Saturday, July 30, 2011

Creative chaos in the craft room

My craft room's been a complete mess of late. Just got cranking on a bunch of projects at once and am making good progress. Hooray!

I finally got to the binding stage on this quilt with the scalloped border. Umm. Not as easy as I thought it was going to be. Sigh. The curves aren't a problem but those danged corners and points are proving to be a challenge for sure.

Making good progress on the dog flower quilt (I have got to come up with a better name for that) with all the petals done on the hand applique. Which meant I could start putting the blocks together and then appliqueing the centers. My applique technique has definitely improved. You can barely see my stitches on the centers. (However, the petals seriously don't match from block to block.)


I got started on yet another quilt with the center done before I moved on to do some actual quilting and binding bits. Loving the way this one is turning out, although I think I would have made some slightly different color choices in a couple of spots. Still, it's looking good and my construction is excellent. Can't beat that!

We're heading out on a road trip soon, which I realized meant I couldn't do any machine work but would be the perfect opportunity to get going on the other two hand applique quilts. So between stitching the blocks for the teal and pink quilt, I started sewing together all the petals for those into groups of three. Still need to get the backgrounds cut out to sew them too, however. But I should be ready for a week of nothing but applique. (Oh, that's not sounding as fun as I wish it would.

This one isn't a baby quilt, but I am finally finished with a quilt I started at least 10 years ago and meant to give to my mom. It's a king-sized quilt, hand-quilted because I'm insane. I actually sent it off because I made it halfway through the handquilting and just couldn't keep going. Mostly because my marking had gone horribly wrong. So I let someone else finish it. Then I did the borders and put on the binding. It's really just lovely and homey.


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, probably enough to get a stick of gum. I generally only recommend products or services on this blog that I would use personally and believe you will find cool as well. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Awesome! A new way of basting a quilt (small or large)

I've raved before about how great YouTube can be for learning new quilt techniques and tips. (Had to track down how to do a scalloped binding recently.) I'm sitting here with four baby quilts waiting to be basted and quilted. And basting is a sore spot for me.

It's a bit of a problem for a lot of people. Bigger quilts are tough to find enough space for. And if you do them anywhere but the floor, it's hard to reach them middle. Tape doesn't stick to carpet, pins scratch hardwood floors, tables are never quite the right size. Sigh. The issues are endless.

And no matter what I try, I seem to end up with puckers in the back. Boo.

Since I'm mostly working on baby quilts right now, I had the idea as I was trying to go to sleep last night to get a piece of plywood, 4'x4', and use it as my "table". The backing for most of these quilts is pretty close to the 48" range, so it would easily cover and clip to that size of board. Which means I could finally get it smooth and flat and hopefully pucker-free. I could put it on my dining room table without fear of scratching anything or on my narrow cutting table without sacrificing width.

But then ... . I started poking around to see if anyone else had tried this. And ran across the below video/technique in my searching.

I am in love with this idea. Heading out right now to get some boards so I can try it with these quilts. (And some longer boards to test it with the bigger quilts that are clogging up other drawers because basting is just so challenging for us perfectionists.)

You're going to want to watch these, but big tips I picked up:

  • Starching the back - I never use starch on anything, but going to try this at least the once.
  • Quilter's knot for the end of the thread - Oh my. How did I not know how to do this? Been sewing for a bajillion years and never seen this!
  • Herringbone stitch - I do this already, so more just glad to have the confirmation that there's a good reason for it.
  • Cut the basting for the section you're working on.





This is a hand-basting method. I prefer using thread over pins anyway, but I don't see why you can't use the general rolling method but then pin instead of sew. I've never had a problem doing machine quilting with thread basting, but I don't tend to quilt so heavily that going over a thread now and then is a problem.

I'll let you know how it goes! Anyone else ever tried this method before?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, probably enough to get a stick of gum. I generally only recommend products or services on this blog that I would use personally and believe you will find cool as well. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cute boy baby quilt tutorial

Ran across this one this morning ... . Cute, simple and a great way to use up some bright fabrics. It's a great little zig-zag pattern. Enjoy!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, probably enough to get a stick of gum. I generally only recommend products or services on this blog that I would use personally and believe you will find cool as well. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”