Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Finishing up that Binding

I'm not sure about you, but I always seem to have an issue when it comes to binding. I'm never completely comfortable with my method. I always have to look up how to finish the ends in a non-lumpy fashion. I decided to take pictures and post my way of doing it so I can have easy access the next time I'm at the binding stage. If it helps anyone else out there, it would be an added bonus!

As you see above, I start sewing by leaving a 10-12 inch tail.

I sew all 4 sides and leave a gap between the ends. Both ends now have a 10-12 inch tail. I trim the excess binding on both sides and overlap the two ends by 2 1/2 inches since that's the width of my binding. If my binding was 2 inches wide, I would have the two ends overlap by 2 inches.

Here is one of the tails. I've opened it up and measured it just to make sure I'm accurate. (I've been off in the past!)

This is the only really tricky part. I've gotten it backwards in the past. First of all, I've pinned the body of the quilt to give myself some extra space to play around with the binding. I have unfolded both ends of the binding. The left side opens up to show the right side of the fabric. The left binding edge is also unfolded however the wrong side of the fabric is displayed. The right sides of the two binding ends meet in the same fashion as when we joined the binding. I put a pin there. You can actually open it up and make sure the binding is oriented properly. (This is where I have screwed up in the past.) It's not hard but so easy to fold the wrong way.

As you can see, I pinned again and drew a diagonal line that I will sew on.

Once I sew on that line, I trim the seam to 1/4inch and finger press. I unpin my quilt and it fits perfectly! Success!!

Here it is! You would never know I started the binding here. No bumps or lumps!

There are many versions of this all over the internet. This one seems to work for me. Hope I've helped someone!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

EQ7 Summer Drawing Series


 Electric Quilt is sponsoring a summer drawing series using EQ7. I have been using EQ7 lately and feel as though I'm finally catching on to using this program. I'm starting to actually enjoy it. I've wanted to design my own quilts for awhile and this program is really helping me try out different designs. This series should really help me become more proficient.

It begins May 1 and is absolutely free! You design one block a month and sew it. There will be a link up for each block each month.  It lasts 4 months. We'll be able to make a table runner or wall hanging with the blocks we've made. I think it will be fun.

I plan on participating. Anyone want to join?? You can click on the badge to the right of this post to link up to Electric Quilt blog.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

More Hexies

I only have one side of my border left to quilt! I'm almost done. However, I need something to do when I watch TV. Hard to machine quilt while you're nice and comfy on the couch! So, I've been working on my hexagons. I love making them although I do find them time intensive. I have another one all set to sew together and then I'll sew them onto my hexagon quilt top.

Isn't this yarn pretty? Not sure how great the color looks in this photo but it's a nice soft grey. It's actually meant for a baby project but I'm knitting a summer shrug for myself using this incredibly soft yarn. I think it will come in handy during the summer when the A/C is running full force.

I'm hoping to post a picture of a completely quilted Puzzle Box Quilt very soon! I'm starting to get the binding ready. A sure sign a finished quilt is coming right up!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston and MQX Part 2

I had planned on writing a blog post a few days ago. However, after the terrible events at the Boston Marathon, I just couldn't chatter about the fun I had at MQX. It felt disrespectful. I live about half an hour north of Boston. I went to college in Boston and my kids were born in Boston. I used to live on the marathon route and was always out there cheering on the runners. I just can't comprehend how anyone could plant 2 bombs at this happy event. Anyways, I feel life must go on. I don't want to dwell on what happened. I'm praying for the victims. That's the only thing I can do right now to help.

The things I bought at the quilt show are still all in my bag! I never put them away. So, I'm taking pictures and showing you all what I bought. I find quilting is a great stress reliever. I hope this little blog post might take our minds off of the horrible events of the Boston Marathon.

Here's the bag filled with goodies that all students received! It had a few gadgets, show layout, advertisements and magazines. I tried not to look inside it until I got home. I thought it would be a fun thing to do when I was tired and finally home with my feet up.

I found this cute little magazine inside. I've never bought it before and really loved it!  I just may buy it next time I'm at JoAnn's.

I bought a great variegated thread from Aurifil. This is a new product for them. It's polyester and has a lovely sheen to it.

I bought some Bottom Line thread from Superior. I use this in my bobbin when free motion quilting. My machine loves it and I do too!

This is a new marking tool I recently heard about. It's a made by Bohin. I figured I'd give it a try. I haven't found a marking tool that lives up to all it's promises. Maybe this one will be better.

