Saturday, July 11, 2020

A Detour to a Finished Project

I had intended to do some quilting today, but a project that I took on right before this Corona Virus situation ended up becoming a priority.  I kept moving the fabric around in my sewing room, and it was making me feel guilty for not getting it finished sooner.  Thursday I decided to at least get started on it.

This is a silver square dance petticoat.  My friend bought many yards of silver satin, and organza to make this.  The outer layer has 5 layers of ruffles, and the inner layer has six.  Each layer has a rolled hem done on the overlock machine, except the lowest layer which has two!  And the lower layers are each about 30 yards long!  

After working on it several hours the first day I had almost all the lower layer ruffled and sewn together.  Friday afternoon I got started on the satin layer.  Since this project was super messy with all the dust and shreds from the serger I decided to finish it up today instead of working on one of my planned projects this weekend.

What a lot of work, but I'm sure my friend will be delighted with her one of a kind custom petticoat.  Hopefully she'll be able to get some use out of it soon...but at least I won't have to feel guilty about shuffling this project around any more!  Tomorrow there will be quilting for sure, as soon as I finish re-organizing my sewing room a bit!

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Crazy Jane Update - blocks done in May

I can't remember if I posted these blocks yet or not, but was cleaning out my downloads file and spotted them.  Yes, Crazy Jane is on my list for this year, and I am still aiming to get her finished!  This is the block I was stuck on for way to long.  I ended up machine piecing it, and it came out really well.
Then I got the next one done, just a few tiny appliques.  Not bad at all!
And I enjoyed finding a lighthouse to fussy cut for the center of this one.  With even tinier appliqued melons!
The next block has a whole lot of applique.  I just need to prep it, then I'll get it's the thinking about it phase that gets me stuck every time.  

I've been working on some other sewing projects this week, but am looking forward to my weekend quilting.  I plan on getting busy with my UFO for the month, quilting a shop sample, and some more Jane.  A good reward for getting my work done!  Let me tell you, sewing a petticoat for square dancing is pretty boring work, and I'll deserve a quilting break over the weekend.  What are you working on this week?  

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Slow Stitching and a Happy Independence Day!

Hope you all had a good weekend!  We spent a few days with family, and it was a much needed rest for my mind and soul.  We have been very careful, and will continue to protect our own heath as well as our communities health - but the need for some time with family was worth the traveling.  

The neighborhood kids had a parade for us to enjoy!  They did a lap around the block, led by a fire truck with lights flashing!  What fun!  After that we came back to the house and spent the afternoon being lazy and playing board games.  I worked on my stitching, and helped Jovi learn to do some basic stitching as well.
After hamburgers and potato salad we did some more stitching and watched a movie until it got dark.  We enjoyed some sparklers, then wandered down the street to watch the neighbors light fireworks for a while.  It was a nice and quiet day, yet festive and fun - just the kind of holiday I enjoy most!  Sunday was more stitching and relaxing.  I made my daughter an art apron using the linen I purchased for her birthday.  It only took me half a year to finally make it!

But this was finished during our drive home and one more evening of stitching.  I am thinking this will be a pillow cover, but we’ll see!

Since I am staying away from the shop this week, I’ll be working on quilting this and writing up the instructions.  I really love this pretty stripe, it makes a lovely quilt!

I have a few projects to work on this week of the non quilting variety, so I’m going to have to keep myself on task if I want to get anything on my quilt list  done.  It’s time to paint the stairwell, so lots of prep work to get done.  

Enjoy your day, whatever you are doing! 

Friday, July 03, 2020

June Mini Madness - Adding Borders

Once you have your blocks set on point, you'll probably want to add a border or two.  The first thing you'll want to do is make sure your quilt is squared up and trimmed.  You probably won't need to trim much, but basically you want to make sure all your points are 1/4 of an inch from the edge and the dog ears are trimmed up.  
Next you'll need to measure your quilt.  I like to measure across each edge as well as through the center.  For my width I measured 43 1/2 for all three measurements.  For the length I had a quarter inch difference so I took the average of 51 3/4.  From these measurements I can see that I'll need 5 strips for my first border (I am adding two because I am using up my leftover material and I think it will look good with a narrow border, then a wider border to finish)  I had about 7 1/2 inches of my fabric for the first border, so I cut five 1 1/2 inch strips.  The final strip had a bit that was just a little short of 1 1/2, so I cut that part off so I wouldn't accidently use it.

I decided to add the borders to the top and bottom first so I wouldn't have to piece those.  I cut strips to size, then pin at the center and ends.  I add pins about every 10 - 12 inches.  I don't do a lot of pinning when I am piecing, but I definitely pin borders!  If by chance your borders don't fit when you are pinning, you will definitely want to re-measure.  Believe me, trying to "ease" them in and make them fit just doesn't work!  (And if you do this whoever quilts your quilt won't be happy either!)  Mine fit great, so I stitched them on and was ready for the side borders.

To figure out the length of your side borders, you want to take the measurement of the length of your quilt plus two times the width of the border and subtract an inch for the seams.  So my side borders were 53 3/4 of inch long.  

