Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tip Tuesday! Bindings with a Flange - Updated

"Tip Tuesday!" - Bindings with a Flange

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired!
************************************************

For a couple of years now, I've been intrigued with trying to figure out how to make my quilt bindings pop. I've made scrappy bindings, I've used a fabric and color that is completely new to the project and not found anywhere in the quilt. I've played with different sizes of bindings, although I must say that unless I'm trying to maintain points along the quilt edge, I still like my 3/8" bindings on larger quilts and 1/4" on smaller ones. I've used stripes on the bindings that create a barber pole effect or bias bindings that just looked fun. 

Although I like all of the above binding treatments (some much better than others!), I am always on the lookout for something new, fun and different. 

I think my intrigue was with unique bindings was piqued a number of years ago when I saw Susan K. Cleveland's Piping Hot Binding tool and its results. I loved how the edges of her quilts just sang to me. I took a class from her while she was in Cleveland and loved it; and I proceeded to use the technique quite a few times. Here's YouTube video of the technique.

Fast forward a few years of not using the tool or technique (not sure why I stopped doing it), and I happened upon a website that showed how to apply a flange binding totally by machine. Although I like Susan's method and results, I am always intrigued with learning something new so I read the information and decided to try this "new to me" technique. I loved it and have used it on at least four quilts since February. 

Of course I am having difficulty uploading pictures! I guess that for right now you only get to see pictures of one of the quilts with the flange binding. :-( I'll keep trying and see if I can get them here for you to see. 

UPDATED - I finally got one of the pictures to load and I'm pretty sure it was user error and not the program. :-)


These are the three quilts I quilted for my sister Kathie, who is a new quilter. I did the binding for her and since I was learning a new technique and I wanted to add something special to her first quilts, I added a flange binding. I really like how it looks. 


Even though this first picture isn't great, I think you can see the white flange along the binding.

Flange Binding

Here's a close up of a corner. It's just the little bit of pop that I wanted and it reinforces the white outlining of the letter in the quilt center. LOVE IT!

Flange Binding

Here's the picture from 52Quilts that caught my eye.  Doesn't that look fun? I'm not just talking about the binding either. I love that polka dot fabric!


Below is a link to the tutorial. It is well written and pictured which makes it easy to follow. 

http://www.52quilts.com/2012/05/tuesday-tutorial-susies-magic-binding.html

And now there's a video tutorial! YIPPEE!!:-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8N6nv90H2c

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Thanks!

I need to do this more often!
What about you?




Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tip Tuesday! Sew4Home

"Tip Tuesday!" - Sew4Home

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired! 

************************************************

There is nothing wrong with admitting that you don't know everything! As a matter of fact, it's pretty darn cool to not have to be responsible to know all the answers.  :-)

Every so often, I'll post a website or two that I find interesting or especially helpful, and today's site is Sew4Home

There is a ton of information on this site and today I'm going to provide all five of the links that deal with Quilt Basics. I have recommended this site to a number of new quilters. It has awesome pictures and things are explained quite well. Here's a quick rundown (and links) to the five parts of the Quilt Basics.

I really enjoyed reading part one! Besides a quick history of quilting (I love history and especially quilt history!), part one deals with the basic tools, notions, etc. that you need to start quilting.

http://www.sew4home.com/tips-resources/sewing-tips-tricks/quilt-basics-tools-notions-other-stuff-you-need-part-1-5


Part two deals with rotary cutting basics.

http://www.sew4home.com/tips-resources/sewing-tips-tricks/quilt-basics-rotary-cutting-trimming-part-2-5
 
Part three introduces basic block designs


Part four, which is divided into to Part A and Part B, deals with machine piecing blocks, including the 1/4" seam allowance, chain piecing, nesting seams, strip piecing, half square triangle construction, etc.



And finally, part five deals with quilting your project.


Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Block Swaps

I used to participate in a number of block swaps but for a variety of reason, I stopped doing so quite a while ago. Well, last year, our Modern Quilt Guild organized a swap for anyone that wanted to join and it was based on the book Block Party - The Modern Quilting Bee.

