Thursday, April 28, 2011

Coming soon…

I finished quilting the borders this afternoon.


I was all excited to get the binding on and finish but had to slow down to actually make the binding.  Here it is, in a tidy roll now ready to go.


Making binding isn’t my favourite part of making a quilt.  I really should start making my bindings right at the beginning, before the piecing, so I wouldn’t have to interrupt the fun stuff near the end.   Then again that would mean slowing down the momentum at the beginning…

Hopefully there will be a picture of a completed baby quilt in the next couple of days, assuming groceries and laundry don’t hog too much time.  The cupboards are bare though…and the sock and underwear supply is dangerously low…

Monday, April 18, 2011

Something new!

The last few months all of my quilting time has been dedicated to moving projects off the UFO list.  It is now down to 2 projects so yesterday I gave myself a reward and played with the fabrics I showed you at the end of my last post. Yes, this means the swap quilt is completely finished! (Insert happy dance here.)  I’m waiting for a less dreary day to take it outside for pictures.
Here’s the new project so far:
I’m making “Turtle Twirl”  by Blue Meadow Designs from the September/October 2008 issue of Quiltmaker magazine.  I don’t often buy a magazine for any one particular quilt, but I did this time.  The turtle quilt on the cover was just too cute and I’ve been waiting for an excuse to make it.  One of my kids’ favourite teachers is expecting a baby, so here’s my chance!
The pattern used fusible web for the applique and doesn’t actually call for sewing it down, but I wasn’t confident that would survive the use and washing a baby quilt goes through.  I decided to go ahead and do a satin stitch all around.  Can anyone explain to me why my curves got less smooth as I sewed instead of improving with the practice ?!!  It came out OK anyway.  I don’t think Mrs. H. will be fussing about the details.  She’s too sweet for that and besides, she’ll have her mind on more important things by then!
I have the strip units sewn and sub-cut to make a blue and green checkerboard to wrap around three sides of this applique block, and borders to go around everything.  I think this should be ready to baste and quilt by tomorrow.  My daughter wasn’t clear on whether the baby’s due date was early or late May, so I want to get this done sooner than later.
I’m off to sew!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Finishing a prairie point edge

I finished the quilting on the swap quilt earlier this week.  Yay!

Now I am finishing up the prairie point edge, sewing the backing fabric to the back of the prairie points.  I took pictures to show the process, because I don’t think I did a very good job explaining to Mom on the phone last night.

Update 30 January 2015: For a more detailed explanation of finishing a prairie point edge, as well as information on planning, folding and attaching points, see my new Prairie Point Tutorial Series

First, sew the prairie points to the front of the quilt before you quilt it.  Stop any quilting about an inch away from the edge of the quilt.  I questioned that suggestion, but I’m glad I followed it because now that I’m finishing the back I see that you need that unquilted space to maneuver.

Once the quilting is done, trim the backing fabric about half an inch larger than the raw edge of the quilt top (you could do less, but I like having more turn-under to work with).
Trim the batting a quarter inch smaller than the raw edge of the quilt top.


Flip the prairie points out away from the quilt.  The batting will tuck under the seam allowance.


Fold the edge of the backing fabric so the fold just covers the seam line on the prairie points.  Pin and hand stitch to the prairie points.


Here’s the back. Getting the corner of the backing nice and pointy and not visible from the front of the quilt was fiddly. If anyone has any tips on how to do it I’m open to suggestions.


Here’s the front.  Only one more side to stitch and the quilt will be finished!

And here’s a peek at my incentive to finish the swap quilt today:

These were on sale today and I’m allowed to play with them as soon as the swap quilt is done.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

That took how long?

I managed to baste the swap quilt on the carpet without pinning it to the carpet after all.  Well, I did pin it down in a couple of places, but not too many. 
I started quilting it yesterday.  It didn’t go as quickly as I anticipated. Would you believe it took me three hours just to quilt in the ditch on both sides of the white sashing?  I am happy to report that my stitching, while it still needs work, was straighter and more even than in my previous effort, and the needle didn’t skip out of the ditch as often either.
IMG_4659 I’m glad I tested out my free motion ideas ahead of time.  I wasn’t 100% happy with what I posted last time, so I went back to the pencil and paper again.  I unpicked the center stuff in one block of the test runner and substituted a spinning sunburst. I’m much happier with it and that’s what I’ve been quilting on my quilt yesterday and today.
IMG_4661 I have 11 of the 25 blocks quilted.  I only got 4 done this afternoon but there’s still the evening…

Friday, April 1, 2011


In the past week I’ve turned my attention to the Swap Quilt.  How to quilt it???  I finally settled on “Hedgerow” from Quiltmaker’s Quilting Motifs, Volume 1, with detail added in the center.
IMG_4657 IMG_4658
Still, I wasn’t completely certain this was the way to go, so I reached for the scrap bin and made up a few extra blocks to test the quilting pattern on.  Since I had the blocks, I decided the test might as well be something useful as well and it turned into a table runner.  I think I’ll donate it to a school fundraiser coming up.
IMG_4649 Here’s a better look at the quilting on the block.
I’m happy with it overall, though how much I like it depends on what kind of lighting there is.  I’m also wondering if I should enlarge the pattern just a wee bit to fill the block just a bit more.
I quilted an ivy leaf vine in the border.
IMG_4650I’m happier with the ivy than I am with the hedgerow, but it really wouldn’t look good in the block :)  On the plus side, looking at how this border works with what I did in the blocks I think a cluster of maple leaves in each setting triangle in the swap quit might work well.
Now, what shall I do in the sashing?  I had thought to just quilt in the ditch, but the sashing in the runner looked bare when I did that and needed an extra little something.  I need to keep thinking on that one.
In the meantime, I need to figure out how I am going to baste the quilt.  My table is too small and all my floors are carpeted. I’ve paid to have a longarm quilter baste large quilts for me in the past, but she gets more expensive every time and the last time I had a tough time getting the tiny locking stitches that sewed down the centre of the quilt!  This time I’ll figure something out by myself.