Monday, February 28, 2011

D's Quilt Officially Finished

The label is sewn -

so now the pinwheel quilt is officially finished! (I tried some Zentangling on the label.)

It is my first PhD Challenge quilt finished!!

This quilt is made from fabric that I inherited from a family friend. My youngest son wanted to design a quilt on EQ7, and he came up with this quilt to use the fabric. He also sewed a few of the blocks.
The quilt is 62" x 74". The pinwheels are 12" blocks, made with 6+7/8" squares to make the HST's. It has 7" borders.
I used wool batting (Tuscany Heirloom) and flannel backing.

I quilted it on my home sewing machine, with lots of free form feathers (no marking - too lazy!). I thought that the black fabric was the main fabric and the grey the background, so I did feathers in all the black, but once I started adding "McTavishing" to the grey areas, I realized that the feathers weren't noticeable, so I added a few feathers to the grey.
I used mostly Invisafil (100wt) on the top and Aurifil (which I buy from Tristan) for the bobbin. I did have to switch to all Aurifil for the last 3 borders because the bobbin case kept jumping out of place. I had no problems once there was Aurifil in the top. I think the Invisafil was too static - I did try putting it in the freezer for a bit and it helped for a while.

The switch in thread is not noticeable.
I tried a new (to me) border design that was lots of fun - free form feathers that had all different sizes of "blobs" (I am sure there is a technical term?).

The back of the quilt.
The stay stitching lines aren't really noticeable. A few people made a suggestion to use thread that washes out for the stay stitching - great idea - thanks!!

Do rabbits have clocks?

I started noticing that every morning, just before 8 am, the rabbits come to the back door. It is the time that I normally have some fruit/vegetable trimmings from breakfast and school lunch preparations to throw out. OK, I guess they have me trained!! They usually get a little something extra!! They're so cute!

Tonight's sunset.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Great Day!

I had such a wonderful day! I was invited by Myra to join her at a mini retreat for one of her quilt groups. I have never quilted with a group - what a fantastic way to spend the day! I met some lovely, talented ladies and I hope to be invited again (hint, hint).

I didn't take any pictures, but Myra took pictures of some of the quilts, so hopefully she will post them. She did!

I was lucky enough to win a door prize - a 4" squares pack (I don't what they are called). I think I will make some disappearing nine-patch blocks.

I managed to finish sewing the binding on D's Quilt (more about it tomorrow, after I sew on the label and it is officially finished).

It is so lovely to put faces to names of people I have met through blogging! Thank-you so much for inviting me Myra!!

Last week I was asked to volunteer in my youngest son's class. They were working on hydraulics. Pamela (The Long Way Around) posted her daughter's groups creation. There are 5 girls and 20 boys in the class - and the girls had the most artistically creative project! Helping in the class was another great way to spend the day!

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

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Binding Tutorial

I have been asked to post a tutorial on how I attach binding on a quilt (I am self taught and this is what works for me).

This method results in a binding where the beginning/end is the same as the other joins in the binding.

I start with 2½" strips of binding fabric (sometimes 2¼" strips for a wall hanging or table runner). I cut the strips across the width of the fabric and join them by piecing them at right angles and stitching on the bias (as shown in picture). Trim the seam to ¼".

Press the seams to one side and press the whole strip in half down the middle.

Thanks to Myra, I now wrap by binding around a ruler when it is all ready -

It is a great way to store the binding until you are ready to attach it (I like to get the binding all ready as soon as I finish a quilt top, while the machine has the right colour thread, and so I don't accidentally use the fabric elsewhere).

I roughly lay out the binding on the quilt to make sure that none of the joins in the binding will be at the corners of the quilt. I put a pin where I want to start sewing the binding - leaving about a 12" tail on the binding before stitching. Back stitch a bit at the beginning.

I sew the binding with a walking foot and a ¼" seam. I move the needle over and use the edge of the foot as a guide. I don't cut the batting and backing before attaching the binding - I find that the layers tend to lay flatter and I have better control over the quilt this way.

When approaching a corner -

stitch to ¼" from the end, stop with the needle in the down position,

turn the quilt,

back stitch to the edge of the quilt, stop with the needle in the down position. Do not cut the threads as this will cause problems later on. No need to remove the quilt from the machine to make the fold, just lift the presser foot up. This works because I haven't trimmed the backing and batting.

The next few steps are hard to explain, just make a neat fold with a 45° angle.

Fold the binding so that the edge of the binding lines up with the edge of the quilt

The opposite side of the binding looks like this, with the folded edge even, there is a 45° angle underneath,

and a fold parallel to the back edge of the quilt.