For my final border I had a bit of an issue with finding a fabric that I had that was large enough and looked good.  I wanted to use that aqua fabric, but it seems to have disappeared.  Maybe I'll find it and use it for a border, but I did find that pretty purple fabric and liked it!.  

More math in figuring out how big my borders could be.  I had about 14 1/2 inches of fabric, so ended up cutting 2 3/4 inch strips for my borders.  I had to piece all four strips for the borders, so figured out how long all the strips needed to be right at the start.  After the first border my top measured 45 1/2 by 53 3/4.  So I need two strips at 45 1/2 and two strips at 58 1/4 (53 3/4 plus 5 1/2 minus 1 inch)  I like to piece borders with a straight seam, if you do a diagonal seam you need to make sure you have enough fabric to do this - you might need an additional strip.  I got them all sewn on with out incident and they looked great!

I’m really happy with the way the borders finish off this quilt!  I think the smaller border frames the blocks nicely and the purple is a perfect finish. I'll either do a dark purple for the binding, or maybe that aqua if it shows up in time!  I'm planning on quilting this using a large spiral coming out from the center.  I have a leftover bit of Hobbs Heirloom cotton binding that's just the right size to finish this up, so I just need a backing for it.
I hope you are enjoying finishing up your quilt(s)!  I won't be posting over the weekend, but I hope you will share your quilts as you work on them!  Thanks for joining me in my June Mini Madness!

Thursday, July 02, 2020

June Progress and July Goals (PHD in 2020

I was still surprisingly productive even while working on June Mini Madness this month!  I finished two custom quilts - the first one was a quilt made from baby clothes:

The second was made from embroidered blocks that were never finished into a quilt, his wife commisioned me to make a quilt for a birthday surprise:
I finished two quilts for the Sewing Sunshing Blog hop - CityScapes
And Daisy Garland:
I completed one June Mini Madness Quilt:
Another top (still needs borders) in 3 inch blocks
And one in 6 inch blocks:
Plus started working on a new shop sample:
And finally I finished my UFO challenge and OMG - 2019 Color Challenge by Patterns by Jen:
As for July...of course there is the Island Batik Christmas in July challenge to work on.  I'm going to get that shop sample quilted and hopefully the two Mini Madness quilts.  In addition, I will be working on my UFO challenge for the month which is Queen's Garden.  I'll be making a quilt plus writing a pattern.
Should be fun!
I'm looking forward to playing with these lovely, summery fabrics!  Fairy Frosts, Hydrangeas, and even some Eiffel towers.  It will be lovely!  This will be my One Monthly goal for July.

I'm excited that I'm making such good progress toward my PHD in 2020!  

Linking up with:

June Mini Madness - On Point Setting

Sometimes a good way to make your quilt top a bit larger is to set your blocks on point.  This is what I decided to do with my 6 inch blocks, and I am going to share with you how I do this.  Of course the first step is to arrange your blocks!

Now you'll need to cut some squares and triangles for those empty spaces.  

If you are making a quilt with 6 inch blocks, you will need twenty 6 1/2 inch squares, five 9 1/2 inch squares cut in half diagonally each direction to make the side setting triangles (you'll have two extra triangles) and two 5 1/4 inch triangles cut in half diagonally for the corners.

For a quilt with 3 inch blocks, cut twenty 3 1/2 inch squares, five 5 1/8 inch squares cut in half diagonally both directions for setting triangles and two 3 inch triangles cut in half diagonally for corner triangles.

Start at a corner (I like to start on the top left) and sew a corner triangle to one side of the block, and a s setting triangle to each side, making one large triangle from the block. Press seams toward triangles.  Then procede to sew the blocks in diagonal rows, alternating blocks with solid squares and adding a setting triangle to each side, being careful to angle them correctly!  Press seams toward solid triangles and solid squares.

When you get to the center you will have a row with a corner triangle on one end and a setting triangle on the other side.

Continue piecing your rows, then start to assemble them.  If you start from the corner and stitch rows together until you get to the middle and then repeat from the other corner you can sew both halves together at the end. Press each row toward the corner.

After your top is complete, you can trim the edges if needed.  The corners of the blocks should be 1/4 inch from the edges.

Now the borders can be added.  Add borders as desired measuring length and width of top.

Here are the written instructions for you to save and use later:

I'm excited to see your finished quilts!  I'll put the borders on mine today, and share the process with you tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

June Mini Madness - Sewing the Sashing!

Now that you have all the blocks done, you need to add the sashing and cornerstones.  For the mini version  you will need two 3 1/2 inch strips (width of fabric) for the sashing and one 1 inch strip for the cornerstones. If you can cut 7 extra 1 inch squares of your sashing, you will be able to strip piece the horizontal sashing strips, which will eliminate a lot of handling of smaller pieces.

For the 6 inch blocks, you will need three 6 1/2 inch strips for your sashing and two 1 1/2 inch strips for your cornerstones.  


First you will want to arrange your blocks.  You can use the cover illustration as your guide, or lay them out as you desire.  This is always a fun process for me, and I can linger over this step for quite some time before my blocks are all just right! 

