Friday, 12 February 2016

"Hey Mercedes" Bag

I finally had a day to spend making my "Hey Mercedes" bag from my favourite Cotton + Steel fabric.

The bottom and side panel tapers to meet the side seams.  I was a little worried about the sewing but....

It worked out fine!

Zippered inner pockets and a snap closure to keep everything safe.

The square rings for the handles were purchase through Emmaline Bags.  She is a Canadian distributor of bag hardware out of Alberta.  I found her delivery to be fast and without those cross border fees and shipping.

The pattern is from the book Windy City Bags.  I met Sara in Houston and had a hard time waiting for this book to be released.  Now that it is in my hot little hands I may have to make a few more from the book.

Linking up with Finish it up Friday!

Friday, 5 February 2016

Purple Girl

Last Saturday I had a few hours alone with my youngest granddaughter.  She wanted to help me sew a bit, so we got right to it.

I had all the pieces stacked up so Hallie was in charge of handing them to me, making sure there was no dog hair lingering about.  She loved using the lint roller.  Not quite big enough to operate the machine, but the thread cutter button was within easy reach.  We both had a great time.

The purple block was her favourite.  She packed it everywhere with her.  It was folded, rolled and laid upon.  Luckily it was made from Indah Batiks, so it handled the treatment.  When it was time to go home, there was a tear shed when over the fact that the block had to stay at Grandma's house.

The quilt is finished, and I think it has to have Hallie's name on it.  I quilted it with big bubbles and of course I used Fireside on the back.  I think we can have snuggles under it next time we have a day together.

Linking up with Finish it up Friday!

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Fireside Fabric

There are many Polyester Microfibre fabrics on the market today. l have tried several and have decided that Fireside is the one I want to put on my own personal quilts.

This is the back of a quilt that was a sample for Trend-Tex recently.  If you click on the picture you can see the texture that Fireside has.

Quilting on a longarm with Fireside is easy, keeping in mind nap and stretch.  The fabric has a knit backing so it is stretchy, more so on the cross grain.  Mount on the machine with the width going cross wise.  Snug the backing up to the top, not pulling it too tight.  Quilt just like you would flannel. I like to put a fair bit of quilting on all my quilts.  With both flannel and Fireside I try not to leave large areas open to reduce the chance of popped stitches under heavy use.

Fireside is sixty inches wide.  If it needs to be pieced, make sure all the stretch and nap are going the same way.  If you are unfamiliar with nap, click here for clarification.  Use a half inch seam allowance and let the seam allowance lie open.

I have tried both Cuddle and Minky.  They are a little silkier feeling, therefore a little colder to the touch.  I ran into problems with Minky with the fibres pulling through to the front.  I asked the women at Shanon Fabrics if they had the same problem.  They showed me their quilts and they all had fibres pulled to the front.  My solution to this was to quilt with the same colour thread as the backing, to disguise the problem.  When I first used Fireside I found that very little pulled through.  I do still use a thread that is similar in colour to the back.  On this quilt I used white thread on top with a grey Fireside on the back.

I do put batting in my quilts with Fireside on the back.  I use Arctic Cotton natural with scrim or Arctic Cotton Blend.  They help to stabilize the backing, and make the quilts extra warm and cuddly.

Next up is thread.  I use a 40 wt cotton on the top, as that is what my machine likes.  On the bottom I use a 60 wt poly so it sinks into the back and I get a lot more on a bobbin.  It really is about what's easy.

These pictures show the front and back of a quilt.  The fireside on the back really shows off the quilting.  If you haven't tried it yet, go for it.

Quick note for domestic machine users.  If you are using Fireside, spray baste to your batting, and the stretch won't be a problem.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Black Tie Affair!!!!!

Yippee!  It is finally released to quilt shops near you.  Black Tie Affair by BasicGrey for Moda.

I started this quilt for myself using a fat quarter pack of Black Tie and a couple of metres of an accent fabric from Zen Chic Paper.  Part way through the construction my arm was twisted just a bit, and I agreed to let it go off to a new home.  I'm hoping to make another one for myself.

