March 29, 2010

Giveway Day!

As promised my quilt along give away.  In honor of wrapping up our first quilt of the quilt along series I am giving away one fat quarter pack from one of my favorite shops, the Fat Quarter Shop.

It contains 12 coordinating fat quarters.  Don't you just love it?

This package is the following fabrics from Free Spirit....
Ok, so you are probably asking, How can I win this awesome giveaway?

It is easy.  Post a picture of any progress you have made on your quilt along quilt so far on our Flickr page and then leave me a comment.  If you would like to include a small critique of how the first quilt along went feel free.  I am a teacher after all.  There is always room for improvement.  There are 5 more quilt alongs in this series and I would like to make sure you all get the most out of them.

Ok so off you go... leave a comment and cross your fingers.
Winners will be announced Easter Sunday.

Take care mucho,

March 28, 2010

Quilt Along 1: Finishing

Ok so we are in for the home stretch!

For this quilt we will be using what I like to call the "pillow technique".  We will be sewing all around the edge and turning it inside out.  This is one of the easiest and fastest ways of finishing off a quilt.  It eliminates having to do a binding and a whole lot of quilting.  I use this technique when I use a thicker backing fabric, which in this case is the super soft minky fabric. 

So you have your entire quilt front sewn together and now we need to create our quilt sandwich.  You will need to lay out the batting, minky backing, and quilt top as follows....
In a large area, either table or floor, lay out your batting.  It needs to be roughly 2-4 inches wider than your quilt top.  Then lay your minky backing fabric right side up (also 2-4 inches wider than your quilt top).  Lastly is your quilt top wrong side up. 
1- batting
2- minky/ backing right side up
3- quilt top wrong side up

Pin the edges all the way around at the seams.  This helps keep all the layers in place. 
You will need to sew all the way around the perimeter of the quilt 1/4 of an inch from the edge of the quilt top.  Leave about an 8 inch hole to turn it all inside out.

Now you will need to trim the seams down.  Since you have to leave the batting and minky backing fabric bigger than the quilt top I trim both of them about an inch from the quilt top ledge.

Then trim just the batting as close to the seam as possible.  This eliminates bulk.

The last trimming that needs to be done is on the corners. This eliminates bulky corners when you turn it inside out.

Now you can finally turn it inside out.  

 Make sure all corners are turned inside out well, then  pin the hole closed.

Now you will need to sew all around the perimeter of the quilt 1/8 of an inch from the edge.  This will close up the hole as well as give it a nice finished edge.

Only one more thing left to do... to hand tie the corners.

At all the intersections, where 4 squares meet, you will be tieing all three layers of your quilt.  
First you will need to take your embroidery thread out and cut a piece of thread about 12 inches long.  Thread that onto an embroidery thread and do not knot the end.  


Put your needle in from the top of the quilt at one intersection.

then pull it leaving a tail on the top.  Bring up the needle from the back up to the front of the quilt.

Then you will take both tails of the thread to create a knot.

Create a double knot.

Now you just trim each of the tails to the length you want.

Tada!  Now you just have to repeat for each intersection and your done :)

Now admire your brand new quilt hanging on the back of your couch...

or folded up nicely.

Congratulations and Enjoy!
Don't forget to share pictures of your finished quilt on our Flickr group page.
Tomorrow I will post how you can win my fabric giveaway! 

take care mucho!

March 25, 2010

Another Project Conquered

So I have been meaning to post about my wonderful Everything Tote that I did out of the Heather Ross Book, Weekend Sewing.  This was super easy and fast to make.  I cut and sewed it all in an afternoon!!

To top it all off, I only used fabric from my stash, which means saving money.  I highly recommend this book.  I love the projects in it and all the patterns and instructions are easy to understand.

This bag really is an everything tote.  It is amazing the stuff that will fit in it.  It is perfect for when you are shopping at the farmers market, bringing home the latest fabric stash from the store, or even odds and ends for just about anything.   I have been using mine for all sorts of things ever since it was completed.

Have you tried out a new pattern lately?

Take care mucho!

March 21, 2010

Quilt Along 1: Sewing

So you have got all your fabrics cut up and now we are ready to sew!

First you want to separate your charms into piles in the order you would like them to be sewed in.
I use my ironing board so as I am sitting next to my sewing machine I can easily reach over and grab the charms that I need.

You will need to sew 9 charms together 12 times. In other words 12 rows of 9 charms. * please note that all seem allowances are 1/4 inch (typical of all quilt seems)*
To sew 9 charms together I first sew sets of 2 charms in a chain (not stopping in between sewing each set).

I know it is hard to see in the picture but each charm set is linked by thread.

Then I sew the sets together creating two sets of 4.  Sew the two sets of 4 together.  Lastly, I sew the last one on to create a long strip of 9.

When you have all 12 rows of 9 charms sewed together you will need to sew rows together.

Because it is hard to take a picture of all the rows laying flat in my little apt.  I rolled out three rows to show you.

When I sew rows together I like to pin the intersections (where the seems are) to ensure good points.

First I pinch the seems so that seems are running opposite directions.