If you want to strip piece your horizontal sashings, now is the time to do that.  For the three inch block, sew your 1 inch cornerstone strip to one of your 3 1/2 sashing strips and press toward the sashing strip.  Cut into five 8 inch sections.  Sew these together, placing the cornerstones between the sashing strips, pressing toward the sashing strips.  Cut into seven 1 inch strips, then add the single cornerstone squares to the end.  From the remaining sashing strip cut thirty-six 1 inch strips to sew between the blocks.

You can do the same technique to make the sashing strips for the six inch blocks.  Cut one of your sashing strips in half.  Sew a half cornerstone strip to this (cut seven 1 1/2 strips from the other half) and sew a cornerstone strip to one of the remaining sashing strips.  From these longer strips cut four 12 inch sections. and seven 1 1/2 inch strips.  Sew the 12 inch sections into two pairs.  Cut these into 1 1/2 sections. Sew two of these to a single strip and add a 1 1/2 inch cornerstone to the end.  Cut the remaining sashing strips into thirty-six 1 1/2 inch strips.


Starting with the top row, sew your blocks together by sewing a sashing strip between each block and on each end.  Sew a horizontal sashing strip to the top and bottom of this you are on your way!

Sew another row and add the sashing strip to the bottom.


Add this row to the top row, and keep on going!

Until you get all the rows together!


Then you can add your border strips.  The top strips for the 3 inch block should be 18 1/2 by 2 inches.  Sew to blocks. 


Now you are ready for the side borders.  For the 3 inch blocks, you'll need 25 x 2 inches. Sew these to sides. 


For the 6 inch blocks, I would add the side borders first:  43 x 3 1/2 inches, then the top borders 42 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches.  This way you don't have to piece the sides.


Your top with 3 inch blocks will measure 21 ½ x 25

Your top with 6 inch blocks will measure 42 ½ x 49 ½

Tomorrow I will give alternative instructions for an on point setting!  I made my six inch block this way, and I am loving it - I just have to add the borders, which I picked out this afternoon.

Download the printable directions for sashing and cornerstones:

Sashing Instructions

Stepping Stones Sampler Lesson Six Dresden Plate

Welcome to lesson 6 of the Stepping Stones Sampler!  This month we'll be making Dresden Plate Blocks.
You can decide if you want to do this block using hand applique or machine applique.  You can do the center using your choice of hand, machine or fusible applique.
Using the template for the dresden wedges, line up your template with the folded edges at the top of the wedge and trim the sides.

Now you are ready to sew them together, sew in pairs if using two or four colors.  If using three colors, sew in threes.  Use quarter inch seams and take care to match up the top edges. Press the seams open.
Take a moment and see if your set of three makes a 90 degree angle.  
Next, sew these together into half circles, do the same for sets of two.  Make sure your halves line up in a straight line. 
Then sew both of these into a full circle.
Press each background square in half both ways so you can make sure to get your dresdens centered properly.
Pin each dresden down to prepare for applique.

Download the instructions for full directions on techniques.  Have fun sewing them to the backgrounds. You could even mix and match techniques! 

Next month we'll be learning foundation paper piecing.

Lesson  6 Instructions

See you in July!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

June Island Batik Ambassador Challenge - Free!

This month's challenge was to make whatever we wanted to make out of any Island Batik fabric!  And wow, there have been some awesome quilts made this month. 
Since my "big" project this month has been my June Mini Madness project, I really wanted to feature that as my challenge quilt.  And since I've now presented all the blocks, here is the finished quilt! 
The materials I used for this project were provided by Island Batik and their industry partners
30 mini blocks, one for each day in June.  I made this version with scraps from the Freedom collection I used last summer for a Quilt of Valor.  The background is solid white.  I used the last bit of my Hobbs batting from the Heirloom cotton with scrim.  To quilt it, I used an Aurifil thread in pale blue.  50 wt as usual! 

I quilted it every half inch on the diagonal.  And I used the Schmetz Professional Chrome needle in a size 10. These needles really are amazing, I have noticed a lot less thread breakage since I started using them for quilting!  And you really need to check out all the great info on the Schetz website, very informative!

I'm delighted with my finish and am looking for the perfect spot to display it!  One of the most enjoyable things about my little project has been seeing my friends jump in and try their hand at my mini project.  I had fun making daily videos and sharing tips.  It really was the perfect project to get my mind centered and thinking positive thoughts this month.  I also made another version with three inch blocks and one with six inch blocks.  They aren't finished yet, but they are also made of Island Batik fabric.

This one used fabrc from Stash Builder rolls.  I just need to decide on a border.  These are the 3 inch blocks.
This one is made from Magical Reef - it's the leftover fabric from my Tidepool quilt.  It needs a border or two as well.  I need to see how much fabric I have available.  I wanted to make this one a bit bigger so I set it on point. I think I'm going to quilt this one in a spiral!  Haven't done that in a while, and this quilt is a good size for that. 

Hope you enjoy my "crazy" quilts, I had a ton of fun doing my Mini Madness - all the posts are still available and you can make the blocks anytime you like. 

Now it's on to the July challenge!  (And a new Ambassador box filled with lots of yummy new fabric arriving later today...whoopie!) 

Linking up with: