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2/19/2018

Craft South Quilt Shop Visit

I visited Anna Maria Horner's quilt shop, Craft South, recently while visiting my sister in Nashville. 

The shop is located in the 12 South neighborhood with stylish shops, eateries, and more. 
That Saturday morning we found a parking place a few blocks away. 
We walked in and behind the cutting counter, I saw these beautiful bolts of fabrics! 
Those on the table are Anna Maria's new designs. 
The classsroom is large and bright. 
Classes are offered for clothing construction, knitting, crocheting, weaving, quilting, and for kids!
Here is a view from one end of the shop to the other. 
I am standing in the yarn end and the other end holds the classroom, with fabrics in the middle. 
Wish I did more with yarn, it is lovely.
There were many craft ideas. 

I was happy to have visited Craft South. Just a few weeks after that 
Coats & Clark, the sister company, shut down production of 
Free Spirit and Westminster brands of fabrics.
Anna Maria Horner is one of the designers for Free Spirit Fabrics. 
I am sure that the designers affected will be working with other fabric companies very soon. 


I will treasure the fabrics I did buy that day, since they were definitely "limited editions."
Now to plan a special project with these lovely fabrics pictured here. 






2/14/2018

Valentine's Day Rewind

Happy Valentine's Day!



I thought I would take a trip down memory lane on my blog, focusing on those that show hearts.

I hope you might find an idea for a new quilt project.

This first project is one I blogged about and the link to the post is HERE.

Below are some other projects I have designed and sewn. You can read the blog about these HERE.









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2/09/2018

Machine Binding a Quilt

I have a photo-filled post showing how I bind quilts completely by machine.
I began using this method years ago when hand-stitching the binding caused my fingers to go numb because of carpal tunnel syndrome. The more I used this technique, the better I got.

I am showing how I put the binding on the Valentine mug rug from yesterday's post.

I had to join 2 strips of fabric for my binding (as we do when binding a large quilt). I use 2.5 inch wide strips for binding.

To join the strips:
Cross the ends of 2 strips at 90 degree angles.  Extending the ends allows me to see the start and end of the stitching line (blue line). Sew a 45 degree seam to join the strips. Trim the excess, leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance (green line).

Fold the binding in half lengthwise and press, creating a long strip of binding.
Use a walking foot for the rest of this technique.
On the BACK of the mug rug, line up the raw edge of the binding with the raw edge of the mug rug (or quilt, etc).
Pin the spot to start stitching (about 5 to 6 inches from the end of the binding strip). Use a ¼ inch seam allowance, sew toward the corner. STOP ¼ inch from the bottom edge, near the corner, with the needle down.
Turn the corner so it is pointing toward your body. Sew at a 45 degree angle to the corner of the mug rug and off the corner. Cut the thread. 
Fold the binding away from you, making a 45 degree angle into the corner. Notice how the edge of the binding flows away from the edge of the quilt? 
Keep the 45 degree fold in place (pin if needed), bring the binding strip down so it covers the folded 45 degree angle. The edge of the binding will align from the corner, along the edge of the mug rug.
The fold of the binding, on the edge just sewn. The fold should not extend past the edge of the mug rug. (There is actually a small red arrow above my thumb pointing to that edge!)
Begin sewing at the fold using a ¼ inch seam.
Before the next corner, stop ¼ inch away and continue in the same manner as the last corner.
Sew all 4 corners in this way. Stop about 6 inches from where you first began stitching the binding on the first edge.
Remove from under needle.
Make sure the two binding ends overlap or lay across each other by 2 or 3 inches.
Square the end of the first binding tail about 4 inches from the beginning stitches, but make sure it still overlaps the other end of the binding.
Lay the other end of the binding over the end just squared. Make sure there is 2.5 inches or more beyond the squared end. With a pin, mark where the squared end lines up (green circle).
From the pin, measure 2.5 inches and trim off the extra from the top tail. I like to use the Creative Grids 6 by 2.5 inch ruler for this. 


Open the two binding ends. The top one is right side down. The lower one is right side up. Turn the end of the top one a quarter turn to the right. The binding is not aligned end to end, but  in the same manner used to join strips to make a long length of binding (first step).
I pin the 4 corners. A 45 degree diagonal stitching line can be drawn; but with practice the seam can be eye-balled.


Sew on the diagonal line, remove pins as you go.
Make sure the binding fits the edge of the quilt it will be stitched to.
Cut off the excess leaving a ¼ inch seam allowance.  Press seam to one side.
Sew to attach to mug rug.
With front of mug rug down, press binding on back toward seam allowance. 
Turn over to see the right side.
Wrap binding around edge to front, covering the stitches that attached the binding. Pin binding if needed.
Align needle and walking foot, so the top-stitching line is about 1/8 inch in from the folded edge of the binding.
2 inches from corner, stop with needle down. Fold up the binding closest to you covering the stitches. Fold the corner section you are sewing at a 45 degree angle. Pin if needed. 
The edge being sewn will lay on top of this next edge and create a mitered corner.
Continue around the entire mug rug. Sew a few final stitches over the first stitches and backstitch to lock in place.The back looks like it has been quilted with an edge line.
Thank you for taking time to read about my technique. Perhaps you will find a time when you can use it in your quilting. 

