5.31.2011

Hanging out with my Seam Ripper

Tonight i'm hanging out with my seam ripper. I had big plans to quilt last weekend, but unfortunately I got hit by the bug and ended up sleeping for most of it. Although I was sick, I was determined to finish this quilt. That was an ultimate fail. Lesson learned - I will no longer quilt when I have the flu, can barely see out of my swollen eyes, and am frazzled with basting spray mist everywhere because I forgot to open the windows.

The quilt started out really nice...although I was feeling under the weather, it was a pleasant afternoon in my crafting corner. But not for long...
The blocks were coming together really well. I was enjoying the detailed Scandinavian prints (prior to my eyes swelling)...
Somehow I even managed to finish the quilt top. Like I said, I was really pushing myself. I managed to baste the quilt in 30 minutes. By this time I was feeling like a sloth...
I went ahead and started quilting away. Why the heck not, right?! I'll tell you why the heck not...

brace yourself...

I can't bear to look at it. It looks like a spine of some horrid creature is forming on the backing.
And that's why I'm hanging out with my seam ripper. My good old faithful seam ripper. I'm rippin' the spine right out of this sucker!

Thankfully I'm feeling much better now, and I intend to finish this quilt right! Mistakes happen right? I'm no Martha Stewart that's for sure. ;-) Wish me better luck when I redo the basting on this one.

Happy Quilting!

5.28.2011

Upcoming Moda project

I wanted to give you all a sneak peak of my next Moda Bake Shop tutorial that recently got approved. The sketch of my pattern is above, and I will be using a jelly roll to make it. It's different from my normal patterns...kind of edgy and very modern. I can't wait to try it out! My plan is to do a test run using the Fandango jelly roll below that my husband got me for Christmas last year. :)
However for the MBS tutorial I'll be using a newer collection. Either this one, called Summer House by Lily Ashbury....

Or Kate Spain's latest collection called Terrain...
Both are gorgeous (and both I plan on having at my future online shop ;) I'm not sure yet which collection I will receive for the MBS tutorial, but either way I'll be a very happy camper.

So many projects, and so little time! I better get to it and make the most of this 3-day weekend!

5.24.2011

Exciting News!

I am a self described fabric addict. My love and passion for fabric runs in every fiber of my being. For those of you that have followed me and witnessed my fabric hoarding posts, I've finally nailed it. :) For the past year this blog has been an outlet for me to channel my passion for quilting and fabrics. I decided to take it a step further by starting an online shop that specializes in selling pre-cuts (i.e. fat quarter bundles, jelly rolls, layer cakes and charms). All of the yummy stuff ;)
It's been a whirlwind of planning, researching, saving and exciting ideas these last few months! But the concept of an online store is finally underway, and I am excited to share with all of you updates as I get things moving along.

To start, I wanted to share some photos of the latest fabrics I've pre-ordered from the After Quilt Market Show! The very first photo (above) is by Moda and will be available closer to Fall. If you liked the Sherbert Pips line by Aneela Hoey, you'll love this one!

These are some freebies I got from Moda. Aren't the mini charm squares adorable? I could almost bite into one! Apparently they're calling them "crumbs."
Are there any Riley Blake fans out there? Because they have a lot of awesome collections coming out this Summer! A lot of fun pre-cuts too.
This line by Riley Blake is called Indian Summer. The fresh floral prints mixed with the brown and green hues is a great print that will easily transition from Summer to Fall.
Do any of you remember the Bliss collection by Bonnie and Camille for Moda? They have a new line coming out towards the end of this year called Ruby! It's just as charming as Bliss. Here's a sneak peak...
Lauren and Jessi Jung (designers of the Hideaway and Botany collections) for Moda have a new line coming out called Flora. This line has a modern/vintage look to it...It's absolutely gorgeous!
Below is a new line by Michael Miller. The designer, Sarah Jane, started as a children's book illustrator and now she also designs fabrics. The colors and detailed illustrations are so fresh and happy and make me reminisce of my carefree, childhood days :p
Free Spirit also has some gorgeous lines coming out (as always) including new 6" square pre-cuts! Unfortunately I have no pictures to show for those yet.

We don't have an exact launch date yet, but we have an idea. As I mentioned earlier, please stay tuned for more updates. This is an exciting endeavor that I plan to share with you all, in addition to my normal blogging/tutorials. As always, if you have any thoughts or questions, please leave me a comment! I'm always happy to hear from you! :)

Happy Quilting!

