Thursday, April 24, 2014

Beautiful and Welcome Sight!

Remember last week when I posted this picture of our butterfly bush covered in snow?


Well, look what I saw yesterday!


And today...


I don't want to count my chickens tulips before their hatched  blossomed, but I think winter may be over.

I don't even mind seeing all the weeds and dead leaves that I need to take care of in the flower beds.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tip Tuesday! Organized Cutting

Welcome to
"Tip Tuesday!" - Organized Cutting


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! 

Cut efficiently and with better organization. 
That is my goal!

Being organized while I'm cutting out a quilt project is sometimes challenging. I love it when I have the opportunity to cut the entire project out in one setting, but that doesn't always happen.

A long time ago, I started making a "working copy" of the cutting instructions for all of my patterns. What that means is I photocopy the cutting instructions so I can cut them apart and keep a set of cutting instructions with each fabric. I also make various notes on the copy, such as hash marks for keeping count of exactly how many pieces I've cut, dimensions of left over fabric pieces in case I can use that left over piece later, etc. 

I usually glue or tape a small piece of the fabric to the copy, just in case the paper gets separated from the fabric or life gets in the way and I don't get back to working on the project for quite a while. Doing this means that I don't have to spend time guessing which fabric was going to be used where in the quilt. (Ok, in reality, it's not that life gets in the way. More than likely it's that something else has come up and I start working on another quilt project before I get done with this one.) 

I've also been known to write out the cutting instructions on a dry erase board and as I cut, I erase that size and move on to the next one. There's something about writing things down that help me avoid cutting mistakes. I think that the larger print is helpful, and I think it helps me to simply have written it down. It's like when I had to study spelling words. If I wrote them down a couple of time, my mind remembered them better. :-)

And just because I need those frequent "rewards", seeing that I only have one more set of fabrics to cut is kind of fun. Maybe I just like the idea of a seeing a "clean slate." It makes me feel like I've accomplished something.


I also like to keep my cut pieces organized by using sticky notes.


I like to have the cut size of the fabric written on the sticky notes and then attach that to the stack of corresponding fabrics. If the quilt is one that I think I may make again, I put the used sticky notes in the bag with the pattern so I don't have to re-write them.  Yes, I know I could just use scrap paper, but I like all the colors.  :-)

I applaud you if you are one of those quilters who can just open a pattern and cut out all the pieces without having any worries that you'll stay organized. I admire you!! The rest of us have to figure out ways to help us stay on task and not make mistakes. 

What do you do to stay organized while cutting? 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Interesting!

This week has been very interesting.

Here's a picture of what we awakened to on Tuesday.


It was beautiful and we knew it was coming, but I still was so over snow that it didn't really make me very happy. That is until I took this cool picture, then I was glad to have the snow, even if just for a few minutes. Fortunately the roads were not bad when I had to drive to teach my quilting class.  :-)

I subbed at the high school Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and that was fun, especially when I approached the school yesterday morning and remembered that it was a special day. (It had nothing to do with Easter or the fact that there was a long weekend approaching.)

It was Drive Your Tractor to School Day!


I like subbing in a rural school.  :-)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tip Tuesday!

Welcome to
"Tip Tuesday!" - Odd Bindings


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! 

I like to bind quilts! 

There, I said it. I know for many people, binding is boring, tedious work, but I have always liked to bind.

Although I had bound quilts with irregular shapes and odd angles, I never felt that I did them well. Recently I've been intrigued with triangle quilts and unless you trim off and even out the sides, you are going to have to deal with odd angles when it comes time to add the binding.

I am ready to quilt this quilt.


My plan was to take pictures of the binding process, especially the inside corners and post that "tutorial" here for Tip Tuesday! I was pleasantly surprised when Lorna over at Sew Fresh Quilts posted a tutorial on this exact topic. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I decided to add her link here for today's Tip Tuesday! 

http://sewfreshquilts.blogspot.ca/2014/04/binding-inside-corners-tutorial.html

Now, please don't hold me to my plan to get this quilt quilted and bound. It will happen, but I'm not sure when. Of course maybe if I had not seen Lorna's post I would be more motivated to get this down, but who knows. T\I'm guessing that the chances of me finishing this are actually pretty good because  really like the quilt, so I guess you should check back often to see how well I've been able to stay on task. I would suggest though, that no money or bartering about this topic because although I really want to finish it, it may have to sit and mature a little bit longer.

