Merry & Bright Binding

Last night I made the binding for the Merry & Bright quilt.  The fabric is from the same line, and I just love the stripes, as they are on the bias, so I get the effect of bias stripes without having to cut on the bias.  I don’t mind cutting on the bias, but if I don’t have to all the better!

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Today I put the walking foot on my machine and sewed the binding to the front of the quilt.  Now on to the time consuming task of hand sewing the binding to the back of the quilt.  But I think that will have to be another day, because there is some good tv on tonight (Burn Notice and Royal Pains).  I usually watch tv that doesn’t need my full attention while I sew the binding on…so perhaps tomorrow.

Loose vs. Tight Stippling

I had a good chunk of time yesterday, so I figured I’d start quilting the Merry & Bright quilt top.  That is until I actually tried to quilt, and my machine started acting funny.  It just got back from being serviced, so I figured I was doing something wrong.  I re-threaded the needle probably 20 times, but still no luck.  Then 30 minutes later, as I was about to give up, I checked the needle…it wasn’t inserted all the way.  Operator Error!!!

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Once I figured out the problem I quilted away, but since it was taking so long I had to put it away and come back to it after the kiddos were in bed.  It was taking me so much longer than I thought it would.  It took me longer to quilt this 57″ square than Ethan’s 67″ x 71″ quilt.  I didn’t think that I was quilting any slower either…in fact I feel like I’ve gotten faster as I’ve gotten more comfortable with quilting.  But then I compared the quilting of the 2 quilts and discovered that my stippling has gotten tighter and tighter over time, and therefore, there is far more quilting on the Merry & Bright quilt than on Ethan’s quilt.

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Ethan’s quilt: which is more of a meander than stipple

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Ethan’s quilt

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Merry & Bright: definitely stippled

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Merry & Bright back

Merry & Bright Sandwich

I’ve got my Merry & Bright quilt top and backing sandwiched together and pin basted.  I went to my local quilt shop today and got a cool gold toned (but it’s not shiny or anything like that) thread for the quilting.

Here’s a peak:

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Front

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Pieced back

Now I just need to find the time to quilt this baby.

Do You Label?

I haven’t labeled any quilts yet.  I know you are supposed to, but honestly it seems like so much work.  But then I found these awesome custom labels from Sweet Water, and thought I’d give them a try.  I love them!!!  So easy to design and use.  They are iron-ons, and after you iron them on, you  simply stitch around the edges.  I chose the label that gave me the space opportunity to write something in, and it turned out great.

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I will definitely be using these on ALL of my quilts!

Ellie Fun Quilt

I finished up the binding for the quilt last night, and then I washed and dried it, and I just love it.   It’s just so playful and fun!

I posted the pattern here.

Pre-wash dimensions were 59 x 67 and post-wash dimensions are 56 1/2 x 63 1/2.

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Pieced back

Conversations Pattern for Ellie Fun

Connie asked me for the pattern for the Ellie Fun quilt, and rather than hide the info in a comment I thought it would be better to make a post of it.  Thanks for asking Connie!

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I got this pattern from my very talented quilting teacher at my local quilt shop.  Not sure if it’s her pattern or where it originated from, but there is no copyright on the pattern, so I figured I’d share it with all of you.

This is a great pattern for the conversation prints, and it is really designed to show off a pattern by fussy cutting (cutting out a specific design element in the fabric rather than simply cutting yardage).  I didn’t fussy cut my focus fabrics (elephants) because I didn’t need to, but feel free to fussy cut, and keep in mind that if you do fussy cut you will likely need more yardage for your focus fabric.  The key to this pattern is to stay organized–you need to alternate the arrangements of the strip squares (see below for more detailed explanation).

The yardages below are approximately what I used for my pre-washed quilt of 59 x 67.  The pattern did not come with fabric yardage requirements (it just had the directions).

Fabric for 59 x 67 quilt:

  • 1 1/4 yd. elephants (focus fabric)
  • 3/8 yd. green polka dot (coordinating fabric)
  • 5/8 yd. floral (coordinating fabric)
  • 3/8 yd. red polka dot (coordinating fabric)
  • 1/2 yd. brown (inner border)
  • 1 1/3 yd. red floral pattern (outer border)
  • 1/2 yd. green polka dot (binding)
  • Fabric for backing

Cutting Instructions:

  • The focus fabric (elephants): cut 72  4 1/2″ squares
  • 3 coordinating fabrics:
    • Green with polka dots: cut 8 1 1/2″ strips the width of the fabric
    • Flower print: cut 8 2 1/2″ strips the width of the fabric
    • Red polka dots: cut 8 1 1/2″ strips the width of the fabric
  • Brown inner border: 2 1/2″ strips the width of the fabric
  • Flower outer border: 6 1/2″ Strips the width of the fabric
  • Binding: cut 7 2 1/2″ strips strips the width of the fabric

