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. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tip Tuesday! A Cut Above (and a completed quilt top)

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! - Cutting Accuracy Ideas

While I was working on this quilt the last few days... 
YEAH! The top is DONE!)



I had to be very careful with the cutting because there was very little waste. This is the most that was left over from any of the strip sets, and it measures a little less than 1/2". 



Most of the strip sets had about 1/8" of waste and that was kind of scary. I was so worried that I would make a mistake and cut the wrong size of strip and not be able to complete the quilt.

This got me thinking about some of the "tricks" I've used over the years to help with my cutting accuracy. Here are some of the tried and true methods I've used and encouraged others to do the same.

Glow-Line Tape is great for marking the lines on a ruler that I need to find each time I to cut. This tape is transparent so they can be seen through and it is reusable.



Cutting Edge Vinyl Strips have a couple of ways they can be used. Like the Glow-Line Tape, these strips can be put on the top of the ruler to mark the line that needs to be used for cutting. These strips can also be attached to the underside of the ruler thus creating a raised edge so fabric can butt up next to it and not slip.



If you don't want to buy anything special, there are items that you probably already have in your house that can be used to increase cutting accuracy.

Post It Notes can be stuck to the ruler marking the correct measurement on which to align the fabric. (I just realized that my picture is upside down. Sorry!) 


And finally, a Dry Erase Marker is wonderful for use in the sewing room. They come in a variety of colors and that can be helpful on the various rulers you may have. (Don't forget to wipe off the marker!)


Can you see the arrows that I've marked on the ruler showing the 1 1/4" line? That helps align the edge of the fabric to the correct measurement. I don't know about you, but I've been known to turn the ruler around and cut a wrong size strip. That would have created a very bad situation this past weekend.


I often used a dry erase marker when I'm trimming my half square triangles. See the stitching line in the picture below? I will align a ruler with a diagonal line drawn on it to to the stitching line and trim the the triangle.


The drawn line is on top of the stitching line. I know it's hard to see.


Now I just trim off the excess and I have the correct half square triangles.


If you take the time to cut correctly, you'll have a much easier time with the piecing. If that means you have to come up with some tool or technique, by all means do it!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Design Wall Monday

This is what's up on the wall this morning and I know that it may be a bit bright or bold for some of you, but I love it! 


This past weekend was our annual guild retreat and I had been hem and hawing around trying to figure out what I wanted to work on while I was there. I have lots of projects that I should be finishing up and I could have taken at least one of them, but something was holding me back from making a decision.

Well, the decision was made for me when on Thursday I went to the new quilt shop in Sandusky, M & E Quilt Shoppe. I know the two owners (they are former students) and we've been talking about me teaching some classes there. (YEAH!!) Anyway, while I was there, we picked out a couple of patterns and fabrics for me to make samples. Before I even walked in the door, they knew they wanted me to make something using the From Outside In line. I was excited that they picked that line. It is awesome!! But then we had to choose a pattern...

I've had the I Used To Be a Layer Cake pattern (by Nancy Altsman for Black Cat Creations) for a little while, but haven't made it yet and the shop has the pattern so I figured, why not? What is so cool about this pattern is that you can make a small Bargello quilt using a layer cake or a jelly roll and the pattern includes the instructions for three different versions. AWESOME!! If you want a larger quilt, simply make more small quilts and put them together. The pattern explains how to do that. 



Since the pattern calls for either a layer cake or jelly roll, I decided I wanted to try it using both methods so I am prepared to help students using both methods. (OK, I really just couldn't decide which version to make so I'm making two of them.) We picked out a jelly roll of the From Outside In and a layer cake from Wishes, by Sweetwater.

Knowing that it might be a bit challenging to organize at the retreat, I did some preliminary work at home. I decided to use the jelly roll first and pulled it apart and organized the strips in a pleasing order.


And then I cut the strips into 10" segments (I'm going to advise students to cut them a little longer if their strips allow for that because after trimming, you only have about 1/8" to spare and that is living life a little too dangerously for me). 

Next I sewed the 10" segments together to get four of these lovely strip sets. (While doing this, I changed the order of a few of the fabrics.) I made one of these strips at home and sewed the other three at the retreat. 


Once the strips are made, you sewn the two ends together to create a tube. (For those of you that have made a Bargello quilt, I know this is old news for you, bu this is my first one and I found the process intriguing.) Following the chart provided in the pattern, I then cut the tubes into varying widths and then started the process of creating the columns of the quilt. It took a bit to get myself acclimated to doing this, but once I did, it was ok. 

I decided that it probably wasn't a wise choice to take this project to the retreat because it really helps to have a design wall or to be able to lay everything out to avoid mixing up the strips, etc. Lesson learned! But, having said that, this experience allowed me to make notes on how to help students keep themselves organized and avoid a few of the issues I encountered.

So, here's what I had sewn at some point on Saturday.


I hope to be able to get some sewing time in later today and get this top finished soon because I'm looking forward to making version three using the Wishes layer cake! I'm using a dark chocolate brown for the accent strips.

This isn't on my wall, but this is the quilt that my brother Jerry quilted while he was at the retreat. I love this!! The picture does not do this justice and he still has to tie his thread tails and bind, but it is awesome in person. He also sewed together a couple of practice quilts so he can work on his machine quilting technique. He was VERY productive!



What's on your design wall? Why not share it with us at Judy L's Patchwork Times?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Finishes and Busy, Busy, Busy

It's been kind of busy here and I'm excited to say that I've actually been getting some things done. YEAH!

Do you remember this Charm Pack Cherry Quilt that I showed a few days ago?


Well, I had some help when I was putting the rows together. Sadie was on the other side of the machine keeping the pieces straight as they were coming out of the machine. She loves doing that! Anyway, when I was taking a couple of pictures of the quilt top, she asked if she could be in one. I said sure and she got herself in position to say "Ta-Da!" 

Well, we had to make a few adjustments and take a handful of pictures before we got it right. Check out the first picture. Notice anything "not so right" here?


Yea, I'm not sure what she was introducing but it sure was funny. I showed her the picture and suggested we take another one.


It's better, but when Sadie saw it, she said it wasn't perfect. So, another picture was in order.


Sadie thought this one was perfect because you can tell she's saying "Ta-Da!" and she's jumping for joy because it's beautiful. Even if it was a crappy picture of the quilt top, how can you not agree that this is the perfect picture? 

I love having grandkids!!

Avery finally got her quilt! I think she likes it.  


And finally, I was playing around with some red, white and blue fabrics and decided it was time to sew. I like how this turned out, even though a few of the blue fabrics were a little too light for my liking. I think I'll make another one and add borders so it will meet the size requirements of Quilts of Valor.


I plan to take a little bit of time early next week to evaluate what quilt tops I have done and get them ready to quilt. Then I can choose which ones will be donated for the Hands2Help Challenge.

Check out what others have to cheer about today (finishes, starts, exciting news, etc.)! Go to Sarah's Confessions of a Fabric Addict.