Monday, August 25, 2014

Winter in the Woods Patchwork Leftover Quilt

Haven't been sewing much because...well let's just say that I've been busy with stuff that I'm sure you don't care much to hear about.  But I did manage to sew the leftover squares from this quilt together to make a nice lap quilt.

Because it was small, I decided to try some new quilting.  Wavy lines running from top to bottom.  Except I quilted them side to side!  It gives the quilt great texture. My only problem was knowing when to stop!  I did have to go back to the top and add some more lines because the quilting had gotten denser as I went down the quilt.  But that is an easy thing to do on a longarm.

Been cleaning out the sewing closet and trying to get my room cleaned up and more organized.  I really want to get to cutting up my scraps.  Before I do that I have one more t-shirt quilt to make and another leftover quilt to finish.  And when you clean out your supply closet, you always find another 5 projects you want to work on, so those are on the list too.  Never enough sewing time!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Jelly Roll Quilt

This is a jelly roll race quilt (without the race) and I added the brown squares in between each strip.  I was surprised how nicely they got spread out across the quilt.  I only have 8 different fabrics in my quilt, but it really needs more.

As I was loading the quilt on the longarm frame, I decided to try some straight line quilting.   I forgot that I can't use my horizontal locks to get lines that match up with the quilt because my leaders are not straight. But that didn't stop me from trying!  I figured it out about 1/3 the way down.  Oh no! What can I do to fix this?

How about some words?  Since this is a ministry quilt, I decided to quilt the Galatians 5:22-23 on it.

This one says "the fruit of the spirit is..."



It's much easier to read it in person.  I quilted the rest of the lines freehand, 3 lines per strip.  The difference isn't noticeable.  The quilting adds a lot of texture to the quilt and it was fun to try something new!

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Friday, August 8, 2014

How to Make a Finished Quilt Bigger

Yep, you read that right.  You can actually make a quilt bigger.  Even one that has been used for the last 3 years. Even a small king size quilt that has been on my bed.  I made this quilt 6 months after I started quilting. And I didn't know much about quilting at that time.  Here is my quilt:

And here it is on my bed.  You can see it is way too short! It was bigger when I made it, lol.  But now, after a few years of learning all about quilting, we know that quilts shrink about 5% when you wash them.  But nobody told me that back then, and I didn't check on the internet for how big to make my quilt.  I just laid it on my bed and when it was big enough I stopped.  So because it was too short and the fact that my husband tends to pull all the covers to his side, I needed to make it bigger.  

I spent a lot of time looking at the different ways to quilt as you go, but none of them were really what I wanted.  You can add borders as a QAYG but it leave a border in the border, like this one, and I didn't want that.  So I kept searching for adding borders and found this tutorial.  Yep that's how I wanted to do it.
With just a few small changes.

I cut the binding off my quilt.  WHAT?  Yep, and this is my favorite quilt (which is why I wanted to make it bigger).  This is the scary part. Don't worry you can always cut off more and rebind it!  No really, keep going, it will be better soon!   The old binding was far from straight.  One, because it was washed and it shrunk, and two, because I did a terrible job way back then when I sewed my binding on.  Happy to say that I am much better at that now!

I wanted to add 2 borders, a small one and a large one.  For the first border follow the directions on the Quilting Twin blog.  I cut the batting 1.5 inches wide and zig zagged my pieces to make it long enough.

I cut my brown fabric at 1.5 inches and sewed strips as long as the quilt.  Then I layered it according to her picture.  From the bottom up:  

Backing Fabric - Right Side Up
Quilt - Right Side Up
Top Fabric - Wrong Side Up

I didn't use pins because the quilt was too big and I didn't want to get on the floor.  I just adjusted as I went, sewing a scant quarter inch seam like I normally do when piecing.

I ironed the bottom first, then the top.  Then I sewed along the outside edge (as close as possible) to hold the fabric in place. If you don't sew close to the edge, your seam will be seen in the next border.  Do all 4 sides the same way.

Now for the outside border I cut the top at 5.5 inches, the batting at 6 in, and the back at 7 in.  I wanted to quilt it and have some room for trimming.  Don't sew the outside edge down on this border unless you can get it super smooth.  Otherwise it will pucker when you go to quilt it.  Yep, I sem ripped the whole length of one side!

For some reason I stopped taking pictures, sorry.  But I loaded it on the long arm, meandered all the way around it on the outside border only.  I didn't quilt the brown border because it was only 1 inch and I didn't stitch in the ditch either.  Then I trimmed it and added the binding.  After a wash and dry, I put it on my bed again.  We slept under it last night and it was wonderful!  No more fighting over the covers.  Happy wife, happy husband!

Here is the before:

Here is the after:

Once you get going, it's not too bad a technique.  I was terrified to start cutting my favorite quilt, but I am so glad that I did.  I think it gave the quilt a nice finish too.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Rectangles Galore

This pattern can be found here.  It is a baby quilt, but I made mine bigger.  Hers is 2 3/4 block by 2 3/4 block and mine is 5 x 6 blocks.  

For the back I used up every single piece I had left from the top.  I had to steal some green fabrics from another project to bind the quilt!

Emma recently turned one, her adjusted age is 8.5 months.  She was close by so I threw her on the quilt and tried to grab a picture.  This little girl does not like to sit still!  She is constantly on the move.  She's a sweet little thing and doing very well.

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Winter In the Woods

Even though it's summer right now, this quilt has me thinking about winter.  We are ususally pushing 100 degrees here in Oklahoma, but it will be a cool 77 today.  This isn't the first cold front to come through this summer.  Ahh, cool rainy weather...fall, long sleeves and sweatpants!  

Anyway, my husband asked me to make a quilt to take on his business trip to China. Custom has it that you are supposed to give a gift to your host  I didn't really have any in my closet that seemed worthy. So I scoured pinterest for my inspiration.  

I picked fabrics that reminded me of pine and birch trees in the winter.  The black fabrics represent the shadows on a gray winter day.  My daughter said the white and gray should be snow. (She's never seen a birch tree.)  Plus quilts are probably my favorite because they are so easy, yet don't look plain.

Easy meandering on this quilt with a gray thread.  Wasn't sure how much time I would have to get this quilt done.  But it is ready to go!

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