Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pin it Wednesday, again

Christmas inspiration pillows, 

Dresden Plate pillows,

Color-filled, playful pillows,

Sophisticated, patterned pillows

and fleur de lis pillows!

Now the hard part....which one would you choose as a favorite?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Latest project

I finished this quilt a few days ago.  The title is "Fleurs sur Lundi bleu" which is French for "Flowers on Blue Monday."  

I used fabrics in the Surf and Sand collection by Michele D'Amore for Marcus Brothers Textiles.  I really like the fabrics and enjoyed the process of designing the quilt as I worked on it...truly flying by the seat of my pants!  

However, I am disappointed that in the end the center fleur de lis is so off-center.  

There are other mistakes in the quilt but I'm going to have to live with all of them because I didn't notice any of those mistake until after the quilt was COMPLETELY finished, quilted and bound!

Here are a few close up so that you can see if you can find those crazy mistakes and check out some of my quilting.  

I really had fun quilting and used a few different quilting techniques, such as echo quilting, feathers, in the ditch, 
pebbling, trapunto and stippling.  
Some of them I have not done before, so I learned a bit, too.

Although I'm disappointed with the mistakes in the quilt, I am happy with the color and block designs.  I guess that's something.  
Happy Quilting,

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Quilt Inspiration

Let's take a look at a few inspiring quilts, shall we?  These come from two of my favorite quilting blogs. They are not the only blogs I visit, of course, but some that I visit often and like very much.  Why not go by and say hello after checking out the inspiring part of this post?

From Carla at Grace and Favor, who is a grandma and quilter we have a couple of darling quilt

Take a close look at Carla's perfect points.....I'm a bit jealous!

For fun a grandchild's mug rug for hot cocoa and cookies.  Now there's a grandma who is inspiring!

Birds on a Wire definitely is worth going to her blog to see.  You need to check out the little clothes hanging beside the quilts.  This is one of my favorites of her quilts....yes, inspiring!

Another fun project: a scrap bucket made of scraps.  I have to make one of these for the studio.  I probably won't use matching scraps since I don't have any, but there are some unused blocks around somewhere........ 

Amber's blog, A Little Bit Biased, is a recent find for me, and I spent perhaps a bit too much time reading her posts and ogling her quilts during the Thanksgiving holidays.  She definitely has lots of talent for both writing and quilting.
As her header indicates, Amber is also the owner of Gigi's Timble Quilt Patterns.  If you're considering purchasing a pattern, visit her site for some fresh takes on old favorites and for a few surprises also.  Her patterns can also be found on Etsy.

I hope you're inspired to get to your sewing rooms and pull some fabrics out!  I love that feeling of pulling fabrics and getting started on a new project.  Don't you?  Hmm, which color gets to be first this time?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Attach your binding

I finished a quilt today (yay!) and as I was sewing the binding on, it occurred to me to take a few pictures while working and write a tutorial on my process.  I'm fairly sure there's not much new here.  However, in case you're curious, need to know about bindings, or should your brain work in a kooky way, here it is.  

       Begin by deciding whether you will attach the binding completely by machine or hand-stitch it to the back.

I chose to sew the binding on completely by machine, so I began by sewing it on the back of the quilt first.   However, if you plan to hand-sew the binding, you will machine sew it to the front of the quilt, then turn it to the back before hand sewing.

Press the binding before attaching by folding in half on the length with the wrong sides touching.   Pin the binding to the quilt along one edge beginning in the center of one side.  Do not sew the first five inches of the binding.  You will need this to attach to the opposite end of the binding later on.  Begin attaching the binding using straight stitching.  

Sew along the first edge until you reach the first corner, stopping 1/4 inch from the second side and remove the quilt from the machine (2).  It's not necessary to clip the threads; I've done that simply so they don't show in the photo.

Turn the binding up to form a 45 degree angle and place a pin in the binding to hold it in place (3).  


Turn the binding down on itself to lie along the right edge of the quilt (4).  Again put pins in the binding so that it will stay in place as you move it back to the machine.  

Begin this stitch 1/4 inch from the edge (5).  Backstitching is not necessary since you will make another seam later.


In photo 6 I'm holding the binding so that you can see how loosely it appears in the corner.  This necessary to make a mitered corner on the opposite side.

Repeat the process as you work completely around the quilt.  When you get to the first side where you began, stop about 12 inches from the beginning stitch.  This is the part I call "closing the binding."  You will need to measure and connect the binding ends to finish stitching it to the backside of the quilt.

Lay the two binding ends down along the quilt edge so that the shorter one is on the bottom.  Mark on the top piece exactly where the bottom piece reaches, measure from this line 2 1/2 inches of overlap and mark.   Note: this measurement must equal the width of your binding.  If you use a narrower 2 1/4 inch binding, the measurement must match 2 1/4 inches.

Photo 9 shows the binding with the tape measure removed so that you can easily see the lines.    


Cut on the second line that you drew (10).



Quick Tip: Fold the quilt as I do (11) this will keep it out of your way and make it easier to sew the binding.

To sew the two ends together,  match them with right sides together so that they form an L shape.   Quick Tip: pinning the fabric in this way (12) will keep them out of your stitching path as you sew.


 Draw a 45 degree line between the pins from corner to corner.  


Photo 14 shows the two pieces split apart so you can see how they should overlap.



 Sew directly on the line from corner to corner.

Photo 16 shows the binding after stitching.  You'll cut 1/4 inch from the seam, as in photo 17.


Finger press the seam open, remove the pin holding the quilt folded, pin the binding in place and sew.   And that is just one side!

The second side is easier to stitch.  These directions are for machine stitching the binding onto the front of the quilt.  Turn the quilt over and roll the binding around to the front.  Begin somewhere in the middle of a side and sew until you are about four or five inches from a corner.

Leave the quilt on the machine with the needle down.  Fold the bottom edge of the binding up as in photo 19 and pin.  Then fold the other edge over it and pin.  

Quick Tip: Pin the corner in this way (20) and sew slowly.  As you sew slide the pin out a little at a time.  Sew to the very edge of the first side but do not remove the second pin until after turning the corner and making one or two stitches. 


There we are--a beautifully mitered corner and a beautifully bound quilt! 

Finally, let me give credit to Michele D'Amore for her beautiful collection of Surf and Sand fabrics, which is from Marcus Brothers  Textiles.   
Happy Quilting,