Saturday, July 4, 2015

Who Needs Electricity?

Happy July 4th!

Image result for fourth of july images

It's a laid back day today, but last night included a bit of drama turned fun. 
There was another storm (lots of rain, thunder and lightening) and we quickly learned that electricity really isn't needed to have fun. 

We used my small flip light and the computer for our light. We did use our phones some, but didn't want to drain the batteries.

It took a while, but I soon remembered to turn on my flash so I could get some shots in the dark.

We played cards and much to the chagrin of Ann and Claire, I won my second game of trash.

Still no power, so I suggested that Claire make shadow puppets and see if Ann and I could guess what she was making.

We didn't guess too many correctly, but we had fun.

And then Claire started having various animals try to open the door to where her dad was sleeping.

And when the door did not open, she started "knocking" on it. 

Like I said, who needs electricity to have fun? No sewing was done, but we had a blast. 

The electricity finally came back on at 3:47 am, but we were all fast asleep by that time.

Enjoy your 4th of July!


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Good Side of a Rainy Day

There is a positive side to a rainy day. 

I worked on my scrappy four patch units.

And I used my featherweight to do it.

I like the scrappy four patches that are made using the 5" square method of construction. 

Here's what 440 - 4" four patch blocks look like. As you can see, they've not all been pressed open yet, but I think you get the idea.

These four patches will be used to make a larger version of this quilt. 

And then when the rain stops we saw a beautiful double rainbow. You have to look hard to see the one on top, but it was there.

  And this was kind of cool to see.

I'm tired of the rain, but happy to have had the opportunity to be productive.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tip Tuesday! Quilt Label Sayings

"Tip Tuesday!" - Quilt Label Sayings

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired!

Do you always put a label on your quilts? I have to admit there are times that I don't. I guess that I just don't think about it, although I do try to remember to label quilts that are for someone special like family members, etc. 

Even though I have often forgotten to do it in the past, I'm making a concerted effort to remember from this point forward, no matter who will be the recipient.

While thinking about this and the best way to remember to do this, I found a wonderful resource - Quilter's Diary
Quilting Quotes
Besides quilt label sayings, this site has lots of other information that is helpful and interesting. There are posts and tutorials for lots of things like cutting up fat quarters, making a half hour table runner, stitching in the ditch, making a quilt as you go log cabin quilt, etc. 

Not only have I found a great label resource, I've also found some new and exciting projects to make.  :-)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Design Wall Monday

I've been having a few technical problems lately when it comes to putting pictures on the blog, but I think/hope they have all been resolved. I quite honestly am not sure what I did to fix the problem because I tried a bunch of different things and it might have been a combination of things I pushed that fixed the problem. I don't really care what I did, I'm just happy it worked.  :-)

So, here's what on the wall right now. I'm playing with a Christmas Jelly Roll and some off-white yardage. I've pulled some of the strips to be used for binding, but all the others are being used in the blocks to make small, scrappy log cabin blocks. I've made 56 of the blocks and have started laying them out. I think I'm going to like this Of course I have a lot of rearranging to do, but that will come later.  

This is not on my wall, but on the wall of one of my sisters. She is new to the sewing/quilting world and is doing a wonderful job.

She swears she's not going to make quilts, but a couple of my other sisters used to say that too and they now proudly call themselves quilters. Table runners are really just a stepping stone to more serious quilts. TJ doesn't know that yet, and I'm not telling her.  :-)

Check out what other quilters have on their walls today.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Flange Binding Tutorial - Picture Heavy

 The technical problem is fixed, and it was not the cable. 

As promised, here is the tutorial for how to  
add a flange binding 
totally by machine.

This post is very picture heavy.

Here we go...

Determine the amount of fabric needed

If you aren't sure how to do that for "regular" binding, here's a quick refresher:

1. Measure the perimeter (all the sides) of the quilt.
2. Add 10-12" corner turning allowance, etc. 
3. Divide that number by the width of your binding fabric to determine how many strips you'll need. 
4. To determine the amount of yardage needed, multiply the number of strips needed times the width you will cut your strips.

Example: a 40" x 50" quilt
40" + 40" + 50" + 50" = 180"  +  12"  = 192"
192" divided by 40" of usable width of fabric = 4.8 strips - round up to 5 strips
5 strips x 2 1/2" = 12 1/2"  = 3/8 yard (13 1/2")

It is a little different when determining yardage for a flange binding because you will be using two different fabrics and they are cut two different sizes.

For this sample, I used red for the flange and blue for the outside binding strip.

Cut the appropriate number of strips determined above as follows:

Flange Fabric (red) - 1 3/4"

Outside Binding (blue) - 1 1/2" 

Diagonally piece the strips so you have two long pieces of fabric (one for the flange fabric and one for the outside binding fabric).

