Monday, September 28, 2015

Binding on curved edged quilts

I'm working on a quilt that has curved edges and rounded corners and wanted to share with you my techniques to have a perfect binding.  Some of these tips I use for all of my bindings.

Tip #1 - When you measure for the amount of binding that you'll need, use a dressmaker's tape measure and stand it up on end.  Place it along the edge of the quilt and measure all around the edges to get a total length, then add 10".  You'll be surprised at how much more binding you'll need to go around all of those curvy edges.

Measuring the edge

Tip #2 - Don't trim your quilt to the edge of the top before you sew on the binding.  It is much easier to sew on the binding if you have something to hang onto and something for the feed dogs to grip as you sew.  I usually trim "generously" first, leaving an extra 1/2" or more that will be trimmed off later.

Extra batting and backing left on while sewing binding

Tip #3 - When you use bias binding, be sure not to stretch it when you sew it to the quilt edges.  When you go around outside curves, and especially at the rounded corners, "push" a little extra so that you get a bit of a ruffle effect.  This extra is needed when you turn the binding to go around the extra distance at the outer edge of the quilt.  Look at the picture above and below.

Ruffly extra at the corner

Tip #4- When you are ready to trim the batting and backing, fold over the binding TO THE FRONT SIDE, and carefully trim to the edge of the binding.  This is to make sure that the binding is full at the edges.  Most of the time, a little extra is needed beyond the edge of the quilt top.  Judges check this feature, so if you're entering contests, make sure the batting completely fills the binding!

Look at the picture below to see that a tiny amount was needed beyond the quilt top to fill the binding.  

 After you have trimmed the binding, you are ready to hand sew it down on the back as per normal.  

And here it is all sewn down.  Hope you like the quilt.  And I hope this helps you on your next curved edge quilt.

Katherine's Quilt by Joanne Adams Roth

Monday, September 21, 2015

Graduation Quilts

Several years ago, I made a quilt for my son's high school graduation.  Well how time flies.  It's almost been 30 years ago! Now, I'm making one for his son.

It started a tradition that has continued on with my nieces and nephews, grand nieces, and grandchildren. My mother thought it was such a good idea that she also made quilts for graduation. So now many young women and men in my family have received two quilts.  Some of the graduates like to have input on the design of their quilt, and some of them don't really care what the quilt is going to look like.  To be honest, it's mostly the girls that have an idea about color and style.  And some of the mothers haven't let their boys take their quilts when they move out.

I wish I had pictures of all the quilts in digital format, but alas, only a few are in the computer. Here's a couple to give you an idea of how different they all have been.

I hope your family loves your quilts and that you have great memories of them as you make quilts for special occasions.

Alex Lematta's graduation quilt

Nick DeJarlais' graduation quilt
Kelsey Lematta's graduation quilt

Monday, September 14, 2015

Fall nest art quilt

It is starting to feel and look like fall outside.  The change in the season has made me want to come back inside and make some more nest quilts in my mixed media fiber art series.  Naturally, I started thinking and planning for a quilt with fall colors and one that would have that feeling of changing colors and nature's last gasp before winter.

I started this art quilt by making the nest with Angelina fibers, wool roving, yarn, lace, shredded material, and.....  It was covered with brown tulle on the top and the back, then stitched and trimmed.

I remembered something that I read somewhere (who knows where?) about stiffening fabric with glue.  I started with 4 different fabrics and mixed regular school glue half and half with water.  I painted the glue onto the fabric and let it dry overnight.  Freezer paper worked really well for the base; when the glued fabric was dry it just peeled off the freezer paper.  Oh, if you're going to do it, make sure you paint the glue on the shiny side.

I used some sketches of leaves that I had made and traced them onto Golden Threads quilting paper. I love this paper because it is see through, is easily stitched through, and is easily removed.  It's also a great paper for quilting designs.

These were stitched through (from the back side), then the paper was removed. 

On the right side, I zig-zag stitched again over the top of the first line, and then added the veining.  I used a small zig-zag, 0.6 mm long and 1.4 mm wide, that was just right for these leaves.  After I did all of the stitching, I carefully trimmed away the excess fabric.  

The finished leaves

 I made a couple more leaves with organza and tulle, although they were a little more finicky to make.  The variation in fabric, leaf shape, and color of thread makes the pile of leaves for this quilt more realistic.

Autumn Brilliance by Joanne Adams Roth

My background is an ombre fabric that fades from yellow to orange.  I found this at the wonderful quilt store in Centralia, called Quilters Junction.  The fabric is Daiwabo Selection for E. E. Schenck Company.  I added 3 feathers that I found this year on my walks and tilted the nest to give that feeling of a nest that has fallen out of the tree at the end of the season into a pile of leaves.

I hope you like it.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Organizing my studio, part Two

When I started organizing my studio, I didn't think it would become a two week process.  Does anyone ever complete a task like this in the time frame they think they will?  Admittedly, this would have gone a little faster if I hadn't have decided to dismantle my drafting table and paint it (which involved sanding, priming, sanding, then painting).  But it looks so nice now, it was worth it.
Drafting table with new paint

After I got the table painted, I had a little left over paint.  So then came a second project that had nothing to do with my studio.  We had a little unpainted step stool in the kitchen.  Now it looks nice too, but this did stall my studio project a little bit.  I bet you also have tag-along projects that crop up in the middle of other chores.

After I got the table together again, I decided to move a dresser and a bookshelf, then my ironing board.  Then a couple of my pictures didn't look that great, so I moved them.  I dusted off my ribbons and the angels (and did they ever need it).  I kept thinking it would be nice to have twice the space, but I don't, so I'll have to make it work.   I did put a few small things in the guest bedroom to get them out of my studio.  The guests won't mind, will they?

Some things had to find new homes: friends who were nice enough to take the stuff,  donations to charity, and a few things were tossed in the garbage.

Whew!  I feel 20 lbs lighter and 10 years younger now.  Plus I have a nice clean studio again.

Happy organizing to you!