Thursday, 10 December 2009

Magnificent Presidential Quilt

During my visit to the United States which was conducting their campaign for President, I became obsessed with the idea of creating a quilt for the new president Barack Obama. The size of quilt was 106” x 86” and took 120 hours to complete. The fabrics were carefully chosen from several fabric shops.

I took the President of the United States symbol and I created the front of the quilt using a fabric that looked like feathers for the eagle. I cut out the stars and stripes to radiate out from the center symbol. I finished the quilt with the president's name and year.
Among the unique fabrics I was able to find the perfect backing for the Presidential quilt. As the commander and chief of the military I found a backing fabric with the accent of military people driving jeeps and pieced it together with fabric of first flag of the United States and the current flag of the United States. The original flag had the first words of the Constitution of the United States.

When the quilt was completed UPS to the White House in care of the President and Mrs Obama.

This project I believe is my best work ever. You be the judge.

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Monday, 26 October 2009

Win a Christmas Quilt

This Christmas Quilt needs a home.

The Story - how this quilt came about:

Any quilter who has taken my online class knows that with all the various options in class, I often make several samples. Yesterday while doing a video shoot for my tree skirt class I just happened to have a single poinsettia block with no home so I decided to take a little time out from work!

The background was a piece of fabric left from cutting wedges hence the cut angles. Luckily when I stitched the poinsettia, I used a larger than needed piece of batting and backing. I pulled three additional fabrics from my stash - 2 Christmas pieces (green with gold Christmas trees and a red poinsettia batik) and a green hand-dyed fabric from New Zealand. Perfect!

I added a couple of strips - first the dyed fabric, then the red and squared the whole thing up with the tree fabric. Just for fun, I stippled the background with silver metallic thread and bound the top and bottom edges in green with red for the sides.

Now I need to find a home for this quilt and know someone will enjoy hanging it for Christmas so decided to have a competition for you to win.

The Competition:

Enter into our drawing by doing any of the following options. There are 4 options to choose from and each option gives you a chance to win.

Option 1: Send us a photo of any project you made using an Arbee Designs design. The design can be from one of Ruth’s class or from a purchased pattern. You can send in as many photos as you like. Your name will be entered in our drawing once for each different project you send.

Option 2: Purchase any of our patterns from our website including sale price items (excluding downloads). For each pattern purchased, your name will be entered into the drawing.

Option 3: Sign up for any of our Christmas online classes at the Academy of Quilting. For each class sign up, your name will be entered twice into our drawing.

Option 4: Tell a friend. If your friend says you are the person who told them about this drawing and they enter, your name will be entered into the drawing as well as their name. You can refer as many friends as you like. Each person entering may only name one person as referee.

Additional Notes:
The competition will end on the 30th November 2009 and drawing will be done on the 1st December at which time the winner will be notified by email or phone. As soon as we receive the winner’s physical address, the quilt will be shipped.
Any purchase made by check or e-check, must be received at least one week prior to closing date and be bank cleared before competition closes.
When sending in a photo, you will be acknowledging acceptance for your photo to be displayed on any of our web pages with your name as maker. We will not display your contact details.

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Thursday, 22 October 2009

Quilted Jigsaw fun

Here is a fun jigsaw of our Christmas Holly Wreath quilt. Have fun making it as a jigsaw and feel free to join us in this online class at the Academy of Quilting.

Be sure to tell me how long it took to complete.

For information about our class visit our website Click here for The Holly Wreath Online Class information

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Sunday, 11 October 2009

Star Block

I actually made it to my sewing table today! I'm known for my applique more than my patchwork, but today was all patchwork and I had fun. I wanted to make a star block for my tree skirt. Why? Because I know not everyone likes to applique like me so I decided it would be great to add the option of a block in my Tree Skirt online class for those who want to do that. (Find out more about the class here >>)

Well for Christmas I thought, a star would be a good thing to make. So I got carried away like usual and make five stars instead of one, just couldn't help myself. So here is the first star. It's a 9" finished block.

One large star is just not my thing, I need more of a challenge than that! I decided I should add some smaller stars in the corners of the large star. So I did. Each small star block is 3" finished.

That's some pretty small pieces don't you think? Okay, so I got thinking. Now that can be a dangerous thing for me, but I did anyway. What if I made a star in the center square of my 3" star? Good thought? Hmmmmmm, okay so I wasn't going to start over because time was running out, but I just had to try it. After all, it is only a one inch star, I couldn't waste too much fabric on that. Worked great!

