June 22, 2010

DC Modern 1st Sewing Lounge

This past weekend our little group DC Modern was able to have our first sewing lounge. We all had a great time at one of the local quilt shops, The Artful Quilter. They couldn't have been nicer! I love the ladies there. Not to mention their fabric options are bad news for my wallet. There is temptation everywhere. They love their modern fabrics!
Here are a few highlights from the sewing lounge...

a few of us sewing, chatting and laughing

Katit B. is pondering what to do for her fun quilt

Dana was working on her hexies. Can't wait to see this one all finished... though it might take her a while :)

Lexi showing off what she was able to finish

Heather B. showing off her cute quilt made from fabric finds in Hawaii

Lastly, here is the whole gang in front of the fun blots of fabric in the store.

Thanks gals for making the first sewing lounge such a success. I look forward to sewing with you all next month!

If you would like to join in on the fun DC Modern will be getting together again at The Artful Quilter on July 17.

take care mucho,

June 17, 2010

Quilt Along #2: Binding

We are ready to make our binding. Binding is one of my favorite things to make because it is not only easy but the final step in making a quilt. There is such a feeling of accomplishment.

You need to get out the 2.5 inch strips that were left over from the fat quarter. You will also need to cut a 16in. x 2.5 in. strip out of the scraps from your backing fabric.

You will be connecting these strips together like I show you below...
put two stripes together like the picture shows, with right sides facing each other.

Draw a line on the diagonal.

Sew along the line you just drew.

I like to chain piece the binding together to make it go much faster. I fold the end of the strip that is on top over so the other end of it is facing right side up.

Then I take the next strip and put it face down and perpendicular to the bottom strip. And sew across diagonally. You will continue piecing the binding together until all 13 strips are sewn.

Now you have to iron all the seams open...

And iron the entire length of the binding strip in half.

After ironing it I like to roll it up until I am ready to sew it onto my quilt.

Sewing your binding onto your quilt:

First you want to trim your backing and batting down...

start sewing the binding around the edge of the top of your quilt. You want to leave at least 6 inches of unsewn binding at the beginning and start it in the middle of an edge.

when you approach a corner..

you need to stop 1/4 of an inch from the edge and leave your needle in the down position...

pivot your foot perpendicular to the stitch line and sew to the edge.

This is what the stitching should look like at the corners.

now you need to fold the binding up like shown in the picture above...

Then you are going to fold it down like it is pictured above....

then slip the quilt under your machine and continue sewing the binding on.

You will repeat these steps for each corner.

You will need to stop sewing about 7 (ish) inches from where you started. There will be two tails of binding hanging out.

Lay one edge of binding over the other and cut one of them about the halfway point of opening.

then place the edge that you just cut underneath and take out your ruler. You want to cut the binding edge that is now on top 2.5 inches overlapping the bottom binding edge.

now you will have to fold the quilt so that you are able to get the two edge of your binding perpendicular (like you did when you were piecing your binding strips together). Draw your diagonal sewing line with your ruler.

Then sew along the line and then straighten it out.
It should fit perfectly along the edge of your quilt. Sew the last bit of binding to your quilt.

Now your ready to do a little hand sewing to make the back of your quilt looking nice.

Thread a needle and knot one end. You will start by putting the needle in so that it ends right along the fold of the binding.

Fold the binding over and pull the thread through.

I like to use the ladder stitch, so that is what I am going to show you. You will put your needle into the quilt right underneath where the thread is sticking out. Then have it coming out about 1 cm away.

Then you are going to do the same thing but this time the needle will be pulled through the fold of the binding.
You will repeat those steps, one stitch on the quilt along the edge of the binding and then another step along the fold of the binding.

When you come to the end of your thread you want to end after a binding edge stitch. You want to put the knot towards the edge of the quilt so that it is hidden once the rest of the binding is sewn on.

Once you thread your needle again with more thread you want to start it the same way as before, by pulling your thread through the fold of the binding.

Continue all the way around your quilt. You will have a nice finished edge!

One thing I forgot to take pictures of is the corners. You just need to fiddle with it a little bit to make it look like a nice corner (it isn't very difficult I promise) and just make sure to do an extra stitch around there to make sure it stays put.

