Tag Archives: Machine Quilting

Double Finish for Hospice!

String Quilt 2016 (Large)

Hurrah! Two quilts done and going to Hospice at year end. As long as I have been doing charity quilts (10 years?) my goal has been two quilts a year. Retirement has blessed me with the time to add to that. This year’s goal is six, and here are two of those. The string quilt makes me so happy – so bright and lively. I love the way the black and white strips set it off. Most of the fabric was donated to our group by Robert Kaufman – thank you!

String Quilt 2016-2 (Large)Scrap Cat Applique, whole 2016 (Large)

Number two is a smaller lap quilt. It would be a fun quilt for a younger person, especially one who likes cats! This is the third quilt I’ve made from this fabric. After it was all pieced, I just knew it needed something. I took lots of tiny scraps and made the kitty applique. It was fun to do and adds fun to the quilt. I will soon do a little tutorial on how to do this applique. A loop-de-loop quilting was done on the colored triangles and I did straight line quilting on the white. I think the straight lines really enhance the white sections. It takes a bit longer but was worth it.

Scrap Cat Applique 2016 (Large)

There’s one more Hospice quilt to finish before our group donates them in December. Hey, I have lots of time – right?!

Stashbuster Sunday – Sew Much Progress

Mid-Year Update  –  This year is half gone already? I feel like I’m just getting started! There were a few weeks of no motivation, but I’m once again pumped! So far this year I’ve had nine finishes, two of which I cannot show because they are gifts. Three of the finishes are charity quilts which makes my heart sing! Before retirement my goal each year was to complete two charity quilts. I have no set goal now, but should have completed at least six by the end of this year – Yeah!!

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My newest project is Tula Pink’s True Colors Sedimental quilt. I cheated a bit on my progress chart and posted that this project is cut. Well, it will be all cut in about an hour or two. These fabrics are just so yummy and how fun to work with so many different colors!

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Having three quilts at the long arm quilter’s is a pretty big deal for me. It’s usually one at a time. I should have them back in a few weeks and will have several days of binding. Now that I do most of my bindings by machine, it’s not too bad and goes quickly compared to binding finishes by hand.

Year End Goal – to reduce my Works in Progress to fifteen. Twenty-seven projects is just more than I want to even think about! Do other quilters set goals? Do other quilters keep track of their projects? Please share – I’d love to know!

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Mountain Trip & Quilt Shop

Quilt & Sew-InLast week the heat in the Piedmont of NC was rather oppressive. We headed up to the mountains for a little escape. First, we checked out the Daniel Boone Gardens in Boone, NC. It’s a small natural garden maintained by volunteers. It was sweet, with the most amazing ferns ever, and glad we stopped.

And then the must stop – The Quilt Shop, Hwy 105 ext. in Boone. This shop is pure eye candy and fabric fun house!

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When you walk in, you are greeted by the friendliest, happiest gals ever. Todd, the owner and Pam are always ready to help in any way they can. This shop’s specialty:  fabrics by Kaffe Fassett, Philip Jacobs and Brandon Mabry –  my absolute faves! All their current fabrics in all colorways are together and an amazing array of shot cottons, both striped and solids are also available.

wall of Kaffe (Large)more fabrics (Large)

There is also a wonderful selection of bright and beautiful batiks in all colorways and there are many selections of other designers, high quality quilting fabric in the shop. Absolutely something for everyone. The fabric organization makes it so easy to shop and everything is so neat and tidy.

Fabrics to cutmy selection (Large)

I REALLY behaved – picked up just a few greens to help a project in progress. Lots of fat quarters are available for sale. Don’t see one precut that you want? They’ll gladly cut one or however many you need from whatever fabrics you choose! I’ve noticed that fewer and fewer quilt shops do that anymore, so it is a real treat to have that option here.

quilts and long arm (Large)patterns (Large)

There is also a collection of patterns, tools and books available. A display of quilts hang around the shop and classes are offered for most of the quilts displayed. The shop also offers long arm services.

hubby waiting (Large)

Thankfully the shop was a very comfortable temperature and there was a handy bench for hubby to (cheerfully) wait it out! I’ll be back along with the others attending the Quilt & Sew-In in November (they offer a nice discount to us!) If you are heading to the Boone area, this quilt shop is a definite must!