I kept the quilting fairly simple, so the fabric could really shine through.

A friend asked for a tutorial on making the block, so here goes.

From the main fabric cut a 6 1/2" square, four 4 1/2" x 2 1/2", four 5 1/2" x 2 1/2" and four 7 1/2" x 2 1/2" pieces.  From the accent fabric cut four 3 1/2" x 2 1/2", four 4 1/2" x 2 1/2" and four 5 1/2" x 2 1/2" pieces.  I was using a directional fabric, so I took a little more time cutting my pieces.

Add 3 1/2" x 2 1/2" accent pieces to two 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" main fabric piece using the connector corner method.  Trim out the extra fabric.

Add  5 1/2" x 2 1/2" accent pieces to the other two 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" main fabric pieces using the same method.

Add the 5 1/2" x 2 1/2" main fabric pieces to two of the 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" accent pieces using connector corners as shown.  Add the 7 1/2" x 2 1/2" main fabric pieces to the last two 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" accent pieces.

Lay all the pieces out as show.

Piece your block together and enjoy!

Linking up with Finish it up Friday.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Just Because

On January 1st I decided I needed to make a project, just because I could.  I get so busy making projects for others, I neglect my own sewing.

This Chevron quilt was the result of a little selfish sewing.

Start with forty 2 1/2" strips of "Me + You" batik by Hoffman (or any other fabric you like.)  Set eight aside for the binding.  I found a little over two metres of background that looked like it would work. Cut the background into assorted strips ranging in size from 1 1/2" to 4" wide.  I didn't want to match seams so this was my solution.

Piece a background strip to each of the original 2 1/2" wide strips. Cut half right side up, half right side down, so that mirror image blocks are created.  Line the 60 degree line on the ruler up on the edge of the strip, cut six inch wedges.

Half leaning one way, half leaning the other.  if you don't have enough at the end of the strip for a complete wedge, save it to fit in at the top or bottom of strip segments.

Sew the wedges that are leaning the same way into long sets as shown below.  Overlap the segments at the 1/4" mark when sewing together so that you get a straight edge.

Press the seams however you want.  Remember, nothing has to match.

Fit the partial blocks in at the top of the sets, where they will be trimmed to a straight edge.

Make five pairs of sets, trimming each pair at the top. The length doesn't matter.  Just keep adding to each set till you run out of fabric.  Sew the five pairs together and trim the bottom edge.

I quilted this one with a variegated thread mimicking the chevron with a wavy line.

Linking up with Finish It up Friday!

Friday, 8 January 2016

Dog Gone Cute

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you are all off to a great start this year.

My last Christmas finish was this pillow.  The resemblance to Blanche was intentional.  Blanche tolerated a quick photo shoot.  You can see the indignation in her eyes.  There is obviously room for only one dog on her bed.

This picture shows the colours a little clearer.  The pattern is from the Free Dog Gone Cute quilt-along.  Click here to check it out.  While you are on the page, check out some of the patterns.  Amazing!  I just might have bought one recently.

I've been keeping busy quilting.  Working my way through the quilts that have been waiting a little too long.

I love Geraldine's colour choice on this one.  A chocolate brown background makes this quilt.

I'm trying something a little new for me today.  I know it looks familiar, but I'm trying to make feathers using the bump method.  I've struggled in the past with this technique.  I'm hoping by the time I finish this quilt I will have the rhythm down.

Linking up with Finish it up Friday!

Friday, 18 December 2015

Countdown to Christmas

Are you on countdown to Christmas?  This is the last quilt I have to finish on my countdown list.  The fabric is New Nordic by Stof.  I love the rubber boots, pigs, ducks and assorted other cute fabrics.  My youngest granddaughter doesn't have a quilt to use at my house, that is all hers.  Last time she spent the night with her sister, she was quite put out that her sister had a quilt, and she didn't.  Well, as any good Grandma should, I'm remedying the situation.

A quick quilting with paisley hearts, and it is ready to go.

I finished quilting this sweet little quilt for Sylvia.

And this adorable little bear quilt for Marilyn.  I have a few more quilts I would like to finish this year, but.....

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