Saturday, September 7, 2019

You Can Teach an Old Quilter New Tricks

So I quilted my 36 patch quilt this week. I was so happy to get it finished. It's been a long time since I finished a quilt for me. I used many of my all time favorite fabrics, and a few new favorites as well.
 You will see Lizzie House, Elizabeth Hartman, Laurie Wisbrun, Heather Ross and many more.
 Some of these fabrics are ten or more years old. Some were the final scraps, but some were larger yardage. It only takes 2 WOF  x 2 1/2 inch strips to make enough for the block.
 I used to have Dear Stella Confetti Dots in every color they made. Now they are all gone almost.
So I started quilting diagonal lines over each square. I love the way it looks, and as I know this quilt will get lots of use, this should be enough quilting to hold it together.

So now, about the new trick? It is in reference to the binding. I have been making quilts for 30 years. I learned pretty early on why double fold was better than single fold. I figured out my best way to get a mitered corner.
I learned to use my walking foot to attach the binding. The one thing I had trouble with was joining the two ends of the binding on the quilt. I couldn't wrap my head around it, so I just tucked one end inside the other and it left a small, but mostly unnoticeable gap. I did my quilts that way for years.

Then, I saw a tutorial by Amy Ellis showing how to join the two ends on the bias and make a smooth transition. You can't tell where the end is, as it just looks like all the other places you joined the binding strips. This is, for me a game changer. I have bound 3 quilts like this so far. Maybe it was seeing it done on a video. Whatever the reason, I now have a new trick in my repertoire.

I had planned to show a picture of the entire quilt, front and back at the end of the post, but I apparently cut off the bottom row of blocks. I am sorry and I will take a new picture and share it next time. Until then, Happy Quilting and enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

My Good Fortune

This is a very appropriate name for this Mystery Quilt that Bonnie Hunter held earlier this year. As I mentioned in a previous post, I had started this and then become very frustrated with it and stopped. It was my first bit of good fortune to start this quilt. The second bit of good fortune, for me, was that when I stopped, I downloaded the rest of the instructions for later. I did this, not knowing it would be more than 6 months before I came back to it.
All the completed clues were put into a project box. It sat beside me while I sewed many more projects.

 These were what Bonnie referred to as "bonus" blocks. They were left from making another block and saved for later use in this quilt.
 These were the neutral or low volume blocks I blogged about earlier this week. I love how these turned out.
 Sew and trim, sew and trim, sew and trim. Easy, but time consuming. But this time, I didn't mind. I put on some music and just dove right in.

And this is the first batch of 20 blocks, completed. Stunning, am I right? Bonnie knows her stuff.
 And these are the rest of the blocks, now all pieced. There are 35 blocks all together. The last row will not fit on my design wall, but I don't care. I just love looking at this and thinking of my Good Fortune in this whole process.
So for today, I am putting in some time on another project that I need to move forward. Tomorrow I will get back to this and sew all these beautiful blocks together. And then, my good fortune will continue on into the borders.
Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Giant Dahlia

I know you have seen those giant Dahlia panels that everyone has been free motion quilting. I have seen many lovely versions of them and wanted to try my hand at it. So I did, and then it became a quilt. Here are the pictures:

First, thes are the pictures of the day I was doing the binding on the quilt. The colors are stunning!
 The colors look pretty good here, they are fairly true to the fabrics. I am sure you recognize the Ombre Confetti Metallic from V and Co.
               The dark sashing is Kona Solid in Emerald.
             This is after washing and drying for maximum crinkle effect.
My label

All the quilting was done on my Bernina home machine. I used my walking foot for the straight lines and my BSR for everything else. Needless to say, I am pretty happy with how this came out.
Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Low Volume Table Runner

Remember last week when I showed you some pictures of a low volume table runner I was making? Well I got the whole thing quilted and bound the next day. Pictures? Of course.
 This is the runner, spread out on the glass topped coffee table in our living room. I love having a runner on that table and I need to make a few more. Maybe a Christmas one?
 After I got all the strip sets put together as one, and pin basted, I began to do some straight line quilting. I did some random width lines. Thick and thin.
 Then, of course the binding had to be neutral too, so as to blend in with the top.