5.18.2011

Binding & Blind Stitching Tutorial

You all asked for it, so here it is! A binding/blind stitching tutorial just for you. :) Thanks for your patience...though binding is something I do regularly, this tutorial took a lot of thought. I try to stay away from posting lengthy and wordy tutorials, so I tried my best while still trying to depict everything clearly. Part I of this tutorial is how to attach the binding to your quilt top, and Part II is how to blind stitch. I made videos of me blind stitching in hopes it would be easier to learn.

Also, I wanted to say that I'm a self taught quilter, therefore my way of binding and blind stitching might not be as traditional. But it's how I roll, and it works! There are many ways to bind a quilt, and this is just one of them.

One last thing (so much for not wanting to post wordy tutorials :-p), this tutorial is just one way to bind. Check out my Quick Quilt Binding Tutorial for an alternative method.


Update: If you prefer not to blind stitch the back of your binding and would rather machine stitch it, check out my Machine Binding Tutorial.


Part I - Binding
(Steps 1-7)
Note: This tutorial assumes a 1/4" seam allowance. Start and end all stitches with a back-stitch.

Step 1
- Start by cutting 2.5" strips from the length of your fabric. If your binding fabric is less than or equal to 1 yard, then typically the length of your fabric will be about 40-44". You can divide the total perimeter of your quilt top by 40" to calculate how many 2.5" strips you will need to cut (example: if the total perimeter of the quilt top is 120", then you will need 120"/40"=3 binding strips).

As shown below, sew the strips together to create the length of binding you will need to bind the perimeter of your quilt. To do this, align two strip so that they are perpendicular to one another with the right sides facing each other. Sew a diagonal line from the bottom left corner to the top right corner as shown below.

Trim the corner off making sure it's 1/4 inch away from the diagonal line you stitched:

Then press flat with an iron:

Step 2 - With an iron, press the binding in half lengthwise so that the width measures 1.25".

Step 3 - On one end of your binding, create a 45 degree angle seam: a) Open up the binding on one end. Create a 1/4" seam by folding the fabric over 1/4" at the top, then press. b) Fold the top left corner down to form a 45 degree angle, press. c) Press in half lengthwise.

(Click to enlarge)


Step 4 - Start binding along the side of your quilt top and away from all corners. As shown below, attach the binding to your quilt top by opening the binding, and then sewing through the first layer. Make sure you start with the end that has the 45 degree angle seam (from the previous step). From the top of the binding, sew 4-5" down.


Step 5 - Close the binding so that you can no longer see the 4-5" that you previously sewed. From the top of the binding, measure about 3" down and start sewing (as depicted with the black arrow below). You will overlap with the previous stitch by at least 1". This will leave you with an open 'pocket' at the start of your binding that's about 3" long.


Step 6 - Continue sewing the binding to your quilt top. Use pins to help keep the binding in place. When you get to the corners, do the following four steps (a, b, c &d):

a) Stop sewing 1/4" from the bottom of the corner. End your stitch with a back-stitch.

b) As shown below, fold the binding over so that it's in line with the edge of your quilt top.

c) Then fold the binding over again but in the other direction; still make sure the binding is in line with the edges of the quilt.

d) Pin the corner folds and binding to keep in place...

...and then start sewing again from the top of the fold to stitch it down. Continue sewing and repeat Step 6 for all corners.

Step 7 -When you get to the end, you will come upon the open 'pocket' from Step 5.


Tuck the unfinished end under the flap as shown below.


And then continue sewing to stitch it closed.



Part II - Blind Stitching
Update: If you'd rather machine bind, please see my machine binding tutorial.

Now that you've finished attaching the binding to your quilt top, the last part is to blind stitch the binding to the backing of your quilt. Start by folding the binding over to the back, and pin it to the backing of your quilt.

When you get to the corners, simply fold the bottom edge of the binding straight up and then pin the corners down to keep everything in place.
I made three videos showing how to blind stitch...it was just too hard trying to show it via photo.
When blind stitching, use a strong thread that won't break. The last thing you want is your thread to snap halfway through blind stitching your entire quilt! For the purpose of the tutorial, I used a thick and bright pink flossy thread so you can easily see me blind stitching.

Video #1: This first video shows how you start the blind stitch. I typically start with at least three feet of thread and tie a knot at one end. Start by hiding the knot underneath the binding as shown in the video. And remember, when blind stitching the thread should never show on the quilt top (it should stay in between the backing fabric and batting). Once the knot is secure, your needle should come up from the quilt backing and nick the edge of the binding, and then come straight back down from where you came up. Then, come back up again but roughly 1/4-1/2" away from where you originally started. Repeat.


