Friday, June 28, 2013

Revisiting an old friend

I am accomplishing two things this summer.  One, I am working on binding.  I had a mad post about binding here.  That was back in Nov 2012 - when I went searching for the post, I thought it was only a couple of months ago.  
Two, I am finishing things that just have one or a few more steps and finito.  

I read your tips on binding and I read some more on line and this is what is working for me right now, I still have to tighten up my neatness factor, but I am much improved in the corners.  I practiced on this quilt which was already quilted, just needed binding.  For four years.  Yes, four.  (I am really a procrastinator.) That's how things sit that are for myself.  

This photo above is not the best, but I think you can see how when I come to a corner, I go off the edge at an angle now.  This is done at 1/4" from the edge of the quilt.

Next you fold the binding along the angled stitch and fold back down again to start along the next edge of quilt.  Some quilters said to back stitch and start a new thread line.  I just pull out extra thread, and don't bother with cutting it.  You are going to sew over that angled stitch to secure it.  I do secure my new line of stitches with a couple of back stitches.  

I am using a walking foot and and attaching the binding to the front of the quilt.  I was previously attaching to the back and wrapping it around the front.  This allowed me to make the front look neat where I was stitching down the binding on the front, but the corners looked worse.  

When all the binding is attached, I fold it over the quilt and secure with binding clips ( I use Wonderclips)

I machine stitch down my binding, and this is how the front looks.  I need more practice at hitting the front edge of the binding when stitching it down, but I am pleased with my progress.  You can see where I have mostly hit the binding edge with the stitch line - this has been stitched from the back, so I don't see where my bobbin line is hitting. (there is a bit of fray in this photo I have to stitch down)

This was a group bee quilt, we each had a piece of the same fabric (the one I used for the binding), there were 12 of us in the group.  We each made 12 blocks and then gave one to each person in the group.  You made your quilt as you wanted.  When we were all done the different quilts were amazing!  

The binding only took me about an hour to attach, even going slow in the corners, so I'm not sure why I made this wait so long!  It's washed and been used on the sofa, and it's a nice reminder of my friends working together.  

Best corner on this quilt.

I have a few more items like this, started long ago and not forgotten, but really put off until some time in the future.  I'll be working on these through the summer and also new things.  

Here are some places you can find my photos and progress:

I am FairlyMerry on both those sites.  I put progress photos on Instagram, and so do a lot of your other favorite quilters and crafters.  It's fun to see things in progress.  But I will always try to add more photos to the blog.  
Speaking of that, you can find my blog on 

Linking up with Blossom Heart Quilts  for Finished Friday 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Finished Quilt for a friend

I have made many quilts and given most of them away, a few were for commissions.  Sometimes it takes me ages to finish a quilt.  I have friends that I have made quilts for, and some friends that have patiently waited years for their turn to receive.  I imagine some of them are tapping their feet pretty impatiently, without nagging me.  I hear this 'Oh, that's a pretty quilt for that baby.' 'Sigh'.  And I know they are thinking 'hello, what about me?'  

One friend gets to stop waiting now.

These were bee blocks from awhile ago that I didn't really have a plan for at the time.  It came to me as I was putting the blocks together that this quilt would be perfect for someone I knew.  And when I showed my Mom and told her who it was for, she said that the quilt did remind her of that person.  That felt good.  

The quilting took far longer to start than I anticipated and then it took almost a week longer to complete than I had hoped, but it's done now, washed, given a tryout on the sofa, and looks very pretty.

It was pretty windy while I was trying to take photos, so I ended up laying it out on the table, and then thought I would like it as a table cloth, if it didn't have batting.  Maybe something for the future.  

The fabrics are Joel Dewberry, Kona solids, and Kaffe Fassett shot cottons.  I hadn't used the shot cottons for awhile, even though I have quite a stack of the pretties.  They become so soft after washing.  I found 3 yards of a fabric I had bought years ago with the intention of using it for backing on something; and it happened that it went perfectly with the colors of this quilt.  I don't buy fabric randomly for backing anymore, this one has been sitting for years.  Now I wait for the quilt then purchase the backing.  I had to add a bit of Kona and another print to make the backing large enough.

