Friday, June 29, 2012

Progess on the LLVL quilt

Last night was brutal working at the museum. It was so hot even though we were in the shade. I was totally wiped out by the time I got home, so I took a quick shower and went to bed. I woke up early this morning and had a little extra time to sit at the machine a quilt a bit. The blocks in the quilt are half the creamy yellow print and the other half is the varigated purple batik. You can see with this shot that there are browns, yellows, and blues in the batik.

I don't like the way the my oversized centers look quilted with the Cornsilk colored thread. I am going to go back and rip out the quilting in that graped colored center and re-quilt it in a matching colored thread. I went back and forth in my head about this and I just have to change it.

My plans for the weekend are to watch the Tour de France which starts tomorrow, clean house, and work on the LLVL quilt. One of the ladies from the MQG is coming over on Saturday afternoon to use my big table to pin baste some quilts thus explains the cleaning of the house!

Oh, what does LLVL stand for? Livin La Vida Loca. I had gone to see Ricky Martin, July of 2000 or 2001 in Columbus and I wanted to make a quilt that looked like a party. So this quilt had gone unquilted for 10 or 11 years. It is about time I got it done!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

MQG Akron meeting

I need to take a pen and paper so I can do a better job of reporting what went on at the meeting and so that I could put a name to everyone who showed a quilt. On of these days I will get my act together, but in the meantime...

Bailey's quilts -
Love this cute red and aqua piece.

Then she had this wonderful Orange and yellow piece - Bailey quilted it in a circular pattern starting at the center and just going around and around.

Now here is the fantastic back!

The next quilt was so beautiful. The fabric used in the center of the pomegranates was a polka dot - genius!

Another member had an issue with a thousand pyarmid quilt top that was not square and wondered if the top was worth saving. We all said yes to saving it and gave her advice on how to help square the top up. I forgot to get a picture, but once she has it done I am sure she will bring it back and I make sure I have the camera ready.

Next was this lovely triangle piece. Technically it was done so beautifully and the lighter greens just made the whole piece pop. I got a quick shot partial shot of the back with was just a beautiful.

Another member had a cute doll quilt she had made from crib sheets, a flannel blanket, and other odds and ends. This piece was her first attempt of putting on binding using a tutorial. She did a wonderful job!

I showed the quilts I finished for the month and gave my binding demos. I got great feedback like "I read the tutorial on your blog, but now seeing it done made it clearer." I had lots of questions and I enjoyed sharing my methods.

We are having a challange. One of the ladies brought pieces of a lovely teal, white and purple print and gave a piece to each of us.

She said to make a piece around 14" x 14" or 16" x 16", quilted and bound, and bring it for the August meeting. It is a good thing she put a size limit on it, because you know I could turn that 8" square into queen size quilt before I knew it! This is not a contest, but a way to see how each person takes the same fabric and makes it their own.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Packing up and the next project

Tonight is my binding demostration for the miter corners and facing style binding so I started packing up all the things I need to take with me. I forgot a few items that I ended up adding to the pile after I took this picture and also add the sewing machine to the stuff I will be taking.

I did get started machine quilting on my next quilt. This one I have had pin basted for at least 9 or 10 years! Can you believe it? I don't usually use purple in my work, but I found this beautiful varigated puple batik. It had some blue and yellow in it also. I found a print that went with it so well - a light creamy yellow with little feathers and confetti pieces sprinkled thoughout. I just thought the two pieces were meant to be together. This is a log cabin quilt and I will reveal more as I continue to work on this piece.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

18th finish for 2012

THis is a small quilt I made with my dutch wax african prints with some hand dyes tossed in. It is about 40" x 49". I used a piece of the dutch wax for the back also. The fabric had some places where the blue dye was smeared, but it is fine for the back of another giveaway piece. For the binding, I used the black, white, and gold fabric that I think is perfect for binding. A couple of years ago when my friend Peg and I headed to Cincinnati to buy fabric when St. Thresa's Textile Trove was closing their store the first thing I grabed was a flat of this black, white, and gold print. They only had one 12 yard flat and it was mine! I can make a lot of binding with 12 yards!

The top thread was Connecting Threads Essentials in plum and the back is Essentials in Cornsilk. Warm and natural is the batting which I pieced together from my pile of scraps.

The back

I spent some time last evening cleaning up dust bunnies and sweeping the floor of the studio - it was quite a mess with all the quilting that has gone on this month. I did some laundry, folded towels, and wound bobbins for my next project.

Monday, June 25, 2012

17th finish for 2012

I got the family Xmas quilt done this weekend. I never have had it done this early! One less thing I will have to do this fall! It is 77" x 92". I used Connecting Threads Essentials Carmel color for the top thread and the color Cornsilk for the bobbin thread.

Sunday I spent most of the day in Cleveland at a fundraiser that my nephew's band donated their time to play at. Unfortunely the fundraiser was a total bust - there were only about twenty people that showed up. Michael's band sounded great and the crowd (?) seemed to like them.
It was very dark in there and even with a flash it was hard to get a good picture.

