Monday, September 22, 2014

Design Wall --Sep 22, 2014

I recently signed up for another class, "Re-Piecing the Past".  Although I have not been especially drawn to civil war fabrics I am interested in the quilt blocks that were prevelant during that era.

Kaye England has a lot to share about how she constructs blocks.....without pins and without pressing every step of the way.  I tried her method and like how my first two blocks turned out.  Both of them measure 12-1/2" square as they should.  I also feel more productive since I don't have to pin every seam or get up and go to the iron.  

I have never, to my knowledge, bought any civil war fabrics so I'm using scraps and bits from my stash.  Earlier this year a friend gave me a couple of boxes of fabrics scraps that were popular in the eighties and early nineties...blues, greens, mauves, pinks and some florals, so I'll be using these fabrics for my civil war blocks.  

Thanks for stopping by .  I'm linked up with Patchwork Times.

Happy Quilting!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Quilt of Valor - 8 Blocks On Point

Yesterday I was able to get my latest QOV quilt top completed.  Yeah! 

This top measures 56 1/2” x 80”. 


Two of the blocks in this quilt are the QOV 10th Anniversary Block.  If you are interested in making this block it can be found at HERE at

I started with eight 9-inch finished blocks and added dark blue/navy strips to make the blocks measure 12-inch. 

The sashing is 4-inch wide with cornerstones that create stars at the intersections.

I made each setting triangle separately using three different fabric strips before cutting the triangles.  The corners are two triangles sewn together to form a larger one.  Getting the red strips to line up from triangle to triangle was a bit of a challenge for me.

This will be the last QOV quilt top I’ll be making for a while.  Next month I’ll be heading up to the lake for the summer and have other quilting projects planned for my time there.  In the meantime I’ll try to get more blocks cut and made before the next sew-in.

Thanks for stopping by.
I'm linked up with Patchwork Times and Free Motion by the River and Freshly Pieced.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

WIP...QOV Eagle

A couple of days ago I posted my design wall progress on this quilt for Quilts of Valor.  Since then I was able to finish piecing the small red stars as begin sewing the blocks into rows.

My goal for today is to get the rows sewn together.  I'm not sure if I have enough blue fabric left to create the 6-inch borders as I planned so I may consider adding some red and white.

I'm linking up with WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.   

Happy Quilting,

Monday, March 24, 2014

Design Wall Monday…March 24, 2014

A while back I made the eagle block with the intention of using it as the focal point in a new QOV (Quilts of Valor) quilt.  Unfortunately I did not have enough fabric to make the rest so the block hung on my wall for several months.  Recently I was able to track down the identical red and blue fabrics.

Earlier this month I went to my local QOV sew-in and was told that we need 100 quilts done by June for a presentation.  That gave me incentive to finish the design and get this quilt top put together.
I found the eagle block in an old quilting magazine about ten years ago.  Unfortunately I only sketched up the design and did not record any information about the source of the design or the publication.  If anyone out there can provide that information, I’d be grateful. 


There are still twelve small red star blocks to make before I can put the top together.
Thanks for stopping by.  I’m linked up with Patchwork Times.

Happy Quilting,

Friday, January 31, 2014

FMQ...“Bears In The Air” baby quilt

A while back I was given some baby quilt panels one of which is a Daisy Kingdom print of some teddy bears in a hot air balloon.  I matched this panel up with some dinosaur flannel because of both pieces have the primary red, blue, yellow, and green colors. 

After sandwiching these up with some 80/20 cotton low loft batting, I tried a new basting technique.  I did use spray baste to keep the layer secure while I added machine basting. 

BITA-markingFirst I marked the approximate centerlines (vertical and horizontal) and then I proceeded to stitch those lines with a very long basting stitch and my free-motion foot.  I set my stitch length to 6, but I made it even longer by lowering the presser foot, taking a stitch, bringing up the needle, lifting the presser foot, and then moving the fabric.  I stitched this way about every 1/2- to 1-inch.  After a bit I got into a rhythm and was grateful for my new sewing machine knee-lift feature which raises and lowers the presser foot.  I spaced the stitching rows/columns about 6-inches apart.  The only thing that I would say negatively about this technique is that occasionally as I was free-motion quilting the basting thread would get caught in the presser foot.  In that case, I would stop and cut the basting thread and continue on with my quilting.