I quilted straight lines and echos inside the solid triangles.  I do know how to FMQ, but a lot of times I just like the quilting to follow the pattern of the blocks.  

I think she is going to like this.  

Keep Calm and Quilt On!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Finished Friday?????

All day yesterday I thought I would put these photos on the blog and link to Finished Friday, TODAY.  Today is Saturday by the way.  I have lost a whole day somewhere.  And imagine waking up today, at 5, because you still think you have work.  Well,  I will still be working but hey, at least the phone wont' be ringing because it really isn't Friday!  

Sewing was slow going all week - and I would complain that I could only get to one block per night, but I think I will be grateful that I did have the time, energy, and supplies to make these blocks this week.  

I enjoy making this block so much.  It is colorful and can utilize scraps (who doesn't like that!) and it is simple.  Here is a quick tutorial on how to make this block.

I am adding five of these blocks to a top that is part of a Flickr group, Traveling Quilts.  We each started with a block or part of a top and it is being passed through the group and each person adds to the top.

I was reminded recently by another quilter that sometimes we let the little things get to us when really we don't have it so bad.  We are doing what we want to do.   

Someone else added these giraffes.  And it made me wish that this top was mine to keep.  The Mama giraffe and her line of offspring following her.

Sometimes we brighten someone else's day with a quilt or tote or little gift that we hand made.  Isn't it a wonderful day when you get that note or phone call or facebook post that someone received our gift and they love it?

The quilter this top belongs to started with the large one piece string block on the left side of the top.  I think we have complemented her colors and starter piece nicely.  I hope she will like this, it is going back to her next.  

That maybe we shouldn't complain about not having enough time to sew, but rejoice that we can do something we love when we have time to spare.  

Last one.  Colors not perfect on this one - it was hard to adjust and get the colors right.  

And this top is off today!  I love getting something off my 'projects for others' list - I know they are waiting anxiously for the return of their blocks or project.  

Have a great weekend quilty peeps!  
Linking up with Finished Friday even though its' Saturday
And another link party I found called Sew and Tell Saturday because it really is Saturday!

Keep Calm and Quilt On!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Finished a Baby Quilt

I just love baby quilts.  And I love finishing them even if the baby is six months old.  You're in my heart and mind  just need a little more time to get you your quilt!

This quilt was started last winter (before the baby was born) due to some miscalculations on my part

The borders were made using the scraps from the blocks and a Dear Stella print

I used a flannel bubble print for the backing, I think flannel is great to use on baby quilts - extra snuggly

I quilted a simple grid along the squares, keeping it simple (I used a King Tut variegated thread for the quilting)

This baby is washed and I took it for a test run on the sofa - it works! comfy on the couch, snuggly while watching TV.  I think it will fit the baby and his family well.  I hope they put it to good use.

This is a quilt on my list for the 2013 Finish A Long YAY!

I'm linking up to Fabric Tuesday on QuiltStory where they have an inspiring story about their Uncle Dean you should read.  

Keep Calm and Quilt On
my friends

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sew Sunday June 9

Good morning all!  Anyone having a productive weekend?  I spent time yesterday with the Virginia Beach Modern Quilt Guild ladies for a sew in.  There were a six of us, which made for good chatting, admiring WIP's, and good eating.  

I didn't sew anything, but was cutting for my next Super Tote

and also for my first three blocks in the Tula Pink City Sampler QAL - these are the fabrics I chose, very ME.  A selection of Kaffe Fassett's that I had purchased together as a quarter yard roll and a selection of Oakshott cottons that came together in a fat quarter bundle called Spice.  It isn't available on their website any longer so I'm glad I grabbed it during my last Oakshott purchase.  

