Monday, March 2, 2015

More Leaves

I have finally sewn the leaves onto the background and trimmed the background from behind the leaves so it is neater. I used a tiny hemstitch and variegated thread to match each leaf.

When you look up close you can see the stitching, but I don't think it's too distracting. If you click on the picture you'll be able to see what I mean

Now I just have to figure out what I'm going to do for a border to finish this.

Design Wall-Kaleidoscopes

Here are the blocks I've finished so far. I need to make 13 more. I started sewing the next batch, so it won't take too long. The assembly will be a bit more complex than normal because of the design, but I think it will be worth it. I bought blues that will be the four-pointed stars between the kaleidoscopes.

To see what more folks are doing, check Judy's blog.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Thread Catcher Tutorial

I am a bit distractable when I'm making a quilt and I'm not working on the fun part. So this weekend I made a thread catcher...then I decided to make another on because I thought it might be fun to make a tutorial about it. Here is the first one I made in use. I made a few changes the second time I made it and that is the one you will see in the tutorial. It works well with my magnetic pin cushion. I found a tutorial that inspired me this one in particular but I don't use a regular pin cushion, so here we go.

You will need:

  • lining and outer fabric, a fat quarter will be more than enough of each
  • a plastic ring cut from a container. Mine happens to be from a quart size greek yogurt container. Cut about 1/2 inch wide
  • a tile for a weight. I had a square one, so I used it. Another site talked about a subway tile. Whatever you like will work. 
  • non-slip shelf liner
First cut then measure the circumference of the ring you have for the top of the thread catcher. How large you cut your fabric for the bag and liner will be determined by the size of the ring. I sewed everything with a 1/4"seam allowance, so added 1/2 inch to each measurement. 

My ring measured 11 3/4 ", so I cut a piece 12 1/4 x 9 "

The pieces for the hangers were originally 3 1/2 x 3 1/2, but I ended up cutting off about an inch, so cut 2 of them 3 1/2 x 2 1/2

The piece for the tile pocket is determined by the size of the tile. You have to remember to make room for the thickness as well, so I just measured around the whole thing, then added about 5/8 inch for seams and a little wiggle room.  My tile measured 9 1/2 inches, so I cut a piece 10 1/4 x 5 3/4. That gave me room to tuck the edges in and catch them easily when closing the pocket after the tile is in the pocket.

You'll notice in the picture of the supplies that the tile has tape around the edges. The first thread catcher I made it was difficult to get the tile in the pocket...rough edges, so I covered them with tape and it was much easier to put the tile it.

On the left is a picture of the completed pocket. You'll see that that you have to include the hangers in the pocket. I didn't take a picture but I drew one.

The fabric rectangle is folded in half so it forms a square (sort of) the tabs are pinned between the two layers and the pocket is closed where the tabs are and down one side. The pocket is turned right side out and the side opposite the tabs will be open.

Next the inside and lining side seams should be sewn. Sew the entire length of the outside fabric, for the lining fabric leave about a 4 inch opening in the middle of the seam so when the whole thing is assembled you can turn it right side out. Press the seams open and center them in the middle of the side. Sew the bottom closed and press open. You'll need to clip each end so you can open the seam completely.

Press the side seam so you have a line to match the bottom seam. You need to make box corner as shown to make a flat bottom for the thread catcher. Do this for both the outside and the lining. Cut off the extra piece to remove excess fabric. Here is a great tutorial for box corners--scroll down a bit on the page. The bottom should look like the picture on the right when you're done.

Insert the still unfilled tile pocket into the outside thread catcher. The outside should be wrong side out. Next put the lining in, wrong side out (right sides of the thread catcher will be together, with the tile pocket sandwiched between.

You'll notice in the picture right, that I have about an inch of the hangers showing. I decided 3 1/2" was too long, so I cut them of later. Your hangers will be flush with the top of the thread catcher. Sew all the way around, making sure you catch the hangers fully.

 Now it's time to turn the whole thing right side out. Pull the whole shebang through the opening you left in the lining. Once you have it all out, push the outside into the lining. Next you're going to put the ring inside. Push it into the opening, and push the outside through it. You're going to put it up to the top of the bag and pin like crazy to keep it in place. Be sure to have the seam allowance all on the same side.

I sewed using a zipper foot. Because the plastic ring is soft you don't have to worry about a needle breaking. You can see I pinned from the outside, but sewed on the inside.

 You still have an opening in the lining, slip stitch that closed.

Put the tile in the tile pocket...

...fold the fabric from the top under the tile, then tuck the bottom in and....stitch  closed...done.

I hope you enjoyed this, I had fun making the thread catchers, and the tutorial.

