I like to have a piecing project and a quilt on the frame. I work better this way, when I get tired of standing, I can go sit and piece:
This quilt top needs a lot of pinning and careful stitching to make sure all these points a sharp and meet perfectly. It's tedious work....so I take a break and do some fun freehand quilting in this fun top I am quilting for my sister-in-law for one of her granddaughters.
I know it's not everyone's style of work, but I get a lot more done this way if I pace myself between projects.
Yesterday, I finished quilting my 20th top made by Al Lind. Several years ago, I sent Al a large box of scraps and a couple cones of thread for piecing. I lived in Idaho at the time; now, I live in Ohio. When one of the QOV coordinators sent me this top a couple months ago, I put it in the drawer until I had time to quilt it. As I was quilting it I noticed some fabric I once had, and them saw some more fabric I recognized, and then some more. By the time I had finished, I found 30 different fabrics I had once use to make quilts. I knew it was not simply a coincidence when I found 2 pieces of "African Mud Cloth" I had purchased at HMQS several years ago for a special commissioned project. Lots of memories and thoughts of Al as I was quilting this top.
Making some progress here. After floundering around with the smallest blocks, I decided the most efficient way to piece this quilt would be to piece these 4 patch blocks and then mix and match the colors for the rows.
I thought I would share my method for getting nice, evenly matched points when piecing.
For these blocks, I pressed the seams open. I don't often do that, but you will have 6 layers of fabric a the center junction, so you have to distribute the thickness by pressing open seams.
Start by putting a pin right at the junction of the center seam, where the colors meet.
Then pushing the pin through the top, pierce the back piece in exactly the same place..where the blue and black fabrics meet. If you have carefully sewn your seams from the beginning, this will be exactly 1/4 inch from the edge.
Keeping the pin perpendicular to the fabric, wiggle the pin a bit, just to get those points exactly lined up and seated well. Keep this pin in this position.
Put a second and third pin on either side of this centered pin. Leave the center pin in this position. It will keep those 2 points lined up exactly.
Start stitching your seam keeping this upright pin still in this position.
Carefully stitch over the first pin and on towards the upright pin. By this time, you have pulled it up a bit so your fabric can advance as you sew--but it's still holding these 2 points in position. As you can see, one more stitch, and my needle will drop exactly into the hole where this pin is standing. As I take the stitch, I pull out the pin and continue stitching the rest of the seam. You will have perfect points every single time. It's pretty fast once you do it a few times.
I do the same thing at the beginning corners to match up these 2 diagonal seams. Put a pin perpendicular to the fabrics, at 1/4 inch from the corner, exactly in the seam.
Then pin the fabrc in place just behind the first pin.
I'm starting on this chevron quilt for my granddaughter--solid black and solid brights. I just haven't gotten to the oranges, reds, purples, and yellows!
Instead of using charm squares, I am using a couple of layer cakes and can get 8 HST blocks super fast. Here is a video that shows this technique, but I hate marking with a pencil, I skip that step and just iron 2 diagonal "marks" in my color fabrics...then sew on either side of the crease.
I just finished up this classic embroidery top today for a lady just put into Hospice care. I got the quilt in the mail yesterday, stitched up the top panels, cut and stitched the backing, quilted it, bound it and boxed it for the mail.
I remember my Mom sitting in the evenings, hand embroidering tops like this. These are the tops that are pre-marked with little blue dots in addition to the embroidery pattern. You can't iron the top or it will set the ink and the dots will never wash out. These were made by "Hershners." They are still in business, but they don't make these tops anymore...so, I guess they are collector's quilts now.
I find is very hard to quilt on the dotted line.
I just love all these purple daisies. What a lot of work!
The purple backing and binding is the perfect compliment to this top!