These are all goodies given to us in class by Kim Brunner. The card is a discount off her Craftsy class. She gave us some pre-filled bobbins and a fat eighth of a batik as well as a 15% discount from one of the batik vendors. Her class was wonderful! She is a wealth of information. Loved her class!

I couldn't resist buying a book! There were books everywhere! I bought this one to help use up my stash. Whether or not I use it, that's another story!

I had to buy this little kit! It's just a little wall hanging but it has a cat and a sewing machine on it. That's me right there! I couldn't leave it behind!

This is the hand out from the class I took with Sally Terry. She makes feathers with no back tracking. It's a much different method from what I'm used to. I really need to practice.

My last picture is my name tag. They gave me a little button to wear calling me an MQX Newbie since I had never taken a class there before.

There you have it! That's my MQX experience! Hope you all enjoyed it! I did!!


Saturday, April 13, 2013

MQX Quilt Festival/New England

I have been looking forward to this quilt show for months! It was held in Manchester, NH April 10-13. I signed up for 2 classes. One class was all about Free Form Feathers with Sally Terry. The second class was with Kim Brunner where she told us all about Building Blocks for Good Design. I had 2 friends going with me and couldn't wait.

 However, the best part of the show was meeting Sally! I had "met" Sally on Twitter. We were both quilters and both from Massachusetts. She planned on attending MQX also. Perfect time to meet. You can find Sally's blog here. We had a great time! I'm so happy we met. We're already planning to meet again in the near future! I'm looking forward to more fun times with Sally! As you can see, Sally is standing in front of the quilt she had accepted into the show. Her quilt was gorgeous!

I'm going to post pictures of some great quilts. The quilts were phenomenal! I was in awe of the beautiful and intricate stitching on these works of art. As usual, I do not have the names of who entered the quilt. The hall was so packed! I wouldn't have been able to write the names down and keep track of who made them. Enjoy the quilts! I surely did!


There you have it! I wish I could have taken more pictures and posted even more quilts. It was a wonderful show. Hope you all have a chance to attend some day. I'm planning on attending once again next year!

Next post will be all about my classes and the stuff I bought! It's all still in my bag. My husband is out right now so it may be a good time to put it all away!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Little Knitting Projects

I'm in the middle of free motion quilting the Puzzle Box Quilt but love making little projects when I'm not at the machine. I just finished this cute little Cat Dishcloth today. I think I'm going to give it to my mom. She doesn't have a cat but loves to play with our new cat, Lily. This can be her own little version of Lily! The pattern was found at One Crafty Mama. This is a fun blog to visit. She has other dishcloth patterns available if you're interested.

I also finished my husband's socks. You can find the pattern on Ravelry. They're called Tilney Socks. Actually, Ravelry is the best place to get the pattern. There are a few errors and the proper directions are updated at this website. The socks still need to be blocked. My husband started wearing them so I have to steal them back from him. Maybe one day I'll take them back when he goes to work. They'll be dry by the time he gets home. He won't even know the difference!

Here's a close up of the cable running up the back of the sock. It's subtle but looks very nice when they're being worn.

Big week coming up! I'll be going to the New England Quilt Festival/MQX in Manchester, NH. I've signed up for two classes. I'll be spending one day shopping and another day taking the classes. (Although I'll probably shop that day too!) I've made a list of stuff I would like to buy. Of course, I may just "need" to buy some other things also! I'm going with a couple of friends from work and meeting my quilter friend, Sally, who is coming up from Cape Cod. Can't wait!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Puzzle Box Border

I had an appointment at the dentist yesterday to find out why I keep getting an infection where I had had a root canal a few years ago. I thought he was just going to open up the gum and sort of clean it up. He found the root had a crack in it so he had to remove it. One day later, I look like I'm holding a golf ball in my mouth! I'm on antibiotics and some mild pain killers. It's actually feeling much better now that 24 hours have passed.

I had hoped to start machine quilting the border on the Puzzle Box quilt yesterday. However, after that pesky dental appointment, I was lucky to just lay on the couch and keep awake. As you can see, I did get to the sewing machine today! I worked sort of slowly but I really enjoyed my time spent sewing. Between the Easter holiday and the dentist, I was wondering if I'd get to do any sewing soon.

I have a feeling this is going to take a little while but I just love the end result. That black border looked so plain to me. I hope to work on it a little bit everyday. It'll get done soon enough. I have to keep reminding myself to enjoy the process! So what that I have 3 other quilt tops just begging to be quilted!!

Old and New!

I made this quilt about 15 years ago. It's called Starry Night. I signed up for a Block of the Month. I would receive directions as...