Friday, May 29, 2015

Striped binding

Ta-dah!  Striped binding!  I have never used stripes for binding before, partly because I haven’t seen one that went with what I was working on, and partly because I thought joining stripes would be fussy.  I really don’t want the seams in the binding to jump out at anyone.

I found a bright green vertical stripe print that will be a nice accent to finish off a runner. After auditioning it, I decided diagonal stripes would have a bigger impact, which meant bias binding instead of straight grain binding.  All the tutorials I found about matching stripes in binding were for straight grain binding, so in the end I just cut and joined some bias strips and hoped for the best.

Here’s what I found out.  Joining binding strips at a 45 degree angle reduces bulk in the finished binding.  Depending how I cut those 45 degree cuts at the ends of the strips, I got two different looks.

Cutting across the stripe on the ends of each strip

resulted in a seam that looks like this:

Cutting parallel to the stripe on the ends of each strip

 gave this result:

Guess what I preferred? (In case you aren’t sure: I chose option #2.)

Of course I figured this out after sewing strips together willy-nilly, with the angled ends of the strips in whichever orientation they ended up from cutting the bias strips from the rectangle of fabric.  I decided it was worth cutting out the seams that didn’t match up and recutting the strip ends parallel to the stripe.

Trim tip
If you’re wondering why the tips of the angled cuts are cut off, here’s what’s going on with that. I used my corner trimmer to trim the tips to avoid guessing whether my strips were offset correctly to sew to end up with a straight joined strips.

Guessing where to line up
Trimmed tips line up with edges perfectly

The trimmed tips just help me line everything up just right.

Now that I have the binding made, and the backing prepared, there’s nothing left to do but quilt the runner.  I’ve been putting it off because I’m not entirely sure what to quilt, but there’s a deadline approaching. Tomorrow I’ll just have to get started and hope that inspiration strikes by the time I have finished all the stitching in the ditch!

Unrelated to quilting:  Can anyone recommend a blog editor that I can use to write my posts offline, then upload them to Blogger?  I used Live Writer, which let me format things the way I wanted, but it has recently stopped getting along with Blogger.  The built-in Blogger editor is driving me batty!  I suppose I'll get used to it, but if you can suggest anything else, I'd be grateful!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Second guessing

I made the first block for this quilt as a sample, just to see what it might look like.  I liked the design and I liked the colours and liked the prints so I decided to work it up into a quilt.  I drew it in EQ first and played around with colours and layouts, so I’d know exactly what I was planning.

When I made another block, I thought it might look too bland to have the whole background the same, so I headed off to the quilt shop for more yellows.  Then I looked at it all again and decided the yellows were awfully bright so I went back to the store for a more subdued yellow to toss into the mix to maybe calm things down.


I just finished making the blocks and now that they are all up on the wall I think I should have had more of that calmer yellow.  Or maybe all the same background after all.  And I wish I had reversed the fabric for the small and large stars.  I considered that choice very carefully at the beginning and thought I had gotten it right, but while it was just right for a single block, I think it would be better the other way around in the whole quilt.

I think this needs a border in the same grey as the sashing, but of course that isn’t what I had originally planned so I don’t have enough of that fabric!  There’s another trip to the quilt shop in the near future.  I hope there is still some of that grey left!

Cubby stars

I’m buying extra this time because I may end up setting this on point for a long twin size quilt.  That will require some pieced setting triangles.  Again, this is not what I had planned!


I can see what I want it to look like in my mind’s eye, I just need to get it there in reality.  There might be a version 2 of this quilt down the road to get it right!

Monday, May 18, 2015

I didn’t go to Spring Market…

…but my quilt did!  Here’s Wandering Geese in the Brewer’s booth at Spring Quilt Market this past weekend.  Thank you to Kelly from my local quilt shop, Quilting Connection, for snapping the pictures with her cell phone.

Wandering Geese at Spring 2015 Quiltmarket take 2

Wandering Geese at Spring 2015 Quiltmarket

There’s the quilt, and if you look closely you can see the pattern.  Brewer Quilting and Sewing Supply is currently distributing all eight Canuck Quilter Designs patterns that I have available for sale in printed form!  Yay!  Tell your favourite quilt shop!

I’m a bit sad I didn’t get to market myself, but getting a quilt there is putting a spring in my step.  Time to go sew something new!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Too many points


I still can’t show you what I’m working on, but here’s a pile of detritus from that project. You may not believe it after my paper-pieced snowflake obsession last fall, and the little bits of paper you see mixed in with the fabric trimmings in this picture, but paper piecing really is not my favourite piecing technique.  It is sometimes, however, just what’s needed to achieve a particular result.  So I have been paper-piecing and pinning and pinning and pinning to match too many a lot of points.  Please, no.more.pinning!  I don’t like pinning much more than paper piecing!

So why am I doing both?  Because I am just so pleased with what I see at the end of it all.  This is a set of several items, and near the end of each I ask myself what I was thinking to commit to making several of these. OK, I complain.  Loudly.  Then put in the last seam and I just love what I see, decide it was so worth it, and start the next one.

Just now, however, I am in the “please, no more pinning stage” so I’m taking a break and working on the binding for a donation quilt.


I’m afraid this simple quilt has been waiting awhile. Two other ladies and I started making blocks at a sewing day last November.  I sewed half the blocks into a baby quilt at a sewing day in January, quilted it at the February get-together and started attaching the binding at April’s event, at which time my sewing machine went wonky (it’s all better now, yay!).  I’m not sure when we’re meeting again so I’m just going to get this done and donated now.  The rest of the blocks will get put together eventually as well.

I’m off to bind, and then to pin more points!