Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Congratulations, Gill Watson!

Congratulations to Gill Watson!  She was the winner of the Strippy Flowers Quilt Block Pattern for the Quilting Gallery's 5th Birthday Blog Tour.

She will have the opportunity to "grow" a whole garden of Strippy Flowers!

Here's a few of the flowers in my "garden".

Thanks everyone, for your comments.  I am compiling a list of quilty subjects, questions, and fun for the blog in the upcoming year, 2013.  It's right around the corner!

By far, the most popular request was for more information on hand applique.  I adore hand applique.  I will be exploring different methods of applique this year, and I hope you will try them all with me.  By exploring different techniques in needle arts, you may find something new that really works well for you!

We will also be learning about curved piecing, hand quilting, choosing fabrics for your quilts, and more.  I will  continue to do posts about my vintage sewing finds, too.  I just love vintage shopping!  Lately I've been into silver thimbles.  The variations in design are just amazing!

If you come up with any new quilty questions, or want to share something you've made with a Curlicue Creations pattern, please let me know!  

Until next time...Merry Christmas!...Happy Holidays!...and Have a super day!

Jennifer Schifano Thomas

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday, Quilting Gallery!

Hello there!  I'm so glad you could stop by for the Quilting Gallery's 5th Birthday Blog Tour.  Happy Birthday, Quilting Gallery!  If you're here, you probably already know what an amazing site the Quilting Gallery is, but I've just got to say...I love it!  My favorite part is the section where you can look up quilt bloggers by state or country.  What a neat feature!  You can find out what other quilters are doing in your area, or see what's going on just about anywhere.  Fun! Fun! Fun!

 Tango Quilt

I thought I would take this moment to introduce myself to anyone who is new to my blog.  Thanks so much for reading.  It really does mean a lot to me.  I'm a quilt pattern designer, a mother to three astounding boys, and live in the beautiful countryside of North Carolina, U.S.A.  My designs have been featured in such popular magazines as Quiltmaker, Quilts and More, and Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks.  The above quilt, Tango is in the latest issue of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Volume 6.

 Love Trip

I also design and sell my patterns, along with some vintage sewing supplies in my Etsy shop, Curlicue Creations.  Above is the Love Trip Quilt, my variation on Trip Around the World.  This quilt was so much fun to make.  I used needle turn applique on all the hearts and the little nine patch blocks went together so quickly.  I am, however, still in the process of hand quilting!  It will be finished someday, really!

 Polka Party Block

Here's a little more eye candy for everyone.

This pattern seems to be well loved by many.


This is a fun sampler quilt I made while testing blocks for an issue of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks.

 Vintage Iron with Frosty Table Runner

Another one of my loves that I often write about on my blog is vintage sewing shopping.  It all started out with the above iron, years ago.  Now I'm well on my way to my own personal sewing museum!  I try to share my finds and any interesting info about my collection here on my blog.

Strippy Flowers Quilt Block

For next year I want to use my blog to help educate others about quilting.  I plan to have more posts with helpful information on many quilty subjects, including choosing fabrics for your quilt, binding techniques, and a foundation piecing tutorial.  So, here's my birthday giveaway to all of you.  I am giving away a copy of my newest pattern, shown above, the Strippy Flowers Quilt Block.  Please leave a comment about what you would like to know about quilting. Do you have any burning quilting questions?  How to make a quilt label?  How to properly piece a curve?  How to get those annoying chocolate stains out of your current quilting project?   If you're a follower of my blog, leave me a second comment, saying you're a follower for a second chance at the giveaway.  The giveaway will be open now through December 15th.

Thanks so much for reading & I hope to see you here again.  Be sure to visit all the other stunning blogs on the tour for more fun and giveaways.   Happy Birthday, Quilting Gallery! 

Until next time...Have a super day!  & Get Creative!

Jennifer Schifano Thomas

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How to Make an Improvised Light Box

I don't currently own one of those fancy-dancy light boxes for tracing.  I do it the hard way.  I usually tape my paper and fabric up to one of my multi-paned windows and painstakingly try to trace my design, usually moving the paper and fabric several times to deal with the window mullions.  This works alright in the daylight, but what to do at night?  Recently I was in the thick of some creative inspiration, it was midnight black outside, and I just had to trace something to make my idea work.  Here's what I did:  

I started out with my iron lamp, of course.  It's so quilty!

