Friday, August 11, 2017

Pets on Quilts 2017!

Didn't think I'd have a post so soon, but its pets on quilts day.    It's sponsored by Lily Pad Quilting and has lots of prizes, but, of course, you must follow the rules!

Here is a picture of my labradoodle, today, after his grooming.  Percy is 9 and has Austalian lines.  We have had him since he was a puppy and love him to death.  You can see a picture of him as a puppy in my About Me page.


The quilt he is on was my first quilt - all hand pieced and quilted.  I love it an use it often.  You can see we are sleeping on a mattress on the floor - downsizing problems.  I also made the knitted afghan many years ago (like early '80s).

Just in case you think he is perfect, here is what he likes to do on the bed....




Linking up to the Pets on Quilts



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A finish during the season of downsizing!



My 2016 row by row from Alewives Fabrics in Damariscotta, ME  is finally done!  I had the top done at the end of June and really thought I would have quilted it sooner, but it took awhile.

I love to go to Alewives Fabrics.  Rhea and her crew have great fabrics, samples and patterns.  They are quite busy in the summer season but her enthusiasm carries throughout the year!  Rhea worked at Cambridge Quilts (where I also worked) when she was attending school in Boston.  Her design and color sense are always spot on!


I really enjoyed quilting this.  
  • For the outside border, straight lines
  • For the inner border, a wavy, rounded zig zag line
  • For the sky and grass/hills, a wavy line.


This shows you a close up of the binding.  I used a method I have used before and really like it from Sew Fresh Quilts.   My only problem was I was really close on fabric and kept praying it would work - measuring it out was not an assurance that turning those corners would make it.  In the end, I had about 6" of binding left - a little too close for my liking!

It's  a simple table runner and I'll use it in my Maine cottage.  I was thinking of hanging it over one of the doors in the upstairs, but I might need 4 to do that, so I will think about that and what I have left of other row by rows OR repeat one.

In the next week or so, I'll regroup on my UFOs.  First, I must register two quilts for our guild in the fall (and finish one of them).  I am really slowed up with the move, and my primary sewing study is a disaster.  My goal is to have room to sew by Labor Day weekend.  


Linking up to:  Wednesday Wait Loss 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Merry Quilt-A-Long is coming your way

Do you love trying new things and learning new techniques? Do you want to meet some new quilty friends? Would you like to finish a Christmas quilt BEFORE Christmas?  Consider joining or following along in the I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long.






The quilt-a-long (QAL) starts August 1st. Every other Tuesday, a new FREE 12" quilt block pattern and tutorial will be released. If you complete the block before the next pattern release, then you will be entered to win some AMAZING prizes! There are bi-weekly prizes and a mega grand prize too!  Don’t forget to join the I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long Facebook Group to join the party! Designers will post links to the tutorials there, so that is your best way to not miss a single post! You can also ask questions and post pictures of your blocks as you complete them to be entered to win the prizes!

All the bloggers that are participating in the QAL met through the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. There are 11 bloggers that have designed blocks. They are:

Kathleen at Kathleen McMusing  ⟽
Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts 
Vanda at Quilt in Piece

In addition, there are quilt-a-long hosts who will be sewing along and making every block too! They will share tips and tricks for each block, plus you'll get to see the same block in many different fabrics! These bloggers will be there every step of the way to encourage you to finish the quilt too!

Abbie at Sparkle On
Becca at Pretty Piney
Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts 
Vanda at Quilt in Piece

Still have questions? I've got answers!


