weekly update

Happy First Day of Fall!

Autumn is my FAVORITE season of the year!  Too bad it’s almost 90 degrees today.  I’ve been so wiped out by my day job these last few weeks, I feel like all the quilting goals I’ve set for myself have been overly aggressive.  It seems like the only thing I’ve mentally be able to do is sew on binding.  I also apologize I’m behind on responding to comments too.  One of these days I’ll finally catch up with my life.  So here are some fun finishes that I’ve had this week since I only sewed binding.

This quilt is a hashtag quilt made up of Vintage Modern fabric by Bonnie and Camille.  It’s one of their older lines of fabric that I just adore and was lucky enough to get a cut up layer cake on Ebay a few months ago.  It took me a while to figure out what I could make with 2.5″ square and 2.5″x6.5″ rectangles.  This hashtag quilt was a great fit and uses a partial seam to create the block (read my partial seam tutorial here). Continue reading “Happy First Day of Fall!”

Feature · Tutorial

Joining Binding and Diagonal Seams (A Tutorial)

One of my favorite parts of quilting is binding because it’s the last part that is needed to finish off the quilt!  I taught myself how to join the ends of my binding because I didn’t like the way the folded or tuck binding looked.  I also didn’t realize there was a huge market for all sorts of binding tools, so my method uses nothing but a marking tool and the knowledge on how to make a diagonal seam.

How do you calculate how much binding you need?

Add the length and width of the quilt together, then multiply 2 and add 10.  Take that number, divide by 40 (if using width of fabric (WOF)) and round UP.  For example, my quilt is 72×72.  So 72+72=144.  Multiply by 2 and add 10, 144*2+10=298. Then divide by 40 so 298/40=7.45.  And round up 7.45 => 8 strips of WOF needed.  The size of the strips is highly dependent on the quilter, some use 2 1/4″ width some use 2 1/2″.  Personally I have started using 2 1/4″ strips, but I began using 2 1/2″ and still write all my patterns to that size.

How to join binding: Continue reading “Joining Binding and Diagonal Seams (A Tutorial)”

Feature · I Wish You a Merry QAL

I Wish You a Merry QAL Block 5!

I am so proud to share the Snowman block I designed!  I used Moda Grunge Evergreen, White Paper, Onyx, and Red for the piecing portion of the block.  Mr. Snowman’s nose is a Moda Grunge Orange scrap.

When we first started planning this QAL, I jumped at the chance to make a Snowman block!  Snowmen are my favorite thing about winter and the holidays, especially cute snowmen.  As you can see, I made a lot of not-so-cute and not-so-proportional snowmen through the different iterations of the design I tried.

Continue reading “I Wish You a Merry QAL Block 5!”

weekly update

T.G.I.F.

Finally Friday!  For a short week (Labor Day holiday), it definitely felt like a really long one!  I didn’t have much time this week to work on projects since I was traveling for work.  I didn’t even get much hand sewing in, shocking!

So today, I’m going to share a little bit about how I test my designs without EQ7.  I do own EQ7 and use it for mocking up patterns that I end up making, but for quick tests of block designs I’m old-fashioned.  Using pencil and paper, I draw my block design and color it in.  I love using Prismacolor color pencils because they shade in evenly, a 24 color pack is plenty of different colors for mocking up designs.

Continue reading “T.G.I.F.”

Feature

Circular Illusion Quilt Pattern!

I am so excited to share my newest pattern with you today!  Introducing Circular Illusion!  When looking at this quilt from a distance, it gives an optical illusion of circles.  However, it looks like simple patchwork up close.

Circular Illusion is a beginner friendly pattern made with fat quarters or fat eighths and would look great using collections as well as scrappy fabric from your stash! Continue reading “Circular Illusion Quilt Pattern!”

weekly update

Happy 1 year Blogiversary to me!

