Sunday, March 16, 2014

National Quilting Day Was Great!

Yesterday was National Quilting Day, and I spent it doing all kinds of quilty things. First, I worked on the machine quilting for my little London Roads quilt:

Free-motion swirls fill the setting triangles and border
Then I did the binding. I tried a tip from a McCall's Quilting reader and wrapped the binding on a section of paper towel tube, then put it on the vertical thread spindle on my machine as I worked. No tangles, and no trouble!

Spending National Quilting Day with Bernie :)
Next I did some sample-making for our next video Quilt Along series, this one featuring my Studio Sampler quilt design. Here are all the patches laid out for a 12" Card Trick Block:

See the "cards"?
Then I sewed the units. Sorry no photo of a completed block...that will happen in the video studio tomorrow.

Ready for its closeup!
I hope National Quilting Day was as much fun for you as it was for me. Better yet, I hope every day is a fun quilting day, for all of us!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

More Mini Madness

I've been having a lot of miniature quilt fun this weekend. First, I finished the top for my mini London Roads quilt, which will be patterned in an upcoming McCall's Quilting:

At 4 1/2" square, the blocks aren't REALLY mini, but almost! It went together really well, and certainly brightened up my sewing space and my winter-weary disposition.

After that, I decided to play with my Homecoming mini sampler blocks. I pulled out a fabric palette to start with, and realized the initial block I made awhile back wasn't going to work. So I remade that one and added the other 3 from the design center, and then surprised myself with my sashing fabric choices...I went into this thinking I'd use light-colored sashing, but that just didn't fly:

This is so not my usual style or colors. I'm not 100% sure I like it! But I'm planning to keep on keeping on and see where it takes me. The upper left and lower right blocks are hand pieced, and they were HARD. The other two are machine pieced and were much easier to put together. All blocks finish at 3" square, so pretty tiny! All told, it does definitely remind me of my PA home, and that's the theme, so yay. More later!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Summertime in My Sewing Room

I've been working on a summer table ensemble for McCall's Quick Quilts, and it's really been a spirit-lifter. The fabrics I'm using are sweet, pastel-colored batiks from Timeless Treasures, and it's a great break from the snow and ice just to handle them. The piecing was easy...a chevron design make with all rectangles. Once that was done, I marked each placemat for straight-line quilting:

Next, layering and pin-basting:

Then on to the quilting. I used my walking foot:

Then trimming the edges even:

I used precut 2 1/2" strips for the binding, a different color for each place mat:

I decided to try all-machine-stitched binding, so first it was sewn to the back of the quilted mat:

Then turned to the front and stitched down, which was harder to do neatly than I anticipated:

My awl became my new best friend. It really helped with handling the binding and getting the stitching straight and even:

Finally, all the mats were pieced, quilted, and bound, and the napkins made:

One more little project to go before this ensemble is finished. Here's a clue! More photos when I get to this part:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Design Wall Love

I finally got a design wall put up in my new sewing space, and I LOVE it. It's nothing fancy, just some batting stapled directly to the wall, but I've missed having a place to arrange blocks, etc. and it's just what I needed. I started with a cotton batt, some large-headed push pins, and my wicked-looking staple gun:

I used the push pins to temporarily hold the batting while I got it straight on the wall, since this was a one-woman job:

Then I cut out spaces for the phone jack and electrical outlet on that wall, rough openings at first:

And then, the stapling and trimming away the excess batting. Around the outlet and phone jack, too. And yes, my rented house is wired upside down. Just one of its many charms.

That looks kind of bad, but I'm planning to cover all the staples by gluing some trim over them. I just need to get out and shop. After about an hour of concentrated effort, the wall was ready to use:

Big ta da! It's going to make this space so much more functional. And fun!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Flocks of Flying Geese

This weekend I made the first of six sets of flying geese for an exchange I'm participating in at work. Because there are so many to make, I decided to use the no-waste technique. Here are the patches for 12 sets of 4 matching geese, all cut and ready to go:

Each set of 4 matching geese requires 1 large and 4 small squares. Our geese are supposed to be 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" (finished size 2" x 4"), so the large squares are cut 5 1/4" and the small are 2 7/8". I drew 3 diagonal lines on the wrong side of each small square, one from corner to corner, and additional lines 1/4" to each side of the center diagonal:

On to sewing, cutting, pressing:

And, repeat:

This is one of the most accurate ways I know of to make flying geese, and it's way faster than stitch and flip on each end of a rectangle. I'm going to get lots of practice the next six months!