Design Wall-Aspen Leaves and Kaleidoscopes

I have most of the background done on the leaves quilt, I've sewed the leaves to some muslin and turned them so they're ready to be attached to the background (when I finish attaching the last 5 background squares. Again it posted sideways. I also took some time to make a thread catcher. I use a magnetic pin cushion this one works great. I'm going to post a tutorial later today.

Of course I had to start the next quilt, a stack n whack. I designed it myself and I like it. I numbered the octagons because if I do find gradations of blue fabric, I'll have to put the right one on the right octagon.

I've finished a few of the octagons to see what it will look like. I bought the fabric online so wasn't able to touch it. I love the design and it is printed well, however the fabric is a bit flimsy. But, that gave me the opportunity to do flipped kaleidoscope blocks instead of swirled. I may do some rotating and some this way. I'll decide that later.

To see more design walls, check out Judy's blog.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

...a Bit More Progress

 I finally got back to quilting this year. I decided in January the goal would be to make my sewing room usable again. I rearranged it and cleaned some (though there is still plenty to do. The leaves have been staring at me from the design wall for the past year (just about) so that's where I started. I talked to my sister and she had some fabric that was calling her name, and it looked like stack n whack fabric to me. It is the fabric on the left. The fabric below was some that I saw online and decided I had to have for another stack n whack. I put it aside however because I am being disciplined and will at least finish the  background of the aspen leaves quilt first. I

got a good start on that today.  The background fabric is cut from ombre fabric I've had for years. I cut 3 1/2 inch squares and ended up with a bit of two colors in most squares. I have pieced the rows, but haven't sewn the rows together yet. I am going to move to yellow-green, then yellow and somehow I think to dark teal.

I still plan to add a border to the quilt, and if I can make it large enough, I will put it on the guest bed. The size you see there is about 54 x 72.

Update: I finished the rows of background fabric. I like the way it turned out. Now I have to sew all the rows together and then decide how the heck I'm going to attach the leaves to the background. I left "holes" without background squares behind each leaf, but I might end up adding some muslin so the leaves are supported more. Here's an updated picture. It's posting sideways for some reason...

To see what is on other design walls, check here.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Aspen Leaves progress

Here is the progress I've made so far on the aspen leaves quilt. The largest leaf is about 27 x 27 on the longest dimensions.

So here is my light box, works great, but only during certain hours of the day. If you'll click on the picture you can see that the paper has three leaves on it. The paper is parchment from a roll I've had a long time. It's great for tracing, but it's going to be gone one day so I want to be careful with it. I used different colored markers to make each leaf, so I wouldn't get confused while I was tracing the pieces onto the freezer paper.

After I traced the whole shape I cut each section so I had a pattern for each color in the leaf. (I finally remembered on the last leaf to make register marks so I could transfer them to the pattern pieces before I cut them apart). I turned the paper on the window wrong side down so the pieces would be the right way when I ironed the freezer paper piece to the fabric.

Once the pattern was ironed onto the fabric, I used a ruler and measured 1/4 inch from the edge of the paper while cutting with a rotary cutter. When I was done with each color I traced around the pattern and made the register marks. I also labeled the pieces with letters to help ease confusion.

  I stuck a pin through each mark and used them to line up the seams, then I pinned a lot more. I figured there weren't that many pieces and the more pins the merrier!

Here you can see the pencil outline. I traced around each freezer paper piece before I removed it.

I played around a lot with MS Paint to see if I could find a background I liked that I wouldn't have to dye. I wasn't having much luck, and then I remembered I bought a bunch of ombre fabric a while ago. I pulled it all out and I think it's going to work. I think I'm going to cut squares, I think so the finished size will be four inches, and sew them together so they kind of blend like my original idea. The colors won't be exactly the same, but I think I can make it work.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Leaf Quilt Design

 I haven't quilted the Wiley Way top I finished two weeks ago, but I am thinking about it. I love having fleece as the backing for quilts. It's snuggly and feels good, but in our house it's not quite warm enough, so I think I'll add a layer of batting and use the fleece for the backing. That should warm it up.

I was going through some old sketches I made for quilt ideas and saw one that was three leaves on a couple of branches. I played with it some and decided I want to make it a bed quilt, or at least a lap quilt and not a wallhanging.

I played around in paint, and came up with this. The background won't be so blended, but I want to make it with lots of squares so there will be a blend of colors. I didn't originally plan to have the leaves break through the border, but I really like how it looks.

I have no idea how I'll construct this, but at the moment, I think it looks really good.

Those are supposed to be aspen leaves. I live in Colorado, so the leaves change, and we see those colors of leaves through the year.

Here is the large pattern. I ended up moving this a couple of times until I could find a place to hang the paper. It's about 60" x 87" (the paper) and I wasn't able to get the projector to make a large enough image to fill the paper, so the size of the quilt may just change.

Speaking of changes...
Gotta love Colorado. 245 sunny days per year!


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