Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Machine Quilting

I started machine quilting the Thread Head Quilt Along quilt.

I started by quilting with the walking-foot through all the black squares, using black Aurifil thread.

Then on to free motion quilting the blocks with a gold coloured Aurifil thread. I am using a #80 Microtex needle. So far I have quilted 5 blocks (I mean the blocks created by the diamonds of the alternating blocks), so 35 blocks left to quilt. I plan on taking my time - the large quilt is a bit of a brute to wrestle with!

I am using wool batting - notice all the different measurements on the label -

3½"

3"

4"!!??


I had quite a lot of interest in the GO!

When I cut out the shapes I rotary cut strips the right size before cutting out the shapes. For the apple core I need strips 5+3/4" wide (on the lengthwise grain). This red fabric is folded to 7½"sections (6 layers thick) - these measurements are smaller than on the die package.

I press down on the fabric to make sure it covers the die blades - you can feel where the blades are and I don't think there is any danger of cutting yourself.

After cutting there is very little waste - there is always a certain amount of waste with unusual shaped blocks.

I cut out all the apple core blocks with the fabric I had. Except for the red, I had ½ meter lengths of fabric (about 21" - 22"), and I was able to cut 21 apple cores from each fabric - 3 apple cores in each length and 7 across the width. The package says that you can cut 24 apple cores from 1 yard of fabric, but I think you could cut 35.

I added a couple of rows of apple cores. I have no idea how big this quilt will be, but it sure is nice to sew. This is definitely a shape I would never have tried without the GO!.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Apple Cores

I worked on some Apple Cores today.

I cut them with my new Apple Core die for the Baby GO! These are big - 6" long blocks, so it is growing quite fast. The fabric is a Kim Diehl line, by Henry Glass.

They do take lots of pinning,

and lots of pressing (all the seams are pressed to the concave side and the joins "pinwheeled" open), a few little clips help the seam lay flat too.

I am using the Tumbler blocks as "leaders and enders".

This kind of sewing is lots of fun, and makes a nice change from sewing pieced blocks.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Finished Pinning

Today I pinned the THQA quilt.

It is such a big quilt (105" square), that I had no large spot to lay it out - the picture is the last third being pinned (I was scrounging all over the house for enough pins!).

I also sewed a few rows of tumbler blocks together. I cut out over 550 blocks with the 3" GO! Tumbler die, and if my calculations are correct the quilt should be 50"x69" (24 blocks per row, and 23 rows). The blocks all go together so perfectly!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Stash Busting

Today I picked up my wool batting that I had ordered (from the Quilters' Den) for the THQA quilt, I hope to start quilting next week (spring break!!).

The dies that I had ordered for the GO! cutter had also come in!!! I am trying out the 3½" Tumbler first (I also ordered the Apple Core).

In no time at all I had cut out over 200 tumblers. I am using the leftover fabric from the THQA quilt to make a scrappy lap quilt.
I love my Baby GO! - thank-you so much Cyndi (Bluebird's Wing) - I won the GO! from her in December.

Just a few more minutes until Earth Hour begins!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!♥

Friday, March 25, 2011

So Many Circles!

I have been prepping the applique pieces for the March Granny's Hankie BOM.

There are 37 circles of different sizes in this block - so I have been busy basting. Once that is finished, all the seams need to be pressed onto the freezer paper.

I really like blocks of the month - I have joined 3 this year!! I think my next quilt-along will be a BOM.....maybe starting in October again.....maybe with Bali fabric......maybe with some applique....I have some ideas! I have had so much fun with the current one. A quilting community is a wonderful thing! Thanks!!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!!♥

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Thread Head Quilt Along Challenge

This week I am putting out a challenge for the Thread Head Quilt Along Participants!! To finish a project made with the quilt blocks.

My quilt top, binding and backing are all ready to go - I am just waiting for wool batting that I ordered from the Quilter's Den to come in (I had to order the wide stuff).

You will have until the end of May (should be enough time) to finish something (quilt, table runner, wall hanging....) using the blocks of the quilt along (they are all found here if you are new).
When you are finished (pieced, quilted, bound - and labeled if that is your thing) email me a picture (joannethreadhead(at)gmail(dot)com - low resolution is great)and I will post it on the THQA Page (so you don't need to be a blogger).
On June 1st, 2011 I will use a random number generator to determine a winner from all the completed projects.

