30 September 2013

Gramma's Baby Quilt

In June, I posted about the restoration performed on this King sized quilt.  This weekend I had the pleasure of restoring another of my cousin Jennifer's quilts, a baby quilt made by our Gramma.  The same staggered brick, Diamond pattern was present.  Tied with yarn, the backing was thin and torn.

I stretched out the new backing onto the quilting frame, placed the quilt on top, and began to replace the yarn ties working from the center out to the edges.  Then I removed the quilt from the frame and undid the binding stitches, as the backing had been folded over to the front, using the self binding method.

Next I basted around the edges of the quilt and trimmed the old and new backing flush with the edge.  Using the scraps from the new backing, I made and applied the binding strips.  The finishing touch was to reapply this original label, which had been lovingly sewn on by the hands of my Gramma D.

There are many things I have enjoyed about working on Jennifer's quilts.  Among them are the thoughts that come to mind while labouring in love.  Of my Gramma, of family, of babies.  It has been 13 years now since my last baby was born.  Time keeps merrily rolling along!

However.....  Rainbow Armadillo isn't in a hurry to return this quilt any time soon!

Keep On Quilting On!

29 September 2013

New Hop and a Wolf Quilt

Perfect timing!

Just the other day, I posted some pictures of some newly acquired fabric and my intentions of making a wolf quilt for my son for Christmas.  You can find that post here.

And this week, I see that the world renowned Madame Samm and her incredibly crafty Head Cheerleader, Amy are hosting a For The Boys Blog Hop.  Don't be silly!  Of course I signed up! This hop runs from November 6 to 13th.  Click on the blog hop icon below to visit Madame Samm and read all the details!

In my personal opinion and experience, I think we tend to neglect and under appreciate those special guys in our lives.  Maybe even take them for granted?  Well, that's what I interpreted based on that mumbled under their breath whining sound I heard.

Just kidding!

But truthfully, I do need to even things out in the sibling department.  My daughter got my first quilt.  It's high time my son received one, too!

Keep On Quilting On!

27 September 2013

Christmas is on it's way...

It took me one full day to complete this,

my first Christmas runner,

from start to finish.

I used the Broken Herringbone tutorial by Anne of PlayCrafts for the design.
You can find the tutorial by clicking on her name.

I made the following adjustments from the tutorial.

  • The tutorial calls for 6 different 2.5" x 18" strips and 3 - 1" width of fabric cuts for the sashing.
  • I used 3 of each of the 6 different strips cut to 15" and 7 - 1" width of fabric strips for the sashing.
  • I also saved the trimmings from the first few steps, and added them on at the very end.

This Christmas runner measures approximately 13.5" x 33".

I quilted stitch in the ditch, using a walking foot, as you can see here on the back of the quilt.

Now that I have used some of those old "ugly" fabrics from my stash, it's time to cut into the new "pretty" ones and make something else!

Any suggestions?

Did you know there are only 88 days left until Christmas?

26 September 2013

The Mother Load - Machine Finished Binding Tips and Tutorials

One of my proudest accomplishments in learning how to make a quilt has been developing a machine finished binding method that works for me. But, believe me, this was not achieved without a lot of trial and error.

For my first attempt, on my Fall Leaves quilt, I followed the instructions given by Rita of Red Pepper Quilts.  She is a polished quilter who turns out the most beautiful quilts.  But her method, for me, was just not how I wanted my finish to look.  Rita's method is accomplished by sewing from the back of the quilt, ditch quilting along the binding, and catching the binding folded around to the front from underneath.  This method involves the added step of pinning.  Yet, I still missed some places on the front binding and it did not look straight.  I would show you up close pictures of that hot mess, but I am no long in possession of that quilt.

Flowers in the Sun quilt with a flanged binding

Then I found a tutorial for Susie's Magic Binding by the talented Aunt Marti of 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks.  I fell in love with this technique which uses two narrow complimentary strips to make the binding strip.  This method adds a little punch of colour and frames your quilt in style.  The binding method is accomplished by sewing from the front of the quilt, ditch quilting on top of the binding, along the seam where the two strips meet.  This will result in a seam line, next to the binding, on the reverse side of the quilt.  It does require an extra step in making the binding because you have to sew the two narrow strips together along the length of the binding strips.  When making your final joining seam, it can be a bit tricky to get the seam to match.  This method is known as flanged binding.

