Monday, April 27, 2015

Want some salad with that quilt?

This past winter I did a trunk show and spoke about preparing your quilt for long arm quilting.  The main point get back what you give.  If you give your quilter a wonky will get back a wonky quilt. 

I was talking about how to put on borders to prevent that lettuce leaf look.  People didn't seem to understand.  Adding borders is where you should try your best to square up an un-square quilt. 

I am not going to explain how-to....but I am going to show you what a 'lettuce leaf border' looks like. 

I made this quilt over the winter....and even included a few pictures as I went.

As I was making it I think I wrote about all the trouble I was having making the blocks square.  I couldn't, for the life of me, get a good measure of the edges for the borders so I put it away.  Then after buying a longer tape measure I pulled it back out.  Still, I just couldn't get a good measure but had run out of projects in Florida so went ahead and added borders. 

I knew they were not square and would have NEVER taken that poor quilt top to someone else to quilt. 

However, since I do my own quilting, on the frame it went. 

I managed to work out almost all of the problems except for this one area. (Plus a couple tucks quilted in that I couldn't get a good picture of.  Hopefully that's a sign that they really don't show.)

This is what a 'lettuce leaf' border looks like. 

The over-all quilt is not bad...but that one edge just couldn't be flattened. 

Back when I was making it I wrote about how the center square was too large.  I couldn't figure out where the problem was since I thought I was using the Square in a Square ruler and pattern correctly.  

Over all....I love the quilt.  It just isn't going to hang in a show any time soon! 

Also, this is the quilt that used the same line of fabric as the 1600 quilt I showed in my last post.  Beautiful soft Fig Tree fabrics I bought quite a few years ago.  I don't remember the line, though.  If anyone really wanted to know I could go see if I have a salvage in my bin. 


Friday, April 17, 2015

A whirlwind of projects.

I suffer from ADD in my sewing room when there are so many projects either on my 'to-do' list or left in limbo.  I pick up one thing and put it down as soon as something else catches my eye.

The end result is that I finally finish things all at once.

The latest batch includes a quilt, a candle mat, and a table runner.

This seriously is not as wonky as it looks!  

I can't even tell you how long ago I made this candle mat.  It is made using the triangles cut away while making a table runner from border fabric.  Jinny Beyer has a free pattern here.  I have the table runner hanging with my to-be-quilted projects. I could quilt the candle mat on my sewing machine so I quickly finished it up and stitched down the binding while watching evening tv. 

I made this quilt in Florida from a jelly roll.  I can't remember the line but it is Fig Tree fabrics.
It is the simple 1600 quilt that has been buzzing around the Internet for a couple years.

It was the perfect match for this pillow I stitched years ago.

The final project (for this post, anyway) is a long forgotten table runner.  Several years ago I took a class using the book One Block Wonder.  It was one of the first things I quilted on my long arm.  It only needed a binding so I put that on this week.  It is a bit bright and crazy for me but you just never know when I'll need a bright flowery table runner.

Currently I am working on another quilt.  The blocks were finished and in a box plus I have another on my long arm.  Sewing blocks into rows then sewing rows is my least favorite phase.  So far I've assembled (or almost assembled) 3 such tops from blocks all finished and tucked away.  I quilt a little then sew a little then quilt a little....eventually I finish both a new quilt and a floppy to add to my to-be-quilted collection. 

Today is gray and rainy so I will probably finish the fore-mentioned quilts. Then tomorrow is a shop hop/bus trip organized by my quilt guild.  Woot.  'Need' has nothing to do with the fun of a day of fabric shopping. 


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A little finish and a not so little project.

I finished a small Little House Needleworks piece the other day.  While I started it several weeks ago, it has mainly been the piece I pick up when I want to work on a quick simple project so it didn't really need over a month to finish.  

While I am still working away at outlining the snowman piece it is time to pull out a project that took a backseat back around Christmas time.

Uncle Sam's Parade by Sue Hillis.

I think I have the most complicated part done so maybe, knock on wood, the rest will work up quickly.

I think, next to Christmas stitching, patriotic patterns are my favorite.

My sewing room has been a very busy place.  The next post will include pictures of some of those projects quickly coming together.  

Until then, happy stitching.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Grand Illusions...the finale.

Bonnie Hunter's fall 2014 mystery quilt is finally finished.

I had the top done in a timely manner back in January but I have now quilted and bound it.

I have been on a craze to match up backings to tops, measure and label everything, hang it in an organized fashion, and to have a quilt ALWAYS on my frame.  My backlog is crazy.  I'd rather piece than quilt and it shows.

I used a panto called Sea Side purchased from Urban Elementz. 

Stella, so named because she is one moody machine, seemed to enjoy this pattern. 

I have left it out in hopes that the next quilt can be quilted using the same pattern.

Here she is sporting the tattoo I received when I ordered from Urban Elementz the last time. 

I am still working away at finishing up any quilt left in bits and pieces in a box. 

Thanks for all the helpful hints about stitching on dark fabric.  I do know the white fabric on your lap trick.  It doesn't work when the weave is so tight there aren't any holes!  Plus, I have to hold the fabric up under the magnifier in such a way that my lap isn't really what is behind the piece.  I suspect aging eye sight as well as a high count fabric is at the crux of the problem. 


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Year in Chalk

I am up to date on my Year in Chalk by Hands on Designs. 

February...the one I forgot to photograph.

March...which I just finished this week.

These are a slow-go for me.  I find working on black very difficult. 

I have discovered a reoccurring theme in the pieces I have neglected.  They are all on dark fabric.  From here on out I will avoid pieces stitched on dark fabric.  (With the exception of the remaining months of this project.)


Friday, April 3, 2015

Happy Easter

Spring is trying so hard to make an appearance in western New York.  I saw a hint of the grass turning green yesterday.  It looks like our Easter will be wintery, though.  

In the mean time...Chicks Jubilee by Bunny Hill is home and hung.  This was a block of the month I worked on in 2013.  I took it to my long arm quilter in early 2014 so she could custom quilt it for me.  I simply don't have those skills yet.  Since it was a spring quilt I told her to take as long as she needed.  She finally got it back to me this past January. 

Wow!  So worth the wait.

Each square is as cute as the next.

The quilting really lends to the picture.  I love the little bows that mimic the bows on the egg tree.

Look how the stitches add motion to the little chicks foot as she runs.

And how it looks like rain is falling.

 I will hate putting it away for the season.