Sunday, January 17, 2010

Peas and Carrots Quilt Finished

Wow, I found it very interesting to read the comments regarding what thread other quilters use. Most of them I had never heard of before, so I hope I am making a good decision to switch to Aurifil. But, I have sewn with it and I do love it, so hopefully it will all be good.

I FINALLY finished my Peas and Carrots quilt that I have been working on for a long time. I just finished sewing down the binding--it has been quilted now for a few months but somehow I hadn't gotten to attaching the binding. If you don't already know, Peas and Carrots was a Moda line by American Jane. I had bought a fat quarter bundle which included some of the panels that you see as the border. I purchased extra panels to be able to use them as a border. I can't quite remember what inspired me to make cubes--just a love of geometric quilts although when I started I had no idea what a pain it would be to sew the y-seam rows together. That took me the longest to tackle. Then, trying to fit the panel borders on was another great hassle. Each panel is not quite the same size and getting it on straight was quite an effort! I am extremely pleased with the result and happy to count this quilt among the finished numbers...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What Thread Do You Use?

Ok, today I've decided I'm going to stop messing around with my choice of thread that I use! I still don't know as much as I could about the best threads to use for piecing, quilting, general sewing etc, but I do know that the price of thread over here is high! When I go to the sewing shop here in town I buy either Mettler or Gutterman as that is what they have. But, the price for a 1000 meters is over 15$. That much thread doesn't get me as far as I would like for the price. Then, when I want colored spools they only sell small amounts and you end up paying nearly double if you were to buy it in quantity. It's not my favorite thread, though. I really really like Aurifil, which I have bought in the past when I visit my favorite quilt shop in Canberra. It's expensive there, but at nearly 1500 yards per spool, it lasts so much longer. Also, it is a dream to work with! So, the question is, why don't I just buy the thread that I really really love? Today, I decided that I am going to phase out all my threads and sew with only Aurifil. Ebay and online purchasing is going to save me money on thread and make me a happier quilter/sewer!

What thread do you really really love to use???

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Couple of Finished Quilts

I've had these two quilts finished now for quite some time but somehow seem to have trouble getting good photos of my quilts. It's the lighting. Sometimes I get lucky if I take them outside. Or sometimes it's just a mild improvement. So frustrating! I need to spend the time to learn to use my camera more effectively.

Anyway, this first quilt is made with fabric from the Australian Prints Charming line. I think it's going on three years now since I started it? Oh my... that shows how slowly I move along. But, I eventually get there. Why does this quilt somehow make me think of Mickey Mouse?

The second quilt shown is a more recent endeavor. I finally discovered the Mingle and Metro Market line by Monaluna and absolutely fell in love. It was an obsession there for a little while. This rail fence quilt was inspired by the Old Barn Quilt Along. I needed a design large enough to show off the fabrics... My husband says this quilt reminds him of South Park. ???? Ok, I sort of get it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Half Square Triangle Tutorial for Joanna

Happy New Year! I thought I would use the first post of the year to do a half-square triangle tutorial for my friend Joanna. She mentioned to me that she was going to make a quilt similar
to my red, aqua and white one but that she wouldn't be able to get all her points to match up like mine. Well, I used to struggle with that as well until I learned to make them this way. Hopefully, this tutorial might help other quilters not already using this method as well.

Let's start.
First of all, I think it is quite important to always have good tools. This tool pictured above is essential in this process. It's an Omnigrid 6.5" square ruler with diagonal lines! I use this ruler a lot!

I'm going to use two five inch squares. I am going to use my charm pack of Heather Bailey's new Nicey Jane fabrics and some Kona taupe to make a baby quilt. Obviously you can use any size.

Draw a diagonal line point to point on the reverse side of the piece of fabric that will show the line best. I am using a pen here--usually I use a retractable pencil. Use an invisible marker if you are worried about anything showing up on the back of the quilt.

Then lay the two fabrics right sides together and pin the corners. Next, sew LESS than a 1/4 inch on both sides of the line. The most important step in this process is to SEW A STRAIGHT LINE! Usually I use a guided quarter inch foot but mine is missing in action at the moment.

I also don't usually use orange thread, but I was too lazy to change what was in my machine at the moment. Here is what it looks like before cutting apart.

Ok, just rotary cut on the line. I'd like to mention too that many quilters use a 45mm rotary cutting blade but I find a 28mm is so much easier to handle and cuts just as well.

Ok, one of the reasons working with triangles can be tricky is because you are working with a bias edge. As you probably already know the bias is the stretchiest part of the fabric and distorts easily. Most of the time distortion comes during the pressing process. So, it is best not to over do it! Turn the fabric to the darkest side and with up and down motion only set the seam on the wrong side. Now open it up and press from the front.

Looks like this...

Now, the final step is to trim down the square to exactly 4.5" Use the ruler for this and make sure the diagonal on the ruler is exactly over the diagonal of your fabric. You also need to make sure that the 4.5" mark has room on both sides. You will be able to tell if you sewed your lines straight if your diagonals overlap exactly!

This picture shows that the one side has already been cut. Flip it around and do the other side.

Here are the two half square triangle units showing about how much you will actually trim off. Each square is exactly the same size so sewing together is much easier. I also recommend using pins while sewing units together until you get really good at matching units up! ESPECIALLY for the longer lengths together. I used to hate pinning, but if you just give in to it and realize it is all part of the process for perfectly matching points--you will get used to it and not mind it so much either! LOL.

Hope this was helpful. :)

Total Pageviews