Sew Retro, Baby quilt with a flanged binding

After practicing the flanged binding method on many, many quilts, my confidence grew with experience.  And I was eager to attempt machine sewn binding without the extra step of sewing two narrow strips together to make the binding strip.

I highly recommend this tutorial by Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts.  Be sure to read her additional remarks at the end of the tutorial, which she has since edited to add.

Oh My, Scrappy Stars with machine finished binding made from 2.25" binding strips

There is one thing I can say that will help you to become proficient at machine finished binding -


Practice makes perfect.  And it is just sew true.  There are a gazillion binding tutorials out there.  Read a few of them.  Bookmark the ones you think will work for you.  And practice.  Take it from me and my Fall Leaves quilt.  Don't think you can't do it just because it didn't turn out perfect the first time.

Don't give up - PRACTICE.  You can do it!

Broken Herringbone, Baby! quilt using 2.5" binding

Here is a list of tips for mastering double fold machine sewn binding:
  • Cut your binding strips from the cross grain (selvage to selvage), across the width of the fabric.
  • Start out making your binding strips 2.5" in width, then use 2.25" when you are more confident.
  • ALWAYS measure your quilt's sides and make a plan to ensure none of your binding seams will end up at the corner.  Or lay your binding around the edge to see if any seams land at the corners.
  • After attaching the binding to the back of the quilt, use a hot iron to press the binding back towards the front of your quilt.  This extra step is well worth the effort.
  • Increase your stitch length when top stitching the binding onto the front of your quilt.  I normally use a stitch length of 3 for small projects, 3.5 for baby quilts and 4 for bed quilts.  Except when I forget, like on the broken herringbone quilt above!  I feel a longer stitch looks more attractive than the short piecing stitch length which is between 2 to 2.2
  • I offset my needle, and line up the folded edge of the binding with my walking foot, to ensure a straight and even final seam line when top stitching the binding to the front of the quilt.
  • Although none of the above pictures show my final step, I also hand stitch the corners folds on all my bindings using a ladder stitch.

Gone Fishing quilt using matched binding
When you have mastered your machine finished binding, you may want to try your hand at making a matched binding.  Debbie of A Quilter's Table has a great tutorial.  Matched binding uses the same fabrics as your quilt top.

What else can you do?  How about a scrappy binding?
Here is another excellent tutorial by Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts for scrappy binding.

Remember, there are many ways of doing things.  And there are many great quilting bloggers who have shared their experiences by writing tutorials.

You can master machine finished binding, too!  I believe in you!

Keep On, Quilting On!

Tis the Season!

Did you know the Broken Herringbone design works Christmas magic?
I'll let you in on a little secret...

But be warned... Use your clicker with caution.  This post is filled to the brim with clickable links!

Although I did recently buy a really sweet pile of new Christmas fabric....

I still had this small pile of ugly Christmas prints.

And THEY really needed some major help!

Now, I've heard it said that the only way to make UGLY  fabric look good is to cut it up into really small pieces.
But it turns out that narrow strips work too!
Add those little white sashes between the strips, and....

Prest-O, Change-O!  Ta-da!

You have yourself a pretty little Christmas table runner (in progress)!

In case you have not heard, I'll tell you the story again....

Once upon a time....

The Broken Herringbone was designed by Anne of PlayCrafts.

Molli found her great tutorial here.  Now Molli fell in love with the Broken Herringbone.  And, being such a kindhearted soul, wanted to share this love with the world!

One by one, we were all put under the trance of the Broken Herringbone design.  Some fell real hard.  Like Vera of Negligent Style.  She took that design further and further....  I thought I was finished with the broken herringbone, but Vera caused me to be drawn back into it's spell!

If you always wanted to be part of a wonderful story, perhaps you would be interested in joining the Molli Sparkles Broken Herringbone Quilt A-Long.  Click on that link to read everything you will need to know and join in.  I'm telling you, even the read is fun!  Allow Molli Sparkles to sprinkle a little magic into your sewing world and share the broken herringbone love!

The broken herringbone quilt along even has it's own Flickr group.  Click to see some of the fabulous examples entered already!  Don't be shy... Give it a try! 

Remember there are only 88 days left until Christmas!

Keep on, Quilting on, everybody!

25 September 2013

A Finish and a First

I finished the Gone Fishing quilt yesterday. 

This is the first quilt I have ever made using a matched binding.
Luckily, I had just enough of the sky fabric to do so!

