Drooling Caused By Fabric

The NJ Blizzard of 2010 hit while were there, and since we were trapped in the house for 3 days, one of the things I did to occupy my time was shop.  What did I shop for?  Fabric of course!  Above All Fabric was having a fabulous sale, and I just couldn’t resist.  Today my mail man delivered my goodies, and well, I’m drooling!

Some of the fabric is to make some skirts for my daughter, and hopefully I’ll have time to do that really soon!

Here’s the layout for the Giddy quilt I’m working on.  I’m so loving this line!!!!

Blue is Hard

I figured that blue would be an easy color to match.  I have 2 bindings for quilts that are both blue, but different shades.  I took samples of the binding into the quilt shop with me to find thread to match.  I don’t think I’ve ever had such a difficult time matching thread.  There were so many blues, but none that were perfect.  Instead of hunting for the perfect match at multiple quilt shops, I picked those that matched the best.

I seriously never thought finding the right color blue thread would be so hard!

Back to Quilting

Back from vacation, and while I was away I took the opportunity to bring my sewing machine in for its annual check up and cleaning.  I picked up my  machine today, so it’s back to sewing!

This post is kind of like my to do list for the rest of the year.  Ha!  I hope I can get it all done.  School starts on August 2, and with both of my kiddos in school this year, I foresee a lot of daytime sewing.  That’ll be a nice change from all my burning the midnight oil sewing and quilting.

  • And I really need to start and finish the Breath of Avignon quilt.
  • And I really want to take part in Freckled Whimsy’s charm pack quilt along.  I’m using my Wee Play charm packs, but I also ordered some solid fabric today.
  • And I have a another quilt to start and finish.  This quilt’s recipient is long overdue for quilt, and since she may read this blog, I won’t divulge who or what the quilt is…yet.
  • And a Halloween quilt.
  • And a Halloween runner.
  • And a quilt using Kate Spain’s 12 Days of Christmas layer cake.
  • And I really need to start and finish another quilt by the beginning of December.
  • And I’m sure there will be more that come up.

Happy quilting!!!

30’s Squared Quilting

I managed to hammer out the quilt top using the Snippets layer cake 2 weeks ago.

The quilt top stayed nicely folded for some time, because I couldn’t find the time to actually quilt it.  When I quilt I like to have a big block of time to just sit down and quilt.  Sometimes those big blocks of time are few and far between.  Most of the time I quilt when Steve is out of town on business.  He had a series of canceled trips, so no quilting time for me.  But now he’s on a trip, so after my kiddos were in bed last night I decided to quilt.

Today’s project is binding.

Slicing the Layer Cake

I stocked up on Snippets layer cakes when they were in closeout at Cotton Patch Quilting.  I knew I would eventually put them to good use.  I broke into one of those layer cakes this weekend and can’t wait to to get the quilt top together.  I’ve got the blocks done, but I still have to lay them out.  I’m excited about this quilt.  For starters, I love the fabric…the 30’s reproduction that reminds me of feed sacks.  And secondly, it’s a super easy pattern that uses 1 layer cake plus some yardage of a neutral, and the pattern is all mine! 🙂

Hopefully I’ll make good progress in the coming days, that is of course as long as my 4 year old gets over the virus she has.

Yikes

What a night!

I started sewing the binding onto the Baby Blues quilt, and I got to about 10 inches from the end and looked at the back of the quilt and this is what I saw:

I gasped!  That stitching line closest to the edge of the fabric was the stitching line for the binding and at it’s narrowest spot is less than 1/8 of inch…certainly not enough to hold the seam for the binding.  How could I have made such an error?  The backing wasn’t big enough!!!!!  All I can figure was that when I sandwiched it together I forgot that the batting was wider than the backing and I centered the top on the batting instead of the backing.  Luckily it was just this one spot that was the problem.  So I ripped out the binding and was thankful that the quilting was straightline and that I didn’t quilt up to the edge of the quilt top, then I added some extra backing and then reassembled (it took a few tries and I ripped out seams 3 or 4 times).  Had I done my usual meander quilting this error could’ve been disastrous!!!!

