Welcome to Stash Bandit, online home of Diane Harris: Quilter, speaker, teacher and designer of scrap quilts made from stash. Here you'll find helpful how-tos, inspirational ideas and other quilting shenanigans. Buckle up for some ruckus-raising fun!
It will always be a thrill for me to see one of my quilts on the cover of a magazine. I don’t know if other designers feel the same, but it’s very exciting for this one.
Quiltmaker named the design “Can You Find It?” It’s bright and colorful and it’s easy to make.
Funny thing: I was never the least bit interested in making I Spy quilts. And then I had a grand baby! Now I have two little guys, Read More »
You can use 10″ squares—precuts or cut-by-you from stash—to create an easy quilt while you learn about combining fabrics boldly. I discovered this recently by accident when I mis-cut for a project that turned into a dead end. Meet The Accidental Quilt.
It’s very simple, but you can make it interesting by combining fabrics in unexpected ways. It doesn’t take a lot of fabric or a lot of time. It can be a great charity quilt, Read More »
There are things you can do to become a color-savvy quilter.
This series will help to expand your color skills so you can make more beautiful, more interesting and more successful quilts.
A color-savvy quilter knows that she must expand her definition of what any particular color looks like. Read More »
I wish I’d been the first to say it.
“Color gets all the credit, but value does all the work.”
I don’t know who was the first to say it, but if there were a Patchwork Bible, this statement would equate to Genesis 1:1. Read More »
One of the biggest hindrances to making extraordinary quilts is the notion that you must have a plan before you begin.
The most creative quilts evolve through experimentation. My most recent “I Spy” quilt is a good example.
My idea was simple: Use a novelty print at the center of a Churn Dash quilt block. I made a test block to begin. Read More »
Improvisational piecing is putting together a quilt top without a preconceived plan for exactly how it will look. It’s a way of working from intuition, with a sense of adventure and a willingness to explore unknown territory. It’s probably the most fun you will ever have.
Yesterday, on the morning of my website launch, I had an idea. What if I spent the day sewing improvisational units and then posted them on social media thoughout the day, Read More »
Try these five easy fixes to improve your patchwork.
1. Shorten your stitch length to 2.0 mm, or about 13 stitches per inch. The default stitch length on computerized machines is usually too long for piecing. Learn more about stitch length.
2. Instead of focusing on the width of your quarter-inch seam allowance, focus on the finished size of your patches, which is what really matters. Learn more about piecing accurately. Read More »
It’s important to understand the stitch length settings on your sewing machine. Different stitch lengths are appropriate for different tasks.
Many machines use the metric system. The setting of 2.0, 2.3, 2.5 and so on tells you the length of each stitch. For example, if you set the machine to 3.2, each stitch will be 3.2 millimeters long. Read More »
How is it possible to sew an accurate quarter-inch seam allowance and still have patches and units that don’t match up as they should? It’s the quilter’s eternal question, her 99-bottles-of-beer-on-the-wall refrain.
It’s frustrating to measure, cut, sew and press carefully, only to have edges that disagree like Republicans and Democrats. What happens? What goes wrong? Let’s take it apart and see. Read More »
I have several sewing machines and if you’re a quilter, maybe you do, too. When it comes to stitch length, some machines use a metric length such as 2.5 or 3.0. This tells you that each stitch is 2.5 or 3.0 millimeters long.
Other machines use an English stitches-per-inch setting such as 12 or 15 or 20. This tells you that in every inch of a seam, there are that many stitches. Setting stitch length to 15 means there will be 15 stitches in every inch. Read More »