Now for the prize!
I was going to announce it, but I have decided to keep it as a surprise. My youngest son always hopes to receive a surprise in the mail, and since June 1st is his birthday, the winner will receive a surprise in the mail!
I recently won February's OPAM draw from Kris, and I am waiting for a surprise to come all the way from Australia - very exciting - and another reason I thought a surprise would be a good idea.

So please get sewing and send in some pictures - it will be so wonderful to see what people have been up to!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Finished Quilt and Some Blocks

I finished the Harvest Diamond lap quilt.

I just had to hand stitch the binding down today. A quilt in just over a weekend - I could have finished it in a weekend if it wasn't for things like laundry, making meals....

Feathered wreaths in the large diamonds and

large meandering for the background.

I tried a new wool batting for this quilt. The one on the left is Hobbs Tuscany wool - my favorite batting, and the one on the right is the one I tried. It is much thinner than the Hobbs batting, although I can't really tell it is just because the Hobbs is fluffier. I usually buy the Hobbs batting for around $25/meter, and the new one was $19/meter (from Marshall's in Winnipeg).

Update - I forgot to mention that because the quilt was so thin, it was very easy to quilt - it fit under the machine beautifully and it was easier to maneuver. Also it is easier for new machine quilters (on DSM) to quilt with less puffy batting - so this works well.

I guess the determining factor if I use it again will be how it washes. The Hobbs wool washes beautifully.
I used flannel for the backing and the quilt came out to a nice weight.

Today I made some blocks (8½" - 8" finished). Beth (at Love Laugh Quilt) asked people to help her make quilts for Japan (here is the link for all the information and block instructions), I'll get these in the mail tomorrow - they need to arrive by April 4th, 2011.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Harvest Diamond Quilt

Yesterday was National Quilting Day (probably in the US - but any excuse to quilt!!) so I decided to challenge myself to see how much of a quilt I could get done in a weekend.

I started this layer cake quilt yesterday and I have almost finished machine quilting it. The pattern is "Diamonds at Large" from the book "Layer Cake, Jelly Roll & Charm Quilts" by Pam and Nicky Lintott. The quilt is 45" x 60".
The layer cake (Saltbox Harvest by Deb Strain - Moda) was on sale at Hamels (the first time I ordered from them and I was very pleased).
It is so wonderful how fast a quilt goes together when you start with a layer cake (jelly roll, charm pack...).
I have made this pattern before (shown here), and it is one of my favorite patterns because it just uses one layer cake for the quilt - border, binding and all!

The binding is all ready to go.

I free motion quilted (on my DSM) feathered wreaths in the nine dark diamonds, with a plain copper coloured Aurifil thread. (My Feather Tutorial)

I made an oval template to trace the wreath shape, using the iron out white Clover pen.

In the rest of the quilt (the background) I quilted a large "puzzle piece" stippling. I thought the larger, round shapes would compliment the feathers and the fabric more than a variation of "McTavishing" (which seems to have become my "go-to" background filler).

I am using this lovely variegated Aurifil thread and a #80 Microtex needle for the stippling.
This lap quilt is to be a gift for a friend later in the year.

10pm - just the binding to hand stitch on the back - it'll wait 'til tomorrow.

You may have noticed that I added a button to the bottom of my posts - to print any post as a PDF (I wish I had found this earlier in the Quilt Along). The button is from the website Print Friendly ,and not only can you add it to your posts but you can put any URL into the website and turn it into a PDF - WOW!! A huge thanks to the people at Print Friendly!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Night Sew-In

Tonight for the Friday Night Sew In I am working on the Thread Head Quilt Along quilt.

I am stitching on the third border, just a small border to go! I hope to have the whole quilt top finished this evening.
Thanks for hosting this evening Heidi!

Have a great time sewing and thanks for stopping by!!

Update - I have finished the quilt top!!!

The last border is stitched on -

with just enough thread!
Off to press the whole top.

