Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Emma Makes A Quilt*

*Or perhaps more aptly titled:

Emma Has an Idea for Making a Quilt, Begins It With Her Mother, and Then Mother Takes Over and Finishes It

However we look at it, a quilt has been finished and Emma has a gift for a friend's baby shower, and I have a finish I can put in the books for February.

You can click back to this post to see the Sunday afternoon Emma and I spent cutting and sewing together. That was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. More details were added here. And now it's done and waiting for Emma's next trip home to be wrapped for the baby shower.

I have a hankering to begin a new project today, so I think I will!
I am also linking up with Connie's Tuesday Linky Party. She's in sunny Florida, so you ought to go visit, especially if you are anywhere near our gray, rainy, dreary day here in Ohio. *grin*
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Denise Has a Finish

Today's post will illustrate that even when you have so-called "ugly" fabric, you can still make a great-looking quilt. It inspires me to want to raid my extensive stash and get really busy making quilts.

You know that over the past year or so, I have taught quilting to a couple of ladies - Claudia and Denise. I am forever impressed with their lack of timidness - they pour themselves into their quilting projects without worrying about doing it wrong or having it perfect. They are very willing to practice - and practice a lot! - to improve their various techniques.

With that brief introduction, I show you some pictures I recently received from Denise. This is her first finished quilt which she did all on her own, from beginning to end. I hope you are as thrilled to see her quilt as I was.

Denise and Claudia have attended some quilt shows together and have found that some will have tag sales where folks can buy various products garage-sale style. This is usually a fundraiser for the sponsoring guild. Both women have bought bags of remnant fabrics. They find that this is good stuff to practice on. Here's what Denise wrote in her email:

"The majority of the fabric on the front is from a grab bag of fabric I bought at a quilt show.  In fact I chose fabric I didn't really like just to use it up. Now that the quilt is finished I don't mind the fabric."

Denise's quilt measures 49" X 63". She said that while making this quilt she learned a few lessons. One was to pin-baste more, and another was to leave more fabric around the edges. 

Now how many of us seasoned quilters have learned those same lessons in exactly the same way? Many, I'm sure.

Be adventurous and take some risks in your quilting this week! 

I've linked up with Cynthia for her Oh Scrap! link party. You can get all manner of inspiration for using scraps there. *grin*

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Border Works

This past week I took odd moments here and there to finish hand quilting the inner part of my paper-pieced UFO. All along I have had no idea how I would quilt the borders; I went to Grandma's box of templates/stencils and selected one that would incorporate two borders into one twisting design.

Then I remembered that in Grandma's stuff was this pouncer device that uses chalk dust to mark a quilt. Actually, I gave this to her ages and ages - maybe twenty years - ago. (I remember that she told me she didn't care for it too much.) Anyway, I used it to mark the border design.

On the one hand, the chalk dust is pretty messy, which is probably what Grandma disliked about it, but on the other hand, it saves so much time! I can deal with chalk dust; it's probably in my teacher DNA.

The border is prepared and I now have this quilt in a smaller frame. I will spend some of my Sunday working on it. And, since it is time for Slow Sunday Stitching, I will join the fun at Kathy's link party.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Yes, It's Clean

Can you see the big grin on my face?? :D

It didn't take me too long to deal with the clutter, so I suppose it looked worse than it was. I hung about 6 quilts up and put things away. For some of the scraps and remnants, I cut 2.5" squares, which is my go-to size for leftover bits. It feels pretty good to have available work space again!

It felt so good having this space tidied up that I am late posting about it today because I was motivated to finish something!! Yes, I did. I worked all day on that baby quilt Emma and I started a couple of weeks ago, and it is now done. That will be featured in an upcoming post, for sure. Tonight, it's late, and I will bask in my clean space and my finish.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Dee Makes Baby Quilts

You have met my friend Dee here several times over the years. She and Sharon P. and I all began our teaching careers together in Chillicothe and as young English teachers and, eventually, new mothers, we became quite close. Click here for a review of a visit Sharon and I made to Dee's in 2015; and, last summer Dee came here to sew with us. And of course, just recently we delivered that mint and peach wedding quilt to her for her daughter.

Since her retirement from full time work as school librarian, Dee has renewed her sewing and quilting interests. She sent these pictures of baby quilts she has made or is making for friends of her daughters'. (We have all reached the age where our kids and/or their friends are having babies!)

Dee is holding the little cutie who received the quilt she made for him, above.

And, for the next baby due, she is making this sweet quilt. Any mom would love to be on the receiving end of this - just gorgeous!!

So, today, I've been cleaning that table I showed you yesterday. I think you will be right impressed with how tidy I've made things. Come visit tomorrow and I will show it off. :)

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Time to Clean

My sewing room has become quite a sloppy mess, especially the big cutting table. Since I find myself with a couple of unplanned days and no pressing deadlines, I have decided that I will make this mess go away. I share these pictures as a way to hold myself accountable -- I must come back with neat and tidy pictures in a day or so.

The variety is wide - from the quilts I had out at Christmas time, to remnants of the Elizabeth project, to stuff for classes with Claudia and Denise, to shopping purchases, to Emma's baby quilt project and finally, my own hand-quilting project, I have stuff EVERYWHERE!!

