Monday, December 26, 2016

Quiltville Mystery Part 5

Thursday night I discovered that Bonnie Hunter had released her Part 5 clue for the En Provence Mystery Quilt a day early.  I quickly downloaded the instructions, but it wasn't until Saturday before I could cut the patches needed and start sewing.

I calculated that 75% of the 60 units required was about 48, so I began cutting my dark purples and neutral 3-1/2" wide strips.  After stacking a neutral strip on top of a purple strip with right sides together, I used my Easy Angle ruler to cut the paired triangles.  After I did a test of a few, I decided to go ahead and cut the dog ear corner off the pointed triangle end so I would have less to trim up after sewing.  That worked out great.  I actually had only a sliver to trim on some of my units.   I made a few extra, so now I have (52) 3-1/2" units ready to go.

I'm linking up with the Mystery Monday Linkup over at Quiltville.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you had an awesome Christmas.  Happy Quilting,
    ~Diane





Thursday, December 22, 2016

Quilt Suspension and FMQ

I have quilted quite a few large quilts with my domestic sewing machines and am thankful for the nice table I purchased several years ago.  The sewing machine drops down so the bed of the machine is level with the table top.  

Maneuvering a large quilt on the table and through the machine throat is a bit tricky but can be done.  This does tend to slow down the process of quilting due to stopping and rearranging the quilt in order to move to new areas to quilt.  I have heard of several ways to reduce the drag made by the quilt and recently watched a video online.  Patsy Thompson Designs.com offers for sale a system using bungie cords and clamps to raise up the bulk of the quilt.  According to her the system works well and makes moving the quilt under the needle easier.  

The first thing I did was show the video to my husband and ask him to make one for me.  He's really inventive and able to put together a lot of creative things.  But as I thought about it some more, I had an idea of a way to achieve the same effect.  I dug out the Dritz Quilter's Floor Frame from under the bed and "borrowed" some of the parts.   I already had some clamps and binder rings.  My husband gave me the small bungie cords I needed.  After making the frame, which fits well on my quilt table, I added the binder rings over the cross pvc pipe.  The bungie cord hooks attach to the binder rings and the opposite end hooks fit perfectly into the little holes in the clamp handles.  
 
  My test run on my FMQ practice quilt went well.  Elevating the quilt really does reduce the drag and makes it easier to move the quilt around as I quilt.  Re-positioning the clamps on the quilt every so often takes a little time, but so far I think its a more efficient method than rearranging the bulk of the quilt every few minutes.
 
 
The nice thing about my suspension contraption is that I can easily dismantle it and store it away when not needed. 
 
Here's a few pics of the quilting I have been doing on this practice quilt. 
I'm using yellow thread on the top and white in the bobbin.  The quilting shows better on the solid back. 
 
About this practice quilt.......I am obsessed with learning how to free-motion quilt.  I watch videos almost every day.  I have dozens of practice quilt sandwiches ranging in size from 6-inches square to 24-inches square.  
 
Several years ago I made this top and, because I never really liked it, I stuck it up high on the top shelf and forgot about it.  When I was looking for fabric and batting to make more practice sandwiches, I spotted this quilt.  I had previously sandwiched and spray basted the batting and backing to the top so it was ready to be quilted.  Now I have a very large practice piece to work on.
 
I am quilting this rather densely and using pebbles for filler in between the larger elements.  Whenever I see a new quilt stitching design to try I have a practice piece all ready to go under the needle.

Thanks for stopping by.   Happy Quilting!
   ~Diane
 
  

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Octagon Mat and Mug Rugs


A while back I was inspired by a YouTube video featuring Karen Lukac making an octagon place mat.   


This is a pic of a table mat I made.  It measures 12-1/2" across.

My thoughts were that this shape would make a nice mug mat or coaster. 


This is one of the first mug mats I made when I was testing my technique.  To keep it simple, I opted not to put binding around the outside. 
 

For this year's Quilting with J.O.Y. Christmas party I wanted to give each of my friends a set of two matching mug rugs.  Each set was different from any other set.  I was able to use up small bits of fabric that I had in my stash.  


Here are two of the sets that I had left over and didn't give away....yet. 

 
These mug rugs begin with a 4-inch focus fabric octagon.  The contrasting pieces are cut 1-inch wide and sewn to the outer edges of the center octagon.  I used more of the focus fabric for the outer ring and cut those pieces 1-1/2" wide.  I also used the focus fabric for the backing octagon.  After making the top, I layered the backing, right sides together over the top and a thin piece of batting on top of that. Then I sewed it all together around the outside edge using a 1/4" seam and leaving an opening of about 2 inches for turning.  Next, I turned the mats inside out and top-stitched next to the outer edge to close up the opening and finish it all around.  These mug mats ended up measuring 6 inches across.



I wish I had remembered to take pics of all the other sets I made.  They were a fun, easy gift to make.  

I am linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crafting!
  ~Diane
 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Quiltville Mystery Part 4

On Friday, Bonnie Hunter released Part 4 of her latest Mystery Quilt "En Provence".  I went online and downloaded the instructions right away.  We've had snow on the ground for several days and I don't drive when the roads are bad because I work from home.  Yeah!  So, I've had a lot of time to sew lately.  

Saturday I was able to cut the patches needed and begin constructing the units.  
 
 


 
In keeping with my goal to make 75% of the required units, I made 60 of these 3-1/2" square units.

After sewing the units I began trimming them down to the correct size.  At first I used my Perfect Half-Square & Quarter Square Triangles slotted trimming ruler until I sliced my finger with the rotary blade.  It was my fault for having my fingers too close to the slot where I was to cut.  The blade did not get into the groove before I started moving the cutter.  It took a few minutes with pressure to get the bleeding to stop so I could apply liquid bandaid.  It's been a long time since I made such a foolish mistake.  After that I ditched the trimmer for my regular square ruler and made certain my fingers were safe while squaring all the rest of the units.

I am linking up with Quiltville's Mystery Monday Linkup:  http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2016/12/mystery-monday-link-up-part-4.html
 
Thanks for stopping by and Happy Quilting,
   ~Diane
 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Quiltville Mystery quilt Part 1-3

For many years I have hung back in the shadows and watched Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilts come to life.....for other people.  For the first time I have decided to go ahead and participate.  

Here is a sampling of my Part 1 units.  I made a total of 165 4-patch units which measure 3-1/2" square.




The finished quilt measures 87" x 87" and that seems a bit too big for me, so I will be making 75% of the required units to begin with.  I probably will need to make more of each unit once I decide on the quilt size I want.  

Here is a sampling of my Part 2 units.
I used the Tri Rec rulers to cut the patches.  I made a total of 75 units which measure 3-1/2" square.

Everyone who knows me knows that I love purple so it was fun to cut and sew the Part 3 units.  I made 168 of these little beauties.




Now that I have a lot of units to play with I tried my hand at guessing possible blocks we might be assembling.

 
If you are interested in making this mystery quilt, head on over to Quiltville and check it out.  It's not too late to start. 

I'm linked up:  http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2016/12/mystery-monday-link-up-part-3.html

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Quilting!

   ~Diane

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