Keep stitching the binding down all away around the quilt. Stop about 12" from where you started sewing the binding (so there is a gap). Back stitch here also. Remove the quilt from the machine and lay the edge on a flat surface.

Fold one side of the binding up at a 45° angle and the other end of the binding down at a 45° angle.

Leaving a slight gap, finger press the binding (I placed a sheet of paper behind to make it easy to see, but it is laying flat on the quilt), place pins through one layer, on both ends of the binding fabric to mark the fold.

Lift up the binding and unfold, line up the pins. The binding ends are at right angles to each other.

Place pins on the finger pressed lines, making sure the pins are on either side of the center fold, this will eventually be the stitched line.

Refold the binding and lay the binding down on the quilt to make sure that the fabric will be stitched in the right direction and that the binding is the right length. Adjustments can be made to shorten or lengthen the binding at this point.

When you are satisfied with the length, stitch the binding join where the pins are.

Double check to make sure the binding will lay flat and that it is the right length before cutting the ends of the binding. Unpick and redo if necessary - gets better with practice.

Carefully trim the ends of the binding to ¼".

Press the seams to one side and refold the binding and press (not on the quilt but on the ironing board).

Stitch the rest of the binding down. This join is nice and smooth with no extra bulk, and all the joins are identical.

This technique also works on small quilts (mug rugs ...), it is just a bit more fiddly with a smaller gap, I make sure to start just before a corner and end just after a corner.

Trim the backing and batting, leaving a ¼" seam allowance. If the batting is thin, I sometimes leave a slightly larger seam allowance on a large quilt, the batting on this one is wool and thick, so I left ¼".

When I am trimming by the corner, I fold the binding out of the way before carefully trimming so that I don't accidentally cut the edge of the binding.

I hand stitch the binding down on the back of the quilt with a small invisible stitch, using thread that matches the binding. I don't use pins or clips to hold the binding down, I just fold and hold the binding as I stitch.

When you get to the corner, fold the edge over all the way to the end and then

fold the other side over to get a nice, crisp corner.

I take a couple stitches on the edge of the miter (only on the back, not on the front), and continue down the edge.

I hope this all makes sense! Sorry about the fabric for this tutorial, it would have been better to have a contrasting binding, this is just the quilt that I was working on when I was asked to make a tutorial.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Block #18

I chose the block for this week just because I liked it.

It is Mosaic #19 from EQ7 (9" block). It reminds me of some of the Farmer's Wife Quilt blocks.

For this one you will need -

Light Background -

2 - 3+1/8" squares for the half square triangles (HST) in the corners of the block

Dark Background -

1 - 5+3/4" square for the fast flying geese (FFG) (this measurement is slightly different from EQ7)
2 - 3+1/8" squares, cut in half on the diagonal, these will go around the center square

Print A (mine is the green and gold/red print)-

4 - 3+1/8" squares for the FFG

Print B (mine is dark red)

2 - 3+1/8" squares for the half square triangles (HST) in the corners of the block

Print C (mine is the red print) -

1 - 3+11/16 square for the center

Sew the center unit by surrounding the center print C square with the dark background triangles.

Trim this unit to 5" square.

Make the half square triangles with the light background squares and the print B squares. (HST - draw a diagonal line, layer the two fabric squares, stitch ¼" on either side of the line, cut on the line....). Press the seams to the background fabric (ignore the picture - I had to go back and re-press the seam allowances - it will make sense when all the units are sewn). Trim the four HST to 2+3/4" squares.

With the large dark background square and the four print A squares make four fast flying geese.

Here are some online FFG instructions.

Trim the four FFG to 2+3/4" x 5" rectangles.

All the units are ready to be sewn together in the regular nine-patch method.

The seams are a bit bulky where the points of the FFG and the center unit meet - I used lots of steam. Trim the block to 9½".

I made the second one the same way.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Quilting Weekend

It has been a wonderful long weekend (today is Louis Riel Day in Manitoba). I have been working on machine quilting the pinwheel quilt.

Just the borders left to quilt. The quilting is slow-going because when I sew at a normal faster speed the bobbin case slips out of place -

and the thread gets caught. See the little knife on the left side of the picture - my finger has so many little cuts in it! You would think I would learn!!
The black bobbin case should look like this -

I'll schedule a check-up for it after I have finished all the quilt along blocks.

We have also been having lots of fun outside too.

I have never seen so much snow here.

The snow drifts are so high that we look down on trees and

hop over a 6 foot fence!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!
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