Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Good Side of a Rainy Day

There is a positive side to a rainy day. 


I worked on my scrappy four patch units.


And I used my featherweight to do it.


I like the scrappy four patches that are made using the 5" square method of construction. 


Here's what 440 - 4" four patch blocks look like. As you can see, they've not all been pressed open yet, but I think you get the idea.


These four patches will be used to make a larger version of this quilt. 


And then when the rain stops we saw a beautiful double rainbow. You have to look hard to see the one on top, but it was there.


  And this was kind of cool to see.


I'm tired of the rain, but happy to have had the opportunity to be productive.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tip Tuesday! Quilt Label Sayings

"Tip Tuesday!" - Quilt Label Sayings

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired!
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Do you always put a label on your quilts? I have to admit there are times that I don't. I guess that I just don't think about it, although I do try to remember to label quilts that are for someone special like family members, etc. 

Even though I have often forgotten to do it in the past, I'm making a concerted effort to remember from this point forward, no matter who will be the recipient.

While thinking about this and the best way to remember to do this, I found a wonderful resource - Quilter's Diary
Quilting Quotes
Besides quilt label sayings, this site has lots of other information that is helpful and interesting. There are posts and tutorials for lots of things like cutting up fat quarters, making a half hour table runner, stitching in the ditch, making a quilt as you go log cabin quilt, etc. 

Not only have I found a great label resource, I've also found some new and exciting projects to make.  :-)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Design Wall Monday

I've been having a few technical problems lately when it comes to putting pictures on the blog, but I think/hope they have all been resolved. I quite honestly am not sure what I did to fix the problem because I tried a bunch of different things and it might have been a combination of things I pushed that fixed the problem. I don't really care what I did, I'm just happy it worked.  :-)

So, here's what on the wall right now. I'm playing with a Christmas Jelly Roll and some off-white yardage. I've pulled some of the strips to be used for binding, but all the others are being used in the blocks to make small, scrappy log cabin blocks. I've made 56 of the blocks and have started laying them out. I think I'm going to like this Of course I have a lot of rearranging to do, but that will come later.  


This is not on my wall, but on the wall of one of my sisters. She is new to the sewing/quilting world and is doing a wonderful job.


She swears she's not going to make quilts, but a couple of my other sisters used to say that too and they now proudly call themselves quilters. Table runners are really just a stepping stone to more serious quilts. TJ doesn't know that yet, and I'm not telling her.  :-)

Check out what other quilters have on their walls today.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Flange Binding Tutorial - Picture Heavy

 The technical problem is fixed, and it was not the cable. 

As promised, here is the tutorial for how to  
add a flange binding 
totally by machine.



Warning!! 
This post is very picture heavy.

Here we go...

Determine the amount of fabric needed

If you aren't sure how to do that for "regular" binding, here's a quick refresher:

1. Measure the perimeter (all the sides) of the quilt.
2. Add 10-12" corner turning allowance, etc. 
3. Divide that number by the width of your binding fabric to determine how many strips you'll need. 
4. To determine the amount of yardage needed, multiply the number of strips needed times the width you will cut your strips.

Example: a 40" x 50" quilt
40" + 40" + 50" + 50" = 180"  +  12"  = 192"
192" divided by 40" of usable width of fabric = 4.8 strips - round up to 5 strips
5 strips x 2 1/2" = 12 1/2"  = 3/8 yard (13 1/2")

It is a little different when determining yardage for a flange binding because you will be using two different fabrics and they are cut two different sizes.

For this sample, I used red for the flange and blue for the outside binding strip.

Cut the appropriate number of strips determined above as follows:

Flange Fabric (red) - 1 3/4"

Outside Binding (blue) - 1 1/2" 



Diagonally piece the strips so you have two long pieces of fabric (one for the flange fabric and one for the outside binding fabric).


Press all of the seams open


After both strips are sewn together and pressed, sew them together along the long edge. I like to have the smaller piece (the outside binding fabric) on top. I just feel that it helps me be consistent and avoid flipped fabrics.


Once the strips are sewn together, press them to the outside binding fabric (blue)


With wrong sides together, press the long strip in half horizontally.


Align the raw edges of the newly sewn binding strip to the back of the quilt with the flange fabric facing up. (This is opposite of what you do when you are going to hand stitch the binding to the back.) I find it important to "walk" the binding around the quilt to prevent the seams of the binding from ending up at the corners. If they are there, it is quite challenging to fold it over because of the bulkiness. 


Using a walking foot if you have one and leaving a 8-10" tail at the beginning, sew the binding strip to the quilt. (I tend to sew with a slightly large 1/4" seam allowance and have no problems.)