Even though I was pretty new to the group, I was excited to participate and have posted a few pictures of the blocks I've swapped. I wasn't able to attend the meeting last night so I took a couple of pictures of the blocks I made for Barb and e-mailed them to her. She told me to just bring the blocks to the meeting next month, but I figured she might be like me and want to see them.  :-)

So, here are the two blocks I made for Barb. She asked for anything that would fit the description of "wonky square" and she sent along the fabrics.

Block Swap, Wonky Square Block, Red, White and Black Block

Block Swap, Wonky Square Block, Red, White and Black Block

I hope she likes them!  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Baby Update!

Peyton Louise was born this morning at 8:05 and all are doing well. She is 19 1/2" long and weighs 8lbs 13oz. Wowzers!

 Avery will be visiting her baby sister this afternoon and that should be fun to see.


Tip Tuesday! Resolutions and Perfection and It's Baby Time

Happy St. Patrick's Day



On a personal note:

It's BABY TIME!

We've been anxiously awaiting the birth of Lynn and Ty's baby and today's the day. I'll update this post later with details. 
Any last minute guesses on whether it's a girl or boy?

************************************************

"Tip Tuesday!" - Resolutions and Perfection

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired! 

************************************************

I know it may seem a little late to be discussing resolutions, but who says we have to make them just on New Year's? 

I started 2015 with a few resolutions regarding my sewing and quilting and I would like to share them with you. (I shared these with one of my quilt guilds and would like to think that they've had an impact on at least one person.)  

It’s a New Year
Time for Reflection and Renewal
Thanks for joining me on this great creative journey. I love the adventure and hope you do as well!

1. Properly clean and oil your machine after every major project, or at least every six months if you are not using the machine often.

2. Accept all sewing compliments. Say "Thank you" and do NOT point out mistakes.  (See note below.)

3. Sew and quilt how YOU want. Work on what makes YOU happy and don't listen to the Quilt Police.

4. SEW HAPPY! Breathe and smile as you quilt. Play happy music or have a movie showing. Or, be like me and sew in the quiet. Of course I do like to sing as if no one can hear me.  :-)

5. Think outside the box and challenge yourself a little. You may find something new that you really love and are very good at doing. This may also help you finish a UFO or two.

6. Make some time EVERY DAY for you to enjoy your hobby - even if it's just to sit down with a magazine for a few minutes, spend a little time planning a project, or sewing one seam. You will be amazed at how much progress you can make when you spend as little as 15 minutes a day working on something.

7. Love your fabric, what you have and what you buy. If you're worried about your stash, you can jump on the NO BUY train, but don't beat yourself up if you jump off every once in while. If you don't love the fabric in your stash, find someone who will. Whether you sell it or give it away, do something with it. Don't let it gnaw at you. 

8. Take a class or ask advice from another quilter and give yourself time and patience to really learn the new skill. You can repay the favor and be a teacher or mentor to someone else. 

9. Accept and relish your SPECIAL TALENT. Remember, the sewing machine is a power tool and not everyone can handle that responsibility.

10. Disregard everything written above and make your own resolutions!  

Note about Resolution #2

A couple of weeks ago, Angela Walters, over at Quilting is My Therapy wrote a wonderful post about some things quilters should not do. Included in that list is pointing out mistakes. I think it would be worth your time to check out the entire post and/or video HERE.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Design Wall Monday

It's been kind of busy around here and I'm chugging away at all the things that need done. I know I said that I would post pictures of some of the finished projects but I just have not had time to get decent pictures. I'll include a couple of them here, but more will follow later this week.

Here is what's on the wall right now.

School Quilt, Big M, Monroeville Quilt

This is the center of the quit I'm making for the Monroeville Baseball team to raffle. They wanted the Big M logo in the center and of course, be in their school colors. I'm ready to begin the applique and hope to get it done tonight.

Right after I spoke with the coach, I had a lunch period and sketched out this, along with a couple of other ideas. This is what he liked.

School Quilt, Big M, Monroeville Quilt

I did some quick calculations and added them to the bottom of the sketch, as you can see below. I wanted to give him some options regarding the overall quilt size. Even though he chose the larger size, it is very basic construction so it will go together quickly. I hope it brings in a bunch of money for them! Maybe cold weather while they are selling tickets would help.  :-)

School Quilt, Big M, Monroeville Quilt

I finally got a picture of Lynn and Ty's Framed Rectangles quilt. Jack and Nikki had to hang this over the balcony and Nikki's kids were funny as they were yelling up to her "Be careful, Mom! Don't fall because we love you! Oh, and you be careful too Grandpa because we love you too!"

