Monday, October 29, 2018

OMG October Finish

I finished my first Quilt's of Valor quilt this month.  This one is for my dad who served in the Army.  He doesn't know he's getting it and I think he will be very happy.  I started the month with this block. I was able to finish the top and quilt it this month.  

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Wednesday's UFO - Alaska Flowers and Berries

I'm spending most of my quilting time working on UFO's.  It has been a new challenge to work on one project and put it away at the end of the day and work on a different project the next day.  I like to work on something until it's done and each project is hard to put away for a week.  I am working on this Alaska flower and berry quilt on Wednesdays.  All of the pieces for the unfinished blocks were in a pile in a plastic bag.  Great storage-not!  I had pieces for 5 quilt blocks all piled together, so my first task was to find the pieces for each block.  

Some were labeled like this, what?

It turned out that all of the pieces had the label of the block they were part of, except one group and that group all went to the same block, the blueberry block.  

I separated all of the pieces into block piles.  This is the blueberry pile.  Look at all of those tiny pieces.

My next task was to lay the pieces onto the pattern page to see what I had and what I needed to cut.  They were all cut at one time, but who knows where the lost pieces went.

These pieces are for the lupin pattern.  I put all of my flowers and berries together and pressed them in place on my fusible applique' sheet.

Organizing, tracing, cutting and putting these flowers and berries gave me a bit of neck tension but they're done.  I will iron these onto their squares and they will join the rest of the bunch for top Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Stepping Stones UFO

When I dug into this project, I almost put it back.  Thank goodness I'd posted it as a UFO I planned to finish or I would have returned it to the deep, dark UFO pile.  This pattern is called Stepping Stones by Judy Niemeyer.  I took a three hour class to make this quilt but you know only so much can be done in 3 hours.  There are 3 different blocks titled J, K and L, and you make 12 of each block for the quilt.   The teacher reminded us that we would sew one black strip to block K and I was sure she said to the beginning of the block.  Of course it was the end of the block, the last seam not the first!  I had sewn all 12 K blocks with the black strip first so I had to rip...grrr.  In addition to this mistake I had sewn an extra strip to all of the L blocks, so that had to be ripped too.  

You sew the J, K and L blocks together to make one unit for the setting.  I ripped and sewed to make this unit.  I had to have a little satisfaction at the end of a frustrating sewing day.
I decided on the layout and pinned the blocks together in sets of three.  You can see some of the K blocks have been ripped and just need to be sewn back together, and some still need to be ripped out. I will finish each set, one at a time, which includes more ripping and sewing.  I put this away until next Monday.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Blue Table Runner Finish

Moving forward...

I have finished one of my UFO projects from the pile of weekend finds from last weekend.  I made this quilt a few years ago and it went into the UFO pile because I didn't like the way it turned out.  I used a fabric collection by Jason Yenter, whose fabric I love, but it turned out too muddy.  I wrote a post about this quilt back in 2014 and realized I had never written about the finish.  I had hoped the quilting would make it look less muddy but it really didn't.  The funny thing is, both my father and father-in-law really like this quilt.  They don't comment on my quilts very often but they went on and on about this one. 

This table runner UFO I found last weekend was made from orphan blocks.  It just needed a little quilting and binding and it was finished pretty quickly.

I also finished the quilting on the placemats and am filling my quiet time by hand sewing the binding.

Jenny from Romany Quilting suggested I place a number on each of the patterns and roll the dice to see what to work on each day.  While I won't actually roll the dice, I thought that was a great idea to schedule a little time each day to work on one of the projects.  This is my schedule:

Monday- Stepping Stones

Wednesday - Work on the Alaska flowers and berries and whale wall hanging.  I quilt with friends on Wednesday and I will bring these projects to our get togethers.

Thursday - Alaska Quilt

Friday- Splendid Sampler wall hanging

I will try for at least 1 hour per day for these projects.  

Friday, October 19, 2018

Binding Tutorial

Ok, so I'm a late bloomer.  I have been quilting since 1978 by putting together interesting fabrics to make blankets.  One included a satin and cotton combination and all hand quilted.  Remember the days.   My first cotton baby quilt was a log cabin for my first child 37 years ago.  I truly love to make quilts.  I am not a great student when it comes to quilting however.  I am self taught and I rarely follow patterns to the letter, which causes all kinds of challenges -believe me.  So, binding has been a challenge. I like my binding to have diagonal seams.  I have tried different ways to make my bindings and many have resulted in binding that's too short or too long or lumpy.  I would panic every time I think of having to put a binding on a quilt. After 40 years of quilting, I finally sat down and attempted to solve my binding problem.  This is what I came up with. It may be a tried and true method for everyone, like I said, I'm a late bloomer.

1.  When you sew your binding onto the quilt, start just below the middle of the side of the quilt.  Make sure you have at least 12 inches of un-sewn binding at the start of your binding.

