Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Zig-Zag or Chevron Quilt trimming Tutorial

I had big plans for these two weeks but life took a little detour.  She doesn't have a name yet.

It is such a crazy story.  She wandered into my yard yesterday.  I let my dog out and they played awhile.  I checked later, and she was under my tree resting like she lived here.  We couldn't get her to come close enough to pet.  When she finally came close enough we realized how malnourished she was.  She had quite a  few ticks like she had been running for a while.  After removing the ticks, we gave her a bath and cleaned her up.  We called around and searched for the owner.  We checked, and she was not chipped.  The shelter felt she was between 8 and 10 months old.  Last night, she was still hanging around the house...So....she now has a collar, and she is going to the vet this afternoon.  We are still hoping to find the owner, but we are caring for her.  The main trouble is, my kids are getting very attached to this sweet little girl.

My 2 weeks of an empty house and getting a lot accomplished have been changed to caring for this puppy (who is still nameless)

The only thing in the sewing room I have accomplished is trimming my zig-zag (Chevron) quilt.  You may think this is extra work, but I think it really helps to stabilize the quilt and and keep everything square.

There are tons of tutorials on how to make a chevron quilt online, so I won't go into those details.  I used the rail method, and set the blocks on point.  The quilt on the left is how the blocks look when they are set on point.  The first thing I do is take all those leftover scraps of fusible interfacing and cut them into 1- 1 1/2" pieces.  Start by fusing them all the way around the edge.  They don't have to be perfectly straight.  I just line up the top of the interfacing strip with the indention.  It really doesn't have to be perfect.  Next I put the 1/4" line of the ruler on the intersecting seam lines.  The goal is to trim the quilt 1/4" from the seam line.  I also look at the 45 degree line of the ruler and try to line it up with the row seams.  Do the best you can.  Sometimes mine lined up better than others.  Continue to trim all the way around the quilt.

After the quilt is trimmed all the way around, it will look like the quilt on the left.  The back of the quilt will look like the photo on the right.  All the edges of the quilt are stabilized with the fusible interfacing.  I don't plan to add borders to this quilt, but either way, it will not stretch out of shape with all the bias edges.

If you need more detailed pictures of how I cut the edge, or if you have a question, just leave me a comment. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Graduation Quilt

This is my youngest daughter Delaney all dolled up for 6th grade graduation.  Dressing up is not normally her thing, so I enjoyed taking the opportunity to snap some photos of her.

It was fun to watch both the girls working together.  They both seemed to be excited about the process. 

Delaney wanted a picture of herself with her teacher before the gift was given.  

I don't think I have ever seen this teacher without her infectious smile.  

Delaney predicted that her teacher would be releasing lots of tears during the graduation, but she was wrong.  She was able to keep herself together until she opened Delaney's gift.

My quilt was well received.  It was not perceived as John Deere or BP.  Her first thoughts were school colors.  It brought her to tears.  She loved and appreciated her gift greatly.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Busy quilting week

I have been busy quilting.  I didn't have any piecing on my goal list this month, so most of my work has been with quilting and binding.

I quilted Ellen's quilt for Art Prize.  If you have never been to Grand Rapids for this event, it is amazing.  If you do go, please feel free to vote for this quilt.  This quilt is made with some commercial fabrics and some that are hand dyed.  Perhaps my traditional quilting is influencing the art quilter.
There are lots of straight lines, and lots of thread on this quilt.

I also finished three quilts of my own- 2 of which were on the UFO list.  I am doing my happy dance!

 I started this quilt about 10 years ago.  It is hard for me to believe that I picked out those floral fabrics at that time.  They are all Robyn Pandolph fabrics, and the pattern was on the cover of Quilter's World.

This quilt isn't that old.  In fact, I think I started it just last year.  The pattern is from Kim Brackett called Town Square.  I quilted an all over pattern called Lovely using blue thread.  I love the movement this pattern gives the quilt.  I can't wait for the binding to be done so I can wash it for the crinkle effect.

The last finish I have for this week is my scrappy swoon quilt.  This quilt was made for a very special teacher that is retiring.  When my daughter switched schools this year, this teacher just took her under her wing and helped her fly.  She guided her every step of the way.  She is one special lady!  The school will greatly miss her.  Green and Yellow are the school colors.  I do admit that I like this quilt a lot more before my niece said it looked like John Deere, and my husband said it resembled the BP sign.  I quilted the same pantograph - Lovely on it with Quilter's Dream batting.  I did the binding completely by machine. It is been washed and dried for the perfect snuggle quilt.

For this week, I hope to finish quilting the last border on my large twister.  I quilted the main part of the quilt way back in March.  I have really struggled with a design for the large border.  At this point I may just meander to get it finished.

Thanks for visiting.  Stop over to Judy's to see what others are working on this week.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

T-Shirt Quilt Denim Quilt

First I would like to say that this quilt is HEAVY!  If there is anyone in need of a therapy quilt for sensory issues, this is the one.  The customer used not only t-shirts, but sweatshirts fused to interfacing.  The batting was cotton, and the backing was flannel.  To add to the weight, all the sashing is denim.  I am glad I didn't piece this one.  I wonder how many needles were broken during the construction.