Can you believe it’s already been a year?  For those of you who have been reading since the beginning, I very much so appreciate you, and thank you for reading! (I also appreciate those of you who may have found me during the last year as well!)  You may have noticed about 2 weeks ago, there were a few days that my blog wasn’t online or you were getting to a page that was under construction. I decided to migrate my blog from being hosted on WordPress.com to a self hosting WordPress.org site.  This post is dedicated to all my fellow newbie bloggers that may run into some of these same issues as they decide to go to a self hosted site.  If you are here for just my quilting adventures, skip to the end of the post for a quick weekly update and what I’ve been up to this past week.

Continue reading “Happy 1 year Blogiversary to me!”

Feature · I Wish You a Merry QAL

I Wish You A Merry QAL Block 4!

Block 4 is revealed! Jennifer Fulton of Inquiring Quilter designed Block 4, Christmas Memories. The week is a doubleheader so there is another post to show Block 3 (and there are separate prizes too)!

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This ornament block has a lot of intricate applique. I used Moda Grunge White Paper as my background and all sorts of different metallic fabric for the ornaments. Using raw edge applique, remember to cut out the centers of the fusible material to make your blocks more pliable. I drew the smaller pieces inside the larger ones to utilize the fusible material.

I also laid out the all ornaments on the block before fusing everything at once. I did not have applique paper or parchment paper handy at the time so I couldn’t fuse the ornaments together before fusing to the background.

Continue reading “I Wish You A Merry QAL Block 4!”

Feature · I Wish You a Merry QAL

I Wish You A Merry QAL Block 3!

Block 3 is revealed!  Laura Piland of Slice of Pi Quilts designed Block 3, Santa’s Belt.  The week is a doubleheader so there is another post to show Block 4. (and there are separate prizes for that one too!)

Santa’s belt is a block that is constructed only with piecing.  I used Moda Grunge Basics Red, Onyx, and Sunflower for my 3 colors of the belt.  The block went together very quickly to become such an iconic belt!

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Make sure you have an accurate 1/4″ seam, and you’ll be able to make this block very quickly!

Continue reading “I Wish You A Merry QAL Block 3!”

weekly update

This Can of Spray Baste Changed My Life

So maybe that might be a little dramatic to say spray basting changed my life, but for my frustrations with domestic machine quilting, it’s helped immensely!  The last few weeks leading up to the Piece and Quilt with Precuts Blog Hop, I kept saying I needed to spray baste and quilt the top to finish it for the blog hop.  I kept pushing it off week after week because I typically hate basting. But this week I decided to spray basted for the first time! It was a little awkward, and I got a little on my hand and realized it was pretty sticky.  The jury was still out on this method. But fast forward to doing the spiral square quilting for the SWAK quilt, and I was absolutely sold!  The quilt sandwich did not shift when I was rotating and manhandling the quilt to finish quilting it! I am totally sold on being able to deal with the quilt with no shifting and no safety pins in the way!

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Just to be sure this wasn’t a fluke of loving how spray baste helps my quilting, I decided to work on some smaller quilt tops that have been completed for months. Seriously, it was amazing!  I even thought maybe it really wasn’t the quilting parts that I dreaded but the basting!  Spray basting removed that barrier.  This is a mini quilt from the Starkiss pattern by Maho Quilts. I made this during the 2017 Winter Quiltfest.

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I tried it next on a piece which was a little larger.  This is the Maui Quilting’s 2015 Row by Row design I picked up in April and never actually quilted until now!  I can’t wait to get this hung up in my sewing room!

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With spray basting helping alleviate my anxiety about quilting, I was even bold enough to try some free motion quilting (FMQ) on my Frivols 2 quilt.  I mean seriously, I avoid FMQ like the plague and now I’m volunteering to do it? Who am I?

I still need to get the binding on this quilt, but for the first time FMQ’ing in months, I think it looks pretty good!

I must mention that I machine bound the other quilts I finished this week too.  I tried multiple different techniques, and I’ll share my learnings a different day. Overall, I still think hand finishing the binding looks nice, but being able to call a quilt done quickly with machine binding is amazing.

