thoughts on protecting depth in a quilt design with certain quilt motifs. I also like her analysis of what kinds of quilting will draw attention. I went through her exercises, and I came up with two main goals specifically for my own quilts:

  • Straight lines organized in a variety of shapes and directions
  • Straight or curved lines that echo the piecing and main design

These aren't a big surprise to me, but I've not gotten gutsy and included them in my rotation for a variety of reasons. I'm often rushing towards a deadline when I get to the end of the piecing, and that's not the best time to experiment or make big changes. (Especially when you're doing free motion quilting on a domestic or hand guided on a long arm!)

One ah-ha moment that I've had is that I need to set these quilting goals as I'm designing a quilt. I do have general goals for a design when I'm in the planning stages, but I only imagine what can be accomplished with color and texture in piecing and fabric selection. I think in order to grow as a quilter, I need to put more emphasis on what the quilting will do for me, and not let the quilting be an afterthought.

As someone who has designed quilts for a few years now, it seemed a little odd for me to purchase a book on designing modern quilts. But, there are always new things to learn. I've gotten a lot out of Heather's approach. Her advice is applicable to every kind of quilting style, and the structure of the book encourages you to apply what you're learning in real time. The quilt patterns included at the end are a nice bonus!

Whether you want to make your own quilt design or are just searching for new ways to be creative with fabric choices, I highly recommend Design Make Quilt Modern by Heather Black of Quiltachusetts!

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Bojagi-Inspired Flat Felled Seam

Posted by Daisy Aschehoug on

When it comes to hand-pieced patchwork, I love the double-sided results I get from this bojagi-inspired flat-felled seam. You can see more of my bojagi work in this post from a few months ago.

This kind of patchwork is perfect for household linens like napkins, tablecloths, and curtains. I also love the idea of a wrapping cloth, which is a nice nod to the traditional Korean patchwork that inspired this style of stitching.

To start, I prewashed some linen. Because this seam is double sided, I recommend using solid linen or cotton fabrics. There are also some beautiful weaves or ikats that would bring in the element of pattern nicely because the pattern would be on both sides.

I've got chenille needles sized 24, but I've sewn these stitches with a variety of needles. I found my favorite needles in some old mystery packs - they're probably just plain sharps. Essentially, if your thread goes through the eye, it'll do just fine. I also like shorter needles better than longer ones.

Aurifil thread, john james needles, chenille needle, essex linen

For thread, I usually measure out twice the length of the seam that I'm about to sew. Any thread will do, but my favorite is Aurifil 12 weight. It's just thick enough to be visible, but no so think that there's a lot of resistance as you pull the needle through the fabric.

ironing, essex linen, aurifil thread, bojagi, flat-felled seam

Iron a fold in both of your fabrics. One fabric should have a fold that is 1/4". The other fabric should have a fold that is between 1/2" and 5/8". (Later steps are a bit easier if you have aa 5/8" fold).

Using pins or Clover Clips, align the folds together so that the short sides are facing away from each other.

Aligning linen fabrics and securing them with clover clips for hand sewing a flat-felled seam.

Place the short, 1/4", fold facing you, and the long, 5/8" fold  away from you.

Push the needle up through the long fold. 

The knot will be hidden in a later step.

Showing the width of whipstitches

Continue with a whipstich all along the fold. As you pull the thread for each stitch, pull just hard enough to get the thread to rest against the fabric (without making a loop in the air.) Don't pull the thread so tightly that the fabric is cinched in the stitch. 

At the end of the row, place a second stitch over the previous stitch, leave a loop, and bring the needle through the loop to make a small knot. Repeat the knot.

The knot at the end of the first round of stitches

Clip your thread. I clipped this a bit too short - I recommend that you leave a small tail which will help keep your knot secure over time. If you clip the tail too short, it can work its way back through the knot and unravel.

Clipped thread at the knot at the end of the first round of stitches

This knot will be hidden in the seam allowance of the next seam.