Scrapbuster Sunday – COLOR!!

Stick 1 (Large)

Out came the yellow, orange and brown scrap bins. I pictured a warmth and brightness with these colors.  The stick pinwheel blocks were easy and fairly quick to put together. I arranged and rearranged the blocks so many times on the design wall. I altered colors, put them in rows and once I started to group the like colors I liked it better. The arrangement I chose just sort of fell into place. I love it!

Borders can really enhance a quilt and bring it to life. I pulled the “sticks” into the border corners coinciding with their colors. I think it pulls the colors out and then are enhanced by the brown borders.

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I also scrappy pieced the backing. Usually when I do a scrappy quilt, the bins appear to have the same amount of fabric in them as when I started. Not so this time – score!! There aren’t many oranges left and very few yellows. Even the browns are somewhat limited. Yeah! A true scrapbuster!!

stick 4 (Large)

I love how my quilter quilted this one. She used both curvy lines and straight – a great vision for what this quilt needed.

stick 5 (Large)stick 3 (Large)

I’m calling it “Autumn Sunshine.” Yes, it is Spring – but I think the name definitely fits. (Someone did suggest this name to me and I only wish I could remember who it was so I could give her credit.)

stick 2 (Large)

Hospice Quilt Finish

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Yeah! A finish of the best kind because it is a charity quilt for Hospice. I am part of a small group of 6 women who meet at a nearby church and we make quilts for Hospice. Our fearless leader and extremely talented quilter, Jean N., started the group and even taught several of the ladies to quilt. A couple of fabric companies sent us some great samples. I grabbed this group and did a simple HST quilt.

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Sue C. from my quilt guild generously machine quilted – and not on a long arm, but on her domestic! See how she cleverly mimicked the flower design from the fabric onto the white triangles? And the border – wow! The flowers go all the way around.

All the quilts we make this year will be donated to the local Hospice office in December and they will in turn gift them to patients for us. Except for making a quilt for a dear loved one, I think I enjoy doing this the most.

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Kaffe Table Topper

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As if I didn’t have enough projects in the process, I started a new one about a week ago. I was going through my bin of Kaffe Fasset fabric and decided I wanted a small table topper for my dining room.  I began sketching 6″ finished blocks and away I went. On the eighth block I had more than a screw loose – I lost it completely! I had to take it out six times! No, it wasn’t difficult – as you can see, none of them are. My quilting brain had just gone to sleep (comatose more like it)!

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The spiral quilting really shows up well on the back.

 

As soon as I had the blocks together I cut my backing and batting and sandwiched it so it was ready to quilt the next morning. I was going to do a sort of loop-d-loop free motion and then realized it would be the perfect size for a spiral. I have wanted to try one for quite some time now. It was really easy! The very beginning is a little tough, and you can see in the pics the center is a little wonky, but once I got going, it was easy. I just followed around with my walking foot. At one point, though, I had to stop for a minute – it was making me dizzy! I did the loop-d-loops on the borders, got the binding on, and had the table topper on my dining room table that afternoon. Instant gratification! Now I am a bit more motivated to get to a project or two that has been hanging around for a long, long time.

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Spring Table Runner

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On sale precut hexies led to this quick project. I did not want to English paper piece, so I cut a hexie from card stock and pressed each fabric hexie around it. Using a bit of steam helped each hold it’s shape. I then placed the hexies on the background and held in place with dots of Elmer’s white glue. I’ve wanted to practice with my new Sashiko and this was perfect! I am pleased to say that I can now wind bobbins and thread the Sashiko like a big girl!