The backing is flannel.  It’s the first time I’ve used flannel, and while it feels nice and cozy, it was really difficult to work with.  It’s pretty bulky, and even with a walking foot I had a hard time with it.  I especially had a hard time getting the sandwich underneath the walking foot.  Not sure how much flannel I’m going to be using in the future.  Time will tell.

Urban Nature: Binding

urban-nature-binding

I’ve had the quilting done for the Urban Nature quilt for some time now.  The next step was binding.  Admittedly I was a nervous to do the binding mostly because at 95 x 95 working on the outer 1/4 inch of the quilt all the way around really made me nervous.  Today I decided to take the plunge.  And it really wasn’t all that bad.  Dare I say no more challenging than the 60 x 70 quilts I’ve done.

I’ve noticed lately that if the presser foot pressure is the same as it is when you sew or piece the top when you are trying to sew the binding it creates too much pressure causing the binding fabric to shift in ways you don’t necessary want.  (I realize I didn’t explain that well, but I’m not sure how else to explain it).  So I decided to experiment with the presser foot pressure, and I found that if I decrease the pressure just a bit the binding sews on beautifully.  For example with regular sewing on my machine the presser foot pressure is set to 6.  When I free motion quilt I set the presser to 2, and with the binding I set the dial between 4 and 5.  Anyway, I’ve never heard of decreasing the presser foot pressure for binding, but for me it made a big difference.

Bowl of Cherries Quilting

I decided to quilt the Bowl of Cherries quilt top with cherries.  I thought that would be cute.  And it is.

bowl-of-cherries1

But it was way more work than I anticipated.  Stippling/meandering is so second nature to me that I really don’t have to think while I’m doing it…my hands just know what to do and it flows smoothly.  This was the first time I tried the cherries, and admittedly I probably should’ve tried it on a small quilt first, but I guess because I’m so comfortable with stippling/meandering I didn’t think it would be a big deal.

It was so much more time consuming than I thought it would be.  I had to really think about what I was doing and where I was going.  I’m sure it didn’t help that I was attempting this new technique on a quilt 67 x 74.  That’s pretty large and challenging to maneuver, and with quilting the cherries, I really needed to be able to move the quilt sandwich around so that the cherries wouldn’t all face the same direction.  One thing that I’m so glad I did was quilt from the back.  The backing (above) was just one fabric and far less busy than the top.  I’m glad I thought ahead to do that because with this technique being able to really see where you’ve been and where you’re going is critical (at least for trying a new technique).  So, it was a challenge, nonetheless, and I’m finally done—I’m so excited to be done with the quilting.

Now on to the binding and hand stitching it to the back.

Urban Nature: Final Quilting

It’s been taking me a long time to quilt the Urban Nature quilt.

It’s big.

It’s heavy.

Today was the home stretch.  One row 19 x 95 left to quilt.  Almost there…that’s what I kept telling myself.  Here I am about to quilt the very last corner and remove those last 3 basting pins!  I could barely contain myself.

urban-nature-final-quilting

It’s big.

It’s heavy.

Binding is next, and oh how that scares me!!!  To think that I’ll be working on the outer 1/4 inch edge of the quilt with all the quilt’s weight pulling against me as I sew the binding is really intimidating.  But I’ll have plenty of time to frett about the binding, because I need to put this project on hold while I get a couple others started and completed.  When it rains it pours!

Joining Edge Foot

The joining edge foot is a time and life saver!  I talked about the foot here, and last night as I pieced the batting together using the joining edge foot I (well my husband actually took the picture) took a picture for you to see how it works.  The concept is pretty simple: set your machine to a zig zag stitch (or similar stitch); take two pieces of batting and place under the presser foot; one piece to the left of the straight metal joining piece and one piece to the right of the straight metal joining piece; stitch.  The end result is a straight flat seam joining the raw edges of both pieces of batting.   Absolutely perfect for joining batting, using up those scraps of batting, and saving money!!!

joining-edge-foot

In this picture I’m piecing the last batting strip (36 x 108) to the rest of the quilt batting.  The quilt is so heavy that I use the chair beside me to support the weight of the quilt so it doesn’t pull on the needle as I quilt.  This chair has been my life saver too! 😉

big-quilt1