Sunday, January 31, 2016

Quilt to Give

Well, this is a down to the wire finish! I'm talking about the quilt for the January Book of the Month. I chose Quick Column Quilts, and finally got a chance to work on the quilt late this week. Nothing like putting it off to the end of the month! But it's finished and it's awesome!

This is the pattern Quilt to Give, and was super fun and easy to put together! It will definitely go in my file of quick quilts to use up fabric.

Starting with strip sets,

I kept some in groups of four, and most in groups of two. That way, I could mix up the strip order so that it didn't all look the same after cutting.

Here's the cut strips for the quilt, all lined up and ready to go.

From this point, it was just a bunch of long strip sewing to complete the top. Pretty fast! 

This quilt has a star theme, as all fabrics have stars in them. 

Who knew I had so many??? And hardly a dent made in the yardage! Guess I should have made it bigger if that was the goal, but again, hubby needs a baby boy quilt. So this measures 42" x 45". And the quilting? Stars of course!

Now I will say, I had a hard time following the directions in this book. The patterns are really nice, but the explanations are too wordy. Took me a while to figure out what sizes to cut. And a baby quilt size wasn't offered, so had to figure that out myself. But still, I like the book and would like to make some of the others as they are very attractive. I definitely won't give up on this book!

Tomorrow begins February, and yet another book selection. Until then, Happy Quilting!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Love Abounds

I just love decorating my house for any holiday that comes around, and Valentine's Day is no exception! To celebrate, I've created Love Abounds, a beautiful heart table runner!

Made with appliqued pink batiks on Kona Snow, this gorgeous display of love melts my heart!

The small (1/2" inch) background crosshatch quilting sets off the beauty of the hearts, 

and their McTavish style fill.

Quick and easy to put together with fusible applique, the runner finishes at 16" x 42", perfect for any table. If you would like to celebrate Valentine's Day with these beautiful hearts, a pattern is available at Etsy - just click on the pink and it will take you there!

Check out the solid color version!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Matching Binding to the Piecing

Last week, I talked about two different binding methods that didn't distract from the piecing of the quilt. The first was Two Color Binding, used on Interlude. Today, it's Matching Binding to the Piecing, which was used on Simply Woven Version and O Tannenbaum!.

This technique was especially useful on O Tannenbaum! because of the high contrast piecing.

White binding would have detracted in the red area, just as red binding would have been a disaster in the white. This table topper is so strong visually, that the binding really needs to match. 

So, here's a tutorial on how to match that binding, using the Simply Woven Version quilt as the example.

Start with enough binding to cover the piecing colors in the quilt, stitching all of same color together. In the picture below, I have two lengths of each color just so it's a bit less to handle.

Using one length of each color, sew them together end to end, using a straight seam versus the normal corner to corner. Do this only once - don't sew all the lengths together.

Press the seam to one side. There is a bit more bulk this way, but the seam is less likely to pull apart.

Match this seam with the piecing,

and stitch 6-8 stitches to test alignment. 

Well done!

Oh, how I love that trick!!

Cut the binding above the first matching point, approximately 8-12". Notice I have 2 1/2" inches folded back in the picture.

This becomes the final joining point. See my tutorial on Joining Binding in 3 Easy Steps to easily make this join.

Continue attaching the binding, and stop within 4-6 inches of the next color change in the piecing. Because I've turned the corner, my working binding is tight, but manageable at a 3" length.

Lay out the binding and mark with a pin where the piecing color change is.

With right sides together, stitch the other color to the attached binding, end to end, again using a straight seam.

Check that the binding seam matches the piecing seam, and that the binding is flat and snug.

Trim off the excess, and take the 6-8 stitches to check the match.

Another stunning match!

Keep attaching the binding, repeating the matching process. Finish with the final join, using the same color binding. Don't try to make the final join one of the color change points. It's not worth the frustration!

Finish the binding by machine or by hand, and enjoy your quilt!

Have a wonderful day quilting!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Two Color Binding Tutorial

As I said in my last post, I've developed the habit of using the binding as a design element for the quilt. Such was the case for Interlude,

which has red on the top and bottom, continuing the strong red horizontal element, and a print on the sides that blends with the quilt top edges. 

Why did I do it this way? I felt red binding all around would have conflicted with the horizontal lines. A print could have worked, but I still wanted to keep the strong vertical/horizontal theme I had going. And besides, I'm always up for a challenge!

So how did I deal with the corners? Well, here's a tutorial in case you want to try this on your quilt. Mine is applied by machine, but feel free to hand stitch.

