Monday, June 26, 2017

Tutorial: Pressing long hems for curtains, tablecloths, etc

 A few weeks ago I purchased this lovely woven cotton from Alewives in Damariscotta, ME.  


I promised a tutorial/hint on how to do a long hem so here it is.  The basic tools needed are:
  • Rotary cutter
  • Cutting mat
  • Ruler 
  • Sharpie 
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine and
  • A manila folder (piece of long cardboard).
Yup, the manila folder is your secret weapon/tool for making this onerous task very easy.  Here's a folder I had used before; it only had a few ruler markings on it.  These were for curtain hems.



For this purpose I wanted 1" hems.  I decided it would be nice to make some notations on the folder so I would know what the lines measured for the next project.  This simply required marking the folder with the ruler and the sharpie.  Now you are ready to work with your fabric.

1.  Press your fabric. 

2. Bring to your mat and work on straightening your fabric edges, with your ruler and rotary cutter.




This fabric was a heavier woven and rather easy to straighten.  I kept the selvedges on.   Yes, I know the scary quilter rule about them shrinking and distorting but I didn't want to trim it off this fabric.  I have violated this rule many times for sewing clothing in my youth and in making curtains and never noticed it.  For my quilts, I rarely keep it in.
Now, the magic begins!

3.  Bring your fabric to the ironing board.   Fold over to the desired hem length.  For the tablecloth I decided to press 1" twice to create the hem.  This is folding for the first hem. 



4.  Continue to the end of the length of fabric.


5.  Now, fold a second time and press again, all the way to the end.



6.  Bring that side to the sewing machine and hem.  
I sometimes use a blind hem stitch, but for the tablecloth I just used a straight stitch.  I sewed on the back, checking my stitches to be sure I liked the way it looked on the front. I didn't pin; this fabric was uber-cooperative.




7.  Press the next side and hem.
I usually press one side, hem, repeat until done.  You could press and pin two sides then hem two sides.   I usually do the two long sides first (most boring) and then the shorter sides.  
8.  Repeat until finished.  

I can't tell you how much easier this is than drawing lines and press against or two them!  I use this anytime I have to press a length longer than a few inches.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Too much stuff...and too many quilts to quilt!

I have been busy lately and away from a bit of my sewing.  We have made the decision to sell the house we have been in for nearly 24 years and move to a smaller apartment.  My son and his frat brother/brewing partner will get an apartment and we will all be quite happy in the end.  In the interim, it feels like a bit of work.

I am feeling like this is where the biggest problem in the house is for me:





Yes, this is the current state of my study.

There are 4, no 5,  quilts to be quilted:
1.  Fancy Forrest version 2
2.  Free Fall QAL
3.  Typewriter quilt
4.  Grandmother's flower garden (antique rescue)
5. String quilt from Spring Fling Remnants in 2016

I am panicking a bit, but know things will work out.  I am looking forward to getting things in better shape and keeping only one quilting and one piecing project going.  It will be awhile until I get there, but I do hope to have projects quilted before the move.  I think this also means thinking about what to keep, sell or give away of my finished projects.  God help me!





Monday, June 5, 2017

Main Crush Monday - new fabric!!!

I ordered some new fabric.

French Table Cloth Fabric

Isn't it gorgeous.  Alewives Fabric was showing this and it is terrific with my colors in my island cottage.  I may even order a shorted length for daily use!  I am so excited.  Can't wait to hem this even though it is not on my UFO list.  It will be a quick job and I'll share my tips for hemming long pieces of fabric.  Its so great and if you ever do curtains, etc. it is a real time saver!

I also ordered this fabric for some napkins and I am so pleased with this choice.



Again, another great match.  I almost bought a rug in that color, but decided to go with the neutral, which will let me throw more colors in the room if I choose to change out the curtains, etc.  I'll make these for company but they too, will be fun to have.

This week I don't have too many other commitments, so I hope that I can attack a few items on this little list.

June UFO or One Monthly Goal(OMG) 
Make and quilt Alewives Rows by Row from last year (table runner)

Ongoing
-finish hand sewing binding  and label M3 Quilt
-pick some colors for La Passacagalia (carry over)
-cut out animal alphabet quilt 
-label a few quilts (carry over)

Linking up with Main Crush Monday.





Sunday, May 28, 2017

Catching up and last week's finish

Little time to sew is making me a bit cranky - or could it be this endless wet, cold spring?  Either way here's a few things I have been up to!

