Thursday, April 10, 2014

Comical Fabric Stash

A week to clean up my quilt room and this is what I was able to accomplish.  After looking through ideas on how to store my fabrics, the use of comic boards seemed to be the best solution for me.  I bought the pack of 100 from amazon and didn't really think that I'd need all of them.  Well, today I had to order more.  I really need to do some stash busting.  It's fun when you find fabrics that you forgot you had.  For pieces that were too small to wrap around the comic boards, they're folded much like a fat quarter and stacked according to color.

 I love the way that I can see all of the pieces of fabric that I have. Now to get to the rest of the pile of fabric.  There's still two more cabinets to get to, so I'm sure I'll use all the other comic boards that I just ordered.  Here's a link on how to fold your fabric that I used on you tube.  She decided to use magazine boards, but since I had already ordered the comic boards, that's what I used.  It worked out just fine.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Selling my Queen Quilter 18

I purchased the machine about 2 years ago and am moving on to another machine.  This machine has been a wonderful machine to work with and is in perfect working order.  I've listed it on ebay today and wanted a place to link up to so people could see it working.  What better place than on my blog.
If you would like to bid on the long arm, go on to ebay and do a search for Queen Quilter 18.  You'll see the photos below as well as a couple videos of the machine in action. Here's a direct link to the listing.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Lots of Tiny HSTs

Loads of HSTs later, I finally have a finished block.  I've saved the pieces of fabric that we quilters that cut off the backsides of other pieces to remove bulk.  Some of them I sewed together and others I wish I had since it took a long time to sew, iron, trim and sort them.  I've been searching for different patterns for weeks and finally came up with this one which I absolutely love!  It's not as difficult as I thought it might be and I don't think that the next blocks will take as much time.  All together, I think I spent over 12 hours just to produce this one block.  Of course, now I have all the HSTs ready to go, so it should be a breeze.  Yeah right!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Starry Eyed Snow Day

We've been blasted in the lower half of Michigan with a ton of snow and really cold temperatures.  So much so, that school has been cancelled for today and tomorrow.  The wind chill factor is supposed to get down to -40!  I grew up in Traverse City, which is many miles north of here and I don't ever remember such cold temperatures.  It will be interesting to see what will happens here with businesses tomorrow with such cold temperatures.  Since we had the day off, I was able to finish my Starry Eyed quilt from the Moda Bake Shop that I purchased fabric for well over a year ago.  It was nice to finally get to it, but it was also nice to finish it because I kept sewing things on wrong.  A lot of frogging happened with this one.  With the quilt top finished, I'll need to load it onto my longarm and top stitch it and then bind it.  Let's see how long that takes me.

In addition to being able to quilt while I've been on break, I've also been able to get to some crochet projects, including many hats.  I'm also working on another project that will probably take me a long to actually complete, but I've got the materials for it all nicely stored in a 31 bag that a friend of mine from the Traverse City area shipped down to me for Christmas.  The blanket is folded in there and it consists of many small granny square blocks.  I've got all of my Stylecraft yarn underneath the blanket.  I love that yarn, but had to order it out of England as they don't sell it in the US.

My daughter also got in on the action and pulled out her quilt that she started well over a year ago and realized that you need a lot of blocks to complete a good size quilt.  She's decided that she is going to make them into a baby quilt and add some borders onto the sides.  Now she'll have to decide which baby to give it to.  For today, she's packed up the blocks and plans on getting back to them tomorrow.  She got the idea for the pattern from the Missouri Star quilt company.n  Our dog Jake is feeling the love in our quilting today and wants to take part.

Hopefully, I'll have another day off on Wednesday which will give me even more time to catch up on my crafts.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


This is another add on to the blocks that I posted about earlier today.  With this one, I'm closer to the 12 blocks that I'd like to have to make a complete quilt.  The blocks measure out at 12 1/2 inches.

Another star block.  You'll need two different fabrics; one medium or dark and one background fabric.

