Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Quilt As You Go simple instructions

We have a new member on hearts2hands who is also new to quilting.  I remember as a new quilter, the frustration of pushing three layers of a quilt through a domestic sewing machine and all that goes with it.  Then I remembered taking a class on "Quilt as you go". 

This is a quilting process where each block is quilted separately then attached by sashing.  There are many ways of doing this.  My sashing strips never lined up exactly on both sides.  So I always prefer hand stitching one side of one strip.  The rest is always machine stitched.

I have made this type of quilt from left over blocks (I do get carried away).  I lay a block on top of a piece of bat just a bit larger, place that on a piece of backing fabric the same size as the bat.  Then quilt.  Trim the bat and backing to make a perfect square.  When enough quilted squares are made for a quilt, I then sash them together.  All that is left is the binding.

The method I'm showing uses strips from my scrap pile.

The blocks were made by placing a triangle on the top and bottom of a batting square.  Then a strip of fabric is placed at the edge of each triangle.  Sew the strips to the triangles (which holds both triangles and both strips down).  Flip the strips over,  Now there is a triangle and a strip sewn to each side of the bat.  Add more strips in this manner and this is what you get:

To join the blocks together you need a 1 1/2" strip of fabric for the top and a 2" strip of fabric pressed in half (making it 1" wide)

Next pin the top sashing strip to one side of of your first block.  At the same time secure the raw edges of the bottom folded sashing underneath the same side of the block.  Sew the two sashings to the block.

Leave the folded back sashing as is for now.  The top sashing is pressed over.  Now pin the second block to the raw edge of the top sashing.  (Do not attached the folded edge of the bottom sashing.)

Keep adding blocks until the quilt is the size you want.  All that is left is sewing the binding on.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Virtual Quilting Retreat

With International Quilt Day being celebrated this past weekend, it was time for a quilt retreat!  Being fiscally responsible (if you believe that, I have some property to sell you) we decided on a virtual retreat.

Now when you are at a retreat you usually stay at a hotel with meeting rooms, university dorms where classrooms are put to use, bed and breakfast with room to set up tables.  There are demonstrations, classes, show and tell, great food, shop hops, evening entertainment....you get the idea.  With a virtual retreat there are no restrictions.

One member of our group posted links to demonstrations and tutorials.  Forget a one weekend retreat.  We had enough for a month long cruise.  Speaking of cruise....another member posted photos of wonderful meals and snacks that we would have.  All calorie free since they are only photos.  But sure made me wish it was for real.

This retreat was held in a older historical home.  Huge, with nooks and comfy corners just waiting for guests to sit down with a cup of tea for a visit.  I loved the photos of this home.  It's lovely setting.  It would have been wonderful to stay there for real!

As the weekend progressed all of those participating posted photos of the quilting we were working on.  You would think there would be less progress because of the time spent on the computer chatting and posting.  That wasn't the case.  Everyone made so much progress and learned new things.  I'm not saying that a virtual retreat is as good as a real retreat...but it's a close second.  A big thank you to everyone on hearts2hands for making this fun.

What did I work on.  Over the years when on shop hops, I picked up a lot of fat quarters with a musical theme.  The original intent was to make quilts for my sister-in-laws.  Both are very talented singers.  But I've come to realize that they need another quilt like they need....well you can fill in the blanks.

When our virtual demonstrator posted a link for how to make a Bento Box quilt, I decided to pull out the musical themed fabric and make this quilt.  It was good experience on not what to do.  This quilt would have looked great, if I had used one main fabric for the dark and the fat quarters for the lights.  I would have liked the top then.  I don't think even fancy quilting will save this one.  This first photo is of one corner.  The second is of the entire top.

I tried so many different ways for block placement.  In the end I went from light to dark.  Got it sewn up late at night so I wouldn't change my mind and try something else in the morning.

The next project was to quilt and bind the red work embroidery Canadian Provincial Flowers quilt.  Years ago a friend made two blocks for each province and territory's flowers.  One set was made into a quilt for her.  This set was given to me as a thank you.  And I'm sorry to say, sat in a bag for years.  A quilter on hearts2hands put out the challenge to get our oldest projects finished and out of bags or boxes.  So this is the latest completed project:

I'm up for another virtual retreat in a month or two.  It's going to take that long to put my sewing room (and the rest of the house back in order.  Time to clean my machines, change the needles, clean the iron, re-organize all the quilting tools...the list never ends.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Pumpkin Patch Lane Block 3

This block was a real struggle.  Must be my eyes.  Where I thought I read 1/4 it really read 3/4.  You guessed it.  I was squaring up to the wrong measurements.  5 1/4 instead of 5 3/4, and so on.

Because this is a block of the month, there is a limited amount of fabric provided by the quilt shop.  And the current block must be the same finished size as the previous ones.  No fudging allowed!

The centre window is off kilter as well.  This fabric is printed on specially prepared sheets.  You cut the section you need, peel off the backing, wash it under hot water and iron dry.  No matter what I did, it looked wonky.  Nothing was square.  As I haven't had this issue before with the printed package I have no idea what went wrong.

So I'm waiting to see if the block will speak to me as to what it wants added in order to make it look better.  It better talk fast.  I'm hoping it will just want some window trim or leaves.  Something like that.  Please, not a tree full of leaves!  But you know quilt bocks.  They have a mind of their own.