I had thought of making a scrappy, colourful binding.
But there was already enough rainbow going on with these fish.

I quilted around each of the fish and all of the letters.  Then quilted waves in the water....

And clouds and wind in the sky.... Well, organic clouds and wind!

Fishy, fishy in the brook,
Papa catch him on a hook,
Mama fry him in a pan,
Baby eat him like a man.

Putting this quilt up for sale in my Etsy shop!


Christmas Pillows and Wolves

My first quilt was made for my daughter, Erin.  That was about a year and a half ago now.

Since then it has been my son, Russell who has been the one to show interest.

He is great with colours and design.  And is the one person I rely on when I need a second opinion.

Now it is his turn.

He has requested a wolf quilt.

And a while back, I found this fuzzy wolf fabric suitable for a backing. (I hope!)
Now to formulate a plan!

I did some shopping on Saturday and found this wolf fabric and coordinating fat quarters.

I also picked up a little more Christmas fabric.
The neutral text describes the tradition of the Christmas tree.

I purchased two 24"x24" pillow forms, as they were half price.
So each of the kids will be getting a big cushion for Christmas - or sooner!

Did you know there are only 90 days til Christmas?

What are you handcrafting for gifts?

23 September 2013

Finished... Broken Herringbone, Baby!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  I did!

It was a full weekend, but I still found some time to finish up the Broken Herringbone, Baby! quilt.

I settled on quilt-in-the-ditch.  No pressure.

It does not distract from the herringbone design.
And I love the simplistic look on the back of the quilt!

I also have the Gone Fishing quilt basted and started on it.

Backed in flannel with these cute turtles.

Outline quilting the fish and worm.... And then quilting waves in the water.
 Will do the same outline quilting for the letters and then quilt clouds and/or wind in the sky.

How was your weekend?  Relaxing or productive?  Or both!?

20 September 2013

Broken Herringbone, Baby!

I have made great progress and finished enough blocks for a great sized baby boy quilt.  These prints are from Kate Spain's new line Sunnyside.

Here is my finished top.....

And here is the pieced backing.
I used two half yards and a strip I created using some of the scraps from making the blocks....

If you are interested in making your own Broken Herringbone blocks, you can find the tutorial here....

Now to decide on the quilting!  Any suggestions?

18 September 2013

Thank You All!

When you ask a quilter for some help... Be prepared!  You can count on it!

I made this post on Sunday, asking for help in deciding which quilt to enter in the local fall fair.  How naive was I.  The response was OVERWHELMING!

But this did not solve my problem.  From the comments left on the post and those on the Google Plus post, the Scrappy Stars quilt was only ahead by a nose.  I took my husband and each of my kids aside separately and asked for their opinions.... And each of them chose the Flowers in the Sun!

One comment really stuck in my mind as I considered what to do.....

Sarah @ mila+cuatro said... Which one do you feel shows your talents as a quilter in their best light?

And here were the results of our little country fair....

Quilt Top Not Quilted - First

Crib Quilt Machine Quilted - First

One Pieced Quilt Block - Second

Toss Cushion - Second

Machine Quilted Quilt - Second

And here is the First place winner!
Believe me, this quilt was much prettier in 'real' life!
The colours were much brighter.  It was quilted with a medium meander.

I really would have liked to get better pictures, but they were packing things up by the time I got there.  So my daughter got this pic with her iphone and that's the best I could do!

Now I want to thank you all.
I really do appreciate all the sweet compliments, your encouragement, and your willingness to help!
It is nice to know I could count on you all when I needed it!

Thank you sew much!

15 September 2013

Gone Fishing - Top Complete

After a week of renovating, I finally had a chance to sit down with Janome and get some sewing done.  Ahhhhh!  Saturday night was spent completing the Gone Fishing baby quilt top.

I found two problems with my design for the words and have worked out those issues a little differently than how I ended up piecing the top.  But I am pleased with the results!

Our local fall fair is during the coming week and I am planning on entering Gone Fishing in the un-quilted top division.

Sew Retro, Baby! will be my entry for the baby quilt division.

I also plan to enter a quilt in the full size quilt division.  But I don't know which one.

Please help me!  Which one should I chose????


"Flowers in the Sun"

Or "Oh My, Scrappy Stars"

Sure would appreciate hearing your opinion.

Keep On Quilting On!

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