If you've bound an irregular shaped quilt, I'd love to see it and hear your procedure for attaching the binding.

Have a great day and enjoy yourself!  :-)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tuesday Archives - Bindings or Birds

Val's Quilting Studio

This week is all about  BINDINGS and everything and anything BIRDS

If you are looking for Tip Tuesday!, 
click HERE

Well, I don't think I have anything bird related, so I guess it's all about bindings for me.

I looked at my quilt pictures and didn't find any that really featured the bindings, which is funny because I really like to do binding work. I machine stitch them down and hand stitch them to the back unless I've been requested to do it all by machine.

I don't think I machine bind very well, but I do try. I usually baste the binding in place and them use a decorative stitch to finish it off. These burp cloths I made for Avery are kind of like that. Lynn and I liked the look of the blanket stitch on the back when it didn't line up directly on the binding fabric. We both thought it looked like the lacing on baseballs and since we both like baseball, we did this on purpose.


I do like to use stripe fabric, cut on the bias for bindings, but I don't have any good pictures of that. :-(  I guess I need to be more mindful of my picture taking.

I have made a few bindings that were a bit challenging, mostly because they were an irregular shape or pieced while trying to match up things. Here are two examples of that. 

First is my Down the Rabbit Hole Hexagon quilt. This was one of the first (if not the first) quilt that I thought I figured out how to bind the irregular corners and actually liked how it turned out.


This Ohio Quilt (you've seen this before), has the specially pieced binding that was also very large and has odd angles. I like my concept, but in reality this binding is not constructed very well. I have often that that I should redo it and make it look better.


What bindings or birds would you like to feature? Maybe you just want to see some other wonderful creations. 

Check out Val's Quilting Studio!  

Tip Tuesday! - Label It

Welcome to
"Tip Tuesday!"


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! 



Tip Tuesday! - Quilt Labels

I know you've all heard that we need to label our quilts, but I'll be the first to admit that I don't always do it. I know! I really should do it, but honestly, sometimes I just forget. I've been known to write information about the quilt on the binding, so I'm kind of labeling it, but is that enough? I'm not sure.

If I've made a quilt for someone in particular or for a special event, I usually do put a label on it to commemorate the event. But, I make lots of class samples, "just because I like the pattern" quilts, and quilts because I want to try a new technique. A lot of these get donated or given away and I hate to admit it, but many of those don't get labeled or marked in any way. 

A few weeks back, I decided that I really need to make a concerted effort to label ALL of my quilts, at least with the date an pattern name.

I've been thinking about the best way to label quilts because I usually don't want a big label that draws a lot of attention. I want something small that kin of blends in with the rest of the quilt, yet has all the necessary information on it. 

Well, about a week ago, I was reading Pat Sloan's blog and she had a post about quilt labels. I really liked how her labels looked and how she presented the tutorial on how she makes them. So, rather than me trying to reinvent the wheel (quilt label in this case), here's the link to Pat's post.


So, if you aren't labeling your quilts on a regular basis, maybe this will help you. I'm going to give it a try. Thanks Pat!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Design Wall Monday

Here's what's on the wall today. Another version of the I Used To Be A Layer Cake quilt. This time, I'm using a layer cake from the Wishes fabric line by Sweetwater for Moda


What you see is only a portion of Version 3 (see pattern cover below for a picture of the complete quilt). I have the strips set up in the order that they will be sewn for all the sections to the left of the first accent strip.


Here's what it looks like after sewing some of those bottom strips together. That big open section is there because of the seam allowance. Isn't it crazy when you actually see how much smaller a project is when you account for the seam allowance?  I'm using a chocolate brown fabric for the accent strip, even though it looks like it's black in the photo. My plan is to use that for the binding as well.


This version is a bit "softer" than my last version. (Version 1)


Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today!

Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times and be prepared to be awed and inspired.