Now you are finished!!
Take some time to admire your work and remember to use it and give your new quilt lots of love!

Congratulations on completing yet another quilt. The next quilt along will introduce you to strip piecing and free motion quilting. I'll be posting about it after July 4th weekend :) so look out and remember to join in on the fun!

Take care mucho,

June 14, 2010

Cheers for Heather!

My best friend, Heather, is getting married in about 2 weeks! This past weekend we had a great time celebrating her last few single days by having a beer tasting bachlorette!

I had way too much fun sticking to our beer and chocolate theme...

For the invites I made the coasters at myownlabels.com and stuck them on to circular scalloped paper. I also bought 4inch round stickers at paper-source.com in an olive green and a mustard yellow. The green served as a backdrop to the printed coasters and the yellow got printed on with the party info.

I layed out the chocolates in the middle of the room so that as everyone had a taste they could choose the type of chocolate they wished to try with it.

There were 10 different chocolates in all (not all are pictures). Everything from milk chocolate to dark chocolate to espresso beans covered in chocolate, pomegranate covered chocolate, chocolate with raspberries, and even chili pepper chocolate. It was all very interesting.

The brides brother has a sand blaster and was nice enough to create initialed pint glasses. They were super cute! and was a hit with guests .

I created small "clip boards" using canvas boards and binder clips. Then I stuck some extra beer labels that I also created at mywonlabels.com to add a bit of pizazz.

On the boards I clipped "Rate that Beer" paper that I found at a paper store in NYC. I can't remember the name of the store, but as soon as I saw them I had to get them! Here is a close up of the paper... some of the things on there make me laugh.

And lastly beers were poured....

We had a total of 9 different beers we tasted from lites to darks to fruity ones. Some were quite interesting!
Here I am enjoying a taste :)

It was so much fun putting this all together. I highly recommend a fun event like this if you have something to celebrate... or just cuz.

take care mucho,

June 8, 2010

Quilt Along #2: Straight Line Quilting

We are ready to quilt!!

For this quilt I thought it would be a good idea to do some straight line quilting. It fits the modern zigzag design and for a beginner quilter this is a great way to get started.

You will need to keep your 1/4 inch foot on your machine and feed dogs normal (this is different when you do free motion quilting)- what is super helpful is a walking foot! These can be pricey though and for a quilt this size your 1/4 inch foot can do the trick.

You are going to start at one of the center zigzags (I "drew" over the picture where you will be starting to quilt)

Place your quilt under your machine at one end of the center zig zag. You want to roll up the right side of your quilt so it fits under the arm of your sewing machine.
You will follow the seam line with the edge of your presser foot.

As you approach a corner of the zigzag you will need to stop your needle in the down position. Then pick up your presser foot, pivot your quilt, lower your foot and continue sewing.

You will repeat the sewing, stopping and pivoting until you get to the end of the zigzag.

Then you cut your thread and go at it again on the other side of the seam of the zigzag.

Keep going along both sides of every seam and you will have a completely quilted quilt!

Wasn't too bad was it?

Now take a look on the back.

Does it look great?!

One more step... binding! Check back next week to complete your quilt... your going to be surprised at how quickly it will go :)

Take care mucho,

June 1, 2010

Finally caught up!

So I have bee a very bad quilting bee member for the last 3 months of our bee. I have been a part of a great group of quilters called Bee Inspired and it wrapped up way back in March and ....well... I am just getting around to finishing up the final quilt blocks.

It has been quite a whirl wind of a winter and spring. I finally got my act together and finished the last 3 quilting blocks that I needed to send out.

Here is Deb's block who wanted a block with squares and/or rectangle...

Lynn wanted 2 spider blocks which I loved how they turned out...

Lisa wanted a block inspired by a quilt made by a fellow Bee Inspired member and this is what I was able to come up with...

sorry wonderful Bee Inspired friends for the delay in my blocks. I had a wonderful year of creating fun blocks for you all. I hope that I can piece together my quilt top by the end of this year and post picture updates as I make some progress.

take care mucho,