Update -

I had a hard time finding somewhere to lay the quilt out - it is the biggest quilt I have made (a King size).

I really like how the borders turned out.♥

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Check Out a New Giveaway!


There is a fabulous giveaway going on over at Such a Sew and Sew! Of Civil War fabrics, totaling over 10½ yards and a book. The contest closes Friday (March 18th) night - it is to celebrate National Quilt Day on the 19th of March.

Good Luck!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Border Ideas

There are all kinds of possibilities for borders to make your quilt unique. (These are from EQ7.)

You could add a plain large border - this one is 8" wide (made with 8½" cut strips). The quilt would work out to about 97" with this size border (the center is 81" square).

This one has two borders. The first one is a small 1¼" border (made from 1+3/4" cut strips) using the same fabric as the dark squares in the alternating blocks. The second "piano key" border is made with leftover fabric from the scrappy blocks - using blocks cut 4"x6½". There are 24 piano keys on each side and the border comes to 6" wide. Corner blocks from the same dark fabric as the first border are made from 6½" squares.
This quilt would be about 95" square.

This border finishes the diamonds created by the alternating blocks. I show instructions for these half alternating blocks later in this post.
This quilt would finish to 90" square.

This one adds three more borders to the previous quilt. This is the layout I have chosen to make.
The first border is a small 1½" border (made with 2" wide strips).
3" blocks made from leftover fabric of the scrappy blocks are the next border. It is made with 3½" squares, and there are 31 squares for each side (124 - 3½" squares in total), plus 4 - 3½" squares of the dark fabric for the corner blocks.
The outer border is another small 1½" border (made with 2" wide strips).
This quilt finishes to about 102".

If you choose to not add a border, the quilt will be about 81" square.

Half Alternating Blocks Instructions

These are just quick instructions - I am assuming this is all pretty familiar stuff by now - if something isn't clear and you need more help please email me (joannethreadhead{at}gmail{dot}com).

Here are the cutting measurements for the half blocks (from EQ7).


I decided to strip piece the blocks to make it easier for myself.
The strips are about 14" long to make 8 of each block.

The top unit is made with strips that are 3+7/8" wide on either side of a 2+3/4" wide dark strip.
The next unit down is made with 2+3/4" strip, 1+5/8" dark strip, 2+3/4" strip, 1+5/8" dark strip and then a 2+3/4" strip.
The third unit is 1+5/8" strip, 1+5/8" dark strip, 5" strip, 1+5/8" dark strip and a 1+5/8" strip.
The fourth unit is 1+5/8" dark strip, 7¼" strip and a 1+5/8" dark strip.
Remember each of these is about 14" long.
Once the strips are pieced, press the seams to the dark fabric and cut them all into 1+5/8" sections.
Piece the blocks together as shown in the picture.

(the colour is different because it is night time)

You will need 8 blocks with the dark in the middle and


8 blocks with the light in the middle.

Trim all the blocks to 5"x9½".

You also need 4 Corner Blocks.


I strip pieced them the same way using about 8" lengths for the strips.

The top unit is made of 1+5/8" dark strip and a 3+7/8" strip.
The second unit down is a 1+5/8" strip, a 1+5/8" dark strip and a 2+3/4" strip.
The third unit down is the reverse of the second unit and the last unit is the reverse of the top unit.
Cut each unit into 1+7/8" sections and make 4 corner blocks as shown.

Trim the blocks to 5" squares.

You will also need 10 light and 10 dark rectangles that are 5"x9½".

These will go in between the half blocks in the border.

Follow the picture of the finished quilt for placement of the half blocks and plain rectangles, plus the directions of the corner blocks.

This is what I have done so far.
I was able to find extra fabric (some of the same and some that is similar - you can't tell too much in the photo) to be able to finish off the diamonds and I hope you are able to too, if this is the design you choose.

I have also cut the binding for the quilt using 11 - 2½" strips cut the width of the fabric (my binding tutorial). My binding is the same as the two thin borders (a black print similar to the squares of the alternating blocks).

I apologize if these instructions are hard to follow! It has been a busy week. If there are any problems please email me and I will help.

Next Wednesday I should have the top pieced and a special surprise, so please check back.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!