Friday, July 16, 2010

machine quilting progress1

Well, after buying batting and backing for a quilt top and waiting for them to wash, dry, and iron I thought perhaps I was jumping in just a little to fast. I though, "Maybe I should practice a little first! Yes, it looks easy, but so do a lot of things."

Practice I did. I got a couple of similar sized scraps together and a piece of batting. Then I tried to put my feed dogs down. Down you dogs, down! Then I tried to attach the darning foot, which proved to be difficult. Darn darning foot! Finally, I read the directions. Then I got out the screwdriver! With my darning foot finally attached and feed dogs down, I was ready for practice and glad it was just practice.

Here is my practice piece.


and back.

Not to bad for a crazy town creator!

There was one little problem that could be bad. I folded a portion of the backing which was quilted down. Potential future craziness.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

machine quilting

OK, I know what I said about hand quilting and machine quilting, but after the last post I went looking for machine quilting techniques (more like stumbled on them). I found a few great ones. So, I am going to try machine quilting! After all I have several UFOs that need to be finished, and I really don't have the time to hand quilt anything. You know since I am now a full-time student (not sure how that happened), full-time employee (35 hrs a week fall and spring semesters), and wife (never ending). With those hats as well as several others; I find it hard to find time to quilt.

I am not going to stop hand quilting! I love it to much. I am just going to try out machine quilting and see how it goes. I will keep you posted. Now I am off to the quilt store for batting and backing!

Friday, July 9, 2010


Quilting on a quilt can make a big difference in a quilt. If there is to little the quilt looks naked and boring. I am of the opinion that there is never to much quilting, but I am sure that there is a quilt somewhere that has to much quilting.

When quilting myself I prefer to hand quilt.

For one thing I have not learned how to machine quilt. I do not want to just start without someone guiding me. What if I put a quilt under the needle and the bobbin explodes on the back or something disastrous happens! I just don't want to put a lot of work into a quilt to mess it up machine quilting. Also, I do not want to hire someone to quilt it for me. I am sure that they all do a wonderful job (I have seen some wonderful machine quilting), but that would mean that I did not do the entire thing myself.

Hand quilting is one of my favorite parts of completing a quilt. My hands like to be a part of the work. That may sound strange but when machine sewing my hands guide they do not do the work. There is just something about making something by hand. It relaxes me.

Quilting is not for everyone. It takes time and patience. Quilting a baby quilt depending on the amount of quilting I am doing can take me (if you put all of the free time I find together) anywhere between a week and a month continuously quilting. It often takes me longer because I quilt in my free time, usually while watching TV.

Many people want something now. For these people machine quilting is probably the best. You can have a quilt finished in a weekend.

Happy quilting!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


A tutorial on how to make the pinwheel block

I made two quilts the summer of 2007 for two little boys who were born two months and four stares apart. To save time I made both of the quilts using the same pattern and same material. The quilts are scrappy and different in arrangement/ placement of blocks with other slight differences including different backings.
My inspiration for this quilt came from Quilt Almanac 2007 pgs 54-56.

You need 4 squares the same size of two different colors (most of the time the directions will tell you what size to cut the squares. I usually round it up to the closest ¼ inch so that I can trim it down to the size I want).

On the back of the light colored square draw a diagonal cut line from corner to corner (not pictured) and a ¼ of an inch sew line on either side of the cut line (I used this nifty tool I found at the quilt store that already has the sew lines measured).

Sew on the lines

Cut on the cut line (or from corner to corner)

Press open, press toward the dark fabric, and trim

Arrange new half square triangles into blocks
Sew together in couples
Press open, press toward the dark fabric. It is ok that there is an area between the points and the edge of the fabric. This is the seam allowance and will meet together to make the points.
Sew the pair together

Press open. I like to remove the top two or three stitches and press the center open like a fan to distribute bulk. If you do this you will notice a mini pinwheel on the back.

There you have it a finished block. Make different color combinations and sew together.
Have fun!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Raspberries and Mint Butterflies

Recent work? I am working on several quilts.

The latest quilt top completion is for a little girl who was born this afternoon. Welcome to the world precious little gift. The pattern is called Butterfliers by Mary Cain and was found in the recent magazine Small Quilts Summer 2010 pgs. 10-13.

It is a super easy quilt to make, and I had a lot of fun making it. If you know how to make a 4-patch than this is a snap. You sew it just like a 4-patch with an added piece of fabric inbetween.

For some reason this quilt reminds me of raspberries and mint!

I will only show you how to make one block. I like scrap quilts and try to make quilts as scrappy as possible. You can make this quilt as big as you want with however many blocks as you wish.

You will need 4 squares the same size and same print and 2 squares 1/2 inch smaller than the other 4 in a coordinating color. (4 same size color 2 same size color 1/2 inch smaller)

Iron the smaller squares diagonally and place raw edges to the outside of one larger square and then place the second square on top, all right sides touching.

Sew together using 1/4 of an inch seam allowance.

Press open and place the units together with the triangles to the insides, matching seams. Sew along the edges of triangles.

Press open (I like to take the two or three stiches out and press the center in a fan to distribute the bulk). Turn over and you have a quilt block. Repeat as many times as you like until you have a quilt top. Sew those blocks together, add borders, and quilt.

Congratulations. You now have a 3D quilt! You can put your fingers under the butterflies!