Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sew It's Finished

I joined a new group today and hopefully it will spark me to finish some of the quilt tops I have hanging in the closet.  It looks like a great group and I am glad I was able to join.
Making the quilt top is my favorite part of quilting.  I am terrible at getting them quilted and bound.
A good friend reminded me that when I am not here any longer no one will want a lot of unfinished tops so I better get busy.
What's your favorite part of quilting?
Happy stitching,

Monday, January 30, 2012

White Chocolate for My Bed

When I was making our bed the other day I realized we needed  a new quilt since I was still using my Christmas quilt and it's almost February. 

I had purchased this book with the idea of making a neutral quilt for our kingsized bed and then using some of the smaller quilts I have made as accents across the foot of the bed.

I really like log cabin quilts so I picked the White Chocolate pattern from the book and started digging through my stash pulling all my neutral fabrics.

I also got out my Go cutter and the 2 inch strip die to do the cutting. I love it when I find uses for my Go cutter because it makes the cutting so easy and accurate. Cutting the strips on the lengthwise grain helps keep them from stretching when sewing them together and I don't need to square up my blocks as often.

I kept cutting and sewing until all my neutral fabric were used up.   
In the end there were only 72 twelve inch blocks.
This is the placement I choose and when the blocks were all sewn together the quilt was only 92 inches square.  Not quite large enough for a kingsized bed.

So I am thinking maybe some borders but not quite sure what kind.
Any suggestions?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Flower Garden by Kim McLean

Flower Garden by Kim McLean will be my applique' project for 2012.  Kim has such wonderful patterns they are so colorful and the pieces are usually large and not that difficult to do.

I am going to use the freezer paper and starch method for this quilt because the pieces are so large.
I use Reynolds freezer paper and lots of it.

The first thing I do when getting a new roll of freezer paper is cut it into pieces about the size of my applique' pressing sheet and iron them because it's all curled up when you first cut it off the roll. Wonder where that chocolate came from?

Freezer paper also  shrinks the first time you iron it and I want my applique' pieces to be the correct size so I preshrink it.  I iron it on an applique' pressing sheet so it won't stick to  my ironing board and will peel up easily.
You can see how the pressing sheet is wrinkled - the shrinking freezer paper caused the wrinkles. Once it is ironed it is nice and flat stored in a plastic bag and ready to use.

To make my applique' pieces I use a light box because the pieces need to be reversed.  First trace all the shapes for your block onto one layer of freezer paper then before you cut them out iron the traced shapes onto two more layers of pre-shrunk freezer paper because you want  each applique templet piece to be three thickness.  This makes a nice firm edge to turn your fabric against.

Sometime I just make the shapes for one block at a time but for this quilt I made all the templets for  all the blocks because  each block only has a few pieces.

These are all the tools I use when I prepare my applique pieces.  
As you can see they are well used. 
This is the second little iron for me I keep pushing too hard 
and breaking the handles.

Here are some shapes ironed to the fabric, trimmed and ready to be turned.  Using the little brush  put starch on just the seam allowance you are turning under. Turn the seam with your little iron and keep the iron on the seam until it is completely dry.   Do a little at a time and don't use too much starch because you will soften the  edge of the  paper templet.

After the edges are all turned it's time to attach the piece to the background fabric.   Remove the freezer paper and place  dots of Roxaines glue on the background instead of the applique' piece.   Just use a tiny dot.  You can tell if you are using too much because if you do the glue will bleed through and your background fabric will stick to your pattern.  Once again I use the light box so I can see where to place the pieces.
If the applique' piece is big and floppy I place it on the background first 
and then raise parts to place the glue.  

My first fifteen blocks prepped and ready to stitch.  The pieces don't move around and I can  put a block in a little bag and carry it with me so there is always  something to stitch while  waiting.

I  fiddled with this post all last week  and I hope it is clear enough to understand a little about how I prepare my blocks for stitching.
If you are really interested in this method you need to visit Erin Russek's blog
One Piece at A Time.  She has an excellent blog with pictures and videos.  She is also starting a new applique BOM "Mimi's Bloomers" which looks interesting. 
Happy Stitching,

Monday, January 16, 2012

Just Takes 2 Unit Two

Here are the blocks for unit two of Just Takes 2.   I decide to make my blocks the first day this time instead of putting it off until the last.  I sort of did a little shudder when I first saw them because of the house and the fan blocks.   I will say I am learning a lot of new techniques.

Here are the blocks for Unit 1 and unit 2.  I wonder how much more difficult they can get.
Happy Stitching,

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Just Takes 2 & Twelve Days of Christmas

 I finished my 12 Days of Christmas quilt last week.  I am just a little slow in posting the picture.  This was a fun little mystery hosted by Temecula Quilt Co.

Today I was able to get the first installment from Sentimental  Stitches of
 Just Takes 2 completed.  Just in time because I believe the next installment
from Dear Jane comes out tomorrow.  I was a little late with these because I had to wait on the USPO to bring my red fabric.
Happy Stitching,

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lollypop Trees Top Finished

This is an exciting day for me.  Last night I finished the top of my
Lolly Pop Trees applique quilt..

These are not the best pictures but the quilt is so large I am having a difficult time finding a place to photograph it.  I decide to photograph one fourth of the quilt at a time.

It really looks impressive in person.  The pattern isn't difficult just a lot of it and I can't believe I actually finished it.  Most of it was needle turn with some freezer paper applique on the really large pieces.

My first post about LollyPop Trees was October 2010 so it took me 14 months working intermittently to complete.

Happy stitching,

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Twelve Days of Christmas

Here are  all twelve blocks for the Twelve Days of Christmas quilt from 
Temecula Quilt Co   I wonder what we are going to do with them?
I have lot's of fabric left and am anxious to see how the finished quilt will look.
This was my first experience making little 3 inch blocks and one of the things I learned is the smaller the block the more accurate your cutting and sewing needs to be.  I had the most trouble with block #11.  It's still a little larger than the others but I finally just gave up.

I am starting to rethink Building Houses from Scraps.  Those little houses are only 3 inches.  I think I will enlarge the pattern.
Happy Stitching,