Friday, January 30, 2015

Connecting Binding Ends--The Easy Way!

New! This binding technique has been further simplified! Check out Joining Quilt Binding in 3 Easy Steps - I'm sure you'll love the update!

I want to share a really easy way to connect the ends of binding that I just discovered. Previously, I used a method that required a lot of thought and attention, because of the folds and the angles. But a fellow quilter showed me this technique, and it's so simple, that it really deserves a tutorial!


Attach the binding as usual, leaving at least 15" unstitched between the two ends. It will be easier to sew the ends together with the more space you have. Fold the ends so that they meet in the middle, butting snugly up against each other, with no slack. See the arrow.


butt binding ends together





Finger press to form a crease.  Cut the bottom piece at the crease.  Do not cut the top piece yet


finger press a crease at join



Open up the bottom piece, 

open up bottom piece for matching and stitching



and line the side edge up with the fold of the top piece (arrow).

align binding edge with fold






Pin the two together, and mark a line from corner to corner.


line marked for stitching to join binding ends



Sew on the line, and check the fit before trimming.


check binding fit before trimming



Trim the diagonal seam to 1/4", and finger press open. 
Continue attaching the binding to the quilt.


binding join complete and binding stitched to quilt




Perfect!

So there you have it!  A quick, easy, binding join.
Hope you give this a try--it really is super easy! 

Want to explore more binding techniques? Check out these tutorials:
Machine Binding using glue
Piped Binding
Super Simple Binding
Two Color Binding
Matching Binding to the Piecing 
Reducing Bulky Corners
Matching Angled Binding
No Show Binding
Joining Quilt Binding in 3 Easy Steps - my all time favorite!

Happy Quilting!









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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Shape, Value, and Composition

The speaker at my guild on Monday was the incredibly talented Katie Pasquini-Masopust, author of Ghost Layers, Fractured Landscapes, and Color and Composition to name a few.  And I had the great fortune of taking her class, geared toward composition.

Our first assignment was dealing with particular color schemes.  Of course, I chose monochromatic, since I seem to be stuck there lately.  The piece on the right is the interpretation of the photo on the left.
It's ok, though I don't find it inspiring.

The next exercise was dealing with composition, and choosing a different color scheme.  We were to draw, using the picture as reference, first with circles, then with squares, then triangles, and finally a composition using those elements that we liked.  Again, the piece on the right is my interpretation of the photo on the left.
Now this one was really fun to do, plus I worked with transparencies, something I hadn't done before.  Wouldn't this make a cool quilt?

I got very energized by this process, possibly because it was a carryover from Lenore Crawford's class from last week (see that post here). Shape, value, and composition are starting to make more sense.  It's one thing to look at it in a book, it's another to actually do it.

I was all excited to post about this yesterday afternoon, but 45 miles from home, this happened.
Certainly deflating, in more ways than one!  I have to go back to the tire store yet again today for the matching tire.  Such a drag when real life gets in the way of quilting life! 

Anyway, I continue on, buzzing around like a hummingbird in garden full of new, tantalizing flowers to taste!  I really must reign myself in and get some things finished.  I'll be sure to post as that occurs.  Or maybe when something new tempts me!

Happy Quilting!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

So Long Road2CA 2015

Road2CA wrapped up today, and so did my quilting vacation. So many beautiful quilts, lots of vendors, and great classes--what more could a quilter ask for?  So sad to have it end!

I've been lucky to attend the last three years, and each time feels like a new experience.  And I'm always thrilled to learn something new!  This year was no exception.  

Wanting to try landscape quilting, I enrolled in a 3 day class with Lenore Crawford, landscape artist extraordinaire.  I brought my own picture, one we took in Santorini, Greece.
It originally had my husband standing over on the right, but I photoshopped him out.  Sorry dude!  Later, I discovered I had wasted my time because I could be choosy about what elements to leave in or take out.

This was after day one.
Very slow progress.  Finding the right fabric to portray both the color and value was the hardest part, as my small stash I brought was barely sufficient. Everyone else had these beautiful batiks, but unfortunately, that wouldn't work here.

