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.
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.
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.
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.
Next, working clockwise, grasp the point just made and bring it 3-4 inches past the opposite edge.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here we have, washed and shaken out fabric. No wrinkles and very few frayed threads on the cut edge.
Selecting just the right background fabric can make or break a quilt. Taking pictures of choices is a great way to compare, and the camera lens often exposes fabric clashes. Here are several more options for Scrappy Hexies.
Lavender seems to bring out the warm red tones and the more muted gold makes the blocks appear brighter.
This cheddar option seems to meld the blocks together without loosing their definition. What do you think? Please comment below.
These Scrappy Hexie Blocks measure 6 1/2 inches on a side. I am considering finishing the quilt with yellow sashing or a gray-blue similar to what they are laid out on. What do you think? There will be some negative space and a border of which ever one I choose.
Now for all the great suggestions on taming the scrap pile:
Lots of you make charity quilts with your scraps.
Rhonda sorts her scraps into large plastic totes by theme, then when she wants to make a charity quilt she pulls out the themed tote that fits the current need.
Kathy cuts scraps into 2 inch and 2 1/2 inch squares, then sews then into 4 patches as she is chain piecing. When she gets a stack of them done she stitches up a quilt top.
Anne and Eileen toss them into a big bag to sort later. 🙂
Deb mentioned Bonnie Hunter and her scrap projects. Google Bonnie Hunter and you will find hundreds of scrap projects.
Sherry stitches her scraps into charity quilts.
Share any additional Scrap Reduction Project ideas in the comments. Scraps happen so you can never have to many scrappy project suggestions.
While I was sorting and cleaning the studio, filling the two boxes that Marilyn and Kathy won, I sewed all the scraps to small to save into these Scrappy Crazy blocks. These are 12 1/2 inch blocks, but you can make them any size.
To get started, pin scraps of similar size together in twos. I keep mine in a small basket near my sewing machine to use as chasers when chain piecing.
Here are some of the chasers sewn and pressed. I don’t trim until I am ready to add a third piece, because I won’t know which side I will want to match.
Then I add the stringy pieces to the scrappy pieces until I get “new” fabric big enough to cut my desired size block. Any trimmings 3/4 inch or bigger go back into the mix for the next blocks. There are usually 5-10 blocks in progress.
This box contains the blocks in progress and pressed stringy pieces. Every now and then I give myself a break from “work” sewing and do some slap happy, willy nilly anything goes, piecing. This nets me 2-3 scrappy quilts a year for give away.
Quilt blocks made from “Scraps to Small to Save”. These blocks are 12 1/2 inch square, but you may make them any size you like. These blocks get sewn when I am chain piecing. I call them chasers. Some people call them starters and stoppers. Saves thread and you don’t have to do so much thread trimming.
That bit of a corner of a box you can see at the top of the photo is the box where Punkin and I have been tossing all the bigger fabric scraps, yardages, notions and other quilting stuff no longer needed, while we have been reclaiming the cutting table. Please leave a comment about what you do with your quilting leftovers. I’ll toss all the names of those who comment (you have to comment, not just like) in Punkins baby bed and draw one winner. Comments must be posted by 12 midnight Pacific Standard Time, December 31st.
In the top photo, the marked strips are shown gathered along the marked lines. Use a long running stitch, almost 1/4 inch long. Use hand quilting thread for strength and durability, and match color to fabric. The contrasting color shown here is for photography purposes.
You can see the black and white, coin ruched 2 1/2 inch strip has been placed at the center of the finished 5 inch strip to make a Jumbo flower with the TR700 Jumbo Coin Ruching Guide. The pink blossom is made with the TR500 Large Coin Ruching Guide and the peach and multi color yellow flower are made with the TR400 Small Coin Ruching Guide.
The Piecing Pals, Coin Ruching Guides are used to mark even scallop shapes for hand stitching around and form petals that can be shaped into flowers and other dimensional embellishment. Frixion pens are very handy for marking the strips. A burst of hot air from a hand held hair dryer will remove any marks that might show after ruching.
Applique, ruching and dimensional embellishments of quilts