I have the first three blocks cut and put into baggies - during sewing time today I will get these together.

Last week I finished quilting this baby quilt, it needs binding and washing and more photos before heading to it's special home.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

WIP Wednesday

After last weekend's marathon of paper piecing (photos below) I spent a day doing some other things.  It really feels good to take care of myself a little (after tackling my stack of paperwork, which somehow has seemed to learn to procreate).  Went to a movie, met up with some girls for bunco (I won a prize, which always makes the night more fun!) Spent some time with the Gran, he's growing and doing new things every day.  

Here is what I have been working on, I had to finish another procrastination project (those require their own list)

involving these paper piece stars from Six White Horses, the star is called Star Seams and you can get the template free on her blog or on Craftsy.  I got mine from Craftsy.  

All 5 I made.  I was attempting a ROYGBIV look to go with the quilt top they are going in.

While I am pleased with the result, these took time and the centers are quite bulky, I steamed and pressed the life out of the centers.  Paper piecing one block is ok, but doing multiples begins to wear on you.  You can pull off all the paper while watching a TV show, but not Game of Thrones, because you can't be distracted by paper while that is on.

The quilt top belongs in the Strip Quilters group.  This is a stunning top, and I wish my photos were better. The rows are not sewn together so the owner can decide the order of the rows.   

Tuesday I accomplished so much on my paperwork pile (both my jobs only involve paperwork) for actual work that I felt compelled to  get some things off my WIP list - starting with another group project

I made postage stamp blocks with colors that complemented some Flea Market Fancy prints.  These blocks were added to star blocks and are now going to the next person in Traveling Quilts

Then I felt the need to check off something else that has been sitting on my WIP list for awhile - a baby quilt for a baby who is now six months old.

I added the first scrappy border which is just left over pieces from the center, and I'm adding the elephants for the second border.  I like using up the scraps on the same quilt so that everything is used up and doesn't have to go in the overflowing scrap bin.  I sure hope I am quilting on this tonight.

Linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday

Keep Calm and Quilt On!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Sew Sunday - Swaps

Confession - I am a procrastinator.  I rarely get anything finished ahead of time.  I have on occasion done so, but those are the exceptions and I always think something is going to take less time than it actually does.  This is not just in sewing, but my entire life.  This will trip me up when I have to get up at 4 am to get a government form completed that is due that day!  Or complete a swap item that needs to be mailed that day!  

I was in the Sew Sew Modern 2 Swap and I waited until crunch time to finish my items.  I knew what I wanted to make for a few weeks and I had the patterns.  I had them finished a day late, but checking the list of senders I'm not the only late sender, so although I would feel better getting out on the day due, the next day doesn't make me feel too bad.  I will still try in my next swap to do better!

My partner said she liked Echino - something I love too!

I put together the Divided Fabric Basket ( pattern from Noodlehead).  I can get this together now almost without looking at the directions, this is the 8th one I've made.  I love this basket and I hope all these people I'm making them for like them too!  I made the handles with bright pink, my partner said she liked jewel tones, and the pink matched the colors on the front pocket of the basket.  

I also made my partner a Super Tote using the pattern from Noodlehead.  She asked for a tote with a zipper closure.  

I used Echino fabric for the Super Tote

There were a few extras thrown in with the two sewn items.  My partner should receive today, and I hope she will be happy with her items.  

I received my swap items last week, and I am so happy with them.  My secret partner made me a tote (can't have enough of those) and a small knitted bag.  I love the little bag, I have never received anything like that, and I don't knit, so that was really special.  She said the bird on the tote was inspired by a Charley Harper drawing.  I adore this tote! She also included a bit of chocolate no longer available for photographing.  

I am going to work on something this weekend that is WAY behind and show next week.  I hope everyone is doing something they love to do this weekend - summer is here!  

My Gran first dip in the pool, he wasn't quite sure what to make of all that water and no shampooing.