Cut, Stitch + Piece Quilt Designs

Showcases quilt patterns by Monica Curry. Purchase quilt patterns for every skill level. Also, get free patterns, quilting tutorials, and printables.

Friday, 10 November 2017

November Studio Tour: Raise Your Cutting Table to Reduce Back Strain

As a graphic designer, I sat for long hours at the computer. It was easy to get lost in my work and not pay attention to my body. I suppose I paid the price because this caused me to suffer from back pain for years. So, when I started quilting more, it became clear that I needed an ergonomically friendly cutting table. There were several options available to me, but I opted to buy the Linnmon/Finvard table from Ikea. This was a great buy, but there are other ways to get a raised table without spending a lot of money.

Linnmon/Finvard adjustable worktable from Ikea
Linnmon/Finvard adjustable worktable from Ikea.


1.  Fold-Away Table and PVC Pipe

If you have a fold-away table like the two below, PVC pipe is your friend. You can get PVC pipe at any hardware center such as Home Depot or Lowe's. First, measure the table leg from the joint of the leg to the floor (see Diagrams 1 and 2). To raise your worktable, decide on the new height you want the table to be. To get this number, measure from the top of the table up to somewhere just above your belly button.  Cut four 1.5" wide PVC pipes to these two measurements. Slip each table leg into the cut pipe.


Four ways to raise your work/cutting table. No 1
Diagram 1

Four ways to raise your work/cutting table. No 2
Diagram 2

2.  Bed Risers

The next option for raising your table is a bed riser. Bed risers can be purchased online or at a hardware or furniture store. Bed risers range in heights from approximately 3 inches to 8 inches.

Four ways to raise your work/cutting table. No 3


3.  Wooden Screw-In Finial

Lastly, if your table legs are wood, you can attach wooden screw-in finals to the bottom of them. Drill a hole into the bottom of the table leg the length of the end screw on the finial. Screw the finial into the leg. You could secure the finial with a little bit of very strong glue for extra support. Finials come in a variety of shapes and lengths.

Four ways to raise your work/cutting table. No 4


4.  DIY Cutting Table

If you're feeling ambitious, I found an excellent tutorial at Ann's Quilt N' Stuff for making a very awesome ergonomically correct cutting table. Check out Ann's tutorial HERE.

Friday, 3 November 2017

My favourite foundation piecing papers

Anyone who has done foundation paper piecing (FPP) knows how frustrating and tedious it is when struggling with bad piecing paper. I've tried most every FPP on the market. I've also tried various tissue papers, tracing papers, parchment paper, copy papers, phone book paper ... well, you get the picture. After all my research, my favourite FPPs are Fun-dation and Sulky Tear Away Stabilizer.

Because I do a lot of FPP for my designs, I was excited to see Fun-dation brand piecing paper go on sale recently at Amazon.ca for $5 CDN. I ordered five packages. A package has 25 sheets. I'm glad I ordered when I did because the price went back up to $7.69 CDN (which is still not too bad). Fun-dation brand FPP is the best I've used. It tears away beautifully, it's translucent enough for fabric placement, and it prints well; I love this stuff. One package of Fun-dation works out to about 0.31 cents a sheet. 

Fun-dation Foundation Piecing Paper

Another very good option for FPP is Sulky Tear-Easy Stabilizer in the 12" x 11 yards roll ($15.11 CDN at Amazon). Sulky Tear-Easy is very much like Fun-dation. An 11-yard roll of Sulky makes [47] 8.5 inch wide sheets at 0.32 cents a sheet.


Sulky Tear-Easy Stabilizer

Saturday, 21 October 2017

October Studio Tour: Resizing a Quilt Pattern

This month's studio tour is actually a post I did awhile back. I felt it was important enough information to re-post.

Quilt patterns can come in many sizes. But what if the size of the pattern isn't the size you want? Maybe you want a throw instead of a mini quilt or a baby quilt instead of a king size. To resize your pattern, you need to know the percentage to reduce or enlarge the blocks. Read below to learn three easy ways to get the percentage you need to resize your blocks and templates.

1. DO THE MATH

Below is the standard formula to get the percentage for reducing or enlarging.

Enlarging:
  1. Measure the shortest length of the original block size? e.g. 6 inches
  2. What size do you want the new block to be? e.g. 8 inches
  3. Divide the new size by the original size, e.g. 8 ÷ 6 = 1.33. 
  4. Move the decimal point two steps to the right to get your percentage = 133%.
  5. Enter 133% into the copy machine to enlarge your 6-inch block to an 8-inch block.
Reducing:
  1. Do the opposite of above. 
  2. Divide the small size (e.g. 6") by the large size (e.g. 8") to get your reduction percentage, e.g. 6 ÷ 8 = 0.75 = 75% reduction.
2.  PROPORTIONAL SCALE

Proportional Scales may look a bit intimidating at first but they're easy to use. You can buy a Proportional Scale especially for quilters HERE.