For the most part I used Coats & Clark 100% cotton 50wt thread for quilting with Presencia 60wt 3-ply cotton in the bobbin.  I have tried to use other brands of 60wt but they tend to fray or break perhaps because they are only 2-ply.   I also used various brands of colored thread, whatever I had on hand, to quilt the outlines around the balloons and ribbons.  I was concerned that if I used white it would show where two colors meet

BITA-hatchAnother first for me was the diagonal cross-hatching I did in the quilt interior.  At first I made the lines 2-inches apart, but later added the intermediate lines to make the spacing 1-inch.  I like the smaller hatch much better. 

BITA-borderFor the interior border area I made my own design using hearts and ribbons which I marked using a Frixion pen.  When I quilted only a single line for these features it seemed dull so I added a second echo line about 1/16 to 1/8 inch away.  That made the ribbons and hearts stand out more.  I love how the Frixion pen markings just disappear when heat from the iron is applied. 

BITA-CornerIn the outside borders I quilted a simple hearts and loops design and tried not to get the quilting too dense.  I was concerned that some areas of the quilt would been heavily quilted and others very sparsely. 

At the moment I have four baby quilts that are done except for the binding.  It’s funny, I’m enjoying seeing them hanging around together so much that I keep putting off the final step of adding the binding.  Each quilt has it binding all cut and pressed and ready to be applied.  I think I’ll just leave them there to admire a while longer......or I could finish them and hang them back up.  These will be donated in July.    

I'm linking up with FMQ Project Link Up over at The Free Motion Quilting Project.

Happy Quilting!

Friday, January 17, 2014

FMQ ... Ahoy Baby quilt

A while back I was given several flannel pieces each measuring about 38" x 48".  I intend to use them as backings for the donation baby quilts I'm making.  Then another friend gave me a lot of fabric which she scored for free at an estate sale.  In that batch of fabric were nine baby quilt panels which I promptly washed and then matched up with flannel backings.  I'm hoping to get all of these small quilts completed by end of summer.

The first quilt, which I named "Ahoy" was a bit small so I added a 4-inch borders all around to the original panel.  I like all the really bright colors of this panel which has Paddington Bear sailing around in his boat.  

This week I assembled the backing, batting (Soft & Crafty 80/20 low loft), and panel.  Since there are no seams in the panel itself, I stitched the outline of the major areas using The Bottom Line  60 wt poly in the bobbin and So Fine 50 wt poly for the top thread.  For the interior of the panel I simply stitched the outline of the major elements.  

When it came time to quilt the borders I used my new Frixion pen to mark the waves, boats, clouds, and a sun in each corner.  I used matching gold thread for the stitching.  The markings disappeared when I applied heat from my iron.  

This quilt came together so easily that I almost immediately started on the next one.  Perhaps I will get all these baby panel quilts done before summer starts.  

Thanks for stopping by.   I'm linked up with FMQ Fridays over at The Free Motion Quilting Project.  

         Happy Quilting,


Friday, January 10, 2014

FMQ...Scrappy Baby Asterisk quilt

This week I was able to get the quilting completed on the Scrappy Baby Asterisk quilt.  Yeah!  

This baby quilt top has been sitting in my "To Quilt" pile for a couple of months.  I used leftover scraps from previous baby quilts. 

 Although you probably can't see it clearly, I used the white bubble fabric I got a while back for the sashing and outer border.  

 This is the third ? asterisk baby quilt I've made.  The pattern evolved from a block of the month from 2012.  I've found that this is a good pattern to use up scrap bits.

Here's a pic of the completed top.

I used pins for basting the quilt sandwich together.  My preferred method is to use spray baste and then heat set it with an iron.  

But this time I followed Cindy Needham's technique of tensioning the quilt back and that worked really well...for the backing.  I did get some shifting with the top which showed up in lots of ripples when I did my ditching to secure all the layers.  Perhaps I didn't have my tensions set correctly with my walking foot.  

At any rate, I picked out all the stitching I had done, which took me the better part of a day.  After that I set my maching stitch to "baste" (6mm) and only stitched down the center of the sashing.

Then I stitched around each triangle using my quilting foot instead.  Yes, I had to go really slow to get a straight line, but I was glad I did and pleased with the results.  

I began with quilting flowers in each quadrant.
Later I decided that they needed more emphasis so I went back and echoed each flower.

I had a lot of fun making the bubbles in the sashing.  I didn't want to overquilt that area so I did a single column with larger bubbles in the intersections.

For the outer border I did a simple accordian style wavy line.  It was hard not to try to make straignt lines with equal spacing in between, but I forced myself to go "Organic".

"Organic" is my new mantra this season in my quilting journey.  I define this concept as:  not structured, not perfect.   

I'm linked up with FMQ Project Link-up over at The Free-Motion Quilting Project.  

Thanks for stopping by.            Happy Quilting!