But the back is much more colorful. And of course, there is my label. I am really loving the look of this. I will see you soon.

Monday, August 26, 2019

From Grammie Q to Grammie C

No, not a name change, but I did just finish another crocheted blanket for my daughter. I wanted to share it here.
 This is a Big Blanket Ripple from Attic 24. Lucy has a wonderful blog and she writes crochet patterns and shares them with us for free. This is my 5th blanket from one of her patterns.
 This is taken on my queen size bed. Like most quilters, I am first an artist and I like to try many crafts. I know that lots of other quilters do more than quilt as well.
 Crochet is something I can do during the evening while watching TV. It is also a very portable thing.
Arent these just the best colors? So bright and vivid. This blanket will see lots of use.
And here it is all packed up and ready to go to its new home in a few weeks. I love being able to deliver it in person!
Have a lovely day and I will see you again soon.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

36 Patch Progress

Making progress on my 36 patch quilt. All 36 blocks are now finished. Yipee!!

These are the last 5 blocks I made for the quilt. I am so happy that they are done. I am hoping to start putting them together this week.
I started laying them out on the bed to figure out my arrangement. I have trouble getting a picture of the whole bed with my phone, but when it is all put together, I will get a better picture to show you.
Have a great day y'all.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Learning Something Surprising

So I was a bit surprised when I learned something about myself this week. Let's go back in time to the beginning of the year, shall we? I wanted to try something new, for the new year. I decided to try Bonnie Hunter's Good Fortune Mystery Quilt. We were given one clue per week, and a week to make all the pieces. I wast using only stash fabrics, and mostly scraps at that. It started out well enough.
I made blocks, and joined the link ups every week, for the first 4 weeks. But after the first week, it became a struggle. I wasn't having much fun and it was stressing me out a bit, with the other projects I was working on. Week 5 did me in. I couldn't get the blocks to turn out the correct size and I didn't have Bonnie's special ruler, nor did I want to buy one just for this. So, I quit!
I dumped all my finished blocks into a project box and put the lid on it. I wasn't ready to toss it out just yet, but I was so angry and frustrated by it. I went ahead and downloaded all the rest of the weeks instructions so I would have them while they were offered for free. After a couple of weeks, I made the decision to just let it sit in the box for awhile. I decided that I would, eventually get back on it. Weeks went by, and then months. I would look at that box sitting there, mocking me. I put the mystery quilt on my 2019 project list, sort of a half assed commitment by me.

Then, finally last week, the time seemed to be right. I had few sewing commitments and I opened the project box. I pulled out the offending pieces and went to my computer for the directions. Reading them with clear eyes was so helpful. I was able to see what needed to be done here now. So I finished up week 5.

Next up was week 6 which was so much easier, to me. I had to make strip sets and sub-divide them. They were to be made from low volume fabrics. That is not something I have a ton of in my stash or scraps. I did a cursory search, and found only a few. I walked away for a few minutes, trying to decide what to do. For me, this quilt had been, in part about not buying any fabrics.

I went back into my stash bins. I slowly and carefully went through all my scraps. They began piling up on the ironing board. By the time I was done, I was so surprised at what I had. I pressed everything flat and began cutting and sewing.
 This is what I had. I sub divided all the strip sets to the proper size, and stacked them in the project box. Now, you would think that I would be ready for step 7, but you would be wrong. While I was making these strip sets, something happened to me. I fell in love with the look of the low volume strips. I wanted to make more! So I did, and I must tell you I still didn't run out of low volume scraps.

      These are some of my newly sub divided strip sets that went into the project box.
I began joining the rest of the strip sets to make a table runner! I really had to work to figure out how to join these. I cut some and turned some around until the whole thing was done. It now sits, pin basted on my table. Today, I will begin quilting it.

My whole point to this post was how time and distance from a project taught me so much. Rushing to keep up was tough, but taking time to settle things made such a difference and I got a new table runner from the deal too. I will be back soon to show you the quilted finish. Have a great day.