How to use a proportional scale:
  1. On the bottom wheel, find the original size of your block (e.g. 6"), [Fig 1].
  2. Line up this number with the new size (e.g. 8") on the top wheel, [Fig 1].
  3. In the window, you'll see the percentage of the reduction or enlargement you need to resize your block, [Fig 2].
Note: The math formula and proportional scale results may be off a tiny bit. This is okay.

Using a proportional scale
Figure 1

Using a proportional scale for resizing quilt patterns
Figure 2

3.  PROPORTIONAL MEASUREMENT CHART

Download my enlargement and reduction charts to find the percentages you need at a glance. Download PDF.
  1. Find the original measurement on the left side of the chart. 
  2. Go along that row until you get to the measurement you want on the top row. 
  3. The number in the intersecting box is the percentage you'll need to reduce or enlarge your block.
FREE Quilt Pattern Re-Sizing Chart



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Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Halloween Decor 2017: Beautiful Halloween wreath

A couple of years ago I posted a Halloween floral arrangement that I made for my home. This year, I made a Halloween wreath for my front door. I turn 60 this October and I love Halloween, so I'm having a birthday/Halloween party for my big day. I wanted a pretty wreath on the door to greet my guests. I saw some beautiful wreaths on Pinterest with skulls and ghoulish stuff, but I wanted a floral wreath. Everything I used to make this wreath is from the dollar store. It cost about $15 to make which proves you don't need a lot of money to pretty up your home for Halloween.  Happy Halloween one and all!


Floral Halloween wreath by Monica Curry

Friday, 29 September 2017

New Pattern for Halloween: Witchy Boots

Halloween is almost here again. This is my favourite time of year. Costume parties, treats, tricks, and spooky stuff of all kinds...I love it all. Today, I'm launching my new Halloween pattern Witchy Boots for 2017. This mini quilt is a simple applique pattern that's perfect for a confident beginner. The finished size is 13" x 15" (32.5cm x 37.5cm).

Witch Boots Mini Quilt Pattern
BUY NOW @ MY PATTERN STORE

Witch Boots  and Black Crow Halloween Mini Quilt


Friday, 15 September 2017

September Studio Tour: Pin Cushions

Welcome to my first monthly quilting studio tour. We spend a lot of time making our quilt projects, so I think it's important to have an inviting and functional space to work in. There are many different types of quilting studios. Some are cottages in the yard while others are in the corner of the dining room. But no matter what type or size of the space, we have to make our studios work for us. I started my studio tours to share items and ideas from my quilting studio that keep it comfortable, functional and inspiring. Whether it’s the latest ruler, furniture hack, storage idea, or décor item, posts will include things like tutorials, free printables, free patterns, etc. So, come on in! Welcome to my quilting studio!

Pin Cushions


Pin cushions are an absolute necessity in any sewing studio. You usually don't realize this until you don't have one around when you need it. If you go online or on Pinterest, you'll see hundreds of different variations of a pin cushion. There was, however, one pin cushion I fell in love with. It's the vintage planter pin cushion.

How to Make a Vintage Planter Pin Cushion


I came across these little cuties at Lovely Little Handmaids and knew I had to make one. I picked up a vintage planter at the flower shop and, in no time, I made this adorable little pin cushion. See the instructions below to make your own. I think they would make great gifts for your sewist friends.

Vintage Planter Pin Cushion Tutorial

INSTRUCTIONS

You can probably find one of these little planters at a thrift shop or rummage sale for a few cents. You may also want to check out your local florist shop to see if they have any kicking around from days gone by.

Step One
To give the pin cushion extra weight, glue pebbles to the bottom of the container with a glue gun.

Step Two
Measure the diameter of the opening of the container and cut a circular piece of fabric two inches larger than this measurement.

Step Three
With a strong thread, stitch around the edge of the fabric. Pull the thread to gather the fabric leaving an opening large enough to insert the filler.

Step Four
Stuff the fabric with lots of filler then tighten the thread and secure it with a knot.

Step Five
With a glue gun, apply hot glue around the inner edge of the container. Place the "fabric ball" into the container making sure it adheres to the glue.


How to Make a Juki 2010Q Wrap-Around Pin Cushion


I recently made this pin cushion for my new Juki 2010Q. I can't work unless this is wrapped around my machine. Don't you love the thread spools fabric? It's from the Cute As a Button fabric line by Delphine Cubitt. NOTE: This pattern can be customized to fit any sewing machine by adjusting the length of the end straps.

Free pattern | Wrap around pin cushion for large sewing machine.

MATERIALS 
  • [2] 4" x 24" strips of fabric of your choice. 
  • [2] 1" pieces of hook and loop tape (Velcro®). 
  • Toy stuffing or leftover quilt batting. 
  • Download pin cushion pattern HERE

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Layer the two fabrics and fold in half at the center.


2.  Pin the pattern on the fold and cut out the pieces.


3.  With right sides facing, stitch a 1/4 inch seam from end to end as seen below. Leave the ends open, and leave a 3 inch opening on one side.