I brought my M3 (Meadow Mist Mystery) Quilt to Burlington Electric Quilt Studio. I haven't had time to photograph the quilting so here is a reminder of what the quilt looks like.


And here is a video of it being quilted on a Gamill wth a Statler Sticher.


video




I finished this Sashiko pillow right before I went to Pennsylvania for my niece's graduation.  It was one of my UFO's for the APQ Resolution.   Its not fancy but, I love it. I learned how quick it was to do Shashiko and it will become a default take along project, when I want something compact. 




April and May UFOs (a little late on April)
Finished Shasiko Pillow!
Quilted and added binding to M3 quilt (binding will make it done for my list)

Ongoing
-bind and label M3 Quilt
-pick some colors for La Passacagalia (carry over from last week)
-begin animal alphabet quilt (ready to cut)
-label a few quilts (carry over from last week)



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A finished top #FreeFallQAL




My Free Fall Quilt Along project is done, well the top is done.  "Done" is a funny term for quilts, as there are often many stages of done in getting to the the finished quilt.  Here are a few things quilters consider a quilt done:  
  1. finishing the blocks, 
  2. piecing the blocks together, 
  3. sometimes adding borders, 
  4. quilting the quilt, 
  5. adding the binding,
  6. putting the label on - NOW IT IS REALLY DONE! 


I really love the way it turned out.  I hope to get it basted so I can quilt soon, but am traveling this weekend, so it won't happen until next week at the earliest.   I have a few ideas about quilting it, but haven't really settled on the plan just yet.

Thank you, Sandra @ mm quilts for a great QAL.  It was fun to see what others choose and an unexpected project that I really enjoyed - using up my stash/scraps is one of my goals this year - and I love this little quilt.

Linking up to Let's Bee Social

Things I am working on:

April and May UFOs (a little late on April)
-Prepping M3 (Meadow Mist Mystery) Quilt for quilting on 5/23
-finish shashiko block and make pillow cover

Ongoing
-pick some colors for La Passacagalia
-begin animal alphabet quilt
-label a few quilts (I think there are about 4 needing labels)

Friday, May 12, 2017

Finish It Up Friday & FreeFallQAL #4

I finished the 6 blocks for my #freefallqal.  I love they way they come together and most likely it will remain a smallish quilt.  I don't have enough background to float the quilt as I would like (only the equivalent of 3/4" so I don't think it is worth it, but I may try....  That decision will be for next week.

The last three blocks for the #FreeFallQAL


For this week's blocks there were actually 3 different layouts for the blocks.  Two blocks were hard (not paying attention), the next two easy, and the third set I cursed myself by saying to a co-worker, I am nearly done!  Only two seams had to be ripped out but interesting how easy it was for me to mis-sew or misplace a piece.

And here they are on the table ready to be sewn together!

The proposed layout for the blocks



Linking up to Sandra at mmm! quilts and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A class and a plan....

This was a really busy week for me with 5 appointments, work and a class on the weekend.  I didn't get a whole lot of quilting done, but here is what I did when I had time (or the class).
The layout of the rest of the leaves on #freefallqal

I continued my work on #freefallqal sponsored by Sandra at mmm! quilts.  Earlier in the week, I followed Yvonne's suggestion and tried to figure out the location of blocks before I piece the last 6 blocks for the quilt.   I think this will work and  I began piecing the first two.  I got lost somewhere, and put it down until later today, when I should have more time and a clearer mind to see where I went wrong.  I didn't piece it so it was the parts of the unit that were driving me nuts.  I do believe in stopping when it isn't working out.

On Saturday, I took a class with Nancy Halpern.  She is a local quilter who has been quilting for over 20 years.  She has taught nationally and internationally and I was intrigued by her quilts.  You can see a little more about her here.  Below is a picture of a traditional Japanese Puzzle quilt.

A traditional Japanese Puzzle by Mabry Benson



Our task was to take an impressionist picture or a picture of our choosing and turn it into a Japanese puzzle quilt.  You can see a bit of  the picture on the bottom right of the picture below.  



It is a complex process of cutting out the four pieces from one fabric and rejoining them with adjacent blocks. 

Here is a piece of the Japanese Puzzle on Nancy's quilt

The actual patch that is sewn is outlined in the red lines.



I have no idea when I'll get back to this, but here is where I left it my quilt at the end of the day.  I attempted to have the water going around the blocks.  It is fun seeing how this might work!  I have to admit halfway through the process I was unsure.  I do hope that I can get back to it before long.

End of the day


Meanwhile, I will link to Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Be Social Wednesday!