I simply placed a square ruler over the top opening of the lampshade, like this.

Then I placed my small pattern on top of the lighted area.  This heart is from the Heart Match Quilt Pattern, by the way.

I placed my fabric on top of the lighted area and...Voila!  Tracing time!  It worked really well.  Of course, the design you're tracing would have to be small to use this method.  

Also, I wanted to let you know, I've joined the Craftsy community.  You can see some of my projects here:  Jennifer Thomas on Craftsy

And, if you haven't joined my Facebook Group, Quilters Show and Tell, please do!  We're a fun group of quilters simply sharing photos and info about what we're working on and helping each other out with any quilt related questions.  Come and join in on the fun.  We're even going to have a Mystery Quilt a Long starting in January, hosted by my friend and upcoming quilt designer, Sally Anne Johnson.

Be sure to visit my blog again on Sunday evening (6:00 EST).  I will be part of the Quilting Gallery's 5th Birthday Blog Hop.  This is going to be a bundle of fun!  I will be having a giveaway and links to the Blog Party so you can visit and meet all the wondrous quilters participating in the Blog Hop!

Until next time...Have a super day...and Get Creative!

Jennifer Schifano Thomas

Sunday, November 25, 2012

As American as Plymouth Cranberry Pie!

Hello everyone!  I know I've been quiet lately.  I've been busy working on a secret project, and it was my birthday a week ago (I made it to 42 - Hooray!), and we had the great American holiday of Thanksgiving on  Thursday, to boot.  

I finished stuffing my turkey.  Isn't he cute?

He was a little alarmed when he saw this.

For dessert this year, I made a Plymouth Cranberry Pie.  It was so good that I'm making it a new family tradition.  It was my first time making a lattice top on a pie.  Usually I just sprinkle some crumbs on top.  

The weather was nice enough to eat outside.  And the next day we spent some time down the road at our little log cabin.  It doesn't get much more American than that!

On Saturday we went out vintage shopping and hit it big with this great find.  Hundreds of quilting magazines for only $7.50.  This should keep me busy for a while.  I also got a couple of Nancy J. Martin books about home decorating with quilts.

I've been doing some thinking about what direction I want this blog to go in the next year.  I'd like to offer more quilting tutorials and helpful information.  So, what do you want to learn more about?  Do you want to see a tutorial on foundation piecing?  How to get that perfect 1/4" seam?  Help with choosing colors?  How to keep the cat off of the ironing board?  Send me your burning quilt related questions and I'll do my best to cover those topics in the coming year.

Also, don't forget to visit the Curlicue Creations Shop and use coupon code TANGO when you check out for 10 percent off.  This coupon is still good through the end of November.

Until next time...send me those questions...and have a super day!

Jennifer Schifano  Thomas

Monday, November 12, 2012

Everyone's a Winner!

 Hello everyone!  So glad you could stop by and visit again.  The winner for the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Volume 6 Blog Tour giveaway is Emily Callender of Clearfield, PA.  She is expecting to receive a glamorous copy of the latest issue of 100 Blocks, right in her mailbox.  Congratulations, Emily!

This is my block, Tango.  It's block #513.  It's such a fun, playful block.  If any of you make some of these out there in blog-land, please send me pics.  I would love to see your interpretations of my block, or how my block has been used in a quilt.

Emily is also going to receive a copy of my latest block pattern, The Strippy Flowers block.  This block is also 12" finished.  It is constructed using the easy and fun fusible applique method.  For a complete tutorial on fusible applique, click on the tab at the top of this page.

And, as I said, in the title of my post, everyone's a winner today.  As a little giftie to everyone who reads my blog, I'm giving 10 percent off any purchase in the Curlicue Creations Shop through the end of November.  Just visit the shop at curlicuecreations.com, and use coupon code TANGO when you check out.  

Until next time...have a super day...and Get Creative!

Jennifer Schifano Thomas

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Volume 6 Blog Tour

Hello!  Welcome to the Curlicue Creations Blog, and my little segment of the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Volume 6 Blog Tour.  I'm so excited and honored to be included in yet another enchanting issue of 100 Blocks.  This magazine series just keeps getting better and better.  The blocks in this volume are just unbelievable!

Here's your sneaky-peek at the cover.

