Friday, May 30, 2014

Adding Length to an Almost Finished Quilt

Ever have an 'oops' when making a quilt?  Well, my 'oops' is a quilt that's too short!  
The Twinkler quilt needed to measure at least 5' x 7'.  As I was quilting it, I counted six 13" blocks along the length.  Remeasuring and checking my math led to the sad realization that it was a bit short.

Fortunately, due to the design, I could easily add another row of nickels to both ends to make it longer, even after quilting it.  How you ask?  Here's how!

After removing the quilt from the frame, I did not cut any of the edges off.  I then sewed up two 6" wide backing strips, and two strips of nickels for the two front edges.  I had used up all of the backing fabric, so I just substituted a plain green.
The backing strip got pinned to the backside, right sides together, using the edge basting on the quilt top as a seam guide on the back.  The strip overlaps the seam by at least a 1/4".
The nickel strip is pinned to the front, right sides together, aligning the raw edges and seams, and stitched with a 1/4" seam allowance.
After cutting the excess original backing from the back
I now have the additional back, batting, and top ready for quilting.  I folded the excess batting to show the amount of backing in relation to the front.  Not a lot!
I know that I can work with this small amount, but please don't leave this small amount for your longarm quilter.  Give her more to work with!

This process was repeated for the other side, though I didn't have enough batting on this end.
But that's another easy fix!  After the one edge was quilted, I trimmed the excess batting, butted it up against this one, and zig zagged them together.

Now for the quilting.  Using the smallest amount of backing fabric to pin it to the leader

the top was basted along the edge, then the quilting finished.
The same was done on the other edge.  The new ends, front and back, blend right in.

And the back.
Mission accomplished!  The quilt now measures 85".  To see a few more pictures, check out my Twinkler Quilt post.

This technique won't work for every quilt, but I'm so glad this was made of busy scraps to hide the joins.  And this doesn't have to be done on a longarm either.  So, if ever you find yourself with this predicament, feel free to use my solution!

Happy Quilting!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Twinkler Quilt Finished

Here's my stashbuster (more like nickel-buster!) Twinkler quilt!
The pattern is super easy, and is from Claudia's Quilt Shoppe.  I made mine with 5" and 3" squares, just so I could use up those nickels!  Produced a big quilt quickly!  Click here for my tutorial on making this with the larger squares.

Each complete star is from the same fabric, but there are at least five different fabrics, all pretty much the same color green.  Yes, I cut those (gasp!).  Just another bunch of fabrics I wanted to use up.

And the quilting?  I freehanded swirls with a hook in the center, then came out to a point to start another swirl. 
The center of the stars got marked with a dot, then using a ruler, stitching went from seam points to the dot, and back out again.  Simple, but effective.

At first, I really didn't like the scrappiness of this quilt, and thought some of the blocks downright ugly.  Quilting it with a dark olive green thread really helped to pull it together.  So now I like it, and I hope a patient at the VA likes it too. 

Click here to check out the next post, as I'll tell you about my 'oops'! 

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Off to the Fair

It's that time of year again, when the county fair comes to town!
Last year was my first time entering quilts, and I garnered several prizes, which you can view here.  I don't have as many entries this year, mainly because of the machine switch in April/May, but here's what I'm delivering today.  Click on the titles to view more about the quilts!

From 2013: 


Modern Square
From 2014:

Trio Two
Random Acts of Blue
Last year there were over 375 entries, and I'm sure this year will be about the same.  I'm looking forward to a great display of quilts, and I'll keep you posted as to how these do in the competition.

Happy Quilting!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Twinkler quilt

Ever want to just sew and make something that doesn't require a lot of thought?  Well, that's what happened to me today.  I've been wanting to join in the fun of my online stashbusters group, which is working on a pattern called Twinkler.  And today was the day I finally got started.  Here's a block
It's perfect for using up the stash, and easy to put together. The pattern can be found at Claudia's Quilt Shoppe, and being me, I changed it a bit.  Instead of the 2 1/2" squares, I used 5".  Yes, I am using more of the darned nickels!  (Can't you tell, given how scrappy this block is?!)

My version requires eight 5" squares, one 5" square for the center of the star, and four 3" squares for the star points.  After drawing a line from corner to corner on all of the 3" squares, 
the seam was stitched just to the side of the line. 
This allows for some fabric at the fold, so that the edges line up once the triangle is flipped over.  And because I don't like to waste fabric, I sewed another line 1/2" over (just eyeballed it!),
to create little half square triangle units for a later use. 

