Friday, October 29, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Fall 2010





I came across the Blogger's Quilt Festival too late to join in 2009, but waited patiently for this installment. In the meantime, I spent many many hours perusing all the quilts and stories and new blogs that I found there. My hearty thanks go out to Amy's Creative Side for hosting this wonderful event! Be sure to visit the Festival here!

It was so hard to pick a quilt to write about - do I pick my first quilt where my love of quilting started such a short time ago? Or the first real pattern one I followed? Or when I discovered how much I love white with colour in a quilt? Oh, the decisions!

In the end, I chose my Lily & Will quilt. It is small, but I love it. I love it because the fabric line is one I adore and have to physically restrain myself from buying. But I also love it because I used a simple, but classic pinwheel block for the first time, and I fell in love with the simplicity and beauty of it. This was also the first quilt where I used something other than bias tape to bind my quilt and I needed to piece together cotton batting to fit the size. Both of these firsts made me feel like a real quilter, instead of a novice who was impersonating a quilter. And I love the fabric. :)

Slainte!

Shannon

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Creativ Festival Spree

The Creativ Festival took place this weekend in Toronto. If you are ever in the area when this show is on, I highly suggest stopping in.

There is a little something for everyone who likes to craft - quilting, sewing, needlepoint, scrapbooking, jewellery making, etc. I gathered up my mum and headed off. And wow, did I ever have fun. Check out what got added to my stash after just a few hours!

This is an advent calendar, that I`ve already started working on - I`ve always wanted a permanent one, and this one fit the bill perfectly - I`ll show you the finished product!



And these were some Amy Butler remnants that were being sold off for 10 cents and inch. Seriously.


Not a big fan of the cats, but that is an adorable panel with the days of the week on it, and some great chalkboard-effect material.

And fat quarters....lots and lots of fat quarters. Ahhhhh. :)

 I am just in love with the Oliver + S patterns too...found some out of print ones that I`m already itching to start. But priorities, must remember the priorities (read: Christmas...yikes).
 Now, aren`t these flannels gorgeous...can`t find them like that in your local shops. But you must love Len`s Mill. Really. Love them. And put on your armor before you go near their stand at the show, it can get a bit ugly. These pretties are going to become pillowcases. I have a little bed linens fetish.
 And just because my angel would look adorable in it, this little bug hat. And I was right - she does look adorable in it!:)
 Also from the awesome Len`s Mill...a Winnie The Pooh quilt kit. Yep, it does say $11.99. Again, awesome.
 And that`s just the free bag that mum and I got for being one of the first 500 in the door. Barely. We got the last ones!


I have a whole bunch of new stores that I have the itch to visit after this show...ones I never even knew existed, and in driving range!

If you`re interested in going, the next one will be in Toronto in spring 2011. Check out the Creativ Festival website here for all your details.

Save your pennies, I will be! :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Batting - Piecing It All Together

On my latest quilting project, I found that the size of the quilt was a little awkward (appromximately 30" x 50"). This didn't quite match up with my piece of batting that was 36" x 45". So, with a fair amount of trepidation, I decided to cut my batting and sew it together in the dimensions that I needed.

Was I scared? You betcha.

Did I need to be? Not even a little.

I used my rotary cutter and ruler to make sure I had a nice straight cut. Then I butted the trimmed bit against the straight edge on the batting where I need it to be longer.






I put my sewing machine on it's largest settings for zigzag and sewed. Slowly.

And look how nice it turned out - you can't even tell!!

Whew! One more obstacle out of the way!

Slainte!

Back to Front - A Binding Tuturial

I admit it. I use bias tape to bind my quilts. And I am only minimally embarassed to admit it. However, by the time it gets to the binding stage, I also admit, I just want the quilt finished already! That, and the idea of cutting material into bias strips terrifies me. Seriously.

So, a while ago I came across a tutorial on using the backing material of your quilt to also do the binding. No cutting and making strips or anything scary like that. I loved it and wanted to try it out and tell everyone about it. But could I find the tutorial again? Nope. No idea where I saw it.