I had to take the photo so close to fill up my camera screen that you can even see the grain in the fabric. This was fun for sure. So tell me, what's the smallest star you've made?

Those star points are just 1/4", I wonder if I could do 1/8"....

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Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Twisted Ribbons Block

Doreen is in my Twisted Ribbons online class and sent me in a photo of her practice block. It's great and she is having a lot of fun with this so I wanted to share it with my blog readers. This is a new block I designed where it is almost impossible to make two identical blocks. There are no templates, no need for precise seams and it doesn't even matter if your strips are a little crooked. You cannot go wrong!

Doreen found the instructions easy to follow and had a wonderful job of her block. I am looking forward to seeing her next which will be different again.

This class has just begun so there is still time to register but you need to be quick as registration close next weekend. With lesson one already available, you can get started right away. For more details see our website here: Twisted Ribbons Online Class

Twisted Ribbons is also available as a pattern if you prefer not to take the class. For more details about this please read: Twisted Ribbons quilt pattern >>

I hope you enjoyed seeing Doreen's block as much as I did. Keep up the great work Doreen!
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Friday, 25 September 2009

Prize Winning Bargello

Twisted Bargello is a popular class. I have already posted several of my student's quilts here, but couldn't resist another post. This time for Barbara Delphos from MA, USA.

Barbara won third prize for her Twisted Bargello after taking my online class at Quilt University. She entered in her local guild show which has over 250 members so the show was by no means small. Below is a photo of her entry along with the prize ribbon.

"Congratulations Barbara and thank you for sharing with us all."

Barbara also won two other blue ribbons in the show for another wall hanging and jacket with purse. She is now working on my "Freedom Bargello", however has been held up somewhat after having back surgery. I hope you have a speedy recovery Barbara. You can see the "Freedom" pattern here: "Freedom Bargello" quilt pattern.

To find out more about this class click here >>

This design is also available as a pattern called "Cherry Blossoms". For more details about this pattern click here >>

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Sunday, 23 August 2009

Bargello Twist

Hi All, it is wonderful to see so many of my students sending me photos of their projects as they finish them. Here is another.

This is Lorraine's first Bargello quilt. She says there is over 1,000 mistakes (well I do not think there are that many) but it is still a very pretty quilt and she loves it, which is the whole purpose of quilting! She has added a heart shape within the black areas between the corner and main section and added size 6 glass beads in amethyst with a touch of blue. These are also along the binding about a half inch apart. She used hand dyed fabrics for some of the fabric - mostly the purple. The backing is also hand dyed fabric.

The quilt measures 40" x 40" and hangs in her lounge to admire.

Well done Lorraine!

For more about this pattern >>

For more about this class >>

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Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Free Online Quilt Class

Joyce is a student of mine, twice over . She joined my free class and my online quilting class for machine quilting. She enjoyed both and they have given her confidence to go into areas of quilting that she was too afraid to venture into.

Here are Joyce's comments about the Free Class: "Because of this class I have all sorts of projects lined up now....Chicks & Bunnies for a baby quilt, a wall-hanging that I did last year that needed machine appliqué but was too timid to try because I didn't want to ruin it....that's now on my design board just waiting it's turn. lol This project will also dovetail right into the Machine Quilting techniques that you showed us in that class! I'm just having so much fun!"

Here is a photo of Joyce's book cover that she made for her Bible.

Joyce, I am so glad my classes have helped you! Your Bible Cover looks great, thank you for sharing it with us all.

For those of you who need more information about our classes, please visit the Academy of Quilting

Click here for more information about our free class.

Happy Quilting!

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Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Mariner's Compass

Check out one of the Mariner's Compass quilts made in our online class. This is Naomi's. Isn't it bright and colorful?

In this class you have the option to make an advanced block like Naomi's or you can make a beginner's block.

This class is open for registration. If you would like more info or to register click here >>

To see what other students did in our class see our gallery >>

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Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Twisted Bargello

One of my students called by just to show me her finished Cherry Blossom Twisted Bargello quilt. She did a great job and had it complete in a week, even the quilting! wow. She is a beginner at quilting but did a great job of this after taking my machine quilting class only a few months ago.

Here is what Diane had to say....
"I took the twisted bargello class last Monday and became totally addicted to this quilt - so much so that I managed to finish it within a week. I enjoyed working with Ruth and was delighted with the end result. I also took a quilting technique class with Ruth a few months ago which gave me much more confidence, otherwise I may not have had the courage to do the quilting for fear of spoiling the quilt..........Thanks Ruth"

Here is a close up of the quilting. Great job Diane!