Don't adjust the short fold. Unfold the long fold just like you're opening the cover of a spiral bound notebook.

Opening up the long side after whipstitching the first round of stitches.

Bending the long side to get it to open correctly for the next row of stitches

Fold it back onto itself and finger press the fabric inside the stitches.

Folding over the long side to prepare for the second round of stitches

Fold the long fold over the edge of the short fold. It's helpful if you can use an iron for this step, but it isn't necessary. I'm often stitching when I travel, and I finger press and use clips to get this fold without an iron.

Next, fold the new fold (long blue fold around the short brown fold) onto the short fold fabric (brown).

Pinching up the back fabric to prep the fold for the second round of stitchesPinch the fabric to make a fold in the brown fabric.

Making the fold for the second round of stitchesPlace clips or pins to secure this brown fold to the blue fold that you either ironed or finger pressed.

The second fold is ready

Start the stitch underneath the raw edge. The knot will be contained in the finished seam.

Continue with the whipstitch along the two folds just as you did in the earlier step.

At the end make another knot. The knot will be visible until it's contained in the next seam allowance. Open the brown fabric, again like a spiral bound notebook.

Bojagi-inspired flat-felled hand-sewn seam

The double-sided seam is complete, and all the raw edges are contained.

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Hand Sewn Apron (no sewing machine used)

Posted by Daisy Aschehoug on

Have you heard of #memademay? Every year, clothes makers everywhere take over the internet to share pictures of themselves wearing clothing they made. Zoe Edwards says, "

Me-Made-May is a challenge designed to encourage people who make their own clothes to develop a better relationship with their handmade wardrobe. You set the specifics of your own challenge to make it suitable and useful for YOU."

As someone who sews in one dimension, the idea of making something that I would wear makes me break out in hives. But I'm also learning a lot about the the clothing industry's impact on the environment and the questionable working conditions for factory workers. I'm trying to shop more responsibly, as well as push myself into sewing something that I'd wear.  My first, and utterly unambitious, project is an apron.

(For the record, I've sewn one shirt and half a dress, but both of those projects were done in a class setting with someone holding my hand. I had a million questions, forgot everything, and ultimately decided "apron = success" here.)

Perhaps it wasn't completely unambitious. I felt like I could take a little bit of a challenge, so I decided I wouldn't use a sewing machine. I would make something from start to finish with just a needle and thread in my hands. 

I prewashed some Robert Kaufman Essex Linen, grabbed some spools of Aurifil thread, and got a chenille 24 needle. I traced the one apron I already own onto the linen and cut my new apron about a half inch larger. 

I debated an Aurifil lana wool and floss, but I ended up using a cotton 12wt. I really liked the wool but thought the color I had might have been too pink. I was a little worried that floss through the linen would be tiring after a while, and I've got a great track record with the 12 wt on wool.

I've been sewing some bojagi-inspired patchwork which you can see on this previous post. I simply took the whip stitch that I use there and applied it to the hem and the string ties. The string ties were cut at one inch from selvedge to selvedge (about 40"). I ironed the strip in half, then folded the edges into the middle and sewed shut with the whip stitch.

I attached the straps with stitches and common sense. I have no idea what the "right" way is here, but I did try to place the stitches so the pull would occur on the hem and not the single layer of fabric. The hem is reinforced and stronger.

I left the selvedge on the ends of the straps which created the world's tiniest pom poms.

I thought the fringe from the selvedge would be an interesting feature on the neck so I only hemmed one side before testing which side the fringe needed to point.


 In the end, I decided I wanted the fringe to point out.

The internet is full of 10-minute apron tutorials. This is clearly not the result of one of those. I'm not exactly sure how long this project took me (a few hours?), but I love seeing all those little stitches.

And even though I used a variety of tools (scissors, needle, clover clips, etc), there's definitely great satisfaction in knowing I made something useful - something wearable - and that I did it without a machine.

Now I just need to add a pocket or two...

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