Friday, October 13, 2017

Good Things Come In Small Packages

I'm hoping to have an action packed quilting weekend with my daughter Britt!  There was a time when we would quilt with each other, collaborate on a design and spend time cutting and piecing.  Hanging out talking fabric while I strip pieced and she pressed, making what sometimes could be a dull and uneventful process into something fun and enjoyable.  With that in mind, I thought I had better get a post put together for my latest quilt since I'll be undoubtedly preoccupied with spending time with her.  Not a bad thing at all!

5" x 6 1/4"
And now your thinking...what the heck?!  This isn't a quilt, not a real quilt...but, Oh yes it is!

I was making a Half Square Triangle quilt just like the one above, except baby quilt size, and decided to keep the tiny bonus HST's for just in case.  Normally I do not keep such small pieces, but what can I say?  I couldn't resist another challenge!

I trimmed the HST's to 1 1/4" and then stitched four of the same shades of color together.  My intention was to have each square have a center square, but as you can see that didn't work out.  Bad planning on my part!  The top left has a bit of what I wanted in all the centers.  

Not exactly a beautiful sight all those unruly seams!  I guess I must have thought it was pretty interesting since I took pictures of it!!

The inside border is 1/4" and the outside gray border is 3/4".  If you pretend there are centers in all six squares, this would be exactly like my larger baby quilts...which is where I was heading.

I layered my little quilt like any other quilt and proceeded to quilt it in the smallest of scale, exactly like I would quilt the big quilts.  I used the foot on my machine to guide the width of each row instead of marking like I normally do.  

I used Aurifil Thread #2615 Aluminum, also what I use on many of my gray or HST quilts.  Naturally on a large quilt the quilting stitches wouldn't stand out quite as much as these do.  So much for scale!

It isn't unusual for me to make mini mini's.  I had the mini obsession bug for quite a while.  Check out: Mini Mini Quilt, Star Thistle and Micro Mini Mini just to share a few.  This one was different.  I wanted to replicate a quilt, keep it to scale and piece/quilt/bind exactly like a larger quilt.

And I did just that!  I cut my bindings 1 1/4" wide, pressed the strip in half and stitched the binding on using 1/8" seams.  Mitered corners and all!

My quilts wouldn't be complete until the binding is hand stitched to the back.  This little exception!  

Making a quilt this size and quilting the bejebbers out of it tends to leave the quilt ridged and stiff.  Which makes stitching the binding on a little harder than usual. 

While making this mini quilt, I kept thinking how fun it would be to make a mini of each quilt I make.  Unrealistic for sure, but can you imagine doing something like that?  Shoot me...I can!

The sewing machine in the picture was my Mom's when she was a little girl.  She received it for Christmas in 1939, and somehow after all these years it's still around.  A little wear and tear, but it matters not one little bit to me!  I wrote a post back in December 2014 - Priceless To Me.  

I couldn't resist using the mini sewing machine and the mini quilt for a fun photo!  You could almost believe it was a full size quilt on first glance!

What do you think?  Would you like to make a mini of one of your full size quilts?!


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Endless-Ness Of Scraps

I swear I must have a condition!  It isn't enough that I make a quilt filled with glorious fabric and color.  It should end there.  Make the quilt, quilt it...boom done!  

It's made.  Not quilted.  Why?  Because I had to use the scraps, the bonus half square triangles and make a baby quilt.  

I know.  I tried to resist.  It was pointless to fight it, so I caved and just went for it.  That should be the end of it then.  

It should be.  I've tried to create diversions, to no avail.  I hadn't yet put the larger scraps away and they were just sitting there.  I should have either put them away or out of sight.  Why not use the rest of them and then I wouldn't have to worry about putting them away!


Same block, different size.  I was writing up a tutorial for the 16" block and now I have a 10" block for variety!  I will get the tutorial finished very soon...very soon.  

The 10" block needed to be tested.  I couldn't very well publish with out testing!  And like the other two quilt tops, this one is also not quilted.  Plans:  quilt like a madwomen, finish the tutorial before it's forgotten and get a new color palette!


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Between The Pages

I've talked about Curated Quilts a couple of times, the last being when I made my mini Log Cabin quilt for their mini challenge.  Sadly, my mini wasn't selected but I'll try again!  

The premier issue arrived at my door the other day and WOW!  It's stunning from the cover to the very last page!  I was honored to have been asked to submit one of my quilts for the first issue.  

