Saturday, November 16, 2013

Christmas One Block Wonder Table Runners

  Well it's the Christmas season, my favorite time of year and I thought I would perhaps try out some Christmas OBW table runners... 

  I found some beautiful poinsettia fabric at Joann Fabric and add along fabric from the same line to work as backing and binding.  I made sure I got 6 repeats+, I ended up buying 2.4 yards of the poinsettia and 2 yards of backing.

  I am getting better at this and had hardly any waste when cutting this time around.  First I squared off my fabric

Then found a reference point.  (Sorry if you can't see my dinky arrow)

I moved my ruler along the fabric finding the reference point and cutting until I had 6 pieces of fabric cut. 

  I then ironed out the crease and carefully laid the fabric one on top of the other lining up the pattern.

  I don't pin because I haven't had great results with it instead I cut a couple strips then re-adjust and trim if needed.  It worked out really well.  I cut 3" strips. 

  I used my large equilateral triangle ruler to cut out the triangles.  It was a little to big and bulky but it worked.  It is daunting and scary to cut the triangles or even the strips but just take your time and it will work out.

  It's amazing the beautiful kaleidoscope patterns the fabric makes.  Here is the same stack of triangles laid out three different ways. 

  I sew each stack of triangles in three.  This way you are less likely to mix everything up.   I first do a quick lay out in front of me to see which way I want the triangles to go. 

I sew 2 sets of 2 together and set two aside.

When I set the 2 aside I point the point that will go towards the middle downwards to help me later.

After I get quite a few through my machine I take them off and organize them into the right pile. 
Then I add my third triangle.

 Since I just run a whole bunch through my machine at once it works out good because there all connected.

When I cut them apart I keep the pairs connected.

  This is all about being organized, it is easy to get things mixed up so anything I can do to ease my frustration I do.  I would also recommend only starting what you can finish in one sitting.

  You could also just do each kaleidoscope at a time... but then you got so many strings always taking the sewn pieces off the machine... But I'm sure there is a million ways of doing it this is just mine.

  Now that I have my piles of sewn together sets of three I go to the ironing board.  This is where I cut them apart and stack them neatly.

Design wall time...  I lay my pieces out on the wall, which is an ugly flannel sheet pinned to the wall.  (The fabric sticks to it, somehow)  It is quite a busy design but very beautiful.
  Since my fabric is already sewn into threes it doesn't take long to finish the job.  Row by row I sew them together.  Not all my centers match up but your dealing with a lot of triangles! 
  Next I was off to top stitch them.  I was excited to use some of the Christmas designs we have.  On one I did poinsettias to match the fabric and on the other a holly design.  I did end up taking the time to do the crazy binding.  For a great tutorial on how to bind 120 degree angles click here. Using the red binding really frames it out nicely and finishes it off.  Finished they are 14.5" x 49" with a couple hexagons left over.



Thursday, October 24, 2013

Baby Clothes Memory Quilt

  I was excited and nervous for a new custom project that came my way, a memory quilt made from baby clothes.   I started off with 20 articles of clothing.

  I was making a double size quilt so I would need to play around with some borders to get the desired size.  Me and the customer went back and forth and got all the ideas ironed out.  She chose pink, purple and cream as the colors to add as borders and frames for the cloths.

  I started off by going through the clothes to see how big of squares I could get.  I wanted all the squares to be the same.  I ended up doing a rectangle of 8" x 9".  I tried to make sure you really got the essence of each piece so I tried to get all the "frilly" stuff to fit in the 8" x 9" frame.  This is where the intricate, time consuming part comes in.  For some of the jumpers and dresses I cut the back from the front and then sewed them together.  This way you could still see the pretty stitching and such.


 When doing memory quilts your dealing with a lot of different types of fabric.  For the t-shirts and onesies  I had to use a fabric stabilizer.  I cut out squares of the fusible webbing a little bigger then my desired finished square size so in this case around 8 1/2" x 9 1/2".  Then I ironed them to the inside of the t-shirts or onesies.  For some of the sleepers I did the same thing but because I wanted them to open I just had to cut my fusible webbing in half, and tinker a little. 

   After I fiddled, ironed and tinkered I cut my pieces to my 8" x 9" desired size.  For the articles that would open I sewed the front onto the back.

   I cut my cream strips to be 2" strips.  I cut them a little larger so that I could make adjustments if my clothes ended up not being a perfect 8" x 9" block.  Then after each piece was framed I cut them all the same size, this way you can be accurate going forward.

  The customer gave me an order to put the clothes in to go from earliest on, and tell a story.

  Then I kept adding borders or frames...

  and more frames...

  Now I had my desired size.  The quilt was around 80" x 94".  I wish it was a little wider but it will fit nicely on a double bed, and I can't add anymore borders :)

  I was a little discouraged at this point because I just didn't think it was pretty enough.  I went to go top stitch it and hummed and hawed for a long time as to what to do.  I thought I would have to go custom and do each frame,  but decided to do more of an all over pattern around each block.  I am very happy with my choice and the quilt looks absolutely amazing!  It all came together in the end.  I did a tight daisy flower design with glide light pink thread, I have used this pattern before and just think it is so pretty.  I used a pink bubble/polka dot patterned fabric on the back and for the binding, it all fits together nicely. 

  I made a couple pillow covers as well from the leftover fabric.

  Now to give it back to the customer...  Hope she likes it and doesn't think I just hacked up her treasured baby clothes.