This is the block I made for the issue.  It's block #513, Tango.  I also made a quilt using my block that appears on page 15 of the magazine.  I thought for the tour today, I would take you on a photo journey through the process of making the quilt.

Here's my desk in my design studio, covered with pieces of a Tango block.  The fusible web has been applied and I am in the process of cutting out each piece.  You can see my original pattern sticking out from under my background fabric in the upper right hand corner.

Here is one of the Tango blocks, all fused together.

After fusing, I carefully zig-zag around the edge of each piece with a matching thread color.  I use the needle down feature and set my stitch width to 2, length 1.5.  I also set my machine for the slowest speed, and with the needle down, lift the presser foot to pivot often.

Here are the nine blocks I used in my quilt.  I laid them out on my kitchen table and rearranged them until I was happy with the effect.  You can see here how a secondary pattern emerges when the blocks are placed together in a quilt.

I sewed strips of batiks together to make a striped border for my quilt.

Here's a close up shot of some of the quilting.  I am free-motion quilting on my domestic machine.  I'm starting to get a little better at this.  

In the middle of quilting I had a presser foot emergency!  My quilting foot actually snapped in two.  I nearly panicked, as I live in a rural area.  I was lucky to find a replacement foot at the local sewing machine repair shop.  Whew!

For the Tango quilt, I sewed my first ever pieced backing.  I used leftover fabrics from the top and also a few coordinating fabrics and sewed them together in a fun and free style log-cabin type of design.  I like the back almost as much as the front.

And here's the Tango quilt.  I'm lovin' it!  I hope you like it, too.

Now for the giveaway!  Please leave a comment about...dancing.  I don't dance myself, so my quilt blocks do.  That's why I made the Tango block.  Do you dance?  If so, what is your favorite dance?  If not, what is your "dream" dance?  Would you like to Salsa, Two-Step, or maybe even Tango?  The randomly chosen winner will receive both a copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Volume 6, and also a copy of my latest block pattern, The Strippy Flowers Quilt Block Pattern.  

I've really been enjoying visiting all the designers on the blog tour this week.  Be sure to check them all out at Quiltmaker's Blog, Quilty Pleasures.  And please also visit my shop for more of my designs, Curlicue Creations.  

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a super day & Get Creative!

Jennifer Schifano Thomas

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Volume 6, plus some Vintage Sewing Shopping!!!

I've received my advance copies of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Volume 6 this week & all I can say is WOW! It's a stunner!  These just keep getting better and better.  Be sure to stop by my blog on November 8th for the blog tour.  I will be giving away a copy of this, plus some other goodies, too.

It's been awhile since I last shared my vintage shopping finds with you.  Here's a few of my latest:

 Angel Button Dolly!

The third button dolly to be added to my collection.  My youngest, Trent, calls this one a "butterfly angel".  She's so happy to be part of the family!

 Iron Lamp

If you haven't seen my iron lamp before, here it is!  If you have, then here's the cute new shade I found for it. It's adorable!  Everyone should have an iron lamp.  

 Classic American Quilts

This book is HUGE!  I don't know where to keep it.  It's a really wonderful picture book of quilts.  Each page features a different quilt, and the photos are so large, you can really see all the details.  It's a wonderful book.

The Sewing Machine Salt and Pepper Shaker

The machine part lifts off the cabinet and the machine is the salt, the cabinet is the pepper!  How cute is that?

Dreamy Little Basket of Thread

My husband brought me home this little basket of thread.  What a treasure.  I'm so lucky to have a man who shops for me.  

Until next time...please visit the Curlicue Creations Shop...and have a super day!

Get Creative!

Jennifer Schifano Thomas

Friday, October 26, 2012

Strippy Flowers Quilt Block Pattern

Just added to the Curlicue Creations Shop today - the Strippy Flowers Quilt Block Pattern.  So chic, and it's only $3.00.

This easy to use pattern shows you how to sew a 12" finished size Strippy Flowers Quilt Block, using the simple fusible applique method.

Here are a few of the blocks I've sewn so far.

These are fun!

And addictive!

And a great way to make an Autumn Quilt that actually has a few flowers in it.  Here in North Carolina we have a lot of fall blooming flowers.

Also available in the shop is the complete pattern to make the Strippy Flowers Quilt.  I'm making one of these right now & loving every minute of it.

Until next time...have a super day!

Get Creative!

Jennifer Schifano Thomas