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Sunday, 2 August 2009

I have been busy with many online classes lately. My new quilting class is up and running (check it out here) and I'm getting set to begin work on the next class, but right now I wanted to share with you a quilt that one of my students made in my beginner's bargello class.

Joan says "It has taken me a little time to get these to everyone. But I am pleased with my colors and results. I liked lesson 2 so much I made it twice and added my border."

Very pretty Joan, it turned out great. Perhaps you feel ready to move on to my advanced class now? I think you will enjoy both Bargello Blues and Twisted Bargello.

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Sunday, 24 May 2009

Free online class

A lot of quilters ask "how do you take an online class?". Everyone seems very interested and eager to try. I decided since so many seem to be interested, that I would to write a short class so newcomers can experience the concept of online learning. Instead of adding a question and answer page, I decided it would be much better to actually make something so I decided on a book cover which is a wonderful creative idea for a gift with your personal touch.

These book covers are really fun to make. I have made them for friends and family at Christmas and birthdays. When I want to give something more, I add a small pocket on the inside cover that will hold a gift card.

With this class, I will be adding more applique designs and styles throughout the year, so the class will actually be an ongoing class unlike my regular classes. I hope quilters will gather within the classroom and share ideas so we can also add them to the lessons. It will be fun for sure and it is all free as well.

You can register here: Free online class Registration

I hope you will join me. Happy Quilting!

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Sunday, 3 May 2009

Twisted Ribbon Patchwork Class

I had a fun day teaching yesterday. It was quite funny actually. My students just didn't get the rules to begin with. The rules went something like this "no precise seam allowance" ... "no straight strips" ... "you can use any strip widths" ... "when it comes time to square it up, you can twist and turn the ruler any way you like". You cannot go wrong and as a result, you will end up with my beautiful twisted ribbon pattern.

It was a little difficult for my students to break the regular patchwork rules, but it was fun watching them, and once they got the concept of it, everyone had fun.

Here are some photos of the class which was held at Timeless Quilts in Anaheim.

You can see my Twisted Ribbons design in the background at the right of the photo. This green and fawn one was made by Sue Salinger while she tested my pattern... And yes, the muffins were delicious. I had blueberry!

My students had caught on to the concept now and were much happier not to be confused. You can see some of Kathy's blocks at the front of the photo on the left. Very pretty. You can also see some of my other patterns and class samples hanging in the background.

If you like this design, you can buy the pattern online at my website. I'm only an email away if you need any help.
Twisted Ribbons Pattern
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Thursday, 23 April 2009

Sunflowers in Progress

I have been busy working on my latest online class "Sunflowers at Dawn". This is the second of a Sunflower series. I made the class sample in shades of blues (blue is my favorite color, so I couldn't resist the temptation) so thought it would be great to share this with you. The class adds detail in shading and dimension to make this piece really come to life.

I have received a lot of comments on the first Sunflower design over the years. One thing that quilters comment most about is how wonderfully I captured and created the bent sunflower so here is a close up of it ready to be stitched.

I have so enjoyed making this design again. It is much improved on the first design and in the class I have included a lot more detail like how to add shading and where to place fabrics to capture the morning light coming through the window.

I hope you will join me! It will definitely be fun.

For more information about the class visit:
More info about Sunflowers at Dawn Online Class

If you are interested in purchasing the pattern "Simply Sunflowers", you can find more information here: Simply Sunflowers quilt pattern

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Saturday, 4 April 2009

Bargello Students

I've had fun today, demonstrating and meeting quilters on the Orange County Shop Hop. In fact, two of the quilters (Diane and Cindy) who took my beginner's barello class a few weeks back brought me their finished quilts to see. They are very beautiful so I just had to get a snap shot of them and of course, I have to share them with you.

Diane is on the left and Cindy on the right. They enjoyed the bargello class a lot and are now moving on with the next bargello level. Diane wants to make Cherry Blossoms (seen hanging in the background on the right) and Cindy, Bargello Blues, but Cindy insists I get the Summer pattern out to her first so she can make that before she attempts the advanced level. I see I'm going to have to add that to my schedule.

This class has certainly been a lot of fun to teach and I hope others will join in this amazing style of quilt making.

