Friday, April 26, 2013

Trapunto Work

      I love the look of trapunto and have used it in two quilts.  I want to do more.  I will be teaching a class on trapunto offered in the fall for Midlands Tech so today I worked on a couple of sample blocks. 
First I used a water-soluble marker to outline the designs on high quality muslin squares. 
Then I added a layer of high loft polyester batting and free-motion stitched on the lines with wash away thread in the top and fine white embroidery thread in the bobbin.
Next I carefully trimmed away the batting close to the stitching. 

Here is the front of the butterfly design.

Here is the back of the butterfly design trimmed. 

Here is the front of the grape leaf design.

Here is the back of the grape leaf design trimmed.  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Playing with Strings

    The graduation quilt is finished.  The binding is sewn and a label is attached.  I did not want to think about a big project so I pulled out a few crumbs and some strings to just free sew and relax.  Here are 4 half log blocks that I made.  I squared them up at 10 1/2" but if I decide I want them larger, I can just add more strings.  I love this scrappy look.
These were not foundation pieced and not needed since the fabrics are mostly on grain. I will be teaching string piecing on a foundation in the fall at Midlands Tech.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

String Piecing Spider Web Blocks

     I have been in love with spider web quilts for some time.  I have also been collecting strings when I cut fabric.  I have used my strings for a couple of quilts but wanted to do more.  When the “Pizza Girls” from Quilters Gallery did a presentation at GCQ guild, they showed 2 spider web quilt tops.   

I bought the large kite template they were selling.  I like to use sew in lightweight interfacing for the foundation instead of paper.  For my quilt I plan to use a variety of fabric for the kite shapes so there will be a variety of stars formed.  I used the template to cut 4 matching kite shapes and centered each on a foundation.  

Then I started sewing strings until the sides are covered. 


Next the blocks are pressed and trimmed. 

When 4 are sewn together, a star is formed. Here are my first 2.

   As more are sewn, the spider web forms.  Here you can see half of the webs formed.
String piecing is one class I will be teaching in the fall for Midlands Tech.  

Monday, April 22, 2013

Finishing the Binding and Comfort Quilt

    After company left, I got back to quilting on the framed squares.  All that is left to get done is the back binding by hand.  Here is another photo of the wobble walking foot quilting and the free-motion border loops.

I had 12 comfort quilt blocks on the design wall.  Today I sewed them together and added borders.  It is ready to take this week for GCQ Comfort Quilt Sew Day Tuesday.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Quilting in Progress

     My sister and I make a full size bed quilt for each niece or nephew when they graduate from college.  We have a niece graduating in May.  Some months ago we each made framed squares in a variety of sizes and my sister put the top together.  I finally sandwiched it.  In the past when I needed to sandwich a large quilt, I would use my church fellowship hall floor.  After watching a video of Cindy Needham, I was inspired to use my extendable cutting table. 
Here the center of the backing is clamped down.

It takes some time to baste each section then move the sandwich to baste the next section but I could do it all at home and not get down on the floor. 
Here the quilt is all basted.

     I struggled with how to quilt this quilt and finally decided on wavy Vs stitched with the walking foot. The series of echoed Vs all point toward the center.  Here is a close up of some of the quilting.

Here is a photo of the sandwiched top.  It is so large this is the best photo I can take for now.

  I got the idea for this quilt from one of Helen's quilts at Patchy Work of Mini Grey.  Our large squares are 18".

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Making an Adult Bib

    For several years while my mother was in assisted living, she made and sold many adult bibs to other residents.  I recently had a request to make some.  I have on old one of hers to go by but that was not enough information.  I learned some helpful hints from my sister who had made some so I decided to write up the directions to help others in the future.

 We used a kitchen towel.  It is better if any design is one way. You also need about 1 ½” of Velcro and extra wide double fold bias tape which finishes about ½” wide.

About an 1 ½” down from the center top draw a 6” diameter circle.  ( I traced a Cool Whip lid) 
Stay stitch about 1/8” to ¼” outside the drawn circle. 
For the neck opening cut straight down the center top to the circle and then cut out the circle on the line. 
Sew bias tape to the wrong side of the towel around the cut edge.
Turn the bias tape to the front and top-stitch down.
Add Velcro to the neck opening.
Now you have an adult bib.  