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I am no expert on spray basting yet, but I do have tips for those that have yet to try it out:

  • Spray baste outside – the fumes are a little bit strong so being outside helps.
  • The can is very flammable so definitely be careful with storage.
  • The can says to spray the batting, but I definitely just spray the fabric.
  • Press the backing, quilt top, AND batting to ensure each piece is nice and flat.
  • Use a large ruler to help smooth the batting on the backing, and then the front onto the backing.
  • I used a small portable table to spray baste on. Make sure you cover the surface you are spraying to protect it from the potential overspray.
  • Since I was working with smaller quilts, I actually started from one edge rather than in the middle.  This was easier for me overall to make sure I wasn’t going to run out of backing or batting on any one side.  I know this is probably very different than how others do it.
  • Christa Watson had a great demonstration of spray basting, which I followed, in her Start-Up Quilting Craftsy Class.  (read my review of the class here)
  • A few basting pins are helpful along the outer edges so you don’t need to do quite so much overspray. (Tip from Kris!)

Anyway I’m off to hopefully reduce the number of quilt tops waiting to be basted and subsequently quilted now that I’ve fallen in love with spray basting!  Have a great weekend!

8/25-9/1 Weekly Goal:

Available time for quilting:
Saturday PM, Sunday PM, Monday PM, Tuesday PM

Projects I want to work on:
PBQ105
Baby Whale Quilt
PBQ103
Tabby Road

Goals for the Projects:
PBQ105: Make test blocks to confirm design idea
Baby Whale Quilt: Baste, quilt, and bind
PBQ103: Take the finished photos and get the final version complete
Tabby Road: Make half of the hour glass blocks

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Blog Hop · Feature

S.W.A.K. Revealed (Piece and Quilt with Precuts Blog Hop)

S.W.A.K. is the 4th quilt in the Piece and Quilt with Precuts book by Christa Watson.  I am so happy to finally be able to share my finished quilt after all the sneak peeks on my Instagram!

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This quilt uses Charm Packs for the half square triangles (HSTs).  So keeping with the spirit of the precuts theme, I decided to use Airmail (quantity 2), Modern Background Ink (quantity 2), and Bella Solid White (less than 1) Charm Packs.  Here is the first lesson:  Not all Charm Packs are the same size! Seriously. You’d think they should all be 5″ square, but with the pinked edges the square is sometimes larger or smaller.

I used my Frixion pen to mark the diagonals on all the lines and centered the two pieces the best I could.  However, it didn’t help with the finished size of the HST.  The pattern calls for 4-5/8″ HSTs, but mine were so inconsistent due to the charm pack size that I made the decision to trim them to 4-1/2″.  So I then started my long process of trimming all 168 HSTs.

I used my design wall to lay out the entire quilt before I made the blocks.  I realized with the Red and Blue blocks I could make the fun Xs and Os in different colors.

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Because I trimmed my HSTs, the final version of my quilt is slightly smaller than what is listed in the pattern, but it’s crucial to have consistently sized HST to have a square quilt!  I tried spray basting this quilt for the first time!  Christa gave a demo of spray basting in her Start Up Quilting Craftsy class, and I was definitely intrigued. I must say, I think I have fallen in LOVE with spray basting. It makes quilting so much easier without having to take out pins all the time.  I followed the square spiral walking foot quilting instructions in the book, and I can only imagine how hard that would have been if there were pins!

So what are my overall thoughts about the pattern and the book?  It’s a great book that goes from piecing instructions to how to quilt that specific design.  Christa has great instructions and great tips throughout the book to help build your skills.

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You can purchase a signed copy of the book from Christa’s Shop or you can purchase a copy using my Amazon Affiliate link.

Don’t forget that the blog hop continues through August 30 so be sure to check out all the other amazing designs and quilters!

Blog Hop Schedule

Last but not least, since I spent all weekend migrating my blog to be self hosted and now can have Rafflecopter giveaways… Here’s a giveaway for an E-copy of Piece and Quilt with Precuts!  The giveaway is open until the Midnight CDT on August 31.  Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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