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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Project Quilting #6 ZIGZAG!

Project Quilting Challenge "ZigZag"

I didn't have AS much time this week to work on my PROJECT QUILTING challenge, but I STILL Wanted to participate!!! I named this quilt: "Berries & Cream"

I will admit I am not the most creative person in the world. Also, I have never made a zigzag quilt before so I tried to keep it simple. The thing that should impress everyone is that I made this in just a matter of hours. I started Tuesday evening and finished Wednesday afternoon. I picked out scraps from my stash paired with neutral scraps (white/beige/creams) For each "zigzag" i used colors from the same family. In the neutral areas I stipple quilted. After I finished with the stippling I LOVED how the colored areas looked all puffy. So I just did an outline about 1/4" from the edges of the colored zigzags to keep the "puffiness."
Project Quilting Challenge "ZigZag"
For the back I used super soft Minky Fleece.
Batting-100% polyester(high-loft), but everything else is 100% cotton. Bound with Kona pure white.

I went to the park to take some photos because it was a beautiful sunny day!
Project Quilting Challenge "ZigZag"
Project Quilting Challenge "ZigZag"
Project Quilting Challenge "ZigZag"
Project Quilting Challenge "ZigZag"
Project Quilting Challenge "ZigZag"
Project Quilting Challenge "ZigZag"

Head on over to KIM'S CRAFTY APPLE Flickr Group to see all the submissions for this week and past week's challenges!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mark's T-shirt Quilt

First I would like to just say again, how wonderful it was to work with the Andersons. Mark's wife Kristen is such a sweetheart and is so awesome to coordinate all these quilts (made by yours truly) for the family. It's been so nice reconnecting and the projects are always so unique and fun!
A little about Mark Anderson: Mark and I were dance partners in high school show choir, and we went to senior prom together. I told him: Please please please go to prom with me Mark?!?! You'll look so great in the photos. . you have STYLE and CLASS.. and heck, I already know you can dance! =cD

When I opened the box of T-shirts that Kristen gave me, it was like a trip down memory lane. He had our old Show Choir shirt. . a shirt from our senior school play. . our Senior class of 99 signature t-shirt. I had all these shirts at one time!! Who is eating all of my sentimental shirts?!?! Since I no longer have any of these shirts, I loved getting to piece them together, quilt them, and generally breathe new life into these now, 10+? year-old tees ;c)

Here's the back:

Some closeups of the front:
Pebbles!. . on the yellow areas . . .

Heart stitch in the RED areas -
In the white/grey areas I stippled:
For the purple areas I did a checkerboard stitch:
Except for this little purple area here. . in which I did my signature feather:
I always give every t-shirt quilt ONE feather in a small block. =cD
The TEAL areas I did my melty teardrop/clamshell/paisley. . whatever you call it stitch:
Closeup of checkerboard and paisleys:

I want to show you some front/back shots. . . see this block?
Look how different it looks on the back. . . same block:
I incorporated Mark and Kristen's names in the quilt. I like to think of this as a sort of "secret message". . because you can't see it at first. . only upon closer inspection ;c)
Here's the back of that:
Do you see where it says "Kristen?"
Shows up a little better on the back:
This is the back of the teal shirt block that had the music staff:
This is the back of the "Mark and Kristen Myrtle Beach" block:
Back of "hearts" stitch:
This pic features all the different stitches including the little feather:
Closeup of my feather. . awww. . isn't it the cutest thing? I just LOVE my feathers!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dye Inspiration March 15th 2012

What a morning!! We had some crazy storms today! Typically I would still be in bed snoozing at 7AM, but unfortunately my husband's car wouldn't start yesterday so I went and fetched him and brought him back to work this morning. We left at 6am and there was distant lightning in the hills to the North of us. As I was driving back home (westward,) the lightning was in full view across the sky. It seemed to go on for miles and miles. It was a scary beautiful sight.
Here in Milton, WV, it was the eye of the storm. Starting at 7am and just now starting to trickle off at 9:30am.
My husband works in South Charleston. He got a bit more lucky and took these beautiful shots this morning:

This was the view from his work looking East
and this was the view facing West:
A few minutes later he grabbed his "good" camera and captures this double rainbow.
Double Rainbow. . WHOAAAAAAAA What does it all MEAN??!!??!!
I loved these photos he took of the clouds. .. so gorgeous

Also if you want you can check out this flickr slideshow I made.
Every day Louie (my dog) and I walk around the block at least once.
And each time we pass this same tree. For 6 years we've been doing this, and this tree is exceptionally beautiful in the springtime. For the past week, I took a photo of this tree every day with my iphone.
The first photo is of the baby buds that were on the limbs. The last day is of the tree in full spring bloom. I believe this tree is a bradford pear, and this is the tree that lines the streets of Milton, where I live. . and it is amazingly beautiful in the springtime!!
The last few photos are of the tree that is in front of the Milton United Methodist Church. I believe it is a dogwood tree. But the spring blossoms on it are PINK!!!! So I had to include some photos of that as well. (keep in mind this was all with my iphone so they're not the best)

That is all for my Dye inspiration for the week! I DO plan on doing some dying next week, for it will be the perfect dyeing conditions. HOT and HUMID!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Basting - Photo Tutorial

I've had several people ask me how I baste my quilts. I wanted to take a moment and share my method. I learned this method from the amazing and talented Sharon Schambers, although I use safety pins and she is dead-set on needle and thread basting. ;c)  

Please see Sharon's original videos HERE - She is AMAZING!