Friday, April 12, 2013

Broken Chevron Picnic Quilt

     Today I finished the Broken Chevron Picnic Quilt. This is class sample for quilting 301 for JoAnn Fabrics.  Mine finished about 62" square.  I quilted it with simple straight lines using the walking foot because the class is designs for beginners.

The strap for carrying is completely separate so does not have to be used but it makes a nice neat roll.

    Last night I made a couple of adult bibs by trial and error and then success after talking with my sister.  I decided to write up the directions so they are posted under the tutorial tab. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Trying New Things

    This morning was sew day for my church quilt group.  I have been saving pieced columns to try out a technique that I have never tried – “quilt as you go”.  It is not new but I have seen it twice recently published.   I sandwiched the backing and batting as usual then marked the center with perpendicular lines.  I pinned the center vertical strip on the line, then pinned the next strip right sides together and stitched through all the layers.

 That row of stitching sewed the columns together and quilted them at the same time, therefore the name “quilt as you go”.  I have only stitched 2 columns and already I can tell this will never be my favorite technique. 

     This afternoon I sandwiched a child’s comfort quilt so that I could try out a new background free-motion design called “Flowing Glass” from Leah Day. 

You probably can’t see the quilting very well in the photo.  Today was the first time I have tried it, but I was not comfortable with how to get it to flow across a much larger area than Leah works. I am still hoping to find a new interesting overall design to use on a full size bed quilt. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Broken Chevron Pieces

      This morning I hosted GCQ Day Bee at my home.  We had a good crowd and made plans to make blocks for children’s comfort quilts.  Check out the GCQ blog for some show and tell from members today.

    After lunch, I got to work on the “Broken Chevron Picnic Quilt” sample for JoAnn Fabrics class.  This is the first time I have pieced a quilt similar to this.  There are LOTS of bias edges.  I had the strip sets pieced last night

so today I cut them into strips and added the sashing. Here is the pieced top which is about 62" square.

The only fabric I bought was the bright green which will also be the backing.  All the other fabric came from my stash. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Looking For FMQ Designs and More

     I’m a fan of Leah Day’s blog and have a few favorite quilting designs from her site.  I want a new overall quilting design for a bed size quilt so this morning before church, I looked at Leah's filler quilting designs and found 2 I want to try out.  I need a small charity quilt or two to try the designs on before I tackle the bed size quilt.  I like the look of the flowing glass but wonder how it would look on a much larger scale.  This is one of her VERY early videos.
I really like the topographic map design and think it would work well on a large quilt.

     My JoAnn Fabric store has recently remodeled and is now offering classes.  The beginner quilting class pieces the “Hole in the Barn Door” block (AKA “Shoo Fly”).  Yesterday I cut several block kits from a collection of red, white and blue fabrics but only got one sewn.

I wanted to use this fabric but hesitated because the plaid was printed so OFF grain.  Would you use it?

     I also took a few minutes to make some sample blocks for a child comfort quilt. I chose white fabric for the contrast, but my son's comment was, "The white will get dirty."  Maybe I should have used gray.  

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Two Finishes

       This afternoon was the perfect sewing day because it rained almost steadily.  I finished quilting the golf fabric coin quilt and sewed the binding all by machine.  I first sew the binding onto the back; flip it to the front and top-stitch. It will be a comfort quilt for my church group.

I did some free-motion in the strips but also did a good bit of stitching-in- the-ditch or following strips with the walking foot.  I used it to practice a couple of simple designs.

      "Piece of My Heart" quilt, which is for a class at JoAnn Fabrics, is essentially finished.  I am finishing the hand sewing on the back of the binding.

I did very simple straight line quilting with the walking foot for this quilt since it is a beginner's class, I wanted to do quilting that they could expect to do.

    I just looked at my list of Unfinished Projects and neither of these quilts were on there. They just came up and the others got pushed aside.    
The next top to get sandwiched and quilted will be a graduation present needed for May.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sandwiching Quilts

     When I have a twin size quilt top or larger to sandwich, I usually use my church fellowship hall floor to spread out and baste.  Today the church was closed so I didn't think I would get it done until later in the week.  I watched a Craftsy class online where Cindy Needham was showing how to sandwich a quilt on a small table.  I decided to try on my new cutting table, and it worked great.

I went by Walmart for some middle size binder chips.  They fit over the edge of my table.  I also bought a couple of packages of Coleman tablecloth clips so at church with thicker tables, we can clip which works better than using only tape. You do still have to use some painter's tape.  I used the table twice and sandwiched the smaller golf coin top also.