Press all of the seams open

After both strips are sewn together and pressed, sew them together along the long edge. I like to have the smaller piece (the outside binding fabric) on top. I just feel that it helps me be consistent and avoid flipped fabrics.

Once the strips are sewn together, press them to the outside binding fabric (blue)

With wrong sides together, press the long strip in half horizontally.

Align the raw edges of the newly sewn binding strip to the back of the quilt with the flange fabric facing up. (This is opposite of what you do when you are going to hand stitch the binding to the back.) I find it important to "walk" the binding around the quilt to prevent the seams of the binding from ending up at the corners. If they are there, it is quite challenging to fold it over because of the bulkiness. 

Using a walking foot if you have one and leaving a 8-10" tail at the beginning, sew the binding strip to the quilt. (I tend to sew with a slightly large 1/4" seam allowance and have no problems.)

Stop sewing 1/4" (or whatever your seam allowance is) from the edge of the quilt. See the white mark in the picture below? That's where I stopped sewing. See the note below to know exactly where to stop perfectly every single time! 

To find the stopping  point, fold the binding strip up to create a 45° angle (picture #1 below) and crease that seam (picture #2 below). Wherever your seam hits the crease is the correct stopping point (picture #2 below).  Sorry! The technical difficulties I was experiencing caused the deletion of the pictures using the red and blue fabrics.

                                           Picture #1                                            

  Picture #2     

Remove the quilt from the machine and fold the binding back upwards creating a diagonal fold (a 45 degree angle is formed). Be sure to align the raw edges of the binding with the raw edges of the quilt as in the picture below. (The raw edges create a straight line going up.)

While holding the diagonal fold in place with your finger, fold the binding down, making the fold even with the top of the quilt edge. Make sure that the binding underneath does not stick out beyond the fold. Pinning is not necessary, but it does help keep things lined up better (and makes taking a picture easier).  :-)

Sew from the top fold with the same seam allowance as before. Continue to the next corner, where you will stop 1/4" (or the size of the seam allowance) from the corner, as before.

Once you miter the last corner, sew down the final side until you are approximately 8-10" from the end of the tail left from when you started adding the binding (not where you started sewing). The tails should overlap.

Remove the quilt from the machine and lay it on a flat surface.

Lay out the beginning tail so it is flat and smooth along the edge of the quilt. Fold the ending tail until it meets and "butts" up to the beginning tail (red in the picture below). 

From the point of the meeting, mark a line on the ending tail that is equal to the width of the binding strip. In this case, it should be 2 3/4"

Cut the ending tail on the marked line. The strips will overlap an amount equal to the width of the binding strip (2 3/4"). 

To join the two strips, you will diagonally piece the strips as you did earlier. Careful turning will avoid twisted strips. Again, sorry for the "odd" pictures but the original ones are somewhere in cyberspace

Open the beginning tail and lay it flat, with the right side up. Flip the folded edge of the ending tail so that it is facing downward. 

Rotate the folded edge of the ending tail so it is now upright and facing the left edge, near the beginning tail.

Open the ending tail so it is right side down and draw a diagonal line from the upper left corner to the lower right corner (as you did earlier when diagonally piecing the binding strips). 

Pin and sew along the drawn line, just like you did when piecing the original binding strips. You may want to use a basting stitch here to verify that you have properly lined up the flange and outside binding fabrics. (See pictures below.)

Basted along the seam line.

And it worked! Yeah!! Make adjustments as needed and then stitch using the regular stitch length.

Trim 1/4" from the stitched line, towards the corner. Press the seam open.
Refold the binding, wrong sides together. Press if needed. Align the raw edge of the binding to with the raw edge of the quilt and finish sewing the binding strip to the quilt.

Press the binding out away from the seam so it is easier to fold it to the front of the quilt. Once it is folded over to the front, stitch in the ditch between the flange fabric and the outside binding fabric. Using a thread color that matches the flange fabric will "hide" the stitches. You might find it helpful to pin or clip the folded fabric so as to prevent it from shifting while sewing.

When you approach a corner, fold and stitch as you would if you were hand sewing. I like to use my Clover Wonder Clips to hold the corners in place. 

First fold

Second fold

Secure in place for stitching

Simply turn the corner as you are stitching in the ditch. To make it easy and look nice, be sure to keep your needle in the down position when you are turning the corner.

It's hard to see the stitching on the back so I put my seam ripper down to point it out. By the way, I often use the seam ripper as a stiletto to help move the quilt along, especially when working in the corner. 

Here's where the two tails were sewn together and then sewn down from the front. Not too bad!

I just love the touch of color that this flange adds to the quilt.
Plus, it doesn't take nearly as long to do as hand stitching.  :-)

Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.