Monthly Archives: April 2014

Scatterbrained

April 28th 2014

“Hello? Is this thing on? Can anybody here me? ‘tap, tap, tap’ testing 1,2,3, okay I think it’s working now.”

I know you must be thinking what in the world happened to her? I know I have been wondering the same thing.  For example, the Friday Night Block Parties have been suspended for a few weeks and hopefully will return on an “as finished” basis.  That’s what I can manage and thanks for stopping by!

pinwheel block party

I have just been feeling a little scatterbrained doing a little bit of everything and a little bit of nothing, yes, at the same time.  I never thought of myself much of a “WIP”  (Work in Progress) or “UFO”  (Un-Finished Object) type of quilter. I kind of like the way quilting comes to a clean finished end with all the pieces neat and tidy in one place.  But as of late, due to this scatterbrained condition, I seem to float aimlessly back and forth between projects never quite getting to finish any.

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Here is my WIP checkerboard blocks waiting to become a border for a quilt that’s almost done. I even have backing fabric. Does it remind you of anyone?

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Then I got inspired by scraps to make a little something to take on the Summer vacation.

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If you recall, I started this for the 30/30 Challenge and now I am not sure what size to make it because my Craft Corner has little wall space for me to hang it so I keep adding and unpicking the rest of the spools.

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And another boxy pouch is waiting in the wings.

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Then I thought I would tamper with my embroidery again.

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Feeling frustrated by the satin stitch, (Really on the first letter such a difficult stitch?) I gave myself permission to go on to the next letter to gain some confidence.

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Then of course, I got totally engrossed and distracted by sorting all the floss I had. It was so therapeutic it was hard to stop!

So there you have it. While I haven’t finished much, I have been doing something!

How to use leftover batting: a tutorial

April 14th 2014

Today I have another trick to share with you about leftover batting strips.  Tricks always help us do something easier or faster or in this case more resourcefully!

button quilting tricks

Have you ever thought “how can I use this leftover batting” after you finish a quilt?  I always wondered about that as I would cut away the extra strips from quilts I made. I hated to throw them away. So I would just fold them gently and put them away “just in case.”

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Because they vary in size, you may think it’s more complicated, but I have managed to salvage leftover batting strips in all these projects below!

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A wall hanging.

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A little tote.

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A runner.

Niner back

A table topper.

Here is one way to up-cycle your leftover batting strips for other projects. My strips varied in size from 3 inches wide to 6 inches (roughly.)

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1)  Trim the ends first so they are straight.

2) Fold every strip in half  (one at a time) and line them up on the mat.

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2) Make sure that the front and back of the folded batting meet at the line you will use for cutting so you cut through both evenly. (sometimes the front or back will be wider or narrower) Do this for the left and right sides of the batting.  Repeat for each strip. It’s okay if the batting is slightly uneven at the ends. You will trim off the excess.

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3) Lay the strips side by side (touching) until the whole size is approximately what you need.  Lay your project over the batting and  make sure there is at least a 2 inches around each side of the quilt top, Trim the really long pieces as necessary.

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4) Determine the number of strips needed, Set your machine to Zig Zag stitch with the longest and widest settings.  Using the slowest speed, guide two pieces of batting through the machine until they are joined.  Guide them so that they MEET in the center under the foot, but DO NOT OVERLAP. You may have to stop occasionally to re-align the batting under the foot. Do this until all your strips are joined.

5)  Make quilt sandwich and quilt as desired.

I have also done this by hand using extra large diagonal stitches but I was really pleased with this machine version. I promise as you can see in the picture above, the batting laid perfectly flat and once you quilt it, the batting placement is reinforced with the quilting.

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I get a little thrill whenever I pull this off, it feels so sneaky because you totally can’t tell!  I hope you found this tutorial helpful for salvaging your batting leftovers!

Handmade Christmas: Vintage Holiday

April 12th 2014

I am so excited that I finally finished this quilt, a little early, a little late, whatever! I made a pledge okay?

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It’s my Vintage Holiday quilt, pattern by Thimble Blossoms. Fabric Vintage Modern by Bonnie and Camille.

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This is also my feature project for the Handmade Christmas challenge hosted by SewCalGal.

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If you’ll recall, I had started piecing this last December in a frenzy and all I have to do is set a date to have everything else I can’t control, wreck my timetable.

vintage holiday tops and block pieces

Nevertheless, I was able to put it together before 2014 but not before last Christmas. Being that I always over-think how I lay out quilt blocks, my daughter (11) was helping me out with that, rearranging repeating patterns and colors. Because I was working with a jelly roll and charms pack, I had to “re-design” some of the blocks like those below.

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I added a little Rick Rack detail on this one.

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And made a box design here.

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The backing is flowers, perfect for Spring if I wanted to flip it over!

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I did all the quilting after the New Year (except for one block) and bound it just this week.  I feel so accomplised because not only is this the largest quilt I have made to date, but it was completely hassle free!

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Yep! This one is a keeper!