  • Do I have to make every block? No! This is laid back and meant to be fun! Make the ones you want! You will be eligible to win the bi-weekly prize for each block you complete.
  • Is this for experienced quilters only? No! The quilt-a-long is for everybody! Every block is unique and uses various techniques. That's why we started a Facebook group - so we can all help each other be successful! Whether you're new or seasoned, I'm sure you'll find this an exciting and fun experience!
  • Can I see the blocks beforehand? Nope! We are only releasing one block at a time. I know, I know. I'm a control freak too! Trust me, it will be worth it though!
  • Who can participate? Anyone, anywhere....
  • Can I still participate if I'm not on Facebook? Absolutely! If you're on Instagram, use #iwishyouamerryqal to be entered to win. Each designer will also have a linky party on their block post so you can link up blog posts or Flickr photos. If you want to sew along, we will find a way!
  • What are the prizes? There are so many! It's best to keep an eye on the Facebook group, as we will begin sharing the prizes there soon! Just some of the prizes include patterns, batting and products from The Warm Co., thread from Aurifil, a gift certificate to The Fat Quarter Shop, signed quilt books, precuts, and much more! You won't want to miss a single week!
  • How much fabric do I need?  This is hard to say but a 1/2-1 yard of a few Christmas fabrics will do.  I would include a light and a dark and then maybe two shades of green and red or teal and red.  This is always a good start for a sampler and if you need more you can always add in fat quarters as you go.   If you are thinking of a quilt, I suggest 1 yard for sashing and 1 yard for a border. To finish the quilt, you will need 4 yards for backing (or 2 yards of extra-wide backing), a twin size batting, and 1/2 yard for binding.  


Ok, I want to do it! Now what? Yay!! First, join the Facebook group so you'll know when each block is released. Second, gather the fabrics you might want to use for your quilt. The quilt-a-long starts August 1st! Lastly, invite your friends! Share the quilt-a-long graphic on Instagram and use #iwishyouamerryqal. Share this blog post or a post from the Facebook group on your own Facebook account and in your quilty groups. A party's more fun with friends!


I can't wait to see all your blocks!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Alewives Row by Row 2016, almost done!




Isn't this row just so much fun!  Rhea at Alewives Fabrics designed it and I just love it.   I was hoping to quilt it this weekend, but didn't have enough batting.    So, as I have been a little behind in my quilting, I thought I would post it anyway.

I had a couple of choices for the border, but this one is truly lovely with a speck of that green in it.  Here's some pictures of possible borders....

I liked this a lot but only had a tad left.  I wanted to save it for another project. 




I liked this one but it was a bit too busy.





This one won.   It has those dots of blue and green.  I just love it and have enough to do a binding with it, so it is the border.  Thinking of doing a binding with the blue sky or green inner border as a piping.  I have just enough fabric to do that!  

Linking up with Inquiring Quilter's Wednesday's Wait Loss.
Inquiring Quilter's Wednesday's Wait Loss.



Thursday, June 29, 2017

2017 Liebster Award - Discover New Bloggers





I have been nominated by Rose Mikulski who blogs at Something Rose Made.  I am grateful to Rose for nominating me and grateful, too, for our cyberfriendship that developed during the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers.  You can read more about the Liebster Award here.


My favorite blog is by Mary at Making Quilts From Stash.  Her style and pace drew me into the blog world and I still love watching what she does and how her family is.  



Rose asked me to answer a few questions so, here they are:

Who inspired you to quilt/sew?I was inspired by the beautiful quilts the Amish made.  I grew up in Berks County PA where there were many Amish.  I always admired their handwork and the gorgeous quilts they made.  

If you could meet one Quilt Personality, who would it be?Right now I am obsessed with machine quilting and would love to meet Christa Watson or Angela Walters.   Both are inspiring me now to look at new things when I quilt.  

Your preference while quilting: Mostly I quilt in silence, but sometimes I will put on a book on tape or a TV show. 

Do you have a favorite snack/munch while quilting?Lately its Trader  Joe's kettle popcorn.

Do you look for quilts while watching a movie?I always notice them in a movie

What comes first when you make a quilt?For me, it is often buying stash and then I look for a pattern.  It is rare that I do it the other way right now, as I am on the 2nd year of a finishing up UFOs which include stash collections that need a quilt!

What is your favorite quilt/sewn project/craft?It varies.  Sometimes it is the one I am working on and other times I go back to my hand appliqu├ęd and hand quilted quilt, Not Quite My Baltimore Album.  
 

















Hand Quilt or Machine Quilt?Machine quilt almost always.  No time for hand quilting right now, but I do love it and hope to get into it again next winter when there it more time

Favorite Color?  Purple

Favorite Quilting/Crafting Item?My Bernina 440QE

Do you work on one project or many?Too many at a time!

Another fun part of this award is nominating other bloggers; here are my nominees, all participants in the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers:


Please visit them and watch for their posts in a few days.


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!