Framed Rectangles, Brown and Teal Quilt

Here's a little closer shot of the quilt. It measures 86" x 106." I love these colors. Other versions of this quilt can be found HERE, HERE, and HERE and Here is Jerry's version - in batiks and it is GORGEOUS!

Framed Rectangles, Brown and Teal Quilt

Framed Rectangles, Brown and Teal Quilt, Quilting

 And here's the carrot table runner I made for the library. I made a few adjustments because I didn't want to have to add a binding. I just did the quilt as you go with batting and then added the backing and used the "birthing method" (sew it right sides together, leave an opening, and then turn right sides out). I then stitched around the outside using a 1/4" seam allowance to look like a binding and stitched in the ditch along the fabric strips. Easy, peasy! 


Carrot Table Runner, Easter Table Runner, Quilt as You Go

And speaking of the "birthing method", tomorrow is going to be a big day around here. Not only is it Tip Tuesday! and St. Patrick's Day, it's the day Lynn is having her baby! Of course we've all been thinking it would happen sometime over the last couple of weeks because Lynn's been having serious contractions, but as we all know, baby's have a mind of their own. Her surgery is scheduled for 8:00 am and we are all excited, especially since we don't know the gender. (Although I know many of you can't stand it, I love the excitement and anticipation of not knowing!) 

And, in case you didn't see yesterday's post about the 2015 Hands2Help Challenge, check it out HERE.

So, what are you working on today?

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today.

Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times.



Sunday, March 15, 2015

2015 Hands2Help

It's time to sign up for the 
2015 Hands2Help Quilt Challenge!


This is such a wonderful project and I am honored and proud to be a part of it. 

Sign up dates are March 15 - 21 and you can check out all the details at Sarah's awesome blog 
Sarah had provided information about all three of this year's charities, along with links to find out even more about them.

And, if you sign up during this week, you will be entered in an awesome GIVEAWAY! We all love giveaways, right?

Sarah does such a wonderful job with this challenge! There are linky parties throughout the event, check-in dates to share your progress, guest bloggers (I get to be one and I'm thrilled!), and even more giveaways. 

The quilts should be completed the week of May 31st and mailed to the charities by June 12th, so you have plenty of time to be creative and make a quilt or two. Just in case you aren't sure of what pattern to use, Sarah has been very gracious and generous in sharing her Sweet 16 (16 patch) quilts over the last few months and I'm sure there will be quilt tutorials from the guest bloggers. I know I'm sharing a tutorial for a quilt that is quick and easy.

So, jump over to Sarah's blog to sign up today!     

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tip Tuesday! Seam Rippers

"Tip Tuesday!" - Seam Rippers

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired! 

************************************************


Seam Rippers

I know we all dislike it when we have to use it, but we all own at least one seam ripper, right? How many do you have? Do you have a favorite ripper? Why is it your favorite?

This past weekend, I taught a class and noticed one of the gals struggling with her seam ripper. First of all, she was not too happy to have to be using it, but she was not having much luck ripping the stitches. (She had accidentally reduced her stitch length to 1.0 and that is what she was trying to take out.) 

I told her that I would rip while she continued sewing her other blocks. She gave me her seam ripper to use and man was it dull! I got out my ripper and then suggested that she might want to buy another ripper. She looked at me like I had two heads and asked "Why?" I told her that her's was dull and that a new one would be much easier to use. 

She, along with a couple of the other students, was surprised to learn that seam rippers need replaced. She's been using that same seam ripper since she made her daughter's christening gown in 1989. Holy Cow! I gave her one of the extra rippers that I keep in my class kit. It may not be brand new, but I know it's not very old and a heck of a lot sharper than the one she had. :-)  

Seam Ripper

Do you hate to use the seam ripper? I don't know too many people that like it, but I'm playing around with a quilt that will require a seam ripper. I've sewn some strips together, done some cutting, and then separated some of those previously sewn strips in order to add another fabric. It really was nice to intentionally use the seam ripper and be happy for it's sharpness.  

