Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Criss Cross Table Runner

Ahhh, I finally finished something!  My sewing room has been a cluttered mess because I have been cutting I-Spy fabrics for the last week.  But we'll get to that in a minute.  First, let's talk about this table runner.  

My cute helper, who's hair is always sticking up, wanted his picture taken.  I meandered the outside border with a small stipple.  The inside area got a large cross hatch following the lines of the squares.

Pattern is just 2.5 inch strips cut to 4.5 inches to make a block and then set them on point.  I was trying to get the quilt to fit the top of this table that has seen better days.  Now I just need to get my oldest to sand and restain it for me. 

While I was in the process of making the table runner, I bought and received about 30 yards of i-spy fabric.  I already had at least 40 yards in my closet so I set to work cutting them up and making quilt kits for the Quilt  Ministry.

We plan to make quilts with 120 blocks (or 80 blocks with a 1 inch black sashing).  These are cut 5 x 5.  It seemed to take forever, but we made over 22 kits.  I even saved 2.5 inch strips if there were some leftover to make a couple quilts from those.

I do have some leftover squares for sale if you are interested in purchasing them.  I have several of each set size and postage is included.  If you buy a set there will be no duplicates, but if you buy 2 sets there will be.  I am also including 3 or 4 extras for you.  The pictures are very close to what you will get, if not exactly.  There might be a couple of squares that are different.  If you are interested just leave me a comment or email me.

20 - $6

30 - $8

40 - $10

Linking with Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pulling Threads from Under Your Finished Quilt

Remember this picture from yesterday?

Malinda left me a comment telling me about the Clover Soft Touch Tread Pic.  You can get one from Amazon for less than $5.  It looks like a really tiny crochet hook.  I found my smallest crochet hook and gave it a try.

I had to do 2 different spots to get all the thread out from underneath the quilting.  I inserted the hook in the sashing (yes, right in the middle where that hook is sitting) and pulled out the blue thread.  I cut it and moved over to the next section and did it again.  This time I gave the thread a good tug and it pulled away from the block and came out.

I know you are supposed to hide it under the batting or move it, but I couldn't.  The thread was way too long.  I am so excited that you can't see the holes in this closeup photo!   Just for size reference the white sashing is 1.5 inches.

I think the Clover pic is smaller than my hook and definitely worth getting.  You can even find them at Joann's for $9.50.  Just wanted to share that wonderful tip.  Thanks Malinda!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Bottled Rainbows

My 4 year old asked me to make her a quilt...again! I give her all my scraps that are smaller than 2.5 inches and ones that are too short for a strings quilt.  So I thought she had enough little pieces to make a bottled rainbow quilt.  What looks like a large pile of scraps can not be enough! 

 We sorted them all by color. Then I went through them and put them into shades and removed the duplicates.  There wasn't much left!  So I made my blocks 10 x 10 with the inside being only 6 inches.  Surely there would be enough for that.  

Here are a couple of the blocks. (These pictures are after washing.)  I didn't have enough of a couple of the colors and had to get into my scrap stash.   I even didn't have enough blue in my scraps to make a block so I cut some from my regular stash.  And I thought I had a lot of scraps!  Apparently, I have a lot of the same stuff.  Need to work on that.

To fix this problem, I used a single fabric 2 times in each block spreading it out. You can see I duplicated 3 of the red fabrics.

I used clear monopoly thread to quilt this so I didn't get white thread on a dark color like you see in this picture below:  (this is an older quilt I have hanging on my wall)  You can read this post for some tips using this type of thread.

Here you can see below that it isn't that big a deal to quilt on both sides of the ditch when you use clear thread.  You should know that I really dislike stitching in the ditch - mainly because I can't quilt straight even with a ruler!  It really isn't noticeable when looking at the quilt (unless you zoom in with your camera!).

I stitched around both sides of the color on the blocks, leaving the centers untouched.  Oh that's right I didn't do quilt-as-you-go like everyone else.  I used a glue stick to glue the small pieces where they should go, then zig zagged them down, one block at a time.  Like applique without using interfacing.  
And just so you know I am never ever perfect...I always forget to trim threads when I am using a white sashing.  By the time I saw this I did not want to unload and trim!  My 4 year old won't see it until she's much older and by then, I'll just make her another quilt!

I was going to quilt some spirals in the color part of each block, but after all the ditch work and the straight  lines in the sashing I didn't feel like it any more.  Less is more - right?  The back has a fun rainbow of solids because I couldn't get one on the front.

  There is one happy 4 year old running around my house these days!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

How to Add Drop Down Menus to Your Blog!

Here is a link to a video tutorial on how to add drop down menus to your blog.  It was relatively easy. I actually did it myself!  I have been wanting to add this for a long time, but it has been super intimidating.  And I was afraid of losing all my information.  Some of my pages are still in progress, but it only took a few hours this morning to get it done.

Ro is easy to understand and very likeable.  You should go check it out. She has more free videos on other aspects of your blog too.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Spring Quilt

Here is another one of my not so favorite fabrics.  Are you getting tired of them yet?  In person, this fabric is rather dull.  But I perked it up with some happy spring colors!

The pattern for the block can be found here.

The green sashing and yellow cornerstones give it even more of spring feel.   

I feel like I've got the hang of using "not so favorite" fabric.  I have 4 more pieces in the closet.  2 of them seem to be more challenging than the others.  I left them on the shelf!  My next challenge is to use the other 2 in more modern quilts.

Still following the rule of using all the remaining fabric on the back.

