May 26, 2010

Quilt Along 2: Creating the Backing

So we have pieced together our entire quilt front. Now we have to think about the back. Since we have enough squares we are going to do one multi-fabric zig zag on the back.

Backing fabric:
You will be sewing each of your colored fabric to a 6inch square from your backing fabric (for my quilt this is a grayish IKEA sheet). I am going to cut 12- 6 inch squares from one edge of the fabric.

Just as before, I will be pairing and marking each pair of fabric

Then sewing 1/4 inch from the line on either side.

Cut the squares into triangles.
Iron the triangles open to form new squares.

Then I can start creating my long zig zag.

I then can decide where on the back I want my zig zag. Once I have determined that, I need to cut a straight line dividing the backing fabric to make room for the zig zag.

I then will sew my zig zag to fit in between the line I just cut.

The backing is all done!!!

Take care mucho,

May 25, 2010

Never Ending Hexies

So I finally decided what I am going to do for the backing... more hexies!
This time around it will only go on the perimeter so I only have to make 80 or so (much quicker than the top). I am also sticking to a blue/green color scheme which I am really digging at the moment.

I am very determined to finish this project so it has been traveling with me wherever I go. All the hexies are made now I just have to start piecing them together. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

take care mucho,

May 21, 2010

Bloggers Quilt Festival

Amy is at it again at Amy's Creative Side by hosting the 3rd Bloggers Quilt Festival!

I wanted to share a fun lap size quilt that started off as just a fun quilt to make with a fat quarter pack and it has ended up being a quilt that will stay with me forever.

This quilt lived happily hanging on the back of my couch at home for quite a few months as one of my favorite quilts. My husband, dogs and I loved curling up with it, in front of the tv for hours. Then in February my dad had a really bad fall down the stairs and he was in the ICU for two days. I spent the night at the hospital with him and I had asked my husband to bring me among many things that night, one of my quilts. This was the quilt that he ended up bring me that night. In the middle of the night my dad's body temperature was fluctuating and at some point this quilt ended up on him to keep him warm. He wasn't conscious the entire time he was in the hospital but looking at my dad with this quilt laying on top of him made me feel happy. I knew he would have loved the fact that it brought some color in an otherwise very neutral room and of course he would like the fact that I made it. He always encouraged my crafty creativity.

This quilt stayed with him all the way until his last breath. This quilt has now become my little piece of my dad that I carry with me. It reminds me of him and all the great memories I have. I thought at first that I wouldn't want to use the quilt. I would just leave it folded nicely to be preserved, but in actuality it has been greatly loved since those days in the hospital. I still curl up with it watching tv {with my dad}.

take care mucho,

May 19, 2010

Placemats... the tutorial

So I have been trying to do some organizing on my blog lately. Did you notice my NEW logo? I am absolutely in love! A big thanks to Heidi from HeidiLyn Originals.

I also just added some tabs as well, which I will slowly start adding information to.

You will notice that one of them is for tutorials and I have only really ever posted 1 of them. So in my attempt to get better at sharing with the word here is another tutorial for your creating pleasure.

So here is a great quick project to do for yourself or as a gift... Placemats!For each placemat you will need2 pieces of 14" x 18" (or whatever size placemat you wish to have) for the front and back of your placemat - this can be one whole piece of cloth or a something that has been pieced together.
1- 15" x 19" piece of batting

coordinating thread

1. Sandwich your fabric in the following order backing right side up, top right side down and batting {sorry I forgot to take a picture of this step}
2. Sew about half and inch from the edge all around the placemat leaving about a 6 inch opening for flipping inside out.

3. Clip all 4 corners to eliminate bulkiness once it is flipped inside out.

4. Trim only the batting seam allowance as close to the stitch line as possible. This is also to eliminate bulk.5. Finally you can flip it inside out through the opening you left.

6. Pin the opening closed, tucking in the seam allowances.

7. Put your placemat under your sewing machine and stitch all around the perimeter about 1/8" away from the edge. Be sure to take out the pins as you get to the opening. This step will close up your opening.

This is what one corner should look like.

8. Switch your presser foot to a darning foot to get reading for quilting.

9. Quilt how ever you desire. I have done simple stippling in this picture.

If you do 3 more of these you get a nice set of 4 perfect for everyday use or as a nice gift!

May 18, 2010

Quilt Along #2 Zig Zag - sewing

So we are ready to sew our half square triangles!

Here is a short video of how to chain stitch on either side of the marked line for each pair of squares. Once you have chained pieced you can cut along the marked diagonal line and TADA! 2 squares become 4 triangles.

You can press your triangles open. I usually iron the seams to one side though if you prefer to press them open go for it! I do have to mention that it can get pretty bulky where the diagonals meet so pressing open does make it a little bit less bulky.  It really wont make a huge difference though.

I like to make piles with my fabrics so I know the order of my zig zags. It is much easier to chain piece so I make piles that look like the picture below.
It only shows one of the zigs (or is it a zag, haha) but you have a stack of 4 of them. I sew all the pairs together of one zig to look like this...