Stop sewing 1/4" (or whatever your seam allowance is) from the edge of the quilt. See the white mark in the picture below? That's where I stopped sewing. See the note below to know exactly where to stop perfectly every single time! 


To find the stopping  point, fold the binding strip up to create a 45° angle (picture #1 below) and crease that seam (picture #2 below). Wherever your seam hits the crease is the correct stopping point (picture #2 below).  Sorry! The technical difficulties I was experiencing caused the deletion of the pictures using the red and blue fabrics.

                                           Picture #1                                            


  Picture #2     


Remove the quilt from the machine and fold the binding back upwards creating a diagonal fold (a 45 degree angle is formed). Be sure to align the raw edges of the binding with the raw edges of the quilt as in the picture below. (The raw edges create a straight line going up.)
                          


While holding the diagonal fold in place with your finger, fold the binding down, making the fold even with the top of the quilt edge. Make sure that the binding underneath does not stick out beyond the fold. Pinning is not necessary, but it does help keep things lined up better (and makes taking a picture easier).  :-)


Sew from the top fold with the same seam allowance as before. Continue to the next corner, where you will stop 1/4" (or the size of the seam allowance) from the corner, as before.


Once you miter the last corner, sew down the final side until you are approximately 8-10" from the end of the tail left from when you started adding the binding (not where you started sewing). The tails should overlap.

Remove the quilt from the machine and lay it on a flat surface.

Lay out the beginning tail so it is flat and smooth along the edge of the quilt. Fold the ending tail until it meets and "butts" up to the beginning tail (red in the picture below). 


From the point of the meeting, mark a line on the ending tail that is equal to the width of the binding strip. In this case, it should be 2 3/4"


Cut the ending tail on the marked line. The strips will overlap an amount equal to the width of the binding strip (2 3/4"). 

To join the two strips, you will diagonally piece the strips as you did earlier. Careful turning will avoid twisted strips. Again, sorry for the "odd" pictures but the original ones are somewhere in cyberspace

Open the beginning tail and lay it flat, with the right side up. Flip the folded edge of the ending tail so that it is facing downward. 


Rotate the folded edge of the ending tail so it is now upright and facing the left edge, near the beginning tail.


Open the ending tail so it is right side down and draw a diagonal line from the upper left corner to the lower right corner (as you did earlier when diagonally piecing the binding strips). 


Pin and sew along the drawn line, just like you did when piecing the original binding strips. You may want to use a basting stitch here to verify that you have properly lined up the flange and outside binding fabrics. (See pictures below.)


Basted along the seam line.


And it worked! Yeah!! Make adjustments as needed and then stitch using the regular stitch length.


Trim 1/4" from the stitched line, towards the corner. Press the seam open.
Refold the binding, wrong sides together. Press if needed. Align the raw edge of the binding to with the raw edge of the quilt and finish sewing the binding strip to the quilt.


Press the binding out away from the seam so it is easier to fold it to the front of the quilt. Once it is folded over to the front, stitch in the ditch between the flange fabric and the outside binding fabric. Using a thread color that matches the flange fabric will "hide" the stitches. You might find it helpful to pin or clip the folded fabric so as to prevent it from shifting while sewing.


When you approach a corner, fold and stitch as you would if you were hand sewing. I like to use my Clover Wonder Clips to hold the corners in place. 

First fold


Second fold


Secure in place for stitching


Simply turn the corner as you are stitching in the ditch. To make it easy and look nice, be sure to keep your needle in the down position when you are turning the corner.


It's hard to see the stitching on the back so I put my seam ripper down to point it out. By the way, I often use the seam ripper as a stiletto to help move the quilt along, especially when working in the corner. 


Here's where the two tails were sewn together and then sewn down from the front. Not too bad!


I just love the touch of color that this flange adds to the quilt.
Plus, it doesn't take nearly as long to do as hand stitching.  :-)

Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Technical Difficulties

I know I promised a tutorial on the flange binding yesterday, but I'm experiencing technical difficulties in uploading pictures. I'm going to stop and pick up a new cable and hoping that takes care of the problem. 

Unfortunately, I'm teaching until 8:30 tonight so I won't be able to even attempt the cable until then.

Keep your fingers crossed that it works and all goes smoothly.  :-)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tip Tuesday! Do What You LOVE

"Tip Tuesday!" - Do What You LOVE

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired!
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I love to create quilts! 
That's something you all know about me, and that anyone who knows anything about me knows. 
It's a simple fact.