I pin the seems down and make sure that when I sew I pull the pins out before it goes under the needle.

To make things easier on you, sew 4 rows together at a time to create 3 sets of 4 rows. 
In the picture you see two sets of two rows about to be pinned and sewed together to make one set of 4.

Then sew each set of 4 rows together to end up with a completed quilt top!

Wasn't that pretty easy?

Next week we will be making our quilt sandwich so make sure you have your batting and minky fabric ready to go.
You are going to be amazed at how fast and easy it is going to be to finish this quilt up.  Just one more week to wrap up our first quilt along quilt.  Wow... does time fly when you are having fun.

To make things even more interesting I am giving away one Fat Quarter Shop fabric pack next week! I LOVE these packs so much I figured I should share in my love.  So stay tuned next week for your chance to win it!

Have fun sewing!

Take care mucho,

March 15, 2010

Any advice for NYC?

So I am heading out to NYC to visit my sister.  The picture above is from my last trip up.  I swear the Statue of Liberty is in the background, haha.

I know a few places that I need to hit up... you know #1 on my list is Purl Soho, but I was wondering if anyone knows of some hidden treasure spots that I can visit.  I have the whole week of spring break to trot the streets of New York so I want to take advantage of my time there. 
Thanks for your help!

-Take care mucho,

March 14, 2010

Week 2: Cutting Fabric

So you have hopefully picked out fun fabric for your "Charming" Minky quilt. 

Our next step is to cut all of our wonderful fat quarters up. 
So let's get out our cutting tools...
And start cutting.  Out of each fat quarter you will cut 9 - 6" squares (or what quilters call charms). So each fq will be cut up like this...
After doing this to all 12 fq's then you will have a great pile that looks like this...

And then you can stack them up like this and stare at them with a giddy smile...

Oh and I haven't written the dimensions of our final quilt (sorry).  It's going to end up 44" x 49.5".  A perfect lap quilt to hang on your couch and cuddle with when you are watching a good show on t.v.

I hope everyone is having fun so far.  Remember, if you have questions or comments please feel free to write in the comment section or e-mail me. 

Take care mucho,

March 12, 2010

Amy Butler's Kimono Robe...

I have had Amy Butler's "In Stitches" book on my bookshelf for months now.  I have taken it down quite a few times flipping through all the pages making a mental list of all the projects I would like to conquer one day.
Finally, I actually made one of the projects that I have been eying.
My cousin was in town and was looking through my book and requested for me to make her the kimono robe.  When we went to the fabric store we couldn't find exactly what she wanted so we ended up buying a quilting cotton fabric for the outside and a knit for the lining.  Once I started working on it though, I quickly realized that I could make it reversible quite easily. So this is what a few hours later of work accomplished....

( I know the pictures are weird since it is a headless person, but she wouldn't let me include her face so it's the best I could do)

Isn't that SO fun! I fell in love with it.  And now as soon as a finish a few WIPs I plan on making one for myself.

I was very surprised at how quickly this all came together.  I had made some other patterns (sold individually) by Amy Butler and it was just eternal.  So many steps to follow.  I literally cut out all the pieces for the kimono robe in about an hour one night.  Then, roughly three hours the next day it was all finished.  I highly recommend making one for yourself!

Take care mucho,

March 8, 2010

Quilt Along Series Is Here!!

So here we go....

Week 1- "Charming" Minky Quilt
          This week we will be gathering all of our materials.

Let's start with the fun stuff, FABRIC!
You will need 12 fat quarters (or if you are like me, you can buy a nice coordinated pack from the Fat Quarter Shop)

1.5 yards of soft minky fabric in a coordinating solid color for the back

Other materials...

That is all!
Have fun picking out your fabric....

Take care mucho!

March 7, 2010

So Sorry...

Ok so I am a little delayed for my materials post for our first quilt along.  I promise I haven't forgotten.  This weekend was quite productive, conquering mounds of paperwork that goes along with the passing of a parent. Unfortunately it left little time to get my pictures and post done...SO a huge apology for the delay, but it shall be up tomorrow. 

March 1, 2010

One Month Later...

It's been a month since my dad has passed away, and well, weather I want it or not, life must go on.

My sewing machine has been dusted and I'm ready for the fabric therapy to begin.

There is something about creating something new that has always given me a high.  On top of it all, crafting has always been a big part of my life thanks in great part to my dad fostering it and funding it when I was younger.

As I have been saying a lot lately... "My dad would have wanted me to." So I am trudging along doing what I know my dad would have wanted (I am sure he is looking down thinking, "finally!" haha).

I have decided to get my quilt along series on it's way!  On Sunday I will be posting week 1 of the 1st quilt along.  We will start with gathering all the materials.  This is a great beginner quilt for those of you out there that are a little intimidated.  Remember that each quilt in the series will progressively get a little more difficult so that you learn new techniques little by little.  Everyone is welcome!!

If you are able to join (and even if you want to just follow along on the side lines) I have created a Flickr group to show off your creations.  Please upload your pictures to share with everyone.

I hope you are able to join me for little therapy sessions throughout the quilt along.

Take care mucho!