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Quilt Panel
Posted by Connie Albin
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I'm headed to Bozeman, MT to see my daughter and I made some potholders and dish towels for her. I used "American Quilt Blocks" state panels, one for Minnesota to reminder her of her roots and some for Montana because that is where her heart is. American Quilt Blocks have many great panels, amazing quality, be sure to check them out. Happy quilting!  . . .

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MN Quilt Show 2016
Posted by Connie Albin
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There is so much to see and do at the quilt show that one day there can not do the show justice. I went on Thursday, stayed through Friday and still wanted more. I had two quilts in a special exhibit honoring Ruby Short McKim. This pattern is called "Quaddy Quilt" and was published in the Kansas City Star newspaper in 1916. Janne Dunlap embroidered the green and gold quilt, I pieced and machine quilted it.       I thought it would be fun to try to make a mini. . .

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"What's Up?"
Posted by Connie Albin
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Same quilt pattern quilted two different ways.    This aplique quilt will be a part of the Minnesota Quilt Show 2016. What a beauty. Pieced by Karen Eichman. Thanks for peeping my photos. Happy Quilting!. . .

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Loading A Quilt On A Gammill Longarm Quilting Machine
Posted by Connie Albin
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When loading a quilt onto a Longarm machine, speed is important to me because I want to start stitching! This is the process I use. Find the center of the quilt top and the backing. Put a pin in it! (hee hee, literally). Your table has 3 canvases, 1. PICK UP ROLLER, 2. LINING, 3. TOP FABRIC.  Line up the center pin on the backing fabric with the center of the "PICK UP ROLLER" canvas. Keep the canvas and backing fabric edges even.. . .

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"What's Cooking Ladies?" Potholders
Posted by Connie Albin
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These pretty faces were a pattern I found in "Vintage Tinted Linens * Quilts" by Brenna Hopkins & Nori Koenig. The shading is done with children's crayons and an iron, the process is simple and adds so much personality. When this style of potholder was really popular, they would have been hung in the kitchen for decorations and not actually used as a potholder.     Adding color to embroidered pieces with crayons brings a charm and uniqueness to your project. So color away. Happy Quilting!. . .

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Star Potholder
Posted by Connie Albin
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For my family, the 4th of July always includes lots of food and outdoor fun. Red, white, and blue fabrics brought the patriotic fun to these potholders.    Happy Quilting!. . .

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Woodland Animals Continued
Posted by Connie Albin
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Two more animals embroidered for my grandson's quilt.      Happy Quilting!. . .

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Quilting Traditional Applique
Posted by Connie Albin
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Karen Eichman is an amazing quilter and I'm fortunate that she lets me work on her masterpieces. She enjoys challenging herself to take her skills to the next level. Consequently, I'm pushed to keep improving my skills, I love it. I really enjoy the synergy we create when we collaborate. Karen chose a pineapple motif and feathers for the background of her quilt. The pineapple represents hospitality and was often used in traditional quilting designs. She let me have liberty with where the feathers would go and deciding how the feathers would flow around the applique.
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Pot Holder Houses
Posted by Connie Albin
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          I'm still having fun with my challenge of making a pot holder a week for a whole year. These houses are adorable and I could just keep making them. More houses could surface as the weeks tick by. Happy Quilting!. . .

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Flip Flop Pot Holder
Posted by Connie Albin
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When I was a child, my siblings and I would beg our Mom to let us go barefooted the first sign of warm weather. She would always say, "not until after Mother's Day." Rain or shine, warm or cold, we were barefooted the day after Mother's Day and every day after until school started. I still love to go barefooted, can you relate?  Happy quilting!. . .

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Colored Trapunto
Posted by Connie Albin
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  Merging modern and traditional elements can give birth to a successful design. This quilt is definitely modern and the traditional trapunto gives it an exciting boost. Adding color to the trapunto in the white space of the quilt really draws your eye up and creates movement. To create this effect I first determined where the quilted circles would land in the white space of the quilt. A bright piece of cotton and extra batting is what adds the color to the trapunto in the otherwise white circle. Cut the fabric and batting into the shape you. . .

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Trapunto As You Quilt
Posted by Connie Albin
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In my previous blog post, I showed you how to float a quilt top using magnets. I mentioned that this technique allows you to add trapunto to your quilt as you go. Trapunto,  Italian for "to quilt," is a method of quilting that is also called "stuffed technique." The result is a puffy, decorative feature that creates a raised surface on the quilt. It is a beautiful effect that can be very time intensive. Using my method of adding the extra batting as you go, takes a lot of the work out of the traditional ways of creating trapunto. I. . .

