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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Friday, February 29, 2008

Today's finished quilt. It's a small one.

I did a simple outline of the birds and a few of the flowers.

A woodgrain type meander in the sashing.

Flowers and leaves on the outside border.

This quilt went very quickly which allowed me to do some piecing on a couple of charity quilts during the afternoon. They are a long way from being finished.... just working a little at a time is a step toward completion. I have another quilt on the machine I hope to finish today.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Piecing with a quilting machine?

This is how I piece a quilt with my quilting machine. It isn't an award winning contest quilt technique.... just a simple way of creating quick charity quilts. The piecing is done log cabin style. I had very limited time to do one for pictures to put in this blog so I used really large pieces of fabric. This is also a good stash busting technique!

I start by loading the backing and basting the batting to it along the top and sides. This will allow me to roll back and forth as I add the pieces.

I marked the center of the batting with a marker. This is for centering the start piece.

I used a cheater panel for the center. If you don't have a cheater panel then a large piece of fabric would work.

I then used some 6 inch wide strips. I pinned the first piece then used the machine to sew a seam. The needle is 1/4 inch away from the edge of the hopping foot so I used the foot as a guide. If I'm having a hard time staying straight I will create drag on the machine with either my hand or lowering the take up bar to where it rubs the machine.

When the seam was done, I flipped the strip out and pressed it by hand. If you find your fabric won't stay in place you can baste along the edge to hold it or use a basting spray.

I then went to the other side and pinned another piece and sewed it with the machine.

Then I went to the bottom of the center fabric to pin and sew another strip.

Here is the piece ready for pinning and sewing.

Here is the strip sewn and flipped out and hand pressed into place.

Next I rolled back to the top of the center fabric to add a strip along the top. If your fabric strip is not long enough then sew two strips together with your household machine before pinning and sewing with the quilting machine. Sometimes I will sew many strips together ready to use.... letting the colors fall where they may.

Now back to the original side where the first strip was sewn. Pin and sew a second strip.

I continued to add strips along all the sides (log cabin style) until the whole batting and backing were covered. Then I quilt it.

And here is the finished charity quilt. All ready for binding. I used the Circle Lord square dance template to do quick quilting.

I normally would have sewn the binding onto the front with the quilting machine. I didn't have any binding ready to use and was running out of time so I will do this later. I also got the center marked in the wrong place on the batting and didn't notice. That's why it has more strips on one end. This quilt is using 6 inch wide strips already cut, ready to use, and stored away.

If I had had more time to choose fabrics and make the strips smaller it would have been prettier. This will be given to a homeless man or teenager (possibly living under an overpass) so the colors won't matter. What really matters is that it's warm and can be thrown away when it gets too dirty and ragged.
Here is today's finished quilt.

A view of the center.

Line dancing on the star blocks.

A leafy design on half this block with a feather on the other half.

Another leaf design on the border.

A rose in the large squares.

And a butterfly type design along the inside pieced border.

A view from the back.

After I finished this quilt I decided to piece a charity quilt with my quilting machine. I put the pictures of how I did it on my organizing blog. (the link is at the top of the side bar)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Today's finished quilt. Far too large to show all the details in the quilting.

A close up of one of the blocks.

Another block close up.

And one more.

Some of the sashing details.

Now I have a dilemma. This quilt was dropped off during the time I was sick with the flu. She quickly came in, gave me the quilt, then left. No paperwork. Which means no phone number to call her to say it's finished. I have no choice but to let the quilt sit on the shelf until she calls to see if I have quilted it yet. I can also hope she is one of my customers who reads my blog and will see her quilt here.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Pillow cover

I didn't get away from home over the weekend as I had planned. So, I worked instead. I'm trying to get caught up on the back log of work. I finished this pillow cover made with the vintage square. It's on it's way to the owner. Pillow covers often take as much time to do as larger quilts.

A close up of the corners.

A close up of the plate.

A close up of the center. The pencil marks can be removed with an art gum eraser. It takes a bit of work though.

Then I finished this quilt.