First, decide which color goes on first. Here, I chose the red binding, so that when it gets covered with the print at the corners, it follows the same pattern on the rest of the quilt. In this picture, it's stitched to the front, ready to be turned to the back.

The end is cut even with the quilt top. There is no need to backstitch at the end as it will get covered.

The binding is turned to the backside, and finished by stitching in the ditch on the front if by machine, or stitching by hand. 


FYI, I use school glue to hold my binding in place on the back for machine stitching. I also wash my quilts, so I don't worry about the glue. It's a tool, so I use it!

This is the front, with the cut edge even with the quilt top.

The adjoining piece of binding is applied to the front 

with an inch or so folded snugly over the cut edge, onto the back.

The binding is stitched as usual to the front, with a few backstitches at the edge.

Here's the back.

The binding is flipped flat, away from the front. At the corner, a bit of glue tacks down the short piece, snugging it up against the edge of the quilt.

This prevents the edge of that little piece from misbehaving when folded over.

See how well it's hidden? Ah, the miracle of glue!

Again, to finish, it's either stitched in the ditch from the front, or by hand. A few backstitches at the end are added for security.


And here's the front.

Nice and neat and a beautiful finish! 

The quilt police may not like it, but it works for me, and it works for this quilt. Give it a try the next time your faced with a binding dilemma!

Have a great weekend quilting!

Friday, January 8, 2016


Okay, this is the third and last Christmas quilt for now! Created from the large and small strip scraps leftover from Holly Jolly and Simply Woven Version, I've named this one Interlude.

This is my own creation, born from those scraps, and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. I'm considering making a baby quilt in another colorway, but I need to do some math first.

And this one is big! Measuring in at 64" x 86", this fits nicely on a twin bed. It almost used up the Christmas fabric, though I still have enough for a baby or lap size. What's really scary is that Christmas fabric comprises about 2% of my stash! And I've got another 14" x 17" x 6" drawer of various blue snowflake fabrics. That will get tackled next year!

This one also has a holly themed pantograph on it, called Holiday Garland.

It's a very pretty, swirly design with holly leaves and berries.

And yes, there's Christmas fabric on the back.

If you look closely at the binding in this picture, you'll see one edge is red, and the other a print. Here's a picture of a corner.

Lately, I've been using the binding as part of the design element on the quilt. It bothers me that the binding could detract from the design. Sometimes, I match the binding to the quilt piecing, like on O Tannenbaum!, or do two separate colors, as on this quilt. A tutorial on the Two Color Binding technique. I'll let you know when the Matching the Binding to the Piecing tutorial is available.

Until then, have a great time quilting!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Simply Woven Version

After posting about Holly Jolly and my mission to use up Christmas fabric, some lovely quilty friends suggested the Simply Woven pattern, from the Moda Bake Shop, as a stash buster. And here's my version.

Notice anything different?

My version has the same blocks as the pattern, but additional, 3" wide sashing strips (cut 3 1/2" ) that weave in and out. And matching binding

Not only did that addition use up more fabric, it also split up the monotony of the 2" inch strips. Don't get me wrong - I think it's a great pattern! But mine was pretty boring because of the red and green theme. The additional, wider strips break it up, and add some interest.

For the quilting, this one got another holly themed pantograph, called Holly Berries, in gold Glide thread.

And of course, a picture of the back.

Made from bits and pieces that were in this quilt, it's another way to use up that Christmas fabric! BTW, this quilt measures 60" x 75", and Holly Jolly is 52" x 69". The third Christmas quilt, on the frame today, is even bigger! And also with a pieced back! I am completely amazed at how much Christmas fabric was in a 14" x 17" x 6" drawer. Sadly, it's only 1/2 to 2/3 empty. I'll save the rest for Christmas in July projects, cause I think everyone is done with Christmas for now. Time to move on!

UPDATE: several of you want to know the sashing strip sizes. Pieces are 3 1/2" x 12", and 3 1/2" x 26 1/2". Use partial seam sewing in order to achieve the weaving.

Happy Quilting! 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Book of the Month January 2016

Happy New Year! Starting off the first day of the 2016 with another Book of the Month selection, with the honor going to Quick Column Quilts (affiliate link) by Nancy Zieman!

Nancy is an icon in the sewing world, publishing numerous books, and hosting her Sewing with Nancy how-to show, and this book does not disappoint.
Flipping through the 12+ patterns, I find several that I want to make, and also inspiration to design some of my own. Such is the case of the third Christmas quilt I'm working on. 

It's about half done, and is super scrappy because I really, really want to use up those Christmas prints! But more on this one later.

I'm pretty excited about this book and have goals to make a couple of them during the month. Be sure to check in on my progress!

Have a Happy New Year Quilting!