Here's what you'll need:
A Large Flat surface (like a church table)

TWO 2x4s - Sanded smooth and longer than your quilt is wide. (Mine are 8 feet, too big for most quilts but you'll need them to be this large or larger if you make alot of Queen and King sized quilts.)
Lots of Fat Safety Pins
An Iron
Spray Bottle with Water
HIGH Loft Polyester Batting.

**  11.15.2014 - I am still using these same basting boards and tables for every quilt I make - and it still is amazing.   However, I now use only ROLL batting, so pressing the quilt and batting is definitely NOT necessary anymore.   If you use the batting that comes folded and squished into a bag though, you might want to continue the spritz/press process.  I only do free-motion quilting with my Janome DC2010 or my Juki DDL 8700 - and I am proud to say that I have not had a pucker on any of my quilts since I started using this method.   Skip to step 4 if you are using batting on a roll***

1. On your table, layer the backing , Batting, and Top JUST like it would appear in the regular quilt.
2. Starting in the center, press your quilt together flat and smooth with your iron and spray bottle of water.    (Skip to Step 4 if you are using smooth batting from a roll) 
Make sure to PRESS, not IRON. In this photo you'll see where I have previously pressed the batting smooth, and what is still left to press.
3. Press the center, and then the sides/edges completely. Hold your iron down for a few seconds in each area. Here you can see what part of the batting has been pressed and what part has not.
This will make it easier to position your batting when ready.
4. Align your quilt sandwich with the edge of your table. Lay your first board on top of the quilt top and align it with the edge of the top.
5. Start rolling your quilt top over the board until you run out of table.
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6. Now take your batting and throw it over the table so you can access the quilt backing.
7. Align your next board up with the edge of your quilt BACKING. Start rolling your quilt backing over the board until you run out of table.
8. Now you need to grab the board that's closest to you, and pull the whole thing towards you and the end of the table.
9. Pull your batting back to the front, and start rolling more of your quilt top around the board. Keep rolling until you run out of table. Make sure to keep your quilt top and backing nice and smooth as you are rolling.
10. Throw your batting back over the table so you can access the quilt backing. Roll the backing around the board until you run out of table.
11. Continue rolling your boards until you get to the end.
12. Lay your rolled quilt top over to the side. Remove the batting and lay that to the side, and then finish rolling your quilt BACKING and then lay that to the side.
13. Now what you have to do is turn your rolled boards around. You'll start basting from the opposite side of the quilt.
Starting with your backing, lay the rolled board on the table.
**Leave an inch or two of the backing hanging over the table - Use your table as a guide so that it is straight**
14. Roll out your backing until you run out of table, and then lay your batting down on top. Try to get the pressed part of the batting aligned with your quilt backing so that it's the part that will be in the quilt.
15. Now you will start unrolling your quilt TOP.
**Align the quilt top's raw edge exactly with the edge of the table.  Use your table as a guide so that it is straight **
16. Start basting with your preferred method. (I just pin with large safety pins.)
17. When you're finished basting the part of the quilt sandwich that's on the table, pull the bottom board towards you.
18. Throw the batting over the quilt top revealing the backing board. Roll out the backing until you run out of table, smoothing out as you roll.
19. Throw your batting back over the backing and table, and smooth out. Then start rolling your quilt top out until you run out of table. Baste as desired.
20. When you reach the end of the quilt, I like to leave the board on there as long as possible to keep the quilt backing taut.
Same goes for the top. I like to keep the board on there to keep it taut.
21. Baste to the edge, then remove the boards and secure the ends.
22. Flip your quilt over and check the backing. Is everything smooth? Pay special attention to the edges. Sometimes the edges/borders can get a little bunched up and luckily this is an easy quick fix. If you get bunching just remove the pins, smooth out, and repin!
23. Do you see this little section ? There are little ridges in the backing. It would probably quilt out, but just in case, I will go and spray these spots with water and iron until smooth.
24. Quilt as desired!

**Update - I am still using these same boards today, and it's 2014!!     I have found the steam-pressing the sandwich to be a bit of an overkill. . .but, if you are a beginner, or if you are doing straight-line quilting, I think it is a necessary step!**  Let me know if you have any questions!

Go HERE for photos of the completed quilt

I SELL this pattern as an INSTANT PDF DOWNLOAD in my etsy shop.
The pattern is called ROYAL STAR, and is an 8 page booklet with 7 different size options.
In the pattern I explain how to deconstruct a Crown Royal bag and create a quilt with many different options and gives you plenty of artistic freedom.   However all the math is done for you!  Just cut and sew ;c)