A close up of the border. Thank goodness this customer really likes for me to practice on her tops. She likes my work because it isn't perfect. She calls the mistakes.... character and individuality. When I want to practice my backtracking I will use a color thread on a white area to be able to see where I need improvement. Practice makes perfect..... I still need a lot of practice.

A close up of the flower design in these blocks.

A close up of the other design in the alternate blocks.

A couple of views from the back

Another view from the back.

The flower from the back.

I have another top to finish for this customer. It's on the machine ready for me to work on it today.

Over the weekend I spent some time catching up with what's been going on in the quilter blog ring. I always enjoy seeing what the other members are up to even when I don't comment. It lets me know that I'm only one of many with the same happenings.

I also spent a little time drooling while looking at the work of other quilters. Eye candy is always inspiring to me. I will not to copy the work of others.... but only become inspired by what is possible. After only one hour of drooling I can go to my machine with all kinds of inspiration to create! Sometimes with piecing and sometimes with stitching. That's the main reason I put so many pictures of my work on my blog.... to inspire others to create. So enjoy the pictures and comment when you can. (be sure to turn on your comment reply if you want an answer)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Today's finished quilt. It's a baby quilt. I did meandering butterflies in the center pieced area.

And baby rattles on the border. I used air erasable pen for marking the rattles. I have to let it sit for awhile so the marks will fade away.

A close up of the center area.

The butterflies from the back.

I've been asked how I replaced the center area of the quilt a few days ago. First, the only border that was quilted already was the starting border. The other three had not been quilted yet. Instead of sitting at my household machine to sew the borders back onto the center I used the quilting machine. The same as if I had sewn pieces to a foundation fabric OR as in paper piecing.

I started by putting the batting and backing with the one quilted border onto the machine. I made sure that everything was smooth and flat. I lay the right side of the center piece along the seam line of the top border. This was right sides together as in any piecing. I stitched the seam with the quilting machine then flipped the center piece down as it should be for quilting. Then I lay the side borders onto the seam line of the center, pinned and sewed it. Then opened up the side borders. The bottom border was last. Done the same way.

I learned many years ago how to piece a quilt on the quilting machine. To me it was simple because a quilting machine is just a really big sewing machine on a really big table. The only difference in sewing is that with a household machine you move the fabric, with a quilting machine you move the machine. Everything else is just sewing.

Over the years I've pieced several quilts using the quilting machine. Just not any lately. Hmmm.... maybe that could be a project to put onto my helpful hints blog. I've been trying to think of something new to put on there. Yes, I think I will. I have a quilt on the machine right now so this project will have to wait until it is done. Also, I'm leaving in a little while to spend the weekend with my daughter and the new baby. She needs some help for a couple of days.

I haven't forgotten I promised to put instructions for measuring to get accurate borders onto my hints blog. I can also do that when I'm piecing the quilt on the quilting machine.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Small project

Sometimes a day just needs a small quilt project and here is the one for today.

A close up of the flower power design in the blocks.

A ribbon design in the center block.

A close up of another block and some of the sashing details.

I'm slowly getting back into a somewhat normal quilting routine after my illness. I hope to get back to some stash busting pretty soon too. When I get behind schedule I feel so overwhelmed that it's hard to feel normal for several days. It makes me feel very unprofessional.

I have some clothing that were dropped off right before I became sick. They are to be made into a memory quilt. I'll put that on my helpful hints blog for anyone interested in learning about piecing clothing quilts. Luckily it's a simple design of just squares.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Several days ago I had a quilt on the machine that had a very friendly border. I had to remove it from the machine and call the owner because I simply couldn't quilt it without hugh tucks. She took it home to removed the center and straightened it. Then brought it back to me to replace the center by using the quilting machine. (sew and flip method)

Here it is on the machine without the center.

Here it is all finished.

A close up of the border feather.

A close up of the bottom border feather.

A close up of the center area.

Another close up of the center.

A top like this is very pretty if done correctly. It looks very simple but there are several ways it can become - out of whack - or wonky. It requires very accurate seams; very careful pressing with some spray starch; and always measure, measure, measure after each step.

My daughter and the baby are doing fine.