Saturday, August 30, 2014

MY FROGGY LOVE AFFAIR

Psst... Don't tell the King!  I'm having an affair... with my seam ripper!  Ugh!  Not exactly the love of my life that I would have expected.

It seems I have been spending an awful lot of time with my seam ripper here lately.  More time than I care to.  As you recall, on Wednesday at UFO's I had to use it to "frog" (rip it, rip it) 48 half square triangles from 24 pieces of sashing.  Mission accomplished.

Then on Friday, I had to spend another couple of hours with the beloved seam ripper again.  This time on a customer's quilt.  Don't ask me how it happened; it's too complicated.  Let's just say it's the possessed Queenie again!  Anywhoo.... Queenie stitched 4 repeats of a border pattern twice, on top of each other, and of course it didn't stitch exactly on top of each other so began my affair with the ripper again.

This is the back of the quilt.  The front side is the same color as the thread.  Maybe that's why I didn't notice the pattern being stitched on top of the previous stitching.  hmmm....

Yay, it's all ripped out!!! 


And that is a wad of thread!  


Sorry seam ripper but we must stop seeing each other like this.  I don't have time for this.  
And I can't show the whole quilt yet either.  It's a sample for a pattern designer and she's not ready for me to post the pictures yet.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

UFO WEDNESDAY 08/27/14

I always look forward to Wednesdays; one it's "hump day" and two it's UFO group meeting day.  I haven't been to UFO's in a very long time.  I felt like I needed to re-introduce myself to the group!

I thought I'd share with you what everyone is working on.

Sheila is working on a New York Beauty.  It's only 2 colors, the red and cream.  I know it's going to be fabulous when she's finished.



Nancy is binding one of the 18 quilts I quilted for her.  She says she only has 3 more to go and they will all be completely finished!  Now that's a lot of binding!


Norma is working on a maple leaf table runner for the church bazaar.



Donna is making not one, but 4 quilts to give for Christmas; one for each of her grandchildren.  She's using the Winter Wonderland panel and making piano keys for the border from a coordinating jelly roll.  



Joy is putting the binding on a baby quilt but before that she finished the center of a tee-shirt quilt.




And I'm working on another one of those "top secret projects" but I'll give you a hint.  It's for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 10 that due to come out in November 2014.  


What have you been working on in this heat?  I hope you're staying cool and getting lots of things finished!  




Wednesday, August 27, 2014

PATIENCE MY DEAR

I think I should have gone back to bed after my day that I've had.  I finished a custom quilt in shorter time than I thought it would take me so I thought I would throw my own project on the quilting frame and do it real quick.

Bahaha! Silly me!  What WAS I thinking?  First off, I picked a pattern for the border that I thought was a p2p pattern.  Now p2p probably doesn't mean much to non Statler Stitcher quilters but for me it means lots of time saving!  A p2p pattern can be placed on the quilt with just a couple of clicks (point to point), without having to trace the block and then place the pattern in the block; plus when placing more than one p2p pattern end to end, it will stitch out in one continuous motion, eliminating excessive tie-offs.  Thus major time saving quilting!  Well, it went in p2p with a couple of clicks but it didn't stitch out that way.  You see, some patterns are p2p builders in that you can place them like a p2p pattern but they don't stitch out continuous!  Well darn!  And when I realized it I had already stitched out the first pattern.  Now I could frog it (rip it out, unstitch it) or I could go on..... I went on....

Then about 3 patterns into the stitching, the pattern became possessed and re-designed itself!  WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON!!!  I took a picture of the screen to show you I'm not losing my mind (well maybe that's debatable) of what I programmed in and what the "possessed placement" looked like.  Because you see, it did it more than once; about every 3rd pattern to be exact!  I circled the possessed pattern below.



I had to frog again!  Finally got that part done!  Whew!

On the the next part of the project.  I knew I wanted a certain pattern that went with the other patterns I was using but I couldn't remember the name of it, just that I remembered seeing it in my book of patterns.  Do you have any idea how many patterns I have??? Well, let's just say  a lot thousands.  I couldn't find that pattern anywhere.  I finally gave up and used something else.  Urgh!  Time to invest in IPattern  don't you think?

Next thing...   I'm working on a project that requires you "reverse" the pattern.  Ummmhmmm..... did I do that?  Nope sure didn't!  But I did realize it after I stitched it down on the backing so I just cut one more to fix it.  Little did I realize when I made that little mistake was that I would run out of backing before I ran out pieces to quilt.  Ding, Dang, darn!  No matter how I placed the remaining pieces to quilt, I just couldn't get them all on the backing piece I had loaded.  I know this photo doesn't look like much but trust me.  They really are cute projects.


I'll have to quilt one of them on my domestic because I'm not loading a piece of backing 10" square in the the quilting frame for this one thing.

In the midst of all this, my thread kept breaking, and breaking, and breaking!  What's up with that?  It's the same spool I've used many times and same brand too.  Yes, I changed the needle, retreaded, and slowed the machine down.  Didn't help!  But I persevered and conquered the project.... maybe not as quickly as I had anticipated but the quilting is finished and ready to bind!

Oh, and in case you're wondering, all these projects are "TOP SECRET". They are for the next blog hop....


Where I'll be doing my part to .....


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

LONGARM QUILTING 2014 #13

A little quilter's eye candy for you today.