I have another quilt almost done that I will post tomorrow. I won't be getting much quilting done this week - Wednesday night I am giving my binding demo at MQG so Tuesday I will have to gather all the stuff I need to take and Thrusday night I work at the art museum again serving beer. This week is going to go by fast!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Xmas quilt and replacement iron

I got the binding on the xmas quilt last evening. Now I just have to hand stitch it. That won't get done tonight, because I am working at the art museum's Downtown at Dusk event. This is the first one this summer. A band plays and I, with other volunteers, work the concession stand selling beverages. Since it is the first one and it is crazy hot, we will be very busy.

The Oliso iron I bought March of 2011 died Memorial weekend. I finally got a phone number for the distributor and I received a replacement iron last evening.

In the meantime, I got my Black and Decker digital advantage iron. I forgot how much I liked that iron - good steam. I bought the Oliso because it doesn't put a shine on fabric like my B&D does. This is very helpful when doing alterations.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Binding sewn miter binding corners tutorial and Xmas quilt

I finished quilting the family xams quilt! It took about 15 hours which is less than I thought it would take. I start working on the binding tonight.

Speaking of binding, here finally is my tutorial on how I make my sewn mitered corners.

Take your binding and press it in half lenghwise after sewing the length you will need for each side. Do not sew all the binding into one long piece. You only need the length of each side plus 3 to 4 extra inches. Keep reading and you will see why.

Lay the binding on the front of the quilt. I sew a 1/4" from the raw edge of the binding strip. What you want to do is back stitch so that you stitching is 1/4" away from the corner. Do not fret here - once you get the binding sewn on each side we will go back and check the corner stitching. I have been doing this a long time so I get pretty close just eyeballing it.

Sewn to the other end and stop a 1/4' away from the corner and backstitch.

Fold the binding end out of the way and turn the quilt so you can start sewing on the next piece.

Line up you next piece and sew it on the same way as you did the first strip stopping 1/4" from the corners.

Now that you have the binding sewn on all four sides, let's look at the backside of the quilt and the first corner. As you can see the stitching doesn't come together in the corner - not a problem.

I took out a couple of stitches that went too far to the edge and will resew to where the stitches need to meet.

Before I start sewing I double check that my binding is lined up correctly underneath.

Sew and backstitch. Now you can see my other side is short about one stitch.

Check that you binding is out of the way and stitch. I usually backstitch to the corner and then stitch forward. Here is what the binding would look like pulled out of the way. It looks a bid different than it did when we fixed the other side. Just so you know this procedure does not take that long and of course doing it this way for more than 15 years it does not take long.

See now the stitching comes together in the corner.

Next lay the quilt and the binding flat like in this picture. The binding needs to be at a right angle to you.

You will be using a square ruler for marking the binding where you will be sewing it. You can use a 6 to 9 " ruler and it helps to have a 45 degree line mark from corner to corner on the ruler. Lay the ruler on the binding. The 45 degree line will be in the center of the binding from the sewing line to the folded edge. Do not include the 1/4" seam.

Look at the measurement marks at the point of the ruler and make sure they read the same. Here the 7/8" mark is on the folded edge and where the stitching stopped.

Once you have the ruler lined up and you are centered, draw a line using a pencil or some type of sewing marker. I used a pen that the marks go away with heat only because it makes a nice thin line.

Now take the binding that is going north and south and lay it on top of the binding going east and west.

You need to have the seam allowances pushed away from the binding. Line up the edges of the binding roughly. Make sure the binding on the botton is laying flat. Here is the binding not laying flat.

Just keep adjusting until the bottom binding is flat like this.

Noe pin the binding together for sewing. I usually put the first pin at the binding edge to hold both layers together, then I pin at the point.

After pinning look at the underside to make sure the seam allowance is still pushed toward the quilt.

Sew the binding corner together. I usually start in the middle of the line closest to the quilt and back stitch to the point where the binding is attached to the quilt. I hand crank my machine because the sewing foot gets tilted when it is backing onto the thick layers of the quilt. Once I get to the point where the binding was sewn to the quilt, I go forward and as I get to the point I adjust my machine to make very small stitches on both sides of the point. This is going to get trimmed closely so small stitches are a necessity.

Sew to the point, turn the quilt and binding and sew the other side of the point to the edge of the binding and then backstitch.

Trim the binding close to the stitching. It should look something like this when you are done trimming.

Now we will trim the backing and binding. Lay out the quilt like this.

Fold the binding to the seam allowance stitching.

Now fold the folded binding to cover the seam allowance.

Cut the backing and batting just to the edge of the folded binding. Hang in there - there is a method to this maddness!

You can now let go of the binding. Get a 6" ruler with one of those slide things. Put the ruler on the edge of the binding and push the slide guide to where you stopped cutting.

Now go around the quilt trimming off the excess batting and backing using the slide as your guide on where to trim. This way the amount of batting and backing will be just right for filling the binding.

I even use this for the corners. I will trim the corner just a little more so there is not too much batting and backing to stuff into the corner.

After the quilt is trimmed then I get the iron out and press the binding away from the quilt.

I even get into those corners before I turn them.

Now turn the corners using a point turner or what ever works for you. I don't recommend a sissors and don't over do it. You are turing bias edges and you don't want to deform the corners by pushing too hard.

See how nice the corner looks? Pin it and hand stitch it and admire your work! The first time I did a quilt this way it took me an hour and a half to figure it out, but now I can do all four corners lickity split. Be patient and you will get it!

Let me know if you have any questions!