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Floating Quilt Top
Posted by Connie Albin
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Floating a quilt top on a longarm table will center your quilt from left to right and will give you the freedom to quilt the top all the way to the edges of the quilt. My friend and fellow longarm quilter, Amanda Roberts, showed me how to use magnets to make floating a quilt top even easier. I bought three of these magnets at a hardware store in the tool organizing department. The magnets are about 18 inches long and three will be perfect for a queen size top, I would use four of these. . .

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Monofilament Thread
Posted by Connie Albin
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As a quilter, do you have a strong bias against invisible threads? I have been told not to even go there and I pretty much didn't until I started reading about award winning quilters who (I'm whispering this) use invisible thread on their quilts. This information piqued my interest and I needed to investigate.    The main advantages of using invisible thread is the invisibility. Machine applique, stitching-in-the-ditch, quilting an outline around applique piecing are the top reasons for me.  The fact that you don't have to match the thread to. . .

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Fat Froggy
Posted by Connie Albin
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Making a potholder a week for 2015 has been a fun challenge.  Its only been two months though, I'm hopeful I won't crash and burn as the year goes on.  I can't help but giggle when I look at the fat face of this froggy.  I think you will like it too.  . . .

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Woodland Animals
Posted by Connie Albin
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I will be welcoming my first grandson towards the end of April. Being a quilter, I must make him a baby quilt.  My daughter and her husband are avid outdoors people, so I want the baby quilt to reflect their interests.  I'm designing 9 to 12 blocks and have recruited my oldest daughter to embroider them for me.   The owl is complete! The rabbits and robins are a preview of blocks to come. POTHOLDER CHALLENGE Quilters tend to have orphaned quilt blocks, practice blocks or an extra block from the last quilt project laying around. These blocks make. . .

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I Love You.
Posted by Connie Albin
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This heart shaped potholder is a Martha Stewart pattern. You can find it at:  Heart-Shaped Pot Holders | Martha Stewart Templates ... Have a sweet Valentine's Day and Happy Quilting.    . . .

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Cork It! Wine Cork Trivet.
Posted by Connie Albin
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I'm excited about this trivet because it is filled with wine corks.  It's flexible, but strong and washable. Technically this is not a potholder, but I'm going to consider it my 5th potholder in my 52 potholders in a year challenge.  Start with two 10 inch circle cuts from a fun cotton fabric. Fold one of the circles in half and iron, then fold it into 3rds and iron. These ironed creases will be your sewing lines.      . . .

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Who's Cooking?
Posted by Connie Albin
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Owls are so popular right now, I can see why, they are so cute.  When I was a young bride geese were most popular.  I know, I know, that really dates me. . . .

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Fishy Fishy
Posted by Connie Albin
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I had a chance to spend a week by the gulf and was inspired by the flowers and water for these two potholders.  . . .

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2015 Project Resolutions
Posted by Connie Albin
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I love to make New Years resolutions.  I reflect on the past year and look for ways I was successful and ways I can improve.  Sound overwhelming?  I made a resolution last year to make a pot holder a week and didn't even get started. I still think it is a fun idea, so I'm putting it on my 2015 list.  My list also includes a series of blogs on binding, designing a quilt for my first grandson, and completing a quilt for my quilt guild's quilt show.  I encourage you to keep checking my blog and see if I get a new pot holder. . .

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Wine Socks
Posted by Connie Albin
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With so many parties to go to this time of year, I always look for a special gift to bring for the host or hostess.  A nice bottle of wine can be just the ticket.  Wrapping the wine in an unexpected way lets the recipient know that you gave the gift some thought.   A Wine Sock is whimsical and so easy to make that you will never buy another gift bag to wrap wine.  I look for Holiday knee high socks at discount stores and I'm rarely disappointed.  Some of these socks were $1.50 a pair, making two. . .

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Quilt-As-You-Go Christmas Stocking
Posted by Connie Albin
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A Christmas Stocking is a gift that re-gives itself every Christmas and there is nothing more sentimental than a handmade gift.  This Quilt-As-You-Go Christmas Stocking is so much fun to make.  I recommend using scraps from your fabric stash.  I have quite a bit of Christmas themed fabric I can use for my stockings.  Many different colors can be incorporated into this project without moving away from a Christmas theme.  Experiement with blues, teal, maroon etc. Use the fabric combination that makes your heart sing! To make a standard 17" stocking you will need a piece of backing fabric and. . .

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Thanksgiving Table Runner
Posted by Connie Albin
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I'm obsessed with Karen Montgomery's "Easy Striped Table Runner" pattern.  I look for striped fabric just so I can make this runner.  I get especially excited if I find striped fabrics in a holiday theme. The pattern is super easy if you keep focused on just a few details that I will explain in a minute.   A must have for this project is a 60 degree ruler for cutting the angled pieces.  The cornucopia of Fall colored leaves and gourds on this striped fabric is going to make my Thanksgiving table shine.
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Quick Stencil
Posted by Connie Albin
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If you have a quilting design and you want to use it repeatedly on a quilt, a stencil can be the easiest way. You can print out a quilting design in the size you need and turn it into a paper stencil.  Here are the steps ...     First, print out the design in the right size for the space.  Use the "Proportional Scale" tool to determine what percentage you will need to increase or decrease the design to the correct size needed. On the Proportional Scale you line up. . .