Then I sew two sets together to look like this...

Then I complete the strip...

I repeat this for each strip...

Then you just sew all the strips together to have a completed top!

Hope you are able to sew your top together this week. I will be sharing how to do some easy straight line quilting on the next posting of our quilt along.

take care mucho,

May 17, 2010

Some progress...

So I have posted before about getting the hexagon craze and after a few weeks hiatus I can finally say all the hexies are pieced together!
All 199 to be exact.
Doesn't it look cool?! I love the scrappy look to it. I have used only my left over scraps from projects and now I have to dig through my stash to see what will be used for the backing. I promised myself no buying fabric for this project. I might have to audition a few and see what comes out best.

Have you had the chance make some hexies?

take care mucho,

May 16, 2010

Birthdays sometime come early!

My birthday is not too far away (only 7 day, but who is counting, haha).
I know that after a certain time I really shouldn't feel like a giddy 5 year old, year after year about the day I was born, but undoubtedly I do.
This year my husband has totally spoiled me by getting me my very first serger! He was even nice enough to give it to me almost two weeks in advance (because we really suck at keeping presents a secret from each other... It's just too exciting when you know the person is going to absolutely LOVE it!).

I came home one day last week and a big box address to me was waiting patiently to be opened. I quickly opened it up too see this...

I have already taken it for a mini test drive and can't wait to dive in to some projects. It has been hard to find time to sit and play, but I think my birthday present to myself will have to be uninterrupted time with present.

Does anyone else out there have a serger? I know there are so many things I can do with this machine, but I don't even know where to begin. Are there good websites or videos out there for serging? If you have any suggestions or advice I would love to hear from you :)

Take care mucho,

May 12, 2010

Now we are rolling.... cutting and a little sew along

So I am feeling much better. I had a chance this weekend to organize one wall after a quick trip to IKEA (my favorite store!).

Now my side of my sewing room is looking like this...

And I'm not even worrying about the fact that the other side still looks like this....

One more trip to IKEA should do it. Who knows when I'll be able to manage that one though.

Because of this new bit of organization, I have been able to get my act together for our sew along. Finally! Right? I am very sorry for all of you followers. I have been very busy I can assure you. I hope to bring you good stuff in the next two weeks.

I have cut all my fat quarters to look like this ...

I have to make a correction from my last posting. When I had posted my diagram of how to cut the fabric I forgot to take into account the selvage edge. So instead of having two strips to cut on one end for the binding you will only be able to get one. It should all work out in the end so no need to stress and buy more fabric :)

I also have gotten together some videos to show how to arrange, mark and sew your half triangle squares. You hopefully have your squares cut so, let's start with how to arrange your piles of squares.

After you have arranged and paired up your fabrics you can move on to marking your squares. We are using the half square method, so it is very important that you take your time to mark your squares.

If you can get this far in a week I will be impressed. It does seem like a lot of busy work I know, but it does go by quickly and it will be super easy when we start sewing.

Since I know I am a bit behind for all you quilt alongers, I am setting a goal to have the sewing post and videos up by the end of the week.

Let me know what you think of the videos. This is a first for me so would love to get feedback. I hope it is more useful than pictures, but if you don't like it I can always go back.

Happy cutting, arranging and marking.

Take care mucho,

May 6, 2010

A day late and a dollar short :(

Week 2: Cutting Fabric - The Zig Zag

Well I have some fat quarters cut ( I did them before the move) and found my little pile buried in the heap.  So far this is all I got to...

This is a great start but I have to end up with all of these cuts....

I hope you are able to get to your cutting tools and fabric in order to cut all your squares out.  You will need a total of 9- 6inch squares from each fat quarter (or 18- 6inch squares from 6- half yards or 54- 6 inch squares from 2- 3 yard pieces).  I know my "wonderful" diagram is a little hard to read.  The left over bit at the end are just two strips of 2 inches.  They will be used for the binding at the very end.

Again I am sorry for the vagueness on this post.  I am hoping to get some essentials unburied to finish my cutting.  Will post as soon as I get it all done.

take care mucho,

May 4, 2010

the move....

Well I don't know about you all, but I sure hate moving!
My husband and I have decided to move in with my mom to keep her company and along the way it will hopefully help us save money to buy a house sometime in the future.  It has been a very tough weekend... The big move date was Friday.   I took the day off from work and all day was spent hauling boxes and packing last minute stuff up.  Amazingly enough in only 7 hours we had one apartment empty and my moms house a disaster.  Little by little we have been moving, shuffling and organizing.  It is quite a LONG process.
One thing I was really excited for was that my mom had a sewing room.  So it was going to be transformed into OUR sewing room! The only bad thing is that this is what it looks like currently....

I wanted to have the post for cutting our zig zag quilt fabric (quilt along #2) but it looks like this is going to take a little longer than I thought it would.  Hopefully I can put up some diagrams and such to help in the mean time.  Maybe next weekend will feel a little more settled.

For my quilt along peeps- please forgive me!  I will post something helpful no later than tomorrow so that we aren't at a complete stand still, promise.

Take care mucho,