“Hot Spot” Table Mat

January 22nd, 2018

Hot Spot Table Mat

Put a stop to the endless rearranging of hot pads and trivets on a buffet table with this Jumbo “Hot Spot” Table Mat. Cover the entire buffet with this “Hot Spot” and it is easy to adjust dishes and keep the buffet surface protected.

Simple to make with the following materials.

1 1/2 yards each 100% cotton top and back fabrics

1/4 yard 100% cotton binding fabric

1 1/2 yards Insul-brite

Thread to match fabrics

Backing, Insul-brite and Top

Prewash fabrics and press. Cut one piece from each fabric the width of the Insul-brite (about 23 inches). You may adjust the size to fit your table space.

Trim Ends

Layer back, Insul-brite and top. Trim ends square and even. Back and top fabrics will probably shrink and shift some, and you want it to do this before you sew and bind.

Mark Quilting Lines

Mark some lines to quilt, or stencil a design to quilt. You don’t have to quilt closely as Insul-brite is well bonded.

Machine or Hand Quilt

Secure the layers with quilters safety pins. Use a walking or even-feed foot on your sewing machine to quilt along lines you have marked. Or machine quilt freestyle.

Add Binding

Use a binding fabric that goes with both sides for a reversible “Hot Spot”. I chose sunflowers for late summer and fall, and poinsettias for Christmas for this one. The first one I made is Christmas on one side and Valentines on the other. I am planning Easter and summer flowers for the next one.

“Hot Spots” are machine washable and dryable.

No comments yet, will you comment?

Scrap Folding and Storage

December 2nd, 2017

Scrap Fabric Storage

Some scraps are too big to toss in a scrap bag, and they are too small to fit in with folded yardage without getting lost.

Vintage Scraps Overflowing

 

Mr. Irby tried to Help

Folding the fabric to fit into a tissue box was more successful. Here is how we did it.

You will need a large tissue box, some wide packing tape and a 4″ wide gridded ruler. Cut the top of the box from the opening to the corners, fold the flaps down and tape inside the box.

Group same print fabrics together

 

Stack the pieces in a fairly neat pile.

 

Roll/Fold pile around ruler and tuck in any stray ends to fit box.

 

Stack in box.

 

All the fabric folded and stacked in the box.

Now you can easily stack on a shelf or store in a drawer, yet easily move the pieces to your work station.

No comments yet, will you comment?

Knife Edge Finish

September 14th, 2017
Knife Edge Finish

Knife Edge Finish

Knife Edge Finish is the method of finishing a hexagon edge when binding is not used.

First, press under the 1/4 inch seam allowance on hexagon edge before removing the foundation paper. Then after the quilting is completed,  hand baste about 1/2 inch from pressed edge.

Second, working in about 2 foot sections,  trim backing and batting 3/8 inch (a little more than 1/4 inch) from the pressed edge of the top. Then  trim the batting very close to the pressed edge of the top.

Third, clip the backing to the batting edge at the inside “corners”. Tuck backing over batting under the pressed edge of the top. Pin or Wonder-clip in place. I use an applique stitch to secure edges.   Wonder-clips are worth the investment for a project like this, as they keep your work flat and you can nudge them along as you stitch and keep the fabric secure.

 

Yay, 2 comments, will you comment?

Coin Ruched Blossoms

March 1st, 2017

How to Use the TR600 Coin Ruched Blossom Guide

Marking the Fabric Circle

Cut 7 3/4 to 8 inch circles of fabric for blossoms. Fold circle in half with the grain. Place TR600 Coin Ruched Blossom Guide on folded circle with etched dash line on the fold.  Mark with your favorite marker. I use Mircon Pigma, Frixion or ceramic mechanical to mark the scallops and the dots.

Step 2

Open circle and place etched dash line on the fabric fold line, lining up the center dot to mark the other half of the circle.

Stitching the Petals

Thread a milliner needle with matching hand quilting thread and knot. Fold raw edge under so folded edge is at the point of any scallop. Sew a 1/4 inch running stitch around each scallop, turning the raw edge under as you go.

Finish Gathering

Sew around last scallop but do not knot or finish off.

Measuring

Patterns will call for specific sizes. Measurement is taken across the gathering line. This one measures 3 inches.

Blossom Ready to Shape

Looks like a little pilgrim bonnet at this point.

Preparing to Applique

Use basting glue or 4 quilters pins to position blossom. Then with milliner needle and hand quilting thread, stitch between each petal to applique in place.

Backside View

Gathering the Center

Find the center dot and stitch in place, by coming up and back down in nearly the same spot, then repeat for all the other dots, in any order you come to them.

Completed Blossom

Tulip Fields with Ladybug

Blossoms as Tulips

Or you can stretch them out with the petals all together to make tulips.

 

No comments yet, will you comment?

Baby Burp Cloths – Quick and Easy

February 3rd, 2017

Quick and Easy Burp Cloths

Need a quick gift for a new baby? These quick, perfect size burp cloths are easy to make and you get two from two fat-quarters.

Place two prewashed flannel fat-quarters right sides together and press smooth.

Cut two 10 inch by 17 inch double pieces from pressed piece.

Sew around each burp cloth set using a 3/8 inch seam allowance. Leave a 2 1/2 inch opening for turning. Turn each set right side out and press. Then top stitch 1/4 inch from outside edge to hold in place. You may also do some top stitching in the body of the burp cloth to keep the layers smooth.

 

No comments yet, will you comment?

Binding a Scallop Edge Quilt

January 27th, 2017

Binding a scallop edge quilt, is not hard but it does require some preciseness in sewing and making up your mind to take your time. Don’t rush, sew carefully and you will end up with lovely even scallops. And, you must use bias binding.