Happy Valentine's Day!

2/07/2018

Love in Your Quilt Blog Hop

Welcome! 
Today is my day to post! 

"Put A Little Love In Your Quilt Blog Hop" 
sounded like fun and non-stressful to me. 
I emailed Carol, of Just Let Me Quilt and told her I would join in. 
(Thank you, Carol, for a great blog hop!)

 Have you been following along? Have you found an ideas you would like to try?
I have 2 things to show you today. 

First, and quickly, I had a quilt with a scissors cut in it. 
I appliqued a heart over the hole, right through all the layers. 

In a different place on the back, I added another heart carry through with the theme. 
It is a charity quilt and I am sure a toddler will like it.

The project I have to show you is a little (6" x 9") Valentine's Day mug rug.

The "Bee Mine" embroidery pattern from Marian, of Seams To Be Sew,
caught my eye the moment I saw it.
This 4" x 4" embroidery, which was free on the day I visited.
I like the quality of her machine embroidery. 
This machine embroidery design, in 6 sizes, can be purchased on Craftsy
For hand embroidery and/or free motion quilting, a bundle can be purchased. It has all of the 14 continuous line designs, and SVG files, in 9 sizes from 3" to 12".

chose two print fabrics that coordinated with the pink I used for the embroidered section. 
I sent it to my daughter in Seattle as an early Valentine gift.

A friend asked me how I did the binding. 
Tomorrow I will post a tutorial on the binding--done completely by machine.
Please visit tomorrow.
Be sure to visit the other participants in this blog hop
listed here. 

1/31/2018

The Endeavourers Nature Reveal

The exciting day has arrived!
The Endeavourers, a new online art quilt group has its first quilt reveal for its members!
Our group of 14 international quilters were charged to interpret the theme of NATURE and make a quilt based on it. You can read our mission statement HERE.

I was not the only member who had ideas churning in my head for nearly two months. Nature can be defined in many ways such as the essence of something, human nature or that of Mother Nature. I chose to focus on the definition of nature as "the phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations." 

I continued to look at photos I had taken in the last few years on my walks and travels--that showed how I interpreted the theme of nature. I could not decide on a single photo that told my story, so I selected 24 of my favorites. I chose to collage them. Below is my completed quilt (22.5 inches by 21.5 inches) I call
NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY.
I challenged myself to move out of my comfortable piecing techniques. The idea of film negatives (from bygone times, when I was a kid and a young mom) where we took photos and didn't discover the results until they were returned from developing and printing. It is so much easier now, delete the photo that does not meet our expectations, save those we want on a hard drive, CD, memory stick--or, the Cloud! To be printed when we desire and how we desire.
I have printed photos to fabric a number of times in the past. I have used many brands of printable inkjet fabric sheets, but the EQ Premium Cotton Lawn are by far my favorite. (I am not paid for product review.)
I like the finish and feel of the 240 thread count fabric. They take ink well and hold up well to washing. The plastic sheet on the back is so easy to pull off! They are well worth the cost per sheet. I buy the 25 sheet pack since it is a value for the money.

I cropped the photos to 3 inches square using Photoshop Elements. In Word, I organized 6 photos to a sheet (allowing space between the photos to cut a 1/4 inch border of white around each print for a seam allowance. These were to be sewn and finish at 3" and the white borders, I thought, would make it easy to keep the 1/4 inch seam. When I sewed the photos to the black strips, some of them showed a bit of the white that didn't get caught in the seam allowance.

Unless one gets very close to the quilt, it is not noticeable. But, next time I will crop the photos to 3.5 inches to include the 1/4 inch seams in the photos.
I worked diligently trying to get the proper proportions for the black and white film strip sections. I tried using my EQ7 program but it didn't help; and then I just sewed trial by error until the measurements worked.  I still don't know how I got them all to work out, but they did! The black strips were cut 1 inch wide and the white strips were 1.5 inches wide. I sewed strips together and sub-cut, pressed toward the black, and then sewed sets together. I added long 1.5 inch strips along the railroad tracks of the black and white sections.

I quilted with my walking foot and lots of pins. I started in the middle of the quilt sewing within the black strips. I smoothed the layers and repinned before moving on to the next set of photo strips. It was a long process, but I am thoroughly thrilled with it. It looks lovely hanging on the wall in our living room.

Visit the other members of the group to see what they made for their Nature quilts!