Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Another Quilt to Love

Most of you know I don't take customer quilts anymore.  However, I make an exception once in awhile.

I heard through the family grapevine that this lady's denim quilt top needed rescued after being stored for many years.  She made it while her kiddos were little and something told me this was one of my exceptions.

We sent a few messages back and forth and she chose this piece of flannel backing from my shelf yardage. I had just barely enough yardage to make the backing and the binding (less than a fat quarter is left!)

Since I prefer the backing seam horizontal, I also mounted the top horizontally, only 3/4" from the edge on the top leader....

When I got to the bottom, I had a whopping 1.25 inch left....
There was a plan for this madness!

I needed all the extra on the sides to make the cute crosswise binding!

A topographical meander works well for denim quilts because you can stitch around any heavy seams.

Tomorrow, it will go back to it's forever-home to be loved and used.


Sunday, February 25, 2018

I'm Not Afraid of Scrappy Quilts!

My very first, genuine scrappy quilt.

My rule for this quilt was that all the fabric had to come from my stash and all 18 blocks had to be different.

1) All the block pieces came from my scrap drawers.

 2) The cream background was the last bit from a bolt in the corner.
3) The backing and binding came from my folded stash on the shelves.
4) The batting was pieced from leftovers from other quilts.

Simple quilted lines make an interesting secondary pattern without distracting from the colored blocks. 

I have a lot of different backings but it was hard to find one I really liked for this. I needed 4 yards and I had 4.25 yards of this light green batik...and it's a different color than any green on the front.

 I think these little suns mirror the star shaped blocks on the front.

The hardest part was deciding on the binding, everything I tried just jumped out and screamed, "look at me!" I finally found the perfect addition with this black and white tiny checked print. 

You can see that it's there, but it doesn't over power the quilt.  Now, I love a fun, contrasting, scrappy binding and put them on many quilts.  But it was just not working here for me.  I love this. 

Sharing a few miscellaneous housekeeping tips.

I always float my quilts and the blue tape is just holding the rolled up canvas (that I never use) on my bottom take-up roller.

However, there are a couple of tape markers I use to keep my quilt tops nice and square all the way down to the bottom of the quilt.  Doesn't get much more high tech than this, right?  Once I square the quilt at the top all  have to do is align the edge with my tape after each forward roll.  (note the pieced batting...click here to see how I do mine.)
Piecers, please stay-stitch your quilts with pieced edges. I stay-stitch mine as I complete every 2-3 rows.  By the time you wrangle several rows through your machine and then handle it back to the iron, etc, and the quilter handles it to get it on the frame.....well, I can guarantee no mater how careful we are, these pieced edges are coming un-sewn all over the top. Your quilter with thank you!

When I quilt a design that starts and stops at the same place, like around this diamond, I always like to start about an inch from a corner.  That way you get nicely sewn corners and you can turn that last corner, line up your ruler and make a perfect landing on top of your previous stitches, I always back stitch 2 or 3 stitches to secure both ending and beginning after I have completed the diamond.

It hardly shows.

I always stitch my binding to the back, flip to the front and top stitch, it's fast and easy with perfect corners every time.  Here's how I do machine bindings.

I love these little satin name tags.  I ordered them at ikaprint.  You can get them any size, color or font.  I had mine printed like this so I could fold them in the middle and stitch them into the binding.  
How fun is that!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Not so afraid of scrappy quilts...

I'm really pleased with all these scraps~

Once you get the alternate blocks added...
It makes a world of difference.

Now the flimsy is done....
...and on the frame.

After I count the background, backing and binding,
I will have used 223 different fabrics in this quilt.

How's that for scrappy?

Friday, February 16, 2018

I am afraid of scrappy quilts.

Finally back to scrapping, cutting and sewing! I had thumb surgery in Dec. and although I was fine in a couple of weeks, I just have been doing other fun things.....

This yellow Arkansas Crossroads block has been on my design wall for 9 months. I am afraid of scrappy quilts. The chaos, confusion and clutter of too many patterns, colors and designs make me uncomfortable.

But, I spent a lot of time organizing and categorizing (those things are satisfying to me) all my scraps when I cleaned up my studio last year. I think we tend to forget that all those scraps still average $9/yard!

Last week, I pulled each drawer of colors out one at a time and chose fabrics for each Arkansas Crossroads block.
Scraps less than a fat quarter and bigger than 1 inch.

If I don't look too close, I am comfortable with this soon-to-be scrappy quilt. It will be my first!

The beginnings of a scrappy Arkansas Crossroads quilt.  I will have to make all the center blocks and then decide where to place them and then can make all the alternate X blocks to go between them.


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