While waiting for my husband to receive his eye injection recently (he has macular degeneration), I wondered about how I would react if I lost my sight, developed terrible arthritis or Parkinson's Disease, or something else that would making quilting a challenge or not possible at all. (No, I'm not a "Debbie Downer" or anything, I just wondered.)

That also got me thinking about the type of quilting and projects on which I'm currently working. Although I make a lot of donation quilts which allow me to try new patterns, most of my current projects are for class samples or memory quilts for customers. 

Here's a few pictures of a quilt I recently finished for a customer. This was made from her niece's baby clothes and she was pleasantly surprised that I was able to use most of the pieces in tact instead of just squares of them. She loved it and I was pretty happy with it too.

Memory Quilt, Quilts From Clothing


The clothing makes this quilt heavy, but she wanted flannel on the back so this is one HEAVY quilt. Plus, it's large (90" x 110"). 

Memory Quilts, Quilts From Clothing

Although I like how it turned out, while making this quilt, I struggled a bit with the process. I've made MANY memory quilts over the years, and although it is often challenging for me to work with the different fabrics, decide what part of the clothing to use, etc., I've never really had a motivation problem. I think my favorite part of making memory quilts is not the process or the quilt itself, but in giving of it to the customer. It is wonderful to see them recognize an article of clothing and tell the story that goes along with it. That is especially gratifying when the clothing is from someone who has died. I know that the quilt will bring comfort to the recipient and that makes me happy.

But, while working on this particular quilt, I was not loving the process. It wasn't the typical challenge of getting the clothing to "work" how I wanted it to, it was recognizing that I didn't want to be making a memory quilt. I realized that I had started having those feelings with the last one I made but I just hadn't recognized what I was feeling. 

The proverbial light went off while talking with one of my students, Suzy. She was making a quilt for her cousin and she didn't like the fabrics or the pattern she was using. For that matter, Suzy didn't really like the cousin either but felt guilted in to making it. I sympathized with Suzy and suggested that her next quilt be just for HER - her favorite fabric, favorite colors, favorite pattern, etc. I told her that she should do what she loves and love what she does.

Oh my goodness how those words hit me! It was easy for me to tell that to someone else, but in reality I was saying them to myself.


Right then and there I made the decision to finish this quilt, do the other three small ones that I have here for a friend and take a hiatus from memory quilts. I still like making t-shirt quilts so I'll continue to do that, but on a limited basis. 

Perhaps I'll head back down the memory quilt path someday, but I don't know. Maybe I'll make some for myself or family members, but not for customers. Who know? All I know is that I feel pretty good, having made that decision.

Are you doing what you LOVE?

Image result for do what you love and love what you do quotes

Doing what you love is always so much easier than doing what you MUST do. Chances are that you'll still have to work hard at doing what you love, but you'll enjoy the process and the results so much more. 


Yes, I know that there are things that we MUST to do. I'm certainly not advocating that you ignore everything and focus only on what YOU WANT

Instead, I'm saying that to truly be successful, you must find a balance in your life and that balance should include doing at least one thing that you LOVE


You are worth it!

Stop back tomorrow for a tutorial on flange binding.
Even though I provided a link in a previous post, I've been asked to post a tutorial. 
I'm editing pictures today and will post it tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tip Tuesday! Totally Tutorials

"Tip Tuesday!" - Totally Tutorials

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired!
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First of all, I realize that it seems like I only post on Tuesday now, but honestly that is not intentional. I've just been overloaded with things to do and the blog takes a back seat to other things. Of course, as you can tell, sometimes my Tip Tuesday posts don't happen until late in the day on Tuesday. Oh well...

As we all know (or suspect), you can find just about anything on the net. If you need to know how to sew on a binding, just use your favorite search engine and you'll have an answer (and get your quilt bound) in no time at all. 

Sometimes I find it a bit scary at how much we can find on the net, but when it comes to quilting and cooking, I'm ok with it.

One of my favorite blogs is called Totally Tutorials and I follow and read it almost every day. 
The sub-title for the blog is "A Directory of Free Craft Tutorials" and that pretty much sums it up.

The variety of tutorials is amazing. One day you'll have a tutorial for an arm chair pin cushion and the next you'll have a tutorial for soup. There really is something for everyone. 

There are a number of frequent contributors and I like that because it provides a sense of reassurance that the project will work as described. (I've followed tutorials exactly as written and end up with a disaster only to find out that the writer had not actually made the item. He/she had sketched it out and it "worked" on paper. Oh that makes me so angry!) 

Kym also has an etsy shop and a sister blog, which means that there's even more fun stuff to see and make.


Check out the blog. 
I know you won't be disappointed.