Day 2.  The sky dilemma.  
  
In the real photo, the sky is a clear, slightly greenish blue. That color solid was not in my stash.  The piece in the above photo was borrowed from another student for consideration. After class, I was on a mission to visit all the vendors seeking my sky.  No luck.  Then I remembered I had won some fat quarters the night before, and one was a solid blue. Hopefully it would work.

Day 3.  Finishing up.
I decided to use the solid blue I had.  While not quite the depth of the real picture, I think it balances the dark at the bottom, and white of the walls.  The lighter color adds to the luminosity of the scene.  One thing I'll avoid in the future is so many white walls--really hard to find enough light fabrics for variety.  And I've never used the backs of fabrics so much!

This piece is far from finished.  There is still lots of painting to do for shading and highlighting, plus the gate, tree, railing, and window bars have to be added.  Still thinking about how to do that.

If you ever get the chance to go to Road, or any quilt show for that matter, take some classes.  I'm glad I took this one, because now I know more about the process, and it makes me want to do more!

Happy Quilting!





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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grow Your Blog Party!

Welcome!  It's time to party and Grow Your Blog!
2 Bags Full
Since one of my New Year Resolutions is to become more social in the blogging world, I thought how fun!  A party of over 400 bloggers to meet!

So let me introduce myself.  I'm Susan Arnold, living in the Silicon Valley, California, the hub of all things computer and internet related. I discovered this incredible hobby over eight years ago, and it has taken over my life.  I have an extensive stash, which is on the verge of being vintage, so I'm on a mission to use it up.  I don't purchase a lot of new fabric but if I do, it's usually to fill a deficiency in the stash.  I do all of my own quilting on an Innova 22" longarm, which is such a joy to use to bring the quilt to life.

As for blogging, I love to share about the quilts I'm making, and how I've done some technique, hoping to inspire others. It makes me feel wonderful when someone writes that they learned something new or were excited to try a certain technique because of a quilt I've made.  Quilting has so many facets that there really is something for everyone.  And I want to do it all!!

So feel free to look around, especially the Quilt Gallery, Book of the Month, and Tutorial pages as there's lots to see!  

Enjoy and Happy Quilting!


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Quilt Shops and Shows

Sorry to be a bit late in posting as I have been travelling to San Diego to visit my son and to Ontario for Road2CA.  And of course, shopping for fabric was on the itinerary!

After reaching SD and making numerous trips to Home Depot and Target for cleaning and repairing supplies, my son and I headed to a local quilt shop called Rosie's Calico Cupboard.  OMG!  I thought I died and went to heaven!
Here's a couple pics of the store I posted on Instagram
We started at the left of the main door, which was all books, patterns, and batiks.  Then turned the corner to the above rows of bolts.  So many bolts organized by hue!

And we kept turning corners, and finding more specialty rooms--Asian, Civil War, Novelties, Sale, Florals, Solids, Stripes and Dots, and on and on.  This is the Novelty section, with the sale room off to the right.
And would you believe I could not find an extremely pale peach or grey mottled fabric for a landscape quilt in all of this?  Sad, but don't worry, I didn't leave empty handed.
Yes, more black on white!  They are just so easy to collect!

Later that day, I had to say goodbye to my son, who really enjoyed our visit to that shop.  Then I was on to my next stop, M and L Discount Fabric in Anaheim.  I heard about this place from Road2CA, and thought I'd check it out since it was on the way.  
OMG!  I have died again!  Rows upon rows of fabric, almost overwhelming because there is so much to choose from.  And this time, I found what I hope will work, this peach and very pale grey.
These Southern CA folks just don't know how good they've got it with these stores.  I'm sooo jealous!

So now I'm at Road2CA in Ontario, writing this after a class with Gina Perkes today.  Most of it I already knew, but did learn some tricks.  Sorry, you're just going to have to take her classes to find out what they are!

Now to go find dinner and catch up on my sewing--I brought my machine and two projects to work on.

Happy Quilting!