Video #2: This second video shows how to blind stitch the corners of your binding. It's the same process as the first video; the main thing I wanted to show you is when you come up to nick the binding, make sure you nick the corner flap of the binding to ensure it gets stitched down. If you stitch the corner flap down as shown in the video, the entire corner is good to go. :)


Video #3: This video shows how to tie a knot when blind stitching. Since you start with only about 3 feet of thread, you will have to do this a handful of times depending on how big your quilt is. This might make you go a little cross-eyed, but once you've done it a few times it sticks with you. :)


Update: Here's a 3-step picture tutorial on how to  start and end a knot.

I hope this helps. As always, I'm happy to answer any questions! And remember, this is just one way to bind a quilt. Check out my Quick Quilt Binding Tutorial for an alternative method (that doesn't involve any blind stitching!)

5.15.2011

Spring Giveaway Winner!

Hi all! I apologize for the delay in posting the winner. As some of you may already know, Blogger was having issues for the last 24 hours where people's comments were lost, and I was unable to make any posts. I did the best I could to recover comments by looking at both my gmail inbox and blogger's comments, and then counted down the winner using a random number generator.

The winner for my Spring Layer Cake giveaway is Debbie S. (comment #16)! I will contact you via email, so please reply and let me know your shipping address.

Thank you for all that participated in this fun fabric freebie! Stay tuned for more future freebies. As you all know, I love love LOVE fabric, and enjoy giving it away in the hopes that it will inspire others to create something beautiful!

Happy quilting!

5.10.2011

Simple is Good!

You might recognize this quilt from my earlier post Quilting with my Furry Children.
Well, I finally finished it last night! It was one of those neglected quilt tops that kept giving me the evil eye for not finishing it right away. I really like the simplicity and modern feel of this quilt. The top is made up of 54 charm squares and 1 yard of white fabric. Though it's a simple, straight forward quilt, as promised in my earlier post I will post a tutorial.

I'm proud of this one. :) I basted it myself (I usually use my quilting frame which naturally bastes quilts for me). I used my 6"x23" ruler to help flatten out any bumps.

I also machine quilted this without my quilting frame :) I quilted wavy grid lines using my walking foot. I'm really loving straight-stitching designs, and hope to do more of that.
I binded it last night, followed by blind-stitching the back within an hour. I was in the zone.
I just love the Hullabaloo collection my Moda. I snagged the charm pack as soon as I saw them, and whipped up this quilt in no time. This is a great quilt to show off your latest and greatest charm pack collection, so stay tuned for my upcoming tutorial. :)

Oh and I haven't forgotten...I'll be posting the fabric giveaway winner on Friday, so stay tuned for that also. Thanks for stopping by! :)

5.05.2011

MBS Tutorial and a Giveaway!!!

As a celebration of my latest Moda Bakeshop (MBS) tutorial called Strawberry Fields Forever! (I'd love it if you left me a comment if you feel so inclined), I wanted to host this Layer Cake giveaway as my tutorial requires only one layer cake to make the quilt top.

For those of you that frequent my blog, you may recognize this quilt as I've already made two using this pattern: my Quilt for Japan using the Sunkissed collection, and of course, Strawberry Fields Forever (original post found here). Make one yourself using your favorite collection by checking out my MBS tutorial!




Anyway, onto the good stuff... To enter to win the Layer Cake, simply answer the following question via a comment to this post:

What are your favorite kind of patterns (e.g. intricate quilt patterns, garments, accessories, patterns using pre-cuts, etc.)? I really love this craft, and am genuinely interested in knowing what you all like to sew. :)

And just as a side note, if you like sewing tutorials and if you're addicted to fabric, I urge you to 'Like' me on Facebook (by clicking the button below). See how convenient I've made it for you?! And/or if it's more convenient to follow me on blogger, there is a 'Follow' button to the right.



That's it! I will draw your name using a random number generator so be sure to leave some way for me to email you. I will post the winner next Friday. And yes, I will ship international!

Happy Friday!

5.02.2011

Have You Tried Spray Basting?

Hi All! Just a quick update to say that I added a tid bit about spray basting at the end of my recent basting tutorial, click here (then scroll down). It's a quick alternative to pinning together all three quilt layers.

I'm sure you all can agree that basting a quilt is the least fun part of quilting :-|, so anything that helps make it go by quicker is always a plus! I've spray basted before and have been very pleased with the results. Just wanted to share this with you in case some of you have never heard of it, or perhaps you have, but were skeptical of the method.

Let me know if you have any questions, or if you have any spray basting experiences of your own. I'm always interested in learning new tips, hearing about your basting horror stories (hopefully there are none), etc. ;)

Have a great week, and as always, Happy Quilting!
 

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