Have a great sewing weekend!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Country Roads

I am still working through that fabric in my stash that I don't really care for.  This blue fabric is one of those!  And just like the one from last month, I am surprised that I really like this quilt!  

This pattern was modified from the Quilter's Cache pattern called Country Roads.  I just took the inside 12 blocks and added a border.  The blocks finish at 12 inches and the sashing finishes at 2.
This is a great pattern if you only have 3 fabrics.

I used the rest of the fabric to make the back and gave it a quick meander to finish the quilt.

If I had my choice I would have used the blue fabric for the binding, but I didn't have enough.  It looked totally different before I added this black binding to it.  But is is growing on me. 

Did you notice the extra foot down there?  :)

linking with Freemotion by the River and

Sew Fresh Quilts

Friday, January 23, 2015

Dogwood Log Cabin

I saw this quilt a last week on pinterest and said to myself, "I have large scraps of that fabric.  I think I'll go make a quilt top!"  It didn't matter that I have 3 quilts in various stages and scraps out that I was in the process of cutting.  I had seen this pattern before in different fabrics, but it wasn't cute enough to make me stop what I was doing.  I changed the center on my quilt and added an extra row to make it a rectangle.  I used a 6.5 inch center and 4.5 inch strips of whatever length I had.

I added the dark pink and the solid looking pink because I didn't have enough different fabrics.  I know that dark pink kinda stands out, but I did try to spread it out evenly.  There wasn't anything else in my stash that went.  Sometimes you just gotta go with it.

I would like to ask you this - does this look like a baby quilt or a lap quilt for an adult?  My daughter and I are on opposite sides of this and we need another opinion.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Come See My New Sewing Room

We moved some rooms around in our house. (To those of you who know me, that is nothing new!) The baby is finally out of the closet and in a room with her littlest big sister.  Yep, you read that right.  Her crib was in the extra closet in my bathroom.  We have 2 closets and not so many clothes. It was the quietest place in the house and closest to my bed for feeding at night.  We're done feeding and she sleeps all night.  It was time for a change!

We moved all the kids to new rooms.  Some were happier than others.  I got a different room to sew in and I am loving it.  Come have a look around if you like!  Here is the link to the new page or you can click on the tab up top.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Stained Glass Quilt

Oh, I love this quilt!  It reminds me of stained glass with all it's beautiful batiks.  I also added a hand dyed navy that I had on hand too.  There are 2 blocks 5x4 and 6x3 which when you add a 1 inch black black to 2 sides makes them the same size.  

I used an invisible smoke thread to quilt this to keep the quilting from distracting from the fabrics. You can read more about that here.  I gave some tips on using monopoly thread.  It's not so bad as I thought!

For the back, I used the remaining pieces of fabrics from the front. It's like a puzzle trying to make it big enough to cover the quilt, but there is always a solution.  It looks so much more stunning in person, but then it always does!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Using MonoPoly (Invisible) Thread

Monopoly thread is an almost invisible thread that comes in 2 colors - white and smoke.  I bought mine at Superior Threads.  In the photo above it has a net cover to keep the thread from falling of - it comes with this so you don't need to purchase any.

There are lots of times when you might want to use this kind of thread  If you have light and dark colored fabric in a quilt top and you don't want to see dark quilting on the light or light quilting on the dark then this thread would be perfect.  You might also use this thread to SID between a dark and light fabric if you have trouble staying in the ditch like I do.  

I have a blue and purple batik quilt top that I want to quilt. It also has black around the rectangles and I didn't want to cover up the batik fabric with black thread.  I also didn't want to see blue or purple thread on the black fabric. So I chose the smoke monopoly to quilt with.  

I was worried I would ruin my beloved quilt top so I got a little practice fabric out and loaded it on the machine.  

I quilted with smoke on top and bottom.  The top fabric is white and the bottom is navy.  The thread seems to take on the color of the fabric.  I would use the white monopoly if I was quilting on light colored fabric.  I used smoke just for practice.

Looks great on the navy fabric.  All you really see is the texture of the quilting.

Sneak peak of my next quilt!  I put this photo in so you can see that the thread has a bit of sparkle to it.  I think once the quilt gets washed and crinkly it will sink into the fabric and no be so noticeable.

Some tips to help you get started:

1.  If you are winding bobbins on a longarm and you have a separate bobbin winder - use the bobbin winder on your longarm.  I can wind without quilting.  Set the speed for the bobbin winder to 30 (it's medium slow).  Also make sure your tension on your winder is not too tight.

2.  Wind your bobbin half way.  This thread is so thin, there will still be lots of thread on the bobbin. (I don't know why, this was on a post somewhere when I was researching this thread).

3.  Use a #14 needle for longarmers or a 70/10 for domestic machines.  I used a #16 on my longarm because I didn't have a 14 and it seemed to work good.

4.  Quilt slowly!  This is hard for me - my brain gets excited and wants to go fast.  If your tension is too tight when you wind your bobbins, your thread will break when you quilt.

5.  Loosen the top thread tension.  I loosened 2 full circles CCW on my longarm.

6.  This thread is so thin, it is hard to see when you are threading the needle (or rethreading the machine).  I used a flashlight so I could see the sparkle or reflection on the thread. This helped a lot!

7.  Nap time is a good time to practice something new!  No interruptions when you are learning or you will get frustrated! :)

Pictures of the finished quilt will be coming soon!  Then we will be able to see what it looks like after washing.  Until then...linking with Free Motion by the River