First, cut your fabrics.  Cut the medium fabric into two 5 3/8 inch squares.  Then cut the background fabric into two 5 3/8 inch squares as well as four 4 1/2 inch squares.

Then you will layer on dark/medium 5 3/8 inch square on top of a background 5 3/8 inch square.  You will either draw a diagonal line or use The Angler 2 quilt tool to be able to take those sandwiched squares to your sewing machine and sew a 1/4 inch line on either side of the center diagonal.   I referred to The Angler 2 quilt tool in another tutorial.  I love this tool and leave it on my machine constantly.
In the picture below you can see the Angler on my sewing machine.  

 After you sew the two lines a 1/4 inch from the center diagonal, you will need to take them to your cutting mat and cut them diagonally in two directions so that you have four resulting quarter square triangles. Note that they will be in two different directions after you've cut them apart.

After you have them all cut apart, you should have 4  quarter square triangles.  You will need to arrange them in this pattern.

Sew them together, nesting your seams as you go.  I almost never use pins.  Nesting the seams always produces a much nicer joint for me.  After you sew them together, measure them out to make sure that they are  4 1/2 inches square. Use that 45 degree angle on your ruler to help line up the seams before you cut them down to size.  

Now you're ready to lay them out in the block pattern.  Notice how I have sewn the top two together.  I had to rip out the 2nd two rows as I had the hour glass blocks oriented incorrectly.

Once you have them sewn together in rows, you can sew them together as a block.  Remember to nest those seams.  

The block should measure 12 1/2 inches. 

 I've added a link on my tutorials page for a direct link to the directions.  Here's hoping that those links actually work! :)

A Release from Insanity!

A few months ago, (probably more like a year ago in quilters language) I started a quilt with an online group.  The first block I did was easy to do and it used all the tools that I had on hand.  I absolutely loved it!  They had me hooked.  Also, I was able to use leftover fabrics from a quilt that I made for my mother-in-law.  The fabric was beautiful and I really loved the wording on it as it related to angels that watch over us.  What a  better fabric for a quilt that can wrap someone up in love!  Here's that first block that I made.

Isn't it beautiful?!  I was hooked! Or so I thought.  The next block came around and then I had to use specific rulers that I didn't have.  Major Bummer!  I didn't want to spend the money on buying yet another ruler that I won't use.  So I attempted the next block with my own intuition.  Luckily, I was able to get it together.

Then the third block.  Same rules, same frustration.  I can get pig headed when I want to do something a certain way so I was determined to get this one done as well.  All in all, I finished 5 blocks but was tired of trying to get them done without the rulers that I refused to buy.

So, I started out on I venture looking for unfinished 12 1/2 inch blocks that I could use the supplies that I had on hand.  Here are two blocks that I have finished so far.  The first block I constructed without taking pictures along the way. Dang it! I wanted to get a tutorial going, but forgot to take pictures along the way. What is it with us quilters that when we start something all of our attention gets sucked into this alternate reality?

You can find the directions to construct this star called the Hunter Star at Delaware Quilts.  There are a lot of quilt blocks on her home site.  Thanks to her site, I was able to pick up this project again and complete some blocks.  It looks as though she's a supporter of Relay for Life, so all the more reason to use her block designs.

I also found this next block on her site.  I constructed a tutorial on this block because I love it when I can have pictures to go with directions.  I am so incredibly visual.

Here's how I constructed the block.  You'll need three fabrics.  One medium, one dark and one for your background.  I'm just so in love with the fabric with the words.  I purchased it probably about 3 years ago to make a quilt for my mother-in-law, so I'm not sure it's available anymore.  It's called Heart and Soul by Whisicals for Red Rooster Fabircs.  I'm going to be sad when I run out of this material.