It is far from perfect.  Most jeans have spandex in them, so that made it a little stretchy.  Nothing like a little stretch in the jeans to go with the stretch in the shirts.  I didn't break any needles.  I did find 2 spots where I had a skipped stitch.  I went back and fixed those, and all was good.

It was a workout just hanging the quilt to get a picture.

The dark line is a shadow from the swingset.

The customer requested a simple stipple.  I kept it large to avoid being a distraction with the pictures.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

New Toys

I have always wanted a set of circles for my longarm, but generally speaking, I don't do much ruler work and I couldn't justify the cost.  After the amazing quilter Jenny posted this tutorial, I really wanted a set.  She has 2 blogs and does the most amazing work.

Circles have lots of uses, I just am more comfortable with freehand work over ruler work.  While I was quilting Angie's quilt with all the ruler work, I discovered it was much easier than the last time I tried using rulers.  The key is really being able to relax while holding the ruler.   This is sometimes easier said then done.

I came across Deep Blue Templates while searching for a circle template source.  I was able to get a set there very reasonable, and they had excellent feedback from customers.  These are 1/4" thick to use with a longarm.  They will not work with rotary cutting.

I wanted to give them a shout out on my blog because I was pleased with my purchase.  My templates came very quickly and were packaged very well.

6" circle from Deep Blue Templates

 Each template is laser etched with quarter marks to make centering easy.  There are 1/8 marks as well.  The sizes are marked clearly so I won't get them mixed up.  They are clear in color which I prefer to the green and they have a hole so they can be hung.

I can't wait to give them a try and see if I can make Jenny's design.

I ordered 2",3",4",5",6".  I think I would need a larger base for my machine if I went much larger.

If I can master this, I might be exploring more template options.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Weekend Progress

In between games, I managed to get a customer quilt done.  I dusted off my rulers and put them to use.  This is the first time I have done ruler work in a very long time.  I was pleasantly surprised that I had improved.

This quilt was started by Angie last year at Shipse.  Angie was fairly new to quilting, and she didn't realize that diamonds were sort of tricky to line up.   She asked everyone about the pattern, and we all agreed it was really pretty.  Half way into the project...she wonders why no one told her it wasn't a beginner project.  She did a fabulous job of putting it together.  I don't know if I could have lined up the diamonds as well as she did.  Everything was nice and flat and I had no issues

The pattern is from this book.  I hope she likes it.

The fabric on the back was a tone on tone, so the quilting really stands out.  I used Thinsulate batting which lets the quilting show.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

May dreams...I mean goals

I am not kidding myself, most of May will be spent at the ballpark.  I am not complaining, I enjoy these times.  The kids have the countdown for school going - 15 more days.  This should give me a little more free time also.

Most of my goals this month were carried over from last month.

This is what I hope to work on this month:

  1. Finish quilting the border on the large twister quilt and bind it
  2. Quilt and bind the green/yellow swoon Quilt- would like to gift at the end of this month
  3. Bind the pink/yellow floral quilt
  4. Bind the monkey tumbler quilt
  5. Quilt the town square quilt
  6. Quilt the grey zig zag baby quilt
This list is way more than I can get done this month.  As I look at my list, I notice there isn't any piecing on it.  I may have to change that.  A month without piecing would be very lonely.  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

April was a Blur!

I hardly touched any of the items on my list for April.  The limited time I had in the studio was spent finishing 2 baby quilts.  I knew when I started my focus on UFOs that there would be months where I didn't accomplish much.  I did accomplish a lot (a high school play, softball, baseball, and 3 dance competitions), it just wasn't in the sewing studio.

April Goals (from the UFO list):
  1. Finish Quilting my twister quilt -
  2. Quilt my twister wall hanging (I managed to get the borders on last month)
  3. Put borders on the second Monkey quilt
  4. Put the borders on the town square quilt - I finished this item
  5. Quilt and bind the pink/yellow floral quilt.
April New projects:
  1. Quilt the baby quilt I pieced last night - Finished and gifted already.
  2. quilt my green/yellow scrappy swoon

Accomplishments for April:

Reporting for April - No finishes from the UFO list.  I have some projects that are close to being finished, so hopefully I can finish these up in May.  Since I finished everything I started this month, my UFO number didn't grow.  

I am very pleased with how the border on my town square quilt looks.  I tried numerous fabrics from my stash for the border and nothing pleased me.  I looked at several quilt stores and I didn't see any fabric that was perfect for the border either.  This led me to plan "B" - USING MORE SCRAPS!

I cut the rectangles 4 1/2" X whatever I felt like.  It seemed logical to use scraps since every fabric in this quilt (with the exception of the sashing and the pink border) were from the scrap bin.

I will put this quilt on the May list to be finished.  

I will ponder through my pile of UFOs and decipher what I want to work on this month.