FTC Compliance Statement:  This blog contains affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase within 24 hours of clicking on the links. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.   I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Double D9P

A  Double Disappearing Nine Patch Quilt makes for another great baby quilt gift! 


Double Disappearing Nine Patch Quilt





Also known as a Double D9P, as sometimes the title can be a bit of a mouthful.

The blocks for this were leftover 9-patches from the Row by Row quilt from last summer, mainly because they were too small for that quilt.  And together, they made too small of a quilt.  To solve that problem, I made double disappearing 9-patch blocks.  No idea how to do that? Well, here's a tutorial!

Start with a 9-patch block, with darker values in the middle and corners.


nine patch block for a double disappearing nine patch quilt




Cut the block through the center, horizontally,


cut the nine patch block



and vertically, to end with this.



cut nine patch block






Spread the blocks pieces apart, and add 5 same size squares in between, with the center contrasting with the others.


adding squares to a cut nine patch block






Sew those together to make a new 9-patch block, and cut again through the center, horizontally and vertically.


cut the new nine patch block





The result is this.


cut block ready to make a double disappearing nine patch block





Rotate two opposite corners.


rotate opposing corner blocks in new nine patch block




Sew them together, and the result is a complicated looking block that's super easy to make!


double disappearing nine patch block




Sew them all together, and it becomes a Double Disappearing 9-Patch Quilt!



Double Disappearing 9-Patch Quilt




When there's a need for a quick quilt that looks super complicated, turn to a DD9P!

Happy Quilting!


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Monday, January 12, 2015

Design Wall and a Quilting Dilemma

This weekend was spent doing little projects. First up, was rearranging the Hexnmore flowers on my design wall.

So far, so good, but I have many more flowers to make to get it to the right size for my hutch runner.  I also have more reds to put in, as I like lots of variety!

Next was quilting this small quilt for our guild philanthropy group.
It's been waiting for over two months, and I need it moved out. Unfortunately, when I unfolded it, the back was the same size as the front.  As longarmers know, this is a problem.

Instead of sewing extra side pieces onto the back for loading, then praying those pieces didn't become part of the quilt, I decided to take a different approach.  And probably one most longarmers would not take!

My idea was to baste the back to the batting, and use the stitch lines as guides, and the batting as the pieces for loading, being careful not to stretch them.
Then the front was laid on top, with every edge pinned, even the bottom.
Here's a fun view of the back on the frame.
Alignment was checked and adjusted with each roll. Fortunately, this was not a large quilt, so the technique worked quite well.  The first picture and this picture have light behind the quilt to show the matching of the front and back.
A few other things got done, such as picture prep for a Road2CA class, fabric gathering for said class, embroidering a couple quilt lables, handstitching binding, general organizing, and our guild's new member party.  What a busy weekend!  Now I'm off to a just as busy quilt week!

Happy Quilting!





FTC Compliance Statement:  This blog contains affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase within 24 hours of clicking on the links. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.   I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Zenquilting Week 1

Last night, I parked on the couch, still recovering from the previous non-stop 'quilty' day, and just drew.  For almost two hours.


The ideas just kept flowing, and I couldn't stop!  Some of the areas I really like a lot, for example, on the left page, the combo of pebbles, stippling, and zigzags meeting up with the spiky border.  Makes an interesting background fill.

And on the other page, the area that catches my eye the most is in the upper right where the vertical lines are bounded by an echo and then horizontal lines.  There's something about that change in direction that sets that area off.

These drawings are totally random, as my goal is to draw continuous lines, such that I can then translate it to stitches. Eventually I'll experiment with predefined boundaries, but for now, I'm enjoying flow.

Here's a little bit from the beginning of the week, which started out with feathers and flowers,
just to get some ideas going.  Not that spectacular, but I got some ideas down that I can refer back to at a later time.

Then I moved into designs between two parallel lines, both in a free form flow of drawing, and the more orderly space definition.  Again, more ideas to draw upon later.


I hope that you're inspired to start drawing too.  Let me know if you want to share through a linky party!

Happy Quilting





FTC Compliance Statement:  This blog contains affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase within 24 hours of clicking on the links. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.   I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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