Come back in a couple of days; this will be tidy soon. Maybe then I can insure that I will have a productive March.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Binding A Quilt

Sometimes binding a quilt can be a true chore. Part of the problem is attaching it and getting the ends to meet nicely, without puckers or bulk. I don't remember when I learned this method, but once I did, the thought of binding looming on the horizon was no long one I dreaded.

I am going to try my hand at a tutorial. Let's see how this goes.

First, you prepare your quilt and your binding as you normally would. I prefer to cut my binding at 2 3/8", but every quilter has her own preference. Fold and press; be sure that the binding is 12-15" longer than necessary. You MUST have this extra in order to make meeting the ends an easier task.

The picture above shows where I began stitching the binding to the quilt (on the right) and where I stopped (on the left). I laid a ruler there to show that you need several inches of space in which to work. Yes, when you get to this point, you have to take it out of the machine, and head to the ironing board.

When you begin attaching the binding, you must make sure to leave a tail of several inches. You will also need to be sure that you'll have a tail at the end. Above, I have roughly an 8" tail on the right, and roughly 12" on the left.

With the edge of the quilt and the edge of the binding lined up straight, I take the tails and fold them to meet somewhere in the middle. See photo above for one side close up.

The other side meets it and is folded back. Press these folds to get a good crisp fold mark. You need to be able to find those fold marks when the binding is opened up in the next step.

I hope you can read the text I added to the picture. Basically, you need to match the folds, right sides together and stitch on the fold line. Cumbersome work, as this means carrying the whole quilt back to the sewing machine and finagling this little bit of binding back under the presser foot. Take your time. If you have given yourself a large enough opening and long enough tails, it will be fine. (Trust me on this - I have tried with small openings and short tails - not fun!)

The photo above shows what this should look like, although to be honest, I think I am off a bit to the left of the fold line. (I probably fixed it after I took the picture.)

Next, it needs to be trimmed up. Keep a quarter-inch seam allowance.

Press it back into shape. I like to press the seam allowance open, then fold over the binding and press again. Now the binding is connected end-to-end, and is ready to have this final bit sewn to the quilt.

If all has been done properly, the binding fits exactly to the unsewn part. Lay the binding along the edge of the quilt, return to the machine and finish attaching to the quilt.

Voila!! You have now successfully attached your binding and even if it does require a few extra steps, it looks perfect when completed.

Do let me know if this tutorial was helpful. I have not done many, but I would consider doing more, if I thought I could help out sometime. If any step needs further explanation, just let me know.

I will be linking to Let's Bee Social over at Sew Fresh Quilts. Go check 'em out!

Added later: a couple of the comments left below offer very good tips that I never thought to add. Be sure to review those, if you don't have a set method of binding. Also, the quilt used in this tutorial was Bradford Star which is being sent to my brother-in-law and his wife in Florida. And, last, I am also going to link this up with Crazy Mom Quilts for her Finish It Up Friday link party. *thanks!*

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Bridal Quilt Delivered

The newlyweds have surely celebrated 6 months of wedded bliss by now, and at last they have the quilt that Sharon and I made for them.

Back in the summer, Sharon and I cooked up a plan to whip out a quilt fast-fast-fast for our friend's daughter. Dee, the friend, was involved in the color selection and helped with passing info back and forth as to Liz and Brian's various preferences. We came up with very large HSTs in peach, mint green, light gray and white. These were the wedding colors, too, by the way.

When all three of us (Sharon, Dee and I) met in Columbus earlier this month, we handed off the quilt to Dee. She then held it until the following weekend when she'd next be seeing Liz and Brian. And now the circle is complete.

Wayne the dog doesn't look too impressed, but Liz and Brian seem very pleased. We weren't as fast-fast-fast as we'd hoped, but we eventually delivered on the gift.

Dee has been making a couple of baby quilts for some of Liz's friends - I will soon post some pics of those, so stay tuned!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Quilt to Bind

A quilt will soon be on its way to Florida, if I can make myself get really busy this week. DH and I had decided to gift a quilt to his brother and sister-in-law. We let them pick from several options and they selected Bradford's Star - a quilt top I made a number of years ago for a mystery project.

I found some remaining fabrics from the top and a great sale piece of coordinating fabric to use for backing. It was delivered to my quilter about 2 or 3 weeks ago. I saw her Friday morning and took delivery of the finish. Looks great!!

Various shots from it's early-morning photo shoot. I wanted to get it before the bright sun created streaks of light across it.

Maybe it will be in Florida by this time next week? Hope so!

I will be linking up with Monday Making over at Love Laugh Quilt. Click on over and have a peek.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

How to Beat the February Doldrums

Mid-February in Ohio - while we are having a warmer than normal winter, the skies are quite cloudy and gray. In an effort to brighten that gloominess, I have a quilt and a flower to share with you today.

I continue to stitch on my paper-pieced lap quilt. It seems I've worked on this for ages, but I don't work steadily, so that is why. It is nice to keep my calloused fingers toughened up, though. I do enjoy hand quilting.

We - DH and I - have been eagerly awaiting the blooming of an amaryllis he bought on deep, deep discount just after Christmas. Well, it happened! Look at this glorious color! Sure to brighten any February day!

It sits in front of a west-facing window and has thrived there. What a beauty!

I discovered a new program to watch on Netflix while I quilt - Broadchurch. It is a British murder mystery from a few years ago that is quite compelling.

I will be linking up with  Slow Sunday Stitching - hope you'll have a look around!

Happy Quilting, Friends!