Cut your fabrics
From the medium fabric (red in the picture) cut four 4 1/2 inch squares and two 4 7/8 inch squares.
From the dark fabric (black in the picture) cut eight 2 1/2 inch squares and one 4 1/2 inch square.
From the background fabric (tan words fabric) cut two 4 7/8 inch squares and eight 2 1/2 inch squares.

Next you'll need to take the 4 7/8 inch squares from the medium and background fabrics to construct 1/2 square triangle squares.  On the website, they instruct you to draw a line on the back side of one of the squares, but I love The Angular 2 plastic overlay on my machine because I don't like taking the time out to draw the line out on my fabrics.  One, I feel it stretches them out when you draw on them.  Two, I am afraid of seeing the line through the fabrics.  However, mostly it's because I'm extremely lazy when it comes to that step.  You can find it online in a lot of places.  Here's a youtube video on how to use it.  I shouldn't be encouraging you to buy something as that's what landed me in this situation in the first place.  But I use this constantly.  Most of the time it sits on my machine.  I attach it with some blue painters tape so that it doesn't leave sticky stuff behind on my machine.  You can still draw lines if you wish, so don't feel like you have to purchase the tool.

Here it is set up on my machine.  I just got the Bernina 350, so I'm still playing around with how I want my machine to sit.  But, I've managed to get it working for now.  This machine never seems to run out of bobbin thread!  Major plus!  I hate reloading those darn things.

After you draw the line or use The Angular 2, you need to sew a 1/4 inch from the line, whether it's the imaginary one because you're using the tool or the real line that you drew.

Once you draw the line or install the Angler on your machine, you're ready to start making the diagonal half squares.  The next couple of pictures show how it looks set up on your machine.
Next, comes the cutting of the squares after you've sewn them on both sides of the line, whether it's the imaginary one with The Anguler 2 or the line you drew.  See how it's exactly a 1/4 of an inch.  It's like that every time if you set up the tool correctly or you draw the line correctly.  Chain piece those pieces to and then lay them all out so that you can cut them apart all at once.

Next, cut away!  Make sure you hold your ruler tight so that there is no slippage.  You don't want to go and have to cut out another set of squares.  Trust me.  Been there done that!

Once you cut them apart, press them to the medium side.  As a side note, make sure you set the seam before you flip the triangle over to press towards the medium.  That means, just set the iron on the seam for a few seconds and then flip the triangle over.  It makes it so much nicer.

Next, you'll either need to draw a line on the back side of the 2 1/2 inch squares (yes all of them) or use The Angler 2 tool.  It's totally up to you.  Once you have that done, you're going to sew them to them to the medium 4 1/2 inch squares.  The picture below shows you where each square will end up on the medium square.  First you sew on a dark square and then go over to the other side diagonally to sew on a background square.

 Chain piece these too so that you can lay them all out to cut them apart.

The next thing I always try to do is sew another line about a 1/2 inch away from the original line because there is some valuable fabric there that I don't like to throw away.  You can get additional 1/2 square triangles from those little buddies.

 However, sometimes I forget and then I take them back to my machine to sew.

They can be a little wonky, but you can square them up at a later date.

Next, you go diagonally across the 4 1/2 medium square and sew on a background 2 1/2 square.  Chain piece them again!

 Look, I didn't forget to sew the extra line this time!

I ended up with a pile of half triangle squares.  What to do with those?  Hmmm?

You then attach the other dark 2 1/2 inch square and then the other background square

For some reason, I missed getting the picture of the completed sqaure.  Your squares should measure out at
 4 1/2 inches.  You then lay out all the squares in this fashion. Two like these....

...and one like this.  These are your three rows that you'll sew together.

You end up with the finished block that should measure 12 1/2 inches square.

I'm starting another star block, so if you're following along, keep your eyes peeled.  Hopefully, it'll inspire you to create other unique blocks.  I hope to get them all into a quilt soon.  I have eight so far but would like to have at least 12 to finish out the quilt.  Then it's on to decide what I'd like to do in the bindings.