Dixie says this a UFO from "umpteen" years ago and has survived at least 2 moves so she thought she'd spring for some custom quilting.




Rita made another baby quilt.  Simple but cute!


I quilted some pretty "butterflies" with Glide pink thread.



Laura made this baby quilt.  Another simple one using a panel.


This pattern quilted on this baby quilt is called "Eternal Flame" in ecru thread.


Laura also made this hexagon quilt and put an oak leaf in the center of each hexi.



So I quilted swirling oak leafs in honey thread on it.


Mary Jane was commissioned to make the next two quilts.

This one is a baby quilt for the baby.


I quilted hearts a flutter in Glide pink thread.


And this one is for "momma" to put on the full size bed in the nursery.


I quilted "sweethearts" in Glide Passion Pink thread.





Monday, August 25, 2014

TUTORIAL - SQUARING A QUILT BACKING

I am going to show you how I square my quilt backings.  As I'm sure you know, if your backing isn't square to begin with, your quilt won't be square when it comes home from the longarm quilter.  Also, let me state once again, when you bring a backing to me it needs to be at least 6-8" wider and longer than your quilt top.

I'm not the quilt police so if you square your backings differently, that's okay.  This is just how I do it.  I really wanted to do a video but my videographer  is away at college so these pictures will have to do.

First let's start with wide backs.  To me they are the hardest as they won't fit on a cutting mat with one cut of the the 24" ruler.  The easiest way to square them is the "tear" or "rip" them.  Some people aren't a fan of this but if you truly want a square backing with the straight of grain of the fabric, this is the only way I know to do it.

Make a small snip in the selvage (factory finished edge) and begin to tear.



If you run out of fabric to tear before you get to the opposite selvage side, start again.

Make another small snip about an inch in from the previous one and tear again.  Sometimes it will take two or three attempts for you can tear to the opposite selvage.


This is what a wide backing looks like after it's torn.  It doesn't look too even but trust me on this.  Once it's laundered (before you take it to the longarm quilter), it will be square.


As you can see from the picture above and below, sometimes there is quite a difference in the edges so therefore you will need to purchase at least 1/8 to 1/4 yard more than you think you need for the backing to square it.


Another way to square backings is with your rotary cutter and ruler.  First you need to press all the folds and wrinkles out of the fabric.  Then you need to refold the fabric, selvage edges together and slide between your fingers until there are no wrinkles, keeping the top selvage edges even.  (This is where the video would come in handy.)



Here is an example below that shows you the selvage edges are even but there is a wrinkle.  Slide the top layer one way or the other to remove that wrinkle, keeping the selvages edges even with each other.


Here's a close up below of how the wrinkle looks.  You DON'T want any wrinkles.   Not even a slight one!


Once the fabric is flat with no wrinkles, lay it on the cutting mat and line up the selvage edge with a straight line on the mat.


Using your ruler and rotary cutter, cut it off even.


Do this to both ends so they are both square.

If you need to piece two pieces together, you must be consistent with your method of squaring before you sew them together.  In other words, you can't tear one end and rotary cut the other.  You will have a whopper-jawed piece of backing that isn't square.

 If I'm piecing two widths of fabric together for the backing and it isn't directional, I like to leave it all one piece, bring the opposite ends together and then I sew down the selvage edge, making sure that my 1/4" is well within the selvage.  Sometimes my seam is 3/4" to 1" wide.  After I'm through sewing, I trim the selvage off of the seam I just sewed to 1/4" seam allowance.


When you get to the end, you will have a folded edge.  I stop about 2" from the folded edge, slide my scissors in and cut on the on the fold about 2" in and finish sewing the seam.


I then take the backing and lay out flat on my cutting mat and slide my scissors back in on the slit I made in the fold and finish cutting it all the way across.


If you don't leave it one piece and cut two separate pieces and sew them together.  When you get to the bottom and they are the exact same length, you will need to square the longer side off even with the shorter side.  If you bring me a backing sewn together and it looks like this, it ISN'T SQUARE!



I hope the instructions I have given you make sense and I hope it helps you have square quilt backings.  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to give me a call or contact me.  I'll be glad to demo in person if you're close or walk you through it on the phone.



Saturday, August 23, 2014

LOVELY IN LAVENDER #3

This is the third "Lovely in Lavender" quilt I've quilted!  I should be a pro at it by now!  Although all three of them are pieced alike, I have quilted each one just a little different.  I basically use the same patterns but once in a while I change things up a bit.  I'm always getting new patterns and sometimes I think something I have new will look better than what I used the last time.

Linda from San Antonio pieced this one.  Of course it is... LOVELY....












Linda even made matching pillow shams that I quilted to match the quilt.





And remember yesterday when I said my day didn't quite go as planned?  Well this is one of the things that didn't quite go as planned.  This is what a broken light box glass looks like when it falls out of the light box and lands on the tile floor.  I had shattered glass literally from wall to wall.  It went everywhere.  It even shot under the sofa and through to the front side!  And yes, I needed to sweep my floor but in my defense, some of that dirt was under the sofa that I don't move very often and sweep under!  And also in my defense, I have never been notorious be being a good housekeeper!    Why would I want to change that now!??!!



And this is the broken "Merry Glo Round Light Box".  I loved it.  It swiveled and turned.  Guess I'll have to invest in another one.