Friday, September 27, 2013

Quilts I've Made

Kaleidoscope Quilt One Block Wonders

Kaleidoscope Quilt

Rail Fence
Rail Fence
Pinwheels Plus 
Liberated Log Cabin

Rag Quilt
Rag Quilt

Rag Quilt

Diamond Mine



BQ Quilt

Inspired by Quilts Without Corners

Easy Baby Blanket

Tutti Fruitti Strip Tease

A Thread for Life
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

I have M.P.D.!

Multiple Project Disorder!  I have never been a one-project-at-a-time type of quilter.  Not only am I hyper, I'm easily excitable and very passionate about quilting, which means I want to make nearly every quilt I see and I will never attain this goal by working on one project at a time!

I'm still working on the kaleidoscope/hexagon quilt. The plan is for it to be king size so it's going to take awhile to complete.  In the meantime, I need something...or a couple of things...or a few things, that will come together quicker. Most of what drives this passion is completing a project.  So when I need a break from sewing triangles together for this, or cutting strips for that, I switch to something else. Something will bear fruit sooner than later. I usually have 3-4 projects going at once. With this being said, I've never had an incomplete project for more than a couple of months.  I don't start so many that I never finish one. Or should I say, it hasn't happened yet.  I can't even imagine not finishing something I've started.

Here are some current projects.

Kaleidoscope/Hexagon Quilt

I'm still sewing the triangles together. I started w/roughly 200 stacks, I've about 90 left.

 From each stack of six triangles, I sew 2 groups of three.  After sewing the 2 groups of three, the seams are pressed open.

I've pressed quite a few so far, but I'll wait to press the rest when I'm finished sewing all the groups together.

Mondo Bag

I actually finished this last night.  I worked on it for about 4 days, 30-90 mins each time.  I do work a full time day job, but I'm single, and only have an 18yrs old left at I have a lot of time to sew/quilt. =)

Cuttin' Corners Quilt

I made this Cuttin' Corners Quilt in one weekend a couple of weeks ago! I also used this machine binding tutorial.

                                Tutti Fruitti Strip Tease Quilt

I'm working on this Strip Tease Quilt  for a cousin who could use some cheering up. Hoping to have it finished by this weekend and going to send for her birthday, Oct 5.

Check Mate!

Check Mate is another easy one from QITR. I've only completed the top so far.

And lastly, I'm still trying to decide if I'm going to add borders to my Fun w/Bricks Scrap Quilt.

Until next post, Happy Quilting!  =)

A Thread for Life
Be strong in the Lord and
never give up hope.
You're gonna do great things
I already know
God's got his hand on you so 
don't live life in fear
forgive and forget
but don't forget why you're here
Take your time and pray
Thank God for each day
His love will find a way
Come find peace in the Father
-Sidewalk Prophets

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

200+ Squares in 2 minutes

Nothing makes one feel more terrifically accomplished than finishing a quilt.  With that being said, I try to finish as many quilts as possible, as quickly as possible. But if you're a quilter, you know it takes time...sometimes a lot of it, depending on how complicated the pattern.  In quilting, as it is w/other things in life, (no examples come to mind at the moment) after doing it for a while, you start looking for faster, more efficient ways of doing things. Hence, this blog post.

Every month at QA we have a "sew and tell".  One night a sister quilter brought in a bag she'd made. It was love at first sight! I immediately ordered the pattern from a local quilt shop, In Stitches.

I finally got around to looking at the pattern last night and saw that it called for 208, 2.5" squares. That's a lot of squares! And if you're not a quilter or just maybe new to quilting, it seems like it would take forever to cut 208 squares, but it doesn't have to! I knew I could do it in about 2 mins and here's how.

First I dug out 13 -2.5" x 40" strips from my 2.5" strip drawer. I knew this would come in handy!

Next, I layered 2 strips on top of each other then aligned several rows on cutting mat. Each 40" strip is folded in half and layered on top of another.

I then cut off the selvage and commenced to cutting 2.5" sections (each cut yields 4 squares per row) and...

VoilĂ !

This method works well for rectangles too!

A Thread for Life
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by Grace you have been saved...For it is by Grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Eph 2:4-5; 8

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Basting a Quilt on Carpet

Basting a quilt is the process of preparing it for quilting. It includes layering the backing, batting and quilt top and then pinning it together through all 3 layers, to make a quilt sandwich.  It's usually done on a hard floor by taping down the backing. But what if you have carpet?  Don't despair! Basting on carpet is possible...I do it all the time! Here's how.

First, lay the right side of the backing on the carpet and smooth out any wrinkles.  Remember, backing and batting should be bigger than quilt top, at least 2-3" on every side.  Once smoothed out, start pinning around the perimeter to keep it in place, every 8 - 10".

I use T- pins.

T-pins should be inserted at an angle away from the center of the quilt backing, around the perimeter.

Once the backing is secured, layer on the batting.

Next layer on quilt top, right side facing up and start pinning.

I use curved safety pins. I think they work best whether pinning on hard floor or carpet.

 I was taught to pin from the center out, which I did for a long time, but now I pin from one end to the other.  Also, I used to pin about a closed hands width apart (4"), now I pin about an open hand width apart (8").

So this is how I baste my quilts.  Occasionally I do pin to the carpet, but surprisingly it doesn't happen often.

A Thread for Life
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Cor 13:14

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hazards in Quilting? Who Knew?!

If you would've asked me this question a couple of years ago, I would've said, "no way"! Believe it or not, there are hazards in Quilting and not just to your pocketbook! After doing it for awhile, I've found, not only can it make a significant dent in the pocketbook, it definitely takes a toll on ones body. Particularly the neck and back, and personally, my neck. I sew/quilt almost daily and really struggle w/keeping my shoulders relaxed and not straining my neck. After reading a few articles like this, I came to the realization that I've been doing it all wrong! =(   I would like to continue to quilt for many, many years to come, so when my neck really started bothering me, I began surfing the web for stretches and/or exercises for sewers/quilters.

I came across this handy dandy, preventative maintenance pdf: Ten Exercises for Quiltmakers. I pinned it on the wall behind my machine to remind me to take breaks often and stretch.  I'm sure the exercises are effective for Readers and heavy Texters too! I've since been working on improving my posture, bending from the waist, and using my eyes more than my neck.

While looking for the stretches/exercises, I found more good info for proper  height adjustment for sewing and cutting tables here. I know my sewing table should be lower, but I haven't come across one that is "cheap" enough. I'm thrifty remember ;)

Got the desk at Goodwill for $4 on a 50% off Saturday

My cutting table is just about the right height. It is raised w/4 - 1" risers. Another inch would probably do the body better.

And speaking of exercise, to keep in shape in general AND in preparation for Extreme Flagstaff, a mud run, or hopefully one day Survivor and/or The Amazing Race, my bff Melinda suggested I put my pull up bar in the doorway of my sewing room and do at least 1 pull-up every time I enter. Truth be told, I don't do a pull-up every time but I do about every 2nd or 3rd time... and I'm up to 2 - 3 reps when I do them!

One last thing where exercise is concerned, whether I'm sewing, cutting or ironing, I try to remember to keep my abs engaged (belly button to spine) to tighten my core and strengthen my back.

Lastly, from this point forward, I will end each post w/a scripture or verse as encouragement to anyone who reads my blog; a biblical truth or spiritual fruit which is truly my thread for life.

A Thread for Life
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer 29:11 NIV