2.  Sew the binding around the quilt using the standard method.  Stop sewing 12 inches before the two ends join.  

3.  Open your binding and using a small ruler, make a 45 degree diagonal cut on one side of the binding strip

4.  Lay your small cutting board on top of the quilt where you are cutting your binding strips.  Put the the uncut binding strip on top of the board and then lay the cut strip on top of the uncut strip.  using your small ruler, measure 1/2 inch from the top edge of the diagonal strip and mark the uncut strip.

5.  Move the cut strip out of the way.  Using the marking as a reference point, lay your small square on the uncut strip.  Be sure your cutting the diagonal the right way.  I've made this mistake.

6.  After your two sides are cut,  sew your binding pieces together.  Having a large opening helps with this step.  Twelve inches is a bare minimum.  I generally leave a much larger opening between the two ends of the binding.

7.   Sew the binding onto the quilt.

8.  Press the binding away from the quilt.

 9.  Fold the binding over the edge of the quilt and press.  You can either machine or hand sew the binding to the quilt at this point.

Linking to:  Finished or Not Friday Can I Get A Whoop, Whoop, Show Off Saturday, Oh Scrap

Monday, October 15, 2018

Weekend Finds

It was a rainy cold weekend and I decided to stay home.  I continued to work on my strip donation quilts.  Two have been delivered and three more (the ones on the right) are ready.  The three on the left have batting and the backing and quilting is happening soon.  My goal was to have these done in 2 months.  I'm on track.  Find the story about these quilts HERE.

In addition, I bravely opened my tub full of UFO's.  I really hate to have UFO's so I attempt to finish everything I start because if they go into the UFO tub, they may never see the light of day again.  I wrote a post about this a couple of years ago HERE.  So, I am committed to finishing these projects.  Hold me accountable please.

#1  I think this is a quick finish
#2  One of the three patterns from Wildfire Designs on my list.

#3  I started this about 15 years ago.  I keep putting it off.  I really like the pattern and I still like the fabrics so.... I'll try to finish the top.

#4  A quilting project

#5 I took the class for this lovely at the 2018 Road To California Quilt Show.  I really love it and would like to finish it, the top and the quilting. 

 #6  Another Wildfire Designs Pattern.  

#7 A wall quilt from Wildfire Designs.

# 8  I only finished 8 Splendid Sampler blocks.  I need to figure out what to do with them.

I'm giving my self 6 months but I give myself permission to extend the goal date.  

Linking to: Design Wall Monday Linky Tuesday, Let's Be Social, Midweek Makers, NTT,

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Friendship Star Baby Quilt

Every year my husband and I travel south in January.  We live in Petersburg, which is located on an island in Southeast Alaska.  The only way to get on or off the island is to fly or take a boat. We pack our truck with our dog and necessities and travel to either Prince Rupert, BC, Canada or Bellingham, Washington on the Alaska Marine Highway System.  Once we get to the mainland, we drive to Anacortes, Washington and pick up our 5th wheel trailer and head toward the sun.  Last January I packed a small tote with quilting projects so I could sew along the way.  The trip to Bellingham is 2.5 days and it can be pretty gray outside and uneventful, so a quilt project is perfect for the journey.  I made this friendship star on the ferry between Petersburg and Bellingham.  Once the top was finished, it went into a bag and put in a safe place.

I pulled this friendship star quilt out of the UFO pile recently to get it ready to quilt.  

 I chose this lemony yellow and white dot for the backing fabric.  Don't you hate it when this happens.   This quilt was about 45 inches wide and the fabric is 42 inches wide.  I didn't want to cut another piece of fabric for just 3 inches, so I decided do a little piecing for the backing.

I pulled out my my stash of '30's reproduction fabric, which is pretty limited. 

 As I was digging, I found these 2.5" squares.  I decided to make a nine patch strip with the squares.

 I put the strip right down the middle of the backing fabric.

I layered the batting and quilt onto the back.  I folded the batting and top in half and put the center fold on the center of the 9 patch strip.  This quilt is ready to go.  It is back in the UFO pile-but it's ready.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Jewel Top

Here are a couple of photos of the progress on my Jewel quilt top.  

Isn't it hard to find just the right placement for a scrappy quilt.  I also need a design wall.

The lighting inside is much different than the outside lighting.

Here is the borderless top.  I'm still thinking about the border.  It will most likely be a strip of the background fabric.  I think 'Jewel' is the perfect name for this quilt.  Now, I am going to attempt to write a publishable pattern for this.  Thank you to Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for giving me tips and sharing a link to Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs for pattern publishing.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

OMG October

Teaching beginning sewing and quilting is one of my favorite things to do.  I love the look of accomplishment on the faces of people who have leaned a new skill and have created something.  Last month, I taught an adult beginning quilting class using "Make Your First Quilt" by Alex Anderson.  I like this book because it is small and it covers quilting basics thoroughly in an easy to read format.  

I have 3 Quilts of Valor to make this year.  One for my dad, one for my son-in-law, Joe and one for Joe's brother Nick.  I used patriotic fabrics to put together the sample block for the class to give myself a little head start on the quilt. 

My OMG for October is to make the rest of the blocks and put the quilt top together.  

Linking to: OMG,