Saturday, August 1, 2015

Midnight Flight

Day 2 of the retreat with Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville and Jo and Kelli with Jo's Country Junction was just as exciting and fun as the first day.  The block was a bit more challenging so there isn't as much progress to show.  Plus as I get to know my fellow retreaters and new friends, the laughter flows much more freely and the sleep a little less.

Bonnie has several tips and tricks to the components of her blocks.   Who would have thought I'd learn a quicker way to sub cut and sew 4 patch units together.

I know you've heard about and probably do chain piece sewing but do you chain piece press?  I do now.

I already knew the little twisty trick and I've blogged about it here.

This is only the tip of the iceberg on what I need for some 4 patch units.

A section of the block layout....

And of course a Kodak moment with Bonnie!

Ta Da!  Here is one block complete.

And now 4 blocks complete...

And that's all folks ... for day 2 of progress.

Of course after our class with Bonnie, consumption of the contents of this bottle that was passed around the room contributed to the excessive laughter and interesting conversation.  Let's just say a good time was had by all that evening.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Kiss in the Corner

I can't believe it finally got here... the retreat I signed up for Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville and Jo and Kelli at Jo's Country Junction.

Our first project on day one was Kiss In The Corner with Bonnie.  My fabric selection was somewhat civil war reproduction fabrics.  Of course I drug my feet on preparing for the workshop and I wasn't 100% happy with my chrome fabrics.  I thought I had more than what I did but I was determined not to buy more.  I did exchange with Jill at the retreat for a little more variety.

Here is the morning progress.

A quick demo on how to short cut a step or two....

Some center section units on one of the blocks...

The top and bottom section units of the same block....

A kiss in the corners....

I'm so anxious to get all the blocks finished so I can see how it turns out.  Bonnie highly recommended that we wait until all the blocks are finished before we start adding the Kiss in the Corner sashing between the blocks.  

We are having so much fun, laughing so hard, and making great friends in the middle of the cornfield  in Iowa where there's very sketchy phone service and very slow internet connection.  I have some neat show and tell to share with you on a separate post.  

You can see additional photos on Bonnie's blog post here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Retreat Challenge Update #2

I didn't make much progress on the retreat challenge that Jo and Kelli at Jo's Country Junction gave us.  You can read about it here.

I got a few more half square triangles sewn and squared up and I got quite a few half square triangles set up and ready to sew.

And I got a few blocks of clue #4 finished.

Here's the reason I didn't get much finished.  Look who's home from Japan!

And these two aren't home from Japan but they were at Great Grandma's house in Missouri and Nana was there too.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tuesday Tips, Tricks, and Tuts - Binding Prep

I realized not too long ago that not everyone binds their own quilts.  Actually I knew that quite some time ago but it just occurred to me why?  Some don't know how to piece the binding strips together and some don't know how to attach it.  Hopefully I can help you with that.  Of course, some just don't like doing it period!  And that's okay... that's why I offer binding services.  :)

So let's get started on today's Tuesday Tips, Tricks, and Tuts - Binding Prep.  You will need to determine the number of strips needed to go all the way around the quilt.  It's no magic formula, just simple math.  Add the length to the width and double that.  Now divide that by 40 (the length of a width of fabric strip) and round up to the next whole number.

For example, my quilt is 48" x 60.
48 + 60 = 108 * 2 = 216 / 40 = 5.4 (rounded up) = 6 strips of binding.

I rarely sew binding down by hand; 99% of the time it's by machine.  That being said, I cut my binding strips 2 1/2" x WOF (width of fabric).  A majority cut theirs 2 1/4" but I have found that that   extra 1/4" gives me room to turn it and catch it on the bottom without difficulty by machine.

Now that binding strips are cut.  Let's sew them together.  Start by laying 2 strips at right angles to each other.  I leave that little extra overlap so I can see where I'm sewing and where they intersect.

I don't mark mine, but you can if it helps you with a sewing line.   Draw a diagonal line (either imaginary or with a marker) from top inside corner to bottom outside corner.   Double check yourself at first to make sure you're drawing it the right direction.  Just flip it back as if it were sewn to see if it's going to right way.  Trust me, you can do it backwards and you will know immediately when you flip it if it's wrong.   

Now sew on that line ... As you can see from the photo below, when I drew my line I drew it the wrong way... which is another reason I don't draw my line.  I know how it should lay under the needle of my sewing machine and drew it wrong for the demo!  Notice how it does lay under the needle of the sewing machine though.  This is how each section should look.  

Now grab the tail of the top strip, lay it down right sides up, place another strip on top of it right sides together and sew diagonally again.  Repeat, chain stitching until all strips are sewn together.

Cut them apart and trim off the excess to 1/4".    I trim with scissors but a rotary cutter will work too.  

You are ready to press the binding strip.  Press it in half, this time wrong sides together down the length of the binding strip.  

When you get to a seam, press them OPEN.

Now roll it up and you're ready to bind when you quilt top is quilted.

Next week on Tips, Tricks, and Tuts Tuesday, I'll show you how to attach the binding to the quilt.