I can tell you that there are Quilt Rock Stars in this issue that I admire and that have inspired me.  Being along side a dream...come...true!

Curated Quilts is not like any other magazine, it's curate (hence the name) and has a gallery made to inspire.  Interviews, quilt patterns, trends and so much more!

My quilt in the gallery is 'Threads'.  One of my favorite quilts of all times.  I would be remiss if I didn't credit my inspiration for this quilt.  Debbie @A Quilter's Table is one of my Rock Stars.  When I saw her quilt Monochrome, I was impressed and couldn't wait to see what I could come up with!  I busted out the scraps in a big way for this quilt!  Debbie has two quilts in the gallery, one of them being Monochrome! 
When I ripped open the package and found my quilt between the pages, I have to say I was excited.  That was over shadowed when I saw I was side by side with ... 'drum roll' (Rock Star)...Denyse Schmidt!  I don't even know what to say...  

Now that I have shown just how easily I can turn into a bumbling idiot when it comes to Rock Stars...and it was only on paper!!  I've very excited about this feature, it's like no other!

Who is your Rock Star, the one who would leave you weak in the knees, tongue tied and a big bowl of jello?  


Thursday, October 5, 2017

New Design Wall :: Super Sized

I've been wanting to increase the size of my design wall for a long time now.  The other day I decided to just do it!  Figure it out and go for it!

It doesn't look that big with this mammoth quilt on it, but trust me when I say it's twice the size as my previous design wall!

The first step was deciding what kind of wall and what materials to use.  There's the very popular foam insulation boards covered in flannel, flannel sheets, a large piece of batting and of course, pre-made walls.

Mine needed to be portable to some extent.  I need it to hang while designing, but I need to be able to take it down when I want to take photo's of a finished quilt.  My wall doubles as a design/photo wall.  I kicked around buying a big white piece of batting or flannel and in the end decided to stick with what has worked for me for all these years of quilting.  Flannel backed vinyl.

Another reason I went with the vinyl is because it's heavy.  The weight allows for it to hang nice, neat and straight.   

I knew Joann's carried what I needed, so I yoinked a 50% off coupon and went on an adventure!  The vinyl was 6.99 a yard, I needed 5 1/2 yards...50% off...less than $20 dollars for a super sized new design wall!  Here is the link to the vinyl I used:  54" Table Pad.

The first thing I did was fold the vinyl in half and line up the sides.  I cut on the fold and trimmed up the bottom.

Next was to make a hem for the board I was going to use.  Since we had the perfect boards already in our basement, I didn't have to make a trip to the lumber store!  That made me happy and my husband too!  The board I'm using is 1 1/2" x 1/4" thick.  It needs to be thick enough to drill a small hole in the edge for a hook & eye screw.  

Once I figured out the hem size to insert the wood, I folded the vinyl over and drew a line from edge to edge.  I drew the line on the vinyl side.  This made it easier to line it up for sewing.  

I stitched from edge to edge close to the edge and then added another line 1/4" from the first for added strength.

Next was turning up the charm and getting my husband to help!  I had him cut the boards to 54".  He didn't complain...really!

We inserted the board, measured 8" from each end for the hook & eye screw.  A quick hole was drilled (as always we had to wait for the drill battery to recharge!) and the screw was in!  One thing I've learned from my husband...always drill a hole first.  If you try and screw the screw in without it you could split the wood or screw it in crooked.  

Let's hang it up!!  We used a basic picture hanger (also on hand) for this step.  Truth time!  My husband drives me crazy sometimes.  He has to do things the right way, the perfect way...that's not a bad thing...but it drives me up a wall!  Plus, he tells me where the design wall should go!  Who's the quilter here?!  We made it through and placed both design walls up without yelling, killing or crying!  I honestly couldn't have done it without him and I'm very thankful that he knows what he's doing and is willing to help me out in these situations!

We butted the design walls up to each other to create one big one.  Together it is 108" wide by 90" high or 9' x 7 1/2'.  Yes, there is a line in the center where the two meet, but it isn't going to make a difference when I'm using it.

My first design wall was was very similar to this one.  Except from the two hook & eye screws I tied a ribbon from hook to hook and hung it on one picture hanger.  It tended to shift sideways as you can imagine, but it worked.  When my 'studio' was also my dining room, it worked well.  I could design on it and take it down when we needed to.  This new way is going to be so much better!  I can actually have several projects hanging at once!

What kind of design wall do you have?  There was a time when I didn't have a design wall and the floor was it...I can't imagine not having one these days!