4.  Turn stitched piece right side out and press.


5.  Fold the piece in half vertically and place the template on it.
6.  With a fabric marker or pencil, mark on the fabric the vertical lines on the template.
7.  Stitch both vertical lines.


8.  Stuff the pin cushion tightly with filler then hand or machine stitch closed.
9.  Fold in both ends 1/2 inch and stitch closed.
10.  Stitch on the hook and loop tape at each end.


The Classic Mason Jar Pin Cushion


This is my go-to pin cushion for small mending jobs. The Mason jar (mine is a Gem jar) pin cushion is an all-time classic. You can find hundreds of these on Pinterest. There's that cute thread spool fabric again.

Mason jar pin cushion


How to Make a Picture Frame Pin Cushion


Here is another pin cushion idea I used for my Pfaff machine. If you don't have any buttons on the front of your sewing machine, this pin cushion works great and looks ultra stylish.


Tutorial | picture frame pin cushion for sewing machine

INSTRUCTIONS 
  1. Get a small pretty frame and remove the backing and glass.
  2. Cut a piece of thin cardboard the size of the backing.
  3. Cut a piece of fabric one inch larger than the cardboard piece.
  4. Glue some stuffing to the cardboard.
  5. Wrap and glue the fabric edges 3/4 of the way around the stuffing and the cardboard and let dry.
  6. Add more stuffing as needed and finish gluing fabric edges to the cardboard.
  7. Put the stuffed cardboard through the frame.
  8. Re-attach the frame backing to hold cushion in place.
  9. Use sticky-back Velcro® to adhere the finished pin cushion to the front of the sewing machine.
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Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Little Puppy Placemat Pattern

Last week I launched my cute Kitty Kat placemat pattern. This week I'm introducing its partner, my new Little Puppy placemat. Both placemats are great for kids or grand-kids, but could also be used as hot pads in the kitchen. They are simple to make with basic fusible appliquè. This pattern is perfect for the confident beginner who wants to learn bias binding and fusible appliquè.

Little Puppy Placemat Pattern
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Little Puppy Quilted Placemat Pattern by Monica Curry

Little Puppy Quilted Placemat Pattern by Monica Curry

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Kitty Kat quilted placemat

My favourite cat is the orange tabby. I had an orange tabby when I was a young. Her name was Abby; Abby the tabby! I loved her, and it broke my heart when she didn't come home one day. Later in life, I developed an allergy to cats, but I still love them to pieces. I designed this cute Kitty Kat placemat pattern for a child, but a real cat lover could also use it in the kitchen as a hot pad.

Kitty Kat Placemat Pattern

Kitty Kat Quilted Placemat Pattern by Monica Curry


Kitty Kat Quilted Placemat Pattern by Monica Curry


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

A Taste of Honey Placemat Pattern: honoring our precious pollinators

Who doesn't love the sweet taste of honey? These stylish and modern hexagon placemats showcase the Bee Creative and Bee Inspired fabric collections by Deb Strain. But no matter what colours you use, these placemats are sure to make a statement.

A Taste of Honey Quilted Placemats
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A Taste of Honey Quilted Placemat Pattern


A Taste of Honey Placemat Pattern - detail

I love the quilting on the back. It reminds me of sacred geometry.

A Taste of Honey placemat back quilting

OUR PRECIOUS POLLINATORS


The honey bees are in danger. After being here for thousands of years, their population is declining and one species of bee is on the endangered list. It’s scary to imagine what would happen if all our honey bees were gone. Most of our non-grain foods are dependent on honey bee pollination. There are 90 different food plants that depend almost exclusively on the honey bee. When my husband and I heard several years ago that the bee population was declining, we planted more flowers and plants that would attract and feed them. Also, we use only non-toxic, natural pesticides.


honey bee on blanket flower
Photo by Monica Curry



Here are five things you can do in your garden to help the bees:

  • Plant bee-friendly flowers and flowering plants in your garden and yard.
  • Honey bees love weeds, i.e. clover, dandelions, so leave a few in your yard.
  • Don't use chemicals and pesticides to treat your lawn or garden.
  • Buy local, raw honey.
  • Bees are thirsty; leave a tray of stones and water to give them a place to drink.

Here are three good websites with information about honey bees and honey bee populations:


http://www.panna.org/our-campaigns/save-our-bees

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/u-s-lists-a-bumble-bee-species-as-endangered-for-first-time/

http://foecanada.org/en/

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Four summer mug rugs you'll love . . .

Summer is finally here! Now, check out these cute summer themed mug rugs. These would be great for drinks on the deck, around the pool, or hostess gifts for your next BBQ. The book includes instructions and templates for all four mug rugs shown below.

For a limited time, you can get the 4 Summer Fun Mug Rugs pattern book for 10% OFF. Use coupon code SUMMERFUN17 at the checkout.

Summer Fun Mug Rug Pattern Book
BUY NOW @ MY PATTERN STORE

four summer mug rug patterns book