Directions:

  1. Sew the fabric strips together so there is a 1 1/2 strip, then a 2 1/2 strip, then 1 1/2 strip (green polka dots, flower print, red polka dots.  The dimension of the strip set will be 4 1/2″ x 42ish”  From the strip set, cut 4 1/2 squares.  Repeat until you have 72 strip set squares.
  2. To arrange the top simply take an elephant square; then place a strip set horizontally (green strip on top); then an elephant square; then a strip set (red strip on top); then an elephant square; then strip set (green on top); then elephant square; then strip set (red on top) etc.  The alternating arrangement gives the framed look.
  3. The next row start with a vertical strip set (green strip on the left); then an elephant square; then a strip set (red strip on the left); then an elephant square; then strip set (green strip on the left); then elephant square; then strip set (red strip on the left) etc.
  4. Since I started row 1 with an elephant square the last square in row 1 needs to be an elephant square.  You also want your last row to be the same as your first row.   So, for the rows starting with the elephants, the last square should be elephants, and for the rows starting with the vertical strip (green on the left), the last square should be a vertical square (green strip on the left).
  5. You can start the first row with the elephants or the strips too.  I would cut some squares and strip sets and arrange them how you like it.  Just make sure you alternate the strips both horizontally and vertically so you get the framed look. (Strip 1 and 3 could be the same fabric too and then you don’t have to worry about alternating the strips in a row, but be sure to alternate the strips for each row—horizontally place in one row and vertically place in the next and so forth).  There really aren’t any hard and fast rule here–see what works with your fabric and what you like.
  6. The number of squares in each row and how many rows is going to depend on how big you want your quilt.  I did 11 squares in each row and 13 rows.
  7. Attach your borders–if your quilt is small you’ll want to go with smaller borders.
  8. Quilt and then bind.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Back to Quilting

We are back from vacation, and my sewing machine is back from getting a good cleaning and tune up…yay!  I managed to finish quilting the Ellie Fun quiltop, and now it’s on to the binding.  I’ve got the binding sewed on to to the front and now am in the beginning stages of hand sewing the binding to the back of the quilt.

I usually like to finish a project before starting a new one, but I was feeling the need to be creative a few nights ago, so I broke out my Merry & Bright layer cake and got started.  I’ve got the quilt top done, and last night I finished piecing the back.  It’s a gift, so you’ll have to wait until December to see the completed project, but I may give some sneak peaks! 😉  I just love this line…so much so that I bought a layer cake for myself to someday turn it into something fabulous, but my quilt will have to wait for another day.

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Merry & Bright by Sandy Gervais for Moda

Ellie Fun Quilting Day 1

We are leaving tomorrow for vacation.  My plan all along was to bring my sewing machine in today for a good cleaning, and since we we would be out of town I wouldn’t miss it.  Then yesterday I got the quilting itch.  I got out the Ellie Fun quilt top and backing and went to work getting the sandwich together and pinning the whole thing…all by myself.  It’s the first time I’ve gotten a sandwich this size together all by myself!

Then I got to quilting.  I usually quilt in the evenings after the kiddos are off to dreamland.  Uncharted territory here to quilt during the day.  Everything was going great (except for the many interruptions to diffuse the “Ellie’s bothering me” or the “TT hit me” etc–must have been something in the air because they were at each others throats all day long!) until I was just under halfway done with the quilting, and then my upper tension went crazy.  I tried everything I knew, and nothing worked, and I couldn’t even thread the bobbin without the thread snapping when the bobbin was only 1/4 full.

So there went my plans (and sanity).  I so wanted to have this quilt quilted, and binding attached, so I could bring the quilt with me and hand sew the binding to the back of the quilt while poolside.  Well, it’s just not going to happen.

I packed up my machine and brought it to the shop this morning, and it should be all done and ready to finish this quilting project when we get back.

Quilting will resume in the evenings after the kiddos are off to dreamland when we return from vacation.  Superstitious?  Perhaps.

So, until it’s done, here’s what I have so far:

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Quilted with lime green thread (I really like the contrast on the brown)

It’s Snowing Fabric

Here’s the first of my winter quilts, and it’s a gift for this upcoming holiday season.  The fabric is It’s Snowing by Deb Strain for Moda.  The quilt top and back are pieced, basted, and quilted, and I am now working on hand sewing the binding to the back of the quilt.  Since this is a gift here’s a sneak peak, but I probably won’t post much about the finished quilt until after the quilt is sent to its new home! :)

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