So, using what I could remember I tried it out myself on my last quilt (yep, sweet Lily & Will). And you know what? I loved it. I will actually look forward to binding my quilts if I can do it like this from now on...so easy, and really, I love how it looks. So I wrote up a whole tutorial, which I'm still posting now...but on the same day I wrote this, a tutorial for exactly the same thing showed up in my Google Reader. So, if you want a second opinion, see here at Made By Rae (great minds think alike!;)).

Anyhow, here's my version of the tutorial....

Using your basting spray, baste your quilt top to your batting.

Once done, trim all the excess batting from your quilt top.

Ensure that your backing material has at least an extra 2" all the way around - this gives you some room to play with getting the top laid down properly, etc. As you can see, I had about an extra 8" all around!

Baste your quilt top onto your backing material.

Pin like a mad woman. I do.

Quilt like a mad woman. I do.

Once you have finished quilting, trim the backing to 1" all the way around your quilt.

Fold excess in half and iron down.
When it comes to your corners, trim off the corner piece (not all the way down to the batting), and fold as shown below to achieve the mitered corner look.





Once ironed all the way around, get out your pins (I know, I hate pins, but really...use them). Fold over a second time to the front of your quilt and pin in place.

Topstitch around the entire quilt. When you come to the corners, slow down and lower your needle into the fabric before turning the corner - this will keep a non-stop stitch running around the entire top, and it looks nice too.


Okay, all done.

Isn't that awesome?

Slainte!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lily & Will Pinwheel Quilt

My obsession with the new line from Moda, Lily & Will, continues. This time I'm using the charm pack that I bought at the same time I bought my layer cake for this quilt (which, by the way, is still not quilted...I'm aiming for a Christmas completion date).

I wanted to use the charms for something classic. And what's more classic that a simple pinwheel quilt design? Right. So, for this quilt I used the following:

1 Lily & Will charm pack
1 yard Moda Bella Solids in Snow
1.5 yards backing material
Craft size batting (36" x 45")

Divide charm pack into colours, including one pile for charms with a cream coloured base from the pile.

You will need 30 charms with colours and 8 charms with a cream background. Add the remainder to your fabric square stash (I know you have one!!).

Divide your colour charms into pairs - each pair will be the colour part of one pinwheel. You can see in the pic above the pairs that I used for my pinwheels.

From your yard of cream material, cut 22 x 5" squares (across the width of fabric!).

Once you have all your squares completed, match up 2 cream squares (from your solid fabric and your charms) to each of your colour charm square sets. You will need 4 squares to completed one finished block.

Using the Half Square Triangle tutorial here, or if you have a handy dandy little ruler like mine you can follow instructions below.

Create your HSTs using one colour and one cream charm each. Place them right sides together.

Using your ruler, draw lines 1/4" from the center, on the diagonal.

Sew along these lines.

Cut down the middle.

Iron all seams to the colour side.

Layout your HSTs to form the pinwheel design.

Sew top two blocks of squares together, then sew bottom two squares together (iron those seams down).

Then sew top and bottom together (and iron the seams).

You now have a pinwheel block. Complete for remainder of blocks (you will have 15 pinwheel blocks total, unfinished size of 8 3/4", finished size 8 1/4").

Your pinwheels will be laid out in three rows of five blocks each. Play with the layout until you get something you like.

From the remainder of the cream material, cut 10 widths (44/45") x 2" strips from Bella solids for sashing.

From 2" strips cut 12 pieces 8 3/4" long (this will use up 3 of your strips).

Sew your three rows of 5 squares together with these pieces in between.

From your 2" strips: piece together 4 strips 49" long (this will use up 5 of your strips). Use these rows to sew your three rows together (in between rows and the top and bottom). Be careful to ensure that your squares line up as you sew them together. Note: your strips will be too long, but this is just to ensure that there is enough length - trim the excess once you are done and all your rows line up correctly.

Iron your seams.

From your last two 2" strips, sew these across the two ends and trim the excess.

Iron all your seams.

Layer, quilt, and baste.

Finished quilt top size: 31" x 50"

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