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And, I love Spring in the south. The daffodils never disappoint and the Hellebores have been blooming for about a month now; beautiful week, it’s in the 70’s. It does, however, get into the 80’s much too soon so I’m going to enjoy it while I can! Please know that as a transplanted Yankee, I’m not really complaining!!

Scrapbuster – A Finish! & Binding How-To

Meadow Quilt (Large)

Finally – I quilted and bound my leader-ender green scrappy quilt, “Meadow.” I wanted to practice using my BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator) so I quilted this one myself. I began by quilting it rather close and continued that pattern – it was a lot of quilting! I’m not giving any close-up shots of this one. Doesn’t matter really – it served its purpose.

quilting (Large)

I put a lot of hours into it and am ready to move on to something else with my quilting. I prefer to keep it small though. No matter what I do to the surface of my sewing surface, it does not slide nicely. And, I don’t really want to quilt big quilts. I love the soothing green of this quilt. It will be my “travel” quilt – cozy in the car and extra warmth when going to weekend sew-ins.

BINDING HOW-TO – I’m taking this opportunity to share how I have been doing my bindings. I am no longer able to hand stitch the second sides of my bindings unless it is a small wall hanging or art quilt. Unfortunately, my hand cramps.  I’ve taken tips and pieces from several other quilters and have come up with my method. I prepare my binding but do not fold it in half. I put it on a handy roll that my hubby and I came up with. It goes around my neck and the binding never tangles or gets in the way. I love this gadget! I have several of the tubes, so as soon as I complete a quilt top, I prepare the binding and roll it onto the tube.

Binding on Roll (Large)Sew the binding onto the right side of the quilt, mitering the corners and joining the ends.

On the front of the quilt, press the binding open, flat.

Turn the quilt over. Doing one side at a time, first turn the binding over to the back side of the quilt and press down. Then apply a very thin line of Elmer’s White School Glue (have never tried another glue and I understand this is the only one to use!).

Turn and Press (Large)Glue Line (Large)

Press the binding down. On the right side of the quilt, stitch in the ditch at the binding and quilt edge. It will catch on the back.

stitch in ditch (Large)Back side of binding (Large)

Repeat for the other 3 sides.Take a couple of hand stitches on each turned corner.

You’re done! A quilt binding done in a fraction of the time it takes to hand sew. The added benefit is that it will last forever – especially good for baby and kid quilts!

None of my other projects are even close to being complete. This is the first time in a long time this has been the case. Guess I need to get busy!!

Layered Hexies, Halved

hexie front (Large)

This will be my last hexie posting for quite some time! I had two packs of ten inch squares of a Joel Dewberry fabric that is so colorful. The fabric shouted for something fun and not too difficult. I cut hexagons in three different sizes. Layered some with two and others with three.

layered hexie (Large)

These were then straight stitched appliqued about 3/8″ from the edges. Each layered hexie was cut in half, point to point. Then the fun really began – to the design wall! I played and played then began sewing rows together. No “Y” seams as you can see by my illustration.

hexie sew diagram (Large)

I had lots of scraps left and was adamant about not adding them to my scrap bins, so I began to “make fabric.” It made quite a sizeable panel for the backing. I like the back as much as the front of this quilt. This would make a nice child sized lap quilt, but for now, it is on one of my quilt racks. It makes me happy to look at it.

Hexie Back (Large)

Quilting Hack – Thread Tip

Do you use the large cones of thread? Do you have a fancy thread holder or need to purchase one? Here’s a great tip!

 Turn your cone over, find a small spool of thread that fits snugly inside – Voila! Your cone of thread can now fit on your spindle. Save your next empty spool and always have it on hand. No more need to have an extra piece of paraphernalia on your sewing table. This makes it easier for traveling to classes, sew-ins and retreats. And, it costs nothing extra!

Large cone on sewing machine spindle!

Large cone on sewing machine spindle!