My goal is to offer the quilt as a class. Perhaps I should advertise it as a "Meet and Greet" or "Learn to Love Your Seam Ripper."  :-)

Seam Ripper

In the past month or so, I've been sent a couple of videos about seam rippers. No matter what kind of ripper you use, with the possible exception of an electric one, you'll probably find these videos interesting.    

There are three videos in all and the link below will take you to them.

http://www.keepnuinstitchesquilting.com/the-great-seam-ripper-controversy-just-how-do-you-use-a-seam-ripper/2/

Enjoy and remember...

Image result for seam ripper images

Monday, March 9, 2015

Design Wall Monday

 I have a number of "in progress" works that are sharing time on the design wall, but this is what's up there right now.

Red, White and Black Quilt, Yellow Brick Road Quilt

 This is being made using the Yellow Brick Road pattern by Terry Atkinson Designs. I'll be using this pattern for a beginners' class and since I haven't made one in quite a while, I decided to pull some fabrics and whip one up real fast. (It really is easy and a wonderful project for new sewers!)

I wanted to make this larger than a baby quilt which takes 6 fat quarters; and I didn't have a border fabric I liked to make a lap size, which takes 12 fat quarters. So, I found 15 fat quarters that I like together and adjusted the numbers a bit to end up with a 6x8 layout, rather than the 5x7 layout with a border. So far, I'm happy with that decision. We'll see if I still feel that way when the blocks are all sewn together. I may have to go shopping.  

Anyway, a sample is already made for the class, so this will be nice to show the students how adjustments can easily be made to patterns - a good teaching moment, right?

I said I have a number of other "in progress" works and I'll take some pictures of those to post here soon. But, just to pique your interest...

I'm almost done making a large bag and a 46" x 58" quilt using just one Jelly Roll and 2.25 yards of an accent/lining fabric. That 2.25 yards includes binding. I'm loving the fact that I am making two projects with just these fabrics!

There is a another strip quilt in the works, (almost ready for binding), a special order quilt for a local school baseball team to raffle off as a fundraiser, and a couple of donation quilts. 

Whew! I've been a bit busy.


What are you working on today?

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today.

Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tip Tuesday! Two is NOT Always Better

"Tip Tuesday!" - Two is NOT Always Better

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired! 

************************************************

In terms of some things like dollars, yards of fabric, spools of thread, etc., two is ALWAYS better. But when it comes to rotary cutter blades in the cutter at the same time, it is NEVER better. (It would be great if doing that would make us cut twice as fast, but sadly that's not the case.)

This past Saturday I taught a class and two of the seven students were having serious challenges with their cutting. One of the students ("Experienced Quilter") had pre-cut all of her strips but was now sub-cutting, and she was just beside herself because she was wasting so much fabric and making a terrible mess. I was helping someone else ("New Quilter") at the time and promised to be right over. (I asked permission to use their experience for this post and they both agreed, as long as I didn't use their names; hence the "..." names.)

This is what was every cut looked like for "New Quilter."

Rotary Cutting, Two Blades

See all those slivers of fabric on both sides of the cut? I had a pretty good idea of what was causing the issue and asked when she changed her blade last. She told me she changed it Friday night, in preparation for the class.  I asked "Experienced Quilter" the same questions and she said she changed it right before cutting all of her strips.

Here's the culprit for the messy and bad cuts.

Rotary Cutting, Two Blades

Yep! That's two blades stuck together.

When you change blades and have purchased a multi-blade pack, be sure to separate the blades so you are only using one. 

The tell-tale sign of this problem are the slivers pictured above which makes for very messy cutting.

Two other students admitted to having had similar issues at times and assumed it was a bad blade from the manufacturer. One even said when she had the problem it was made worse by the fact that when she replaced the new blade with yet another, she found that the package was short a blade. She was really disgusted to pay the price for a 5-pack, only to find that there were only four blades in the package and one was bad. (She never thought about the fact that she could have picked up two at a time.) She was so unhappy that she put that cutter in a drawer and hasn't used it since. Instead, she bought another cutter, from a different manufacturer.