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Saturday, 21 March 2009

Bargello History - where I began

I thought it would be nice to share with you a little about my Bargello Quilting history since I have been teaching my beginner's bargello class today, not just in person, but also online through Quilt University.

First a little about Bargello History itself. Bargello quilts have their roots in needlepoint. History shows us that bargello needlepoint designs go back as far as the 16th century. This Bargello technique was known as Florentine, Flame or Hungarian stitch.

Knitters first borrowed the design for afghans in the 1960's. You will see a lot of these designs today as it is still popular with knitters.

In more recent years, it has been adapted as a quilting technique and since we are able to use fabrics that have many different textures and prints, rather than solid colored yarns as required for stitching, there are endless possibilities.

My first bargello started as an embroidered work. I stitched this almost 30 years ago and still have it today. This was introduced to me as Florentine stitch. I had not heard of Bargello in quilting at that time, however I was only just beginning to quilt. This small makeup bag, was a part of an embroidery course I took in my teenage years.

In the early 90's, when I first started quilting as a professional, I designed Bargello Blues. I had admired bargello work for quite some time, and then dove right in, two feet first, to create this advanced piece of bargello. It sold sooner after. It wasn't until 2004 that I wrote this particular bargello design up as an online class. The opening debut proved to be a huge hit with over 100 students. This continues to be a popular class today.

Bargello Blues begins again next weekend at Quilt University. Click here to find out more info...

This is not only a favorite class by many, but also one of my best seller patterns. "Freedom Bargello", another bargello design, also proves to be popular.

My beginner's class "Bargello Seasons" is always a huge success as well, along with "Twisted Bargello". Both are classes at Quilt University and later this year, I am planning on writing a Circular Bargello since many of my students are requesting it.

If you have questions about any of my Bargello designs, please leave your comments, I'll be happy to answer them.

I have patterns available for most of my bargello designs at Arbee Designs

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Monday, 16 March 2009

New Patchwork Quilt Pattern

I wanted to share my very latest pattern here. It's a little different to my normal, but after talking with my marketing manager, decided that we were missing some market by not having some patchwork bed quilt patterns available, so I have developed a new series of patterns. Easy, no accurate seams necessary so great for the beginner plus you can make it look scrappy as well by using the jelly roll packs. This is an all pieced patchwork quilt in various sizes, no applique.

I will be working on a series of these patchwork patterns throughout the year so you will want to check back again or sign up for our newsletter.
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Here is our scrappy look made from Hoffman Fabric's Bali Pops.

Oh I had better not forget to give you the link so you can go find out more details because we have a pre-publish special available. As soon as patterns are ready, this special price ends.

Here is the link: Twisted Ribbons - new patchwork pattern

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Thursday, 5 March 2009

New Online Class

My newest online class is up online now. This one is for the Mariner's Compass for my Zodiac Quilt - "Circle of Life". This class is two lessons long and I have two options, a beginner's block (at the bottom) and the advanced to the right.

I have always liked star shaped blocks and thought this was perfect for my zodiac quilt. Unfortunately when I made this quilt for teaching online at Quilt University, there was already a Mariner's Compass class so I didn't include it for the course, but many have since asked for the pattern and the class. It is great to have it available at last.

Mariner's Compass beginner's block

Have some fun and join the many who have already enrolled.
To find out more...

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Saturday, 21 February 2009

Bargello Blues in Brown

Eva sent me a photo of her project made in my Bargello Blues. I love the story she has attached with it so wanted to share it with you all.

Eva writes "On the outside border I've tried to quilt some kind of leaf motif because I think I will call the work "Lost in the wood". The colors remind me of a forest and the dark blue reminds of a small path. For me, in this case, "lost" is a positive word. - I've really loved doing this quilt and being a part of the Bargello Blues class. You are an excellent teacher!
Eva - PS I love the Bargello Season class too."

Thanks for your kind words Eva!

The dark blue Eva refers to is the top color in the color run, it is a little difficult to see in the photo.

To find out more about my Bargello Blues class check out my website here: Bargello Blues Class info...

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Sunday, 8 February 2009

Students comments on Fabric printing supplies

Here are some comments made from my students during my Printing on Fabric class about different fabrics and treatments they have tried. It is very difficult to compare as many different printers give different results as does the quality of the photo, however this will give an indication of the preferred treatments.

Click here to open a pdf file...

For full details about Printing on Fabric feel free to take my class at Quilt University or purchase my e-book by clicking on the following link:
Printing on Fabric Book

Happy Quilting!

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