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Now What? Choose a quilting design.
Posted by Connie Albin
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When I am starting a new project I usually know exactly what quilting is needed to really make it sing. But, once in a while a quilt will come along that completely stumps me! I end up wrestling with ideas for days--I even lose sleep! Thankfully, over the years I have developed methods to help me find inspiration when my mind is drawing a blank. I start by looking in magazines, online and at the world around me. I look for patterns in nature or architecture, even wallpaper and woven rugs. If something peeks my interest I will take a. . .

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Finding Vintage Fabrics II
Posted by Connie Albin
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A new fabric store opened in my town! Reproduction Fabrics owned by Margo Krager . In July 2014 my daughter moved to Bozeman, MT and at the same time Margo moved from Bozeman to Northfield, MN. I'm sure they past each other on the interstate. Reproduction Fabrics is an amazing source of reproduction cotton fabrics for quilting and costumes.  A lot of Margo's business is done online but she has a great space for her fabric lines that is open to the public. Her website is reproductionfabrics.com.
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Finding Vintage Fabrics
Posted by Connie Albin
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A customer came to me with a beautiful quilt she purchased for her mother some 25 years ago, now the quilt has returned to her.  She wants to use it but really wanted pillow shams to complete the ensemble.  I was up for the challenge, besides, I like making pillow shams.  However, finding the right fabric would take time and effort. The quilt has a label, but doesn't give a date, it was probably made in the 1970's.   Looking online is an option if the company is willing to. . .

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Pincushion on a Spoon
Posted by Connie Albin
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I found this sweet little pincushion at a hidden gift shop on the eastside of Sedona.  It made me happy because it's just so darn cute--I smile every time I use it!  I happen to have a chest of old flatware so now I can make one for all my peeps.  The font I'm using for the initials can be found here: dafont.com/tangerine.font Once the monogram is finished, I stitch what my granddaughter calls "doll pillows", and hot glue the pillow to a spoon. height:533px;. . .

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Last Minute Gifts to Make
Posted by Connie Albin
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Two gift ideas to talk about:  Infinity Scarf made of a luscious fabric called Minky and a pillowcase. Making a pillowcase from novelty prints is a great gift for kids.  I make pillowcases for my grandchildren for every holiday.  I always pick fabric that is a fun contrast for the body and band of the pillowcase. I got a pillowcase pattern from the internet, there are hundreds of free patterns to choose from. I loves these bright colors! I had left over fabric from the pillowcase projects, so I decided to make my 3 yr. . .

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DIY Hot Tool Pack Away
Posted by Connie Albin
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I made this curling iron cover for my sister and when I gave it to her I said she would LOVE it.  A few months later I asked her what she thought about the cover.  She said she never uses it because she doesn't travel.  I laughed and told her its not just to pack in your suitcase, but to be able to put it away while your curling iron is still hot.  She started using it everyday and loved it so much, she gave one to all her friends!  My sister named it "Pack Away", and it stuck. It makes. . .

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Essential Tools for Every Longarm Quilter
Posted by Connie Albin
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I want to share with you some of the items I use every time I quilt.  These things make my life easier and I can't live without them. A can of air is essential to keeping my longarm free of lint. Every time I change a bobbin, I spray the bobbin case and the case holder to free them from lint.  If the lint builds up in the case holder, it can get sewn into the back of the quilt. I also use the air to clean the tracks on my longarm table that the wheels. . .

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Clever Ways to Organize Your Workspace
Posted by Connie Albin
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One of the first things that can stifle my creativity is clutter!  Getting organized doesn't have to be overwhelming. It is an ongoing process, so bite off one piece at a time. Here are some tips for creating a clean, happy and efficient work space: This is my work station and it is located right next to my longarm machine. How do I find what I need in that mess—yikes! The first step in organizing this space is to ask myself, "what do I really need at my fingertips?" and then eliminate the non-essentials.  . . .

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Create Your Own Quilt Label
Posted by Connie Albin
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Each quilt needs a label—its like signing your piece of art! Let's do this in 5 easy steps: Supplies: Freezer Paper Printer Paper Neutral Colored Fabric Permanent Fabric Markers (I like to use the "Millennium" brand) Cutting Mat Rotary Cutter Printer Type label information into a word document and play around with different fonts and sizes until you create the look you want. Print out the text on a regular 8.5"x11" sheet of printer paper. height:600px;. . .

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