1. Mark the scallops at the edge of your quilt. This line will be where you match up the raw edge of the binding. Darlene Zimmerman’s Easy Scallop Tool works great.

2. DO NOT cut away any of the quilt. Pin binding so raw edge is aligned with marked line. At inside point, pin perpendicular to quilt edge. Note the pin furthest to the right.

3. Gently but firmly tug the bias binding around to the next scallop, smoothing so there are no bubbles or gaps and pin around the next scallop. Don’t get too far ahead as you may have to adjust as you sew.

4. End with needle down at inside point, pivot and use a stiletto or Purple Thang to adjust the pleat that forms so it doesn’t get caught in the seam.

5. When all the scallops are sewn and binding is joined, trim quilt along scallop edge using small, sharp scissors.

6. Using Wonder Clips or pins, turn binding to back of quilt on the rounded part of scallop first.

7. Then secure the point, doing any necessary easing at this point.

8. Hand sew binding in place using an applique stitch. It will have a nice point and smooth fold on the front and back side.

Finished edge hanging evenly.

No comments yet, will you comment?

Goal Setting

January 25th, 2017

Many goals occupy my mind, new quilts, finish UFOs, keep the public part of the house “company ready” and, an organized studio, are just a few of my goals. Blog posts are another thing I want to keep up with this year.

Pictures are the most exciting part of any blog, and pictures are the slowest part of posting. It is the editing that slows me down. So for today, and old picture, but if all goes well by Friday, new pictures.

Meanwhile, let me put in a plug for a new magazine out called “Quiltfolk”,  a magazine about quilters and quilt related articles with no advertisement. Four big, thick issues a year with awesome photography. More like a book than a magazine, check them out at www.quiltfolk.com. I have just a few complimentary subscription discount coupons left. Email me if you are interested.

Cutting Table Clear

Studio ready for a new project.

Yay, 3 comments, will you comment?

Choosing Binding – Finishing Makes The Quilt

February 21st, 2015

Selecting the right binding and finishing technique for your quilt is important. Whether you are making for yourself, as a gift or entering is competitions, how the quilt is finished plays big in first impressions.

Carol's Cats

This little quilt was made by Carol Williams and machine quilted by Kathy Conway. A Challenge at Quilt Til You Wilt, in Odessa, WA, several years ago, had Carol receiving my bag of scraps to create a quilt top and she made cats, knowing I like them. I asked Kathy to quilt before it is finished, including it in my experiment of embellishing after quilting. Kathy did a beautiful job.

Now the kitties will get faces and whiskers, and some coin ruched and gathered blossoms to lounge among.

Your part in this project is to select a finishing option. A. scrappy binding, as on the left side in the photo. B. brown stripe that matches the skinny border, as on the right. C. the pink border fabric. D. since I have not trimmed the quilt, I could add another narrow border of the brown strip and finish with the scrappy binding.

Please vote for your selection, or make other finishing suggestions in the comments below.

1 comment already, will you comment?

How To Fold Quilts On The Bias

January 28th, 2015

Quilts that get folded the same way all the time, develop creases that won’t come out. Folding quilts on the bias, helps prevent this, and it is easier to fold to a size that fits in your storage space.

First, lay the quilt to be folded, pretty side down on a bed or large table. Grasp any corner and bring it to within 3-4 inches of the opposite edge.

First Bias Fold

Next, working clockwise, grasp the point just made and bring it 3-4 inches past the opposite edge.

Second Bias Fold

Then, still working clockwise, grasp the next corner and bring it 3-4 inches within or just past the folded edge, or as in the photo below, I have folded so the edge to the front of the picture is twice the width of the shelf I will be placing it on.

Bias Fold to shape Size

Now grasp the fourth corner and bring it to within 3-4 inches or just past the folded edge. My shelves are 18 inches deep so this  bias fold is 18 inches from the front edge.

Why 3-4 inches within or just past the point or edge? It prevents you folding in the same place, as it is harder to guess the same each time.

Fourth Bias Fold

If your quilt is bigger, you may need to fold the quilt in half a couple of times, but all your folds will still be on the bias. Here is the quilt folded in half once to fit my selves.

Folded to Size

You notice the quilt is folded pretty side out? This makes any creasing that might happen if something heavy gets piled on the quilts be on the backside of the quilt. If you are concerned about them getting dirty, store each quilt inside a cotton pillowcase.

Yay, 2 comments, will you comment?

Wash Big Yardages Without Wrinkles

January 26th, 2015

I am a prewash every fabric person. I want the sizing removed for applique and the grain of the fabric to relax and straighten out. This trick makes washing those large pieces easy and you don’t get wadded up wrinkles.

Selvage pinned fabric

Open up the fabric all the way so it is a single layer. Accordion fold along one selvage edge, about 15-18 inches wide. Using rust free quilting pins, pin through all layers, every 2 inches. DON’T pin the other selvage. Wash, either by machine or by hand.

Washed Fabric

When it comes from the washer, it will look a mess. DON’T try to straighten it out. Just toss it in the dryer and dry.

Dried Fabric

When it is dried it will look better, but not much. Don’t panic. Rummage around in the fabric until you find the selvage edge where the pins are. Grip that in both hands and start shaking. After a dozen or so good brisk shakes, most of the folds will have returned to the right spot with no twisted up wrinkles.

Washed and shaken fabric

Here we have, washed and shaken out fabric. No wrinkles and very few frayed threads on the cut edge.

No comments yet, will you comment?