Cutting a 1/4" seam allowance between the two stitched lines 
gave me the star points,

 plus a little half square triangle.  
Now the block is an easy nine patch assembly.  For a quick way to sew a nine patch, see my post Efficiently Sewing a Nine Patch.

Given the size of the patches, these blocks went together fast and created a large quilt.  I must admit that though I love the pattern, my top is not the prettiest!  I'm hoping the quilting will help with that.

I'm off to play with Tess (my Innova!).

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

New Craftsy Classes!

One of my favorite teachers, Angela Walters, has a new Craftsy class!!  This one is Small Changes, Big Variety.
<a href="">Machine Quilting: Small Changes, Big Variety (w/ Angela Walters)</a>
I had the opportunity to take this from her in person, and the class was awesome!  She's such a great teacher--goes through everything step-by-step, increasing the complexity each time, resulting in several different designs to use.  I highly recommend taking this class, whichever way you quilt--longarm or domestic!  Click on the class title or the picture to go to to check it out.

I also saw a cool new class from Editya Sitar, Garden of Quilted Possibilities.
<a href="">Garden of Quilted Possibilities (w/ Edyta Sitar)</a>

Click on the title or the picture to see the pretty quilts in this one!  She uses such beautiful fabrics that I think I need to update my stash!  But it sure looks like a great class--just may sign up, but really, I've got to finish the others first.

So go out and learn something new, cause that's what it's all about, right?

Happy Quilting!


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Quilt Festival Entries

Thought I'd try something fun and enter Random Acts of Blue

and Black and White with a bit of Red
in the Bloggers Quilt Festival hosted by Amy from Amy's Creative Side.
Blue is entered in the Modern Quilts category, while Black and White is in the Original Design category.  There's definitely some stiff competition, as there are many talented quilters out there.  Do I hope to win?  No, but it's fun to participate!

For more eye candy on the my two entries, be sure to click on their titles to go to their respective pages.  Enjoy!

And go check out the festival for the fantastic eye candy, and remember to vote!

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

She's All Moved In!

In just 3 hours yesterday, my almost empty sewing room was transformed by the addition of this, an Innova longarm!
She, being Tess, has moved in!  She's spent a long time on my wish list, and now she's here!  She's a big girl, and takes up a bit more floor space than my last setup, but she's worth the sacrifice.  I was a bit worried about storing all of my fabric bins under the frame, but with the extra width, they fit just fine.  Phew!

On to some construction photo's.  Here's the sturdy frame before the 3/4 inch thick melamine boards were put in for the panto table.
And here's after.  This surface would be great for cutting, with a mat of course!

Here's my wonderful dealer team of Jim and Nicky, from the Sew So Shop, installing the head.

This is a view of the 22" head from the other side
On the front is the Lightening Stitch display, and the dark square ring encircling the needle bar is the new LED/black light.  Awesome!  Lights the area so well!

After Jim and Nicky handed her over to me, I played with a bunch of small fills to test her out.  This area measures 10" x 9", to give you an idea how small it is. 

And my reaction while quilting?  That Lightening stitch is unbelievable!  What can I say, but OMG!  I was blown away by the sensitivity.  Tess is going to be an absolute joy to quilt with!

Okay, I guess you can tell I'm a happy owner! I'm off to go play some more!

Happy Quilting!



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Delivery Day!!

Today is the day!!!  My new Innova 22" with Lightening Stitch arrives within the hour!  Four long weeks of waiting, with absolutely no quilting.  And now she's finally here!

The room is mostly cleaned out and ready for her.  See, her space is all empty.
I hope she's happy here--I have big plans for her! 

I'll post more pictures of her setup later, and of course, how I manage to stuff everything back into the room!!!

Also today, I'm linking up my chicken pinwheels at Freemotion by the River.  Be sure to check out what other quilters are creating by checking out her linky party at 
Enjoy and Happy Quilting!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Surprise in Every Block!

Last night I had the best fun!  No, didn't go out and party.  Instead, I had the house to myself, a very rare occurrence on a Saturday night!  And what did I do?  Made some really awesome blocks!

These are just one style of block that can be made from the Book of the Month selection,  Wacky Pinwheel Quilting Wizard.
Each one is a surprise, and they're all different!  Here's a sampling

Aren't they cool??  And yes, they are really bright!  All of these from this
Well, I'm off for more fun.  Making more blocks of course!

Happy Quilting!