Now, of course, she realizes that she picked up and inserted two blades at once and it wasn't the cutter or the manufacturer at all. She's a happy camper, realizing that she can start using her favorite cutter again.  :-) 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Design Wall Monday

I've been playing around with the idea of cleaning and organizing my sewing area (I'm working on it, but not whole-hearted.) and while doing so, realized that I have a number of "orphan" 2.5" batik strips. I'm sure that in the back of my head I thought I would use them for scrappy bindings, but since that hasn't happened yet, I decided to do something with them now. I pulled 27 strips out and sewed them together in this order.

Bali Pops, Jelly Roll, 2.5 Strips, Batik Strips

Do you notice how uneven the right side is here. None of these strips have been cut. These are the exact lengths they were in when I opened the original package. Isn't it kid of crazy to see how much difference there is in the lengths? 

Bali Pops, Jelly Roll, 2.5 Strips, Batik Strips

And, the difference is not just by manufacturer. Some of the short strips were part of a pack from the same manufacturer as the longest strips. Now, to be fair here, the shortest strip measure 43.25" and the longest strip measures 47.5" so none of them would be an issue for me to run out of fabric since most patterns are written using somewhere between 40" - 44" of usable fabric. I just thought it was interesting. 

Anyway, my "plan" is to cut these strips vertically, insert some coordinating fabric(s) and sew them back together again. Do I have a real plan? No! I'll just make a cut or two and go from there. 

What are you working on today?

Want to see what other quilters have on their design walls today?

Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times

Stop back tomorrow for a new Tip Tuesday!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

LOL

I couldn't help but laugh out loud when I saw this!

Success! Sort of...

I've been chronicling Quinn's cookie baking attempts today and here's the conclusion - Part 3 of 3.  Part 1    Part 2

The first batch of cookies are done and taken off the cooking sheet. 


Cookies, Healthy Cookies, Baking with Children

After anxiously waiting for them to cool, Quinn gave one to Grandpa Jack, me and then herself so we could taste and evaluate. We all decided that they were ok, but think we need to add more cinnamon and perhaps some honey, chopped apples or raisins. We added a touch of honey to the rest of the dough and I think Quinn's smile says it all.   

Cookies, Healthy Cookies, Baking with Children

In her words, "Grandma, we are on the right track! These are going to be GREAT when we figure it all out"

While the cookies were baking, Quinn finished writing her song and thinks that maybe she'll be a singing baker when she grows up. 

Music with Children

Jack and I were thrilled to be her "reward!" 

The Baking Begins

The baking has commenced!

Quinn is reading the instructions and mixing the batter. This took a long time, but it was fun and well worth it. She said it is great to bake because you get to practice reading and math. But of course, the best part is that you get to eat the cookies. :-) 

Cookies, Healthy Cookies, Baking with Children

And while the dough was chilling, it was time to practice some music skills. Quinn wrote a song using the notes she learned from Mrs. Phillips.  


Music with Children

And then she and Grandpa Jack tapped out the song while Quinn sang the words.  

Music with Children





Rewards

Jack and I are considered rewards!

Quinn had an exceptionally good week at home and school so Nikki and Zach told her she could choose a reward. Her choice was to go to Grandma's house to practice making cookies for the treat she'll take to school on her birthday. Because our plans today were nixed due to bad weather, she is here to begin the testing. There is something good about snow day!  :-) 

Cookies, Healthy Cookies, Baking with Children

Because of some pretty stringent dietary restrictions, we have to come up with a recipe that has no sugar, no nuts, no dairy and no cocoa. She can have some sugar alternatives, but not all of them so we are trying to keep it simple by using agave, homemade, unsweetened applesauce, etc. 

And to top it all off, she wants them to look and taste good to the other students. Mmmmm, I think that may be the challenging part because the normal snacks are pretty sugar-laden. Quinn is really great at accepting the treat and then taking them home for her brother and sister to enjoy. While the other kids eat their sweet treats, Quinn enjoys a treat Nikki has given the teacher to have on hand for those occasions. 

As you can see in the above picture, we have a few things to try. Wish us luck!

If you have a recipe you think might work and are willing to share, we'd love to hear it.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!